It's a message board that isn't really around much anymore... March 26, 2019 4:48 PM   Subscribe

During the most recent Sh!tpost Podcast, Jared Holt interviews Christian Vanderbrouk of twitter and lately Bulwark fame. Metafilter is mentioned.

Jared ends the podcast, as he always does, by asking his guest about their favorite meme or piece of internet wisdom.

Christian says the following:
"Well I'm going to go back in time. It's a message board that isn't around much anymore. It was/is called Metafilter. There was a short story on there called the wheel, which if you just google 'the wheel metafilter' you'll probably find it. It's from a long discussion and somebody just threw in this story..."

So he's referring to a famous comment by robocop is bleeding. At the time of this post, it had 1017 favorites.

(If you haven't read it, it gets pretty dark. There's death and suicide attempts in the story so be warned.)

Anyway, I chuckled at the backhanded compliment shout out to MetaFilter.
posted by Telf to MetaFilter-Related at 4:48 PM (72 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Rumors of our death etc etc, but, yeah, neat to see that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:49 PM on March 26 [20 favorites]


Yeah, I'd just like to think that we're a deep cut. I mean any loser can stumble onto a subreddit, but navigating the subtleties of a good FPP while avoiding various topical minefields? That attracts a rare breed. Hell, people still use ASCII art here.

*Edited for clarity.
posted by Telf at 4:58 PM on March 26 [12 favorites]


People still read Metafilter?
posted by bondcliff at 5:19 PM on March 26 [21 favorites]


Isn't around much? What does that even mean? Around where? Did our address suddenly change? Maybe we stay home a bit more than we used to, but we're still here, damnit! Maybe more than we should be, really, speaking purely for myself.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:21 PM on March 26 [32 favorites]


Maybe he thinks it's shut down most days, like when Matt went on vacation for two weeks.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:24 PM on March 26 [15 favorites]


This is what we get for telling Google that the babysitter is it's new mother, and let's play hide-and-seek, but then we went out on a date night, instead.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:49 PM on March 26 [7 favorites]


does anyone read the posts down here?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:06 PM on March 26 [18 favorites]


Flo, break out the sparklers and dichloromethane.
posted by clavdivs at 8:58 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


We used to have cameras.
(We still do, but we used to, too.)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:01 PM on March 26 [11 favorites]


There have always been cameras.

They just weren't always FREE.
posted by clavdivs at 9:05 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


Dammit, edit window.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:07 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


The wheel is a life model.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:34 PM on March 26


That thread has so many people I do not see around much anymore.
posted by jadepearl at 12:48 AM on March 27


Is this something I'd have to have a MetaFilter account to understand?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:32 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


Witness me.
posted by Fizz at 5:20 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Huh.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:08 AM on March 27 [25 favorites]


It's a message board that isn't around much anymore.

This is giving Metafilter quite a human personality. "Yeah, that message board still shows up from time to time, but it usually gets drunk and starts yelling about pancakes until we can get it to go home . . . . "
posted by JanetLand at 6:10 AM on March 27 [33 favorites]


I had never read The Wheel before so thanks for that!

It's so easy to forget how quickly technology has changed in our adult lives, but then you read "Palm applet" in a story written in 2007. Wasn't 2007 yesterday?
posted by something something at 6:13 AM on March 27 [11 favorites]


I love Robocop's Wheel the same way I love Kafka and Borges stories.

(I mean...it's a short story, right?)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:29 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I hope it's a short story. I think about how the sister character is like a cross between Harley Quinn and Anton Chigurh. Great idea for a character but tragic if real.
posted by Telf at 8:30 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Metafilter.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their metas wedged into their filters, or why.
posted by sockermom at 9:47 AM on March 27 [9 favorites]


Message board? Please sir, we're a community weblog.
posted by wordless reply at 10:57 AM on March 27 [22 favorites]


Sometimes people even comment without reading the linked article! Imagine that.
posted by Carillon at 11:14 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


WHAT
THE
FUCK
MATT?
posted by loquacious at 11:37 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


What does "isn't around much anymore" really mean in the context of something that has been perpetually on the internet since the first time it was on the internet?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:06 PM on March 27 [31 favorites]


It's a bit off topic. . . but, since this post is being discussed:

What on earth does it mean to say that someone has black eyes? I've seen a lot of people, and many of them have quite dark eye colors. . . but, black? Is that a thing that happens in humans? Google image search seems to be all novelty contacts or people who've been beaten up. That's not actually a thing, right?

(Also, this is the first time I've read that post. It's like The Dice Man, but apparently placed in the real world and with children. Cripes. I'm skeptical, but intrigued.)
posted by eotvos at 12:15 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I thought that was interesting too, jessamyn, and I wonder if it's "not around" in the stream of internet stuff that's presented to us by the online environment - that is, a passive consumption mindset where all the stuff we see is given, brought to us, it's just "what's around" rather than something a person has agency in seeking out. Like "the apps and algorithms that serve as all of our executive control systems aren't bringing us Metafilter much these days."
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:16 PM on March 27 [23 favorites]


🎼♩♪♬♫♫♩

Shitpost Podcast, our site's more at ease
But nevertheless, why stir up memories?

We've been invited on dates
We might have gone but what for
It's awfully different now the Blue
isn't around much anymore

Oh MeFi, isn't around much anymore
posted by zamboni at 12:17 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I'd say the best interpretation would be "Isn't something talked about much in the active parts of the Internet" or even "Isn't something surfaced by social media algorithms" and that's fine. Do people often share Metafilter threads to social media? I think not, I personally am more likely to share the cool thing linked to by the Metafilter thread than Metafilter itself.

I suppose if one wanted to get Metafilter more into the internet zeitgeist that this guy seems to think it's fallen out of one would have to play Social Media's game. Push new Metafilter threads to a Facebook page, mirror them to a Subreddit, etc. And that just sounds... extremely tiresome.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:22 PM on March 27 [8 favorites]


What does "isn't around much anymore" really mean in the context of something that has been perpetually on the internet since the first time it was on the internet?

I'm so old, I can remember when Matt would turn off comments for the night. Also, how many ColdFusion errors would render the site unusable for hours ?

Perpetually on, my ass.

:-)
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:35 PM on March 27 [9 favorites]


It's a message board that isn't around much anymore.

[Don Rickles voice] "You know, Johnny, all it takes is a phone call!"
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:38 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


What does "isn't around much anymore" really mean in the context of something that has been perpetually on the internet since the first time it was on the internet?

Much like the current oval office occupant experiences, it’s an object permanence issue. If he doesn’t see it, it has ceased to exist.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:45 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Well I can thank being bored at work that I read this post and so just read The Wheel. I am constantly amazed at some of the posts and comments on here. Next Level Internet.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 12:55 PM on March 27


Mr.Encyclopedia wrote:
I suppose if one wanted to get Metafilter more into the internet zeitgeist that this guy seems to think it's fallen out of one would have to play Social Media's game. Push new Metafilter threads to a Facebook page, mirror them to a Subreddit, etc. And that just sounds... extremely tiresome.

I think that's spot on. MetaFilter isn't really playing that whole game and that's a feature, not a bug. There is an element of exclusivity, in terms of there being just enough friction to act as a barrier to entry. It's like the opposite of a nudge; where participation is just inconvenient enough to act as a filter against the modern ubiquitous, always on, meta internet. Some sort of meta-filter if you will.

That and the moderation and community culture make it inherently not fun from the perspective of internet morlocks raised on a pap of shitposting, listicles and instagram eye candy.
posted by Telf at 1:26 PM on March 27 [17 favorites]


What does "isn't around much anymore" really mean in the context of something that has been perpetually on the internet since the first time it was on the internet?

"If I'm not looking at it, it isn't there."

It's the same thing that happens when someone who doesn't happen to do Thing X asserts, "Nobody does Thing X anymore."
posted by JanetLand at 1:30 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I suspect that that Metafilter's "traffic from Google" graph correlates pretty directly with the feeling that the site isn't "around".
posted by ODiV at 1:38 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


The various algorithms that are trying to read my soul never put Metafilter or any of its other domains in the curated view though Mefi is the dominant sites I visit. Seriously, I get more notes from my barely visited Reddit subs in various news/reading apps. Which is another thing, you would need to use potentially not cool stuff like RSS to get things straight to your apps.

Metafilter requires purposeful seeking out. We may have become a site like the old martial arts master who kicks would be adherents asses upon the first visitation to the training temple. This training, however, does not require one's family to be decimated by Columbian drug lords as a prelude. Heck, it doesn't even need reliable punctuation.

tl;dr Mefi requires effort.
posted by jadepearl at 3:02 PM on March 27 [13 favorites]


I, for one, think punctuated drug lords in the temple is a bad idea.
posted by clavdivs at 4:10 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Man, I'm so punctuated right now.
posted by loquacious at 4:16 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I'd say the best interpretation would be "Isn't something talked about much in the active parts of the Internet" or even "Isn't something surfaced by social media algorithms" and that's fine.

tl;dr Mefi requires effort.

I forget who said it, but all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare :)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:34 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]


I think that was Bill and Ted.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:41 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


We goof around on this website not because it is easy, but because it is hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, at least until we can clock out for the day and watch some TV or something.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:46 PM on March 27 [27 favorites]


I think that was Bill and Ted.

Nah, that’s definitely Rufus.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:46 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


It’s a shame I’m on the road or I’d do a stats run. The number of people linking to the site seems like the key metric.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:16 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


am more likely to share the cool thing linked to by the Metafilter thread than Metafilter itself

Exactly - shhhh, or they might hear us and then jump in and overload our lovely mods. Of course - back in reality, the drawback to a smaller, more insular community with tasteful advertisements is funding issues. Sigh - catch-22, I wish MeFi was more popular for the "good of humanity", but...

Actually - if I was an AI researcher, who wanted to train some algorithms on generally good human textual interactions/behaviors online, I would be looking straight at MeFi, instead of the garbage fires that are Reddit/YouTube comment sections. (Plus, so much easier to parse, because of the textual design and tagged metadata)
posted by jkaczor at 6:56 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


"Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." Yogi Berra
posted by dbmcd at 8:52 AM on March 28 [9 favorites]


Note to self: Write more short stories, preferably contemporary fiction. Oh, and actually DO IT WELL.
posted by IShouldBeStudyingRightNow at 1:19 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


We goof around on this website not because it is easy, but because it is hard;

I am reading your next ten mod notes in Classic Boston, just so you know.
posted by corb at 2:50 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


Or apparently Trans-Atlantic, as I dive down a rabbit hole of Kennedy Accents And Where They Came From, which is also pretty par for the course for Metafilter.
posted by corb at 2:57 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


pah, surely
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:02 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Just speaking for myself, I'd say I'm neither here nor there.
posted by Emmy Rae at 3:14 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


...
Why does Rice play Texas?
...
Not because it is easy but because it is hard.

-- John Kennedy at Rice University, Sept. 12, 1962
posted by Midnight Skulker at 9:05 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


I infer he meant to say “the type of site you don’t see much of these days,” but kind of verbally short handed it between thinking and speaking. I frequently this at times not always a good at public speaking. But the result is usually in the ballpark of what I meant to say even if the ball’s on the wrong side of the foul line.
posted by ardgedee at 1:57 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Thought JFK was talking about the moon.
"...and do the other things"
posted by clavdivs at 3:11 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


don't be a goofball, the moon doesn't actually exist
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:17 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


I will not google “moon truthers.”
(moothers?)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:25 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


> What on earth does it mean to say that someone has black eyes?

My eyes are dark enough that they can look black in certain lights. Sometimes I catch my reflection and it weirds me out because it just looks like a giant pupil.
posted by lucidium at 3:36 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


From Cortex's inaugural speech:

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first age of blogging. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to Reddit and YouTube alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of moderators—born in this century, tempered by spammers, disciplined by a hard and bitter funding crisis, proud of our ancient jokes about ceiling cats—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those threads to which this community weblog has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the web.

Let every site know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of an online experience that isn't totally shit.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:39 PM on March 29 [10 favorites]


Adlai Stevenson lost a Presidential election because some guy from Flint Miichigan took a picture of a hole in his shoe.

There has always been spam.
posted by clavdivs at 7:49 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Stevenson adopted the hole in the shoe thing as a symbol of his thrift and proving that he wasn't an "egghead", so I don't think that's why he lost. It was probably because, you know, the Democrats had just won five straight Presidential elections, and he was running against the guy who had just won the war in Europe.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:30 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


This makes me wonder: where are we at the moment on the up/down cycle in terms of activity/users? I had sort of supposed we were as big as ever... even if other outlets have popped up and/or grown so much that our relative prominence is not what it once was.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:09 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


even if other outlets have popped up and/or grown so much that our relative prominence is not what it once was.

The community (and in turn the type of content) has shifted over the years too, which I’m sure has had an effect. Flash Friday sort of petered out in the Spring of 2013 for example.

So much analysis to be done, although I’m sure Google Analytics already has a lot of it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:01 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


Oh wow flash Friday, I forgot about that entirely.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:04 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


and he was running against the guy who had just won the war in Europe.

Holy shit, he ran against Stalin. Ya, Adlai yucked that up but it nailed the coffin lid on the campaign as evident what Ike did with the image, plastering it everywhere even on campaign buttons. No, 'Adlai the cobbler' did not work as far as spinning that one.
posted by clavdivs at 1:18 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


What does "isn't around much anymore" really mean in the context of something that has been perpetually on the internet since the first time it was on the internet?

MetaFilter The Site, a la Danny The Street
posted by Going To Maine at 1:42 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


(moothers?)

Hey - you take back what you said about my moother!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:59 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Isn't around much anymore? Even as a Bluey-come-lately I take secondhand offence at that!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:35 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


I think Metafilter quietly authored a lot of what became the social structure of the internet. Not that it isn't around much, it is in everything. When it was time to nicen up social interaction, Metafilter showed how that is done, how good community can exist and still host a wide variety of peoples and even opinion. When I first was shown this site, I was admonished to not disciuss it in a community where I had a membership; because a lot of content came from here, and uber members of this site didn't want the rank and file to know where their wise and wonderful stuff originated.
Metafilter: It's in everything.
posted by Oyéah at 8:46 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Like "the apps and algorithms that serve as all of our executive control systems aren't bringing us Metafilter much these days."

I was not some brave adventurer striking off on my own, I showed up when MF was a hot thing on the Internet. And then the wave receded, and here we are, an exotic tidepool.

And now that I am more or less disconnected completely from Google and Facebook, this is the Internet for me. And that is just fine.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:20 AM on April 1 [5 favorites]


I think Metafilter quietly authored a lot of what became the social structure of the internet. Not that it isn't around much, it is in everything.

Like Jodorowsky's Dune.

"I am Metafilter"
"I am Metafilter"
"I am Metafilter..."
posted by Meatbomb at 9:26 AM on April 1


I’d like to return my camera.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:51 AM on April 1


Irregardless, it's still a wonderful site.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:04 PM on April 1


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