Which Active Users have been here the Longest? April 11, 2012 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Which Active Users have been here the Longest?

How has Mefi changed over the years? What has stayed the same?

Looking back at one's own post history, how have you changed in the context of being a user here and how you have been interacting with others?

Comparing your first posts and your last posts, if they were two different users, would you get along with yourself?

(x-posted from askmefi. forget there was a metatalk. awkward.)
posted by jcterminal to MetaFilter-Related at 9:04 PM (170 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Well, there's that Matt guy. He pretty much monopolized the front page for a few years, but he's let up a little recently.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:09 PM on April 11, 2012 [8 favorites]

Seriously, now - I've been here since March of 2003 (in my previous incarnation) and I still think of myself as a newby. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of other users have the same kind of feeling, because a lot of what makes MetaFilter what it is is a real sense of history. That's stayed the same over the (many) years.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:17 PM on April 11, 2012

jonmc joined in 1999, another active member from '99 is using a new account.
posted by mlis at 9:23 PM on April 11, 2012

I think lia also joined in '99.
posted by mlis at 9:26 PM on April 11, 2012

The real question is, who has come here from the future, on their way to the past?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:30 PM on April 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

The real question is, who has come here from the future, on their way to the past?

Well, I would assume it was this guy.
posted by Chekhovian at 9:32 PM on April 11, 2012 [7 favorites]

jonmc has to be pretty close, I'd guess. I joined in Sept. 2000.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:48 PM on April 11, 2012

I've been reading Metafilter since around 2000, when it was part of my cycle of Slashdot, Arstechnica, Fark and a few others.

I didn't get an account for a long, long time because I much prefered lurking and I didn't want one of my exes zany lawyers digging up shit to use in court against me.

One day, I didn't give a shit about that anymore, so I got an account and started contributing my useless anecdotes and snark.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:51 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

mikewas is sub-100 and Jeremy is 100.
posted by unliteral at 9:54 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

I came back, but my dad warned me not to step on anything, or it would have grave consequences for my future.

Not my fault all these bugs-in-the-past are so squishy.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:01 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm active in that I read several times a day, though I don't post much. I've been here since 2000. 19 when I joined, 31 now. My life - obviously - has changed immensely since my first day here, and it's been cool to mark my personal growth through my activity here.
posted by Zosia Blue at 10:08 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh, and I regret just about every post I made in my first two years. AND I vehemently defended Kaycee Nicole. Whoops.
posted by Zosia Blue at 10:10 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Lurking since around 2000. Vividly remember refreshing MeFi like mad on 9/11/01 from the basement computer lab at Michigan Law School. Had to wait three or so years from then to save up the five bucks. Yup.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:15 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

i prefer to measure by thickness
posted by klangklangston at 10:16 PM on April 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

What, I should just sit here in the dark?
posted by Jofus at 10:17 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I celebrated my own 10th anniversary here last month, though I use a different username now. This is the longest I've ever stayed active (more or less) with any online community ever.
posted by PapaLobo at 10:23 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by eddydamascene at 10:32 PM on April 11, 2012 [8 favorites]

On a closely related note, I'm interested in the very early days and how the site grew - was it word of mouth, friend's of Matt's? How many daily page views were there in the first year?
posted by wilful at 10:33 PM on April 11, 2012

Lurked for ages, before ponying up in 2006, so coming up to my 6th anniversary. Still feel like a $5 n00b half the time. Active? I tend towards indolence.
posted by arcticseal at 10:36 PM on April 11, 2012

Joined in 2002, after having lurked since sometime in 2001 (post-9/11, I think).
posted by scody at 10:41 PM on April 11, 2012

I'm waiting for all the lower numbered users to vanish so I can rule with an iron fist. Been waiting since 2001. Man you older-timers are a healthy lot.

(Howdy JC! LT/NS!)
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:41 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

The enigmatic clavdivs has been here and confusing for ages. I'm a fan.
posted by Hoopo at 10:43 PM on April 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Lurked from 2000, joined in 2004. Same username as I have now.
posted by tzikeh at 10:43 PM on April 11, 2012

eddydamascene: "Forget the olds, WHERE MY FOURTEEN KAYZ AT"

Oh, we're still here, don't fret! Biding our time, waiting for the right moment to. Shit, I've said too much already.
posted by dg at 10:43 PM on April 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

OTOH, it's nigh-impossible to believe that The Whelk has only been here for four years!
posted by tzikeh at 10:44 PM on April 11, 2012

I joined in 2001, before the thing at the place. Still don't know what I'm doing.
posted by ook at 10:45 PM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm a daily lottery winner.
posted by bonehead at 10:52 PM on April 11, 2012

I went through them numerically until I got to jonmc and nobody with a lower user number had posted a comment this year.
posted by jewzilla at 10:58 PM on April 11, 2012

(except for the obvious one)
posted by jewzilla at 10:58 PM on April 11, 2012

Biding our time, waiting for the right moment to

posted by eddydamascene at 11:00 PM on April 11, 2012 [9 favorites]

Compared to many others I'm a newbie, from 2005, but lurked since about 2002? MeFi has been a great resource, and I'm thrilled to have met mathowie, jessamyn, cortex, and pb in the flesh, and count MeFites (Miss Lynnster, Cold Chef, others) as for-real friends.

It's an incredible community which has gotten me through some tough times, and brought a lot of happiness and insight.
posted by The Deej at 11:02 PM on April 11, 2012

Wow, today, for the next 5 minutes anyway, is my 12th anniversary of signing up for Metafilter.
Thanks for an incredible 12 years on the internets, guys! I also got to met Jess, Matt, PB, Cortex and Vacapinta, as well as a bunch of neat PDX Metafilterans, including the incomparably lovely Melissa May and her beloved Sleepy Pete. It was a great time, that Meetup.
posted by Lynsey at 11:57 PM on April 11, 2012 [5 favorites]

I joined in 1985 under another name, but back then Metafilter was all by mail. I saw the ad in the last few pages of Boy's Life, along side the X-ray glasses and make-your-own hovercraft ads. The three dollars it cost back then seemed like a good deal compared to all the other crap I could have bought. So I filled out the form and sent it off.

As a kid, the wait was excruciating. I remember six weeks later when my dad walked in with a pile of mail, with that blue and yellow envelope on top. "Guess what's here!" he said, and I tore into it like it was Christmas. What awesome stories would I get to see today? A long-form FPP about my favorite band? A several-panel picture series of a sloth, that I could make into a flip-book and watch over and over? A flame war over some terribly interesting adult issue that I didn't understand yet? Probably not that. The envelope was thinner than I expected.

I took the letter out of the envelope. Only one white sheet? I unfolded it, and read the only text on the page, which I'll never forget:

The page you are looking for is currently unavailable.

My Metafilter adventures would have to wait until another day.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:21 AM on April 12, 2012 [77 favorites]

Don't be silly. The Internet didn't exist in 1999.
posted by zoo at 12:51 AM on April 12, 2012

Signed up in August 2002, after lurking from mid-September 2001. Certainly not the oldest, and probably one of the least prolific. I still feel, well, not like a noob or interloper, but certainly not part of the framework or scene, for lack of a better word, of the site. Just some dude. In my very early posts, I put a lot of careful thought into what I posted. By like post four, out came the snark. Now I'm more liable to just shoot out whatever crap comes to my head.

Site's changed a lot though. Not as free-wheeling, for good or for bad. I think in some ways it's gotten more stodgy. It's still the only site that I was reading in 2002 that I still read. (Plastic.com, rpg.net, slashdot either all fell by the wayside or actively annoyed me.)
posted by Snyder at 2:21 AM on April 12, 2012

A very good friend who introduced me to MeFi pre-dates even jonmc. He very rarely posts or comments but he's been here reading faithfully since the beginning. He will probably see this thread. Hi :).
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:22 AM on April 12, 2012

Don't be silly. The Internet didn't exist in 1999.

Was fire even discovered by then?
posted by bongo_x at 2:23 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, I remember jonmc making a huge postive impression on me very early on, even before I signed up, and I'm glad he is one of the few who are still here.
posted by Snyder at 2:25 AM on April 12, 2012

Much better spelling!

Mainly due to browsers adding built in spellcheckers.
posted by delmoi at 3:17 AM on April 12, 2012

March, 2001. But not under this name.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:42 AM on April 12, 2012

Jonmc and Jessamyn are among the longest active members here, I think. Matt is the oldest, but you could hardly call him an active member of the site anymore. Not that anyone can really blame him. I joined in January of 2001 after reading an article in Wired Magazine that mentioned Metafilter. I have a low, 4-digit user number.

My first post would be deleted today, as news of the weird. I'm pretty certain I would flag every post I made in the first couple years here as being against the guidelines. When I made them, though, there were no guidelines. Matt rarely deleted anything. While perusing my early posts, I found one that actually received zero comments. Inconceivable today. Today, it would be filled with snarky jokes and insults if nothing else. And I would be right in there making the snark with the rest of them.

At one point, I decided to counter the long multi-link treatise posts that another person made with short, pithy, single link posts, mostly without any but the most basic commentary. In fact, I tried very hard to make a new post every single day for awhile, though I don't recall how long it lasted. I wrote a little thing in my profile that described my method for coming up with new content for front page posts, and it got some attention for awhile, but it's gone now because the method stopped working. I like to think that over time, I helped come up with the guidelines of what makes a good post for the site, if only tangentially.
posted by crunchland at 3:47 AM on April 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

Keeping a low profile on a steady beat since May 2001.
posted by carsonb at 3:52 AM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Forever a $5 noob. I was "mature" enough when I joined that my commenting style probably hasn't changed much, but I'm certainly not as thin- skinned as I was the first couple years. I've learned to shrug stuff off, and skip the uncharitable reading. I don't make too many FPPs any more because you guys have found all the good stuff already.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:14 AM on April 12, 2012

I wonder who the longest, active users are?

I guess we have to define "active" first. Maybe the requirement would be that the user posts something on the site at least once for every calendar month they've been a member.

This would disqualify a lot of users though who have taken breaks from the site, including me. But I think that's fair. Even though I've been on this site since 2001, I think I took a year long break once so I haven't been continuously active.
posted by vacapinta at 4:21 AM on April 12, 2012

I wonder who the longest, active users are?

Sadly, I'm never going to qualify. But if I keep working at it, I've got a decent shot at thickest.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:45 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've been here a while but jonmc is the one I always think of when someone asks a variant of this question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:49 AM on April 12, 2012

I was one of the 11/18/2004 Five Dollar Newbs who'd been standing at the window staring in at all you exclusive club members fore years before Matt opened the flood gates to any idiot with a fiver. I was in my forties then and still am so my writing hasn't really changed much.
posted by octothorpe at 4:54 AM on April 12, 2012

I joined in 'sometime in 1999' and still check the site multiple times per day, but post rarely.
posted by prolific at 4:54 AM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Same here, prolific.

I still follow along, pretty much daily. Low profile, I hit 'Delete' more than I hit 'Post'.

There was very little I loved more than a crunchland post ... I've spent hour upon hour crunchlanding. Thank you.
posted by de at 4:58 AM on April 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

There's a bunch of us 12- and 13-K'ers around, too. dejah420's very active. And I got a favorite from lia the other day; she's pretty regular on AskMe.
posted by mediareport at 5:16 AM on April 12, 2012

(I'm guessing there are lots of early users still reading but not posting.)
posted by mediareport at 5:24 AM on April 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

Lurked since '99; joined in 2000. Still regret not getting a baseball jersey.
posted by mimi at 5:39 AM on April 12, 2012

Looking back at one's own post history, how have you changed in the context of being a user here and how you have been interacting with others?

When I got here in late November 2008, my community website interaction habits were those of Daily Kos - where I had made many thousands of comments during the exciting election season.

Which is to say that my natural tendencies towards abrasiveness and sarcasm had been honed sharp. That worked significantly less well here.

I'm still too passive-aggressive on my hot-button issues. But I like to think that's at least some improvement from my aggressive-aggressive behavior of yore.
posted by Trurl at 5:49 AM on April 12, 2012

11K-er here, to use mediareport's lingo, and still going strong. If you call what I do as "going strong", obviously.
posted by tommasz at 5:52 AM on April 12, 2012

That post about planes hitting buildings feels like the real divider between old-timers and the rest. Who was the last to join before 8:46 a.m. EST on 11 September 2001? Who joined specifically to get in on that and related posts?
posted by pracowity at 5:58 AM on April 12, 2012

as long as we're talking about it -- I'd be curious how the "sometime in '99" users managed to find their way to the site.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 6:01 AM on April 12, 2012

I've been here since October 2000. I remember following a link from Zeldman.

I was in Japan from late 2001 to 2002 (would that AskMe had been around then) and MetaFilter was my connection to American news and culture. It's how I found out about the iPod!
posted by Jeanne at 6:13 AM on April 12, 2012

I started reading in late 2000 or early 2001, and joined in May 2001. Almost 12 years of Metafilter, huh. I am also pretty sure I found my way here via Memepool. Everything old is new again.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:15 AM on April 12, 2012

How has Mefi changed over the years?

I've been thinking about this. It's really difficult to separate one's personal experience from that of the site as a whole, and to separate memory from actuality... but I'd say the two main differences are

* we delete a lot more stuff than we used to
* we have cameras favorites

In the early years I remember specifically preferring MeFi over other sites of its ilk because they deleted things and we didn't. One of the things that differentiated MetaFilter from other sites of its ilk, at least in my mind, was that we were aggressively and vocally "self-policing" -- if there was an argument to be had, we'd have it, dammit, and loudly. Other sites would wipe their history, stuff things down the memory hole, but if you said something stupid or controversial on MeFi it'd still be there to haunt you years later. I'm comparing that to, say, the recent Ze Frank thread where someone got their comment deleted pretty much just for dissing Ze Frank. That would never have happened in the old days -- instead we'd have had a big ol' drag-out fight about it that would have taken over the thread.

I'm not going to make the argument that one way is better than the other -- the tighter moderation these days certainly avoids a lot of big ol' drag-out fights, while the under-moderated self-policing felt sort of more pure for lack of a better word, but was also simultaneously community-building (because we're all in it together) and alienating (because hey that guy was a jerk to that other guy and why are we fighting). Whatever it was, it's certainly different.

Aaaand favorites. Hardly worth even summarizing that, it's been done over so many times. And as with moderation you could argue it as having improved the site or as the opposite.
posted by ook at 6:37 AM on April 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

July 2000, brought here by zachsmind's complaints about the place. You can mine my recent metatalk comments to find out how I think the site has changed through the years--I'm getting the sense that nobody really wants to hash that out in this thread.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:40 AM on April 12, 2012

And as for how has it stayed the same: we still don't have that edit window, dammit. And I'm still incapable of getting through a comment without a typo or accidentally using the same phrase twice or dropping half a sentence or &c, dammit.
posted by ook at 6:41 AM on April 12, 2012

My world is rocked--I joined before scody.

I started reading metafilter in 1999, signed up for an account sometime in 2001, on a whim. I comment much more now than I did. Sort of like in real life--I need to know you for years before I open my mouth much.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:46 AM on April 12, 2012

If I walked down the street today and met that trolling, ignorant asshat fuck Bondcliff circa 2001 I'd punch him in the nuts.

Then I'd feel bad about it because in the (HOLY CRAP) twelve years I've been reading the wonderful stuff here I've learned, among other things, to assume that someone might have just had a root canal that day and maybe that's why they're being an ass. It's best to just let that shit go and move on.
posted by bondcliff at 6:52 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by seanmpuckett at 7:05 AM on April 12, 2012

Wow, it's been 12 years for me as well...never stopped to really think about it. I too was lurking around back in 1999...I remember stumbling upon Metafilter by pure coincidence (I was plugging random domain names in the browser to see where they'd take me...was thinking "meta tags", and "filtering"). I think one of my old MeTa requests included one of the first requests to Matt for a Pony. Other than that, no claims to fame here, and I generally stick to ask.me these days... although I do humbly enjoy the diversity and intelligence of the community here, and am glad Matt decided to keep the site going during the rough periods. It's really turned out to be exceptional.
posted by samsara at 7:11 AM on April 12, 2012

jcterminal: " Comparing your first posts and your last posts, if they were two different users, would you get along with yourself?"

Knowing then what I know now, I would skipped making my first five posts and gone straight to this one.

I would absolutely not have made my first post: I called out another mefite (sorta) inadvertently (even though she was very nice about it,) and really, REALLY did not endear myself to the person who wrote that essay I linked to. Got an angry email because linking on Metafilter had attracted a lot of unwanted attention to her blog.
posted by zarq at 7:30 AM on April 12, 2012

I believe I started lurking back in 1999. I think I came here from a post on either Slashdot or NerdPerfect talking about a new-fangled WebBlog. Back then, I didn't believe in signing up for accounts to comment on things on the internet, so while I enjoyed the posts and the commentary, I refused to cave to the man and sign up for an account.

I finally caved when my wife was looking over my shoulder and said in exasperation - "Are you *ever* going to sign up for that damned site?"
posted by Jacob G at 7:41 AM on April 12, 2012

Over eleven years but I don't know what defines "active" here. I've taken a lot of (smaller, a couple big) breaks, and I lurked a lot more often than participated. I'm pretty sure I found MeFi from Memepool.

What has changed? It feels more open and warm now, less cliquey, and more accepting and appreciative of diverse points of view. The many "boyzone" discussions over the years, while frustrating to have to repeat for so long, ended up improving the general site attitude a good deal. Having moderation has improved the site IMO. I was opposed to favorites at first but I think they have worked out quite well overall. Stayed the same? I like how the look of the site has not really changed, I like its simplicity and straightforwardness.

How I have changed? I used to be very intimidated to participate. I used to basically censor myself to fly under the radar as much as possible. When AskMeFi began I liked that I could participate there with less anxiety. Now I feel less intimidated. I make a lot more posts - I love to share links - and I share more of my opinions in comments.
posted by flex at 8:04 AM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Lurking since 2000, joined in '02 after winning the sign-up lottery.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:25 AM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

The moderation is much more thorough (not aggressive, but definitely more attentive). There's less gonzo threads (and quonsar, which I suspect isn't a coincidence) than there used to be.

When did jessamyn & co. become official mods? It seems like a long time ago now.

I still miss Miguel.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:31 AM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

When did jessamyn & co. become official mods? It seems like a long time ago now.

A solid five years for me, seven for Jess I think. Doesn't feel like it's been that long; I am forever thinking of stuff from my first year or so on the job as from "a couple years" ago, as in two, not four or five.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:36 AM on April 12, 2012

Another member of the class of '99, who apparently joined while still in grade school, is palegirl.
posted by y2karl at 8:39 AM on April 12, 2012

Yeah here's the timeline. We both started off super part time and gradually moved into real fulltime roles here. I became official 1/05 and cortex was in 2/07.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:40 AM on April 12, 2012

October 2000 for me. There wasn't much point in lurking back then, it was a much smaller community and jumping right in seemed okay.
posted by briank at 8:44 AM on April 12, 2012

(I'm guessing there are lots of early users still reading but not posting.)

All you see the glow of their cigarette.
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've been reading since the summer of 2001, when I was unemployed and reading everything I could find. I didn't sign up for four more years because I was anti-PayPal for a long time. I'm not prolific but started participating on AskMe within the first week, responding to a music question. I think my first post to MeFi was okay. I never posted much, and I post even less now because when I see something good, I think, ah, that will be on Metafilter in a day or two. I'm lazy.

The things that seem to have changed to me are probably my own confirmation bias, but I feel like there are more people willing to jump into a thread and complain about some tiny thing about the post, or the post subject, or whatever. But that seems to be the way of the internet.

There are people I miss, who had distinctive voices and original points of view. It seems like the user base has evolved with certain expectations of the site and the culture here, and has become more homogeneous as a result. I think that's a normal sort of evolution of communities, but I find myself reading front page comments less often than I did a few years ago because they seem to go along more predictable lines. Metafilter still remains one of the most interesting places for me to regularly visit online.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:03 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lurked since '02, joined in '05? What's changed? People speak of the boyzone days and all that, though it often seems like there's come to be too much of what's allowed: angry tough love in Ask, snark and noise in Metafilter and mean-spirited obnoxiousness in MeTa.

Relative to that or otherwise, can seem like a very small number of people make a massive number and percentage of the comments, contribute beyond their numbers to the tone and norms.
posted by ambient2 at 9:06 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

The 14k people have really faded away, four years ago this thread would have been full of 14k this and 14k that instead of just a whimper.
posted by Kwine at 9:17 AM on April 12, 2012

I have a vague memory of joining (via Jorn Barger) simply because I wanted to change the preferences. I might be imagining it though. I do seriously remember signing up day and making up my username, which is my name in lots of places these days. I was, and sometimes still am, a silentish observer of this place. In and out of MA (Metafilter Anonymous).
posted by peacay at 9:27 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

14k for life yo!
posted by zsazsa at 9:31 AM on April 12, 2012 [5 favorites]

10Ks represent! I joined in August 2001.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:34 AM on April 12, 2012

i'm an old one compared to most, but the Elder ones, they still make me feel like a newbie.

mefi still feels like a small community to me--and that sense of continuity is pretty amazing. even with the many many thousand voices that have joined, we are still just a tiny sliver of the 'Net though...

I was a lot younger and impressed with my own cleverness back in the day, and was more inclined to try to think of fantastically witty things to type, and in a way i think that sums up most of the web circa 2000. Now i'm too humble and jaded to try to (double) post anything in the blue anymore, and i'm even more impressed with the cleverness of others so i'm content to read and click that little newfangled favorite thingy.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:35 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

How has Mefi changed over the years?

Like ook said above, moderation. It's really tight now. The need to control AskMe to maintain its usefulness has influenced moderation on the entire site. I tend to not think of that as good or bad, just that it is.

Relationships between members seem to be forged these days in the invisible back channels of MeMail instead of on the tail end of mammoth cult threads or in daily MetaTalk chat sessions. I feel less engaged with members personally than I used to, mostly because, for a long time, the was a general chattiness in threads. Now anything off-topic gets hammered down by other members.

Again, I'm not saying this is better or worse than before, that's not my ax to grind, just that it has changed in that respect. MeFi is still one of the very few sites where "The First Rule Of The Internet: Don't Read The Comments" has never applied. We still have a ton of ridiculously brilliant members making ridiculously brilliant posts and comments.

What has stayed the same?

I still HATE every fucking one of you.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:36 AM on April 12, 2012 [10 favorites]

14k represent!

I found MeFi through the links on the side of Romenesko's Obscure Store & Reading Room (RIP).
posted by mogget at 9:37 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lurked from when I was very young (early 2000s?) and started posting at about 14 or 15 years old, in 2005. My comments from back then make me cringe. Actively, wish-the-ground-would-swallow-me, teaching-me-to-be-a-better-person cringe.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 9:39 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

268. I still read every day and comment sometimes. I joined "sometime in 1999" because I was reading all of the weblogs/journals of all of the people who also joined at that time.
posted by stefnet at 9:52 AM on April 12, 2012

malusmoriendumest: "My comments from back then make me cringe. Actively, wish-the-ground-would-swallow-me, teaching-me-to-be-a-better-person cringe."

Wow, apparently they were bad enough to make you disable your account. Hope that just means that you're coming back under a new name.
posted by octothorpe at 10:06 AM on April 12, 2012

I have made many many many cringe-worthy comments.

If anyone asks, I just tell them I was drinking and linking.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:16 AM on April 12, 2012

I think it's funny to read back through the posts when I joined and think "really, I joined this site?"
posted by smackfu at 10:20 AM on April 12, 2012

Actually, to save space me and jessamyn have merged into one being: jonamyn or jessmc, depending on season or BAC.
posted by jonmc at 10:43 AM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

I officially joined 9/11/01. I had actually joined a few days previous, but there was a glitch in signups. Or so I remember. I always feel that I should send in the $5, and if I ever run into cortex or Matt in Portland, I might slip them the fiver, since signups were free back then.
posted by Danf at 10:47 AM on April 12, 2012

Is this the post where everyone claims "I've been reading since 2000 but I just never got an account until last year"? Hmm.
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:54 AM on April 12, 2012

Is this the post where everyone claims "I've been reading since 2000 but I just never got an account until last year"? Hmm.

Bwahahaha. So true.
posted by amro at 10:58 AM on April 12, 2012

No, that's this thread.

Do you really think that's something anyone would lie about? Lurking for a long time isn't exactly something to be proud of.
posted by helicomatic at 10:59 AM on April 12, 2012

I lurked for a year or more before joining in 2002. It is really odd to think that I've been a member here for almost 10 years. That is like forever in internet time.

What has changed for me specifically is that I am way more active in AskMe than I ever was in the blue; I rarely even visit the blue anymore. Also, I stopped going to the IRC channel a bunch of years ago and I totally miss those people.
posted by bedhead at 11:00 AM on April 12, 2012

I started reading after the article about Matt appeared in Brill's Content (I apparently was one of the very few subscribers to that magazine).
posted by mmascolino at 11:03 AM on April 12, 2012

How has Mefi changed over the years?

No more JRun errors.
posted by stopgap at 11:07 AM on April 12, 2012 [15 favorites]

two lights above the sea: you joke, but those lottery sign-ups were TOUGH. You had to time it just right to get in the door, and it didn't open for long. Why do you think Monkeyfilter started up? That was everybody who wanted to join Metafilter, but couldn't get an account.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:15 AM on April 12, 2012

Holy crap, 9 1/2 years for me. I slipped in right before the $5 sign-ups, and I'd been trying to get a membership for about 4 months I think, during the lottery period. When I actually got to the sign-up screen I couldn't believe it.

I rarely post these days, and almost exclusively in AskMe. But I read this site every single workday on my lunchbreak. I frequently feel that I should contribute more - give back, somehow - but 99% of the time someone has already said what I was going to say. Still *heart* MetaFilter, though.

Still regret not getting a baseball jersey. Me too! WHY OH WHY did I not get one? (And WHY can't we do new ones? I would pay good money for one...)
posted by widdershins at 11:18 AM on April 12, 2012

I have one but it's worn to shit at this point.
posted by jonmc at 11:51 AM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Meatbomb has brought forth some scholarly, grassy knoll-type insight on this topic.
posted by obscurator at 12:07 PM on April 12, 2012

I'm a 14K-er, and I got my foot in the door from a computer lab at Rutgers in between two summer math classes when there were a few new accounts added per day. I found the site a year or two earlier via The Drudge Retort of all places, a site I probably have visited fewer than 10 times.

What strikes me reading my old comments is how much I used to know about computers. I'm proud of my first post, though I wish I hadn't theadsat.

My involvement here has waxed and waned, and lately I'm endlessly fascinated by the human relations threads in AskMe.

My main inroad to the stuff that I'd be interested in reading about here is now the activity of my contacts, rather than what's on the front pages or being commented on a lot by other users. Following their activity has turned up a lot of really good commentary, some of which is years old, but still very relevant.
posted by alphanerd at 12:07 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've been here 11 years. Started out thinking that Metafilter was my own personal axe-grinding infrastructure and got justifiably smacked around for it. Spent a few years lurking, made one moderately-well-received FPP, and considered myself sufficiently rehabilitated.

Now, I just try not to be a jerk and am mostly successful. Mostly.
posted by DWRoelands at 12:08 PM on April 12, 2012

oh, and I was brave enough to join the site in the sobering post-IMG tag era, though I understand those were the precious-metal-colored days.
posted by obscurator at 12:09 PM on April 12, 2012

I actually have no idea why I joined when I did (April 2001, apparently), nor when I started reading. I think I lurked for six months or so but I have retained very few memories from that period as I was drunk and/or high for most of it.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:27 PM on April 12, 2012

I joined in September 2002 and was lurking for almost a year before that. I feel like one of the old guard now.
posted by orange swan at 12:30 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I still thread bomb and give mods something to delete once a quarter. ;)
posted by Jeremy at 12:31 PM on April 12, 2012

Oh my god, have I really been coming here for over ten years now? I've got to get out more!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:39 PM on April 12, 2012

I've been lurking on Metafilter since Mathowie was a teenager and before I was even a gleam in my mother's eye.


PS. Matt is old ha ha ha
posted by two lights above the sea at 12:42 PM on April 12, 2012

I wear my 18k like a mark of shame.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:52 PM on April 12, 2012

I'm also one of the 18K newbs, started reading the site in 2001.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:29 PM on April 12, 2012

I've remarked on my own meta-history before. On topic, I also tend to think of jonmc as primus inter pares (sailing the seas of cheese) among non-modly active members, though Stav, y2karl, and wendell (oneswellfoop) all come to mind as well when I do think of it. (That shouldn't be taken as history, just my impression of it.)

For spending ten years reading and writing on this website, it's maybe a little remarkable that I don't have more of a feeling about what it all means. Look, it's just this place, you know? I put my own contributions here at somewhere between cocktail party chatter and descriptions of last night's dreams.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:41 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

14K! I'm still somewhat embarrassed that my first comment ever received a (gentle) smackdown from #1.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:53 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

two lights above the sea: you joke, but those lottery sign-ups were TOUGH. You had to time it just right to get in the door, and it didn't open for long. Why do you think Monkeyfilter started up? That was everybody who wanted to join Metafilter, but couldn't get an account.

ZOMG, I totally forgot about Monkeyfilter.

It's where I got my username from - a link from there to a monkey name generator.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:02 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I started reading on day one and have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how I got here. Rebecca Blood, I think. Didn't register until 2002 because meh, not a joiner.
posted by Flannery Culp at 2:13 PM on April 12, 2012

I still think of myself as a $5N00B. Joined at the Opening of the Gates and the resultant Great N00B Flood of November '04.

(Under a different name, obvs. And really, if I'd thought that my MeFi membership would last half this long I would have given slightly more care in picking it the first time.)
posted by sonika at 2:26 PM on April 12, 2012

10Ks represent! I joined in August 2001.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:34 AM on April 12 [+] [!] No other comments.

Phhhbbt. Newb.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:50 PM on April 12, 2012

Started reading in 1999, joined Leap Day 2001, probably to join a pointless argument. I am not really a joiner, so i must have been unusually annoyed/annoying that day. My first post was so terrible, I didn't post another for a decade. These days I post/comment slightly more than earlier in my mefi career, but 50% of my activity is secret quonsar nagging, so...that skews it a bit.

After my initial set of lousy contributions, I decided to only post or comment if I had something useful or unique to the convo to say. It has been a useful rule of thumb for me. On a rare occasion my wit escapes the rabbit hutch I imprison it in, but generally I cancel 7 comments for every one I post.

I sometimes wonder if my decrepitness is why I only use favorites at bookmarks, but that may just be me reflecting my ego on the world, independent of reality. I found this place because I was reading all the usual web content pioneers, including Matt.

I will say that my life is a lot more awesome now than it was in 2002. I go through stages where I swear off one subsite or another pretty often but that only blasts a month not two....
posted by julen at 3:14 PM on April 12, 2012

The 14k brigade are still here, but we've got older and a bit more mature. We're all coming up for 10 years of membership now and, in Internet Time, that puts us about in our '50s I think, which aligns with me in real life, coincidentally. Most of us are the ones that snuck or bribed our way in before the daily lottery and long before the $5 noobs. I like to think that we are more committed because we had to actually work to get in, not just be lucky or fork over a tiny amount of cash. But it's possible that we have gone a bit quieter because so many have actually been committed.

I can't keep up with the whole site the way I used to - back in 2002, it wasn't hard to read every single comment on every single thread. I hardly ever comment in MeFi now and spend most of my time on AskMe and MeTa. I don't think I've changed particularly, except that I'm much more likely to consider other sides of an argument and more likely to admit (to myself, if not publicly) that I might actually be wrong. Hard to tell how much of that is due to MeFi and how much due to getting old and wrinkly, but I think quite a bit of it is due to this place and being exposed to so many different views and experiences - I certainly understand now that there is no such thing as 'normal' in any context. I've made a conscious effort over the past few years (in life as well as on-line) to shed my grumpy persona and I think having seen how it is received here without the ability to re-write conversations and events (as is so easy to do in real life) in my head has made me realise just what an arsehole I can be if I don't stop myself. So, thanks for that everyone (well, everyone except eyeballkid). I'm much more prepared to walk away from an argument these days where, when I was younger, I just couldn't seem to help but wade into every conflict.

In a way, MeFi is my social conscience. It's a place where I can get a perspective from lots of people from different walks of life and different cultures simultaneously. It's helped form my views on lots of things and completely changed my views on a couple of things. Oh, I found the place via a link from WebMonkey, took one look and knew I was home. I've gone away and come back, but MeFi and the people that make it what it is will always have a place in my heart.
posted by dg at 3:15 PM on April 12, 2012 [7 favorites]

Leap Day 2000. Yeesh. I have never commented and not made a stupid error of some kind. Ever.
posted by julen at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2012

February 2000. Almost certainly joined because of Faisal, and that dude hasn't even commented in a decade.

I met Matt in person for the first time a few weeks ago while he was waiting for breakfast in my neighborhood. I mumbled something about my low user number. Classy!
posted by feckless at 3:29 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

What's changed:

Technical reliability. In the early years the site was hosted on a server that lived in a closet in someone's appartment, and I think that also the software was far less stable, hence the JRun errors.

Going from self-policing to having mods, as mentioned above. In the previous sentence, 'self-policing' may also be read as: Matt attempting to herd an increasing number of increasingly vocal cats.

And, oh yes, we don't have the IMG tag anymore.
posted by rjs at 4:39 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Phhhbbt. Newb.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:50 PM on April 12 [+] [!]

posted by Catch at 5:26 PM on April 12, 2012

dg: "The 14k brigade are still here, but we've got older and a bit more mature. We're all coming up for 10 years of membership now and, in Internet Time, that puts us about in our '50s I think...."

14k brigade member here, and I am NOT in my 50s! (You have to imagine me stamping my foot petulantly there.) I just turned ONLY 45! Which still seems way too old when I actually see the number. My 10th Mefi anniversary is coming in May, but I was a regular reader for at least a year before that.
posted by John Smallberries at 5:37 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

10 years this August. This is the only community that I've ever joined that I keep coming back to. The 50-in-Internet-years feels about right ... That's a long time though.
posted by carter at 6:27 PM on April 12, 2012

11 years. I remember the server in queso's closet.
posted by ltracey at 7:02 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

wow. it has been a long internet time. march 2001 for me. the site has become much more political and newsy - not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation. think I found it via kottke. still love mefi after all these years. and yeah - jonmc rocks.
posted by davidmsc at 10:29 PM on April 12, 2012

How has Mefi changed over the years?

Others have talked a bit about community internals, so I'll talk about the externals in 2000, by which I mean the content pool for posts. Context-wise: Blogger had just launched, Slashdot was still just about readable, the non-IE browser of necessity was Netscape or Mozilla Suite (or Opera), the iMac was still a CRT and ran OS 9. No YouTube, no Wikipedia, etc. No 4chan. No LOLcats. Google was the new search engine that didn't have shitty results. Pets.com was still a business, not quite yet a punchline. "Stuff on the web" was still largely ignored by big media as a subject worthy of coverage in and of itself, as opposed to being the way that CNN fills its afternoons.

MeFi fit between two somewhat different web subcommunities: the clearing-house blog (Memepool, Robot Wisdom, BoingBoing, etc.) and the clearing-house forum (Slashdot, K5, etc.). Arguably, the clearing-house format dates as far back as the NCSA What's New page, but bear with me here. Clearing-house blogs generally didn't have comments: the implementation was tricky and/or blogs were considered self-contained "voices" that would comment by linking. (Tumblr makes everything old new again.) The most prominent clearing-house forums were generally tech-centred, particularly towards open-source development.

(Political blogging (as we now know it) was barely present: you had proto-bloggy things like the media horse or Bartcop or Drudge, and clearing-house forums like FreeRepublic. A lot of political back-and-forth still took place on Usenet, or on the messageboards of Salon and Slate.)

Dave Winer was around, being Dave Winer.

Culturally, MeFi seemed to belong to the bloggy side, and by extension to the design/creative web-as-medium, web-as-glorious-possibility strand that dates back even further, even though at the time there was friction between the two. But it had comments, which brought in people from the forum side, as well as people who either couldn't or didn't want to run their own blogs, but could definitely contribute posts. That mixture shaped things in a fairly distinctive way.

If you look at a lot of those early posts, you'll see that site redesigns feature fairly frequently: if you're very lucky, archive.org will give you a sense of the before and after. At that time, full-on redesigns were still pretty huge tasks, and c. 2000, a lot of big brand names, especially relatively early adopters to the web, made substantial changes to site templates (and, presumably, backends) that had remained largely constant during the late 90s. The clichéd assessment would be that the web was undergoing rapid change, but I think that's exactly wrong: it was changing sufficiently slowly and obviously that it could be noticed by people who gave a shit about it. And the MeFi of 2000 was populated by people who gave a shit about the web as a distinct thing in itself, while the MeFi of 2012 quite rightly treats the web as something as pervasive and enveloping as the air we breathe.
posted by holgate at 11:06 PM on April 12, 2012 [49 favorites]

I joined in 2000. I dislike my older and newer selves. I've found myself writing more concisely as time goes on, and for some reason I feel like my IQ is halved every time I post here.
posted by mecran01 at 10:15 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

There was a time when Metafilter was ahead of the curve on a lot of the stuff that was happening on the web. Now, the front page looks a lot like buzzfeed without the images, three days later.
posted by crunchland at 10:55 AM on April 13, 2012

Lurked for a while and joined in 2002 (10 year anniversary coming up soon!). IIRC I "bribed" Matt with the magnificent sum of $10 to let me join as memberships weren't officially open.

I rarely post, and the frequency of my visits seem to go in cycles but I'm usually around.
posted by dolface at 2:58 PM on April 13, 2012

Wow. My 11-year anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. I never would have noticed, had it not been for this thread.

I joined in April, 2001, made a comment on my first official day of membership and promptly offended someone (sorry, feelinglistless!). It took me more than a year to comment again, even though I continued to visit the site every day.
posted by yellowcandy at 5:12 PM on April 13, 2012

In the time since I joined MeFi I:

1) Graduated from college
2) Enlisted with the Army
3) Went to Afghanistan, came back
4) Got kicked out for being queer
5) Nearly became homeless
6) Saw DADT repealed
7) ...other stuff

Pretty weird.
posted by kavasa at 1:12 AM on April 14, 2012 [9 favorites]

I started reading in late '99, early '00, but didn't join until May of 2001. I'm in the under 10K crowd, 9131. Not that I am all that active a user, I read much more than I have ever posted.
posted by SuzySmith at 11:58 PM on April 14, 2012

Joined in February 2000; I must have seen a link from Kottke or Camworld or Memepool or the like and started reading before that point, and didn't sign up until a little later. I seem to recall that a lot of the other forums and communities out there like Slashdot and K5 felt much harder to comment on, and of course, were threaded.

It's kind of odd to think that in five years time, I'll have been on Mefi for half my life... long live Mefi!
posted by adrianhon at 4:15 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think it's possible that I got into the site in the very last window of time-regulated free signups. There would be like a day a week or something that Matt would reopen signups for free and you had to get in fast. Had been reading for a couple years, but that was the sign that I needed to get my ass in gear and get registered.

I honestly have a really hard time remembering what the web was like even a couple years ago, much less 12 years ago. Strange. The things that were missing, the utility, the speed, all of these facets just don't stick in my head.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2012

Wow, adrianhon's comment got me to realize that as of October of this year, I will have been on MetaFilter for almost exactly 1/3 of my entire life.


posted by lazaruslong at 9:02 AM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Feb. 2001. Still visit MeFi every day.
posted by gen at 9:31 AM on April 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

What is the purpose of your questions, jterminal?
posted by joeclark at 11:34 AM on April 15, 2012

Hello. I joined up May 9th, 2000; I'm user number 939. At the time I felt like I had been lurking for a long while and it was about time to sign up already.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:21 PM on April 15, 2012

Hi, I still lurk but gave up on keeping up with every post and comment (can you imagine?) many years ago.
posted by sudama at 2:44 PM on April 15, 2012

I'm of Sudama's vintage, but I'd bet ol' Mr. 16 is still hanging around somewhere.
posted by anildash at 4:08 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Woah. I lurked Metafilter from 07-2010, finally deciding to buy a membership. Metafilter has basically been a cornerstone of my knowledge acquisition, nearly everything is vetted as '[insert query here] + metafilter' as a qualifier. I love this place, and think it has been essential for my development as a human being. Also nthing the fact that I've spent roughly 1/3+ of my life on here.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 4:51 PM on April 15, 2012

joeclark: i had a specific reason, but then i got lost in all of the awesome replies and i forgot what the original intent was. i'm happy with how it turned out though.
posted by jcterminal at 5:47 PM on April 15, 2012


I'm still here.

I'll go for a few weeks here and there without checking the site, especially when I'm trapped in the middle of a huge project, but I always return.
posted by GatorDavid at 5:48 PM on April 15, 2012

holgate's comment led me to this post:


Do you still have this gif lying around, Matt? I'm curious!
posted by secret about box at 2:19 AM on April 16, 2012

I was lurking from late '99, when I discovered Mefi alongside other early blogs, and I joined on 11 May 2000. That must have made it the trigger for my own blogging, because I set up my first blog on 15 May and started posting to it on 17 May. My first actual comment at Mefi was on 19 May.

What had held me back from joining here and blogging before was that I was in a quasi-public servant job which was incompatible with having any kind of public personal profile; but in May I'd just given my notice, and was heading off into the world to make my fortune. Or, um, to be out of work for a year, while travelling a lot. For part of that time I was in San Francisco, seeing if there was any web work around, but that didn't work out (offers from companies trying to get H1Bs on the cheap, which would have meant a pretty basic standard of living with a monster commute). While I was there, though, I got to take part in a Fray Day (still have the T-shirt and the name tag), and met Matt and... another Blogger guy, whose name escapes me right now (oh no, sorry dude). I shot the breeze about some web ideas around using user votes to shape the growth of a narrative in collaborative fiction writing. For a brief moment I thought that might be something I could run with and make my own, wrote up a business plan and everything... but life was too much in flux, I ended up back in Oz and unemployed, and eventually (in mid-2001) moved to the UK, by which time the first Web bubble had burst.

Early Metafilter memories: being one of the first users (although not the first) to notice what Neale was doing in 1142; Tivos Raining From the Sky (as I was in SF at the time, I scored one of those and gave it to some local friends); Kaycee Nicole; using Mefi as my first port of call to explain the newspaper headline I had glimpsed on my way back to the office on 9/11, and being too stunned even to comment in the thread; being the first to respond to the legendary "please hope me" post in Metatalk; trying to figure out Miguel back when he was ubiquitous and we didn't quite know what to make of him; and inadvertently suggesting the AskMetaFilter colour scheme (almost; Ask's is better) when I was wondering how a NewsFilter might look. Oh, and BlogStop.

The big turning point that I noticed here wasn't so much 9/11 and the influx of new people who came with it, but the time a lot of us gave our Political Compass readings in the grey. That was when we collectively realised just how left-leaning most active Mefites were, and when the right-leaning Mefites, I suspect, began to feel on the outer. Before then our political debates really did feel like a meeting of left and right (and were sometimes pretty heated as a result); afterwards they started to self-select towards the left and felt more like preaching to the converted. I think they've regained a bit more of a balance in recent years, but I doubt we'll ever be regarded as politically neutral. Not saying it's better or worse this way (from my left-leaning point of view) - just different.

By 2004 I was a bit burnt-out and scaled back on my Mefi activity, swearing off MetaTalk altogether for a long time; but I was always reading the blue, and in the past few years have returned to commenting as the mood takes me, because hey, it's fun to join in and there are always good people around here, even if the names change.

Thanks, Mefi, and thank you again Matt.
posted by rory at 6:05 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Still here every day, have been since August 2000.

The biggest change for me is the rollercoaster ride of political controversy. Which has, really, mirrored what's happened in the wider world of blogs. When I joined, there weren't really such things as political blogs. People discussed politics on weblogs, sure, but weblogs, filters, e/n sites were basically for posting interesting links on. As was Metafilter, as I recall. Post-9/11 that seemed to change both on Metafilter, and the wider blogosphere - suddenly the outside media "discovered" weblogs, and decided the genre of website was about amateur political op-ed columns. There was a proliferation of websites with the horrendous word "pundit" in their title. And I spent a number of years embarrassing myself by getting into pointless arguments with fascist warmongering peanuts on Metafilter.

Now, that's all died away again, to a large extent. I don't know if it's simply that we've scared all the wingnuts away from Metafilter, or if it's just the rising tide of general political apathy, but Metafilter nowdays seems a lot more about interesting stuff and less about who's killing who in the Middle East again.

One thing that hasn't changed in all that time has been the thoughtful, well-written prose found here. You can still spot someone who doesn't belong immediately by their misplaced apostrophes.

Oh. And over years I've become more scared, rather than more confident, about making front page posts.
posted by Jimbob at 7:10 AM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

e/n sites

Faved just for that blast from the past. I'm sure the archives of e/n, beyond more mainstream (and slightly tamer) survivors like SomethingAwful and Fark, are pure archaeology now.

On a very different note, the lovely and brilliant Maura Johnston recently reminded me of the subcommunity of young women making zine/creative sites c. 1999-2000 -- plastique.org and its UBB being a kind of focal point. I'm sure there are online outlets to channel that kind of creativity these days, but the complete absence of broad social networking sites and the relative crudity of content management tools in the proto-blog era seemed to foster a genuine collaborative spark, as teenagers took their Photoshop skills from Geocities and other free hosts to their own domains. Again, archive.org is only useful to trigger memories, not as a record of what was there.
posted by holgate at 9:33 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

From the walmart link from holgate's link about redesigns:

i swear i've seen the image in the background here somewhere before...
posted by pnevares at 7:37 PM on October 31, 2000 [+] [!]

Hilarious it's still in their webspace.
posted by daninnj at 10:25 AM on April 16, 2012

My 12 year MeFi birthday is on 4/19, but I'm not terribly active as far as posting is concerned. I still read the hell out of the site though.

I had the dubious distinction of having two sequential user ids with the same name (783 & this one, 784...), probably me refreshing during the signup process or something silly like that.
posted by tomierna at 11:11 AM on April 16, 2012

MeFi: 0 posts, 87 comments
MetaTalk/IRL: 23 posts, 577 comments

Define "active".
posted by eamondaly at 1:49 PM on April 16, 2012

User #12194 joined sometime in 2000 as far as I can remember.

Still lurking, and been here long enough to have joined for free!
posted by davros42 at 4:41 PM on April 16, 2012

i'm still here!

wait, no I'm not.
posted by fishfucker at 7:37 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you for reminding me of E/N sites. It's something I think of every time there's some kind of blogging anniversary, but can never remember the name of. And I don't think anybody outside of early blogging circles would even have heard of them, certainly not in my part of the world.
posted by prolific at 1:05 AM on April 17, 2012

Not here as long as Jonmc but I have a low three-digit user ID from signing up in 1999. Props to the oldsters.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:03 AM on April 17, 2012

I gotta say, it's really nice to see how many three- and four-digit user numbers are popping up in this thread. There are a lot more of us left than I thought.

yeah I do to some extent judge people by their user number. I know it's meaningless scorekeeping and a totally irrational thing to pay attention to and that it's pretty much a classic example of I GOT MINE but there it is anyway.
posted by ook at 11:41 AM on April 17, 2012

While I rank low on the "active" scale, I joined in August 2001 after lurking for about a year or so - I remember being self-conscious of my just missed 4-digit user ID of 10307, especially as I joined in the midst of one of those "OMG all these newbies are ruining the place!!" spasms that seem to have died down as the membership got too big to entertain such silliness. Am I remembering correctly that people were even derisively calling us "10k-ers"?

Every time someone lamented of how we'd "chased off" beloved member number XX and how great things were in the "good old days", I (with my fairly non-techy background) would go back in the archives and see pages and pages of "check out this cool ASCII javascript hack!" or "netscape 2.7 is out!" kind of posts and wonder what all the fuss was about. In any event, I still love this place - Sure, there's an ebb and a flow, and with 2 kids and a more senior work environment I can't spend the time here I'd like, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anything on the internet that's stayed consistently good-to-awesome for well over a decade with no fundamental change in design or functionality.
posted by jalexei at 1:28 PM on April 17, 2012

Coming up on 12 years (a quarter of my life, more or less), and Metafilter's still a huge part of my life. I've said it before, but most of what I've learned about the internet and how it can be a force for good, and make my own life better, I've learned here.

I thank you all for putting up with me all these years.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:01 PM on April 17, 2012

'Old people are fond of giving good advice; it is a consolation for no longer being capable of setting a bad example,' La Rochefoucauld once wrote. At the very least, Metafilter has provided me ample platform for disproving this assertion in part if not in whole. And although most of what I learned about the internet and how it can be a force for evil and making my life worse in addition to the good and better, I learned here, otherwise, most all of what stavros said, albeit a year less and more like a fifth.
posted by y2karl at 10:59 AM on April 18, 2012

Sweet Baby Jeebus, I'm user #93!
posted by jsapn at 2:56 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I keep finding out things I didn’t know existed, like what’s a User #, and how are you finding this out?
posted by bongo_x at 4:22 PM on April 21, 2012

When you sign up for an account on MetaFilter, you get a sequential number. It's how we identify users in the database, a primary key sort of thing. So mathowie is user number 1, I am user 292. The users now number into the 150,000s. However, people who began but did not complete the sign up process [i.e. did not pay] have a number/slot reserved for them so we don't have 150K actual users, we have more like 40K who have ever made a comment and really only 5K who participate on a weekly basis. So if you click on your username (or anyone's) you can see the user profile. Mine is at


That number on the end is the user number. Sometimes people identify themselves with the group of people who signed up around the same time as they did, 14K-ers or 17K-ers for example.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:31 PM on April 21, 2012

You can also get to a user's profile (though it doesn't appear anywhere in the UI anymore, that I am aware of), by typing in, say http://www.metafilter.com/username.mefi/stavrosthewonderchicken, which I find useful frequently.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:36 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks. I was looking all over the user profile for a number, I thought maybe my browser wasn’t displaying it.
posted by bongo_x at 6:17 PM on April 21, 2012

Yes, define "active" -- I'm more about AskMe than anything lately, but I (slowly) participate in the other sites as well. My user number is 401.
posted by artlung at 5:09 PM on April 24, 2012

I'm not so on top of MeTa, but I've been around since January 2001 (and lurked for a while before that).
posted by andrewraff at 7:31 AM on April 25, 2012

You can also get to a user's profile (though it doesn't appear anywhere in the UI anymore, that I am aware of), by typing in, say http://www.metafilter.com/username.mefi/stavrosthewonderchicken

There's a slightly shorter way to do this too, which is like so:


This is on the FAQ as well, the specific question to which I currently cannot link because Websense hates me.
posted by carsonb at 3:10 PM on April 25, 2012

posted by werty at 9:55 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

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