Maybe YOU've seen it before July 24, 2001 1:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm bothered that some people seem to think they should control the content of this site to their liking.
posted by starvingartist to Etiquette/Policy at 1:56 PM (14 comments total)

I've been thinking about this on and off for most of the day. I feel kind of hurt by some of the comments in this thread. About a quarter of the replies were something along the lines of "I've seen this before - don't waste my time." Well you know what, there are almost 10,000 people registered on this site now, and maybe some of them haven't seen it yet. As has been said countless times before, no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read MetaFilter. If you thought the thread was a waste of time, why didn't you just pass it by? Why did you have to make unhelpful, snarky comments that made me sorry I'd posted the thing in the first place? And about the lame mass email analogy - I've received my share of those, and yes, they're annoying, but I never got this particular one as an email before, so except for maybe one or two pictures which I happened across before by accident, this was something completely new to me.

So there. Bottom line, if you think it's a waste of time, don't read it! And leave the snark at home, please.
posted by starvingartist at 1:56 PM on July 24, 2001

three words: signal-noise ratio.
posted by holgate at 2:04 PM on July 24, 2001

While I agree that we really don't need to be making each other feel bad, I've got to disagree with your overall point ("some people seem to think they should control the ontent of this site to their liking"). It's a self-regulating community. Those comments were an attempt by the community to regulate itself.

You're right, there are 10,000 users now. Most of them are relatively new. While your post may have seemed completely harmless, it helps set a precedent for what Metafiliter is about. These days, it's the place to post silly flash movies, fart jokes and hundred-year old stories about dead elephants.

I'll be the first to admit that I've posted my share of lame-ass links, but I wouldn't complain if I were criticized for doing so.

The obvious answer is for those who criticize others' posts to get off their asses and post their own, more "worthy" links. But I don't think there's anything wrong with (politely) criticizing another user's post.
posted by jpoulos at 2:10 PM on July 24, 2001

Anonymity breeds the self rightious
posted by remlapm at 3:03 PM on July 24, 2001

As has been said countless times before, no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read MetaFilter. If you thought the thread was a waste of time, why didn't you just pass it by?

No one is forcing you to read the criticism, either. It sounds as though you want to be able to post what you want on MeFi but keep other people from posting what they want.

I'll be the first to agree that people should be polite in their criticism (and that sometimes they aren't), but I didn't see anyone being overly rude or attacking you in that thread.

I really think that you're being overly sensitive, both in the original thread, and in here.
posted by anapestic at 3:48 PM on July 24, 2001

Do we really want this site to be kuro5hin, where every post is 'meaningful' and has passed community inspection? Go over there and tell me that site is as enjoyable as Metafilter is. Go on.

But this has been discussed previously.
posted by darukaru at 4:18 PM on July 24, 2001

SA, I think we would all agree that Metafilter is about inspiring discussion. While you may not agree that every front page post should be something thought-provoking (personally, I really don't care what you post to the front page... keep right on doing what you think is best), I would suggest that a useful method for deciding what should be posted to the front page is to think about your link and your text and think how others will read it. Will they be likely to skip over it? Will they be annoyed at its size, level of detail, or lack of clarity? What kind of things could the link inspire people to talk about?

Metafilter is more than just a site for neat links. It's a community discussion. I try to make sure my front page posts will encourage people to discuss opinions and share ideas.

I'm not trying to tell you how to post. Just consider this some advice on how to avoid criticism (which is apparently your goal with this MeTalk post).
posted by daveadams at 4:20 PM on July 24, 2001

Apparently anonymity breeds the dyslexic.

Sorry couldn't resist.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:21 PM on July 24, 2001

Got to agree with anapestic here. In fact the guidelines state:

A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.

Then again I love fart jokes, so what are you going to do?

posted by Kafkaesque at 4:28 PM on July 24, 2001

darukaru, kuro5hin is enjoyable and it's also different from Metafilter.


There is no one best format. There is only the best format for each person at that moment...
posted by fooljay at 6:46 PM on July 24, 2001

Metafilter is more than just a site for neat links. It's a community discussion.

Mind you, it's also a site for neat links. I'd jump up and down with glee if I found every front page post and related thread as interesting as this one, even though there's only so much discussion that you can have. But it linked to something I found fascinating that I hadn't seen before, and the links would be just as topical and interesting if I had read it last year or if I read it next year.

But when a thread isn't going to inspire discussion and it isn't in itself neat and novel (and these are subjective judgments, of course), why post it? More power to you for trying, Starvingartist, but your comment ("probably most of us have seen at least one of these before") seems to indicate that you were aware that it was somewhat problematic before you posted. Right?
posted by snarkout at 7:30 PM on July 24, 2001

The more that I hold links as the most valuable thing about Metafilter the more frustrated I get about crap posts. Then I visit the thread and some of the comments crack me up. Metafilter is community. It's good commentary regardless of the quality of the post.
posted by john at 10:37 PM on July 24, 2001

"So there. Bottom line, if you think it's a waste of time, don't read it! And leave the snark at home, please."

Hey I know how you feel about hurt feelings and have certainly been amazed at time at how one CAN be hurt by the passing comment of a complete stranger on a forum.

However taking in the bigger picture, I think what those people meant, is that there are lots and lots of places where you can find that sort of info, and that it might be a bit of a giggle, but not inspire much in the way of intelligent commentary.

Also your comment "if you think it's a waste of time, don't read it" is fine in most instances. For example a lot of MeFi threads are American-oriented and I often give them a miss. However there is a bit of the "Pied Piper" effect in forums. E.g. the users take their lead via the tone and content of posts that are already up. So a single post might encourage another user to think, "hey, I have a funny story (or site) like that" and post it up, and so on.... Which is why people make those sorts of comments, I think.
posted by lucien at 3:09 AM on July 25, 2001

it has nothing to do with checking with N individuals first, and everything to do with it being the kind of material that shows up uninvited in your inbox from every semi-net-savvy acquaintance.

Yeah that sure is karfa points out this is essentially echoing the guidelines of metafilter. I don't think that or any of the posts were 'snarky' or hurtful at all - they simply reflected opinions that because of the widespread nature of the material it wasn't a great choice for metafilter. Whether I've seen something or not, it's more whether it's likely somebody else has or not...which isn't really hard to predict on the net these days, is it?
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 3:21 PM on July 26, 2001

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