Stop picking on the n00bs September 7, 2002 1:40 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to suggest that there might be a bit of a danger these days of stripping some potential away from the site. A lot of new users are being called out (or belittled) rather promiscuously for posts or comments that are often no different than what they have been accustomed to seeing from Metafilter elders pre-14k (as well as post-14k). Vigilance is worthy and needed in order to protect the integrity of Metafilter, but I suspect that there is a risk of creating an atmosphere of paranoia in which many promising new members will be afraid to post anything that they are not absolutely certain will not reap condemnation. (more inside...)
posted by taz to Etiquette/Policy at 1:40 AM (67 comments total)

Flash on Friday, for example, is one example of a tradition that, love it or hate it, has been around for a long time; if the consensus is to quell such posts, then perhaps an announcement could be made requesting members to refrain, or providing certain guidelines. I have a fear that observant new users (the best kind, no?) are totting up the multiple sins pointed out lately (no single link posts, no posts with too many links, no product-related posts, no flash on Friday, try to avoid posting on Metatalk, no op/ed, etc.) and resolving to keep their offerings as flameproof as possible, to the point that very good posts and comments may be withheld and even to the point that natural progression is retarded. If this happens a lot of the variety and quirkiness that has made Metafilter such a great place in the past will be lost, and I respectfully submit that some of the really great elder Mefi members, were they to enter the fray in the current environment, would be summarily roasted. With apologies for the hyperbole, I don't think anybody here wants to see the dawn of a Metafilter "dark ages".

I suggest two things: 1) That respected older users lighten up a bit on the "trial by fire" attitude, at least to the degree of making it a point to very carefully examine the transgression in order to be sure that it deserves a harsh response. Do respond, suggest and opine, by all means, but don't humiliate where it isn't really deserved. 2) That after things settle a bit some sort of official announcement space is created wherein Mat can make any new policies and preferences clear.

In anticipation of the outcry that suggestion #2 will inspire, My reasoning is this: Metatalk doesn't serve as an official site advisory because many members don't read it, and even those who do can easily miss an important thread. General consensus policy information isn't presented altogether in one place. On hot issues, two or more sides of the questions are strongly represented, so someone looking for guidance isn't going to find a clear path. Sidebar announcements are easily missed because it isn't updated often, and many members don't get in the habit of checking it (witness the final Harry Potter broom post). Finally, despite the laudable goal of keeping Metafilter essentially rule-free, it appears that this is beginning to create a situation in which a lack of "official" policy or preference regarding some issues is engendering a varying set of "secret-handshake" rules that one almost cannot help running afoul of.

I am not asking that a set of rules be formalized. I am asking that those particular sins that are evidently so egregious that they garner sanctioned abuse be addressed with a public statement of preference or guidance.

So. I apologize to all who are going to be outraged by this, and I do feel that I am sort of offering myself up for slaughter, but on the terms of my own convictions I am trying to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.
posted by taz at 1:41 AM on September 7, 2002


(In quotes, so that the friendly sarcasm is not lost)

"What do you know? You have a user number past 14k, which means you have no say at all. Keep your trap shut, n00bie!"
posted by wackybrit at 2:18 AM on September 7, 2002


*slaughters taz*

But seriously, folks. Don't be an idiot (too often, at least), don't blatantly troll, and take some care to not post utter tripe to the front page. There's not much more that one really needs to do to avoid getting hauled into MeTa.

If you don't read MeTa and you get slapped, well then, you should start reading MeTa.

Metatalk needs to have constant churn, in my opinion at least, to keep some currency about what the community considers acceptable and unacceptable. People seem to misunderstand, both new and old users alike, that it's not punishment when a dogpile occurs, it's the community talking to itself, discovering and repeating what it does and does not want out of its members. I may be talking out my ass, as I am known to do at times, but I think the way that Matt has engineered this is nothing short of brilliant. It just works, most of the time, and although wobbles too far into correctness and too far into tolerance both happen, particularly over inflammatory issues, the alternatives would almost certainly be more deleterious than otherwise.

Matt has said before, perhaps partially in jest, that Metafilter maintains an even keel with the help of 'public shaming'. (Search MeTa if you want to find the offsite interview where he said it)

I agreee with you, taz, that humiliation is uncalled-for, generally. But it may just be that your idea of what constitutes humiliation and mine are different.

So. Short answer : no. No in the sense that I don't think anything is broken and I also don't think that new users are being singled out for smackdowns any more than 'old' ones.

But thanks for bringing it up, and I'm sure there are many here who would agree with you and disagree with me. That's what it's all about in the grey - the MetaChurn.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:37 AM on September 7, 2002


for posts or comments that are often no different than what they have been accustomed to seeing from Metafilter elders pre-14k (as well as post-14k).

You're making a big inference here. Yes, there have been a lot of call-outs. That's because there have been a lot of sub-optimal posts lately, and many of them have been made by "new" users. It's a symptom, not the reason. There's no conspiracy against the 14k+.
I've missed the promiscuous belittling, but you should remember that the generally-quoted definition of policy boils down to "moderation via public shaming," not "by making nice-nice." Many of the "new" users have been waiting around long enough to be aware of this. Also ref the recent

[...]risk of creating an atmosphere of paranoia in which many promising new members will be afraid to post anything that they are not absolutely certain will not reap condemnation.

Good. If you question the validity of your post, then you shouldn't make it. If someone is so insecure that they carry this to a crippling extreme, that's their responsibility, not mine. Condemnation generally only comes raining down on the heads of those who act like idiots or make unsubstantiated statements.

Flash on Friday, for example, is one example of a tradition that, love it or hate it, has been around for a long time

Okay, but why does the fact that the particular posts which may have been recently pointed out were made by new users matter here? See my first comment above.
posted by Su at 2:41 AM on September 7, 2002


Su, it does seem to me unfair that new users are often castigated for posts and comments that are in the same vein as things they've been seeing from older, established members, but please don't think I am advocating "nice-nice" - I would be horrified to see Metafilter become a decorous Miss-Manners-worthy space. No! All I suggest is that respected elders (like you) only try to "carefully examine the transgression in order to be sure that it deserves a harsh response" before raining down pain on somebody. Also, it seems that pointing out some official guidelines or suggestions would reduce the number of posters who inadvertantly step over the bounds, and make it easier to see who is simply (metaphorically) flipping off the community (if I may use that word), and who is interacting in good faith.
posted by taz at 3:22 AM on September 7, 2002


from stavros: Metatalk needs to have constant churn, in my opinion at least, to keep some currency about what the community considers acceptable and unacceptable. People seem to misunderstand, both new and old users alike, that it's not punishment when a dogpile occurs, it's the community talking to itself, discovering and repeating what it does and does not want out of its members.

This is so true, and so precious. Which is why, in great part, I have put myself out on a very shaky limb. I have long been in awe of how Metafilter works, and this is the sole reason that I posted this comment (that I'm fairly sure is going to get me pretty roundly trounced). I really don't want Metafilter to be swept up into some sort of nice, PC, moderated ghost of what it once was. However, a lot of what I see happening now makes it seem like an organism that is consuming itself. I posed to myself the question "what concrete measures would you suggest to make things different?", and then posted the above. I really do not expect to be taken very seriously, but for my own peace of mind I decided I had to be brave enough offer the ideas.
posted by taz at 6:50 AM on September 7, 2002


Is there anybody with a background in conflict resolution who can give some pointers on "calling someone out" for bad behavior without actually engaging in bad behavior yourself? Being rude about someone's being rude just adds to the aggregate rudeness, IMO; there's gotta be a better way.
posted by hob at 7:36 AM on September 7, 2002


As a 14k+ user (creeping up on my 6 month mefi aniversary), I certainly don't feel as if newer members are being ostracized or belittled for sup-par posting activity any more than anybody else.
I can understand the feeling of exasperation upon returning t o the front page after a short absence and seeing it chock full of posts that seem a little bit "off" from the standard MeFi protocol. I also think part of the problem is that when most of us see a post from an older active member, their username calls u p an image of their personality, background and general posting history. New members, in comparison, are just flat names and numbers (for the time being) with precious little history to look to for clues as to their intent.
I also feel a twinge of irritat ion sometimes with the overflow of posts from brand new members, and think to myself, "here I am showing so much restraint and waiting for a really great link to come my way before I lose my mefirginity with a fabulous front page post, while a whole crowd of other newcomers are drowning the front page with quintuple posts and news links"
But then I reconsidered. None of the so called "sub-par" posts have been malicious. The posters just have a whole lot of enthusiasm for Metafilter. The way I see it, tha t's a good thing. With a little time, people will become more familiar, newbies will grow some skin, and all will be well.
posted by bonheur at 7:48 AM on September 7, 2002


There's no conspiracy against the 14k+.

Perhaps not, but there is an increasingly common use of 14k+ to mean "idiot newbie" that is really starting to get under my skin. The MetaFiltarian odometer turned over 14,000 almost six months ago, so why make 14,000 the magic newbie number? Why not 10,000, since last September was evidently the end of MetaFilter's golden age?
posted by timeistight at 9:41 AM on September 7, 2002


no single link posts
Where the hell did this meme come from? Could people stop tossing it around as though it was true please.

Some people feel that news oriented posts can be improved with a little research. Some people don't agree with this. Some people (a very small "some" one would hope) even feel that news posts don't need to be improved since they're fine the way they are. The site has many personalities. It is the angry Cybill of the Internet.

But, when people run around spouting things like "Don't you read metatalk, the site agrees that this type of post needs more links", people do get the wrong message. The site doesn't agree with that. You agree with that, but it ain't the same thing at all.

Matt has said many times that he has resisted codifying any rules because once you start down that road, then you need a rule for everything.

So, here is how I approach deciding to post a thread:
  1. Is it something I've produced or something I'm close enough to that I can't be objective enough to decide whether it is something fit for MeFi? - The ONLY rule on MeFi is use good judgment. If it's mine, then my judgment is inherently flawed with respect to judging quality. Almost everybody would agree that self-posts to the front page are bad.
  2. Has it been posted before? - Most people seem to agree that this is bad. It can be mitigated if it's at least a year old, but be aware some people will still jump on you for posting it again. You may want to provide links to those previous discussions which will either mitigate some of the pile one or cause some people to become even more incensed since you knew it was a double and posted it anyway.
  3. Would it be of interest to some substantial portion of the community? - Just because you find it interesting doesn't mean other people will. Some things are better left on your own blog. If you feel this is the type of thing that has some level of mass appeal - particularly to the types of people you've seen posting on MeFi in the past, then bring it here. Otherwise don't.
  4. Is it likely that somebody else will post it? - If it seems likely that somebody else will post it then don't post it yourself. Nobody says you have to post something. In fact with so many people posting, many people would prefer that you didn't. If somebody else is going to invite a slagging then you don't have to.
That's pretty much it. Everything including those guidelines are judgment calls.
posted by willnot at 9:55 AM on September 7, 2002


Are we making character judgments based on user number now? Talking about pre-14k and post-14k? "In the wake of the 14k+ user number attacks..."

A lot of new users will have to be broken in. That's just the way it goes. Nobody is born with the ability to post insightful, conversation-generating links on the first try. We weren't all raised in Church of Cardoso. It's a process, and it'll be much easier on everyone if we keep it civil, instead of bringing the "get thine ass to MetaTalk, STAT!" ruckus we usually reserve for long-time posters gone awry. Take it easy on the newbies.
posted by Succa at 10:00 AM on September 7, 2002


My – how things change. It wasn't that long ago that the Pope* of the Church of Cardoso was being burned at the MetaTalk stake as a heretic.

* Sorry Miguel; I don't know what a chief rabbi is called, or even if such a thing exists.
posted by timeistight at 10:14 AM on September 7, 2002


As a relative newbie, I'm terrified to open my mouth. I've passed up on dozens of links that I'm sure tons of readers would have enjoyed -- or at least, they wouldn't mind them -- because I know that undoubtedly the vocal few would start bitching because, apparently, it was not the ideal post they wanted to read at that exact moment.

I thought I used to know what a good post looked like. Now everything posted is too short, too long, too bland, too opinionated, too sarcastic, too ignorant...

And of course, I don't have any authority to say "quit being assholes to the newbies!" because, well, I'm a newbie too. Mayhaps the veterans need to be reminded that comments on a thread are to be used for discussing the subject of the thread rather than the skill of the FPP writing.
posted by katieinshoes at 10:17 AM on September 7, 2002


I say screw 'em all. I'm on a personal quest to combat the endless political threads, where the same people discuss the same thing that they said yesterday, ad infinitum. Corporations are bad. Globalism is bad. Bush is an idiot. Ashcroft is an idiot. Colin Powell is not an idiot but he works for idiots. The war on drugs is bad. The U.S. is bad. Israel and Palestine are both bad. Pop music is bad. War with anyone is bad. Homeland security is bad. Loss of personal freedoms is bad. The world is going to hell in a handbasket. The world is going to hell in a handbasket. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.

It'd be fine if each of these posts were made, maybe biweekly, or even weekly. Admittedly, I enjoy the discussion in those threads sometimes. Many people enjoy being informed by these posts. I don't blame you, it's important stuff. However, the way I see it, Metafilter has these posts everyday. Sometimes twice a day.

The more dumb unimportant nonpolitical links the better I say. More links about Showbiz Pizza to come from me. The more newbies posting the better, this place needs a breath of fresh air. What happened to all the unique links on the web? They're still there.

I'm not trying to debate the whole newsfilter concept again (Metafilter IS my news), but honestly, can we get some new news?
posted by Stan Chin at 10:51 AM on September 7, 2002


katieinshoes, I'm pretty sure that anything you have to say would be listened to, if for no other reason than you have just about the coolest user name ever. Go ahead and post one of those links that seem good to you, and let's see what happens...
posted by taz at 10:57 AM on September 7, 2002


If user accounts were deleted after x days of non-use and people would need to sign up again to post (usernames were protected, but user numbers would recycled) MeTa posts like this wouldn't exist.

If that were the case, maybe I would be user number 14 instead of 14K. Would my posts be better or worse? Nope.

It would be interesting to see how Metafilter would deal with lame posts or newbie mistakes if there wasn't this class system of user numbers. People would be called out based soley on the caller outer's perception of post/comment quality.

I think Matt should hide user numbers from posts. People would have to click on the user's name to see how long someone has been a member so they may be able to say things like "I know you just joined yesterday but we discussed the whole harry potter broomstick thing to death last week...you fuckwit."
posted by birdherder at 11:10 AM on September 7, 2002


I think it's the fuckwittian 15k+ users who are ruining the site. Ever since we rolled over the third oil check on the meferarri, this place has gone to hell in a handbasket, but we have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and let the 15k+ fuckwits learn to walk before they fly. Hell, we have to let them run before they fly, probably, or they're going to fall down a slippery slope of question-begging insolence.

And no, I don't know what I'm talking about.

(Stan Chin: But.. the war on drugs is bad! And Bush is dumb! And did you hear the one about Bush at a luncheon with Tony Blair..)
posted by The God Complex at 11:25 AM on September 7, 2002


Let's not forget that MetaTalk is like speaker's corner; anyone who has any kind of bee in their bonnet can post about it here (and of course anyone can call them out for wasting MetaTalk front-page space). The absolute worst thing that can happen is having Matt delete your post, and how bad is that, really?

I think people need to get over this "I'm afraid to post in case someone calls me out" business. This summer, I was more or less told I had no right to be here at all. Well, I'm still here and I'll stay as long as I believe I'm making a contribution or until Matt kicks me out.

What I'm trying to say is this: If you have something that you believe will make a good post then post it. If you get called out in MetaTalk, come here and defend yourself. You might convince them that you were right or they might convince you that you were wrong. It's all good.
posted by timeistight at 11:30 AM on September 7, 2002


I don't think that very many people pay very much attention to user numbers. I REALLY don't think that as many people pay as much attention as it may seem from reading MetaTalk. 14K+ is just an unfortunate shorthand for we have a lot of new users who aren't fully integrated into MeFi social norms, and it's creating some disruption.

Disruption can be good. It can also be bad. There have seemed to be A LOT more post recently than there have been even a few months ago. Great posts are slipping through the cracks.

A week ago I thought about posting: PostcardX. Do a search and find that somebody had posted it just a few days prior. How could I have missed that? I check the site very regularly. These are the types of posts I love to see here.

Last night I was scrolling down the front page of stories, and I happened upon the 2001 movie in Legos post. I'd been to the site maybe 5 times that day. Somehow I missed it each time. I only caught it because I was so bored at the time, I had more time to scroll slowly past all of the extraneous posts.

These are great posts, and they're going unnoticed or almost unnoticed (by me at least and really, isn't it all about me?). Who knows what else I have missed? That's a shame, and if there are ways to cut down on some of the stuff that really don't fit in here to give more breathing room to the stuff that does, then it makes total sense to talk about how we can do that.
posted by willnot at 11:33 AM on September 7, 2002


no single link posts
Where the hell did this meme come from? Could people stop tossing it around as though it was true please.


willnot, I believe the reference is to posts containing no commentary with nothing but a single link, as opposed to posts which contain one link and some commentary to go with it.

The former has been deemed bad.
posted by mikhail at 11:39 AM on September 7, 2002


As a relative newbie, I'm terrified to open my mouth. I've passed up on dozens of links that I'm sure tons of readers would have enjoyed -- or at least, they wouldn't mind them -- because I know that undoubtedly the vocal few would start bitching because, apparently, it was not the ideal post they wanted to read at that exact moment.

post 'em. i remember this same discussion involving Zach's Mind about the same thing; apprehension about posting a link.

i guess i can't really stop people from being assholes about this or that post which you submit. if you post your threads with good intentions and people still behave like assholes, then let them be who they have chosen to be: assholes. don't give into them and stop yourself from posting.

whatever you post should be interesting and ok to comment on. i think that's the only main guideline on metafilter. it's just like telling people at a party about a story. if whatever you've got to post seems interesting enough for that context, then it's good for metafilter.
posted by moz at 11:42 AM on September 7, 2002


mikhail - are you sure?
posted by willnot at 12:06 PM on September 7, 2002


katieinshoes, I'm pretty sure that anything you have to say would be listened to, if for no other reason than you have just about the coolest user name ever.

Will you be my bodyguard if I should try to post?

Thanks, though. Next time I find something interesting, I just might post it.
posted by katieinshoes at 12:41 PM on September 7, 2002


There's one true path to peace in the community, a maxim to be handed down and practiced by both pre-14K and post-14K camps:


posted by ed at 12:55 PM on September 7, 2002


no single link posts
Where the hell did this meme come from?


Where it came from is that taz made it up. I don't know anyone who's ever suggested single-link posts are bad; that would be a ridiculous thing to say.

The only thing I've seen even remotely like "no single link posts" is the suggestion that posts which are simply a link to a breaking news story that's being widely reported in mainstream media could perhaps use a link or two as a way to create a deeper discussion here. That strikes me as a perfectly appropriate, rule-less MeFi suggestion that respects both the members of the community who read one or more newspapers daily *and* the people who use MeFi as their main news source.

But, when people run around spouting things like "Don't you read metatalk, the site agrees that this type of post needs more links", people do get the wrong message. The site doesn't agree with that. You agree with that, but it ain't the same thing at all.


It's funny, willnot; I've been waiting for someone to call me on the last part of that particular comment. I regretted that sentence almost immediately. Sorry for the presumptuousness there. I did write "the consensus seems to be" rather than "the site agrees," but your point is well taken.

But if that's the only example you can come up with, and I think it is, we don't really have a problem here, do we? As I've said multiple times, j'adore good single-link posts.
posted by mediareport at 1:30 PM on September 7, 2002


Oops, linked to the wrong comment Here's the one willnot linked. My, but I was persistent in that thread. Sorry about going overboard like that.
posted by mediareport at 1:43 PM on September 7, 2002


But if that's the only example you can come up with, and I think it is...
Actually, I was going to put the meme-blame on you with a few examples a little earlier today, but decided to scotch it instead. And yet here I am again. You may adore single-link posts, but you've also been one of the most vocal advocates of densely-linked posts since the subject came up. That's your style, and that's fine; but let others have their own without being too obnoxious about it.
posted by azimuth at 2:19 PM on September 7, 2002


*watches the banter*

Hmm.... I'm pretty sure this is why people are afraid to post. :P
posted by Stan Chin at 2:29 PM on September 7, 2002


This seems like as good a place as any to congratulate poopy making his first MetaFilter link a real humdinger. It prompted an impassioned discussion involving some real Web design heavyweights, some heavyweights-to-be and some interested users that's still going on more than a day later – and no-one called anyone a fuckwit. (However, Matt actually did write, "spacecadet, dude you could not be more wrong.")

More like that please!
posted by timeistight at 2:46 PM on September 7, 2002


Every community on the Internet that I've ever been part of has undergone a phase where the oldbies turn all nostalgic for the "old days", and as a result rip into the newbies. New people represent change, after all, and if they liked what came before there's bound to be some resentment. MeFi seems has that oozing from every possible orifice, and it's had it for what seems like ages. (Yeah, this is the first time I've posted, but I've been reading forever.)

It's perhaps appropriate that there's so much discussion about the discussion, but maybe we'd all be better off if more time was spent dismissing the links and the subjects they contain, rather than the people who posted them. If anything's going to destroy the site it's being so inward looking, rather than crap first posts.

But as I say, I'm a newbie. Ignore me. ;)
posted by bwerdmuller at 3:01 PM on September 7, 2002


MeFi seems has that oozing from every possible orifice

I always knew this place would turn into a Jenna Jameson movie.
posted by The God Complex at 3:08 PM on September 7, 2002


Stan Chin: I'm on a personal quest to combat the endless political threads,

Thats about the worst way to use metafilter. No one should be on a 'quest' to change the entire community. Every so often we get someone like you ready to shake our cages and its always been messy and/or ineffective. People like posting about the drug war, national politics, etc and nothing you can do will stop that. This is a community, not stan chin's weblog.

Secondly, the no one link post "rule" is ridiculous. Its like the new way to call out double posts for the bored. Some people need to learn to respect other people's posting styles. I don't like the memepool like posts much but I tolerate them and sometimes try to find the most relevant link and read most of the content. Sometimes I make memepool like posts, its all about variety.

Lastly, I've noticed a lot of nastiness this week. Grammar nazism, nitpicking, and someone accused me of being a Billy Malauna just because I copied my last post to my weblog. Self-policing is nice when it works, and I've done it probably more than most people, but the nitpicking has to stop. Its one thing to point out some huge mistakes or real breaks in the rules and another to do your best to derail a thread through anal pedantic 'policing.'

posted by skallas at 3:20 PM on September 7, 2002


azimuth, you seem to be having trouble sorting out obnoxiousness from thoughtful suggestions any member is well within their rights to post. The first comment you linked to is hardly an example of MeFi obnoxiousness, which was the point here. I'll also stand by the Russel Wright comment, which is pretty obviously meant to be in the over-the-top queeny character of the post.

My preferred posting style is obvious, as is my belief that it's a rare mainstream news story that's worth posting to the front page by itself. That's hardly a radical meme; I absorbed it from others here. I don't see any reason to apologize for it, or why you're calling me out for non-obnoxious comments designed to win other people over to my side. But ok, if that deserves "meme-blame," I'll take it -- and keep hoping the meme spreads. But I'm not responsible for folks misrepresenting what I've written.

I'm pretty sure this still stands: "But if that's the only example you can come up with, and I think it is, we don't really have a problem here, do we?"

skallas: the no one link post "rule" is ridiculous

Thank goodness no one's ever proposed it then.
posted by mediareport at 3:22 PM on September 7, 2002


Thats about the worst way to use metafilter. No one should be on a 'quest' to change the entire community.

Eh, I'm gonna try anyway. I think one person could make it a little better place... or worse like a certain popular Metatalk person.
posted by Stan Chin at 3:37 PM on September 7, 2002


i'm drunk, and I never wanted to come here when drunk but the whole newbie oldy debate pales into nothing. 'Sign ups on/off' 'Too many people getting called out' blah blah.

The place is buzzing with new blood. Those who have been around a while should guide softly when needed and the rest of the time, sit back and drink deep from the fresh new air that is circulating.

Now, i am back to my wine. A rather fine "Coat de Roan" which is topping off a rather savage wedding i was at yesterday where my two mates had a foursome with two of the bridesmaids. More details available via PayPal. Email me. I'll regret this on monday.
posted by Frasermoo at 3:45 PM on September 7, 2002


Consensus time!
If it's a link that stands well on its own, it goes up on its own.
If it's a news article that people will have read in their morning newspaper, it should have supporting analysis. That's what I tried to do here.

Yesnomaybe?
posted by PrinceValium at 3:52 PM on September 7, 2002


Stan Chin:

Eh, I'm gonna try anyway. I think one person could make it a little better place... or worse like a certain popular Metatalk person.

if you're still convinced to try, you might want to read up on your history. BlueTrain is a poster with similar goals (at least, once upon a time).
posted by moz at 4:02 PM on September 7, 2002


but there is an increasingly common use of 14k+ to mean "idiot newbie"

I embrace the pejorative. Coz it's funny. I happen to know that one of the people posting a Harry Potter thread had a *gasp* 4-digit user number.

I say neener.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:19 PM on September 7, 2002


Every community on the Internet that I've ever been part of has undergone a phase where the oldbies turn all nostalgic for the "old days", and as a result rip into the newbies.

That, however, is the stable state of metafilter I think, which is good. not that I'm old or anything, I am post-metafilter-ruin.

And katieinshoes, I can't wait for your post, ha, so now on top of worry about screwing up you have at least a few people actively awaiting. no pressure.
posted by rhyax at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2002


I suggested once before that the user links under each post simply be changed to use username links rather than usernumber links. I still think that's a good idea.
posted by kindall at 5:35 PM on September 7, 2002


someone accused me of being a Billy Malauna just because I copied my last post to my weblog.

I also accused you of trolling in the FPP, but that's just anal nitpicking, right?

Its one thing to point out some huge mistakes or real breaks in the rules and another to do your best to derail a thread through anal pedantic 'policing.'

Oh for fuck's sake, skallas, grow up and stop trying to make your own problems sound like someone else's. You derailed the thread before it even started by stuffing the FPP full of your usual load of axe-grinding, anti-religion bullshit, then tripped all over yourself trying to accuse me of making ad hominem attacks on you when I called you on it.

but the nitpicking has to stop.

When you stop posting deliberately inflammatory crap that belongs on your own blog, to the front page of Metafilter, it will.



posted by MrBaliHai at 6:52 PM on September 7, 2002


...not to derail the thread or anything.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:13 PM on September 7, 2002


mrbalihali:
When you stop posting deliberately inflammatory crap that belongs on your own blog, to the front page of Metafilter, it will.

Next time you have such a major problem with a post you should use metatalk instead of accusing me self-linking in some bizzare way. So if my 104 kids buried post was so bad wheres all the metatalk threads? Perhaps you just disagreed with my opinion and decided to be childish about it?
posted by skallas at 7:22 PM on September 7, 2002


mrbalihali:
When you stop posting deliberately inflammatory crap that belongs on your own blog, to the front page of Metafilter, it will.

Who makes you the judge of what belongs on metafilter? Telling me to keep it on my blog while acting like metafilter is your own personal blog is a little hypocritical dont you think?

posted by skallas at 7:24 PM on September 7, 2002


...not to derail the thread or anything.

Maxima mea culpa, stavros. I invited Mr. Skallas to take up his issues with my comments privately in e-mail, but he appears to be intent on dragging it into MeTa by hook or by crook...even if that means complaining about me in an unrelated thread.

skallas: I have nothing further to say to you here.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:29 PM on September 7, 2002


The invite was after what? 2-3 different comments about me being a self-linker and a troll. Perhaps you should have started in email or in metatalk.
posted by skallas at 7:34 PM on September 7, 2002


there is an increasingly common use of 14k+ to mean "idiot newbie" ... why make 14,000 the magic newbie number? Why not 10,000?

Or why not 4850? After that things really went downhill.

I don't necessarily disagree with your premise that newbies get a disproportionate amount of flack around here. But one of the traditional characteristics of newbies is that they take things a bit to personally, and often ...

Ah, maybe I shouldn't be making sweeping generalizations about newbies -- I guess that was kind of the point, huh? Let me instead talk about me, when I was a newbie. When I was a newbie, I would spend a lot of time crafting my comments (I'm not even talking about my posts, here, mind you, just my comments), and then I would post them, and then I would sit there at work I mean at home and reload the page and just wait for everyone to chime in with "Wow Shadowkeeper, that's the most astute observation I've ever seen on this site." And then I'd be bummed when it didn't happen. Worse would be the cases where someone would actually refute something I said, or, dead god, dismiss my masterpiece with a single snarky sentence.

Now, of course, I could care less if someone responds to one of my posts with "Don't you mean you 'could not care less,' you dumbass!!!?" If people are going to insist on overlooking the genius in each and every one of my comments -- well, I guess that's their loss now, innit?

My point being that veterans should handle the newbies with kid gloves, yes -- that's their responsibility. The responsibility of newbies, meanwhile, is to accept that some snarkiness and complaining is going to be inevitable 'round here, and try their darndest not to let it get to 'em. If you've really made a mistake and get nailed for it, just resolve not to do it again. If you haven't made a mistake and User X is just being an ass towards you, trust that other users will recognize that User X is behaving like a lout and let it go. Everyone here has been called out a time or three, and everyone who's still around has managed to survive. Constructive criticism and the occasional not-so-constructive abuse are just some of the tasty ingredient that go into this talame pie we call MetaFilter.

posted by Shadowkeeper at 7:43 PM on September 7, 2002


Way to close your italics tag, dumbass!
posted by Shadowkeeper at 7:46 PM on September 7, 2002


What is a talame pie? I tried a google search and came up with Talame = Syrian Bread. I'm not completely sure how you make a pie out of it. I'm not even sure where to get syrian bread.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:47 PM on September 7, 2002


My god! The 16K+ people will be showing up any day now. I remember the innocent 14K days. The 15Ker kids took a little getting used with their weird and wacky ideas. But I loathe the day when user number 16005 posts something inane to the front page.*

Yes. I just preemptively called someone out that doesn't exist yet.


*note to user 16005 reading this in the archives in the future. nothing personal. i hope we can be friends.
posted by birdherder at 8:26 PM on September 7, 2002


Tamales!
posted by vacapinta at 8:32 PM on September 7, 2002


Syrian Bread!

*goes back to his popcorn*
posted by gummi at 10:34 PM on September 7, 2002


I, for one, welcome our new 14+ overlords.
I hope I haven't lost my amateur status by making *The Joke*

As a newbie, I haven't felt that I was being "called out," per se. I feel like I have been learning how to be a part of the community.

At virtually any site you visit, there are sets of unspoken rules. For that matter, any time you move to a new country, a new state, a new town, a new job, or any other new group of people, you will have to spend some time discovering the "correct" (forgive the scare quotes) way to behave.

Thus, while I understand your concern, Taz, I wouldn't want the old timers to behave any differently towards one of my lame links than they would to any other person's lame links.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:02 AM on September 8, 2002


foursome and paypal
equals eeyew Frasermoo
thanks for sharing, Not
posted by y2karl at 3:11 AM on September 8, 2002


Or why not 4850? After that things really went downhill.

Once we left the three digit range, matt should've just started handing out handbaskets.

(To put the lotion in, 'natch.)
posted by precocious at 4:53 AM on September 8, 2002


Metafilter: Way to close your italics tag, dumbass!
posted by adampsyche at 5:44 AM on September 8, 2002


The only bad thing I've noticed lately is an abundance of ad hominem attacks and poor logical arguments. Perhaps The Logical Fallacies should be required reading? [snark] Oh, and I apologize for being 14k+. I grovel at the feet of the Brahmin pre-4850s. [/snark]
posted by The Michael The at 6:02 AM on September 8, 2002


{a.k.a. - 14524} Just give it time... this will all wash out in the end. The recent swath of new users is still relatively... well, new. There was a good six months or so where everyone here enjoyed a little "peace and quiet" all to themselves. Well, now there's a thousand new members, plus or minus. Not everyone has taken a turn yet on the ol' front page. Some will do fine, others will fuck it up. FP posting isn't that easy to do, if you want to do it right.

I've been active a for a month now (at most) and STILL haven't posted to the front page... fine with me. While that's partly due to a nervousness issue on my part (I'm not THAT nervous), it is also Not a fear. The main reason why I haven't posted is because I haven't found anything worthy yet.

Older members should be more tolerant of new member attempts at participation. New members should be more tolerant of older member "constructive criticism".

Or we should just settle this the old fashioned way
posted by Witty at 6:24 AM on September 8, 2002


The Michael The : I agree, and I'm hoping it's pre-anniversary tensions. These periods of stroppiness seem to come in waves, surging and receding. Fingers crossed.

Another piece of required reading, by the way, should be How Not To Talk.

Meta-meta, I find all this talk of Posting Anxiety amusing. I don't think I've even attempted to make a post to the front page in months, though I have pondered it a few times, in part due to my astonishingly consistent doublepost record. No biggy, though. You don't have to post to the front page to be a contributing member of our little society, folks...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:55 AM on September 8, 2002


Thanks for those links The Michael The and stavrosthewonderchicken. Now I'll have some terminology for a lot of what I see going on here. And I could even be extra snarky and link to examples when found.
posted by gametone at 8:59 AM on September 8, 2002


...which generally goes over about as well as correcting peoples' spelling *grin*
posted by Su at 9:37 AM on September 8, 2002


Another piece of required reading, by the way, should be How Not To Talk.

Agreed. I love that page and reference it quite a bit.

Another page I would recommend is Logic and Fallacies - Constructing a Logical Argument.
posted by lampshade at 9:59 AM on September 8, 2002


...which generally goes over about as well as correcting peoples' spelling *grin*

D'oh!

posted by gummi at 11:02 AM on September 8, 2002


lets all hug each other and discuss what we are going to do about those nasty , evil and uncontrollable 16k'ers looming over the horizon like a band of apaches .....

apaches having a VERY bad hair day.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:20 PM on September 8, 2002


Now, i am back to my wine. A rather fine "Coat de Roan"-- posted by Frasermoo

Ummm...wouldn't that translate as "Horse Blanket"...in which case....EWWWWH! heheheheh. Sorry, couldn't resist that one. ;)

Oh, right...thread topic....Uh, "Can't we all just get along?" TM ® © Overused Cliche Inc.
posted by dejah420 at 7:15 PM on September 8, 2002


Ummm...wouldn't that translate as "Horse Blanket"...

Yes, and "chat eau" translates as "cat water"

Makes ya think, huh?
posted by jonmc at 8:30 PM on September 8, 2002


A lot of new users are being called out (or belittled) rather promiscuously for posts or comments that are often no different than what they have been accustomed to seeing from Metafilter elders pre-14k...

Danger or no, belittling comments are just bad form. Classless, childish, and a bad reflection on MeFi in general.
posted by Shane at 8:14 AM on September 9, 2002


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