How did you discover MetaFilter? April 24, 2006 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Simple question: How did you discover MetaFilter?
posted by wheelieman to MetaFilter-Related at 6:22 AM (279 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

If this is chatfilter, sorry
posted by wheelieman at 6:23 AM on April 24, 2006

Let's just pretend it's Science Penis Inquiry Filter and run with it. I'm interested.

A friend of mine was an avid reader back in 2000; he pointed it out to me when I was complaining about how memepool never freakin' updates. A few months later I signed up so I could leave a comment.

Apparently, even then I was (a) defending dark humor on principle and (b) using a lot of mdashes.
posted by cortex at 6:31 AM on April 24, 2006

I have absolutely no clue. I was probably linked at some point from a prominent blog, though: likely waxy or kottke or BB. As close as I can tell, it was probably late 2003.
posted by Plutor at 6:34 AM on April 24, 2006

^ What Plutor said.
posted by peewee at 6:36 AM on April 24, 2006

I'm pretty sure I found it here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:37 AM on April 24, 2006

I complained to a co-worker one day, years ago, that I had worn out all my usual internet haunts and needed something new. He told me to check out Mefi because it had a bunch of links to "cool stuff". That was it.
posted by Witty at 6:38 AM on April 24, 2006

On the evening of August 3, R. Mutt left from Palos with three ships, the Santa Maria, Niña and Pinta. The ships were property of Juan de la Cosa and the Pinzón brothers (Martin and Vicente Yáñez), but the monarchs forced the Palos inhabitants to contribute to the expedition. He first sailed to the Canary Islands, fortunately owned by Castile, where he reprovisioned and made repairs, and on September 6 started what turned out to be a five-week voyage across the ocean.

A legend is that the crew grew so homesick and fearful that they threatened to sail back to Spain. Although the actual situation is unclear, most likely the sailors' resentments merely amounted to complaints or suggestions.

posted by R. Mutt at 6:41 AM on April 24, 2006

this took a minute to remember: a friend told me about Blogs, and Blogger. I obsessively followed the personal blogs of various Pyra Labs employees (and former employees). those totally sweet "A-listers" sent me here; I think it was either Jack Saturn or Jason Kottke.
posted by carsonb at 6:43 AM on April 24, 2006

A friend pointed me here sometime in 1999-2000, and I finally got an account in 2001.
posted by saladin at 6:43 AM on April 24, 2006

Armistead Maupin (I have no idea if he's a Mefite) sent me a link to this thread about a New Yorker article for which we had both been interviewed. Of course, new member sign-ups were closed at the time so I couldn't comment, which frustrated the crap out of me. But I dug the site and I kept coming back.
posted by amro at 6:46 AM on April 24, 2006

Probably one of,, etc.
posted by fire&wings at 6:46 AM on April 24, 2006

I mistook it for memepool. A friend of mine was really into "portal" sites that collected links back in 1999-2000 and I was bored one day and tried to remember what sites he visited. So yeah, I've been reading MeFi on and off since about 2001, but never bothered to get an account until it cost me money (because hey, the more you pay for something, the more it's worth, right?). Though honestly, I never got an account because I only read it for the links and never bothered to check the comments (a la /.). Then one day I just decided to sign up for /., k5, and MeFi. It was that day that I learned signups were closed and so it became my mission to get an account here. By which I mean I checked back once every month or so. As you can tell, my profile wasn't registered until a month after signups reopened.
posted by Eideteker at 6:48 AM on April 24, 2006

My boss told me to get 50 accounts here, infiltrate the user base, gain their trust, and then convince them to buy ginseng/guarana energy drinks.

Did I just say that out loud?
posted by Roger Dodger at 6:49 AM on April 24, 2006

I am one of those who stumbled onto the blog world thanks to that 2000 New Yorker article - You've got Blog! which begins:

Meg Hourihan was in a bad mood. She had nothing major to
worry about, but she was afflicted by the triple malaise of a
woman in her late twenties: (a) the weather was lousy; (b) she
was working too hard; and (c) she didn't have a boyfriend. Nothing,
not even eating, seemed very interesting to her. The only thing
that did sound appealing was moving to France and finding a hot
new French boyfriend, but even when she talked about that idea
she struck a sardonic, yeah-right-like-I'm-really-going-to-do-that
kind of tone.

I know this about Meg because I read it a few months ago
on her personal Web site, which is called

Following her links, I stumbled on Metafilter a while later and read it for a about a year before I finally decided to sign up in 2001.
posted by vacapinta at 6:49 AM on April 24, 2006


posted by naxosaxur at 6:49 AM on April 24, 2006

Drunk on the phone with my friend in North Carolina. Trying to find the origins of the word "hella". Accidentally stumbled upon a webpage which translated a bunch of hiphop songs into German. Laughed until cried. He said, "Oh man, we should put this on Metafilter." I said, "What's that?"
posted by unknowncommand at 6:53 AM on April 24, 2006

Wasn't there an April fool's joke with Mefi and K5? I think that was it.
posted by sohcahtoa at 6:54 AM on April 24, 2006

it was mentioned on the way-old version of (back when it was, like, still cool and stuff. and hosted at before they lost that domain to domain squatters).
posted by slater at 6:54 AM on April 24, 2006

I used to do IT demonstrating in a computer cluster at uni, and the week after a coursework deadline was always dead. I never felt bad about the fallow time, because the point was that someone had to be there to answer questions, and even in the quietest week we'd get a couple of students turn up. Anyway one of the other helpers used to immediately go to mefi so i added it to my list of time-fillers. I think I was reading for over a year before signups opened up and I was able to contribute as well as lurk. So, as a postgrad, I was paid £10 per hour to read mefi.
posted by handee at 6:55 AM on April 24, 2006

I think it was a WSJ article listing cool sites back in early 2001. Which is odd because I don't normally read the WSJ.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:55 AM on April 24, 2006

I used to be an active Kuro5hin user. After the site started to go downhill, people started to note that founder rusty was spending more time at MetaFilter than at K5. I figured there must be a reason for that, so I followed him and haven't looked back since.
posted by grouse at 6:58 AM on April 24, 2006

I snuck in during the brief open signups in April '04, after I had been reading for a while and getting physically sick at my inability to add my .02. My friend had been telling me about this place for some time, which I dismissed as far too nerdy for me. 1500+ comments later I have a far lower opinion of myself.
posted by loquax at 6:59 AM on April 24, 2006

I came across MeFi during the time I used to spend reading K5. Every so often, I would pop over here to see what was going on, and to see if signups had opened up yet. Then, after signups opened again, but cost $5, I kept lurking, because the idea of paying $5 to post/comment on a site was more than a little odd, since my daily reading at the time was Slashdot, K5, and Fark, which were all free. Eventually I "grew up" from Fark and was reading here more, and finally decided to splurge for an account.
posted by Godbert at 7:04 AM on April 24, 2006

I was drunk.

On my way home from drinking over at, I stumbled in the back door here. I swear, I thought it was my place.
posted by loquacious at 7:06 AM on April 24, 2006

An IRC friend pointed me here, a number of years ago. I read it, off and on, for ages. When I finally decided to sign up for an account and post something, of course, I couldn't. This was Most Irritating.

So, I'm one of the first of the five dollar losers. Definitely a well-spent five bucks from my perspective, though maybe not so much from everyone else's. :-)
posted by Malor at 7:06 AM on April 24, 2006

I came here from K5, although it was before the joke. Now I hardly ever check K5 and am on MeFi 26 hours a day.

P.S. Does anyone have a screen shot of Met4Filter? It was really funny and I seem to have misplaced mine.
posted by tiamat at 7:09 AM on April 24, 2006

Brill's Content, May 2001

(I still have about ten issues with Matt on the cover if anyone wants one. Email me.)
posted by ColdChef at 7:13 AM on April 24, 2006

It was the Best of the Cool Daily Pick for Jan. 23, 2000, at CoolStop, back in the dark ages of the web before there were tons of blogs to find cool sites for people who wanted to see cool sites.

I bookmarked it and visited daily but never felt the actual need to join and contribute until something that MiguelCardoso said something that really annoyed me and I wanted to say something.

So yeah, basically I read the site for two years before I had anything to say.
posted by iconomy at 7:15 AM on April 24, 2006 amazingly, although I have no idea how I wound up there.
posted by cyphill at 7:20 AM on April 24, 2006

There was this trollish guy who used to participate on another board I was on. One day, I was doing a "whatever happened to..." sort of thing, and found his blog. His latest post was about how the folks over at Metafilter had "torn him a new one" over a self-link or some such thing. I figured, hey, if they think he's a jerk, too, it must be a good group!
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:21 AM on April 24, 2006

Friend pointed me here back around March '01. I read it for fourteen months just lurking until there was a big mainstream media fear-on about .50cal sniper rifles. There were a couple threads on it on MeFi, and the complete lack of accurate factual information and the mountains of vague, hand-waving FUD were unbearable. The signups were closed, I figured with some effort I could find a way in. Two hours into my poking I noticed that while Matt had overwritten new_user1.cfm (or something along those lines, it was the numeral that stood out) with a 'Sorry no new signups' page, one could still access new_user2.cfm which was the actual registration page.

So I signed up. I'm told that this is not, in fact, the traditional backdoor that most of the other members of the 14K club snuck in through in order to get their accounts.

I never did get a chance to comment on the thread that drove me to sign up because it was far too long gone for any of my contributions to have any impact. Some day, though, mark my words: someone will make a .50cal sniper rifle FUD post, and my pent up rage from the past four years will rock the very foundations of this site.
posted by Ryvar at 7:21 AM on April 24, 2006

I didn't discover it. Leif Ericson did. I just claimed in the name of Spain and killed all the natives.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 AM on April 24, 2006

(if you must know, I did a Netscape 'what's related' search on memepool back in 1999)
posted by jonmc at 7:27 AM on April 24, 2006

I mis-typed ""
damn typo-squatters.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 7:29 AM on April 24, 2006

like vacapinta, that NYer article about megnut was what led me here. Before that I was somehow clueless about blogs - I spent a lot of time online, but I went to message boards that were arranged according to subject rather than chronology (ie, nothing ever 'rolled off the front page' and there would just be that one thread on Whatever Controversial Topic that would last forever as new people arrived thinking they had the one point that would change everyone's mind...), and news sites, and personal websites (which were only updated when the person had some new project or something). Discovering this whole other side of the internet made me feel kinda dumb for not having noticed it before. kinda like how I didn't find my weirdo artsy friends in high school until like senior year.
posted by mdn at 7:29 AM on April 24, 2006

I found it while snooping through my mom's bookmarks. I was 14 at the time; someone should have called child protective services, heh.
posted by zarah at 7:33 AM on April 24, 2006

Matt is my illegitimate child and as such, I thought it imperative that I check up on him and his little project here. Next thing you know, I'm getting hornswoggled into an account and the rest is history.

(Seriously though, I found this place by accident. Thankfully)
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:33 AM on April 24, 2006

cyphill : " amazingly, although I have no idea how I wound up there."

Thank you!! I couldn't remember where I got to MeFi from, since MeFi is the first link pool I ever visited (around 1999 or 2000, I think). It was driving me crazy, and now you've given me the answer!

(And, like you, I have no idea how I wound up at
posted by Bugbread at 7:34 AM on April 24, 2006

Technorati. And I was looking for a place to replace the hole in my life when the forums at Fametracker shut down, and where I was a legend, A LEGEND I tell you!
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:40 AM on April 24, 2006

It was linked off of GaelFC's popculturejunkmail. Little did I know what I was giving my life over to when I clicked on that link...
posted by whatzit at 7:41 AM on April 24, 2006

via Jorn either directly or indirectly...I forget now.
posted by peacay at 7:43 AM on April 24, 2006

You know, if Matt kept thorough referrer logs back to The Dawn Of Time, he could answer this for a lot of us. I can just see a 7-year-long graph. Mmm, graphs...
posted by cortex at 7:48 AM on April 24, 2006

From Romenesko's Obscure Store & Reading Room.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:51 AM on April 24, 2006

I got linked from memepool however long ago - a (via) on some story, I assume.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:56 AM on April 24, 2006

It was in some article in the Baltimore Sun way back in like 1998 or 99? Or that may be how I found memepool; I remember discovering memepool & mefi simultaneously. I read for a long time - then I tried half heartedly to get a free account during that time that only I apparently remember, when the first 25 people every day could get in for free; the rest had to pay $5. I was too cool, back then, to pay $5, but I never made it into the early group. So I gave up and just lurked on and off for years until that wondrous day in November arrived and I discovered that I was no longer too cool to pay $5.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:02 AM on April 24, 2006

I first heard of MeFi on 9/11/01. I was reading an article linked from Arts & Letters Daily, and it referred to there being a reasonably civil and reasoned discussion of the topic here. I clicked the link here, and haven't stopped since.
posted by scottymac at 8:03 AM on April 24, 2006

It used ot be big news for the "recently updated blogs" page on Blogger to show updates of more than 5 a day. I am pretty sure I was just stalking the so-called A-listers and crashed the party.
posted by terrapin at 8:06 AM on April 24, 2006

I 'discovered' Metacritic about a year and a half ago (I know, I am a lame internets noob) and liked it. I was sitting in Administrative Law class in my final year of school, and the guy in front of me (who was a total tool, as was everyone in law school) had his lap-top open in class and was on this blue and gold site that said Metafilter in the top left, and I saw him chuckle at something, and I thought to myself, "I wonder if that site is related to Metacritic? I will check it out" and I did. I never thought that I would feel compelled to pay $5 to join (that is a lot of money in South Carolina), but then a recent MeFi Music Swap happened, and I joined for that. Now there are days when I feel like I spend all day here.
posted by ND¢ at 8:06 AM on April 24, 2006

Through a personal blog I was reading.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:09 AM on April 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

I turned left at Greenland.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:10 AM on April 24, 2006

My wife pointed MetaFilter out to me. I'm sure she regrets it.
posted by brain_drain at 8:11 AM on April 24, 2006

I clicked the link here, and haven't stopped since.

Yeah it does feel a bit like that when the server is acting up.

Oh and you can blame Baio for my presence here
posted by public at 8:13 AM on April 24, 2006

Some now dead online magazine ("InSight" or something like that) had an article about various sites' guesses about what the then secret Ginger/Segway was actually going to be. One of the links was to a thread on Mefi. Signups were closed at the time, but it was interesting enough that I kept reading even though I couldn't participate. Eventually, I felt guilty that I was hitting refresh 300-500 times a day, sent Matt a small donation, got a surprise signup link back.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:14 AM on April 24, 2006

I used to read Fark, which would occasionally take digs at this place called "MetaFilter." Eventually I had to know what the heck they were talking about, and I guess I just never left.
posted by Monster_Zero at 8:15 AM on April 24, 2006

Me, same as terrapin. I was really into Blogger, back then, so Metafilter got mentioned a lot.
posted by brownpau at 8:15 AM on April 24, 2006

Like many others I'm sure, "Metafilter? What is this Metafilter?" And when I'd found it I read that thread surreptitiously yet determinedly between bouts of debugging, and just kept coming back.
posted by rootz at 8:16 AM on April 24, 2006

Pointed at by friend / friends / a mailing list ca. 2000/1.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:17 AM on April 24, 2006

Fark used to link to some fairly neat sites with a 'via metafilter' tag. I got an account when it was a process of hitting refresh around noon, PST and hoping to be one of the four allowed in that day.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:17 AM on April 24, 2006

Discovering this whole other side of the internet made me feel kinda dumb for not having noticed it before. kinda like how I didn't find my weirdo artsy friends in high school until like senior year.
posted by mdn at 10:29 AM EST on April 24 [!]

That pretty much sums it up for me. I was never attracted to discussion boards because they all look and read so clumsily what with avatars, tag lines, threading (I still really hate the lay out at DailyKos, for example.) But then I read a newspaper or magazine description of MetaFilter and I was really taken with the very clean, logical lay out of discussions. Still the best in my opinion.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:23 AM on April 24, 2006

My buddy (in real life) magullo introduced me and got me hooked.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 8:24 AM on April 24, 2006

My guess would be kottke. It was an awfully long time ago.
posted by eamondaly at 8:25 AM on April 24, 2006

Indirectly via robotwisdom via Wired mag, back when.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:26 AM on April 24, 2006

I was looking for a .gif of a dancing baby.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:28 AM on April 24, 2006

Actually, wait no. I think in reality I came here from
man...I haven't been there in forever. That dude has one hella sweet blog.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:29 AM on April 24, 2006

Holy shit!
Dude is empath.

Well. Ain't it a small internet, after all.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:32 AM on April 24, 2006

a friend of mine pointed me towards MeFi as a place to find interesting things to read on the web. I signed up almost immediately, not that I needed to as I read and lurk WAY more than I comment and haven't felt the need to post anything to the front page... ever.
posted by srw12 at 8:33 AM on April 24, 2006

Songdog got me hooked on it in late 2001. I still haven't forgiven him.
posted by languagehat at 8:33 AM on April 24, 2006

I'm writing this from what you would call "the future". Ever since the Great Collapse of 2023 nothing much really goes on above the surface. Too polluted. So I spend most of my time underground. I was digging around in one of the junk piles a couple of years ago, and found an old server. When I booted it up it turned out to be a mirror of the "Way-Back-Machine", strange thing was, the only site left uncorrupted on the hard drive was MeFi. I don't know exactly how it works, but once I got it copied over to my PDA I was somehow able to make it work. I try to limit myself to reading through one or two MeFi days per "real day""although I'm starting to notice weird things, it's like my comments are actually getting sent back through time and being posted on the site, instead of the local cache I have. Anyways, I don't know if anyone out there can actually see this, I haven't seen a real human in almost two years. There are mutants everywhere, and food supplies are running thin. I imagine most of them are gone. Anyways, I don't know if you are all just the fevered delusions of a madman on the other side of the apocalypse or a reality that I just can't understand. Either way, you've kept me alive for one more day. When the monkeybadgers (genetic experimentation gone wrong, don't ask) come for me, they'll have to pry the keyboard out of my leporous, rotting hands before I give up on MeFi.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:33 AM on April 24, 2006

I read about it in WIRED in late 2000, early 2001.
posted by crunchland at 8:34 AM on April 24, 2006

Through, when Heather posted about the Kaycee Nicole thing. I read for a bit then registered an account very shortly thereafter, having no idea that such a thing was considered difficult to do. then lurked for years and years.

I can't remember how I found Dooce, though.
posted by occhiblu at 8:36 AM on April 24, 2006

Awesome, blue_beetle.
posted by Bugbread at 8:38 AM on April 24, 2006

I have no idea. But I'm guessing memepool. Around late 2002 or early 2003, probably. Thank god for $5 signups...
posted by muddgirl at 8:39 AM on April 24, 2006

peacay writes "via Jorn either directly or indirectly...I forget now."

Yeah, me too. (The Ulysses pages?)
posted by OmieWise at 8:41 AM on April 24, 2006

I have no idea. All I know is that it was some time in early 2000 Did Stileproject ever link here? If not, it was almost certainly Memepool
posted by Jofus at 8:43 AM on April 24, 2006

(I have also just discovered that the first of my paltry number of FPP's was a self-link. I had no idea I was a fucksock, but it turns out that, not only am I one, I was also one of the first.)
posted by Jofus at 8:46 AM on April 24, 2006

A couple of other sites I had started to read (Boing Boing, Waxy's linkblog, etc) had put MeFi in their [via] link a lot. I figured there must be something good going on over here. I read for several months before buying an account, though.
posted by danb at 8:47 AM on April 24, 2006

I just found myself re-reading this thread to check if matthowie had posted how he discovered the site.

posted by Jofus at 8:48 AM on April 24, 2006

[OmieWise: No. But I found RW in '99 while looking for Joyce material and spent months scouring the site, eventually finding that Jorn was posting links. Heh.]
posted by peacay at 8:55 AM on April 24, 2006

Shadowkeeper spilled the beans on Seattle's public radio station.

posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:00 AM on April 24, 2006

I wanted to know what "." meant.
posted by grateful at 9:00 AM on April 24, 2006

Kottke. And I found Kottke via a link from MacInTouch, I think (he'd blogged about something having to do with a Mac and I kept going back there for the cool links).
posted by kindall at 9:00 AM on April 24, 2006

I was looking for porn and somehow ended up here.
posted by horsewithnoname at 9:05 AM on April 24, 2006

I believe it was a reference, and potentially a snide one, from ... wait for it ... Plastic. I kind of dug on Plastic, what with the whole karma thing and the subdivided channels of interest and so forth, but then I got a membership here during one of those only-12-new-members-a-day periods and it occurred to me to that my chances were probably somewhat better on Saturday morning. Although if I had it to do over again I'm not sure I'd pick the same handle.
posted by blueshammer at 9:05 AM on April 24, 2006

Fluffy Stuff, which is where i found 80% of my regular visited sites, April 2004
posted by edgeways at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2006

the now defunct

Though I shoulda coulda woulda signed up for an account back then before the big freeze.
posted by Rumple at 9:08 AM on April 24, 2006

posted by bardic at 9:09 AM on April 24, 2006

I found this by the Webbie Awards, back when it won "Best Community Blog." I spent some time reading it until Matt turned on signups again. I managed to get banned when I posted my MoFi password on bugmenot and someone figured out that it was the same as my MeFi password (idiotic I know.) So I signed up again.
posted by wheelieman at 9:09 AM on April 24, 2006

A the wife of one of my high-school buddies (who latere signed up as ostara) suggested I read MeFi when I complained about being bored at work. Once 9/11 hit and I saw how civil people were, I knew it was a good place to be.
posted by notsnot at 9:09 AM on April 24, 2006

A better question is once discovered how do you get the rash to go down?
posted by Peter H at 9:11 AM on April 24, 2006

I googled something pointless while killing time at work one day. A Mefi thread popped up in the first few links, and it was sort of amusing, so I poked around the rest of the site.
posted by MrZero at 9:12 AM on April 24, 2006

I got the glasshaus book that Matt co-wrote. An excellent book from an excellent company that sadly died when its parent company folded.
posted by TheDonF at 9:13 AM on April 24, 2006

It was probably from a link on plastic or memepool, both of which I used to frequent heavily. I read the site for about 3 years before Matt turned on the $5 memberships.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:23 AM on April 24, 2006

Is this something that you would have had to visit Metafilter to understand? Cause I'm not going anywhere near that place... Trolls and Shills, the lot of 'em.
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 9:25 AM on April 24, 2006

I found the link at PopCultureJunkMail. Back in 2000 or 2001, I can't remember.
posted by konolia at 9:25 AM on April 24, 2006

First, there was a mention on a blog I was reading at the time -- Swallowing Tacks. Then that blog imploded and Ernie from little.yellow.different mentioned and linked to, and whathisname had a mention and a link to Metafilter in a discussion about babsomething.

Seeing it mentioned twice by people that seemed interesting drew me in. Then I lurked for a long time. When I finally set this site as home for the browser, I figured I should join.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:29 AM on April 24, 2006

My to-be-wife, who was doing an internship with a not too heavy workload, had MeFi recommended by a good friend. She then recommended it to me, and by one stroke it added another six months to the time it took me to finish my thesis.
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:37 AM on April 24, 2006

via Slate in March 2001:

Last Wednesday at 10:55 a.m. Pacific Time, or thereabouts, there was an earthquake in Seattle. At 10:59 a.m., someone posted to a Web site called MetaFilter [...]
posted by maurice at 9:38 AM on April 24, 2006

Thinking back a year and a couple of months... think it was J-Walk.
posted by evilcolonel at 9:40 AM on April 24, 2006

I'm pretty sure I read about it on CamWorld. I have no idea how I found CamWorld, though.
posted by Jart at 9:49 AM on April 24, 2006

I don't remember, exactly, but I believe there was a thread linked on waxy's sidebar.
posted by shmegegge at 9:55 AM on April 24, 2006

I also remember reading about in WIRED. I think it was a list of cool websites, and MetaFilter was the only one from the entire list that actually excited me. This was when sign-ups were limited to 3 a day, and I felt like I got a badge of honour when I made it in!
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:56 AM on April 24, 2006

Man, I have no idea. If it wasn't Zeldman it was Megnut. Or memepool.
posted by o2b at 9:57 AM on April 24, 2006

On a cold, stormy, Vancouver afternoon in September a few years ago I had capsized my Fireball in English Bay. The boat was completely turtled, and my girlfriend, Hélène, was completely out of sight underneath it, caught up in the trapeze harness. I dove under. There was just enough room for us to get our heads above water in the small cockpit, but the water was extremely cold, and the waves were banging us around. We managed to get Hélène unhooked from the trapeze and swim out from under the cockpit. The next order of business was to right the boat. We were running with the wind when we went over, so the centreboard was up, which means down when you're upside-down, so I had to dive back under the boat and pull the centreboard up against gravity and cleat it. Then back outside again to lever the boat up using the centreboard. Twenty-two feet of mast and three sails had to be pulled through the water until the boat was sideways, then we could grab the trapeze and pull the boat up from there. No sooner had we righted the boat when it blew over again. We tried again several times without success. I had not realized it, but the flotation tanks had filled with enough water to make the boat extremely unstable and low in the water. About three-quarters of an hour had passed now, in extremely cold water. Both of us were shivering uncontrollably. I was beginning to get confused, but I realized we could die very soon. I managed to help Hélène up on the hull of the once-again turtled boat, and was about to grab the centreboard to lever the boat up once more. I didn't have much strength left, and my mind was beginning to wander. Just then we spotted the bright red Coast Guard boat--the Mallard or the Moorhen--I can't remember which. One of the officers was on the bow shouting to us, and despite my confusion, I'll never, until the day I die, forget his words:

"Do you guys know about MetaFilter?"
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:00 AM on April 24, 2006 [1 favorite]

MeFi's bastard child, which I had seen while glancing over some cool-looking dude's shoulder in a public lab.
posted by mrmojoflying at 10:05 AM on April 24, 2006

I have no clue, honestly. I'm not even sure how long I've been reading MeFi. Maybe since 1999? 2000 at least. I never signed up though, almost did one afternoon and then Matt shut the door. Managed to squeak in when membership opened up again during the infamous "only allow 300 - oops - 3 people per day" thing a bit over two years ago.

I had a suspicion that I found the site through before it went under - or perhaps as a replacement for Suck when I could no longer read it during lunch - but there's no archived link from Suck to MeFi so who knows. Plastic or Wired might be equally likely places for me to have discovered the place.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:07 AM on April 24, 2006

Like Maurice, via Slate.
posted by gsteff at 10:08 AM on April 24, 2006

o2b: Zeldman? That might be it. I spent a lot of time on A List Apart and used to hit Zeldman's blog here and there. Who knows.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:08 AM on April 24, 2006

I found myself somehow at the Blue on the evening of Sep. 10, 2001. I decided to register, but a chat popup distracted me, and I lost track. I forgot all about it by the next day. I then came across MeFi again in Dec 2002. Had to wait till limited-intake in Apr 2004.
posted by Gyan at 10:08 AM on April 24, 2006

I found this a day or two after it was posted, clicked on the link to MetaFilter, lurked for a few more days and then joined.
posted by y2karl at 10:10 AM on April 24, 2006

baby_balrog: I'm pretty sure I'm not that person :)
posted by empath at 10:16 AM on April 24, 2006

A friend of mine was an avid reader back in 2000; he pointed it out to me when I was complaining about how memepool never freakin' updates. A few months later I signed up so I could leave a comment.

Basically, I found metafilter in almost exactly this way.

Interestingly, the guy who showed it to me initially didn't have an account as signups were closed or something, then I found metafilter, signed up for a free account and my friend missed out!

I don't think he even has one now. HAH!
posted by knapah at 10:16 AM on April 24, 2006

oh, and I'd been reading it for about a year before I signed up.
posted by knapah at 10:17 AM on April 24, 2006

Via XQUZYPHYR's blog, which I discovered via This Modern World, which I again discovered via Tilveran. If I went back further, Kevin Bacon would undoubtably become involved,
posted by Zero Gravitas at 10:18 AM on April 24, 2006

Swear to god I should have written this down on my profile when I still remembered. I probably came here from some A-list weblog circa late 1999. How did I start reading A-list weblogs? No clue about that either – but the most likely vectors were Suck, Feed, and various Mac news sites that I started reading obsessively when I did tech support for Macs in 1998.
posted by furiousthought at 10:22 AM on April 24, 2006

In 2001, on some "photo blog" (remember those?), I saw a picture of th previous pope JPII bending over a laptop typing. The "funny" caption was "I wonder if there's anything new on Mefi", with a link. So, as incongruous as it may seem, it was the catholic church that brought me to MetaFilter.
posted by telstar at 10:24 AM on April 24, 2006

Mod note: fixed y2karl's formatting thing
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:25 AM on April 24, 2006

I was standing on the opposite shore of Lake Michigan when Dave Eggers was tossing his mom around like badly sifted flour. The wind was whipping it up pretty good, and some of those ashes made it across the lake pretty quick; when they did, they miraculously spelled out "mathowie" on the beach.

I was, what, fifteen? It was another decade or so before I made any sense of it, but here I am.
posted by dmd at 10:30 AM on April 24, 2006

I kept wondering what those damn "." were doing in obituary threads, so I joined and asked.

no, seriously: a friend told me there was a pretty cool site that I should check out; I was quite unimpressed, I read it occasionally and I didn't find anything interesting enough to comment on it, so I never commented (I don't really belong to the OMFG-this-place-was-so-awesome-in-1999 club, sorry). then, one sunday morning, a user linked a NYT magazine story about a stock scam that I had read a few hours earlier and liked a lot. I wanted to comment, so I joined. the funny thing is, I never would have joined if it cost money. free membership means a lot of assholes will join your site -- I'm living proof of that
posted by matteo at 10:32 AM on April 24, 2006

I don't remember. I do remember visiting on September 11, 2001 and being struck by how much of an actual community this was and impressed by the intelligence, insight, and wit of many of the members. I signed up (for free!) three days later. I've committed myself since then to be a constant reminder to all here of how poor an idea free memberships is. How'm I doin'?
posted by TimeFactor at 10:32 AM on April 24, 2006

My friend rocketman introduced me. Funny enough, he and I had basically just become friends; a month or so earlier, we were "enemies" because I was dating his sister.

I'm glad I stopped dating his sister.
posted by interrobang at 10:32 AM on April 24, 2006

ha matteo! Keep the riff-raff out!
posted by TimeFactor at 10:34 AM on April 24, 2006

I was searching for something to do with space monkeys and it lead me here.
posted by longbaugh at 10:36 AM on April 24, 2006

An IRL friend turned me on to MetaFilter a long time ago, probably circa late 2001. Lurked for years, then joined last fall when 1) signups were open; and 2) I was moving far away from home and, worrying about being lonely especially at first, thought I'd try joining the community; and 3) had a question specific to that move.
posted by donpedro at 10:36 AM on April 24, 2006

I found the blue through a via on Boing Boing. I couldn't for the life of me tell you which one.
posted by MythMaker at 10:38 AM on April 24, 2006

I was reading one of Lileks's bleats (back before that part of his site became completely unreadable) and he either linked here or was complaining about it so much (stupid liberals, etc.) that I sought it out.
posted by scody at 11:01 AM on April 24, 2006

Around 2000, probably through, but I honestly can't remember. This gives me pause.
posted by jokeefe at 11:05 AM on April 24, 2006

As best I remember, I ran across the first link to The Blue from, sometime back in late 2002 or early 2003. Read a few threads, and came back a few times thereafter, but overall, it seemed, then, something of a quirky place, populated by the "too cool for school" crowd. Then, the membership gates opened, and much pretense of exclusivity disappeared.

Most days, it's been worth $4.98 of the $5 I spent to join in November, 2004.
posted by paulsc at 11:07 AM on April 24, 2006

Project Cool, a learn web design site that had a section that recommended a new site each day. Visited here, didn't see what was so special about it compared to the Flash and experimental DHTML sites that were often site of the day. But over the next several months saw it linked or mentioned in other places and eventually began returning more regularly. This was back when I found the web new and fascinating, rather than an addiction designed to blow my life away.

In the years since I've had short intense periods of participation on many different avatar and signature drenched forums while never feeling that confident when contributing here, but this place has always been a respite from :), ROFLMAO, and paragraphs consisting of phrases connected by ellipses.
posted by TimTypeZed at 11:10 AM on April 24, 2006

A friend of mine had an account and used to link me to things, around 2000/2001. I started looking around back when you could easily register, but never did. Then, when I decided that I wanted an account, it was closed.

I waited it out, until the Spring of 2004 when ~20 new people could join per day, which usually happened by 12:01am. I ended up on a business trip to Europe at the time, and was afraid Matt would close it down before I had a chance. I seem to recall excusing myself "to the bathroom" from a contract negotiation with a client, dashing to a public computer and registering an account, then dashing back to the meeting. Client was never the wiser.

Ahh, the things I do to feed my MeFi addiction.

It was on the trip home from that that I passed through Heathrow and saw the inspiration for my first post.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 11:10 AM on April 24, 2006

Yahoo used to send out some daily email round-up of good websites. March 2001 - can't find it anywhere online.
posted by internal at 11:14 AM on April 24, 2006

posted by bouncebounce at 11:15 AM on April 24, 2006

Huh, I'm another k5 refugee. Interesting. In fact, I posted this diary complaining about not being able to get a metafilter account in July, of 2001.
posted by delmoi at 11:27 AM on April 24, 2006

can't remember how i found mefi, but 'twas kaycee that first compelled me to comment.
posted by whatnot at 11:39 AM on April 24, 2006

This cranky dude linked to it at his site. I started reading about the time Kaycee Nicole happened. I didn't want an account for a while but when I did it took some time due to the limited sign-ups.

Hmm. Didn't realize I lurked for that long before signing up.
posted by deborah at 11:46 AM on April 24, 2006

Several years ago, I somehow discovered the whole Kaycee Nicole hoax well after it was all over with (I have no idea what led me to reading about the hoax). Then forgot about Metafilter for awhile. Then discovered it again about a year after I first read about the hoax, and lurked. When signups became available, I joined the collective. :)
posted by cass at 11:46 AM on April 24, 2006

I am pretty sure that it was Robot Wisdom, but who knows; that would have been late 1999 or early 2000 (I was a long time lurker interested primarily in the links rather than the discussions for a long time; I became interested in the discussions about the time Miguel joined).
posted by caddis at 11:47 AM on April 24, 2006

I first found it in ’00 while looking for sites that were a bit like memepool: but didn’t start visiting with any regularity until ’02.
posted by misteraitch at 11:55 AM on April 24, 2006

My website was posted as a FPP back in January 2005, and I saw MeFi in the referral logs. I got more people from here (6,500) than any other site that month (out of 89,000), Fun times, checking my website stats every 2 minutes.
posted by daninnj at 11:55 AM on April 24, 2006

Like Grouse, I'm an ex-K5'er who hopped over to MeFi when that place started to suck.

Unfortunately, membership was closed for a few years so it took me a while to do more than read. But that just cemented my love for MeFi.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:57 AM on April 24, 2006

I figured there must be a reason for that

Presumably, MeFi members weren't posting Photoshopped pictures of his wife?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:59 AM on April 24, 2006

Like just about everyone else, via "vias" on other blogs like Boing Boing. Lurked for a year 'till new accounts were allowed.
posted by brundlefly at 12:01 PM on April 24, 2006

matt begat metafilter, which begat quonsar, the misbegotten.
posted by quonsar at 12:03 PM on April 24, 2006

Subject: metafilter
From: Matthew Haughey
Date: July 15, 1999 9:41:55 AM PDT
To: Jesse James Garrett


Creating the collaborative weblog thing I've been working took longer than I
thought, but it's getting closer to completion. If you would be so kind, would
you mind testing it out and letting me know what you think about it?

go to

and register as a new user. Then you can post a link or a comment on existing
links, and be sure to try out the customize option.

Let me know which parts of the interface seemed clunky or could use some work.

(a couple of the menu options aren't built yet)

posted by jjg at 12:04 PM on April 24, 2006

I sent that same email to lance (honkzilla) and peter (peterme) which is why all three have super low user numbers.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:06 PM on April 24, 2006

I got an almost identical email, but I had no idea who Matt was, so I trashed it.
posted by OmieWise at 12:07 PM on April 24, 2006

I have an inkling that it had something to do with my housemate and I trawling the web looking for "how to survive the zombie apocalypse" type scenarios. Found all kinds of weird stuff, good humour and an unusually civilised bunch of people and lurked. A year or so later I coaxed a new debit card out of my bank, and did the joining Mefi dance.

Then I lurked some more.
posted by BishopsLoveScifi at 12:13 PM on April 24, 2006

Project Cool, a learn web design site that had a section that recommended a new site each day.

No way! That was like the first public noterity I ever got for the site, around the first week of January, 2000. I was elated, but the site went from 100 members and about 200 pageviews a day to 10k pageviews and a couple hundred people signed up.

I had to code up the 24 hr no-posting-after-signup rule because so many project cool readers just pimped their own silly flash art sites. The server it was running on (an old 333mhz celeron desktop with 192Mb of RAM running both the web server and db) was hurting under the load.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:15 PM on April 24, 2006

I wanted a free camera.
posted by Otis at 12:15 PM on April 24, 2006

My good friend Jessie-Lou showed it to me. I think she might have heard about it from Maggie Berry, an old friend.
posted by scarabic at 12:19 PM on April 24, 2006

I was searching for information about autobiographies and MonkeyFilter helped me so kept going back. Eventually, I noticed a link to MetaFilter, went back and forth between the two, and realized MetaFilter was better.
posted by Aghast. at 12:19 PM on April 24, 2006

Yeah, I got that letter from matthowie. It looked fishy. So I added him and any mention of *filter to the company firewall. So I didn't discover it until after they fired me for sending "cool links" to everyone.

I got them. They still can't see metafilter.

Seriously, like most everyone else I heard about the streets of gold from family members who came here first.
posted by ?! at 12:20 PM on April 24, 2006

But that just cemented my love for MeFi.
posted by matteo at 12:30 PM on April 24, 2006

I'm pretty sure I found it through the Bloggies a few years ago. Then I saw it all over the place, and I joined after I ran into it for the millionth time.
posted by easternblot at 12:32 PM on April 24, 2006

I think mine went like this...

ND friend introduces me to CollegeClub
CollegeClub introduces me to Halcyon
Halcyon's site links to Kottke (not sure if this was it)
Kottke links to MeFi
Megan lurks for 1+ year
Megan joins a week before 9/11
posted by MeetMegan at 12:34 PM on April 24, 2006

I was part for the super Yahoo! Intenet Life influx from mid-2001. Which means I've been a member for five years and one week. That's the kind of thing which can age a man.
posted by feelinglistless at 12:37 PM on April 24, 2006

From Romenesko's Obscure Store & Reading Room.

Dunno, this could've been it. But I paid five bucks to join, so maybe not. Maybe I just staggered in off the street.
posted by scratch at 12:39 PM on April 24, 2006

From jjg's weblog link page. Emailed mathowie a couple of times with proposed FPP's trying to get in, and he finally let me.
posted by jasper411 at 12:43 PM on April 24, 2006

Found it early in 2002 or late in 2001, don't remeber exactly how but I was alone in a strange city for the first time and the interwebs were my only friends so I lurked and lurked until sign-ups were open, then stayed up to be the first to grab one of the 10 (15?) new memberships that were being made available at the time.
posted by Grod at 1:07 PM on April 24, 2006

I found metafilter like I found Jesus: in jail.
posted by Football Bat at 1:09 PM on April 24, 2006

i first found metafilter via rcade's where I used to go for convenient links to a set of sites i enjoyed (though i can't remember how i first got to drudgeretort)...i kept seeing 'metafilter' listed there and i was curious...and then i lurked here for quite a while before joining up...
posted by troybob at 1:09 PM on April 24, 2006

For the thousands of mefites who haven't responded to wheelieman's query, we'll just assume you were looking for porn.
posted by bardic at 1:16 PM on April 24, 2006

I don't mean, like, Jesus was in jail. I was.
posted by Football Bat at 1:18 PM on April 24, 2006

Craig's List used to have a link to MeFi, which is how I got here. (Surely I'm not the only one?) I got hooked, lurked for a long time (still do, mostly) and just got lucky in deciding to pony up for an account during a window of opportunity.
posted by Quietgal at 1:50 PM on April 24, 2006

camworld, I think, which I found because I read about cameron barrett getting fired by his company for his website. The issue of corporate retaliation interested me after halcyon's cease and desist order for "meat of the loom." Good times.

Also, see What was your very first impression of MetaFilter, that first time you visited? a meta post from our missing-in-action Miguel.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:50 PM on April 24, 2006

I almost positively found it via rebecca's pocket (Rebecca Blood), in 2000. I read mefi every day, but waited a long time before I even tried to sign up, and (you guessed it!) new registrations were closed... so when matt started having limited signups, I made sure to get in.
posted by taz at 1:50 PM on April 24, 2006

I was looking for information on the perpetrators behind 9/11. The truth was more shocking than I had imagined.

Oh yeah, and porn.
posted by homunculus at 1:50 PM on April 24, 2006

I believe i got here through Kempa back in the day, but it was also linked to by Nanette (from, who has given up blogging last i'd heard)
posted by indiebass at 2:01 PM on April 24, 2006

I kept seeing Metafilter in my usual haunts - Fark, Wired, BoingBoing, MorningNews. Had to wait a few years until signups were open again - I missed the last round.
posted by seawallrunner at 2:02 PM on April 24, 2006

madamjujujive wrote: Also, see What was your very first impression of MetaFilter, that first time you visited? a meta post from our missing-in-action Miguel.

also, see what the front page of meta looked like shortly after miguels infamous post.
posted by quonsar at 2:04 PM on April 24, 2006

Darren Barefoot, a fellow BlogsCanada E-Group member.
posted by russilwvong at 2:05 PM on April 24, 2006

From links from a whole mess of blogs about Kaycee. I remember someone once referring to the influx of users I was part of as the Kaycee Babies, but now I can't find the reference.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:06 PM on April 24, 2006

I came here hoping to be exposed to anus.
posted by horsewithnoname at 2:18 PM on April 24, 2006

I believe it was through a reference on Plastic, which I had been reading for about a week. I never went back. Though, come to think of it, I'm going to take a look right now. Does plastic still exist? I'll be right back.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:27 PM on April 24, 2006

Yup, its still there.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:28 PM on April 24, 2006

ruby.aftermath got me a data entry job down the hall from where she worked when she was lurking, so I became some sort of metafilter double-lurker

posted by elr at 2:30 PM on April 24, 2006

Has anyone else here noticed that MetaTalk hasn't changed one ioata since inception?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:30 PM on April 24, 2006

I simply followed the Fat Buddha. I never did thank him.
posted by MrMustard at 2:32 PM on April 24, 2006

Matt wrote me and asked that I sign up. He said he was tired of these "brooding, nitpicking sociopaths" and hoped that I would bring an infusion of interesting, insightful commentary to what had become "a shallow, tepid pond of trite sludge."

I didn't, of course.
posted by Dunwitty at 2:47 PM on April 24, 2006

posted by penchant at 2:47 PM on April 24, 2006

Has anyone else here noticed that MetaTalk hasn't changed one ioata since inception?

it has, it's just been retrofitted. Flagging and closing threads were not part of the original MeTa, check the screenshot.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:50 PM on April 24, 2006

Where did I first find MeFi? Geez, that was a long-assed time ago. Pretty sure I ended up here because of blogger. I was an early adopter that was desperately uncool and coming here because the people I looked up to online were here.

This thread caused me to go back and look at some of my very early comments. Yikes. I kind of wish I hadn't. But hey, I was only 17, what did I know?
posted by raedyn at 2:53 PM on April 24, 2006

Back in 1999-2000 a coworker recommended it. Finally got a user ID in late 2004.
posted by 27 at 3:10 PM on April 24, 2006

I was crippled and housebound after an SUV hit me while I was on my bicycle. I quickly grew bored out of my mind. I watched the whole of Fushigi Yuugi in about a week, and a few things like that, but was running out of stuff to do, so I e-mailed some friends and asked if they could recommend any websites that could kill hours and hours of time. One friends recommended a few "collections of links" sites, including memepool, fark, and metafilter. Metafilter is the only one I still read regularly.
posted by kyrademon at 3:12 PM on April 24, 2006

I discovered it when Ariel Meadow Stallings from linked it from her blog some 4 years ago.

Haven't missed an update since (almost).
posted by Sijeka at 3:53 PM on April 24, 2006

it has, it's just been retrofitted. Flagging and closing threads were not part of the original MeTa, check the screenshot.

posted by quonsar at 3:55 PM on April 24, 2006


Must-See HTTP
posted by cortex at 3:57 PM on April 24, 2006

An old aussie blog, which is sadly no longer with us, Virulent Memes, linked to it one day back in 2000. I liked it, and I signed up.
posted by Jimbob at 4:09 PM on April 24, 2006

posted by furtive at 4:14 PM on April 24, 2006

Gleemax went to college with my ex-boyfriend. I used to look over his shoulder and make fun of him for being an internet nerd. Then I went away to college and forgot all about it for a few years, then started lurking again for awhile until signups reopened.
posted by mai at 4:16 PM on April 24, 2006

I read that damnable New Yorker article too. In November-December 2000, I bought three domain names, installed Greymatter, signed up for a MetaFilter account, and sat back to wait for the hookers and blow to come a-rollin' in.

Still waiting.
posted by gleuschk at 4:17 PM on April 24, 2006

in4mador's links
posted by Jikido at 4:32 PM on April 24, 2006

I got here by way of HS Kim's Kungfool during a late night webcomic binge back in 2003. Also: thanks, metaculpa! I finally got on here...
posted by Mister Cheese at 4:33 PM on April 24, 2006

Metafilter discovered me and I stayed for the dessert menu.
posted by headspace at 4:40 PM on April 24, 2006


No, really.
posted by generichuman at 4:44 PM on April 24, 2006

I think honkzilla mentioned something about it in his forums at, and I lurked for awhile watching everyone goof off until I just couldn't stand it anymore and had to say something sarcastic, so I signed up.
posted by annathea at 4:55 PM on April 24, 2006

I think the more appropriate question is: how did Metafilter discover me?
posted by mullacc at 5:02 PM on April 24, 2006

I heard about the site from kaibutsu, ignored it for 2 months, then obsessively read it until I could buy my way in.

I dunno, things have changed a bit since MetaTalk thread #3.

posted by A dead Quaker at 5:22 PM on April 24, 2006

something to do with the 5k competition was linked on either or k10k along with a link to the relevant mefi thread.
posted by juv3nal at 5:27 PM on April 24, 2006

I Lurked for a year or so around 99/00 and then joined after finding myself with a lot more free time in March of '01. I sat next to Peterme at work in 2000, so I am pretty certain I can place the blame with him.
posted by shoepal at 5:32 PM on April 24, 2006

Kaycee brought me here 5 years ago. Got an account a couple weeks later, and first commented to wave goodbye to Mr Rogers.
posted by donnagirl at 5:36 PM on April 24, 2006

My friend Mike pointed me at it some time in 2002. Unfortunately, at this time, user-signups were closed, which annoyed me, but did at least train me to suppress my urge to make flippant and pointless comments.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 5:37 PM on April 24, 2006

Wall Street Journal that I found on the street.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:47 PM on April 24, 2006

I don't recall where I first saw MetaFilter mentioned, but I do remember the comment. Someone was discussing a new site (back in 2001), and it was described as "less slashdot, more metafilter." At the time I was growing increasingly impatient with slashdot, so the idea that there was Something Else Out There was appealing enough to make me type in the URL.
posted by Galvatron at 5:51 PM on April 24, 2006

I came here also via the Kaycee Nicole fun - thanks to y6y6y6's blog, same as deborah. The Scooby gang's investigative powers completely amazed me. And since I was teaching mass comm at the time I could use that as excuse to read during office hours. Research into new methods of communication, see. Not procrastination, noooo...
posted by batgrlHG at 5:52 PM on April 24, 2006


posted by holloway at 6:13 PM on April 24, 2006

Jeez, I have no clue. Must've been from random googling. Waited for years to sign in. Anyway thanks to you all!
posted by keijo at 6:18 PM on April 24, 2006

A thread linked to my old weblog, found it in my ref logs & joined. Then forgot I was a member for 5 years until last year.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:25 PM on April 24, 2006

I kept coming across websites/blogs that mentioned Metafilter in 2001, and finally decided to see what all the hubub was about.
posted by Devils Slide at 6:26 PM on April 24, 2006

I was working in the press department in New Scotland Yard, and following 11/9 we became a lot more interested in the messages of the War on Terrorism that were coming out of the US media.

I stumbled on an intelligent interesting discussion of US media portrayal of events here, and have come back ever since.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:26 PM on April 24, 2006

I am here to promote the agenda of George Bush and the American religious right.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:35 PM on April 24, 2006

I just followed her.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 6:44 PM on April 24, 2006

I saw metafilter mentioned in an ftrain entry. In which the author was apparently making fun of people who blog and read metafilter. For some reason, I was curious anyway.
posted by weston at 7:15 PM on April 24, 2006

Via a comment in a thread on Slashdot!
posted by dhruva at 7:26 PM on April 24, 2006

I used to run a site named "My Left Asscheek", which was linked as a FPP many moons ago. I followed my referrer log here. Didn't get to sign up for an account for quite a while, though.
posted by toxic at 7:45 PM on April 24, 2006

I like blue backgrounds on Web pages, so I did a Google search for "Web pages with blue backgrounds," and there it was.

Either that, or somebody in a Yahoo chat room mentioned it to me. Probably the latter. OK, almost definitely the latter.
posted by diddlegnome at 7:51 PM on April 24, 2006

Paris Latsis was a big lurker. I joined to rub his face in our disunion.
posted by Paris Hilton at 7:53 PM on April 24, 2006

first found out about it from the 9/11 thread, then lurked til signups finally opened in 02
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on April 24, 2006

Google searched for 'what links to' and found the Everlasting Blort. Blort linked to Dr. Menlo. Dr. Menlo linked to American Samizdat. Amrican Samizdat linked to metafilter. This is a multi-year process.
posted by eccnineten at 8:43 PM on April 24, 2006

In 2002 I Yahooed the science/ethics distinction* while sitting at a teacher's mac in an isolated part of the graphic design building at my art college where I wasn't supposed to be. I got this thread. I distinctly remember being impressed by the level of discussion. I also remembered Five Fresh Fish and MiguelCardoso's user names for some reason. I didn't check the rest of the site though. Another time on Yahoo I came across this thread with videos of a women named Astra who talks about her Scientology experience: "Hey, it's this strange blue and gold nerdy conversation website again". That's when I started reading MeFi, I got an account in October.

*As brought to my attention by the movie 'Election'.
posted by dgaicun at 8:53 PM on April 24, 2006

IIRC, many of memepool's links were via MeFi back in the day. Like cortex said, they didn't update enough to keep me interested, so I thought I'd go right to the source. The real question is, how did I find memepool...
posted by Sibrax at 9:13 PM on April 24, 2006

A libertarian friend of mine wrote an essay on his blog back in 2002 that was linked here and subsequently torn apart. I became a member not long after.
posted by sklero at 10:58 PM on April 24, 2006

Another referred by Project Cool.
posted by Lynsey at 11:13 PM on April 24, 2006

I think there was something about metafilter in a long discontinued pull out secton of the Guardian. I think it was called The Week. I signed up on the spot. I'm not entirely sure though. If you look at waxy's logs, there was a massive sign up spike in March/April/May 2001 where more than 4000 people joined. Most of the user numbers from about 4k-8k seem to have come through some yahoo thing. Perhaps that's where the Guardian journalist found it, because I'm certain I didn't read it....

This thread has just reminded me that I've been coming here for 5 years.
posted by davehat at 11:55 PM on April 24, 2006

User caitlinb, an old friend, hooked me up.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:57 PM on April 24, 2006

I found it through Brill's Content as well.
posted by stefanie at 12:35 AM on April 25, 2006

Davehat, rats! After reading Taz's comment I was just about convinced that I heard about Mefi through Rebecca Blood's site, but now you've gone and confused me. I used to get the Guardian around that sort of time. I only wish I had a functioning long-term memory...
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:13 AM on April 25, 2006

People at work in 2000, though I never seemed to catch the membership openings until $5 time. Some of those who introduced me are also still here, but don't know it's me. Hi!
posted by Sparx at 1:31 AM on April 25, 2006

Wherever ArmyOfKittens heard about it, she linked me to it around the time she signed up - I used to have a user number as old-school as hers, but sadly these days I've no idea what the name or password was. Curses!
posted by terpsichoria at 1:52 AM on April 25, 2006

This thread is a gold mine of surfing resources. Following the links that brought people here could kill off an entire work day or more.
posted by caddis at 4:48 AM on April 25, 2006

I was looking up some computer issue and google lead me toa a question on AskMe - I kept coming back to read the technical questions, then the other questions, and way later I checked out the front page (I even got to MetaTalk first, for some reason). Eventually I splurged on the membership because I thought I could answer a question about something.
posted by jacalata at 5:42 AM on April 25, 2006

I'm actually posting from beyond the grave.
I died in 1893. I was a lab assistant for Thomas Edison.
Edison was working on a device that would “change the shape of time as we know it.”

I thought he was full of it, but arguing with someone who is usually right is a good way to end up unemployed, so I kept my head down. We were to display this “machine” at the first World's Fair, in Chicago.

I was priming one of the primitive Tesla Coils for the machine's power, but since this was an earlier design, and Edison didn't know how they worked, it was still unstable. But it generated enough power anyway. After what I'm told is around 100,000 volts of pure science shooting through my body, and into the device, I found myself detached from the physical plane.

I received some otherworldly information from a disembodied light bulb. It said “In the year 2015, a man will rise to power. Under his rule, all skies will be blue, all clouds will be white, and yellow rain will fall. Beware! This man hearkens the Death of the Internet.”

Of course, I had no idea what the Internet was. But now I do. And that voice got the year wrong.

Here's to the overlord, may his rule be strong!

(I actually found this place via the bored-at-work-memepool-kuro5hin-coworker-suggestion route)
posted by fnord at 6:33 AM on April 25, 2006

It was on the sidebar of one of my friend's blogs, under the heading "Sites I Read."
posted by Afroblanco at 7:16 AM on April 25, 2006

I found mefi via a link from k10k.
posted by yeoz at 7:31 AM on April 25, 2006

Project Cool.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:21 AM on April 25, 2006

Courtesy of a friend.
posted by grimmelm at 8:54 AM on April 25, 2006

I signed up after the Brill's Content article. My five year mefiversary is coming up in a few days.
posted by drezdn at 10:48 AM on April 25, 2006

MeFi was rubbishing a friend of mine....and I came by to read it all for myself!
posted by JtJ at 11:03 AM on April 25, 2006

I blame Kimberly and MonkeyFilter. Now what with Ask MetaFilter, I never get anything done.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:17 AM on April 25, 2006

Back when I used to have extra time during the workday, a coworker who is a member mentioned MeFi, I think in response to my asking how he was always up on the latest happenin' stuff that I would only hear about the next day or so. I spent all summer 2002 trying to get in on that noon-PST system and finally did. Now I have no time a negative amount of time during the workday. But I'm coming here just to make this one comment. OK, that's it. No, really.
posted by soyjoy at 12:33 PM on April 25, 2006

Read about Matt in Shift Magazine. Started killing my days here soon after.
posted by sharpener at 12:47 PM on April 25, 2006

I had a friend who was a journalist - we were discussing what made the Internet worthwhile and he mentioned MetaFilter. I've been coming here over five years now. I had no idea until I saw jjgs email above that I was posting here just a little over a year since the birth of the site.
posted by xammerboy at 12:53 PM on April 25, 2006

For the most part the answers tell you how long someone's been a member. Anyone who joined back in 99/00 has very different subset of the net that referred them here than someone who joined in say '03 or so.
posted by raedyn at 1:21 PM on April 25, 2006

See, I was at this party and there were a couple of guys talking about something they'd seen on MetaFilter.... And then there were a couple of other guys on a private email list who kept mentioning MeFi, so one day when I was up with a sick and cranky kid, I figured I'd check it out. That was mid 2003. I was never stoked enough to try for one of the limited memberships, though. (I had contacts who would make comments for me.)
posted by jlkr at 2:13 PM on April 25, 2006

I came to it by reading about it on Lilek's blog. I don't read Lileks anymore partly because his politics raise my blood pressure too much-- but mostly because he's not all that funny anymore. The " it's okay to like" tagline lead me to Plastic, which I don't read anymore partly because Carl's such a tool, but mostly because I lost interest.
posted by Shoeburyness at 4:10 PM on April 25, 2006

My friend, now fiancee, wouldn't stop making references to the site. I decided to read it just to get his references.

Once I got here, it felt like all the drama and smart people I missed from the BBS days and I stayed.
posted by Gucky at 5:22 PM on April 25, 2006

Around oooh late '01, early '02, I asked my big brother, who knows about these things, what I should look at on the internet. MeFi was his first suggestion and I never moved on. Started out on the 9/11 thread, *just* managed not to cry at my desk, and then settled in for the daily to and fro.

Lurked longtime, missing all available sign-ups, and occasionally shouting at the screen wishing I could join in, until the same wise brother with his all-knowing ways got me in the back door as a 30th birthday present in August 2004.

I sometimes wonder what his second suggestion would have been, but I daren't ask - there aren't enough hours in the day.
posted by penguin pie at 7:11 PM on April 25, 2006

Back when MeFites' blogs were still all linked on a floating sidebar, circa early 2000, one of the linked blogs was that of an active Talossan. I had been lurking Talossa since 1996, thinking I might join but kind of turned off by all the bile. Anyway, said Talossan lad linked from Wittenburg to a petty junior-high squabble documented on his own blog, and I, feeling I needed something else to read, clicked onward through his blogroll to a site whose founder had had the good sense to use the morpheme 'meta' in its title. I then lurked Metafilter for a few months before leaving overseas to an era of limited Internet use. While I was gone, 9/11 happened, blogs got big, and instead of the ~100 users I had left, my little MeFi had thousands of them, and registrations closed. So I lurked Metafilter, thinking I might eventually get to join, but kind of turned off by all the bile. Well, here I am, and I paid $5 for it, but I've been reading forever and I'd like to say There was too a golden age! Thanks for all the sweet links.
posted by eritain at 7:53 PM on April 25, 2006

I discovered MetaFilter via this Slashdot thread regarding Laurie Garrett's email from Davos.
posted by edverb at 12:38 PM on April 26, 2006

A lot of us newbies came in wide-eyed fascination to read about cior on the bus.
posted by Robert Angelo at 1:39 PM on April 26, 2006

Another Kaycee Nicole person here, though like others I don't remember how I stumbled upon that whole mess in the first place. I think I remember it having something to do with BWG and that girl who does/did webcasts from her shower.
posted by littlegreenlights at 2:44 PM on April 26, 2006

In April of 200 I began hearing about blogs and discovered MeFi through the venerable Eatonweb Blog Directory. Not very exciting...but strange to realize it's been 6 years!!
posted by tdstone at 4:33 PM on April 26, 2006

I complained bitterly to a friend of mine about the terrible editing of articles on Slashdot. And he asked me, "What would you think about a site in the same format as slashdot, but where anyone can post an article, and it goes on the front page."

I said that it couldn't possibly be any better, and that it was a completely stupid unworkable idea.

Then he showed me metafilter, and I took my foot out of my mouth.
posted by Jerub at 8:17 PM on April 26, 2006

It must have been about two years ago via in4mador, which I frequented for the odd Flash game. And I probably got there through some link on the Home of the Underdogs forum.
posted by Glow Bucket at 5:14 AM on April 27, 2006

I may be remebering poorly, but I think I found it via the ancient WWWAC Mailing list?
posted by kokogiak at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2006

Via at the end of January 2000, but I wasn't interested enough to join until I him mention it again in mid April of that year.
posted by riffola at 9:32 AM on April 27, 2006

I do not remeber...
posted by Eirixon at 8:30 AM on April 28, 2006

Fumbling around after 9/11 looking for someone to talk to. Ran across the 9/11 thread. Decided I had to belong. Been more or less lurking since.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:31 PM on April 29, 2006

I found metafilter in a post or two on thelist at, which is a site for web developers (maybe Matt was posting? I don't remember).

I read it for quite a while until the sign-ups "opened" - I think it was the first 10 people at exactly noon got in, and I missed it the first day because typing the user name I wanted took to long (or that's what I decided anyhow).
posted by ugf at 9:56 AM on April 30, 2006

I've been reading sporadically for many, many years, and what brought me here originally is lost in the mists of time. I didn't get around to signing up myself until last summer when a friend suggested that AskMe might be able to help with something I'd been wondering about.

I never did get around to asking the question, though.

So here it is. Anyone familiar with an art forger who supposedly fooled 19th-century people with his Vermeer knock-offs, but wouldn't get past any of us today because he completely ignored the abstract compositional aspects of Vermeer's paintings, which Mondrian et al. have since trained us all to see?
posted by tangerine at 8:08 PM on April 30, 2006

tangerine: Han van Meegeren
posted by loquax at 8:23 PM on April 30, 2006

Thanks, loquax!
posted by tangerine at 10:52 PM on April 30, 2006

Via a /. post.
posted by NewBornHippy at 1:31 AM on May 1, 2006
posted by D Wiz at 12:50 PM on May 1, 2006

I don't remember where I first heard the name, but I'd come here every once in a while in the late 90s when I was really bored. I remember thinking, "this site about Midle East politics could be really cool...that Miguel Cardozo guy who writes all the posts should try to branch out some, though".
posted by jewzilla at 7:35 PM on May 1, 2006

Harper's Weekly - was cited as a source.
posted by effwerd at 9:48 AM on May 3, 2006

Probably memepool.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:13 PM on May 4, 2006

Found it in a box of Cracker Jacks.
posted by Skygazer at 8:36 PM on May 4, 2006

God told me. Bastard.
posted by moneyjane at 10:28 PM on May 4, 2006

Discovered ? I have to read it every day since age 10 ! It's part of the libr'l agenda

posted by elpapacito at 9:38 AM on May 5, 2006

A friend of mine told me that metafilter had a link to my web page which btw has now been moved here.
posted by patcoston at 11:19 PM on May 5, 2006

I was bored surfing at work... wow, it's been more than six years.
posted by jedrek at 1:44 AM on May 6, 2006

I believe that I read a post at Languagehat responding [and linking] to a particularly bone-headed remark in AskMeFi: Language & Writing answer.
I've been hooked since.
posted by Bizurke at 12:24 PM on May 6, 2006

I think mathowie was talking about it on web405, a mailing list for web nerds in Los Angeles. I checked it out, and it seemed cool, and in I came.
posted by artlung at 9:20 AM on May 7, 2006

For some reason I stumbled upon "the best AskMefi ever" and was hooked
posted by klue at 5:40 PM on May 8, 2006

Google. The details are unclear.
posted by LarryC at 8:59 PM on May 10, 2006

Can't remember how I found Metafilter. I've been reading for a long time, but only just joined this week.
posted by blaneyphoto at 3:15 PM on May 14, 2006

introduced to the site by a friend. sadly, we aren't friends anymore (for unrelated reasons).
posted by mcsweetie at 10:47 PM on May 14, 2006

I read a review of "Top Ten Blogs" on an online version of a newspaper... a newspaper I can't remember the name of... but I sure am glad I found this place. By the way, this is my very first posting. Looking forward to many more.
posted by vermontlife at 4:56 AM on May 17, 2006

Random link from /. Been reading for about 9 months, this article just inspired me to pay the $5. May god have mercy on your souls. ;)
posted by jaduncan at 4:45 PM on May 19, 2006

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