An Unofficial Index of MetaFilter Megaposts February 7, 2018 2:50 PM   Subscribe

I love megaposts. So I made an index of megaposts with more than about 900 words.

Arts Biography Computing/Internet Crime/Terrorism Economics/Finance Film/Television Food Gaming Higher Education History Humor Journalism Music Language Literature/Poetry Politics Religion/Theology Science Sociology Sports Transportation War/Armed Services #awesomewomen Notes
  • Why 900 words? There are many, many posts that fall into the loose category of "megapost," a term I don't think has ever been formally defined. I defined it as a link-heavy post with original writing and research. I looked at little over 1,110 posts for this index and I think megaposts really start to shine when the word count hits somewhere in the upper 800s.
  • I know this might be a point of contention but I didn't include posts with high word counts that were mainly copied text with a handful of links. That's not to say that type of post is good or bad (personally, I like them), they just didn't fit the definition of megapost that I used. Newsfilter and election posts also didn't make the cut.
  • Total number of posts: 383. The (word count) is the word count of the post as it appears on the page, not the post length data from the infodump (since that also includes html markup). I used OS X's word count; YMMV with other word count tools. Posts are not duplicated in the index except for the awesomewomen category.
  • If I didn't include your post or your favorite post, I'm really sorry, it wasn't personal. Whatever guidelines I tried to follow, this was ultimately a subjective and imperfect endeavor.
posted by not_the_water to MetaFilter-Related at 2:50 PM (41 comments total) 92 users marked this as a favorite

MetaFilter: ultimately a subjective and imperfect endeavor
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:55 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Also: Wow!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:57 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


this is so meta I can't even stand it

(amazing!)
posted by lalex at 3:00 PM on February 7 [6 favorites]


Mother of God.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:24 PM on February 7


O_O

👍
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:25 PM on February 7 [7 favorites]


This tl;dr is tl;dr.

We need to go tl;dr-er.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:33 PM on February 7 [4 favorites]


6321 words in this post btw.
posted by cgc373 at 3:56 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Than you, cgc373, for the word count for this Mega MeTa Meta Meatavitavegamin post. And thank YOU, not_the_water, 383 times for 383 examples of The Best Metafilter, absolutely The Best of the Best of the Web.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:47 PM on February 7


This is some hifalutin geekery! I love this sort of thing, of which this thing is a great example. I want to go back and read some from before my time.

The bra-fitting megapost changed my life.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:00 PM on February 7


hold me
posted by billiebee at 5:05 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


This is really impressive, wow. Look at all the music posts indexed by filthy light thief and hippybear, look at all the science from Blasdelb!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:27 PM on February 7


I've only clicked on crafting and Beowulf and I can't wait to go back to them. So far I have avoided getting sucked in but there is so much here. Don't Panic.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:30 PM on February 7


Also well worth noting the 29 (out of 30 in the category) Economics posts by kliuless (plus a dozen in other categories) that will educate you more than a College Degree in "the dismal science" (considering the dominance in most university Econ departments of Greedheads trying to feel good about themselves).
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:29 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


How did you manage to get your user name in the tags? I thought this was impossible since the great quonsar tagging of 2005.
posted by unliteral at 7:05 PM on February 7


quonsar’s heyday predates me a little so I didn’t know it was a thing. The tags are just a list of all the post authors. Mods, if I have offended please strike me from this earth, or delete the tag, whichever you feel is best.
posted by not_the_water at 8:41 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I know that the mega-post era has passed to a certain extent, but it was fun while it lasted and this treasure trove, so well categorized and indexed feels like it deserves an immediate sidebar and perhaps a second February podcast episode devoted entirely to this one post.
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on February 7


Free quonsar was in 2005.

When tags were introduced, quonsar tagged everything he could with his own username. Some cynical types thought this attempt to get his name in larger font on the Popular Tags page.
Alas, poor Icarus flew too close to the Sun and his waxy tags melted away.


But I don't think that it was ever a rule that you can't use a username as a tag.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:34 PM on February 7


Mods, could we get this post added to itself?
posted by Pronoiac at 9:44 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


I added this to the Megalists page on the wiki, which was the most relevant page for this, I think.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:56 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. I can't imagine how much effort this must have taken. I have trouble making posts with more than 5 or 6 links.
posted by AFABulous at 10:22 PM on February 7 [3 favorites]


Epostysterical!
posted by chavenet at 11:06 PM on February 7


Oofa doofa, this was a lot of work. I deeply thank you for it, not_the_water. Generally I get intimidated by the Megaposts and don't really dig into them, as it almost seems like a disservice to just randomly click a link or two and then move on. In keeping with form, I am indeed intimidated by this post, though I truly appreciate the rigor and the effort that went into it. Bravo, not_the_water.

I added this to the Megalists page on the wiki, which was the most relevant page for this, I think.

No offense to the creators/editors of the existing Megalists page, but is there an easy way to replace that page with the contents of this post (after adding the existing content, if it isn'tt already replicated here)? It's that good.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:32 AM on February 8


is there an easy way to replace that page with the contents of this post

Here you go!

For certain values of easy. Offer void in non-continental Metafilter.
posted by zamboni at 7:14 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


God daaaaaaamn. Nice work, not_the_water.

How did you manage to get your user name in the tags? I thought this was impossible since the great quonsar tagging of 2005.

Nah, we didn't ban usernames as tags. We just banned quonsar himself for a little bit. Turns out everyone else on the site basically already has the good sense not to go on jackassish tag-bombing sprees so it hasn't been an issue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:22 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Here you go!

Ha! No, I'm on the wiki, and I have added and edited stuff, but I guess I meant does any seasoned wiki editor know of an automated way to turn the html of this post into wiki-style syntax? It is a bit much (for me) to consider doing manually.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:47 AM on February 8


I think this page may do it? There are a few options for that sort of conversation that are web-based.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:53 AM on February 8


MetaMetaFilter
posted by Going To Maine at 9:26 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I dug into the converters a bit and couldn't find anything that worked, so I am doing it with judicious find-and-replace. Should be ready in a few minutes.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:40 AM on February 8


All hail the king: filthy light thief!

Seriously impressive, not_the_water. A megapost for megaposts. Thanks!
posted by zarq at 12:24 PM on February 8


When tags were introduced, quonsar tagged everything he could with his own username. Some cynical types thought this attempt to get his name in larger font on the Popular Tags page.

I remember that. :)

The smallest tag on the current most popular tags list is 551, I believe.
posted by zarq at 12:34 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I spent a few minutes in Sublime Text, switching the wiki page to sections from nested bullet lists. It gives a nice table of contents - by which I mean, it's impressively long, but helpful - and I don't think it loses the topics in relation to each other, though I'm open to feedback and insight on it.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:23 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Oh, and thanks for wikifying this, Rock Steady! I'm annoyed and a bit embarrassed that Recent Changes seems to make me look like I did that.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:38 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Thanks for helping wikify it! I never thought of adding it to the wiki.

All hail the king: filthy light thief!

For real. flt accounts for about 20% of the posts in the index.
posted by not_the_water at 1:46 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


The sections are a big improvement, Pronoiac. I added indents to the "user sections" just to set them apart visually from the subject-oriented sections. I also incorporated the pre-existing items on that page into the larger structure.

Here's a link to the wiki page if anyone in interested in checking it out and/or (please) keeping it updated.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:20 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I think the silly putty post might better fit under Science or even Physics rather than its current placement in Biology, but other than that cataloging complaint, this is pretty cool. It also vividly demonstrates the plague of link rot and related to that, it demonstrates the impact of what have been some monumental policy changes at YouTube that make these kinds of posts much more difficult to compile. Remember the old web back when it was the Web? Man, it was great. Nowadays, doin' evil is all in a day's work.
posted by Stanczyk at 9:28 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Of course, the only post with any merit on this entire list is Meatbomb's "Reptilian Overlords" post.
       /\       
      /  \      
     /,--.\     
    /< () >\    
   /  `--'  \   
  /          \  
 / IN MEATBOMB\ 
/___WE TRUST___\
posted by not_on_display at 3:23 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


This is an amazing catalog. Thank you, not_the_water! What, logistically, did you use to make this? Were spreadsheets involved?
posted by brainwane at 8:51 PM on February 10


Were spreadsheets involved?

Speaking for myself, in all of the posts I've done that were histories or curations or collections, spreadsheets were involved, using fields like URL, Description, Topic, etc.

I'd then sort the data, and merge it into a text/doc file, and futz around with formatting a little until it looked nice. Sometimes it could take weeks to assemble, sometimes a few dozen minutes.

Fast forward nine years, and half my links are broken! [RIM SHOT]

...but the good thing about this particular collection of not_the_water's is that the links point to the MeFi threads, which ain't going nowhere!
posted by not_on_display at 10:15 PM on February 10


{does ego search on page}
{finds ... pies ... toast ... cake ...}
{worries I spend far too much time thinking and writing about food}
posted by Wordshore at 7:29 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Of course, the only post with any merit on this entire list is Meatbomb's "Reptilian Overlords" post.

The first link has been removed from YouTube. Better download the rest.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:44 AM on February 11




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