LinkFilter and those similar suggestions? June 22, 2024 8:20 AM   Subscribe

So, what do we want to do about Rhaomi’s ideas for LinkFilter and other sub-site suggestions (text reproduced inside)?

Here’s the text from Rhaomi’s original comment:
IDEA: Monthly MeFi "LinkFilter" thread, mod-posted the first of the month. Find a neat article, video, blog, etc. but don't feel up to the work of cobbling together an FPP, tags, title, and otherwise putting yourself out there? Just comment "LinkMe:" followed by the link and maybe a one sentence description for context. Everybody has tacit permission to turn your link into an FPP if they'd like, first come first serve, with a nod back to the original LinkFilter comment -- sort of like how Projects lets other members cross-post to MeFi proper. Maybe pin a permanent link for the most recent LinkFilter to the top of the sidebar, or even in the navbar. Could be like a lo-fi version of Pinboard and an evergreen resource for new post ideas. Bonus: the thread itself would make for interesting browsing, allow unfocused low-stakes discussion, and serve as a personal searchable log of your bookmarked and read-later links (just search your profile for the tag "LinkMe"!)

In fact, I could see this type of monthly informal "catch-all" thread serving other subsites well:

AskFilter: For random, dumb, or chatty questions that don't merit an Ask post, discussed in-thread. Tag: HelpMe

FanFilter: Post requests, recommendations, and watercooler-type discussion of what you've been enjoying lately, including rewatches, live shows, web stuff, etc. Tag: WatchMe

MusicFilter: For sharing songs you've enjoyed, unfinished material you're working on, etc. Tag: PlayMe

TalkFilter: For the kind of quick #pleaseanswer-type questions that have been raised recently, without needing to open a contentious high-visibility thread on the topic. Tag: ModMe
(end original text)

As it stands now, there’s been one LinkFilter post, made by a moderator, and no posts for any of the other ideas.

Note that a few conventions developed for LinkFilter:
(This section may be edited post, um, posting, to indicate any changes)
  • No self linking
  • Add the tag LinkMe to a LinkFilter post
  • If making a post from a LinkFilter suggestion/thread, then flag the original suggestion so that mods can add an indicator [⇔ Linked], then credit and link to the original suggestion in the post
  • The suggestions should only be a sentence or two long
With all that out of the way, where does the community want to go from here on this subject:
How should we proceed? Was LinkFilter something the community wants to see more of? If so, who should be making the posts? On what sort of schedule? Do we want start doing some of the other ideas and if so, when and on what schedule and by who?

After talking with loup, this post has been purposefully structured to put this before the community to figure out the direction to go and how to get to some sort of decision. Yes, MetaTalk doesn’t have any strong mechanisms for building consensus or coming to a decision, so let’s be kind to one another as we travel down this particular bumpy road. When we’re done, we can get snacks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 8:20 AM (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I like these ideas. Maybe even if no one makes a post from the "LinkMe", maybe people are reading the thread and getting something out of that as it is.
posted by NotLost at 8:32 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]

I think we should have more LinkMe threads and I think anyone should be able to make them at any time. (With maybe a single rule of one every 24 hours.)
posted by CMcG at 8:37 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

I mean a maximum of one every 24 hours, just to clarify.
posted by CMcG at 8:38 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

I like all the ideas. I think metafilter needs to be constantly doing things like this to continue to grow as a useful and engaging site for current and future users. Please let's do them.

Will the tags be free form (we're expected to all get on board with a #hashtag?) or will there be some kind of drop down (big ask) or at least a quick link to a cheat sheet when you go to comment? Something?

How about Rhaomi's idea for mods to hide critical/context-giving comments instead of outright deleting them?
posted by phunniemee at 9:33 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]

Also is it just me or is metafilter's timeclock running like 15 minutes late? Everything I've posted today has been timestamped in the past (locking me out of the edit window) and it's very weird. Doing this on all of my devices.

For reference, at the moment I click post comment it will be 11:54 am Chicago time.
posted by phunniemee at 9:37 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]

For reference, at the moment I click post comment it will be 11:54 am Chicago time.
posted by phunniemee at 11:37 AM on June 22

#modme I guess 😬
posted by phunniemee at 9:37 AM on June 22

MeFi time/clock test, which says 1:01pm ET for me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 9:45 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

*lights the developer beacon*
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 9:45 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]

My suggestion would be a weekly LinkMe post, rather than monthly. By the time I had something to add to the earlier post--which I was so grateful for, since I'd had a couple of ideas that just wouldn't gel into FPPs, but I couldn't bear to just close out the tabs forever--the thread had gotten so long I realized I'd missed quite a few people's links.
posted by mittens at 9:46 AM on June 22 [6 favorites]

(wait...did the edit feature disappear?)
posted by mittens at 9:46 AM on June 22

Mod note: (wait...did the edit feature disappear?)

No, the server time clock seems to be off, running about 15 minutes behind, so the system thinks 5 minute edit window has expired is my guess. Alerting developers now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 9:48 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]

I've been really pleased by the response in that thread so far! So many great links. I'd have FPP'd a few myself by now if some lightning-related PC issues weren't currently (ha!) putting a crimp in my posting style. I was worried that this might cannibalize posting of regular FPPs, but if anything, there have been somewhat more posts than usual since this started!

One thing we could try is encourage a sort of bounty mentality, with kudos in each new thread to whoever made the most #LinkMe-inspired posts from the previous one. (Wouldn't want to overdo these -- I originally proposed once a month and could see once a week, but daily feels like too much.)

I am curious to see what people think about similar sorts of threads for other subsites -- chatty/minor question threads for Ask, recs and watercooler talk in FanFare, mod "office hours" stuff for MeTa, etc.

phunniemee: "How about Rhaomi's idea for mods to hide critical/context-giving comments instead of outright deleting them?"

GaP did raise a good point that this technique leaves favorites active for the hidden comment, which could be problematic for stuff that's offensive or attacking another user. Favorites aren't necessarily upvotes ofc, but a hidden comment saying "fuck off, fucko" that gets 50 favorites is probably not being bookmarked, and basically turns a timeout-worthy insult into a de-facto pile-on. Not to mention anything transphobic, racist, etc. There are ways around this -- outright deleting such comments, or tweaking the site code to hide or remove favorites for mod-hidden ones. But it does make it a bit more complicated to implement smoothly.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:00 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]

I think LinkMe is fantastic, and the only thing I would change is to suggest that every single link could have been its own FPP, but the site is much improved by having more content in any form. 1 LinkMe per 24 hours, posted by anyone, seems like a great idea.
posted by bowbeacon at 10:09 AM on June 22

I think if 50 people are favoriting an actively-racist hidden post, those people can easily be banned or otherwise disciplined, and this issue will probably never occur. If it does, we will have learned something about those around us, that we can act on.
posted by bowbeacon at 10:14 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

I think LinkMe threads should be a regular feature of the front page, like the free threads. They're different enough concepts and I think they both are good additions to the site. I love the idea of a rolling public front page post drafts folder, where we can all post stuff we're enjoying on the internet but haven't seen on metafilter yet.
posted by Rinku at 10:36 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]

tl;dr: I think this addresses a real need, so let's see how we can make it work even better

The LinkFilter threads are a lovely idea, but at the same time, it seems sad that we need them? When there are dozens of people eager to suggest a topic and at least that many topics to pick from, having only one of them turned into an FPP suggest that creating an FPP is truly a commitment… though I do keep seeing messages encouraging people to post and pointing out that it needn't be a big deal.

I guess what I'm saying is that people seem to need encouragement more than they need topic suggestions.

Personally, I considered just going ahead and making an FPP out of a topic that interested me, but I felt like I wasn't any more knowledgeable than the person who suggested it, so was I really qualified to do do? I ended up leaving it.

For me, at least, some guidance on the expectations for the topic-picker-upper would be nice.

I also second NotLost that the threads are fun even without prompting FPPs!
posted by demi-octopus at 10:51 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]

I like LinkMe but do we really need one every 24 hours? That seems like a lot, and once each one starts getting minimal participation due to oversaturation, the whole thing loses momentum. I feel like they should be more at the pace of open threads, personally.

Maybe the rule should be, we can post a new LinkMe when at least X links from the last one have been posted as FPPs, and if you feel compelled to post a new LinkMe thread, maybe consider either posting your link in the existing thread or making a new thread from one of those links?
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:32 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]

I'm with rinku. Maybe it really does lead to more FPPs in the future, or maybe it just becomes a kind of FPO Lite or chatfiltery thing like the free thread.

I kinda think a standard chatfiltery thing several times a week or every day could be good? Like weekly Free Thread, weekly #LinkMe, weekly recipe thread, weekly music thread, you could see how five or seven of these could exist in an ongoing way and just be retired if they don't drive much engagement. Or maybe that's over the top and I'm also starting a derail.
posted by kensington314 at 1:07 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]

*FPP Lite
posted by kensington314 at 1:07 PM on June 22

I would love to see periodic casual, fat-chewing AskFilter posts. This community has insight, wit and acumen that shine through despite its struggles, I think explicitly promoting a space for low pressure, non-weighty but still structured Q&A exchange could bring out so much more of that best...

My wife and I have just had an hour long, 3 drink discussion about whether or not aphantasia vs. seeing with the mind's eye is a concrete existential difference vs. just some sort of socially primed language construct debate. Right now it feels like being able to ask a population of Mefites e.g. "Do you actually really genuinely feel like you see things when you think of them or is that just a convenient label for a process that assigns a bundle of varied attributes to a higher order object-concept?" could be a valuable, illuminating, fascinating even if ultimately frivolous group-thought-imposition. But it's not something I'd currently dream of trying to work into any of the existing post-format-norms.
posted by protorp at 1:18 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]

I agree, Two Unicycles, that daily is too often but your suggestion is too complicated. Maybe just say weekly?
posted by tofu_crouton at 3:28 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]

LinkMe Luesdays
posted by nobody at 3:51 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]

I mean LinkMe Luesdays
posted by nobody at 3:52 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]

This is just off the top of my head but LinkMe once every 24 hours seems a bit much. I suggested twice a month in another thread, and that seems too little.

How about we try one or two LinkMe threads every week for a couple of months, say, Wednesday and/or Saturday mornings EST, posted by someone whose task it is to put them up, and everyone can join in with their Cool Links That Maybe They Thought Weren't Worthy Of The Front Page. And anyone who wants to able to pull links from those threads and turn them into front page posts should continue to feel free to do so, while citing the LinkMe thread they found the cool link in.

I think that kind of experiment will do both of the things that the first LinkMe did well: a) fill the site with cool content, and b) help folks who have been reluctant to post to the front page see that all kinds of posts are fun and acceptable, and encourage them to give a couple of posts of their own a try.

Jumping to daily LinkMe posts seems like a pretty major step; I'm not against it, but wonder if it's the most useful option.
posted by mediareport at 5:35 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]

Please do all of this, immediately. I'd do it weekly on each site you mention. I see no harm and it sounds fun.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:28 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]

People seemed to like LinkMe, so weekly on the blue, and maybe a chatty AskLite on the green seem a good idea. I'm not keen on the idea of establishing rules and norms about developing links posted in LinkMes into separate posts. I have no intention currently of using LinkMe as a seedbed for future posts. I think it's fine if folks want to do that, but sometimes it's already a pain in Preview to suss out where a link I'm posting was previously posted. It would be nice not to have an extra protocol to consider.

Not a fan of the idea of daily LinkMes. I prefer the philosophy some have expressed of having a proliferation of type of posts, not a consistent/pinned sort of thing.
posted by cupcakeninja at 6:23 AM on June 23

All that said, I could see LinkMe taking up residence in the sidebar.
posted by cupcakeninja at 6:41 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]

Is a LinkMe thread an appropriate place to post a draft of an FPP with a "can someone tell me if this is postworthy or if it needs something more"?
posted by rivenwanderer at 10:00 AM on June 23

It's postworthy
posted by kensington314 at 10:06 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]

Post it!
posted by bowbeacon at 11:49 AM on June 23

As it stands now, there’s been one LinkFilter post, made by a moderator, and no posts for any of the other ideas.
i just want to shoutout jenfullmoon's post
posted by HearHere at 1:50 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

I wonder if an AskLite might also explicitly serve as a place to signal already-posted questions one's seen that haven't really received proper answers yet.
posted by nobody at 1:59 PM on June 23

i just want to shoutout jenfullmoon's post

mods (or jenfullmoon if you happen across this), could we throw a linkme tag on the post?

not critical obviously, and if the general consensus is we don't need it that's fine, but it'd be neat and helpful to be able to pull up all the FPPs generated this way in a tag search.

edit: aha I see it's just been added, thanks anonymous tagging hero
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:34 PM on June 23

Mod note: Done! There are currently five posts with the LinkMe tag.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 2:37 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]

This is just off the top of my head but LinkMe once every 24 hours seems a bit much. I suggested twice a month in another thread, and that seems too little.
First, this is an excellent idea! I agree every day seems a bit much, but once a week sounds about right. Or, and here's a wild idea way out of my control-freak comfort zone, how about whenever the fuck anyone wants to? *twitches, retreats to reading Robert's rules*.
posted by dg at 8:50 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]

Yeah dg that’s what I originally meant when I said “anyone can post. One per day.” I meant one per day as a max not a min. I think this should just be another type of post that anyone can make at any time. People have said they don’t post because they don’t want to violate “the rules” that they don’t know. I think we should have less rules.
posted by CMcG at 1:17 PM on June 24

I think we may be talking about different things: the post(s) where ideas are collected (tagged LinkFilter), and the posts based on those ideas (tagged LinkMe).

I think that we'd all agree there should be no limit on the number/frequency of LinkMe posts. If you see something that strikes your fancy, post it. If we get 12 LinkMe posts in the same day, great!

What is less clear is how often the LinkFilter posts should go up. Clearly at least once a month, as they auto-close after 30 days. Personally, I think twice a week would be the upper bound, and I'd suggest trying every week or every other week as a balance between keeping the active post from sliding too far into the archives and having the ideas spread across too many threads.
posted by yuwtze at 3:44 PM on June 24

yuwtze: "Personally, I think twice a week would be the upper bound, and I'd suggest trying every week or every other week as a balance between keeping the active post from sliding too far into the archives and having the ideas spread across too many threads."

This was my main concern -- the first one got over 100 comments, which is great! But it also had the benefit of novelty (and the banner link). Take it to once a week or more and I could see each individual thread getting less activity, while requiring more work for mods and posters to keep on top of in terms of posting them on time, linking them in the right places, browsability, searchability, etc. IMHO once a month is better because the auto expiry is a natural nudge to start a new one.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:00 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

Mod note: There's been lots of good ideas here, thanks everyone. But because it's MeTa there's currently no real way to reach or vote a consensus. Perhaps in the future, there could be option to include a Poll with every Meta, with the ability for any commenter to add an option to the Poll, kinda how Facebook does (or use to with Polls).

But for the moment, people seem to like LinkMe and are down for making a post basically when someone feels like it.

Let's move onto to HelpMe, here's some verbiage of the proposed AskFilter post, what do y'all think?

Welcome to HelpMe, another experiment from Rhaomi’s suggestions! Do you have a random chatty question? Post it in this thread and perhaps someone will answer it!

Same basic rules of civility are in play, so don't be a jerk. If you are, that may cause your question or comment to be removed.

Note that there will be multiple questions from different people within this thread, so if you’re responding to a particular question, use the @username trope, so that the asker can quickly do a find for answers pertinent to their question.

No selflinking spam.
Sound good, does it need anything else?

posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 7:45 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]

Nice! I'd only suggest emphasizing that the questions can be chatty, earnest, silly, serious, and everything in between -- basically anything you don't think merits a full-on Question (with the understanding that it won't get as much attention as one). Or maybe think of it as the sort of thing you'd ask Google/ChatGPT on a whim, except with fewer hallucinations and more authentic human flavor™. For more inspiration, look to another forum thread that sort of inspired the idea: ResetEra's Official "I Got a Question but It's Not Super Important" Thread. It's a single megathread that's trundled along for several years rather than a recurring feature, but it has the same sort of breadth of question types.

(I also lean toward keeping them monthly, both to make each individual thread meatier and to make them easier to remember to update! But it doesn't have to be a hard and fast rule.)

Thanks again for giving this a try!
posted by Rhaomi at 10:58 PM on June 25

So, just to be clear, any other user could make another Linkfilter post to the front page tomorrow?

I honestly don't see how that makes any sense, but ok, let's see how it goes. I'll just repeat that I think the site should experiment first with a regular LinkMe posted by a mod or assigned user, and the description in the post should clearly state the purpose of LinkMes: to encourage folks to share links they may not feel like making a front page post about.
posted by mediareport at 6:13 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]

Mod note: So, just to be clear, any other user could make another Linkfilter post to the front page tomorrow?

They could, yes, but it's doubtful it'll happen or get many hits or comments. We're just experimenting at the moment, to see how it goes and trying to involve community input from the start.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 7:44 AM on June 26

Mod note: HelpMe is live!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 5:33 AM on July 2

Someone suggested ChatMe instead of HelpMe and I like that idea.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 7:15 AM on July 2

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