What is MetaFilter to you? July 20, 2001 5:08 AM   Subscribe

What is MetaFilter to you? What works and what doesn't?
posted by hijinx to MetaFilter-Related at 5:08 AM (7 comments total)

And while I'm here, how about this big question. What is MeFi?

To me, MeFi is a place where people can share the interesting and/or esoteric stuff they find on the web, and relate it to others via opinion and discussion. It really is a blog, even though it has at times acted as a news source. It's a place that encourages feedback on every single post, and makes it easy for anyone to contribute. It's not a blog with dotcomments, though; something makes it more, and I'd say it's the people.

What works on MeFi? As of late, not much. The posts that seem designed to incite deep discussion don't, and instead we get 40 one-liners in the latest lift from Obscure Store (something I'm admittedly guilty of, too.) If people can make these links personal in some way - make them relate to MeFiFolk! - I think we'll all benefit. Also: Matt's supervision here works, and I think it always has.

What doesn't work? At the moment, the critical mass of the community. We're just freakin' big, and everyone is anxious to post, so people post without too much apparent thought. It's very tempting to post your latest discovery at MeFi, but think about it and evaluate it, you know? I don't think most of the Oddly Enough posts work because the only reaction is wow. And the politics-related posts only serve to divide and bring up the same old crap we're all used to.

How do we correct all of this? And, more importantly, what do you think? Remember that your thoughts count here. Post, please.
posted by hijinx at 5:08 AM on July 20, 2001

The surest way to destroy something is to try to define it.

"Quality" is not only subjective, but organic and cyclical.

I keep reading posts back here in MetaTalk about the slipping quality of MeFi, but when I go back through the archives, I don't see that anything has really changed.

Sometimes you feel serious and sometimes you feel fluffy, it happens to individuals, and it happens en masse. I suppose it's good to try to be alert and maintain tone, but I think some of you back here are Chicken Littleing a bit.
posted by dong_resin at 8:00 AM on July 20, 2001

capt. resin: The surest way to destroy something is to try to define it. "Quality" is not only subjective, but organic and cyclical.

Well, yeah, that's why I asked for opinions. We're pretty much a self-sustaining community here, and all opinions are equal (except Matt's, since he could pull the plug.) Where you haven't seen much changing in quality, I have seen a severe change.

But can it be pinned on anything? I'm unsure. I noticed that comments got spread very thin as time progressed, probably due to the sheer number of threads. More places for people to focus their attention, yes. But it seems that quality of posts has taken a drop as well. Save for the occasional lightning rod post on a yes/no issue, it seems that many of the posts aren't discussion-happy.

Chicken Little? The sky is what we make of it, and to me, it's precariously close to falling for good.
posted by hijinx at 8:22 AM on July 20, 2001

Of course, I could be wrong.
posted by dong_resin at 8:46 AM on July 20, 2001

re:Critical Mass.

This is just my own personal experience here, but frankly, the bullshit stuff I see on this site is usually pulled by people with lower member numbers, not Ms. 9888 or Mr. 10 000. It doesn't matter if there are 9000 members, when member number 447 behaves like a jackass on the threads, posting racist or cruel or generally distasteful comments.

[yeah. don't bother looking #447 up - it is me. Just an example here, folks. move along now.]

It doesn't matter, really, what the membership number is - for all the new people that join up, old people will lose interest, and the community will find a balance between the two.

I guess my vision of this place is that every post on the front page should NOT appeal to every visitor, and that most visitors would pick one or two that really interest them, and jump in to their discussions. But i don't like to see a lot of definition, or other users trying to shape my experience here, because (to me) it makes the experience humourless and dull. Sure, a great discussion is a good thing, but that link to the Policeman and the duck was my favourite link last week, even though there wasn't much to say, other than, "Ahhhhhhh."

There should be a mix, the same mix we find now, of discussion worthy links, eye candy links, and stuff that just makes you say, "Wow. Cool."

And more P0rn. :)

posted by kristin at 12:08 PM on July 20, 2001

There was this thread about the Summit of the America's protest, true it was started by me, but became a pretty damn good non-shouting debate about the issues involved.
posted by owillis at 1:06 AM on July 21, 2001

Sorry, wrong thread. I'm sleepy.
posted by owillis at 1:07 AM on July 21, 2001

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