I'd vote for that! January 14, 2011 6:05 AM   Subscribe

Is there a place for campaigns on Metafilter?

I'd occasionally like to share details of campaigns I'm interested in with fellow Mefites -- petitions, calls to action, charity appeals, that kind of thing. I'm not actively involved in them, they're not projects -- but I might be affiliated to the organisation in some way.

I could craft a blue around the subject matter, and include the call to action, but that feels like a sneeky form of editorialising. Is it?

And what if I didn't (or couldn't) make an interesting, relevant post of out it? I'm sure single links to petitions would go down like a lawn turd. Is there an argument for a whole new section, or is this a category of content that just doesn't belong on Meta?
posted by londonmark to Feature Requests at 6:05 AM (40 comments total)

The latter, IMO.
posted by ericost at 6:11 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Perhaps set it up as a blog/page of your own, and post in under Projects? Folks could find and follow it, and it could get posted to the Blue.
posted by timsteil at 6:11 AM on January 14, 2011


This is absolutely not what Metafilter is for.
posted by minifigs at 6:11 AM on January 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't think there's a place for on the main MetaFilter site. If you're affiliated with the organisation, then a MeFi post would be a self-link. If you're not affiliated, it's just "not the right kind of thing for MeFi" (which is for interesting links, not "go here and contribute to this cause" links).

The only way I can see it happening is if you yourself created some web thing (website, app, whatever) and posted it to Projects, or if you were hosting or going to an organisation-related event, which you could post on IRL.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:13 AM on January 14, 2011


Yes, I think campaigns do very badly on the front page, and are frequently deleted. My personal feeling is that calls to join a petition or campaign are no different on Metafilter than the junkmail solicitations I receive at home. If an issues is interesting enough in its own right, then maybe a post about it is warranted, but leave the solicitations out.
posted by OmieWise at 6:14 AM on January 14, 2011


Absolutely not what metafilter is for.
posted by odinsdream at 6:14 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


No. A million million times no.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:14 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Your best bet is probably to make friends with MeFites, and then add/follow them on twitter. Because this is not really the sort of thing MetaChat is good for, either.

We all have our causes, and they're all very important. But there's a fine line between creating awareness and creating noise. I'm sure you don't want your campaigns to become something folks tune out. The Internet can be a broadcast medium, but if everyone uses it that way all the time, it gets overwhelming. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Careful targeting (via twitter, socially conscious blogging, etc.) will get you more bang for your buck.

BTW, if you *do* start a blog, then that is something you could post to Projects.
posted by Eideteker at 6:15 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


but I might be affiliated to the organisation in some way

That would be a self-link, which is specifically prohibited. If it's a compelling story with a legitimate charity attached, someone unaffiliated may well find it and post it. You could also include such links in your profile, I think. Otherwise, timsteil's suggestion of your own blog about causes you support is probably the way to go.
posted by booksherpa at 6:16 AM on January 14, 2011


If an issues is interesting enough in its own right, then maybe a post about it is warranted, but leave the solicitations out.

True - if the cause can be the inspiration for an interesting MeFi post that, say, explained the background, history, science, whatever behind the issue, then it could work, but crucially only if you have no personal affiliation* with the cause.

*like you work for them or are connected with them in an official capacity.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:17 AM on January 14, 2011


Yeah, as everyone has said, there's no real good fit for MetaFilter for this type of activity and we don't have plans for setting aside space for such a thing.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:17 AM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, as everyone has said, there's no real good fit for MetaFilter for this type of activity and we don't have plans for setting aside space for such a thing.

That's the answer then, thanks. I'd already worked out there was probably no good place for this kind of thing on the site as it stands, but... well, I thought there might be a case for it. I do occasionally misjudge things spectacularly :)
posted by londonmark at 6:26 AM on January 14, 2011


If some guy asked a question about his favorite cause:
I'm looking for information about the Save The Paisley Owl Foundation. Has anyone contributed money to them? It looks like a worthy cause -- [add some convincing details here...] -- but I'd like to hear other opinions.
would you give him the benefit of the doubt and let it stand (maybe like chatfilter disguised as a legitimate research question for a supposed book) or would you delete it and call him mean names?
posted by pracowity at 6:27 AM on January 14, 2011


I can't delete stuff.
But I would definitely flag it.
posted by inigo2 at 6:29 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there a place for campaigns on Metafilter?

Only if they're set in Blackmoor or Greyhawk. None of this Forgotten Realms stuff. We're old school that way.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:30 AM on January 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


would you give him the benefit of the doubt and let it stand (maybe like chatfilter disguised as a legitimate research question for a supposed book) or would you delete it and call him mean names?

My guess is the links would be removed.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:37 AM on January 14, 2011


I'm looking for information about the Save The Paisley Owl Foundation.

Prince really went off the rails in the early '90s, huh?
posted by mintcake! at 6:38 AM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


If some guy asked a question about his favorite cause...

Definitely not gonna do that. Just so you know. I'm not Tao Lin or anything.
posted by londonmark at 6:38 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been consulted, and I appreciate that. No.
posted by fixedgear at 7:01 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haven't you heard? EVERYONE on this site is Tao Lin.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:03 AM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I could craft a blue around the subject matter, and include the call to action, but that feels like a sneeky form of editorialising. Is it?

Nope.

It would be a blatant form of editorializing.
posted by John Cohen at 7:05 AM on January 14, 2011


God, no.
posted by proj at 7:06 AM on January 14, 2011


What Matt said.

My general advice for any sort of "I'm thinking about posting x but I have this ethical qualm" dilemma is "just don't do it". Better to refrain and remain unimpeachable in your interactions with the site than to put yourself and us in the weird situation of having to ask uncomfortable questions about motive, connection, etc.

There's thousands and thousands of people here; one of them who hasn't even a sliver of an ethical conflict might well post about it. Or they might not. On the balance, most things don't get posted here; there's just too damn much stuff in the world and on the web for it to be otherwise, and that's okay.

If you feel strongly about a cause and really want to put it out there, about the only way to do that on mefi is to put together some sort of substantial web thing about it and submit that to Projects and be clear about what your connection is.

would you give him the benefit of the doubt and let it stand (maybe like chatfilter disguised as a legitimate research question for a supposed book) or would you delete it and call him mean names?

Depending on the framing of the actual question, we might strip the links or delete the question outright.

It is unlikely we would call the poster names unless there was something blatantly scummy going on. Fortunately that happens only rarely.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:10 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haven't you heard? EVERYONE on this site is Tao Lin.

I'M not. I am the very antonym of hipster. And I can't stand Pabst.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:46 AM on January 14, 2011


I'M not. I am the very antonym of hipster. And I can't stand Pabst.

Said like a true hipster.
posted by The Michael The at 8:05 AM on January 14, 2011


that feels like a sneeky form of editorialising. Is it?

Yes. "sign my petition" posts go terribly here. People react strongly to being told what to do and if there's a position you support strongly enough to try to get out and get people to do what you want, that's likey to lead to a corresponding heels-dug "Oh YEAH" response which is sort of the antithesis of a good post.

I know this sounds like we're saying "don't post about anything you really care about" but we're really not. If you're itnerested in a topic, go ahead and make a post about it. If you're involved in advocating and promoting a particlar viewpoint on a topic, think long and hard about whether you want to make a post to MeFi to share something neat you found on the web, or if you're trying to find more people to support and bolster your position on the topic.

would you give him the benefit of the doubt and let it stand (maybe like chatfilter disguised as a legitimate research question for a supposed book) or would you delete it and call him mean names?

I'd strip the links and write him a note politely explaining what was up. Our position on AskMe is that you can include links if they are necessary to the question [or photos of cats for some stupid reason] and that's about it.

Our feeling is that the onus is on you to make sure you don't look like a spammer or a scammer or an SEO douchebag or a self-promoting linkwhore. Fortunately, for nearly everyone, this is not difficult. And if you're feeling "Awww man it's not FAIR that I can't post a link to $AWESOME_THING just because it might look like I'm self-promoting...." we'd like to assure you that it's a great big internet and there are a ton of other places where you can fight aggressively with people about your own advocacy positions on various topics.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:10 AM on January 14, 2011


It was really nice of you to ask first, though, instead of just going ahead and evangelizing! Thanks!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:23 AM on January 14, 2011


I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought RPG when you said "campaign."

(WE COULD DO RIFTS AND THEN I COULD PLAY THIS AWESOME MUTANT PLATYPUS FROM TMNT: TURTLES DOWN UNDER BUT ALSO OTHER PEOPLE COULD BE CYBORGS FROM THE FUTURE AND RANGERS FROM PALADIUM)
posted by klangklangston at 8:29 AM on January 14, 2011


This is part of why I posted about the Pogo trip to Metatalk after he'd reached his goal.
posted by nomisxid at 8:31 AM on January 14, 2011


Warnes Starcoat is a meany.
posted by clavdivs at 9:29 AM on January 14, 2011


I am the very antonym of hipster. And I can't stand Pabst.

Since "the hipster" is said to value the cultural capital perceived as deriving from a secure membership in a small, unknown, or disowned cultural niche, frequently a membership signaled by the deprecation of some popular product or products, this assertion is, in fact, the very synonym of hipster. Why, it's even possible that Alia is the only true hipster here.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:00 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


SEO douchebag is the most redundant phrase.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:25 PM on January 14, 2011


Just put the campaigny stuff in your profile, and then never, ever mention it.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:56 PM on January 14, 2011


I love metafilter for, among other reasons, being one of few places I don't get spammed and marketed to in aggressive fashion.

Don't start. There are a million other places to do that.
posted by spitbull at 2:27 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, let me try another hypothetical: would I turn on this gas if my friend Rocky was in there?
posted by pracowity at 6:33 PM on January 14, 2011


Just put the campaigny stuff in your profile, and then never, ever mention it.

If I were trying to get people to vote for something, maybe something like a dog rescue group in the DC/MD/VA area, that saves poor little cocker spaniels and gives them better lives for example, that's what I would do. Just sayin'.
posted by inigo2 at 6:59 AM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since "the hipster" is said to value the cultural capital perceived as deriving from a secure membership in a small, unknown, or disowned cultural niche, frequently a membership signaled by the deprecation of some popular product or products, this assertion is, in fact, the very synonym of hipster. Why, it's even possible that Alia is the only true hipster here.

If a hipster is someone who drinks diet Coke, uses coupons and buys clothing from Penney's maybe so.


but I doubt it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:00 AM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I found the perfect ending for this thread.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:57 PM on January 15, 2011


Wrong link. Try here.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:59 PM on January 15, 2011


I would like to announce my candidacy for deputy member of metafilter.
posted by srboisvert at 11:34 AM on January 17, 2011


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