Use of MetaTalk for MeFi closed-thread updates. May 1, 2010 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Policy Discussion: Use of MetaTalk for MeFi closed-thread updates.

I think updates to closed posts would be better if posted as new FPPs with links to the original thread, using the [previously] convention, rather than as new threads in MeTa. The reason being that the conversations that stem from these updates don't really have anything to do with Metafilter itself, which I think MeTa is best reserved for.

Thoughts?
posted by modernnomad to Etiquette/Policy at 9:30 AM (81 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I tend to agree, also because I'm sure a lot of people who read the blue never read the gray and won't ever see updates here.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:36 AM on May 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think if it could stand on its own, it goes on the blue with a 'previously'. If it would be thin, or otherwise contentious, the gray is better.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:38 AM on May 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was actually just thinking about making a post about this myself.

Posting to the front page also gives the topic a wider audience.

I also know that occasionally front page posts will get deleted if there's already a MeTa update thread running on the topic; it really seems like it should be the other way around: Close the MeTa thread and keep the FPP, and thus give the information to the larger (and more relevant) audience.

The Blue also tends to have more focused discussions and less in-jokiness, which is also a Good Thing for threads in general, I think.

And, finally, if an update doesn't seem important enough to post to the Blue, it probably isn't important enough to post to the Grey, either. Or they Gray, for that matter.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:38 AM on May 1, 2010


I agree.
posted by infini at 9:49 AM on May 1, 2010


No, will just lead to marginal newsfilter junk on the front page.
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why is it better to have marginal newsfilter junk here?
posted by enn at 9:58 AM on May 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm searching for a problem that needs fixing, and not finding one.
posted by desuetude at 10:00 AM on May 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


I mentioned this in another thread and my feeling is basically threefold

1. if the thread was a substantial thread in MeFi, then a MeTa update makes sense (and a possible "previously" MeFi post)
2. if the thread was not that substantial, then make a new MeFi post if it's the sort of thing that would make a good MeFi post
3. If it's not the sort of thing that would make a good MeFi post, maybe just skip it

I don't mind the glut of updates to MeTa but it doesn't really seem like what MeTa is specifically for.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:00 AM on May 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


How about updates are submitted to the mods for inclusion on the sidebar? Or even a dedicated single-page?
posted by Gyan at 10:03 AM on May 1, 2010


Not a chance. It's not really the sort of thing we want to put ourselves in the middle of, though an update sidebar isn't a terrible idea.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:08 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Could the thread life be extended so that updates can be placed in the original thread?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:30 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, most of these updates could be made into posts to the front page. I've done it once and in retrospect it should've been posted to the Blue.
posted by Kattullus at 10:31 AM on May 1, 2010


Yeah, I think that posting updates to the blue is the way to go and if it's not FPP-worthy, it's not MeTa worthy.

Unless maybe it was one of those threads that had already had a meta call out for one reason or another.
posted by empath at 10:43 AM on May 1, 2010


No, will just lead to marginal newsfilter junk on the front page.

Then flag it as such. I've heard the mods here are pretty good.

I don't mind the glut of updates to MeTa but it doesn't really seem like what MeTa is specifically for.

This whole thing does reflect a sort of flaw in the MetaFilter functioning. That is, there is no clear policy on what happens when an old story suddenly gets fresh again, but maybe not that fresh. Oh well. They say the most beautiful faces always have a flaw.
posted by philip-random at 10:43 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think if it could stand on its own, it goes on the blue with a 'previously'.

I totally agree.

If it would be thin, or otherwise contentious, the gray is better.

This, I disagree with. If it would be thin, it's not worth posting. Seriously, if something's not good enough for a post, it's not good enough for a post.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 10:48 AM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, i can see posting the update to the gray if it was a thread that spawned a bunch of injokes or something largely of interest to 'the regulars' and not so much a general interest thing.
posted by empath at 10:52 AM on May 1, 2010


That is, there is no clear policy on what happens when...

Just to mention, we have almost no clear policies on anything. The idea of having loose guidelines so that things can change when the community changes is more of a feature than a bug.

I think the larger problem is that we've all created something that is very well loved, but it's loved so much that people want it to do things that it wasn't really designed for and/or the mods don't want to support [ability to ask more questions, collaborative workspace, question queue, "jobs wanted" sorts of things] and so when one of those things comes up, like now, there's a discussion about the things people want and not us chiming in to say "No" or "Yes"

More to the point while I have my own opinion on these sorts of things, I'm more interested in taking the site's temperature, so to speak, to try to determine how people feel about this issue generally than tossing down edicts about how this sort of thing should be handled.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:06 AM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think if it could stand on its own, it goes on the blue with a 'previously'. If it would be thin, or otherwise contentious, the gray is better.

This is pretty much my first line metric, yeah, but there's some handwavey bits to the implementation that I feel like we've been seeing cause a little mounting friction lately since we've had a little spate of these things.

Part of the tricky bit is that the usual motivation for a Metatalk update is that the original thread on the blue was the subject of substantial or otherwise notable attention from the community. And that's pretty unambiguously okay in some cases where the update is interesting to folks but isn't really post-worthy material (either because the update info is too thin to really be a good standalone post, or because the nature of the update is kind of inside-baseball stuff really only of interest to mefites).

In cases where the update is good enough for a post—the update is really big news somehow, or there's a really great link that works on its own without needing the previous post(s) as context—it should just go on the front page. We've had a couple people in the last few months do a sort of "I don't know if this is good enough for a post" metatalk trial-run things that aren't really such a good idea, and we've tried to address those at the time. We'll keep at that.

But so the fuzzy part above is that what qualifies as having been "of substantial or otherwise notable attention from the community" is kind of a subjective question, and I think that's where some of the problem comes in. How to decide what does and doesn't qualify there is sort of a mushy situation, and I think we've been erring on the side of permissiveness in general and as Jessamyn said the other day it may be that it's time we swing that pendulum back a bit toward early closure on the stuff that's not so much "here's an update specifically interesting to the mefi community" as it is "here's an update about something that was posted on mefi at one point".

There's the meta-question of whether this is something that will end up needing to be substantially addressed with mod attention in the next short-to-medium while or if what feels like a greater-than-normal number of update posts will just cycle back down on their own anyway. But we'll see what happens.

Like Jess said, we don't really look at this as something where we want to insert any sort of significantly new mod process or queue into how the site works. An update sidebar is an interesting low-impact idea that may be worth talking about, but even that could be a bit fraught with some of the same new-editorial-process and why-is-this-update-noteworthy questions we're already talking about now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:16 AM on May 1, 2010


I would also rather see updates on the blue. I do look at Meta Talk, but not near as often as I check in on the blue. I have no numbers to back me up, but I get the sense that many MeFis active on the blue check in here a lot more rarely, meaning that an update discussion here often seems to be different in feel. And here's something else I absolutely can't back up -- comments on the blue seem to be richer in citation and linkage.

Anyway, as long as there is legitimate content on the updates and a cite to the previous closed thread, I'd like to see them on the blue rather than here.
posted by bearwife at 11:21 AM on May 1, 2010


I'd be willing to splurge on a 23andMe kit to prove Sarah Palin is not Metafilter-Related.
posted by gman at 11:34 AM on May 1, 2010


Having updates on MetaTalk always struck me as weird. If it was on the blue, put the update on the blue again.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:43 AM on May 1, 2010


Metafilter: we have almost no clear policies on anything.
posted by jontyjago at 11:59 AM on May 1, 2010


I don't think there's ever a reason to post an update to a front page post here. If the thread is still open, post the update in a comment there. Even if it was a "substantial" thread, you can still just post the update in the blue. And if it's not notable enough for another post to the blue, just skip it.

I think the recent spate of blue updates might have been borne out of the tradition of updates from the green here. Which is a tradition I like. Except when the thread in the green is still open—then it's unnecessary.
posted by grouse at 12:08 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tend to agree with the latter two threefolds of Jessamyn's feelings.l. "Substantial" is a relative term, and when mefi members get a hold of those words, they seem to want to "Or even a dedicated single-page?"

No thanks.

The last 3 updates have been court outcomes...to stuff on the blue. I kinda don't care to see that on the grey. That stuff is better served on the blue. And if the thread isn't closed (like about the Palin hacker), then it should be posted there. If people care enough they will revisit that thread.

Posting on the grey to get more visibility for a thread that's still open is rather lame...not to mention useless.

Also, update threads on the grey seem to gather less comments than any of the other stuff on here...perhaps indicating that people aren't really interested in seeing them here.

You can argue with my opinions...but not the numbers; Mefites just don't want it here.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:27 PM on May 1, 2010


I think if there's an important update to a front-page post, you should write a song about it and post it to Music.
posted by lore at 12:32 PM on May 1, 2010 [12 favorites]


Yeah, updates don't generally seem appropriate here, imo. If it's substantial enough to post, post it on the Blue and refer to the previous threads, but if it's not worthy of posting on the Blue, then it probably doesn't belong here either.
posted by homunculus at 12:34 PM on May 1, 2010


is there an argument here for extending the time a thread is open, so updates can go there?
posted by nadawi at 12:52 PM on May 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why is it that threads close? At one point, was this for performance issues?
posted by grouse at 12:58 PM on May 1, 2010


we have almost no clear policies on anything
posted by clavdivs at 1:14 PM on May 1, 2010


Probably already requested Pony: A way to display Metafilter in order or 'last commented' instead of chronologically. If anyone have anything interesting to add to any thread, it could get seen...
metafilter.com/b/ !
posted by CitoyenK at 1:17 PM on May 1, 2010


way to display Metafilter in order or 'last commented' instead of chronologically

CitoyenK, hit the "Recent Comments" tab on the blue (far right, at the top). Your Pony awaits.
posted by donnagirl at 1:25 PM on May 1, 2010


Also while I'm here and we're taking temperatures, I'd say lately the updates have been weak sauce and overly frequent. I would love a pendulum swing. I know I can skip them, but it's still annoying.
posted by donnagirl at 1:28 PM on May 1, 2010


citoyenk..that's a terrible idea! I would just keep posting comments to my fantastic FPP's to "bump" them to the top, I would be forever on the front page!

That said..if the thread is open, post there, if it is so significant it needs a new fpp, do it... otherwise, get off my metatalk lawn!
posted by HuronBob at 1:33 PM on May 1, 2010


Why is it that threads close?

Of all the world's ponies, this one hadn't ever crossed my mind*. I'd be interested in the answer to this question, existentially, in jest, seriousness or otherwise.

*lots of ponies cross my mind; it's how I sleep at night. What, you gotta problem with that? Sheep are so overrated.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:41 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like the current system encourages a sensationalistic approach to news, where an event is posted (for example, a crime), there are the inevitable waves of speculation and anti-speculation ('you can't say anything until all the reports come out and the jury has a verdict!'), and then the story drops off the front page. When the facts do come out, they get unceremoniously dumped in the open (but dead) thread, where maybe three people will read them.

So in the current setup, my vote would be that important updates (e.g., verdicts) get FPPs, even if the associated threads are still open. In an ideal world there would be some way to add an update onto a post and promote it back to the front page, but that adds all sorts of moderation complexities.
posted by Pyry at 1:55 PM on May 1, 2010


maybe three people will read them.

Much more than three people will still be following the thread through Recent Activity. This is another reason to encourage people to use Recent Activity to follow threads they are interested in (there might be updates), and for people to post their updates in those thread (people interested in the thread will still be following it via RA).
posted by grouse at 1:59 PM on May 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Heh - I was also thinking about a post like this. Although I am certainly neither FishBike nor Cortex, skilled in the ways of the infodump, I did a manual count of a few months. The average monthly number of update posts in my random sample was five; in April, we had 16.

I am in the camp of "if it's not worth posting to the blue, don't dump it in MeTa either."
posted by catlet at 2:03 PM on May 1, 2010


Even in recent activity it's easy for old threads to get buried.
posted by Pyry at 2:13 PM on May 1, 2010


I don't mind updates involving someone with some kind of link to metafilter, like a user or possibly even someone lots of people here are interested in for some reason, but all the newsfilter updates that have been appearing recently I can most definitely live without. I'm in the 'if it's not good enough for the blue why clutter up the grey' camp.
posted by shelleycat at 2:55 PM on May 1, 2010


98.6. I thought the limit on the time a thread stayed open was imposed as a tech solution to people monkeying around in old threads. I don't know what the average interval between the original thread and the update is but I say keep threads open longer and terminate monkeys.

Except if the offending monkey is Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. I have a soft spot in my head for him.
posted by vapidave at 2:58 PM on May 1, 2010


So...would it be wrong to start posting stuff in this thread we thought was worth a chuckle but not up to snuff for a front page post?
posted by marxchivist at 3:41 PM on May 1, 2010


ok, let me throw out a hypothetical example (with strong sense of it being for real very soon) would be following up on the shanghai expo with an update after my visit and hopefully a chance to meet the original blogger fpp'd in the blue - BUT - most of hte pix and my thoughts on a blog which would then be a self link and thus not able to be put on the blue. what now, how cow?
posted by infini at 3:45 PM on May 1, 2010


I'm not a frequent poster, but I am a frequent reader. I like the updates. I don't mind them in MetaTalk. If April has represented some kind of peak of these types of updates--well, they may be noticeable this month, but I don't think there is enough to say the site is being "cluttered" with them. I don't think this is problem enough to need fixing by mods pushing on the pendulum. Just my two cents.
posted by freejinn at 3:51 PM on May 1, 2010


I like the updates in any form. If anything it's a mild antidote to the typical internet headline-speculation-grar-obscurity cycle that interjects some actual fact and possibly spurs deeper conversation.

Mechanically I read both the blue and the gray via RSS so the status quo is fine by me but I imagine that a mechanism for an FPP-lite saying "Hey there's an update to $FOO" that links to (and extends?) the comment thread from the original story might be tractable.

Maybe one bump (or mini-fpp) a year per user?
posted by Skorgu at 4:05 PM on May 1, 2010


Oh, how I miss the days of monkeying around in old threads...
posted by kaibutsu at 4:44 PM on May 1, 2010


I'm pretty sure, in fact, that people aren't actually required to read every single Metatalk post.
posted by desuetude at 5:30 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The stuff that infini is talking about are the kinds of updates I do want to see. There's a mefite involved, a personal link, something we should care about related to the site itself. Whereas the Sarah Palin thing just should have gone in the already open thread. I come to metatalk to find out about metafilter and it's inhabitants not about some random thing in your newspaper (I don't generally spend much time on the blue either FWIW).
posted by shelleycat at 5:44 PM on May 1, 2010


(ug, sentance structure terrible today, this is what happens when I miss my morning cup of tea, sorry)
posted by shelleycat at 5:45 PM on May 1, 2010


posted by shelleycat the Sarah Palin thing just should have gone in the already open thread.

Where?
posted by mattdidthat at 5:49 PM on May 1, 2010


I like the updates too, and it's not as though we're running out of space.

Did someone order a plate of beans?
posted by languagehat at 6:03 PM on May 1, 2010


Oh someone said it there was an open thread so I believed them. I don't care about Sarah Palin or email hacking so I didn't go looking. But even without an open thread it was pretty thin for an update here, if it's that important then just make a new FPP.
posted by shelleycat at 6:52 PM on May 1, 2010


I think Jamie Foxx is here. I can't tell is he's saddled or riding though.
posted by vapidave at 8:44 PM on May 1, 2010


You people are getting out of hand. Take it to Metachat.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:17 PM on May 1, 2010


kaibutsu: "45Oh, how I miss the days of monkeying around in old threads.."

What is up with the timestamps in that thread? (there's a couple out of order, right about where the year mysteriously appears)
posted by iamkimiam at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2010


Also, that reminds me...could somebody please find me that comment where the dude takes us on an ascii trip through a bunch of threads all over MeFi? It's a ridiculously hard thing to search for. Like chasing a white rabbit/buffalo/pick-your-favorite-animal-symbol. I wanted to show a friend, but couldn't even think about how to search other than for the word 'here'.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:43 PM on May 1, 2010


Just to mention, we have almost no clear policies on anything.
Have the mod team considered a late run in the UK elections? Sounds like you'd fit right in.
posted by Abiezer at 11:52 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


LOL


oh and update, shanghai blogger wrote back positively though he might be in HK at the time. mayhaps I'll just put it up in projects
posted by infini at 12:27 AM on May 2, 2010


No to updates here, and no to updates on the front page, would be my intial thoughts. But I don't really care much either way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:10 AM on May 2, 2010


could somebody please find me that comment where the dude takes us on an ascii trip through a bunch of threads all over MeFi?

Sure! Follow Nobody. (MeTa thread)

There's also a similarly cross-thread (ongoing but stalled) project: The Verbose Surrealist's 7,483 Things to Do with a Lobster and a Lightly Soiled Pair of Lederhosen
posted by carsonb at 6:29 AM on May 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't view MetaFilter as my news service. Don't get me wrong, I adore newsFilter and often participate in political threads-- but when the initial thread is done, I'm done. If I am that interested in "the rest of the story" I'll follow it through the normal news channels. I enjoy the policy discussions but care very little whether the person involved died or was jailed.

A much better question: has a discussion on MetaTalk ever resulted in a major change in MetaFilter behavior (aside from the personal fights and flame-outs)? We sure do love to talk about changing the way people post or comment, but since only a fraction of the membership actually reads MetaTalk, I am guessing that no substantial changes ever take place.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:53 AM on May 2, 2010


I'd guess, from my observations, that substantial changes take place *very slowly* and probably as the result of multiple MeTa threads rather than just one, as a rule.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:21 AM on May 2, 2010


has a discussion on MetaTalk ever resulted in a major change in MetaFilter behavior

Plenty of MeTa threads have resulted in the FAQ being updated, presumably in the hope that people would read it and change their behavior. There was also the sexism/boyzone froufrourah a few years back that spawned a new flag (sexist/racist/offensive).

Regarding updates, I'm pretty much in line with those who've suggested that a solid update goes on MetaFilter (with a 'previously' link of some sort), honest-to-Zog MetaFilter-Related updates go on MetaTalk, and weak sauce newsfilter updates can go to hell. I'm thankful that the mods recognize an ALARMING TREND and are willing to swing their pendulum, and also thankful that they've explained their views on the topic. Thanks also to modernnomad for starting the thread I've always been too heated to start properly.
posted by carsonb at 7:30 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know what the average interval between the original thread and the update is but I say keep threads open longer and terminate monkeys.

This might address/fix the problem but it also might not. The big deal with monkey termination, such as it is, is that there's no real rule to goofing around in threads, especially when they're old. As it is, AskMe threads stay open longer and we've had to make specific mod tools to make sure that people don't just drop weird SEO links into long dead threads [and they do try but rarely succeed]. So I'm not generally seeing that people are clamoring for a way to keep threads open longer except as it would be a useful place for updates. And I'm not sure that reason is compelling enough to deal with the extra mod work that it would entail on the off chance that there might be an update.

has a discussion on MetaTalk ever resulted in a major change in MetaFilter behavior

Usually it's incremental. A few threads that all seem to trend in one direction can help either forge new guidelines or stronger or weaker enforcement of the guidelines we already have. I find them personally really helpful figuring out what other people who are not me think about various things and I suspect the same is true for cortex.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:59 AM on May 2, 2010


Can the mods add an update to a thread after it's been closed?
posted by grouse at 9:17 AM on May 2, 2010


That's adding a mechanism that we don't currently have and has a whole bunch of policy implications [what's an update? who can update? how many updates?] that we don't want to really get involved in. We've thought about it some in terms of AskMe where it might be nice for the OP to be able to add a post-closing statement, but it's definitely not something we've considered for MeFi proper.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:23 AM on May 2, 2010


It's odd, to me, that an update to the Peter Watts story was deleted from the Blue because it had already been posted to MetaTalk. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the grey is less trafficked than the Blue, so posting updates to the MeTa doesn't seem as though it would serve the community at large.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:16 AM on May 2, 2010


i can see why it is happening. i don't like that posts come up that reflect ongoing events, and we're supposed to give up the topic because the post has fallen off the front page and is not an active topic anymore (whether the thread is open or closed), and if anyone tries to make a new FPP the dudes who think they are somehow obligated to give their full attention to every thread that pops up will step in to remind you that you can't bring up the same topic twice within a time period determined by some complex formula they have devised. metatalk is being used as a compromise between not talking about it (or posting in a dead thread) and facing the ire of the FPP police.

personally, i wish there was some mechanism to reactivate or bump a topic (even, say, requiring mod approval), or post a new FPP classified and clearly marked as an update to a previous FPP, such that a conversation can be reawakened and yet be easily screened by those who like to talk about stuff only once.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 12:07 PM on May 2, 2010


It's odd, to me, that an update to the Peter Watts story was deleted from the Blue because it had already been posted to MetaTalk. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the grey is less trafficked than the Blue, so posting updates to the MeTa doesn't seem as though it would serve the community at large.

It was an odd situation, and part of why this has been a little more at the front of my attention lately. Probably what should have happened there is someone should have made a proper post out of it in the first place if there was gonna be a post. It felt more like an updatefilter story to me than a full-blown post in any case, honestly, since folks interested in the story are likely paying attention enough to catch the update, but that's just my personal opinion.

It's definitely the sort of thing that, pushing back harder than we have been lately, I could see closing up in Metatalk pretty much immediately instead of letting run, and letting someone try and turn it into a proper post for the blue if there was really something there worth a post; Peter Watts is not to my knowledge a super significant figure to the mefi userbase, nor was the original thread on the blue a huge or notable deal, in a way that really yearns for an update post over on the metatalk side.

But we let it run, and that had pretty much be the mefi discussion of the issue, and so doing it over on the blue was redundant. For the record, that is far from the first time that particular situation has played out, though this felt like one of the weirder at-the-crossroads sorts of setups for it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:45 PM on May 2, 2010


Update posts in MetaTalk seem a little odd to me. Obviously, we're free to use this part of the site however we collectively want to use it. But it's at least nominally intended for site-related posts. Does every story or link become MetaFilter-related by virtue of being posted on the front page of MetaFilter? I don't think it does.

There are a few front-page posts which have significantly changed the way people interact on this site as a whole, usually as a result of the discussion in the thread. I think maybe an update to those might belong here in MetaTalk, in the sense that those threads have become a noteworthy part of the site's history, and so updates to them are MetaFilter-related for that reason.

Otherwise, if the update to the story would make for a good front-page post of its own, post it on the front page, and if it wouldn't, then don't post it at all. It shouldn't by any different to updates to stories or issues that haven't been previously posted on the front page. We might all have heard about it elsewhere before, but if it takes a particularly interesting or weird turn, that might make it worthy of a new front-page post.

We shouldn't be lowering the bar for posts which are updates to prior posts, and it feels like that's why MetaTalk is being used for updates at the moment, rather than because it's the logical place for updates to be posted.
posted by FishBike at 1:11 PM on May 2, 2010


From the perspective of "MetaTalk is where we talk about the MetaFilter," I agree that updates don't "belong" on the grey. But as Jessamyn said, there's no real rules, that's just how it's worked out, kinda.

The reason I think updates belong in MetaTalk and not on the blue is because the audiences of the two are (it is my guess) very different.

Hypothesis: vistors to MetaTalk are significantly more likely to be longtime users, more likely to visit the site overall more often, and to contribute more often. So it stands to reason that those users will be more likely to remember the initial story, and to find the update interesting.

The metafilter.com home page should be as accessible as possible to everyone. We already have an in-crowd feel - we don't need to accentuate that with what will seem like "Hay guys, remember this thing?" threads to infrequent or new users.
posted by dammitjim at 1:18 PM on May 2, 2010


we're supposed to give up the topic because the post has fallen off the front page and is not an active topic anymore (whether the thread is open or closed)

That's your fallacy right there. If the post is open, post in it. There's no reason why anyone should care about what is or isn't showing on the front page and I don't quite get where this statement even came from.
posted by shelleycat at 1:55 PM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


it's not like it's an unknown phenomenon. a conversation loses momentum at a certain point, as people move on to newer topics, a function perhaps of the chronological order of the FPP, as opposed to being ordered by recent activity. i guess it doesn't matter if you're whole thing is just putting your words out there, but many of us enjoy the site for the conversational aspect of it, which isn't as much fun when you're basically going back to the site of a previous conversation and talking to yourself.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 2:23 PM on May 2, 2010


None of that means you're "supposed" to do anything, what you're talking about is your personal choice. Many of us use recent activity and see things posted even if the thread isn't on the front page, many of us use RSS and have no idea what page a thread is even on to start with.

There is no good reason for posting updates here rather than in an already open thread.
posted by shelleycat at 3:05 PM on May 2, 2010


well, apparently not enough people use rss to prevent the natural decay of the activity in a thread as new threads are introduced, and your personal experience is no more or less valid than mine on whether the reasoning is 'good' or not. it's simply mention of an observable phenomenon and a possibile explanation of why updates are treated as they are.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 3:14 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is no good reason for posting updates here rather than in an already open thread.
posted by shelleycat at 6:05 PM on May 2 [+] [!]


We're just having this very conversation over here.
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:17 PM on May 2, 2010


It's definitely the sort of thing that, pushing back harder than we have been lately, I could see closing up in Metatalk pretty much immediately instead of letting run, and letting someone try and turn it into a proper post for the blue if there was really something there worth a post

I'm certainly leaning more towards this angle myself lately too. Updates go to new posts unless the old post is still open in which case update there and teach people to get better about using Recent Activity to keep posts alive [and going to comment in them].
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:36 PM on May 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


your personal experience is no more or less valid than mine on whether the reasoning is 'good' or not

Except you said "we're not supposed to" like it's some kind of rule or like someone told you what to do. That's wrong. I'm saying each person can do what they want when it comes to posting in an older thread (assuming on topic comments). That's how it works. Whether it's a good idea or whether you want to is another matter, one which each person is free to decide for them self.

I read the other thread about double post updates vs updates in the old thread and I agree that it can be a more difficult line depending on how substantial the new post is. But I don't see any reason in either case why it needs to be posted here instead.
posted by shelleycat at 7:02 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's funny how people can say "this doesn't seem like what MetaTalk is for" when updates have always been in MetaTalk.
posted by smackfu at 6:51 AM on May 3, 2010


Except you said "we're not supposed to" like it's some kind of rule or like someone told you what to do.

oh, i see. it could be because i grew up around dumb people, or could be a regional thing, but from my experience "supposed to" has much looser connotations than that. but then i'm somebody who loves to say "i literally died when [some embarrassing thing happened]."
posted by fallacy of the beard at 9:14 AM on May 3, 2010




We can all see the future from MetaTalk. It exists outside of the space-time continuum. That's the only way to be sure Google won't index it.
posted by FishBike at 7:57 AM on May 4, 2010


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