Could we post weak links to the "back" page? November 12, 2009 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Could there be something like a Back Page Post?

So I just read this on Gizmodo. Its quirky and interesting, but not at all sufficient for a FPP.

I got to wondering. What if there was a back page? No comments to moderate. Users can just post weak-but-somewhat interesting links. People who dare can filter through the less-awesome-ness. Then if it gets enough favorites, maybe that link gets highlighted somewhere?

It seems like some interesting links are just inherently too weak. Also it seems like sometimes something interesting happens after the start of a relevant existing thread--but the new bit will never be seen because the thread is off the front page.

Please forgive me if there's already a mechanism for dealing with this situation. (Or if this isn't a "situation" to anyone but me!)
posted by jefficator to Feature Requests at 8:48 AM (73 comments total)

For instance: In hindsight, this post I made was way, way too weak for FPP.
posted by jefficator at 8:51 AM on November 12, 2009


There are a number of mechanisms. The most common are:

1) Don't post it.
2) GYOB.
3) Email it to everyone in your contact list.
4) Make a MetaTalk post about it.

It looks like you've already succeeded at finding the secret Back Page! Huzzah!
posted by Plutor at 8:51 AM on November 12, 2009


Maybe we need a completely different, but affiliated, website for that stuff. Mehtafilter: kind of okay stuff on the web
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:52 AM on November 12, 2009 [46 favorites]


Metafilter is not Fark. We do not need TotalFilter.
posted by dersins at 8:52 AM on November 12, 2009


I sometimes post random links I like but aren't really FPP material into random threads that may or may not be related to the link in question.

This Ruby programmer has written about how he was shot in a botched robbery.
posted by chunking express at 8:54 AM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


isn't this what Metachat.org is for?
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


isn't this what Metachat.org is for?

Ah. I didn't know about that. Still learning :-)
posted by jefficator at 9:04 AM on November 12, 2009


Metafilter is serious business.
posted by owtytrof at 9:04 AM on November 12, 2009


srsly.
posted by The Whelk at 9:06 AM on November 12, 2009


Everyone knows the back page is strictly for sex ads.
posted by heyho at 9:16 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The back page is for making stunt posts that have oddly worded hidden messages when you fold them in.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:23 AM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I only want the best for my Metafilter; no random backdoor traffic please.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:23 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cool!

*singing*
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger . . .

Note to self: read more careful-like.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:24 AM on November 12, 2009


Awesome. It already exists!
Check out Fark.
posted by special-k at 9:24 AM on November 12, 2009


no random backdoor traffic please.

That sound you hear is about a thousand people physically restraining their typing hand.
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 AM on November 12, 2009 [17 favorites]


I am... a back page man.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:27 AM on November 12, 2009


Joe, you always were an outlier
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on November 12, 2009


I'm your back page man
The men don't know
But the little girls understand
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:29 AM on November 12, 2009


Goddammit.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:29 AM on November 12, 2009


This is really the sort of thing that your own blog could be for. There are a few spin off sites that aren't where I'd put weak links per se, but if you had a link that was really more geared towards political filter or sportsfilter it could go there. This really isn't something we want to build a mechanism for on MeFi but there are other ways that already exist to share links with MeFites besides the front page. You could even repurpose your profile page to do this if you wanted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:30 AM on November 12, 2009


The Whelk: "That sound you hear is about a thousand people physically restraining their typing hand"

Why hold backdoor?
posted by iamkimiam at 9:31 AM on November 12, 2009


As noted above, there are already numerous "back pages." There's Metachat. There's MonkeyFilter. There's your blog, which your profile links to. And you've already posted the link to MetaTalk, which has surely garnered more traffic than a new official back page section would have.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:31 AM on November 12, 2009


Could we have a Mad magazine fold-in back page, though?
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:35 AM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Lots of good idea. I actually didn't know about fark. My arc of website knowledge is oddly skewed.
posted by jefficator at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2009


Let's discuss what 'filter' means.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:44 AM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I would like there to be a sidebar for single-link youtube posts, and single link self-explanatory posts. Things that don't need explanation, and may not generate interesting commentary. However, there are lots and lots of places on the web where this sort of single link goodness can be found. I'm just too lazy to look.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 AM on November 12, 2009


For instance: In hindsight, this post I made was way, way too weak for FPP.

I looked at that news of the U2/Berlin debacle and considered posting about it, but decided, nah, too weak ... unless I backed it up with a bunch of historical references but even they felt weak (ie: we all know how big U2 are, we all know about the Wall coming down in 1989, we all know how annoying MTV is).

And yet, I'm glad you did post it, because there was some useful discussion and, more importantly, a notable blip of relevant POP culture was NOTED on MeFi, and as such is in the archives. Which, I guess, gets me agreeing with your basic idea of some kind of mechanism for BPPs.

Why not?
posted by philip-random at 9:51 AM on November 12, 2009


Philip-random, I feel like you're hearing what I'm saying. I guess maybe the original gizmodo link I offered here was not a good example of my point--it just happened to be what set the wheels in motion that had originally started turning back when I made the Berlin post.

Basically is seems like every day there are a LOT of single-link posts. It also seems like more than a few get deleted as being not-right-for-metafilter. I haven't followed every single discussion here, but it often sometimes seems as though a big chunk of the stuff that DOES end up as FPP makes the mods--and many users--cringe.

I guess my thought was that maybe if there were a separate mechanism for posting the questionable, single-linky stuff, then the quality of the front page would be inherently improved.

But listening to everyone, I do find the assertion that this mechanism would be exploited in order to post absolute crap to be a compelling argument.
posted by jefficator at 9:56 AM on November 12, 2009


isn't this what Metachat.org is for?

I don't really read Metachat, but my understanding is that they don't really like to be seen as / used as metafilter's table scraps.
posted by inigo2 at 9:57 AM on November 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


However, there are lots and lots of places on the web where this sort of single link goodness can be found. I'm just too lazy to look.

this, to me, argues in favor of what jefficator is proposing.

Let's discuss what 'filter' means.

It means, separate the good from the bad, the interesting from the dull, the relevant from the trivial ... doesn't it? Does something need to be dense, complex, SERIOUS to thus qualify? Of course not. And, as the quote up top suggests, none of us has enough time to do ALL of our own filtering. So, why not have a mechanism that allows for NOT ignoring the "blips" ... for lack of a better word.

I can even see it functioning as a sort of, "here's an idea" page. That is, "here's a cool bit of something I just stumbled upon; anybody else have the energy to turn it into a proper FPP?"
posted by philip-random at 9:58 AM on November 12, 2009


MetaChat has its own flavor. It's not really for also-ran stuff from MeFi but a certain subsection of the weird news/cute animal stuff that goes on in a limited amount over here is also appropriate over there. Like any site, get a feel for it, it's a place here a lot of MeFites and others hang out with a different tone, style and purpose.

Really the other stuff needs to go Not on MetaFilter. We're wary of feature-creep. The site doesn't have to be everything to everyone, and some of the neater sub-communities have spring up because MeFi wasn't really right for their brand of exploration. That's a good thing in my personal opinion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:01 AM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's always going to be more not-so-best than best. Why should we carve out a space on our own beautiful green (and blue) lawn for the rise of mediocrity?
posted by iamkimiam at 10:15 AM on November 12, 2009


The site doesn't have to be everything to everyone

This is a fair response to most MetaTalk pony requests.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:15 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, that response is so typical of the illiberal state of affairs in reactionary left wing contemporary circles.
posted by Kwine at 10:15 AM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think you mean The Illiberal State Of Affairs In Reactionary Left Wing Contemporary Circles.
posted by item at 10:17 AM on November 12, 2009


Personally, I find jessamyn's response satisfying. I'll crank up my own internal "Is that REALLY the best of the web?" filter and be the better for it!
posted by jefficator at 10:17 AM on November 12, 2009


TISOAIRLWCC: The taste of a new generation!
posted by Kwine at 10:22 AM on November 12, 2009


No.

Also, the back page is for sports. Fuckin' Mets.
posted by languagehat at 10:28 AM on November 12, 2009


philip-random: Does something need to be dense, complex, SERIOUS to thus qualify?

I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:30 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


we shall call it... metafiltrate.
posted by boo_radley at 10:34 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Then if it gets enough favorites, maybe that link gets highlighted somewhere?"

That already happens here.
posted by espire at 10:39 AM on November 12, 2009


As someone mentioned, there's http://www.monkeyfilter.com/
posted by yeti at 10:52 AM on November 12, 2009


Also, the back page is for sports. Fuckin' Mets.

Don't they usually squeeze minor league baseball into a single column on one of the inside pages?
posted by inigo2 at 11:02 AM on November 12, 2009


Delicious?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:02 AM on November 12, 2009


Scrumptious.
posted by gman at 11:03 AM on November 12, 2009


So, um, am I the only one who read chungking express's link? Because it's actually quite good. So you should, y'know, read it, maybe. And then explain to me why that example wouldn't be FPP-worthy. Because, whoosh.

Whoosh.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:05 AM on November 12, 2009


I don't think this should be implemented as suggested, but I also don't think it's a bad idea to chew on a bit.

What about a place on your profile page that you can just kind of use as a notepad for links -- you can drop links that aren't FPP worthy, but are interesting to you personally.

And then have another catch-all page that just shows the most recent links posted to people's profile pages-- you could even show it for your contacts in the contacts side bar. No votes, no comments or anything.

Just thinking out loud. I don't think there's a burning need for it, but for people that want more meta and less filter, I can see it as being a fun addition.
posted by empath at 11:13 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


While you're mentioning things for the profile--and this is not a pony request, more like a greasemonkey request--I wish there were something that told you stuff like which users favorited you most often, which users you favorite most often, etc.
posted by jefficator at 11:23 AM on November 12, 2009


> Don't they usually squeeze minor league baseball into a single column on one of the inside pages?

Flagged as Yankee Fan.
posted by languagehat at 11:30 AM on November 12, 2009


What about a place on your profile page that you can just kind of use as a notepad for links -- you can drop links that aren't FPP worthy, but are interesting to you personally.

I'd imagine they could do this by including a delicious feed -- like the current Twitter feeds.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:31 AM on November 12, 2009


I don't really read Metachat, but my understanding is that they don't really like to be seen as / used as metafilter's table scraps.

I've always thought the touchiness some Mechazens have about this a bit odd. The site is supposedly for "topics that may not belong on MetaFilter." But when people suggest that a topic that doesn't belong on MetaFilter might belong on MetaChat, there has often been a bit of a negative reaction to that.

Meanwhile, some people are discussing on MetaChat why they think the site is "dying." Many seem to want to blame drama or moderator inattention driving away individual users, but in my mind there is a simple reason for why the site is less active than it was. Some people will always move on and stop patronizing a community. This almost always happens, and the reasons for it are relatively unimportant. What is more important is whether they are replaced by new community members. And at MetaChat there's nothing to draw in new members. Originally a big part of the draw was that MetaFilter went down a lot, but now that is fixed, so people don't need an alternate hangout spot for that reason. Yet we see people who have ideas for posts that would be perfectly fine under MeCha guidelines being pushed away because they were originally thought of, and then rejected, as MeFi posts.

So personally I would ignore those who are sensitive about MetaChat being used for this sort of thing, and would at the same time urge those people to be less sensitive. I'm not saying their attitude is even majorly responsible for the state of affairs at MetaChat, but it doesn't help. At this point, almost any reason to post to MetaChat is a good one.
posted by grouse at 11:36 AM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


While you're mentioning things for the profile--and this is not a pony request, more like a greasemonkey request--I wish there were something that told you stuff like which users favorited you most often, which users you favorite most often, etc.

There was a whole MeTa thread about this actually. Basically it was a massive database of favorite and commenting info and FishBike had done some pretty cool user-by-user analysis
posted by scrutiny at 11:48 AM on November 12, 2009


My man Eric Johnson does an incredible cover of "My Back Pages." Just thought you should know.
posted by jbickers at 11:50 AM on November 12, 2009


I could see this idea being exploited by self-promoters if they thought that it was an "anything goes" are where the normal rules don't apply. I seem to recall reading that the moderators spend a relatively large chunk of their time keeping an eye out for self-promoters, so they would have to spend proportionately more effort there to keep things in line. Remember, too, that self-promotion doesn't necessarily mean commercial either -- if you spend any time on digg or reddit you know that lots of regular bloggers submit their own posts there; they just want more traffic, they don't have a particular pitch to sell or anything. So it's not like it would be obvious which links are self-promoters. At that point you've really failed as a filter if you allow that kind of bullshit.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:04 PM on November 12, 2009


It means, separate the good from the bad, the interesting from the dull, the relevant from the trivial ... doesn't it?

Yes, yes, and no, respectively.

Good, interesting, trivial links are welcome on the blue. It seems to me jefficator was asking more about mediocre, meh, trivial links.

(And FWIW, I think chunking express's link would be fine as a FPP.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:25 PM on November 12, 2009


Set up a Twitter list?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:48 PM on November 12, 2009


As proven by this post, Mefites can endlessly discuss internet minutiae. Why should links be any different?

1 LINK, 1 POST, 1 SNARK (That's the Metafilter way!)
posted by blue_beetle at 12:51 PM on November 12, 2009


What part of Best of the web is unclear?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:57 PM on November 12, 2009


Is this mythical back page a place where I could post Instant Chewbacca?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:03 PM on November 12, 2009


I never read the sports section.
posted by Elmore at 1:10 PM on November 12, 2009


Just echoing grouse's suggestion that links you find interesting but maybe not right for MeFi would likely be of interest to MetaChat users.
posted by Miko at 1:49 PM on November 12, 2009


I don't think this is such a bad idea, but I am so so so thankful for the mods' resistance to feature creep, that I tend to say DEFINITELY NOT unless it's a mind-blowingly pumpkin-smashingly amazingly awesome idea. Which, I'd say, this is not.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:53 PM on November 12, 2009


metafilter.reddit.com, sort of? But with less 4chan and more snark?
posted by effbot at 1:54 PM on November 12, 2009


Second-best of the Web?
posted by brain_drain at 2:32 PM on November 12, 2009


So personally I would ignore those who are sensitive about MetaChat being used for this sort of thing, and would at the same time urge those people to be less sensitive. I'm not saying their attitude is even majorly responsible for the state of affairs at MetaChat, but it doesn't help. At this point, almost any reason to post to MetaChat is a good one.
Any and all are welcome at MetaChat. While I would hate to have it seen as a dumping ground for links that are 'not good enough' for MeFi, there is lots of stuff that is not suitable for MeFi for various reasons and those links (or, you know, conversation starters without links are fine too - a link is not mandatory to start a thread there) are welcome. Personally, my sensitivity around the way people sometimes refer to MeCha here is more to do with not wanting it to be portrayed as part of MetaFilter - it came from MeFi, but it's not of MeFi and is not associated apart from having a large amount of cross-membership, but twith a much more mellow vibe. This means that people will understand your stupid in-jokes, but won't call you a fucking moronic redneck arsehole because they disagree with your opinion.

MeCha has been in somewhat of a slump lately, but the renaissance is well under way, so feel free to wander over and say hi any time, whether you have links or not. While it may not boast all the best links of the Web, it certainly has the best people of the Web.
posted by dg at 3:09 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


If it's not good enough to post on the normal site, it's not good enough for Metafilter.
Post it in a comment in a relevant thread or don't post it at all.

Basically, on the front page it's (A) Awesome or (B) GTFO.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:35 PM on November 12, 2009


I actually like this idea. It'd be a good place fir all those fucking SLYT posts.

I mean, really, I fucking hate those things.
posted by slogger at 3:48 PM on November 12, 2009


meta|talk        |        back|chat
  wa|tchfully we |make our poi|nts
   y|apping      |       carib|ou
posted by chrismear at 4:15 AM on November 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: a notable blip was NOTED, and as such is in the archives.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:26 AM on November 13, 2009


jefficator: While you're mentioning things for the profile--and this is not a pony request, more like a greasemonkey request--I wish there were something that told you stuff like which users favorited you most often, which users you favorite most often, etc.

scrutiny: There was a whole MeTa thread about this actually. Basically it was a massive database of favorite and commenting info and FishBike had done some pretty cool user-by-user analysis

And I'm still happy to run the queries and send the results by MeFiMail to anybody who wants to see their stats.
posted by FishBike at 6:10 AM on November 13, 2009


What part of Best of the web is unclear?

The "of" part.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:49 AM on November 13, 2009


I like it.
posted by unSane at 7:19 PM on November 14, 2009


I think of it as a less geeky version of Slashdot's firehose.
posted by unSane at 7:20 PM on November 14, 2009


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