Single-Link FPPs January 3, 2005 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Are one link posts on Metafilter taboo these days? I often see it listed in complaints for bad FPPs. I couldn't find anything in the posting guidelines. Just curious.
posted by agregoli to Etiquette/Policy at 2:04 PM (126 comments total)

Single links are not specifically taboo, many posts are a single link, whether to an amusing flash game or the front page of a single webiste.

Single links to Op-Eds or wire stories with no other content to redeem them are bad, and always have been, with no 'these days' qualifier required.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:05 PM on January 3, 2005


I've always felt that good, one link posts are a lot closer to the original spirit of the site than the Bombard You With Links posts (not that those are necessarily bad, mind you.)
posted by Cyrano at 2:09 PM on January 3, 2005


what jacquilynne said
posted by matteo at 2:12 PM on January 3, 2005


Well, I apologize if my latest MeFi link wasn't appropriate - but I don't ever understand why certain people have to be so nasty about it. The story was important to me and I wanted other people to hear about it and discuss it, so I posted.

But comments like this:

GYOB

Get over it, You Obnoxious Bitch.
posted by XQUZYPHYR


(I believe in reference to the woman in the post, an abused woman trying to obtain a divorce from her abuser, but perhaps in reference to me)

seem a good bit more obnoxious than the post itself.
posted by agregoli at 2:13 PM on January 3, 2005


Credit where it's due Department: You're absolutely right, agregoli, there's no formal prohibition against single posts in the Guidelines. I just re-read them carefully - which is always a good thing, I think - and that's not specifically there. As Jacquilynne notes above, it has always been considered bad form, and as a fairly consistsntly adhered to social norm, I mistakenly assumed it was specifically a no-no set down by user number 1.

But honestly? It wasn't the single link that bothered me enough to get all riled up about it. It was the content. The Guidelines do say
And lastly, don't troll (quick definition: posting purposely inflammatory things for the sole purpose of baiting others to argue the points until blue in the face - basically people do this for kicks, to destroy conversations and communites, for the hell of it).
What purpose does posting a link to this story have, but to stir up righteous indignation? What possible outcome can come of it, other than a bunch of pissed off people, "shouting" at each other, over something to which they are neither connected nor have any influence? I asked - and I thought, politely, but I'm apologizing now to you personally if I sounded too confrontational - why you thought this was FPP-worthy. It was a sincere question, and I look forward to hearing your position, if you're not already sick enough of this to just forget the whole stupid thing.

(The bad attempts at humor, the epithets with ambiguous targets, the straight on attack-the-poster rhetoric, me flinging poo-filled Pampers at God Complex... This kind of unpleasantness is the usual result of these types of threads, and the reason I just hate them. Usually, I scroll right past 'em; today, I had too much time on my hands and decided for whatever reason to join in the fun... With an open forum like MetaFilter, we always run that risk, I think. Crafting our posts to bring out the best in each other, perhaps that's part of the challenge of participating?)
posted by JollyWanker at 2:19 PM on January 3, 2005


The story was important to me and I wanted other people to hear about it and discuss it,... [emphasis mine]

Those two things should never be the driving reasons to post something to the front page... in my opinion of course.
posted by Witty at 2:23 PM on January 3, 2005


Honestly, it's getting darn hard to figure out what WON'T cause a shit storm on Metafilter these days. Posts like mine can be ignored or commented on sparsely, commented on a lot and enjoyed, or people can call the poster out with vitrol like today - how can people tell?

Right now there is a post with one link about the use of cocaine in Formula One drivers...a post about high IQ as a hindrance for women wanting to get married with one link to a single article...etc...

I'M confused, and so I feel for the very new people.
posted by agregoli at 2:26 PM on January 3, 2005


"She clings to her old life as if it actually matters. She will learn."
posted by Ryvar at 2:31 PM on January 3, 2005


Ah. So I'm to accept that any expectation of deceny on Metafilter have gone out the window?
posted by agregoli at 2:33 PM on January 3, 2005


(I believe in reference to the woman in the post, an abused woman trying to obtain a divorce from her abuser, but perhaps in reference to me)

Incorrect. In reference to the person who said GYOB (and nothing else), hence why it was italicized.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:33 PM on January 3, 2005


Ah. So I'm to accept that any expectation of deceny on Metafilter have gone out the window?

Unfortunately, yes.

This is why I find myself spending more time at places like News Today, Art Dorks, and other places like them. Yeah, they get a lot of shitty links but I can click 'em without the noise and insulting commentary.

At some point in 2004, MetaFilter jumped the shark. It's unfortunate, but I suppose it was also inevitable. Overall, it's a pretty depressing place, imo. I try and just ignore the noise but it gets harder daily. Sadly, the newbies aren't to blame, but the old-timers who for some reason feel entitled or something. Though I'm all for paying dues, it is heartbreaking, insulting, annoying, and just plain frustrating to see the daily barage of bile that appears on the blue (and is increasingly appearing on the green). I sort of expect it on the grey, I guess, as it's the "vent area," but goddamn it's unfortunate on the other two.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 2:45 PM on January 3, 2005



(The bad attempts at humor, the epithets with ambiguous targets, the straight on attack-the-poster rhetoric, me flinging poo-filled Pampers at God Complex... This kind of unpleasantness is the usual result of these types of threads, and the reason I just hate them. Usually, I scroll right past 'em; today, I had too much time on my hands and decided for whatever reason to join in the fun... With an open forum like MetaFilter, we always run that risk, I think. Crafting our posts to bring out the best in each other, perhaps that's part of the challenge of participating?)


Those were purely brought about by your own arrogant assumption that you could derail the entire thread with your petty grievances. Don't put that on the original poster.
posted by The God Complex at 2:46 PM on January 3, 2005


(that said, I don't know why I bothered, since it clearly didn't help matters. I still don't know why people like you feel the need to contribute to the badness on metafilter while simultaneously denouncing it. Perhaps a new tag is in order: YAPOTP)
posted by The God Complex at 2:51 PM on January 3, 2005


(or IAPOTP in reference to my own comment)
posted by The God Complex at 2:52 PM on January 3, 2005


At some point in 2004, MetaFilter jumped the shark.

Actually, I think the shark ATE MetaFilter.

I don't really think this at all. MetaFilter is just going through growing pains. Really. Bad. Growing pains.
posted by me3dia at 2:53 PM on January 3, 2005


somebody needs to take metafilter aside and tell her about training bras and panty pads.
posted by naxosaxur at 2:59 PM on January 3, 2005


Though I'm all for paying dues, it is heartbreaking, insulting, annoying, and just plain frustrating to see the daily barage of bile that appears on the blue

----
You Should See the Other Guy's Profile
member since: December 18, 2004

You Should See the Other Guy has posted 7 links and 17 comments to MetaFilter
and no threads and 7 comments to MetaTalk

----


I'm thinking you have a few more dues to pay before writing MeFi off completely, hombre ;)

Anyway: I thought agregoli's post was ok. Not earth-shattering, but not insulting to anyone's intelligence either. Seems like a weird thread to start a war over, don't it?
posted by dhoyt at 3:00 PM on January 3, 2005


totally.
posted by dabitch at 3:08 PM on January 3, 2005


there's no formal prohibition against single posts in the Guidelines... As Jacquilynne notes above, it has always been considered bad form

Hey, that's not what she said! And it's not true, either. There are some links that don't stand on their own and may be raised to front-page-worthiness by juxtaposing them with one or more other links. (Though I'm not a huge fan of posts where a lot of sub-worthy links jostle up together and add up to no more than the sum of their parts, myself.) There are other links that do just fine on their own. A single link to an op-ed piece is particularly unlikely to do fine on its own -- but then again, a link to an ordinary op-ed piece isn't the best idea even in a multi-link post, either. That's all.
posted by redfoxtail at 3:19 PM on January 3, 2005


Overall, it's a pretty depressing place, imo. I try and just ignore the noise but it gets harder daily. Sadly, the newbies aren't to blame, but the old-timers who for some reason feel entitled or something.

*glances meaningfully at the door*

No, no, that was just a poorly-timed joke. Come here, my new-timer friend, let me rub your scalp with valuable oils, and tell you tale of The Golden Ages, when everyone was kind and polite at Metafilter. Yeah, right.

It's not argumentativeness or snark that is making the wellwater taste distinctly salty of late, it's those tools being wielded by some whose lack of skills (or sense of community or intellect or personal hygiene or...?) impel them to use the tools like bludgeons. See also the recent Sethfest about careful writing.

A scythe'll just bend the grass if you don't swing the damn thing the right way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:24 PM on January 3, 2005


Are one link posts on Metafilter taboo these days?

Of course not. They are, as they have ever been, the bread and butter of the site.
posted by rushmc at 3:28 PM on January 3, 2005


Ah. So I'm to accept that any expectation of deceny on Metafilter have gone out the window?

No, but expecting any decency is different from expecting only decency.

It may not surprise you to know that some of the sniping you received came from people with comparatively high contribution indices. Some of it was the ass-end of what's called "self-policing," but I guess that's one of the ways you end up with a high contribution index: swarm like bobbies to the sound of the whistle in every bad, marginal, or contested post. Maybe if people were limited to, say, five comments per day on Metafilter, they'd be less likely to pile on in threads. But the only surefire way to avoid sniping is to avoid posting. I do.
posted by coelecanth at 3:29 PM on January 3, 2005


*glances meaningfully at the door*

Wasn't expecting this from you, Stavros, but thanks for proving my point.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:32 PM on January 3, 2005


Seems like a weird thread to start a war over, don't it?

She asked. I just think FPP shouldn't be motivated strictly by the fact that it interests the poster and he or she wants to hear people "discuss" it. Combine that with a newsfiltery one-linker and this is the potential result.

My personal standard for front page post (meaning - what I use for myself) is either something non-controversial, fun and neato to look at it (like a video or something) or a compilation of a fews links put together to CREATE or FORM a Metafilter FPP. It's not something that just anyone can do well or successfully. People shouldn't feel obligated to eventually contribute to the front page with a post. If the post isn't something like. "Check out this bizarro website", or "Look at this awesome video of a guy swallowing beer cans", then make sure your post shows the slightest bit of effort... not just, "Isn't this story outrageous?"

While opinions of what makes an acceptable front page post can be debated for eons, I don't think it's as hard to understand as some people make it out to be (not pointing any fingers). "When in doubt, leave it out".
posted by Witty at 3:34 PM on January 3, 2005


it has always been considered bad form

Bullshit. It used to be posts overloaded with links that got called out. I don't know when this "single link = bad" philosophy started taking hold, but it should be taken out and shot.

Don't let them get to you, agregoli -- there was nothing wrong with your post. Not the greatest ever, but there was no reason to bitch about it, let alone pull the kind of shit some people I won't bother to name were pulling in the thread. Keep on keepin' on.
posted by languagehat at 3:34 PM on January 3, 2005


At some point in 2004, MetaFilter jumped the shark. It's unfortunate, but I suppose it was also inevitable. Overall, it's a pretty depressing place, imo

and you still paid to get in?
posted by matteo at 3:41 PM on January 3, 2005


JollyWanker was being an egregious jerk.

However, agregoli, it wasn't a great FPP because it was a link to a news story with your opinions about the news story attached. I am not a great FPPer myself, but great FPPs, in my opinion, should have a little more than that in them--either they have to be a single link to something really unusual, or a couple of contrasting links about something more mundane.

And, no, I don't like the "race driver/cocaine" post particularly, and the link to the Times story about the marriage habits of people born in 1920 isn't fantastic, either. Mediocre FPPs, however, are the least of MeFi's problems at the moment.

YouShouldSeetheOtherGuy, why did you join two weeks ago if the site is so damned bad?
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:44 PM on January 3, 2005


If you're specifically upset about your own misunderstanding of XQ's comment, that's no reason to start a MeTa thread...
posted by jonson at 3:49 PM on January 3, 2005


Wasn't expecting this from you, Stavros, but thanks for proving my point.

Did you read the very next sentence(s), oh thin-skinned newcomer pundit?

Thanks for proving my point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:51 PM on January 3, 2005


One-link posts aren't bad, but it's always nice to see someone put in the extra effort of digging through google to get some more background, to go behind the story, if you will.

So if it's a news story about billy falling into a well, find billy's personal website and a history of well-falling-intos that you can link to and when people want to know more or why something is important, then they can follow the additional links.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:57 PM on January 3, 2005


and you still paid to get in?

matteo, yeah, I did. I've actually been a member here for several years and after getting emails from a bunch of newbies asking for advice/assistance (remember that thread where people volunteered to help out?), I decided to purchase a new account and see what they were talking about.

On preview, what Sidhedevil said about mediocre FPPs. My complaint with the place has little to do with them. Yeah, lots of people make bad FPPs (I made one yesterday), but is it really necessary to react the way so many MeFites do? I mean, really, wtf is the matter with people? Have they no sense of decency or courtesy? Manners?

You don't like a post? Fine, skip it. If the post breaks MeFi's guidelines or whatever, take it to MeTa. That's what it's for. If the post is really shit, Matt will delete it. But these pile-ons and GYOBFWs over and over again?

What I don't understand is why do people who seem to only make those post (or often make them) come here? Is it the highlight of their day to be an asshole? Seriously, it's very strange behavior but unfortunately it's becoming more and more accepted and, apparently, to the people who like doing it, expected.

And yes, Stavros, MeFi was never HappyLand. I'm not so naive to think it was. However, it was, for years, an interesting community with terrific links and interesting discussion. It is *rarely* either of those things lately.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:58 PM on January 3, 2005


P.S. I'll go back to my other account outside of this thread, just in case the experiment pisses anyone off. Besides, being "new" here is like being in the twilight zone and it's creeping me the fuck out.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:02 PM on January 3, 2005


agregoli, the problem with your post is that it's about as close to trolling as you can get without the eating of small children-part. There are plenty of bad laws and bad judges on the planet. Just do a quick Google for bad laws and you'll see plenty of things to get agitated over. If the bad law in question had some larger implications to the rest of us, and wasn't simply an abberation worthy of scorn, you might not have received so much bile for it.

Plenty of great FPP's have been one-linkers. That's not even an issue here.

Personally, I think a good FPP should try and create joy, wonder, and amazement (cue: Cumbaya). The best FPP's I've ever seen had no political leanings, and practically no discussion attached, save for [this is good].
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:08 PM on January 3, 2005


I removed the crap comments in the thread.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:09 PM on January 3, 2005


agregoli, don't give up on things. Contrary to some of the accusations leveled at you, you seem to very much be a person of integrity and courtesy, and not at all the type to intentionally *promote thread diarrhea.* Nothing about your post warranted such a response, imo. It was perhaps a bit thin with the single source but probably might have gone over better if it was about a penis. Wimmin stuff has a tendency to rile some of the menfolks, but that's a good way to learn about who to avoid sitting next to at the next meetup ;-) Ditto on what languagehat and Sidhedevil said, good comments, both.

Oh, and you have a fine blog, too. Some of your finds would make good single link posts, methinks - such as Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists or the Mustard Gas Party - great stuff!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:15 PM on January 3, 2005


And yes, Stavros, MeFi was never HappyLand. I'm not so naive to think it was. However, it was, for years, an interesting community with terrific links and interesting discussion. It is *rarely* either of those things lately.

Seriously, this is the kind of comment that's been popping up since I've been here (and perhaps, since you've revealed that You Should See the Other Guy is a sock-puppet account, which I fucking hate, as it breaks one of the fundamental underpinnings of interaction on this site, which is that your posting history is your personality, and is the metric by which others understand your community identity, since you've been here too). That's what? More than 4 years now (yikes). 'Imment Demise Of Metafilter' injokes have been common currency since long before I signed up (and was just lurking).

That in itself doesn't mean your comment is wrong, but it is wrong nonetheless, in my humble. There are still superb discussions every day, and fantastic links, better in recent weeks than I've seen in at least a year or two, in aggregate. I have been startled recently, repeatedly, at how good this place can still be at its best.

It's foolish to assume it will always be at its best, though.

I would suggest your negativity is unfounded, although I will grant that there is nothing wrong at all with civility and good humour and courtesy, and that there are too many people who lash out semi-coherently when they don't like something, often out of proportion to any issue at hand. In this we agree.

But this is a reflection of society, I reckon, and not so much of The Imminent Demise Of Metafilter.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:21 PM on January 3, 2005


Wimmin stuff has a tendency to rile some of the menfolks, but that's a good way to learn about who to avoid sitting next to at the next meetup ;-)

That actually made me laugh. *Doffs bowler cap*
posted by The God Complex at 4:27 PM on January 3, 2005


But these pile-ons and GYOBFWs over and over again?

I've got no problem with Get Your Own Blog Fuckwit comments, for the most part. If they don't include insults or invective, they help to clarify that MeFi is supposed to be about the best of the web. (Man, I hate using that phrase....)

I will note that a while back, while 1142 and 9622 were still in their giddy resource-leaching heydays, threads that were clearly going to be deleted when next Matt showed up became playgrounds for sometimes-funny sometimes-stupid hijinks.

Matt said, quite strongly, to lay the hell off with the messing around.

People did, for a long time, but that seems to be coming back, this time with [img] tags and inanity aplenty. That, I don't care much for either, particularly since MeTa has become such a playground for jocular oneupmanship these days.

So I'm with you there. If the post is crap, and someone has already said so, then zip up, move on, and if you really can't let it go, take it here to Metatalk.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:29 PM on January 3, 2005


At some point in 2004, MetaFilter jumped the shark.

Say it ain't so.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:35 PM on January 3, 2005


It ain't so.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:37 PM on January 3, 2005


MATHOWIES EPITAPH
posted by quonsar at 4:38 PM on January 3, 2005


My own feeling is that single link posts are bad unless they are fantastically interesting. The problem is that the people most inclined to post uninteresting single links are - to some extent, though this is a gross generalization - the people least capable of discerning what constitutes a fantastically interesting post.
posted by Ryvar at 4:44 PM on January 3, 2005


I will note that a while back, while 1142 and 9622 were still in their giddy resource-leaching heydays

Holy shit, 1142 caves in on itself when loading - much like a long lost scroll dug up by archaeologists. Thanks for the memory lane tour, Stav.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 4:46 PM on January 3, 2005


As Jacquilynne notes above, it has always been considered bad form

It's never been considered bad form. I'm sure many members, like myself, prefer it over let's see how impressive I can make this post look with a thousand posts post...
posted by justgary at 4:50 PM on January 3, 2005


You Should See the Other Guy:

The sockpuppetry is like, totally classless, dude.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:52 PM on January 3, 2005


your posting history is your personality,

I agree and I'm somewhat sorry for duping people. However, that's the biggest thing I've learned in the last few weeks. A number of these newbies are finding it difficult to "get" that personality because they're terrified of posting. And, after being in their shoes, I understand.

Not a single one of the people who emailed me thru the volunteer thread have made an FPP yet. Sure, we can call them wimps or cowards or whatever, but I think it would be far more beneficial to ask ourselves why. I mean, I know it's ridiculous to assume but... let's assume that most of the members here want this to be a better place for links. Shouldn't we be doing our best to encourage these people to link? Pile-ons (mean spirited ones--which is pretty much the only kind around these days) are not the way to do it.

The fucked up thing is that many, many of these people (the shitter-ons) are not adding to the goodness of MeFi in anyway whatsoever. They criticize the newbie's FPPs and you check their own history and it's a joke or nonexistent. But they're "entitled" to behave as they wish 'cause they have a low UN? It's nonsense. A lot of these people are trying really hard and they get shit on over and over again.

Yesterday Miss Lynster made a perfectly valid FPP and two members brought up her entire posting history (yeah, I know she's only made 8 links). I mean, wtf is the point of that? They added zip to the conversation. Others implied it was a double post which it wasn't--which leads me to believe they didn't even click the link before jumping in. (Admittedly, it was due to the two FPL's going to similarly titled pages). Yeah, it wasn't the greatest link in the world (and it could have existed inside the other thread) but it wasn't shit either (I found it of use, personally).

Yes, perhaps I'm nitpicking, but it was the closest example I could think of. (And yes, I barked at one of them in the thread as it seemed a callout would have gotten this "newbie" flame-roasted.)

The sockpuppetry is like, totally classless, dude.

I suspect more people are doing it than you would think.

I did it for two reasons:


1. After discussing the idea with several MeFites via email (and sharing with each other the gist of the emails we got from newbies), we all couldn't believe how in synch their comments were. It was the only way to find out. (And, to be honest, I didn't pay for the membership, someone else did.)

I mean, we were all newbies ourselves at one point and it was scary but these people are terrified. How different could it be? Unfortunately, I found out.

2. I thought that if I looked like a newbie and made some (what I thought) were half-decent posts and not get piled-on, other newbies might take the plunge. (Others I was in cahoots with offered up some sacrifice FPPs as well.) Two other sock-puppets I know of are doing exactly this right now.

Asshattery or not, I don't regret doing it. To be honest, I hope Matt tries it if he isn't already.

Again, I'll go back to my regular UN outside of this thread.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:13 PM on January 3, 2005


*scraps plan to start an account that would start a war with my present account, ending in a simultaneous meltdown-pancake-eating contest*

On topic, most of my [mediocre] posts have been one-linkers. I don't think the issue is number of links, but the content of the linked material. If it expresses any opinion at all, especially on a sensitive subject, people will complain and/or argue. This most often occurs in a vicious manner on the one link posts because it becomes very easy to say that the poster has an agenda. I think the best way to avoid getting personally attacked when you post something along those lines is to offer multiple points of view in the form of multiple links. That way it is easier to debate the content instead of the poster's possible ulterior motives.
posted by sciurus at 5:23 PM on January 3, 2005


" ... we were all newbies ourselves at one point and it was scary ... "

No, it wasn't. And it still shouldn't be. None of you people exist outside of being pixels on a screen. This whole "PEOPLE ARE TYPING THINGS ABOUT ME SO I AM AFRAID TO TYPE BACK" doesn't make much sense, and frankly if you're so afraid of words on a screen that you'll hide from them, maybe you should find a nice hobby like gardening where you don't have to interact with pixels and such.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:23 PM on January 3, 2005


It's time to out yourself. Who is the other guy?
posted by dness2 at 5:24 PM on January 3, 2005


The sockpuppetry is like, totally classless, dude.

I suspect more people are doing it than you would think.


then I suspect we have more, like, totally classless asshats than I would think. which is saying a lot.
excuse me, whoever the fuck you are, if all your talk about newbies being "terrified" doesn't move me much -- this is a website, for chrissakes. a community blog is not a support group for insecure wannabe bloggers. I agree this is a tough, tough audience. but I wouldn't trade it for a group-hug "let's not hurt his/her self-esteem" goody-goody community. it'd be desperately boring. here on MeFi I care about people's brains, and their links. I don't really care about their manners, really. I'd like to see civility? yes. but come on, if one is "terrified" of this place, well, frankly then that person has serious insecurity problem. and it's not my job to be their therapist, no offense taken. we have all posted shit fpp's. it happens. we're still alive.

and again, the sock puppet thing is really childish. is on the same level of prank calls. sad.
posted by matteo at 5:30 PM on January 3, 2005


I've been a member here for some time, and never made a front page post. I do respect the ethic regarding quality fpp's and never really felt I had something that measured up.

Yeah, the quality of fpp's and comments has dropped of late, but you know what, it still beats the pants off of every similar blog I've seen, both the links and the conversations. By far the thing that has most contributed to the degrading of the conversations, is the incessant mefi-cop whining in every thread about the worth of the post. It would really be better kept in metatalk if you care about the site.
posted by Manjusri at 5:33 PM on January 3, 2005


it breaks one of the fundamental underpinnings of interaction on this site, which is that your posting history is your personality, and is the metric by which others understand your community identity

Comments should stand on their own merits. The cult of personality contributes mightily to the problems around here. I don't care about your "personality" construct, but about what you have to contribute to the discussions.

Me, I have seven new member accounts, and I defy you to discover them all.
posted by rushmc at 5:38 PM on January 3, 2005


Okay, I don't really...
posted by rushmc at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2005


and I defy you to discover them all.

OMG YOU'RE SO CUNNING!
posted by matteo at 5:41 PM on January 3, 2005


I vote troutfishing.
posted by grateful at 5:42 PM on January 3, 2005


" ... we were all newbies ourselves at one point and it was scary ... "

I kind of agree with this. I've been here for a while now, and I still kind of over think my posts, in fear of awakening the evil pile-on monster. Sure it doesn't hurt physically, but I don't want to ruin the name I have built up for myself. For newbies, perhaps the fear lies in getting pigeonholed early as someone who is not to be taken seriously.
posted by Quartermass at 5:43 PM on January 3, 2005


Me, I have seven new member accounts, and I defy you to discover them all.

Ban rushmc, please.
posted by Ryvar at 5:50 PM on January 3, 2005


In relation to Manjusri's point, I said this in the Screenplay Sequel thread:

Such situations are when I wish that we had k5's categorical commenting system --> editorial and topical. Editorial refers to matters about the post (double posting, excessive length..etc) and topical refers to content presented by, and linked to, in the post. Default visibility should be 'Topical only' for logged-in users and visitors unable to view editorial posts.
posted by Gyan at 5:53 PM on January 3, 2005


Me, I have seven new member accounts, and I defy you to discover them all.

Like Pokemon, but even more retarded.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:54 PM on January 3, 2005


Okay, I don't really...

yeahright rush_sean_seth_trout_etc_etc_mutilate ;)
posted by kamylyon at 5:55 PM on January 3, 2005


I don't think it's appropriate to dump on You Should See the Other Guy for using a sockpuppet. He seems to have had good intentions. I think it could be destructive to community, though, if it became widespread. And I've no problem at all with people who want to totally retire an old identity and start a new one, like konolia did, or Keyser Soze may, if he comes back.

But I do agree with crash, and with matteo, although he came off a bit frothing, that it's a tough audience, in most part (not entirely, and I agree with YSHSTOG that that's a shame -- that there are too many who mistake abrasiveness for cleverness), but in the main it is because it is a smart audience. This is good.

Comments should stand on their own merits. The cult of personality contributes mightily to the problems around here. I don't care about your "personality" construct, but about what you have to contribute to the discussions.

I assume that you're deliberately miscontruing my comment. If someone has contributed little or nothing to the community, in terms of making posts and engaging in intelligent conversation on the blue, asking and answering questions on the green, or being communitarian by whatever means possible (and, yes, having a bit of fun, in moderation) in the grey, then we naturally judge what they have to say through the lens that history, tempered by the content and style and tone of whatever they are saying currently. Conversely for someone who has been engaged. We don't need to like or hate them, but if we perceive interaction here as interaction within a community, then we certainly have some thought of shared historical interactions in our mind when we participate in 'weblog as conversation'.

Various members construct avatar personalities here to various degrees -- I've seen thomcatspike write perfectly lucidly sometimes, to pick an example -- but that's not what I'm talking about. Not is it a problem, I don't think. I'm talking about the fact that we react to people, for better or worse, in a way that's coloured by what we have seen from them in the past, and what we know about them. Here, that body of knowledge of the other person doesn't come from the same places it does in Real Life. Here it is almost entirely (especially for those who don't weblog) an artifact of our knowledge, to what degree it exists, of their past participation here, whether that's been over years or weeks. Text.

Using sock puppet accounts can subvert that, and in so doing, subvert one of the underpinnings of interaction here. We can do it online, but not in person, for the most part. Here, we have no faces other than those that have emerged from our posting history.

Were we all meta-alzheimer's sufferers, and merely responding in conversation only to what was said moments before, I wouldn't find this place nearly as interesting.

Cult of personality, as you describe it, is destructive, yes. But accruing respect or whuffie or whatever as a result of mindfulness or kindness or smarts or whatever positive measure you choose -- that's a fundamental thing in all human relations, and it works in a particularly fascinating way, to me, here online, and particularly in this place.

Apologies for the length. I think about this stuff entirely too much.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:57 PM on January 3, 2005


"your own arrogant assumption"
"your petty your petty grievances"
"None of you people exist outside of being pixels on a screen."
"totally classless asshats"


These are all rude, obnoxious things to say. And a very '90's Usenet isolated, isolating, and sociopathic way of talking, if I may say so.

The '90's are gone. We all have years of experience with this medium. Act with a more consideration, because we all know where talk like this leads.

Get a clue. Politeness is not weakness.
posted by mono blanco at 6:02 PM on January 3, 2005


a community blog is not a support group for insecure wannabe bloggers.

I wasn't asking for a group hug or anything of the sort. I was asking for common courteousy and a simple "Does this add the community/site/discussion?" thought before clicking POST on yet another snark/insult.

And I hardly see how it's childish. Curiosity as to what someone else is experiencing is hardly childish. Sure, I could have dismissed the emails, but I'd offered up help. Though tempting, "Suck it up and just make the post" is hardly of help. As I said, I don't regret the experiment. Though maybe being more tight-lipped about it would have been smarter. :)

mr. davis said, "And it still shouldn't be." [scary to be a newbie]. Yes, I agree. It shouldn't be. However, as is obvious to me now, and which I think is clear with all the "it's my first post, be gentle" qualifiers, it IS scary.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:03 PM on January 3, 2005


I barely have enough jam for one ID. I have as many FPPs in four-almost-five years as this alias-person does in two months.

Whoever you are, if MeFi is jumping the shark (and I don't think it is, but if it is), it's doing so because of not-so-cunning stunts like the dishonesty you're pulling here.

If you felt you couldn't speak your mind properly under your "proper" username, then the problem doesn't lie with anyone else.

Do the site, the community and yourself a favor, and make an attempt to be real, at least within the context of this site. Assholiness comes and goes, but a lie is a turd in the pool.
posted by chicobangs at 6:07 PM on January 3, 2005


rushmc is Kwantsar and ParisParamus.
posted by trharlan at 6:20 PM on January 3, 2005


I am son_of_minya returned to you and I will cut off my hand if you so much as look at me cock-eyed.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:29 PM on January 3, 2005


For what it's worth, You Should See the Other Guy, again, my meaningful glance at the door was not knee-jerk newbie-hating or anything of the kind. It was a joke, and of course I'd rather you stay and try and make things better (under your 'real' id, preferably).

But many people, myself included, still find Metafilter vibrant and well worth the time we spend here. Telling us that 'it's jumped the shark', that 'it's a pretty depressing place', that 'the newbies aren't to blame, but the old-timers who for some reason feel entitled or something', and that it 'is heartbreaking, insulting, annoying, and just plain frustrating to see the daily barage of bile', well, it seemed pretty clear that you just don't like the place or people, and that it might be better to just stop for your own sake.

Better, of course, to stay and try and make things more gooder, though, rather than insulting by implication those who still think this place is the tits. I hope you do so.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:29 PM on January 3, 2005


As Jacquilynne notes above, it has always been considered bad form

It's never been considered bad form. I'm sure many members, like myself, prefer it over let's see how impressive I can make this post look with a thousand posts post...


Since that's been repeated a couple of times now, I'd like to point out that I never said that. I allowed that many posts are made up of single links that are just fine. While there are a certain subset of newsfilter / single link posts that have always been bad form, it by no means applies to all single link posts.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:38 PM on January 3, 2005


I'm not given to "the site is ending" posts, because by and large I think the site is fine. I have noticed some of the changes as of late other people are referring to, and I'd like to address that topic:

One of the many reasons I like it here is because I prefer the company of intelligent assholes (in the good way). I like a good flamewar, a good knock-down drag-out verbal sparring match between two evenly-matched intellects that draws a little blood (drama). Even a pileon directed at me or someone else every once in a great while is good sport - provided it all stays in MeTa where it belongs.

But this newbie intimidation for the sake of intimidation crap is bullshit. What the hell is the point other than abject cruelty? You're stomping on defenseless children, shooting fish in a barrel, and beating up the Deltas when there's plenty of Alphas spoiling for a fight. Why bother? What can you get out of hurting them outside of some kind of deeply twisted sadistic knowledge that you're the bad kind of asshole?

Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I don't get the concept of hazing. I understand Pavlov and behavior reinforcement, sure, but we've been seeing precious little of that and far too much of the hazing as of late, and it's beginning to concern me. There's the kind of asshole who is just callous to the feelings of others, and the kind of asshole who goes out actively shoving people's face in the dirt.

When I yell at Ethereal Bligh I'm not doing it because I enjoy hurting his feelings, I'm doing it because I want to make Metafilter a better place (and assist him with his self-proclaimed difficulties in communication) and I'm mostly indifferent to his feelings inasmuch as they are casualties of these goals. I'm not, like a few people, out there actively trying to drive him off or to hurt him for the sake of hurting him.

I guess, really, if I were to suggest a golden rule for determining when calling out newbies crosses the line, that would be it - make sure your motive is not to harm for harming's sake, but rather to make the site better even if that involves some tough love along the way.
posted by Ryvar at 6:40 PM on January 3, 2005


The only thing we have going for us in here is the honesty of our opinions. Otherwise we're free to just troll away, make up viewpoints just so we can shoot our mouths off, throw shit into the blender and then scurry back into the darkness with no real awareness or care for consequences. That's when this place loses its extra dimension.

If you need a place for your id to run around and fuck shit up, ther rest of the net will welcome you with open arms. But if you have a real interest in strengthening your actual worldview by giving it a bit of a run through, this can be as rewarding a place as there is, either online or off.

There aren't many places in any dimension on this planet where honesty isn't merely the best policy, but the way to the greatest reward. You're reading one right now.

So YSSTOG, stop being a spineless putz. Own up to your attitude. The rewards are immense.
posted by chicobangs at 6:42 PM on January 3, 2005


*waves at Manjusri*

I've been a member here for some time, and never made a front page post. I do respect the ethic regarding quality fpp's and never really felt I had something that measured up.

You're the type of member that should be posting. I wish more of the members who respected the time and attention of the other members and the community ethic of Metafilter posted.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:42 PM on January 3, 2005


Well said, Ryvar.

I note that amberglow recently accused my of doing exactly what you describe. I don't believe I was, but I've put a lockdown lid over my snarkbutton, nonetheless, to make myself think twice before I go off on someone.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:45 PM on January 3, 2005


I prefer single link posts, or at least ones that clearly designate a primary link.

The go/nogo decision for a MetaFilter post gets only a certain amount of my time and attention, and if you dilute that attention across four links in your post, then I much more likely to skip all the links in it. </Kitty Genovese>
posted by NortonDC at 6:47 PM on January 3, 2005


[God damn it, I can't put together a coherent sentence today to save my own life. Sorry.]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:49 PM on January 3, 2005


*Another wave at Manjusri*

By far the thing that has most contributed to the degrading of the conversations, is the incessant mefi-cop whining in every thread about the worth of the post. It would really be better kept in metatalk if you care about the site.

So, so, so true.
posted by litlnemo at 6:58 PM on January 3, 2005


But this newbie intimidation for the sake of intimidation crap is bullshit. What the hell is the point other than abject cruelty? You're stomping on defenseless children, shooting fish in a barrel, and beating up the Deltas when there's plenty of Alphas spoiling for a fight. Why bother? What can you get out of hurting them outside of some kind of deeply twisted sadistic knowledge that you're the bad kind of asshole?


Ryvar, your conclusions are sound, but you took it too far. I'm a newbie. I'm not defenseless, a fish, or a Delta. The implication that we n00bs are less intelligent or less able to defend ourselves is inappropriate and, frankly, patronizing and insulting.

If you wish to claim that the intimidation of us newer members is more widespread than it should be, and wrong, then I agree with you. But you don't have to demean us to make that point.
posted by aberrant at 7:16 PM on January 3, 2005


Aberrant: Sorry. I should've clarified because I thought immediately after I hit 'Post,' "Oh God someone is going to take that to mean that I think all newbies are Deltas."

That clearly isn't the case. A lot of you have blended in quite well, and can obviously handle yourselves. My apologies.
posted by Ryvar at 7:19 PM on January 3, 2005


Ryvar,

Ah, good, I was glad you were actually serious, and not trolling for newbies in that prior post. :)
posted by aberrant at 7:21 PM on January 3, 2005


Ban rushmc, please.

Touche, sir!
posted by rushmc at 7:25 PM on January 3, 2005


But accruing respect or whuffie or whatever as a result of mindfulness or kindness or smarts or whatever positive measure you choose -- that's a fundamental thing in all human relations

You want to build relations here, I just like to see intelligent perspectives on the interesting links that people post. If an entirely different set of people posted every day, it would be all the same to me, if they were of equal or higher caliber.

(This is not entirely true, of course, but it is mostly true, and becomes more true as more and more members choose to join the Asshat Brigade.)
posted by rushmc at 7:28 PM on January 3, 2005


The only thing we have going for us in here is the honesty of our opinions. Otherwise we're free to just troll away, make up viewpoints just so we can shoot our mouths off, throw shit into the blender and then scurry back into the darkness with no real awareness or care for consequences.

My opinions are honest. And I have posted similar thoughts in the past about the rudeness I felt was increasing. However, do you seriously think I'm trolling? If so, I think that's a tremendous stretch.

Signing up for a new account for 2 weeks or so and posting a bunch of FPP--all but one of which I think is decent and the one I don't was my link last night to speeding up FF, which I do think as useful, which is a whole other kettle of fish--is hardly trolling, being an asshole, or anything negative. You're of course welcome to disagree.

Had I not posted those FPPs under this username, I certainly would have under my other one.

I hardly think that I have been an asshole and insinuations that I am attempting to fuck things up are pretty ridiculous. Put simply, I put the shoe on the other foot.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:30 PM on January 3, 2005


YSStOG's past weekend moviefest?

:)
posted by aberrant at 7:35 PM on January 3, 2005


Ah, good, I was glad you were actually serious, and not trolling for newbies in that prior post. :)

aberrant: generally I prefer to post with multiple motives so tightly coupled that I myself cannot decipher which is my primary intent (*ahem*), but in this instance I'm genuinely cheesed.

The handwriting is on the wall - abusive behavior towards newbies especially of the variety I am railing against is bad for the longterm economic viability of the site, and that means that mathowie might very well attempt to severely curtail ALL abusive behavior on the site regardless of target or intent.

As stated above, I relish a good MeTa fight, and so I'm doing my part to try and make sure I can continue to do so into the future.
posted by Ryvar at 7:35 PM on January 3, 2005


You Should See the Other Guy - Have you revealed your "true" identity yet? Did I miss it? If not, I think you owe it to us to give it up?

Additionally, you seem to be taking the stance that we should be encouraging newbies to post to the front page. I disagree, to a point. We should be encouraging to post QUALITY posts to the front page, even if that means using an occassioanl "rude" comment or snark. You can't take every shit post to Meta.

There's no rush to "get in there and give it a shot". This isn't like learning how to ride a skateboard, where there's no other way to learn that to just do it. An FFP with one link to an obscure news item with a trolling additional message (an attempt at leading the discussion) warrants a 'GYOFB'. And if you can't handle it. Tough shit. Learn.

Leave your opinions out of the FPP. Don't post a comment until about 8-10 other people have had a chance to direct the discussion... then you can comment. You're tired of the pile-ons or whatever? I'm tired of people pretending like they don't understand.
posted by Witty at 7:43 PM on January 3, 2005



There's no rush to "get in there and give it a shot". This isn't like learning how to ride a skateboard, where there's no other way to learn that to just do it. An FFP with one link to an obscure news item with a trolling additional message (an attempt at leading the discussion) warrants a 'GYOFB'. And if you can't handle it. Tough shit. Learn.


Does it warrant a dozen of these comments? Does it warrant someone going off on a tirade in four or five different comments and acting the fool? Are you actually considering answering yes to any of my lazy rhetorical tricks?

That said, you are right in suggesting there is no need for people to rush and make a first post. But I'm no authority, having posted but a scant few FPPs in my years, none of which really contain multiple links, and several of which are single-link posts to zany news stories.
posted by The God Complex at 7:49 PM on January 3, 2005


You want to build relations here, I just like to see intelligent perspectives on the interesting links that people post.

You impute desires to me that I do not claim for myself, and you misunderstand what I was saying in the process. My fault, perhaps. Like I said, I'm having trouble expressing myself clearly today.

It is built in to the very nature of relations and relationships which arise from interaction between people -- of which conversation and argument are merely kinds, but are the kinds that are currency here -- that there is some kind of historicity, some influence of the agitating action of memory as we speak and act. This is what makes us human.

Your reductio ad absurdum ("If an entirely different set of people posted every day, it would be all the same to me, if they were of equal or higher caliber"), from which you pull back in your postscript, has the effect of leaving you sounding either absurd or a wee bit sociopathic.

But hey, whatever polishes your bayonet. Disputation in a vacuum sounds perilously close to masturbation to me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:08 PM on January 3, 2005


Further, and I hate repeating myself, we know each other by our words alone here. Words used in the course of an ongoing discussion (beyond which you are happy to draw a veil of unknowing, if I understand you correctly), and words used back into the past.

That is if not unknown at least unusual in the greater world at large.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:27 PM on January 3, 2005


Sock puppet accounts are terrible. On the other hand, people's pet accounts are cute and cuddly!
posted by vraxoin's cats at 8:35 PM on January 3, 2005


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:51 PM on January 3, 2005


speaking of sock-puppets....

I don't know. I'm new, and I haven't been flamed or called out or scared to post. (except for that time when the almighty esteemed elder quonsar (speak his name in hushed tones only- He hears all) deigned to troll me and I bit gleefully.) The comments on the threads that I fpp'd haven't been negative, and no-one emailed me saying "you suxx0rz". But then, I think that I have a pretty good sense of what the general "feel" is here, for lack of a better word.

I think that You Should See the Other Guy's attemt was in good faith, but the new users don't really need that; they need to figure out what makes a good post, and try it out. If it doesn't stand on its own, they'll find out. If they treat this like everything else, they'll hopefully lick their virtual wounds and come back stronger with a better fpp next time.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:57 PM on January 3, 2005


Are one link posts on Metafilter taboo these days?

One link or many? does it really matter as long as the content is of interest to some members.

You Should See the Other Guy, I would actually like to because you are giving me the creeps.
posted by Tarrama at 9:09 PM on January 3, 2005


Have you revealed your "true" identity yet? Did I miss it? If not, I think you owe it to us to give it up?

That is preposterous. He/she is operating within the permitted parameters of the site and owes us nothing further.

This is what makes us human.

Not hardly. Our humanity is piecemeal and fragmented and derives from no single identifiable thing. It is extremely doubtful that what we share of ourselves here is sufficient to qualify us as "human" in any meaningful way.

that means that mathowie might very well attempt to severely curtail ALL abusive behavior on the site regardless of target or intent.

We should be so lucky.
posted by rushmc at 9:47 PM on January 3, 2005


Not hardly. Our humanity is piecemeal and fragmented and derives from no single identifiable thing.

Damn it, I try to use shorthand to avoid coming off all Ethereal Bligh and this is what it gets me. OK, fine. You win, Mr Pedantic. I can't be bothered any more. I get the sense you're merely baiting me, anyway, and I'm falling for it.

It is extremely doubtful that what we share of ourselves here is sufficient to qualify us as "human" in any meaningful way.

Speak for yourself.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:53 PM on January 3, 2005


Have you revealed your "true" identity yet? Did I miss it? If not, I think you owe it to us to give it up?

One user, RJ Reynolds, links to You Should Have Seen The Other Guy as a contact. This is a bit of a give-away, I'd think. Though I could well be wrong. I have been before.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:57 PM on January 3, 2005


He/she is operating within the permitted parameters of the site and owes us nothing further.

Thank you, rushmc.

Further, it's not what we're owed by other members, it's what we owe them. If people spent more time focusing on that there'd be fewer problems.

This is a bit of a give-away, I'd think. Though I could well be wrong. I have been before.

This is NOT a give-away, clue, or any other such thing. RJR is in no way connected to me or this experiment. He's not even one of the people who link to my original profile. He's just someone who linked me, presumably, because he liked one of my posts. I was surprised to get any contacts so quickly.

Lastly, I'd really rather this didn't turn into a game of "guess who" but I suppose I can't stop anyone from speculating. I will not participate, however, or confirm any guesses. In fact, I'm gonna scoot back to my original ID.

Those of you who were creeped out, my apologies. That was not my intention. Those who think I misbehaved or betrayed the community, sorry, but we're gonna have to agree to disagree.

Laterz.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:26 PM on January 3, 2005


This is NOT a give-away, clue, or any other such thing.

OK, sorry. Should have figured that'd be too darn obvious.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:32 PM on January 3, 2005


Now I just want my 30 minutes back. I started reading this thread, absentmindedly because of the 90 odd comments, and part way through I HAD to add something - I remember feeling pissed off at a few peoples "new user" equals "defensless fucking idiot" connection, but I can't remember who's - and now I'll be fucked if Im trawling through that lot again just to find out.

Perhaps it was the detour to rape haiku's. Perhaps it was the recognition that all this has happened before on BBS's, MUDs, Usenet, IRC, fuck it was the same in my hometown CB radio craze in the eighties - its is a repeating pattern. Perhaps it was because this was all said yesterday in yet another thread.

So here's this n00bs understanding...

1) People who have invested time building this community will defend it using the whatever method they have at their disposal (Here, Pile-ons and snarks). There's no right or wrong about it, its a necessary function, because...
2) Any large group must have a core group of 'gardeners' to survive. To rip out the weeds and tell people not to walk on the fucking grass.
3) Unless there is a significant barrier to entry, people will come in and walk on the grass, regardless. $5 is not sufficient when signoffs have been closed for so long. Too many people have been eyeing this patch of grass for too long.
4) There is nothing difficult in creating a good FPP. But given that there are precious few OVERT POSITIVE guidlines, people will do it through trial and error. They need the feedback to get it right - if right is important (and that's debateable) - overly negative feedback does the job, but mainly makes you just look like a kahunt.
5) A crap post is a crap post
6) Most new users I imagine, like me, come here to GET good links, not post them, have lurked for yonks, and joined to ease the frustration of not being able to chime in when theres something interesting going on (sporadically)
7) New to MeFi means only that - new to MeFi. It doesnt mean defenseless and it doesnt mean dumb
8) If your a really talented writer, only 80% of people will misinterpret what you say, the rest of us have to deal with significantly lower comprehension rates.
9) I like numbered lists
10) There is no ten.

OK, well, thats cleared that up then. In short, everyone should, but wont, get over themselves.
posted by BadSeamus at 11:20 PM on January 3, 2005


11) ???!?!
12) Mefi Utopia!
posted by Quartermass at 11:29 PM on January 3, 2005


13) The Friggen' Country Is Shaped Like A Boot?
posted by Dreamghost at 11:43 PM on January 3, 2005


Wowee, this got crazy quickly.

I'm gonna chime in late but probably not last.

First off, I've been tempted to get a sock puppet account ever since Matt reopened signups. But I didn't because I felt that it was unethical.

You Should See The Other Guy, I know you had your reasons for doing and I know they make it feel alright by you. But you've undermined one of the most fundamental aspects of MetaFilter that I appreciate, knowing who you're talking to, who you're interacting with.

I know that there are probably a good number of people playing around and being other member so they can tag team up or whatever. It's lame and I hope people realize that they're doing damage to the community by keeping the multiple name thing going.

As for the pile ons and other repeat stupidity. Call out the repeat and obnoxious offenders. Call them out here and leave the thread alone. If Matt decides it needs to be cleaned out, then he'll clean it out.

It's tiresome, the obnoxious nature of some members who seem to exist for no other reason but to launch assaults. Maybe its a growing up process? Its time to grow up. If the thread's been called crap and you think its bad, call it out here. Otherwise, type only stuff that you wouldn't mind letting your mother read aloud to your family.

On Preview: 14. PROFIT!!!!!!
posted by fenriq at 11:59 PM on January 3, 2005


You Should See the Other Guy, I guess I just don't see what you have proved with your experiment. You made several posts as a "new user" and, as far as I can see, got a perfectly civil if not downright warm reception.

As far as the whole conflagration about new vs. older members, what does it have to do with the post referenced here? Agregoli is not a new member, and, in fact, the very first snark (since removed) on her thread was made by a new member. So this doesn't exactly prove the point either. I've seen very bad behavior by old and new MeFites, a trend that is rapidly evaporating into just what it really is - bad behavior by some MeFites. It may be that you have a bit of tunnel vision when considering the problem. Jumping on stavros' "door" comment, for example, when he had already said it was a joke, and joshed you about it. After posting this comment, do you really think that even in your "old-timer''s persona, you wouldn't have received a (probably much sharper) response indicating that you are free to leave anytime? Do you really think that this "proved your point" about treatment of new users? I'm not saying you don't have a point at all, but I haven't seen any proving so far.

I agree that pointless, dull nastiness by anybody is ugly and wearisome, though, and ought to be discouraged.
posted by taz at 12:40 AM on January 4, 2005


taz, your comment has brought me back in for another little bit as I agree my "point" is confusing.

I should state (and stress) that I was never actually planning on outing myself. The "experiment" was for my own sake and those I was talking to about the topic. I wasn't trying to prove a point but just get a sense of what being "new" here was like in the current climate.

In essence, I was planning on just posting for a while (however long it took me to get a feel for what I was trying to figure out) and go away quietly. I never meant any harm by it and followed the guidelines (I posted only from this account while it was active--didn't back myself up in threads (like this very one) with my other ID--etc).

As far as the whole conflagration about new vs. older members, what does it have to do with the post referenced here?

In fact, no post was referenced in this thread's first post. I thought it was just a general question. My posts in this thread are in response to agregoli's follow-up question: "So I'm to accept that any expectation of deceny on Metafilter have gone out the window?".

I think that the lack of decency, as she put it, is amplified when you're new.

do you really think that even in your "old-timer''s persona, you wouldn't have received a (probably much sharper) response indicating that you are free to leave anytime?

I suppose that depends on your perception of my reason for posting what I did. I have posted similar statements under my other ID and, to my recollection, have never been told "There's the door" seriously or in jest. Why? I think people know that I'm not whining for whining's sake. I think people know that I do do my best to make this a better place. Sure, there are people here who don't like me but for the most part, I feel respected here.

While being a "new" member, as I mentioned already, the angry/insulting noise here is amplified and very disrespectful. And yes, I know that respect as a member is hard-earned, but I do think that the insults and snarks to the degree that they're currently being bandied about make it very discouraging for people to want to participate, whether that be FPP or just regular posts. Further, I'd argue that its presence makes it look like this is what MeFi is about. Someone who wasn't lurking for ages may very well think this is Assclown Heaven which makes it very inviting for more assclowns.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on unveiling my experiment to other members. If people reading this thread thought that that was my intention, to one day come out and say, "Aha! You people are neanderthals!" then yes, I can understand people being upset that I made another account. For that, I apologize. I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that before.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:40 AM on January 4, 2005


I wasn't trying to prove a point but just get a sense of what being "new" here was like in the current climate.

But you said "Wasn't expecting this from you, Stavros, but thanks for proving my point."

You also said: "I mean, we were all newbies ourselves at one point and it was scary but these people are terrified. How different could it be? Unfortunately, I found out."

What did you find out? That you could post as a new user without being mistreated? Because that's all I saw.

Finally, "Two other sock-puppets I know of are doing exactly this right now." Maybe if you all got together and collaborated on a MeTa post pointing out specific incidents and perhaps making some constructive recommendations or... something... it might be useful. To me it pretty much seems like fun and games right now.

I'm really sorry, because I actually agree with a lot of your complaints, but I don't think I see it as an old-camp/new camp thing, and to be honest, I don't really like a lot of the rhetoric that promotes this viewpoint. In my opinion, the sooner this distinction dies out, the better. However, if you want to change my my mind with a logical argument from the puppet company, I'd be very interested in what you all have to say.
posted by taz at 2:19 AM on January 4, 2005


I have posted similar statements under my other ID and, to my recollection, have never been told "There's the door" seriously or in jest.

Give me a platinum-plated diesel-powered ass-chafing break, cap'n. I'm not supposed to make a joke, now, even one deliberately making fun of those who do say things like 'if you don't like it, leave' or 'if you don't like it, scroll past it'?

On reflection, it sounds to me now like you wilfully misunderstood me (especially as you seemed to miss that I made it clear I was joking immediately after I said it) because you had an agenda -- to try and prove that people are mean to newbs. And that was after you posted some inflammatory shit to get a stir out of people, because you wanted to prove that they'd be mean.

Except they weren't.

You're a troll, as far as I can see. And one not brave enough to reveal his true identity, which makes it that much worse.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:32 AM on January 4, 2005


Oh for goodness' sake, this is my last post on this and then I'm outta here. You can think what you wish. I feel like I'm digging a pit.

But you said "Wasn't expecting this from you, Stavros, but thanks for proving my point."

I was referring to the point of my post in the thread, that new people are often judged by their newness and not their posts; that there is a lack of welcomeness for them. When I said "I wasn't trying to prove a point" in my most recent post, I meant for the experiment. Since I was never planning on saying I was a sock puppet, the whole "point" of the experiment wasn't for the other members.

And yes, I, personally, was never flamed as (for being) a "newbie". Admittedly (hopefully) my FPP were "experienced enough" that I wasn't bbq'd. However, I wasn't going to intentionally make shit posts to see what happened. The point wasn't to get flamed; I was merely trying to see if not having a posting history would affect the way I posted and behaved and it did, to an uncomfortable and unwanted degree. Much more so than I would have expected. That's it! That was the entire point. I thought I could try it for a month or whatever, but I didn't need to. Mission accomplished.

What did you find out?

That viewing all the snarkiness towards the new people is completely different when you're posting as one. Yeah, that may be a given in theory, but in practice--or so I thought--there seemed far too much of a gap between the "of course" and the "reality" people were expressing to me.

Thank you for attempting to understand, Taz. I appreciate it. The other sock puppets are of course welcome to add their thoughts. I'd fall down dead from shock if they did, though, after reading this thread. :)

Give me a platinum-plated diesel-powered ass-chafing break, cap'n.

I wasn't trying to beat a dead horse. I was asked, SPECIFICALLY AND POINTEDLY, what I thought would happen if I made a similar post as my other ID. I simply answered the question.

On reflection, it sounds to me now like you wilfully misunderstood me

I'm not going to go back and count, but it seems to me you've said this multiple times to multiple people in this thread alone. Sense a pattern? It's not a conspiracy, Stav. It's a fundamental rule of online communication: things fall through the cracks. Not everything comes across as was intended (and no, I'm not referring to your joke again, just "meaning" in general).

I'll trust that you're not willfully trying to drag this thing on and on just for the fun of it; you trust I wasn't trying to troll. Or not. It's up to you. I'm done.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:30 AM on January 4, 2005


Hmph. I dunno any more, but it's bed time, so for the sake of peaceful dreams, I'll let it drop.

And I did say to rushmc upthread that I thought he was deliberately misunderstanding me, too, it's true. But he always does that, the bastard. ~wink~
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:37 AM on January 4, 2005


Okay, You Should See... You can drop this if you feel like it. I can appreciate that it is a different experience posting as a newcomer, but this is perhaps what makes one more likely to notice specifically rudeness against other neofites instead of seeing that there's just a lot of free-flying crap that hits anybody who happens to be in the spatter area (the real problem).

But this is okay, I think. Newer members will makes bonds among themselves, and these will eventually fade into the bigger picture of all the relationships that they will forge here... and eventually become indistinguishable except as a memory of how they first made contact, or had some fun together in a thread in the "early days". That's what happened to me.
posted by taz at 4:00 AM on January 4, 2005


Clarification (upon re-reading): by "this is okay", I meant it's okay that some newer members have a feeling of "circling the wagons" a bit; I think this is what happens. It's natural. And then that feeling evolves into something more diverse and encompassing. The free-flying crap bit is not okay.
posted by taz at 4:35 AM on January 4, 2005


Hey! I'm wearing a mask! You know me but I've disguised my voice! Who am I!? Pay attention to me! Now pay some more attention to me! I won't take off my mask but let remind you that... I'm wearing a mask! I ain't telling! I have important points to make but... I'm wearing a mask! Look at me! Ha, ha, fooled you! Let's talk about stuff--I'll insult you but I'm wearing a mask and you don't who I am but you know me 'cause I just told you! Hey, I'm wearing a mask! I have important points to make! You don't know who I am but that's not important! Never mind this mask, listen to my thoughts! Ha, ha, made you look! That's why every comment I make is not more about me than anything else, it's about my thoughts! Stop asking me about who I am under my mask! I mean it! I'm not telling because... I'm passive-aggressive! I mean, stop asking me about my mask already!

Cue Leon Russell's Masquerade. Or slicker yet cheesier George Benson version.
posted by y2karl at 6:37 AM on January 4, 2005


Since i just got an email today from someone who thinks I am "You Should See The Other Guy", I'd just like to point out that I'm not. I don't use pseudonyms, I only have one MeFi account and it's this one.
posted by riffola at 6:53 AM on January 4, 2005


I am mathowie
posted by matteo at 7:28 AM on January 4, 2005


If MetaFilter is "about the links", then one link posts ought to be regarded as superior, not inferior.

on Prev: ... or is matthowie you?
posted by lodurr at 7:42 AM on January 4, 2005


"I try and just ignore the noise but it gets harder daily. Sadly, the newbies aren't to blame, but the old-timers who for some reason feel entitled or something. Though I'm all for paying dues, it is heartbreaking, insulting, annoying, and just plain frustrating to see the daily barage of bile that appears on the blue."

For what it's worth I totally agree with this, and am so glad it was said. Studies (which I am not going to bother looking up) on online communities show they usually degrade into into the kind of back-biting we see so regularly now on MeFi.

It's not something special to MeFi. It's more of a danger that it takes a lot of self-control to avoid. MeFi, I used to think, was pretty special for not having a lot of this, but now I see a lot of members pointing it out as a some great hallmark characteristic.

Of course, I'm mostly a lurker myself. I wonder if that means I'm not allowed to share this opinion? I don't think a comment should be judged by a poster's history?

Then again, I have been here for a while, which I guess gives me the *right* to say this less place has been less enjoyable than ever due to the vitriol.

Finally, who cares if someone has multiple avatars, or personalities they wish to contribute with? A: It's allowed. B: Supports the site C: Some people might feel more free to speak their minds under various roles.
posted by xammerboy at 7:51 AM on January 4, 2005


Regarding the whole sock-puppet/alternate-identity thing....

It's a feature of the medium. Deal with it. Unless there are rules against it in your particular community, heat and smoke over it are a waste of time, in my experience, because the destructive ones get found out, the constructive ones have a neutral to positive impact, and the ones who do it to be jesters get rewarded in proportion with how much they make us laugh or think.

I used to spend a lot of time on Plastic. Since it's easy to login/logout on Slash, there were a number of people who had alternate IDs that they used for effect. E.g., I'm pretty sure that "Satan On Plastic" and "Jesus On Plastic" were the same guy, and if you weren't a card-carrying member of the Seriousness Patrol, it was usually a lot of fun when they started going back and forth. (Aside: Somewhere I have a screen shot of Satan On Plastic next to post # 666...)

I've spent a lot of time in Yahoo groups, too. Because of how they used to work, you would often see messages presented with different names, from the same person. One guy in particular had four or five email accounts registered and was constantly logging in under different ones from different places. N00bs in discussion with him often didn't realize they weren't talking to three different people. But he didn't really have a deceitful bone in his body, he was just addicted to the threads...

MORAL: If it's really sock-puppetry and not just a bit of fun or identity-experimentation, then it will get called out. Otherwise, I (personally, of course) see no point in getting excited about it.

On Prev: xammerboy, "mostly a lurker"? By comparison with most members, you're a stone regular, so I see no point in you pontentially downgrading the value of your observation in advance by minimizing your participation.
posted by lodurr at 7:57 AM on January 4, 2005


I have a sock-puppet account because I hate my current username and didn't want to bother Matt with having to manually change it. Haven't bothered to use it yet but I've already changed the profile to reflect my current one should I ever start using it.

I don't understand the need to ghost with another account. It just seems a little creepy.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:09 AM on January 4, 2005


I have an SP account that I've basically been using for half my posts for a year or so. I started it because I didn't like my original username, would pull it out when my AskMe volume started feeling high, and basically wound up logging in and out of it randomly, at home & at work. No hijinks other than that. I've been mulling a confession for a while because it's felt deceptive, but it seemed too trivial to post to MeTa. This thread is a great excuse to kill it. Bye luser!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:30 AM on January 4, 2005


I don't understand the need to ghost with another account. It just seems a little creepy.

It's a joke; get over it.
posted by mathowie's baby at 8:34 AM on January 4, 2005


It's lame and I hope people realize that they're doing damage to the community by keeping the multiple name thing going.

Show me the damage. Show me.

And I did say to rushmc upthread that I thought he was deliberately misunderstanding me, too, it's true. But he always does that, the bastard. ~wink~

That's libelous. Understanding is my god, and I would never "deliberately misunderstand" anything.
posted by rushmc at 8:49 AM on January 4, 2005


I'm rethinking my whole position on the "sock puppet" thing. If someone with one of the coolest handles on MeFi (stupidsexyFlanders) feels a need to go SP, there must be something deeply wrong....

[sarcasm meta="humor-impaired" /]
posted by lodurr at 9:00 AM on January 4, 2005


It's a joke; get over it.

STFU or my sock puppet will come give your sock puppet the beat down!
posted by ITheCosmos at 9:52 AM on January 4, 2005


Stupidsexyflanders, good on ya! Besides, I love your nickname! It makes me smile everytime I see if and that's never a bad thing.

rushmc, the damage is hard to see and you know it. With people using SP accounts, they don't have to worry about ruining their good name and they can troll bait, flame or otherwise behave like jackasses with little worry of recrimination.

Any community where some members can behave with impugnity is going to suffer. How many decent threads have been derailed by snarks and assaults? That's damage. How many members have given up and gone to find other places to spend their time online? That's damage.

Mathowie's Baby, what's a joke? The sock puppet account? I'm sorry but that's utterly ridiculous to say. Read the thread and give it another try. This wasn't a joke at all, it was undertaken with the best intentions. Only I don't feel that it should have been undertaken at all.
posted by fenriq at 10:00 AM on January 4, 2005


danke taz!

I don't think I see it as an old-camp/new camp thing, and to be honest, I don't really like a lot of the rhetoric that promotes this viewpoint. In my opinion, the sooner this distinction dies out, the better.

This is how I have been feeling and there are a few new users who have been perpetuating this idea as well by mentioning it at every opportunity. For a few weeks now I've avoided mentioning it in threads but there comes a time when it gets old and worn out. I have seen the call outs based on bad form or asshatery but not cause of old vs. new.

that new people are often judged by their newness and not their posts; that there is a lack of welcomeness for them.

Bollocks! So far I haven't been snarked at or treated badly, in fact I have received the opposite response.

Though I like what you have to say You Should See ... I'd have to say it is near impossible to get the same 'newbi' experience. Think your missing part of why some of the new users have a problem here. You already know with more certainty (going out on a limb that you do know) than most how to avoid a community faux pas, have a better feel of the community and the personalities here. We don't. Lot to be said for the difference between reading and participating. I think it is impossible to boil this down to, 'new users get stomped on for their user ID' from what I have seen people get stomped on for making mistakes or acting like asshats and like the other posters think this is an overall problem not limited to neoFites. If you had said this about 2 weeks after signups opened I would have been in complete agreement with you but now I am not so sure.

Overall I think the sock puppet account is a sucky example of participant observation.
posted by squeak at 10:50 AM on January 4, 2005


With people using SP accounts, they don't have to worry about ruining their good name and they can troll bait, flame or otherwise behave like jackasses with little worry of recrimination.

The accusation was that See The New Guy had damaged the site, not that there was an increased potential for damage. I do not see where he did any of the things that you list, therefore, the question stands: where's the damage?
posted by rushmc at 11:30 AM on January 4, 2005


fenriq? YO! Mr. High and Mighty asked you a question. Step the fuck forward and answer His Majesty. He in one of his "ignore the point", "let's play word games", and "I'm never wrong" moods and needs you to heed his call.
posted by Witty at 11:42 AM on January 4, 2005


SP Account , yeah maybe a bit odd but really nothing to get into a tiz about.... last time I looked most of the comments here were made by the humans, we of the random independent though action type behaviour

Personal Perception is something we all are interested in. YSSTOG just had a bit more time on his hands to develop an alter ego, just live with it and move on. (Would be good to know your secret identity, but hey guess you'd not be able to fight crime without it *looks to the sky*)

As for new FPP, looking forward to posting but will wait until I see something I think is interesting.

When I do I'll be waiting for the ni-ni-ni picky picky pick pick comments, just hope I've been reading here long enough to :

i) not give 2-hoots
ii) learn and grow from the criticism
iii) Leave an opening for others to chip in with added roman numerals

but that's not Meta-thing , that's a life-thing isn't it ?
posted by doogyrev at 8:02 PM on January 4, 2005


remember that thread where people volunteered to help out?

Where could one find this thread I keep hearing so much about?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:34 AM on January 5, 2005


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