Thank you for turning off Suicide Girls. February 3, 2005 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Matt Haughey has shown tremendous compassion by rejecting a large revenue stream for the sake of this major Internet community. Rare is the system admin who is both concerned and available. I'd like to remind the users there exists a way to thank him and fund the site directly.
posted by orange clock to MetaFilter-Related at 8:39 AM (137 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

No thanks.

Matt Haughey is a wuss.
posted by mcgraw at 8:47 AM on February 3, 2005


corr-fucking-ect!
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2005


Jesus, When i posted that it wasn't to agree that matt is a wuss but to second the give the money honeys.

Although I guess if it gets me punk street cred I could endorse the other view.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:51 AM on February 3, 2005


No one has to give money for any reason, so please, don't feel coerced or guilted into it.

I made a blunder on the road to exploring my funding options.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:54 AM on February 3, 2005


Why not have an ad month like a PBS pledge drive? Accept banner ads for punch-the-monkey and you're-broadcasting-your-internet-address-oh-no and the like. For several thousand per month maybe that'd pay MetaFilter's expenses for a whole year.
posted by TimeFactor at 8:57 AM on February 3, 2005


Thank you for getting rid of the ad and thank you for opening discussion about it.
posted by lobakgo at 8:57 AM on February 3, 2005


Thanks. And a man who listens, thinks and then gracefully and generously changes his mind is no wuss, boyo. It's simply dreamy.
posted by thinkpiece at 8:58 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm surprised he even wants to bother anymore, after the amount of personal venom spit at him in the SG thread. Seriously. Pimp, pornographer, censor, greedhead, bigot, male chauvinist...
This is a serious question, man, what keeps you going?
posted by darukaru at 9:00 AM on February 3, 2005


I feel happily reminded that there is a place I like where I can vote with my wallet. No guilt.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:02 AM on February 3, 2005


Thanks for the suggestion oc, $10 out of the beer fund towards hosting and development for the Best of the Web!

On preview: No coercion or guilt felt here mathowie, just happy to give back and now seemed like as good a time as any.
posted by onalark at 9:02 AM on February 3, 2005


I fully expect that everyone who complained about the SG ads being horrifically offensive and denigratory to MetaFilter's integrity to give at least $5 of your local currency to show your appreciation. In fact, I'm a broke, jobless University student and I'm going to give the same just because I feel bad that he had to give up such a great revenue generator to appease the MetaPrudes.

Matt- You made no blunder. Some people here seriously overreacted and you were nice enough to assuage their concerns. By my view you're entitled to some compensation.
posted by baphomet at 9:03 AM on February 3, 2005


Indeed - I hope all those people who bad mouth Mr. Haughey/ treat him with insufficient respect and awe, take this opportunity to seek indulgence for their past transgressions!
posted by prentiz at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2005


Matt- You made no blunder. Some people here seriously overreacted and you were nice enough to assuage their concerns.

That's the truth. You're a class act, mathowie.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2005


Some people here seriously overreacted and you were nice enough to assuage their concerns.

Baaaaaaarrrrgh. That's not how it went. Some people did overreact but others expressed perfectly rational measured concerns about the ad. From Matt's comment, it sounds like it was these people that talked him round on the subject.

Let's not over-dramatise this. Maybe people should remember to contribute a little a bit more often. I think that's preferable to reactionary guilt-induced donation. How about some of us donate a monthly amount so that there's some sort of regular income for MetaFilter and maybe Matt can plan a little more...?
posted by nthdegx at 9:17 AM on February 3, 2005


...not to imply any of this was the result of a lack of planning. I just mean a regular revenue stream might be helpful...
posted by nthdegx at 9:18 AM on February 3, 2005


I made a blunder

If God's judgment is fallible, is there really a God? I'm having trouble dealing with this.

I can set up an automatic money transfer system, everyone give me your bank account number and routing number.

Even though I had no problem with the ad, I'll put some money in the purse when I get a new job.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:20 AM on February 3, 2005


A: Matt is the coolest.

B: I think Matt may be overthinking the "Pro" concept. I'd be very happy if Metafilter moved to a Public Radio model-- free for all, but those who use the site regularly and can afford it are obliged to support it. Power-user features are nice, but I'd be happy with a star by my username. (or no star, MeFi makes me happy by being there)

C: C'mon everybody. If you appreciate the ponies, you need to pony up.
posted by 4easypayments at 9:20 AM on February 3, 2005


Some people here seriously overreacted and you were nice enough to assuage their concerns.

Wow nice troll. I shan't bite.
posted by glenwood at 9:27 AM on February 3, 2005


I don't think the public radio model will work. This isn't about supporting the website, if Metafilter is Matt's job. It's about supporting Matt and hit family. He needs reoccurring, self-sustaining revenue to make this a job. After a while, kicking the can so he can get new shoes for his child is going to be too much trouble and will be too unreliable.

I don't want this place to be fark, but a certain level of ads are going to be necessary to have this be a job instead of a hobby for him, as well as for him to fill out the desire for new features.

Corporate sponsorship? Taco Bell Metafilter?
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:27 AM on February 3, 2005


thinkpiece,

Easy, there. Did you click the link? Matt describes himself as a wuss on his page. Just light-hearted humor-- or is humor not allowed here anymore?

Boyo?

What, you got sand in your...? Aw, never mind.
posted by mcgraw at 9:27 AM on February 3, 2005


Is there a way to give mathowie some fundage without using the absolutely evil PayPal?
posted by xmutex at 9:28 AM on February 3, 2005


I made a blunder on the road to exploring my funding options.

no you didn't. those easy-to-remove head shots offended a bunch of people who are certainly horrified by perfume ads. just that. you are no Larry Flynt, unfortunately, so don't get any ideas Matt.

I'm curious -- I'm sure some Republican members of this site are offended by anti-war statements, that they consider unpartiotic or treasonous. will you and jessamyn remove them as well, because they offend the Bush fans?
I'm offended by ParisParamus constant hate for Muslims -- will you ban him?
will you ban those who wanted to piss in Ann Coulter's mouth?
will you ban orangeclock who told a gentleman like chicobangs "Fucking your mom last night is sex.
Telling high school girls to spread a little wider so Daddy Haughey can make a little more money is prostitution
".
that comment offended me. will you ban orange clock like you banned the SG ad?

hmmm...

and anyway BoingBoing, a better blog than this one (I give them an A, we're about B), has the SG ads all the time, and it doesn't change the fact that BoingBoing's good, better than us.

and it's ironic that we're discussing this in a thread started by orange clock.
posted by matteo at 9:36 AM on February 3, 2005


mcgraw, actually, I just got back from belize and I do have sand in my ...

So I clicked but didn't process. And I watched Clockwork Orange last night; I can only assume that's where the 'boyo' came from. Sorry.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:37 AM on February 3, 2005


Could we not rehash the whole SG debate? Enough is enough, and wasn't there a thread about funding yesterday?
posted by anapestic at 9:39 AM on February 3, 2005


thinkpiece,

No problem. Thanks for clarifying.
posted by mcgraw at 9:40 AM on February 3, 2005


I may not have made it clear in my earlier comment, but I was serious: MetaFilter completely sells out, accepting every imaginable ad, for one month a year in order to fund, at least partially, MetaFilter for the rest of the year. It'd be like a public television pledge drive but without the tote bags.
posted by TimeFactor at 9:42 AM on February 3, 2005


John Johnson's right about John Johnson being right. Also, what baphomet and the Mayor said.
posted by mds35 at 9:43 AM on February 3, 2005


Thanks, Matt. I already drunkenly subscribed to SG once, now I can browse MetaFilter when inebriated without possibly making the same mistake twice.
posted by mikeh at 9:44 AM on February 3, 2005


Is there a way to give mathowie some fundage without using the absolutely evil PayPal?

Last time I ponied up I just sent cash through the US Post.
posted by jessamyn at 9:46 AM on February 3, 2005


jessamyn, do you have a PO box # you can share for this purpose? I asked matt back in November but at that point he just said don't worry about it. I'd still like a chance to contribute, if there's a non-electronic channel.
posted by soyjoy at 9:53 AM on February 3, 2005


mathowie obviously put the ads on the site to support the whole site and the whole community. When in the ensuing discussion it showed that it split the community and some people were even thinking about leaving because of it he decided not to run with it.

So now it's kinda 'interesting' that even after Matt said "No one has to give money for any reason, so please, don't feel coerced or guilted into it." people are still fighting over it. Give it up, Matt made a decision for the site and the community and the least you can do is respect it.

That of course does not take away from the fact that it's always a good idea to donate a few euros.
posted by sebas at 9:54 AM on February 3, 2005


I agree with Matteo. The censorship on Metafilter has gotten out of hand and is executed unevenly.

Interestingly, people who were offended by the hidable SG ads often said something akin to "I see that sort of imagery everywhere, and I don't want to see it on Metafilter."

Then, you have others who'd disagree, saying something like "I see that sort of imagery everywhere, why is it such a big deal that it's on Metafilter?"

Well, at least we can all agree that imagery similar to the SG ads appears all over-- in magazines, newspapers, on tv...
posted by mcgraw at 9:57 AM on February 3, 2005


But now I can't use the excuse that those half-naked goth girls are only on my screen because it's an unavoidable concomitant of reading that upscale and intellectual MetaFilter blog!

So what excuse do I make to my mom now, huh?

I guess it's back to nippily HotOrNot pictures and freaks whose eBay auctions include pictures of the merchandise "accidently" reflecting their naked bodies.

Thanks a lot, prudes!
posted by orthogonality at 9:57 AM on February 3, 2005


The censorship on Metafilter has gotten out of hand and is executed unevenly.

Mcgraw, think of the children!
posted by Hands of Manos at 9:59 AM on February 3, 2005


... but it could prove difficult to have it removed everywhere.
posted by mcgraw at 9:59 AM on February 3, 2005


I've decided that everything that orange clock likes must be bad. As a result, I'm signing up as a member of Suicide Girls.
posted by felix at 9:59 AM on February 3, 2005


Other than thinking the pictures did spoil the front page design a little, I didn't have very strong feelings one way or another. But some of the venom in that thread was really OTT and very personal. Now that Matt's removed the ads, maybe some apologies are in order? Or does love mean never having to say "I'm sorry I called you a whoremonger?"
posted by octobersurprise at 10:01 AM on February 3, 2005


OMG Mathowie is my fucking hero! ROCK THE FUCK ON, you fabulous supar-star!

Someone, Mathowie's P.O. box addy PLZ! ASAP! (Does a pony fit into USPS postal boxes?)
posted by naxosaxur at 10:01 AM on February 3, 2005


Sorry to derail, but I must publicly disagree here with Matteo. I used to like bOINGbOING until Xeni came on board. Then we had a long series of less than interesting posts from Cory about freakin' Disneyland - oh, and Cory's book Down and Out in The Magic Kingdom just happened to come out at the same time. Coincidence? Oh well, it's their site.... I seem to digress - the point that I am refuting is that bOINGbOING is an a-blog and Metafilter is a b-blog. I would respectfully say exactly the opposite. And I hate, hate, hate the sg ads on bOINGbOING, another reason I go there less and less as I find it a far less comfortable place to visit. Which leads me to another thought - Matt has made a commendable decision, in my mind, to not offend several members here by pulling the sg ad. You're never gonna see bOINgBOING do that. That's another good reason for me to hold Metafilter and its moderator in my highest regard.
posted by Lynsey at 10:03 AM on February 3, 2005


"...but I was serious: MetaFilter completely sells out, accepting every imaginable ad, for one month a year in order to fund, at least partially, MetaFilter for the rest of the year."

I like that idea. It's very "thinking outside the box". You get bonus points for that.

There was a large block of we who thought the ad should go but were not offended in any way by it—our complaint was pragmatic.

Good show, Matt.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:04 AM on February 3, 2005


Lynsey, try Boing-Boing Lite. No ads.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:06 AM on February 3, 2005


Although Matt has expressed a lack of obligation, I think every person who righteously cried out that there *must* be a better way really need to put their money where their mouths were. It's not a question of what Matt has said here, today, it's a question of what you all said yesterday. Don't flake out now that you've gotten your way. It's the least you can do after (quite successfully) yanking on Matt's heartstrings with the "I'm going to pick up and leave over this!" song and dance routine.

I'd also like to see a crackdown on all objectionable material on the homepage. Not just the stuff that makes the site money.

not
posted by scarabic at 10:18 AM on February 3, 2005


and anyway BoingBoing, a better blog than this one (I give them an A, we're about B), has the SG ads all the time, and it doesn't change the fact that BoingBoing's good, better than us.

I really hate to agree with this, but I have to.
posted by scarabic at 10:22 AM on February 3, 2005


I think all you people who did not mind the ads spent all your money on porn sites anyway, robbing poor Matt of all the money you could have given him.
So quit your wanking and go donate!
posted by sebas at 10:26 AM on February 3, 2005


Why the long-face, scarabic? This thread and flanders thread yesterday are exactly about filling the SG void. What's got you and Matteo so pissed that you'd see the need to derail the effort is beyond me.

And who the fuck carres about this boingboing you people keep chattering on about?
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:31 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm going to take some time off from Metafilter, I think.

I'm having a hard time getting past the knowledge that Orange Clock can say the shit he said (and has said before yesterday), and then is congratulated the very next day for his positive attitude.

I'll speak only for myself, which is all I've ever done: I obviously am not getting the tone of this place right. I have no desire to be mean and vindictive to anyone's mother because of an opinion they have about a friggin' website, and I'm not in the business of calling people whores or whoremongers or pedophiles. Which is apparently where Mefi is at these days. Good luck with that.
posted by chicobangs at 10:41 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm a loyal and supportive MetaFilter customer. I've bought textads and $5.00 user accounts. I'll pay for a pro account when they become available, even if all they offer is a gold star. I'd happily pay a membership fee if Matt changed his mind about that.

I can't, however, bring myself to donate money to anyone's privately-run business, even this one.
posted by timeistight at 10:50 AM on February 3, 2005


I think Orange Clock should offer a little more then this "tail tucked" MeTa post. How about, "sorry I flew off the handle the other night"?

I apologize if this is a derail but agree with chicobangs on this issue
posted by edgeways at 10:53 AM on February 3, 2005


I am more than happy to pony up as a thanks for respecting my (and many others') wishes about the SG ad and to make up some of the revenue lost. And if there are other easy ways of giving a little something as a thank you for the service you provide, I hope you will let us know about them.

on preview: chicobangs, just let it be. orange clock said some shitty and completely inappropriate things. Don't let it interfere with your enjoyment of MetaFilter.

Maybe comments like those will put some fire under Matt's ass to create Pro MeFi accounts that allow to you ignore usernames...
posted by widdershins at 10:54 AM on February 3, 2005


chicobangs, just let it be. orange clock said some shitty and completely inappropriate things. Don't let it interfere with your enjoyment of MetaFilter.

You know what? I think that the reason the community ethos went to hell here is primarily because people are really forgiving of mean, nasty, tasteless, jerky comments. So I for one won't be forgetting the unacceptable things said about Matt here.

This sentiment of mine is, I feel compelled to add, completely unrelated to my feelings on the SG ads.
posted by norm at 10:59 AM on February 3, 2005


Anyone simultaneously wanting to help matt fund the site and is dissappointed that he took down the SG ad could pony up $10 bucks and buy an extra set of SG text ads... just sayin.
posted by GeekAnimator at 11:02 AM on February 3, 2005


disappointed, even.
posted by GeekAnimator at 11:03 AM on February 3, 2005


Don't let it interfere with your enjoyment of MetaFilter.

If people could just do that, then we wouldn't have needed that 649 comment thread yesterday, no?
posted by boaz at 11:03 AM on February 3, 2005


1. Thanks Matt. Thank you very much. That ad was more than head shots, there were plenty with cleavage and an ass cheek or two. I refer a lot of people here, and I'm glad I don't have to stop (although my Dad really gave me an earful about that "Asses of Evil"political ad. heh.)
2. chico, I don't think Matt has necessarily caught up with all the noise in that sg thread. Sounds like he scrolled through looking for the opinions of some members and avoided all the noise and in-fighting. I scanned it that way. I am sure that orange clock will be banned if he/she continues with the unneccessary beligerence.
3. Boing Boing is not better than us, just different.
4. profit!!!
posted by whatnot at 11:05 AM on February 3, 2005


there were plenty with cleavage and an ass cheek or two

*gasp*
posted by boaz at 11:08 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm with chicobangs and several of the posters in the SG ad thread: I think I'm going to stop reading and contributing to MetaFilter. I've been contributing less and less over the last year or so, partly because of other obligations and partly because MetaFilter has gotten too big, too complicated, and too much work to follow. The thread about the now-defunct Suicide Girls ads is a good example of this. I was ambivalent about the ads, and the specific subject matter isn't what prompted my own decision to withdraw from the community. I just think this community is too polarized, too impersonal, too combative, and not enough fun. Sorry.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:10 AM on February 3, 2005


matteo, scarabic, I think you're waaaay off on bOINGbOING. Almost all the crap posted on there is "Look at this Product! Buy My book! I Wish I had One!"... Here, that would be called Pepsi Blue. If there's an Amazon link, it's usually an Amazon referrer link. Most things posted by Mark Frauenfelder are pathetic product trolls, like these pathetic shills.

I much prefer Metafilter to boingboing... I view boingboing as a kind of neato-shopping blog, with crappy shills on the left and right sides for the personal projects of the people who make it what it is. Sure, Cory goes on about copyright here and there, and someone might send Mark or Xeni an interesting link... but for the most part boingboing just isn't near the quality of Metafilter or especially Ask.Metafilter...

I guess it's possible it's a better "blog" but it's definitely nothing like the diverse community interests we have here... which is way more important than being a better "blog".
posted by fake at 11:14 AM on February 3, 2005


derail the effort

What? I'm fully supportive of this "fill the gap" effort. My desire to see the site and Matt succeed is what made the ad palatable to me in the first place.

I'm not trying to shit on anyone here, except perhaps orange_clock, who has pissed me off plenty in the past, but has now gone and smacked chicobangs (not to mention Matt) in the face and gotten away with it.

Chicobangs is more or less a model of a perfect member. We need 1000s more of him. orange_clock is a wannabe quonsar without the occasional moments of lucid compassion and brilliant humor. And it goes without saying: without the originality.

orange_clock: please go enjoy a nice drive-through colonoscopy.

Chicobangs - we all love you. Don't stay away long.
posted by scarabic at 11:21 AM on February 3, 2005


I think we're missing the obvious solution. What sponsor would be perfect for MeFi and keep the money rolling in?
PepsiBlueFilter.
Problem solved. *dusts off hands, walks away*
posted by Sibrax at 11:23 AM on February 3, 2005


monju_bosatsu,

I agree with your reasons for leaving Metafilter. You're right about the polarization and the combative, humorless environment, here. I think certain people or groups-- whatever you prefer-- feel entitled to and now actually receive preferential treatment on Metafilter.

We'll miss you m_b. Farewell.
posted by mcgraw at 11:24 AM on February 3, 2005


I was just thinking the same thing, chicobangs. Don't anyone go because of this, please. But I was seriously wondering, after seeing this post, if there are two people who use the orange clock login, because whoever was using it yesterday said some incredibly and unaccountably rude things to Matt. I was honestly embarrassed for both of them. And now it's like it never happened. Maybe there was an apology and I missed it? Don't get me wrong, there were other unfriendly barbs being slung in that thread, but oc's comments went WAY beyond the pale.
posted by iconomy at 11:24 AM on February 3, 2005


Ok, scarabic, maybe the testy vibe I was picking up was just me. I agree with your last post 100%.
posted by danOstuporStar at 11:26 AM on February 3, 2005


Thanks, mathowie.
posted by grateful at 11:27 AM on February 3, 2005


I don't think the public radio model will work. This isn't about supporting the website, if Metafilter is Matt's job. It's about supporting Matt and hit family. He needs reoccurring, self-sustaining revenue to make this a job.

But recurring revenue is the public radio model. And when you donate to public radio, you are precisely supporting the families of those who spend 40+ hours-per-week making the radio run.
posted by nobody at 11:35 AM on February 3, 2005


Matt, you're positively amazing. Thanks.
posted by rocketman at 11:38 AM on February 3, 2005


dudes you've all got to chill. Everytime this place gets a surge in membership, there are problems, but as long as the people who care about the site and community continue to stand up for what's good about the site, eventually it always works out.
posted by chaz at 11:42 AM on February 3, 2005


"Diverse community interests" is a crock. The SG thread proves it.

Matt Haughey, your funny bone is broken. Your integrity fled when you let the shrieking crowd start running your site.

Remember how MetaFilter used to be? You changed. It changed with you. It is your fault: you ban or delete attempts to make it fun again. You used to be cool. Now you let people who suck tell you what to do, and you are fast becoming one of them.

MeFi is poisoned. I won't even lurk here anymore. It's sad, because I used to like it. I used to like you.

It was fun. Please rescind my membership.

Goodbye.
posted by dfowler at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2005


I donated some money today. Being an admin is hard work - especially for such a bitchy bunch of users like us ...
posted by homodigitalis at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2005


I'd been meaning to contribute some money for a while (I got in during one of the 10(15?)-free-account-a-day windows.) The SG thread yesterday with its implicit reminder that Matt can't maintain this site without an income finally got me off my butt to do so.

I turned off the SG ad at work, and probably wouldn't've thought any more about it. But I ultimately found the points of its various detractors in the thread yesterday persuasive. I was pleased and impressed Matt could be persuaded, too, when it meant cutting off a revenue source. Good show, Matt.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:49 AM on February 3, 2005


fucking namby-pamby puritans.

shame on you for caving, matt.
posted by keswick at 11:54 AM on February 3, 2005


So, do we chill or do we stand up for whats good?
posted by edgeways at 11:54 AM on February 3, 2005


First of all, thank you Matt for listening to the community and doing the right thing (as usual). I wasn't personally all that bothered, but I agreed with some points made by the opposition (note: some).

Second, let's not even mention quonsar and orange clock in the same sentence; one is an integral, if volatile, member of the community and one is a hack with a penchant for childish attempts at controversy.

So chico and monju (both of whom I have enjoyed), please don't lower the signal/noise ratio anymore than it's been already. But if you do have to go, check us out from time to time and see if it's mellowed out.
posted by rooftop secrets at 11:59 AM on February 3, 2005


MeFi is poisoned.

*dissonant organ chord*
posted by fandango_matt at 12:00 PM on February 3, 2005


Thank you, Matt.
posted by gd779 at 12:11 PM on February 3, 2005


I don't think the public radio model will work. This isn't about supporting the website, if Metafilter is Matt's job.

There's no reason why the public radio model couldn't support the site and give Matt the chance to make it his full-time job. $25/year "pro" memberships * 10% of the userbase (~2500 users) == $50,000. Add some ads to the mix...

I'm completely making up the 10% estimate, though. Maybe there should be a poll to gauge how much support could realistically be expected.
posted by 4easypayments at 12:15 PM on February 3, 2005


MeFi is poisoned.

Imminent Death of MetaFilter Predicted!

monju_bosatsu:

I'm really sad to see you go. MetaFilter is nothing but the people that come here, and you are one of the good ones. I guess we all have our own vision of what makes a place like MetaFilter "good", and without you the thoughtful, civil crowd is that much less likely to win out. I hope you come back, eventually.
posted by gd779 at 12:16 PM on February 3, 2005


Thank you, Matt. You have acted wisely in ending the polarizing SG issue. Partisans were sure to be miffed whichever way you decided, but at least it is now a dead issue. Your own remarks are uniformly honest and temperate; I hope you can disregard the extreme comments and personal attacks.
Revenue remains a problem. Personally, I hope you will reconsider annual/monthly dues.
Thank you, Matt.
posted by Cranberry at 12:36 PM on February 3, 2005


"dudes you've all got to chill. Everytime this place gets a surge in membership, there are problems, but as long as the people who care about the site and community continue to stand up for what's good about the site, eventually it always works out."

Truer words have never been spoken.

Okay actually some have but that's not the point.

"...and you are one of the good ones."

Monju is easily one of the very best ones and it'd be a real loss. Chicobangs is very good, too, and he'd be a big loss. But I don't agree with the objective evaluations that are the stated reasons these (and others) are quitting.

In monju's case, I don't see that mefi is more hostile than it was a year ago. People keep saying that, but I don't see it. Maybe some like monju had retreated to askme a long time ago and it's only now that askme is getting some of the bile and controversy that they're upset? (And I admit that askme is changing, but that was inevitable.)

In chicobang's case, taken in isolation orange clock's insult was ban-worthy, and in context it's ban-worthy, but in context it's also more complicated regarding Matt's decision to ban or not ban. So to feel that mefi has failed some important test when Matt fails to ban orange clock isn't fair, I think. And the second part, the defense of the Sg ad and the complaint that the sentiment against it represents some horrible, whiny, puritanical special interest that has captured mefi...well, I don't think that's true. That's an overreaction to that thread and that controversy because, for whatever reasons and similar to orange clock, the controversy pushed buttons and brought out some deep differences of opinion.

But there's always been those sorts of differences of opinion. Amberglow feels, with some justification, that gay-bashing comments are tolerated here in a way that many other sorts of comments aren't. But you don't see him leaving.

No one minority has captured mefi, we're as diverse as we've ever been. Disgust and quitting over the SG ad, or disgust and quitting over the removal of the SG ad is, in a word, hysterical. Calm down, everyone.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:45 PM on February 3, 2005


There's no reason why the public radio model couldn't support the site and give Matt the chance to make it his full-time job. $25/year "pro" memberships * 10% of the userbase (~2500 users) == $50,000. Add some ads to the mix...

I can see several problems with this model. To start with, the number of active users is not the same as the highest user number. There's a fair amount of attrition around here, but people's user numbers don't go away.

I do think that 10% of whatever the userbase is might be willing to go for a premium membership, but then again they might not be. I think I made a small contribution once, but I probably wouldn't do the pro membership just because I feel like MeFi eats up too much time already, and if I paid for it, I'd be more likely to spend yet more time here instead of getting my job done. If paid membership was required, at least a few of the members here would be secretly at least partly relieved that they couldn't participate any more. It is, after all, more addictive than crack.

More to the point, though, 10% of the active users is probably more like 1000 people, and let's say that they're all willing to pay $50 a year, which is, I submit, a stretch. Then you've got $50,000 a year. Take out of that the $500 or more a month of hosting fees, take out the required hardware purchases, etc., and you're maybe (but probably not) looking at an annual salary of $30,000. I'm guessing that's not going to cut it for most people who live in California.

Finally, if you go with the user model, then you've got people who've paid FIFTY DOLLARS to be a member. That's going to create a huge feeling of entitlement, and those people are going to whine ten times as hard as the people who paid five bucks for their memberships. Matt would never get any rest.

Better to find an ad source that doesn't bug people so much, I reckon.
posted by anapestic at 12:53 PM on February 3, 2005


So dfowler, a post that says, in its entirety, "The Nascar equivelent to NFL coach would be Crew Chief." is "shit" and its tone is "snide", and it's Matt whose funny bone is broken?

buh-bye.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 1:02 PM on February 3, 2005


There's no reason why the public radio model couldn't support the site

I'm completely making up the 10% estimate, though.


Yeah. Yeah, you are. The math adds up real quick on a napkin, but in reality, 10% isn't the low-low reasonable estimate you think it is.

It's like Ali G and his business proposal for his "ice cream glove" invention:

"First, me did a intranet search for 'ice cream.' Me got 102375740 result. Then, me did an intranet search for the 'gloves.' Me get 847409 result. So... times those together, and you get 86754123457660. And that's just people looking in! If each of them bought one glove, just one glove, at $19.99, this business would be worth... wait for it... $1734214927918623."

"So: is you in or is you in?"
posted by scarabic at 1:11 PM on February 3, 2005


No one minority has captured mefi, we're as diverse as we've ever been. Disgust and quitting over the SG ad, or disgust and quitting over the removal of the SG ad is, in a word, hysterical. Calm down, everyone.

I'm guessing at this, but for long time users like chico and monju to leave like this, it's not one straw that broke the camel's back. The amount of bitching that goes on here on a daily basis is incredible and it's really tough not to just say "contributing to this hysterical mess isn't worth it" some days.

Personally, I wish that people would be a lot more tolerant towards each other, not take things so personally and to stop picking at every single flaw that MeFi has every time it comes up; this might be an ideal given the diversity and size of the populous but I really think that it's feasible if everyone tries a little bit harder not to fix everything that goes wrong here.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 1:14 PM on February 3, 2005


It was fun. Please rescind my membership.
Goodbye.
posted by dfowler at 11:47 AM PST on February 3


OMG, what a terrible loss to the community!
posted by FeetOfClay at 1:21 PM on February 3, 2005


Here's my donation (and it comes with a free sockpuppet!).
posted by $5 worth of sex at 1:35 PM on February 3, 2005


But there's always been those sorts of differences of opinion. Amberglow feels, with some justification, that gay-bashing comments are tolerated here in a way that many other sorts of comments aren't. But you don't see him leaving.
No one minority has captured mefi, we're as diverse as we've ever been. Disgust and quitting over the SG ad, or disgust and quitting over the removal of the SG ad is, in a word, hysterical. Calm down, everyone.

I'm just a glutton for punishment ; > (actually the newbies have made me feel better--there are more of us now to combat anti-gay shit)

chico, i hate to say this, but you're sounding kinda 5-years-old about this: Is it that you hate orange clock that much (which i understand, but it's not enough to make me leave--see 111), or that he wasn't banned for spouting off? What he's said is not worse than what others have said here--either recently or in the past. i'm not getting it.
(monju and others: you should reconsider too)

And thank you, matt--not because you caved in to prudes or puritans--but because you listened to the concerns.

Now, call Nick Denton or whatever his name is, and get him to place ads--his "empire" certainly could benefit from being seen here--call dong or lizs or something...
posted by amberglow at 1:40 PM on February 3, 2005



no you didn't. those easy-to-remove head shots offended a bunch of people who are certainly horrified by perfume ads.


Fucking amen, matteo.
posted by The God Complex at 1:51 PM on February 3, 2005


Incidentally, Matt, if SG had to call you, I'm guessing your ad sales effort could use some caffeine. My vague impression is you've put up a notice on the site, shopped it around your personal network a little, maybe tried a straight pitch or two. But really, nothing active, persistent, and far-ranging. How far off am I?
posted by scarabic at 1:52 PM on February 3, 2005


amberglow - good idea! Nick Denton and his Gawker Media "syndicate" likely have much the same demographic and psychographic profiles of their readers/users/members.
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on February 3, 2005


...as those of many in the MeFi community.
posted by ericb at 1:55 PM on February 3, 2005


amberglow, this is not at all a defense of 111's shabby treatment of yourself or those likeminded, but at least that oneoneone was engaged with the issues at hand. And to be fair to those who leave, the site was a lot more pleasant over all at that point in time. Everybody will stay or go for their own reasons, and whether anyone else accepts the justification or not is insignificant. Besides, think of how pleased you'll be when they reappear.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:03 PM on February 3, 2005


I sent Matt $10.

chico and monju, I'll miss you. Please come back soon, you're part of what I enjoy about this site.
posted by me3dia at 2:07 PM on February 3, 2005


chico and monju are a major loss, but hopefully they'll return soon. I get the feeling the downward spiral they see in mefi will only worsen with their absence, as they both helped to keep it on-track.

Adios, dfowler. Your hostile noise will not be missed. But in terms of giving the account to someone who wants it, I don't think there'd be many who'd want to be associated with your username.

Here's my donation (and it comes with a free sockpuppet!).
posted by $5 worth of sex at 1:35 PM PST on February 3

Has there ever been a 'sign-up-for-a-joke' joke that's been worth $5? I can't think of any...but I am sure the $5 is appreciated nonetheless. Great name, too.
posted by cosmonik at 2:28 PM on February 3, 2005


Does Matt have to be dead before we start talking about beatification?
posted by crunchland at 3:00 PM on February 3, 2005


He's been taking pointers from Mother Teresa.
posted by DaShiv at 3:01 PM on February 3, 2005


I'll admit I'm pretty content with my purchase of newbie status for a mere five dollars. I try to send a bit o' Paypal love to a lot of my favourite online haunts, so after I do the five-dollar rounds, I'll try to give a bit more to Metafilter.

But honestly, I don't see where people get off telling Matt what ads he can run. All the complainers definitely owe him hard cash and bags of coke.

Also, hyperbolic closing line about mothers. Yeah, I'm good now.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 3:49 PM on February 3, 2005


In monju's case, I don't see that mefi is more hostile than it was a year ago. People keep saying that, but I don't see it.

Weren't you arguing just the opposite a little while back, about a 'culture of viciousness', something that I argued against?

I think that the reason the community ethos went to hell here is primarily because people are really forgiving of mean, nasty, tasteless, jerky comments.

That's certainly part of it. Another missing piece of the puzzle is so many recent additions to our little gang mistakenly thinking that the only way to buff up their webcred is one-liners and snark.

I'm going to take some time off from Metafilter, I think.

I hear ya, brother. I've vented about my frustration with the place in a couple of other spots recently, as you know. But I keep telling myself that the only way that I can legitimately feel that I'm helping is to try and be a positive contributor. If I love the place enough to be dismayed at recent trends, I love it enough to stick around, wade through the turd soup, and try and make it better. So come back soon, when you've got the energy to fight the good fight. This goes for monju, too, although it sounds like he might be past the point of no return, sadly.

To Matt: I think you did the right thing, and did it though it would cost you sweet filthy lucre. Once again, my estimation of you has risen, sir. You never cease to impress me. Thanks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:53 PM on February 3, 2005


Well, this gesture was meaningful to me, in that it reminded me how thoughtful matt is about the site. And I accidently clicked onto the new membership page earlier today when I meant to log in, and got to read the little "so you want to be a Mefite" thingy, and it presented the place really well in my opinion. So I'm regaining optimism that recent not-quite-rightness around here is really just growing pains and not shark jumping.

I think that, incidentally, is why the SG thing became such a big issue. It just seemed to somehow epitomize the shift in atmosphere that I think a lot of us have been feeling recently, and kind of "bring it home." It really wasn't about prudery.

Anyway, thanks Matt.
posted by mdn at 3:58 PM on February 3, 2005


Just another voice impressed that you gave up revenue to listen to the community. Even if I wasn't one of the people complaining, I'd be impressed with the selflessness. Well played.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:07 PM on February 3, 2005


In monju's case, I don't see that mefi is more hostile than it was a year ago. People keep saying that, but I don't see it.

Weren't you arguing just the opposite a little while back, about a 'culture of viciousness', something that I argued against?


They can both be true. I don't think Mefi is more hostile than it was a year ago. But I think there's a culture of visciousness. It's just that it's older than one year. I dunno exactly when it happened, but I know I did my own little "take a break" from lurking Mefi around 2002 or so (when politics flared), and I suspect it was just as bad in a political way before 9/11, but I know that it wasn't as bad when I first started reading (I don't even remember how long ago that was).

I don't think it's gotten much more vicious lately. The snark level is pretty constant. The political snark level has gone way down. The pedantic snark level has gone way up. The only big difference was the addition of AskMe, which temporarily brought down the snark average, and has recently balanced off with the blue and the grey.

The viciousness still annoys mightily, but I realize it's nothing new, and, after a good 3 years or so, has pretty much become ingrained.
posted by Bugbread at 4:19 PM on February 3, 2005


Wait, the Suicide Girls ad is gone? Guess I'll be jerking off to recumbent bicycle ads again.
posted by eatitlive at 4:23 PM on February 3, 2005


The viciousness still annoys mightily, but I realize it's nothing new, and, after a good 3 years or so, has pretty much become ingrained.

God damn it, no. Saying 'ah well, what can I do, it's a lost cause' is the worst possible attitude to take. Better, if you really believe it, to follow monju and chico's examples and take a break than just let it ride. But I'm not going to spend a hour rehashing the same points I tried to make when I was arguing with EB about this a while back. Search 'em down, if you care to, I guess.

If anything, this place is the least vicious net.community type thing I've ever seen, for the most part, outbursts like orange clock's notwithstanding.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:46 PM on February 3, 2005


*kicks stavros*
posted by eyeballkid at 5:01 PM on February 3, 2005


If anything, this place is the least vicious net.community type thing I've ever seen, for the most part

I'll second that.

I'll admit that I was actually much more of a K5-er than a MeFi-er at first, since I really appreciated the structure of that environment more. The whole community vote on what made the front page, and _especially_ the threaded discussions, made it something that you could really intellectually engage in with much more traction, I found. You could have long, engaged and structured debates there in a way you just can't in the "slow-motion chat" model here. (I'm _not_ complaining--I'm just saying.)

Nevertheless, K5 became a cesspool of trolls a year or two ago, to the point that it just wasn't worth it. In the end, I didn't shift my focus to MeFi because of the ponies--I did it because of the people, and because with things like MeTa and AskMe, Matt has clearly understood what people would like to talk about, and facilitated that.

I get as frustrated as anyone else with the sophomoric tone that goes on around here every once in a while, but whether it's because of the gates, or the general self-selection, or whatever, it's better, and I appreciate that.
posted by LairBob at 5:14 PM on February 3, 2005


Thanks everyone, by the way, for all the donations. About 50% of what I would have made for running the ads this month has come in, which is really surprising, and again, I don't want anyone to feel guilted into it, as I'm fine with pulling the ad and foregoing the money and don't think people have to donate to keep it running.

I'm definitely thinking hard about adding things for folks that want to chip in a few bucks every month automatically.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:29 PM on February 3, 2005


You did The Right Thing, mathowie, and that's priceless. Nice job.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 5:57 PM on February 3, 2005


"If anything, this place is the least vicious net.community type thing I've ever seen, for the most part, outbursts like orange clock's notwithstanding."

But that's relative. And, I think, disregards the many women-dominated communities that are typically much nicer. Hell, monkeyfilter is a lot nicer than mefi.

If you compare mefi to slashdot or any of the political discussion sites or Slate's "Fray", well, mefi is smarter and more civil. That's why I come here.

But don't overstate it. It still is, relative to real-world culture, a vicious place.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:58 PM on February 3, 2005


My 2cents re the orange clock business: what Doug said.
Why ban Orange Clock? Isn't it basically over for him here at this point? An outright ban seems like overkill. In my opinion Orange Clock proved to be completely insane and obnoxious in that thread, and I'll never be taking him seriously again. Shouldn't part of what makes people behave in a community be their status in that community, and not just the threat of banishment?
Great point.
posted by furious blush at 6:06 PM on February 3, 2005


What f&m (and others) said. Thanks, Matt, and I'm glad it's turning out so well.

As for those who are talking about leaving -- don't be such dr*ma qu**ns! Stick around and help make things better (like the chicken said).

No one minority has captured mefi, we're as diverse as we've ever been.

Amen.
posted by languagehat at 6:12 PM on February 3, 2005


Thanks Matt.
posted by graventy at 6:17 PM on February 3, 2005


What f&m (and others) said.

Yeah, except that foldy said it today after calling the ads excrement and Matt a sellout yesterday. Gee, isn't that wonderfully consistent behavior from Captain Hypocrite-Finder? Why, I would venture to wager that had Matt stuck to his guns, the slander would have continued unabated.
~wink~
posted by darukaru at 6:19 PM on February 3, 2005


Why ban Orange Clock? Isn't it basically over for him here at this point?

Yeah, but like others have said (I think in the now-closed thread), my basic concern is for all the "orange"s out there. For months now, every time I read a comment from an "orange [something]", I always have to think, "Wait a sec...which one is the crazy troll again?"

Not that that means he should be banned, but maybe wear some kind of scarlet "T" for a while, like a bright red asterisk after his name in the posts? That way, it would be a _lot_ easier sorting them all out.

(Kidding. Really. Kiiiiidding. I think the time-out solution is totally appropriate.)
posted by LairBob at 6:24 PM on February 3, 2005


I don't want anyone to feel guilted into it, as I'm fine with pulling the ad and foregoing the money and don't think people have to donate to keep it running.

Dude, as a member of MetaFilter I feel entitled to slip a few greasy sawbucks into your g-string for any reason I please. So there.
posted by sciurus at 6:25 PM on February 3, 2005


Hell, monkeyfilter is a lot nicer than mefi.

Too bad it sucks.
posted by trharlan at 6:55 PM on February 3, 2005


Matt - if you really feel abashed about the money coming in, I suggest you send a Suicide-Boys photoset of yourself to everyone who kicks in. Just to say thanks.

:P

Damn. You can't make very articulate tongue-gestures with emoticons.
posted by scarabic at 7:20 PM on February 3, 2005


I apologize for repeating myself, but it seems especially appropriate given that the author of this thread can't respond to any of the criticism levied against him here.
posted by aberrant at 7:20 PM on February 3, 2005


"...the author of this thread can't respond to any of the criticism levied against him here."

Y'know, this guy I once worked with got fired for being an absolute prick to all his coworkers, and we kept talking about what a prick he was after he was gone, even though he wasn't there to defend himself - because he got fired for being a prick to all his coworkers.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:50 PM on February 3, 2005


Thanks. I'm not at all offended and I have no job to worry about (and those that make that claim are mostly on dubious ground considering the "hide" link), but it's just not in keeping with the tone of the site, and I'm impressed you're willing to yield money for such an intangible complaint.
posted by abcde at 8:01 PM on February 3, 2005


Thanks, Matt - I appreciate that you were so thoughtful about it in the first place, and were then willing to reconsider afterwards when you had even more info. It's exceptionally classy.

Issue, though: when I click on that paypal link, my browser warns me that Safari can't verify that it's actually paypal, and not an imposter. Suggestions?
posted by livii at 8:17 PM on February 3, 2005


...the site was a lot more pleasant over all at that point in time. Everybody will stay or go for their own reasons, and whether anyone else accepts the justification or not is insignificant. Besides, think of how pleased you'll be when they reappear.

Actually, it's a lot more pleasant overall now, by my view.
posted by amberglow at 8:28 PM on February 3, 2005


Damn. You can't make very articulate tongue-gestures with emoticons.

scarabic, you do realize that I have some "tongue-gestures" photos involving certain individuals with bananas from the last meetup (one example) that I can contribute to a "Suicide Boys" photoset, right?

</blackmail>
posted by DaShiv at 8:43 PM on February 3, 2005


livii: the link is fine but in general I'd say its bad practice to click a paypal link put up by a user.

Try the link off the donate page

I had no problems, using Safari.
posted by vacapinta at 9:03 PM on February 3, 2005


Thanks, vacapinta - I'd never seen that link there. I do hate clicking user-created links to paypal, so this is much better. :)
posted by livii at 9:13 PM on February 3, 2005


you do realize that I have some "tongue-gestures" photos involving certain individuals with bananas

I you're talking about Q slowly throating that banana, I took those! I pretended to fiddle around with the camera going, wait, wait... no hang on... one more... in order to prolong the (quite impressive) display, which the smokers all missed.
posted by scarabic at 9:43 PM on February 3, 2005


Hmm, I thought either me or epimorph had caught something incriminating with you involved, but I'll have to pull out my DVD backups if I want to check (since it's off my harddrive now). I know my bigger camera was making the rounds that night though.

No comments from me on any "deep throating" of banana pictures, to protect the innocent (guilty) parties.
posted by DaShiv at 11:16 PM on February 3, 2005


Boy, where to start. On #mefi I summarized the SG problem as: Dumb move. Bad omen. HANDLED BADLY.

I agreed with quonsar, mostly. It's not that I had a problem with boobies, but I'm not sure I want them here. I think it mis-set the tone, at a time when tone is a quality we're worried about. It set people's minds thinking in uncomfortable terms about mathowie's approach to, and interest in, the site, if he could misjudge the community's response so badly (while even a somewhat sidelined member such as myself predicted every tragic turn in that 600+ thread). The idea that Matt would dump this experiment out there and check the fan blades for shit didn't seem to gibe with our expectations of how he normally goes about building consensus for major changes.

Happily, he figured this out and reversed one of his poorest decisions into one of his better ones.

Hell, I've followed this site since November of '99. I can't keep talking in third person.
Matt:
Thanks. From a tha-ree-digit member.
If ever there's a time where having that counts, this should be one of them.
-- Signed, Dan.

Sadly, in the process some cracks became unglued, and we've had a few defections. I hope chicobangs comes back; I hope monju_bosatsu comes back. I have to say, though, that I tend to agree with monju, stavros and mdn's comments above -- as contradictory as that may seem. My frustrations are monju's; my optimism is stavros's; and my relief is mdn's. At least today, I'm not fading away (more than I have already, anyway).
posted by dhartung at 11:27 PM on February 3, 2005


chicobangs will come back, because we shall taunt him with funny photos and poke him with sharp sticks until he does. Monju, please check in every now and then, just to see if you change your mind. Sadly I have no images to taunt you with.
posted by taz at 2:18 AM on February 4, 2005


I hope chicobangs comes back; I hope monju_bosatsu comes back.

I wish T r a c y would come back. Strong women are always needed.

(As opposed to... um... foam rubber and cardboard women.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:39 AM on February 4, 2005


I hope chicobangs comes back

Just heard from him. He appreciates the love but needs a rest. I guess you can't un-break the camel's back by removing the one straw. But a rest is a good thing. Knowing when to back away is the mark of maturity. We'll leave the light on for you, chicobangs.
posted by scarabic at 9:08 AM on February 4, 2005


Thank you, mathowie.

I donated $10, and think you're pretty ok.
posted by plexi at 9:40 AM on February 4, 2005


Is t r a c e y gone? I figured she was just busy.... All this leaving is beginning to piss me off.
posted by taz at 9:42 AM on February 4, 2005


Here's my donation (and it comes with a free sockpuppet!).
posted by $5 worth of sex at 1:35 PM PST on February 3

Has there ever been a 'sign-up-for-a-joke' joke that's been worth $5?


What about signup for a running joke/donation? And now I've got a pair of socks!

I dare someone else to sign up as $15 Worth of Sex, etc. I wonder how high we could go...
posted by $10 Worth of Sex at 9:47 AM on February 4, 2005


Thanks Matt Haughey!
posted by five dollars worth of thank you cake at 9:58 AM on February 4, 2005


What's all this about socks?
posted by $15 worth of sox at 10:27 AM on February 4, 2005


I need to know, too!
posted by i want your sox at 10:41 AM on February 4, 2005


in for $50 (via the amazon thing--i detest paypal)--someone match me (or many someones) : >
posted by amberglow at 12:22 PM on February 4, 2005


or don't--cheapskates!
posted by amberglow at 2:20 PM on February 4, 2005


hang on amberglow....

I was... uh! uh! just about to... OH MY GOD! match you...

but..

I spent it on $50 worth of sex - uh!

OOHHHHHHHHH!
posted by scarabic at 7:04 PM on February 4, 2005


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