aniola joined the conversation. Yesterday, 8:11 PM. August 1, 2015 11:50 AM   Subscribe

aniola: why are there thousands of users on metafilter and only ever a dozen or so in chat?
going to maine: That seems like a great question for metatalk, actually. I move that you ask it.

aniola: ha
going to maine: I think the basic answer is that people use metafilter very selectively
twist my arm: nnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooo. people will just talk about how they hate us and we're boring weirdos
going to maine: I mean, the majority of metafilter activity happens on ask. And if you’re living in recent activity you can get a very similar sense of being in a chat room busy threads get lots of updates. But yeah - I suspect many of those thousands are just pretty sporadic users.
aniola: fair enough
going to maine: still, I vote for asking
aniola: go for it!
going to maine: because I love a good metatalk
aniola: i encourage you. i will read that thread
posted by Going To Maine to MetaFilter-Related at 11:50 AM (136 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

I did not know there was a chat room!

Where's the chat room?
posted by Itaxpica at 11:55 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


chat.metafilter.com
posted by Going To Maine at 11:56 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


(It's pretty low key)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:56 AM on August 1, 2015


Metafilter Chat! Is a thing that I think does not have a ton of visibility, is part of it.

And partly not everybody does the chat-type thing much in general; and partly not everybody who does ever do chat-type stuff has a hole in their needs there (maybe they already have regular hangouts elsewhere, on IRC or twitter verbosity or Slack or IMing with friends directly); and partly folks who are otherwise amenable to the idea of hanging out in Metafilter Chat just don't make a habit of it, so they show up at some point and then maybe come back again and then maybe forget.

It's something that for me as a site feature falls on the "fun to have around if people like it, very occasionally useful to specifically point people to if there's a people-want-to-chat-and-it's-having-a-negative-impact-on-a-thread sort of situation" portion of the board; it's not super clear to me what we should be doing about raising its visibility or what we should be raising it's visibility or stressing its utility for exactly, so we basically haven't, but at the bare minimum the occasional reminder (like a metatalk thread) that it exists and people can go hang out is certainly a good thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:58 AM on August 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


It broke for me sometime when MeFi switched to https (or something else, I forget) and I had to reconfigure Adium and I never did. I used to go there sometimes.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:58 AM on August 1, 2015


I don't like instant chat. I like to read and comment and not have a back and forth, most of the time.
I think it's like why people text instead of just calling and having a conversation.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:06 PM on August 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


Most of the reason is that I have a job. I can't keep up with however many Slacks I belong to either.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:13 PM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I did tons of chatting back in college, on masrelay, when I was the only female chatting with a bunch of male nerds. Kind of burned me out on chat, actually--not because of the nerds, but because chat is the kind of thing that you (I) can do intensely for only a limited amount of time before getting bored with the repetition of it.
posted by Melismata at 12:13 PM on August 1, 2015


What do you guys talk about on there? I like Metafilter because I can get pretty much as much chat as I like on the topics that interest me, while opting out of the rest. I'm not sure the "hey how's your day?" stuff would be my top priority given I can barely do that often enough with my Mom.
posted by salvia at 12:24 PM on August 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am not on it because chat rooms stress me out.
posted by gaspode at 12:30 PM on August 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


cats. food. work. people in our lives. look what i found on the internet. here is a thing i did/made/ate. problems. advice. puns, so many puns.

opinions on mefi threads.
posted by twist my arm at 12:32 PM on August 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


(chat is under the "more" menu)
posted by andrewcooke at 12:33 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I talked to another mefi about this. For a chat room, not a lot of chat which is fine, quality vs. quanity and all.
posted by clavdivs at 12:40 PM on August 1, 2015


Many of us live in other time zones too. It's not as bad now living in Europe as when I lived in NZ, but I can still see that overall posting and commenting on metafilter generally picks up around the time I go to bed or so.
posted by shelleycat at 12:40 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I go to the chat sometimes when I remember it exists, is there a way to hook it into an IRC client or something?
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 12:58 PM on August 1, 2015


I go to the chat sometimes when I remember it exists, is there a way to hook it into an IRC client or something?

Yep - see “Chat” in the wiki.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:02 PM on August 1, 2015


I've occasionally been curious, but anxiety + timezone is what keeps me from trying it.
posted by terretu at 1:20 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I liked it the few times I visited! However, chat is just too hard for me to keep up with.
posted by ignignokt at 1:21 PM on August 1, 2015


I've logged in on occasion but it always seemed pretty quiet.
posted by octothorpe at 1:22 PM on August 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Chat rooms remind me of all the AOL roleplaying I did as a teenager (Red Dragon Inn? All Creatures Tavern? Rhydin? No?). I prefer to forget those days.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:23 PM on August 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


At least at one point, and it may no longer be true, chat was not moderated the way the main site was moderated. I visited for awhile but found enough distasteful stuff, not that it was all the time but it seemed like there was really nothing to be done about it when it happened. Also, well, I'm busier now than I have been at other points. But, well, those big meta threads we have about how women sometimes wind up feeling in threads about certain topics? Yeah, when those topics came up in chat it felt pretty similar. This isn't so much a "not naming names" thing as that it's been long enough I don't even remember, honestly. It's not like it was really horrific, but it was enough to make it not a place I wanted to keep spending time after a couple incidents.
posted by Sequence at 1:56 PM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Chat's an odd duck, in that sense; there really isn't moderation in the traditional sense in there, because it doesn't structurally support it—given the essentially transient and distributed nature of the discussion and the mechanics of this style of chat client/server set up, once somebody says a thing, they have said that thing and its been distributed to people's chat clients, and that's that. There's no retroactive deletion of lines of chat like with comments, etc.

So moderation really only takes the form of, when something gets weird, someone letting us know (which is super okay to do, just hit up the contact form real quick) and we can take a look and probably hop into the channel and if that's not enough to resolve it right there we can say something, tell someone to cut it out, and in the most outlier cases kick someone out of chat for good.

Any of that happens very rarely in practice; it's possible that mods popping in to throw some side-eye around could happen more than it does and people just aren't alerting us about it, but...if so we don't know about it, because no one has alerted us. So if you're a chat type person, know that it's okay to give us aheads up if something is odd.

Beyond that, chat is intended to be a relatively relaxed, hanging-out-and-bullshitting place where we don't want people being shitty or terrible or picking fights but also to an extent the standard approach to someone being a little weird or tonedeaf should be just saying "hey, could you stop with that?". If that doesn't do it, let us know.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:04 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


My main reasons for avoiding chat are that I already have no self control and spend way too much time here.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:52 PM on August 1, 2015 [15 favorites]


Yay chat! Thanks for the reminder!
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:55 PM on August 1, 2015


I have a really bad history of popping into chat.mefi, rattling off a bunch of nonsense, then going dark for hours while I get distracted and do something else. Or simply logging in for a very specific purpose (jeez, was the last time I went when I needed my OKC profile vetted?) and logging right back out again.

It's a good thing. Helps keep the typing speed up.
It's a terrible thing. Promotes my keyboard diarrhea.
posted by carsonb at 3:23 PM on August 1, 2015


I wouldn't know how to join in the conversation. Just jumping in seems rude.

Also I'd manage to mistype/ autocorrect something and offend someone while it takes 5 minutes of flailing on my tablet's keyboard to try and explain what just happened (I did this last week while gtalking with a friend).
posted by poxandplague at 3:30 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well I personally keep trying telnet mud.metafiler.com 88888 to little response.... well, just

> telnet mud.metafiler.com 88888
Connecting To mud.metafiler.com...Could not open connection to the host, on port 88888: Connect failed
posted by sammyo at 3:31 PM on August 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


For what it's worth, I am a frequent offender on both the "wanders in and out with no warning" and "just jump into conversation immediately" fronts in chat . No one has complained yet...

....as far as I know.
posted by sciatrix at 3:36 PM on August 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm with poxandplague--I like the idea of chat, but find the idea of having to show up and then...casually inserting myself into an ongoing conversation between regulars? That sounds terrifying. (I tried once, and it went poorly.)
posted by MeghanC at 3:41 PM on August 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Well I personally keep trying telnet mud.metafiler.com 88888 to little response

Have you tried mud.metafilTer.com?
posted by MartinWisse at 4:00 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


A. Keep forgetting that it exists
B. When I'm at work Metafilter is easy to dip in and out of, chat would be much less so.
C. I already chat all day on google with friends. So there's not really a chat-related hole in my life.

That said, I'm currently between jobs, so maybe I'll check it out sometime.
posted by MsMolly at 4:06 PM on August 1, 2015


I tried keeping it open in my chat client at work, thinking I could pop in and out of conversations. However, the conversations ended up being wayyyyy too distracting. I run out of new content on the FP eventually; chat doesn't.
posted by tofu_crouton at 4:17 PM on August 1, 2015


the conversations ended up being wayyyyy too distracting.

Us chatters tend to the brilliantly erudite and fascinating, yes.
posted by jeather at 4:19 PM on August 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am completely unable to casually participate in any sort of IM/chat exchange; my brain tells me that there are people, right there, and I need to pay all of my attention to all of them. I seem constitutionally unable to drift in and out of conversations, or to split my attention between chat and other stuff.

Which can be great, like being at a party! But it can also be really draining, like being at a party. It's a much much higher level of engagement for me than commenting or reading on MeFi, where I can basically "pause" in my reading and know that I'm not going to miss anything. (This is also why I have so far avoided Twitter. I would feel the need to keep up with everything everyone is saying, and has said since I last checked, and I don't know that it's possible, or the point.)
posted by jaguar at 4:19 PM on August 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


why port 88888?
posted by andrewcooke at 4:20 PM on August 1, 2015


(port numbers go up to 65535. also, according to nmap (sorry) 8888 is open)
posted by andrewcooke at 4:28 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Be careful in chat. Someone might gift you with Zabar's bagels. You know who you are.
posted by Splunge at 4:35 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


cats

Hmm, sounds relevant to my interests!
posted by salvia at 4:42 PM on August 1, 2015


I just found out chat works on my phone! Yay!

Red Dragon Inn? All Creatures Tavern? Rhydin? No?

I totally remember Red Dragon Inn! I never went there, but I knew about it.
posted by meese at 5:37 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to be on chat a lot, when I wasn't working. It helped keep me sane, just having internet peoples to talk to. It was great, lots of topics from the trivial to serious, puns, gifs, philosophical discussions. You can get advice there too, different from Ask because chatfilter is allowed! Chatfilter is the point!

Now I can't go on chat much at all , because job (and seriously, what are all these jobs Mefites have where you can Metafilter, let alone chat at work?) and time zone differences so I'm never there when the chat room is busy. I'll often log on and the latest activity was 3 hours ago. I also have experienced that thing where I'm either bursting in on the conversation and feel a little like I'm intruding OR I'll wander away and come back to find that people were talking to me but gave up on my non-response and have since logged out.

I do hope more people find and use chat, because when I had the time to be on there, it was seriously great.
posted by pianissimo at 5:43 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I tried a few times, but I can't keep up. Group chats seem to require your undivided attention, or you lose your place & blurt out stuff that hasn't been pertinent for like 20 minutes, and then you're that guy. I don't want to be that guy.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:54 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I pop in from time to time but a lot of the time nothing's really cooking. I like chat sometimes but only if there is really something meaty to discuss. Most of the time it's just, well, chat. Which is fine, just not my cup of tea.
posted by Miko at 6:02 PM on August 1, 2015


join us

we all float in chat
posted by Existential Dread at 6:14 PM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


omg Red Dragon Inn used to be my jam.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:43 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I went in and asked a couple metafilter related questions at some point and got 0 responses. People just kept talking about artisanal popcorn or whatever. I think there's a tendency in chats to just respond to people you know or continue chatting about whatever the personal topic is. That's all good, but it's not exactly welcoming of weird outsiders.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:51 PM on August 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I used to chat all the time a couple years ago when I was out of work. Now I have a hard enough time keeping up with flowdock chat at work. I can't imagine MeChatting there. There have been numerous times in the more recent past when nobody is chatting.

It's a laid-back and friendly place. I've had some great conversations there.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:55 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's usually small talk, which doesn't grab me like a thread about X.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 PM on August 1, 2015


poxandplague: I wouldn't know how to join in the conversation. Just jumping in seems rude.

Not at all. Jumping in is exactly the proper form of joining chat. It's pretty much the opposite of being rude. It's a form of introducing yourself, especially with online chatrooms. It might seem awkward, but no one really minds.

I've been on chat for several months now and the folks there are very polite and interesting. No one will necessarily be judgmental, but we'll occasionally be intensely interested in what you have to say. ;^)
posted by surazal at 7:28 PM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't like real time chats all that much. Too much commitment. You have to like, be there and respond and stuff.

For a brief second just now I thought about logging on to Metafilter Chat just to see what the format is like, but then my immediate thought was, what if there is someone in there waiting for someone to talk to? I don't really feel like chatting right now, but I don't want to be an asshole and log off in right in someone's face... and that reminded me of a chatroom that I used to belong to a long time ago, where there was this one really needy person who would lurk in chat night and day, and pounce on whoever logged in wanting to talk about her problems and stuff, endlessly; and I got stuck talking to her more than once, and just arrrrrgghh. I do not need that sort of stress when I just want to relax on the computer and not be social, and I guess I am just sort of weird and prickly and standoffish when it comes to chatting so best just to let it be.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:38 PM on August 1, 2015


People very often log in ("so and so joined chat at...") and leave without saying a word. I don't think anyone really cares. I've done it myself when I see people are deep in a conversation that doesn't interest me.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:14 PM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I used to be a Chat regular of a sort but things changed so now I'm not, but I mostly talked about food and that's mostly what I talk about when I pop my face back in once in a while. I like to think it filled the hole that was created when MeTa policy went from jokey recipes during tense threads = okay to jokey recipes during tense threads = not okay.
posted by Mizu at 9:41 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


We tried chat on the koeselitz account a few times, but we found it difficult to apply the same standards of excellence guaranteed by our methodology in the production of regular comments. We have in fact gone forward with several experiments along this line, but our focus groups didn't respond well to being asked to provide feedback on potential chat comments rapidly enough to facilitate the production of a convincing simulacrum of ordinary human conversation. However, we are hopeful that solutions will soon become available to us, most likely from the more versatile content farms in Southeast Asia, so we remain optimistic that soon the path will be clear for us to exploit this most fertile of market patterns known as "Metafilter Chat."
posted by koeselitz at 10:24 PM on August 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm usually in Chat a fair bit. I think one of the issues is just that Metafilter-the-site is asynchronous. while Metafilter-the-chat requires everyone to be there talking at the same time.
posted by mikurski at 11:13 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't really go to Chat because I often look at this site in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. Not a whole lot going on then.
posted by teponaztli at 1:07 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I check into chat sometimes. 90% of the time there's no one talking, so I leave.

9% of the time it's a cat gif-sharing fest and other such shoot-the-shit small talk. This is readily available elsewhere on the Internet and anyways I don't find it too interesting.

1% of the time it's enjoyable.

I think the dictum to "Keep Chat separate" likely makes conversation there less lively than it could be, since just about everything that users might want to talk about is posted to MF somewhere. Maybe that's a good policy or maybe it isn't, but I think it has the effect of hamstringing the usefulness of chat out of the gate by severely circumscribing the potential topic matter.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 4:54 AM on August 2, 2015


Another effect of chat: it's killed MetaChat. Pretty dead over there most of the time, sigh.
posted by Melismata at 4:58 AM on August 2, 2015


Do you think that's why it's dead, Melismata? I am not active on chat, but I would venture to guess that most of the people who used to be active on Metachat didn't leave it to spend more time on Metafilter Chat. I think it's more a case of people drifting away from it for other IRL reasons, and maybe newer Mefites not knowing about it. It is a bummer, though.
posted by amro at 5:07 AM on August 2, 2015


Good point amro, I dunno. But the decline did seem to start around the same time chat was launched.
posted by Melismata at 5:20 AM on August 2, 2015


meese: "I just found out chat works on my phone! Yay!

Red Dragon Inn? All Creatures Tavern? Rhydin? No?

I totally remember Red Dragon Inn! I never went there, but I knew about it.
"

I was Discord in the Red Dragon Inn. I regret nothing.
posted by Splunge at 5:57 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


it's killed MetaChat.

I don't think this is causal. It may be time for another little push to let members here know about MetaChat (in a separate thread).
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:57 AM on August 2, 2015


I think that Twitter has had more to do with the decline of MetaChat than anything else.
posted by octothorpe at 7:13 AM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I dropped in a few times, made a few comments, with no response or engagement or even a hello, despite there being a fair few people there actively bullshitting away. My conclusion was it's very cliquey and insular.
posted by Rumple at 7:15 AM on August 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


"I dropped in a few times, made a few comments, with no response or engagement or even a hello, despite there being a fair few people there actively bullshitting away. My conclusion was it's very cliquey and insular."

It's my strong impression that this has always been the case with live chatroom style forums. My experience with this goes way back -- I strongly recall CompuServe's "CB channels", later there was IRC on the internet and chatrooms on AOL. I don't recall BBSs in the 80s having live chat, though that might be a function of limited concurrent connections (and demand for same) on BBSs. But, conversely, my recollection is that CompuServe's CB channels predated any BBS style forums they offered -- and probably because of the inverse considerations (live chat is one thing for a big online provider, but a repository of public commentary by a large number of users had its own set of technological and legal concerns for someone like CompuServe back then).

Anyway, I do strongly think that although in a general-context environment both BBS-style and IRC-style tend toward light social discourse, they are still quite distinct from each other and serve different needs and push users toward different styles of interaction. Therefore, I don't think that (per above) they can be seen to be zero sum with regard to each other and demand.

A note: I do think it's worth considering how this sort of light social interaction is an important part of building and maintaining a community and that maybe there's some unmet need here at MetaFilter that intersects with maintaining the viability of the site.

But back to your comment, I think that I've always seen chatrooms tend toward being cliquish and insular because by nature they're ephemeral but tend to rely upon, well, a certain amount of social familiarity and comfort. With the BBS style it's still possible for newbies to participate by contributing a comment here and there and mostly lurking but cumulatively feeling more comfortable. That works because if you write a comment and no one responds, it's still there. And people do often respond later, when they come back to a thread or someone else reads it.

In a chatroom, when people don't know you, if you say something there's a moderate chance that you'll be partly or completely ignored. Maybe it will be something that is in the midst of a flurry of chat, and so other people don't even see; maybe it will be a greeting that most people expect that others will answer, maybe some of the other people there are virtually having a two-person or three-person conversation and so they don't really notice. Regardless, it feels awkward for the newbie, maybe you feel a little rejected, and, anyway, you are reminded that you're not part of the group. With BBS-style, you can sort of think you are part of the discussion even if no one responds to you because, hey, what you wrote is right there in the thread.

For these reasons and others, what I've noticed is that chatrooms tend to have larger participation and are more comfortable when there are people who basically work pretty hard at being welcoming and encouraging hosts. They help newbies feel comfortable and integrate them into the discussion. Not unlike hosts at offline social functions. This can help BBS-style forums, too, but my sense is that the immediate and strongly socializing aspect of chatrooms make this crucial. But this is a lot of work, really, and you can't expect there always or often to be people who are willing to act in this capacity. Without it, you end up with a relatively small group of people who hang out there a lot with most everyone else feeling pretty "meh" about it.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:02 AM on August 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yes, you nailed it, Ivan.

Chat needs more Emotional Labourers, one might say.
posted by Rumple at 8:06 AM on August 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I dropped in a few times, made a few comments, with no response or engagement or even a hello, despite there being a fair few people there actively bullshitting away. My conclusion was it's very cliquey and insular.

Yes. I went into chat and tried to join a conversation once, and the reply was, "who the fuck are you?" Now I don't go there any more.
posted by Dr. Send at 9:41 AM on August 2, 2015


Yes. I went into chat and tried to join a conversation once, and the reply was, "who the fuck are you?" Now I don't go there any more.

Wow! That person was a jerk.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:50 AM on August 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


I used to spend a ton of time in chat, especially late at night while drunk.

Then I started playing Dragon Age and now my life is all Dragon Age, all the time.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:51 AM on August 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


BETRAYAL

... hey Jac, look at what the kittens have been up to
posted by halifix at 9:53 AM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


chat is where I bother everyone with my favorite metal records



it's also where i'm a Viking
posted by Existential Dread at 9:59 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been a Mefite since 2004, I wandered into the chat room for the first time just last week. It was quiet, Going to Maine was in there. Did I mention it was quiet? Is there an echo in here? You have to choose the standard menu down on the bottom of the page, then the magic portal to all mefi areas opens. I had heard of this chat room but couldn't see it at all with my regular access screen. I thought since I have had a fair number of deleted replies, chat just wasn't an option for my membership. Ha ha ha ha, yeah.
posted by Oyéah at 10:17 AM on August 2, 2015


The last few times I've thought to visit chat, typically a dozen folks are on the list, I say hi, wait a couple minutes and nothing happens, and I leave. Am I doing it wrong? Is the strategy to log in and then walk away, or are people doing private messages, or is there some bug that shows people as in the room when they're not actually there?
posted by in278s at 10:21 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


People tend to do other stuff while logged in to chat if nothing's going on (or even if things are happening in chat -- life and cat videos take precedence.) It often takes more than a few minutes for people to check the chat window and see that someone new has arrived, and by that time they might've lost patience or gotten busy with something else and left already.

Most people aren't using clients that alert them when someone logs in or says something, so if they're doing something else they're just not going to notice for a while. Or possibly they're in the bathroom, which I'm going to choose to believe means that they're not actively chatting.
posted by asperity at 10:35 AM on August 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


No doubt things may be different now but it could be a very nasty place back in the day.
posted by y2karl at 10:47 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been a Mefite since 2004, I wandered into the chat room for the first time just last week. It was quiet, Going to Maine was in there. Did I mention it was quiet? Is there an echo in here?

I tend to just lurk. When I open up Messages I automatically connect to chat (well, now that I've fixed things), but I don't necessarily want to talk. So I just show up as a bubble on the member list, which I assume is the case for a lot of other folks as well.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:53 AM on August 2, 2015


Or possibly they're in the bathroom, which I'm going to choose to believe means that they're not actively chatting.

mefite_A has joined chat
mefite_A: Hey errbody how’s it going a/s/l?
mefite_B: Hey mefite_A it’s going ok notsaying/uncoolman/thetoilet
mefite_B: Also I said “uncool man” because it’s pretty clear you're a dude when you say a/s/l but if you’re not my bad.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:56 AM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


i would imagine it's primary used for private chat. Nothing like the IRC days which hilarious, fun and at time a bit rough and tumble.

Kinda miss that. It also gave an off site venue for members to relax and share or hash shit out as there were no mods then on mefi. The thing is, it made me feel welcome despite the hijinx.
Hmmm.
posted by clavdivs at 10:58 AM on August 2, 2015


No doubt things may be different now but it could be a very nasty place back in the day.

I think you're talking about the old unofficial #mefi IRC channel; chat.metafilter.com's a fundamentally unrelated thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:31 PM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm often one of the "Logged in but not chatting" names. I have a client that stays connected whenever I have internet, but I pop in here and there. Sometimes I'm really active, other times I just observe or read in between other things. Sometimes I don't look at it for hours or even days.

It can be like walking up to a group of people talking at an event: find an opening, join the conversation. Often if no one is talking, it doesn't mean no one is there, say hi, people may be just lurking or it's a lull.

On occasion, people get really upset if folks don't respond to them right away or are continuing a conversation instead of changing topics suddenly to what new person wants to talk about. Chat can change direction on a dime, or it can be a slow hulking beast that takes a bit to slow down and shift topic. The difference can be a matter of topic, participants, both, or neither. It's not a personal judgement on the person who has joined and asked questions or said something, just the nature of the beast.

I've been in/around chat since joining (though I lurked on the site for years before joining) and I find it to (overall) be a friendly and welcoming group.

I'd be curious to know when the past chat experiences were, because since the beginning of 2013 chat has been overall decent, with some...rough patches/individuals here and there. The nature of any chat room is that it fluctuates in a lot of ways. The experience of one day isn't necessarily the same as the next, and certainly not over months/years.
posted by HermitDog at 1:28 PM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I never knew about the chat, just opened it out of curiosity after seeing this thread and before I realised it, I had joined and people said hi and welcome so that was nice. I don’t know anyone here, personally or virtually, so I am also hesitant but on the other hand I love the idea. And I don’t think I’ve joined an actual chat like that in years, centuries more like, literally must have been before the year 2000. Now that I know it’s there I’m going to check it out again.
So thanks for bringing it up, Going To Maine.
posted by bitteschoen at 1:59 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've had the same experience as Potomac Avenue and Rumple. It's really very hurtful when you make a sincere effort to be friendly and people either outright ignore you or make mean/rude comments. I don't think I'll try again.
posted by cooker girl at 2:54 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: "it's killed MetaChat.

I don't think this is causal. It may be time for another little push to let members here know about MetaChat (in a separate thread).
"

How did I forget about MetaChat? I had it bookmarked two computers ago, then I guess... I mean... okay I'm getting old but...

::sigh::
posted by Splunge at 3:31 PM on August 2, 2015


I've popped in once or twice, mostly as a mini-askme or mini-metatalk-of-the-"Anyone remember a comment/post/askme about dolphin snout efficacy in colder climates?"-type, and have had much luck and enjoyment.

I have never seen anything nearing abuse or misuse and I have seen folks talking amicably about cats and more serious issues.

I see nothing wrong with chat as it stands now; I also see nothing wrong with it being advertised a bit more so that folks actually know it is there.

So ends my treatise on MetaChat.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:59 PM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just connected up my Messages. They seem very nice, really.

(Of course, they are also you, but differently. But nice, anyway.)
posted by Grangousier at 4:19 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


It may be time for another little push to let members here know about MetaChat (in a separate thread).

You can take the mod out of metafilter, but you can't ....something something clever.

I got an idea. How about we ask PB.

Hey PB. How much of a strain is the chat stuff on metafilter? Would it be more of a strain if more people get on it?

What if we just took out the chat feature and got some exciting pony instead. Like maybe better searching (or something cooler)?

I mean here we have this trampoline to use when we feel like it. It takes up resources, and is rarely used. What if we just cancel that shit, and get a brand new pony instead.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:41 PM on August 2, 2015


Cortex is right: My apologies for confusing the most decidedly unofficial #mefi IRC channel with and casting any aspersions upon chat.metafilter.com, which is a unicorn of a different horn.
posted by y2karl at 4:46 PM on August 2, 2015


S'funny, I have never had anything to do with chat anywhere ever since my IRC experience. Which may be a pity but, God knows, Metafilter is time suck enough.
posted by y2karl at 4:52 PM on August 2, 2015


I used to be on chat a lot during my old job, but now I just pop in late at night when some weird noise or something has frightened me, and the chatters are always very nice and comforting! This reminds me to come in and say hi at times when I'm not panicking.
posted by leesh at 5:49 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Chat uses mefi resources?

That is a waste.
posted by clavdivs at 5:55 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


chat was pretty good during the last (us prez) election when the debate threads were too long to open on any non-supercomputer devices, even when it was just 300 people shouting at once about president cat, but i haven't really remembered it existed since then

i assume similar happenings will occur next year
posted by poffin boffin at 5:56 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


mass shouty happenings, i mean. i don't think that we will elect a cat. which is really too bad
posted by poffin boffin at 5:57 PM on August 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Chat uses mefi resources?
That is a waste.

Public water fountains use water resources? That is also a waste.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:03 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have gotten at least one free AskMe question resolved via Chat! It's the best
posted by Quilford at 6:04 PM on August 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


even when it was just 300 people shouting at once about president cat,

What is President Cat?
posted by Going To Maine at 6:12 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, I know, a cat, obvs., but something more helpful please. thnx.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:12 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Chat uses mefi resources?
That is a waste.
Public water fountains use water resources? That is also a waste.

MetaFilter uses MetaFilter resources? We could just convert the site to links to Yahoo Answers, Reddit, and Soundcloud, and save a ton of server fees.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:15 PM on August 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


I tried chat and didn't like it. I wanted to have conversations but it was just this weird vibe where people are sort of talking to themselves. I think this may be innate in chat forums?
posted by latkes at 8:24 PM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


"We could just convert the site to links to Yahoo Answers, Reddit, and Soundcloud, and save a ton of server fees."

From what little i gleaned today, reddit sounds better. If someone wants to complain about a user on this insepid chat room, have the courage to type directly to me. Seems like a gossip den IMO.

Water foundations, that is fucking cool. Hey, what about power lines and Taylor Swift. I see a concensus of 'meh' about it.
The great thing is, you don't have to go there.
posted by clavdivs at 9:07 PM on August 2, 2015


What is President Cat?

i'm trying to find the chat window c&p someone sent me from that day but i don't remember what i saved it as or where :(
posted by poffin boffin at 10:57 PM on August 2, 2015


I thought I would be an omnipresence in chat when it first started, but the job I'm currently in precludes general usage. I did find it useful/engaging/compelling during the hunt for the Boston Marathon perpetrator, and during the election, and for the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon chat-room takeover when we all watched the revival of Turkey Day together, but I wish I could hang out more often.

For those above who felt that they were unwelcome, I can't speak for others, and I'm not a regular, but one thing I know about IRC communities is that the way to become a regular is to stick around. Silence doesn't necessarily mean people are ignoring you--in fact, it almost never does. Nowadays, chat is what you leave open in a window to come back to when you have a minute.
posted by tzikeh at 12:25 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I tried out chat for a couple weeks, twice. The two things I remember about chat were (1) the guy who kept crap-flooding the channel with dozens of back-to-back messages about his dick, apparently in an effort to drive off certain other people, and (2) the other guy who dominated the channel with extended moans about how terrible his life was. Both of these situations went on for days to months. I don't know how long, exactly, because I got better things to do.
posted by ryanrs at 12:27 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


(1) the guy who kept crap-flooding the channel with dozens of back-to-back messages about his dick, apparently in an effort to drive off certain other people,

...are you sure this wasn't the old irc channel?
posted by tzikeh at 12:28 AM on August 3, 2015


Yeah.
posted by ryanrs at 12:31 AM on August 3, 2015


When was that? Apparently I have missed a whole lot of dick messages.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:23 AM on August 3, 2015


I logged into chat today and my report from the front lines is that it is cool. I wholly endorse it and hope to see you all there.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:52 AM on August 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


I tried out chat for a couple weeks, twice. The two things I remember about chat were

Both of those situations were kind of odd one-off chat situations that when folks let us know about them we were able to help resolve and which haven't recurred.

Doesn't mean they weren't frustrating and kinda not-great, but it sounds like basically exceptionally bad luck on your part rather than a meaningfully representative sampling of what the chat area is usually like.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:46 AM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


everyone is on #bunnies
posted by Eideteker at 9:17 AM on August 3, 2015


Am I right in thinking that our chat has no "away" or status message feature? I think it would be helpful if folks could mark themselves as away, or lurking, or whatever.
posted by in278s at 10:19 AM on August 3, 2015


I used to spend a lot of time in chat. At the moment, I am frequently online via tablet and my last attempt to get Jabiru working for mefi chat failed and when I log in via tablet browser, I get booted a lot. I am also generally somewhat busier than I used to be. I also personally do not get much out of it if I am not there kind of consistently and some of my chat buddies seem to never be there anymore, so there is less of a draw.
posted by Michele in California at 10:53 AM on August 3, 2015


I've been wondering where you were.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:55 AM on August 3, 2015


No longer in San Diego County is the short version. But we covered that the last time I dropped in for a bit. :-)
posted by Michele in California at 10:57 AM on August 3, 2015


Ah yes, silly me, I should have remembered.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:40 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


No Longer in San Diego County, it sounds like it could be one of those sad country jail songs.

Will you still think of me
When I am no longer in San Diego County?
'cause this old cowpoke
Will be in Lompoc
No longer riding free,
Promise you'll remember me.
posted by Oyéah at 1:04 PM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Eh, I felt like the last few times I tried Chat there wasn't much chatting. So I went back to Twitter and added more people.
posted by maryr at 1:16 PM on August 3, 2015


Little angry yesterday, unfair and rude my comments here on the matter and I do so because I read Oyeahs' comment, well I'm jealous.

Thanks to those who said hey.
If I can give anything like advice (HA) saying hey or welcome is the best start. If a conversation is to be had, it will happen, if not, no skin.

Thank you and remember to tip your moderator.
posted by clavdivs at 1:49 PM on August 3, 2015


clavdivs, no worries, I didn't really understand your remarks anyway.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:51 PM on August 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


What is President Cat?

One of the best Google Image Search terms I have come across in quite some time.
posted by maryr at 1:53 PM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


it's okay, I never really understand clavdivs' remarks myself, but I'm sure clavdivs doesn't understand mine.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:56 PM on August 3, 2015


Re the comments about it being cliquish and insular and in need of more emotional laborers:

It sometimes feels that way to me. When I am there more, it doesn't feel so much like that to me, which could just be that I am now part of the clique, but I suspect it is not as simple that. I have some moderating experience and I suspect I am someone inclined more than average to welcome new folks and so on. So I think when I am there a lot, it probably gets less cliquish. But I don't get paid to do that, so I don't feel obligated the way I once might have to try make sure it stays that way. And I am sometimes annoyed at feeling the need to make it work smoothly because it tends to feel to me like that disproportionately benefits others at my expense.

So I think it might be nice if we had some "best practices" and FAQ type info available related to the social piece. The current FAQ is more about the technical end.
posted by Michele in California at 2:44 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


clavdivs, no worries, I didn't really understand your remarks anyway.

*suitable emoticon*
posted by y2karl at 4:22 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


1) the guy who kept crap-flooding the channel with dozens of back-to-back messages about his dick, apparently in an effort to drive off certain other people

OK I gotta jump in and apologize/explain here.

So, "dicks dicks dicks" was an injoke among the very late night drunk chat room crowd a few years back. I personally was at least as guilty of perpetuating it as anyone else -- in fact, I may have quite possibly been the worst offender. Those of us who partook in the injoke were eventually made aware of the fact that it was alienating to newbies and some of the other regulars and thus we stopped using it in public chat.

So if that's what drove you off, please feel free to come back to the chat room. We took the "dicks dicks dicks" injoke to PMs and MeMails a couple years ago. (Literally - the two-year anniversary of the MeTa that inspired us to stop is coming up in less than two months.)

Again, my most sincere apologies to those of you who were offended by the "dicks dicks dicks" jokes. I can certainly see how it could have created a hostile environment for those who weren't in on the injoke's origin and/or don't share our sense of humor, and I don't blame you for being annoyed.

And going forward -- if something bothers you in chat, PLEASE tell the perpetrators directly. Give us the benefit of the doubt that we are not deliberately trying to alienate our fellow MeFites and that we might just be socially awkward or otherwise clueless as to how our words are coming across. I know I've pissed off more than one person in chat before (the downside of being drunk 80% of the time I'm in there) but upon reflection I realized that I was in the wrong and I apologized and then went on to become very good friends with the people I'd initially angered.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:41 PM on August 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Dick's, Dick's, Dick's, Dick's. (SFW!!!)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:00 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK - I have an etiquettish question: I've hooked up my Messages app and so when I woke my Macbook yesterday it logged on to the room. Someone said Hi, which I didn't notice until I put it to sleep again a while later (I was doing something else and then wandered away from the computer altogether for a bit). I'm curious about whether I just came over as rude and aloof, or whether it's generally understood that those sorts of things happen?

(Hi to person who said hi, btw. Sorry if I ignored you.)

Actually, it's two etiquettish questions:
I quite like the idea of it being there in a casual sort of way, and having the stream of conversation happening in the corner of my screen. If I do that, is it considered stalky and rude? Twitter conversations are similar, but they seem to be more obviously performative.

I can see it working if it's incredibly casual and forgiving, though.
posted by Grangousier at 4:57 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


("Incredibly casual and forgiving" is a very bad choice of words, there. What I mean is that it seems very easy to commit faux pas and it's probably useful to let a lot of them go. I'm not looking for advance permission to go mad and insult everybody. Well, I probably am, but I know I'm not going to get it.)
posted by Grangousier at 5:15 AM on August 4, 2015


I would go there but I forgot my password, and if I reset it then I have to log back in on my phone and laptop. And I am lazy.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:36 AM on August 4, 2015


That's why I changed my password to "asdf"
posted by maryr at 7:38 AM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


This:
the guy who kept crap-flooding the channel with dozens of back-to-back messages about his dick
and this:
"dicks dicks dicks" was an injoke among the very late night drunk chat room crowd a few years back.

seem almost completely unrelated unless I'm missing something.

I've been in the chat a few times and it was fine. I usually idle on IRC these days though and setting up another piece of software or remembering to leave a browser window open is apparently just enough to keep me away (though I have thought about getting bitlbee working again). I'm pretty sure it's running fine without me though and I've got a lot going on these days.
posted by ODiV at 7:51 AM on August 4, 2015


it was not remotely rude at all Grangousier. as mentioned by asperity, HermitDog, surazal, and Going To Maine (and probably others but i just did a quick scroll), logging in, lurking and jumping in when you are paying attention is very normal. nobody will think it weird if you don't answer, and nobody will hold it against you. in fact, i'd say the faux pas would be if they did take it personally. incidentally i think i was the one who said hi as i'd recognized you from the day before.

(it's also thoughtful of you to ask about etiquette and to have already considered the possibility that you might be doing something wrong--which you haven't-- instead of assuming that someone else has wronged you without understanding the dynamics involved and bringing in assumptions from IRL conversation and applying them to a new-to-you online space. i think we all know what it's like to come to any metafilter subsite and realize months later how it works and how it's different than other mefi spaces and other internet spaces. and then we all know what it looks like when someone doesn't get it--yet--and still has things to learn. chat is not different in that regard.)

keeping a window open in the corner of your screen, you'd probably fit right in. the spike in users (and thus conversation) since this thread opened is going to die down (has already i think), so on a normal day it's a lot easier to "catch" conversation when you can see activity, rather than if you log in only when you Want To Talk. the latter works too, and some regulars and semi-regulars do this and log out when they've had their fill of talking or waiting. sometimes without even saying goodbye and guess what? nobody takes that the wrong way either.

and no, it is not considered creepy by regulars to be logged in and not saying anything (they might not even be physically by their screen). nobody is "watching" you in a judgmental way. anyone can join or not join in the conversation whenever they want.

(no ODiV, they are actually one and the same.)
posted by twist my arm at 8:22 AM on August 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Grangousier: It is only stalkerish and weird if you use the information in a manipulative, jerk fashion in how you interact with others when you do get around to opening your mouth. For example, if you learn information about someone and use it to criticize or attack or dismiss them the first time you speak to them instead of using it to help you be compassionate, understanding and supportive.

There is a general understanding that many people are working while logged in, are frequently away from keyboard, some of us have just crap eyesight (raises hand) and so some comments just won't get noticed or not immediately and so on. People use different clients and sometimes they do not play well together.

Some good practices:
Try to give the benefit of the doubt. Assume technical difficulties or that they were just busy. Be slow to conclude that people are actively ignoring you out of some kind of personal dislike or what not.

We have a general agreement in chat that we do not gossip about other members. It is sometimes okay to ask a question that will touch on other members briefly, but regulars are quick to nip it in the bud after just a few comments so it doesn't become gossipy because that tends to go bad places.

Don't assume everyone in chat knows what you know about others there. If you know someone is trans or gay or whatever, that doesn't mean everyone there knows that. Be conservative about commenting on things of that nature. Sometimes, two people are in chat who have personal friction and they are trying to both play nice and when a third party talks like "We're all Friends here!", it can make trouble unnecessarily. We are all respectful acquaintances and it is sometimes awesome and supportive and has helped some people sort out personal crap and helped some people job hunt and so on, but it works best if you assume that, no, we are not all equally chummy and trustworthy. Privacy still matters and when in doubt, err on the side of letting other people decide if they want to talk right now about their sexual orientation or whatever and err on the side of treading lightly.

I tend to try to say "hi" when people log in, though I don't manage to say hi to every single person that does so. I do that because long experience tells me that makes it a lot easier for new people to open their mouths. It in no way is intended to impose and I am well aware people may not notice that I said hi. The only point is to signal that it is okay to talk, we will try be friendly to the best of our ability. When folks get greeted, the odds go up that conversation will happen and, even if it does not, the odds go up the person will feel okay about coming back and not like we just hate them.

Accept that there will be a lot of missed connections and feel okay about it and do not take it personally.
posted by Michele in California at 10:46 AM on August 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I too used to spend a lot of time in chat, but then I kept opening chat and going off to do other things and just gradually stopped participating. There were some weird moments and a few fights, but everything was always resolved eventually.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 3:08 PM on August 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


"it's okay, I never really understand clavdivs' remarks myself, but I'm sure clavdivs doesn't understand mine."

the secret is to read the 'v's as 'u's. HTH.
posted by Eideteker at 1:08 PM on August 5, 2015


Vh... Nvh vh!

Nvh. Vh.
posted by y2karl at 7:41 PM on August 7, 2015


Google translate Harrapan to Hittite to Etruscan to Pelasgian to Poictesmese to Poindexter, put the lime in the coconut ad infinitum da capo
posted by y2karl at 7:48 PM on August 7, 2015


Cvpiche ?
posted by y2karl at 7:49 PM on August 7, 2015


clavdivs, no worries, I didn't really understand your remarks anyway.
posted by Too-Ticky

Hey, same here. as a matter of fact, you were not even there so what the fuck, too-Ricky.
posted by clavdivs at 6:17 PM on August 11, 2015


Gvt Vff Mv Lvwn, vn vther wvrds...
posted by y2karl at 12:51 PM on August 19, 2015


Yust yoking, Thorvald, btw....
posted by y2karl at 12:55 PM on August 19, 2015


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