Do people actually visit the links they're commenting on? December 10, 2001 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Here's a thread who's discussion seems to have almost nothing to do with the link it was supposedly based on. I know we've asked this before, but do people actually visit the links they're commenting on? 13018 could be a worthwhile, unique discussion. Instead, to my eye at least, it's mostly people discussing something that's fairly obvious.
posted by mrbula to Etiquette/Policy at 2:15 PM (10 comments total)

(Or, maybe, I just completely misunderstood the point of the essay myself?)
posted by mrbula at 2:16 PM on December 10, 2001

jacknose's link description was about a single paragraph from the entire essay, which was actually somewhat confusing. I think people focused on the part jacknose presented, as opposed to the whole thing, as that didn't seem to be the point of the original post.
posted by whatnotever at 2:35 PM on December 10, 2001

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

jacknose: "Travel Makes You Stupid" is the title that openDemocracy used on its front page. I think it is a bit misleading, but one should not judge an essay by its title.

What's above seems reasonable, but misleading thread titles have a definite downside. In this case, several MeFiers apparently read only the post and not the linked-to essay (actually titled "A Letter from the Future"). Then, others seem to have read only the comments (not the essay). What a waste.
posted by Carol Anne at 2:50 PM on December 10, 2001

I read the link but didn't find it very interesting or insightful (I agree with the neo-luddite comment in the thread). I know the point of MeFi is to comment on the link and I'm not excusing myself, I just found the discussion more interesting. It may sound obvious that travel broadens the mind, but I don't think it is.
posted by Summer at 3:09 PM on December 10, 2001

There's been a disturbing trend, of late, to take a perfectly good link, and immediately try to point the discussion in entirely the wrong direction. The "what's your experience" post. I think it's born of the "front page poll" trend. I don't like it.
posted by jpoulos at 3:17 PM on December 10, 2001

There is still time to redirect the discussion here before it too gets out of hand.
posted by Catch at 3:38 PM on December 10, 2001

I appreciate your comments mrbula. I think that was my first reaction as well (did anyone read the essay). I just wrote a rather lengthy response to your post regarding urban planning. It's an interesting dilemma when a discussion supplants the actual link but also proves to be compelling and/or insightful. I suppose the natural progression of a thread tends to be multi-pronged: some responding to the actual link, and others to the various comments and ideas offered in the thread. Is this necessarily bad? (Forgive me for the polling.)
posted by jacknose at 4:10 PM on December 10, 2001

Admittedly, it is in any commenter's own best interests to click on the referred link of a MeFi post before hitting the Post button themselves, but please let us be reasonable. Not everyone's going to do that.

We each approach the world from our own unique vantage point. One of the many things that makes MeFi worth returning to again and again is the wealth of vantage points. Some people will respond to the link. Some will respond to the words the original poster chose to use with the link. Some will respond to the comments from others. I say we should rejoice in the fact that so many choose to respond at all, and not fret over whether everyone's staying on what some perceive to be the "appropriate" topic.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:15 PM on December 10, 2001

jacknose, I don't think it's bad at all. I just get concerned when threads deviate from the link they're based on so quickly.
posted by mrbula at 7:27 PM on December 10, 2001

I read the article, though it was a load of bollocks, then posted an inane comment. Sorry it wasn't 'on topic' but then, as far as I was concerned the article failed to make any valid points, I think RobertLoch said it best.

As for the thread, it seems to have gained legs now. So what's the problem?
posted by davehat at 2:00 AM on December 11, 2001

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