Is This What They Mean By Crowdsourcing? January 5, 2008 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Thanks, Metafilter! We talked about the strange saga of Mr. Splashy Pants in the blue back in November; today, as a more or less direct result, it's a feature story in The Globe & Mail.

I often describe MeFi as my water cooler - because I work alone from home, it's the place I go to get my mind revving over my morning coffee. I probably wouldn't have stumbled on Mr. Splashy if not for this site, and it made a great story, so I just wanted to say thanks. And I figured since folks are always speculating on when and how MeFi influences the mainstream media, this kind of incontivertible proof trumped the shameless self-linkage in terms of this being MeTa-worthy.

(By the way, here's a link to a Greenpeace blogger's summary in case that Globe link winds up buried behind a subscriber wall.)
posted by gompa to MetaFilter-Related at 1:35 PM (46 comments total)

Good story. But why do you say that being in the Globe and Mail is a direct result of appearing on Metafilter? I only see Boing Boing and Reddit mentioned in the article.
posted by Justinian at 1:56 PM on January 5, 2008


Because I first heard about it on Metafilter and then wrote about it in the Globe. (I rarely read BoingBoing and never read Reddit.)
posted by gompa at 2:00 PM on January 5, 2008


Oh. Uh. I didn't realize you wrote it.

I suck. Point and laugh at me.
posted by Justinian at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


So this an excuse to plug your story?
posted by cillit bang at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2008


oh-oh...
posted by wafaa at 2:13 PM on January 5, 2008


If you 'rarely read BoingBoing and never read Reddit', why did you favor mentioning those sites instead of Metafilter?
posted by item at 2:15 PM on January 5, 2008


It's not a project, because it's already done, and there is no ban on self-linking in MetaTalk. It just needs to be MetaFilter-related, which it is, because he said so.

* hugs everyone, even the whale *
posted by yhbc at 2:16 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Starting a thread in MeTa linking to your own work, without even referencing MetaFilter?

That's a paddling.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 2:21 PM on January 5, 2008


Well, this is off to a convival start . . .

So this an excuse to plug your story?

Busted!

Because my voluminous ego's nowhere near satisfied by the several hundred thousand copies of the paper distributed nationwide in Canada, I took it to a much larger platform: a blog's internal-issues discussion forum. That indeed is what I meant to say in my preamble. Sorry it came out "I figured since folks are always speculating on when and how MeFi influences the mainstream media, this kind of incontivertible proof trumped the shameless self-linkage in terms of this being MeTa-worthy."

If you 'rarely read BoingBoing and never read Reddit', why did you favor mentioning those sites instead of Metafilter?

Those sites were cited by Greenpeace itself as the key engines behind Splashy's viral success phenomenon during the brief period when their voting site was hacked.
posted by gompa at 2:34 PM on January 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


I was watching a movie last night with a scene in which some guy is abducted, beaten and then taken out of the city and dumped in the woods. But of course this isn't enough for one of the aggressors in the scene, he also has to piss on the victim before he leaves him in the woods.

If metafilter were a character in that scene...
posted by 517 at 2:39 PM on January 5, 2008


If you 'rarely read BoingBoing and never read Reddit', why did you favor mentioning those sites instead of Metafilter?

Just for fun I did a check on Google to see how many times each site is mentioned on theglobeandmail.com. Here are the scores (minus dupes):

Slashdot: 21

BoingBoing: 18

Digg: 17

Reddit: 11

MetaFilter: 3

Also, this article, which is the only one that describes MetaFilter in-depth, starts with this quote:

MetaFilter (http://www.metafilter.org) is a site where community members hunt for "the best of the Web," and usually turn up nothing of the sort.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:40 PM on January 5, 2008


That's a paddling.

How much and does that include the chocolate covered midgets?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:47 PM on January 5, 2008


Thanks for the post (and the article), gompa—ignore the snarkers!

*hugs whale, gets splashed*
posted by languagehat at 2:47 PM on January 5, 2008


Nice job, gompa.

I thought we had agreed to keep mum about MeFi's stranglehold on the global media...?
posted by GrammarMoses at 2:56 PM on January 5, 2008


Now if only the damn Washington Zoo had shown the same balls as Greenpeace and had gone with "Butterstick" for the baby panda.
posted by Justinian at 2:59 PM on January 5, 2008


Dammit, gompa - now you're going to give the "there is a cabal" people more ammunition.

There is no cabal.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:59 PM on January 5, 2008


Hey gompa, I read the dead trees version today and liked it. (Which probably means that I deserve a paddling, although a splashing sounds like more fun.)
posted by maudlin at 3:01 PM on January 5, 2008


Gompa, if I were writing the same story for The-MSM-Website-I-Write-For-But-Won't-Plug-Here, I'd have found a way to sneak a mention of MetaFilter in. Whether it would've gotten past the editors is another question. (You could have blamed the editors, you know)
posted by wendell at 3:25 PM on January 5, 2008


And I did get a giggle out of the almost-Freudian typo in the article:

'THE SELF-CENSORHIP INSTINCT'
posted by wendell at 3:29 PM on January 5, 2008


What's that website you write for again, wendell?
posted by item at 3:37 PM on January 5, 2008


MetaFilter (http://www.metafilter.org) is a site where community members hunt for "the best of the Web," and usually turn up nothing of the sort.

Well, we don't want them here anyhow. Suck on a hockey puck, Globe & Mail!
posted by miss lynnster at 4:21 PM on January 5, 2008


Good story. Great angle.
posted by bru at 4:29 PM on January 5, 2008


The whole G&M review of MeFi:

MetaFilter (http://www.metafilter.org) is a site where community members hunt for "the best of the Web," and usually turn up nothing of the sort. It is, however, one of the most entertaining ways of staying on top of what's out there.

The site is an open weblog where anybody can post items linking to interesting places around the Web. The MetaFilter ideal is for contributors to point to multiple websites in each blog entry they post. So you'll find postings that will link to three different Oscar nominees for Best Animated Short, hosted on different video-clip websites, or to pages on "eefing," a "100-plus-year-old vocal technique from rural Tennessee" in which the vocalist makes an astounding variety of farting and wheezing noises. (The audio-visual links from that one were something.) Tastes on MetaFilter run toward the liberal and eclectic; commentary on everything abounds.

Anyone can read the site, but before they can contribute, they have to pay a one-time $5 (U.S.) membership fee, which helps weed out the no-goodniks. The site's moderators keep a tight rein on self-promotion and weed out duplicate and nonsense posts. The result is an exceedingly snarky community of users who alternate between being very excited about engaging posts and very catty about dull ones.


Apart from the smartass opening (which isn't all that inaccurate: how many of the 25 or daily FPPs really are the best of the web?) and the assumption that you must include multiple links in a post, it seems fair enough.
posted by maudlin at 4:35 PM on January 5, 2008


(Oh, and the site address typo. They lose points for that. Suck on a Timbit, Globe & Mail!)
posted by maudlin at 4:35 PM on January 5, 2008


Tastes on MetaFilter run toward the liberal and eclectic; commentary on everything abounds.

Nothing screams eclectic like an astounding variety of farting and wheezing noises.
posted by ersatz at 5:04 PM on January 5, 2008


By which I mean, great example.
posted by ersatz at 5:04 PM on January 5, 2008


What's that website you write for again, wendell?

I didn't mention it because I don't have anything current to link to, but thanks anyway, item, the US37¢ is in your PayPal account. (For future reference, you could've earned US75¢ if you'd written "Isn't that msnbc.com you write for, wendell?")
posted by wendell at 5:25 PM on January 5, 2008


Down in The Blue there is violence
Lock and load the snark guns
No time to light up our torches, there's
Moderatin' to be done

CHORUS:
We gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire
Oh we gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire

Workin' so hard like a soldier
We drag the fight to The Gray
We gotta keep the streets clean there
But here we let the demons play

CHORUS:
We gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire
Oh we gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire

Oh no...
Oh no...
Oh no...
Oh no...

CHORUS:
We gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire
Oh we gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire

Who is the sockpuppet master
Never can get to the source
Too busy watching the detectives
Sniffing out self-linking whores

CHORUS:
We gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire
Oh we gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire

Out in the Blue...
Out in the Green...
Out in the Black...
Here on the dirty side of the street...

CHORUS:
We gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire
Oh we gonna rock down to Eclectic Avenue
And then we'll set it on fire

Rock it in the daytime
Rock it in the PST ...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:41 PM on January 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


*Note: In case it wasn't obvious, the "Self-linking whores" line refers to generic Blue (and occasionally Green) FPP self-linking only. I wasn't saying anything about gompa or wendell.*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:50 PM on January 5, 2008


It's okay, IRFH, I admit to being a self-linking ho, but not nappy-headed.
posted by wendell at 7:03 PM on January 5, 2008


MetaFilter: Hunting for "the best of the Web" and usually turning up nothing of the sort.
posted by justgary at 7:16 PM on January 5, 2008


Okay, this is very very wrong and an abuse of Karaoke background music (besides I sound more like Lou Grant than Eddy Grant, and by the end, I have completely destroyed my throat) so I'm just going to link it here instead of submitting it to MuFi...
"Eclectic Avenue" by Eddy Grant's Tomb (words by IRFH, attempted vocals by wendell) (mp3)
posted by wendell at 8:19 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I laughed. I cried. I turned my head and coughed.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:32 PM on January 5, 2008


I lied. I carafed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:37 PM on January 5, 2008


I started a joke that started the whole world crying.
posted by wendell at 8:47 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


So why does one turn one's head when one coughs? I mean, we've all been advised to sneeze into our sleeves to avoid spreading nasty snot and viruses, so why should we cough as if we're competing for the title of Miss Vector 2008? (If the explanation includes pictures, that would be nice.)
posted by maudlin at 8:51 PM on January 5, 2008


So why does one turn one's head when one coughs?

So you don't cough in the doctor's face?
posted by marxchivist at 9:07 PM on January 5, 2008


gompa - I do believe I received your book for Christmas. I don't normally go in much for Hope, but I'll give it a shot - just this once.
posted by Urban Hermit at 9:17 PM on January 5, 2008


Miss Vector 2008?

Miss Vector? Sounds like a scene from The Crying Game..

Now Miss Tensor.. I'd like to meet her!
posted by Chuckles at 11:10 PM on January 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


maudlin, by your profile, I am guessing that doctors don't check your testes often for inguinal hernias? The "turn your head and cough" is part of the process to see if there is bulging in the scrotal area, which would indicate presence of a hernia.

Yes, I managed to make a comment using both "testes" and "scrotal" even before coffee. Thank you, thank you all, your support means so much.

gompa, I say WTG and THX. (I can see why one wouldn't work MeFi into the story -- #1, if it were me, "I get cool stories from MeFi" wouldn't be something I'd want to publish for the benefit of all the other writers out there, and #2, a not-so-bright editor or boss might interpret "I get cool stories from MeFi" as "I was lazy and ripped this piece off some blog on the internet.")

So, thanks for the link and the follow-up. I guess we have a new "MetaFilter's own..."
posted by pineapple at 7:03 AM on January 6, 2008


p.s.

(If the explanation includes pictures, that would be nice.)

Here you go.

p.p.s.

Vis-a-vis: "I often describe MeFi as my water cooler - because I work alone from home, it's the place I go to get my mind revving over my morning coffee."

gompa, I work from home too, and would just like to thank you for the justification I plan to use at all times in the future for the amount of time I spend at MeFi. I'm not wasting time surfing the internet... I'm reaping the benefits of traditional brick-and-mortar office socializing, via a virtual medium.
posted by pineapple at 7:12 AM on January 6, 2008


And I had my pitchfork all sharpened and everything...
posted by briank at 7:26 AM on January 6, 2008


You mean your vector stick, right?
posted by Chuckles at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2008


What's the vector, Victor?
posted by deborah at 3:54 PM on January 6, 2008


"Mr. Splashy Pants" sounded oddly familiar until I realized I was thinking of Jonathan Coulton's "Mr. Fancy Pants." Then I wanted to spread the earworm. Enjoy!
posted by Pronoiac at 4:43 PM on January 6, 2008


"but when they face outward, they come close to that humourless, worthy, holier-than-thou stereotype we fall foul of so often. It's as if being po-faced is a branding requirement."

Pity that Chicago's Shedd Aquarium would only allow Inuit names for it's baby beluga- Cute Overload's readers were prepared to submit "Humptyback Fishtybuns" to the contest.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:52 PM on January 6, 2008


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