epinionsFilter November 14, 2002 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Product posts (aka: epinionsFilter). Whether extolling the virtues of Shure Headphones or the insanely great price Gateway has on its new plasma screen televisions, what are the guidelines to prevent MetaFilter from becoming a free advertising medium to reach the e-fluential?
posted by 4easypayments to Etiquette/Policy at 12:12 PM (27 comments total)

I'm betting that most posts which get snarky callouts for "advertising" on MeFi were actually pretty sincere. From what I know from people who actually do this, they have much better methods than blatantly advertising with ad copy and urls to the company. I'd almost say a minimal amount of stealth/viral marketing goes on here, unnoticed, while people over react when people post something about Nike.

Or spirit foam.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:23 PM on November 14, 2002

i thought a couple members in that shure headphones thread were a bit over-zealous about calling it out. it wasn't the best post in the world, maybe, but it had real potential for being a good thread.

i personally found the link fairly interesting (ok, i found the product interesting) and while the text in the post could've been better (ex: talk about other styles of headphones, talk about hearing loss, etc) it didn't really necessitate some of the criticism that followed particularly after the thread started to come into it's own -- honestly, at that point, when you post a "this thread sucks" after someone makes an informative comment, i think it's you who are adding the noise.

anyhow, slippery slope and all that, so, yes, the poster was in the wrong, maybe, but we all make mistakes, right?

posted by fishfucker at 12:37 PM on November 14, 2002

It does seem that posts for things like Nikes or headphones get panned unfairly in comparison to things like computer components and the like. Why should it matter if the ad's about shoes or handhelds, its still an ad? I think it all has to do with (to use a advertising term) how you sell the post.

"Wow, check out this cool new product, only $19.95!" is an ad in itself whereas, "I found XYZ to be really useful/interesting, anyone found something similar or better or etc..." is a little less about the product and more about its use, its alternatives so forth.

Or you can do what I do and try to tie something more interesting into the product you're selling, darn if only I could have tied Harry Potter into the Cyprus post some how... curses, another missed opportunity for more box office!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:42 PM on November 14, 2002


"epinionsFilter" says it all
Threads about new products have a tendency to get really chatty and somehow pointless. MeFi shouldn't be neither epinions nor livejournal.
The viral marketing aspect is key -- even if I'm sure most posters are in good faith
If new product threads are OK, what about threads like "I have to buy a new car/camera/cell phone. What do you suggest?". MeFi could get really Usenettish

(I suppose that probably deserve an exception the threads about software and new technology since MeFi, once upon a time, was pretty much technology-oriented)

posted by matteo at 12:44 PM on November 14, 2002

It's a slippery slope, and there's definitely a line to be crossed. While the headphones post was a bit of a strong endorsement of a product, I trust that the person's long record here shows they weren't a fly-by-night new user, in which case, I would have been much more inclined to pull the post.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:45 PM on November 14, 2002

actually, i really liked the shure post. it's a really cool advancement for DJs (it's a huge pain in the ass to put headphones on your shoulder, take them off, put them on, take them off while mixing). i think it was a mistake to remove it.
posted by moz at 12:46 PM on November 14, 2002

duh, the post wasn't removed. i should read more carefully.
posted by moz at 12:47 PM on November 14, 2002

I liked the headphones post, it was an interesting product, that I haven't heard of.
posted by corpse at 12:48 PM on November 14, 2002

i think i've been a little more suspicious than is merited in the past. (i'm the one that posted the e-fluential post, after all.) let's face it, we're geeks, we like toys, and some people even think that creative marketing is interesting in and of itself. on metafilter, it's just a matter of proportion -- it's interesting to hear about a new thingy now and then, but not all the time. i think we've seen a lot less blatant plugs in the last few weeks -- maybe because they got pulled? at any rate, the "diamonds in the rough" average has been creeping back up, and that's a good thing.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 1:01 PM on November 14, 2002

(I think it's ironic that a call-out about advertisingesque posts was made by someone called "4easypayments." That is all.)
posted by me3dia at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2002

The brief mention in the NY times today jogged my memory and triggered the post. I have for months used (and increasingly admired) a product which I do not think is widely known. I decided to share it with others- Metafilter, and by email to 8 friends - in case they had missed it. I highlighted the two lesser alternatives (which I also own and have used for a long time.) I love music and I love portability. I don't work (or plan to work) for any of the companies directly or indirectly. I didn't want to write a thesis (which I'm doing now). I was looking forward to what Metafilter members would suggest were their alternatives. Re my record - I still treasure the first of many walkman devices delivered to me from Japan in 1978. As evidenced by my recent post regarding NY discount theater tickets (www.broadwaybox.com), I think we should encourage posting relatively unknown products/services that can help us enjoy life more fully (and discourage posts carping about other posts.) All this being said, as a loyal fan of Matt and Metafilter, happy to stop making more posts like these in the future. PS having even one Metafilter member genuinely thank-you for a post is a good indicator of a post's success in my book.
posted by Voyageman at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2002

It's a slippery slope, and there's definitely a line to be crossed. While the headphones post was a bit of a strong endorsement of a product, I trust that the person's long record here shows they weren't a fly-by-night new user, in which case, I would have been much more inclined to pull the post.

So what percentage of experienced users posting links like this would be cool? I can understand links to new technologies, but not really to favourite ones. Or perhaps I'm missing something about these headphones ... they do look quite desirable.
posted by walrus at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2002

... and there were plenty of worse posts today, Voyageman. It was obviously lovingly crafted, and would only get annoying for me if there were a lot more like it.
posted by walrus at 1:38 PM on November 14, 2002

...when you post a "this thread sucks" after someone makes an informative comment, i think it's you who are adding the noise.

Point well taken. I'll be sure to reserve any meta-metafilter comments for MetaTalk.
posted by 4easypayments at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2002

Voyageman, I didn't think your particular (headphone) post was so bad, but I cringed when I saw it because of the number of similar posts recently -- I really don't think this is what MeFi is for. We've all got favorite products/services, and if we all started sharing them with our MeFi friends... That being said, I'm really glad you posted the discount-ticket link!
posted by languagehat at 1:46 PM on November 14, 2002

I think the real reason people are getting upset over these posts is because they're constipated. Constipation can make anyone irritable. That's why I use the natural squatting position safely and comfortably with Nature's Platform. Doctors and Yoga teachers recommend it for more complete elimination, and at the low price of $85 it's the best investment I've ever made. And with the Christmas just around the corner, it's the perfect gift for anyone!
posted by homunculus at 9:11 PM on November 14, 2002

If it was Apple making the headphones, I don't think this metatalk discussion would exist.
posted by mkn at 9:21 PM on November 14, 2002

homunculus, there are many who would favor the rocking horse model over nature's platform. Mind you, this is not a personal endorsement.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:37 PM on November 14, 2002

Either somone out there is just yanking our collective chain, or this is starting to get really slippery-slope/annoying.

Yesterday it was headphones. Today, it's shykids. WTF, Mefi?
posted by crunchland at 4:33 AM on November 15, 2002

Yesterday it was headphones. Today, it's shykids. WTF, Mefi?

Well, why did you have to be such a dick about it in the thread? I don't get it: someone already made the long-since-unfunny Pepsi Blue joke and then you made sure the bit was dead with another five lines. Clearly your concern for MetaFilter outweighs your need to be heard. I'm not trying to be as snarky as that sounds, but I want to understand the need to post a gratuitous in-joke.
posted by yerfatma at 4:56 AM on November 15, 2002

Tivo. Tivo? Tivo!
posted by xiffix at 4:56 AM on November 15, 2002

IMHO, if it's something an average TV watching, magazine-reading person would hear about anyway (Nike, Pepsi Blue, mainstream movies) it shouldn't be posted. But odd little niche products interest me even if there is no way (plasma TV, $500 headphones) I'd ever actually buy them.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:03 AM on November 15, 2002

Well, why did you have to be such a dick about it in the thread?

Obviously, you've never tried Pepsi Blue. If you had, you'd be smiling right now.
posted by crunchland at 9:21 AM on November 15, 2002

we're geeks, we like toys

Speak for yourself. Personally, I find articles about the latest whiz-bang PDA/cellphone/[insert pointless gadget here] mind-crushingly boring. So I don't read them.

Here's a wacky idea -- if the FPP makes it clear the link just leads to some new product you don't give a shit about, don't click the link and move on to something else.
posted by Polo Mr. Polo at 10:52 AM on November 15, 2002

the inclusion of foot pegs provides real health benefits by raising the knees above the waist, which facilitates a thorough expulsion of waste.

Man, that rocking horse toilet Rocks! And "waste expulsion" sounds so much DeLuxe than "taking a dump".

Honey, we're all out of rocking horse paper.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:20 PM on November 15, 2002

But the Rocking Horse looks like it's got some kind of a chute for the poo, which means you'd have this poo covered chute to contend with. I mean, eww. I'm all for the facillitating the thorough expulsion of waste, but not in exchange for facillitating a shit covered novelty toilet in my home.
posted by jennyb at 10:34 AM on November 16, 2002

The Shure headphones that I ordered after reading about them on MeFi just arrived and they sound amazing. I'm a headphone geek too (Sony MDR-V700, Grado SR225, Headroom amplifier, etc.)
posted by gen at 6:43 AM on November 27, 2002

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