MeFi Mentioned on Lehrer January 25, 2006 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Xeni Jardin casually mentions Metafilter (and Slashdot) last night on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer as an online community that works because its users are registered and self-policing.
posted by crunchland to MetaFilter-Related at 10:29 AM (62 comments total)

If people are excited enough to congregate online and comment about your stuff, sometimes readers can be encouraged to kind of govern the comment section themselves.

Sites like Metafilter and Slash Dot, you'll see some interesting kind of self-policing, self-organizing happening among the people who frequent those forums.

posted by crunchland at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2006


ick.
posted by keswick at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2006


Attack of the A-List!
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:47 AM on January 25, 2006


Everyone looks weird on NewsHour, especially Jim Lehrer. He reminds me of that Plimptoon where the guy shaves off his nose.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:47 AM on January 25, 2006


See also Matt's mention here.

I'd never heard of Xeni before but ROWWWWWRR!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:06 AM on January 25, 2006


ha ha ha ha ha!

MetaFilter works. What a riot.

But seriously, I don't understand why Xeni is always called upon to to commentate on things technologic. She's not that astute.

Well, yes I do understand why she gets called upon for that, but the reasons piss me off.
posted by teece at 11:08 AM on January 25, 2006


She's an editor at Wired, right? I think that has something to do with it.
That. And changing her name from Jenny Gardner to Xeni Jardin.

I like it when she's on NPR, though. She really cuts through the crap, especially when other guests ramble on so as to disguise thier lack of knowledge on a particular tech topic.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:13 AM on January 25, 2006


ha! totally didn't believe commentate was a word, there, teece.

dictionary.com to the rescue.

comment. commentate. commentator. commentor?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:14 AM on January 25, 2006


She was there as a represntative of boingboing, who also decided the pull the plug on their comment boards when the level of discourse dropped below their levels of acceptance, just like the Washington Post did. So if you should disagree with the editorial content or self-promotional claptrap on boingboing, you need to take it elsewhere.
posted by crunchland at 11:18 AM on January 25, 2006


I have nothing in particular against Xeni, but man, that outfit she's wearing in the PBS clip really makes her look like a giraffe.
posted by kindall at 11:19 AM on January 25, 2006


So if you should disagree with the editorial content or self-promotional claptrap on boingboing, you need to take it elsewhere.

This is a phenomena not unique to Boing Boing.
"Meet the new boss; same as the old boss."
posted by keswick at 11:35 AM on January 25, 2006


memo to all the haters out there: Xeni is cool, and there's nothing you can do about it
posted by matteo at 11:37 AM on January 25, 2006


She's very "Desperately Seeking Susan" in the photos I saw of her. Not that its a bad thing, just an observation.

And I don't think we're really self-policing anymore. Lots of witch hunts, sure, but vigilantes ain't cops.
posted by fenriq at 11:47 AM on January 25, 2006


And I don't think we're really self-policing anymore.

I've really never understood the whole self-policing tagline. Maybe it was said tongue in cheek. It's certainly not true. We help, give opinions. Self-policing? Nope.
posted by justgary at 11:51 AM on January 25, 2006


Self-policing? Nope.

Don't underestimate the power of timely negative feedback, telling you that you've screwed up. It works surprisingly well here, even coming from total strangers. The fact that it's often humorous helps to lessen the sting.

I still remember posting an inappropriate announcement to MetaTalk. Ouch.
posted by russilwvong at 11:58 AM on January 25, 2006


but vigilantes ain't cops.

Wouldn't that be precisely what makes the community self-policing? If there were the equivalent of cops it would no longer fit the description. A purely self-policing community is one in which either 'vigilante' loses its pejorative bite or law enforcement decisions are made by consensus ('vigilante' then referring to someone who strikes out on their own without first reaching consensus with the community). 'Self-policing' applies to metafilter insofar as most infractions of perceived rules are dealt with by a subset of the population shaming the wrong-doer.
posted by nobody at 11:59 AM on January 25, 2006


It was amazing how much I was turned off of this post by the mention of Xeni's name. It was like her ego was channeled through my computer screen and hit me like a vehicle's airbag.

Which is a word that aptly describes her, interestingly enough.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:05 PM on January 25, 2006


Kickstart - what evidence do you have that she's particularly egotistical?
I'm not calling you out - I'm genuinly interested.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2006


Baby_Balrog: Read BoingBoing for a while and count the number of time she's posting something about herself in a self-promoting way. She expends more effort there making sure people know who she is, and what she thinks, and how cool she thinks she is than anything else. It's a pretty massive turnoff for me and I end up ignoring her posts in my RSS reader.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:12 PM on January 25, 2006


Have you not visited Boing Boing? Or her personal website? warning: 350x526 pixels of concentrated vanity ahoy!
posted by keswick at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2006


She's very "Desperately Seeking Susan" in the photos I saw of her. Not that its a bad thing, just an observation.

I feel the same way, except I substitute "Annie Lennox" for "Desperately Seeking Susan." Not as a criticism, just saying.
posted by Gator at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2006


I suppose one could argue that a weblog is, by its very nature, an egotistical endeavor. Or at least, that's what the majority have become. Quite a bit different from the first one, and even there, the writer was roundly criticized for airing his own opinions there, early on.

And maybe the only real way to avoid being accused of being petty or jealous of the fame and attention garnered by Xeni and her self-promoting cohorts at boing boing is to just not go there. I dropped them off my bookmarks quite awhile ago. And since almost everything there but the self-promotional stuff ends up here anyway, I really don't end up missing it. All of the content, none of the ego.
posted by crunchland at 12:38 PM on January 25, 2006


Interesting point, crunchland.

On a side note...I no longer consider that and some other sites (MeFi, Fark) blogs. The term just doesn't seem to fit any more.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2006


Baby_Balrog writes "I like it when she's on NPR, though. She really cuts through the crap, especially when other guests ramble on so as to disguise tier lack of knowledge on a particular tech topic."

This is true. Very high signal-to-noise ratio for a "tech commentator".
posted by mr_roboto at 1:23 PM on January 25, 2006


Self-policing? Nope.

I'll point out the Last Comment Before Deletion debacle. After I posted a thread to Metatalk about it, a lot of people stood up and said how stupid it was. Now no one does it anymore.
posted by poppo at 1:29 PM on January 25, 2006


I've always had weird mixed feelings about the Xeni phenomenon. Something about her reminds me of the dot-com days where anyone with a nerd, cyber punk appearance got immediate streetcred. Add to the three pages of self-indulgent sexual photographs reeks of the moderately attractive girl who walks into a room thinking she's a model and everyone makes fun of her behind her back. Her commentary is often spot on, she's got a grasp of the tech world, she should study the Maureen Dowd playbook. Be as coy as possible about your attractiveness and be classy about it. She had Charlie Rose hitting on her like she was a bar slut. Right or wrong, Xeni just comes off as vain.
posted by geoff. at 1:44 PM on January 25, 2006


(ahem... xeni-jardin.)
posted by crunchland at 2:13 PM on January 25, 2006


Self-policing isn't the same as self-judging/self-jurying/self-executionering. Check out the message boards on Slate for an example of a moderator-policed board. Or chowhound which has much less noise, but still a different vibe than here, largely because the rules are set by the moderators rather than by the community.
posted by mzurer at 2:19 PM on January 25, 2006


make that last sentence

"set by the community, to a large extent."
posted by mzurer at 2:20 PM on January 25, 2006


I dropped them off my bookmarks quite awhile ago.

Me too.
posted by languagehat at 2:39 PM on January 25, 2006


I dropped them off my bookmarks quite awhile ago.

Me too.


This puzzles me... Are you THAT offended by their self-promotion? I started looking at BoingBoing about a year ago after seeing it mentioned on MetaFilter, and I've seen lots of neat things there (including things that have not turned up on MetaFilter)... I just skip past the stuff (self-promoting and otherwise) that doesn't interest me.

Also, I'm not sure how well their self-promotion is working, since I didn't know who this Xeni person was until I read this thread.
posted by JeffL at 2:48 PM on January 25, 2006


I have known who Xeni Jardin was for (what seems like) several years, but only today learned how to pronounce her first name. I now find her even less tolerable than before.
posted by gleuschk at 3:04 PM on January 25, 2006


Self-policing? Nope.

I'll point out the Last Comment Before Deletion debacle. After I posted a thread to Metatalk about it, a lot of people stood up and said how stupid it was. Now no one does it anymore.
posted by poppo


And I could point to a thousand other policy request that went no where.

I'm not saying this isn't a good system, or that the community doesn't have a huge part in shaping the site, but that we're not self-policing. We're assisting and giving advice. If X number of flags = deletion, then we'd be self policing.
posted by justgary at 3:22 PM on January 25, 2006


Wasn't communist Russia self policing comrades?
posted by blue_beetle at 3:51 PM on January 25, 2006


crap. I didn't even see this until just now. And I started this thread 10 minutes after the other one closed. crap.
posted by crunchland at 4:24 PM on January 25, 2006


The self-promotion on Boingboing is pretty annoying. However the most annoying thing about BoingBoing is that they don't have someone checking their facts before posting articles. If they had a proper comment system then that could offset some of their errors.
posted by andendau at 4:28 PM on January 25, 2006


In Russian, the self-police policed YOU.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:50 PM on January 25, 2006


Self policing works when the transgressor was not aware that they had comitted a crime against the community. Some of the time, the offenders get offended and stomp off in a huff (good times). Some times they learn from their mistakes and come back as stronger users.

The problems happen when you've got people like the dhoyt chimaera who post stuff that they don't necessarily believe in order to generate debate or insert their idea of what's missing in the Metafilter Lefty Groupthink Boyzone Blazecock-Pileon Echochamber. These are the people who won't be policed by the community at large because they feel like they're vigilantes or they're committing acts of civil disobedience by presenting the message they don't think we're going to hear.
posted by FYKshun at 5:11 PM on January 25, 2006


I'm going to begin making up rules, and policing you people with them.

Astro Zombie, your poorly veiled Yakov Smirnoff reference is like, totally not allowed. And crunchland - you need to begin starting your sentences with capital letters. It completely sucks all the truthiness out of your arguments.
smock tortfeasor.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:19 PM on January 25, 2006


Are you THAT offended by their self-promotion?

No, I'm that offended by their closing off comments, and that bored by their smug in-group tone. Like crunchland said, "since almost everything there but the self-promotional stuff ends up here anyway, I really don't end up missing it."
posted by languagehat at 5:21 PM on January 25, 2006


Baby_Balrog--it's allowed if he gets it right. What is "the self-police policed YOU" in Russian, anyway?
posted by hototogisu at 5:29 PM on January 25, 2006


Полиции собственной личности охранили вас.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:41 PM on January 25, 2006


killer.
posted by hototogisu at 5:49 PM on January 25, 2006


I'll ask my cow-orkers what they think of Xeni.
posted by Falconetti at 6:20 PM on January 25, 2006


suck it, haters:

she travels extensively, and has studied over a dozen languages including Maohi (Tahitian), Quiché and Kakchikel Maya (Guatemala), Nahuatl (an indigenous language of Mexico), Mandarin Chinese, and Yoruba (Nigeria).

y'all will never measure up to someone who can chat with an egg pie.
posted by popechunk at 7:09 PM on January 25, 2006


if they had a proper comment system then that could offset some of their errors

they used to. then someone said something that upset young master doctorow and in a fit of pique he ripped it out by the roots that very hour.

Xeni Jardin casually mentions Metafilter

quonsar casually ignores Xeni Jardin
posted by quonsar at 7:59 PM on January 25, 2006


In Russia, Yaakov Smirnov references you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:25 PM on January 25, 2006


I dunno, I think she's pretty clever, mentally attractive, and likable, and I like her act, vanity page included.
posted by Peter H at 8:31 PM on January 25, 2006


The negative comments of this thread remind me of a fart.
posted by Peter H at 8:33 PM on January 25, 2006


Did you have a particular favorite one in mind?
posted by crunchland at 8:52 PM on January 25, 2006


Nope. All farts are pretty similar and unmemorable! yuck yuck (rimshot)

Seriously though, it's pretty cool Metafilter got a nice mention on the only decent national news show other than Nightline, don't you think? It's too bad it was delivered by an attractive well spoken woman but maybe we can do better next time!
posted by Peter H at 9:32 PM on January 25, 2006


I love how she changed her name to escape "dangerous people from her past" as she describes it yet seems to show up all over NPR and PBS, amongst other places. I'm sure nobody will recognize her.
posted by euphorb at 10:03 PM on January 25, 2006


I'm sure nobody will recognize her.

She dyes her hair and wears a lot of makeup. Other than that, she could be any mildly cute skinny woman in her early 30s. I don't think I'd recognize her after, say, ten years and an image makeover, but I also suspect that her 'dangerous people' story is just that, because it sounds less pretentious than the usual reasons people change their names to something oddball.

Anyway. The endless self-promotion and neon ego on BoingBoing is tiresome, but the rest of the content more than makes up for it. Jardin has never written or done anything that I found clever or interesting, and Doctorow's fiction is uniformly mediocre, but it's a fun, useful and (IMHO) important site and I visit it several times a day.

The shout-out is nice.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:18 PM on January 25, 2006


When you're dealing with someone who names herself Xeni and wears a gold reflective jacket on PBS, you're going to have to apply some kind of mental filtering system. Check out her website: she doesn't exactly flee from public attention. So you really have to ignore the nonsense and focus on the content. And if you get past the narcissism and self-promotion, I think her contributions to Boingboing and NPR are quite interesting, and I'm thrilled that Metafilter got mentioned on the Newshour.
posted by Loudmax at 10:34 PM on January 25, 2006


I'm sorry this turned into such an attack on Xeni. She didn't need to mention Metafilter, and I suspect, unless she has a thick skin and a forgiving nature, never will again. And, to some extent, this thread displays a lot of the trollish personal attacks and name-calling that caused the Washington Post to turn off their comments, which is ironic and sad. Sorry, Xeni.
posted by crunchland at 5:18 AM on January 26, 2006


Okay, people. I need you to start using "Xeni" as a verb. We scrabble players could use that word.

Seriously, why attack her? I agree with some things she does/is/espouses, and disagree with others. So? If you think the worst problem the world has is Xeni getting airtime, you need to wake up.

I suspect, at one time, she was a mousy quiet girl who decided that she wasn't going to be so anymore, and now, she's *not*. That's braver that many people I know -- the worst fears are the ones you build yourself.

I really suspect 99% of the jealousy is "She went out, busted her rump, and got what I would have gotten if only I'd busted my rump, but I didn't."

Plus, she was the first person I ever heard utter the phrase "Suck it, Haters." If that doesn't make her, in some small way, one of us, what does.

(Oh yeah. $5.)
posted by eriko at 5:36 AM on January 26, 2006


I'm thrilled that Metafilter got mentioned on the Newshour.

wow. thrilled, huh?
posted by quonsar at 5:44 AM on January 26, 2006


she was the first person I ever heard utter the phrase "Suck it, Haters."

OK, that somewhat balances out this:
"Make love to the camera," says Pescovitz.
"Make blog to the camera," corrects Jardin.
posted by languagehat at 6:37 AM on January 26, 2006


It seems like some folk could find a use for BoingBoing Lite, which lets you remove postings by author, or filter out postings by keyword. It also has an option to remove all posts containing the terms "DRM talk", "Disney", "was nominated", "former guestblogger" and "NPR"" in one fell swoop (I suggest adding the keywords 'kitsch' and 'Tiki' as well) - the effect is remarkable, it makes BoingBoing genuinely readable and entertaining.
posted by jack_mo at 8:14 AM on January 26, 2006


Xeni clearly has a sense of humor about herself. I originally discovered the De-Xeni Greasemonkey script in a post on bb by Xeni. So I doubt a little criticism on MeTa is going to matter.
posted by fochsenhirt at 3:08 PM on January 26, 2006


For what it's worth, I follow Xeni periphery, but from what I've read on the interview and what I've seen from past posts from her and about her, as a human being she seems pretty okay. I think that's what people need to focus on.
I don't really see anything there where she's 'self promoting' so much as sharing some very interesting things that I didn't know about regarding a number of different topics.
So lay of Xeni, she da bomb.
posted by mk1gti at 8:49 PM on January 26, 2006


scuse me, peripherally
posted by mk1gti at 8:50 PM on January 26, 2006


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