Membership uptick thanks to R*****'s troubles? July 12, 2015 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Have the recent troubles at another social media site led to an uptick in our own membership as folks ragequit / rageadd other sites to their browsing experience? Have folks been welcoming new members? What do the new members think about the site? Have they learned to avoid the searing light of the professional white background?
posted by Going To Maine to MetaFilter-Related at 2:37 PM (78 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Cortex will jump in shortly with data, but I just want to establish up front that this is not the thread to talk about how horrible Reddit is/how horrible people who think Reddit is horrible are. Thanks!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:38 PM on July 12, 2015 [42 favorites]


I would actually be interested in a little bit of the converse. Folks talk about how MetaFilter can be resistant to design change, and I'd be curious to see peoples' gut reactions to the site design after joining.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:41 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


What she said, but otherwise some navelgazing seems totally fine, yeah.

Anyway, numbers: there's been a wee uptick in signups the last week and change, but on the order of a couple extra signups per day compared to average and note enough that I'd confidently declare it's not noise, since that's a value that fluctuates a lot day to day as it is. Whether that would be different if we had free signups instead of the five dollar speed bump is an interesting question but not one I can tender any kind of useful answer to.

I've noticed a couple folks specifically mentioning being new arrivals in one or the other of the recent reddit threads on the blue, and getting a friendly nod hell of from a couple folks as a result.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:57 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Friendly Nod Hell was the name of my second album!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:06 PM on July 12, 2015 [32 favorites]


I would fix the typo but "friendly nod hell of" is the best mistake I've made all month.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:08 PM on July 12, 2015 [81 favorites]


well, that's why i came back. the site seems quieter than i remember. it's weird not being able to edit or delete posts. and having to type html. i have the dark thing enabled. i didn't even notice the titles til someone mentioned it in meta.
posted by andrewcooke at 3:12 PM on July 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Friendly Nod Hell: Your acquaintances… are Satan-ses!
posted by Going To Maine at 3:18 PM on July 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


Glad to see someone remembers the album single. My fault for confusing Columbia House with Columbia Records, I guess.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:19 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


and having to type html.

You might be interested in the Markdown for MeFi browser extension.
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:33 PM on July 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


andrewcooke: "well, that's why i came back. the site seems quieter than i remember. it's weird not being able to edit or delete posts. and having to type html. i have the dark thing enabled. i didn't even notice the titles til someone mentioned it in meta."

You can have my <code> tag when you pry it out of my cold, dead hand.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:37 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


We're also not as shitty to women as we used to be.

Welcome back.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:39 PM on July 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


i'm happy to type html! i just keep forgetting.

not as shitty

actually, reading some of the askmefi stuff about relationships, racism and sexism has had me rethinking a few things. was quite surprised how old fashioned and, well, macho i seemed to be. which has been quite useful for "personal reasons". i just hope it sticks...

(so good to be back, thanks, assuming that was to me, and also thanks to everyone for a couple of hellos in threads the last few days.)
posted by andrewcooke at 3:41 PM on July 12, 2015 [40 favorites]


Hi andrewcooke, I noticed you back around too, hello!
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:12 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know if it led to anyone actually joining, but metafilter's listed on a "list of reddit alternatives" on GamerGhazi, as is MeFightClub. People really seem to have a hard time finding non-shitty places to meet people to play games.
posted by NoraReed at 5:21 PM on July 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


MFC is a chill place for chill people to play great games. Go hang out and have a fun time with same people.
posted by boo_radley at 5:38 PM on July 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am just now coming back from my acid trip from the 1970's and I have no idea what this is about but it seems like we are all coming together now so I approve.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:42 PM on July 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Spotted a few librarian friends on Facebook who have done the quitting reddit thing, and nudged them in this direction. They could fit in well here.

Then again, a cousin of mine has also quit but he's [remembers string of online incidents, bans, people going round to his house for confrontations] ... yeah. I might nudge him towards FourChan or similar instead.
posted by Wordshore at 6:50 PM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


What's a reddit?
posted by philip-random at 7:06 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure you'd have to own a TV to understand.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:12 PM on July 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


What's a reddit?

It's a phrase the frog says at the end of the joke about the chicken and the library books.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:14 PM on July 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


"R*****"? It's not the N word.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 7:16 PM on July 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


>Spotted a few librarian friends on Facebook who have done the quitting reddit thing,

Am I the only one who read that as libertarian?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:24 PM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have never been to Reddit, lucky them.
posted by Oyéah at 8:14 PM on July 12, 2015


Am I the only one who read that as libertarian?

Also possibly libratarian, or as they are more commonly known "book shop owners".
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:24 PM on July 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really hate this sort of not-talking-about talking-about. It makes discussions incredibly inscrutable even weeks down the road when everyone has forgotten about the controversy du jour. Reddit reddit reddit. This thread is about reddit, and apparently the leaving of users thereof (?).
posted by threeants at 9:43 PM on July 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Well I'm not super new, but there's not a lot of feedback from other people. I came here from Reddit (ragequit) in January, or sometime around then.

My gut reaction to the site: I honestly remember the design of the site feeling really weird and old-fashioned at first, but now I thank God there are no nested comments (things can be a little harder to follow, but ultimately less noisy). I still use the white background. Light text on a dark background makes me think of the html web page I made for myself in high school.

I also remember thinking everyone here seemed way more mature. I don't mean that to sound like MeFi vs Reddit stuff, more that I assumed the $5 fee was a great way to keep obnoxious people away. Anyway, it's not that Reddit is all that bad, it's just that this is much better. I would actually go to a meetup from this site. It's been a looong time since I've actually thought of a site as a community, and it probably helps that it's a smallish site and I see a lot of the same names around so much.

So, you know. Good job.
posted by teponaztli at 12:43 AM on July 13, 2015 [47 favorites]


What's a reddit?

20$, same as in town
posted by Rumple at 12:45 AM on July 13, 2015 [18 favorites]


I really hate this sort of not-talking-about talking-about.

I think Going to Maine was making a joke with the "R*****" thing, though he can certainly speak for himself on that. In terms of any other "not-talking-about talking-about," I'm not sure what you mean, but we have two currently open threads that are talking about Reddit's recent news events.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:04 AM on July 13, 2015


20$, same as in town

Shit, you mean they figured out how to monetize it?
posted by NoraReed at 3:30 AM on July 13, 2015 [10 favorites]


"R*****"? It's not the N word.

No, but if you look into a mirror at midnight and say "Reddit" three times, a twenty-year-old guy in a fedora appears and downvotes you.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:50 AM on July 13, 2015 [86 favorites]


NoraReed: "20$, same as in town

Shit, you mean they figured out how to monetize it?
"

Too soon. Too soon.
posted by Splunge at 5:07 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think Going to Maine was making a joke with the "R**" thing, though he can certainly speak for himself on that.*

Yeah, it was a li'l bit of a joke. Conversations about Reddit tend to immediately jump to how it's the worst thing ever, so I was trying to joshingly suggest that if we leave out the name we might manage to stay on topic.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:55 AM on July 13, 2015


As long as nobody looks in a mirror and says the word three times in a row...
posted by Karmakaze at 6:03 AM on July 13, 2015


*A zombie wearing a striped fedora appears*

Actually, it's about ethics in bio-exorcism.
posted by schmod at 7:06 AM on July 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


teponaztli: "I assumed the $5 fee was a great way to keep obnoxious people away"

It's interesting that as I read articles about the struggles that Reddit moderators have with keeping their subreddits under control, I keep finding myself thinking "$5 per account would take a pretty big bite out of that."
posted by Rock Steady at 7:18 AM on July 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


Is this something that, well, apart from life in general, I would have to take a smart drug to understand ?
posted by y2karl at 8:25 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that as I read articles about the struggles that Reddit moderators have with keeping their subreddits under control, I keep finding myself thinking "$5 per account would take a pretty big bite out of that."
Rock Steady

It would never work with their model. The $5 signup fee is low enough that anyone can join but high enough that it discourages driveby trolling and shitposting since you'd have to keep shelling it out if you get banned and want back in. That has the effect of keeping the quality up but the quantity down, and reddit looking to grow as fast as it can.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:45 AM on July 13, 2015


a twenty-year-old guy in a fedora appears and downvotes you.

A twenty-year-old guy in a fedora appears and downvotes a surreptitiously taken picture of your butt.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:57 AM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I didn't get around to saying this in the Android fix thread, but I do think Metafilter is massively superior to Reddit in terms of its mobile interface. Metafilter is very slick and usable. Reddit has a crummy half-arsed mobile interface where .compact is appended to urls and you're semi-randomly directed back to the main site if you click the wrong link. Amazing work from pb (and others?) that he's managed to deliver a much better experience with a tiny fraction of the development resources.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:34 AM on July 13, 2015 [9 favorites]


Amazing work from pb (and others?)

A whole bunch of the work on that was by matthewmcvickar, who has done some freelance work for us off and on and is great.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 AM on July 13, 2015 [21 favorites]


I don't even get the premise of the question. Web sites are not like gyms where it would be redundant to have two memberships - although I'm sure there are actually people with multiple gym memberships.

But everyone can have as many website memberships as they want. Reddit's are free and the $5 for Mefi is just to keep the shittiest of shitposters out. I have to cut back on my reddit timewasting but it's never been an either-or.

I guess I'm slightly curious for the opposite reason - I honestly don't think reddit's shitshow will make any difference to metafilter at all. And per cortex, it would have to be a really big number of users to rise above the noise floor.
posted by GuyZero at 9:57 AM on July 13, 2015


Metafilter feels very much like a well-curated/moderated general interest subreddit. It feels nothing like Reddit at large. The breadth and scope of the content is similar, but the comments are far, far more heavily pruned here. Obviously any approach has drawbacks. I've often wondered what Metafilter would look like if it had minuses as well as favorites, and honestly I'm not sure it would survive. I think that part of what makes Metafilter work is that the content that "goes well" is the content that the community agrees on. I think if disagreeing with a button existed alongside disagreeing within a comment (or even if comments became nested such that direct replies were possible infrastructure wise), it would not be all sunshine and pony requests. I suspect Metatalk would become very busy.

In comparison, the subReddit system allows for at least theoretically disparate ecosystems where people can disagree with each other from a distance and talk about how ridiculous those other people are. As has been noted before, Metafilter generally looks down its nose outwards while Reddit does so inwards.
posted by Phyltre at 10:12 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I didn't get around to saying this in the Android fix thread, but I do think Metafilter is massively superior to Reddit in terms of its mobile interface. Metafilter is very slick and usable. Reddit has a crummy half-arsed mobile interface where .compact is appended to urls and you're semi-randomly directed back to the main site if you click the wrong link. Amazing work from pb (and others?) that he's managed to deliver a much better experience with a tiny fraction of the development resources.

There are, however, some pretty sweet third-party apps (e.g. sync for reddit) for making your mobile Reddit experience more enjoyable.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:31 AM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think it's interesting to consider the impact to reddit if they went to a one-time fee model like MeFi, then let users save their setting per subreddit between showing the comments of "only the others who have paid the fee" and "everyone".

Seems like a good way to let the community decide for themselves whether they want to be more "metafilter-like" or "reddit-like".
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:56 AM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


For what it's worth, I've been a MeFite for a while, though not super-active. I just deleted my Reddit account the other day, and I'm making it a point to be more active here to fill the void.

Hi.
posted by SansPoint at 12:40 PM on July 13, 2015 [29 favorites]


I assumed the $5 fee was a great way to keep obnoxious people away

I actually first discovered ask mefi because of this Slate article which hypothesizes that what sets ask metafilter apart from places like Yahoo answers (and probably reddit as well) is the $5 join up fee in combination with the moderation system. It's interesting to re-read the article (and to see a quote from Jessamyn!) now that I've spent the last 6 years here.

Here's one quote from the article:

There are certain topics that never go well: "Don't ask about circumcising your baby," says West. "Don't ask about declawing your cat. Questions about extreme paranoia are bad because we've found that people like to tease people who are hearing voices." Nothing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No questions about suicide. (In these cases, West responds with an e-mail suggesting counseling in the question-asker's area.) No questions like "Is my husband trying to kill me?"

That last part is sort of ironic because about a month before that article was published on Slate, someone posted a question to ask mefi that was literally, Is my husband trying to kill me?

I've always wondered whether the mefite who posted that question ended up safely getting out of that marriage (if their husband was in fact trying to kill them) or if they found psychiatric help (if their anxiety was actually just based on paranoia).
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:43 PM on July 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's probably less ironic than literally what Jessamyn was referring to. That was a memorable thread.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:56 PM on July 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think Going to Maine was making a joke with the "R*****" thing, though he can certainly speak for himself on that. In terms of any other "not-talking-about talking-about," I'm not sure what you mean, but we have two currently open threads that are talking about Reddit's recent news events.

Talking about this thread, not site policy. No shade against Going to Maine, anyhow, just pointing out something I find annoying. "Hate" was probably a strong word.
posted by threeants at 3:40 PM on July 13, 2015


Litera scripta manet, that's the same Slate article that led me to MeFi!
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:45 PM on July 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another data point: I had a Reddit and a MeFi account for a while, but I started seriously upping my MeFi participation when I officially gave up on Reddit (right around the celebrity nude photo leak).
posted by Itaxpica at 6:04 PM on July 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I actually went the other way. I answered the siren's call of the button and was basically off MeFi for two months because the button basically scratched an itch I never knew I had. Because of that, I tried to check out greater Reddit but basically nothing else there did that for me.
posted by Literaryhero at 12:26 AM on July 14, 2015


Weeping_angel: Litera scripta manet, that's the same Slate article that led me to MeFi!

I found my way through a Wired article about the All your base are belong to us meme. I wonder how many other MeFites have found out about MetaFilter through mainstream media outlets. I imagine it's a pretty good recruiting tool.
posted by Kattullus at 1:25 AM on July 14, 2015


the button basically scratched an itch I never knew I had

The button was a countdown to drama-ignition - FatPeopleHate was deleted shortly after it expired.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 1:54 AM on July 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


well, that's why i came back.

For what it's worth, I've been a MeFite for a while, though not super-active.


So, is this measurable? Increases in activity of previously dormant/mostly inactive accounts? How about page views? In contrast to GuyZero, I would be surprised if there wasn't some effect on Metafilter from this.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:14 AM on July 14, 2015


Some effect vs. decisive, confirmable effect is the distinction I'd make. Like, I think the signup numbers being up a skosh isn't a coinicidence, but it is just a skosh and hard to definitively separate from noise. I'm positive some folks have come over from Reddit because a couple folks have said so, but I don't have any clear way of establishing the broader readership effect there because there's been nothing notable compared to normal day to day variation.

Ultimately, I think the thing here is that as crazy and high profile as the Reddit events have been over the last couple weeks, they've been Reddit events, not Metafilter events; the knock-on effect of some folks dissatisfied with Reddit wandering over toward that Metafilter place that they (a) heard about from someone or (b) used to hang out on a while back is likely on the face of it to be a lot milder than if something very Metafilter-specific were going on.

Compare to a couple of times when we've gotten glowing mainstream writeups and seen significant chunks of new users showing up for a few days, because that was a high profile thing about the site itself, rather than just a thing where Metafilter is one of several places the diaspora of some other situation might land.

All that said, an analysis of new user activity and a upticks/resurrections in older accounts' activity could certainly be worth a whack for someone who feels like poking around. The Infodump updates weekly and someone could mess with data from the couple months or so to try and identify any sort of inflection point or change in trends as of the recent happenings.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 AM on July 14, 2015


I assumed the $5 fee was a great way to keep obnoxious people away

So what does that say about all of us who joined the site before the $5 fee? Are those users more obnoxious than those who joined post $5?
posted by juiceCake at 8:05 AM on July 14, 2015


Yes, those pre-fivers were the absolute wors—

*glances at user number*

No, those pre-fivers are the absolute best.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:07 AM on July 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


cortex, I'm a non fiver. LobsterMittens sent me a gift account on request. This looks like a nice little site! :)
posted by AdamTheChespin at 11:40 AM on July 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


She's only got one mitten, man.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:53 AM on July 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


One day she'll get that other one out of layaway, though. Welcome aboard, AdamTheChespin.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:57 AM on July 14, 2015


I came in before the $5 but at a time when registration was open once a day and you had to time it juuuust right to get it. Took a few tries. I guess that effort counts similarly.
posted by Karmakaze at 12:50 PM on July 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many other MeFites have found out about MetaFilter through mainstream media outlets.

I'm one of them. I was spending a lot of my Internet time on Slate back in the day, and I'm pretty sure it was either a Slate story or a site linked in a Slate story that sent me to MetaFilter.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:13 PM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's so long ago I honestly don't remember how I found metafilter. I lurked for a good 2 years beforehand, so it was 10 years ago now.

Regarding the potential traffic to Metafilter, I was thinking of how Digg users migrated to Reddit, but realise that the big assumption in my logic is that people actually know about Metafilter. This is clearly not the case, because who could possibly know about Metafilter and still not want to join! ;-)
posted by kisch mokusch at 3:28 PM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Noobs, the lot of ya
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:10 PM on July 14, 2015


Whoa, Joseph Gurl is user 1801. No sarcasm - I salute him for his longevity!

Also, I'm glad that we're getting some new, active Mefites. Hurray! We can't reproduce in any normal way, so recruitment is our only tool.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:08 PM on July 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


We can't reproduce in any normal way, so recruitment is our only tool.

I don't know. I keep seeing these baby announcements! Mind you, it'll take a while for those babies to become active users.
posted by immlass at 6:15 PM on July 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Cortex plays the long odds.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:25 PM on July 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I started coming round these parts in 2001-2002 but it took me 9 years to finally muster up enough courage to buy in.
posted by Annika Cicada at 8:28 PM on July 14, 2015


coulda saved yrself 5 bones
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:55 PM on July 14, 2015


All yore bass
Belong to Gus.
posted by clavdivs at 11:11 PM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mmmm...togas!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:06 AM on July 15, 2015


I lurked for years upon years, but I still feel like a mefi old-timer, because I moved to basically only reading mefi because I got tired of Digg. I think it was in 2006.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:03 PM on July 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think I first heard of Metafilter on diary-l but that seems like a lifetime ago.
posted by Tenuki at 4:54 PM on July 15, 2015


was quite surprised how old fashioned and, well, macho i seemed to be. which has been quite useful for "personal reasons". i just hope it sticks...

We are certainly at an interesting time in the world for being unable to entirely jettison our earlier selves, aren't we? It's interesting that the public sphere has seemed to dig in on the idea that we can never change our personalities or, for politicians, our priorities/beliefs. It seems like we'll culturally have to get past that if we're going to be able to live with ourselves past age 25.

Maybe it's time for a Hollywood reboot of Logan's Run, where the system is set up not because of overpopulation but because nobody can cope with having their old facebook posts dragged up and re-shared a decade later. The elites will avoid going to Carousel by paying Zuckerbot to let them edit/hide their old shit, or else they run away to the badlands where there's only highly-filtered Comcast connections.
posted by phearlez at 8:51 AM on July 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can't remember how I found MeFi but I do distinctly remember this: I hit the sign-up page, filled it out, and sat there with my mouse hovering over the submit button... and thought "Nah, I'll do this tomorrow."

No joke, signups were locked THAT NIGHT

Furiously clicking "resubmit" on 04-02-04 got me in the door during that initial "oops we were only supposed to allow like 10 newbies" surge

But I could have been here making comments for a LOOONG time before that.

On the plus side, having to be stuck in read-only mode probably helped with the commenting maturity a little. (checks posting history) Oh. Not that we don't all make asses of ourselves until we learn how to be civil (or get permabanned). But it probably helped a little.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:10 AM on July 17, 2015


Yeah, I was lurking for a long time and thinking about joining up, then signups were locked. I'm surprised to see I joined in 2005 because I thought it was a lot earlier than that! I don't comment that much though.

Never had much interest in Reddit. The only other forum I've contributed to regularly was Television Without Pity .
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:55 PM on July 17, 2015


It's so long ago I honestly don't remember how I found metafilter.

Kuroshin or Memepool. Both of which I found via Slashdot.

Remember when Slashdot was a big thing?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:03 AM on July 18, 2015


I have no idea how I heard about MetaFilter, but I see I'm coming up on ten years of membership. I think there was a time when I was less active than I am, but for the past few years I've been on the Green at least once a day.

I'm a Reddit user as well, though much less the last few weeks. I tend to hang in a few well-moderated, non-controversial subreddits. I'm not cancelling my membership there anytime soon, as I want to see how things sort themselves out. I've found a lot of value there, but wasted a lot of time as well. Well, hey, it's the web, right?
posted by lhauser at 12:50 PM on July 20, 2015


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