Don't Link to Low-Bandwidth Sites May 28, 2002 7:57 PM   Subscribe

A suggestion for 'what makes a good post': one in which the main link isn't to a highly bandwidth limited site, such as Tripod or a similar free host, unless you are able to mirror it to another, higher bandwidth site. Here's the most recent example, but there have been many. An hour after this was posted, it was already slashdotted, before the first comment had been made. This is just annoying and frustrating for those of us who weren't among the N lucky guys first at the gate.
posted by Slithy_Tove to Etiquette/Policy at 7:57 PM (14 comments total)

Thanks for the post, I suppose. Just wanted to say I agree.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 8:00 PM on May 28, 2002

Sometimes google's cache saves the thread, which makes me wonder sometimes why anything exists outside of google

I gave it a shot, but unfortunately, Tripod replaces idiots with their logo.
posted by samsara at 8:34 PM on May 28, 2002

I dont see a clear solution to this problem. What if the person who find the page does not have the resources to mirror it? Should we give up on small sites altogether?

Sometimes, depending on the link, a Google cache will work - this works better with text sites than with image sites.

Maybe we need something like a public domain akamai system where thousands of users offer small amounts of bandwidth. I'm thinking a web-based interface to a P2P (has this been discussed by anybody??) where instead of getting mp3s or mpegs, you are getting html files from whichever user has the bandwidth near you.
posted by vacapinta at 8:58 PM on May 28, 2002

Re: the most recent example, my bad. For what it's worth, it really isn't a mind-bending link, just a bunch of, well, idiots on unicycles.

Guess it's not such a slow day after all. Next time I'll mirror.
posted by swift at 9:13 PM on May 28, 2002

Freenet! :)
posted by rhyax at 10:37 PM on May 28, 2002

Yes, Freenet. Usenet fits this criteria too to some extent. The problem we're running up against is that the Internet network is decentralized but documents in general are not. The information you need may reside in only one file on one specific server.

There's something quaint and archaic about this. The Internet is not a fully distributed information system. In some respects, it's still like your local library where you put your name on a waiting-list to access the one copy of a book they have.

The Internet Archive has a copy of idiots on unicycles. And this points out another solution to the problem - archiving. This still doesnt though, in spirit, address the problem I have in mind.
posted by vacapinta at 12:45 AM on May 29, 2002

you trying to put in posting parameters that will exclude internet rookies and those of us who are not weblog hosters or general geekazoids (no offence).
posted by Frasermoo at 1:45 AM on May 29, 2002

How about a policy banning post from certain sites, such as /., plastic, etc. Anything posted on said sites in the previous week is presumptively banned. Let's keep Mefi original.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:46 AM on May 29, 2002

I've been dealing with this problem when I select sites on Within minutes, anything I pick on Geocities hits the bandwidth limit and is unavailable until the next hour. I've started using wget to produce a cache of the site myself. So far no publisher has complained.

I wish that these bandwidth-limiting free sites, which usually offer a pay subscription with a higher limit, would accept user donations on behalf of any of their sites. I would pay for a site's bandwidth for a month just to pick it, but so far, the only site I know of that takes outside donations is ezboard. If you want ads removed from an ezboard you read, you can pay for an upgrade even if you aren't the owner of that board.
posted by rcade at 5:51 AM on May 29, 2002

How about a policy banning post from certain sites, such as /., plastic, etc. Anything posted on said sites in the previous week is presumptively banned. Let's keep Mefi original.

C'mon ParisParamus...that's rather hard to policy. Also, I don't read those sites. What if I wanted to post something that I had no clue was already posted on one of those sites? Does that mean I have to search MeFi and /. and
posted by jennak at 6:06 AM on May 29, 2002

I don't think we should give up on small sites, especially if they have something great to offer. The last time I ran into this problem, I posted the link to the Google cache, at mathowie's suggestion. I say, vacapinta, that this could be the easiest solution for those who don't have the resources to mirror.
posted by lnicole at 8:32 AM on May 29, 2002

I don't read fark or plastic or /. or memepool. I am loyal to my MetaFilter.

I have to confess, I have no idea how to mirror a site. How is it done?
posted by iconomy at 4:37 PM on May 29, 2002

OpenCola was supposed to have distributed p2p downloads.
posted by mecran01 at 10:31 AM on May 31, 2002

iconomy, I believe mirroring a site refers to copying the whole shootin' match – HTML, images, and all – and posting it on your own (hopefully higher-bandwidth) site. You should get permission of and give credit to the author and label the content as a mirror.
posted by timeistight at 10:55 AM on May 31, 2002

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