Can we reopen registration? (11/6/03) November 6, 2003 4:34 AM   Subscribe

Lockdown: Year one. This comes up every so often, but today is the one year date since Mefi closed its doors to newcomers so perhaps its a good date for a thread on the policy and its continuance. What have been the effects? What will be the long term impacts of continuing the policy?

Also, as one of the late entrants, how come I still don't know why my user number if bigger than the total number of users and how do I do little writing in posts? And why isn't 'Mefi' in the spellchecker?
posted by biffa to Etiquette/Policy at 4:34 AM (119 comments total)

What will be the long term impacts of continuing the policy?

More injokes, the occasional Miguel-bashing and eventually the rise of Snarkfilter, where there are a few good FPP-posters, while the mediocre posters are scared away by a blase community. Dead of MeFi, film ensues (or any variation on that theme).

Seriously, I'd vote for an uptake of 10-50 per month, random or by invitation .
posted by swordfishtrombones at 4:59 AM on November 6, 2003


Nomination, supporting votes, essay contest.
posted by angry modem at 5:17 AM on November 6, 2003


how do I do little writing in posts?

Same way I do: restraint!

Sorry. I guess what you are looking for is the <small> </small> tags. Yes?
posted by cortex at 5:18 AM on November 6, 2003


Thanks cortex. Is there a list of usable tags available somewhere?
posted by biffa at 5:35 AM on November 6, 2003


If it were possible, maybe user accounts which haven't been used (i.e. no login) in one year and over could be somehow recycled and new people let in.

But maybe there are technical issues and stuff
posted by johnny novak at 5:36 AM on November 6, 2003


It wasn't the first time registration was shut off, biffa, if that's what you were implying. I had to wait for some time to get in as one of the 13's.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:41 AM on November 6, 2003


I don't know why we necessarily need new people to keep things fresh. Seventeen thousand people who are - I assume - still growing and changing and learning and doing new things with their lives ought to have plenty to contribute. Man, the way people talk about this issue, you'd think we were a small, isolated town suffering from generations of inbreeding.
posted by orange swan at 6:48 AM on November 6, 2003


Of the supposed new people, how many will be asserting their personality, opinions, biases, controversies, doing their best to be heard, yelling as loud as they can to get themselves heard above the confusing melee of babble or will have calm and controlled voices of reason? Not to put too fine a point on it, but how many people will be active and positively contributing members versus the opposite?

As one voice in the 17 000, I really don't see how opening up or keeping membership closed is going to make a difference. The only way it can make a difference is if membership stays open and there is a constant stream of new voices. But will Matt allow the strain on his computer? Can the server handle the additional traffic? How will the database handle it?
posted by ashbury at 7:01 AM on November 6, 2003


Opening membership is a quick-fix that helps the community ignore the fundamental issues that hurt this site. Why don't we first reach a consensus regarding what truly plagues MetaFilter, before we simply "solve" the problems? New people are always welcome, but as each new set of members enters the site, the site itself loses its original focus bit by bit. Too many voices and opinions wanting to lead this site, overtly or not, have confused most members and thus we see more and more instances of "Well, that's not what MeFi is for" and "Well, there is no set of rules" and finally, "Well, Matt didn't delete it so its fine".

Why don't we, as a community, step back for a moment and reassess our values? Why are we constantly bickering? Why are we so horribly condescending to one another? Why don't we grow, as a community, and develop a set of inherent values, before we bring in more people who have never experienced this site first hand?
posted by BlueTrain at 7:31 AM on November 6, 2003


Bluetrain. I think somebody needs a hug. :-)
posted by seanyboy at 7:40 AM on November 6, 2003


Is there a list of usable tags available somewhere?

i find <snark /> and <neener /> to be most usefull.
posted by quonsar at 7:44 AM on November 6, 2003


Open the doors, open the doors, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, OPEN THE DOORS!!!
posted by rushmc at 7:47 AM on November 6, 2003


Let's delete all the inactive accounts to save on the bandwidth!

Oh, sorry, wrong site.
posted by briank at 7:52 AM on November 6, 2003


BlueTrain: Why don't we first reach a consensus regarding what truly plagues MetaFilter, before we simply "solve" the problems?... Why don't we grow, as a community, and develop a set of inherent values, before we bring in more people who have never experienced this site first hand?

I honestly don't know what that has to do with expanding membership. Everyone has different opinions as to "what truly plagues" MetaFilter. Mine: nothing. I think the site is what it is and does what it does just fine. As for developing a "set of inherent values," whose values exactly? And if we do, through some strange alignment of celestial bodies and magical spells, somehow all come to a consensus on the content of those values, how would they be enforced? I think you're trying to force a more rigid structure on a system that doesn't require it and seems to be working fine without it. Toughen up dude, MetaTalk is nothing but bored navel-gazers for the most part. The fact that there are two posts a day on average, when the site it running normally, is proof of that.

Why are we so horribly condescending to one another?

Yeah. Whatever. LOSER.

I kid, of course.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:02 AM on November 6, 2003


Are there really that many people that want to be members who aren't already?
posted by bshort at 8:11 AM on November 6, 2003


I honestly don't know what that has to do with expanding membership.

Bottom line is that we, as a community, don't follow any spoken, or unspoken, rules anymore, if we ever did. So when a new members arrives, they have absolutely no clue as to what passes as a good/bad post. Yes, this site has a Wiki, and a countless number of MeTa threads debating policy, but there is no consistent following of these ideas. People are not held accountable and so they make up their own rules.

Mine: nothing. I think the site is what it is and does what it does just fine.

If you can honestly tell me that this site hasn't changed dramatically in the past four years, I'm not sure what to tell you. You mention that this site does what it does, but what is that, exactly? People say that all the time, that MeFi is great now and everything is running well, but what is great about it, and what have we done in the past that makes it great now? You're saying that it is what it is, but what is that exactly?

how would they be enforced?

If we came to a consensus, as a community, self-policing would be ridiculously easy because we all agreed upon the same values. Because we have not come to a consensus is exactly why we have so many heated arguments.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:17 AM on November 6, 2003


Are there really that many people that want to be members who aren't already?

[speaking on behalf of those who cannot]

Yes.
posted by rushmc at 8:31 AM on November 6, 2003


Just a thought. . .

By actually coming to "consensus" on a set of rules, wouldn't that cause the community to slowly die out? One of the things I like about MeFi is these kind of discussions. Personally, I enjoy the fact that MeFi is relatively fluid.

I mean, if you don't think MeFi has its own rules, then why doesn't the front page look like FARK or something? Where are all the "boobies" posts? The bad posts are necessary for the good ones, the arguments are what build the consensus.
posted by Quartermass at 8:35 AM on November 6, 2003


Why don't we first reach a consensus regarding what truly plagues MetaFilter

humanity plagues metafilter. solve that!
posted by quonsar at 8:51 AM on November 6, 2003


Because we have not come to a consensus is exactly why we have so many heated arguments.

I don't see that as a bad thing BT. Heated arguments are just part of the communication process. I agree with Quartermass above, this community doesn't really need hard and fast rules. The quality of the site isn't suffering, at least on the blue page.

What we really need is a set of hard and fast rules for posting threads to MetaTalk. It's on this page that the crap that doesn't really belong anywhere ends up.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:52 AM on November 6, 2003


sorry, but I think all this stuff about what's wrong with Mefi is a total red herring. I've been here for a while and as far as I can see the site is pretty much as good as it ever was and in many cases better.

As far as new people, I think that there are sure to be lots of inactive user accounts and it would be nice to give some of those who want in a chance. If it wasn't too much hassle for Matt.
posted by johnny novak at 9:03 AM on November 6, 2003


You're saying that it is what it is, but what is that exactly?

I missed that question and it's really the crux of this conversation. I think that MetaFilter is a site where members who share a mostly savvy view of mass media and the internet post links to things they find interesting in order to foster some kind of conversation. I don't know what you want it to be, but that's what it is.

Has the site changed dramatically in the last four years? I hope so. mathowie's first post isn't really one for the ages.

I've never subscribed to the idea that this site has gotten worse in the last four years (and I've been an active member of half that time). I just think it has good days and bad. As it is, I think this site will be a valuable resource to me for as long as our aforementioned Benevolent Leader™ decides that it's worth his trouble.

As for opening the gates and letting new members in? I'm all for it. More members just makes my user number look lower and lower. ;)
posted by eyeballkid at 9:04 AM on November 6, 2003


Is there a list of usable tags available somewhere?

Try here.
posted by kindall at 9:15 AM on November 6, 2003


Are there really that many people that want to be members who aren't already?

Absolutely. I have at least five friends who would contribute, and do it well, given the opportunity.

Which I think makes the case for sponsorship.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:36 AM on November 6, 2003


Man, the way people talk about this issue, you'd think we were a small, isolated town suffering from generations of inbreeding.

Check out Stan's Hapsburg chin!
posted by ed at 9:38 AM on November 6, 2003


The first MeFi thread was about a movie. Of course that doesn't mean that the site doesn't evolve, it has and it always will as long as it goes on.
posted by riffola at 9:45 AM on November 6, 2003


(kindall, not all HTML is allowed.)

Quonsar is right, BlueTrain, the problems you ascribe to MetaFilter are the problems of every society. Why should MeFi be any different from the real world, where people are condescending to each other, are constantly bickering, and regularly break the rules? We do have values, and I think we stick to them pretty well, in spite of being "flawed." I challenge you to find a community that doesn't break its own rules.

There are plenty of people interested in joining, some of whom have been waiting and lurking for far longer than the current membership freeze. Let'em come in from the cold.
posted by me3dia at 9:45 AM on November 6, 2003




The first MeFi thread was about a movie.

Huh?

There is nothing at position number 1. The first extant post (#19) was about a website where you were encouraged to optically scan your cat. #25 also still exists, and its about that web-cam fave, Jenni-cam.

... and over here we have a series of small walls...
posted by anastasiav at 9:57 AM on November 6, 2003


timeistight just made the point I was going to, but I'll also point out the statistics page (which hasn't been updated for a couple months now - W.T.F., waxy?), where the slow trickle of new blood over the past year is graphically presented.
posted by yhbc at 10:04 AM on November 6, 2003


anastasiav, there was a way previously to view comments in threads 1 through 18 too, without the original post part.
posted by riffola at 10:06 AM on November 6, 2003


Whatever happened to that? A piece of history has been lost.
posted by timeistight at 10:13 AM on November 6, 2003


Nothing against any of those new members, timeistight, but that raises an entirely different kettle of fish, about the desirability of a policy of fair and equal access and treatment of all those wanting to participate. I and many others (from their past comments) are very uncomfortable with any policy or procedure that fosters favoritism or a perception of elitism or cronyism at Metafilter. Although such a policy should technically only reflect upon mathowie, since only he has the power to make/enforce it, in practice, it reflects (I believe negatively) upon us all.

And getting a tiny trickle of new members, most of whom will choose not to participate much/actively (as most of the membership as a whole chooses), does not really address the issue. It's a sop, and a red herring.
posted by rushmc at 10:14 AM on November 6, 2003


Man, the way people talk about this issue, you'd think we were a small, isolated town suffering from generations of inbreeding.

*whips out banjo*

Duel, anyone?
posted by jonmc at 10:17 AM on November 6, 2003


only after me and my family get you squealin like a pig, boy.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:41 AM on November 6, 2003


rushmc, mathowie has made it clear that he doesn't have time to deal with the growing pains that are inevitably caused by a rush of new members; he really scarcely seems to have time to keep on top of those of us who are already here.

What's the point of continually complaining about the way mathowie chooses to run the site? The technology now exists for any of us to start our own links and discussion sites and invite all those frustrated would-be members to join. Hanging around here must mean that we prefer to have mathowie do the heavy lifting.
posted by timeistight at 10:41 AM on November 6, 2003


I'd imagine there are enormous numbers of would-be members who would jump at the chance to sign up.
I've read mefi voraciously for 2 years, and been a member for over a year now, but I rarely feel the need to comment, though I must be using as much bandwidth as some of the more lucid and verbose members. It'd be interesting to do a comparison between bandwith used by people not logged in versus members - this should give you a ballpark figure of how many other would-be members are out there.

For what it's worth, the quality of the front page seems to have improved a lot over the last three months - we're not overloading on newsfilter and iraqi threads any more (the few that there are I can live with). Perhaps it's the crunchland vibe creeping in?
posted by BigCalm at 11:00 AM on November 6, 2003


*whips out banjo*

ROFL jonmc!
posted by quonsar at 11:00 AM on November 6, 2003


No new members unless there are talent and swimsuit competitions.
posted by substrate at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2003


at least jonmc had the courtesy to only whip out his banjo.

NOW SQUEAL LIKE A PIG QUONSY!
posted by eyeballkid at 11:08 AM on November 6, 2003


I look forward to the day when every thread has four or five hundred responses and I read nothing, opting instead to click on every third or fourth thread and write the first joke that comes to mind.

Unlike my current M.O., which involves reading the thread to make sure someone hasn't made the joke already.

If we're going to let "new blood" in, we should try and keep it at manageable number.
posted by The God Complex at 11:43 AM on November 6, 2003


Quartermass: By actually coming to "consensus" on a set of rules, wouldn't that cause the community to slowly die out? One of the things I like about MeFi is these kind of discussions. Personally, I enjoy the fact that MeFi is relatively fluid.

I don't think it would die out, per se, because I'm not suggesting that we create a set of hard and fast guidelines that limit creativity. What I'm saying is that there are certain posts that are frowned upon, consistently. Why not create a set of "golden rules" that would help police the front page? This is just an idea; not necessarily my personal suggestion. But I believe that organization of this site is in order, especially since there are so many members with such diverse perspectives.

eyeballkid: The quality of the site isn't suffering, at least on the blue page.

Eye of the beholder. I would argue that particular subjects have given posters too much freedom. For instance, because we know that political/religious threads devolve into bitter arguments filled with name-calling, those qualities bleed into semi-normal threads that don't have the same heat.

I don't know what you want it to be, but that's what it is.

I have a completely different idea of what it is, and that's my point for asking that question. Truth is, most people who come across this site view us as incredibly smarmy fucks who wouldn't know reality if it bit us in the ass. Occasionally, I tend to agree with this assessment, because too often we'd rather call one another trolls or asses than deal with the merits of the discussion. The number of political threads has increased. The number of soap box posters has increased. Finally, the number of shallow asses has increased. It's become funny to be an ass. That's not a civil and intelligent community. That's high school.

me3dia: Why should MeFi be any different from the real world, where people are condescending to each other, are constantly bickering, and regularly break the rules?

We could do better.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:43 AM on November 6, 2003


(kindall, not all HTML is allowed.)

True, but it's easier to list what's not allowed than to list what is.
posted by kindall at 11:43 AM on November 6, 2003


Truth is, most people who come across this site view us as incredibly smarmy fucks who wouldn't know reality if it bit us in the ass.

Ahh, so we're just making shit up off the top of our heads now. I've heard that four out of three dentists prefer MetaFilter over any other non-specific Democrat presidential candidate.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:49 AM on November 6, 2003


kindall, cheers for the link
posted by biffa at 11:49 AM on November 6, 2003


eyeballkid, I appreciate that you've looked past my four paragraphs, found a one-liner you could pounce on, and then proceed to make your own snap-judgment (making shit up). Why not simply argue on the merits? If you find no merits, walk away like a man, instead of resorting to personal attacks.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:52 AM on November 6, 2003


If I had more time to devote to the site, I would definitely want to bring back more users asap. The ones that been allowed to join in the past year have done so under special circumstances, either being a journalist, someone being discussed in a thread and wanting to say something, someone offering amazing links they would like to post, or someone writing me a very eloquent request. Again, if I had more time to redo some things (I thought I've explained this on the new user page and here about a dozen times), new user signups would be indeed open and fair.

The latest crazy idea to circumvent all the programming I'd have to do to re-enable and throttle signups was to simply have a link sumbission area. Let potential new users make new posts, and the good ones would get posted and they'd get member accounts. Since it's so hard to find good mefi posts, I think this would be a self-selecting process that would only let in a few folks every now and then.

What's the point of continually complaining about the way mathowie chooses to run the site?

Not to sound petty, but yeah, what's the deal rush? You seem to enjoy busting my balls time and time again, often the first to point out any inconsistency and the first to cry bloody murder when you do find them and you go to great lengths to tell me how Things Should Be Done. A policy of fair and equal access? Reflects negatively upon us all? Cripes, it's just a website, it's not the bloody UN here.

If my last 4 years of running the site are still not to your liking and you're so sure you can do a better job, take timeistight's advice and start your own community site. I don't say that as a challenge or a threat, I'm just tired of the backseat driver treatment. Yeah, I know some things are unfair and I would love to change things if I could but I can't and I've explained it until I'm blue in the face and that's still not enough for you, so I guess I give up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:00 PM on November 6, 2003


Perhaps it's time for rushmc to "quit" again since mathowie's doing such a lousy job with the site.
posted by dhoyt at 12:10 PM on November 6, 2003


I also have no patience for people who continue to participate in something they have nothing but criticism for. Seriously, people, you don't need to chop down trees and mill lumber to build websites, but that doesn't mean it's easy. People demand features, fixes, etc, as if they grew on trees for the picking. You need to evaluate the resource situation of the site you're criticizing before you get uppity and *expect* things to happen on your schedule, with your prioritization. The resource situation as I see it here is: hobby/project site which has somehow risen to a high level of quality, and been patiently maintained, on no budget, by an already busy man who spares you the 4 letter words you deserve even when you spit in his face. What, now, is wrong with this picture? You.
posted by scarabic at 12:34 PM on November 6, 2003


Blue Train: Personal attacks? I don't even know you. What's personal about my response?

I read your four paragraphs, most of which were just reiterating your previous points and found what stands out as a completely groundless statement, or at the very least one that shouldn't start with the words, "Truth is, most people..." I pointed out the statement because your argument seems to hinge on the the idea, one you constantly promote, that MetaFilter is ALL WRONG. Snap-judgement? I'm sure "making shit up" is pretty close to what it is.

I suppose could do some research to find what popular opinion of MetaFilter is. I'm pretty sure none of those articles list MeFi as populated by "smarmy fucks." I'm also aware that the opinion of this site by those who read it is pretty high.

Most of the time I see you in MetaTalk you're criticizing the site. For a while, I thought it was just a personal hobby of yours. It's not that most people don't like the site, it's that you don't.

scarabic: right on.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:40 PM on November 6, 2003


I'm pretty sure none of those articles list MeFi as populated by "smarmy fucks."

This is true. I always considered myself more of a "dumb fuck," or a "crazy fuck." But to each their own, I suppose.
posted by jonmc at 12:46 PM on November 6, 2003


I'm well aware that you've already admitted that you are unwilling to devote sufficient time to attend to the site adequately, mathowie. I (and most of the rest of the users, as far as I can tell) have accepted this long since. But the fact remains that most of the problems and issues that arise repeatedly do so because you don't ever address them—and that's only reasonable to expect, that something not addressed that continues to be a problem will continue to be acknowledged as a problem. If you're tired of having the same old problems brought up, then perhaps rcade was right and you should shut down MetaTalk, because as long as it is perceived as a place to discuss Metafilter and ways to make it better, people are going to do so.

It has nothing to do with my thinking I could or could not do a better job (it's not one I would ever even undertake) and everything to do with your choice to keep it going on the backburner with minimal input. At least be honest enough to admit that this choice has demonstrable consequences, for pete's sake.

Yes, to be honest, you do sound petty and defensive. If you have any further complaints about me, please take them to email.
posted by rushmc at 12:46 PM on November 6, 2003


OH GOD, METAFILTER IS SHUTTING DOWN AND MATRIX 3 SUCKS.
posted by The God Complex at 12:55 PM on November 6, 2003


I always considered myself more of a "dumb fuck," or a "crazy fuck." But to each their own, I suppose.

I used to be a "great fuck".

Actually, I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.
posted by timeistight at 1:01 PM on November 6, 2003


I'm well aware that you've already admitted that you are unwilling to devote sufficient time to attend to the site adequately, mathowie. I (and most of the rest of the users, as far as I can tell)

Much as I hate to try and speak for the masses, I would guess that most of us have accepted that Matt is unable to spend any more of his time working for the unpaying masses to attend to the small number of things that might be improved/done differently. You on the other hand are rude .
posted by biffa at 1:05 PM on November 6, 2003


it's the broomstick talking.
posted by crunchland at 1:11 PM on November 6, 2003


rushmc, you've had this bee in your bonnet about membership "fairness" ever since I can recall. If we can agree that the site couldn't take unlimited new memberships, won't there always be some inherent unfairness in how those limited new memberships are handed out, whether there's one a week or one hundred?
posted by timeistight at 1:15 PM on November 6, 2003


your argument seems to hinge on the the idea, one you constantly promote, that MetaFilter is ALL WRONG.

It's not that most people don't like the site, it's that you don't.


Then why would I waste my time "criticizing" the site? Why would I bother pointing out what I consider to be flaws? Would not my attention be better served in a person, place, thing, or idea other than MetaFilter?

Seems to me that YOU seem to have trouble accepting ideas that differ from your own. Seems to me that if YOU don't agree with me, I'm wrong, you're right, and I'm supposed to stop my "criticism".

Why don't you try some self-discovery? Why not attempt to understand my viewpoint, instead of incessantly disagreeing?

I like this site. I wouldn't "waste" my time here otherwise. However, I feel that the levels of maturity, tolerance, and civility have dwindled over time and I'm suggesting that this site come to a consensus, as a group, to address this problem.

Personal attacks? I don't even know you.

If I call your ideas "shitty" or "full of shit", I'm not attempting to communicate with you through intelligent means, I'm merely showing contempt for your thoughts. It's essentially the same as calling a child immature instead of addressing his/her issue. The child may in fact be immature, but you calling the child immature solves nothing.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:56 PM on November 6, 2003


I never called your ideas "full of shit" or "shitty," as your use of quotes implies. I wrote that you were "making shit up" in the same way I could have written "oh we're just inventing things to support our arguments" or "I see that you pulled that one out of your ass."

Why don't you try some self-discovery? Why not attempt to understand my viewpoint, instead of incessantly disagreeing?

Good question. Why don't you? I understand your viewpoint and utterly disagree with it. I don't agree that there's some kind of "consensus" needed or that anything you've pointed out even really exists on the site in a form that is so rampant as to need some kind of freaking peace summit to deal with.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:09 PM on November 6, 2003


::shrugs::

okay.
posted by BlueTrain at 2:11 PM on November 6, 2003


This thread is all the evidence of why new members are needed. You're not a vibrant or open community; you're a clique. You're a sliver of a demographic. You're pedantics. And worst of all, you're not interesting.

I'll take a hit for the team. Matt, delete me. I'm sure someone here would pay you good money for my user number.
posted by solistrato at 2:16 PM on November 6, 2003


Now you've all made Scott cry. I hope you're happy.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:18 PM on November 6, 2003


/me gives scott a flower
posted by Stynxno at 2:20 PM on November 6, 2003


solistrato - it's not that user numbers are in short supply. They are if not infinite then at least sufficiently large enough to take us well past 17 or 18 K.

The problem is that new users take time to settle in. They create disruption. Some of that is valid and improves the site. A lot of that makes a lot more work for Matt since he has to go through and clean it up, and e-mail the people and deal with more crap. Every time there're new users, there is more crap for Matt.

He's already dealing with enough crap from the people who've been here longer and should know better. So, until he has time to deal with the crap (or to develop a technical solution to deal with the crap), the easist thing is to limit the number of new users.
posted by willnot at 2:24 PM on November 6, 2003


Y'know, this site does, in fact, cost Matt money. He's paying to provide us with this little playground. My personal feeling is that its pretty damn rude and ungrateful ::looks sternly at rush here:: to be so condescending and critical about something that a) isn't essential to your living and breathing and b) you get to play with for free.

Clearly what would "improve Metafilter" would be for us to take up a collection and send Matt and and a friend a dream vacation to some warm and tropical hideaway, or prehaps a really kick-ass housewarming gift.

We spend far to much time here bitching and not nearly enough saying "Thanks, this is way cool."
posted by anastasiav at 2:32 PM on November 6, 2003


Oh, good, we've reached the high-and-mighty-admonishment-of-a-large-group-of-people-en-masse stage. Thank god.
posted by The God Complex at 2:33 PM on November 6, 2003


And for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure Matt makes a small profit off the site, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1k a month (if I remember correctly).
posted by The God Complex at 2:38 PM on November 6, 2003


Matt, delete me.

Me too, Matt. Delete me, too!
posted by he opens a window at 2:43 PM on November 6, 2003


so, TGC, are you saying you disagree with me? Do you think we spend too much time saying "Thanks, Matt" and not enough time discussing what's wrong with Metafilter?

Sorry, but posters who take a high and mighty tone and presume to tell Matt what he should and shouldn't do with the site set my teeth on edge.

If its true the site is making money, that's cool. But the fact remains that we use it for free and the time it takes him to shepherd us on a daily basis is significant.

I wouldn't want to babysit us - not even for $250 a week - would you?

posted by anastasiav at 2:44 PM on November 6, 2003


No! Me, me!! Delete me first!!!
posted by scold_and_obfuscate at 2:45 PM on November 6, 2003


I demand that you delete me first. Last in, first out.
posted by goosestepping poxi! at 2:47 PM on November 6, 2003


Good riddance, I say.
posted by timeistight at 2:48 PM on November 6, 2003


you'd think we were a small, isolated town suffering from generations of inbreeding.
So what do you think goes on at all these MeFi meetups? Knitting circles?

*whips out banjo*
*whips out crossbow*

You're pedantics.
Shouldn't that be pedants?

rushmc, while you perhaps do not mean to be overly critical of mathowie, it may be that your delivery includes something that makes you come across as a whining arsehole whenever the subject of how MetaFilter is run comes up. mathowie has previously acknowledged that the "hands off" approach creates problems and that he only has time to deal with brushfires as they pop up. Considering the light hand on the tiller here, the site runs remarkably well. If you think back a year or so to a time when it was discovered that mathowie was on vacation and had left the site on auto-pilot, then remember the disgraceful mess that some users generated and look at what happens now that the site is on auto-pilot a lot of the time, you should come to the conclusion that the site, in fact, pretty much runs itself on a day-to-day basis in its present form (with some exceptions of course). This was certainly not the case a year ago when there were a number of new (or newish) members around who had not yet had all the fire beaten out of them.

Having said that, I also hunger for new blood in limited quantities. We need to pace any intake of newbies so that we can give each one of them the proper attention and to reduce spoilage.
*wipes saliva from chin*
posted by dg at 3:06 PM on November 6, 2003


It's become funny to be an ass.

unclench, bluetrain my son, unclench and let your precious inner ass fly free! it will change your life!
posted by quonsar at 3:21 PM on November 6, 2003


How many of us are actually unique users, or on the other hand, have multiple accounts?
posted by .kobayashi. at 3:25 PM on November 6, 2003


rushmc, while you perhaps do not mean to be overly critical of mathowie, it may be that your delivery includes something that makes you come across as a whining arsehole…

You crack me up, dg.

How many of us are actually unique users, or on the other hand, have multiple accounts?

There's actually just you, mathowie and Miguel.
posted by timeistight at 3:27 PM on November 6, 2003


Thank goodness Matt is in good spirits today.
*remembers, shudders*
posted by languagehat at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2003


posted by mathowie at 11:20 AM PST on November 6

languagehat, that is eerie. Perhaps it's seasonal affective disorder.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:42 PM on November 6, 2003


How many of us are actually unique users, or on the other hand, have multiple accounts?

There's actually just you, mathowie and Miguel.
posted by timeistight at 3:27 PM PST on November 6

Me too, Matt. Delete me, too!
posted by he opens a window at 2:43 PM PST on November 6


timeistight are you:he opens a window? Just confuse by he opens a window's e-mail & webpage.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:47 PM on November 6, 2003


I implore you, no, I demand you delete everyone who has asked for deletion and auction the lowest numbers to cam girls in Iowa.

I-frames, we do i-frames don't we?

I'm well aware that you've already admitted that you are unwilling to devote sufficient time to attend to the site adequately, mathowie.

It seems to be adequate enough that you are able to express yourself. On the other hand, being that he donates the bandwidth for our smarmy little funfest, I don't see any reason he shouldn't donate all of his time also.
posted by cedar at 3:47 PM on November 6, 2003


Perhaps it's seasonal affective disorder.
Yeah, but who's got the S.A.D. Is it Matt, or is it the rest of us?
[shudders. considers possibility that it isn't the world gone mad after all]
posted by seanyboy at 3:51 PM on November 6, 2003


You found me out, TCS. I couldn't take the chance that Matt would take me up on my joke and delete this account.

Also, I thought it was funnier coming from three people.
posted by timeistight at 3:54 PM on November 6, 2003


It was timeistight:P
posted by thomcatspike at 4:25 PM on November 6, 2003


The first extant post (#19) was about a website where you were encouraged to optically scan your cat

*cries*

You seem to enjoy busting my balls time and time again, often the first to point out any inconsistency and

new tagline:

MetaFilter -- You Seem To Enjoy Busting My Balls


this is good
posted by matteo at 4:25 PM on November 6, 2003


There's actually just you, mathowie and Miguel.

But, that would mean . . . surely, you don't mean that Carlos Qu. . . .

I can't go on.
posted by Mid at 4:32 PM on November 6, 2003


You're right: mathowie is Carlos!
posted by timeistight at 4:34 PM on November 6, 2003


If you're tired of having the same old problems brought up, then perhaps rcade was right and you should shut down MetaTalk

Jesus, rushmc, the tone of your comments evokes the Simpsons comic book guy. I would tell you to chill out, but you're being so rude, I couldn't give a shit if you clenched yourself inside out.

Maybe you should just accept some limitations, here, and make the best of what does work. The perfection you seek is an illusion anyway, and your continued participation implies that you're willing, at least, to work within some limits. Stop insisting that everything here is horribly broken because it doesn't meet your expectations. If you think this thing is so wounded it needs a bullet in the head, stop showing up for fuck's sake. There is such a thing as *your* time here being done, and I think you've confused that with *everyone's* time being done. Move on, holy one.

And quit jousting with your host online, then asking him to take his further complaints offline. What a baby.
posted by scarabic at 4:36 PM on November 6, 2003


rushmc, you've had this bee in your bonnet about membership "fairness" ever since I can recall.

Since way before you were here, timeistight. And I agitated just as strongly to let your group in (you're welcome). There may or may not be substantially more work involved for mathowie mentoring new users every time the gates are opened—only he can speak to that (and so far he's only mentioned the time/effort requirements of actually manipulating the signup process itself)—but the fact remains that from the perspective of a member, the site has gotten better, by a broad margin, every time people like you have been allowed to join the mix. Better links, better discussion, more diversity and perspectives. What it comes down to is that you (and those like you) want a private club, and others of us prefer a more open forum (perhaps you weren't around to experience it in this form long enough to appreciate it. It would be interesting to break down the stats on who wants to keep out new people by member number).

It's a legitimate debate, and obviously it's mathowie's decision which type of site he wishes to host, but he has long fostered a culture of discussion here and until he overtly and specifically changes that, it seems to me entirely appropriate to express one's opinion, his sudden sensitivity to perceived "criticism" notwithstanding.
posted by rushmc at 4:37 PM on November 6, 2003


Maybe you should just accept some limitations, here, and make the best of what does work.

Obviously I do, and do.

Stop insisting that everything here is horribly broken because it doesn't meet your expectations.

I think you may be confusing my comments with BlueTrain's. I am not claiming that "everything here is horribly broken."

If you think this thing is so wounded it needs a bullet in the head

I didn't call for the end of Metafilter. In fact, I'm on record several times opposing people's right to make such a request, usually in terms very similar to your "There is such a thing as *your* time here being done, and I think you've confused that with *everyone's* time being done," therefore I would be extremely unlikely to make such a request myself. What I said was that perhaps rcade's recent suggestion to shut down MetaTALK had merit (although I argued against it in his thread) if mathowie was no longer open to suggestions and hearing various opinions and points of view about the site, and particularly if he were going to take personal offense at such inputs, since people are going to continue to post same as long as there is a forum for them to do so. Hardly the same thing.
posted by rushmc at 4:43 PM on November 6, 2003


I never said you were talking about MeFi. Same argument applies.
posted by scarabic at 4:57 PM on November 6, 2003


Oh, and for the record, I am in favor of getting new folks signed up. And in favor of implementing Highly-Desired Features #2,200 through 3,618, too.

I just get sick of people making endless, long-winded arguments about why something is the Right Thing To Do, as if that constitutes a proof, or changes the practical obstacles to getting it done, and then showing disrespect and discourtesy to the person who provided the site in the first place, because they don't snap to and get cracking. Matt has plainly invited you to out-do him. Instead, you continue to whine at him like a VC who wants to see results for his millions.

When you plunk down a $mil for someone, then you get to tell them what they should be doing with their time, why their laundry should not get done this week.

You are not the only guilty party, rushmc, so don't take all of this personally.
posted by scarabic at 5:10 PM on November 6, 2003


so, TGC, are you saying you disagree with me? Do you think we spend too much time saying "Thanks, Matt" and not enough time discussing what's wrong with Metafilter?

I'm saying that I disagree with you in the sense that he doesn't pay to do this, as far as I recall. I could be wrong, but I think I remember him saying he makes a modest wage.

In all honesty, I would totally do it for 1k a month, but I'm a 21-year-old college student who really doesn't need much money, and spends a lot of time here for free anyway, so that's beside the point.

I think people thank Matt fairly often when this comes up. Discussing what's wrong with metafilter is not mutually exclusive to thanking him for the work that he does, you know (I also wasn't complaining).
posted by The God Complex at 5:54 PM on November 6, 2003


I'd like to say a very sincere "Thank you" to Matt.

To the general MeFi membership, I say this: you wouldn't attend a party at a acquaintance's home and subsequently bitch and moan at the host about the quality of the appetizers, the music that he's chosen, the temperature of the room, or the colour of the drapes.

If you did, and were as obnoxious about it as we've seen demonstrated in this thread, you can sure as hell count on never being invited back.

Or in other words: if you have problems with the way this site operates and can't quietly and politely cope with it, kindly fuck off. The rest of us want to enjoy the party.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:08 PM on November 6, 2003


And I agitated just as strongly to let your group in (you're welcome).

Our memories differ. My memory was of you saying my group shouldn't be here.
posted by timeistight at 6:12 PM on November 6, 2003


The latest crazy idea to circumvent all the programming I'd have to do to re-enable and throttle signups was to simply have a link sumbission area. Let potential new users make new posts, and the good ones would get posted and they'd get member accounts. Since it's so hard to find good mefi posts, I think this would be a self-selecting process that would only let in a few folks every now and then.

Matt: this is an absolutely brilliant idea that should satisfy everyone. I've been looking it over for a while and I can find - shock! horror! - no fault with it.

This happens, oh, about every 500 years and should accordingly be enacted forthwith.

P.S.: You're all misunderstanding rushmc's work here, imho. What he's intelligently striving for is something we all should support: how to keep our beloved MetaFilter going, considering it can not and should not be a drain on Matt. It's just his cool and rational manner which seems to lack love and affection. In fact, it reveals lots. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:39 PM on November 6, 2003


Our memories differ. My memory was of you saying my group shouldn't be here.

Sorry, you are correct. I had not remembered that you were a backdoor boy and was assuming that you'd come in with the 14k immigration wave.
posted by rushmc at 7:24 PM on November 6, 2003


Or in other words: if you have problems with the way this site operates and can't quietly and politely cope with it, kindly fuck off. The rest of us want to enjoy the party.

Laaaaaaaaaame.
posted by The God Complex at 7:37 PM on November 6, 2003


Backdoor man, rushmc. The men don't know, but…
posted by timeistight at 7:42 PM on November 6, 2003


And why isn't 'Mefi' in the spellchecker?

'coz it ain't a word
posted by trondant at 7:45 PM on November 6, 2003


had not remembered that you were a backdoor boy
I have always considered the backdoor boys persons to be an ultra-elite sub-group of that already elite group, the venerable 14k brigade.
posted by dg at 7:50 PM on November 6, 2003


you were a backdoor boy

*explodes into spasms of coughing*
posted by quonsar at 7:51 PM on November 6, 2003


Backdoor boyz, please. It sounds edgier.
posted by yhbc at 8:10 PM on November 6, 2003


Is this something you have to be gay to appreciate? ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:27 PM on November 6, 2003


Fuck it, Matt, I say drop the neutron bomb on this romanesque circle-jerk. Just yank the tent stake and let the circus scramble in the dark. The strong will survive, I promise. We'll be even better. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh. What I'm trying to say is, delete everybody's account. Erase every thread. Let the earth abide awhile. Slowly we'll crawl out and rebuild again. We'll have a reason to go on. It will restore our pioneer spirit. We will teach each other the skills our ancestors had forgotten. We will be different people with new names. It will be like paradise. Do it. Do it! PULL THE TRIGGER BITCH!!! DO IT!!!!!

(panting)

I'm sorry. But, seriously. Do it.
posted by Hildago at 10:47 PM on November 6, 2003


I read far more than I write in this space, but I do appreciate that the site is here. I am quite content with the way it is run. The complaints are beyond my understanding.
posted by scottymac at 11:08 PM on November 6, 2003


This thread was way better than Matrix: Revolutions.

Its got action! Drama! End of the world prophecy!
posted by Quartermass at 11:31 PM on November 6, 2003


MetaTalk: the complaints are beyond your understanding.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:49 AM on November 7, 2003


what scottymac said
posted by Eirixon at 2:58 AM on November 7, 2003


We can't have the Eschaton of Metafilter until we get a Messiah here first.

Anti-Christs, we got in spades.
posted by Dagobert at 3:50 AM on November 7, 2003


"It's a legitimate debate"

No. It's not.

Bitching about a broad category of things which have been definitively declared "closed" long ago is whining. Not debate.

Some people are doers. Some people are whiners. You, ruchmc, are literally the biggest whiner ever in this context.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about what automated infrastructure, or hands on steering, could make MetaFilter better. Once Matt made it clear he didn't have time to devote serious work to this site I stopped peppering him with ideas for more work. When I have time I'll go build it myself. I certainly don't have time now.

In the meantime you will be here, bitching and moaning about something you know (and everyone else accepts) will never change. You are the worst sort of whiner - One who chooses a loved and immutable thing for his "legitimate debate".
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:14 AM on November 7, 2003


You know what this thread needs? Pancakes.
Who likes pancakes?
posted by me3dia at 8:48 AM on November 7, 2003


some people are evil doers.
posted by crunchland at 8:50 AM on November 7, 2003


I'm one of the "new additions" mentioned above, but I've been reading MeFi regularly for almost two years. I find myself reading these bitchfests with a certain voyeuristic glee, like an accident on the highway. I just can't look away.

I'm a pretty busy guy, and I don't have time to contribute the way I'd like; but I think the site is great and I honestly find the constant complaints confusing. I realize that there are those who pine for the "good ole daze" but, as long as I've been reading, there have always been asses and whiners, stupid threads and newsfilter posts, childish bickering, snarking and hugging, and Miguel. Always Miguel.

That's MetaFilter. That's why I come here.
posted by sharpener at 10:07 AM on November 7, 2003


DO IT MATT!!!
posted by Hildago at 10:18 AM on November 7, 2003


Hildago, this is just some plot to get a lower user number, isn't it? What, is being a 7k that bad?
posted by Apoch at 11:10 AM on November 7, 2003


He just wants to be reincarnated as "Hidalgo". Too bad; I've already pre-registered that name for myself in the next incarnation.

Actually, Matt has already created and destroyed MetaFilter five times now. I thought that point had been made reasonably clear.
posted by yhbc at 11:27 AM on November 7, 2003


I think the doors should be left wide open and the site should be left to spectacularly self combust.

Or we could just keep on loving the site the way it is right now; a few decnt posts among all the garbage and a few decent members among all the garbage. And a lot of funny, funny shit. Like this thread.

"DO IT MATT!!!
posted by Hildago at 10:18 AM PST on November 7 "
posted by dazed_one at 3:51 PM on November 7, 2003


Actually, Matt has already created and destroyed MetaFilter five times now. I thought that point had been made reasonably clear.

Too brilliant.
posted by casarkos at 12:41 PM on November 8, 2003


You're pedantics.
Shouldn't that be pedants?

Good God. Funniest thing I've ever read on MeFi or MeTa.
posted by trharlan at 10:38 PM on November 8, 2003


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