Would one post per week be better? May 16, 2003 9:38 AM   Subscribe

I think that there's a consensus that the one-thread-per-user-per-day rule is a good thing. If that's so, would one post per week be better?
posted by timeistight to Bugs at 9:38 AM (46 comments total)

Not a bug, obviously. Sorry.
posted by timeistight at 9:39 AM on May 16, 2003

posted by NortonDC at 9:45 AM on May 16, 2003

Personal restraint is the only solution worth pursuing. Sadly, several posters have absolutely no personal accountability.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:46 AM on May 16, 2003

Personal restraint is the only solution worth pursuing.

Then why have the one-post-per-day rule?
posted by timeistight at 9:49 AM on May 16, 2003

Not a new suggestion. Note that some a$$ always says "no" as the first comment each time it's suggested, also.
posted by yhbc at 9:51 AM on May 16, 2003

Then Miguel would have to find twelve other friends to draft posts for. That's too much strain on the poor guy.
posted by anapestic at 10:05 AM on May 16, 2003

I'm not looking to shut anyone up, just to make posting a little bit more "expensive" for everyone. Even people who don't post that often might hold back on a marginal post if they knew it meant not posting again for seven days.
posted by timeistight at 10:06 AM on May 16, 2003

I don't think more severe posting limits on mefi would help much, but a once-per-week posting limit on MetaTalk might help cut the chatter quite a bit...
posted by GeekAnimator at 10:17 AM on May 16, 2003

Please - no Miggy derails. If you think that the 'Filter is already Cardosocentric, why bring him into a thread irrelevantly ( - from a Migneutral member).
posted by dash_slot- at 10:17 AM on May 16, 2003

Speaking as someone with a threads/day ratio of 0.02, I'm all for it. My impression is that it such a rule would affect maybe 20 people out of all the Metafilter users; the "postingest 1%", if you will...
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:25 AM on May 16, 2003

This question seems to come up about once every three months, and never even approaches the possible consideration of maybe being approved. I'd rather work toward a concensus making that interval longer.

But only slightly more seriously: why has this come up again? It doesn't seem to me that posting traffic has suddenly spiked or that quality has suddenly nosedived.
Is this just a regularly-scheduled horse-beating?
posted by Su at 10:49 AM on May 16, 2003

I say yes, this being the first week I've posted twice. Maybe loosen it up a little to be, say, four or five posts per month (which I think would also be easier to enforce, coding-wise), so personal restraint is encouraged, but not rigidly locked down.
posted by soyjoy at 10:50 AM on May 16, 2003

Uh, obviously my "yes" was not in answer to Su's rhetorical question.

But it occurred to me right after clicking Post that a monthly schedule would make for an extremely wild party on the last couple days of the month. That could be good or bad.
posted by soyjoy at 10:52 AM on May 16, 2003

i think every day you have been a member of metafilter and *don't* post you should get a shiny quarter.

somebody owes me some loot.
posted by fishfucker at 11:03 AM on May 16, 2003

gah, and i just added to the chatter. sorry all. on the subject of post-a-week rule, everytime it's discussed consenus is it would only hamper the "good" posters, and not stop the poo that we're all troubled by.
posted by fishfucker at 11:05 AM on May 16, 2003

I've been for this in the past, but here's something I just thought of. The "poo"-posters (as fishhumper put it), most likely being those that rant several times a week on the same topic, would likely just compose one long screed with several links and a huge (more inside) taken in that would piss everyone off just as much. It wouldn't be as frequent, I suppose, but seven essays a week on topic X is probably just as bad as 20 little posts on it. Just a thought.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:13 AM on May 16, 2003

The question is what were the conditions that lead to the one post per day rule going into effect. Has the membership changed in such a way the same conditions are repeating themselves, and is a further pullback is required. You could push it down to one front page thread a month, and there would still be more than you could ever have time to read running through here.
posted by thirteen at 11:26 AM on May 16, 2003

How many people post more than one post a week with any regularity? If you look at the most MeFi thread index, there's less than 60 people who have posted more than 50 times in their history - and many of that number no longer post with any frequency if at all; others have been members for years.

There's probably only a dozen people who currently post more than once a week with any regularity and I have been one of that number. Miguel, hama7, Carlos, postroad, plep, pretty_generic come to mind as fitting that profile right now, and there may be others who have more-than-once-a-week spurts on occasion.

Would this really affect the volume all that much? Is the problem with too many people posting more than once a week, or is the problem with the quality of the posts that the frequent posters post? That would be a separate issue.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:30 AM on May 16, 2003

I might be wrong, soyjoy, but I think a simple seven day delay between posts would be easier to program than counting a user's posts in an arbitrary calendar period. I think it would just be a matter of changing "24" to "168" in the posting routine.

madamjujujive: it's not about the volume – it's about the quality. As I said above, I'm not looking to limit any particular posters; I think some of our most prolific poster are also some of our best. But even though I post less than one FPP per month on average, I still think I'd be more likely to not make a marginal post if I knew that it could delay the next great thing I found for seven days.

Anyway, it doesn't look like a consensus is forming on this.
posted by timeistight at 11:33 AM on May 16, 2003

For the record, I still vote "yes" on a once-per-week posting limit; not to limit any particular poster or group of posters, but to increase the perceived value of each post in every poster's eyes - to make it just a little more likely someone will stop and think "hey! should I waste my weekly post on this CNN article about Iraq, even though I've never posted more than once a week in the past?"

However, it does look like such a rule will only be implemented when timeistight and I set up RedundantFilter.
posted by yhbc at 12:08 PM on May 16, 2003

timeistight, I think the bottom line is that the over-posters know who they are, and this type of rule would only prevent "good" links from being presented to the site.

Self-policing, in any form, whether it be here on this site or in the real world when you bite your tongue instead of letting loose a nasty comment you'll regret later, seems to be a fairly obvious, but neglected, tool of pleasant conversation. I don't personally believe that even more limitations are necessary; those who clog this site with useless comments and mundane links know who they are and do it to satisfy some selfish need to be heard.

And as we've already seen, MeTa seems to have been used so often that its effectiveness is, IMHO, almost nil for many problems, including NewsFilter, IraqFilter, over posting, chatter, rudeness, etc. My personal solution is to realize the direction of the site and fit myself to that path. For instance, as much as I can't stand masturbatory threads like this, I understand that my presence to condemn the thread is completely value-free. No one in that thread wants to be told to keep MeTa free of chatter, and if the thread isn't deleted, who am I to say anything?

I guess my point is that programmed laws won't stop poor posting. (And this has been the case for years now)
posted by BlueTrain at 12:12 PM on May 16, 2003

time, I didn't realize there was already coding in place enforcing the one-a-day rule; I thought it was a so-called "gentlemen's agreement." But I would be less likely to support it as you've just specified, namely, if I post something now, no matter whether it's Monday or Friday, I have to wait a full seven days to post again. Somehow that seems way too rigid given the speed on which things happen on the Internet.
posted by soyjoy at 12:27 PM on May 16, 2003

I think Madamjujujive should be permitted to post as many times a day as she wants. Miguel does pretty well on one-a-day...There are some of us who could post once a year and it would be a crappy post.

We discussed this back before Matt put in the one-a-day rule. If he had wanted it to be once per week, he'd have done it then. Or for that matter any time he darn well felt like it.

The true way to get rid of Crapfilter is to not comment at all on bad posts-but we all know how well that would work. We can't even seem to restrain ourselves from posting to trolls.
posted by konolia at 12:36 PM on May 16, 2003

soyjoy, that's the point. If you have to wait a week, you'll probably make sure it's a really good post. yhbc said it much better than I.
posted by timeistight at 12:41 PM on May 16, 2003

What Blue Train said. Personal restraint. Or as the Rastas say: "Measure Twice, Cut Once."

We can't even seem to restrain ourselves from posting to trolls.

The trolls all post to each other's threads is a sort of mutual crapulation society. You can make all the rules and guidelines you want, they'll still shit all over them just as much as they shit on the current rules and guidelines.
posted by UncleFes at 1:05 PM on May 16, 2003

Then Miguel would have to find twelve other friends to draft posts for. That's too much strain on the poor guy.

sign me up.

You can make all the rules and guidelines you want, they'll still shit all over them

its good to know we have some "lets clean up the riff-raff "types here in metafilter as well as the whitehouse too.
posted by specialk420 at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2003

I'm not even too thrilled with the once a day limit. Absusers should be dealt with as individuals; while most people show enough discretion here, IMO, that anarchy can work.
posted by dgaicun at 4:23 PM on May 16, 2003

soyjoy, that's the point. If you have to wait a week, you'll probably make sure it's a really good post.

I still think you're missing my point. Holding users to, say, four posts a month achieves your goal of adding value (or perceived value) to a given thread. But tying it to a specific seven-day in-between time doesn't add anything to that, and has complications.

Seven days from now I may not be at a computer (not bloody likely, but possible); my thread may be something that will have changed or evolved in seven days to the point that it's not worth posting then, even though it definitely is now; also, under the monthly plan if I go a couple weeks without posting I may or may not feel like posting a couple threads within the next week, and that's fine, but under 7-day, I'm encouraged to keep posting every seven days whether the thread merits it or not, because additional days without posting are not recouped. So I think the rigid version could backfire, is all.
posted by soyjoy at 9:17 PM on May 16, 2003

I think the trouble, soyjoy, as you said yourself, is that rush at the end of the week / month, when people post mediocre links just because they haven't posted yet that month. A set interval between posts would eliminate that.

Though personally I think it should be a matter of individual posters realizing that less is more, and no one cares about your damn terriers.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:48 PM on May 16, 2003

But ... but ... terriers are my favorite breed.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:20 PM on May 16, 2003

soyjoy, that's the point. If you have to wait a week, you'll probably make sure it's a really good post.

The problem with this is that people's ideas of what a 'really good post' is are very different. Sometimes the thread is better than the link. I post links with no idea what people are going to make of them, and people's reactions are a constant surprise.

Plus people sometimes post in spurts, sometimes have fallow periods. For instance, I personally am going to take a short vacation. ;)
posted by plep at 11:22 PM on May 16, 2003

I personally am going to take a short vacation. ;)

That's not exactly good news for MetaFilter, but I hope you have a wonderful time, whatever you do and wherever you go.

My favorite posts are the ones that don't necessarily warrant discussion or debate, but are utterly fantastic and fit the "best of the web" parameters. (There are unforgettable jewels that come to mind in recent memory.)

The news and politics posts rack up loads of comments, but in a week's time, they're forgotten.
posted by hama7 at 4:08 AM on May 17, 2003

I agree with you, hama7. Though politics has a place on Metafilter too.
posted by plep at 5:49 AM on May 17, 2003

hama7 :- a vacation from posting, not a vacation from commenting or indeed on collecting links for the future. :) Sorry to have been unclear!
posted by plep at 5:53 AM on May 17, 2003

On the other hand, can anyone help me with my postaphobia. My last few, as sporadically chosen as they were, had me agonizing for weeks afterwards for my own errors in execution.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things here (inspired by Uncle Joe no less), but I don't know how to approach it. I miss the days when I posted about famous bollywood stars getting kidnapped by sandalwood bandits. I'm not sure those were popular topics even then though.

My filter is ajar. How can I get back into the saddle? Maybe there should be a Metafilter buddy system. I'd like to be able to run my post ideas by someone first.
posted by john at 8:38 AM on May 17, 2003

plep, I agree with hama7 - your hiatus would be a detriment to us all because you bring quality things to MeFi. I can't think anyone would think your posts are in any way adding to the noise.

If you choose to post less for your own reasons, that's one thing. But it would be a shame if you thought you needed to take a hiatus because of this thread.

timeistight, I have no doubt but that your intent is to improve MeFi's quality! I simply disagree that limiting posting privileges further is the way to do it since there is only a handful of people who actually do post more than once a week. I tend to favor a light touch in rulemaking and lots of positive reinforcement.

john, I think you should just post if you find something that you think is worth sharing...your post about Jacqui and her recovery was really a gem. I don't think "popularity" should be the criteria - popular things will surface elsewhere on the web anyway. I never would have found the Jacqui story on my own. And even if you make a mistake - it's only a website!

(konolia, thanks for your nice words!)
posted by madamjujujive at 9:17 AM on May 17, 2003

madamjujujive, please believe me when I say that this thread wasn't targeting you or the others in the short list of frequent posters you site. It was intended to get all of us to choose what we post wisely. I think you already do that.

It obviously isn't going to happen anyway, so no worries.
posted by timeistight at 9:29 AM on May 17, 2003

No worries for you either, timeistight! I don't doubt your goodwill in the least, and don't think for a minute that you were intending to target anyone. Quality is always a worthwhile topic for discussion - your point about choosing wisely is certainly an important one and one that probably cannot be made too often.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:58 AM on May 17, 2003

My belated vote that no one with any sense cares about:

NO. The drawbacks of a One-Post-A-Week Rule would outweigh the benefits, because the wondrous links of Plep and his ilk (like madamjujujive and iconomy, when they're on a posting-roll), would be severely limited. In my opinion, these folks are keeping the real spirit of Mefi alive.
posted by Shane at 10:29 AM on May 17, 2003

Okay. I'm convinced. It would do more harm than good. I withdraw the question.
posted by timeistight at 10:50 AM on May 17, 2003

Maybe there should be a Metafilter buddy system.

That's an interesting idea, John. I personally would be interested in the type of Bollywood links you mention ;). Maybe it's worth just posting them and see what people make of them. People have different ideas about what makes a good post anyway, and yours are no less valid than anyone else's.

Timeistight :- thanks for your suggestion. :) As madamjujujive said, there's no harm in making suggestions, after all, and I have no doubt of your goodwill either. :) I don't know about others, but I personally tend to find links in fits and starts rather than in a consistent stream.

I think that maybe it's worth remembering that there's a human being on the other end of the wire. ;) If you don't like a link, there's no reason to tear it to pieces - just skip over to the next one. None of us have been appointed the arbiters of good taste, after all. ;) If there's a discussion with different views, agree to disagree rather than trying to make the other side feel like pondscum. That sort of thing.

Let Us Live in Peace and Mutual Respect ;).
posted by plep at 11:43 AM on May 17, 2003

Sage advice, Plep.
posted by timeistight at 3:35 PM on May 17, 2003

there may be others who have more-than-once-a-week spurts on occasion

posted by quonsar at 7:38 AM on May 18, 2003

how about we just get rid of posting all together? That way we can all stay up-to-date on MeFi postings, we don't have to worry about self-links or flame wars in the threads. That way it would only take 2 second each day to read MeFi instead of the 14 or so hours currently. Heck, maybe the big cheese could just let the domain expire, then it could be a purely mental exercise. Imagine:

random user: "Hmmm, anything new on Metafilter?"
random user: [thinks real hard]
random user: "Nope. Hmm, I wonder what's in the fridge?"
posted by blue_beetle at 2:14 PM on May 19, 2003

The time constraint is a good incentive to thinking before you post. A week is too much. As to flame wars in the threads, I haven't noticed that being a particular problem. Stupid comment? Next. It's a given that you have to refilter MetaFilter. The sidebar and my own personal wetware work pretty well for me. I'm currently not clicking on anything with the words Bush, Iraq, or Flash in it.

how about we just get rid of posting all together?

We're already there, since the MeFi ownership already reserves the right to can a post or ban a user account at its discretion, which pretty much moots the whole question of community self-policing:

Failure to follow these guidelines may result in your posts being deleted, your posting rights revoked, or your account banned. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Among the guidelines breach of which can get you banned is "following the golden rule." How about "censor not with giving cause, lest ye be be censored without cause being given?"

As a bootee on two occasions out of 19 submissions, I can tell you (take this is as a user experience case study) that I am more likely to think harder about posting well if somebody tells me nicely why my post is lame than if I return several hours later and find the post gone, without an explanation.

How about if you guys (I'm not getting much of a "we" feeling about all this) stopped using the in-crowd term "troll" and came up with something a little more neutral, like "off-topic," with a specific definition of what on-topic means that would painlessly explain your decision why a post stands or not without you having to write a Supreme Court decision. Send an automated e-mail with a checked box: Previously posted, off-topic, racial invective, etc.

Then you could do what some sites do and give rejected posts their own page for a while, as a kind of quarantine and appeals period for the troll off-topic post. The transparency would be a breath of fresh air.
posted by hairyeyeball at 2:09 AM on May 21, 2003

hairyeyeball, you haven't been paying attention, have you? Deleted posts have been getting explanation boxes for a long time now. And "troll" is a perfectly good word, with a meaning very different from "off-topic." There's nothing terrible about the latter. Nobody likes a troll.
posted by languagehat at 12:56 PM on May 21, 2003

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