Subsites? January 14, 2005 4:59 AM   Subscribe

Any or all of the following additional sections would be most welcome: MetaFilm, MetaLit, MetaDesign, MetaMusic. They could be discussions on current trends/reviews in the chosen fields and/or critiques on Mefi members ventures in these areas. I know this is more like a herd of ponies and most likely not forseeable in the immediate future but I thought we could at least talk about it.
posted by poopy to Feature Requests at 4:59 AM (24 comments total)

There's already been a bunch of *Filters. But for some reason, most of them don't seem to have thrived. Better folks than I might have good suggestions for making MetaFilter satellites more successful.
posted by normy at 5:09 AM on January 14, 2005

This might also be a good place to mention I've been toying with ideas for a new *Filter site, myself (FotoPhilter, anyone?). But the lack of enthusiasm for other attempts at MetaFilter spin-offs has been a downer, I have to admit.
posted by normy at 5:17 AM on January 14, 2005

Duplicating my comment from 2 threads down:
Wild-ass pony that I'm not seriously requesting: A Typekey-like system. That way, anyone can form offsite cliques or special interest sites for Mefites only. All Matt needs to do, then, is register sites that wish to make use of it (thus giving him discretion) and an announcefilter. Then, in effect, there can be new ponies since Matt won't run those sites. How this will affect interaction & participation on legacy Metafilter is not something I want to spend time contemplating. Just seems like a neat idea, from above.
"TypeKey is a free, open system providing a central identity that anyone can use to log in and post comments on blogs and other web sites."
A centralized identity usable elsewhere means that once you login at, you can go to any authorized site and be already logged in. Helps preserve identity and community. Makes it easier to spontaneously participate. And since these external sites are run by other members, you can fork your own pony without depending on Matt. Maybe to preserve some common link, Matt could allocate to spawned sites. That way, they could be listed as member-supported sections in the redesigned template. Provides easy visibility and accessibility. Note that the hosting itself is elsewhere, so Matt won't foot the bandwidth/hosting fees.
posted by Gyan at 5:40 AM on January 14, 2005

First reaction: This would just water down Metafilter. You'd end up with people either posting the same FPP at Metafilter and *filter or you'd have 10 front pages to check instead of one.

And this comes from the person that jumped the gate in the first "unauthorized" *filter boom. It was a great experiment, but evidence shows the majority of the Metafilterites really don't want 10 *filters to check each day.

The *filters usually fail to thrive because the *filter subject is too narrow. I like to think Bookfilter could have maintained its popularity if the software hadn't died. But, I wonder now if I shouldn't have just called it Mediafilter and used it as a showcase for new music, films, television shows, and books.

Also, expectations are high for Metafilterites. If there aren't two dozen new FPPs a day then the site looks dead. If each thread doesn't have 10 comments or more than the FPP seems lonely and the poster thinks he/she wasted his/her time.

Maybe I've just been working in a library too long, but I'd like to see categories and separate feeds for each category. That was I can just not subscribe to (politics) and (Apple News).

No one ever said I couldn't beat a dead horse with the best of them...
posted by ?! at 6:14 AM on January 14, 2005

posted by ColdChef at 6:20 AM on January 14, 2005

Read the archives. Love the Metatalk archives. Become one with the archives, pose naked and underage with the archives and a python wrapped around you and way too much eyeliner, record a pop single that hints at your HOT HOT lesbian relationship with the archives, snort your meager paycheck that will forever remind you of the taste of copper pennies, develop a habit, end up on the streets getting pissed on by passersby who don't give a flying fuck about your world-changing ideas if there's any chance that you might interrupt them and make them miss an opportunity to buy the iPod Shuffle or a Burger Assplug or some other useless slab of consumer shit, then, months later, crawl back to the nearest public library, reeking of piss and plastic and beef fat and old mascara, log on, and apologize for wasting our time with this kind of goofy, staler-than-ritz-crackers-open-for-30-minutes poop.

You know, or not. I'm just riffin', here. I love you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:37 AM on January 14, 2005

coldchef has it right - how much do you want to filter metafilter? I think that it's fine the way it is, altho adding categories and separate feeds as ?! suggests is a fantastic idea.

Ummm, or maybe what stavros said, I think, or maybe not. Stavros, could you repeat that? I don't think I caught the gist of it the first time 'round.
posted by ashbury at 6:43 AM on January 14, 2005


And I wasn't being snarky up there so much as just funnin', I swear. I like the words. I like to play.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:43 AM on January 14, 2005

A Filter needs to work at attracting members from elsewhere than just the mothership if it is to overcome the problems ?! identifies. Just like any site; no free ride.
*returns to staring longingly at his iPod Shuffle order confirmation e-mail*

posted by normy at 6:57 AM on January 14, 2005

normy: A Filter needs to work at attracting members from elsewhere than just the mothership

Piggybacking new filters onto the Metafilter network provides the crucial seed capital (in the form of existing memberbase and easy accessibility from a popular site), that often dooms isolated filters starting from scratch. Once you get, say, 2000 members from Mefi, interested in moviefilter, the site will naturally grow by word-of-mouth. This, of course, depends on quality of content and community. But those concerns exist otherwise, as well.
posted by Gyan at 7:14 AM on January 14, 2005

And I wasn't being snarky up there so much as just funnin', I swear. I like the words. I like to play.

So you ran out of server space on your blog and now have to come here and toy with us? *insert over-emotive meaningless smiley face here*

I kid, I kid!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:19 AM on January 14, 2005

Piggybacking new filters onto the Metafilter network provides the crucial seed capital

No doubt it's a bonus at the start, but I doubt the power of some brotherly love and a shared login alone is enough to sustain most [whatever]Filters.
posted by normy at 7:25 AM on January 14, 2005

Reading about the python and eyeliner make me want to fire up my old New York Dolls LPs.

On topic. I was looking at all the "filters" last night and yeah - they were, for the most part, dead. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that some of them are not officially part of the MF conglomerate? I think the feed idea is fantastic. That way, users can tailor what they see with minimal fuss for Matt.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:27 AM on January 14, 2005

Multifilters is a lot of work for sometimes very little payback, which does in fact suck.

The only way something like this could fly (and I'd love for it to be workable too) is to have gmail-style flags that could be added to any given post.

Sometimes a post crosses one or more of those boundaries. If, say, David Johansen writes a novel about the Israeli Peace Conflict (to pull an example out of a bucket), is that MusicFilter, NewsFilter, LitFilter, what?

With flags, it coud be all three without duplicating the content.

I have no idea how Matt could implement such a thing, but if there's any way to do it, I'm guessing that's the best, easiest, most possible way.

I too love the words.
posted by chicobangs at 7:39 AM on January 14, 2005

I'd love to see an attempt at cataloging the blue (which is basically what the subjects and keywords ideas are) for the various *filters. There are, of course, issues with user-defined keywords that could end up making a mess of things.

As opposed to the green, does the blue really need to have every post cataloged/tagged/keyworded? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see it cataloged down to the Nth degree (I'd love to be able to apply metatags describing the nature of the stuff linked to: article, animation, games, music, design, image, product, archive, etc), but I understand that the payout is probably not worth the effort. However, it would be nice to have some common, community-defined tags or subject tags that could be applied to posts.

Here's how I'd do it (and this is Friday morning Too Much Coffee Talk, so grains of salt all around).

First, create a nomination and voting process for different subject filters. Perhaps a weekly nomination and vote or something. Basically, a way for the community to say "Yes, I'd like to be able to view all of ComicsFilter or every Flash game posted to this site". If enough people are for it (amount needed in favor to be determined) then a subject filter tag is created and can be applied to all future posts on this topic (NewsFilter, SportsFilter, etc). Retro-active tagging and quality control can be performed by a group of volunteers.

As subject filters get created, they can be added to the user's customizable display in whatever new format may be unleashed down the road. Heck, you could make it so only members could use the subject filters, thus giving folks a reason to shell out their 5 bucks.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:59 AM on January 14, 2005

If we had every post tagged with metadata, we could filter and prioritize our own filters without disrupting mefi proper at all. Then imagine the crossover to flickr and tags, a la technorati recently. Maaan.
posted by rfordh at 8:40 AM on January 14, 2005

I think the problem is being defined wrong. Making more subject-oriented filters suggests that maybe there are too many posts on the main site, or that you'd like any and all posts limited to one type of subject, away from everyone else and all the other subjects.

Personally, I don't see what problem this is solving, aside from getting all the film geeks in one place and maybe hopefully getting the off-topic wankers to leave them alone. Finally! A place where we could discuss our love of everything Steve Jobs does without any of the PC-loving naysayers! :)

I'd rather try other things. When I think of new sections for MetaFilter, it's things like that old music thing. Not a place to discuss stuff, but a place to post your recordings. I think of things like all the ideas in my mind to do soon, like a Project Announce filter, a jobs in need of employees filter, and a for sale filter that operates like a lightweight craigslist.

And for me, the completely new thing Filters like I've suggested solve the problem of all the emails I get from people looking for traffic, looking to hire mefi folks, and looking to sell stuff, but they also present something entirely new to the community. A entire metafilter devoted to the game of baseball with links and discussion would be kind of predictable, right? We know what it would look like. But what about a softball league-filter where people come together in cities to create teams and play against others, tracked along the way through the site?

I'm just saying more mefi clones don't interest me, and it seems, don't interest the audience, but completely different offshoots of the mefi space into new directions seems a lot more interesting.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:14 AM on January 14, 2005

mathowie: When I think of new sections for MetaFilter, it's things like that old music thing. Not a place to discuss stuff, but a place to post your recordings.

As long as there's a space for discussing these posted recordings. As it stands, MeFi is ostensibly for posting 'best of Web' links with no self-links, AskMe for sharing 'knowledge' with general chattiness not so encouraged and MeTa for overview. There's no space for discussion at large. If someone decides to discuss new movies every Friday on the Blue, you can be sure, within a couple weeks, there will be a callout. But if you go the TypeKey way, Matt, *you* won't have to do much in the way of maintenance or cost of these sections.

Making more subject-oriented filters suggests that maybe there are too many posts on the main site

In terms of turnover, yes. Also, a dedicated filter allows interested users to discuss stuff without having to find a non-double posted worthy link. Just because there's no link, doesn't mean the discussions will be lame. The Straight Dope message boards do pretty well, as far as the serious forums go.
posted by Gyan at 10:47 AM on January 14, 2005

This idea looks like the category pony in a new dress. The category idea is better.
posted by terrapin at 11:22 AM on January 14, 2005

normy there is a MeFi flickr group maybe post the question there and use flickr as photoFilter?
posted by squeak at 3:24 PM on January 14, 2005

Finally! A place where we could discuss our love of everything Steve Jobs does without any of the PC-loving naysayers! :)

But then you would be missing out on converting people. We have seen many posts from people who are 'PC user but about to take the plunge to Mac' that were perhaps inspired by some of the Mac preaching or even IpodFilter. I'm a PC user Has anyone thought the categories of memepool are useful?
posted by geekyguy at 7:02 PM on January 14, 2005

I can understand the appeal of an idea like MediaFilter... though the experiments, not to mention hundreds of other failed discussion communities, seem to demonstrate that the diversity is an essential part of what makes things work here. This seems proven by most other successful sites I have participated in (but it does make one wonder how to explain the creeping organism which is SlashDot).

MetaFilter combined with a tagging system like could be fun.
posted by fncll at 12:49 PM on January 15, 2005

mathowie: "I'm just saying more mefi clones don't interest me, and it seems, don't interest the audience"

Exactly. I think that's been proven that more *filters are not needed.

But I think the audience is interested in categories. I subscribe to the Metafilter and Ask Metafilter feeds. But I skip most of the blue now. There are just too many FPPs.

If we could assign categories to FPPs and you could create RSS (or Atom) feeds for those categories; we could focus on those parts of Metafilter that truly interests us.

This allows choice. We could read all the posts on the blue, subscribe to all the posts in our feed reader, or subscribe to just those categories that interest us.

We don't need unlimited categories. Ten or 12 and let the poster choose where the post fits. It won't be perfect, but it's a step toward making the blue a bit more manageable.

I am assuming that creating categories and feeds are an easily doable project. If the idea is too much work then "nevermind."
posted by ?! at 4:14 PM on January 16, 2005

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