Should contextless YouTube posts be deleted? June 21, 2006 1:03 PM   Subscribe

YouTubeFilter. I'm not against YouTube links, but is context too much to ask for? Why not a policy to abolish stand-alone YouTube links without an associative frame?
posted by ed to MetaFilter-Related at 1:03 PM (72 comments total)

Content should be good enough to stand-alone, otherwise you shouldn't post it. YouTube or otherwise.

This particular case is interesting, because it would take 30 minutes to watch the video and it hasn't even been posted that long.
posted by smackfu at 1:06 PM on June 21, 2006


Don't worry, I have a feeling the copyright gods will find out about YouTube shortly. I've already noticed SNL shorts get taken off fairly quickly. Wait until some exec at Sony catches their daughter on YouTube playing a music video or watching some unreleased TV pilot.

I don't think YouTube is the problem, it was just a bad post. Some context and supporting links would have made it better. I hate, hate front page posts that offer no clue into what I'm going into (except of course, for the YouTube URL in the status bar).
posted by geoff. at 1:06 PM on June 21, 2006


Oh wow, I didn't notice that smackfu. The part I did watch made it seem like another standard sitcom. Do I dare suggest that some studio is floating this out on the Internet to see if they should pick it up for next season?
posted by geoff. at 1:08 PM on June 21, 2006


Hmm, maybe I should have given it more context. I just thought it was an interesting title, and there is an explanation right there on the youtube page.

Basically, I posted it because I watched it, and liked it. Explaining it too in depth before you watch it just gives it away and makes the whole thing seem kind of lame, if you ask me. And I think "supporting links" disease is completely inane -- Google is your friend, you know.
posted by reklaw at 1:14 PM on June 21, 2006


And I think "supporting links" disease is completely inane

Maybe, but it's an example of "giving it more context", which is something you agree you should've done.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:29 PM on June 21, 2006


No.
posted by Captaintripps at 1:29 PM on June 21, 2006


Google is your friend to! It's all our friends. I don't want to have to click through links to find out what I'm going to. Copying the explanation on the Metafilter page would have helped. I don't like Scrubs or Friends so I would have immediately skipped it, knowing that it did not interest me but did not interest others. Instead we get a totally description void post. I'm not going to argue about the content because I realize that just because I don't find it amusing, it doesn't mean anyone else will. Obtuse or non-descriptive posts help no one.
posted by geoff. at 1:31 PM on June 21, 2006


... but might interest others.
posted by geoff. at 1:32 PM on June 21, 2006


More context.. Sure, in so much as ANY context would have been more..

You don't have to give it away, but any information that makes it stand out for what it is would be immensely useful. What if someone wants to look up your post again six months from now? Two appropriate uses of blink in one day. Awesome!
posted by Chuckles at 1:37 PM on June 21, 2006


I like the first segment I watched -- youtube is great for hard-to-find stuff like show pilots.

It would have been cool if the post described it as a pilot show that never took off, because I could link to several more on youtube.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:37 PM on June 21, 2006


Looking around, most of the supporting links are just some guy's opinion on the thing, like this. The reason I link to that is that it includes this quote:
"... and if I explain it any further than that (a) I'm going to have to start using footnotes and (b) you're going to think it's not very good."
...which is pretty much the fear I had, and why I left out the context. If I wrote up there what it was, I know that I, for one, would have thought "lame", and just skipped it. And that would have been bad because, you know, I liked it. See what I mean?
posted by reklaw at 1:49 PM on June 21, 2006


.
posted by mischief at 1:53 PM on June 21, 2006


And since we're in MetaTalk and all, I think the hipster Haterfilter going on in the thread is a bit extreme. I mean, I liked it, mathowie liked it... surely someone else likes it? No?

Obviously I'm not saying people shouldn't criticise, but when you're making the tenth post that adds up to "what crap", why even bother, you know?
posted by reklaw at 2:10 PM on June 21, 2006


Supporting links, usually (but not always) unnecessary. Supporting context (like, what the hell is being linked to, in brief), usually (but not always) necessary.
posted by Bugbread at 2:13 PM on June 21, 2006


why even bother, you know?

I agree. You're right. I'm sorry. Matt, if you'd like to delete my comment in there, you're more than welcome to.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2006


"Still haven't clicked a youtube link", he said animatedly.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:26 PM on June 21, 2006


I don't want to have to click through links to find out what I'm going to.

Me too, and I wish posters wouldn't feel it's more important to be cool ("Look ma, no context!") than helpful.
posted by languagehat at 2:27 PM on June 21, 2006


Can we rename this place Meta Whatabuncha Crybabies?
posted by Captaintripps at 2:28 PM on June 21, 2006


I think the hipster Haterfilter

Oh, for fuck's sake, reklaw. I hate it because it sucks ass, not because I'm hip. Jesus, I'm sick of this dismissal.

Obviously I'm not saying people shouldn't criticise

Why, "Obviously"? Seems pretty obvious to me that that's exactly what you're saying.

why even bother?

To discourage folks who take the crappy FPP as an example of a good one, would be my guess.
posted by dobbs at 2:29 PM on June 21, 2006


"I use it to watch cartoons about dogs," he said droopily.
posted by cortex at 2:32 PM on June 21, 2006


This post does not need supporting links. A little more context might have been nice though. I have no comment as to whether it is a good link because I just don't have 30 minutes to spend on it right now. The fact that it is that long should have been part of the context.
posted by caddis at 2:33 PM on June 21, 2006


What I'm saying is that if I'd put:
Nobody's Watching (part 2, part 3). A failed sitcom pilot from last year about two guys who love sitcoms, and get called by a studio to make one of their own. By the writers of Scrubs and Family Guy. Youtube, 30 minutes long.
...would you seriously have clicked that? I did have a try at putting in context when I was editing the post, but I can't see any way to do it that doesn't end up over-explained and lame-sounding. In the end, I let it stand alone, which didn't work out well either, but at least maybe a few more people gave it a chance who wouldn't have otherwise.
posted by reklaw at 2:41 PM on June 21, 2006


Also, I'll add that plenty of things get linked from Metafilter specifically because they are shit. You know, in a "You won't believe how bad this is..."--After watching the first part of this, I assumed that's why you linked it. To show how inane television can be--that they came up with a mildly amusing premise, didn't act on it, instead cast it with bad actors in cliche roles, and tried to pass it off--and look, it failed!

That was what I thought the pt of the FPP was. I still think it's a weak FPP but at least in that context it makes sense. Coming here and seeing you defend it and get upset that others thought it shite is pretty sad.
posted by dobbs at 2:44 PM on June 21, 2006


I hate it because it sucks ass

Well that's a wonderful contribution to metafilter. Thanks for you opinion.
posted by empath at 2:45 PM on June 21, 2006


I am not big on YouTube, so I probably wouldn't have clicked on it until it got some positive comments, but if I was bored and had 30 minutes on my hands, yes. That is certainly a great way to phrase the post.
posted by caddis at 2:45 PM on June 21, 2006


What I'm saying is that if I'd put ... would you seriously have clicked that?

So you were trying to fool us into watching it? Ah, I get it now. You're such a joker. *slaps reklaw's back*
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:49 PM on June 21, 2006


reklaw : "What I'm saying is that if I'd put:
Nobody's Watching (part 2, part 3). A failed sitcom pilot from last year about two guys who love sitcoms, and get called by a studio to make one of their own. By the writers of Scrubs and Family Guy. Youtube, 30 minutes long.
...would you seriously have clicked that?"


Maybe, maybe not. But if that's the metric we are going to use, everybody could just label their links "hot foreplay and steamy sex". The goal is not to trick people who aren't interested in what you're linking to into clicking, it's to interest the people who are or might be interested in what you're linking to into clicking.
posted by Bugbread at 2:51 PM on June 21, 2006


Well that's a wonderful contribution to metafilter. Thanks for you opinion.

Really. You're only allowed to express your opinion if it's positive. Happy faces, everyone!

on preview: what monju_bosatsu said.
posted by puke & cry at 2:52 PM on June 21, 2006


You're welcome, empath.
posted by dobbs at 2:52 PM on June 21, 2006


would you seriously have clicked that?

I would have. At this point, I almost uniformly hit the comments on a video post first, actually, to know if I'd be wasting my time—but in this case, I find the description unusually appealing. Schadenfreude and all that, I guess.
posted by cortex at 3:00 PM on June 21, 2006


Well... alright then. I know for sure that I wouldn't have ever seen it if it'd been posted by someone else with that text but, hey, not everyone is me. Next time, context. Promise.

Although the lack of context seemed to work well for dobbs...
posted by reklaw at 3:07 PM on June 21, 2006


...would you seriously have clicked that?

I didn't click it. I might have, if you had put the context. If, in the future, I become a fan of Family Guy or Scrubs, easy access to the thread might be of considerable value.

Then again, my concepts of appropriate explanation and 'cool-sounding'ness are probably a little off..
posted by Chuckles at 3:08 PM on June 21, 2006


reklaw : "Although the lack of context seemed to work well for dobbs..."

I vaguely recall the "linking without description for the sake of adventurousness/mystery" discussion happening long ago, and there wasn't really a concensus (some had no problem with it, some hated it), but the closest people got to agreeing was that the longer the thing being linked to, the less acceptable linking without description was. For example, if there was a great gallery of photos of frogs breakdancing, an FPP consisting only of "Frogs Breakdancing" was considered somewhat acceptable, but if it were a link to a 300 page pdf book about...er...frogs breakdancing, that same FPP description would be insufficient.
posted by Bugbread at 3:14 PM on June 21, 2006


That seems like a pretty good rule of thumb, bugbread.

reklaw: on that note, I mean my offering as a datapoint, nothing more. I dig on the Great Link Adventure thing sometimes, though I usually prefer a compelling description.
posted by cortex at 3:23 PM on June 21, 2006


Thank God we're being protected from things people find interesting. The post was dismissed inline as a "major wankfest". This must be visible from space.
posted by yerfatma at 3:27 PM on June 21, 2006


I'd like to see the breakdancing frogs, please.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:40 PM on June 21, 2006


Supporting links, usually (but not always) unnecessary. Supporting context (like, what the hell is being linked to, in brief), usually (but not always) necessary.

bears repeating over and over again.

and the answer to reklaw's question is as follows: yes, I would have clicked your post if you'd put that in the post text. As it stands, I still haven't clicked it because I refuse to actually watch a video in order to find out if it's the kind of thing I might enjoy watching. Maybe now I'll go watch it, because I like those two shows, and failed pilots intrigue me. Like Amelia Earhardt.
posted by shmegegge at 3:41 PM on June 21, 2006


hell, for a funny video, sometimes just a funny line from the show will do as all the context you need.
posted by shmegegge at 3:42 PM on June 21, 2006


The need for more links to add context or more material is, I think, a very strong indication of the quality of the link. The more it seems like there's a need for other links of commentary, the lower the quality of the link and the less justification for the post.

The reason, though, that there's so much social pressure to provide such supplementary material is because the overall community standards for posts have fallen so much that almost all posts are mediocre and thus need such additional material. I think the answer to that problem is to raise our standards.

How this relates specifically to YouTube is interesting, I think. My sense is that the objections to YouTube are occuring because a certain minority of the MeFi population is more sensitive to mediocre YouTube posts than they are to the other sorts of posts which dominate MeFi. Sadly, they misinterpret their sensitivity and jump to the conclusion that there's something specifically substandard about YouTube posts; when, instead, they should be re-evaluating their general standards and realize that YouTube links are just a specific example of the dominance of mediocre posts on MeFi.

A simple link to a YouTube video should be evaluated on the same basis as every other link: is it really good and unusual and worthy of MeFi's attention completely on its own merits? Most of the them haven't been. But then, most of the rest of the posts these days haven't been, either.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:50 PM on June 21, 2006


The reason, though, that there's so much social pressure to provide such supplementary material is because the overall community standards for posts have fallen so much that almost all posts are mediocre

Most things are average. Let's not attach too much importance here, lest someone play a fun round of "What was posted to Mefi 5 Years Ago Today".
posted by yerfatma at 4:18 PM on June 21, 2006


so, mr_crash_davis' puppy rape post just got deleted. cue metatalk post in 3... 2... 1...
posted by shmegegge at 4:40 PM on June 21, 2006


It's helpful to forget that it's YouTube, and to just judge the video by itself.

YouTube is just some big mother-huge videohosting mirror that everyone and their dog leeches ungodly amounts of bandwidth from.

We've been linking to videos forever - and people bitched all the time 'cause they *couldn't* see the video, because the server would die. People would rip and rehost, set up mirrors, leap through firey hoops to get them back online.

Now we just link to videos that are chunky FLV videos, but everyone gets to see them, basically.
posted by loquacious at 5:13 PM on June 21, 2006


"so, mr_crash_davis' puppy rape post just got deleted. cue metatalk post in 3... 2... 1..."

Not from me, I understand it's a sensitive issue.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:17 PM on June 21, 2006


IMO this sort of thing is better served by a video-filtering web site unless there is something exceptional to share rather than a collection of debatably humorous videos.

That's just one rather lurky user's opinion.
posted by rob paxon at 5:33 PM on June 21, 2006


I like how the dream of universal broadband, and its attendant streams of video to the home, so rhapsodized about as this site was being launched, has brought Metafilter... pain! Pain and gnashing.

In other words, as broadband becomes standard, more and more of the "best of the web" or "good of the web" is going to be in video format whether we like it or not.
posted by furiousthought at 7:06 PM on June 21, 2006


What Ethereal Bligh said. Cubed.

Last year sometime when a similar debate was going on for the umpteenth time, I went poking through the deep dark archives. I think it was one of those "Pining for the fjords Golden Age of Mefi" threads that prompted me, so I was trying to remember when that would have been.

I ran across a thread where Matt linked to a Barbie doll that was being sold on Amazon.com. Single link. No context.

And I really wouldn't have needed a link to a Wikipedia entry about cats to enjoy a kitty or two being splayed across a scanner.

We've still got a looong way to go before the youtube links outnumber the BushSuxors!!!filter links.

I know there's a certain Mefi contingent that gnashes their teeth at the thought of the next Hamster Dance being posted while there's so much pain and suffering in the world that needs to be linked to.

And I'd probably agree, if I didn't know how to type "msnbc.com," "bbc.co.uk," "cnn.com," and "nytimes.com" (among others) into my browser.
posted by Cyrano at 7:22 PM on June 21, 2006


I wouldn't have watched it if you'd said upfront what it was, and I certainly wouldn't have enjoyed wondering "What the fuck is this?" for the first 5 minutes (I didn't read the description on YouTube either).
posted by cillit bang at 7:37 PM on June 21, 2006


"everybody could just label their links 'hot foreplay and steamy sex'"

I'm on to you, you bastard! Fool me once, shame on ..uh.. I won't get fooled again!
posted by graventy at 8:14 PM on June 21, 2006


I've now clicked on the link because I got context from this MeTa callout.
posted by meech at 8:17 PM on June 21, 2006


geoff. writes 'Some context and supporting links would have made it better.'

No, no, triple no. It's all about the links, not 0.2 seconds of googling for "supporting links". Padding is for bras, not posts, silly rabbit.
posted by signal at 8:27 PM on June 21, 2006


I normally agree with signal on this issue, but in this particular case I think that a link that provides no information whatsoever is a little much simply because it IS a half hour of video that you have to decide if you want to watch based on nothing.
posted by shmegegge at 9:11 PM on June 21, 2006


Why not a policy to abolish...

Oh please.
posted by scarabic at 9:51 PM on June 21, 2006


What about a policy to abolish whining.
posted by delmoi at 12:32 AM on June 22, 2006


Don't worry, I have a feeling the copyright gods will find out about YouTube shortly. I've already noticed SNL shorts get taken off fairly quickly. Wait until some exec at Sony catches their daughter on YouTube playing a music video or watching some unreleased TV pilot.

YouTube isn't doing anything illegal. As long as they remove posts when asked they are fine.
posted by delmoi at 12:33 AM on June 22, 2006


What I'm saying is that if I'd put ... would you seriously have clicked that?

Not only would I have not clicked on it, I would not have complained about how much it sucked, because I would never have seen it. What I did do in this case was click the comments first to see what it was, and then check it out so I could add my opinion. If you'd spelled it out I would probably have just skipped over the whole thread.

These days I always try to label my FPPs as exactly what they are. I get fewer complaints and people who aren't interested waste less time. I like to know exactly what I'm clicking on before I click. Maybe that's "Boring" but the content should be what's interesting, not the FPP itself.
posted by delmoi at 12:38 AM on June 22, 2006




I wish we had some context - if I don't know what the link points to, I'm not going to click it. Hell, even copy the description from the Youtube link. Just tell me what it is! There are too many links posted to the blue every day to click every single one without knowing what it is. I agree with signal re: supporting links though.
posted by antifuse at 4:26 AM on June 22, 2006


RIAA C&D's YouTube users

Could we come up with some sort of visual indicator like ^ to let me know if I'm supposed to laugh or cry? I can't tell anymore.
posted by yerfatma at 4:45 AM on June 22, 2006


You're supposed to bash the skulls of your corporatist overlords and feast on the sweet, fatty goo inside. Whether you laugh or cry in the process is entirely up to you, my friend. I recommend both at the same time for maximum catharsis.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:13 AM on June 22, 2006


You're supposed to bash the skulls of your corporatist overlords and feast on the sweet, fatty goo inside.

Yeah, I know that's what I'm supposed to do, but I tried that and there just wasn't anything in there - sweet, fatty, goo or other.

Ok, ok, I lie. There was at least a mixture of some slightly tepid-warm common atmospheric gases that escaped ever so pitiously, but other than that - bupkis.
posted by loquacious at 5:52 AM on June 22, 2006


That's when you do the triple-sockow aerial ass-akimbo move, deposit deny and gollywog-grin, hand it off to the next fool, and go in search of the next easy all-season wool single-breasted kill.

Buffalo girls go 'round the outside.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:57 AM on June 22, 2006


Salchow? Fuck, I dunno.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:59 AM on June 22, 2006


Buffalo girls go 'round the outside (YouTube)
posted by caddis at 6:12 AM on June 22, 2006


Oops, I mean Buffalo Girls go 'round the outside.
posted by caddis at 6:17 AM on June 22, 2006


That's when you do the triple-sockow aerial ass-akimbo move, deposit deny and gollywog-grin, hand it off to the next fool, and go in search of the next easy all-season wool single-breasted kill.

Exactly how many should I try? I cracked open a few thousand the other night over in the heart of Market street and each one was for naught.

And doesn't anyone wear silk or camelhair anymore? My hands are all chafed from grappling with double worsted easy care wool and wool blend lapels. I long for the return of the unisex shawl collar - much better leverage and less seam bursting.

I'm worried that all I accomplished was a short term rise of the Earth's average temperature.

I'm so hungry.
posted by loquacious at 6:35 AM on June 22, 2006


I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL.

Unless there's beer. Then, yeah, well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:41 AM on June 22, 2006


You damn fool, my soul is beer.

Oh, wait. *runs, hides*
posted by loquacious at 6:45 AM on June 22, 2006


Wow, I'd forgotten all about that tune, caddis.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:25 AM on June 22, 2006


I am waiting for someone to post this to the front page, myself.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 8:37 AM on June 22, 2006


Oh no you didn't just bring that unspeakable filth here, you uncouth barbarian. Take it to MetaChat!
posted by loquacious at 9:10 AM on June 22, 2006


reklaw writes "Nobody's Watching (part 2, part 3). A failed sitcom pilot from last year about two guys who love sitcoms, and get called by a studio to make one of their own. By the writers of Scrubs and Family Guy. Youtube, 30 minutes long."

This would have been much better.

reklaw writes "...would you seriously have clicked that? I did have a try at putting in context when I was editing the post, but I can't see any way to do it that doesn't end up over-explained and lame-sounding. In the end, I let it stand alone, which didn't work out well either, but at least maybe a few more people gave it a chance who wouldn't have otherwise."

I wouldn't have, (youtube on mouse over is all I need to skip) but it would have been a much better post none the less. Especially with youtube links that can be anything.

bugbread writes "I vaguely recall the 'linking without description for the sake of adventurousness/mystery' discussion happening long ago"

It's been gone over several times, my Meta about it even inspired the worst example ever.

Cyrano writes "We've still got a looong way to go before the youtube links outnumber the BushSuxors!!!filter links."

For the last seven days it's been close:
  • Today (so far): YouTube 0 : Bush Sux: 1
  • 21st: 2:2
  • 20th: 1:2
  • 19th: 1:0
  • 18th 2:1
  • 17th 0:2
  • 16th: 2:0
posted by Mitheral at 9:20 AM on June 22, 2006


I had forgotten about that. lol.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 11:16 AM on June 22, 2006


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