Heartwarming chatfilter July 13, 2004 2:26 PM   Subscribe

I've never bothered to call out and Ask Metafilter thread before, but threads such as this one are growing at an alarming rate, as was detailed the other day in metatalk. While I'm sure we all agree--or a relatively large percentage of us seem to, anyway--that these threads often result in some heart-warming tales, leaving so many of them up is probably sending the wrong message. This one is still early enough that it hasn't attained the too-heart-warming-to-delete stage that the parents thread did the other day, but it violates many of the same principles fundamental to ask metafilter (there's no query with a helpful response, only a solicitation of what could admittedly be charming anecdotes).
posted by The God Complex to Etiquette/Policy at 2:26 PM (137 comments total)

I've never bothered to call out . . .

Ok, I wasn't going to say anything . . .

I don't want this to be construed as bullying the new folk. . .

Is it really necessary to go around to every thread you don't like and comment in it?
posted by the fire you left me at 2:43 PM on July 13, 2004


so, what, idle curiosity is not a good enough excuse to AskMe something?
posted by badstone at 2:45 PM on July 13, 2004


I think what we really need is a new subdomain. How about CanWeChat.metafilter.com? ImBoredAndNeedAFriend.metafilter.com? VapidConversationStarter.metafilter.com?
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:08 PM on July 13, 2004


I do think the post was inappropriate, but it also seems like it was only yesterday that TGC said "Anyone who's anyone knows I don't call out askmetafilter threads."

I think the spate of recent shoot-the-shit AskMe threads is symptomatic of the fact that a lot of Metafilter members want to shoot the shit, and AskMe seems to provide the path of least resistance at the moment. There is also #mefi, but perhaps another alternative would be in the best interest of everyone. I'm sure people could come up with something that would require no effort on the part of Matt.
posted by alphanerd at 3:10 PM on July 13, 2004


I tend on the side of The God Complex with this one, personally. While there's nothing particularly wrong with these types of threads (and I've ocassionally participated in them myself), the thing I tend to find objectionable is not so much the chatty content but that they contribute to pushing the "real" questions (i.e., the ones with an inquiry is made to solve a particular problem -- whether about cell phones or vacation plans or vomiting pets) off the page that much more quickly. Heck, on busy days, it's seemed like questions can roll of AskMe in a day or less. That strikes me as a little unfair to people who are asking for real-world solutions/feedback to specific inquiries, just so that people can converse about interesting topics that seem gleaned from The Book of Questions.

It's also, to my understanding, not really in keeping with Matt's original intention for AskMe, no?
posted by scody at 3:13 PM on July 13, 2004


Good point, and probably the most important one, scody.
posted by Witty at 3:15 PM on July 13, 2004

I think what we really need is a new subdomain. How about CanWeChat.metafilter.com? ImBoredAndNeedAFriend.metafilter.com? VapidConversationStarter.metafilter.com?
I realized you're joking, but I'd be happy to see a place on MeFi (not #mefi) like open.metafilter.com, discuss.metafilter.com or chat.metafilter.com. As I imagine it, such a place would be unencumbered by expectations or, where possible, the threat of delete.

Why? Members of metafilter.com clearly like to chat. As much as these posts (and others in MeTa and MeFi) are prohibited by the rules, the discussions that result are often ones I find interesting and build my trust and respect for other members of this community. On the other hand, call outs tend to do the opposite.
posted by sequential at 3:17 PM on July 13, 2004


One need not be too liberal to agree that posts such as the one cited by TGC are well within the AskMe guidelines (such as they are).

PS: My scroll wheel still works.
posted by mischief at 3:18 PM on July 13, 2004


"Members of metafilter.com clearly like to chat."

So what? Tough cookies. Members also clearly like chocolates and sex. Must Matt come over to your house with a box of candy and hump your leg before you stop trying to make MetaFilter something it's not? It's not a chat zone. Stop trying to make it one. "I want to" is not a good reason to pee in the pool. Please keep your urine out of our pool. Thank you.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:28 PM on July 13, 2004

There is also #mefi, but perhaps another alternative would be in the best interest of everyone.
#mefi is great, but it is not archival. One of the great things about MeFi is that I can participate in a conversation asynchronously. I don't need to be there to have my voice heard or to hear yours. In fact, I can miss threads by weeks and still see that they happened.

#mefi is poorly suited to participating in conversations this way, but is great for IRC style conversations and private chatting. It's not the solution to this specific problem, but I highly recommend you visit if you want to chat in real time with members of MeFi.

Having the same layout as askme, but with an open format would address the chatty nature of posts in the green, grey and blue. Unfortunately, this requires Matt's time. We could use vBulletin or any other BBS out there, but that creates a whole new set of problems.
posted by sequential at 3:30 PM on July 13, 2004


In case no one noticed, the same arguments for NewsFilter apply to Ask & Chat. ;-P
posted by mischief at 3:37 PM on July 13, 2004


<aside> For what it's worth, the SDMB relegates all such discussions to the Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS) forum, which I've always thought was a particularly apt title. </aside>
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:47 PM on July 13, 2004

So what?
What I am proposing is not a new feature but a solution to a problem. The problem is that there are a number of people who both enjoy the chatty threads and create them. Having a place that is appropriate for this kind of threads would increase the value of the main properties while providing the benefit of adding something to the community.
Must Matt come over to your house with a box of candy and hump your leg before you stop trying to make MetaFilter something it's not?
Apparently you have no idea what metafilter is or maybe you have just forgotten. Let me remind you.
Metafilter is a weblog (what's a weblog? | comprehensive history of weblogs) that anyone can contribute a link or a comment to. A typical weblog is one person posting their thoughts on the unique things they find on the web. This website exists to break down the barriers between people, to extend a weblog beyond just one person, and to foster discussion among its members. (1)
For what it's worth, I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is on this one. I wouldn't suggest you do the same thing. Most people don't take kindly to soiled bills.
It's not a chat zone. Stop trying to make it one.
I have no interest in making it a chat zone. I have an interest in fostering discussion and not destroying community in the name of the rules.
"I want to" is not a good reason to pee in the pool.
So stop already.
Please keep your urine out of our pool. Thank you.
This is not in the spirit of dicsussion. It's not funny. It's not helpful. Maybe you meant to say you don't like the idea, but you failed to communicate anything useful. Well, maybe it's useful to know you're an arrogant curmudgeon.
posted by sequential at 3:56 PM on July 13, 2004


...and the same counter-arguments. "Relax", "just scroll past them", "this is what many people think Metafilter is all about, and who are you to say they're wrong?", etc.

It's really only a matter of time before members start to remake AskMe according to their preferences. Months ago, there was a lot of talk about how odd and wonderful it was that AskMe was so unpolluted, so civil, so helpful, so purposeful. And the assumption seemed to be that for some reason the jerks who wantonly like to spoil things were leaving it alone.

But I don't think that's how it works—in AskMe, or in MetaFilter.

When it's new, people feel much less propietary and feel obliged to comprehend and use AskMe (or MeFi) in the spirit in which it was offered and moderated. After a period of time, however, people—not jerks, but well-meaning people—eventually become propietary about it and subsequently evaluate their own preferences as normative.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:00 PM on July 13, 2004


I like those kinds of threads--they're good reads, and there's always something of value/use/enlightenment buried in them.
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on July 13, 2004


"Well, maybe it's useful to know you're an arrogant curmudgeon."

I really thought this was common knowledge.

Nice try Sparky. MetaFilter is not a web log. What you are advocating is using up the last dribble of extra server headroom for the very thing MetaFilter tries to avoid. Matt is on record, repeatedly and regularly, with the opinion that chat is bad for MetaFilter. But you keep thinking it's not so, okay?
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:14 PM on July 13, 2004


I happen to think that ask metafilter thread was a very good question and contributes quite a lot to the site in terms of keeping a wee feelgood factor going amongst members.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:15 PM on July 13, 2004


I think AskMeFi needs the odd "how ya doin" style question. Firstly, people like them (they always elicit a large number of comments), and secondly I think they help foster a sense of community.

Personally, if AskMefi was more regimented, then I don't think I'd go there as much as I do. I like the odd silly question, and it's fun to read peoples comments in these threads.

I don't think that it should deteriorate into nothing but chatting. There seems to be a balance between the two poles which needs to be kept. I don't know where the balance should be and how far either side of this balance it can be pushed.

Chat questions do push more "worthy" questions off the page, but so does "what's the name of this book I read?", "what should I call my cat?" and "what should I make my guests for dinner?" These are all questions which have been criticised as worthless, and yet they all give AskMeFi it's particular character.

For the moment, I think we keep an eye on things; prune if it all gets a bit silly; and not worry too much because some people don't share our particular vision.

Alternatively, I think that Matt should delete all questions apart from mine. Because, you know, AskMefi was created for me, and the rest of you are just spoiling it.
posted by seanyboy at 4:16 PM on July 13, 2004


CanWeChat.metafilter.com? ImBoredAndNeedAFriend.metafilter.com? VapidConversationStarter.metafilter.com?

I'm pretty sure Miguel is cybersquatting on all of these domain names.
posted by crunchland at 4:19 PM on July 13, 2004


I must admit, I like these threads to, but this is tinged with a bit of guilt, as they are not really what AskMe is intended for. Somewhere to chat in a less real-time mode than #mefi within the closed community would be nice and this has been tried to some extent with external tools such as tribe.net, but with pretty limited success. For some reason, it seems that anything outside MeFi proper does not gain the same level of support. I wonder why?

sgt.serenity has a point - the whole self-policiing aspect of MeFi is what makes it work, IMHO. If there were an exhaustive set of rules that had to be followed, it would be just another bunch of links instead of a community - the chat-ish threads are what builds that community feeling. For self-policing to work, there has to be some leeway in what fits in the guidelines.
posted by dg at 4:24 PM on July 13, 2004


Nice try Sparky. MetaFilter is not a web log.

It's not? You mean it's been lying to me all these years?
posted by timeistight at 4:25 PM on July 13, 2004


Anyone wanting to talk about anything and everything with other members should check out one of the offshoots communities. They largely exist for non-serious pressure-releasing types of chat, and many of the posts people are protesting here remind me of what you can find in places like that. And you are forgetting one important aspect of this, which is: server resources. Creating a free-for-all chat place means another drain (likely of large proportions, due to the nature of constant reloading, etc). So imagine every part of the metafilter empire is 1/4 slower to accomodate some chatty place a few people would shoot the shit in and the rest of the users would ignore.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:26 PM on July 13, 2004


That thread stinks of Monkeyfilter.
posted by interrobang at 4:27 PM on July 13, 2004


MetaFilter is not a web log.

What in the hell? Idiot...
posted by reklaw at 4:31 PM on July 13, 2004


Yeah! CRUSH the occasional HEARTWARMINGFILTER!

Um . . ?
posted by Shane at 4:37 PM on July 13, 2004


The chat AskMe questions are about 1038 orders of magnitude better than the goddamned I am bleeding out of many of my pores, what should I do? or the I really hate my girlfriend and she is cheating on me what should I do? types of posts.

If you ask me.

Which of course you did.
posted by xmutex at 4:45 PM on July 13, 2004


Maybe, what is needed is some sort of meme (like "chat Friday") where the siller questions are accepted, but only on a certain day. That way, questions would only get pushed off the page 1 day out of 7, and people would get to have a bit of fun.
posted by seanyboy at 4:55 PM on July 13, 2004


I think the point y6 is trying to make - because, as you know, I speak for him - is that Metafilter used to be a weblog, back when blogs were cool. But the idea of a "community weblog" is very retro. It still works because of the work Matt puts into it and because of the army of anal people who squabble about jurisdiction over content. But if you told a newbie in 2004 what a "blog" was, I have a hunch you wouldn't show them Metafilter.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:09 PM on July 13, 2004


Maybe, what is needed is some sort of meme (like "chat Friday")

Yes, well. your chances are always better at meeting the rebels half-way in a compromise. Crushing them never works, only spawns George Lucas films.
posted by Shane at 5:10 PM on July 13, 2004


Well, Ask Metafilter isn't a weblog. Perhaps that's what y6 meant.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:11 PM on July 13, 2004


questions would only get pushed off the page 1 day out of 7, and people would get to have a bit of fun.
Actually, it would be 2 days out of 7, because of the date line.
posted by dg at 5:17 PM on July 13, 2004


#mefi is great, but it is not archival.

just ask y2karl!
posted by quonsar at 5:22 PM on July 13, 2004


That thread stinks of Monkeyfilter.

Well, we monkeys ARE pungent.

Or do you mean that it's too friendly? Seems to me that as long as it doesn't get out of hand and completely take over AskMe, then getting to know your FilterMates is a good thing.

Anybody want a banana?
posted by papercake at 5:23 PM on July 13, 2004


MetaFilter is not a web log.

Maybe it's a Web blog like in the TypePad ad.
posted by timeistight at 5:24 PM on July 13, 2004


My rule of thumb: Is there a problem you're trying to solve?

Yes, some random thoughts that pop into one's head end with question marks; they are grammatically interrogative. But are their answers of any *use* to you? Recall "as useful as you make it." Utility *is* the primary idea, and I don't really think an argument about the definition of "weblog" really applies.

The above test isn't perfect but it generally weeds out mere curiosity, unless you want to get stupid and say "My curiosity itself burns with a passion to be satisfied that is at least as significant as your malfunctioning sound card."

Shut up. No it isn't.
posted by scarabic at 5:27 PM on July 13, 2004




I like the chatty threads and the silly threads and the Threads That Are Going God Knows Where as much as the next person (unless they're one-of-those-people-who-doesn't-like-those-kinds-of-threads,) but it's better when they happen organically rather than someone trying to start one out that way.
posted by Cyrano at 5:38 PM on July 13, 2004


I think seanyboy's idea of an equivalent to "Flash Friday" is a great idea. Since so many folks obviously do enjoy and respond to those types of questions, I think it's kind of draconian to just insist on eliminating them completely, but it would definitely be a good idea to limit them somehow--that way, folks like y6 and TGC could just brace themselves once a week for the inevitable, and the rest of the time, we could all presume a more focused, effective AskMe forum.
posted by LairBob at 5:40 PM on July 13, 2004


Just to get all serious for a second, I don't think the number of resonses means popularity on AskMe. If the question is "How do I rebuild my transmission?", I don't answer even though I may be very interested in following the thread but if the question is "What color is your shirt?" I might answer just to shoot the shit (even though I know I shouldn't).
posted by timeistight at 5:46 PM on July 13, 2004


The problem is that there are a number of people who both enjoy the chatty threads and create them. Having a place that is appropriate for this kind of threads would increase the value of the main properties while providing the benefit of adding something to the community

Ya know, there's an absolute buttload of MetaFilter offshoots and Mefi member webpages that are particularly suited to this form of discourse. Why, in the name of Wodin, contribute to the resource drain here, and worse yet, demand and profer your pompous right to do it?
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:51 PM on July 13, 2004


The more AskMe posts, the faster they scroll off the screen, the less time one is likely to notice them, the less likely they can be solved.

AskMe should be for questions about problems, for which you think there can be answers. This "isn't this cute? Has anything like this happened to you?" isn't just a useless AskMe question, it's clearly something meant for the Blue.

Except a lot of people seem to post in MeTa and AskMe because they "don't think it's good enough for MetaFilter." When did the idea evolve that the Gray is some kind of farm team? If you're wasting space, stop doing it, period.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:01 PM on July 13, 2004


"isn't this cute? Has anything like this happened to you?" isn't just a useless AskMe question, it's clearly something meant for the Blue.
*Recoils in horror at the very thought*
posted by dg at 6:37 PM on July 13, 2004


WE LOVE HEARTWARMINGFILTER , YOU BRUTES !
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:38 PM on July 13, 2004


I really like reading those what-does-your-daddy-do threads but I don't want to read them on Ask Me. Scarabic is right about it being about problems that need solutions and the chitchat threads do push the real questions off into the ether. (I mean, hello? My Word problem? Still not answered, damnit.)

Chatty Friday sounds like an okay solution. Not terrific, but acceptable.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:42 PM on July 13, 2004


Scarabic, utility really is in the eye of the beholder. For example, my "why have kids" question; it was a genuine attempt to understand something a little more abstract then a sound card, but with far greater possible repurcussions.

Maybe some people are just a little too literal when it comes to "problem."

(Put me down for chatty Friday compromise though.)
posted by dame at 6:48 PM on July 13, 2004


And I learnt way more from "what does your daddy do" than the eight thousand coding questions. You know, maybe people's needs are *gasp* different. And maybe deciding your needs are somehow better is *gasp* lame.

And to save you all time: yes I'm new, yes that means I shouldn't have an opinion blah blah blah
posted by dame at 6:51 PM on July 13, 2004


If we're gonna have "chatty Friday", someone needs to come up with an alliterative phrase for it (like "flash Friday", see?) -- otherwise it'll just never catch on.
posted by reklaw at 6:55 PM on July 13, 2004


Friendly Fridays. D'uh. TGC and the rest of you can be unfriendly on the other days if you like.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:11 PM on July 13, 2004


And I learnt way more from "what does your daddy do" than the eight thousand coding questions.

But the point of ask.me isn't to teach you anything. I doubt whoever posted one of the coding questions gives a rat's ass if you learned anything. They didn't post the thread for you. (Sure, if you *do* learn something from it, great, but it's by no means the point.)

I love the chatfilter threads but don't think they belong on the blue, green, or grey.

To be honest, Matt deleting these kinds of threads.... well, think way back. If he had done the same thing with newsfilter (which, if I look into my reverse crystal ball, I'm betting he wishes he did), we wouldn't have newsfilter today (even though on the grey, when he deleted them way back when, people would have been saying "I like newsfilter!").

If Matt created a chat section (dobbsiscute.metafilter.com or whatever), I'd very likely participate. But I think it muddies up the current sites and probably would tax the server if it was a subdomain.
posted by dobbs at 7:14 PM on July 13, 2004


There's a fine metatalk grey area between chat and discussion.

levels, baby... LEVELS! :)
posted by elphTeq at 7:26 PM on July 13, 2004


Isn't the point to be a resource? For more than the one person who is asking the question right now? If not, why make it searchable? why make it public?

Look, I'm not defending "how are you" (though I liked it, I can see why it got deleted—fair enough). I just think some people's asses and minds are just a little too tight.
posted by dame at 7:31 PM on July 13, 2004



To be honest, Matt deleting these kinds of threads.... well, think way back. If he had done the same thing with newsfilter (which, if I look into my reverse crystal ball, I'm betting he wishes he did), we wouldn't have newsfilter today (even though on the grey, when he deleted them way back when, people would have been saying "I like newsfilter!").


I still like newsfilter. It still doesn't stop people from posting more timeless links, just as a friendlier question posted not too often (one will have to be mindful of double posting in ask .me so as not to waste people's time) doesn't stop anyone from asking why their windows machine doesn't boot for the 500th time.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:49 PM on July 13, 2004


matt has already said that AskMe is about finding answers to problems, not for answering questions. ok.

with that said, it's about "enlightenment", correct? enlightenment comes in many fashions, folks. sometimes it's hearing an anecdote about someplace you once lived, or a heartwarming story about kittens.

so. yeah...heartwarmingfilter. yawn.
posted by taumeson at 7:53 PM on July 13, 2004


"Dear AskMefi : I stepped in dog shit. What do I do now!?"
posted by crunchland at 8:00 PM on July 13, 2004


Maybe some people have more abstract problems.
posted by dame at 8:01 PM on July 13, 2004


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
posted by quonsar at 8:01 PM on July 13, 2004

matt has already said that AskMe is about finding answers to problems, not for answering questions.
Yet the guidelines for posting to AskMe say the exact opposite.
posted by mischief at 8:13 PM on July 13, 2004


I've always thought that AxMe is for people who need answers, not people who want to talk. I'd rather see a bunch of threads I won't read because I can't answer than threads where anyone can post because the FPP is just an invitation to chit-chat.
posted by subgenius at 9:27 PM on July 13, 2004


If something inane like 'Friendly Fridays' actually takes hold, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm going to snarl and go Dick Cheney on your asses on Fridays, all of you, whether I like you or not.

Fucking cretinous idea, that. [/practicing in advance]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:54 PM on July 13, 2004


Let's have the How To Save MetaFilter threads on every February 29th:
In the Gray Leap Year Pomposities Day.
posted by y2karl at 11:12 PM on July 13, 2004


"Dear AskMefi : I stepped in dog shit. What do I do now!?"

Jeez, until a second ago, I thought that sarcastic hyperbole, crunchland.
posted by y2karl at 11:19 PM on July 13, 2004


stavros, what if Friendly Fridays were followed by Scratch-and-Bite Saturdays and Spank-Me Sundays?
posted by taz at 11:40 PM on July 13, 2004


"Make it So Mondays" - For those science fiction and Star Trek Questions.
posted by seanyboy at 12:54 AM on July 14, 2004


Closely followed by Tittilating Tuesdays for all those NSFW links.
posted by dg at 1:46 AM on July 14, 2004


Could we have What-AskMe's-actually-for Wednesdays?
posted by biffa at 1:48 AM on July 14, 2004


Spank-Me Sundays

...and then: the oral sex!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:54 AM on July 14, 2004


Well, I could say a *bit* longer.
posted by scarabic at 2:48 AM on July 14, 2004


I think it would be great to have a specific place to post non-nuts-and-bolts questions, and I don't think it matters much whether this place is part of metafilter or not. What matters is the community that supports it.

I'm interested in abstract/philosophical questions, and I've thought about starting an AskMe type site for them, but I haven't done it, because I doubt I could attract enough people to make it interesting.

Of the "inappropriate" questions, there are (at least) two types: serious ones and jokey ones. I can think of all sorts of places for the jokey ones (fark, etc.), but where can one discuss serious abstract ideas with an intelligent community?

Also, would it make a difference in cases like this if the poster wrotes something like, "for my job as a journalist, I have to write an article about random acts of kindness, but I can't think of many. Can you help me out with stories from your life?" On the one hand, this would tie the story to a real-world problem. On the other hand, the content of the thread would be exactly the same.

I guess my point is this: content of the question aside, is it okay to ask a question because "you just want to know" or should you only ask questions that "you need to know"? It may be rare, but sometimes someone needs answers to abstract questions in order to solve a real-world problem (like my journalist example). Many of the questions on AskMe are want-to-know questions, i.e. what's a good sci-fi book I should read?

I once asked a question about people's religious experiences. I've never had a religious experience, and I was curious as to what it felt like to have one. I was also working on a play with a religious character, and I was worried that my lack-of-experience was hindering my work, because I couldn't really understand the character. Matt deleted the question, which is fine, and I've been careful not to ask similar questions. But to be honest, I can't really see the difference between my question and "what sci-fi book should I read?" Both invite opinion-based answers. Neither will solve a nuts-and-bolts issue.
posted by grumblebee at 6:23 AM on July 14, 2004


When did the idea evolve that the Gray is some kind of farm team?

You know what? That AskMe "question" reminded me of that type of MeFi post we used to see—you know, the link that wasn't really good enough to be a post, but the poster figured "I'll just peg on a question asking people how they can relate to this, and we'll generate discussion, therefore validating my crappy post!" Except that now it's somehow okay to post it in AskMe because it's marginally easier to pass it off as a question.

You know, if someone was seriously researching feel-good stories like this, I could see perhaps a question looking for a repository of such stories somewhere. But this question was just ShootTheBreezeFilter, which, in my cranky opinion, sucks.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:06 AM on July 14, 2004


Metafilter: too heart warming to delete.
posted by jazzkat11 at 8:38 AM on July 14, 2004


the date for the heartwarmingfilter revolution is set :

this friday.

bring a care bear.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:05 AM on July 14, 2004


It's never too early to nip any feel-good-heart-warming-crap in the bud. And kick it. And stomp on it. Wanna see pictures of my cat?
posted by signal at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2004


Is it fuzzy? I only like cats that are fuzzy.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:09 AM on July 14, 2004


At the risk of shameless self promotion, I invite everyone who enjoys the chatty sort of messages that are otherwise frowned upon here on Metafilter to consider visiting and joining the online community I maintain at http://crunchland.com. We welcome that sort of stuff, and no one will yell at you for posting inappropriate things, because hardly anything is inappropriate.
posted by crunchland at 10:26 AM on July 14, 2004


A weblog is a personal space to tell us what you had for lunch, show us pictures of your cat, and enrich the web with your detailed travelogue about a trip to Home Depot.

MetaFilter is a community forum for filtering the best of the web. It's not a weblog. Which is why a common bitch slap here is, "get a weblog fuckwit". Matt has a weblog, and he has MetaFilter. Compare the two. Note that they are different.

Ask MetaFilter is a help desk. It was created with the expressed purpose of moving those sorts of questions out of MetaTalk and leveraging the community to solve problems. It's not a place to tell us about something cool that happened on the subway. It's not a place to tell us about your family. It's not a place to chat.

Both MetaTalk and Ask MetaFilter have been created because Matt doesn't want chat messing up the format. Everybody babbled off topic in MetaFilter threads, so he created MetaTalk. Then they decided to ask non-MeFi stuff there, so he created AskMe. Now everyone wants to use that as a community chat forum. Tell me about your family. Tell me what happened to you today. Tell me about your cat. Tell me what you had for lunch. How are you today?

Well fuck that.

If your web log is so dull and lonely that you can't get people to chat with you about stuff there, then tough. I don't feel sorry for you. There are other community forums where you can go and chat. Even places modeled on MetaFilter. Go there. Or get a weblog. Why do you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES MATT SAYS YOU SHOULDN'T insist that you need to chat in MetaFilter? Why? If you go to a party and the host asks you avoid talking about work, because he'd just prefer it, do you insist on chatting everyone up about work? If your spouse hates mushrooms, do you insist on putting them into everything you cook?

Everyone is happily wishing Matt and the site a wonderful MeFi birthday. But when it comes to the stopping the chat, something he's asked for over and over, you refuse. Is it that unreasonable to abide by something the host here has asked for nicely? He offers you something really cool, something you use everyday, including a membership that is highly coveted, for free even, and that's not good enough. You still have to have it your way.

And it's chat. This is the deal breaker. This is what you insist on. Not more quality. Not more functionality. You insist he change his vision of the site so that you can chat.

What a bunch of chatty fucking losers.

And I give up by the way. I made this same sort of speak about IraqFilter posts. And about childish thread ends in MetaTalk. And what good did that do? Appealing to decorum got me what? Nothing. So go ahead. Make Ask MetaFilter into what you want, rather than what Matt wants. There are just to many of you chatty little shits for anyone to stop you.

Oh, yes, of course Matt should just delete the posts that he thinks violates the spirit of his site. He should spend his time cleaning up your mess rather working. Even though he's asked you nicely not to do it, he should still patiently fix your posts when you ignore him. Real cool.

What part of "get a weblog fuckwit" do you not understand? Do you even care what Matt wants?
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:41 AM on July 14, 2004


I thought that post was pretty stupid, but then, I'm apparently an asshole here, so what do I know?

Allow me to indulge in an analogy. Matt's opened up the rec room of his house for us to play in. A bunch of folks have decided that it would be nice to sit outside and shoot the shit, so they lugged his chairs and some tables out on to the lawn, and are happily yapping. Meanwhile, however, the folks back in the rec room don't have anywhere to sit, and the furniture is getting ruined because it's not made for outdoors.

The solution to this problem isn't to ask everyone else to deal with fewer chairs, or to ask Matt to go buy some patio furniture. It's to go find somewhere else to hang out. Not that we don't love you in the rec room, but some people want to play ping pong and watch movies, ya know?
posted by mkultra at 11:08 AM on July 14, 2004


y6^3, as in the other debates, it comes down to the conflict between the sentiment of "user defined" culture and "Matt defined" culture. It should be pointed out that MeFi's and Matt's strength is that he himself balances those two concerns, managing to (mostly) retain the best of both while avoiding the worst of both. The price he and we pay for this is a whole lot of ambiguity at the margins. Matt himself validates NewsFilter, for example, on the basis of the discussion it creates and the interest there is in such discussion. Even when he also says that MeFi isn't primarily about the comments, it's about the posts.

The way to deal with NewsFilter or ChatMe is the way the community deals with Quonsar. That is, we tolerate some things that we don't and won't explicitly tolerate or condone. As long as most everyone "gets" it, things work pretty well. Only Quonsar can act like Quonsar acts, for example.

This is why I've come to believe that the extreme partisans on each side of these debates are wrong. That is, attempting to eliminate (or even acting as if one is attempting to eliminate) all NewsFilter or ChatMe posts or to eliminate all complaints about them are both counter-productive because it upsets the status quo where the marginally unacceptable is tolerated and most people are happy.

ChatMe should be called out. That's the only way it won't actually become a problem. But it's not a problem now, and eliminating all ChatMe posts is actually not desirable for the health of AskMe.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:11 PM on July 14, 2004


The real question is, When is a thread chatty, and when is it providing answers that are informative? It's a tough call. Just about anything is a resource to someone, especially considering the number of creative people who are AskMe readers.

bring a care bear.



...or not to hug?
posted by Shane at 12:16 PM on July 14, 2004


ChatMe should be called out. That's the only way it won't actually become a problem. But it's not a problem now, and eliminating all ChatMe posts is actually not desirable for the health of AskMe.

I agree whole-heartedly. While there is a line (which has definately been crossed a few times recently), I don't think AskMe should be limited to only technological questions. I am personally partial to the MemoryFilter or the AdviceFilter that happens there (those are usually the things I can help with or that I actually care to read), but there is a definate line between "Help me solve this personal dillema" and "What kinds of personal problems do you have? How did you deal with them."

Does anyone else see this distinction?
posted by Quartermass at 1:05 PM on July 14, 2004


I'm always amused by conversations about whether a particular thread is within the charter of the site, because invariably people chime in to say "well, it made me smile," as if that has the slightest bearing on appropriate use vs. abuse.

We don't need no stinking smiling.

And to save you all time: yes I'm new, yes that means I shouldn't have an opinion blah blah blah

I'm not sure if you're still talking to me, here, dame, but I don't recall ever putting that particular headtrip on anyone. Please have an opinion and make it known!
posted by scarabic at 1:07 PM on July 14, 2004


Good points. Comments below:

"The price he and we pay for this is a whole lot of ambiguity at the margins."

I think this is sort of his goal rather than a price to be paid. He's said many times, especially in non-MeFi contexts, that he runs the place with a hands off approach. He enjoys seeing what it will turn into, as opposed to having a vision for it and then trying to chop off parts that don't fit the mold.

But, having said that, he's asked for very few things other than less noise/chat. And IraqFilter probably isn't a very fair comparison, since he's explicitly said it's a good thing sometimes. I don't recall him ever coming out and explicitly endorsing chat/noise like that.

But there is ambiguity about the flood of chat we're getting in AskMe. And rather than the margins, it's threatening to be the defining format. It's becoming less help desk and more water cooler.

"Only Quonsar can act like Quonsar acts, for example."

I see your point, but I think this is a bad example. Many people can act like Quonsar, perhaps most. But we don't act that why, largely because Matt has asked us not to. Quonsar is like marshmallow cream. It's great, but also messy, and silly to eat, and probably best to just avoid.

With chat we have something closer to crack cocaine. People don't care if it's bad. They don't care if it ruins the community. Chatty users become little rats pressing the lever over and over to get a fix in their lonely little lives. They like AOL chatrooms. They like AIM. Well, tough. AskMe shouldn't be chatty. Find someplace appropriate.

And, by the way, quonsar is the person who was banned from AskMe. It seemed to me the message being sent was that the "tolerate quonsar" solution wasn't something we were going to extend to AskMe. I was wrong. Oh well. Too bad.

"attempting to eliminate ChatMe posts is counter-productive because it upsets the status quo where the marginally unacceptable is tolerated"

I would lobby you this true for MeFi and MeTa, but wasn't suppose to be true of AskMe. I really thought part of the point was that AskMe was different in that it had a distinct purpose - a community help desk. The status quo in other areas shouldn't torpedo the vision for AskMe.

And are we really talking about something marginal here? "Hey! Here's a cool story. Do you have any cool stories?" What is marginal about that in the AskMe context? It's full-on inappropriate.

"and eliminating all ChatMe posts is actually not desirable for the health of AskMe."

Sorry. I don't buy that. Especially when it comes to "Tell me a story" questions, which is what we're really talking about here.

"I stepped in dog shit. What do I do now?" is potentially very useful as a help desk question. People will learn about products or techniques they'd otherwise never come across. Calls to pontificate about nebulous things like "human generosity" have a lead us away from the help desk and back to the Usenet/AOL chatroom.

What is the problem with not going there?

"The real question is, When is a thread chatty, and when is it providing answers that are informative?"

You tell me. Is "What acts of human generosity have you experienced?" chatty? Or informative? Sure, there's a grey area. This sort of thing isn't in it, but the chat rats are defending it. I don't think it should be defended.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:34 PM on July 14, 2004


Your 2000 words on why we shouldn't chat are inspirational y6.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:48 PM on July 14, 2004


Your 2000 words on why we shouldn't chat are inspirational y6.

kinda chatty, tho, no?

Some of us see great value in answers to those kinds of "soft" AskMe questions. There's room for both, I think. And there's no danger of AskMe being overrun with them, as long as Windows machines keep breaking, or until everyone here has bought a digital camera and/or engagement ring.
posted by amberglow at 1:54 PM on July 14, 2004


"Some of us see great value in answers to those kinds of "soft" AskMe questions."

I don't mean to suggest there isn't. I have a weblog. I chat there all the time. I have pictures of my girlfriend's cat. I talk about my lunch. I float vapid questions on nebulous topics. People seem to like it. I sure do.

Just because there is value in the questions (and I would argue they're chat starters rather than questions) doesn't mean they should be included in AskMe. This is the point. They belong in a forum where floating vapid questions on nebulous topics is the expected use. Why does MataFilter has to devolve into the catch-all pit for everything that has value in any context?

What is so bad with maintaining a focus and a purpose? Indeed, in the AskMe context, doesn't maintaining a focus *add* value? Wouldn't it be reassuring to know we could count on it to be free of fluff and chat?

"And there's no danger of AskMe being overrun with them"

I'm remembering this exact sentiment being expressed during discussions about whether we should ban news posts. There is absolutely a danger of AskMe being overrun with them.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:08 PM on July 14, 2004


Just because there is value in the questions (and I would argue they're chat starters rather than questions) doesn't mean they should be included in AskMe. This is the point. They belong in a forum where floating vapid questions on nebulous topics is the expected use. Why does MataFilter has to devolve into the catch-all pit for everything that has value in any context?

Maybe because value in any context=good, given that we're a pretty big community with a very wide variety of interests and needs.

As long as it has value for some members and doesn't violate the stated guidelines, it should stay, i think. (and newsfilter has not overtaken MeFi, so why think these questions would overtake AskMe?)
posted by amberglow at 2:55 PM on July 14, 2004


I am in full agreement with y6y6y6, who has saved me the effort of making the exact same argument. He wins a beverage of his choice if ever we should meet.

Posts are not necessarily appropriate to AskMe simply because they are in the form of a question; they must, I think, be possible to answer in a way that does not involve me telling you what my favourite colour is. They must be answerable.

It seems to me that the best questions on AskMe fall somewhere in the nebulous middle, between questions that get 17,000-plus preferences as answers, and questions that you can fucking well Google.
posted by mcwetboy at 4:13 PM on July 14, 2004


MetaFilter is a community forum for filtering the best of the web. It's not a weblog.

I take it back. You're right. y6 is full of shit. But he knows that already.

Still, I do agree with him on the 'too much chat=suck' thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:31 PM on July 14, 2004


The real problem here is some of you are a bunch of fucking tools that have a nervous breakdown every time someone makes a post that doesnt involve apple mac computers.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:48 PM on July 14, 2004


y6y6y6: It's difficult to call you out on this. The contribution you make to AskMe is extensive. I don't think the place would be the same if it wasn't for people like yourself answering questions, and making the site great.

However, you're espousing a rigidity to the site which will lessen it. I'm sure there are people who click from blue to grey to green to see what wacky question Keyser Soze has recently added, who then stay and give a great answer to an obscure question.

People may continue to answer questions on AskMe if it becomes more sterile, but I think it'll turn into the sort of site where "users" ask questions they really need the answers to, and not actually answer anything themself. You see this sort of behaviour in many of the forum websites out there, and as far as I can see the difference between the "0 comments" sites and the more active ones is one of community and belonging. If I care about you (How you doin'), then I'm more likely to care about helping you out.

You've invoked the name of Matt a couple of times in the thread. We're mostly aware of his desires, and we respect them, but one of the points of a conversation like this is to ensure that he knows what we think. Your "I understand Matt. You don't" stance is condescending. If he wants to say something, then I'm sure he'll say it.

You're worried that the site will somehow slip into anarchy without a strict observance of the rules. Most people here agree that moderation is required. Almost everyone has stated that they believe that the main purpose of AskMe is to provide answers to questions. The issue is whether the rare chatty thread will improve or reduce that aim. This appears to be a question you're ignoring.

Finally. There is an issue of editing, and the amount of time that Matt spends deleting comments and threads. Matt has said, and I agree that this is a problem. I'm sure that this problem has a technical solution. There's no need to start enforcing behaviour in such a way as to drive the more colourful members of Metafilter away.
posted by seanyboy at 4:51 PM on July 14, 2004


And what sgt.serenity said.
posted by seanyboy at 4:52 PM on July 14, 2004


self policing = fucking tools

Right. Those who police the site in the fashion it has been policed for the last five rather successful years are the real problem. In fact even having MetaTalk is the real problem. Why give these fucking tools a forum?
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:58 PM on July 14, 2004


so y6y6y6 said:

MetaFilter is a community forum for filtering the best of the web. It's not a weblog.

Perhaps you should look at the title bar, you great fucking wanker. I mean, seriously, how dumb can you get here?

and then, of course,

If you go to a party...

Jesus. y6y6y6 embodies everything that's wrong with metatalk.
posted by reklaw at 5:02 PM on July 14, 2004


Wow, thanks for pointing me to that thread, The God Complex. I probably would have missed it otherwise.

No really, I mean it. It was just what I needed.
posted by loquacious at 5:27 PM on July 14, 2004


"you're espousing a rigidity to the site which will lessen it."

Where? How is calling for a moratorium on chatty posts rigid? Is "Good Eats" rigid? Is snopes.com rigid? These sites have a much narrower focus in terms of topic than AskMe, but they manager somehow to be fresh and engaging. The issue is that they have a purpose, and they stick to it. In fact it seems obvious that their success comes largely from their adherence to their stated niche. No, a moratorium on chat will not lessen AskMe. Quite the opposite.

"People may continue to answer questions on AskMe if it becomes more sterile,"

What is this sterile? When did I say that? I'm not promoting a limit on topic, just on type. People can ask about computers, food, sex, law, morals, cultures, stains, poop, tits, bungholes, opera, cubism, history, or transgender body art. How is that sterile?

"Your "I understand Matt. You don't" stance is condescending."

Oh bullshit. I've been saying, rather literally, "you know what Matt wants, why can't you listen?" Where did I say people didn't understand Matt? Where did I say I understood better than others?

"You're worried that the site will somehow slip into anarchy without a strict observance of the rules."

No, I like anarchy. Or at least discord. I'm worried it will become Usenet/AOL/MonkeyFilter. We already have those, and they love chatty. Go chat over there.

"The issue is whether the rare chatty thread will improve or reduce that aim. This appears to be a question you're ignoring."

No. This is a question I've addressed head-on. Would you say you know what my opinion is on whether a chatty thread will improve or reduce the value of AskMe? Then how can you say I'm ignoring that question?

"I'm sure that this problem has a technical solution."

Which isn't going to be implemented. Hence, the need for self policing.

"There's no need to start enforcing behaviour in such a way as to drive the more colourful members of Metafilter away."

The majority of colorful members who have left have done so due to a lack of enforcement, not an excess. Right?
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:28 PM on July 14, 2004

Nice try Sparky.
No problem, Pops.

In case it's not obvious, I'm only replying in kind. I have absolutely no hard feelings for you y6y6y6 and am only making light of your tone in this thread.
MetaFilter is not a web log.
Look, I'm not arguing MeFi is a web log, nor was it even my intention by using the quote from the about page.
This website exists to break down the barriers between people, to extend a weblog beyond just one person, and to foster discussion among its members.
Metafilter, as I understand it, is a community, not a weblog, that participates in three main dicussion forums, each with a separate set of rules. The value of Metafilter is derived from the members who participate.

That's not intended to be a slight at Matt, by the way. Matt is the source of much of my gratitude for this site. However, I am thankful for those who spend their time posting links and comments and do recognize that this site is built on the strengths of many.

One of the consistant problems I have seen since I've been reading the site is the chatter that tends to bubble up from time to time. The off topic comments and out of place posts on the front pages do devalue the site. It's been better since MeTa and AskMe have come around, but the desire for chatter exists. Why do you so oppose the idea that there is a place for such comments for this community? It's clearly not a high priority, but let's say Metafilter had the available resources, would you still be so opposed to it?
What you are advocating is using up the last dribble of extra server headroom for the very thing MetaFilter tries to avoid.
Hardly, but that was a nice try, Gramps. I don't propose adding to the load of the existing limited resources. On the other hand, I don't know of an existing plan to increase the available resources, only to more efficiently use the ones that exist. Until such a time when sufficient resources are available and new projects are sustainable, I don't think any resource intensive features should be added. On a less technical note, Matt is the ultimate in limited resources and there doesn't appear to be any movement away from rubbernecking new features against Matt's spare time.

As you've so kindly pointed out to this new member on the block, it's Matt's site. I'm just sharing my thoughts on the topic at hand and have no expectation that my ideas will be forced down your throat.
Matt is on record, repeatedly and regularly, with the opinion that chat is bad for MetaFilter.
In the context of the Blue, Grey or Green, I believe that's exactly what he means. However, I couldn't find a comment of his that specifically states he is disinterested in having something specifically for a less structured forum implemented similarly to the existing three. If you could provide a reference, I'd be glad to know more about what he's had to say on the issue.
posted by sequential at 5:37 PM on July 14, 2004


Metafilter, as I understand it, is a community, not a weblog

Fork!

Spoon!*

*which is, of course, a sidelong reference to the only Metatalk thread to be published (in part) in a book.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:58 PM on July 14, 2004

The way to deal with NewsFilter or ChatMe is the way the community deals with Quonsar. That is, we tolerate some things that we don't and won't explicitly tolerate or condone. As long as most everyone "gets" it, things work pretty well. Only Quonsar can act like Quonsar acts, for example.
What is it with this thread and self appointed representatives for MeFi?

I don't tolerate quonsar because I believe his contributions are regularly insightful. Instead of tolerating him, I value him. And as much as you loathe NewsFilter, it is one of the reasons I come back here every day. Not because I can't read the news right in front of me on hundreds of different sites, but because the discussions that come out of them offer me more perspective than the articles do. When NewsFilter is a post with a single link to a major news outlet, I can understand your gripe, but I don't share your lack of will to tolerate it. S.F.W.

Don't bother with your diatribe about the numerous other sites that you believe will suit my needs. I don't care what web sites you think I should be reading.

On preview, good link and great point, stavrosthewonderchicken.
posted by sequential at 6:23 PM on July 14, 2004


tgc and y6 are getting such lovely big hugs on friday....i may even send them heartwarming pictures of care bears in their email..........or maybe a picture of a smiling granny....or puppies.......
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:49 PM on July 14, 2004


The most important thing (to me) that I was trying to say in my post was that the people that say that we shouldn't be arguing about this are dead wrong. If we weren't arguing about this, and continue to argue about this, the system would stop working. The balance would be lost and MeFi, for example, would become all NewsFilter, or RigidNoFunFilter, or *shudder* Fark and similarly with AskMe. We're going to disagree about particular examples. But the people doing the callouts, and the people defending the calledouts, are performing an essential function.

That doesn't make the arguing any less tedious, sadly.

y6^3: I agree that this particular post wasn't marginal. It sucked. I was speaking more generally, in the sense that things need to be ambiguous enough that we will continue to argue about them. Or, alternatively, a few unacceptable things must be tolerated because the price to elminate all unacceptable things is too high.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:56 PM on July 14, 2004


If we weren't arguing about this, and continue to argue about this, the system would stop working. The balance would be lost and MeFi, for example, would become all NewsFilter, or RigidNoFunFilter, or *shudder* Fark and similarly with AskMe. We're going to disagree about particular examples. But the people doing the callouts, and the people defending the calledouts, are performing an essential function.

I don't think that's true--most people don't really listen to what's said here, or even visit here. And i certainly haven't stopped posting newsfilter/iraqfilter/electionfilter/etc when i want to--i don't think any of us have. : >
posted by amberglow at 6:59 PM on July 14, 2004


most people don't really listen to what's said here

Hmm...if that were true, then agendas here wouldn't exist and most of us wouldn't bother commenting. Many people read what's written here and whether or not a consensus is formed, discussing etiquette is part of MeFi.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:06 PM on July 14, 2004


they may read and even comment on it, but it makes no difference in the blue, or green, that i can see. I don't change my behavior because of what's typed here, nor do any of the people called out for bad behavior (unless they get banned because of it, which is very rare), nor do any of the various things being decried here ever go away because of MeTa posts.
posted by amberglow at 7:11 PM on July 14, 2004


Are you sure? But even if you don't, I imagine that most other people do, to varying degrees. But there's also a secondary effect (which may be larger)—enough peolpe's behavior is regulated by MeTa that their behavior acts as a model for others, thus the whole community is regulated.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:19 PM on July 14, 2004


I don't change my behavior because of what's typed here

You're wrong. Look through your posting history, specifically in political threads, and you'll find that you have changed your opinion on more than one occasion (that's a good/bad thing, depending upon your perspective). And opinion and behavior are virtually the same thing online.

nor do any of the various things being decried here ever go away because of MeTa posts.

I'm sorry you feel that way. But one has to wonder, if you truly felt that way, why bother participating in this thread at all? Or any other etiquette thread? Clearly you're wasting your time.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:23 PM on July 14, 2004


I participated in this thread because i don't want to see "soft" AskMe questions go away. I participate so that it's known that not everyone feels the same way as the poster on whatever issue. That has no bearing on how I or other people behave at all--I think it's of value, but it's probably not.

I haven't altered my posting behavior at all based on anything ever said here in MeTa, and I believe that's true for most people. There could be an anti-newsfilter post here everyday for the next year, but if i see something i want to post that's news, i will. Most posters do not change their behavior because of here.
posted by amberglow at 7:34 PM on July 14, 2004


And, if there were anti-newsfilter posts here every day, i'd probably post in them just to let it be known that not everyone dislikes newsfilter (but again, that wouldn't change mine or anyone else's behavior) : >
posted by amberglow at 7:37 PM on July 14, 2004


You keep throwing around the term "most people", as if this magical information regarding how large #s of people think is readily available and clearly you've seen it.

You like posting news. Fantastic. But don't combine your love of newsfilter with "most people don't change their behavior". Those are two distinct thoughts, and the latter remains unproven.

Unless you have a link to this magical information.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:45 PM on July 14, 2004


I can link to the front page, where there continues to be newsfilter, and iraqfilter, and politicsfilter, etc etc etc, no matter how many MeTa posts there are about them. I can link to the same trolls behaving badly that are often called out here.
posted by amberglow at 7:51 PM on July 14, 2004


actually it's funny, i had a kneejerk reaction against getting pissy about a thread that I couldn't be bothered with in the first place and did think was stupid. I guess it goes to show that just bitching will turn people against you...
posted by Space Coyote at 7:53 PM on July 14, 2004


Scarabic: No that wasn't directed to you. I just didn't want y6 to get distracted from his mission to become the Seth of "ChatMe."
posted by dame at 8:03 PM on July 14, 2004


I'm just trying to make a case for less chat. I don't know what Seth has to do with that. This is the way it works. As with NewsFilter, I suspect the chat rats will overwhelm the place.

And the post lives on. Proof for most, I'm sure, that "Tell me a story" is a good AskMe question.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:56 PM on July 14, 2004


less chat, more pontificating.
posted by crunchland at 9:02 PM on July 14, 2004


I look forward to polling the ask metafilter audience tomorrow on what side of the bed I should roll out of. I'm leaning towards the left, but I'm always leaning towards the left. Maybe I'll try the right.

Dear AxeMe readers,

I have a problem I cannot solve on my own: I do not know your middle names! Please help me solve this problem. Thanks.

-----

In all seriousness though, folks, I'm not going to bother posting any of these again. If Matt doesn't think they're worth deleting and everyone's happy with these lame threads, by all means chat away, just don't complain about anything I do on this site ever again because nothing you say will change my mind. Cheers! ;)
posted by The God Complex at 9:03 PM on July 14, 2004


"less chat, more pontificating."

No. Less chat, more helpful advice and authoritative answers.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:05 PM on July 14, 2004


I haven't altered my posting behavior at all based on anything ever said here in MeTa....

I have, a number of times. For what that's worth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:10 PM on July 14, 2004


I have, a number of times. For what that's worth.

*sigh* So have I but you're ruining my snide remarks.

Dear Ask Metafilter,

Recently, in a metatalk thread, a fowl-mouthed beast of a man ruined some of my snide remarks. Have any of you ever experienced someone ruining your snide? Discourse please.
posted by The God Complex at 9:19 PM on July 14, 2004


*roars and gibbers, beats chest, crunches baby skulls like digestive biscuits*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:26 PM on July 14, 2004


TGC, no, I think you (and anyone else) should continue these sorts of callouts. A lot will be shot down, most will be resented, and many will be ignored by Matt. That doesn't mean they aren't serving an important purpose. I think they are.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:02 PM on July 14, 2004


a fowl-mouthed beast of a man : If it quacks like a duck ... ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:03 PM on July 14, 2004

That doesn't mean they aren't serving an important purpose.
Fershur! They give me an opportunity to laugh at all the piss-willies. ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:06 PM on July 14, 2004


And like with other police, y6, those who are the most excited to pin on the badge are the ones who should be sent to the end of the line, mostly because they are anal freaks with an unhealthy interest in making their desires the only acceptable choice.

Really, I appreciate that you have an opinion that differs from mine. But the happier, looser side is willing to make compromises, work things out, while you just bitch and moan because things aren't exactly the way you would do it if you were king of the world.

EB is right: it's useful for the group. But it does make you look like an ass.
posted by dame at 10:53 PM on July 14, 2004


dame: I just didn't want y6 to get distracted from his mission to become the Seth of "ChatMe."

dame: it's useful for the group. But it does make you look like an ass.

Comments like that are helpful.
posted by subgenius at 12:45 AM on July 15, 2004


"it's useful for the group. But it does make you look like an ass."

Honey, I'm an ass. Given that metric, we all win.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:38 AM on July 15, 2004


More or less helpful than inflexible tirades?

Please don't call me "honey."
posted by dame at 7:08 AM on July 15, 2004


Wait a second, you can refer to him as an "anal freak", but he can't call you "honey"? That hardly seems sporting, does it?

And like with other police, dame, those who are the most excited to pin on the badge are the ones who should be sent to the end of the line, mostly because they are anal freaks with an unhealthy interest in making their desires the only acceptable choice.

;-)
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:42 AM on July 15, 2004


He can call me all the gender-neutral things he wants. He can call other girls whatever he wants. I just prefer my insults not to come with the whiff of cunt.

And, as with all requests, he can feel free to ignore it. I just want us all to win. Is that so wrong?

(imagine smiley emoticon here)
posted by dame at 8:55 AM on July 15, 2004


Hmm. "Anal freak" isn't really considered sexist. "Honey" definitely is.

After a day away from this thread it all looks absolutely ridiculous and McCarthy-esque. All this talk of "chat rats," who presumably are sneaking around, lurking in the walls of MeFi, organized like an army of ants, just waiting to spring forth en masse and turn AskMe into an AOL chatroom.

"Wanna cyber?"

They're out there, folks, and they have a malicious plan for the eventual demise of all we hold cherished and dear. It's not just that the occasional thread turns innocently and interestingly anecdotal, it's actually a full-scale plot. Only the actions of concerned citizens can prevent this.

Why do these Chatrats hate MetaFilter freedom so much? Damn terrorists.
posted by Shane at 8:58 AM on July 15, 2004


a fowl-mouthed beast of a man : If it quacks like a duck ... ;-P

His name is wonderchicken--you figure out the rest.

Hmm. "Anal freak" isn't really considered sexist. "Honey" definitely is.

I'd rather be called "honey" than "anal freak" any day of the weak, but coming from someone as annoying as dame--who, ironically, spends her time in this thread complaining about how annoying everyone else is--I'd probably just ignore either one.

*resists urge to call someone snookums*
posted by The God Complex at 10:27 AM on July 15, 2004


""Anal freak" isn't really considered sexist. "Honey" definitely is."

For the record, it was intended to be taken as sexist. The intension was to tweak and annoy, more specifically, to elicit a "don't call me honey". The best thing about chatty folk is that they fall for the troll everytime.

I agree the term is offensive, and those using it need to be taken to task. I concidered that factor and decided to use it anyway.

dame should also be aware that I've shaved all my cat's hair off except for a cool mohawk, I drive my SUV a block to the store when I need beer, and I think Christians don't enjoy sex.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:59 AM on July 15, 2004


I think dame might have gotten the freak part right :)
posted by dness2 at 11:09 AM on July 15, 2004


Gimme some sugar, snookums.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:09 PM on July 15, 2004


I just prefer my insults not to come with the whiff of cunt.

*breathes deep*
posted by jonmc at 4:35 PM on July 15, 2004


Mmmmmm, whiff of cunt.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:31 PM on July 15, 2004


It's not a weblog. - y6y6y6


posted by quonsar at 6:37 PM on July 15, 2004


Where the hell did you yankees get the idea that "honey" was sexist? It's used condescendingly and endearingly to both genders, not just male to female. I believe it's the condescending bit that's rubbing your fur the wrong way. The gender bias is something you've read into it.

But then I'm from the south, perhaps the lingo is different where you're located.

And I only dislike that AskMe question because it does push others off the page.
I thought everyone was supposed to purge their chattiness here in the grey. Perhaps those who do so in the green just need to be invited in here.
posted by batgrlHG at 7:50 PM on July 15, 2004


you tell 'em, honey.

I'm only teasin'. I've met dame and she's far from annoying. But I'm with ya on honey, baby.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 PM on July 15, 2004


Please don't call me "honey." : Sure thing, dame!
posted by mischief at 9:25 PM on July 15, 2004


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