Proposal: MetaSoapbox. July 19, 2005 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Proposal: MetaSoapbox.

It seems that there's a lot of angsty energy being expended trying to keep people from using the blue, and even more so askmefi and metatalk, to get their polemical selves all wound up, announcing their latest charge-the-windmill initiatives, etc., etc. , etc.

While this all for the good, I can't help but think that there's often nothing better on the Internet than a good polemic, particularly a funny or provocative one, and no better place for it than here, where it's not all preaching to the choir.

I know that some people might say "that's what your own damn blog is for" but knowing that a stupid or impetuous soapbox effort will be laughed down (or, worse, ignored) can motivate and discipline a lot higher quality product than a typical blog.

And I'm not really thinking of politics as the exclusive subject, either. Lots of other subjects. All of you who labor in anonymity, striving to promote your Rant and Rave to Best of Craigslist, here's your chance to shine!
posted by MattD to Feature Requests at 7:39 PM (25 comments total)


This would be wildly abused, and even the most well-intentioned people would lack the perspective necessary to make such a suggestion work. better place for it than here, where it's not all preaching to the choir.

Wait, what? MetaFilter may not be entirely politically homogeneous, but it's very, very close.
posted by gd779 at 7:46 PM on July 19, 2005

MetaFlamewar? We have plenty, thanks.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:48 PM on July 19, 2005

I think giving people an outlet is a good idea, but why would anyone read the posts if they knew ahead of time it was just a rant?
posted by slimslowslider at 7:53 PM on July 19, 2005

Well, just fuck all of you elitist bastards then.

What? It's not operational yet?
posted by yhbc at 8:11 PM on July 19, 2005

Once a week (or a month) caps could do a lot to curb abuse.

And I think that the flamewar quotient could be low. What seems to spark flamewars elsewhere in MeFi is the (infuriating) statement as obvious and factual what is actually a contentious, subjective, and/or outright biased assertion. When the bias is obvious and the subjectivity taken as a given, who needs to flame?

And people read rants because they're provocative and often funny! I think I'd turn to MetaSoapbox first on many days in the same way I usually read the OpEd section before I read anything else in the paper besides the above-the-fold ledes...
posted by MattD at 8:15 PM on July 19, 2005

...nothing better on the Internet than a good polemic

I can't be the only one who read this as 'colonic'?
posted by cedar at 8:31 PM on July 19, 2005

MattD, what the hell are you saying?



posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:09 PM on July 19, 2005

Does this involve wearing a t-shirt at a coffee shop? 'Cause I can do that, if that's the level of commitment this takes.
posted by Rothko at 9:27 PM on July 19, 2005

I prefer my MetaChat without the polemics and flamewars, thanks.
posted by me3dia at 9:34 PM on July 19, 2005

Actually, MetaChat might be ideal for this - bring on your rants and angst, polish your polemics and get your soapbox out.

You will receive an appropriate combination of the following: Mocking laughter; stunned silence; confused stares; whole-hearted agreement; applause; mild disagreement; derailing of the thread into a conversation about Led Zeppelin.

It mostly depends on how drunk the inhabitants of MetaChat are at the time, really.
posted by dg at 9:40 PM on July 19, 2005

Hah, dg is polishing his polemic.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:44 PM on July 19, 2005

And bunnies. Don't forget the bunnies, dg.
posted by deborah at 9:46 PM on July 19, 2005

yet some of them are frighteningly sober
no matter what they are on
posted by philida at 10:03 PM on July 19, 2005

posted by davy at 10:19 PM on July 19, 2005

We already have a soapbox. It's blue.

The fact that the admins have not publicly admonished or banned ParisParamus is proof that it is considered acceptable behaviour to spew any sort of bile on the blue. Feel free to troll, lie, or make personal insults. All of these are clearly allowed at this point in time.
posted by mosch at 11:11 PM on July 19, 2005

GroinPuncher: home of full-contact conversation.
posted by scarabic at 12:41 AM on July 20, 2005

someone's mileage will vary

posted by philida at 12:47 AM on July 20, 2005

I agree with mosch.

I don't think that this would help people be better contributers to the community as a whole (by giving them an outlet) but rather, encourage people (even more) to cultivate "polemic" personalities and feed their ever-growing egos at the expense of MetaFilter. Even if at first the hey-everybody-look-at-me crap that we've seen on the blue, gray and, sadly, green is transferred to this new "soap box" it will inevitably spill over to the rest of MetaFilter.

In my opinion this type of behavior should be curtailed, not encouraged.
posted by sic at 1:55 AM on July 20, 2005

btw, metachat has the best shoutouts ever, at any meetup that ever happened, from now until the end of time.

Good, yes, but beaten hands down (so to speak) by a certain cowboy_sally shoutout to yours truly from 9622 a long while back. I still quiver to think of it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:16 AM on July 20, 2005

I still quiver to think of it.
.... and the rest of us can see this where?
posted by dg at 5:37 AM on July 20, 2005

Best shoutout ever? Behold the glory of jonmc.
posted by ColdChef at 6:03 AM on July 20, 2005

That's not the best, that's the worst. You're saying you'd rather see jonmc's leaky napkin? Dude.
posted by loquacious at 11:10 AM on July 20, 2005

what the? holy shit. who is this?

There ain't nothing like a dame, but that is very much like a Dame.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:26 PM on July 20, 2005

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