Permanent testing thread October 19, 2001 11:12 AM   Subscribe

ProtoFilter or ProtoTalk anyone?
Most double posts and lame threads are unintentional. Search doesn't always work. So would it be possible to have a permanent testing thread here on MetaTalk? I mean a Any Obvious Objections or Good Ideas I Should Know About? sort of thing; where unsure posters could test the waters before committing to either MetaFilter or MetaTalk front pages?(more)

posted by MiguelCardoso to Feature Requests at 11:12 AM (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

No specially appointed wardens or any limbo-like special feature would be needed. It would be purely optional. A fine-tuning instrument. I think it would also be a lot of fun, in a baroque cathedral-building fashion, as it would be no-holds-barred and none of the usual "the children might be listening" rules would apply.

A poster would then be able to decide, after leaving his proposed thread as long as she/he liked and reading the comments, to rephrase, retire or just go ahead and post.

This would be specially useful for not-quite double posts that require consideration - do they really, er, add to the sum of human knowledge? - and insecure members in general.

posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:16 AM on October 19, 2001

Well, well, well. If it isn't Miguel.

Listen here, buddy. We don't need any of your well-thought out, logical reasoning here. This is a silly, silly place.

Haven't you seen the front page today? Nothing but pancakes and goatfucking, pancakes and goatfucking.

And some crap about "getting your war on." Things went to hell when you left and some of us like it that way.

Go away, or I shall taunt you a second time.

posted by ColdChef at 11:34 AM on October 19, 2001

i think we might of touched on this idea in another thread recently, but i can't find it (sorry)

i really like the idea of a holding pen, and i think you've come up with a nice way of doing it without having to resort to /. style karma/user moderation - someone could optionally post in the temporary area, let nature take its course, and if it still looks like good front page material after a few comments, send it 'live'

i think a lot of the frustration experienced by double (and crap) post 'haters' like myself is that we see mefi as a permanent database of links and discourse that is slowly losing its integrity...

the cummulative effect of all the recent war news posts, 8000 links to the onion, etc is not pretty (i felt the same about nader! nader! nader! too), and i think something along the lines of what Miguel is proposing might be of real help....

(welcome back btw)
posted by sawks at 11:37 AM on October 19, 2001

On the other hand, it could be abused by trolls. In that case the problem would repeat itself but at least it would be out of bounds.
The reason I think it would be helpful is one I think all new members will know. First, you start all out excited and flattered to be able to post and make a few over-zealous mistakes. Either by patience or flaming you come to learn that the rest of the community, unlike you, wasn't born yesterday and have (almost) seen it all, even before you started lurking, thinking you were the discoverer of MetaFilter.
But, a few days ago, I posted a link to the front page, thinking it was dynamite - a United Nations fiasco - and MoNickels wearily pointed out it was fake. And, of course, it was. On the same day y2karl double-posted to the superb article about anthrax on the sidebar, contributed by CarolAnne.
(btw, sawks - this also raises a(for me)fascinating question: how can you comment on a link in the sidebar unless someone does the favour of double-posting it?)

So I thought what a relief it would be if a thread that went on and on would consist solely of tentative front page posts(with a link and description, of course)and the comments it would cause people to make.

Then the "holding pen", Flaubert-like thing could be put into practise and we'd have a first-class MetaFilter front-page, a prescriptive and defining MetaTalk such as we have, plus the testing thread where we could all get down to basics and actually improve - dare I say it? - the service.

Today might be a silly day but it's still significant that everybody today seems to be worried, in different ways - read mrbula's second comment in his thread - about the very same thing. It might not be new but it's good it's getting old and doesn't go away.

ColdChef - no you may not!

posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:22 PM on October 19, 2001

"how can you comment on a link in the sidebar unless someone does the favour of double-posting it?"

sidebar links could have threads created for them at the same time they go up, or matt could just add the existing comments functionality to the side bar (not too difficult, methinks)

the three tiered (metatalk, 'protometafilter', metafilter) approach might also lend itself well to a "pay for the best of mefi" situation
posted by sawks at 12:30 PM on October 19, 2001

See, Miguel. There you go again being all "well-thought-out" and everything.

It's falling on deaf ears, buddy! Matt's nowhere to be seen and all the Usual Suspects are here amusing themselves with haiku.

You might as well be spitting in the wind.

Come. Be silly with us.
posted by ColdChef at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2001

one drawback, it might hurt what would otherwise be good posts. i.e., people would want to start commenting on the post itself (not its MeFi-worthiness) in MeTa, before it was reposted to the main page.

Better, methinks, to post to the main page and have offending posts removed than to end up with good posts getting broken into pieces....

Besides, people should realize that posts to the main page are in fact exactly what MC is suggesting they be on MeTa -- someone saying, hey, here's this thing, what do you think? Granted, some folks are ego-tripping and saying hey, look how cool I am, I posted this cool thing first -- but those folks wouldn't use MeTa for the suggested purpose anyway (though there should be another layer of hell just for them, I say).
posted by mattpfeff at 3:46 PM on October 19, 2001

how can you comment on a link in the sidebar unless someone does the favour of double-posting it?

Again, you are operating under mistaken assumptions. It seems many are not concerned with commenting or discussion--they live for links and links alone. It is a war of passive websurfers vs. active thinkers--the battlelines are drawn!
posted by rushmc at 7:35 PM on October 19, 2001

Miguel, I think you're talking about a sandbox, like the one that most Wikis have...

Try this's fun. (But be gentle - Wikis are even more delicate than Mefi, I think)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:22 PM on October 19, 2001

rushmc: A lot of passive websurfers - I was one all my life until I fell into this addiction - are active thinkers. All they are is selfish bastards and broads who don't share because they just can't be bothered. And the pay is lousy too.
As usual, since time began, it's a battle between people who want to talk to each other and learn from each other and those who simply want to make noise or deafen by their apathetic silence.
This division does not correlate with the intelligence/stupidity divide, so you get intelligent, apathetic active thinkers who only surf - and stupid active thinkers who never surf, in case it prevents them from sharing their useless, but well-meaning comments with everyone else.

Complexity - what would we do without it, huh?

stavrosthewonderchicken: I just joined and they've made me President! What a likeable bunch, all Finnish twentysomethings with no grudges and the most up-to-date Tamagochis I've ever seen!

posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:46 AM on October 20, 2001

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