Slate piles on the green fanwagon February 23, 2009 2:46 AM   Subscribe

The mainstream love for the green continues at Slate.
posted by kanuck to MetaFilter-Related at 2:46 AM (83 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

You know who else loved the green?
posted by Rhomboid at 3:02 AM on February 23, 2009


Whoa! You can use asterisks as wild cards on Google?
posted by Science! at 3:03 AM on February 23, 2009


Apparently AskMeFi is riven with a lot of U.S.-Canada tension.

What?
posted by chillmost at 3:33 AM on February 23, 2009


Is this the place where I tell the anecdote about a question I saw in Yahoo! where the reply stating "Me Too" was marked as best answer?

BTW, it's cool that Jessamyn (a noted rural librarian) can get away with making slate publish a few in-jokes (like the circumcision/declawing cat thing)

Jessamyn, your next challenge is to use "taters" in a sentence and get that published on Wired.
posted by qvantamon at 3:37 AM on February 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


Thats a really nice article.
posted by vacapinta at 3:45 AM on February 23, 2009


That article is right: Ask Metafilter is a small-miracle factory.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:51 AM on February 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hadn't read that thread about the woman concerned with her "fatness" and it really was a wonderful thread, with a happy ending, plus I got to see the photographic height/weight chart, which I had never seen. I'm a tub, but seeing a photo of another dude my height and weight who doesn't look all that terrible has made me think about self-perception some.
posted by maxwelton at 3:56 AM on February 23, 2009


Yeah, a really nice article, with some nice links to great examples of how totally awesome Ask Mefi is.
posted by bjrn at 3:58 AM on February 23, 2009


Apparently AskMeFi is riven with a lot of U.S.-Canada tension.

What?


Our lovely green is way more potent than that U.S. schwag.
posted by gman at 4:15 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn doesn't live in the storey of Mefi Towers below Matt?
posted by biffa at 4:56 AM on February 23, 2009


The windshield wiper question was pretty priceless.
posted by fixedgear at 4:57 AM on February 23, 2009


Some new taglines:

AskMetaFilter: sensible, accommodating, actually helpful discussion.
AskMetaFilter: helpful answers, usually written in complete sentences.
AskMetaFilter: fostering good conversation turns out not to be complex.

Good on us.
posted by netbros at 5:18 AM on February 23, 2009


Apparently AskMeFi is riven with a lot of U.S.-Canada tension.
oh, that's just the lesser continent bickering again. they tend to be like that.
posted by krautland at 5:20 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


No questions like "Is my husband trying to kill me?"

Metafilter: where's the fun in that?
posted by diggerroo at 5:20 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


meh. the story was lame, the examples were flat and the whole thing read like a high schooler reporting on his faaavoorrriiitee website over the summer.

it should have talked about internet collaborative projects that exist and work - or fail (opensource, open access journals, etc) instead of locating axemefi among ideas like godwin's law, mickey fucking kaus, and so forth.

the only reason to present axemefi in such a decontextualized way was the lifehacking "how can i squeeze the most of out of X" mantra... pretty cheesy if you ask me, and undermining to the site.
posted by yonation at 5:33 AM on February 23, 2009


fostering good conversation turns out not to be complex

I don't think anyone ever claimed it was. Similarly, making the trains run on time isn't complex. It does require constant vigilance and very little tolerance for deviation, though.
posted by DU at 5:44 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn doesn't live in the storey of Mefi Towers below Matt?

Oh I said to Jessamyn, "how lonely does it get"
The noted rural librarian hasn't answered yet
But I can hear her coughing, all night long
Oh a hundred floors above me, in the Meta-Tower of Song.
posted by roombythelake at 5:46 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nothing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No questions about suicide.

Huh? That's just demonstrably untrue. I'm sure Jessamyn's point was more nuanced than Agger's framing, and while I'm also sure she's tired of babysitting I/P AskMes, it's too bad Slate got it so wrong there, because the fact that AskMe is a place where you *can* get some excellent answers about specific aspects of the I/P conflict makes it even more special online.

And "no questions about suicide" is a terribly flat and unhelpful way to frame what really happens in AskMe suicide questions.
posted by mediareport at 5:56 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aw, that was actually quite a lovely article, mild out-of-context issues aside. As far as misrepresentation of reality goes in journalism, that wasn't too bad.
posted by Phire at 6:15 AM on February 23, 2009


Did Jessamyn slip in a "poop on the floor" reference? Sweeeeet.
posted by adipocere at 6:33 AM on February 23, 2009


> Apparently AskMeFi is riven with a lot of U.S.-Canada tension.

What?


No, really, in a limited context.

Is it a question by someone in the US and premised on (a) the poster's inability to pay for a likely course of treatment, (b) financial issues in general related to past or future medical care, (c) a question about health coverage, or (d) containing any series of words which could in the right lighting be anagrammed to spell "health coverage"?

Then there's a reasonable chance we deleted a comment from someone trying to start a fight about Canadian vs. US healthcare. It's nuts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:41 AM on February 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Huh? That's just demonstrably untrue.

Internal language goes wonky in translation, probably. Most people who read Metatalk are going to have a pretty good idea what "no I/P threads on the green" means, and it doesn't mean "the subject is prohibited"; it means "no raging let's-fight-about-this" chatmonsters imported from the trainwrecks on the blue.

But shorthand doesn't stand up well out of context. That probably goes as well, or more so really, for a couple dozen other bits of rule-of-thumb jargon we throw around in the grey or behind the scenes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:47 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


meh. the story was lame

Proof that the gray is not the green. Any piece of journalism about us is going to strike false notes if it's written by a non-MeFite, but I thought that was pretty well done. Much better than the tone-deaf writeup in Time.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:47 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


To understand how AskMeFi encourages valuable typed conversation, I spoke with Jessamyn West, a noted rural librarian

Cooter?

"It's a living room, a clubhouse, please don't come poop on our floor."

Don't sit in any of the chairs.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:49 AM on February 23, 2009


a noted rural librarian? Nay, the noted rural librarian of our generation!
posted by lukemeister at 7:00 AM on February 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Whither tubgirl?
posted by bardic at 7:05 AM on February 23, 2009


Is anyone else getting imagining woman sitting on a wooden porch or a rickety old building in a rocking chair, with a straw hat and blue overalls while chewing tobacco, and a rifle in her lap? Every time a patron leaves, she cocks the gun, looking off into the distance and says "Bring dem books on time, ya hear?" Then she looks at you and smiles a gap toothed smile while leaning down to pat a mangy old dog who is busy chewing on a rather large bone. "He got your scent on the way in, jus so's you knows," she says, back to staring out in the distance.

Or is that just me?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:09 AM on February 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


so how much of an uptick in traffic does mefi see after a story like this on slate or in time or... hey, this might be an interesting comparison chart! cortex? pb?
posted by krautland at 7:23 AM on February 23, 2009


Another opportunity to introduce Slate readers to the notion of chicken fucking, lost to the sands of time.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:26 AM on February 23, 2009


jessamyn moderatin'
posted by lukemeister at 7:28 AM on February 23, 2009


cortex moderatin'
posted by mediareport at 7:40 AM on February 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm sure Jessamyn's point was more nuanced than Agger's framing

Yeah, I had a great talk with him in-between flights at the Chicago airport, but I think the idea of "questions that don't go well here" [circumciscion, I/P] and "questions we don't allow" [suicide, "ted Nugent sucks AMIRITE"] got a little muddled. I agree it's a fanboyish article but as those things go, it's pretty good. I gave him some examples I liked [the Vienna one, the "I'm fat wanna meetup" one] but he had a lot of these just on his own.

The thing about web communities generally is they're pretty opaque from the outside, so I tried to sort of give him an idea of what brings people here and keeps them here -- my whole discussion of nerds and compassion is notably absent, as was the discussion of collaborative problem-solving -- and I thought it went pretty well. I accept the tators challenge.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:44 AM on February 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I accept the tators challenge.

Gold.
posted by fixedgear at 7:52 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


so how much of an uptick in traffic does mefi see after a story like this on slate or in time or... hey, this might be an interesting comparison chart! cortex? pb?

I don't know about traffic, but we've seen a big spike in signups over the last day or so. Whether it's slate or the hardcopy of TIME or both, I dunno, but there are more new folks afoot than usual, so put on a nice shirt and try to be helpful.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:54 AM on February 23, 2009


put on a nice shirt and try to be helpful.

*puts on fedora*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 AM on February 23, 2009


so put on a nice shirt and try to be helpful.
am I not always the helpiest and bestest dressed of krauts you know?
posted by krautland at 8:19 AM on February 23, 2009


Next week on 30 Rock: Frank's hat will say "NOTED RURAL LIBRARIAN."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:38 AM on February 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


goodnewsfortheinsane : Ask Metafilter is a small-miracle factory.

Which would make a pretty good business card for one of the admins: Foreman, Small Miracles, Inc.

"Yeah, I was watching one of my guys run the walking-on-water industrial press when the safety gave way, fortunately the kickback was just some water-into-wine sprue which we can recycle or just sell outright. It's a tough job here, but we are doing Good Works..."
posted by quin at 8:47 AM on February 23, 2009


People would think we work at a birthing clinic or something.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:52 AM on February 23, 2009


so put on a nice shirt

$5 to join, now I have to wear a shirt?

and try to be helpful.

Oh, screw this. I've had it up to here with your stinkin' rules, man! I quit!
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:55 AM on February 23, 2009


No questions like "Is my husband trying to kill me?"

Huh? http://ask.metafilter.com/111950/Is-my-husband-trying-to-kill-me
posted by hazyspring at 8:57 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I'm back. Turns out I just needed some caffeine.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:57 AM on February 23, 2009


So, are cat circumcision questions frowned upon?
posted by ob at 8:58 AM on February 23, 2009


You know I recently read a news blurb about a fellow who killed his significant other and tried to cut up the body into pieces and flush it down the toilet. And I immediately thought of that famous "what if you killed someone" AskMe answer about removing the toilet for unfettered access to the sewer drain.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:27 AM on February 23, 2009


so put on a nice shirt and try to be helpful.

I guess we're all supposed to start wearing our guns in shoulder holsters now, too.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:35 AM on February 23, 2009


It's going to slow down your draw if you do. I still suggest the strong-hand side of the small-of-back or cross-draw.
posted by quin at 9:39 AM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


i'll know we've jumped the bacon when I hear Wolf Blitzer excite-o-drone out "Some are saying it's the best website on the internet...."
posted by cashman at 10:40 AM on February 23, 2009


No questions like "Is my husband trying to kill me?"

Huh? http://ask.metafilter.com/111950/Is-my-husband-trying-to-kill-me


I imagine the author thought such a question would just obviously be too bizarre to be allowed, but didn't bother to actually search for exactly that.
posted by odinsdream at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2009


"$5 to join, now I have to wear a shirt?"

Yeah, that.

And if pants become required, I am outtahere.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2009


YOU WILL BE HAVE BEEN BACK
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:27 AM on February 23, 2009


Questions about extreme paranoia are bad because we've found that people like to tease people who are hearing voices.

really? is this a problem? if so, that's fucked.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:13 PM on February 23, 2009


I've been thinking about getting my cat circumcised but am worried that if I do my husband will try and kill me. I told him that the vet has been declawed, but he says it'd still be cruel.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 12:19 PM on February 23, 2009


It has happened, kinda. For example the person who thought his phones were bugged (and the corresponding MeTa thread).
posted by Rhomboid at 12:50 PM on February 23, 2009


Oh, and the person that claimed hotmail had hacked into his gmail account and changed his password there or something (but I think that was more just technical incompetence or whatnot than outright paranoia.)
posted by Rhomboid at 12:53 PM on February 23, 2009


I think a big part of it is that people are skeptical about crazy-seeming questions, to the point of letting their I See Your Stunt Post And Raise You A Jokey Taunt instincts take over. The number of people on the site capable of that kind of lapse in judgement easily dwarfs the number of people on the site capable of actively, intentionally taunting people they understand to be mentally ill.

The problem is that if someone is actually ill and asking in good faith, making a distinction between a joke and just plain bad or mean-spiritied straight-faced advice may not exactly be in the cards, so what starts as "bad joke in askme" in someone's head comes off as really fucked when looked at in a different light.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:56 PM on February 23, 2009


My (hopefully mild but admittedly extant) vanity is such that I was sort of sad that my Road Runner answer didn't get mentioned in Slate, too.
posted by scody at 1:44 PM on February 23, 2009


Wait... there's an AskMetaFilter? And it's green?
posted by not_on_display at 1:59 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next week on 30 Rock: Frank's hat will say "NOTED RURAL LIBRARIAN."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:38 AM on February 23


I emailed Judah Friedlander this suggestion and it would pretty much make my year if that were to become a reality.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:15 PM on February 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like how Jess, right off the bat, talked about poop.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:35 PM on February 23, 2009


I like how Jess, right off the bat, talked about poop.

But is it the right consistency, colour, texture?
posted by qvantamon at 3:09 PM on February 23, 2009


I like how Jess, right off the bat, talked about poop.

How do I talk to my SO about skid marks in his underwear? Should I tell the person in the next stall to eat more fiber? Like that?
posted by fixedgear at 3:12 PM on February 23, 2009


http://ask.metafilter.com/111950/Is-my-husband-trying-to-kill-me

Explained in a context of "a supposedly fun thing I'll never do again."

I explained the post, and how it went terribly and how we'd be much less likely to approve paranoid-seeming anonymous posts again. I think the nuance between "unlikely to be approved" "likely to be deleted" "against the rules" and "we don't like it but we'll allow it and watch it like hawks" was a little hand wavey for Michael which is not at all surprising.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:41 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The mainstream love for the green continues at Slate.


Finally, Ireland gets the appreciation it deserves.



Also, while I'm here, why is my AskMe question being rejected?

"How can I tell if my tater is trying to kill me?"
posted by terranova at 4:48 PM on February 23, 2009


Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a site for the 2009 Metafilter World Reunion!
posted by lukemeister at 5:24 PM on February 23, 2009


jessamyn: [snip] I think the nuance between "unlikely to be approved" "likely to be deleted" "against the rules" and "we don't like it but we'll allow it and watch it like hawks" was a little hand wavey for Michael which is not at all surprising."

Not to get all fonboyish or anything, but that's not "hand wavey", that's deft touch. That's the mods' personalities shining through and influencing the nature of the site. Sure, we (the plebians) are great and all, but without the nature of the moderators being what it is, I think this place would have died a long time ago.

That's the point I wish had come through in the article.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:46 PM on February 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


My (hopefully mild but admittedly extant) vanity is such that I was sort of sad that my Road Runner answer didn't get mentioned in Slate, too.

If it's any consolation, scody, my four year old's just gotten into the Road Runner in a big way and mrs. gompa and I now reference your anecdote all the time amongst ourselves, plus it's become one of our default examples of why Mefi's so unique and excellent when we try to explain what we're on about to friends and colleagues.

You're huge on the east side of Calgary - which is, in my humble but admittedly biased opinion, a much better place than Slate.
posted by gompa at 11:27 PM on February 23, 2009


so put on a nice shirt and try to be helpful.

Oooh! I never get to wear nice things! I work with a two year old, so I get reminded on a daily basis of THIS IS WHY [I] CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.

Being a walking kleenex/napkin has its drawbacks.

I can still be helpful though. 'Specially if you've got some schmutz on your face.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:24 AM on February 24, 2009


I work with a two year old, so I get reminded on a daily basis of THIS IS WHY [I] CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.

Big deal, one kid. I work with 2,250 2 year olds. Well at least they act like 2 year olds.
posted by fixedgear at 4:47 AM on February 24, 2009


I work with 2,250 2 year olds.

You can't stop them. You can only hope to contain them.
posted by lukemeister at 7:50 AM on February 24, 2009


So these rurals have libraries now? What's next, running water in their hovels?
posted by tommasz at 10:16 AM on February 24, 2009


so put on a nice shirt and try to be helpful.

YOU ARE NOT MY SPOUSE, GET OFF MY BACK ABOUT TAKING BATHING.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:31 PM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're huge on the east side of Calgary

Hee! Thanks. (Incidentally, I had no idea that Calgary had a different gravitational pull than Los Angeles.)
posted by scody at 12:37 PM on February 24, 2009


Apparently AskMeFi is riven with a lot of U.S.-Canada tension.

What?


Yeah—sorry.
posted by oaf at 10:19 AM on February 25, 2009


Hi, everyone, I wrote the article for Slate. Glad to see that it did not completely annoy most people connected to MeFi. A few readers have mentioned that the article was something of a revelation for them -- especially the "how to be disarming" question for some reason. AskMeFi is still an undiscovered country for the "mainstream." (Does that still exist? Not so sure.) Thanks again to Jessamyn for all of her insights. The muddledness was my own doing.
posted by muddlerminnow at 1:22 PM on February 25, 2009


Hi, everyone, I wrote the article for Slate.

Heh. Instead of "the mainstream love for the green," now we'll now have to call it "MeFi's Own mainstream love for the green."
posted by roombythelake at 2:03 PM on February 25, 2009


We are podcasting about this right now, muddlerminnow.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:10 PM on February 25, 2009


I just podcasted about cortex podcasting about slate posting in the metatalk thread about a slate article about an AskMe post that I posted in. What I'm saying is, you all owe me coke so pay up.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:51 AM on March 2, 2009


Dear Matt,

I appreciate all the hard work you put into the podcast, and the site overall. Mefi is like my internet NPR: I'm forever telling people about stuff I read on the site in conversations. On the rare occasion that I log in and the site is down, I think to myself, "Poor Matt is probably yelling at a tech right this minute. I bet PB is there, too." Then I feel sorry for the tech you are yelling at.

Fuck the haters. They just want something to complain about.

Taters for now,
frecklefaerie
posted by frecklefaerie at 2:41 PM on March 2, 2009


the awesome thing about mathowie is that he never yells at anyone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:08 PM on March 2, 2009


Seriously, when something pisses him off he's just like "Oh, geez, c'mon, that's super laaaame. C'mon."
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on March 2, 2009


(...)undiscovered country for the "mainstream." (Does that still exist? Not so sure.)

oh yes, the mainstream is alive and well and that very much so: you are part of it, I am as well and so is pretty much everyone else.

we are all amateurs, beginners and dilettantes at almost everything and experts on only a very few select topics. that means we you're probably mainstream and avante-garde at the same time, depending on your age (an octogenarian surfer isn't mainstream but a teenage surfer is), location (a cheese-lover in japan isn't mainstream but in wisconsin that's not true), knowledge (if you can count to ten in just as many seconds you're mainstream, if you can count back from 100 in a minute you are not), etc.

I could go on but I suppose you already know where this is going...
posted by krautland at 8:34 AM on March 3, 2009


I just podcasted about cortex podcasting about slate posting in the metatalk thread about a slate article about an AskMe post that I posted in. What I'm saying is, you all owe me coke so pay up.

Exactly why I stopped doing coke.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:05 PM on March 3, 2009


*podcasts off a stripper's chest*
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:40 PM on March 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


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