What'd I miss? January 7, 2017 7:14 AM   Subscribe

For combination of reasons, I took 2016 as a break from MeFi. As the year passed, I thought I would see if I could make it till 2017 without signing back in, even though I missed y'all. Now I'm back (yay!) and wondering what I missed?

Are there new and/or improved mods? Do we have bizarre new traditions and catchphrases? What brilliant achievements were MeFi's Own recognised for, out in the world? Please let me know!
posted by daisyk to MetaFilter-Related at 7:14 AM (55 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Two big staffing changes:

-Eyebrows McGee is our new part-time mod, mostly working weekends, which has been wonderful for the rest of us.

-pb retired (*waves to pb*), and frimble became our new tech wizard (and they've been doing great).
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:19 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]

I got married! (To Alex Haist, who became a Mefite after meeting me, so only half points for that.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:27 AM on January 7 [21 favorites]

Congratulations, restless_nomad! :D I hope you'll both be super happy together!
posted by daisyk at 7:36 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]

Well, there were a couple of threads about the US election...
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:45 AM on January 7 [52 favorites]

The major non-staffing change this year, I think, has been about how we've handled US election posts. Early in the year it was clear the topic would take over everything, with a new post for every minor thing in the campaign. Modding ten simultaneous election threads wasn't a sustainable proposition, and we wanted to limit the amount of election stuff on the front page, so we started allowing omnibus threads (whose topic was effectively "your one-stop shop for talking about the US election" rather than being more strictly limited to the topic of a given link) and corralling subsequent links/updates/etc into whatever the open omnibus thread was at the time.

As the year went along this picked up steam, and the threads routinely exceeded 3000 comments, which is the point where many people's browsers start to have trouble rendering the thread. So eventually we started allowing people to start a new omnibus post around that point, where normally we wouldn't. (Historically we've run into this with mega-threads before and basically tried to deal ad hoc, but we've never had so many on an ongoing basis.) During the political conventions in late summer, and then again from maybe mid October until mid December, that 3000 comment point was reached often within a week or less, sometimes within a day, and we allowed new posts then... which again is something we've never done before. (You can find a lot of the posts by looking at the tag "election2016" if you're curious.) We had hoped this would all stop with the election, but obviously, that didn't happen.

Now there's an open question of how the site will handle this, going forward. The frequency of commenting in those threads has decreased very significantly, so the most recent omnibus threads have lasted longer, which is great. We've started having some offshoot threads, which formerly would have been deleted and corralled into the big politics omnibuses, but now can survive on their own without turning into a simultaneous venue to have the same arguments as the main thread. So there's some hope that things will settle back toward to the pre-election equilibrium, and that's how we'll be nudging it. (But what's realistic will depend on how things go with the incoming administration, so we're in a wait-and-see situation for now.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:00 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]

cortex has ruthlessly consolidated his power in the Cabal since the ouster of jessamyn and mathowie. And tomorrow... tomorrow's gonna be a... real good day!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:00 AM on January 7 [14 favorites]

There was a comet that passed by, but you're still early for the eclipse.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:02 AM on January 7

We sadly lost some longtime MeFites: Wolof, jbickers, govtdrone, and Steven Den Beste.

posted by lalex at 8:11 AM on January 7 [10 favorites]

For the Olympics, we debuted a new category of post in Fanfare: Special Event. It's deliberately a bit loose what it will apply to, but it's basically a catchall for live events. We've used it so far for a few major sports events and a couple of live tv shows.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:28 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]

If you want a real firm welcome back, listen to the latest episode of the podcast, which is full of phone-in greetings from fellow MeFites and made me feel the strength of this community more than ever.
posted by hippybear at 8:33 AM on January 7 [12 favorites]

I've been gone about a year too and just returned myself, though this time with a new and anonymous account. Clean slate, even for my identity. It's weird because I had my real life name on my old account so every comment could show up in a google search about me. I rarely post anything anonymously anywhere because I always thought that being a real person behind my comments would keep me nice and honest, and I'd prudently stay away from personal or controversial issues. I figure I can still do that, but I might post a little swearier, and maybe about topics I actually have an insight on but would be petrified if my colleagues knew.

One of the reasons I returned was because I actually decided to move away from FB and twitter. I still occasionally tweet stuff for my work audience, but I've decided that social media in that form probably isn't good for me or good for a democracy. That freed up some time, and the desire to be digitally social didn't go away, so I'm back, and this time a little freer to engage. I'll be interested to see what I do. Hope it's good. Hope it's helpful. Hope it remains kind. But most of all, I hope it's funnier.
posted by Stanczyk at 8:52 AM on January 7 [6 favorites]

(I'm going to just continue to list things as I think of them)

- There's a new profile-page option, "show minimal profile to non-members" (which gives a bit of a privacy hedge, although remember that it only applies to non-members, and anybody can become a member)

- Anybody can now post Books on Fanfare

- There are new colors in Classic theme for subsites beyond the big three
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:53 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]

Welcome back. I remember your really interesting post about the Atom Town, which was so distractingly good I nearly missed a flight. That is/was a great post with lots of rabbitholes to fall down, and also a great collection of comments and links-within-comments. Revisiting now and most of the links still work.

One of the things you missed were the many obituary threads in 2016. Heck, there were ten just for the last week of the year alone. There was a MetaTalk on this issue back in April 2016.

Jessamyn also reappeared as a mod for a short while recently, which was great. I'd be extremely pleased, especially with her formidable experience and skills around this place, to see more MetaFilter-Jessamyn-Employment times during 2017.

Some political ridiculousness apparently happened in America recently, and British people apparently did something very silly this summer, but that's of local/little interest. Far more and most importantly, the annual Eurovision Song Contest occurred and there was a FanFare Live Stream here. zebra did an excellent post about the finals and all the performers. It was also shown live in the USA. Important to note that we're into the period of qualification events for the 2017 finals, so expect to see Eurovision posts appearing over the next few months.
posted by Wordshore at 9:13 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]

There was that one brilliant inside joke we all kept enjoying. God, that was hilarious.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:30 AM on January 7 [43 favorites]

There's a new rule that all post titles have to be Hamilton references, but you're all good there.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:57 AM on January 7 [56 favorites]

for Wolof, jbickers, govtdrone, and Steven Den Beste. :(
posted by daisyk at 10:13 AM on January 7

You missed the website becoming increasing hostile towards anyone different, not just towards different nationalities or cultural backgrounds but even the wrong flavour of American political opinion now comes with increased friction. You also missed a lot of people getting so stuck in their bubble of fear and angst that they now assume the whole world is like that, which feeds more into the first thing. The election being over made this all a bit less, or lower profile at least, but the change in culture here towards conformity definitely persists (to the site's detriment).

And you missed that I got a kitten.
posted by shelleycat at 10:18 AM on January 7 [23 favorites]

Well, then I guess I'll just head back over to facebook I suppose.
posted by Stanczyk at 10:30 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]

Actually, if you're really looking to get caught up, I would start with the site's Annual Cat Performance Reviews. Summary: Mefite cats continue to be popular and valued members of the community, hitting productivity targets well above those of other websites.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:43 AM on January 7 [12 favorites]

Oh my gosh, that purrformance review thread! I have sent it to all my housemates and para-housemates and will be devoting a large chunk of this evening to reading it.

Wordshore, thank you so much. That's one of the nicest things anyone's said to me on MeFi, I think (and I'm glad you didn't actually miss the flight!).
posted by daisyk at 11:31 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]

Well, I'm pregnant.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:46 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]

Mazel tov, my man.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:29 PM on January 7

Shit. You told me you were on the pill!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:53 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]

You can also take a stroll down podcast lane, and skim the links to see if anything sounds interesting.

Like share your favorite vines.
Or, more recently the duvet debate (also bathroom door: open or closed?)... and the wiki page collecting those kind of questions: youWHAT?!.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:37 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]

And the Best of blog, which collects stuff from the sidebar. The recent couple months have been all-business stuff, but going further back you hit more collections of interesting comments etc.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:38 PM on January 7

It became convention to include [fake] and [real] tags in many comments made in the election threads.
posted by klarck at 6:58 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]

You missed my triumphant 16-year anniversary on Metafilter, but I'll forgive you eventually.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:18 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]

There was the rebranding to MeeFee! with the new colour scheme and all, but it didn't take.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:52 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]

Obituary threads were a big trend
posted by TedW at 4:41 AM on January 8 [3 favorites]

Joe in Australia: "There was the rebranding to MeeFee! with the new colour scheme and all, but it didn't take."

The correct pronunciation was settled years ago. It is, and always was, MeeFie. Someone wrote a doctoral dissertation proving as a matter of scientific fact that this is the only possible correct pronunciation.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:53 AM on January 8 [5 favorites]

Shit. You told me you were on the pill!

No, I said I was on pills.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:53 AM on January 8 [16 favorites]

The annotated emotional labor post MetaTalk happened in January 2016. It's been on my mind lately as the Pantsuit Nation bookdeal story unfolds.
posted by terooot at 8:17 AM on January 8 [7 favorites]

posted by iamkimiam at 1:20 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]

No, I said I was on pills.

I'm drinking a pils.
posted by beerperson at 5:40 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]

2016 was full of all kinds of chaos and dread. But there was a nice respite in June when Mefites, and a portion of the rest of the world, (virtually) piled into a van and did a 24hr-straight roundtrip drive around Iceland's Ring Road. With a procedurally generated remix of a new Sigur Rós song in continuous play, it was was a very calming, meditative, and even occasionally funny trip.

Watching the live stream was great, but you can relive the full thing YouTube.
posted by Kabanos at 5:47 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]

I got a sore throat.
posted by jonmc at 6:54 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]

MetaFilter: not anal
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:23 AM on January 9

The annotated emotional labor post MetaTalk happened in January 2016. It's been on my mind lately as the Pantsuit Nation bookdeal story unfolds.

Sometimes different communities get exposed to the same story, the same facts, and then they go through the same series of reactions. The clearest example in my mind was the Google-cancelled-this-guy's-account-but-wait-was-he-hosting-porn-against-the-TOS-don't-care-what-happened-to-due-process-anyway threads. The PN book deal and the EL PDF were an example of communities creating the same story and then reacting in similar ways.
posted by Jpfed at 8:09 AM on January 9

*eyebrows knit together* Wait, Jpfed, can you elaborate? Because the PSN book deal and the EL PDF are, uh.... not really two things I would personally associate. For one thing, the EL PDF was compiled by someone who got excited and wanted to make stories that were technically posted in public more accessible, and then made available for free. She might not have seen the upset reactions to something like that ahead of time, and it would have been a good conversation to check in about before she did, but I am not aware of any attempts by any individual to profit monetarily off of the EL thread. If you were or are, please dear god tell me so I can shout folks down.

In addition, the PSN book deal and incorporation as a 5013c derailed a lot of activism that had been organizing under its banner as a direct result of getting money involved, which was a top-down decision by relatively few people. Again, the EL PDF incident doesn't have any analogue I can think of. The closest analogue from the EL thread creating a quieter sub-community attempting to talk emotional labor is Crone Island, and Crone Island is still an informal Slack group, not something that keeps rules for itself about what kinds of activities are permissible--it's just a place where people talk to each other.

There are some similarities, but as someone peripheral to both things, I'm much more pissed off about PSN's book deal, which struck me as a deliberate and cynical attempt to profit off of the stories of folks who thought their stories were semi private. The PDF incident is--I see why it hurt people, and I also understand why people wanted their comments off it without being used, but I also think it wasn't in the same level of profit-driven malice at all.
posted by sciatrix at 8:48 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]

I shouldn't have called them "the same" story. The obvious similarities ("I just compiled potentially-sensitive posts made with some expectation of privacy") are all I really meant to highlight.
posted by Jpfed at 9:10 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]

But more to the point, I started a dumb derail and am only not asking the mods to delete it because that would orphan your excellent reply. Thank you for your perspective.
posted by Jpfed at 9:41 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]

So, I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned yet, but one of my personal favorite things that happened here in 2016 was this question about someone acquiring an insane amount of cheese and then the subsequent fun we had in this associated Metatalk thread. Enjoy!
posted by FireFountain at 3:40 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]

Alexander Hamilton. You missed a lot of Alexander Hamilton.
posted by maryr at 3:53 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]

Well, you can now say to everyone, "Is that something I would have had to waste my time reading MetaFilter last year to know about?" You can out-pretentious even the most ardent non-TV watcher on this site with that under your belt.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:57 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]

Alexander Hamilton. You missed a lot of Alexander Hamilton.

posted by HiroProtagonist at 8:59 PM on January 9

Oh, I assume you saw this out in the world too but there were some threads in which a few people hung around and talked Pokemon Go for a long time.

And this was a fun thing for a certain kind of nerd:
The Metafilter Gopher Server lives again
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:06 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]

This thread made me remember one more casualty of this awful year: for the first time since 2009, there was no MeFite's Choice/December Best Post Contest!
posted by Rhaomi at 4:37 PM on January 10

You missed griphus's excellent Weird May intervention [MeTa; Greg Nog's original comment that started the whole thing off] and the ensuing Keep MeFi Weird campaign!

Otherwise, yeah: what shelleycat said above. The US election and Brexit burned a lot of people out and caused divisions and unpleasantness that bled into the rest of the site; a bunch of people left; and the site now feels very, very different. So ... :/
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:54 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]

I am really excited to hear about the Gopher server. Gopher is a great protocol. Sometimes I dream that the Web will crash under the weight of all its cruft and we'll go back to black screens with green text... and Gopher.

I've thought about bringing back my personal web page, and styling it like Gopher.

Remember dial-in terminals like LexisNexis used to have? And how functional they were? Sigh
posted by halonine at 6:59 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]

The other day I learned that Four Loko's newest flavor "FROST" is very close to MeFi blue colored. Or Windex. Dealers choice.
posted by jonmc at 2:28 PM on January 11

I hit a completely useless and arbitrary post number of more than 1000+. So you know, that's my big claim to fame on MetaFilter from 2016.
posted by Fizz at 3:48 PM on January 11

Fizz, have you forgotten being the one to make comment number 6,666,666? In theory anyone can make 1000 posts, but only one person gets to make comment 6666666.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 4:58 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]

Haha, you are correct. That is indeed a far more illustrious and arbitrary occurrence.
posted by Fizz at 8:13 AM on January 12

Like thus:
It became convention to include [fake] and [real] tags in many comments made in the election threads. [real]
posted by quinndexter at 7:54 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]

Okay so, I thought of another one, and this thread from June made me crack up the first time I saw it. Just looked at it again, and it's just so friggin funny. Memories of Butter. Enjoy!
posted by FireFountain at 8:50 PM on January 16

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