Welcome to AOL June 22, 2001 4:53 AM   Subscribe

Maybe it's just me, but there are times when a thread seems to take on the conversational (and intellectual) tone of an AOL chat room.
posted by crunchland to Etiquette/Policy at 4:53 AM (22 comments total)

Wow, I was 100% sure that your comment was going to be linking to this thread instead. I just scan over them, but I do think that MeFi has been turning into more of a "poll the assembled masses" vehicle than it has been in the past. My rule of thumb has always been: start with the link, assemble commentary. We've been seeing more of folks saying "I want to chat about X, but I need to link to something to post it to MeFi...." Nerve.com? What?
posted by jessamyn at 7:07 AM on June 22, 2001

By GOD! People are having fun, and being a little bit on the silly side and enjoying themselves and being relaxed! This can't happen, not here, not at MetaFilter, we're serious and earnest and only care about getting things solved and making arguments and convincing people that we're right and they aren't.

So! Very! Wrong!
posted by cCranium at 8:31 AM on June 22, 2001

Okay, less sarcastic this time:

Yes, there's times where we partake in an over-abundance of stupidity, but that's a Good Thing. If every thread contains a Serious Topic where we can't just relax and get to know a little about each other aside from our position on the political spectrum, then we lose a piece of what makes this place a community.

Familiarity with each other is important, and the stupid threads help us realise that Member X isn't just an opinion with some flesh wrapped around it, Member X is an actual person.

No, they aren't necessarily threads that we want people to hold up as the ideal MeFi thread, but removing them would be cutting out an important communal release.

I like arguing my point, and I like the good conversations where I learn a bunch of stuff, but sometimes I want to just kick back with my friends and make jokes.
posted by cCranium at 8:38 AM on June 22, 2001

Not that I'm a real "old timer," but I've personally seen the cycle of the silly and the serious swing back and forth in the time that I've been participating. Maybe it's just the weather, ya know, summer and all... (at least, here in the northern hemisphere) (really, is there any other?)
posted by m.polo at 8:39 AM on June 22, 2001

I'm all for silliness. I guess what I take issue with is when two or three people start a feedback loop where they end up replying and re-replying and re-re-replying to their own messages...
posted by crunchland at 9:15 AM on June 22, 2001

This seems to be leading toward the greater question: How should Mefi's act in the threads? Are there rules? Should there be rules?

IMO, I think that the self-policing that goes on here works pretty well. At the same time, I like to kick back with a few wisecracks, too, and I certainly feel there's a place for that here. I think some of the thread starters promote and naturally lead to that.

I also think that a few threads naturally lead to the "less filling!" - "tastes great!" style of call-response argumentation. I've speculated that these threads are specifically posted to lead their individual proponents into nice topic buckets so they won't be barking all over the map :) But I'm a Machiavellian at heart.

I guess my point (finally!) is that if you want to promote free expression and a Miltonian free marketplace of ideas and opinions, you're going to get wisecracks and partisan bickering. It's the nature of the beast. But I also think that current policing is working pretty well. People might want to realize, however, that hot topics tend to cause heated debate and, if they are reluctant to join in and fire off a bullet or two of their own, there are less controversial threads here where they would be more comfortable. If you post a death penalty/shrub is dumb/SUV/Global warming link, you shouldn't be surprised to see the usual suspects (myself included) lining up to toss our obligatory firecrackers.
posted by UncleFes at 10:19 AM on June 22, 2001

What if we want a Bennyist free marketplace of ideas and opinions? Burns-and-Allenian?

I once went to this restaurant with a Socratic Method theme, and I never could convince the waiter to bring me a menu.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:54 AM on June 22, 2001

(Miltonian == Milton Berlean, for those of you who didn't hop the thought track with me)
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:55 AM on June 22, 2001

I once went to this restaurant with a Socratic Method theme, and I never could convince the waiter to bring me a menu.

posted by jpoulos at 11:18 AM on June 22, 2001

I'll be here all week. Try the partisan bickering.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 12:05 PM on June 22, 2001

I once went to a resturaunt with an August Mobius theme. I asked how many sides I could get with my steak. ..wait for it...

They said "One."
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:39 PM on June 22, 2001

I really don't understand your point jessamyn. My heart was pretty much on my sleeve on that one, aiming towards the fact that erotica for women on the web is a rare and misunderstood beast and needed to be fleshed out. It was really just a reverse approach from your "rule of thumb." If you already know everything, perhaps you should share that with everyone ON YOUR OWN WEBLOG. I see MetaFilter as a give and take. Digging through the web to find intelligent content to discuss is just as important as raising an intelligent question that spawns undiscovered content. Yes, the discourse went astray, but don't blame the messenger.
posted by machaus at 6:14 PM on June 22, 2001

machaus: how did that thread go awry? it seemed like people were talking about the subject you proposed. - rcb
posted by rebeccablood at 6:24 PM on June 22, 2001

not terribly astray, I learned a lot, and I hope others did too. sex=jokes, and that is to be expected and enjoyed, but those who don't share ccranium's point of view may have considered it noise without a thesis.
posted by machaus at 6:31 PM on June 22, 2001

I'll be here all week. Try the partisan bickering.

This is exactly the kind of juvenilia I would expect from a guy named Uncle.

posted by UncleFes at 10:19 PM on June 22, 2001

It's a family name. I'm called after my dad's brother.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 12:08 AM on June 23, 2001

machaus: I had no particular beef with you and no particular issue in general, just chiming in that I find MeFi the most interesting when it's the links that provoke discussion not when it becomes a puppy pile of people saying "I like this one, well I like this one" I'm also aware that it's not my own personal playground, so I'll defer to the majority if people think your post was spot-on. No offense intended, just in my weird MeFi Utopia things work differently. So? I thought my post was at least respectful, sorry if it didn't come across that way.

I'll go share everything I know with people ON MY OWN WEBLOG now, thank you.
posted by jessamyn at 5:02 AM on June 23, 2001

I like this thread, well I like this one!

Zippity BOP!
posted by daveadams at 8:54 PM on June 23, 2001


Will there be ice cream? 'cause if there is, I'm there. I want to know what you know, but I really think I need ice cream, too.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 9:17 PM on June 23, 2001

Ice cream, lots of ice gream. geez.
posted by jessamyn at 8:18 AM on June 24, 2001

I *heart* CuJoe.
posted by jennyb at 12:51 PM on June 25, 2001


It's a shrinking club...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 4:36 PM on June 25, 2001

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