MeFi Auctions July 27, 2009 7:14 PM   Subscribe

A dude set up a tiny auction site designed to sell to a small, trusted community. I think something similar would work well for MeFi. (via DF)

I searched old MetaTalks and I didn't see anything discussing an idea for MeFi Auctions before so I'm proposing it myself. The creator talks a little more about it on his blog if you are interested. I just think that an auctions site as well maintained and added to as the rest of MeFi would be great.

I know that this might be a bit of a slog to set up, and to moderate once it's up, so I'm not expecting it anytime soon. Still, I would use it.
posted by The Devil Tesla to Feature Requests at 7:14 PM (67 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Having MeFites actually "do business" with one another? That troubles me. We can't even agree that a plate of beans is, in fact, a plate of beans, let alone agree on what it might be worth.
posted by philip-random at 7:22 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


MeFi doesn't have to be all things to all people.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:22 PM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Too too much.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:27 PM on July 27, 2009


You know, last night while I was on the edge of sleep, I had the idea to start a Metafilter coffee shop in NYC. This struck me as such an amazing bit of inspiration that I woke myself up and fumbled around for a pen and paper so that I could write it down. Part of me still thinks it would be a great idea.

Apparently, on the same piece of paper, I also wrote down "MUSICAL COLLECTIVE -- ODD INSTRUMENTS." Still don't know what that's all about.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:34 PM on July 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm all for it, but only if the three things we're allowed to buy or sell are beans, taters and grilled cheese sandwiches.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:34 PM on July 27, 2009


We can't even agree that a plate of beans is, in fact, a plate of beans, let alone agree on what it might be worth.

"I ordered a plate of beans from philip-random and received, after several days, approximately 50 beans of average to poor quality. Despite the description, NO PLATE WAS INCLUDED - when I sent a completely appropriate and civil inquiry regarding the missing plate, I was rudely informed that a 'plate' was a unit of measurement, and that I was at fault for assuming that I would get an actual plate with my order of beans.

F-F-F-F-F-F- WOULD NOT ORDER BEANS FROM THIS USER EVER AGAIN

Also, I am going to sue your ass off, 'Thowie."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:37 PM on July 27, 2009 [11 favorites]


MeFi Coffee : Overthink a bag of beans! (now in half-pound and pound sizes!)
posted by Afroblanco at 7:39 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


One person's junk is another person's snark. I'm thinking Craigslist with Comments. Brilliant.
posted by carsonb at 7:41 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am thinking of a MetaFilter commune / psychedellic drug distribution business. I am pretty sure I can get jessamyn on board, not sure where matt or josh stand on it.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:04 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't see why an auction is any different than a classified add site, or a swap site, or whatever.

The mechanics of online trading were discussed here pretty thoroughly. In another post, OpenID was suggested, so that users could create subsites for themselves. Not that you need an OpenID like system, MetaChat/MonkeyFilter/SportsFilter all appear to do fine without it.
posted by Chuckles at 8:16 PM on July 27, 2009


Meanwhile, jobs isn't even working that well for me...
posted by Chuckles at 8:17 PM on July 27, 2009


MeBay!
posted by nickyskye at 8:24 PM on July 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


MeSued j/k
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:31 PM on July 27, 2009


Why won't anyone buy my popcorn? I've put it into little snap-lock bags and everything!
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:36 PM on July 27, 2009 [12 favorites]


If they're not coming out of a car trunk, Fiasco, I don't want it.
posted by deborah at 8:41 PM on July 27, 2009


Not that you need an OpenID like system, MetaChat/MonkeyFilter/SportsFilter all appear to do fine without it.

Everyone appears to be doing fine without it. OpenID has to be one of the most disappointing technologies of the past few years. So needlessly complex -- I'm a programmer, and even I don't remember off the top of my head exactly how it works. Something about using Yahoo or Google as my endpoint and then setting up a website (?) that points to it? And if I don't completely understand it without pulling up their FAQ, how is Aunt Millie in Idaho going to feel about it?

I'm on one site that uses it (StackOverflow) and it's a pain in the ass.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:45 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ooh yes, let's make mefi even more US-centric.
posted by pompomtom at 8:46 PM on July 27, 2009


Why do people sit around dreaming up ways for middle men to make a cut?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 PM on July 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


I can't imagine that the hassle will be worth the effort required for Matt, pb and the mods. A flame out is hard enough to deal with just imagine what a flame out with money on the line would be like.

Are you imaging a cement truck full of shit dumping its content into a lake of piss, tears and bleeding puppies? Kind of like that except worse and involving volcano of vomit, bile and the death of all human happiness.
posted by Kattullus at 8:51 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can't we just leave money out of this?

That is not the first time I've said that.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:00 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can't we just leave money out of this?

Hey, if you'd like to be my Ameri-friend sans money, I'm happy with that too! You can even pay for the shipping, just to demonstrate your utter disdain for currency as a medium of exchange.
posted by Chuckles at 9:06 PM on July 27, 2009


Probably not something we're going to spend much time looking into. There are all kinds of neat problems with bolting an explicit, generalized marketplace onto a community, and so far we've only flirted with edge cases (like the Mefi Christmas Store stuff in the last couple years).

It'd be interesting, certainly, but it looks like a really far thing from a slamdunk in practice so I would advise against holding your breath, basically.

Apparently, on the same piece of paper, I also wrote down "MUSICAL COLLECTIVE -- ODD INSTRUMENTS."

I feel so close to you right now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I searched old MetaTalks"

The correct pluralization is "MetasTalk."
posted by Eideteker at 9:30 PM on July 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


I would advise against holding your breath, basically.

As your lawyer, I advise you to hold your breath, and liveblog the experience. Book deal, motion picture... sky's the limit.
posted by Eideteker at 9:32 PM on July 27, 2009


I sort of wish sixcolors was still here. Finally I could sample some of that fine bbq she was hocking out of the trunk of her car. Or was it cookies out of a plastic bag in an alley behind a frat house? I never can remember...
posted by whoaali at 10:32 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Would bacon be involved?
posted by Cranberry at 10:38 PM on July 27, 2009


MetasTalk

No, that's done by compulsively checking someone's posting history. The correct pluralisation is of MetaTalk is "MetaTalken".
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:40 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle: MeFi doesn't have to be all things to all people.

My friend, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay didn't spend years reconnoitering, studying and training to climb Mount Everest because they had to.
posted by koeselitz at 11:10 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter, you're doing it wrong.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:41 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


It might be more feasible to just combine all of the subsite pony requests into one large megapony. How could there not be room for a market-gig-dating-auction-meetup-productreview super subsite? We could finally have a devoted place for members to advertise special services, offer and bid on private access meetups, and rate prostitutes!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:06 AM on July 28, 2009


I think a gambling/obit sub-site would be the real winner here.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:26 AM on July 28, 2009


It might be more feasible to just combine all of the subsite pony requests into one large megapony.

AKA Pony Force Voltron
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:58 AM on July 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


OpenID has to be one of the most disappointing technologies of the past few years... And if I don't completely understand it without pulling up their FAQ, how is Aunt Millie in Idaho going to feel about it?

It's getting simpler for end-users -- you can now just put up a 'Log in using your Yahoo! account' button and have the software handle all the negotiation. I agree, though, the experience is still pretty alien-feeling.

Assuming that we don't get OpenID on MetaFilter, though, it's still possible for a third-party to do identity checking. For instance, I made an anonymous Valentine's site for MetaChat that confirmed users' identities by asking them to put a random code into their MetaChat profile.

Ooh yes, let's make mefi even more US-centric.

No reason this has to be restricted to the USA.
posted by chrismear at 3:09 AM on July 28, 2009


Is there anyway we can enhance this by massively over-engineering it with software? Because unless we can architect some OpenID/JavaBeans/Silverlight/gears/AJAX/Ruby hybrid it just won't be appealing.
posted by bystander at 5:12 AM on July 28, 2009


EBay works because it features every kind of item you can think of and a worldwide pool of buyers. Craigslist works for larger items and in person services because it's localized. Etsy works because it's niche and operates on a carefully defined mandate.

MeBay would involve limited items and a limited pool of buyers both internationally and locally, would not be special purpose like Etsy, and what other qualities would it have that would compensate for the limitations? I suppose the idea is that, because we're an established community, the interactions are less risky, but I don't think that necessarily follows. I'd rather sell or buy in a larger arena, and rely either on the person's history of good feedback or an in-person evaluation.
posted by orange swan at 5:16 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying I'm categorically against any kind of MeFi sales or classified ad section ever, but I think we need to come up with a structure or concept for it that really works for this community and offers kind of service that is not currently available elsewhere before it's worth doing.
posted by orange swan at 5:22 AM on July 28, 2009


Speaking of mefi commerce, I got my shirt today - Thanks.
posted by bystander at 5:27 AM on July 28, 2009


Please buy my papercraft pony and jewellery made from old bits of RAM.
posted by fire&wings at 5:37 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm all for it, but only if the three things we're allowed to buy or sell are beans, taters and grilled cheese sandwiches.

What, no mushrooms?
posted by terrapin at 5:39 AM on July 28, 2009


What about an escort service?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 AM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


designed to sell to a small, trusted community. I think something similar would work well for MeFi

before you go tinkering with a community it probably pays to spend a bit more time in it. This is a terrible idea. Once you start throwing money on the table everything changes.
posted by caddis at 5:58 AM on July 28, 2009


Hey, here is a great meta description tag for the new site:

MetaFilter: Bid on Private Access Meetups, and Rate Prostitutes!
posted by Mister_A at 6:32 AM on July 28, 2009


Hahaha, wow. I expected that some of you guys would think that this was pointless, and I can understand their point, but I didn't expect that anyone would think that it would ruin the community forever. I guess Metafilter is a house of cards waiting to topple over at any second.

Anyway, commence argument for MeFi Auctions that I probably should have brought up in the first place! Conceder the fact that people buying things on eBay are generally looking for a specific thing in a big pool of stuff. A seller aren't likely to get noticed by people who aren't looking specifically for what you are selling, not necessarily a bad thing but roll with me. A hypothetical Mefi auction site would feature a bit more serendipity. A buyer could find something that they never have thought to look for, the same way MiFi brings up subjects that you never thought you would be interested in.

I site like this is certainly not essential, but it would be cool.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:00 AM on July 28, 2009


carsonb: One person's junk is another person's snark. I'm thinking Craigslist with Comments. Brilliant.

Mmm, yeah, snark my junk. Snark it good.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:07 AM on July 28, 2009


To be fair, a Mefi Auction site probably could work in one form or another, but mapping out the details and being responsible for it is a whole 'nother level beyond "this would be cool, someone else should build it".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:17 AM on July 28, 2009


To be fair, a Mefi Auction site probably could work in one form or another, but mapping out the details and being responsible for it is a whole 'nother level beyond "this would be cool, someone else should build it".

It's not like I said it would be trivial to implement (in fact I said the opposite). I merely wanted to express my interest, that's all.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:35 AM on July 28, 2009


You're obviously unaware that Metafilter LLC holds a controlling interest in HyperGlobalMega Ventures, who in turn is the major shareholder in LittleFluffyBunnies Corp, sole owners and operators of one eBay.com.

Do some research, THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:59 AM on July 28, 2009


A hypothetical Mefi auction site would feature a bit more serendipity. A buyer could find something that they never have thought to look for, the same way MiFi brings up subjects that you never thought you would be interested in.

I am in the process of making an exciting line of camera phones, and this is your opportunity to be in on the ground floor of an exciting trend! Up next: coffee grinding citrus juicers! Who knows what wackiness I'll think of next?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:42 AM on July 28, 2009


The correct pluralization is "MetasTalk."

With all these potential subsites, I'm more inclined to say it's The correct pluralization is "metastasizing"
posted by dash_slot- at 9:23 AM on July 28, 2009


Can't we just leave money out of this?

Twenty bucks, same as in town.
posted by loquacious at 9:50 AM on July 28, 2009


We could make a Meta TBSAIT site, where everything was priced at $20.

See loquacious beat me to it, damnit.
posted by misha at 10:05 AM on July 28, 2009


I think a gambling/obit sub-site would be the real winner here.


Metapony: WIN DIE OR DATE!
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


So wait, MeFi is selling cases of Edge now?

You cabal-tastic buncha cards! I can't ever keep up with your jive talk.
posted by everichon at 12:12 PM on July 28, 2009


A hypothetical Mefi auction site would feature a bit more serendipity. A buyer could find something that they never have thought to look for, the same way MiFi brings up subjects that you never thought you would be interested in.

Send me some money, and I'll give you something you never thought to look for.

More helpfully, it seems like you might enjoy Etsy.
posted by box at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2009


MeTatas

MeTaters
posted by Pollomacho at 5:47 PM on July 28, 2009


What I would like is a MeFi API that would allow people to create their own MeFi-members only site. I thought of an idea for a site the other day, one that I'd like to make available to MeFi members only. I wish there was a way I could make it and let people log into my site with their MeFi usernames and passwords.

If such a system existed, someone who wanted this could make their own MeFi auction site, open to MeFi members but not an official part of Metafilter.
posted by grumblebee at 6:06 PM on July 28, 2009


In theory, this is a great idea-- it's a very clever notion-- ... but I wouldn't want to actually see it implemented.

To me, Money and MeFi are two great tastes that would taste god-awful together.

YMMV.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:28 PM on July 28, 2009


To me, Money and MeFi are two great tastes that would taste god-awful together.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you, or are you not, a $5 noob?
posted by Chuckles at 10:22 PM on July 28, 2009


Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you, or are you not, a $5 noob?

You kind of opened yourself up there for attack, but I'll just say that was a less than thoughtful response. It's been plainly stated that the mods/site owner aren't going to bother with this so what's the point of pressing the issue? If you want to sell or buy stuff, there are tons of other sites out there.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:27 PM on July 28, 2009


Please, attack away! I'd really like to understand why people have these strange ideas about MetaFilter and money being bad for each other. MetaFilter is already, and very plainly, about money. Perhaps you could pick holes in my reasoning?!?!

Too much of a hassle, not a good enough chance for success, MetaFilter is good enough like it is.. Those are perfectly sensible reasons not to implement an idea. MetaFilter and money don't mix though.. That is both false, and hopelessly naive.
posted by Chuckles at 10:53 PM on July 28, 2009


Chuckles?!?!?!
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:31 PM on July 28, 2009


Metafilter is a great community as evidenced by the awesome 10th meeup parties held all over the world. But it only costs $5 to join. Might seem like a lot to some people but apparently there were/are a significant number of cash giving scammers who try to lure people to their scam via askme. I honestly don't think it would take long for some scammed to figure out ways to exploit a Metafilter auction/swap site.
posted by silkygreenbelly at 12:30 AM on July 29, 2009


Can we auction off accumulated favorites? Like carbon credits.

Also: bacon.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:43 AM on July 29, 2009


Chuckles: MetaFilter is already, and very plainly, about money. Perhaps you could pick holes in my reasoning?!?!

You're reasoning seems to be that Metafilter exists for the entrance fee, which I'd argue is entirely missing the point. The fee exists as a filter, to keep the total fuckward population to a minimum. They could have asked for a hand-written haiku sent to PO Box 123 to gain an account instead, the effect would be the same.
posted by Static Vagabond at 10:33 AM on July 29, 2009


Shitcock.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:01 PM on July 29, 2009


Think about that next time you're playing badminton.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:02 PM on July 29, 2009


Additionally - some of us didn't even pay to get in here.
posted by Julnyes at 1:32 PM on July 29, 2009


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