Does MetaFilter age? November 17, 2013 8:06 AM   Subscribe

I am attributing this thought to a Simpsons-related thread from October. Does/will MetaFilter age?

Over the 14-plus years that MetaFilter has existed, has its core attitudes and opinions evolved? Has it grown older in spirit? If so, what part of that can be due to Mefites growing older and their world-view changing with age? Is there a connection? Or is MetaFilter-ness a constant thing that old and new MeFites adapt to and will do so in the future? I realise it is impossible to generalise a myriad of views that exist on this website but (I have!) I'm thinking of how people change in 14 years and if the blue and green are no different in that regard.

I'm interested in what the future holds too; say, the next 14 years, 50 years. Will MetaFilter's user-base attitudes and opinions age together gracefully? Or will a steady stream of new users hold a constant age and roughly similar purpose eternally. Ay, caramba!

Mods: If this should be in Ask or you deem it chatfilter, then do what you must.
posted by 0 answers to MetaFilter-Related at 8:06 AM (139 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I think a website where (many) people have known each other for a decade has a different feel to it than a website where people don't really know each other. The fact that MeFi and AskMe exist next to each other means that people who want to get to know some of the users better can learn about them if they use AskMe. And people who don't really want that can do many of the other things on the website or just not pay attention to the usernames (yours has always made me smile, fwiw). What's always interested me about the site is how simultaneously it can be a place for deepening connections with people (IRL, many real life friendships, some weddings/children, other real life stuff) but also just idly bullshitting online with relative strangers. People can get a variety of experiences here.

To some extent the site changes as the world changes. Speaking from a mod perspective, the guidelines have changed somewhat both in response to user feedback but also in response to the fact that having an online space that is a real space is something that people take for granted now, whereas back in 1999 it was a little more unusual. I tell people I have an internet job and most of them know what that loosely means even if they don't understand exactly what I do. And, from a different perspective, our place relative to what other websites are doing is different. This used to be one of the first places online that was a multi-user place where anyone could post and comment in blog format. Now blog format is thought of as quaint and people look at this place as if it's stuck in the past in some ways. People bring online behavior from other places over to here (@replies, as an example) which means we have to think about being reactive about some things, not merely proactive.

My opinion is, naturally, somewhat biased since I've been fortunate enough to actually get to imbue some of what I've wanted MeFi to become into what it actually is, but I think a lot of users could say the same thing. We've made a lot of changes here over time, many of them positive, that individuals or groups of members have been behind. I think a lot of people can look at this place and feel a sort of stewardship or ownership in it and I personally find that to be a mark of a good community space. It's tough to run a community space where only some people have the banhammer and even fewer have the root passwords, but we try and I've been more or less happy with how we've been doing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:16 AM on November 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


As weird as this may seem to users today, MetaFilter is a much more civil place now than it was back in the early 2000s.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2013 [17 favorites]


It also suffers from less "I don't care about this topic and demand that you acknowledge that I am a better human being because of it." Especially about sports.
posted by Etrigan at 8:45 AM on November 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


I think the personality of the site will probably stay largely the same over the years for a few reasons. First, while the site culture here has never seemed particularly strong or homogeneous to me, it is there and new people adapt. Second, I think in a lot of cases, especially so for people who join with the intention of contributing on MeFi rather than just AskMe, there's a selection bias where people who feel they belong here are more likely to sign up than those that don't, so the site culture is somewhat self-perpetuating on its own.

The most earth-shaking thing that's happened to the site in my tenure here has been the addition of AskMe, which has brought in a whole different type of user base, some of which only use that portion of the site (or, at least, only comment there), but some do migrate over to other portions eventually. Although I joined prior to its implementation, I barely contributed at all to any of the MetaFilter sites before AskMe came along.

In any case, things generally seem to go well with the continual addition of new members, and I do remember when signups were shut down for quite a long time - there was a general feeling of stagnancy. At that point, shortly after 9/11, the site seemed like it had just started to move beyond the blogger and techie community, but shutting down signups put a hold on that growth. I don't think we had the red button back then, but with signups shut down, we still had the gradual loss of people who were fed up with the arguments on the site or just eventually lost interest and we weren't replacing the user base. So it was kind of like the demographic situation in industrialized countries currently.
posted by LionIndex at 8:48 AM on November 17, 2013


As weird as this may seem to users today, MetaFilter is a much more civil place now than it was back in the early 2000s.

Seconded. I think it's partially due to early mod intervention in removing obvious troll posts and the higher standard for known contentious topics that lead to screaming matches. But yeah, we had people back then who were much more obviously interested in just being kings of the shitpile than in having a discussion.
posted by LionIndex at 8:54 AM on November 17, 2013


Years 3-7 of mazola were great but since then he's been predictable, tired, and forced.
posted by mazola at 8:55 AM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It could get better or worse. It could also grow or vanish.

I'll just let you pause to pick up the pieces of your blown mind.
posted by planetesimal at 9:09 AM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a little less wild west than when I started lurking here 10 years ago, but more welcoming as a result. It's still my favorite place on the Internet.
posted by arcticseal at 9:12 AM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's a bit like the Simpsons in that they've both jumped the shark.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:33 AM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


10 years ago, a posted link that included a picture of a woman would host an "I'd hit it/I wouldn't" debate in the comments.

So that's changed for the way extra a lot better.

I would predict that as long as the site keeps going, it will remain similar but its norms will drift in the same kind of gradual, mostly-majority-consensus fashion.
posted by kavasa at 9:54 AM on November 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


MeFi lots its youth when the old fogies took away the IMG tag.
posted by homunculus at 10:07 AM on November 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've been looking around here for a few weeks after not being here for about 8 years. It's a much calmer place (YMMV, less interesting?). That only makes sense since back in the early days, there were infinitely fewer other "places." And of course, the raison d'être of all blogs/web sites has changed and/or diminished due to Twitter, and, I guess, a little bit, FB.
posted by NiceParisParamus at 10:13 AM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


lots lost...

Need more coffee.
posted by homunculus at 10:14 AM on November 17, 2013


Get off my lawn!
posted by annsunny at 10:18 AM on November 17, 2013


What I meant to say is that the mods are more likely to delete irrelevant comments, leading to more focused discussions, imho.
posted by annsunny at 10:21 AM on November 17, 2013


I don't even own a tv or smartphone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:24 AM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


But yeah, we had people back then who were much more obviously interested in just being kings of the shitpile than in having a discussion.
posted by LionIndex at 8:54 AM on November 17 [+] [!]


Yeah, that doesn't happen at all any more.

[stuff]
posted by NiceParisParamus at 10:13 AM on November 17 [+] [!]


Holy crap.

And yes, MetaFilter ages. Boy, has it aged. It likes to pretend it hasn't, though.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:26 AM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't even own a tv or smartphone.

I think you mean, "Is this something I would need a tv or smartphone to know about?"
posted by entropicamericana at 10:27 AM on November 17, 2013 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: I think you mean...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:31 AM on November 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Phimplant.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 10:53 AM on November 17, 2013


Yeah, that doesn't happen at all any more.

Seems like it to me. Maybe I'm in the wrong threads? I think stuff still shows up, but disappears quickly and there's a much shorter leash for repeat offenders.
posted by LionIndex at 11:07 AM on November 17, 2013


It still happens when there's something pretty incendiary like Sarah Palin declawing bears from a helicopter. What has improved is the lower tolerance fro threadshitting in the first few comments on a thread that can basically kill a thread before it gets started - that is to be applauded.
posted by arcticseal at 11:17 AM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seems like it to me. Maybe I'm in the wrong threads?

It's possible. Metafilter has quietly segmented, IMO. This isn't a bad thing, just a natural outgrowth of a continually growing site. It's impossible to read every post or thread on the site, so people tend to clump around their favorite subjects, meaning the site will be viewed in even more different ways.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:24 AM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's impossible to read every post or thread on the site

Says you.
posted by The Whelk at 11:48 AM on November 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm still waiting on your report of every post and thread from June 8th, 2007.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:55 AM on November 17, 2013


If it's impossible to read every post or thread on the site, how is The Whelk able to add pithy comments to every post or thread on the site?
My conjecture? An advanced alien intelligence trying, often humorously, to fit into human society.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:56 AM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


i wasn't a member back then brandon
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on November 17, 2013


I'm interested in what the future holds too; say, the next 14 years, 50 years.

Many of metafilter's present users and administrators are unlikely to even be alive in 50 years, so unless Matt makes it a family business, I think the odds are good that it'll be nothing but a memory by then. I give it better odds of still functioning in 2027 and I imagine lots of anguish over single link Google glass posts.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:21 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is a marked absence of flame wars, maybe because the warriors were banned or grew up. There is a marked absence of the blink, big, and img tags also, so no fun of a certain kind. Is the site better off or less entertaining?
posted by Cranberry at 12:29 PM on November 17, 2013


It's a different kind of entertaining now. I compare the disabling of the blink tag with my being prescribed antidepressants (which happened about the same time), although the improvements were in two opposite directions.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:34 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The other dynamic I think is the dirty little secret of all Web sites and blogs: the bigger it gets, the less intimate it feels, and the less, I think one feels compelled to comment and read the comments because the sense of community and of having a conversation lessens. I'm not sure what the optimal size is. Well, that's, at least how I react.
posted by NiceParisParamus at 12:41 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


What has changed is the ages of the players and who the prominent (read-frequently-posting) user names are. Back in the day you'd see #1 posting with kottke, rebecca, jjg, girlhacker, lia, folks of that era. Then evanizer, rodii, quonsar, crunchland, plep, languagehat, and several others who were frequent posters but far more notorious (naughty?). I count two more "waves" of frequent posters and now we have the most recent wave, members whose user names can be seen here.
posted by Lynsey at 12:41 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Overall quality control of posts and comments started off pretty shit by current standards and seemed to steadily grow until around '05/'06, been about the same since.

More civil, but nastier & more hateful, though the latter part of that trend reflects more upon the tenor of the Internet as a whole. I used to participate in the Internet parts of the Internet (think, at varying times, USENET, Slashdot, Kuro5hin, Reddit, here vs. IRL parts of the Internet like Facebook, my resume, and so on) under or linked to my real name, now Internet motherfuckers will try to ruin your life.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 12:59 PM on November 17, 2013


i wasn't a member back then brandon

You've always been in the ceiling, watching.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:00 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


The collective Metafilter hive mind will always be an angry teenager.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:08 PM on November 17, 2013


Seriously? It's like tea leaves, reading what people say about this place.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:14 PM on November 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's always been like itself, only now more so.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:18 PM on November 17, 2013


The collective Metafilter hive mind will always be an angry teenager.

But a much more intelligent, self-controlled teenager than the hive mind of EVERY OTHER website.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:42 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah that makes...no sense. Even the teenagers on metafilter act like middle aged casuists.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:48 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


The teenagers are the ones that act the MOST like middle-aged casuists, thank you very much.
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:01 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


You teenagers are still on my lawn with your tea leaves.
posted by arcticseal at 2:03 PM on November 17, 2013


Tea leaves! Bah, now if it was some peacock entrails then we'd be getting someplace.
posted by The Whelk at 2:09 PM on November 17, 2013


I read Potomac Avenue's comment as "middle aged catsuits".

time to adjust medication
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:44 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Having been here for nine years (tomorrow!) sometimes I feel like I'm living in a college town and getting older while age of the site stays the same. I definitely feel like I'm not quite a member of the same cultural group as the average member of Metafilter these days and didn't feel that way in '04.
posted by octothorpe at 3:10 PM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Octotrope, your comment made "life in a northern town" suddenly and loudly play in my head.
posted by The Whelk at 3:12 PM on November 17, 2013


Octotrope? I like that better.
posted by octothorpe at 3:15 PM on November 17, 2013


Tropes vs, Octopi.
posted by The Whelk at 3:17 PM on November 17, 2013


oneswellfoop: "It's a different kind of entertaining now. I compare the disabling of the blink tag..."

Wait...What?!

Please work...please...
posted by double block and bleed at 3:31 PM on November 17, 2013


Oh. Thank God.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:31 PM on November 17, 2013


For those of you who haven't fixed your crippled browsers, the blink tag has not been disabled on the site.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:33 PM on November 17, 2013


I'm in my 40s and I still love the blink tag, if that's a data point for you.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:36 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Light - but fruity, with an oaken finish.
posted by Pudhoho at 3:51 PM on November 17, 2013


Many of metafilter's present users and administrators are unlikely to even be alive in 50 years

Guess someone didn't get an invite for the alleged mefi blackops project wherein we get our consciousnesses uploaded into the cloud.
posted by juv3nal at 4:09 PM on November 17, 2013


Is this where we demand to see Matt's will again? METAFILTER BELONGS IN A MUSEUM, YOU CROOK
posted by gerryblog at 4:43 PM on November 17, 2013


I think that Metafilter began a bit more... well, *civilized* than a lot of its compadres, for lack of a better term; and over time, standards have sort of codified, and trolls were tamed or banned or merely left because they weren't getting the reactions they wanted. At the same time, newcomers mostly come from the ranks of people who've lurked for a while. Folks lurk, sometimes for years, learning what is and isn't acceptable; either they eventually decide this is something they want to belong to and they join up, or they decide to move on.

Or maybe I'm full of hooey.
posted by easily confused at 4:46 PM on November 17, 2013


I initially read that as being full of honey. Tasty, tasty honey.
posted by arcticseal at 4:47 PM on November 17, 2013


Did I say "blink" tag? I meant "img" tag... argh.

Many of metafilter's present users and administrators are unlikely to even be alive in 50 years
When I joined in 1999, it was considered unlikely that I'd be alive in 14 years. (checking pulse) Yep, still beating the odds.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:06 PM on November 17, 2013


the alleged mefi blackops project wherein we get our consciousnesses uploaded into the cloud.

I was told there would be vampirism involved.
posted by The Whelk at 5:07 PM on November 17, 2013


I was told there would be vampirism involved.
maybe some A/B testing going on? never pays to put all your eggs in one basket, I guess.
posted by juv3nal at 5:14 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been active for about a year and a half (and was occasionally watching but too afraid to join for several years before) but still feel like a newbie. Still don't get many of the in-jokes, protocols and stuff still. But that's cool; they'll come with time.

My own personal fascination with this place is mostly in the related issues of:

- trying to construct "good" FPPs
- seeing what comments FPPs generate

I haven't really noticed anything change in the nature of these over the last 18 months or so. It's still difficult for me to predict which topics will generate lots of (comment) heat, lots of comment (light), or few comments. Am coming reluctantly to the view that cricket is just a bit too niche for MetaFilter in terms of fueling comments (Oh well. I tried.), but am bewildered that a trailer for a baffling biblical film is already close on 250 comments (what gives?). Basically I have little idea what floats the collective MetaFilter boat.

There is a level of wit here which I haven't found anywhere else online. That seems to stay constant. The ratio of clever wit to abusive wit is unusually high (and makes FPPs worth doing when some of the glorious comments roll in; I've twice hurt myself laughing, one of which while I was on a hospital gurney for a different injury). That, and quietly learning a lot on serious topics makes MetaFilter additionally worthwhile.

Also, when I describe the MetaFilter community to others and they look a bit confused, am now falling back on this short description which is better than anything I've ever come up with. If that ever appears on a MetaFilter t-shirt just take my money.
posted by Wordshore at 5:35 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


But a much more intelligent, self-controlled teenager than the hive mind of EVERY OTHER website.

Come visit AskMe sometime.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:07 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter Network has stunk since Clavdivs in Space was cancelled. It only needed one more season to find an audience.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:52 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think we first worlders have gotten blasé about the idea that community on the internet is contiguous with community in the meatspace world, for which I think Facebook was the transformational influence, but Metafilter (along with a few other online communities of the past that didn't make it) was a definite anticipation. The internet went from being new to something people grow up with, a public utility, part of life, necessary in many ways.

But I think we have yet to experience the great internet backlash I believe is coming. I know I feel it in myself, a sense of the revolution having been squandered.
posted by spitbull at 6:54 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


and trolls were tamed or banned or merely left because they weren't getting the reactions they wanted.

A surprising number of relatively succesfull BNDs too. (And many notable failures)
posted by Drinky Die at 6:56 PM on November 17, 2013


I feel that metafilter has more of a critical-mass than aging problem. in fact — I don’t see what age has to do with the quality of content. that comes out of dedication.

the links on the blue are mostly rehashed stuff I see two, three days earlier on reddit, twitter, etc. the actual original posters who tend to sniff out sites that haven't been linked to in tons of places already don't seem to frequent metafilter anymore. this used to be different. instead, I see SLYT, massively tl;dr niche links or just plain not very interesting stuff. the hit rate for me (by that I mean finding a link that makes me say “oh wow, I’m so glad I went back to metafilter today”) has gone down for me.

most of the questions on the green are asked again and again. I am guilty of this myself. it's also fairly narrow in usefulness: want lots of 'average joe' opinions? you’ve come to the right place. you might also be lucky and find one or two experts in a given field but once this goes beyond law or medicine or basic computer literacy, you're better off asking on dedicated forums.

I used to prefer metafilter because the quality of posts and questions was higher. I used believe the ‘it’s because of the sign-up fee’ talk. I don’t anymore. I currently frequent reddit instead of metafilter because there I’m more able to filter the content I am not interested in. I can banhammer the political activists from all sides who want me to read that awesome 126,000 word article that merely reiterates the point the description already made because “it’s important” and get all the architectural photography stuff pushed to the top. I also can come back twenty times during a single day and find tons of fresh content that is relevant to me.

it used to be that metafilter felt like business class over coach. it doesn’t anymore. it has gotten dated. the most interesting people have left and they haven’t been replaced. I come back here out of nostalgic emotions and hope to find something fascinating and way too often find that I close this tab way too fast. I wished there was ongoing development. I wished the plentiful shortcomings of other places (reddit is but one example) that I have to deal with now could be surpassed on a site with a great base like metafilter.

I haven’t quit metafilter but it’s fading away for me.
posted by krautland at 7:34 PM on November 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


I was pondering the same thing this morning, as I was going over the thread about how being poor affects a person's outlook on life, realizing that Metafilter in a way has accelerated my development as a human rapidly. I feel like I'm not the only one. This basic, interactive media allows us to communicate and bounce ideas off of each other in a such a rapid way that we can synthesize information and hone our worldviews to razor sharp in hours or days on an infinite number of subjects. I was considering how people with limited access to these types of online interactions are being left behind.

So yeah, IMO Metafilter as a community is changing over time and I believe the iterations are speeding up.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:36 PM on November 17, 2013


Am I too late for the part where we mourn the html tags long since stripped away?

EMARQUE
EEMARQU
UEEMARQ
QUEEMAR
RQUEEMA
ARQUEEM
MARQUEE
posted by nobody at 8:11 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm still the same teenager inside my head that I was 9 years ago (Happy $5 N00B day tomorrow, btw!) so I'd imagine that a lot of the long-time personalities here might be the same as they ever was inside their own heads as well, so in that sense, the site hasn't changed a whole lot, except for the goings-away of Olds and the comings of the younger members.

The big difference is yes, the anonymity is gone for a great many of you, who I've come to know as real-life people, even if we've never physically met, and there's enough MeFites that I now count as real-world friends that it has changed the way I approach commenting here pretty substantially. Despite still being 16 inside my head, that is.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:58 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been enjoying watching this site, over the last ten years or so, slowly alienate the old-guard Tellin' It Like It Is crowd.
posted by griphus at 9:05 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's a blatantly unfair characterization, griphus. They're Keepin' It Real, totally different thing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:24 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


In this corner: "Tellin' It Like It Is"...

In this corner: "Keepin' It Real"...

Now Let's Get Ready to Rumble!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:30 PM on November 17, 2013


Over the 14-plus years that MetaFilter has existed, has its core attitudes and opinions evolved? Has it grown older in spirit? If so, what part of that can be due to Mefites growing older and their world-view changing with age?

I think my posts have gotten better, to be honest. Counting my other two accounts, I'm up to nearly 500 posts, maybe over that, now. Not many can say that, even with one account. I think I like that this place is interesting enough that I keep coming back here to make more posts about (mostly art-focused) stuff I find worth sharing, in spite of a handful of people, most of whose accounts I have managed to outlive and to keep making interesting posts long past their own self-assigned expiration dates. I really feel pretty decent about bringing fun stuff to people who generally share my tastes for the clever and the creative. I don't think that will change, unless Mefi's membership changes, and it hasn't, too much.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:32 PM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


In this corner: "Tellin' It Like It Is"...

In this corner: "Keepin' It Real"...



Well, actually....
posted by Drinky Die at 9:45 PM on November 17, 2013


BP does get better every day, aside from the brief moments where he disagrees with me.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:47 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


1. Self-policing as applied to MetaTalk used to mean witty and funny but aggressive and really, really mean, like people telling one another they would skullfuck their eyeholes, like leave-your-computer-in-tears-mean. There were lots of grudges and people expressed themselves about their grudges more vigorously and openly. It used to be that if someone did something dumb on MetaFilter you would drag them into MetaTalk and give them the drubbing they "deserved," and that is how a site that had lots of participants and only one mod early on, Matt, could keep everyone in line. Now we have mods and more rules. I happened to be reading MetaFilter's wikipedia page yesterday and was surprised by the reference to "the bulk of moderation is done through social norms and peer pressure." I think that used to be true -- that sometimes MetaTalk used to basically shame and embarrass people away from fringe behavior. That's outdated now I think, because now we have mods and a few more rules, and I just don't think people get shamed or sort of bullied in the same way.

That sounds more critical of the old MetaFilter than I intend. At the time the old MetaFilter was about the best community on the net, too. I do like the way it has evolved. I love MetaFilter.

2. So much friendlier to women now.

3. Someday my daughter (almost five now) may show up here. I think that's cool. Can you imagine getting to read what your parents thought about the issues of the day, or cats in scanners, when you were a kid? If I happen to die young (gah, I hope not but as a parent you think about that stuff sometimes), she can learn a little about me here. That's nice! I never would have anticipated that back in 2002 when I joined. Keep keeping on, you crazy diamond website, you.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:09 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think Metafilter has already aged a lot, maybe less because of its users getting older, and more because of the web getting older.

Basically, I think it's impossible for the site to not feel really different in a world where the default question has gone from "wait, you chat with these people on a 'web-site'? Why?" to "Wait, you chat with these people on this particular website? Why this one?"

Even if there were a constant influx of new people and exodus of old people that kept the average age and tenure of the userbase exactly the same, the difference of the world the new people grew up in and the difference of the world around Metafilter would be enough to change it dramatically

I was thinking how it's kind of weird that the profile page still has that "what made you realize the internet wasn't just a place for freaks" question on it and I said something about it to mathowie on twitter. Hilariously, he said twenty-year-olds have demanded that he change it already.

In the very beginning of Metafilter, I think it was very much a gathering place for people who thought The Web As A Thing was interesting, and who wanted to talk about that. Now I think that pretty much everyone either agrees that the web is a thing, or no longer sees the web as one distinct entity apart from the rest of their life.

Early Metafilter was very much interested in blogging, as a medium. A lot of the people who contributed to Metafilter were bloggers, worked for companies that made blogging tools, and so on. At that time, blogging felt like something that needed to be argued for, rather than something that was just another form of media, and possibly an outmoded one at that. Also, it was a small enough group that it felt like a little scene and it felt like Metafilter was the place where that whole scene met up. And so, like any scene, there was all kinds of gossip and rifts and fights and jealousies and so on, but they played out specifically on Metafilter.

Every scene is like that. I'm sure there are websites for small town softball leagues where there's all kinds of bitching about who umpired who's game and who's game got scheduled for the best time on everybody's favorite field. And I'm not saying that Metafilter doesn't have it's own sceney activities going on. But Metafilter is large and diverse enough now that there doesn't seem to be one specific extra-Metafiltarian community that has enough influence over Metafilter as a whole to make Metafilter feel like their Op-Ed page. This, in my estimation, is a very good thing, but it's definitely a shift.

Lastly, and I think this is harder to even see now, I think there is a real difference among the people that came in as Ask users and are still primarily Ask users. To generalize about them perhaps over-broadly, I think they regard the site less as a community and more as a service that they pay for that has rules. Sure, you try to act civilly, just like you act civilly when you take a CitiBike out for a ride. It's shared, but it's also an exchange of money for services. I think they think of it more like a Blockbuster and less like a library. Or rather, less like a mailing list where a bunch of friends agree to share books amongst each other. You see this a lot when people say "waste a question." As if, because the hard limit on questions is one per week, that means everyone is entitled to one a week, and any question in that allowance not asked is "wasted", like a drink ticket still in your pocket at the end of the night. It might seem like a small thing, but I think it's evidence of a very deep difference in attitude.

Lastly, even if a lot of the superannuated guard don't participate anymore, some do. I've been contributing in my own nearly-invisible way to this website for over twelve years. I still read it pretty much every day. It's still one of my favorite websites. That is so crazy to me. But having veterans involved at all changes the feeling quite a bit, I think. A crazy Wild West site that is doing something none of us has ever seen before, and that we all think mathowie is going to pull the plug on once he comes to his senses, versus a site who's moderation norms have been installed by people who have been posting on it for over a decade, who have known each other for over a decade, who show up in each other's dusty Flickr albums from ancient SXSWs, just feels very different.
posted by jeb at 10:13 PM on November 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Its pretty easy to see how much metafilter has changed. Look at old meta posts. Some of those places were super scary. To be honest looking back at one of the sites celebrated moments with Holden and the givewell stuff even that seemed distressingly hostile to me compared to these days. People can still get het up, but the terms of engagement have definitely changed.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:00 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been contributing in my own nearly-invisible way to this website for over twelve years.

Woah, there are people who've been using the site for TWELVE YEARS? Who are these people? They must be EXCEPTIONALLY COOL.
posted by juv3nal at 12:21 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the varied answers guys.
posted by 0 answers at 1:33 AM on November 18, 2013


MeFi lots its youth when the old fogies took away the IMG tag

I realize this was probably meant in jest, but I think the loss of the image tag came at just the right time to save MetaFilter, or at least to save it a lot of angst. It was disabled, for technical/security reasons, just before the surge of image macros flooded across the internet. At the time, people lamented the loss because they couldn't post a great/funny image that they had made, or at least an obscure one they had dug up, that fit the thread (and from a more practical standpoint, diagrams and such from AskMe). If you go back and look at old posts, the average thread was not overrun with images, even though there was no limit on images.

I think if the image tag would not have been disabled at that point, we'd have been hit with the same sort of FAIL and otherwise insulting and dismissive images that you see on other websites and the mods would have had to deal with all that and there might have been image guidelines and a lot more deleting and other things adding to their workload - plus more outcry about "why wasn't this image deleted" and "hey that image is demeaning to x" etc. I think the image tag would have been banned eventually anyway, and more people would have been more pissed off about it.

Many of metafilter's present users and administrators are unlikely to even be alive in 50 years, so unless Matt makes it a family business, I think the odds are good that it'll be nothing but a memory by then.

I thinking of a more Dread Pirate Roberts scenario - every 40 years or so the most senior mod "retires" and a new crew of fresh mods is hired by the increasingly reclusive mathowie...
posted by mikepop at 5:47 AM on November 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


This really resonated with me

I can't help but feel that the front page of metafilter has gotten increasingly sterile and derivative, where the style of FPPs that is welcome has both narrowed and is now done better elsewhere. There really is precious little to be found on the front page that wasn't on the front page of reddit or all over twitter three or four days before. I don't really come here to find original content anymore, really if anything, I only come to see the same things discussed slightly better and with fewer shitlords. I also only ever really come here to post in the same way, where I was encouraged to build my own blog for the kinds of original science content I was finding and posting a while ago. To be clear I'm not complaining, building it has been a great thing for me and the mods were super awesome about it, but I can't help but feel like the many ways like it that the site could have grown but hasn't has really hurt us. As the internet matures and tools for avoiding shitlords elsewhere get better, I suspect that the advantages that metafilter as a platform for community has for me will get smaller, and I'll come back more and more out of nostalgia and old friends than anything with more of a pulse to it.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:13 AM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


On those stepping into threads staying the same other and other comments flow.
posted by gauche at 6:35 AM on November 18, 2013


At least the acid is still powerful. The man doesn't burn as well as he used to though.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:29 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


where the style of FPPs that is welcome has both narrowed and is now done better elsewhere. There really is precious little to be found on the front page that wasn't on the front page of Reddit or all over twitter three or four days before.

I really don't like arguing on MetaTalk but I must politely take issue with this. Does it matter in any meaningful way if something appears on Reddit first, or is tweeted out by someone before it appears as an FPP? If you don't look at Reddit (I don't: have got, well, MetaFilter), or you don't cultivate a large number of active twitter followees and constantly read their retweets (again, not enough hours in the day), then you won't see those things on there first. What if something on Reddit appeared on Slashdot a few days before; does that make Reddit redundant? And applying this "standard", doesn't this make MetaFilter really good because stuff on it keeps getting lifted by other websites?

Related: one of the few irksome things that's appeared in comments in recent times is some variation on "Saw it on Reddit yesterday". So ... what? Do you want a shiny badge that says "First!"? I don't have time to scour every major secondary web-based source of quirky stuff - who does - and am choosing to look at MetaFilter through confidence and time efficiency. If a thing has appeared somewhere else beforehand - and by the nature of links in FPPs it will have anyway - then, well, whatevs.



I probably need a hug.
posted by Wordshore at 7:44 AM on November 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


I can see the argument that the things we see on the front page have hit other sites first, but I'm guessing there are people out there like me who don't want to follow a ton of different sites. I have an RSS but it's already tailored specifically to things that I like, and Mefi is where I find things that interest everyone else. I don't really go on Twitter or Reddit (or Fark or ShackNews etc etc) and so for me the front page is still very much a place to find things I wouldn't see on my own.

I can't really speak to long-term changes in the site since even if I include lurking time I haven't been here all that long, but I think the site very nicely fills a niche that isn't necessarily met by other places.
posted by brilliantine at 7:45 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


There really is precious little to be found on the front page that wasn't on the front page of Reddit or all over twitter three or four days before.

Well that's the "filter" part of Metafilter, isn't it? I'm not ever going to go browsing through Reddit but I trust that braver souls will find the interesting stuff there and post it here.
posted by octothorpe at 8:06 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


There really is precious little to be found on the front page that wasn't on the front page of Reddit or all over twitter three or four days before.

That hasn't been my impression but I'm selective about what I read on the front page anyhow. I think Twitter and Reddit have allowed other subsites and people to act as various sorts of filters for people who are looking for specific things which I think is terrific. My favorite stuff on the front page are weird obscure research-y posts, super-dedicated exhaustive megaposts, lovingly done obits and people pointing out artwork or music that I might not have stumbled on otherwise. Many of the SLYT and internet-outrage posts I might catch other places, but for a lot of those other categories the fit between what I am looking for and what MeFi has is still pretty good. And even for the newsy or internet outrage posts, I can only go read stuff on other sites as long as I don't read the comments. And I like reading the comments, so I tend to stay here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:14 AM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


For those who bemoan the fact that stuff is a few days stale by the time it gets to MetaFilter, isn't it incumbent on you to be the change you want to see?

The value of this place for me is the discussion far more than the links themselves. For instance, cenoxo could have "fleshed out" this post with a ton of links on the history of the self-driving car and blah blah blah, but the "single link New Yorker" version is far better (in my opinion) precisely because it doesn't try to be The Single Place To Talk About This Thing With Annotations And References, instead just being essentially "Hey, here's A Thing. What do y'all think of it?" and letting us just... talk about it. As I type this, there are only 4 links in the 69 comments, and it's still a really good discussion of the topic.
posted by Etrigan at 8:15 AM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Regarding the Old Hat complaint, specifically about breaking stories: I generally visit a few sorts of websites. A few aggregator sites (with occasionally original articles) like BoingBoing and io9 and so on, and niche websites for gaming, comics and music. I don't browse Reddit at all, I don't read WaPo or NYT or HuffPo. Literally all my news about the news comes from MeFi. I am on Tumblr pretty incessantly at home, but never at work. I'm on Twitter during all waking hours.

95% of the time, something I see on Tumblr or Twitter that I want to post hasn't been posted here, or has been posted here within maybe a few hours of my spotting it. Same with the niche sites; for gaming, which MeFi is really, really good about, I've seen us beat Kotaku, Joystiq, even RPS to a story a few times.

For the aggregators? I've seen them credit MeFi posts as much as I've seen someone FPP the same content as they posted. Hell, I've seen my own FPPs pop up on io9 with some regularity, which I think is pretty cool.

So, I dunno, the complaint that the majority of new content (again in the 'breaking story' sense) here is posted elsewhere way the hell before isn't accurate from my experience, and I find myself on the forefront of that sort of content -- blogs that the Reddit and Twitter posts come from -- pretty frequently in my own areas of interest.
posted by griphus at 8:17 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bladelb, it's funny reading post in this thread in light of your FPP right now about Couchsurfing.

This site definitely did the opposite of what Couchsurfing did--it takes input constantly from users and it clearly not trying to squeeze all the bucks of out the business model. The fixes for the "problems" you point out both seem to me to involve more top-down and less bottom up.

This site is still focused on serving users who want to build a community rather than using them to do XYZ($$$). It is one of the last. You did a great thing starting your own site, and I hope you keep it up and build a community there as well. But the odds are stacked against you these days.

The timing of content on MF doesn't seem like an issue to me. I read the front page for views very different from mine on subjects I don't know anything about. I never read anything newsy when it comes out in the Atlantic or New Yorker etc so having smart people care about particular things enough to post here is great.

I don't use AskMe that much...does it have a community? How can you have a community when people have to stay 100% on topic? Aside from like "Oh hey I recognize that person being smart about this subject again. Go you!"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:36 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I check every social media web site. All of them. Every. One. I subscribe to them all via RSS, update my feeds on the half hour, and visit each web site personally in the meantime just in case I missed something and have not been kept up to date.

Unless you're exclusively checking MeFi for one of a couple of relatively generic topics — politics, science news, "look at what this sexist prick just said to a woman" — there's always a lot of unusual stuff to be found on the front page. I know that about 3 in 4 of the posts I make here are inspired less by something I saw on the front page somewhere else and more by something I've encountered during my own link-hopping across the web, and it seems to me like many other people do that as well. In fact, I tend to get kind of :/-faced at the posters who do, it seems, just post the top story on whichever web site they enjoy several times a week. It makes MetaFilter seem more aggregator-y and less interesting. THIS IS ONE MAN'S OPINION, I STILL LOVE YOU ALL, AND SOME OF THOSE POSTS STILL LEAD TO FASCINATING CONVERSATIONS. IT'S JUST A THOUGHT IS ALL, AND NOT AN ULTRA-VALUABLE ONE AT THAT.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:37 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


the most interesting people have left and they haven’t been replaced

I respectfully disagree.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:39 AM on November 18, 2013


"I can see the argument that the things we see on the front page have hit other sites first, but I'm guessing there are people out there like me who don't want to follow a ton of different sites."

I think this is really where this is starting to hurt us, where we are losing those people who do, or at least certainly don't have nearly the population of those folks as other places. What used to be one of the core strengths of metafilter, that we used to have more of these kinds of people than anywhere else, is now obsolete at best. I'm not sure its entirely a bad thing, but it is a way in which the site is aging in relation to the rest of the internet.

"My favorite stuff on the front page are weird obscure research-y posts, super-dedicated exhaustive megaposts, lovingly done obits and people pointing out artwork or music that I might not have stumbled on otherwise."

We get those maybe once a week at most, like zarq's awesome post 8 days ago. Its also not exactly easy to make these kinds of posts, I know from back when I made them that for the amount of effort and opportunity that you put in and don't benefit from on your own blog you really need to already be incredibly familiar with all of the unspoken site norms and expectations to have a halfway reasonable sense that you aren't just throwing it all away over some stylistic concern. While I don't think there is some precipitous decline in the number of users willing to do this insane thing, the number of users who are certainly isn't growing, even though it is pretty much everywhere else on the web.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:47 AM on November 18, 2013


You're really saying that everywhere else on the web people are willing to put in the effort to research and link to a bunch of primary sources on an obscure subject? Or am I confused? Cuz that sounds like a web of which I am not aware.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:01 AM on November 18, 2013


I'm much less worried about people leaving MetaFilter because of the not-quite-uniqueness of the posts than I am about people leaving because of the perpetual air of combativeness, dismissiveness, and negativity that is pretty much the norm here.

People stay here for the conversations, not for the links. And I know of one formerly-big MeFite who refuses to come back because he got sick and fed up with how much shit he had to deal with seemingly every time he commented. Another MeFite, one of my personal favorites, was telling me the other day that he's stopped posting for about the same reason. I know I've taken breaks from the site because of a similar frustration.

Also, to continue playing devil's advocate to Blasdelb I really hate those megaposts, and even when they're incredibly well-composed I will click on maybe three or four links at most.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:04 AM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Part of why I dislike those megaposts, by the way, is that my favorite part of every thread is when a commenter comes in and says "Nice post, but here's THIS thing that I really like that's related!" And the conversation threads slowly expand outward until it's got roots in a dozen different subjects at once.

I've noticed that when I make megaposts of my own, the discussion is often way less stimulating than when I post a teaser of what I'm really enjoying and then let other people make of it what they will, jumping in myself perhaps to add some of my favorite links back in at a later point.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:06 AM on November 18, 2013


There is quite a bit of gold buried in the shitpile of reddit for those who know how to look and, at least in my subject area, the couple of blogging communities that have grown up over the last couple of years now have both a hell of a lot higher quality comments and pretty much none of the assaholism.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:08 AM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is quite a bit of gold buried in the shitpile of reddit for those who know how to look...

I think that's the thing. Most MeFites I interact with on a regular basis do not have the time or energy or even the basic desire to dig through shit for gold, or if they do, only for their personal areas of intense interest, but have areas of less intense interest (or areas of interest with an awful signal:noise ratio) for which they'll take silver that's handed on a platter rather than take the time to inspect a turd that may or may not have gold in it.
posted by griphus at 9:21 AM on November 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm not trying to be a nit by focusing on what you said Blasdelb, but "a few blogs plus certain hidden Reddits" is not "pretty much everywhere else on the web". If anything the field of weird blogs with insane amounts of research into esoteric subjects is shrinking, and the readership certainly is. Maybe the amount of blogs and readership is growing in the science community--I'm not familiar with them folks!--but in the cultural space, writing and research on music and art and so forth, there are fewer and fewer non-listicles that get any sort of response. People are still writing them, a bit, but they aren't going viral. Meanwhile aggregators and link-outers without any meaningful discussion abound: Buzzfeed links to a bunch of photos on Imgur, vias a Reddit thread, gets a million hits, nobody links to the photographers site and there's no conversation about what they mean.

Anyway, I like giant posts, and I like your posts. I think MF is still the only place I can think of where a huge well-researched post about something totally obscure has the strong chance to bring PVs, intelligent conversation, and international attention from a diverse bunch of regular people, unless its a Bulgarian rapper and you post at 1pm on a Sunday grumble grumble grumble.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:40 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I haven't been here long. It's been about a year and a half since I started commenting. From what I read, I understand that the community used to be louder and nastier, if still good in the way that loud, nasty places can be. It can be good to have freewheelers like Miguel Cardoso around.

For my part, I want to write longer, better-researched FPPs on topics that don't generally start fights. I still need to make the time to do that, though. It's a lot easier to join a brawl over politics than to learn something interesting and share it thoroughly with the internet.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:17 AM on November 18, 2013


I think one of the other nice things about not having subsites is that some people who have things to say about obscure topics don't seek them out. I've regularly posted about rather obscure video game or RPG stuff of interest to, like, a dozen or so commenters, to the extent that I can reliably predict who I will see in certain FPPs.

And once in a while someone will show up and say "hey, this obscure thing you posted about? I worked on it and here's the scoop" or "that incredibly rare video game? I had a copy and played the hell out of it" or something along those lines, and those are my absolute favorite MeFi moments. Especially when you consider that the person who worked on the thing hangs out on MeFi for wholly unrelated reasons and would have never even thought to visit the obscure blog I am reposting (or, many times, even aware that anyone would have any interest in the subject matter at all.) Nine times out of ten if I am posting some subject of super-niche interest, the discussion here beats out the discussion anywhere else, including the source page.

One hundred people might read Frank's Hella Old Video Games Blog, five hundred will see it in a subreddit, but thousands will see the FPP. And I have more than once seen an acknowledgement and welcome of MetaFilter traffic from the Franks of the internet.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on November 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


What keeps me coming back to Metafilter is the joy of learning something. That can be from a post or a comment, or a question, even.

When I see posts that I have seen elsewhere, it doesn't bother me. Usually it's a SL to something cute, which says something about where I tend to lurk otherwise.
posted by annsunny at 10:47 AM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can see the argument that the things we see on the front page have hit other sites first, but I'm guessing there are people out there like me who don't want to follow a ton of different sites.

We've been having this discussion for a long time. There are always people who don't like it when links are posted that have already been on other prominent sites, and there are always others who are fine with it. My attitude is that if I see something really cool, I'll post it regardless of what other sites it's already been on (thus all the "via's" in my posts). It's always been pretty evenly split, it seems to me, but if the consensus becomes that most people would rather not see those links, I wouldn't post them as often. But again, I only post something because I think it's interesting and worth sharing with everyone.
posted by homunculus at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, my metric for posts has basically always been "is this neat enough to post on Metafilter?", not "is this a scoop?" If it's neat enough to make a post, and other people on the internet are aware of it, it will have been posted on some other sites as well. That's okay! We don't have to have a monopoly on the stuff that shows up here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:18 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


not "is this a scoop?"

But someone is dead on the Internet!
 
posted by Herodios at 1:19 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Obits are this weird exception. We see all the first posts come into our email box and obits are often what a lot of people choose for their first posts. I think this is because people don't have to worry (usually) about whether the topic is cool/noteworthy enough and if it's someone they care(d) about, it's a bit of a mitzvah to give them a fitting sendoff. This is especially true for people with niche-ier audiences that might be heavily represented on MeFi. It's really only been the last five years or so that the FRIST! effect meant that we had to axe a bunch of single link meh obit posts before someone made a fitting one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:43 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


We see all the first posts come into our email box and obits are often what a lot of people choose for their first posts.

Good to know it wasn't just me, then.

We still miss you, Dwayne.
posted by Etrigan at 1:47 PM on November 18, 2013


Aging MeFi? You mean making the gray grayer?

(My CSS prof calls them "may-tuh" tags and it's driving me insane. MAY-tuh filter. MAY-Fie!)
posted by klangklangston at 2:22 PM on November 18, 2013


every 40 years or so the most senior mod "retires" and a new crew of fresh mods is hired by the increasingly reclusive mathowie

This, and the discussion about metafilter's longevity being something special have brought to mind a question that I think about every once in a while: Are there plans for continuity of government, so to speak?

(It's not just death or incapacitation that can cause problems of course. At this moment I'm also on an IRC channel where people are discussing the hassle around building a replacement for a popular site used by everyone in the community that has been abandoned by its creator for a year or two now.)

The site has already been around for 15 years, I think it's appropriate to think about contingencies for the long term. And I expect these issues have already been discussed at the management level, but I'm curious if there's anything mods could share on the topic.

--jjwiseman, 9 years old today.
posted by jjwiseman at 2:33 PM on November 18, 2013


There's a couple different aspects of that. On the catastrophic "something happens to Matt" level, there's a framework explicitly in place for what happens with the site/business so that we can have a sane continuity of things to the extent that is possible. Details of that are basically Matt's business.

The "someone might decide they don't want to work here or be unable to work here anymore" thing is something we'll basically tackle when it comes up; while it would in pretty much any event be a sucky thing to have happen, it's a much more manageable thing by comparison than the above and as a small team that pretty consistently deals with stuff by looking at the details of the specific case we trust each other to work out the mechanics of all that when it's actually an issue rather than e.g. codifying some notional process to which any such situations would be bound.

I'd very much like Mefi to outlive all of us in a professional and an existential sense, but we're not there yet in any case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:53 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a backup plan, I suggest one of the mods go into the depths of MetaTalk and apply MeTa after MeTa to their body until it builds a sort of protective shell. After some time, they will become the Mod Emperor, with inherent knowledge of all mod actions that came before them, and preternatural insight into the future. They will have the ability to predict contentious threads and flameouts before they happen, and set in motion events to prevent such things if they deem it necessary.

pb will be cloned, again and again, to make sure the back-end of the site is always under his guard.
posted by griphus at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mod Emperor ... cloned, again and again

Mod Emperor of Moon
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:10 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Using existing databases of deleted posts, I think I'll build a bayesian post classifier to identify bad posts. If there were a database of deleted comments, I would totally build a comment classifier too. I'll add a component that can predict when the mods will post small admonitions like "Please take it to meta" or "this needs to not be about X". The collection of components will be called... cortex'.

Now I'm picturing one of those hard sci fi stories where the Ancients built an automated planetary defense system, then died out, and the system keeps humming along for eons, blasting apart incoming meteors, curious explorers and spam comments.
posted by jjwiseman at 3:23 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, man, does anyone have a link to that wonderful post-apocalyptic AskMe queue short story?
posted by griphus at 3:24 PM on November 18, 2013


Why yes.
posted by lalex at 3:30 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


something about Honored Modres
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:30 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


When the mods are all gone, hopefully the new leaders can correct the greatest mistake in the history of the site and finally take that Chevy sponsorship.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:06 PM on November 18, 2013


I suggest one of the mods go into the depths of MetaTalk and apply MeTa

... directly to the forehead!
posted by octobersurprise at 4:10 PM on November 18, 2013


In fact, I tend to get kind of :/-faced at the posters who do, it seems, just post the top story on whichever web site they enjoy several times a week.

I feel like this is directed at me, but I don't know why.

The linkdump posts - they're for context, analysis, scene-setting. Usually there's one or two links that drove them, and would have stood on their own but I thought you all needed the help.

I post things that I find interesting, and want to share. I used to source a HUGE amount of posts from Reddit, but as I improved my RSS readers (once gReader, now TheOldReader) I find Reddit to be slow, stale and predictable. I'm constantly refining my methods - right now, collating and condensing 1,000+ bookmarks, likes and favorites, into research and background, or direct posts. I've also been sharing my post-making resources, and have notice an enormous increase in things that I thought would make good posts, but someone else beat me to it!. This, to me, only makes MetaFilter better.

I'm still looking for that perfect single-link.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:19 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm still looking for that perfect single-link.

I've done quite a bit of research into this subject and so far my data points to either a baby goat or a particularly mischievous raccoon.
posted by griphus at 5:29 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Baby goat and raccoon, smashing the plutocrat state with breaking bad episodes about low carb slow cooker one pot stews.
posted by The Whelk at 5:38 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


...served to kittehs.
posted by annsunny at 6:16 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Remixed from YouTube by a trans teen from the Bronx into an album about the differences between New York neighborhoods.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:55 PM on November 18, 2013


Mefi may not age, but I assure you if you asked it for advice about food safety fourteen years ago and are still curious - unless we're talking about wine, vinegar, scotch or port - I wouldn't recommend eating or drinking it.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:00 PM on November 18, 2013


I like that MH has kept the same Mefi-look all this time. In 2002, the look seemed cutting edge; now it's arguably retro. Maybe that applies to the site overall? I might be out of the loop, but are "generalist" web sites that popular any more? They seem to be a creature of the Early Web. Well, it's good to see this place still going...
posted by NiceParisParamus at 7:13 PM on November 18, 2013


To me, Metafilter ages like a fine bottle of wine. I immediately consume the contents, get loud and happy, and then convert them into urine or other waste products.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:34 PM on November 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


i still like to say smock. smock smock smock.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 7:34 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That mefi queue short story was a work of genius. I'd forgotten about that.
posted by arcticseal at 8:24 PM on November 18, 2013


Another of the several reasons I like MetaFilter is that the mods, long-time MetaFilter developers, all seem chilled-out people who like goofing around with tech (have never met any of them). There's something reassuring about that. This tweet from Mathowie just reminded me of that.
posted by Wordshore at 11:53 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love this place.

I've been lurking for years, and relatively recently got an account, but I'm way too shy to comment very often. I think that's because the level of discussion is far and away better than any other place on the Internet that I'm familiar with.
posted by dogheart at 2:39 PM on November 19, 2013


I don't care about the "newness" of the FPP. Personally, I care about the discussion that is to follow. That's were I get my daily dollop of learnin'
posted by Shouraku at 3:58 PM on November 19, 2013


I was joking with some of the (Millennial) coworkers today about how our PR department has recently started adopting memes like 'Keep Calm and' to promote our employer, and I was, like, 'Maybe I'm a grumpy old internet guy, but I feel like Keep Calm is kinda played out. What's next, Star Wars Kid says use your library?' And one of the coworkers was, like, 'you know, I think Star Wars Kid might be old enough that it's cool again.'
posted by box at 6:53 PM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


What Jessamyn said about comments, above, rings true. Come for the posts, stay for the comments. Heck, create the posts, see what comments spring out of it. Sometimes so rewarding; just did an FPP on cheesemaking and the first comment cracked me up for several minutes.
posted by Wordshore at 2:27 PM on November 20, 2013


It's interesting how no one writes in a thread after a certain point in time.
posted by NiceParisParamus at 11:52 AM on November 28, 2013


It's not too late.
posted by box at 6:18 PM on December 6, 2013


To me, Metafilter ages like a fine bottle of wine. I immediately consume the contents, get loud and happy, and then convert them into urine or other waste products.

Valuable, but locked in a dry basement away from human eyes.
posted by The Whelk at 6:25 PM on December 6, 2013


Whelk? How did you get out?
posted by arcticseal at 8:08 PM on December 6, 2013


Gruuuuuuuu
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 PM on December 6, 2013


Ur-grues live in dirty bums.
posted by planetesimal at 9:19 PM on December 6, 2013


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