I promise I washed it... April 29, 2012 10:00 PM   Subscribe

Free metafilter shirt up for grabs!

Hey all! I'm cleaning out my closet and I found my metafilter shirt. It's not quite as loose as I usually like my t-shirts to be, so I don't wear it very often. If you're interested in it send me a message with your address and I'll mail it to you!

The size is a women's small and it's one of the gray shirts that was sold circa fall 2009/spring 2010. The front has tl;dr on it.
posted by lucy.jakobs to MetaFilter-Related at 10:00 PM (78 comments total)

Best flameout ever.
posted by ericost at 11:16 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


For sale
Mefi shirt
Never used
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:38 PM on April 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


A women's small will fit a large toddler or a skinny child.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:14 AM on April 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ok, I'll take it!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:48 AM on April 30, 2012


Me too!
posted by Jubey at 3:33 AM on April 30, 2012


tl;dr on a tight fitting t-shirt?

*ponders*

I'll take it!
posted by infini at 3:34 AM on April 30, 2012


If you plan on taking the shirt, you so have to take the dryer. NO EXCEPTIONS. .
posted by griphus at 4:59 AM on April 30, 2012


Can you ship it to Singapore?
posted by infini at 5:57 AM on April 30, 2012


Brave of you to use shirt, up, and grab all in the same sentence — and in MeTa, no less.
posted by heyho at 7:14 AM on April 30, 2012


Ooh we should do new Mefi shirts. I want a shirt!
posted by insectosaurus at 7:41 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Could someone remind me why MeFi doesn't do merch except on an occasional limited-run basis? I feel like there's a reason, but I can't remember it. It just seems to stand in such stark contrast to the way in which basically the entire rest of the web has aggressively merchandised itself. I mean, MeFi is definitely idiosyncratic and I love that but I feel like people want shirts and mugs and official commemorative beanplates and stuff so why don't we have them for sale all the time?
posted by Scientist at 8:24 AM on April 30, 2012


weird, I wore the exact same shirt yesterday, size and everything.
posted by desjardins at 8:27 AM on April 30, 2012


Because Matt does it by hand (because he cares) and the man hasn't the time to sit there all day packing up shirts. This should have been a job for the Pintern.

but Matt if you wanted to just send one shirt out to me, I won't tell.
posted by cashman at 8:29 AM on April 30, 2012


such stark contrast to the way in which basically the entire rest of the web has aggressively merchandised itself

*sighs with relief*
posted by infini at 8:38 AM on April 30, 2012


Oh and don't forget to download/buy/read/retweet/blog my next book
posted by infini at 8:39 AM on April 30, 2012


desjardins, me too, I am wearing my tl;dr shirt RIGHT NOW.
posted by carter at 8:45 AM on April 30, 2012


Could someone remind me why MeFi doesn't do merch except on an occasional limited-run basis?

The shirts are 100% grass-fed, free-range organic cotton and artisanally woven by fully unionized and insured employees (although the preferred nomenclature is 'associates.') The silk-screening machine is made entirely out of parts salvaged from junkyards and landfills, and the paint is foraged from cans in the dumpster outside of Home Depot. Each individually inspected for any flaws. Any shirt found to be over 5% of the acceptable range in size, coloration and so on is immediately donated to a clothing drive picked at random via dartboard by a chimp MetaFilter freed from a research facility. The chimp is also unionized, but opted out of the insurance plan.
posted by griphus at 8:57 AM on April 30, 2012 [19 favorites]



desjardins, me too, I am wearing my tl;dr shirt RIGHT NOW.


It doesn't count if your wear it every day.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:58 AM on April 30, 2012


The shirts are 100% grass-fed, free-range organic cotton

The hell they are. He makes them from my friggin' pelt.

...although he does save a ton on dyeing costs.
posted by Meta Filter at 9:03 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Today I learned that MetaFilter has a pelt.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:21 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter was pelted?
posted by infini at 9:42 AM on April 30, 2012


infini, I know. I was feeling big spikes of cognitive dissonance while I was writing that comment. I can't deny it, though. I want a MetaFilter shirt. It would be the only branded item of clothing that I own other than my SOLO t-shirt from my wilderness EMT class and my House Captain shirt from when I used to work for Rebuilding Together, both of which are relegated to gardening/painting clothes anyway. But I would proudly wear MetaFilter Blue around town, though I'm somewhat ashamed to say so. Mainly I think because it would be cool if I bumped into another MeFite while wearing such a shirt so that we could greet each other as long-lost siblings.
posted by Scientist at 10:12 AM on April 30, 2012


Hey guys remember that time we were trying to decide what the new shirts should say and then it turned into a zipgun rumble about which shirt manufacturer was slightly less evil than the others and blood was spilled that day

Remember, guys?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:32 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


This should have been a job for the Pintern.

Whatever happened to that guy? They just sort of stopped talking about him. He's the Chuck Cunningham of Metafilter.
posted by bondcliff at 10:39 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Last I heard, he was going into mathowie's attic to fetch some stuff. It gets pretty dark up there, but it doesn't look like he took the lantern. I'm sure he's fine.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, did you hear the new Zipgun Rumble/A Hawk and a Hacksaw split EP?
posted by griphus at 10:47 AM on April 30, 2012


We should go up to the attic to look for the pintern, but only one at a time. I hear there's a big storm tonight.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:19 AM on April 30, 2012


Could someone remind me why MeFi doesn't do merch except on an occasional limited-run basis?

Mostly because it's a pain in the ass. I mean, I like it when we sell shirts too and we probably should at some point because, hey, shirts, but I also don't particularly want to be the person doing fulfillment for them. And it's tricky to work out the logistics to make and fulfill small volumes on a shirt that is not crap and is also not fairly expensive. Which, again, doable but not a thrill a minute.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:27 AM on April 30, 2012


This should have been a job for the Pintern.

Whatever happened to that guy?
= I believe his internship finished up and he went off to college.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:28 AM on April 30, 2012


No, he went off to collage. That's why he needed to old National Geographics from the attic.
posted by maryr at 11:29 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


to = the
posted by maryr at 11:30 AM on April 30, 2012


Oh, wow, I totally forgot he was in high school. Although I now remember the hilarious moment wherein zarq (?) quoted some Steve Miller Band lyrics at him, and he took it as some sort of earnest criticism and then everyone felt incredibly old.
posted by griphus at 11:31 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


but griphus, you make me feel incredibly old sometimes tbh
posted by infini at 11:34 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's cuz griphus doesn't know what old school means.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:45 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cortex: I get that, I guess. I just see how all my webcomics and stuff have merchandise coming out the wazoo to the point where I assume it must be a major revenue stream for them, and I wonder why MetaFilter isn't tapping that sweet money vein also. Am I right in my suspicion that the number of people who want to buy shirts for a gated-community web forum is just a whole lot smaller than the number of people who want to buy shirts for a popular webcomic, and that therefore it wouldn't be worth ramping up the logistics capacity to be able to do it full time?

I mean, I get that you guys/gals are moderators and not sales staff. I get that it's a full-time job and you have things to do that don't include designing/selling shirts and handling the associated paperwork and bookkeeping. There are people who do that kind of thing, though, and in theory you could hire one, right? So why not? Is it just not worth the money/effort for the kind of return you expect you would get? Some other reason?

Would you ever consider licensing some shirt designs for someone else to sell on a mostly-independent-but-officially-affiliated basis, such that they would handle production/selling/packing/shipping of the shirts and associated customer service (as a part-time gig I guess, assuming there's not enough money in it to make it worth going full time) and then would just send Haughey & co. an agreed-upon cut of the profit? That way you guys wouldn't have to really deal with things as much and could just deal with the one person and collect a check at the end of the month. You'd lose some control of the process of course, but that's what contracts are for -- you could have formal, agreed-upon specifications in terms of product specs, prices, and customer service standards.

Just a weird thought that I had. I love you guys.
posted by Scientist at 11:46 AM on April 30, 2012


But I would proudly wear MetaFilter Blue around town
Blue? I want AskMeFi green! We can have sub-site shirts!
posted by Joh at 11:54 AM on April 30, 2012


griphus: "Although I now remember the hilarious moment wherein zarq (?) quoted some Steve Miller Band lyrics at him, and he took it as some sort of earnest criticism and then everyone felt incredibly old."

Yep.

Awhile back an intern in my office handed me her ipod and said, "Hey, have you heard the new Madonna song? It's awful!" As I listened in horror to Madonna's butchery of that classic, it came out that she (our intern) had no idea it was a cover, and no knowledge of any of the interpretations of the lyrics that have been suggested over the years. Did I say I feel old? I feel goddamned ANCIENT.
posted by zarq at 12:00 PM on April 30, 2012


Cortex: I get that, I guess. I just see how all my webcomics and stuff have merchandise coming out the wazoo to the point where I assume it must be a major revenue stream for them, and I wonder why MetaFilter isn't tapping that sweet money vein also.

I love Jeff Rowland's work like crazy but it often suffers in terms of timeliness for the fact that he's worked really hard at and thus successfully become the head of a merchandise machine and gets so exhausted by trying to keep up with that business that he sometimes can't find the energy to update the comic that's the reason he ended up in the merch business in the first place. Which as a fan I can deal with just fine and I'm happy for him, but it's not a kind of success that I'm super excited about emulating myself, as an example.

Honestly, part of the situation there is I think that (with the exception of maybe a couple of juggernaut outliers) folks doing merch associated with their comics are doing so because that's literally the only way they can make any significant money off of drawing webcomics, and even at that they're not making big bucks so much as maybe, maybe pulling in enough to be able to have that be a scratching-by sole income. And these are comics that have wide readership and operate in a realm where the basic content they produce—funny words and iconic images, essentially—lend themselves readily to shirts and such that their reader demographic can identify with pretty easily and are expecting to exist. I can't imagine a better setup for a merch business than having likeable cartoon characters who say clever shit be the core identity of your brand to begin with, and those folks aren't making big money.

So Metafilter is a very different sort of thing, and we know from experience that we can sell a few hundred shirts over the course of a year to active members of the site when there's been a dearth of merch previously but we know nothing about whether we could sell orders of magnitude more than that. And it'd have to be orders of magnitude more—tens of thousands of shirts, really—for the margins on those sales at any non-gouging price to even start to really pay one person full-time for the work involved.

So either we can bank on somehow selling three or four shirts each to every single minimally-active user on the site, each year, or we are volunteering to just add merch-handling work to the existing employees' workload in order to handle merch fulfillment without adding costs (beyond the up-front cost of ordering inventory in the first place), and either one employee handles all that fulfillment work or we have to find a way to divide it up across multiple people in different parts of the country. All to bring in maybe a portion of one person's paycheck.

Like I said, a pain in the ass. I really don't see us going into the merch business as being particularly profitable since we don't have the supply chain to produce stuff super cheap at the volume we'd reasonably be able to expect to sell it, and selling at a big margin to increase per-sale revenue would be kind of a shitty deal for our customer base (and would necessarily reduce total sales in any case).

Which is not to say that we won't ever do merch again, because, hey, shirts. But there's reasons other than just not jumping on a big opportunity for why it's not something we're actively and regularly doing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:04 PM on April 30, 2012


Fair enough, I figured that was more-or-less the case. Any thought about whether it would be doable to have some kind of independent contractor or something doing part-time merch work as a side income? I realize that that wouldn't make much sense for selling hundreds of shirts all at once, but if there was just a sort of small amount of background demand maybe somebody who's not official MeFi staff but is instead working under contract could knock out five or ten shirts per week in their spare time, creating a little extra income for both MeFi and the contractor.

Not something you're interested in, I guess? You don't have to give me a long and detailed explanation, I'm not trying to have an argument here and I get that you're probably busy. Thanks for taking the time you have already.
posted by Scientist at 12:17 PM on April 30, 2012


Do consider an evening wear line, please.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:27 PM on April 30, 2012


Like I said, a pain in the ass. I really don't see us going into the merch business as being particularly profitable...

I got three words for you, cortex, and they're gonna make us rich.

You ready?

Official Limited Edition.

You put that on anything, and they'll be lining up at the door to get two (one for safekeeping as an investment.)
  • Official limited edition leatherbound copies of top-favorited/most contentious posts (with optional gilded edging.)
  • Official limited edition podcast collections on a MetaFilter-logo-shaped thumb drive (with download code so they can keep the thumb drive in its official limited edition case.)
  • Official limited edition Face of Mod collectors plates.
  • Official limited edition pb action figure with google-fu grip.
  • Official limited edition "I Use Them As Favorites" bookmark set.
  • Any of the mods planning to have kids? Official limited edition baby teeth. Each one signed by the baby.
We're gonna be millionaires, baby. Now just sign here here and initial here.
posted by griphus at 12:30 PM on April 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Scientist, I used to think about shirts the same way, but a while ago (years probably!) Matt explained what it takes from his point of view. The short version of the older t-shirt process was:
1. order shirts, guessing how many of each design+size people will want; Matt must order in bulk quantities, pays thousands of bucks up front
2. wait a few weeks
3. shirts come in big boxes which go in Matt's garage
4. when someone orders a shirt, Matt goes to the garage, rummages for the right size, packs it up, drives to post office
5. big burst of orders in the initial going, and then...
6. big boxes of leftover shirts sit indefinitely taking up space in Matt's garage.

Then the next time there were shirts, (or, one of the next times) it was pre-order only (link to Matt's explanation of pros and cons of that system; then followup). That thread also illustrates the futzing-around-with-designs part that comes before my item 1. It sounds like even the preorder method ended up being a bit of a pain?

BUT - last fall, Matt said he had talked to Topatoco about them handling Mefi shirts, I don't know if there's been an update on that.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:30 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]




So then I guess there's no way to do print-on-demand with a reasonable price/quality ratio? It all has to be ordered in advance?
posted by Scientist at 12:37 PM on April 30, 2012


I heard the Pintern was now working at Pintrest on collages, but I've got that bum ear so I could have heard wrong.
posted by Toekneesan at 12:40 PM on April 30, 2012


Can we do hoodies someday? There's something comforting about a big-ass hooded sweatshirt.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:42 PM on April 30, 2012


I wonder why jezztek isn't involved. Everybody seems to like those shirts he does.

There's something comforting about a big-ass hooded sweatshirt.

Yeah. Most of the time.
posted by cashman at 12:43 PM on April 30, 2012


Any thought about whether it would be doable to have some kind of independent contractor or something doing part-time merch work as a side income?

Mostly doing something like that would come down to a biz decision on Matt's part about whether and how to manage it. It's not impossible, but I also don't know likely it is to happen, either. He's pretty much the only person who could say for sure

So then I guess there's no way to do print-on-demand with a reasonable price/quality ratio? It all has to be ordered in advance?

That's pretty much the short of it, yeah. You can futz around a little bit with what "reasonable" means and get different mileage. Mostly what it comes down to is that I think we'd be doing merch for the sake of doing merch and letting people buy a shirt they want rather than because we thought there was a pile of cash in the offing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:48 PM on April 30, 2012


I think if you had a shirt that said "because, hey, shirts" you would sell fifty million of them overnight and you would all be driving custom blue Lamborghinis with trunks full of the finest professional white cocaine available.
posted by bondcliff at 12:54 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


And it'd have to be orders of magnitude more—tens of thousands of shirts, really—for the margins on those sales at any non-gouging price to even start to really pay one person full-time for the work involved.

Not to turn this thread any more into the Userbase Quibbles With Cortex thread for the day, but who says it has to be full-time? Given the projected sales volume, you could have some wheedly punk kid in once a week or something to do shipments.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:55 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fair enough! Too bad, I guess. It looks like if someone can figure out a way for online communities to painlessly integrate a small-scale merchandising operation with good price/quality standards and modest-but-consistent profitability then there's a niche out there to be filled.
posted by Scientist at 12:56 PM on April 30, 2012


Yo if you guys need MetaFilter t-shirts I have MetaFilter t-shirts for real cheap. Check it out:

[Hanes Beefy-T with "MefaTilter" in red and yellow. Picture of black Bart Simpson giving the middle finger.]
posted by griphus at 1:01 PM on April 30, 2012


I sure hope Matt will get Topatoco or someone else to handle fulfillment. There are plenty of outfits, big and small, some even in Portland, handling merch for bands in quantities tiny and giant.
posted by morganw at 1:02 PM on April 30, 2012


[Hanes Beefy-T with "MefaTilter" in red and yellow. Picture of black Bart Simpson giving the middle finger.]

I vote for Calvin pissing on the reddit logo.
posted by desjardins at 1:06 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Given the projected sales volume, you could have some wheedly punk kid in once a week or something to do shipments.

More likely we'd have someone like TopatoCo handle it, as far as that goes; the advantages of employing the services of a low-volume-friendly business over those of some random wheedly punk kid are probably considerable, all else aside. But the point remains that it's something we'd do because it was a thing to do, not because it's the business we want to or expect to be able to meaningfully get into, which is why there's not really a fire under our asses on the issue, much as that's probably annoying if you're excited about being able to get a dang mefi shirt.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:15 PM on April 30, 2012


Every once in a while, my bike collective will buy a pile of shirts from the thrift store and throw a shirt-screening party. Everyone brings their own shirts to screen for themselves as a reward for screening all the other shirts. Could be a fun meetup project.
posted by aniola at 1:15 PM on April 30, 2012


I think if you had a shirt that said "because, hey, shirts" you would sell fifty million of them overnight and you would all be driving custom blue Lamborghinis with trunks full of the finest professional white cocaine available.

Metafilter: Hey! we got some wild imaginations once you remove the beans from the plate, one by one.
posted by infini at 1:18 PM on April 30, 2012


the advantages of employing the services of a low-volume-friendly business over those of some random wheedly punk kid are probably considerable, all else aside

goddammit that coulda been me
posted by shakespeherian at 1:23 PM on April 30, 2012


[Hanes Beefy-T with "MefaTilter" in red and yellow.]

close_enough.jpg
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:37 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any chance of MetaFilter buying a 3D printer? You know, for stuff MeFi related?
posted by Sailormom at 2:02 PM on April 30, 2012


What if, to get really Meta about it, we made shirts with MefiMag cover art on the front?

Why yes, I did just totally BLOW. YOUR. MIND.
posted by misha at 2:14 PM on April 30, 2012


Oh, I have this shirt shipment stuff worked out, too!

Okay, so we hold some more pub trivia contests with Reddit, right, and we have a side bet going on that says the losing team has to mail out shirts to the winning site's userbase!
posted by misha at 2:16 PM on April 30, 2012


Probably easier to get a one-off license from Matt and pay him a percentage of the profits.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:18 PM on April 30, 2012


i still want a tote/shopping bag. just in case anyone is writing down these printing related ponies.
posted by nadawi at 2:29 PM on April 30, 2012


I want a backpack that says VISIBLE BACKPACK
posted by shakespeherian at 2:31 PM on April 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


You know, pitchforks and torches and stuff.
posted by Sailormom at 3:20 PM on April 30, 2012


> The silk-screening machine is made entirely out of parts salvaged from junkyards and landfills, and the paint is foraged from cans in the dumpster outside of Home Depot.

This is distressingly close to the mark, though the bailing wire is conventionally fertilized.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:52 PM on April 30, 2012


Is this where we come for the free shirts?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:11 AM on May 1, 2012


I'm in corporate communications, and my tl;dr shirt (size medium, too small) is pinned in the old-fashioned way to my bulletin board in my office. I hung it to hide my "I'm paid to talk to you" button, which was the opposite of tl;dr and not in a good way.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:30 AM on May 1, 2012


What if, to get really Meta about it, we made shirts with MefiMag cover art on the front?

You're probably joking, but just to be clear, that would not happen without the explicit permission of the artist at the very least.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:46 AM on May 1, 2012


I gave up advertising so no shirts or hoodies for me thank you very much. Metafilter socks would be cool though!
posted by snowjoe at 9:56 AM on May 1, 2012


Am I the only one who ever ordered a shirt from Mr. Blag's Cavalcade of Whimsy?

BTW: whatever happened to blag?
posted by slogger at 10:52 AM on May 1, 2012


posted by snowjoe Metafilter socks would be cool though!

Possible slogan: "Socks For Meh-Feets"
posted by mattdidthat at 11:08 AM on May 1, 2012


No, no no! "Socks For Me-Feets!"
posted by Scientist at 11:23 AM on May 1, 2012


Where else would I where me socks?
posted by maryr at 11:26 AM on May 1, 2012


Wait. Don't answer that.
posted by maryr at 11:26 AM on May 1, 2012


I want a [citation needed] t-shirt to point to when my crazy family members start talking politics.
posted by desjardins at 7:49 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Public shout out to Lucy for my awesome tl;dr Mefi shirt that she very kindly shipped all the way to Sydney. It's super cool and I'm wearing it right now! Metafilter rocks and I'll think of y'all every time a stranger asks me me to explain my shirt. (My husband also likes it. It is indeed small. And tight. Across the chest ;)
posted by Jubey at 5:00 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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