Reddit AMA, FPP October 1, 2013 7:08 PM   Subscribe

So I know the feelings about Reddit here. But there are some truly stunning AMAs that I think would make great FPPs, and a good bunch have. I thought to post this one today, but jeffburdges did a far better job than I ever would so I'm glad I didn't.

But the larger I safe to assume that it's ok to post the occasional one? I've found good ones in the past and thought "Nah, they'd freak." I'm not looking to create a funnel for AMAs in the least. But there have been some good ones that I outright dismissed as Metafilter posts. Not things like Obama, but small little niche posts with neat details that were interesting to a layman.

Disclaimer: Mefite, infrequent Redditor for maybe 8 months or so. This is not a callout, it's just something I've thought to do a few times and then demurred.
posted by nevercalm to MetaFilter-Related at 7:08 PM (48 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Generally, they'd have to be outside the ordinary "Hey a famous person did an AMA on Reddit" but there's no real rule against it. Generally speaking the thought is that people who like Reddit probably check it out already since it's a major website. So if there's something super exceptional, please consider a post. But if it's just "Hey a person I like is doing an AMA" less of a big deal. Also posting a link to an AMA right while it's happening is usually less interesting of a post (because it winds up being a live bloggy thing) than making a post about an AMA that has happened maybe with more info for people who would like it. That's my $.02, there's definitely no official policy so other people may have other feelings.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:11 PM on October 1, 2013

At this point I think there is much more "I know MeFi hates Reddit" here than there is "We hate Reddit" here.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:13 PM on October 1, 2013 [25 favorites]

Not to threadsit, but relevant...I'm not talking about "omg tom hanks on reddit lol" but rather "hey cool, person with strange career X is almost done with an AMA" kinda thing.

I only bring it up because I spent a long time avoiding Reddit like the plague.
posted by nevercalm at 7:14 PM on October 1, 2013

Have included a link to a reddit AMA in posts about the subject once or twice. I tend to think links to reddit conversations or threads are better as supplementary material than the entire focus on an FPP.
posted by zarq at 7:17 PM on October 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

My feeling is, Reddit AMAs are one of those interesting web things that people know about, like XKCD or similar. So an AMA or an XKCD comic needs to be exceptional to be postworthy.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:19 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

Isn't the first question : Would I post anything else about this celebrity doing celebrity things on metafilter? Ain't soo many celebrities we chat about here as celebrities anyways. Slashdot has a Q&A series too, albeit less interesting usually.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:22 PM on October 1, 2013

I was more thinking of the "I'm an veterinary ambulance driver on the night shift in Kansas" that wasn't just the usual bs, but suddenly chock full of war stories from "veterinary ambulance drivers on the night shift anywhere" that was great.

I've always used my criteria as something like whether a site would link to a Mefi post, like the amazing Breaking Bad one from last week...if I would register with a "huh??" on some other site just linking to a regular old Metafilter comment thread, I wouldn't link a similar one from Reddit here.
posted by nevercalm at 7:29 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Reddit is a big tent. Some subreddits are great, some are awful. Since this place is about posting cool and interesting things on the web, I don't see that posting a particularly great AMA is especially contentious.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:47 PM on October 1, 2013 [8 favorites]

I agree with zarq. AMAs make great supplementary material, but they need to be well above the common standard to support an FPP.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:50 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I use reddit quite a bit, but I'm not subscribed to /r/IAma , so I'm glad to see good ones posted here.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 7:56 PM on October 1, 2013

I personally would enjoy a FPP with a collection of links to AMAs (of the Kansas night ambulance driver sort, not the oooh a celebrity! type).
posted by insectosaurus at 7:59 PM on October 1, 2013 [4 favorites]

I'm spending less and less time on reddit because it is terrible but this honestly makes me want more reddit content on the Blue because that means someone else is reading reddit for me and I do not have to wade through the poop-swamps to find the good content.
posted by NoraReed at 8:34 PM on October 1, 2013 [11 favorites]

A good FPP is a good FPP. There are only so many hours in the day, so of course it would be welcome if you could post a link to an exceptionally awesome AMA (or set of AMAs) (or whatever).

There sure is poop on Reddit, but 1) the poop isn't everywhere and 2) it's not as if we don't link to otherwise interesting articles, with provisos to not read the comments.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:45 PM on October 1, 2013

As long as it is Doctor Who or Doctor Who-related, you'll be fine. Relax.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:11 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

i am a reddit addict, but I also agree that there is basically nothing on reddit that would ever be worth a post by itself, unless it breaks news like the Greenwald or Obama AMAs.
posted by empath at 9:27 PM on October 1, 2013

The only time I ever use Reddit is after following links from MeFi. I don't imagine I'm alone in this.

Keep calm and carry on.
posted by flabdablet at 9:30 PM on October 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

I'm firmly on the side of thinking that reddit makes a crap basis for an FPP(and in the interest of full disclosure, i posted a MeTa about it).

I do however think that as a secondary link further down in an FPP it could be totally cool.

Something like "Foo is a project by theseguys, they've been working on it for however long and *general explanation* They've also created foobar and blabla. After they finished foo they posted an AMA on reddit in which they had a lot of interesting things to say about the process of making foo, foobar, blabla and other projects they've worked on"

For instance, it would have been a perfectly fine bit of pepper to grind on top of an FPP like this since that team ended up doing an interesting AMA as i remember.

Anything more is kinda just eating a bowl of condiments though, imo.
posted by emptythought at 2:09 AM on October 2, 2013

To be honest, I think that old AskReddit thread you hated so much is much more interesting than your hypothetical post, padded with lots of uninteresting contextual cruft that only really interests the OP.

Each to their own, but personally what I'm looking for is one rolled-gold amazing link that changes how I see the world. I don't care where it comes from, and I'd rather it not be camouflaged in a thicket of a dozen other links that aren't quite ready for prime time.

To paraphrase Ken Goldsmith: we live in an age that is saturated with information. It's our job to sort and make sense of the information that already exists -- and not just add to the noise by creating more of it.
posted by dontjumplarry at 2:31 AM on October 2, 2013 [8 favorites]

The only time I ever use Reddit is after following links from MeFi. I don't imagine I'm alone in this.

Me too. I don't generally like to venture into that site without a guide. Grues and such.
posted by octothorpe at 5:02 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Reddit certainly could use a filter, but I'd rather not Metafilter be it. Jpfed's user page has some really valuable info on filtering reddit. So much so, it may be MeFi Wiki-worthy or even a basis for a FPP.
posted by klarck at 6:19 AM on October 2, 2013

As someone who's also a bit scared of Reddit - either because I'll encounter NSFW stuff, evangelical atheists, or general asshattery* - I like it when people post interesting stuff here that I might have missed. Someone on the fedora thread linked to an excellent post by someone on novelty wolf T-shirts, for example.

I still find the conversation threading a right pain in the arse, though. If there's a plugin to make threads display more like discussions here, please do let me know.

*llike the time I clicked on r/relationships during a slow day and saw a topic on a young man who was concerned with his girlfriend's weight gain, particularly that 'she now has a fat pussy'. Is that a thing? Blimey
posted by mippy at 7:52 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Actually, r/mensfashionadvice is really interesting to me as a woman - all these things I don't know about! It's like a less intimidating version of The Fedora Lounge (which is not what it sounds like - it's a forum for people who are really, really into looks from 1930-1960) or Basenotes, or even those websites about what constitutes the 'real' Prep look.
posted by mippy at 7:57 AM on October 2, 2013

A really great AMA might be a good post, but there are a lot of really good AMAs, and then it gets to be too much Reddit. That's why single link New York Times(SLNYT), Youtube(SLYT), etc., should have a higher bar. A post with some of the very best Reddit AMAs would not be amiss.
posted by theora55 at 7:57 AM on October 2, 2013

Aside from celebs, are Reddit AMA's even real?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:11 AM on October 2, 2013

Aside from celebs, are Reddit AMA's even real?

I think in the past year or two they implemented a policy that each AMA had to be verified.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:08 AM on October 2, 2013

I remember this one time I was allowed to go buy a Beastie Boys CD because I scored 10 points in my basketball game.
posted by inigo2 at 9:08 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I agree with insectosaurus, a good curated post of a bunch of AMAs could make for a good FPP
posted by briank at 9:41 AM on October 2, 2013

FWIW: I don't read Reddit, largely because I consider MeFi a much more productive use of my time. I thought that this was an excellent post, and I think if it's the best of the web, it deserves to be here, no matter where it came from. Single link {$randomsite} posts need to be top notch, simple as that.
posted by Freen at 10:00 AM on October 2, 2013

briank: "I agree with insectosaurus, a good curated post of a bunch of AMAs could make for a good FPP"

Needs more Meatbomb.
posted by zarq at 10:34 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I admit that I hate Reddit.

But your proposed post sounds fine to me.
posted by bearwife at 12:27 PM on October 2, 2013

i come here to read links other than re-hashes of other similar sites. if if want reddit, i am well versed enough to find my way.

find me something that is not so easily found. Do that and yes, I will pay attention. otherwise, just click the CANCEL button on the POST page.

thanksly muchly
posted by lampshade at 2:05 PM on October 2, 2013

Or you can skip over the offending post too,
posted by wheelieman at 2:09 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are plenty of us here who like reddit and are redditors. We just don't make as much noise as the haters.
posted by Decani at 3:39 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Most people here have little in the way of strong feelings about Reddit, is my guess. That said, a post to an AMA is like a post to a new awesome album or video by a band. People who share your tastes may be really into it. A lot of other people may not. So making sure there's some MeFi angle to the whole thing, whatever that might mean, is a good idea. The Reddit part is just a distraction really.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:42 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'll chime in as someone who is meh about reddit in general (despite sometimes being a redditor), and who would love to see an FPP of interesting non-celebrity AMAs, or the occasional THIS IS AN AMAZING AMA post.

I'll also admit to coming very close to making an FPP for the recent QI Elves AMA, and deciding not to because I felt like it was not really appropriate to make a post that is basically "Oh, hey, the QI Elves did an AMA!" It might have been nice as one of several QI links, but we've already had a few QI FPPs that have covered most of the usual bases.
posted by Sara C. at 6:42 PM on October 2, 2013

the recent QI Elves AMA
Link, please.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:50 PM on October 2, 2013

Just post more than one link, please. This single-link posting is out of hand.
posted by thylacine at 8:09 PM on October 2, 2013

Jpfed's user page has some really valuable info on filtering reddit.

Thanks, but now I need to update it again because of the recent introduction of multireddits! I'm still not sure how to best work with them, but here are the key facts to keep in mind:

1. You may now curate multireddits- sets of subreddits that are accessible via a sidebar
2. You don't have to be subscribed to a subreddit to include it in a multireddit
3. When you first visit, your multireddits are not incorporated into the links displayed- just your actual subscriptions. If you want to see what's in your multireddits, you must explicitly check them.

The best way to take advantage of this depends on your browsing style. For me, I don't like to jump around from topic to topic too much, unless I'm in a particular mood. So I have replaced almost all my subscriptions with multis, where I can keep tightly-related subreddits together. Other people might have different habits and preferences- for example, I can imagine someone partitioning their subreddits into multis that don't cohere into subjects, but "priority levels", such that they are sure to check their higher-priority multis more often.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 8:35 PM on October 2, 2013

Yeah, my feeling on AMAs here is they need to be part of a Metafilter-style post, or else be really interesting. Like, a friend of mine with a really neat job is doing one tomorrow, but if I were to post about it (which I won't, because: friend) I'd find some interviews she's done, some examples of her work, maybe a primer on the field or some links to people in similar roles, and a decent bio, and make the AMA just one of a bunch of links in a "why this person is neat" post. For people who aren't President Obama but do interesting jobs, I think that broader approach makes more sense.

(This is more me-as-poster than me-as-mod when talking about suggested styles - mod-wise, jessamyn said it just fine.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:03 PM on October 2, 2013

i come here to read links other than re-hashes of other similar sites....find me something that is not so easily found

I think you'd be surprised how often stuff from Reddit winds up on Metafilter within 48 hours of making the front page.
posted by Hoopo at 10:31 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'd love if other people would filter Reddit for me. I use it occasionally when I wind up in smaller towns, the local sub-sites are pretty good for random recommendations, but even then the comments produce a slight gag-in-the-back-of-the-throat feeling. I can only imagine how bad the well trafficked areas of the site are.

But when good stuff does make it's way to me, I feel almost confused, because there are some amazing thing happening on that site. Problem is only the super-AMAs reach me (Obama). If there's a good one happening, I'd like to know. I actually started a post last December based on Kenny from Kenny vs. Spenny's AMA, but I think I got distracted by one of the links I found and wound up basing the post around that instead.

One thing I would suggest: link to some of the more interesting questions+answers to hook people. It's a little overwhelming stepping into an AMA that has like 2,000 comments already.
posted by mannequito at 12:32 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've read through all of the thread and I still haven't the foggiest what an AMA might be. Am I doomed to be this stoopid forever? Hope me, hivemind!
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:48 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Too-Ticky - it means "Ask Me Anything" - basically just a Q&A session.
posted by dotgirl at 4:02 AM on October 3, 2013

posted by Too-Ticky at 4:27 AM on October 3, 2013

It also has landed at least one or two celebs in hot water, who didn't realize that "Ask me Anything" really does mean, "Ask me Anything." Woody Harrelson, for example. AMA Link. Al Franken's AMA went south after he and his team tried to restrict the conversation to net neutrality topics.

On the other hand, Morgan Freeman answered a bunch of questions in the most boring manner possible. Cue upset redditors and follow-up from the IAMA mod.

Smart celebs (and their publicists) turn the AMA into an AMAA -- Ask Me Almost Anything. President Obama, Madonna and Jodi Kantor all did that.

Reddit has a number of celebs who also interact with the site outside of AMAs. Wil Wheaton. Bill Shatner. Arnold Schwarzenegger. And others. Schwarzenegger in particular is pretty cool: he tends to randomly comment over in r/Fitness, to encourage folks who are trying to get fit. It's also quite obvious he truly believes what he's saying:
"Thanks for sharing this.

Everybody, behave and stop bickering. This is about inspiring more people to get into fitness. I've never understood people who argue constantly about who is wrong and who is right in fitness, because the fact is, there are many "right" answers, especially for people just starting out.

Do you think Sergio Oliva and I did the same thing? No. In fact, you could walk into Gold's and watch the 5 best guys and see 5 completely different routines. And you know what? We didn't argue.

Do me a favor. Try to focus more on expanding the fitness community as a whole than protecting your little corner of it."
I joke about the man as much as anyone, but respect him highly for it.

You can search for the Top AMAs by upvote on reddit itself. (That link would be a good starting point for anyone looking to put an AMA FPP together.) You'll notice that a common theme for nearly all of them: the people doing the AMAs were interesting, engaged and most tried very hard to answer the questions posed to them to the best of their ability. They also usually had a significant fanbase on the site, so were given a reasonably warm welcome.
posted by zarq at 8:03 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

My feeling is, Reddit AMAs are one of those interesting web things that people know about, like XKCD or similar. So an AMA or an XKCD comic needs to be exceptional to be postworthy.

There are quite a lot of users on this site with diverse "web things" habits. I'd never heard of Reddit AMAs until today.
posted by juiceCake at 8:09 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

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