Too many links makes a post something something April 29, 2006 9:23 PM   Subscribe

Can some sort of rule/guideline/something be considered, stating that FPP's shouldn't have a bajillion links, one in each individual word?

I know it's not a serious thing, and a programmatic solution isn't the way to go, but when I see posts like this it drives me nuts. Am I the only one?
posted by pdb to Etiquette/Policy at 9:23 PM (57 comments total)

At least it wasn't a link per letter, I'm sure that there's at least that many links to tricksters throughout the ages. Consider yourself lucky.
posted by Balisong at 9:32 PM on April 29, 2006


Or are you arguing for more one link posts, just because it's easier on you?
posted by Balisong at 9:34 PM on April 29, 2006


You don't have to click every link, you know.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:35 PM on April 29, 2006


These posts showing up every once in a while is, as you say, not a serious things. Just grip tightly the handrails of sanity and let them pass.
posted by cortex at 9:35 PM on April 29, 2006


What century was the first multi-link post? 21st or 20th?
posted by dhartung at 9:42 PM on April 29, 2006


Some of these posts can be done very well, and they are part of the beauty that is metafilter. Some people consider them like little easter eggs waiting to be cracked open. I had a hard time with these kind of posts at first too, but they have grown on me.
posted by bigmusic at 9:43 PM on April 29, 2006


Or are you arguing for more one link posts, just because it's easier on you?

I'm arguing for common sense. I know I don't have to click every link, and I usually don't; it's just annoying when I see a post that sounds reasonably cool that's cluttered with more links than I've had hot meals.

On the other hand, it gives me an excuse to use one of my dad's lame sayings (he must not have had a lot of hot meals....) so that's something, I suppose.

Just grip tightly the handrails of sanity

I like that. Where do I send the royalties when I use it in the future? :-)
posted by pdb at 9:46 PM on April 29, 2006


I got permission to put the post up exactly as is. Everything's cool, man.

I don't like these posts, either, because I have encyclopedic compulsion to ingest everything I can possibly read. Think of it as a bookmark you can return to later for all your trickster-related needs. Your many, many trickster-related needs.
posted by Eideteker at 9:49 PM on April 29, 2006




I think we need a rule to prevent people from foisting their ideas of "proper" front page posting styles on the rest of us. Diversity makes the world interesting. Not everyone likes what you like. Get used to it.
posted by crunchland at 9:50 PM on April 29, 2006


Eideteker -

No worries, I wasn't agitating for deletion...and it is indeed a cool post. I may, indeed, have trickster-related needs someday, and now I know where to go to satisfy them!
posted by pdb at 9:52 PM on April 29, 2006


Bigmusic, the more inside post (the one on the front page now) wasn't why that particular post was deleted. I guess you had to be here on April 1st to fully appriciate it.
posted by Balisong at 9:53 PM on April 29, 2006


I don't argue in favor of having them banned, but I do find them irritatingly pointless. After all, part of the point of MetaFilter is the filtering, right? A good poster acts as an editorial voice, not as a hose.
posted by argybarg at 9:53 PM on April 29, 2006


**Braces against the wall**

OK, Hose me!!
posted by Balisong at 9:54 PM on April 29, 2006


If you post a deleted post is it still considered a double?
posted by bigmusic at 9:54 PM on April 29, 2006


I like that. Where do I send the royalties when I use it in the future?

JoshCo, Inc. Check or wire transfer. I'll have accounting give you a call.
posted by cortex at 9:56 PM on April 29, 2006


Crunchland -

Easy, cowboy. I'm not trying to "impose". I suggested something, and if it's not accepted, that's cool - I can live with it. No big thing, and I move on.
posted by pdb at 9:56 PM on April 29, 2006


If you post the first post as a FPP in a deleted link it's not considered a FPP in itself. There's a lot of info in there that people haven't looked at, I bet.
posted by Balisong at 9:57 PM on April 29, 2006


Well, get cracking and make your own front page posts the way you like 'em, buckaroo. With zero posts under your belt, your position to judge the way anyone else makes something you can't be bothered to make yourself is a little shakey.
posted by crunchland at 10:00 PM on April 29, 2006


I find it really hard to believe that there is filtering going on when the post includes a link whose destination is the Wikipedia article for that word.

It's ok, man, I know how to use Wikipedia.

That many links is like a 100-slide Powerpoint presentation -- sure, maybe it's excellent, but it's a really good indicator that it's going to be a waste of time.
posted by mendel at 10:00 PM on April 29, 2006


Crunchland -

Why the hostility? I'm not trying to agitate, or to judge - I merely pointed out something I thought wasn't the best use of MeFi; turns out I'm in the minority, that most people are OK with this style of post, and I'm 100% cool with that.

There's no need to pick a fight here.
posted by pdb at 10:04 PM on April 29, 2006


I certainly have no beef with multiple links but a Wikipedia article is a bit much.
posted by y2karl at 10:08 PM on April 29, 2006


So, yes, multiple link posts in which the links tend to suck are bad, but there really is no technical solution to that.

But I'm curious about your implication that the posts are bad in general because the links are too much of a good thing.
posted by oddman at 10:26 PM on April 29, 2006


Ok. I'm trying really hard not to come off as hostile now, and I'm not trying to pick a fight. But you do have a point about over-the-top posts, in whatever form they take.

When half the responses to the post are about the way the person posted and not the topic of the post, then the person who made the post is probably doing something wrong. And if you look at Eidetaker's post, that's exactly what happened.
posted by crunchland at 10:28 PM on April 29, 2006


Oddman -

"Too much of a good thing" isn't quite what I was getting at; "too much work to get to the goodness" is probably closer. To get a complete sense of what any FPP is trying to say, it usually helps to hit all the links. That's an easier task when there's 3 or 4 links then when there are 30.
posted by pdb at 10:29 PM on April 29, 2006


Is the post about the links or about the poster being clever? If the former, great; if the latter, not so much.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:33 PM on April 29, 2006


Well, pdb, you are a more generous man than I. I just assume that those 30 link posts aren't worth my time.

Then again, I almost never read the blue nowadays.

(Even though I realize that I wouldn't be posting here if it weren't for the sign-ups opening up a while back and even though I love ask.me, I sorta wish Matt had never let us in. I never imagined how badly the quality of the blue would nose-dive. I'd rather be a spectator on a good site than a participant in a mediocre one.)
posted by oddman at 10:45 PM on April 29, 2006


Who can make value judgments like that about a total stranger. There's nothing wrong with wanting to make a well crafted post. People post for all sorts of reasons and what constitutes a well crafted post is a canon of infinite capacity.
posted by y2karl at 10:49 PM on April 29, 2006


Oops, I meant to hit preview. Consider that first sentence ending in a question mark.

The problem with anyone trying to do anything new is that if enough people complain about how something was done, the conversation snowballs until someone makes a big deal about it. I think of it as the Harrison Bergeron effect.
posted by y2karl at 10:54 PM on April 29, 2006


Can some sort of rule/guideline/something be considered, stating that FPP's shouldn't have a bajillion links, one in each individual word?

I think not
posted by caddis at 10:55 PM on April 29, 2006


Dr. Oetker can kiss my culinary grits!
posted by furtive at 11:01 PM on April 29, 2006


This is the best thing you have to complain about today? Turn off the computer and go mown the lawn or something.
posted by LarryC at 11:47 PM on April 29, 2006


Those posts are not as common as they once were, thank god. And this FPP was deleted on april 1st, and got re-posted today.

Anyway.
posted by delmoi at 12:10 AM on April 30, 2006


Eideteker's post has got nothing on this one.
(for the record, I'm all for people posting a bajillion links, unless they're, y'know, lame links).
posted by juv3nal at 12:13 AM on April 30, 2006


Posts like this often link out of context. That is to say it is very hard from the text itself to guess where the link is going to go: all the more reason for the linked sites to be truly excellent. Posts like this work well once in a while, some of my favourite posts have taken this form, and some of my own posts which take this form have been some of my best. If you can build in an inherent fun factor when making a post like this, so much the better. It's be annoying of there were too many posts like this, but very sad if there were none at all. A guideline would be a very very bad idea.
posted by nthdegx at 5:03 AM on April 30, 2006




I'm with you pdb:

pdb posted "when I see posts like this it drives me nuts. Am I the only one?"

pdb : "I'm not trying to 'impose'. I suggested something, and if it's not accepted, that's cool - I can live with it. No big thing, and I move on."

They drive me nuts, but the majority opinion likes them, and not in the "it's objectively bad, but they like it anyway" sense. So it doesn't float my boat, but that's my problem, not theirs or the poster's.

Actually, occassionally, there are megamultilink posts where each link kicks ass, and that makes it into a monster Katamari rolling ball of ass-kicking, where I can get lost for half a day in the links. I fully support that kind of multilink post. But a lot of them are basically just "padded". Those annoy me. But, anyway, point is that, yes, I agree with you, both on the "it drives me nuts" part, AND on the "if it's not accepted, that's cool. I can live with it. I move on" part.
posted by Bugbread at 6:33 AM on April 30, 2006


It reminds me of the articles on Wikipedia where every possible thing is linked, regardless of how interesting or relevant it may be.
posted by smackfu at 6:58 AM on April 30, 2006


Man, so Eitedeker has posted the same post twice here and posted about it on MetaChat, to boot.

Now is that an indication of emotional investment or what ?

We should be selling everything we own and starting a religion devoted to it, I guess...
posted by y2karl at 7:08 AM on April 30, 2006


I just found these two arrows on the right side of my browser and apparantly they allow me the ability to scroll past small bits of text without having to click on the links!
posted by dflemingdotorg at 7:11 AM on April 30, 2006


Posts like that are full of missed opportunities.
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 AM on April 30, 2006


pdb's right to call this out as excessive. Eideteker's post is full of padded links; *that's* what makes it a lame example of the linkawhoria style. Take the links about the goddess Eris in "rules", for instance. After the "r", which links to the Principia Discordia, they all link to short pieces that basically say the same thing; the "l" link even copies the Principia info about Eris word for word. What was the point of that? Eideteker probably didn't even notice.

Others give "file not found" or are worthless short repeats of info in better pages already linked. This kind of post has been done well, but this is a cruddy version that obviously isn't about the links at all. It's posting as high concept - "I know! An April Fool's post about tricksters!" with links as an afterthought, and that afterthought seems to have been the only thought involved.
posted by mediareport at 7:29 AM on April 30, 2006


Yeah, I never bother with these kinds of posts. I just don't have the time. The right way to do it, in my opinion, would be to have a couple of links in the FPP to get peoples' attention, and then put the rest in the "more inside."

However, I have a feeling that the post in question is actually just an extension of Eideteker's quite irritating April Fools Day behavior.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:16 AM on April 30, 2006


For fucks' sakes, is there anything MeFe users won't complain about?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 AM on April 30, 2006


Or MeFi users, for that matter.

We need more Prozac in the water supply.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:27 AM on April 30, 2006


Well, these kinds of posts are not so good from a usability standpoint--text-to-speech browsers have a hard time with them, which is why if you're interested in usability you should use more than whitespace (including line breaks) to separate links. But I don't necessarily expect everyone at MeFi to know about (or care about) usability standards.

Also, I really doubt that it would go over so well if Matt started dictating nuances of how to make a front page post.
posted by Tuwa at 9:36 AM on April 30, 2006


I'm fine with these posts, but would like to see more use of the TITLE attribute on vague mystery-meat type linking.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:38 AM on April 30, 2006


OMG, don't you people have anything else to do?

Or what fff said. Stop complaining for heaven's sake. A good post is a good post. A bad post, you flag and move on. Sorry, I'm in a bad mood.
posted by keijo at 9:57 AM on April 30, 2006


keijo: So let me get this straight. Other people don't get to complain, but you get to complain about other people complaining? My head hurts.

This was a crappy post for exactly the reason mediareport gives. MeFi posts are supposed to be about cool things out there on the internet, not how clever and tricksy the poster is. Or, put another way: if you want to impress us with how clever and tricksy you are, you have to take the trouble to do it right, not give up halfway through and start linking any old crap.
posted by languagehat at 10:41 AM on April 30, 2006


Wait wait wait... pdb might have linked to a particular post, but the actual question s/he asks is a general one. Answers defending the practice shouldn't necessarily be read as justifications of Eideteker's particular post. I, for one, didn't check out the links.
posted by nthdegx at 10:58 AM on April 30, 2006


Heh, i just realized that i was quoted in the reason for deletion from the April 1st post.

/blushes
posted by quin at 12:00 PM on April 30, 2006


I'm fine with these posts, but would like to see more use of the TITLE attribute on vague mystery-meat type linking.

Ditto. If you're going to take all that time to put in the links, adding titles would get more people to visit them.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:00 PM on April 30, 2006


I'm arguing for common sense.

Oh good lord.
posted by scarabic at 1:00 PM on April 30, 2006


I'm arguing for common sense.

Just so long as you don't go quoting SCIENCE while you're at it...
posted by juv3nal at 3:48 PM on April 30, 2006


Here's my guideline for posts like that. When I see them, I ignore them and look at the next post instead. No doubt I am missing some truly earth-shattering FPPs that would change my entire life by doing so but hey, that's the kind of guy I am.
posted by Decani at 5:25 PM on April 30, 2006


I, too, find them tedious, and only read them if the topic is compellingly interesting to me, as this one was.
posted by Miko at 8:46 PM on April 30, 2006


nthdegx, just think yourself lucky that tamim never got around to posting the one he was working on, with several hundred links (one to each letter in the entire post).

For fucks' sakes, is there anything MeFe users won't complain about?
Apparently not - even when it comes to the quantity of links, there are some who complain that there are not enough in posts and some who complain that there are too many. I guess, if you average them out, it comes up about perfect. Oh and, of course, make sure there is no doubt whatsoever about what the contents of the link are, lest someone receive a *gasp* surprise when they click something.

Sheesh. You people.
posted by dg at 5:11 AM on May 2, 2006


« Older MeFi Captcha   |   Meta-freakin-omics Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments