Quality Vs. Quantity, n00b edition May 23, 2007 7:19 PM   Subscribe

So I found two cool sites, dealing with entirely separate things that could make meaty FPPs. I just don't have the time to do the research to flesh them out right now. Should I make a pair of posts, or one post connected in a jokey or left-field way? Should I just make follow-up posts in my own thread as I find more stuff, or would you prefer the style of my previous posts, in general, even if it means I forget about stuff that may potentially be cool? I see a massive variety of styles, but I figure I may as well sound the hivemind out. Please feel free to ignore me if I'm being too n00bish.
posted by StrikeTheViol to Etiquette/Policy at 7:19 PM (41 comments total)

Quality is job 1 at Metafilter.
posted by mds35 at 7:35 PM on May 23, 2007

Pick one, flesh it out. Mention the other here and let someone do the work or not. If not, flesh it out some other time when you have the chance.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:36 PM on May 23, 2007

But please don't judge my own posting history against that statement.
posted by mds35 at 7:36 PM on May 23, 2007

Save them for later. Write them down if you're forgetful. Wait until you can do what you think is a good job.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:37 PM on May 23, 2007

This is going to sound snarky, but it isn't, really. But if you've got the time and energy to post about this in MeTa and get advice and start a discussion, why not just pour that time and energy into researching one or more of those two ideas for FPPs?
posted by ORthey at 7:50 PM on May 23, 2007

Two minutes composing, ten minutes over an hour or two checking in, vs. a good hour for a median 'research' post, ORthey.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:52 PM on May 23, 2007

You know, it's quite alright to post to ONE site at a time.

I prefer those kinds of posts to the linky version of term papers some post here, actually.
posted by konolia at 7:53 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

just waste them by posting them here in the this thread. what are the links anyway?
posted by caddis at 8:07 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

My preference:

1. Separate threads by topic. Don't lump them together.
This way each site will get the attention it deserves.

2. Include some informative text on the front page -- that is, don't have a single line that says "hey check it out". That sucks. Have a single line that says "Check out this great website that ranks great artists by the kinds of geometric shapes that appear in their works" or whatever. Then I know whether I should bother to follow your link and get involved in the discussion in your thread.

3. If they are great sites with lots of info and content, they may stand fine as posts on their own. (ie there may be no need to work up an elaborate post) Just tell us what they are clearly.
Others feel differently about this last one, and of course if you want to do a bunch of research and make complex interesting posts that's great. But it's not always required.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:08 PM on May 23, 2007

Johnny Fontane: Oh, Godfather, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do.
Don Corleone: [shouts] You can act like a man!
[he slaps Johnny]
Don Corleone: What's the matter with you. Is this how you turned out? A Hollywood finocchio that cries like a woman.
posted by jonson at 8:51 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yet another Choose Your Own Comment Adventure!

Upon thoroughly overthinking a plate of beans you've submitted an uncertain, slightly passive-aggressive, "n00bish" but very mild question to MetaTalk - gaining the +1 stained underpants of n00b for not posting it to AskMetafilter, nicely done - you find yourself facing a disappointingly small horde of angry nerds. The torches and pitchforks are nowhere to be seen. Some fat, spastic dork in a threadbare Webvan t-shirt is making ludicrously nonthreatening gestures with a Swiss Army keychain knife small enough to outfit GI Joe. There is imitation-butter flavored popcorn, but it's stale enough to use as packing peanuts.

Faced with this lukewarm response do you:

1) Chalk it up as a learning experience and slink away quietly and secretly plan to repost it in about a month, making note of daytime working hours across the US and Western Europe.

3) Switch to full-on B1FF mode and flame out spectacularly in hopes of stoking the fires until dawn in hopes of catching the surly pre-coffee crowd off guard for a frontal attack.
posted by loquacious at 8:55 PM on May 23, 2007 [6 favorites]

Faced with this lukewarm response do you:

1) Chalk it up as a learning experience and slink away etc. etc....

3) Switch to full-on B1FF mode and flame out spectacularly etc. etc...

Perhaps if he posted some sort of 'Mr. T is a viral atheist' link?

But what happened to option #2, loq?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:27 PM on May 23, 2007

Option # 2 is detailed by Don Corleone in the comment immediately above.
posted by jonson at 9:40 PM on May 23, 2007

For the last time, we all already know about Geocities.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:50 PM on May 23, 2007

I don't understand why the posts need to be "fleshed out". If the links are worth posting (separately), they don't need anything else. This fleshing out is just fluff. Sure, as LobsterMitten requests, some context in the post is good—but that just requires a sentence you can write off the top of your head.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:52 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Did some research and posted one set of links here...wrong spelling, correct tags, but I just couldn't wait to show Mefi that "Russian Fur-Hat Dancing" aka the Cossack Hopak, is now a martial art, and the Tetris theme's about a guy trying to get laid.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 10:30 PM on May 23, 2007

I fixed the spelling. Nice post.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:39 PM on May 23, 2007

Well, Mods have spoken, loquacious made me cry tears of joy, (former CYOA addict here) and I'll post to the blue when I can...I think you'll like it, though it may take awhile.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 10:54 PM on May 23, 2007

Fuck fleshing things out. There's a reason the posting form is designed for making single link posts.
posted by cillit bang at 12:10 AM on May 24, 2007

Please feel free to ignore me if I'm being too n00bish.

Too noobish? OMG, you're like an "old-timer" to me, by at least 50 percent (47Ker here)... Half of my posts have been very "fleshed out" and half have been single links, but almost all of them have been well-received, so my advice it to "go for it"... Whether "go for it" means "post what you already have right now, and see what happens" OR "wait awhile and post something more 'researched' "... You could have the best FPP in the world and it might be met with a chorus of "mehs"... Or you could have a single-link and it could be favorited a hundred times... Okay, I'm rambling, but my point is: Go for it, baby! (let the chips fall where they may)
posted by amyms at 12:52 AM on May 24, 2007

*my advice is.. Ugh
posted by amyms at 12:53 AM on May 24, 2007

Count me in as more likely to click on a single link. If I had my way each post would only get one link on the first page and any others would have to appear in the [more inside] (which, know, doesn't formally exist at the moment). People could still write essays, but I think having to single out the best link would make people focus a bit harder on the quality of the linked material rather than the general interestingness of the topic.
posted by teleskiving at 1:02 AM on May 24, 2007

I've never posted here, so I'm perfectly placed to give you some advice. Here it is: construct a "first draft" of BOTH your posts.

Then, present ONE of those drafts to a small focus group of metafilter users. Your focus group membership should be representative of the diversity of views of the entire site.

Of course, you'll have to pay focus group members ("focusites") for their time - the usual rate is $10 per draft post - and you may have to reimburse travelling expenses and the cost of any snack foods consumed during the contemplation of your post. It's also sensible to arrange monitor and keyboard insurance (just in case your draft post gets laughed at, and [say] milk comes out of the nose of one of your focusites and irreparably stains his or her IT equipment).

Then implement a survey to test the responses of your focus group to the draft post. This should cover key questions like:

- was the post of interest to you?

- did you find any typographical errors in the post?

- did you think that the poster had done sufficient research on the topic of the post, so as to give the impression of being a particularly erudite and thoughtful member of the metafilter community?

- did you find the post implicitly or explicitly offensive for any of the following reasons (you can tick more than one box): racism, sexism, sexuality-ism, political correctism, fatism, Amerocentrism, islamophobia, atheism, jism?

- have you seen any of the links in the post before? If so, on which website(s) did you see the link, and when?

- did the post make you sexually attracted to the poster? Please indicate how sexually attracted it made you feel on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being 'not sexually attracted at all' and 10 being 'extremely lustful'.

Those are just the basic questions: you could think up quite a few more. But the focus group results will give you the information you need to make any necessary corrections to the draft post before actual posting.

As for the OTHER draft post, stick it up your ass.

Then post either of the draft posts to metafilter. It really doesn't matter which one, because they'll both smell like shit.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:43 AM on May 24, 2007

There's no reason you can't wait a day to post the second one on its own. There are several reasons not to lump them together.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:45 AM on May 24, 2007

quidnunc, you forgot about the PowerPoint slide show.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:46 AM on May 24, 2007

Oh yeah - throw in a powerpoint-based Oscar-winning movie about the carbon emissions your post will generate and the simple mitigation measures everyone can - indeed, must - take to avert the coming catastrophe. Sorry.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:52 AM on May 24, 2007

Fuck fleshing things out. There's a reason the posting form is designed for making single link posts.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:07 AM on May 24, 2007

Jesus. Just post the damn sites. One today, one tomorrow.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:15 AM on May 24, 2007

Yeah, totally. The original idea of the site was that one person posts one link, and then everyone else does this "fleshing out". Any post that contains more than three links or so is just masturbation for the most part. "Oh I'm so clever and can use Google, look at meee".
posted by reklaw at 6:23 AM on May 24, 2007

I like term-paper posts, which work like another layer of filter about a given topic. Someone finds an excellent site to center the topic on, then presents a range of sites related to the topic. Because those sites have been "juried," in essence, by the poster, they're often a far more efficient and interesting survey than I'd get just searching on my own. I also think that longer posts encourage good, clear writing.

When this discussion has arisen in the past, there are enough voices falling on either side of that argument that it seems we've arrived at a generally workable compromise in allowing both. Both appear daily. I don't see one format as necessarily superior to another in and of itself - quality is what matters. I think it's best to match format to content - when you have a single link powerful and self-explanatory enough to stand on its own, then post it as a single. When you can bring the readers more context or a range of points of view or additional resources that will add to their experience, definitely assemble those into a well-written paragraph (like the Cossacks one - nice post). I enjoy single links, and I also enjoy reading an interesting paragraph that gives me a reason to delve into the set of links.

Users have freedom and the community sets general parameters for length (posts longer than 8 lines are so seem to be beyond the pale, and we've all seen objections to SLNF and the like). Good content is the rule. If a single link isn't giving you good content, either don't make the post, or put it into a broader context of a selection of good links on the topic. Here, I think you chose wisely. Rarely do you see objections to a post that's good, regardless of format.
posted by Miko at 6:27 AM on May 24, 2007

"Quality is job 1 at Metafilter."

When I worked at Kinkos, we once ran off a job of thousands of copies for Ford of an ISO9000 report they had unintentionally emblazoned with the motto "Qaulity is Job 1."
posted by klangklangston at 6:44 AM on May 24, 2007

The official MetaFilter admin style-guide would recommend replacing that "Qaulity is, Job 1."
posted by Wolfdog at 6:46 AM on May 24, 2007

Just post the first link. Then post the second link. Fuck fleshing shit out.
posted by chunking express at 7:26 AM on May 24, 2007

I'm pretty sure the secret manual says that there's more than one kind of good post, and that bitching about legitimate fleshing out of researchy posts with supporting material is just as bad as bitching about single links that stand well on their own. Somewhere in the "To Each His Own" chapter, subsection "Variety: Life-Spice".

I can't find my copy, but I'm pretty sure it's in there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:02 AM on May 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

I know cortex, but I find people stress far too much about what they post to this site, as evidenced by these sort of MetaTalk posts. Many posts are fine by themselves, with out links to news stories, wikipedia, etc.
posted by chunking express at 8:05 AM on May 24, 2007

Well I don't know cortex, so you're probably wrong.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:49 AM on May 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

people stress far too much about what they post to this site

That might actually be one of the reasons it stays so good, in general.
posted by Miko at 8:56 AM on May 24, 2007

True, but it's also one of the reasons we get posts padded out with a lot of superfluous links. Or MetaTalk threads like this. If you make a crappy post then you'll be rightly mocked, and next time you'll think twice about doing so. These MetaTalk threads shouldn't be needed.
posted by chunking express at 9:15 AM on May 24, 2007

Members should be able to write comprehensive posts with a bunch of links which all work together—miko's so-called “term-paper posts”—if they wish. But they shouldn't feel they need to add a bunch of links to a post that already has one quality link. As chunking express says, often when a member does this, the quality link gets lost among the added not-quality links.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:25 AM on May 24, 2007

True, both.

The MetaTalk threads are ok by me, though, because there's nowhere else to discuss this sort of thing as a sitewide phenomenon rather than within the context of the post topic.
posted by Miko at 9:51 AM on May 24, 2007

What konolia, EB, and others said. Single-link posts are fine. They're great. Multilink posts can also be great, of course, but frankly there have been times when I've looked at one of those "term-paper posts," sighed, and moved on down the road—I just didn't have it in me to check out a dozen links, or even to expend the mental energy necessary to try to figure out what might be the most interesting link to click. Ideally (for me), the actual post would have one or two links, auxiliary ones being [inside].
posted by languagehat at 12:01 PM on May 24, 2007

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