Prominent MeTa links in related threads June 2, 2009 9:56 PM   Subscribe

A great suggestion surfaced in the jakee-fiasco thread below: A prominent link to MeTa threads in the blue (and green).

Since that thread is approaching 500 comments, it's easy to miss the suggestion, but I think it merits its very own pony thread.

Basically, a small notice between the text of the FPP and the first comment, saying something like: "This thread is the subject of a MetaTalk discussion."

It would hopefully accomplish a couple things, particularly for newcomers to the thread:
  • Divert meta-discussion to the MetaTalk thread efficiently
  • Provide additional thread context for those who don't frequent MetaTalk
  • Potentially educate new MeFites about site etiquette
  • Improve the data model behind MeFi (because data is cool, and someone will eventually post funny statistics about it)
posted by knave to Feature Requests at 9:56 PM (43 comments total)

I'm TwelveTwo and I approve this message.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:59 PM on June 2, 2009


It should use the Drudge Siren and play a midi to let everyone know where the fun will be.
posted by klangklangston at 10:02 PM on June 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


"This thread is the subject of a MetaTalk discussion, has its own entry on the Wiki, and contains catchphrases which are available on T-shirts."
posted by mattdidthat at 10:07 PM on June 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


The problem is, how does that flag in the database get set? Only way I could see it is if it were done manually by the mods, and I think they've already got too much to do.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:24 PM on June 2, 2009


Can we also get "this user is subject to a Metatalk discussion" for users who get called out all the time?
posted by qvantamon at 10:25 PM on June 2, 2009 [8 favorites]


Klang, you could totally write a greasemonkey script to do that.
posted by ryanrs at 10:27 PM on June 2, 2009


The problem is, how does that flag in the database get set? Only way I could see it is if it were done manually by the mods, and I think they've already got too much to do.

I'm sure an interface could be created, such as "paste link to thread here" for MetaTalk posts about a particular thread. However, even if it is a manual, mod-performed task, it may save jessatex enough thread cleanup effort ([a few comments removed, here's the metatalk thread people]) that it becomes a net gain.
posted by knave at 10:31 PM on June 2, 2009


It's come up before. I'm not sure what, if any, ruling was made. I know Matt isn't overly fond of specifically promoting MetaTalk but hey, maybe he's more open to it these days. But yeah: the extra "work", such as it is, might be the dampener on the idea. I don't know that I care that much either way.
posted by peacay at 10:38 PM on June 2, 2009


Here is one place it's come up before, although in a slightly different context. (Searching that thread for "meta" will show you most of the comments that actually have to do with this idea, as opposed to deletion reason blather).
posted by nat at 11:10 PM on June 2, 2009


Only if we can resurrect the MARQUEE tag.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 PM on June 2, 2009


Here's another previous thread on the subject, from a couple years ago.

Here's one where the prior thread came up briefly.

And here, in particular, is another proposal, with responses from all three of us mods. This is what I said about it in late 2007, and my thinking hasn't really changed much:

While I am in favor of seeing people who are trying to become more in-depth, informed members of the mefi community be aware of and spend time on Metatalk, I don't think doing so is strictly necessary for members or especially lurkers and furthermore think that some of the distinct cross-cultural challenges that come with acclimation to Metatalk make funneling the unsuspecting over here en masse a possibly genuinely bad idea.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 PM on June 2, 2009


furthermore think that some of the distinct cross-cultural challenges that come with acclimation to Metatalk make funneling the unsuspecting over here en masse a possibly genuinely bad idea.

I continue to be somewhat disheartened by this position. I don't want to argue about it, though: just saying.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:27 AM on June 3, 2009


the jakee-fiasco thread

I am not now, and have never been, Jakeelala.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:58 AM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Maybe just show it for logged in users? It would be less of a new-person-funnel and more of a useful tool.

Not that I much care, it's not hard to correlate the two threads. MeTa is not very high traffic so I tend to check them out when they show up in RSS.
posted by cj_ at 1:10 AM on June 3, 2009


Maybe this is better done as a greasemonkey script that scans metatalk for links to metafilter threads?
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:21 AM on June 3, 2009


As I understand it, they won't do it because it's an invitation to pile on. It highlights bad behavior and encourages drama, adding fuel to flame wars rather than extinguishing them.

At least, those are the reasons they've given in the past. The real question is: why is this technical solution vastly superior to a link in the comments?
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:21 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The problem is, how does that flag in the database get set? Only way I could see it is if it were done manually by the mods, and I think they've already got too much to do.

I'm sure an interface could be created...

It looks like you are trying to post to MetaTalk! Here are some questions to help guide you towards making an awesome post:
Do you want to:
 [ ] Make fun of someone you think did something stupid
     [ ] Poor grammar
     [ ] Politically unpopular
     [ ] Scientifically dubious
 [ ] Ask for a feature that has been turned down many times previously
 [ ] Report plagiarism of the Genius That Is MetaFilter
 [ ] Flame out
 [ ] Report on the outcome of an post/question
     [ ] That nobody read the first time
 [ ] Divert asshattery from an existing thread
posted by DU at 4:40 AM on June 3, 2009 [12 favorites]


Basically, a small notice between the text of the FPP and the first comment, saying something like: "This thread is the subject of a MetaTalk discussion."

When there are 500 comments, no one looks at the top of the thread either.
posted by smackfu at 5:54 AM on June 3, 2009


I think this is a good idea. I envision a little ajaxy thing in each post (with the [+] [!] links) that, when clicked, creates a new Metatalk post and submits it to the mods for approval (like anon askmes). When the mods approve it (if they do), the "there is a discussion about this post in Metatalk if you give a crap" message appears in-thread in a couple of strategic spots - like the top of the thread and above the comment box - and the post is created in Metatalk.

This would accomplish a couple of things. The mods get an opportunity to see if the resulting metatalk thread would be a train wreck. It adds a little "wait time" to the creation of the resulting Metatalk post and allows emotions to cool a bit. If the submitted post is way emotional, the mods could kick it back to the requester to tone it down before the shit hits the fan.

Some other thoughts - the link to create a post would only appear for logged in users. And it could be totally circumvented by creating a Metatalk post and linking the original post, as is done now. And if the Metatalk thread gets too brutal, turn off the in-thread message.
posted by disclaimer at 6:05 AM on June 3, 2009


Do you want to:
...
[ ] Your friend tell you, you tell metafilter. Why no?

posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:08 AM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


This sort of thing -- massive clusterfuck that becomes an almost-necessary-to-read MeTa thread -- happens a few times a year. Lesser MeTas less so. We see it in AskMe more than MeFi nowadays. While I really would like the relevant people from MeFi to come to MeTa and do whatever needs doing here, I'm not totally sure there's a way to do it other than what we do already that would work better. People who read threads through recent activity [I'm betting most of the old timers, not sure how many of the newer folks] would never see it unless there was something built there as well. And a lot of people just won't see it no matter what we do. I still get AnonyMe questions in my inbox because people don't read the AskMe "ask a question" page.

If it's too subtle people will miss it. If it's too blatant it basically shuts down discussion. What we don't want is to tell people "hey the party is over here" and basically re-create the contentious thread in MeTa with all the same arguing and borderline against-the-rules stuff (though I have said such things over twitter, it's not our general approach). So, I'm open to the idea on principle, but I'm not seeing how we could implement it or whether it would solve the problem people are hoping it will solve.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:12 AM on June 3, 2009


cortex: distinct cross-cultural challenges that come with acclimation to Metatalk make funneling the unsuspecting over here en masse a possibly genuinely bad idea.

You want the MetaTalk? You can't handle the MetaTalk!
posted by Kattullus at 7:23 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


How hard is checking MeTa every time you click through the Blue or Green? It is so sparsely posted-to that it never takes any time, and sometimes you find a gem. The rest of the time, you find stuff like this, but it balances out.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:10 AM on June 3, 2009


some of the distinct cross-cultural challenges that come with acclimation to Metatalk

Getting used to pitchforks and phrases like "I'm going to eat your babies, you walrus-gobbling fuck-weasel" was an uphill battle for me, but it was worth it for the occasional incandescent member departure.
posted by quin at 8:14 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Except if the blue/green thread is archived, it is very hard to find its corresponding MeTa, a few hundred comments deep.

Can we have a threshold? If a thread has over 300 comments and a MeTa, can we please just link it at the top? If these rare, contentious threads need heavy moderation anyway, what's the harm in funneling people to the resolution-oriented discussion, and OUT of the war/boy/snark-zone? Sometimes the FPPs gone sour look like big, gaping, unattended wounds just sitting there. It's nice to know right off that it wasn't just left to bleed out and die.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:29 AM on June 3, 2009


A CTRL-F for "meta" will mostly work. And we're not not doing it because it's potentially harmful, we're not doing it because a big change like that would involve some not-insignificant decisions, notifications and considerations about policy and the general "how we do things here". The FPPs are still going to look the same, likely, no matter what we do. We're not going to be able to solve the problem of toxic threads in any case.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:54 AM on June 3, 2009


Getting used to pitchforks and phrases like "I'm going to eat your babies, you walrus-gobbling fuck-weasel" was an uphill battle for me, but it was worth it for the occasional incandescent member departure.

The transition would have been easier if you were less of a fuck-weasel.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:13 AM on June 3, 2009


"Klang, you could totally write a greasemonkey script to do that."

Do I look like Plutor?
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do I look like Plutor?

A little.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:21 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Someone please tell klang that I'm sorry for saying Plutor's name in the middle of things last night and also to give me back my black t-shirt.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:37 AM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's OK. My "Plutor? Barely know 'er!" was probably only made things more awkward. But the t-shirt is going to Ben Folds.
posted by klangklangston at 9:41 AM on June 3, 2009


There's not a lot of things that he'll take back.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:44 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've met both Plutor and KlangKlangston and I have to say that the meetup would have to be pretty damn epic for me to reach a state of inebriation where I would mistake one for the other.
posted by Kattullus at 9:49 AM on June 3, 2009


Can someone write a greasemonkey script that makes klang look more like Plutor? I'd ask Plutor, but that seems wrong.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:03 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


why does everyone keep saying Plutor?
its not even a real planet
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:55 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


A CTRL-F for "meta" will mostly work.

This used to work, but I've started a metacampaign of inserting metafrivolous metaprefixes in my comments to help indicate how meta I am.

Meta.
posted by graventy at 11:04 AM on June 3, 2009


Metasmurfy, graventy, if I must say so myself.
posted by Mister_A at 11:25 AM on June 3, 2009


funneling the unsuspecting over here en masse a possibly genuinely bad idea.

This is possibly genuinely a true story.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2009


Theoretically possibly or hypothetically possibly?
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:12 PM on June 3, 2009


If you've been here long enough, you know instinctively there's a MeTa thread. If you haven't been here long enough to know instinctively, stick around -- it'll come to you. If it's about you, then you really don't want to know, anyway.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:22 PM on June 3, 2009


Eh. I feel like the self-policing mechanism of Metatalk (and MeFi in general) is so useful partially because only those who feel very strongly about making things better (theoretically) on Metafilter will actually look around carefully and find out about Metatalk. The existing system of linking it via comments and MeMailing the poster/commenter being called out seems fine. The Blue is full of noise, the Green only less noisy thanks to the tireless mods, and the Grey is derail-y enough without casual browsers who might've only clicked through because "ooh, look, a link where there isn't normally one, I wonder what that means."
posted by Phire at 5:36 PM on June 3, 2009


the Grey is derail-y enough

They got rid of the rails back in '06. The Grey's been running a bumper-car type system fueled entirely by snark and donuts. Word is that it's going to be a prototype for renewable energy.

That is... if you don't mind just going around in the same circle all of the time with quonsar's fish doing the driving.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:43 PM on June 3, 2009


Do you want to:
[ ] Make fun of someone you think did something stupid
[ ] Poor grammar
[ ] Politically unpopular
[ ] Scientifically dubious
[ ] Ask for a feature that has been turned down many times previously
[ ] Report plagiarism of the Genius That Is MetaFilter
[ ] Flame out
[ ] Report on the outcome of an post/question
[ ] That nobody read the first time
[ ] Divert asshattery from an existing thread


[ ] Ask what's up with the single dots . people put in threads?
posted by odinsdream at 7:28 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


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