How you know you're living in a Mallory Ortberg Toast article January 30, 2015 8:51 AM   Subscribe

when there are three links to her stuff on the front page

I love her, but because of that, I read the Toast. And follow her on Twitter.

Yesterday there were two Ortberg posts in a row. Can we either stop posting every third thing she writes to MeFi?
posted by klangklangston to Etiquette/Policy at 8:51 AM (299 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

Heh, I was gonna say "I was just talking to someone about that" but I guess that was actually you, so, okay!

I'm inclined to agree on both counts: I tend to like Ortberg/Toast stuff a lot but it does feel like it's been pretty thick on the ground lately and is in danger of attracting Onion-esque levels of posting fatigue and backlash.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:53 AM on January 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


The Onion is exactly what I was thinking of.
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


One more Ortberg post, people, and you're TOAST.
posted by Namlit at 8:58 AM on January 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


(And whups on the "either" left in from previous draft.)
posted by klangklangston at 8:59 AM on January 30, 2015


You're not the only one who has noticed! It's overkill.
posted by Old Man McKay at 8:59 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I noticed too but I made the bold and exciting and never-before-attempted move of just not clicking on a thing that didn't interest me.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:02 AM on January 30, 2015 [74 favorites]


Yeah, I think a better single-link Toast post is either A) not written by Mallory Ortberg, because there's a lot of good stuff there by all the other contributors, or B) a longer, more serious essay by Mallory Ortberg. If I were going to post a comedy piece, I'd gather several more according to a theme and post them all together.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:02 AM on January 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


Can we either stop posting every third thing she writes to MeFi

or can we step it up and make an entire front page of Mallory Ortberg posts? Who's with me?
posted by onlyconnect at 9:03 AM on January 30, 2015 [48 favorites]


I've noticed this also and, even as an occasional contributor to The Toast, become a bit fatigued.
posted by aedison at 9:06 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I want to go on record as stating that I also submitted a Metatalk post about this. I love her, but I feel like the over-polishing is starting to tarnish her stuff for me.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:06 AM on January 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Who's with me?

relevant
posted by poffin boffin at 9:06 AM on January 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


I want to go on record as stating that I also submitted a Metatalk post about this.

And just to avoid any sidebar worries about the state of the metatalk queue etc., mudpuppie's came in basically literally the same minute, not a while back or whatever. Lucky klang just won the coinflip.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:08 AM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


"I noticed too but I made the bold and exciting and never-before-attempted move of just not clicking on a thing that didn't interest me."

But… you managed to find your way into this thread, so clearly your system isn't working.
posted by klangklangston at 9:10 AM on January 30, 2015 [71 favorites]


no i like this thread
posted by poffin boffin at 9:10 AM on January 30, 2015 [34 favorites]


Are you sure? Because you just posted the same knee-jerk response you have whenever someone raises a complaint about there being too much stuff, and it's as facile as ever so maybe you don't as much
posted by klangklangston at 9:12 AM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I actually stopped reading The Toast, because so much of it showed up here anyway.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:12 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


So even thought I agree with you that there are way too many Toast Poasts I'm still terrible? I SEE.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:14 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


C'mon, you two.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:15 AM on January 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


i agree with both of you and am unlikely to post the toast but don't mind if a particular article really sings to the soul of someone else who feels compelled to post it
posted by Greg Nog at 9:19 AM on January 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


It's funny, I find her satire kind of shallow and don't really get the appeal, but MeFi LOVES her work. I don't really mind that she pops up so much though, let the people have what they want. MeFi wants Ortberg.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:24 AM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I noticed too but I made the bold and exciting and never-before-attempted move of just not clicking on a thing that didn't interest me.

This isn't just one post that doesn't interest some people. And this isn't the first time we've had a "there's nothing inherently wrong with a single post from author X or source Y, but we've been getting a lot of those, maybe we shouldn't have so many" discussion. Some of which have, in fact, led to fewer posts from X or Y, whether through community consensus or mod action or a combination thereof.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:26 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I want to go on record as stating that I also submitted a Metatalk post about this.

Wait if we have 3 Ortberg posts on the front page, shouldn't we also have 2 MetaTalk posts complaining about the 3 Ortberg posts to achieve maximum Ortberg saturation?
posted by onlyconnect at 9:27 AM on January 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


Three posts about any person or issue in 24 hours would indicate some sort of lowering of some sort of bar. Three posts about Apple, or Microsoft, or Obama, or by Allie Brosh, or the Simon's Cat dude, etc, over the course of an afternoon and a morning? I don't see any of those things happening. If there's an Ortberg exemption, let's codify it. If not, let's rein it in.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:31 AM on January 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


(That wasn't in response to you, onlyconnect.)
posted by mudpuppie at 9:32 AM on January 30, 2015


We've had rashes of Everything This Person/Outlet Does Gets Posted before, too. I'm pretty sure it'll die down at some point. Crushes rarely last long-term.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:34 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I agree that there's a LOT of Mallory Ortberg here, probably too much. BUT I hate the commenting system there and prefer it here so I just pretend this is an alternate method of commenting on her articles.
posted by jeather at 9:36 AM on January 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


It seems well established now that Ortberg on Toast is delicious. So maybe only post if you've discovered some tasty new combination, like Ortberg on Toast with cheese. Or maybe with a few unexpected dipping sauces served on the side.

Because we all know where to get regular Ortberg on Toast.
posted by Kabanos at 9:37 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would be okay with three posts in 24 hours by/about Allie Brosch.
posted by Mchelly at 9:37 AM on January 30, 2015 [29 favorites]


If there's an Ortberg exemption, let's codify it.

Yeah, to be clear, there's no exemption, but (a) there's also not a robot that hunts for similar-source links and enforces a strict quota and (b) prior to this coming suddenly to a head a bit ago no recent heads up specifically about Ortberg/Toast stuff as an issue. So my vague impression has been "hmm, been a fair bit of that", but I haven't specifically had a reason to have a more concrete look at it until just now and I doubt any of the rest of the mod team had any either.

It's something we can keep more of an eye out for specifically going forward; it's possible there'll be an ongoing pile of the things and we'll need to start deleting some on "hey seriously this is a lot of Ortberg lately" grounds, and it's possible it'll ease off more naturally, and either way we'll see.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:38 AM on January 30, 2015


Three posts about any person or issue in 24 hours would indicate some sort of lowering of some sort of bar. Three posts about Apple, or Microsoft, or Obama, or by Allie Brosh, or the Simon's Cat dude, etc, over the course of an afternoon and a morning? I don't see any of those things happening. If there's an Ortberg exemption, let's codify it. If not, let's rein it in.

Well, one could argue that all three pieces are on fairly different topics. And one wasn't even actually on The Toast.

But I agree that things could be reined in a bit. I think highlighting longer individual pieces or themed series as somebody above mentioned would be a great idea.
posted by kmz at 9:38 AM on January 30, 2015


I'm sure at this rate Mallory Ortberg will run out of meaningful things to say and proceed to flame out, so this is most likely a self-correcting problem.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:40 AM on January 30, 2015


It may be overkill, but the way in which that latest Ortberg post attracts comments, it seems there are plenty of people here who haven't had enough yet.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:43 AM on January 30, 2015


I'd like to just see an instadelete of any post that links to a site with that damn link back commenting script or "share" buttons just for highlighting content. Seriously, sites like that should die in a fire and I won't be revisiting.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:44 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Been waiting for this Meta a while now... I do feel like it's a bit of a Toasty love-in here at MF, however when I read the tweets she received I thought it was pretty powerful and worth posting. Sorry to contribute to the problem rather than solve it!

(I didn't realize someone posted a Toast link right after mine until this meta. Double-shot! )
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:44 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, I missed the first two Ortberg posts, so it's not like I feel inundated. They probably were on topics that I don't care about as much as Sci-fi.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:45 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


We have to allow as many toast links as possible cause I'm planning on pitching something very funny on Monday
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on January 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


M(allory Ortberg)etafilter
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:52 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have noticed she shows up here with frequency, but since I also follow her on the Twitters, I can handily skip any FPPs re: her work that I don't feel like reading. Again, YMMV, but as long as people want to comment on what she does, I have no problems with it.
posted by Kitteh at 9:55 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


BUT I hate the commenting system there and prefer it here so I just pretend this is an alternate method of commenting on her articles.

No offense, but I really dislike this line of rationale.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:57 AM on January 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


It turns out I just ... don't like The Toast. I probably should, I think I'm in the target audience and it all sounds like the kind of thing I'd like. But I've tried reading it lots of times and it all just leaves me cold. Not sure why really, but something about the style of articles they end up with just doesn't do it for me.

Which is fine, I don't need to like everything. But does make me notice how often it gets posted here. I'm pretty sure we all know where The Toast is by now so it feels a bit superfluous to me. Besides this one comment I'll just keep rolling my eyes and moving on while secretly hoping it dies down, so no big deal there either.
posted by shelleycat at 9:59 AM on January 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


Oh good, it's not just me. Yes, the Toast is enjoyable in small doses, but it does get awfully same-samey after a while.
posted by mogget at 10:01 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


M(allory Ortberg)etafilter

MetaFortberg.
posted by Mchelly at 10:02 AM on January 30, 2015


Heh, I was gonna say "I was just talking to someone about that" but I guess that was actually you, so, okay!

I want to go on record as stating that I also submitted a Metatalk post about this.

And just to avoid any sidebar worries about the state of the metatalk queue etc., mudpuppie's came in basically literally the same minute, not a while back or whatever. Lucky klang just won the coinflip.

Can you clear up for us that this was a coincidence ? That you didn't like the look of Mudpuppies post and called your mate Klang to make a 'better' one ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:04 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


whaaaaaa?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:05 AM on January 30, 2015 [31 favorites]


To me 3 posts in 24 hours — which could just be coincidence — is less indicative of overexposure on MeFi than 15 posts in 6 months. (Just going by the "malloryortberg" tag, and a few of those can be quibbled with, but the general idea stands.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:11 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can you clear up for us that this was a coincidence ? That you didn't like the look of Mudpuppies post and called your mate Klang to make a 'better' one ?

This is ridiculous on several fronts, and so thoroughly of a piece with your weird conspiratorial bullshit in metatalk both lately and long-term that I am done trying for even the peace-making compromise of mostly letting this stuff slide by unremarked upon.

You have weird, wrong, insulting ideas about how this place works and how we do our jobs. You express that in unkind, hard-to-even-respond-to ways. I don't know what your problem is, but it is very definitely a you-related problem, not a Metafilter-related one, and I wish you could find your way to either sorting it out or just going elsewhere and being someone else's hostile nonsense-generator.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:11 AM on January 30, 2015 [136 favorites]


Everyone living on your space station Metafilter has forgotten about the importance of crop rotation.

Read more at http://the-toast.net/2015/01/28/tell-soft-science-fiction-novel/#037AAVthFgRDyADb.99
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:19 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can you clear up for us that this was a coincidence ? That you didn't like the look of Mudpuppies post and called your mate Klang to make a 'better' one ?

BECAUSE NOTHING BEATS THE THRILL AND PRESTIGE OF A METATALK BYLINE

OH HOW I LONG FOR THE DAY WHEN MY NAME WILL BE UP THERE ALONGSIDE THE GREATS
posted by duffell at 10:19 AM on January 30, 2015 [53 favorites]


Listen, I'm not going to post The Toast unless I can boast the most.
posted by maxsparber at 10:22 AM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Teach the controversy, #LooseFavorites
posted by kmz at 10:22 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hostile Nonsense Generator
A man moderates a bulletin board system. One by one every commenter turns against him, claiming he is a robot with a broken authoritarian circuit. Finally he snaps and sends an electric current through the neural net and zaps them all. The result is all consciousness on earth fuses. People start accusing him with wild paranoid theories at the supermarket. He stops leaving the house until one day he realizes actually that his toaster has become sentient and is posting for him online, erasing his real posts. His eyes cross and big PIZOWNRED appears over his face. He exchanges funny texts with the toaster and it goes on to publish them to the hivemind's great approval. He eats cold bread the rest of his days. Rated M for Mature.

posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:24 AM on January 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


OH HOW I LONG FOR THE DAY WHEN MY NAME WILL BE UP THERE ALONGSIDE THE GREATS

Right? I NEVER flag in MeTa but I flagged that because it was weird, deraily, conspiratorial bullshit such as we often get from sgt.serenity and it's bizarre and unhelpful and I'm sick of it. Seriously, I've noticed your name in a bunch of MeTas recently making similar unsubstantiated attacks on the site in general and the mods in particular, occasionally based on things that are demonstrably wrong, and I have no idea what you're trying to accomplish.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:24 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I will say, in all honestly, I have no idea why sgt.serenity hasn't been banned yet. His behavior is so indistinguishable from trolling the mods as to be indistinguishable from trolling the mods.
posted by maxsparber at 10:25 AM on January 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


Ah, it's Weird Friday. I wondered.
posted by heyho at 10:25 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Our supergiant ultra-economy size box of Toast Posties is empty?

Noooo -- I've been waiting for something to supplant Legos for a long time, and I thought it had finally arrived.
posted by jamjam at 10:25 AM on January 30, 2015


when I read the tweets she received I thought it was pretty powerful and worth posting. Sorry to contribute to the problem rather than solve it!

I just read that coming-out-stories thread, and I would hope that if the site makes an active effort to avoid overToasting, that thread would not be counted; while it was spurred by a question from Ortberg on twitter, most of it wasn't her writing, it was fantastic, and I consider it very very different from her articles on the Toast (such as today's soft-sci-fi article, which, ftr, I did think was actually similar enough to the recent Black Mirror article to make it a little overkilly)
posted by Greg Nog at 10:26 AM on January 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


What if sgt.serenity is the beginning of SkyNet?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:27 AM on January 30, 2015


With all these posts from The Toast we've really got to ask ourselves... which side is the moderators' bread buttered on?
posted by Jahaza at 10:28 AM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I dunno, I get where you're coming from klang, but this seems to me just like another "MeFi is doing too much _____." And the answer's always the same: space on MeFi is (functionally) infinite and it's not like another post lost out, so just scroll past; if crappy posts are a problem, make better ones; if posts are a bit thin but essentially good then beef them up with commentary & links.

I guess I'm trying to see MeFi more like an ongoing party with mostly interesting guests, and if I hear a conversation I don't like then hey there's some cool people talking about cool stuff over there. Or I just get another glass of wine and flail about. Either/or.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:28 AM on January 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Or I just get another glass of wine and flail about.

I have also been eager for Friday.
posted by maxsparber at 10:30 AM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm just glad I got my Ortberg post in before the backlash!

I agree that MetaFilter should not just be a relay station for The Toast in general or Mallory Ortberg in particular but it sort of pleases me that this is enough of a thing that it gets a MeTa thread.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:31 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would be okay with three posts in 24 hours by/about Allie Brosch.

Oddly enough, one of the first times I thought, "Damn, I love this, but do we have to post everything this person does?" was the period of time when every new single Hyperbole and a Half comic was posted to the front page in a matter of seconds. I don't recall if there was a Meta about it, or if I just started ignoring them.
posted by muddgirl at 10:31 AM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Frankly, I didn't even know Nina Totenberg wrote for The Toast.
posted by maxsparber at 10:31 AM on January 30, 2015


We seriously got two MetaTalk posts about this in the span of one minute. It's an insane coincidence but here's a shot of my inbox. sgt.serenity, if you don't want to get banned for continuing to spout utter nonsense, please try and change course soon and drastically.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:32 AM on January 30, 2015 [24 favorites]


I will say, in all honestly, I have no idea why sgt.serenity hasn't been banned yet. His behavior is so indistinguishable from trolling the mods as to be indistinguishable from trolling the mods.

He's an annoying pest - which is probably why he hasn't risen past sergeant - but bannanating is a bit much, I think.

Back to the topic - Ortberg is a good writer, but like any deeply unhappy person, part of me is really looking forward to the inevitable misstep/backlash/we never really liked them anyway phase.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:32 AM on January 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Listen, I'm not going to post The Toast unless I can boast the most.

Just don't roast the post.
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


this seems to me just like another "MeFi is doing too much _____." And the answer's always the same: space on MeFi is (functionally) infinite and it's not like another post lost out, so just scroll past;

I think that's a lovely ideal, but some of the posts are just a short couple-paragraph humor piece. When you see them posted a few times a week, it starts to get old because they seem like thin posts or one-note jokes, a lot like how we kind of had to ban posts about the Onion because people were posting them many times a week to thin one-joke posts.

It's tough to draw a line on any of this, sometimes I think a round-up of tweets seems like a thin lazy post while other people like it. Having a discussion about it in MetaTalk is a good approach, it does seem like we link to The Toast quite often, and while it's an excellent site with humor I love, maybe getting the message out that let's still link over there, but only on big/notable/super interesting posts instead of every little post that makes someone chuckle.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:36 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


"She makes me do the laughing"?

Okay, well, since we're making ban requests...

I keed, mudpuppie.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:38 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


f you don't want to get banned for continuing to spout utter nonsense, please try and change course soon and drastically.

I really, really don't want to get banned but if I do I would like to request that my page read "This account has been disabled. Reason: The user continued to spout utter nonsense."
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:39 AM on January 30, 2015 [58 favorites]


I don't recall if there was a Meta about [Hyperbole and a Half], or if I just started ignoring them.

Neither, it's just that new entries on H&½ dropped off dramatically. (Over a year since Brosh's last post, only three posts in the year before that.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:40 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


If it's a thin, lazy post, why is it still up? Eh? EH?

:P
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:42 AM on January 30, 2015


Where do I write to complain about the unusually high number of bread-related metatalk posts?
posted by phunniemee at 10:50 AM on January 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


The Toast is where I go when I run out of stuff to read on Metafilter, so lately I get there, realize I've already read everything, and then I feel like I've reached THE END OF THE INTERNET.
posted by tofu_crouton at 10:54 AM on January 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Can you clear up for us that this was a coincidence ? That you didn't like the look of Mudpuppies post and called your mate Klang to make a 'better' one ?

Yeah, I know you're on the lookout lately for axes to grind in the mods' direction, but please don't use me to do it. There was no conspiracy, it is not an issue, and if it were, it wouldn't be your issue.

Thank you kindly.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:54 AM on January 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


unusually high number of bread-related metatalk posts?

Not only bread-related metatalk posts but bread-related metatalk posts that take a super weird fighty turn that I did not see coming.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:57 AM on January 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I would like fewer single-link-Toast posts, just because, I mean, I read The Toast. I like discussing The Toast at metafilter, but maybe not quite as often...

But I wonder if some Toast-Posts could possibly be embiggened - like today's soft SF post could perhaps have had a couple more links about soft SF so that we'd have more context for discussion. This is maybe particularly useful when the topic is something like science fiction, where lots of people have a little familiarity but not that much. When the topic is, say, neoclassical paintings, I feel like lots of people have almost no familiarity and a few people have a lot, so we can basically all enjoy the post for the humor and leaven the humor with a couple of posts detailing, like, neoclassical painting conventions. With broad topics like SF, I think a little bit of priming might be helpful precisely because it's something about which everyone has a bit of background.
posted by Frowner at 10:57 AM on January 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast, but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast .
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fun fact: cortex never actually landed on the moon. #modconspiracy
posted by phunniemee at 10:59 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


One by one every commenter turns against him, claiming he is a robot with a broken authoritarian circuit.

Does this robot masturbate? Asking for a friend.

And the answer's always the same: space on MeFi is (functionally) infinite and it's not like another post lost out, so just scroll past...

It's not always been the same though. The Onion and xkcd are two that come to mind.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:00 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


LobsterMitten was an inside job. #modconspiracy
posted by phunniemee at 11:00 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Did the serene sgt. button himself, or was he buttoned?
posted by heyho at 11:01 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that's a lovely ideal, but some of the posts are just a short couple-paragraph humor piece.

Oh, I guess I didn't draw the connection clearly, oops. I kinda figure that at some point someone who really likes Ortberg is going to find something new and exciting she's written, and flesh it out into sort of the definitive post on the subject of Mallory Ortberg, which would kind of set a bar for the future. It seems like that often happens, to me anyway. Like... Rhaomi's post about Colbert, for example. Maybe not recently but for a while Colbert seemed to be popping up a lot around here but since Rhaomi's epic post, there's a higher bar. And sometimes that comes more through the ensuing discussion and sharing of more links.

Either way I feel like MeFi does this mostly organically (reducing posts about contentious issues is the opposite; I think that's only ever been worked out on purpose, and that makes sense), and that if something is getting overexposed on the blue a peak does hit. Then it dwindles off and I figure that Ortberg (as awesome as she is) is pretty much right around that saturation point and it's going to slow down of its own accord as people notice the last Ortberg post was sparsely attended, for example. Of course this MeTa might be the impetus for that, heh. And seeing deletions from mods does that too I guess; I just feel like most of the time it sorts itself out.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:01 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


That is pretty eerie because I'm inside right now.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:02 AM on January 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


I love her, but I feel like the over-polishing is starting to tarnish her stuff for me.

Ironic!
posted by kenko at 11:03 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Get out now! The posts are coming from inside the server!
posted by benito.strauss at 11:06 AM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


From the perspective of someone who isn't any kind of fan of hers, the system seems to be working fine--the posts don't interest me, I have no idea who she is, and I don't click on the FPPs for that reason. So I feel like what's the problem, exactly?

If you don't like her, don't read, and if you do like her it's Stop giving me so much of what I love?
posted by MoonOrb at 11:07 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


space on MeFi is (functionally) infinite

Technically, perhaps, but that technicality doesn't account for the ability of its readership to engage.

Mefi works, imo, because of a certain rate of flow on the two main pages. Too quick and stuff is gone before people can get into it, too slow and the site starts to feel stale. It's a magic that I don't fully get, but it's worked for more than a decade.

Other sites, Reddit and Digg, for example, have front pages that change by the minute. It's really hard to feel part of a community there. Reddit only works as a community in the sub-reddits where the rate of change is closer to that of Mefi's. Reddit's frontpage is more like a user-generated Buzzfeed, fun to browse perhaps, but not really a place I can be part of.

The "space" and pace of mefi is important. One can still engage with a decent fraction of the site in a moderate amount of time. Lose that and I think we lose something important.
posted by bonehead at 11:07 AM on January 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


Did the serene sgt. button himself, or was he buttoned?

Heh, I'm gonna guess "was buttoned" on this one.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:09 AM on January 30, 2015


Did the serene sgt. button himself, or was he buttoned?

This is something the lamestream media won't tell you, but there were reports of giant donut crumbs being found close to the scene of the buttoning.

Think about it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:10 AM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I buttoned it because it's been coming for about a decade.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:14 AM on January 30, 2015 [39 favorites]


For me, at least, it's like being at a party and one person says "Hey, do you see that thing Mallory did?" So, I say "Yeah, that was cool" and we talk awhile. And then person two says "Hey, did you see that cool thing Mallory did?" And I say "Yeah, just talked about all that awesomeness with person one." So I move on and person three says "Hey, did you see that cool thing Mallory did?" And I jump on the buffet table, sound my barbaric yawp before the fruit skewers of the world and kick over the punch bowl because ENOUGH ALREADY WITH MALLORY.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:15 AM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I buttoned it because it's been coming for about a decade.

wow. That's a lot of cleanup, dude.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:15 AM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


So it was a burnout and not a flameout.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:18 AM on January 30, 2015


Either or-tberg-tafilter
posted by Namlit at 11:18 AM on January 30, 2015


Aaaay, Mall-ory!
posted by Chrysostom at 11:25 AM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Namlit: "One more Ortberg post, people, and you're TOAST."

well then

i butter not

heh

mathowie: "Yeah, I buttoned it because it's been coming for about a decade."

Whoa, holy shit.
posted by boo_radley at 11:27 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


It begins!
posted by Kwine at 11:37 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Let's see... if my calculations are correct, for every one Ortberg post that makes it to the front page, there are at least nine that are either in the works or have already been deleted.

What I'm saying is—my god, people—this is only the tip of the Ortberg!
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:38 AM on January 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


What I'm saying is—my god, people—this is only the tip of the Ortberg!

Oh no you did not
posted by mudpuppie at 11:40 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


what if ortberg, but too much
posted by murphy slaw at 11:41 AM on January 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


Uber, but for Ortberg.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:44 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I accidentally the Ortberg.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:53 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


First breadgate, and now toastgate? What's next...the war on crouton-petters?
posted by drlith at 11:55 AM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ortberg ortberg ortberg. Ortberg? Ortberg ortberg.

Ortberg!
posted by backseatpilot at 11:57 AM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty much in agreement with fffm in that this sort of thing will happen and it will be self-correcting. This MetaTalk post is part of the process of self-correction -- there's more awareness that people think that the Toast is over-exposed on MeFi. I guess I wasn't around when there was (is?) a ban on Onion posts -- that strikes me as kind of weird. I'd just intuitively assume that an Onion post would need to be to something that was extraordinary for The Onion, and I had no awareness that it had become a thing here. Seems like folk will figure that out with Ortberg/Toast.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:58 AM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


First breadgate, and now toastgate? What's next...the war on crouton-petters?

Fact: mathowie is actually a delicious baguette. #modconspiracy
posted by phunniemee at 11:58 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think we should have more Onion posts like this one.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:03 PM on January 30, 2015


One more Ortberg post, people, and you're TOAST.

*makes eye contact with Namlit from other end of bar, raises one eyebrow, lifts tumbler of single malt, gives approving nod, sips from glass*
posted by twirlip at 12:10 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


We've always been at war with carbohydrates. #remembertatergate
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:17 PM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Fact: mathowie is actually a delicious baguette. #modconspiracy

And what does pb stand for? PEANUT BUTTER. Connect the dots, people. Once we find out which mod is jelly is this whole charade gonna come crashing down.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:18 PM on January 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


few people know that her original name was jellymyn
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:19 PM on January 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


All the mods are jelly...of those of us who never have to moderate contentious metas.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:20 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I want Ortberg to come into that thread, complain about people talking about her, have matt delete her comment, watch her take it to twitter, have the comment undeleted, and read the ensuing meta!
posted by cjorgensen at 12:22 PM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I buttoned it because it's been coming for about a decade.

I can't help hearing this in John Wayne's voice, like that line from McLintock!: "... somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won't. I won't. The hell I won't!"
posted by octobersurprise at 12:23 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I want Ortberg to come into that thread, complain about people talking about her, have matt delete her comment, watch her take it to twitter, have the comment undeleted, and read the ensuing meta!

damn ... the parallels are all there
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:25 PM on January 30, 2015


> unusually high number of bread-related metatalk posts?

The Ducks Look Up
posted by jfuller at 12:27 PM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


"Can you clear up for us that this was a coincidence ? That you didn't like the look of Mudpuppies post and called your mate Klang to make a 'better' one ?"

"Hey wassup klang you know we've got too many ortbergs and now mudpuppy's all i hate toast its bread+cancer we need ur leadership in meta to help solve this"

"what? you know im out weve lost too many good people in meta i told the president that i was retired in my cabin with an inexplicably younger woman and a dog full of stupid love im out"

"but klang the woman is dead for motivation and also the dog is stole by ortberg"

"VENGEANCE! but seriously this is the last time i bail out mefi fer realz since you kicked me out of modcorps"

"thank u klang but u know ur truth bombs r too real for being mod u r loose cannon but we need you now"

*klang reluctantly checks box that says mods cant handle TRUTH BOMB and posts with a single tear down his cheek*
posted by klangklangston at 12:30 PM on January 30, 2015 [124 favorites]


Solidarity

I try to avoid them, but they're getting hard to avoid.
posted by GrapeApiary at 12:32 PM on January 30, 2015


OK, that's probably the best thing that could ever be posted on MeTa ever.

Three cheers for klang!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:33 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


And what does pb stand for? PEANUT BUTTER. Connect the dots, people. Once we find out which mod is jelly is this whole charade gonna come crashing down.

LOBSTERmitten? And what are lobsters eaten with? BUTTER. Coincidence?
posted by Jahaza at 12:38 PM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Are you sure? Because you just posted the same knee-jerk response you have whenever someone raises a complaint about there being too much stuff, and it's as facile as ever so maybe you don't as much

I feel the same way she does.

The site is in no more danger of becoming "All New York Times/YouTube/Cracked/The Atlantic/Medium/Toast/[Insert a current popular source here]" than it ever was. Which is to say, not at all.

Three out of 50 posts per front page or in a 24 hour period doesn't seem particularly excessive to me.

Also, people are entitled to disagree with your assessment.

(And mine.)
posted by zarq at 12:40 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am not going to defend sgt. serenity's nonsense, and you can certainly do whatever you like, mathowie, but it is a bit odd to say, "if you don't want to get banned for continuing to spout utter nonsense, please try and change course soon and drastically" and then up and ban the person in question just about immediately without further output on their part (unless, of course, he hit up the contact form or your email address or something with further insanity that we aren't privy to here).
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:45 PM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Considering his lengthy history, this looks more like 'suicide by cop' than 'guy was given one more chance and then had it taken away.'
posted by zarq at 12:50 PM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


restless_nomad is an anagram for almondesserts. Almonds? Both a butter to spread on bread and where almond flour comes from and bread is made with flour wake up, sheeple.
posted by phunniemee at 12:51 PM on January 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


OK, that's probably the best thing that could ever be posted on MeTa ever.

Really? Seemed kind of like twisting the knife to me.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:51 PM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


If it had been sgt.serendipity...but now it became matt.snappity.
posted by Namlit at 12:51 PM on January 30, 2015


At least we've moved on from being all Kottke/via Kottke all the time.
posted by kimberussell at 12:52 PM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


"The site is in no more danger of becoming "All New York Times/YouTube/Cracked/The Atlantic/Medium/Toast/[Insert a current popular source here]" than it ever was. Which is to say, not at all.



Also, people are entitled to disagree with your assessment.
"

If you're going to disagree with my assessment, I'll treat your disagreement as more substantive and credible if it actually disagrees with what I said, rather than an exaggeration of what I said.

I don't think that MetaFilter is in danger of becoming "All the Toast." I do feel like Ortberg's content — which I like — is being posted more frequently than it should be, and that by bringing it to the attention of the MeFi community, people are more likely to think about whether some new thing she writes justifies its own FPP. I did that here instead of complaining in any of the MeFi threads about the posting.
posted by klangklangston at 12:52 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


modcorps

I heard u liek them
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:53 PM on January 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


I am kinda tired of Toast posts (tosts?) since I feel like I should like them and don't, but that's on me not on MeFi as a whole. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling over-Toasted, but also glad there aren't official restrictions on how often a topic/author/etc can be posted about.
posted by ferret branca at 12:53 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


(And I alway assumed sarge was more taking the piss with his comment, but I can also understand why he didn't get the benefit of the doubt. Kinda like how crunchland could come across as snide even when he didn't really mean to.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:55 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


ah are we having name-given banhammerees on toast now?
posted by Namlit at 12:57 PM on January 30, 2015


...can't wait to read remember that Namlit, he was always so meek, he simply HAD to go. Kaboom.
posted by Namlit at 12:58 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


There should also be a moratorium on Clickhole articles that are the ones not written by whoever writes the really good weird ones.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:01 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was tempted to register the domain burnt-toast.net, but somebody beat me to it, and it redirects to this (dated a year before the first post at the-toast.net; I smell a plagiarism accusation coming... )
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:03 PM on January 30, 2015


You said, "How you know you're living in a Mallory Ortberg Toast article ... when there are three links to her stuff on the front page.... Can we stop posting every third thing she writes to MeFi?"

Your concern about this strikes me as an exaggeration. To try to cast a non-existent problem as one.

I don't think that MetaFilter is in danger of becoming "All the Toast."

Metafilter is in no danger of becoming "All Mallory" either. Nor any other author. Three links to a single source is not a big deal. Three posts don't drown out or stifle people from posting other content. Nor are three measly posts a flood, blocking anyone from reading the other dozens of FPP's on the front page.

No one is stopping you or anyone else from skipping a post. Many of us probably do it all the time.

I did that here instead of complaining in any of the MeFi threads about the posting.

Good. That's what you're supposed to do. It's also nice that you've subscribed to her on Twitter. But that's not a reason for the rest of us not to post.
posted by zarq at 1:05 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"There should also be a moratorium on Clickhole articles that are the ones not written by whoever writes the really good weird ones."

I hope they're the folks behind Feedbuzz given gainful employment.
posted by klangklangston at 1:06 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like Ortberg, but I've got The Toast on my RSS reader already. So, another vote for holding off on the posts, I think we mostly know how to find that site when we want it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:08 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


For my own part, I agree with the "less single-link Ortberg" side -- three in one day is too much, IMO. She's great, and she posts a lot, and people should be more selective about which things to bring over here. She's a known reliable source of funny short things, like the Onion or xkcd or any of the other things like that, where we have a somewhat higher bar for what's worth reposting here. Folks should just be reading/supporting the Toast directly. (All this is IMO, not a mod pronouncement)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:08 PM on January 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


somebody set us up the ortberg
posted by Chrysostom at 1:09 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seemed kind of like twisting the knife to me.

just the kind of brute i'd expect the mods to call on for such a mission.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:12 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


(unless, of course, he hit up the contact form or your email address or something with further insanity that we aren't privy to here)

Yeah, he immediately responded to my comment this morning by sending Matt an email saying I was a manipulative bullshitter who refuses to be honest with the community, etc. I get the impression he did that sort of thing a lot, though Matt's nice enough not to pass on weird email blarging when there's no particular good reason to do so.

We've been really patient with the dude, probably far too much so. Just sort of low-level being-grumpy stuff isn't really an issue; certainly people have been and will continue to be critical of the site or of the mods here, and that's part of the mix of this place, but over a long enough time-line and without any sign of actually trying to meet us halfway or to contribute to the community in a meaningful way, that kind of nothing-but-antagonism moves from just being grumpy to being at some level abusive, and I think we've historically been too willing to just sort of take it just to avoid banning people. I appreciate Matt making the call he did here; I probably should have done it myself and a lot sooner.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:14 PM on January 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


Folks should just be reading/supporting the Toast directly.

Links to Toast from outside sources are a form of support. They increase visibility which increases traffic and hits, which hopefully in turn increases both ad revenue and/or subscriptions to that site. I assume that Metafilter gets over a million unique hits a day. W3Snoop says 1.2 million / 39 million per month / half a billion per year, but who knows how accurate that is. A link on the front page is likely to be helpful in some way to its target. One of the reasons why spammers go to the trouble of spending $5 to post here.
posted by zarq at 1:17 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


there are three links to her stuff on the front page.... Can we stop posting every third thing she writes to MeFi?

and that's just what we see. 90% of an ortberg is underwater.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:17 PM on January 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


low-level being-grumpy stuff isn't really an issue


People just shouldn't mistake this space for their morning pages is all I say.
posted by Namlit at 1:18 PM on January 30, 2015


Pace Variety: ORTBERG TOAST POSTS 'ORT'R BE TOAST POST haste
posted by Going To Maine at 1:19 PM on January 30, 2015 [27 favorites]


Thanks for the insight, cortex. Some folks, I guess.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:23 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I will never make a better comment than that one.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:26 PM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


An Ortberg Omnibus post would be good... let a few themed pieces accumulate until you get one you can call The Bestest, then ...BANG... Toastdump!
Unless it's "All the 'If Ayn Rand Wrote...' Parodies"
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:26 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Ortberg Complex does sound like a soft sci-fi book tho.
posted by The Whelk at 1:26 PM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


email saying I was a manipulative bullshitter who refuses to be honest with the community, etc.

how do you respond to the allegations that there are two cortexes - one who can never be honest, and one who can never lie

follow-up: you only can ask them one question to figure out which is which
posted by Greg Nog at 1:27 PM on January 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


easy: "how big is a doughnut?"
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:28 PM on January 30, 2015


Pfftt. That's easy. You ask him which giant donut the other cortex would tell you to eat.
posted by maxsparber at 1:29 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


omg The Whelk I just remembered. I had a dream about you last night. For some reason I needed to buy bourbon so I went to a liquor store on the beach but when I entered it was actually the National Portrait Gallery in London and you were in there drinking tea and you helped me pick out the booze I needed.
posted by phunniemee at 1:29 PM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Man, we both went for the big donut joke immediately, didn't we so?
posted by maxsparber at 1:29 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


The answer is which one has the more science fiction covers of Taylor Swift songs
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on January 30, 2015


I love it when we can have a Nogalong.
posted by maxsparber at 1:32 PM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Ortberg Complex does sound like a soft sci-fi book tho.

Hmm. To me, it's more like a Stockholm-based slooow-moving Freudian Spy thriller.
Original title Ortbergkomplexen.

It does sound more interesting than The sergeant of the Serengeti, though.
posted by Namlit at 1:32 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


and you were in there drinking tea and you helped me pick out the booze I needed.

Nice to know my traveling consciousness is helpful.
posted by The Whelk at 1:33 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Ortberg Complex does sound like a soft sci-fi book tho.

The Ortberg Window.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:36 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


An Ortberg Omnibus post would be good... let a few themed pieces accumulate until you get one you can call The Bestest, then ...BANG... Toastdump!
Unless it's "All the 'If Ayn Rand Wrote...' Parodies"


I came here to say pretty much that, except I was going to go with "All the 'Dirtbag' articles."
posted by mordax at 1:38 PM on January 30, 2015


Post that toast!
posted by clavdivs at 1:38 PM on January 30, 2015


and you were in there drinking tea and you helped me pick out the booze I needed.

OK but which booze did the two of you pick?
posted by shelleycat at 1:41 PM on January 30, 2015


The Ortberg Complex does sound like a soft sci-fi book tho.

The Ortberg Window.


The Mighty Mighty Ortbergs
posted by The Whelk at 1:41 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Ortberg Complex does sound like a soft sci-fi book

Ludlum novel.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:43 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pace Variety: ORTBERG TOAST POSTS 'ORT'R BE TOAST POST haste

I will never make a better comment than that one.


I just realized that we aren't talking about all of the toast articles, just some of them. So really: MOST ORTBERG TOAST POSTS 'ORT'R BE TOAST POST haste
posted by Going To Maine at 1:44 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel these days it's even money that when a MeTa opens someone's account is going to close.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:45 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ludlum novel.

The Ortberg Inheritance
The Ortberg Weekend
The Ortberg Paper
The Cry of the Ortberg
The Ortberg Exchange
The Road to Ortberg
The Ortberg Contenders
The Ortberg Manuscript
The Ortberg Covenant
The Ortberg Circle
The Ortberg Identity
The Ortberg Mosaic
The Ortberg Progression
The Ortberg Supremacy
The Ortberg Agenda
The Ortberg Ultimatum
The Ortberg Illusion
The Ortberg Watch
The Ortberg Countdown
The Ortberg Deception
posted by Chrysostom at 1:51 PM on January 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


I feel these days it's even money that when a MeTa opens someone's account is going to close.

Thing here is I seldom miss the people who go (whether voluntarily or push). Of the few I do miss I am sure the rest of the user base would think I am crazy. Flameouts always seem to me to be the best outcome for all involved and are seldom surprises, bannings even more so. Sometimes it takes a divisive meta to reach the outcome of a parting of ways, but my usual first thought isn't one that's kind toward the departed.

Could be I am also only remembering the asshoes that leave, since those are the ones most likely to stand out. Perhaps the silent button-pushers often go unmourned.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:02 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Here's a shot of my inbox.
posted by NoraCharles at 2:04 PM on January 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


phunnimee: you were in there drinking tea and you helped me pick out the booze I needed.

The Whelk: Nice to know my traveling consciousness is helpful.


This sounds not so much like a dream discussion as it does a Pet Shop Boys song.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:27 PM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


If I were to pick a Metatalk which would cause a banhammer, "do we need 3 Mallory Ortberg articles on the front page at once?" would not have been that Metatalk. Weird.
posted by Justinian at 2:46 PM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


The Ortberg Complex does sound like a soft sci-fi book tho.

"Lost" really went off the rails after they found the hatch to The Ortberg Complex.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 2:51 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


'Folks should just be reading/supporting the Toast directly.'

Links to Toast from outside sources are a form of support.


Sure, but that's not an argument for unlimited Toast posts here. I say (IMO) there's a limit. Some amount of Ortberg linkage is fine here; beyond some threshold (where exactly is debated) it becomes too much. But my point was, one can think Toast/Ortberg are great and worth supporting, while still thinking there's a limit to how much we should have here in a short time. If people feel they want to support her work beyond that point, they can do it in other ways than posting here, such as visiting her site, subscribing or whatever their model is, etc. (Again, all IMO.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:59 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Your concern about this strikes me as an exaggeration. To try to cast a non-existent problem as one. "

That's because you're begging the question. Your concern about my concern seems to be casting a non-existent problem as one.

"Metafilter is in no danger of becoming "All Mallory" either. Nor any other author. Three links to a single source is not a big deal. Three posts don't drown out or stifle people from posting other content. Nor are three measly posts a flood, blocking anyone from reading the other dozens of FPP's on the front page."

Three is enough for a NYT trend piece, and three single-link FPPs in a day from any author is notable. But I didn't say it was in danger of becoming All Mallory, and it seems like you can't recognize the mild hyperbole of "every third article" as distinguished from the ALL MALLORY CLOCKWORK ORANGE FORCED EXPOSURE alarmism you keep trying to pin on me.

"No one is stopping you or anyone else from skipping a post. Many of us probably do it all the time."

You coulda skipped this one, chief. OH NO IMPASSE!

"Good. That's what you're supposed to do. It's also nice that you've subscribed to her on Twitter. But that's not a reason for the rest of us not to post."

No, the reason why the rest of you might not post is because as more and more gets posted from Ortberg, the less likely it is that any particular post is strong enough to stand on its own or that it's something that most people have't seen. Not sure why you're having so much trouble with this.
posted by klangklangston at 3:04 PM on January 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ask your doctor if Ortberg is right for you
posted by The Whelk at 3:04 PM on January 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


"Nice to know my traveling consciousness is helpful."

Is that what that was? So, uh, I was having an erotic dream and well, I guess, maybe...I suppose you must have a thing for wombats? Which, you know, that's fine and I'm not judging. But maybe knock first before you join my dreamworld, thanks.

But you were very helpful.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:06 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I were to pick a Metatalk which would cause a banhammer, "do we need 3 Mallory Ortberg articles on the front page at once?" would not have been that Metatalk. Weird.

To be fair, it was also a really weird one to be prompting modly conspiracy theories.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:23 PM on January 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


If I were to pick a Metatalk wich would cause a banhammer of that particular user, it really could be any Metatalk, I guess.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:28 PM on January 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, is there an easy, info-dumpy way to find out the most popular link sources and/or topics?

LobsterMitten: For my own part, I agree with the "less single-link Ortberg" side

#Benmodzi
posted by Room 641-A at 3:30 PM on January 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I want to point out the awesomeness of both of the titles, one of the no-more-Mallory post we got, and one of the one we did not get. Both actual and embryonic were in the Ortberg spirit, which seems awesome to me.
posted by Deoridhe at 3:41 PM on January 30, 2015


How you know you're living in a Mallory Ortberg Toast article

How you know you're living in a Mallory Ortberg Toast article
  • There is an unattributed classical painting.
  • someone is speaking in no caps OR ALL CAPS ALWAYS
  • You are already tweeting about your new sci-fi book, The Ortberg Complex.
  • Dads. Dads everywhere.
  • Your reality has become surreal and yet delightful and your course remains unchanged.
  • There's at least one person around who doesn't realize when you are joking. That person is male.
  • Only 90s kids really get your cultural references, except for the ones about music.
  • Your taste in music is kind of awful, actually.
  • Ayn Rand is reviewing Amazon products.
  • You have killed all men.
posted by maryr at 3:45 PM on January 30, 2015 [60 favorites]


Repartee
posted by clavdivs at 3:51 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't really have feelings either way on this, but i realized you could call it ShitToasting and i couldn't stop giggling.
posted by emptythought at 4:07 PM on January 30, 2015


That's because you're begging the question. Your concern about my concern seems to be casting a non-existent problem as one.

You posted to Metatalk to ask people not to post so many articles by Mallory Ortberg to the Blue because three have been made in the last 24 hours. How is that not an attempt to define three posts in a day as a "too many" problem?

Let's say three posts in a day is somehow too much. If they had been spaced out over a week, would it still be bothering you? Two weeks? Three? A month apart? If not, then (according to you,) they're not really wrong for the site. You just don't like her stuff posted so frequently. If the answer is "yes" then it behooves you to explain why in better terms than "We're posting a lot of content created by this one author." Because I don't think that's a valid reason for us to stop or limit the number of posts from a single source. Heck, if that were the case, we should also be throttling back on Matt Taibbi articles. Because practically every article he's had published in Rolling Stone seems to get linked on mefi.

I guess what I'm having trouble with here is that I'm not seeing how your complaint is different or more valid than other, similar complaints we've debated over the years against posts sourced from a single site or from a single creator. They still get posted. They still get swept off the front page in 24-48 hours. The site is still not particularly disrupted by it, if at all.

Three is enough for a NYT trend piece, and three single-link FPPs in a day from any author is notable. But I didn't say it was in danger of becoming All Mallory, and it seems like you can't recognize the mild hyperbole of "every third article" as distinguished from the ALL MALLORY CLOCKWORK ORANGE FORCED EXPOSURE alarmism you keep trying to pin on me.

Notable, sure. It's a blip in the life of the site. And people do not have to read posts on the Blue they don't like. No one is forcing them to.

You coulda skipped this one, chief. OH NO IMPASSE!

I don't understand your point here. If you're saying that I could have skipped this metatalk post, that seems like a silly argument, doesn't it? Metatalk is not Metafilter proper. Posts made here invariably influence moderation policy on the rest of the site. It's not like they're a one-off, the way they are on the Blue. Klang, I post a lot. Of course I'm likely to weigh in when someone asks the community to consider posting limits. Is it any wonder I might voice resistance to what seems (to me) like an arbitrary complaint?

No, the reason why the rest of you might not post is because as more and more gets posted from Ortberg, the less likely it is that any particular post is strong enough to stand on its own or that it's something that most people have't seen. Not sure why you're having so much trouble with this.

Because this argument makes no sense to me.

You think that as more gets posted from Ortberg, the less likely it is that "any particular post" will be strong enough to stand on its own.

Why? Are you talking about all posts, or just Ortberg posts?

If a post is made about something we have seen before... and it's not strong enough to stand on its own, then it gets deleted. If not, it won't.
posted by zarq at 4:15 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I didn't realize someone posted a Toast link right after mine until this meta. Double-shot! )

Toast posts like to congregate in pairs. Two slices are better than one.
posted by homunculus at 4:20 PM on January 30, 2015


Overthinking a plate of beans on toast is making me crave an big old English breakfast.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:32 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm overthinking a plate of beans at the moment, but I think I'm going to save it for the chili thread.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:33 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Ortberg Countdown

🎶 boodle-oot-doo, boodle-oot-doot-doo 🎶
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:49 PM on January 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


"You posted to Metatalk to ask people not to post so many articles by Mallory Ortberg to the Blue because three have been made in the last 24 hours. How is that not an attempt to define three posts in a day as a "too many" problem? "

You said that my concern was an exaggeration in trying to make a non-problem a problem. If I thought it was a non-problem, I wouldn't have posted. But yes, three posts from any author in a day is likely a problem, albeit a mild one.

"Let's say three posts in a day is somehow too much. If they had been spaced out over a week, would it still be bothering you? Two weeks? Three? A month apart? If not, then (according to you,) they're not really wrong for the site. You just don't like her stuff posted so frequently."

Sort of, though you're ignoring that part of what makes them not great for the site is that the majority of them are fairly thin posts, and on their own might be borderline. But when a bunch of borderline posts are posted from the same source, it's worth asking if, say, rather than a bunch of borderline posts if some could be concatenated into a single, stronger post.

" Because I don't think that's a valid reason for us to stop or limit the number of posts from a single source. Heck, if that were the case, we should also be throttling back on Matt Taibbi articles. Because practically every article he's had published in Rolling Stone seems to get linked on mefi. "

If you really feel like that, and think you can back it with some sort of evidence, why don't you make a MeTa thread? I'd wager that over the last six months more Ortberg articles have been posted here than Taibbi articles, and certainly more Ortberg articles than Taibbi Rolling Stone articles, what with his big hiatus from Rolling Stone last year.

"I guess what I'm having trouble with here is that I'm not seeing how your complaint is different or more valid than other, similar complaints we've debated over the years against posts sourced from a single site or from a single creator. They still get posted. They still get swept off the front page in 24-48 hours. The site is still not particularly disrupted by it, if at all."

… except that there have been shifts in community norms over sites like Cracked, The Onion, etc. So, yes, they still get posted. They get posted less frequently and with more awareness toward making sure that they're strong posts. Given that my goal was pretty much the same — posted less frequently and with greater awareness — I'm not sure why you think I need to distinguish this post from others.

"Notable, sure. It's a blip in the life of the site. And people do not have to read posts on the Blue they don't like. No one is forcing them to. "

That's an inane argument, though. Under that, there's no reason to delete anything ever.

"I don't understand your point here. If you're saying that I could have skipped this metatalk post, that seems like a silly argument, doesn't it?"

People don't have to read posts on the Gray they don't like. No one is forcing them to.

"Metatalk is not Metafilter proper. Posts made here invariably influence moderation policy on the rest of the site."

Invariably? And MeTa not being MeFi is still not an argument for you to comment.

"It's not like they're a one-off, the way they are on the Blue."

They close and scroll off too. Your "one-off" distinction is meaningless with regard to this argument.

"Klang, I post a lot. Of course I'm likely to weigh in when someone asks the community to consider posting limits. Is it any wonder I might voice resistance to what seems (to me) like an arbitrary complaint?"

That you post a lot is not a reason why you have to post on this thread. I read the Blue a lot. Is it any wonder that I might voice resistance to what seems to me like a surfeit of Ortberg?

Like I said, with that line of argument we're at an impasse — your reasoning applied to your comments undercuts your conclusion.

"You think that as more gets posted from Ortberg, the less likely it is that "any particular post" will be strong enough to stand on its own.

Why? Are you talking about all posts, or just Ortberg posts?
"

That would be any post made from a particular source — filters filter. The less selective the filter, the more noise is let through.

"If a post is made about something we have seen before... and it's not strong enough to stand on its own, then it gets deleted. If not, it won't."

That's circular and also ignores the ability to influence the community without having things deleted.
posted by klangklangston at 5:14 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


You posted to Metatalk to ask people not to post so many articles by Mallory Ortberg to the Blue because three have been made in the last 24 hours.

You're spinning this as if it were an isolated phenomenon, rather than a symptom of there being an awful lot of Toast posts.
No, the reason why the rest of you might not post is because as more and more gets posted from Ortberg, the less likely it is that any particular post is strong enough to stand on its own or that it's something that most people have't seen. Not sure why you're having so much trouble with this.
Because this argument makes no sense to me.

You think that as more gets posted from Ortberg, the less likely it is that "any particular post" will be strong enough to stand on its own.

Why?


Because many of Ortberg's posts are minor variations on her previous posts. The first of any given series might be worth posting. The second, third, or thirty-seventh will not be. Two of today's three posts are links to articles that, while technically not doubles, are not very different from the many previous articles in their respective series. They didn't really need to be FPPs.

(There is, I hasten to add, nothing wrong with Ortberg churning out lots of variations on a theme; that can be a fine source of comedy, and I enjoy it. I also like Breaking Cat News a lot, but if we started having an FPP for it every couple weeks, that absolutely would be grounds for complaint. Those who care that Lupin just met one of the Ceiling Cats are probably reading it already anyway.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 5:14 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


> I was tempted to register the domain burnt-toast.net, but somebody beat me to it, and it redirects to this (dated a year before the first post at the-toast.net; I smell a plagiarism accusation coming... )

An Ortburglar?
posted by Spathe Cadet at 5:16 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I buttoned it because it's been coming for about a decade.

I had been meaning to ask you guys about that. Good call. I hope he can come back with a bit less of a mod vendetta.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:35 PM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, I think it's time to unwind. Who wants a Mallory daiquiri?
posted by halifix at 5:48 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm on the side of there's too many posts, especially thin posts, of Ortberg articles, and like with anything (especially the established Onion/Cracked/xkcd/Hyperbole and a Half) that has been too eagerly made into fpps, the saturation and single-like nature of so many of them actually devalues articles that the majority otherwise find interesting.

Over-exposure does no-one any good, and I think her posts have reached a point where their frequency should lead to a higher standard of curation. Certainly the mods seem to think so. For me, I tend to notice these things when it reaches a point where I feel like I already have a bookmark for a site so don't need everything there turning up here, and like thin posts on any topic it's not a reflection on the worthiness of her work being brought to the front page.

The 'just don't read it' argument is valid as far as it goes, but there's clearly a line between scrolling past something that doesn't interest you and something that doesn't belong on the front page in your opinion, for whatever reason, and frequent thin posts is as good a reason as any. Of course, 'if you don't like it don't read and don't engage' also sounds fine, but flagging and MeTa are proof that there must be more to it than that or you'd have no reason to call into question the existence of any post, so it's really not the slam dunk response some posters seem to think it is. Objecting to posts is clearly on the table as a valid response, so now it's just about what you can say that about.

So if 'just skip it' would anger you if said about something you object to, maybe rethink whether it's something that you should say to other users. It's so very rarely a sentiment the user has not thought for themselves before.
posted by gadge emeritus at 5:58 PM on January 30, 2015


Post Toasties?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:18 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much of the recent (not the 3 posts yesterday recent, the last few months recent) Toast enthusiasm is a result of the Good Web Bundle pushing some cross-site synergy and shared readership?
posted by jacquilynne at 6:37 PM on January 30, 2015


Who wants a Mallory daiquiri?

Don't have those. How about a Hickory Daiquiri, Doc?

sorry
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:41 PM on January 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Didn't know why I was suddenly craving toast at dinner time but it must be because I was reading this thread earlier.

Since the thread also mentions fourteen different kinds of bread, peanut butter, jelly, and giant doughnuts, I feel like I got off pretty easy though.

Ortburgers.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:46 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I buttoned it because it's been coming for about a decade.

I can't help hearing this in John Wayne's voice


For me it was in Zaphod Beeblebrox's voice (Mark Wing Davey version).

I've never heard of this Toast or Otberg. I'll have to check it out.
posted by juiceCake at 8:47 PM on January 30, 2015


I really hadn't noticed these, since I only click on links that I have an interest in, but...

Is there any data on posts in MetaFilter and/or AskMe on posts that have some similarity with each other, right next to each other?

Like...

Map of the World via population
Random Map Maker

Etc.

It's not often, but yet. It's often enough that I think about it. Sometimes people post about very similar topics right next to each other, and I wondered if anyone has ever noticed this, and maybe gathered data on this phenomenon.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:57 PM on January 30, 2015


zarq, not just three in one day. double digits (all Toast, not just Ortberg) in January. 7 or so in December. you're taking the title info of this metatalk post too literally.
posted by GrapeApiary at 9:55 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks klang, good MeTa.
My saturation point was 3 weeks ago.
posted by chococat at 10:49 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hope he can come back with a bit less of a mod vendetta.
It's been nearly 12.5 years of the same old same old, so it doesn't seem likely. Which is a shame because it wasn't all bad but, man do some people really know how to push buttons.
posted by dg at 11:12 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


sgt.serenity, if you don't want to get banned for continuing to spout utter nonsense ...

Uhh ... soooo ... anyway ... Matt. Matty-boy! The Matt-ster. Mr Haughey, that is. Hi. No, I'm serious about that - how are you, Mr Haughey, sir? Great shirt you're wearing, by the way ... and yeah, have you lost weight? But also gained some muscle? No, but you're lookin' ripped dude, you look great. Cortex too - you guys are looking really great today, I just had to say that. Great comments, too, in this thread. Really good stuff you guys comment, like usual! Seriously, you guys are the best. Yeah, I was just passin' by and I thought, fuck, I gotta just poke my head in MeFi and tell these guys that they're really doing a fucking great job, really crushing it today. And every day. And every week, too! I mean - months, years - you are both crushing the shit out of all kinds of arbitrarily defined time-periods. Minutes, seconds, nano-seconds - whatever. Not like that nonsense guy! Fuck he talked nonsense, right? I hate nonsense! Cannot stand that shit. You won't catch me nonsensing around the place, ha ha ha! No siree. I mean, "no sir". Just wanted to ... just thought I'd mention that, thought I'd throw that out there, just in passing, 'cos I'm just passing by, I'm not hanging around or anything talking nonsense or anything, I ... yeah actually I just gotta go now so, yeah, see you guys later! Take care, huh? No need to get up, no need to show me out the ... no, I'll just step outta the thread now, gotta lotta serious things I gotta do. Not nonsense things! 'Cos I hate nonsense, y'know? "Ol' serious quidnunc", that's what they call me! He hates shit that doesn't make sense! So, no need to press any buttons here, not with ol' serious quidnunc around, lemme just assure you of that. Time to give those button-pressing fingers a holiday, amirite? Seriously, though, you guys really deserve a holiday, all the great work you do. I'm serious! So - yeah ... thanks. Seriously.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:29 PM on January 30, 2015 [50 favorites]


"Ortburgers."

I know what it's served on but what's the filling?

""Ol' serious quidnunc", that's what they call me! "

he's by the book!
posted by klangklangston at 11:57 PM on January 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ever had electrodes fly out of your speakers? You gotta hit that lever on your chair pretty quick.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:45 AM on January 31, 2015


Yeah, I buttoned it because it's been coming for about a decade.

I don't appreciate rudeness to the mods but I'd like to hear a bit more on the current criteria for getting the elbow from here and how this fits. I am aware of some (quite possibly not all) tussles between sgt. serenity and mods in other threads but not everything is always sweetness and light here and it doesn't automatically lead to a banning. If there is a long term problem with s.s has there been any communication behind the scenes about toning down? That his behaviour has been acceptable/tolerated for a decade would seem to send a message that it is ok, so a sudden switch seems to require some warning. What is the possibility of him being allowed back? Is there a route?

I appreciate this is your site but this is an established community and that requires a certain amount of trust and transparency I think, not a threat to ban followed by an immediate ban with no opportunity for change and a quite limited explanation.
posted by biffa at 2:02 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Seems like if you don't make a habit of questioning the mods' motives or honesty you're probably okay. Especially considering the emails that have been going on behind the scenes; for ages I assumed he was just doing a shtick but apparently not!

And in this post-downsizing period I wouldn't be surprised to see more decisions that look like that: another warning in a series of warnings for a pattern of behaviour a user has indulged in for years, and then followed by, "you know what, fuck it, enough's enough." I imagine the instinct to let things slide, to give problem users yet another chance, is probably still pretty strong.
posted by these are science wands at 2:25 AM on January 31, 2015


To be fair biffa, #one gave him a warning which he did not heed. I believe the mail header was the crux.
Personally, I found it quite funny to read text on a iPhone with a magnifying glass.

Klang, Dirk is mine now.
posted by clavdivs at 2:31 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Sarge hadn't been happy for quite a while — to be honest, I think the executive decision here will probably save a deal of more or less pointless agitata (like a frittata, but unpleasant!) on both ends of the tubes.
posted by Wolof at 3:43 AM on January 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


sgt.serenity, if you don't want to get banned for continuing to spout utter nonsense ...

For those questioning this, it might help to realize that sgt.serenity's MeTa comments really have been edging into nonsense territory, coming off as -- if not outright intentional trolling -- then the result of truly reality-distorting paranoia. (I'd guess trolling, since that's simpler, but it hardly matters.)

Here's a sgt.serenity comment from the previous big MeTa, implying some sort of mod-supported sockpuppet conspiracy:
I'll say pretty much what I emailed Matt a few days ago then - a sockpuppet showed up in another thread a few days ago to back the mods up in a meta, we were then told we shouldnt ask any questions about it and the thread was closed a few comments later.

It doesn't look very good.
And here's an example of a comment from that obnoxious sockpuppet (or maybe false-start brand new day account) sgt.serentity was somehow mischaracterizing as supporting the mods:
Not a sock puppet. Just sick of this bullshit game getting played on a website that I'd been a member of for >10 years. The pile ons, the vitriol. It's really sad that loud obnoxious voices have been allowed to take over. That's great if its better for you, but you alienate lots of other users. What used to be best of the web is now "OMG I'M SO ANGRY ABOUT THIS!"

Cue the "oh just another angry boyzone Loozer!"

Enjoy the $5er.
Sgt.serenity's apparent take on that situation really isn't a defensible one.
posted by nobody at 4:04 AM on January 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


No opinion on The Toast (except I did mention some time ago in the chat that I'd never had grilled cheese and was quickly and thoroughly advised at best techniques and ingredients), but I do on sgt.serenity, which is simply "good call".
posted by Pyrogenesis at 4:43 AM on January 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'd like to hear a bit more on the current criteria for getting the elbow from here

"Don't get on the owner's last nerve" seems like the biggest one.

Anyway, I'd like to see the Sarge around here again someday, even if he is busted all the way down to a corporal.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:44 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Ortburgers."

I know what it's served on but what's the filling?


I'm not quite sure, but it's definitely not what it Ort ta be.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:46 AM on January 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Anyway, I'd like to see the Sarge around here again someday, even if he is busted all the way down to a corporal.

I was also fond of the Sarge, but I never understood why he continued to hang around in a place that clearly made him so miserable.

I guess the place must have been important to him to invest so much psychic energy in fighting with the mods, and given that, I'm guessing he'll be pretty miserable given the banhammer has landed.

People are strange.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:54 AM on January 31, 2015


Ostburgare, on the other hand, are a thing here in Sweden, as the word ost means cheese.
posted by Namlit at 6:35 AM on January 31, 2015


If there is a long term problem with s.s has there been any communication behind the scenes about toning down?

Yes, ongoing, for years, to no avail. I really really don't want to dig into some public airing of the guy's whole dossier of bad interactions but this comes on the tail end of trying pretty damned hard to make some sort of peace with the dude and for my part apparently that's only gotten me some sort of figurehead status as a lying maniac, so I don't even know.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:09 AM on January 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


The name Mallory makes me think of Family Ties.
posted by jonmc at 7:49 AM on January 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


oh please not another Meta that turns into a referendum on a single user please please please
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:56 AM on January 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


"Ortburgers."

I know what it's served on but what's the filling?


Water, ammonia, and/or methane?
posted by effbot at 8:01 AM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


> I appreciate this is your site but this is an established community and that requires a certain amount of trust and transparency I think, not a threat to ban followed by an immediate ban with no opportunity for change and a quite limited explanation.

You're not showing much trust in the mods for someone who's been around a while. Also, you don't seem to have read the thread, since your point was made and addressed earlier. (I really, truly don't understand the people who are constantly on the alert for the slightest sign that the mods might be evil tyrants itching to ban people. What site are they reading?)
posted by languagehat at 8:17 AM on January 31, 2015 [30 favorites]


Yes, this is one of those 'trust the mods' situations.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:21 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: only gotten me some sort of figurehead status as a lying maniac
posted by ersatzkat at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


there is no ca-um-referendum
posted by Namlit at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2015


You're not showing much trust in the mods for someone who's been around a while. Also, you don't seem to have read the thread, since your point was made and addressed earlier.

I'm glad this was said, because I abandoned an attempt to say the say thing earlier. I'll just add that while most of us have the luxury of relating to this place as a form of recreation, for the mods it's a job. And there's no reason in the world for anyone to put up with regularly repeated implications of dishonesty as a part of their job. And I don't know that we're all that entitled to know the full blown history of what led up to this point. This ain't a town hall meeting.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:30 AM on January 31, 2015 [15 favorites]


oh please not another Meta that turns into a referendum on a single user please please please

Mallory Ortberg isn't a member of MetaFilter, yet.

Oh, you're not talking about her.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 AM on January 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, is there an easy, info-dumpy way to find out the most popular link sources and/or topics?

There are two super-basic methods: check the tags, and draft a post. If people used some combination of Mallory Ortberg's first and last name as tags, that will catch a number of posts. And when you draft a post, simply enter the-toast.net as a URL, so you'll get a list of prior posts that included the domain in the main post (as compared to searching for the domain, which also returns references in comments).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I for one am actually kind of disappointed that there's no vast mod conspiracy and that the mods aren't actually evil tyrants. How boring. I mean, ever since jessamyn retired we don't even have any illuminati representation on the staff anymore.
posted by phunniemee at 8:56 AM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, she was the connection? I always thought it was vacapita, being the "European/night-time" mod and whatnot. I'm terrible at spotting Illuminati.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:04 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Cabal would like a word with you, phunniemee.


if it existed, which it doesn't
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:07 AM on January 31, 2015


There are two super-basic methods: check the tags, and draft a post.

Thanks, I meant I was curious about the source/link trends on the site overall (maybe even slicing and dicing by year?) and not about any source(s) in particular.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:07 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I too am curious about this.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:47 AM on January 31, 2015


Tags are a very blunt instrument. People tend to be okay about punctuation / nomenclature, but some posts don't have nearly enough tags to be useful. I would not trust any analysis of top topics distilled from tag counts.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:51 AM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


We list the most frequently linked external domains in the annual reports at Labs: 2014, 2013. Other than those annual calculations we don't organize or make that data public anywhere.

the-toast.net did not rise to the top of the charts. It looks like there were 24 links to that domain in MeFi posts in 2013, 97 in 2014, and 9 so far in 2015.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:51 AM on January 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


My primary complaint about the Toast Posts (just had to correct that from Post Toasts, which is a completely different thing) is that they're mostly just "Hey Mallory wrote something" and there are other mechanisms in place to notify you when a website puts new content up.

But I totally get the desire to talk about them with people here, it's just that we're sort of splitting hairs between the blue and FanFare, much like we used to find excuses for blue posts about Hannibal as a means of talking about episodes of Hannibal.

I liked when there was a strong emphasis on more than one link per post. It would be nice if that was still a thing people aimed for, though never as a hard-and-fast rule because sometimes that one link is a piece of substantial content. I just don't think that substantial content is "another in the ongoing Women in Art History series at The Toast."
posted by Lyn Never at 10:01 AM on January 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Almost sounds like a FanFare for websites/authors/bloggers would be in order. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:05 AM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like Mallory Ortberg. I think she is right at the top of the heap when it comes to humorists, online or otherwise. I am fine with how often her work appears on the blue. If Metafilter is truly the best of the web, then she should be appearing often as far as I am concerned.

The Toast, on the other hand, is the devil. Neither my ancient laptop, nor my brand-new Nexus 5 can handle that site without locking up or being brought to its knees by inexplicably high resource consumption. This happens on every browser on every platform I own. Except Lynx. Instead, The Toast serves me a 403, because it deems Lynx users abusive or unworthy, or suspects I am a robot. I am not a robot! I am flesh and blood!

The Toast is actually quite readable in Lynx, once you spoof your user agent. Metafilter, on the other hand, is not very readable because Lynx specific formatting gets discarded. So things are complicated, and I needed to modify lynx.cfg specifically for being able to use The Toast links while browsing Metafilter.

In short, why do you make me lie, The Toast. I don't like to lie. Also, I am not a machine; I am a human being!
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:19 AM on January 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Almost sounds like a FanFare for websites/authors/bloggers would be in order. ;)

John Oliver happens to have a TV show, but it has such a web presence (including on the blue) that the Fanfare for it isn't far from that. I would add an Ortberg and/or Toast Fanfare to My Fanfare, even if it covered 100% of the relevant posts--though as a mild difference from other Fanfares, I'd actually be happier if some content were skipped because no one thought it was worth posting.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:33 AM on January 31, 2015


Almost sounds like a FanFare for websites/authors/bloggers would be in order.

Add in artists, musicians, political posts, world news, cooking, random interesting things, and cake an I am in! I think we should call it metafilter.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:14 AM on January 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


oh please not another Meta that turns into a referendum on a single user please please please

Especially one unable to respond.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:29 AM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think he's had enough trolling, off the chain responses over the years. I approve of this particular ban-hammering.
posted by nevercalm at 11:34 AM on January 31, 2015


Especially one unable to respond.

One loses that privilege by refusing to play well with others.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:38 AM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I'm not quite sure, but it's definitely not what it Ort ta be."

So, what kind of English accent would that be? To American eyes, it looks like Slade orthography.

(A couple weeks ago, I fell into a Wikipedia hole starting with The Misfits tv show and continuing through an amazing number of local accents, the extent of which I was totally unaware. It seemed like if America had accents like that, you could tell whether someone was from Brooklyn or Queens based on how they pronounced the 'g' in 'finger.')
posted by klangklangston at 1:01 PM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I really, truly don't understand the people who are constantly on the alert for the slightest sign that the mods might be evil tyrants itching to ban people. What site are they reading?)

Well, there was that time when cortex and his warband of skull-helmeted minions destroyed that village of peaceful yeoman posters over a comment deletion MeTa, which was pretty suspicious. And I heard that pb rained flaming servers on a user once just to watch them fry.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:10 PM on January 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, what kind of English accent would that be?

The kind that Dick Van Dyke speaks. One that bears no resemblance to anything real people use.

Slade have that Birmingham/Black Country accent that everyone hates. Here's some useful tips.

Mine's the first one.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:31 PM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really should use the word "yawp" more often.
posted by arcticseal at 1:36 PM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


pb: We list the most frequently linked external domains in the annual reports at Labs: 2014, 2013.

From 2013:
The most frequently linked wikipedia articles in MetaFilter comments were:

  1. Betteridge's law of headlines (21)
  2. Basic income (7)
  3. Information Awareness Office (7)
  4. Dunning–Kruger effect (7)
  5. Just-world hypothesis (6)
  6. List of countries by suicide rate (6)
  7. Room 641A (6)
Huh. I'm really surprised I came in below #4.

Thanks for the reminder about Labs. Very cool.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:52 PM on January 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


This thread lacks talk about good grilled cheese. I am disappoint.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 3:12 PM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


The kind that Dick Van Dyke speaks

Oi'd luv a luvery hallerday!
posted by octobersurprise at 3:37 PM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


One loses that privilege by refusing to play well with others.

Yes, but at some point continuing to discuss the behavior of one who is no longer present becomes boorish.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:20 PM on January 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Still bit cloudy on the Oortberg issue.

Toast Tuesday's?
posted by clavdivs at 4:37 PM on January 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, what kind of English accent would that be?

Somewhere near where people do their laundry in the warshing machine, I'd guess.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:44 PM on January 31, 2015


This site would be a better place if no one linked to the betteridges law page ever again.

For some reason it always comes off as smug bs, like lmgtfy does.
posted by emptythought at 5:34 PM on January 31, 2015


So wait, when did the Oort Cloud freeze?

(shout out to my peeps using the CloudToButt plugin to enhance their browsing experience)
posted by idiopath at 5:59 PM on January 31, 2015


If I was a moderator I would lifetime ban anyone who linked that fucking Sam Vimes boots quote. Fortunately (and for many reasons) I am not a moderator, so feel free to continue linking it with good cheer.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:59 PM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not to devolve into a recipe Meta, but one does have to admit: a nice Onion jam spread out on a piece of Toast is pretty tasty.... Too much of it though and you've got heartburn and you've spiked your glycemic levels.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:04 PM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


This site would be a better place if no one linked to the betteridges law page ever again.

Would headlines be better if they didn't end as a question?

I'm probably to blame for half those links, but it's a pet peeve of mine, and I think you're railing against the wrong windmill there. Seriously, if the article you are wanting to link to can't pass that test, perhaps don't link it?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:12 PM on January 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd ring out love between
My brothers and my sisters
....and call it..it...This land.

-Wash, alternate verse' script, 1.5
posted by clavdivs at 8:24 PM on January 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I like it when anyone brings up Betteridge's because it reminds me that I used to work for an editor who loved to bring up their journalism degree from Colombia on pretty much any occasion their decisions were questioned, and also loved headlines that ended in ?, to the extent that they would even tack a ? onto headlines that didn't have one.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:10 AM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Columbia University, that is; not Colombia. I have no opinion on the level of journalism education in Colombia.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:17 AM on February 1, 2015


this is just to say

I have posted
the Ortbergs
that were on
the toast

and which
you were probably
saving
for facebook.

Forgive me
they were funny
I think
srsly whatevs.
posted by Mchelly at 7:15 AM on February 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


I have no opinion on the level of journalism education in Colombia.

¿Does Betteridge's Law apply in Columbia?
posted by Room 641-A at 8:11 AM on February 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


The thing about Betteridge's "Law" is that it doesn't apply to energy blogging, where question headlines are routinely answered with "yes" by their articles, and I wouldn't be surprised to find other domains where that was true.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 8:39 AM on February 1, 2015


Don't know Ortberg or the toast but I clicked a bit and just have to leave this here without context:


There are Core people and there are Rim people. Core people wear silver, gender-neutral clothing and love fascism and artificial light. Rim people wear floor-length WWII-era trench coats and love modified libertarianism. These are the only two kinds of people. Plus there’s one ocean planet full of mermaids.


..
posted by sammyo at 9:03 AM on February 1, 2015


The thing about Betteridge's "Law" is that it doesn't apply to energy blogging, where question headlines are routinely answered with "yes" by their articles, and I wouldn't be surprised to find other domains where that was true.

I can't speak to energy blogging, but "no" or "we don't know" seems to be the answer to a great many Betteridged news articles, anyway. Though no, it's not a "law" in the sense that gravity is a law. My take on it is it's just a cheap way to get the reader to read an article.

"Oh! Can magnets placed on my forehead improve my sleep? They don't say it in the headline, I better read the article to find out!"
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:22 AM on February 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


This Is Just to Say

I have eaten
the ortburgers
that were in
the deep freezer

and which
you were probably
saving
for the apocalypse

Forgive me
they were delicious
seriously why can't we
have ortburgers more often?
posted by onlyconnect at 10:14 AM on February 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Question headlines are a cheap , hacky way for writers to make unsupported claims. "Is improbable thing actually true?"

It's journalism's answer to "the large print giveth and the fine print taketh away".
posted by chrchr at 11:47 AM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Betteridge's Law is also just lazy headline writing no matter what the answer is. If your headline is your hook your story probably sucks.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:02 PM on February 1, 2015


Well, it's a shade better than You won't believe what these police did! (I just made this one up) and A Super Bowl Ad That Will Chill You To The Bone When You Figure Out Why She's Ordering A Pizza (UpWorthy teaser for a domestic abuse PSA).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:53 PM on February 1, 2015


I feel like when the question "was there ANY backstage communication with the user about this affront to their participation?!" comes up, the answer is always, reliably, yes. Thank His Noodlyness that the mods are so decent about observing confidentiality whenever a public outing is not justified that most of us have no idea how much talking they do to people, or even which people they are doing the talking to. It would be an ugly place if it were otherwise.
posted by Miko at 1:11 PM on February 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


THINK WAS ANTI-THESIS ON MATTER!
posted by clavdivs at 2:30 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really liked Ortberg until she was mean about geese. Unless she was being ironical. I don't even know any more. Ah, life.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:14 PM on February 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


M(allory Ortberg)etafilter

MetaFortberg.


Now, try saying that three times fast.
posted by John Cohen at 6:41 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember when we were tired of Lady Gaga? I'll take Ortberg over Gaga ANY day.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:06 PM on February 1, 2015


MortFerg.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:42 PM on February 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: like a frittata, but unpleasant!
posted by Chrysostom at 6:07 AM on February 2, 2015


At least it's not like reddit where linking to wikipedia triggers a bot to cut-and-paste the page contents as the next comment. Because following a link is just too hard or something.
posted by smackfu at 6:20 AM on February 2, 2015


You said that my concern was an exaggeration in trying to make a non-problem a problem. If I thought it was a non-problem, I wouldn't have posted. But yes, three posts from any author in a day is likely a problem, albeit a mild one.

IMO, it's so mild as to be pretty much non-existent. Which is why I said that metafilter is in no danger of becoming X. Because that seems to me to be the only logical reason to complain about it. When I commented to you, you gave no additional context for me to think otherwise, either.

Sort of, though you're ignoring that part of what makes them not great for the site is that the majority of them are fairly thin posts, and on their own might be borderline.

I'm not ignoring anything you've said, Klang. This is literally the first time you have voiced that specific concern in this thread.

But when a bunch of borderline posts are posted from the same source, it's worth asking if, say, rather than a bunch of borderline posts if some could be concatenated into a single, stronger post.

I agree.

What a shame that you didn't mention this when you were complaining that the author was being posted too frequently with no other context except that we have the option of finding her stuff elsewhere, klang. You've just wasted my time and yours.

If you really feel like that, and think you can back it with some sort of evidence, why don't you make a MeTa thread? I'd wager that over the last six months more Ortberg articles have been posted here than Taibbi articles, and certainly more Ortberg articles than Taibbi Rolling Stone articles, what with his big hiatus from Rolling Stone last year.

Why bother?

I do not believe that (barring any other consideration) an author's content being posted often is a problem here. People will either comment, or not. They will ignore the post, or not. The Blue is not the Gray.

People don't have to read posts on the Gray they don't like. No one is forcing them to.

Of course they're not. However, voicing an opinion on a post on the Blue doesn't potentially affect our ability to create future metafilter posts. More below.

They close and scroll off too. Your "one-off" distinction is meaningless with regard to this argument.

No, it's not. It's quite valid. Especially for those of us who post often on a wide range of topics, some of which are controversial. The mods have recently been deleting relatively evenhanded posts on controversial topics on the grounds that they may start an argument. Not after one has erupted, but before those threads have attracted a single comment. In the past, they only did that on posts that were pretty obvious flame bait. In this and several other ways, the grounds for FPP deletion have quietly changed in the last couple of years and I'm not convinced that's always been for the better. In fact, there are one or two old posts of mine that I am convinced would now be deleted because they wouldn't measure up to current moderation standards. Because of this, as I said before I take metatalk posts that could potentially affect those standards seriously and tend to weigh in. Considering your vague wording and the fact that you're voicing your full reasoning only when challenged, a post like this one might not necessarily end up being restricted to "let's ask the community to police itself." The mods could very well assume that the community is calling for a stronger moderation policy towards "thin" posts. So yes, that's actually an important discussion for us to have. It could conceivably affect what we'll be able to post to metafilter in the future, and to me is more serious than, "Someone posted a random article by an author I'd personally like to see less of on mefi."
posted by zarq at 7:55 AM on February 2, 2015


FFS.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:27 AM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


zarq: " The mods could very well assume that the community is calling for a stronger moderation policy towards "thin" posts. "

This seems unlikely to me, given that we've had "there are too many X posts!" discussions for years. This is a well-trodden path we are on.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:31 AM on February 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


This seems unlikely to me, given that we've had "there are too many X posts!" discussions for years. This is a well-trodden path we are on.

Yes it is. And sometimes the mods have had their minds changed by them.

For example: the mods delete cracked posts that get flagged and they feel are too thin. Usually short lists of things. I remember seeing a few anti-cracked.com posts in metatalk before that became commonplace.
posted by zarq at 8:46 AM on February 2, 2015


One man's thin post is another man's momentary distraction or SLYT.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:49 AM on February 2, 2015


One man's thin post is another man's momentary distraction or SLYT.

Exactly.
posted by zarq at 8:51 AM on February 2, 2015


The mods could very well assume that the community is calling for a stronger moderation policy towards "thin" posts.

Trust the mods to read the posts and the comments in the Meta threads and elsewhere. No one should be dissuaded from opening a MeTa post because it might be seen as some sort of untoward influence on the mods. In point of fact some people really would like to see fewer Ortberg posts (and fewer controversial newsfilter posts) and these threads are where people can discuss the strengths and the weaknesses of proposed approaches to those sorts of options so the mods can understand where the heavy site users' opinions fall on those matters.

The mods have recently been deleting relatively evenhanded posts on controversial topics on the grounds that they may start an argument.

With respect, there have been a few highly scrutinized examples of this and no actual stated policy outcomes from them except for mods saying "We might have been too hasty in one or two instances"
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:52 AM on February 2, 2015


This MeTa post isn't about controversial stuff that's likely to start a fight, so that seems like a separate discussion.

Short funny articles, which generally make for a nice happy thread, present a different set of issues from controversial ones. They often they stay up even when they're thin, because people like them or skip them, and in general I think this is fine and part of the mix of stuff we cultivate here. Same thing with Cracked articles or those from any other humor site... Mods will sometimes err on the side of being more permissive with shortish thinnish funny/nice posts. That's part of how we've sometimes gotten to the point of having so many thinnish posts from such sites. So here we have (some) people saying, "ok, let's maybe up the bar a little for this source, since people know about it. Enough with posting from this person twice a week when she puts up a funny list." That's useful for mods to hear, that not everybody wants us to be erring on the side of leaving such posts up.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:11 AM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


No one should be dissuaded from opening a MeTa post because it might be seen as some sort of untoward influence on the mods.

To be clear: that is not what I am saying.

With respect, there have been a few highly scrutinized examples of this and no actual stated policy outcomes from them except for mods saying "We might have been too hasty in one or two instances"

Stated policy and the deletion reasons the mods give on posts are not always equal.

Personally, I am curious to see how the next I/P post goes, especially if it isn't particularly biased towards one side or another. Will it be deleted without comments? Only time will tell.
posted by zarq at 9:16 AM on February 2, 2015


That's useful for mods to hear, that not everybody wants us to be erring on the side of leaving such posts up.

Are you also noting that some of us think it's not an error to leave them?
posted by zarq at 9:18 AM on February 2, 2015


Yes.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:24 AM on February 2, 2015


zarq: "Are you also noting that some of us think it's not an error to leave them?"

Hey, save some oxygen for the rest of us.
posted by boo_radley at 9:27 AM on February 2, 2015


This feels like it's going down the road of "why should posts from The Toast have such a low bar to stay on the site when things like I/P have to meet such a higher standard?" and, zarq, I don't know if that's where you mean to push this, but it's feeling to me now like you're taking over this thread now to talk about this one thing that you really really really want to talk about.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:30 AM on February 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Are you also noting that some of us think it's not an error to leave them?

I do not understand why you do not think/feel that your opinions on this subject here and elsewhere have been heard.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:30 AM on February 2, 2015


I do not understand why you do not think/feel that your opinions on this subject here and elsewhere have been heard.

A mod has now said that feedback in favor of potentially changing the bar on post deletions is helpful. I would like it also to be clear that there is no consensus for doing so.
posted by zarq at 9:39 AM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


MoonOrb, *nod* Wasn't my intention to hijack the thread. I've said my piece and plan to step away now, unless something is addressed to me directly.
posted by zarq at 9:45 AM on February 2, 2015


FWIW, I had also been noticing that pretty thin Ortberg posts had begun to clog the Blue. I flagged at least one and subsequently moved on. Now there is a MeTa on the subject, and I'm dropping a line to mention my thoughts on it. I mean, I like Ortberg fine, but not every one of those articles was the best of the web. FanFare might be a very good place for her fans to follow her work.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk: You've just wasted my time and yours.
posted by homunculus at 11:32 AM on February 2, 2015


Now I feel awful that I thought that Sgt Serenity's comment was just silliness rather than hostile.
posted by janey47 at 1:54 PM on February 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why would that make you feel awful? Being generous in your interpretation of other people's words is a good thing.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:05 PM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


MOST CALL HIM SARGE, YOU?
posted by clavdivs at 5:56 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


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