MeFi included as home page option in virtual browser March 15, 2001 10:59 AM   Subscribe

I have included a link to MeFi in a list of suggested sites that users of a new virtual browser see when they're choosing a home page.

The list has a dozen or so sites that cover a spectrum of interests, both general and niche... and since my own experience with MetaFilter has been so positive, I wanted to include it as one of the niche offerings (along with, for example, SlashDot).

My fear is that my choice to include MeFi in the list may have impacts on the small community we currently have. I could remove the link or replace it with something like Plastic... or leave it in. I want the community's input--especially Matt's.
posted by silusGROK to MetaFilter-Related at 10:59 AM (9 comments total)

What's a virtual browser?
posted by sudama at 11:16 AM on March 15, 2001

A really, really talented shoplifter.

posted by Skot at 12:16 PM on March 15, 2001

If you're curious about the product, Sudama, e-mail me. I purposely left the company info out of the question to avoid self-promotion. But I don't imagine that describing what a virtual browser is violates the "prime directive"

Basically, in this case, a virtual browser is a web page through which you surf the rest of the net... A layer, if you will, that you put between your client-side browser (Netscape or IE) and the rest of the internet for the added functionality it offers.

Because it replaces most of the functionality of the browser, things like home pages are handled through the vb service. That's where MeFi enters the picture in this question: as an option in a small vb's home page set-up wizard.
posted by silusGROK at 2:07 PM on March 15, 2001

It depends on the targetted audience vis10n. If it's the general populace moving off of AOL for the first time, then no, go ahead and replace metafilter with plastic. If it's a tool that heavy internet power users will download, then go ahead and leave it in.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:26 PM on March 15, 2001

Plastic: MetaFilter For The Masses

My opinion on this, is take it out, but mostly because I'm an elistist a-list wannabe, or something.

See, what I like about MetaFilter is that most people find it by following links from other peoples' personal pages, so people come to MetaFilter with some minor knowledge of the personal web, and basically the realization that not everything's corporate-driven.

That's changing, somewhat, with the press MeFi's been getting, but even still the articles MeFi's mentioned in deal with the personal web. If new users come here after being exposed to AIM and they won't quite grok what they're about.

By the same token though, it does mean that MeFi can be their introduction to the personal web, which is a pretty admirable and attractive role. Hmm.
posted by cCranium at 5:43 AM on March 16, 2001

i agree, cCranium, that MeFi could be a good introduction to the personal web for the 'unwashed masses', which is an attractive role. this is good idealism.

however, i'm afraid it's often also the case that 'the masses are asses' and the masses tend to bring more noise than signal. if they were reading and not posting, that would be another thing, but we're not set up to limit that, nor do we necessarily want to be.
posted by Sean Meade at 7:50 AM on March 16, 2001

First, to answer Matt: initially, the audience has been similar to MeFi's: web users of some sophistication. Later, the audience will be broader... but by then the links of suggested home pages will have been "commoditized".

*shivers at his own capitalist streak*

Second, for everyone else: you're right, MeFi is an ideal introduction to the personal web (great phrase!)... and so I'm leaning towards keeping it.

My biggest concern has been that should the virtual browser be the least bit successful, that success could translate into a much larger MeFi community.

Which begs the question of new ways to encourage low-noise posts... but that's the topic of a couple different threads.

That said, I'm going to wait and see if there's any more discussion on the matter before making a decision... Thanks everyone for the input so far!
posted by silusGROK at 9:04 AM on March 16, 2001


Seems I can't get a thread started to save my life.

Oh well... thanks everyone for your input!

Final decision: leave the link in for now. If Matt sees too many people streaming in from the link (Matt, you know the name of the service--it was in my e-mail to you), he can tell me, and I'll pull the recommendation.
posted by silusGROK at 3:52 PM on March 21, 2001

*offside remark*

I get my web service from one of the largest ISP's in Canada. They send out a monthly magazine, Netlife, to all their subscribers. I flipped through the new issue yesterday and landed on a special feature called "Hardy Har Har". It was an article that pointed out various sites of amusement on the web. Each link was familiar to me. They had nearly all been on MeFi. I was absolutely convinced that the writer of the article had stopped by here for a visit. I continued flipping through the magazine, feeling all annoyed. A few pages later there was a little blurb about web logs -- and metafilter.

Look both ways before you cross the street, boys and girls, because your neighbourhood is about to get busy...
posted by Ms Snit at 7:04 PM on March 21, 2001

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