Thanks from Mathowie November 18, 2004 11:42 PM   Subscribe

Holy mother of god. It's official, even though I was kind of worried about ponying (heh) up the dough for a couple of high ticket servers, I made enough money off the $5 signups today to pay for one year's hosting. So I want to say thanks to all the new users for ensuring the future of this place. I love ya. Some more news inside
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 11:42 PM (68 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

First, a cool story: I knew Michael Buffington from his blog and from his ColdFusion book from a few years back and have been meaning to figure out a way to get him to help out here with coding. He recently posted a plea to keep his wordphoto project running and I came up with an idea: I'd chip in almost the entire amount if he could take a look at the code. He agreed, so I pushed his dropcash to 97% and friends pushed the rest.

So he's starting to work on it, with the goal being a rewrite of the way comment pages work everywhere, and how the front page of metafilter works. It should mean zippier site speed in the next couple weeks.

I also want to thank everyone for joining and for those sticking with the site for all these years by improving what we have here and introducing more sections. I have ideas for two new subsections.

One, a place to announce your own work, to be a self-link haven exactly like the mefi projects list. I want to encourage the creative types among us to launch their ideas like I've launched mine, and to get feedback on those. I won't have comments on the accounce section though, only ratings of [this is good] and [this is bad]. The thought being, if something gets a lot of good votes, someone should probably post it on MetaFilter proper. That's the point of this: to help people get their projects seen, and if they're good projects, to be seen by a wide audience.

The other section is another thing I've been meaning to build for ages and it's a jobs page for members. So this will likely be pretty simple: you pay a buck or two to put up a job listing (not to make money, just to keep job postings serious), whether that's full time work, part time, or contract, your contact details, and exactly what/who you're looking for. There won't be comments or ratings, more of an announce thing. It'll only be viewable by members on the site, with an RSS feed that points to the site for the contact details to keep it in the family.

I'm also going to work on the long overdue overhaul of ask mefi, and some of those features might even migrate to mefi.

Oh, and lastly, I'm going to announce a design contest in the next couple days. I want to see new ideas of how a metafilter identity could work across several sites, how someone might arrange a page with blog posts, text ads, and supplimental information. If you want to get started, start thinking with a blank slate in mind. It could have a white background, it could have three columns, four columns, or none. Heck, it could be a giant flash file. I'll post a contest page soon with more details.

Ok, that's it. Thanks again to the new users (who have all been thoughtful and great, btw), and to those that stuck with me this long. Heck, someday I might just work on this stuff 24/7 and really build it out into something amazing.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:42 PM on November 18, 2004


We love you too, Matt. In a very real and legally binding sense.

I won't have comments on the announce section though, only ratings of [this is good] and [this is bad]

Don't forget [this might be offensive]! (there's a song in there somewhere!)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:48 PM on November 18, 2004


Great ideas Matt. I look forward to the New Me Order.
posted by Dagobert at 11:55 PM on November 18, 2004


I seriously thought the 'more inside' was going to be "... but I blew it all on strippers and crack."

Disappointed, to say the least.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:55 PM on November 18, 2004


You're welcome.
posted by joelf at 11:56 PM on November 18, 2004


Thank you, Matt. You've done such a wonderful job and I'm just happy I can thank you here.

Five bucks is well worth the price of admission -- an offer I couldn't refuse -- and to hear how it's helped you keep things running is really the cake for the icing as far as I'm concerned. Really. I don't need to be able to post or change prefs in order to see the value of what you offer.
posted by Moody834 at 11:58 PM on November 18, 2004


wow. "i'm glad to be a part of this!" (/ghostbusters) seriously, this is an exciting time to be a part of the community. thanks Matt and thanks/welcome one last time to the new users.
posted by ifjuly at 12:01 AM on November 19, 2004


Wow. Excellent news, Matt.

(If you've got another free sec, could you address this question? Danke.)
posted by dobbs at 12:04 AM on November 19, 2004


Matt, MeFi has been my homepage for, like, three years, and I'm more than happy to drop five bucks into your pocket if it means I can finally take part. Thanks for all your hard work so far!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:04 AM on November 19, 2004


I'm glad to have been a part of this, even if just in a giving-up-what-i-got-for-30-min.-of-keying-scanned-cell-phone-contracts kind of way. Wonderful news, Matt!
posted by rustcellar at 12:17 AM on November 19, 2004


$5 hit it dead center. Low enough that anyone who wants to join can afford it. Enough of a barrier to make it a thoughtful decision. I expect there's high elasticity of demand, so signups would've been much smaller at, say, $10.

Glad to be here after a year or more of lurking.
posted by mono blanco at 12:29 AM on November 19, 2004


Heck, it could be a giant flash file.

Oh no. Oh dear god no.
posted by cmonkey at 12:45 AM on November 19, 2004


Thanks, matt - you are the best daddy ever!
posted by taz at 1:10 AM on November 19, 2004


thank you and you're welcome, matt...

i'm so chuffed i can barely quip
posted by synaplex at 1:25 AM on November 19, 2004


Matt, you're the coolest sysop ever.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:06 AM on November 19, 2004


Stan Chin: I seriously thought the 'more inside' was going to be "... but I blew it all on strippers and crack."

Nah, I'm sure Matt's savvy enough to reserve part of his regular income for that.
posted by Gyan at 2:13 AM on November 19, 2004


JobMe? I'm very excited by the news. I'm pleased that so many people were willing to pay $5 to take part. I'm even more pleased the resulting money can be put to such good use. Fantastic ideas. I'm very excited.
posted by nthdegx at 2:24 AM on November 19, 2004


Did I mention that I am very excited?
posted by nthdegx at 2:32 AM on November 19, 2004


Hi Matt,

I won't have comments on the announce section though, only ratings of [this is good] and [this is bad]

I think it'd be a shame not to have comments as well as the [good]/[bad]/[offensive] scores. As it'd be great for announcing those 0%-80% finished project where input from other MiFiers would be desirable. Heck even a % compleate that the poster could update.

I have trouble seeing how just having good/bad would encourage people to launch their ideas without some other form of feedback as to why it's a good/bad, room for improment, offers of help, etc. myself I'd feel uncomfortable launching an idea unless it was complete. Unless of course it's only supposed to be for complete project and I'm missing the point.

I know you said this kind of thing is covered by MetaFilter Projects and not wanting to take anything from kindall's list, it's kinda hidden away compaired to the MetaTalk and Ask Meta links. I'm sure it's missed by plenty of people.

Just a thought from a newbie.
posted by ModestyBCatt at 2:40 AM on November 19, 2004


Finally, at long last! I'm nearly giddy over the mere fact that there is a comment box here now. I'm not entirely certain what that says about my life that I get so excited about joining this place...
posted by nightchrome at 2:43 AM on November 19, 2004


Thank you Matt. Thanks for letting Mike let me in the back door a while ago. At the time, I hadn't realized it was such a big deal.

And thanks Mike, you've made an older brother quite proud, and not a little bit envious. But you've earned it, and then some.

I don't think I've ever told you this: It used to be that I was the ubernerd in the family, back when we had the Apple //e, back when I had my old school CP/M based battery powered laptop. I'd spend hours programming text adventures and AppleSoft Basic graphics routines on the apple, and days in a row dialing out on the laptop, running up the phone bill.

Roll forward a few years, and you were running that one line BBS (Renegade? WWIV?) on your 386DX/40, off of a phone line you saved up money all summer to install. You were a honest to goodness node in the private net, just before we'd really even known about the internet. And a bit later you showed me Linux on that same machine. No GUI then, just the command line. (Who knew Linux would or could grow like that, from that?) It was at that point I realized that not only had you passed me by, but that you were going to continue to do so by leaps and bounds.

I wouldn't have admitted it then. In fact, I'm pretty sure I blew you off. At the time, I was jealous. Young, stupid, and contrary just because. Deep in the irrational scrabblings and thrashings of puberty. I really wish I hadn't have been, 'cause I could have learned something. But who wants to learn something from their younger brother when they're in High School? You've taught me much, but I could have actually listened and learned more. I'm still trying to make up for that, and still learning how to listen. At the very least, though, I learned that I can try. I think you taught both Dad and I a few somethings, here and there.

Thanks again Matt, for the well seeded but properly blank canvas. And thanks Mike, for contributing here in a way few could with your level of experience. I know you're busy, but even some small efforts here might make some mighty big waves. But I'm sure you know that. Kick some ass, and feel free to bug me about any UI or aesthetics ideas.

Here's to even more years of MetaFilter. Here's to community. Here's to the patient newcomers, champing at the bit after so many months and years, and putting their money where their mouth is and making it happen. Make us proud!

(And MeFites: Yeah, I'm showing off and lording it a bit. It's ok; I'm just proud of my brother, and it'll wear off. And there's something to be said for bearing witness in public, rather than private.)

And on preview: What EB said. I wish you'd been the sysop of some of my favorite boards. The vocal few of you that openly call Matt heavy-handed have no idea what you're talking about. I knew plenty of sysops that would constantly scan mail, private messages and chat for even simple backtalk and come down on it with the iron fist of banning (+8) at a whim. Count your blessings.
posted by loquacious at 2:44 AM on November 19, 2004


I didn't think the annouce area was for uncompleted projects, or I'd call it InProgressFilter or something. The point of not having comments is to use it as a staging area, so that good stuff (voted good) gets reposted on MetaFilter proper, for all to see. I wanted to have an avenue to let people self-link without having to buy a textad, to encourage everyone to pimp their own projects that are ready for the world to see. Sometimes metafilter folks are unkind critics of stuff, but I think we're very supportive of our peers here in the things they do.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:49 AM on November 19, 2004


could you post things you'd never expect to be listed on the front page? (say, picking an example completely at random, an obscure new programming language you don't really expect anyone to use, but feel kind of proud about anyway).
posted by andrew cooke at 3:16 AM on November 19, 2004


(such a thing having a bunch of web pages with examples, docs, etc, and being downloadable, so it is certainly a "web thing").
posted by andrew cooke at 3:18 AM on November 19, 2004


sure andrew, why not. If you spent months developing it, it'd be fine to show off.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:22 AM on November 19, 2004


Ok, thanks Matt, I understand where it's coming from now, cheers.
posted by ModestyBCatt at 3:40 AM on November 19, 2004


It could have a white background, it could have three columns, four columns, or none.
posted by mathowie at 11:42 PM PST on November 18


Well... it would have at least one, wouldn't it?
posted by deliquescent at 4:09 AM on November 19, 2004


I think about:blank would make a very zen MeFi.
posted by Plutor at 4:10 AM on November 19, 2004


Sure, but about:pancakes would be fluffy and delicious. De.licio.us even.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:14 AM on November 19, 2004


(thanks matt. one day, when it's finished...)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:17 AM on November 19, 2004


Loquacious, that's so sweet, but - who's Mike?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:02 AM on November 19, 2004


Read Matt's first comment for a hint. :)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:04 AM on November 19, 2004


Thanks for the account, beyotch!
posted by Sir Mildred Pierce at 5:09 AM on November 19, 2004


"Sometimes metafilter folks are unkind critics of stuff, but I think we're very supportive of our peers here in the things they do."

Exactly. But we've shown with AskMe that we can play nice and stay on topic if we need to. And I've found the advice from other developers here to be extremely good/helpful.

If we allowed comments to "ProjectFilter" it would be a much more valuable resource than just a staging area for the MeFi homepage. If it's just a thumbs up/down it's most valuable to marketing folks and spammers. With comments it becomes useful beyond that.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:29 AM on November 19, 2004


Re: the design contest -- I actually had a class full of web design students redesign MetaFilter once. (I did this because while I think MeFi is easy to read and use, when I showed it to them, most of them hated it. So I said "Fine, your next assignment is to redesign.") The weird thing is that most of the redesigns they did took the majority of the posts off the front page! I'd ask them why, and they'd say "There was too much text. I hate sites that are all text." !!! This is, apparently, why they hated MeFi -- they didn't like to read.

This is when I knew there was no hope for the next generation.
posted by litlnemo at 5:33 AM on November 19, 2004


Are these ideas actually going to happen with this influx of cash? You know, because of all the other stuff that was going to happen that never did. Just askin', you know, because these are some great ideas, and I'd hate to be enthusiastic about things that aren't going to happen.
posted by arnold at 6:01 AM on November 19, 2004


So this new space for personal projects, it could be called "MeFilter," cause, you know, its all about me. Or maybe MeMeFilter, assuming the ideas posted become popular and virally spread into the popular consciousness.
posted by piskycritter at 6:34 AM on November 19, 2004


Thanks EB! Oh, loquacious, sorry - my particular version of idiocy didn't connect Mike with Michael, even though he's like, almost the subject of the post. D'oh!
posted by dash_slot- at 6:46 AM on November 19, 2004


You should add those buttons to the normal posts. Like voting but with a MeFi twist.

(Of course, then you'd also need a [ . ] one.)
posted by smackfu at 6:47 AM on November 19, 2004


Love ya Matt
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:04 AM on November 19, 2004


Gracias al mathowie! As a tiny token of my gratitude, I plan to start wearing those smart-girl glasses you like so much. Rock on.
posted by naomi at 7:16 AM on November 19, 2004


Nice Matt!! Best 5 bucks I ever spent!!
posted by crusiera at 7:18 AM on November 19, 2004


I meant I've. Really I did
posted by crusiera at 7:29 AM on November 19, 2004


"One, a place to announce your own work, to be a self-link haven exactly like the mefi projects list. I want to encourage the creative types among us to launch their ideas like I've launched mine, and to get feedback on those." - I would love this function.

Creative ideas have a shelf life, and I've got a refrigerated container load of those that's threatening to turn moldy and rot if I don't put 'em on the market soon. [ Maybe they're already funky or fruity - who knows. That's for the market to determine. ]
posted by troutfishing at 7:42 AM on November 19, 2004


My boyfriend lives here. So, if you can't beat 'em...join 'em. Although it feels a little wicked. I have entered his clubhouse.

And for less than my daily coffee expenditures. Life _is_ beautiful!
posted by Lola_G at 7:43 AM on November 19, 2004


"You have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world then George Costanza as you know him ceases to exist. You see, right now I have Relationship George. But there is also MetaFilter George. That's the George you know, the George you grew up with... Snark George, AskMe George, BushFilter George, pancakes George."

"I love that George."

"Me too, and he's dying. If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill MetaFilter George. A George divided against itself cannot stand!"
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:01 AM on November 19, 2004


All the Georges shall meet ; Georgedom will come crashing down in fiery ruins, and from the ashes, phoenix-like : Meta-George !


"Holy Mother of God" - This sort of reminds me of the chicken-and-egg paradox, and it implies - syntactically at least - that the superior deity is female or, at least, that God has a mother.
posted by troutfishing at 8:26 AM on November 19, 2004


We're up to our necks in ponies here.
posted by crunchburger at 8:30 AM on November 19, 2004


WOW! I never really understood the implications of membership. The power of Abraham Lincoln.
posted by Lola_G at 8:34 AM on November 19, 2004


"We're up to our necks in ponies here."

Close, but not quite yet. More ponies:

1) Why not PoliticsFilter? Many old and new users seem to like politics and current events. And as new users swell the population here up to 30K I think we're going to have a hard time scaling. Why not expand out as well as up? MetaFilter can be "best of the web", AskMe can be the distributed help desk, and NewsFilter can be the virtual watercooler. People want to do it. Why not give them the forum? Might make the blue better in the process.

2) MattsList. Craigslist.org is great. But we have a community here and maybe it would be cool to leverage that for some Craigslist stuff. We end up doing that now in MetaTalk and AskMe, but breaking it out and making it official might make it take off.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:55 AM on November 19, 2004


Just wanted to say thanks to Matt and glad I could help in a small, five-dollar way.
posted by dpreschel at 9:07 AM on November 19, 2004


Ta Matt.
posted by ginz at 9:19 AM on November 19, 2004


I'm starting to feel constipated at the thought of so much meat , but seriously though...

Thank you Matt for sharing this space with us.
posted by tonelesscereal at 9:41 AM on November 19, 2004


Metafilter: I'm starting to feel constipated at the thought of so much meat
posted by dflemingdotorg at 9:51 AM on November 19, 2004


At the risk of joining a love fest, another newbie agreeing with the sentiment of the general value of a membership here - I wasn't sure I wanted to participate in a conversation mediated on the basis of ponying up money, frankly, I've questioned whether I even wanted to sign into another such thing at all (oh but we do love to see our words in print, do we not?) but on consideration it seemed like a very modest request even compared to the entertainment value I've experienced ghosting metafilter the past five years.

I'm curious what sort of response there has been. The 20,000th user has been mentioned. What was the number prior to the start of pay sign-up?

I'm also curious... I haven't seen any expression of dissent from the old-timers... although in the past I (or yet another throwaway bloglet I left drifting on the electron tide) was the subject of what included a bit of discussion on letting a whole bunch of us yahoos in. Are any of the legacy mefites at all ticked that any dip with a fiver can now join the party?
posted by nanojath at 10:49 AM on November 19, 2004


y6y6y6, essentially the job list is a craigslist ripoff. After the jobs list, I'll certainly be open to having a for sale list, just like craigslist.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:51 AM on November 19, 2004


Are any of the legacy mefites at all ticked that any dip with a fiver can now join the party?

I don't think anyone enjoyed the exclusivity that the lack of signups created, it was an unfortunate byproduct of the block in place.

And so far I think we're just over a thousand users added. So I think it'll be ages before we hit 30k users, and I'd say several months before we ever hit 20k.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:54 AM on November 19, 2004


Honestly, one of the coolest things I would hope for is a message board for mefi members - as in, your mefi account automatically opens an account with the same name/password on an Invision board. Mefi is a community, and there's much more opportunity for conversation than what warrants a link (and what of intelligent threads that are just rambles with no link?)
posted by abcde at 11:35 AM on November 19, 2004


I am delighted to see so many new users here and I would like to welcome them all and say thank you, Matt! I ♥ Mathowie!
posted by Lynsey at 12:48 PM on November 19, 2004


Thanks Matt, years upon years of not being able to join Mefi finally over. Party time!
posted by Numenorian at 1:14 PM on November 19, 2004


First, a quick congrats on the success of metafilter! Backslapping never hurt anyone (did it?). Sustainability is cool.

Next, Very excited about the design contest. I was just thinking the current design is getting streched a bit thin. It'll be interesting to see what everyone comes up with.
posted by rschroed at 1:30 PM on November 19, 2004


Hi. Thanks to Matt for everything, I'll just echo that "longtime lurker, Yay! Finally" sentiment that seems to cut right to the heart of things. Oh, and I'm a girl in glasses as well.
posted by krix at 2:13 PM on November 19, 2004


Longtime lurker, as well. Glad to finally have an opportunity to post. Recently read "Adventures in zero budget usability" (Usability: The Site Speaks For Itself ).
posted by redneck_zionist at 2:18 PM on November 19, 2004


I have been watching this New User link since months and months now. Finally it is working, thanks for that. And for quickly enabling access when the automatic process didn't work after paying at paypal.
posted by nostrada at 2:29 PM on November 19, 2004


"posted by redneck_zionist"

Be still my beating heart...

[checks out his user page]

[swoons, falls on floor of office cubicle]
posted by Asparagirl at 2:43 PM on November 19, 2004


Wow. Sweet. This is right up there with "Ashcroft Resigns" for best-news-I've-heard-recently.


[swoons, falls on floor of office cubicle]
posted by Asparagirl at 2:43 PM PST on November 19


[squirms, goes and takes a dump in office john]
posted by scarabic at 4:28 PM on November 19, 2004


It could have a white background

Surely you're not going to kill our beloved #006699?

*cries*
posted by Vidiot at 5:05 PM on November 19, 2004


am now bona fide metafite, en garde internets!
posted by rabidsquirrel at 1:08 AM on November 22, 2004


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