Shilling on MeFi February 24, 2002 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Lame, lame, lame. Something just occured to me, and it is worth mentioning. thebwit is the guy that owns the domain bigblogtool and is a big supporter of his pal ruzz' creation. In the previous thread, he poo-poo'd Blogger Pro to hype BigBlogTool, which I called him on, but it turns out he doesn't run the service. Now, he posts a thread about hacking a competing product, greymatter. Ruzz says it's a good post, and shits on the community while doing it. I know this time around, they're not working together to openly push BBT, but they are dissing greymatter in arguably the biggest weblog community they could. And look, here's the same post, but with a plug for BigBlogTool. thebwit also used the ever-impartial WeblogReview to post about the hack, and conveniently the footer of every message reminds all that the post was made with BBT.

Here's a tip ruzz and thebwit, don't use MetaFilter to shill your product or shit on your competitors, and your current marketing practices are a bit transparent, to say the least.
posted by mathowie to General Weblog-Related at 9:37 AM (60 comments total)

In case anyone wonders what my motivations are, I'll be open about it: their incredible concern for greymatter users seemed just a tad fake, and shitting on the community got me wondering about why ruzz would go out of his way to defend his pal. I checked around, and I think the evidence is pretty clear.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:47 AM on February 24, 2002


Quick fix on those links Skippy.

I basically ignored that thread becaused it sounded fishy to start with.
posted by bjgeiger at 9:50 AM on February 24, 2002


It irks me that they think they could get away with it. It's quite pathetic. Not to be too harsh, but parasites are so teeny-weeny...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:52 AM on February 24, 2002


Mathowie - The purpose of my post to Metafilter was NOT to bash Grey Matter's product. If that was my goal, then I would have just posted the link to the hack without the link to the fix and I would have pushed another product.

I am a supporter of BBT, which is what I use to post to my weblog and to TWR. However, a lot of my friends sites use grey matter, and a lot of the sites that have been reviewed by TWR use grey matter. And to top that off, after many posts about MT and Blogger pro here on MeFi, a fair number of people mentioned they use GM, I figured that they needed to know.

Metafilter gets 10X the traffic of TWR, and probably has more of a GM base than TWR based on those numbers. What the hell is wrong with posting the security issue? Had it been someone else who posted this security issue it wouldn't have been a problem you say?

And then your claim for my post with a plug for BBT on Blog Control is so whack. Every time I mentioned BBT on there, I mentioned Blogger. I don't see you complaining that I was pushing Blogger on there. I want you to tell me the exact phrase on that story for the GM hack on Blog Control where I plugged BBT? At the very end I said, "I guess this chalks up another point for the web style tool on which is a better one. " That is my only plug. I didn't mention BBT nor Blogger, nor any of them on there.

Maybe, just maybe you think that I am some half brained idiot who doesn't know what they are doing. But please tell me how I am "dissing greymatter in arguably the biggest weblog community they could" when all I posted was the hack, and the fix? Never did I mention that GM was a bad product, nor did I mention that another product was a better one in that post.

I agree with Ruzz's statement about how people sit on mefi and look for a way to find a flaw in someone's post. Mefi used to be about the web community, but now there is no community feal to it if anyone who comes in and posts something will be insulted. I wouldn't call mefi a community anymore, instead I would just call it a big group weblog as that is what the political aspect has turned mefi into.
posted by thebwit at 10:03 AM on February 24, 2002


"...there is no community feal to it..."

Perhaps taking advantage of BloggerPro's spell check might be a good thing, dahling.

And may I take this opportunity to point you to my superior weblog, which is better than all the other A-list weblogs out there! And if you criticize me for this blatant self-promotion, it's because you've been corrupted by MeFi's lameness.

Please, boys. We see your game.
posted by evanizer at 10:12 AM on February 24, 2002


What the hell is wrong with posting the security issue? Had it been someone else who posted this security issue it wouldn't have been a problem you say?

As was noted by several posters, it is very dangerous to post a link to "how to hack greymatter" on a public forum. It would have been fine to say there is a hack (but no link to it), and here is the fix (with link). If you look in the archives of MetaFilter, I'm sure you'll find plenty of IE exploits, without any links to how to take advantage of all IE users. Since you're so tightly intertwined with BBT, I think I have a right to question your motivations. So yeah, if it were someone else posting it, I wouldn't have a problem, and if that person made your post exactly as is, they would have been questioned as to why they posted a direct link to a how-to about the hack.

And then your claim for my post with a plug for BBT on Blog Control is so whack. Every time I mentioned BBT on there, I mentioned Blogger. I don't see you complaining that I was pushing Blogger on there.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but you still own BigBlogTool.com, the domain, and Ruzz is a personal friend of yours. I don't care if you pimp Blogger because you have no vested interest. It seems like you have a vested interest in BBT.

I want you to tell me the exact phrase on that story for the GM hack on Blog Control where I plugged BBT? At the very end I said, "I guess this chalks up another point for the web style tool on which is a better one. " That is my only plug

How about this:
"Are the web style tools like BBT and Blogger safer to use than the server side tools?

My guess, and this is only a guess, but it is that yes."

Sounds like a direct plug in response to greymatter scare feelings you just drummed up, doesn't it? Am I wrong here?

But please tell me how I am "dissing greymatter in arguably the biggest weblog community they could"

My links show you used two sites to spread the word about this, then you came here to do the same, but thankfully omitted the direct BBT stuff. It seems like you really, really wanted everyone to know about the greymatter hack, and you're very close to BBT. If Evhead, jason shellen, or anyone from blogger posted a link about the hack, I'd have the same problem with it.

I agree with Ruzz's statement about how people sit on mefi and look for a way to find a flaw in someone's post. Mefi used to be about the web community, but now there is no community feal to it if anyone who comes in and posts something will be insulted.

Mefi used to be about finding interesting links on the web that people have no vested interest in. They didn't shill for their products or hype their friends, they just posted their opinions on things. If you and ruzz feel like you've been treated badly, it's only because I think you guys have been behaving badly on the site. I refuse to let tool vendors hawk their products here, it cheapens the whole place.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:15 AM on February 24, 2002


Wow. It seems like blogging software has now entered the "mainstream".
posted by DaRiLo at 10:41 AM on February 24, 2002


For what it's worth, thebwit, I think you handled the spreading of news in a better way on the other two sites you posted it. You state there is a hack, and how to fix it, without calling attention to exactly how to hack someone's site. Why did you add that in the metafilter post?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:07 AM on February 24, 2002


In any case, people posting here should state their interests and personal involvement. 99,9% of us know nothing about who owns what on the Internet and we assume that others post in good faith; don't pimp; and, when they share stuff, they do it just because.

This makes MetaFilter very easy to abuse and it shouldn't take being called out, by matthowie no less(as if he hasn't got better things to do), to cough up the relevant disclosures.

My own two cents: just as self-links are not allowed in posts and not encouraged in comments, issues which bear directly on one's professional life should also be forbidden forthwith. They foster suspicion and mistrust.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2002


Well said Miguel.

Hyperthetical question. If someone worked for a company and had inside information which they think would be of public interest (for example if someone at Enron had decided to blow the whistle here), would it be ethical to post it on Metafilter if they had a relevant link?
posted by feelinglistless at 2:19 PM on February 24, 2002


just as self-links are not allowed in posts and not encouraged in comments ...

Self-links are often OK in comments. From the guidelines: "it's ok to link to your own things as comments in threads, if it adds to the discussion and/or saves space because you're written a reply elsewhere."
posted by rcade at 2:26 PM on February 24, 2002


feelinglistless, If an enron employee posted a link saying "look at our newest offering" or "we're not guilty and here is why" there is definitely a conflict of interest. If they wanted to blow the whistle with insider knowledge, they certainly could (there have been links to fuckedcompany.com board postings here before), as it wouldn't necessarily be benefiting the employee's company in any way.

That's what I would hope to prevent, the lapses in judgment because someone benefits from what they say. Everyone has some tiny bias, we all have our personal favorites, and maybe things like Tivos or iPods get talked up here somewhere on the site, but I would hope not a single person talking up a device directly benefits from making their statements (by improving the brand image, getting the word out among peers, etc.). If a single Tivo employee was posting "rah rah tivo rocks!" messages here, and not disclosing their involvement, there is no reason to trust what they say has merit. Unchecked, there's no reason to believe anything anyone has to say.

posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:27 PM on February 24, 2002


While I was glad thebwit posted that little bit of info so I could check my blog to see if it was secure (it is), it strikes me as disingenuous when he waxes nostalgic about the good old days of the Metafilter community when he registered here less than a month ago.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:30 PM on February 24, 2002


Sorry. It's also matthowie and mdistrust, isn't it?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:30 PM on February 24, 2002


I agree with Miguel in principle, but I think we'd lose a lot if people with insider knowledge of something couldn't post at all. Instead, I think the journalistic rule makes sense: if you have an interest in something, disclose it. If you don't disclose it, we every right to suspect you of dishonesty.
posted by rodii at 2:31 PM on February 24, 2002


Well, wait a minute. This guy wasn't being dishonest, just because he might have had an agenda. He did get the word out, and I'm sure some people benefitted from it, even had his motives not been completely pure.
posted by crunchland at 2:39 PM on February 24, 2002


I sit here and read this thread and can only shake my head. I'm curious how my name and my product got dragged into some supposedly underhanded scheme here.

I have never flogged bbt on metafilter. I have never made any attempts but to be honest and upfront. When there was confusion over the domain name i emailed matt directly to explain the situation to him. In fact, I am a metafilter supporter in that I have paid for adverstising here.

I never directed brent to do anything on my behalf. But at the same time I dont feel he acted out of line in bringing the hole to light. Which is why I spoke up to the effect in the original thread.

I did not shit on the community, I simply stated my opinion as a relative newcomer to it. When every single word you speak is dissected for errors and every thing you do is suspected to be part of sinister plan to flog my goods is it any wonder I feel a bit put off by the responses I get.

At the end of the day the only person that knows my intentions is me and I don't care how successful metafilter has been for you matt; it doesnt give you the right to infer my intent. I have behaved responsibly and with good faith and being accused of anything less offends me.

Not that it matters. Just another flaming thread right? I've nothing to prove here. I just wanted it clear that I was not involved in any plan or scheme to promote my wares.

Some good business advice for you matt:

When you think you know what someone is doing, why not ask them directly rather than being a rabblerouser. You have lost any business you would get from me, further you have lost any referral I would send you. May not matter to you right now but I suspect one day it might.

If anyone has handled this poorly its you. You offended a potential business partner (in advertising) and you offended an individual who tries to live his life with character.

Its ridiculous.
posted by ruzz at 2:47 PM on February 24, 2002


who did the word need to get out to? did noah not email all of his users with the information already? they are the *only* ones who need to know about the issue.


posted by rebeccablood at 2:52 PM on February 24, 2002


You have lost any business you would get from me, further you have lost any referral I would send you. May not matter to you right now but I suspect one day it might.


This says it all. Yuck!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:55 PM on February 24, 2002


What does it say miguel?
posted by ruzz at 2:56 PM on February 24, 2002


Some points to be made here.
It seems like you really, really wanted everyone to know about the greymatter hack
Yes I wanted people to know there was a hack and a fix.

You state there is a hack, and how to fix it, without calling attention to exactly how to hack someone's site
Wrong, on Blog Control I posted exactly how to do the hack without the link. Even worse than posting a link on how to do it, I posted how to do it.

You said that Are the web style tools like BBT and Blogger safer to use than the server side tools? that was a plug for BBT. If you actually read the purpose of Blog Control, it is to make people think about the way they weblog. Look at other posts like freedom to blog, popularity being a good thing, and why we weblog I write about things in the weblog world on Blog Control to make people think about it. Not to just generalize weblogs.

You say that I shouldn't have posted the link to how to hack GM sites because if I did a search for all the IE breaches, people just posted a security fix. However, I have seen many posts with a format of Problem and Solution. That is the format I adopted for this post.

I agree with you on one aspect, that the first comment that I made about the blogger pro did come off as a pure promotion even though that wasn't my goal.

The purpose of me posting the grey matter hack was not to discredit GM, but to inform the users of GM about their security flaw.

MegoSteve: I have been reading MeFi for well over 9 months now. The sign up was always closed on MeFi and it wasn't until I asked Matt if there was a way to sign up with it being down as I saw the number of people increase. That is why I only signed up over a month ago.

I am through with MeFi as I know where I am not wanted. In my opinion matt, you could have handled this situation a little bit better. Rather than go around telling half truths, you could have asked me what my intent was. I said it before, and I will say it again: it was just to let the GM people know about a possible problem. I have a hard time believing that your intention here was to do anything but turn down a reader, and an advertiser.
posted by thebwit at 3:03 PM on February 24, 2002


Rebecca, to the best of my knowledge, no one beyond the regular readers of the Greymatter message boards (which have moved twice since I began my blog in spring of last year) was notifed about the Greymatter gmreg issue.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:14 PM on February 24, 2002


ruzz and thebwit, I think you're right, I probably should have handled this via email (as I think the greymatter hack should have been handled), though after noticing the post this morning, then the two subsequent posts on other sites, it looked to me like a bit of a smear campaign of greymatter. I'm probably projecting a bit here, based on your first comment here thebwit, but I really think it was a bad idea to post a link on how to search google and get someone's password to thousands of people. If you left that part out, and someone posted it as a comment, I'm sure it would have raised the same concerns for people's privacy and security.

Honestly, I think running blogcontrol and weblogreview are going to be problems since you guys are involved in making and building a tool. In much the same way the weblog community reacted negatively to when one day weblogs.com turned into a giant list of mostly Radio test blogs, it's hard for a community service to be both intimately tied to a vendor, and impartial to everyone else at the same time.

As for metafilter's demise, I think brent's debut here is why "New commentors are flamed to hell and back" for not disclosing interest.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:31 PM on February 24, 2002


So I'm guilty by association then. That sounds fair. You're right.. what was i thinking being offended.
posted by ruzz at 3:36 PM on February 24, 2002


Ruzz: I assume that was an honest question. To an outsider like me it says "if you had played your cards right, Matt, and turned a blind eye to my little promotion, I would send a little business your way."

It sounds "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". But it forgets that MetaFilter isn't a business - in fact it's a gift to us users - and that the person you're treating as a businessman is in fact a very conscientious individual who actually weighs each and every textad he receives; even though they cover nothing like the cost of MetaFilter; never mind his time and white hairs.

Matt is one of us; not a business crony you can talk over our heads to. By saying "Now I'll never help you make any money" you sound vengeful and disrespect all of us.
I can imagine there was no harm intended, that it was all a "web solidarity" thing but from your words the opposite impression, Mafia-like even, comes across.

It was insulting to Matt, to MetaFilter and I believe to you yourself. I say this in all honesty, not knowing you from anywhere, and believing you made a mistake, as all of us do. Otherwise, why would you ask?

If you'd accept the rules here and recognized that it's not our site to play around with, it would help. But your words lead me to fear you think you were probably doing us a favour by selling us your stuff, whatever it is. And, believe me, no one cares(or wants to know) what it is. >You are much more important, in every way. If it were only you; that is...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:43 PM on February 24, 2002


It was insulting to Matt, to MetaFilter and I believe to you yourself

Well Miguel, ruzz has every right to feel I had done the same thing, by making him guilty by association. Sorry about that ruzz. It was presumptious and unfair to him.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:47 PM on February 24, 2002


well ruzz, i guess you can keep the slap on the back. but i wonder what exploits will be found in BBT...?
posted by quonsar at 3:59 PM on February 24, 2002


Fair enough for me Matt. I respect what you've done with metafilter. I really do. I also respect the apology and I feel a whole lot better about the whole thing.

I realize the challenges you must face in protecting your enviroment are many and I realize you and I have only had a bit of interaction and as a result you have no idea whether what looks like something is something. I can appreciate that.

If you ever wonder about anything I'm involved in feel free to email me.

For my part in this, I apologize for getting a bit angered by it all. It's difficult for me to accept people thinking I'm being underhanded when I've spent a great deal of my life trying to be an honest stand up guy. But thats my issue not yours.

That said, given the apology and the screwy nature of how all this mushroomed I think my role in the talk is done. I will say this in closing:

It takes character to apologize if one has made a mistake. I respect you for that matt.
posted by ruzz at 4:00 PM on February 24, 2002


Ok, I need to get some things straightened out here. I run Blog Control and TWR. Those are my sites. Ruzz's involvement with TWR is that of an admin along with 3 other people. He also has an account at Blog Control to post, which anyone can do if they sign up.

I have zero, zilch, nada involvement with BBT. I am a happy customer of BBT and noticed the domain wasn't registered. I bought it so someone else wouldn't come along and buy it and then screw over my blogging tool of choice. To clarify for those who don't understand. Ruzz runs, owns, controls, does everything for BBT. I don't have any say in what goes on with BBT. I just use the service and let people know that I use it, just like people of Blogger let their readers know they use Blogger.

Also, Ruzz never promoted his site - I promoted his site. I am the one who said, why not try out BBT for cheaper. It was me, and only me. Ruzz never said anything about another product, nor did he even say hey come on over to BBT. All he said was that he runs it as a clarification to everyone on the original thread. Again, I promoted a service that I used which I shouldn't have done without first saying that I use it.

Again to sum up, I made the mistakes that ruzz is being blamed for. Why people are attacking him I don't know.
posted by thebwit at 4:02 PM on February 24, 2002


Quonsar,

Like all software there are bound to be some holes that will be found. It just the nature of things. There are some malicious people out there no question about it.

I've done my best to protect my users, as noah has, and as ev did & does...
posted by ruzz at 4:05 PM on February 24, 2002


Has anyone else noticed how visibly busy on Meta Matt's been today? I've always said that it's alright being brought up by the nanny, but they're really no substitute for good parenting. A steady hand my father always said, a steady hand from the man of the house and a kind word from the woman. Of course that was back in the old days when you could leave your front door open. None of these new fangled electronic machines either -- email? We were happy for two polystyrene cups tied together with string. Computer games? All you've need is a long street and a leather ball, or a shopping trolley and a steep hill. And then there where the air raids ...
posted by feelinglistless at 4:34 PM on February 24, 2002


who is this brent dude?
posted by brent at 4:52 PM on February 24, 2002


who is this brent dude?

That would be me.
posted by thebwit at 4:55 PM on February 24, 2002


You have lost any business you would get from me, further you have lost any referral I would send you. May not matter to you right now but I suspect one day it might.

Perhaps it's just me, but this statement really smacks of "When I grow up, you will pay for what you've done to me! You'll see!!" Are you honestly expecting BigBlogTool to achieve world domination, even to the point where Mr. Haughey will rue the day when he crossed you and your $10/year textad?

I think they call that 'Delusions of Grandeur', ruzz.
posted by Danelope at 5:15 PM on February 24, 2002


I think they call that 'Delusions of Grandeur', ruzz

Argument's over, Danelope. No reason to fan the flames.
posted by Optamystic at 5:24 PM on February 24, 2002


I agree its over but i will clarify.

The computer industry is a small place and the web side of it is a smaller small place. What I intended was that where there was a respect once, it was gone, and should we ever cross paths I wouldnt go out of my way to harm him, but i wouldnt go out of my way to help him either. Small world means you cross paths a lot.

I have no grand plans for bbt. It does what itand does and it does it well enough. If people use it and like it great. Ive never claimed it to be the panacea of web tools. It isnt.

Im one business person doing many things, its a common trait amongst web people. Just as I would advise matt not to unfairly judge me, I wouldnt want to unfairly judge you danelope because who knows when we might be useful to one another down the road. I have no idea what your capable of and you have no idea what I'm capable of. And aside from all the stuff going on here we may share many interests and have insights for one another that help each other along.

That, IMHO, is the essence of community.
posted by ruzz at 5:38 PM on February 24, 2002


That, IMHO, is the essence of community.

or hollywood.
posted by rebeccablood at 5:59 PM on February 24, 2002


I assumed my comments would be taken in the context I meant them. but you know what happens when you assume :P
posted by ruzz at 6:03 PM on February 24, 2002


rebeccablood: heard that ;)
posted by bingo at 6:20 PM on February 24, 2002


Ruzz, you're networking even now. Shame on you.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:20 PM on February 24, 2002


it's not a community, it's a big group weblog

i can't figure out the distinction here (every community has be a group something first & foremost). and from what i can make of it, "big weblog" seems more in line with my understanding of what this place is supposed to be anyway.
posted by danOstuporStar at 6:55 PM on February 24, 2002


hmmm... back to the subject at hand...

the ethics of disclosing security vulnerabilities has been the subject of much debate recently (or semi-recently, anyway)...
posted by sad_otter at 7:06 PM on February 24, 2002


(every community has be a group something first & foremost)

well, i hate to be asinine but arent we a group of humans first? and as such have some basic commonhood? I suspect if you followed it up the ladder there would be many more joining factors.
posted by ruzz at 7:14 PM on February 24, 2002


group of humans != community. the word community exists for a reason. it is used to describe a specific group of humans linked by a common factor.
posted by eyeballkid at 7:37 PM on February 24, 2002


if you hate to be asinine, ruzz, then why become the thing you hate? what point does your follow to my question make? it looks to me like a lame attempt to win an aurgument on some goofy technicality.

i do not wish to pile on thebwit and you, and i understand you may be feeling a bit defensive right now. i'm just curious why you see this 'big group weblog' failing as 'community' and why you think it even purports to be a community over a group weblog anyway. a simple query.

if you do not have an answer, fine. just ignore it. there is no need to try and belittle every person here individually. believe me, you will tire very quickly and takes all the fun out of being a member here.
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:39 PM on February 24, 2002


MetaFilter: group of humans != community. the word community exists for a reason. it is used to describe a specific group of humans linked by a common factor

Common and in common, exactly.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:45 PM on February 24, 2002


I'm not feeling defensive at all. I'm satisfied with the ultimate outcome from Matt and my discussion. To address your question more directly:

I'm not entirely sure where I got the idea that metafilter was a community. I have always viewed it as such. But if we want to get technical we could defer to matt who kindly titles his page

Metafilter | Community Weblog.

Which, i suppose in some sense makes us both correct. That said, what am i missing here? Because it seems like a friendly discussion at this point but I keep getting responses that are quite pointed. I'm not trying to prove anything here, Im not trying to win anything either. I could no sooner change your mind than I could the title on the top of the page..

I take particular curiosity to the idea that I am belittling people? Who are these people and what have I done to belittle them?

The only way you could think I was belittling you is to think I am condescending to you, and if you take a look at the whole of my words it should be pretty clear that I am the NEW guy here. I would have to be pretty crazy to figure I know more about metafilter than you folks do.

I stand by the statement that metafilter is pretty harsh on newbies but thats just my own personal experience.
posted by ruzz at 7:48 PM on February 24, 2002


cool. it is both.

from thebwit's original words and article sid 14 from blogcontrol.com (which i can't seem to load up presently), it seemed to me that "I wouldn't call mefi a community anymore, instead I would just call it a big group weblog" was intended as some sort of slight. a slight i still don't get -- but one which i won't ask for details on yet again :)

yes, i saw yr comment to me as condescending. and yes in my experience as well, metafilter is pretty harsh on newbies. but it's harsh on it's most respected members too. it's harsh, period. statements always read critically. the level of discourse in this community is higher than other i have found on the web. the standards to which posts are held is a big part of that.

yet it's also beer-out-nose-funny sometimes and gets real chummy sometimes too. personally, i find the balance metafilter achieves to be fascinating.
posted by danOstuporStar at 8:33 PM on February 24, 2002


didnt mean to condescend, many apologies. As for the rest of that, maybe thebwit should answer for himself. :)
posted by ruzz at 11:25 PM on February 24, 2002


The reason why I said that I don't see metafilter as a community and I see it as more of a big group weblog is because of the following.

To me a community is a place where anyone who comes in will be welcomed and will not be flamed to death. No matter what the post is about, I see someone always trying to find some flaw in the post, the thought process, why it shouldn't be a FPP, and even harping on people for spelling (see above).

A group weblog doesn't have the welcomeness to it like a community weblog does. A group weblog is just everyone posting what they want to post about and then everyone else can shed their opinion on it, if there is a flaw to be found or what not.

It is a very fine line between the two. I guess the main difference is the welcomeness that is felt when posting a post. If a site seems to have an almost elitist group of people who constantly knock other people just because they can, then that is not a community to me.

That is all I meant by that comment. It doesn't take away from the goal of MeFi at all. It is still a place for people to post links and talk about them which is what matt intended from the begining.
posted by thebwit at 6:34 AM on February 25, 2002


To me a community is a place where anyone who comes in will be welcomed and will not be flamed to death.

No, that is a welcoming community. Welcoming is a characteristic some communities have. Some are not so welcoming. I'm sure if you think about it, you can think of dozens of real-life communities which are not necessarily welcoming of outsiders. Some are so unwelcoming, in fact, that newcomers can be literally flamed to death.
posted by kindall at 7:52 AM on February 25, 2002


who did the word need to get out to? did noah not email all of his users with the information already? they are the *only* ones who need to know about the issue.

You can't rely on vendors to notify customers about a security hole. Some vendors won't ever notify their customers. Some customers won't get the notification.

The approach encouraged on mailing lists such as Bugtraq seems to be the most workable solution: Notify the vendor, give the vendor a reasonable amount of time (two weeks, four, etc.) to correct the problem and notify users, then describe the hole when the time expires.

In this example, the hole was described on MetaFilter two weeks after it was publicized in a weblog (and two weeks after Noah acknowledged that he was getting e-mail about it). Whatever his motivation, thebwit was disclosing information that has been available to many people for several weeks. I don't think there's anything wrong with revealing the hole when he did.
posted by rcade at 8:53 AM on February 25, 2002


com·mu·ni·ty Pronunciation Key (k-myn-t)
n. pl. com·mu·ni·ties

A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government.
The district or locality in which such a group lives.

A group of people having common interests: the scientific community; the international business community.
A group viewed as forming a distinct segment of society: the gay community; the community of color.

Similarity or identity: a community of interests.
Sharing, participation, and fellowship.

I think the bolded line is what thebwit and I are driving at here.
posted by ruzz at 11:34 AM on February 25, 2002


Sharing, participation, and fellowship.

I think the bolded line is what thebwit and I are driving at here.


Matt shared what he suspected was a corporation practicing sneaky, underhanded and doubleplusungood marketing techniques.

You and thebwit participated by defending yourselves. Other users defended the community leader out of a sense of fellowship and thankfulness for what he's created and a respect for the legwork he did.

Seems to fit your criteria, and prove that bolded text online doesn't highlight a point so much as make you seem like a smarmy ass.

What's more communal? Welcoming an apparent threat with open arms, or circling the wagons and getting an all clear?

Just because you're the perceived threat doesn't invalidate the status of MetaFilter as a community, it just means that you're an unknown quality. You're the stranger, communities - especially those that have been abused (and posting here has been abused by people in the past) - are naturally gunshy.

If you're truly looking for welcoming arms, I'd suggest sucking it up, saying "Okay, obviously there's an element to this particular community that I don't quite get yet" and working towards figuring it out.
posted by cCranium at 12:44 PM on February 25, 2002


a smarmy ass?

Do I have to be a known quality to get basic respect from a person? Are we in high school here?
posted by ruzz at 6:53 PM on February 25, 2002


Are we in high school here?

Apparently so to you. I can't imagine anywhere else where the option to squirm, twist and writhe yourself out of a situation by devolving a conversation into an exercise in semantics would be considered viable.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:02 PM on February 25, 2002


Geez, aren't we taking this piling-on thing a little far? Welcome to the community, ruzz.
posted by rodii at 9:25 PM on February 25, 2002


damn. it's chilly in here.
posted by Dean King at 9:43 PM on February 25, 2002


Apparently so to you. I can't imagine anywhere else where the option to squirm, twist and writhe yourself out of a situation by devolving a conversation into an exercise in semantics would be considered viable.

For me the conversation was over when Matt apologized and we emailed each other some friendly words. I reply to a comment by one person for clarification and it starts 3 others down my back.

I think I'm done with this thread.. NEXT?
posted by ruzz at 10:00 PM on February 25, 2002


ruzz, you and matt made your peace, which is the point of the thread and the most important thing you can do here. Some people just can't seem to leave well enough alone. This is a flame war that will go on and on if you let it. If I were you, I would just walk away from the rest of the thread and never look back.
posted by ashbury at 1:40 AM on February 26, 2002


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