Big love for community heroism March 21, 2008 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Sweetness & Light?

It's probably not the scheduled time for an 'I love you guys!' post, but given the amazing tagging achievement just below, as well as recent astonishments like this, I thought I'd just say that, MeFi, you have made me feel like a terrible mooch. I've been reading almost every day for years and I've hardly said a word or contributed anything of use. I feel like the text equivalent of a benefit scrounger. (But, if I had said more, you get an idea of what the quality would have been like.) Anyway, this is a great place, and it's a hell of an achievement that it's pretty much stayed so for my whole adult life (I am quite young). So...that's all I suppose. Sorry to bother you. Carry on.
(In the interests of not instigating a complete conversational black hole, does anyone have excellent theories on how mefi manages to attract such delicious peoples?)
posted by robself to MetaFilter-Related at 12:44 PM (94 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

[...]does anyone have excellent theories on how mefi manages to attract such delicious peoples?

Hardcore quality control + Registration Fee?
posted by Rykey at 12:53 PM on March 21, 2008


1. Text only.
2. Admins who actually administrate.
3. For the most part, only people who are smart enough to know about Metafilter use Metafilter.

It's where the BBS went.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:54 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


and it's a hell of an achievement that it's pretty much stayed so for my whole adult life (I am quite young)

This reminds me that Metafilter will be 10 next year. That's a long damn time.

What websites of comparable size have been around longer?
posted by dios at 1:04 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it's some of the highest quality intellectual, humorous and poltical content available.

It's not pandery or overly simplified. It's intelligent, funny, emotional, honest , and most importantly, fulfilling.

Not just a as a member, but the simple act of sharing a front page article with other readers of similiar interests brings importance.

It's not like digg where it's a popularity contest. it's not slashdot where it's a chance to prove you're right.

It's like a collaborative boing boing. We're all Cory Doctorows with a fuckload more variety and insight

I'm Not saying cory isn't great, but it's the same as the million monkey theory, but with a million Cory Doctorow's.

Or something of that nature.
posted by Lord_Pall at 1:08 PM on March 21, 2008


Oh you did not just call me Doctorow. It's on now, bitch.
posted by Skorgu at 1:10 PM on March 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


Well, MetaFilter had a great rep before the registration fee. I think the fee helps though for two reasons... one it keeps people from joining on a lark just to be jerks (even though it really is a pretty minimal fee!), and I think it also engenders a feeling of ownership in our userbase. And no one wants their things to go to hell.
posted by tittergrrl at 1:10 PM on March 21, 2008


a million Cory Doctorow's

Lord, save us all.
posted by grouse at 1:10 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Speaking of which, I'd like to plug my new steam punk, copyfight, Disney novel that is made up completely of remixed subway maps.
posted by ND¢ at 1:12 PM on March 21, 2008 [13 favorites]


i'm drunk too. i lurve this place. i just don't admit it when i'm sobre. (that's french for sober, ya know)
posted by stubby phillips at 1:14 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


(In the interests of not instigating a complete conversational black hole, does anyone have excellent theories on how mefi manages to attract such delicious peoples?)

I don't know about the other peoples but I baste myself with a piquant lime and ginger marinade every morning upon arising.
posted by iconomy at 1:15 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Registration fee.

On-the-ball quality control control from the moderators who often, somehow, heroically refrain from pulling the plug on the entire thing when occasionally confronted with the fact that any large userbase on the internet is composed of a large userbase on the internet. (Because, really, have you seen the internet? Good lord.)

General community standards that actively discourages folks who type only by slamming their face into, or encouraging their cat to repeatedly walk across, their keyboards.

All of the factors sort of tie into and support each other.
posted by Drastic at 1:16 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


inDEEEEcent! i finally fucking get it. god, i'm an idiot.
posted by stubby phillips at 1:16 PM on March 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


does anyone have excellent theories on how mefi manages to attract such delicious peoples?

Metafilter is like a pitcher plant. It looks all safe and friendly until people get too close and they slip in and are trapped forever.

Actually, Metafilter is addictive like crack-cocaine. Wait, no... Metafilter is like crystal meth...

Or Cheetos.

*thinks*

*fails*

Maybe they just come for the intellectual camaraderie and stayed for the snark.
posted by quin at 1:21 PM on March 21, 2008


I think the anti self linking rule has something to do with it too. It undercuts all those self promoting idiots who view the web as all take and no give.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:28 PM on March 21, 2008


inDEEEEcent! i finally fucking get it. god, i'm an idiot.

That brings something to mind. I am not anonymous here. I may not go by my RL name, but I am inDEEEEcent when I am here, and I am here for several hours every week day. I have been inDEEEEcent five days a week for several hours a day for going on three years. If I act like an ass today, then people will say to themselves "Man that inDEEEEcent is acting like an ass" and I will still be inDEEEEcent tomorrow and people will remember that. So maybe the calculation is actually: Normal Person + Semi-Anonymity + Audience of people whom you respect and whom you desire to respect you = Not acting like a total dick for the most part.
posted by ND¢ at 1:30 PM on March 21, 2008


Well, not tomorrow. Tomorrow is Saturday.
posted by ND¢ at 1:31 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh my God. There really isn't a cent key anymore.
posted by limeonaire at 1:43 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


does anyone have excellent theories on how mefi manages to attract such delicious peoples?

I have some mediocre theories on some of it, anyway. Mefi started off with a core of pretty web-for-web's-sake motivated people—bloggers and net geeks during a period where blogging was still fairly new and unknown territory. So there was a good seeding of people who were more interested in the process of blogging and the health of web stuff than in either (a) some very specific domain of information or (b) Making Money Fast. That's not a bad foundation.

As the site picked up steam, I think a lot of the incoming membership came from folks directed her via the larger net of those same bloggy, web-passionate folks—you look at the early rolls for this place and there are a lot of (now not really active here) folks who are considerable names in the blogging/web-tech sector that has grown up over the years. (Kottke, Anil, Cory, Dave Winer, and on and on.) Smart folks pointed other smart folks here, which helped limit some of the asshattery that might have developed.

And this fairly literate community was self-conscious and navelgazing enough to notice when weird or potentially objectionable shit was going on; Metatalk wasn't too long in coming, partly as a response by Matt to the fact that before it showed up people were using the site to talk about the site anyway. Not that that sort of self-awareness is uncommon on a growing site, but with a fairly smart, fairly savvy group of people doing the navelgazing you get decent results. And Matt was very active in those conversations, which I think helped develop the sense of a site that wasn't just running on autopilot, solely defined by the unbounded behavior of anyone and everyone who came along. A sense of community, of site ethos, was their from fairly early on.

And the rest flows from there: a certain established sense of the place built into the userbase that informed, in a rolling manner (and with constant minor and occasional major administrative tweaking), the behavior of new arrivals.

The five bucks as a speedbump (and before that the idea of free-but-capped daily signups, and of a hard signups switch-off with beg-to-get-in exceptions) circa the 17k user group was in retrospect probably one of the best growth-management compromises Matt could have made; it constrains growth reasonably well, isn't an impediment to folks who really want to sign up, and acts as a sufficient blockade to most folks who really don't give much of a crap about the site but considered signing up on a whim. (Note: in early 2001, I signed up on a whim. I doubt I would have paid $5 at the time.)

Expanding moderation when it was needed, and treating moderation as a detail-oriented, light-handed approach to keep the site in line rather than a broad-brush, mechanical approach to punishing undesirables. Matt could still be running this place himself, but he'd be on his second heart attack and the place would be a zoo.

So: good foundation of initial users; good development of site ethos, both self-defined by the userbase and as communicated through words and actions and site features by Matt; enough control over growth to prevent the flood of users from eroding the existing sense of community and culture. Pacing, and the fact that very little in the history of the site was done with turning a profit as the primary motive, in my opinion.

but with a million Cory Doctorow's

Aaaaaaaauuuugggghhhh!
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:48 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Welcome to enlightenment.
posted by ND¢ at 1:48 PM on March 21, 2008


I remember when I first signed up for a membership, the signup page had this popup that said:

"Before you click submit... are you a complete shitbag?"

And I thought, "SHIT! They've figured me out! Well, might as well cop to it." And then, just before I clicked "Yes," it occurred to me that it was a test, and they didn't really know. So I clicked "Nope! No sir! Not me! That must be some other guy you were thinking of! Yeah, some other guy." and lo and behold the application went through.

So yeah, I think it's because most shitbags aren't as smart as me.
posted by shmegegge at 1:51 PM on March 21, 2008


Metafilter: A million Cory Doctor- OW! WHY'D YOU FUCKIN' HIT ME!
posted by shmegegge at 1:52 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


a million Cory Doctorow's

I think it's about time we turn off the Internets now. Everyone agree?
posted by slogger at 2:09 PM on March 21, 2008


does anyone have excellent theories on how mefi manages to attract such delicious peoples?

I wish I did. I would use it to get some of these excellent people to move to Vermont. And then I'd create an antidote to make some of the others stay out. And then I'd mix up the bottles and hilarity would ensue. Can you imagine a sitcom where me and quonsar and cortex and y2karl and mathowie and Miko and pb and languagehat were neighbors?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:13 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's not like digg where it's a popularity contest. it's not slashdot where it's a chance to prove you're right.

To be fair, these do happen here. Especially in political threads, which I realize has been a topic of a whole lotta MeTa recently. I tend to wait out the initial wave of comments in certain threads just so I can talk about something and avoid the bulk of both of these. But they are far better here than elsewhere. The big difference to me is that there is a much bigger amount of good stuff going on here. That's the critical difference to me. It's not just about clever one-off comments or berating someone into submission with factoids and pointy words.

The pointy words can be quite entertaining sometimes though. I do love a good nerdfight.
posted by Tehanu at 2:16 PM on March 21, 2008


I have some mediocre theories on some of it, anyway. Mefi started off ...

Getting a start on that book, cortex?
posted by slogger at 2:17 PM on March 21, 2008


A MILLION WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY!?
posted by loquacious at 2:26 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can you imagine a sitcom where me and quonsar and cortex and y2karl and mathowie and Miko and pb and languagehat were neighbors?

She's a librarian and he's "funny"! Their wacky neighbors love large donuts, not the Iraq war and recumbent bicycles! And their even wackier neighbors on the other side love folk music, code and words! This group is a handful of jokers . . . and every one is wild! Tune in Thursdays at eight for How I Met Your Blogger!
posted by ND¢ at 2:35 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


My theory is based on internet-age freudian psychology. In their Metafilter youth, people stumble by accident into combination of being a dick(1) and overthinking a plate of beans(2), which leads to unexpected pleasures.

Afterwards they feel guilty and dirty, which they overcompensate by being exceptionally nice and considerate towards community. The guilt never cames off, but people won't leave easily because they don't want to be remembered because their incident, which probably has gone unnoticed anyway. They take effort to build themselves a benevolent and respectable internet personality to shield themselves from accusations which never come, although once offended they might overreact. It is perfectly normal. A case study. (Sorry, lowbrow, QI, youtube, jokey-comment-you-can-ignore, popularity-seeking-behavior, not-boyzone)
posted by Free word order! at 2:44 PM on March 21, 2008


Can you imagine a sitcom where me and quonsar and cortex and y2karl and mathowie and Miko and pb and languagehat were neighbors?

You mean you're not housemates?
posted by tarheelcoxn at 2:45 PM on March 21, 2008


You could call it "The Wendells".

But there needs to be some homoerotic innuendo in there as well, since it's a sitcom.
posted by loiseau at 2:46 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The truth about Metafilter can be found in this NSFW clip, starting at about 1:40, if you understand that the rest of the Internet is the old Double Deuce.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:58 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You mean you're not housemates?

We were. But quonsar started insisting that the fish in his pants be given an equal vote at house meetings, and things started escalating, and everybody wound up going their own way. And now cortex has to eat enormous donuts to assuage the aching emptiness.
posted by languagehat at 3:20 PM on March 21, 2008


I remember the good times. The happy times. When the donut didn't seem so large—because there were friends to help me eat it.

No, not just friends. Family.

Oh god, I puh-puh-promised myself I wouldn't c-c-c-cry
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:30 PM on March 21, 2008


Cory Doctorow is the subject of one of my favorite comments ever: What Would Cory Doctorow Do?

I felt a little dirty searching through my favorites for the word masturbate. Thankfully there was only one result.
posted by stefanie at 3:51 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've been reading almost every day for years and I've hardly said a word or contributed anything of use.

Your presence is your gift.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:58 PM on March 21, 2008


Re: NDcent.

Caturday?

*watches collective IQ of MeFi drop* *runs*
posted by Phire at 4:48 PM on March 21, 2008


OMG I made french onion soup and the CHEESE sank.
posted by disclaimer at 4:59 PM on March 21, 2008


I like to type things.
posted by Dizzy at 5:15 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn, I thought this was a call-out of my recent spate thoughtful but little-seen late-thread comments.
posted by Eideteker at 5:23 PM on March 21, 2008


In the interests of not instigating a complete conversational black hole, does anyone have excellent theories on how mefi manages to attract such delicious peoples?

My own theory is simple social stratification. Not-so-smart people don't feel comfortable in a room full of smart people. If you are a not-so-smart person, you probably won't understand the humor of many of the searingly witty and subtle comments. You won't get many of the oblique references. You won't be able to follow the logic in the arguments, or employ critical thinking to separate the wheat from the chaff. Instead, you will perceive the comments as having been written by nerdish eggheads, who probably deserve a kick in the stomach for being so pompous.

It's the kind of social division that anyone with a large vocabulary experiences, especially in childhood.

If you write poorly and fail to spellcheck, you may be pounced upon. If you voice ridiculous and unsupported opinions, you will very likely be taken to task.

It's not a place of solace for the stupid.
posted by Tube at 6:32 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


you have made me feel like a terrible mooch

Don't feel this way on my account. I just have too much time on my hands.
posted by carsonb at 6:42 PM on March 21, 2008


Can you imagine a sitcom where me and quonsar and cortex and y2karl and mathowie and Miko and pb and languagehat were neighbors?

If you move to my neighborhood please don't raise my taxes.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:22 PM on March 21, 2008


$5!

[points to all the internets - YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, to name three - which are both popular and free as examples of Bad Places Where Idiots Go To Smear Their Poop Across The Walls]
posted by WalterMitty at 8:29 PM on March 21, 2008


Tube, that sounds like an idealized version of MeFi. "Pompous" is still a popular insult here.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:34 PM on March 21, 2008


Hey guys! I brought a guitar!

Kum-bye-YAH, my lord, kum-bye-YAAAA .........
posted by yhbc at 9:04 PM on March 21, 2008


The easily clickable posting history keeps most people in check around here.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:05 PM on March 21, 2008


I dunno, Burhanistan, don't most online communities that require sign-in to participate have a fairly easily trackable user commenting history? Or is that just among the BBS nerds?
posted by Phire at 9:09 PM on March 21, 2008


*Hums*
Damn you, yhbc.
*Hums*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:10 PM on March 21, 2008


*stomps guitar*
*calls cops*
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:11 PM on March 21, 2008


Tube, that sounds like an idealized version of MeFi. "Pompous" is still a popular insult here.

Yes, intelligence and pomposity are not mutually exclusive, and of course you see that on display here too. Good point. I'm suggesting that in general, the critical mass of smart found here is a good de facto barrier against dumb.

LOLLATIN!!
posted by Tube at 9:13 PM on March 21, 2008


Phire: lots of big sites like YouTube, and also various news sites that allow comments don't have much in the way of user history pages.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:14 PM on March 21, 2008


^ dios: This reminds me that Metafilter will be 10 next year. That's a long damn time.

What's the "official" day? Will there be some kind of megameetup? Can we rent out an IHOP? (is it true there are no iHops in VT?!)
posted by not_on_display at 9:28 PM on March 21, 2008


There was a party last year and there will probably be one this year. Hopefully we can do something distributed so one party with a lot of satellite parties. Yes there are no IHOPs in Vermont.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:30 PM on March 21, 2008


not_on: July 14, 1999 is MetaFilter's birthday.
posted by yhbc at 9:32 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And MeFi's cool because I had to look up who Cory Doctorow was, thinking, "why the hell are they all talking about E.L. Doctorow?" i.e. I learn something new and interesting every day, multiple times, though this here place.

I nominate E.L. Doctorow be a writer for The Wendells
posted by not_on_display at 9:33 PM on March 21, 2008


Bastille Day, Flag Day, MeFiday.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 PM on March 21, 2008


Oh, wait...just Bastille Day and Mefiday. Me is dumb.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:40 PM on March 21, 2008


Can I just say here that I love the "yes there are no IHOPs" phrasing? I bet you could make a song out of that.
posted by yhbc at 9:42 PM on March 21, 2008


I slept my way onto Metafilter.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:44 PM on March 21, 2008


As someone who lurked here from early 2001, I enjoyed reading all the multifaceted and interesting people here. I wanted to join up and kept trying to hit the super-seekrit lottery page to actually join. I gave up after a while- and then AskMe came along and I really wanted to participate. I bitched to my stepdaughter about not being able to join to ask a question or something and she pointed out to me that there was a way to join now, just five bucks! I missed the memo about that.

But I digress.

I think Metafilter is maybe the most diverse, interesting, and intelligent place I've ever found on the web. I've developed new interests since I've been here, simply because I've been introduced to things and opinions I didn't know existed before. After a while, Metafilter becomes a sort of family for those who participate. I'm the weird uncle over there in the corner.

I spent an unhealthy amount of time on BBS's in my younger years, from Ward & Randy's original CBBS through ddials and c64 PETSCII boards, on thru the last place I hung out before going to USENET, which was CHINET, run by Randy Seuss. Chinet had a similar 'family' feel, but it was decidedly Chicago based. USENET was fun for a while, until it was overrun by spammers.

From the point of view of a less-than-well-known user, I deeply appreciate the work that Matt, cortex, pb, and jessamyn do on our behalf. I don't think we thank people enough in our lives in general, so here's my public Thanks, people.
posted by pjern at 9:57 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's not a place of solace for the stupid.
That's a relief.
posted by timeistight at 10:14 PM on March 21, 2008


I think the $5 make a big difference. I found this in 2002, and had nothing to say. Then I had the funniest comment ever to make, and there was the $5 fee. It was close to impossible to get PayPal to accept my Mexican credit card, and I had to wait until 2005 to move to the USA, get PayPal and register.

It is a good thing I could not register in 2004, in retrospect my comment was not that funny.
posted by Dr. Curare at 11:22 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeah the real answer is almost certainly the barriers to membership. All the other reasons flow from this. Initially the quasi-closed signups kept the userbase small but dedicated and now the $5 membership fee means that people just looking for TEH LULZ go elsewhere.

Had the membership fee been $50 instead of $5 the community would be even more dedicated. It's sad that things work this way but, I think, clearly it's true. You can see the same effect with online gaming. The greatest MMOs ever in terms of a bunch of adults role-playing or even just shooting the shit out of eachother in giant robots was almost 20 years ago now. Why? Because you had to pay by the hour to play. Yeah, that's right. A $600 a MONTH bill was common with serious players running up $1000+ bills. Nowadays any punk who can get his mom to shell out $15 can go griefing.

Trust me, you don't go griefing when you've invested $10,000 into your character. And other people don't put up with your shit when they've invested as much.

No, I don't yearn for the days of $600 a month bills, nor wish that Metafilter cost $50 to sign up. But it's a sad fact of life that the more a service costs the less likely assholes are to fuck around on it.
posted by Justinian at 1:44 AM on March 22, 2008


But it's a sad fact of life that the more a service costs the less likely assholes are to fuck around on it.

Alas, I've seen some Web communities where that statement wasn't true. The more the service costs, the more likely people are to say, "I paid $50 to be here, now give me my goddamn pony! No, hell, a herd of ponies! And kick that guy out--I don't like the way he looks. Also, I'd like a martini. And maybe some fuzzy bunny slippers. Hey, where's everybody going?"
posted by kwaller at 7:24 AM on March 22, 2008


i'm drunk too

*blushes*...I'm sure I don't know what you mean. It was a bank holiday in the UK yesterday, in my defence....(sidles back into the shadows...)
posted by robself at 7:38 AM on March 22, 2008


Wow. Metafilter hates Doctorow so badly, yet they steal his links all the same.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:12 AM on March 22, 2008


Cory is just hoggin' is all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:17 AM on March 22, 2008


I don't hate him at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 AM on March 22, 2008


Lord_Pall: "...with a million Cory Doctorow's. "

(nervously) With a million of Cory Doctorow's what?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:11 AM on March 22, 2008


(nervously) With a million of Cory Doctorow's what?

pedantry
posted by carsonb at 9:19 AM on March 22, 2008


Had the membership fee been $50 instead of $5 the community would be even more dedicated.

Christ, the same logic applies to going to the gym. If it didn't cost $75 a month, I'd never exercise.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:20 AM on March 22, 2008


Free Word Order!: My theory is based on internet-age freudian psychology. In their Metafilter youth, people stumble by accident into combination of being a dick(1) and overthinking a plate of beans(2), which leads to unexpected pleasures.

Man, I love over-thinking plates of beans. I like the phrase, too. Reminds me of things not amounting to a hill of beans. Oddly, though, I don't actually like beans very much.

I'd been reading Metafilter for a long time when I joined back in 2005, but I had mostly been ignoring the comments sections (three posts in my first year). It wasn't until last year that I realized that registration actually cost money now. That's when I thought to myself, They must know something I don't. So I started dipping into the community here to see what it had to offer, since I had this membership that seemed to be worth money to people now. I wish I'd never done that. I used to be able to check Metafilter once a day, read a few interesting stories, and move on in less than thirty minutes. Now, I'm lucky if I remember to eat.
posted by ErWenn at 9:48 AM on March 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine a sitcom where me and quonsar and cortex and y2karl and mathowie and Miko and pb and languagehat were neighbors?

You could call it "The Wendells".

The concept is already registered with the WGA. I had a pitch meeting with NBC last week but they had problems with the potential casting. They just couldn't imagine Sylar as a good guy, and wanted to combine the Librarian and LanguageGuy characters to keep it from being too "bookish". They're more interested in characters like jonmc and ThePinkSuperhero and asked if the setting could be moved from Portland to Seattle. At one point they suggested a re-branding as a Reality Show (they loved the concept of "The Banhammer"), and talked a lot about 'product placement opportunities' with Pepsi and Apple. It's being considered for the "Scrubs" timeslot, along with several other sitcoms based on websites (including "Wackypedia", "My Name Is Craig" and "Digggin' In"; they rejected "The Boingers" when Cory showed up for the pitch meeting with goggles and a red cape). The pilot script is being looked over by "the Will & Grace people" for a possible co-production, but no way that would end well.
posted by wendell at 10:53 AM on March 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Christ, the same logic applies to going to the gym. If it didn't cost $75 a month, I'd never exercise.

Yep, the more practically invested you are in to something the more emotionally invested you are likely to be and the less likely you are to treat it badly.
posted by Justinian at 12:06 PM on March 22, 2008


I felt a little dirty searching through my favorites for the word masturbate. Thankfully there was only one result.
posted by stefanie


*Favorites stefanie's comment to experience that little dirty feeling*
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:38 PM on March 22, 2008



Had the membership fee been $50 instead of $5 the community would be even more dedicated.


It costs $10 to join Something Awful, though, and that's a completely different dynamic. I don't think the amount is the key, it's just enough to act as a deterrent to someone who doesn't know the community well. It discourages hit and run trolls and spammers, which is a good start. The no self-linking rule is also excellent in this respect.

Metafilter is incredibly well moderated. The moderation is consistent and keeps the general tone of the site respectful and the level of discourse high. Personal infighting, opaque in-jokes and general asshattery are discouraged on the most heavily trafficked parts of the site so the discussions are generally enjoyable to read for a wide variety of people. Most people who sign up have lurked for years - Metafilter is a daily destination site for many, many people who have never even considered registering for an account. Some of the people who post are really incredibly intelligent and experienced, which can be intimidating in the right way.

This is also a community of people who are very interested in the internet itself. We don't just self-police, we self-examine. I think that most of the people that are drawn to Metafilter have a lot of experience with a variety of internet communities and are interested in the social aspect of the internet in a "big picture" way that one doesn't find in too many other places. We're very conscious of the way we project ourselves and the impact that our contributions have on the site. It's one of the few places where there is a specific section for the community to discuss what kind of place we want the site to be. There is a lot of push and pull between intelligent, creative, and opinionated people that creates a sense of balance.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:02 PM on March 22, 2008


I appreciate the moderators' dedication and hard work, which are a big part of what makes MetaFilter such a high-quality site. The mods are smart and very good at what they do.

I certainly don't agree with every decision they make. Sometimes they annoy me nigh unto death (about which, lately, I've been holding my tongue, which makes it hard to type). But they get more right than they get wrong, and I think we're all fortunate to have them on the job.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:22 PM on March 22, 2008


Please sign my petition to allow IHOP entry into Vermont.

Sign here:
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________
_______________________

Thank You For Making A Difference!!!
Troop 187
Dizzy's Diners
posted by Dizzy at 8:21 PM on March 22, 2008


187 is the police code for homicide, killah.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:28 PM on March 22, 2008


...And it is a CRIME if I find myself in the Green Mountain state without access to an order of delicious Double-Blueberry pancakes washed down with icy-cold 2% milk.
Don't make me pop a stack in yer ass, home-fries!
posted by Dizzy at 8:38 PM on March 22, 2008


Going to IHOP at 3AM for the first time when I was a high schooler opened my eyes to the fact that there are indeed "night people" that are hidden during daylight hours.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:51 PM on March 22, 2008


Don't be dorks, IHOP has fake syrup.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:11 PM on March 22, 2008


Yeah, they don't even have grits. (At least, not here in Yankeeland.)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:26 PM on March 22, 2008


Can you imagine a sitcom where me and quonsar and cortex and y2karl and mathowie and Miko and pb and languagehat were neighbors?

Yeah, it'd be great.

Scene 1
Quonsar, at computer, types furiously, chuckles to himself with a sort of mischievous abandon.

Scene 2
Jessamyn, at computer, knits eyebrows. Types. Deletes. Types again, more calmly.


It would be so nice to watch a TV show about people sitting in front of computers, for a change!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:03 PM on March 22, 2008


Jess---
You.
Broke.
My.
Heart....
posted by Dizzy at 6:01 AM on March 23, 2008


Can you imagine a sitcom where me and quonsar and cortex and y2karl and mathowie and Miko and pb and languagehat were neighbors?

I always thought the podcast would eventually evolve into something like this.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:05 PM on March 23, 2008


Once matt and Jessamyn get the audio business straightened out, you're going to add video to the mix? I can hardly wait!
posted by pjern at 8:41 PM on March 23, 2008


^wendell: The pilot script is being looked over by "the Will & Grace people" for a possible co-production, but no way that would end well.

Pitch it to Bravo as a reality show.

Tagline: Snark Jumps Shark
posted by not_on_display at 9:06 PM on March 23, 2008


We're all Cory Doctorows

Where's my high-altitude balloon, then, huh? I was promised a high-altitude balloon.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:38 AM on March 24, 2008


We're all Cory Doctorows

Quit rippin' on the guy, ya random creeps. I read boingboing now and again and don't pay attention to who posts what on there but it doesn't really matter to me that some other random creeps have parlayed their link whoring and boring tech related work into minor internet fame. That's the root of the hate for boingboing, I think, the envy of the minor internet fame...
posted by Burhanistan at 8:31 AM on March 24, 2008


In other words, LEAVE CORY ALONE
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:35 AM on March 24, 2008


Say "a million cory doctorows" again. Say "a million cory doctorows" again, motherfucker, say "a million cory doctorows" one more Goddamn time!
posted by shmegegge at 9:55 AM on March 24, 2008


Sorry, but it's "Corys Doctorow". Like Attorneys General.
posted by Eideteker at 10:05 AM on March 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'm late, as usual.

I think it's a self-perpetuating cycle. Matt started the place and invited smart/funny/etc. friends/acquaintances/etc. Those friends told two friends and each of those friends told two friends (name that commercial!), etc.

That and the moderation make this place the community it is.
posted by deborah at 2:03 PM on March 25, 2008


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