2023 MeFi Fundraising Month August 1, 2023 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Hi MetaFilter

We are thrilled to announce the launch of MetaFilter's Fundraising Month, a time when our community comes together to support the site we all hold so dear. This particular year, our goal is clear: To continue on the path towards more stable and robust site finances that we started with 2022’s fundraising.

Why Do We Need Your Support?

MetaFilter has always been a special place, fostering meaningful discussions, celebrating shared interests, and promoting a sense of belonging among diverse people worldwide. We are a community-centered platform and we want to remain independent, ensuring that your experience is free from intrusive corporate interests.

However, maintaining MetaFilter's infrastructure, moderation, and implementing essential upgrades require dedicated resources. Since the end of last year’s fundraising our Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) has decreased by roughly 6.5% ($1,730.00/month) due to subscriptions people decided not to maintain. One-time donations are very much appreciated, subscriptions help us plan.

Your contribution during Fundraising Month will play a crucial role in ensuring the platform's sustainability and continuing to work towards a member-driven site.

How Can You Help?

Participating in Fundraising Month is easy and fulfilling! We encourage you to consider making a contribution to MetaFilter during this time. Every contribution, big or small, will have a big impact on our ability to continue serving you with the same passion and dedication.

In addition to making a direct donation, there are several other ways you can contribute:

- Spread the Word: Share the news of our Fundraising Month across your social networks, among friends, and communities where you feel MetaFilter's values resonate.

- Engage in Conversations: Dive into the subjects you care about by contributing to the posts happening in each of the subsites and, why not, making a new post yourself.

- Support Each Other: Offer your knowledge, kindness, and encouragement to fellow members. A friendly comment or a helpful hand can make a world of difference.

- Invite new people to join MetaFilter: You can invite friends to join and enjoy MetaFilter here.


Where Will Your Contribution Go?

The funds raised during this month will be allocated towards the following:

- Server and Technical Infrastructure Maintenance and Development: Ensuring a reliable and smooth platform experience for all users. We also have money available for a part-time developer to help with some of the feature requests we’ve been tracking.

- Community Moderation and Support: We’d like to increase moderation coverage to closer to full time to maintain a healthy and welcoming atmosphere.

Fundraising Month begins today and concludes on August 31st. Keep an eye out for special events, posts, and updates during this time, and remember that every act of support, be it monetary or participatory, makes a significant impact.

Thank you for being an integral part of MetaFilter's journey. Together, we can ensure that this community thrives for many more years to come!
posted by loup (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 10:43 AM (116 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

A business update to go along with the funding announcement.

I've been doing a lot of legal compliance stuff on the back end, mostly fiddly paperwork stuff. As I mentioned in the past I've been looking into sustainable models for MeFi, one in which there is no one owner and where community governance is a legal possibility, and trying to just stay the course until then. There are a few options but heading in the direction of becoming a non-profit was the one which looked the most viable. I know it's been discussed before, I felt now was a time to re-visit. My lawyer likes this idea, and our accountant likes it, but my lawyer is very conservative in terms of action, so this process has been slow for two reasons.

1. My lawyer wants to consult with a specialist in non-profits. We started trying to track down a person who could speak with us right around US tax time which was not great. Longer story short we've had appointments and "Oh sorry not my area" discussions with three separate people/firms and are working on a fourth.
2. I am waiting for some paperwork from cortex in order to get MeFi LLC's ducks in a row which I keep hoping is imminently arriving but so far has not been.

MeFi is in a decent place in terms of funding right now, i.e. no imminent crisis, but we're also not spending money on some of the things we'd like to (i.e. secondary developer to help frimble, admin person to help loup) which we got some funding for in the last fundraiser (thank you SC!). I know it can look like the site is in something of a holding pattern and I'm making this update just to let people know what's happening and to say I wish I had more concrete news during Fundraising Month but it seemed better to have a regular fundraiser than wait until this process was further along. Thanks to everyone for being part of MeFi's process.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:49 AM on August 1, 2023 [65 favorites]


It's great to hear that becoming a non-profit is a viable idea that has your support! Definitely a bit unexpected based on previously conveyed information that it was a non-starter and discussing it amounted to being a bad user.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:21 AM on August 1, 2023 [32 favorites]


For a $25 contribution to MeFi, you can MeMail me and I'll find and post six as-yet-not-on-FF films on the theme of your choosing. I did this several times last go 'round and folks seemed to enjoy it. Prev: 1 2 3 4 5 .
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2023 [23 favorites]


heading in the direction of becoming a non-profit was the one which looked the most viable

Somewhere an Eyebrow trembles.

waiting for some paperwork from cortex

Wow.
posted by riverlife at 11:54 AM on August 1, 2023 [30 favorites]


Is there a fundraising target?
posted by Sparky Buttons at 12:45 PM on August 1, 2023 [2 favorites]


I remember there being some strong opposition to the idea of going non-profit. I don't remember why. Can someone who remembers please summarize? Thanks.
posted by Flunkie at 1:57 PM on August 1, 2023 [5 favorites]


Are there any plans to do an auction again this year?
posted by skunk pig at 3:54 PM on August 1, 2023 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter feels a lot more like a co-op than a non-profit, but I don't know the technical differences. Is a co-op an option?
posted by hydra77 at 3:55 PM on August 1, 2023 [4 favorites]


I thought the reason it couldn't be a non-profit was the US political posts. But I see the comment from Jessamyn includes "where" so I assume this is about creating a non-profit outside the United States?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:11 PM on August 1, 2023 [1 favorite]


Political posts should not be a problem. The restraint against partisanship is on the entity, not the users.
posted by Miko at 4:24 PM on August 1, 2023 [21 favorites]

I thought the reason it couldn't be a non-profit was the US political posts.
I'm no lawyer, but... I mean... friggin' C-SPAN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
posted by Flunkie at 4:24 PM on August 1, 2023 [7 favorites]


I remember there being some strong opposition to the idea of going non-profit. I don't remember why. Can someone who remembers please summarize? Thanks.

Here's the quite vehement anti-non-profit legal argument from one of the then-mods back in October 2021, after the site had paid for an attorney to discuss the issue. I'm delighted to learn today that attorney's perspective is apparently no longer the most relevant one.

Note: there's been very heated discussion surrounding this topic in the past here. Just saying maybe it's good to keep that in mind in this thread.
posted by mediareport at 6:05 PM on August 1, 2023 [25 favorites]


For a $25 contribution to MeFi, you can MeMail me and I'll find and post six as-yet-not-on-FF films on the theme of your choosing.

I love this idea and just sent the site $35, and am now gonna spend a day or two thinking about how I want to create pleasure for myself using your amazing movie brain.
posted by mediareport at 6:18 PM on August 1, 2023 [9 favorites]


Thank you Jessamyn and team for everything you are doing. It is not easy to keep a community alive even--or maybe especially--a vibrant one like this.

I was particularly happy to read this:

My lawyer wants to consult with a specialist in non-profits. We started trying to track down a person who could speak with us right around US tax time which was not great. Longer story short we've had appointments and "Oh sorry not my area" discussions with three separate people/firms and are working on a fourth.

I know getting this kind of foundational advice on governance and other structural/legal issues doesn't come cheap, but it's an essential to making sure the enterprise has a solid foundation for the future. For this reason, I'd be very happy to contribute to a dedicated fund to help cover these costs.
posted by rpfields at 7:30 PM on August 1, 2023 [12 favorites]


We’d like to increase moderation coverage to closer to full time to maintain a healthy and welcoming atmosphere.

Full-time moderation coverage seems like a luxury that the site in its present condition need not prioritize.

Feel like a lot has been said across various metatalks about how moderation could work to better present a healthy and welcoming atmosphere, and that don't necessitate increased expenses.
posted by otsebyatina at 8:24 PM on August 1, 2023 [23 favorites]


Yay! If there's something I can do to help with the fundraising let me know. We've had someone say they weren't fond of the crouton-meter though, but maybe doing something else? Another auction would be nice, maybe? It was really popular!

I don't know if it'd be okay for me to help with it given how MeFi is trying to reorganize. It still seems really weird to me that Reddit can be planning a freaking IPO with an entirely volunteer moderation staff but our Steering Committee can't operate. (That's nothing against how jessamyn is doing things, and everything against how Reddit is doing them.)
posted by JHarris at 10:03 PM on August 1, 2023 [7 favorites]


> We’d like to increase moderation coverage to closer to full time to maintain a healthy and welcoming atmosphere.

> we're also not spending money on some of the things we'd like to (i.e. secondary developer to help frimble, admin person to help loup


I am begging you, please, to do some strategic, long term, goal-orientated planning to work out how best to use the (increasingly limited) funds to ensure the long term survival of MetaFilter - instead of this reactive budgeting.

1. What is the five year north star vision for the site? E.g. (A) "An excellently curated content aggregator in an increasingly fragmented, post-social media web" or (B) "An exclusive members club for a self-selecting crowd" or (C) (more focus on Ask, Fanfare, etc.) - whatever it is, just be clear that there is a vision to aim towards. And connected to this - be really clear, who is MetaFilter actually for? Readers, favouriters, infrequent commenters, frequent commenters?

2. What success metrics do you use to assess whether you are successfully moving towards that north star? What data do you use to measure those? E.g. (A) "Desirable Content" - number of daily posts on blue, number of daily users viewing blue, clickthrough on external links; (B) "Satisfactory member-to-member interaction" - number of engaged users (making comments with a certain frequency), number of moderator interventions required...

3. Ask yourself, ruthlessly, is this development time required? Are those features in the backlog contributing to moving the needle on the key metrics? If not, deprioritise and reallocate the funding. Does adding more moderator coverage really provide the uplift needed on key metrics? If not, deprioritise and reallocate. Are there other things to spend money on that would make an impact on these metrics (e.g. marketing and new user acquisition), if so, prioritise that over current spend.

I'm not just saying this because I disagree with whatever the current implicit north star vision is for MetaFilter. I don't really mind at this point what that vision is. I just want to see fundraising done purposefully and funding spent purposefully. With some sense of hope for the future. Rather than being seeing MetaFilter being stuck in this "managed decline" death spiral trying to maintain the status quo with fewer and fewer users, less content, and less funds to spend to do anything to rectify that.

Anyway, I've said this loads of times over the years - at this point I sort of assume that current state MetaFilter (a tiny, elitist community with a ridiculous cost-to-serve) is actually what both members and admin want. So I've said my piece for the last time, I'm logging out again now - I'll keep using MetaFilter as a source of interesting links to stuff across the web, but I am sad that every day provides fewer and fewer of interest.
posted by iivix at 3:00 AM on August 2, 2023 [60 favorites]


A few short answers

- the goal right now is just to try to stay on target, get back to our usual MRR level, and have fundraising month be a thing that can build community without burning people out.
- one of the issues against a non-profit previously was that the income stream was different (i.e. previously a lot of Google money, with fewer community donations; that has changed) and it might be necessary to set up a little for-profit business within the non-profit for that which is normal but also fussy. With a different revenue structure, this is more feasible. Political posts are not an issue but the site, as a whole, could not advocate for a political position.
- a co-op model (my lawyer actually specializes in co-ops) was a thing we discussed but requires much more active participation from more users and a more complex structure of funding and responsibility (and voting, though we do have a voting tool for that now) and we felt it would probably not be the right thing.

that don't necessitate increased expenses.

One of the issues about partial-time moderation is that if part of your moderation goals involve being attentive and responsive (as we do with flagging and email) then there are, for lack of a better word, service delivery issues, if no one's minding the store for three hours at a stretch and something bad/weird happens. There are ways to potentially address that with developer time, but it's all a balance.

Are those features in the backlog contributing to moving the needle on the key metrics?

I think some of them really are, yes. We've got a flagging issue that feels pretty high on our accessibility list, some BIPOC Board features that are important and a lot of user experience little details and cruft that need to be pared out so that this site looks like it exists in 2023, not 2013.

I agree with you that "big picture" stuff also should be scrutinized with longer-term goals in mind and we have a lot of great documentation from the SC that can help us chart that path.

Right now I'm just thinking of what my contribution to fundraising month is going to be, maybe some sponsored posts (I encourage others to make some of they'd like to, thanks DOT) maybe just letting someone sponsor a tag in my basement.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:42 AM on August 2, 2023 [19 favorites]


Keep an eye out for special events, posts, and updates during this time

Quick question so I can determine how my donation will be submitted: will there be a charge for these events, with the charge going towards the MF funding? Is the auction being done this year? Just checking for how I can support both MF and those who support MF.
posted by beaning at 11:45 AM on August 2, 2023


does "not for profit" instead of "non-profit" mean we can still talk and take political action ? i removed the expletive because grow up monsieur, grow up.

because i do not see any free bubblegum nor even "donate here for bubblegum".

also i have something(s) for an auction.
posted by MonsieurPEB at 12:38 PM on August 2, 2023


My lawyer wants to consult with a specialist in non-profits. We started trying to track down a person who could speak with us right around US tax time which was not great. Longer story short we've had appointments and "Oh sorry not my area" discussions with three separate people/firms and are working on a fourth.

I definitely recall that in MeTas prior to cortex's handover, people who had worked in non-profits were actually offering their services gratis to the site. I don't know if they also sent MeMail with their real-life CVs and contact information, but if they did I hope you can check up with them.

Also, this site owes Miko an apology note that starts with "You were right" and ends with "...and we're sorry." The mod who was the most dismissive of Miko no longer works here, otherwise I would have said she should draft the note herself.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 12:40 PM on August 2, 2023 [28 favorites]


IANAMeFi Spokesperson, but it seems less like the site is backtracking on the non-profit thing than it is that the change in finances has taken a move to non-profit status from overly complex and not-workable to potentially do-able.

I mean, jessamyn said so above. And previous comments saying np status was deemed unworkable specifically cited that as the sticking point.

Non-profit could work today =/= it was a mistake/lie to say it was unworkable before. Things change, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:48 PM on August 2, 2023 [12 favorites]


Nah, friend. Go and check the MeTa link from 22 months ago that was linked above. A certain mod was hostile to Miko and aggressively against the idea, they put forward their opinion -- and they are, AFAIK, an actual attorney -- that
It is not possible to have MetaFilter exist as a place where people talk about politics or a place where people share links, and also be a 501(c)3.
and the finality of the comment was so certain and inarguable that it encouraged other users to pile on Miko to get them to back down. I even repeated what they posted as if it were incontrovertible fact. Twice! That's how convinced I was by this mod fiat. Miko is owed an apology.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:12 PM on August 2, 2023 [27 favorites]


The reason for the change of stance on the legal format of MetaFilter is not relevant. I am quite sure you could keep asking lawyers until you found an answer that was satisfying to whatever your position is. Trump did it with the election and now he is indicted, but his defense may be I was relying on legal advice (of a moron aka Giuliani).

Having run a company myself, I can tell you that there are way more legal grey areas than one with the legal liability would like. Sometimes you just have to act in good faith and take a path that is legally defensible, but not necessarily legally clear.

I have also dealt with the IRS. Believe it or not, they can be rather reasonable. In one case, they agreed with my relative's stance on an issue and in another, they disagreed, but just asked them to correct it going forward.

My point is maybe someone advised against becoming a non-profit in the past because they have a different risk tolerance and because of the way the question was asked. There are two ways to ask a question of your lawyer. One, how do I do this that I want to do? Or, with the same issue, how do I not do this? You will get a legally defensible answer to both questions. If becoming a non-profit now makes sense to those in charge, run with it.

As for the past, I believe that both EM and Miko were acting in good faith but had a difference of opinion. Happens a lot. In hindsight, was Miko right and EM wrong? For this management team, sure, but for the previous regime, no. Seems to me the previous regime was risk adverse or perhaps they did not appreciate the actual risk or the consequences of the risk. I have no knowledge of the legalities of becoming a non-profit, but my guess is there is no bright line yes or no, it is more of a here's how to do it and here's what your risk is if you do do it.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:33 PM on August 2, 2023 [15 favorites]


Axe grinding par excellence! Link from 22 months ago! Demand for apology and, not only that, a demand that a specific person write a specifically worded apology as a punishment!! Incredible stuff!
posted by Mid at 1:39 PM on August 2, 2023 [29 favorites]


(I'm not from the US, so not familiar with the terminology.)

Is every non-profit a "501(c)3"? My impression from a (rather cursory) check is that "501(c)3" refers specifically to non-profits which are exempt from federal income tax.

If the (new) goal is to allow volunteer labor, a different form of non-profit where donations are not tax-deductible might be more appropriate? (In which case the linked answer from Eyebrows McGee might still stand.)

Either way, working towards allowing people to voluntarily contribute to the site seems essential (in ways that we did not realize two years ago), so I'm happy with this update!
posted by demi-octopus at 1:45 PM on August 2, 2023 [2 favorites]


YMMV, but I just do not have it in me to be mad at people for following advice from multiple legal professionals. Even if that advice turned out to be wrong. Particularly not if they stayed open to the idea, even after. I can see being frustrated with particular people. Not sure I see a path where I'd be looking to take their ex co-workers to task for it after they moved on, though. Probably very middle child and let's all just get along of me, I suppose, but that's where I'm at.

In the end, I'm just glad to hear maybe it can work after all.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:30 PM on August 2, 2023 [18 favorites]


Complaining about a two year old deleted comment definitely feels like axe grinding.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:32 PM on August 2, 2023 [23 favorites]


I don't know if it gets more axe-grindy than locating a cached copy of a *deleted comment* from an *ex-employee* and reposting it two years after the fact to score points in an argument over whether the people who still work at the company, who didn't make the comment in question, should apologize for it.
posted by JDHarper at 2:33 PM on August 2, 2023 [23 favorites]


The discussions being held here about blame and apologies should be tabled for another thread — and may I suggest, time — considering the site is trying to raise much-needed funds. I assume that these sorts of discussions also are detrimental to fundraising and may have the opposite effect.

The topic is valid, but the time and place should be reconsidered. Please.

I looking forward to the creative and educational posts on the Blue. Thanks to all who are co tributing their time and money.
posted by terrapin at 3:04 PM on August 2, 2023 [40 favorites]


Yeah, I think if the mod team were genuinely inclined to make amends for their past ill treatment of specific members and marginalized groups — just one example of which includes circling the wagons around a mod who regularly gaslit members and deleted the evidence — they would have done so by now. An apology might win back a little bit of squandered goodwill and a few monthly donations (not mine, fwiw), and it might quiet the members who like to mock people for caring about something that happened longer ago than last month. It might also get a few more people to contribute their volunteer or near-volunteer labor to the BIPOC Board or an eventual Steering Committee. But would it be worth it, given that apologies are haaaaard, and that they need to be sincere and attempt to offer an accounting of wrongs that would make them look bad? Is accountability ever worth it if it makes you look bad? We'll never know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway, if the mods want Metafilter to move past things like these, they'll actually attempt real, genuine redress instead of silently letting a handful of low user-numbers (who'll reliably crawl out of the woodwork to mourn the boyzone of yore in all the ways they know how) support a demonstrably false narrative. On the other hand, this is a storied Metafilter tradition, so might as well carry on.
posted by knucklebones at 3:15 PM on August 2, 2023 [24 favorites]


I think some of them really are, yes. We've got a flagging issue that feels pretty high on our accessibility list

replacing [!] with [flag post] is a technical challenge that has now consumed three years of unremitting effort
posted by Sebmojo at 4:19 PM on August 2, 2023 [32 favorites]


The original flag ui complainer isn't even around anymore.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:32 PM on August 2, 2023 [7 favorites]


I can’t possibly imagine giving Metafilter money to increase moderation time. In particular, the (entirely self-imposed) expectations around email responsiveness are bonkers, and vastly out of keeping with the lack of urgency in every other matter — changing [!] to [flag] can take three years (and counting), but we still need to respond to every email within the hour?

For whatever reason the powers that be here are utterly committed to moderation over every other possible use of Metafilter’s limited and dwindling funds. I mean, I assume that’s because mods and ex-mods hold the purse strings and take care of their own, but I think it’s a terrible policy and only looks more terrible with time. The site is continuing to decline and no meaningful change is being taken to try to improve it.
posted by crazy with stars at 7:34 PM on August 2, 2023 [33 favorites]


Jessamyn and loup, thanks for the news, and the transparency. The previous opinion about non-profit status seemed not quite right to me, and I appreciate that this news has and will generate some feelings. This level of transparency is really very reassuring.

knucklebones, I didn't care for the boyzone on MeFi, or the world outside, for that matter. If amends need to be made, those who committed injury or were injured may speak up; they are not required to do this publicly. If you need an axe-grinding, bring up old arguments thread, you could start one, or, you could give it a rest.

This is a thread about fundraising to keep the lights on and the staff treated fairly. Please support Metafilter if you can. Thanks.
posted by theora55 at 7:42 PM on August 2, 2023 [11 favorites]


It may be nearly two years old, but it was still absolutely lousy and totally unwarranted. I think there's really still some healing needed from the harms of the previous era before beating the drum in wholehearted support of financial donations.

A MetaFilter capable of apologizing would be the one worth donating to.
posted by Miko at 7:57 PM on August 2, 2023 [68 favorites]


Yes. Accusing a member who was acting in good faith about an issue that was reasonable at the time -- and apparently has been proven so reasonable that it's now the plan -- of causing someone's mental breakdown for making a reasonable business suggestion is so over-the-top awful that it's not "axe grinding" to remember that it happened and to bring it up in relevant threads. Like a thread where the new owner mentions it's the current plan.

Change only really works if the people who committed harm apologize for it. In the same way we expect heads of state to apologize for past harms committed by their country, asking new owners/existing leaders to apologize for past harms of their organizations is completely reasonable. The idea that if everyone just ignores a harm long enough then it doesn't count anymore is ridiculous.

Leadership not taking any accountability has been a Metafilter problem for a very long time, and I agree that it's a major structural problem with the site that needs to be fixed.
posted by lapis at 8:13 PM on August 2, 2023 [32 favorites]


and we lost Gotanda
posted by philip-random at 9:20 PM on August 2, 2023 [2 favorites]


Guys can we rerail this, maybe deescalate?

I am very top of the list of people unhappy about all of the past stuff with the previous owner and the lack of vision. Hey, there is vision now! That is an excellent thing!

I do not think the Kadets and Mensheviks spent much time apologizing for Nicholas, they had important shit to get done.

We are lucky tbh that jessamyn is a diplomatic person who held her tongue and stayed around long enough to be here with us in the position we are in now. Would a long apology from her about what c and em did have much meaning? Do you expect c and em to show up here with heartfelt apologies?

Let's be glad that we might actually get this thing on track.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:47 PM on August 2, 2023 [29 favorites]


Since the end of last year’s fundraising our Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) has decreased by roughly 6.5% ($1,730.00/month) due to subscriptions people decided not to maintain.

Request for clarification: are we pretty sure that is a specific intentional decision by those subscribers? Does this include or exclude lapses just because a credit card expired or something like that? I know in the past these kinds of fundraising campaigns have helped remind people to check that their recurring payments haven't gotten snarled up in some inadvertent way.
posted by brainwane at 2:10 AM on August 3, 2023 [3 favorites]


People who love front page posts about short sf/f you can read for free online: For sufficient stakes I could be persuaded to do another little series.
posted by brainwane at 2:12 AM on August 3, 2023 [24 favorites]


we're also not spending money on some of the things we'd like to (i.e. secondary developer to help frimble,

Putting forward questions related to that:

1) frimble has been part-time for the site for as long as I can recall. What is the asking price to bring them in full-time, even on a short-term basis?

2) What would be the price to bring someone else on full time, even on a short term basis, if frimble stays part time? (This could be the solution to the "we can't have volunteers doing paid work" issue.)

3) Could doing either of the above be a specific fundraising goal with a clearly defined total to meet?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 4:29 AM on August 3, 2023 [6 favorites]


and we lost Gotanda

God damn it. I’m not a mod. I don’t claim to know the shit you all have to deal with, but part of the whole thing has got to be impartiality, and we’ve seen over the last couple of years more than a few times where mods have let things get personal. I know it’s hard to deal with people who are yelling at you, and it can be easy to want respond in kind, but goddamn, the last couple years seemed to be this massive fight between members begging to offer their *expertise* (and remember, one of the things this place sells itself on, via Ask, is the ridiculously high level of expertise across its membership) in areas the site needed, and people arguing that things didn’t really have to change, only for it to come out last year that, no, the site was actually doing much, much worse than previously thought, and now, in this thread, not even in the post, but as a comment, that, well, maybe people who were yelling their heads off were doing so because they knew what they were talking about, and were instead being treated like they were the problem, rather than people offering knowledgeable solutions.

Here I am, thinking of all the times on site and off over the last couple of years trying to defend the sites decisions, sure that it couldn’t be that bad, and don’t I feel like a giant ass.

I’m tired of seeing good people, people who genuinely, earnestly want to help being pushed away from this place, or treated so poorly that it takes the love they have for this place, and the passion they feel for it and twists it into contempt and anger. Hell yes, Miko deserves an apology, and a shit ton of other people who aren’t here any longer to hear it.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:12 AM on August 3, 2023 [25 favorites]

are we pretty sure that is a specific intentional decision by those subscribers?
At least my small piece of that decrease is a specific intentional decision, due to many of the issues that have already been identified in this thread, and a few other specifics that I won’t derail by discussing.
posted by Alterscape at 6:22 AM on August 3, 2023 [1 favorite]


Did Gotanda post something here that got removed? (On check, it seems their entire site history is gone.)

Back in February loup posted:
Mods do know when/how to moderate and apply the guidelines we have. BUT, as we discussed before, I've asked them to leave moderation of Metas related to policy/moderation/site updates to me.
Is that no longer the case? Didn't we have a whole entire long talk in MeTa about how mods would refrain from deleting comments without leaving some sort of note for readers, or leaving some of the discussion up for context? So who fumbled the ball this time, did taz over-react again?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 6:25 AM on August 3, 2023 [2 favorites]


I believe that Gotanda requested, and got, an account wipe.

(Is there any remote chance that an entire re-litigation of the non-profit discussion doesn't have to happen here and now, once again?)
posted by advil at 6:34 AM on August 3, 2023 [17 favorites]


I love MetaFilter, I have a recurring monthly donation set up in PayPal; it draws directly from my bank account so I never need to remember to update my card info. But I took a break from donating to MetaFilter and only restarted when Eyebrows McGee left because she was repeatedly, actively, over the duration of her time as a mod here, harming people without accountability.

I want the site to succeed, and I really understand the desire not to endlessly re-litigate, but she was toxic and harmful and I think one of the reasons it comes up periodically is that there was no acknowledgement of that. Asking one party to set their grief aside when the other has not recognized it is unreasonable, and it makes for a shaky foundation to build on.
posted by kate blank at 7:48 AM on August 3, 2023 [19 favorites]


Account wipe requests don't arise out of nowhere, friend.

We've already had the MeTa about having a moderation log, where we were told it wasn't necessary because loup would be the only mod handling MeTas related to site updates about mod deletion policy, and the MeTa about taking a closer look at mod deletion policy, where we were told that mods would do better at giving reasons for comment deletions, and the one with the proposal to create an ombudsperson, where we couldn't reach a conclusion about whether the position was necessary, or what they would do. And holy cow! All of those posts are from this year. Or is that too "axe-grinding"?

And now a nebulous something has happened that caused an 11-year member to wipe their history. Vaya con dios, I guess, nothing to be done?

As for fundraising, I will kick in a one-time $50 earmarked specifically towards either frimble or someone else doing the long-delayed site work, but I'll stick to what I said back in January: my monthly contributions are turned off until this site brings out a moderation log.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 8:11 AM on August 3, 2023 [9 favorites]


Congrats, the tone and direction of this thread so far had dampened my enthusiasm for reading any more of it. Good luck with that fundraiser stuff. Maybe a do-over with participation from folks who are actually enthused about working toward the sites financial goals?
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:23 AM on August 3, 2023 [7 favorites]


Mod note: I believe that Gotanda requested, and got, an account wipe.

That is absolutely correct, so any previous comments made by Gotanda have been wiped from the site, including any made in in this MeTa. Other than that, no comment has been removed from this thread.

It may be nearly two years old, but it was still absolutely lousy and totally unwarranted.

Indeed, that was not our finest hour and things can and should have gone differently. Even if the decision was the exact same, you and others deserved and deserve better treatment.

I'm sorry that occurred to you and others, and that situation happened as it did. I apologize for the mistakes made there and as the newest member of the mod team, I can say we are striving to do better and ensure something like that does not happen again.

We realize that it'll take time for people to see and believe that and we hope every community member will give us that time.

Note, loup is off today and I'm covering their shift.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 8:32 AM on August 3, 2023 [53 favorites]


Didn't we have a whole entire long talk in MeTa about how mods would refrain from deleting comments without leaving some sort of note for readers, or leaving some of the discussion up for context?

Yes, but despite some improvement, I still notice threads where several comments are silently deleted, with no mod note at all, leaving other comments confusingly referring to things that no longer happened.
posted by fabius at 8:33 AM on August 3, 2023 [11 favorites]


Those non-profit discussions were not handled well. Miko I'm sorry you were treated that way; it wasn't okay. EM no longer works here. I also don't feel like she was well-managed and her boss also no longer works here. We've changed the way discussions are handled in MeTa as a result of that and other discussions, and I hope that makes a difference.

My point is maybe someone advised against becoming a non-profit in the past because they have a different risk tolerance and because of the way the question was asked.

Possibly, I was not part of those conversations at the time. Also our revenue structure has changed (in terms of what we bring in from members versus other "not core business" methods, which is a thing that matters to non-profits) which may have made a difference. Also I'd like to note that I raised this idea here in the interests of transparency because it's a path I'm exploring, we don't have a final answer on whether it will work yet. I hope it does.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:33 AM on August 3, 2023 [91 favorites]


[clears throat]

HEY EVERYBODY, IT'S FUNDRAISING MONTH!!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:47 AM on August 3, 2023 [30 favorites]


Thank you Brandon, and, on preview, thank you jessamyn. I don't think of Metafilter as an entity that can apologize. Eyebrows and cortex behaved badly, appallingly, really; jessamyn organized a peaceful takeover. Should jessamyn apologize for the bad behavior of the previous owner & staff? She just did. I think individuals should be accountable for their actions, the owner and mods should be accountable for the site, but how do they resolve old issues? I suspect jessamyn paid a fair bit for the site in order to keep it from failing in an ugly way, which I think was happening. I have a great deal of appreciation for that.

I'm sorry Gotanda left. I'm glad Metafilter and all of you are still here. Let's pitch in to keep Metafilter going. Donate. Make great posts and pretty good comments.
posted by theora55 at 8:53 AM on August 3, 2023 [16 favorites]


Thank you Brandon, and thank you jessamyn.

In the spirit of getting back to fundraising, you should know that the link on the fundraising page that reads "How to manage PayPal payments" goes to a nonworking (or unpublished) page in Paypal's help center.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 9:17 AM on August 3, 2023 [7 favorites]


I'm pleased with my little reoccurring donation. Every time I see the charge come across my ledger, I think "yeah, that's worth it."
posted by rebent at 9:34 AM on August 3, 2023 [10 favorites]


I am waiting for some paperwork from cortex in order to get MeFi LLC's ducks in a row which I keep hoping is imminently arriving but so far has not been.

Maybe this is the equivalent of a fart in the wind, but considering jessamyn's apologizing for shit that happened when you were in charge and you're still here and posting about how you love this place and love us all two weeks ago - cortex, if you actually value this place like you say you do, could you for once do whatever tasks that jessamyn needs with a sense of urgency and not hold this place back from progress for the umpteenth time?

Like it's infuriating to see on other platforms a steady stream of having time to do interesting art stuff and knowing that somewhere on your desk is a request from a friend and the person who took all this stress off your hands - and you're not getting to it the same way you did many things while you were in charge here.
posted by openhearted at 10:49 AM on August 3, 2023 [32 favorites]


Jessamyn, I appreciate your kind, candid, response, and I appreciate the clarification that a non-profit status may make sense now because of percentage of revenue that’s being brought in via donations. That’s piece of context that I was missing, but it sheds a lot of light on the approach then versus now.

In the spirit of being here and working to build a future together, I’m nudging my monthly donation up another $5.
posted by kate blank at 12:13 PM on August 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

EM no longer works here.
Her profile page still includes the "staff" flair. Perhaps that should be removed? Or at least changed to "former staff" or something like that?
posted by Flunkie at 12:25 PM on August 3, 2023 [5 favorites]


JHarris, I loved your crouton-o-meter! (I bid heavily on your auction item last year as well, iirc.) To quote myself, I really appreciate the effort! Being able to visualize some active positive movement encourages hope and enthusiasm, at least for me.
posted by obloquy at 12:40 PM on August 3, 2023 [10 favorites]


i won't speak for miko, but it seems to me that there has been an apology made and we should accept it and move on
posted by pyramid termite at 12:55 PM on August 3, 2023 [5 favorites]


hanov3r made a nice donation and asked for six films on time travel. bent back tulips also donated and specified I didn't need to post for them, but mentioned a time travel movie they liked. So I thought, why not just go hog wild and do a supersized Time Travel batch?

And so I did. 13 moves about Time Travel. It's got everything: historical fantasy; Hong Kong madness; high concept big budget WWII stuff; '70s UK kid stuff; Czech absurdism; Japanese sci-fi comedy; romcoms gone time travel; Soviet stage adaptations; UK lad comedy; 80s direct-to-video schlock; Bruce Campbell; and more.

If someone donates $10 more, I'll also post the five that nearly made the cut.

Or, donate $10 and I'll post the four time loop movies I couldn't shoehorn in.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:00 PM on August 3, 2023 [25 favorites]


Or you know, donate $25 and I'll post an entirely new batch of movies on the theme of your choice.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:21 PM on August 3, 2023


Thank you Brandon, and Jessamyn. This is a good first step. To be clear, although she played a part, EM is not the sole reason why many members left over the last few years. FWIW, the harm done to the community as a whole, to specific individuals, and to whole swathes of minoritized members (POC who spent countless hours explaining white supremacy culture 101, multiple trans members who were banned for literally no reason, etc) has gone on for so long that for a reckoning to be meaningful, acknowledgement and repair cannot be a one-and-done event. Much as Metafilter’s hyper-intentional shift away from the boyzone continues to be referenced as a period of conscious change more than a dozen years later, these important one-time apologies are an excellent start. But the culture-shift that’s already underway with Jessamyn at the helm needs to clearly articulate both the work that needs to be done and the history of harm that puts it in context. That’s what accountability means. It certainly doesn’t have to happen today (nor could it), but it does mean taking more clear steps to live by, and mod by, a set of values that until now, Metafilter as a company has repeatedly failed to uphold.
posted by knucklebones at 1:31 PM on August 3, 2023 [13 favorites]


DOT, can we put up the Micheal Moore and Osmond's autographs?

are we talking 501c or 501(c) 3
posted by clavdivs at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2023



Request for clarification: are we pretty sure that is a specific intentional decision by those subscribers?


By at least this (former) subscriber, yes. And seeing the doubled down defending of Eyebrows here makes me realize it was the right decision. If they hadn't been a mod, that behavior (regardless of whether they were right or wrong) would not have been tolerated.

I've recently dipped a toe back in because I know and admire jessamyn's work and was impressed by the work of the BIPOC booard, but wow. I'm disheartened by this heel digging (not you, brainwane) and continued poor handling of DEAI issues.
posted by TravellingCari at 1:49 PM on August 3, 2023 [7 favorites]


DOT, can we put up the Micheal Moore and Osmond's autographs?

Oh yeah! For auction, right? There's gotta be a way.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:39 PM on August 3, 2023


Last year’s fundraiser included the presentation of a financial packet with a summary of the finances, a history of fundraising efforts and three budget scenarios. I understand that a lot of work went into preparing those materials, but I also remember that maybe the TT/SC also did work to make this kind of reporting and planning easier. Will there be a similar update this year? Are there fundraising targets? This post reads like the goal might be to just replace the portion of recurring revenue that has dropped off, but it’s not clear, and it doesn’t seem like we have been told how costs have changed and what that might mean for fundraising goals. Will there be weekly updates on the progress of the fundraiser?
posted by snofoam at 3:13 PM on August 3, 2023 [12 favorites]


Jessica, Brandon, and Loup, I appreciate you all so much!
That’s all. I’ll be making a one-time contribution Real Soon Now.
posted by dbmcd at 4:10 PM on August 3, 2023 [1 favorite]


Just saying, I would buy a t-shirt with a cute lil crouton on it…
posted by alygator at 5:27 PM on August 3, 2023 [5 favorites]


I dunno if I’d buy that t-shirt but I do know I’d love to see some merch. I don’t know if it’s part of the plan and I’m sure it’s not a big revenue generator. But I’d like to buy one or more stuff… one art please
posted by one4themoment at 6:04 PM on August 3, 2023 [3 favorites]


I just added $5/month to my recurring donation.
In other news:
I'd pay towards a fund to persuade Brainwane to do another series of short SF stories. And I'm cautiously optimistic about an auction!
posted by Vatnesine at 6:04 PM on August 3, 2023 [3 favorites]


Additionally I’d sponsor a basement tag… something like one4thekitchen? One4thebathroomsink? I’m not sure how it works… requesting more information please.
posted by one4themoment at 6:35 PM on August 3, 2023


(Also additionally) I was someone who said stop with the nonprofit stuff and I apologize for that Miko
posted by one4themoment at 6:42 PM on August 3, 2023 [14 favorites]


I love Brainwane's short story posts and would also be up for donating to a fund for more. I have a tab group ready and waiting to hold those recs!
posted by gentlyepigrams at 8:37 PM on August 3, 2023 [4 favorites]


I ended up on a rabbit hole of time loop movies and now have an excellent list of 12, awaiting a donation to go live...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:57 AM on August 4, 2023 [2 favorites]


You know what: I donated money too, so I'm posting the time loop movies...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:16 AM on August 4, 2023 [10 favorites]


I made a donation and posted a double sized batch of movies with time loops. You can check it out at the tag #DejaVuDay.

Donate $25 and I'll post six not-yet-on-FF movies on the theme of your choosing, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:15 AM on August 4, 2023 [5 favorites]


I just donated $50, and I would like six movies that take place primarily at a high school or college, and six biopics or documentaries about a musical artist.
posted by box at 5:44 PM on August 4, 2023 [4 favorites]


Fun choices. I'm on it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:21 PM on August 4, 2023 [5 favorites]


When I'm home from my vacation I'll create some circuit board & resin jewelry that I can contribute to an auction, just in case one is coming up. It's easy to ship internationally, so that's a plus.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:03 AM on August 5, 2023 [4 favorites]


Wow, I never traipse over to MeTa, and uh, I'll probably just keep my little donation going and see myself back out. Apparently a bunch of stuff going over my head here.

One thing that did stick in my craw about iivix's comment, and I say this as someone who's never posted to the blue and is quite intimidated to do so, is that I feel the internet has definitely shifted in the years MF has existed. I don't really spend less time on the Internet than I did 10 years ago, but I feel like the quantity of neat little blogs, odd personal projects, and other internet gems I come across and that would be worth sharing has decreased dramatically, or shifted to being someone's Instagram account or some other format that's less Blue post friendly. The stuff I do find tends to be incredibly niche trade related stuff that probably wouldn't generate much interest.

That said, I'd love to donate some work to an auction. I didn't have my act together last year, but depending on what people are interested in, I could put together some tasteful desk lamps or wall sconces, finished to order. Been working on a few prototypes that are very customizable!
posted by jellywerker at 7:33 AM on August 5, 2023 [15 favorites]


Three things:

Firstly, thank you Jessamyn.

Secondly, to the hemhawers: if you think an apology is a punishment, I encourage you to seek professional help from a mental health expert. Seriously. Space for an apology is a gift.

Thirdly, to the same group, 2 years is not a long time in institutional times. Bringing up harms is not axe grinding. Harms you committed two years ago still happened in this place called reality. If you think harms you yourself committed 2 years ago are no longer relevant in your personal life, I think you're bad for people. You should leave them alone.
posted by CPAnarchist at 5:48 PM on August 5, 2023 [10 favorites]


Depending on what state mefi is organized in, there are worker/member combination cooperative options that could also technically attain 501c3 status if deemed appropriate/feasible. Such a form could potentially enfranchise workers and significant contributors alike, if desired, or any number of options between or (slightly) beyond.
posted by CPAnarchist at 6:05 PM on August 5, 2023 [2 favorites]


I really like it here. I'm a monthly subscriber and I'm doing an additional one-time donation. Thank you to everyone who keeps this place running.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:46 PM on August 6, 2023 [7 favorites]


I just contributed $50 ($25 because DirtyOldTown has a great gimmick, and $25 because MeFi is great generally) and would love to see a few reviews of submarine movies... Especially ones which have been adapted into DS9 episodes.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:40 PM on August 6, 2023 [3 favorites]


box's biopics/docs about musicians list is up: https://fanfare.metafilter.com/tags/MusicianStories

Next up (probably tomorrow) is kaibutsu's list of submarine movies.

The queue is empty after that.

Who's next?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:52 AM on August 7, 2023 [3 favorites]


I've been reading about Wuershen's new fantasy trilogy, the first of which was released in Chinese theaters last month, which got me to thinking about hit films in other countries over the last few years. Can I make that my request for the donation I made above, DOT? Recent hit movies in, say, Spain or Japan or Brazil or wherever, your choice, that didn't get much play in the US?
posted by mediareport at 7:24 AM on August 8, 2023


Can I make that my request for the donation I made above, DOT? Recent hit movies in, say, Spain or Japan or Brazil or wherever, your choice, that didn't get much play in the US?

You certainly can! I love that request. I'll add it to the queue.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:38 AM on August 8, 2023 [2 favorites]


kaibutsu's request for six submarine movies is up under the tag #SubCinema. kaibutsu specifically mentioned Das Boot. That one is already on FF, but since that is a very classic, tense submarine drama, I tried to go with six classic bangers all in the same vein.

Hope you enjoy, kaibutsu!

Next up: mediareport's request of a list of films that were hits in other countries but didn't get much hype in the US.

Tentatively slated for tomorrow for that, and then after that the queue is empty.

Who's next?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:53 AM on August 8, 2023 [3 favorites]


I love this idea and I love MetaFilter. Huge thanks to all the people who keep it going with contributions, posts and comments, moderation, technical magic, and good cheer. I’m at my max monthly contribution but made an extra donation last week. DOT, may I please request non-American especially non-English language spy comedies? Thanks for all your film posts!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 12:33 PM on August 8, 2023 [2 favorites]


You donated $25 or more? Then yes, absolutely. I will add that to the queue!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:51 PM on August 8, 2023 [2 favorites]


I don't know if this is information that is readily available, but I'm wondering how we are doing off Amazon affiliate payments. I ask because around the time of last year's fundraiser I started following Amazon links from Metafilter before every purchase I make at work, in hopes that it would make a difference. The amount we were making from Amazon previously was really miniscule, so I am curious if there's any noticeable uptick.
posted by joannemerriam at 3:21 PM on August 8, 2023 [1 favorite]


mediareport's request for international blockbusters is proving challenging. I've only narrowed it down to 14 films, not six.

If someone wants to kick in to MeFi $10 on top of mediareport's $25, I'll post all 14.

They're good, too! $10 is cheap!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:08 PM on August 8, 2023 [2 favorites]


Okay, DirtyOldTown, I donated $15 for the go-ahead.
posted by Soap_and_Bathetic at 7:29 PM on August 8, 2023 [3 favorites]


Coming tomorrow, then!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:46 PM on August 8, 2023 [1 favorite]


I just want to add that I really appreciate DirtyOldTown's posts! This place is still fun and delightful after so many years.

Also to add that my monthly donations stopped and, indeed, it is because the card I was using had expired! So, off to fix that...
posted by vacapinta at 6:34 AM on August 9, 2023 [8 favorites]


Thank you everyone for stepping in and helping with the fundraising.

Also, as Jessamyn mentioned above, our goal this time around is to make up for the annual revenue churn and, hopefully, geting back to our usual Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) level.

Full-time moderation coverage seems like a luxury
Yeah, Jessamyn and I agree, we don't need 24/7 moderation but we need eyes on the site and smaller gaps in between shifts. There are issues that can arise when those gaps are big.

Does this include or exclude lapses just because a credit card expired or something like that?
Yes, it does and I have started, slowly but steadily, reaching out to the ones whose transactions are being declined.

Will there be weekly updates on the progress of the fundraiser?
Biweekly this time since I'm he only one running numbers during my mod shift. I'll post an update with next week's site update and an then another by the end of the month.

will there be a charge for these events, with the charge going towards the MF funding? Is the auction being done this year?
I'm making an Ask the Mods Anything thread with a Virtual Tip Jar today as the first event. We haven't planned for an auction BUT, if you would want to auction something for the fundraising, please feel free to submit a meta for it.

I'm wondering how we are doing off Amazon affiliate payments.
We have raised $2,315.32 in Amazon affiliate payments this year so far.
posted by loup (staff) at 9:04 AM on August 9, 2023 [12 favorites]


We haven't planned for an auction BUT, if you would want to auction something for the fundraising, please feel free to submit a meta for it.

Just to ensure that I understand the correct meaning of "submit a meta for it"... I have something that needs to be auctioned off for fundraising - so I can submit a new thread here in MetaTalk to possibly do that? Is that correct?
posted by skunk pig at 11:25 PM on August 9, 2023 [1 favorite]


I have something that needs to be auctioned off for fundraising - so I can submit a new thread here in MetaTalk to possibly do that? Is that correct?
Yes, please, we'll approve it right away.
posted by loup (staff) at 11:31 PM on August 9, 2023 [1 favorite]


Orange Dinosaur Slide's list of non-US/non-English language spy comedies goes live today.

Tomorrow's slot is WIDE OPEN. $25 donation to MeFi and I recommend at least six movies not yet on FF on the theme of your choice!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:22 AM on August 10, 2023 [3 favorites]


Orange Dinosaur Slide's sponsored list of international spy comedies is up at #WorldAgents.

Currently sitting on my hands, awaiting the next sponsored series...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:15 AM on August 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


Also I have mentioned this before but in case it's useful. If you're someone who doesn't have or want to use PayPal or Stripe, you can always send checks directly. This can be done via your bank's bill pay system which also avoids Stripe/PayPal fees. Postal address is on MeFi's Privacy Policy page. A few MeFites have set up regular donations this way and it's appreciated. My only suggestion if you are considering this is to have those donations be quarterly and not monthly which just cuts down on mail pickup, trips to bank, etc. If you're already set up for monthly, no worries! This is just for future consideration. Thanks to everyone for helping out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:25 AM on August 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


I believe the sponsored theme days for FF has raised $215 so far this go around!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:39 AM on August 10, 2023 [8 favorites]


I have something that needs to be auctioned off for fundraising - so I can submit a new thread here in MetaTalk to possibly do that? Is that correct?
Yes, please, we'll approve it right away.


Apologies if I have not understood this properly - but I think skunk pig has an item to auction, not necessarily plans to organize and run the auction? As a person who helped with the auction last time - but did not do the lion's share of the work which was done by tavegyl (and it is a lot of work!) - I may not be available to help even that much this time (though I will try depending on the dates).

Maybe an auction Meta should be posted by someone who actually wants to set up or help set up the auction, rather than one person who has an item or items they'd like to donate to the auction? (And then the people who have stuff to donate can respond in that thread?)
posted by Glinn at 9:01 AM on August 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


Apologies if I have not understood this properly - but I think skunk pig has an item to auction, not necessarily plans to organize and run the auction?

Yes... I have one item for an auction. I don't have plans to organize and run an auction.
posted by skunk pig at 9:38 AM on August 10, 2023 [2 favorites]


We have raised $2,315.32 in Amazon affiliate payments this year so far.
posted by loup (staff) at 11:04 AM on August 9


Thanks!
posted by joannemerriam at 12:13 PM on August 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


People who love front page posts about short sf/f you can read for free online: For sufficient stakes I could be persuaded to do another little series. -- ok, 20+ people faved this and 2 people encouraged me via comments. So let's talk about how to do this.

In last year's auction I offered to make posts for up to 6 bids that went above the reserve price of USD$125.00 each. The result: we had 4 bids just above that price, so I made four distinct posts focusing on various themes. We raised just over $500.

But: For me, the work of reading a bunch of stories, choosing the ones I like best, and making front page posts about them makes more sense to do in a big batch. Therefore, instead of offering "contribute $100 and I'll make a single post" I'd rather say "if people collectively contribute $1,000 I'll make ten posts (but if we don't make it to a thousand dollars, then I don't do any)". Cheaper for y'all than last year on a per-post basis!

I don't have plans to organize and run an auction. And I don't have any particular desire to do the administration for a crowdfunding campaign. So we have a few options:

A. a single eager MeFite makes a $1,000 contribution and tells me they've done so [I figure I can verify with the administrators]
B. someone else runs the logistics of collecting "I contributed $x towards brainwane's sf/f post series" MeMails, deciding when/whether to check with admins to verify individual contributions, and telling me if/when we've met the threshold
C. ??? maybe you have a better idea?
D. I switch to "tell me you've contributed x dollars and I'll make a post" but x equals like $150 to make up for how it's a little harder for me to manage my time well. $225 if you want to specify some kind of theme.

If someone takes charge of making A or B happen before August 15th, awesome! Or if someone has a better idea (share here in comments) that we can implement by then, great! Otherwise I'll go with option D and announce it in comments here and using the #MetaFilter hashtag in the Fediverse (on Mastodon).
posted by brainwane at 10:26 AM on August 11, 2023 [1 favorite]


I've been busy away from here but did want to respond to Jessamyn's and Brandon's apologies on behalf of MeFi. That is meaningful and I appreciate it very much.

I will just add that it wasn't just me who experienced hurt at the actions of previous mods. I think there are more apologies due, and more of a sincere inward-looking reckoning with how to treat people going forward. I hope everyone who is still feeling puzzled, hurt, and dismissed can get a similar moment of recognition and an olive branch.

To those who thought any discussion of apology was axe-grinding or overblown: no. Such things are part of community care, and that is something MeFi will need if it is to become viably self-sustaining. Even though the two people who gave an apology on behalf of the entity were not involved in the hurtful incident(s), they are helping to set a new tone and showing some accountability for the enterprise itself. I see this as similar to something that comes up in the field I work in, cultural heritage/museums. It won't surprise anyone that right up through the 20th century, museums and collectors foisted a lot of abusive actions on indigenous people (in particular but not exclusively). As a result there has been a serious breach in trust between museums and contemporary indigenous communities. I have taken part in repatriation and rematriation work, helped issue apologies on behalf of museums, and put my own reactions aside in order to build a healthier relationship going forward. It doesn't matter that I wasn't one of the people working at Museum X when they looted graves and stole sacred objects. It does matter today that I can represent Museum X and say clearly "that was wrong, it should not have happened, and it did damage that is still ongoing. What we must do now is behave in a way that shows respect and builds trust."

This is less serious of course. But MetaFilter as an entity has an identity, and given the extent of the alienation that occurred in the past, it will take some visible and vocal shifting to build or rebuild stronger relationships.

Finally, on the nonprofit tip: that category might or might not offer the right incorporation structure for MeFi. But even if it does, it is not a magic wand. It won't do the work of building healthy governance or getting in right relationship or making sustainable business plans. It would only create conditions where unpaid contributions and community leadership are legally possible, but can't on its own set those structures up or solve the rest of the site's surviving and thriving challenges. That will take more effort.

Good luck with the fundraising, and thanks again, Jessamyn and BB.
posted by Miko at 7:29 PM on August 13, 2023 [66 favorites]


Hiya! Soliloquy's two sponsored lists are up! #DisabilityInJapan and #Josei are the tags.

This means I am once again completely free to research whatever quirky list of films you'd like to see on FF.

A $25 donation to MeFi gets you six films not yet on FF, curated and posted.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:58 AM on August 18, 2023 [4 favorites]


New!

I am interested in making front page posts recommending short scifi/fantasy stories you can read for free online!

For the rest of August: MeMail me to tell me you've contributed USD $150 and I'll make a post. $225 if you want to specify some kind of theme.
posted by brainwane at 3:44 AM on August 19, 2023 [1 favorite]


If someone makes a proper obit post for Kris Nova, I will give $25 to their favorite MetaFilter.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 5:50 AM on August 21, 2023


I don't know how proper it is, but here's one.
posted by box at 6:37 AM on August 21, 2023 [5 favorites]


Thank you!
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 6:38 AM on August 21, 2023 [1 favorite]

Apparently a bunch of stuff going over my head here
Seconding that! As an avid consumer of front page posts and the comment threads, I’ve been really excited to see what feels like a resurgence of activity and discussion since last year’s fundraiser.

I’m probably late given we’re well into August, but I also want to throw in a thank you to jessamyn, loup, frimble, Brandon Blatcher & the rest of the staff for keeping things going on my longest standing internet community. I also sent you money!
posted by pulposus at 2:23 PM on August 22, 2023 [5 favorites]


I also sent you money!

I'm so glad you posted here. I received it, but it just has your real name associated with it; our back end search makes it hard to link that to your username (I know it's right there on your profile page but this back end search was built a long time ago and... yeah that's some technical infrastructure which could use some love). Thank you for contributing!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:46 PM on August 22, 2023 [2 favorites]


« Older shoesfullofdust passed away June 16, 2023   |   MetaTalkTail Hour: New Old Hobbies Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments