bad post, good discussion September 9, 2009 10:14 PM   Subscribe

this is just to say that I thought the deletion of this post was on the whole spot on about the quality of the post, but i still think that the discussion/thread that was generated from the post perhaps was good enough to outshine the fact that the post lacks the due diligence of a metafilter front page post.

I have no dogs either way in the deletion of the post, I just liked reading the discussion that followed it, and was disapointed when it came to such an abrubt end. I doubt this me-talk post will change anything but still I'd like to place my grievances here on this nice little web interface just in case any other users perhaps felt the same way.
posted by localhuman to MetaFilter-Related at 10:14 PM (45 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Mefi posts need interesting links first and foremost -- mathowie

That's pretty clear.

Or to put it another way, MeFi is about the posts, not the ensuing discussions - no matter how long or interesting they get.
posted by crossoverman at 10:20 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can we also make this another "Don't shit in threads you think will/should be deleted" post? Because I think the second post is better (although clearly I am in no way an arbitor of such things) and it drives me fucking crazy to see comments in the new post referencing that it will be shut down because the first one was.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:21 PM on September 9, 2009


Don't worry. People will keep throwing posts at the front page until one of them sticks.
posted by stavrogin at 10:22 PM on September 9, 2009


I love politics and all, but let's not stoop to having every political news blip on the blue. I come to Metafilter because it isn't a news-of-the-moment-isn't-that-outrageous-wtf-hahafunnypic sorta site. Let's let reddit or digg do their thing and let's focus on sharing what's really interesting.
posted by boubelium at 10:28 PM on September 9, 2009 [3 favorites]




re:dirigibleman I guess that thread is open, but perhaps it bugs me that there is a spelling mistake in the post title. It may be possible that that thread will be removed as the moderators see fit.
posted by localhuman at 10:36 PM on September 9, 2009


The first post was spawning a lot of discussion about the current topic but the post itself was really strange. Both above the fold links were historical stuff, but it was clearly referencing the Joe Wilson stuff from today which was what the discussion turned out to be about. I was all set to leave it and go to bed, but it was gathering a lot of flags and I think mathowie decided to let people try for a better post. We've done that a few times lately with obit threads and while we'd really like to go with a "first post stays" rule because it's easier for everyone, it's not always the best way to get good posts on MetaFilter.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:41 PM on September 9, 2009


perhaps it bugs me that there is a spelling mistake in the post title.

I fixed that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:42 PM on September 9, 2009


In the end, I'm probably ok with the newer thread as long as the spelling error in the title is fixed.
posted by localhuman at 10:45 PM on September 9, 2009


yay! jessamyn+=3;
posted by localhuman at 10:47 PM on September 9, 2009


"Heathcare News: Public option hangs in the balance, Is reform without it even a good idea?"

I fixed that.

So is the post still a discussion of what kind of medical care Heath Ledger would've wanted America to have?

not to pick on you or anything
posted by armage at 11:46 PM on September 9, 2009


Joe Wilson is a horse's ass, but that was still not a good post, at least for MeFi. Perhaps someone will make a post about the breach of decorum by this rude comment, his chastisement, even by fellow republicans, and perhaps even some history about decorum in these events, without all the prosteletizing. Anyway the deleted post even lacked a link to the incident in question. That's not how to do it.
posted by caddis at 12:37 AM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


localhuman: "this is just to say"

I have heckled
the prez
that was in
the congress

and which
you were probably
giving
the full respect and deference that such a prestigious office both demands and deserves

Forgive me
it was malicious
so street
and so bold
posted by Rhaomi at 12:44 AM on September 10, 2009 [24 favorites]


Let's contrast Wilson's outburst with Obama's words:
[Our predecessors] knew that when any government measure, no matter how carefully crafted or beneficial, is subject to scorn; when any efforts to help people in need are attacked as un-American; when facts and reason are thrown overboard and only timidity passes for wisdom, and we can no longer even engage in a civil conversation with each other over the things that truly matter – that at that point we don’t merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges. We lose something essential about ourselves.
posted by caddis at 12:53 AM on September 10, 2009


By the way, I just wanted to rejoin to this comment in the thread on this that actually stayed:

WCityMike: FYI, a similar post was killed earlier tonight by mathowie for not having interesting links. And, with no disrespect intended, there's not too much of a substantial difference between this one and the other; in fact, the other poster pulled some old Senate dueling material to try to flesh out the post.

That post wasn't deleted 'for not having interesting links.' It was deleted because it didn't have a single interesting link—which is to say, it didn't have a single link to anything about the even it was supposed to be covering—and instead it was a long, blathering meander-fest that went nowhere. This isn't a big bulletin board where the more links and words and paragraphs you throw at a post the more likely it's going to stick; methinks you're confusing us with Wikipedia if that's what you think passes for a good post around here. My post on international bumblebee heists that lacks a single bumblebee-heist link doesn't get to stay up just because I throw in a reference to boxing champions of the 1920s.

localhuman: I have no dogs either way in the deletion of the post, I just liked reading the discussion that followed it, and was disapointed when it came to such an abrubt end. I doubt this me-talk post will change anything but still I'd like to place my grievances here on this nice little web interface just in case any other users perhaps felt the same way.

Oh, bollocks. People ought to be able to see through this a mile away. You've been here for three years, man; and you expect us to believe you just didn't realize that we've talked about this very issue—namely, the fact that it's not about the discussion, it's about the links—at least a hundred times? Fine, whatever, even if you didn't realize that, which I know is a possibility, here's the reason why that post had to go:

Because even if you thought the conversation was going well, it would have gotten very, very bad in a very short amount of time. Whenever people say 'oh, the conversation! Let the conversation take its course!' they're ignoring the fact that the post is the most important part of the conversation. If the post is directionless and vague, the conversation will either (a) be directionless or vague or (b) eventually consist entirely of people who see the post and come in just to say 'hey! this post is directionless and vague! not cool!' There are millions of people who read this site, thousands upon thousands who comment here, and when enough people see a lame post and decide to comment on it, it's always enough to kill a conversation, no matter how cool you think it was going. It would have died in flames, believe me.

In summary: 'Trying to flesh out the post'? Bad. A single link, clear and to the point, delivered painlessly with no three extra paragraphs? Good. Saving threads sprung from crappy posts just because they seem to be going well at the moment? Bad.
posted by koeselitz at 2:32 AM on September 10, 2009


... and wait a minute, localhuman: what in god's name was so awesome about that discussion? I just read through it, and it's actually less interesting, less insightful, less intelligent than most discussions around here. Not that it's required to be perfect, and not that the comments are ignorant... but there's nothing there that's really that superlative. No comments that rip open the situation for me or lay bare all the parties involved... more like just a bunch of us trying to piece it together and make sense of it, like we did in the other thread. And frankly the other thread had more interesting comments. What was it you actually saw in that thread? Because I'm not seeing it...
posted by koeselitz at 2:40 AM on September 10, 2009


...I just liked reading the discussion that followed it...

YOU LIE!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:23 AM on September 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh frig, can one of you handsome mods please delete my previous comment? I composed it just before the site went wonky last night, and since then, the second comment I linked to got the hook.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:28 AM on September 10, 2009


Also, while I'm being a total asshole, localhuman, I'm fairly certain a variable of type moderator doesn't admit of stepwise increases, so when you tried to increment jessamyn you probably threw all kinds of errors. Try to remember that the fact that Metafilter is dynamically typed doesn't give you a free pass to use sloppy syntax.

yes, this is my silly way of apologizing for being a jerk. sorry, localhuman.
posted by koeselitz at 6:55 AM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


+ WCityMike
posted by koeselitz at 6:55 AM on September 10, 2009


admit of stepwise increases

That wasn't an ascii representation of jessamyn's sweater puppies then?

Jesus, I hope nobody ever subjects me to a Rorschach test.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:53 AM on September 10, 2009


That wasn't an ascii representation of jessamyn's sweater puppies then?

You have many more redeeming characteristics than this one joke you seem to like so much.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:57 AM on September 10, 2009 [13 favorites]


^That is the response of a person who has attained patience. I've killed and maimed for far less.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 AM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is the response of a person who has attained patience.

I think that is a job requirement to be a moderator here. I would have banned half of you by now if I was a mod. Since I don't have those powers, I just go stand on your lawn.
posted by marxchivist at 9:04 AM on September 10, 2009


PeterMcDermott: That wasn't an ascii representation of jessamyn's sweater puppies then?

No, actually it was an ascii representation of the length of my Peter McDermott, if you know what I mean.
posted by koeselitz at 9:08 AM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has no one tried to do a Van Jones post yet?
posted by deern the headlice at 9:12 AM on September 10, 2009


I thought the first post was an interesting approach, and the historical stuff was fascinating.

But yeah, it was about Joe Wilson yelling at Obama, and he forgot to link to that. Seems pretty cut-and-dried to me.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:15 AM on September 10, 2009


"I'm probably ok with the newer thread as long as the spelling error in the title is fixed."

There are actually people like this? What is the name for this condition?
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:36 AM on September 10, 2009


My post on international bumblebee heists that lacks a single bumblebee-heist link doesn't get to stay up just because I throw in a reference to boxing champions of the 1920s.

Bumblebee heists? Tell me more!
posted by scalefree at 9:52 AM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's not much to tell. The perpetrators were caught pretty quickly in a sting operation.
posted by brain_drain at 10:02 AM on September 10, 2009 [11 favorites]


Unfortunately, good discussions happen in bad FPPs and they get deleted all the time. I wish that it was possible to leave discussion threads on deleted posts open (even if for a short time) if a number of comments had been posted.
posted by delmoi at 11:11 AM on September 10, 2009


While I wish you guys the best, people who post American political threads to MetaFilter should be aware that politics in the United States have become quite histrionic, caustic, toxic, and, quite frankly, unenjoyable for a non-American MeFite like me to contemplate.

Not saying there should be no political threads on MetaFilter, but could you possible filter your efforts a little more before considering posting on the Blue?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:26 AM on September 10, 2009


KokuRyu - I don't read 50% of the threads on here because they're boring to me. Please filter out all the boring posts, kthxbai.
posted by desjardins at 12:23 PM on September 10, 2009


The poster could have linked to all of the explanation and I bet it wouldn't have been deleted.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:32 PM on September 10, 2009


There should be a mandated balance where every post about US politics must be interleaved with a post about non-US politics.
posted by GuyZero at 12:43 PM on September 10, 2009


I don't know the stats, but I suspect a large part of the readership doesn't even look at the comments, possibly even a majority. Terrible front-page posts are not in the site's best interest, even if the discussion is interesting. And it rarely is in crappy posts because the tone gets set by people complaining how crappy they are, "is this still up?"'s and jokey IBTL's.

Also, this non-event isn't even interesting in the first place, I don't know why the second post survived. This might have been an interesting post if it focused more on the difference in decorum between Parliament and Congress, with this is merely a footnote. As a news item it provokes a big MEH.
posted by cj_ at 12:50 PM on September 10, 2009


This is so sweet that I am glad I went to look up bees because of the upthread stuff.

Bees are a contentious legal topic- it is indeed possible to be a bee-rustler. And here are the Visigothic rules for bee-possession!
I. Where a Person Finds Bees on his Property.

Where anyone finds bees on his premises, whether in his grove, or in the rocks, or in the trees, or in any place whatsoever, he must make three marks, or characters, in testimony of possession, for the reason that where only one mark is made, it often gives occasion for fraud. If another person should make a mark of his own in the same place, or should erase any which have already been made, he shall pay double the value of the bees to him whom he defrauded, and shall also receive twenty lashes.

[...]

III. Concerning the Theft of Bees.

Any freeman who enters an apiary for the purpose of theft, and is caught there, even though he should take nothing, for the mere fact that he has been arrested in such a place, shall pay three solidi, and receive fifty lashes. If, however; he should have taken anything, he shall be compelled to pay ninefold its value, and shall receive the number of lashes aforesaid. If a slave should enter an apiary, without stealing anything, he shall receive a hundred lashes; and if he should steal anything, he shall be compelled to restore sixfold the value of the same; and if his master is unwilling render satisfaction for his act, he must deliver said slave to him who suffered the loss.
There is a lot more in this book, which I think I am going to see if it is available on amazon cheaply.
posted by winna at 1:27 PM on September 10, 2009


Later, Treaty of Westphalia. There's a fresh new text-dump in town.
posted by felix betachat at 3:45 PM on September 10, 2009


"MeFi is about the posts, not the ensuing discussions - no matter how long or interesting they get."

Why do people keep saying this? It's not true. Never has been.
posted by bardic at 5:22 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


"MeFi is about the posts, not the ensuing discussions - no matter how long or interesting they get."

Why do people keep saying this? It's not true. Never has been.


While I would agree it is in a sense inaccurate, I think it is still true. A large part of the value of Metafilter may be in the ensuing discussions, but it is a community predicated on the sharing of interesting links. Metafilter is not a free-form discussion board (obviously); discussions follow from the posts, and the explicit rules of the site are that the posts should contain interesting links. Good posts engender good discussions; good discussions do not excuse bad posts. In that sense, "MeFi is about the posts".
posted by ericost at 7:39 PM on September 10, 2009


felix betachat: "Later, Treaty of Westphalia. There's a fresh new text-dump in town."

Let's bee serious, the Treaty of Westphalia was never anyone's honey but Meatbomb's.
posted by subbes at 7:42 PM on September 10, 2009


Why do people keep saying this? It's not true. Never has been.

Well I was a regular visitor to the site for about 6 months before realising that some of the comments threads were actually quite interesting. I'd come here to find something interesting to read when I had a bit of free time. I bet there's a huge amount of non-member traffic that just looks at the links without caring what other people have to say about the links.
posted by harriet vane at 1:51 AM on September 11, 2009


Ah link vs. discussion: the eternal conflict.

Although I understand why the FPP was deleted, I was a little disappointed because I have always been fascinated by the whole Sumner caning incident and would be willing to bet a good FPP could be made about it. For example, Brooks was from Edgefield County, known since colonial times as "Bloody Edgefield" (see the second part of the article) and produced a disproportionate share of prominent politicians, including the governor who led SC in secession, another governor and later senator known for his racist populism, and of course, this guy. So it seems to me a worthy subject, it's just too bad it was executed poorly.
posted by TedW at 5:42 AM on September 11, 2009


crossoverman: Or to put it another way, MeFi is about the posts, not the ensuing discussions - no matter how long or interesting they get.

bardic: Why do people keep saying this? It's not true. Never has been.

Well, people say it because they believe it is true. (Though they usually say 'links' rather than 'posts' - not a trivial distinction.) What did you expect?

Although of course I agree with you. Frankly, it would make more sense to me if we said something like: Mefi is about links and discussion, and crappy links with crappy presentation inevitably lead to crappy discussion and should be nixed posthaste no matter how much you think 'this time it's different! I can feel it!'
posted by koeselitz at 3:09 PM on September 11, 2009


There should be a mandated balance where every post about US politics must be interleaved with a post about non-US politics.

Be careful of what you ask for.
posted by caddis at 12:26 AM on September 12, 2009


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