Adam Savage Prefers Metafilter's Format September 30, 2012 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Adam Savage's AMA on Reddit might not be noteworthy here if not for This Comment: "I feel seriously so dumb about the reply thing. I'm used to the format on Metafilter."
posted by Blake to MetaFilter-Related at 5:17 PM (56 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Zing!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:19 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reddit is the most confusing web site I have ever come across.
posted by dfriedman at 5:22 PM on September 30, 2012 [49 favorites]


Metafilter: used to the format on Metafilter.
posted by michaelh at 5:28 PM on September 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Reddit is the most confusing web site I have ever come across.

The (latest) Gawker Media comment section formatting is pretty hideous as well.
posted by availablelight at 5:31 PM on September 30, 2012 [13 favorites]


You know, it's more readable the way he did it.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:39 PM on September 30, 2012


Would be interesting to see if there was a "Savage bump" in terms of either traffic or new user signups.

Mods? PB?
posted by davey_darling at 5:49 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey Adam : Your cheatin' heart will make you weep. You'll cry and cry and try to sleep. But sleep won't come the whole night through. Your cheatin' heart will tell on you.
posted by crunchland at 6:05 PM on September 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Metafilter needs the equivalent of AMA. Perhaps SMA - Snark Me Anything.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:52 PM on September 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Metafilter TMIFACBE

Tell Me If Anything Can Be Eaten
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:55 PM on September 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Metafilter Delete Me Anything?
posted by hattifattener at 6:59 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is so awesome to know that I'm not all alone...
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:14 PM on September 30, 2012


AMATTMWD : Ask me anything that the mods won't delete.
posted by crunchland at 7:24 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


HOW DO I UPVOTE THIS WITHOUT GOING TO REDDIT
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:26 PM on September 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


TMYR,SMAS: tell me your recipes, sing me a song.
posted by arcticseal at 7:26 PM on September 30, 2012


I will now sing to you the recipes of my people.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:35 PM on September 30, 2012 [23 favorites]


TIL that Metafilter is preferable to Reddit.

No wait, I already knew that.
posted by sunshinesky at 7:49 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's also no surprise that Reddit makes one feel dumber than Metafilter does. Need we dissect the obvious?
posted by sunshinesky at 7:50 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's okay Reddit, we can still hang out on the couch and talk shit about Myspace if you want. Savage usually brings a casserole of bean dip, guacamole and ballistic jelly. It's awful, don't tell him I said so.
posted by mintcake! at 8:07 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


For some reason it bothers me deeply when seemingly-smart people describe themselves as "dumb" or "feeling dumb" about technology. "Oh I'm so dumb about computers". "Oh this makes me feel dumb". I just want to grab them by the shoulders and shake until they realize it doesn't help anyone to blame themselves. It's like this sickening sense of resignation. Plus, nothing that's very commercially successful can possibly be that hard.
posted by bleep at 8:15 PM on September 30, 2012


It's more delicate to blame yourself and say "oh, I feel dumb," than to say "oh, your favorite website's interface is total shite."
posted by crunchland at 8:18 PM on September 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


Why would anyone feel the need to be delicate about a website's interface.
posted by bleep at 8:21 PM on September 30, 2012


When your AMA is on the front page, and 200,000 people are reading your every word, and your goal is to promote the season premiere of your television show.
posted by crunchland at 8:25 PM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why would anyone feel the need to be delicate about a website's interface.

Someone has never searched the term "favorite" in MetaTalk.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:27 PM on September 30, 2012


Pardon me but I think you'll find that it's spelled favourite.
posted by elizardbits at 9:17 PM on September 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Tell it to the tool-tip, lady.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:20 PM on September 30, 2012


Jesus christ. That Reddit thread has more than 10,000 comments. It's only 11 hours old.
posted by crunchland at 9:28 PM on September 30, 2012


Reddit is the most confusing web site I have ever come across.

I hate it when I see links to there because I can’t read a word of it. It might as well be randomly swirling lines of lorem ipsum. I don’t know if it’s a mental block, but I do know that I haven’t tried very hard. Because I just don’t try very hard to get past someone’s crappy interface. Like when I quit reading Wired in the mid 90’s.
posted by bongo_x at 9:41 PM on September 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


I get that Reddit is confusing to folks but as confusing as it may be, comparing it to Gawker Media's commenting is like comparing apples and Pluto.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:44 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


It took me a while to figure out how posts and comments work on Reddit, but now I'm fairly adept at navigating it. Learning curve, but not impossible.

Gawker's ...situation, however, is incomprehensible.
posted by batmonkey at 11:10 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I chuckled when I saw that comment on there...but then I realized the gravity of mentioning Metafilter on Reddit. Not cool man. You just going to invite the hoard right over for dinner? ;P
posted by victory_laser at 3:40 AM on October 1, 2012


It took me a while to figure out how posts and comments work on Reddit, but now I'm fairly adept at navigating it. Learning curve, but not impossible.

Occasional MetaFilter links to Reddit had me scratching my head like others in this thread - I couldn't get my head around the comment layout.

But about a week ago, with an excess of free time on my hands, I started following the Reddit front page more methodically. After a couple of days, I had it all figured out, and now I'm quite enjoying the scene over there.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 4:04 AM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reddit's sort of hilarious. It's like the endless two-person slugging matches you get at the end of week-old controversial FPPs, but everywhere, forever.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:00 AM on October 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


My 17 year old nephew recently asked me if I was a Redditor. I told him that no, I hung out on Metafilter. "Oh," he said. "That's for old people."
posted by crunchland at 5:28 AM on October 1, 2012 [36 favorites]


I just want to grab them by the shoulders and shake until they realize it doesn't help anyone to blame themselves. It's like this sickening sense of resignation.

I think it's just a self-deprecating cultural thing rather than anything else. You know, "Oh, I'm so sorry that I have so little to offer you" when you have prepared a twelve course dinner, or "I know you must be used to much bigger places" when you live in a palace.
posted by corb at 6:20 AM on October 1, 2012


ArmyOfKittens: "Reddit's sort of hilarious. It's like the endless two-person slugging matches you get at the end of week-old controversial FPPs, but everywhere, forever."

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a human deliberately misreading your point and replying to a strawman argument, forever.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:40 AM on October 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


reddit is a lot better if you unsubscribe from the big default subreddits. There's a smaller subreddit for almost every interest, and for some reason people in those (at least the ones I read) tend to be less tolerant of the stupid adolescent bigotry that's often upvoted in the massive default subs.
posted by exogenous at 7:12 AM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


My 17 year old nephew recently asked me if I was a Redditor. I told him that no, I hung out on Metafilter. "Oh," he said. "That's for old people."

Pretty accurate, really. Reddit is like being inside a 14 year old boy's brain. Which can be fun, sometimes.
posted by Diablevert at 7:27 AM on October 1, 2012


My 17 year old nephew recently asked me if I was a Redditor. I told him that no, I hung out on Metafilter. "Oh," he said. "That's for old people."
posted by crunchland at 20:28 on October 1 [4 favorites +] [!]


The kids in the year below me at school discovered reddit earlier this year. They were so terribly, terribly excited. They were all, 'Dude, this is like, the coolest site ever!' And because I live a duplicitous life, I was just all, 'Oh really? You boys sure surf weird sites! Haha!' Then I quietly read the cool blue on my mobile.
posted by undue influence at 7:47 AM on October 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


reddit is a lot better if you unsubscribe from the big default subreddits.

I did this recently and it helped a lot.
posted by brundlefly at 8:11 AM on October 1, 2012


After reading a few old AskMes that recommended particular subreddits, I signed up for Reddit. I followed advice I found on MeTa to make Reddit more interesting/less NSFW (unsubscribing to defaults, etc.). It's far less offensive that way, but still crap as far as being user-friendly. I do feel better knowing I am not the only one.
posted by peacrow at 8:25 AM on October 1, 2012


Would be interesting to see if there was a "Savage bump" in terms of either traffic or new user signups.

No, we haven't seen any sort of increase. The only times we notice any significant change in signups is when someone writes a long piece about MetaFilter. I remember there was a Slate article a few years ago that sent people here who actually signed up. The $5 hurdle is a pretty big hurdle. People have to be convinced it's worth it before they get here. Or they need to hang around for a while and find out if it's for them.

We get bumps in traffic all the time from direct links—a mention like this is really tough to track. There's no link, and we haven't seen an increase in people visiting the site directly.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:56 AM on October 1, 2012


Reddit is the most confusing web site I have ever come across.

[porn joke]
posted by Sys Rq at 9:03 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would be interesting to see if there was a "Savage bump" in terms of either traffic or new user signups.

Not obviously, no. Signup traffic has been baseline normal. A mention of mefi on reddit will mostly generate a little bit of offhand discussion between people who have heard of it and people who haven't; if signups were free I bet we'd see a wee bump as well, but probably not much.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a human deliberately misreading your point and replying to a strawman argument, forever.

It's definitely one of the things I don't much like about conversation over there, and a pretty profound indictment of the erstwhile suggestion that nested threading improves conversation. Having a ton of completely tiresome branches—often substantially reproducing each other by chance or by intention—isn't better conversation, it's just harder to read all the crap.

Not to say that all conversation on reddit is crap, but there's an awful lot of it.

I remember marveling back during the whole Scott Adams thing how, the farther down the chain of a subthread comments got from something I explained re: Mefi and Scott and that whole Planned Chaos situation, the more completely off-the-wall a redditor's assumptions and assertions about what we did or what I'd said got. Like, in direct degrees it just got nuttier and shittier, where a direct reply to something I said might be on point but three or four links down the chain I'd been a communist nazi who hated Scott Adams for his freedoms or something. Volume does weird things to conversation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:04 AM on October 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm only able to deal by looking at specific subreddits, too, and even that requires some careful skimming and response suppression. But it can be really worth it from time to time, and it's certainly useful to me for local stuff.

I think the AMA thing is one of the more interesting ways to experience Reddit, and loved what asavage did there. The commitment to answering as many questions as possible was admirable, even with the necessary diplomatic dodges (those were actually some of my favourites). He even got one of the best answer tables and "shitty watercolours". The fact that we were namechecked as a more normalised interaction tickled me. Seeing people regularly voting down gross comments about Kari Byron was nice, too.

seeing cortex's comment on preview: yes! the way a conversation spirals out due to threading is one of the things that makes me shudder about participating there and intensifies my gratitude for mathowie's resistance to doing it that way here.
posted by batmonkey at 9:30 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to inhabit a BB that used thread nesting. I liked it. But after the moderator stopped deleting the more obscene and hyperbolic posts, the nested threads became a place where all the wingnuts and trolls came to breed and lay their nasty little eggs. On the other hand, our population was not large, and the poster's ID often suggested whether it might be worth my while to even read the offering. It took about ten years for the site to choke out on its own toxicity.

Yay mods.
posted by mule98J at 9:57 AM on October 1, 2012





Reddit is the most confusing web site I have ever come across.


It wasn't the confusion that got me. (Though I haven't tried to DO anything with the interface, beyond browse.) It was the rampant sexism that really turned me away. It's absolutely horrific over there; I don't know what their moderation policy is, but it sure doesn't seem to curtail some excruciating nastiness.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:09 AM on October 1, 2012


Reddit moderation differs a lot between subreddits. Some are quite civil and intelligent; others naturally spiral into jokes about poop.

The "AskReddit" subreddit is interesting, because it shows how stupid AskMe might be without moderation: its most popular questions are inane surveys: "Dear Reddit, I ate Captain Crunch for breakfast today! When was the last time YOU ate breakfast cereal?". Possibly because people upvote something they can participate in.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:53 AM on October 1, 2012


Sometimes when I get really hammered, I like posting to the "Male Fashion Advice" subreddit as if I'm an expert in the subject. I almost always walk away with more karma than when I started, despite

1) being almost too drunk to type
2) Owning more hawaiian shirts than suits and
3) Shopping almost exclusively at JC Penny because they're the only place in the mall that sells 4XL hawaiian shirts.

This is pretty much all you need to know about Reddit.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:03 PM on October 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


I like the comment in there about 200,000 Redditors joining MetaFilter.

Oh no! Run! It's a million dollars!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:20 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is something amusing about watching Mythbusters on Netflix while reading Savages AskMe. Like, recursive, geek amusing.

I'd been a communist nazi who hated Scott Adams for his freedoms or something.

You aren't? *tears down Cortex altar in living room, then weeps*
posted by Deoridhe at 3:23 PM on October 1, 2012


I absolutely hate markdown. It's supposed to be more "intuitive" but is it really that much easier to do *italic* **bold** compared to <i>italic</i> <b>bold</b>

And if you want to do anything complex, it ends up being a huge pain in the ass where you have to look up whatever goofball punctuation you're supposed to use to conjure up something that would be obvious in HTML, and then spend forever trying to figure how exactly the whitespace you have is preventing it from working...
posted by delmoi at 6:41 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe by preventing the use of straight html code, they bypass all of the possible security concerns that all that entails. Though it seems pretty obvious to me or you, who know html, that <b> is more intuitive than **, and since they're parsing the entered text anyway... but it's probably gotten to the point now that it's been this half-assed way for so long, it'd be total chaos to change it. We've seen the calamity and gnashing of teeth over changing the user interface even ever so slightly here on metafilter, first hand. Multiply that by 100 over at Reddit.
posted by crunchland at 4:34 PM on October 2, 2012


I don't know what their moderation policy is, but it sure doesn't seem to curtail some excruciating nastiness.

A brief explanation of why you still see excruciating nastiness at reddit.

The "AskReddit" subreddit is interesting, because it shows how stupid AskMe might be without moderation: its most popular questions are inane surveys: "Dear Reddit, I ate Captain Crunch for breakfast today! When was the last time YOU ate breakfast cereal?". Possibly because people upvote something they can participate in.


Chatty questions are the stated purpose of AskReddit; it's worthless by design. If you want answerable questions, you really want /r/answers or /r/explainlikeimfive.

Slightly off-topic, but /r/bestof recently got way better (new rule says no posts from default reddits)! I now recommend it wholeheartedly.
posted by Jpfed at 7:22 PM on October 2, 2012


On reading the link- this is a great AMA! For the reddit-allergic, here it is in tabular format as compiled by the5souls:

Favorite/Worst/Best/etc
Myths and Mythbuster stuff
Personal life
Miscellaneous
posted by Jpfed at 7:57 PM on October 2, 2012


It kind of says a lot about Reddit's default interface that there's a whole cadre of users doing pretty much nothing but going around putting responses in tables so they can be read without inducing migraines.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:13 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It looks like Jamie Hyneman will be making one too, on the 6th. My source is this tweet.
posted by tykky at 2:07 PM on October 3, 2012


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