Editorializing and calling for donations on fpp - lame June 20, 2006 6:52 AM   Subscribe

Incredibly lame.
posted by mzurer to Etiquette/Policy at 6:52 AM (86 comments total)

One link that has not been here before?
posted by mzurer at 6:53 AM on June 20, 2006


Front page editorializing aside, what seems troubling is the PayPal link. As bugbread mentioned in response to my comment in the previous Pirate Bay post, a really good and interesting Pirate Party post could have been put together, but I'm not sure Wikipedia + PayPal + editorial makes for good FPP material. Just my opinion.
posted by Mr. Six at 6:58 AM on June 20, 2006


Incredibly lame.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:00 AM on June 20, 2006


Yeah, it's sort of iffy. The immediate call for donations is grating, and although not the sole link, gimme a break, this is what, the third or fourth time The Pirate Bay has been linked to on the front page? We get it, you can use it to steal files and there's nothing anyone can do about it, har har har har.

And the thing with the ^ Wikipedia links: no. Bad. Stop that right now. Please.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:01 AM on June 20, 2006


Yeah, I didn't want to kick him, because the post style was good (apart from the opinionated bit).
I appreciated the interview too, but two new links out of five isn't going to win prizes.

It might "share" them though. s33d plz.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 7:01 AM on June 20, 2006


It was OK. Better than another Paul McCartney post.
posted by klangklangston at 7:12 AM on June 20, 2006


(So I guess "credibly lame.")
posted by klangklangston at 7:12 AM on June 20, 2006


Fine. Credibly lame, then.
posted by mzurer at 7:17 AM on June 20, 2006


Not another ARRGHument about a post's worthiness!
posted by OmieWise at 7:30 AM on June 20, 2006


Incredibly lame.^
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:31 AM on June 20, 2006


Mr. Six : "As bugbread mentioned in response to my comment in the previous Pirate Bay post, a really good and interesting Pirate Party post could have been put together"

Whoa. I just reread what I wrote that day ("Well, go ahead"), and I must been in a foul mood. That, or I thought it would be an interesting post, and I meant that since you knew about it (I'd never heard of the Pirate Party), I would have enjoyed if you'd written a post about it. Still, if that's what I meant, my phrasing sucked dog bollocks, and it just came off as me being a jerk, so I apologize, late though my apology may be.

I like the idea of superscripted wiki references, though. Something like thisWiki would look a bit better, perhaps.
posted by Bugbread at 7:34 AM on June 20, 2006


Best callout ever!
posted by bshort at 7:36 AM on June 20, 2006


While we're here, what's to like about the Wikipedia notation? As far as I am concerned, Wikipedia links are no more appropriate in a FPP than a link to a Google results page. The caret is turd-polishing.
posted by mzurer at 7:43 AM on June 20, 2006


Wikipedia can be valuable to give people the basics on certain issues of which knowledge is required to understand the meat of a post, but which are not common knowledge. For example, if one were to link to a site that's all about ground effect planes, knowledge of what the ground effect is would be useful, but not the primary focus of the FPP. Having an unobtrusive link to a wiki article is handy, but, again, not necessary for finding out what the ground effect is before reading the primary link of the article.

Using a notation that minimizes the link makes it clear which information is supplementary, and which is the main, best-of-the-web link.

Note that this is not in defense of people linking, for example, to wikipedia pages like "Spain" or "the moon" or the like (things which might be necessary to know in order to understand the link, but are already common damn sense).

Again, not saying wikipedia links are necessary or desired or awesome or anything, but there are some times when a wikipedia link is a good thing, and an unobtrusive way of linking it such that the link is not seen as the Main Link is a good thing.
posted by Bugbread at 7:50 AM on June 20, 2006


The caret is turd-polishing.

Yeah. I wasn't sure what to think. Wikipedia links are kind of a stretch. It's like he's acknowledgeing that the links aren't really good enough to link from the main text, but he feel compelled to pass them along in case you're totally out of the loop on the whole pirate bay thing. Wikipedia is fine and all, but it doesn't really cut it for a metafilter post, unless it's somehow out of the ordinary.
posted by GuyZero at 7:50 AM on June 20, 2006


but there are some times when a wikipedia link is a good thing, and an unobtrusive way of linking it such that the link is not seen as the Main Link is a good thing

But isn't that like having to explain the punchline of a joke? (you see, it's funny because Jewish people can't eat ham!)If the original link doesn't really explain it well enough, did it really deserve to get posted in the first place? And if it needs explanation, put it in the post text. And if your post is turning into an essay, it's time to get your own blog!

I need a flowchart for this or something.
posted by GuyZero at 7:53 AM on June 20, 2006


Wikipedia links shouldn't be on the front page. Butttttttt...they often have great and relevant articles and I don't see a problem with someone putting such a link as [more inside].
posted by peacay at 7:53 AM on June 20, 2006


Also ugly: the carat all mashed up against the adjascent link with no seperation. Superscription would be nice, if only to break up the link text into logical chunks.
posted by cortex at 7:53 AM on June 20, 2006


you see, it's funny because Jewish people can't eat ham!

Oh! Ha!
posted by cortex at 7:54 AM on June 20, 2006


LOL@HAM
posted by mzurer at 7:57 AM on June 20, 2006


Having an unobtrusive link to a wiki article is handy,
Unusual punctuation jammed in all over the place is not unobtrusive.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:58 AM on June 20, 2006


I don't mind the editorializing. I also don't mind the caret. I don't mind the post at all, really.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:04 AM on June 20, 2006


Three Jews walk into a bar. They ask for drinks, and the bartender says, "sorry, this is a ham bar."

So they left, and were run over by a truck driven by a bacon tree.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:06 AM on June 20, 2006


But isn't that like having to explain the punchline of a joke? (you see, it's funny because Jewish people can't eat ham!)

No, it isn't like that at all. A post may link to a very interesting, yet unexplained subject, picture, product, etc. In those cases, as well as many many others, a wikipedia link is a nice way to give some context to interesting web phenomenon.

Wikipedia links can be abused, but they can serve a legitimate purpose. Claiming that a link has to properly explain itself or be explainable in 50 words or less in order FPP worthy is a ridiculous standard.
posted by aburd at 8:11 AM on June 20, 2006


GuyZero : "If the original link doesn't really explain it well enough, did it really deserve to get posted in the first place? And if it needs explanation, put it in the post text. And if your post is turning into an essay, it's time to get your own blog!"

The example I keep thinking of is the ground effect plane stuff I found recently. Ground effect planes look freakin' cool. If one were to come across a gallery of ground effect plane photos, and wanted to post a link to them, that seems like a good use of MeFi. However, people might want to know why these planes look all funky. You could try to find some other site that explains it, but that seems a bit redundant, if the Wikipedia article is good, since the gallery is the meat of your post. You could post an explanation of ground effect planes into the post text, but, as you point out, that would make it into an essay. You could post without providing any background, which would be fine, but make a little more trouble for readers. You could just not post the gallery, as good as it is, which I think would be a net loss. Or you could unobtrusively link to wikipedia, so that anyone who wanted a quick background on the cool stuff of your post (photos of ground effect planes). However! That said:

peacay : "they often have great and relevant articles and I don't see a problem with someone putting such a link as [more inside]."

Yeah, I feel dumb. This is clearly the better way to do it. Post the gallery of ground effect planes (or what-have-you) on the front page, and then make your first comment a link to the background for anyone who wants it.
posted by Bugbread at 8:15 AM on June 20, 2006


Should I start defining some of the harder words in my posts, as well?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:18 AM on June 20, 2006


But why post a link to wikipedia in the first place? Are we not smart enough to go look something up? Unless it's something totally out there, ugly useless punctuation to stuff I can look for myself is very distracting.
posted by dame at 8:20 AM on June 20, 2006


The post mostly sucks but I really like the Wiki idea for footnotes. Though, typing all that HTML for each one makes me want to choke a ferret, and as such I doubt it'll become a convention without a hotlinked button down on the textarea toolbar. It's still a clever idea.

You probably shouldn't listen to me, though, as I've been up since yesterday, and I'm filthy, half naked, suffering borderline heatstroke and scrambling like a mad, ravenous animal to cut holes in walls, run proper high amperage electrical lines and install my long overdue air conditioner before it hits a solid 115 degrees for the foreseeable future.

Warning: If you even consider uttering the words "Oh, but it's a dry heat!" I'm going to hunt your carcass down and grill your flayed flesh on the metropolis-sized smoking-hot asphalt griddle that is the unspeakably unholy living hell that is Phoenix, AZ. Thank you for your co-operation.
posted by loquacious at 8:22 AM on June 20, 2006


Should I start defining some of the harder words in my posts, as well?

Do you want to share your find with as many people on Metafilter as possible, or — if you know that the jargon in your post may be obtuse — do you want instead to restrict your discovery to as small an audience as possible? My guess is that it is up to you, the poster, to decide how much you genuinely want to share with others.
posted by Mr. Six at 8:23 AM on June 20, 2006


dame : "But why post a link to wikipedia in the first place? Are we not smart enough to go look something up?"

It's just a handiness thing. For example, instead of linking sites, we could just write the URL and have people copy-paste it, but we don't, because we like to make eachother's lives easier. It isn't because we think folks don't know how to copy and paste. Same thing with the occassional wikipedia thing. And, of course, don't get me wrong, I don't think we should be linking stuff that people know already (I'm almost certain I have seen someone link to the wikipedia page for "Spain", of all things. That's just wrong), just stuff where you are relatively certain that many or most readers wouldn't know it, but it provides background for your primary link.

dame : "Unless it's something totally out there, ugly useless punctuation to stuff I can look for myself is very distracting."

Well, that's why I changed my mind and agreed with peacay. If you're going to provide a handy background link, avoiding goofy punctuation and instead going with a link in the first comment is a much better way to go.
posted by Bugbread at 8:31 AM on June 20, 2006


Are we not smart enough to go look something up?

Pet peeve: when folks ask for technical term definitions on webforums, when GOOGLE IS RIGHT THERE!!! Just look it up! That's what I do! yeesh.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:32 AM on June 20, 2006


Well, yes, bugbread, I saw that. But it wasn't just addressed to you.
posted by dame at 8:40 AM on June 20, 2006


Pet peeve: People who have lost so much human interactivity capacity that they can't answer a simple question.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:41 AM on June 20, 2006


XQUZYPHYR writes "We get it, you can use it to steal files and there's nothing anyone can do about it, har har har har."

steal infringe copyright
posted by Mitheral at 8:42 AM on June 20, 2006


" typing all that HTML for each one makes me want to choke a ferret"

Why a ferret?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:43 AM on June 20, 2006


Pet peeve: People who have lost so much human interactivity capacity that they can't answer a simple question.

Begun this snark war has.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:44 AM on June 20, 2006


Speaking of money, I could use some.

posted by blue_beetle at 8:45 AM on June 20, 2006


Claiming that a link has to properly explain itself or be explainable in 50 words or less in order FPP worthy is a ridiculous standard.

Most FPPs seem to do fine within those limits. I mean, it's not a rule per se, but it's definitely not ridiculous in terms of a guideline. Lots of people manage to do it.

And as others have pointed out, you can put [more inside]. You're the first person to quantify the maximum length of a post. My point was just that you have to be judicious and limit the scope of what you're trying to show. At some point, there can be too much. But it's just a rule of thumb.
posted by GuyZero at 8:54 AM on June 20, 2006


You lose, General Sonofsamiam!

sonofsamiam: Begun this snark war has.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:55 AM on June 20, 2006


oh no! cut and run! cut and run!
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:59 AM on June 20, 2006


I thought the carat was horribly awkward, mostly because I'm used to seeing things like that indicate an off-site link. Which would be 99% of the links in Mefi. That being said, it was ugly - a space would have helped, and instead of a carat, I would have liked to see a > or something.
posted by hoborg at 9:09 AM on June 20, 2006


Mr Six: Do you want to share your find with as many people on Metafilter as possible, or — if you know that the jargon in your post may be obtuse

Lol.
posted by matthewr at 9:12 AM on June 20, 2006


The PayPal link was a step too far. (And carets? Please no.)
posted by Count Ziggurat at 9:17 AM on June 20, 2006


I almost use the last letter of the word for the pedia links. Would people prefer this?
posted by jeffburdges at 9:19 AM on June 20, 2006


And I don't mind if the paypal post gets deleted. It is just a post and it doesn't have much information since pdfs kinda suck.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:21 AM on June 20, 2006


But I don't like the idea of relegating pedia links to the first post, i.e. "Wikipedia: X, Y, Z". Last letter is unobtrusive & won't confuse many.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:26 AM on June 20, 2006


I almost use the last letter of the word for the pedia links. Would people prefer this?

You'd probably get more complaints about that approach than using the carats. I'd still recommend including wikipedia links in the first comment, not in the body of the main post. After all, the wikipedia links aren't why you made the post, right?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:28 AM on June 20, 2006


I almost use the last letter of the word for the pedia links. Would people prefer this?

[more inside]

Wikipedia: The Pirate Party, The Priate Bay, The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyrån), Rickard Falkvinge.
posted by cillit bang at 9:31 AM on June 20, 2006


mb, true, true, the interview, their progress this month, and the "virtually all" link were the three reasons.

cb, okay, It doesn't look that bad when I see it, but more inside is sooo lame. I think I'll just try last letter some day and form an opinion based upon how many people yell at me. :)
posted by jeffburdges at 9:36 AM on June 20, 2006


*sharpens his pitchfork in anticipation*

if future recipients of my pre-coffee ire react so even-tempered, it may put me off snark for good

posted by mzurer at 9:42 AM on June 20, 2006


As a general principle, people linking to Wikipedia should make an effort to read over the article they're linking to, and rate it (within reason) in their post or in comments. e.g. It'd be nice to see in the [more inside] a little bit of 'Good WeePee articles on X, Y, and Z; bare-bones treatment of A and B.'

And also: yes, we should refer to it as WeePee exclusively from now on.
posted by waxbanks at 9:44 AM on June 20, 2006


I'm just sick of people intentionally mucking up those articles. Enough with the weepee harmin'!
posted by cortex at 9:59 AM on June 20, 2006


A warning: don't click blue_beetle's "Donate" button out of curiosity. I did, and now my house is gone, I'm dressed in rags and sitting in a vacant lot somewhere very grim-looking, and mangy curs are eyeing me speculatively. And I think the passerby whose laptop I borrowed to write this is about to mug me.
posted by languagehat at 10:10 AM on June 20, 2006


dang, I just got my laptop back from some bum only after an embarrassing public struggle and getting spat at, finally kicked the vagrant in the crotch and dumped my coffee on his head. Took his empty wallet and chucked it down the drain.

on preview: omg synchronicity!
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:19 AM on June 20, 2006


I feel that a well-crafted FPP should have all of the information needed for a reasonably intelligent, well-informed person to appreciate it. If that means including one or more wiki articles about a somewhat obscure subject, so be it. Yes, we all have google, but I don't feel like searching for whatever it is I have to search for to figure out why I should care about your FPP.

I thought this FPP was well crafted, but the subject had already been covered, and an interview on Wikinews didn't really merit a new post, imo.
posted by empath at 11:09 AM on June 20, 2006


My suggestion to replace the carats:

The Pirate Party has become a significant voice in Swedish politics, partly due to the illegal raids on the Pirate Bay and The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyrån) (which spawned both). Other Swedish political parties are now adding copyright reforms to their platforms.

The party's leader Rickard Falkvinge gave an intelligent compelling interview "today".
posted by empath at 11:14 AM on June 20, 2006


Mr Six: Do you want to share your find with as many people on Metafilter as possible, or — if you know that the jargon in your post may be obtuse

Lol.
posted by matthewr at 9:12 AM PST on June 20 [+fave] [!]


Lol, indeed (if we're being pedantic).
posted by Mr. Six at 11:23 AM on June 20, 2006


Is this a dorkfight over Wikipedia? You wikipedia haters are always veiling your disdain for the project by subtly discrediting it elsewhere.
Why don't you just come out and say it?
"I don't like wikipedia posts on the front page because I Hate Wikipedia."

I thought the post was great.

I'm completely baffled by this callout.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:29 AM on June 20, 2006



posted by darukaru at 11:42 AM on June 20, 2006


"I don't like wikipedia posts on the front page because I Hate Wikipedia."

No. I don't hate Wikipedia. Indeed, I love Wikipedia, contribute to Wikipedia, and spend a not insubstantial amount of time browsing and reading Wikipedia articles. Nonetheless, I don't think there's any reason to link to Wikipedia in most posts, because its superfluous reference material. It's like the dictionary. If I'm unfamiliar with the subject matter of the post, I know that Wikipedia is out there, likely with an article on the subject, to educate me. I don't need the extra links, particularly when they make a mess of the formatting of the post and distract from the real links. If you want to provide some background reference material on the subject of the post, put it in the [more inside].
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:46 AM on June 20, 2006


monju, what about people who've never heard of wikipedia?

This shit really pisses me off - mostly because I've been called out for not putting enough background info in the post. This guy tries hard to create a post where anybody could check it out, figure out what's going on, and contribute - and then you yell at him because you don't like his carets.

Phaw!

That's right. Phaw.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:58 AM on June 20, 2006


Wikipedia is a popular reference source, and as good as anything online—better in some cases: the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami^ article was excellent—for quick introductory and background info. WP's credibility may not be 100% pure, but whose is? We're not writing academic papers here.

IANAActuary, but I think many MeFi readers are at work or school and simply don't have time to crawl Google for additional info. A WP link provides a quick start for later reference.

Perhaps FPP WP links are verboten, but there's nothing wrong with a few WP links in [more inside] and in comments. At least the carat notation (large^ or small^) is quick shorthand and relatively unobtrusive.
posted by cenoxo at 12:04 PM on June 20, 2006


monju, what about people who've never heard of wikipedia?

I have a hard time believing that there are MetaFilter members that haven't heard of Wikipedia.

In any case, I certainly haven't called out you or anybody else for failure to include background material. I don't think it's necessary, and at best most often comes across as mediocre filler. At worst it buries the main link in a slew of secondary material. Of course, not everyone agrees with me, and I'm sure you've seen criticism from the no-single-links crew, but I'm not trying to make policy here. I'm just expressing my preference.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:04 PM on June 20, 2006


So let me make the lame joke before the comment this time.

MetaFilter: You. Can't. Win.

The truth, apparently, is that there is a "house style" in effect and those who don't follow its unwritten rules get "called out". Innovation is not the name of the game. It's all about following the form.

Note that several people have expressed positive opinions about the carets. So keep the blood flowing by hating the haters.

The airbrushed tow truck parked down the street from my house says it best: "Don't hate the player. Hate the game."
posted by GuyZero at 12:05 PM on June 20, 2006


er, don't keep the blood flowing... and that was to Balrog, so the flow of my retort got interrupted by the other commenters.

<grandpa>Out of my way, you kids!</grandpa>
posted by GuyZero at 12:07 PM on June 20, 2006


"Note that several people have expressed positive opinions about the carets. "

You know who else had positive opinions about carets?

That's right, Hitler.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:13 PM on June 20, 2006


No, that was carrots. He was a vegetarian, you remember.
posted by yhbc at 12:17 PM on June 20, 2006


monju_bosatsu : "I don't think it's necessary, and at best most often comes across as mediocre filler. At worst it buries the main link in a slew of secondary material. Of course, not everyone agrees with me, and I'm sure you've seen criticism from the no-single-links crew, but I'm not trying to make policy here."

Actually, I'm not sure if this issue breaks up along those lines (maybe it does, maybe it doesn't). For example, I like the [more inside] wikipedia idea, but I am a hard core single-linkist. Part of the reason I like the [mi] (or carats) is precisely because it provides additional information without burying the real material. Wikipedia links are never really necessary per se, and a lot of the time, because they're inlined the same way as regular links, they become mediocre filler. By carating them (or more-insiding them), you get all the goodness of simple clickability for issues abstruse enough to need a wikipedia link (and that's rare, but does happen), without the feeling that someone is link dumping just to avoid the no-single-link crew. And, yeah, 99% of posts don't even need wikipedia links, but on the odd occassion where they're a good thing, this is at least mildly better then dumping the link in with the same formatting as the good link which is the heart of the FPP.
posted by Bugbread at 12:22 PM on June 20, 2006


He was a vegetarian, you remember.

You know who else remembers he was a vegetarian? Hitler.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:26 PM on June 20, 2006


Wow, what a day. Between this and the 13 year old harassment, I'm impressed. The Summer of Snark has begun indeed. Or will it start tomorrow when the soltice arrives?
posted by wheelieman at 12:28 PM on June 20, 2006


I think we basically agree, bugbread, other than that I think that the carets are profoundly annoying. As I said above, if you think you really need to include the reference material in your post, you should (a) think again, and (b) include it, if at all, in a supplementary comment.

Now, to avoid any accusation that I'm obsessing over post formatting, I'm going to shut up.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:30 PM on June 20, 2006


Metafilter: The Summer of Snark has begun
posted by Mr. Six at 1:01 PM on June 20, 2006


"Metafilter: The Summer of Snark has begun"

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the 'filter.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:47 PM on June 20, 2006


I'd like to voice support for the superscripted wiki references bugbread sugested.
I liked the motivation for the ^ but didn't like the exicution because instead of being less intrusive, they stood out like sore thumbs.
Obscure linksWiki could get a link following the allready established Via method.
posted by Richard Daly at 3:05 PM on June 20, 2006


WP's credibility may not be 100% pure, but whose is?

On the other hand, other reference sources tend not to get syndicated and repeated across the internet and spam up the first two pages of any given Google result.
posted by darukaru at 3:34 PM on June 20, 2006


*farts in everyones general direction*
posted by quonsar at 4:20 PM on June 20, 2006


That's a good, informative post that is likely to promote an interesting debate. Snarkers eff off!
posted by spazzm at 6:46 PM on June 20, 2006


One thing is perfectly clear: Posting links is hazardous to one's sanity and happiness. The crew at metafilter are far too picky to dare post anything for them to rip to shreds.

I can't help but wonder if that is why so few posts get made these days.
posted by Goofyy at 12:54 AM on June 21, 2006


Just so long as we don't Jump the Snark.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:10 AM on June 21, 2006


So few posts? As compared to what? Got any numbers to back that assertion?
posted by klangklangston at 6:36 AM on June 21, 2006


it might have been a joke
posted by cortex at 7:59 AM on June 21, 2006


METATALK IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!
posted by klangklangston at 8:33 AM on June 21, 2006


No numbers, I don't count the posts each day. I know I spend less time than previously. My partner, when I refer him to threads, expresses disgust at the signal-to-noise ratio.

However, the first comment requires no statistics.
posted by Goofyy at 4:56 AM on June 22, 2006


< vvvvvv>>>>><><>VVVV<><><><><>>>>>>
posted by stinkycheese at 7:35 PM on June 29, 2006


Blind users often display all the links in a page in a list to help them navigate and understand the page. This takes the links out of context. The links for this FPP would be:

Pirate Party
^
Pirate Bay
^
The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyrån)
^
Rickard Falkvinge
^
interview
Virtually all

Or sorted by link content, another frequently-employed technique:

^
^
^
^
interview
Pirate Bay
Pirate Party
Rickard Falkvinge
The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyrån)
Virtually all

As you can imagine, it's tricky to understand web pages at the best of time when you're blind. Throwing in completely meaningless link text isn't helpful. May I propose we don't start doing this?
posted by alasdair at 2:57 AM on June 30, 2006


^_^
posted by absalom at 8:53 AM on July 13, 2006


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