Post-moderating? January 19, 2002 8:21 PM   Subscribe

While the Ben & Jerry's thread ended up fine, it was one of the most extreme examples of a poster playing "talk-show host" I've ever seen. If jonmc didn't want a discussion of a band's merit, then why bash them in his original post?
posted by arielmeadow to Etiquette/Policy at 8:21 PM (37 comments total)

arielmeadow - point taken. I probably could have chosen my words better in the original post. I honestly wanted nothing except a fun post that everyone could chime in on and have some fun, so as to relieve the gloomy atmosphere around here as of late.
However, when Ty Webb and Tomorama started brawling, I thought the thread was going to unravel within seconds so I decided to jump in and try and salvage the situation. Fortunately, everything turned out fine and it looks like everyone's having a blast. So instead of breaking my stones, why not just chime in with a flavor?

posted by jonmc at 8:31 PM on January 19, 2002

Hey, jonmc? I think the thread was a great idea, but I don't think posters get to rule the "intent" of the thread. If someone wants to talk about DMB, I say go ahead -- it applicable.

Trying to force things take the fun out of it. Furthermore, not everyone has to participate in every thread here. It's a bit hard to have perspective on one's own thread; let us decide if it's a good thread and if we want to participate.

I have enjoyed other's flavors, though.
posted by jennak at 8:42 PM on January 19, 2002

Sorry...I don't think I made my first sentence clear. What I meant to say is that threads have a life of their own, and the creator of the thread doesn't get to rule what exactly the thread is going to be about. (The wording of the post will help determine that, though.) Moderating, IMO, is just bad form.
posted by jennak at 8:47 PM on January 19, 2002

jennak -
again you have a point, BUT...

saying we have no say over the intent of our posts is a bit like saying Matt has no say over what his site turns into; under your philosophy Matt cant even chime in on whether he wants MeFi to be a weblog or a discussion group cos he dosen't rule "intent."

and I also admit this read was an (i hope sucessful) attempt to put some fun back into this site and to salvage my rep around here, which as a member of this community, I have every right to do. When I saw the thread turning into yet another band brawl, I thought "Shit, more of the same stuff that's been dragging us down lately." and attempted to put thread back on the rails. If that bothers you, I'm sorry. Besides, most of my posts were flavor suggestions from my girlfreind anyway.
posted by jonmc at 8:53 PM on January 19, 2002

jonmc. Emcee.

It's a natural progression.

Just having some fun with you jonmc. You are the official whipping boy, right?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:55 PM on January 19, 2002

mr_crash_davis -


Thank You Sir, May I have Another?!

posted by jonmc at 8:59 PM on January 19, 2002

Yes, obviously Matt is the supreme ruler of this joint. But I think you've missed my point, which is let things roll on their own. Let things take their natural progression; I think you're taking away from *our* collective experience when you try to make it *yours*.

If you want to "salvage your rep", I've always tried to (but failed many times) ascribe to the "quality vs. quantity" mantra.
posted by jennak at 9:11 PM on January 19, 2002

If you want to "salvage your rep", I've always tried to (but failed many times) ascribe to the "quality vs. quantity" mantra.

See also : Cardoso, Miguel.

Our token Portugese friend has come to fit in very well indeed, I think, after some initial teething pains. Of course he did get whipped mercilessly for a while there.

*looks sidelong at jonmc

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:16 PM on January 19, 2002

jenna- if you read the thread all the way through, you'll notice that after your initial warning, I did just that, my girlfreind's flavors and my shout-out to stavrosthewonderchicken notwithstanding. Also, you'll notice Matt himself chimed in with the first flavor suggestion, which seemed to give everyone a gentle hint, or at least to indicate that he realized what the post was all about.
If me and Matt hadn't done that, I get the feeling we would have spent this evening watching tomorama and ty webb argue music and I would've been dragged in here as a troll(which happened anyway, I just can't win apparently)
Besides, results speak for themselves, this was easily the most responded-to post I've ever made here and it certainly wasn't a troll.

posted by jonmc at 9:21 PM on January 19, 2002

normally, i would have been a little annoyed at jonmc for his policing. but to be honest, the hatefulness and nitpicking on this site has gotten to the point where i know without a doubt that i will leave the site angry every time i come here. i think jonmc was adapting to the situation and trying to lighten things up -- and when that attempt looked like it would, as well, become hateful and icky, he tried to steer it back on course.

ideally, though, he wouldn't have had to steer it at all. everyone keeps suggesting new rules for matt, but imho the only real rule people need to abide by more is that metafilter is not the place to scream about each other about every little opinion they have. i don't care *where* you cut your teeth, this *isn't* usenet. it isn't irc. the idea behind this website, as far as i can tell (usual disclaimer about matt being the only one that really knows) is for *constructive* conversation and linksharing.

if you like dave matthews, and someone else doesn't like dave matthews, that's okay. granted, jonmc's post could have been a little more neutral towards them, but i think it was apparent that the nature of the post wasn't "man, dave matthews band sure does suck!"

i guess the gist of what i'm trying to say is that whenever someone leaves metafilter with genuinely hurt feelings, that's bad and against my idea of what the site should be. whenever someone leaves metafilter with their ideas challenged or a new perspective, however much that perspective may clash with their own, that's good.

i think it's ironic that jonmc got called out on the self-policing board for self-policing a thread that could have gone icky. would it have been okay if he'd made a thread in metatalk?

i understand that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, but jesus christ, people, lighten up.
posted by pikachulolita at 10:06 PM on January 19, 2002

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:14 PM on January 19, 2002

Stavros, please. Could you let Jonmc have every other comment? You're interupting the flow.
Jonmc: Anyway, results don't speak for themselves, man. I have no problem with your thread. The moderating aspect was a little lame, but you're newish, and probably weren't around when that was discussed in metatalk. But don't confuse a high number of comments for a good post. I could go post that Gary Coleman was just caught performing fellatio on the pope, and I'm sure it'd get a lot of comments....Hey, that's not so bad an idea.

posted by Doug at 11:08 PM on January 19, 2002

jonmc newish...heh.

I think anyone policing their thread and trying to keep it on-topic should be commended, not called out for it. Potential Ben & Jerry's flavors is a good thread, opinions about Dave Mattews is not. i.e. I agree with pikachulolita.
posted by modofo at 2:10 AM on January 20, 2002

Miguel is, in fact, fitting in in the darnedest places.
posted by dong_resin at 5:46 AM on January 20, 2002

Miguel is, in fact, fitting in in the darnedest places.

HAHAHAHAHA! dear...sweet...god...can't...breathe...
posted by ColdChef at 6:57 AM on January 20, 2002

1) I am not "Jenna"; my name is actually Jenn.

2) I don't think it's agreed that a moderator is a good thing in a thread. It definitely gives a thread a feel as if there is a slant that must be supported. It doesn't allow for an open exchange of ideas and opinions.

3) I am not "picking" on jonmc, but am pointing out that (a) threads work best when they are unmoderated (b) threads work best when a variety of topics & opinions are allowed.

4) A debate about music, or a debate about anything, is not fighting. It does not mean a thread is bad. (DMB was relevant, and I think open to discussion.)

5) I am usually the first one to pipe of as a cheerleader. Hell, I once took 2 people into MetaTalk because of how nice they were to a newbie and how they politely pointed out the thread was a "double post." However. I don't think coming in with negative expectation of the place is helpful. Overcompensating for something that probably wasn't going to happen (an "angry" thread) just isn't warranted.

6) Jonmc, please don't toss around the word "troll" or say that you were called a troll. Nobody said you were. You know that.

7) Also, Jonmc, I do like your links & comment; they're pretty funny. As I said earlier, this isn't pointed at you. Metatalk isn't something personal; it's how we collectively learn how to improve ourselves in this online community.
posted by jennak at 8:37 AM on January 20, 2002

I can't stand Radiohead. Personally, I don't think don't they have any talent and all they do is make noise. If I buried something like that in the description of a link, I'm sure this place would explode in a firey ball of fury.

That's exactly what happened here. When I read a few sentences alleging that my Most Favorite Band In The Whole Wide World is lame, you can imagine that nothing short of a brick wall would have kept me from putting in my two cents.

After the debate escalated a bit I realized exactly what I was provoking and I didn't want the thread's death to be my fault. I put DMB to rest, grabbed my CD binder from the shelf, flipped through the pages and posted a few ice cream flavor ideas of my own in attempt to get the discussion back to what jon intended it to be. I don't think jon's mc'ing was a bad thing, his goal was the same as mine: keep the thread from becoming a stereotypical metafilter shouting match.

We succeeded. Huzzah.
posted by tomorama at 9:31 AM on January 20, 2002

Hurray! (But Radiohead doesn't suck, you dork. ;)
posted by jennak at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2002

Miguel is in fact fitting in to the darnedest places.

Does anyone know how I can acquire on of these PhotoShop things? I have several projects in mind. ;)

Jonmc - perhaps you'd like to share the facility?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:52 AM on January 20, 2002

aobe's website, if you want to do it legally.
posted by lotsofno at 10:33 AM on January 20, 2002

jesus christ, people, lighten up.


MiguelCardoso, IF you have PhotoShop already, there are some great sites out there with info on where to get Actions, filters and other goodies most of which are free or shareware. Google it man. As far as getting Photoshop, go buy it.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2002

Great Post, Jake. See folks, he can be tamed.

*looks over shoulder*

No! Jake! No!
Down! Down!

Somebody help me.....

posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on January 20, 2002

Hey, thanks lotsofno and JakeEXTREME. Will do. And get my own back any day now. Any suggestions for the full Portuguese Man of War PhotoShop experience? I mean, apart from dong_resin. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:16 PM on January 20, 2002

Miguel, if you'd just like to horse around a bit without paying the steep Adobe price, Satori gets good results.
This is in fact the program I did the majority of my profile pic with, before I got Photoshop. A fine program.
posted by dong_resin at 1:33 PM on January 20, 2002

dong_resin : you rock

Miguel : You can download Paintshop Pro from and play around with it for 30 days, then unlock it if you want to keep it. It's good, and I find that it more than meets my needs at about 10% of the price of Photoshop. Added bonus is that photoshop filters and doodads work with it just fine.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:41 PM on January 20, 2002


posted by holloway at 5:28 PM on January 20, 2002

I've never used it, but The GIMP exists for Win32, also.
posted by NortonDC at 6:12 PM on January 20, 2002

but you're newish,...

funny, I don't look newish...
posted by jonmc at 6:42 PM on January 20, 2002

Since the thread has gone off into another tangent already, can I ask a question?

1) Why is it that many here (in this thread) seem to have the opinion that most threads inevitably turn into the "stereotypical Metafilter shouting match?"

2) It seems to me, also, that people view debate as stressful and/or negative. What makes a debate good or bad? Or do you try to avoid it at all costs?

Obviously, blantant trolling comments, or vulgar, hateful speech aside. That's pretty easy to categorize as negative, personal attacks.
posted by jennak at 6:48 PM on January 20, 2002

Well, since you asked, here's my humble two cents.

1) Well, not all threads of course, but plenty of them lately have degenerated into name-calling and simple-minded good or on the other extreme certain people(no one in particular) who decide that they are the guardians of propriety and knowledge and end up scolding everyone and the whole idea dies on the vine.

A good rule of thumb(and this applies to thread) is that arguing about what music(or book, or movie) you like is pointless, because quite simply there's no accounting for taste. That's not to say we shouldn't have music or book threads. If you know of a band you'd like to call attention to, post away. Just let everyone form their own opinion.

2) Debate is good. Debate is one reason why a lot of us come here, myself included. However, if I want a brawl, there are several bars in my neighboorhood that are happy to provide one so I don't want it here.

Some topics(John Walker, PETA, George Bush) can bring out emotional responses in people, which is fine but you better bring something besides your emotions to back up your stance or someone with facts to back up there's is gonna shred your argument. This has two effects, the less informed person either disappears in a sulk or fires back with a gratuitously nasty flame and all hell breaks loose.

I have a theory as to why this happens. Some, MeFi'ers(again myself included) have spent much of their time traveling in circles where READING books marked you as some kind of egghead. On MeFi, where several members have WRITTEN books(if you check homepages and profiles) this can make some people feel like kids allowed to sit at the big people's table, which some folks overcompensate for by being belligerently anti-intellectual. This is NOT a good idea. People will ignore you or alternately play schoolmarm and make you feel even worse.

Lastly, always separate the politics from the poster, their are plenty of folks whose politics I don't like whos personalities I do, so remember that before flaming. And of course always keep your sense of humor.

posted by jonmc at 7:20 PM on January 20, 2002


debate can be good, when either side has factual basis for their opinions. or at least a good argument.

but instead of laying out arguments, people lately seem to have been literally hurling ideas at each other the same way apes sling shit. i really don't want to be one of those "metafilter used to be so good back in the day, now it's all gone to shit, blah blah blah" people, and honestly, i don't think it's in any way beyond repair. i still read the site. i'm just hesitant to really jump into threads because i don't want to have a fight. i don't want someone calling me out on a nitpicky thing that really would have been *fine* had it gone uncalled. i don't want to make an enemy because everyone is so goddamned defensive of their opinions these days. maybe it's because almost everything in the news is highly emotionally charged war stuff lately. i don't know what the reason is. but tempers seem very, very short on mefi.

you still never answered me as to whether it would have been alright if jonmc had posted to metatalk to self-police his thread: "i'm so sick of band arguments! what do you guys think?" i'm really curious (and not trying to be a bitch) where the self-policing line is drawn.
posted by pikachulolita at 8:36 PM on January 20, 2002

Were you directing a question at me, pikachulolita? I am confused...

Um, I didn't start this thread, nor do I think this is about self-policying or even about jonmc. The point of Metatalk is to take an example thread, comment about it, and improve upon it. The reason I commented was because (a) I don't think a moderated, heavy-handed thread is good for open, community involvement (b) I think all debate is good debate; vulgarities, name-calling, and flaming are not debate; variety (in opinions, in personalities) is very, very good (c) I am still positive about MeFi, while I fear that many aren't (and so are overcompensating when none is needed).

So I don't think your question was directed at me, because I was actually advocating for more self-policying and less heavy-handedness. (But an answer is -- sure, he can do whatever he wants. I think 90% of the people here do the right thing, and do it respectfully.)
posted by jennak at 9:44 PM on January 20, 2002

I really enjoyed the thread. There was something very summer camp about the whole exercise. Anyway, now back to staring at the wall.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:47 PM on January 20, 2002

You know, I'm going to keep this one going.

jonmc had a problem with a company making a brand of ice-cream named for a band he dislikes.
He then posts an FPP about it, and is oddly upset when it turns into a low-level flame war.

The whole thing is so fucking lame I would ignore it, were it not for the fact that the initial post were so trollish. trolls come in all shapes and forms, and having a long-term presence on mefi does not actually require you be treated as royalty.


a boring, but aggressive, post
got lots of replies
those replies dealt with in a boring, but aggressive manner

troll, know thyself
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:09 PM on January 20, 2002

Time for jonmc to set up a weblog? Eighteen comments on his B&J FPP!
posted by Carol Anne at 5:16 AM on January 21, 2002

I would just like to state for that record that <nixon>I Am Not A Troll</nixon>. Just passionate about my music. Were I such a thing, I wouldn't have made any effort to help get things back on track.
posted by tomorama at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2002

Nobody said you were, tomorama. Nobody said the word; nobody accused you of anything.
posted by jennak at 5:37 AM on January 22, 2002

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