Today was a good day for "Best of the Web" July 12, 2019 11:42 PM   Subscribe

On July 12 on the blue there were over 40 posts. They ranged in topic from alchemy to the struggles of black movie directors to making terrariums to giant moths and ghost orchids and a slew of other interesting topics. I haven't seen a day like today in quite some time and jumped down the rabbit hole numerous times. This is what I love about Metafilter and what has kept me here for 18 years. Well done, Mefites!
posted by ashbury to MetaFilter-Related at 11:42 PM (17 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

Strongly seconded! Lots of posts I dipped into yesterday. Am inspired to post myself.
posted by peacheater at 4:38 AM on July 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Agreed, I felt excited by MeFi in a way I haven't in a long time yesterday.
posted by hoyland at 7:01 AM on July 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Wasn’t there supposed to be a best post contest this month for the 20th anniversary?
posted by wheelieman at 12:27 PM on July 13, 2019

We were hoping to knock one together, but there's been a lot of other stuff going on and it got deprioritized as a result. But there is a gathering enthusiasm right now in another thread for a sort of clean out your bookmarks! August posting spree, which may be a good way to go after a similar fun posting vibe.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:37 PM on July 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Huzzah for these very excellent posts. :)
posted by Fizz at 1:03 PM on July 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, July 12 was amazing. I felt like I was looking at MetaFilter from years and years ago.
posted by hippybear at 1:15 PM on July 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh, that reminds me, I owe DangerIsMyMiddleName's,
a Moscow Mule.
posted by clavdivs at 3:12 PM on July 13, 2019

Today isn't that shabby either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:05 PM on July 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've resolved to become the change I want to see on metafilter.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:02 PM on July 13, 2019 [12 favorites]

Struggles of black movie directors to making terrariums

I read that as “struggles of black movie directors to make terrariums”
posted by terrapin at 7:48 AM on July 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

I read that as “struggles of black movie directors to make terrariums”

Done properly, that could be a pretty amazing film with a lot to say about society, film-making, the artistic process vs. consumption, etc. etc.
posted by aramaic at 4:22 PM on July 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Jordan Peele all frowning in closeup, like "what the fuck is wrong with this moss?"
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:22 PM on July 14, 2019 [5 favorites]

EmpressCallipygos: Today isn't that shabby either.

July 13: 25 posts
July 14: 23 posts
July 15: 24 posts
July 16: 25 posts

For broader context, here are graphs of site activity back to 2010.

If this is the new normal, we're above where we've been since mid 2016, which has been averaging at or below 20 posts per day. 2014-2015, we were ranging between 25 and 30 posts per day, with some spikes of activity approaching or above 35 posts per day (and it doesn't look to be associated only with best post contests, unless I'm missing something).

There aren't a ton of comments on these threads, but I'll celebrate any increase in site activity. As noted by others in other threads, the lengthier comments that are the norm on MetaFilter are harder to do on smartphones or tablets, but I'll stop that tangential thought there.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:29 AM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've been having a ton of fun posting this week, personally. I forgot how enjoyable it could be to take one link or topic, buff it up a bit, and toss it gently off into the world. Whiffed one framing a touch, but it's gone totally fine anyway.
posted by sciatrix at 9:36 AM on July 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

I used to say "it's not that scary when you let go after hitting 'post' and let your post become part of the site - you don't need to defend it, it now stands on its own," but then we have things like the recent durian post, which turned into an exercise of pushing back against the different types of "lol weird fruit" comments ... that partially stemmed from the original post.

I'm not quite sure what to say in place of my former statement. Some topics and posts get zero grief, and everything's fine. Then there are posts where the conversation needs steering, and we're in transition as to how that happens and what it looks like. In this instance, MeFites (but not the original poster, nor mods) stepped in to push back.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:28 AM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't know; I have stepped back in to redirect and begin the conversation I wanted to have in both the FPP I posted yesterday on invasive Colombian hippos and today's human-race-is-not-like-dog-breeds posts, and I don't really regret the degree of nudging I've done in either case. I often do a lot of thinking when I bring up posts here, especially when they relate to intersectionality, in order to draw attention to the parts of the link or links I like best. But then, I often find that I'm the person who is most skeptical of the whole "make it up and then step totally back and let it go" approach usually championed for making FPPs go well on the Blue.

I usually make FPPs either because I want people to see something cool or because I want to have a conversation, and when I want to have a conversation I think very hard about what I want folks' attention to focus on. Sometimes no one bites, and that's fine; sometimes things don't go where I expect, which is also fine; sometimes things go straight to hell, usually when we're talking intersectionality or lateral marginalization in some way or ableism, and that is much less fine. (I say usually referring to my own FPPs, not anyone else's, and mostly because I'm thinking about the topics I bring here that often go badly.)

I've really resonated with the comments I see in the POC threads about not actually necessarily trusting mods to see nasty, painful dynamics related to some of the marginalized communities I share, whether or not I flag them. I still do sometimes post about those things, but I always take a very heavy hand in the discussions that result. And I think that results in better discussions than would happen if I made my post and then totally ignored the resulting conversation.

The hippo post is the one I referenced when I said I'd "whiffed the framing a touch," and I mean there that I shouldn't have let the framing lean so heavily on the rewilding aspect of that story, even though it was the most novel aspect of that story since it had been first brought here five years ago. I share a lot of the skepticism that rewilding really is what's going on with that hippo population, but it was hard to figure out how to inject the FPP with that level of skepticism. And... I commented, and brought that up, and the conversation kept bubbling merrily along.

The other one is only a couple of hours old, so we shall see, but I was fairly heavy-handed (for me) about saying "read the entire article before you post, and think about who else is in this room" under the cut in it. There are a number of topics about dog breeds and the racialized ways that post-Victorian Westerners treat them that I have wanted to bring up here in the past, but haven't done so because I didn't think I was up to dealing with the defensiveness from my fellow white people about the topic. This one is going well, but also, I set that conversation up because I wanted to participate in it. I think the exhortation for original posters to not try to steer and mediate conversation can also make FPPs feel much less fun, because who wants to make a place that is inviting and welcome to a good conversation without being able to actually be a part of that conversation?
posted by sciatrix at 11:55 AM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

July 13: 25 posts
July 14: 23 posts
July 15: 24 posts
July 16: 25 posts

For my part, I was speaking about the quality of the posts rather than the quantity.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:39 PM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

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