A Valentine to AskMe October 13, 2006 5:19 PM   Subscribe

A valentine to Ask MetaFilter or if you prefer, an unplanned side-effect of cites.
posted by mdevore to MetaFilter-Related at 5:19 PM (14 comments total)

A MetaFilter-related e-mail came my way yesterday as a 'thank you' note. Specfically it references this question and a cite I gave in the ensuing answers. In the broader picture, the thanks are really not for me, but more properly for ding3r, various AskMe participants, for Matt as site creator, even for Jessamyn as main AskMe administrator. It's a trivial thing -- no famous people, no major media involvements, no life upheavals -- but it's nice.

For the more reserved, as a second effect, I find in the e-mail an interesting point concerning the dynamics of online interaction. You may have long ago reached the conclusion I arrive at as a trifling one, but I am inflicted with a great many personal flaws, failings, and shortcomings, including recurring bouts of primal stupidity.

With all that in mind, the e-mail is reposted here for consideration, with permission of the source, sans salutation and closing:

"I was browsing the internet tonight and came upon a post you made in February on Meta Filter where you cited my undergraduate honor's thesis.

I actually have used my argument that the Warner Bros. musicals of the 1930s present a different Horatio Alger Myth recently to get an adjunct faculty position.

I just wanted to say thanks for the nice comment about it. I'm so excited that another human being besides the history and honors faculty at my undergrad institution read it and found it informative! I'm still floored that someone out there on the internet found and read it, let alone cited it and suggested it to other classic film buffs! You've made my day :)

Thanks again!"


Possibly the content strays too far into MetaChat's carefully staked domain of sentimentality. Possibly, like me, advancing age and permanent cynicism has rotted your heart to leather and chalk. To compensate, here is the logical analysis part: AskMe participants understand that their answers can help subsequent readers of MetaFilter interested in the topic, and those who gain from increased web traffic due to a cite. But I have never considered before that an online cite in an AskMe answer may be beneficial simply by virtue of it recognizing the efforts of the person(s) who created the original source material. Lesson learned.

What chance that this renews an academic's hope that their own undergraduate products of brain-wrack shall not molder deep in a university storage site, unnoticed and unacclaimed? Absolutely none. It's just a simple thank you, for crying out loud. Crikes, I've already dangerously overweighted the e-mail's context with philosophical baggage.
posted by mdevore at 5:19 PM on October 13, 2006

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:01 PM on October 13, 2006

warm fuzzies for MetaTalk's cold, cold heart.
posted by carsonb at 6:59 PM on October 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

This is great, and thanks for sharing.
posted by cgc373 at 7:40 PM on October 13, 2006

That's awesome. I know my own undergraduate and graduate thesises are molding up and gathering dust on a shelf somewhere, so I can identify with how stoked that person was to know some stranger read it and got some use out of it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:32 PM on October 13, 2006

As a recent grad, I would be thrilled if someone mentioned my honors thesis in any setting, so the guy's reaction is very much understandable. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the e-mail.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 9:30 PM on October 13, 2006


theses, damn you.
posted by cortex at 9:46 PM on October 13, 2006


I had exactly the same experience the other day when I met someone who said they had cited an article of mine in their postgrad thesis. It made my week. Thanks for posting the e-mail, it is fantastic that MeFi can make connections like this.
posted by greycap at 11:59 PM on October 13, 2006

I had a bit of a bizarre but similar thing happen to me today.

More than 2 years ago I posted this question about searching for a short audio piece that has influenced my own writing quite a bit.

Today, a non-mefite (I believe; waiting for a confirmation) sent me an mp3.

Thanks Barry K!
posted by dobbs at 9:27 PM on October 14, 2006

Aargh. Corrected MP3 link. (Previous one has dirty words and may not be sfw).
posted by dobbs at 9:28 PM on October 14, 2006

That's awesome, dobbs! "Whose heart would I break?" I found the cassette art, too, for my anal iTunes library management. [direct link to .jpg]
posted by cgc373 at 10:21 PM on October 14, 2006

Thanks, cgc373!

And, Barry confirmed he's not a mefite, but was just googling for more info on the cassette, which he's owned since 1999.
posted by dobbs at 10:50 PM on October 14, 2006

Wait-- if Barry's not a mefite, how'd he email you? I thought profile emails were hidden to non-members...
posted by dersins at 3:14 PM on October 15, 2006

emails in profile, yes.
website addresses, no.
posted by carsonb at 3:17 PM on October 15, 2006

« Older Connect MeTa threads directly to the original...   |   MetaFilter Jobs Success! Newer »

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