MefiTV? March 27, 2014 6:25 PM   Subscribe

Repeatedly asked for in this thread about the closing of TWOP, a subforum for Metafilter to cover TV. Can I suggest a possible trial by allowing members who've taken on a program to make a FPP with a simple round-up of recaps from the web and then to let a thread flourish? With a rule about no spoilers for the trial period, because later on there could be a spoiler free/spoilered-to-smithereens alternate threads. I can get good recaps from a bunch of places online, and committing to volunteer recaps is a Big Chunk of Time. Mostly what I can't get, and loved from TWOP, is snarky smart conversation about a show I love. If the trial leads to great discussions, then a separate section could be made so the front page doesn't get cluttered with TV threads. Nominating: The Vampire Diaries, Scandal, Community, Elementary, Teen Wolf (come back Elizardbits!), Supernatural and I will volunteer happily for Melissa and Joey, a sitcom that I believe is profoundly undercriticised despite huge popularity and weirdly progressive sexual politics and ethics. Ahem.
posted by viggorlijah to Feature Requests at 6:25 PM (444 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

You had me at "Melissa and Joey". LOVE IT.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:31 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wanna talk about The Returned. Someone please make a FPP about The Returned.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:33 PM on March 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


wait, elizardbits left?
posted by mokin at 6:34 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


If someone was saying to themselves "but what of Pretty Little Liars in these transactions?" I am HERE FOR YOU.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:36 PM on March 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's an interesting idea that we've thought about. If we ever did something, it wouldn't be as structured as TWOP with only certain shows and show sub-areas, as that was an artifact of discussion forum software needing "rooms" and topic threads that could be arranged for every episode.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:46 PM on March 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


This is my official request that someone pluck me from obscurity so that I can recap The Americans and DAZZZZLE! everyone with my anachronistic fascination with the USSR.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:00 PM on March 27, 2014 [21 favorites]


Wife and I had a Serious Discussion about Vampire Diaries tonight, right before Vampire Diaries started, where it was revealed that while she is by far more in to the show than I am, I've paid waaaayyy more attention to it.

If this works, we'd be the Steroline (I DO NOT REMEMBER WHO SAT NEXT TO ME IN 6TH GRADE BUT I NOW KNOW THAT STEFAN + CAROLINE = STEROLINE) of Vampire Diaries musings.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:09 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


We also need one of these subforums for music so that we don't have to discuss the Psychedelic Furs in Nirvana threads.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:10 PM on March 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


it wouldn't be as structured as TWOP with only certain shows and show sub-areas

That would be fine with me, because on TWoP there always seemed to be a ridiculous amount of moderation angst over which exact sub topic within the sub forum of the specific show we were discussing was the appropriate place for any given comment. So needlessly annoying. Lately they seem to have moved to one big thread per show, though, and I think that's been working great.

Wife and I had a Serious Discussion about Vampire Diaries tonight, right before Vampire Diaries started, where it was revealed that while she is by far more in to the show than I am, I've paid waaaayyy more attention to it.

Please tell me all your thoughts! Especially about Katherine.

We also need one of these subforums for music so that we don't have to discuss the Psychedelic Furs in Nirvana threads.

Maybe a "culture" area?

A place other than the Blue where people could start a thread after an episode or for an album (or for a show or for a band?) and FPPs would be all about the discussion, with no links necessarily included? Or, if people do want recaps (or reviews) and are willing/able to write them, the FPPs could stem from a (user-produced) recap or review instead of a link?

I personally care mostly about TV discussions, but I would guess that there are plenty of people who have music, books, and movies they'd like to discuss as well. Maybe even art shows, theater/plays, and restaurants, too, though I guess those discussions would have a much narrower pool of commenters because art, theater, and food is relatively location-specific.

We're maybe running out of background colors, though.
posted by rue72 at 7:26 PM on March 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


REIGN
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:32 PM on March 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


If this happens, I'd love to see the inclusion of old shows, too. AV Club does running recaps of expired programs, and zarq's various classic TV megaposts have been fun. I don't know how that might work in practice, though.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:35 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


oh please please please please please
posted by lwb at 7:36 PM on March 27, 2014


(Elizardbits has broken up with Teen Wolf. The relationship ended badly. If you want recaps that are three thousand words of "Jeff Davis is a fucking hack", she's your girl.)
posted by gingerest at 7:38 PM on March 27, 2014 [19 favorites]


Lately they seem to have moved to one big thread per show, though, and I think that's been working great.

Generally, yes, but for some shows where there'd tend to be a lot of discussion which was not related to a specific episode or where people wanted to discuss spoilers, subforums were still being used. Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and Scandal are good examples where subforums were really beneficial. Otherwise, many people were being driven away by what they considered to be too much "off-topic" discussion and others were frustrated when good commentary was being deleted for not being just about the broadcast episodes.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:39 PM on March 27, 2014


I'm in I'm in I'm in I'm in I will write recaps and essays and critiques and histories I will comment I will debate I WANT TO GO THERE
posted by tzikeh at 7:39 PM on March 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


^^^ What tzikeh said. Me toooooo.
posted by ApathyGirl at 7:41 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I guess it comes down to how Matt feels about expressly hosting original content. While there has been original stuff ending up in the comments for years, actual sources have been kept at arms length. I understand the reasons why (shilling) and that MePop or whatever would be a change in content.

As for the setup, maybe something where a 'thread' becomes an aggregate for longform contributions and comments. So, Awesome Show crosses whatever threshold required to be represented on MePop. Every Mefite (not just those that call dibs!) are able to contribute recaps or analysis for the show. Each episode of the show would get an aggregate post generated (Awesome Show S1:Ep3) that people could post their content to. Links/Titles of said content would appear where we currently see post text (RoboBanjo Recap; WhelkCast; rue72menations). Clicking on the link would lead you to the content of the review/recap/analysis. The thread comments would be freeform as per normal for the site.

Picturing this like the Blue, I'd see this as 1 Thread Per Thing, where Thing is an episode, a movie, an album, etc.

It would require some mod work, though. Authorizations for thread creation would need to be moderated (individual episodes could be automatically generated, but someone would have to input the date of airing ahead of time). How it displays on the MePop landing page would need to be figured out - which comes first, fresh recap of old show (Mulder's Big Adventure) or only fresh stuff? What constitutes original content would need to be set as well - 'this album is dumb' would not count as a review of an album, but a track by track take-down would.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:42 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would love this. As much as I like the secret discussions, having every-30-day end-run posts on a topic to reopen the discussion is not the ideal forum, and it would make it more readable as an archive than the current mish mash it is. Not that there haven't been some excellent roundup posts as a result of the current method, but I think they'll still happen.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:46 PM on March 27, 2014


Is this something I'd have to be a human being with at least moderate eyesight and hearing or at least closed captioning plus an attention span to understand?
posted by latkes at 8:00 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


(Also, MefiBookClub page?)
posted by latkes at 8:01 PM on March 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


I haven't been around there in a while, but there were always great tv conversations over at the MeFightClub forums.

This is my official request that someone pluck me from obscurity so that I can recap The Americans and DAZZZZLE! everyone with my anachronistic fascination with the USSR.

Snarl Furillo, I totally want to be dazzled by your recaps of The Americans!
posted by Room 641-A at 8:04 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd love a broad entertainment subsite - tv, music, movies, books, comics, all that. On the blue you can't make a post about something without good links for it, and say a show or album isn't streaming for free anywhere, well, Spotify or Netflix links do not a good post make. But a review/discussion site is a lot looser and that stuff would fit a lot better in that context, where the expectation has always been that you seek the media out on your own. And then I can make that post on Peter Peter Hughes' Fangio that I've been idly considering but can't find free legal streams of the songs for :P

I think there would still be a place on Metafilter Prime for posts like zarq's amazing TV show roundups, and interesting entertainment news and discussion and parodies and whatever else from elsewhere around the web, but homegrown crit/discussion stuff could really thrive in its own area.

Also, borrowing a bit from The Dissolve with a movie/show/album/etc of the week thing would be very interesting to see with the wealth of different critical perspectives on Mefi. Not limiting posts that week to that one topic or anything, but encouraging multiple posts on one work each week.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:19 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Omg someone please do BANSHEE.
posted by TwoStride at 8:22 PM on March 27, 2014


I'm perfectly happy to volunteer for Elementary, Castle or The Good Wife. We're also currently bingewatching Flashpoint and Falling Skies.

Although I guess the most appropriate shows for me to volunteer for would be Chicago Fire, Sirens, or Emergency!
posted by scrump at 8:22 PM on March 27, 2014


Please I would be so happy!
posted by SarahElizaP at 8:29 PM on March 27, 2014


I would read and comment the pony out of this pony.
posted by mochapickle at 8:36 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd recap the everloving shit out of RuPaul's Drag Race. Not an idle threat.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:37 PM on March 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


FWIW, the subreddits on many TV shows are excellent. I know, it's not Mefi, but it's something.
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:39 PM on March 27, 2014


Picturing this like the Blue, I'd see this as 1 Thread Per Thing, where Thing is an episode, a movie, an album, etc.

You would also want some kind of minimal (MeFiIRL-like?) sorting and grouping features, so you could see all of the episodes of a certain show together, or all movies, or all books, or whatever. I am very interested in something like this. Is there a way we could set up some kind of steering committee involving both mods and users to start to hash out some sort of test environment?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:40 PM on March 27, 2014


Is this something I'd need a television to understand?
posted by drlith at 8:44 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am tempted to throw my hat in the ring for WWE programming, because I know there's at least a few of you people who are closet fans like me.
posted by Etrigan at 8:49 PM on March 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi's Metacooler is still open, though it's had no activity in years.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:57 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I personally think the best way to do this would be as simple as possible, using tags and without more than an informal folksonomy (recap, roundup, spoilerfree, spoilered etc). Not even threaded conversations. Trading the beauty of a nicely structured site for easier creation and a familiar Metafilter unthreaded discussion would be worth it.

Blue, Grey, Green, Purple.... Pink? To calm down all the inevitable fanrage?
posted by viggorlijah at 9:09 PM on March 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'd recap the everloving shit out of RuPaul's Drag Race. Not an idle threat.

I challenge you to LIP SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE THE RIGHT.
posted by scody at 9:12 PM on March 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also just to clarify, by undercriticised I meaned not given enough critical review, not slamming Melissa and Joey, a show that had a teenage boy having sex for the first time with his girlfriend, a single teen mom, an interracial couple, and then turn for advice to his guardian (given both his parents are in jail) and her ex-au pair boyfriend. The sexual dynamics and class and money stuff in M&J are frequently addressed, and also Melissa Joan Hart is smokingly hot and wears curvy clothes and her character drinks, lies, enjoys sex and is STILL a good person on screen!
posted by viggorlijah at 9:13 PM on March 27, 2014


If you start talking about Melissa and Joey you'll get me critiquing its portrayal of Toledo.
posted by charred husk at 9:24 PM on March 27, 2014


VIKINGS.

I call dibs on Vikings so hard.

(Team Lagertha forever!)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:33 PM on March 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like the idea of talking TV with MeFites, but I think the big thing to think about is how the site would be organized. A TV discussion forum is going to have a very different format from the way the rest of MeFi is organized.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:36 PM on March 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Can I call Walking Dead? Walking Dead!
posted by misha at 9:36 PM on March 27, 2014


charred husk: "If you start talking about Melissa and Joey you'll get me critiquing its portrayal of Toledo."

And the salary she earns as a city councilwoman to live in that house?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:42 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


show that had a teenage boy having sex for the first time with his girlfriend, a single teen mom, an interracial couple, and then turn for advice to his guardian (given both his parents are in jail) and her ex-au pair boyfriend. The sexual dynamics and class and money stuff in M&J are frequently addressed

That's because it's on ABC Family, and all of their shows are fetch.

posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:19 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I challenge you to LIP SYNC FOR YOUR LIFE THE RIGHT.

Watch out girl, I've been working on my death drops. *flips hair*

(We can tag team it like in All Stars tho)
posted by en forme de poire at 10:22 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Something Metafilter something something QWOP
posted by davejay at 10:23 PM on March 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whats that an excuse for me to watch all the Murder She Wrotes again? J. Michael Straczynski fandom yo.

Also Rockford Files.

I'm pretty much into every crime show that aired more than 20 years ago
posted by klangklangston at 10:42 PM on March 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


I was never interested in the recaps on TWOP - never understood reading 20 pages of detailed blather and snark that took longer to read than watch the episode.

I think MeFiTV could be great, though. There are obviously some shows where new threads conveniently turn up on the blue at the start of the season - and then more threads appear as those ones close up. I'd be okay if MeFiTV just had threads that ran the length of the season (or maybe a month at a time and then a new one would open up?); a subsite that doesn't have to worry too much about relevancy beyond "this a cool show I want to talk about".
posted by crossoverman at 11:01 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee, stop trying to make fetch happen!

Isn't there a suggestion of a lot of family money with her dad the senator? She was a total party girl in college and had to work hard to catch up and be seen as credible. I'm pretty sure the house was bought with family money, as they're quite clear that Mel and her sister both started as trustfund kids, and Mel was supposed to wind up with mugshots, while her sister was going to be the Perfect Child, instead of the reverse.
posted by viggorlijah at 11:05 PM on March 27, 2014


(We can tag team it like in All Stars tho)

Girl, yes. We can lend each other wigs and everything!
posted by scody at 11:18 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was all ready to decide I wasn't interested and then somebody said Reign. I want to talk about Reign (and Who and Orphan Black and Arrow and, and ...).
posted by immlass at 11:20 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't take on a recap assignment as I'm about to start recapping Game Of Thrones for another site. But I am wild about this idea.

Is there a comedy people would like to see? I'm into the idea of Brooklyn 99 or Broad City, but am willing to explore just about anything but Community (I'm in an awkward spot to start recapping, halfway through season 3 with no hope of getting current with this season).
posted by Sara C. at 11:48 PM on March 27, 2014


Pssst, folks who want to read recaps of Reign...
posted by Sara C. at 11:49 PM on March 27, 2014


Girl, yes. We can lend each other wigs and everything!

Shanté, you stay!
posted by en forme de poire at 11:57 PM on March 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd be super interested in this. I might consider doing recaps for an older show as a discussion point launching off point, AV Club-style. And by "an older show" I mean "Xena".
posted by NoraReed at 12:08 AM on March 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


"I like the idea of talking TV with MeFites..."

That's all that's really needed and, I think, all that is right for MetaFilter. Recaps are unnecessary and really a different thing than MeFi. Well, the music subsite is about posting original comment, but it's kind of an aberration (but a really good one).

But I think there's way more interest in just being able to participate in good discussion about television shows (and particular episodes) than there is in reading recaps. I know that some people really want to write recaps.

This has come up with people I've talked with. There really hasn't been anything equal to TWOP for discussion about television on the web, it's unequaled. But the moderation has been, er, totalitarian, pretty much the opposite of MeFi in spirit. In fact, I recently characterized the two sites' philosophies as MeFi's being most concerned with the spirit of the law and not the letter, and TWOP with the letter of the law, not the spirit. That's excepting all the arbitrary TWOP moderation decisions, of course, but they're usually done in the name of some strict enforcement.

MeFi is unequaled for good, informed mostly civil discussion and every television show thread proves that the membership here is good at talking about television, too. I really think a subsite devoted to television and with no other bells-and-whistles, would be fine. It's sort of different; but then so is AskMe, which serves a particular and distinct purpose.

But, again, as enthusiastic as many are about things like recaps, I really sort of think that anything that seems like repeating what TWOP has done is a Bad Idea. MeFi isn't TWOP. MeFi is good at discussion.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:14 AM on March 28, 2014 [16 favorites]


Vikings Visual Recaps.
posted by homunculus at 12:25 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


My attention was caught by the idea above of including books. If it's a broader cultural/textual subsite, I'm in. If it's just tv, that's not very interesting.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:32 AM on March 28, 2014


TV chat filter?
posted by Cranberry at 12:52 AM on March 28, 2014


Like others have suggested, just TV seems a bit limiting (and sounds archaic, IMHO). What if we included other media/mediums and had tags or sections for genres, like some sort of media filter?
posted by iamkimiam at 1:10 AM on March 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm in for recappin' and discussin' and stuff, regardless of the media.
posted by Spatch at 1:20 AM on March 28, 2014


Oh man - I watch way too much TV and would be all over this!
posted by Arbac at 1:20 AM on March 28, 2014


Yeah, I don't so much want recaps as intelligent conversation ... Or astounded conversation, or squeeing conversation, or angry recriminations ... Mefi is interesting in TV threads. I also think a plain vanilla interface and then you do basically "Mad Men Season 5, episodes 1-7" and then another one for that back half. Split popular shows in two, put everything else in a single thread.

And then perhaps some loosely participatory method for picking older TV shows to group-watch, and some books people want to discuss, so you keep the infinite possible universes tightened down a bit and get more robust discussion in what you've got.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:28 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


*pops head in* Did someone say Xena?

or did I just imagine it whispering in the wind...
posted by Mizu at 1:30 AM on March 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


"My attention was caught by the idea above of including books. If it's a broader cultural/textual subsite, I'm in. If it's just tv, that's not very interesting."

I think a lot of us would love to talk about books and films and music, too. Pretty much all of us. But we do that on MetaFilter already.

My sense is that a general culture thing is too broad and too much of an overlap with MeFi proper. You'd think that being so broad would, as in your example, mean that it would have more activity. But I think perversely the opposite would be true. In being too many things to too many people, it wouldn't be focused enough for anyone.

Also, the thing about television shows versus these other things is that they work better with what is the essentially ephemeral nature of MeFi. That's not the right word, because the stuff here doesn't go away; but threads close and even if they didn't, they are lost to the passage of time very quickly. So cultural products that have an interest over much longer spans of time wouldn't quite fit into the way posts work here. Topics aren't sticky, and I pretty strongly feel that they shouldn't be sticky. That's not the nature of MetaFilter.

But television shows, as topics of interest, are refreshed every time a new episode airs. That fits very well into the MetaFilter paradigm.

"I've said it here (well, on the gray) before, but I would love for MeFi to incorporate the No Beginning Comments With 'Uh...' Policy."

This was in a comment in the thread on the blue, and it's a good example of the big philosophical difference between MeFi and TWoP. MetaFilter wouldn't implement that rule because it addresses only one small example of an obnoxious behavior while leaving many others available. Furthermore, rules like that encourage people to both rules-lawyer, make it all about the letter of the law and not the spirit, and in doing so implicitly makes it okay to be obnoxious in these essential ways as long as it doesn't violate some explicit rule.

It's a deeply, deeply stupid way to moderate. I mean, seriously, it's dumb.

Someone else in that thread mentioned that they liked TWoP both despite and possibly because of the moderation. And I think there's truth to that, insofar as the heavy-handed moderation there meant that a lot of the ugly stuff that's so common on the web, as well as just all the barely-literate stuff, wasn't there. In that sense, it was a haven.

But MeFi is a haven, too, but the moderation philosophy and style is completely different.

And that's why I think that a television discussion subsite on MeFi is a really good fit that would serve a big pent-up demand. Not just among the current membership, but across the web in general. There's a whole lot of people like myself who loved the good discussion in the TWoP forums, but hated the insane moderation. MetaFilter has great discussion, and the moderation is pretty much the best there is, anywhere. I really think that people would flock to a MetaFilter subsite for discussions about television shows, most especially around an episodic format.

I agree that there'd be interest in recaps, but that's available numerous other places and, also, I really think there's ultimately less interest in recaps than the forums.

One thing that I think people are underestimating, and Linda Holmes would be a good person to weigh in on this, is just how hard it is to get good writers to produce good recaps on a regular basis. There's lots of people who've expressed interest in doing recaps. And I have really high opinions of the MeFi membership. But the recaps at TWoP were paid. And, even being paid, over time, pretty much everyone agrees the quality of the recaps has declined. I think it would be an accomplishment to produce recaps as good as current TWoP recaps, and I don't think that would be good enough to justify it.

I don't mean to sound opposed to recaps. I just think that recaps shouldn't be understood as an essential part of what a television subsite would offer most people. I think they could be problematic in some respects; I think they are a little bit at odds with the emphasis here (although, again, there's the music subsite to consider); and I just don't think they'd be, ultimately, the main thing that most people would want from such a subsite.

Anyway, I don't really know if the mods trust my judgment about such things at all, but if they do, I feel strongly that a television subsite organized around posts for particular episodes and probably for other (noteworthy, timely) topics, would be very successful. And I think it would "fit". As long as it's conceived as something like MeFi (and not like TWoP or somewhere else).

"Like others have suggested, just TV seems a bit limiting (and sounds archaic, IMHO)."

No, this is really a golden age of television, of a sorts. I think you can see this here at MeFi — the television show threads are, I think, generally higher quality discussion and interest than those about films, books, or music. (Note that I used the word "generally".)

Meanwhile, right here just downloaded I have the latest episodes of Justified and The Americans to watch. And I will almost certainly immediately go over to TWoP to read the episode threads of the two episodes I just watched, afterwards.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:32 AM on March 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


Yes please. Bring on MediaFilter.
posted by sukeban at 2:02 AM on March 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


If this is going to be a proper subsite, we got the perfect name already: chatfilter.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:06 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, please. I want a place to discuss my ideas for a Hannibal/Hart of Dixie crossover. ( I know, I'm weird )
posted by Pendragon at 2:45 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


ohgodpleasebookstooyesplease
posted by Kattullus at 2:47 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh man I would love to have a place
to blather on about Archer and Brooklyn Nine Nine and Sleepy Hollow and LEGO Steampunk Gothic Horror Dracula.
posted by griphus at 2:50 AM on March 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


MetaMedia?
posted by viggorlijah at 3:07 AM on March 28, 2014


On the one hand, think of all the FPPs and users this will draw away from the blue and green.

On the other . . . wait I like this idea.

Seriously take all the Dr. Who posts with you and have fun.
posted by spitbull at 3:44 AM on March 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


It could have nice mauve background...
posted by Pendragon at 3:53 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


One thing that I think people are underestimating, and Linda Holmes would be a good person to weigh in on this, is just how hard it is to get good writers to produce good recaps on a regular basis. There's lots of people who've expressed interest in doing recaps. And I have really high opinions of the MeFi membership. But the recaps at TWoP were paid.

I agree with this, but I still think you'd need some kind of recap for structure if people want to include old shows. If a show is currently airing you can probably just post a link to a stream or to other site's recaps and discussion will take off from there. But if a show is off-air, you need something specific to bounce off, in order to spark people's memories and prevent every thread from turning into a mish-mosh of stuff from the whole run.
posted by Diablevert at 4:05 AM on March 28, 2014


I claim Teen Wolf again!
posted by Kitteh at 4:11 AM on March 28, 2014


Just had a thought about this…what if there was some sort of MediaFilter subsite (or whatever you all want to call it), and MeFi Music was moved into it, as one branch. And that way the whole thing would already have a working model of sorts for the other branches and some already established longevity and interest (not that MeFiTV (MeFiTele?) hasn't already generated interest of its own…that much is clear here).
posted by iamkimiam at 4:12 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of us would love to talk about books and films and music, too. Pretty much all of us. But we do that on MetaFilter already.

But MetaFilter is all about the links - if there isn't anything compelling on the Web that you can point to, the chances are, unless you can get a groundswell of conversation going (and sometimes even then), the post will be deleted.

It would certainly be interesting to have something where a thread was about an artifact (in the most general sense) rather than a link.

I'm not sure that I'd be interested in a subsite that was merely dedicated to the discussion of recent U.S. television series. I realise that that's not, in itself, a problem for anyone else except me, but mention it to point up the ambiguity between whether what is proposed is a forum to exclusively discuss recent U.S. TV or to discuss culture that is more diverse not only by medium but also by geography and the intended audience.

There's a really excellent Swedish TV series called Äkta Människor, for example, and Ringo Shiina's Karuki Zamen Kuri no Hana is possibly one of the greatest albums ever made. I'd quite like it if there was somewhere I could find out about more things like that that have passed me by on account of the insularity of the culture I live in and the inefficiency of relying on serendipity to discover things that lie outside it.
posted by Grangousier at 4:41 AM on March 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure that I'd be interested in a subsite that was merely dedicated to the discussion of recent U.S. television series.

Gah, me either. This sounds like a job for MetaChat.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:13 AM on March 28, 2014


A couple thoughts:

1. ChatFilter is already taken. I like MediaFilter, if we are voting on names.
2. I think it would be cool to have MediaFilter include books and movies and albums and action figures and fanfic and animated GIFs and whatever else, but I think it might be best to start by restricting it to current TV episodes, at least for some sort of "pre-release" period.
3. I think it needs to be one "thread" per episode, rather than per season because of...
4. Spoilers, darling. Spoilers are already kind of a hot button issue around here, but I think the only sustainable model is to not have any explicit rules about spoiler avoidance. If you have one thread per episode it becomes less of a problem, but people are always going to have a variety of opinions on just what constitutes a spoiler and when they are allowed or not, and so I think the general rule would have to be "Read at your own risk." Anything else is not sustainable given the current moderation system.
5. I don't think you need recaps. They could be an optional thing to add to a thread that are given a place of prominence, like photos in IRL threads. That way we could also have multiple recappers of a single show, no need to "claim" certain shows, and no worries if you miss a week.
6. You would need to have some sort of My MediaFilter, like we have for MeFi and Ask so that you could limit it to shows you are interested in.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:23 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would never get anything done again. I couldn't recap because I watch most TV way too inattentively, but I would read and discuss a lot, dammit. Recaps by mefites? Fuck yeah!

but please don't do books please don't because god I don't need a longer to-read list
posted by rtha at 5:42 AM on March 28, 2014


I think one of the things about a TV subsite specifically, is that TV is somehow calibrated to be good (in a certain 'discussable' way) even when it is bad (in a certain 'mediocre' way). I can't read through a bad novel. Hell, I can hardly watch a bad movie. But a shitty episode of Bones? Yeah, I'll leave that on, and I'd be fine talking about it because it is not something that aspired to high art or excellent television and failed and just a fucking episode of Bones. Brennan doesn't understand a thing. Booth said a funny thing and was uncomfortable. The interns have a personality. The mystery got solved. End of story.
posted by griphus at 5:53 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Since there is probably going to be more than one person talking about Hannibal I nominate the tel3path approved term, Hannipals.
posted by The Whelk at 6:01 AM on March 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


One of my favorite episodes of Bones is the one where Booth is in a coma and dreaming that they own a nightclub, because in the beginning of the show, there's a shot of the exterior of the nightclub and it's a club where we go to shows a lot! Also, I'm working from home today and there's Bones from 9-1 and then Castle till 6!
posted by rtha at 6:08 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


The other thing is that serialized television, especially America serialized television with 13-22 episodes a season, doesn't lend itself to an FPP like a film or a book. I can almost guarantee there will be an FPP on Guardians of the Galaxy when it comes out, the content of which may well be a thin cover to gush about the movie. It's practically tradition. Same thing for a book, for instance.

But you can only pull that off for the debut of a series, or a new critical take on it, or a particularly big event (i.e. Hannibal and the Good Wife recently. Although I don't know what happened on Hannibal yet so let's all shut up.) I can't for the life of me think of a way to make a decent FPP about Sister Wives so I can talk to other MeFites about it. On the other hand, if I wanted to jumpstart a discussion about Days of the Future Past when it comes out, that will, again, be a pretty trivial matter to put together an FPP on that with content interesting enough for it to stand on its own, but also the discussion within the FPP being the soul of it.

I'm not arguing against other sorts of subsites, but American serialized television is a very unique medium with attributes that music or movies or books (except comic books) don't compare perfectly to.
posted by griphus at 6:09 AM on March 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


I want an AU spin-off about that episode.
posted by griphus at 6:09 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd recap the everloving shit out of RuPaul's Drag Race. Not an idle threat.
I'm still reeling from this recent post, which informed me of the fact that there's more than one series of Drag Race.

So, yeah, I'd read your recaps! Then I'd leave spittle-flecked comments on every single one about the bitter, crushing, soul-deep disappointment I felt watching the proud legacy of Nina Flowers and BeBe Zahara Benet tramped into the dirt by series after series of sub-par queens who confuse being a mean little gobsite for wit and can't tell the difference between realness and talent. I also have a number of pressing questions about Santino Rice.
posted by jack_mo at 6:30 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


While I would love to see a subsite where TV shows (and anime and manga) can be discussed in an intelligent manner, I think this would be a moderation nightmare, or at the least would be very difficult to handle with the current moderation system in MetaFilter.

From what I've seen in other sites that discuss TV shows and the ilk, it's very easy for discussions to go off-topic or get fighty or both. I can see this taking up a lot of moderator attention and time. In some sites it appears the mods just do a once-a-day sweep, sometimes wiping out an entire days' postings. I just don't think such a MetaFilter subsite could get the kind of moderation we've come to expect from the current MeFi sites. There's the possibility of making MefiTV a minimal moderation space, but then it wouldn't be like the rest of MeFi we know and love.
posted by needled at 6:32 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'd recap the everloving shit out of RuPaul's Drag Race. Not an idle threat.

One of Mefi's own (Help, I can't stop talking!) is recapping this season for GeeksOUT! and the recaps are amazing!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:36 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe we can Kickstart a new MeFiTV mod.
posted by griphus at 6:37 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


How about MeTVilter?

crossoverman: I was never interested in the recaps on TWOP - never understood reading 20 pages of detailed blather and snark that took longer to read than watch the episode

See, I loved the recaps much more than forum discussion because when it's done well (which was frequently on TWOP*), it introduces me to a different & coherent** perspective on the show, illuminating things I missed as a casual viewer, and--as a form of criticism--often introducing humor in unexpected and gratifying ways.

Also now that TWOP is gone and Jacob's being released to the ether, I need to know someone else is an hungry for the last (sure-to-be-bonkers) season of True Blood as I am.

*I otherwise love the AVClub, but two things that drive me up the wall about their recapping are (1) the number of reviewers who, week after week, complain about disliking some fundamental aspect of a show without at least trying to engage with it or get it reassigned to someone who does want to watch it [I watched the last couple of seasons of Weeds since I thought there were salvageable ideas in the mess; the recapper apparently was paying off a debt from a previous life] and (2) their insistence from like Episode 2 onward of any scripted show of fretting about the arc of the season.

**Forum talk is fun, but man are there rabbit holes of psychosis everywhere.

posted by psoas at 6:42 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


(2) their insistence from like Episode 2 onward of any scripted show of fretting about the arc of the season.

Oh god, during their Boardwalk Empire S01E02 or 03 recap the reviewer was like "this characterization doesn't work because X wouldnd't be saying that to Y because that would imply the development of a hypothetical plot Y when the trajectory is clearly toward plot Z."

Halfway through the season, the plot begins to barrel to plot Y, the finale ending on almost literally what the recapper was explaining would not be happening.
posted by griphus at 6:47 AM on March 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


Holy shit, Help, I can't stop talking! is ChrisK?! Mind blown!
posted by en forme de poire at 6:48 AM on March 28, 2014


I also have a number of pressing questions about Santino Rice.

Man, who doesn't. I've been waiting for five and a half seasons for one of the queens to reference his woodland-creature realness "lingerie" from Project Runway.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:55 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think after Latrice's "ya balding bitch!" outburst (not long after which he shaved his head, you'll note), the Santino Rice Memorial Reading Room is closed for good.
posted by psoas at 7:03 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm on the recaps-optional side of this. If people want to recap a show, great. If people just want to talk about something without having a recap, that should be OK too.

But if a show is off-air, you need something specific to bounce off, in order to spark people's memories and prevent every thread from turning into a mish-mosh of stuff from the whole run.

Why? What's wrong with a thread that's just a mish-mosh of stuff from the whole run? I feel like this could be a "this is free-form, go nuts" kind of thing. So if someone wanted to talk about the entire run of The Brady Bunch, they could start a thread for that. And if someone wanted to talk specifically about the Davy Jones episode of The Brady Bunch, they could start a thread for that.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:12 AM on March 28, 2014


There's apparently a pretty brilliant one coming up from Bianca Del Rio but knowing the shady editing, it's probably from Untucked or something.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:14 AM on March 28, 2014


Girl, yes. We can lend each other wigs and everything!

I want to do this for The Americans, too!!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:22 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Look, guys, much as I love this idea myself, we kinda already tried Metacooler for it a few years ago and it died. Are we sure we have that much interest to keep maintaining another site?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:24 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


If we tried a media meta I would likely peruse it on the odd day and contribute even less, but I think it would feel a bit more like home with it than without it.
posted by kalessin at 7:27 AM on March 28, 2014


That's why I think thinkpieces/recaps would be a good way to foment discussion and encourage more participation, rather than just freeform general threads.
posted by Think_Long at 7:27 AM on March 28, 2014


Maybe some sort of sign-up sheet with items spread out over an initial time period to give it some momentum? So we know there will be at least one or two new prompts a day for however long? I would read the heck out of this and possibly comment but I'm mostly a lurker everywhere except Ask.
posted by brilliantine at 7:34 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


jenfullmoon: Look, guys, much as I love this idea myself, we kinda already tried Metacooler for it a few years ago and it died. Are we sure we have that much interest to keep maintaining another site?

The idea is that it would be a subsite of MetaFilter, not a separate site. There's been a long list of spin-off sites that fizzled (I still miss ya, BBQ!), but I think a subsite is a different question entirely. You may still be right, and there may not be enough interest even to sustain a subsite (Pour one out for Travel), but it's a different question.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:35 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Casting a vote for books as well.
posted by morganannie at 7:42 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


MetaChat is another option to utilize an existing MeFi offshoot site, as it has moderators and allows embedded images (plus the options to disable embedded images as a user-level decision), and the threads don't have a closure date. Reasons not to use MetaChat: no tagging, and there's an existing (quiet) culture there, so making that the MetaMedia site could drown out the existing user culture.

There's also MonkeyFilter, but I'm not familiar with how that site works, and I think it has the same reasons to not use the site as a new MetaMedia site.

I think the idea of hosting the media site on MetaFilter would indeed keep the service living, as it would be a link in the site, versus another site to visit. And with that, may I suggest the new sub-site be called protoculture?


klangklangston: Whats that an excuse for me to watch all the Murder She Wrotes again?

Ooh, ooh, ooh! I would join you in re-watching that series! Let's talk about the technology featured in the shows! And how no one thinks that Jess is a harbinger of death. "Why Miss Fletcher, thanks for visiting our little town! Oh no, there's been a mysterious death/murder. Miss Fletcher, could you help us figure this out?"
posted by filthy light thief at 7:43 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


We're maybe running out of background colors, though.

For MetaTube, I'd suggest either SMPTE color bars, or black & white noise.
posted by Kabanos at 7:49 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


"I'm not sure that I'd be interested in a subsite that was merely dedicated to the discussion of recent U.S. television series."

I don't understand why you're assuming it would only be US shows. In the first place, I watch a number of shows from Europe (most recently, um, Broadchurch, Borgen, Les Revenants); it's all the same to me because I download them. I'm not alone in this. In the second place, that MeFi is dominated by Americans in no sense means that non-American shows would be out of place. Non-American posts in general are absolutely not out-of-place. I wish there were more.

"The other thing is that serialized television [...] doesn't lend itself to an FPP like a film or a book."

Yeah, I think it works in both directions. As I argued earlier, posts/discussion of TV shows, especially on an episodic basis, would fit well within MeFi because posts and threads here are of the moment (give or take a few weeks). So are TV shows. But also because of this, a regular MeFi post on a TV show is never really a good fit because MeFi posts are supposed to be noteworthy and not repeated in this sense. So we get the problem we had with Breaking Bad, where interest in the last half-season of the show was extremely high, and very much worth talking about, and so all the discussion about it was shoehorned into two separate threads of posts that each were required to be nominally post-worthy in their content.

I just really think that there's no point in discussing this unless it's workable and Matt would be interested in doing it, and I really really don't think those things would be the case unless it is implemented in a way that is very much in the way that MetaFilter does things.

I don't think the threads should stay open any longer than elsewhere on the site. I don't think that recaps really fit with what MetaFilter does. I don't think that posts about old shows, either in general or about old episodes, would work because when and why and, anyway, after a month they'd close (or if they didn't, then you're talking about long-open threads with all the moderation problems that would cause, as well as it being different from the whole rest of the site).

Episodes of shows that have recently aired, somewhere in the world, are natural things to have a thread open about; threads which will close in a month. You scroll down to find what you want, or you search for the tags. It absolutely shouldn't have sub-forums and all that crap. It's the way that MeFi works, or it doesn't belong here. That means that it's simple and focused.

I think that other media might work within the same paradigm — that is, a recently published book, or recently released movie, or recently released album. Free-form posts just because? No. But I still think that this would be too broad and end up diluting interest. Just limited to posts on recently aired television episodes would likely end up being ten posts a day, at least. Adding other media to that, it would be too much, and fewer people would find the things they were interested in, there'd be less participation, and you'd see most threads having only a few comments.

This is absolutely worth considering, and I strongly believe that it could work and be very popular. But I also strongly believe that it wouldn't work or be popular unless it is limited and focused. People will want all sorts of things, and that would be the death of it. Limited and focused.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:53 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kabanos: For MetaTube, I'd suggest either SMPTE color bars, or black & white noise.

The sky above the port was the color of MetaFilter, tuned to a dead channel.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:16 AM on March 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


I would only support this if the act of revealing spoilers is punishable by disembowelment and then decapitation.
posted by desjardins at 8:17 AM on March 28, 2014


Is it too soon to talk about the sled in Citizen Kane?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:19 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Ooh, ooh, ooh! I would join you in re-watching that series! Let's talk about the technology featured in the shows! And how no one thinks that Jess is a harbinger of death. "Why Miss Fletcher, thanks for visiting our little town! Oh no, there's been a mysterious death/murder. Miss Fletcher, could you help us figure this out?""

Yes! And on the technology tip, for a long time I had a small running list of all the websites featured on Law and Order. My favorite was a Drudge knock-off called, "UpYourButt.Net."
posted by klangklangston at 8:21 AM on March 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


"I would only support this if the act of revealing spoilers is punishable by disembowelment and then decapitation."

That's another reason why an episode-only format would work best. You've either seen the episode or you haven't; there's no need to avoid spoilers because people who don't want to be spoiled shouldn't be reading the episode thread. A general television show thread would inevitably spoil some people.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:22 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Good Wife does a superb job of integrating technology issues. ChumHum! Scabbit!
posted by lalex at 8:26 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Good Wife does a superb job of integrating technology issues.

Yeah, it really does.

Bitcoin episode? What Bitcoin episode? I don't remember any Bitcoin episode.

Anyway, I volunteer to be MeFiTV's Grown-Ass Man Talking About Cartoon Shows.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:31 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think the colour should be puce.
posted by h00py at 8:35 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I too would be a grownup covering cartoon shows, your second ass man, if you will.
posted by Think_Long at 8:35 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: My favorite was a Drudge knock-off called, "UpYourButt.Net."

I glanced at that line and thought it was a drug-related website called "UpYourButt.Net," and assumed it was focused on the smuggling of drugs.

lalex: The Good Wife does a superb job of integrating technology issues. ChumHum! Scabbit!

But in Murder She Wrote, there are some surprisingly forward-thinking pieces of technology that are featured, including a driverless car. This was in 1984, and while autonomous cars have been demonstrated in one form or another since the 1920s (!), the fact this car was featured in the show surprised me.

Anyway, has anyone noticed that the mods have stayed out of this discussion? I think they're giving us a chance to wear ourselves out, like a kid who just ate a ton of sugar, and the parents wisely step back and let the little tyke run in circles while describing every thought they have in detail. Then the kid passes out, and the parents put the kid to bed.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 AM on March 28, 2014 [21 favorites]


Sokka shot first: I volunteer to be MeFiTV's Grown-Ass Man Talking About Cartoon Shows.

I have taken to watching TV shows on a tablet on the train ride to work, which might get me some odd looks. I'll join these discussions of animation.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:37 AM on March 28, 2014


Anyway, has anyone noticed that the mods have stayed out of this discussion?

I'm choosing to assume that they're busily working on a prototype for this 100% necessary subsite.
posted by lalex at 8:39 AM on March 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


filthy light thief: Anyway, has anyone noticed that the mods have stayed out of this discussion?

At the beginning, #1 himself said "It's an interesting idea that we've thought about." Which is practically a green light compared to the usual official comment on proposed subsites. I suspect the others are waiting to hear more from the boss.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:40 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Why? What's wrong with a thread that's just a mish-mosh of stuff from the whole run? I feel like this could be a "this is free-form, go nuts" kind of thing. So if someone wanted to talk about the entire run of The Brady Bunch, they could start a thread for that. And if someone wanted to talk specifically about the Davy Jones episode of The Brady Bunch, they could start a thread for that.

You could do it that way, I guess. I guess I was just thinking that I think the type of writing/conversation that people so loved about TWoP is what we used to call "close reading" back in my English major days --- it's all about talking about a particular episode in context with the rest of the season, highlighting particular themes and motifs, closely analysing particular scenes for the character motives, actor's choices, wardrobe, all that stuff. You need to have a fresh memory of the very particular details of that episode/season for that kind of critical conversation to happen at all --- if people just want to riff in general about how great something was, you can already do that pretty easily on metafilter as it exists now, just put up a bunch of episode links or interviews with the cast/crew and that's the kind of convo that will be generated. The "communal experience" aspect of this kind of discussion is I think what has people so excited, and that needs particularity to work. I think that's why people came into this thread and immediately rushed to claim a show --- that's the kind of conversation they were interested in having.

On the other hand, though, it would be tough to manage, and you could have a sort of general TV subsite that was free-form. It just wouldn't be very TWoP like.
posted by Diablevert at 8:41 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


crossoverman: "I was never interested in the recaps on TWOP - never understood reading 20 pages of detailed blather and snark that took longer to read than watch the episode."

Diablevert: " I guess I was just thinking that I think the type of writing/conversation that people so loved about TWoP is what we used to call "close reading" back in my English major days --- it's all about talking about a particular episode in context with the rest of the season, highlighting particular themes and motifs, closely analysing particular scenes for the character motives, actor's choices, wardrobe, all that stuff. You need to have a fresh memory of the very particular details of that episode/season for that kind of critical conversation to happen at all "

This is what I came in to say.

TWOP recaps they drew conclusions, paid attention to continuity, cross referenced previous episodes and spotted links between things that were not immediately obvious to a casual viewer -- perhaps caught up in the moment of a particular scene. They were very good at seeing the forest for the trees. I stopped reading the recaps at some point because the snark was just Too Fucking Annoying, especially if you had a recapper who hated their work. But for a devoted fan of a show, the attention to detail could bring new levels of understanding.

Recappers on other sites aren't always capable of making those connections.
posted by zarq at 9:02 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Omg someone please do BANSHEE.

Oh, that show...it is a lot like watching 80s action movies. Very corny and transparent with over-the-top evil villains and you're never really sure if it's being done in earnest or tongue-in-cheek.
posted by Hoopo at 9:05 AM on March 28, 2014


I would love this just because it would give me yet another forum to obsessively discuss Survivor strategy with smart people.

I nth the idea that you'd need a thread for each episode-- to manage spoilers, and to encourage concrete discussion about specific elements. I worry a bit that a general show thread would just dissolve into lots of "Oooh, I love this show too!" posts.

I don't think recaps are a requirement. I would just have a policy of, "If you want to write up a recap, you are totally allowed to self-link it in the thread." Then let the community decide, on a show-by-show basis, how to handle it. I suspect that with some shows, you'd have people volunteering to do recaps on a collaborative or rotating basis. With other shows, there'd be already extant recaps people could link to. And with other shows still, recaps might seem extraneous to the particular kind of discussion.

Finally, while I'm asking for ponies on a site that doesn't even exist yet -- I think this would be one sub-site where some sort of thread subscription ability would be very helpful.
posted by yankeefog at 9:09 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Knowing nothing about the back end of Metafilter, I wonder how difficult it would be to group multiple recaps of a single episode together - like, when Doctor Who s08e01 airs, when the first person creates a recap or live chat thread or whatever about it, what you see on the front page is a single entry for Doctor Who s08e01 and all posts about it are under that once you click through, with their own comment threads. There are going to be a lot of shows where multiple people will want to start threads for a single episode, and imo having multiple reviews from different perspectives is one of the best things about the idea of a Metafilter tv/media subsite and should be encouraged, but it would get kind of ridiculous if the front page was flooded with multiple threads per episode.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:10 AM on March 28, 2014


I worry that anything too structured will create problems. What if users aren't happy with the "official" recapping someone is doing? Or if the recapper feels like he needs to respond to anyone who might disagree with the recap? I can also see the creation of -- or at least the appearance of -- a special tier of users who are officially sanctioned to write and add content to the site.

That's not to say I wouldn't love to replicate some of what TWOP brought to the table, but I'm not sure MeFi is right for some of the top-down dynamics that having an official re-capper for each show would bring.

On preview, I agree with yankeefog:

I would just have a policy of, "If you want to write up a recap, you are totally allowed to self-link it in the thread." Then let the community decide, on a show-by-show basis, how to handle it. I suspect that with some shows, you'd have people volunteering to do recaps on a collaborative or rotating basis. With other shows, there'd be already extant recaps people could link to. And with other shows still, recaps might seem extraneous to the particular kind of discussion.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:14 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


jason_steakums: I wonder how difficult it would be to group multiple recaps of a single episode together

I'm envisioning something like the way IRL handles photos. See the right hand side of this recent meetup, for example. You'd want them to be more prominent than they are in meetup threads (replace the map with icons showing the profile pic of the users that have posted recaps?), but adding a collection of data from different sources, even if hosted elsewhere, appears to be very possible for MeFi.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:16 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Would it be possible to expand (or reserve) the chat for live discussion of episodes as they air?
posted by Karmakaze at 9:19 AM on March 28, 2014


"I'm envisioning something like the way IRL handles photos. See the right hand side of this recent meetup, for example."

Yep, that would be the best way to do it. People could do recaps if they want, and they'd be easily available in links right there, but they'd not be hosted here and they'd not be a requirement.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:20 AM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I love where Ivan F and Rock Steady are heading with this. Folks don't have to commit to recapping the whole season or battle for the recapper position. Smart.
posted by mochapickle at 9:33 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


From the little I know about how MeFi works, I think the way IRL does its thing can be retrofitted to a TV schedule rather than a meetup schedule, with TV shows rather than cities, recaps instead of photos, etc.
posted by griphus at 9:35 AM on March 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


I don't see any reason why there needs to be any officially-sanctioned recapper for a given show.

The barest-bones solution, it seems to me, would be a system wherein a post along the lines of "This is the post for Episode 4, Season 3" would could go up shortly after the episode airs, whereupon people could recap or comment or do whatever they liked.

That said, a slightly more elaborate system where users could add sidebar'd links to recaps they host on their own blogs, with the post comments reserved for something more like standard MeFi-style discussion, would be pretty cool.
posted by Sokka shot first at 10:28 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Folks don't have to commit to recapping the whole season or battle for the recapper position.

But... en forme de poire and I can still have a lip-sync battle, right?

posted by scody at 10:30 AM on March 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


I endorse this product or idea.
posted by inturnaround at 10:34 AM on March 28, 2014


I never really checked out TWoP, and aside from a couple things (Heaven and Here for the Wire, and recently everywhere for True Detective) I haven't been a huge recap person. Not that I'm not interested in talking about holy shit did you see that, but, well, I get that TWoP was a pretty sizeable chunk of time wasted on the internet in recent years. A lot of people are going to miss what it was, and are going to be searching for whatever will fill that void. I just wonder, why does it have to be here? Why does Metafilter have to jump up to fill in that blank space?

Granted, I'm someone who, through geography/choice is a bit isolated from what's current (I either have to torrent, putting me days behind, or wait for it to actually come out here, which equals years behind), but damn, I feel like I'm going to miss you all a lot. Seeing, in this thread, some of my favorite Mefites jumping up to claim a series, to say, here's the thing I'm going to write about, I'm just thinking, hey, that's another person I'm going to be seeing less on the blue, since they'll be spending more of their time on that site that, again, through geography/choice, I'm going to need to avoid. Hell, I'm planning a media blackout for shit like WrestleMania, let alone this season of Justified.

Like I said, my main question is, yes, there's a sudden hole in the internet. Something that was loved is going away. Why is it that Metafilter is the place that should leap up to fill this hole?
posted by Ghidorah at 10:35 AM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


scody: But... en forme de poire and I can still have a lip-sync battle, right?

Videos! We I demand videos! Because how else will you know who won the battle? There's no Ru here, darlings, so we shall all be your Ru.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 AM on March 28, 2014


I'm pretty much into every crime show that aired more than 20 years ago

Banacek!

I think this would be cool, and could be a very quickly beloved part of the site, but I imagine it would be a moderation headache. Not because of anything endemic to MediaFilter specifically, but a broad-based subsite, with many threads on many topics, and fast moving conversations springing to life basically instantly sounds like a recipe for headaches.

But, yeah: I would be delighted to have there be an open MetaFilter(ish) thread for me to talk about the West Wing on, because apparently I am going to average an episode a day for the rest of my life.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:45 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did you see where I edited my typos but not the fact that I say headache twice?
posted by dirtdirt at 10:47 AM on March 28, 2014


Another voice to say PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE because seriously I would be ALL OVER THIS.

I love Hannibal but am enough of a scardeycat that I keep up with it via recaps and love the fandom to BITS. Tiny tiny delicious bits.

I would LOVE to have somewhere to swoon over Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, please.
posted by bibliogrrl at 10:50 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Can we get a brief list of the proposed subsites on the table that are actually being considered? I know people have long clamored for a recipe/health subsite. I like the MefiTV subsite idea, but I'm not sure why it should get implemented before the others that have long been proposed and would fit just as well and perhaps be much more helpful.

sounds like a recipe for headaches.

See, another vote for a recipe subsite right here.

Joking aside, this would be a huge undertaking moderation wise.
posted by cashman at 10:50 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


If there is a "klangklangston and filthy life thief re-watch Murder She Wrote party", I am inviting myself to that party with absolutely no concern for the rudeness of inserting yourself into a party uninvited.

(I realized recently that the life of J.B. Fletcher is pretty much exactly what I'm hoping for my retirement years -- with little-to-no effort from me, suddenly I become a famed author who travels all over the place, involving myself in solving murders and having dashing old men totally fall over themselves for me. And I never fucking drive. Anywhere.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:53 AM on March 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


I am definitely in.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:53 AM on March 28, 2014


Ghidorah: Like I said, my main question is, yes, there's a sudden hole in the internet. Something that was loved is going away. Why is it that Metafilter is the place that should leap up to fill this hole?

I guess my answer would be that MetaFilter is amazing at the things it does, and I so would like it to do other things that I am interested in. That doesn't mean it's going to succeed, for a number of reasons (if it ever happens -- we only have the slightest hint from mathowie that it is even being considered), but there are a lot of us who would like to give it a try.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:55 AM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Something that was loved is going away. Why is it that Metafilter is the place that should leap up to fill this hole?

For the record: I don't care about TWoP. Not a user of that site. I think this is something that could be done well, and be satisfying, but the "something" I'm thinking of is patently NOT "rebuild a service that is being discontinued elsewhere" - it is "expand MetaFilter to include a subsite that deals directly with ongoing and historical television and other media"
posted by dirtdirt at 11:00 AM on March 28, 2014 [11 favorites]


I call dibs on Peppa Pig AND Sofia the First!
posted by ramix at 11:03 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would be VERY into this.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:31 AM on March 28, 2014


"But in Murder She Wrote, there are some surprisingly forward-thinking pieces of technology that are featured, including a driverless car. This was in 1984, and while autonomous cars have been demonstrated in one form or another since the 1920s (!), the fact this car was featured in the show surprised me. "

Right, and that one's not even a J. Michael Straczynski episode! They also had a hilarious one about the holodeck VR room that kills!

Banacek!

Easily the second or third best of the NBC mystery mini-movies series (nothing beats Columbo there, but McCloud was fun too. I never got the appeal of McMillan and Wife). And it had George Peppard before he re-enlisted in the military and was convicted of a crime he didn't commit!
posted by klangklangston at 11:46 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am interested in this! I would totally get sucked in to recaps and analysis with mefites!
posted by rmd1023 at 11:54 AM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


McCloud!
posted by Chrysostom at 12:00 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Something that was loved is going away. Why is it that Metafilter is the place that should leap up to fill this hole?

Because a place to discuss things I enjoy with people I enjoy conversing with is much better than not having a place so full of awesome people.
posted by Night_owl at 12:10 PM on March 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I think this would be cool, and could be a very quickly beloved part of the site, but I imagine it would be a moderation headache.

For what it's worth, we are already doing a great deal of chatting about TV shows. I know there was always at least one Doctor Who thread active through the whole of this last season, and I think that was the case for Mad Men and Breaking Bad as well, probably along with other shows I don't follow as closely.

There may be more problems when/if it becomes it's own subsite and gains visibility that it doesn't have at the bottom of a much longer thread, but it's not as if it would be the first time discussion about TV is allowed on MeFi.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:15 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think recaps should work like obits. As soon as an episode is done, multiple people will do a mad scramble to compose recaps. The first ones posted will be really short and lame, and mods will delete them until a properly fleshed out one is posted. People who compose overly detailed recaps will just always be too late and will have to add their 2 cents in the thread. Some people will be shocked to learn that the episode occurred ("Was there any warning?"); others will be surprised that the show is still on the air ("I thought they killed this years ago!"). In lieu of a period, people would type |<< indicating that the episode was rewind-and-watch-again-worthy.
posted by Kabanos at 12:19 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I absolutely love this idea, and I have been wanting it for many years now. I do have some concerns about how it could be implemented. Some of these concerns have already been addressed, like whether there should be actual recaps or not. But there is one really important thing to consider: how the site would interact with live viewings.

Some people have suggested Chat as an appropriate arena for this sort of TV-discussing thing. But that only works for live showings, and it really only works for viewings withn a single time zone for live viewings. So, if you want to have some sort of live-chat during the airing of the recent episode of something, then you have everyone on the East Coast responding and talking (and spoiling!) things three hours before the show is available for those on teh West Coast. (And I am referring to US time zones purposefully. Most, though hopefully not all, shows would be American ones -- so the issue would be only more pronounced for non-US readers.)

So, anything set up to promote live-chatting shows as they aired is immediately flawed, just due to the nature of time zones. It would be downright useless for someone like me, who doesn't watch broadcast TV and has to wait at least a day for things to become available on Hulu / other sites.

Then, there's the nature of live-chats for TV shows anyway.. There is a huge difference between a conversation about a show as it airs and a conversation about a show after it has aired.

A live-chat conversation is like this: "OMG DID YOU SEE THAT???" "Woah!!! I wasn't expecting that!" "OMGomgomg this is amazing!!!" Etc. The conversation progresses with the assumption that its participants are aware of what is airing at the time that each comment posts. It's super fun for the participants at the time of airing, but afterwards it's pretty meaningless and hard to follow.

So, this is something important to keep in mind. What the site is like will be determined significantly by small things like when threads become available. If a thread opens up at the time that the show first airs in a certain time zone, or if it opens up a day after the show airs, or a week after, etc., will have a huge effect on what the conversations will be like and what people can get out of it.

Personally, I would vote for threads only becomming available after it has aired. The next day would be a good plan. This would follow the model like you get in the AV Club. Let those who are interested in live-chatting use a chatroom; let a subsite like this be devoted to conversations that are worthy being preserved (in the sense that someone can enjoy reading through them even if not currently watching the show in real-time) and can be enjoyed days / weeks / months after the episode originally airs.

Them's my two cents.
posted by meese at 12:25 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


How would we handle Netflix series releases? Those are tougher because they do not lend themselves to the same communal watching experience.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:26 PM on March 28, 2014


For what it's worth, we are already doing a great deal of chatting about TV shows. I know there was always at least one Doctor Who thread active through the whole of this last season, and I think that was the case for Mad Men and Breaking Bad as well, probably along with other shows I don't follow as closely.

What's the spoiler policy going to be on the proposed sub-site and how will it be enforced?

Sure, there's no answer now, but considering that spoilers are not moderated in any way on the regular site, going to a sub-site where they may be will present challenges. That doesn't mean it's impossible, but these are the sort of things that should be considered.

If the user base is serious about this, y'all should pitch to the Matt so that it's easy as possible fro the current moderation staff to deal with, in addition to their other duties.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:28 PM on March 28, 2014


(Team Lagertha forever!)

I once slow-danced with Katheryn Winnick to the Chili Peppers' Under the Bridge. True story.
posted by Kabanos at 12:29 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


meese: "It's super fun for the participants at the time of airing, but afterwards it's pretty meanngless and hard to follow."

I'd disagree to the extend that those types of conversations can be useful to memorialize certain ambiguities in interpretation that might get lost in hindsight. If I can't catch something on first airing, I think it's super fun to see how others reacted at the time and compare it to my own experience.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:33 PM on March 28, 2014


I've had a bunch of people MeMail me about this, and I'd be interested in helping get something started, but for now I'd be cool just to call Community recapping duty.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:34 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


A lot of people are going to miss what it was, and are going to be searching for whatever will fill that void. I just wonder, why does it have to be here? Why does Metafilter have to jump up to fill in that blank space?

I don't think it has to be, but I think many people see it as a natural fit because TWOP was a place where you could get reasonably intelligent discussion of TV episodes, unlike most of the internet. MeFi is also one of the rare places on the internet with reasonably intelligent discussion, so it seems like a natural fit. TWOP (although I hadn't been there much in recent years) and MeFi are two of the sites on my very short list of exceptions to the general "don't read comments on the internet" rule.

And if Matt says no, we're not going to do this, that's fine, and maybe someone will start a MeFi-clone site where that will happen (many, but not all topic-specific MeFi-clone sites have failed; SportsFilter is one that is still around with a low but constant level of activity), or maybe some completely unrelated TV site with good discussion will pop up, and that would be fine too. But it might be a little easier at MetaFilter which already has a built-in userbase which is interested in that and a certain ethos around the level of discussion that goes on.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:49 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh man I forgot the funniest thing about this story:

The line that the recapper was complaining about being inappropriate to the plot he foresaw ended up being the advertising tagline to either S02 or S03.
posted by griphus at 12:56 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


+1, would auction a kidney to ready en forme/scody recaps of RPDR. I can volunteer hosting space.

Can one of you beautiful people make a post about The Good Wife so there's a good place to talk about the writers' weirdly consistent use of the term "phone" -- "Did you phone him?" "Of course I phoned him!" -- especially as coupled with its recent sudden disappearance/replacement with "call"?

And if there's ever a need for a class- and gender-based posthumous critique of early-aughts basketball-themed WB teen drama One Tree Hill... I might know someone who's seen every episode multiple times and has come to the conclusion that they unwittingly comprise a surrealist masterpiece.
posted by divined by radio at 12:59 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


dirtdirt: I think this would be cool, and could be a very quickly beloved part of the site, but I imagine it would be a moderation headache. Not because of anything endemic to MediaFilter specifically, but a broad-based subsite, with many threads on many topics, and fast moving conversations springing to life basically instantly sounds like a recipe for headaches.

Rock Steady: For what it's worth, we are already doing a great deal of chatting about TV shows.

I imagine that if a MediaFilter sub-site was created, there would be a lot more active discussions, especially if they lasted more than 30 days. Current threads on TV are few and far between. For example, there are two (and a half*) posts on TV shows (half if you sort of count the end of TWoP post as being about TV) on the front page currently, while there are a ton of new shows every week, multiplied greatly if you include old shows and programs from outside the US (Canada, UK and Australia would at least double the content, if not the comments).

Would TV threads be fighty and contentious? Question for the mods: how much time is required to moderate the current TV posts?
posted by filthy light thief at 1:02 PM on March 28, 2014


Sure, there's no answer now, but considering that spoilers are not moderated in any way on the regular site

I believe the mods have, on occasion, either deleted or edited (with poster approval) posts that have had spoilers "above the fold." It doesn't happen often because people are pretty good about that to begin with.

That seems reasonable for this sort of subsite as well: no spoilers on the front page, but if the FPP says it's the thread for S5E07 of Star Trek: Friendship is Magic, people should naturally expect that the thread itself will contain spoilers for that episode and avoid it if they want to remain unspoiled.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:05 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


For older shows/movies/whatever, that might be really fun as a sort of book club-ish thing, where there's a calendar of upcoming stuff giving people time to watch and write up a crit or recap before the thread goes live on the reserved day.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:06 PM on March 28, 2014


How would we handle Netflix series releases? Those are tougher because they do not lend themselves to the same communal watching experience.

I think communal watching is tricky, as US programs air across the country at the same time, but in different time zones, plus people DVR or othewise obtain programs for time-shifted viewing. Then there are UK series that are later broadcast in the US and vis-versa.

In summary: I would dissuade live-blogging about an episode, and instead utilize MetaFilter Chat, which wouldn't necessarily face the same issue with spoiling episodes for people in different timezones, while enabling real-time discussions of episodes.

For older shows/movies/whatever, that might be really fun as a sort of book club-ish thing, where there's a calendar of upcoming stuff giving people time to watch and write up a crit or recap before the thread goes live on the reserved day.

Or there could be a "team" who review an episode a week or something, so folks could watch ahead or view while reading through the post/thread.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:08 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


As an American who watches a number of shows that never air in the USA, I would love to have a larger audience for discussion.


So, anyone else super excited about the return of In The Flesh or wants to have a knock down drag out fight about what was the best version of Itazura na Kiss?*

* The answer is either the manga or the Taiwanese version, anyone who says the Korean version will be hog-tied and left in the sun.
posted by Julnyes at 1:08 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yesyesyesyesyes, yes. Please.

I would be all over this. And would jump at the chance to recap Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Green Wing (we said old shows were okay, right?), Archer, Rick and Morty, etc. etc. Heck, I wouldn't even have to recap them! Just participating in the discussion would be enough!
posted by cooker girl at 1:09 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Julnyes: anyone else super excited about the return of In The Flesh

YES! I forgot about that! Thanks for the reminder! I'll be looking for a FPP on the series once it returns, or I'll make one myself, once there's something new to discuss. I wonder what the air dates for the 2nd+ episodes will be, and if it'll only be another 3 episodes.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Let me just say that while I will probably never have the time to do TV show recaps on MetaFilter, I really want this sub-site. It's hard to find quality places to discuss ongoing shows, and when you're a busy parent, to even be reminded of their existence.

I very much support the TV-only version of this, with the expectation that the current episode and any back catalog is completely fair game for spoilers as long as they're not before the [more inside].
posted by graymouser at 1:20 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


cashman: Can we get a brief list of the proposed subsites on the table that are actually being considered?

I don't think any subsites are really being considered by the mods, but here is the subsite tag, which has 5 past posts listed, including a request for city-specific subsites, a gardening subsite, and politicsfilter. I found this cooking/recipe subsite request from '08, but that shifted into a MetaFilter Cookbook idea pretty fast, and diet.metafilter.com didn't happen, either. Travel filter died before it was really born, and has been sort of re-born with Travel Locations from AskMe. I'm sure there have been more suggested, but that's a decent overview. And now I have added a rough version of a MeFi Wiki page on subsites, existing, temporary, and proposed.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:42 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


And if Matt says no, we're not going to do this, that's fine, and maybe someone will start a MeFi-clone site where that will happen

From the thread on the blue, I thought that this was basically the idea to begin with, but I've been busy this week (and next week will be crazier still) so I might have missed some stuff.

Of the people who emailed me with interest in this idea, from what I can tell, all were basically content-side like me. I don't think I've been contacted by anyone with developer skills yet, but it's good to know that a varied group is champing to get content flowing, which is what I think could make this work (and something that has allowed Sportsfilter to continue where other topic-sites have fizzled.)
posted by Navelgazer at 1:44 PM on March 28, 2014

I think recaps should work like obits. As soon as an episode a series is done, multiple people will do a mad scramble to compose recaps. The first ones posted will be really short and lame, and mods will delete them until a properly fleshed out one is posted. People who compose overly detailed recaps will just always be too late and will have to add their 2 cents in the thread.
FTFY

Yes, yes, I know I don't have to read the new MetaFlitter, but its just not ... not.

I see TWOP and other things not mentioned here as something that is different experienced when it happend, and once you have observed it, it changes things, especially in the recreation. Trying to recreate, etc. Social media has changed the late 90s/early 00s time and headspace of BBs (how soon we forget those three letters meant a place you dialled into directly, not just linked to on Teh Interwebs!)

If this or something remarkably like it is done here here (not a meta meta site), then find a way to make it MeFi's Own, not just a copy of a copy of something we kind of remember hanging out in at once.

Given the different ways this could be handled, one could possibly simply* put up http://U62.MetaFilter.com sub domain, throw on a stripped down wiki site, and SSO it to MetaFilter credentials.

*yes, I know one does not simply throw up a subdomain and code, but there are some relatively easy wiki packages that could allow people to amend and link and build their own reading / curation lists. Making it SSO with MF Cred and mobile friendly? Maybe not. But I don't from my user-eye-view see the current code base and site structure working for this ecosystem (echosystem?).
posted by tilde at 2:08 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

If this or something remarkably like it is done here here (not a meta meta site), then find a way to make it MeFi's Own, not just a copy of a copy of something we kind of remember hanging out in at once.
This.

My suggestion is, whatever is chosen, to start small, focusing on 1-3 shows or reading lists or what have you, and let it grow organically. Sure, have a fuzzy idea of what happens if it becomes big, but start small so it's manageable and things can be worked out.

It's also worth noting that there are a lot of websites that recap or have show discussion forums now. Don't duplicate something someone else is doing well already.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:36 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I love meta pieces about my shows and I would love free-wheeling, intelligent pop culture discussion too.

I'm not really interested in recaps, and I definitely have no interest in live chat posts where everyone is watching the show at once (partly because I am not a Twitter person and partly because I think they're horribly exclusive of people in different time zones and countries. And completely irrelevant for older series that could be revisited.)

I would also value a place to discuss professional critics' articles. I read everything Mo Ryan writes about TV but don't really have anyone to discuss them with and the comment sections on HuffPo are a cesspool.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:37 PM on March 28, 2014


I am begging you, please create this.
posted by palegirl at 2:45 PM on March 28, 2014


I read everything Mo Ryan writes about TV but don't really have anyone to discuss them...

Yeah I'd like to be able to bring up Emily Nussbaum's articles to something other than looks of vague recognition of the name.
posted by griphus at 2:51 PM on March 28, 2014


I'm seriously... bleh about this idea, and I'm trying to think of why. I mean, I like talking culture, and I've enjoyed talking culture on Metafilter specifically, but this just seems like a bad idea.

What I think is really getting me is that aside from a few edge cases the topic of conversation for the other sub-sites is accessible to everyone on the website. We can click on the link and RTFA or view the video of a kitten playing checkers with a beagle puppy and then rage flipping the board as the beagle's about to win. We can read the question that's asked. Without limiting the site to shows that have episodes or critiques freely available on the web, there's no way to do that. And since anything that does have episodes or critiques already available on the web could just be posted on the Blue, if you're going to place that limitation, why bother creating a new site?

The idea that you'd need (in most cases) need to have access to materials outside the web, and very likely have to spend money, in order to participate in a conversation seems like a HUGE cultural shift for the site.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I don't think this would be a good fit in the least. Although, I might very well go to a spin-off site.
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:54 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey, just wanted to pop in and say I'm enjoying reading all the responses and takes on this. It's an idea we've been kicking around for a couple years, the hardest part of it is defining what it is and what it does and what it won't do, and how that fits into everything else on MeFi.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:01 PM on March 28, 2014 [24 favorites]


I want a safe mefi place to discuss Adventure Time and Enlisted.
posted by drezdn at 3:03 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's an idea we've been kicking around for a couple years, the hardest part of it is defining what it is and what it does and what it won't do, and how that fits into everything else on MeFi.

This is kind of why I like it starting unofficially affiliated but off-site. Matt & Co. can give suggestions in its incipient stages, and if it actually works and they want to assume it later on, I doubt there would be much objection at all.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:04 PM on March 28, 2014


My only real request that the background of any potential subsite of the sort be the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel.
posted by griphus at 3:05 PM on March 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


if it actually works and they want to assume it later on, I doubt there would be much objection at all.

Well, I think that's a clunky approach and not what I hope to do. In the past we've told people to go start a site about x because it was something we weren't equipped/interested in doing (politics/news/sports/etc) here, but I think this is something we can start small and grow with onsite instead of offsite.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:07 PM on March 28, 2014 [28 favorites]


Well cool then! I sort of assumed the self-link-list --> Projects model was the way it worked, but right on.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:08 PM on March 28, 2014


What, if anything, can we as interested users do to help you define it, Matt?
posted by Rock Steady at 3:16 PM on March 28, 2014


Just continue talking about features you want to see, etc. I didn't mean to derail things, I'll step away for the weekend and pick it up on Monday to see if any other ideas come up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:53 PM on March 28, 2014


Sweet! Put me down for Orphan Black.
posted by cashman at 3:54 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


On features, my main issue is speculation. Most people don't have spoilers. Even when there is a book or source content a show is working from, the actual show often strays from that material. The problem to me is rampant speculation in threads. I cut out a lot of looking at tv forums online because the endless speculation essentially turns into a spoiler. When people speculate out every possible ending or twist, eventually you're going to read what actually happens. And it dulls enthusiasm for the show because the effect of the actual episode is dulled.

I'm not sure how you keep it so that folks can discuss the episodes without that, and still give those people who like to put every possible theory out there and read all the spoilers and discuss them, somewhere to do that at.
posted by cashman at 4:04 PM on March 28, 2014


You've either seen the episode or you haven't; there's no need to avoid spoilers because people who don't want to be spoiled shouldn't be reading the episode thread.

That may work for something currently airing (even if you only get to watching it later yourself) but it does not work automatically for older series. For example, I was vastly enjoying re-watching Gilmore Girls along with the AV Club, and I will say that the comments were difficult for people new to the series (including the reviewer) because a lot of us like to talk about an episode in the context of the series. It's hard to have Jess show up and not talk about [spoilers:] Jess vs. Logan, the horrible stretch of being back with Dean for no apparent reason, and the difference between a wooing Jess and boyfriend jerk Jess.

If something has been available to watch for awhile (in any market), it'll need a different spoilers approach. We could go like the AV Club with their newbies Game of Thrones and experts Game of Thrones, having two threads for whether each episode is brand-new to you or you've seen them all.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:14 PM on March 28, 2014


Would original content be treated like the Blue (i.e. only in comments) or like in Projects or Music (i.e. as the focus of a post)?

I'd be up to cover Person of Interest, and I think I know someone else who would be as well.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:32 PM on March 28, 2014


Sorry, I promise to reveal the end of every Murder She Wrote, probably right in the subhead so I don't forget. It'll free me up to talk about why Lenny Briscoe had to change his name to Harry McGraw for a brief period when he was suspended from the force due to his drinking.
posted by klangklangston at 4:40 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I want this SO MUCH.
posted by lunasol at 4:42 PM on March 28, 2014


I think recaps are not really necessary, because there are a lot of places in the internet to get good recaps of TV shows, but there's a real lack of a place for intelligent conversation.

I would also vote yes for books and movies too, mainly because I've really been wanting a place to talk about both with no spoiler constraints.

My TV show wishlist:

Pretty Little Liars
Scandal
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Parks and Rec
posted by lunasol at 4:45 PM on March 28, 2014


Like I don't have enough hobbies, but recapping the Briscoe and Logan episodes of L&O would be a delight.
posted by griphus at 4:47 PM on March 28, 2014


My only real request that the background of any potential subsite of the sort be the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel.

But that's already Metafilter.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:51 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I could see the moderation aspect being tricky, because it's pretty easy for things to get heated when you mix some people with blunt criticism of a thing and some people with a deep love for that thing in the same thread, and that's just in everyday good faith discussions. Hopefully increasing the frequency of threads where there's a fair chance of that kind of thing doesn't add too much to the mods' plates, but I don't know how often they're called in to take a look at conversations that are in that middle ground where they're kind of simmering but not boiling over yet.

And then there's the good old "your favorite ____ sucks" stuff or the people on every recap site who check in religiously each week to say how much they hate the show - hoping that kind of stuff doesn't cause more headache than it's worth. I'm still 100% in the "let's do this!" camp, but those are pretty common problems with an entertainment discussion site, and worth thinking about.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:54 PM on March 28, 2014


But that's already Metafilter.

(Adjusting glasses onto bridge of nose) Actually...
posted by griphus at 4:55 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, yes, Scandal, because I need a safe place to discuss why I can't stop this weekly exercise of aerobic eyerolling. It's like some outrageous alternate vision of federal government dreamt up by either Tea Party wingnuts or mega-fierce contestants of RuPaul's Drag Show. Possibly both. You guys: Even the terrorists wear Prada.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:55 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh you know what else would be great? Pre-season primer threads to help people jump into long-running series before a season premiere.

Also, if we were to go with general entertainment instead of just tv: comics, too.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:04 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


*cracks knuckles*

Well, matthowie when you put it that way ...

Here is how I would design it using what I've seen of metacode and wikiness. Maybe make a metawikifork.

Mock or discard or incorporate as you will. Seat of my pants while the tweens argue with me about homework.

Baseline, SSO for contributions of all stripes.

First of all, define the kind of main content that is intended to have. Going based on what I see here suggested, it's recaps and comment threads at the most basic.

Organizationally, I'd have a way to structure and tag within limits. So a tag group for the show name (prepopped or modded for simiarlity), a way to structure seasons, and have little meta datas like air date, episode number, and so forth.

A set of character tags so people could view shows by character (cross show appearances) and or actor and or writer or director.

A set of tags for active vs inactive series. A set of tags for things branching into webisodes or across networks. Movies, etc, video games, comics - even if not recapped at least linked.

A way to tie US vs non US episodes, or reboots.

If it's too much to allow contributors to pop everything out, have a couple of organizational threads/pages for suggestions of what's doing. Each series could have a series blurb, then roll into recaps and discussion threads.

As for "who should recap" - I don't see why people can't claim stuff that's been claimed here for old stuff; for new stuff I'd put some kind of guidelines on it; people can pop in on the first come first serve basis like with obits, but maybe have a vote off of "good ones"? not sure how that could work. Maybe have the most populars rotate as the recap for that episode, get a diff one when you refresh (but link the top three if we get that many?). Heck, have a reject pile similar to deleted mefi posts ;)

Anyway, guidelines for posting - not posting but being revealed. So 12 hours past first run airing for first episode, and so forth. In the case of Season Blasts, 12 hours past first availability, with an hour for each subsequent episode.

One of the keys to this being different, IMNSHO, would be spoilers. Basic rules about spoilers above the fold, and allow comments to be marked as standard spoilery and too spoilery by users.

So, people could tune their account to be able to hide standard and super spoilery comments.

Aside from that, recaps would be OPT IN.

So it woudn't matter much if I were three seasons behind on Dr Who; I could opt in only the seasons I've seen or am watching.

More later, time to watch COSMOS-TYSON.
posted by tilde at 5:25 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


As long as deep discussion of WKRP in Cinncinnati is welcome, I'm in.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on March 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


So lets say the subsite is introduced. Colbert airs and "the tweet" is made. Would this thread be a double? Should discussion go in the episode thread instead of becoming a post?

If there was a notable or groundbreaking episode of a show, how would we handle links and articles that were related? Put them in the episode thread? Or would an FPP be allowable?
posted by cashman at 6:08 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah while I do want to be rocketed to wealth and prestige through my all-consuming devotion to The Americans, I would also be cool with a subsite where people can choose to make a post each week for episodes of shows they want to discuss and then we all talk about it, and if we wanted to we could link to or own recaps in the comments if we do them on our blogs or something. Someone said this upthread, that maybe the post itself would be a round up of links to recaps and maybe other articles of interest? That seems like a good compromise to me. Then presumably no-one has to "claim" a particular show, people would just make a post for each episode and if it's only three of you talking about Golden Girls that's okay and if it's really popular maybe there's a little bit of a race to put the post up but no big deal.

It would be nice if the episode posts didn't go up for like 24 hours after air so those of us who stream/download could catch up, plus most recaps come the morning after anyway.

Also presumably if individual Mefites wanted to do recaps regularly and post them on their own blog or whatever, it would be like Projects where eventually people just link to your recap in the post because they like it? Seems like there could be a compromise in there for the no-linking rule. Like, on the blue no self linking, on MeTV you can link to your own or a friend's recap as part of a recap roundup. Or something.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 6:17 PM on March 28, 2014


yeah I'd be worried if really great TV-related FPPs just got shunted into a subsite, away from the more popular front page.
posted by The Whelk at 6:18 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


If someone's recap is crappy I'm gonna flag 'em, then I'm gonna flame 'em.
posted by planetesimal at 6:18 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm against people owning a series and starting a thread with a recap, just seems fraught for petty fighting.
posted by Mick at 6:32 PM on March 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'll obviously take classic "Diff'rent Strokes".
posted by The Gooch at 6:34 PM on March 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Maybe there could be a mechanism like Projects to promote good TV-FPPs to the main site if something's exceptionally good.
posted by Small Dollar at 6:41 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


For people who have been participating in the big TV threads we've had on Mefi in the last few years -- what have people been liking about the way those threads have gone? What elements of that experience would people like to see preserved?

It seems to me like people have been having fun in long threads that go on for a month, and that people kind of come back and liveblog when new episodes come out, and there isn't a ton of concern about spoilers (i.e., it's at your own risk, kind of)... is that an accurate impression?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:45 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]




My concern is that on a small, provincial (some might say shabby) subsite of mefi, as well as the danger of the potential loss of the greatest fpp ever - very few people would be able to see my devastatingly informed and witty comments.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:47 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's my experience lobstermitten, the live-blog feel, the showing up later with lots of links and information, long ass speculation, and of course being exposed to the great FPP material being linked to in the first place.
posted by The Whelk at 6:51 PM on March 28, 2014


It seems to me.....



Case in point - I would suggest that one feature (which Matt, having left the thread to users to post suggestions to look at again on his return on monday might like to include) is that the mods restrict themselves from giving their own personal opinions of the tv shows, plots, characters, adverts or types of satellite dishes.
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:58 PM on March 28, 2014


Is there a way to have Official MefiMedia shows (people submit a current show request and it gets in the queue to go live once a critical number of members have voted, so if 50 people want to have Melissa and Joey, it gets added) that will automatically create an episode thread with just the official blurb as the post, pulling the airing data off a site like followshows.com, but with some tags/category labels like: category: Melissa & Joey, Season 2, Comedies, 2014 so they would be easy to browse later.

Then people can go in and add all the links and recaps they want in the comments. It would be great if there was a way through flagging or moderating to highlight some really good links/recaps on a sidebar but not if that was extra work for staff.

At the same time, people could also make their own MefiMedia posts for shows that aren't already automatically posted, or for past seasons (Why Buffy Is The Best Forever, shutupspike) or shows like Murder She Wrote, or spoilery speculation. These people-written posts would be expected to be MORE than just chatfilter but to bring something meaty to the table, self-links allowed.

There should be like with Projects, an expectation that if it's not just media discussion but of wider interest, it should be encouraged to go on the FPP. So a detailed lookback at the glorious Sarah Jane Adventures would go on the FPP, but individual episodes or seasons could go into MefiMedia.

That way, you're not relying on humans to manage to write recaps regularly and create curated posts on a voluntary basis, but creating a specific discussion watercooler spot for shows that have enough interest, while allowing content-rich media posts to go up - sort of like regular columns alongside big feature pieces.

I absolutely think being able to track shows in some kind of MefiMedia favourites (My Media?) would be really helpful. I use recent activity and favourites to do this, but I would like to be able to filter a big media page to the 10 50 shows I would want to actively discuss/read.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:02 PM on March 28, 2014


jonmc: "As long as deep discussion of WKRP in Cinncinnati is welcome, I'm in."

12 WEEKS LATER

mathowie staring at his iMac, groaning, "Oh, the HUMANITY! I swear, pb... as GOD IS MY WITNESS, I THOUGHT THIS COULD FLY."
posted by zarq at 7:15 PM on March 28, 2014 [17 favorites]


I mean, I love this idea. LOVE IT. But the image was too amusing not to pass up.
posted by zarq at 7:16 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


This time, I did not read the whole thread. Shoot me.

Posting to say that I will happily pay another $5 or more for this.

Even though in the part of the thread I read, Teen Wolf is the only show I watch. But good writing about TV is always worth watching.

(And also in Me-talk mode, why the TWOP thread all yay pop culture and the GFY thread so much sneering at pop culture? That hurt me, y'all.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:18 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


*wonders whatever became of me*
posted by jonmc at 7:24 PM on March 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


One thing that might be a sticking point for spoiler rules: if it's only one thread per episode, Game of Thrones threads might be problematic because of book spoilers. The last thread on the show on the blue turned into open spoilers and speculation on the books (and, uh, as one of the people responsible, sorry to anyone who didn't want that!) and it's a tricky thing to draw a hard line on, because the course the show is taking to make its way to where the books are is legit discussion that is also riddled with topics that would spoil the show for those who haven't read the books. Other adaptations would run into the same problem.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:32 PM on March 28, 2014


Is this a subsite I'd need a TV to enjoy?
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:46 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh course not, it's just that people who are really into TV need a subsite to enjoy it the way it's meant to be enjoyed.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:48 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


zarq: you pulled a belly laugh out of me there. Good job!
posted by pjern at 8:07 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


One thing that might be a sticking point for spoiler rules: if it's only one thread per episode, Game of Thrones threads might be problematic because of book spoilers.

The AV Club has separate reviews for GoT for people who have read the books and people who haven't for just this reason.
posted by Etrigan at 8:21 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


oh god im so excited I dont know where to start
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:22 PM on March 28, 2014


OK Lobster Mitten: what I like about the superlong madmen threads (for instance) is the critical mass of interested people talking about a great show. If this was hidden away on a non-main forum I too worry about anyone really paying much attention after a while.

How about instead of a whole new site, there's just a new tag that one can tag a thread with that adds it to a view that logged in users can see of the front page, but that logged-out users cannot. Basically something that doesn't bother people who aren't interested in tv or writing about tv to ignore, but that stays on the blue. Then the threads stay open forever instead of temporarily? And there's pages on the threads or something to keep it manageable but each new page of the thread could also show up in the Front Page which has been TV-ified?

These are my completely unfocused and crazy-time thoughts.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:28 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Recaps = Eh.
Long essays instead of recaps = way Better.
Chat during the episodes = Sure
Chat after the eps = Yay
Discussion as a series/season begins or ends = WHOOHOOOOOOO in the body
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:29 PM on March 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also I call True Detective season 2 - aka Rizzoli and Isles 2.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:31 PM on March 28, 2014


MeFiTV (MeFiTele?)

TelMe:

television.metafilter.com
posted by ersatz at 8:46 PM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think the way to stop my concern that good TV-related posts will be shunted is to have a policy where, if a FPP is made about an ongoing, on-air (possibly still airing new episodes RIGHT NOW) show and the conversation starts to drift to Live-blog/current episode talk just drop a note that hey conversations about FooShow's upcoming episode are at the FooShow thread at TeleMefi (link).
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


MeTeeVee?
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:05 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just think its easier to turn the existing community for TV discussion into a more formal, technology-empowered thing in the existing space than it is to try to regrow something like TWOP in a new MeMusic-like space.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:07 PM on March 28, 2014


Also, MeV
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:07 PM on March 28, 2014


There's already a Me-TV.
posted by Small Dollar at 9:07 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh shit I watched hell of MeTV the last time I was in Boston they played the Walton's Xmas Special and then a Stairway To Heaven marathon it was bonkers/MyJam.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:13 PM on March 28, 2014


One danger in a MetafilterTV forum would be what if the usual chatty cathys ended up filling the threads with their jokes and bull shit instead of high quality original content.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:15 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


The horror.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:32 PM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, I've been here for years and had literally zero idea before this discussion that there were these long-term discussions of current TV shows hidden in FPPs. I've probably inadvertently participated in some of them, but I did not know it was a thing and wish I had.
posted by Etrigan at 9:36 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


+1 for Mediafilter. I agree that including books invites some problems, e.g. bloggy book review posts that find no audience. However, I read essentially all AskMe posts about book recommendations, and I would read a chattier monthly "What are you reading?" post religiously. I imagine no one actually wants their book post to flop, and a monthly general thread might be a good place to organize book club-like Media FPPs, e.g. if a ton of people favorite what you're reading or also post that they're reading it.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:08 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


"That may work for something currently airing (even if you only get to watching it later yourself) but it does not work automatically for older series."

Yeah, as much as everyone (including me) wants posts on episodes of (or entire) older series, I think there's numerous problems with this.

I feel like some people aren't thinking carefully about how this would actually work — in short, if threads close after a period of time, then people would have to make new posts about a show/episode when they finally watched it (or rewatched it). This would be hugely cluttered and inefficient, interest would be divided between these posts, it just wouldn't be worth it. You're thinking, well, keep the threads open. But then you'd have so very many "old" posts that someone would have to search for to find the show/episode they wanted and the mods would have to worry about bad shit being posted in obscure old threads (this is part of why threads are closed now). So you're thinking, well, then it should be organized into separate sub-sub-sites for shows and such and maybe having sticky threads. Okay, but then we've moved a long, long way from the MetaFilter way of doing things. And I think that not only would that be a Bad Thing, I have a very strong intuition that it won't fly with Matt or the mods.

And it's some of the same problems for general (not episode-specific) posts about current TV series.

This is why I think it needs to be a single paged subsite limited to episode-specific posts of currently airing (worldwide) TV shows for recently-aired (worldwide) episodes, with links to user-contributed recaps in the threads (maybe broken out the way that IRL photos works). These airing/recently-aired requirements might be a little bit of a pain for the mods to enforce; but I think it could work like anything else, with community enforcement via flagging letting the mods know that something isn't right. This would meet most of the needs that people are expressing, would fit within the MeFi ethos, and would be less of an increase in moderation trouble than other things proposed.

However, I do think that older shows could be fit into this paradigm via formal, announced rewatches.

Keep in mind that a lot of what I'm proposing is also aimed at limiting scope, which will focus the interest. A scheduled rewatch with new episode threads of old series posted on a regular basis would be a group event and people who love an old show, or want to watch it for the first time, can do so together, talk about episodes together, and directed all into the same place to do so. Those threads would be much more active and interesting than the alternatives.

"One thing that might be a sticking point for spoiler rules: if it's only one thread per episode, Game of Thrones threads might be problematic because of book spoilers."

GoT is kind of its own special problem everywhere. It's really fucking annoying how TWoP has to handle it, embargoing book discussion content from the show is very artificial and awkward for the people who've read the books, but is a perfectly understandable requirement given that so many more people haven't read the books and all the book stuff is both spoilers and distracting and sometimes downright misleading when the show has deviated from the books. Basically, with GoT, any solution to this problem introduces its own problems. I don't know how to avoid this. I think that, per the MeFi way, there'd just need to be some guidelines that would be enforced on an as-needed basis, such as "don't ruin the episode discussion by going off on things that will happen in the books".

As for speculation that are effectively spoilers, I agree that this can be a problem, but it's also one of those things that a TWoP hard rule ends up causing more problems than it solves. I'd say about half the people who are highly motivated to talk about a series as it progressed, on an episode-by-episode basis, are going to speculating about what's going to happen and asking them not to talk about that is unnatural and contrary to the benefit of the conversation. Instead, I think we just need some enforced community sense of thread etiquette.

We have a little bit of that now, organically. In the True Detective threads, some of us had theories, and we did discuss them, but speaking for myself, I held back a couple of mine because I really thought I was correct and I didn't want to spoil other people. I was wrong about that, and, anyway, other speculation caused me to contribute what I was thinking, but it's not like people aren't sensitive to the fact that their theories might actually hurt someone's enjoyment of the show. I just think we should encourage this kind of discretion, without a hard rule.

I'm wary of all these concerns about rules against things that would hurt threads not because I don't agree that these are problems, but because I feel very strongly that TWoP has proven that when you create all sorts of rules in an attempt to solve these problems, you may solve some of those problems, but you also end up often throwing the baby out with the bathwater and not end up solving many of the problems.

While TWoP episode threads are, I think, still the best discussion about television episodes on the web, I say that with many caveats. For example, all these rules, especially "no boards-on-boards" (which is a rule that comes from a very well-intended, reasonable place), end up actually greatly limiting the kind of actual conversation that occurs. If you look at those threads, you see that the back-and-forth is very constrained and the threads end up very heavily tilting toward people just posting their particular thoughts on an episode of various things and not engaging much with others, or if there is engagement, only very obliquely. That's because many of the rules that are enforced are designed to avoid conflicts and such, but they end up discouraging people from conversing with each other like normal human beings. There's an artificial air of congeniality. And I think congeniality is great! But there's just a general sense at TWoP that people are tiptoing through a minefield.

And while much of that is the result of the crazy mods being jerks, it's also a natural by-product of creating and enforcing many, many rules of conduct. And, again, those rules all mostly are reasonable in their rationale, they are intended to solve real problems.

But MeFi has very few hard-and-fast rules, and I believe that time has proven Matt's wisdom about this. So I think that the concerns that people have raised can be addressed, but they should be addressed on an fuzzy, case-by-case basis, and by community etiquette, and we should recognize that this will mean that was can't completely eliminate the problems we're anticipating, only ameliorate them. But that's good enough.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:32 PM on March 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I would enjoy lurking in a subsite about TV just as much as I enjoy lurking here. Perhaps even moreso!
posted by stennieville at 12:31 AM on March 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


I like the name TeleFilter.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 12:46 AM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


MeFeatureCreepFilter? You could just do anything there; it would be like Second Life.
posted by planetesimal at 12:54 AM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Since the reaction to the Books/Reading Filter addition seems to be less effusive, would a Goodreads MF group make sense? Or perhaps such a thing already exists.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:27 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you're doing TV and books, why stop there? Comics (and cartoons and manga and anime) and movies would fit too maybe. But from there it's a short jump to games and....

Ah, but that way lies feature creep.
posted by JHarris at 3:51 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and if you do this for older shows too, I will so do up MST3K episodes.
posted by JHarris at 3:54 AM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


You're going to do recaps of a show that recaps movies? VERY meta! :D
posted by zarq at 5:28 AM on March 29, 2014


My Talking Dead recaps will just be an embedded mirror showing another mirror.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:34 AM on March 29, 2014


Monsieur Caution: I agree that including books invites some problems, e.g. bloggy book review posts that find no audience.

Celsius1414: Since the reaction to the Books/Reading Filter addition seems to be less effusive, would a Goodreads MF group make sense?

BOOKFILTERGODDAMN DON'TTAKEITAWAYFROMME I'VEDREAMEDOFTHISFOR YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEARS

And actually, the idea of being able to scan book reviews of books I'd probably never hear of otherwise is very exciting to me. Heck, I like reading reviews of interesting and exciting books in languages I can't speak, just so that one day, if it's ever translated, I can jump on them.
posted by Kattullus at 6:05 AM on March 29, 2014


This is not the smart people thread for books this is the dum-dum thread for wes who want to talk about Terver. Leave us to our shame.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:43 AM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


come over to the daaaaaaark ssssside... there is so much pleeeeeeeaaaassssure in the drinking of bloooood under the full moooooooooon reeeeeading foreign boooooks with naaaaaames you don't knoooooow how to prrrrrronounce
posted by Kattullus at 6:56 AM on March 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich, I'm fine with community standards that suggest people not speculate about where plots are going. For shows like how I met your mother, sure, who cares. Speculation was fun. "Oh I think Robyn is the mom. No, maybe it's that one lady from laser tag". I feel like nobody is bothered with shows like that. But for science fiction, mystery or action shows, many times the mystery and a reveal is a good part of the entertainment value of the show. I get the need to be the first to figure something out and have that recorded. If the Star Wars thread, assuming it was a new thing, aired and shortly after we learn of Luke and Darth, people speculated familial relationships between them and Leia, it just sucks the air out of things. It doesn't have to be a hard and fast rule, and we can enforce it as a community, but that also is going to mean work for the moderation team.
posted by cashman at 6:57 AM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Uh (jk)

People are going to speculate about where shows are going. It's human nature. I personally enjoy reading people's speculation. Providing a bunch of individualized preliminary rules for how to behave in a thread or a forum before it starts is a much easier way to suck the air out of them. How about we just all talk about TV in the ways that we choose to? Love ya Ivan but this isn't gonna work.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:15 AM on March 29, 2014


Having it be a free for all isn't great either. That's available all over the web already. If it was the sixth sense and after the first episode there was a bunch of speculation about what was up with the main character, that would ruin it for a good number of people. If it was fight club and there was a bunch of speculation about the main characters association, that would ruin it for a good number of people as well. One or two people doing it would be fine, but when everybody chimes in with their theory, someone is typically right, and that ruins it.

That is fine if you aren't bothered, and you wouldn't mind seeing the entire plot released with the announcement of the pilot. But then there needs to be separate sections for that and for the audience that likes to discuss what has aired. If we're watching the Sherlock pilot and a few minutes in people start speculating that it's ... the person it ends up being, that ruins the surprise for many and greatly diminishes enjoyment of Sherlock. I'm not condemning the way you choose to consume this media, I'm saying there is a different way to consume it that is common, and those two ways don't typically coexist well in the same space.
posted by cashman at 7:41 AM on March 29, 2014


I feel like some people aren't thinking carefully about how this would actually work — in short, if threads close after a period of time, then people would have to make new posts about a show/episode when they finally watched it (or rewatched it). This would be hugely cluttered and inefficient, interest would be divided between these posts, it just wouldn't be worth it. You're thinking, well, keep the threads open. But then you'd have so very many "old" posts that someone would have to search for to find the show/episode they wanted and the mods would have to worry about bad shit being posted in obscure old threads (this is part of why threads are closed now). So you're thinking, well, then it should be organized into separate sub-sub-sites for shows and such and maybe having sticky threads. Okay, but then we've moved a long, long way from the MetaFilter way of doing things. And I think that not only would that be a Bad Thing, I have a very strong intuition that it won't fly with Matt or the mods.

Very good points. A couple of responses:
1. Depending on the activity/grar level, perhaps episode threads could be left open forever. That's what happens with Music posts, if I'm not mistaken. Alternatively, perhaps some mechanism could be created whereby old episode threads could be reopened and "bumped" to the top of the queue? I realize that may not be feasible because of database reasons.
2. I think that limiting this new site to only discussion of episodes of TV that have aired in the past month (or whatever) is really going against the flow of how episodic TV is consumed (DVR, DVD binging, Netflix bulk-release model, delayed international distribution, etc) and it makes sense to come to grips with the new reality of TV from the beginning. Maybe not from Day 1 of whatever kind of Alpha test we have, but old episodes and binge watching should be considered as we get this thing rolling.
3. Organization would be handled much like IRL is and like dearly departed Travel was, by sorting and filtering and tagging, rather than having subsites.
4. I think any spoiler policy other than "Don't be a jerk" is going to be unenforceable in terms of Mod demands. Especially when you get into things like "what is a spoiler vs what is speculation" it's just not fair to ask them to devote that much attention to it. I realize that this means for some folks who are very spoiler averse and for other folks who just want to talk and who cares if I spoil something, MediaFilter may not be the place for them. That's OK, and I think "Don't be a jerk" will work for 95% of MeFites. I think the end of GoT Season 3 showed that people can be cool about really important spoilers most of the time.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:45 AM on March 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I understand wanting to control for actual spoilers, but if your enjoyment of a 6month long plot arc is ruined by a couple people going "Ohh maybe they'll end up kissing" you are doing it wrong.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:45 AM on March 29, 2014


I wouldn't say it's wrong, Potomac, but I think it is just a personal level of spoiler-averseness that is not going to work on a casual discussion forum like we are proposing here.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:48 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rock Steady, you are right. Well said. Shouldn't have been dismissive of the reaction, just don't think there's any chance of it flying as a standard.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:49 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


How about...

A thread pops up on the front page when a new season of a show starts. It stays open for a long time and has a bunch of special features. If its a non-currently being produced show it appears on the front page once (like if someone decides to rewatch/review Matlock or whatever).

On the subsite, you can see all the specially tagged threads and individual episode anchors within them (the pagination thing I was talking about).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:53 AM on March 29, 2014


There is a Metafilter Goodreads group, but it is very inactive.
posted by leesh at 8:02 AM on March 29, 2014


I would probably participate. I've been looking for a place to talk about Hannibal ever since I recently caught up with the series over the past week or so.
posted by codacorolla at 8:05 AM on March 29, 2014


Oh codacorolla, be careful what you wish for ( and do a site search for Hannibal, we're all in pain)
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on March 29, 2014


As far as plot speculation goes, it seems unrealistic and counterproductive to me to have a blanket prohibition against it.

Way back in the day, I ran an Avatar: The Last Airbender discussion board (shocker, I know). I'd put up a post right after an episode aired, with a short recap and my personal reactions, and then other members would post their thoughts in the comments.

The discussion tended to be a combination of reactions to developments in the show, with speculation on where various character plots were heading. A lot of the time we were hilariously wrong (I was pretty certain Iroh was going to die, if you must know) but it was fun at the time. Since my little community was set up in explicit opposition to noisier, crazier, fightier places, everybody got along reasonably well.

But what I learned from that was this: The problem with speculation is that inevitably someone will be right, and other people will be wrong. This is one path to a discussion type that is a classic failure mode of Talking About Media on the Internet: The Good Fan/Bad Fan dichotomy. "I am a good fan because I correctly guessed this plot development in advance; you are a bad fan because you did not."

Good Fan/Bad Fan is poison. It comes up in all kinds of ways—People who do not care about dumb romance subplots vs people who do (ask any X-Files person about Shippers vs. Noromos), people who like a particular character vs. people who do not (mention the name Skyler White in a room full of Breaking Bad fans, I dare you), people who like some parts of a show but not others (this is pretty common in Teen Wolf fandom) etc.

I would rather see moderation policy keyed to avoiding the bigger problem of Good Fan/Bad Fan (aka You Are Watching It Wrong) than I would see it explicitly prohibiting plot speculation. In fact, it suddenly strikes me that "Nobody is watching it wrong" would be a good one-sentence reminder to put under the preview box.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:14 AM on March 29, 2014 [14 favorites]


If anyone wants a post on magical realism in the Regular Show, I'm game.
posted by drezdn at 8:15 AM on March 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh also, to address LobsterMittens' question, in terms of what kind of TV stuff I've most enjoyed on Metafilter thus far: Embarrassingly, I really dug watching the presidential debates while reading the scroll of reactions in the relevant comment thread. It was hilarious and heartening.

I don't tend to watch a lot of live TV, but if there were a part of the TV site that was in one way or another dedicated to LIVE REAX, I might very well change that policy.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:19 AM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


LIVE REAX

See also: Eurovision.
posted by Kattullus at 8:22 AM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


(I liked the presidential debates when I was at the debates cause reading the thread in little bursts while trying not to laugh was an amusing study in restraint.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on March 29, 2014


Oh codacorolla, be careful what you wish for ( and do a site search for Hannibal, we're all in pain)

Oh my. I will possibly catch up after either meeting or failing to meet my 7PM deadline for tonight.
posted by codacorolla at 8:24 AM on March 29, 2014


You go to post a review/recap of a show. You click 'Add Episode' and it takes you to a page where you type in the name of the show, the season/series number, and the episode number (episode title is optional). The same elves that check if your FPP is a double check to see if this episode has already been posted.

If it has not been, you create the episode and link it to other episodes in the show, if any. Hopefully the elves will notice the similarities between 'Eight is Enough' and '8 is Enough' and will point you in the right direction. If this is the first time the series is getting an episode, you might be asked to fill in some additional information, such as a brief summary of the show's setup ("Fake psychic and pal solve mysteries in Santa Barbara in this lighthearted and popculture referring series." or something simply pulled from the imdb entry.)

Once an episode has been created, you can then add a review, recap, or whatever to it by clicking Add ______ and selecting the right option from the dropdown. Anyone can do this. When you add your content, you will be asked to give it a title ('Banjo and Robo get VD' or 'WhelkCap' or whatever). There will be little checkboxes you can select as well - does this content contain spoilers of future episodes? Speculation? Is it part of a series of recaps? etc. You can then add your content as sit back happy you have helped to save civilization via Salvatore-scorn.

After you are done you can read the work of other Mefites. You go to the page and either look at the 'Recently Created Episodes' that fill the page ala the rest of the site. Recently added content to episodes would be displayed on a sidebar. You can post comments to the episode which would be par for the course for people watching things together, although as time goes on, the comments would probably shift to reactions to Mefite posted content. You can view said content by clicking the titles of the reviews/recaps/whatever. You can avoid spoiler-heavy content by keeping an eye on the tags that appear next to them.

Moderation would hopefully be mechanical in nature - while "A stupid show for stupid people" might be an apt summary of 'Porn Island', it's not much use when trying to figure out what the show is about. Hopefully spoilers will be avoided for current shows, although historical recaps of Matlock might make reference to that very special episode when Don Knotts goes bugfuck crazy in Season 8.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:33 AM on March 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'll volunteer to do The Archers and Antiques Roadshow?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:07 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sign me up, you beautiful televisionaries.
posted by context adventure at 9:08 AM on March 29, 2014


There is a lot here, so sorry if I've missed it - but how would one deal with shows like Jeopardy?
posted by R. Mutt at 9:21 AM on March 29, 2014


This seems like an incredible amount of work for the mods.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:29 AM on March 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


If we're going to do something like this, we should start with shows that already get this kind of reaction (Who, Game of Thrones, etc.) and see how those go, and as the young rope-rider points out, the mod load, before we consider opening it up to everything.

A year of MeTV with popular series would be enough to see whether there was room for more, here.
posted by immlass at 9:33 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


> but how would one deal with shows like Jeopardy?

Something like this?
posted by planetesimal at 9:36 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


my gut says don't do this.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:45 AM on March 29, 2014


If we're going to do something like this, we should start with shows that already get this kind of reaction (Who, Game of Thrones, etc.) and see how those go, and as the young rope-rider points out, the mod load, before we consider opening it up to everything.

Agreed.
posted by scody at 9:58 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


This seems like an incredible amount of work for the mods.

Possibly, but that brings up the question 'Does it need to be moderated?' Why or why not?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:17 AM on March 29, 2014


My previous experience with people talking about TV online is that it's second only to video games for making people turn into huge assholes in defense of consumer media. So, yes, I'd imagine it would probably need to be moderated.

I also agree that starting with a limited roll-out of known to be popular shows is the only way that makes sense to implement this.
posted by codacorolla at 10:20 AM on March 29, 2014


I like the limited roll out of shows that tend to have live-bloggy threads to Begin with, Game Of Thrones, Mad Men, Hannibal, Doctor Who ....
posted by The Whelk at 10:29 AM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is not the smart people thread for books this is the dum-dum thread for wes who want to talk about Terver. Leave us to our shame.

Which reminds me of the meme, "BOOKS: Get HBO programming ten years before everyone else." ;D

That said, I would totally jump in to Terver threads on certain Shers Shows.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:19 AM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


There is a Metafilter Goodreads group, but it is very inactive.

Hmm, indeed.

last updated Apr 02, 2012 10:42AM
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:20 AM on March 29, 2014


I also agree that starting with a limited roll-out of known to be popular shows is the only way that makes sense to implement this.

We only know those shows are popular because they're relatively high-brow, so it's been possible to make relatively good FPPs about them over and over, so we've already had a place to discuss them on-site. There are a lot of other shows that people have mentioned quite a bit here and in other threads that might be just as popular (or at least able to reach a critical mass of popularity) for discussion but that it has been virtually impossible to make FPPs for because they're considered low-brow so there aren't "best of the internet" links about them to base FPPs around -- shows like Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries, and Arrow (and I'm sure other people could add more, those are just shows I've noticed because I watch those, too).
posted by rue72 at 12:07 PM on March 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


How about a Hello, Larry thread? I seem to remember that we have a lot of fans here.
posted by jonmc at 12:49 PM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think there should be options where people can either make a post about a given episode or season (with doubles moderated) or about a topical response to a show. For example, if I wanted to write a treatise on Masculinity on Teen Wolf (not that I ever would *shifty eyes*) I could indicate spoiler limits and then write a bit and people could respond. With this sort of format, one could open it up to movies, to books, even to radio shows and the like.

This seems like it's sort of the unholy love child of MetaFilter and AskMefi - there isn't a demand for links, like on Mefi, and there is an expectation of a topic, like on Ask, but the response is less one comment and go, like on Ask, and more like free-floating discussion, like on Mefi.

The biggest issues I see are endemic to fandom: people tend to carve out territory and guard it aggressively, and people take critique of beloved shows particularly personally. Having "squee" and "critique" tags might help people filter out and focus on what they want - but I think episode and season based discussions should allow for both, which is where it gets tricky.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:52 PM on March 29, 2014


(we've never had a teen wolf FPP, huh)
posted by The Whelk at 12:53 PM on March 29, 2014


Just watched 4 episodes of Scandal because its my birthday and let me tell me tell you it.
Was.
Ri.
Diculous.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:57 PM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Can one of you beautiful people make a post about The Good Wife so there's a good place to talk about the writers' weirdly consistent use of the term "phone" -- "Did you phone him?" "Of course I phoned him!" -- especially as coupled with its recent sudden disappearance/replacement with "call"?

oh my gOD I thought I was the only one who noticed this. It drives me crazy. I didn't notice that there was a recent shift.

Also, they never say "yes" or "no" in response to a question. It's always "She did" or "I have not" or something.
posted by desjardins at 1:02 PM on March 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


"How about we just all talk about TV in the ways that we choose to? Love ya Ivan but this isn't gonna work."

Yeah, well, I was trying to argue for less rule-making, not more. I think there has to be some (loosely, largely etiquette based) rules because, as people have pointed out, discussions about television show have some common flash-points.

"That's OK, and I think 'Don't be a jerk' will work for 95% of MeFites."

Agreed.

"A thread pops up on the front page when a new season of a show starts."

I don't think this should affect the blue at all, with the sole exception being that people in tv threads in the blue could periodically be made aware of discussions in the subsite. Those tv posts on the blue should be what they are now: something of larger significance posted elsewhere about a television show.

"'Nobody is watching it wrong' would be a good one-sentence reminder to put under the preview box."

That's probably the most important thing posted in this thread. I think that should be under the preview box and the watchwords for the subsite. Because you're so very right about the whole good fan/bad fan problem. And in general you have the "your favorite band sucks" problem.

I think it would be a mistake to emulate TWoP's whole "snark about TV" schtick. God knows there are many mefites who are both eager and talented at this sort of thing. And I certainly think that a limited amount of it, like you'd have from anyone in a normal conversation, is fine. But as you can sort of see happened at TWoP, being snarky can easily veer into just being hateful and negative and is absolutely no fun for everyone else. I mean, I'm not even sure it's fun for the other people who agree with the hateful, negative sentiment, other than letting them know they're not alone.

As I've mentioned, I regularly read TWoP episode threads of all the shows I watch (where there are forums dedicated to them, otherwise I go to their threads in the genre areas) and those occasional "I hate this show and here's all the particular things I hate about it" and posted by the same people week after week is just really annoying. At some point, it's like, why the hell are you watching this? It's not at all the same thing as a "love to hate" thing and where the negative expression is a bit playful. But I think that one can veer into the other, and, also, some people aren't so good at knowing the difference. And that can cause some friction.

"You go to post a review/recap of a show. You click 'Add Episode' and it takes you to a page where you type in the name of the show..."

See, I just think all the stuff you envision is very complicated and not really mefi-like. I know different parts of it have been implemented elsewhere on the site, but those are low-traffic subsites and I intuit that this would either be high-traffic or it will flounder and die. And if it's high-traffic (and I think it will be because there's a lot of interest, clearly), then all the complication will just get in the way.

And I can't stress enough how the mefi-way of engaging is important to what makes this place what it is. I recognize there are severe limitations to the blog-style new-post-pushes-old-post-down chronological organization that doesn't have topic-organization and threading and sticky posts and all that. But those limitations are another way of saying that MetaFilter is simple and focused on one kind of experience. I think the subsite we're discussing would have to be the same for it to work within the context of MeFi.

Note that AskMe, which is by a large margin the most popular and successful part of MetaFilter, is organized the same way and doesn't make much allowances for these other needs, except via tagging and a few little bells-and-whistles added here and there. People post their questions, and those questions scroll off the page, eventually. There's no forum organization by topic, no elaborate scoring system for quality of answers. And it should be stressed that for the purposes of a site that answers people's questions about topics, all these other features, which AskMe doesn't have, are perfectly reasonable and justifiable for the context. But it would have made AskMe be something very much not like the rest of MetaFilter. But it's done just fine with these limitations. I'd argue, as I am in this context, those limitations are a strength.

"If we're going to do something like this, we should start with shows that already get this kind of reaction (Who, Game of Thrones, etc.) and see how those go, and as the young rope-rider points out, the mod load, before we consider opening it up to everything."

Nthing this. I think that if Matt is seriously considering doing this, a limited roll-out for some popular shows, with some time spent seeing what problems come out and developing ways to address them, makes a hell of a lot of sense. Maybe not a whole year before widening the scope. But just however long it takes to get a sense of it.

"My previous experience with people talking about TV online is that it's second only to video games for making people turn into huge assholes in defense of consumer media. So, yes, I'd imagine it would probably need to be moderated."

Yeah, like the rest of the site but with the concession that fan-stuff has its own flash points. It would require some more moderation above and beyond that represented by more activity. But I think that it wouldn't be a huge increase as long as there's just a few emphasized rules and a community-enforced community ethos on not being a dick.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:22 PM on March 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, well, I was trying to argue for less rule-making, not more. I think there has to be some (loosely, largely etiquette based) rules because, as people have pointed out, discussions about television show have some common flash-points.

For what it's worth, I've found the extant TV threads on the Blue to be extremely civil and interesting. My main issue is that it's difficult to stick to the FPP framing/format for a lot of shows, whether because it's the middle of the season or because the show is over or because the show is considered low-brow so there aren't quality links for it -- so I'd prefer if we could just open discussion threads outright instead of bothering to make sort-of-facade FPPs. How the discussion actually runs within the TV threads seems fine to me, it's more that I get frustrated that we can't just open threads for the discussions that people want to have since clearly it's the discussion and not the links that are the focus for mass media like that.

I also would prefer if we grouped discussions by episode or season so that the threads are at least semi-searchable. People only just getting caught up on a show or binge-watchers or people who are in a location with a different airing schedule will probably want to go back and read discussions from earlier episodes/seasons, and for shows that last more than a couple seasons or that get a huge amount of discussion, that's going to be really tough if the threads aren't divided at least somewhat by episode or at least season.

Recaps aren't a huge selling point for me, except in that I think that they provide a lot of people with a point of entry into the discussion (I think the trajectory for a lot of people is to start by reading recaps, then read the discussions, then join in the discussions). They also are useful for people who enjoy massive fanwanking, because you can go back and fact-check using the recaps. I personally would enjoy if we let people upload their recaps in the same way that we do the photos for IRL, because I would like reading a bunch of different takes on the same episode. Assigning someone to do recaps or only allowing one recap per episode seems like it would create a stress point that's just bound to fail, and I don't see the net gain of only having one recap anyway.

All the essays that people are talking about sound fascinating to me (Masculinity in Teen Wolf? YES PLZ), so if we could have some sort of clearinghouse/area for links to people's essays or if they were able to link to them within that show's discussion thread, I would love that.

I'm not sure about speculation because I think it's hard to create a really bright line between speculation and just talking about the show. Personally, I love speculation because I enjoy imagining all the ways the story could spin out, and I'm more interested in trying to form or hearing about strange or wild or insightful theories, rather than what is most likely to happen on the show. It's virtually irrelevant to me whether someone's speculation actually comes to pass on the show itself. But I do think that if speculation bothers people, and if we want to try to be respectful about spoilers, then I think we need to have some sort of rule about that (not necessarily something the mods would have to enforce, just something that people within the discussion should/could keep in mind). I've been trying to go by the rule that anything actually aired (including previews) isn't a spoiler, and whatever I randomly think up myself or play around with in discussion isn't a spoiler, but I suspect that I have also stepped in it in some threads before so maybe that rule needs at least some tweaking?

In terms of moderation: I'd be interested in hearing from the mods about their concerns w/r/t moderating TV threads, because I don't think it's especially useful to try and preemptively solve problems when we don't yet have much of a clue what the problems are in the first place.
posted by rue72 at 2:44 PM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


"People only just getting caught up on a show or binge-watchers or people who are in a location with a different airing schedule will probably want to go back and read discussions from earlier episodes/seasons..."

I do that with TWoP. I'll find some old show that I missed at the time (for example, only last week did I watch all of Party Down) and then I'll go read episode threads at TWoP. It's really kind of weird to read a discussion that's years old in response to a show those people have just watched and which I, now, have just watched. I keep having to remind myself that this whole discussion happened in 2008 or something.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2014


jonmc: "How about a Hello, Larry thread? I seem to remember that we have a lot of fans here."

I'll take MacLean Stevenson for the block, please.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:10 PM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


If I could discuss Lost Girl with Mefites I would be very happy.

Also how colour and cut of costume in Scandal indicates character development - dear lord that show almost has wardrobe as another character.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:23 PM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also how colour and cut of costume in Scandal indicates character development - dear lord that show almost has wardrobe as another character.

I don't watch Scandal but if you put that up in Projects, I'd read it. I loved the TLo costume recaps of Mad Men.
posted by immlass at 4:38 PM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Moderation would only be an issue if there were fires to put out. How are the other TV threads? I haven't seen any issues rise, but that might be because I haven't followed threads past their first or second days, if that long. Also, I imagine that a 30 day limit on FPPs helps keep random old thread spammers to a minimum.

The idea of limiting the potential new subsite to certain shows seems silly. Just like the rest of MetaFilter, some threads will be popular and active, while others flounder. That's just the way it works. The fact that there are new posts multiple times a day on different topics, and there are generally a few really lively threads, even threads that are active weeks after first being posted, is what keeps the site going. So I imagine that a TV/media subsite would be the same.

Also, I don't think there needs to be a Show Champion/Recapper formally picked for each show, but could be something informally claimed so there aren't 3 people rushing in to be first to recap the new episode. It could also provide consistency in how a show is recapped, regarding a focus on details or plot lines.

With that, here is my vision for the new subsite: episode-based summaries/ reviews/ discussions, and chatting about limited news (for example, a show is picked up for another season, or a new show is announced), things that wouldn't be big enough to make FPPs on the blue. That way, bigger topics can be discussed on MetaFilter.

Posts to MediaFilter could be sorted by show title, episode number, and air date/region, with the optional show title, similar to robocop is bleeding's idea, but I don't think there needs to be so much auto-population of information. If we wanted to get fancy, we could introduce main sorting pages for programs, something more robust than just displaying all the posts tagged as "Archer" or "West Wing." And the region demarcation would be to warn folks who are waiting for the local broadcasts that there could be spoilers, as there are for UK shows that get rebroadcast weeks/months later in the US/Canada, are only formally available in Australia, or are native productions in non-English speaking countries, and the like.

Additionally, MediaFilter posts could be tagged as Episode Recap/Discussion, Broad Speculation, and Critical Commentary, which could indicate how the original post is framed, though individual threads could meander any which way, to reduce the need for mods to come in and say "that's too much speculation, keep those comments out of episode discussion!"
posted by filthy light thief at 4:54 PM on March 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


The idea of limiting the potential new subsite to certain shows seems silly. Just like the rest of MetaFilter, some threads will be popular and active, while others flounder. That's just the way it works. The fact that there are new posts multiple times a day on different topics, and there are generally a few really lively threads, even threads that are active weeks after first being posted, is what keeps the site going. So I imagine that a TV/media subsite would be the same.

I agree with this and I'm glad you said it.
posted by cashman at 5:14 PM on March 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


So some sites do spoiler tags with the highlight-to-read thing, and I just wanted to get out in front of that since I haven't seen it suggested yet, because IMO it looks kind of awful to read a thread that looks like a redacted government document.

That said - a tag that makes a chunk of text collapsible with a little [+] to expand it for spoilers and speculation wouldn't be so bad, a lot less distracting. Just:

Spoilers: [+]

And that's a lot better than paragraph after paragraph of [REDACTED].
posted by jason_steakums at 5:16 PM on March 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


The idea of limiting the potential new subsite to certain shows seems silly. Just like the rest of MetaFilter, some threads will be popular and active, while others flounder. That's just the way it works. The fact that there are new posts multiple times a day on different topics, and there are generally a few really lively threads, even threads that are active weeks after first being posted, is what keeps the site going. So I imagine that a TV/media subsite would be the same.

The mods already say that there's a lot of potential mod-intervention-requiring stuff they don't see on the site due to mod availability (and insufficient flagging). I'm as interested in not overextending the mods either by having 900000 new threads to cover, many of which will die off, or by them having to wade into massive fightiness in a lot of threads in a subsite without established customs. The point of a rollout is to see what demand is and how something works. If we're going to do MeTV beta, I'd rather see it with shows we already know there's an audience for that will do whatever they're going to do the Metafilter way, whatever that proves out to be.

And if suddenly we get a rash of Scandal posts, hey, no reason we can't expand if the site is working and the mods think there's (mod) bandwidth.

Also, I have to laugh at the idea that Doctor Who is highbrow and that's the barrier for FPPs that are successful. Doctor Who is a fairly silly family/kid show with a long history and a huge fanbase. Make the FPPs, folks. The fans will come.
posted by immlass at 5:57 PM on March 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Personally, I think if you mark something as "spoilers inside" that's should be sufficient; if the fan can't stop themselves from reading it anyway, it's on them. But collapsible paragraphs are neat if they're not a huge problem to do.

I am trying very hard not to rant about the fetishization of spoiler avoidance, because ok, an ongoing series, I get, but if it's an old one, I think that's just something we can all grow up and learn to deal with. If the show's any good, spoilers won't ruin it anyway. But I just don't think I need to be responsible for not telling you who shot JR in a thread about Dallas. If you really are worried, then watch a series all the way through before you start reading threads on it.

(sorry, that did end up as a rant. But a small one).
posted by emjaybee at 6:05 PM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Good point: a new subsite with this level of interest will mean a lot more territory to cover, even if everyone is well-behaved.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:21 PM on March 29, 2014


Another vote for TeleFilter (TeFi).
posted by heyho at 6:53 PM on March 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am trying very hard not to rant about the fetishization of spoiler avoidance, because ok, an ongoing series, I get

I thought that went without saying. I don't think anybody is advocating that for a discussion of Good Times we can't talk about Florida's damn damn damn. Any aired content is fair game.
posted by cashman at 7:42 PM on March 29, 2014


While it's likely true that a TV subsite might require some additional mod attention, it also might be a good source of incremental Google ad revenue. Perhaps that would be enough to cover whatever addition staff resources would be needed.
posted by bowline at 8:18 PM on March 29, 2014


Well if it's good enough it will bring in actual new MeFite revenue.
posted by wemayfreeze at 8:42 PM on March 29, 2014


See, I just think all the stuff you envision is very complicated and not really mefi-like.

Agree. I know there's lots of enthusiasm for recapping here, but I see this working best if the threads are just discussion places, with perhaps some IRL-like linking to off-site recaps. Although I can see not that working well, too. Just post a recap link in a comment if you think it's worthwhile.

Trying to manage what happens when multiple people do a recap or official recappers per episode seems like way too much overhead and, as Ivan says, not really mefi-like.

I see something very simple working well. Anybody can create a post, but a post is just the name of the series and the season/episode number. Choose a series from a dropdown list and enter some text for season/episode.

Maybe a dropdown at the top to filter the site by series.

TelMe

[choose series ]

NEW POSTS

Game of Thrones — S03E01
date - 565 comments 

Dr. Who — S26E14
date - 427 comments 

WKRP — S06E10
date - 5 comments 
posted by wemayfreeze at 8:56 PM on March 29, 2014


the young rope-rider: "This seems like an incredible amount of work for the mods."

Absolutely. Maybe they should raise the signup fee for people who are joining just to talk on the TV bit. $5 for MetaFilter, $10 if you want on AskMe, $20 if you're joining for TV. Then they could afford to bring on a TV mod, to handle the workload.
posted by barnacles at 9:34 PM on March 29, 2014


But... en forme de poire and I can still have a lip-sync battle, right?

Meanwhile, xingcat and I will be JUDGING YOU relaxing with an Absolut cocktail in the Gold Bar.

If only you knew why I have not been active in this thread yet, you would not question my Drag Race bona fides.

I am from Waushara County and I will whoop your motherbleeping ass.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:46 AM on March 30, 2014


WKRP — S06E10
date - 5 comments



how dare you


I just happened to have acquired several seasons of the series - VHS rips from when it first aired, original music intact. The only episode that is almost unwatchably corrupted is Fish Story, specifically the part where Herb (dressed as a carp) gets into a fight in the men's room.


It's on Hulu! But I just found this out so I don't know if the music is...edited
posted by louche mustachio at 12:56 AM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


I haven't got time to read this whole thread, but I wanted to put my two cents worth in. I know this discussion was spawned because of the thread about the close of TWOP, but I don't think MeFiTV needs to replicate TWOP in any way. I'd really rather the subsite be more like the front page, with interesting links about TV shows - rather than having someone appointed to write recaps.

Perhaps we could group discussion of a TV show per thread or per episode - hopefully better tagged to make it easier to find.

I'd really rather MeFi avoids appointing people to recap shows, because I don't really think the site needs to give the impression that some contributors are more important than others. There's enough inside baseball commentary on MeFi as it is - and there are posters who post a lot, and long term posters, etc. But I don't feel like anyone is above anyone else, whereas if someone was a recapper for a show, they are like a defacto writer for the site. This is not how MeFi works. This is not what I like about MeFi.

What I like about the TV threads here is the discussion. And finding links to reviews and recaps and walkthroughs and meta discussions elsewhere on the web. I think if there were recaps on MeFi, the discussion would be more about the recaps than the episodes - because it would feel like the site was saying "this is where discussion begins, with this person's recap." I'd rather it centre around a handful of links, rather than a block of text.

I guess the best thing about a TV subsite is effectively we can discuss shows that are currently on or have long gone, without necessarily having a craft a post to the standard of the blue - a review here or a meta article there. Rather than "best of the web", it can just be a new (or old but interesting) review/article that could prompt discussion.
posted by crossoverman at 3:38 AM on March 30, 2014 [13 favorites]


If a TV site warrants more mod intervention and the existing mods are over capacity, one would expect that Matt/mefi would grow mod capacity to fit, considering the additional revenue Mefi could potentially see with a subsite with a strong following, right?

I mean, if the tv site is really popular, it should pay for itself, even if that means adding mods.
posted by disclaimer at 3:42 AM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


See, I just think all the stuff you envision is very complicated and not really mefi-like.

Maybe, but I think that some structure beyond just a comment thread is needed. Otherwise things can peter out or get taken over by those strident fan voices worried about above. By framing the thread around content produced by Mefites (I agree it should be an anyone can contribute type of thing) rather than the existence of the show itself, you can encourage people to revisit the thread multiple times as new content is added. The recaps/reviews/etc take the place of links from the blue and give commenters more of a starting point for ongoing discussion.

Also, the live blogging aspect has a limited shelf-life. It's great for the people in the now, but a few months down the line a thread full of 'Woah!' or 'That HAT!' isn't very interesting.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:11 AM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


The fervor with which this is being discussed, and the feeling that this is pretty much a foregone conclusion makes me feel like this is pointless, but I still think this is a pretty awful idea. I think what we have here is pretty awesome, and pretty much unparalleled. We have a solid community, one that, while we still have rough edges and areas of conflict, we've developed a tenor, a feeling of appropriate conduct, for lack of a better word, a Cheers-like atmosphere where people come here for a reason, and we interact with each other in ways, hopefully, which welcomes people and keeps long time members coming back (less and less, sadly). People are talking excitedly about the new membership and ad revenue that we would draw from developing a tv sub site. I look at what we have, and think of the people who've joined because of that, we have the Blue, where people can find things they might have missed, or popular topics, and reliably find an interesting, respectful (sometimes) discourse. Sometimes that's TV, but to me, I read the thread on True Detective because I was interested in knowing what the people already here were saying. Ask is a group of people looking for help, from a community of people who've received help and want to repay it, or, optimally, people uniquely qualified and willing to share.

And TV? I strongly feel this is something that this place would be excellent at. People here are excellent writers, interesting thinkers, all around fun to be with. MeTVfilter would definitely attract people who would look for an alternative to other sites.

Shit, I guess what I'm trying to say is that, maybe a couple years from now, the Gibson (because seriously, what other color would you use for a background other than a tv tuned to a dead channel) dwarfs the blue. Talking about TV will never be a dead industry. People here can and do talk about it at length. But it's not, as far as I can tell, or dearly hope, the reason for this place to exist.

I know I'm not saying this as well, or as clearly as other could. I know, when it comes to this sort of thing, I'm one of the voices coming out against making big changes. That's because I like this place for what it is, for who is here, and for the things we discuss. Splitting focus, bringing in a potentially large base of new users with no understanding of how the community works together, it just worries me that this place that I love, that I wish I could explain to people who aren't here just how wonderful it is, could end up radically different than the place that's become a solid part of my daily life.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:17 AM on March 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


As a name, how about MediaMetaFilter, shortened to MediFilter, MediMetaFilter, or even MeMeFi. As a URL, media.metafilter.com is very transparent.
posted by Kattullus at 7:20 AM on March 30, 2014


MediFilter

But this is how I pronounce Metafilter...?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:42 AM on March 30, 2014


Echoing Ghidorah's sentiment, I don't think the kind of frenetic discourse that happens on TV-oriented forums is suitable for MetaFilter. Every subsite here is geared toward thoughtful discussion, with occasional deviations from that. If they create a new TV subsite, the mod squad is setting themselves up to have to moderate a ton of fast-moving (for live shows), low-signal threads. It's doable, but it's fundamentally different from the character of the rest of the site.

If Matt and the team want to launch a new site for TV discussion I support them, but I don't think it should be associated with MetaFilter.
posted by anifinder at 7:58 AM on March 30, 2014


I would pronounce that new word meh-dee-filter, Potomac Ave. If that helps.
posted by Night_owl at 8:08 AM on March 30, 2014


Also yes, seconding that media.metafilter.com is good. Unless we think it will only be for tv shows forever, in which case tv.metafilter.com would work too.
posted by Night_owl at 8:09 AM on March 30, 2014


Crazy subdomain idea: twif.metafilter - television with internet friends, as a play on television without pity.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 AM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Great conversation. I like the idea, but worry like others above it will eliminate some of the great TV discussions we've had on the blue. It's gonna need to be successful enough to hire a couple or three new mods, for sure.

Ivan, you've made some great points but I think your insistence on certain elements - severely limited rollout, posts only about new episodes, no old shows, etc - is unnecessarily confining. Leaving threads open for a year should be enough to allow for both TV viewers and DVD/Netflix viewers to get their time in. If it needs to be two years, that wouldn't be such an enormous dramatic change in MeFi culture, or the kind of work the mods are doing now.

I do agree that assigning recaps is Not The MeFi Way. Once the requirements for starting a new thread are set, they should be open to all members.

my gut says don't do this.

Huh. My gut says it could help Metafilter grow in a fun and organic way, and increase whatever arguably positive influence the site currently has on the rest of the Net.

Oh, and people, really:

WatchMe.
posted by mediareport at 10:08 AM on March 30, 2014 [13 favorites]


[Also, I continue to be surprised at how few people are bothering to watch Shameless. The 3rd season, which I'm plowing through now, started with an obvious, deliberately shocking ramping up of violence to Breaking Bad levels, and the kind of "hey let's make the characters who love each other hide things from each other so we can have a plot arc for a season" stuff that's annoyed me since Buffy, but it's still one of my fave shows and has more hilarious comic moments and heart-achingly sad moments per episode than anything else I've watched recently.]
posted by mediareport at 10:09 AM on March 30, 2014


Brit or US? I know my folks watch the US; dunno on UK.
posted by klangklangston at 10:56 AM on March 30, 2014


I do think the new site would work best if live blogging was discouraged. Either an explicit policy or threads only get posted after all time zones in the US have aired a show?

Not sure the best way but I agree with above: we should encourage discussion not immediate reaction. Threads quickly lose their long term value when they fill up with "OMG"s.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:06 PM on March 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


One of the things I like about this idea is that it gives people a perhaps more appropriate place to post their fanfic, cosplay pics, etc. than threads on the blue. I sometimes feel like some TV show-related threads are posted with this as an underlying intent. (Although I do usually really enjoy the self-links, they also bug me, in a letter-vs.-spirit-of-the-rule way.) Also, I could worry less about going into a thread clearly labeled as Supernatural S9E8, as opposed to some thread on the blue put up as really just an excuse to talk about the show some more, with less likelihood of spoilers for S9E9 a day and a half after it airs (and sometimes weeks after the original thread was posted).

As for the mechanics of such a site, I wonder whether thread anchors such as recaps or essays would be hosted here or elsewhere. I like the concept of the content being local, but a 19-page recap in-thread doesn't seem like a good idea either.

I agree with some of the posters above that live-blogging only interests me when it is an infrequent, actually live, broadcast-TV event, such as a SOTU address or Olympic opening ceremony. Otherwise I think it's a niche that something like Twitter is better suited to.

I would be surprised if moderation were anywhere near as difficult on a TV subsite as on the blue or green (with spoiler-policing perhaps being an exception, and one the regular mod squad may not be best qualified for), as in my reading experience TV threads tend to be pretty light and fun, but YMMV.
posted by obloquy at 12:26 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


More than once, I've followed artists online who have fans squawking to the high heavens for the artist to open up an online shop or to take commissions or to self-publish a book. "I'll buy anything you do!" But when the artist finally does just that and waits for the fans to make good on their promises, the excuses roll in, e.g. "Sorry I'm broke!" or "Sorry, tuition due!" or "Sorry! Sick!" or more often, nothing.

Call me cynical, but I think that's what's going to happen here if MeFiTV launches with a recap model, especially since these would be unpaid gigs. Everyone wants to participate, but when it comes time to spend the hours it would take to re-watch the show and to write a quality recap, enthusiasm will fade.

I think a discussion-only model would be work better. Each currently-airing show could have a spoiler-iffic thread, and a spoiler-free thread for the snowflakes who are 3 seasons behind. And we'd see no more predictable, weak FPPs (Fashion person BLAH talks about SHOW! SLNYT) "written" only to create a discussion space about said show.
posted by kimberussell at 12:50 PM on March 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm with obloquy as using a "tv.mefi" as a vent for all the fandom self-promotion and fannish-mode discussion that has started to go on the Blue in TV and movie threads. On the other, mod-problem hand, I already see enough Good Fan/Bad Fan infighting in pop culture threads on the Blue. I used to like reading the threads but now it seems like input is only welcome if you're fannish enough and there's no room for people who don't want to discuss media like a stereotypical fan.
posted by Electric Elf at 12:55 PM on March 30, 2014


What's going to happen when zarq calls dibs on reviewing Get Smart, but desjardins is still nursing a grudge from when he threw up on her couch and tried to blame it on me? SPOILER ALERT, nothing pretty.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:00 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The more I think about it, the more I'm behind the discussion model and not the recap model. Whatever Metafilter does, it ought to be done the Metafilter way. I know a lot of people are excited about the idea of doing something more like TWoP (which I never visited), but we're not TWoP. We're Metafilter.

If folks want to organize a group of Mefites to do something like TWoP, I'm all in favor of it. But telling the mods that they ought to organize a subsite that's like another site that they may not know/care about/like and planning for it to take over Metafilter isn't the point for me. I want to extend the possibilities of Metafilter and do more Metafilter-like stuff about TV shows, not to recreate TWoP with the Metafilter mods team doing the hard work of building the site and running it for a huge new influx of non-Mefites (or folks who aren't Mefites yet).

If a new subsite attracts a lot of people like AskMe, we'll absorb them the same as we have for people who joined mostly for AskMe. But WatchMe or MeTV or whatever you want to call it will be its own beast. If we (for any value of we) expect otherwise, it's a recipe for disappointment.
posted by immlass at 2:44 PM on March 30, 2014 [9 favorites]


I also vote for more of a discussion focus.
posted by The Whelk at 2:51 PM on March 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


Man I have been so out of the loop. But yeah, I'd want this focused on discussion and as someone who usually jumps from one Mad Men post to another all season long, part of me wonders if the solution would just be to enable some sort of way for TV-focused threads to be open for a year. So you put up a thread for the season premiere of a show and it stays open until next season or thereabouts. I know this wouldn't be a solution for older shows, but I feel like the big chatter about TV really happens when it's airing live, anyway.

I have to say that I've really come to like reddit for TV discussion/lurking, too, and kind of wish we could do that model (it's great for weird links about a show) with our quality of participants but I think it would be cumbersome and not really in the sometimes-quaint spirit of How Metafilter Works.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:18 PM on March 30, 2014


I don't think the goal here is to recreate TWoP and agree that a more MeFi spin is something we all want. To me, the MeFi Way or whatever is 'Post with framing and links with comments following.'

What would the discussion focused approach look like? A post with 'This is the thread for Hannibal, Season 2 Episode 3' followed by comments? To me, that doesn't feel much like MeFi, or if it does, it's closer to the single link YouTube post, minus a link or content.

I'm not saying long-form content (recaps, longer reviews, crackpot theories, alternate versions, whatever) is a requirement for an episode's thread - I just think it would be a good idea to have a place for it. Given the number of people who have said they 'watch vicariously' or whatever via recaps, it would be nice to have that group together. Plus, people who are discussing the episode in the thread might not want a sudden multi-paragraph review dumped in the middle of their comment thread.

Also, I was under the impression that this wouldn't just be for currently airing TV/movies in the theater/books that just came out/etc and that some ability for MeFites to revisit the 'best of the medium' would be desirable. If that's the case, then we'd definitely want some way for people not familiar with the episode/book/movie/whatever to get a handle on the content so they could decide if they want to experience it themselves.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:27 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


My only issue with one-thread-per-season is that something like Mad Men will get out of control length-wise after a few episodes. I'm not sure that the solution is one thread per episode though.
posted by crossoverman at 3:28 PM on March 30, 2014


I'll reiterate that I really love the suggestion made waaaay above, that self-hosted recaps/blog posts/whatever could be sidebarred in much the same way that photoset links are now in IRL posts.

This would provide an easy way to read Mefite-authored recap-like content, and while nobody has to "claim" or be assigned a show, people would still have the chance to build a reputation for saying interesting things, with discussion proceeding all the while in a standard Metafiltery way in the actual post comments.
posted by Sokka shot first at 3:32 PM on March 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Cut them into three episide chunks?
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


My only issue with one-thread-per-season is that something like Mad Men will get out of control length-wise after a few episodes. I'm not sure that the solution is one thread per episode though.

That's a feature, not a bug, for me, but I'm someone who once spent three weeks paging through over 500 pages of Sister Wives content on the TWoP forums.

I'd imagine if we had season-long discussions, the post area would be an opportunity for the person creating it to put together interesting links, reviews, links to recaps on other sites (Genevieve Valentine's Boardwalk Empire discussions are awesome)--including to previous series' discussions on the site. I think that kind of thing happens somewhat organically within our community. The more I think about it, the more I realize it wouldn't have to be on the main page. In fact, maybe it shouldn't be. I just really don't think officially hosting recaps is something that makes a ton of sense for the site, while the discussion model does.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:50 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's the liveblogging aspect, though. An open thread about a show that's airing might be too much temptation and we'll end up with twitter-style reactions and West Coast people angry about spoliers.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:59 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Live blogging seems to work okay with the Hannibal threads at the moment. West Coast and other non-East Coast US viewers can avoid the thread until they've watched the episode. Even if we don't live blog, once a new episode has aired, you gotta avoid the thread until you've seen the episode anyway.
posted by crossoverman at 4:06 PM on March 30, 2014


Yeah, that's pretty much already the site culture.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:08 PM on March 30, 2014


What would the discussion focused approach look like? A post with 'This is the thread for Hannibal, Season 2 Episode 3' followed by comments? To me, that doesn't feel much like MeFi, or if it does, it's closer to the single link YouTube post, minus a link or content.

I feel like if we go the episode-by-episode model, and if shows have different "curators" like was being discussed at the top at least (maybe this has been shot down by now, I haven't been able to follow the thread super closely yet because of a crazy week) then the "curator" would hopefully be able to add content to the FPPs as relevant content came up, but that might cause problems I'm not seeing as yet.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:14 PM on March 30, 2014


Arguing about spoliers is also a big part of the site culture, so there might need to be some way to warn folks that danger lies ahead.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:20 PM on March 30, 2014


I think no matter what, the addition of a TV subsite will demand some sort of clarification of spoiler policy (and a way to easily mark spoiler text, if it's verboten.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:15 PM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


WKRP — S06E10
date - 5 comments


And, you know, those will be the five most interesting comments on television you'll read that day.

No, actually, two of them will be all "you mean Season 4, right?" and the other three will be arguing over whether the dream sequences in S03E10 or the proto-cougar meme in S04E10 is better.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:43 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Apologize in advance for the long comment, but I know that separate, serial comments are frowned upon and there's a number of really important points that have been raised. So I'll organize my comment into sections. :)

Oh, also, I apologize for posting so much about this. Obviously, I have more ideas and stronger opinions and enthusiasm about this than even I realized. I don't in any way mean to be propietary about it, I'm just some guy with opinions, like anyone else, and I don't mean to give any sort of impression otherwise.

Will this be bad for MetaFilter?

"I know I'm not saying this as well, or as clearly as other could. I know, when it comes to this sort of thing, I'm one of the voices coming out against making big changes. That's because I like this place for what it is, for who is here, and for the things we discuss. Splitting focus, bringing in a potentially large base of new users with no understanding of how the community works together, it just worries me that this place that I love, that I wish I could explain to people who aren't here just how wonderful it is, could end up radically different than the place that's become a solid part of my daily life."

I disagree with you, but I strongly empathize with you about this and I so I really think this should be discussed.

In short, this is actually how I felt about AskMe (which predates my joining MeFi by only a few months, I'd lurked for a long time before that) and I still sort of feel this way about AskMe. I don't much participate on AskMe and I am sort of suspicious of those mefites for whom that's all or almost all of their experience of MetaFilter.

Let's be clear: AskMe accounts for the majority of MeFi's traffic. And it really is quite a bit different from the rest of MetaFilter.

Back in the day, I really worried about AskMe's influence on MetaFilter. And not just how it would affect the community's composition and sensibilities, but also with regard to Matt's and the mods' focus and priorities.

But, you know? It's worked out fine.

Better than fine. While I am still a bit suspicious and believe that a few of the things I worried about are still concerns, those things are far outweighed by the benefit that AskMe has had on MetaFilter. Putting traffic and revenue aside, I believe that it injected vitality and longevity to MetaFilter in numerous respects that are hard to pin down, but very real. And so many of our treasured mefites have come here initially to AskMe.

I think the same will be true of the addition of something like we're discussing. But the concerns you have are valid. My advice, though, is to take a deep breath and have some faith in Matt that he knows what he's doing (if he decides to do this). He's demonstrated his good judgment many times in the past.

How complicated/expansive should this be?

"Maybe, but I think that some structure beyond just a comment thread is needed. Otherwise things can peter out or get taken over by those strident fan voices worried about above. By framing the thread around content produced by Mefites (I agree it should be an anyone can contribute type of thing) rather than the existence of the show itself, you can encourage people to revisit the thread multiple times as new content is added."

I see your reasoning about this. I feel the pull of the "MeFi is built around good links" in the sense that threads about television shows should be about something beyond just the show's existence. I get that. But ... well, that's true of the blue, but a television/media subsite like we're discussing needn't be limited to that format.

Interestingly, my argument in opposition to your proposals is motivated by exactly the same sort of concerns. We both agree that anything that goes too far afield of what is essentially MetaFilter will be a mistake.

Here's what I think we both agree upon: "a free-form, let's just post linkless comments so we can discuss television shows, whole show, episode, or whatever, currently airing, possibly airing, long off the air, or for that matter books or movies or fan fiction or whatever" would be basically a free-form blob of something that wouldn't be MetaFilter and would be a mess. You want to structure/limit in one direction, me in another.

"What would the discussion focused approach look like? A post with 'This is the thread for Hannibal, Season 2 Episode 3' followed by comments? To me, that doesn't feel much like MeFi, or if it does, it's closer to the single link YouTube post, minus a link or content."

Well, it feels to me very much like MeFi. The "content" is that episode of television. And SLYT posts to the blue are fine and well within site culture at this point. So I very much disagree. I think that would be the most mefi-like realization of this, plus the in-thread sidebarred recaps and maybe a few other little things (made available, but not the primary interface, a la "My MeFi", tagging, and the other similar things). The only other limitation I'd think is necessary is on what could be posted, in order to avoid the flooding concerns I'll discuss in a moment. But, again, even with those limitations things like older shows could be accommodated (with formal rewatches, for example).

"Ivan, you've made some great points but I think your insistence on certain elements - severely limited rollout, posts only about new episodes, no old shows, etc - is unnecessarily confining. Leaving threads open for a year should be enough to allow for both TV viewers and DVD/Netflix viewers to get their time in. If it needs to be two years, that wouldn't be such an enormous dramatic change in MeFi culture, or the kind of work the mods are doing now."

I don't want to be close-minded and dogmatic. I wrote above that I think old shows can be accommodated, just that it couldn't be free-form.

Maybe I'm being myopic. I'm trying not to be. What I feel is most essentially mefi-like and which is indispensable, is that in some metaphorical and literal sense we're usually all on the same page. Imagine if everything that was posted to the blue were open threads and were organized according to subject matter and with sticky threads, and all that, like a "forum". Surely people will agree with me that this would radically change how people think about participation and how they participate?

And the thing is, long-open threads and organized by television shows and such, and where people can post about anything, with or without forum organization, would essentially be like that. It would dramatically fragment the participation.

The argument against threading has been that it would fragment the conversation. A lot of people want that, but it's resisted, I think, because Matt and other folks understand that it would radically change how we engage here.

Put another way, I don't want to visit a MetaFilter television subsite the way I go to TWoP's forums and deliberately look in the part devoted to the show I like, and then the thread devotted to the topic about the show I like, and then participate there. I want to go to a page where I can see what MeFites are talking about now about television and scan them and decide which ones I want to read and perhaps participate in.

Here's a question: how many people truly only participate on MetaFilter via "My MeFi" and "My Ask MeFi"? That's an example of how there's an interface for structuring the blue and the green in such a way that it's very segregated in what a user sees and what they participate in.

That facility is there, but I think a minority of people use it. And, more to the point, I think that the more that people use it, the more that MeFi would change in a way that wouldn't be good. We absolutely don't want more fragmentation. The fact that we pretty much are sort of forced to interact with (most of) each other is a feature, it's a design element.

So pretty much all of the limitations I've proposed, other than a limited roll-out, are aimed at resisting ways in which the design of a television/media subsite would inherently fragment the community's participation in it. A forum organization would fragment it. The usual chronological organization, but where threads don't close and where people can post anything they want, would make that chronological organization overwhelming and unusable. It would be a flood. And probably a flood of posts with only a few comments. (Excepting the few threads where there are many. And even then, those threads will have less than they would have, because people would have to go looking for them almost immediately after they scroll away.)

I don't want to limit for the sake of limiting, but just so that it's focused on doing what we do best and ensuring that it's successful at doing that.

Recaps, live-blogging/chatting, spoilers

"I like the concept of the content being local, but a 19-page recap in-thread doesn't seem like a good idea either."

Yeah, an in-thread or a post that's a recap that also will be discussion is a problem, in many respects. Personally, I feel like there's considerable agreement that an in-thread sidebarred link to recaps is the best way to go for this. I also sort of think that MetaFilter probably wouldn't want to go to the trouble of worrying about hosting that content, but then again maybe it would be fine. That's the one issue with that proposal, where the recaps would be hosted. I mean, a lot of us have ways to host our own material. And anyone can get a tumblr, right? It seems like a barrier to entry, to have some external hosting available if you want to do a recap; but, on the other hand, maybe that's a good thing? A modest barrier to entry like that? I assume there was discussion among the mods about the photos for IRL regarding this.

"I do think the new site would work best if live blogging was discouraged."

I agree that it's a problem in the threads that later would be about more focused discussion. Maybe it's not that big of a problem, as some have said. It seems like a lot of people love to do this, though, even accounting for the timezone/world difficulties, so maybe there's a way to do it otherwise, without adding too much for the mods to worry about?

How about one new chat channel dedicated to the subsite, where people can livechat?

I know that this invites the idea of multiple channels dedicated to specific shows or whatever, but I think that the mods have avoided hosting a full-fledged chat server with all the bells and whistles for good reasons.

"I think no matter what, the addition of a TV subsite will demand some sort of clarification of spoiler policy (and a way to easily mark spoiler text, if it's verboten.)"

I only agree with this if the TV subsite had threads that aren't episode specific (which I personally think is a necessary limitation). Episode-only avoids the spoiler problem. You've seen it or not. Only general threads have this spoiler problem.

Honestly, I'm not sure that there's so much of a necessity to have general show threads. On TWoP it's a necessity because you can't talk generally in an episode thread, which is fucking annoying. That wouldn't be the case here because the mods here aren't insane.

And when there's a really good reason to have a general thread, because there's reason to have a very general, overall discussion of a show ... well, I think such threads are threads that ought to appear on the blue, as they do now. If you want to put focus on a show generally, then find a way to make a really good post about the show generally, and people will talk about it there on the blue. Because, again, I don't think that a television subsite should, or will necessarily, cannibalize the blue for television posts.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:43 PM on March 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd be willing to do precaps, in the style of the "On the next Mad Men" end-of-show teasers:
Don says "What?" Peggy slowly sits, while looking with concern at someone out of shot. Roger says "I hope you brought enough for everyone". Joan strides down the hall toward the camera with a secretary in tow. Pete slams something down on a table. Bob Benson shakes a hand and says something optimistic. Megan cries into a phone.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:48 PM on March 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


I think AskMe worked out so well because it was seeded from the start by the commenters from the Blue. A media discussion site (I would be lurking so hard on the comics and short-form science fiction threads) would be seeded by both commenters from the Blue, and answerers from the Green with an easy-to-grok interface by pb&co and moderating from the usual crew - that's almost an unfair advantage.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:50 PM on March 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yes, I want this. I'm not sure how I would like it to work, however. I originally thought recaps were a great idea, but having read some of the responses above, I can see how it works against the vibe of MeFi in general and think a focus on the comments instead of one recap to rule them all makes more sense.
posted by liquorice at 7:05 PM on March 30, 2014


I've been watching this thread with interest, in no small part because I've been a little worried that Matt&co might decide to launch MeFi subsite that included gaming and that MefightClub might wither on the vine as a result. No, terrified is probably a better word.

I think Ivan's thoughts about structure above are important ones, and the questions he raises are hard ones to answer. Let me blither on a bit about MefightClub in an attempt to clarify why I think so.

Metafilter (and all it's subsites) are structured as a blog -- a timestamped river of posts, where new comments on posts do not bump threads to the top, and when something drops off the front page, it's effectively gone. Thanks to the many tools that have been added to the mix over the years, there are ways -- recent activity and My X and stuff -- that let users track conversations that aren't on the front page any more, and those are great, but the structure is still blog-like, rather than forum-like (or anything else). Flat, unthreaded comments are part of the mix, and that's molded the way site norms have evolved. A single, relatively unique thing-on-the-web, question, musical item, policy topic (or...) is the topic of a given thread. Television series are a very different beast, and discussions about them (and the varieties of 'data items' that might be attached) would be too, I think.

When I launched MefightClub going on 7 years ago, I thought pretty hard about how MeFi-like I wanted it to be, and I ended up kind of hybridizing. It's a forum, where new comments bump threads, but it's also structured flatly both in terms of threads and comments, with categories (and no tagging, but I've flirted with implementing that on and off for a while). My reasoning was that talking about games and gaming means that threads can be both new and newsy, but also evergreen in that certain games and topics may invite discussion in an ongoing way pretty much forever. Threads at MFC are very rarely closed to new comments.

Which is to say that the structure I decided on (though imperfect, and with years of inertia now that prevents major change even if I wanted to) came out of thinking about the best way to structure things to make it convenient for people to talk about the things they wanted to talk about, but flexible enough to allow for variations on the theme. At core, there aren't really that many ways, and not very many new ones under the sun, to structure the way that online conversations work.

So, to my point. If Matt&co decide to launch a TV site (and I hope that they do, because hey, that would be fun!), I have fairly strong doubts that it would be optimal to structure it along the same sorts of lines that every other Metafilter subsite works. I just think it's a different domain, in some ways -- I'm reaching for and failing to find the right word there, but I hopefully you know what I mean.

For what it's worth, I'd suggest if something like this were to become a reality under the Metafilter Network Official Umbrella, is an entirely separate site, with different data structures and interaction paradigms, based on the MeFi Way, of course, but. I know that's a bit radical, and not something that has ever been done before, but I think the way that the information architecture, the user experiences and the different ways that things would need to work would make that the way to go. Shared user database, shared signon, tight links between the sites, but: separate. MeFi users are automatically users of MeFiTV or whatever it might be called (though it would need to be thought through whether the opposite would be the case).

That would make it a much larger project than anything that's probably been envisioned thus far, and I'd love to help out in making it happen, if I could, but I think that doing it as a new Official Metafilter Family site might be the way to go, because doing it right would mean an array of user interactions and data structures that would be significantly different from the consistent, traditional way things are done here at MeFi proper.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:45 PM on March 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


The most mentioned location for soon-to-be-TWoP-exiles is previously.tv, which is run by TWoP founders (Wing Chun, Sars, Glark) back doing recaps, and there are a lot of familiar names in the forum.

There's going to be some kind of fragmentation after the TWoP forums shut down, but I'd sort of prefer there to be an obvious next place to go, and MeFi ain't really it.
posted by holgate at 7:50 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I haven't got time to read this whole thread, but I wanted to put my two cents worth in. I know this discussion was spawned because of the thread about the close of TWOP, but I don't think MeFiTV needs to replicate TWOP in any way. I'd really rather the subsite be more like the front page, with interesting links about TV shows - rather than having someone appointed to write recaps.

Perhaps we could group discussion of a TV show per thread or per episode - hopefully better tagged to make it easier to find.
posted by crossoverman


Sounds like TVTattle.com with a forum. Not that I'd object.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:34 PM on March 30, 2014


"So, to my point. If Matt&co decide to launch a TV site (and I hope that they do, because hey, that would be fun!), I have fairly strong doubts that it would be optimal to structure it along the same sorts of lines that every other Metafilter subsite works. I just think it's a different domain, in some ways -- I'm reaching for and failing to find the right word there, but I hopefully you know what I mean."

Huh. That surprises me — I really respect your opinion. You've clearly thought about this a lot, and have more practical experience than most of the rest of us.

I have confidence in my own opinions about this, though, because it's something I've considered both generally and specifically for a long, long time and it's very much the kind of thing I'm interested in. I am utterly fascinated with why MetaFilter has worked as well as it has — we often talk about the moderation, but I think that Matt's very coherent and considered design decisions within the context of how those things shape discussion and community are just as interesting and remarkable insofar as he's stuck to his guns on this when a whole lot of people are insisting that this flat, blog format is anachronistic.

And I think I react viscerally against the idea of a part of MetaFilter that breaks that paradigm. Not so much with a small, experimental part of the site. But very much with something like a television focused subsite because I believe, and I think this thread proves, there's huge interest in this and it wouldn't be a small part of MetaFilter. It would be big, and therefore its distinctions would change MetaFilter's culture.

But also I just don't agree that talking about television is as different as you say. It's not like talking about games or even books because those things are perennial and/or relatively long-lived and while television shows as continuing productions are perennial, the experience of television for most people is episodic and, excepting the cult shows that are revisited again and again, ephemeral. I very much want to talk about, say, the upcoming first episode of the second season of Orphan Black, but I'm not likely to watch that episode again six months later. So I genuinely think that posts and discussions about specific television episodes is very much amenable to this MetaFilter, flat, blog format.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:38 PM on March 30, 2014


So I genuinely think that posts and discussions about specific television episodes is very much amenable to this MetaFilter, flat, blog format.

I don't disagree, but with the rather strong condition that that would work well enough if, for example, there was a dedicated thread for each new episode of a given series as it was released, concurrently (keeping mind things like naming conventions, metadata (series, season, episode etc). But I'm not sure there's enough value in that limited scope to make it worth doing, and I think that going small like that would limit the degree to which it could be scaled up and out in future, if it were successful. Better to figure out the hard structural questions before you get out of the gate, I tend to think.

But, unless I'm misunderstanding the intent of such a site (and I haven't spent time on TWOP or any of the other sites like it people have mentioned, though I do visit AVClub all the time), there'd also be old series to think about, wouldn't there? People love to talk about Buffy or Trek or pretty much anything. What about series that would be ongoing when such a site launched -- like, say, Mad Men, which is about to begin its final season? Or House of Cards style series that drop all at once? Is it for series 'airing' at the moment for the first time?

How would general discussions of a series fit in to the info architecture? Would a post (which would presumably be the 'winning' post in a series of post-collisions about a new episode (or would there be some mechanism to avoid that and the moderation work that would come with it?)) about an episode be 'required' to be a recap? Would general discussion threads about a given episode be separate items from recaps, and how would the two interact? Would recap items be posts or comments? What about (as you mentioned) anticipatory posts about episodes or seasons or whole series? Could there or should there be a review component to all this? How would that work in the MeFi universe?

I mean, those are just some structural questions that pop to mind off the get-go, and I'm not looking for answers to them, I just think they're the tip of the iceberg in terms of questions that would need some thought. And my feeling is that the answers to them would mean that a discussion site devoted to these kinds of discussions would need to be a very different site from either a straight-blog structure or a forum structure. Neither would suit, and I'd love to see a custom built platform -- building on the MeFi codebase or whatever -- to handle this kind of thing.

And I think I react viscerally against the idea of a part of MetaFilter that breaks that paradigm.

Me too, absolutely, which is why I think if a) we wanted to have a site that did it right (and I think that Matt likes to do things right and b) it was done under the official MeFi Network umbrella, that it would be best as a semi-separate entity, because it would have to break from the standard data-structure paradigm that exists on current MeFi sites.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:02 PM on March 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


I am utterly fascinated with why MetaFilter has worked as well as it has — we often talk about the moderation, but I think that Matt's very coherent and considered design decisions within the context of how those things shape discussion and community are just as interesting and remarkable insofar as he's stuck to his guns on this when a whole lot of people are insisting that this flat, blog format is anachronistic.

You and me both, brother.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:08 PM on March 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


i think there could be a lot of fiddling around with things that don't need to be figured out perfectly right out the gate. in askme there was chatfilter until that was banned and now you have to ask something that can be answered. didn't metafilter at the very beginning have some no-link fpps until that was changed? metatalk will always be available for hashing out policies, things that come up unexpectedly, ponies that would make sense given how things shape up. details like thread-closing timeframes can be adjusted accordingly, just like the favorites daily limit was capped, then raised.

i agree that doing things the metafilter way (and finding that out sometimes along the way) makes more sense than copying something else. i'm interested in the possibilities. maybe there will be a mix of weekly episode threads for popular ongoing shows (newsfilter, slyt-style affairs) posted right alongside lovingly crafted fpps of old shows. if the popular stuff gets all the eyeballs and mefitv trends that way, then the awesome fpps rattling around in people's heads still have a home on mefi proper.

also chat makes more sense for the live-tweeting experience. i feel like getting a bunch of people to agree on a time will be hard enough that taxing the existing systems will probably not happen. i'm sure the mods don't need to build excess infrastructure that might never get used. and speaking of chat-- that got rolled out on the 'low without even a top link for months. some flexibility/creativity on the rollout could serve as a natural bottleneck so there's a testing period.

(ctrl+f wonderfalls--nothing!)
posted by twist my arm at 9:20 PM on March 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


"I mean, those are just some structural questions that pop to mind off the get-go, and I'm not looking for answers to them, I just think they're the tip of the iceberg in terms of questions that would need some thought."

Yeah, I think we agree about the implications being problematic and that's it's very much worth it to think carefully about this. Apparently our disagreement really is just that I think the more limited vision I have which answers those questions would actually meet a strong need and be vibrant, while you think it would be so limited as to be smothered in its cradle.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:21 PM on March 30, 2014


while you think it would be so limited as to be smothered in its cradle.

Not so strong as all that, but I do feel like the limited option might not be something robust enough to take the place of the occasional ad-hoc TV show discussions that are the status quo on the blue.

But I tend to be of the 'if you go, go large' school of thought, which is not necessarily always the best course of action. Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:27 PM on March 30, 2014


My thought on starting small is that it would be easier for the mods to add more threads/shows/etc. if there was a real extra demand than it would be for the mods to roll back if there was too much stuff for them to do with a sudden huge influx of new subsite threads.

AskMe is bigger than the blue now, if I understand things correctly, but did it start out that way?
posted by immlass at 9:29 PM on March 30, 2014


My thought on starting small is that it would be easier for the mods to add more threads/shows/etc. if there was a real extra demand

I had never really considered the idea that mods would be adding/creating threads -- that would such a radically different way of doing things here (not to mention the added workload for the moderators, which I'd guess they wouldn't be all that keen to take on) that I can't really see it working that way. Metafilter has always been a user-content driven site, and although moderators do to one degree or another participate as users, they haven't ever been tasked with creating content.

The whole reason I've annoyingly suggested all those niggling questions (and pointed in a vague way to a bunch more) about structural stuff is precisely because MeFi is user-created content. On a site like AVClub, for example, primary content is staff-created (reviews etc), and comment threads ensue. That's a beast of a different color, of course.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:34 PM on March 30, 2014


I had never really considered the idea that mods would be adding/creating threads -- that would such a radically different way of doing things here (not to mention the added workload for the moderators, which I'd guess they wouldn't be all that keen to take on) that I can't really see it working that way. Metafilter has always been a user-content driven site, and although moderators do to one degree or another participate as users, they haven't ever been tasked with creating content.

I was thinking more of "allowing" than actually writing threads. But with some of the proposals I've seen in this thread, there's an actual coding load involved (e.g., with the cascading per-season per-episode ideas) and that might involve actual work for pb. But I agree the content should be user-generated or it's not really Metafilter-like.
posted by immlass at 9:52 PM on March 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I had never really considered the idea that mods would be adding/creating threads..."

The way I envisaged it was just that, as it is now, some things are kosher to post and some things aren't. People should know and if they post things they oughtn't, those are flagged and removed. Not that the mods themselves are actively posting and controlling this.

So maybe the subsite page, and the posting form, says that such-and-such shows under such-and-such conditions are okay to post. Later on, that can be widened.

On preview: what immlass said. :)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:53 PM on March 30, 2014


"AskMe is bigger than the blue now, if I understand things correctly, but did it start out that way?"

I was going to write "no, but it wasn't restricted by content" and then thought about it some more. Because, really, it sort of is. There's really quite a few restrictions on AskMe posts compared to what people want to post. But I think that most of those arose over time, as problems became apparent.

But I think that here's where a comparison to AskMe will be somewhat misleading. I just can't help but think that what we're discussing here will be higher profile, within MeFi and the web in general, than AskMe was and therefore more likely to have higher traffic right from the get-go.

I could be totally wrong about this.

But the interest demonstrated here in this and the other thread, that MeFi is now quite a bit larger than it was when AskMe was introduced, and that this is partly in response to the closing of another site on the web that served some of the needs we're discussing, all lead me to believe that the interest would be much higher than it was initially for AskMe.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:00 PM on March 30, 2014


Well, it feels to me very much like MeFi. The "content" is that episode of television.

More like the "content" is the existence of that episode of television. Again, I'm not saying that a Mefite-generated review/recap/whatever is a requirement for a thread, but I think that user-generated content of the quality MeFi is capable of would help make the beast more unique to the site. I'd like to avoid posts on this site that boil down to "This is a thing that exists, discuss" without bringing anything to the table. On the Blue, it's the links and framing. On the Green, it's a user's problem to be solved. On the proposed site, though?

The idea of a sidebar to offsite-hosted content is an interesting one and might be a good/easy middle ground. Maybe that's the place to break things out episode/season-wise, while leaving the comment portion free form? But then how do we judge the longevity of the thread? One spicy episode of Mad Men and it will be filled to the brim, longboated before the end of the season let alone series. Also, there's the slippery self-link slope to think of (bung together quick summary of show, include SEO ads, ?????, profit?).
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:51 AM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


ok good work everyone, can we please wrap up the design and get something published to the net by the Game of Thrones premiere next sunday?
posted by rebent at 6:50 AM on March 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


Here's a quick and dirty mock-up of what I'm envisioning a given thread looking like. A central "content box" that would prominently feature content created by MeFites (we would need a "generic user" image for users who don't have profile pics) and hosted elsewhere (perhaps there could be an option for text-only content to be hosted by MetaFilter?) but also a place for content from elsewhere on the Web. This would provide the "meat" of the thread, with a standard MeFi comment thread below. There would be "within show" navigation at the top of the thread, enabling you to get to next/previous episodes quickly, but standard next thread/previous thread nav at the bottom of the thread.

Some questions:
1. When would threads be posted? I think it should be after the episode airs, but I don't know what "after" means. East Coast US? West Coast US? Worldwide?
2. Who would post threads? I think it should be by users, not auto-generated, or by mods. The requirement to have at least one user-generated recap or review would keep it from becoming a mad rush to post new episodes as soon as possible. There would be a one thread per week per user maximum.
3. How long should threads stay open? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'd vote for permanently, but with a strong culture of moving discussion along to the next new episode thread as much as possible when it opens, to keep threads manageable and spoiler-free. I think this really depends on mod demands, and could easy change as needed once this thing is up and running.
4. Spoiler policy. "Don't be a jerk" is I think the only enforceable policy. Not only will we never have the level of moderation that would enable this to be a spoiler-free space, but we can't even agree on what constitutes a spoiler. Having individual episode threads will help this, to a large extent, but if you must be 100% spoiler-free, this might not be the forum for you.
5. Limitations. I think 6 or 7 handpicked series is a good place to start, expanding next to "all currently airing series" and then later "all past series" maybe someday movies and books, or even separate Books and Movies subsites?
6. General Thoughts. I am very aware of the concerns of Ghidorah and stavrosthewonderchicken about this subsite damaging MeFi overall. I certainly don't want to see that happen. I probably spend more time on MetaFilter than I do on all other websites combined, and I desperately want it to stay the same vibrant place it is, but I would suggest that we can't ensure that it will stay what it currently is by never changing anything. We are always losing and gaining members, and the waves of trends and fads that sweep the wider Web are always going to be breaking on our shores, for better or worse. I'd argue that the best way to keep MeFi active and vibrant and great is to continue to change with the times.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:09 AM on March 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


obloquy: One of the things I like about this idea is that it gives people a perhaps more appropriate place to post their fanfic, cosplay pics, etc. than threads on the blue. I sometimes feel like some TV show-related threads are posted with this as an underlying intent. (Although I do usually really enjoy the self-links, they also bug me, in a letter-vs.-spirit-of-the-rule way.)

Really? The FAQ states that "in comments, in well-defined circumstances, self-links can be okay ... provided that it has some relevance to the topic being discussed, and you clearly disclose your affiliation to the site or site-owner, and this type of comment is not your only form of site participation." As I understand it, the issue is not "don't promote your own projects, ever," but "don't join MetaFilter to sell your products." For me, MetaFilter discussions are the perfect place to share your fanfics and cosplay pics, as 1) that's something you've done for fun [vs profit], and 2) it's directly related to the topic at hand.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:15 AM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


1. When would threads be posted? I think it should be after the episode airs, but I don't know what "after" means. East Coast US? West Coast US? Worldwide?

As a starting point, TWoP standards have always been East Coast US. In the case of shows airing elsewhere first, they always did East Coast US, which made Doctor Who confusing.

I'd say it should be after first airing in the dominant market. People find ways to see shows they want to watch when they want to watch. To provide for those avoiding spoilers, perhaps threads could be labeled with where episodes have aired (and/or how long ago).

Otherwise, if Metafilter is mostly North American in population, maybe keeping with East Coast US would work too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:47 AM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I made a a post about The Walking Dead finale as sort of an experiment to see how that sort thing goes in light of this discussion and 'cause I like reading and talking about media.

Thoughts: while it's fairly easy to make a post about anything, it often feels hamfisted and people will still talk about the episode and not what the post was supposedly about. For instance, originally the post was built around a Forbes article about tv syndication and how TWD's high ranking don't matter. But the article wasn't that strong, nor that good and really, I just wanted to talk about TWD's season and/or last night's episode. So I made the post just linking to various reviews. We'll see how it goes?

Overall, the idea of tv media sub-site sounds fine, as long as I don't have to build, moderate or maintain, so yeah go for it. I'd say just throw that junk up, using RockSteady's rough layout and let the chips fall where they may, but that's just me.

I would caution against trying to put up too many rules, other than don't be jerk. That and avoid building posts around recaps or reviews. Because while the idea of writing a review of episode sounds fun, it's also work and real life intrudes so people lose interest in doing a review week after week. Also, most people aren't very good writers, so that's into awkward territory. For example, I've been reading io9's reviews of Helix and they're just terrible. Considering the number of typos and bad reading of character plot and motivation, I can see the prickly crowd of MeFi panning similar terribleness.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Walking Dead finale post, for posterity/reference.

If anyone wants to start jotting down the ideas from this thread, I threw together a MediaFilter page on the MeFi Wiki, with some of the questions raised here, roughly organized. Anyone else can hack this to pieces and rebuild something better, of course.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:18 AM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


5. Limitations. I think 6 or 7 handpicked series is a good place to start, expanding next to "all currently airing series" and then later "all past series" maybe someday movies and books, or even separate Books and Movies subsites?

One idea I had was to figure out the different kinds of organizational/socal structures one would want to try in a media site, and try them out one by one. Also, what about starting out with 6 or 7 different handpicked topics? Some could be current TV or book series. Others could be classic or older works supporting a rewatch/reread. Some could be hybrid topics, like the Avengers comics, cartoons, and movies. Each may have good and bad formats for sustained discussion.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:21 AM on March 31, 2014


One of the things I didn't like about TWoP was how posts and posting could become too personal. Their reaction to it was understandable, but I think flawed. Given the volumes they had in their heyday, they had little choice but to be draconian. But I wonder if there could have been a better way.

That said, I wonder sometimes if it is possible to teach people how to be civil in textual communication, to learn how to attack the argument and not the arguer. I wonder if it's possible to learn how to step back and go 'whoa, this is getting too emotional.'
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:26 AM on March 31, 2014


Sorry, missed this:

Brit or US?

US. Tried the earlier UK version of Shameless but the tone felt dated and the writing not as sharp. Anyone who likes smart, ridiculous, weird TV might enjoy the first two seasons of the US version. They're far from perfect (at least 10% of the various subplots fall flat, closer to 30% in season 3), but they have a lot of fantastic writing/editing and can be brilliantly funny and emotional.
posted by mediareport at 10:58 AM on March 31, 2014


I personally prefer a format similar to the existing one with one official/merged tag for each show and maybe also show/season to make filtering easier, and a soft suggestion to have one thread per episode at most unless there's a special reason to have more.
posted by michaelh at 11:35 AM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


>Also, there's the slippery self-link slope to think of (bung together quick summary of show, include SEO ads, ?????, profit?).

>I've been reading io9's reviews of Helix and they're just terrible. Considering the number of typos and bad reading of character plot and motivation, I can see the prickly crowd of MeFi panning similar terribleness.

with Rock Steady's idea of somewhat out-of-the-way links to recaps, i feel like recaps can just develop into whatever they develop into. they could be links to static pages hosted on metafilter, just the recaps with no comments, to avoid the SEO links, and we can additionally use existing flag/favorite functionality to call attention to SEO stuff or to elevate and reward exceptional recapping.

just in general i think people will put as much or as little effort as they think is appropriate, just like we do with our comments/fpps now. so if you're taking lots of time churning out horrible recaps that nobody favorites, you will probably take the hint and stop recapping naturally, no direct censure necessary. if you are doing amazing fpps the nuances of which everyone ignores because they only want to talk about the episode, people will drift away from making amazing episode fpps in favor of s3x04 START TALK NOW.

sticky vs not sticky-- toggle in user preferences?
posted by twist my arm at 11:37 AM on March 31, 2014


I'm about 400 posts late but ..... there was an FPP about The Good Wife? Can anybody link me up? I'm searching and failing.
posted by gerstle at 11:39 AM on March 31, 2014


I haven't seen any, and searching and tags (TheGoodWife, GoodWife) show nothing ever being posted about the show as the primary focus of the post. You haven't missed anything here.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:50 AM on March 31, 2014


Thanks.
posted by gerstle at 12:04 PM on March 31, 2014


I'm pretty into Rock Steady's mockup

Still on the fence about hosting user-created recaps, but I'm more amenable to it than I was before.

If we do that we'd need some guidelines about what is and is not acceptable. Links out in a recap yes, but clearly nothing that doesn't pass the smell test (SEO stuff, Pepsi blue). Favorite/flagging functionality.

One big thing: no photos. Keeping users' appearance to just the name is a big part of the MeFi experience. I love not knowing what people look like unless I want to click through to their profile.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:36 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


wemayfreeze: One big thing: no photos. Keeping users' appearance to just the name is a big part of the MeFi experience. I love not knowing what people look like unless I want to click through to their profile.

I actually kind of agree with you on that, but I felt like user-created content deserved some kind of graphic to punch it up. Maybe there's a better option?
posted by Rock Steady at 12:41 PM on March 31, 2014


I made a a post about The Walking Dead finale as sort of an experiment to see how that sort thing goes in light of this discussion and 'cause I like reading and talking about media.

Heh, I was sort of wondering if that was part of what was going on there. But the fact that it was a matter of wondering rather than being sure points in part to why I've liked the general idea of a media discussion subsite for a while; folks here are smart and like talking media, and there's a lot of conflict between the constraints of how the front page works and the amount of enthusiasm there tends to be about this stuff when it does get a chance to break out.

I've used the phrase "fig-leaf posts" before I think, for the way that conflict plays out in these posts that are reasonable posts but also pretty arguably also in significant part an excuse to chat up show x since it's been a while since there was a previous thread providing the same excuse, etc.

People on Metafilter do a good job of making front page posts out of interesting links to discussion of and criticism of and resources about TV, movies, books, games. People on Metafilter do a good job of having engaging, enthusiastic discussions about TV, movies, books, games. Some of the latter currently gets shoe-horned in not-always-well-fitting ways into some of the former; a subsite that accommodated more of the discussion, and better, seems like it'd be pretty great for the enthusiastic serial discussers without doing any damage to posts to the front page about interesting links and more general discussion thereof. The main question in my mind is finding a format and implementation that we believe is manageable from the mod side.

This thread's been pretty useful for seeing people's various takes on how that might work and what they'd want to get out of (and put into) such a subsite, so I just want to sort of throw out another thanks to folks for discussing it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:51 PM on March 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


so when you start it up you're going to hire me as a mod, right? Better me than some jerk, right?
posted by rebent at 1:29 PM on March 31, 2014


After reading cortex's comment, I realized what's different about the proposed MediaFilter and current MetaFilter posts: the serial nature of current television programs lends itself to something different than sporadic front page posts. If there were weekly Walking Dead posts (for example), there would be a general outcry to GYOB, even if it was just a desire from the community to continue to talk about a show as it progresses.

Crazy ideas: when posts are made, they are marked as Episode Post, Season Summary, or Upcoming Show Speculation. Episode posts and Speculation posts have a life of 30 days, while Season Summaries are open for 6 months. That way, there's not as much confusing cross-post talk, but if a show is old or the season is done, people can chat about it for a while.

If a show is re-broadcast at a later date in a different region, there can be a new post, and it won't count as a double. I think there's a lot of initial excitement around something when it first comes out, and if a sizable population of the site gets access to a popular show months later, I don't know if they'd want to tack onto a discussion that has gone dormant.

wemayfreeze: Keeping users' appearance to just the name is a big part of the MeFi experience. I love not knowing what people look like unless I want to click through to their profile.

So writes the user with a "hip and cool swimming pool railing" image in their user profile.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:38 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


when posts are made, they are marked as Episode Post, Season Summary, or Upcoming Show Speculation. Episode posts and Speculation posts have a life of 30 days, while Season Summaries are open for 6 months.

I like this.
posted by cashman at 3:20 PM on March 31, 2014


I think a lot of the potential organizational problems -- things that might appear to require an entirely different sort of layout or datastructure for a subsite built around discussing episodic content -- could be sidestepped by settling on a standardized tag grammar and allowing users to "subscribe" to certain tags for a personalized view that's limited to just those shows/topics. Which is pretty much how MyAsk already works, right?

The only difference would be to allow the user (possibly as the default view) to sort that page by the timestamp of each thread's most recent comment instead of by the timestamp of the initial post, since the subsite's draw would likely be more along the lines of "Here's some new discussion about media you're interested in" as opposed to MyAsk's "Here's a new question you might be equipped to answer" (or MeFi's "Here are some links you might not have seen").
posted by nobody at 4:46 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


What if each post had required meta data. For instance TV would have:Name, season, episode, country, original air date. The metadata could be compared to reduce doubles, follow a certain show/season, list them in order, etc.
posted by Mick at 5:02 PM on March 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Man, I wish there was a How I Met Your Mother thread right now so I could complain about the terrible ending - even though I only ever watched about five episodes of the whole series.
posted by crossoverman at 6:54 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


crossoverman: "Man, I wish there was a How I Met Your Mother thread right now so I could complain about the terrible ending - even though I only ever watched about five episodes of the whole series."

How I Met Your Mother thread
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:58 PM on March 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: How I Met Your Mother thread

Thank you, Eyebrows -- I desperately needed to scream into the void about tonight's episode.
posted by tzikeh at 7:12 PM on March 31, 2014


This Mountain Timer now knows not to go near that thread now until the episode's over....
posted by mochapickle at 7:15 PM on March 31, 2014


Keeping users' appearance to just the name is a big part of the MeFi experience. I love not knowing what people look like unless I want to click through to their profile.

I'd take advantage of the opportunity to write about specific TV shows and their relationship with modern America, but I don't know whether to go with this photo, this photo, or this photo.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:11 PM on March 31, 2014


when posts are made, they are marked as Episode Post, Season Summary, or Upcoming Show Speculation. Episode posts and Speculation posts have a life of 30 days, while Season Summaries are open for 6 months.


I have no idea how tough it would be to do this in the back end, but I'd rather have some sort of permanent page --- Maybe each season of a show could have a page with links to all episode threads for that season, and a comment space of its own if people wanted to do live-blogging, or speculate about long-term character development stuff. Perhaps tagging could be used to catagorize and collect the pages so they'd all show up automatically?

The way I figure, that way you have a main MediaMeFi site which looks just like all the others, with a big long lists of the most recent posts across all shows. Clicking into a post and going to the tags would bring you to a page which corralled all the posts for that show, and had space for general comments. Perhaps the community or the mods could designate what the official tags would be?

Basically, I think the way IRL works with cities, the MediaMeFi should work with shows --- so in the sidebar of the front page, instead of a "most active cities" there'd be a "most active shows" and you could click on the show name to get to a main page with a thread for general comments. Then, just like how in IRL you have tabs for past and future events, MediaMeFi would have tabs for Current Season Episodes, Past Seasons, and maybe one for Criticism/Commentary (collecting posts on the Fashion of Mad Men or Feminism and Scandal, etc.) Maybe a fourth tab for Fandom posts --- cosplay, conventions, links to deviant art, what have you.
posted by Diablevert at 9:20 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


Somebody probably said this already, and Imma let your words be read by my brain in a minute, but, I've always balked at every "MetaFilter needs XFilter" proposition almost reflexively, thinking it would be damaging to the site in certain ways, balkanizing it in a way far moreso than what we might see with AskMe, pulling elements out of the blue that make it good in small doses, and concentrating and intensifying them and bringing in "new crowds" with different motivations that eventually transform the whole thing into The Reddit.com It's Ok To Like [;)]

With AskMe I find its existence perfectly acceptable and amazing and awesome in its own right; it attracts an ephemeral crowd and has a different purpose and vibe, but NewsFilter and PoliticsFilter seem like a fast track to flame-out filter and This Place Has Been Invaded and Pervaded by a Whole New Aggressive Crowd and We Can't Discuss Political Subjects At All In The Different-ish Way We Used to on The Blue Since We Now Have This Other Thing freakouts in MetaTalk.

Maybe not, but I think TV.MetaFilter.com would work, and would expose the greatness of MetaFilter as a whole to a larger crowd, possibly raising its profile. I mean, America needs people who read shit on MetaFilter, learn how to better express themselves by lurking in the comments, and talk to each other about the stuff they read on MetaFilter. It blows muggles, err, I don't even like that shit, but yeah it blows people away so often when I just talk about something I read here and show enthusiasm about something interesting, anything.

Perhaps balkanize it like this: if you just want to join to ask a question on AskMe but aren't really planning to participate much, gimme $3. If you want to post on the blue and everything in general and already are a member, congratulations. If you're new, TV is gonna set you back $5 and the blue is another $5 or you can have them both for only $9.99

This is not a formal or thought out comment or proposal. Please submit an RFP if a formal P is required of Me, <G>
posted by lordaych at 9:35 PM on March 31, 2014


Balked...balkanization...

balk-balk-balk

Nobunny knows Eastern Europe like the Eastern Europe bunny
posted by lordaych at 9:39 PM on March 31, 2014


And yes, I got all Americo-centric because our population is terrifyingly privileged, powerful, and anti-intellectual, increasing by the day. It's a real problem. Neil de Grasse Tyson is not just following in Carl Sagan's footsteps promoting science because it's fascinating...he's in emergency recovery mode, wake the fuck up America.

And I should probably sleep the fuck down.
posted by lordaych at 9:42 PM on March 31, 2014


Not a compelling case, no.
posted by planetesimal at 10:17 PM on March 31, 2014


Aside from my previous naysaying, I'd like to ask that, if this is a pretty much foregone conclusion, could it seriously be limited to TV? If a new sub site were to cover "media" as people have mentioned, either a) what would ever get posted on the blue again? Or b), how would that be all that different from what the blue is right now, but with a ton more fpps about TV with slightly different posting rules?

I like the comics and movie discussions here. They're some of my favorite threads. I would personally really rather keep them where they are.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:37 AM on April 1, 2014


I've been meaning to round up enough stuff to make a post about Arrow, but now maybe I don't have to! Yeeeesssssss
posted by nicebookrack at 6:59 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


As I mentioned above, I think the marked distinction between TV.MetaFilter and regular MetaFilter is the episodic nature of television. The only other media that would really follow this quickly repeating pattern would be comics or radio, neither of which have enough of a serious following here to make it worthwhile (IMO) to expand the site beyond current TV, or maybe group re-watching of old shows.

You wouldn't really want a new media post for every issue of a comic, and if it was more sporadic, then there wouldn't be the continuity of discussion. There could be discussions of comics as bound in trade paperbacks, as that would provide more of a story, but that's still months between new threads, instead of a new thread each week, as there could be for TV. There are already FPPs on story arcs or major events in comicdom, and highlights of key radio shows/broadcasts, and like Ghidorah mentioned, they're already here and they work well.

Series of movies or books have so much time between subsequent releases that it wouldn't make sense (to me) to add them into this episodic review format, when a user can pretty easily write a series of links to previous threads, and as long as the post tags are the same across posts, you can browse by tags.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:07 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aside from my previous naysaying, I'd like to ask that, if this is a pretty much foregone conclusion, could it seriously be limited to TV? If a new sub site were to cover "media" as people have mentioned, either a) what would ever get posted on the blue again? Or b), how would that be all that different from what the blue is right now, but with a ton more fpps about TV with slightly different posting rules?

I guess it would serve as a way to prune what Cortex called the Fig Leaf posts? Posts on shows that serve to talk about the subject links of the FPP and not about the latest episode? It's kind of hazy, but a tv subsite where it's more dedicated to episodic discussions than general discussions which appear on the regular Blue? I.e, using myself as an example, post a Legend of Korra FPP about the music of the show, but reserve a post about the way awesomes Avatar Wan episodes to the subsite.
posted by Atreides at 7:08 AM on April 1, 2014


Yeah, for me it's in large part the distinction between "I have been watching/reading/playing this and want to talk about it" and "I can legitimately put together a non-crap post for the front page of Metafilter about this", and there's just yards and yards more of the former simmering in the userbase that can't practically get served by instances of the latter.

Currently, if you want to talk with other mefites about something interesting you've been watching, your options are:

1. wait for someone to happen to make a worthwhile post about it that would stand on its own merits even if no one felt like having a discussion;
2. try to make that post yourself; or
3. keep waiting indefinitely.

What I see happening if this subsite come into being is case (3) being replaced by "start/join a thread about it on Media", and posts that fit cases 1 & 2 getting to be a little less of a thing where they range somewhere between Hrmmmmm and deleted. I don't see mefites suddenly deciding en masse not to post about media on the front page; I just see them partitioning the "I found some really good links" posts from the "seriously, we all want to talk about Doctor Who and there's no open threads" posts a bit more cleanly. The links are the content vs. us having collectively watched the show being the content.

I expect in practice we'd still see posts about Doctor Who now and then on the front page, and probably some cross-pollination between episode/season discussions and blue threads in cases where someone's like "oh, that reminds me of what x said over here", just as we see that sort of referencing between existing parts of the site when e.g. an askme answerer refers to something from the blue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:28 AM on April 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think it's a bad idea to tether this hypothetical site to MetaFilter. The tenor of this new community, even if it's largely made up of mefites, is going to be completely different. You only have to read this thread to realise this. It's hard not to envision it as a mixture of gushy and fighty and using MetaFilterCo. resources trying to moderate some sense into that kind of morass seems daunting and wasteful.

That said, I'd like to see this exist in an unofficial capacity, helmed by others, because I would dearly love to see the 'fig leaf' posts cortex mentions dip in number. I think the creation of mefightclub helped curb the number of gaming posts on MetaFilter, which was good. It was an outlet. And I say that as a member of mefightclub. I think the strength of MetaFilter is how it covers a broad swath of topics and lately it feels like we've been getting a bit bogged down by fanboys/girls in the community making yet another, say, Doctor Who thread, as a weak excuse to chatter about the latest episode.
posted by picea at 7:35 AM on April 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, for me it's in large part the distinction between "I have been watching/reading/playing this and want to talk about it" and "I can legitimately put together a non-crap post for the front page of Metafilter about this", and there's just yards and yards more of the former simmering in the userbase that can't practically get served by instances of the latter.

Definitely. As the community has grown and gotten a lot larger, there are nichier groups that present themselves who like to do different stuff: talk about music, make music, show off web projects, whatever. The "I'd like to talk about the latest episode of X" stuff is something we think could be well-accommodated within our current format, along with a little bit of extra metadata. I've mostly just been reading along here, since I'm not too into that demographic, but it's clear there's a huge chunk of people who are.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Really? The FAQ states that "in comments, in well-defined circumstances, self-links can be okay ...

Yes, really. I understand it is within acceptable practices, but when a poster puts up a fig-leaf post and then includes her latest fanfic as the first comment, it does bug me. Not much, but yeah. I understand it might not bug anyone else.

And as I said, I do actually enjoy the fanfic & other user-generated content, and I think a subsite where those types of things would fit in better, and not requiring the creation of fig-leaf posts on the blue (and here I guess I'm really talking about the creation of threads with the express intent of including comment links to one's own work, as opposed to just general comment self-links), is a wonderful idea that I look forward to wasting a huge amount of time reading.
posted by obloquy at 9:27 AM on April 1, 2014


Currently, if you want to talk with other mefites about something interesting you've been watching, your options are:

1. wait for someone to happen to make a worthwhile post about it that would stand on its own merits even if no one felt like having a discussion;
2. try to make that post yourself; or
3. keep waiting indefinitely.


Or 4. use a related site.


picea: I think it's a bad idea to tether this hypothetical site to MetaFilter. The tenor of this new community, even if it's largely made up of mefites, is going to be completely different.

MetaFilter has changed over time. Here's the overview of subsites, including when the sites were added. There are people who joined the site specifically for Ask.Metafilter, and don't really use The Blue. Some folks only stick to FPPs and don't venture into AskMe, or even MetaTalk. Then there are people who are active on all of the sites, including music and projects.

MetaFilter is not a static site in terms of tenor and make-up. As discussed previously, it has changed over the years in a number of ways. It will keep changing, even if there's not a new subsite.


obloquy: I understand it is within acceptable practices, but when a poster puts up a fig-leaf post and then includes her latest fanfic as the first comment, it does bug me.

Ah, I see what you're saying. I was thinking more about other MeFites who add links to their material as the thread progresses, not the original poster themselves making the first comment with their own material.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:39 AM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Another vote for the "I'd like to talk about episode X of TV Show Y" format, rather than curated and hosted original content. That gets too much into qualitative assessments for it to be community friendly. Maybe the post format could incorporate a section for recaps we've read elsewhere, for easy link access, and maybe we relax the rules on self-links so that you could write recaps on your own blog and submit them as well. So you would click into a post, you see a list of recap links that various members have submitted, and then the discussion. (I'm personally more a fan of the 'review' format than recaps, anyway.)

MediaFilter is an awesome name, regardless of the implementation.
posted by Phire at 11:36 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think the Arrested Development S4 thread went well. Everyone seemed to be able to navigate the Netflix/bingewatch/spolier/live blog issues in stride.

Based on all the ideas I've seen so far, I would vote for Phire's model.



"Columbo's investigation of analog technologies."
posted by Room 641-A at 3:16 PM on April 1, 2014


Right now I wish there was a Media/TV.MetaFilter, so I wouldn't feel compelled to find out more about Moby Dick's various adaptations so I can mention the Animal Planet movie-in-the-making, REVENGE OF THE WHALE , looking at the story from the point of view of the whale.

(Damn, there actually are a number of really interesting sounding adaptations, both good and bad.)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:08 AM on April 3, 2014


harriet vane makes a very interesting point over in the TWOP obituary thread. If we do have a limited roll-out of series, it would behoove us to make sure that the roll-out has a decent spread over the calendar, both by day of the week (don't do all Sunday night shows so that activity peters out by the end of the week) and over the course of the month/year. It might also be wise to include some long-season shows (20 or 22 eps) alongside the 8-episode blockbusters.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:50 AM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the creation of mefightclub helped curb the number of gaming posts on MetaFilter, which was good.

Interestingly, and a little oddly perhaps, I noticed just the opposite, but it might have been some relative of confirmation bias in action, especially after I launched (and then retired) Gamefilter. It seemed to me that there were more game-related posts on the Blue than there had been.

Guessing at what was happening there, my suspicion was that the success of MFC and its own related sites (down to two, now, MFC itself and FullGlassEmptyClip) kind of legitimized gaming as a perfectly reasonable thing for MeFites to be into. It seems to me that before then there had been a lot more of the disdainful, 'games are kid stuff' comments when games and gaming came up, but as that began to fade (perhaps but not definitely, but at least in part, maybe, because of MefightClub), then it started to feel a little 'safer' posting about games here at the Mothership. And also, you know, people aren't always keen to join satellite communities, and this is home, and the audience is orders of magnitude larger because it's open to all visitors, registered or not, and... so on.

But I have no real idea if that's the way things actually went, it's just the impression I got. Regardless, I'm grateful and happy every day that MFC is a success and we have new people joining all the time. (We should hit Mefighter #3000 in the next week or two at the current rate of new signups!)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:08 PM on April 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


(Team Lagertha forever!)

Long may she reign.
posted by homunculus at 9:15 PM on April 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the creation of mefightclub helped curb the number of gaming posts on MetaFilter, which was good. It was an outlet.

I have never considered the existence of MeFightClub or any other sites to be a reason to post fewer video gaming things on Metafilter, and am opposed the idea that it's a subject somehow less fitting than others for the Blue. I feel quite strongly about this.

I do however think that the wealth of gaming material elsewhere on the internet perhaps means those things must have a slightly higher level of notability to make it.
posted by JHarris at 11:17 PM on April 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Agreed, absolutely.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:19 AM on April 4, 2014


I want to talk about Game of Thrones but Chat is discussing boring adult topics.
posted by Night_owl at 8:53 PM on April 6, 2014


Soooooooooo what's the stance on this? Is this something that might, perhaps, one day be a subsite on of MeFi or doe the above discussions and logistics mean it's something that someone else should build.

Either way, however the thing is born I would like to offer my help in getting it up and runnning.
posted by Faintdreams at 6:49 AM on April 7, 2014


I want to talk about Game of Thrones but Chat is discussing boring adult topics.

GOT thread.
posted by homunculus at 9:06 AM on April 7, 2014


It's a thing we're actively talking about putting together, but with an uncertain time window. And, since I'm the pragmatic one, I should mention that was also true about TravelFilter, but I think this idea has more legs.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:13 AM on April 7, 2014


Like, Human Centipede legs. Several legs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Couldn't you just have said millipede or something? Why you gotta go there?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:23 AM on April 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow. Way to lower enthusiasm there, cortex.
posted by Etrigan at 10:24 AM on April 7, 2014


I blame the cold medicine.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:26 AM on April 7, 2014


It's not like mathowie needs to clear his decisions with me, but I'd sure like to hear how this could possibly work from a mod staffing standpoint.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:42 AM on April 7, 2014


There are subsites that we add that sort of run themselves and there are subsites that need more clear outlines of

1. what is/isn't okay
2. given 1, what are we going to do about it

So we'd have to make some "by fiat" decisions about spoilers and loose structure and the like but as far as staffing, we've got the same staff as we ever did. If people want place for more linkless "let's talk about a thing in a general sense" banter, that's AOK with us, we just want to make sure we're clear about the guidelines going into it so folks are on the same page.

MeFi, to a very large degree, runs itself. One of the ways in which it doesn't is when people have holy war type clashes about stuff with no real answer and thrash around with each other with a lot of collateral damage. One of the other ways is hammering out community norms that don't have clear edges. Both of those things are likely to be less of a problem on a subsite where the general gist is "Let't talk about a thing that we all sort of enjoy"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:57 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Both of those things are likely to be less of a problem on a subsite where the general gist is "Let't talk about a thing that we all sort of enjoy"

In that vein, could one of the fiat decisions be "No asking 'Why do people like this?'"? It's happened in the recent The Walking Dead and WrestleMania threads (and people flirted with it in the How I Met Your Mother thread), and it nearly blew up both of them.
posted by Etrigan at 11:25 AM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


That's unlikely something we're going to moderate at that level. There are good and bad ways to ask that sort of question. We'll try to differentiate between people who are just trolling and people who actually want to be part of the conversation that is already happening. But if a thread is talking about a specific episode of a specific show, coming in to say "That show sucks, everyone on it is stupid!" is unlikely to be a good way to keep your comment from being deleted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:30 AM on April 7, 2014


Yeah, I think that's largely a question of cultural norms, and one of the things where folks working together to inculcate somewhat different norms for specific things on the subsite vs. mefi will be the big win in the long run to discourage endless repeats of "hey btw this show sucks and you shouldn't like it" potshot type stuff.

AskMe got itself a lot of momentum on that front over the years to the point where there's pretty different commenting culture there vs. the blue, and some of that has come from mod enforcement but a lot of it comes from just shared expectations of the users participating there. It's hard to say exactly what would and would not happen with this new subsite ahead of time, but I think looking at it in those terms—that people in using it will find what their shared needs and wants are, and reinforce that through practice and cooperation with the mods—makes a lot of sense.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:44 AM on April 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


i don't know if this is just me, but i've been noticing a lot of people not liking the "why do you like this" type comments. because while i understand why the trolling version is harmful, i really benefit from the honest questions that come from, say, curiosity. even when i know about the thing, mefites will frequently point out other facets that i wouldn't have noticed by myself.

i think it gets more annoying and derail-y when the same person gets into a back-and-forth about it (as if they're saying "convince me"), but to me that's a distinct category from the first or second person to ask respectfully for a fan's perspective on why something is interesting. i've read enough discussions on mefi about things i've never heard of and things i might initially think are stupid that i purposefully read those threads because i will probably learn something. so please, keep up the honest questions and great responses. fuck the other kind.

this was in general and not to do directly with mefiTV rules. but while i agree that the shitty kind should similarly not be allowed on mefiTV, i dunno, i feel like i would likely benefit from casual viewers who ask "am i not getting it"-- again, as long as it's done respectfully. and remembering to read the room and maybe check out earlier threads that have answered that question or whatever. but i don't think it's out of line for people to say "man i used to love this show, but i don't like a, b, c that have happened recently--anyone feel me?" i'm sure there's a line somewhere, and maybe i'm just thinking of the best version of these types of conversations, but i really enjoy them so.
posted by twist my arm at 1:00 PM on April 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


(as if they're saying "convince me")
Or maybe "twist my arm"?
posted by Night_owl at 8:57 PM on April 7, 2014


Yeah, the "convince me to like this" or "guess I'm just watching this wrong, teach me how" stuff can be a huge derail depending on how it's presented. On one hand, it's nice to welcome new people to enjoy the things you enjoy, on the other it can turn the thread into "everyone vs Saul" which can get tiresome.

I know people are all over the place when it comes to static user content for this site, but if it could become community practice to include some guides or pointers for new viewers, that'd be nice.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:43 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


As long as we're all agreed that comments like, "Sorry, y'all, but I think this show's over-rated and here are four reasons why" would be welcome in any thread about a certain show, and that creating a Metafilter TV site that *didn't* allow that kind of comment would be a waste of time.

I mean, we're all agreed on that, right?
posted by mediareport at 6:54 AM on April 8, 2014


Ok, depending on how the site's set up, maybe not any thread, but some threads, surely?
posted by mediareport at 7:04 AM on April 8, 2014


Being able to back up your statements with logic (whether others agree or not) seems to be part and parcel of this website so yep, I agree that should be acceptable.
posted by h00py at 7:05 AM on April 8, 2014


Sure - the goal is to talk about the show, not a user's personal requirements for quality.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:10 AM on April 8, 2014


(By which I mean the reasoned argument tactic is fine by me.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:11 AM on April 8, 2014


My feeling, off the top of my head here, is that someone who did this as a one-time thing, sure not a problem. If the same user shows up in every thread about Show X and says the same stuff, much much less okay. We have a few users who have pet topics and show up in any thread about that pet topic to be all "Yawn, this guy is so overrated..." or grind some same old axe that is off-topic which is basically threadshitting.

Now, some users may not recognize this as a thing this user always does, but mods and regulars probably will. So, like everything else, it's going to evolve over time. There will be no blanket policy about criticism, of course. That said, we expect people to more or less talk about what the thread is there to talk about not "Prove to me that this show is worth my time" sort of nerd behavior that is tiresome.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:26 AM on April 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ok, depending on how the site's set up, maybe not any thread, but some threads, surely?

This is sort of my view of it, that part of the appeal of the new subsite is that there could be structural room for both General Thread About The Show (which I think would accommodate a well-stated "help me understand the appeal of this" totally fine) and Thread About Ongoing Developments In The Show, e.g. per-season or per-episode, esp. for currently airing much-watched stuff (where showing up for another round of "yes but it's not good why do you watch the not good show" seems more like just bored obnoxiousness).

Right now on mefi we don't really have that sense of distinction; a thread about x is generally the thread about x, and there's not a whole lot of incentive for self-selection there in part because when x is a TV show then the current thread about x may also be one of the only or the only active thread about any TV show and so a sort of default "oh, TV, yes, let me talk about what I don't like or about how I don't like your show you're talking about in here since we don't have a thread for the show I do like" place.

Thoughtful critical engagement is great. Thoughtless critical dick-in-the-punchbowling is ungreat. Repeatedly unreflectingly hauling out the same critical engagement, notionally thoughtful or otherwise, in thread after thread? Not so great. The biggest problem we're likely to have there is with someone who just really doesn't like some show and is also displaying impulse control problems, and that's something we can deal with pretty directly and specifically when it comes up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


cortex: "dick-in-the-punchbowling"

Moby, Cheney or Butkus?
posted by zarq at 7:37 AM on April 8, 2014


Worse. Andy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:48 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


i think it gets more annoying and derail-y when the same person gets into a back-and-forth about it (as if they're saying "convince me"), but to me that's a distinct category from the first or second person to ask respectfully for a fan's perspective on why something is interesting.

The recent Wrestlemania thread (as noted by Etrigan) was a good illustration of this concept in action. The initial "Why do people like this?" questioning was shrouded in the usual polite disclaimers indicating that the question was being asked sincerely and no offense was intended, but the follow up comments by the same user made it very obvious that this line of questioning was firmly in the "Your favorite band sucks" camp. Thankfully a mod intervened in this case before it went off the rails so I guess the systems works.
posted by The Gooch at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yep, we can't keep people from showing up and doing That Thing in the first place but we can, with the community's help, keep the thread from being all about them, most of the time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:10 AM on April 8, 2014


I'm happy to see that this is still being considered. I added a summary of the mods' comments as they pertain to the possible new subsite to the MediaFilter wiki page. If I need a brain-break today, I'll go through the thread and summarize comments and suggestions from users. Of course, anyone else can jump in and add or revise that page as they see fit.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:29 AM on April 8, 2014


That's great that you're doing this but I'd maybe stick to actually quoting and/or linking since to me there is an important semantic difference between

"It's a thing we're actively talking about putting together, but with an uncertain time window. Ssince I'm the pragmatic one, I should mention that was also true about TravelFilter, but I think this idea has more legs." and

"this is a more viable option than TravelFilter"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:32 AM on April 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Boy, quoting/paraphrasing is certainly the hot topic of late.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:46 AM on April 8, 2014


jessamyn, good point, thanks.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:22 AM on April 8, 2014


Cross-posting from the recent Mad Men discussion (just because I don't know how else to word this):
This thread is proof we need a tv.metafilter.com and we need it NOW. A new thread for each new episode of a show — and a warning saying DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T VIEWED IT YET — where we can live-comment the ep as well as discuss it at length after it airs? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP. I'll throw any Mad Men and GoT and Elementary and Boardwalk Empire and Hannibal RSS feeds in my reader tout de suite if'n we can get this up and running soon. I know there's been talk recently of doing this, but if we were waiting on my vote to proceed ( ;-), then you have my sword, axe, bow, and remote control!

I even have envisioned a name and slogan! Metavision: Best of the Tube.
So, if we're looking for another Aye (or some other suggestions), consider me in.
posted by grubi at 12:59 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm really surprised that the open GoT thread didn't get any traction after the latest episode. I would have really liked to discuss it without worrying about spoiling others (I'm sure the book readers are laughing at my reaction).
posted by desjardins at 1:02 PM on April 14, 2014


We're all too busy celebrating to post.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:54 PM on April 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm a book-reader. I don't want to spoil it for others.
posted by Night_owl at 4:43 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


NBC is having a contest. Starting in May, they are accepting submissions for creating a new comedy. Paging robocop is bleeding.

After I saw that NBC thing, I starting thinking how neat it would be to have a place to post that and see people possibly get together and submit some really crazy idea.

psst, matt you could totally submit rafflers to this contest...
posted by cashman at 8:37 AM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Everyone is limited to two entries, and the maximum "team" size is two people, so I don't think it's a good contest for people getting together and pitching crazy ideas. Unless it was just someone doing it on a lark who didn't actually want to legitimately participate.

Though I do really hope The Whelk is aware of this contest. And, yes, one of my ideas is science fiction, the other is a medical show, and I'm trying to figure out if I could combine them to make a sitcom version of the "Starfleet Medical" show we keep batting back and forth.
posted by Sara C. at 9:12 AM on April 15, 2014


Maya Rudolph has a new variety show coming on May 19th with Janelle Monae as the musical guest. With each bit of news, it makes me want this subsite even more. Any updates? Is it still breathing?
posted by cashman at 7:51 PM on April 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think there will be an update on it pretty soon, next couple days or so.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:53 PM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think there will be an update on it pretty soon, next couple days or so.

SQUEEEEEEEEE
posted by stoneweaver at 9:22 AM on April 16, 2014


I think there will be an update on it pretty soon, next couple days or so.


If my reactions to past updates are any guide (see "thread title-gate"), I will be one of the first to post with hand-wringing about how this is bound to change our community's culture and the aesthetic is all off and gosh I'm really not so sure about this, and then promptly forget about the change twenty minutes later.
posted by Think_Long at 10:08 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Get wringin'!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:33 AM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


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