I'm rescinding my offer to contribute to the Metafilter scholarship February 19, 2005 6:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm rescinding my offer to contribute to the Metafilter scholarship. I don't like the direction in which the site is going, and I won't be participating any longer. I would email Matt directly, but I made the offer in open forum, so I feel it's only fair to withdraw it here as well. I promise not to let the door hit me in the ass on the way out.
posted by mr_crash_davis to MetaFilter-Related at 6:19 PM (372 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Why didn't you just leave a comment in that thread? It's still open for comments.
posted by jonah at 6:22 PM on February 19, 2005


I wasn't aware the site had taken a u-turn. Is it all the new features that got you down?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:24 PM on February 19, 2005


crash, for going on 4 years now, I've considered you a freind and an ally on this site, as well as a truly articulate and funny human being, and a fair minded and original thinker to boot.

Don't go, man.
posted by jonmc at 6:29 PM on February 19, 2005


Matt - lots of folks would not call the overly ambitious moderation that is occuring lately a feature.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 6:36 PM on February 19, 2005


.

Out of respect, some lyrics from Ice Cubes "Dead Homiez"


It makes me so mad I want to get my sawed-in
And have some bodies hauled in
But no, I pay my respects and I'm through (whaddup Cube?)
Hug my crew, and maybe shed a tear or two
And I wanna get blitz
Grab my 40 ounce and then I reminisce
About a brother who had to be the one and only
So I dedicate this to my dead homiez...

posted by Quartermass at 6:37 PM on February 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


Unless crash_davis deigns to tell us why he'll be depriving us of his company, I find it hard to get too upset, much as I enjoy his endless one-linery.

And until and if he says it's the moderation that is driving him out, McGuillicuddy, I'd suggest you don't put words into his mouth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:40 PM on February 19, 2005


stav, if crash leaves then it's just you and me from the original posse that formed the mokeyhouse that'll be left carrying the torch for the old days.

*cries*
posted by jonmc at 6:43 PM on February 19, 2005


What the fuck am I, chopped liver?

Oh yeah, I am. Nevermind.
posted by yhbc at 6:45 PM on February 19, 2005


Yeah, nice try at getting out of a $1000 commitment. :)
posted by vacapinta at 6:46 PM on February 19, 2005


Sorry to see you go, mate. I always look for your username. That'll be a habit hard to lose.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:46 PM on February 19, 2005


Stav: I have it on good authority that MCD was referring to that, yes.
posted by Ryvar at 6:47 PM on February 19, 2005


stav - I'm not speaking for anybody, I'm suggesting new features are cool, but not at the expense of treating users like children. MetaFilter was better with few features and less moderation, IMHO.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 6:47 PM on February 19, 2005


Wait, jon, I know I've seen the commish and tiz and dong_resin (amongst others?) around here recently, haven't I?

On preview : chopped filet mignon, baby!

On another preview : alrighty then, Ryvar. Thanks. That's being discussed here, McGuillicuddy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:49 PM on February 19, 2005


commish, like ColdChef, kafkaesque and some others, we don't see you here nearly enough, and that (along with the departure of several other folks) makes me pine for the golden era.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 PM on February 19, 2005


well stav, maybe what I miss most is the spirit of those days and what our crew brought here; that sense that no matter how much we might have differed in opinion, we could still enjoy a good laugh, a good talk, and even a good argument without it getting personal. And MCD was the epitome of that spirit.
posted by jonmc at 6:56 PM on February 19, 2005


stav - Right. And through the power of a dynamic web app, it is now being discussed here too.

But to make at least this post on topic, I'll add:

.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 7:02 PM on February 19, 2005


Is it the continual influx of new users and the concomitant change in the character of the website that's the problem or the (relatively benign) moderation?

jonmc, I distinctly remember arguments getting personal when the site was closed. Don't let the pining away for the good ole days cloud your memory.
posted by Jim Jones at 7:02 PM on February 19, 2005


that sense that no matter how much we might have differed in opinion, we could still enjoy a good laugh, a good talk, and even a good argument without it getting personal

jon, I don't see how that has changed (hammerheads though there are aplenty, as always), and until crash_davis has the stones to tell us himself why he no longer cares to participate (after starting a lookatme thread to announce that he was leaving), well, I remain unsympathetic, and in fact a little annoyed at him, my own periodic outbursts about the place notwithstanding.

But then, I remain unconcerned about the tighter moderation, and in fact encourage more of same, as long as it's consistent and evenhanded (which some argue, perhaps rightly, that it isn't, at the moment).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:04 PM on February 19, 2005


All right, I was logged out, cookies deleted, but I feel obliged to answer a few questions.

"Unless crash_davis deigns to tell us why he'll be depriving us of his company, I find it hard to get too upset, much as I enjoy his endless one-linery."

Stav, if you haven't noticed the tenor of the site changing lately, then you're more soused than I would ever have suspected you of being (which means even more than I normally am). It's just not as much fun for me any more [which is the only reason to do anything, right?

"Yeah, nice try at getting out of a $1000 commitment. :)"

vacapinta, if it will make you feel better, I promise to make the same donation to the local Job Corps.

"What the fuck am I, chopped liver?"

Yes, you are.

"MetaFilter was better with few features and less moderation"

Agreed.

Email is in the profile's source for any further correspondence.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:08 PM on February 19, 2005


I'm not saying it was perfect in those days, Jim Jones, but the community definitely had a different vibe. Even when it got contentious, that respect for the essential humanity of every member was there. That's been lost a bit, and I'll take a bite of blame pie for that along with everyone else.

*pours out 40 for unclefes, mr_crash-davis, evanizer, chicobangs, kafkaesque and countless others*

on preview: stav, I don't think that moderation is the culprit, since I trust both mathowie and jessamyn implicitly. It's just that somewhere along the line, a certain camaraderie has been lost.
posted by jonmc at 7:09 PM on February 19, 2005


crash, amigo, you can bite me for that 'soused' comment. Soooo 2002.

Seriously, though, saying 'the tenor of the site had changed' doesn't really tell me much. If it's not fun for you, OK, I got you, that's enough reason, surely, not to play anymore.

But I'm curious about what tenor changes are rubbing you wrong, so much so that you'd walk away. Honestly curious.

Really, it'd be the least you could do, even if it were a parting shot, to tell us what is so wrong that you, a veritable pillar of the community, are walking. If for no other reason than to give the rest of us, mathowie included, a chance to try and set it right.

Personally, I think #mefi has poisoned your mind!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:01 PM on February 19, 2005


Fine, I'll ask Jessamyn to take the week off.



...fucking drama queens
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:03 PM on February 19, 2005 [1 favorite]



I wasn't aware the site had taken a u-turn. Is it all the new features that got you down?


what a dick.
posted by quonsar at 8:07 PM on February 19, 2005


Try not to photoshop any Admiral Ackbars on the way to the parking lot!
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:11 PM on February 19, 2005


...fucking drama queens

what a dick.


Those two comments are why I still love this place.

In case it's not clear, it's because I appreciate BOTH Matt and quonsar. And crash and whoever, and parisparamus and whoever, and y2karl and whoever, and ... well, duh. Do I have to spell it out for you people ALL the time?!?
posted by yhbc at 8:17 PM on February 19, 2005


i heart quonsar
posted by exlotuseater at 8:23 PM on February 19, 2005


Wow, such drama. You've gotten the attention you wanted though, so nicely done.
posted by smackfu at 8:25 PM on February 19, 2005


I'm seeing a horizontal scrollbar, and I'm not quite sure why.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:27 PM on February 19, 2005


Jim Jones (and on preview stav), while this is marginally off-topic, I'd like to point out that Matt deleted an AskMe suggestion because he disagreed with it, then promptly closed the resulting MeTa thread to prevent further discussion, thereby forcing people who found this behavior outrageous to post their complaints to a thread that at the time was no longer even on the front page of MeTa. Even if Matt seriously believed that poster's suggestion was a joke, that was a pretty poor way to handle that situation.

However, that and the main topic of the latter thread are just examples of questionable judgement. The one that really makes me go from questioning and kvetching to outright grabbing for my pitchfork and torch is this.

Now, I like Jessamyn. I've met her in person and think that she's an absolutely wonderful human being. I don't want to say anything that would cause friction between me and her, and it's for that reason that my several page diabtribes have been solely aimed at Matt (also, ultimately he chose who he shares moderation powers with). But what scarabic described was just wrong. Until an undelete feature is added (which should be incredibly simple - just add a single-bit 'display/do not display' flag to the data structure of the posts and modify the html generator to ignore posts where that bit is set to 1), moderation really needs to be done with the utmost of care.
posted by Ryvar at 8:29 PM on February 19, 2005


Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
posted by euphorb at 8:42 PM on February 19, 2005


Ryvar, IMHO, I don't think that incident is worth getting upset over.
posted by Jim Jones at 8:47 PM on February 19, 2005


Matt deleted an AskMe suggestion because he disagreed with it

I considered it a joke, right along with the one that preceded it, that said a person should ask a woman how much she hates america. Both were terrible advice to break the ice on a date, and I deleted them.

I closed the thread about it in MetaTalk because I explained what I just said above and didn't want to discuss it anymore. Selfish behavior from me? Sure, it was, but I was exhausted by week of putting in many hours on the site while taking arrows left and right over (imo) a few slights, some of which I didn't commit, but as you say, are "directly my fault."

And I know I can sound like a broken record here, but for the past several years folks have been telling me again and again to farm out moderation duties, that I should find a team of 4-5 folks to delete stuff, tend to threads, and ban users in their darkest hours, and when I answered that with my reservations and reluctance, stressing that my light touch was a challenge day in and day out that I didn't trust anyone with, I was called selfish for holding all my cards.

So, after almost six years, I finally find someone incredibly helpful that I've known personally for several years, and I let her take on some duties and now metatalk threads are scrolling off the page everyday and longtime members are leaving the site in bunnyfire-esque episodes.

It's times like this that I wonder why it's all worth it, but deep down I know that tomorrow will bring a new page full of links to places I've never seen, and a page full of interesting questions I've never pondered, and yes, a page full of bugs, complaints, and meetups I'll do my best to follow.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:50 PM on February 19, 2005


This is seriously depressing news.
posted by jonson at 8:53 PM on February 19, 2005


for the past several years folks have been telling me again and again to farm out moderation duties, that I should find a team of 4-5 folks to delete stuff, tend to threads, and ban users in their darkest hours, and when I answered that with my reservations and reluctance, stressing that my light touch was a challenge day in and day out that I didn't trust anyone with, I was called selfish for holding all my cards.

What you don't seem to be understanding is that the people calling for additional moderators/administrators had themselves in mind for the job.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:00 PM on February 19, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'm also quitting!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:01 PM on February 19, 2005


I considered it a joke, right along with the one that preceded it, that said a person should ask a woman how much she hates america. Both were terrible advice to break the ice on a date, and I deleted them.

I hope you understand that these two sentences contradict (you say joke in one, then terrible suggestion - which is a personal judgement - in the other), and that the latter supports my statement. Because if you can't see that then to quote Jon Stewart, "We're in trouble, guys."

That said, I understand that you find the site frustrating but ultimately rewarding. I understand that you're overworked, but love the site. The problem is that when people suggested you delegate moderation duties, they did so with the implicit assumption that light moderation would continue to be the norm. This is where things went wrong, although which party is responsible is up for debate. The deluge of threads and comments indicating that this assumption has not been the case (I didn't even participate in the last one because I too began to sound like a broken record) should be a sign. To someone. You, I hope.

A lot of people appear to have preferred half a moderator, and let the community sort out the rest for itself. Stuff that really needs to be deleted, users who are consistently a problem will get dragged into MetaTalk. The best aspect about this as a community-based moderation system is that it enables a gradient of punishments including chastisement and reputation penalties which cannot occur when the offending comments are simply disappeared. Better yet, if the callout is completely inappropriate and obviously partisan the guilty party will find it completely backfires on them. This is why the old system worked so well, even if it took up more space on MeTa. Resultingly there seems to be a lot of support for a return to it.
posted by Ryvar at 9:05 PM on February 19, 2005


...when I answered that with my reservations and reluctance, stressing that my light touch was a challenge day in and day out that I didn't trust anyone with, I was called selfish for holding all my cards.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Matt, but can't you just ask (tell?) Jessamyn to have a lighter touch? Or better yet, I'll ask directly: Jessamyn? Can you have a lighter touch, please? Not that anyone has to wear a WWMD bracelet or something (that might be amusing, though), but clearly, light moderation is highly valued here by most people; I daresay it's one reason many of us came here and stayed. I've left other sites over heavy-handed moderation -- I'd really, really like MeFi not to be one of them.

On preview: The problem is that when people suggested you delegate moderation duties, they did so with the implicit assumption that light moderation would continue to be the norm.

Exactly.
posted by scody at 9:10 PM on February 19, 2005


The best aspect about this as a community-based moderation system is that it enables a gradient of punishments including chastisement and reputation penalties which cannot occur when the offending comments are simply disappeared. Better yet, if the callout is completely inappropriate and obviously partisan the guilty party will find it completely backfires on them. This is why the old system worked so well, even if it took up more space on MeTa. Resultingly there seems to be a lot of support for a return to it.

Key point, with which I agree wholeheartedly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:10 PM on February 19, 2005


What you don't seem to be understanding is that the people calling for additional moderators/administrators had themselves in mind for the job.

After the way that people have responded to jessamyn (who was for the most part infallible before her mod duties), why would anyone in their right mind want such a thankless job?

Being a moderator here is akin to being a meter maid - giving tickets all day, doing nothing but pissing people off.
posted by Quartermass at 9:10 PM on February 19, 2005


I haven't been as active lately as I used to be, but I am very happy with the direction the Filter is going right now. I can understand how some of the old members are upset at its move away from being their private playground, but in terms of quanitity of good links on the front page and good answers in the Ask page, this place is getting healthier all the time. I have a tendency to resist dress codes myself*, but I have no problem with the minimum requirement of "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service". I still ache a little when an AskMe question comes up that sounds like a straight line to which I'm not allowed to write a punch line, but it's worth it to avoid 4000 others from doing the same. And I'm available to fill in for jessamyn anytime Matt asks, which, if he has a lick of sense he never will.

* I used to show my displeasure by wearing very ugly ties at the last job I had that required ties - anyone wishing to make the same statement, I'll be glad to mail them to you.
posted by wendell at 9:11 PM on February 19, 2005


Can I offer a compromise: Delete whatever you want, but provide full disclosure. Leave the "posted by" and timestamp line intact, and state clearly (in text distinguishable from the rest of the thread) the reason for deletion.

A javascript toggle that would enable us to see the original comment would be a nice pony as well.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:17 PM on February 19, 2005


I hope you understand that these two sentences contradict

No, they don't. The hating america one was obviously a joke and I wasn't sure the second comment was, but they were both terrible advice. Something can be both a joke and bad advice, those don't contradict shit. And of course they're my JUDGEMENT. Who else's are they supposed to be? Everything I ever delete is done in my judgement. You're acting like I've just let slip my alibi doesn't hold up in a murder case and we're talking about two lousy answers I deleted to keep the suggestions serious and on-topic.

Ryvar, you're the one that thought a thread about rape jokes should stay, so I know you're pretty much in the "never delete anything, ever, and anything ever deleted is a travesty" camp.

I'll cave on this just like I caved on the suicide girls thing. I've heard the message loud and clear for a couple weeks and I was hoping things would blow over because I didn't think the few off-topic comments removed here and there were ruining MetaFilter as many have stated. I already said I'll talk to jessamyn about lightening up her duties.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:19 PM on February 19, 2005


Key point, with which I agree wholeheartedly.

...but, that said, I'm pretty sure things were heading into a maelstrom of Stoopid'n'Noisy when the floodgates were opened and it became self-reinforcing that more goofy comments led to even more goofy comments. It scared me.

That was not a newbie-bash. I think it's fantastic that we have scads of new people on the site.

I've assumed all along that public whacks on the nose would diminish as the stormy seas created by the influx of thousands of new users, some brilliant, some not so, subsided.

On the other hand, again, Ryvar's absolutely right that if comments are just disappeared, silently, nobody but the commenter knows what has happened, and that breaks what was to me one of the fundamental rudders of community policing, which has worked pretty well all these years.

On preview: I'm not sure I like Saucy Intruder's suggestion precisely, but it's definitely going in the right direction, addressing the right issue, I think.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:20 PM on February 19, 2005


Er, I wish that had've appeared before Matt's latest comment. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:21 PM on February 19, 2005


Can I offer a compromise: Delete whatever you want, but provide full disclosure. Leave the "posted by" and timestamp line intact, and state clearly (in text distinguishable from the rest of the thread) the reason for deletion.

I am positive that this would result in more threads on MetaTalk about any deletion as this feature would highlight and leave any stain on the site for all prosperity. I've seen how it works on Slashdot and when you cruise the site at -1, it's a cesspool. I'm not interested in making little permanent homes for bullshit on MetaFilter. You just have to trust me on the few deletions I do, as you all have all this time (until recently).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:22 PM on February 19, 2005


Quitters never win.

And I should know. I've quit coming to MetaFilter dozens of times. Never takes, though.
posted by ColdChef at 9:25 PM on February 19, 2005


I say this with extreme caution, because it's tough to quantify gut feelings, but when people asked for another moderator, they probably thought it would halve Matt's workload. Instead, it seems that the amount of moderation has simply increased.

I imagine it'll settle down. Give it some time.

on preview: yeah, let the deleted be deleted. Slashdot at -1 is not pretty, and being constantly reminded that it's there does taint the context of the good posts.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:26 PM on February 19, 2005


.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:27 PM on February 19, 2005


Full disclosure would only lead to more nitpicking.
posted by dhruva at 9:30 PM on February 19, 2005


Matt, please DON'T back off on reasonable moderation. This place has needed it for YEARS. Anyone who thinks MetaFilter's "Self-Policing" system was anything other than a case study in abberant group psychology is highly delusional (and I know about highly delusional people from way too much exposure).

And maybe when the Projects Page* and various Metacraigslist-esque features are added, most of MeFi's members and greater audience wouldn't even notice if MetaTalk just up and disappeared off the face of the Internet.

P.S.: Thanks for suggesting the Spellbound widget. But I still baffled it with "aberrant".

*I don't agree with EVERYTHING Matt does. I believe TellMeFi is a GREAT name!
posted by wendell at 9:31 PM on February 19, 2005


And I could make a solid argument that the accessibility of deleted Front Page threads as it exists right now isn't such a great idea...
posted by wendell at 9:35 PM on February 19, 2005


Oh let's all just throw a pity party for mr_crash_davis because he doesn't like some things about the site.

This is ridiculous. Don't let the door hit you, there.
posted by xmutex at 9:38 PM on February 19, 2005


Anyone who thinks MetaFilter's "Self-Policing" system was anything other than a case study in abberant group psychology is highly delusional

Sorry, wendell, but you're wrong, there. More specifically, you're right about the group psychology thing, only partially right about the 'aberrant', but entirely wrong about the 'nothing other than'. In my humble, as always.

Oh let's all just throw a pity party for mr_crash_davis because he doesn't like some things about the site.

I thought we were using the occasion of someone much liked in the community leaving as an opportunity to discuss what, if anything, has gone wrong recently, and possibly even take steps to correct it. Did you even read the thread, there?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:48 PM on February 19, 2005


Just, FYI

And I could make a solid argument that the accessibility of deleted Front Page threads as it exists right now isn't such a great idea...
posted by wendell at 9:35 PM PST on February 19


Lofi is no longer accessible unless you're logged in.


posted by Jim Jones at 9:49 PM on February 19, 2005


No, they don't. The hating america one was obviously a joke and I wasn't sure the second comment was, but they were both terrible advice. Something can be both a joke and bad advice, those don't contradict shit. And of course they're my JUDGEMENT. Who else's are they supposed to be? Everything I ever delete is done in my judgement. You're acting like I've just let slip my alibi doesn't hold up in a murder case and we're talking about two lousy answers I deleted to keep the suggestions serious and on-topic.

The hating America one was obviously a joke and should've been killed outright. I don't dispute that. The second was not and was an entirely seperate comment that should've been treated as such. It being terrible isn't a reason to delete it - there has always been a metric ton of terrible advice dispensed on AskMe, some of it actually hazardous in its inaccuracy. Making the judgement that 'this answer is so bad it must be removed' over a bit of dating advice seems more than slightly arbitrary. Also, for people with the right type of personality, it's really not a bad suggestion if you can carry it off. I hope what I disagree about is clear here - you seemed to be judging that advice as empirically and factually wrong for all people ever, rather than just targetted at a certain type of personality. Does that explain it better?

Ryvar, you're the one that thought a thread about rape jokes should stay, so I know you're pretty much in the "never delete anything, ever, and anything ever deleted is a travesty" camp.

I have a personal issue with deleting any form of humor, yes, but that thread and the next MeTa thread I posted made it abundantly clear to me that in that respect I was out of touch with the community's sense of taste. Since then I've tried to ignore personal bias - or at least clearly label it as such. Also, there was a while between then and now when the moderation was at a tolerable level outside of my personal foibles, and so I more or less shut up about moderation for a time

I'll cave on this just like I caved on the suicide girls thing. I've heard the message loud and clear for a couple weeks and I was hoping things would blow over because I didn't think the few off-topic comments removed here and there were ruining MetaFilter as many have stated. I already said I'll talk to jessamyn about lightening up her duties.

Thank you. Some more personal bias so I don't come across as some sort of ceaseless anti-Haughey force incarnate: AskMe is supposed to be free of wisecracks, and despite my bias I don't have a problem with that fact at all because it is explicitly spelled out ahead of time. I understand and support the whole concept of questions followed by answers with nothing else inbetween. It's a great idea and makes for an invaluable resource. The majority of my own complaint is aimed mostly at moderation on the gray and to a lesser extent the blue.
posted by Ryvar at 9:49 PM on February 19, 2005


Man, I like that slapping on of a ',there', don't I? I'm gonna start using it all the time, there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:50 PM on February 19, 2005


Did you even read the thread, there?

*bows down*
posted by Quartermass at 9:51 PM on February 19, 2005


but for the past several years folks have been telling me again and again to farm out moderation duties

Matt, you probably also get people telling you how you should accept porn ads. You don't listen to those ideas, why entertain this ludicrous one?

Comment deletion has always been a sacred Hand of God event. Self-links, Goatse, thread spam... that's the sort of stuff that gets deleted. But not comments, unless there was some particularly eggregious violation of ethics.

Now it seems like the threshold for deletion has extended to the genericly controversial. Not to be rude, but this community was doing fine before all the help came along. There was and is simply no need for the kind of zeal with which the thoughts (however off-topic, not-funny, or plane-stupid they are) are being deleted. Either this place is self-policing, or we have mods. If we have mods, MetaFilter turns into every other website trying to catch eyeballs with "hot links".

Metafilter doesn't win Best Community Weblog because of its mods.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:55 PM on February 19, 2005


Ha. I'll remember this thread. It's always "It's Matt's site, live with it," until you disagree with him. Then you start bitching, and it's "I don't like the direction the site is going."

Holding your participation in the site up like a hostage until your demands are met. Come on.
posted by Hildago at 9:57 PM on February 19, 2005


Civil_Disobedient: Unless you're stavrosthewonderchicken, it's spelled "egregious."
posted by Ryvar at 9:58 PM on February 19, 2005


"I can understand how some of the old members are upset at its move away from being their private playground..."

Bingo.

"...most of MeFi's members and greater audience wouldn't even notice if MetaTalk just up and disappeared off the face of the Internet."

Yep.

Caving in to these complaints is caving in to a small minority who feels privileged.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:58 PM on February 19, 2005


it's spelled "egregious."

Hey, your right.

/ha ha
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:00 PM on February 19, 2005


Unless you're stavrosthewonderchicken, it's spelled "egregious."

*raises eyebrow quizzically*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:01 PM on February 19, 2005


>>"...most of MeFi's members and greater audience wouldn't even notice if MetaTalk just up and disappeared off the face of the Internet."

>Yep.


Like I've said before, recently, people keep repeating this nugget as if it were gospel, and I have yet to see even the tiniest bit of supporting evidence that justifies it.

Other than Postroad, of course.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:06 PM on February 19, 2005


Matt, you probably also get people telling you how you should accept porn ads. You don't listen to those ideas, why entertain this ludicrous one

Ludicrous? Go back in MetaTalk and read the hundreds of times impassioned pleas much like your posts in this thread were pressuring me into getting more moderators. And I specifically recall being called names and getting ugly emails from folks telling me how it wasn't my site, but theirs and how I should let others step in.

I knew this would happen if not done well and I waited all this time until i found someone I could trust, and it was only after she'd been helping me for months, showing me double posts and outrageous jokes in ask metafilter and whatnot. I didn't think actually giving her the admin rights would change much.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:06 PM on February 19, 2005


Matt: Ignore the critics, who are full of shit and themselves. Trust your instincts and your own judgment. Them that don't like it can self-fuck.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:12 PM on February 19, 2005


I waited all this time until i found someone I could trust

If it's worth anything (it isn't, I know), were I in your position and convinced of the need for another mod, jessamyn would've been the only person here I trusted with the keys to the kingdom as well.

You just have to trust me on the few deletions I do, as you all have all this time (until recently).

We - every last one of us - created accounts here because we decided to trust in your judgement as moderator. That's why we've been so noisy about even the slightest change.
posted by Ryvar at 10:15 PM on February 19, 2005


Oh dear, no, mcwetboy! I'd say listen to the critics, take what they have to say for what it's worth, each as you may, but just don't let it get you down.

quonsar's inexplicable 'what a dick' comment upthread notwithstanding, it's not personal. People get upset because they value this community, and they've learned to trust you. If they didn't care, they wouldn't care. This is the measure of success, and Metafilter is definitely a success.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:16 PM on February 19, 2005


Metafilter: If they didn't care, they wouldn't care
posted by BoringPostcards at 10:24 PM on February 19, 2005


Stav nailed it.
posted by Ryvar at 10:24 PM on February 19, 2005


I've been meaning to add flag functionality for months now (it's been at the top of my MetaFilter todo list since I started it), so I'll probably code this up next week, giving people a way to report double-posts, offensive stuff, whatever.

My hope is that reading a page of recent flagged posts/comments isn't a full-time job, because lord what a shitty job that would be.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:25 PM on February 19, 2005


Wendell and EB, I have to respectfully disagree with your assertions that the moderation lately has simply served to curb the "playground" feel of a handful of privileged insiders. I'm certainly not part of some old-timer/insider clique here, nor have I ever had a single one of my comments deleted, so that's certainly not why I feel I have a dog in this particular race.

Matt: the ugly emails (whether to you or to Jessamyn) are indefensible -- and at the end of the day, I'm still someone who believes that ultimately, it's your site. I hope I'm not contributing to your feeling under siege -- I love this place, I love the new ponies, and I think Jessamyn is a good egg. But I also think it's worth considering that when a number of good, solid members (e.g., taz and madamjjj in the other thread, for example, but many others) have voiced their concerns respectfully and thoughtfully, that there's something more going on than simply a bunch of malcontents just demanding a perfect world. Again, I'm really sorry you're feeling under siege (Jess probably is as well) -- I do hope you understand that I think a good number of us are speaking up in sincerely good faith.

On preview: curses! Out-articulated by a chicken!
posted by scody at 10:28 PM on February 19, 2005


Well, damn.
posted by Vidiot at 10:30 PM on February 19, 2005


quonsar's inexplicable 'what a dick'

Half of the active MeTa users: (pleading to deaf ears) The moderation is getting out of hand!
mr_crash_davis: (utterly defeated) This site is getting so out of hand, in fact, that I'm going to bow out.
Matt: (sarcastic, snappy) Oh, because of all the great stuff I did?
posted by rafter at 10:32 PM on February 19, 2005


rafter, it was a joke.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:34 PM on February 19, 2005


"Like I've said before, recently, people keep repeating this nugget as if it were gospel, and I have yet to see even the tiniest bit of supporting evidence that justifies it."

Matt could answer this, if he wanted. And perhaps he should because I'm pretty sure the pageviews are much higher for MetaFilter and AskMetafilter.

I know a lot of people that are familiar with mefi and say they read it occasionally. Many of them don't even read the comments. MeTa is even more this way, it's for the hard-core mefites and those who like to follow the drama (which included me for the 18 months or so I lurked before I became a member).

Someone said something in the "YA" thread that they suspect part of the problem is that a bunch of old-timers migrated into AskMe, partly because it was polite when the blue increasingly wasn't, and found that they really liked being part of the askmefi community. Communities always become chatty, which askme isn't for. Moderation keeping askme on-charter is disrupting their sense of community. So they complain.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:36 PM on February 19, 2005


All these complaints of Metafilter going downhill upset me, partly because I feel it too. I'd been reading Metafilter for a couple of years before getting my account in November, and the place seems less hospitable even to me... and I didn't have posting abilities before. What happened? What's giving the negative vibe? I've been trying to pinpoint it, and I don't think it's entirely the heavier moderation that's to blame. Here's a new member's perspective:

When I was forced to lurk, I often wanted to jump into discussions taking place. There are fewer discussions I want to jump into now. There are fewer interesting discussions period (it seems to me). Maybe it's because the election's over. But I think a larger reason for this is because there are fewer colorful members interacting with one another in personal ways. Whither Stan Chin? Miguel? Even the colorful members who continue to post (and there are still plenty) get involved in fewer snappy discussions than before. This is probably due to the influx of new guys. It's not so much that new members are trolling, I think... it's just that they aren't really community members yet. They're (we're) more like impersonal voices piping up every now and again. (Lord knows I act like one a lot of the time. I jump into a thread, post a couple of times, and skedaddle.) When a user I know makes a comment, I usually find it more interesting and worthy of response than if an unknown wrote it, because I can relate it to a person and a history. Threads are getting bogged down in user names instead of people.

It seems like there's a lot less buddy-buddy fun-loving between personalities going on now, making the place feel more like a peanut gallery than a forum. The thinning out of the community is palpable. And I think some people might be blaming this change of feel on the heavier moderation (which I'm sure is also somewhat responsible, but not wholly).

My hope is that this'll die down once the new posters find their voices and evolve into full-fledged community members... but that takes time (except for the ones who post a tremendous amount like AlexReynolds and Faint of Butt). This negative slide will pass.
posted by painquale at 10:37 PM on February 19, 2005


With so many great new users, what crash and quonsar use to say was shocking but now it's just noise.

There are so many other great new people, these "long time users" are just throwing a tantrum, trying to get the notice they once had.

If you're not posting good links or contributing to the conversation, you're not contributing to Metafilter. You're using Metafilter as your own little playground.

Matt is doing something greater than you. Why can't you see that?
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 10:38 PM on February 19, 2005


Thing is, Matt, to a member who's been around as long as he has, for the first comment in his farewell thread to be a sarcastic one-liner is just a bit farther on the "dick" side of the playground than most of us expected.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:39 PM on February 19, 2005


There is context to my use of the word 'inexplicable', rafter. I've never had as much respect for q as when he posted that apology, and I'm sorry to see he's back to his usual persona, to be honest.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:40 PM on February 19, 2005


I thought this was interesting. MetaTalk, mid February, 2002....

Comments on a closed post on a different website, including the comment "Has a MeTa thread ever been closed?." Bitching about style of front page posts. Question about how many people that use MeTa, with bitching about navel gazing. Attempt at self-rule to prevent political flamewars. Miguel commenting on people who publicly announce they'll no longer post.

Bitching is nothing new to Metafilter. In 2002, people complained about how things changed or how bitter the site is, and I'm sure the same thing happened in 2000. With that in mind, I'm convinced, at one time or another, most people at this site are going to get fed up with something, bitch and moan, and then quit.

It seems that bitching found the quadfecta lately. New User Signups with people who don't know the ways of the site combined with the typical Metafilter shit that has gone on for five years combined with older users who don't like change and feel far too possessive about this site combined with new features to accomodate the first three items. People just need to relax and come to terms that MeFi 2002 isn't ever coming back.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:41 PM on February 19, 2005


Yeah, stav, I was overreacting a bit; I'm just finding a lot of the complaints a bit shrill. Repetitive. And histrionic.

A point worth making is that this is nothing new. People have been fed up with and leaving this site for as long as I can remember, and I've been here three and a half years. (I remember when MiguelCardoso was a n00b.) What they're fed up with varies with the person and the time. The site is dynamic; people tend to be less so. When the site changes into something else, some people get left behind. This is not a crisis, just the site unfolding as it should.

Plus ça change. Matt's been deleting stuff for years; he's just able to be more thorough about it now that he has help. (We used to complain about consistency, remember? Because he was too busy to catch everything all the time.)

It's just the same no-win situation for Matt: he's too lax, and people demand more stringent enforcement; he cracks down, and people ask him to lighten up. He has loose guidelines, and people want hard and fast rules; but when there are hard rules, people ask for flexibility. Hence my Bisson-esque response in re the critics: if you're going to piss off a certain number of people no matter what you do, then you've got nothing to lose.

Another point to make -- in general, not in response to anyone. It's elitist to suggest that certain members have more value than others, or that their opinions are worth more, or that losing this member rather than that member is more of a loss.

Ah hell. It's late and I'm tired, and I'm only 50 per cent sure I'm making any sense at all.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:41 PM on February 19, 2005


I propose Matt temporarily remove the metatalk section and replace it with a bug submission form, and we'll see if the tenor of the site changes.
posted by crunchland at 10:44 PM on February 19, 2005


This thread is one big advertisement for automated, quantified filtering. The rules are on the table for all to see with much reduced scope for human conflict.
posted by DirtyCreature at 10:44 PM on February 19, 2005


No, you're making lots of good sense, mcwetboy.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:44 PM on February 19, 2005


Man, 2002 rocked. Particularly August 1st.

Mr. Bucket: thing is, some people both contribute and complain, eh?
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:44 PM on February 19, 2005


Arch Stanton nails what I was fumbling towards: a call for a little perspective.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:46 PM on February 19, 2005


I propose Matt temporarily remove the metatalk section and replace it with a bug submission form, and we'll see if the tenor of the site changes.

Every MetaFilter thread and every Ask MetaFilter post will contain at least one "this post/question sux dood."

Maybe not that different from what we have now :)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:47 PM on February 19, 2005


rafter, it was a joke.

Oh, the irony.

And Matt...thank you for considering the flagging system. I have to admit, I think it's as close to an ideal solution as we can get right now.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:47 PM on February 19, 2005


Yeah. "I'll see you in the bugs submission form" doesn't have quite the same bite to it.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:51 PM on February 19, 2005


Matt is doing something greater than you. Why can't you see that?

Because I have even the slightest shred of self-esteem?

It's elitist to suggest that certain members have more value than others, or that their opinions are worth more, or that losing this member rather than that member is more of a loss.

If everybody contributed the same, if everybody made the same points with the same clarity, maybe then it might be true. Maybe. Back here in the real world, it is patently false. Some people contribute more. Some write better comments. Some (of us) complain more.
posted by Ryvar at 10:52 PM on February 19, 2005


Soooo...
Back Mr Davis...

Any chance of changing your mind now that we are all in the makeup sex phase of the thread? Matt is gonna lighten the touch (feels so good!), we starting to gain new and interesting perspectives on this place.

It feels like this is a Metatalk thread that aactually went somewhere!!! Gotta love that.

Plus, there are starving students who could really use that scholarship money!
posted by Quartermass at 10:52 PM on February 19, 2005


For the record, I don't feel that the moderation lately has curbed much of anything, but give it a chance...

I visited #mefi for the first time in months the other evening, and had to take two showers afterward (not cold showers; don't flatter yourselves). For the umpteenth time, I offered my "metalifter.com" domain for the use of disenchanted MeFites, but when one of the chatters turned around to register a very insulting alternate domain name, I pretty much gave up on the "cool kids of MetaFilter".

Yet, I am going to continue to support and participate in this site.
posted by wendell at 10:53 PM on February 19, 2005


And it's
"I'll see you in the bugs submission form, asshole."
posted by Quartermass at 10:53 PM on February 19, 2005


wendell: which very insulting alternate domain name? There have been several registered recently.
posted by Ryvar at 10:57 PM on February 19, 2005


"Wendell and EB, I have to respectfully disagree with your assertions that the moderation lately has simply served to curb the 'playground' feel of a handful of privileged insiders. I'm certainly not part of some old-timer/insider clique here, nor have I ever had a single one of my comments deleted, so that's certainly not why I feel I have a dog in this particular race."

I believe you. By the way, are you recovering well from your jaw surgery? But I suspect that you're just plain offended by the idea of this sort of "censorship".

In contrast to MetaFilter, the beauty of USENET is that it truly is anarchic. A group of people can "colonize" a section of it by starting a newsgroup in the alt.* heirarchy and whatever they build there, including their community, is truly their own. I don't understand why people think it's appropriate to become proprietary about a website that some guy owns and built and maintains.

"Because I have even the slightest shred of self-esteem?"

Maybe too much of it. No one here is really that important at all. One reason people get so worked up about things is because they've invested a lot of emotional energy in this community and they think they matter. But they don't. Y2karl, still one of the most prolific posters and commenters, was MIA from the end of January to just a few days ago. If you were paying attention, you knew why. Most people weren't paying attention. I think hardly anyone noticed he was gone. At least, I didn't see anyone comment on his absence. Miguel did his best (which was very good indeed) to make himself integral to the very notion of MetaFilter. He's been gone for months and mefi didn't die without him. There's gnashing of teeth about crash's departure, but it will largely be forgotten in, oh, about twelve days. Metafilter will survive if all its "celebrities" departed—but most of them, I suspect, think that it wouldn't. The bottom line is that if you want to be an important part of a community, you'd best be part of a community that isn't the size of a small town. If you want to be on the town council, find someplace that has a town council.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:07 PM on February 19, 2005


A suggestion, Matt. Set for yourself a preset limit of bandwidth and archive storage for AskMe. Then, announce loudly that neither you or jessamyn will touch it, but at the 5th MetaTalk thread bitching about it, you'll pull it in it's entirety. Then, just let the kiddies have their fun, and two days later (after it reaches the limits or 5 MeTa threads) pull it, just like you would have threatened to do. And finally, ban any fucker who posts to MetaTalk bitching about how AskMe went byebye. One week later, this site will be as clean as a whistle.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:07 PM on February 19, 2005


As to the moderation, I am of no fixed opinion.

I will say that to me it seems that way too many members have been added way too fast and most problems may ultimately derive from the fact that it's not a community anymore, it's an airport concourse with a mob of strangers passing through. I don't come as often because I am not online at home anymore, so to speak. I get an hour free at the library and the rest at online cafes. So I'm gone for a day and there are 300 posts and 5000 comments added since my last visit. How can any one, two, three or thirty people moderate that ? And with continuous open enrollment, it's going to stay that way.

It's a problem of scale. It's become the Walmart of linkage. All the fucking little added bells and whistles in the world won't change that fact. I can't say I care for it, myself.
posted by y2karl at 11:11 PM on February 19, 2005


way too many members have been added way too fast

Well, I'd say if it wasn't the most popular topic on MetaTalk in 2004, it was in the top five to ask why new user signups weren't turned on, and how the site had grown quite stagnant in its old age. I put the five dollar gate in front of it, thinking that was quite a speedbump, but plenty have come in and I think in due time we'll all get to know everyone. I think the new users have been good for the site and I'm surprised to hear people say the signups should be cut off.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:18 PM on February 19, 2005


One reason people get so worked up about things is because they've invested a lot of emotional energy in this community and they think they matter. But they don't.

What a terribly ungracious way to look at it. People get worked up because they've invested a lot of emotional energy in this community, certainly. Perhaps they think they 'matter', perhaps they don't. But that's not the question -- whether other people value their contributions or whether they don't, and how much, is immaterial.

The question is rather, as mr_crash_davis said, way way way upthread, if they have any fun doing it, or get anything out of it, get more, in fact, than they put in, in terms of that emotional energy or any other kind of energy.

If it's all about what other people think of you, whether you 'matter', then you (I mean you in the general sense) need to take a step back, I'd say. As crash has, for reasons possibly unrelated to what I'm saying here.

Conversation should be ludic, I reckon. If it's not, any more, then it's time to stop, or at least take a break. Easy peasy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:19 PM on February 19, 2005


"I'll see you in the bugs submission form" (asshole optional)
I can donate one unidentified water beetle and one baby praying mantis.

And now on to the serious part of our show: I was absolutely shocked when I logged on and saw this thread.

1. Bye, Mr Crash. I'll miss you.

2. I actually thought about this a lot today. I thought about how we all begged Matt to take on moderators and when he announced Jessamyn was actually going to do some moderating, we were all very happy because Jessamyn is one cool goddess. Then...what went wrong? Was it us? Was it her? I wanted to figure this out because it was bothering me. While I was cooking dinner, I was actually having an imaginary conversation with Jessamyn.

3. I hate feeling like Matt gets all our shit dumped in his lap, yet, who else can we blame when things don't "feel right"? Metafilter is extremely important to so many people
and when something is good, change is scary.

4. I just wish there wasn't so much blame being thrown around-- like a shit storm it sticks and it makes for an uncomfortable atmosphere.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:20 PM on February 19, 2005


I'm sorry stav, but I can't resist:

MetaFilter: Conversation should be ludic, I reckon.
posted by yhbc at 11:25 PM on February 19, 2005


Bitching is nothing new to Metafilter. In 2002, people complained about how things changed or how bitter the site is, and I'm sure the same thing happened in 2000. With that in mind, I'm convinced, at one time or another, most people at this site are going to get fed up with something, bitch and moan, and then quit.

So can we just stop bitching? If someone doesn't like the site anymore and wants to move on, godspeed. Is it really too much to expect that people realize that this site is not for or about them and stop taking every little thing so god damned personally?

Fucking drama queens.
posted by c13 at 11:26 PM on February 19, 2005


Some write better comments. Some (of us) complain more.

Ryvar, any point you might have had in this thread was immediately lost in the stink of this:

Matt deleted an AskMe suggestion because he disagreed with it

What horseshit spin. The "suggestion" you're so worked up about was a direct pissing on the one very clearly stated and very simple AskMe guideline that all posters see before answering a question. That you saw the deletion as anything other than an attempt to keep AskMe focused as a useful tool for a wide range of people is, well, bizarre.
posted by mediareport at 11:27 PM on February 19, 2005


EB, I'm recovering well, thank you! :) And check your email, if you please...
posted by scody at 11:31 PM on February 19, 2005


I don't understand why people think it's appropriate to become proprietary about a website that some guy owns and built and maintains.

I've directly answered this, for you, previously. Then this in response to your objections, then after a round of "did not!" "did so!" regarding whether communities reformed after being deleted, you then accused me using "high-falutin'" words in discussing Metafilter and feigned ignorance as to why I care so much about Metafilter. My response was a miniature thesis on how MeFi resembles a nation-state, so your question has been answered and there is no reason for us to have this discussion again. *whew*

I put the five dollar gate in front of it, thinking that was quite a speedbump,

I agree that it doesn't seem like a problem right now, but maybe in the future if it does become more of one, you could limit signups to 1,000 per three months at $10 a pop? That's still $40,000 a year, and the staggered addition would help each wave acclimate. Just a thought for the future.

On preview: mediareport, I've provided ample explanation for why I think it was a valid comment in my responses to Matt within this thread. I have nothing further to add to them.
posted by Ryvar at 11:31 PM on February 19, 2005


btw, this thread reminds me that I can count the number of times I've heard something good come of a visit to #mefi on one hand. But the bad experiences I hear about come up continually. I don't even go there and I pay to host it.

I'm not sure if the chat channel is a net positive for this site and I don't think it has been one for some time (if ever). It seems like a bit of a ghetto where a very small segment goes to goof around. When the goofing around blows back onto the site, it's almost always bad, and if the space was no longer around, I don't think that would come back onto the site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:33 PM on February 19, 2005


Fucking drama queens.

You had a point before that, but statements like this don't help. Can the "drama queen" shit, please and thank you.
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:34 PM on February 19, 2005


From someone who's been here since day #1:

The site's still fine.

Sucks to see you go mr. crash davis, but others will fill in to take your place. Hell, their one-liners might even be better. Or not. Whatever. The river keeps moving. Matt's fallible but great, Jessamyn's fallible but great, the links keep coming and slowly the community understands what makes a good post. It would take something much more extreme than the occasional 'controversial' text-pruning to make me think the site's gone to shite.

And honestly: what compels people to announce to the world that they're leaving? Isn't that something 17 year old girls on Livejournal do when they're 't0tally f3d up'? Geesh.

/not that i'd know....


Fucking drama queens.



Right-o.
posted by dhoyt at 11:34 PM on February 19, 2005


"Conversation should be ludic, I reckon. If it's not, any more, then it's time to stop, or at least take a break. Easy peasy."

I agree completely. What part of "lucid conversation" is posting a MeTa thread announcing that one is leaving? How is eliminating all the people that signed up after 2002 part of lucid conversation? Or closing signups now?

It's a blunt way of putting it, but I'm certain that the largest part of why people want to be a part of a small community and what they get out of it is the sense that other people care about them, that they're in some way important. And a natural result of this is conservatism and xenophobia, both of which we're seeing a large amount of from high-profile members lately. (And it's not an accident that it's the high-profile members that feel the most threatened.)

MetaFilter is quite capable of continuing to be what it was designed to be with open membership. What it can't continue to be with open membership is many of the things that it became when it was a small, closed community and which many people took for granted or even assumed were the whole point. Too bad for them.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:34 PM on February 19, 2005


(And it's not an accident that it's the high-profile members that feel the most threatened.)

See, things like this are why I'm glad I'm a 10K C-lister of a member.
posted by Vidiot at 11:38 PM on February 19, 2005


mathowie: it was in the top five to ask why new user signups weren't turned on, and how the site had grown quite stagnant in its old age.

An expected consequence with hindsight. Barring a couple of days in April'04, you had what >40-50 new members from end of 2002 onwards. The lurkerbase built up. Then you turned on the faucet full-on. Had there been a constant turnover of users at all times, there wouldn't have been opportunity for as many personalities to become celebrities or build a reputation.
posted by Gyan at 11:39 PM on February 19, 2005


Then you turned on the faucet full-on

Correction: full-on would have been no speedbump at all, free open signups. It would have been a firehose.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:41 PM on February 19, 2005


That was an attempt at a joke, Wulfgar! Again, it's nothing personal. And what EB said.
posted by c13 at 11:43 PM on February 19, 2005


I would understand your point if this were, say, 2001, Ethereal Bligh, when this was firstwave weblogger central, but I just don't get it now.

Who exactly are these high-profile members who feel threatened and are calling for the doors to be permanently shut? Have I missed something?

Somewhere today (christ, I've wasted a whole afternoon on all this dramaprincessery) I said something about the fact that opening memberships created stormy seas, and those seas will inevitably calm down, as they have been recently. Matt and jessamyn's possibly-related possibly-not reactions have been to go heavier on pruning comments they thought to be violating letter or spirit of standards here. I've assumed that will also fade, as newer members become increasingly bedded down or fed up.

It's a long leap from that acknowledgement of the challenges of managed growth in a virtually admin-free community to calling for closed membership again.

Where do you get this stuff?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:44 PM on February 19, 2005


It seems like a bit of a ghetto where a very small segment goes to goof around.

Hey, now. I'm not the only one who realizes #mefi is a lot more than that. We're a community too, and I think your statements are a bit unfair. Please recognize that your experience of and exposure to #mefi is quite limited, and does not reflect the whole experience of what it is.

I have real friends on there, and those guys (and gals) have helped me stave off depression and loneliness quite a bit. When I got a boyfriend and disappeared for two weeks, crash and quonsar got my apartment manager to come looking for me, because they were worried about me. If I weren't a regular #mefi denizen, I could have been dead and in a ravine and nobody would have noticed or done anything. Okay, maybe I exaggerate. But still.

If you pull the plug, we'll just find different hosting anyway. And we'll think ... poorly of you, or at least of your decision.
posted by beth at 11:44 PM on February 19, 2005


I've provided ample explanation for why I think it was a valid comment in my responses to Matt within this thread.

What, you mean your nonsensical claim that there's some kind of "contradiction" in the statement, "Snide jokes are terrible responses in AskMe"?

Yeah, whatever. That's not an explanation, Ryvar. There's no contradiction there at all. Jesus, you're confused.
posted by mediareport at 11:48 PM on February 19, 2005


beth, no one has ever told me a story such as that and I'm glad to hear it.

I hear at least one tale a week of a hostile community where someone got into a shouting match or 3 members ganged up on some new person or some such nonsense happening in #mefi. Hopefully you can see why my opinion of the place isn't very high, and why I don't see much reason to keep it around. But then I've never heard anything like the story you just shared.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:48 PM on February 19, 2005


"If you pull the plug, we'll just find different hosting anyway. And we'll think ... poorly of you, or at least of your decision."

Translation: I'm important in my little community and you have some sort of responsibility to subsidize it.

Stav: there were several comments of that nature in the "YA" thread by kenko down yonder.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:49 PM on February 19, 2005


That's wonderful, beth, and a Good Thing, and every time I've dropped into #mefi (like 4 times, ever?) people have been very nice to me, at least while I was there.

But I also wish what happened in IRC stayed in IRC.

crash and quonsar

Somewhat revealing, that, don't you think? Not that I don't think crash and q aren't great guys -- they are, from what I've seen -- but they have been at the forefront of shitdisturbing here at the mothership in recent times, haven't they?

That said, I don't know who is a #mefi regular and who is not. But it certainly does feel like a secret society sometimes, even if it's one whose meetings anyone can bust in on.

If I liked realtime chat (which I don't), I'd probably be a regular there, too.

On preview :

EB: I didn't see them, much as I was commenting further down that thread, EB. I'll go look.

Ryvar: I got yer back, man.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:52 PM on February 19, 2005


I can't help but think that your low opinion of our little fellowship has more to do with our association with Quonsar than anything more substantial. The first time I wandered into that channel I was fucking amazed at how welcoming the group was. Beth, especially.
posted by Evstar at 11:55 PM on February 19, 2005


btw, this thread reminds me that I can count the number of times I've heard something good come of a visit to #mefi on one hand. But the bad experiences I hear about come up continually.

Yeah, just like on tech message boards where the number of complaints about something outnumber the "this works as I expected" posts. More people tell others about bad experiences than good.

Listen: I'm a regular at #mefi. I love the joint. It's not a ghetto and honestly, I like the community better there since it reminds me of 'old' metafilter. The sense of humor there is a lot better there than it is here. I've been on a ton of chat channels and they ALL pale compared to #mefi.

And if anyone gets out of line, the ops (me included) jump in to clean things up.

Seriously, I've never met a nicer bunch of people on IRC than in #mefi.

I don't even go there and I pay to host it.
What's that? I was under the impression turlyming pays for it, considering the channel is hosted on his server.
posted by Tacodog at 11:55 PM on February 19, 2005


Translation: I'm important in my little community and you have some sort of responsibility to subsidize it.

Completely baseless. What I meant was that #mefi started out as being metafilter-related at its inception, but is less so now. It's its own beast, and needs no one's subsidy. If it causes matt pain, then by all means, let him quit paying for it. It won't hurt us. We have many offers of hosting.

I really think your comment was unfair EB, and frankly, quite stupid. I honestly thought you were smarter than that. So you must have been just aiming to dig at me. Pretty slimy.
posted by beth at 11:55 PM on February 19, 2005


"I really think your comment was unfair EB, and frankly, quite stupid."

Huh? You told a story of how the #mefi community was concerned about your welfare. Then you said that you'd think less of Matt if he stopped hosting it. That's pretty clear-cut.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:58 PM on February 19, 2005


OK, EB, I've scanned that thread, and find this "I for one would pay a periodic membership fee in order to keep the doors closed the majority of the time." from bingo, who's been around since 2001, so I guess that he might be called 'long-term' or 'high-profile'.

He says 'majority of the time', though, not 'closed forever'. And I failed on quickscan to find anyone else supporting his idea, although Jim Jones thought I was, later in the thread. I wasn't, as I explained.

Not bickering, here. It just bothers me when people say things like 'high profile members are calling for the door to be closed' without backup. It seems like an elegant way to start pointless fights between oldbies and newbies in an already fraught thread, and purposeless. I'm not accusing, just saying.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:03 AM on February 20, 2005


you said that you'd think less of Matt if he stopped hosting it

I'd also think less of him if he wore plaids with polka dots, but that doesn't mean I think he has a duty to dress to please me.

If he does pull the plug, face it, people on #mefi will have uncharitable words about him, or at least about his decision. Matt has no duty to host #mefi. I said above we have several / many offers of alternative hosting, so it wouldn't hurt us in the slightest anyway.

And for what it's worth, I hate the shit-disturbing stuff, and I wince when stuff like that is suggested. Not all of us are miscreants or merry pranksters.
posted by beth at 12:04 AM on February 20, 2005


Just as a note, I completely agree with Stav - IRC should stay in IRC. But it's being dragged out here into the light by someone self-admittedly external to it, so I feel the need to defend it.

btw, this thread reminds me that I can count the number of times I've heard something good come of a visit to #mefi on one hand. But the bad experiences I hear about come up continually.

The IRC channel, while a great place to hang out (easily the best I have ever been in), can be difficult for those who are easily offended. A broad sense of humor is very helpful while there. I have no problem with wendell, but he can at times be pretty easily offended.

I don't even go there and I pay to host it.

You've mentioned this before. While I can't speak for everyone there, the general consensus - at least that I've heard - appears to be that the only thing the chatters there want from you is the DNS pointer. There is a much higher ratio of technical skill to people within the IRC channel than even on Metafilter itself, so hosting would not be an issue if you decide you no longer want to pay for the server. Hell, I could and would do it if you no longer wished to. The real concern is losing the irc.metafilter.com DNS pointer.

I'm not sure if the chat channel is a net positive for this site and I don't think it has been one for some time (if ever). It seems like a bit of a ghetto where a very small segment goes to goof around.

Some would argue that having fun is sort of the point of any participation in a site like Metafilter (crash, stav, to name a couple). Or in an IRC channel.

When the goofing around blows back onto the site, it's almost always bad, and if the space was no longer around, I don't think that would come back onto the site.

That space, in the sense of the core group of users, is always going to be around regardless of what happens. The role of Metafilter itself, as far as the IRC users are concerned, is to guide more people to the IRC channel. If you don't want to host it any longer, I'd love to, and so would another five or so of the other people there. All that's important to us is that irc.metafilter.com still points to whatever server hosts the channel.

Beyond that, beth has a point - attempting to remove that space would only make things far, far worse for everyone.

Oh, and stav - you're one of the few people that a lot of people on IRC seem to actively want onboard. Anyone is welcome, but I think you'd be double-welcome. Or something.

On preview, mediareport: I was referring to my first paragraph in response to Matt in this post. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
posted by Ryvar at 12:07 AM on February 20, 2005


I've been to #mefi only a few times, and I have never had a problem (personally), nor have I seen the bad behavior that people always talking about. People there always seem really nice.
posted by Quartermass at 12:08 AM on February 20, 2005


And about #mefi:

I spent a lot of time there in the ten months or so before I became a member. And I got along well with everyone and it was a pretty nice place. Don't know how it's changed since then.

But one thing that was true and I think is even more true these days, is that #mefi is a back-channel of gossip and organized criticism of mefi proper. Frequently someone will pick out a comment that someone's made on mefi, post it to #mefi to ridicule, and then the #mefi crowd will swarm to that thread. I saw that a lot of times.

Also, while I was there #mefi was dominated by six or so people that were there all the time. That's not a MetaFilter related or support channel; it's a semi-private, long-standing hangout for a very small group of people. They can do that anywhere.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:11 AM on February 20, 2005


So I take it the ops on #mefi aren't as trigger-happy as they used to be a while back?
posted by Vidiot at 12:11 AM on February 20, 2005


Oh, and stav - you're one of the few people that a lot of people on IRC seem to actively want onboard. Anyone is welcome, but I think you'd be double-welcome. Or something.

I thank you, sincerely, and I guess it'd be fun to drop in once in a while, but like I said, realtime chat, like the telephone, just makes me tense. Quirk of mine.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:14 AM on February 20, 2005


so it wouldn't hurt us in the slightest anyway.

Because I don't want Beth perceived as being the channel's collective voice, I think I should add that I think it would hurt our community. If matt decides to no longer host the channel (I'm confused about this too. I thought chris hosted us.), he would no doubt also remove any mention of our channel in mefi's 'etc' section, effectively ending the arrival of any new members. I think (I hope) I speak for most of us when I say that we would prefer new chatters now and again, and that we typically aren't crude or insensitive to new users.

I'm not even sure this MeTa thread is the right place for this discussion. I usually try not to get involved in this part of the site.
posted by Evstar at 12:14 AM on February 20, 2005


realtime chat, like the telephone, just makes me tense. Quirk of mine.

*hurriedly crosses "call stav" off to-do list*
posted by scody at 12:15 AM on February 20, 2005


#mefi is good.
posted by blacklite at 12:18 AM on February 20, 2005


On review:

But one thing that was true and I think is even more true these days, is that #mefi is a back-channel of gossip and organized criticism of mefi proper. Frequently someone will pick out a comment that someone's made on mefi, post it to #mefi to ridicule, and then the #mefi crowd will swarm to that thread. I saw that a lot of times.

I really can't argue with this. Maybe it's time for some of us to grow up a little.
posted by Evstar at 12:18 AM on February 20, 2005


#mefi was dominated by six or so people that were there all the time

Idlers are only kicked occasionally. My sessions stay open for weeks sometimes. So, quite obviously, just because someone's name is on the list doesn't mean they're even in the same state as their computer at the time.

I don't want Beth perceived as being the channel's collective voice

Egad I am genuinely sorry if it seems I was trying to do this. I meant only to give my own opinion. Sorry. I'll watch my words more carefully.
posted by beth at 12:18 AM on February 20, 2005


#mefi is a back-channel of gossip and organized criticism of mefi proper.

This is a reason that I stopped visiting another MeFi spin-off site, the oldest one that I'm aware of, way back when, which shall go nameless because I really like the folks there and they're happy to keep their community small and intimate, I think. It just felt a little... wrong to be standing in the wings looking at the 'filter while people were slagging members here, some of whom I also liked a lot. Not that it was more than an occasional aside to the conversation, of course. It's human nature, but it made me feel a bit icky.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:19 AM on February 20, 2005


1. Crash, I wish you luck in all your future endeavours, and that in twenty years I see several Crash Davis restored vehicles at Barrett Jackson.

2. Matt, host #mefi or don't host it. Don't host it but threaten to take it away every single time a #mefi member does something you don't like.

Another note about #mefi, Matt... I've never heard about a time where you entered the channel outside of a conflict. I think of it as my utterly random chat window, where I can also get fast and accurate answers to utterly random questions. Also, it tends towards fun.

Note to #mefites: if he votes for not hosting it, I'm happy to commit to a minimum 2 year hosting of an alternate chat, whether I'm there or not.
posted by mosch at 12:19 AM on February 20, 2005


The problem with the moderation that has been happening seems to be timing. It appears that deletions have to occur promptly, or not at all...
posted by Chuckles at 12:20 AM on February 20, 2005


Stav: mdn said it in that thread, too. I was perhaps too influenced by how much that got discussed later in the thread; but I, like Jim Jones, believe that I've seen that mentioned quite a bit lately.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:21 AM on February 20, 2005


I love you all. Seriously (yes, even you, nofundy *waves*)

I've been around here since the days of double-digit user numbers (not saying that for cred or anything, just a statement of fact.) I read FARK. I read Plastic. I go to lots of places online, but this is always the one I come to first, and it's the only one that I ever cared about enough to grab a username and put my IRL name behind it.
In some of my darkest days just coming here and seeing some of your comments gave me a sense of grounding that I couldn't get anywhere else.

For every virtual persona that I wish I could grab a beer with, there's probably another one I wish I could throttle senseless (virtually) (and someone who's on one list today might be on the other tomorrow.) But you all matter to me. From #1 to the newest n00b.

No, this site isn't the same place it was five or six years ago. But I'm not the same person I was back then either. But running away from the changes isn't going to stop them from happening.

Change isn't the hard part. But accepting that it's going to happen is. Once we all get past that, though, we're in the clear.
posted by Cyrano at 12:22 AM on February 20, 2005


Stav, my apologies, again for reading into your statement. However, I have read (on numerous occasions) that
--signups should be increased in cost to deter new users
--newbies are the ones making bad FPPs
--newbies are the ones making comments that require deletions
--signups should be closed "for a while"
--etc.

Honestly, I can't go back right now and search through threads for corroboration. I understand that puts me a disadvantage so if I'm reading into statements, I'll happily eat crow.
posted by Jim Jones at 12:22 AM on February 20, 2005


Wow, am I the only one suddenly seeing little "flag this post" exclamation points?
posted by scody at 12:23 AM on February 20, 2005


Holy crap, new feature appears out of nowhere! [!]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:23 AM on February 20, 2005


They make me kind of think "Omg can you believe it, this was posted on February 20!"
posted by beth at 12:26 AM on February 20, 2005


Matt's a coding demon.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:27 AM on February 20, 2005


I want to flag something. Quick, someone be a pointless ass.
posted by blacklite at 12:27 AM on February 20, 2005


I was under the impression turlyming pays for it, considering the channel is hosted on his server.

My server, my hundred bucks a month going to host it. Just like the previous hosting of it, which was in my own house, on a DSL line I paid $20/month extra so it could have a static IP. It runs the DNS server for this site and a few other small sites and turlyming does the admin for free in exchange for me paying for the hosting. So if I sound like a guy weighing options as if he has money involved, that's why.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:29 AM on February 20, 2005


hmm, that doesn't quite read like something a pointless ass would say...
posted by scody at 12:31 AM on February 20, 2005


2. Matt, host #mefi or don't host it. Don't host it but threaten to take it away every single time a #mefi member does something you don't like.

This is the first time I've threatened to take the chat server offline on the website. I've only mentioned it one other time, when people were fucking around with the tags. I've been to #mefi plenty of times previous to that, when nothing bad was happening and everyone always stops talking, asks me five times if I really am mathowie, then I have to prove it, then no one says anything.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:31 AM on February 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


It would be amusing if the first two posts flagged with the new feature were Matt's '...fucking drama queens' sally and quonsar's 'what a dick' rejoinder in this very thread.

I'm not suggesting anyone do it, I'm just saying it would be funny, mind you. I hope folks show restraint, 'cause I think mathowie might have just let himself in for a LOT more timesinkage with this comment-flagger.

I've been to #mefi plenty of times previous to that, when nothing bad was happening and everyone always stops talking, asks me five times if I really am mathowie, then I have to prove it, then no one says anything.

That's hilarious. Perhaps you should have a secret codeword or something that you can work into your 'hi folks' thing when you arrive, so everyone knows it's you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:34 AM on February 20, 2005


everyone always stops talking, asks me five times if I really am mathowie, then I have to prove it, then no one says anything.

Heh. I just have this image of everyone in front of their computers, hands frozen above their keyboards and suddenly going all wide-eyed.
posted by scody at 12:34 AM on February 20, 2005


THE BOSS IS HERE. LOOK BUSY.
posted by Tacodog at 12:36 AM on February 20, 2005


So I take it the ops on #mefi aren't as trigger-happy as they used to be a while back?

People complained when ops were moderating there, and now people complain when we (generally) don't. Remind you of anywhere else?

A few people have wandered into the channel, not gotten the sense of sarcasm or humour and had a bad time of it. Bear in mind, the channel tends to be cruder than the site. The channel shouldn't be used to create problems on the site and as an op I'd like to make a plea for the regulars there to show a bit more common sense.

And to wind it all into one nice little package - crash is a regular in #mefi, so if you're in his fan base, you might want to consider dropping in to say hello.

On preview: I can't recall ever hearing matt threaten to shut down the chat server. I didn't know it added to his costs, I don't know if anyone on #mefi knew that. Now we do.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:36 AM on February 20, 2005


What happens when you click it? is there an additional page to record why you're flagging? Are you able to change your mind after clicking?
posted by Jim Jones at 12:36 AM on February 20, 2005


I've been to #mefi plenty of times previous to that, when nothing bad was happening and everyone always stops talking, asks me five times if I really am mathowie, then I have to prove it, then no one says anything.

Because they were kick/banned?

I kid! I kid! </humps microphone>
posted by DaShiv at 12:36 AM on February 20, 2005


OMG, everybody, it's TEH MATT!!1!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:38 AM on February 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


I think mathowie might have just let himself in for a LOT more timesinkage with this comment-flagger.

That's my fear as well. I hope that we get some guidelines as to what sorts of posts should be flagged. I also hope Matt coded in some sort of gizmo which ensures that each post/comment can only be flagged once, or else the really offensive comments will generate a torrent of 'em.

I suggest that posts or comments be flagged when:
--they are in AskMe and they are undisputably off-base, irrelevant, or non-helpful;
--they are offensive to the point where you'd start a MeTa thread (like linking to goatse, self-linking, spamming, et cetera.)
posted by Vidiot at 12:41 AM on February 20, 2005


So I take it the ops on #mefi aren't as trigger-happy as they used to be a while back?

That aspect has changed wildly since, oh, two years ago or so. Nowadays you'd have to do something incredibly stupid on the order of posting a link to kiddie porn to get banned. Seriously. It would be that difficult. Also, people who idle for more than 16 hours are usually kick/banned for 10 minutes so that their clients stop sucking up bandwidth (the ban is to block auto-rejoin).

Ev is right in that new users aren't put by a trial through fire or anything like that - we're pretty easygoing, generally. That said, there is an extremely low tolerance for unmitigated idiocy. There was recently a newcomer who joined that insisted on using 14-year-old AOLer leetspeak in every sentence, and it was made pretty clear to her *cough* that this was highly unwelcome.

Ev has a point: it's not JUST the DNS pointer, although that is the biggest concern, the mention on 'etc.' is also a source of new people. In short: if the money aspect is bothering you, Matt, we can take it elsewhere, but what we *need* is the source of newcomers.

My server, my hundred bucks a month going to host it. Just like the previous hosting of it, which was in my own house, on a DSL line I paid $20/month extra so it could have a static IP. It runs the DNS server for this site and a few other small sites and turlyming does the admin for free in exchange for me paying for the hosting. So if I sound like a guy weighing options as if he has money involved, that's why.

I can host, mosch just promised he'd help host, and I know during the tags debacle angrymodem offered to host. Definitely there are a few others who would as well. As long as there is mention on Etc. and the DNS pointer, both of which cost nothing, we can move if you really want.
posted by Ryvar at 12:41 AM on February 20, 2005


Even when it got contentious, that respect for the essential humanity of every member was there.

Jonmc, maybe it's because I wasn't "part" of the community, but for a long time, I stopped reading the comments on FPPs because there was so little respect and so many personal attacks. It was really, really vicious post 9-11 up to slightly post-election. And not just in political threads. I didn't get much of a "respect for humanity" vibe.

It's always "It's Matt's site, live with it," until you disagree with him. Then you start bitching, and it's "I don't like the direction the site is going."

Actually, I think it's always "It's Matt's site, if you find it too disagreeable, leave" until you disagree, and then it's "I don't like the direction the site is going." Which isn't really contradictory: you bitch to keep it becoming too disagreeable, and if it becomes too disagreeable, you leave.

Someone said something in the "YA" thread that they suspect part of the problem is that a bunch of old-timers migrated into AskMe, partly because it was polite when the blue increasingly wasn't, and found that they really liked being part of the askmefi community. Communities always become chatty, which askme isn't for. Moderation keeping askme on-charter is disrupting their sense of community. So they complain.

This seems very, very, very likely to me. First, the only time I sense that "Mefi's atmosphere has changed" (for the worse) is when I visit the grey. The blue is friendlier than it has been in years. Posts are way better than they were during Polifilter. Personal attacks exist but are way down. Disagreement is generally more civil. Then go to the grey and it's "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Which it may be, but it seems most complaints are about editing and deletions in the green, and in the grey. With the newbie flood, I remember lots of people fleeing to the green. And I also remember the green being a more social, general discussiony atmosphere. If EB's hypothesis above, that the older members took to the green for their community, then the fact that the prexisting, stated, straightforward rules of the green finally being enforced may explain the recent hysteria.

Don't get me wrong, I think some of the deletions are just plain wrong. The suggestion "Talk about what sounds animals make" in the "Date with someone from a different culture" question was deleted, despite the fact that I know from personal experience that it's a fucking awesome question. But a lot of the arguments are about deleting stuff that was against the rules, and people saying, "Sure, it's against the rules, but I like it, so don't delete it!" In that kind of situation, I can see where people would feel the atmosphere of Mefi is changing. I just don't see it in the blue, though.

Thing is, Matt, to a member who's been around as long as he has, for the first comment in his farewell thread to be a sarcastic one-liner is just a bit farther on the "dick" side of the playground than most of us expected.

Sorry, Matt, but I think he's right. You called your response a "joke". I certainly read it as a "snark". Snarks are just a kind of joke. I was pretty darn surprised to see you snarking a person's farewell post.

if you're going to piss off a certain number of people no matter what you do, then you've got nothing to lose.

Very true. Keep it in mind, Matt. Don't let the fact that you get complaints get you down. You're going to get them no matter what. Listen to opinions, rethink your position, but don't agonize over the fact that what you do gets you some complaints, as that will happen no matter what.
posted by Bugbread at 12:41 AM on February 20, 2005


...have helped me stave off depression and loneliness quite a bit.
Good for you. I went to #mefi depressed and lonely and usually left feeling worse. You all were so obviously worse off than I am; it made my October '03 suicide attempt seem so trivial.

I have no problem with wendell, but he can at times be pretty easily offended.
I have no problem with Ryvar, but he can at times be pretty easily offensive.

I'm sorry I even mentioned #mefi; it really has as much relevence to MetaFilter.com as 9622.net or monkeyfilter.com or that great new site under construction, MetaHitler.

I can tell that my participation in this thread isn't doing anybody any good. I think I'll just flag all my own commets and go to sleep.
posted by wendell at 12:44 AM on February 20, 2005


I can host, mosch just promised he'd help host, and I know during the tags debacle angrymodem offered to host. Definitely there are a few others who would as well. As long as there is mention on Etc. and the DNS pointer, both of which cost nothing, we can move if you really want.

Aside from the money I pay to host the space I don't use, I've always been a bit uncomfortable hosting it with any "metafilter" association (URL, link from this site, etc) because I have no idea what it is like for newcomers. I had no idea there were even ops on it (until now, I always thought it was just chrish or something), or that they were kick happy at one time. That makes me feel really uncomfortable to hear that "irc.metafilter.com" had obnoxious ops at one time, that kicked people off at their whim. That reflects badly on the site.

To give you an idea what that's like, imagine if I started JobsFilter and.... I made some random user here the sheriff, judge, and jury, and I linked it off the site but never went there and only heard a smattering of complaints about it. If the chat area is that much different from all that is MetaFilter, it shouldn't be part of MetaFilter.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:50 AM on February 20, 2005


People complained when ops were moderating there, and now people complain when we (generally) don't. Remind you of anywhere else?

Salmonberry, I was speaking in general terms, and I haven't been to #mefi in probably two years. I was never banned (nor even threatened, as I recall), but it seemed like things that would totally fly in the blue were getting threats from an op or two over there. I don't want to name names, but it seemed like some were very quick to threaten/kick/ban, and it felt like a "RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!" sort of gesture. Even though it wasn't directed at me, it did somewhat make it a less fun place to hang around. (I should note that this is not a direct comparison or contrasting between #mefi and MeFi/MeTa/AskMe.) I don't even know who the ops are at #mefi, and I don't have any big problems with the modding around here.)

I'm not complaining about #mefi, since, well, I don't go there anymore. (I didn't leave in a huff; I just kinda fell out of the habit and it hardly ever occurs to me to go back)
posted by Vidiot at 12:50 AM on February 20, 2005


On reading Ryvar's comment, I'm glad the situation at #mefi seems to have improved. But I doubt I'll be back to IRC anytime soon...this place has grown so much that it more than fulfills all my time-wasting needs.
posted by Vidiot at 12:55 AM on February 20, 2005


You know what, Matt? I say don't sweat the small stuff. I agree with bugbear when he says that people will throw shit at you no matter what you do. That just means you're popular.

That said, I bet MCD is reading this comment right now. I once posted a self-righteous comment in a usenet group saying "I'm leaving for good! Nanana!" and I never stopped lurking and was posting again within a week. People who announce their intention to leave never really do so. Of course, I really don't read or post so said newsgroup much anymore, but I never annouced that I was "leaving" that time. The only real test is if the actual site traffic drops, or if the "wrong" stuff gets posted all the time. Personally, I think it's a lot better here than, say, around Christmas time.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:31 AM on February 20, 2005


Aside from the money I pay to host the space I don't use, I've always been a bit uncomfortable hosting it with any "metafilter" association (URL, link from this site, etc) because I have no idea what it is like for newcomers.

Well, I don't want to give you the wrong impression - I'm just telling you how *I* view the channel. Provided a newcomer isn't unbelievably obnoxious they'll be made to feel welcome. They will every couple hours see some stuff that can be offensive to those who are sensitive - and it is more boyzone than MeFi proper - but links that are NSFW are, at least during working hours, usually labeled as such (no different from MeFi in this respect).

The best aspect of #mefi by far is the sheer amount of technical competence floating about the place. It's like AskMe on steroids - instant realtime feedback from incredibly smart people when it comes to anything computer related. It has often been commented that the only thing #mefi takes seriously is code, and that's pretty accurate. Myself I like to create incredibly hardened OpenBSD servers with custom kernels, all the bells and whistles - and I'm very, very far from the most technically competent person around there.

In response to EB's claims: this is specifically why those who want to screw around with Metafilter opted to take those activities to another server entirely after the quonsar tag debacle. We weren't comfortable with them jeopardizing the channel for the rest of us. Those people are still hanging out in #mefi, but they aren't actively 'plotting' on the irc.metafilter.com server at all anymore.

I had no idea there were even ops on it (until now, I always thought it was just chrish or something), or that they were kick happy at one time.

Uh, chris comes into the channel once every few days. How could he moderate it? We addition to chris we have Salmonberry, Steve@Linnwood, tacodog, Antifreez and esch as our ops right now. While any of those can kick or ban you from #mefi, chris is of course the only IRCop, and the only one who can outright k-line you from the server entirely if you're *REALLY* bent on mucking things up.

When I first joined about two years back there were (in my memory, at least) a ton more ops, and while they weren't unfriendly there was some moderating for content going on that - much like the moderating some of us have been protesting on MeFi - seemed a tad oppressive. I didn't much care for it, and then I came back roughly six months later and everything had changed. Since then I don't think I've seen anybody seriously banned for behavior, ever, although Steve@ has been known to get a bit hot under the collar when consistently called a "right-wing troll" *cough*. I think everybody has had that conversation with him, though.

While I'm fuzzy on the details of what went on during those six months I was gone, whether there was major op restructuring or what, but when I came back it was simply the best community on the Internet with a very light touch and a true working example of self-policing.

That makes me feel really uncomfortable to hear that "irc.metafilter.com" had obnoxious ops at one time, that kicked people off at their whim. That reflects badly on the site.

To be honest it wasn't ever any worse than MeFi has been lately, and 'kicked off at a whim' is quite simply wrong. At the time I didn't have the ties to #mefi that I have to MeFi, so rather than fight it I left. When I came back - world of difference.

If the chat area is that much different from all that is MetaFilter, it shouldn't be part of MetaFilter.

The chat is not, in the end, that much different from Metafilter. There's definitely less in the way of Miguel Cardoso and more in the way of Crash or quonsar going on there, but it's largely the same people talking back and forth in a slightly less restrained atmosphere.

You should stop by for yourself some time and check it out for a while, I think you'd enjoy it. And the ability to get any technical question at all answered immediately at 4AM is a thing of beauty that has to be experienced to be believed.
posted by Ryvar at 1:35 AM on February 20, 2005


To be honest it wasn't ever any worse than MeFi has been lately

I don't ban people out of the blue. I don't have power issues. I don't give people the idea I'm saying "respect mah authoritah!" It does sound worse than mefi. Maybe they have a lighter hand now, but I've heard more than the folks here saying that some overactive admins booted people for no reason. To say that it's just like MeFi is wrong.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:44 AM on February 20, 2005


And I'm not saying that I'll take down the chat channel, but recent events made me think about it. If it has a completely different vibe than MeFi in the future, I don't think it will be part of the site and I mention that here not to put the scare into everyone that uses it, but to remind them that what goes on at #mefi reflects on the site. If people think a comment getting deleted by accident is a travesty, getting harassed on a chat channel hosted by a site is a lot worse.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:51 AM on February 20, 2005


Yeah, fuck this place, I'm outta here too.

mathowie: psyche!

I don't have power issues. I don't give people the idea I'm saying "respect mah authoritah!"

This is totally true and it could so easily be otherwise. Thank goodness. I really don't know how you do it, honestly.
posted by scarabic at 1:56 AM on February 20, 2005


Oh, and: seeya crash.
posted by scarabic at 1:56 AM on February 20, 2005


I don't ban people out of the blue. I don't have power issues. I don't give people the idea I'm saying "respect mah authoritah!" It does sound worse than mefi. Maybe they have a lighter hand now, but I've heard more than the folks here saying that some overactive admins booted people for no reason. To say that it's just like MeFi is wrong.

That's one person's experience, from a long time back. My own was that things were less than entirely pleasant for a while, but that it was cleared up a long time ago. If you really want to let that determine your view of modern-day #mefi, then I can't stop you, but I think you ought to check it out for yourself first.

I don't ban people out of the blue. I don't have power issues. I don't give people the idea I'm saying "respect mah authoritah!"

No, but your mercurial deletions and fairly anti-humor stance even off AskMe (see the thread about you deleting a ton of comments in that one MeTa thread) have created the exact same 'chilling effect' atmosphere. To be completely frank, the way you wield power scares me far worse than any of the #mefi ops ever did.

getting harassed on a chat channel hosted by a site is a lot worse

Two years ago, yeah, that might have been an only slightly unfair assessment. Now? It's completely unlike that. The only people who get 'harassed' now are the people who come in and say crap like "A/S/L????!!?!!!111" without it being ironic.
posted by Ryvar at 2:04 AM on February 20, 2005


That's one person's experience, from a long time back.

Others email me similar experiences from time to time.

To be completely frank, the way you wield power scares me far worse than any of the #mefi ops ever did.

If you really believe this hyperbole, I honestly don't know why you're still here. The sky has already fallen in your world.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:07 AM on February 20, 2005


I honestly don't know why you're still here.

I've made it very, very clear by now that while I disagree with certain specific points of how you conduct yourself as an admin, for the most part I have no complaints. I've said as much in this thread.

Above and beyond that, there are a lot of people I like here, and the discussions are frequently good. Why is anyone here?
posted by Ryvar at 2:12 AM on February 20, 2005


Why is anyone here?
Umm, for the pancakes?

posted by Jim Jones at 2:17 AM on February 20, 2005


You crazy guys.
1. If I ever find the hash key on my new mac keyboard I'll be able to say something.
Alt-3; there we go.

So #mefi is a hotbed of gossip and there is a modicum of (tongue in cheek) Anti-MeFi plotting, but it's a nice place. I've drop in there occasionally, and I haven't contributed enough to make a name, but people have been nice to me.

Metafilter does feel different but after the 12 months of GWB bashing prior to the election, it would've felt different with or without the new members / features.

It's always sad to see people go, but the site needs to change in order to stay fresh. We were in danger of becoming a cliche, and for the first time in a long time the rules have changed. I don't think it's 100% a good thing, but I appreciate that now as a community we're moving / evolving.

Jessamyn has taken a lot of criticism for her editorial style and I think this is a shame. Personally, I'd prefer a lighter touch, but that's her and her personality and how she thinks the job should be done. I think we should respect that, or at the very least give her a bit of time to settle into the role. Jessamyn gives the site a slightly new flavour and I fear that what people have been doing is the equivalant of looking at a new kind of food and saying "That looks awful. There's no way I'm going to taste it."

Matt. kudos on the new features, and kudos on listening to what people said about the site being stale and responding to that. $5.00 is'nt enough. I would have quite happily paid 20 dollars (That's like £10.00) when I signed up, and I don't think it's excessive. I can sense that you're really frustrated with people at the moment. Just know that whatever you do, you're going to get criticised for it. For a large section of the community you're an important person, and unfortunately this means that the rules we apply to you are stricter and more stringent and more hypocritical than the mild rules you ask us to follow. It sucks to be royalty.

To all the older members of Metafilter. Your behaviour these last coupla months has been pretty shameful. There's an adage about the inflexibility of old people, and you all seem to be aping that. "Back in my day"; "You youngsters don't know how to behave"; "Respect my opinions, I've been around longer than you". It's all pretty awful, and you should stop waffling on like a bunch of pensioners.
posted by seanyboy at 2:25 AM on February 20, 2005


the bad experiences I hear about come up continually.

I hear at least one tale a week of a hostile community where someone got into a shouting match or 3 members ganged up on some new person or some such nonsense happening in #mefi

Others email me similar experiences from time to time.

I'm a regular in #mefi and I'm utterly unaware of horridly negative things happening on a continuous, weekly, or time to time basis. It really feels like there's a lack of communication here, that's stirring up non-existent problems.
posted by mosch at 2:33 AM on February 20, 2005


I totally missed that quote from Matt, mosch. I would love to know what's going on as well. I'm in the channel literally 16/7 every week of the past 18 months and in that time the only people I can think of who were given a rough time at all were Ethereal Bligh (just prior to when absolutely everyone on MeTa was complaining about him), wendell (inferring I was a rapist because of the Rape Haiku MeTa thread didn't go over so well), and that random AOLer who wandered in. Outside of that we've been, to the best of my knowledge, pretty courteous to everyone.

I'd love to know if anybody else has complaints, and whether that stems from us actually being jerks or people just failing to grasp the extremely frequent use of irony.
posted by Ryvar at 2:41 AM on February 20, 2005


"...all were Ethereal Bligh (just prior to when absolutely everyone on MeTa was complaining about him)"

I think you're misremembering. Nobody ever gave me a hard time on #mefi.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:11 AM on February 20, 2005


To all the older members of Metafilter. Your behaviour these last coupla months has been pretty shameful.

Jeez, seanyboy - scattergun much?
posted by benzo8 at 3:20 AM on February 20, 2005


...not to mention that everyone gave me a hard time on MeTa back in June and I completely stopped going to #mefi shortly before I became a member in April. Maybe there was someone there pretending to be me? I never went there as "Ethereal Bligh", either. And I know that I didn't go to #mefi during my MeTa roast. Well, I do recall jumping in and saying "okay, cut it out" and then leaving.

I liked #mefi. I'm sorry if this messes up your motivation theory or whatever.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:21 AM on February 20, 2005


EB: I'm 100% positive it was you, but maybe you didn't think we were giving you that hard of a time. I was trying to be pretty liberal with my definition of 'a hard time' because those are literally the only three people I can think of at all with anything like a reason to complain over the past eighteen months. That's why Matt has me so confused, to be honest - if he's getting complaints about #mefi nobody there seems to have the foggiest why.
posted by Ryvar at 3:21 AM on February 20, 2005


Crap, simultaneous posting there - EB you were kmellis and you left #mefi shortly before you became a member and I felt bad because I thought I had been somewhat hard on you and that your leaving might be my fault. But seriously - outside of you, wendell, and the leet chick crystal . . . I just haven't a clue. None.
posted by Ryvar at 3:24 AM on February 20, 2005


But I'm saying I wasn't there. The only contentious arguments I ever had on #mefi were the one about the Vietnam napalm girl photo, and one about "facials" with dreama and melinika. And those were both in 2003, I think.

I have no reason at all to complain about my time on #mefi. Hell, I gave Beth a harder time on #mefi than anyone gave me and, more to the point, other people did, too. And she loves it there.

Matt: in my time there (spring 2003 to spring 2004) I never saw hectoring of newbies. Some newbies may have been discouraged because it really is an "in crowd" sort of place; but everything I ever saw was that they were very nice. Nicer, in fact, there than some of them are here. That's not the problem with it. The problem with it is exactly all the various things that are wrong with quonsar posting snippets of a #mefi conversation critical of you. It functions too much like the near drop-outs at the back of the classroom cracking jokes and throwing spitballs. Especially so because at least half the regulars there rarely show up in metafilter at all these days. It has a connection with MetaFilter in all the bad ways and very little in the good. Stavros said so in other words above.

On Preview: Ryvar, you know, you and I may have gotten into a heated discussion (your views on physics) shortly before I stopped going to #mefi. That wasn't why I stopped, though. I don't really like chit-chat, I like to have more substantial conversations, and for that reason #mefi was more a way I could participate in MetaFilter when I wasn't a member than anything else. That changed when I became a member, of course.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:38 AM on February 20, 2005


I'm not going to name names because frankly I can't be arsed searching through the archives. It was scattergun-ish, but I think it applies. People who have been on the site for a while who contribute a lot have been sounding more and more like grumpy pensioners.

So, Jeez, benz08 - nitpick much.
posted by seanyboy at 3:44 AM on February 20, 2005


Why is anyone here?

Hot meetup chicks.

</boyzone>
posted by DaShiv at 3:50 AM on February 20, 2005


...in nerd glasses.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:53 AM on February 20, 2005


Damn, late for the party... Guess I'll just hit off that warm keg and spill out some beer for my homey, Crash. Peace mang.
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:13 AM on February 20, 2005


Aside from the money I pay to host the space I don't use, I've always been a bit uncomfortable hosting it with any "metafilter" association (URL, link from this site, etc) because I have no idea what it is like for newcomers. I had no idea there were even ops on it (until now, I always thought it was just chrish or something), or that they were kick happy at one time. That makes me feel really uncomfortable to hear that "irc.metafilter.com" had obnoxious ops at one time, that kicked people off at their whim. That reflects badly on the site.

Chris picked the ops, and as far as I remember, Matt knew at least Salmonberry, pretty_generic, ecrivain, and I were ops. Back in the day the ops had to follow rules laid down by chris such as no idling, no bots, etc. This bothered many IRC veterans, 'cause it meant they got kicked for lurking. That stopped being enforced eventually when chris agreed to allow it to a certain extent. Prior to that the ops just followed the guidelines laid down by the server (co-)owner. I got plenty of flak for following those guidelines, but at the same time the bans I enforced were for different reasons, and it would have only been after a fair number of people in #mefi would have requested it strongly and there was a genuine issue that didn't get solved by talking it over with the user in question. For example there was one person constantly making extremely crass jokes that were directed towards the women of #mefi, I was not online then, so when I showed up, I was instantly asked to do something about it by a few women in #mefi, as soon as it was clear that the person would not stop making those jokes after being requested to, he was banned.

The ops weren't kick happy in the way you find them to be on servers such as undernet or efnet. The no-idling rule was the biggest issue, and chris didn't budge from it until just this past year. I haven't been an op in #mefi for over a year, because visiting #mefi had started to feel like a job instead of just fun.

As for Matt needing to prove that he is Matt, we had already solved that issue by having him register his nickname, and each time he'd come on back when I was an op and in channel, I'd made sure he'd get opped right away to prove that he is mathowie before he was asked to prove it again and again. I don't know of all of Matt's visits to #mefi, but most of them were usually when he needed a few volunteers or had some other request, it happened often enough that it became a joke, and that may have not been well received by Matt, but that's all I know as far mathowie's bad experiences on #mefi.

I don't go to #mefi as often anymore, while it has gotten a bit grimey over the last year or so, it's not a cesspool... yet.

Anyway, I'm sorry that crash feels MeFi is no longer fun, here's hoping he changes his mind at some point in the future.
posted by riffola at 4:36 AM on February 20, 2005


in haughey we trust.
posted by radiosig at 4:39 AM on February 20, 2005


I'll cave on this just like I caved on the suicide girls thing. I've heard the message loud and clear for a couple weeks and I was hoping things would blow over because I didn't think the few off-topic comments removed here and there were ruining MetaFilter as many have stated.

I think you should do what you want with the site, but keep in mind that every time you make a decision and then "cave," you encourage the sort of behavior that we've had all over MeTa lately. People think that if they squawk loudly enough, they'll get what they want, and it looks like they're right. What we had was not an unreasonable number of deletions, but an unreasonable sensitivity to a relative few deletions. Naturally if every deletion spawns a MeTa thread, people will start getting the idea that we have MODERATORS GONE WILD and that EVERYTHING IS CHANGING.

Also, saying that you're withdrawing something in a public forum because you first said it in a public forum is a pitiful excuse for making a splash. Email or a post in the original thread would have been one thing. This is just grandstanding.
posted by anapestic at 4:57 AM on February 20, 2005


anapestic, what is it with you and original threads? Do you trawl the archives page, keeping track of the message counts in your head to see what's happening? When they scroll off the page, they are effectively gone. New threads appear to continue discussion. Get used to that. PS: So much for ignoring the whiny children.

I <3 matt again.br> though his first comment was funnier unedited, and it is absolutely appropriate to snark on the uber-snarker's farewell. It'd be like him insulting a q goodbye.
posted by bonaldi at 5:52 AM on February 20, 2005


Yikes, I can't believe I read the whole thing.

Before this turned into being about #mefi, painquale said this and I just wanted to say I agree wholeheartedly:

There are fewer discussions I want to jump into now. ...This is probably due to the influx of new guys. ...They're (we're) more like impersonal voices piping up every now and again. ...When a user I know makes a comment, I usually find it more interesting and worthy of response than if an unknown wrote it, because I can relate it to a person and a history. ...It seems like there's a lot less buddy-buddy fun-loving between personalities going on now, making the place feel more like a peanut gallery than a forum. ... And I think some people might be blaming this change of feel on the heavier moderation.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:53 AM on February 20, 2005


Have fun restoring that LeBaron and that Ranchero, crash.
posted by sciurus at 6:06 AM on February 20, 2005


I think I can understand where crash is coming from. I was a reader for many years and finally was able to sign up last year. For me, it's not the moderation or any new features. Mostly it's the constant bickering and snarking along with many FPPs that just aren't of the quality that used to prevail (much more news posts, opinion pieces, links to blog comments, etc). I'm hanging in there hoping the dust will settle, but I do frequent a little less often.

Matt, I really do admire what you do for this site. I can't even begin to imagine the work you put into this to keep things going.
posted by dbh at 6:26 AM on February 20, 2005


oops. ignore the small text in my post, not supposed to be there. oh go back to bed now jesus hangover ow.
posted by bonaldi at 6:38 AM on February 20, 2005


I don't know what #mefi the rest of you have been hanging out at, but I've never had an issue with it.

With Jessamyn's promotion, I feel more like we're being nannied rather than having legitimately wrong commentary or posts removed.

The discussion, the arguments, the progression of one idea into another with debate in commenting is what makes this place interesting. Taking your turn, saying something polite, curtseying, then shutting up to eat your finger sandwich does not.
posted by pieoverdone at 6:40 AM on February 20, 2005


It seems like a bit of a ghetto where a very small segment goes to goof around.

On a cold and grey internet morning, a bunch of #mefites are gabbin'

In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

And mathowie cries...

cause if there's one thing he don't need, it's more complaints and a server to feed...

In the ghetto (in the ghetto)

I'm sorry
posted by jonmc at 6:47 AM on February 20, 2005


I didn't know it added to his costs, I don't know if anyone on #mefi knew that. Now we do.

I didn't know that either. but then, I've only been on #mefi about four or five times in my life.

slightly offtopic: excuse my very lame ignorance in these matters, but isn't 100 bucks a month pretty steep to keep up such a small thing like #mefi? wtf?

oh, and crash, please don't go
posted by matteo at 6:52 AM on February 20, 2005


Okay, I read the whole thread. Then I refreshed and skimmed. Now let me share my opinion.

I like MetaFilter. I see a definite change in the place.

I like the new people because we were getting stagnant. The same types of links were getting posted because we had reached a state where the community could predict how the reaction would be. It was getting boring. So I enjoyed the new ideas and posts. Some of the new people suck, lords yes. But so do some of the old goats. It's a balance. For every newbie with a newfilter post formatted badly, there's an old member with a rape haiku site. So...balance. Newbies and old goats don't make the site suck. Bad posts do, and neither side can claim victory over that.

Since Jessamyn, the moderation has changed and it affects the feel of the site. It reminds me very much of when I was working for a catholic school, and the head nun gave the teachers a lecture on how children should sit up straight at their desk, hands folded, completely silent, and remain that way for up to 45 minutes. An impossibility for any child, and no matter how she threatened the students and teachers, she never got that behavior. This is a community of strong opinions and voices, and expecting everyone to sit up straight and fly right is an impossibility. For Matt or Jess to expect it will only stress out them because they can't achieve it, and the community because they know they can't.

I am bothered by the fact that joking and fun oddities and even just curiosity are being deleted left, right, and center, while the things that make us look like a pack of jackals are left up open. A community isn't held together by its moments of frenzied hatred and slaps on the wrist.

Is Jessamyn away on business or something? Because I find it telling that while Matt is here explaining himself and fielding questions and comments, Jess isn't any where to be found. I've always found Matt to be a moderator/owner who cared about the feelings of the community, or at least cared enough to listen. I really haven't gotten that feel from Jess, and so hearing people complain endlessly about her deletions enforces that feeling that the community is not being listened to, and I think that's more of what people are responding to right now.

I don't know. Like I said, I love the site. I like it enough to stick around and see if things even out. But what I'm seeing is Matt and Jess saying the problem lies with the users, while the users say the problem lies with Matt and Jess. Until both sides realize that both arguments are right, I don't see anything settling, and that is sad indeed.
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:59 AM on February 20, 2005


#mefi is not that bad. I've been in there. I was not kick/banned for breathing, asked a/s/l, treated to a list of MetaFilters ills, spammed with porn, or given a hard time because I wasn't a regular.

I get the sense that the regulars don't want to be overrun by people with no interest in maintaining the atmosphere as it is, but they aren't as frothing and evil as some of the comments against #mefi paint them out to be.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:16 AM on February 20, 2005


People think that if they squawk loudly enough, they'll get what they want, and it looks like they're right.

Translation: Matt shouldn't listen to those other people, he should listen to me, anapestic. Because I know what's best.

And EB, you sure opine a lot for someone so ready to complain about other people's self-importance.
posted by languagehat at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2005


"And EB, you sure opine a lot for someone so ready to complain about other people's self-importance."

Do I? And have I? I don't think I've complained about other people's self-importance in general, but I might have. Nevertheless, "opining" doesn't equal self-importance. I do it just for fun. Why do you?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:42 AM on February 20, 2005


there's an old member with a rape haiku site.

Just for the record, neither I nor crash nor ANYONE on IRC or (to the best of my knowledge) Metafilter have a Rape Haiku site.

I just thought it was funny, is all, but I've since had it made crystal clear to me that my particular brand of ironic 'transgressive' humor isn't appreciated by the community at large, and so I promptly shut up about it after taking a stab at defending a much less offensive humorous post, in order to get a better idea whether anything along those lines was acceptable.
posted by Ryvar at 7:46 AM on February 20, 2005


I find it telling that while Matt is here explaining himself and fielding questions and comments, Jess isn't any where to be found.

I take jessamyn's absence to be a diplomatic and judicious silence. Any and all comments she would make here, defending her actions as directed by mathowie, let's not forget, would have been torn to shreds. She, like matt, is on a lose-lose course here, as I'm sure she knew at the outset. However, nothing justifies offensive emails or personal attacks (referred to, but not published).

I hear what matt is saying about the clear purpose of Ask.Me - that it means off-topic comments need to be deleted. But it's time for the pendulum to swing back, as far as Meta and Mefi is concerned. Well documented cases of innocuous deletions are deterring many members from further participation - 'stirring up apathy', as the english politician Denis Healey once put it.

Matt: thanks for all the work on features you've done of late. The structure of Mefi gets better and better, now we just need to get a sense of the leadership [!] and the membership being sympathetic to each other again. The SG episode showed that that is still not only possible, but desired by you, as founder and proprietor.

I'm not on tenterhooks any more, but my fingers are crossed.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:50 AM on February 20, 2005


Well, this is quite a thing to wake up to.

re: #mefi It seems like a bit of a ghetto where a very small segment goes to goof around.

I'd agree that a very small segment of metafilter folks go there, but, for me, it wasn't until I went to #mefi for a while (when I was unemployed ... haven't been there in ages) that I felt like part of the community rather than just a moderately-respected poster on a moderately-well-known website.
posted by anastasiav at 8:09 AM on February 20, 2005


#mefi is a great place. I've never, EVER felt unwelcome there, and while the humor may be a little saltier, it's civil and funny and social. And anastasiav has it right-- there is a sense of community there. It's not a blemish on MeFi.

Matt-- what you're doing here is appreciated. The ponies, the time and care you put into the site doesn't go unnoticed.

It just seemed to me that the comment-deletion was a little arbitrary and what... capricious? My only complaint would be that the "disappearing" of the comments made me feel a little uncomfortable. You have a reputation of having a light-administrative-touch, and that's appreciated as well.

The sky is not falling.

I noticed upthread though, that wendell was suggesting that MeTa could eventually be removed. I can't imagine that happening. If it did, I sense that there would be a lot more problems than there are now. Even as a lurker, I could see the value in having an open venue with which to air one's concerns. Like they say, if you don't like something, skip over it. There are plenty of users that still have never been to MeTa, I imagine.

I'm disappointed that Mr_Crash_Davis is leaving, but I frequent #mefi enough that I'll be able to get a crash-fix. I'm also disappointed that some of the other older members have left, but life is a dynamic process, and there will be other users to take their places. To believe otherwise is unhelpful Nostalgia.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:26 AM on February 20, 2005


Look, I'm one of the noobs, so have no standing. I also don't go around keeping a notebook of various users so I can try to "profile" them, recall great/dumb things they've said before, etc. I frankly don't care how low somebody's user number is (other than "1"). I'm all about the position taken and quality of the thought in the current post. That being said:

a) It's Matt's site. He can do what he wants. EVERYBODY else if free to read, comment, take a flying leap, or never visit MeFi again. It's a free internet.

b) ANYBODY publicly states that they are picking up their toys and going home is making a not-too-subtle attempt at extortion (or at least causing a little pain with your departure - which says volumes about you).

c) Everybody should look at their comments (above). Ask yourself, "Was I just used as somebody's tool to add pressure or pain to Matt?".

I'm not saying that the discussion regarding moderation/direction MeFi is going, etc. shouldn't be happening. I simply object to it being initiated by someone who is attempting to FORCE the conversation with all means at his disposal - which in this case is not only
a) I'm leaving and never coming back
but
b) and I'm rescinding my offer of helping someone's scholarship fund.

That is pathetic. I know mr_crash_davis is a widely respected member of the community and probably has a low user number - but I'm calling a spade a spade. That is pathetic.

I'm hoping that he was just having a bad day, posted things he now regrets and will stay. I think everybody could forgive that.
posted by spock at 8:26 AM on February 20, 2005


matt and jessica, I have been a critic of the *heavier* deletion style, but I'm truly sorry that you are both taking such slings and arrows. Nothing personal in my comments - I do appreciate your efforts on our behalf. I've never had a comment or post deleted to my knowledge, so I have no ax to grind. It's just my preference that the community should self-police and self-heal as much as possible, even when that process gets ugly. I am not an absolutist, I just think deletions should be extremely infrequent for comments - a last resort - and that thread closings should only be used in clusterfucks run amuck. I can appreciate a higher "no tolerance" stance in askmefi, but deleting suggestions because you don't like them or they are repeats gets into the "too heavy" zone for my liking.

painquale, I found your comment to be thoughtful, well-stated, and on the money. I welcome new users as bringing fresh perspective and energy, but I would favor a "gates open/settle down-assimilate period" model, myself.

EB, to some degree I hear what you are saying about an individual poster's relative importance. Anytime I've ever moved on from a situation - be it a job, a relationship, or a group - life always managed to go on quite nicely without me, often much to my deep dismay. But that is in the particular. In general, the personalities here on metafilter, especially as evidenced by many longer-term members, adds a unique character and personality. I lurked for years before joining. Members like miguel, vacapinta, y2karl, crash davis, jessamyn, starvos, dejah, quonsar, iconomy, homunculus, crunch, y6, rcade, jonmc, konolia, rushmc, wendell, tracy, chico, dabitch, matteo and many others breathed life in the place, and inspired me to join. There are tons of "good links" sites, like linkfilter, but these seemed anonymous to me and MeFi did not. There are discussion groups that are either too moderated or too wild west, but metafilter was the only place that seemed just right.

While new personalities are indeed emerging from the new member group, it takes awhile to build some "street cred" - and if long-term, valued members who give the site its flavor and "traditions" depart at a faster rate than new members assimilate, then I think MeFi runs the risk of feeling more anonymous, and suffering "character attenuation." It doesn't mean links won't be good, or that discussion won't be scintillating. It just may mean that it is a less personal place of less defined character. Many may prefer that. Count me in the "not so much" category.

crash, I wish you would just take a break and then re-evaluate things. I'd be quite sad to see you leave us for good. Whatever you decide, thanks for all you've added here to date and the many laughs I've had reading your comments.

A final word to weigh in on #. I don't go to # because I can't walk and chew gum at the same time, I'm a terrible typist, and it takes about 3 days for me to think up witty rejoinders. But the few times I've been - admittedly, some time ago - people were warm, welcoming, funny, and kind. It seemed like a nice community and made me think highly of some of the people I *met* there like salmonberry, beth, and boomchicka. It also afforded a less two-dimensional view of controversial Mefi members like Steve@ or quonsar because a more well-rounded portrait of the person behind the politics or the snark emerges. But, alas, live chat is just not my thing.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:32 AM on February 20, 2005


--- oops, Jessamyn - sorry for the name mangle! I have a dear friend name *jessica* and so it just came out and I meant to correct it before posting. my bad.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:36 AM on February 20, 2005


I have to admit, I was a little alarmed when I looked at some of the pictures from a recent Mefi gathering, and I didn't recognize a single name. I guess that's more indicative of my level of involvement in the site in recent months.

I stopped using #mefi for reasons I can't recall, but I don't think it had anything to do with how mean people were. (Hell, I'm sure it became a magnitude less mean after I stopped.)

But I do think people are being a little hard on Jess. If your messages are being deleted and its pissing you off -- get a clue. It's not a problem with Jess, it's a problem with your messages. You're only a fraction as funny as you think you are. Someone needs to reign in the chaos.
posted by crunchland at 8:42 AM on February 20, 2005


I feel badly for matt and all he has on his plate. I understand he feels sleighted after working on new features and then getting the butt end of the arguments against moderation/deletions/etc. I have a very, very simple suggestion:

Matt, take an entire week off of moderation. Entirely. Both you and Jess, just...release the reigns for a week. Watch what happens. Honestly, it won't be as bad as you think it is, and you'll see that you've created a self-sustaining entity. That's my hypothesis, test it!

It's the zen of the whole thing that needs to be recognized. Overwatering may kill the plants.
posted by odinsdream at 8:45 AM on February 20, 2005


It also afforded a less two-dimensional view of controversial Mefi members like Steve@

Just wanted to comment on this. Because of the number of leftists on Metafilter, myself included, confronting Steve@ about his political views and finding out he is an intelligent person with good reasons for believing the things he does is the closest thing #mefi has to an established rite of initiation. Every regular does it at least once, and the difference in how they respond to him on Metafilter afterwards is marked to say the least. That has to be one of my favorite aspects of #mefi - learning that those people you stridently disagree with do have reasons for their ideology, and will even admit when they are wrong about something. The sense of community those experiences create are something the surpasses even MeFi proper, in my opinion.
posted by Ryvar at 8:47 AM on February 20, 2005


Is Jessamyn away on business or something? Because I find it telling that while Matt is here explaining himself and fielding questions and comments, Jess isn't any where to be found.

I've posted in every other recent "too many deletions!" thread and I thought it worthwhile just to keep quiet in this one. dash_slot- has it pretty right on. I'll be taking at least a week off from any moderation at all, we'll see if that changes how the place feels.
posted by jessamyn at 8:48 AM on February 20, 2005


Matt, take an entire week off of moderation.

No, someone still has to delete the bad FPPs which arrive daily.
posted by grouse at 8:57 AM on February 20, 2005


what Ryvar said.

and jess, don't take any of this personally--we have a lot invested in this community (well, most of us do), and we care. (matt, i assume you know that too--we bitch because we care.)

crash: don't go.
posted by amberglow at 9:05 AM on February 20, 2005


Matt, it seems to me that the only news you're getting of #mefi is bad news. I take bad news with a grain of salt, unless it is consistent enough to warrant notice. Of course, you could join #mefi incognito and see how "bad" it is...

("High-schoolers regularly attend class high on X and meth! More at 11!")
posted by graventy at 9:05 AM on February 20, 2005


I've decided to come back!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:14 AM on February 20, 2005


Sadly, during your abscence, matt sold most of the membership into slavery to cover hosting fees.

You dodged a bullet, dude.
posted by jonmc at 9:19 AM on February 20, 2005


What the grande madamjujujive said. Every single word.

OK, not the name mixup. I see her as jessadmin since her recent elevation to the peerage (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 9:23 AM on February 20, 2005


can she use the royal "we" now? ; >

wb, mcsweet--i missed you terribly!
posted by amberglow at 9:29 AM on February 20, 2005


It would be amusing if the first two posts flagged with the new feature were Matt's '...fucking drama queens' sally...

Done.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:44 AM on February 20, 2005


"I promise not to let the door hit me in the ass on the way out."


You'll be back, mr_crash_davis...
posted by jaronson at 9:45 AM on February 20, 2005


God Save The Drama Queens.
posted by jonmc at 9:47 AM on February 20, 2005


On a cold and grey internet morning, a bunch of #mefites are gabbin'
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)
And mathowie cries...
cause if there's one thing he don't need, it's more complaints and a server to feed...
In the ghetto (in the ghetto)


have i told you lately that i love you, jonmc?
posted by quonsar at 9:48 AM on February 20, 2005


I also thought highly of painquale's comment. I would add that actual conversation is more likely to happen with "personalities" for the simple reason that they are more likely to respond.
posted by catachresoid at 9:50 AM on February 20, 2005


quonsar, have I ever told you you're my hero?
you are the (breaking) wind benath my wings....
posted by jonmc at 9:51 AM on February 20, 2005


God Save The Drama Queens.

Hey, I've got a wonderful idea!

Let's stick dirty fingers into open wounds, probe around, and see what we find!

It'll be loads of fun!
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:53 AM on February 20, 2005


Sorry, I was actually just riffing on how ridiculous this discussion has become at this point. Got carried away I guess. Sorry.
posted by jonmc at 9:56 AM on February 20, 2005


It would be amusing if the first two posts flagged with the new feature were Matt's '...fucking drama queens' sally...

Done.

posted by AlexReynolds at 9:44 AM

Pretty funny. You are joking aren't you?
posted by dabitch at 10:01 AM on February 20, 2005


How about holding MetaFilter elections? Just dip your finger in some printer ink, then cast a vote for the party of your choice. We could have several affiliations: Old Guard, The Newbies, Snarks, Attention Whores, anarchists, Archivists, Trolls, Whiners, Grammar Nazis, Code Nazis, ...think of all the possibilities ! What fun it would be...or we could just let Matt run his site as he sees fit. Yeah, I guess elections would suck, now that I think about it.
posted by lobstah at 10:03 AM on February 20, 2005


Clearly it is time to turn the front page red and start banning away, just to show what real abuse of power looks like.

Barring that, sell it, give it away, or pull the plug, because the professional critics will never give up.
posted by darukaru at 10:06 AM on February 20, 2005


Alex, you should know by now that the unwritten rule of the schoolyard is that you don't let people know what pisses you off.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:07 AM on February 20, 2005


This thread is clothed to new comments.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:22 AM on February 20, 2005


Ironically, I just had my very first MeTa thread deleted. I don't know the reason why, but the only justification that I can think of is that the discussion should have been tacked on here.

The point of the thread was: I would like to propose that all MeTa threads in which people declare they quitting/leaving MeFi be recognized for what they are, and ignored (or simply be used to say "goodbye"). Matt is absolutely correct to label them "drama queens". I'm making this a separate thread because I think it should be policy in general, irrespective of the username of the person declaring that they are leaving.
posted by spock to etiquette/policy at 8:37 AM PST [!]


If you are interested in reviewing the discussion as it was before it was deleted (including why I thought it should be a separate thread) you may see it here.
posted by spock at 10:28 AM on February 20, 2005


the only justification?!?! Come on.

I think you had (have) a valid point, but as I said, no reason to start a new thread on it.
posted by Quartermass at 10:33 AM on February 20, 2005


It is disturbing to find that threads have been editted in metatalk or metafilter. Or that entire metatalk threads have disapeared, for whatever reason. If things continue as they are, the site will loosing any sense of permanance or history. One doesn't have to be obsessed with censorship to see that the moderation has been very heavy lately.
posted by jb at 10:46 AM on February 20, 2005


Well, one good thing came of all this talk about how awful #mefi is. #mefi got a few new visitors, and hopefully some of them will feel free to drop by again.

All of them seemed a bit disappointed at the lack of awfulness.
posted by mosch at 10:51 AM on February 20, 2005


Well mathowie, I just wanted to pipe in and say I think Metafilter not only rocks, it's getting better. You shouldn't respond to such ridiculous theatrics as this thread. A few points:

* When it comes to AskMe moderation should be done constantly and rigirously. Unlike the blue and the gray which tilt towards open-ended discussion sites, AskMe has a very specific purpose and usually achieves this purpose very well. Let all the people who want to snark and fill up threads with in-"jokes" and noise take it somewhere else.

* Comments unfortunately do have to disappear. If you add a javascript toggle or you leave the posted lines then there will inevitably be people who will continue to respond to comments that were deleted. (What is even the purpose of being able to see deleted comments unless you want to respond to them?) For the sake of the thread I'm still for comments being totally "disappeared."

* I used to think the gray had a purpose that involved making the community better but now, after the AlexReynolds disaster and these past few weeks, it's safe to conclude that Metatalk isn't much more than a persistent IRC channel. People come here to whine, laugh, and viciously attack one another. There is no desire to improve Metafilter. You should accept this, mathowie, and simply stop moderating Metatalk. Threads and comments should never be deleted in the gray and we'll just have to give up on this section of the community.

And keep up the good work.
posted by nixerman at 10:59 AM on February 20, 2005


If you are interested in reviewing the discussion as it was before it was deleted (including why I thought it should be a separate thread) you may see it here.

Matt, I just noticed there's no "Troll" option to select when reporting a comment. Could you kindly add that?
posted by Jairus at 11:12 AM on February 20, 2005


If we are going to delete #talk FPP because they could have been extensions to previous FPPs, then to be consistent this entire thread should have been deleted because as the very first comment in this thread pointed out: "Why didn't you just leave a comment in that thread? It's still open for comments."

I find deletions less problematic than inconsistencies in the application of the rules.
posted by spock at 11:14 AM on February 20, 2005


There is no desire to improve Metafilter.

Sees the jig is up, rips off mask. Good you figured us all out, then!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:19 AM on February 20, 2005


Matt, I just noticed there's no "Troll" option to select when reporting a comment. Could you kindly add that?
posted by Jairus at 11:12 AM PST on February 20 [!]

He's only just eliminated that as an option. I doubt that it was in response to my emailed request to do so, but if so - thanks again matt.

My reasoning - as previously argued - is that it's just a vague term of abuse, to be used in an argument. Rather than that debased coinage, selecting another, more useful option [offensive/noise/derail/guidelines] will enrich user feedback to matt/jessamyn as mods.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:24 AM on February 20, 2005


What client does everyone use for #mefi? I'm sad to say that in all these years on the web I've never dabbled in the chat world. If it wouldn't cause undue harm to the ego, I'd like to gab sometime with the #mefi crew. Who are the frequenters?
posted by dhoyt at 11:34 AM on February 20, 2005


dhoyt, I use mIRC.
posted by Jairus at 11:35 AM on February 20, 2005


People come here to whine, laugh, and viciously attack one another.

No day of mine is complete until I've whined, laughed, and viciously attacked someone. Thank you, MeTa!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:35 AM on February 20, 2005


dhoyt:

try mIRC, or xchat.
posted by Evstar at 11:36 AM on February 20, 2005


nixerman:Threads and comments should never be deleted in the gray and we'll just have to give up on this section of the community.

Yeah, fostering divisiveness is the right answer...
posted by vacapinta at 11:42 AM on February 20, 2005


Hey, I just woke up and found myself wearing a sequined dress, tiara and a sash with "Miss MetaFilter 2001" written on it, and I have one question:

Where did you ever find this in MY size?

I just hope nobody writes a haiku about it...
posted by wendell at 11:48 AM on February 20, 2005


If you use Firefox, dhyot, there's the Chatzilla extension. Or there's the java portal. I forget the link to it though. Quonsar posted it in another thread. Might be searchable.
posted by FunkyHelix at 12:21 PM on February 20, 2005


http://irc.turlyming.com/irc/
posted by quonsar at 1:01 PM on February 20, 2005


, and if the space was no longer around, I don't think that would come back onto the site.

I disagree.
posted by angry modem at 1:37 PM on February 20, 2005


I disagree.

I agree.
posted by Jairus at 1:58 PM on February 20, 2005


MetaTalk:

ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!

DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.

ARTHUR: Shut up!

DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!

ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!

DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you hear that, did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn't you?
posted by spock at 2:19 PM on February 20, 2005


oh, shut up already.
posted by quonsar at 2:22 PM on February 20, 2005


Thanks for the comments, CunningLinguist, madamjujujive, and catachresoid. I really do think that the ire being directed toward Matt and Jessamyn over the "censorship issue" is misplaced.

EB: part of the problem is that a bunch of old-timers migrated into AskMe, partly because it was polite when the blue increasingly wasn't, and found that they really liked being part of the askmefi community. Communities always become chatty, which askme isn't for. Moderation keeping askme on-charter is disrupting their sense of community. So they complain.

This seems right. I have a feeling that when Metafilter Projects (the red?) opens its doors, it'll become the intimate and chatty community that has been slipping away.
posted by painquale at 2:39 PM on February 20, 2005


After a personal crisis a couple of weeks ago, I no longer had the time to hang out here like I did...then when I did, for some reason, I just don't feel like being here anymore. For me, there have just been too many changes in too short a time. The scale has tipped, and this is no longer what it was for me. But hey, that's okay. All good things come to an end. I might stop by for a link or two, who knows.

You cannot stop things from growing and changing, and there always comes a time at every forum when the party's over for each particular person. That's okay too, because there will always be somebody else coming in at the front door. If metafilter is a river, the river will be there whether or not the original water has made it to the ocean. Some folks will go, then come back, some folks will stay, some will leave and never be heard from again. C'est la vie.

If anybody wants to say hi, the email's on my user page.
posted by konolia at 3:44 PM on February 20, 2005


Damn. Sorry to see you go, konolia, even if it's only temporary. There aren't many of us old-timers around anymore. You'll be missed.
posted by gd779 at 5:15 PM on February 20, 2005


every time you post an "I'm Leaving" thread, bunnyfire kills a personality.
posted by quonsar at 5:32 PM on February 20, 2005


oh, shut up already. saith Q.

This is the quality of "comment" I hope you will never see from me. Is that an example of the Metafilter you pine for or an example of its decline? (seriously curious)
posted by spock at 5:37 PM on February 20, 2005


spock, if you don't get the meaning of quonsar's "shut the fuck up already," in the context of this thread, then you don't get quonsar, and I doubt you would have understood the MeFi that some of us pine for.

and, vaya con dios, konolia. You were a lot of things but you were never dull.
posted by jonmc at 5:43 PM on February 20, 2005


spock, grow some skin. quonsar was simply riffing on your comment immediately prior to his.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:45 PM on February 20, 2005


I was just wondering the other day what you were up to, konolia. Much as we see things differently, I appreciate your presence & am sorry to see you go. best of luck.

these threads are scrolling off the page at a ridiculous rate, so no one will probably read this, but I just wanted to respond to the general claim that the idea of closing sign-ups is an elitist/ stodgy attitude. The problem with continual open sign ups is that, as someone says above, the place starts to feel like an airport - you hardly have a sense who anyone is. Yes, closed membership meant we got burnt out on each other, and new blood was definitely needed. But I think a balance is a good idea; it's nice to be able to get to know people...

I dunno, as konolia says above, and I said in the other thread, things change and people will come and go, as always, and it certainly won't be the end of the world. But I just wanted to clarify that stemming the tide or having punctuated membership sign-ups could result in a somewhat more close knit group, which ultimately means more committed members, which means a better site.
posted by mdn at 6:00 PM on February 20, 2005


The issue here is not about hosting, the issue is does matt want #mefi associated with Metafilter? So Ryvar, this whole "we can host it somewhere else, just keep us on etc" point is moot.

Yes, we do have people in #mefi who diss out metafilter and who make fun of matt and other mefites - I'm not going to be the first person to deny it, but since we're establishing a GREAT reputation in this thread about how mutinous we are as it is, I figured I'd keep this as honest as possible.

Just keep in mind that not all the people on #mefi dislike the way you have changed the site. Keep in mind that we are not hating on your ass 24/7. I first came to #mefi for advice - I didn't have a mefi account yet, but if I had, I would've probably posted something on askme. I got some great answers from the people on there. I still got a feeling like I was talking to an extension of mefites and that was the reason I wanted advice in the first place, because this community is smart, rational, and open-minded, and I can get some meaningful discussion about stuff and some amazingly helpful advice. We may act like idiots at times, but I think it stems more from the nature of #mefi being an IRC channel than the view that we are mefites planning the demise of metafilter. #mefi allows mefites to let loose a little and bitch about the site without getting their comments deleted. A group like this was bound to develop.

In the end, it's up to you if you're OK with this.
posted by Menomena at 6:05 PM on February 20, 2005


It would be amusing if the first two posts flagged with the new feature were Matt's '...fucking drama queens' sally...

Done.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:44 AM

Pretty funny. You are joking aren't you?
posted by dabitch at 10:01 AM


What's so funny about being offended by the utterly inappropriate "drama queen" epithet. You are not very nice dabitch; you are v*ry me*n.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 6:09 PM on February 20, 2005


So says an obvious sockpuppet account. Please shut the hell up, or have the bravery to cast stones under your real username.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:17 PM on February 20, 2005


So says an obvious sockpuppet account. Please shut the hell up, or have the bravery to cast stones under your real username.

Yeah, that'll happen.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:20 PM on February 20, 2005


just out of curiosity, what network is #mefi on?
posted by delmoi at 6:30 PM on February 20, 2005


We are all sockpuppets.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 6:30 PM on February 20, 2005


#mefi is on irc.metafilter.com
posted by theatrical matriarch at 6:35 PM on February 20, 2005


I'm leaving too!
posted by scody at 6:43 PM on February 20, 2005


...and now I'm back. With a cup of tea!
posted by scody at 6:44 PM on February 20, 2005


I've already left.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 6:45 PM on February 20, 2005


delmoi, it's a stand-alone server unconnected to the major IRC nets. and thank god for that. it's probably not at all what you are picturing, very laid back in comparison.
posted by quonsar at 6:50 PM on February 20, 2005


Hmmm, I would have expected crash to come up with a more clever puppet account name than that.

For what it's worth, I agree that things will get back on track once the new users have a chance to marinate a bit. Just like cream, the morons will soon rise to the top (and be skimmed off, one can hope), while the smart, interesting folks will eventually work up the nerve to engage more often.

The clique is dead; long live the clique.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 6:58 PM on February 20, 2005


I didn't realise Matt paid for #mefi - thank you man!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:13 PM on February 20, 2005


I've already left.

How brave of you to stop by.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:51 PM on February 20, 2005


AlexReynolds: Will you be my arch nemesis? I've never had one before.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 9:01 PM on February 20, 2005 [2 favorites]


I thought you left?
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:03 PM on February 20, 2005


I thought I was your arch nemesis, dude. I even made a costume and everything.
posted by jonmc at 9:06 PM on February 20, 2005


I think that was posted from the future. So it's apparently just a matter of time. I'm hoping for a really great meta flameout thread; something legendary, in-jokes for decades.

On preview: Like quonsar, I apparently don't tell you often enough just how much I love you, jonmc.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 9:11 PM on February 20, 2005


You're still here? WTF?
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:12 PM on February 20, 2005


That's it! I've had it with this place! Just try to get me to leave now! ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:14 PM on February 20, 2005


*hops on pogo stick and jumps through own asshole for America*
posted by jonmc at 9:21 PM on February 20, 2005


I thought I was your arch nemesis, dude. I even made a costume and everything.
posted by jonmc at 9:06 PM PST on February 20 [!]


Somebody's hooked on the Venture Brothers.
posted by Jim Jones at 9:27 PM on February 20, 2005


Actually, Jim Jones, I've only ever seen the commercials. I'm a Family Guy guy.
posted by jonmc at 9:31 PM on February 20, 2005


I've heard Family Guy is coming back, no?
posted by theatrical matriarch at 9:34 PM on February 20, 2005


Matt, for years you have exercised the most incredible judgement. Just the right amount of push back to the offenders, letting through the merely bad or silly. Recently you seem to want to micromanage the content to make it more perfect - an impossible task. Let the comments flow; they built this very strongest of sites and will continue to keep it strong I see your excellent judgement come through again, with your comment that you are willing to listen to the tide and ratchet back the editing.

If you want to keep up the heavy hand in AskMe, I have no problem as from day one you have said that this place is different. I think a certain amount of snark would be OK especially when really silly question, and more importantly answers are proffered.

One other area taking abuse, at least a little, in this thread is new memberships. Thank God for them. They have brought much good stuff to Metafilter, posts, comments etc. I see some very good and strong new members already. Despite the extra work it may have entailed for you, this was the best thing you have done for the site it several years. On top of that you appear to be on a pony creating spree. Yea.
posted by caddis at 9:37 PM on February 20, 2005


In May, I think. Giggity Giggity Giggity.
posted by jonmc at 9:37 PM on February 20, 2005


Good god, it's hard to have a life and keep up with all this. So I'm way late to this party, but I've said several times now that the deletions have a chilling effect on the community. It makes me wonder how much longer I'm going to want to stick around, even with all the great new features and stuff (though I doubt I'd be as missed as some of the people who've already left). Consider this a pony request: A smaller eraser.
posted by me3dia at 10:00 PM on February 20, 2005


I think folks are making a mountain out of a molehill here. First, non-answers and joke answers have always, always, always been against the rules in the green. People have gotten away with breaking the rules for so long that now they have a sense of entitlement and are talking about the chilling effect on the community of being made to obey the rules that they always knew about.

In the grey, things are a bit more understandable. The grey is the place to discuss the direction of the site, and yet the grey has deletions of stuff that is not against the rules, and closing of threads that some people find still warrant discussion.

That said, the grey is the least part of Mefi. It's the most ancillary of the three colors. It is, in a sense, barely the site, though (because of the fun drama) pretty popular among regulars and longtime readers.

The blue is the core, the heart, and the soul of Mefi. It is the front page, the place that shows when you go to "www.metafilter.com". It is the reason MeFi exists (with the green a close second). I've heard very, very, very few complaints about deletions in the blue.

From where I'm standing, a lot of people are taking the absolutely least important part of MeFi, the grey, as primary in importance, and defining the grey as the heart of the community. That seems wrongheaded to me.

It's like working at a company where the sales staff are all really nice, agreeable folks, and the tech staff are all really nice, agreeable folks, and saying the company is going to hell because the janitors argue with eachother.
posted by Bugbread at 10:27 PM on February 20, 2005


The grey is the soul of the community. Maybe the red will be, in time.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 10:30 PM on February 20, 2005


Courage.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:38 PM on February 20, 2005


As in Red Badge of ...?
posted by theatrical matriarch at 10:39 PM on February 20, 2005


Ok, perhaps I was a bit hasty in saying that the grey is not the soul of the community. Perhaps it would be best to say "The grey is the soul of a community in Mefi". But that's a community which has decided to center itself on one, secondary part of Mefi. It's being the most affected by deletions, and, understandably, is the most bothered by them. But it's not the entirety of Mefi. And while I don't want this to come off too snidely, I'm sure it will be taken as so: If the grey is the most important part of Mefi to you, and the deletions are unbearable, then by all means, either try to convince Matt to change his policies, or leave. But don't assume that the "Metafilter community is being torn apart by deletions". Part of it is, most of it isn't. And, for the first time in these discussions, I'm finding myself about to say what EB is saying: You're not as important as you think you are. Not just as individuals, but as a group. A quick scan of the first 150 FPPs in the Blue shows that grey regulars form a little less than 20% of the total. They could all disappear, and the end result would just be that the quantity of blue posts would be rolled back to 2003 levels or so.

This is not, in any way, to say "Goodbye and don't let the door hit you in the ass". I hope they grey regulars stay, and keep contributing discussion. I'm just getting tired of people talking about how deletions are hurting "the" community, when they're hurting one small, ancillary pocket of Mefi. That may be a big problem as well, but it does no good to confuse the issue by claiming greater importance than you have.

Now, if the blue starts getting the same kind of deletions, it will start affecting other, more primary parts of the Mefi community, which, I fully agree, would be a bad thing.
posted by Bugbread at 11:08 PM on February 20, 2005


You're very reasonable and thoughtful, bugbread.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:20 PM on February 20, 2005


No. The point is the mefi is a breathtaking consequence of the people that come here. If we send them all off, it is no longer the same place.

That small "ancillary" aspect of the community is what made and built this place. Have some respect for your elders. As fun as you are, Metafilter is not the new users -- it is the continuation of years of relevant users. Respect their concerns and disappointments.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 11:23 PM on February 20, 2005


Respect their concerns and disappointments.

And their sneering. Respect their sneering. If you know what's good for you.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:26 PM on February 20, 2005


As somone whose original sockpuppet far predated mathowie, I feel I have some say. (Obviously that was a joke -- how could one predate mathowie...)

Just relax, let us have our nonsense threads. And our sneering. Cause, I really sneer when I see your handle. If you want to hang out here, you really need to get used to the sneering.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 11:42 PM on February 20, 2005


If you want to hang out here, you really need to get used to the sneering.

And the sockpuppetesque bravery.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:39 AM on February 21, 2005


Theatrical Matriarch: I agree, if the grey regs all go, Mefi will not be the same place. That's the reason I hope some of them stay (the parts that make the place good), and that others finally piss off (the parts that make the place bad). And since there's more of the former than the latter, the whole lot staying would still be a good proposition. However, if they all left, while Mefi would not be the same place, I think it would be a pretty damn similar place. Inside jokes might be different, snarks might change in approach, people might complain about slightly different policy changes in the grey, but it would be pretty darn similar.

Parts of that ancillary community made the blue what it is. Parts made the grey what it is. Parts worked on both sections. And with them missing, it might change. But it won't crumble down, any more than my apartment will crumble if the architect passes away. Mefi has had a base built. It is, however, in constant minor flux. No individual member's loss, with the exception of Matt, will contribute that much to Mefi changing. And a whole big group leaving will cause a big short-term change, but relatively little long-term change.

I don't have "respect for my elders". I don't have "disrespect for my elders". You guys didn't decide to forge the inside jokes, quirks, and personality of Mefi as a service to us young folks. You did it because you enjoyed it. I won't thank you for it. I will say that, to a large extent, I like the tone here (er, well, the tone in the blue pre-911 and post-election, and the tone in the green. The grey is interesting, but I don't think "like" is the right word), but that's why I'm here. I picked a place where, overall, I liked the people and atmosphere. That's why, as I said, it would be preferable if you all stayed. If us new folks didn't like Mefi, we wouldn't have joined, we would have joined some other place we liked. So we may appreciate your personalities, but "respect" or "thank" seem odd.

I just wish you'd be more realistic, and realize that Mefi is no longer the little exclusive club it used to be, and that if all the grey regs disappeared, it would not crumble. That is, I wish the grey regs would realize that they are part of a community, not the community itself, and that while at one time they may have been the pillar of the community, they no longer are.

The Orb did groundbreaking work with the popularization of ambient music. Their work formed part of the foundations of later groups like Plaid, Shpongle, etc. They're still producting albums. But they're no longer vital or crucial. Ambient will live on without them. Different, perhaps, but not necessarily worse. That doesn't mean that anyone wants The Orb to stop making music; or that they hate them. Ambient fans would like it just fine if they kept making more music. But The Orb isn't the focal figure anymore. And if the Orb said something like, "We don't like the way ambient music is progressing, so we're going to quit, and the scene will crumble into nothingness!", everyone would look at them with a sincere expression of WTFness.
posted by Bugbread at 12:46 AM on February 21, 2005


bugbread, I adore you. I love so many of the new users. I am one myself. I simply want an environment that respects that age and diversity of this community. That's all.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 12:54 AM on February 21, 2005


" That is, I wish the grey regs would realize that they are part of a community, not the community itself, and that while at one time they may have been the pillar of the community, they no longer are."

The extroverts and their fellow travelers (of which I am certainly one) always have a tendency to think that they are the world.

Similarly, the literate and educated community tends to think that the totality of human experience—of the world, its structure, its stories, its histories—it represented by the accumulated knowledge of the literate and educated community. But we—those of us that are literate and have had any formal education—are a very small minority of the total human population that has ever existed. The world we know is mostly the world created by literate and educated people for literate and educated people. But it's not the totality, or even the majority, of human experience.

If you take a look at the top twenty-five or so people on the mefi contribution index, you'll find that most of us are mostly talking to each other. It becomes easy to think of metafilter as these twenty-five people plus a bunch of other people that don't matter as much. But that is very untrue. Those of us who are high-profile are doing so because of temperment, and chance, and a combination of a great many other factors. We play the role we're comfortable with as a part of the much larger community that makes that role possible. Even if the top 25 contributers mostly talk to each other and account for, say, 80% of mefi comments, without that other 20% we'd be incredibly bored with each other (and everyone else would be incredibly bored with us...or more than they already are). Everyone in the mefi community, even those that always lurk and never post or comment, are part of an organic something that is much bigger and much more interesting than any individual, or even the group of hard-core mefites. We are not mefi. The old-timers are not mefi. The elders are not mefi. No one is that important. In a sense, we who are the top "contributers" (if contribution is the correct word), are here at the sufference of everyone else; are allowed the space for our self-important antics by everyone else; are tolerated with a kindly indulgence like: "I think the same things as EB does in that comment, I agree with him, but he likes to be the person to say these things, for whatever reason. So let him. I don't feel the need."

People have thought that my wordiness, my seriousness, indicated a large sense of self-importance, a large ego. I won't argue that I don't have a fair amount of self-esteem. But I've never had any illusions that just because I like to talk (write) a lot, and take many things seriously, that this makes me important or that my words are automatically more worth reading than anyone else's. I'm just doing what I do, because it's the type of thing I like to do. I do think that the role I play has value, just as I would if I were playing a different sort of a role. In many, perhaps most, other social situations I very much don't play a high-profile role. I've found playing WoW and similar online games that I don't have any particular desire to be in charge, I prefer to support other people who make the decisions and are more high-profile (as long as they are competent). I don't feel any more or less important doing that sort of thing than this sort of thing. At jobs, in volunteer work, in school—sometimes the stars align and being center stage is where I want to be, where I feel like I can best contribute. Other times—most other times—I'm quite happy with other people being the center of attention because, in that context, they're better at doing whatever they're doing than I am. I am doing something else.

That personal aside is my way of trying to explain the apparent contradiction that irked languagehat in another thread so: how I can opine so much and yet criticize other people for being self-important. My answer: in this context, I'm one of the people that opines. It doesn't occur to me to think that that makes me important.

In spite of being near the top of the infamous contribution index for almost a year now, I could disappear tomorrow and hardly anyone would notice, and mefi would be much the same. I've contributed to some of its character in the last year. But am I important? Nope.

All these new users are collectively more important than any of the old-timers or any of the top contributers. I think that's great.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:28 AM on February 21, 2005


If the grey is the most important part of Mefi to you, and the deletions are unbearable, then by all means, either try to convince Matt to change his policies, or leave.

It is, they are, and I am. Attempting to convince Matt, that is.

I don't have "respect for my elders". I don't have "disrespect for my elders".

Agreed completely. Everybody should be judged based solely on the merit of their comments and the points they make within them. As a 14Ker I'm neither really an elder, nor a newcomer. I don't have any problem with our newcomers, other than that I think they should've been added in staggered waves of 1000 so that each new group could become acclimated before the next wave comes pouring in. But, to be frank, I really don't care that much about it because it doesn't seem that it caused any real issues after the first two weeks.
posted by Ryvar at 1:37 AM on February 21, 2005


Well EB could disappear tomorrow, but he would not be forgotten so quickly. In it's short time here, it has become one of those personalities. It is largely disliked (not by me, but by the cabal [which does not exist]), but it is noteworthy.

EB is an example of what makes mefi mefi. EB should stay. Lots of us, including myself, should not. Mefi is for the lurkers. We enjoy the insane personalities. We must let them be. I will fade away once that happens again.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 1:39 AM on February 21, 2005


The Cabal (tm) doesn't like EB? I didn't know that. I knew they didn't like EB writing self-referentially, but I didn't know they didn't like EB in general. They really need to distribute memos or something.

Personally, I find EB one of the best members on here. Logical, non-snarky, well-spoken, level-headed.
posted by Bugbread at 1:52 AM on February 21, 2005


"Logical, non-snarky, well-spoken, level-headed."

Three out of four ain't bad.

"Personalities" in this context come and go. I don't doubt that there's some we'll truly come to treasure that arrived in the November wave.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:02 AM on February 21, 2005


EB is a wonderful person, as are you bug.

The point here is that none of us alone are sufficient to stop the bleeding. MeFi exists for a subtle reason. The admins have not been respeccting that subletly.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 2:06 AM on February 21, 2005


get a room, you two.

on preview, you three...
posted by quonsar at 2:10 AM on February 21, 2005


No, you know very, very well: it's us four. I'm necking with quonsar. Participants are more than welcome.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 2:15 AM on February 21, 2005


"The point here is that none of us alone are sufficient to stop the bleeding. MeFi exists for a subtle reason. The admins have not been respeccting that subletly."

Well, I respectfully disagree. I think you could be right, but aren't in this case. MetaFilter feels like a small enough community that some particular "personalities" are vital—but that feeling is deceiving. It's not that small.

My overarching complex systems view of things is probably influencing me here, but I think that MeFi is big enough and complex enough that it's self-sustaining (qualitatively self-sustaining) independent of even the collective contributions of the high-profile members. It is they who disproportionately feel the sting of moderation, but the larger community is either unaware or approving.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:21 AM on February 21, 2005


EB if the bulk of the deletion complaints within the many threads on the topic came from high-profile members, you might have a point.

I encourage you to go through them and notice that overwhelmingly they in fact do not.

Also, I'm no spokeperson for any Cabal, but I guarantee that the people I know who dislike EB do so because of the self-referential crap (ie "My overarching complex systems view of things is probably influencing me here" comes across as "I see the big picture unlike the rest of you"), and not in general.
posted by Ryvar at 2:30 AM on February 21, 2005


As one who is or might happen to know one who wrote a good bit of the math relevant to complex systems -- you are wrong.

EB is good. What confounds us has nothing to do with him. Metafilter exists on a profound plane, guided by such subtle and uncertain touches that we have lost them. Metafilter will not survive the didact existence it know faces. Find the complex edge.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 2:33 AM on February 21, 2005


"'My overarching complex systems view of things is probably influencing me here' comes across as 'I see the big picture unlike the rest of you'..."

Oh, please. If you read the former sentence as the latter, then your doing so is more a product of your psychology than it is mine.

"As one who is or might happen to know one who wrote a good bit of the math relevant to complex systems -- you are wrong."

Again, I respectfully disagree. The only expertise that's relevant here would be actual formal training or experience in complexity theory and I think that doesn't include either of us. But, to put things into context, I considered but ultimately decided against an undergraduate co-op position at the Santa Fe Institute. I have a library of books on complexity theory and I've been interested in it for at least fifteen years. Not that that's here or there. This is all lay competency, which isn't worth very much. But you brought it up.

It's certainly possible that the absence of the relatively small contributions (as part of the whole process that is MetaFilter) of the "personalities" here would cause mefi to have a state-change, to become something very different. We're (not you and I, but anyone) not even remotely close to being able to adequately analyze something like MetaFilter in this context, so we can't know one way or another and it's all just hand-waving. Even so, my gut tells me that this isn't the sort of system where the particular personalities really matter; and that new agents are self-selecting for the same traits present in old agents, and that the system reinforces those traits.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:48 AM on February 21, 2005


Wheeee!!!

I considered but ultimately decided against an undergraduate co-op position at the Santa Fe Institute.

And I may have very well recommended your application for that position. Do not presume to know who you are speaking too. You are a good person, but in the field of "complexity" I'm going to win.

Anyway, the point is that feeling and community has far more to do with personaility that it does with knowledge or intelligence.

Metafilter is fascinating for the people, not just the knowledge.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 3:02 AM on February 21, 2005


I keep trying to hate theatrical matriarch, and failing.

God damn it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:26 AM on February 21, 2005


I am so sorry stav. I know how you feel, really, but I am a good sock. I don't mean to belittle the others, but I do try. If there is anything I can do to help you hate me, please let me know. I can be really obnoxious with adequate provocation ;)
posted by theatrical matriarch at 4:52 AM on February 21, 2005


I keep trying to hate theatrical matriarch, and failing.

He used "too" when he should have used "to." Surely you can muster a few ounces of hatred for that. (Also, I heard a rumor that he's a serial non-capitalizer, but I can't reveal my source.)
posted by anapestic at 5:05 AM on February 21, 2005


Oh, jesus. I just now saw it. Ugh. I want to gouge my own eyes out. It's just sitting there, so obviously wrong. I hate me. I hate my damn fingers, and their propensity to o's. What the hell was I thinking? Fuck!

(Aside: I am NOT a serial non-capitalizer. Do not even joke about that shit. I want to know who quonsar is so I can kick his ass for not capitalizing...)
posted by theatrical matriarch at 5:17 AM on February 21, 2005


I have a library of books on complexity theory and I've been interested in it for at least fifteen years.

i have a fish. in my pants. nyah-nyah.
posted by quonsar at 5:21 AM on February 21, 2005


People have thought that my wordiness, my seriousness, indicated a large sense of self-importance, a large ego.
HAVE thought? Did I miss a memo?

I kid, I kid!
posted by c13 at 5:21 AM on February 21, 2005


I just stole quonsar's fish. I ate it raw with some rice, wasabi, and a bit of soy sauce. This was not a good idea. I've been throwing up a lot since. I should have breaded and fried it. Anyway, I apologize to quonsar for taking your fish. Do note, however, that I replaced it with a PCB-laden trout. Do not eat it. Really, it is friendly, vigorours, and cancer-laden.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 5:31 AM on February 21, 2005


(Aside: I am NOT a serial non-capitalizer. Do not even joke about that shit. I want to know who quonsar is so I can kick his ass for not capitalizing...)

It was a reliable source. Also, your use of an ellipsis in that last sentence is questionable, at best. I don't know how you live with yourself.
posted by anapestic at 5:42 AM on February 21, 2005


It was poetical license. I was indicating an indefinite wait/pause for effect.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 5:48 AM on February 21, 2005


And you have no reliable sources. Only mathowie can expose me.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 6:02 AM on February 21, 2005


Konolia and Crash it's awful to see either of you go....

But I don't understand why, and for the good of this place I think you both should state why more explicitly. You owe that to yourselves after all the time you've both spent here.

No one's really pointed out anything all that terrible that Jessamyn has done, if that's the reason. Matt hired a moderator and now, in my opinion, a tighter ship is being run. Yes, that means more comments will be deleted, etc, but... that's the job isn't it? That's a necessary effect of running a tighter ship.

If what we're arguing is if there should be a moderator, that's a seperate discusssion. If what we're talking about is how Meta has changed and what directions we don't like, that's a seperate discussion.
posted by xammerboy at 6:27 AM on February 21, 2005


I can give no credence to anyone who inserts a second r into "vigorous."
posted by anapestic at 6:31 AM on February 21, 2005


That R was an evil, mischievous letter. It infiltrated my post; it terrorized my prose. It was not my doing. It was the act of an unnamed group, waging asymmetrical grammatical warfare against my posts.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 6:53 AM on February 21, 2005


Most of what xammerboy said. I'll miss reading both Konolia and Crash's things. I have seen some posts vanish from an already overcrowded grey, usually it was a horse already beaten to death. I have also seen off-topic non-answers vanish from the green, and that's a good thing if you ask me. So I must have missed the drop that made the cup runneth over... or something.
posted by dabitch at 7:17 AM on February 21, 2005


I dunno, I guess I do find some of this a little humorous. Crash has been known to (not entirely wrongly, although not particularly tactfully) berate people for commenting that it's their first post... yet instead of just quietly riding off into the sunset, he makes such a big dramatic deal to post that it's his last?

Seems a bit ironic and hypocritical when ya think about it. But whatever makes you happy... it's a shame when anyone feels driven to leave for whatever reasons, but especially for grumpy/bitter ones.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:26 AM on February 21, 2005


I keep trying to hate theatrical matriarch, and failing.

The one person here for whom the phrase attention whore truly applies ?
I am sick of that self-absorbed chickenshit, myself.
posted by y2karl at 7:40 AM on February 21, 2005


xammerboy, you beg the question of whether a tighter ship is a good thing. These threads seem to mostly think it isn't. We like our deckchairs where they are, thanksverymuch.
posted by bonaldi at 7:48 AM on February 21, 2005


I have it on good authority that theatrical matriarch and anapestic are actually the same person, like Miguel Cardoso and Carlos Quevado. Pesty is also double post guy.
posted by norm at 7:55 AM on February 21, 2005


Self-absorbed chickenshit? That might be the meanest thing anyone has ever said about me. I don't mind, I was just making a note of it. For future readers, so that I get more attention, in a whoring fashion.

It's interesting that some of my favorite posters hate me with such passion. Odd. Anyway, I merely consider myself an advocate for the metafilter that was. I honestly hope to obsolete myself.

On preview: no norm, you don't. I don't know who anapestic is, but I'm certainly hitting the olde spell check as a consequence. If I were going to taunt myself, I'd be much more cruel. Like y2karl. Or AlexReyn*lds.
posted by theatrical matriarch at 8:02 AM on February 21, 2005


no norm, you don't.

If anyone knows I'm kidding, it ought to be you (or pesty). I just thought the whole exchange sounded a lot funnier imagining it as a dissociative soliloquy.

Other secret MeFi identities include:

thirteen is really Steve Albini
avogadro is really Drew Carey
jessamyn is actually Jessamyn West
posted by norm at 8:34 AM on February 21, 2005


norm is actually... mathowie?

WTF dude!
posted by Quartermass at 8:40 AM on February 21, 2005


thirteen is really Steve Albini

I thought he just lived in his house?
posted by jessamyn at 8:56 AM on February 21, 2005


Norm, I'm horribly wounded to know that you would think any of the voices inside my head capable of either spelling errors or flagrant abuse of ellipses.
posted by anapestic at 8:57 AM on February 21, 2005


It's all just misdirection, pest-o. I bet you're capable of all manner of eeee-vil ruses to fool people.
posted by norm at 9:03 AM on February 21, 2005


If I ever have a sock puppet, it will be Carlos con Queso.
posted by Mid at 9:08 AM on February 21, 2005


Evil, certainly. But ungrammatical? I leave such nonsense to the sock puppets.
posted by anapestic at 9:17 AM on February 21, 2005


I leave such nonsense to the sock puppets.

I handle the nonsense for my regular username and with perfect punctuation.
posted by my sock puppet account at 9:23 AM on February 21, 2005


That's so Raven Meta.

son of Metafilter secret identities:

kafkaesque is baby jesus
jonmc is rushmc
quonsar is queso
bradlands is zombie Arthur Miller

posted by norm at 9:33 AM on February 21, 2005


bah. mcd is too good for this place anyhow.

On the front page, we got 300 posts of people whining about the loss of some low-life scum (who they never met and preferred death then to be on the same world as them), and then here in the grey, we hear that a good, decent, funny and nice guy is leaving our community-ish thingy---a loss that negatively effects something that most of the people would seem to care about. But whose loss is considered sadder?

Me? I'll trade a hundred suicidal drugged out losers for one good guy like the Rev.
posted by dios at 10:13 AM on February 21, 2005


Anyway, I merely consider myself an advocate for the metafilter that was. I honestly hope to obsolete myself.

Bullshit. You are a creep who talks about his or her self to the near exclusion of anything else. How does that make things better ? The metafilter that was didn't allow for such dishonest and shitty little stunts. Apart from providing all too redundant proof why all sock puppet accounts should be banned, you do nothing for the site except waste space and time.
posted by y2karl at 10:54 AM on February 21, 2005


Dios, a poor sense of timing worsened by a lack of irony earns your weak troll a D-. You're on double secret probation until further notice.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:08 AM on February 21, 2005


If what we're arguing is if there should be a moderator, that's a seperate discusssion.
The simple truth is that anyone who has such serious disagreements with the very idea of moderation is entirely free to go off and start their own guaranteedfreefrominterferencefilter. Except of course that they then lose the already-established 20,000+ audience and have to work on building their own.
Which is, of course, why nobody actually does it.
posted by darukaru at 11:19 AM on February 21, 2005


On the front page, we got 300 posts of people whining about the loss of some low-life scum

The great thing about you, dios, is your extraordinary courage. By running over here to the grey and trolling this thread instead of posting your emptyheaded thoughts in the HST obituary thread itself, I mean.
posted by gompa at 11:25 AM on February 21, 2005


I'm sorry. But when it was it written down that "Anything that X disagrees with is henceforth a 'troll.'"

If you disagree with something I wrote, then explain it. But just calling me a troll isn't a refutation of anything.
posted by dios at 11:32 AM on February 21, 2005


how many comments in the 9/11 thread? what does it all mean? only the pantsfish knows.
posted by quonsar at 11:34 AM on February 21, 2005


If you disagree with something I wrote, then explain it. But just calling me a troll isn't a refutation of anything.

Well, first of all Hunter S. Thompson was not "low life scum." he was certainly no saint, by any stretch of the imagination, but he was an immensley talented and insightful writer who inspired and influenced a lot of people.

And you're not lamenting crash's departure. Crash has been a cyber buddy of mine for years and if I know him at all, I have a feeling he'd consider you a complete tool. So take that "jonmc #1" finger you were waving around the other day and stick it somewhere cozy. mean spirited idiots aren't welcome in my fan club.
posted by jonmc at 11:42 AM on February 21, 2005


dios, you're talking trash about the subject of one of the most active current threads on the site - a man hundreds of members of this community clearly respected and admired - and you don't even have the teensy little modicum of guts it'd take to actually do it in the thread where the conversation is occurring. Ergo: troll.

And the something you wrote here is so facile it doesn't really warrant a reply, but just to point out the most obvious bit of idiocy about it:

Hunter S Thompson is dead. Mr_Crash_Davis has decided not to post to Metafilter anymore. The difference in gravity between these two events is equivalent to the difference between me telling you I think you're a moron and me killing you. That clear things up for you?

on preview: what jonmc said. Especially about where to stick that finger.
posted by gompa at 11:45 AM on February 21, 2005


no no no.

look at me.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:48 AM on February 21, 2005


no no no.

look at paris.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:58 AM on February 21, 2005


Think about this dios: when nofundy does his act that you hate so much, he does it in-thread.

You're here in an unrelated MeTa thread shitting on the carpet.

I'm impressed, tough guy.
posted by COBRA! at 12:02 PM on February 21, 2005


Well, guess a guy can't even compliment anyone here without petty arguments and insults ensuing. Maybe crash is right about the tenor of the website.

For what its worth: my compliments of mcd and my regret that he won't be posting here anymore isn't dependent on any friendship or affection from crash. I just think he is worthy of compliments, so I give them. In that respect, jonmc, its similar to the fact that you are complimenting HST and, in your own words, I am sure "he'd consider you a complete tool."


Cobra!: I'm not sure what you mean by "shitting on the carpet." I was complimenting the guy who said he was leaving. But why would I go into that lovefest thread in the blue and "shit on the carpet" by saying that I think HST was a loser? What good would that do?
posted by dios at 12:06 PM on February 21, 2005


Hmmm, I would have expected crash to come up with a more clever puppet account name than that.

I'm sure he would've.
the. matriarch's been around since the alex reynolds flameout thread, always in precisely the same tone of self-absorbed, flat, buoyant annoyingness.

I keep trying to hate theatrical matriarch, and failing.

it is really not hard. Really. You are in way too generous a mood. Are you on E or something :) ?
posted by mdn at 12:11 PM on February 21, 2005


What good would that do?

What good is it doing here?

You're not obliged to like HST, and if that thread was anything other than an obituary thread you'd be well within your rights to say that you think he's a tool. But it's just boorish, now.

And I think it is relevant that the man you are ostensibly complimenting would consider you a tool, since your posting behavior is in direct contradiction to crash's affable (if irascible and goofy) example. So, I think that your motive was not to lamen't crash's departure so much as use it as an opportunity to soapbox and draw attention to yourself.

jonmc, its similar to the fact that you are complimenting HST and, in your own words, I am sure "he'd consider you a complete tool."

You're a mindreader, now? I've never met the man, so I don't know what he'd think of me, and it dosen't really matter.
posted by jonmc at 12:14 PM on February 21, 2005


dios: Lots of people find a way to compliment M_C_D without offhandedly insulting someone that most of the site is actively mourning. But you chose to do both. Given how frequently you like to toss conversational grenades, I'd say that counts as shitting on the carpet.

If you didn't know that would piss a lot of people off unnecessarily, you're a lot dumber than you seem.
posted by COBRA! at 12:18 PM on February 21, 2005


mean spirited idiots aren't welcome in my fan club.

That is comedy gold for so many reasons.
posted by y2karl at 12:28 PM on February 21, 2005


Give it a rest, karl.
posted by jonmc at 12:32 PM on February 21, 2005


"Given how frequently you like to toss conversational grenades..."

Which is the current definition of the word troll. With regard to dios, it's apt.

Nevertheless, can we not have a catfight here? Please?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:33 PM on February 21, 2005


told ya
posted by amberglow at 12:53 PM on February 21, 2005


amberglow, that was priceless! kudos. And shame on gompa, jonmc & cobra! for responding to dios's idiotic comment, which deserved no reaction whatsoever.
posted by jonson at 1:08 PM on February 21, 2005


exactly so, jonson, amen...
posted by y2karl at 1:15 PM on February 21, 2005


Anyone needing proof of #1's new hands-off policy need look no further than this bleeding disaster of a thread: 364 comments and still open for business.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 1:20 PM on February 21, 2005


"told ya"

Speaking only for myself, my criticism of nofundy was not intended to be and should not have been interpreted as a defense of dios.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:23 PM on February 21, 2005


my told ya was a told ya, EB.
posted by amberglow at 1:59 PM on February 21, 2005


That is comedy gold for so many reasons.

y2karl, you just spoke about having limited time online. Why waste it grinding the jonmc axe? Save your bandwidth.
posted by cosmonik at 2:20 PM on February 21, 2005


Ethereal Bligh said (way back in the thread), "MeTa is even more this way, it's for the hard-core mefites and those who like to follow the drama.."

You pegged me. Though sometimes it gets tedious. The emotional crisis after emotional crisis and the public crybaby antics of so-called adults (not that that's what's going on here) gets too embarrassing for me to read.

I feel that public goodbye's are not entirely a call for an ego stroke, but more of a way to validate that there really is a community of some sort here and that people care if you leave. That's a nice feeling to have and I wouldn't want to deny that to anyone.

As to the reasons for mr_crash_davis leaving and the subsequent series of complaints regarding the direction and tone of the site, I have little to comment other than that I must be not reading as close as some of you have. Maybe I need to or maybe I need to make one of my rare posts, as it seems posting is a very real way to drive the direction of the site in the way you wish it to go. Considering, I don't have a problem with it right now...
posted by john at 2:41 PM on February 21, 2005


For the love of God, people, this thread is about to roll off the front page of MetaTalk! Can't we get another four or five self-immolations before it disappears?
posted by anapestic at 2:49 PM on February 21, 2005


Save your bandwidth.

Who shall grind the ax against the ax grinders and mean spirited fan clubs of one, then ? It was too hilarious to pass up--more proof irony is not dead. And, providentially, the bandwidth is ample today.
posted by y2karl at 3:13 PM on February 21, 2005


this thread's gone on for far too long. I'll be closing it now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:54 PM on February 21, 2005


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