So many comments March 29, 2001 8:53 PM   Subscribe

200 posts in 8 hours (150 in the first 3)? My, how time flies when you're having fun.

Is this the future of MeFi? An explosion of comments so overwhelming conversation is useless?
posted by Neale to MetaFilter-Related at 8:53 PM (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:15 PM on March 29, 2001

If your immovable worldview is that ">x posts/day = unacceptable chaos" (where x is arbitrarily set by yourself), then yes, MeFi is probably useless to you. So are most other online communities, I would surmise.
posted by aaron at 9:52 PM on March 29, 2001

Actually, I was joking before, but I tend to think any successful online community will eventually get to useless as the posts -> infinity.

It has happened on every open community I've been a part of, and the only ones I've seen manage to keep it going are those that curtail their growth or use tremendous amounts of technology.

I'll probably go the tech route, and continue to try programming my way out any messes growth here may create.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:23 PM on March 29, 2001

mathowie: what ideas do you have, threaded discussions? comment rating?

Actually, what other options are there?
posted by holloway at 4:09 AM on March 30, 2001

Beh. Every now and then something that catches peoples' interest comes along. The 150 posts in 8 hours is just a result of the number of community members.

The much-bandied about TiVo thread was mostly one day of people going "Here's my attempt" and "I won I won I won!" and "what's going on on their servers?"

Things are going to catch the eye of the community as a whole, defending the community (or it's founder) is one of them. I say it's something to be proud of.

Well, at this stage in the community's development. If we get 150 posts in 8 hours about the next big meme, there's definitely something to worry about.
posted by cCranium at 7:35 AM on March 30, 2001

I agree. There are going to be ~~hot~~ threads like this occasionally, where there are 12 new posts every time you refresh, but mostly those aren't conversational threads to begin with. This one was more about righteous indignation (or self-righteous lynching, YMMV), and not a discussion about the issue of intellectual property theft. The TiVo thread wasn't about the technology or hints for winning a contest - it was people excited about finding out about the gravy train, and sharing their experiences with riding it.

I also agree that, as communities get larger, they eventually become too chaotic to be useful. Generally they create splinter groups which then go on to have their own life cycles, and (ideally) as a result of attrition, they die back to more manageable numbers and work the cycle again. I think it's a bit early to start announcing THE DEATH OF THE INTERNET or even THE DEATH OF METAFILTER, but it's never to early to talk about how much better it used to be before all the riff-raff showed up.

Heck, back in the old days, it was just me, Jason, and Matt. And even then Jason thought it was one too many...


posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:44 AM on March 30, 2001

I posted a suggestion on the original MeFi thread. Make a trigger such that if the surplus does not materialize, then the tax cut .... Oops. Make a trigger such that threads longer than some high number get a link to their thread in the side 'blog. I believe MH did this by hand for comparatively shorter threads (Deepleap's closure, Pyra's layoffs.)

It's interesting for me that the really long threads are basically a bunch of me-toos. But, I think that's actually healthy for the community every few months whenever there's some "event" to which we all can have a direct relationship through the Internet/MeFi-hivemind. Promotes solidarity.
posted by rschram at 11:47 AM on March 30, 2001

Actually, in my experience, most open communities have proven self-regulating when it comes to activity. After a certain level of growth is achieved, the number of people willing to put up with that level of activity falls off, so the community never gets too out of control.
posted by aaron at 11:58 AM on March 30, 2001

...the number of people willing to put up with that level of activity falls off...

This point of equilibrium may exist, but it is independent of server resources.
posted by rschram at 12:01 PM on March 30, 2001

Just wanted to note 255 posts before Nazis were brought up. And, as it wasn't an intentional reference to Godwin's law, the thread should be ending pretty soon.
posted by Neale at 3:53 PM on March 30, 2001

Dear Neale,


posted by holloway at 8:35 PM on March 30, 2001

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