Prospecting for goldmines July 11, 2011 1:02 PM   Subscribe

There is a certain kind of website that has always brought me great joy…expansive, idiosyncratic, under-the-radar, well-edited, weirdly-colored goldmines of information on something. Help prospect the MeFi archives for goldmines.

Goldmines, as far as I'm concerned, are what the web is for. Wikipedia is full of deletionists, Tumblrs have no ontology, corporatized sites have no charm. The best of the web is the labors of love that over the expanse of years accumulate huge swaths of specialized information or opinions or documentation of…stuff. I can explain better by example: So why am I posting this? I want more. I may not have the attention span or the commitment required to create a gold mine of my own, but I know that plenty have been linked here on metafilter in the past. I seek to enlist worthy prospectors to look through their favorites and posts for previously-posted gold mines so that we may all exult in their detail-oriented glory.
posted by silby to MetaFilter-Related at 1:02 PM (59 comments total) 76 users marked this as a favorite

p.s. would love an edit window so I can stick my closing parentheses in there
posted by silby at 1:05 PM on July 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


magnificentobsession
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:09 PM on July 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tumblrs have no ontology

What does this mean?
posted by John Cohen at 1:09 PM on July 11, 2011


I call them WTIIF - What The Internet Is For, and there were a bunch of them in this AskMe.
posted by zamboni at 1:09 PM on July 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh man I think I remember seeing that post last year, too, heh.
posted by silby at 1:13 PM on July 11, 2011


About a month ago, cortex posted a link to Catwoman's backstory. While that may sound like a simple matter for a DC comics wiki, the post shows that the various retcons and re-writings require a diligent, nerdy meta-author to piece together the various backstories into some kind of coherent timeline. It's fairly impressive!
posted by Greg Nog at 1:16 PM on July 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Beatles Record Collection
posted by Lorin at 1:23 PM on July 11, 2011


Tumblrs have no ontology

What does this mean?


silby has a better vocabulary than you do.
posted by MattMangels at 1:24 PM on July 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Tumblrs have no ontology

What does this mean?

silby has a better vocabulary than you do.
posted by MattMangels at 9:24 PM on July 11


That's one of the two options I can think of, certainly.
posted by Decani at 1:26 PM on July 11, 2011


Off the top of my head, TVTropes and the SCP Foundation (previously) -- though those are both community projects, not individual labors of love. You may also be interested in the Mefi Wiki's page on Megalists.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:28 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Toy Solders HQ
posted by marxchivist at 1:28 PM on July 11, 2011


Futility Closet: An idler's miscellany of compendious amusements.
posted by auto-correct at 1:36 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was here to suggest Futility Closet as well.
posted by griphus at 1:37 PM on July 11, 2011


Ooh, also: thesmartass.info, a playable online collection of virtually every classic video game out there, from Atari to Sega Genesis, all maintained by one guy.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:43 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ian's Shoelace Site
posted by rollick at 1:45 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Library of Congress' Science Tracer Bullets - research guides that help you locate information on science and technology subjects.
posted by carsonb at 1:45 PM on July 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Please stop posting in this thread. I have some horrifyingly soul-killing data entry that I really need to do today.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:51 PM on July 11, 2011


You are perhaps familiar with languagehat's site? But what about Sheila O'Malley? Or If Charlie Parker was a gunslinger, there'd be a whole lot of dead copycats? Or Kim Morgan at Sunset Gun? Or Jessica Amanda Salmonson's sites The Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl and Weird Wild Realm? What about David Chute's HUNGRY GHOST BLOG or Greg Egan's dense sf portal?
posted by cgc373 at 1:55 PM on July 11, 2011


Just yesterday I ran across a Supergirl Costume Retrospective (part of a larger compendium of Supergirl knowledge). This may have been posted to the blue at some point, once. I don't know. It was new to me.
posted by adamrice at 1:58 PM on July 11, 2011


Upsideclown: from-the-long-ago writing by Matt Webb, of present-day BERG infamy fame.
posted by urschrei at 2:09 PM on July 11, 2011


I still don't remember how or why I stumbled upon it, but TVTropes compendium of knowledge about the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is staggeringly vast.

Actually, you could say this about most everything on TVTropes. It was more that this particular one has no damn good reason to exist. But it does. And there's something wonderful about that.
posted by schmod at 2:18 PM on July 11, 2011




Hi zamboni, I can't help but notice that it's been almost a year and you haven't married me yet.
posted by theodolite at 2:26 PM on July 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


The bollards of london site is cool, that for pos...sting..this...to the front
Page
oh.

posted by clavdivs at 2:26 PM on July 11, 2011


Damn Interesting stopped updating, but nearly all of the posts are time-agnostic. Everything is damn interesting.
posted by Hargrimm at 2:43 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Paving Expert. Truly the bible of hard landscaping.

I know, it reflects a bit weirdly on me that I find that site so exciting.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:49 PM on July 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rhaomi : Off the top of my head, TVTropes...

You linked to TVTropes?! You provided an actual, easily clicked on link?! Are you trying to damn these poor people to an eternity trapped in that cage? I only just escaped last week. When I went in, it was March!

Don't click it people, it's not worth your life... though it totally feels like it is worth it, because its soooo addictive... must. not. go. back....

crap.

::clicks link::
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Every Bollards of London post ends with the words "Bollards of London".

I don't have a point.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:02 PM on July 11, 2011


Roots Archives.
posted by box at 4:11 PM on July 11, 2011


I feel like I say this all the time, but Justin's Links is a great example of WTIIF^, as is Richard Geib's site, a similarly expansive personal website.
posted by jayder at 4:35 PM on July 11, 2011


You are not so smart
posted by gemmy at 5:09 PM on July 11, 2011


Tumblrs have no ontology

What does this mean?


Nothing really. and tumblr's mainly good for nudity.
posted by jonmc at 5:20 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like Internet Archaeology dot org. Also: I would say that this thread is pretty much what MetaFilter is for? But, whatever, I like kewl linx as much as the next guy.
posted by codacorolla at 5:42 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dan's Data. I rather like TheArabParrot, some NSFW there. You Are Not So Smart.
posted by Splunge at 5:47 PM on July 11, 2011


TUMBLR DOES TOO HAVE ONTOLOGY
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:49 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


oops
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:49 PM on July 11, 2011


And, I guess it was just a throw-away line, but Tumblr is a powerful blogging tool that does whatever its users want it to do. You can have substansive content on Tumblr, but what it mainly seems to be used for is to create an atmosphere of content (if that makes any sense) through a high frequency stream of posts.
posted by codacorolla at 5:50 PM on July 11, 2011


I love the shit out of What Goes On, the Beatles anomaly list.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:11 PM on July 11, 2011




I think "tumblr has no ontology" is supposed to mean that images/links are posted without explanation, explication or discussion. There's no backstory, no introspection and no context. It's like tourism, only you don't leave your chair to do it.
posted by DU at 6:23 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeah that's basically what I meant. I also like the phrase "an atmosphere of content". Tumblr is rad and can be used in a lot of different ways, and there's a lot of fuckyeahwhatever curated stuff on there, but it's mostly stream/blog oriented, without the sort of deeply-indexed non-chronological organization that I associate with goldmines.

also codacorolla: I agree that this is a thing that MetaFiler is for; I posted in MetaTalk cuz I was hoping to surface past MeFi posts that centered around gold-miney/WTIIF-type links. I personally think zamboni could have a cottage industry just making an FPP out of each of those accumulated WTIIFs.
posted by silby at 6:40 PM on July 11, 2011


I like but does it float - it's like art right now across the web.
posted by plexi at 7:19 PM on July 11, 2011


Hardcoregaming.net (all sorts of videogaming)
The B-Masters Cabal (all sorts of b-movies)
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:27 PM on July 11, 2011


I don't remember if this was on MeFi, but I think that's where I first saw it: Ashbury's Aubergines...it looks a bit sparse from the main page, but it has over three thousand (!!!) eggplant recipes.
posted by threeants at 8:03 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because I am terribly boring, pretty much everything about Metal Gear, ever.
posted by sinnesloeschen at 8:20 PM on July 11, 2011


I ran across a Wikipedia article on the 7 styles of lightsaber combat years back. It's either gone now, or I can't find it, but it was easily longer than a Rolling Stone article written by Tabbibi.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:51 PM on July 11, 2011


Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Technical Info cannot go unmentioned.
posted by chmmr at 9:09 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Technical Info cannot go unmentioned.

RIP Sheldon Brown. :( He's one of those guys who has no idea how many people he's actually met and influenced.

That site is an incredible resource. Sure it's spotty or topical in some areas or ways but it's more like the Hitchhiker's Guide to bicycles or something. On every entry there's some nugget of truth that makes all the other DIY pages or videos suddenly make a lot more sense.

In the space of something like 3-4 paragraphs he taught me how to true my own spokes or replace broken ones well enough to keep rolling without shelling out money for a new rim. I didn't "get it" until I found that article. (Still don't, but truing rims is usually ridiculous for everyone.)
posted by loquacious at 9:37 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


MeFi's own madamjujujive's Everlasting Blört

although I still don't know what it's about
posted by lukemeister at 9:59 PM on July 11, 2011 [3 favorites]




Tumblrs have no ontology

I think he means that despite some streaming endorphin-releasing raison d'etre there's no permanence intimated in the arrangement/intent of the content (which is traditionally approached in the connections/context, or the way in which things relate to other things.)

I'd argue a Tumblr is qualifiable regardless, but fuckyeahwhatever.tumblr.com
posted by plexi at 10:53 PM on July 11, 2011


Agreed, loquacious. Like I imagine the man to have been, it's an informal and unpretentious but incredibly expansive site. With a nicely absurd sense of humour.

Once upon a time I fell into a job as a bike messenger, almost entirely by accident, thoroughly unprepared in terms of requisite technical knowledge. e.g., I couldn't for the life of me work out why the 700c wheels I bought weren't working in my 1980's Repco MTB frame. Stumbling across that site was a great stroke of luck that led me to stay employed for the next few years. RIP Sheldon Brown indeed.
posted by chmmr at 5:35 AM on July 12, 2011


an atmosphere of content

Now *there's* a zeitgeist-capturing turn of phrase.
posted by mediareport at 6:34 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've actually found something recently that's like the opposite of a goldmine. A plutonium mine of cranky-old-man-ness, where every page is another layer of Andy Rooney level grump and bile. Behold, http://www.ebtx.com/. It's not the sort of thing that would make a good FPP, because there's not much you can do other than gawk or mock, but it does give you stuff like, The Baby Muffler, Why drugs are bad, the virtue of cruelty, why XML sucks. And so much more.

Unfortunately it seems that, with age, he's gotten more and more in to new world order theories, and truther-ism, which is less funny and more sad.
posted by codacorolla at 8:42 AM on July 12, 2011




messybeast.com for their cat genetics and anomaly info
posted by oneear at 2:05 PM on July 12, 2011


I propose Dennis Havlena's DIY musical instrument site.
posted by robotot at 8:54 PM on July 12, 2011


The Movie Title Stills Collection

I'd forgotten about that one. What The Internet Is For, right there.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:24 PM on July 12, 2011


Tumblrs have no ontology

What does this mean?

silby has a better vocabulary than you do


I majored in philosophy, so I know what the word "ontology" means. I wasn't asking what the word means; I was asking what the sentence means.
posted by John Cohen at 2:30 PM on July 13, 2011


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