One word post aren't informative. September 28, 2005 4:52 PM   Subscribe

One. Word. FPPs. (ok, so the last is more than one word) I don't know about you, but sometimes I'm stuck on a slow connection. Dial-up slow. I have to carefully select which links I click, and I don't want to waste my time on links that don't interest me. I screen my choices based on the info provided by the FPP itself, and link location is only mildly helpful (except for newsfilter). Can't we please get a consensus for making the FPPs informative enough to judge interest? (other uninformative posts today alone...)
posted by mystyk to Etiquette/Policy at 4:52 PM (76 comments total)

Yeah, I was wondering about all the one word, one link FPPS too. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if they weren't so, well...lame. Geesh, who the hell cares if someone thinks someone else is a douchenozzle and annotated a picture?

Best of the web, my douche.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 4:54 PM on September 28, 2005


Where's your sense of adventure?
posted by ed at 5:04 PM on September 28, 2005


No. We can't. Your technological handicap aside. You can't regulate style. If you could, then there would be no mullets. As for that particular post, it was as offensive as the page it linked to. I flagged it as such. And so should you. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be flagging this metatalk thread as noise.
posted by crunchland at 5:05 PM on September 28, 2005


You could just wait for the discussion to develop and judge the link by that, rather than issuing a mandate for posters to follow.

Client side filtering, my son, not server side.
posted by loquacious at 5:07 PM on September 28, 2005


I have to carefully select which links I click, and I don't want to waste my time on links that don't interest me. I screen my choices based on the info provided by the FPP itself, and link location is only mildly helpful (except for newsfilter).

It sounds like, when you're in that slow-connection situation, you should first exhaust the well-explained posts, and having done that, venture into the risky territory of the vague ones if you need more Metafilter.

That's the implementable solution, which puts it to you to address your priorities. Alternatively, we can pointlessly fantasize about legislating post style to an audience that, by and large, isn't even present in MeTa.
posted by cortex at 5:13 PM on September 28, 2005


I apologize for mine. It was puerile and bigoted, which is exactly why I found it humorous, and I had popped collars on the mind. I hesitated a bit before clicking "Post," thinking, Wow, I'm about to post a single word FPP to a crappy Maddox-like site with content of questionable taste. Those Metafilter highbrows are going to go nuts *click* OH NO WHAT HAVE I DONE PLEASE FORGIVE ME
posted by brownpau at 5:14 PM on September 28, 2005


Oh, mystyk, if you're on dialup, you should consider getting Opera. The one-key image-toggling and quick plugin-blocker made my dialup life much, much more bearable. And it's now free.
posted by brownpau at 5:16 PM on September 28, 2005


One-word links are my favourite kind, as they are a tiny adventure wrapped in a single mouse click. Also, they weed out those who like to comment based solely on the text with the link.
posted by dg at 5:33 PM on September 28, 2005


I like one word posts. The have a certain elegance, style and confidence that I find refreshing. Of course the link still matters, but one should be given wide latitude in how to post it. (I gauge by thread comments even when I'm not on dialup.)
posted by OmieWise at 5:34 PM on September 28, 2005


Can't we please get a consensus ...

God no. Not about anything, no matter how small. And any attempt to forge a consensus can only end in a nasty, bitter flame war that will not die down for weeks.
posted by LarryC at 5:36 PM on September 28, 2005


I was going to agree with mystyk, but now I see the light! It IS a matter of style!
posted by snsranch at 5:36 PM on September 28, 2005


.
posted by sciurus at 5:39 PM on September 28, 2005


brownpau, I love you for recognizing what was wrong with that post. you're the best.

now I'm going to go flag that post as a fantastic post, just to show my appreciation for you.

done.
posted by shmegegge at 5:55 PM on September 28, 2005


Can't we please get a consensus for making the FPPs informative enough to judge interest?

No.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:55 PM on September 28, 2005


Brownpau, that was such a terrible FPP it was almost awesome.

Almost.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:04 PM on September 28, 2005


Love the sin hate the sinner.... errr... the other way around I mean. I think.

Crap post, bp. Props for the apology. *noogies*
posted by terrapin at 6:22 PM on September 28, 2005


So... seriously, besides this dubious "sense of adventure"... what is it you like about one word posts?

Friends... I am about to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.

link
posted by cadastral at 6:32 PM on September 28, 2005


georgebushdoesntcareaboutblackpeople.com
posted by JohnR at 6:37 PM on September 28, 2005


cadastral: yea, thanks alot. I hate that fuckin' bridge!!!!! So much for random.
posted by snsranch at 6:38 PM on September 28, 2005


...keep adventuring, snsranch! Don't turn back now.

(where's your sense of adventure?!)

(adventure.)
posted by cadastral at 6:41 PM on September 28, 2005


The Douchebag post broke one of the main rules of life. It fucked with Wisconsin.
posted by drezdn at 6:42 PM on September 28, 2005


Of course it is a matter of style. It's also a matter of etiquette. What's helpful about a FPP text that is simply a piece of the URL? No one expects you to have 20 links in a single FPP, but it doesn't take you 30 seconds to explain the gist of the post with at least the mouse over. It's not just a matter of connection speed, but it is a matter of time. Most people don't bother reading every post. Hell, I'm unemployed and even I don't have time or desire to bother reading every FPP here.

It's also a matter of talent. The FPP is like the first paragraph of a story. It takes talent to craft a paragraph that draws in the reader. Every slush pile is full of boring openings. And that's why they are never published.

That's why it is also a matter of editing. Not every FPP is really worth a damn. But Metafilter has no true editor who decides the viability of the FPPs. Here we are all self-published.

And that's why it is also a matter of promotion. Every posting member is shouting "read this!" and the one-word post is whispering in the hurricane.

And to those who think I am advocating a rule...the hell with that. The question brought before the group was a futile search for a consensus regarding "the one word FPP" This is where we hash out matters of etiquette until mathowie makes it a matter of policy or lets the group hash it out forever.

So, I'll fall in with those who found the sudden preponderance of one-word posts a boring pile-on of people trying to out-clever each other. I'll likely ignore most of them. Evidently so will some others. Others will praise them. This cacophony of voices is Metaphilter.
posted by ?! at 6:46 PM on September 28, 2005


Sigh.

This too shall pass.
posted by me3dia at 8:36 PM on September 28, 2005


"I just want to say one word to you - just one word":
posted by caddis at 9:15 PM on September 28, 2005


"And would you also like a special satellite that can scratch your ass with a laser beam from space?" -Family Guy
posted by clevershark at 9:29 PM on September 28, 2005


Is that included or is there an extra charge for laser ass scratching?
posted by caddis at 9:37 PM on September 28, 2005


When do we get to the point where people are being called out for what they're wearing when they post? Wake me up when we do.
posted by scarabic at 9:50 PM on September 28, 2005


Don't get too comfortable, scarabic - it may be only a short nap.
posted by dg at 10:21 PM on September 28, 2005


What the hell kind of shirt is that dg? God.
posted by Quartermass at 10:28 PM on September 28, 2005


I can't say much about the other two, but if you don't know who Hiroshige is, chances are you're not going to click that link no matter how much text there was explaining it. And anyway, Hiroshige is, without question, the most famous Japanese wood block artist, and probably the most famous Japanese artist period. Maybe the fact that you don't know who he is says more about your shortcomings than the poster's. Or maybe the post was intended more for Eastern readers. In any event, would you have had a similar problem if the FPP was just "Picasso" or "Rembrandt"? I think you know exactly where to stick your ethnocentrism.

Simply because you don't get much meaning out of one word, doesn't mean that those who would be most interested in the link don't, either.

That being said, I think you're right, good posts should be more than a one-word-link.
posted by ChasFile at 10:54 PM on September 28, 2005


"How am I supposed to know what your link is about if you don't offer a description?"
"You're not. Just click it."
"But what if it sucks?"
"But what if it's something you might enjoy?"
"But what if it's not? I don't want to waste my time on something that I might not find interesting."
"Then don't click it. You don't have to click everything."
"But what if it's something that I might enjoy?"
"Wait, didn't I just say that?"
posted by 23skidoo at 11:26 PM on September 28, 2005


Malkovich
posted by blue_beetle at 11:29 PM on September 28, 2005


chasfile, I think the air must be thin up on your very very high horse, because you're obviously not thinking straight.

we all know what douchebags are, we just don't know what's behind that link. we all know what science is, and we can imagine something that might pertain to visions thereof, but we don't know what's behind that link.

It has nothing to do with whether we know who hiroshige is. I think one word links are fine, but the people who don't have a problem with not knowing what they're about to click, regardless of topic.

chill out and come back when you're not self righteous.
posted by shmegegge at 11:54 PM on September 28, 2005


when I say the people who don't have a problem, I mean "the people who don't think one word links are fine have a problem with..."
posted by shmegegge at 11:55 PM on September 28, 2005


One word links are really good because they stand out on the page , also the lack of information is designed to make people click , however annoyed they are , it works.
Correct me if i'm wrong , but the one word link started with Crunchland and its been going on for years on metafilter , it's all part of the style of the site , i would agree that if you're going to have a one word post , that it better be pretty good , to make a very long fpp about Hiroshige would entail me being in command of the subject and i simply don't know enough about the artist.
I was hoping for people to dive in and post back their favourites or other links etc etc , you don't have to be an expert to make fpps or to contribute in threads.
I liked the guy in the thread that posted the two pictures that he enjoyed.
Some people like to be in total control of things that they post and others just like to see what happens , anyway , to me the lengthy fpp and the short look good together on the front page , long may they both reign.
Hmmm , I seem to have turned into ethereal bligh : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:30 AM on September 29, 2005


can I just say that the given reason for #1's deletion of the douchebag post is one of the best I've ever seen?

I can? cool.

The given reason for #1's deletion of the douchebag post is one of the best I've ever seen.
posted by shmegegge at 1:23 AM on September 29, 2005


I hate the cryptic single links on some days and I find them intriguing on others. You'll all have to email me beforehand to ask my mood if you want to post another. I tend towards liking at least a bit of info "site: pictures" "site: spanking" but....this thread won't stop it. Oh well.
posted by peacay at 1:34 AM on September 29, 2005


Ummm... I'm all for almost one-word links.
posted by panoptican at 1:44 AM on September 29, 2005


I also dislike one word FPPs. It's half-assed. Try adding something called "context". It has a tendency to not only provide a gateway into the post but also set the tenor of the discussion that follows.
posted by quadog at 1:47 AM on September 29, 2005


Make your own context , choose your own tenor , build yer houses on the slopes of vesuvius !
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:17 AM on September 29, 2005


Setting the tone with context is fine and good. But it's mediated.

But there's also a lot to be said for a blank canvas and a lack of mediation.

I like both.
posted by loquacious at 3:22 AM on September 29, 2005


would you have had a similar problem if the FPP was just "Picasso" or "Rembrandt"?

Why yes, I would. Thank you very much for asking.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:14 AM on September 29, 2005


Hiroshige is, without question, the most famous Japanese wood block artist, and probably the most famous Japanese artist period.

I'd argue that Hokusai would hold both those honors.

Anyhow, one word FPPs are hardly new. To my mind there's nothing wrong with SS's post.

posted by the cuban at 4:23 AM on September 29, 2005


I like them. I don't like the comments I've seen recently which imply that somehow a one-link post (one word or not) is unacceptable. It completely depends on the link as to whether or not more information/links/words are needed, but there's nothing at all wrong with one word/one link posts in principle as far as I'm concerned. If you don't like them, or don't want to waste your time finding out, then don't click on them. /predictable
posted by biscotti at 4:57 AM on September 29, 2005


It was a great post, and the fact that the best post these days get either called out or shat on within the thread or both is deeply discouraging. Don't tell me it's always been that way, because it hasn't. The snark used to be a flavoring, now it's the main dish.
posted by languagehat at 6:02 AM on September 29, 2005


MetaFilter: The snark used to be a flavoring, now it's the main dish.

.
posted by OmieWise at 6:23 AM on September 29, 2005


.
posted by sciurus at 6:59 AM on September 29, 2005


doesn't the period mean that you're speechless at someone's death?

I mean, I've lurked for far too long to be an authority on the matter, but I seem to remember reading that somewhere.
posted by shmegegge at 7:16 AM on September 29, 2005


Or maybe there's something to learn from the fact that enough people are annoyed by one-word posts that they feel the need to mention it.

The link may or may not have been "the best post these days", but clearly the formatting wasn't, as evidenced by reader response.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:26 AM on September 29, 2005


"I'm interested in the following topic. I wonder if anybody's discussed it on MetaFilter. Hm, seems not."
One-word links suck for searching. MetaFilter is a great archive in some ways, and the cuteness factor associated with posting a one-word tease shouldn't be enough to justify polluting that.
posted by Aknaton at 9:18 AM on September 29, 2005


In truth, I was not the first person on Metafilter to create terse link-only front page posts. This is the earliest one I can find, written by Matt, and it goes back to August 13, 1999 (about a month after he started the site) and predates me by more than a year. (I can't say that the lack of comments on it is indicative of the posting style, the link itself, or the newness of Metafilter in general.)

I did start using them exclusively for awhile, as a reaction to the verbose and rambling messages I saw clogging the front page. If you're a big fan of non-editorializing in posts (like I am) then there's really no way you can object to the posting style.
posted by crunchland at 9:33 AM on September 29, 2005


Chasfile, in essence you're blaming people for not knowing ahead of time all about the one-word post. If they had a clue, they'd just know already, so no explanation is necessary.

Isn't the whole point of a post to, you know, reach out to people who DON'T know about a thing? The people who already know about Hiroshige won't get much from that link. The people that would benefit most, on the other hand, are exactly the people you're arguing should be excluded due to their ignorance. That's a great way to keep knowledge to yourself so you can feel superior, but I think it's somewhat alien to the idea behind MeFi. Limiting the potential audience for a post to people who already know about the subject is, well, stupid. Why even bother posting it on a general-content linksite like this one?

So, a sentence or two of explanation on the Hiroshige post would have been a good idea, to help pull in the people that would benefit from it. You actually wrote a couple of sentences that would do fine, buried in your diatribe.

The 'Douchebag' post, on the other hand, was a total loss. What a waste of time.
And it wasn't the one-wordedness of it, either... four paragraphs of introduction and analysis wouldn't have helped.
posted by Malor at 9:41 AM on September 29, 2005


I liked the Hiroshige post. I hated the Douchebag post. It's almost like... I dunno... the content behind the link determines how I feel about it...
A great link can be one word. A mediocre or shitty link should have more words so that I know that it's not of high quality (with an essential one-word-quiddity that makes the style match the substance).
But fuck, man, if we're arguing against the lowest common denominator then you know that we're just gonna see four word links with two of the words going the same place, and two others to mildly germane wikipedia.
posted by klangklangston at 10:14 AM on September 29, 2005


You're right, Malor, if you think that people need to be spoon-fed their links, told what to think, why to think it, and the burped and put down for a nap afterward. The web is all about safety, and exploration of the known, after all. Venturing forth with few clues onto the deep, dark and scary internet is not the way Mommy taught us to behave. And since there is such a huge number of people on Metafilter for whom the link is purely secondary, and who, more often then not, respond to the post rather than the link, and who pontificate endlessly their own agenda, then, yes, terse front page posts should be discouraged.
posted by crunchland at 10:16 AM on September 29, 2005


If you pick the right word, or the link is self explanatory enough, I think one word posts are fine. The the link speak for itself.
posted by caddis at 10:31 AM on September 29, 2005


good posts should be more than a one-word-
link.

WTF, since a constant anything sucks ass.
though that may be the biggest problem at MeFi
posted by thomcatspike at 10:47 AM on September 29, 2005


Let the link speak for itself.
posted by caddis at 11:35 AM on September 29, 2005


Previously.
posted by Mitheral at 12:36 PM on September 29, 2005


Crunchland, I don't think anyone is suggesting that all posts must be essay length, revealing the entirety of the linked pages. In the comments, someone suggested:

A collection of beautiful prints by Ando Hiroshige.
posted by duder at 3:35 PM CST

That's hardly spoon-feeding, or pre-digesting, and it's only eight words. And yet, it actually gives an indication of what the link is. Would that format really have been so terrible?
posted by Karmakaze at 1:02 PM on September 29, 2005


crunchland... *sigh*. What I'm trying to point out is that there are many, many things in life clamoring for my attention. Adding a couple of sentences to tell me what the link is *about* seems only reasonable. I'm not asking for an essay, just a quick idea of why the poster thinks it's important. There are a lot of newer people here (and I am one of the $5 horde myself), and I'm not sure we're quite as discerning and careful as the MeFites of old.

I do agree with you, though, about editorializing. That's probably best saved for a [more inside] comment. It might be even better to post it late in the thread, after everyone else has had a chance at a first reaction. We'd probably get much more interesting discussions that way, and perhaps a little less rancor.
posted by Malor at 1:05 PM on September 29, 2005


Can we get a callout for all the stupid essay-like posts that go on and on instead? With the exception of matteo, who consistently does them well, for the most part they seem like someone gathered links because they didn't want to get called out for having a single link.

BRING ON THE SINGLE LINK POSTS!

On preview: Would that format really have been so terrible?

No, but in my experience posts that say things like "beautiful photos" or whatever fill up quickly with people saying they're not beautiful.

The FPPs I make are generally pretty short and have very few posts inside. I'm fine with that. All the people that don't click because they don't like my posting style or aren't given enough info... oh well.
posted by dobbs at 1:07 PM on September 29, 2005


Karmakaze, that's perfect. That's exactly what I'm suggesting. Obviously I'm not the only one thinking that way. :)
posted by Malor at 1:08 PM on September 29, 2005


dobbs writes "Can we get a callout for all the stupid essay-like posts that go on and on instead?"

A meta that calls out two.
posted by Mitheral at 1:33 PM on September 29, 2005


moan bloody moan , you get 1000 top class japanese prints for fuck all and you sit here fucking moaning your fucking arses off because mommy says i should have more words in my posts .....drool fucking drool ...away and fling shite at yourselves you sad wee pricks , i mean really ...the complainers in my post , a fucking south african that cannae take photos to save himself and some fucking twat that goes to fucking dungeons and dragons conventions , honestly, what a pair of fucking arseholes , is there any chance of getting some top fucking class moaners like y6 in my post ?
No , i get sent the fucking bargain basement fucking dicksplashes , i'm amazed they had the fucking energy to type while wanking over the fact that someone made a one word post on meta , i really am , you could practically hear them rippin the fucking kleenex out of the box.
You want words ? there , you got em.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:38 PM on September 29, 2005


sgt.serenity you might get a better class of moaner if they were only enticed into your FPP by a descriptive word or two.
posted by Mitheral at 1:49 PM on September 29, 2005


Can we get a callout for all the stupid essay-like posts that go on and on instead?

I think that's been done, maybe a few times. Maybe more than a few times.

"Callout" (probably deservedly) has a fairly negative connotation around here, and I don't think this MeTa thread really qualifies. Mystyk identifies something that is difficult for him and other posters with slow connections, as well as other posters who are wary of following links blindly, and asks for help from the community. He (or she, but then it should really be Ms. Tyk) does not insist that everyone comply, nor does he (or she) tell you that your posts are crap. This thread seems to me a perfectly legitimate use of MeTa, and does not deserve all the acrimony that is being flung at the idea. If you don't want to help him (or her) out, then don't, but don't turn around and say that someone is an infant asking to be spoonfed when he's just trying to save some download time.
posted by anapestic at 1:57 PM on September 29, 2005


Adding a couple of sentences to tell me what the link is *about* seems only reasonable.

Suggesting that someone change their style simply because it's something that a certain subset would enjoy seems unreasonable, because there are people who have already stated that they like one word FPPs.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:02 PM on September 29, 2005


What sarge said.
posted by sciurus at 2:08 PM on September 29, 2005


anapestic writes "This thread seems to me a perfectly legitimate use of MeTa, and does not deserve all the acrimony that is being flung at the idea."

Meta seems to be hitting a high of cranky intolerance this last week or so. If you compare the thread I started last year which basically asked for the same thing as Mystyk's the responses were a bit more friendly. I'd bet we'll be getting calmer soon, we should organise a bunch of meet-ups or something; keep those idle hands busy and lower stress levels.
posted by Mitheral at 2:17 PM on September 29, 2005


dobbs, actually, I would probably have dropped 'beautiful' and 'Ando' as unneccesary, bringing it down to a mere six words, but I was quoting.
posted by Karmakaze at 2:34 PM on September 29, 2005


I can see why searge has come over all Scottish, to get called out after all the work he put into that post.
posted by Joeforking at 4:29 PM on September 29, 2005


If you're gonna play the blind link game, why even bother with a word? A simple period would suffice.

For variety, you could even use other bits of punctuation. With all of Unicode to pull from, you wouldn't have a repeated link title for ages!
posted by Malor at 4:32 PM on September 29, 2005


sgt. serenity: moan bloody moan [... ] you sit here fucking moaning your fucking arses off because mommy says i should have more words in my posts ..... drool fucking drool ...away and fling shite at yourselves you sad wee pricks [... ] honestly, what a pair of fucking arseholes [... ] No , i get sent the fucking bargain basement fucking dicksplashes , i'm amazed they had the fucking energy to type while wanking over the fact that someone made a one word post on meta , i really am , you could practically hear them rippin the fucking kleenex out of the box.

Serenity now!
posted by Sinner at 4:39 PM on September 29, 2005


What sgt. serenity said. With Fucking knobs on.
posted by dg at 5:23 PM on September 29, 2005


Malor writes "A simple period would suffice. "

It's been done
posted by Mitheral at 5:54 PM on September 29, 2005


If you hate single link posts, how do you feel about this (today's floss post)?
posted by caddis at 12:11 PM on September 30, 2005


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