Where do you think the posted link links to? *Elsewhere!* March 15, 2002 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Why get irked over a news item that's been covered elsewhere? Were do you think the posted link links to? *Elsewhere!*
posted by o2b to MetaFilter-Related at 11:06 AM (12 comments total)

To reference a long-standing peeve: Metafilter is not Slashdot.

Different user base. Different demographics.

Even if the two were the same, I don't get bugged when MSNBC and CNN have the same stories up.

It's not like you (plural, non-specfic) pay for any of this, how can you expect such an unreasonable level of control?
posted by o2b at 11:09 AM on March 15, 2002

It just seems that one of the strengths of this site is that of "loose coupling". There are a wide range of interests among the people that post here and any one interest is probably shared by a very small number of community members. This results in a lot of links that are posted that are unfamiliar (and thus, very possibly interesting) to a large proportion of the readership. If this changes so that a large proportion of FPPs are simply links harvested from Slashdot, Salon, Wired, etc. then all of a sudden this site becomes a news (or link) aggregator, and the information that the average reader is exposed to could just as easily come from reading a small number of other sites.

I, for instance, regularly read this site, Slashdot, Wired, ArsTechnica, Arts and Letters Daily and SciTech Daily. If all of the links that I get here are things that I'm already seeing on these other sites, then it no longer makes sense for me to read Metafilter unless I'm desperately interested in the (often too predictable) arguments that crop up here on a regular basis. And as this site becomes less useful to more people, then all that's left are the hardcore regulars who just end up using the site as a discussion board.

That might be a pessimistic view, but it sometimes seems as though its not that far off.
posted by bshort at 11:28 AM on March 15, 2002

bshort expresses my feelings on the subject perfectly, except that to a large degree I think his first paragraph should, sadly, be in the past tense.

What were the arguments against a separate Newsfilter.com again?
posted by Hildago at 11:55 AM on March 15, 2002

I think mcsweetie's day-old news post about the big crash-em-up in the fog is a good example of stuff that everyone probably already knows about.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:07 PM on March 15, 2002

while i agree that it makes little sense to post an item you found while reading slashdot (or the like), how are you going to overcome the posts that were found through some other avenue?

my flat-panel speaker post is a perfdect example. great bit of info, but the first comment is a gripe about how it has already been posted at /.

well, i'm sorry about that, but i don't read /.

if i assume that everything i find is already on another site site some of us happen to read, what's the point?
posted by o2b at 12:44 PM on March 15, 2002

I second the right honourable Kafkaesque. It was all I could do to keep from commenting: "Car crashes are bad. Next."
posted by jpoulos at 12:49 PM on March 15, 2002

I think that sometimes we lose sight of the moniker of our fair city. It's metafilter.

I think that bshort is right -- that some of us, maybe even most of us, read some selection of the other 'good link sites out there'. He mentions wired, arts and letters daily, /. and others, whcih to him, are worthy of a daily (I assume) perusal.

But this is a meta filter. It should (and often does) aggregate across all of our collective web browsing. One of us is researching minstrel shows (just an easy example of a recent good thread) and one of us is looking at lots of Flash-based websites, and another of us is really impressed by technological advances -- today's speakers for instance.

Here's how I think about it:

For the one-off threads, I can't be happier with metafilter.

For the one-off threads that I don't get into (for whatever reason), I skip. And I try not to repeat the mantra of the early 21st century 'signal vs. noise...signal vs. noise... signal...'

For the threads I've already seen, like the speakers thread, I ask myself, "Does it rise to the level that someone would post it at MetaFilter?" If it does, I'm happy.

Most of the posts to the metafilter front page are pretty good or pretty important or pretty something. Interesting maybe.

But we don't all read everything. Nor could we if we wanted to.

I trust bshort (and the rest of you lot) to find the good links at the link sites that I don't read and post them here. If I did see it, I think 'good, that was an important link... especially if the post gets the metafilter treatment -- opposing views with links, controversy, etc. and not just 'this happened'.

posted by zpousman at 1:03 PM on March 15, 2002

My $.02 worth agrees with o2b; I don't have the time or inclination to go to any of those sites mentioned, or other similar sites. I have, however, seen lots of posts with links to stories I've already read elsewhere or saw on television. If I'm interested I click in and see what other people think; if not, I move on.

posted by Mack Twain at 1:18 PM on March 15, 2002

Whether or not everybody (who obviously is anybody) knows all about something already, doesn't mean its not worth further review here. News links are starting points, and I appreciate the fact that every once in a while someone can offer a local flavor of happinstance without being choked by the cry "that's old and we know it". Yes, you may know about it, but do you know what people around your valued haunts are thinking about it?

That appears to be the only reason worth a damn I can see for bringing anything up at Metafilter. If you've read it on the web, then 'nuff said, right? No, I think its to share with those whose opinions you value, whether its a cool flash animation, a desenting view of the "war", or a major indictment of people's driving habits in the fog. Admittedly, this isn't newsfilter.com, but it isn't nitpickfilter.com either.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:20 PM on March 15, 2002

Strangely enough, I'm not at all bothered by overlapping subjects with the other sites I read -- with the exception of Romanesko's Obscure Store. For some reason, I feel like rolling my eyes when I see one of his picks reposted elsewhere and find myself thinking "doesn't everyone read Romanesko daily?"

It's not rational nor reasonable. Maybe it's just hard to imagine that anyone intereted in odd news hasn't already made a stop at Obscure Store by the time the links start propagating here and elsewhere.
posted by majick at 8:57 PM on March 15, 2002

No, everyone doesn't read Romenesko daily, but those that do make sure everything he posts has been disseminated on approximiately 932 other web sites within an hour. That's why seeing reposts of his stuff are so particularly grating, IMHO; it's the sheer quantity of the reposts.
posted by aaron at 9:51 PM on March 15, 2002

For some reason, I feel like rolling my eyes when I see one of his picks reposted elsewhere and find myself thinking "doesn't everyone read Romanesko daily?"

Occasionally there's a gem to be found there, though. Once I found a great piece about the Unabomber's brother listed as a one-liner. It wasn't "weird news" and didn't really even belong on Obscure Store at all.
posted by kindall at 11:51 PM on March 15, 2002

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