Why Does a Librarian Own a Social Media Site That’s Been Around for Long September 7, 2022 10:22 AM   Subscribe

User 292 speaks with user 15348 on the podcast Reimagining The Internet about the past, present, and future of MetaFilter.
posted by terrapin to MetaFilter-Related at 10:22 AM (29 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

(It was the reference to this podcast on twitter that reminded me I kept forgetting to join in on here, so thanks to /user/15348!)
posted by Inanna at 10:32 AM on September 7 [13 favorites]


Welcome, Inanna!

I enjoyed reading through the transcript. The characterization of Mefites as extremely online is interesting, since I'm used to the phrase "extremely online" referring to the Twitter-specific strain, which is quite different from what you usually see here, but it definitely rings true.
posted by wesleyac at 10:43 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


Thanks Wesleyac! To get the most out of SM / the online world including blogging (LJ,DW), communal efforts (WP, OSM) and The Well/CIX/MeFi it probably requires someone to be more frequently online than once every few days in order to be interactive and not overly-delayed-reactive. Every few years, it seems though, what that means changes, probably as a result of the changes in access methods and costs thereof. (So nice when per-minute charging disappeared, for example.)
posted by Inanna at 10:48 AM on September 7




MetaFilter: it's where I like to be.
posted by dg at 1:27 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: just a bunch of kind of dopey, sincere people trying to have legitimate communications and interactions with each other.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:33 PM on September 7 [15 favorites]


Inanna, my username in at least one place is MollyInanna, so very much digging finding another Inanna in the wild.
posted by MollyRealized at 2:48 PM on September 7


I loved the description of this place as social media for non friends. I think of it as a little bit like a friendly bar where you can show up alone and go home alone but still have a nice time. Thanks for posting this.
posted by eirias at 5:40 PM on September 7 [16 favorites]


Yeah, exactly that. I keep finding it weirder and weirder that I spend all this time on this site where I don't know anyone (and with my shitty memory, I can't even remember which of the strangers said what to me). But... yeah, that's it exactly. It's a nice bar.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:52 PM on September 7 [7 favorites]


Sometime.. this year?.. on the blue was a post about "third spaces" and how MetaFilter serves that role for a lot of folks. Can't find it now. Definitely fits in with the sense of coming to the neighborhood bar alongside the information superhighway.
posted by curious nu at 7:11 PM on September 7 [3 favorites]


curious nu, I think you're thinking of "third places" and this MetaFilter post by Violet Blue.
posted by cgc373 at 8:45 PM on September 7 [2 favorites]


I liked this interview, it made me feel happy to get some Jess-on-MeFi content outside of the site podcast. I read the transcript rather than listening and it was sort of an interesting exercise in deconstructing what were clearly failures of transcription to catch the actual lilt of Jess' conversational patterns. (I also made a jokey comment in the thread on the blue about the transcript spelling my name "Mallard" but then I checked the transcript and it had been corrected already so I deleted my own comment. The thrills of the retired mod.)

MetaFilter: just a bunch of kind of dopey, sincere people trying to have legitimate communications and interactions with each other.

Heh, I was interviewing for a job at a local non-profit today and explained in fairly similar terms the sort of earnest complicated nature of MeFi as part of what resonated with me about wanting to work with them on some of the local outreach and community support stuff they do. It's kind of impossible to sufficiently explain MeFi to people as "just, you know, internet stuff", in a way that I will always be proud of.
posted by cortex (retired) at 8:50 PM on September 7 [22 favorites]


a friendly bar where you can show up alone and go home alone but still have a nice time

That's one of my favorite evenings and a perfect description of why this place is awesome.

That was a great interview jessamyn, and a very thorough and representative view of MetaFilter.
posted by bendy at 9:54 PM on September 7 [4 favorites]


"It's a nice bar."

posted by y2karl at 12:13 AM on September 8


y2karl's link led me to a very moving video about a 16-year-old shelter dog. A foster family brings him home for his final days, but he experiences a remarkable turnaround. I was confused but moved.
posted by Well I never at 7:36 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


it was sort of an interesting exercise in deconstructing what were clearly failures of transcription to catch the actual lilt of Jess' conversational patterns.

Right? They removed all my umms and "you know"s, or most of them, but every time I said "Right?" they left it in as its own sentence and not as a question. I did email them about how to spell your name and pb's name, and suggested I do not capitalize "god" even though every stupid spellchecker seems to. I really felt that interview went well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:01 AM on September 8 [14 favorites]


That dog video brought from the depths a nice story that was going the rounds when I started working in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin in 2001. In 1990, Ireland did surprisingly well in Italia 90, that year's World Cup soccer tournament. An elderly lady was occupying a hospital bed for her last journey surrounded by her anxious family. As the time for a crucial Ireland match approached, she told her sons and daughters to go off and watch the match in the common room "sure don't be worrying about me". After the game, her rellies trooped back somewhat sheepishly having had their priorities exposed.
"How did we do?" murmured the old lady
"We won on penalties" they chorused
"I'm feeling much better, so; is there a cup of tea to be had?" The restorative power of tea (and soccer) worked its magic, she was soon discharged and lived on for several more years.
posted by BobTheScientist at 9:05 AM on September 8 [11 favorites]


That was really interesting, thanks.
posted by paduasoy at 10:42 AM on September 8


This was a nice listen.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:30 PM on September 8


Fascinating. Thanks! Thoughtful and surprising as always.

I don't think I would have described the mefite members in the same way. Jessamyn knows them far better than me. I'm absolutely not claiming she's wrong; I'm just reconsidering my understanding of the community.
posted by eotvos at 6:25 AM on September 9


Curiosity piqued, eotvos! How would you describe the community?
posted by mpark at 11:23 AM on September 9

Curiosity piqued, eotvos! How would you describe the community?


Interesting. I guess I think of mefites in the same way I think of my work colleagues - smart, thoughtful, kind people who are much closer to the US political center than me and unlikely to take over-the-top sarcasm well. I love and value the community here, but I do censor my comments in a way that I don't with close IRL friends. Talking to strangers is always hard. The strangers here are less strange than in most contexts.

That we're more online than other people is a new idea for me. I suspect it's not wrong, but it also describes most of my close friends who aren't here. Perhaps that's because I live in a bubble and only talk to people with PhDs who know Fortran.
posted by eotvos at 1:04 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Always happy to see Jorn's 'Robot Wisdom' acknowledged. He really showed us how.
posted by Rash at 1:20 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Congratulations, Jessamyn! It couldn't have happened to a better user number.
posted by TrishaLynn at 4:33 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Three cheers for Jessamyn!
posted by blurker at 5:22 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


/me notes that "US political center" is far to the right of much of the rest of the world, but the point is probably still valid. The world is full of bubbles and the online community is no different in that respect, whether around politics, ecology, entertainment, or sport, there are conflicts that sites and services like Mefi can enable discussion about well.
posted by Inanna at 8:42 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Good interview!
posted by michaelh at 10:30 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]




Ha! I was just about to post the link to the second part.
posted by terrapin at 1:52 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


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