Request to bring complaints about MeFi posts to Metatalk August 29, 2002 7:58 AM   Subscribe

God damnit! PEOPLE! Either participate in the posted thread as it is given, or IGNORE it. If you really have a problem with it, take it to MetaTalk and ask Matt to consider deleting it.

[whiny baby voice] "This is so tangentical..." This shouldn't be on a community blog it should be somewhere else.. blah blah blah!

Jesus Christ!
posted by ZachsMind to Etiquette/Policy at 7:58 AM (122 comments total)

Maybe you think you're helping, but you become part of the problem. By complaining about the semantics of a thread INSIDE the thread in question, you cause topic drift away from the original topic to the topic of whether or not that thread belongs where it is. You effectively diminish what viability the thread had left. No thread is going to be ideal. Not everyone's going to like every thread that comes down the pike. That's to be expected, so quit being the little kid pointing at the emperor with no clothes on. It's bad form.

Got a gripe? That's what MetaTalk is for. MetaFilter is NOT for derailing other people's threads. This is not a competition, ladies and gentlemen. It's an attempt at intelligent discourse.

I'm not just talking about the linked MeFi post mentioned above. I'm just sick and tired of EVERY SINGLE day that I come in here there's at least one thread which people are attacking like crows in a wheatfield who just figured out that guy isn't even human. Y'know whut ah'm sayin'?

Sheesh! I could chew nails right about now...
posted by ZachsMind at 8:03 AM on August 29, 2002


Maybe dhartung should have MeTad it, but I do agree with him about the post. It has nothing to do with the link - it's just an excuse to ntroduce a general topic.
posted by Summer at 8:09 AM on August 29, 2002


Funnily enough, I think you unwittingly contributed to the derailment, Zach. Your general point is very good (and true, imo) but you seem to have picked a thread where it doesn't apply. Dhartung isn't competing with anyone, nor is he a thread-destroyer - he made a simple objection and a request for further links, to enrich the discussion. Bernese Mountain Dog gave a satisfactory reply and, quite unnecessarily, even offered up the thread for deletion.

This is a learning process and, in this case, hauling BMG to MetaTalk (it's his first post) would be way over the top. Dhartung does know a thing or two about posting and link-backing and anchoring and if he hadn't used the "cheating" bit, it would have been just fine. Even then, the objection sits better in the thread. If every objection became a new MeTa post it would be all hell let loose.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:13 AM on August 29, 2002


I hate to put the cat amongst the pigeons Zach old chap, but the post was shite. Sometimes you gotta speak when you feel like it. I got rallied on one of my first posts and I am a better man for it.

As for what you say, if it is one a day that gets hounded, surely we are making progress cause I see a hell of a lot more posts than ever before?
posted by Frasermoo at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2002


um... so here's a question: what if someone really respects the mefi crowd and wants to bounce a topic around and get some intelligent input? Even if there's not a glaringly relevant link available somewhere, some topics might be important and worth discussion. Does MeFi provide a forum for conversation, and of so, where?

(I'm not just being cantankerous... I've been wondering this for a while.)
posted by Jonasio at 8:20 AM on August 29, 2002


Just an observation.

Lately following a metatalk etiquette discussion is like watching a group of freshman backpackers argue over the proper way to proposition a fifty year old lifelong East Berlin street prostitute.

I'm not quite sure what that means, but I know I mean it.
posted by alan at 8:24 AM on August 29, 2002


Miguel, the derailment happened before I posted, otherwise I wouldn't have needed to post to MeTa, so don't start saying, well you're partly to blame y'know cuz I'm not. It DID apply, because I went in there ready to talk about the topic in question, and others had posted before I did questioning whether or not the thread was done properly or belonged in MeFi at all and it's not their place to judge that. Either participate in the thread topic or get the hell out of the way of the people who want to contribute.

"he made a simple objection"

And that objection belonged HERE. Not in the thread. If you object to a thread's validity, do so in MeTa, or contact Matt via email directly. Otherwise you are derailing the thread and policing the space. And it's annoying as hell. Hauling BMG to MeTa would NOT have been over the top. It's how it works. It was more insensitive to the new poster to slam it in his face and sling mud on his thread. There was nothing wrong with the topic. It's a good topic. Sure, yeah it woulda been nice if he'd researched it more and offered a better link(s), but he didn't. Questions of MeFi etiquette and thread validity go here.

Questioning a thread inside the thread derails the thread. 'Nuff said.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:24 AM on August 29, 2002


I'm hungry.
posted by dangerman at 8:26 AM on August 29, 2002


Does MeFi provide a forum for conversation, and of so, where?

If the conversation isn't focused on something (i.e., a link) then it's chat, and if there's one thing that Matt has been clear about it's that he doesn't want MetaFilter to be used for chat.
posted by timeistight at 8:27 AM on August 29, 2002


I understand the problem here and I think at root its that this just was not a thought-out post. Now I do think this was a really good post because it caught my attention immediately, and it was a very provocative question.

I don't want to overextend my self seeing how Im just as new here (officially) as BMG, but some supporting links would definitely help this great base post.
posted by Dr_Octavius at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2002


zach,

I understand your frustration, and I actually didn't comment in the Mefi thread because I didnt want to derail it. But it really was a lame post, even the poster finally did admit it

It was a rookie mistake, no big deal -- the "it's message board stuff" comment may be harsh but it's to the point
posted by matteo at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2002


Then don't participate in a chatty thread. Skip it. Ignore it. If you want, bring up a MeTa thread and discuss it's validity in there. DON'T post to threads that you feel don't belong.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:28 AM on August 29, 2002


It was more insensitive to the new poster to slam it in his face and sling mud on his thread.

Come on Zach.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:29 AM on August 29, 2002


Sorry, I didn't see where a whole thread was required, let alone raking anyone over the coals, as you're trying to do with me; and there was still plenty of time for "saving" the thread by posting some of the stuff ... stuff I asked for.

In this case, it's not a topic I know a whole lot about, so I wouldn't even know where to look for good links. By asking for better ones, how was I ending the viability of the thread? In fact, if there had been more appropriate material for discussion -- or an appropriate one framing the provided material -- I would gladly have participated. (My grandfather helped along the creation of standardized testing half a century ago.)

And I'm sorry, Zach, but I don't think it was a viable thread from the beginning; and I don't see how polite, helpful comments are the same as thread derailments. We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
posted by dhartung at 8:31 AM on August 29, 2002


, even the poster finally did admit it

I did not say that it was lame - if it was lame I wouldn't have posted it in the first place.

Agreed it could've used some more linkage. But the link posted was one instance of something that many see as a growing problem in education. And I wanted to talk about it in a broader context.




posted by Bernese Mountain Dog at 8:33 AM on August 29, 2002


Dhartung, you said in the thread - FIRST post:

"This is so tangential you're essentially cheating by posting a barely-related link so you can start an open-ended conversation."

That is questioning the validity of a thread inside the thread in question. It derailed the thread. You were calling Bernese a MeFi cheater. That belongs in MeTa. Not MeFi.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:34 AM on August 29, 2002


Miguel, the derailment happened before I posted, otherwise I wouldn't have needed to post to MeTa, so don't start saying, well you're partly to blame y'know cuz I'm not. It DID apply, because I went in there ready to talk about the topic in question, and others had posted before I did questioning whether or not the thread was done properly or belonged in MeFi at all and it's not their place to judge that.

i think miguel is right, zach. announcing "This thread is derailed" didn't help get the thread back on track at all. (not all wounds require amputation, after all.) mikel's comment had nothing to do with what dan said, and by making your announcement on only the fifth comment, you didn't give the thread a fighting chance to correct itself. though it may still.
posted by moz at 8:34 AM on August 29, 2002


Would it have been all that hard to just e-mail BMD saying, "hey, here's what could have been improved about the post. I know it was your first one, but maybe next time you can find some supplementary links and offer up a little more than just a broad topic to discuss." ? It seems like there are so many members here who get off on hounding people about why their posts are lame/weak/whatever. Instead of constructive criticism in a private manner, which I find preferrable, we instead have to drag yet another newbie into town square to be shackled and hit by rotten veggies. This only leads to resentment and the possibility of a new member being too dismayed to continue actively on MeFi. Seems pointless to me.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:34 AM on August 29, 2002


Personally, I thought dhartung's chastisement was fine. A bit touchy, but it seemed like tough love, not a bash.

Besides, how can you tell that a thread has been derailed after four posts? After your MeTa call-out, people have continued to comment, and it appears they're all on-topic. So maybe you should have shut up and waited to see what happened before jumping all over people.
On preview, what moz said, too.
posted by me3dia at 8:37 AM on August 29, 2002


I hate to put the cat amongst the pigeons Zach old chap, but the post was shite.

The place to say that is MetaTalk. The whole point of the etiquette forum is to provide a place for "is this post appropriate?" metacommentary. If you care enough about etiquette issues to raise an objection to a post, you should care enough to make your objection in the right place. If it isn't worth a post here, why is it worth derailing the thread?
posted by rcade at 8:39 AM on August 29, 2002


Moz: "i think miguel is right, zach. announcing "This thread is derailed" didn't help get the thread back on track at all"

I wasn't trying to get it back on track. I HAVE tried that in the past and so have others. It makes participating harder than it needs to be, and sometimes trying to save a derailed thread is a fruitless effort.

The point is it shouldn't have been derailed in the first place. It didn't have to be.

Sorry to use you as an example, Dhartung. I just see this every day and it's completely unnecessary. I'm not calling Dhartung on the carpet specifically. We're all guilty of this from time to time. I've probably even done it in the past. I'm sure someone could dig through the archives and call me on the carpet.

The point is this can be avoided if we just think before we post.

Matt put MeTa here to prevent this kind of thing from happening. Instead of complaining, try to fix the mistake by adding more viable links in your contribution, or if you can't personally fix what you think is wrong with a thread, move your complaints to MeTa. Think before you click the post button!

Look it's really simple, if you're writing a response and the thrust of your response is not talking about the topic in question but the thread specifically, you're talking MeFi etiquette, and that goes here. Just copypaste what you've said and move it to MeTa before posting. This is not rocket science, people.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:42 AM on August 29, 2002


Because if this were rocket science...
posted by dangerman at 8:44 AM on August 29, 2002


Dhartung's question/de-railment was polite and on the nail.

If a MeTa thread was started for every post not constructed to the 'rules' this place would be awful.

However if I had said "this thread is shite" in the thread, then that is unconstructive, rude and I would deserve a beating.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:44 AM on August 29, 2002


hey matt, to make it easier for all the whiney MeFiers, maybe every post to MeFi should automatically generate a post in MetaTalk.


I'm all about usability and I'd like to make it as easy to complain about EVERY.LITTLE.THING as possible, since that seems to be the whole purpose of the site now.

Come on dan, lets go get a burrito.
posted by Mick at 8:49 AM on August 29, 2002


Agreed it could've used some more linkage. But the link posted was one instance of something that many see as a growing problem in education. And I wanted to talk about it in a broader context.

I think this is worth pointing out.
posted by adampsyche at 8:49 AM on August 29, 2002


BURRITO TIME!
posted by dangerman at 8:51 AM on August 29, 2002


"...and I would deserve a beating."

Drop trou and bend over, frasermoo.
*brandishes wooden spoon and mischievous grin*
posted by debralee at 8:53 AM on August 29, 2002


And I third the motion for gorging ourselves in Mexican food. Pass the guac.
posted by adampsyche at 8:55 AM on August 29, 2002


Hmmmm you are female, I am male.

You live in Nova Scotia, and I grew up in Nova Scotia.

methinks this is meant to be.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:55 AM on August 29, 2002


Uh.. there is a kind of idiocy in saying 'Zach, by posting 'this thread is derailed', you're derailing the thread', when he's protesting the fact that someone else already did that.

Look, regardless of the *opinion* dhartung had of the thread's 'viability', it really isn't up to him to decide that viability for the hundreds of active users here.

If he had ideas (which, he posted) of how to improve the thread, or even the front page post, he could have e-mailed them to Bermese and said 'hey, man.. how about some extra links that relate better to where you're headed?'

And the point is - there shouldn't be a need for threads to 'correct themselves'. If people would refrain from this holier than thou crap ('Oh, I have soo much time to google links so my posts are soo much better than everyone elses' or 'This is for a message board'), and ignore them, maybe people who are interested won't have to try to 'save' the thread.

posted by rich at 8:56 AM on August 29, 2002


I'm hungry.
Because if this were rocket science...
BURRITO TIME!

dangerman, please don't do that.
posted by gleuschk at 8:56 AM on August 29, 2002


The point is it shouldn't have been derailed in the first place. It didn't have to be.

yes, zach. it didn't have to be. your announcement by the fifth comment was premature. it's been done in the past (probably by me), because i know people want to be good citizens and try to stop a thing from happening that they dislike. i feel you've done more harm than good here, zach.

it is a derailing thing to chime into a thread that there is a discussion on metatalk about it. imagine having a discussion in one room, knowing that in the other room, people were having a discussion not about a thing but about the people in that one room. that would bug me a lot. i don't think this metatalk thread is very helpful, zach. perhaps these sorts of reflective posts are better done as a retrospective, after the thread's discussion has petered out? (at least, meaningful discussion: which i do not believe you could have judged well by the fifth comment.)
posted by moz at 8:58 AM on August 29, 2002


If a MeTa thread was started for every post not constructed to the 'rules' this place would be awful.

But MetaFilter would be much improved. Why do we care if the etiquette forum is a pleasant experience?
posted by rcade at 8:58 AM on August 29, 2002


sometimes a thread is so bad, it warrants questioning it in the thread itself. No harm done, the moment I saw the thread I went for the delete button. I was actually glad to see the comments backed that up, it was bloody awful.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:59 AM on August 29, 2002


gleuschk I do as I please

01d 5kool3rs Ru13z


recognize
posted by dangerman at 9:01 AM on August 29, 2002


There was no reason to kill this discussion; it was turning into a decent conversation. There was no problem with the link offered as a kicking-off point for the discussion. Are there really people here who don't know how to use the Internet to find more information on a subject, if so inclined?

I'm so fucking tired of prissy little hall monitors who keep trying to tell the rest of us how to have a conversation. How many times have you seen a double post, the second of which takes on its own interesting direction, only to be derailed by some retard saying 'we already talked about this--we can't talk about it again--this should be deleted.' These are the people who wouldn't dare walk up to you in a room and tell you how to carry on a conversation (which is probably the point of these posts in the first place--some geek pussy who can't talk face-to-face with a human being gets to chew somebody out for not following 'net etiquette).
posted by troybob at 9:10 AM on August 29, 2002


saying 'double post' does grate.

i prefer 'also discussed here'

again, it's all in the delivery.
posted by Frasermoo at 9:12 AM on August 29, 2002


Welcome to MetaTalk, Troybob.
posted by rcade at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2002


The comment by thomas j wise, as well as a couple of others, are worth reading. It's great that Meta(lo)Filter allows users to read the deleted threads and be able to judge for themselves.

Remember those annoying days of:

"What? Where? Who? Hey guys - what was the thread about?"

"Well, Petrus 210 posted a link about the new Nokia, which in fact was released as late as last week and Telefunken_madchen said it sucked, prompting Almohadilla to tell everyone to go f*** themselves, which the MayoMan deplored, quoting Chomsky. Otherwise, it was fine and I have no idea why Matt deleted it"
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:26 AM on August 29, 2002


"Post more links memepool style now!" is the new "Double post!" I don't know if dhartung derailed that thread but he sure set up it up to be derailed. Got a question? Ask google.
posted by skallas at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2002


Mick nailed it. MeFites like to complain and criticize first and foremost. And like most "virtual" communities, they do it in a rude, overly indignat and superior manner they would not likely dare if it were real world. You'd think it was their site, or that they were paying for access.

By my observations tho, matt seems to groove on this so take this with a grain of salt.

I've myself have come to think that if Matt took the trouble to explain (briefly) by back channel, why he was deleting the post, to the poster, that behavior could be modified far more effectively than what passes for crowd control around here. Think coach/referee instead of executioner.
posted by BentPenguin at 9:28 AM on August 29, 2002


These are the people who wouldn't dare walk up to you in a room and tell you how to carry on a conversation (which is probably the point of these posts in the first place--some geek pussy who can't talk face-to-face with a human being gets to chew somebody out for not following 'net etiquette).

You wouldn't likely be told how to converse at a cocktail party but you might at a debating club. This may not be a debating club, but it ain't a cocktail party either.
posted by timeistight at 9:28 AM on August 29, 2002


I'm gonna start a MetaTalk thread about a perfectly fine post on the front page, see if I can get enough people to complain about it, and then get matt to delet the MetaFilter thread.

who's with me?

RIDE!
posted by Mick at 9:31 AM on August 29, 2002


Begun this bitch war has.
posted by dangerman at 9:34 AM on August 29, 2002


Post criticism and hijacking like this is so easy it's almost barbaric. Jumping in with such vitriol within the first few posts without offering anything to improve the thread seems to only fulfill a personal need. It seems to reveal a lack of impulse control or maybe the need to try to embarass someone openly. Ironic that it's veiled as an attempt to improve Metafilter. I doubt if comments regarding your assessment of what makes a viable post is needed so early in thread. Polite, helpful comments they aren't, we wouldn't be here now if they were. Next time, while you're deciding how to formulate your criticism, look for a few links, if you don't think you'll be able to find any, ask yourself why you're bothering with the thread in the first place.

The thread that never happened has been deleted, whose happy?

MetaFilter: Respect The Link
posted by yonderboy at 9:41 AM on August 29, 2002


The thread that never happened has been deleted, whose happy?

My happy. Matt's happy. Our happy. Not your happy?
posted by timeistight at 9:50 AM on August 29, 2002


"Post criticism and hijacking like this is so easy it's almost barbaric. Jumping in with such vitriol

Thanks for pointing that out.

Actually as someone new here, I was beginning to believe that vitriol was the norm. I didn't think dhartung's comments were polite or constructive in any way.

What part of...
"This is so tangential you're essentially cheating "
is polite? If anything it is a rude accussation.



posted by Bernese Mountain Dog at 9:51 AM on August 29, 2002


The grammar police may now take a bow, but check again, no one's applauding.
posted by yonderboy at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2002


Lighten up, yonderboy. If I can't pull somebody's leg over a typo then the terrorists have already won.
posted by timeistight at 10:00 AM on August 29, 2002


dhartung in the infamous deleted thread - "Um, could you post some sources about student evaluation using exams, term papers, etc., or alternative evaluation methods? "

BMD, those are good suggestions. Now you have a choice: you can dismiss dhartung (and Matt by consequence of deletion) as Big Rude Meanies, or you can accept that there is a standard that your original post didn't live up to. I'd like to see it posted again, only with a focus and support.
posted by Wulfgar! at 10:04 AM on August 29, 2002


sometimes a thread is so bad, it warrants questioning it in the thread itself. No harm done, the moment I saw the thread I went for the delete button. I was actually glad to see the comments backed that up, it was bloody awful.

Matt, you are derailing the MeTa thread. This is a discussion of Dhartung's bad behaviour as viewed through the undermedicated eyes of ZachsMind. If you want to discuss how much a deleted thread sucked, please start a new thread on MeFi summarizing the suckage. You know, maybe you should lurk awhile before you start posting back here... to get the feel for the place.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:07 AM on August 29, 2002


timeistight, your anal-retentive grammar checking compulsion is showing, but your sense of humor showed up late...now that's funny ;)

'or the terrorists have already won'...the new sturgeon's law?
posted by yonderboy at 10:19 AM on August 29, 2002


Eep. Wow, aren't we touchy today.
Matt - is there any way you can put the text of the original post at the top of each comments_deleted.mefi page, the way it is in the blue metafilter? That way deleted threads referred to in Metatalk can be seen in context.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2002


Wulfgar!.. that's what they are.. suggestions. Suggestions that would have done wonders in a private e-mail, not in the comments thread of a post.

The point Zach made was valid.. that the discussion would have begun right away, (as it had started to after all the offtopic commentation), and shown its value without and additional links needed, but I'm sure many new links would have been provided.

But that discussion didn't have a chance because someone decided *for the rest of the users* that, *in their opinion*, the thread and associate link weren't viable.

Now, unless it's an obvious double post (and by such virtue being terribly out of date), like the tomato throwing one (which was probably added because they saw it on the TV news last night), I don't get where people feel they need to jump in and give their opinion on the validity of a front page post within the comment thread.

Don't think it's valid? Move the fuck along and let the rest of us decide for ourselves.
posted by rich at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2002


All I can say is that the thread started off with something more at home on an email list than this site. A big chunk of the guidelines are devoted to spelling out that posts shouldn't just be generalized questions posed to the audience, and while it did derail the discussion for Dan to post what he did, and he might have done it in a nicer way, the advice in it is spot on.

There's obviously some balance, not every post needs to be memepool-etic, but if you're going to post opinion or pose questions, it generally helps to have supporting links for those side tangents, and the main link that elicited the post in the first place should stand on its own as something worthy of the site.

The post fails in all regards, and whether or not dan did the right thing is moot, the thing was headed for the dumpster anyway.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:38 AM on August 29, 2002


I miss CrazyUncleJoe. I wish he would post more often. not to derail or anything.
posted by whatnot at 10:42 AM on August 29, 2002


I miss how we used to have Hawaiian shirt night.
posted by dangerman at 10:59 AM on August 29, 2002


MetaFilter: Respect The Link

Best. Tagline. EVER.

(disclaimer: not necessarily applicable to this post, which I never saw and therefore cannot comment upon.)
posted by rushmc at 11:06 AM on August 29, 2002


Suggestions that would have done wonders in a private e-mail, not in the comments thread of a post.

That may be true, but BMD has no email address listed on his profile page -- a trend that is increasing. You can't call someone out if you don't have contact info. Whaddya want us to do, email Matt and ask for the member's address every time we have a complaint?
posted by me3dia at 11:23 AM on August 29, 2002


You can't call someone out if you don't have contact info

Me3dia: perhaps this is not the place, but what exactly does "calling out" mean? Is it like saying someone is out of line? A sports analogy? Is it challenging someone publicly? Is it spilling the beans? Is it subjecting someone's questionable behaviour to the judgement of the community? Is it denouncing or can it contain an element of doubt ("Explain yourself"). Can you call someone out in private? In an e-mail?

Does it have anything to do with "good call"? These are genuine questions from a baffled foreigner, awaiting some kind and patient soul to explain. Calling out some kind and patient soul? Could I say this?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:36 AM on August 29, 2002


Wulfgar!.. that's what they are.. suggestions. Suggestions that would have done wonders in a private e-mail, not in the comments thread of a post.

I didn't offer an opinion about that one way or the other. What I was reacting to was the tired and defensive cry of the picked-on newbie "They're bein' mean to me". I really didn't find dhartung's comments to be that rude or out of the ordinary. Almost every thread begins with a few comments that joke, or grammer-correct, or clarify, or help focus the unclear for the poster (sometimes very rudely). We've all seen that those do NOT necessarily derail a thread, but most have been called out in MetaTalk before. This thread was a wash from the second it started because of its nature as a "whatchathink" post, not because dhartung was rude. To be honest, I think he was a damnsite more polite and helpful than many have been before him. Picking on how rude he was as a defense for a bad post really does attempt to derail this thread, which I assume to be about where those call-outs are appropriately placed.

posted by Wulfgar! at 11:38 AM on August 29, 2002


"Jane you ignorant slut."

Dhartung called Burmese a cheater. How can y'all read into that "oh it's not all that bad I think he was going easy on the guy." Sheesh!

Mathowie: "sometimes a thread is so bad, it warrants questioning it in the thread itself. No harm done..."

What is the point of having guidelines if they're not consistent? So now Matt's saying it's okay "sometimes" to derail threads? WTF? What criteria? Does it depend on who you are? Whether you call someone a cheater or use harsher words?

I fought you Matt on having rules in here a long time ago. I told you policing this place was a bad idea, but I finally acquiesced cuz it's not my place. Your sandbox. Your rules. Fine. But you keep changing the rules to fit your fancy, and then you wonder why people don't follow them? How can they keep it straight? Especially the newbies. How can they get their 'first post' remotely right if we vets can't keep the rules straight? If YOU can't keep them straight?

So maybe this is it:

If I have a problem with a thread, or a comment in a thread, I have to take it to MetaTalk politely or just keep my mouth shut and not make waves cuz I suck.

If Dhartung has a problem with a thread or wants to call someone a cheater or question their manhood, he can opt to derail the MeFi thread directly cuz he's some god or sumphin.

Why? Cuz he puts out and I don't? What's the story here?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:44 AM on August 29, 2002


"They're bein' mean to me".

Bullshit! If you didn't find the latter part of dhartung's comments to be rude and accusatory that's your opinion and you have a different standard. But don't put words in my mouth.


posted by Bernese Mountain Dog at 11:45 AM on August 29, 2002


I find all of this strangely familiar.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:51 AM on August 29, 2002


OK, this is what dhartung posted:

Um, could you post some sources about student evaluation using exams, term papers, etc., or alternative evaluation methods? This is so tangential you're essentially cheating by posting a barely-related link so you can start an open-ended conversation.

the first sentence is a request, with actual suggestions that would have enriched the post. The second is telling you that, as it is, the post is a badly disguised "what do you think about plagiarizing?" The "cheating" reference, as I see it, is a harmless little joke about cheating in exams.

I wish first comments would be this constructive (i.e. he clearly would like to discuss the issue).

You, BMG, replied:

Sorry dhartung - I wasn't intending on starting an open-ended conversation - just a discussion on current methods of imparting an education and evaluating a student based on that system. Hopefully with some intelligent and reasonable conclusions at the end.

If you apologized, why now go on and on about how rude he was? Why ask for the thread to be deleted and now, all of a sudden, jump to its defense? Isn't that a little incoherent?

You know, I've been pussy-footin' round this as well, as you're a newbie and all. But yours was a shite post - lazy and hackneyed - and you're lucky you didn't get the usual MetaFilter treatment. Believe me, it's not always this sweet. For newbies or oldies.

You need to grow some skin quickly, BMG. If you can't handle polite criticism such as dhartung's now, then you should be warned (again) it gets much worse and less polite.

Don't push your luck. BMG, is my sincere, friendly advice.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:01 PM on August 29, 2002


I saw it and did not post as I knew it was more for a personal blog than a community blog. It could have been rectified with more links. Yet it did sound more like a chat room question. Not the article the wording of the post. Also I'm probably wrong yet wouldn't that post have been suited better in MetaTalk if worded better. Why my 2 cents as when I read the post I thought of Zach and his words to me. Create a blog, Thom.

And to Bernese Mountain Dog, first welcome, you have been officially pancaked. And if you felt you were pointed at, well I have viewed worse. You may want to thicken your skin, winter is approaching. Why I say I have a history here. It is also why most read Meta-Talk, don't take it personal, and you will be the real winner here. Think of being here not as key words, your punishment but a Meta-series, I do. Meta has a learning curve and the answers are not spelled out, unless there was an extra fee for the rule book.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2002


Dhartung's comment might seem a little rude, BMD, but after you've been here a while, you'll see that by our standards he was practically polite.

perhaps this is not the place, but what exactly does "calling out" mean? Is it like saying someone is out of line? A sports analogy?

A Western analogy. "Wyatt Earp, I'm calling you out!"
posted by rcade at 12:07 PM on August 29, 2002


It used to be the phrase used to challenge someone to a gunfight. It's kinda evolved (at least here) into what yuo say when you just can't hold back that righteous indignation any longer.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2002


Damit, I should of let my buddy do the talking, I think the folks will agree. :) Thanks Mig. and you too, rcade since I previewed before posting this time.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2002


MiguelCardoso thanks for the advice - I was sorry about his interpretation of my intent - namely to start an open-ended conversation. I didn't want to respond to the "cheating" bit (with something equally rude or funny as you interpret it) as I didn't think it would serve the thread any. It was only when some comments on this topic appeared to the effect that he was being polite that I responded. Thanks again for the advice though and I will keep it in mind. And it's BMD asshole.

posted by Bernese Mountain Dog at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2002


Bernese, I'm awfully sorry you found my comments rude and accusatory, but they were not intended that way.

Zach: If this is your way of not personalizing criticism, I can't imagine what it would be like if you really had a problem with me.

Here is my advice on what makes a good post, and stavros's, both from very recent threads.

Ah. On preview, I find BMD is calling Miguel "asshole" for messing up the acronym. I believe I can safely say that your skin ain't thick enough for this place.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 PM on August 29, 2002


And it's BMD asshole.

And thus was lost any benefit of any doubt. Pity.
posted by frykitty at 12:18 PM on August 29, 2002


And it's BMD asshole.

And thus was lost any benefit of any doubt. Pity.


And how thick is your skin today? That was meant as a joke.


posted by Bernese Mountain Dog at 12:21 PM on August 29, 2002


That was meant as a joke.

To a person you've had little or no contact with, in a contentious thread? Bad choice of context.
posted by frykitty at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2002


I think this thread's participants now officially can be deemed a "tough crowd". You may attempt to joke, but it may also experience some derailment...
posted by websavvy at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2002


MiguelCardosoThe "cheating" reference, as I see it, is a harmless little joke about cheating in exams.

frykitty To a person you've had little or no contact with, in a contentious thread? Bad choice of context.

Exactly my point.


posted by Bernese Mountain Dog at 12:28 PM on August 29, 2002


I believe all jokes should be laughed at, no matter how unfunny or rude, no matter how vague or unclear, no matter how outlandish or inane.

What was this thread about?
posted by daveadams at 12:29 PM on August 29, 2002


Can someone else lend me their scorecard?
posted by vacapinta at 12:31 PM on August 29, 2002


Zach: What is the point of having guidelines if they're not consistent?

The guidelines are just that: guidelines, not rules. Rules are strict, guidelines lay some groundwork of how generally you should behave. Once in a very blue moon, it's ok to self-post on the front page of the site, sometimes it's ok to make a long post on the front page, if the link warrants it. Once in a while, an image inline in a thread is appropriate. It's up to everyone to decide for themselves when and what is appropriate, and there are some rough guidelines to help steer people the right way.

Again, I agree that Dan derailed the thread a bit (it had a big reaction in the thread), but I don't fault him for it, as the post was going to be axed on its own merits anyway, regardless of whether dan posted or not.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:31 PM on August 29, 2002


What was this thread about?

This thread was about how people should participate in the posted thread as given or ignore it.

Given that this post was conceived in irritation and raised in accusation, no one ignored it.

Also, there are rules, and there are guidelines.
posted by Darth Vader at 12:34 PM on August 29, 2002


BMD: I don't know if you realize this, but in losing Miguel's sympathy you've managed to lose the support of the most sympathetic MeFite currently working. Miguel hates it when threads are deleted and always gives folks (especially new folks) the benefit of the doubt.

Off topic: Wouldn't Bernese Mountain God be a great user name?
posted by timeistight at 12:38 PM on August 29, 2002


what exactly does "calling out" mean?

Well, I was going to respond, but others have already done so. Thanks, guys.
I suppose a call-out has a public aspect to it, so a private challenge (such as an email) wouldn't be a call-out.


Exactly my point.

I see your point and raise you another: Two wrongs don't make a right.
Playing tit-for-tat and claiming the other guy started it certainly isn't going to help.
posted by me3dia at 12:38 PM on August 29, 2002


Sorry, BMD - why was I thinking of the evil Bertelsmans empire? And, btw, I did laugh at your asshole joke, as it played off the respectful tone of your comment. It's funny, as in "Your comments are greatly appreciated, fuckwit". Unexpectedness is a valuable resource in humour. Here's looking at your next post! (asshole) :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:40 PM on August 29, 2002


Me-Talk is way better than any soap opera or sitcom. I nominate this one for Best Whine-fest.


posted by mischief at 1:00 PM on August 29, 2002


Exactly my point.

Dan's been a member for a really really long time, and for the most part, people know him and know what to expect from him. Regardless of how long you've been lurking, your voice and style are not known to the general populace.

It's your responsibility as a new member to know the regulars, not the other way around.

(and no, you shouldn't know me, so take whatever offense you like)
posted by cCranium at 1:13 PM on August 29, 2002


....i got this one for calling holgate a challenged 'Gladestone'. This one for calling rcade a "putterer of vice" and this one for calling lia "sweetheart". Oh this neat one, near the groin, is where des beste responded to me after calling him a "pirate without a crew, a sailor with no ship". This limp and slight wheez?, a well placed jab from Dhart. (he warned me though) Miguel sent some roses and a fine couplet and how the movie industry has promoted the use of beef for covering black eyes (good cites, 'little rascals', some old tom mix shorts) crassapator is simply gonna beat me silly. (i like silly) ccranium simply wrote me off the x-mas card list. (damn those indigo snowmen are nice)
and the one from matt is here nex....
posted by clavdivs at 1:32 PM on August 29, 2002


So I shouldn't do a MeTa post about that really really shitty Spirit Foam post on MeFi, which had no supporting links or context and was obviously written by a 15k person who shouldn't be able to post?

or should I call them out in the thread itself? ; >

posted by amberglow at 2:35 PM on August 29, 2002


This one for calling rcade a "putterer of vice"

As I've just passed my 1 year anniversary 'round these parts, I can warn you that there are the veterans, there are the newbies, and then there's clavdivs, who really is a grouping of one...
posted by jalexei at 2:48 PM on August 29, 2002


So I shouldn't do a MeTa post about that really really shitty Spirit Foam post on MeFi, which had no supporting links or context and was obviously written by a 15k person who shouldn't be able to post?

If you ever click on the MeFi "3 years ago" link on the sidebar, you will find that most Front Page Posts looked exactly like that Spirit Foam post from today. I am not saying all FPPs should be that way, but that it's only been the last year or so that FPPs have become such multi-linked, encyclopedic affairs.
posted by whatnot at 2:52 PM on August 29, 2002


and then there's clavdivs, who really is a grouping of one...

Ave Imperator ...

posted by Wulfgar! at 2:54 PM on August 29, 2002


Um ... look at what Wulfgar! did. Shaolin Meta-Fu.
posted by footballrabi at 3:00 PM on August 29, 2002


so, whatnot (or anybody), what is happening here?

why is there all this calling-out lately and derailing with pissyness, and deletion of some posts but not others, etc? Is it a defensive huddle (but one that's not even by original members)?

Zach has a really good point IMHO...

and Wulfgar-hysterical!!
posted by amberglow at 3:14 PM on August 29, 2002


so, whatnot (or anybody), what is happening here?

I would guess it's the usual bout of growing pains that always happens when membership is opened. But that's just a guess. I didn't graph it in Excel or anything.
posted by frykitty at 3:17 PM on August 29, 2002


You've been here a month, amberglow, so I think it's beginning to be time for you to stop whining about being new here. No one really even notices that someone's new unless they post some crap link, or call attention to the fact themselves. And as far as meanness and pissy-ness being a new phenom? Have you looked through the archives? It's actually pretty civil around here compared to times past.
posted by evanizer at 3:28 PM on August 29, 2002


evanizer, I was wondering when I stopped being a newbie (now I know darling-thanks)....and I didn't think I was whining about being new, but agreeing with Zach's post, and pointing out how it was a selective phenomenon.

And as far as meanness and pissy-ness being a new phenom? Have you looked through the archives?
So that's where you learned it?
posted by amberglow at 3:40 PM on August 29, 2002


amber, were you being serious about the foam post?

The site being discussed was new and novel, it had never been mentioned before, and I threw a little whimsy in. I don't see a single guideline breaker there.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:14 PM on August 29, 2002


and Wulfgar-hysterical!!

In that case, I might have failed. I like being considered a practitioner of Shoalin Meta-fu, but my point was pretty simple. If you have a post that interests you and you lay it out in the blue poorly, don't stop trying. If its a double post, don't blame the search feature; shrug and go on. If you didn't focus and it gets deleted, REPOST the damn thing in a form that supports the general values of the site. If more people comment, great on you. If less people comment, great on you as well.

Quite simply put: I don't think that anyone should care as much about what people have to say about what they post, as they should whether or not they think people will THINK about what they post. No, there is no way to grade that. But if you're fishing for response, you need to do it elsewhere, 'cause some Mefi user is gonna rain woe on you, and that's more than most "fisher-persons" can take.

I invited BMD to repost the topic. He didn't. So I did it for him. I would hope that he appreciates that. And if it, too, gets deleted then we know it wasn't worth posting, yes?

posted by Wulfgar! at 4:16 PM on August 29, 2002


If you need a parallel with the school cheating post, imagine if I posted the foam link, and simply asked everyone why jocks and cheerleaders were more popular than geeks and nerds.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:16 PM on August 29, 2002


mat, It was a joke about your post, while hopefully also making a point about many recent MeTa threads and agreeing with Zach's point--i would NEVER post a MeTa thread about any bad post because I can skip right over it and ignore it....(you guys can all shit on me in the future if I do and then I'll know it's time not to be here anymore)--also, when whatnot responded that most posts to MeFi were simpler in the past, it made me wonder more about recent threads here in MeTa....

and I think wulfgar! hit on something concerning this that I could use here in MeTa:
If you have a post that interests you and you lay it out in the blue poorly, don't stop trying. If its a double post, don't blame the search feature; shrug and go on. If you didn't focus and it gets deleted, REPOST the damn thing in a form that supports the general values of the site. If more people comment, great on you. If less people comment, great on you as well.

Who knew that was possible or allowed? I thought wulfgar! was being clever yet not obnoxious by reposting the same thing differently instead of just pissing in the thread or here....this is the kind of thing that I could use here in MeTa, and I believe many people as well...

And that said, I think that if you weren't you, Matt, that post would've been pissed on...given what I've been reading here this past month (and lurk-reading before that)...just my impression...

and more like that wulfgar!--please



posted by amberglow at 4:35 PM on August 29, 2002


And that said, I think that if you weren't you, Matt, that post would've been pissed on...given what I've been reading here this past month (and lurk-reading before that)...just my impression...

I disagree. To me that was a good post: a link to something I hadn't seen before with just enough verbiage to make it intriguing.

I think you're confused about the supporting links issue, amberglow. I think if you're going to post a link to a breaking news story in the NY Times ("Lindbergh Baby Kidnapped"), then I think people will expect you to try to add some value to it. But if you find a neat website run by Leprechauns, I don't you need to hold back just because you don't have links to Elf, Troll and Fairy sites.
posted by timeistight at 4:50 PM on August 29, 2002


The greatness of MetaFilter: Matt steps in to defend a post of his to a newbie. :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:50 PM on August 29, 2002


thanks time, that did clear it up for me (and i think others too)...
I actually do have a fun find to post but i'm waiting a bit....

and Miguel, I know!!!--I thought he was gonna throw me out or something (like the great and powerful Oz) !
posted by amberglow at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2002


Again, I agree that Dan derailed the thread a bit (it had a big reaction in the thread), but I don't fault him for it, as the post was going to be axed on its own merits anyway

This seems to run counter to your previous condemnations of "shit-on-the-soon-to-be-deleted-thread" parties.... Is it a question of degree? Intent? Both?
posted by rushmc at 6:57 PM on August 29, 2002


But Dan's comment was constructive, not pancakes and haiku. I like the purpose of MeTa, but must Matt's every move follow some elaborate procedural structure, in manner of Congressional Rules of Order?
posted by onlyconnect at 7:24 PM on August 29, 2002


Rush: I think what Matt really hates (and I realize I'm out of my depth and probably out of order too) and constitutes his one rule are posts that can't be appreciated without reading the thread. The link has to be good and the way it's presented has to be true to the link. That was and is the unique quality of MetaFilter.

Theoretically, you should be able to read the posts and the links and get something out of them, without proceeding to the discussion. If there is a discussion, it doesn't matter if it's brief or lame. Ideally, it's good and leads to other links and topics - but this isn't a necessary condition.

What he hates is duplication - the sort of post (mailing lists, usenet, chatterboxes) which already exists elsewhere. So any post which can be reduced to "What do you think of X?", where X isn't interesting as a link (a read, a find) in itself, is less welcome.

He probably enjoys discussions as much as anyone but MetaFilter is a two-level affair, where the link comes first. However fascinating the topic for discussion is ("cheating in exams" always is) it must come second. And it can only come second if the all-important link(s) come(s) first.

It's a priority thing - and that's why BMD's post was condemned from the start, imo. There's no there there. So no "there, there" consolation is justified.

That's my interpretation, anyway, fwiw.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:47 PM on August 29, 2002


amber is starting to remind me of bunnyfire...
posted by mkelley at 8:42 PM on August 29, 2002


mkelley - Probably not too cool to talk about somebody who was kicked off the site and can't respond to your comments.
posted by willnot at 9:02 PM on August 29, 2002


I'm having a hell of a time justifying why I've spent the last twenty minutes reading this thread.

God I love metafilter.

Speaking of "getting kicked off". Was bluetrain 86'd?
posted by crasspastor at 9:19 PM on August 29, 2002


willnot, she has a blog where she comment about people and MeFi, last updated about a month ago. She still has a voice. Uncool or not, my comments were more about the posting style instead of anything else. IMHO, it wasn't a dig at BF or amberglow, just an observation.
posted by mkelley at 9:21 PM on August 29, 2002


why is there all this calling-out lately and derailing with pissyness, and deletion of some posts but not others, etc? Is it a defensive huddle (but one that's not even by original members)?

Maybe we should start settling them with guns again, eh?

Matt steps in to defend a post of his to a newbie.

Maybe a howitzer and a gun, then.

Oh, and I miss Bluetrain too.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:25 PM on August 29, 2002


Ourt beat is the web, not the world, even though, as the web covers the world, we will discuss everything.
posted by liam at 12:03 AM on August 30, 2002


Why guidelines, not rules: Plinth wants to discuss an article that isn't online, but adds interesting background material. Sheauga (as ever), and others, all add lots more. Cool.
posted by liam at 12:25 AM on August 30, 2002


I found this and realized the problem here. I've seen it before. People couldn't argue Steven's points, so they argued him down using semantics. Not WHAT he said but HOW he said it.

What started this particular thread here, was that Bernese Mountain Dog put up a MeFi Front Page Post that had a good topic but a bad link. There was no question that the topic he wanted to discuss was a problem. It was HOW he expressed himself. That it didn't fit the criteria of this site, or more specifically the vague requirements of some members of this community.

Way too often, the community of MeFi insults individuals like they're a bunch of juvenile delinquents loitering on the street. NOT regarding the topic, but regarding the delivery. It's a classic way to shut someone down by changing the subject. If you can't argue their points, you put their fashion choices into question, or make fun of their hair.

Insult their mother.

Maybe the problem isn't etiquette. Maybe MeFi itself is designed incorrectly to serve as a forum for intelligent discussion about what's available on the Web.

If twenty-five students fail a test in a classroom, the problem isn't with the twenty-five students, but with the one teacher. If there's a consistent failure rate among students of a particular teacher, it means the teacher isn't teaching properly. It doesn't mean all the kids are stupid.

Someone walks on a stage but as he climbs the steps the steps are uneven, and he trips on the last step, causing him to fall in front of the audience. Naturally, the audience laughs at him. If this only happens once, we can assume that one performer to be a klutz. But if a lot of people trip on that step, maybe the problem isn't with the performers, but with the guy who built the stage.

Either MeFi's guidelines & even engineering needs to be reconsidered, or failing that, Matt's gonna have to shut down everyone from having posting privileges, except for the precious few he deems worthy. The few people who will know about the tripping steps he inadvertently engineered leading to the stage.

I don't care if he removes my Front Page Posting privileges. I don't post to the front page anymore anyway. It's simply not worth the hassle. Just today, I was gonna post this site on MeFi's front page but thought better of it, because I'm sure someone somewhere would have found something wrong with it.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:45 AM on August 30, 2002


ZachsMind: I found something wrong with it. It's a bad link.

Is this what you had in mind?
posted by bingo at 2:35 AM on August 30, 2002


someone somewhere would have found something wrong with it.

Isn't that kinda the point of discussion?

posted by crasspastor at 3:55 AM on August 30, 2002


I don't care if he removes my Front Page Posting privileges. I don't post to the front page anymore anyway. It's simply not worth the hassle. Just today, I was gonna post this site on MeFi's front page but thought better of it, because I'm sure someone somewhere would have found something wrong with it.

You say that like it's a problem. I don't see any way that Metafilter remains readable without a little fear about misusing the front page. Otherwise, there's no reason for people to show any restraint.
posted by rcade at 5:51 AM on August 30, 2002


I think everyone who posts news links should be banned from posting to the front page.

Also, being here a long time does not mean that you are a good judge of what is good or bad, or that your comments have more value than someone else's.

Jonmc and myself excluded, of course.

Maybe a good idea would be to require everyone to have a link to their e-mail address for members to send them mail. It could be a form mail page, so people couldn't farm the addresses.

Maybe I'll post this as a metatalk discussion.
posted by rich at 6:21 AM on August 30, 2002


I think polite, gentle suggestions about guideline violations (ideally only after inserting an interesting comment or two about the post's content) are going to become more and more essential in threads themselves as MeFi grows. The surge in new members resulted in a surge of bad posts, which was met with a surge in comments in the threads themselves as a correction, since many newbies didn't seem to get some of the, well, absolute basics of the site. I dunno about anyone else, but from here the surge in bad posts seems to have died back considerably in the past week. So maybe it's time for the surge in comments in threads about bad posts to die back, too. The whole thing seems like a pretty organic process to me -- i.e., success.

posted by mediareport at 6:32 AM on August 30, 2002


What started this particular thread here, was that Bernese Mountain Dog put up a MeFi Front Page Post that had a good topic but a bad link. There was no question that the topic he wanted to discuss was a problem.

ZachsMind, you are re-writing history, my friend. There was absolutely nothing wrong with BMD's link. It was a timely article about Internet based plagiarism. The total problem with the post was that it HAD NO topic, or perhaps too many if you wish. "People steal papers ... Gee what do you think of grading and school?". That quite clearly DOESN'T fit the criteria of the site, as is spelled out in the guidelines. You're the one trying to make this about some members. And yet you also want to use this as an indictment of the entire community? Pick your path, Zach. Is it that some pissy members have too much control, or are you attacking the "how" of Metafilter (hypocritically, I might add)? You have me very confused.

There is one complaint you have that I agree with. If there are too many people failing to make up-to-snuff front page posts, then we do have an education problem around here. So teach them, don't make excuses for them. I just walked the walk to back the talk, how about you?
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:42 AM on August 30, 2002


Way too often, the community of MeFi insults individuals like they're a bunch of juvenile delinquents loitering on the street. NOT regarding the topic, but regarding the delivery. It's a classic way to shut someone down by changing the subject. If you can't argue their points, you put their fashion choices into question, or make fun of their hair.

i'm sorry, zach; i don't see how the community of MeFi acts any differently than any other group of people. isn't this how most argue? maybe you shouldn't have expected this site to be any different: there's no magic "rationality" pill you're required to swallow, after all. if mefi ever seemed other than what it is now, then it was lucky for a time.

as for steven, i won't forget this or this. if steven is a victim of anything, it is of himself.

Just today, I was gonna post this site on MeFi's front page but thought better of it, because I'm sure someone somewhere would have found something wrong with it.

the site seemed fine to me, zach. if you have no bad intentions, your site should be received just fine: if not, then either you goofed something up (and can apologize) or the others who sniped at your threads are simply assholes. however the scenario shakes out, you have nothing to lose. that's how i think when i post a thread, and it works pretty well for myself. confidence, my man.
posted by moz at 8:26 AM on August 30, 2002


If there are too many people failing to make up-to-snuff front page posts, then we do have an education problem around here. So teach them, don't make excuses for them.

Agreed. The problem with ignoring bad-but-not-delete-worthy posts completely is that they set an example for a lot of other posters. And the problem with the "Take all criticisms, no matter how small or gentle, to MeTa" is, well, MeTa itself. Why are there only 5 posts allowed at a time on the MeTa home page? Matt's made it pretty clear that he doesn't want MeTa flooded with posts, hasn't he?
posted by mediareport at 8:32 AM on August 30, 2002


I don't see any way that Metafilter remains readable without a little fear about misusing the front page. Otherwise, there's no reason for people to show any restraint.

I understand your point, but that seems an extremely negative way of looking at it. I don't think we have to cow the ignorant little buggers into posting well; I think we can show people how and engender the same desire in everyone to find interesting links and post them to the (high) standards of the site. Metafilter could not exist in its current form if its users didn't feel a sense of ownership and resulting desire to do the right thing. It is the level of this feeling--and resulting commitment--that I think separates it from all other sites. So long as we treat new users with suspicion, as troublemakers or annoyances that must be beaten until they conform, we are going to propagate a feeling of resentment at such patronizing and generate an ugly backlash, rather than the healthy community development we desire.
posted by rushmc at 9:20 AM on August 30, 2002


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