During the 2016 US election cycle, we experimented with moving US politics discussion to a catch-all megathread model: focusing almost all discussion of the topic to large omnibus threads posted every week or two. The resulting megathreads have been a valued thing for many people, and a lot of work and care has gone into them from posters and commenters to try and help them be a functional part of the MeFi posting mix. But the threads have always posed significant challenges, and the time has come when we need to make a fundamental change. [more inside]
"Life is like politics: 10% getting things done. 90% exploiting loopholes." That's the summary of a classic Peanuts strip, now colorized. This is the latest hyucking hyuck thread.
While catching up with the latest politics megathread, I was surprised to see this mod note from LobsterMitten: [Note about post drafts - putting here so people will see it, but happy to talk it over more in email, will email some of the recent posters. Please keep the posts on the shorter side, maybe 1000 words or that neighborhood. Thanks.] As a longtime crafter of megaposts, I don't think I've ever seen official mod guidance to cut them (relatively) short in this way. Posts have been edited for leaving too much above the fold, but I can think of only a handful of incidents where the post body itself got official pushback for being Too Long -- and those largely involved novella-sized posts with length-induced display errors (really) or blanket copy-pasting a website's contents. Is LobsterMitten's advice targeted at the political megathreads only -- perhaps for performance reasons -- or should it be construed more broadly? I happen to think a well-organized megapost is the best of MeFi and a feature few vid- and listicle-driven sites can match, and in the case of the politics threads specifically they're a fine example of community collaboration that provide a valuable curated record of this chaotic era. But what do you think?
So our first experimental Hyucking Hyuck thread worked out pretty well, and then a month went by and it closed. So: here we are with round two! This is a dedicated space for riffing and jokes, designed in particular to take some strain of the overcrowded US politics catch-all threads. [more inside]
From M-x shell on the most current megathread: "Request to admins to just have weekly or even daily resets of the megathread. Not wait for a user to make them, just make them automatically and close previous ones. I don't need another recap of links every time. Each thread should just have a link to previous one at the top and link to next one at the bottom." [more inside]
Please help me track down the various links people have posted in the MeFi politics megathread that argue that general, across-the-board voter turnout is the key to defeating Republicans in elections. [more inside]
Hey folks, big discussion time. We're going to be making some changes on how U.S. political discussion plays out on MetaFilter, to try and make sure it remains available as a useful resource in a way that isn't as unsustainable as the current approach has been. I’ll lay out some concrete steps we’re taking, and some general thoughts, below. This is detailed but important and I appreciate you taking the time to read through it. [more inside]
The biggest change in the way that mefites participate on the blue in years has been the rise of US politics megathreads. We have had several discussions of the qualitative impact of them, but it occurred to me that it might be useful to dig into the infodump and see what quantitative picture might emerge. I think my findings are worth sharing - while a quantitative analysis on its own can't tell us whether the megathreads are a good thing or not, there are several negative trends regarding community engagement and participation that are happening in close concurrency with the rise of the megathreads. [more inside]