Best of Blog launch is a go April 24, 2012 4:05 PM   Subscribe

Announcing the Best Of Blog! The very best bits of MetaFilter, updated a couple times a day (sideblog posts automatically go to it instantly, sometimes they expand into bigger posts).

Jessamyn has been killing it for the past couple years on the sideblog but I always felt like it didn't have the audience it deserved because there were some really amazing comments, posts, and answers linked by it, but it was only found halfway down the page and off to the side (and at @mefi at twitter). We've also increasingly seen people that were involved in a story show up to post additional details or members here with crazy deep knowledge about a story that posted really incredible things that deserved more notice.

I was inspired by the Buzzfeed FWD blog which only posts a handful of items from the technology blog world instead of trying to be a firehose of press releases like the others. We've been running the Best Of blog in a test mode for the past couple weeks and 1-2 posts per day is about normal, and my ultimate hope is those amazing stories halfway down a 200+ comment thread don't get missed and instead are highlighted in a way that even non-members can understand. If you have any questions or spot any bugs let us know!
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 4:05 PM (125 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

Woo!
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:06 PM on April 24, 2012


Oh god this is excellent.
posted by Jofus at 4:08 PM on April 24, 2012


I forgot to mention we also finally got the @metafilter account at Twitter (I signed up for it and promptly forgot my password and access to the associated email account years ago). We're retiring the @mefi twitter account.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:08 PM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also photos of chrismear ftw.
posted by Jofus at 4:09 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


HEY! That's ME! That was a fun meet-up.

Also this is great. Hooray!
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:09 PM on April 24, 2012


INTERNETS FIESTA
posted by elizardbits at 4:11 PM on April 24, 2012


I love this, but is there a reason that the font size of mathowie's post titles is bigger than those of the other mods?
posted by lalex at 4:11 PM on April 24, 2012


I love this, but is there a reason that the font size of mathowie's post titles is bigger than those of the other mods?

It's not a Matt vs. other mods thing, it's a sidebar entry vs. proper blog entry thing. It's just that only Matt has put up live blog posts so far; aside from that everything else is just sidebar archives so far.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:13 PM on April 24, 2012


it is okay if you want to just come out and say that he is DRUNK WITH POWER. this is not a judging place.
posted by elizardbits at 4:14 PM on April 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, the big titles go to non-sideblog posts. We even made a music post type with a nice looking player that will let us highlight the best songs from the Music site as well (which is why I added cortex as a contributor *nudge* *nudge*).

Also, think of this as the podcast in text form, doled out a couple times a day in small bits instead of one hour a month.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:15 PM on April 24, 2012


Nice! Part of me wished you'd called it MetaMetaFilter, though.

I wonder if the bylines might be 'posted by' or 'reposted by' or something of the kind, rather than just 'by', at least for the reposts of user-created stuff? I know, annoying and literally nobody could or would misunderstand, you'd think, but.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


or MetaFilterFilter...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:16 PM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't wanna be That Guy because this totes awesome but my username is spelt poorly here.
/single tear
posted by shakespeherian at 4:16 PM on April 24, 2012


So the community blog gets a blog? How very meta.
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:16 PM on April 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


...so when is the book coming out? Because I would be all over that
posted by Doleful Creature at 4:20 PM on April 24, 2012


To be honest, it worries me a little. Will it divert much needed traffic/input that currently occurs here? Will it dilute the filter? Maybe not, but my inner nudge likes to find potential problems with everything I like.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:21 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Those are some seriously photogenic MeFites in the Portland photo!
posted by eugenen at 4:22 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Will it divert much needed traffic/input that currently occurs here? Will it dilute the filter?

It links to nothing but the actual posts on the site, so instead of imagining it as being something that could "dilute" the site imagine it as a giant funnel that brings a lot of other people to the site and makes the site better for it.

Originally I also thought about what a site would look like if the mantra was "MetaFilter for normal humans" that aren't used to reading hundreds of comments in a wall of text, etc.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:24 PM on April 24, 2012 [4 favorites]



I forgot to mention we also finally got the @metafilter account at Twitter (I signed up for it and promptly forgot my password and access to the associated email account years ago). We're retiring the @mefi twitter account.



Maybe you know this since you had to work with Twitter to get the account back, but you could just change the username on the @mefi account to @metafilter. This will keep all the followers, and as a bonus any previous @mefi mentions would point to @metafilter. You could then register @mefi as a "new" account in case anyone didn't get the memo.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 4:25 PM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I had no idea Mefites were so good looking.

Those don't look anything like curmudgeonly overthinkers in the meetup pic.

What's up?
posted by philipy at 4:27 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is awesome...thanks for all your work on it!

I, for one, love the professional white background!!
posted by ladygypsy at 4:28 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


you could just change the username on the @mefi account to @metafilter

duh, I didn't know you could do that. I just did it, and now I'm changing the accounts to point the correct info at each.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:29 PM on April 24, 2012


Those don't look anything like curmudgeonly overthinkers in the meetup pic.

To be fair, I do appear to be scratching my head. Also, I think Matt chose it because he's secretly got a product placement sponsorship thing going with Dersins and Waffle House.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:34 PM on April 24, 2012


Outstanding!
posted by Bwithh at 4:35 PM on April 24, 2012


(which is why I added cortex as a contributor *nudge* *nudge*)

Yeah, but you announced before I could stick anything up, and now if I do it right away it'll be all "Welcome to the new Metafilter Best Of Blog, we're really exc—MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, GRANDPA, THERE'S MUSIC TO BE BLOGGED ABOUT" and then Gawker will write up some snarky article about Mefi Inter-Mod Catfight Drama stuff and we won't be able to go anywhere without the pointing and the laughing and the hey hey hey
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:36 PM on April 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


More like MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, GRANDPA, THERE'S MUS--- and then radio silence.
posted by carsonb at 4:44 PM on April 24, 2012


OK that came out sounding harsher than I intended. I love you cortex and your unending stream of ADHD projects brings me great contentment and joy and also great consternation when they inevitably get ditched for the next—OOOH, SHINY!
posted by carsonb at 4:46 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't like this idea. It's essentially discriminatory against people who don't have a deep knowledge of a subject and the expertise to write about it in an entertaining manner and/or people who have never gotten stuck in what is essentially an enormous Habitrail.

This is really pretty awesome.
posted by griphus at 4:52 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be fair, I do appear to be scratching my head.

I assumed you were scratching your head in puzzled wonderment. Maybe thinking: "Wait... These don't look anything like curmudgeonly overthinkers! And that woman looks rather like Kate Winslet. WTF is going on? Have I fallen into some alternate universe?"
posted by philipy at 4:55 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


NEEDS MOAR ADS. NOT ENOUGH SELLING OUT ON THE BLOGZ.
[winky emoticon here]
posted by RJ Reynolds at 4:57 PM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Reader's Digest Condensed MeFi.
posted by jonmc at 5:02 PM on April 24, 2012


I like it! It's also neat to look through archives and see who sidebarred what, which I don't think used to be visible information.
posted by churl at 5:06 PM on April 24, 2012


Hey hey hey GUYS! I heard mathowie and cortex got in CATFIGHT DRAMAZ!!11!!
posted by grapesaresour at 5:08 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, this is quite nice I like the new blog.
posted by grapesaresour at 5:08 PM on April 24, 2012


Finally, a place where all my witty missed connections can be showcased.
posted by special-k at 5:14 PM on April 24, 2012


Oh boy, now I feel pressured to be excellent....
posted by inturnaround at 5:17 PM on April 24, 2012


It's the BOM, baby!
posted by cashman at 5:19 PM on April 24, 2012


Very nice.

I dont know if many people just use icons in their bookmark bar, but I do, and the best of icon is exactly the same as the main site. Any chance of a different look?
posted by meech at 5:20 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


"MetaFilter for normal humans"

Pitched right at the intersection of two disjoint sets.
posted by fleacircus at 5:20 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


and/or people who have never gotten stuck in what is essentially an enormous Habitrail.

Oh man that reminds me of the time I got stuck in this giant spinning wheel.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:21 PM on April 24, 2012


I dont know if many people just use icons in their bookmark bar, but I do, and the best of icon is exactly the same as the main site. Any chance of a different look?

We could change the "MF" to "BO". I can't see any possible problem with that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:21 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


now I feel pressured to be excellent....

Cool. What's that like?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:24 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


We could change the "MF" to "BO". I can't see any possible problem with that.

As the proprietor of the Internet's #1 Bo Derek Fan Page, I'd rather you didn't.

Best Of Blog = Good Thing
posted by bondcliff at 5:26 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like BOM - Best Of Metafilter.

(I use icons plus very very short abbreviations in my bookmark bar)
posted by insectosaurus at 5:39 PM on April 24, 2012


Neat! I got a Best of MetaFilter for my birthday!
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:40 PM on April 24, 2012


There are only 5 results for bean plates. Only 2 of them have both beans and plates to hold them. I think we all know where I'm going with this.
posted by theichibun at 5:40 PM on April 24, 2012


Oh man that reminds me of the time I got stuck in this giant spinning wheel.

well, what goes up must come down....
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on April 24, 2012


It disturbs me profoundly that this has a .metafilter.com URL, and yet the look and feel is completely different from every other part of the site.

I should really see someone about this OCD.
posted by asterix at 6:04 PM on April 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


I hath subscribed via RSS.

I often see cool stuff in the sidebar that I missed in a thread that didn't seem interesting to me on first glance, so hopefully this will be even more of that!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:06 PM on April 24, 2012


This is super!
Can we get a Best Of link at the top? Or are we getting too many words in the MetaFilter AskMeFi Projects Music Jobs Podcast IRL MetaTalk line?
posted by bobobox at 6:10 PM on April 24, 2012


Yeah, we will eventually add a bestof to the top link list, it should fit ok.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2012


Can we get a Best Of link at the top? Or are we getting too many words in the MetaFilter AskMeFi Projects Music Jobs Podcast IRL MetaTalk line?

I think it works well on the other side.

Home FAQ Archives MeFi Wiki Tags Popular Random Best
posted by cashman at 6:16 PM on April 24, 2012


But it looks so... different! Like a 2012 Blog format as opposed to the rest of the site's 1999 Blog format (especially using my choice of fonts).

And MFBOB sounds like something (or someone) I should respect.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:21 PM on April 24, 2012


I Guess that this Best Of Blog is kind of like our Greatest Hits album, huh? Which means that a Behind The Blogs special isn't Far behind.

I'm available for interviews. I'll tell all.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Best of Metafilter Blog. It's the bomb, baby. Put it on a tshirt.
posted by cashman at 6:24 PM on April 24, 2012


This is great!
posted by rtha at 6:55 PM on April 24, 2012


Recursion loop activates Xzibit!

"Sup dawg, I heard you liked the best of the web, so I put a best of Metafilter on Metafilter so you can filt while you filter."

I don't think I ever realized how a weird a word "filt" is.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:01 PM on April 24, 2012


"Which means that a Behind The Blogs special isn't Far behind."

In the first segment we'll learn about how metafilter formed and struggled on the local circuit even though it was obviously talented, and then metafilter will hit it bit with its first major hit; after the first commercial break, we'll see how the success kept right on rolling and everything was awesome, BUT THEN, right before the second commercial break, we'll learn how metafilter descended into an orgy of drug use and self-indulgence due to its runaway success, but fear not! After the "metafilter hit rock bottom" story between breaks two and three, something will happen that will uplift metafilter right before the third commercial break, and Behind the Blogs will chronicle its triumphant, sober comeback in the last 10 years, breaking into new forms and reaching new audiences.

In a classic American evangelical Protestant redemption narrative, in case anyone is wondering where VH1 got the format from.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:15 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is as bad an idea as favorites was. I can't believe anyone thinks this is a good idea, but then, I feel the same way about favorites.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:31 PM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's the best of the best of the web!
posted by lollusc at 7:35 PM on April 24, 2012


you could just change the username on the @mefi account to @metafilter
uh, I didn't know you could do that. I just did it.

Ha! That's why I was already "Following" it. Neat.
posted by bru at 7:55 PM on April 24, 2012


Great idea!
posted by lazaruslong at 8:01 PM on April 24, 2012


Thanks so much for this. I've just read a few things I otherwise wouldn't have. Including the post about the long-lost teacher. Shame my screen's gotten a little blurry so that I can't read more tonight....
posted by peagood at 8:14 PM on April 24, 2012


Hand made finely filtered cold press posts.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey cool. It's Reader's Digest for MetaFilter! Looks nice and highlights good stuff.
posted by Miko at 8:18 PM on April 24, 2012


AWaits the Humor In Moddom column
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 PM on April 24, 2012


This seems pretty snazzy. My only reservation was that it might split up commenting, but I see that there are no comments on the posts there, and well, that's pretty much perfect. Just as an idea, would it be possible to add a widget (or question) to sign ups to survey people as to where they found the site? Just to kind of see if this causes a bump in membership? Could be useful, for some reason.

Still, snazy idea.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:44 PM on April 24, 2012


Neat!
posted by zarq at 8:50 PM on April 24, 2012


Yeah, but you announced before I could stick anything up

Consider yourself lucky, he announced it during my half-day off!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:59 PM on April 24, 2012


This kind of implies that we aren't doing our job around here, filtering the meta and all.
posted by swift at 9:01 PM on April 24, 2012


Proof positive that I'm more likely to notice compelling content if it's accompanied by pictures.
posted by sugarbomb at 9:34 PM on April 24, 2012


How about a random link for the Best of Blog?
posted by infinitewindow at 9:42 PM on April 24, 2012


I don't see any of my forceful rhetorical masterworks quoted. I gotta up my game.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:15 PM on April 24, 2012


I have to admit the stock photos are throwing me off. Initially, yeah, because I'm used to Metafilter as a text-only experience (even as I pine for the good old days of in-line images in comments, arrrgh, nostalgia/newness dissonance). Getting past that first little gag reflex, I can totally live with the idea of Best of Metafilter as a honeypot for the mass market. But--and this might just be me--the unrelated stock photography feels cheap and corny. In the current top entry, for example, the lead photo appears in neither the main link of the post nor the highlighted comment. It's a great photo, don't get me wrong, but it comes across as random link-bait and doesn't really jive with Metafilter's aesthetic as a source for quality, coherent, filtered material. Maybe I'm out of step, I dunno.

Weirdly, it'd bother me less if it wasn't on the official Metafilter domain. Funny how emotions play into things like these.
posted by flod at 10:33 PM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


img tag :(
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:45 PM on April 24, 2012


flod, the photos are usually part of an entry and when they aren't, I do a creative commons search at flickr for a related keyword because I like big photos on blog posts and I think it adds something even if that's just a reminder of what beef stew looks like.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:17 PM on April 24, 2012


Stock photo, beef stew, I see what you did there.
posted by gingerest at 11:27 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I did not need this announcement today, I have a contract proposal to complete WTF ... its not fair, whine, moan, drags self out of interwebs...

instead of stockphotos, perhaps we can have photos.metafilter.com where users can upload those which are under creative commons or simply dump then in some bucket for mods to use?

posted by infini at 12:02 AM on April 25, 2012


I love the new blog. Thank you!

Is it possible to increase the number of posts on the front page of the blog from 15 to maybe 30 or more? After being spoiled by the number of posts on the front pages of AskMe and MeFi, I found myself clicking on the "Older" link quite a bit to see the latest posts on the new blog.

I sort of get where flod is coming from on the unrelated aspect of the stock photos... I don't really have much of an issue with the fact that stock photos are in the posts in general, but I was initially confused because it wasn't obvious how the photos (stock or not) were related to the MeFi posts or comments being featured.

For example, before I read through this thread, I clicked on the first image of the post that flod linked to (featuring Navelgazer's comment), and expected to see something something specifically related to Navelgazer's comment -- but then landed on the Flickr page for the photo of what turned out to be an example classroom by an unrelated user, and that wasn't clear from the blog post text. And when reading the post featuring holgate's comment about the olden days of MeFi, I initially thought that the picture was of holgate (probably more so because the first sentence below it mentions him and the word "picture").

After exploring more of the blog posts, I now know that some of the images/media have a description or credit in the "title" or "alt" attribute (and that it wasn't holgate, but chrismear), but not all of them do. So it's not always clear if the image (or video) is from from a link in the original MeFi post/comment, or if it's from MeFi's Own {Flickr username}, or if it's an image for example/illustrative purposes, created by someone unrelated to the featured comment/post.

This is just my two cents, but I think it would be really helpful to see a caption consistently below every image (even if the caption is in a smaller font size), with an obviously labeled link to the image source/creator. That way, the context and relationship of the photo to the post is right there to read, and users won't have to hover over the image to see if there's a tooltip or look into the alt text properties. Also, if there's a clear attribution link in the caption, then the actual photo itself wouldn't have to be a clickable link to the source.

On preview: mathowie, I think having illustrative pictures (such as beef stew) is nice, and I agree they add something to the posts; I'm just hoping that some more visible captions can be added to give clearer context and help prevent possible confusion.

e.g. for the holgate post, I think even something like "From another longtime MeFite: 'At my desk' by chrismear, on Flickr" underneath the picture of chrismear would have been really helpful to see as a reader. I admit it's not the best caption, but it's just a quick example using the "At my desk by chrismear, on Flickr" text from the img title attribute.

In any case, I'm so glad that you're offering this blog and am really looking forward to reading it. The theme is very clean and I think it fits in with MeFi pretty well (I mean, it already has the professional background...).
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:06 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good God! Not only do I get sidebarred with my weird little high school story, but it's the first entry after the official launch of what will now be something I check several times a day?!

(back-door bragging done, I'm actually weirdly honored with my self-designated distinction)

Seriously, this is a great site and I'm very happy for its existence.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:16 AM on April 25, 2012


Those are some seriously photogenic MeFites in the Portland photo!

I was at that meetup! And I can tell you that those mefites are both photogenic and extremely nice people.

Also, I like the blog.
posted by maqsarian at 2:29 AM on April 25, 2012


This is gonna be great for playing catch-up after those weeks when I get too busy to visit MeFi.

I like the photos. The BOM would seem too spare without them. Even if there's a stock photo on occasion (provided it's not Women Enjoying Salad Too Much or whatever), it draws people in.

That said, I do hope the mods are prepared for an onslaught of newbs demanding "HEY HOW COME REAL MEFI AIN'T GOT PICTURES."
posted by AugieAugustus at 4:38 AM on April 25, 2012


So now will Gawker link to best-of which links to real MeFi?
posted by smackfu at 5:48 AM on April 25, 2012


I love it, but I agree with flod. Sorry matt, the stock photos detract, especially so big (although the real pics are great at that size!). Perhaps as it gets some steam and rolls, you'll only use relevant, real photos!! Otherwise, nice.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:04 AM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seeing as Anildash nudged you to build it, is the choice of white theme a friendly tongue in cheek tip o' the cap to him then?
posted by kev23f at 6:19 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do feel like consistent captions [even if they were the sort you get on mouseover] might clear up the "Is this a real MeFi photo or just a stock photo" question. I know chrismear but even I was confused "Wait, that's holgate??"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:36 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this is inspired and I appreciate how it allows me to keep up with excellent stuff even as I get too swamped with work to follow threads. The sidebar is great but I couldn't figure out how to see it from my phone using the mobile site.

Having said that, is there some thought to create a mobile type view of the best of blog? Like maybe text only?
posted by jasper411 at 6:57 AM on April 25, 2012


I don't think I ever realized how a weird a word "filt" is.

It stands for Fuck I'd Like To.
posted by Beardman at 7:11 AM on April 25, 2012


> I love it, but I agree with flod. Sorry matt, the stock photos detract

Yeah, same here. I'm really glad you put this together, but I wish you'd rethink the stock photos. There must be a better way.
posted by languagehat at 7:15 AM on April 25, 2012


Go with the hallowed Free Darko style of photos that only vaguely in a bizarre stream of conscious style fit the topic at hand. Complete lack of continuity. It's the only way to be sure.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:21 AM on April 25, 2012


Oh hey, I was listening to 'Olivia' on the Best of Blog (because 'Olivia' is awesome and I always take the chance when it's offered) and unthinkingly clicked 'Older' posts and the page went away and so did 'Olivia' mid-croon. I'm not sure how heavy-duty you want to make the blog, but the pop-up that appears in Music when you navigate away from a page would be an awesome addition to the Best of Blog.
posted by librarylis at 7:47 AM on April 25, 2012


Well that was a surprise.
Cool blog and thanks a whole bunch for the really nice write-up, cortex.
posted by chococat at 7:59 AM on April 25, 2012


I appreciate the feedback on the photos. I played with captions but felt that half the time the captions were superfluous and detracted from the clean layout while adding to the work of posting. On the topic of having photos in general, I think it's more of a culture clash of what members here are used to on MeFi compared to most blogs. I probably read 300 different blogs via RSS and a vast majority (80%+) have a photo attached with every post, and often it's just generally a photo of something similar to whatever they are talking about (not always taken by the blogger themselves). I'm used to this and half the time photos I've posted so far in the past week have been directly related to a story, the other half the time I just did a cc-by flickr search for "classroom" or "beef stew" and selected an appropriate image. I like images on big posts and I intend to keep them, the captions I might add, but since the site is so new, I kind of want to get a couple dozen more posts going before I figure out how best to do it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:00 AM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great idea librarylis, I added that warning about a track playing.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:03 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the photos...how about doing a Metafilter Flickr pool, sort of like what Consumerist does?
posted by lalex at 8:06 AM on April 25, 2012


There are so many people living such rich lives. Excellent, even with my regular MF habit this has been a trove of new stuff.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:12 AM on April 25, 2012


lalex, we already have a flickr pool for general metafilter photos, a pool for blog images wouldn't really work since a post could be about literally anything on earth, so using a CC-attribution image search is much easier and gives me hundreds to thousands of options to choose from each time.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:18 AM on April 25, 2012


Holy shit. Of all the things I expected to see when I clicked the link, a picture of me was not in the top ten billion.
posted by Sibrax at 8:25 AM on April 25, 2012


I have to agree that the stock photos don't really convey a Mefi vibe.

It's not so much that I'm against photos generally, but the ones that are getting picked and the size of them relative to the length of the text they go with give a kind of cheesy marketing feel that doesn't give the right impression of the content they accompany.

As a relative Mefi newbie (though over a year now!) I do remember the wall-of-text was initially quite off-putting, and it took some time before my brain learned how to parse it.

I think it's great to make the best-of-Mefi subsite accessible to the casual reader, but also important to try to communicate in the design the special strengths of Mefi. i.e. Trustworthy, intelligent, a little offbeat, definitely not your average website obsessed with traffic and ad-clicks to the virtual exclusion of everything else.
posted by philipy at 8:40 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If this were really a Best Of Metafilter site, instead of full-color graphics, the images would be ASCII drawings.

If nothing else, render those pics in ASCII.

So this image becomes this:
        .~:.,.:+:::=.       .II7O$.       ..:.,+II,~I7ODD8====NDI77DO$=?7O:=$?$8
         ::.,.:+:::=.        ,I?7I.        .:.,+?,Z$++$8DN==:.?+77IZI8OZZD?++?I?
..      .::., ~+,,:=7$ZZZ.   .77$$..      ..Z$~=$ZOO+7I7IDDN=:.,?8I$8D7N7$DII?7D
O$,,,,,,,,,,: =+,,,I78D887,,,,I8Z7D$=,,,,::~Z7::$8ZO$$~7I8D8:::~~~=+I8D7DZOO7I?Z
7I7,..::::::~.+~:,,,I88D$I.OO$$OD88OD88....$8$ZZ....,.,+7DDDN~~~Z+7=++7D==Z=????
I?+,,,,.=====++~7$Z$Z=$7I?=Z$?:O7O8,8D8Z+:8++DDDD,...,??I=+7?N,~~?==+?IZ======+=
++~,,,,,,~~~~~~:==?DNZ==I~?$8OODDOO88D8Z$$?+I??N88,..,,+I=+IZ8ND~?=+I+?+::======
=$8$.,,:,.====7Z+$7++8O=~,8+ZZOD?88888DD$$:+++II7N::...~I+I7$NND~?=I?+=+~~+?MMMM
+?ZD7,:,,,.=~$=$ZD8ODD==:~:OZ+=?+8D:D=D$$7Z$++IDNN8O,.,:?I$NDMM~+=?+?+~=?=?++MMM
+?IOD8887,,,I=~~?DND$,~?+,::I+=++788+$$=.NM=?ZINMNDI..:~OI+D8I+~==+=~+~7=?+?IMMM
=IN=+?ZDN,,.Z?++=+DI==DN::,~N+II+++DODO?$ZNNMI7NMMNDM8?N?7O+I?+=:~=~=~=~?+=?I7MM
O7=+I?7NDD+.II==++~NO$NDD~~$8DM7??::NIOOZDNNMZNN,,,NDII++?7+Z+~=~~~+=~=====?=,,:
D$~+?=?++OZZZ?+++?+DD++?I~ZN8ND:::NNNNONN,DNIN,,,=+78$?+I=?I7$~~=~==~?+===?+DNZI
.DD?++?IO8OZ$~?I+=+?8++II887ZDM?OMNNNNNN.8DM,,,:+++IOZDDDDN8I=~===~?~~~++?IID8NO
++?$?77+IN$Z+7?O====~++IMD8Z8DMDDDMNNNNNO,.,,,:.+++$7$$Z8DNNN+++=++?=~+II??INNNZ
7IZ==??+$7Z$+~~$=+~~~~,$MNDNNNNNNMNMNMNM?,,,:,:~++?I$77$O8NNMN+=??Z:OZ+ZOONMMNMO
?ZOO7+$$Z$$$~=~=~~~:::=+MNNMDMNMNNMNNNMM,,,,,,:~++IZ$8$$$ZDNMMNNZ77O8888DDDMMMMO
+OZ$7$ZZZOZ~:~:::~=::~+I8NMNDNNNMMMNNNM8,,,,.,,~+?$$I7?7ZOZ+MDDDMDNOO888888MNNM8
+I$Z$$$ZOZ7:::::===~:~+IMMMDNMNNMMMNMMM+,,,,:,,?+7?$$I7$ZO?ZMNNNDMNOO888888MMMM8
++?+$ZZZON~~~:~=~+$~~=?DMNNNNNODI=~88=+,,.,,+??I78OIZ$$$O88MOINMMMM88888888MMMN8
??++++IZN~+~==++??~~~+OO=Z?O+=:++,M+=++=78DNNDD8OOZZ$ZODOZO77I7??MM88888888NMMM.
I?I7ZNI===?=~=??I?~~=?8DZ8DN8O88D888OI+$OOOOO8O8OO77$78OZZ77II????+8ZZO8888MMM..
+======++I=~======~~+DN8NDNDD88ODD8D88888OOOOO8O887777+8OO77IIIIII?I$$$$$$$~?...
==:ZIII$::==~==~~==+ODDNNNDDDD8DNDDNDDDDDOOOO8O8O87$I778Z777IIIIIIIII$$$$$I+..,~
MZOZI7I,+~~~~=++=?I$NONNNNNDDN8N8OO8ZNNNN88O888888O$I$I$I$I?7IIIIIII7$$$$$~..~+~
=$I?+~~=N?ZO8DDD88888DDNNNDDDD8DDMMMNOD88ONDI8D888O8III$7III7I?I77I7Z7Z$$I..=?~I
====~~:::~7ZOOOOOO88OODNNDNDDDO8NNMMMMDDND87I+$NDO887I7$II?I7I7ZZZO8$7Z$$...??77
=:==~=~=:~?OZOOOO8O8OONNNND8DDO8NNNDM$ZDNND$$$7$ZOO8DIIII?=I$ZZZZOO87777~~.??II$
+=??++=~~~+ZOOOOO8O888NNDNND888DMMMD8N8D.DDI7I$$D888D$$777I7$OOZOO8D$?=~~~=+==++
=?=~+==~~~+OOOOOOOOO88MNDNNDDD,....       ..,,IDDD8OZOO$$ZZZOOOOO87??+===+,,,:+I
?7ZO$7?=~~~=+IZOO8OO88NDDNNDDDD:,:~,......,:::::~?+888DD777=:,,:,:::~+=??.......
77$ZI????I777I++++==~+OMMM88DDDNNN+~==~+..........::::::::::::::,,:~~=+......,:~
I?????+++?III+???III=::,,,::=?=,$Z~~$=::........,~:~~~~~~===~~~~:::~=+?+====~=~=
OK, maybe that's not a great example. But you get the idea.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:13 AM on April 25, 2012


That looks like a skull rotated 90o clockwise.
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM on April 25, 2012


Woo! Blog link via Mefi User Sites psot! Now I've got to update the goddam thing! This new blog rocks, even if you didn't link my shit.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:54 AM on April 25, 2012


The image of your shirts linked to the photo on your blog, but I just updated it to link to your shirt blog directly.

(btw, I didn't use an image in the latest post because it was a sensitive topic and it didn't seem appropriate)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:10 AM on April 25, 2012


> It's not so much that I'm against photos generally, but the ones that are getting picked and the size of them relative to the length of the text they go with give a kind of cheesy marketing feel that doesn't give the right impression of the content they accompany.

Exactly.
posted by languagehat at 11:11 AM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


The image links to the photo!

Sorry, misunderstanding due to poor phrasing on my part, above. I mean that you'd still have a really great blog, even if you hadn't linked to mine, which I obviously saw that you did.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:13 AM on April 25, 2012


In my defense, I just spent 14 hours on a bus full of high school kids, and haven't slept meaningfully in about 30 hours. I hope to be able to make sense again some time next week, at the latest. If I sounded cheesed off in that first comment, it was because I totally mis-phrased a jovial poke in the ribs.

Pray for me -- I've got to ride the same bus home on Saturday night, and they're all going to be wired on the sweet flavor of Robot Victory!
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:20 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had to wait years. Years. But I got my white background.
posted by anildash at 12:32 PM on April 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Love this! Thank you so much. Added to my morning routine, along with MetaChat and Thank You For Contacting Metafilter. I assume there's a great place on the Wiki that describes all these terrific support sites?
posted by Melismata at 2:10 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


jonmc: "I Guess that this Best Of Blog is kind of like our Greatest Hits album, huh? Which means that a Behind The Blogs special isn't Far behind."

I would like to volunteer for the first season of The Real Meta World.
posted by arcticseal at 4:31 PM on April 25, 2012


I assume there's a great place on the Wiki that describes all these terrific support sites?

Not exactly? The Shadowy Back Alley part of the wiki is the closest but I'm not sure how to work it in, maybe someone else has an idea how to make it work there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:37 PM on April 25, 2012


and the meta-angels need meta-meta-angels.
posted by arcticseal at 4:55 PM on April 25, 2012


I can work on it. Have fallen behind on my wiki editing
posted by zarq at 5:03 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love it that it's still called 'Shadowy Back Alleys'. There used to be a section of it (I'll click over to look in a bit) that was links to data from cortex's own MeFiDump analysis website, and that might be a good section to flesh out as 'Stuff directly about MeFi but not hosted on the server'.
I admit in shame that it's been nigh on forever since I've edited that page.
posted by carsonb at 5:09 PM on April 25, 2012


I know chrismear but even I was confused "Wait, that's holgate??"

I'd be happy to recreate the photo after chrismear's original, except I have a strict "no posing for mathowie" policy.

Anyway, I concur that the semi-stock photo approach has a wee bit of the Gawker "must post 15 times an hour or Nick Denton will feed me to sewer rats" feel to it, which jars somewhat with the "best of" theme. Otherwise, it's lovely.
posted by holgate at 6:20 PM on April 25, 2012


I'm neo-raving so hard right now, y'all! =^_^=
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:51 PM on April 25, 2012


I have a bug report: It looks like only one so far, but one of the tweets linked to the archive of the month, rather than a specific post.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:38 PM on April 25, 2012


Thanks Pronoiac. I found the problem and it should be fixed up for new posts.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:48 PM on April 25, 2012


This is cool as all get-out, great work guys and gals!
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:53 PM on April 25, 2012


I have a strict "no posing for mathowie" policy

Hey, I'm not the one that said "Draw me like one of your French girls" the last time I broke the paint brushes out...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:14 PM on April 25, 2012


Oooh, shiny!
posted by deborah at 9:20 PM on April 25, 2012


We vowed never to speak of that again, sir. [/flounce]
posted by holgate at 10:21 PM on April 25, 2012


This is awesome! Thanks so much!!

Might I suggest a link to the blog on the front page somewhere? It might not work on the top "tabs" but maybe underneath the "Features" section in the footer?

For what it is worth, I like the photos. I don't know why, but I find them charming.
posted by k8lin at 12:24 PM on April 26, 2012


Oh hello now I see it up there. Carry on and ignore my request.

I still like the photos, though.
posted by k8lin at 12:24 PM on April 26, 2012


Random photos idea - lots of users have their flickr accounts piping through to their user pages. Is there a way use that 'pool' (or the CC-licenced photos users post) as your stock photo source?

That way, you still have a lot of images to attach to posts that need them, but everything on the blog is metafilter-related.
posted by roobot at 5:53 PM on April 26, 2012


Just checked out the blog, I really appreciate everyone's work on this. I find that it highlights special comments, questions, and links that I may have otherwise missed. I'm also really digging the pictures and the overall design of the blog. Thanks for all of your hard work, mods!
posted by livinglearning at 6:02 PM on April 26, 2012


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