So who gave you the Golden ticket June 3, 2014 2:52 PM   Subscribe

How did you come to find Metafilter? Was it a question on Ask? A link that was Pepsi Blue? Share how you found your way to the best of the internet.

I am not sure of the exact details in my case, but I am pretty sure I got her via the well. I was either (stupidly) asking about homeschooling or Ayelet Waldman, can't quite remember which. Of course goes without saying best thing I ever did, love you all, learned so much, have grown as a human being etc. (and that is sincere. I really have learned and hopefully become a better person by being a member of this site. I discovered the Hannibal TV series for a start. And as a longtime Mads Mikkelsen fan, I thank all of you for that and much more).
posted by Megami to MetaFilter-Related at 2:52 PM (190 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Wow, it took me a good five minutes to remember what brought me here, but it must have been ThreeWayAction ( I feel like I'm having a stroke because it's basically impossible to google anything about a long-dead website that was... called three way action) that brought me to Ask MetaFilter for some particularly interesting question or another, then I lurked forever and ever and then finally signed up for a membership in 2008. Which was six years ago. Oh my god, I'm a hundred years old.
posted by kate blank at 3:06 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Slashdot --> kuro5hin (warning: it's a shithole now) --> Metafilter
posted by double block and bleed at 3:10 PM on June 3, 2014

kuro5hin came first, but passed. MeFi remains :)
posted by tayknight at 3:11 PM on June 3, 2014

I originally came here when I realized that Kuro5hin's founder, rusty, was commenting more on MetaFilter than on Kuro5hin.

mathowie asked a similar question almost three years ago: "Memories in the corners of the site."
posted by grouse at 3:11 PM on June 3, 2014

I'm pretty sure I followed a "via" link from memepool and then proceeded to lurk for years before finally getting around to registering.
posted by Arbac at 3:12 PM on June 3, 2014 [11 favorites]

I google infinite questions. AskMe kept coming up near the top of my results, and always gave the best answers. So then I started reading AskMe to find the answers to questions I hadn't even though to ask yet. I gradually started reading more and more of the site until I eventually became the proud obsessive that I am today.
posted by rue72 at 3:12 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

It must have been either boingboing or neatorama...
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 3:15 PM on June 3, 2014 --> --> MetaFilter
posted by ogooglebar at 3:17 PM on June 3, 2014

via notmartha's blog...
posted by Tandem Affinity at 3:17 PM on June 3, 2014 [8 favorites]

The "MeFi memories" site refrerenced above lives here, by the way.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:17 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Mr. Fig started reading AskMe (I'll have to ask him how he found it), he shared it with me, and it was love at first sight. (Metafilter and I; Mr Fig and I was a slow burn)

Funnily enough I became a member much sooner than he did, and actually gifted him his membership for Valentines Day. He is still much more of a lurker than I am.
posted by Fig at 3:19 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Memepool stopped updating frequently and I probably did a search for like "similar to memepool."
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:19 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

There was a link in a comment at Slashdot.

I was on my third or fourth username at /. - being an inveterate douchebag at that time - so I decided early that I wasn't going to register for an account here at Metafilter and just lurk. I think that was a wise choice - my participation has been much improved by my desire to not shit the bed here. I didn't create an account until 07.

I don't know exactly when it was that I first found Metafilter, but I remember surfing on Metafilter and Arstechnica and Toms Hardware and stuff when sitting on call for a Y2K contract I had, so it had to be before 12/31/1999.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:21 PM on June 3, 2014

Lifehacker used to occasionally link to interesting AskMe questions, and after enough instances of wandering over here and spending way more time than I'd meant to, I figured I ought to have my very own account.
posted by DingoMutt at 3:21 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

ex, who has thankfully long since quit reading
posted by likeatoaster at 3:23 PM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by MonkeyToes at 3:27 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

I was reading Plastic, and I liked it, but I didn't feel OK liking it. I wanted something similar that would be OK to like.
posted by LionIndex at 3:29 PM on June 3, 2014 [12 favorites]

For me it was Ask showing up most of the time I googled around for answers to questions, and Ask always had the best/most friendly answers. It seemed like a great website to join, so that's what I did.
posted by Gymnopedist at 3:33 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

My greatest MeFi regret is that I have no memory whatsoever of what first brought me to the site. All I know is that I was reading semi-regularly before "we have cameras" which is my first clear memory of my Metafilter experience and the sign that it would be a community I would be visiting regularly.
posted by audi alteram partem at 3:35 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

my friend sparx led me here then popped like a glittery little soap bubble
posted by Sebmojo at 3:37 PM on June 3, 2014

Then-boyfriend, now-spouse found out about it from moss when both of them were very bored after graduating from college. When he came to his senses and came back to live with me, I started reading over his shoulder a lot. Then came Sept. 11, 2001, and then I was reading all the time, waiting for the glorious day when I could be a $5 Newb.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:38 PM on June 3, 2014

Lifehacker, same as lalex, and was over the moon to realize there were more than computer questions!
posted by ellieBOA at 3:46 PM on June 3, 2014

Metafilter came up quite a lot on Lore Sjöberg's blog circa 2003.

I found out about Achewood in much the same way, so: hella thanks, Lore!
posted by Iridic at 3:47 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I originally came across it in 2006 investigating a link I saw on Digg regarding a mysterious ARG called "The Purification." There was a lengthy AskMetaFilter thread teasing apart the various puzzles and clues that was fascinating to read. But eventually the site revealed itself to be an ad for some ski resort, and I walked away from the whole affair in disgust -- forgetting about AskMe in the process.

Later, I started using Google Reader, with Lifehacker as one of many feeds. They'd do a weekly round-up of the best questions from AskMetafilter, and the green color scheme caught my eye and made me remember the site. After reading through the MeFi wiki to better understand the site's history and culture, I joined right away.

Sad thing is, Lifehacker later replaced the AskMe feature (which surely drove a lot of traffic) with a new one featuring just about every online Q&A site but MeFi, likely based on a community poll that had competitors just barely besting us -- though I'm convinced they miscounted, looking at the comments. It's a moot point anyway, since they've now replaced that feature with a new version drawing exclusively from internal open threads.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

A wonderful friend introduced me. I lurked for quite some time and joined but it is all thanks to her!
posted by Twain Device at 3:58 PM on June 3, 2014

Oh, man, weird, I don't even remember. Maybe through Speicus's LiveJournal? I used to browse Plastic and Kottke too… I remember wanting very much to join because people were being wrong and it seemed like only I could correct them.

Luckily, I was entirely right.
posted by klangklangston at 4:03 PM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

Same as Tandem Infinity, via notmartha.
posted by cooker girl at 4:04 PM on June 3, 2014

I think it was this article in The Guardian that sucked me in. After a year or so of lurking I decided it was time to lay my 5 bucks on the line and I'm still very glad that I did.
posted by Chairboy at 4:08 PM on June 3, 2014

posted by scody at 4:12 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was a Robot Wisdom regular, and Jorn regularly posted links to the Blue, so my indoctrination seemed almost natural.

This was probably just before Y2K.

RW eventually imploded, by which time I'd already jumped ship and was a(n invisible) fixture here.
posted by bulgroz at 4:19 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

2006, I was taking class with a (now former) MeFite called Music and Language. He used to show us all sorts of cool stuff in class and everyone was kind of like where do you find this stuff? And he was like, wait, you guys don't know about Metafilter? And the rest is history.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:19 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not sure whether I found Metfilter through MonkeyFilter or the way around.
posted by islander at 4:20 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Memepool for me, too.
posted by smoke at 4:21 PM on June 3, 2014

Word of mouth.
posted by homunculus at 4:21 PM on June 3, 2014

I had a burning question and after asking it on various sites filled with haterz and being thoroughly depressed I stumbled upon AskMe. I lurked while waiting to ask my question and I fell for this place hard and fast. (People answer questions with wisdom and kindness AND correct punctuation?! Shut up!) Eventually I ventured to the Blue and then the Grey and we've been together ever since. Don't go changin'.
posted by billiebee at 4:22 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Sometime c. 2004 or 2005, I admitted to a friend of mine that my procrastination problem was at least partially due to a Fark habit.

He couldn't solve the procrastination problem itself, but at least upgraded me to a better poison.
posted by nat at 4:22 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

In 2006/2007 I spent a lot of time on Fark, and one day someone linked to a heated debate here about one of the most important issues of the day: What did Ralph Wiggum mean when he said sleep was where he was a Viking.? 467 comments later and I was hooked, even though it took me another year before I signed up. (And another three or four years to realize how wrong I'd been.)

On preview, jinx!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:24 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was born and raised in a small monastery in the Italian Alps, the daughter of an American cook and one of the British gardeners. The monks had all taken a vow of silence and the staff spoke only English which is why I never learned Italian. We were possessed of a number of beautiful illuminated manuscripts in Latin but there were no books in English, so my mother taught me to read and write and whether I should eat that using AskMe as a guide. My childhood was idyllic but proscribed; I had the run of the monastery and spent many happy hours running barefoot through the orchards and creating FPPs with my imaginary friends, but I never set foot outside the walls and Metafilter was my only link to the lives of those outside the monastery.

As I grew older, I became curious about the rest of the world. I began to read AskMe with a restless, obsessive passion, desperate to hear about the lives of others, fascinated by problems involving friends and family members. One day, hands trembling, I ventured to answer an AskMe relationship question even though I had never spoken to anyone but my parents. The feeling of power surged through me, elating me, making me feel like I was one with the universe. I kept responding to questions; my first "Best Answer" was like a high, and I was desperate for more. I withdrew from my family. The orchards were silent once again, my footfalls no longer pattering up and down the rows. Trees stood unclimbed, monastery passages unexplored. I grew older, and the day approached when I would leave the monastery to seek my fortune. Though I still cared about Metafilter, I felt like the world was opening up to me and I left behind my previous all-consuming passion.

As I made my way in the world, I still thought fondly of Metafilter, of my calm, beautiful mother teaching me to read, of the feeling of that first best answer, with conflicting feelings on how it had sustained me but torn me away from other childhood pastimes. Eventually I grew older, started a family, and Metafilter remained just a distance memory. I checked back in from time to time, chuckled at a relationship question or two, told someone not to eat that, but it was nothing like how I'd felt before. Finally, one day, I just...stopped checking entirely. I'm still not sure if I miss it or not.

No, seriously, my then-boyfriend/now-husband read it a bunch so eventually I signed up.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:32 PM on June 3, 2014 [25 favorites]

My son turned two and suddenly thought sleep was the province of the puny. We spent lots of wee hours on the deck and there was something that came down the road every night at 3. My ex commented that she was glad we'd seen that too.

When Boy saw this blobby and transparent cosmic fart careening down the mountain, he said "Hat man! I see a hat man!" so I googled that and went deep into the woo of the web.

I started exploring the links on one of the sites (Professor Hex) and it reminded me that I was out of coffee filters.

Now I just put the coffee beans on a plate. Bean your plate with anything else and you are doing it wrong.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:36 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was introduced to Metafilter via, the website of mefi's adamkempa. This would have been in 2001. He's not around here much anymore. Busy with adult responsibilities, I guess.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:41 PM on June 3, 2014

Kattullus, who was kind of a MetaFilter tout, lured me in. Yes, I was young and innocent once, until that scoundrel ruined me!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:47 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

memepool for me, mostly, though it may have taken several sites linking here several times (to get me to recognize home!) to get me to pay attention.

I will always be grateful that, among those sites, MetaFilter is the strong survivor.
posted by vers at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2014

Through a link to a post on the blue that my dad sent me a few years ago! I don't think he ever actually signed up, though.
posted by skycrashesdown at 4:48 PM on June 3, 2014

probably either memepool or K5, the truth being lost in the mists of time. I lurked for ages, but evangelised mefi to friends who registered accounts before I did.

one of whom committed a particularly egregious self-link that would be insta-ban material these days and was probably not entirely kosher even then.
posted by russm at 4:52 PM on June 3, 2014

I found Metafilter via google. It was something that came up all the time, whenever I googled something particularly interesting. It is possible that I thought it was related to Metacritic, as well? I don't know. Either way, it just kept coming up via google in an almost Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon sort of way. So one day I ponied up the $5, and here I am.
posted by Sara C. at 5:13 PM on June 3, 2014

I've been a reader of Not Martha's blog for many, many years. I don't know her username (or if she has an account here) but her husband I believe is scottandrew (he recently built the Mefi Music app!). She was always posting interesting links to this weird green website and I always enjoyed reading them; then, I started just coming here on my own. Thanks, Not Martha!
posted by sockermom at 5:14 PM on June 3, 2014

I no longer remember what I was originally searching for on Google when I stumbled across AskMe in the summer of 2011 (I do know that my reaction was very similar to billiebee's!) but I found so very much more than I ever expected.

When I heard about the whole Google ranking mess, I was worried about this place continuing to be such an excellent community, but also that future searchers wouldn't be as lucky to stumble across it as I have been. I am grateful that I was searching during the time that Google ranked this place highly!
posted by beryllium at 5:16 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, you know, now that I see people mentioning it, I also used to read notmartha and am pretty sure that was part of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon that led to me finally joining. Boingboing and Lifehacker, too.
posted by Sara C. at 5:19 PM on June 3, 2014

Slashdot --> kuro5hin (warning: it's a shithole now) --> Metafilter

pretty much my path, although plastic was involved, too

but specifically, it was the mention on kuro5hin that someone had discovered that anyone could post as anonymous on metalfiter and so me and a bunch of other people did until the breach was plugged

i kept track from then on and eventually got in during the period where the first 20 people could get in on whatever day it was

at one time, kuro5hin was the best site on the web, but you'd never believe it looking at it now
posted by pyramid termite at 5:29 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't remember. I remember reading MeFi back in maybe 04, and just lurking and reading for a few years, and then late in 07 I realized "hey, I could probably buy an account".
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:35 PM on June 3, 2014

One of my best friends, who I went to college and then moved to Seattle afterwards with, showed MetaFilter to me, I think around 2001 (not the 9/11 thread, I honestly don't remember what the thread was). I poked around, decided I liked reading stuff here, and kept returning semi-regularly. In 2005, after a few months of inactivity, I thought, hey, I haven't been to Metafilter in a while, let's see what's happening. Somewhere during the browsing, I noticed that signups had opened permanently. I had just started a new job which actually paid enough for me to have discretionary income that I didn't have to feel bad about using, so I said, what the hell, $5, let's do this.

Digging around, it turns out this is also how I discovered PayPal, because I made an account just to sign up here.
posted by Errant at 5:38 PM on June 3, 2014

BoingBoing, back in the day.
posted by nenequesadilla at 5:51 PM on June 3, 2014

I found it through r/ShitRedditSays, I think, or maybe an AskReddit thread. Probably a combination of both, at the Fempire's Ask subreddit. I wanted to find something like Reddit without the torrent of bullshit. Metafilter turned out to be a good substitute. I lurked for a bit, and when I finally burned out on SRS, I got myself a MeFi account in February 2012.

The year before, I had graduated college three months late, spent some time incompetently covering school committee meetings for a local paper, been fired for covering those incompetently, and gotten a temp job that just barely covered my school expenses. I was almost friendless. I lived at home. I hated myself.

I still live at home, but I feel a lot better, and I'm not nearly as alone as I used to be. Metafilter deserves a lot of the credit for that. I eventually left SRS, but I'm glad I found it. Without it, I wouldn't have found MeFi, which has been good to me.

I'm just sad I found it right when Google decided to wreck its foundation.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:54 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Rustic Etruscan, I'm weirded out that you've only been here two years. You're enough of a presence on the site that I feel like you've just sort of always been here, and I'm glad for that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:08 PM on June 3, 2014 [6 favorites]

Hm, it was either this guy or this guy. And I had to lurk for years until general sign-ups opened.
posted by jeffamaphone at 6:08 PM on June 3, 2014

I kept running into it when I was googling something I was interested in. It seemed like the BBS I'd always wished to find when I was a kid with a C64 and a 300-baud modem and a notebook full of BBS numbers.
posted by not_on_display at 6:16 PM on June 3, 2014

Rustic Etruscan, I'm weirded out that you've only been here two years. You're enough of a presence on the site that I feel like you've just sort of always been here, and I'm glad for that.

well, I did post a lot


like a lot

(#58 since I joined!)
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:23 PM on June 3, 2014

I used to read memepool,, the Morning News, and occasionally Boing Boing, Plastic, and Slashdot, sooooooo it's about a six-way toss-up. Or possibly seven including Jessamyn's blog, which I'd have been reading in 2001 when I was just a little zygote of a librarian.
posted by clavicle at 6:25 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

A member and IRL friend sent me a link to the Frankenstein was a guy! posting via email (his subject header: "Literary wankery"), as he knew that the article posted in the link would piss me off. I came to read the thread, lurked for several years to enjoy the awesomeness. When my friend passed away, I decided it was time to get my own account.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:31 PM on June 3, 2014

Back in 2001 there were a couple of stupid Usenet groups that I still participated in, but around then they started going to hell even moreso than usual; at that point I decided to give up on Usenet entirely and find a new internet home. I had used Usenet on and off since I was a child in the very early 90s (I was born in '82 - thank you geeky parents!), and I really liked the deep discussion of various topics with a long-term community. I vaguely remember googling something like, "usenet similar website discussion blog" and coming across a some news article that mentioned Metafilter, slashdot (?), and a few other usual suspects. Metafilter was by far the most appealing option to me, so I stuck around.
posted by gatorae at 6:32 PM on June 3, 2014

I found Metafilter because I broke my leg.
posted by kyrademon at 6:40 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure it was this Lexicon game. I signed up for the game before I signed up for Metafilter. Then I signed up for Metafilter as an early birthday present.
posted by aroweofshale at 6:54 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

My sister mentioned it approvingly at family Christmas and I started reading. Shortly after giving birth, when very very bored and stuck on the couch with a constantly-nursing infant, I paid my $5. My sister is an intermittent user but obviously I found my peeps. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:57 PM on June 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Lifehacker's roundup. I eventually got bored of Lifehacker and just wandered over to Ask itself without going through them. One day I googled 'Metafilter' and instead of my regular green page I got a blue one. I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on at first but after it happened a few more times, I eventually figured out the blue and the green were part of the same site and the blue was interesting enough that I signed up.
posted by librarylis at 7:04 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

In 2009 I had been trying to ID a short story I had read once, and after googling around (mostly fruitlessly) I found Ask. Almost immediately had a correct answer from a librarian (thanks again barjo). Have been an intermittent poster but avid reader ever since.
posted by maryrussell at 7:06 PM on June 3, 2014

Boingboing, after the whole Russian NYC thing fake posted about.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:10 PM on June 3, 2014

Through someone who lived in a dome and whose computer screen was always a certain shade of blue.
posted by aniola at 7:20 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Probably Cool Tools. I think I lurked for about a year or two because I wasn't sure I was worthy. . .
posted by apartment dweller at 7:39 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

1999. Prior to the Bubble, the web was a fascinating place where one could find experts with websites on just about anything. Every day there was some crazy new possibility too. It was a game for me, so I'd do crazy stuff like order a Christmas tree online, always trying to outdo my last. Once the Bubble hit, anything was possible, so the web, and my game, became less cool. The experts, along with their websites, seemed to vanish. Then word started circulating about blogs, and these folks at Pyra who had basically started it all. So I dug in. After a bit, one of the employees had his own thing, and you're looking at it. I lurked for a year before signing up.

Fun side note - I explained some of this to a product ideas email address at Google and requested a way to search journal articles and .edu domains... 9 months before Google Scholar launched. :-)
posted by jwells at 7:40 PM on June 3, 2014

I'm pretty sure I did a Google search for something about being depressed, and found this vaguely familiar green website. All of a sudden it looked friendly where it used to look awfully outdated, and then I read through (multiple times) every AskMe there was about depression and then... I had a new Internet haunt.

Whoa, that was more than two years ago.
posted by undue influence at 7:46 PM on June 3, 2014

another vote for notmartha (which i haven't read in ages, oops)
posted by spinturtle at 8:07 PM on June 3, 2014

and then i lurked for several years before joining. and then i joined and mostly continued lurking, with a question thrown in every year or two.
posted by spinturtle at 8:11 PM on June 3, 2014

Lifehacker, then I figured out that the Blue was far more interesting and I never went back.
posted by arcticseal at 8:14 PM on June 3, 2014

Many years ago, I came across some bizarre site that basically had a ton of websites listed where you could go and do fun things, arranged by topics (poetry, pictures, etc) and in a sort of competitive manner (e.g. Write Haikus: site X vs. site Y). I can't remember which section it was, but one of the listings was Memepool vs. Metafilter. I really liked Memepool, but it was on it last legs by the look of it - or at least it was updating incredibly rarely, so I tried Metafilter too.

Metafilter was...overwhelming at first. The Big Blue Wall o'Text (as my wife calls it); it was intimidating and hard to understand, but I found enough about it interesting to keep coming back, and then eventually there was a thread that made me pony up $5 to comment.

I think - and this is just, like, my opinion, man - that one of the things we underestimate in terms of the bar for entry into this community is that willingness to spend the time understanding the site; the "old style" of Metafilter presents a bit of a challenge for entry, and someone who is willing to engage in reading a thread enough to get invested to the point of becoming a member is someone who has some patience and perseverance.
posted by nubs at 8:17 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm sure it was #spinnwebe's fault. Everything in my life was #spinnwebe's fault in that era.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:18 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

pretty sure i read a thing that anil wrote elsewhere mentioning mefi so i stopped by and read a random FPP and was like UGH GROSS THIS PLACE IS FULL OF NERRRDS but then there was a big nerdfight and i decided it was glorious
posted by elizardbits at 8:25 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

later came the self-realization epiphany
posted by elizardbits at 8:26 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

So let's see. Back in 2009 I was really into this game Nile Online. The game was fine in and of itself but I actually just used it as a chance to chat with the regulars on the open chat channel. There were a lot of cool folks there.

After a couple months, few of us decided to start a clan in this other similar game. We used to chat a lot on a private clan channel, and during one discussion a fellow clannie (and Mefite, it turns out) DarlingBri jokingly said I was a "bad nerd" because I had never heard of MetaFilter.

I respected Bri (still respect, actually, after continuing to read her comments here) and decided to check out Metafilter, stat. The first time I came here I thought I'd stumbled on some kind of ... I don't know, Internet oasis or some such. I lurked for a really long time because I felt (and sometimes still feel) like an impostor.

Now that I think about it, I never properly thanked DarlingBri for introducing me to this fine place. So: THANK YOU!
posted by Tevin at 8:31 PM on June 3, 2014

Plastic, I think but that was a long time ago. (I had hair back then)
posted by octothorpe at 8:36 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was reading kuro5hin and plastic. Metafilter was kinda inevitable.
posted by workerant at 8:55 PM on June 3, 2014

Weeelllllll IRONICALLY, it was Google throwing up AskMe answers in response to my obsessive Googling about this that and all of life's mysteries. I was in a job that I hated and sat there most of the day shaking Google like a Magic 8-Ball and this "hive mind" deal kept having all the answers. So much so that I can't believe I'm only the second person in this thread to have found it that way.
posted by HotToddy at 9:25 PM on June 3, 2014

I followed the blog Growabrain , operated by one of Metafilters own, and at the time, considered it one of the most interesting sites on the web. The site often referred to Metafilter discussions, so it wasn't long till I became seduced by the wit and charm of mefites. I lurked quite awhile before joining. Unfortunately Hanen wrote his last post on Growabrain blog in January 2010 but he still posts here and the archives on his blog are still accessible.
posted by smudgedlens at 9:37 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I found it when I was trying to figure out career-path stuff and was doing lots of googling in the hopes that the Internet would be able to tell me what to do with my life. I found AskMe (don't remember what in particular I had googled that got me there) and spent a few months lurking and reading before I got up the courage to post a question! Then I started reading MetaTalk because I like discussions about communities and then finally I wandered over to the Blue....and somewhere along the way MeFi turned into the check-multiple-times-a-day site that it seems to be for so many of us...
posted by aka burlap at 9:47 PM on June 3, 2014

Via Anil Dash, possibly on, in 2006 when I had my first web person type job and wanted to read about all the web people.
posted by sweetkid at 9:57 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

my sister, restless_nomad :)
posted by amandi at 10:28 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites] chat. I said, hey! There's a lot of smart folks on plastic and maybe we could do a crowd source Q & A thing. After all, that thread on scotch turned into a really nice collection of recommendations.

You mean like on MetaFilter? Humberto said.

Maybe? What's MetaFilter?

Well they do that over there already. Ask MetaFilter.

Isn't that the " it's ok to like?" That nobody can join?

That's them.

We could still do it here.


Lurked until I could become a 5 dollar newb.

Took a while to get used to lack of threads. And karma.
posted by notyou at 10:55 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I remember my Mefi introduction very clearly. I was procrastinating by reading 43folders, and one of the suggestions for kicking writers block was to not go to Metafilter (which was, of course, helpfully linked). I've pretty much been here since.
posted by duien at 10:55 PM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

Wended my way across kottke, ftrain, BoingBoing, kuro5hin, Grow A Brain to Metafilter, then lurked for years before signing up for an account.
posted by peripathetic at 10:59 PM on June 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't even remember, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with Askme since that's where I spend most of my time...
posted by patheral at 11:09 PM on June 3, 2014

I have always been here. Waiting and watching.

More seriously, I lurked here for so long I don't remember when I first came. I signed up to correct some horrible, insulting, wrong advice on Ask, but fortunately never ended up writing whatever irritated me enough to spend the 5 bucks to sign up.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:13 PM on June 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I got linked by XQUZYPHYR from his website back in the day, and lurked for a really, really long time.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:20 AM on June 4, 2014

Googling something or other in 2005 brought up the FemDefence post on the blue (main link is expired, but it was about an artist's idea for a fictional vaginally-inserted product that could stab a rapist's cock). I remember getting sucked at warp speed into reading the discussion and thinking, Holy shit, is this site for real? All this logic and proper grammar and good spelling, in complete sentences, between multiple participants? No tedious devolution into retaliatory ad hominem childish insults? What is this heretofore unimagined paradise? How could it possibly be real?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:20 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

An article in the London Review of Books.
posted by tavegyl at 12:25 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

I like these kinda threads, the how-did-you-get-here ones, it's interesting to follow the meandering paths through internet history. Unfortunately I can't remember how and when I first sighted MetaFilter. Early 2000s is as exact as I can be, but that's okay. As Janis Joplin famously would have said, on the internet it's all the same day, man. I seem to remember a white page with a list of thread titles and little else, maybe they were a top ten or something - am I misremembering?

Anyway, I'd drop in once in a while to see if there was anything I wanted to click on, but I had "homes" elsewhere. I looked into joining once and found I couldn't for reasons I didn't understand then, but do now.

I started visiting here daily earlier this year, when I'd busted my ankle and had to be idle for weeks. Though I love enforced idleness as much as the next sloth, my brain needs exercise. I finally signed up last week. The outpouring of love and concern during MeFi's recent troubles was the tipping point that nudged me to stop looking through the windows and come inside.
posted by valetta at 12:25 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh shit! I just spotted a mixed metaphor and Edit has expired. Oh lackaday! Tsk tsk. My apologies.
posted by valetta at 12:33 AM on June 4, 2014

Oh man. I learned about Metafilter via some blogger I was following in 2001 or '02. Fuck if I can recall her name, real or virtual, or even the specific platform, at this point, but I do remember her sobbing about how mean Metafilter was. I was intrigued, naturally.
posted by flod at 12:44 AM on June 4, 2014

I came via an article about AskMe (possibly on Slate?) and lurked for a while before I joined. I guess I'm still pretty lurk-ey, but MetaFilter is definitely my home on the internet.
posted by charmcityblues at 1:27 AM on June 4, 2014

I have no idea how I got here.

Increasingly this seems to be worrisome for my memory. I have no idea how you people can remember things that happened ten years ago.
posted by solarion at 2:35 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

NotMartha has been posting links to Metafilter for years. If you're reading this, thank you.
posted by third word on a random page at 3:27 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Another memepool immigrant here. I may have actually been lurking for about as long as I've been a member. At first it was an off-and-on kinda thing, but I started reading it more frequently as time went on. I signed up to comment on the first attempt NY made in passing SSM, made my first AskMe pretty soon after, and the rest is (in my posting) history.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:08 AM on June 4, 2014

poster ocherdraco heard i liked bulletin boards and said something like "hey you should check out this site i post on all the time..." she also purchased my account for me as a gift so that sort of opened the door and in i came :)
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 5:22 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm also a Lifehacker to AskMefi person.
posted by royalsong at 5:32 AM on June 4, 2014

AskMe kept coming up as the top answer to my weird and esoteric questions on the googles, so naturally I had to poke around the whole site and become enthralled :)

I also set up a Paypal account (actually my SO set it up for me), just to join - it's the only thing I've ever used Paypal for...and as soon as I remember how to use it, I'll be setting up my donation!
posted by PlantGoddess at 5:51 AM on June 4, 2014

At my old job I had the ability to listen to podcasts all day. I ingested a heavy diet of Sound of Young America and Jordan Jesse Go. They namedropped AskMetafilter all the time. From there, the occasional peek from across the room, then the steady lurking, then the $5 plunge. It's been a six-year creepy internet romance.
posted by GrapeApiary at 5:52 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have no idea how I got here.

That's pretty much me. Maybe jjg or rebeccablood pointed it out on their blogs? According to my blog it looks like I was looking for information on MP3s and Napster and found a thread on MeFi which may have been this one by Matt.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:32 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't really remember, but I'm pretty sure I found out about it from the Internet.
posted by bondcliff at 6:35 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

A hoopy frood that I drove to a meetup years ago talked me into it.
posted by tilde at 6:38 AM on June 4, 2014

I feel like goneill told me about Metafilter, but maybe I told her. This was a long time ago.

I do remember some similar sites I'd check daily back then:

posted by swift at 6:40 AM on June 4, 2014

I was very pregnant and very afraid and scouring the internet for useful parenting advice. This was a lifesaving safe space in a real stressful time.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 7:00 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

MetaFilter kept cropping up on the radar for several years from mentions on other websites, and I'd read bits of it every now and then as a non-member. Didn't join as a few of the threads in the last decade seemed a bit intense, and over the (gulp) decades have had very mixed experiences of online communities, as a contributer and moderator, so was - still am - over-cautious and wary.

Swayed by a few comments from Jessamyn in 2012, finally joined. Glad I did, as along with The Scout Report, Flickr, and Cricinfo, it's one of the very few places online I *have* to visit every day and wander around within a bit.
posted by Wordshore at 7:14 AM on June 4, 2014

I have no idea how I got here.

The reason I remember is that we've had these posts several times before and at one point I scoured my memory for it and now I've got it.
posted by sweetkid at 7:16 AM on June 4, 2014

Condition of parole.
posted by eamondaly at 7:26 AM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]

My wife kept bringing me to meetups and I got tired of being "Mr. immlass".

Oh, and Jessamyn crashed in our spare room for SXSW, and I figured I'd better register if I was going to be hosting one of the mods.
posted by Mad_Carew at 7:29 AM on June 4, 2014

BoingBoing - I think the first thing I read was scarabic's now classic askme reply.
posted by guy72277 at 7:31 AM on June 4, 2014

I've always found useful on advice on AskMe after googling, and after many years I learned to just search straight on AskMe rather than googling and getting an ehow link as the first result.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:53 AM on June 4, 2014

I googled something --- no idea now of what that was --- the top result was AskMeFi, and I just got sucked down the ol' rabbit hole from there. I do remember that I had no idea what MeFi was; that took some figuring out.
posted by easily confused at 7:55 AM on June 4, 2014

I've wracked my brain when previous threads like this came up, and I'm pretty sure it was via kuro5hin. Took me a while to be able to sign up, and I lurked even when signed up for quite a while as well.
posted by gudrun at 8:08 AM on June 4, 2014

Found the site through a Memepool link I believe. Lurked for a couple of years until Metafilter's own Eternal September moment, when sign-ups opened for $5 (SAIT).
posted by killdevil at 8:12 AM on June 4, 2014

Through a SomethingAwful prank. This thread, specifically.

Basically, someone on the forums (I can't remember who) proposed a project: design and propagate a fictional teenage sex practice with the goal of seeing alarmist coverage in national news outlets. It was pitched as a sequel to toothing and rainbow parties. People liked it.

I can't link to the specific thread, but as I recall the basic act went through several iterations before being workshopped into a simple signalling system that matched current fashion trends: popped collars on polo shirts indicated sexual availability. Green polo shirts, specifically. A Kid These Days would pop their green collar and wait for a peer to "collar" them by turning it back down, at which point they were socially obligated to Do the Sex. (Yellow collars meant "maybe," red collars were "not in the mood.")

This was to be called Greenlighting.

Of course, there had to be evidence. So someone threw up up a greenlighting discussion forum, and everyone set about creating accounts and populating discussion threads and misspelling things and whipping up horrible avatars and sigs. That was the fun part: setting up different identities and finding voices for them, making up forum in-jokes and feeling out the lingo. The sudden appearance of the forum/subculture was explained by a server crash: the "admins" apologized for the loss of everyone's posting history and promised that they were working to restore it (this, of course, was the source of Big Drama from the forum regulars).

I was real excited about all of this, and came home from work each day that week imagining how hilarious it would be to see popped collar panics on CNN and Fox.

Once the evidence in place, word was spread by sharing the link around: "Have you guys heard about this thing? Is it for real? I found this forum..." Posts were made on the usual hubs and reported in the IRC channel for everyone to read; places like /., kur05hin, and of course one I'd never heard of, MetaFilter.

Mefi immediately called hoax. Almost as quickly, they correctly identified the probable source. And I felt like an empty balloon. But after everyone was done picking apart the fiction, some folks started getting into it and I read the MeTa and everyone seemed like smart people who also happened to be internet people, and after that I started visiting the blue on the regular.

I lost my SA account years ago (I was a born lurker anyway), but mefi of course remains a daily read.

And no, greenlighting never made national news.
posted by postcommunism at 8:14 AM on June 4, 2014 [13 favorites]

On 9/11 via Fark, sadly.
posted by Big_B at 8:27 AM on June 4, 2014

one day on some site this dude (anil dash maybe?) was blathering about inventing permalinks or something and he mentioned it. or maybe it was jack saturn. or that one chick who put a webcam in her bedroom and billed herself as some kind of pioneer of putting your life online. it's all rather hazy. like the webcam.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:32 AM on June 4, 2014

As I wrote here:

Songdog kept sending me links to it, so it was in my consciousness, and being stuck in my office on 9/11 and following the catastrophe via the famous MeFi thread really hooked me. I wanted to be part of the site from then on, but of course those were the days of closed signups, and by the time Matt finally let me in in August 2002 he had also closed the cult threads I so desperately wanted to be part of. Such is life.
posted by languagehat at 8:39 AM on June 4, 2014

Ugh who knows, probably via some Zompist-related link. It's like the end of The Shining, I have always been the caretaker, there has always been a Metafilter.
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 AM on June 4, 2014

I actually told my roommate at the time (2006?) that I was bored, and he linked me to Metafilter. I wish I could remember the post(s) that got me hooked, all I know is I've come back basically every day since.
posted by moons in june at 9:30 AM on June 4, 2014

I too learned about it from Sound of Young America (now Bullseye) and Jordan Jesse Go. It took me forever to remember that I trust Jesse Thorn 100% but I finally came to look.
posted by janey47 at 9:39 AM on June 4, 2014

Matt's cover of Brill's Content. (I still have a few copies left)
posted by ColdChef at 9:50 AM on June 4, 2014

On 9/11 via Fark, sadly.

I'll see that and raise you "on 9/11 via InstaPundit." (My secret shame!)
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:52 AM on June 4, 2014

Thank you, thank you, Metafilter was the very very best of many good site suggestions.
posted by bearwife at 10:15 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I heard about it on an old librarian discussion board (Jessamyn posted there). It may have been on 9/11. That's the earliest thread that I remember following.
posted by No Robots at 10:39 AM on June 4, 2014

Back in 2006 I was really depressed and had a hard time finding a decent doctor to help me. One night I typed "how do I find a psychiatrist that doesn't suck" into google and one of the first hits was this question from 2005. After I read that I went poking around to see what other questions were here.
That was the night that the crazy viral ski resort question was posted. I spent a week obsessively checking that thread for updates and I've been hooked on metafilter ever since.
I never did find a psychiatrist that doesn't suck, but I've been reading metafilter everyday for almost 8 years and I'm no longer depressed -so I guess it worked out ok.

Metafilter: the psychiatrist that doesn't suck
posted by get off of my cloud at 11:14 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure I must've read about it on Me... wait, no. [long pause] I must have accidentally overwritten that data.
posted by hat_eater at 11:49 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Boingboing for me too -- mathowie was on an early BB podcast.
posted by thursdaystoo at 12:08 PM on June 4, 2014

So that kuro5hin/Met4filter April Fool's joke was all the way back in 2002? Wow. I've been coming here regularly for 12 years and you're only now getting a monthly pittance from me.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:12 PM on June 4, 2014

Matt's cover of Brill's Content. (I still have a few copies left)

That's how I ended up here, too.
posted by drezdn at 12:24 PM on June 4, 2014

Memepool. I lurked for a while before getting an account, though. The first gift I ever gave my husband (then boyfriend) was a gift membership.
posted by routergirl at 12:39 PM on June 4, 2014

A friend was an early user and he told me about it in late 2004. I think he knew about it because he followed Kottke.
posted by radioamy at 12:41 PM on June 4, 2014

Time Magazine (!) had a list of the top ten web sites of 2008. I think it was 2008, 'cause I started reading in 2009. It was interesting to come home to a place you'd never been before, to borrow a concept from John Denver.
posted by Mooski at 12:43 PM on June 4, 2014

Via Salon, September 19, 2001...

Also, Double Post!
posted by y2karl at 12:47 PM on June 4, 2014

I think I found out about it from Speicus when we lived in the same co-op real briefly back in the early 00s. Frankly I find it pretty bizarre that anything from that era of my life still even exists.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:38 PM on June 4, 2014

I got linked by XQUZYPHYR from his website back in the day, and lurked for a really, really long time.

posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:04 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am still amazed at the Tumblr April Fool's Joke. Here is the image for the current Syria reality gamification post.
posted by tilde at 2:19 PM on June 4, 2014

I have conflicting memories: one is that MetaFilter pointed me to Television Without Pity, which would put mean I somehow discovered MeFi around 2001. I also feel like I was reading the 9/11 thread in the days after, so maybe a blog or article pointed me to that thread and I lurked for a bit after. The other is that Slate pointed me here via an article that discussed the dios vs rothko fundraiser, which would put my lurking starting around 2005. Maybe they're both true? I feel like I stumbled across the site at least a couple times before I really stuck around and committed to lurking, which I did for years before signing up.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:32 PM on June 4, 2014

I read an article on the Wired website on Feb. 23rd 2001 called When Gamer Humor Attacks which linked to a thread about the All Your Base Are Belong to Us meme and quoted a bunch of comments. It seemed like an interesting website and I started lurking.
posted by Kattullus at 2:36 PM on June 4, 2014

A high school acquaintance used to send me cool links to stuff. I asked how he found so many interesting sites. "Oh, most of them are from metafilter," he replied.
I lurked for years after that off-hand comment before I finally joined. I have no idea if he was ever a member. Our friend groups drifted apart since we were at different universities.
(Are you there, Zach Joe?)
posted by agentofselection at 4:30 PM on June 4, 2014

The Misogynistic Bitch. And NTK, I suppose, but mostly the Misogynistic Bitch. And Kaycee Nicole. It seems I owe a lot to Kaycee Nicole.
posted by Grangousier at 5:06 PM on June 4, 2014

Almost certainly a link from memepool or plastic. I had to lurk for a few years before the $5 newbs were let in.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:27 PM on June 4, 2014

Another notmartha convert here. I lurked for years, intimidated by the wisdom and depth of experience, figuring that any paltry thing I might have to say would be justifiably drowned out by the more experienced users. And I couldn't think of a witty username.

Finally I just jumped in, with my high school German class name. In my first week, there were two questions about study abroad, my profession. It had to be.
posted by Liesl at 5:46 PM on June 4, 2014

heatherann linked to AskMe from her blog. I found her blog when I was searching for info on INTJ's, as I'd just done a Myers Briggs test, and we are apparently quite rare. I came, and never left. I stumbled over to Metafilter at some point, but the top post was the mushroom thread, so it took me a bit longer to work out what the blue was all about.
posted by kjs4 at 7:30 PM on June 4, 2014

I was Livejournal friends with a guy who was dealing with a mad crush on a married woman he worked with, and considering leaving his wife. In the course of his musings about infidelity he linked to an AskMe question on the topic, and the answers were impressive and thoughtful, communicated using actual grammar and spelling and everything! The more questions and answers I read, the more I liked. So I stayed.

So here's the part I am ashamed to admit. I first ran across Metafilter when I was very new to the Internet. As I recall the front page blurbs were much smaller, but while many of them looked interesting I had no idea that the titles were links to articles and whatnot. There'd be an intro to an article, and I'd click to read more and all I saw were comments. It confused me so I closed out of it and never came back until I got sucked into AskMe as described above. Apparently I became somewhat less of an idiot in the intervening years.

I was also super confused as to how to use binder clips when I got my first office job. I have a very weird brain.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:33 PM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]

posted by herrdoktor at 9:29 PM on June 4, 2014

I really have no idea. It got on the grand perambulation that was "doing all the blogs" in 2000 and it sort of stuck.

I was here for a while, I went away for a while, I came back mostly for the green because it's mostly less grar, but the blue is still very lovely.
posted by holgate at 10:56 PM on June 4, 2014

I've some recollection that a respected person on DailyKos mentioned it.
posted by ambient2 at 1:54 AM on June 5, 2014

Slashdot/Plastic > here ... this place felt much more like a community.
posted by carter at 4:40 AM on June 5, 2014

I had thought it was a mention on either BoingBoing or CoolTools. It could have been a Google search. I first read the brilliant thread What single book is the best introduction to your field and started asking my students to create a similar list for the many antecedent fields that contribute to Computer Animation (as a discipline). Meanwhile I stayed, lurking to see what else would come up here.
posted by cleroy at 5:39 AM on June 5, 2014

Word of mouth from a friend some time in early 2001. Lurked for several months (and still mostly lurk) before finally signing up a week after 9/11.
posted by rbellon at 5:59 AM on June 5, 2014

While working abroad in 2005 I was lucking enough to meet low-profile MeFite Mil, quite literally one of the greatest human beings I've ever known. His (excellent) blog linked to it under the heading "distractions", although I couldn't have know just quite how distracting this place would prove to be.
posted by ominous_paws at 6:51 AM on June 5, 2014

I believe it was a link in some Lifehacker piece. Lurked for years, then finally got an account during the Great Sign-Up-ening of 2014.
posted by Bunny Boneyology at 7:49 AM on June 5, 2014

bigbrotherblows/ Way back in the early days of Survivor, I frequented a lovely, snarky board about the show. Somewhere on the off-topic board, someone mentioned Metafilter. I checked it out and stuck around.
posted by domino at 8:41 AM on June 5, 2014

Osil8 -> kottke -> mefi
posted by motdiem2 at 9:44 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Slate, but then I lurked for a really long while because I didn't want to be one of "those" people. Now I'm pretty sure I'm one of those people for many definitions of "those".
posted by ldthomps at 10:31 AM on June 5, 2014

Would you believe it if I said I discovered Metafilter back in 1999-ish when my ex started working for an SEO company? Yep.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 1:24 PM on June 5, 2014

I have no idea. It was before the big crash, back when there were lots of blogs and the internet was still pretty cool and people were getting rich like crazy for seemingly no reason at all, because the rest of the world had figured out that we were on to something big but didn't yet understand exactly what it was. (I don't think they ever did figure it out, and now it mostly doesn't exist anymore, but I guess they made lots of money, so they probably don't care.) Anyway. Um, yeah, so there were all these blogs, and bloggers, and everybody linked to each other every which way, and perhaps I found it through Brig Eaton's blog, or possibly Rebecca Blood's? I don't know.

It felt like I was lurking for ages before I finally signed up, but my account dates to May of 2000, so it can't have taken ALL that long.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:11 PM on June 5, 2014

I learned about it circa 1999-2000, through the blogging community in San Francisco at the time. I was hanging out at The Well, and publishing stuff, as I still sometimes do, at (before that Diaryland, and before that, Geopages, which is what Geocities was called for a few months. I got to know Matt through that social group. Then he joined the Blogger team, and I got to see him more. I lurked for a while and joined @ 2001.

I had lost the email to this, my original Metafilter account, but got it back. ¡Viva Metafilter!
posted by caterina at 2:11 PM on June 5, 2014 [9 favorites]

Another refugee here.
posted by bitterpants at 3:52 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Got here with questions about XP. For the longest time I didn't put anything else together, to me Metafilter was AskMetafilter.

Almost certainly I got here on a straight-up google search, which I use less and less often, using first (the most privacy available in a search), search second (2nd most privacy available in a search), then either google (no privacy) or bing (no privacy) or whatever else.

So who knows if I'd find MetaFilter at all, today, through those search portals? (I *think* they both use google search but scrape off any information that would ID who is searching, but I'm not sure.)
posted by dancestoblue at 4:01 PM on June 5, 2014

> I had lost the email to this, my original Metafilter account, but got it back. ¡Viva Metafilter!

For those who just glanced over it and missed the implications, check out her profile page. That right there is the first (and so far only) comment on the site by one of its earliest members!
posted by languagehat at 4:58 PM on June 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

one day on some site this dude (anil dash maybe?) was blathering about inventing permalinks or something and he mentioned it. or maybe it was jack saturn. or that one chick who put a webcam in her bedroom and billed herself as some kind of pioneer of putting your life online. it's all rather hazy. like the webcam.

pretty much, yep.
posted by carsonb at 6:08 PM on June 5, 2014

I think one time when someone posts a "how did you find metafilter" MeTa we should all post "Anil Dash maybe" just for chuckles.
posted by sweetkid at 6:16 PM on June 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

I want to say I started lurking after finding MeFi on defective yeti's blogroll. That reminds me, I have about 5 years of mimi smartypants and The Morning News to catch up on.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 7:39 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite] had a list of the best websites in 2000-something and here I am.
posted by Renoroc at 7:41 PM on June 5, 2014 used to post links all the time, and here I am.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 10:00 PM on June 5, 2014


I bet her kid is like in high school now
posted by Sara C. at 10:43 PM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

So I had to go and check, and her latest post includes, as a numbered list item,
1. I have been worrying a bit about the phrase “physical plant.” It is such an odd combination of words.
so I thing everything is pretty much continuing as normal over there.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:59 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Slashdot --> kuro5hin (warning: it's a shithole now) --> Metafilter

Yeah, this.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:04 AM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have the worst 'how did you find MeFi' story.

It was via an 'I accidentally saw porn on my boss's computer' question.

Worse, I can't remember how I came across it in the first place.
posted by Quilford at 3:41 AM on June 6, 2014

Thanks tavegyl, I had no idea Jenny Diski - long loved and looked-up to - was on Metafilter, much less wrote a whole piece about it for the LRB! Sadly the attending Metatalk did not showcase Metafilter's best side and it looks like she left shortly after.
posted by forgetful snow at 5:30 AM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think she left after her own monster MeTa thread. Which may have been a bit ahead of its time.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:48 AM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

It was via an 'I accidentally saw porn on my boss's computer' question.

I forgot about that one. That's one of the first times I remember seeing a question go the exact opposite way the OP expectd.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:48 AM on June 6, 2014

It was the smartest, most helpful site on 9/11 that would load. Thank you, Metafilter. My boss wouldn't let anybody go home that day even though no one was shopping and no one could get anything done.

And then I stayed here. Left a few times, but I always come back.
posted by heatvision at 9:50 AM on June 6, 2014

9/11. Metafilter kept me in touch with what was happening when I couldn't get through to my relatives or husband, and had to sit alone in our condo outside of Chicago, hyperventilating and listening in another browser to the NYPD scanner feed.
posted by jeanmari at 10:49 AM on June 6, 2014

Yesterday, I sent an email to mathowie to thank him for making Metafilter and to tell him what it had meant to me. He wrote back and asked that I share that email in this thread.

I first discovered Metafilter in about 2001, probably from some "Best of" list. At the time, I was living in western Tanzania doing chimpanzee research and managing conservation projects. I worked in the forest, but would come to town on the weekends to see my wife. The only internet access at the time (when it worked) was dialup, a long-distance call to a server 300 miles away over old, horrible copper lines. Many times, we had to call half a continent away (3 days by train) to Dar es Salaam. On a good month, our phone bill was $250, but very often more than that. It used up most of our disposable income.

Most of my web pages were read by ordering them via email using an agora server in Japan. I'd email off a link, then check back later, and my return emails would contain a disjointed but readable text-only version of the my requested webpage.

Metafilter was so important to us at that time. When your internet costs more than your rent, whom do you rely on to point you to the most interesting content? For many years, Metafilter helped us find content we could have never found on our own. Given that our internet sessions were measured in seconds, there is no such thing as "browsing" in this mode.

My wife remembers Metafilter so very fondly because I would download interesting articles found on Mefi and then read them to her aloud while she made dinner. (Dinner preparation was a long process, often cooked over a single kerosene burner) The internet for us was a shared, verbal, experience, almost like story telling.

For years, this was how we interacted with the internet.

Years later, we acquired an L-band satellite dish at great expense, and were able to purchase 2 GB of throughput per month for about $450. We couldn't afford it, but we felt like we had died and gone to heaven. While we still had to carefully monitor every last bit we used, we still relied heavily on Metafilter as our guide. My wife laments the satellite era partly because we stopped reading to each other, our noses buried in our laptops.

We've lived in the states for the last three years. (yes, I need to adjust my profile) Between having young children and unlimited bandwidth, I've drifted away from Mefi more than I'd like. It's still a very special place.
posted by MacChimpman at 11:45 AM on June 6, 2014 [26 favorites]

That time ask saved those girls from Russia and it was all over the internet for a bit.
posted by TheNegativeInfluence at 12:29 PM on June 6, 2014

I was, once upon a time, a very very big Mythbusters fan and found Metafilter after Matt interviewed MeFi's own Adam Savage.
posted by sweetmarie at 4:23 PM on June 6, 2014

hippybear. I'm a lucky guy.
posted by wallabear at 6:44 PM on June 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think I followed a link from Glassdog or Zeldman while 'working' the customer service desk at the Discovery Store Online.
posted by Mick at 4:13 PM on June 7, 2014

A sexy little minx named Josh. Apparently he has a screen name, and I get in trouble for using his given name here. But suffice it to say he likes donuts.
posted by valentinepig at 2:37 PM on June 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was searching for a clam dip recipe and ended up at this site:

Then after following his blog for awhile, he linked to this question:

I lurked for a year and then signed up!
posted by in the methow at 1:08 PM on June 10, 2014

My best guess is Memepool, K5 or Plastic. Possibly Slashdot? Those were my regular places to procrastinate at the time. My earliest clear memories of reading MetaFilter are from the days when I worked in a drab, windowless, concrete-walled basement office, which would have been early 2001. I was already a well-established lurker by the time of the 9/11 thread. New signups were closed at the time and I wound up lurking for another 8 years.
posted by usonian at 8:18 AM on June 12, 2014

Best guess is Memepool. Lurked for so many years on Mefi because a member would always post exactly what I was thinking at some point in a thread. Mefi has changed a fair bit. I am still a little disconcerted by single link posts and the threads seem a lot more casual and conversational and move so swiftly (is I old fashioned). Still Mefi survives - which reminds me of something I should do.
posted by vicx at 6:34 AM on June 14, 2014

By reading the blog of MeFi's own Plep and seeing the links there.
posted by purplesludge at 6:51 PM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

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