Why doesn't matthowie have a $200M valuation? December 11, 2007 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Why is MeFi not part of the social news site boom? Digg, reddit, newsvine, and others are the lucrative hot trend, but MeFi seems to do the same thing better (no Ron Paul spam), smarter, and for longer, and we even have favorites, for those who want voting-like capabilities. So why is MeFi not included with these young whippersnappers? And why are they not learning from MeFi's evolved model of light moderation, talk pages, and strong self-policing?
posted by blahblahblah to MetaFilter-Related at 12:15 PM (98 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

MetaFilter is Web 0.0. As others have pointed out, MeFi is more in the tradition of the old dial-in BBS services than a social networking site.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:18 PM on December 11, 2007


but MeFi seems to do the same thing better (no Ron Paul spam), smarter, and for longer

You may have answered your own question.
posted by dead_ at 12:19 PM on December 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Part of it is undoubtedly the barrier to entry. We may be a little like The Well, which had a few years of celebrity, then was surpassed by less exclusive derivatives. Also, the site design probably doesn't look trendy enough.
posted by gsteff at 12:22 PM on December 11, 2007


Gradients.
posted by dw at 12:24 PM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is a feature not a bug
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:26 PM on December 11, 2007 [107 favorites]


So why is MeFi not included with these young whippersnappers?

Metafilter isn't very sexy. It's not very pitchable. What's the hook? "The people there aren't stupid"?

What would you be buying, if you were buying Metafilter? Because it's got to be something you can (a) turn into money, or (b) turn around and sell again at a nice profit. It's got to be a commodity. It's got to be something you can lay out in thirty seconds, something you can bend over a barrel and have your way with—rebrand it, recycle the existing userbase, blow everything up by a factor of ten or a hundred or a thousand—and have it still retain its essential utility.

Plus, a shitload of aggressive, annoying PR work is kind of important, I gather.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:26 PM on December 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


Who the crap cares about valuation? I'd much rather MeFi be like the "useless tree" from the Tao Te Ching; its wood has no useful application, and thus it is never cut down.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:26 PM on December 11, 2007 [27 favorites]


You don't know that Metafilter doesn't have a 200M valuation. I'm sure Matt doesn't pop into MeTa every time somebody makes him an offer.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:28 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Because Matt's not in it for the money. If you're not for sale, you have no valuation. It's like asking why kottke is worth less than Weblogs, Inc.
posted by Plutor at 12:30 PM on December 11, 2007


By the way, I should point out that I like MeFi the way it is, as our little community, and am getting to be a relative old-timer here in any case. But I think it is wrong to say that MeFi is old-fashioned, the collective set of updates (Projects, Music Favorites, Popular Favorites tab, Jobs, MeFi Mail) are very much on trend, and I wonder what that means about MeFi in a time when communities like ours are getting lots of outside attention. I also wish more more sites would pay attention to what makes MeFi so durable over such a long time.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:31 PM on December 11, 2007


Because implicit in "Web 2.0" social newsworthiness is a site's applicability for spamminess and ease of marketing manipulation and data extraction. The prominence of these sites within their ecosystem is a function of their ability to generate context-sensitive advertising revenue within their own domain, affiliate domains, and both in- and out-bound linked sites or review sites. You get all the affiliate sharecropper blogs pimping for you then you've got PR mojo.

Also, as mentioned above, Metafilter needs more pastels and rounded corners.
posted by meehawl at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Those sites are all built with the purpose of getting money. Metafilter was not (AFAIK).

Digg's valuation isn't some side-effect of its inherent coolness - it was built, from day zero - to be a business that makes money. Or at least one that makes equity.
posted by GuyZero at 12:35 PM on December 11, 2007


Why is MeFi not part of the social news site boom? Digg, reddit, newsvine,

Why do you hate MetaFilter?

Look, if you promise to never, ever mention this again I'll promise to call off the killer ninja assasins that are about 15 seconds from leaping through your window.
posted by loquacious at 12:37 PM on December 11, 2007 [13 favorites]


(no Ron Paul spam)

I think you have your answer.
posted by Anne Coulter's Butt Plug at 12:40 PM on December 11, 2007


Metafilter isn't very sexy

Rather, its sexiness isn't readily apparent.

*Licks monitor*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:40 PM on December 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Because it costs $5 to join. The people flocking to those sites you mentioned are too young to have credit cards.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:41 PM on December 11, 2007


People don't care about the new big thing a few years down the road. MetaFilter will probably still be interesting and beloved long after Digg is fodder for VH8's I Love the Aughties. MetaFilter is The Smiths, Digg is Wham. The parallels will be uncanny, mark my words.

The MeFi mods will become addicted to heroin, sue each other, go nativist and join Modest Mouse.

Digg's admin team will split between people who'll fade into oblivion and those who'll expose themselves in public restrooms.

It's a sure thing.
posted by Kattullus at 12:41 PM on December 11, 2007 [6 favorites]


Rather, its sexiness isn't readily apparent.

Touche. Let me restate:

MetafilterTM isn't very sexy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:51 PM on December 11, 2007


Dark text on a white background would put us over the top.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:53 PM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I suspect that some of it has to do with the fact that Mefi/Matt is like a LBS (local bike store) or CSA (community supported agriculture). Part of the feel (charm?) is that it's one guy's project and it wasn't created with venture capital and an IPO or sale in mind. I think that is part of the reason so many people invest themselves so much in the site. As a result, I suspect that if a big business (other than Google, maybe) swooped in and started allowing open membership and plastering ads all over the place, the existing user base would quickly depart.

Plus, it's not white.
posted by probablysteve at 12:54 PM on December 11, 2007


damn it
posted by probablysteve at 12:54 PM on December 11, 2007


Kattullus: "VH8's I Love the Aughties"

1) You++ for VH8.
2) Aughties Naughties. Fixed that &c.
posted by Plutor at 12:54 PM on December 11, 2007


For the same reason why Slashdot is also not included in the list of hot properties.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:57 PM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thank God we're not.

There's an inverse relationship between popularity and quality, when it comes to websites of this type.
posted by ook at 12:58 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


The MeFi mods will become addicted to heroin, sue each other, go nativist and join Modest Mouse.

So,

mathowie = Morrissey
cortex = Johnny Marr
so Jessamyn = Mike Joyce?

And does this mean cortex will do a one-off website with Scoble and Perez Hilton called Electronic.com?
posted by dw at 12:59 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


When you say $200M, do you mean $200k, or $200MM?
posted by found missing at 1:01 PM on December 11, 2007


Basically nothing about Metafilter is designed for rapid growth.

It's not going to take over the world. Digg has 6x as many subscribers and has been around 3/8 as long.

Companies' valuations are largely determined by their profits and how much (which means "how quickly") they are expected to grow.
posted by aubilenon at 1:01 PM on December 11, 2007


Because we're not geared toward teenagers and preteens. Everything... EVERYTHING that makes the big money and rides the big wave nowadays is geared toward teenagers and preteens. music, tv shows, movies, books and whatever else you can think of all obeys the mighty teenager with bad parents who give money instead of love. this is why American Idol is bigger than Ed Sullivan ever was, but Deadwood gets axed. If it weren't for teenagers, Youtube and Digg would look like Community Shakespearean theater and The Village Voice, respectively.

It's like asking why kottke is worth less than Weblogs, Inc.

I don't know what kottke's worth, and I don't have anything against him, but this is a peculiar question. What precisely would inspire someone to think that you could sell Kottke for anything? He's not providing some invaluable service or marketing opportunity or anything. He's just a hipster nerd who "Got There First(tm)."
posted by shmegegge at 1:05 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


I once told a Google employee about how many users MeFi has. He paused and then told me that it wasn't very successful, was it? Something to that effect, where I think he meant something along the lines of economic success and popularity.

I wanted to go cry to Metatalk, because I considered Metafilter to be the awesomest thing evar, and hadn't even thought about comparing it to all those other, more commercial sites. I found that I hadn't the words to explain why I believed Metafilter to be successful. then I realized that MetaFilter doesn't can't be measured by same metric as those other sites. I don't know if it even needs a metric.

I mean, how to to explain all the stuff that it inherent to participating in MetaFilter a long time? How do you describe it, even in context of social news sites? This is a magical fucking land of intelligent discourse, insightful snark, joyful meetups, incredible music, and thought provoking answers. MetaFilter can engage the mind, inspire creation, or piss you the hell off in a more than superficial way.

I used to have nightmares about the commercialization of metafilter
posted by Mister Cheese at 1:07 PM on December 11, 2007 [7 favorites]


Plutor: Aughties Naughties. Fixed that &c.

That was my first thought, but then I realized that the prevailing social mores of the 00's have been more "you oughta" than "we naughty." Which is yet another reason not to swim in the mainstream.
posted by Kattullus at 1:11 PM on December 11, 2007


mathowie = Morrissey
cortex = Johnny Marr
so Jessamyn = Mike Joyce


Then pb = Andy Rourke?
posted by mds35 at 1:13 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


How do you know Matt isn't rolling in the big bucks right now? Pollomacho at hot mail never got a single V1@gr@ spam nor a single email from an unfortunate gentleman in Nigeria with millions of dollars tied up in a special bank account before I used that address to sign up for MeFi. Coincidence?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:15 PM on December 11, 2007


Metafilter is not scalable.
posted by empath at 1:20 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


to think that you could sell Kottke for anything?

Eyeballs, baby. Even in this day and age, audience size and segmentation matters.

I once told a Google employee about how many users MeFi has. He paused and then told me that it wasn't very successful, was it?

Obviously, that depends on your definition of success. But I use MetaFilter for the same reason I use Linux: it has a tremendous amount of value for me personally, but the general public perceives it as being of little value. Identifying and taking advantage of undervalued properties and assets should be a key tenet not only of investing, but of life in general.
posted by davejay at 1:21 PM on December 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yeah, uh, Pollomacho? I'm still kinda, you know, waiting on your bank information over here. These royal millions aren't going to distribute into the custody of your account by themselves, buddy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:22 PM on December 11, 2007


Because the ability to change your password was only added LAST WEEK!
posted by blue_beetle at 1:25 PM on December 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


This ties into something that I was thinking about the other day, basically why the Gawker Network of Blogs (Gawker, Deadspin, Lifehacker, etc.) bother me so much.

They've taken the blog form and distilled it to its money making essence. Instead of linking to a site in the old "there's good stuff here" form, they give you the choice information from the link and then bury the link near the bottom, doing more to help their ad revenues.

Requests for comments are done so often that it really seems like there's no interest in building community, but to live up to the "more comments=more pageviews."

Unlike the sites devoted to making money, Metafilter is still a distillation of cool things people find on the web. The edges haven't been rounded down to streamline the separation of members from their money. Posts aren't designed to make sponsors happy, and it actually feels like a community.
posted by drezdn at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


“Why do you hate MetaFilter?”

Hating MetaFilter is a feature, not a bug.

...course, anyone outside MetaFilter hating MetaFilter gets a boot to the winkies.
Never go against the family, Fredo.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2007


Metafilter isn't very sexy. It's not very pitchable. What's the hook? "The people there aren't stupid"?
posted by cortex

Speak for yourself, mate.








oops.
posted by micayetoca at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2007


Digg, reddit, newsvine, and others are the lucrative hot trend, but MeFi seems to do the same thing better

I disagree that MeFi is doing "the same thing, only better" as digg, reddit, and newsvine. I think they serve fundamentally different purposes, although I can't quite articulate what they are (and I've spent the last ten minutes trying and failing to put it into words).

And why are they not learning from MeFi's evolved model of light moderation, talk pages, and strong self-policing?

"Talk pages?" Are you perhaps confusing MeFi with Wikipedia? To the jist of your question, however, they don't use light moderation and strong self-policing because that's not in line with the nature of those sites, which is to be essentially unmoderated sites. You might as well ask why Wikipedia doesn't learn from Britannica's evolved model of assigning experts to write articles, or why the New York Times doesn't learn from JAMA's peer review process. There's room for all of the above in the world, and if all social news sites were more like MetaFilter, where would the people who were looking for social news sites that are distinctly unlike MetaFilter go?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:57 PM on December 11, 2007


Right to hell.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:05 PM on December 11, 2007


If I ever see someone with MetaFilter up on their screen, I think: "Hey! Get out of my website."
posted by popcassady at 2:13 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter is an anti-social networking site.

Not the same thing.
posted by psmealey at 2:15 PM on December 11, 2007 [19 favorites]


Can you possibly imagine the hated, angst, and snark someone would be purchasing by investing in Metafilter? Our dark, sticky blackness devours souls, slaughters 5 year olds by the truckloads, then disposes of the bodies with industrial strength lye. And you want to let that loose on the general population? For SHAME sir! FOR SHAME!
posted by blue_beetle at 2:23 PM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


When it comes down to it, I blame these threads here for driving off potentially new mefites.
posted by shmegegge at 2:38 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not enough pictures, emoticons or display fonts.
posted by SassHat at 2:44 PM on December 11, 2007


Lack of unwashed masses.
posted by togdon at 2:45 PM on December 11, 2007


This is finally proof that the site was indelibly besmirched when we had suicide girls on the front page for a couple of days. No-one wants our tainted good now.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:59 PM on December 11, 2007


Let's not talk about this anymore. I like things the way they are.
posted by asavage at 3:07 PM on December 11, 2007 [6 favorites]


This callout is eponysterical.
posted by lilithim at 3:14 PM on December 11, 2007


zomg adam savage trying to prevent upbidding on secret Discovery Channel acquisition of Metafilter SOMEBODY GET PEREZ HILTON ON THIS
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're really begging the question here, unwittingly or not.
"Why are we too cool to be counted among the unwashed masses of more popular (and therefore less cool) websites?"
The answer to your question can be found in your premise; there's no need to come on MetaTalk so we can all pile on about how MeFi is higher quality than [gradient-filled, bubble-lettered 2.0 website].

I mean, really; if we're here, we already know.
posted by anifinder at 3:26 PM on December 11, 2007


If you're going to try to sell something catering to an "elite" audience, you need to make sure that audience is in the Top 1% of disposable income and Bottom 50% of discerning taste. MetaFilter doesn't come close on either count.
posted by wendell at 3:27 PM on December 11, 2007


If only there were a way to monetize calling strangers retards over essentially small disagreements, often unprompted by any particular behavior.

Then I'd be rich, retards.
posted by klangklangston at 3:35 PM on December 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


If only Matt had thought to trademark 'NSFW'...
posted by lukemeister at 3:42 PM on December 11, 2007


First, I don't think MeFi's not part of the boom. Web 2.0 means a lot of different things to different people -- to some people it's an eye-rolling buzzword about trying to shoehorn community into the same old sites that flopped during the last bubble. To others, it's a reflection of the fact that the experience of discovering and sharing and connecting online has fundamentally improved over the first generation of web apps.

The upside of the eye-rolling definition is that the model for selling ads to large audiences on the web is more efficient, and the audiences are easier for an independent site to attract. That's why efforts like FM Publishing exist, and I would be dollars to donuts that MeFi is benefitting from more ad dollars there.

The more idealistic definition of Web 2.0 is also something that MeFi didn't just benefit from, but helped inspire. I've talked to Kevin Rose and Alexis Ohanian and Mike Davidson, and they all revere and respect what Matt (and now, the folks Matt's working with) has done with MeFi, and they were all directly or indirectly inspired by it. My impression is that the goals of MeFi are not to maximize growth in number of users, or to maximize the value that Matt could get from traditional media companies.

And that's what the $200mm valuations are about -- what companies that build ad-sponsored, traditional, large-scale mass media think it's worth to own and control a site where they don't have to pay the writers. That those writers happen to feel that they're contributing to a community, not writing free content for a media company, is kind of incidental.

I've been through a lot of these conversations, especially around what it takes to remain independent and support people that want to be creators in a community instead of merely being part of Time Warner or Yahoo or IAC or something. And it's a rough business, one that Matt has decided not to optimize for. Like Kottke or some of the other sites mentioned above, from the standpoint of the bubble-blowers, he's leaving millions, maybe tens of millions of dollars on the table. Those of us that like the MeFi sites should be pretty glad he is.
posted by anildash at 3:58 PM on December 11, 2007 [10 favorites]


Not only is MetaFilter web 0.0, but most of our members are on Drugs 2.0. It's part of the appeal.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:08 PM on December 11, 2007


There's got to be a network game show lurking somewhere in the flameouts, though.
posted by maxwelton at 4:24 PM on December 11, 2007


A 2.0 of bloggers?
posted by Rumple at 4:33 PM on December 11, 2007


"There's got to be a network game show lurking somewhere in the flameouts, though."

Hand or No Hand?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:34 PM on December 11, 2007


There's got to be a network game show lurking somewhere in the flameouts, though.

Who Wants To Marry A Man Who Has Been SILENCED ALL HIS LIFE?

The Price is Handchopping! That one's a bit forced, but languagehat really needs a sparkly Rod Roddy suit.
posted by CKmtl at 4:44 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


That those writers happen to feel that they're contributing to a community, not writing free content for a media company, is kind of incidental.

Bleh.
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:23 PM on December 11, 2007


Let's not talk about this anymore. I like things the way they are.

*orders ninjas to release Buster and return numerous stolen gadgets of doom*

*sends ninjas to Anil Dash's house on secret mission to give him a stealthy but brisk rogering - failing that a secret ninja atomic wedgie*
posted by loquacious at 5:24 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually, I don't understand how Matt supports himself on piles of five dollar bills. It must be the Metafilter Plus! memberships that show candid videos of the moderators.
posted by lukemeister at 5:29 PM on December 11, 2007


When the internet apocalypse comes to pass and there is nothing but packs of wild diggs and the occasional roaming facebook, metafilter will be our brotherhood of steel.
posted by tehloki at 5:48 PM on December 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


I once told a Google employee about how many users MeFi has. He paused and then told me that it wasn't very successful, was it?

No, no, no. MeFi is like the quality show or the literary magazine or the local jazz dive. You want to be associated with it for the prestige. Only the literati there are beats on drugs, the dive has a Jim Morisson act-alike who'll visit your table and begin "interacting" with the corporate representatives and your quality show will be a hit among 100 people, none of them journalists. So you scrap the endorsement program and try hard to buy your way into millionaire retirement. Because that blessed day you'll be able to rest at home, without worrying about work, reading MeFi all day long and making cute snarky comments.
posted by ersatz at 5:58 PM on December 11, 2007


Also: Our senior favouriter has great taste in games, as evidenced by his comment. I'll mention Lynch & Kane (10/10! "Amazing -ersatz") to help with the sellout.
posted by ersatz at 6:05 PM on December 11, 2007


I think Kwine said this best in the We've Got Pictures MetaTalk thread recently; the reason MeFi is both successful and not very approachable is because of the literacy of its users, and their passion for enforcing this standard.
posted by odinsdream at 6:34 PM on December 11, 2007


I am an old fart who joined in 2000. There have been long stretches when I have not even thought of visiting MetaFilter. I didn't even bother to leave a comment for years.

But whenever i've returned, I've always been impressed by the continuing quality and consistency of the site. There hasn't been a deterioration of the community into as I've seen at Digg or reddedit, or a decline in quality of content as I've seen on Lifehacker (to give one example) recently. I think this is due to the way Matt maintains his baby, and continues to nurture it. He deserves all kinds of credit for this.

I don't know how you put a monetary value on quality and consistency though. I hope that the MeFi family of sites keeps going for a long time though, for our and future generations.
posted by derMax at 6:42 PM on December 11, 2007


I don't know how you put a monetary value on quality and consistency though.

Sadly, there is none. It's considered contrary to all the rules of Free Market Economics and there are strong regulations against it in the U.S. enforced by the Federal Reserve, FTC, FCC, FDA, FAA and other agencies starting with F.
posted by wendell at 7:00 PM on December 11, 2007


When the internet apocalypse comes to pass and there is nothing but packs of wild diggs and the occasional roaming facebook, metafilter will be our brotherhood of steel.


General Mathowie: We have won again. That is good! But what is best in life?
MeFi Warrior: A sharp wit, the open snark, a supporting link in your buffer, and the well-won debate.
General Mathowie: Wrong! Cortex, what is best in life?
Cortex: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to scoff at the illogicalities of their arguments!
Khitan General: That is good.


Cortex: The riddle... of steel.
Jessadoom: Yes! You know what it is, don't you, boy? Shall I tell you? It's the least I can do. Steel isn't strong boy, logic is stronger! Look around you. There, on the rocks; that wrongheaded, dramatic noob. Come to me my child...
[The noob plunges from the rock to their death.]
Jessadoom: That is strength, boy! That is power! The strength and power of logic! What is steel, compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart, I gave you this! Such a waste. Contemplate this on the iptables of woe. Banhammer him!
posted by loquacious at 7:06 PM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Iptables of woah.
posted by carsonb at 7:10 PM on December 11, 2007


I once told a Google employee about how many users MeFi has. He paused and then told me that it wasn't very successful

It's been my experience that most people I've spoken to at Google hired post-2004 have no real idea why it is so popular, or what being popular means, or how to get it, keep it, maintain it, or lose it. For them it's like fish implicitly expecting the ocean to always remain wet - they just don't have to spend that much effort strategising about it, but basically are just busy being fish. Which is great as long as the tide's in.
posted by meehawl at 7:50 PM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


the dive has a Jim Morisson act-alike who'll visit your table and begin "interacting" with the corporate representatives

Why can I see nobody but jonmc performing this role?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:31 PM on December 11, 2007


I want to be the next lucrative hot trend. Get in on Salmoberry, Inc, now!

When my web 3.0 app shows up (hint: bevelled edges are making a comeback) the IPO will make me TENS of DOLLARS!
posted by Salmonberry at 10:45 PM on December 11, 2007


DevilsAdvocate: "... if all social news sites were more like MetaFilter, where would the people who were looking for social news sites that are distinctly unlike MetaFilter go?"

Who gives a fuck, as long as they don't come here?

You all know the difference between "old" and "classic", right? Well, MeFi is a classic. Kind of like Aston Martin cars - they aren't for everyone, but for those who they appeal to, the sexiness will never fade.

*sells children, buys up big on Salmonberry inc, crosses fingers*
posted by dg at 12:08 AM on December 12, 2007


Dude, matthowie's got all the valuation he needs. Guy walks into almost any city in the world, the freakin world man, and within five minutes tops, someone's walking up and giving him a hug.

A freakin' hug, man. Don't get much richer than that.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:02 AM on December 12, 2007


Metafilter's really not something that would scale well at all. There's maybe a couple of thousand regular posters on the blue? And a lot of the signal/noise comes from a few hundred people. That's a good size for a community- big enough to bring in lots of people from different backgrounds, skillsets, experiences, and tastes, small enough to not subdivide like Something Awful or just be an undifferentiated mass of users like Facebook or MySpace or Digg or any of those hellholes. (I actually like Facebook for certain uses but that's beside the point.)

We're the size we should be. It's nice here.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:32 AM on December 12, 2007


For what it's worth, as far as I know, not one single intelligent, educated friend of mine has jumped on board here, in spite of me constantly dropping hints like "yeh, there was a great discussion of that exact topic on metafilter just last week". Occasionally, I send people threads related to topics that I know are of interest to them. Still, no show.

I tend towards 'blaming' this on the text-based nature of the site (for which i am eternally grateful) - short attention spans; MTV generation; that sorta thing. I've had feedback along the lines of "yeh, that thread looked interesting, but I can't be assed reading anything that would take me more than three minutes".

So yeh, keep it up! Leave off with the social networking shit; steer clear of the shitty avatar images & bollocksy signatures & let those kinds of people who think reading is a waste of time - which could otherwise be spent poking each other with ever-gimmickier facebook applications - autofilter themselves elsewhere.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:20 AM on December 12, 2007


So yeh, keep it up! Leave off with the social networking shit; steer clear of the shitty avatar images & bollocksy signatures & let those kinds of people who think reading is a waste of time - which could otherwise be spent poking each other with ever-gimmickier facebook applications - autofilter themselves elsewhere.

At the risk of being ironically terse, "Ditto."
posted by Wolfdog at 5:38 AM on December 12, 2007


The question is flawed. Metafilter is a partner with Federated Media, an advertising network of independently owned sites that has the same relationship with Digg, BoingBoing, Ars Technica, and a shitload of other 'web 2.0' sites that you've heard of. Scroll down on this page and you'll see Metafilter listed along with a lot of other sites you've heard of.

Why is MeFi not part of the social news site boom?

It is.

So why is MeFi not included with these young whippersnappers?

It is.

And why are they not learning from MeFi's evolved model of light moderation, talk pages, and strong self-policing?

They are.
posted by bingo at 5:45 AM on December 12, 2007


MetaFilter is The Smiths

So the $5 admission fee is there because we really don't immigrants and long for a golden age when the web was populated solely by the white middle classes?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:19 AM on December 12, 2007


ick. that should be 'really don't like immigrants'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:20 AM on December 12, 2007


Next april fools, MeFi should get a Web 3.0 makeover.
posted by SpecialK at 8:02 AM on December 12, 2007


Digg, reddit, etc. are social bookmarking sites.
Metafilter is a community weblog.
posted by armoured-ant at 9:05 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad you asked this question, blahblahblah, mainly because it dovetails very nicely with a related question that's been bugging me for weeks.

It concerns two establishments. One is named Paddy McCelticDude's Old Time Sports Lounge. It is located on Roosevelt Avenue, in the borough of Queens, NY. The other is Le Hawt Discotecque, on West 27th street, in the borough of Manhattan.

Why is Paddy's establishment not listed with Le Hawt Discotecque? And, for that matter, why isn't Le Hawt Discotecque trying to learn from Paddy's evolved model of 2 for one Coors Light on Mondays, generous buybacks and a drunken retired transit worker mumbling incoherently and then pissing himself at exactly 4:03 p.m. every Thursday?

This confounds me to no end. Both establishments make most of their money after the sun sets. AND they make most of that money serving alcohol. So what gives?

If anyone can help me with this conundrum, I would be forever in your debt. tia.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:54 AM on December 12, 2007


It's because we all know French is sexier than Irishness. If Paddy McCelticDude would just fucking learn French...
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:17 AM on December 12, 2007


MeFi is more like old-school Usenet or BBSes; quality discussion is valued more than quantity or LOL OMG FUNNY PIC etc.
posted by mrbill at 2:27 PM on December 12, 2007


Looking at that link to FM, where did these user stats come from?

* 67% male
* 78% 18-39
* 32% HHI above $75k
* 29% managers or above
* 35% IT professionals, developers or engineers
* 47% publish their own blog

I mean, I don't think I'd argue with it, I just never filled out the survey.
posted by mosessis at 2:35 PM on December 12, 2007


I think there was an FM survey linked off the (bottom of the?) AskMe sidebar for a while. That might be the source.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:40 PM on December 12, 2007


So the $5 admission fee is there because we really don't want immigrants noobs and long for a golden age when the web site was populated solely by the white middle classes cabal?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:51 PM on December 12, 2007


The site was not populated solely by the cabal.
There was no site that the cabal solely populated.
There was not solely a populous cabal.


STOP TELLING.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:03 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ah one of these occasional back patting threads. I've lurked a long time and never bought an account (this was a gift) and its nice to be able to pipe in on one of these.

Metafilter is, to me, incredibly elitist and whilst certainly filled with an interesting mix of personalities, some of whom with fascinating back stories and interests, its a difficult site to sell to anyone. I mean take any days worth of posts and its very likely, unless there is a major news event occuring, very little to tie the posts together. And the comments are the real reason I visit anyway...

For the intellectually curious thats a great thing but as social applications go its a bit like walking into a random house where some friends (not yours) have gathered and are talking shit into the wee hours. Lots of in jokes. Lots of faux bickering. Fucked up folks trying to outdo each other in a) wit, b) ego, c) taking offence and d) acting kooky.

I dunno I like the personalities here a lot and I've certainly read a lot I've found interesting but I do dislike any social group of misfits that looks smugly down with disdain at strange folks or other groups. It all has too much of "this is a local shop, for local people" vibe to it.

At the end of the day I don't think thats a healthy attitude for a website. I'm not sure that is the attitude of the site en masse and certainly doesn't appear to be matt's viewpoint, based on his attitude towards things like injokes etc, but I'm starting to see it more and more in the discussions and, I dunno, it distresses me. Well at least enough to be a wet blanket in the love fest. Sorry.
posted by monkeyx-uk at 10:00 PM on December 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Fucked up folks trying to outdo each other.

welcome, monkeyx-uk
posted by Rumple at 10:23 PM on December 13, 2007


monkeyx-uk, this is why I mostly drift around favoriting things.
posted by tehloki at 11:05 PM on December 13, 2007


I'm just glad I found this place. It's comforting to know that there all still sane people in the world, even if they aren't in abundence where I live or in what I catch on TV. Opinionated, cranky, snarky, sometimes-wrong people, but sane nonetheless.

Big hug to you all.

And apologies in advance to anyone I offended by calling them sane.

'Course, I'm probably wrong and you're all not real people, but just a gaggle of bots refining your AI's between Ron Paul spamfests.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 1:32 AM on December 22, 2007


I am not offended by your calling me 'sane'; however, for many of us, it may threaten our current status of "psychologically disabled", so please be careful how generally you use that term around here.

Smock.
posted by wendell at 1:01 PM on December 22, 2007


I am not offended by your calling me 'sane'; however, for many of us, it may threaten our current status of "psychologically disabled", so please be careful how generally you use that term around here.

Gotcha, although to be fair, the 'sane' comment was suggested by the rogue mackeral that crawled in my pants. I shall see to it he receives a vigorous smocking.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 9:00 AM on December 25, 2007


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