New members increase numbers (from July 2003) July 28, 2003 8:52 AM   Subscribe

17153? Did I miss a memo? For the longest time it was 17151. Who are the two new members? Does this mean membership is open again? What do I do if someone I know wants to get in, and does it involve PayPal?
posted by soyjoy to MetaFilter-Related at 8:52 AM (94 comments total)

I mentioned this in #mefi a while back when chatting with a rather interesting individual who wasn't a member, and was told that there are periodic additions, some of which appear to be test accounts and some which don't. I do occasionally come across folks I wish I could somehow sponsor or recommend.
posted by weston at 9:16 AM on July 28, 2003


How many times do we have to talk about the ways people sneak/buy/are granted their way into MetaFilter after the door's closed before it's not asked about anymore?
posted by me3dia at 9:16 AM on July 28, 2003


does it involve PayPal?

Probably not.
posted by timeistight at 9:17 AM on July 28, 2003


The first rule of MetaFilter sign-ups is you do not talk about MetaFilter sign-ups.
posted by rocketman at 9:22 AM on July 28, 2003


weston - thanks for pointing out the painfully obvious way to figure out who the two additions are. D'oh!

But it's still a little odd, since I know the main page counter said 17151 at least as recently as June 2003, yet #17153 was supposedly added in October 2002. I thought that number was generated by the database, but maybe it's just fixed in the template and Matt hadn't gotten around to changing it.

So to get somebody added, I should start a thread about them?
posted by soyjoy at 9:29 AM on July 28, 2003


So to get somebody added, I should start a thread about them?

No, you should never mention new users publicly. As I've said before, I'm not really interested in adding new folks that beg me to, but from time to time someone with an extreme circumstance asks for an in and I give them an account. As you noticed, it's been a handful of people in the past six months, so please don't bother asking me for a new account.

While I'd like to inject some new blood into the site, I'm pretty busy with a zillion other projects and have left MetaFilter running on fumes the past few months. I think the site does suffer in the absence of new voices, but it's also a million times easier to run when I don't have to worry about new troublemakers joining up (I already seem to be busy enough with old troublemakers). One of these days, I will go back to enabling 10-15 new accounts a day, but I won't do the paypal thing again since everyone joining via that method seemed to feel entitled to special treatment (because they "bought" their way in and expected to be treated like a customer).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:35 AM on July 28, 2003


One of these days, I will go back to enabling 10-15 new accounts a day, but I won't do the paypal thing again since everyone joining via that method seemed to feel entitled to special treatment (because they "bought" their way in and expected to be treated like a customer).

That sucks about the Pay Pal thing. If anything, they should feel less special because they didn't "win" the sign-up "contest." Do you have any idea how many of the old users are still "active," and how many are gone for good? I wonder if the number of actual users stays more or less the same even as the number of total people signed-up increases (not that I am pushing for anything either way, just curious).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:46 AM on July 28, 2003


What qualifies as an extreme circumstance?
posted by gottabefunky at 9:50 AM on July 28, 2003


soyjoy, there are 17,153 users, but not all the usernumbers are consecutive (there are some gaps). User number 17153 has indeed been a member since October 2002.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:51 AM on July 28, 2003


What qualifies as an extreme circumstance?

Always looking for the exceptions in every rule. I won't say specifically, but these situations were pretty out there. Suffice to say, if you still have both of your arms, then your circumstances aren't extreme enough.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:53 AM on July 28, 2003


"everyone joining via that method seemed to feel entitled to special treatment"

er, everyone?
posted by nthdegx at 10:00 AM on July 28, 2003


Suffice to say, if you still have both of your arms, then your circumstances aren't extreme enough.

Ah. Nose peckers.

Actually, I'm pretty sure all of us are adept at typing with one hand, aren't we?
posted by crunchland at 10:07 AM on July 28, 2003


One of these days, I will go back to enabling 10-15 new accounts a day...

Many people wish you would, matt, but if you don't have the time... Maybe we could volunteer to mentor them and take some of the load off?

And today's my mefi anniversary! (I was one of those lucky, lunchtime in california signup people), and happy 1 year to all the other 14kers, and send me presents : >
posted by amberglow at 10:10 AM on July 28, 2003


Ah. Nose peckers.

Nose peckers?
posted by Shane at 10:12 AM on July 28, 2003


Suffice to say, if you still have both of your arms, then your circumstances aren't extreme enough...

...he says, 2 days after he threw out the little iraqi amputee.
posted by quonsar at 10:32 AM on July 28, 2003


Hey, Amber! We have the same birthday (well, Mefi-wise). I hadn't realized, but your post made me look at my user page and see. Wow, I can't believe it's only been one year... why, I was just a wee young thing back then. And now, look at me, great big strapping fellow, beard as thick as the Northern Forest, a veritable modern day Paul Bunyan. And to think I owe it all to Metafilter.
posted by jonson at 10:34 AM on July 28, 2003


me too jonson! It sure puts hair on your chest, and your back, and your palms....
posted by amberglow at 10:36 AM on July 28, 2003


No, you should never mention new users publicly.

Sorry, I was just trying for a cheap laugh on that one. I'll stop making trouble now.

For a little while, anyway...
posted by soyjoy at 10:48 AM on July 28, 2003


. I think the site does suffer in the absence of new voices, but it's also a million times easier to run when I don't have to worry about new troublemakers joining up (I already seem to be busy enough with old troublemakers). One of these days, I will go back to enabling 10-15 new accounts a day...

Matt: Wouldn't sponsored (ie vouched-for) memberships somewhat avoid the problem of random internet troublemakers? I know this has been brought up but I intend to repeat the idea until your defenses are worn down.

Also, who ever remembers of the exact number of users?!
posted by Hildago at 12:30 PM on July 28, 2003


never mention new users publicly.

leftward cant or no, metafilter slowly begins to reflect the mores of the current u.s. administration.

*digs foxhole, crouches inside, adjusts tinfoil hat*
posted by quonsar at 12:36 PM on July 28, 2003


I know this has been brought up but I intend to repeat the idea until your defenses are worn down.

A ha. Harassing Matt. The sure-fire way to get him to do something. ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:46 PM on July 28, 2003


Also, who ever remembers of the exact number of users?!

I always notice when it changes. Maybe it should just be like macDonald's: "Thousand and thousands of members."
posted by timeistight at 12:50 PM on July 28, 2003


...he says, 2 days after he threw out the little iraqi amputee.

best.q.comment.ever. *wipes tears from eyes*
posted by ginz at 1:18 PM on July 28, 2003


If anything, they should feel less special because they didn't "win" the sign-up "contest."

hey, so that means that i "won" the sign-up contest! now i feel extra-special, which means i should get some sort of privileges. where are my comeupins? i want my comeupins!
posted by joedan at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2003


Feh. Everyone knows that the only extra-special ones are the sneaker-inners. We are the Back-Door MeFites! ph33r us!
posted by yhbc at 2:32 PM on July 28, 2003


Don't go there, yhbc.
posted by timeistight at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2003


No, don't draw attention to us them yhbc. You should know better.

Hey, amberglow, my MeFi anniversary was not long ago too. Hard to believe it has only been a year - seems more like a lifetime. Or a life sentence or something ...
posted by dg at 3:35 PM on July 28, 2003


Did I miss a memo?

You get memos about changes to Metafilter? When did this start happening?
posted by eyeballkid at 4:12 PM on July 28, 2003


leftward cant or no, metafilter slowly begins to reflect the mores of the current u.s. administration.

Has anybody seen my neighbor? He immigrated here from Plastic in August 2002, but he's been missing since February. His last comment was something about North Korea.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:28 PM on July 28, 2003


who is this ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:32 PM on July 28, 2003

MetaFilter: running on fumes
Wow, and a direct Matt quote at that! ;-P
posted by mischief at 5:19 PM on July 28, 2003




I always remember my number!
posted by davidmsc at 6:38 PM on July 28, 2003


Oh yea, thanks for reminding me Amber been here about a millisecond longer, and a good one it was.
posted by mss at 7:49 PM on July 28, 2003


Why not delete every account that has had no login in 12 months and then let new people register to bring it back to 17,000 or so?

matt, maybe assign some older users as moderators to weed out the bad blood to save you work and add some vibrancy to this place?
posted by jdaura at 7:50 PM on July 28, 2003


jdaura: Total registered members - active or not - is clearly not the issue. The quality and amount of posts is. And it's okay right now, I'd say, tho' we do live in interesting times....
posted by dash_slot- at 7:58 PM on July 28, 2003


Why not delete every account that has had no login in 12 months and then let new people register to bring it back to 17,000 or so?

I dunno if that would really help things. the people who haven't logged in for 12 months aren't visiting and therefore aren't using any resources.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:01 PM on July 28, 2003


Feh. Everyone knows that the only extra-special ones are the sneaker-inners. We are the Back-Door MeFites! ph33r us!

I'm not sure the skills of adding a '1' to a url should invoke fear, but what do I know.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 8:13 PM on July 28, 2003


Not, fear, Dennis -- ph33r. It's much sk4r13r.
posted by BT at 9:07 PM on July 28, 2003


Well, I was pretty proud of myself when I figured it out.
posted by timeistight at 10:00 PM on July 28, 2003


Not, fear, Dennis -- ph33r. It's much sk4r13r.

My bad.

Well, I was pretty proud of myself when I figured it out.

Yeah, I got that impression.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:48 PM on July 28, 2003


add some vibrancy

now, stop that!
posted by quonsar at 11:42 PM on July 28, 2003


Why not delete every account that has had no login in 12 months and then let new people register to bring it back to 17,000 or so?

- sounds good to me.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:48 AM on July 29, 2003


Matt, I have no idea of your database structure but may I suggest a mass pulldown / reload in which you change every one's MeFi numbers randomly.

That'd effectively put all on a level playing field,
posted by DBAPaul at 3:34 AM on July 29, 2003


,

except I'll still be waaay better lookin' than all you bastards.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:10 AM on July 29, 2003


even playing field? delete the unused accounts?

What kind of an commie agenda are you guys trying to push?!?
posted by crunchland at 6:19 AM on July 29, 2003


crunchland,
the commies' would just take your number away.
posted by DBAPaul at 6:58 AM on July 29, 2003


Matt, I have no idea of your database structure but may I suggest a mass pulldown / reload in which you change every one's MeFi numbers randomly.

Boo to that. Then we'd have to burn our shirts and buy new ones every time.
posted by soyjoy at 7:14 AM on July 29, 2003


may I suggest a mass pulldown / reload in which you change every one's MeFi numbers randomly.

I say we keep the numbers but rotate the usernames.
posted by walrus at 7:41 AM on July 29, 2003


I say we keep the numbers but rotate the usernames.


I don't think I'd like being known as "mron."
posted by norm at 7:43 AM on July 29, 2003


Hmm. I did not post (but read daily) for one full year here, so I think deleting accounts not used in 12 months is quite wrong. Obviously I didn't bother to log in as I wasn't going to post anything.
posted by dabitch at 8:12 AM on July 29, 2003


Yeah, I got that impression.

Not only witty, but perceptive too. My, my.
posted by timeistight at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2003


seriously, the idea of deleting accounts is misguided and completely misses the point, even though it gets suggested every effing time the subject of adding new users comes up. It's not that metafilter will turn into a pumpkin once user number 20000 signs up.

the point is that new users cause a stir among the old users, until they get beaten into submission, and start following the community standards that the metatalk cops strictly enforce.
posted by crunchland at 8:47 AM on July 29, 2003


17154.
posted by punishinglemur at 12:14 PM on July 29, 2003


17337!

Now I'm really confused. But I'm not gonna ask any more probing questions, cause I'm reeeeally trying not to start more trouble.
posted by soyjoy at 1:40 PM on July 29, 2003


I don't understand why you're confused soyjoy. Here are the facts:
  • member numbers are not necessarily contiguous; there are gaps. Because of this, the latest member's number is always higher than the total number of members
  • from time to time mathowie creates an account for someone with an extreme circumstance, but
  • he's not ready to open up more than that, and
  • he doesn't want to be bugged about it
posted by timeistight at 1:55 PM on July 29, 2003


timeistight: How come there are gaps, I guess, is what I don't understand.

Note the period at the end, so I'm still technically not asking a question.
posted by soyjoy at 2:42 PM on July 29, 2003


expulsions, excommunications, experiments, room for mathowie's offspring to get low user numbers.
posted by timeistight at 2:52 PM on July 29, 2003


"These people looked deep within my soul, and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined."- Homer Simpson.
posted by quonsar at 2:56 PM on July 29, 2003


Hmm. I did not post (but read daily) for one full year here, so I think deleting accounts not used in 12 months is quite wrong. Obviously I didn't bother to log in as I wasn't going to post anything.

Same here, dabitch. I rarely login, but I like to read MeFi fairly often. Just because members don't post doesn't mean they're not still reading.
posted by different at 3:00 PM on July 29, 2003


I rarely login, but I like to read MeFi fairly often. Just because members don't post doesn't mean they're not still reading.

you two have nothing to worry about. Matt would never remove old/unused accounts, if only for the reason that it wouldn't actually solve any problem. Anyone suggesting that unused accounts ought to be deleted is... how should I put this... confused... about what is/isn't a drain on MeFi resources.
posted by GeekAnimator at 4:05 PM on July 29, 2003


I'm not confused, Geekanime, it was just a suggestion. However, I'm sure your grandmaster understanding of the metafilter way is much more advanced than mine. Also, the suggestion wasn't to delete users who hadn't posted, but anyone who has not used their account in a year (to post, read, or otherwise). It just seems to me that if someone literally hasn't used their account at all in a year, for any reason, then their sum contribution is zero, which isn't very fun for anyone else.
posted by jdaura at 4:37 PM on July 29, 2003


jdaura: I didn't mean to single you out specifically, but like crunchland mentioned above, someone always mentions deleting old accounts when ever new signups are discussed, under the false assumption that unused accounts are taking up space/resources, and are somehow being "wasted."

The problem with new signups is the teeth-pulling process of integrating new users into the site and teaching them the rules and how to play nice. It has nothing to do with whether they're given new accounts in the 17k range, or if they're given the low-numbered accounts of people that haven't logged in in 3 years.

I felt the need to reassure different and dabitch that deleting old accounts would be pointless. Sorry if it came across harshly.
posted by GeekAnimator at 5:02 PM on July 29, 2003


Wouldn't it be nice to know how many real members there are?
posted by timeistight at 5:06 PM on July 29, 2003


Removing inactive accounts in order to relieve pressure on the database and allow more people to sign up reminds me of this exchange in Dilbert:

PHB: "This laptop computer weighs too much. Do we have anything lighter?"

Wally: "Why don't you just delete files to lower the weight on that one?"
posted by mcwetboy at 5:12 PM on July 29, 2003


Wouldn't it be nice to know how many real members there are?

it actually wouldn't be all that hard to write a script to query all the user numbers and find out both the total number of comments, and how long its been since their last contribution. I know I've seen at least one person who kept track of the number of new users by using something along those lines.

slightly outside of my own programming skills, however =)
posted by GeekAnimator at 5:18 PM on July 29, 2003


found what I was talking about.
posted by GeekAnimator at 5:26 PM on July 29, 2003


is there anyone then , who is happy to explain why completely inactive users are of benefit to metafilter ?

for those of you complaining about how you've heard all this before , is that your only reason for disagreeing ?

there are some of us who will have absolutley no problem with new users whatsoever by the way and have no comprehension that new users would be a problem .

'its got stale , we need new blood , ok bring them in and bitchslap them in metatalk , oh dear it got stale again'

the mefi police are the only thing making this place stale imho.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:42 PM on July 29, 2003


Completely inactive users may not be of benefit to MetaFilter, sgt.serenity, but removing them would not only be of equally little benefit, but would create work and leave gaps in the records of who posted what. Creating more users increases the bandwidth usage, because logged-in users get dynamically created pages from the database, whereas lurkers get flat html files updated every 10 minutes. I think.

Whether Mefi is stale, or whether it is a community of people comfortable enough with one another to discuss issues openly is a matter of your perspective. I am for the latter and have noticed a marked increase in people willing to share personal experiences that add value to discussions than was the case when there were a lot of new users coming on board. Again, whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your perspective and what you want to get from MeFi.
posted by dg at 6:20 PM on July 29, 2003


sgt, what's a drain is 1) more active accounts, more posts/comments, which increase the amount of hits to the coldfusion db, and 2) more things for Matt to have to handle, like deleting a big influx of double posts or innapropriate comments, etc. What's NOT a drain are completely inactive users. There's no upside to deleting their accounts, as their is no requirement made of the server or Matt by retaining their accounts.
posted by jonson at 6:24 PM on July 29, 2003


Wouldn't it be nice to know how many real members there are?

Timeistight, I am actually everyone except quonsar, matt, dg and iconomy. And they are actually all Miguel, except when he's posting as madamejujujive.
posted by yhbc at 6:39 PM on July 29, 2003


johnson + dg + et al., are you saying that multiple hundreds, perhaps thousands of non-users is more desirable than active members of the community? That leaving inactive accounts around is preferable to letting the unwashed masses in the door to perhaps double post and make inappropriate posts? I believe this boat needs rocked, just a bit. But I am, relatively speaking, a newbie, and very much resigned to let Matt do the driving. . . I was originally, personally, interested in metafilter because of the multitude and variety of perspectives hitting the chaotic storm of the internet. A little entertaining light in the darkness. Who cares about your user number, if people are actually worried about that, the status symbol can be your join date, ya know?
posted by jdaura at 7:22 PM on July 29, 2003


frankly, if we had 16,000+ users all active and posting, this place would be an utter pit of hell.
posted by crunchland at 7:24 PM on July 29, 2003


what jdaura said.... : >

bring on the unwashed masses!
posted by amberglow at 7:48 PM on July 29, 2003


what crunchland said... : >

there is a right size for every community.

we've had ~35 posts today, some with over 50 comments. that's not diversity? sheesh, what do you want? a place so huge that no one gets to know other people? Slashdot or Fark, where nearly everyone is a stranger?

I come to metafilter for the personalities. The site would lose something valuable if the threads get so numerous and lengthy that everyone effectively became anonymous.
posted by GeekAnimator at 8:24 PM on July 29, 2003


Timeistight, I am actually everyone except quonsar, matt, dg and iconomy. And they are actually all Miguel, except when he's posting as madamejujujive.

So you must be… me? Damn, I've got to get my medication adjusted again.
posted by timeistight at 8:28 PM on July 29, 2003


jdaura and sgt.serenity, I feel that you are missing the point of why there are no new users - it is a simple resource issue. mathowie does not have the time to babysit (we all needed at least some babysitting at the start, not the least of which was me) a bunch of people who have been storing up links and comments for the past year and the server does not have the resources to handle the increase in processing load without a corresponding increase in errors.

Deleting inactive users would have no positive effect at all on either of these resources and would, in fact, use up even more of mathowie's time, thereby having a nett negative effect.

As far as the atmosphere side of the argument goes, I personally like MeFi how it is, with a comfortable number of people participating so that a wide range of views is available, but not so many that it is like talking to strangers. A little bit of new blood would probably not hurt but, now that we are in a nice comfortable rut, what would be the real benefit to the community as a whole? Surely we have pretty much every possible combination of personality types and disorders on tap already?

In short, let the bastards freeze outside in the cold, as long as we are warm and cozy in here ;-)

I suspect that I may be assuming too much with regard to server load etc, however.
posted by dg at 8:43 PM on July 29, 2003


GeekAnimator: I agree. The lack of personality is exactly why I don't visit those other sites (among other reasons I suppose).

When we talk about deleting inactive accounts, does that include deleting the user page? I just think for sake of keeping proper records and all, that the user page should still be accessible. If someone reads a comment by an inactive user in an archived thread, and wants to learn more about that user, the user page should still be available.

That aside, I don't see any point in deleting inactive accounts. It doesn't seem to have any bearing on any of the issues.
posted by Witty at 8:51 PM on July 29, 2003


Everyone should stop fussing about this. I'll wager my MetaFilter account that mathowie will never delete users on a wholesale basis, active or inactive. It's simply too much work.
posted by timeistight at 9:02 PM on July 29, 2003



johnson + dg + et al., are you saying that multiple hundreds, perhaps thousands of non-users is more desirable than active members of the community?


Yes, of course. Did you not read what the people you're questioning took the time to carefully explain to you?

Infinite inactive users is more desirable than even one new active user because while you are correct that they don't contribute anything, they don't take away anything either. They are in fact not something that MeFi needs to concern itself with.

New users on the other hand while they may contribute much to MeFi will also take away from MeFi. In the early stages, they will tend to take away more than they give.

Pretend that MeFi is like the bar in the movie cocktail. Tom Cruise made a great bar tender by the end of the movie. At the beginning of the movie, he was dropping bottles all over the place, and Matt is the one who has to clean up the broken glass.

Matt is saying to Tom, look I'm sure you're lovely, but I can't afford to spend so much time picking up glass. And you're all saying well, why don't you fire the thousands of other bar tenders who never come in to work here.

Do you see how that in no way impacts the amount of glass that Matt has to pick up? The two are completely unrelated. Matt isn't refusing to hire tom because he already has too many bar tenders on staff. He's refusing to hire tom because he doesn't want to pick up so much glass.
posted by willnot at 9:27 PM on July 29, 2003


suddenly, I need a drink.
posted by GeekAnimator at 9:32 PM on July 29, 2003


Thank you for the Cocktail analogy, all I'm saying is that you were once the young tom cruise before he met John Woo... no wait, uhm, the bad juggler Tom Cruise before he started bartending at that fancy Manhatten Bar, uh, no, I think what I'm saying is that we were all new here once. And yes, I did read what the people I was questioning took the time to carefully explain to me, hence the discussion.
posted by jdaura at 10:06 PM on July 29, 2003


wax on. wax off.
posted by quonsar at 10:17 PM on July 29, 2003


Nothing wrong with being new jdaura. Matt said up thread that he was planning to bring on some new bartenders eventually. It's just that right now he's too busy and doesn't want to have to worry about all those broken bottles.
posted by willnot at 10:47 PM on July 29, 2003


quonsar is Tom Cruise dancing to Bob Seger in a pink shirt and underwear. Metafilter is his candlestick.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:54 PM on July 29, 2003


skallas : I remember we talked at some length about a distributed-network metafilter like two years ago or so, but I'm too lazy to go find it now. Anyone?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:54 AM on July 30, 2003


Too lazy here also, but it sounds like an interesting idea.
posted by dg at 3:01 AM on July 30, 2003


well, isn't that the ultimate point of the trackback system? At the bottom of the page, you see that someone else has mentioned the same item on their blog, and, if they have commenting functions, you get to read what their readers think?

But since we usually don't even care what our readers think about anything, the point is pretty much moot, isn't it?
posted by crunchland at 5:14 AM on July 30, 2003


I don't know, but mine's a banana daiquiri please barman.
posted by walrus at 7:58 AM on July 30, 2003


I think we should use Cocktail as a metaphor more often.

That, and Red Dawn.
posted by bshort at 8:24 AM on July 30, 2003


"All that hate's gonna burn you up inside."

"No, it keeps me warm."
posted by subgenius at 9:23 AM on July 30, 2003


YooHoo!
YooHoo2U2!
posted by quonsar at 9:36 AM on July 30, 2003


I knew my ears were burning for a reason... I thought it was pretty weird, too when I noticed that there were 17153 users and I happened to be #17153. I was all happy and sheet until it went up to 17155. Oh well. 15 minutes of fame, I suppose.

For the record, I did join in October 2002 and I actually paid money (like $5 or something -- probably to Matt's beer fund) to get a username because the I like the Chomsky crowd here trop.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 11:07 AM on July 30, 2003


And Matt, I just read your comment about everyone who paid through PayPal feeling like a customer and wanting special treatment. Uhh. Not everyone, dude. Unless I did something to piss you off? I can't remember ever even emailing you or anything...
posted by lazywhinerkid at 11:19 AM on July 30, 2003


I'm sure Matt never meant "everyone", but he's probably had a big handful of paypal members with a false sense of entitlement. They'll give "everyone" a bad name.
posted by dabitch at 5:34 AM on July 31, 2003


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