West of the web - TV on the FPP October 4, 2001 7:24 AM   Subscribe

This is absurd. A WTC / TV discussion on the front page? Worst thread ever.
posted by norm to Etiquette/Policy at 7:24 AM (36 comments total)

Didn't you get the memo? MetaFilter is a TVBlog now...
posted by websavvy at 7:42 AM on October 4, 2001


I don't understand. I enjoyed the reviews. Same with concerts, etc. Specially if you've seen (or haven't seen!) the shows in question. It's the sort of thing MeFi does very well.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:27 AM on October 4, 2001


you're crazy. the very special west wing was an unprecedented and interesting thing and it's worth discussing.

furthermore, NOT ALL WTC DISCUSSIONS are inappropriate. i think we're starting to reach a balance of news/wacky again.

please chill.

I wish that I could be as emotionally detached as some of the anti-WTC-posts posters. unfortunately I have a heart.

not every metafilter post will interest every person, but this definitely is not a Worst Thread Ever.
posted by palegirl at 8:29 AM on October 4, 2001


unfortunately I have a heart.

Hrrm.

please chill.

Good advice.
posted by J. R. Hughto at 8:45 AM on October 4, 2001


I wish that I could be as emotionally detached as some of the anti-WTC-posts posters. unfortunately I have a heart.

I wish that I could be as emotionally engaged as some of the "I hurt more than you do" posters. Unfortunately, I have some skin.

Believe it or not, it is actually possible to feel sorrow over 9.11 while still retaining some bit of concern over the status of a favored website.
posted by Skot at 9:05 AM on October 4, 2001


I saw a lot of people posting to the Buffy thread yesterday.

Just saying.

My new policy is to live and let live. And to engage in lively debated about the relative merits of Guns & Roses' versus Paul McCartney's versions of Live and Let Die.

You will be informed of any further developments in my policy. Back to your homes.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:32 AM on October 4, 2001


That's not even close to being the worst thread ever, norm.
posted by rcade at 9:46 AM on October 4, 2001


much ado about nothing, imo. so it's on the front page? when i'm uninterested in something there (as i am with the west wing stuff since i don't watch it) i skip it. rather easy to do.

just my opinion.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 9:56 AM on October 4, 2001


unfortunately I have a heart.

The new rally call for couch potatoes. I think I'm going to start a discussion on today's Rose is Rose.

The west wing gets a lot of mention here, I'm going to chalk this up to 'mob rules,' which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
posted by skallas at 9:59 AM on October 4, 2001


dude, mob rules.
posted by palegirl at 10:27 AM on October 4, 2001


The West Wing thread isn't nearly as bad as this one. He practically says "I like pancakes. Who likes pancakes?"

When i'm uninterested in something there (as i am with the west wing stuff since i don't watch it) i skip it.

But the site is called MetaFilter. It's supposed to be a place where crap like that, which can be found all over the web, is filtered out.

I saw a lot of people posting to the Buffy thread yesterday.

Regardless of its appeal, it was a lousy post (another in a long line of terrible posts from that particular individual, I may add). You saw the cam-kids descend on this site like flies on shit two weeks ago, didn't you? That thread was hoppin'. That doesn't make it a good post.

, it is actually possible to feel sorrow over 9.11 while still retaining some bit of concern over the status of a favored website.

here here!
posted by jpoulos at 10:46 AM on October 4, 2001


the popularity of a post is not a measure of whether it belongs on this site. The fact is that most people in the world are interested in, e.g., TV. So a number of MeFites are likely to have something to say about a major TV show, and many will say something.

That has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not MeFi is about TV shows. The mob only rules when you let it. MeFi is (partially) about TV shows right now, but only by default, because some users are abusing their posting rights and nothing has been done about it.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:55 AM on October 4, 2001


I didn't see too many people bitching last week when we all felt free to opine about the new Star Trek....
posted by briank at 11:15 AM on October 4, 2001


jpoulos, I'm in total agreement there. Lately there've just been a deluge of "I like x. What are your favorite things about x/types of x/ways of preparing x?"-type posts. I'm waiting for the front page link asking "Hey, everybody. I like Hanes, but I need to know- boxers or briefs?" Ugh.
posted by zempf at 11:20 AM on October 4, 2001


zempf, they're just trying to engage the readers into making a lackluster post turn out a decent thread. Things like 'has anyone seen a better site about this' and 'what do you think the future will hold' make for good reading. Usually you'll find a better link in the thread than in the post itself. I don't see why the initial post has be amazing when thousands of readers can chime in in the thread.

The idea that there's some formula for a good post just helps kill the weird diversity we really crave. Admit it cravers!


posted by skallas at 11:34 AM on October 4, 2001


I don't see why the initial post has be amazing when thousands of readers can chime in in the thread.

<broken record>

The problem is that, even when one of those threads turns out OK, it let's everyone know "hey! it's ok to post really general topics that barely have a site associated with them!" Given the unprecedented growth MeFi has experienced recently, it's important to be very clear what is and isn't a good post.

</broken record>

The idea that there's some formula for a good post just helps kill the weird diversity we really crave.

Diversity like: "What's your favorite beer?", "What's your favorite booze?", "What's your favorite food?", "What's your favorite TV show?" or, my personal fave, "Who here smokes pot?" That kind of diversity?
posted by jpoulos at 11:47 AM on October 4, 2001


I didn't see too many people bitching last week when we all felt free to opine about the new Star Trek....

Well, geez, I can't be everywhere at once! :-)
posted by jpoulos at 11:55 AM on October 4, 2001


"hey! it's ok to post really general topics that barely have a site associated with them!"

That's a big fat assumption. Some people enjoyed the beer thread, its nice once in a while. No one is advocating turning this site into an AOL chatroom, but anything that approaches going out on a limb doesn't necessarily need to be based.

Secondly, we already have rules for no link posts or posts that " barely have a site associate with them!" If Matt isn't going to delete them then people will continue to post in those threads. Pro-moderators comment? Yep.
posted by skallas at 1:23 PM on October 4, 2001


Skallas:

I think we agree more than it may seem. I think there is plenty of room here for beer threads, et al. But they should be the exception to the norm. I think we can't reasonably expect any newcomer to discern what "the norm" really is, with all the exceptions getting in the way.

If I had any confidence that the site wouldn't completely lose its focus under laissez-faire, I'd keep my big mouth shut. I just think that, for a little while, a focus on the core MeFi "values," if you will, would help edumacate the newer users why MetaFilter is different.

Tagline
Metafilter: Little, #006699, different.
posted by jpoulos at 1:41 PM on October 4, 2001


Some people enjoyed the beer thread, [...]

"Some people" including, well, Matt. He added it to the sideblog, after all -- if that isn't an indication of his approval, I don't know what is.
posted by webmutant at 1:58 PM on October 4, 2001


Discussing Buffy, Star Trek, hell, Survivor, (much as I liked it, I might add) are all steps down the slippery slope to further perversion of this site from a weblog to a catchall of pop culture discussion. Admittedly, there is a highbrow spin that can be made, but when the TV show discussion is ALSO discussing the WTC, it seemed to me a major line had been crossed.

The cardinal guideline:
A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.



#1, failed. Many people had seen the show, and the link was secondary.
#2, failed. There is nothing interesting about the content on the page linked. This is of course a subjective call, but the link wasn't posted because the link was good. It was posted for:
#3. Ok. Maybe a good discussion could be had; except it was a blatant attempt to discuss the conjunction of WW and the WTC attacks, which in context should be treated with a heightened standard of scrutiny for a link.

I wish that I could be as emotionally detached as some of the anti-WTC-posts posters. unfortunately I have a heart.

Wholly out of bounds, unfair, and insensitive.
posted by norm at 2:34 PM on October 4, 2001


Ok, so it wasn't a good post. It certainly wasn't the worst ever.
posted by sudama at 2:54 PM on October 4, 2001


I like discussing what belongs on MeFi and what doesn't. Sometimes, when I meet MetaFilistines in real life, I discuss this with them. What do you like to discuss? What do you talk to your friends about? Have you ever had a friend who was good at talking? Or one that couldn't talk at all?
posted by iceberg273 at 3:13 PM on October 4, 2001


Ok, so it wasn't a good post. It certainly wasn't the worst ever.

/me pleads guilty for Simpsons-related hyperbole.
posted by norm at 3:18 PM on October 4, 2001


Apparently the deleted "yo mama" post qualifies as bad.
posted by swift at 3:49 PM on October 4, 2001


If I had any confidence that the site wouldn't completely lose its focus under laissez-faire, I'd keep my big mouth shut.

I'd love to defend the mefi policing squad's actions of late but I've been here during some of the good old days, I check the year ago links, and I get a big ass laugh at the revisionism so many here are quick to defend. MeFi is a victim of its audience. Once it was mostly webloggers, later others drifted in, and now we have an unprecented user boom.

The posting complaints in 90% of the cases are completely and utterly subjective and arbitrary. The only objective statement you can make about mefi is that its different. Better or good is subjective unless you're going to base your complaints on the guidelines, which in themselves leave LOTS of leeway.

It would be nice if the mefi policing squad could understand that the good old times weren't so good and that the site has changed permanently and will head for another change eventually.

I think its pretty funny how so many complain about news articles and defend Matt's guidelines to the death but have no problem with his recent change of policy to post only breaking WTC news. If you want a weblog then do what memepool does: no news articles. No more.

Anyone can access AP. Hell, AP around noon used to (or still does) say, "Here are the NY post's headlines for tomorrow." Post that once and day and have at it. The politics-only people can find a new place to rant about liberal media bias or how much of an old coot Strom is.

In the meantime lets encourage people to do something unorthodox because when you break it down to its essentials this community is just one big experiment.


posted by skallas at 3:56 PM on October 4, 2001


nb: the beer and liquor threads were also good because of all the links in them, not just because people like beer and liquor.
posted by mattpfeff at 3:58 PM on October 4, 2001


The fact is that most people in the world are interested in, e.g., TV.

The thread wasn't about TV as such, but a specific TV show, one that most people in the world have never heard of, let alone have access to. I'm not sure on this, but I imagine that "Buffy" is exported to more countries (in a whole range of media, books, comics, video) so that at least more readers will be able to relate to that link. On the other hand, I can appreciate the argument that the West Wing thread was timely and people really wanted to talk about it in light of the recent tragic events.

The only problem with these kinds of threads is not that they occur, one thread about the West Wing isn't a problem. Sometimes though new and sometimes older users pick this up as a cue that TV show threads are in vogue. Then they (new users) get disgruntled (disgruntled users = bad) when called out on that, and perhaps rightly feel that there is a case of double standards going on.
posted by lucien at 5:19 PM on October 4, 2001


but I imagine that "Buffy" is exported to more countries (in a whole range of media, books, comics, video) so that at least more readers will be able to relate to that link.

To the extent that it was a DAMN SPOILER THREAD for anyone who gets Buffy later than the US (ie everyone else) and so was not touched by non-Americans with a shitty stick.

(I just got the 450Mb mpg off Usenet.)
posted by holgate at 6:23 PM on October 4, 2001


If the link had been to a well-written, thoughtful article about the WW episode, the post would've been okay.

If it had been a well-written, thoughtful post with a link to a less-than-stellar article, it's not okay.

I don't know -- something seems weird about the formula here. Maybe the post in question doesn't exactly win any lit prizes, but I don't see the problem. This particular WW episode is of great interest - for technical reasons alone. It's not like someone posted "hey, did anyone watch Oprah today?"

So is TV off-limits then?
posted by D at 6:38 PM on October 4, 2001


True holgate, I certainly don't dispute that. I just wanted to point out that Buffy is more well-known in a world wide sense, that it isn't true that every post about a TV show is of world-wide interest just because TV is popular, not that it was a good thing to post the thread.

I didn't read the thread, partly because I figured it would have spoilers (I just glanced over the front page post also) and partly because I just wasn't interested in reading about Buffy on Mefi (despite the fact that I watch the show, there are heaps of Buffy communities on the net regardless of which country you are viewing it in)

Booby prize goes to the *%!@#! who revealed the winner of "Survivor 2" in a front page post hours before the episode was shown in other countries which Survivor has been exported to... Perhaps that's my punishment for watching the show, but then again, is it that difficult to put a spoiler warning on the front page post, and then put the bulk of your message within your thread? Can't these posts be removed?
posted by lucien at 7:26 PM on October 4, 2001


.....and the double post version

"The special West Wing episode: Issac & Ishmael was designed to provoke thought and bring some civil discussion of the attacks rather than newscasts trying to be the "Official News Station of the 2001 Terrorist Attacks. (c). It was praised for its tone and panned for its "preachy" nature. Preachy? These are the same people vying for camera time or a byline when Dubya finally "kicks some Bin Laden a-y-shh!" Assholes."

[sigh]
posted by lucien at 9:28 PM on October 4, 2001


Ba-doom shhh. Go icey.
posted by sylloge at 11:35 PM on October 4, 2001


Booby prize goes to the *%!@#! who revealed the winner of "Survivor 2" in a front page post hours before the episode was shown in other countries which Survivor has been exported to...

It was posted at 6 a.m. the day after the show aired. How long would you expect someone to wait, considering that there might still be countries that haven't seen the show yet?
posted by rcade at 5:53 AM on October 5, 2001


i am not opposed to 'double threads'. A serious subject, coupled with a banal one (eg WTC and pancakes/crepes) gives people a chance of levity often not available in the serious threads.
it gives the posters of serious issues a chance to appear human, and the people who care not for the machinations of the political arena something to read, while possibly absorbing or commenting on the BIG story.
i have noticed that the less, ahem, serious threads (star trek, buffy, survivor, beer, this girl is pretty) get far more posts from people who seldom comment on more serious issues. i like hearing from them, whatever the subject (probably) ; /
do these people not care about anything (onion link)?
do they not feel they cannot comment on anything other than media babble and popular 'culture'?
are they the silent majority of readers who seldom post a comment?
what am i having for dinner, tonight?
why are my eyes going in and out of focus?
doesn't metafilter hold the key to the answers of all these questions?
posted by asok at 10:22 AM on October 5, 2001


How long would you expect someone to wait, considering that there might still be countries that haven't seen the show yet?

rcade, that's not the point. This is -

"is it that difficult to put a spoiler warning on the front page post, and then put the bulk of your message within your thread?"

If you think it is unreasonable to request that people not post TV spoilers for big syndicated shows as front page posts, by all means let me know.
posted by lucien at 2:44 AM on October 7, 2001


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