First impression of MetaFilter April 17, 2003 1:12 AM   Subscribe

What was your very first impression of MetaFilter, that first time you visited? [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso to MetaFilter-Related at 1:12 AM (89 comments total)

I remember mine, circa May 2001. I wasn't at all interested in the comments; just clicked on the links. I liked the arty and intellectual posts; the web-exclusive articles; the games; the interactive stuff. The first time I ventured into the threads, I didn't understand 75% of the comments; thought them cliquey, abstruse, rude, egotistical and childish.

Then I eventually found longish, well-informed and reasoned comments, obviously written by people who knew - and were passionate about - what they were talking about. And that was was hooked and "delurked me".

Well, I sometimes wonder if it isn't a good exercise, to remember those first impressions, in order to correct present behaviour and gauge what other first-timers and outsiders feel when they come here to see what all the fuss is about.

That is, if it's at all possible to hold, in one's mind, at the same time, the lurking mode and the participating mode...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:13 AM on April 17, 2003

I was here shortly before you, in an ante-diluvian pre-Miguel era, pristine and prehistoric.

A user named Holgate was still around and I remember thinking - 'Bah! I am smarter than that guy!'

So, it was ego that drew me in and later humility and awe when i discovered, like you did, those long well-reasoned comments, hints of a vast library of knowledge, a modern Alexandria waiting to be explored.
posted by vacapinta at 2:03 AM on April 17, 2003

I'm not sure. I was pretty drubk at the time.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:34 AM on April 17, 2003

Ce plus la change . . .
posted by yerfatma at 4:15 AM on April 17, 2003

I remember joining back in early 2000; I'd read about Metafilter on some weblog (this was when you could read most of the weblogs in existence and there were only a few in the UK). Thought it was a bit bizarre and consequently waited too long to register - I could have had an even smaller ID, damn you all! Never been a big contributor although I will chip in with comments and posts occasionally. I read Mefi every day though - I don't know anything other than Mefi that infuriates and entertains me so much, in equal measures (apart from maybe my ex).
posted by adrianhon at 4:21 AM on April 17, 2003

'What a buncha nerds...especially that Portuguese cocktail waiter..."

posted by i_cola at 4:29 AM on April 17, 2003

I'm not sure about MetaFilter, but I remember when MetaTalk used to get only 2 or 3 posts in a week. And those few posts woud be about bugs that needs to be fixed or feature requests.

Man those were the days.
posted by Mahogne at 4:37 AM on April 17, 2003

For what it's worth, my impressions were identical. I didn't understand many of the comments, although some of the political ones plucked the nerves, but the links were the real attraction.

I think I might feel the same today were I to see metafilter anew, minus the you-know-what-filter posts of late. There's just a lot more to search through these days, which is a [good] thing.
posted by hama7 at 4:40 AM on April 17, 2003

My first thought? "What a bunch of self-obsessed amateurs. My presence here will certainly raise the standard." I was correct. ;-P
posted by mischief at 5:06 AM on April 17, 2003

first impression: cool!
second impression: buncha stuck-up pricks.
posted by quonsar at 5:25 AM on April 17, 2003

first impression: stuck up prick!
(realized I was reading my blog..clicked to MetaFilter)

cool! Great way to use links to stimulate discussion.

Of course, I didn't want to join then. After all, I firmly believe in Marx's Law of Organizational Acceptance.

I waited until you could join only at midnight on full moon Sundays while standing is a wading pool of tea wearing spats and reciting Cleveland's Inaugural Address. (The second, not the first as some higher numbered MeFis eventually figured out. Ha.)
posted by ?! at 6:06 AM on April 17, 2003

First visit sometime in 1999. I was always a surfing fool, and became a rather obsessive groupie of the emerging blog phenomena. I had a bookmark file called "surfing portals" that later morphed into "blogs." The cookie trail was something like this: read about Cameron Barrett getting sacked from his job because of his website, and started visiting there; also came upon Newsies on the Web, which led to Lileks, Romanesko and some others; these led to Robot Wisdom, peterme, Whump/More Like This, bradLands, windowseat, flutterby, honeyguide, bud. I remember going to a site I think was called benicetobears or something like that, and finding an announcement about Pitas and starting your own blog, and then things really started flying.

Somewhere along the line I stumbled in here, and it became a regular stop. I liked it, but it struck me as a cliquey bunch of boy geeks who all knew each other. At the time, I got a free connection to AOL paid for by my job, and I was aware of how ignominiously this would be regarded. I toyed with joining here or memepool early on - the idea that you could contribute fascinated me, but I felt too non-techie. Plus, the links interested me, but the discussion not at all.

I had a phase when I stopped following blogs with any regularity and dropped into mefi only occasionally. Then I chanced upon and grew addicted to quonsar's zany blort and began sending him links. When we became buds, q often pointed me to good MeFi threads and I lurked obsessively for a year or so before joining. Where I originally viewed it as interesting & fun but snarky & cliquey, I later appreciated how many truly good writers post here, and how smart many of the people who participate are. I liked that there were community standards, and always read MetaTalk which struck me as a riveting maoist style re-education camp of denunciation and self confession. I loved the high melodrama: usually when things would seem insufferably cruel and horrid, everyone would apologize and group hug.

Over time, I also grew to really value Matt and his low-key management style. It amazes me that he is so generous about what he's built, I am sure I would be much more imperial and dictatorial if I were the founder. Thanks, Matt!
posted by madamjujujive at 6:17 AM on April 17, 2003

I don't remember how I got here, but I remember when. Then a week later, the world fell apart, and I was very glad to be here.

What did I think? After a couple of years worth of Slashdot and Plastic, MeFi just felt more like an actual hang-out. And I liked the simplicity of design. Still do. Oh, and the blue really worked for me. Still does. Yeah, I might not always agree with everybody here and I don't get a kick out of every single thread, but I know there's always something here to make me think.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:27 AM on April 17, 2003

[popping sound as juju pulls lips off mathowies hindquarters!]
posted by quonsar at 6:27 AM on April 17, 2003

first: cool
second: pricks
third: ok, cool pricks
fourth: pricks
fifth: sigh, what a bunch of pricks
sixth: ok, cool

I first came to this site when it was in the 2500 user level. I am constantly amazed at the intelligence here. This site rocks.
posted by lampshade at 6:43 AM on April 17, 2003

quonsar, I'm sure both juju and matt were enjoying whatever it was they were doing. Don't you know that interrupting such behaviour can cause you some very serious damage? For the next time I recommend that you videotape any activities for study before you do anything.

Frankly, I don't remember how I got here. I believe that it was from seeing it in the links of various bloggers and then finally over at evhead I clicked on it. My brain started to pop and fizzle within a few minutes at the extreme wit and intelligence that I found here. The links were interesting and the discussion was usually even more so.

I caught a whiff of a flamewar between y2karl and midasmulligan and sat back to enjoy the show. I realized that MeFi was like a very large family with many interests, egos, arguments, agreements and a zest for the truth. I also realized, because of that flamefest, that truth, while obvious to me, could be completely different to somebody else and that two people with differing opinions could both be right.

Even in the relatively short time that I've been here, metafilter has changed. All the things that I love about it remain, but I often have to go looking for it.

Those non-members who just find the place will most likely gain an initial idea of what the 'Filter is all about, but they will most likely be wrong. MeFi is far too large, diverse and complex to know within a few visits what this place is. I don't even know what it is, but I do know that it's about freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, creativity, and art. MetaFilter is a celebration of life, all life, from the highs to the lows, the beautiful and the hideous, love and war, and that is why I come back here, day after day.
posted by ashbury at 7:05 AM on April 17, 2003

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:15 AM on April 17, 2003

My link of the day from the first day I saw it - "MetaFilter - I have fallen in love with this site. More cool, yet sarcastic stuff than you can shake a stick at. Whatever that means."

It has less cool now, but the same measure of sarcasm. But then those were just cool times and we aren't likely to see something like that again. In two years my income went from 15K to 60K a year. Technology was exploding so fast I had to buy two or three books a week (anyone else get sucked into the VRML hole?) and spend my evenings trying to keep up on all the new toys. Blogs came along and made it all personal. For me Metafilter was a spotlight on the best stuff of that time.

I guess I still pine for that Metafilter, but it's gone. These days the buzz is about politics, media and culture. "Hey, here's an old website about an old museum in a country we're bombing. That's something interesting on the web, right?"
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:31 AM on April 17, 2003

I can't remember what I thought of it, other than it was very blue.
posted by corpse at 7:36 AM on April 17, 2003

what a corpse-like thing to say :)
posted by ashbury at 7:41 AM on April 17, 2003

You mean this isn't yahoo?

I like the idea behind mefi a little better than the execution I suppose, which probably puts me in the whinger camp. Not that the execution isn't superb: but I always think almost anything could be done better if only we could all just get along.

What I like most about mefi is the parallels between how it and brains work. It's a form of distributed intelligence, and I'm a particularly voracious neuron. There's nowhere else on the web which performs this particular function so well, even if it winds me up sometimes, and it performs that particular function so well, as well.

I'm often taken aback by the differences I find here: in opinion, in style, in pure martian wierdness quotient. But that's what I love so much also ... the regular challenges to my intelligence, understanding and sense of humour.

But most of all I love the people. That's what makes the place truly great. My impressions haven't changed that much since I've been hanging around (which I was doing long before I signed up): it's a bittersweet, love-hate relationship for me, which are often the most intensely interesting ones. It's a shame everyone isn't around who was here when I first started reading, but even the n00bs are quite a funky bunch, so I guess it all rounds out in the end.
posted by walrus at 7:44 AM on April 17, 2003

I hate you all.
posted by eyeballkid at 7:45 AM on April 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

I was poking around the web for information about a trollish character who'd been posting on another forum I frequent. I found his blog, in which he mentioned getting "torn a new one" at metafilter. I figured it must be a pretty cool bunch if they hated him too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:07 AM on April 17, 2003

I blame for directing me here. I was fascinated by the links-and the tremendous ability to gather info from all over the place when something major happens.

I also think this place has multiple personality disorder (in a corporate sense) and can be quite disorienting, particularly for a newbie.
posted by konolia at 8:08 AM on April 17, 2003

The links? Great. One-stop-shopping for anything new or interesting, be it politics or media or tech or fun or culture...

The comments? Funny, first of all. Otherwise: Crazy fuckin' smarmy I-Am-More-Intelligent-Than-Thou ego-fest. Then and now.

Peppered with some wonderful exceptions who are genuinely fascinated, and therefore fascinating. These are the people who make the best posts, as well as add the most value to a post in the comments.

And even the crazy fuckin' egos have intelligence to add. They're just annoying...

Not to be harsh. I learn things here constantly and have made some incredible friends. I just get nervous when I bend over to pick up the soap, is all.
posted by Shane at 8:13 AM on April 17, 2003

quonsar, oh, ok, maybe I have a crush. I blame iconomy's post.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:14 AM on April 17, 2003

I remember reading about MeFi somewhere -- I forget where -- and lurked for about five months before I finally joined in August 2001. I was doubly impressed by the quality links and quality commentary. And all the nifty people.
posted by Vidiot at 8:27 AM on April 17, 2003

It made me horny. Everyone keeps dropping the soap.

I believe it's on purpose.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:35 AM on April 17, 2003

Intimidating. So much so that I fled and forgot entirely about my original login for 18 months before venturing back into the blue.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:38 AM on April 17, 2003

My first impression of MetaFilter, with apologies to my friend Matt, was profound disinterest. It was one of the first "weblogging" environments with integrated commenting I'd seen, but that was about all that really distinguished it for me.

Why should I post links to interesting things I found on the web here, I wondered, when I have my own website? I still feel that way most often, which is one of the reasons I rarely post here.

Only when I discover something I truly believe would interest others than the handful of readers my website has do I make a MetaFilter post.
posted by bradlands at 8:49 AM on April 17, 2003

It was a great source for me to ferret out links to things that were "cool" to send to my friends. Whenever I got asked the requisite "where the hell did you find that" question - I just kept my mouth shut. Clearly, some of you weren't so quiet.
posted by dhacker at 8:59 AM on April 17, 2003

Saw it on a friend's Links bar early 2002. Thought: Whoa! A treasure trove of random, useless, yet often interesting crap! Then: Wait, they're discussing all of it. I have to be a part of this. And after multiple tries, noon-on-the-dot in a Panama City internet cafe, I was...[sigh]
posted by gottabefunky at 9:01 AM on April 17, 2003

first impression, once upon a time in late 2000/early 2001: sounds interesting

April 2003 impression: after 20 threads originated by Miguel in the last 3 weeks, I don't know anymore.
"MiguelFilter/PollFilter" is the main impression now, with a dash of "QuevedoFilter", too
posted by matteo at 9:04 AM on April 17, 2003

It made me horny. Everyone keeps dropping the soap. I believe it's on purpose.

Heh! I meant it more as a "watch your back in prison" reference, though. Some days Mefi is like a great big fun party, other days you wonder why you're doing a self-imposed sentence here...
posted by Shane at 9:04 AM on April 17, 2003

"can these cats and kittens handle my dopeness ?!?!?!"
posted by mcsweetie at 9:13 AM on April 17, 2003

uninteresting. i wasn't hooked until a few months after that original observation. it's weird to think it'll be nearly 2 years since i joined, and the user base is just now about double my user ID. i don't post nearly as often as i used to, which may or may not be sad.
posted by moz at 9:16 AM on April 17, 2003

Shane, what on earth makes you think I was referring to your comments? Jeez, the fucking EGOS around here.

Which is another one of those things that interested me about this place. Y'alls got some big round hairy egos.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:52 AM on April 17, 2003

The it's Okay to Like

I never read Plastic, but the first time I saw that, well, I knew the place was cool. Stayed for the personality, mostly, and the unheard of civility on an internet board.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:57 AM on April 17, 2003

The two things usually mix pretty well. Usually.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:58 AM on April 17, 2003

OK, seriously, it hooked me from the start. I was never a great surfer & the 'net was getting boring (!) so this site that pointed to some many interesting places and had some intelligent disscussion [and you *know* that is so hard to come by on the 'net] and was gosh-darned easy to to read.

I couldn't post for 5 months (until I coughed up for the janitor) but I got to read around the whole InterWeb. Thru MeFi I got to make Poprocks, Cockeyed Absurdist, American Gladiator & Lightningfield part of my morning routine with Emptybottle, Defective Yeti & Electrolicious not far behind.

I still can't help making stoopid comments over intelligent analysis but what the hey...I like it here.
And the cocktail guy replied to my emails. Which was nice...
posted by i_cola at 10:31 AM on April 17, 2003

I used to be a student worker at UCLA when Matt was a web designer, in the same the department. I didn't really know what the deal was back then -- I did think it was a nice place to escape to when you were sick of inane and superficial discussions... and it still is.

Although I'm still amazed at the speed and volume of posts. Some people could make MetaFilter their jobs... I still to this day can't find the time to keep up.
posted by superchicken at 10:43 AM on April 17, 2003

my first thought was "here's where all my friends have been hiding from me!" but then I didn't really get into the groove and realize the True Power of MeFi until the Seattle earthquake when I couldn't get any news at all on what was going on except from here.
posted by jessamyn at 10:46 AM on April 17, 2003

I used to surf all the "cool-sites-of-the-day" type places, looking for cool stuff on the 'net. One of them, I forget which, had a link to here. I came over and (try not to laugh too hard here) thought I found a portal to the universe! There were smart people here, posting links to stuff that was really interesting on the net and having lively (and sometimes disturbing) conversations! I immediately signed up and still hit it everyday. Like life itself, MetaFilter (and MetaTalk) has some good days, some bad days, some outstanding stuff goes on and some outrageous stuff, as well. I don't agree with y6 that the quality has gone down, I think it's just different. It grows as we grow, as any vibrant, dynamic community should. I add my praise and thanks to Matt for being willing to continue as our gracious host and I salute each one of you, who over the years, has made this such an rewarding place to hang out. (potential tagline: Metafilter: like life itself)
posted by Lynsey at 11:10 AM on April 17, 2003

Here, here, Jessamyn! I joined MetaFilter the day of the 2001 Seattle Earthquake. As much as some might ridicule this, it was MeFi's "NewsFilter" nature that attracted me. Like Jessamyn says, I couldn't get the news anywhere else.
posted by arielmeadow at 11:12 AM on April 17, 2003

I was wondering how Matt made the floaty-tool-bar thingie.
posted by cell divide at 11:38 AM on April 17, 2003

Well, I was directed here about 18 months ago by a MeFier who used to post on the same football (soccer) board as me. It seemed like a good place to steal links to impress my friends. When I started to read some of the comments my first impression was, there's some intelligent discussion here, but why do some people have to behave like such pricks? I can't say my opinion has changed that much.
posted by squealy at 11:41 AM on April 17, 2003

I thought it was a great collection of links. It actually took awhile before I read any comments, and a little longer to actually take the plunge so I could comment myself.
posted by me3dia at 11:51 AM on April 17, 2003

" I don't agree with y6 that the quality has gone down, I think it's just different."

Actually I would agree with that. If quality = "what I want", then quality has gone down. But even with the vast ego I've been saddled with, I don't believe that.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:53 AM on April 17, 2003

I checked it out on the recommendation of a friend, read the Bert 'n' Osama thread, and was immediately hooked.
posted by homunculus at 12:01 PM on April 17, 2003

I followed a link to the Kaycee Nicole thread which I found the most enthralling thing I'd seen on the inter-web-thingy, probably because it seemed to be played out in front of me (although in reality it was nearly finished when I stumbled on it). I joined immediately, there being no way of keeping idiots out in those days.

Thank you Misogynist Bitch, wherever you are.
posted by Grangousier at 12:08 PM on April 17, 2003

I came here for the wacky links, but stayed for the bitchy infighting.
posted by Samsonov14 at 12:31 PM on April 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

found it soon after its birth. finally joined to post some stupid, utterly usesless comment. was all sad to have such a high user number, cause us newbies didn't have cred, yo.
posted by th3ph17 at 12:36 PM on April 17, 2003

Most of my friends still think I have some sort of special internet voodoo, finding all these stupid/weird/intriguing sites I forward every day. I keep telling them, "Naw, really, it's all from this one site," but they don't listen.

Guess I'll just let em keep thinking I'm cool.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:48 PM on April 17, 2003

I'd probably stumbled across MetaFilter before, but this is the first thread I remember. Threads like that and the sadly now defunct "general weblog-related" MetaTalk category gave me the impression that this was a place to talk about the Web. By the time I'd discovered my error, I was already hooked.

The thing that really made me want to join was finding out that membership was closed. Like some kind of Bizzarro Groucho Marx, I need to join any club that won't have me for a member.
posted by timeistight at 12:57 PM on April 17, 2003

Like some kind of Bizzarro Groucho Marx, I need to join any club that won't have me for a member.

Bizzarro Groucho Marx would need to join any club that would have him for a member. What you've stated above is the first corollary to "Marx's Law of Social Exclusion"*.

(Isn't this the sort of incisively anal commentary that makes Mefi great? No?)

*I saw this or something like it earlier today somewhere but can't remember where. Was it here?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:12 PM on April 17, 2003

I think the first I became aware of MetaFilter was through Steve Knopper's late, lamented column in Yahoo! Internet Life. Through most all of 2001 I thought MetaFilter was this incredibly interesting, deeply respected and influential place and I read it obsessively.*

I was too scared and intimidated to sign up, though, until - like timeistight - signups were closed. Then I really got obsessive and delved deep into the arcana of MeFi until I found a way in last March. You've all been stuck with me since.

* - I still do (both).
posted by yhbc at 1:28 PM on April 17, 2003

For me, it's a combination of what Samsonov14 and th3ph17 said.
posted by Cyrano at 1:30 PM on April 17, 2003

The first time I saw it, I thought it was a handy place to exchange interesting links. Comment-reading commenced a little later. I had intended to join the community as a transsexual Albanian hunchback named Raoul, but then came the epiphany that the tapestry of MeFi personae had become more interesting than the links and it would be better off without my interaction. It's like a soap opera/psychology experiment.

The day I discovered MetaTalk was like the day I discovered I could smear myself with honey, roll around on krugerands, and make the kitchen staff pick their wages off me with salad tongs. Holy crap, it's the dark side of the moon, the downstairs to the MeFi upstairs, the peephole in the shower-room wall, the backlot of the studio. Good job, Matt. My cook sends her thanks to you for distracting me.
posted by joaquim at 1:31 PM on April 17, 2003

I don't even remember. It must have been sometime in early 2000, since I remember refusing to sign up for months after I'd already started checking the site every day. (I've always been contrary about web sites that want me to register before I can participate...) I probably found it through a link on Rebecca's Pocket.

It was a different world back then. The web was hot, people were making things and carving out new spaces and pioneering ways of communicating and building communities, and everything was happening overnight... interesting people all over the world were setting up channels for art and conversation, underneath the cultural radar. And Metafilter was the place to watch it all happen.

Sometimes I miss the world before the crash.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:14 PM on April 17, 2003

I came in in May of... 2001, I think? My online journal was getting MeFied, and I came to see what was going on. I was only getting beaten up a little, so I stayed for coffee and donuts.
posted by headspace at 2:31 PM on April 17, 2003

Memepool was my gateway drug. I turned to MetaFilter when the four or five links per day showing up at the 'pool just weren't enough of a fix.

Incidentally, this thread got me reading through some of my earliest comments here trying to remember what exactly prompted me to sign up -- and I'm forced to come to the conclusion that I've become steadily more and more boring over the course of the past two years. (It's been all downhill since right about here.)

Those of you who agree can kindly keep it to yourselves.
posted by ook at 2:33 PM on April 17, 2003

Yes, I forget my first visits, but I probably thought something along the lines of "like mempool but with discussions and with better links." I started paying more attention to MeFi when we all got free TiVos.
posted by gluechunk at 3:14 PM on April 17, 2003

I was sitting in Denny's greasing down on a stack of pancakes when this fellow drove up pulling a trailer full of shetland ponies. He sat beside me at the counter and mentioned that he was unemployed and spent most of his time online at a place called Metafilter. I swear it was Matt but it could have been that guy from the verison ads. That was during WW2 but I lurked awhile before I signed up.
posted by Mack Twain at 3:55 PM on April 17, 2003

I'm with ook and gluechunk: I actually had metafilter on my nav-bar as "memepool2" for the first month or two.

Nowadays? Memepool is dead to me.
posted by cortex at 4:08 PM on April 17, 2003

I was big into for a while, and I really liked it, and then someone in some thread there said, "plastic is ok, but it's no". I came over here looking for reasons to call the guy a moron, but then over a period of a couple months I started coming here more and more often, until finally I just forgot to go to Plastic at all.
posted by Hildago at 4:30 PM on April 17, 2003

"What's with all the text?"
posted by Ogre Lawless at 5:17 PM on April 17, 2003

My first impression of MeFi was a very intelligent, reasonable community that valued manners and respect.

Somehow, I still feel this way. I think you all kick ass.

My only qualm is this, people. Maybe it's a just a semi-youthful idealism that makes me want to affect some sort of change on the world, but I feel like all these words and arguments we have don't do a goddamn thing. Perhaps it's just that dialectical conversation on a web board is not the right method for affecting said change, but I can't see why it shouldn't fucking be.

I guess it's just gotten to the point where it all feels useless and meaningless, save the inevitable increase in vocabulary and cynicism.

I also think it's funny that Migs feels the need to tell all of us what is on his mind all the time.

posted by lazaruslong at 5:27 PM on April 17, 2003

The world is like MetaFilter, lazaruslong: it doesn't want to change.
posted by timeistight at 6:25 PM on April 17, 2003

Y'alls got some big round hairy egos.

Leggo my ego, WD!

Anyway... I remember being impressed with the variety here - links, comments, and personalities.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 7:22 PM on April 17, 2003

What was your very first impression of MetaFilter, that first time you visited?

This has been a serious problem, and I commend you for bringing it up in the proper forum. I am sure a bit of coding on Matt's end, coupled with some respect on the part of the membership will allow us to proceed more smoothly in the future.

Also, I never realized how much I was missing by not knowing how you all discovered this place! I never would have guessed that most of you followed "hyperlinks" on the "internet". Endlessly fascinating. This was even more exciting than a tour of a sausage factory, tho the product is nearly indistinguishable.
posted by thirteen at 9:09 PM on April 17, 2003

PinkStainlessTail: Here?
posted by ?! at 9:38 PM on April 17, 2003

i had a journal way back in 1999 that turned into a blog, right? and i started reading more blogs, cause they were new and exciting. and someone (don't remember who) linked to mefi and i was all 'hey, bitchin!' and then i signed up.

and then i think i posted a link to the onion, so what do i know?
posted by sugarfish at 11:16 PM on April 17, 2003

I came for the pricks and stayed for the pricks. I like pricks. I understand pricks. If I could donate more of myself to this place, I'm sure I'd become a laureate prick - a thick wicked prick with a quick limpid wit.


As it is, I read the place every day - and it's the generosity of the contributers which surprises me.

MeFi redistributes intellectual capital - some of it is undervalued, some of it is overvalued, some is genuine and some is counterfeit - but all of it is given freely (often with great enthusiasm), which continually amazes my selfish self. (And I bet when Matt wakes from his Google-gilded Davos daydreams, it amazes him as well.)
posted by Opus Dark at 2:11 AM on April 18, 2003

i don't remember my first impression. i think it was to do with the pronunciation of the word "metafilter". seems like a clumsy word to try to pronounce. i don't think i've ever actually pronounced it. and i like making pronouncements.
anyway the comments are always more interesting than the links. links are boring. i see metafilter as a soap opera.
posted by mokey at 2:51 AM on April 18, 2003

I lurked until one member I disagreed with jumped all over another member I had come to respect, and then joined.

Metafilter: I came for the links and stayed for the pancakes.
posted by tr33hggr at 6:50 AM on April 18, 2003

MeFi redistributes intellectual capital - some of it is undervalued, some of it is overvalued, some is genuine and some is counterfeit - but all of it is given freely (often with great enthusiasm), which continually amazes my selfish self.

Well said, Opus Dark; I agree.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:08 AM on April 18, 2003

I first became aware of the existance of Metafilter on 9/11, where I saw it linked in an aticle I had accessed from Arts & Letters Daily. It was one of very few sane places of discource that horrible day. It usually, but not always is still. I remain much more of a reader than a writer, but Metafilter is still an enjoyable part of my day.
posted by scottymac at 9:49 AM on April 18, 2003

My first impression of MeFi, to be completely honest, was that it was nothing but people talking about themselves.

Sometimes I still get that impression....

(It does, of course, have its virtues regardless.)
posted by mattpfeff at 10:47 AM on April 18, 2003

I came here because it kept getting referenced on (I think) /.

Thoughts came in this order
1. JESUS H CHRIST! Yellow-on-blue was thought nice by who? I thought blogs were supposed to look good? Yeuch. Perhaps it'll be a preference. I'd better get a login and set some prefs.

2. What!? No logins. Damn. will try tomorrow.

3. None today, either. I'll read some links.

Over the month or so it took for me to get a login (I'm not on PST) I generally got into the vibe of the place.

Then, finally ... a login

4. Jesus H CHRIST I can't change it! Yellow-on-blue thought cool by who?
posted by bonaldi at 12:08 PM on April 18, 2003

mattpfeff: I don't agree at all. In my case, MeFi has been [and at this point I dribble off into another pointless post concluding with] but, of course, I'm sure that's how some political nut would see it. But that's just me. I have high EQ.
posted by ?! at 12:12 PM on April 18, 2003

What more can be said, Mig? The links, the definition of the word, is Meta-Filter for me. Not much more for me to say as most has been covered in the comments above.
Yet this one about the members...Freaks, but individually unique. \!!!/
posted by thomcatspike at 2:07 PM on April 18, 2003

I came for the pricks and stayed for the pricks. I like pricks.

Opus Dark, you're one of my favorite posters, even though you rarely make any comments. Therefore, I will choose to interpret this sentence in the spirit in which I assume it was intended, and not in other, saucier ways.
posted by Hildago at 2:59 PM on April 18, 2003

I came here because of Glen Davis' most original and sorely missed Cool Site of the Day at Project Cool. Many of us, in those early days did. Then, the place was far more web-centric. After watching the place for a few months, I signed up. Some great conversations were had in those days. Then, this place really was far more focused upon the weblog as conversation. We used to shout at each other "this is not a bulliten board!" I think that still goes on?

I came from the old school usenet days where posting was not a stream of conscious brain dump. Posts were well thought out, spelled correctly, and made clear and distinctive points. I think that this is why I feel that I've faltered here at metafilter, especially in the beginning of 2001 and later. My formal posting conversation, I suspected, was not always received well. After I would post a comment, it seemed to me to just sit there and rot. I was selfishly angry at having spent so much time, effort, and energy on things that I felt no one read or cared about. Then again, maybe I was taking myself way too seriously.

Anway, as time wore on and new people came on-board, it became more of a light-hearted and less serious place. People chatter, get angry, vent and blow off steam, even erupt in profanity at times. 20 minutes later seem to be best of friends again. I'm still just not used to that. I post a comment and come back days later and the conversation has skidded completely sideways from where it was. I felt like an old man in an arcade. So I clammed up, for a good long time.

Now, I read mostly what I can spare time for. If I feel absolutely compelled to comment, I will. As far as posting to the front goes, I was never the greatest poster anyway. Maybe I'll get back to it again someday.

I read in comments what I suspected were "in jokes" and groups began to form and pack together. I noticed that spats were being had between members and soon alliances were being formed. I also suspected that it began to affect the way this place was evolving. Meanwhile, some of the "all time great" posters and commenters quit, some publicly, some not. But, new people have proven to be just as good as the old ones and I still stay because I find many thoughtful and compelling posts and comments. I still enjoy this place and I am happy to move about the periphery.

And moz, for what it's worth... you are missed by some of us.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 7:53 PM on April 18, 2003

4. Jesus H CHRIST I can't change it! Yellow-on-blue thought cool by who?

Funny you should say that, Bonaldi - the colours and the design (the font, the lay-out, the style) were, I think, what really grabbed me before anything else.

Perhaps it's the Scandinavian in me, but simplicity (including yellow and white on blue) is very attractive. MeFi's design stands out for not standing out and, for those of us who knew nothing about the web and were used to books, it seemed to concentrate the reading-and-writing functions perfectly.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:12 PM on April 18, 2003

I didn't like it much at first, because I didn't know what was going on. Now that I know what's going on (some of the time), I don't think I like it much more, but I don't stop clickin'.
posted by adampsyche at 5:11 AM on April 19, 2003

Appeared here after reading about it in the late lamented Yahoo! Internet Life. Just seemed like a window on the internet.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:26 PM on April 19, 2003

Hildago: Thanks, sweetie...let's do try to keep our pricks in their proper drawers...
[stroke] backatcha on the 'one of my favorite posters' thing [/stroke]
posted by Opus Dark at 7:33 PM on April 20, 2003

I came to MeFi via WebMonkey's daily e-mail, looked around for a few minutes and thought "I'm home - this is what the internet is for". I was crushed when I was unable to join in immediately, not being one to stay quiet when I have something to say, although I often should, so cast my eyes about to some of the sites linked from MeFi (I had never heard the word weblog before and had only vaguely heard of slashdot, but assumed it was some script kiddie IRC hangout), visited plastic, kuro5hin, blogroots, sportsfilter, etc and even started my own site, but nothing was the same. In the end, I coughed up some dough for the Maitre 'd, forgetting about the exchange rate in my rush but deciding later that it was well spent anyway - I was like a kid on his first visit at the zoo the first time I was that "you are logged in as dg".

Like most, I got my share of slaps upside the head until I figured out how things worked (still do, actually), but MeFi, along with MeTa, #mefi and several sites run by members here now make up an integral part of my weekdays and give me something to get up for on Monday mornings. Reading MeFi from home doesn't seem the same, somehow.
posted by dg at 3:29 PM on April 21, 2003

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the thing that got me here, the Brill's Content cover story on Matt in April 2001. Am I the only one who came here thanks to the print media? Back then, I liked to roam the Net and find odd web pages, but I had nothing to do with blogs/ chatrooms/ newsgroups/ etc.

I think I first showed up here on Friday the 13th, a few days after reading the article, and for a while I looked almost entirely at the links, not the comments (so it didn't really seem like lurking to me). The first link I remember, looking back at the archives today, is the one about -- :( -- the guy dying who had designed the smiley face.

By the time I signed up, on May 1, about 1400 other people had joined in the previous two-and-a-half weeks. So somebody else must have seen that article.

Over time, I also grew to really value Matt and his low-key management style. It amazes me that he is so generous about what he's built. . . .

I think the whole place is amazing, especially considering that one guy basically built it out of nothing. It's by far my favorite thing on the Internet. I like that if you want to be left alone, you can just check the links and ignore everybody or, if you're feeling social, you can laugh/ scream/ rage/ act stupid/ pontificate/ or whatever, along with everyone else.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:30 PM on April 21, 2003

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