All the news that's fit to MeFi? March 19, 2009 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Why are links to New York Times and New Yorker articles MeFi worthy?

It seems strange that a site devoted to discovering the best of the web links to articles from media juggernauts that are likely open in tabs in the same browser window anyway. Is MeFi a news aggregator? No. Want to see what's happening on the NYT? Do you really need MeFi to take you there?
posted by oneironaut to Etiquette/Policy at 11:08 AM (91 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Couldn't something that's "the best of the web" be anywhere -- including on a high-profile site?

For what it's worth, I rarely have the NY Times open in a tab. The only time I visit it is when some other site, like MeFi, links to it or when someone emails me saying "check out this article."

It's a big site with many, many articles on it. Unless you read it daily, you're likely to miss something cool.

I agree with you about major news stories, though. If it's front-page news on The NY Times, CNN, USA Today and every other news site, I don't see the point of it being on MeFi's front page, too.
posted by grumblebee at 11:13 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not everyone in the world reads the NYT and New Yorker. Further, it is very easy to overlook (excellent) articles in those publications even if you do read it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:13 AM on March 19, 2009 [8 favorites]


I would imagine that "MeFi worthy" links to the NYT and the New Yorker can only be assessed on a case by case basis. Do you have any examples of what you deem not "MeFi worthy"?
posted by ob at 11:13 AM on March 19, 2009

My feeling is that, done right, [obituary posts] can really add a whole lot of depth to the standard obits we see elsewhere. I agree that they seem to have diverged from the MeFi original core mission, but so do a lot of other things. As MeFi has grown to be more of a large scale community, some sort of MeFi-attention to more newsish stuff seems appropriate.
posted by scody at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2009


I loved the New York Times until they went all mainstream. Their first album still kicks ass though.
posted by Mister_A at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't read newspapers unless Metafilter sends me there.

I also think your insistance that Metafilter is some how related to "the best of the web" is quaint. Metafilter is about "interesting", "weird", "informative", "nifty", "neat", and "groovy". "Best" may or may not apply. Please see the entire history of the site for addtional information.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:17 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not Most Obscure of the Web.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:24 AM on March 19, 2009 [10 favorites]


Why are links to New York Times and New Yorker articles MeFi worthy?

Because there are often excellent and informative articles in the Times and the New Yorker, articles which are worthy of being brought to the attention of the Metafilter community, not all of whom may regularly read either the Times or the New Yorker. Why is this difficult to understand?
posted by dersins at 11:25 AM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


I don't read the others either. I think Mefi excels at discussing & factchecking & further analysis in a way those don't.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:32 AM on March 19, 2009


As noted above, obscurity doesn't make something awesome. I don't read the NYT unless I see something linked there from here, or elsewhere.
posted by chunking express at 11:34 AM on March 19, 2009


Also, if your answer is just "yes," here you go: the New York Times & New Yorker.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:38 AM on March 19, 2009




OH SNAP.
posted by chunking express at 11:42 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've stopped replying to dumb callouts and am moving into the phase where I draw attention to the fact that I no longer comment on dumb callouts. Hopefully I will become even more serene in the coming months and simply stop making any comment on dumb callouts altogether. It's like the stages of grief for MetaTalk.

Actually, fuck it all. This is a stupid callout and you should feel bad for making it.
posted by GuyZero at 11:43 AM on March 19, 2009


Why do you hate New York?
posted by ob at 11:45 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's been downhill since catscan.
posted by Stynxno at 11:46 AM on March 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


For $20, I will draw attention away from oneironaut by flaming out in his stead.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ooooohhhh! I already have popcorn ready!
posted by GuyZero at 11:53 AM on March 19, 2009


Catscan was the zenith. This marked the Nader nadir.
posted by Mister_A at 11:54 AM on March 19, 2009


For $10, I will draw.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:00 PM on March 19, 2009


krrrlson!
posted by [@I][:+:][@I] at 12:01 PM on March 19, 2009


For $20, I will draw attention away from oneironaut by flaming out in his stead.

What's $20 in favorites?
posted by dersins at 12:02 PM on March 19, 2009


I know, I know-- the same as in town.
posted by dersins at 12:02 PM on March 19, 2009


TETSUO!!!!
posted by chunking express at 12:02 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


For $5.05 I'll make a sock puppet that does call outs in Iambic Pentameter.
posted by ob at 12:03 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nthing the "I don't read the same news sites you do".
posted by DU at 12:06 PM on March 19, 2009


TETSUO!!!!
I favorite this
Over and over again
I favorite this
posted by DWRoelands at 12:08 PM on March 19, 2009


For $35.05 plus a $7.95 fee, I'll invest in several MetaFilter OTC derivatives contracts, and split any profits with you 80/20.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:08 PM on March 19, 2009


This is a symptom of a larger problem: namely, that people aren't drawing from a very wide range of sources for their FPPs. They're relying too much on the high-profile sources like Boing Boing, Kottke, etc. and a steady diet of that can get stale after a while.

That said, both sites publish good articles and remain good sources of FPP material.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:09 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Would MetaFilter be better place if we banned those sites and there were 2 FPPs per day?
posted by GuyZero at 12:14 PM on March 19, 2009


If it's (A) Interesting and (B) I can click on it then I'm happy. Everything else is niceties.

oh, (C) The text actually describes what I'm clicking on is always nice.
posted by Artw at 12:18 PM on March 19, 2009


They're relying too much on the high-profile sources like Boing Boing, Kottke, etc.

I might try to do some crunching on this soon depending on whether or not waxy gets a chance to rerun his "where are the links coming from" stats that he did back in '02 and '06, because it's an interesting thing to try and quantify.

That said, there's a perception problem here where it's presumed that if something was on BB or Kottke or one of a number of other biggies, it ipso facto came from that source. Certainly posts are occasionally credited to one of those with a via, but there's a whole lot of blogosphere out there that's throwing links around as well. People are as much as anything relying on a very wide range of sources, and the best or shiniest or most notable things floating around tend to show up eventually on more than one high-profile blog or aggregator.

There's no solution to this problem of popular/mainstream stuff showing up on Metafilter that doesn't involve some sort of zealous snobbish obfuscatory attack on the popular, which would I think be shooting well past the laudable (but far from strict) "neat and original" guideline for links into crazy-nutso hipster-as-blog-curator territory.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:23 PM on March 19, 2009


Metafilter: Some Sort of Zealous Snobbish Obfuscatory Attack on the Popular
posted by scody at 12:27 PM on March 19, 2009


Tagline senses tingling!

MetaFilter: Some Sort of Zealous Snobbish Obfuscatory Attack on the Popular.
posted by Mister_A at 12:27 PM on March 19, 2009


God how I hate you scody.
posted by Mister_A at 12:27 PM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


hipster-as-blog-curator

Oh, and also, can I use this as the opportunity to register my disdain for the hipster cooption of the word curator? The next time I see the phrase "curate an evening of music," I'm going to strangle the next guy I see with an emo haircut.
posted by scody at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


God how I hate you scody.

So no hugs today?
posted by scody at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2009


I can't stay mad at you!

*TARGET ACQUIRED*

etc.
posted by Mister_A at 12:31 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


It just goes to show, you can't be too careful.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


"Best of the web" is deprecated. The genesis of that phrase was the original post page, which stated: "Just to be clear: the point of metafilter is to find the best and most interesting of the web to share with others...." Now it just says: "Found something cool on the web and want to share it with everyone else? Great!" The phrase "best of the web" is not found on either the about page or in the guidelines. I think cortex's "neat and original" standard is a better guideline anyway.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:34 PM on March 19, 2009


THAR SHE BLOWS!
posted by owtytrof at 12:34 PM on March 19, 2009


crazy-nutso hipster-as-blog-curator

I resemble that remark.
posted by jason's_planet at 12:37 PM on March 19, 2009


They're relying too much on the high-profile sources like Boing Boing, Kottke

One of the many reasons I read MetaFilter is so I don't have to read Boing Boing or Kottke.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:37 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


No hugs today, my love has gone away
The comment stands forlorn, a symbol of the dawn
No hugs today, it seems a common sight
But people passing by don't know the reason why

How could they know just what this message means
The end of my hopes, the end of all my dreams
How could they know the palace there had been
Behind the door where my love reigned as queen

No hugs today, it wasn't always so
The company was gay, we'd turn night into day
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:44 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not Most Obscure of the Web.

Yeah, it's like those hipsters who only like bands that don't exist yet and once they've, y'know, assembled and performed a song, they're SOOOO five minutes ago.

MetaFilter is not like that and please, please let's not be so earnestly hip that we have to only post things that haven't even been written yet.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:45 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


boing-boing was downgraded to a BBB rating during incidents last year, and is expected to yield only 2.3% across the first and second quarter of '09. NYT and New Yorker beat expectations, with a return on 1.7 against analysts prediction of 0.85. This was due in part to an associated hipster-faux-literati trend begun in late '08 that saw NYRB boosted well past an expected 0.3 to 0.62. Sources cite this rise was in a downturn of McSweeney's posts: "We're all familiar with (McSweeney's) now, and single links there probably aren't going to fly" notes one insider.

More news as it develops; now here's Cramer with Lunatic Links.
posted by boo_radley at 12:47 PM on March 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm shorting the Gawker properties and putting everything into Arts & Letters Daily. I think it's due for a comeback.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:56 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Because there are often excellent and informative articles in the Times and the New Yorker, articles which are worthy of being brought to the attention of the Metafilter community, not all of whom may regularly read either the Times or the New Yorker. Why is this difficult to understand?

Yeah...totally excellent and informative.

So would it be JUST as informative for me to link to KTLA articles regarding kittens, marijuana...and smoking kittens.

I'm guessing its that old east coast "not holier, but better than thou" attitude.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:04 PM on March 19, 2009


curate an evening of music.
posted by shmegegge at 1:06 PM on March 19, 2009


If you didn't enjoy that Star Trek Captain's chair article, then I am indeed better than you.

EAST SIDE!!!
posted by Mister_A at 1:10 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing its that old east coast "not holier, but better than thou" attitude.

I spy with my little eye that old west coast "not worse, but more defensive than thou" attitude.

Captain Kirk's chair notwithstanding, are you actually contesting my assertion that "there are often excellent and informative articles in the Times and the New Yorker"? This is controversial? Really?
posted by dersins at 1:13 PM on March 19, 2009


The phrase "marijuana bong" always makes me giggle. Like, really? It's not a, like, tobacco bong? Not a jello-shots bong? This particular bong is being used for marijuana? Are were sure about that?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:17 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, I don't read either the New York Times or the New Yorker, so you'd be wrong there.

Furthermore, MetaFilter is a news aggregator, along with a video aggregator, a flash game aggregator, et cetera. It's a website that tries to aggregate everything interesting ("filter") on the internet ("meta").
posted by flatluigi at 1:20 PM on March 19, 2009


For $5.05 I'll make a sock puppet that does call outs in Iambic Pentameter.

Do you have a Paypal account?
posted by Evangeline at 1:27 PM on March 19, 2009


Furthermore, MetaFilter is a news aggregator, along with a video aggregator, a flash game aggregator, et cetera. It's a website that tries to aggregate everything interesting ("filter") on the internet ("meta").

Not that I disagree with your overall point or anything, but that's a really funny way of putting it.

Dunkin' Donuts is a store that tries tries to bake and otherwise prepare for sale (Dunkin') a variety of food and drink products (Donuts).
posted by shmegegge at 1:31 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Want to see what's happening on the NYT? Do you really need MeFi to take you there?

As a matter of fact, I do. I don't really care much for NYT, so I only read the articles that pop up on MeFi - and I only read the ones I find interesting. I suppose that's another definition of "metafilter" - the NYT articles I read are doubly filtered (what the poster found interesting + what I find interesting, often thanks to the writeup).
posted by daniel_charms at 1:33 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Want to see what's happening on the NYT? Do you really need MeFi to take you there?

No, but I do need bugmenot.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:53 PM on March 19, 2009


Still with the axe to grind?
posted by patricio at 11:39 AM on March 19 [6 favorites +] [!]



OH SNAP.
posted by chunking express at 11:42 AM on March 19 [1 favorite +] [!]



Actually, fuck it all. This is a stupid callout and you should feel bad for making it.
posted by GuyZero at 11:43 AM on March 19 [+] [!]

Ah. See, all I wanted was some discussion. I have no axe to grind. I just love MetaFilter for stuff I won't see anywhere else. It's a jolt to me to read something here that I've just been reading on a mainstream site. The links strike me as facile, and not requiring a lot of thought.

It's not a callout, it's a question to the community. A calm, rational question, I thought.

I love MeFi. It's on all day. I keep pitching links to my girlfriend who is a producer at NPR.

So, I'll just say it. I don't think NYT and New Yorker articles are worthy of simple, click-through links from MetaFilter.

Oh, and patricio? The only thing I have to grind on is your mom.
posted by oneironaut at 2:07 PM on March 19, 2009


Oh, and patricio? The only thing I have to grind on is your mom.

Wow. An OP flameout? Really?

Yay!
posted by Sys Rq at 2:13 PM on March 19, 2009


Well, after patricio stalked me through past posts and all, I thought he/she would like more of my material.
posted by oneironaut at 2:16 PM on March 19, 2009


Do you have a Paypal account?

Err... no? No, no, no, no definitely not. Never heard of it. What's that then?
posted by ob at 2:18 PM on March 19, 2009


Wow. An OP flameout? Really?

Anyone got popcorn?
posted by ob at 2:19 PM on March 19, 2009


It's not a callout, it's a question to the community. A calm, rational question, I thought.

A) You have never read MetaTalk before
B) You are completely tone-deaf
C) You are disingenuous
iv) You didn't realize you're not required to read every FPP
4) You have never read MetaTalk before

See, all I wanted was some discussion.

Then come up with a new topic.
posted by GuyZero at 2:21 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your mom cracks are the best form of internet discussion.
posted by boo_radley at 2:23 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then come up with a new topic.

You also told me I should feel bad.

Do you run a dungeon, or something? You're very bossy.
posted by oneironaut at 2:24 PM on March 19, 2009


cortexAdmin: "The phrase "marijuana bong" always makes me giggle. Like, really? It's not a, like, tobacco bong? Not a jello-shots bong? This particular bong is being used for marijuana? Are were sure about that?"

No, sir. This water pipe is for smoking tobacco. We don't sell bongs.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:29 PM on March 19, 2009


TWO MOMS ENTER, ONE MOM LEAVES.
posted by cashman at 2:34 PM on March 19, 2009


Do you run a dungeon, or something?

Yes. And I've got a beholder with pink eye, a bunch of orcs that are lobbying for better health benefits and a gelatinous cube with a dangerously high pH. The last think I need is people whining about links to NYT articles.
posted by GuyZero at 2:43 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, it looks the rust monster has been at my keybord akain.
posted by GuyZero at 2:44 PM on March 19, 2009


The last think I need is people whining about links to NYT articles.

I'm not whining. I'm asking.

But maybe, then, you should just ignore it.
posted by oneironaut at 2:45 PM on March 19, 2009


So glad to see you've come around to my point of view.
posted by GuyZero at 2:47 PM on March 19, 2009


Do you run a dungeon, or something? You're very bossy.

You're soaking in it, actually.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:07 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


oneironaut: go curate an evening of music.

Damn, I love this site, our memes are so much better that the competition's.
posted by dirty lies at 3:14 PM on March 19, 2009


Like, really? It's not a, like, tobacco bong? Not a jello-shots bong? This particular bong is being used for marijuana? Are were sure about that?

Once it hits your lips, it's so good!
posted by gman at 3:17 PM on March 19, 2009


I keep pitching links to my girlfriend who is a producer at NPR.

Somehow I missed this point! I think you're running the risk of causing a loop in the web continuum. If we linked to the NYT and then Ira Glass mentions MetaFilter, then MetaFilter links to the TAL episode, which is then parodied in McSweeny's all this activity might actually change the original NYT article which will become a profile of the Williamsburg hipster who posted the first link. And then the next day when you get into work, it's all:

TYME SEFARI INC.
SEFARIS TU ANY YEER EN THE PAST.

But you totally love Deutscher as President.
posted by GuyZero at 3:22 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


GuyZero, I'm glad we could end this day as friends. /metahug.
posted by oneironaut at 3:47 PM on March 19, 2009


In fairness, I trot this out for pretty much every MetaTalk post like this. It's really not personal. I expect that someday I will complain about something then tell myself to shut up later in the comments.
posted by GuyZero at 3:51 PM on March 19, 2009


(This American Life is actually produced by PRI, not NPR. Just sayin'.)
posted by mykescipark at 3:54 PM on March 19, 2009


Dunkin' Donuts is a store that tries tries to bake and otherwise prepare for sale (Dunkin') a variety of food and drink products (Donuts).

I'm trying really hard to work this into a YO DAWG joke, but can't quite bring all the pieces together.
posted by slogger at 4:26 PM on March 19, 2009


"The phrase "marijuana bong" always makes me giggle. Like, really? It's not a, like, tobacco bong? Not a jello-shots bong? This particular bong is being used for marijuana? Are were sure about that?"

Beer bong. Mountaineering bong.
posted by klangklangston at 5:14 PM on March 19, 2009


A beer bong is no true bong, and pitons can burn in hell.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:20 PM on March 19, 2009


Apparently Bong Bong is a 'high-profile source'.
posted by gman at 5:25 PM on March 19, 2009


Christ, do we have to do this again?

I don't think NYT and New Yorker articles are worthy of simple, click-through links from MetaFilter.


A few people agree with you. Most don't. Get over it.
posted by languagehat at 5:49 PM on March 19, 2009


TYME SEFARI INC.
SEFARIS TU ANY YEER EN THE PAST.


If the rift starts with NPR, it will actually be

SEDARIS TU ANY YEER EN THE PAST
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:22 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I keep pitching links to my girlfriend who is a producer at NPR. So, I'll just say it. I don't think NYT and New Yorker articles are worthy of simple, click-through links from MetaFilter.

Hopefully she doesn't work on Fresh air, because they do a shiiiiitload of stuff from NYT and NY. That is, when Terri Gross isn't doing interviews with ?uestlove that are so cringe-inducing that my left arm is still a little palsied.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:03 PM on March 19, 2009


Oh, and patricio? The only thing I have to grind on is your mom.

insert humorous "my mother's dead*, you're a pervert" gag here
* not that she is mind you, but that was always the standard playground response.

It seems strange that a site devoted to discovering the best of the web links to articles from media juggernauts that are likely open in tabs in the same browser window anyway. Is MeFi a news aggregator? No. Want to see what's happening on the NYT? Do you really need MeFi to take you there?

That didn't strike me as a good faith question to the community. Anyway - no big deal, and sorry if the earlier link annoyed you.
posted by patricio at 3:43 AM on March 20, 2009


"Why are links to New York Times and New Yorker articles MeFi worthy?"

They aren't.
posted by Eideteker at 10:16 PM on March 20, 2009


It seems strange that a site devoted to discovering the best of the web links to articles from media juggernauts...

Why? They can't have the very subjective "best of"?

...that are likely open in tabs in the same browser window anyway.

Evidence?

Is MeFi a news aggregator?

Is MeFi a complaints aggregator?

Want to see what's happening on the NYT? Do you really need MeFi to take you there?

Since I never visit and therefore would be unaware of a potentially (it's a judgment call) excellent best of the web article then the answer is yes. That said I realize that we are a diverse bunch and some other people may have seen this without the aid of MeFi. When I see something linked to that I've already seen myself I just don't bother with it because, you know, I've already seen it myself. I don't assume that the rest of the world has most likely seen it as well and I certainly don't assume they've probably got it tabbed in their browser and open.

They're relying too much on the high-profile sources like Boing Boing, Kottke, etc.

Same goes for these sites. I've never heard of Kottke until now and I never visit BoingBoing. I've only heard of BoingBoing through MeFi.
posted by juiceCake at 5:45 AM on March 21, 2009


Is MeFi a complaints aggregator?

Well, not MeFi specifically, but MetaTalk certainly is.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:34 AM on March 21, 2009


Um, so, is this where I point out again that the source is not necessarily indicative of the quality? There are some YouTube videos that are the best of the web, there are some NY Times articles likewise, however not all articles are, and frequently those linked are more of a "generic reputable news source sez" variety, which leads folks to conflate that mediocrity with links to the NY Times?

Therefore, a better approach is to inveigh against mediocre links and tell people not to get lazy with their New Yorker etc. Just because it's in there doesn't mean it should go here.
posted by klangklangston at 10:04 AM on March 21, 2009


It seems strange that a site devoted to discovering the best of the web links to articles from media juggernauts that are likely open in tabs in the same browser window anyway.

How likely is "likely"? What percentage of people who have Mefi open in their browser also have the New Yorker "open in tabs in the same browser window"? I'm sure it's less than 1%. Does that really count as "likely"?

I regularly read Mefi. I don't regularly read the New Yorker. I occasionally check out particularly interesting New Yorker articles that are linked on sites I do regularly read. You seem to think this is a bizarre state of affairs, but I don't see why.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:15 PM on March 23, 2009


« Older rushkoff responds   |   . Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments