How are new users discovering Metafilter? December 1, 2019 8:42 AM   Subscribe

I'm always a little surprised when I see a new user on Metafilter, since talk about it elsewhere online seems to have been erased by all the talk about billion-dollar sites. If you're a relatively new user - within the past three or four years, say - how did you find Metafilter?
posted by clawsoon to MetaFilter-Related at 8:42 AM (37 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Just trying to clarify, this is specific to the "discoverability" of the site, as in "How did you find out about MetaFilter?" as opposed to "How are you finding [feeling about] MetaFilter?" I was a bit confused, so I thought I might clarify this for others as well.

If I'm wrong about how I'm parsing this, please feel free to update and correct. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 8:51 AM on December 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

That's correct, Fizz: How did y'all new users discover the site?
posted by clawsoon at 8:54 AM on December 1, 2019

I'm not new-new but I'm not OG either. It was very slightly on my radar because Ask frequently popped up in my "How do I...?" Google searches. But I think it was both the emotional labor thread and (upon further poking around) rampant Hannibal-stanning that led me to pony up my $5. The emotional labor thread got linked lots of places, so I'm not sure how it came across my e-desk initially.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:16 AM on December 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

Mod note: Clarified title!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:36 AM on December 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Perhaps this post needs to be linked on the front-page sideblog / sidebar? (Never got the impression that new users wander into MetaTalk on the regular.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:17 AM on December 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

Hi I’m a baby who joined in 2017. Discovered it via AskMe popping up in Google searches, definitely. I never saw the blue show up in my searches, but Ask showed up enough that I eventually joined to ask my own questions since the answers seemed actually useful, unlike Yahoo answers or whatever else. I eventually wandered over to the blue, can’t remember how long it took but it was a while.
posted by brook horse at 10:37 AM on December 1, 2019 [12 favorites]

i feel like it was probably the emotional labor thread, or at least that was what cemented it as a place of interest, and then i must have lurked for a year and tried to figure out what this was. i wish i could remember!
posted by gaybobbie at 10:41 AM on December 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

I just joined about a month ago. I was listening to old episodes of the TLDR podcast and there was an episode about how a change in the Google search results was hurting metafilter. I was curious, came to have a look, and was hooked.
posted by Zumbador at 10:53 AM on December 1, 2019 [19 favorites]

Welcome! <3
posted by Secretariat at 11:07 AM on December 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm not new, but I'm not an oldie either. I found Ask through searching for some computer related question. I lurked a long time (on the order of 5 years) before joining. It's only in the last year or so I've wandered over to MetaFilter. I'm still pretty quiet, but participating is helping me with my social anxiety. So thanks!
posted by kathrynm at 11:13 AM on December 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

I joined in 2016 after several years of reading. Maybe I got here through reading BoingBoing? (I never read them anymore...)
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:50 PM on December 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I joined four years ago, but it was on my radar because of some articles in Slate, most notably one in which Jessamyn was quoted extensively about moderation of Ask and the $5 fee was mentioned as possibly limiting jerkiness. That made the site sound appealing to me, and I remembered it for that reason. I think I finally joined because I had a question I really wanted an answer to.
posted by FencingGal at 3:36 PM on December 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

Wow, interesting how many mentions of "Google search showed AskMe", which in a way makes these users old... or at least from a previous Internet era. Corporations suck, if there was justice in the world AskMe would still be a top search for a lot of questions.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:15 PM on December 1, 2019 [11 favorites]

I still get AskMe popping up for searches occasionally... though now that I think about it, a lot of those times were when I was googling to try and answer an AskMe and the question shows up, oops. And of course who knows if they would show up if I weren't on Metafilter a bunch already.
posted by brook horse at 6:33 PM on December 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I found MetaFilter via the PopURLs site. I think one of the first metafilter articles I read was the "traction park" one. I found the post and discussion/comments illuminating and entertaining. I subsequently visited the MetaFilter site as a lurker on a regular basis, extending into the ask MeFi occasionally. I signed on to contribute answers when I can, and support what I feel is a very important place.
posted by coppertop at 6:40 PM on December 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

I discovered it in a blog comment in 2018. A MeFite friend had asked to be distracted and another MeFite pointed her to the story about the cheese heist. I thought, dang, these are internet people I’d like to know, and signed up a few weeks later.
posted by eirias at 6:45 PM on December 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

I found Metafilter via Slog, e.g. Funeral Dress, "The sweetest, saddest story of the day, summed up perfectly by MetaFilter," and then finally joined in March 2015 because I clicked over to AskMe for the first time and there was a question that I really wanted to answer.
posted by katra at 6:59 PM on December 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

This reminded me to talk about how nice it is to search things I need to know with "" in there with search terms. I do that all the time, and it rarely steers me wrong. Possibly it would be a good idea to put that into whatever wiki stuff is developing. Also! Welcome to the new humans! I'm glad you're here.
posted by lauranesson at 7:37 PM on December 1, 2019 [11 favorites]

Yep, another in the 'came via AskMe in search results' camp.
posted by inexorably_forward at 8:18 PM on December 1, 2019

I don't know for sure, but I think it was the emotional labour thread, either through Google or Tumblr. I didn't use Twitter yet.

And/or whichever similar thread has Ursula Hitler's exasperated comments through it. I distinctly remember reading that thread and thinking I had to read more.

Also, I've tried to interest friends and family, to have a few more young people around on the site if nothing else, but everyone switches off when they hear about the I/P policy.
posted by Acid Communist at 4:12 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I/P policy?
posted by clawsoon at 5:21 AM on December 2, 2019

posted by Acid Communist at 5:26 AM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I joined in 2018 after lurking for quite a while, on and off. I had known about MetaFilter's front page from earlier web days (LJ I believe) but was compelled to finally join because I enjoy reading AskMe so much! Reading other responses, I do believe that Google searches led me to discover AskMe, lurk for a few years, and finally join.
posted by miserable-mild at 5:51 AM on December 2, 2019

I found it via the epic emotional labor thread, but did not immediately sign up. Y'all just stayed at the back of my mind ever since then, and once I was able to sign up without worrying about spending the $5, I did! :) So freaking glad to be here.
posted by MiraK at 8:34 AM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

MissCellania, my favorite everyday blog for many years; finally this year I took the plunge and joined.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 10:20 AM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

I was peripherally aware of it as something I saw linked to for ages, and I knew some active participants, but I was full up on internet hangouts. And then my primary internet hangout stopped being quite as active as it had been, and I started reading and commenting to fill that gap.
posted by LizardBreath at 2:06 PM on December 2, 2019

Search about relationships and found AskMe. Lurked for a while then had to ask a question and joined up. I've even gone to a few meetups.

Glad to be here and glad y'all are still around. Thanks mathowie, cortex, jessamyn and all the other lovely people as well as the mefites that make this place one of a kind. P.S. $5 is necessary.
posted by VyanSelei at 6:58 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

ATTN: n00bs, there's a very important field you need to fill out in your profile about your nickname—or if it's obvious, then how you came to be upon the Internets.
posted by carsonb at 7:45 PM on December 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

I joined about four years ago. Heard about it on the Reply All podcast and was curious. Thought, “gee, kind of like 1985 USENET but with less e-holes.”
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 9:47 PM on December 2, 2019 [6 favorites]

I joined in 2017 after several years of my husband mentioning it and sending me specific threads and then several months of lurking without joining.
posted by tangosnail at 12:39 PM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I should add that my finally lurking/joining came because of the Toast hole in my internet browsing.
posted by tangosnail at 12:40 PM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’m not NEW new, but I’d heard MetaFilter mentioned a few times, read the emotional labor thread, and then a friend recommended I join when I complained that I lacked places to waste time online that were active and intellectually stimulating.
posted by centrifugal at 3:51 PM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

At least some "new" users are old users under a new name, I'm sure.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 9:15 AM on December 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just joined (yesterday!) but have been lurking for a few years. I heard about MetaFilter from a friend about 15 years ago, but never read much until 2017. The megathreads drew me in when I no longer liked consuming US political news through radio, tv, or newspaper sites with images. I could keep up with the news, but on my own terms. Now reading MetaFilter (and AskMe) is a part of my daily routine, so I wanted to make it official.
posted by catdapperling at 9:21 AM on December 4, 2019 [11 favorites]

Welcome to all no matter how you got here. 19 years
posted by bjgeiger at 2:44 AM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


posted by lkc at 9:47 PM on December 6, 2019

Definitely via AskMe, but what cemented my decision to join up (was waffling on the subscription amount because I'm not American and the converted amount in local currency was psychologically if not actually daunting) was the emotional labor thread that I found while rootling around the site. Life altering.
ETA: Joined in 2017, I think.
posted by Nieshka at 12:10 AM on December 7, 2019

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