Web 2.0 detectives on MetaFilter July 2, 2005 3:48 PM   Subscribe

If you ever find yourself trying to explain what Web 2.0 is all about, here's a quiet, excellent example you can point to. A random web user encounters a breaking news story about a man accused of kidnapping, (apparently) did some rudimentary searching, used a free and useful web archive and search tool, and pointed any interested parties within a certain community of web users to a cached version of the suspect's weblog, which reveals a wealth of interesting if chilling information that moves the narrative of our knowledge forward long before any word of it reaches common news aggregators. Once the new information is there, some chafe is posted but more wheat is added to the story. It may all end up being hooey-- not the weblog of the suspect. But this example of normal people using freely available tools to contribute to the collective knowledge will remain.
posted by juggernautco to MetaFilter-Related at 3:48 PM (34 comments total)

i heard about his website from the police conference hours before the thread appeared and had already looked through the blog and google, just as every other bored nerd probably did.
posted by puke & cry at 3:56 PM on July 2, 2005

web 2.0 - another bunch of self-serving horseshit. normal people using ordinary web tools and calling it something new. utter horseshit.
posted by quonsar at 3:59 PM on July 2, 2005

Man, I wonder how it must feel to be as jaded and cynical as you guys. Me, I'm on a renewed sincerity trip after seeing Bob Geldof cuddle with a healthy and now grown-up African girl today.

I have faith in humanity. I do.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:33 PM on July 2, 2005

*Thinks: Is this going to be worth getting some popcorn for?*
posted by i_cola at 4:56 PM on July 2, 2005

doubt it
posted by puke & cry at 5:21 PM on July 2, 2005

All labels aside, 15 years ago, this kind of detective work wasn't within the grasp of every bored nerd out there, was it?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:30 PM on July 2, 2005

What did bored nerds do 15 years ago?

quonsar, care to fill us in?
posted by vacapinta at 7:26 PM on July 2, 2005

A fresh new buzzword paradigm. Hue the crying net dot hypesters hipsters.

mathowie, what detective work? What I've seen is like middle-schoolers editorializing on graffiti from a toilet stall. "He says he rolls his sh** in little balls! What a psychopomp!"
posted by davy at 7:29 PM on July 2, 2005

Watching tv and using google is hardly detective work.
posted by puke & cry at 7:31 PM on July 2, 2005

whappa. between logging onto BBS's.
posted by quonsar at 7:44 PM on July 2, 2005

logging onto BBS's
Oh, that's what they used to call it...
posted by wendell at 9:11 PM on July 2, 2005

I resent the categorizing of the best comment in the thread as "chafe".
posted by jonson at 9:20 PM on July 2, 2005

I flagged that comment as fantastic, and it was. Hardly chafe.
posted by puke & cry at 9:31 PM on July 2, 2005

TwelveTwo's comment didn't make sense to me. (Neither did it chafe me, though, but I bet that's because as a precaution I always sprinkle baby powder on my thighs before reading Metafilter.) Can someone explain it?
posted by TimeFactor at 9:42 PM on July 2, 2005

Excuse me folks, do you mean "chaff" as in something comparatively worthless or "chafe" as in irritate or abrade?

I mean, there's plenty of both around here...
posted by wendell at 9:48 PM on July 2, 2005

People claim to find body parts in various restaurant meals, usually falsely in order to scam restaurants out of money. A recent one involved someone finding a finger in Denny's chili.
posted by puke & cry at 9:52 PM on July 2, 2005

I don't mean to nitpick (oh, yes I do), but p&c, that was Wendy's chili (however, I was surprised and relieved to discover that MeFi had not had a NewsFilter FPP about it).
posted by wendell at 10:15 PM on July 2, 2005

that's not really a nitpick since it's the completely wrong eating establishment. I could have sworn there was a denny's chili incident, but I can't find anything on it so there you go.
posted by puke & cry at 10:26 PM on July 2, 2005

There's been a publicized incident since the Wendy's finger-scam. I don't recall it being a Denny's, though.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:56 PM on July 2, 2005

Jeez, wendell, your sole function in this thread has been to correct our errors ("chafe/chaf" "Wendy's/Dennys"). Why don't you go find less mistake prone people to pick on, huh???
posted by jonson at 12:11 AM on July 3, 2005

So, is this Web 2.0 still in beta? Is there a Linux version?
posted by Jimbob at 4:13 AM on July 3, 2005

I misspelled "chaff" (thanks Wendell), as in "separate the wheat from the chaff", as in some comments serve to improve knowledge on the subject and some do not. I do like the unintentional connotation of "chafe", as in pain, however.

As to the buzzword buzz, I don't see a problem using new words and phrases, illuminated by concrete real-world examples, to describe complex concepts.

And the thing about the detective work behind the FPP is that is was easy, not that it was hard. And it was easy because there are huge amounts of free/ cheap software (Blogger, Google, MeFi, Archive.org) and huge amounts of content contributors (suspect/ blogger, MeFi member, suspect/ blogger nephew, commenters) who are both reading and writing the internet at the same time, improving communal knowledge etc. God bless the internet etc.
posted by juggernautco at 5:23 AM on July 3, 2005

*leans over in Chair7.3, expels Fart9.6*
posted by quonsar at 6:46 AM on July 3, 2005

I'm holding out until I get my Quonsar 2.0
posted by jcterminal at 11:12 AM on July 3, 2005

jcterminal, I hope you realize that Quonsar 2.0 is a rip-off of The World Famous Original quonsar (which is now up to version 42.37)
posted by wendell at 2:54 PM on July 3, 2005

Oh, damn, there I go, correcting again..
posted by wendell at 2:55 PM on July 3, 2005


Yup, quonsar. Totally worth the $250 upgrade.
posted by graventy at 3:35 PM on July 3, 2005

"He says he rolls his sh** in little balls! What a psychopomp!"

OK, this thread is now officially Worth It.

MetaTalk: What a psychopomp!
posted by languagehat at 3:53 PM on July 3, 2005

Someone recently found a finger in a salad, I forget where, but it was legit.
posted by delmoi at 5:15 PM on July 4, 2005

Also, yeah 15 years ago this wouldn't have been possible. 10 years ago, it would be, which is why calling this "web 2.0" is BS.

We could have "altavistad" to his "homepage" rather then "googling" his "blog".
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on July 4, 2005

I have faith in humanity. I do.
That's OK - you'll learn. One day.
posted by dg at 5:32 PM on July 4, 2005

"more chafe than wheat" is a keeper, too, LH.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:42 PM on July 4, 2005

Shit, I haven't even finished reading Web 1 yet! How am I supposed to keep up?
posted by dg at 8:27 PM on July 4, 2005

posted by quonsar at 2:56 PM on July 12, 2005

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