Will you please clarify linking etiquette? April 15, 2009 8:45 PM   Subscribe

Is it considered acceptable to link to users so I may see their activity?

Most of the people I have links to are some MeFites I spoke with at a Toronto meetup. There are a couple others with whom I collaborated on threads that I think we both found interesting. However I've noticed other users because their posts frequently strike me as wise or funny or otherwise worthy of note.

I've never interacted with some of them (IRL nor online). Is it okay to link under these circumstances? Thank-you, I appreciate that this part of the site exists as it's nice to run uncertainties past the group.
posted by cranberrymonger to Etiquette/Policy at 8:45 PM (91 comments total)

I certainly do. (Hi cortex, jessamyn, and mathowie!)
posted by ocherdraco at 8:46 PM on April 15, 2009


My apologies if this has come up before but searching "link" or "user" brings up a hell of a lot of results!
posted by cranberrymonger at 8:46 PM on April 15, 2009


I am a shameless suck-up as well; however, I have actually met and broken bread drank beer with each of the aforementioned mods, so that gives me the cover I need.
posted by yhbc at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2009


Yes. If you'd like, you're welcome to link to me to get breaking updates on my banal and generally terrible contributions to metafilter. (I'm so sorry.)
posted by boo_radley at 8:52 PM on April 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


It seems to me that people have different linking philosophies. I certainly link to a lot of people I've never met and whose postings and comments I just like. Also people I've met. And there are folks who link to me that I've never met, and that's fine with me.

I sometimes feel bad that I don't link back to every single person as they link to me, but there's something that makes me want to feel like I "know" them before I link to them, and a lot of times folks are lurkers and have not much posting history to "know." I'm never sure how to manage that. Sometimes I think I should just have an all-reciprocal philosophy, but so far I haven't.

Basically, yeah, I think it's fine. If it's not fine to link to someone just because you're a fan of what they write, then I'm doin' it wrong.
posted by Miko at 8:53 PM on April 15, 2009


Is it considered acceptable to link to users so I may see their activity?

This is why I link to anyone. What other reason would you link to a user? Link away.
posted by nola at 8:55 PM on April 15, 2009


Miko said what I should have said, much more gracefully than I ever would have.
posted by yhbc at 8:59 PM on April 15, 2009


I certainly hope it's ok. My one-&-only link is to orange swan, whom I've never met, but who has provided me countless hours of craft projects.
posted by dogmom at 9:01 PM on April 15, 2009


I do this all the time and nobody's complained yet.
posted by jtron at 9:03 PM on April 15, 2009


That's my understanding of the specific "muse" category for user links. It, apart from most categories, is the least expectantly reciprocal... (apart from "crush" which has different implications) though I think maybe people might shy away from it since it is in the "Romantic" tab.
posted by birdsquared at 9:06 PM on April 15, 2009


It's no big deal, don't overthink it. On Flickr, I mark photographers I really like as Friends (up from the meager "contact") because it gives me a filtered view of recent photos from Friends and I want to know when they've shot new photos even though I've never met them.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:06 PM on April 15, 2009


I was confused for a second until I realized you were talking about contacts. Looking at posts tagged with that word turns up some of the previous metatalk threads touching on contacts in general, at least, though I don't know if iterations of this question (there's been at least one or two, I think, over the years) are in there. Metatalk backtagging is still a work in progress.

But, yeah, contacts are for whatever you want to use them for. It's not really a big deal one way or the other, so if you want to make someone a contact to follow their activity, do it to it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:17 PM on April 15, 2009


I link to anyone who links to me, automatically.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:19 PM on April 15, 2009


I like cranberries.
posted by netbros at 9:20 PM on April 15, 2009


Me too :)
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:21 PM on April 15, 2009


Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. I feel that my question is answered.
posted by cranberrymonger at 9:21 PM on April 15, 2009


and MeFi has "none" as a relationship, which seems like a good category for this sort of thing. You can follow people, but you don't know them, so it's taxonomically honest as well.
posted by boo_radley at 9:32 PM on April 15, 2009


Anybody who links to me I expect to be willing to help me move a sofa. I gotta tell you up front, it's a hide-a-bed. And I think there might be a mouse living in it.
posted by nanojath at 9:35 PM on April 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


I have full carnal knowledge of all the users that I've ever linked to.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:47 PM on April 15, 2009


As many others have said so far, yeah, it's OK. Alot of the people I link to are people who create great MeFi Music, so that when they post something over there I can pretty much go straight over there and listen to their latest creative output. My faves are cortex, chococat, frenetic and Jofus.

While I'm on the subject, anyone want to recommend some other great MeFi musicians I should be linking to?
posted by Effigy2000 at 9:50 PM on April 15, 2009


I haven't done it myself, but I think it is a fine idea. I think that's what its for.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:54 PM on April 15, 2009


I couldn't figure out why anyone would want contacts until I figured out that you can see your contacts' posts in the sidebar.
posted by winna at 9:57 PM on April 15, 2009


What does it mean if no one links to you either known or otherwise?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:01 PM on April 15, 2009


You've never been to a meet-up.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:33 PM on April 15, 2009


MetaFilter: Miko said what I should have said, much more gracefully than I ever would have
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:53 PM on April 15, 2009 [13 favorites]


I couldn't figure out why anyone would want contacts until I figured out that you can see your contacts' posts in the sidebar.

Posts, questions, best answers, and comments with more than a dozen favourites.

My policy is roughly: people I've met; fellow aussies (that I know of) who are reasonably active here; anybody who links to me; a few people who said once that they like Maldoror; a handful of people I find particularly funny or insightful (tho I really should add dozens more); Burhanistan (because we slept together); and one ironic link to somebody who hates me.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:58 PM on April 15, 2009


LINK TO ME AND YOUR CRANBERRIES WILL ALWAYS BE MONGERED.
posted by loquacious at 11:24 PM on April 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have full carnal knowledge of all the users that I've ever linked to.

Liar!

I link to people I've met, people who I know are librarians, people who I like to follow in some way or another and, rarely, some odd user that I'd like to keey an eye on. People seem to use it for a lot of different things and every once in a while I trade mail with a new user who wants to know why someone is linking ot them, so it's probably a good thing to have a MeTa thread like this every once in a while.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:38 PM on April 15, 2009


For me, linking is favoriting the user.
posted by orthogonality at 11:47 PM on April 15, 2009


LINK TO ME AND YOUR CRANBERRIES WILL ALWAYS BE MONGERED.
posted by loquacious at 11:24 PM on April 15


It's true!
posted by louche mustachio at 12:47 AM on April 16, 2009


I think I've only looked at that section of my profile a handful of times over the years and I don't think that I've ever linked to anyone at all. So my apologies if anyone's ever linked to me and I haven't reciprocated.
posted by XMLicious at 1:23 AM on April 16, 2009


I generally try to link to people who link to me. I link to a few people for various other reasons (muses, crushes, etc.) but I usually shoot them a MeFi Mail telling them why exactly I decided to link to them, just so they know.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:18 AM on April 16, 2009


I actually feel guilty about people I have met, or the cut of whose jibs I like, or people I have had full carnal knowledge of, yet still have not linked to here. If you are in one or more of these categories, I will get round to it, honest...
posted by Phanx at 4:00 AM on April 16, 2009


I have had a couple of people ask me to de-link them. It seemed a little off, like they didn't really understand the concept, but hey whatever.

IF I HAVE LINKED TO YOU IT MEANS WE ARE BFF AND I AM WATCHING YOU ALL THE TIME.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:53 AM on April 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I link to anyone who links to me, automatically.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:19 AM


I linked to MStPT a little while back, having never met him, just because I enjoyed his contributions, and it's true, he immediately linked back to me. I sent him a mefi-mail saying that meant that we were married now. Oddly, he did not de-link me after I did that.
mods please clarify is this matrimony legally binding y/n
posted by Greg Nog at 5:04 AM on April 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


the mods ANAL.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:06 AM on April 16, 2009


I only link to people I've met (with one exception). If you want me to link to you, you better meet me. I collected Matt, Jess, cortex, and pb the old fashioned way. Took awhile, but it's better than cheating.

*glares at ocherdraco*
posted by Eideteker at 5:37 AM on April 16, 2009


I only link to those I've had sexual relations with.
posted by gman at 5:37 AM on April 16, 2009


I swear to god, if you link to me in any way shape or form, I'm going to come over there and bop you on the head with a fish-stick.
posted by Grither at 5:54 AM on April 16, 2009


I link...logs!

...no I don't...*kicks rocks*
posted by P.o.B. at 6:24 AM on April 16, 2009


Link to meeee! / Link to my health. / You know I can't link anymore.

Yes, I'm quoting Wings. Suck it.
posted by Jofus at 6:30 AM on April 16, 2009



I sometimes feel bad that I don't link back to every single person as they link to me, but there's something that makes me want to feel like I "know" them before I link to them, and a lot of times folks are lurkers and have not much posting history to "know." I'm never sure how to manage that. Sometimes I think I should just have an all-reciprocal philosophy, but so far I haven't.


I've overthunk this particular plate of beans to the point of crazy talk. I'd feel bad if I linked to someone and then didn't read all their stuff or know who they are first and the idea that you should link back just to be polite but then that creations a fiction and I'd have to hide my activity bar every time and why should I do anything oh god someone shove a spike in my head.

Which is a very long way of saying I have a "No linking" policy for people I haven't actually met and besides, I spend so much freakin' time on Metafilter already that knowing when and where my favorite people are posting would RUIN the element of surprise and the glory of the hunt.
posted by The Whelk at 6:45 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


All these profiles are yours, except mine. Attempt no linking there.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:00 AM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


You can link to as many people you want, though eventually people might get annoyed with you.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:01 AM on April 16, 2009


Yea, go ahead and stalk away cranberrymonger.
posted by Mister_A at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2009


Cheater? Moi?

*bats eyelashes, and links to Eideteker*
posted by ocherdraco at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2009


LINK TO ME TO BE GRANTED SMALL BOONS WITH THE PURCHASE OF A BOON OF EQUAL OR GREATER VALUE.
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2009


I only link to those I've had sexual relations with.

I guess I was drunker at that last meetup than I thought. My wife is going to kill me.
posted by chunking express at 7:10 AM on April 16, 2009


LINK TO ME NOW IF YOU WANT TO LIVE
posted by Rock Steady at 7:15 AM on April 16, 2009


Yes, cranberrymonger, of course you can link to me.
posted by yeti at 7:31 AM on April 16, 2009


UbuRoivas: "36the mods ANAL."

TMI
posted by double block and bleed at 7:33 AM on April 16, 2009


There are some people I don't know who linked to me, and I never considered them weirdos for doing it or anything. If anything, I take it cautiously as a compliment (after all, they might have linked to me because they think I say the most ignorant shit ever and it makes them laugh). On a few occasions I've had people send MeFi mails when they do so, which is nice, but I've never expected any explanation.

Being able to stalk people is a feature!
posted by Nattie at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2009


you can link to me if you want, but i do not feel that i have done anything to earn that honor. nor do i want your pity. i would much rather produce good work which validates a linking to me over using a cheap, attention-grabbing gimmick.
posted by the aloha at 7:36 AM on April 16, 2009


the aloha: "you can link to me if you want, but i do not feel that i have done anything to earn that honor. nor do i want your pity. i would much rather produce good work which validates a linking to me over using a cheap, attention-grabbing gimmick."

This segways nicely into my next comment:

See the cute puppy? Nice puppy. It would be a shame if something terrible happened to the puppy...

20 people must link to me before 23:58 EST OR THE PUPPY GETS IT!!
posted by double block and bleed at 7:49 AM on April 16, 2009


One thing I haven't seen come up with all the linking going on around here is that mutual contacts (you link to them and they link you back) can edit each others' tags. Something to keep in mind.
posted by carsonb at 7:50 AM on April 16, 2009


I only link to wives, people I've met, people who's writing I like, people whom I am currently stalking, and those who will eventually be convinced that they should participate with me in some too-crazy-to-work scheme that will likely get us all killed.

If I've linked to you, you will need to decide for yourself which of these categories you fall under. (note: in some cases, it might be more than one.)
posted by quin at 7:50 AM on April 16, 2009


I take the MSPT approach and link to anyone who links to me, but I take it a step further and don't link to anyone that doesn't link to me. I have always been extremely charismatic in real life (as well as quite handsome) and that tends to engender followers of one kind or another, and that type of relationship makes me uncomfortable. I don't like to have fans and when I feel someone in real life being sucked into my orbit and starting to place me on a pedestal, I generally distance myself from that person. Sometimes this distancing hurts the person's feelings, but I can't help it. I don't like to have fans. It makes me feel like a cult leader. I modify this behavior to Metafilter by linking back to anyone that links to me, so that they are on an equal footing with me. They link to me and I link to them and we are both on the same level and everybody is happy. Neither of us are a fan of the other, we are both just two people on a website that enjoy each other's contributions.

I refuse to link to anyone that doesn't link to me because fuck them.
posted by ND¢ at 8:24 AM on April 16, 2009


Being able to stalk people is a feature!

I'm pretty sure that's Facebook's business model.
posted by djgh at 8:28 AM on April 16, 2009


You know my tendency to cut people out of my life if they like me too much may be the reason why my friends and loved ones always seem to think I am kind of lame. It is like I want people in my life that like me enough to be around me, but that don't like me enough to genuinely enjoy my presence. I always thought that rejecting "followers" was a healthy thing, but maybe I have been wrong about this. Maybe I shouldn't refuse to be friends with someone just because they think I am really neat. You know what I bet it is? I bet that deep down I don't believe that I am really neat, and so I cut these people out of my life because I secretly think that one day they will realize what I know, that I am not neat. I cut myself off from them before I can disappoint them with how much I actually suck. So I seek people out who already know I suck. That way I can't disappoint them. I just refuse to accept the fact that I am really neat, and so I refuse to accept anyone into my life who thinks I am. I can't love myself, and so nobody else will ever be able to love me.
posted by ND¢ at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2009


Oh, go hug your mother ya big bag of neuroses.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:03 AM on April 16, 2009


uburoivas, i like maldoror. i also like eric friedlander playing his original solo cello compositions inspired by maldoror.
posted by barrett caulk at 9:07 AM on April 16, 2009


yhbc: Miko said what I should have said, much more gracefully than I ever would have.

This is generally true about everything Miko says.
posted by desjardins at 9:12 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ugh. I should have read the whole thread.
posted by desjardins at 9:14 AM on April 16, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: I link to anyone who links to me, automatically.

That's a really good policy. I'm kinda obsessive about adding every MeFite I've ever met as a contact but other than that I don't really think about it much. In fact, looking at my contacts list I'm embarrassed that so many people have contacted me that I haven't contacted back. Off I go contacting!
posted by Kattullus at 9:24 AM on April 16, 2009


Going through my contacts I found out that Jason's_Planet and Taksi Putra are gone... :(
posted by Kattullus at 9:33 AM on April 16, 2009


I'd love to see an choice added to the "How do you know this person" section of the link screen that says "I like their posts or comments, and humbly suggest you follow 'em too." :)
posted by zarq at 9:42 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know anyone on metafilter, therefore each of my few links are to people whose perspective I find interesting or informative.
posted by mrmojoflying at 9:50 AM on April 16, 2009


I'd love to see an choice added to the "How do you know this person" section of the link screen that says "I like their posts or comments, and humbly suggest you follow 'em too." :)

Muse is romantic?
posted by carsonb at 10:00 AM on April 16, 2009


Sometimes I link to people just 'cause I like their username.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:21 AM on April 16, 2009


I just use contacts to keep track of who I've met because that's the most useful way of thinking about "contact" for me.

And when I add people, I get to sing to myself, "3-2-1 Contact! Is the reason/ that everything happens…"
posted by klangklangston at 10:32 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yea apparently so, I did not know that and I put a few people in there as "muse" because I dig their inspired rantings, and then I left these contacts as "muse" because I prefer the original sense of the word, and seriously, everybody knows It's Raining Florence Henderson and I are no longer an item.
posted by Mister_A at 10:33 AM on April 16, 2009


There's linking? (Goes to see.) Wow. Hi, linkers! I feel awfully late to this party.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:48 AM on April 16, 2009


everybody knows It's Raining Florence Henderson and I are no longer an item

*sniff*

Well, I do now!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:11 AM on April 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


My wife frowns on me linking to other people. Or at least I think so. Of course, I've never asked...
posted by tommasz at 11:13 AM on April 16, 2009


Wow. Didn't you get that text message?

Hoo boy. Awkward!
posted by Mister_A at 11:14 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hadn't realized how many users link to me until I read this - I link to people I've met, generally, or people I've had extensive conversations with (or even non-extensive conversations). Honestly, some of the people who link to me make me scratch my head and go "Bwah?"

I never classify anyone I link to, though. All of my contacts are on equal uncategorized footing.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:50 AM on April 16, 2009


I have full carnal knowledge of all the users that I've ever linked to.

You promised you'd link to me, YOU PROMISED!

I even favorited you, godamn liar.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:51 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


double block and bleed, your my dog and all, but please do not go all ron mexico on us.
posted by the aloha at 11:53 AM on April 16, 2009


So, I've linked before, but I cannot remember how. Bwuh?

I link people I want to follow. I would link people I've met.
posted by Night_owl at 12:43 PM on April 16, 2009


My contacts fall into three categories:

1. "Hey I like your posts/comments and I think you're a cool Mefite!"
2. "You're kind of weird in an entertaining and/or interesting way."
3. "You linked to me so I'll link to you too!"
posted by amyms at 1:37 PM on April 16, 2009


Does this conversation effect my knowing almost all members addresses cross-referenced with my blood type database?
(Fair warning type O's)
posted by vapidave at 1:57 PM on April 16, 2009


I link to people that I think might be Irish and people who seem to consistently have the same opinion as me on everything.
posted by minifigs at 2:13 PM on April 16, 2009


-knowing when and where my favorite people are posting would RUIN the element of surprise-

That was the conclusion I reached too. Serendipity is an important part of my Mefi that contact linking would spoil.

Well, that and the fact that I hate you all.
posted by peacay at 3:53 PM on April 16, 2009


Is it considered acceptable to link to users so I may see their activity?

Uh, isn't that the point? Some of the people on my list are probably quite different than I am, like ThePinkSuperhero, but her advice on relationships is so astute, she is much better than any of these syndicated columnists. You could read AskMe just for this and it would be valuable. Jessamyn, in addition to being perhaps one of the most interesting people on the site, always has great advice on AskMe, really great advice. I take great pleasure in watching what they say and the links to them help. On the political side there are other folks that I similarly love to follow for their insights, wit, whatever.
posted by caddis at 5:16 PM on April 16, 2009


I have a good memory for names and I've met a lot of people so I don't link to anyone. But you all are making me feel that maybe it's kind of mean not to. I might rethink.
posted by tangerine at 5:55 PM on April 16, 2009


I went to my first meetup after making, like, 3 comments. I asked what the linking feature was about, and I think it was dame and hellbient who said that it was some kind of feature that never took off, and was better ignored. Someday I'll try to figure out who I have actually met, and go back and link to them. Mefites in person are treasures.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:32 PM on April 16, 2009


If I link to you it's because I know where you live. Sometimes I hide in your closet and watch you sleep.
posted by little e at 9:08 PM on April 16, 2009


Aw, come out so I can link to you.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:08 PM on April 16, 2009


Except anonymous. I link to anonymous because (s)he is the love of my life.
posted by little e at 9:09 PM on April 16, 2009


"Cheater? Moi?

*bats eyelashes, and links to Eideteker*"


That does it. When we finally meet up, I'm linking to your sck pppt instead. You've brought this on yourself.
posted by Eideteker at 3:56 AM on April 17, 2009


4 people link to me, I link only to my fiancee. My Favorites to Favorited ratio is also similarly out of whack. I don't often favorite anything. I think it's just a matter of how you choose to use MetaFilter, and there's not much of a right or wrong.

That said, Cranberrymonger, you should link as contacts GrapefruitMoon and Tangerine in addition to Orange Swan. Your contacts should be a veritable Metafilter Fruit Salad! (MeFiFruSal)
posted by explosion at 4:04 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


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