Filtering Metafilter? April 21, 2001 1:50 AM   Subscribe

Threatening Overkill perhaps, but I've been digging around the archives of MeFi, and I gotta admit it's staggering. Like maybe it's time for some way to filter MetaFilter? (more to follow)
posted by ZachsMind to Feature Requests at 1:50 AM (6 comments total)

Okay perhaps maybe this is more for a project for someone outside MeFi. I dunno if Matt could code it, or even if he'd wanna bother. I've just noticed that some links mentioned very early on in the first days of MeFi are still there, but others are not. Particularly any links to Yahoo News which are dynamic and constantly changing (the jerks - why would Yahoo of all places not keep their links static and linkable?). Would there be some way to either automatically or manually filter down all the links that have been linked from MeFi over the past 2+ years to ascertain which ones 1) are still viable, 2) still regularly updated, 3) still worth checking out, 4) still necessary, notable or naughty or whatever it was which brought it to the attention of a MeFi participant in the first place..

At the very least this should be done with links. Which links that were introduced by someone got the warmest responses by others? Which links and accompanying threads are timeless, and which have timed out? Which are still timely months or years later?

Also it might be fun to revisit old threads several months later with a renewed perspective. Granted, one could just comment at the end of such a thread indefinitely. That works sometimes, but unless it's brought to people's attention that a certain thread is still active, someone posting would find themselves foolishly talking to crickets... and maybe once a thread is buried with time it's appropriate to leave it be?

This might help avoiding repeats. Just how many times, and in how many different ways can one link to the same place? Some things have just been mentioned way a lot. Is there really such a thing as overkill? And I'm always afraid of posting a link to something which was already talked about months before. I try to curb that by manually checking in the search engine to see if it comes up, but sometimes even despite doing that mistakes can happen. Or maybe it was mentioned in Slashdot or elsewhere and mentioning it here weeks or months later seems frivolous to others. Finding some way to filter MetaFilter could also be an opportunity to point out for newbies why certain rules exist in MeFi, why sometimes they can be broken but also offer examples of why not to break them. Even if you think your heart's in the right place.

Maybe all I'm asking for is recommendations from veterans of MeFi to newbies. What are the essential threads? Ones that nobody should miss? Not just personal favorites but universally agreed "great reads." What are the ones over the last two years or so where the conversation and mutual idea sharing actually really amounted to something more than usual? What are the most entertaining threads? The most enriching? The most explosive? The most soberly grounding? "Required reading" or at least strongly encouraged reading. What was already said before about anything from historical events to more recent current events. Perhaps a list of topics that keep reappearing and getting rehashed, or brought forward in a new light.

And perhaps a list on the opposite side of the spectrum. The ones to avoid, or rather the ones to read if you want to see just how bad it can get. The "B-Movies" of MeFi threads. The Necessary, The Notable and the Naughty. The best and worst of MeFi. Or is the idea of MetaFiltering MetaFilter just way too much for any sensible person to take with even the remotest smidgeon of sincerity or seriousness?

posted by ZachsMind at 2:54 AM on April 21, 2001

You bring up some very interesting points. What to do when the links die? Some threads take on a life of their own that relies very little upon the context provided by the link, while others are completely link-dependent. Sorting these out would be a Herculean task that simply couldn't be done with code. When I'm reading people's blogs, sometimes I wonder what they plan to do with their archives when the links are no longer viable. Like MeFi, some of the essay-like posts will stand on their own, but much of it will be incomprehensible once the links are gone. In MeFi's case, if the intent is to create something that will stand the test of time and serve as a sort of community journal, I believe part of the the answer may lie in clear, well-thought-out link descriptions. Then, on later perusal, at least we'll have some idea of how the discussion started.
As for old threads, I love the idea that they remain open indefinitely. I wish more people would post to old threads. Neales megathread is a hoot.
posted by gimli at 7:13 AM on April 21, 2001

Zach, it's a great idea (if a bit mind-boggling to think about) but I had talked to Matt about this a few weeks ago, and the danger is that it would be literally canonizing an "a-list" or whatever. I think the key is all in how the process of selecting threads takes place, but I can see new users (or the small number of particularly insecure current users) being intimidated by some Hall of Fame for MeFi posts.

That being said, I like the idea and I'd gladly make submissions or vote for favorites if it all happens...
posted by anildash at 4:09 PM on April 21, 2001

Maybe, instead of a hall of fame, we could do a link to a "6 months" and "one year" ago today page that has all the links from that day on it... with any links that have expired (a link check should be cake to code), marked as such... why lose a thread just because some bozo killed the link?

That way, we'll be able to see what's been on before in an even-handed and thorough manner. As we get older, it would mature to a "One Year Ago" and "Five Years Ago" today thang... then "One Year Ago", "Ten"... blah blah blah.
posted by silusGROK at 10:57 PM on April 21, 2001

One thing I've been thinking about, as the level of activity on MeFi has continued to grow, is that it might be a good idea for registered MeFi users to vote/rate posted links before they are put up on the front page. E.g. only the links with a "score" above N would get posted there. Of course we'd need a separate "submitted links" page with voting facilities for this, kind of like has got [k5 registration required] already. Has this been concidered before?
posted by frednorman at 4:44 AM on April 22, 2001

It's sort of been thrown around. Read the whole thread to get the big picture and Matt's inclinations regarding such measures...
posted by fooljay at 2:29 PM on April 22, 2001

« Older What's the point of metafilter?   |   Web server services in the UK Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments