Filtering the 'Filter September 11, 2003 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Now that MeFi Distilled has been dormant throughout September, how are time-challenged and reassurance-seeking users to know what's worth reading on MetaFilter? I wonder how many readers rely on extraneous filters to get a handle on what to follow here. MeFi Distilled is good. Are there any other time-saving devices for those of us too occupied to read every single word?
posted by MiguelCardoso to MetaFilter-Related at 8:10 PM (29 comments total)

Spend more time reading threads than creating one? I kid because I love. ;)
posted by riffola at 8:11 PM on September 11, 2003


I'm thinking of going back to TV.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:12 PM on September 11, 2003


skim, and if you miss something, oh well. it's just a website, man.
posted by angry modem at 8:13 PM on September 11, 2003


avoid all posts that end with a question mark?
posted by crunchland at 8:37 PM on September 11, 2003


MeFi Distilled is still running. It's just that none of the editors seem to be motivated enough to post every day. Yes, I'm being cranky. I got tired of doing it all myself. Then I got tired of MetaFilter. Then I got pissed off at being addicted to something I was tired of.

When I get bitchy like this I really can't stand myself. Whatever.

MF Distilled was only getting a few dozen visits a day. And my other projects were getting hammered on. So attention gets diverted to where it's most needed. I'll probably get back to posting some time soon. But the fact that I'm the only one doing it sort of makes it pointless. I don't want it to be *my* opinion. I have a fucking weblog for that.

If people think Mf Distilled is worth doing, then people should help do MF Distilled.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:43 PM on September 11, 2003


How does one help? I missed the memo.
posted by weston at 9:00 PM on September 11, 2003


I'd be glad to help too. I think it's a wonderful, quite subjective but-all-the-more-useful-for-it-project. Just point me in the right direction, y6y6y6.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:03 PM on September 11, 2003


I'd love to help ... if only to come up with wacky "best"-themed titles to continue the fine tradition already established over there at MeFiDi.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:48 PM on September 11, 2003


I'd volunteer myself, but since none of my FPPs since February have actually been selected (of course, most of them are quite undeserving, even by my own standards, but c'mon, what about BlobFest and Whatever Happened to Tom Lehrer?), not mention the pseudo-classic BlogStop or infamous Tom Swifties threads to which I dedicated way too much time, I suspect that my contributions would not fit in very well... (of course, my 'still' was bought second hand from those Duke boys...)
posted by wendell at 10:20 PM on September 11, 2003


there's always this thing, but it just strips the news posts out.
posted by amberglow at 10:53 PM on September 11, 2003


Sweet!!! I'll send out admin access info and instructions to those who've shown an interest. Later today. Thanks.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:21 AM on September 12, 2003


I skimmed so much I missed the post about MeFi Distilled. What a great idea. Thanks.
Agreed about the question mark posts too.
posted by Markb at 5:33 AM on September 12, 2003


Whenever I start to think about good filters, I hit a couple of problems:

1. A good filter must be maintained. The amount of time spent maintaining a good set of filters/tools/compilation sites almost removes the point of having a filter in the first place.

2. Automating the filters can be a nightmare, due to the disparate formats and interfaces of the sources. Any automation must have significant error responsiveness as well as adaptability (so you don't fall into the null sum game pointed out in #1).

3. A filter must be coupled with a discovery mechanism, so that new sites or sources that cover the same issues don't go unnoticed. Coding up automation for a discovery mechanism that's smart enough to equate the two is prone to fall under the time commitment mentioned in #1.


So, to sum up: Fuck it all, I'm off to read Google News.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:14 AM on September 12, 2003


I thought it was Mefi that was supposed to distill.
posted by carter at 6:29 AM on September 12, 2003


y6, I have a memory, perhaps false, of offering my help back at the beginning and getting no reply. *Sniff* The offer still stands.
posted by ashbury at 6:49 AM on September 12, 2003


My bad. Email enroute.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:04 AM on September 12, 2003


No one loves me any more.
posted by webmutant at 1:29 PM on September 12, 2003


as someone who doesn't have the time during the week to keep up on current mefi events, i regularly read distilled and remixed and i hope both continue to tough it out for us slackers. keep up the good work!
posted by poopy at 6:33 PM on September 12, 2003


>MF Distilled was only getting a few dozen visits a day.

Matt, would be against linking this onto the sidebar now and again?
posted by skallas at 6:09 AM on September 13, 2003


err, that shoud be, "would you"
posted by skallas at 6:09 AM on September 13, 2003


"Matt, would be against linking this onto the sidebar now and again?"

He did when it first got launched. Now it's linked on his etc page. Which I think is better than spamming the sidebar with it. If MF Distilled is good enough then it shouldn't need extra juicing from Matt. IMHO. There's a text ad also.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:21 AM on September 14, 2003


Thanks, y6y6y6!

MF Distilled is back to its former glory and all is well in the world.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:29 PM on September 15, 2003


Agreed. But even though I just doubled the number of people who can add "best of" links, I'm still making most of the additions myself. Not the expected behavior. And not the optimal behavior.

Frustrating.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:01 AM on September 17, 2003


Fundamentally, I'm not sure if all the various mefi filters will ever catch on... it's difficult for any person or group of people to so collectively nail what it is about this site that makes it work. For example, plep or y2karls' erudite & well researched posts run to the far extreme of crunchland's short & to the point quirky posts, and on any given day either one is fantastic. I think the only thing we'd have a chance of consensus on is which posts are absolutely terrible, which means mefidistilled or whatever that site was the strips news posts from the rss feed, or any other filter would have to contain the vast majority of stuff that's here in order to accomodate the diverse & varied interests of the group. Just my .02
posted by jonson at 10:24 AM on September 17, 2003


"it's difficult for any person or group of people to so collectively nail what it is about this site"

It's been heartening to find that this isn't really true. From what I'm seeing at MF Distilled, there seems to be a clear consensus. One reason I think that's true is that once you strip out the news posts, the war/Bush posts, the glorified Google searches, and the stuff we beat to death way too often (gay, vegetarian, Mac using, culture snobs on death row), we really don't have too many things left.

It's not the consensus that's the problem, it's the motivation. What's the point of having MF Distilled? Why make the effort? Seriously. My intent in the first place was that if we focused on the good stuff, good stuff would tend to rise to the top. But that hasn't really happened. It's nice for people who might want to just get the "best of MetaFilter", but that's only about 3-4 people right now. It doesn't stand on it's own because, by design, it funnels people to another website.

So I think the reason all the various mefi filters will ever catch on is that there just isn't that much value in such a thing. As weird as that sounds. We like the chaos.
posted by y6y6y6 at 11:07 AM on September 17, 2003


We like the chaos.

Amen.
posted by languagehat at 1:04 PM on September 17, 2003


once you strip out the news posts, the war/Bush posts, the glorified Google searches, and the stuff we beat to death way too often (gay, vegetarian, Mac using, culture snobs on death row), we really don't have too many things left.

That's depressing... But is it true? I mean, the few times I went to MeFi distilled you seemed to be pulling one or two threads per day. Is that really all there is, one or two per DAY out of the 15 or so that get posted every day?
posted by jonson at 2:38 PM on September 17, 2003


"Is that really all there is, one or two per DAY out of the 15 or so that get posted every day?"

Well, you do the math. Nine very active MetaFilter users who can make picks for what they want to officially list as the "best of MetaFilter". (okay, not official - you know what I mean) But rarely more than 2-3 posts a day.

What can I tell you? News and political slap fights and op-ed get old fast.

But I tend to look at it the other way. 1-2 items every single day which are of high enough quality to stand out thusly is pretty useful. On my web site I've been picking a "link of the day" for years. It's tough. Like really tough. MetaFilter seems to go through a lot of pain to get results, but those results are pretty impressive.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:38 PM on September 17, 2003


Holy crap. Is this the bizarro-MetaTalk thread where y6y6y6 and jonson hold respectful, intelligent conversations?

Someone needs to post another "boycott miguel/new and/or mean people suck" thread to knock this one off the front page. We may all end up atomized if this thread comes into contact with the positive universe, people!

Yeah, I know: mixed comedy metaphor. I couldn't decide between Bizarro or antimatter as the better approach, so I went for both. Get over it.
posted by yhbc at 8:11 PM on September 17, 2003


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