Is variety important? May 7, 2001 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Is variety important? As noted here, a certain user only posts links to one site. Should it be construed as spamming for that site, or might we just encourage said user to broaden his interests a bit?
posted by zempf to Etiquette/Policy at 7:42 PM (23 comments total)

I had noticed the pattern too, and almost mentioned something about it last time around, but something stopped me. Apparently the guy is just a fan the Satyr is lucky to have. The site itself always makes me think of the Latin Kings. The black and yellow, with the typical bad ass medievel script, with an athletic demon icon. Throw in a pitchfork, or half a star of David and the El Rukins will start hacking the page.

posted by thirteen at 9:02 PM on May 7, 2001

How about niether. If the links are poop then say so. But I don't see anything wrong with posting good links that just happen to come from the same site.

Would you get ruffled if all these links came from CNN? Salon? The Onion? Seems to me smaller sites can sometimes pound out good content over and over.

I'm not saying that's true here, I tend to find The Satyr rather lame, but some people seem to like it.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:29 PM on May 7, 2001

Would you get ruffled if all these links came from CNN? Salon? The Onion? Seems to me smaller sites can sometimes pound out good content over and over.

Would you want one link a week from any of those small sites? That's almost his average -- six links to The Satyr in seven weeks.
posted by rcade at 12:12 AM on May 8, 2001

So out of the approximately 30 links a day (*7= 210 links per week) your objecting to less than 1 link to an article out of a possible 210, as long as it comes from a smaller site? I'm not sure I understand why that is so offensive...
posted by hidely at 5:34 AM on May 8, 2001

That makes two of us.

I still simply cannot get over the amount of time some here expend nitpicking and analyzing everyone's posting habits. It makes one scared to post anything for fear of angering the Mefi vigilantes. Averaging out post ratios, counting posts and links, tracking people down to their homepages, posting comments in the offending threads ....... good God.

Well, we haven't heard a peep out of postroad in a few days now ....guess it's time to gang up on someone else.
And while I understand that postroad was really overstepping the line with the amount he was posting, I liked his posts, his interests, and his enthusiasm. The bottom line was - he was (and hopefully still is) an asset to Metafilter, not a liability. As is Hidely, until proven otherwise. As far as I know, and unless Matt says otherwise, there is no reason why he/she can't link to the Satyr once or twice a month if he/she wants to. This is getting silly.

posted by the webmistress at 6:39 AM on May 8, 2001

In my opinion, posting links once a week to the same small site is a bit excessive. Especially when the reaction to those Satyr spoofs has been tepid.

I don't think it's a major issue, but since it was brought up here and on MetaFilter I figured it was worth a comment.
posted by rcade at 6:46 AM on May 8, 2001

IIRC, when we first started getting Satyr links around these parts, they were all posted by some user who (surprise, surprise) was a Satyr contributor, and even had as the homepage in his profile. If I have misremembered the specifics, then I know there have been similar cases with contributors to other sites, in clear violation of the MeFi Prime Directive against front-page self-promotion. So, when some other user (in an age where e-mail addresses are easy to come by) shows the same behavior, always linking to the same site, I think some suspicion may be justified.

And no, I'm not paranoid. That's just a vicious rumor being spread by my enemies in an attempt to discredit me.
posted by harmful at 6:49 AM on May 8, 2001

Well, we haven't heard a peep out of postroad in a few days now


... I understand that postroad was really overstepping the line with the amount he was posting ...

If you understand that, why are you calling the rest of us a bunch of scary vigilantes for pointing it out?
posted by rcade at 6:55 AM on May 8, 2001

I posted this under the specific comments thread earlier and I'll post it again.

"I'm going to ignore the stupid comments. SPAM generally comes in the form of "CLICKS HERE FOR A GRATE SITE!!!" During the course of my day I visit approximately 3 sites. Fark, Satyr and Metafilter. I wasn't aware that my visiting habits have to be more diverse in order for me to be a poster here, but I don't think I'm going to alter them just to apease a holier-than-thou poster who visits 10 sites a day."
posted by hidely at 7:04 AM on May 8, 2001

>>>Well, we haven't heard a peep out of postroad in a few days now - peep.

I was talking about posting new links on the front page. I should have been more specific, but then you wouldn't have had the pleasure of trying to prove me wrong. I'm very happy for you.

>>>why are you calling the rest of us a bunch of scary vigilantes for pointing it out?

Reread my post. I'm talking about behavior on a variety of occasions, not just that one. I think you know that.

posted by the webmistress at 7:27 AM on May 8, 2001

I think we could all stand to have slightly thicker skins. I took iceberg's original comment as constructive criticism. He certainly wasn't flaming hidely. And hidely responded, in a fairly measured way, especially compared to some of the responses to criticism I've seen around here.

My impression was that everything posted to MF is subject to debate, and that if someone thinks someone else is posting too frequently, or posting in a less-than-ideal manner, it's fair to discuss it, as long as we do so in a polite manner, and preferably in MetaTalk.

Sometimes, there's too much escalation of rhetoric around here. The terms "troll" and "vigilante," in particular, should almost never be used. They are incendiary words, and should be reserved for the most flagrant abuses. As far as I know, neither iceberg nor rcade was hunting hidely down or trying to punish him in any way.

I personally would neither have noticed nor cared that all of hidely's links come from a single source, unless he posted a lot more frequently. But people who do notice and who point the pattern out in a reasoned way should not be vilified for doing so. They are trying to improve the level of discourse here.
posted by anapestic at 7:52 AM on May 8, 2001

I agree with anapestic. MetaFilter is essentially a self-regulating community. Matt has the final word but, to his credit, he seldom pulls rank. I've had my hand slapped for inappropriate front-page postings, and it can be a shot to the ego (most of us here do have egos). But when that happens, we can use the community to our advantage. If someone questions the validity of your post, for whatever reason, and you feel you've been wronged or misunderstood, take it here to MetaTalk. Let everyone weigh in. Let the community do its job.

As this community grows, the danger of it being abused (or, worse, "diluted") becomes increasingly real. I agree that "vigilante" is not a word that should be tossed around, but I also feel we all have an obligation to be vigilant, lest our beloved island be sunk.

In this case, I'm sure hidely had no ulterior motives with his post, but I don't think iceberg was out of order for questioning it.
posted by jpoulos at 8:34 AM on May 8, 2001

There are two reasons I post stuff like the Postroad thread in the etiquette forum.

First, I think it helps to starve the topic in the MetaFilter thread where it began.

Second, I think the continued success of MetaFilter relies on a certain amount of self-criticism among the members.

Is it obnoxious? At times (sorry, Aaron). But on the whole I think the community is pretty fair, and not particularly scary.
posted by rcade at 8:40 AM on May 8, 2001

Who is Iceberg? Is Iceberg the same person as Zempf?

I think, that as much as everyone else seems to be entitled to their opinions, (and rightly so) and to debate (again, rightly so), so it goes that I am entitled. Altho I feel that the word troll is bandied about these parts way too often, I have to say... I think that the word vigilante might be appropriate, especially considering the several (3) rather nasty anonymous emails that I've received in the past hour. Who was it that said something about ganging up on people? Oh, it was me!

If anyone else would like to email me, please be my guest. I try to answer all of my email, even if it comes from anonymous hotmail or excite accounts >:/

For the record, I don't think that anyone contributing to this conversation is emailing me.


PS - About the etiquette forum, I have a suggestion/question and I've been wondering this for a while - does anyone ask the person that you're discussing to get in on the conversation, or do they just come across it themselves? I think it would be a good idea to know about it right up front, seeing as how it's something of an intervention, if you know what I mean. I know that for me personally, I would be humiliated if I just happened upon a thread with 20 posts in it filled with people discussing (notice I didn't say nitpicking) how I posted. I feel for these people, I really do. I'd rather get in on it right away, even if it meant being called on the carpet by my peers. So how is it done?
posted by the webmistress at 9:46 AM on May 8, 2001

iceberg273 and zempf are either two discrete entities.

I'm really suprised people get anonymous e-mails. I have to learn how to piss vigilantes off like that, I don't get nearly enough chaff in my inbox. :-) Hell, I don't get nearly enough anything in my inbox. <grin>

The most common method I've seen of doing is is posting a link inside the thread where the questionable action took place which points to the MeTa thread in question. When possible, most of the callers-out have e-mailed the called-out, but it does occasionally happen that the called-out doesn't have an e-mail address.
posted by cCranium at 1:31 PM on May 8, 2001

um, scratch that "either".
posted by cCranium at 1:32 PM on May 8, 2001

How about this? From now on when you have a problem with someone else's post, link to it here in MetaTalk and discuss it here. Metafilter threads should be in regards to the topic (or the inevitable topic drift of polite conversation between participants). Not personal attacks about the alterior motives of the person originally posting.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:33 PM on May 8, 2001

posted by feelinglistless at 4:13 PM on May 8, 2001

I am not iceberg, I just saw the request that it be taken to MetaTalk & felt that it was a topic worthy of discussion here, lest it detract too much from us talking about how much the new Jurassic Park movie is going to suck.
posted by zempf at 5:51 PM on May 8, 2001

Alright, I'm back. My wife's car broke down and so I drove her to work today . . . hence, no internet for me since she works in the opposite direction of the lovely MSU campus. And now, several comments:

I'll admit that my response was somewhat uncalled for . . . however, it did occur in a context. Last summer, an individual who is on the staff of the satyr got a login on MeFi and posted several front page links to the satyr over the span of a few days. It was rampant self blogging at best and at worst . . .

Anyways, I was the idiot who called him on it, and was told off quite severly (and then some) for my efforts by several people, some of whom were not involved with the satyr at all. Which made me sad.

I didn't know if hidely was the same guy doing the same thing, but being more clever . . . so I was trying to be tactful. I still have a bit of a quick trigger where this satyr is concerned, due to what went on last summer.

My trigger finger was too quick, and I am sorry for any hurt feelings.

Taking it to MeTa - is that like taking it outside? :)

[webmistress] Who is Iceberg?

(Obviously you're not one of the two people reading my weblog every day). I'm a Canadian of West Indian (of East Indian descent), Dutch, and Sri Lankan decent. I'm one of the few people who enjoys living in Michigan. I'm a psycholinguist and a graduate student (at the same time!). I never win the office football pool. I almost became a civil engineer because I like Simcity that much. I usually read my stupid, off the cuff posts five times and then close the web browser, but sometimes my finger slips. I have hay fever every spring. I am the husband of one wife. I am a Maple Leafs fan. I am not zempf.

If you've read this far, you're probably wondering if I'm backing down from what I said in the thread to which this thread refers (ok, you weren't, but now you are). Well, in a sense I am. I probably shouldn't have said what I said where I said it. However, I still think that MeFi is inherently about posting the best fresh links on the net (fresh in the sense of unseen, not date stamped). If The Satyr rocks (and for some people it does, the writing seems to be decent), then one link infrequently should do the trick, or a bunch of links from a variety of people. We're filtering here . . . I post stuff from certain sites frequently on my blog - but I'm not filtering for anyone . . . I'm storing up tasty links for lean times. Here, I think we need to show some restraint in posting from our favorite sites frequently. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Feel free to disagree.

However - and this is just for hidely, since I picked this fight and I'd better be the one to offer the olive branch - however, let me note something extremely noteworthy about hidely that I almost put in the post that started this mess: he goes out and find related links for his satyr links. This is a beautiful gift and hidely should use it for good. Start a blog, hidely, post all the Satyr links there with related links, send me an email, and I'll read it. (I'm being serious.)

Everyone cool now?
posted by iceberg273 at 7:02 PM on May 8, 2001

OK, so here's another one of these accusations. This one seems to me to be particularly obnoxious. Is there a gentle way to create an ethos in which posters don't criticize one another in this way?
posted by rodii at 7:21 AM on May 9, 2001

"Taking it to MeTa - is that like taking it outside? :)"

Well ideally, switching to email would be more like taking it outside. Gotta problem with somebody? Take it to email. Unfortunately there's a lot of immature people who, when they lose an email argument, revert to ceasing any sensible communications and spamming the alleged winner of said argument through any number of online toys or anonymous proggies. I should know. I've been the alleged winner of such arguments more than once, only to be the butt of the loser's joke. It's akin to watching Pee Wee Herman clones saying "I know you are but what am I?" back and forth to each other.

The truth is, the alterior motive of a poster is irrelevant. Is the link itself noteworthy? Is the context of the thread enlightening or entertaining or whatever? If I put up a link to MeFi, naturally it's going to be something about which I personally have some emotional or intellectual investment. Otherwise I wouldn't bring it to anyone's attention. So in theory anyone who posts has an alterior motive regarding the link itself, whether it's to support the topic in question or to point out how absurd it is.

This is little more than a witch hunt, and while people have a right to speak their opinion, accusing people of having alterior motives for posting certain domains is better suited for MeTa or email. But then again, this dangerously gravitates towards what I'd call topic drift policing. To insist on some kind of ruling from Matt that such behavior be prohibited from MeFi itself? Personally I think everybody should feel free in MeFi to post daily reports of whatever's going on at their homepage without fear of retribution. There's extremists on both sides of the coin here and a compromise is inevitably the best choice. There's reasons why my preference isn't the answer just as there's reasons why people shouldn't be so militant and anal about enforcing the opposing view.

I don't believe in topic policing so screw it. Y'all do what you want. Just understand that when you make such accusations, such mudslinging tends to get more mud on you than those you accuse.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:55 PM on May 9, 2001

Hidely: Is there a piece in The Satyr you don't like enough to link here?
posted by rcade at 4:54 PM on June 12, 2001

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