How long is too long? April 17, 2019 12:49 PM   Subscribe

While catching up with the latest politics megathread, I was surprised to see this mod note from LobsterMitten: [Note about post drafts - putting here so people will see it, but happy to talk it over more in email, will email some of the recent posters. Please keep the posts on the shorter side, maybe 1000 words or that neighborhood. Thanks.] As a longtime crafter of megaposts, I don't think I've ever seen official mod guidance to cut them (relatively) short in this way. Posts have been edited for leaving too much above the fold, but I can think of only a handful of incidents where the post body itself got official pushback for being Too Long -- and those largely involved novella-sized posts with length-induced display errors (really) or blanket copy-pasting a website's contents. Is LobsterMitten's advice targeted at the political megathreads only -- perhaps for performance reasons -- or should it be construed more broadly? I happen to think a well-organized megapost is the best of MeFi and a feature few vid- and listicle-driven sites can match, and in the case of the politics threads specifically they're a fine example of community collaboration that provide a valuable curated record of this chaotic era. But what do you think?
posted by Rhaomi to Etiquette/Policy at 12:49 PM (56 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I think the current megathread is over 5000 words, so adding a guideline of <1000 seems like a pretty significant change (full disclosure: I sometimes contribute to the megathread drafts, and I often strive to include lesser-known or -seen stories).
posted by box at 12:52 PM on April 17


I have a feeling that the request to not go over-long with the mega-posts might be a new request, motivated by the fantasmagorically titanic nature of the political megathreads as of late.

In other words - maybe we haven't seen this before because prior to this we hadn't needed it before, and someone finally decided that we do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:52 PM on April 17 [7 favorites]


I also think they're a great historical record and much better coverage, actually, than pretty much any other place on the internet of journalism. It's a unique coordinated cooperative effort in a sea of Reddit bullshit, and exemplifies the best of what metafilter is on the internet, and to its members and indeed the world.
posted by odinsdream at 12:58 PM on April 17 [25 favorites]


My note was specifically about the potus45 threads, and yes motivated by the increasingly large threads. It's about a few things:
1.) performance issues -- This is the most immediate. People already have a hard time loading those threads, it will go better if we're not starting off with 5700 word posts with hundreds of links.

2.) wiki-driven expansion -- the collaborative wiki composition process tends to lengthen posts since multiple people add stuff but people don't always feel like they can cut things without hurting feelings, so it just gets longer and longer.

3.) publicly resetting expectations -- I want to push back on the unspoken expectation that's getting reinforced, that "the bigger the better" and that these potus45 threads are required to be absolutely comprehensive. I don't think that's accurate, and having that be the perception prevents people posting new potus45 threads when it might be good to, and prevents people posting separate threads on topics that should just get their own thread.

In general I want people to start feeling they can split off separate topics into their own discussion threads, in the once-traditional mefi way. The main thread should be mainly for specifically Trump stuff.

If there's a great link on a little-known but important story, that should probably get its own thread. If a post contains roundups on ten topics, that each include ten to thirty links and a bunch of research, many of those should just be separate posts.

Now in tandem with this I want to say: I very much appreciate all the effort people have put into these. You're great; this has been a ton of hard unrewarding work during a very difficult time and I seriously thank you. The past posts are great.

But this nudge is about how to channel that energy when composing future posts.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:03 PM on April 17 [34 favorites]


This seems like a new policy decision direction than what I thought was the idea behind the potus45 tag: to be *the one* megathread that's active at a time about The Situation We Find Ourselves In, You Know The One.

Is that correct or am I misunderstanding the existing policy?
posted by odinsdream at 1:05 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


performance issues -- This is the most immediate. People already have a hard time loading those threads, it will go better if we're not starting off with 5700 word posts with hundreds of links.

I wondered if this was an issue. That does make sense.
posted by jedicus at 1:06 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


But what do you think?

The most recent one is too big. I pasted it into Word, from "in the full report ...." to "....olitics FPPs are generally collaborative, and a draft post can be found on the MeFi Wiki." comes to 5462 words and 13 (11 point) pages. This makes it the third longest post since 1 JAN 2016 and the longest politics megathread post since ... the immediately prior one, which was only 2781 words and 7 pages.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:06 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Recent megathreads FPPs have gotten super long, and while I so appreciate all the effort that goes into them, I'm really ok with making them shorter, easier to write, and slightly less of a thing. Little Dawn put a ton of work into the most recent one, and it's incredibly awesome, but it's also not sustainable to keep doing that. I've never seen these FPPs as a historical record and view them more of just a summary of the moment. Looking at the current draft of the new thread, my personal preference would probably be to add a bit more on recent immigration news, maybe another grabbag link or two that I notice during the day, and post.

To me, the best approach would be to tear off some segments into FPPs of their own. Something like the "Reproductive Rights Round-up" or the "Somalia Round-up" in the current megathread is, in fact, an entire FPP pretty much ready to go, and we can just post that separately and give it the treatment the topic deserves.

And then we can just post more new stuff in the thread instead of up top, like we've been doing all along. I've never been particularly concerned with whether something gets posted in the FPP or in the comments. The emergence of super long megathread FPPs is a pretty recent phenomenon, and if we more or less go back to even what we were doing a month or two ago, if not on the shorter side than that, that seems more healthy.
posted by zachlipton at 1:10 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


I'm just one data point, but I don't read the below-the-fold contents of the FPPs. They seem like a summary of what we already discussed in the previous thread. They never made sense to me as anything but a collection of links for posterity, and I never understood why that was a goal.
posted by diogenes at 1:20 PM on April 17 [35 favorites]


I’m with diogenes, but then, I think “THIS IS THE NEW MEGATHREAD” is sufficient for the whole damn post anyway.
posted by Etrigan at 1:27 PM on April 17 [19 favorites]


I appreciate the work people do of assembling all the links and context but for my purposes there could be no content below the cut.
posted by Candleman at 1:38 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


I’m with diogenes, but then, I think “THIS IS THE NEW MEGATHREAD” is sufficient for the whole damn post anyway.

Like, honestly? Either we should have the long comprehensive ones (cause there's a lot of shit going on) or we should do exactly this. Just tag the ones so users know it's This thread where we Discuss The Incident, and other important stuff spins off into new threads, like LobsterMitten said.

The whole thing that confuses me if that's the position, is: isn't that why we had the MegaThread MetaTalk discussion in the first place? Because that technique was a significant problem for the site?
posted by odinsdream at 1:42 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Can I reiterate my pony ask from this MeTa that SOMETHING appear above the fold to indicate that this (for whatever the value of "this is") is the new megathread?
posted by hanov3r at 1:48 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


This seems like a new policy decision direction than what I thought was the idea behind the potus45 tag: to be *the one* megathread that's active at a time about The Situation We Find Ourselves In, You Know The One.

Is that correct or am I misunderstanding the existing policy?


My understanding from the last couple MeTas on the subject is that the mods have been encouraging issues that can be discussed without making them primarily about Trump and/or the 2020 elections to be split off into their own FPPs, under the understanding that if people tried to make those other posts All About Trump (or about how everyone who doesn't support their preferred Dem Primary candidate was a bad person) that the modhammer would come out.

In fact, the framing of the Megathread as the conversation about "The Situation We Find Ourselves In" is itself part of the mindset that necessitated the creation of the Megathread in the first place. There are lots of political issues that could be usefully and interestingly discussed on Metafilter. Of course they're all ultimately connected in one way or another, because that's the way the world works, but if we frame it that way, the conversation inevitably gravitates towards the things that the average user knows the most about and are most salient in their minds. And for the last several years, that thing has always been The Orange One (with occasional deviations into Democratic Primary politics). So the decision was made that if people were going to keep driving an 18-wheeler labeled "TRUMP" (or "BERNIE vs. HILLARY") straight into every political conversation, then we may as well build a superhighway to contain all that traffic, rather than forbid any political discussion or just let people keep getting flattened pulling out of their driveways.

I don't know where I'm going with this, other than to say that I'd be ecstatic to see more political discussions escape that superhighway on to the side streets where I might actually get a chance to see them passing by without having to white-knuckle through dodging the 18-wheelers.
posted by firechicago at 1:55 PM on April 17 [11 favorites]


The whole thing that confuses me if that's the position, is: isn't that why we had the MegaThread MetaTalk discussion in the first place? Because that technique was a significant problem for the site?

I think there is a happy medium between "every single topic gets a thread" and "everything political must be in the megathread FPP."
posted by Chrysostom at 1:57 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


[more inside]'s.

If a post contains more then 1000, have said poster run it by mod HQ. But a cap at say 6000 because that third link ruined the thumb.
posted by clavdivs at 1:57 PM on April 17


firechicago: totally fair position to take, and I'm not saying I take the position that I said I understood to be the current policy. Just saying I genuinely don't know which is the policy right now. Which sounds like... is just my personal problem at the moment. Carry on.
posted by odinsdream at 2:01 PM on April 17


> I think there is a happy medium between "every single topic gets a thread" and "everything political must be in the megathread FPP."

Agreed.

But I do appreciate the semi-comprehensive link round-up for megathreads, and I do have a hard time seeing how that (static) text can contribute much to performance issues - other than the basic idea of "oh it's another 5000 words". I think there is real value in keeping them as a historical record.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:03 PM on April 17


I understand why the mods want the MegaThread to be shorter. I would prefer that myself. That said, I want to salute Little Dawn and company for their service in generally and, especially for the most recent (long) one. It is the only MF post that I have ever linked to on Facebook and said, "if you want to know what's going on in US politics, this is the place to find out." It was amazeballs. Thanks to all the contributors to that one and generally. As well as to the mods who have been so patient.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:13 PM on April 17 [8 favorites]


So long as this is about the Potus45 megathreads, then okay, arguable from a performance point of view (the current post is an impressive, and comprehensive piece of work, though). However, t'would be dolorific for such limitation to be applied to other subject domains across MetaFilter.

“I'll give you my popular many-link cheese sandwich FPP when you pry it from my cold, dead hands...”
posted by Wordshore at 2:15 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I personally don't read below the fold either. I do like having the compendium of links, but I've probably already read a majority of them by the time the next megathread rolls around. This isn't a criticism of the megathreads. I fully understand I might be a little atypical in that regard.

I can see the value of a historical record though. Maybe a great compromise would be putting the [more inside] on its own page in the wiki. Locking it from edits after the FPP is created. That would preserve the record while making the FPP shorter.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 2:18 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


Thanks for your feedback, LM. Just to respond off the cuff to the points you raised:

1.) performance issues -- This is the most immediate. People already have a hard time loading those threads, it will go better if we're not starting off with 5700 word posts with hundreds of links.

That's perfectly reasonable. In fact, we're pushing out this new FPP a little ahead of the usual 1.5-2K comment mark because the news vortex will implode when the [Barr-redacted] Mueller report drops tomorrow (and nobody wants to have to load a 3K-comment megathread over the holiday weekend).

2.) wiki-driven expansion -- the collaborative wiki composition process tends to lengthen posts since multiple people add stuff but people don't always feel like they can cut things without hurting feelings, so it just gets longer and longer.

The wiki collaboration has definitely lead to longer and more wide-ranging megathreads, but I hope it's a relaxed editorial process. Over the course of composition, I wind up deleting many of my own links, for any number of reasons, such as timeliness and overlap. The advantage of the wiki is that it preserves a history of all past versions, so it's easy to retrieve information from it and later post it to the megathread as its own comment.

3.) publicly resetting expectations -- I want to push back on the unspoken expectation that's getting reinforced, that "the bigger the better" and that these potus45 threads are required to be absolutely comprehensive.

While I'm in the "more is more" camp when it comes to information, I appreciate the rigors of writing to length. 1,000 words seems a bit on the short side for the format in the wiki drafts when there are multiple hands involved, though (there's already 100 words of footer text—we just cut that down, too). Taking a quick average of the post-wiki megathreads, would 1,200 to 1,500 be OK? (That said, I'd never suggest that there's only one true length/format for the megathreads, whose only criteria are to inform and promote healthy discussion.)

In general I want people to start feeling they can split off separate topics into their own discussion threads, in the once-traditional mefi way. The main thread should be mainly for specifically Trump stuff.

I specifically started the "Megathread-Adjacent Posts" and "Elsewhere in MetaFilter" as a reminder—in particular to myself—that there's a site outside the maelstrom-like megathreads. "Trump stuff" is a broad category, of course, since his short fingers are in any number of socio-political pies out there. I hope that topics adjacent to him, his administration, his political allies and supporters, etc. still fall under the broad umbrella of the megathread.

And to diogenes' "data point" about the below-the-fold contents only summarizing what we've already discussed in the previous thread, I try to avoid reposting stories from the previous megathread unless they've taken place in the past day or so and are still fresh. I do, however, come back to ongoing topics, especially since the mainstream media loses track of them dismayingly quickly. There's a lot of mediocre reporting out there that recycles what we already know as half-digested headlines, with the Trump-Russia scandal being an obvious example. Even in the megathreads, Mefites have been asking for refreshers on previous news stories, because frankly, it's hard to manage everything that's going on. The "[more inside]" round-ups and bullet points are a way of addressing that. Keeping track of everything that's going on is a Herculean labor, but not, I trust, a Sisyphean one.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:20 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


I can think of only a handful of incidents where the post body itself got official pushback for being Too Long -- and those largely involved novella-sized posts with length-induced display errors (really)

clavdivs: If a post contains more then 1000, have said poster run it by mod HQ. But a cap at say 6000 because that third link ruined the thumb.

Yeah, sorry about that one. I'll never do it again, for a number of reasons. (Like, when your own computer crashes while you try to put together a post, it might be time to cut back.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:37 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


But on the topic at hand: There are two great resources that I think could be tapped to 1) cut down on the over-all length, and 2) document the specific moment in which a particular post is made:

- What The Fuck Just Happened Today?, and
- News You May Have Missed, from MeFi's own joannemerriam

Both serve as news aggregators, and both "capture" news of a given day or series of days.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:41 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Too
Many
Links
Nobody
Clicks
posted by Burhanistan at 2:58 PM on April 17 [18 favorites]


would 1,200 to 1,500 [words] be OK?

Just briefly, my goal isn't to set a specific numerical target but just to give a general sense of what kind of thing I have in mind by "shorter".

I think there's been slow accretion happening, where it's easy for the posts to just get longer and longer, especially if there's a norm of "longer post = more effort = doing one's bit". I named a low number because I want to really shake up that tacit sense, to see if we can break ourselves away from the idea that longer text = contributing more. Instead, curating and really paring down is a huge, essential, difficult service. Picking just the best, say, ten links is absolutely priceless.

Another place to cut would be, I think, the boilerplate at the bottom. It's gotten longer and longer, and it might be better to give the evergreen stuff a wiki page or similar, collecting the reference threads you're linking to, and then just link to that one page instead. Links count more than just regular text when assessing the page's "weight", so adding a bunch of links in small type is still adding more page weight than it might seem.

I'm going offline here in a minute so I'm sorry to duck out of this for a bit, but thank you again for all your work on these threads.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:24 PM on April 17 [12 favorites]


Another place to cut would be, I think, the boilerplate at the bottom. It's gotten longer and longer, and it might be better to give the evergreen stuff a wiki page or similar, collecting the reference threads you're linking to, and then just link to that one page instead.

We've cut the footer boilerplate in the current draft by 25%, and if we could move the notices about the MetaTalk on expectations about U.S. political discussion on MetaFilter and the one on keeping arguing about the US primaries in check to a wiki page about megathread participation, we could save more space, should they no longer have to be brought up each time. Cheers,
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:40 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


If people could also avoid pasting hundreds of words blockquotes from articles within the thread, that would be great, too. Give us a few sentences to show what's in there. But when you're pasting multiple paragraphs in, and I've already read the article and I'm on my phone and have to scroll and it's taking forever to load, it's really annoying.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:34 PM on April 17 [10 favorites]


I'm glad the megathreads exist, but I'm another member who scrolls past the below the fold text. The general form seems to be:

*[Topic] Roundup

[Title of Article] (source) "Several sentences of pull quote from the article. Okay maybe not several, but at least two, possibly three sentences, some of which... contain ellipses." [Title of Another Article] (source) "Several sentences of pull quote from the article. Okay maybe not several, but at least two, possibly three sentences, some of which... contain ellipses."

One way to cut out a LOT of the word count would be to chop the pull quotes, so the form would be more like:

*[Topic] Roundup

[Title of Article] (source)
[Title of Another Article] (source)

Just my 2 cents, as there are pros and cons for cutting the pull-quotes, but it would cut the word count down significantly.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:36 PM on April 17


I do appreciate the pull quotes when they come from paywalled sources, though, 23skidoo. I can then decide if I should use my limited number of views for the month on that article.

Thanks to everyone who makes FFPs and all the commenters. I would not keep my sanity and be as informed without these threads.
posted by Gadgetenvy at 4:53 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


I think there is a happy medium between "every single topic gets a thread" and "everything political must be in the megathread FPP."

Politics.metafilter.com

I mean, I know you've said you don't want a new subsite. But, the difficulty inherent in managing a special set of rules and such in order to shoehorn that content onto the main is basically why the subsites exist.

Not that I read the politics threads anyway - managing the ptsd from my divorce is enough stress.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:48 PM on April 17 [6 favorites]


Is there any difference in page weight for posts versus comments? Would there be any advantage gained by factoring out the link roundup into (say) a comment per topic?
posted by Jpfed at 6:18 PM on April 17


I'd like to thank LobsterMitten for making that comment in the megathread and strongly agree with their post early in this thread. I didn't do a word count and the concept of "pages" is a bit odd on the web, but just the FPP text (including "more inside") of the current megathread is just over 10 full screens of text, with the browser maximized at 1080p. It's too much. Super long threads really do ruin the mobile experience, no matter how they get long. And that FPP text is as long as dozens of comments if not over 100.

I've been hesitant to say anything about it because so many people are so laudatory of the person making the newest megathread post, but... yeah. It's a lot, and a lot of it is duplicative of the end of the previous thread. And, yeah, I'm another one who mostly skips over it after browsing it quickly.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 6:41 PM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Is there any difference in page weight for posts versus comments? Would there be any advantage gained by factoring out the link roundup into (say) a comment per topic?

Offhand I don't know that there'd be any real distinction. As far as that goes, having whatever is the below-the-fold writeup is probably better as just that rather than distinct comments if it's being planned up front as de facto post content anyway.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:43 PM on April 17


Got invited by Doktor Zed to contribute; added a few links.

That done, the wording generally could be cut down, and any explicit links to prior megathreads could be replaced with a link to #potus45 search results.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:44 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


The new thread clocks in at 1068 words. I regret that I had not the time to make it even shorter. Thanks Doktor Zed and ZeusHumms for writing the bulk of it.
posted by zachlipton at 9:30 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


zachlipton with the out of left field Blaise Pascal reference.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:33 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Just popping in, new thread looks great. Thank you for being so willing to do this.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:36 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


One more data point for "please for the love of god shorter posts". I mostly only track the potus45 threads via Recent Activity to avoid phone meltdowns; if I have to scroll through 15 pages just to get to [add to activity] something is wrong.
posted by benzenedream at 12:22 AM on April 18 [8 favorites]


I wonder how many of the links on the political megathreads get clicked on.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:08 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


curating and really paring down is a huge, essential, difficult service. Picking just the best, say, ten links is absolutely priceless.

Seriously.

I wonder how many of the links on the political megathreads get clicked on.

I know we don't usually do data-driven policy stuff here but I would love, LOVE, if there was one megathread that somehow could do click-tracking to answer this question. Because I'd be amazed if the number is as high as double digit percentages.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:57 AM on April 18 [13 favorites]


I've been tempted to post a MetaTalk about megaposts in general, so forgive me if I piggyback on this post a bit. (Apologies; I haven't read this thread in its entirety yet.)

I find megaposts more annoying than useful. I prefer one or two main links, maybe a couple of supporting links (if appropriate), and that's about it. Tight and focused, so we all know what we're discussing.

The #potus45 threads, of course, are a unique animal. I think megaposts are more defensible for that topic, since it's so huge and multifaceted. Even so: the #potus45 megaposts that scroll on for pages and pages (and pages) just wear out my scrolling finger.

I come to MetaFilter largely for the "-Filter" part - to get a curated distillation of the most pertinent aspects of a topic. I simply don't have time to read 300,000 words every time Trump does something stupid. (Does anyone? Do even the posters read all of these links in their entirety?)

Just my preference, of course. Scrolling isn't the end of the world.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:57 AM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Yeah, sorry about that one. I'll never do it again, for a number of reasons.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:37 PM

Sorry FLT, I meant the 4th link which was posted by Blasdelb. Interesting topic though.
posted by clavdivs at 1:07 PM on April 18


1000 words is still too long. 100 would be better. Not sure the point of these at this juncture anyway. Mueller's done and the only thing gonna fix it is flipping the Senate.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 10:51 AM on April 19


The best posts don't waste the reader's time: one writer chooses the best handful of links on something and explains each of them clearly and concisely. That's the Filter part of your job as a MetaFilter poster.
posted by pracowity at 11:26 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


1.) performance issues -- This is the most immediate. People already have a hard time loading those threads, it will go better if we're not starting off with 5700 word posts with hundreds of links.

I think this is a hugely important issue, and something that is not always easy for me to keep track of because I don't use a smartphone. I'm glad we're having this discussion, and in the future, I plan to be more proactive about engaging the mods if I have questions related to possible performance issues and posts in general. My goal has been to condense tsunamis of political information, often riffing from comments in the previous post, and to call attention to issues like the refugee crisis. I'm happy to split distinct political topics into separate FPPs, but I had been operating under a general assumption that this was the ONE thread, so I erred on the side of "more is more."

2.) wiki-driven expansion -- the collaborative wiki composition process tends to lengthen posts since multiple people add stuff but people don't always feel like they can cut things without hurting feelings, so it just gets longer and longer.

Collaboration can be challenging, but I've found it to work pretty well when drafting megathreads. I also try to put it out there that I don't mind edits to the small mountains of information I've sometimes collected on the draft FPPs. In my experience, MeMail can be helpful for this, including when I struggled to craft the above-the-fold part of the post or when I had questions about whether I was ranging too far from the potus45 theme.

3.) publicly resetting expectations -- I want to push back on the unspoken expectation that's getting reinforced, that "the bigger the better" and that these potus45 threads are required to be absolutely comprehensive. I don't think that's accurate, and having that be the perception prevents people posting new potus45 threads when it might be good to, and prevents people posting separate threads on topics that should just get their own thread.

In general I want people to start feeling they can split off separate topics into their own discussion threads, in the once-traditional mefi way. The main thread should be mainly for specifically Trump stuff.


Thank you for clarifying this! I'm sorry that my health issues have made my recent participation sporadic, especially while major American history is being made, and I regret that I'll be participating in a more low-key manner for awhile. The megathreads are a lot of fun for me, and I think we are very fortunate to have kind and patient moderators helping us make sense of nearly incomprehensible news in a productive and sustainable manner.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:18 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Another vote for blows past all the links summarizing what's been in the news and what everyone coming into the thread can link themselves organically as it comes up in the conversation. I don't really understand the argument that it's some kind of historical record, as the vast majority of those links are going to rot away. Brief summary if something warrants it and an indication that THIS is the megathread are, in my opinion, all that's needed.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 12:41 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


I would like to request that each new megathread FPP include a link to the previous one.
posted by M-x shell at 10:39 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Blockqouting is overdone and Alexandra Petri doesn't need to be posted daily.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:03 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


[whispered] At all, actually.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:39 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


[sotto voce] The Daily Petri would be better in the Hyucking Hyuck threads (and her Twitter account contains plenty of one-liners that are as quotable as her WaPo articles).
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:03 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


[telepathically] Could just post all funny-but-real links in the Hyucking Hyuck threads.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:15 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Blockquoting is overdone and Alexandra Petri doesn't need to be posted daily.

More succinct summary, less highlighting?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:17 AM on April 29


Sufficient.
posted by Wordshore at 9:55 AM on April 29


More succinct summary, less highlighting?

If the journalists are worth linking to, they should already be writing succinctly. It's usually enough to quote the lede and nut graf, then maybe a useful piece of information—or a buried lede. (What's annoying is when websites write for phone displays by formatting their articles as only a sentence or two at a time before a paragraph break, as though emulating Twitter. I've taken to reformatting the most egregious examples as single blocks of text in order to cut down on the display space they take up.) As for paraphrasing/summarizing, that winds up with points elided over, especially in the middle of fast-moving threads and heated discussions.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:26 AM on April 29 [3 favorites]


> Go load up one of the megathreads in Firefox and Chrome, and compare the load times if you want to see what I'm talking about.

Yet another way I failed to comprehend what megathreads were doing to readability and accessibility... my apologies, everyone. I do enjoy research and writing, but I also have the utmost respect for reasonable accomodations, especially on an internet where we don't yet have universal design (University of Washington).
posted by Little Dawn at 9:19 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]


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