MeFi Classifieds November 23, 2006 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter Classfieds?

Ok, we're now doing projects, jobs, general advice....why aren't we doing classifieds?
posted by filmgeek to Feature Requests at 3:08 PM (51 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I was thinking about this over thanksgiving (yeah, it was more than a bit boring at my parents.)

Why aren't we doing classifieds?

First, you could require that everyone have an email (and postal?) address (even if the postal address was hidden.) It's a bit tougher to cheat a community that you're a member for.

Also, you already have lots of paypal info and could even charge, say $2 or so a listing.

I'd rather buy stuff from my community than from strangers.

Oh, having nothing to do with this, I still want Jabber back.
posted by filmgeek at 3:09 PM on November 23, 2006


Seconded on the Jabber.
posted by By The Grace of God at 3:12 PM on November 23, 2006


my one worry, if i were mathowie, would be that making a mefi classifieds would quickly destroy the community atmosphere of mefi. i imagine this happening because if you look at askme, you'll notice that a lot of askme contributors, and the significant portion of mefi's current active userbase, are people who only joined for askme. if we had a section where people could actually make money directly through the site, as they could in a classified ad, i think membershp would explode and suddenly you're not looking at the classifieds of a tight knit community. you're looking at the same thing you'd see in any other classified page. further, it would probably become the priority of mathowie and jessamyn to maintain that portion of the site above all others if this happened, much as askme (if i understand things correctly) takes more time to maintain than meta and mefi.

this isn't to say that the blue would be overrun or anything. i'm just saying that a classifieds portion of the site wouldn't maintain that community nature of the site, and might be a hindrance to it.

now that i think about it: wouldn't it also open the site up to more legal and financial liability to users, since they might be trying to use it to earn money, steal money and all that?

again, i'm not saying it's a bad idea, but those would be my concerns if it were my site.
posted by shmegegge at 3:25 PM on November 23, 2006 [2 favorites]


I can't speak to the legal aspect, but I think shmegegge is spot on with regard to the impact on the community.
posted by danb at 3:40 PM on November 23, 2006


FISH SEEKS PANTS FOR COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP
Non-smoker, No fatties or SUV owners.
Box X
posted by quonsar at 3:41 PM on November 23, 2006


Legally - tons of website seem to manager this.

As to community...c'mon...meta is full of crap over criticism.

I think it's totally the revers - I just would rather buy something from someone who is part of this community than someone who is a stranger.

oh yeah, I almost forgot. Jabber
posted by filmgeek at 3:42 PM on November 23, 2006


I think it's totally the revers - I just would rather buy something from someone who is part of this community than someone who is a stranger.

What shmegegge is saying is that the opportunity to make money would draw in more members (or "strangers"), and MeFi would no longer be the community you think it is: "i think membershp would explode and suddenly you're not looking at the classifieds of a tight knit community. you're looking at the same thing you'd see in any other classified page."
posted by danb at 3:47 PM on November 23, 2006


I just would rather buy something from someone who is part of this community than someone who is a stranger.

Then it'd need to be restricted to people who'd been members who had been registered for a year, or made 100 comments, or whatever. Otherwise it'd be like Projects, where you quite often see 'strangers' signing up just to shill their site.

More generally, it seems like a fairly terrible idea for the reasons shmegegge outlines above.
posted by jack_mo at 3:53 PM on November 23, 2006


There would be big problems the first time someone got scammed (e.g. paid for something that never got sent to them). eBay and Paypal can barely handle this (or just can't handle it) - what makes you think two admins who don't operate 24 hours a day will be able to deal with all the complaints and scams?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:01 PM on November 23, 2006


MetaFilter is under no obligation to be either consistent or comprehensive. Matt Haughey's middle name isn't "Craig".
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:02 PM on November 23, 2006


By the way, who's this "we", Kimosabe?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:03 PM on November 23, 2006


Please don't do it.
posted by rbs at 4:04 PM on November 23, 2006


We shouldn't breed.

At least not you guys.
posted by bardic at 4:04 PM on November 23, 2006


Instead of classifieds, with their possible community impact, how about Swaps?

F'rinstance, I've got a guitar (black, Barracuda, w/canvas case, compression pedal, two tuners and accessories) that I would trade for a Zoombox.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:20 PM on November 23, 2006


Were this idea to be implemented, I'd totally sell my ability to favourite a post or a comment.

My classified would read something like "Got a crappy FPP or comment that you want to artificially make suck less? For $5 I'll favourite your shitty post or comment and impart upon it a plastic veneer of coolness."

In all seriousness though, yeah, I think that a Meta-Classifieds section would be cool.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:20 PM on November 23, 2006


The reason to trade with people here vs ebay or craigs would be a supposed extra trust factor. Count how many people you think you really know here. Is that number large enough to support an active general classifieds function? Is it 10,000? 1000? 100? couple dozen?
posted by scheptech at 4:26 PM on November 23, 2006


Mattslist.Metafilter.com
posted by blue_beetle at 4:27 PM on November 23, 2006


I think Metafilter should have a swimming pool. Why aren't we doing a swimming pool?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:35 PM on November 23, 2006


The reason to trade with people here vs ebay or craigs would be a supposed extra trust factor.

Yes, and there's no better way to destroy the trust here than to bring financial transactions into the picture!
posted by Pollomacho at 4:43 PM on November 23, 2006


I think Metafilter should have a swimming pool. Why aren't we doing a swimming pool?

What do you think Matt does with all the $5 payments he gets for all the sock puppets. He's got a big pool filled with cash that he swims in like Scrooge McDuck. What, you thought it went to overhead and servers?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:45 PM on November 23, 2006


Good God no....
posted by fixedgear at 4:48 PM on November 23, 2006


Effigy 2000 - surely your esteemed seal would be worth at least $10.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:29 PM on November 23, 2006


Classifieds would be great, but the administrative effort would be as large as Ask, or the front page. That doesn't seem to be in the cards..

The legal issues are a red herring, because lots of forums already do Buy-Sell-Trade (BST) subsites, and they aren't being shut down right left and centre. Also, the "our community would dissolve" argument is absurdly hyperbolic. Sure, BST forums attract new members to forums, and those members often only participate in the BST forums, but exactly how is BST less community oriented than any other activity that people partake in?


Hmm.. You know how a lot of people share usernames between here and MetaChat? Maybe what MetaFilter needs is a convenient way of confirming identity so that the MetaChat model can be repeated for any type of site a motivated user wants to create. Including Favours and BST and anything else you can imagine.

In fact it would be very easy.. All you need is an always open thread on MetaFilter where members can post identity confirming comments. Then, when you sign up with a MetaFilter username on a sister site, you just tell the sister site what you will say in the always open comment thread at MetaFilter. The sister site checks MetaFilter for the comment, and checks that the comment was left after the sign up attempt. Done.
posted by Chuckles at 5:29 PM on November 23, 2006


Heh, you don't even need that actually.. You just need to tell the sister site that you will be commenting in thread X with a given string of text. You could even make sure that your comment was on topic and appropriate for the thread you are commenting in.
posted by Chuckles at 5:32 PM on November 23, 2006


"Effigy 2000 - surely your esteemed seal would be worth at least $10."
posted by Samuel Farrow at 11:29 AM AEST on November 24

Actually I've had it independently valued at around $50 but I've always considered myself a charitable soul so $5 it is.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:39 PM on November 23, 2006


exactly how is BST less community oriented than any other activity that people partake in?

Money.

Aside from that there is a totally different dynamic. Right now the MeFi realm is confined to open sharing of ideas, humor and talk, a BST entitiy would be based instead in one person having a tangible something that he/she is only willing to share for a price.

Right now MeFi is freecycle, this proposes to make it ebay or craigslist at best.

Yes, MeJobs does have a financial and a have/have-not element, however there is no obligation to provide what is offered. If the candidates do not fit the requirements for the position, well, that's simply it.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:42 PM on November 23, 2006


jabber pls tia
posted by 31d1 at 5:45 PM on November 23, 2006


I think you need to look much harder at how you earn the money you live off of Pollomacho.

Economics is embedded in all aspects of life and culture.
Polanyi is remembered today as the originator of a substantivist approach to economics, which emphasized the way economies are embedded in society and culture. This worked against mainstream economics but was popular in anthropology and political science. His book The Great Transformation also became a model for historical sociology.
Yes, MeJobs does have a financial and a have/have-not element, however there is no obligation to provide what is offered. If the candidates do not fit the requirements for the position, well, that's simply it.

All my pants are smokin', so they won't suit quonsar's fish, that's simply it.
posted by Chuckles at 5:59 PM on November 23, 2006


Seems to me shmegegge's hammer hit this nail so squarely on the head that there is no need for further comment.

Except for this little poem which I'd like to share with you all at this time:

shmegegge's hammer nailed it on the head
it's time to put this bad idea to bed
matt haughey ain't no clerk
this thing would never work
In closing, I say: what shmegegge said
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:43 PM on November 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


One way around the people joining just for the ads thing would to just make them not be visible (at all) to anyone not logged in. They wouldn't even see a link to them.

I'm neither for or against them, though I'm a Craigslist junkie.
posted by dobbs at 7:15 PM on November 23, 2006


Matt, please live our lives for us. Thank you.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 PM on November 23, 2006


Chuckles: Sort of like a Drupal account?
posted by niles at 7:52 PM on November 23, 2006


Seeking palantiri.
Will trade 1 giant flaming magma whip.
email in profile.
kthxbye
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:10 PM on November 23, 2006


I love in-character posts.
posted by cgc373 at 8:22 PM on November 23, 2006


Once money enters into it (in a context outside of user to mathowie), it's going to cause nothing but headaches.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:18 PM on November 23, 2006


Only if there is a discussion thread under each classified ad, so we can all rip it apart and get into flame fests over the authenticity of that purse or the nose hair maintenance habits of the poster.
posted by knave at 9:20 PM on November 23, 2006


Also, the "our community would dissolve" argument is absurdly hyperbolic.

Well, then it's a good thing no one is making that argument.
posted by shmegegge at 9:52 PM on November 23, 2006


MeBay
posted by Pollomacho at 10:24 PM on November 23, 2006


Instead of new features, how about making it so we can have our beloved images back?

Don't make me break out the GIF -> ASCII art converter again.
posted by public at 2:15 AM on November 24, 2006


Is the blink tag back? I've seen several blinking comments lately.
posted by sveskemus at 4:35 AM on November 24, 2006


MY GOD! IT IS BACK!!!

I foresee blinking ASCII art in the near future.
posted by sveskemus at 4:35 AM on November 24, 2006


I foresee blinking ASCII art in the near future.

*strangles sveskemus*

Tragic, but necessary.
posted by mediareport at 5:53 AM on November 24, 2006


                                                                         ,dNMMMM
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       lkkl  .okk:         .dc          ..'...       .'. '.                   '
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     cx. ckc .xc  lx::o: .dkc.lkc,lk;   .'. .'...'. .'. '.  .'                 d
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    .,.l.';.,.:,, ;, .,.c.'c,:';;.'.,., .  :'.:';;.'   ,:.;.,           ..:KMMMM
                           .                    ..                  ..,dWMMMMMMM
                                                               .':oOWMMMMMMMMMMM


posted by public at 6:53 AM on November 24, 2006


sveskemus writes 'I foresee blinking ASCII art in the near future.'

*shudders, sets browser.blink_allowed to false*
posted by jack_mo at 6:56 AM on November 24, 2006


Actually we used to have community text ads long ago. Didn't seem to cause any widespread destruction, but the ads were quite small.

If the classifieds required a fee to post, I could see them as being useful.
posted by delmoi at 8:56 AM on November 24, 2006


I think we can solve the image issue with our own image forum.

MefiChan anyone?
posted by Jimbob at 9:13 AM on November 24, 2006


me5chan
posted by 31d1 at 10:16 AM on November 24, 2006


Hi!
posted by Ceiling Cat at 10:50 AM on November 24, 2006


/eats ceiling cat
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:55 AM on November 25, 2006


Classifieds would add even more load to the system; doesn't ColdFusion crash enough already?
posted by mrbill at 10:57 PM on November 25, 2006


2000 Honda Accord, 56K, 4 cyl, gold, cloth interior, lots of crap in the trunk. Slow leak left rear tire. I keep a hide-a-key in the front bumper, but I trust you since this is Metafilter.
$7k OBO
posted by johngumbo at 9:24 PM on November 26, 2006


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