Like a VH1 countdown, only better - of MeFi posts May 6, 2002 10:37 AM   Subscribe

So, I was posting a link last night, and through the process I realized, for all the conversations MeTa has about what makes a bad post, I've never seen a list of 50-100 posts that were money. I understand that Matt can't regulate good posts, but is it possible for someone, anyone, to put together a group of 50-100 great posts? Like a VH1 countdown, only better...because it's MeFi.
posted by BlueTrain to MetaFilter-Related at 10:37 AM (20 comments total)

This is one of my had a great story and excellent link setup.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:42 AM on May 6, 2002

There's lots here. Why not troll the archives and put together a page yourself, BlueTrain? Theoretically, anyone could do it.
posted by Marquis at 10:44 AM on May 6, 2002

who the hell wants a page full of me? ugh. that would be so egomaniacal.

posted by jcterminal at 10:48 AM on May 6, 2002

Mainly because there's no easy way to do it. If one of us were to take this task, we'd have to look at each individual thread because the number of comments/number of links are irrelevent to a good post. OTOH, I didn't see that thread (that you linked) before, so this idea has been put forth, it just needs implementation.

To go back to my original point, this task would require a lot of teamwork.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:54 AM on May 6, 2002

I don't know how scientific this approach is, but it's a start. Here are the top ten* Google results for "excellent post" within MetaFilter:


* Although I did try to take any instances where the phrase was either applied to a comment within a post, or was obviously used sarcastically.

If this is a self-policing community, think of this as a bit of self-ranking. Obviously, this isn't authoritative, but it's nice (and instructive) to see the variety of posts that earn the "excellent post" designation from someone.

posted by yhbc at 11:23 AM on May 6, 2002

Dang. Please insert "out" after the "try to take" within the above footnote.

btw, uner this criteria, this thread is now itself an "excellent post". Congratulations, BlueTrain.
posted by yhbc at 11:25 AM on May 6, 2002

BlueTrain, do you mean the actual post being excellent, the ensuing thread being excellent, or a combination of the two? Because I can think of exclusive instances of all three. Not to make your head explode, or anything ;)

I can think of some amazing posts that hardly got any responses at all, but I still consider them excellent.
posted by iconomy at 11:54 AM on May 6, 2002

I recall this topic being addressed before but can't recall the thread. I'm getting dejavu.

I have attempted a list of worthy threads at my user page for my own edification but it's not worthy by any standards. I have yet to hear any satisfactory standards yet for what truly makes a worthy thread. One man's trash is another's treasure and all that. There's been talk in the past of filtering MetaFilter. I know of no one who has been successful. No one person can do it. Can a group of MeFi participants work together to come up with a list that would meet a community criteria?

First the criteria would have to be set. To make it more than just one's opinion or even a group of wayward players on this scene. The criteria would need to be set that anyone friend or stranger to this community upon which would agree. Before picking threads from this tapestry, we need to decide what and where to cut. And why.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:00 PM on May 6, 2002

ZachsMind: "I recall this topic being addressed before but can't recall the thread. I'm getting dejavu."

Maybe here (i.e., here)?

posted by pardonyou? at 12:36 PM on May 6, 2002

how about a vh1 style 'behind the post' type thing?

by 10:38 BlueTrain could no longer take the pressure of waiting for the first comment to appear. Only worshipping satan while smoking crack could help. That is were the troubles began. The tragedy would be compounded when it was learned that Miguel, on his way to hit post, had suffered from a catastrophic hard-drive failure. Metatalk would never be the same ever again.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:02 PM on May 6, 2002

The thread mentioned by marquis and pardonyou is the only organized 'best of' that I know of. I had asked a similar question sometime back that threw up a few more suggestions. Iconomy's weblog has a links to 'cult threads'.

This is such a hugely qualitative judgement (not to mention a massive undertaking) to make, that it has to utilize the collective memory of the community for it to to get anywhere.
posted by justlooking at 1:19 PM on May 6, 2002

Ah, but where's the Nirvana that drives the self-indulgent, hair-MeTa posting out of fashion?
posted by liam at 1:20 PM on May 6, 2002

I would like to be able to browse old threads by category or search via a closed vocabulary. It can feel like MeFi is just of the moment, and that's too bad. There's a lot of great stuff in here.
posted by xammerboy at 1:42 PM on May 6, 2002

What criteria would you use for a great post? Here are my three:

1. Lots of responses. Obviously this would indicate a hot-button topic that generates a lot of traffic.

2. Within the thread, careful, measured responses and mini-debates [Why I like this place].

3. A couple of great jokes thrown in to lighten things up.

Threads that degenrate into pissing contests and name calling suck big time and wouldn't be included in my list. Fortunately there doesn't seem to be much of that. Like iconomy said however, there have been some great posts that got hardly a nibble so my little list wouldn't do much good.

There are some threads that I often revisit long after they have died because they made me think, laugh and get mad. Those are the posts that I think should be in any Top Ten List.

Thank you. I'll hang up and wait for my answer.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:37 PM on May 6, 2002

Okay. Moratorium on posts about what makes good post?
Seriously. This is like the third time within the past week someone's asked for a list. Funny thing is, the fact everybody's contributing to this list individually will make it useless. One vote doesn't really account for very much in a community system. Sure, there's going to be some overlap, but mostly not.
Somebody put together a poll already, and get it overwith.

Xammer: What do you mean seach by closed vocabulary? I thought that's what search terms did.

Kevin: Besides the fact that the growing suckiness of many of the political threads has been brought up recently, lots of comments does not constitute a good post, particularly when it's the same opinions being rehashed by the same people, over and over again. Reasoned arguments might constitute a good thread, however, Matt has stated several times that discussion is secondary here. Look at how basic(to say the least) the commenting mechanism is.
There are great posts that get few to no comments. You totally excluded those.
posted by Su at 2:47 PM on May 6, 2002

Okay. Moratorium on posts about what makes good post?

Don't mean to be pissy but, no. Thats why its called MetaTalk [unless I missed a memo].

lots of comments does not constitute a good post, particularly when it's the same opinions being rehashed by the same people, over and over again

Well I happen to like it. I'm sure Matt's original intention was to make discussion secondary but as I'm sure he would admit, threads do take on this tone. I happen to learn quite a bit from these threads. Don't see any harm there. Also, I did acknowlege the number of posts with few comments. Too bad about this.

posted by KevinSkomsvold at 3:09 PM on May 6, 2002

Here are the top ten* Google results for "excellent post" within MetaFilter

::: disables yhbc's system by going back and adding "excellent post" to all of his (ahem) FPPs :::
posted by rushmc at 5:27 PM on May 6, 2002

Addendum: Actually, I forgot to edit that line Kevin quoted. I meant moratorium on requests for lists of good posts. That's what I've seen come up three times just this week.
Discussion of posting quality is perfectly fine by me.
posted by Su at 6:06 PM on May 6, 2002

The very first post I thought of (and the one that prompted me to ask my question (see above) ) was the Wow post by BlueTrain. This post was edited, was it not? Because I could swear that the initial post consisted of the word wow and the first post inside was BlueTrain's comment "more info here, if necessary." Was it edited?
posted by iconomy at 6:51 PM on May 6, 2002

iconomy, no, it wasn't edited, though I can't vouch for any of the comments within the thread.
posted by BlueTrain at 10:17 PM on May 6, 2002

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