Updating the MeFi Projects subsite guidelines July 11, 2018 6:01 PM   Subscribe

Hey, so, MetaFilter Projects! It's one of my favorite parts of the site, where members can post and share their personal creative work. And we've done a little work to update the posting guidelines there, to try and make it a little more clear and generous about what's a good fit. Come on in for details!

A QUICK REFRESHER ON PROJECTS

The Projects subsite was launched allllll the way back in late 2005, supplanting what had been for a few years a mailing list run by kindall. The idea was simple: MetaFilter had developed very early on a proscription against self-linking—linking to your own work or something you have a direct connection to on the front page of the site—and Projects was a dedicated part of the site where it was okay to self-link.

It's a curated subsite; every Projects post goes into a submission queue, to be reviewed directly by a moderator (usually me, these days) and approved (almost always) or declined (now and then, mostly because of spam attempts).

It's also sometimes a source of material for new posts to the front page of MetaFilter; folks had done that enough over the years, in fact, that we eventually added a "post this to mefi" button to each Projects thread to make it easier to go from "hey, this would be a rad post" to, well, having made a rad post. It's a nice, low-friction, low-stress way to find cool stuff to share, and has been the path to more than one user's first post on MeFi.

Projects has seen the occasional revision over the years (most notable: for a long time there were no comments!) but it has mostly stayed in the same basic shape it was when it launched. In the mean time, the web and the MetaFilter userbase have both changed a bit, so it's been overdue for a revisit!


WHAT'S NEW

1. More inclusive + permissive posting guidelines.

The main change is the language on the "Add Project" page, which gives a brief description about what Projects is for and what's appropriate there. The older language was fairly specific and, as time passed, overly restrictive: the original focus had been on fairly complete, robust web-based projects and sites, at a time when MeFi's core audience was more heavily weighted to web developers and the web itself tended to be less centralized and more built around individual sites and such.

These days, "here's my new website" isn't the most likely form a Projects post could take; lots of folks are doing stuff in various media, including or just supported by some web presence, and lots of web-based stuff is built or hosted on centralized platforms and services. Also, the MeFi membership represents a broader, more inclusive set of creative disciplines, with less focus on the webdev/blogosphere origins of the site.

I've fielded a lot of hesitant "hey, I was gonna post this to Projects but I guess maybe it's not okay?" emails over the last few years and I'd say 99% of the time my answer was "no, that's great, post it, we need to update the guidelines is all". And that's just the folks who were willing to ask; I'm sure a lot of folks just said phooey and didn't bother us about it.

So I've rewritten the text to be clear that Projects is an okay destination for some stuff that might not have been obviously kosher under the original text. Where it used to focus specifically on launching new finished projects, I'd like folks to feel comfortable sharing smaller stuff and works in progress as well, and to not be scared off from sharing cool creative stuff they've made just because it's not e.g. a full-fledged Website or high-stakes product launch, etc.

I've also rewritten the text on the Projects About page to sync it up with the Add Project page's new language.

I love seeing folks share cool stuff, big or little, polished or inchoate, as long as there's something neat to look at. My hope is the new posting language will mean we'll see more folks giving it a shot.

2. Removing the prohibition on Kickstarters, etc.

We had up until now said "no Kickstarters" on Projects, and extended that by analogy to Patreon and other similar models. But as creative work tied to fundraising platforms has become pretty normalized over the last several years, it feels increasingly at odds with the state of the web to insist on that as a blanket rule.

So we've removed that from the Projects guidelines. That's not to say that all such fundraising-related things will be a good fit for Projects: the focus remains on creative work, and we are unlikely to approve a project that is fundamentally about fundraising. There's nothing wrong with a Project having some commercial aspect to it, but "Hey, give me money" isn't a Projects post. The appropriate submissions here are stuff like someone's creative blog and work space that happens to be on Patreon, or someone's cool actually-some-there-there-already thing that involves a Kickstarter campaign.

Since all Projects posts are reviewed manually, we'll sort out any growing pains with this change at that stage, and review how it's going after we let it breathe for a bit. My hope is it'll enable a wider variety of interesting creative work on Projects without creating any real problems.

3. Adding reminder text to the "post this to mefi" page.

If you're looking at a Projects post and click the "post this to mefi" button, it'll take you to the "New Post" page for MetaFilter proper, with several of the post fields already filled out. This is a handy way to quickly make a post based on something cool on Projects (and you can always adjust the post text as you see fit).

One thing worth noting, though, is that not every Projects post makes a good post for the front page of MetaFilter. Some stuff is really personal in a way that might not stand up as well to a large audience spotlight; some stuff while promising is also still in early enough stages (brand new site, rough work in progress, etc) that it may seem too thin for a front page post or may draw criticism because of its unfinished state; some stuff that's in an activist/organizing/call-to-action vein may be fine for Projects but butt up against MeFi's posting expectations.

So we've added a block of text to the MeFi post page if you're coming through from Projects, to provide a gentle reminder to double-check whether the cool Project you're looking at is a good fit as a post specifically or if it's better just specifically as a Projects post. Mostly, this is to try and help avoid the bummer situation of having a Projects post land on the front page and get a poor reception and/or needing to delete it after the fact as not a great fit. It's not a huge deal if those things happen—nobody'll get in trouble for it, etc—but reminding folks to double-check good intentions against post suitability may help avoid some unnecessary hurt feelings.


WHAT ELSE?

Not much! It's not a huge change, but I am a big big fan of Projects and of seeing MeFites' collective creativity on display, and I'm hoping these revisions (and this "Hey! Projects exists!" reminder) will help more folks feel welcome to contribute to that part of the site.

Some of the posting culture questions here do relate to long-standing guidelines on MetaFilter itself, too, and there's things I'm aiming to revisit there soon in a different MetaTalk post. So if you have "oh but what about..." questions that aren't so much about Projects specifically as they are about MeFi's posting guidelines, I totally feel you but I'll say up front that it's probably going to be a better fit for that later discussion.
posted by cortex to Etiquette/Policy at 6:01 PM (54 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

Yay for Projects!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:30 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I love the changes and the reasoning behind.

How does the double link policy work in Projects? If someone posts a work in progress, can they post again when they finish it?
posted by Memo at 8:19 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I think given a reasonable amount of progress and time from the first to the second that's fine, yeah. We've had people do that now and then over the years, revisiting something six months later when it was finished or a few years later when they'd added a ton of content over time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:24 PM on July 11


I've always meant to ask: What's the deal with votes on Projects? They seem redundant to favorites and it's not like a project has to exceed a certain vote threshold before it's allowed to be posted to the Blue.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 8:28 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


MOAR PROJECTS! Thanks for this!
posted by lalex at 8:53 PM on July 11


I absolutely love Projects. Great updates
posted by not_the_water at 9:28 PM on July 11


Yay creativity. This is a great thing.
I’d never considered posting to projects before, I don’t know anything about app development or coding or whatever and it seemed sort of slanted that way.
There is nothing more enticing, creatively, than a work-in-progress. Holy shit do I know about works in progress.
Let’s make things.
posted by chococat at 9:33 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


This is nice.

I have a request I've been meaning to make for a long time about Projects: every single time I go there I click on what I think is the title, and it takes me to the external project website instead. Every single time I think "oh, right, why do I never remember" - but I never do, and it's frustrating because it clashes directly with the muscle memory (or whatever) that gets built up interacting with most other parts of the site. (It also feels kind of like a devaluation of what the poster and commenters have to say about the project - which is generally what I want to read first anyway.) I'd love for there to be post titles that work the same way they do elsewhere.

Guessing this has been discussed before, but I don't know where. I keep stubbing my toe on it, so I figured I'd bring it up!
posted by trig at 9:35 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


I'm wondering -- I'm running a petition across Canada. I created micro sites in both English and French where I describe the problem which the petition is about. I've been in a radio debate with the president of the organization that I'm petitioning (+ some other press). We've gotten close to 3k signatures.

Would this count as a project? Yes, I would love to get more signatures, but I also think that the subject itself is interesting enough to discuss.

Or would this count as "not creative enough"? I wrote the petition text, etc. but I can also see how this is not on the same level (in terms of creative work) as other posted projects.

Thank you!
posted by vert canard at 9:36 PM on July 11


One thing that I have wondered about projects is whether we could have an option to post anonymously (or anonymous to the public). I don't particularly want to tie my Github account to my Metafilter username, for example. (I realise I could make a not-sockpuppet Mefi account with my actual name and use it to only post to Projects...)
posted by hoyland at 10:03 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


aww hell. Now I have no excuses about working on my kayak.
posted by freethefeet at 10:03 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


I've always meant to ask: What's the deal with votes on Projects?

You're not the first to wonder! There was a MetaTalk thread a couple years ago suggesting they be nixed; at an early skim of the comments I find myself nodding along to what 2016-me is saying, but I know we didn't ultimately change anything there, so I'm going to finish reading through that thread and see where we left things. Two years later I don't remember whether folks changed my mind on thinking they could go or if we just left it hanging or what. Is there a French psychological term for anticipating finding out how a conversation you were involved in already ended?

I'd love for there to be post titles that work the same way they do elsewhere.

For a second I wanted to say "no, we have titles" but...yeah, I guess we never added 'em. It's a little funny because Projects are kinda self-contained in that sense, but I think it's a change worth considering for consistency. I'll chew on it.

I'm wondering -- I'm running a petition across Canada. I created micro sites in both English and French where I describe the problem which the petition is about. I've been in a radio debate with the president of the organization that I'm petitioning (+ some other press).

So, I'd say with building out those sites it'd probably make a reasonable small Projects post, yeah. I emphasize "creative work" in the current writeup because that's what I want the emphasis to be, but I recognize that not all work that involves creative effort looks like capital-a Art or like some extremely thingy-thing; sometimes it's organizational effort out in the world, etc. I think that stuff can often have a place on Projects, in the mix with everything else, if it takes the form of "here's some information about this" rather than just strictly "go sign this thing".

In that spirit, it's also a good example of something that would be fine for Projects and also not so much for transplanting to the front page since it's not so much line with the MetaFilter posting guidelines.

One thing that I have wondered about projects is whether we could have an option to post anonymously (or anonymous to the public).

I don't see that in the cards, no. The usual route here (one folks have taken a few times before!) is to, as you suggest, just set up a spare privacy-sensitive account so you can post about the narrow territory of your real-life-identified work without associating it with the rest of your MeFi activity. Doing that's totally fine, we just ask folks to be careful about keeping such an account to only that realm of stuff.

Let’s make things.

Hell yes let's.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:14 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


So I'm now 928 days into a 365 photo project. Is that the sort of thing that will fit into the new guidelines (maybe on day 1000?) It's not high art or anything but I'm kind of happy with it.
posted by Mitheral at 11:22 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


So if I were to make an ongoing blog about my gardening adventures would projects be a good place for it?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:30 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Thanks, cortex - hooray for clarification! I'm guessing if the project is music-related, it should be limited to either MeFi Music or Projects, and not both? Or is it okay to post an album on Projects, and maybe a track on Music? I think it'd be helpful to make that clear too. Maybe a note on the About and New Post pages for both subsites? e.g. on Projects it could be something like "If you have been a part of creating a music project, you're welcome to post songs from your project on MeFi Music [instead of Projects / or both subsites under these circumstances x y z ]."

every single time I go there I click on what I think is the title, and it takes me to the external project website instead. Every single time I think "oh, right, why do I never remember" - but I never do, and it's frustrating because it clashes directly with the muscle memory (or whatever) that gets built up interacting with most other parts of the site.

I'm glad trig said this because this has happened to me countless times, too. Whenever it does, I think "Did I click the wrong thing?" and then I have to go back and yes, I also have the "why do I never remember" thought. Then I think "I should probably send a note to the mods about this" but then it never seems to be a good time. So, yes please -- I definitely second this pony of having this be consistent with all of the other subsites and have the project title link to the post.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 2:46 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


As one of the people who recently emailed about this, thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing more and a greater variety of stuff on Projects.
posted by ITheCosmos at 4:27 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Interesting, thank you. Since there is already a submission queue, is there, or could there be, any way to post anonymously, I wonder? I can imagine wanting to post a project under my real name without wanting it linked to my username on Metafilter. I suppose it might increase the risk of promotional posts though.
posted by tavegyl at 5:39 AM on July 12


So if I were to make an ongoing blog about my gardening adventures would projects be a good place for it?

Good idea, me too, oh wait, mine probably belongs on ASK with tags "dust" "deep personal tragedy" "is that a weed'

anyway, good on if this boosts projects, need moar projects!
posted by sammyo at 6:37 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


So I've rewritten the text to be clear that Projects is an okay destination for some stuff that might not have been obviously kosher under the original text. Where it used to focus specifically on launching new finished projects, I'd like folks to feel comfortable sharing smaller stuff and works in progress as well, and to not be scared off from sharing cool creative stuff they've made just because it's not e.g. a full-fledged Website or high-stakes product launch, etc.

I am so excited about this I cannot even.

I do have a question about what is big enough to count as a Project, though. I am too worn out these days to write longform frequently enough to sustain a blog-qua-blog, but I do occasionally sit down and write out pieces I'm proud of and think MeFi would find interesting. Would the occasional essay/post be enough of a bar to clear for the odd Projects post?

(Right now I'm busy making a poster on my singing mice work for this coming week's conference, and I'm torn between wanting to wave that at the, er, Seafoam? and thinking that surely no one at all would be interested in something like that.)
posted by sciatrix at 6:50 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


(I, for one, really hope that "occasional essay" or "singing mice poster" is the type of thing that clears the bar, because I'd love to see people's essays and mice posters)
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:55 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I really can't even think about anything except singing mice posters now.
posted by moonmilk at 6:58 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Right on! To celebrate, I'll go post a project.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:18 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


I wish there was a Schoolhouse Rock for "How a Pony Becomes a Feature." Is there some sort of issue tracker or kanban? I get that MetaFilter's resources are constrained, that this is a community and things rightfully take time to simmer. It's just hard to interpret when requests don't get the thumbs up/down/we're going to revisit in X months.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 7:56 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Right on! To celebrate, I'll go post a project.

Another way to celebrate is to find a good project and see if it's worth sharing on the blue. I might do that a little bit later this afternoon.
posted by Fizz at 7:59 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


So I'm now 928 days into a 365 photo project. Is that the sort of thing that will fit into the new guidelines (maybe on day 1000?) It's not high art or anything but I'm kind of happy with it.

Yeah, I think "hey, I worked on this for three years and there's a ton of new content now" is a pretty reasonable justification for a revisit.

So if I were to make an ongoing blog about my gardening adventures would projects be a good place for it?

Yep. "Here's my garden adventures blog!" is totally solid as a Projects post. My main suggestion with that sort of thing is get a few entries up before posting so there's something for folks to read and to want to bookmark/RSS to come back to.

Thanks, cortex - hooray for clarification! I'm guessing if the project is music-related, it should be limited to either MeFi Music or Projects, and not both? Or is it okay to post an album on Projects, and maybe a track on Music?

Both is okay! On MeFi Music it makes sense to post multiple tracks off a project; certainly lots of folks (myself included!) have done that, recording a whole album and then sharing several or all tracks over the course of a couple weeks or a month or whatever; for Projects making a single post about the whole album/EP/project/whatever is totally appropriate as well.

Since there is already a submission queue, is there, or could there be, any way to post anonymously, I wonder?

Not anonymously per se, but it's okay to set up a spare account specifically for that narrow domain of posting; see the last bit of this comment.

Would the occasional essay/post be enough of a bar to clear for the odd Projects post?

Yup. The original text characterized it as e.g. "a blog post or an essay isn't a Project", which I think was pushing too hard; in practice I think a substantial piece of writing in blog post or essay form is fine now and then, and have certainly approved a number of 'em over the years.

I'd discourage using Projects as just an outright once-a-month blog signal boost for sort of "eh, I guess this is what I wrote lately" type stuff and if I feel like someone's trending in that direction I'll just drop 'em a line to gently nudge toward a more condensed quality over quantity approach, but frankly we haven't been anywhere near that territory on a regular basis in all the years I've been minding the Projects queue so it's not a big worry for me right now.

Right now I'm busy making a poster on my singing mice work for this coming week's conference

Oh, jeez, academic posters are such a weird world. I think making a Projects post about one would be totally interesting, honestly, especially if it took the tack of talking a little bit about why that kind of poster has the weird presentational properties it does.

I wish there was a Schoolhouse Rock for "How a Pony Becomes a Feature."

Hmm. Hmmmmmmmm.

Is there some sort of issue tracker or kanban? I get that MetaFilter's resources are constrained, that this is a community and things rightfully take time to simmer. It's just hard to interpret when requests don't get the thumbs up/down/we're going to revisit in X months.

There hasn't traditionally been anything like that, no; to the extent that we do issue tracking it's always been mod-side, and to a great extent tech-person-side, rather than anything public facing. That said, doing a more regular "here's how things are going, here's what we've got in the pipe" MetaTalk post just to keep folks up to date is one of the goals I've set coming out of The Recent Events, and part of what I want to do with those is explicitly mention which things are actively on our list of next few bits to get done and which things are firmly fixed on the horizon even if they're still gonna be a while.

I don't know that it'll ever get more formal than that, but it'd definitely be a step forward in keeping stuff publicly on the radar.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:04 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


> Fizz:
"Another way to celebrate is to find a good project and see if it's worth sharing on the blue."

And don't discount the large backlog of projects never cross-posted. Plenty of them aren't time-sensitive. Worth hitting up the ol' random project link.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 8:09 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


*thumbs up* That's about what I was thinking on the "once a month essay no" vs "occasional essay yes" tradeoff, but thank you for clarifying! I will keep that in mind the next time I feel like doing something. Or the next time I angrily sneeze a semi-formally linked rant about why Friesian horses are not good analogues for knight's destriers and the real reason that Shires got so big into one place. I generally get much more motivated to write when I get a little attention for it, so it's certainly not unlikely that I might wind up writing more if I did this sort of thing a couple of times--at which point, meh, I bet you I'd have other things to bring to Projects by then.

Oh, jeez, academic posters are such a weird world. I think making a Projects post about one would be totally interesting, honestly, especially if it took the tack of talking a little bit about why that kind of poster has the weird presentational properties it does.

Oh, yes, I'd have to walk through the poster in text the same way I would walk through it in person, and talking a little bit about why academic posters work they way they do seems like a good useful thing to do with it. I feel like I'd probably need to hang out in the Projects thread and encourage/respond to any questions for a bit, too--kind of like a virtual poster session.

Which it sounds like folks would like, so I'll probably go ahead and do that when I send this bad boy off to the printers. It'll give me some practice ahead of my formal session, and get me jazzed up for the conference at the same time. :D
posted by sciatrix at 8:17 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Now I have no excuses about working on my kayak.

If you're building a kayak you better damn well make a blog about it and post it to Projects. Um... I mean, pretty please can we see your kayak build?

For those of you who do stuff in the physical world and not necessarily web projects, if you're ever wondering "should I make a blog for this and put it on Projects" the answer is definitely "yes!" I have posted three projects, and each one I thought to myself "is this really good for Projects? I don't think so... ah, what the hell" and I have always received more positive feedback than I ever expected. It's just a great place to go and say "hey, I made a thing please check it out!"
posted by bondcliff at 8:45 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Love these changes. I’ve always wanted Projects to be a little more of an “in-progress” place in addition to the cool finished projects.
posted by michaelh at 12:03 PM on July 12


sciatrix
I'd be more than happy to read either a Friesian post or a Shire one, so if it encourages you to know you've got a built-in audience, please take into account you've got at least one person excited by what you can potentially produce. (I don't check Projects as much as other parts of the site, so if you wanted to drop me a MeMail publicizing a Project post, it would be welcomed.)
posted by sardonyx at 12:55 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I have a friend who wrote something awesome that was on The Web. Is projects ok for that? Seems too self linky for a blue post but I'd love to share it with the metafilter community (and was honestly surprised it didn't make its way here).
posted by sockermom at 1:04 PM on July 12


Also, scientific posters, oh MAN could I make several project posts about that... Great idea!
posted by sockermom at 1:07 PM on July 12


I have a friend who wrote something awesome that was on The Web. Is projects ok for that?

It would be okay for your friend to sign up to put that on Projects; the expectation is folks will not post other folks' work there, but you could fling 'em a gift account so they can do it themself!
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:13 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


cortex: Removing the prohibition on Kickstarters, etc.

Does this mean that active, time-limited fund-raising / sales sites (humble bundles and the like) are now allowed as front page posts? Or should they be part of the post, but not the main crux of the post?

Example A: "This Old Cartoon is pretty great, but there's not much online. It is being remastered with Kickstarter support here, but it has a way to go to get to its target. "

Example B: "This Old Cartoon is pretty great, but there's not much online. It is being remastered with Kickstarter support here, and it beat its base target in 3 hours!"

Example C: "Here's this old cartoon, made in the 1970s, and you can find some clips online here and here. Here's a summary of why it's so good and the best episodes, and here's a Kickstarter to remaster the whole series!"
posted by filthy light thief at 1:34 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Does this mean that active, time-limited fund-raising / sales sites (humble bundles and the like) are now allowed as front page posts?

As of right this minute, no: we're in the same general "avoid active fundraisers" territory we've been in for front page posts.

Having said that, that prohibition itself is overdue for a revisit. So I've been talking with the team in detail about revisiting that and a couple related posting guidelines things, in the same general spirit as this Projects-specific update. I'll be posting a new MetaTalk about posting guidelines for MeFi proper soon, and that'll help sync up a bit with these changes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:48 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Sounds good, thanks for the update!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:13 PM on July 12


As of right this minute, no: we're in the same general "avoid active fundraisers" territory we've been in for front page posts.

Would it be a good idea to explicitly add that to the Posting something from Projects to Metafilter? notice?
Remember, a good post for Projects isn't automatically a good post for the front page. For example: works in progress, highly-personal stuff, or call-to-action projects may not always be appropriate. When in doubt, check with the mods.
call-to-action kind of covers it, but not quite.
posted by zamboni at 4:13 PM on July 12


That note's meant more along the lines of a general "hey, keep in mind the MeFi guidelines exist" than a strict enumeration of no-go stuff; my hope is that'll be plenty sufficient, but if we find there's some specific recurring issues with the Projects-to-MeFi pipeline we can revisit what we're saying there.

I also don't want to worry out the details too much when we're hoping to revisit some of those related posting guidelines as well pretty soon. More of a thing to make sure everything's aligned well after the dust has started to settle on the whole construction zone.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:25 PM on July 12


Possible edge case:

So, I just formed an improv group, with people I've been doing improv with for six months. We don't have a web page currently (and might never), but we're performing at an improv competition later this month at a bar in Chicago (it could be our first and last performance, or not -- who knows). We're doing several rehearsals to prepare. Is this a "project"?

I might post it to events... not sure about that either. It's a thing where the most votes from the audience wins. We don't plan on winning, but... the ethics are murky.

(The current/working title is related to my most recent AskMe post.)
posted by amtho at 7:38 PM on July 12


Forget what I said about "events" -- I meant possibly making an IRL post, but I'm pretty sure that's not appropriate...
posted by amtho at 7:45 PM on July 12


In fact, that'd be okay to post to IRL! We have an "Event" category as a type of IRL post, specifically for stuff that's not a traditional meetup so much as an "I'm doing a thing, you can come to it if you want" deal. The ethics of crowd voting are your own to sort out, but I'm assuming the idea is more "this is fun, come" than anything.

As a Projects post, nah. If you end up with some interesting web content documenting the improv stuff, that could totally work, but that sounds like a different aspect than what you're talking about.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:50 PM on July 12


This is cool and I think I'm gonna go check out Projects for the first time in basically ever.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:41 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


This is great, and I love projects. I also love Projects. Anyway I have definitely posted at least one project to the front page and I always wonder if there is etiquette to promoting someone else's project to the blue. I mean there is a ton more exposure and some Projects posts seem fairly personal. Should you memail the poster first and check? Use your best judgment? Feel mildly uncomfortable after doing it? For me I ended up going with the last one and I feel kind of weird about it.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:51 AM on July 13


Here's another - what about, say, the Bandcamp or Soundcloud page for an album of music? Or the album posted as YouTube links, hippybear-style?
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:43 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I always wonder if there is etiquette to promoting someone else's project to the blue. I mean there is a ton more exposure and some Projects posts seem fairly personal. Should you memail the poster first and check? Use your best judgment? Feel mildly uncomfortable after doing it?

It's good to think about, and there's no pat answer. I personally don't usually port of the super personal stuff to posts unless the Project was basically about saying in part "hey, this is a super personal thing and I really want to put it out in front of the internet". But I think you can feel it out and, yeah, dropping the creator a line to check in if you're unsure how they'd feel is a totally reasonable and thoughtful way to go. For that matter it'd probably work okay to just broach the subject in the comments of the Projects post itself: "hey, this is really great, would you feel comfortable with me posting it to the front page?"

Here's another - what about, say, the Bandcamp or Soundcloud page for an album of music? Or the album posted as YouTube links, hippybear-style?

I'm platform/format agnostic there; posting an album worth of music you've made is a totally great Projects post and whether that's on bandcamp or soundcloud or a DIY thing or a youtube playlist or link roundup doesn't matter. If people can go listen to it, boom, conditions satisfied.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:49 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I always wonder if there is etiquette to promoting someone else's project to the blue.

it'd probably work okay to just broach the subject in the comments of the Projects post itself: "hey, this is really great, would you feel comfortable with me posting it to the front page?"


How about a check box when the OP composes their Project post, something along the lines of "are you ok with someone posting this to the blue" and then the little POST THIS TO THE BLUE button on their post either appears or doesn't.
posted by chococat at 9:15 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


As of right this minute, no: we're in the same general "avoid active fundraisers" territory we've been in for front page posts.

Having said that, that prohibition itself is overdue for a revisit.


Interesting, I have an example to ask about, then. Hurricane Maria did extreme damage to a research facility in Puerto Rico that I've collaborated with in the past (the Caribbean Primate Research Center's facility on Cayo Santiago, aka "Monkey Island", for studying the behavior and genetics of free-ranging rhesus monkeys on a small island). Not only were almost all of the structures and equipment destroyed, but many of the key personnel for running the island lost their homes. Despite their personal losses, all of them prioritized ensuring that the monkeys on the island were provisioned with food and fresh water, and undertook a census to assess the health and welfare of the population. Thanks in part to their dedication, the thousand-or-so monkeys on the island made it through the storm and its aftermath remarkably well. Researchers throughout the U.S. and abroad started a campaign to raise funds and recruit volunteer labor to first rebuild the homes of the Puerto Rican scientists and technicians affected, and then rebuild the research facilities on the island.

At the time I briefly thought about making an FPP on the situation, but quickly realized it would violate the no-fundraising guideline, and maybe also the no-self-link guideline given my relationship with the facility. However, I think the history and situation on Cayo Santiago themselves make for pretty interesting reading and could be a good FPP, even though the fundraising need would have been my impetus to make the post. In the future, could there be room for an FPP like this, focused on links and context which are interesting in their own right, but motivated by an unusual fundraising need? I don't really know whether or not this is a good idea in general, but I'm curious if this is the kind of thing you've been discussing.
posted by biogeo at 3:57 PM on July 13


That's a tricky one! The traditional take has been basically: if you can frame a good MeFi post about this in a way that sufficiently decenters the fundraising aspect so that it doesn't read significantly as A Post About Fundraising, it'll probably work. That's a slightly more permissive take than the strictest reading of the "no fundraisers!" prohibition but MeFi's gotten a lot of mileage out of case-by-case permissiveness over the years so it's something I prefer to talk out with people as stuff comes along.

In this particular case, that might be a "send us a draft, we'll take a look" thing since it sounds like a particularly on-the-edge sort of deal.

As far as what we're looking at for future changes, that's not really the focus: my attention is more on stuff that falls more cleanly into traditional "here's a neat/cool/funny/weird thing on the web" territory but which has ended up tied to some of the newer crowd-sourcing, crowd-funding platforms and toolsets, like Kickstarter and Patreon. Things more in the vein of "throw money at this important cause" are a different sort of feel and will need their own analysis, because I think there's room for some permissiveness there too but it's much more complicated to keep the "this is a good post" and "this is important!" motivations separate there.

That's all for the upcoming MeFi-centric guidelines discussion, though, so I won't dig in farther for now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:20 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Can/Would you add the ability to hide US political posts like there is on the Blue to Projects?
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:09 AM on July 15


Not something I would immediately think to do for Projects, no; if we found long-term that there was a serious issue with the tone of Projects coming we could take another look.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on July 15


Can I get some feedback on if the following are acceptable projects?

1. I started a club for visual artists in my town, to give them a place and time to work on their handy crafts. It might turn into a knitting club, or just an artists' potluck. A blog to document this.

2. I am planning a third art show, and I need somewhere to play with different edits.

3. I'm playing with different photography editing techniques for a specific type of image capture + gum bichromate printing. A blog for this.

4. I am planning a fizz-tier thread(on the blue) on plastics and plastic wastes and I need a place to accumulate notes and develop the framing. Probably a trello board.

After reading cortex's (cortex'?) I feel like i want to contort different offline projects I have into an acceptable "mefi-project", even if it is not actually necessary to the survival of the project. What would make these "project"-able is if i actually got usable crowd feedback and advice. So far, it seems like Projects is a place for saying "Look at this thing I made" vs "I'm making this thing and feedback & partners & advice would be appreciated."
posted by tedious at 3:19 PM on July 15


1. I started a club for visual artists in my town, to give them a place and time to work on their handy crafts. It might turn into a knitting club, or just an artists' potluck. A blog to document this.

Sure! With a focus on the blog part; the rest of it is a fine thing to do but Projects would be about showing that stuff to people, mostly, so putting together some nice online documentation of the club or its output would be perfect.

2. I am planning a third art show, and I need somewhere to play with different edits.

Could work; my assumption is there'd be stuff for folks to look at, and then some outlining of what you were trying to sort through with the different edits and what kind of feedback you're looking for.

3. I'm playing with different photography editing techniques for a specific type of image capture + gum bichromate printing. A blog for this.

Yup!

4. I am planning a fizz-tier thread(on the blue) on plastics and plastic wastes and I need a place to accumulate notes and develop the framing. Probably a trello board.

This one sounds like "ayuh, use a trello board" to me; if the angle is specifically "help me develop this MetaFilter post", I'd say that's more sorta meta and laser-specific than I'd expect a Projects post to be (vs. if you were more generally/broadly building a web archive or compendium on some subject in its own right).

So far, it seems like Projects is a place for saying "Look at this thing I made" vs "I'm making this thing and feedback & partners & advice would be appreciated."

Yeah, the text on it has traditionally presented it more as "newly completed finished large works" and I have found myself disagreeing more and more with the constricting nature of that over the years, hence all this. I think sharing and getting feedback on in-process stuff can be a good fit as part of what shows up. There will probably be edge-case details and stuff that fits better and worse as we go along adjusting this, but that's fine; Projects itself is a bit of a work-in-progress in that sense, heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:38 AM on July 16


oh sweet I had been wondering if my weird little sculpture project would be Projects-worthy enough and now I know for sure that it is.
posted by komara at 9:48 PM on July 20


It took me four days but I finally got around to posting it.
posted by komara at 8:50 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


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