Posted by x? September 3, 2003 5:47 PM   Subscribe

I like the idea that everyone’s comments are on an equal playing field on this site. It doesn’t elevate or exclude anyone. However, I would appreciate a way to screen a comment before I attempt to read it. So as a feature, is there a way to let the individual member decide whether they want the “posted by ‘X’” before or after the post itself?
posted by BlueTrain to Feature Requests at 5:47 PM (45 comments total)

Why does it even matter?

There are people here who normally make comments or have opinions I find to be obnoxious-but occasionally these same folks make a comment that is worth reading in my estimation.

I think Matt has enough to do.
posted by konolia at 6:07 PM on September 3, 2003


Glance down, glance back....that's what I do, at least. Keeps the eyeball muscles taut and powerful!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:21 PM on September 3, 2003


Wait...

I actually think this is a good idea.
posted by Stan Chin at 6:48 PM on September 3, 2003


But if we did this we wouldn't be able to play the Miguel game.

You know what I'm talking about.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:06 PM on September 3, 2003


Relax, enjoy a chilled drink before you hit Metafilter, and watch your concern about who posted what quickly dissapear. That's my solution, and I'm sticking with it.
posted by Jimbob at 7:19 PM on September 3, 2003


The interview linked in the sideblog right now notes that Matt made the decision to put names underneath partly to avoid this -- not only is everyone on an equal playing field, everyone gets second chances...
posted by namespan at 7:20 PM on September 3, 2003


On the other hand, chilled drinks for everyone might not be a bad solution...
posted by namespan at 7:24 PM on September 3, 2003


what? i'm sorry....what?!?
posted by eastlakestandard at 7:26 PM on September 3, 2003


What stavrosthewonderchicken said. I always check out the "posted by" first, the better to let my preconceived notions take hold before digesting the comment.
posted by dg at 7:34 PM on September 3, 2003


STRAIGHT, WHITE, 25-YEAR-OLD MALE IN CONNECTICUT SAYS:

Oh, for pete's sakes. It's only words. They don't bite. After all, to paraphrase Bart and Lisa, it's better to read Newsweek than to read nothing.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:39 PM on September 3, 2003


It seems like an awful lot of trouble one would have to go through to check the name, even at the top of a post. You'd have to make sure not to accidentally scroll down an inch too far lest some of the first sentence be read, and then you'd somehow have to scroll past the post entirely without reading any of it, all the while making sure not to scroll into the next post before making arbitrary judgement on the poster. Unless, of course, you don't actually mind the occasional word from your arch-nemesis (as it may be), in which case scrolling to the bottom of the post doesn't seem like a particular chore anyway.

Myself, I happen to like having the name at the bottom, if only because it reminds me vaguely of someone signing a letter--call me old fashioned.

I suppose it wouldn't affect me in any way whatsoever if this option was implemented, but I fail to see any particular benefit to it. If there are some posters who rub you the wrong way to such an extent--and, don't get me wrong, I know the type--you might be well served to adopt my personal course of action, which involves laughter, head shaking, and fervent prayers for a killer strain of some exotic disease.
posted by The God Complex at 7:58 PM on September 3, 2003


my favorite part about having the name at the bottom is so i can say "huh that's a good point" and then say "what?! *that* guy posted it? jesus i hate that guy. i can't believe he posted something good."

i'm all for customization in general, but i don't neccesarily think this is neccesary. or a neccesity.
posted by christian at 8:03 PM on September 3, 2003


Blue Train - maybe it would help if you said specifically which posters you didn't like and why?
posted by jonson at 8:18 PM on September 3, 2003


maybe if you support it you can preface all of your own comments with "posted by blahblahblah."
posted by angry modem at 8:19 PM on September 3, 2003


"posted by blahblahblah."

you pussies!

hmm. it could work.
posted by quonsar at 8:25 PM on September 3, 2003


let's only make quonsar do it.
posted by vacapinta at 8:51 PM on September 3, 2003


This has been brough up before on Metalk and there was a consensus regarding not letting preconcieved notions take over and your proposal would also encourage sigs. We don't need:

---====(((((*****>>>>Skallas< ******)))))=--

at the bottom of our posts.

Go buy yourself one of those mice with the scroll wheel. You'll thank me later.
posted by skallas at 9:11 PM on September 3, 2003


The only times I think I need a warning are those posts by a certain familiar poster.

I'm sure he/she/you is/are a nice guy and all, but here's how it works. Things are usually fine for the first eight words or so, long enough for me to build up a good bit of reading momentum, and then I hit one of those unusual syntactic or semantic kinks...

and wham! Just like a banana peel. The whole comprehension enterprise takes a header. Then I scan back to try and get a footing again, and wham! back on my tuckus.

This lexical slapstick usually repeats three or four times. Finally I look at the poster. Aha, you again. Gets me every time.
posted by tss at 9:17 PM on September 3, 2003


I read this site all the time, and can frequently identify a poster well before I get to the bottom of the comment. If I think that I can tell who the person is, I click down to the bottom, check who it is, and click back up. It's not hard.

Like, when a comment starts like this:

"This lexical slapstick usually repeats three or four times.
Yes, but where is the sturdy repitition..? Many times soldiers battle language when feild grabs Lex in Con. Why??"

...I generally know who it is, and I just skip right over it. Just use your brain to identify the person who's writing. It's more fun that way, like a game.
posted by interrobang at 9:26 PM on September 3, 2003


This post is by a bigoted moron!

Okay, now that I've said that, people who will take offense to me will not be reading any more! This is where I spew hyperbole about how I hate ethnic minorities, single mothers, and homosexuals. But it doesn't matter, because only other bigoted morons are reading now!

Okay, back to your normal programming..
posted by wackybrit at 11:34 PM on September 3, 2003


Another idea would be to ask Him to change our handles so that they represent our personalities. If "Leftish dooshe bag" posted a link and "NewtRulz!" responded, we would all know to ignore the FFP.

Or maybe Indian names would be good.

Dibs on "Dances with Amstel."
posted by Samsonov14 at 12:00 AM on September 4, 2003


Ooo ooo! I get "Stands when he Piss"!
posted by Stan Chin at 12:08 AM on September 4, 2003


Ooh yeah, nice idea, and it could also change the background color of our posts based on political bias. So a lefty would have it pink, a raging communist would be red, a fascist could be bright blue, a conservative, pale blue.. and so on!
posted by wackybrit at 3:40 AM on September 4, 2003


Space Coyote: But if we did this we wouldn't be able to play the Miguel game.

You know what I'm talking about.



Yes, I do.
posted by signal at 6:29 AM on September 4, 2003


You could read from the bottom up. I do that sometimes when there's a thread that interests me but already has 80+ comments. It can be a fun exercise - instead of watching the train wreck unfold you get to see the final wreckage and trace it back to its cause.

Otherwise - yeah, work those eye and first finger muscles.
posted by orange swan at 6:47 AM on September 4, 2003


my favorite part about having the name at the bottom is so i can say "huh that's a good point" and then say "what?! *that* guy posted it? jesus i hate that guy. i can't believe he posted something good."

Exactly. And conversely, I also enjoy reading a comment, usually in MeTa, that makes me think "Oooohh man, this is gonna piss Matt off," and get to the end to see "posted by mathowie."

Do not deny us such entertainments simply to save yourself some scrolling.
posted by soyjoy at 7:13 AM on September 4, 2003


I think that's an interesting idea but the best option would be (as I said 1,000 times before) to simply offer some kind of filter against certain users and subjects, as well as installing some kind of rating system for the best FPPs and urgently allowing access to a few hundred new users to let some oxygen into this moldy club called MetaFilter.

Actually I was about to write a MeTa post about the appalling decline of this site. The infantile, embarrassing MeTa threads about coffee spills and "generations" (not to mention the increasingly cliquish, homoerotic comments therein) and the several flimsy-partisan-openly anti-Bush threads have made MeFi a boring, predictable site virtually haunted by a dozen or so 24/7 users. It became a chat room without wit-- a message board with little if any new information except for the odd plep/hama7/mjjj post.

Is it just me? Perhaps. Just in case, it would be interesting to average the number of recent comments/daily visits. But something must be done because this site may be sinking. To return to your original suggestion, yes, anything that would allow us to sift signal from noise in MeFi would be welcome.
posted by 111 at 9:02 AM on September 4, 2003


I think 17,256 is the highest user number to EVER complain that the site is no longer as good as it was when he first came along. A new record has been achieved.
posted by jonson at 9:09 AM on September 4, 2003


jonson, has it ever crossed your mind that some people lurk? That many many people simply visit MeFi without signing up?

Considering your comments and average posts, I identify you as part of the problem. I wouldn't even remotely care about your views on any subject whatsoever, but you're entitled to express them. I would thank you to think about this as a general rule applying to all users.
posted by 111 at 9:19 AM on September 4, 2003


>Is it just me?

Yes.

"Moldy old club." Hahaha, you win this week's "Shake the cage" award!
posted by skallas at 9:50 AM on September 4, 2003


MetaFilter has declined terribly since December. I recommend the recruitment of a cross-section of high school political debating clubs and the deletion of any post not immediately categorizable by the american definitions of "liberal" and "conservative".
posted by goosestepping poxi! at 9:53 AM on September 4, 2003


I agree, you fascist bastard.
posted by scold_and_obfuscate at 9:56 AM on September 4, 2003


Can't we all just get along?
posted by timeistight at 9:57 AM on September 4, 2003


*considers writing a post about the appalling decline in 111's commments, but decides to get snarky instead*
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:34 AM on September 4, 2003


The infantile, embarrassing MeTa threads about coffee spills... (not to mention the increasingly cliquish, homoerotic comments therein) and the several flimsy-partisan-openly anti-Bush threads...

This thread's getting stuffy. I'm heading off to find the anti-Bush propaganda, coffee, and cliquish homoeroticism (WolfDaddy's probably hanging out there.) I bet I find some attractive treehugging hotties there, too. Woo hoo!

And he sailed off through night and day...to where the wild things are.
posted by Shane at 11:36 AM on September 4, 2003


I too feel 111 has declined of late. Where's the anal retentiveness? The ad hominem attacks, the belittling of other people's intelligence? The reference's to Geneve? The paragraphs in french or latin? The sucking up to Mathowie?
This place is truly going to the dogs if you can't even count on your favorite trollage.
posted by signal at 12:28 PM on September 4, 2003


goosestepping poxi! and scold_and_obfuscate need to post more. On the other hand, I've had it up to here with that timeistight fellow.

I think that's an interesting idea but the best option would be (as I said 1,000 times before) to simply offer some kind of filter against certain users...

You don't want anyone to read your comments?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:43 PM on September 4, 2003


Curses, my plan has been foiled. I'll get you for this, Stainless!
posted by timeistight at 1:02 PM on September 4, 2003


111 actually brings up a good point: namely, that this site (most likely) has lots of visitors that aren't members.

The question is: do we owe them anything? Sure, they most likely come here for the posts and the banter. But they're not members. Should we care about them?

The thing that has made this site wonderful is the idiosyncratic nature of the posts, and the insightful and often witty comments. Creating content with a goal other than our own self-fulfillment (in a collective sense) is the surest road to mediocrity.

111, if you hate what the site has become as much as you allude to, why don't you leave? If you actually cared about the MeFi community you wouldn't make things worse through your incessant trolling and bitching.

In-jokes, cult threads, and good-natured ribbing assist in the perpetuation of communities as people tend to establish "togetherness" and group-hierarchy through mechanisms like gossip and small talk. If this site were simply lists of links then it would be no better than Yahoo.
posted by bshort at 1:05 PM on September 4, 2003


Mini-FAQ:
Can't we all just get along?
posted by timeistight


No. Anyway, even if I could I wouldn't block you particularly or anything.

You don't want anyone to read your comments?
posted by PinkStainlessTail


I'll take my chances. Will you do the same?

111, if you hate what the site has become as much as you allude to, why don't you leave?

My exact words can be found here. About the "love it or leave it argument", to be frank it's a dumb question.
posted by 111 at 3:47 PM on September 4, 2003


I identify you as part of the problem

I delight in being part of your problem, 111. I only wish I could be a larger part of it, but whatever your problem is, it's far too great for one lone poster to take credit for. I do worry, however, that any day your thousands of friends here will come out of their underground lairs and speak up in your defense.
posted by jonson at 3:54 PM on September 4, 2003


About the "love it or leave it argument", to be frank it's a dumb question.

No. No it isn't.

What's wrong? Can't even answer a simple question in a direct manner?

Or, here's a question that's even better:
So you claim that MeFi is in "appalling decline". What is your vision for the site? More newsfilter? Less banter? More posts from your vast army of followers?

And, a side question:
Why is the homo-erotic banter making you uncomfortable? Would you prefer hetero-erotic banter? Or maybe banter that's more onanistic?
posted by bshort at 4:46 PM on September 4, 2003


My "Can't we all just get along?" comment wasn't directed at you, 111, but at goosestepping poxi! and scold_and_obfuscate. Those guys drive me crazy.
posted by timeistight at 4:56 PM on September 4, 2003


Even though it was quai-in defense of some troll or other, I think I'll have to agree that we do owe something to the larger readership that doesn't regularly comment. But only on the front page. If someone is reading the comments they are doing it to get a sense of the community of users, if they avoid this (which I'm sure a very sizeable percent of the daily traffic does) then they probably aren't. Usually people are pretty good at separating the inside jokes from the front page material.

However MeTa comments don't fall under this, IMO. And the troll's bitching about some of the playing that goes on in there sounds a lot like the kid that no one likes complaining to the teacher that the cool kids aren't following the rules of some game that he isn't even willing to make him or herself a part of. Well fuck that kid, he's just going to grow up to write stories about shooting up his classmates and not generally contribute much to anybody. We don't need to concern ourselves with someone who makes it their business to voice their displeasure about every little thing simply to set themselves apart.

TO refrain my main point: the people who actually take the time to read the comments are the ones who are interested in what the cementors have to say, not generic "this post was very interesting" crap.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:36 PM on September 4, 2003


that any day your thousands of friends here will come out of their underground lairs and speak up in your defense.

On Feb 2?
posted by namespan at 6:13 PM on September 4, 2003


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