Is this the way to do self-links? April 24, 2003 10:38 AM   Subscribe

This thread is interesting to me, because I've held off posting similar content, for fear of reprisal and bandwidth usage. Is there an appropriate way to post 'discovered' content without having the MeFi Hall Monitors yell "SELF LINK! SELF LINK!"?
posted by maniactown to Etiquette/Policy at 10:38 AM (50 comments total)

For this certain post, I don't think it was even necessary to make an FPP, as there was another thread about Madonna made within the last 12 hours or so... it could easily have been placed in the comments where self-links aren't taboo.

Also, as said, this wasn't really "discovered" as much as it was "created." The user took a picture of something, put it on a website, then made a link to it... that's not much of a "discovery." I Maybe I'm wrong, but I assumed that MeFi was more for cool things discovered on the web, or moreover cool discoveries reported on the web... what would happen if everyone with a camera and a scanner suddenly decided they could say "hey, look at this cool-looking thing I found?"

I think that if anything, you would need to find a topic with a broader range, then perhaps via a [more inside] make a link. Again, this could have easily been done for a previous poster since there was already a related thread active.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:57 AM on April 24, 2003


*cough*

cunting little meficop weasels should just shut up.
posted by quonsar at 11:08 AM on April 24, 2003


bullshit, he was probably the one that did the signs in the first place.

maybe not, but isn't that the sort of thing the rule against self-linking is for?
posted by angry modem at 11:22 AM on April 24, 2003


1)Quonsar, that is my favorite gerund that I will never actually use.

2) My anal take is that Mefi is specifically aimed at filtering stuff on the web and not adding stuff to the web and posting it, but that's maybe a bit rigid. I'm more comfortable with the safe non-answer of "it could've just gone on the existing Madonna thread".
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:24 AM on April 24, 2003


" Is there an appropriate way...."

Well, if this is appropriate at all then the way it was done would be the right way I guess. What I want to know is whether this is legitimate material for a post on MetaFilter at all. Or, more pointedly, what is MetaFilter suppose to be filtering these days?

We pound on this all the time, but it seems to be getting out of hand lately. If the "the point of MetaFilter is to find the best and most interesting of the web to share with others", as it says in the guidelines, then how can posting pictures you took on the street (or news you read about, movie trailers you saw, or music you heard) be given a pass? Indeed, does MetaFilter have a point? If so, is it related to the web at all? Is there anything that we can't post now? Clearly news is okay. Ditto for radio programs, music, op-ed, double posts, and agendas.

I'm not saying MetaFilter is dead. Just wondering what we're about these days.

I put it to you, MetaFilter members - Isn't MetaFilter just a general discussion site? Are we going to allow anything? Are we going to pretend it's still about stuff on the web? Are we going to find a focus?

Here's the deal - I spend a good part of my day trying to make a list of "the best of MetaFilter". But even though I've been reading MetaFilter for years, and even though we've had this conversation 60 times, today (right now) I have no fucking idea how one might determine the "best of" here. If the "best of" is some subset of the posts which present "most interesting of the web to share with others" then I'm left with only 1-3 posts a day that I can even consider.

I keep hinting at this, but no one will bite. So I'll say it a third time now:

If we need to amend this:

"the point of MetaFilter is to find the best and most interesting of the web to share with others"

Then what do we amend it to? If we aren't going to amend it, then do we try to enforce it?

I suspect that the answer is to just admit that there is no best of here and things will proceed in the same unpredictable manner we've come to expect. Still, it would be nice to have a consensus on what the point is.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:32 AM on April 24, 2003


I don't know that it merited its own post, but Practise was hardly acting on any more of a personal agenda than any of the innumerable MeFites who post link after link related to their own political interests on the front page. Seems to me like he found something he genuinely thought was interesting, and wanted to share. Which is more than could be said for a good number of links that go undeleted.
posted by mattpfeff at 11:39 AM on April 24, 2003


he's a newbie, one the assholes have probably succeeded in running off forever. that pisses me off. cut him some slack. he thought people were interested. he put the images on his own server and then shared them with you. there wasn't a self-promotional thought in his head. with some seasoning, it may have occurred to him to just post in the existing madonna thread, but that thread was more about piracy. his take on the photos may have been a stretch, oh well. in my bombastic opinion, the only foul balls in this case were pitched by the holier-than-thou. angrymodem, he responded to your accusation and denies he altered the posters himself. the self linking rule is there for a good reason, this isn't it. on preview, good points y6y6y6, noting that the undeniably subjective nature of 'best-of' also applies to 'self-link'. self-link is a slippery slope, and should be avoided no question. bashing the fuck out of newbies who commit misdemeanors is also a slippery slope.
posted by quonsar at 11:39 AM on April 24, 2003


and matt delivers the killing blow. excuse me while i go puke.
posted by quonsar at 11:49 AM on April 24, 2003


matt kills an innocent case of self link by a rank newbie on his first post, and allows to stand a one day double post by a seasoned poster with 49 FPP's to his credit.
posted by quonsar at 11:53 AM on April 24, 2003


I really liked the images. Have they been posted elsewhere, in the other thread? I guess I better go look, huh?
posted by Shane at 12:09 PM on April 24, 2003


In our last precident along these lines, Steve_@_Linwood was thoroughly lambasted for doing essentially the same thing -- posting content from elsewhere on his site so everyone could access it. (Didn't see you jump to his defense, quonsar.) It was generally agreed then that S_@_L could have linked differently; I don't know whether Practise could have done the same, since he was posting off-line material, but most likely he could.

When I try to explain the purpose of MeFi to friends (and what friends they are to listen), I describe it as posts about interesting things on the Web. I don't consider putting material on the Web for the sole purpose of posting to MeFi true to that description, regardless of how interesting those things may be; if I did I'd be uploading cool stuff constantly.

Y63, I agree with you that the mission statement has been ignored lately, and I hope that we see a return to form, but at the same time, we're an organic community, and it takes our effort -- or a herculean deleting spree by mathowie -- to put us back on the intended path. I'm more in favor of a creative, positive response to the lack of focus than a destructive one.
posted by me3dia at 12:16 PM on April 24, 2003


Like I said, quonsar, if you're suddenly upset with double posts, then why doesn't Practise just post his self-link to the Madonna-related thread.

Also like I said, and likened to PST, this wasn't the "best of the web." This wasn't even PART of the web until the same person who linked to it created it.

I'm not too concerned about scaring off a newbie. If Practise really liked MeFi and wants to be a part of it, he'll tack this off as a learning experience and stay here. It happened to me in my first month and I'm more than aware now what a crap link or three I've posted that merited deletion. I thought the "you didn't like my link so now I'm leaving" people are ones we DON'T want here, anyway.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:19 PM on April 24, 2003


If we need to amend this:

"the point of MetaFilter is to find the best and most interesting of the web to share with others"

Then what do we amend it to? If we aren't going to amend it, then do we try to enforce it?


I don't want it amended, but I have no idea how to enforce it. It seems like it's been a long time is our administrator has even expressed an opinion.

My problem is that I've given up hope of the situation improving but I can't seem to just stop coming here.

I admire your fortitude plowing through MetaFilter daily to look for the "best". I hardly even skim it any more.
posted by timeistight at 12:29 PM on April 24, 2003


(Didn't see you jump to his defense, quonsar.)

m3dia, that would have been a valid snipe if i had posted in that thread at all. this is the first i've become aware of that thread. of course, you're implying that because S@L and i disagree politically that i wouldn't have defended him. looking over that link, i can't see any way i'd have reacted differently than to Practise's link. S@L voluntarily hosted, at his own expense, a pdf that contained no links to his site and promoted his site in no way whatsoever. he was doing the membership a favor. so was Practise.

if you're suddenly upset with double posts, then why doesn't Practise just post his self-link to the Madonna-related thread.

XQUYEJKLDLKJHSKJH, there is a world of diffence between a double post and a self link. additionally, you are attempting to equate Practise's post to a double post because both happen to mention madonna. that's bullshit. one was about madonna's record label's silly kazaa decoys, the other was about the use of the che image in advertising madonna's record and what some britons think about it. but, you knew that. both reference madonna. by that standard, every post ever made has been a double, because it referenced the internet and we've already had posts referencing the internet. duh.

oh well, it's not my website.
posted by quonsar at 12:38 PM on April 24, 2003


ok, apparently i WAS aware of the post m3dia, as i posted in the meta thread, using my own example. i still think we've treated a harmless mistake by a first time poster with indefensible rudeness.
posted by quonsar at 12:46 PM on April 24, 2003


No harm done, q, although I'm very surprised to see you, of all people, complain about rudeness.

What bugs me about Practise's post is that he created content and put it on his own site for the specific purpose of posting to MeFi. If that's not a self-link, I don't know what is.
posted by me3dia at 12:52 PM on April 24, 2003


"I'm more in favor of a creative, positive response to the lack of focus"

Same here. Do you think there is even the tiniest chance that will happen?

"I admire your fortitude plowing through MetaFilter daily"

I don't mean to make it sound like that. I enjoy reading MetaFilter, and I enjoy thinking about what the best is. I just find myself confused lately and I worry that I'm out of step with the community.

"indefensible rudeness"

It doesn't seem that rude or indefensible to me. He's not a newbie. He's been a member for 8 months and probably a lurker for longer. Someone who gets overly worked up after they get called on breaking the only rule we still enforce is silly. He should have known better. He didn't. Big deal. If he wants to go cry in the corner, more power to him. If other members want to drag us into his pitty party, good luck.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:57 PM on April 24, 2003


So, uh, if I post pictures to PhotoIsland and FPP link to them it's okay, but if I post them on my own site it's not?

what would happen if everyone with a camera and a scanner suddenly decided they could say "hey, look at this cool-looking thing I found?"

I don't consider putting material on the Web for the sole purpose of posting to MeFi true to that description, regardless of how interesting those things may be; if I did I'd be uploading cool stuff constantly.

Whether or not it's true to Matt's goal for metafilter, I think it would make for a very interesting site if everybody posted all the interesting things they saw, internet-wide or else. Maybe we'd have to call it WorldFilter or LifeFilter, but it seems like a laudable goal.
posted by maniactown at 1:03 PM on April 24, 2003


You call them Hall Monitors, I call them freedom fighters. (Yeah, insert smiley face here.)

To actually answer your question, maniactown (such an appropriate moniker here!), yes, there are things you can do instead of self-link. You can take out a text ad on MeFi, and, if it's something fairly substantial, you can send it to MeFi members project list. Best of all, you can just put it on your blog and wait for MeFiers to discover it.

And no -- linking to stuff you put on the web is a self-link.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:11 PM on April 24, 2003


I'm very surprised to see you, of all people, complain about rudeness.

yeah, go figger. i must be getting old. it seems that i jumped into this fray with some weak assumptions. based on his first post remark, i assumed he was brand new, for one. having done precisely what Practise claimed to have done myself i also felt that i should come to his defense. maybe he wasn't so snow white innocent. i don't know. what i said in meta about S@L's link makes a lot more sense to me than anything i said today about Practise's link. the wind has gone out of these sails and i'm dead in the water. good thing i have lots of words to eat.
posted by quonsar at 1:16 PM on April 24, 2003


"I think it would make for a very interesting site if everybody posted all the interesting things they saw"

You are, in part, discribing the web log community. MetaFilter was, in part, designed be be a filter for that, not a compendium. If everyone posted things they thought were interesting we'd have hundreds of posts a day.

The reason the hall monitors yell "self link" is that self linking leads to problems. If one person self links, then we all feel we need to. I personally write things on my blog that I think are wildly entertaining several times a week. Should I post all of those to MetaFilter? I take thousands of photos a years, a large number of which are outstanding. Should I post those here as I take them?

I think not. Self posting on MetaFilter is a bad idea. Posting our thoughts on pictures we took is worse.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:32 PM on April 24, 2003


oh, and XQUYEJKLDLKJHSKJH, we are now on madonna link number three for the day. is it a triple post?
posted by quonsar at 1:41 PM on April 24, 2003


We interrupt this squabbling in order to be anal:

1)Quonsar, that is my favorite gerund that I will never actually use.

Actually, it's a participle.

Thank you, and good night.
posted by soyjoy at 1:50 PM on April 24, 2003


Best of all, you can just put it on your blog and wait for MeFiers to discover it.

In fact, you don't even have to wait: email me and, if I think it's good, I'll post it.

I think that legal; I'm the filter.
posted by timeistight at 1:53 PM on April 24, 2003


Related question to the original one: I have something (relax, it's non-Madonna-related) that I'd like to FPP. While I did not write the piece to which I'd like to link, I do contribute other things there. Would that be ok?
posted by pmurray63 at 2:03 PM on April 24, 2003


Thanks Soyjoy. I knew I should have checked that I was using the right term before throwing that out.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:03 PM on April 24, 2003


I think that legal; I'm the filter.

TITFilter?
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:28 PM on April 24, 2003


quonsar, my first glance was that both threads essentially revolved users saying why they don't like Madonna. I wasn't calling double-post just because her name was mentioned in both threads. Unclench, for chrissakes.

And no, I don't find it "a triple post." I do find it uninteresting, hence why I'm not commenting in it. Some people, ahem, don't need to have a comment in every thread on this website. ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:33 PM on April 24, 2003


Unclench, for chrissakes.
but, UncleFes SO appreciates me clenched!
posted by quonsar at 2:56 PM on April 24, 2003


I don't know why you're so upset, quonsar. A newbie posts a message about a billboard about madonna, and you cry foul when it's deleted?

If you ask me, madonna should buy a text ad.
posted by crunchland at 3:03 PM on April 24, 2003


Why should she even bother? She's getting enough traffic outta this place without doing anything...
posted by JollyWanker at 3:28 PM on April 24, 2003


Practise needs ... ?

good thing i have lots of words to eat.

all forgiven if you eat these of mine too
posted by walrus at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2003


Here's the problem. While the post was a self-link, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that it was only posted so that Practise could take a tired swipe at Madonna, who whatever her failings as an artist certainly isn't the first person to appropriate socialist realism poster art themes for corporate capitalist purposes. If Practise had taken the time to regale us with the background of the Che poster and photograph, and an honest appraisal of its social construction and history (highly derivative of Warhol, without the irony), and framed it as a question of how far public IP can be appropriated by corporate interests, that might have been interesting. Alas for the thread, I actually wrote up such a comment, but Matt deleted the thread betwixt preview and post.

Here's the thing we always come back to: you can break the rules if your post is really good. Lame posts are lame posts, and the broken rule is usually just an excuse. It's sort of the broken windows policing approach to moderation: if your brake lights are malfunctioning, there's a high degree of correlation with your driver's license being expired.
posted by dhartung at 3:58 PM on April 24, 2003


Sarcastic retort to previous toadying, followed by identification of Matt as member of elitist cabal. Suggestion of violent penetration to be visited upon members of perceived weblog elite. Summary statement in which poster swears he wouldn't join above mentioned cabal if they got down on their knees and begged him.

Lame teeny tiny snarky comment stating he might join but only if the sex was good...
posted by ZachsMind at 5:02 PM on April 24, 2003


thinking about things, I was a overzealous with it. quonsar's right.
posted by angry modem at 5:44 PM on April 24, 2003


*takes hat off to angry modem, hands him a drink, does little dance*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:49 PM on April 24, 2003


I didn't want to start another thread about it (and mathowie pretty much never answers my direct queries anyway) but seeing as how other pruning is being done concurrently, is it appropriate to ask why these threads are still there?

Doubleposts, and not terribly good ones either. Nor was the ensuing discussion particularly noteworthy.

Is this a change in policy (and if so, we should be told about it before we continue mentioning in thread (as both q and I did, relatively politely) that something is a recent double post), or just Matt being too busy to bother deleting them?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:52 PM on April 24, 2003


Double posts are the new Friday Flash.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:03 PM on April 24, 2003


matt kills an innocent case of self link by a rank newbie on his first post, and allows to stand a one day double post by a seasoned poster with 49 FPP's to his credit.

I've been at a conference for the past three days, with another one ahead of me. I've slept a handful of hours in that time, spending every waking moment talking, meeting, and discussing stuff. It's not all pointless though, I've heard multiple mentions of MetaFilter in reference to social software and online communites. I have a zillion new ideas of how to improve the place, and hopefully will slowly be adding functionality to the site that should make things much better (over the next few months at the earliest).

As a result, I've glanced at the site for all of five minutes in the past three days, so I've missed two self links and an untold number of double posts because I haven't had the time to look at anything. Things should be back to normal on Monday.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:10 PM on April 24, 2003


*spreads vast flowering umbrella of forgiveness over the head of The Postmeister*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:47 PM on April 24, 2003


MetaFilter: Miguel's vast flowering umbrella of forgiveness

Quick request for a judgment call -- I posted a few links in a comment a while ago. Upon retrospect, I think they might make a good FPP. Is that considered kosher?
posted by Vidiot at 12:51 AM on April 25, 2003


As a result, I've glanced at the site for all of five minutes in the past three days

Thanks, Matt. I'd mistakenly assumed you were on the case from the couple of deletions, not realizing that it was a case of quick in-and-out.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:55 AM on April 25, 2003


As a result, I've glanced at the site for all of five minutes in the past three days

I suspect that if we all adopted this level of attention to the site, we'd all be leading much healthier lives.
posted by crunchland at 2:30 AM on April 25, 2003


Or at least leading lives.
posted by timeistight at 3:05 AM on April 25, 2003


Or at least living.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:35 AM on April 25, 2003


Or leading.
posted by *burp* at 8:42 AM on April 25, 2003


Or.
posted by me3dia at 9:15 AM on April 25, 2003


you got to admit that there just aren't as many new and interesting things on the web nowadays. we've seen them all.
posted by mokey at 11:09 AM on April 25, 2003


me3dia: You'll just have to believe me when I tell you that your last comment made me laugh to the point of having walk out of the office. I know, I know.
posted by Witty at 11:23 AM on April 25, 2003


Hey, witty laughed!
(Not derision - I've been worrying about you, bub. You've been visibly taking things so seriously in the posts that others have been calling attention to the irony in your nickname, and I do take an interest in all users using 'wit' in their nicknames or domain names)
posted by wendell at 1:03 PM on April 25, 2003


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