Award for Mefite Genius? May 25, 2009 12:37 AM   Subscribe

How about if the Metafilter Scholarship be used as an award for a project by a Mefite they can present publicly at the big 10th anniversary event? The winner could be chosen by how many times their presentation is favorited as a live event being posted on Metatalk because it's related.

If you are for it, I will donate $20 myself. Portland may be far because even though my whole sophomore year social life now lives there, I am unable to come west right now.
posted by parmanparman to Feature Requests at 12:37 AM (51 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

There's a metafilter scholarship? Google suggests this last happened eight years ago, but then again I'm not part of the (what?) cabal.

/donated $5
posted by cj_ at 1:30 AM on May 25, 2009

I think the MeFi scholarship should be a donation to the most worthy non-US charity run by a MeFite.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:55 AM on May 25, 2009

What's wrong with US charities? :/
posted by cj_ at 3:10 AM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wow, Meatbomb, can you think of a really good one? :)
posted by Houstonian at 4:57 AM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

From what i know, matt looked into this and there were too many legal issues and i would advise people not to even think that there would be a scholarship and just regard it as a bit of well meaning chat they come out with from time to time - because otherwise, without going into specifics - you are going to end up in the shit.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:32 AM on May 25, 2009

6 weeks is probably far too short time for a project's completion, nevermind the voting system of live favoriting while most mefites will be computerless in bars.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:08 AM on May 25, 2009

How about we just have an award for Best MeFite!
posted by danb at 6:16 AM on May 25, 2009

We should all show up in a fenced in pasture with no weapons of any kind but wearing as much body armor of our own design and manufacture as we can wear and still take 10 steps solely under our own power and have a knock-down drag out fight until only one mefite is left standing and that mefite should get parmamparman's $20 and to use the image tag one weekend afternoon a month for one year.
posted by ND¢ at 6:33 AM on May 25, 2009 [9 favorites]

Maybe we can do a pool? This is an exciting idea.
posted by parmanparman at 6:41 AM on May 25, 2009

Meta: most mefites will be computerless in bars.
posted by nola at 6:47 AM on May 25, 2009

Scholarship Essay Topic: What difficulties have you had to overcome to become a Mefite?
posted by metastability at 6:50 AM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

Town's too big these days, not enough lead time, logistical nightmare, and I don't have a good project to submit.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:09 AM on May 25, 2009

What difficulties have you had to overcome to become a Mefite?

$5, same as in town.
posted by ddaavviidd at 7:27 AM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

meta: easy participation from home. we have 60,000+ members. That's a lot of lurkers who would be interested to see what the gentry does for a living.
posted by parmanparman at 7:40 AM on May 25, 2009

Meta: most mefites will be computerless in bras.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:03 AM on May 25, 2009

meta: easy participation from home. we have 60,000+ members. That's a lot of lurkers who would be interested to see what the gentry does for a living.

Wait wait wait. I'm gentry now?

Whooo! Saddle up the horses and bring out the wine barrels! No glass, just gimmie a hose! I want a riding suit made of GOLD with a KITTEN AND BABY trim! Yes, put the antlers on the peasants, I want to practice shooting! BAM! Haha! Wat jolly sport they make! BAM! Wheee!
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

There's basically no time left for stuff before the 10th parties, as the planning and prep for that is taking up all my time these days.

I've said it in the past but the scholarship contest was a ton of work and I only got to pull it off back in 2001 because the community was smaller, easier to manage, and we were less popular. To do it today would require many months of planning. There is basic stuff like figuring out topics for essays, legal stuff like where this is legal and what limits do have before people start threatening to sue me like last time, plus all the coding to make sure there isn't any gaming of a vote or favorite button. It's a shit ton of work that would suck up 3-6 months of our development time and in the end a lot of people end up disappointed and only a few people get to win anything.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:15 AM on May 25, 2009

The MetaFilter Scholarship should fund a public information campaign to inform people what the hell the "MetaFilter Scholarship" is and what it funds.
posted by DU at 8:28 AM on May 25, 2009

people start threatening to sue me like last time

Wait. WHAT?
posted by grouse at 8:33 AM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about a MeFi collection for some worthy cause (like sponsoring an education for African kids or something similar to stay with the education theme)? The donation can still have the name on it but without the need for competition, legal difficulties, etc? Perhaps find something that allows feedback so we can see if the collective is doing some good? And maybe long term so there's potential for repeats if members think its worth it?
posted by biffa at 9:33 AM on May 25, 2009

biffa, I personally do micro-loans at Kiva, which pretty much covers everything you said (you pick a project to fund, get updates, etc). Maybe we should just have a Kiva fund raising drive?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:41 AM on May 25, 2009

I would be all for a Kiva fund-raising drive, especially if we make a Kiva group or lending team or whatever they call it.

Actually, fund-raising drive or not, I think having a Kiva group for Metafilter is a good idea.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:50 AM on May 25, 2009

Sounds interesting, I guess I lean towards education for getting out of poverty, but that's probably because of my personal history (and intellectual snobbery). I would throw in for Kiva if you want to nominate it as the MeFi 10th anniversary charity.
posted by biffa at 9:57 AM on May 25, 2009

I would throw in for Kiva if you want to nominate it as the MeFi 10th anniversary charity.

Me too.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:15 AM on May 25, 2009

Metafilter group on Kiva is an excellent idea! who is already there who can be our grassroots organizer?
posted by parmanparman at 10:44 AM on May 25, 2009

I made a Metafilter team on Kiva
posted by rajbot at 11:06 AM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

Rajbot! You are a pioneer! I can't wait to meet you in person.
posted by parmanparman at 11:10 AM on May 25, 2009

OK, now I've joined too. My $20 is now waiting but it's in my hands.
posted by parmanparman at 11:14 AM on May 25, 2009

OK, I kicked it off with a $25 loan for dressmaking supplies.
posted by rajbot at 11:20 AM on May 25, 2009

I'm a little confused. As a team, are we all lumping in for one person? Or, each of us is part of a team, but contributing to different people?
posted by Houstonian at 11:58 AM on May 25, 2009

I joined the MetaFilter team on Kiva, too. This is a Good Idea.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:08 PM on May 25, 2009

I guess we have options if we go down the Kiva route:

All put in individually to Kiva, which would be good, but it would be nice to have a MeFi identity perhaps.

Put into a pot and Mathowie (admins?) decides who it supports.

Matt or others pick some particular people and we put into them.

Any others?
posted by biffa at 12:39 PM on May 25, 2009

Houstonian, we're generally contributing to different people. A group is like the teams in the SETI@HOME project or similar things: It's a competition between groups to see how much of the money donated can be credited to them.

I loaned $25 for some (non-miniature) cattle.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:39 PM on May 25, 2009

Thanks, I see about the competition thing (kinda). I thought it would be super-cool if we all banded together to help one person, and if we as a team were able to cover an entire loan. But we're not doing that, so ok.
posted by Houstonian at 1:09 PM on May 25, 2009

Great idea on the kiva-metafilter thing, I had some credit I put into the two borrowers so far.

Since these are loans, not donations, then if matt or someone was he central point of disbursement there would need to be an understanding that you're not getting your money back. And since paypal would take a slice AND there would be administrative issues of collating that money and then deciding on lenders, maybe it would be a good idea to set a target of, say, collectively lending, under the kiva metafilter group, 10,000 dollars for MeFi's 10th anniversary.
posted by Rumple at 1:19 PM on May 25, 2009

Is there a way to see what percent interest each Field Partner charges the person getting the loan? I read on the Kiva site that the interest charged to the person may be as high as 21%, and would like to loan money to a person who is being charged less (if possible).
posted by Houstonian at 1:25 PM on May 25, 2009

Houstonian, good point. I like the idea of banding together. Do we invite community input, like as a metatalk post at some future date or just share interests. I am looking at supporting something related to brick making.
posted by parmanparman at 2:02 PM on May 25, 2009

I've found a few lenders who have interest rates at about 10%. Others have been as high as 50% (not a typo, and they've had zero defaults).

If anyone else is interested, I can post what I've found so far. I'm pretty interested in selecting a loan where the field partner charges only a reasonable interest rate, with 0% default. I know that's not fair to the others, but that's my input.
posted by Houstonian at 2:12 PM on May 25, 2009

The interest rates are proportional to the rate of inflation in each country. The overhead costs in administering hundreds of small loans is immensely more than administering a few large ones. So the search for the lowest possible rate is misguided: it is country specific. And, the rate is inevitably going to be higher than you might think based on, say, a car loan in the USA.

Also, at the very bottom of the kiva profiles for each lending institution, you can see their rate AND the typical rate charged by moneylenders in that country or in that set of countries they loan in. Commonly you can see that the kiva lending rate is half or less of the typical rates charged in that economic environment.

So -- not that we shouldn't be concerned about the lender but the very nature of micro-credit pretty much requires that the interest rate be higher than normal. Even the Grameen bank charges something like 25% interest if I remember correctly. This link (which I bookmarked from a previous mefi thread) shows that the alternative to microcredit institutions can be as high as 600 to 1000% in some countries.
posted by Rumple at 2:24 PM on May 25, 2009

I'm in. Happy 10th, filtrates.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:03 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

My first Kiva loan! I loaned $25 to a man who started out selling dried fruit, then started sorting them into grades to improve his business, then branched out into animal feed.

And, it's put me in the best mood I've been in all week. Thank you, Metafilter!
posted by Houstonian at 6:43 PM on May 25, 2009

How about making the meetups into something like Twestival but for Mefites, and for Kiva?
posted by divabat at 7:46 PM on May 25, 2009

What difficulties have you had to overcome to become a Mefite?

$5, same as in town.

You think you had it tough? I had to wake up before noon.
posted by graventy at 9:26 PM on May 25, 2009

I'm in, too! And I'm considering it a nice karmic payback for all the help I got this weekend when something went terribly, horribly awry and all my friends pitched in to help. Yay!
posted by at 5:51 AM on May 26, 2009

doesn't number 1 have a kid? if so, they should get to go to college off of the mefite admission fee in how many years.
posted by the aloha at 10:10 AM on May 26, 2009

In other MeFite charitable giving news, in the epic bicycle gift thread, I suggested doing some kind of MeFi Santa this winter. I am still turning that over in my head, and I hope to get more concrete planning and organizing done this fall. If anyone knows a great gift-giving charity that has a good web presence, please let me know.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:14 PM on May 26, 2009

Someone made me captain. How fun. I will have to put Kiva on my desktop now.
posted by parmanparman at 8:24 AM on May 27, 2009

Yeah, I made you the captain! The name on my Kiva account is actually a URL, and I didn't want it to look like I was using MeFi to spam for my blog...

The Metafilter Kiva team funded $775 of microloans in the first day! That is great :)

What should the next step be? Can we add the Kiva team to the sidebar or the 10th page?
posted by rajbot at 11:57 AM on May 27, 2009

I think it would be appropriate for the mods to consider:
1. a standalone MeTa thread for this since this initiative is buried in a quasi-related one. (I'll be happy to make it if it seems like a good idea)
2. add to 10th anniversary page
3. sidebar!
posted by Rumple at 1:00 PM on May 27, 2009

Seconded! A Kiva Team sidebar please!
posted by parmanparman at 6:29 AM on May 28, 2009

Wow, 27 loans in five days, $825 loaned. Looks like we are veering on the side of businesses we think would make money if we did them. I would love to team up for some creative capital and fund a community arts collective.
posted by parmanparman at 8:10 AM on May 28, 2009

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