Where else does MeFi live on the web? November 22, 2015 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Outside of the many aspects of MeFi on the official site, what are the various ways that MeFi gets disseminated, processed, scraped, repackaged, discussed, etc. on the web?

There are a variety of off-the-reservation sites, ranging from mostly official things like Infodumpster, to the Twitter account, a Facebook page that doesn't seem abundantly active, to the unofficial but sort of acknowledged MeFi Deleted and AskMeDeleted blogs, to the way-off-the-reservation r/MetaFilter, to whoever this is scraping the entire site, to YouTubeFilter. Where else does MetaFilter get regularly dissected or repackaged online?
posted by DirtyOldTown to MetaFilter-Related at 2:21 PM (57 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Man, I don't even know what the story is with that empty Facebook account. Maybe something Matt set up years and years ago and then didn't really use? There's an actual active automatically stocked BestOfMeFi facebook that's stocked with stuff from the Best Of blog and I think a share of highly popular posts, if you specifically want some automate MeFi/Facebook interactions.

There's definitely a lot of informal tweeting and other sorts of social media sharing, though none of that is something you can really just point to since it's aggregate stuff.

to whoever this is scraping the entire site

Gah, there's a fair amount of that, and it's a point of frustration for me because we don't really have a good toolset for doing anything about it. Matt's approach mostly came down to sending emails saying "hey, cut it out", but that's obviously only useful if (a) there actually is any meaningful human contact info and (b) the human on the other end is inclined to say "oh yeah I guess I shouldn't do this thing". Driveby anonymous scrapers generally fall outside those criteria.

I've done some amount of contacting of hosts and service providers for that stuff but generally gotten bounced by automated buck-passing when I've gotten a response at all. Even Google, who at least has a notional toolset for reporting content theft, doesn't seem willing/able to actually dedicate human discretion to the process; I went through a semi-automated reporting process a while back where I managed, from the feedback I got, to apparently get a single thread delisted without any acknowledgement of the fact that the issue was the entire site that had been scraped of which that thread was just an example.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:28 PM on November 22, 2015


I keep all the posts and comments in my basement in little jars.
posted by jonmc at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2015 [14 favorites]


I am an admin on that Facebook account. I don't remember why but it happened nearly 10 years ago. If anyone else wants it, I'm happy to hand it over.
posted by k8t at 2:35 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a scale model of Metafilter tattooed on my duodenum.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:02 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


If nothing else, maybe the person who posts MeFi on Twitter could be made an admin to that Facebook account, so that they could use one of the many apps that lets a person cross post. That way the content could duplicate onto that as well? Or is it better if we stay out of the FB walled garden?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:03 PM on November 22, 2015


What I mean is, would there be utility in an FB page onto which everything from MeFi gets linked, or is the Best of MeFi probably enough? What would MeFi do with a general page though, if not that?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:10 PM on November 22, 2015


My inclination is that the current Best Of presence on FB is probably about as much as we need or want—I don't see a big upside to buying in more aggressively to their specific content model than that nominal amount we currently do, and I'd rather encourage folks to discuss mefi stuff on the site itself then over there. So I'm pretty okay with the current situation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:15 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


whoever this is scraping the entire site

If you don't want people to mirror the RSS feed, maybe you should remove the "It is intended to be viewed in a newsreader or syndicated to another site." preamble from the feed :-)
posted by effbot at 3:26 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


there's that abandoned tumblr with quotes... run by some hack fraud over here. called ocelet of mefi or something?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2015


Nah, mirroring the RSS feed as part of a mix on someone's site is generally fine. Building a site that is basically "here is all of Metafilter's content, but over here, and also we may sort of decline to mention it came from MetaFilter" is decidedly not. My scraper complaints are pretty much entirely about the latter case, or things leaning far to that end of the spectrum.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:35 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


What is the official position on r/MetaFilter?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:40 PM on November 22, 2015


I don't think there's anything as official as an official position, other than "it is a thing on a different site that a mefite built". It's very much not a part of MetaFilter or anything like that.

My more personal position on it at this point is that while I dig that Rhaomi put a bunch of work into making a nice home-away-from-home place for mefi stuff on another site that he also has been a long-time member of, what little actual discussion happens over there at this point seems mostly to be something other than I'm guessing he had intended and pretty un-MeFi-like in general.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:48 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


A long time ago I acquired MetaLifter.com to be kind of a "Best of MetaFilter or Something Like That" blog, but I never really got it started and just kept renewing the registration for $10 and since my last hosting-transfer, it's just an empty WordPress installation. I should probably set it up to redirect to MeFi, but the last time I thought about it, I couldn't decide whether to redirect it to the Front Page or to Ask (which IS the best Lifter at MetaFilter). So it sits.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:23 PM on November 22, 2015


I just poked at /r/metafilter for a minute because I was intrigued by cortex's description of it as "pretty un-Mefi-like" and um, wow. I don't know what metafilter some of the posters there are reading.
posted by ActionPopulated at 4:29 PM on November 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


There are a variety of off-the-reservation sites, ranging from mostly official things like Infodumpster

The infodumpster is not affiliated with MetaFilter.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 4:32 PM on November 22, 2015


Oh, true. The Infodumpster is generously and independently managed by the charming CEL as an interface into the official Infodump files.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:39 PM on November 22, 2015


There is a mostly dormant LinkedIn Group.
posted by COD at 6:04 PM on November 22, 2015


There's also the (unofficial, I think) 'deleted' blogs: Front page, Ask.
posted by quinndexter at 6:32 PM on November 22, 2015


jcifa's Flagged as Fantastic Twitter feed deserves mention here. It often causes me to notice nice things even in threads I've skimmed already.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:56 PM on November 22, 2015 [10 favorites]


I love the Flagged as Fantastic twitter feed and would love to see something similar on Facebook, both as a highlighter for regular users and a way to draw more people who like this kind of thing into the community.
posted by Miko at 7:27 PM on November 22, 2015


I don't know what metafilter some of the posters there are reading

More like NOT reading, because MODDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!
posted by nom de poop at 10:26 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The FAQ entry on related sites (a short list) and the Shadowy Back alleys page on the wiki (longer list) are both other lists of this kind of thing.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:43 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's a Ravelry group for Metafilter, which I won't link to because a) it's basically devoid of content and b) if you aren't a Ravelry member you won't be able to access the link anyway. If you are a Ravelry member, just search 'metafilter' in groups and come join us in our conspicuous silence.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:28 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, and there's a curated Kickstarter page of Kickstarters by Mefites.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:32 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Metafilter is featured on the front page of Popurls.com.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:10 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


ActionPopulated: "I just poked at /r/metafilter for a minute because I was intrigued by cortex's description of it as "pretty un-Mefi-like" and um, wow. I don't know what metafilter some of the posters there are reading."

Well they are reading this thread.
posted by octothorpe at 4:36 AM on November 23, 2015


I'm running the Tinder account, if anyone wants the login info.
posted by naju at 4:45 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


My more personal position on it at this point is that while I dig that Rhaomi put a bunch of work into making a nice home-away-from-home place for mefi stuff on another site that he also has been a long-time member of, what little actual discussion happens over there at this point seems mostly to be something other than I'm guessing he had intended and pretty un-MeFi-like in general.

Gave up on the group a couple of months ago because it had become Boyzone in Exile. There's a locked spinoff: r/MetafilterDiscussion.

You're listed as a mod at r/Metafilter, cortex. So is Jessamyn. I realize its entirely Rhaomi's baby, but that may give a sense of imprimatur. (Or not. Might just be my impression alone.)
posted by zarq at 5:50 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


waves back
posted by andrewcooke at 5:51 AM on November 23, 2015


reads thread. realizes he's waved at bad people who think bad things. avoids further eye contact.
posted by andrewcooke at 6:00 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


This thread seems like a good place to point out that a familiar-looking username in another part of the web doesn't actually mean it's the same person you're talking to. I can think of at least one instance of a MetaFilter user purposefully aping the username of a different MetaFilter user in order to tar them elsewhere on the web.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:09 AM on November 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


> Well they are reading this thread.

Maybe not a good idea to stoke cross-site weirdness.
posted by languagehat at 7:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


So we have a meta-discussion on reddit of this meta thread which is a meta-discussion of metafilter on metatalk? Am I doing this right? Or have I gotten lost in a vast, labyrinthine rabbit warren?
posted by marienbad at 8:10 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's meta all the way down! (Or possibly rabbits.)
posted by marienbad at 8:10 AM on November 23, 2015


So we have a meta-discussion on reddit of this meta thread which is a meta-discussion of metafilter on metatalk? Am I doing this right? Or have I gotten lost in a vast, labyrinthine rabbit warren?

I'm totally going to tweet that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:23 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah I just nuked that thread on /r/metafilter. Think what you like about the subreddit, of course, but cross-site weirdness is inappropriate.
posted by disclaimer at 8:26 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


huh. i am the other and i scare people.
posted by andrewcooke at 8:37 AM on November 23, 2015


Andrew, you made a comment over there that said something about making your account over here look bad. I replied that you should mefi mail me to prove it was you or I would ban the account. We don't tolerate reddit accounts that impersonate metafilter users. Ever.

And now please let's just drop it.
posted by disclaimer at 8:58 AM on November 23, 2015


Ever.

Wellllllll
posted by shakespeherian at 9:39 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well they are reading this thread.

HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:01 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's the @VeryMetaFilter twitter account.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:07 AM on November 23, 2015


Maybe not a good idea to stoke cross-site weirdness.
There are three rules: 
1) No bright light in the subreddit.
2) Don't get the sub wet.
and 
3) Never feed the sub after midnight, no matter how much it begs.
posted by zarq at 10:20 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


cortex: "Nah, mirroring the RSS feed as part of a mix on someone's site is generally fine."

This reminds me I've often thought of doing a "All MeFi" sort of mash-up page, where all posts to all subsites are listed chronologically, just as if they were FPPs, perhaps with background coloring to indicate the subsite.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:27 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


You're listed as a mod at r/Metafilter, cortex.

Yeah, it's been in the back of my mind to undo that for a while now, and I've gone ahead and done so. It was nice of Rhaomi to extend the invite back when he did when he put all the initial work into launching it, and I joked at the time about not doing anything with it but that's the actual case in practice, so it makes more sense to not have my name hanging out up there. Rhaomi and disclaimer are the ones doing any of the work over there, for which I wish 'em well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:10 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I keep all the posts and comments in my basement in little jars.

I certainly hope you did a neat job.
 
posted by Herodios at 2:03 PM on November 23, 2015


my reddit account is actually linked from my mefi profile, if you'd bothered to check. and i got no message on reddit or mefi.
posted by andrewcooke at 3:05 PM on November 23, 2015


Not trying to derail (and I truly have nothing else to say here), but just as an FYI "off-the-reservation" is a phrase which may evoke historical baggage undesired by the speaker despite frequent use in the American political milieu.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 3:13 PM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ack. Another idiom that is awful. Probably should have seen this particular one coming.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:28 PM on November 23, 2015


There's the @VeryMetaFilter twitter account.

Ha, they posted one of my favorite mod notes ever: [♫ we do not tell each other to fuck off here ♫]
posted by en forme de poire at 10:41 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


(orig from Jessamyn IIRC)
posted by en forme de poire at 10:41 PM on November 23, 2015


There's a MetaFilter group on FetLife, for those so inclined.
posted by softlord at 6:29 PM on November 24, 2015


And a group on Last.FM tho it doesn't appear as tho last.fm has migrated groups over to their new design yet.
posted by softlord at 6:30 PM on November 24, 2015


There's a Metafilter tag on Flickr that got a lot of use in the early days of meetups.

Throw that in with MetaChat, MonkeyFilter, and the many other spinoffs and bleedovers into radio and photo sites, and it's actually striking me as funny how much more open/networked/expansive MeFi was circa 2006-2009 than it is now in the era of Tumblr, FB, Twitter.
posted by Miko at 7:19 PM on November 24, 2015


Years before FanFare there was a MeFi TV board somewhere, sort of TWOP-like if I recall. I want to say phunnieme ran it, but I'm not sure. It didn't last long but I was sad to see it go.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:34 PM on November 24, 2015


It's less useful than it once was, but a few years ago, I put together a little mobile/low-bandwidth frontend for MeFi that, among other things, uses no JavaScript, and paginates excessively-long comment threads.

It scrapes the RSS feed directly, and apart from some very rudimentary caching, it's *really* simple, so I guess there are opportunities for it to be faster.... but it still works, and I haven't even touched it in 2 years.

I'm just now realizing that my site somehow managed to get indexed by Google. If the cabal desires, I can throw a robots.txt file on my server so it gets delisted (the current amount of traffic is borderline-nonexistent).
posted by schmod at 8:21 AM on November 25, 2015


For utility stuff like that, robotsing it off the grid is probably a good plan, yeah, just to help keep Google from hrming at duplicate content stuff too much. Though like you say, nil traffic means not much of a thing in practice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:09 AM on November 25, 2015


@schmod, that MobileFilter is an awesome thing! Finally I can use InstaPaper to read long threads offline. I presume InstaPaper sees the post and the comments at the same level. (Instapaper's default is 'don't read the comments') thank you!
posted by Jesse the K at 2:16 PM on November 25, 2015


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