Question on the Blue June 17, 2013 6:23 AM   Subscribe

I knew about open Snowden threads of course, but the G20 surveillance news really wasn't being discussed elsewhere. I though a new thread might spark an interesting conversation about what effects this might have on the G8 meeting. Also we'd no G8 thread. Also we hadn't discussed GCHQ. Sadly, my post did not inspire a discussion that diverged significantly from the existing threads, maybe my /. link screwed it up, not sure. Anyways, if anyone has easy tips for quieting the early thread axe grinds then I'd be interested to hear them. I suppose more links about GCHQ would've helped, but probably not much, and that's more work. Would it have been out of line for me to have simply ended the post with a question like : Do we know how this will impact the G8 meeting?
posted by jeffburdges to Etiquette/Policy at 6:23 AM (25 comments total)

I'm asking because I seriously considered doing that to avoid exactly this problem, but ultimately decided that asking a question might derail the thread more, even assuming the mods didn't mind.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:24 AM on June 17, 2013


As mentioned in the deletion reason, the the G20 surveillance news was indedd being discussed elsewhere. Metafilter does not need a new post for every new item about Snowden or what he's doing.


Would it have been out of line for me to have simply ended the post with a question like : Do we know how this will impact the G8 meeting?

I am not a mod, but 99% of the time this is a terrible way to end a post, as often invites people to deal with the explicit question in fighty ways. For instance, your question is just horribly written and somewhat obvious on a literal level. It just reads like linkbait.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 AM on June 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


jeffburdges: " Anyways, if anyone has easy tips for quieting the early thread axe grinds then I'd be interested to hear them."

Flagging sometimes works. Not always. However, it is the easiest, most non-disruptive and lowest impact action you can take as the OP.

However, I don't see any explicit axe-grinding in that post. The conversation seemed to be going about par for the course.
posted by zarq at 6:33 AM on June 17, 2013


Discussion prompts are typically not received well at all, and really aren't encouraged in the sense of trying to make a certain kind of discussion happen. And of course, the usual Metafilter advice applies in terms of posting "something cool or interesting I think you'll want to read/discuss" versus "something I think you need to read (and discuss in particular way)."
posted by taz (staff) at 6:34 AM on June 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd like a good G8 post, perhaps with "Oh by the way, GCHQ totally bugged the shit out of this one...", but (that particular) Yet Another Snowden Revelation isn't a good hook to hang a new post on.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on June 17, 2013


Yeah, that's roughly why I decided not to ask, taz. I thought this particular one might've flown, but not sure enough.

Axe grinding might be the wrong word, zarq, but certainly focus on Snowden's U.S.A. stuff vs. U.K. stuff.

Anyways, I'll grant the "best way" to do this is probably to post about the current G8, and mention Snowden's G20 revelation, but that's considerably more involved. I personally know very little the G20, G8, etc., so.. not it. ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 6:46 AM on June 17, 2013


Appears we've a G8 thread from last month, btw.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:50 AM on June 17, 2013


As far as quieting early thread axe-grinds, the most simple is don't make posts about axe-grindy things if you are known as being "That Guy" about stuff. I think you're actually just fine at this, but leaving it here for other people who may not be as good at it. Feel free to flag early axe grinding comments and we will see those flags.

In general, linking to a variety of sources that tell more or less the whole story that you want to tell is a better option than picking and choosing threads that only tell your side. Links to Slashdot are fine but "Here, read this long discussion thread" are sometimes not great jumping of points for MeFi threads. It'ssimilar to linking to Reddit, people here know what Reddit is already so if you're linking to something there sometimes it is good to make a departure from total objective presentation to explain why you felt it was a worthwhile link.

At some level though, the Snowden threads have been going fine (though they're a bit touchy but that's to be expected) but we don't want it to turn into a Wikileaks thing where people who are very interested in the topic think we should have multiple posts going simultaneously (primarily because they think everyone SHOULD be interested in it) and other people don't really see the "Cool stuff on the web" angle and then we wind up having MeTa threads about kitten posts vs. drone posts where everyone complains at each other.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 AM on June 17, 2013


There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.
posted by spitbull at 7:07 AM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.

You missed the "Israelis are using drones to declaw uncircumcised transgender Palestinian kittens" thread? I guess that flew under everyone's radar because the conversation was so temperate and uncontroversial.
posted by yoink at 7:14 AM on June 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


> There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.

Through the looking glass...
posted by planetesimal at 7:18 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


planetesimal: " Through the looking glass..."

Helo Kitty

Ha! :D
posted by zarq at 7:47 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


i really hate it when threads i make go off the rails. i feel like something i did could have prevented it. my first solution for this fear is to make posts about things i find interesting more than important.

i've managed to mostly keep to this with pretty good success. there was one post i found interesting, but others found somewhat controversial. there was one where, again, i found it interesting, but i didn't realize the author was know as a sort of a shit stirrer. with my latest, i was the closest to parity on interesting and important yet, and i was paranoid for a good while, hoping it wouldn't be immediately derailed, hoping people would read the article (i breathed a huge sigh of relief when it went nearly 20 minutes before the first comment). i might have even woohoo'd when jessamyn thanked me for making the post in thread, because then i could relax about potentially ruining the mod's friday night.

secondly, for most of them i just make the post without much putting it together at all. there are users here who are amazing at culling a bunch of links and telling an amazing story. i'm thankful for them, but i know that i'm not one of them. so, my posts are generally 1-3 links, the bare minimum to get the point across and get out.

and finally - i try to just let it go. if i want to discuss an issue, i hope someone else makes a post. if i want to show the community something/read their discussion, then i make a post. i've certainly commented in my own threads, but i try not to for hours to let it all go how it's going to go.
posted by nadawi at 8:02 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to see 4 Snowden threads, so this actually made sense. Otoh, there's a lot more happening at the g8 than some snoopy behaviour. So a g8 thread would be nice to have right about now.
posted by infini at 8:24 AM on June 17, 2013


There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.

There is. But it's messy.
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 8:27 AM on June 17, 2013


There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.
--
There is. But it's messy.


If you switch the drones out for capes, it sort of works.
posted by lampshade at 8:39 AM on June 17, 2013


"This is really important and we need to talk about it!" almost always leads to terrible posts.

Good posts nearly always are "I thought this was really interesting and I bet a lot of you would, too".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:54 AM on June 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Would it have been out of line for me to have simply ended the post with a question like : Do we know how this will impact the G8 meeting?

A battery of Patriot missles?
posted by clavdivs at 9:25 AM on June 17, 2013


What's we need actshually is a new post about The Daily Rob Ford Show, since the old one was archived over the weekend.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:39 AM on June 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.
There is. But it's messy.


And AWESOME!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:51 AM on June 17, 2013


There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.

Top minds are working on this very issue. (source)
posted by benito.strauss at 9:57 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyways, if anyone has easy tips for quieting the early thread axe grinds then I'd be interested to hear them.

Don't make an FPP with this in mind:

I though a new thread might spark an interesting conversation about ____.
posted by three blind mice at 11:05 AM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was wondering why I hadn't seen this news on the blue.

While there are already existing threads about the NSA's actions (that Snowden has revealed), this seems to be a different topic (with the same source).

To me what makes this 'revelation' interesting is that it belies the idea that the intelligence community exists to prevent terrorism, or to keep their countries safe, but it shows that western nations engage in economic espionage as well.

While this may not be surprising to those working in the intelligence community, it's different than the story that is continually told to the populations of the countries with intelligence services.

Perhaps a well-rounded post about industrial/economic espionage conducted by western countries that merely mentions the latest revelations would be accepted. I'm not sure, but I encourage that post to be made (I'd give it a shot myself, but I think it'd take a good hour to make a solid post on the topic, and am a bit concerned it would be deleted as well).
posted by el io at 1:18 PM on June 17, 2013


benito.strauss: "There must be a way to work kittens and drones into a single post.

Top minds are working on this very issue. (source)
"

Top minds.
posted by radwolf76 at 4:50 PM on June 17, 2013


Your post would have been interesting to me, but any post that has the tone of "Topic: Controversial Character X did Y: Go!" is usually doomed to failure here.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:48 PM on June 18, 2013


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