nothing ventured, nothing gained July 1, 2011 2:42 AM   Subscribe

What makes one post that features a Kickstarter link get axed, and another one stays? Is it the number of links supporting it, or is it a judgement call based on the coolness of the project? Is the front page of Metafilter the appropriate place to shill for money?
posted by crunchland to Etiquette/Policy at 2:42 AM (92 comments total)

Did you do a search? It was discussed in some detail here back in May. The takeaway quote from mathowie:
great posts can be fine without a "donate to kickstarter" or "sign the petition" or "paypal them money" aspects. When a post includes that, it sometimes seems like the whole point of the post was fundraising, which makes for a dodgy reason to make a post. Depending on how big of a thing the donation/petition part of a post is determines if the post can be salvaged without the link. If that's all there is to a post, it's usually deleted, if there's a gratuitous "donate! sign here!" on a post we sometimes remove it (especially after a rash of complaints, as in this case).
...and jessamyn:
There is a general basic guideline that says don't link to "sign my petition" or "help Karen raise money for her operation" posts. This one was different. We talked about it on the mod list and all agreed that it's sort of important that posts on MeFi not turn into "Here's a set up for a Kickstarter fundraising link" This is not at all what we thought that post was about, but after the adrianhon fundraiser and subsequent MeTa it seemed like it was a better idea to avoid Kickstarter links instead of trying to draw a line between what was an "okay for MeFi" Kickstarter-linked post and what wasn't. Sometimes running a big site means that you err on the site of making general rules instead of case-by-casing all of these.

So generally speaking "Here is an awesome thing" posts are great "Here is an awesome thing and here is how you can donate to it" are less great, and always have been. Having a Kickstarter link is just a very clear and obvious "donate to this" link that we can see. If you'll notice in that thread, of the seven or so threads that have been tagged Kickstarter in the past on MeFi only one is linking to an active fundraiser by a non-MeFite.
Also:
Something that is a fundraiser for a being-created project = likely to get deleted.
Something that is a "here is some stuff for sale that is truly terrific" = less likely to get deleted
Something that is a link to "buy this thing" = likely to get deleted.

I see a pretty large gap between "This is a cool thing these people are selling" and "This is a really cool project, help this get funded" Many "this is a thing for sale" posts get the axe, yours was good and so it stayed.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:12 AM on July 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Generally people run them by me first and I'll give them the nod. Occasionally one of the other mods will weigh in, but just memail me and it'll get looked at. Is there a particular post you have a problem with? If not, I'll just close this up.
posted by doublehappy at 3:12 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


You HAVE to put a link to the post you're referring to if you're going to start a MeTa thread on something. According to your profile, you have been a member for more than a decade. Come on.

Also, as Rhaomi has indicated, we've already had this discussion.
posted by Aizkolari at 3:44 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah, the old applying prescriptive rules to a non-prescriptive process.
IMO, the referenced post is interesting outside the kickstarter context. I'd rather it stayed.
posted by seanyboy at 4:11 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is doublehappy a mod? If not, that was a bit weird.
posted by seanyboy at 4:13 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


No doublehappy is not Meatbomb.
posted by Dano St at 4:18 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


If not, I'll just close this up.

Hold on, there's still some issues to discuss, so I'm going to open this back up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Can one of you new mods close it again so I can see the red box?
posted by Ahab at 4:56 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, sorry, I should have searched. I missed the conversation back in May, and it's too soon to re-hash it.
posted by crunchland at 4:56 AM on July 1, 2011


...or is it a judgement call based on the coolness of the project?

A bunch of guys with slicked-back hair, leather jackets and jeans with like a foot of cuff show up on their motorcycles and yea or nay.
posted by griphus at 5:01 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I recoded the red box so it is now mefi blue.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:03 AM on July 1, 2011


Keep in mind this was posted 51 minutes before midnight eastern time in North America. It's quite possible there was other stuff going on on the site that needed attention around the same time and the post didn't get flagged a lot before the mods went to bed. It's not certain that the mods made a decision to let this go, they may just not have seen it yet.
posted by nangar at 5:05 AM on July 1, 2011


Is doublehappy a mod? If not, that was a bit weird.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
posted by doublehappy at 5:08 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


doublehappy was a mod for a while. But stuff kept disappearing from the break room fridge, so we had to let him go.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


A bunch of guys with slicked-back hair, leather jackets and jeans with like a foot of cuff show up on their motorcycles and yea or nay.

The new mods are rockers? They're gonna be all internally conflicted about fashion and whether to ride a norton or a vespa.
posted by Ahab at 5:18 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


JAZZ HANDS!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:02 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


We're not over the "pretending to be a mod in MetaTalk" comments, yet?
posted by Plutor at 6:12 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Is the front page of Metafilter the appropriate place to shill for money?"

No. MetaFilter is supposed to be about shilling for favorites only.
posted by Eideteker at 6:12 AM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Am I right or what, you brilliant, handsome, incredibly virile people?
posted by Eideteker at 6:13 AM on July 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


Shilling for favorites put me through college.
posted by pwally at 6:19 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shilling for favorites put me through college.
Ten more favorites and I can get a bitchin' gyrocopter!
posted by Floydd at 6:22 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I right or what, you brilliant, handsome, incredibly virile people?

Give me some favorites, and I'll let you know.

It's not a debate I've followed closely, but any policy that minimizes donation-filter and outrage-filter (and worst of all, the combination of the two) is a policy I can support. It's always going to be ad hoc and imperfect, with one fpp staying and another being canned, but I think the general approach is good.
posted by Forktine at 6:25 AM on July 1, 2011


Is doublehappy a mod? If not, that was a bit weird.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Impersonating a Mod is a Federal offense.
posted by doctor_negative at 6:30 AM on July 1, 2011


It ought to be.
posted by boo_radley at 6:37 AM on July 1, 2011


Is it just me, or does something about that Tinkawinki thing seem a little bit odd?
posted by box at 6:43 AM on July 1, 2011


Impersonating a Mod is a Federal offense.

Don't tell anyone, but this is actually a Buddy rather than a Vespa and all these mirrors are just bars of soap with tinfoil over them.
posted by griphus at 6:45 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I axed it, they can make the post tomorrow without the Kickstarter link. This is one of those sorts of things that I think it makes sense to have a fairly bright line about and this one is easy to see.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:40 AM on July 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am not a mod. Not even a secret one, on a mission for Matt on behalf of the Cabal to covertly observe all your actions and report back daily.

I'm absolutely not that.
posted by quin at 7:47 AM on July 1, 2011


I can see the red box! Thank you Jessamyn!
posted by Ahab at 7:54 AM on July 1, 2011


Yeah, I think there's a lot of room for not great posts driven by good intentions on this stuff, but the kickstarter/fundraiser aspect is touchy enough that it feels like the onus is really, really on the post to make it clear why that sort of link would be included. In general, if you can make the post without the fundraiser link, best to do so, since folks interested in a developing project will be able to figure out how to throw money at it themselves.

And, yeah, standard line about metatalk posts made in the middle of the night re: stuff that happened after bedtime being not so great in terms of giving the mods a chance to actually react to the instigating thing or be promptly responsive to the metatalk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:58 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a link on my profile page for a friends Kickstarter project. I'm guessing that's ok if not I'll remove it.
posted by Sailormom at 8:05 AM on July 1, 2011


cortex: "In general, if you can make the post without the fundraiser link, best to do so, since folks interested in a developing project will be able to figure out how to throw money at it themselves."

Plus I'd be willing to be that if someone (other than the OP) feels strongly enough about the project, they'll post the kickstarter link in the thread comments. But if the OP does it, then questions will probably arise re: their motivations for posting.
posted by zarq at 8:08 AM on July 1, 2011


I'm guessing that's ok if not I'll remove it.

Absolutely fine. In fact, you can get your friend a MeFi account and then have them send the link to mathowie to have it put on the MeFi Kickstarter projects page.

But yeah, in the posts is just not going to fly anymore. This is for two reasons

1. the general "is this something cool you found or is this your friend's thing that you want to direct more eyeballs towards to get their project funded?" We'd like to just not have to think about that, it's tough to try to scope out a poster's motivations for making a post so we'd like to presume people are not being sketchy [and I do not in any way think the OP of this post was being sketchy] and once money/petitions are involved, this often becomes much more difficult to determine.

2. the general "are you trying to use MeFi as an SEO/Google juicer. Different sort of thing, but ultimately the same thing. This is why we restrict links in AskMe to ones that are super-necessary [or the bizarre exception which is photos of pets that are being asked about] and will go in and edit links out. MeFi has great page rank which is generally speaking good news for MeFi Inc but can lead to bad behavior from people who want to leverage this for their own purposes and take advantage of the community.

So, this is a case where we'd need to sort of eyeball every post that had a Kickstarter/fundraising link in it to see if it looked kosher or not if we were going to allow Kickstarter links and this is one of those things that doesn't scale at all. So, we take a hardline on it which would not normally be our predilection but having a bright line rule is useful in this case, and the OP can make the same post again tomorrow without it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:14 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The whole "impersonate a mod" thing bugs me, and I think I figured out why: It's noob-hostile in a way that used to be super-common in IRC channels, like that stupid "Hit alt-F4!" prank or "****** Look, when I paste my password it shows up as asterisks! Now you try!"
posted by muddgirl at 8:15 AM on July 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


I totally understand the no Kickstarter thing, but I will say that I love seeing Kickstarter projects. It's a difficult distinction in my mind. I link to things I find cool. I find some projects cool.

I look forward to the "Things we think are cool" email messages from Kickstarter. That says something. I can't think of any other mailing list I am on that I feel that way about.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:16 AM on July 1, 2011


I totally understand the no Kickstarter thing, but I will say that I love seeing Kickstarter projects.

If the project is cool, link to the project's (non-Kickstarter) webage, and if other people like it they can find their way to Kickstarter from the link that is (presumably) on the project's page. If all there is is a Kickstarter link (the project doesn't exist separately yet), then don't post it, as you're not linking to a project, you're linking to someone saying "hey, give me money for my project", which is not very interesting as it's a fundraising page for the cool project rather than the actual cool project (plus has all the issues that jessamyn mentions above).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:32 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I made a post that linked to Kickstarter once, but they'd already reached their fundraising goal and Kickstarter was also the only place info about the project was hosted.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:32 AM on July 1, 2011


You think that's noob-hostile, wait till you get a load of the new spanking machine that pb coded into the sign-up form!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:33 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Shilling for favorites put me through college.

A shilling for favourites is way below current market value. I charge at least a crown, and sometimes as much as a guinea.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:37 AM on July 1, 2011


Bizarre British units? Where do you get the stones?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:41 AM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


muddgirl: "The whole "impersonate a mod" thing bugs me, and I think I figured out why: It's noob-hostile in a way that used to be super-common in IRC channels, like that stupid "Hit alt-F4!" prank or "****** Look, when I paste my password it shows up as asterisks! Now you try!""

Yeah, it's cliquish and dumb and puts people in a position where they'll feel bad when someone inevitably says "You didn't know so-and-so isn't really a mod? LOOOOL".
posted by boo_radley at 8:58 AM on July 1, 2011


Impersonating a Mod is a Federal offense.

It's actually a Fedoral offense-- which is so much worse.
posted by jamjam at 9:24 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's cliquish and dumb and puts people in a position where they'll feel bad when someone inevitably says "You didn't know so-and-so isn't really a mod? LOOOOL".


Or the opposite: the next time the real new(ish) mod has to break up a scuffle, she'll get a ration of "ha ha, right, sure, you're a mod, pull the other one" static.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:33 AM on July 1, 2011


that stupid "Hit alt-F4!" prank or "****** Look, when I paste my password it shows up as asterisks! Now you try!"

You forgot about MIRC's secret Disco Mode. Just type in /disco!
posted by griphus at 9:53 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or the opposite: the next time the real new(ish) mod has to break up a scuffle, she'll get a ration of "ha ha, right, sure, you're a mod, pull the other one" static.

That hasn't happened all that much since the first couple weeks, but yeah, it doesn't help my position much if people joke around about it all the time.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:09 AM on July 1, 2011


/disco
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:39 AM on July 1, 2011


-o griphus
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:40 AM on July 1, 2011


How did I miss which Kickstarter link remained?
posted by Ardiril at 10:44 AM on July 1, 2011


If there's actually concern about people being able to identify who the mods are, adding a visible signifier is probably easier than policing the entire userbase for shenanigans predicated on the absence of any visible signifier to identify who the mods are.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:55 AM on July 1, 2011


adding a visible signifier is probably easier than policing the entire userbase for shenanigans

Eh, I sort of feel like "don't do this, if you do this there will be consequences" is probably okay. We've had mixed feelings about introducing visible signifiers. We want to be able to interact as users on the site and we try to make it very clear when we're speaking as mods. In MeTa that might be a good idea, but people get confused at that also. So, it's something we've thought about but don't see a clear need for at this point. I'm fairly certain that doublehappy knows that crunchland and Rhaomi know that he's not a mod but yeah, generally speaking, don't do that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:06 AM on July 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am Santa Claus.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:09 AM on July 1, 2011


Wait - we have actual mods?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2011


[mod impersonation joke preemptively removed]
posted by slogger at 11:17 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


[wait, did I just make a mod-impersonation joke by not making a mod impersonation joke? maybe I need to give myself a timeout.]
posted by slogger at 11:19 AM on July 1, 2011


I don't think I said anything about policing the entire userbase for shenanigans. I just wanted to note that it's annoying and that I think that people should voluntarily consider whether or not they want to be unfriendly to new members (and to any future new mods).
posted by muddgirl at 11:20 AM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


While we're here I'm not too fond of they way this post is written, straight-up shilling for an NBC iTunes app.
posted by BeerFilter at 11:44 AM on July 1, 2011


as your newest mefi mod, i would like to take a moment to say LOL BUTTS to you all.
posted by elizardbits at 12:11 PM on July 1, 2011


[look now i'm able to post from shakespeherian's account!]
posted by shakespeherian at 12:11 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Goddammit slogger!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:12 PM on July 1, 2011


Cortex and Jessamyn, perhaps now is a good time to release the news.
posted by clavdivs at 12:14 PM on July 1, 2011


Or release your new single "Run The World (Mods)."
posted by mintcake! at 12:16 PM on July 1, 2011


Or release the Kraken.
posted by odinsdream at 12:32 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


release the news, and let slip the mods of "wha-er?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:32 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Mod Interface includes a button which says only:

[RELEASE CLAVDIVS]
posted by zarq at 12:41 PM on July 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm afraid I have no choice but [vocal warm-up] Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease release me, let me gooooooooooo.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:44 PM on July 1, 2011


What is thy bidding, my master?

> Unleash Clavdivs

Are you sure about that, sire?  Remember what happened last time....

> Unleash Clavdivs NOW

*gulp* Yes, sire.

_
posted by zarq at 12:45 PM on July 1, 2011


People who commit Fedoral offenses get sent to the litoral.

Ho ho ho.
posted by winna at 12:48 PM on July 1, 2011


my dad ruptured his fedoral artery and now he can't wear hats no more.
posted by boo_radley at 1:08 PM on July 1, 2011


This seems as good a thread as any other for my first comment.

Hello people of Metafilter, I am back under a new username after a very weird and stalky acquaintance found out my last username.

This is the second time I've had to do this, the last time it was a crazy employer.

Is there a way (metafilter option, greasemonkey script) to remain logged in but without your username showing up on the page?
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there a way (metafilter option, greasemonkey script) to remain logged in but without your username showing up on the page?

There's not a way to do it with the MeFi tools. You could make a Greasemonkey script that would replace every instance of your own username with a different username, but it wouldn't affect server-side stuff [i.e. if someone could access your cache from another computer on the network]. You can repurpose a basic find-and-replace script like this one. I've managed to do this with no real scripting ability/knowledge whatsoever. If you're that concerned about people shoulder surfing, you're probably better off getting a really dull username that will be confused with somone else's. Perhaps some variant on Jacquelinnne?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:43 PM on July 1, 2011


Ayn Rand and God: " Is there a way (metafilter option, greasemonkey script) to remain logged in but without your username showing up on the page?"

Yes. Use the mobile stylesheet.
posted by zarq at 1:52 PM on July 1, 2011


Oh, and welcome back. :)
posted by zarq at 1:54 PM on July 1, 2011


I'd just like to express thanks to the mods -- MeFi has seemed more GRAR of late, and I imagine it gets tiring behind the scenes. Here's hoping for a quiet holiday weekend!
posted by bitmage at 2:13 PM on July 1, 2011


sorry, no can do. i will be crunked and spamming ascii boobs like whoa.
posted by elizardbits at 2:17 PM on July 1, 2011


ascii not for whom the boobs whoa - they whoa for MeFi
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:11 PM on July 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks jessamyn, now my username shows up as "dios".
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 3:29 PM on July 1, 2011


doublehappy is not a mod, he's a mocker.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 3:43 PM on July 1, 2011


I'm not saying it's the worst post I've ever seen, and I know from viewing the the thread (and that it's a cycling post on MeFi) that the content is seen as good. I just felt like that phrasing at the end was a bit over the line, being a link to iTunes with a monetary price beside it. Felt like one of my neighbors just talked to me about woodworking for ten minutes then tried to sell me a bunch of birdhouse plans.
posted by BeerFilter at 3:56 PM on July 1, 2011


I am a rock.

I am an island.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:54 PM on July 1, 2011


No man is an island. He's a peninsula.
posted by Sailormom at 9:04 AM on July 2, 2011


I am an isthmus.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:22 AM on July 2, 2011


I am a rock.

Do you need help?
posted by ersatz at 5:33 AM on July 3, 2011


Do you need help?

Why? Are you a geologist?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:47 AM on July 3, 2011



We're not over the "pretending to be a mod in MetaTalk" comments, yet?


one of the things i really like about metafilter is how most of the community act like mods.
posted by lester at 6:48 AM on July 3, 2011


If you're a rock for more than four hours, call your geologist.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:24 AM on July 3, 2011


A rock feels no pain, and an island never calls its geologist.
posted by box at 12:09 PM on July 3, 2011


I have no need of favourites, favourites cause pain.
posted by doublehappy at 2:15 PM on July 3, 2011


Not enough geologists warm their hands up before they perform rock inspections.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:50 PM on July 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there a way to remain logged in but without your username showing up on the page?

You can see your name, but to everyone else it looks like "*****".
posted by ryanrs at 9:46 AM on July 4, 2011


Oh, I hadn't gone back to check on the Tinkatolli post, didn't realize it was deleted (and missed the Kickstarter discussion). I have no affiliation w the creators. Just saw it on Drawn and thought "neat". Is there a notification by memail when a post is deleted? I never seem to get one if so. I will see if I can modify and repost.
posted by emjaybee at 7:19 PM on July 4, 2011


Is there a notification by memail when a post is deleted?

Nope, we usually feel that people will follow their own thread and notice it. Please feel free to repost and just leave the Kickstarter link off. Thanks for being understanding.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:47 PM on July 4, 2011


This has been reposted, by the way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:05 PM on July 5, 2011


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