What constitutes a good post? August 23, 2002 12:46 AM   Subscribe

What constitutes a good post? Although there is no simple answer, perhaps we can get a general idea. Respond with a link to a post or thread that you think is good, and (briefly) explain why you think it is good. This thread can then serve as a database of good posts (and without needing any new code!) for future reference.
posted by TheIrreverend to MetaFilter-Related at 12:46 AM (20 comments total)

Take your pick. I am frankly a little baffled by this myself. I just can't tell the difference between the "good" ones and the "bad". I guess I retained more from that class on postmodernism than I thought.
posted by hama7 at 1:12 AM on August 23, 2002

(I've heard front page news-link posts definitely constitute suckage, though.)
posted by hama7 at 1:14 AM on August 23, 2002

Two threads from two different stages of MetaFilter's life, discussing the very same, 2278, and 509.
posted by riffola at 1:33 AM on August 23, 2002

Thanks riffola. Saved me the search!

I said this, here, earlier today :

I still think it's important to draw a distinction between and account somehow for the difference in the quality of the post and the quality of the resultant discussion. Most of my all-time-favorite threads are favorites because of the quality of the ensuing discussion. I'm not sure if this is the case for most folks, but I suspect it is, or at most a combination of the two. Personally, I don't have 'favorite posts' per se, although I often find myself searching for old stuff (and not finding it, like the very long large horizontal cartoon with the flying cat and the naked woman and all that stuff that I couldn't find anywhere last night (or did I dream it?)) About the only post that I can ever remember as a good one was Tamim's, and that was a stunt-post!)

Which is a bit confusing, now that I read it over. There's long been the Fork versus Spoon argument about focus on which is more important - the link or the discussion, and generally I think it's accepted that both are important, in differing proportion for different people. One such discussion made it into a book recently, trimmed a bit.

So what am I blathering on about? Well, good discussion sometimes springs from a crap post, and vice versa. I think if we take the idea of a 'good post' as independant from the quality (or lack thereof) of the discussion it starts, it's pretty clear what it is.

  • Start with the guidelines :

    What makes a good thread post to MetaFilter?

    A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.

    As a first-time poster or new member of MetaFilter, take a look at the older posts to get a feel for what constitutes a good link. Look at the links that carry 10 or 20 comments to see what everyone is talking about. Is the link you're about to post provocative enough to show to everyone? If so post away.

    A good thread values uniqueness over novelty.

  • add the aversion to BREAKING NEWS OMFG WOW WOW LOOK AT THIS posts that many dislike(aka 'Newsfilter')

  • and the respect and gratitude many express for well-crafted, multilink, well-researched posts like this or this or this (to pick some recent ones at more or less random)

  • and keep in mind that in a community this size, tastes will vary considerably (for example, although I respect the effort that goes into multi-link uberposts, they don't interest me much, having a short attention span as I do (ie I'm here more for the discussion, personally)). For another example, some people enjoy the 'what's your favorite X' type of discussion-board posts that appeared here quite frequently for a while, but some people hated 'em with a passion, too.

    and you've probably triangulated pretty well what would be considered 'a good post'.

    The very thing you're attempting here has been done before in recent memory, TheIrreverend, with moderate success. Go back through the last couple of months of Metatalk (I'm too damn lazy) if you're interested, and you'll find it. Or someone might drop a link in here for you, if they know the thread I'm talking about.

  • posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:04 AM on August 23, 2002

    I'm paranoid yeah. But I'm always fucking up.
    posted by crasspastor at 2:43 AM on August 23, 2002

    I feel I should emphasize that the question "What constitutes a good post?" was intended to be rhetorical. It was not my intention to start yet another thread where a newbie asks for advice on creating a good post, or to even discuss the nature of good posts. I merely wanted to collect good posts, since the topic is endlessly (!) discussed.

    Admittedly, I never really expected this to work. But it's so simple, it should work. (Incidentally, the same thing could be done to finally create a MeFi FAQ, but of course, that will never happen either).

    Anyhow, lest I derail my own thread, I liked this post for the very simple reason that it is a good link. I'm not too picky.
    posted by TheIrreverend at 3:05 AM on August 23, 2002

    Like I said, it's been done, repeatedly, and with varying success.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:15 AM on August 23, 2002

    Like I said, I didn't really expect this to work.

    rushmc had a good idea that matt is apparently thinking of implementing (part of, anyway). All I'm saying is, I think it's funny that people can get excited about creating their own list of good posts, but they can't be bothered to collect them all in one place.

    But point well taken, stav.
    posted by TheIrreverend at 3:43 AM on August 23, 2002

    My own list of favorite posts is here. What can I tell you? *shrugs*
    posted by luser at 5:10 AM on August 23, 2002

    I am frankly a little baffled by this myself. I just can't tell the difference between the "good" ones and the "bad".

    Then you haven't been reading MeFi long enough to begin posting to the front page.
    posted by mediareport at 7:53 AM on August 23, 2002

    I dunno about posts, but that's a fine example of a bad comment.

    the aversion to BREAKING NEWS OMFG WOW WOW LOOK AT THIS posts that many dislike

    A simple way to avoid posting these kinds of links is to ask your self "Would I make this post 48 hours from now?" If you wouldn't then, you probably shouldn't now.

    posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:21 AM on August 23, 2002

    Great post from today and the resulting fine thread.
    posted by mediareport at 11:26 AM on August 23, 2002

    My choice for best post ever: Bert 'n' Osama (the original link has changed, but the whole story is here.) Of my own posts, this one about kakapos probably received the warmest reponse.
    posted by homunculus at 4:15 PM on August 23, 2002

    OK, so the definition of a good post is one in which no one yells "Troll" or starts a MeTa thread about it or has posted about it before--or one posted by an old-time member....

    Did I get that right?

    boy, I'm learning fast, huh? And none of those things happened to my 2 posts so far....
    posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on August 23, 2002

    Then you haven't been reading MeFi long enough to begin posting to the front page.

    Thanks for the usual shitty put-down unsurprising comment.

    You're just jealous because you can't organise a front-page post, mediaretort.

    But you can retort, and rather nastily. Congratulations!
    posted by hama7 at 8:51 AM on August 24, 2002

    Hama7: Could you stop bitching and start concentrating on all good things in life? You'll live longer. So will I.
    posted by ginz at 9:52 AM on August 24, 2002

    hama7: While mediareport's comment was a little more acidic than strictly necessary, he has certainly been no less irritating to the readership of MeFi than you. As for contesting his ability to create a compelling front page post, I direct you to Russell Wright, animal intelligence, arab calligraphy, science and buddhism, the national motto, and the moral teaching of Spider-Man. Mediareport continues to post interesting and nonobvious posts, which is more than I can say for a number of others.
    posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:59 AM on August 24, 2002

    no less irritating

    posted by mediareport at 1:47 PM on August 24, 2002

    Ahhh, yeah, that should be more.
    posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:49 PM on August 24, 2002

    But thanks, of course. :) Hama7, I apologize for the way I phrased my response to what I can only hope was a deliberate overstatement on your part.

    Nice pinhole post today, btw. Did you search before posting it? I'm not being pissy, honest, just curious if the surprisingly total non-duplication of links with slipperywhenwet's recent pinhole post was intentional or not.
    posted by mediareport at 1:50 PM on August 24, 2002

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