Big Hugs October 20, 2010 10:45 PM   Subscribe

Mefites, what do you like about Metafilter? What do you love? What's the best thing that's happened to you here? What's the most amazing thing you've seen? What's so vert about online communities anyway? What makes you come back? What has Metafilter done for you?
posted by The Whelk to Etiquette/Policy at 10:45 PM (207 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

I love you, The Whelk.
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 PM on October 20, 2010 [13 favorites]

And... it's closed.
posted by GuyZero at 10:52 PM on October 20, 2010

I've been running the deleted thread blog for a few years, so that gives me something to do.
posted by dead cousin ted at 10:53 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

When all the bullshit is put to the side, good people get together and help each other out. I think that's worth something.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:53 PM on October 20, 2010 [13 favorites]

I like the professional white background.
posted by kmz at 10:54 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:59 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

Seriously, I have nothing else going. I mean, I'm commenting in this thread for shits sake.
posted by dead cousin ted at 11:02 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ok but for serious, I like...seeing things I wouldn't find on my own. Sorry, that's probably not helpful.
posted by clockzero at 11:02 PM on October 20, 2010

Ask not what Metafilter can do for you, but what you can do with an otoscope.
posted by flabdablet at 11:04 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

"When all the bullshit is put to the side, good people get together and help each other out. I think that's worth something."

That's really true, and I do really appreciate that (and not just because MeFi helped me out in a big way).
posted by klangklangston at 11:07 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like to read threads on current events, jot down notes on what the smart people say, then regurgitate the talking points to my friends later to look smart.
posted by auto-correct at 11:09 PM on October 20, 2010 [31 favorites]

plo chops
posted by bardic at 11:10 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

"I like to read threads on current events, jot down notes on what the smart people say, then regurgitate the talking points to my friends later to look smart."

I have enough friends who are on MetaFilter that it's gotten pretty hard to pass off Astro Zombie's bon mots as my own anymore.
posted by klangklangston at 11:12 PM on October 20, 2010 [11 favorites]

I'm totally going to use that one.
posted by auto-correct at 11:17 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

Last Canadian Thanksgiving I had a slight anxiety attack that my parents were going to get a divorce, and so I forced a group hug while chanting 'Happy Family! Happy Family!'*. This sort of reminds me of that.

*May dad missed out on the uncomfortableness, so I just left him a thoughtful note.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:28 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

You're the smartest friends I have. That's what I love the most.

I just hope I haven't pissed too many of you off. I hope that, as my friends, you accept me for the occasional gaffe, just I accept all you goddam lovable pinkos.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:29 PM on October 20, 2010 [10 favorites]

Metafilter done for you?

Honestly. The world feels both larger and more connected than before I joined. I guess then that MetaFilter has expanded my consciousness.

But I still prefer LSD.
posted by philip-random at 11:30 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

An old, old cult thread spawned an offshoot website that continues to this day, mostly as a work-avoidance chat tool and occasional nerd riot. I count some of those lunatics as very close friends. Members have since gotten married (this guy!), had children, died. (Still missin' Brad.) If nothing else, MeFi gave us that.

But anyway, it hasn't given me just that. For every infuriating moment I've experienced here, for every dipshit yelling something obnoxious (occasionally me), for every po-faced pedantic who-cares takedown, this is still for my money the most intelligent discussion forum on the web. Thanks, Matt et al.
posted by Skot at 11:44 PM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]

I love that even when I can't count on Metafilter to be right, intelligent, or compassionate — although it embodies those virtues more often than not — I can at least count on Metafilter to be articulate. The high quality of writing here has inspired me to become a better writer even though only those aware of my very, very clumsy early efforts can tell.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:59 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

Metafilter's got it all in one place. Great links to the best of the web, creative questions with thoughtful answers and the perfect balance of lots of family-like love with a dash crazy drama here and there.

What more do you need?
posted by addelburgh at 12:01 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

I live in a mostly rural, culturally homogenous part of the USA, surrounding by lots of people who don't share my politics, my interests, or my general outlook on life. Sometimes it can feel very isolating, both psychologically and intellectually. Metafilter makes me feel like a part of the world, and people here restore my faith in humanity on a daily basis.
posted by amyms at 12:04 AM on October 21, 2010 [18 favorites]

This is where I come for interesting conversation with people who think about things beyond sand dunes, skyscrapers, and shopping malls.
posted by bardophile at 12:05 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

I spent the entirety of my adolescence on forums. In 2003, when I joined my first forum (the sadly departed rpg2knet), I was 13 and not yet out of middle school. Before the Internet I'd mainly stuck to fantasy/SF novels, video games, and Dungeons & Dragons. Escapism. If you're reading this you probably know why.

I joined 2knet because I wanted to learn how to make video games. But I think I realized pretty quickly I cared more about the forum than I cared about the game. Up till then, the Internet to me was the same as a newspaper: I could read it, and that was about it. Then a friend told me that I could click Register, pick a name, and write things anywhere I wanted. And whatever I wrote, some jackass grad student in Spain would read and reply to.

So, like any proper youth, I signed up and immediately started acting like a jackass. I pretended to be fifteen at first because as a middle schooler I thought high school kids were respectable online. I also pretended I was in college. My cover was blown because I made the mistake of acting like college kids studied and cared about classwork.

My four years in high school consisted almost of a set of double memories: There were the people I knew because I sat in class next to them, and then there were the people I debated chipsets over, or designed virtual card games with. There were kids in my literary magazine who couldn't write and didn't bother trying, and then there were the forum monkeys who'd rip my poetry to shreds citing rules I'd never even heard of. The Internet gives you an odd perspective. When I was 14 I sent a manuscript to an agent and had it rejected. When I was 17 I self-published a novel instead. By then I felt entitled to print anything I damn pleased. I found myself kind of surprised at friends who were waiting for an undergrad or a graduate degree to do things. I was starting to get jittery in classrooms where I wasn't allowed to do things.

The New Yorker phrased it as: On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. I'd change that a little bit: On the Internet, nobody cares you're a dog. What matters is what you've made, what you've said. Everybody's equal inasmuch as their words are all rendered in the same font on the same web sites. The only choice is where you stick your words. People don't care whose words they read. You care who you send your words to.

I've only been a member here for less than a year, but I've lurked MetaFilter for years. First just the front page, then MetaTalk, and then raids through scores of old AskMe posts. Every conversation on these sites is somehow tangential: It revolves around a link, or a question, or a site event. So you become a part because you have questions, or you're looking for something to read. But the conversations around these things — at least, the good ones — involve people exposing themselves, so eloquently you can't help but keep their words with you in a little box.

I don't know how the community here got to be so good. Now I figure people come because they're attracted to the existing community; but how'd that community get good in the first place? I don't know if it's just the moderation, or something else. Maybe it's the unprofessional blue background that feels so friendly. Your guess is as good as mine.

But the result is that, of all the interspatial communities I've been a part of growing up, this is the one that most feels like a home away from home. Where almost every day I read something that changes me, or changes the way I think, sometimes about deep fundamental things, sometimes about trivial subjects I'd never have thought twice about otherwise. Where I feel pretty constantly outclassed by people who write here, but at the same time I sometimes feel like I'm capable of being a part in a meaningful way. Even if sometimes that meaningful way is being the person in a thread who's an utterly clueless clod who gets pounded on. Maybe what's so good about here is that you can brutally lose a conversation and still want to get up and say, "Thank you, sir, can I have another?"

As a kid the Internet taught me that the world is big and noisy and filled with all sorts of unimaginable thing. MetaFilter's quickly become a lens through which I view that world: Quick, penetrating glimpses of scenes I'd never think to search for myself. It's a lens that points in whatever direction any one of us chooses to point it. And, in the process, we learn about the people doing the pointing, and these quick stabs of illumination turn into scenes we feel familiar with. Whether it's Astro Zombie's coming of age in LA or fourcheesemac's experiences with Alaskan music, they're these little worlds that we start to grow comfortable with.

That video a week ago, of Joel Burns addressing the Fort Worth city council? It moved me enough to share it with my friends on Facebook. One of those friends, a high school freshman I know through a summer camp, shared it with her Gay Straight Alliance. They're planning on showing the rest of the school at an assembly.

The Internet's huge and fluid and connects people in ways we still don't entirely understand. Personally I don't care to understand it. All I knows is, here's a place full of fun people who know good things and disturbing things and are, as far as I can tell, drunk pretty much exactly the right amount of time. I'm grateful to have the privilege of being a member here. It's a club which couldn't have existed in the rest of history.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:06 AM on October 21, 2010 [75 favorites]

also, it only costs a fraction of what it costs in town
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:10 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

That is groovy testimonial, Rory.
posted by vrakatar at 12:13 AM on October 21, 2010

i offered money to quonsar
posted by clavdivs at 12:19 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm just here for the favorites

posted by 1000monkeys at 12:26 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Serious answer: Best thing Metafilter has going for it, hands down, is favorites. Favorites system rocks, is easy, makes sense, convenient, good stuff. Never change it!

Next best thing is simplicity, ala Google homepage. That’s highly appealing on today’s internet!

If those two things changed, my motivation to stay would plummet.

Next best thing I can think of-community. Think it may be the entrance fee, not sure, but whatever it is it’s working to keep people invested in civility. Also refreshingly rare.
posted by Nixy at 12:33 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's like a comfortable seat at a comfortable bar in a comfortable pub in Mid-Atlantis. The bartenders clean up spills and boot troublemakers but otherwise let conversations go where they may. I don't know the people I see here personally and I don't go anywhere with them outside the pub, but I know I can go in and chat freely with them or just listen and relax until it's time to go home to the missus and sprogs.
posted by pracowity at 12:35 AM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

Just a quick comment before bed. The most amazing thing I've ever seen on Metafilter was from the days when I only lurked here: Holmes' and Watson's World. That's a post about a rediscovered short film depicting London in 1904. There have been a lot of old photograph and movie posts on Mefi, but this one reached out of the screen and hit me between the eyes, because it was a little window into the world of my great grandfather, and even showed a few seconds of the Billingsgate Fish Market that (according to family lore) he owned at that time! When I watched the film I kept wondering if any of those faces were relatives, and if so, what happened to them later in life. It was spine tinglingly incredible to actually see a place I'd heard so much about, that was gone long before I was even born.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:38 AM on October 21, 2010

I like the train wreck threads. I have nothing better to do at work in the evenings.

Yes, I know: I'm a terrible human being.
posted by lollusc at 12:43 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Metafilter is the largest tribe of individuals who think similarly enough to me to grok what I'm saying, but you're coming at these things from so many different angles that there's interesting discourse in addition to lolz.

Also, every meetup experience I've ever had has been awesome.

Oh, and there are great links. Which I frequently reuse for my work accounts and send to my parents. (My mother is a font geek and my dad loves weird shit. Everyone in my family loves monkeys riding larger mammals. Metafilter readers are popular in dork families.)
posted by NoraReed at 12:52 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's always something to learn.
posted by davejay at 1:17 AM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

Hey Rory, we sort of had the same childhood. I've been browsing the website since 8th grade and it's the only one that stuck.

(So next time you're composing a fake screenplay about FISH SEX— or whatever— just remember some poor kid is gonna grow up on this stuff.)
posted by yaymukund at 1:52 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

As I'm getting older, a lot of the English speaking folks I knew here in Japan are drifting off. Either going home, getting married, or just, y'know, getting older. I don't see people as much as I used to. I saw my friends last weekend, and realized that they were the first native English speakers I'd spoken to in something like 3 weeks. Metafilter helps, sometimes, by giving me a place to keep up with the world, and interact with others in my native language when I wouldn't otherwise have that option.

Plus, the AskMe's about food tend to have some really interesting recipe ideas.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:03 AM on October 21, 2010

This is where I come for interesting conversation with people who think about things beyond sand dunes, skyscrapers, and shopping malls.

Well, there goes my physics of sand dunes post :(
posted by atrazine at 2:20 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Echoing davejay: I learn here, a lot of the interesting oh-did-you-know-that trivia things, via intersting FPPs, but most usefully about how people usefully think about things (thank you relationshipfilter). And it also makes me laugh quite a lot.
posted by thoughtless at 2:22 AM on October 21, 2010

It's all about the flame-outs.
posted by Decani at 3:01 AM on October 21, 2010

Metafilter's like a club membership for me. I can stop in, have a cup of coffee and read or discuss something interesting at any moment. We share our artistic and professional endeavors, we help each other. We socialize. I think it's utterly unique and joyous.

There's an attachment for me to the people I recognize from the nascent beginnings of the internet and an appreciation of the new membership. The constant renewal of fresh enthusiasm and knowledge is wonderful. I think the club's ownership and management do a good job of preserving the quality of the place and I know (have witnessed) dozens (hundreds?) of other sites fail on that point.

What's not to like?
posted by empyrean at 3:07 AM on October 21, 2010

Metafilter is the place I come to where I know I'm going to find all my smart friends, who are going to have something reasonable to say. I know I'm not going to find the levels of racism, homophobia, and classism here that I have to deal with IRL.

Almost without exception, everyone I've met from Mefi has felt like an instant friend, and I feel accepted and welcomed by them. What could be better than that?

Like any family, we have our dysfunctions here, but we actually talk about them, and they by-and-large get better over time. I can't say that about many RL families I've known.

The best thing that's happened to me here? that's easy- it's you guys.
posted by pjern at 3:20 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Echoing amyms...The blue, gray and especially the green are like lifelines in a rural setting, places where the pursuit of obscure knowledge, arguments over argument and just plain cool ideas are valued (despite GRAR, deletions and derails). This place lit up my screen when I was a new mom, reminding me that life went on elsewhere and that people were still interested in things other than sleep and onesies, and I discovered I could nurse with one arm and mouse-click with the other (and hey, thanks, ukdanae, for freeing me to accept my odd post-nursing size, which is certainly NOT the 36C I always thought I was). I now know more odd trivia than I did before. I follow the trails of other minds. I take extra time to help someone to solve a problem or chase down long-forgotten books. I connect.

Thanks, guys. Hugs.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:32 AM on October 21, 2010

It's all about the cabal.
posted by caddis at 3:49 AM on October 21, 2010

You guys are my imaginary friends. We have secrets, code words, years of shared experiences. You're funny and smart, curious and thoughtful. I wouldn't rather be any one of you, but I aspire to be more like the community as a whole.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:51 AM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

I'm in what's sometimes called the isolated city in the world. It's a nice town, even a lovely town, but in a lot of ways it can be a small and parochial kind of place. And it can get kind of lonely as a result. Especially when I've got too much time on my hands.

To have, on tap as it were, a community of mostly intelligent and articulate people posting and discussing genuinely interesting stuff is really quite a godsend. To be part of that community feels genuinely divine.

In short, this community and the content it finds and posts make me feel like a better man. You lot enliven, enlighten and enrich me.

(and big hugs to you for asking, The Whelk)
posted by Ahab at 3:56 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

(I think the Whelk is channeling Miguel.)

There was a time when I was really mad at you, Metafilter. You changed on me, and I tried to resist it, but it was like resisting the tide. And I didn't realize until recently what it was that was bothering me. You used to be a smallish intimate place, where everybody knew my name, and I knew everybody else's. Then you knocked down a few walls, added a dance floor, hired some new bouncers, and the whole dynamic changed, and ten tons of new people started hanging out. I couldn't keep up, and I resented the change. I went from being a little fish in a little pond to being a little fish in an ocean. While I still have my eyeball-kid moments, I've decided to forgive you for being so successful. It's not your fault that everyone came to get some of the good thing we had going.
posted by crunchland at 4:10 AM on October 21, 2010 [6 favorites]

It's where I learned how to dispose of the body.
posted by headnsouth at 4:22 AM on October 21, 2010 [16 favorites]

Low effort learning. You refresh the page for something silly or cheap laughs and hit upon something interesting that you wouldn't have bothered to seek out by yourself. Like disposing a body.
posted by Free word order! at 4:42 AM on October 21, 2010

Also it's given me much-needed perspective on how to handle some big deals with regard to my kids. You didn't ask about AskMe but that's where I spend most of my MeTime, and I've come to think of AskMe like that one, brutally honest but sincerely good friend you wish you had, who tells you those jeans make you look fat, or that you're overreacting, or that you were way out of line when you said what you said, but does it in a way that doesn't make you feel like a complete failure. More than once I have thought about posting a question to Ask, thought about what the responses might be, and realizing I didn't need to post after all.

MeFi, for me, is like listening in on the conversations of the smart kids, and finding out the smart kids are really the cool kids after all. (And then regretting quitting grad school.)
posted by headnsouth at 4:47 AM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

The people I have met here. I have never met a Mefite in meatspace (yet) but you all are way more than just words on a screen to me.

That and the opportunity to learn-this place is like a university without the papers, tests, grades and overwhelming student loans at the end.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:51 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

(I miss Miguel, btw.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:52 AM on October 21, 2010

I was pretty chuffed to get to print the 10th anniversary T-shirts in the first place, seeing as how it was the only way I was ever going to get one, but when Matt donated the proceeds to mrbill's medical bills, I felt like I had actually done something of substance. Matt regularly makes me feel honored to be allowed onto his site.

On the receiving end, Misha in Florida was absolutely invaluable when my daughter got stuck at school with no cash, no bank account and no driver's license. (protip -- if you're going to leave your wallet at a rest stop in Tallahassee, leave it at the exact time that the good samaritan that found hers and mailed it to me will visit there again). Erin confirms that Misha is awesome.

Something something Russian girls, something something Loquacious. I know there's contention when it happens, but people coming together to help site members has made it so much more real than a bunch of words.

In terms of what I've read and what I've learned, and how the site has shaped my thinking -- taught me to be precise, how to identify my own blind spots and intellectual arrogance and to really learn stuff, and to not be mean -- what I've come away with is nigh incalculable.

Also, Jessamyn West deserves singling out as one of the finest human beings on planet earth.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:14 AM on October 21, 2010 [13 favorites]

I forgot to mention -- but something just reminded me -- that another thing I like about this place is the cool echo chamber effect. It's like singing in the shower. It's like that Sun Records sound.

No, really. Echo chamber in the sense that our views are similar enough that we aren't always at one another's throats. If this place were even just 1 percent freepers, for example, it would be 100 percent noise until they quit or were banned. The echo is the sound of civilization.

However, I really don't like it here when people call other people names and otherwise try to make them feel like shit on the sidewalk for not holding certain opinions. When the villagers light their torches and chase the monster into the hills, I feel bad for the monster.

So... I like the general peace and civility here but sometimes I'm not fond of the self-policing actions used to preserve those conditions.

I also don't want to tour the sausage factory.
posted by pracowity at 5:15 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm of the first or second generation of people who grew up on the internet. I was first introduced to the internet in 1993, when I was 12 years old. I glommed onto it very quickly, and soon a large chunk of my life was spent online, on IRC, Usenet and the very primitive web (which certainly didn't feel primitive at the time). Soon I became a part of various net communities, but they were always peripheral to my existence. My favorite part of internetting was drifting around, finding interesting things.

My original attraction to MetaFilter was as the finest source of purest interesting anywhere. What drew me in was the community. It was there from the very beginning. Another friend discovered MetaFilter independently at around the same time and we would often chat about MetaFilter posts and comments, just as another element in our conversations. It was the first internet community that penetrated into my quotidian living. Flashforward to the present day and many of my closest friends are fellow MeFites, some of them either started reading it independently of me or started because I recommended it, but some of them I only know because of MetaFilter, they were MeFites living locally to me. My social life flows seamlessly from my local environment into MetaFilter and back again.

I move around a lot. I've been drifting back and forth across the Atlantic for the last decade, but MetaFilter has remained a constant. My 30th birthday and my 10th anniversary of reading MetaFilter will be three days apart in four months time, so soon MetaFilter will have become a constant presence in my life for a third of my time on this planet. It is the only community I belong to that's been there for all of that time. It's an island of stability in my otherwise somewhat chaotic life. It comes second only to my family and friends as a source of togetherness. It is so much a part of my life that I have no idea what my life would be like without it.
posted by Kattullus at 5:18 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

I like the lack of surveys and quizzes.
posted by OmieWise at 5:23 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

The best thing about this place is how easily you're all being farmed for our grand plan. Muhahahahaha! Suckers, you don't have a clue what's coming! When we get through with you you'd think a brain tumor was a birthday present! MUHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA!!!!

Wha? What do you mean, the thought-to-text machine is switched on? Oh, fu-
posted by the Cabal at 5:26 AM on October 21, 2010

I love the community here. I've been online since the day I connected a 300-baud modem to my VIC-20, and MeFi has the feel of a busy local BBS or a small multi-player text game in the sense that the community is big enough to have a lot going on here, but not so big that it loses that sense of being a community at all.

I love the kind of people who hang out here. Smart, reasonable, articulate, knowledgeable, and lots of other words I don't even know. But plenty of other people here know them, which is an example of what I mean. That's the reason why we have such great comment threads a lot of the time, and why the items posted to the front page aren't just another top-N list of top-N linkbait articles.

I love AskMe because I feel like I can be occasionally useful there when a question comes up about one of the few subjects I know anything about. It feels like being the person in your social group who everybody asks about things, because they think of you as that person who knows stuff about stuff. Except you don't feel pressure to answer anything you don't actually know about,1 because there are plenty of other people there who know stuff about stuff too.

Meetups have turned out to be a great but unexpected benefit of joining the site. Once I finished school, I found it really tough to meet new people and make friends, and so my local social group has dwindled down to just two or three people these days. I feel like I'm well on the way to turning that situation around thanks to MeFi meetups.

I love that this place makes a bunch of data about itself available in the form of the Infodump. Seriously. I love that thing.2 I'm sure it's the reason that I have made more comments in MetaTalk than on MeFi and AskMe combined, and at the same time I can't help feeling this is a numeric indication that I'm doing MetaFilter wrong. But I'm not going to try to change that.

1: Except for the internally-generated pressure of "male answer syndrome", which I actually MeFi mailed mathowie about at one point, because he seemed to be the first person to use it on MeFi and I had only ever seen it on the newsgroup before that, and figure, being into biking, maybe he'd seen it there. But apparently, no.

2: Yes, I am aware of the irony of this in light of my earlier criticism of other sites for being just a bunch of top-N lists. Our top-N lists are actually good!
posted by FishBike at 5:36 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I recently dropped out of a forum that I'd been a member of for a while. It's a forum for owners of a very particular breed of dog, and it's pretty much the ONLY forum for those owners. It was full of great information, and had a ton of experienced owners who were always ready to offer advice. Also, puppy pictures.

A few weeks ago, though, somebody started a thread in the off-topic section about the recent gay-bullying suicides, along the lines of "doesn't matter what someone's orientation is, bullying like this is unacceptable". The forum owner dropped into the thread and posted this awful screed about how homosexuality is a choice, just like bullying and suicide, so it's their own damn fault anyway. And how kids have always gotten picked on, so what's the big deal with a little bullying anyway, and trying to stop bullying was raising a generation of wimps with "everybody wins" sports teams and "nobody gets and F" academics. A couple of us called him out on it, and by the next morning, he'd deleted the thread. Not closed it. Nuked it from orbit. He also passed out some 7-day bans to the members who'd disagreed with him.

I think owners and moderators, even if they're not prominent members of the community itself, set the tone for discussion and interaction across the board. As I stepped back from that forum, I could see how it had turned into a place with a dismissive attitude toward different opinions. Members offered advice, but not really support. It was a fragile house of cards built on people shouting each other down.

Compare that to some of the things that MeFi's owner does, and how that trickles down into people supporting people and you'll understand why I stick around here.

So yeah. That's my short novel about why I <3 MeFi.
posted by specialagentwebb at 5:39 AM on October 21, 2010 [11 favorites]

What's so vert about online communities anyway?

Am I the only one with no idea what this means?
posted by amro at 5:49 AM on October 21, 2010 [6 favorites]

My now ex-husband introduced me to MetaFilter and my membership on the site has lasted twice as long as that marriage. (Weird.) I've tried to leave a few times when I felt like I had crossed the line from "personally involved" to "way too invested" but to paraphrase a wise cowboy... I don't know how to quit you! I keep getting drawn back by individual members reaching out, which makes me feel like I'm interacting with actual humans and not just words on a screen. I don't often feel that way, even with actual humans that I know personally and chat with online - they're often more abstract than MeFites I've never met.

Also: taters.
posted by sonika at 5:54 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like this thread, so keep it please!
posted by wheelieman at 5:55 AM on October 21, 2010

What's not to like? I've met a ton of awesome people here - some of them I even interact with in real life! Go out of town to visit them and stuff. I learn a lot here. I'm really happy that mathowie invented it, and pb and cortex and jessamyn ad vacapinta keep things running.

And I need more coffee.
posted by rtha at 5:59 AM on October 21, 2010

What's so vert about online communities anyway?

I think it means green? In which case I think the answer is AskMe!

But seriously, mathowie is the most womnderful boss of all time, who made me believe I could have a job that I was good at, appreciated for and enjoyed doing. Any power i have to help MeFi be how it is comes a lot from his support, general good nature and big heart, Cortex is the best co-worker anyone could ask for. pb is the nicest most friendly and helpful person I've ever known who had root on anything and vacapinta classes up the joint and helps us all look better.

I always refer to one of The Whelk's last schmoopy threads and a comment by Elsa that ends "I have made some good friends in this place." which I think is understatedly how I feel about things.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:00 AM on October 21, 2010 [4 favorites]

I think you're womnderful too!
posted by gman at 6:01 AM on October 21, 2010

On a good day, Metafilter can provide a high standard of conversation about a wide array of interesting topics with enough diversity in points of view to feel like one's mind is being pleasantly broadened.

There isn't really anywhere else quite like it.
posted by lucien_reeve at 6:13 AM on October 21, 2010

Okay, hug time. Wait... wait... put eyeballkid right in the middle.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:20 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'm here for all the potential customers.
posted by ColdChef at 6:21 AM on October 21, 2010 [41 favorites]

YANMDorL but your advice somehow seems more reliable.

Also, The Whelk gave me a juicer.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:32 AM on October 21, 2010

Also, The Whelk gave me a juicer.

Your euphemism is thinly veiled.
posted by gman at 6:34 AM on October 21, 2010 [11 favorites]

I didn’t go to college, and although I’ve managed to build a life and a career without it I still managed to get well into my late 20s without being exposed to too many different points of view. My opinions on just about everything were mostly formed by whatever my older brother told me to think, or what my friends did, or whatever “facts” a 15-second clip the TV news exposed me to.

I discovered the ‘net some time around ’95 and began interacting with people regularly on another forum a couple years later. It was there that I first discovered virtual relationships could turn into real-life friendships and community could be built around a bunch of people who had never actually met. Still, this community was a comedy forum so anything said was fair game for a joke and trolling was part of the game.

I kept a blog back around the late 90s, early 2000s, back when blogs were still new and the few folks who kept them would link to each other and link back and you’d see 18 hits in a day on your counter and think you were a hot shit. At some point one of those blogs linked to something on Metafilter and I started reading things. A lot of blogs were nothing but links to other stuff and Metafilter pretty much looked the same only anyone could post a link and people could comment. I thought that was neat so I registered for an account. This was long before the $5.00 fee.

Because of that comedy board, my blog, and my general ignorance and immaturity, I tended to think “comedy” meant “making fun of everything and everybody and generally being a dick.” So I was kind of a dick for a while. These were strangers, I was mostly anonymous, so why not be a dick? That’s what people did on the internet, right? Yeah.

After being a dick for a while and being rightly chastised for it, I laid off Metafilter for a bit. I think it was when AskMe came around that I started finding real value in this place. For the first time I could actually help people (because, despite being a dick on-line, in Real Life I was a pretty nice guy) and they could help me. I became civil and learned to behave. I felt bad about being a dick. At some point there were fundraisers to send Matt to Iceland and to buy a server and I contributed heartily to both funds, hoping it would ease the guilt. I was raised Catholic, it’s what we did.

I don’t know if it was growing up or what, but at some point I started actually reading what people had to say. Instead of just looking for one or two keywords I could make fun of, I would read and learn.

Funny thing happens when you read people’s points of view. Your mind opens. You start forming your own points of view. Flash forward ten years or so and I’ve been exposed to so many new things, new opinions, new ways to think about things. I’ve always felt that was the most valuable thing people get from college and although it took a lot longer for me, I feel like I get it now. This is a great big world filled with smart, interesting people and they all have something to say. My brother and my bonehead coworkers aren’t the only people who know what’s what.

I still don’t contribute a lot. Not to the blue, anyway. Most of my posts are one line throwaway jokes, but that’s ok. Once in a while if there’s a topic I know enough about I can contribute something. And that’s what’s so awesome about this place. There are 100,000 people and every one of them is an expert on something.

I’ll be forever grateful to Matt for not only starting this place, but running it so damn well. Every time Matt or Jess or Cortex posts something in Metatalk I’m always so amazed at how level-headed they are. With some of the crap that goes on here I’d be throwing things and stabbing bunnies if I had to put up with it on a daily basis, but somehow they manage to do it all so well. And PB is just Superman. I’m convinced of that.

So, what do I love about this place? Pretty much everything. I’m 40 now. When I started coming here I was 30. I look back on ten years and if I had to pick one thing that did more to make me who I am, not counting, you know, having a kid (who, I should add, is featured on the About Page for some reason) it would have to be Metafilter.

Metafilter has been my higher education.
posted by bondcliff at 6:36 AM on October 21, 2010 [36 favorites]

If it wasn't for Ask MeFi, all my partner and I would talk about is cats and farts. That's worth a lot!
posted by hought20 at 7:32 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

You fuckers saved my life.

I'm still plotting my revenge.
posted by loquacious at 7:37 AM on October 21, 2010 [16 favorites]

Metafilter is the place I come to where I know I'm going to find all my smart friends, who are going to have something reasonable to say. I know I'm not going to find the levels of racism, homophobia, and classism here that I have to deal with IRL.

I totally agree with this and I would go further and say that in the relatively short time I have been a member MetaFilter has opened my eyes to just how much prejudice and bigotry is simply allowed to slide in the real world. More to the point, I've realised how guilty I have been in the past of ignoring the veiled bigotry around me.

Thanks largely to MetaFilter I am now far more likely to challenge people when they make bigoted statements, be they through malice or simple laziness. And that is a very good thing.

(Also, dirtynumbangelboy totally offered me his firstborn as a reward for making a post about the science of cakemaking. Which rocked).
posted by jonnyploy at 7:50 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm here for the fiery intellects, I'm here for the community, I'm here for the socket into the zeitgeist, I'm here for the high-school-level drama. Always have been, always will be, if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise. Thank you metafilterbluepepsidom (and especially thank you to Matt and the mods) to the 1033 power.
posted by blucevalo at 7:56 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

To me, it's like an enormous family renion. Everyone's really smart, and the conversation is always far, far better than what I run across daily IRL. Most people are really cool - but some are totally wrong about everything, and pigheaded, to boot. They're still family, though, and eventually you forgive them for being an idiot. (They can't help it, after all, because they were raised by Weird Aunt Jennifer, who neglected them because she honestly believes she's a fairy, and she was too busy listening to Stevie Nicks albums and making toadstool circles in the forest to take care of them properly.)

There's a couple of uncles who are always drunk, but still witty, and there's a cousin whose love life is always in some big, dramatic turmoil. We tell her time and time again to DTMFA, but she stays with him anyway. Uncle Joe thinks everyone is a Commie, but in addition to his bomb shelter, he also builds shelters in his back yard for feral cats to keep warm in the winter, so we tolerate him, too. Cousin Martha pesters everyone to go to her church, but she also works tirelessly to help abused children. Cousin Ted has finally learned to barbecue tofu, along with the World's Greatest Ribs.

No matter what is is you're wondering about, someone in the family knows the answer. And there are hundreds of great family recipes.

(Seriously, has there ever been an Ask.Metafilter cookbook? Because there certainly should be.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:00 AM on October 21, 2010 [4 favorites]

I can overthink my plate of beans to my hearts content.

I can get yelled at by internet strangers for crossing imaginary, unspoken or undrawn lines

I can get my head stuck in an argument that's meaty and coming from a place of intelligence

Its the last bastion of sanity in an already exploding privacy less farmvilling about to be walled and priced internet

Its a memory of the good old days

Its not out to get me to passively consume, I have to actively participate

Its diverse and eclectic on the Blue ('cept when its gaga, palin or whathaveyou)

It challenges me

I can snark

posted by The Lady is a designer at 8:01 AM on October 21, 2010

I come mainly for the circle jerk.
posted by Eideteker at 8:03 AM on October 21, 2010

And if I get the job (inshallah) then its all due to you lot
posted by The Lady is a designer at 8:04 AM on October 21, 2010

I got to watch fuq try to dance.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 AM on October 21, 2010

METAFILTER: a place full of fun people who know good things and disturbing things and are, as far as I can tell, drunk pretty much exactly the right amount of time

I'd wear this t-shirt.
posted by philip-random at 8:15 AM on October 21, 2010 [4 favorites]

Well, it's already been said, but it's you, Whelk-o that keeps us coming back, innit?

Time for a little personal testimony about my life on MeFi, as I remember it. I had this guy who would spend inordinate amounts of time in my house, on my computer, even though he (technically) did not live there. This would have been circa 2004.

Dude kept raving about this online community that provided him with topics and links for various writing & school projects he had going on. So, I looked at this MetaFilter and found it to be an intriguing place. It was not about the latest news, necessarily, adn it had some pretty damn good arguments & flame wars, and what I perceived to be overwhelmingly bright and interesting people--even ones I completely disagreed with.

So, I'm thinking that the guy who was squatting my home office--and trust me, it was a challenge making him do this with his pants ON--was a member of this MetaFilter site.

So I went to post a comment--and found that I had to pay five damn dollars to join! Imagine that! Well, I was probably still forking over $20/$25 a month to AOL at that time with a lot less satisfaction, I thought a one time Abe was a good investment. So I joined & made a comment or two. But then I saw posts attributed to me that clearly this other person had written (no I don't suffer from multiple personalities). So I said, hey! either GYOB or perhaps log in under your own membership. Turns out that lack of an acceptable means of payment blocked his ability to join.

And that's the story of how beelzbubba has a lower member number than klangklangston. It took me from January until March of 2005 to realize that he had this lack, so I spiffed hhim the fiver. If any of you have a problem with klang, well, I guess you have me to blame. And that actually counts inside & outside of MeFi, since there is biological linkage here.

Our SO's also have accounts on MeFi, but in the case of mine, I know that she keeps a tab open on firefox from the last time JR visited & logged in on her computer. So she lurks using klangs signon instead of her own. Probably reads his mail, too.

MeFi is a social space that I enjoy because I don't get spammed by people I barely know who would post Tea Party polls on my FB wall. I always have the option of FIAMO.

Going back to the days of AOL, I started a forum there that provided me with friends I have met IRL, and that's continued and strengthened with MeFi. And when klang joined the Borg through his impact on the streets of LA, the MeFi community helped provide him with some much needed support and me with a huge, huge lump in my throat. And more friends IRL that I have yet to meet in person, but to whom I owe a tremendous debt. That includes Matt, and Jessamyn, and cortex, and the amazing LA MeFi community, and, full circle, the Whelk.

And yes, I believe I am one of the members here whose posts inspired the tl;dr shorthand.
posted by beelzbubba at 8:20 AM on October 21, 2010 [6 favorites]

Now, I want to meet The Whelk

scribbles on list of things to do before I die
posted by The Lady is a designer at 8:22 AM on October 21, 2010

I've met the whelk. He sored me free booze, and then invited me to a party replete with half-naked ladies eating fire and women serving lavender marshmallows, one of whom tickled me.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on October 21, 2010

I'm gonna see The Whelk this weekend, if we all get our schedules mooshed correctly!

I got to watch fuq try to dance.

I thought dancing was outlawed in NYC? Perhaps because of this!
posted by rtha at 8:35 AM on October 21, 2010

Also, Jessamyn West deserves singling out as one of the finest human beings on planet earth.

Last year, in the middle of a terrible snow storm, I fought my way home from work (a more than two hour drive in white out conditions) to find my driveway completely impassable, and I had to clear it because the plows needed to come through, so I couldn't leave my car on the road. My puny snow blower was barely up to the task and, because it was on it's last legs, started throwing its belt. Over and over. In order to fix it, I had to take off my gloves, and carefully relace it through the wheels, in the freezing cold and wet darkness of the road, my aggravation mounting with each passing second. It finally stopped working all together and I had to break out the shovel of the last part. It took me hours, all the while knowing that as broken as I was, it wouldn't matter; I was still going to have to get up and do it again in the morning.

I was so physically sore and emotionally frustrated that as I sat on my stairs, too tired to even get out of my gear, I tweeted something to the effect of "worst day ever".

Out of the blue Jessamyn responded directly to me, something to the effect that she hoped I felt better.

I was just stunned. I don't know why, but her simple heartfelt response nearly broke me right there. None of my friends or family said a word, but the nice mod on the site where I make dumb jokes took the time to say something kind.

It was, quite honestly, one of the reasons I most love this place. Because it introduced me to people like her. It gives me something to aspire to; that maybe one day I can have the same clear-blue-sky impact for the better on someone else.
posted by quin at 8:37 AM on October 21, 2010 [17 favorites]

Vert, meaning green, is often used in French to connote freshness, newness, and pleasure.

Or it could be a typo.

I totally forgot about that juicer.

Metafilter has gotten me to actually finish projects and not let my innate interia. If only we could bottle that into a spray and call it Graditous Cheer for black dog days.

Considering how many comics peole I e met on here, I think I should attach my user number to my pitches...or just flash the awesome card mattdidthat made for me.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 AM on October 21, 2010


Metafilter: forced group hug while chanting " Happy family! Happy family!"
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm a better problem solver because of AskMe: not because I hone my skills answering other people's questions, but because of all the questions I've started and then deleted after preview when I realized I'd rather figure it out myself.

So, thanks for that, and for being the kind of place that actually contains a community of people who get excited about 18th & 19th century history. And also for Flash Fridays, and cute baby animal videos, and recipes, and how to get cat urine out of my handbag.
posted by catlet at 9:09 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and also. I'm not sure how many MeFites are actually people I know from USENET (and I'm pretty sure I like wondering that more than I'd like actually knowing it), but MetaFilter feels like what those of us who did a lot of work in news.groups wanted USENET to be.
posted by catlet at 9:14 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

My favorite thing about Metafilter? That's easy.

Mefite make it easy for me to HATE them.

And I HATE every one of you.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:18 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

^that should be "Mefites"

Don't think I hate you any less.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:19 AM on October 21, 2010

This is a no brainer, but my favorite thing about Metafilter was meeting my future husband on it. I've documented elsewhere how absolutely entrenched this site was in bringing us together, as there's no other way I'd have met a brand new NYC transplant with two cats living in the Lower East Side (I'd already imagined myself marrying a Brooklynite who owned a labrador, you see). As soon as he asked me out at a meetup, I looked up his posting history and find out his stances on feminism, animal treatment, Sarah Palin, and why anonymous should DTMFA. I'm still a little sad he de-activated his account.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:30 AM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

Vert for vertical? Once ace? Then mintox? Later rad? Later still gnarly?

Now you young people just take your free love and hover boards and get off my astroturf.
posted by Ahab at 9:44 AM on October 21, 2010

I came for the links. I stayed for the snark.

Also: I love drunken schmoopey MeTa threads.
posted by slogger at 9:52 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I believe the majority of Mefites are worldlier than I am, smarter than I am, more charitable than I am, and more skilled than I am. They keep me honest, and remind me to try harder to be a good person.The Mefites I've met IRL only reinforce that belief.

Metafilter also challenges me, every day, to reflect on what I believe and why I believe it, and to back up that belief with actual factual arguments rather than just accepting "that's just the way it is." I wish everyone could experience this; it's a healthier way at looking at life and I know it's changed me for the better.

And wow, you all seem to know the best books and the most interesting sites and the most addictive games. You have a soft spot for nerdish pursuits and geeky beanplating. You just totally *get* me!

In short, this community makes me feel like I belong to something bigger than I am, and that I'm accepted, warts and all, and that's a huge comfort some days.
posted by misha at 9:53 AM on October 21, 2010 [6 favorites]

This is where the smart people hang out. I hope to be one, someday. ♥
posted by Lynsey at 9:58 AM on October 21, 2010

I've met the whelk. He sored me free booze, and then invited me to a party replete with half-naked ladies eating fire and women serving lavender marshmallows, one of whom tickled me.

"Met The Whelk" is exactly the 180º polar opposite of "Jumped The Shark," apparently. One day I hope to have Met The Whelk.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:04 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'm still a little sad he de-activated his account.

Metafilter is a place where I miss people I have never met.
posted by zenon at 10:17 AM on October 21, 2010 [11 favorites]

Crikey. I've been a member for over 2 years. I would have been a member a few months earlier, following a mention of the site from my brother following this post on modifying Canon cameras, but I scoffed at the $5 fee ($5? It's the internet! Without pictures! That should be free!)

Over time, it replaced my prior internet infatuation, Discogs, following the tragic Version 4 update. The Discogs forum was (is?) a prime counter-example to Metafilter. Discogs had one primary architect, a reclusive fellow who would drop site updates without much warning, and wouldn't comment on many concerns raised in the forums. There were "power users" who performed quality control the database, but even they had a hard time getting an honest answer from the site designer. It was his site, and we were just enjoying it. The site got big enough that a few people were hired to provide intermediate support between the site owner/maintainer and the masses. The poor intermediary funneled limited information from the top down, but seemed largely ineffective. The site kept on changing, apparently ignoring suggestions that had broad support, instead providing new features that no one ever asked for. Some were good, some were confusing and poorly implemented. And then there was Version 4: the floodgates were officially opened, and the site changed from a database of vaguely verified information to a more of a wiki that anyone could create visible edits. There was a mass departure, and user account deletion called oggercide in the community. The site keeps changing, and the forums are still active, but it is missing the vibrant community that was once there. I was part of a small group that tried to start an alternative site, but that fizzled.

tl:dr - sites run by non-present authorities with their own goals will lose the community, even if the site lives on.

And I have met eyeballkid in person, and he smiled at me. Perhaps it was his drinks showing, or the smile of someone who was scheming, but it seemed genuine.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:25 AM on October 21, 2010

I spent the weekend before last with a bunch of people I met through Metafilter and Metachat and they basically restored my faith in humanity. I had been rapidly sinking into the familiar morass of I hate everyone everyone hates me which is totally fine because I adore barbecued goddamn worms that I fall into from time to time but then I realized, yet again, that many people, particularly those right here, are actually fantastic. It was a highly awesome weekend and the best thing is that it wasn't even the first amazingly fun weekend I have spent with mefites and with a little luck it won't be the last.

I learn stuff here. Possibly scarily, it's my source of news on current events and it hasn't failed me yet. The people here are smart and interesting and funny and can write, which humbles and inspires me and probably makes me meaner than I should be on Facebook and other clusterfuck forums where alas these things are not the case. Thus I continue running home to Metafilter. This is home, you know. So, all good.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:41 AM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like the fact that I had to pay to be here and it's the best thing I've ever paid for online.
posted by parmanparman at 10:41 AM on October 21, 2010

I love Metafilter because...

...It reminds me that I am not the only progressive, introverted, skeptical, feminist SF geek in the world.

...MeFites genuinely want to help others on the green, not just diss and flame each other, which has been the case on almost every other answer site I've seen.

...The moderators do their job and they do it well. They keep the snark, judgment, and unhelpfulness that there might be at bay, and that makes people feel safe posting questions about sensitive subjects.

...I learn a lot from the blue; it's a great antidote to the unbelievable propaganda Fox News offers.
posted by xenophile at 10:50 AM on October 21, 2010

> (I think the Whelk is channeling Miguel.)

That's what I came here to say! But that's OK, I miss Migs. Just don't channel him too much, or you'll get The Snark.
posted by languagehat at 10:52 AM on October 21, 2010

The Whelk: "Metafilter: forced group hug while chanting " Happy family! Happy family!"

I see you have been to a San Francisco meet up before, and I guess the memory-erasing drugs didn't quite work.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:52 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm just glad to have a place where I can pretend to be a famous dead philosopher.
posted by wittgenstein at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2010

the memory-erasing drugs didn't quite work.

Is that what we're calling beer now?
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on October 21, 2010

In 16 days, Metafilter will have given me a husband.

We've engraved the inside of our wedding bands with a reference to the site as a reminder of where we met... you know, in addition to the hours of entertainment, knowledge, real and virtual friendships, a place to get help when we need advice and the ability to debate topics with people globally in real-time.

I LOVE Metafilter!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:16 AM on October 21, 2010 [9 favorites]

Metafilter keeps me young and relatively cool. I know more sooner and can say it with authority -- my kids are constantly saying "How do you know that?!" I introduce them to new music, great sites, things to make them laugh, or think hard. Conversely, Metafilter has made dating "men my age" more difficult, so far. They basically just can't keep up.

Oh, and I love the brain/eye-relief of a site with no pictures, no blinks, no interruptions, so thanks for that.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:29 AM on October 21, 2010

By the beginning of this year I'd pretty much given up on weblogs, forums and boards and the like - for all the vaunted awesomeness of the internet, there's a whole lot of hate out there and it is tiring to sift through all of that to get to the one genuinely interesting and insightful post that brightens up your day or makes you think or re-evaluate your own previous conclusions.

And then I tripped over a post on Boing Boing talking about what a bunch of Mefites (what the hell is a Mefite? zennish wondered, clicking through) did when one of their members asked for help because he was worried about two women from Russia, and I thought - holy shit. People on the internet did this? People that aren't channers out for the lulz? And this Ask Metafilter - there's a place on the internet where people can ask for help? And they aren't mocked for it? And other members actually help each other out?

It was a breath of metaphorical fresh air. Then I found the Schrodinger's Rapist thread.

I'd never read such a measured, thoughtful, heartbreaking and patient discussion on sexism, rape, fear and harassment on the internet. There was anger and pain and so many brave people telling their own stories and when I finished reading I couldn't help feeling a little raw and thinking it was a beautiful thread - which is a bit of a strange thought, really, but when it comes to issues like those discussed in that thread, how often do you see them handled so intimately and in such a composed manner?

So I thought, I'd like to be a part of that - this intelligent, considerate group that works together to help each other and talks to each other with respect. I thought, I'm no where near as smart or articulate as the majority of these people posting, but maybe some of that smart'll soak through to my brain, like osmosis. Upon reflection, I'm still an uneducated newb - I don't comment all that much; frankly the legions of intelligent people on this site are more than a little intimidating and the no comment delete function really makes me think about what I want to be immortalised for all of Google cache to see forevermore - but this site makes me think, rusty gears and cogs in my head creaking away. The smart hasn't quite seeped in yet, but there's time. I'm hopeful.

Best 5$ spent online yet. This site is fucking fantastic.
posted by zennish at 11:42 AM on October 21, 2010 [11 favorites]

In 16 days, Metafilter will have given me a husband.

Wow, Projects has really expanded!
posted by nomadicink at 11:51 AM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

It beats the occasional round of furious cock-punching.
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on October 21, 2010

Unicorn on the cob: We've engraved the inside of our wedding bands with a reference to the site as a reminder of where we met

"If found, please contact Matthew Haughey,, for a reward"
posted by filthy light thief at 12:08 PM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Both of my parents were raised by mostly absent parents themselves. Even though they have always done their best to be good parents to me, since no one really raised them there have always been these strange gaps in the information that they've passed down. For a lot of my life, I have felt like I've been trying to stitch together a patchwork quilt out of scraps when a lot of other people were just given the blanket whole.

And, as always, it's really difficult to figure out what you don't know without any outside help, because you don't frakking know it, and if you already did then you wouldn't have the problem in the first place.

And then I found AskMe, because it kept popping up in my google searches. And once I figured out what I had stumbled upon, I sat down and read every single home&garden, work&money and human relations thread I could find, because there it was, laid out on the internet: the collective wisdom of thousands of grown-ups who knew all about those frakking holes.

That's why I love Metafilter.
posted by colfax at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2010 [19 favorites]

Like zoomorphic and Unicorn on the cob, I met my husband here. I often wonder how different my life would be now if I hadn't ever joined the site, or gone to that meet up, and on and on. So thanks, Metafilter, for my smart husband and our awesome daughter! No other website has given me so much and asked so little in return.

And I agree the mods are wonderful. Looking at other sites there is so much that could go wrong with moderation. I think it must start with them being good, balanced people. Also very calm. Bless them for that. And also Matt, for his vision and inspiring generosity.

I sometimes wonder whether my young daughter will ever be curious enough about her dad and me to read our comments here, and whether the site will still be around by the time that might happen. Our meeting and courtship and marriage is all logged on here through our comments, and while there is probably some stuff I would not have written if I knew my future descendants might read it, it's still a pretty neat story to leave them if they ever want to chase it down. Hopefully the story stays happy!

posted by onlyconnect at 12:56 PM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

It beats the occasional round of furious cock-punching.

But a furious round of cock-punching is always preferable to that obnoxious "we are family" song.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:57 PM on October 21, 2010

"If found, please contact Matthew Haughey,, for a reward"

I'm having this tattooed on my ass.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:58 PM on October 21, 2010

It reminds me of a Ye Olde Coole Linke of the Day website mashed up with a BBS that never has a busy signal when I dial up.
posted by not_on_display at 1:02 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Onlyconnect, I sometimes look back on my posts and wonder the same thing... how our comments will look down the road, possibly by children, and then I realize that with my commenting history, I'll always be eclipsed by Scarabic: be smart from the very beginning...

You know what? Out of context, it's still good advice to newly married couples (minus the dead body stuff). ;)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:04 PM on October 21, 2010

i like how we have metatalk so that we can suck our own dicks every so often.

Actually, you can pretty much suck your own dick anytime you want to . Or maybe you can't, I don't know.

I think the reason I like MetaFilter is that I get to get out of my own head, where I probably spend too much time, and into a place where I can interact with other people whose experiences and situations are different from mine. And I learn how to be a better person, or how not to be a worse one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:07 PM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

...or how not to be a worse one.

Skipping my class again, eh?
posted by nomadicink at 1:09 PM on October 21, 2010

How quickly you forget Ubu.
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2010

reading all the comments on found husbands, that too for just 5 bucks, as an indian, in context of the dowry system - i'd just like to say, ladies you have no idea what an excellent return on your investment the blue is giving you. I'd buy a couple more sockpuppets for a rainy day...
posted by The Lady is a designer at 1:13 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

We are family Ubu. We are.
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on October 21, 2010

"Actually, you can pretty much suck your own dick anytime you want to"

I KNOW! But try telling that to the people on the bus with you!
posted by klangklangston at 1:17 PM on October 21, 2010 [10 favorites]

no you will not be associating fine memories with that hackneyed old ditty favoured by every single hack producer of corny feelgood stories on current affairs lite tv programs.

also, how funny to see me with a crew cut. i'm sporting a fine afro now.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:26 PM on October 21, 2010

i like turtles
posted by not_on_display at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2010

Fine, you come up with a better Mefi Group Hug song.
posted by The Whelk at 1:30 PM on October 21, 2010

I wanna fave you like an animal.
I wanna flag you from the inside.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:34 PM on October 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

I recently had a college friend visit from a rural area. She is kind of internet-clueless but she told me that she gets a lot of great advice by reading articles on some web site called "Ask Metafilter" (she didn't know about the main site; I think she was getting to the questions via Google). I explained about the blue and all that, and that I loved the quality of the content and thoughtfulness of the AskMe answers, and she said "no, I'm pretty sure all the questions are answered by professional columnists". No matter how much I tried to explain it, she insisted that there was no way all that useful information could be presented that well by a bunch of random net users.

That's one reason I love this place. Another is that I often feel incredibly alienated and that the nature of a lot of the posts and comments makes me feel like there are more people out there like me.
posted by freecellwizard at 1:42 PM on October 21, 2010 [6 favorites]

I like MetaFilter because I get to read about stuff I'd never know about otherwise, and I get to compose sentences that I never imagined in even my wildest youthful fever-dreams. Sentences like this:

Do you think Rodan gives a fuck about the ethical implications of eating people?

Also, I enjoy the verbal jousting and jesting. And stuff about comic books and HP Lovecraft.
posted by Mister_A at 1:43 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

The moment I discovered AskMetafilter, I no longer needed my therapist. Seriously.
posted by Melismata at 2:03 PM on October 21, 2010

are you anonymous, melismata?
posted by Mister_A at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

not any more.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:18 PM on October 21, 2010

I come for the recipes.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:22 PM on October 21, 2010

@UbuRoivas: Zing!
posted by Mister_A at 2:26 PM on October 21, 2010

Metafilter has been my higher education.


I'm older than most folks here, but I'm a high school dropout - you get only so much from PBS and the library - you do not get any realtime give and take, in a word: rigor. Hanging out here has given me a taste for the interaction of higher education - for better and/or worse.

Here's an example: having my thought process challenged by smart, worldly people is one thing I get here, but having my ideas challenged by folks who are not as experienced or at a stage of maturity that I've already lived through turns out to be equally valuable. It forces you to hone your thinking, broaden your perspective and calibrate your responses in unique and unexpected ways. Both equally humbling.
posted by victors at 2:58 PM on October 21, 2010 [6 favorites]

It has inspired me to have "MeFi" tattooed on my ever arthritic mouse clicking finger.
posted by buzzman at 5:03 PM on October 21, 2010

Hell bent for favorites.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on October 21, 2010

In a few weeks, I'll have been here for 10 years. Ten fucking years. I haven't been a part of anything (except my family) for anything else that long, I don't think.

I've met a lot of people here that I've never met, if you get me, that I consider friends. Friends are damn near the most important thing in life, to me at least, and I have vanishingly few IRL here in Korea, even after all these years. Long story.

When my best friend was blown up in the 2002 Bali bombing and evac'd to a hospital and subsequently died, the outpouring of support I received from people here changed the way I thought about the internet, and made me realize that much as I may lose patience sometimes or wish that the site was still as human-scale as it once was (as crunchland talks about above), I'll never leave.

When I started MefightClub 3 years ago as an offshoot community, I ended up learning a lot more about myself and community and all kinds of other things, and, though I hadn't really thought it possible, helped to create a new circle of even closer friends that I feel privileged to be a part of. It has given me as much pleasure as any other thing in my life and continues to do so.

Thanks to my natural geekiness and my expat life, the internet is a huge part of my life, and the great twin monoliths and overlapping tribes that dominate it are Mefi and Mefight Club.

I'm cranky and old and temperamental and fighty sometimes, and when I butt heads with people it keeps me awake nights, but the joy of being able to spend time, virtually, with people I know who also know me, warts and all, vastly outweighs the occasional dustups.

There are so many people that I want to meet and break bread and beer with all over the world as a result of my decade here that the very first item on my List Of Things To Do When I Get Rich is to spend a year circumnavigating and buying people drinks. Lots of drinks.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:23 PM on October 21, 2010 [17 favorites]

Thank you for MeFightClub stavros, i'm a new convert and it's a gem.

And if you happen to be in SF you can make good on that drinks thing.
posted by The Whelk at 5:28 PM on October 21, 2010

I like Metafilter because you people are smart and reasonable. I hang out lots of other places with smart people, but nowhere else with quite so many REASONABLE people. Certainly nowhere else where reasonableness is considered a Thing We Do Here, to the point where other members will call you out for being unreasonable and suggest that you do whatever it is you need to do to become reasonable again.

Also, the moderation here is fucking top shelf. I've moderated large communities, though none anywhere near so large and active as this one. It's hard, and I've never ever seen it done as well as it's done here.
posted by KathrynT at 5:31 PM on October 21, 2010 [13 favorites]

Calms me down (I need that, often), soothes me (need that too), inspires and surprises and informs me (sometimes beyond what I might prefer to know, but knowlege is always a good thing). Reminds me when I am most myopic that it's a great big world out there. And where else would I have learned (so quickly!) what whelks are?
posted by emhutchinson at 6:03 PM on October 21, 2010

This is starting to remind me of my younger years, attending Science Fiction conventions in the Detroit area (ConFusion, ConTraption, and ConClave, if anyone remembers them), and there was a rather polite young god we all followed. His name was Bobo, and he was a lower case "g" sort of god. His catchphrase was "Sees all, knows all, does nothing." I know, personally, that he was in fact a god, because I witnessed him create coaxial cables in front of my very eyes (so that we could hook a camera up to the hotel TV to watch our just filmed ritual sacrifice through explosives of Barney).

Anyway, his services were held at midnight, in his hotel room. 30 or 40 people would pack in. Bobo would play keyboard, sing songs (an amazing auto-biographical song called The Group, set to God's Comic by Elvis Costello), and finally, we would end with testimonials. Bobo would play, and we would all sing "I believe in Bobo, because Bobo believes in me" then give our own reasons as well went around the room. It was a great time, and it was also nice because I was like 15, and everyone thought I was ten years older, so I got the free booze, too.

This thread reminds me of that. And I believe in Metafilter, because every once in a while, it reminds me of things I hadn't thought about in years, and it makes me very, very happy.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:29 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm generally on the green and the grey, but both of these give me two things I need. Good advice from the green and good laughs on the grey (really, y'all are funny sometimes). Not to mention the great discussions on both sites.

I haven't really been here long enough to get to know anyone, but I hope to eventually. This tiny town I live it lacks intellectuals -- despite being a college town -- so it's nice to come here and, if not participate than at least observe intelligent discussion.
posted by patheral at 7:01 PM on October 21, 2010

i like it most when you harm your friends
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:00 PM on October 21, 2010

This is where I come for interesting conversation with people who think about things beyond sand dunes, skyscrapers, and shopping malls.

Wait, what's wrong with sand dunes?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:24 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

I just want to say that pretty much all you folks are absolutely tops.

And I mean tops in the rhetorical affirmative sense rather than the sexual position sense.

Or do I???
posted by Avenger at 11:20 PM on October 21, 2010

Can you feel me in you Metafilter?
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes, and it's quite disconcerting. Could you stop moving for a while while Metafilter gets used to it?
posted by Ghidorah at 12:45 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

A few times I went to a meetup and my hope for the world was renewed.

I expect extended absences from Y2Karl, in fact I appreciate them because I'm simple and can only bear so many references but where the hell did Errant go to?


(he's the only one that evaded my rfid-chip-concealed-in-yummy-beer implant, don't think I'm not keeping track of all of you - Whelk if you keep scratching that it will turn into a manitou - stavros it may smell and appear to be beer but it really really isn't (it is the near opposite) - victors I'm leaving my wife for you as soon as I can become gay - klangston I see you'll not be allowed to use your bus pass for the balance of the month, may I have it please?)
posted by vapidave at 2:10 AM on October 22, 2010

There's nothing wrong with sand dunes. In fact I hope atrazine does post something about their physics. More accurately, I should have said simply "sand" rather than "sand dunes." But this give me another opportunity to point out something I like about MetaFilter. People call you on stuff, and you can change your words or ideas in response, in a thoughtful give-and-take.


Oh, and it reminds me of the kinds of conversations I had when I was a student at a liberal arts college in the US. Except the conversations reflect the broader ranges of experience and backgrounds of the membership compared to the student body there, and are the richer for that breadth.
posted by bardophile at 3:30 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Can I join in?

*nose squashed against glass*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 4:03 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Security!!! We got trouble up front!

Careful, she uses Helvetica.
posted by nomadicink at 5:10 AM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

MetaFilter is an excellent place for me to practice being below average.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:57 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: Is it in yet?
posted by Avenger at 7:24 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Arial, fool!
posted by The Lady is a designer at 8:09 AM on October 22, 2010

Metafilter helps me to stay ahead of my 21yo hipster daughter. She is continually amazed that when she sends me a link she thinks is cool, I'll say, thanks. Saw that 3 weeks ago.
posted by Danf at 8:24 AM on October 22, 2010 [5 favorites]

Was introduced to MetaFilter by someone who I consider to be one of the smartest, most interesting people I know. So I tried it out and loved it so much that I stayed. I do a huge amount of internet research, but I'm not sure I would have found this place on my own. I tell a lot of people about the things I've seen here, but for some reason, I don't encourage them to join up. Despite the derails and snark, I find MeFi to be just like others here have described - a great place to come and spout off, share, vent, rant, hug (or be hugged). But it's cleverly hidden from mainstream view.
posted by sundrop at 9:18 AM on October 22, 2010

I've spent my life vacillating between whether I'm some version of normal or not. As time has gone on I've realized that the concept of "normal" that I was brought up to follow is very different from what most of those around me consider is normal. Consequently... I'm not all that normal :) But it's gotten easier to deal with, and I'm at least blessed by being able to hide in a crowd.

And, of course, I find the right crowd in which to hide.

I still fail to say juuust the right words, or do juuuust the right thing. Somehow I'm always tagging along or doing something that's nice but not particularly consequential. There have been places where I've succeeded well above average, socially or intellectually or musically, but I haven't been able to extend that success into other things. I have many acquaintances, but few close friends.

I've been most successful when I can encourage my curiosity and make connections -- between subjects, things, people, whatever. It's true that my ability to make those connections out of thin air is probably the thing that turns some people off, but it's given me way more pleasure than distress. Once it even got me a rather substantial check from Alex Trebek.

The stumbling block, though (as the many ADD threads attest), is an inability to do the low-level things that get everything else moving. Even worse: if I ever want to move past the scut work, to do things that let my curiosity and brain flexibility flourish, I'll have to rein those same qualities in so they don't distract me. A lot of anxiety and low self-worth comes with that.

MetaFilter is one of the very, very few places in my life that's all about my strengths. When I make a great comment, people respond. When my comments don't go anywhere, I can learn from them. I can count on thousands of brilliant, dangerously addictive directions for my brain to go and thoughtful, amazing people who are somehow just like me. And I know that -- thanks to careful, excellent moderation -- I won't get lost in an avalanche of crap.

When someone appreciates something I've said, it makes me feel like my presence means something -- that I'm not such a fuckup after all. There are days when that's really, really important.

So for the time being, this is my home. It's where I want to be, where I explore the world, where I do my best work and learn how to do better, where I feel comfortable and comforted. It's where I'm happy.

posted by Madamina at 9:23 AM on October 22, 2010 [6 favorites]

I've been here 7 months, but I think I've been aware of the site for almost a decade. Not exactly sure why I didn't get sucked in sooner, because you all feel immediately - nay, inevitably - like my people.

I've thought a lot recently about what makes Metafilter, and particularly AskMe, so awesome. Sure, there's the people, the community, the moderation, but honestly, I think the weekly post limit should get due credit. It's such a simplistic element of the site's structure that you almost forget about it, but the impact on signal to noise here is profound.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:30 AM on October 22, 2010

MetaFilter is my window on the world. Current events, culture, and real-life friends come mostly from this site. Which may be unhealthily insular, but I figure MeFi is broad and diverse enough to avoid becoming a little "comfort bubble" while still screening out garbage I totally don't need.

Also, it's my window into other people (especially The Green). I have poor social skills, no close friends, and very little intuition about human nature. Movies sometimes confuse me because I don't get the unspoken stuff - I prefer to read books because the Omniscient Narrator explains why the characters do what they do. The responses on AskMe are like a whole bunch of Omniscient Narrators with different points of view explaining things from their perspective. Very illuminating, at times.

It's also made me realize that I'm even less normal than I thought. I was always a weird kid who didn't fit in, even with the other weird kids, but since I didn't have much insight into normal people I didn't realize how much I differed from them. Sometimes I feel like a freak, sometimes I'm really glad that I never have some of the problems that afflict normal people. On the whole it's a wash, I guess. But it's been useful to realize that my brain just works a little differently from most people's, and that's OK.

This is the best 5 bucks I ever spent.
posted by Quietgal at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]

Without Metafilter, I wouldn't have met some wonderful friends. One of whom helped me get the job I've had for 5 years; one of whom we lost; all of whom I am grateful to know. It's all a bit insane now, with so many people, but there are gems here.
posted by Kafkaesque at 10:51 AM on October 22, 2010

What makes you come back?

To see if we ever find out what 'hardcore taters' really are.
posted by ericb at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2010

Metafilter is the only "place" I've seen online or in real life where there are a lot of people like me, only smarter, more knowledgeable, and wiser, depending on the topic. You're the community I wish I had in real life.
posted by callmejay at 11:15 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Kaf, with respect, who passed away?
posted by clavdivs at 11:22 AM on October 22, 2010

...scribbles on list of things to do before I die

Before you die don't forget to contact ColdChef to arrange your funeral arrangements.
posted by ericb at 11:25 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

MeFight Club, for me. (Thanks Stav and all the other cool dudes (and dudettes) there, even if I don't play vidjagames no more.)

Also the favouriting. You probably can't tell by looking at my profile, but I can almost hear Pavlov's little bell going 'ding' every time I see my favourites total tick up.
posted by WalterMitty at 11:26 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

You probably can't tell by looking at my profile, but I can almost hear Pavlov's little bell going 'ding' every time I see my favourites total tick up.

Heh, yeah, sometimes I wish there was an RSS feed for that.
posted by FishBike at 11:28 AM on October 22, 2010

Kaf, with respect, who passed away?

posted by Kafkaesque at 11:39 AM on October 22, 2010

And I have met eyeballkid in person, and he smiled at me. Perhaps it was his drinks showing, or the smile of someone who was scheming, but it seemed genuine.

Yeah. I've met quite a few Mefites IRL and found it hard to be Anonymous Internet Asshole when not Anonymous or on the Internets.

But, rest assured, my hate seethes.


SEETHES is one of those words that if you type it enough times, really more than twice, it ceases to look like a word and like a random construction of letters. Then on the third appearance you realize that it looks like "see thes" and you wonder what that could mean, or is that just me. Probably just me anyway: HATE!
posted by eyeballkid at 11:48 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Eyeballkid, if it makes you feel better, you will always be an Anonymous Internet Asshole to me, even though I have met you.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:51 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

i hope to met EBK.

he slaps me, we hug, he slaps me again
it is all very roman.
if ignored, see above
posted by clavdivs at 12:24 PM on October 22, 2010

Ah, curious why the OP posted the thread.

For me, I'd be echoing what a lot of people have said - this place feels like a 'home'. I do love what Madamina said earlier about why this place feels like a home. I drift in and out of here depending on my priorities, but knowing there's a metaphorical 'bar' where I can come in and there are regulars, a culture and a (fairly) safe place to think and discuss things helps.

Not sure if it's been mentioned, but for me I also really love the idea of a MeFi ecosystem - not only that it's got the community of commentors, but also that there are more sites in the MeFi universe, (up header yonder, the links) and the expansion all works and feels natural - probably because it's community driven. I can't tell you how many times I've been on a site and wish there was the MeTa equivalent in that community; you can argue that not all sites need all of these microsites, but every online community (and company, really) absolutely needs that MeTa Center Camp/Town Hall where accountability and transparency live, and sites that don't have it or at least commit to the idea of it on some level disappoint me. Just one of the ways where this site is a great addition to my life - thanks MeFis!

*runs off to post my question over on AskMe*
posted by rmm at 12:39 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have this mental image of eyeballkid, kafkaesque and clavdivs mutually abusing substances out in the back alley while we gather around that bar where everybody knows your handle
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:45 PM on October 22, 2010

Putting ice in your fine whisky, letting your buds dry out, man that is substance abuse.
posted by The Whelk at 12:54 PM on October 22, 2010

ooo thanks for the reminder, I bought Dalwhinnie this time to replace the Laphroig... *hums to self on way to kitchen*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:55 PM on October 22, 2010

I've watched eyeballkid eat pudding with a monkey.
posted by jonmc at 1:29 PM on October 22, 2010

I shared a pastrami sandwich with jonmc.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:42 PM on October 22, 2010

Also, it being INTERNATIONALCAPSLOCKEYEBALLKID'SBIRTHDAYDAY, it's nice that this thread is turning into a derail about me.

/me wipes hateful tear from his multitudes of eyes.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:43 PM on October 22, 2010

MetaFilter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

MeFites have been my inner companions for 10 years now.

Oh, yes, the snark, the fun, the playfulness, the tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks into the keyboard.

You are the intellectual and creative friends I've always wanted.

A number of you are good telephone or offline friends too.

Life is sweeter with your immense intelligence, creativity, extraordinary diversity and marvelously mischievous humor.

I love being in the company of people way smarter, quicker, funnier, more articulate than I.

There is a real sense of community here.

There is always the unexpected here. In ways I like.

The mods are inspiring people of integrity, incredible patience, fairness and good-heartedness. You bring out the good in others.

Like others here, MetaFilter has been the college degree I never got, more than an education, challenging me to think more clearly, more precisely, more thoroughly.

I couldn't have gotten through all the cancer treatments, the diagnoses without you.

When I felt crushed by dealing with a 3rd type of cancer in 5 years, a stroke, brain surgery and clinical depression, in 2008 the MetaFilter community saved my life in spite of anxiety that I might be some sort of a fraud or hustler or using MetaFilter in ways the mods are not comfortable with. I was facing homelessness, unable to buy food or medicine, suicidal, couldn't face yet another cancer and being penniless too. MetaFilter's support literally brought me back from the brink. I'm okay now, on my feet again financially, feeling feisty and full of life. Still dealing with a recurring cancer but happy, no longer depressed and well enough to be able to help others.

I owe you guys my life. Not an exaggeration. If there is anything I can do for any of you, please let me know.

Big hugs all around. (((((((((MetaFilter)))))))))
posted by nickyskye at 2:13 PM on October 22, 2010 [12 favorites]

Whoo! It sure is dusty in here. It's making my eyes all sorts of teary. Weird. I never noticed how damn dusty it is.

But that's totally what's causing it.

posted by quin at 2:37 PM on October 22, 2010

{निक्की सकए}
posted by The Lady is a designer at 2:41 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

What? I'm peeling onions many onions.
posted by The Whelk at 2:53 PM on October 22, 2010

It's just allergies.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:56 PM on October 22, 2010

I was most active on metafilter during my last year of a mostly-bad graduate school experience and while working at an almost entirely-bad job. Those things made me feel worthless, abnormal, and mostly like a failure.

Metafilter kept me afloat. It showed me that, not only was I not any of those things, but that there were other people out there, too, as weird and as driven and as passionate as I am, who cared about comic books and science fiction and geeking out and arguing passionately and purposefully about the stuff that is all around us, of seeing worth and wonder in the world, of being more than just a cynical and jaded desk monkey.

I'm not on here quite as much as I used t, because I've taken a risk by taking a job that has me working more intensely, but for fewer hours, so that I can focus on my writing. But I can't help but feel like I have you guys to thank for that, at least partially. Because you showed me that my way of interfacing with the world wasn't all that terrible--and that it, and me, and the stuff that I write and do, is worth something, after all.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:29 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Whenever I have to try to describe what Metafilter is to someone who's never heard of it I end up telling them about the time Metafilter saved some Russian girls from a human trafficking scam. The critical mass of smarts, detective work, and altruism that happened there is what keeps me coming back despite the oft-too-discussed bullshit.

Less spectacular is the number of great music, movies, TV shows, blogs, etc. that I never would have known about otherwise.

Also, I can snark, like, real good now.
posted by cmoj at 6:05 PM on October 22, 2010

I was first drawn to MeFi by the discussions, the bon mots, the anecdotes and the good advice on AskMe, but I keep returning for the empathy generated by people sharing their experiences. I like to think that the differing perspectives of mefites, which they generously offer, spur me to become a more reflective person. The community is generally articulate, sets important issues on the table e.g. the sexism threads, and the moderating quartet is also swell.

Any chance of forming a mod barbershop quartet?
posted by ersatz at 6:07 PM on October 22, 2010

I found
these things today

now were is my wikileak profile and shouldnt i have a bounty, 5$?

oh and it gets better, more on my user page when i get to it
i dedicate this to matteo, with affection who is right, I'm still a S@&T, he did more on mefi then anyone to bring me back over to the light side. It is my hope he would forgive this one betrayal of private correspondense:)

posted by clavdivs at 6:51 PM on October 22, 2010

the chronological order is in reverse for context
but then again
context is everything.
posted by clavdivs at 6:54 PM on October 22, 2010

One time, pips asked me "What would you do without metafilter?" "All my opinions and theories," I answered, "I tell you about them instead." "What's that matt guy's address, I want to send him flowers."
posted by jonmc at 7:05 PM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

oh my,
the lady is a designer,
perhaps like motley crue
{has furious debate with jonmc about 10 seconds to love vs. shout at the devil, eyeballkid pulls out a hidden gem of Macallan, 50 year wrapped in iron, A mace of disruption is ensues}

madame, I welcome you.
lock picks are through me, MAC does the enforcing and EBK takes the guild entry fees
paypal excepted
posted by clavdivs at 7:06 PM on October 22, 2010

has furious debate with jonmc about 10 seconds to love vs. shout at the devil,

I always thought that Too Young To Fall In Love was the best track on that album, although Crue were a mildly better than average specimen of sleaze metal at best.
posted by jonmc at 7:09 PM on October 22, 2010

I come for the bean plating. Many other blogs and social sites do not analyze/comment with depth on news or events to the degree that mefi does.
posted by andendau at 9:13 PM on October 22, 2010

jonmc, I think you mean "Too Fast For Love," which my 14 year old self misheard as "Too Fat for Love," and considering the source worked as well.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:30 AM on October 23, 2010

I like that I can walk into a bar, look at a guy, and he says:


It's freaky I tell you! Freaky.

Oh. And I love the site too.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:07 PM on October 23, 2010

cjorgenson: Too fast For Love was the Crue's first album. Me and clav were debating which tracks were better off Shout At The Devil, Crue's second album.
posted by jonmc at 4:17 PM on October 23, 2010

the real issue is why cant I get Peacock out of my head? Its like a virus and its ruiining my apperication of the word cock.
posted by The Whelk at 5:20 PM on October 23, 2010

Belatedly chiming in from the hospital and under the influence of happy IV painkillers to boot, so I will keep it brief and simply echo Nicky's (far more eloquently expressed) sentiment: the support, generosity, friendship, and all-around good-egg-ness of this community has been instrumental in helping me get through cancer. I can't imagine how I would have done this without this place, and am grateful to the good people of Metafilter in ways I really can't express.
posted by scody at 6:18 PM on October 23, 2010 [5 favorites]

As a community of people, MetaFilter has always rewarded me for my good points but also called me on my bullshit, both with amazing judgment / accuracy. Smart people here.
posted by scarabic at 9:48 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like it here for all of the above; community, camaraderie, intellectual stimulation, the strange empathic connection that gets created here from moment to moment.

I'm the kind of person, though, who really has trouble feeling like they belong anywhere. Groups of people generally make me feel awkward, and while I make a good show of being social, I spend a lot of time alone.

What I like most about Metafilter is that there's a built-in way to feel like I really belong. It's not the five dollars we pony up to join; it's the contributions we make. Whenever I feel like I'm falling out of touch with the whirl of things that go on here, I compose an FPP, or participate constructively in an ongoing thread; I find a question I can answer, or someone who I'd like to MeMail. That's what makes me a Mefite.

I'm damned proud to be one.
posted by MrVisible at 9:58 PM on October 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

What's the best thing that's happened to you here?

fuq and Meatbomb.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:09 PM on October 23, 2010

I really like Metafilter because I think it's allowed me to broaden my viewpoints on a lot of subjects and has tamed a lot of my outrage over many subjects. There are just so many people with so many viewpoints that I would never normally come across. People's comments are also often more articulate and nuanced that what you would find in any magazine or blog. Just the sheer multitude of viewpoints is really amazing and it makes you realize just how there really aren't any right or wrong answers to so many of life's questions. I may not agree with a lot of them, but just know there are people out there who think or feel x makes you understand the world and the people around you a little better.

That and Askme let's me live out my dream of being Ann Landers and/or Dan Savage on a daily basis.
posted by whoaali at 12:01 AM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

PEOPLE used to laugh at my skinny 97-pound body. I was ashamed to strip for sports or for a swim. Girls made fun of me behind my back. THEN I discovered my body-building system, "Metafilter." It made me such a complete specimen of manhood that I hold the title, "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man."

What's My Secret?

When you look in the mirror and see a healthy, husky, fellow smiling back at you—then you'll be astonished at how fast "Metafilter" GETS RESULTS! It is the easy, NATURAL method and you can practice in the privacy of your own room—JUST 15 MINUTES EACH DAY. Just watch your scrawny chest and shoulder muscles begin to swell ... those spindly arms and legs of yours bulge ... and your whole body starts to feel "alive," full of zip and go!

Thousands are becoming husky—my way. I give you no gadgets to fool with. With "Metafilter" you simply utilize the dormant muscle-power in your own body—watch it grow and multiply into real, solid LIVE MUSCLE.

Metafilter Can Make YOU a New Man, Too, In Only 15 Minutes a Day!
posted by krinklyfig at 4:39 AM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

while I make a good show of being social, I spend a lot of time alone.

This is me too, actually. I'm a bit of a lone wolf type, live in a rural area, spend a lot of time in the woods. This surprises people who know me from various real life communities where I'm well known. I love people, but they tire me out. I'm a terrible joiner, I'm particular about how I spend my time and often just prefer my own company.

On days when I'm having a hard day at "work" I think that one of the reactions I'm having is the natural [for me] outsider feeling. And yet this is probably one of the places, besides the woods, where I don't really have that feeling. I mostly get along with people, they mostly get along with me, people get my jokes, most of the ribbing I deal with is good-natured, and I get to talk about the things I really care about not blab about what's new on NPR or CNN for the most part. I can make posts and share the nerdy things I'm in to and people say "thanks" instead of "huh" or "you're so quirky, Jessamyn!" [a personal favorite]

It's nice to be someplace where my eclectic set of interests is just normal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:17 AM on October 24, 2010 [5 favorites]

I've heard it described this way: Introversion doesn't mean you don't like being social, it means that being social is actively draining for you no matter how much you like it and you need a certain amount of alone time to recharge, hence Social In Controlled Bursts.
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on October 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

Yeah, introverts recharge their mental/emotional batteries by being alone, extraverts do it by being around people.
posted by nomadicink at 8:54 AM on October 24, 2010

I love people, but they tire me out. I'm a terrible joiner, I'm particular about how I spend my time and often just prefer my own company.

A quote comes to mind. I have no idea who originally said it.

"I'm never bored in my own company."

I can definitely relate, yet have learned to love how Metafilter allows me to both be alone, and also hang out with a crowd of (mostly) compelling strangers. The flip of this (sort of) is something an old friend is known to say.

"It's a big fucking problem when I'm not alone but I'm the most interesting person in the room."

At MetaFilter, I'm never the most interesting person in the room.
posted by philip-random at 10:48 AM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like metafilter because I can learn something randomly interesting and/or useful at any hour of the day or night. I like that you can ask about anything that's on your mind, and maybe get an answer, instead of having to go ferret out an answer from a sea of available reference: It's too much reference to wade through; it satisfies the little kid in me that sits there on its hands and wails, "Why can't someone just TELL ME!!!"

I like the consensus format of answers. So many ways and so many ideas and so many conclusions & so many takes on any given question. Imagine if Dear Abbey was written by 50 people and they all got to talk at once. There are so many issues that come up in life & relationships where the black-and-white of Morality just doesn't fit. It's just not as cut and dried as one person's view. But give 10, 100, 1,000,000 people the chance to submit an opinion, you get a sense of the field: Most people think X, and their reasons trend toward THIS general field of explanations, but there's a minority opinion of Y and there reasonings cover THIS gamut of ideas, and ps, there's a soupcon of minds who've reached escape velocity and are leaving the solar system and they have THIS to say... It's fascinating, it's informative, it's so much more explanatory than one person drawing a chalk outline around truth & handing you a single set of reasons why.

Another major draw is that it is a relatively "safe" place to talk about The Heavy Shit. The really bad, or taboo, or emotionally loaded things that you don't really want to bring up, but that you'd really like an answer to/to talk about. The mods do a really great job of trying to keep out the Idiot Factor, and you can poll the field to see what's out there. Maybe solicit additional feedback if you need to. All without having to actually make a connection to the people you talk to.

Connecting with people who can relate to fucked-upped-ness has a price: They tend to come with a shit-ton of baggage & buggaboos, to say nothing about what kind of muck gets stirred up in your own soul when you have a true heart-to-heart with someone who's shared your Hell. But they KNOW so much. They've been there. Knowledge shared makes some good come out of the crap that was your past. Lurking, posting or asking, that removed-ness Me-fi offers makes it possible to have these conversations with a wealth of strangers.

Last: The favoriting system. It's the carrot that keeps me coming back. Ever given a gift for the sheer pleasure of sharing? If no one says "thank you," you have to shrug it off --it was a gift. Yeah, you might as well have thrown it off a cliff for all the post-giving satisfaction you're getting, but Hell, at least you did something nice for someone. But let's be honest: It's just not that satisfactory an outcome.

Getting a favorite is like getting a thank-you card for a gift. Someone out there not only received the information you wanted to share, they thought enough of it to tell you it was appreciated. Same feeling. I like that feeling.
posted by Ys at 8:06 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

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