How can i best become a productive member of the MetaFilter community? July 20, 2009 6:00 PM   Subscribe

How can i best become a productive member of the MetaFilter community? I've lurked for a while, and I just recently joined up, I've posted a few songs to music, but i don't feel confident enough to start posting to the honest to goodness "community weblog." What things do you think will make me the best possible member of this community?
posted by ichthuz to Etiquette/Policy at 6:00 PM (132 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

It's different for everyone. I jump in when I think I have something to offer, and usually shut up when I don't. Every now and then I run across something really interesting on the web, and I post it. No huge strategy involved. It works for me.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:03 PM on July 20, 2009


Grow into it. This place is great because we're all different, and all found our own way to make it great. We can't show you, you have to show us.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:06 PM on July 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Keep your post titles short. Oh.
posted by ColdChef at 6:09 PM on July 20, 2009


productive. heh.
posted by telstar at 6:10 PM on July 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Whatever you do, don't misspell your tags.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:11 PM on July 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


I've found that productivity on Metafilter is inversely proprortional to your productivity at work.

Do you work? Slack off there all day and you'll find yourself a very productive member here.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:11 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't post unless you're ready. You'll know when you're ready.
posted by LSK at 6:13 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


It'll take you a short while to figure out your style and what you're most comfortable putting out there. You'll definitely post some things that you wish you hadn't, but it won't be the end of the world. My suggestion, start by writing comments in the parts of the sites and threads that interest you. However, if you have any doubt about the comment or post, do 1 of 2 things before clicking 'Post Comment':

1. Read the comment in the shaded box, or after the preview button. Try to hear it with a different voice...a sanity check to see if it could be perceived as flippant, offensive, or uncooperative. Edit as necessary.

2. Cut the comment into an email window or text file. Close the MeFi window, or visit a different part of the site. Return in 10 minutes. If the moment has passed for the relevance of what you had to say, it was probably combative, noisy or not something you ultimately want out there.

Otherwise, just have fun and don't overthink it too much. Everybody is pretty invested in keeping things fun and interesting, and so you'll be alerted if something you said was misconstrued or out of line. You'll definitely improve your ability to write clearly.

Also, everything you think will get favorited, won't. Something you don't expect to get attention, will. It's a nice feature of the site.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:15 PM on July 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Bribe fellow members to pretend to like you. ColdChef, particularly, is very open to such things.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:16 PM on July 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, nobody likes to read long comments.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:17 PM on July 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Didn't this question get asked not too long ago? I can't find it though.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:19 PM on July 20, 2009


It's pretty obvious what flies and what doesn't, from reading the site over a period.
posted by fire&wings at 6:21 PM on July 20, 2009


I'd keep lurking, post a comment or two if you want to contribute to a conversation. MeFi, for me, is as much about what people SAY about the links as it is about the links themselves -- they also serve who only comment.

That'll also help you get a feel for the place, and sooner or later the right FPP will come.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:33 PM on July 20, 2009


You got to have something that makes you stand out. Are you just another pretentious, artsy, liberal, indie-rock-loving, cat-owning, bespectacled, "intelligent", shy, dry-sense-of-humored, 20-40 year old white guy? Sorry. Full the fuck up. You got to have a glass eye or live in a giant kiln or build robots or have octopus legs or something. Otherwise nobody will know who you are. When its all "blah blah blah" this and "blah, blah, blah" that, you can be all like "Yeah I got one of my octopus legs stuck in an escalator today." and people will say "Who was that?" and somebody else will say "That is that guy with the octopus legs." and the first guy will say "Oh weird." What I'm saying is that you better have some fucking octopus legs or I don't even know why you posted this.
posted by ND¢ at 6:33 PM on July 20, 2009 [141 favorites]


When you're ready, you won't need to dodge bullets.
posted by The Deej at 6:35 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


DO NOT DO A GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH FOR OCTOPUS LEGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by ND¢ at 6:36 PM on July 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'd say the best advice I've heard is to try to keep your signal-to-noise ratio high. I'm not saying I do this, I'm just saying I think it's good advice.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:39 PM on July 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


What things do you think will make me the best possible member of this community?

Spend time away from Metafilter, doing interesting things. When you find something really, come back and share it with us.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:43 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't force it. People who try too hard usually screw up.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:44 PM on July 20, 2009


Don't post unless you're ready. You'll know when you're ready.

And how will you know? You will sense something is missing. A "fact" that needs to be corrected, a connection that needs to be made, a one-liner that needs to be dropped, a thought that needs to be expanded ...

And so on.
posted by philip-random at 6:44 PM on July 20, 2009


When you find something really, come back and share it with us.

Finding something virtually is also a reasonable strategy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:50 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


pretentious - moi?
artsy - this word has no meaning
liberal - I tend more toward cannibalism
indie-rock-loving - currently digging old, old Pink Floyd
cat-owning - I live in a dog building
bespectacled - only when I actually need to read the words
"intelligent" - what are the quotes for?
shy - only around other people
dry-sense-of-humored - I only laugh when it's raining
20-40 year old - maybe when I was younger
white - guilty
guy - guilty

What was the point again?
posted by philip-random at 6:51 PM on July 20, 2009


Your blog looks interesting. It might make a good first post.
posted by gman at 6:56 PM on July 20, 2009 [20 favorites]


Read it for a long time, deeply consider what the nature of your contributions to the site might be, then fuck it all up and make an ass out of yourself for a short while in comments, etc. Most importantly, don't bad mouth people on Metafilter or react overly much to them doing as much to you (or ignoring you.)

Try to maintain a sense of humor about it all. Don't take it too seriously, but do try to be respectful. If all else fails, just try to confuse the hell out of 'em. Respectfully, of course.

After all, they're ten (10) years old now, and you know how those ten year-olds can be.

(BTW I'm new here as of March and have not acquitted myself terribly well in that time, but I'm saving up links for a really good FPP.)

Good Luck. This is one of the best places on the 'net.

posted by metagnathous at 6:59 PM on July 20, 2009


Register a sock puppet. Build up its cachet over the years. Use your real handle to say something innocuous and have the sock puppet flame out spectacularly. People love a good flameout.
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:01 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do not listen to gman.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:01 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's a good start.
posted by gman at 7:02 PM on July 20, 2009


See what's flying on Reddit or Digg, then post it on Metafilter- try that for a couple of months, then see if you can start throwing in a news story or two. Mix it up a little.
posted by mattoxic at 7:06 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, you could start with making us some cupcakes.
posted by klangklangston at 7:06 PM on July 20, 2009


lurk moar
posted by Eideteker at 7:14 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want to flag Mrs. Pterodactyl's comment as noise.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:23 PM on July 20, 2009


Just don't be a dick.
posted by The Straightener at 7:26 PM on July 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've had a checkered history on MeFi, and have had my share of ups and downs.

First off, don't be a know it all. The people here are all smart and probably know a hell of a lot more than you about certain topics. Being humble is gold.

Second, don't post in anger. I had an issue with that which ended up on MetaTalk. I don't want to self link, but it's easy enough to find.

Lastly, be cool and realize that you have a unique perspective to offer and do so. More diversity in the voices only makes this forum better.
posted by reenum at 7:29 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't make an FPP about the history of the protracted legal battle between the heirs of the creator of the comic strip character Skippy and the companies that have owned the Skippy peanut butter brand, because I have a whole bunch of stuff on that I keep meaning to post once I get it assembled and if you did it first it would totally chap my ass.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:29 PM on July 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Don't do what I've done. Any of it. Ever. Seriously.
posted by wendell at 7:29 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Proofread.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


a> drink. then drink more. when you cannot see, post.

b> drink. then drink more. when you are very angry, post.

c> drink. then drink more. when you drink yet again, post.

d> gman is evil.
posted by artof.mulata at 7:42 PM on July 20, 2009


How to be a productive member of Metafilter? It is simple. First, search random terms on google, just whatever comes to mind. Look through your findings until you find a strange and interesting website. You can tell it is interesting because you stopped searching random terms and have instead gone exploring through your discovery. Now, check if Metafilter has linked to it. Yes? Start gain. No? Then begin researching the strange website. Why does it exist? Who is behind it? Why is it so interesting? Now, you need more links than just that. See if you can find any other websites similar to the one you discovered. While you are at it, get a few wikipedia articles that seem relevant. Now, open a word document, and describe your discovery. Think about how you could introduce each relevant link you discovered. Add to your description, the relationships between all the links. Next, summarize what you have written. But do not stop there. Revise the summary until it is as small and brief as possible. Finally, click New Post, and write a short sentence and link it to any old youtube link. Now sit back, and watch the favorites roll in.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:37 PM on July 20, 2009


Lurk for a while and then attend the 20 year anniversary party in your area (to ask questions and stuff). Then you will be ready.
posted by pwally at 8:45 PM on July 20, 2009


y'know when you favorite something and someone else favorites at the same time and the favorite count goes up by 2 and for a moment it's like you have super double strength favoriting powers? that's awesome.

that is all.
posted by juv3nal at 8:46 PM on July 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


My advice is to get a catchphrase started. Something something wendell. Like that.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:54 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, you've already got an unpronounceable username so I'd say you're off to a good start. Now learn to fuck a rainbow.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:10 PM on July 20, 2009


You need a nemesis and an axe to grind. Choose wisely, you only get one of each.
posted by empath at 9:21 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love that "friendly" is a tag for this post. Ichthuz, you're already a productive member in my eyes. :3
posted by srrh at 9:33 PM on July 20, 2009


Wait for someone to die, then be the first into action!

Wait, no. Not that.
posted by absalom at 9:34 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, what a shame that this is the only post with "friendly" as a tag. What does that say about us??!
posted by srrh at 9:34 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


You need a nemesis and an axe to grind. Choose wisely, you only get one of each.

Unless your nemesis comes in the form of a magically unsharpenable axe.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:34 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've been reading for years and joined to participate earlier this year (finally). I've discovered a few things in the short time I've been posting here. One is that, if someone takes a comment you write the wrong way, chances are you aren't the only person who thinks so. Frequently I've just sat back and not reacted to the misinterpretation, and find that someone else will step in and say exactly what I would have. I don't know if this is a community-minded practice or not, but it seems to keep more voices in the conversation. Another is that not everything needs to be pursued to its better end in the threads. Sarah Palin and Pixar threads notwithstanding, sometimes less is truly more. The last thing I would mention is MeFi Mail. It's a great place to take stuff which may not necessarily need a life in the main threads.
posted by hippybear at 9:36 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Do not make wild or controversial claims unless you can back them up. Mefites love their snark so be ready for some one to catch the smallest mistake and completely derail your painstakingly put together post/comment/question etc.

When you decide to do your first metafilter post on the blue, please do not write "This is my first post, so please go easy on me" because it's a perfect way to lead to the aforementioned snark and derail.
posted by silkygreenbelly at 9:37 PM on July 20, 2009


My advice is to get a catchphrase started. Something something wendell. Like that.

E.g.,
"Nuts to you, McGillicuddy!"
"Who ordered the weiners?"
"Beep beep, ribby ribby!"

Try to work one of those into every post.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 9:41 PM on July 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


How to Survive MetaFilter:

1/ Ignore the people who will, for the sake of performance art, be obnoxious to you. (Congrats, you're getting practice on that one already.)

2/ Definitely do not make a single link YouTube post your first MeFi contribution. Or, you know, ever.

3/ The green toilet paper is gentler than the blue toilet paper.

If you want to excel instead of merely surviving, TwelveTwo, The Straightener and Mrs. Pterodactyl all offer good advice in this thread.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:48 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I traded my axe for a second nemesis. Or was that vis-versa?

Don't wait too long to post your comments, because someone'll most likely beat you to it. And if someone else said it, live with it and don't post a reworded version of what already exists. You're not adding noise, but you're adding fluff.

As for your first FPP: don't stress about it. Some people train Search and Rescue dogs, but most of us don't. Or maybe you'll just find a good video, or an interesting news post.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:53 PM on July 20, 2009


You don't ever have to make a front page post. Its fine. Post when you have something to post, not because you feel a need to "pay back."
posted by LarryC at 9:57 PM on July 20, 2009


Wear sunscreen.
posted by klangklangston at 10:12 PM on July 20, 2009


Surf del.icio.us/tag/awesome and del.icio.us/tag wtf, these feeds are usually about 24 hours ahead of MeFi.
posted by mullingitover at 10:19 PM on July 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


This here's a jam for all the MeFites
tryin to figure out how to get their posts right
get shot down cuz your links are too light?
it's time you learned how to rock this website

Okay, websage, go to the search page
see if it's been done before and check the thread's age
you may not want to go to the trouble
but if you don't check you might post a double

Now find some kitties in ancient cities
or unreleased tracks from Conway Twitty
find bloopers from season two of House
that make you laugh so hard you 'bout break your mouse

Sunday morning, front page is boring
pressin F5 but MeFi's still snoring
found a new end to Call of Cthulhu?
well, c'mon n00b, post to the Blue!

if you find it, you link it
if you find it, baby, you link it
Post to the Blue!
if you find it, you link it
if you find it, baby you link it

Your boss is off shift and so you're sifting
through your bookmarks for something upliftin
put up some Youtube to get some favorites play
but the flagging makes the mods come and say "no way"

Your consternation from this negation
makes you wanna join Fark and leave the situation
but every Mefite's had a post get culled
so don't ditch out cuz you just want some lulz

You signed up not knowing what trends were going
and you're starting to miss that five you're blowing
but you read a primate blog no one seems to know
and on Metafilter ape links must flow

Add the best background links you can track down
no post-preaching just stick to the facts now
keep the text short, check your p's and q's
and you know what to do, G, post to the Blue!

if you find it, you link it
if you find it, baby, you link it
Post to the Blue!
if you find it, you link it
if you find it, baby you link it
if you find it, you link it
if you find it, baby, you link it
Post to the Blue!
if you find it, you link it
if you find it, baby you link it

Post it, boy!
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:27 PM on July 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


Buzzfeed is my dirty secret. Just about all of my FPPs have been from there, though in my defense my posts usually look up some additional stuff to the links that I can't find stuff for to make my post more FPP worthy.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:43 PM on July 20, 2009


Of my few posts, my best was about a dude screwing a corpse. Food for thought.
posted by katillathehun at 10:55 PM on July 20, 2009


katillathehun: "Of my few posts, my best was about a dude screwing a corpse. Food for thought."

Horrible choice of idiom. But glad you didn't go with 'to each his own' or 'YMMV'.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:20 PM on July 20, 2009


3/ The green toilet paper is gentler than the blue toilet paper.

and the grey toilet paper is soggy and wrapped with concertina wire.
posted by clearly at 11:30 PM on July 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait wait wait...you feel more comfortable posting songs than you do writing on here?

Man up dude...these fuckers on here will swallow you alive.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:33 PM on July 20, 2009


Being a good member of any online community is mostly about watching to figure out what's ok, what's borderline and what's definitely uncool, then moderating your behavior so that it's mostly ok, rarely borderline, and only uncool when you were mistaken about your initial judgments.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:59 PM on July 20, 2009


When in doubt, feel free to hit up the mod staff with the contact form—there's a link in the bottom-right of every page. We're here to help.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:09 AM on July 21, 2009


Do people really follow other aggregators just to pick up stuff to post here? I think this is a bad idea, it's the bad kind of trying to hard - don't do this.

I had already noticed this happening with slashdot, and I'm sure we've had this conversation before, but someone upthread said something about axegrinding.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:18 AM on July 21, 2009


Use Google to search site:www.metafilter.com, site:metatalk.metafilter.com, site:projects.metafilter.com, and site:ask.metafilter.com. Chances are that the carefully crafted post you're about to submit on the spotted dinglethrush's love for gooseberries has already been posted and belittled.
posted by crataegus at 12:48 AM on July 21, 2009


Do people really follow other aggregators just to pick up stuff to post here?

I my defense, I read Buzzfeed before I got here and I would read it even if I didn't post here. It's just a way to find cool stuff, and that occasionally means that it comes up with a post-worthy link.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:56 AM on July 21, 2009


You can get more leeway if you hint that english is not your first language.
posted by Free word order! at 1:01 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


When you have more than a couple of different people telling you to shut up & stop being such an asshat, it's probably not just that people are indulging in a bit of rough-and-tumble argument for its own sake - you most likely are actually being an asshat.

And it's far better to shut the fuck up than try to defend yourself.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:16 AM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


People love a good flameout.

This is true. I kept waiting for allen.spaulding to flame out in the Gates thread. Then he got all, reasonable.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:22 AM on July 21, 2009


Obese circumsised Iraqi Critical Mass bikers are my bread-n-butter FPP material.

Just follow my lead kid, and you'll be fine.
posted by bardic at 3:30 AM on July 21, 2009


Seriously, what a shame that this is the only post with "friendly" as a tag. What does that say about us??!

...

Oh, and if someone asks for a pony, you'd best get them a real one. Seriously. Don't let this happen to you.

Then, one day, Brandon Blatcher will enspousenate you and then you will be a real boy girl spouse MeFi user.
posted by elfgirl at 3:46 AM on July 21, 2009


Ah, hell, the blue's too clogged up anyway, especially with all these celebs dying like flies. Just keep posting to Music, ichthuz, which is, after all, the friendliest part of the site!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:04 AM on July 21, 2009


What things do you think will make me the best possible member of this community?

A fish. In your pants. And a cheerful regard.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:33 AM on July 21, 2009


Can we please not post fake "advice" in this thread that encourages the user to break the guidelines, like posting your own blog or just posting news posts? It's funny to old timers for a nanosecond, but the poster (and any future new member who reads this thread) is sincerely asking for advice and deserves better than this ironic deliberately-pointing-you-in-exactly-the-wrong-direction nonsense.
posted by onlyconnect at 6:26 AM on July 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Pick a popular member of the site, preferably one who it on the opposite side of the political spectrum from you. Then, follow this user everywhere they comment in the site, mocking and belittling everything that they write.

The other users love this because it adds a little drama to the site. The mods love it because they really don't have anything better to do than babysit your infighting. Your nemesis will love it because they will know that at least one person is paying attention to them. You'll love it because it will give you something fun to do.

Everyone wins in this scenario!
posted by double block and bleed at 6:31 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


And never preview.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:33 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Be thoughtful.
Write well.
Respect others.
Research (and link) your opinionated comments.
Be kind.
Signal:Noise as Sincere:Snark. Limit the snark, and remember that most things you think are funny are mildly amusing at best.
There's no shortage of front page posts. Don't look for stuff to post. At some point, you'll find something that you want to share with the community. Post it. It may or may not survive, but it's better to post something you care about and have it deleted than to make a merely adequate post.
Listen.
posted by theora55 at 6:35 AM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


When someone posts something to MetaTalk and it gets a bunch of comments, be sure to scan it later for any new in-jokes.

[X] octopus legs
posted by DU at 6:47 AM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Learn to spell. Or at least re-read your comments very very very carefully. Trust me on this.

Also, don't take anything said too strongly to heart. In the end we're all Imaginary Internet People who can be wished away by clapping your hands and closing the tab.
posted by The Whelk at 6:56 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Keep things PROFESSIONAL at all times, and NEVER link to a website that requires us to click more than once to see content once we get there. Try to gather as many spouses as possible. And if you see something that bothers you, don't just flag it and move on - alert the community with a very specific MeTa post outlining each offense in gory detail! Do these things, together with favoriting my comments often, and you shall succeed, young padawan.
posted by bunnycup at 7:27 AM on July 21, 2009


deserves better than this ironic deliberately-pointing-you-in-exactly-the-wrong-direction nonsense.

On the contrary, learning to sort through this sort of thing and still occasionally contribute insightful and engaging comments and posts is, I think, one of the first steps to becoming a valued member of the MetaFilter community.

Combined with the socially, geographically, and knowledgeably diverse user base, the good humor, silliness, and rampant refusal to take things too seriously (unless absolutely warranted) is part of what makes MeFi a great place to be.
posted by elfgirl at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


People over think this. Just post and do whatever the fuck you like. People will generally let you know if you're fucking up.
posted by chunking express at 8:04 AM on July 21, 2009


Horrible choice of idiom.

Well, you know what they say. The proof is in the pudding.
posted by katillathehun at 8:07 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know those voices in your head? The ones that tell you to pull off your pants and go streaking around your office while screaming "boing, boing, boing" at the top of your lungs?

It's best not to allow your comment history to become a day to day transcription of what they have to say.

I speak from experience here.
posted by quin at 8:07 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Keep a text file on your desktop containing a list of witty comebacks. When you read something on MeFi that upsets you, post one of the items from the file.

OH YEAH? WELL YOUR MOMMA IS FAT!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:14 AM on July 21, 2009


When it comes to commenting, you have a bit of flexibility. If you have any sort of relevant experience in life on the topic of the post, you just might have something seriously worth sharing. Remember to be of good cheer. Sometimes, you can contribute well with your opinion on a matter. Not everything needs to be profound, mundane observations and snippets of information can be worthwhile contributions as well.

The day you decide to make your first glorious post on the blue, review your post carefully. Unusual topics or lesser known aspects of common topics work well. You don't need to have written your thesis on the topic in order to craft a worthwhile post, just put in a little bit of research to flesh things out.

Remember to include extra links of interest beyond the main catch. Try not to rely on major mainstream sites for the majority of the content. This isn't always the case, things such as performances by lesser known by lesser known musical pioneers hosted on YouTube may be highly relevant and likely to be something many of us have not seen.

Always search your post topic before crafting a post. You might have found a hilarious site about people putting cats in scanners, and it might just be out of the way enough that it's news to most people, but someone just might have posted that before.

For anywhere on the site, remember basic etiquette. Spell check. Search for previous posts on the same topic or question. If you aren't sure whether snark or a joke is appropriate, move on and find something else of interest to comment on.

You'll do fine. If you make an honest mistake, most people are pretty polite about pointing it out. Listen, learn, contribute, and enjoy your time here.

However, like others have pointed out, I really feel that I must reiterate. "Productive" and "Member of the Metafilter community" are usually two different worlds.
posted by Saydur at 8:44 AM on July 21, 2009


Be patient, take your time, enjoy the journey.
posted by box at 8:48 AM on July 21, 2009


Do what I did: Find a user whose style and wit you like, then follow what they do. Post similar themes, comment in related ways, see how they handle criticism and trolls... and then when they least suspect it, turn their all skills back upon them go all out and get them banned. By doing so you get to consume all of their power and energy for your own nefarious means... ...and be careful of your precious fluids they're poisoning our fluids dontcha know? Whiskey and rainwater, whiskey and rainwater, they can't get to me, oh no, they'll get everyone else but they won't get to me...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:53 AM on July 21, 2009


Can we please not post fake "advice" in this thread that encourages the user to break the guidelines, like posting your own blog or just posting news posts?

Honestly, I'm feeling this pretty strongly this morning and kind of wish I had been johnny-on-the-spot last night in steering the thread hard toward helpfulness. I find metatalk riffing very satisfying stuff in general, but in practice it'd be nice not to intentionally fuck with a new user asking a good-faith question appropriately in the part of the site where just such a question should be posted.

Give it a couple days and then longboat the hell out of it, sure, but let's maybe try and actually give the new folks a chance to pick up some of the knowledge they're curious about gaining.

icthuz, it's been great having you over at Music and I'm glad you're interested in exploring the rest of the site. There's a lot of silly or counterproductive chaff in this thread from folks who are just being silly for the sake of it. There's been some good more general advice some folks have offered that's right on the money too, as far as e.g.

- not feeling like you HAVE to post
- posting about what you find interesting
- not being antagonistic if you get in an argument
- when in doubt, ask a mod or a trusted user

and in general folks here are happy to help and offer guidance, but we also tend to get kind of silly and chatty and bullshitty in Metatalk specifically a lot of the time, and in this case I think you sort of got the short end of the stick and I'm sorry about that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:56 AM on July 21, 2009


Did anyone say "Most of the time, pay no attention to like the first five comments in a thread"?

Because most of the time you can pay no attention to like the first five comments in a thread.
posted by Jofus at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cortex, I get your point, but I think we can probably assume that this person has a sense of humor and can get jokes? Because I think one can learn a lot about the culture of the site from the sarcastic answers, too.
posted by empath at 9:15 AM on July 21, 2009


When it's an information firehose and the consequence for not getting one of the many jokes being thrown at you is potentially coming off as a spammer or bad-faith poster or picking up a whole pile of undeserved ridicule for doing something that you were told to do when you asked for advice on how to participate, the stakes have been unfairly raised.

That's what bothers me about it. I want folks to have a good sense of humor and to be able to suss out the little tonal details of this place, yes, but I don't want them to be punished for not being perfect at that right out the gate. It's shades of hazing, which makes me a little uncomfortable, honestly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:23 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


While I understand cortex's point and for all I know he may be right, my reaction is more aligned with empath's. It might be helpful if ichthuz would stop by and add something to the discussion.
posted by languagehat at 9:33 AM on July 21, 2009


Yeah, I'm down with cortex on this one - but mainly because this place is given to idiosyncratic rules that are only written down in Arcane and Unusual Documents.

So, if the three "suggestions" that ichthuz takes from this thread are:

1) Don't use the @ sign when addressing other users
2) Post your blog if its interesting and,
3) Do not listen to gman

Well, to be honest, all of those are as reasonable as each other. Or rather, they're all as ridiculous as each other. Whereas, in fact one of them is an unbreakable rule and another is, if broken, likely to bring down all manner of snark on a chap's head

...and the other one is don't use the @ sign when addressing other users AMIRITE LOLOOMFGZZZZZ?
posted by Jofus at 9:44 AM on July 21, 2009


in practice it'd be nice not to intentionally fuck with a new user asking a good-faith question appropriately in the part of the site where just such a question should be posted.

Unless you're really into the SEKRIT CLUB aspect of MeFi which many new users find daunting, I'd suggest following cortex's advice. If your joke is a joke, at least try to make it funny.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:53 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, don't go through a user's posting history just to make some sort of marked-up point about them (i.e. I removed that comment, don't do that here). If you can't let bygones be more or less bygones on MeFi, you may have a problem here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:58 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you just another pretentious, artsy, liberal, indie-rock-loving, cat-owning, bespectacled, "intelligent", shy, dry-sense-of-humored, 20-40 year old white guy? Sorry. Full the fuck up.

*disables account*
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:06 AM on July 21, 2009


If your joke is a joke, at least try to make it funny.

*disables account*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:17 AM on July 21, 2009


Bribe fellow members to pretend to like you.

Now that you mention it, Pink, how is that iPod working out for you?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:18 AM on July 21, 2009


As a 17ker, I'm not sure whether I should be giving bribes or receiving them.
posted by box at 10:23 AM on July 21, 2009


Unless you're really into the SEKRIT CLUB aspect of MeFi which many new users find daunting

Shhh! Ichsnay on the ekritsay ubclsnay!
posted by the Cabal at 10:28 AM on July 21, 2009


Give it a couple days and then longboat the hell out of it,

Y'know, I used to shake my fists at the appropriation of longboat as a verb since it was a LITERAL longboat, but now I revel in the glory at the way one dumb thing I said has now become a phenomenon that has become so pervasive that no one knows how or why it started. Except that it was me, in 9622v.2. Beyond that, total mystery.

You never know what that's going to be though, so don't force it. I certainly never said "That's not MY longboat" thinking that four years later, cortex would be using longboat as a verb. But here it is, and damn if I'm not a little bit proud.

Also: be yourself. Someone once sent me a MeMail saying that they liked my "internet persona" and I got all squishy in my happy place because my MeFi persona is pretty much just my persona. Which is to say, yes, I really do speak sort of like a Stoner LOLcat. I am, however, neither a stoner nor a cat. I'm just a fairly mellow, yet excitable person who is absolutely in no way into that whole brevity thing.

And always read all of the links and the whole thread before commenting. I've been forcing myself to do this more and more lately and I've find that every time I *don't* I look like an idiot. It also rubs me the wrong way to see "I didn't read the link, but..." or "Haven't read the thread, but I wanted to say..." JUST READ IT IF IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO OPEN YOUR FOOL MOUTH.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:12 AM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


And always read all of the links and the whole thread before commenting. I've been forcing myself to do this more and more lately and I've find that every time I *don't* I look like an idiot.

I've had this happen to me enough recently that I've taken to "fact checking" what I write against the links. At least twice I've said something and then immediately after hitting post find a paragraph in the linked article which directly answers the question I was asking or contradicts a statement I was making.

So, yeah. Read, and double-check.
posted by hippybear at 12:03 PM on July 21, 2009


So there is a sekrit club! Man! I am never in with the in crowd.

* kicks pebble *
posted by everichon at 12:11 PM on July 21, 2009


Always post at 4:20 pm.
posted by JohnR at 1:09 PM on July 21, 2009


Okey dokey JohnR.
posted by Mister_A at 1:20 PM on July 21, 2009


JUST READ IT IF IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO OPEN YOUR FOOL MOUTH.

This is simplistic. I often don't have the time to read nine links (or even one, thoroughly) so find myself picking through the comments to see if I can get the gist of what the post is about. And sometimes I do get a pretty good sense of things from the comments and, while doing so, stumble across something that is so dumb (or perhaps brilliant, or perhaps incomplete) that it demands comment.

MetaFilter is many things to many people. MetaFilter is many things to just me. And sometimes, what it is, is a sort of rambunctious but serious party, lots of people shouting, gesticulating, pontificating, stumbling in and out of each others' discussions, sometimes brilliantly, sometimes stupidly.

The important thing, of course, is to be brilliant always, never stupid.
posted by philip-random at 1:55 PM on July 21, 2009


be brilliant always, never stupid

Welcome to the Uncanny Valley of the Dolls.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:03 PM on July 21, 2009


Say, does anyone remember who originated the "longboat" joke? It's slipped my mind.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:13 PM on July 21, 2009


*don't*
do. such a negative attitude will not get anyone anywhere.

* disables account *
you can't ever do this and still be a productive member. it is better to be an unproductive member, like the aloha, than to disable your account.

* kicks pebble *
this would be an excellent topic to explore in an fpp.
posted by the aloha at 2:19 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


*plates beans*
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:31 PM on July 21, 2009


*longs boat*
posted by elfgirl at 2:40 PM on July 21, 2009


*verbs noun*
posted by The Whelk at 2:42 PM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Productive?

Well, I have some landscaping work that needs doing.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:55 PM on July 21, 2009


*plates beans*
devoting years of careful study and quiet reflection on this very topic before posting or commenting is essential if one ever hopes to be granted access to the cabal.
posted by the aloha at 3:41 PM on July 21, 2009


He who controls the beans controls the Universe Cabal.
posted by elfgirl at 3:54 PM on July 21, 2009


OH YEAH? WELL YOUR MOMMA IS FAT!

zing muthafucker
posted by mattoxic at 4:54 PM on July 21, 2009



He who controls the beans controls the Universe Cabal.


The snark must flow.
posted by juv3nal at 5:26 PM on July 21, 2009


He who can overthink a thing, controls a thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:47 PM on July 21, 2009


There's no way to do it but to dive in. When you make a mistake, you will be sharply corrected. When you say something foolish, you will be sharply corrected. If you do a poor post, you will be sharply corrected. If you correct somebody else and are in error, you will be sharply corrected.

Think of your first few months on Metafilter as vacation in the House of Discipline, and learn to love the sting of the whip. Do not be afraid. Pain is instructive.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:31 PM on July 21, 2009


Did somebody mention beans?
posted by the Cabal at 8:32 PM on July 21, 2009


The first rule of Mwfi is not to talk about Mwfi....
posted by nevercalm at 3:32 AM on July 22, 2009


empath: "... we can probably assume that this person has a sense of humor and can get jokes? ..."

no you cant, and no i dont

okay fine go ahead
posted by ichthuz at 9:40 PM on July 22, 2009


no you cant, and no i dont

okay fine go ahead


Patience, Grasshopper.

When you can take the capitalization and punctuation from our comments and use them as your own, then you will be ready.
posted by elfgirl at 3:33 AM on July 23, 2009


Mwfi sounds like Metafilter in Welsh or something.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:10 AM on July 23, 2009


Mwfi sounds like Metafilter in Welsh or something.

But that would make it moo-fie.

Metafilter: Off with you, you cows.
posted by elfgirl at 5:41 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]




Metafilter: Off with you, you cows.

You suggesting we should flag it and moo-ve on? How cud you suggest such udder bullshit?
posted by juv3nal at 2:06 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


You suggesting we should flag it and moo-ve on? How cud you suggest such udder bullshit? (juv3nal)

It only took you 9 1/2 hours to come up with that.* Well done!

*Clearly, it would have taken me weeks.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2009


It only took you 9 1/2 hours to come up with that.

You might say I was trying to milk it for all it was worth. Or that I'd been working on it until the cows came home. Or even: to err is human, to pun, bovine.
posted by juv3nal at 4:01 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Normally I wouldn't have a beef with such punning, but that was such bull that I am thoroughly unamoosed.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:27 PM on July 23, 2009


Don't forget ASCII art! It's a real crowd pleaser! Especially when you put a huge elephant shitting in the middle of a quiet thread about Hemingway, migratory birds or math equations derived from the game Go.*

* - Don't do that.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:36 PM on July 23, 2009


double block and bleed: "Don't forget ASCII art! It's a real crowd pleaser! Especially when you put a huge elephant shitting in the middle of a quiet thread about Hemingway, migratory birds or math equations derived from the game Go.*"

See, that's the sort of subtle nuance I understand.

Actually if I hadn't listened to that ridiculously long song of Cortex's, I would absolutely be posting an animated GIF of an elephant shitting an american flag
posted by ichthuz at 9:54 PM on July 23, 2009


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