Boot the old, bring in the new November 12, 2001 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Apologies for being persistent re new membership. How about gracioulsy booting members off that have not posted a link after 1 (or 3 or 6) months to give eager new members a chance ? (of course, there may be no such animal)
posted by Voyageman to Feature Requests at 9:41 PM (30 comments total)

What about posting comments?

And I don't like your idea. But that's just me.
posted by j.edwards at 9:49 PM on November 12, 2001

Me neither. Voyageman: stick to the thread you just initiated a moment ago.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:53 PM on November 12, 2001

OK . I will go back here but this is not over yet.
posted by Voyageman at 9:56 PM on November 12, 2001

Think that proposal through. What would happen if each of our over 12,000 members posted just 2 links a year? That's 65 links a day, 365 days a year. MetaFilter would be unreadable.

MetaFilter is at it's best when the links are much less frequent but of outstanding quality.
posted by gd779 at 9:59 PM on November 12, 2001

I do agree. Sorry, I meant to include comments too. More in the prior thread.
posted by Voyageman at 10:10 PM on November 12, 2001

What if I was busy for a year or whatever? I come back and, yes, MetaFilter is still here, but my beautiful account has been deleted. Man, that would suck.

Plus, if someone's not active, why delete their account? They're not active, right? So no server load. Same thing, really, except we might lose people permanently when we give them the snub.

I worry about stuff like this at night.

I mean, look at it this way. People that suck majorly get their accounts deleted (I think). Are we saying that if you don't post links/comments you suck? I mean, come on.
posted by gleemax at 12:54 AM on November 13, 2001

They're not active, right? So no server load.

Precisely. The idea would delete long-term users who for whatever reason (loss of internet-connection, ill-health, travel, Study, and so on) are inactive, for users who for the most part wish to dive in and get posting. The server load would increase. The other thing is that I really miss some of the people who used to post here. I like to think that some of them might return.

Re posting comments rather than links (I appreciate that's not what you meant to say, but some users have recently made a similar comment) One of the problems here is that at times there are too many people posting links. It seems that during these times, the over-all quality of first page links posted is lower than when people are more restrained. If everyone at MeFi posted even one link per week, every two weeks, or even every month, it would be rapidly become unusable.

I too have a friend who tried to log on at a busy time but has given up for the time being, so I know where you are coming from. I hope that both our friends can log on soon.
posted by lucien at 2:35 AM on November 13, 2001

What is the current price of a logon on the black market? There must be dozens of people who don't use their logons and would be happy to sell them for almost nothing.
posted by pracowity at 4:03 AM on November 13, 2001

Posting shouldn't be a requirement for membership.
posted by todd at 4:36 AM on November 13, 2001

I read Metafilter (and Metatalk) daily. However, since I joined on November 15, 2000, I've only posted 10 comments. While I like reading the discussions, I rarely feel the need to comment, for various reasons. Until this comment, I haven't posted for 2 months. But you better believe I want my membership to remain intact for the next time I want to comment.
posted by xsquared-1 at 5:33 AM on November 13, 2001

Got that, Voyageman? How would xsquared-1 - and all the other thousands of users who are active - be able to even comment when someone suggested nixing their accounts? If there's going to be any nixing - lest you forget - it's going to be us arrivistes that are going to get it in the neck. My guess is anything over 10K will be toast if the plug is pulled. That's torradas in Portuguese. Scarier, no? But, to get down to important matters, so what nickname will Q.T.Oakland be using, if she's to be presented before(shivers)The Board? :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:22 AM on November 13, 2001

A greed with X-Squared, what about those of us that come to read? My comments are already useless enough to the community, why pressure me into making more of them?

Imagine the drop in front-page post quality if people are forced to post.
posted by remlapm at 6:51 AM on November 13, 2001

You'll take my cabal-esque user number when you pry it from my cold, dead hands Voyageman.
If I had to post just to keep my membership alive I'd be posting crap for no reason. At least this way you only have to read my comments when I have something to add to a conversation.

Feel free to take issue with the above statement.
posted by Markb at 7:58 AM on November 13, 2001

Voyageman, more people posting does not mean better signal to noise ratio. Markb and remlapm have a good point. In general, it's good to think about what the unintended consequences of any "good idea" might be before enacting them. (Please hear the positive intent rather than putting a snotty tone into that last sentence.)
posted by pomegranate at 8:11 AM on November 13, 2001

Ok. OK. Since what I thought was a well intentioned, reasonable idea is really crappy and prone to countless unintended consequences (I faintly recall Max Weber's "unintended consequences of routinized social action"), let's return to the core problem (It is a problem, isnt it?). Given finite resources, how might desirable prospective new members join the fray? Are they destined to sliver in the shadows forever?
posted by Voyageman at 9:02 AM on November 13, 2001

PS 1 If one wishes only to read, why become and stay a member ?
PS 2 and MC Re QT - familiar with "Where's Waldo?", well new version is "Where's QT? ." Could be anywhere, any time , any place. Your challenge is finding her. No clues, no hints.
posted by Voyageman at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2001

PS 1 If one wishes only to read, why become and stay a member ?

1. Because that way MeFi will track which trheads you've read and which you haven't.

2. The member discounts.
posted by rodii at 10:14 AM on November 13, 2001

1. Thanks, got it.
2. And I paid FULL price for my two coffee mugs. I'm a dope.
posted by Voyageman at 10:22 AM on November 13, 2001

Yuh, I'm with everyone else. Been a member for almost a year and a half now, and I've only posted a handful of links. And that was a while back. Personally, I don't like posting links anymore so I don't do it. I stick to the commenting although I've cut back on that too lately.
posted by tomorama at 11:27 AM on November 13, 2001

User contraction is bad for baseball much like franchise contraction is bad for MeFi.

No, wait, I wrote that wrong...
posted by TacoConsumer at 12:52 PM on November 13, 2001

As I understand it - and I may be wrong - being a member merely gives you the right to post, versus being in 'read-only' status.

The server load would not neccessarily decrease if you deleted the Ability to post from people who are currently 'read only' anyway. The total server numbers no doubt include not only the less verbose members, but also the non-posting readers as well. As long as Mefi continues to be compelling, the readers and server load will continue to increase.

The members numbers are a paper tiger: doubtless many of those listed as members since inception onwards have moved on since. The true state of Mefi at the moment is pretty much told simply by the 'unique user' numbers from the net log on the server. The whole member thing boils down to who can post, and who cannot.

As to a solution: perhaps moving past the grandfathered members, a new system of 'guest posting' might be instilled, in which 300 or so posting privledges are available on a rotating basis based on a 3 month rotation. Perhaps, as matt sees fit, those guest posters who show strong quality of comment and content can be contacted and invited in on a tenured basis. As Voyageman suggests, perhaps inactive accounts spanning better than a year could be lapsed out and thrown into the 'guest posting' pool. Those who have not posted in a year would then have the same chance to attain 'guest poster' sytatus as those who have been lurking for a year, and we wouldn't have quite so many empty but reserved parking spots.

Just a thought.
posted by Perigee at 4:46 PM on November 13, 2001

Okay... it's my turn.

I joined MeFi in March of this year, and learned quickly how to act here. I don't want to make it sound like being here is like a dictator ship and that disrupters will be send to MetaSiberia. The goal of MeFi, as I see it, is civilized conversation about interesting tidbits of the Internet.

I've only posted twice in that time. Once about the XFL and another about Stile. I am embarrassed that both are on my permanent record.

Recently I have been trying to hone my commenting skills. As you'll see above, I attempted to be witty and I am proud of it.

We are all proud of MeFi. I am too. Over the past weeks and months, many of us have tried to add our thoughts of how to make things better. Almost all require Matt to do a lot more programming.

I'm trying to think back at what makes me hesitant to post, and I think I know what it is. It's my ID number. I'm #5015. I'm not exactly a newbie and I'm definitely not a veteran. I feel humbled by my number, it keeps me in line.

But I'm finding out that ID numbers don't mean much. MiguelCardoso is #10947 and is one of the best commenters here.

So what can be done about anarchist MeFiers and server loads? Well, the newbie freeze is a great start. And I'm trying to do my part by using lofiMeFi.

But what would I do if I were a MeFiGod? I'd establish a ranking system much like in the army. Matt would be General and I'd probably be an Lance Corporal, 3rd class. And our superiors would vote us up the ladder.

User #13000 signs up and is issued the rank of Newbie, 3rd class. Next to every comment and post they make is a button marked "promotion" that can only be seen by members of higher classes. Enough promotions and she becomes a Newbie, 2nd class and up the chain.

Any desire for a users demotion would have to be written to a very high ranking member and for only serious offenses.

How I would rank 'em:

Members (9 levels)
Newbie 3rd, 2nd, 1st class: No real power, just learning the ropes
Junior MeFier 3rd, 2nd, 1st class: Recommend Newbies for Promotion
Senior MeFier 3rd, 2nd, 1st: Recommend Newbies and JrMeFiers for Promotion

Junior Op: Recommend All Members for Promotion and Demotion, Recommend post removals
Senior Op: Recommend Members and JrOps for Promotion, Power to Demote Members and JrOps, Power to Suspend Posts
Major Op: Recommend Members, Jr&SrOps for Promotion, Power to Demote Members, Jr&SrOps, Power to Suspend Posts and Members.
Mathowie: Omnipotent. Promote, Demote, Suspend and Ban Members and Ops. Power to Kill posts and Reinstate Suspended Posts

Just an idea. It might be fun. We could have badges!
posted by TacoConsumer at 8:29 PM on November 13, 2001

I made Star Trek like rank things!

These would go next to the usernames
posted by TacoConsumer at 9:23 PM on November 13, 2001

I made Star Trek like rank things!

These would go next to the usernames
posted by TacoConsumer at 9:23 PM on November 13, 2001

Just my luck, now I'm gonna get demoted!
posted by TacoConsumer at 9:25 PM on November 13, 2001

Nah, you'll be OK, TacoConsumer. Besides, demoted to what? There's nothing below our one-blue-balled-newbie status anyway. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:52 PM on November 13, 2001

Sorry, Miguel, there is one last rank
posted by Voyageman at 5:23 AM on November 14, 2001

You set me up, didnt you.
posted by Voyageman at 5:41 AM on November 14, 2001

You forgot special rankings for those of us with under a 150-numbered user number.


And it's silly to delete old users. And I'm still completely confused as to why this would give new users a 'chance', anyway.
posted by rich at 2:05 PM on November 14, 2001

Well, it's not like there's an infinite number of user numbers available.
posted by rodii at 6:25 PM on November 15, 2001

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