Editorial posts and how to make them better May 6, 2005 4:40 AM   Subscribe

What does peacay's comment mean on this thread I just posted to MetaFilter. I'm relatively new and naive to MeFi and would appreciate an explanation. Also, I used HTML formatting in the latter linked post. Why was it stripped from my thread?
posted by sjvilla79 to MetaFilter-Related at 4:40 AM (25 comments total)

Wow, you're actually in meta. If only I'd looked before posting in the blue. Oh well.

It means your post was terrible, and it was. I'm unsure how to elaborate this to you, beyond the first very simple fact: a search for "corby" revealed the double. Not even the URL or anything, just the simple bare and most plainly obvious search. The fact that you're mystified as to how your wording is over the top really stumps me, though.

Look.

You had Your Opinion. Which is fine, everyone needs opinions. And you gathered your evidence, which is great. Everyone should know what they're talking about. And then you went "Dear Metafilter, you will now read my opinion." At the very least, you ought to post the bare information and then go "and here's my take on this" inside the thread in the form of a comment.

K? K.
posted by kavasa at 4:54 AM on May 6, 2005


I really didn't mean to come across so opinionated. Looking back, though, I can see I've gone over the top a bit. Thanks for your honesty, Kavasa. I appreciate the comments. I still don't think my post is irrelevant to MetaFilter though. It's newsworthy. But honestly I didn't mean to ram it down your throats. I'm happy I thought out my response here, too.
posted by sjvilla79 at 5:06 AM on May 6, 2005


Newsworthy isn't the standard for appropriate to Metafilter.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:13 AM on May 6, 2005


sjvilla79 -- without meaning to be harsh on you at all (the subject is an interesting one, you provided a fair number of links to flesh out your post), some lessons to be taken away are these:

-Long posts on the front page are irksome to many -- if you have a lot to say on a subject as you introduce it, consider the "more inside" strategy.

-Ditto front-page posts which stray too far from presenting the info/links necessary and get into the posters extended thought on the subject. This isn't (mostly) about being "too opinionated" -- it's about controlling the signal-to-noise ratio on the main page. I wouldn't want anyone to think they shouldn't express opinions. But the threads are better than the FP for that.

-Two long posts on the same news story within a week or so of one another are where the overkill really lies. Many of us don't mind the link to a news-oriented item (if it comes with sufficient background to make it a bit richer than a headline), but the front page of MeFi suffers when the urge to follow the story's development (whether that's a single poster's interest, or even multiple posters) makes it into something akin to a wire-service printout. Even if (and here's my main point) it's in your view newsworthy.

If one is fired up to provide the details of a particular story, that's an excellent thing to do on one's own blog -- and since you've got one, there's nothing stopping you.

All just IMHO. Thanks for listening.
posted by BT at 5:25 AM on May 6, 2005


I have no other opinion to express.
posted by peacay at 5:32 AM on May 6, 2005


I am satisfied with all your responses. Thanks BT and peacay for the additional clarification on this topic.
posted by sjvilla79 at 5:42 AM on May 6, 2005


A lot of us dislike newsfilter, so anytime you post a standard news story that everyone has heard elsewhere, you will get some criticism. But others love newsfilter, and a certain level of it seems to be a part of #1's vision for the site.
posted by LarryC at 6:33 AM on May 6, 2005


Why can't front-page posts be opinionated? MetaFilter is a weblog, not a news organization. It's what weblogs do well. Editorialising at length on the front page is clearly not desirable, but a distinct perspective is no bad thing so long as the post is intelligent and provides a decent link or two.

I haven't read this post, by the way. I am talking generally.
posted by nthdegx at 6:34 AM on May 6, 2005


If you're talking about "*looks for signal*", that's in reference to the mathowie signal; similar to the batsignal that was used to summon batman in times of need, the mathowie signal summons The 1 in times of needed thread-pruning. No one has ever seen it and lived to tell the tale.
posted by odinsdream at 7:02 AM on May 6, 2005


nthdegx, this is/was editorializing at length.
posted by graventy at 7:06 AM on May 6, 2005


odinsdream, I thought it was a reference to the signal/noise ratio. Too much noise, not enough signal.
posted by graventy at 7:07 AM on May 6, 2005


To add to odinsdream's helpful comment, one of the interesting things about the mathowie signal is its near-constant pairing with the anti-mathowie noise. In fact, it is rumored that this noise, rather than the mathowie signal, is what causes the never-having-seen-it-and-lived-to-tell-the-tale aspect of the mathowie signal itself. Even more interesting, the strength of the mathowie signal is usually measured not in lumens or other such brightness-values, but rather by the ratio of the mathowie signal compared to the noise. On preview, what graventy said so eloquently.
posted by nobody at 7:15 AM on May 6, 2005


I'm with [apologetic] sjvilla79 on this, things are not looking good. I don't know Corby from a bar of soap but jeez. Cut some slack here, sjvilla79 has their heart in the right place.
posted by tellurian at 7:20 AM on May 6, 2005


Hmm...

Well, I have to wonder, is more then one article on a developing news story really that bad? We certanly had more then one post about the Iraq war.

The only real problem was that this story didn't seem to contain any new, previously unseen, information about the case.
posted by delmoi at 7:28 AM on May 6, 2005


PEACAY AT GMAIL DOT COM
posted by naxosaxur at 7:29 AM on May 6, 2005


This thread was useful, but the thread in the FPP was even more so.

pecay's comment was pure gold.

A good example of how criticism is supposed to work.
posted by warbaby at 7:30 AM on May 6, 2005


nthdegx, this is/was editorializing at length.

Fine -- which is why I wasn't talking about this post.
posted by nthdegx at 7:38 AM on May 6, 2005


MehTehFilter. There have been/will be far worse/more opinionated/less substantiated FPPs than this.
posted by nyterrant at 9:47 AM on May 6, 2005


MehTeh Filter! Very clever, nyterrant.
posted by Specklet at 10:44 AM on May 6, 2005


"looks for signal"

what?
posted by signal at 10:46 AM on May 6, 2005


Why can't front-page posts be opinionated?

Well, they can be. But this is often the result.
posted by Witty at 11:36 AM on May 6, 2005


Dammit, sjvilla79's being all rational and patient. Now how are we supposed to pile on and turn this thread into another img-filled MeTa flame-fest if you're being so civilized?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:43 AM on May 6, 2005


*fires up flamethrower, closes eyes, spins*
posted by languagehat at 5:19 PM on May 6, 2005


"We certanly had more then one post about the Iraq war. "

And this is somehow an example of a good thing?
posted by majick at 5:30 PM on May 6, 2005


There have been/will be far worse/more opinionated/less substantiated FPPs than this.

Your point being?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:42 PM on May 6, 2005


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