This pony has 60,000 to 1 odds November 30, 2007 11:53 AM   Subscribe

I know this is an incredible longshot, and I'm putting up my snark shield already, but is there any support for having a NewsFilter subsite? People who hate newsfilter FPPs could totally avoid them, and people like me would know what the hell's going on outside without ever having to leave the site.

The news events that are important to MeFites are likely to be of interest to me. Likewise, a lot of the crap on the major news sites is NOT of any interest. I'd feel much more intelligently informed if MeFi was my main source of news. [snark shield now fully activated]

Alternatively, if newsfilter posts were allowed on the front page, there could be an option to simply hide them if the user so desires.
posted by desjardins to Feature Requests at 11:53 AM (64 comments total)

I actually use MeFi as my first news stop as it is but the weakest links we see lately are single meh posts that just link to a short news blurb or a wire story someplace else. I don't think encouraging those sorts of posts or updatefilter "what's up with Big Topic today?" are that great. I'd love to see a spin-off newsfilter site because I think the format lends itself well to this sort of filterish presentation, but it's a serious departure from the "neat stuff you found on the web" approach and there are other good news sites that do this pretty well already.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:58 AM on November 30, 2007


Interesting timing.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:59 AM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I understand where you're coming from, but Metafilter has too many subsites already; conversation is better when it can be general, and separating the subsites like that would lead to too much moderation work on the ground.
posted by koeselitz at 12:00 PM on November 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'd love an integrated newsfilter purely because of the value of MeFites and their ability to post in joined-up thoughts.

On preview: yes, we could really use a unified page showing all threads on all sub sites in one page.
posted by bonaldi at 12:03 PM on November 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


never used baby shoes - yeah, that's what inspired the post. I would not have known about that event until late tonight when my fiancé calls me on his way home from work (he listens to NPR in the car).
posted by desjardins at 12:05 PM on November 30, 2007


there are other good news sites that do this pretty well already.

links pretty please?
posted by desjardins at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2007


How about filtering by tag? We could set it so we never see anything tagged newsfilter.

Too ponyish? Less so than a seperate subsite, surely.
posted by ODiV at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, the problem with tag filtering is making sure everyone uses a newsfilter tag for these posts. The current one doesn't, for example.

I like the idea of this, but I would like to see some of the other sites jess mentions.
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:17 PM on November 30, 2007


How about filtering by tag?

RSS tag feeds?
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on November 30, 2007


The "Hostages, Clinton" post is fucking dreadful.

Between
Sorry, I don't post often and not really sure what I'm doing but thought it was important enough to post.

But thanks for being an arse about it. :)


and

Not all of us have a TV on. Thanks for the post.

I just want to retch.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:22 PM on November 30, 2007


posted by Kwantsar I just want to retch.

Retching, Kwantsar. Quick, make an FPP!
posted by fandango_matt at 12:28 PM on November 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


we blew up that lame post, so all is well again.

I'd say those addicted to news should check out newsvine. It's kind of like a metafilter of all news, letting users comment on anything or even write their own stories and float the best/most important to the top.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:44 PM on November 30, 2007


Setting phasers to flameout!
posted by blue_beetle at 12:48 PM on November 30, 2007




I miss Kwantzar.
posted by chlorus at 12:56 PM on November 30, 2007


mathowie, are you willing to make that newsvine recommendation on the Make A New Post page? please? In huge letters that can't be missed? and then when they hit post it goes to an interstitial page that also says "are you sure this post wouldn't be better suited for newsvine?"
posted by shmegegge at 1:03 PM on November 30, 2007


Thanks for the link, mathowie. Looks like a good site.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:04 PM on November 30, 2007


Can we just post breaking news to this thread?

Evil Knievel is dead.
posted by bondcliff at 1:16 PM on November 30, 2007


That's funny, so is James Brown!
posted by languagehat at 1:23 PM on November 30, 2007


I'm strongly against any newsfilter site, it breeds the sensationalism & jumping at every minute detail with no regard for accuracy in the interest of getting there first that makes cable TV news so toxic. I'm embarrassed to admit that I got caught up enough in the hostage story that I watched the live raw Fox News feed off the web with Carl Cameron making an absolute flaming ass of himself so Fox could be the first to get the identity of the guy on the air. I have no desire to see any part of MetaFilter turn into anything even remotely like that. If that's the direction MeFi wants to go, count me out.
posted by scalefree at 1:25 PM on November 30, 2007


For a taste of what I saw, go here then get out your razor so you can scrape the filth off your eyeballs.
posted by scalefree at 1:28 PM on November 30, 2007


Everyone knows if you preface the post with "NewsFilter:" everything will be OK.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:31 PM on November 30, 2007


People who hate newsfilter FPPs could totally avoid them

You can do that now by not clicking on the god damned FPP.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:36 PM on November 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


not clicking on the god damned FPP.

What about the god loved FPPs?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:59 PM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


what Effigy2000 said.

of course, i still want UpdateMe, for ongoing and unresolved things already posted once (and it could cover both news and issues and human-interest and all the other categories that get posts that aren't already about some thing in the past).
posted by amberglow at 2:20 PM on November 30, 2007


ABC News has a nice breaking news email service that I use to keep up on news. They are generally pretty restrained on what they send out.
posted by smackfu at 3:00 PM on November 30, 2007


Breaking news: I have had a successful bowel movement.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:00 PM on November 30, 2007


God loves all FPPs, even the deleted ones. I learned it in Sunday School.
posted by absalom at 3:04 PM on November 30, 2007


Breaking news: I have had a successful bowel movement.

VICTORY IS OURS!
posted by Stynxno at 3:04 PM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think if you want breaking news, you should probably be reading Fark.

Or Boingboing.

I understand a lot of people want to have a place to make comments with their internet friends from Metafilter, but really, you should probably just read a few Fark threads so you get an idea of what that turns into. You might start to appreciate the lack of images in threads here then as well.
posted by daq at 3:07 PM on November 30, 2007


Breaking news: I have had a successful bowel movement.
The most courageous and well-executed evacuation since Dunkirk.
posted by Abiezer at 3:33 PM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can someone chart since 2000 how many times this idea has come up, and how often it comes up?
posted by cell divide at 3:37 PM on November 30, 2007


A separate Newsfilter site would be great--both for those who love news filter and those who hate it.

Mandatory tagging is nearly as good, with a finite number of defined tags and a posting system that made you choose at least one. Along with this would go tag filtering, the ability to set your preferences to not display posts tagged with X.
posted by LarryC at 4:05 PM on November 30, 2007


I have no problem with newsfilter posts.

But, I wish people would substantiate them with context links.

For example -- don't ask me to provide a link, I've been drinking and can't be bothered -- there was a newsfilter on Jose's sacking from Chelsea.

This was an interesting story on so many levels. People in the UK would atleast have known the surface details and recognised it as being different from your usual 'manager gets sacked from Premiership club' but the single knee-jerk link meant little to those who weren't in the picture.

Nonetheless, as far as I remember, people moaned.

Expect the 'Jose for England' newsfilter soon.
posted by popcassady at 4:09 PM on November 30, 2007


If Ask MeFi has given birth to a weird species of only-Ask MeFi dwellers, then NewsFi could produce NewsFi-dwellers, and I'm not sure if anybody wants those. Take away shared interests, hobbies, music and other lighter post subjects and only concentrate on political world view: that would be all you know about someone who only comments on NewsFi. Disagreements with/between such people would have less softening factors and things turn ugly faster. As it is, varying topics in blue softly push users to reveal many different aspects of themselves and I think that is a major factor of keeping community as nice as it is.
posted by Free word order! at 4:16 PM on November 30, 2007


I miss when James Brown and Evil Knievel weren't dead.
posted by terrapin at 4:40 PM on November 30, 2007


ODiV writes "How about filtering by tag? We could set it so we never see anything tagged newsfilter."

cortex writes "RSS tag feeds?"

Cortex, I think you misread ODiV. Not filtering in, but filtering out. With RSS, it's easy to read anything tagged with newsfilter: just subscribe to the newsfilter RSS tag. I don't know of any way to filter out anything with the newsfilter tag, though, besides subscribing to every other possible tag in the universe besides "newsfilter".
posted by Bugbread at 5:29 PM on November 30, 2007


What Bugbread said--the ability to filter out would be the purpose of the tags.
posted by LarryC at 5:32 PM on November 30, 2007


Yeah, I totally misread him. Oops.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:44 PM on November 30, 2007


for news-politics - go to devoter.com, run by a metafilter's own.
posted by Rumple at 6:02 PM on November 30, 2007


I have no problem with good newsfilter posts. What's good is variable, but I think some objective criteria can be set up for a good newsfilter post. One of those objective criteria would be: no Lindsay Lohan.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 AM on December 1, 2007


I'd prefer fewer newsfilter posts, and just keeping them on the front page. There are other channels for news, even those for like-minded people.
posted by spiderskull at 2:36 AM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


What about the god loved FPPs?

Love 'em.

No Newsfilter please. Good posts stay on the blue anyway and we don't need the rest.
posted by ersatz at 6:56 AM on December 1, 2007


I'd recommend devoter.com, too. I don't lurk there often enough.
posted by malaprohibita at 7:10 AM on December 1, 2007


Variety is the spice of life. I don't want to see the blue balkanized or splintered into sub-topics, there are already more sites than I can keep up with. But as a community, we should just have a high standard for what is and what isn't an acceptable standard.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:43 AM on December 1, 2007


There are other channels for news, even those for like-minded people.
posted by spiderskull


I have a stinking feeling if 9/11 happened today, it's FPP would be deleted.
posted by Balisong at 7:56 AM on December 1, 2007


I think your stinking feeling fails to take into account a sense of proportion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:11 AM on December 1, 2007


*Crafting newsvine.com FPP*
posted by The Deej at 9:17 AM on December 1, 2007


Proceed with caution, man.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:31 AM on December 1, 2007


Yeah, well that one's old and busted. Mine will be the new hotness. I will link to all other news sites for "context."
posted by The Deej at 9:35 AM on December 1, 2007


popcassady: For example -- don't ask me to provide a link, I've been drinking and can't be bothered -- there was a newsfilter on Jose's sacking from Chelsea.

Yes, context is important, because I would have thought the story had something to do with the grocery bagging habits of a Hispanic guy in a New York City neighborhood.
posted by desjardins at 11:37 AM on December 1, 2007


Matt, the thing about recommending NewsVine is that it's like saying "well, you could try Yahoo Answers". The purpose is ostensibly the same, but the people make it different.

I'm into this not so much for discovering breaking news -- I get more of that than I can eat at work -- but for people to discuss it with. People that aren't like those on news sites (who are generally idiots).

Actually, I'm interested enough in this as an idea that if enough people were interested, I'd be happy to set up a MeFi clonish site to do it. It'd be for MeFi members only -- you'd need to leave a code in your profile or similar. Hmm...
posted by bonaldi at 2:21 PM on December 1, 2007


I would like to express support for both newsfilter and a single page view of all new site content (ie, mefi, askme, mufi, meta, all on one page).
posted by empath at 2:35 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bonaldi: Someone was going to do exactly that, they even bought a domain name and posted an AskMe about how to do it right. (Who was that?)
posted by LarryC at 2:51 PM on December 1, 2007


Brandon Blatcher was going to do PolicticsFilter. Since the bulk of newsfilter seems to be PoliticsFilter maybe you two should talk?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:01 PM on December 1, 2007


Balisong writes "I have a stinking feeling if 9/11 happened today, it's FPP would be deleted."

I have a feeling that smells like lilacs that the admins have always permitted Really Big News stories, and have been pretty explicit about the fact that if the news is big enough, it stays. Minor political scandals? No. Skyscraper explosions, Asian tsunamis, cities destroyed by hurricanes? Yes.
posted by Bugbread at 6:29 PM on December 1, 2007


So, if it had been dynamite, and 35+ people died, I could read about it on MeFi, otherwise, meh.
posted by Balisong at 8:49 PM on December 1, 2007


I don't read Moveon.org, and I don't read TPM, and I don't read LGF, and I don't read Huffingtonpost, and I don't read whatever else outrage news filter.
I read Metafilter. and CNN, and sometimes Drudge and Fox news.
I don't get commentary on CNN or Drudge.
If I want to "tap into the hive mind" of current events, I look for the MeFi post. When it's not here, I get sad, angry and depressed. I come to Metafilter to stay current on topical events its progression. For politics, world events, etc.
I don't come here for Paris Hilton posts, or the latest missing white girl, or side burn guides. I can skip those just as easily as others can skip past the stuff they don't like.

We need the news filter posts. It's why many of us are here.
I have a pretty good idea of who to vote for for the election coming up, but, hell, I'm not sure.
I come here to listen to other people's arguments, for and against.
Clinton, McCain, Ron Paul, Kucinich, the whole she-bang.

If the same guy had walked into George Bush's office, I'd want to know about it.
There's no telling if Rupert Murdoch would even put news he doesn't like on his stations. That's the whole idea behind the "New Media". You can't trust what you are given, so you have to find out from non-traditional sources.
You also have to bring your own pinch of salt to separate the crap from the gold. (alchemy reference)

Let those posts stay. I need to hear the feedback. Others need to hear the feedback.
posted by Balisong at 9:09 PM on December 1, 2007


Balisong writes "So, if it had been dynamite, and 35+ people died, I could read about it on MeFi, otherwise, meh."

No, I think that would still pass the bar. The Virginia Tech shooting used guns and resulted in 32 dead, and that got green-lighted too. I don't know where the line is, but it's somewhere between 1 and 32, and the gear used doesn't seem to factor in.
posted by Bugbread at 9:16 PM on December 1, 2007


But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this isn't the site I want it to be.
Maybe this is the happy-go-lucky site for arty Flicker photos, and the newest flash games, and you-tube videos of bands I quit listening to 15 years ago.

Maybe I'm in the wrong spot.
posted by Balisong at 9:19 PM on December 1, 2007


It is not true that the only categories here are Newsfilter and Farkfilter.
posted by LarryC at 10:22 PM on December 1, 2007


Let's take a trip down memory lane, to the first ten posts on MeFi:

1st post: People putting their cats on scanners
2nd post: Someone who lived their life with a webcam on 24/7
3rd post: Some portable Apple computer
4th post: World's smallest web server
5th post: EXPN (ESPN for extreme sports)
6th post: The death clock
7th post: A font-finding site
8th post: Hello Kitty tarot deck
9th post: Yahoo co-branding
10th post: Something about the World Cup Soccer Tournament

Sure, things have changed, and more "deep" posts are common than back then, and with the launch of YouTube, more video posts. But I still think this gives a relatively decent image of MeFi's topical tone.
posted by Bugbread at 12:21 AM on December 2, 2007


A lot of Mathowie's early posts would be deleted as GYOB now.
posted by smackfu at 9:24 AM on December 2, 2007


as someone who's posted more than his fair share of bone-headed political/newsfilter fpps in the past (not to mention taken rejection of those fpps a tad too personally at times), i will say it can be really hard to know where to draw the line, even as a regular mefi reader. when you pay (perhaps unduly) close attention to political events in your day-to-day life, what can seem like insifignicant "newsfilter update"-type topics to others can feel a lot like major news stories in their own right to you.

so it's probably better just to stay away from politics/newsfilter all-together if your sensitive about deletions, or to take it somewhere else like devoter.com. or even better, just give up on caring so passionately about politics already, like i've recently decided to do.

that said, i personally wouldn't complain if there were a newsfilter subsite. and i'm sure i'd eventually end up lurking there, and then i'd have to get my blood pressure medicine dosage upped again.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:04 AM on December 5, 2007


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