User questions double post policy November 21, 2005 8:44 AM   Subscribe

On duplicates, tags, and link quality... [more inside]
posted by knave to Etiquette/Policy at 8:44 AM (20 comments total)

I was about to post a link to an awesome video [WMV] I found. Being a conscientious poster, I searched using Google and I looked for posts with similar tags. Nothing turned up. So I proceeded to write up a post, with descriptive text and meaningful tags.

When I hit Preview, I was informed that my link was posted previously. I followed the link to that thread, which, it turns out is a duplicate of an even earlier thread. The initial post linked to a site that was having serious bandwidth issues, so very few people actually saw the video. The second post was deleted the morning it was posted, allowing a few people to see it.

The reason for this thread is I'm curious about how we could improve this situation. I personally think the video is awesome and lots of people would love to see it. Should we leave duplicates around if they are significant improvements over the previous version? Especially with regard to making the linked material accessible to all?

Finally, I just wanted to complain that neither of the first two posters put tags on their posts, and that the first poster's description is useless as far as searching goes. It's hard to not post duplicate links when you make it impossible to find your posts based on their subject matter.

Thanks for reading. Have a nice day.
posted by knave at 8:44 AM on November 21, 2005

Also, the fact that Metafilter caught my duplicate link is a great thing. Great feature, Matt! :)
posted by knave at 8:45 AM on November 21, 2005

*answers in the form of interpretive xmas light choreography*
posted by cortex at 9:00 AM on November 21, 2005

It's good practice to search for more than just tags. I would never rely on tags to determine whether my link was a duplicate. The form caught it because the name of the file was the same--that would have made a good search.

As for bandwidth, who has seen it, etc.: if I want to see something and it's overloaded, I'll just go back later. I imagine plenty of folks saw it the first time.

There are so many links on metafilter, and so many great things on the web, it seems wasteful to double-post.
posted by frykitty at 9:02 AM on November 21, 2005

I just noticed how recent the other posts were. Your better-bandwidth link should go in the previous thread.
posted by frykitty at 9:07 AM on November 21, 2005

It's good practice to search for more than just tags.

Like I said, I used Google as well. But tags have been effective for me in the past.
posted by knave at 9:08 AM on November 21, 2005

Like I said, I used Google as well.

Ah, sorry about that. It's probably too recent to be indexed, which is a flaw with only using the google search.
posted by frykitty at 9:12 AM on November 21, 2005

Clarification: I didn't mean you should have used another search. I meant that taking the old metafilter search down caused this problem.
posted by frykitty at 9:12 AM on November 21, 2005

I haven't noticed the thing that checks to see if you link has been posted before. I wonder how we got the double post we did of the same movie? Would it not automatically notice that?
posted by dios at 9:22 AM on November 21, 2005

Agreed, the 46,810 thread is still active. Put your link there.

By the way, tags are a recent phenomena here, and not everybody uses them or uses them well.
posted by caddis at 9:26 AM on November 21, 2005

I am not sure what you are talking about with that link dios, but the posting page searches for the exact link having been posted before, and not other links with the same content.
posted by caddis at 9:30 AM on November 21, 2005

It's probably too recent to be indexed

Google's problems indexing Mefi aren't just related to recentness; it's been demonstrated many times here that Yahoo! has a more complete index of the site, which is why Matt changed the front page's search default to Yahoo a month ago. Somehow I missed why it's now changed back. Was there a reason?
posted by mediareport at 9:48 AM on November 21, 2005

If I'm going to post a link to MetaFilter, I search Metafilter for key words that seem to relate to my link. Then google search the same key words and "". Then I search my link url in google and check the pages that link to it. Then I search my link in Blogdex. And then Technorati.

If a link from Metafilter (or any of the other big hitters) does not turn up, I *assume* it's not a double post.
posted by nthdegx at 9:50 AM on November 21, 2005

Following mediareport's comment, I should really get round to switching the Google parts over to Yahoo! or simply use the search on the front page. Besides that, I think I'm pretty thorough.
posted by nthdegx at 9:51 AM on November 21, 2005

I never changed it to Yahoo. I said I would, but never got around to it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2005

I get it caddis. It can be same content but with a different name or source. I guess that is a problem with relying on the automatic check.
posted by dios at 10:08 AM on November 21, 2005

I never changed it to Yahoo.

Oh. That explains it, then. But I do clearly recall at least one search page offering both Yahoo and Google as options at one time, but now I can't find it. I thought it was the main Mefi search page, but that now only links to Google. Am I loony, or was there not a time when Yahoo and Google showed up together on a search page here?
posted by mediareport at 10:14 AM on November 21, 2005

Ah, it's the AskMe search page. When you get time, Matt, making a similar change to the other two search pages, and the search box on the front page, would probably repay itself pretty quickly.

posted by mediareport at 10:20 AM on November 21, 2005

I changed it on the front page, and on the mefi search page. I'll change it on the metatalk page now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:41 AM on November 21, 2005

I've had this happen a couple of times, most recently about a week ago overa photoblog I found. I had tried searching without the full http://*.* form, and it hadn't returned a hit. I had also searched under the page title, and several other criteria, which led me to make a frustrated MeCha post about it when I did get shut down (I was annoyed that by crappy titling and no link description, I had missed something fairly interesting, which, had the original poster bothered, also had several other interesting correlary sites. I would have commented in the original thread about it, but it was in September and now thoroughly closed. Grrr.)

Long comment short: Make sure to search in format, otherwise it won't show up until you've already written your Pulitzer post...
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 AM on November 21, 2005

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