Is the MetaFilter format of daily topic division restrictive? May 14, 2001 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Is the Metafilter format of daily topic division restrictive?

posted by Wulfgar! to MetaFilter-Related at 11:15 AM (17 comments total)

Though I'm new to Mefi, I am a veteran of many years of discussion forums. Mefi is unique in the standards it attempts to promote and its role as a community 'blog. However, It appears to me that the format of daily presentation is sometimes restrictive to comment and discussion. Rarely are topics discussed after the first date posted. This tends to abruptly kill converse on topics/links that scream for more comment, and leaves topics posted late in the day barely discussed at all. Finally, if a topically related link to one posted earlier is put forth, there are the chides of double posting (either deserved or not) when the issue at hand is topic not link content. I'm not complaining per se; I'm more wondering if this is a concern for others, should it be, and what could be done to alleviate it if it is.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:15 AM on May 14, 2001

Well, yes, I agree that the temporal nature of MetaFilter is unique and restricts conversations just as you described. But it's been going on for nearly two years, and I think despite these limits, the site has found its niche. If you want to discuss abortion/death penalty/political issues at length, there are plenty of other sites tailored to open ended discussions.

I like that it's so ephemeral, it's short attention span theater and works fine for all intents and purposes.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:25 AM on May 14, 2001

And there are some threads that have continued to grow more than a year after their creation . . . (wink, wink)
posted by iceberg273 at 11:31 AM on May 14, 2001

You are on thin ice iceberg!
posted by thirteen at 11:47 AM on May 14, 2001

How would it work if we created some over-arching channels to post topics in, which could distribute the number of discussions per channel. Then we could have more discussions sitting "on top" as it were....

I guess this is too much like plastic.
posted by mtstover at 1:58 PM on May 14, 2001

Yes, it's restrictive. All restrictions are restrictive. However, in MeFi's case I think the reverse-date ordering contributes significantly to the site's feel. Yes, it means that sometimes we'll see a topic more than once; however, it also means that virtually everyone sees new topics and so everyone has a nearly equal chance at seeing the topic they posted get some attention.
posted by kindall at 2:23 PM on May 14, 2001

Ah, Short Attention Span Theater. The program that reminds us that no matter how famous Jon Stewart gets, he'll always end up right back where he started.
posted by aaron at 3:14 PM on May 14, 2001

Metafilter is extremely restrictive when it comes to humor, the censorship is sometimes frightening...
posted by PatMcGroin at 3:46 PM on May 14, 2001

Pat: people that can't get your "jokes" = censorship?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:50 PM on May 14, 2001

kindall, I agree with most of what you've said (except the tautology about all restrictions which I'm not really sure why you said). The restriction we have here is mostly formal, and (I believe) not strictly intentional. I do think that some topics don't get an equal chance at some attention if they get posted late in the day. At that point, they seem just plain done, by default.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:17 PM on May 14, 2001

I think one factor that is actually bad is the 20 threads thing (in the "recent comments" sort order). I've seen good, busy threads that just die once the become the 21st most recent and fall off people's radar screen. 20 seems totally arbitrary and, given the current pace of things, much too small. I think the scope should be the same as the "most comments" thing--set by the user.
posted by rodii at 4:24 PM on May 14, 2001

Since many of the links seem to be very current events or items that are happening in the very near future -- the date thing seems to work for me.

As for your comment, Rodii, I switch back and forth between the date view and the recent comment view. I start with the date and when I get bored or feel that I've delved as far as I'm going to there then I switch to the recent comments to see what's really hopping.

I like the way MeFi is structured. It's unique and challenging.
posted by amanda at 5:22 PM on May 14, 2001

I was merely engaging in a bit of tautolagical humor, wulf. "Of course the restrictions are restrictive; it is the nature of restrictions to be so." That is, I thought it was funny to complain that something that was pretty clearly designed to be a restriction was, in fact, restrictive. But then I thought maybe I was reading intent where there was none, that the way the topics scroll out of MeFi's consciousness might be more an accident of design due to its roots in the weblog model, so I just left it as an amusing aside. Amusing to myself, that is -- probably not to anyone else.
posted by kindall at 5:38 PM on May 14, 2001

kindall, no prob. I just didn't get it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:35 PM on May 14, 2001


That Jon Stewart comment cracked me up. Oh, how true.
posted by john at 7:11 PM on May 14, 2001

This would off-set some of the short attention span thing.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:38 PM on May 14, 2001

rodii is dead on about the 20 thread limit being a bit too small these days. This is a great candidate for a feature request, imo.
posted by gimli at 8:21 PM on May 14, 2001

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