Double double? July 7, 2011 4:28 PM   Subscribe

What are the rules about posting a link to a blog or site that was previously posted? I may be being a bit hypocritical, since I've used Hardcore Gaming/ISB/AV Club links to pad out posts before, but this recent Kevin Smith thread looks like it came directly from my previous thread about the blog. What are the rules here?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn to Etiquette/Policy at 4:28 PM (141 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

As with most things, there are few rules and a lot of guidelines. If I'm understanding this one, you linked to a blog in May. Today someone linked to a single post from that blog talking about a specific topic. That new thread is 78 comments long and barely been flagged. So, it's unlikely to get deleted. If your post had been a few days ago, this would look a lot more like "Hey maybe discuss this in the open thread?" It's not. Sometimes if there's a particularly lively thread and one topic in the thread seems to be getting a lot of traction, people in that thread will start a new post on just that small side topic. The new thread looks related to the old thread but it's sort of up to the community if that's a double or not.

So, absent actual copied links from your own post, and absent anyone caring, there's really no problem in my book. We have a FAQ entry or two about double posting if that's helpful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:35 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Please don't pad out posts. Give useful information, no need to stretch it out.

If we could only link to a blog once, Metafilter and the web would be boring.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:12 PM on July 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


I deliberately stayed out of that thread, mainly because I like Kevin Smith a lot.
posted by jonmc at 5:17 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it can be kind of a drag when there's a thing you like a lot and people take pleasure in telling you all about how they don't like it.
posted by box at 5:26 PM on July 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


Except, it was a thread devoted to hating something, and I'd be accused of threadshitting for not hating it enough (It happened in an ICP thread a while ago) which just makes my head hurt.
posted by jonmc at 5:43 PM on July 7, 2011


Again, I'm afraid to make music threads because of that sort of reaction. Every day I scan MeFi in the morning for things I need to angrily defend (like Tim Rogers. Or the other Tim Rogers).
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:51 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Except, it was a thread devoted to hating something, and I'd be accused of threadshitting for not hating it enough..

Not at all. I posted a comment in the thread, saying the criticism of Chasing Amy was flat out wrong, immature and lacked an understanding of the film. It went alright.

I think it's fine if people disagree with what I like. When they do, I ask questions and gain a different perspective and learn something. But this only happens if they criticism is given some decent thought and not just used as an exercise to hate something. It's ok to hate (insert your favorite film or art piece here), but if the person can't articulate or see what the artist was attempting to do and instead views it through the own lenses, a lot of nonsense occurs.

That said, Smith should stick to writing and stop directing. Or go back to direction school or something, his shots usually come off as flat and he can't consistently get good performances from his actors.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please don't pad out posts.

This. Link to something that is interesting enough on its own. Explain what your link is about, briefly, and using words, if it's not self-explanatory, so people can decide if they want to click it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:53 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


LobsterMitten: " This. Link to something that is interesting enough on its own. Explain what your link is about, briefly, and using words, if it's not self-explanatory, so people can decide if they want to click it.

*twitches*
posted by zarq at 6:48 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The subject of your post was the website. The subject of the new post was Kevin Smith. If you imagine a Venn diagram you would find this MeTa in the middle.
posted by m@f at 7:05 PM on July 7, 2011


This was a single entry on a pretty obscure blog, and the first entry on the 'film' link in my post was the take down on Chasing Amy. Hell the first comment on my post was 'You had me at hating Kevin Smith'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:10 PM on July 7, 2011


MetaTalk: If you imagine a Venn diagram...
posted by Eideteker at 7:14 PM on July 7, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn, I'm not sure what you're concerned about. You asked a qustion. It was answered. Do you think we should have done something different? Usually doubles are deleted because the same post has been made here before. This post started enough of a different discussion that one person besides yourself flagged it [and not as a double]. This is a website full of cranky flaggers and it didn't rise to their give-a-shit level. I'm not sure why it's bothering you, but this isn't even a judgment call situation really.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:16 PM on July 7, 2011


Yeah, it felt like something that was a double, and I suppose I'm a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than my original post. Maybe its the GRARRRRRR going around.
Ah well... its a double-edged sword, and now I know its okay to link to that funny new Topless Robot Transformers post or something similar. thanks
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:19 PM on July 7, 2011


Honestly, I think it is more popular (as defined by number of comments) because it's subject was able to spark a debate beyond the subject matter in the link. Your post was more of a "look at this cool thing!" That is valid (see: best of the web) and appreciated (see: the folks who thanked you for introducing them to the blog.)

But absent an edge to argue, cool thing posts aren't going to spawn as many comments.
posted by m@f at 7:27 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I suppose I'm a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than my original post.

This isn't a god damned contest
posted by Greg Nog at 7:27 PM on July 7, 2011 [32 favorites]


I suppose I'm a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than my original post.

That is not the kind of annoyance a mod can help with...
posted by smoke at 7:30 PM on July 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Dude, get your own fucking blog already and post your must have daily links there. Then if it's some exceptional it may get linked to from here.
posted by mrzarquon at 7:44 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's good when people post neat links, that's the important part.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe its the GRARRRRRR going around.

Nah, you know it's just you.
posted by vidur at 8:08 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it felt like something that was a double, and I suppose I'm a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than my original post.

Define "popular".

If you're using favorites or comments as the metric, you're doing it wrong. Both of those values vary wildly based on the subject, the time the post was made, whether or not it was a holiday weekend, average per-capita intoxication of the userbase, whether or not anything good is on TV, what they had for lunch that day, allergy season, the tides, leap years, sparrows farting in a hurricane, the true weight of a human soul at time of sale, the digits of pi as calculated from the sphere of a soap bubble blowing in a breeze, and, well, how interesting the post actually is.


Anyway, it's not a contest. You don't have to post every day, or even every week. You don't win cash or prizes from being the first to post something, either.

You can also make an entertaining game out of surfing a mega-aggregator like popurls.com and guessing which links will eventually be posted to MetaFilter. Sometimes you can even guess who is going to post it.
posted by loquacious at 8:10 PM on July 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


You asked a qustion. It was answered. Do you think we should have done something different?

So why is this thread still open? Serious question.
posted by maryr at 8:23 PM on July 7, 2011


So why is this thread still open? Serious question.

Because we only close MeTa threads when there is a reason (or a problem) and not just because it looks like we're done on a specific topic.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:33 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


"and I suppose I'm a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than my original post."

Oh, for heaven's sake.

Who gives a damn? Seriously.

When you post something to the front page, it is no longer yours. You don't own it anymore. Once you click post, what you have created belongs to this community, not to you.

That means you don't get to control it anymore. You don't get to mod the thread; you don't get to control how many favorites or comments it gets; you can't force people to RTFA and you cannot control how it is perceived by anyone.

As Greg said, this isn't a popularity contest. You can't "win at metafilter." Make the best post you can, don't shit on or be jealous of the efforts of others, and remember that you can always try again with a new post tomorrow.
posted by zarq at 8:34 PM on July 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


You can't win at Metafilter, the man said, and I was inclined to agree. I holstered my revolver and slowly walked backwards out of the bar.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:02 PM on July 7, 2011


and remember that you can always try again with a new post tomorrow.

Not that there's a requirement to do so. An important part of metafilter is the filter part.
posted by rtha at 9:04 PM on July 7, 2011 [12 favorites]


What are the rules about posting a link to a blog or site that was previously posted?

Well, if you're really desperate you can post about constantly until it winds up on the List.

(Don't actually do that.)
posted by mstokes650 at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2011


and absent anyone caring,

Did somebody say my name? Hmmm?
posted by hal_c_on at 9:26 PM on July 7, 2011


Don't be so precious.
posted by slogger at 9:28 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can't "win at metafilter."

You can fail at MetaFilter, though.
posted by grouse at 9:29 PM on July 7, 2011




You can't "win at metafilter."

But I have so many badges!
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nobody needs no steenking honey badgers.
posted by rtha at 10:02 PM on July 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


What are the rules about posting a link to a blog or site that was previously posted?

You get double points.
posted by pompomtom at 10:06 PM on July 7, 2011


"This isn't a god damned contest"

i was told it was a dancing contest
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 PM on July 7, 2011


Dance card, raus.
posted by clavdivs at 10:48 PM on July 7, 2011


i was told it was a dancing contest

We shoot horses, don't we?
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:50 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


*Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice
Bless the beasts and the children
For the world can never be
The world they see
posted by clavdivs at 10:56 PM on July 7, 2011


I would so attend a MeFi dance off.
posted by loquacious at 11:01 PM on July 7, 2011


I would so attend a MeFi dance off.

You know that South Park episode with the dance-off and there's the goth kid who looks at his feet and shuffles side to side? that's me IRL
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:04 PM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


{{{{WIN}}}}
[[[[AT]]]]
METAFILTER!!


$5 Entry fee required. See FAQ for details. Offer not valid in Guam, Rhode Island, and Slovakia. Minor eye and skin irritation may occur. Do not operate heavy machinery while on MetaFilter. MetaFilter is for entertainment purposes only; no gambling, please. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball. Users and their descendents are subject to eyestrain. You may be contacted directly by one of the moderators; when you are, by all means for the love of jesus do NOT make eye contact with one of them. Prices and participation may vary. Your experience of MetaFilter may be different than others'. Breathe deep, and do not be alarmed. This is not a test. There is no Cabal. Scan begins in 3... 2... 1...

TRY IT TODAY!!!

posted by not_on_display at 11:09 PM on July 7, 2011 [14 favorites]


this isn't a popularity contest
In that case, why does it say
Show Favorites Activity: Fuzzy | Precise | Popular
on the activity page?

posted by unliteral at 11:28 PM on July 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


and why didn't I close my bold?
posted by unliteral at 11:29 PM on July 7, 2011


Fuzzy | Precise | Popular | Folk | Rock | Hip-Hop/R&B | Alternative
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:23 AM on July 8, 2011


Fuzzy | Precise | Popular | Folk | Rock | Hip-Hop/R&B | Alternative

Dance/Top40
House
Trance
Breaks
Techno
Progressive
Drum 'n' Bass
Hardhouse
Ambient
Hardcore
Disco
Hi-NRG
Garage
2-Step
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:29 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


And then to see that L I B has a way cooler hat than myself, and more favorites, too. A bit annoying, actually. (Yeah I know. I just won myself a honey badger. I think it's because I don't dance. Way to go, it's only 11:18 here, and I ought to work. Argh. More coffee...)
posted by Namlit at 2:20 AM on July 8, 2011


If it was a contest, how would you win it? If you were going to game the contest, how would you do that?
posted by box at 5:05 AM on July 8, 2011


lies, deceit, trickery and bribery. You know, politics.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:20 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would like to propose that the OP wasn't really concerned about winning at metafilter, despite how that comment sounded. Rather, the OP was concerned about getting ripped off because it's plagiarism, that most pernicious of evils.

This is about the public good. Think of the children!
posted by J. Wilson at 5:28 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That said, Smith should stick to writing and stop directing. Or go back to direction school or something, his shots usually come off as flat and he can't consistently get good performances from his actors.

I don't know if you've seen Red State...that's not an issue in that one from where I sit.
posted by inturnaround at 5:42 AM on July 8, 2011


I propose we make a rule about Lovecraft in Brooklyn. Anyone care to guess what that rule will be?
posted by item at 5:56 AM on July 8, 2011


If you have something to say, then say it, don't be coy. And when you say it, remember this: "There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind." -Kurt Vonnegut
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:02 AM on July 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I suppose I'm a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than my original post.

Dude's gonna to get a ton of shit for this, but why blame him for being honest? He obviously is not proud of his feeling -- a feeling which I have no doubt plenty of front page posters unconsciously feel -- he is just willing to admit it.

I love the dichotomy we all have to play, where we feel validated when something we say or post gets a lot of activity, but we still have to pretend like we don't care or we don't notice our favorites count.
posted by Think_Long at 6:12 AM on July 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I propose we make a rule about Lovecraft in Brooklyn. Anyone care to guess what that rule will be?

$20 SAIT?
posted by rtha at 6:14 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The 6 Colors From Outer Space.
posted by Elmore at 6:19 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dude's gonna to get a ton of shit for this, but why blame him for being honest?

It's one thing to feel jealous, it's another to seek to have a post deleted because you feel jealous.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:21 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:25 AM on July 8, 2011


If I didn't really have something to say and was just being silly, what would the proper Vonnegut quote be? Something about how World War 2 was a just war?
posted by item at 6:26 AM on July 8, 2011


(insert simple line drawing of asshole here)
posted by item at 6:27 AM on July 8, 2011


*
posted by BeerFilter at 6:29 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


why blame him for being honest?

Honest expression isn't a virtue unto itself, especially when the feelings/opinions one's expressing are dumb as shit. I'm sure I have plenty of petty jealousy and entitlement issues, also, but I try my best to keep the rest of metafilter from having to deal with them.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:33 AM on July 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Vonnegut, Greg Nog, Vonnegut!
posted by item at 6:46 AM on July 8, 2011


I was a little surprised that this post (which followed this one of mine) stood despite being called out as a double. But it is an interesting story so I don't mind too much.
posted by exogenous at 6:57 AM on July 8, 2011


Oh, for heaven's sake.
Who gives a damn? Seriously.


Pretty much everyone who makes a post here. I've yet to see a groundswell in people who enjoy making posts with 0 comments. We're running damned short of Enlightened Buddhists in the blue and green. Guess you're all hanging out here trying to stop fights.
posted by yerfatma at 7:21 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


On a tangent, re jonmc and ICP - I really liked the thing Tom Scharpling said about ICP recently in the AV Club interview - that what they do is terrible, but, you know, there's a market for it, some people like it and they are, at least, doing it.

Also, LiB, is "Double double" up there a reference to "Powa"?
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:23 AM on July 8, 2011


Vonnegut, Greg Nog, Vonnegut!

Worst sandwich ever.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:25 AM on July 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: I suppose I'm a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than my original post.

I used to get fixated on popularity of things I posted on Metafilter, but then I stuck to the last point in half-joking guide to making posts:
[Once put online,] the post is no longer yours, but part of the whole of MetaFilter. Let this topic float away from you, and find something else to consume your mind.
I still look at my old posts that didn't fare so well, especially on topics I really liked, and I think about how to better present a topic next time around. Stand behind what you put on MetaFilter, think about how you could improve your presentation of interesting things, but don't dwell on what is already out there.

If someone finds an element of something you posted previously and it gets more traction than your original post, perhaps your original post was too big, or too broad, or posted when people were distracted by other things. But done is done, and unless it's the same content you linked, it's not a double.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:34 AM on July 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't really make many FPPs, but if you look through the "popular" list of posts, they almost always have less than 100 comments. It still proves that this site is about links for many many registered and favoriting users, even if they're not talking about it so much.

I just wish I could find one of those fucking links first. Then my favorites will flow. Maybe I'll pretend that Rhaomi is just my sock puppet.
posted by Think_Long at 7:59 AM on July 8, 2011


yerfatma: " Pretty much everyone who makes a post here. I've yet to see a groundswell in people who enjoy making posts with 0 comments. We're running damned short of Enlightened Buddhists in the blue and green. Guess you're all hanging out here trying to stop fights."

The issue is not whether LiB's post was popular. It was that he feels a similar post was more popular than his original. I was suggesting that he not be so invested in whether someone else's post was more popular than his that he post to MetaTalk calling for its deletion.

Lots of us have made posts with zero or only a handful of comments. I know I had one recently. But none of us posts to MeTa demanding another post be deleted out of spite as a result. I think you'll agree that probably crosses a weird line, yes?

This isn't a huge deal. IMO, LiB doesn't deserve to be eviscerated over it. I'm not trying to call him out at all. My comment was merely a suggestion that he view the situation from a different perspective.
posted by zarq at 8:03 AM on July 8, 2011


Every day I scan MeFi in the morning for things I need to angrily defend.

Is this a joke? I honestly can't tell with you.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:33 AM on July 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


filthy light thief: " Stand behind what you put on MetaFilter, think about how you could improve your presentation of interesting things, but don't dwell on what is already out there. "

That was really nicely put.
posted by zarq at 8:36 AM on July 8, 2011


One of the things that's so tough to sort of accept about the internet world is that the things that are popular or that encourage the most discussion or get the most eyeballs aren't necessarily the things that have the most "there" there. The most popular post on my professional blog of all time was one about Sarah Palin and it still makes me feel ooky. People flocked from a ton of other blogs to go fight in my comments section and it was exhausting and unpleasant even though I found the original subject matter sort of interesting.

While I think it's nice here to have people like and enjoy your posts, I think we all know that we could make a "popular" post (on MeFi or anywhere) just by pandering or linking to some Giant Internet Conflict. For some people, these are also the topics they like, so that works out well. But I think for enough other people, long fighty threads aren't really what MeFi is known for or good at, certainly our moderation style can't support very many of them.

My dream MetaFilter is one where people post about things that are interesting to them, something neat that they found on the web, and that they go elsewhere to fight about the same old current events topics and outragefilter topics. Other websites (seem to) need those eyeballs and reloads much more than we do. Frequent posters know that sometimes a post is popular and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's popular to just the right people, which is sort of a sweet spot, and sometimes that list of "right people" is also long.

LIB, for a new member you post an awful lot. Nothing wrong with that, but it's way outside of the bell curve for this site and occasionally things are going to go in a different way than you expect.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:04 AM on July 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


"If it was a contest"

It was a contest. LiB just lost.
posted by Eideteker at 9:50 AM on July 8, 2011


Just sayin' I don't think people should pick on LiB so much -- I think he's pretty reasonable about the feedback he gets on things like this.
posted by sweetkid at 10:04 AM on July 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Just sayin' I don't think people should pick on LiB so much -- I think he's pretty reasonable about the feedback he gets on things like this."

Oh yeah, I'm teasing, but in the friendly way. I just want to make it clear right now I'm not piling on you, kid. You're good people.
posted by Eideteker at 10:34 AM on July 8, 2011


Tsk tsk, you got it all wrong. You're supposed to say, "You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it." Then you give him your hat.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:46 AM on July 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've yet to see a groundswell in people who enjoy making posts with 0 comments.

I've had seven posts this year with fewer than ten comments each. I'm getting pretty good at it, I think.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:06 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude has made 27 (27!!!) posts in the 45 days since his post about the blog "Et tu, Mr. Destructo?". All but 2 of them have more favorites than the post he is complaining about (which has 5). 2 of them have more comments than the thread he is complaining about (which has 87), and a total of 14 of his posts have 30 or more comments each. And yet he is "a bit annoyed about it since its more popular than [his] original post". That's ridiculous.

And this?

"and now I know its okay to link to that funny new Topless Robot Transformers post or something similar"

Yeah, just what you need, more topics to make posts about.
posted by ericost at 11:16 AM on July 8, 2011


Yeah, stop adding content to the site that people enjoy!
posted by shakespeherian at 11:20 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


villanelles at dawn: "Tsk tsk, you got it all wrong. You're supposed to say, "You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it." Then you give him your hat."

Yes, but when you give it to them make sure to put it on their head and mash it down well.

Then when they look up at you...

*voila!*

Han Solo!


And that's when you hit him.
posted by zarq at 11:28 AM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog: "This isn't a god damned contest"

that's easy for one of the winners to say
posted by idiopath at 2:00 PM on July 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to argue against the idea that going for favorites with a post is a bad thing. Look at posts with a ton of favorites. They're usually pretty good posts, the kind of posts that make MetaFilter a cool place. Using my own posts as a benchmark, because I don't want to call anyone out, I'd say my three most favorited posts are probably the three best posts I've added to the site (although I have a soft spot in my heart for this one).

Now, going for posts with a lot of comments, that's bad. My most commented post is one I'm slightly ashamed of. A lot of comments doesn't usually mean approval, it means people are a-cluckin' at each other.

Favorites are a good thing to strive for with FPPs. Comments are a bad thing to strive for with FPPs. QED.

(I only sorta know what QED means, but I've always wanted to end a statement with it.)
posted by Bookhouse at 2:23 PM on July 8, 2011


This thread brought "Credit in the Straight World" by Hole into my mind for some reason. So I went and listened to it and understood what my subconscious was on about. 1996 tastes sour, though.
posted by Diablevert at 7:21 PM on July 8, 2011


Is this a joke? I honestly can't tell with you.

Nope.
Favorites, comments, etc are a feedback mechanism for popularity. Sorry I post so much but I'm clearing out my backlog of 'cool Internet things I've found'. I posted this because I thought this was a double, and because it was JUST a link to that post I'd linked to previously. I usually like it when somebody links back to something I posted before. I'm now more clear on the guidelines.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:25 PM on July 8, 2011


I think "is this a joke?" was asking about this: Every day I scan MeFi in the morning for things I need to angrily defend.
posted by 6550 at 7:34 AM on July 9, 2011


I guess shit happens.
posted by crunchland at 8:26 AM on July 9, 2011


I think "is this a joke?" was asking about this: Every day I scan MeFi in the morning for things I need to angrily defend.

I know. I wasn't joking. I worry about the snark engine here setting its sights on things I love.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:06 PM on July 9, 2011


Sticks and stones, man, sticks and stones.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:53 PM on July 9, 2011


> I worry about the snark engine here setting its sights on things I love.

That's really rather misguided. If the stuff you love has merit then it will stand on its own, regardless if people snark at it. It's a big world out there, with lots of promise. If you spend a moment worrying about what the faceless internet thinks you're kind of already losing.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:04 PM on July 9, 2011


That's really rather misguided.

No, it really isn't. Metafilter per se with every passing year becomes more a lighted stage for dismissive snark-artists to urinate all over everything, good or bad. Hell, these days even stuff from our own members -- like that painful, laughable armchair-lawyer thread about Andy Baio's legal troubles recently -- gets the fucking treatment.

Metafilter's long had an internet reputation of being a place for people who don't like anything and are wearisome and pretentious in making that known at irritating length, which is at least part of the reason many of the folks who used to be here aren't any more -- that grinding, mock-clever oneupmanship of negativity towards everything that crops up so often on the blue.

Things haven't gotten any better in recent years. If a friend were starting a site of some kind, or wrote a particularly good essay or something, there's no way I'd be happy to see it linked on the blue, because the chances are very high indeed that the snark brigade would drown it in hot piss right out of the gate.

I say that as someone who loves MeFi and has for more than a decade; but it's hard to love a lot of the behaviour we see on the blue. It was always thus, to a degree, sure, but I notice it a lot more these days.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:19 PM on July 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I posted this because I thought this was a double, and because it was JUST a link to that post I'd linked to previously. I usually like it when somebody links back to something I posted before. I'm now more clear on the guidelines."

Just to muddy things up again, I've had posts of mine deleted for being just a link that appeared (usually further back) in another post. So, the real guideline is that sometimes a post like this will get deleted, sometimes it won't, and the call can get kind of subjective. But while the call might not always be consistent from a rules perspective, it's usually pretty good at keeping high quality stuff and culling weaker stuff.

"I know. I wasn't joking. I worry about the snark engine here setting its sights on things I love."

Wait until you realize that some of the stuff you vociferously defend actually sucks! It happens to everyone!
posted by klangklangston at 10:23 PM on July 9, 2011


Wait until you realize that some of the stuff you vociferously defend actually sucks! It happens to everyone!

I'm not just talking action games and folk-punk. There was a thread where most of the people were hating on friggin Good Vibrations!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:53 AM on July 10, 2011


Wait until you realize that some of the stuff you vociferously defend actually sucks! It happens to everyone!

And then I'll be enlightened. Right, Klang?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:59 AM on July 10, 2011


I get around this by making almost no OPs, Lovecraft in Brooklyn - which actually works pretty well, but if it was an approach adopted by everyone would lead to problems.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:09 AM on July 10, 2011


Haters are gonna hate, no two ways about it. One solution is to avoid the confrontations and not post stuff. Another is to say 'Fuck em. I like what I like and that's good enough," and just let them sit in their mom's basement and stew.

And I think that if you vociferously defend something because its important to you, then it doesn't suck, by definition.
posted by crunchland at 8:05 AM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


"And I think that if you vociferously defend something because its important to you, then it doesn't suck, by definition."

You, sir, have never been to Yelp.
posted by klangklangston at 12:07 PM on July 10, 2011


"And then I'll be enlightened. Right, Klang?"

It is theoretically possible.

(I tend to think the next step is realizing that a lot of what you hated, you hated for dumb reasons usually unconnected to the thing itself. Enlightenment's probably five or six steps after that, I dunno.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:11 PM on July 10, 2011


There are no steps to enlightenment.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:53 PM on July 10, 2011


There are no steps to enlightenment.

This much is true. It's more of a slalom ramp, with a pretty nice loop-the-loop in the middle. Also, if you grab one of the brass rings near the end you get a free hotdog.
posted by jammy at 1:22 PM on July 10, 2011


A hotdog that is one with everything.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:26 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Horselover Phattie: "There are no steps to enlightenment."

But if you hum a few bars, I can make up a little jig.
posted by not_on_display at 3:43 PM on July 10, 2011


I hope the enlightenment hotdog doesn't have sweet relish. I don't like relish. Also, I don't like ketchup on hotdogs. Mustard only, please.
posted by rtha at 3:57 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


You, sir, have never been to Yelp. --- What I meant was, subjectively, whatever you support and defend doesn't suck, just because someone (or everyone) else thinks it does.
posted by crunchland at 5:50 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Indeed. It's fine to just like what you like without necessarily getting into fisticuffs with other people who don't like it [or don't like it as much]. MeFi's best, I think, when people post about things that they like.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:08 PM on July 10, 2011


Just seems like people reflexively dislike things, so its easier to post about things you're indifferent to.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:23 PM on July 10, 2011


"Just seems like people reflexively dislike things, so its easier to post about things you're indifferent to."

Sir, I believe the idiom is that you are wearing the crazy pants.

Very few people reflexively dislike things and comment on it; if you're indifferent about what you're posting, you shouldn't post it. You should like what you are posting very much, even if you realize it's going to be something that you will like for two weeks and then forget about.
posted by klangklangston at 6:36 PM on July 10, 2011


I have posted about things I'm interested in and things I love and things that aren't, like, lifelong passions but that made me think "Oh, neat! Wanna show people!"

Some of them were about nature-related things, so you might want to avoid those.

None of them were about things that are the emotional equivalent of my child (if I had one), my cats, my partner. Most of my posts have gotten 50 comments or fewer; some have gotten more favorites than comments. I've figured out that, personally, if I *really really* want to talk about something, - like, have a discussion about it, not just contribute to whatever conversation springs up around it - that that's not something I should make a post about. Your mileage may vary (it obviously does). I have excellent discussions with my friends about things I'm passionate about, and because we're friends (both meatspace and internet-space friends), we understand each other's boundaries and limits and don't cross them if at all possible, because the friendship is generally understood to be the most important thing.

You don't have and can't expect that here. That doesn't mean it's okay for someone to come into a thread an be all "Is this something I'd need a [blank] to [blank]?" or that it's okay to drop a comment like "This band sucks and you are a bad person for making this post."

It does mean that people are free to be critical of the subject of the post, and possibly you, for posting it, and to communicate that criticism in non-guideline-breaking ways. It doesn't mean that what you like sucks. It does mean that it's probably healthier to let a little emotional distance exist, and to remember that you are not what you post. You are not even what you like. Presumably, you are more complex than either of those.
posted by rtha at 6:48 PM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sir, I believe the idiom is that you are wearing the crazy pants.

Very few people reflexively dislike things and comment on it; if you're indifferent about what you're posting, you shouldn't post it


Weird. Last time I brought this up I got the advice to not post things I'm personally invested in, and I've followed that to good effect. If I start posting about things I really care about I know it'll turn ugly.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:10 PM on July 10, 2011


I have linked to this before, but I think it's a good idea generally to post, not too often, about things you thing are really terrific, and then be cool if other people don't think they're awesome. You're sort of responsible for your reactions to other people.

So not specific to you LiB, but generally for prolific posters I think people do sometimes think "Why do you post so frequently? And all of this stuff isn't all awesome..." and they think that people post just to post, to post anything, and not because they think the stuff is awesome. Not like the bar here has to be "awesome" but threads often go better if people are enthusiastic about whatever they're posting about.

So, back to you personally, people suggested that you not post about stuff you're SO invested in if you can't graciously take criticism, since this is a large blog with a lot of different people in it and sometimes some people are jerks. It's a community blog. This would be good stuff to post to your own blog, where you can, and in fact you should, steer the conversation somewhat. But I don't think the antidote to not being invested is to post a lot about things you're only sort of shruggo on. I mean there has to be some balance.

Not like my word is the last word but I'd much rather someone be thinking "Gee I'd like to share this with MeFi" about something they found than "Gee what should I post on MeFi today"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:22 PM on July 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


FWIW, it's the "angrily" in "angrily defend" that has people boggling. By all means, defend things you think need defending, but you'll only make yourself miserable if you let that make you angry. Even the truly important topics that get discussed here, the wars, the politics, the world events, aren't worth getting really angry over because there's nothing we can do here except write at each other. If you're here looking for things to get angry over, well, you should find a healthier hobby.

I won't claim that I've never written in anger here, but I know how stupid it is and I try to just do something else if I catch myself at it.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:25 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Very few people reflexively dislike things and comment on it"

This has not been my experience, especially when it comes to posts about music, medicine, charity, sports, war, politics, gender studies, religion, celebrities, journalism, media outlets, advertising, food, television shows, movies, economics, myriad websites....
posted by zarq at 7:47 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some people are very critical, some people are very sensitive to criticism. Those sets of people should find ways to steer clear of each other because neither of them are going away
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:55 PM on July 10, 2011


"If I start posting about things I really care about I know it'll turn ugly"

I post a lot. I also tend to work hard on many of 'em. That can be a good or bad thing depending on your personality. It took me a while to learn to not be so invested in them that I would try to mod their threads.

The issue here is whether you are able to separate yourself from your post and allow criticism to happen naturally. If you are so invested in a topic that you are unable to remain objective in the face of criticism, then it's probably going to be harder for you to refrain from steering the thread. These days I care little about criticism and more about outright derails, but honestly, you can't and shouldn't try to prevent either yourself, as the OP.
posted by zarq at 8:07 PM on July 10, 2011


> It does mean that it's probably healthier to let a little emotional distance exist, and to remember that you are not what you post. You are not even what you like. Presumably, you are more complex than either of those.

I am gong to N-thing what rtha said.

And to specifically followup; Metafilter is not a place where you should be hunting for favorites on your posts or comments. It should be a happy surprise when you realize that you posted something which you thought was interesting that all of a sudden became fascinating because of who was drawn to the post and the content.

To this day, my favorite examples of metafilter that I share with non mefite's are "this is a great thing about FOO" posts that then end up with comments that start with"Hi, my name is Bob, and I spend my life working on FOO, and let me tell you...".

"Just because you can post once a day does not mean you should," is for me, the unnofficial mantra of what makes metafilter great.

The most favorited FPP's of all time consist of 5 posts, from four posters, all of which have less FPP's than Lovecraft in Brooklyn. Favorites in my mind occupy the weird liminal space between "this is excellent and I enjoy this article" to "not only is this great, I want to come back to it in the future to reflect on it's content".

In short: Pause before posting. When you are creating something that is truly of Interest™ and not just "omg, I need to talk about it this", then the community will respond verboisly, loquaciously (no, not you loquacious), and it becomes one of the things that makes MetaFilter Awesome.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:10 PM on July 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think a lot of people on metafilter think they are the attraction instead of the audience.
posted by absalom at 7:17 AM on July 11, 2011


We're all stars now in the dope show.

I went through a phase where I thought I would try and raise the bar on the stuff posted to Mefi. This was 4 or 5 years ago, when the userbase was half the size it is today. I had a goal to make a new post every day, using a method I devised that worked pretty well. Some posts were memorable, others were real clunkers. I was posting for the sake of posting, and I was dangerously treading into the GYOFB territory. (Of course, the problem with that refrain is that no FB I could ever set up had the number of guaranteed eyeballs, right off the bat, that you get with the mefi front page.) I also made a point of not posting stuff for the sake of discussions. I tried to find stuff (and still do) that are diversions, as un-serious as they possibly could be. Something for people to look at for a few minutes, say "oh, wow." Maybe brighten their day, invite a little psychedelia into their lives and that's all.

I think, in the end, I was successful. I think I inspired some people to post in a similar fashion, and so the kind of stuff posted to the front page was improved.

I will add that I don't think the same thing could (or should) be replicated, and not only because my patented method for coming up with content just isn't viable anymore. I think that there's no reason to fluff the front page up with stuff, especially each and every day. I think it's already overburdened as it is. These days, I wait for neat stuff to find me instead of actively going out and hunting for it myself.

I can say one thing that might be still valid with my old method: I tried not to post anything that I was so emotionally invested in that I felt the need to participate in the thread, or especially defend from the inevitable haters. It was always a 'take-it-or-leave it" sort of thing. (It was also before the days of favorites or flagging, or ever-watchful mods to delete questionable stuff; just a burnt out Matt who had his hands full with jrun errors, so...)

It's not very community-oriented, but I'd almost go so far as to say that it might be best if you just make any post, just walk away from it, and reap the favorites, and don't even delve into the ensuing conversation. You'll save yourself a lot of ill-will and hurt feelings that way.
posted by crunchland at 8:00 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've been doing that, crunchland. It is kinda sad that this is a place where you have to be kinda afraid of sharing your passions.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:21 PM on July 11, 2011


It's not that kind of place if you stop being so sensitive.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:42 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not that kind of place if you stop being so sensitive.

At the risk of belabouring the point I was trying make earlier, that's got it ass-backwards, in my humble.

I mean, yes, being oversensitive or over-attached to the 'value' of the stuff that you're posting a link to is inadvisable, but the unremarked (other than in 'oh aren't we amusing rapscallions and wits' ways) culture of corrosive snark and kneejerk negativity on the blue: that's what needs changing, not people posting stuff they love and want to share in hopes that others will love it too. Or at least if they don't love it, have something worthwhile to say.

But it won't change, of course. My only constant hope is that it doesn't get worse than it already is. But when Metafilter is perceived as being that way, welcoming that kind of commentary, then it's all the more likely new users will assume that's the default mode (or even be drawn here because it seems like the default mode) and the feedback loop sends us deeper into the snarksewer.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:09 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


sample comment from the thread below this one:

I would be shocked if that hack won the Nobel Prize.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:26 PM on July 11, 2011


or this, from a rock thread:

Heavy metal is the music that people who don't understand music listen to – people who harp on the augmented fourth because it's known as the "The Devil's Chord" and flamebait everyone in earshot with boring Satanism and "musicians" with their inane speed-riffing as a substitute for musicality. But that's why Christendom and its apostates flock to it like lovesick mosquitoes, decade after decade, sucking out their nectar of outrage and delicious, stupid pus.

So if I'm a metal fan (I'm not) than I'm going to see that and figure I'm not going to post that amazing bit of metal and the site is poorer for it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:54 PM on July 11, 2011


sample comment from the thread below this one

I realize that you are bummed out LiB, but I'm not sure why you're quoting that. MetaTalk is different from MetaFilter in terms of what sort of commentary is okay, and calling someone a hack isn't, on the vast scale of negativity, that far along the spectrum. I sort of feel that you got it in your head that this place was one sort of place and have realized all of the sudden that it's not and that is getting you down. I sympathize and at some level I'm sorry but I'm not sure what there is to do about the fact that OmieWise doesn't like Cormac McCarthy and has let us know that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:55 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like you're proving my point, not yours. Unless YOU are Cormac McCarthy, who cares if people think he is and call him a hack?

I'm not saying calling him a hack is ideal behavior. But to allow that to be the type of response that makes you "afraid of sharing your passions"?
posted by J. Wilson at 7:56 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not bummed out that much. I pretty much knew MeFi was snarky. It just seems odd that I'd have to prove that it's snarky.


I feel like you're proving my point, not yours. Unless YOU are Cormac McCarthy, who cares if people think he is and call him a hack?


If I was a huge fan of his and invested myself in his books I'd probably be pretty bummed. And its an example of how the knee-jerk snark hits out on even the most beloved things.

I've got a best mate who's like this. Some other friends were ribbing him about hating everything. He said he didn't, and someone mentioned Hitchcock. "Hitchcock was overrated" was his reaction. MeFi can be like that.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:10 PM on July 11, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: " If I was a huge fan of his and invested myself in his books I'd probably be pretty bummed. And its an example of how the knee-jerk snark hits out on even the most beloved things."

People are entitled to say they do not like things, and there is a difference between being vehemently opposed to something and snarking for snark's sake. You seem to be straying into this weird area where you want disagreement/dislike/dissent to be shut down if it's not politely phrased. Is that right?

How we respond to criticism matters, no?

Let me give you an example: I made a post back in March of a video of a young woman playing the ukulele. Decani commented: "I really hate the ukulele. Being a virtuoso on a ukulele strikes me as about as inherently ridiculous as being an expert Morris dancer or champion Lego modeller."

Rather than responding at a similar level of outrage and snark, I replied with links and a reasonable reply. (see 2 comments below Decani's.) We all can choose how we react to provocation. Why not simply take the high road?
posted by zarq at 8:29 PM on July 11, 2011


I've got a best mate who's like this. Some other friends were ribbing him about hating everything.

You're friends with Francis?!

Also, what thread was that dumbass comment on metal from?
posted by adamdschneider at 8:58 PM on July 11, 2011


the rock thread
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:09 PM on July 11, 2011


the rock thread

LiB, can I ask you at this point what you are doing?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:33 PM on July 11, 2011


I'm not sure.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:36 PM on July 11, 2011


I'm too lazy to look up if it's bedtime where you are, but even if it's not, you should probably go to bed. A nap can often do wonders for one's outlook.
posted by rtha at 9:44 PM on July 11, 2011


The issues aren't going to go away, though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:50 PM on July 11, 2011


This is true. Which means they'll still be here after everyone's had a nap, and maybe gotten a different perspective or less crankiness or a new idea.
posted by rtha at 9:58 PM on July 11, 2011


"So if I'm a metal fan (I'm not) than I'm going to see that and figure I'm not going to post that amazing bit of metal and the site is poorer for it."

You're obviously not a metal fan. The proper metal fan response to that is "Fuck you if you don't like metal," and then some Filth or Mountain Goats (because it's possible to still have a sense of humor about the shit you like).
posted by klangklangston at 10:01 PM on July 11, 2011


You're obviously not a metal fan. The proper metal fan response to that is "Fuck you if you don't like metal," and then some Filth yt or Mountain Goats yt (because it's possible to still have a sense of humor about the shit you like).

My response to most things is Mountain Goats, but I wasn't sure if metal fans embraced that song too.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:03 PM on July 11, 2011


John Darnielle is one of the no-shit biggest metal fans in Christendom. Mountain Goats are TRVE CVLT \m/
posted by klangklangston at 10:18 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe the issues aren't what needs to go away.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:20 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The issues aren't going to go away, though.

You seem to be in a funk and again I'm sorry but the issues also aren't going to go away because you're posting random links to stuff on the site and playing "Guess why I don't like this?" If you're finding that interacting with the site is hurting your feelings or making you feel bad, maybe you should take a few days off and do something fun and come back and see what you think then [suggestion, not threat] and maybe we can tease apart some things to talk about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:55 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


If I was a huge fan of his and invested myself in his books I'd probably be pretty bummed.

You're no slouch at vocally disliking things on your own, you know. Look, it smarts when an audience fails to appreciate something you like, especially if you want respect or affection from that audience. And people who don't like anything, or only a narrow range of things, are tiresome. But that's life, pretty much; it's human nature to be dismissive and catty and inconstant and the internet just makes that easier to display. So if you want to be a critic, if you want to tell people that x is more admirable than y and they should think so, too, then you have to handle disagreement, even unpleasant disagreement. If you want to share your interests passionately, then you have to be prepared to look a little silly now and then.

The wonderchicken is right about the corrosive effect of lame knee-jerk snark, I think, but it's a consequence of numbers; I don't think there's any designing it away.

I missed the rock thread, but, I chuckled at that comment. If it was to be taken seriously (something I doubt), then at least its ignorance of actual metal was matched by an interesting insight into a kind of co-dependency between metal and Christian Fundamentalism. More to the point, Lovecraft, I think part of your unhappiness here may lie in this remark. Obviously, if you believe that "rock and roll can save your soul," then you'll resent people taking it too lightly. Personally, I think it's very unwise to look for "salvation" (in anything but the most metaphorical sense) in any aesthetic product or experience. Shorter me: You cannot petition Jim Morrison with prayer.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:58 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you make yourself like sugar, the ants are gonna eat you.
posted by crunchland at 9:57 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel like you're proving my point, not yours. Unless YOU are Cormac McCarthy, who cares if people think he is and call him a hack?
...
If I was a huge fan of his and invested myself in his books I'd probably be pretty bummed.


I am a huge fan of his, have invested myself in a few of his books (Blood Meridian is perhaps one of my all-time favorite novels; top 5? maybe top 5.), and I care not a whit if someone else dislikes it, though I do think the conversation becomes interesting when someone says WHY they don't like it, or what they prefer that has what Cormac lacks, or at least is able to parody it well enough that it's clear they're actually paying attention to the work rather than dismissing it without giving it a chance.

But ultimately, if someone else just says "this sucks :P" then the lack of articulation in that response in proportional to the degree of worth that I'm likely to accord it.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:14 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Darnielle is one of the no-shit biggest metal fans in Christendom. Mountain Goats are TRVE CVLT \m/

Forget Satan. All Hail West Texas.
posted by maryr at 10:28 AM on July 12, 2011


You cannot petition Jim Morrison with prayer.

Out of the depths I cried to thee, oh Lizard King?
posted by Diablevert at 11:25 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


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