Does a link being posted elsewhere really mean it's bad for MetaFilter? March 19, 2001 12:19 AM   Subscribe

Memepool is nothing like Slashdot. I don't read memepool. I am glad that I did not miss this post because of my surfing habits. MetaFilter can't make my experience better by expecting me to read another web site, can it?
posted by sudama to Etiquette/Policy at 12:19 AM (14 comments total)

Gee, sudama, I read the entire web every day before I get to Metafilter. Don't you?

This is a slur that used to be made toward some webloggers early on, until it became clear that most bloggers swiped something around half their links. ;-) At least credit is usually given -- in my case I give it mainly in the case of blogs that deserve to be better known, or who turned up something particularly interesting. Things that are already everywhere else aren't worth crediting.

Metafilter doesn't exist on its own, but jeez, the criterion of a good metafilter post should be: will it spark a good Metafilter discussion? I wasn't aware that the point of Metafilter was to spur contributors to seek out wholly original ephemera not seen elsewhere.
posted by dhartung at 12:31 AM on March 19, 2001

Dhartung, I am of a completely different mind. MeTa has tried to hash this out before and the matter has remained unresolved, but I do not think discussion should be the criterion for a good post. It's possible for a post to be "good" and yet have no comments. Indeed, I would suggest that many of our political posts, which generate dozens and hundreds of comments, are "bad." The question a poster should ask is not "Will this generate good discussion?" but "Will the MeFia find value in this?"

I groan whenever I see via-rrhea (via Kottke, via CNN, via Slashdot, via the Onion). Posters should take pride in discovering "orginal ephermera". Originality and the "hey, neat!" factor are, in my book, what make good posts. There is no discovery in a link to CNN. Naturally, some people disagree.

Nonetheless, I think the overemphasis on discussion is what has encouraged the soft trolling and baiting of late.
posted by luke at 8:52 AM on March 19, 2001

I don't care where the link was found, if it was interesting, even if I've seen it elsewhere, I'm likely unable to discuss it elsewhere.

(though this is somewhere luke and I disagree slightly on, I think I like the conversation more than the weblog aspect, and he vice versa)

What actually bugs me about the post is it's memepool style. I like memepool when I'm reading memepool, but too many links in the posts here just irritate me. It's hard to gear up a good discussion with a bunch of "hey, neat!" links in one post.

Ultimately though, it's just a post I don't read because it irks me, and I lose like, a fraction of a second to set bRobInterested = false and move on. No big deal.
posted by cCranium at 9:44 AM on March 19, 2001

Luke, here's the thing. This is a discussion site. It is optimized for discussion. Discussion is what it does best.

There are many other sites that are optimized for posting the link o' the day. Memepool, or mine, for example. If I have a neat standalone link, I'll post it on my weblog. If I have something, by contrast, that will spark a good discussion, I consider it for Metafilter.
posted by dhartung at 12:19 AM on March 20, 2001

This is a discussion site.

I thought it was a community weblog, optimized for linking. Linking, IMHO, is what it does best.

What it boils down to is that we are but two blind men: You are grabbing the elephant by the leg and declaring it a tree; I am grabbing it by the tail and calling it a snake.
posted by luke at 8:04 AM on March 20, 2001

y'know, luke, I don't quite understand why discussion's a bad thing for someone who considers MeFi a snake. You still get links that you can explore as you see fit, and us tree types get our discussion. There's elephant enough for everyone, isn't there?
posted by cCranium at 9:33 AM on March 20, 2001

Matt should quick snag that for a MeFi tagline. "MetaFilter: Elephant enough for everyone."
posted by kindall at 6:12 PM on March 20, 2001

MeFi tagline contest!
posted by rodii at 8:26 PM on March 20, 2001

It's possible for a post to be "good" and yet have no comments.

If that's the case, then why are we here at all? Why are we allowed to make followup comments? The site you're dreaming of in the above posts is Memepool. No discussions, 100% original ephemera. (Or, at least, they've gotten enough cachet to make everyone think they're always the first to find everything.)

MetaFilter: Where posters go to go postal.
posted by aaron at 10:05 PM on March 21, 2001

Why are we here at all? Ay, this is the existential crux of the matter. I'm here for the links. The comments are a bonus. I am asserting that links should drive the discussion; discussion should not drive the links.

MeFi: Come for the links, stay for the discussion. YMMV.
posted by luke at 7:49 AM on March 22, 2001

"Why are we here? Because we're here. Roll the bones..." (Peart)
posted by kindall at 8:55 PM on March 22, 2001

luke, I can quite happily agree with that assertation.
posted by cCranium at 9:30 AM on March 23, 2001

"Metafilter: Why are we here at all?"
posted by Lirp at 12:00 PM on March 23, 2001

Luke, is it too late to bid for nipple?
posted by dhartung at 8:29 PM on March 24, 2001

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