It was awesome, but not on the web, does it become a self-link? July 18, 2004 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Here’s a conundrum - What if someone had something rather interesting fall into his lap that didn’t yet exist on the web, so that someone puts it up on the web... If that someone then wanted to share it with his fellow mefis (because many seem to share a similar sense of humour) and throw up a post/link on metafilter about it, would that be considered self-linking and taboo? Or does one have to find someone else to ghost post it, which seems kind of sneaky and deceptive? Or forget it altogether?

Someone = me.

Something = this.

Hey. It made me laugh.
posted by dakotadusk to Etiquette/Policy at 4:58 PM (44 comments total)
posted by quonsar at 5:15 PM on July 18, 2004

Oh my fucking god, what a coincidence.
posted by Evstar at 5:17 PM on July 18, 2004

How is transparently couching the post in the form of a question posting it to the gray any better?
posted by ChasFile at 5:30 PM on July 18, 2004

Heh. Yup. I know, I know. Shoulda expected that. [grin]

The guide's physical cover had a bigger impact than the website did, IMHO. Seeing such a biz flub in the form of a website is one thing (remember the now defunct, but big and bold on a trade mag masthead that's shipped all over the country is quite another.
posted by dakotadusk at 5:37 PM on July 18, 2004

How is transparently couching the post in the form of a question posting it to the gray any better?

Well, this way, there's just the one MetaTalk thread full of whiny pedants instead of one MetaFilter thread full of whiny pedants and a MetaTalk thread full of whiny pedants.
posted by kjh at 5:41 PM on July 18, 2004

Well, maybe the mod will remove the linky portion of the question - I thought metatalk would be the place to ask, and the link would help ya determine whether it was blue-worthy or not.

Oh, and login? If I were you, I'd flagellate first, otherwise you'd get your whip all messy with my innards.
posted by dakotadusk at 5:43 PM on July 18, 2004

I can't view the link in question, but personally, I think the self-link rule should be overlooked when someone digitizes something cool that wasn't previously on the Web.

This happened on SportsFilter recently when someone scanned in a 24 year old baseball prospects book and researched where all the players ended up. Even though it was a self-link, I love think it was worth breaking the rule. Anyone who helps the Web gobble up more information from the offline world deserves support.
posted by rcade at 6:20 PM on July 18, 2004

I love think there's a wording error in my post. Sorry.
posted by rcade at 6:21 PM on July 18, 2004

this reminds me of the guy i met in a backpackers hostel who had digital camera footage of moby at a party dancing about in red underpants like a poor mans marcel marceau to the strains of 'i think we're alone now' by tiffany.
we tried to burn it at kinkos .............we failed...
i have a file of the scotsman webpage which was hacked and porn placed on it as well.
ah well........
anyway your link doesnt work so can you tell us what it was ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:20 PM on July 18, 2004

I can't see the link either.

If it was just a hard-copy version of what quonsar linked, then eh. Not exactly so earth-shattering as to justify breaking the self-link rule (which this thread does, of course). If it was something else, like, oh, a 24-year-old baseball prospects boook with where-are-they-nows for each player, then... maybe.
posted by soyjoy at 7:23 PM on July 18, 2004

People sometimes get other people to post what would otherwise be self-links. Sneaky, yes; but preferable to violating the anti-self-link policy. It's pretty much enforced with absolute rigor because allowing it at all would spread like a virulent cancer. That's my observation, anyway.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:44 PM on July 18, 2004

Worse than a self-link, worse than a self-link which is born in it's own Meta thread, worse than a self-link born in it's own Meta thread which seems to be unviewable, is a reference to mathowie as 'the mod'.

He wouldn't be seen dead on a Lambretta.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:47 PM on July 18, 2004

Ah, but Matt is kind of moddish, isn't he? It's those stylin glasses he wears.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:59 PM on July 18, 2004

No, it was nothing that would shatter the earth or change the couse of history - simply a corporate snafu that I was encouraged to put up on the web because others (and myself) found it kind of interesting and funny.

And the link's temporarily down now, to perhaps reduce the ire a bit. (10:30pm CST)

I apologize. I asked about it in metatalk to find out if there was a right way to do it for the main metafilter page, but I know now that pointing to what I was asking about was wrong, wrong, wrong. Lesson learned the hard way.
posted by dakotadusk at 8:54 PM on July 18, 2004

I always appreciate it when some other MeFi malefactor does something self-linkably awful and gives me an excuse to do something totally attention-whore-able like this:

posted by wendell at 9:13 PM on July 18, 2004

Why the angst? People take this shit too seriously.

The website alone is enough for a FPP. Seriously, and they don't know what it means? And it's even better with the scan to back it up. So what if you're the one to scan it?
posted by smackfu at 9:14 PM on July 18, 2004

here we go round the mulberry bush!
posted by quonsar at 9:43 PM on July 18, 2004

I really don't know what the big deal about self-linking is. If it's a good FPP, it's a good FPP. If you're just selling crap or if it's AgendaFilter or whatever, you're gonna get your ass flamed anyway.
posted by keswick at 9:54 PM on July 18, 2004

Hey, I've got an idea. Post it to your blog. Email it to a friend or two (metafilterian or not) If it's good enough, it'll get here.

If it's not good enough, you did your part by putting it on the web. A page shouldn't be in the blue if an independent third party member doesn't notice it's goodness.

[Note: This is sometimes stated with all friendliness as 'Get your own blog, fuckwit!']
posted by zpousman at 9:59 PM on July 18, 2004

Isn't that the whole supossed point of MeFi? Bring new and interesting links for all to see of said link's goodness we haven't noticed yet?
posted by jmd82 at 10:52 PM on July 18, 2004

Yes, but MeFi didn't invent the concept of "conflict of interest". That conflicts of interest can have harmful effects is not, you know, some sort of wacky, tinfoilhatted idea.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:15 PM on July 18, 2004
posted by eddydamascene at 12:26 AM on July 19, 2004

Usually heard at times like this:

"If you can't find anyone willing to 'sponsor' your item with a post, maybe it's not worth posting."

"Just email it to Matt. People do that all the time and he winds up posting much of what he gets."

"All rules suck and should be immediately and frequently broken."

"Sometimes the proper procedure is to just post it and see if it passes muster. If not, it'll be deleted. No biggie. And much better than asking permission on MeTa."
posted by scarabic at 12:29 AM on July 19, 2004

it's back up. the net connection to the server was down sunday night/monday morn.
posted by dabitch at 2:40 AM on July 19, 2004

Okay, so we don't want a million self-links. But I have to thank you dakotadusk for my first laugh of the day. Good on you.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:00 AM on July 19, 2004

related subQ: when it's a community site though, where does it become self-linking? I'm pretty sure that If I posted that link "Hey all, dakotadusk posted sumthin funny here" it would be called out as a self-link within seconds as the site is in my profile. But it's not my post on the site. See what I mean?
posted by dabitch at 7:45 AM on July 19, 2004

I have a long and interesting post about self-linking which covers many of the topics touched on here, as well as exploring some not mentioned along with quotes from some notables of the blogisphere.

Unfortunately it is on my site and I can't share it with you all.

posted by Ynoxas at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2004

"Conflict of interest?" Stop being so melodramatic. It's a blog, not a government position or a major corporation. Some of you guys take these things way too seriously.
posted by keswick at 9:14 AM on July 19, 2004

I hear De Beers is interested in mining some of you MeFi-ites.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 AM on July 19, 2004

As noted on the guidelines for posting, "it's ok to link to your own things as comments in threads, if it adds to the discussion and/or saves space because you're written a reply elsewhere."

This thread makes me sad. "The mod"?

zpousman has it exactly right.
posted by gleuschk at 9:35 AM on July 19, 2004

If De Beers teamed up with MeTa, all they'd have to do is provide the coal, then sit back and wait.
posted by trondant at 10:32 AM on July 19, 2004

All I have to say is RTFM.
posted by Termite at 10:39 AM on July 19, 2004

"Conflict of interest?" Stop being so melodramatic. It's a blog, not a government position or a major corporation.

Now who's being melodramatic? Of course we're not talking about a lawsuit or a surgery here, but "conflict of interest" doesn't nescessarily imply gravitas, only conflict.

The basic point is that most people's standards of quality go way down when judging their own work. One purpose of the ban on self-linking is to maintain a certain level of post quality.

I was kinda being snarky at the top of this thread. Since this is a personal find rather than a personal creation, I think its fine to FPP. If you write for or publish OMFG, however, it would definitely be a no-no. Host location is less important than authorship in this regard, IMHO.
posted by ChasFile at 10:41 AM on July 19, 2004

the meta archives contain voluminous works addressing this matter.
posted by quonsar at 10:53 AM on July 19, 2004

...which is pretty sad, really.
posted by reklaw at 10:58 AM on July 19, 2004

The MetaTalk Self-Link Ban: A Study in 12 Volumes.

Volume 1: Rules - What are they and why

Volume 2: Procedure - "Post it to your blog, email others about it, and if it is truly worth an FPP it will happen naturally."

Volume 3: Getting Around It - Using the Gray and the Green to get your post up, anyway


Volume 12: Appendices and Quonsar Snarks
posted by ChasFile at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2004

Okay, so let's say, hypothetically, that I post a thread, and it was well received.

Now suppose that I'm actually Bad News Hughes.

Why is that suddenly a bad FPP? What changed? Nothing.

It's stupid. A bad post is a bad post; I don't care if you're linking to Joe Blog or CNN or yourself. Judge the FPP on the post itself, that's all that should be relevant.
posted by keswick at 12:36 PM on July 19, 2004

Nothing changed, but it's a little egotistical to crown yourself as "the best of the web", isn't it? And if you do, and by chance it turns out that you were blinded by vanity and that you are, in fact, only the "mediocre of the web", then it gets very awkward when people have to tell you that not only was your post ill-advised, but the project you've been working on for the past 6 months isn't so hot either... actually, we're quite annoyed you brought it to our attention.

MetaFilter isn't a site for peer review. Seriously, just post it to the MetaFilter projects newsletter and if it truly is awesome, someone else will post it for you, saving us all untold moments of embarassment.
posted by 4easypayments at 12:02 AM on July 20, 2004

Hooray for 4easypayments! Well said!

I mean, think about it. If you have a blog at all, you probably only post stuff to it which *you* think is the "best of the web," at least, in your circles. That doesn't mean that MeFi should become a straight-up digest of 17K blogs. How much would that suck? I mean... have you ever actually followed the link from someone's profile page [[shudders]].

Having MeFi serve as a "lookatme!" board seems an incredible waste of otherwise impressively-concentreted crticial thinking skills & resources.
posted by scarabic at 1:29 AM on July 20, 2004

You know, I totally understand where many of you like scarabic and 4easypayments are coming from...but I also think that the "ooooh! You self-linked...I'm telling!" pancake has been taken too far as well.

Agreed that the Mefi shouldn't be used as peer review, nor should it be used for things which belong in either the projects list or a textad.

But, given that the MeFi community are for the most part top-end digerati, sometimes our blogs (well, some of y'alls blogs...not so much my blog...) will break or cover things that nobody else has scanned/covered/published/etc.

Taking this ad for example, (which I found to be amusing), dako wasn't trying to drive traffic to the site for any commercial reason, nor was s/he soliciting opinions about the page or site itself, nor was s/he trying to self promte any product, skillset, or service.

Thus, because the scan only existed on that server, I find it aburd to say that because a Mefi member happened to scan something in that might be amusing to a segment of the Mefi population, that the Mefi member should be forbidden from sharing it with other Mefi members *just because* they have a "membership" here.

It has always been my understanding that self-linking was forbidden (only in FPP - mind you) when it was an attempt to use the MeFi traffic spike to generate commercial gain or to solicit comments on one's own work.

I don't believe the policy was meant to stop us from sharing cool stuff with one another. That said, perhaps a "future feature" might include a projects.mefi or something along those lines that moves the project list to the Mefi format and melds it with the rest of the MeFi universe.
posted by dejah420 at 9:00 AM on July 23, 2004

But, given that the MeFi community are for the most part top-end digerati, sometimes our blogs... will break or cover things that nobody else has scanned/covered/published/etc.

Well, then, somebody will link to them. If you desperately feel that you've come up with a nugget that everybody would love if they only knew about it, you could always e-mail it to another member and see if they agree. But the plain fact is that none of us are good judges of our own stuff, which is precisely why the prohibition is in place. Everybody's baby is the cutest ever born.
posted by languagehat at 10:40 AM on July 23, 2004

If you gave your precious scoop to someone else to post on their web blog you could safely post a link to it when they do. Of course they'd get the traffic instead of you, but that isn't why you're self linking, is it?
posted by timeistight at 11:18 AM on July 23, 2004

Everybody's baby is the cutest ever born.

No, no...*I* have the cutest baby of all time. It's true. Worshippers are welcome on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please, no more myrhh and frankincense, we're swimming in the damn stuff.

Timeistight...god knows I wouldn't want to be linked on the front page, it would kill my if you could talk some other fool into sucking up the bandwidth fees...sure. But to use your example, if someone has a "scoop", then why should they be forced to give it to someone else? I don't think that's why the policy was implemented.
posted by dejah420 at 1:11 PM on July 23, 2004

No, the policy is there to keep people from using MetaFilter to send traffic to their own sites (which has happened several times despite the policy). So if you have something fantastic that isn't already on the Web, you can either:
  • send it to someone and post a link to their site, or
  • post it on your site and ask someone to link to it.
Either way you'll have to get someone else to agree that it's worth posting, eliminating the worst self-linking abuses.
posted by timeistight at 1:33 PM on July 23, 2004

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