Distilling Metafilter February 9, 2003 7:43 AM   Subscribe

I have an idea for a blog and wanted to get some feedback. Metafilter often creates great threads with each poster adding additional links and insights but one has to dig through the noise and do a lot of reconstruction to get the good bits. The idea for the blog would be a meta summary of certain threads pulling all the good links, quotes and ideas together in single post, a sort of "best-of" with appropriate footnoting for recognition of contribution. This would take some writing skill. The summary thread can then be TB'd on a separate blog so readers of metafilter would have access and because it is a "best-of" it would have more permanence and a chance for additional contributions. Thoughts?
posted by stbalbach to Bugs at 7:43 AM (16 comments total)

oops sorry should not have been under "bugs"
posted by stbalbach at 7:45 AM on February 9, 2003

I dunno... I think the overarching editorial voice of the person summarizing the "good", or "signal" from the "bad", or "noise" would defeat the purpose of metafilter; essentially this would be just another blog, but one whose only source of links was mefi, and whose voice was, rather than vox populi at Mefi, a benevolent dictator that allowed all the free speech that pleased him.
posted by jonson at 7:49 AM on February 9, 2003

Technically, this would be fairly easy to build. You would input a thread ID and a string of comment ID's, and have the script pick out the relevant sections from the source.

I agree with jonson, though. A fully moderated Mefi is selective to the point of censorship; no two people are going to pull out the same group of comments. Also, a list of selective comments destroys the continuity and context of the posts that remain. You end up with a bunch of ego-massaging oneupsmanship in order to "get in the best-of list."

With that in mind, why not resurrect the Mefi Email List? Instead of a filterfilter, you have written summaries that don't hide the personality of its editor. Matt tried this a while ago but it's way too much work for one person, perhaps an army of volunteers - committed to a schedule - could pull this off quite nicely.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:25 AM on February 9, 2003

This would be along the lines of a personal blog that used MeFi as one source. So yeah, the voice would be that of the blogger (therein lies the value-add one hopes) and it could be an entire page of text/links to summarize, for example snarkout. The concept is it would be possible to create a new expanded full-page FPP from a juicy MeFi thread with the choice bits edited in and the noise taken out yet also retain some sort of ownership for the original contributors and room for more user commentary.
posted by stbalbach at 8:58 AM on February 9, 2003

hmm. It kind of reminds me of the AlterSlash project, though I hear that one is built automatically.

Anyone is welcome to do a best of list, just know that it's a lot of work. If someone does give it a try and it comes out good, I'd be happy to point to it from here.

I hadn't looked at that old email list for a long time. I quit after a week because in just a few days I learned to hate when 9-10PM rolled around and I had to work on the digest. It was a good hour to hour-and-a-half of work to create each one.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:57 AM on February 9, 2003

Great idea! Glad Matt is up for it. I've wanted to try this myself, but rejected it as too much work. The easy way to do it would be to set up a Blogger template and give out passwords to a few like-minded bloggers. That way it's less strain, and you get better variety.
posted by sheauga at 10:18 AM on February 9, 2003

not sure about the "additional contributions" bit. sounds like you'll then need another site to make a summary of those contributions... (also, there's the technical problem of how usernames could be the same). instead, why not have a link straight back to the appropriate mefi thread so people can continue posting there?
posted by andrew cooke at 11:12 AM on February 9, 2003

instead, why not have a link straight back to the appropriate mefi thread so people can continue posting there?

Maybe incorporate it into the (already MT-powered) sidebar?
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 1:07 PM on February 9, 2003

... a sort of "best-of" ...

Hasn't this already been done? It seems to have fallen off in use, but the concept and execution are already there. Is there a need to re-invent the wheel?
posted by dg at 2:46 PM on February 9, 2003

how about autoblogware that can spider, post, and comment provocatively on the best links on the web without any need for all these annoying people? people just suck. they ruin everything.
posted by quonsar at 5:09 PM on February 9, 2003

I agree with quonsar.
posted by dg at 5:56 PM on February 9, 2003

Isn't this taking the "meta" notion a little too far?
posted by oissubke at 6:35 PM on February 9, 2003

Just use Word's "AutoSummarize" function! This also works for turning Gutenberg e-texts into really, really crappy book reports.
posted by Hildago at 7:26 PM on February 9, 2003

As if any of us need an excuse to spend any more time in front of a computer...
posted by konolia at 3:57 AM on February 10, 2003

stbalbach, why not just set up a "Best of MeFi" on your blog? A daily "My Favorite M-F'in' Links & Comments," each post followed by a link to the actual MeFi thread for anyone who wants to see the full source?
posted by Shane at 6:05 AM on February 10, 2003

I have to agree with dg -- this does sound a lot like my Metafilter: Remixed. (Which is actually working again, now, by the way.) You should check it out, stbalbach.
posted by webmutant at 7:11 PM on February 11, 2003

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