From the AskMe thread: May 18, 2007 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Is Metafilter too labyrinthine, for a new comer at least? I’ve been here for a couple of months now, and I’ve gotten to know a few people, but I still don’t feel as if I’ve become a part of the community yet? Not sure if that’s my fault, may be I should post more often, or comment more in other peoples’ threads, or post better FPPs, but the question’s been on my mind for some time now. It just feels like a tough nut to crack. I am still trying though.
posted by hadjiboy to MetaFilter-Related at 7:54 PM (246 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

I hear you, I agree. I've been here like 6 years and I still can't figure out how to search for a double post. I think its all about patience and dedication - you have to read every day, often, and then maybe just start throwing it out there.
posted by tristeza at 8:05 PM on May 18, 2007


Oops, but I also think that's what makes this place great - not just any fuckhead can fit in and be welcome, you know?
posted by tristeza at 8:05 PM on May 18, 2007


I dropped that user an email with a bunch of different places to check including here, the faq and just emailing me or cortex or mathowie. I agree, the place has gotten biggish, maybe we need a good intro built into the wiki or something that we can point to.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 PM on May 18, 2007


my user number is under 1200 and I am mostly ignored. that is a good thing. you can sit back and relax or poke the bears. be careful what you wish for, hadjiboy, or just might get it.

meetups are fun, but probably hard to get a good turnout in your area
posted by terrapin at 8:14 PM on May 18, 2007


What do you feel you're missing out on by not "being part of the community", hadjiboy?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:16 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


jessamyn - totally. that's the problem, everything is so scattered. why do i have to go to some random user's wiki to learn to to search? why do i see my favorites in like 4 places? why can i not search by username? by tag? it makes no sense (compared to other sites).
posted by tristeza at 8:17 PM on May 18, 2007


Did I just hear someone say "weeaboo"?
posted by puke & cry at 8:20 PM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's scattered because everyone hates change, so the only way to do new stuff is to glob it onto the side of what is already there.

Look at the recent changes to the favorites: some people are incredibly adamant about keeping the particulars of the old format.
posted by smackfu at 8:21 PM on May 18, 2007


Maybe there is a value add opportunity here:

$5 - Basic membership
$20 - Membership including a full colour gloss introduction magazine
$25 - Same as above but including handy pull out quick glance guide to commenting
$65 - Same as above but signed by jessamyn
$65 - Same as above but signed by mathowie
$85 - Same as above but signed by cortex
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:23 PM on May 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


What are you guys talking about? This is not a social networking site. MetaChat is better for that. Here we comment on the links or the subject of the links, rather than engage in social conversations. You may be looking for something that is just fundamentally different than this site.

That being said, many deep friendships, and even marriages, have come about from people meeting each other on MeFi. To participate go beyond the comment to emails and chat. It is an extremely friendly group, even the prickly sorts are friendly in the one on one.
posted by caddis at 8:24 PM on May 18, 2007


Someone's sucking up to cortex.
posted by smackfu at 8:24 PM on May 18, 2007


Related.
posted by puke & cry at 8:25 PM on May 18, 2007


well, there was the longboat too, but mathowie sank it
posted by caddis at 8:25 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


What do you feel you're missing out on by not "being part of the community", hadjiboy?

The kind of atmosphere that we have at Mecha. Although I see it here, it's only between a few users.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:26 PM on May 18, 2007


Dude, you're hadjiboy. That's scary. You frighten people. Get yourself a sock puppet and call it "fluffy bunny slippers" or something.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:26 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


PS - This is the only site I read all day long; I click on it (MeFi, MeTa, AskMe) at least 1000 times a day and am seriously diehard. I'm not a casual browser, and I still find the interface frustrating and convoluted [NOT CONVOLUTIST].
posted by tristeza at 8:26 PM on May 18, 2007


Mr_crash_davis, are you perhaps mistaking hadjiboy's username for jihadboy?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:29 PM on May 18, 2007


No, I was just being flippant.

Or maybe I mean Flipper.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:31 PM on May 18, 2007


I am still trying though.

Well... let's ask the experts:

Neato.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:53 AM on April 10


sweet!
posted by rxrfrx at 10:24 AM on April 4


Thanks for your posts hadjiboy they give a bit of breadth to this largely americacentric website.
posted by adamvasco at 5:48 AM on March 19


Cool - thanks hadjiboy!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:50 PM on March 10


Sounds like you've got the hang of it.
posted by hangashore at 8:35 PM on May 18, 2007


why do i have to go to some random user's wiki to learn to to search?

because the wiki is the place that all users can edit so it's a better place for collaborative projects like this one to start. If something awesome happens there, we can move it over here. If we have to wait for one of us to have time to do something like this, it will not happen. It's the metafilter wiki, it's not that random.

why do i see my favorites in like 4 places?

Because we're trying to make them easy to find?

why can i not search by username? by tag?

You can get RSS feeds for both of these things, and you can do a search by tag on every section of the site that has tags.

I understand your point, but MeFi has in many ways grown organically and so some of the stuff is stuck on to the other stuff in ways that don't seem prticularly commonsensical somtimes. However, we do have a faq, we do take requests, we have been making changes that almost all the users seem to have liked [which is sort of amazing in and of itself] such as the one on the user profiles so you can see your activity in one location. Your favorites are also in one location:

http://www.metafilter.com/favorites/15511

I'd be interested to see an example of a site that has both 50,000-ish users and no annual fee that does a significantly better job at these things [and that has content, not just links]. I'm not saying we do everything right, but the navigation is more or less consistent and questions get answered in a timely fashion over here. There is a certain assumption, I think, that there is a learning curve ["how to make a link" in MeTa for example, as a recent discussion] here and that creates a small barrier to entry that the $5 fee really mostly doesn't.

You might also be interested in the crunchland method for double post avoidance, though at the end of the day if you make a double post, it's not that big of a deal. If there were some sort of punishment associated with it or something, we might have more tools in place to make it easier to avoid. As it is mathoei and pb have been spending more of their energy getting the user pages working well and trying to consolidate some of the tracking tools into a few less places than they had been previously.

It's also a site populated by techie geeks and nerds to a great degree and I think there's an assumption that they're going to find their own ways to move through the site so it's not as important to lay everything out as if people really needed a "website 101" intro.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:36 PM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Okay, I forgot about those.

Sheesh, now this is embarassing.
posted by hadjiboy at 8:39 PM on May 18, 2007


Ahhh, don't worry hadjiboy. No one pays any attention to me, so I know the feeling. In fact, it's very likely no one is even reading this.
posted by The Deej at 8:40 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


well, there was the longboat too, but mathowie sank it

And there was a pony but it died of "natural causes".
posted by Many bubbles at 8:45 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's also a site populated by techie geeks and nerds to a great degree and I think there's an assumption that they're going to find their own ways to move through the site so it's not as important to lay everything out as if people really needed a "website 101" intro.

True enough, except for AskMe, which draws from a much deeper well.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:48 PM on May 18, 2007


Where's my jabber chat server? The super quickest way to build a sense of community == the chatz0rz.
posted by Firas at 8:48 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think Mecha came about precisely to be more about a socially oriented link site. I've never really seen MeFi in that light, though you can get there through Mecha, monkey and IRC channels.

Don't see the scattering as a barrier to enjoying the site. It just means the site is full of surprises you haven't found yet!
posted by Salmonberry at 8:48 PM on May 18, 2007


I am beyond thrilled that jessamyn's answer spanked me - that's what I love about MeFi...the admins are on the fucking JOB and they do NOT let shit fly. That keeps this place awsome.
posted by tristeza at 8:50 PM on May 18, 2007


"True enough, except for AskMe, which draws from a much deeper well."

And much nearer the bottom.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:51 PM on May 18, 2007


I mostly like this place the way it is. Perhaps the barrier to entry isn't as low as some would like, but I think it promotes a higher standard of discourse than other websites and this may intimidate some. I will say I don't plan on posting any FPPs any time soon. I've been reading this place for a long, long time and have never seen a link I'd consider worthy of the Front Page. That's intimidating.
posted by Green With You at 8:52 PM on May 18, 2007


The kind of atmosphere that we have at Mecha. Although I see it here, it's only between a few users.
posted by hadjiboy 20 minutes ago


MeCha is smaller, and all about the social interaction. I don't participate that much, but whenever I do, it feels all warm and cozy. Jeez, even quonsar is nice over there. This place is a bit larger, and less cozy, but I think if you stick around you will find that people have genuine respect for each other here and as you engage other users in conversation in threads or other means you will find like minded folks.
posted by caddis at 8:54 PM on May 18, 2007


Yup, Jessamyn needs to spank us more often:p
posted by hadjiboy at 8:56 PM on May 18, 2007


Whoa. I just posted this.

And then look what happened.

Oh gosh it's frustrating!
posted by humannaire at 8:58 PM on May 18, 2007


hadjiboy, "When you're ready we can share the wine"!!

Firas: outfreaking the freaky™
posted by Firas at 9:00 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I see what you're saying caddis, but it just feels like if I miss a couple of days of posting, there are like a thousand comments posted, and lord only knows what's gone on here. I know I can look back and go through the archives, but that only means I'll be missing out on more stuff in the present. I guess that's not a "Metafilter" problem as much as a ME problem, but I just thought I'd bring it up.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:01 PM on May 18, 2007


I think if I hung out with the people making Mefi, I'd like it.

That's what not to get, you know. How to hang out.

I mean, I'm HUGE (under a different name) on tripadvisor.com. But what am I contributing to at MeFi?
posted by humannaire at 9:03 PM on May 18, 2007


I think it's not labrynthine enough. I love the idea of dusty corners and hidden staircases, secret passages and dim forgotten rooms filled with arcane mechanisms cast off in the march of progress. I want more!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:04 PM on May 18, 2007 [7 favorites]


hummannaire: nothing to be confused about; your link is on the top of my post--see.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:05 PM on May 18, 2007


I love the idea of dusty corners and hidden staircases, secret passages and dim forgotten rooms filled with arcane mechanisms cast off in the march of progress.

Oddly enough, this is one thing I love about churches. If there aren't hallways leading to nowhere and random rooms filled with crap nobody uses, count me out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:05 PM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Let me give this a shot...

You aren't missing anything. What you see is what you get. There are a couple main pages which you've already mentioned either in this post or your original Ask Metafilter question. There used to be just three... Metafilter, MetaTalk, and Ask Metafilter. Now there's Jobs, Music, and Projects.

Anyway, it doesn't matter, because each item behaves the same way. Each section shows you a list of content in chronological order, most recent first. The lower items fall off into historical pages which you can access by clicking links in the footers. Each sub-page linked from one of the main sections has another long page of commentary ordered chronologically, but with the most recent comment at the bottom.

And that's pretty much all there is to it.

There are some other little things you can do, like click on your username or someone elses to access their profile from which you can then access links to all of the additions they've made to any of the sections.

Really. You aren't missing anything.
posted by odinsdream at 9:05 PM on May 18, 2007


I really think that I should just hire MeFi to create my latest project.
posted by humannaire at 9:06 PM on May 18, 2007


Hang in there, hadjiboy. On my first total newbie post, I was totally attacked by mr_crash_davis & it traumatized me for a year.

Once you stop caring & tuck a few years of therapy under your belt, it gets better & easier. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 9:10 PM on May 18, 2007


And that's pretty much all there is to it.

Ahhh, but there's so much more odinsdream. And that's what Metafilter is about. And that's what basically I was talking about.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:12 PM on May 18, 2007


Metafilter Account: $5
Years of Therapy: $lots
Attacks by Wikipedia Grudgers: Priceless
posted by Firas at 9:13 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


*goes off to explore miss lynnster's profile to search for his/her first post*
posted by hadjiboy at 9:15 PM on May 18, 2007


The wiki is a goldmine and should be the place to go to keep up on the fast-pace awesomeness that you don't want to miss. But it is sadly outdated. I have even been considering editing it myself.
Pages I'd like to see:
-Threads where the subject of discussion shows up to comment.
-AskMe questions where some kind of Authority on the subject shows up to give their expert answer.
-and of course a thorough In Joke page would be a great thing to point to for all the inevitable "what's the deal with this stupid phrase everyone keeps using?" questions.

I also enjoy losing myself in a dusty corner of the site but the wiki has proved to be a fun starting point.
posted by bobobox at 9:15 PM on May 18, 2007


In response to humannaire deleted AskMe, linked in this MeTa...

Here's how I use MeFi:

I check the main page ("The Blue") often for interesting links. I leave comments, because most MeFites have a common reaction when reading ANY post: "I wonder what The Deej thinks!"

I check AskMeFi ("The Green") for questions I think I can answer, or at least leave a smartass answer. However, I follow up my smartass answer with a lame "real" answer so no one knows I am really just trying to get laughs, because then they would "flag" my answer by clicking the [!] next to it. This is important because the response box tells us that "wisecracks" don't help people find answers. (My next AskMe: Did June Cleaver write that? "Wisecracks"? What, is it 1950? Don't get me started! Am I right?)

Also, when I have a question or a problem, I post it to AskMe, such as you have done here.

When I want to read about carping and complaining and why a post was deleted, and why we should kiss LanguageHat's ass, and what new features the whiny babies want, I check out MetaTalk ("The Gray"). MetaTalk is much looser in what you can post without getting flagged by some whiny bitch, because they didn't think of as funny a comment as you. Posts can still get closed, if they are doubles, or just plain stupid. And comments can still be deleted. But there is much more leeway as to what is actually "on topic." For example: if the Post is someone asking for a new feature, like, "I want a really loud sound to play anytime my comment is posted," then an "on topic" response can be anything from "Great idea!" to "What a stupid idea you jackass! Die in a fire!" Also "on topic" would be: "My butt itches," "Hey looks a bunny!" and "xtians lol!!!!!"

I don't often visit the other areas, so I will defer to those losers and jerkwads to fill you in on those.

To check on activity on your posts, click the "My Posts" link on the top of the page. To see new comments on posts that you did not initiate, click the "My Comments" link.

That's about all I do. There is more, oh, so much more.

About the MeFi culture: every MeFite thinks he/she is sooo damn smart and cool, and that every other MeFite is a drooling, brain-damaged scumsucker, and they have no problem in saying so, in sometimes brutal and distasteful ways. So, please, please, please, do NOT take anything said to you or about you personally, it's just the way these Neanderthals are, you pus-eating maggot.
posted by The Deej at 9:16 PM on May 18, 2007 [17 favorites]


hadjiboy... you're the jewish dude who got all upset about anti-semitism the other day, yes?
posted by jonson at 9:16 PM on May 18, 2007


Apropos of not a lot, the MetaFilter FAQ uses a deprecated link for Greasemonkey and a bad/incomplete method of listing MetaFilter-related scripts, that is, userscripts.org hasn't supported (newly added) tags since its relaunch in February 2007. As a consequence, there are at least five scripts missed by the FAQ's GM scripts for MetaFilter link. Any new script added since February will be absent which, one might guess, could be an minor demotivator for further development. Extremely minor, but what the hell, nobody's doing it for fame and fortune anyway.
posted by mdevore at 9:18 PM on May 18, 2007


The kind of atmosphere that we have at Mecha. Although I see it here, it's only between a few users.

Thank god. Not to slag weeaboo MeCha, but there's a reason why I am here and not there, and it's also why I mostly just lurk over at MoFi. I think MeCha and MoFi were a bad fit for me because while they may feel like they are more rewarding exercises in community, they also require much more personal investment from their participants, which isn't always what I'm looking for in a site.

Note that I am not saying either of those places are xenophobic or insular, nor am I claiming that MeFi is this huge faceless horde; rather, MeCha/MoFi are like intimate coffeehouses where everyone knows everyone while MeFi is the bar where you can walk in after being gone a month, nod hello to the folks you know, and sit down and have your beer. At least that's my take on it.

As it is, I think it's great that there is an overlap of users amongst these sites with fairly different weeaboo tones to them; there's a perception of an overarching community, but there is still a lot of wiggle room for people to find a niche.

I don't get the issues people have with navigating, though. Unlike the majority of you, I haven't been on-line since the days when the Internet consisted of a Lite Brite soldered onto a rotary phone, yet I had a pretty good idea of the who/what/when/where/whys after a couple of days of lurking.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:19 PM on May 18, 2007 [5 favorites]


If there aren't hallways leading to nowhere and random rooms filled with crap nobody uses, count me out.

I feel exactly the same way. Awesome.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:20 PM on May 18, 2007


Here is the absolutely foolproof procedure for searching for double posts:
  1. Search using whatever method you like.
  2. If that doesn't turn anything up, make your post.
  3. If it was a double, someone will provide a link to the prior post and your post will be deleted.
Seriously, having a post deleted for being a double is not the end of the world. Don't act like you killed somebody's cat when it happens.

As far as how to actually do number 1 above, I find that by far the simplest way is just enter the base domain name (no http, no www, nothing after or including the slash) into the standard metafilter search. You can also do the same with the URL field when composing a new post (the so called crunchfield method) but doing it that way you don't get the contents of the hits, just a list of numbers, and the standard metafilter search should find URLs anywhere in the post anyway, not just in the main link field.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:20 PM on May 18, 2007


Yo hadjiboy, I make a point of reading your posts, motivated by a sense of who you are as a person, because that interests me just as much (in any poster's case) as the content of the post. I think that's about as much of a communal reward as any could expect. But you couldn't have know I did that, and I'm not the end all be all mefi community. Anyway, it's opaque. No worries. Lately I've been sort of depressed and lonely (for me) and boy have i learned that this place is no replacement for the real thing.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:22 PM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


well, there was the longboat too, but mathowie sank it

This is a lie, and a blasphemous one to boot. :)

I'd echo hangashore and say hadjiboy is doing just fine, but I understand his sentiments. Point is, there's no Lonely Planet for Metafilter. Parmesatan knows I spent months studying Metafilterian arcana in a moldy basement in Rome when I was a full-time lurker. Even then, when I signed up, all this enthusiasm for the "ropes" of Metafilter exploded into what in retrospect was a quite embarrassing MeTa post (like hell I'm going to link it).

The irony being that on the one hand you want the site to be as transparent as possible in order to make it as accessible as possible for the largest amount of people possible, but on the other it's the incrowd stuff that makes it fun and special and that makes people stay.

So in a sense, hadjiboy's and stavros's points are two extremes of a spectrum, and I have no answer other than that it's probably a matter of balance.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:25 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


The wiki is a goldmine and should be the place to go to keep up on the fast-pace awesomeness that you don't want to miss. But it is sadly outdated. I have even been considering editing it myself.

Word, and let's. We need to improve the wiki, all of us.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:27 PM on May 18, 2007


hadjiboy... you're the jewish dude who got all upset about anti-semitism the other day, yes?

No jonson, I think that was motty (if I'm not mistaken; that was one thread that I did happen to read that day).

The MeTa that it inspired had 453+ comments when I last viewed it, so I don't know how things got resolved there.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:29 PM on May 18, 2007


PS. It's good to be using some of your names finally:)
posted by hadjiboy at 9:30 PM on May 18, 2007


The kind of atmosphere that we have at Mecha. Although I see it here, it's only between a few users.

MetaFilter and MetaChat target two different needs. If Mefi was more like Mecha, there would be no reason for both. If mecha is more your speed, go with it.
posted by necessitas at 9:30 PM on May 18, 2007


Oh and one important point regarding the sense of community is that Ask Metafilter and Metafilter (i.e., the green and the blue) are almost totally separate in nature. There are some people that only read the blue and never set foot into the the green, ever. There are some that primarily read and reply in the green and hardly ever make it over to the blue. There are some that do both. So you have to keep in mind that Metafilter is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, so if you primarily read one site there will be a whole truckload of people you never/rarely interact with. That's fine. It's one of the little quirks that makes the site fun.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:31 PM on May 18, 2007


I feel exactly the same way. Awesome.

Yeah, I think CitrusFreak12 is an absolute shining example of a new member kicking ass contribution-wise and being consistently open-minded, friendly and humorous, and no sarcasm there.

By which I mean to say, I don't know if it's difficult or not, but if you're the "Metafilter type", whatever the flying fuck that means, it's definitely feasible to get the hang of it in a short while.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:32 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


hadjiboy, if you click on the second period of this comment, you'll see the MeTa it inspired. I oh, so cleverly hid the link there for your convenience. The super nasty comments were all deleted from the original post, though.

My first post was a good topic but it was waaaaaay too long and I cringe to look at it now. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was that, being the people-pleasing sort, I announced it was my first post & begged to be loved like a retarded puppy. DUUURRRRRRRRRR.

Every once in a while I'll see someone make that same mistake & I just wince with empathy. I usually try to add a supportive comment like "Hang in there, this post is gonna suck for you in a freshman hazing kind of way. Sorry. I feel your pain. It'll be over soon."

posted by miss lynnster at 9:33 PM on May 18, 2007


. There are some people that only read the blue and never set foot into the the green, ever. There are some that primarily read and reply in the green and hardly ever make it over to the blue.

So the best thing to do is find someone who reads the sites you don't read, so they can tell you all the stuff you're missing and vice versa. I think I'd be willing to go poly for someone who reads Projects, Music, and Jobs on a regular basis.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:34 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey Ambrosia, I was just thinking about you now, after reading a few replies by LobsterMitten. Hope you feel better soon, and it means (how can you quantify it?) something?? to me that you read my posts. I read yours too by the way!
posted by hadjiboy at 9:35 PM on May 18, 2007


Huh. Whaddayaknow. Now that I've reread my original first post for the first time in years, I realize I completely missed that Marxchivist nominated me to be the Queen of Metafilter. Wow.

[Makes Queenly wave to her subjects.]
posted by miss lynnster at 9:40 PM on May 18, 2007


You know, if Miguel had posted this some 5 or so years ago, he'd be roasting in a spit with eight or so members doing a sacrificial dance around the fire while drinking mead mixed with drambuie and pancake syrup.

I don't really have a point here, other than messing with hadjiboy's head a little bit, 'cos I'm a bastard, but I'm just saying....
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:44 PM on May 18, 2007


get a fish. in your pants. tell everyone. frequently.
posted by quonsar at 9:51 PM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


the MetaFilter FAQ uses a deprecated link for Greasemonkey and a bad/incomplete method of listing MetaFilter-related scripts

If I could understand what you were talking about here, I would fix this. Can you please explain it in small words for sleepy admin?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:01 PM on May 18, 2007


"You know, if Miguel had posted this some 5 or so years ago, he'd be roasting in a spit with eight or so members doing a sacrificial dance around the fire while drinking mead mixed with drambuie and pancake syrup."

Don't kid yourself, we'd do that to Migs now.

And he'd like it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:08 PM on May 18, 2007


Hey Ambrosia, I was just thinking about you now, after reading a few replies by LobsterMitten.

Er - I hope I didn't make you feel low, Ambrosia? Not my intention at all, if so!



And hadjiboy, I think the answer is, this just isn't a site where people get to know each other in the sense of explicitly talking a lot about their personal lives. The kind of getting to know each other here is more commonly getting to know each others' senses of humor, trading wisecracks etc.

I mean, it's clear that some people have different political views, and some people have personalities that make them enjoy arguing, etc -- but we don't see as much "I had a crummy day and I'm worried that I might be a bad person. Please help me feel better."

That kind of openly asking for reassurance or personal acceptance etc may be more the norm at MetaChat, but I don't think it happens here as much. (That is, I don't think there is a secret area, or a read-between-the-lines in-club that is having that kind of relationship. This site is just not geared toward that.)


humannaire, I still don't really get what you're confused about. You said in your question that you've been lurking. What makes you think that you're missing something?
- To engage in goofy, sometimes antagonistic discussion of posted links, go to Mefi, the blue. Wisecracks, yes.
- To try to answer questions, or read answers, go to the Green, AskMe. No wisecracks; painful earnestness only please.
- To engage in goofy, sometimes antagonistic discussion of Metafilter-related topics, including site gossip, go to the Gray, MetaTalk also called MeTa.
- To engage in chit-chat (including "chatfilter" questions like "what if the world were overrun by zombies, would they like cats or dogs?"), go to the separate site called MetaChat. Separate (free) membership.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:08 PM on May 18, 2007


It's a big site, and it's been big for a while. The idea of building some sort of introduction roadmap/pamphlet/whatever is appealing to me—I'd be curious to see what would go into it—but fundamentally I think part of what makes mefi mefi is the fact that it's a little bit hard. It takes a touch of effort, more than signing up for a random phpbb or a topical listserv.

And as the site has grown, it's developed subcommunities. I like the little crew we've got going over at Music, for example (though I'd love to see it grow), and AskMe has it's own culture distinct from the blue, and metatalk is...metatalk. The idea of someone just Becoming Part of the Community in some holistic, understanding-all-of-metafilter sense seems unrealistic, except on the long term; but becoming active and mutually participatory in some of the subcultures of the site is much more doable, and I think that a little bit of willful exploration and attentiveness will make help any motivated user figure out which niches fit.

The UI side of that—how to get where, and to an extent how we as community members and how Matt and Jess and I and pb can maybe improve the visibility of some of these things—is a big open question, one which Metatalk helps to define and spec out, but that's always going to be distinct from the more personal question of what the site is for you, and I don't think any sort of documentation or navigation is going to change that. There are all these little natural rhythms to the site, and if you keep poking around you'll catch them, and either fall in or find that it's not to your liking.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:30 PM on May 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Can you please explain it in small words for sleepy admin?

Yes, smallish but not shortish.

The link in the MetaFilter FAQ to Greasemonkey is http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/ . That link now warns and redirects to http://www.greasespot.net/ as the new URL for Greasemonkey. I am guilty of using the old URL myself, but will strive to do better in the future.

The FAQ link to a list of Greasemonkey scripts for MetaFilter uses the URL http://userscripts.org/tag/metafilter . This URL will only locate scripts which have the tag metafilter. While this seems reasonable, userscripts.org as relaunched does not (yet) support the addition of tags to a script. Pre-existing tags are supported as read-only, so older scripts will be located by the URL. However, newer scripts will not be located by the URL.

Newer scripts are the wrong scripts to penalize, since they are the least likely to be widely disseminated in the MeFite universe of experience and recommendations, unlike older established scripts -- all non-noobs, for example, know about MeFi Navigator. Plus newer scripts tend to be more current by definition, unlike a few abandoned older scripts.

I cannot say what a better solution would be. The search URL http://userscripts.org/scripts/search?q=metafilter will get a different mix of scripts, including newer ones, but it is actually a smaller list because not all scripts use metafilter in the description. The search does have the advantage of listing suggested tag links, including metafilter, which would pick up the stragglers. A dual search of metafilter and mefi might work, but requires the uglier approach of specifying two URL to get full results.

Obviously the best solution would be for userscripts.org to add back tag support, and for the various authors of new scripts to add a metafilter tag, but as the userscripts people have been promising tag support for three months now, it may be a bad idea to keep waiting without making adjustments to the FAQ.
posted by mdevore at 10:47 PM on May 18, 2007


I think any site with this large a userbase and this many parallel functionalities will have the problem of being a little difficult to parse at times as well as being difficult to integrate into.

I joined quite a while ago, and there are still very few people here, if any, who would be able to identify me as a personality or something. There are just too many people here for integration at that level to be quick. A lot of the people who get recognition or have a certain level of "mefi celebrity" are simply older users who have been around from back when you could identify almost everyone in a thread because there weren't that many regular posters. Now there are a ton of people regular posting in all different types of threads all the time.

So yeah, I'd say the problems you perceive are real, but not the result of any sort of insulation of the userbase so much as it's just a lot noisier here than it used to be. If jonmc gets recognized a lot, or cortex or stavros or languagehat, it's largely because they're rather old guard and carved their niche back when there were much fewer people here to contribute to general site noise.

I hope I'm not wasting my time pointing this out. I haven't read the thread in its entirety because I'm tired and about to go to bed. Good night everyone.
posted by shmegegge at 10:52 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who the hell was that?
posted by The Deej at 11:08 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I know that I have become much more aware of my lurking habits ever since I meandered into some Metatalk thread about newbies asking too many AskMeFi questions without answering enough of them. I am now much more self-concious.

Then I realize that it is Friday night, I need answers, damn it, and I am willing to abase myself.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:09 PM on May 18, 2007


Don't believe those who try to throw sand in your eyes by claiming it's all simple and straightforward... there's a Secret History of MetaFilter, if you know where to look. The path starts left of at.
posted by Kattullus at 11:19 PM on May 18, 2007


If jonmc gets recognized a lot, or cortex or stavros or languagehat, it's largely because they're rather old guard and carved their niche back when there were much fewer people here to contribute to general site noise.

That's not really true. Well known mefites are well known for different reasons, but simply having been around since the beginning is a minor consideration.

Terrapin:my user number is under 1200 and I am mostly ignored. that is a good thing. Hi Terrapin!

Terrapin has yet to reach his 1000 comments. Jonmc on the other hand is about to reach 13,000 comments, approaching 20,000 if you include all of metafilter.

Low user number + 20 comments a thread = holy grail of mefi celebrity (if you care about such a thing).
posted by justgary at 11:21 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metatalk thread about newbies asking too many AskMeFi questions without answering enough of them. I am now much more self-concious.

Whaaa whaaa whaaa, those whiners are worse than any n00b they are griping about. If MatJessaTex lets a post or question stand, then mail pieces of your underwear to each of the whiners so they can eat them.

This is not a place to seek acceptance. But, I say this while appearing like a suckup:
Ask MeFi: 6 questions by The Deej, 412 answers

My ratio shows that either I am generous and helpful, or a frickin know-it-all.
posted by The Deej at 11:22 PM on May 18, 2007


That's not really true. Well known mefites are well known for different reasons, but simply having been around since the beginning is a minor consideration.

I bet if I rushed through airport security with bars of soap wired together tied around my waist, wearing nothing but a T-shirt that says "I AM METAFILTER'S OWN THE DEEJ!" I would have MeFi celebrity.
posted by The Deej at 11:26 PM on May 18, 2007


Or a big mouth.

And I meant self-concious in a good way.
posted by thebrokedown at 11:37 PM on May 18, 2007


justgary makes a good point, but since I don't know who he is I'm inclined to ignore him.
posted by shmegegge at 11:40 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here is what I don't understand: If someone lurks and participates to some extent and they still don't get mefi, then why can't they accept that it isn't the place for them? That isn't a negative or positive thing, not all sites appeal to everyone. For instance, I can't stand /., it isn't the place for me. I don't whine and post up a storm there wondering why /. can't be more like those other communities I've been part of for ages. I just don't visit it.

It is unrealistic to expect that every real-world social scene is going to conform to every person's expectations. Isn't similarly unrealistic to expect that an online community is going to conform to every online persona's expectations.

If someone is wondering what they are missing because they can't make heads of tails of what metafilter is about or can't figure out how to make metafilter conform to their expectations for what an online community should include, the thing they are missing is that Metafilter is not the site for them.

I don't mean to be harsh, I just have an unusually low tolerance for Whaaa!
posted by necessitas at 11:53 PM on May 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dude, they make recumbent longboats now?

Guess I should have made some time in between smoking these 700 TRILLION BEEDEES.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:03 AM on May 19, 2007


I think when you're new it helps a lot to pick someone to be a mentor -- you needn't tell them so, but just observe what they do. That's where linking to someone in your profile helps, so you can more easily follow their contributions to the site. Early on, I picked languagehat because he's good at the passionate erudition thing, and I picked madamejujujive and taz because they are arty and kind to people. They are all longstanding members of metafilter, and what I think of as the best of it -- meaning they have big personalities but their posts have real merit apart from that. Of course, this is a personal preference. I get pretty tired of people who post constantly but say little, and most of it about them, them, them. I'm happiest reading informative, amusing, accurate, substantial posts, so I picked a few people who made a lot of them, and tried to model my own posts on theirs. I've got a fraction of their quantitative output but it really isn't about how much you post. I wish I'd posted less and better.

I also think if you want to be friendly with someone here, it can certainly happen, but it helps to take initiative. I've got to know some people by writing to their profile emails -- sometimes something as simple as "I really liked your post" or "I loved your project" or "I'm interested in this thing you're into, too." Taz and I became friends because she wrote an excellent post that I commented extensively in, and one or the other of us wrote saying the exchange was awesome, and then we never really stopped chatting. That was a few years ago and now she's one of my dearest friends. (Even if that hadn't happened, I'd still be glad I took the chance to write her.)

Meetups help, as well. Interrobang and I used to work at the same place just a few rows of cubes away from each other and we had no idea until I wrote him asking if he wanted to see Godzilla when he posted about a local showing of it. It was damn funny. Some of the strong currents you sense here come from such offsite activity burbling beneath the surface -- there's been a ton of excellent friendships and relationships and collaborations as a result of this place, and they all start when someone takes a chance and contacts someone else. There are many more people here that I hope to correspond with and/or meet, and more than anything that's what makes me think of this as a community, and one that I value a lot.

So I agree, it's labyrinthine, but the nice thing about a labyrinth is that sometimes other people who've figured it out leave markers along the way that you can follow. You can also strike out on your own and poke around and discover it for yourself. You can be quiet and think. You can pick one part and stay there, or run around looking a bit at everything. There's the occasional minotaur, but that's the way it goes in a labyrinth. Too, some of them are very nice people who just happen to have an outsize head and a bad lowing habit. Don't be nervous.
posted by melissa may at 12:43 AM on May 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


When I was a newbie, a few people went out of their way to encourage me. Jonmc, Pretty Generic & fenriq were the first Mefites who wrote me after my first post and gave me encouragement & made me feel welcome.

I'll always appreciate that. Thanks you guys. ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 1:12 AM on May 19, 2007


Community? Metafilter? Have you seen how many "members" there are? It's not like joining a Boy Scout Troop or marrying into a family, it's more like moving into medium-sized city -- alone. In your case I can't even suggest you go to a local Meetup because I see there are no other registered Mefites in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.

My own strategy is to not think much about "The Metafilter Community", that's too big an abstraction for me even though there are supposed to be other several Mefites within a mile or so of here. Instead I participate in threads that interest me and speak my mind, not really caring if anybody likes what I have to say or not: it only cost $5 to join, nobody's paying me to say or do any particular thing, and if people really can't stand my presence they'll ban me from the site (or hunt me down and kill me) and I'll find another blog (or something). I suppose I might be a Member of the Metafilter Community in some vague sense because I've been here since November 2004, but I didn't sign on here to Join A Community, I started hanging out here to "shoot the breeze" because a lot of people deserted Usenet and IRC . (Of all these personally I like Usenet better, for one thing it's easier to follow and participate in the various threads).

And one thing I've known for about 30 years is that unless I work really hard at Saying The "Right" Things In Just The "Right" Way most people simply won't like me, and I don't think the mass approval of faceless strangers is worth all that much trouble. (If I wanted to Join A Community or Make Interesting Friends there are local groups I could check out, but I don't even feel like putting out whatever effort that might take.) One thing Metafilter IS good for is finding out that there are people all over the world who've read some of the same books, had some of the same kind of personal experiences and share many of my political attitudes, i.e. that I'm not a Species all by myself; but that we share those things does not necessarily mean we're obligated to do anything together or even to get along with one another (and I'm sure languagehat for one would agree). I see two ways to look at Belonging, either as Hard Work (that might not pay off) or as Good Luck (that might not happen), and I'm old and tired enough to take the second view. (My whole philosophy of Life boils down to "Shit Happens".)

All I can suggest is keep trying various things here if you want to, give up if it's not worth it, and don't be dismayed by any Daughter of Privilege in a Washington D.C. suburb who suggests you don't belong. There are dozens of Mefites who regularly tell me I don't belong here, I just give them this. And I will suggest that if you follow melissa may's advice you don't choose me as a Mentor if you really want to Belong here; I'd recommend languagehat, he's spent so long "in the barrel" he must have something figured out.

Anyway, in case somebody still doesn't know, a "hadji" is one who's done the Hajj, the Pilgrimmage to Mecca. So Hadjiboy is about a totally separate thing from Jihad, which is Chechnyan for "piss off Americans."
posted by davy at 1:17 AM on May 19, 2007


I've been a member for about a month now, I lurked on and off for about half a year before joining. I think that the way the site works is just fine. I don't see it as being labyrinthine so much as having depth. There's a lot of material being posted, more than anyone can follow, and that's created little subpockets, which are great to explore, but then I really enjoy exploring not just the substance of a web community, but also the culture of it. Some of the first things I read when I came to metafilter were on the wiki: the explanations of in-jokes, links to well known threads of the past, things like that. That sort of stuff gives any community a unique flavor to it. This is probably related to why I read metatalk more carefully than the blue; I enjoy the looser standards and self-referential nature.

That all aside, fundamentally, the community is what it is, and no amount of prepping is going to make someone feel like a member of it, only participation can do that.
posted by Arturus at 1:27 AM on May 19, 2007


Artutus, have you heard of the Landmark Forum?
posted by davy at 1:43 AM on May 19, 2007


All I can suggest is keep trying various things here if you want to, give up if it's not worth it, and don't be dismayed by any Daughter of Privilege in a Washington D.C. suburb who suggests you don't belong.

I assume you are talking about me, because I do live in a DC suburb and, if you are a total moron, you might assume that I said he didn't belong. The Daughter of Privilege comment, however, earns you a gigantic WTF. Either you actually are a total moron, or that expression does not mean what you think it means. Not only am I the complete opposite of a Daughter of Privilege, there is nothing in my profile or post history that would even lead you to that conclusion.

Anyway, davy, you can take my post way out of context if you like, but your interpretation isn't reality. Reality is: I never suggested that someone didn't belong. I merely stated my opinion that not all social scenes/communities work for everyone. If someone doesn't feel like they are getting it (and by the way, I happened to be talking about the ask.me thread hadjiboy linked to and that poster's follow-up comments here, not about hadjiboy himself), why should they torture themselves when there are obviously communities that do make them feel comfortable and accepted. If someone has been here for over a year and they are still totally dismayed that they don't "get it" (which is a separate thing from feeling like they don't belong), why keep trying to fit a square peg into a round hole? At that point, it is time to move on to places that are more like home for them. Again, not because the community thinks they don't belong, but because it doesn't fit their expectations of what an online community should be.
posted by necessitas at 1:58 AM on May 19, 2007


This is why I think MeFi totally rocks. A post by melissa may which had me in an introspective mood, turned on its head by the one after it made by davy which had me in a stitch. For the record, yes, languagehat and taz are two people I greatly admire (I actually sought languagehat out months before I started posting here, and have exchanged a few encouraging mails with him), and have also felt taz’s warm and helpful nature on MeCha, but now that I’ve interacted with davy, I’d like to get to know him too for some reason. (I wasn’t too sure when you’d posted this reply in the other thread, and was actually rooting for shmegegge, but after this I can’t resist. And hey, anyone who knows what a Hadji means is fine in my book.)
But on the topic of being too labyrinthine, and I didn’t mean for it to sound as critical as it does (many here have offered a much more positive view that I agree with), it still wouldn’t have been possible for me to get to know some of you unless I would’ve posted this thread. I wonder if I would’ve gotten the chance to do it on the blue, maybe because I think that a lot of you are way smarter than I am, and I wasn’t too sure of making this post here, lest it would’ve devolved into something less seemly, but it’s good to know that we can talk about these things. So I guess the moral of the story is that I should just jump in more and see how the water is.
posted by hadjiboy at 2:09 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry--I missed out on the whole daughter of privelege thing.

*shrugs*

and I thought things were going so amicably:(
posted by hadjiboy at 2:15 AM on May 19, 2007


Davy: I hadn't, and after reading the linked page, am confused as to the relevance here. Enlighten me?
posted by Arturus at 2:18 AM on May 19, 2007


So I guess the moral of the story is that I should just jump in more and see how the water is.

Pretty cold, sometimes.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:24 AM on May 19, 2007


I like you, hadjiboy. I think you're a cool guy and your contributions are great.
posted by breezeway at 3:06 AM on May 19, 2007


That's not really true. Well known mefites are well known for different reasons, but simply having been around since the beginning is a minor consideration.


It's true. I've got no idea how long somebody has been around, because I wasn't here then. I suppose I could check their user number, but my guess is that only someone who had a low id themselves would bother to do that, because it's one of those U/non-U things. Why else would someone care?

I also enjoy your posts, hadjiboy. They invariably make me think, and that's pretty much why I come here,
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:03 AM on May 19, 2007


Notoriety correlates to longevity, of course, but only loosely. It much more closely correlates to posting/commenting frequency. Even that, though, is insufficient. What really makes the difference is having a recognizable "voice".

In relation to that, I was surprised and very pleased to discover, while reading this thread, that several people that I think of as "mefi celebrities" have user-numbers somewhat higher than mine. Not because that says anything at all about my status, mind, but because people that even in my memory who were once newbies are so well-established here and so familiar that I just assume they have been here longer than I have. I think that's pretty neat because, though it may be obvious to others, it demonstrates to me that MeFi really is constantly finding new voices and isn't ossifying.

And I think this bears some relevance to your question. I don't at all want to denigrate lurkerhood as being part of the MeFi experience—after all, that's most people's experience of MeFi. But I do think that to really "get it" and be fully a part of the community you simply have to participate. Other people have described having a similar experience as I had of lurking for several years while membership was closed, knowing all the dominant personalities intimately (it seemed), reading MeFi for hours a day...but it still all changed when I joined and began to participate. You can understand some things about a community by observation, but other things can only be understood by interaction. To really get MeFi, you have to participate a lot.

And then sometimes, as necessitas points out, occasionally people find that after interacting quite a bit, they still don't quite get it and don't quite fit in. That certainly doesn't say anything bad about them, it just means that it's not the best fit. That's okay. Sometimes those people go away—a few stick around anyway.

MeFi really has become a large community. We're not really a city of 50K, of course, but if you whittle the number down to people that frequently participate you still get a very large number of people. It's much bigger than MeCha, for example. It's just too big for one person to experience all of it in any meaningful sense. Don't try—and certainly don't worry that you haven't or can't.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:23 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Obviously the best solution would be for userscripts.org to add back tag support

I added a link to the search as well as the tag and I'll drop Jesse a note, but this is userscripts' problem, not really ours.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:12 AM on May 19, 2007


Oops, but I also think that's what makes this place great - not just any fuckhead can fit in and be welcome, you know?

As a fuckhead, I resent that.

(truth be told, my feelings are kind of the opposite. I didn't have to take an IQ test to get a membership here, and to me, part of the appeal is that pretty much anyone can step up to the plate and give it a shot here.)
posted by jonmc at 6:37 AM on May 19, 2007


pretty much anyone can step up to the plate and give it a shot here.

You are talking about the plate of beans, right?
posted by The Deej at 6:43 AM on May 19, 2007


Gosh, I've been trying to figure out how to become popular since the 1st grade. Now age 35, I know it's just not in the cards for me. ;)

Which is one reason why I like the meta suite. I don't think of it as being as much of a community as I think of it as being like, you know, a community weblog. An OP types something, other members reply, most replies go unnoticed, repeat. I say if you're looking for mecha-like community and camaraderie, get it at mecha. :)

But seriously, keep it up. If you've only been here for a couple months and others already even recognize your name, I'd say you're doing a pretty bang-up job.
posted by iguanapolitico at 7:06 AM on May 19, 2007


If you've only been here for a couple months and others already even recognize your name, I'd say you're doing a pretty bang-up job.

Or, more likely, you're irritating as hell.
posted by gleuschk at 7:11 AM on May 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


As to hadjiboy's question... hmmm... I think you have fit right in here, and left your mark. If you consider your total number of posts and comments to your "favorited by others" ratio, I would say you are doing quite well. Here are some stats from your profile page:

Joined: January 9, 2007
Your total number of posts and comments is 218
Favorited by others: 133
Links to: 15 users
Linked by: 12 users

Now, MY profiles page:
Joined: January 13, 2005
My total number of posts and comments is 1259
Favorited by others: 170
Links to: 2 users
Linked by: 3 users

You have nearly as many favorited comments/posts as I do, with only about 17% of the number of total posts. If you want to consider favorites a form of approval (not that they alwasy are) then your "signal to noise" ratio is FAR FAR superior to mine, and I joined 2 years before you.

What does this mean?
1- Don't worry, you are doing just fine!
2- Maybe I should complain!
3- Maybe everyone else should complain about my useless blabbering!

Nah, I don't need validation in the form of being favorited. I like my own comments whether anyone else does or not, so nyah.
posted by The Deej at 7:13 AM on May 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


attaboy, hadjiboy. for what it's worth, someone already mentioned frequenting metatalk and i think that's the best advice. a lot of the subtler cultural gags and norms around here start out as a metatalk thread or at least get hashed out here.
posted by shmegegge at 7:34 AM on May 19, 2007


I wish there were a MetaMetaTalk so I could give this thread some gold stars. New users should be mailed this thread in pamphlet form, in a "Metafilter: we kid because we love" kind of way. When I first registered I felt like I'd shown up at a knife fight wearing boxing gloves. I've basically got one unlaced and am hoping to get it off completely by the end of the year.
posted by sonofslim at 7:37 AM on May 19, 2007


The Deej writes: Ahhh, don't worry hadjiboy. No one pays any attention to me, so I know the feeling. In fact, it's very likely no one is even reading this.

Well, I certainly didn't read it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:43 AM on May 19, 2007


The Deej were favourites in place when you joined? If not then all the posts/comments you made before they were implementated shouldn't count towards your total for this purpose as they weren't really considered by most users.
posted by Mitheral at 7:51 AM on May 19, 2007


If you've only been here for a couple months and others already even recognize your name, I'd say you're doing a pretty bang-up job.

Or, more likely, you're irritating as hell.


Yes, well, any PR is good PR, right?
posted by iguanapolitico at 7:54 AM on May 19, 2007


Davy: I hadn't, and after reading the linked page, am confused as to the relevance here. Enlighten me?
posted by Arturus at 5:18 AM on May 19 [+]
[!]


Arturus, Landmark is a series of semi-culty self-help seminars. I'm guessing davy meant that you had said something self-help sounding? Who knows. Don't worry about it. (But read the threads on Landmark in Ask before looking into going to it, if you were interested in going.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:55 AM on May 19, 2007


have you heard of the Landmark Forum?

LOL! RUN ARTURUS, RUN!
posted by quonsar at 8:00 AM on May 19, 2007


MetaFilter: Not just any fuckhead can fit in and be welcome.
posted by ericb at 8:35 AM on May 19, 2007


Yeah, only the kind of fuckhead that would post a dogbuggery jpeg. Hey wait...
posted by Rhomboid at 8:40 AM on May 19, 2007


The Deej were favourites in place when you joined? If not then all the posts/comments you made before they were implementated shouldn't count towards your total for this purpose as they weren't really considered by most users.
posted by Mitheral


Hmmm, I don't remember...

...but shhhhhh... I'm trying to help hadjiboy feel good.
posted by The Deej at 8:51 AM on May 19, 2007


I’ve gotten to know a few people, but I still don’t feel as if I’ve become a part of the community yet?

I have been here for a year and a few months, and I haven't gotten to know anybody, nor do I feel "part of a community" beyond having a place to make comments. I didn't realize that getting to know people was part of Metafilter.

Is there an e-mail "backchannel" that I am not aware of?
posted by jayder at 8:57 AM on May 19, 2007


Miguel's so part of this community even his absence has a presence.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:03 AM on May 19, 2007


so i guess my answer to your post question is that you would have to be miguel.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:04 AM on May 19, 2007


Is there an e-mail "backchannel" that I am not aware of?

MetaTalk is the only real backchannel, though there are a lot of spinoff sites whose members also participate here as well as a lot of unofficial IRC channels.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:21 AM on May 19, 2007


Well I may be wrong but I think everyone has their struggles with this place. I definitely did. At first I thought it was kinda cool. Then I thought people were mean. Then I thought people were super nice. Then I thought they were idiots. Then I thought they were brilliant. And pretty much all of those thoughts were right, and I still go through them all the time, which is what makes Mefi a brilliant thing. It's just as complex as people are, with all of the onion layers to peel through.

I think one of the things that's been good for me on here is that I've gradually become much less worried about saying what I think or standing up to people & I've become much more comfortable with debating people over important topics. IRL I struggle to smile & want to be polite even if I completely disagree with people... partly because I was raised in a house where all debates were generally at yelling level, so I am often not very comfortable with conflict. But as I've gotten older, I've realized that intellectual debates CAN be passionate and good without becoming personal or nasty.

So it's been really good for me to come into these threads where people are discussing pointed subjects and try to add my 2¢. At first I was TERRIFIED. It was really scary. I had been reading them for a long time though, and often I learned a lot so I decided to jump in. When someone flips out and gets personal & spits out something vitriolic, it's really taught me about being able to sit back and collect my thoughts about how these conversations don't need to be nasty instead of absorbing it and feeling any defensive need to join. I can discuss this stuff and I don't care if people agree with me or I agree with them, but I have learned to say what I am thinking at the moment anyhow. It's the back & forth that's important, and trying to sort through the perspectives is fascinating to me.

Through that, I've learned how to stand up for myself better, and that when people attack me (or eachother) I don't have to take it personally or reciprocate. And that when I stand up for myself, I don't have to apologize to anyone afterwards, especially if they twist my words other than how I meant them. There are times where I'll say something that people TURN INTO a personal insult, and since I know it wasn't meant to be that, I've learned to generally let it roll off of me instead of explaining away or begging pardon. I've also learned that I am occasionally a little better at intellectual debate than I knew I was, or I actually know more about something than I realized, which is kind of cool.

That's all kind of carried over to my real life. I'm FAR more likely to participate in debates now, where I used to just see people getting into a heated exchange and use that as an opportunity to go to the bathroom or uncomfortably sit and wait for people to change the subject and, in my mind, calm down. Now when someone gets bent out of shape over an intellectual opinion, I've learned to stand my ground but to respectfully pull myself back enough to avoid soaking up anything as personal or throw any gasoline onto it. I've learned that I can participate in and contribute to heavy discussions without allowing myself to be pulled into anything that will upset me. So that's been a good lesson for me.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:24 AM on May 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Well I may be wrong but I think everyone has their struggles with this place...

One of my MeFi rules: I don't come here is I am feeling depressed or stressed or looking for some sort of affirmation. Feel Good Central this is not!
posted by The Deej at 9:31 AM on May 19, 2007


*IF... not is. sigh. Now I'm depressed. See y'all in a month or 2.
posted by The Deej at 9:32 AM on May 19, 2007


Hey Ambrosia, I was just thinking about you now, after reading a few replies by LobsterMitten. Hope you feel better soon-hadjiboy

Er - I hope I didn't make you feel low, Ambrosia? Not my intention at all, if so! -lobstermitten

Wow, I'm confused. I'm not feeling well?

I'm starting to understand what it must feel like to have a younger sibling that's way more popular than you are. The phone rings all the time, but it's rarely for me. Sigh.
posted by ambrosia at 9:46 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was surprised and very pleased to discover, while reading this thread, that several people that I think of as "mefi celebrities" have user-numbers somewhat higher than mine.

EB, I hate to tell you this, but you've become one of the Mossbacked Ancients of MeFi. I know, I know, it's hard to get used to. I still think of myself as that apple-cheeked young 14K'er who was all excited at getting a comment from the godlike quonsar. Now I look in the mirror and realize that clipping the white hairs from my beard doesn't help. It isn't even visible online.

miss lynster: That was a great comment. Good for you.

And hadjiboy, you're doing fine. Extra kudos for recognizing that davy's erudition is more important than his prickliness!

(The lovely melissa may knows her feelings are reciprocated. She's even helped me earn money, which is more than you other worthless bastards can say!)
posted by languagehat at 9:47 AM on May 19, 2007


Oh, and when is the Lonely Planet guide to MetaFilter coming out?
posted by languagehat at 9:48 AM on May 19, 2007


Can Melissa May get me some income too? Seriously. I could use it.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:58 AM on May 19, 2007


My only MeFi rule is that I come here to make others feel depressed, stressed, and/or to explicitly fail to give affirmation to those who are seeking it.
posted by Kwine at 10:12 AM on May 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Let's Go wanted to make a guide, but since we have that "No Havard" rule they went elsewhere.
posted by yeti at 10:13 AM on May 19, 2007


Some of the strong currents you sense here come from such offsite activity burbling beneath the surface -- there's been a ton of excellent friendships and relationships and collaborations as a result of this place, and they all start when someone takes a chance and contacts someone else. There are many more people here that I hope to correspond with and/or meet, and more than anything that's what makes me think of this as a community, and one that I value a lot.


This is a good point, and one I couldn't figure out how to make without it sounding like I was saying there was a Cool Club you couldn't join unless you came to meetups.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:18 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Come on, now. The internet shit ain't brain surgery.
posted by The Straightener at 10:23 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Reading MetaFilter, I felt like I was in on a secret. Joining it felt like a purely symbolic gesture of support. When I started posting and commenting, I felt at first like I was interfering with the natural flow of something vast that I couldn't get a grip on.

As I was telling Miss Lynnster recently, it was when I wound up posting this question that I sort of opened up to MeFi and the responses I got showed that others were reciprocating. I think most people have moments like that, where just by engaging the site the way everyone else does, you suddenly find yourself swept up in a personal moment with others-- and though the moment is ephemeral, you become inspired to look more closely at these people and find out what it is about them you detest or admire, and evaluate yourself in their reflection. Having gotten to meet some of you yahoos in real life has been a wonderful appendix to this experience.

It's in this way that MetaFilter so successfully staggers along that line between mercy and severity. Eventually everyone gets what they came here for, whether it's a fight, a hug, or just some really good internet stuff.
posted by hermitosis at 10:28 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you really want to make a name for yourself on MetaFilter, (1) post lots of LOLXIANS, (2) yell "dios" in a crowded room, and (3) change your name to jonson.
posted by Mister_A at 10:37 AM on May 19, 2007


In the interests of making MeFi more like the communities I grew up in, I have parked my Escort in the front yard, taken the wheels off and left it to rust.
I am also offering to fight any member who is game, outside now, particularly those who may have inadvertently or otherwise spilled my pint or looked at my girlfriend. They will then be my best friend or "bezzer'.
posted by Abiezer at 10:40 AM on May 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


I hope you feel less spun about after this, hadjiboy. Your posts and comments have been very good, and I'd hate for the community to lose you because you have been feeling unwelcome or confused.

Just keep doing what you are doing and you will quickly develop a reputation as a thoughtful poster.

Or you could follow my path. Whereby you acknowledge that you will never be famous or well liked. So you settle for infamy instead; consistently threaten the other members with horrible acts of violence. Use non-sequiturs as an offensive weapon. Cheese is a favorite of monkeys. Finally, it helps to randomly pick another member and declare them to be your mortal enemy. Because he was so considerate upthread, this week The Deej is filling that role.

He just doesn't know it yet...

Crap! He does now, I guess.

posted by quin at 10:52 AM on May 19, 2007


If you really want to make a name for yourself on MetaFilter, (1) post lots of LOLXIANS, (2) yell "dios" in a crowded room, and (3) change your name to jonson.

or simply be charming, handsome and brilliant. (it worked for me)
posted by jonmc at 10:56 AM on May 19, 2007


What about modest? He forgot modest.

[/bush]
posted by Mister_A at 10:57 AM on May 19, 2007


I have no modesty, sir. or shame.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on May 19, 2007


I agree with you hermitosis. I know for a long time I held back because of that same "I'm messing with the flow of this place by jumping in"/"why would what I think even matter here?" feeling. Then on top of that I have always had a privacy issue where I didn't want to put too much personal information on the web. I was TOTALLY paranoid about that, expecting to be judged or stalked or whatever, I don't know. But little by little as I began to open up on here, I found that people really responded to it in a much more personal and sincerely human way than I'd anticipated. If you put yourself really into this place, people do give back to you in surprising ways that actually can affect your real life. I am always surprised by the e-mails I get from people who just want to take a minute to thank me for a post or a comment & show appreciation... and it's really pretty amazing I think.

Anyhow, I decided to take the leap of faith, and so much for privacy. God knows I've probably put far more personal stuff on here than 99% of my friends or family have heard. It's actually more than a little scary when I think about it, except that I don't feel there's anything I've ever said on here that I would be ashamed of or have any reason to deny. And most of the stuff I say, even the crazy stories, are pretty true. I've built up comfort over time that allowed me to open up, though. Didn't happen overnight at all. So hang in there, newbies. You never know.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:01 AM on May 19, 2007


By the way, I worded something wrong I think. When I said "when you put yourself really into this place" I meant when you put more of the "real you" into this place more than that you need to spend all of your time here. You can post or comment as much or as little as you want to, but I've found it's the things that you share that give a hint of your true individual personality that people respond to the most.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:05 AM on May 19, 2007


This is also true if your true individual personality is an asshole.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:06 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


pick another member and declare them to be your mortal enemy. Because he was so considerate upthread, this week The Deej is filling that role.

He just doesn't know it yet...

Crap! He does now, I guess.
posted by quin


Alright quin!!! IT'S ON!!!!!!!

Watch who yer calling "considerate" pal! Don't make me come to McDonald's and slap the spatula out of your hand!!!

OK, sorry if you really do work at McDonalds, or to anyone who does. It's just a joke, and working anywhere is an honorable thing, so, you know, just for comedic effect.

So, YEAH, MOFO, just STEP OFF!!!!
posted by The Deej at 11:22 AM on May 19, 2007


miss lynnster, thanks for all your input in this thread. I have found your posts and comments to be consistently of high quality, and personable. Whenever I see your name on a post or comment, I make sure to read it because I know it will be worth the investment in time. And... and... :: blush ::

O crap!!! I might actually have a crush on miss lynnster!!!!

Don't tell her!
posted by The Deej at 11:27 AM on May 19, 2007


I have no modesty, sir. or shame.

or pants.

Being part of the "community" can mean different things to different people. I belong to the community in the way that I participate on the "unofficial" irc channel. I have a relatively low user number, but I don't contribute often. Sadly I don't work in an office and can sneak a little snark every now and then, I just bottle it up and unleash it at everyone in the channel.

Don't worry if everyone knows your name, this isn't Cheers, because if it was, we'd have burned down the place a long time ago.

NORM!!!
posted by Derek at 11:44 AM on May 19, 2007


"Is there an e-mail "backchannel" that I am not aware of?"

Sure there is but nobody'll admit it because it's TOP SECRET and it's all about ME, ME, ME!!!. In fact, since languagehat's said "davy's erudition is more important than his prickliness," they're saying maybe languagehat also needs medication for his brain.
posted by davy at 11:49 AM on May 19, 2007


davy... no.

There is no backchannel. And no one is talking about you on it. I mean, IF it existed. Which is doesn't. As I have said. And no one is watching you.

Go back to your regular life now, and forget allllll about any imaginary "backchannel." I think you were making toast or a bagel or something. So... back to the kitchen you go. K? Goooood!
posted by The Deej at 11:57 AM on May 19, 2007


So, YEAH, MOFO, just STEP OFF!!!!

Oh Mr Deej, you have been such a clever adversary in the past, but you have fallen perfectly into my plans.

And now that I have you trapped in this McDonald's, have a seat and get comfortable. You will be here for a while.

::clamps lock The Deej's hands and feet in place::

Do I expect you to talk? No Mr Deej, I expect you to eat!

[Mwahahaha]
posted by quin at 12:13 PM on May 19, 2007


The truth of MeFi is finally out... espionage, betrayal, hatred, secret crushes, alliances formed and broken.

And now this...

Unluckily for you, quin, I have been building a McDonald's immunity over the last few months by injecting myself with small doses of e coli. HA!!!!

Now if I can just... endure... the taste!
posted by The Deej at 12:18 PM on May 19, 2007


Uh, Deej, that was a JOKE. Too bad for you I thought it was on me.
posted by davy at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2007


Y'all mean backchannel.metafilter.com? Where Matt keeps the members' nudie pics? I thought everyone knew about that.

Finally puts all the circumcision back and forth into some context, at least.

Though there appears to be a clear plurality for the landing-strip crotch waxers.
posted by klangklangston at 12:33 PM on May 19, 2007


User number means nothing. And unless you're a masochist, there are definite advantages to anonymity here. 10,000 sockpuppets can't all be wrong.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:33 PM on May 19, 2007


Why are my cotton ears burning?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:38 PM on May 19, 2007


There is, of course no cabal. And I'm definitely not part of it.
posted by edgeways at 12:44 PM on May 19, 2007


Uh, Deej, that was a JOKE. Too bad for you I thought it was on me.
posted by davy


Oh! A joke? OK then... well, this is pretty embarrassing... because I thought... ya see... sooooo just forget all about what I said then.

(pause)

Yes, yes, Davy I know it was a joke. It made me chuckle so I decided to add to it.

On the other hand, I really AM held hostage by quin in a McDonalds. Please call the authorities.
posted by The Deej at 12:58 PM on May 19, 2007


stavrosthewonderchicken writes "I think it's not labrynthine enough. I love the idea of dusty corners and hidden staircases, secret passages and dim forgotten rooms filled with arcane mechanisms cast off in the march of progress. I want more!"

The Winchester Mystery Weblog.
posted by brundlefly at 1:01 PM on May 19, 2007


Y'all mean backchannel.metafilter.com? Where Matt keeps the members' nudie pics?

well, that explains all the movie offers.
posted by jonmc at 1:01 PM on May 19, 2007


Yeah, from Troma.
posted by klangklangston at 1:05 PM on May 19, 2007


Comedy Central, actually.
posted by jonmc at 1:07 PM on May 19, 2007


Hadjiboy, if you hadn't posted this I never would have suspected you felt left out or awkward. Your posts are great and bring an interesting non-US/Eurocentric perspective to MeFi, and your questions and comments have been articulate and well worth reading. Maybe it doesn't feel that way, but it looks to me like you are doing everything right!

*sulks about having pathetically fewer fave'd comments than hadjiboy*
posted by Quietgal at 2:02 PM on May 19, 2007


hadjiboy, the thing you're failing to grasp here is that not everyone has to like you for it to still be a community.

Frankly, personally - I don't like you. I might not ever like you. The reason why is because of threads like this one, and the Ask.Metafilter thread you posted about MeCha.

It's ingratiating, annoying and very unsure and un-confidant, and, well, grow a fucking hide already. Really. You can have selectively thick skin while still being empathic, sensitive and loving and all that.

Granted, part of your over-the-top earnestness is something I can easily also see in myself - which may indeed explain my strong reactions to you. But for whatever reasons, you really get the fuck under my skin.

Don't feel too bad, though. You're not the only person I've met here that I don't like much.

I'm quite sure the feeling is mutual from someone, somewhere. I'm quite sure some members actively hate me lots and lots. I have the fan mail to prove it.


However.

I don't have to like you or the persona you present online to like, enjoy, and appreciate your posts. They've mostly been informative and well constructed. Beyond that I'm not going to stroke your ego on request - which is one of the reasons I find these kinds of threads and posts so annoying.


And finally, revisiting "community":

I licked this place like a stamp. It was nicely challenging, but I'm pretty much done licking that stamp. The thrill is gone, as they say. I've met many cool people, experienced many interesting things, and am honored to have participated and to participate. I really and truly am honored. There are many fantastic, well developed minds and writers here, and that it all happens in "live" threads that tend to be born, live and then die in a matter of hours and days makes it even more fantastic. I have learned much about logic, debate and writing here. I have also learned much from the actual content being presented.

And despite all this, I also often feel awkward and feel as though I were an outsider. You and I are not alone in this.

I'm pretty sure that the "community" you describe and seek doesn't actually exist in the quantities or qualities that you think it does. There is a community, and while there are very cliquey and tight knots and groups, the whole thing is pretty loosely-knit.

So, to me, it's like you're wandering into the midst of a bustling city and then loudly and repeatedly asking where the "community" is - it's all around you.

You "join" such a large, bustling, diverse community by participating in it, helping build it, helping defend it and otherwise engaging in its markets and economies. You've done that and are doing that - and people have responded favorably. What more do you expect? Red carpets and rose-petals?

So.

I've been to the top of the caterpillar pile - not only here, but here and there and even over there - and there's no there, there. The center never holds.

It really is so much wampeters, foma and granfalloons.

That doesn't mean there isn't a karass for you.

But as in all such things, you can't force a karass. A karass finds you, and then you usually don't even know that you're actually in one.
posted by loquacious at 2:07 PM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I never put as much emotion into what happens in my "online life" as I put into my "real life." It does take effort.

If someone misunderstands me, and reacts negatively, or if they DO understand me and react negatively, it doesn't matter. These people don't know ME. They may be able to make some guesses about my personality and tastes, based on my writing style, sense of humor, posts, and what I choose to comment on. Plus, in my case, my profile links to all manner of personal information about me. But it's still NOT me.

Nor do I expect people here to react as they would in real life. If I told a story at a cocktail party, and someone in the huddle thought it was stupid, they would likely smile and nod, then head off to find more suitable company. Here, they would leave a comment about how lame it was, and how it was a waste of time. That's the nature of this community.

Now, this is the first I have read anything by hadjiboy (that I can recall), so I have no history with him, and no reason to dislike him. But if loquacious is correct and these kinds of posts are a pattern, then... yeah... deal with it. Or not. And find a place that works for you.
posted by The Deej at 2:31 PM on May 19, 2007


I also often feel awkward and feel as though I were an outsider

Using phrases like "been to the top of the caterpillar pile" and "licked this place like a stamp" may have something to do with that.

Kidding, of course. I think you're neat!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:40 PM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


*claps hands*

Everyone, if I could get your attention...

Ok, thanks. Umm, this is a little awkward but while I was expositioning about my evil plans for world domination, The Deej did something clever with his wrist watch and escaped after knocking out two of my guards.

I looked everywhere, but I'm pretty sure he got out of the restaurant.

So, yeah... If any of you see him and can, you know, seize him for me, I'd really appreciate it.

See the thing is, I'm pretty sure he heard about the thing I'm going to do with the moon and the laser and the big cheese making factory, and I'd really hate for him to screw that up, so if you catch him, I'd really hope you'd consider giving him to me.

Thanks again.
posted by quin at 2:56 PM on May 19, 2007


;)
posted by taosbat at 3:04 PM on May 19, 2007


Ummmm... not to sound overly alarmed, but... ummm... I just realized that there's some strange guy staring in my living room window right now and it's kind of creeping me out a little.
Uhhh... can anyone here tell me what The Deej looks like? And if he's dangerous at all? Thanks.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:18 PM on May 19, 2007


Just cause I said I have a crush on you, doesn't mean I would do anything weird. Go about your business. Pay no attention to whatever you are imagining outside your window.

You look lovely today, by the way.
posted by The Deej at 3:30 PM on May 19, 2007


Waitaminit. "At the top of the...?"

All this started because of "me?"

[crickets chirp]
[stars silently twinkle loudly]
[sense of loneliness dispells]

...Wow. This so THIS is how religious experience feels.
posted by humannaire at 3:33 PM on May 19, 2007


And now you understand Metafilter.
posted by quin at 3:37 PM on May 19, 2007


Yes, humannaire!!! See what you have done! Life, death, love, hate, despair, misery, anger!!!!

Let this be your lesson.

Don't.
Fuck.
With.
MetaFilter.
posted by The Deej at 3:38 PM on May 19, 2007


loquacious, I actually like people who say it as it is. I didn’t start this thread to have it turn out the way it did; I was just bored and wanted to see if we could have a good discussion about the topic of Metafilter. Granted, I feel really grateful that a lot of people here seem to like me, a lot of people who I didn’t know previously, and you could take it as ego-stroking (or, to put it in a better context, maybe the beginnings of a friendship?), but I didn’t come here to have everyone like me either. I did want a way to express my inability to connect with a few of the other members, members that I admire, like jonson and davy, and The Deej, for his quick wit of course (and no Deej—this is my first post of this kind on Mefi *puts hand clamps back on The Deej’s hands*), your explanation as to why this post wasn’t necessary does ring true; I could’ve taken more time, gathered more threads under my belt, and commented in a number of posts, but I’m the impatient type I guess, and it has been almost 4 months to the day, and maybe 20 odd posts, and a hundred or so comments, and I was getting a bit ornery?

But I promise—no more threads like this again:)

Now back to admiring the actual stars of this show—humannaire, tristeza, and all the other new posters out there…
posted by hadjiboy at 4:01 PM on May 19, 2007


Taosbat! I was just wondering how you were doing. We don't frequent the same threads so I haven't seen you around since your last question, but I've been thinking of you and hoping that you were doing better. And now I see you are. Yay!

yes, it is ironic that I noticed her contribution to this thread. Grumble, grumble, YES, I admit, metafilter does have some touchy-feely community aspect
posted by necessitas at 4:05 PM on May 19, 2007


Hadjiboy - well played. Seriously, you don't need to overthink things so much. We probably have more in common than not, etc, etc.

Learn and grow, grow and learn.

However, the rest of you scurvy bastards can go choke on a geoduck! I hate you all! Die! Die! Muahahahahaha!
posted by loquacious at 4:14 PM on May 19, 2007


Loq— Through LA yet? I get there on the 30th. Dunno if you're still on the grey dog.
posted by klangklangston at 4:26 PM on May 19, 2007


Loq— Through LA yet? I get there on the 30th. Dunno if you're still on the grey dog.

Thank goodness, yes. Nearly 8 days in the system was more than enough. The thought of *still* being on that fucking bus nearly two weeks later is enough to give me a case of incoherent screaming.

My posted itinerary ended up being total bunko anyway. It always does and I should have known better. An actual breakdown of a bus and the 3 unscheduled transfers and layovers made it even worse - but I did actually post a way for people to contact me en route - if they were clever enough to look for it and find it and use it.

So, no stalkers. No fans. No crazed and murderous gunmen, either. Any and all of such will have to wait until next time as I'm safely ensconced in my peaceful Fortress of Ghettotude.
posted by loquacious at 4:35 PM on May 19, 2007


Dude! 8 days on a bus! My brother spend 4 days once to visit me, and I don't think he ever recovered. He must really love me!

Sorry you have to do it all over!
posted by The Deej at 4:41 PM on May 19, 2007


Hadjiboy, shortly after stumbling into this community city called MetaFilter, I made a post that was frowned upon by many of the members inhabitants. A select group of some of the most mean spirited diligent people here took it upon themselves to not only mercilessly lambast me within the post in question, but when that post was deleted by the merciful sheriff (fellow by the name of Matt, I'm told) one of those concerned citizens of our fair city actually took it upon himself to open a whole new thread, in the blue, with the sole purpose of continuing the public burning that had been cut short by the earlier post's deletion. So then the 2nd thread went on for a good long while (becoming what's known in certain parts of town as a pile on) before it too was deleted. Let me tell you, it was a hell of a welcoming party for this particular new kid in town.

Since then, however, the outpouring of love and fellowship from all quarters of town has been nothing short of miraculous, and rewarding in more ways than you could know. The backchannel emails have been a constant source of heartwarming joy, and the generous cash donations coming in from MeFiers all around the world have enabled me to quit my job as a fish cleaner down at the docks and devote myself full time to posting about things like hillbilly beatboxing and dogs chasing virtual balls. So take heart, hadjiboy, it just gets better and better here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:45 PM on May 19, 2007


Oh, flapjax, do you mind too much holding my check an extra day before you cash it? I don't quite have the $5000 deposited yet. thx
posted by The Deej at 4:49 PM on May 19, 2007


Awesome, just as I die cortex closes our other thread. Nice symmetry in that.
posted by quin at 5:00 PM on May 19, 2007


No problem, Deej. I'm still flush from loq's 7 grand, which just cleared yesterday.

Just try not to let it happen again, though, allright? It's kinda inconvenient.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:05 PM on May 19, 2007


Flo!

I miss u.n. owen
posted by OmieWise at 5:07 PM on May 19, 2007


Dude! 8 days on a bus!

It wasn't consecutive, but damn near it. About 4 out and 4 back. Schedule listed it at around 2 days 20 hours for each, but Greyhound never works like that.

I basically got there and pondered around on leaden stilts-for-legs for a few days, confused and bewildered, made a jackass of myself and turned around to come back home. Never did really manage to settle or relax or stop "living out of a backpack", so it felt like a whole lot of consecutive grueling travel and work.

Note to self: Avoid weekend Greyhound travel, you idiot.

Also, leaving California makes you terribly homesick for the incredibly fresh produce and food and burritos, the huge mountains, the deserts, the cities and all of the wild mix of extremes and extreme weirdness and you should know better by now.
posted by loquacious at 5:10 PM on May 19, 2007


In the interests of making MeFi more like the communities I grew up in, I have parked my Escort in the front yard, taken the wheels off and left it to rust.

Let me derail for a moment to make the following point:

You know you're old when the first car you ever owned is now considered a junker.

Next you'll tell me there are K-car collector clubs!

And, get off my lawn!

(This is how I try to fit in. You may resume your navel-gazing.)
posted by evilcolonel at 5:36 PM on May 19, 2007


Yeah, what the hell it's Flo! Hey!!!!!!

(That's as emotional as I get online.)
posted by The Deej at 6:06 PM on May 19, 2007


Better idea loq: avoid greyhound period! Well, if possible. Man, that's a whole underworld unto itself.
posted by The Deej at 6:07 PM on May 19, 2007


*waves at OmieWise & The Deej... takes another pill... falls asleep*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:11 PM on May 19, 2007


Awesome, just as I die cortex closes our other thread. Nice symmetry in that.
posted by quin


HA! Roll credits! (Did Deej and the others get out before quin blowed hisself up? Hello????? Sequel calling!!!!!!

posted by The Deej at 6:12 PM on May 19, 2007


We all like you, hadjiboy (and your posts too) : >
posted by amberglow at 6:22 PM on May 19, 2007


...in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

--The Beatles
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:24 PM on May 19, 2007


I guess... hmm... all you need it love.
posted by The Deej at 6:38 PM on May 19, 2007


Nothing you can do that can't be done...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:52 PM on May 19, 2007


Well, that and drugs. Sex is nice, too.

And a spell checker.
posted by loquacious at 6:52 PM on May 19, 2007


See the thing is, I'm pretty sure he heard about the thing I'm going to do with the moon and the laser and the big cheese making factory, and I'd really hate for him to screw that up, so if you catch him, I'd really hope you'd consider giving him to me.

There really should be an excruciatingly polite evil world-domination mastermind wannabe.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:43 PM on May 19, 2007


There really should be an excruciatingly polite evil world-domination mastermind wannabe.
posted by Ethereal Bligh


Well, I killed him off in this deleted thread. We won't be hearing from him again. Polite or not.
posted by The Deej at 8:19 PM on May 19, 2007




I think I might just stay home all day.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:30 PM on May 19, 2007


Thank you, necessitas.
posted by taosbat at 8:56 PM on May 19, 2007


Goodnewsfortheinsane you made my internet-day.

:)
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:59 PM on May 19, 2007


MetaFilter: Feel Good Central this is not!
posted by l'esprit d'escalier at 1:02 AM on May 20, 2007


I think it's supposed to be about the content, not the people. The people are just a nice/annoying side effect. ;)
posted by Hildegarde at 5:02 AM on May 20, 2007


Basically, right, metafilter is a competition to get the most amount of favorites. Like pokemon. For adults. That's less cool.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:48 AM on May 20, 2007


well, there was the longboat too, but mathowie sank it

Jerk. Totally owes me a longboat. Preferably filled with skulls. Flaming skulls. Flaming skulls of fire. I understand that this may compromise the integrity of said longboat, but it would be AWESOME.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:06 AM on May 20, 2007


Basically, right, metafilter is a competition to get the most amount of favorites. Like pokemon. For adults. That's less cool.
posted by slimepuppy


Yeah, see, I just want to WIN MeFi so I can get on to something else. But I am woefully behind. Interesting game. The only winning move is not to play.
posted by The Deej at 9:13 AM on May 20, 2007


My advice if you want to become part of the "community" : Post awesome things. Leave witty comments. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It also helps to know where the pancakes are.

And there is no cabal.

[NOT CABALIST.]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:21 AM on May 20, 2007


grapefruitmoon, you must not have gotten the latest memo. Please check your spam box. We decided that saying "there is no cabal" only intensified suspicion that there is, indeed, a cabal. Please refrain from this activity.
posted by The Deej at 10:01 AM on May 20, 2007


grapefruitmoon: totally for you
posted by adamvasco at 10:05 AM on May 20, 2007


don't worry, hadjiboy, i'm not part of the cabal either. maybe that's why i notice your posts & comments :)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:41 PM on May 20, 2007


adamvasco: That is the most FLIPPIN' SWEET thing I have ever seen. My Viking helmet is off to you.

And The Deej, I am sorry. I missed the memo. I offer myself up to the cabal - which does not exist - for the routine flogging. With cat paddles.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:48 PM on May 20, 2007


I'm confused again: Why are we whispering about the cabal which isn't?
posted by taosbat at 9:02 PM on May 20, 2007


I offer myself up to the cabal - which does not exist - for the routine flogging. With cat paddles.
Yeah, you wish.
posted by dg at 9:16 PM on May 20, 2007


Yeah, 'moon, I think you are in the wrong thread.
posted by The Deej at 9:57 PM on May 20, 2007


goodnewsfortheinsane / koeselitz: that mefi contribution index calculator seems broken.

here's what i get:

Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING, expecting ')' in /home/dan/www/dan.hersam.com/mefi/.most_mefi_comments on line 73
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:08 PM on May 20, 2007


Hi dear hadjiboy. Well you know I love you. :)

When I joined MetaFilter in 2000 my first post was so awful *cringe* it was warnocked, not to mention the several doubles. I read but didn't post again here for five years. MeFites seemed to be mostly mid-20's/mid-30's white male, suburban American techhies, many of whom sounded intensely misogynistic and had lots of cyber in-jokes. In many ways they seemed to be from Mars.

Definitely didn't feel part of the group at first, especially because I'm awful when it comes to anything techhie, am an urban female who spent a large part of my life outside the USA and even moreso because I'm 53. misslynnster articulated nicely many of my own feelings and thoughts.

Getting to know the ambience of the group, the interests, then posting comments over time, expressing your thoughts, adding links and knowledge builds up credibility and a feeling of your character. It takes some effort to be included.. for everybody.
posted by nickyskye at 10:16 PM on May 20, 2007


The picture that adamvasco linked at 10:05AM is an actual shot of the fate of grapefruitmoon's longboat. None of us knew there were cameras around when the longboat had it's fitting Viking funeral in July of 2006.
The crew was supposed to be ashore, but we have not seen Nice Donkey or gramschmidt since.
posted by Cranberry at 11:32 PM on May 20, 2007


Everyone. I want you to know I feel very much better now. Thanks for taking me seriously. Now go home.


[Unnoticed by most, gestures with RIGHT hand near to breadbasket, lightly touching long finger and thumb in completion of a circle whilst forefinger points towards "up." Simultaneously (together with a slight movement of eye) outer-most edge of LEFT eyebrow lifts directedly.

The "thedeejin" - which had appeared after having been beckoned - now no longer needed, diminish, dissipate and return from whence ey came (which is another dimension).

A percentage of seemingly unconnected MeFites, each returning his or her attentions to other matters already at hand, all make similar or comparable unremarkable gestures before moving on and continuing along disconnected paths. Cabal? Not necessarily, but have we learned nothing by this exercise? Aha.
]
posted by humannaire at 11:40 PM on May 20, 2007


None of us knew there were cameras around when the longboat had it's fitting Viking funeral in July of 2006.

*ahem* That was not MY longboat. ;)

(Also, have I ever mentioned how much that thread helped me stay somewhat sane during a transatlantic move? It was very nice to have ONE channel for all insanity. Really, silly as THIS MESS may seem in retrospect, especially to new users, it really meant a lot to me and made me feel connected to the MetaFilter community.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:44 PM on May 20, 2007


My first post here, a question in the green, was met immediately by two or three snarky comments which, in fact, had nothing to do with my question (that, I notice, are now gone, which is kinda too bad, as I had plans for those...people).

That was kinda a bummer, but I stuck around, to mostly meh and I'm sure some indigestion. I also learned to don a fairly thick skin and not get bent out of shape when people shit on things. I've probably shit a few times myself.

It's an engaging community, however.
posted by maxwelton at 12:35 AM on May 21, 2007


Cran-, grape-, pale, I know, but closer than this, for Thor's sake.
posted by OmieWise at 3:57 AM on May 21, 2007


Everyone. I want you to know I feel very much better now. Thanks for taking me seriously. Now go home.


Who the fuck was that asswipe?
posted by The Deej at 5:22 AM on May 21, 2007


My cynical nature took a look at this MeTa post and interpretted it as nothing but a needy attempt to grab attention. Someone who has only been a member here since January (and made 21 posts ... which is a helluva lot in a user's first 5 months) is feeling like he is not quite in the swing of the community? Jeez, take a number, dude. Some of us have been posting here in obscurity for years with little recognition, except for the odd flare-up or call-out.

Then, as I read through the thread, and encountred the individual experiences I could related to as well as the shared experiences bering remembered, I marvelled at what a great place this mostly is. The thoughts expressed in this thread are really what keeps me coming back here, despite how frustrating MeFi can sometimes be.
posted by psmealey at 6:58 AM on May 21, 2007


Holy shit yeah, where the hell *is* gramschmidt?

And seconding grapefruitmoon, I felt absolutely the same about our little game.

I just want to belong

</conoroberstquavervoice>
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:29 AM on May 21, 2007


Man, why is it that the use of italics at the end of that, specifically, is the thing that offends my aesthetic sensibilities? That seems like an awful specific and relativistic objection. Maybe I have a tumor.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:41 AM on May 21, 2007


I can't decide whether to tell you to see a doctor or a therapist. Or perhaps a typographer.
posted by languagehat at 8:59 AM on May 21, 2007


Surely one can typographically emulate a quavering emo voice and still stress the last syllable, no? Maybe I should see a doctographist.

[NOT DOCTOGRAPHISTIST]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:11 AM on May 21, 2007


OmieWise: Oooh. Thanks. That thread started out with a real topic, but now I see they've gotten down to business. And by business, I mean longboats.

Clearly, I must join in.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:26 AM on May 21, 2007


I'm not sure what this post is about. Are you trying to figure out how to get name recognition? Or are you trying to figure out how to make friends here?

I can't tell you how to get name recognition here, because I don't really know what the method would be. I suppose I have a fair amount of name recognition here, but I can't tell you why. I can tell you that I'm not sure you want it. Being under a microscope isn't cool at all.

I can tell you how to make friends here. That's all done off-site, in my experience. I have talked to and gotten to know a lot of people here from e-mail, im or irc. People will often e-mail me or vice versa, and that is the best way to make a real connection. Or try IRC (just make sure you aren't wearing any pants when you do that).

I don't think participation alone will make you connections. Or at least it doesn't in my experience. Honestly, I don't recognize or connect with most screen names (I don't recognize 90% of the names in this thread). There's just too many to connect with them all. I only recognize names when they participate way too much, but that is just recognition, its not connection. And recognition alone is pointless. Connection is good and makes you personal beyond something that might as well be an eliza script in the comments.
posted by dios at 10:19 AM on May 21, 2007


I can't tell you how to get name recognition here

Apparently one way to do it is to do what I did. Then again, such recognition is most likely only temporary, and not feasible unless you have at least three years of MeFi reading experience under your belt and a month of winter vacation with nothing better to do.

I would suggest, hadjiboy, that you keep doing what you've been doing. No, not making self concious MeTa threads, but to continue making spectacular FPPs on the blue. That's pretty much why I added you as a contact in the first place. Keep it up.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:08 PM on May 21, 2007


Word, CitrusFreak12.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:42 PM on May 21, 2007


Word, goodnews.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:01 PM on May 21, 2007


word, flapjax.
posted by shmegegge at 3:07 PM on May 21, 2007


Word, shmegegge.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2007


Word, cortex.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2007


Word, cort—RECURSION ERROR
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:11 PM on May 21, 2007


And speaking of RECURSION ERROR, what's happened to the Contribution Index, dammit?
posted by languagehat at 5:54 PM on May 21, 2007


Word, Recur.
posted by taosbat at 6:00 PM on May 21, 2007


Hey that's one letter off from "curse word"

FUCK THE SWEAR JAR!!!!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:07 PM on May 21, 2007


Well, if you insist.

*looks for Vaseline*
posted by dg at 6:36 PM on May 21, 2007


I just fucked a cup of coffee. My dick got burnded.
posted by breezeway at 6:39 PM on May 21, 2007


Cream in your coffee?

NOT LATELY!

/rim shot
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:42 PM on May 21, 2007


Rim shot?

IF YOU INSIST!

...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:56 PM on May 21, 2007


I'm so very very confused by this thread too. You make a rim shot with rum, right? Or is that too anal of me?
posted by davy at 7:04 PM on May 21, 2007


That's gross.

Uh oh, I just pooped spiders. Is there a name for this?
posted by breezeway at 7:10 PM on May 21, 2007


I think the longboat is now at periscope depth.
posted by caddis at 8:07 PM on May 21, 2007


Uh oh, I just pooped spiders. Is there a name for this?

They're called spiturds. It's quite a common problem down under, amongst people who eat the traditional bush tucker, redback spider caviar.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:01 PM on May 21, 2007


Gods damn you all, I just lost the Game.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:50 AM on May 22, 2007


Gods damn you all, I just lost the Game.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:50 PM on May 22


The game? That's a good way to be absolutely loathed, despised, and hated with the passion of 1,000 burning suns.

People who bring that excercise in stupidity into the conversation need to all be insta-banned and forced eat to molten cock until they die.

Don't ever do that again.
posted by dios at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2007


I'm pretty sure Dios was an inquisitor in a previous life.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2007


I could have sworn my contribution index should be higher than 0.0. On the other hand, I've been here 2463 days????
posted by norm at 1:01 PM on May 22, 2007


I'm pretty sure Dios was an inquisitor in a previous life.

Nobody would have expected that.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:11 PM on May 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Okay, I admit, i haven't read all 947 comments, or whatever it's up to now. I just wanted to add this:

I used to be a really active user on Lonely Planet's ThornTree, and after a while I did become part of the 'in-joke/knowledge community.' And you know what? That community did not serve the Thorntree well. It became about in jokes, or ongoing discussions across threads, and became a lot less useful and interesting for everyone.

I like Metafilter/AskMe just the way it is: friendly enough that there are actual discussions, but not so socially close that you 'need' to get 'in'. The contributions of occasional commenters are just as valuable, within the thread, as the contributions of the die hards. More people get to enjoy the site more of the time, rather than a small group of people enjoying most of the time.
posted by Kololo at 4:44 PM on May 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, that explains a lot, such as why Thorn Tree was so lousy for obtaining travel info:

"Anybody know what sort bribe should you expect to pay when crossing the border from Mali to Burkina Faso without a valid passport?"

"Portabellos"
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:21 PM on May 22, 2007


Yup, that's exactly what I mean. Beleive it or not, that wasn't always the case. I planned big huge 8 month long trips based almost entirely off the advice i got on that site.

Good ol' 1999-2003, how we miss you.
posted by Kololo at 5:25 PM on May 22, 2007


I'm with EB - nice comment Kololo - better late than never.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:45 PM on May 22, 2007


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