Take the Shame out of Shameless Self-Promotion on Metatalk. March 12, 2007 4:46 AM   Subscribe

We need to come up with a solution so that people who post their gigs don't have to pretend they're "Metafilter Gatherings" or "Metafilter Related," and so that they don't get accused of shameless self-promotion or whoring themselves on Metatalk when they post messages such as this or this. They don't quite fit into Projects, but they don't quite belong in any of the categories here.
posted by Dave Faris to Feature Requests at 4:46 AM (41 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I suggest they take it to Metachat, but whats wrong with supporting our fellow Mefites at their gigs? I am kind of on the fence on this one.
posted by wheelieman at 5:14 AM on March 12, 2007


I think expanding the meetups sidebar to include mefite-organised events, with a tab to view them, might be a good idea.
posted by By The Grace of God at 5:16 AM on March 12, 2007


Actually, wouldn't the right place for a sidebar of mefite gigs be in Music?
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:22 AM on March 12, 2007


Well, they're not all musical gigs, so, no.
posted by chrismear at 5:32 AM on March 12, 2007


It would be silly for these events to be posted on metachat unless the person/people posting the event are mechazens.

I think there should be some place for people to post these events, though.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:46 AM on March 12, 2007


This is a horrible, shocking development that deserves a hundred comments. I am so... indifferent. But if you hold this tiny proteinaceous filament still, I will attempt to slice it longitudinally with this miniaturized micro-laser scalpel:

MetaFilter Related seems OK to me. Or perhaps put it into Meh-taFilter Related.
posted by y2karl at 5:55 AM on March 12, 2007


Or perhaps put it into Meh-taFilter Related.

Or I-Gotta-Be-Me-taFilter. Whatever...

posted by y2karl at 5:59 AM on March 12, 2007


It's actually better now. It used to be that listing them as MeFi gatherings obscured the real meetups, but now those are listed in the sidebar.
posted by smackfu at 6:12 AM on March 12, 2007


Such posts have definitely been deleted by Matt before. I also think we need a spot for them--and that Music needs a "gigs" section. I don't think MetaChat is a solution. Not everyone goes there.
posted by dobbs at 6:16 AM on March 12, 2007


I think they out to be deleted or relegated somewhere else. I do not think advertising your life should be a goal of MeTa.
posted by dame at 6:19 AM on March 12, 2007


Try as I might, I can't quite get worked up about this. When it seems like I have mustered sufficient interest I meekly consider that Projects should have a 'website' or 'mefite activity' label choice, but it is not so strong as to be a suggestion.
posted by peacay at 6:22 AM on March 12, 2007


Well, except that actually I'm not trying to advertise my life. I have a huge mailing list and more than enough people set up to come to my gigs when they happen. I don't need to "advertise" myself here nor do I honestly have any desire to. I just appreciate the support people here have given me. If it wasn't for some of the great advice I've gotten from people here when I was trying to figure out what the Hell to do with myself, I probably wouldn't have gotten off my ass to get back to singing.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:27 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


How is a gig that someone wants people to come to any different than a website they want them to come to? It's clearly a Project entry. Why is this even a question?
posted by DU at 6:39 AM on March 12, 2007


Because mathowie has specifically said that Projects is for web projects.
posted by chrismear at 6:43 AM on March 12, 2007


DU, Matt has quite clearly stated that Projects is for web-based material, so no, it is not clearly a Project entry.
posted by peacay at 6:45 AM on March 12, 2007


Well, that's clear enough. Bizarre, but clear.
posted by DU at 6:50 AM on March 12, 2007


Well, all I can say is that I can pretty much guarantee you that both grapefruitmoon and I hesitantly wrote our posts, feeling a bit of dread & fear that we would be called opportunists for writing them. And I believe that neither of us are. Quite the contrary in my case... my main motivation was genuine gratitude.

I do think it would be nice if there was an area where people could simply share and update others on cool things they're doing with people that might be interested. If I saw a Mefite involved in something that sounded fun or interesting to me, I'd love to join in and support them. I'm all for supporting other people's endeavors. Go team go. Rah rah sis boom bah.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:53 AM on March 12, 2007


You can make a post stating you are thankful for help without advertising where people can see you. But, honestly, it isn't personal, and it isn't even about these two most recent posts: it has been discussed before and other people who have posted have gotten much worse guff. I would be happy to see another page (that I never had to look at), but I don't think it is appropriate for MetaTalk.

I guess I just think of it this way: If you are a Mefite and enough of my friend that I care, then I would already know or know how to find out. If I don't, then it is advertising and I don't think that is what MetaTalk is for.
posted by dame at 7:05 AM on March 12, 2007


Well, all I can say is that I can pretty much guarantee you that both grapefruitmoon and I hesitantly wrote our posts, feeling a bit of dread & fear that we would be called opportunists for writing them.

Which, little as I like the dread+fear part of it, is kind of a good thing under the current circumstances. This definitely isn't the first time this sort of thing has come up, and it's been ugly a couple times.

The problem is not the mefite-gig-promotion aspect, though—a post like this now and then seems fine, and I'm big on intra-site gig awareness &c—it's that this sort of thing wouldn't scale well if everyone with a gig were to start posting it to MeTa. It'd be a mess, at that scale, though a post now and then (or, horrors, two in one night!) is completely tenable.

I'd love to see a Gigs section or subsection or what have you, events.metafilter.com or some such, but until it comes along we're pretty much stuck with careful navigation along the thin border between Don't Ever and Too Often.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 AM on March 12, 2007


Solution needed, indeed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:15 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


We could all just agree on a tag to use at Upcoming.org (like, I dunno, 'mefites' or something). Mention it in the sidebar. And then you'd have a page that listed all of the upcoming events by mefites.
posted by chrismear at 7:24 AM on March 12, 2007


Nah, I get it cortex. For me, I just know that when I've posted about my singing, the people who have offered me support say "Let us know how it turns out!" and I realized yesterday that I had no idea how to do that, leastwise without pissing a few people off.

dame wrote: "If you are a Mefite and enough of my friend that I care, then I would already know or know how to find out." but honestly, it's not like I've become close personal friends with anyone on here. Many Mefites don't communicate with eachother aside from our uber-witty banter in posts.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:29 AM on March 12, 2007


it has been discussed before and other people who have posted have gotten much worse guff.

Yeah, I think the last time it actually got to the point where people were saying "stop posting your self-promotion -- we don't care".
posted by smackfu at 7:35 AM on March 12, 2007


I guess adding something to Projects might be one way, but there's no way to "vote" on an upcoming gig that hasn't happened yet, which is why I made it exclusively for web content people could check out.

An events sub-site is another possibility, but it's tough because as with most things, the first few people that post to them (like miss lynster, etc) would post great stuff that people would want to go see and support well-known members. But thinking a year or two down the line, and it's more that it'd be a super random bulletin board covered in posts about every crazy little thing by a gazillion unknown new members. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but we have to judge whether it'd still be useful to get a new item in an RSS feed that told me "magillacutty is now teaching jazzercise at the Tacoma Y on Tuesday nights at 6pm".

There's no good place for it now, but before I make something specifically for it, we need to think about a way to do it while trying to encourage gigs that a member put a lot of time and effort into so that it doesn't just turn into a weak self-promotion thing.

Does that distinction make sense? I mean, I'd rather see one post saying a mefite is going on a tour with his band and here's the tour dates page instead of every little coffee shop show on the other side of the country being a post.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:43 AM on March 12, 2007


Oh, hey! Speaking of which! Can I post about my jazzercise classes too? jk.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:57 AM on March 12, 2007


but honestly, it's not like I've become close personal friends with anyone on here. Many Mefites don't communicate with eachother aside from our uber-witty banter in posts.

That is my point. If you don't know someone well enough to email them or look at their blog, then you are just using a post as free advertising. And MeFites aren't hard to get to know if you want to. But apparently you weren't interested enough to do so until you wanted them to support you? It may be that plenty of people don't see it that way, but I do, and that is why I dislike it very much.
posted by dame at 7:58 AM on March 12, 2007


Well, it could be as simple as just adding another option in the drop down menu. But taking any action, I guess, would tacitly approve of every sort of gig. I don't see how you can reasonably make a distinction between a national tour and a poetry reading at a coffee house in Podunk, Iowa.

It's really an all-or-nothing issue, and I personally come down on the side of nothing. Or you could just bring back the text ads.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:02 AM on March 12, 2007


Yeah, you're right. I'm a totally sucky self-absorbed sociopathic user. Yay for me!

No dame, actually... it's because I am making a lot of friends in the real world already. I never came on here to make more. After Mefi had a FPP about my design website, I came here to check it out and liked it. I come here for the community & for the dialogue & discussion. Metafilter makes me think & write about stuff & I like how intelligent the community is. I really enjoy it.

I get that you dislike what I did for your own reasons. You're making it far more than clear. However, the reasons you are projecting onto me are ones that I'm not going to shoulder or feel bad for here because honestly don't relate to them. I will not say it again... I am not inviting people because I am trying to be self-promotional and need people at my gigs. First off, it's a packed luxury hotel so there's a built-in audience even if I didn't have a fan base. I was simply trying to reach out because I appreciate what people have ALREADY done for me here. I may have not worded it well, but the fact is that being able to sing for people is simply a gift I WANTED TO GIVE. It's something I'm good at. It's something I do that people seem to really seriously enjoy & that's what makes me love doing it. (I have a very good paying day job. I don't NEED a night job too.) If you don't get that, that's fine.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:25 AM on March 12, 2007


The title of this post says it all really. I don't think grapefruitmoon or I have a thing to be ashamed of.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:25 AM on March 12, 2007


How about adding an 'upcoming events' section in the user profiles, which when added to causes the username links to change in some noticeable but unobtrusive way - like the gold star for the competition winners or maybe underlined or something like that. Throw in some RSS feeds per user and you've got a handy way of tracking individual mefites upcoming gigs/events/whatever if you wanted without being in-your-face for the rest of the community. Dunno how feasible/sensible that is but just throwing it out there.
posted by TwoWordReview at 8:31 AM on March 12, 2007


miss lynnster, dame didn't call you a totally sucky self-absorbed sociopath, and nobody thinks you are. Relax. We're all trying to figure out this issue together; it's been a tangled web for months.

I think her point illustrates a common view of those who don't care to see personal events posted in Metatalk (and if you have any doubt that it's common, feel free to review my MeTa posting history). And Metatalk isn't really where things like that belong, so I think it's valid. I also think it would be cool to have some sort of calendar section to see what non-web events users are involved in creating. But if matthowie & company decide that personal events are a no-no anywhere on the site, I think that's not completely out of line.

I will not say it again... I am not inviting people because I am trying to be self-promotional and need people at my gigs

The title of the post does say it all- you were being (at least a little) self-promotional, and some of us don't think that's a bad thing. No shame! We're just trying to figure if there's a place for self-promotion of this kind in the Metafilter community. And I say if there isn't, there should be!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:41 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


And BTW, some of us don't have blogs. This is the only place I ever write.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:43 AM on March 12, 2007


We could just have a MeTa "gigs" category, maybe?
posted by boo_radley at 8:46 AM on March 12, 2007


miss lynnster's post seemed fine to me as a natural follow-up to her question in AskMe and participation in Music. grapefruitmoon probably should have posted hers around the opening and invited folks as a kind of meetup; without that element, it kinda does open the door to magillucuddy jazzercise land.
posted by mediareport at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2007


Yeah, the problem is purely one of scale. Which is why the fear and dread is A-OK, frankly. It does keep the number small, and people hesitant. In a Zoidberg voice: "The system works! Yay!"
posted by klangklangston at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2007


Actually, though it was completely unintentional, if you take the title of this thread literally, you end up with "Less Self-Promotion."
posted by Dave Faris at 8:51 AM on March 12, 2007


The thought of Mefites doing jazzercise together frightens me.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can sing for it, though! :)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:59 AM on March 12, 2007


Dame, miss lynster's post was obviously a follow-up to an AskMe, which is pretty common on MetaTalk. She also seems to be extending a general thank you to people here who have supported her and encouraged her over the past little while to return to performing. The obvious follow up from a sub-set of people who've previously expressed interest in miss lynster's career in a thread that says "thanks everybody, I got the gig!" is going to be "great! where can we hear you?" It's not unreasonable that she anticipated that and provided the info.

Tracking down the email of every person in an AskMe or Music post who offered help/encouragement, or expressed an interest in misslynster's career seems ridiculous, when there is an established custom of putting follow-ups on MeTa. While I agree that there are obvious problems with announcing personal projects in general, miss lynster's particular case can be distinguished from a general announcement because of the help she received and the thanks that she is giving. This gig is metafilter-related because of the help she received here, and I find it interesting and pleasant to know that a member's experiences here have had positive ramifications in other parts of her life. It's part of what makes answering AskMe questions, and in general participating on this site seem worthwhile, and if miss lynster had emailed people individually, I would have missed out on that.

I can understand the logistical problems of allowing people to make these kinds of announcements. Even if Matt implemented a requirement like having received help/encouragement from metafilter (meaning that the gig/event is metafilter related), there might be way to many and way to random an assortment of posts. While it's nice to hear follow-ups like misslynster's, I can understand if such posts are deemed inappropriate because of the cumulative impact of such posts. However, accusations about miss lynster's character or motivation are way out of proportion to any problem that her post caused.

on preview: TPS, Dame's comments were obviously intended to be insulting. You might agree with her opinion, but it's a bit disingenuous to suggest that an insult wasn't there.

also, TwoWordReview's idea seems like a really good solution.
posted by carmen at 9:04 AM on March 12, 2007


Maybe this is where a "more inside" option for MetaTalk would come in handy.

Hey, MetaFilter! Thanks for the advice. Hugs for everyone! [MI]
————
I'm taking your advice on the road, wanna come?

Probably only a very slight deterrent to MeTa poopy-pants problem children, but eh—
posted by carsonb at 9:04 AM on March 12, 2007


I think the takeaway is we need to think about it a bit more and come up with a solution that strikes some happy middle ground between not being in everyone's face and not being a subsite no one visits, and the stuff on it has to be somewhere in the middle between super huge offline project announcement and thousands of teeny little microevent announcements.

I'm sure we'll come up with something but it'll probably take a few more months of thinking about it.

[closed because we don't need another nasty thread attacking people's motivations for promotion, and I think this has been as productive as it can be.]
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:13 AM on March 12, 2007


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