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Just because the comic hasn't been funny since 2007 doesn't mean this isn't at least kind of neat
October 5, 2010 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Randall Munroe of xkcd has created a second, updated Map of Online Communities. (His first map.) You can find MeFi Island in the Troll Bay, just off the coast of Twitter.

For those of you reading this on your phone, the alt-text says: Best trivia I learned while working on this: 'Man, Farmville is so huge! Do you realize it's the second-biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the WORLD?' Then you wait for the listener to do a double-take.
posted by phunniemee (132 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
I guess we as a community didn't kiss his behind enough.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 PM on October 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


We're next to slashdot? Can we get us some better neighbors please?
posted by zachlipton at 10:06 PM on October 5, 2010


I guess we as a community didn't kiss his behind enough.

Nah, we're about the same size as BoingBoing.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:07 PM on October 5, 2010


We're only half the size of Sarah Palin's Twitter account. How depressing.
posted by John Cohen at 10:08 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I seriously want to print this out and start playing Risk.
posted by BurN_ at 10:09 PM on October 5, 2010 [36 favorites]


I'm personally a fan of the crater in craigslist labeled "former site of adult services".
posted by kthxbi at 10:10 PM on October 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wow, the social networking sites on the 2007 map ... I know Facebook's been rising and MySpace has been declining, but was Classmates.com really bigger than Facebook in 2007?
posted by John Cohen at 10:11 PM on October 5, 2010


Was Classmates.com really bigger than Facebook in 2007?

When did Facebook become available to everyone? I guess Classmates.com sort of was Facebook for non-students back then.
posted by phunniemee at 10:13 PM on October 5, 2010


Well, that'll make explaining to other people what MetaFilter is a breeze. I'll just unroll this map on a nearby flat surface and point. That should explain it all.
posted by Kattullus at 10:13 PM on October 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


XKCD had a comic a few days ago that I'd like to see posted in every AskMe dating question that invokes "The Rules."
posted by John Cohen at 10:14 PM on October 5, 2010 [12 favorites]


When did Facebook become available to everyone? I guess Classmates.com sort of was Facebook for non-students back then.

Wikipedia says:
Facebook launched a high school version in September 2005... Facebook later expanded membership eligibility to employees of several companies, including Apple Inc. and Microsoft.[39] Facebook was then opened on September 26, 2006, to everyone of ages 13 and older with a valid e-mail address.
posted by John Cohen at 10:16 PM on October 5, 2010


There are a lot of unnamed provinces. Merchandising appeal -- DIY?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:17 PM on October 5, 2010


I'm loving the subtle commentary -- the cratered remains of the Craigslist adult section, Google Voice preparing to invade Skype, and the rush of "lifeboats" leaving Digg for Reddit.

It looks like a lot of the territories are based on real countries -- I spy Sulawesi to the center-left, and a bunch of the others look sorta familiar.

Also, is there a bigger version anywhere? Even the enlarged map here has unreadable captions at the smallest level.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:17 PM on October 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like the Breaking! Waves on the coast on Twitter.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 10:18 PM on October 5, 2010


I'm loving the subtle commentary...

Notice the lava pool in Facebook.
posted by John Cohen at 10:29 PM on October 5, 2010


Rhaomi: hopefully this is large enough for you.
posted by phooky at 10:35 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think it's weird that the Isle of Teenagers Who Just Discovered Macroeconomics is over by YouTube instead of somewhere in the Bay of Flame (probably near Libertarian Isle).
posted by hattifattener at 10:36 PM on October 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


Insightful as usual. The GT invasion, also the placement of politicians general engagement quality, and understanding that twitter is a means, not an end, it isn't "technology, see, I'm on it!

I also like how slashdot "/." looks like a map symbol for a defensive line.. and how /. shelters mefi from digg expeditionary forces waves...
Look closely at reddit, I see them attacking Via our flank.
posted by infinite intimation at 10:36 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


So mefi is an archipelago. That sounds about right.

On the map mefi is about the same area size as fok.nl and bokt.nl!
bokt.nl appears to be a Dutch language site about horses. (not fok.nl though, hihi)
Given the relative size of the Dutch language population compared to the English language audience this seems to imply that mefi is really, really marginal within the English language internet.

(US+UK+AUS) : NL hippomaniacs :: 380 million : 17 million/30?
posted by joost de vries at 10:37 PM on October 5, 2010


hihi -> heehee
posted by joost de vries at 10:38 PM on October 5, 2010


Metafilter: slightly larger than Free Republic on a cartoon map.
posted by sanko at 10:42 PM on October 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


rhaomi: I'm loving the subtle commentary -- the cratered remains of the Craigslist adult section, Google Voice preparing to invade Skype, and the rush of "lifeboats" leaving Digg for Reddit.

And 4chan looking like cock and balls (growing up frequently looking at maps of Scandinavia has trained me to spot that cartographical configuration everywhere).
posted by Kattullus at 10:42 PM on October 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


FYI, he also has a mobile version now, with a clickable link to show the alt text.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:45 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha! Isle of 4chan is a dong!

Also, what the hell is Happy Farm? The biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the world? How have I never heard of this?
posted by m0nm0n at 10:49 PM on October 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Taringa, studiVZ (and not studiovz as Randall has it on the map), Badoo, Skyrock.. so much of the internet has been completely unknown to me!

I also loved finding Gondolin on the map.
posted by vidur at 10:49 PM on October 5, 2010


I enjoyed the Duckface and Red Cup Mountain ranges in Facebook.
posted by sharkfu at 10:50 PM on October 5, 2010


Yeah, there's a ton of little jokes if you zoom in, like the Facebook privacy controls being located in the middle of a lava pool or the deserted Rick Rolling Hills of Youtube.

As to MeFi being so small, that's a perfect demonstration of quality over quantity.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:11 PM on October 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


The size of land masses is supposedly based on a combination of factors: traffic, content, membership, frequency of mentions on on Facebook walls, the New York Times, TechCrunch and Oprah. Or something. With a margin of error for Randall's ability to manage a "20,000 line spreadsheet" which is probably on OpenOffice. All things considered, I like the size of MetaFilter; just big enough to wrap my virtual arms around on a daily basis (although I never get caught up to AskMe and only engage with it sparingly). Any bigger a deal in the Internet Universe and it'd outgrow "community" as most of the other islands near us have. But come on, Randall, "Troll Bay"? Not even Fark deserves that... much.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:14 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess happy farm is popular in China: ‘Happy Farms’ Game Destroys Chinese Jobs, Relationships
posted by delmoi at 11:16 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Worth pointing out that the map from 2007 was gauging relative size of the userbase, whereas the map from 2010 was gauging relative "activity levels". So even if there are a lot more people on MeFi than there are on bokt.nl, if Dutch horse-lovers post about as frequently as we do, then our sizes should be comparable.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 11:21 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ozymandias: Friend of Friends. Brill.
posted by dhartung at 11:22 PM on October 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of mathowie,
This other BoingBoing, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by the hivemind for itself
Against boredom and the hand of spam,
This happy breed of folks, this little world,
This precious stone set in the green,
Which serves it in the office of a five dollar wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier blogs,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this Mefi!
posted by Kevin Street at 11:25 PM on October 5, 2010 [27 favorites]


Sarah Palin can see Russia from there.

Usenet, still there, still sinking.

Facebook should be surrounded by The Great Wall of Google Invisibility .. that is, if Google is successful because it indexs the Internet, and if the majority of people are doing their work and stuff on Facebook these days, and Google can't index Facebook content, Google is in trouble.
posted by stbalbach at 11:50 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless I missed it, he completely forgot Minecraft.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:01 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's underground, duh.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:09 AM on October 6, 2010 [20 favorites]


I don't known whether to be happy or sad that we aren't in the Bay of Grammar Pedantry.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:18 AM on October 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


I meant *know*.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:19 AM on October 6, 2010 [31 favorites]


I like how he acknowledges how much of LiveJournal traffic is provided by ONTD, but if he's going to subdivide LJ in such a manner, then where's the slashfic section? Those fanfic islands should be merged with the larger LJ landmass.

</nitpick>
posted by stannate at 12:35 AM on October 6, 2010


BrotherCaine, your two comments made me snort. Ha!
posted by youngergirl44 at 12:42 AM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kanye's Isle of Sadness sounds more like prophecy than satire.
posted by minifigs at 12:52 AM on October 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Nice to see MeFi represented. Although I'm having an interesting time parsing Free Republic being between Reddit and Fark.
posted by brundlefly at 12:57 AM on October 6, 2010


jsnlxndrlv, so your hypothesis is that Dutch horse lovers are a few orders of magnitude more internet obsessive on average than mefites.

How long have you been on mefi?
Wouldn't horse people need to go out and ride their horses and groom them etc?
posted by joost de vries at 1:03 AM on October 6, 2010


I just love this So Much. And especially how the whole map is in relation to spoken language. It's just endlessly amusing. Go internet!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:50 AM on October 6, 2010


joost de vries, if they've actually got horses, they wouldn't be talking about them on the internet - too busy doing exactly as you suggest.

Much like most people on supercar forums don't actually own a Ferrari or Lamborghini, I don't reckon all of the Dutch hippomaniacs own or have access to horses.
posted by Dysk at 2:00 AM on October 6, 2010


XKCD had a comic a few days ago that I'd like to see posted in every AskMe dating question that invokes "The Rules."

Alas, this proposal would never work, as it'd involve getting two predators to prey on each other.
posted by acb at 2:38 AM on October 6, 2010


I like how he acknowledges how much of LiveJournal traffic is provided by ONTD, but if he's going to subdivide LJ in such a manner, then where's the slashfic section? Those fanfic islands should be merged with the larger LJ landmass.

Not to mention the Russian section (which is much more polished and healthy than the Anglophone section; LJ has never been countercultural there). The English-language section, of course, should be shown in the process of mass exodus to Dreamwidth.
posted by acb at 2:43 AM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


So we're in Troll Bay, not The Blogosphere. We haven't been trying hard enough. Or some people have been trying too hard...
posted by Jimbob at 2:49 AM on October 6, 2010


I also loved finding Gondolin on the map.

Morgoth also did.

posted by ersatz at 3:37 AM on October 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's clever. He's managed to make something that will get every social community mentioned to link to it. His hit counter must go completely into orbit every time he makes a new map.
posted by crunchland at 3:55 AM on October 6, 2010 [16 favorites]


acb, the Russian bit of LJ is over there *points to the south end of Twitter* where Sarah Palin can see it out of her window.

stannate, the teenytiny fragmented archipelago of fanfic is a pretty accurate thing - these days it's not all posted on LJ, there are eleventyone fandom-specific or even pairing-specific archives, as well as personal archives and people posting at AO3 or whatever, but a lot of them still post on LJ to tell other people that they've posted a story somewhere else. Not that I know anything about fanfiction....

and I still haven't spotted Gondolin, although I did get Sulawesi and the FB privacy controls.
posted by Lebannen at 4:06 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


No matter where you're located on the map, if you look up on a clear night, you can see a constellation that looks a little bit like two stick figures cavorting in a ball pit.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:12 AM on October 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


i love this map.
i am dismayed to learn that "hippomaniac" has nothing to do with hippos.
posted by janepanic at 4:19 AM on October 6, 2010


What is "Subspace" just to the right of MMO Isle?
posted by taz at 4:32 AM on October 6, 2010


Subspace: The Internet Game

Still searching for Gondolin...anyone seen Maeglin around here anywhere?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:45 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't get half of it but this is why XKCD is in my Google Reader: most of the time he surprises me from a new angle or from a territory I have barely read about.
Mapping suits him very well because he is basically an explorer who is blessed with a quirky sense of wonder.
Thanks, Randall, for being on my map.
posted by bru at 4:49 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


ahhhh the river grind and spawn camp. Yes, I know them well.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:59 AM on October 6, 2010


I guess the update makes this obsolete then?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:15 AM on October 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


So I have to log in to ask: WTF is "QQ"?
posted by DU at 5:29 AM on October 6, 2010


My blog is somewhere in the Sea of Zero (0) Comments. But Yay! Metafilter.
posted by tommasz at 5:32 AM on October 6, 2010


Holy shit, Subspace is still around, and people are making new clients for it? Wow.
posted by enn at 5:36 AM on October 6, 2010


Thanks, AElfwine!

QQ is a popular Chinese IM client, apparently.
posted by taz at 5:40 AM on October 6, 2010


I half-hoped to see the smoldering remains of All Points Bulletin off the coast of MMO Isle. They're still selling it to clueless customers at Target, I found out yesterday.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 6:06 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This other BoingBoing Plastic, demi-paradise,
posted by octobersurprise at 6:07 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Mommy blogs" are the only thing I can think of that's conspicuously missing. Though if he's mostly reading tech & politic blogs, he's not really in their target demographic, so I can forgive it. Still, they're EVERYWHERE.

Yes, I even have a mommy-to-be-blog. I am such a cliché.
posted by sonika at 6:08 AM on October 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yes, I even have a mommy-to-be-blog.

Your blog is going to give birth? Do blogs mate, or is it like an asexual thing?
posted by Think_Long at 6:25 AM on October 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Unless I missed it, he completely forgot Minecraft.

I was thinking about that; I imagine him starting to work on this update predates Minecraft being a thing of the Internet. I'm curious how much of MMO Isle it would already take up at this point.

Also I'd never even heard of Subspace and assumed he was making a Scott Pilgrim joke. I can't decide if that makes me too old or not old enough.
posted by jackflaps at 6:37 AM on October 6, 2010


Yikes. Is Skype really bigger than any of the other IM networks combined?

(Also, Bebo should move from the Regional Bay to the Euro Gulf, with Orkut butted up firmly against the shores of the Regional Bay...)
posted by schmod at 6:46 AM on October 6, 2010


miscellaneous (blog) is getting big. what kind of online community is that?
posted by metafus at 6:49 AM on October 6, 2010


Skype has become a verb. Soon it will become self-aware. Then pancakes!
posted by Mister_A at 6:57 AM on October 6, 2010


Wonder why Andrew Sullivan doesn't show up among the conservative blogs? He seems like sort of staple reading there. (Though actually he should probably be a little boat, drifting around the general area.)

So I have to log in to ask: WTF is "QQ"?

So glad someone else asked this.
posted by torticat at 6:57 AM on October 6, 2010


Your blog is going to give birth? Do blogs mate, or is it like an asexual thing?

It's like worms. You cut them in half and get more blogs.
posted by sonika at 6:58 AM on October 6, 2010


QQ is like an emoticon. It is supposed to look like crying eyes. So, if someone says QQ to you, it means quit crying, quit whining, poor baby, etc.

If it is also an online community, I do not know...
posted by utsutsu at 7:19 AM on October 6, 2010


Oh
posted by utsutsu at 7:20 AM on October 6, 2010


I'm with BurN_. This would make a fabulous Risk board! Warfish allows for custom maps... hmmm.....
posted by lriG rorriM at 7:40 AM on October 6, 2010


I half-hoped to see the smoldering remains of All Points Bulletin off the coast of MMO Isle. They're still selling it to clueless customers at Target, I found out yesterday.

I remember seeing Tabula Rasa on store shelves after it closed, too. There needs to be a name for that: boxes for MMORPGs that die so fast they're still on store shelves days after the servers go dark.
posted by JHarris at 7:42 AM on October 6, 2010


1. He forgot [website].
2. What is [website]? Would searching for the name he listed help?
3. Repeat, as needed.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:46 AM on October 6, 2010


Unless I missed it, he completely forgot Minecraft.

Well, it's a map of online communities, not so much a map of online...stuff. (Notice that Farmville is a possession or territory of Facebook and not its own sovereign nation.) I don't know if you can really say there's a cohesive Minecraft community yet, as opposed to a handful of highly-populated forums dedicated to the game. I mean, is there a Land of WoW in there somewhere?
posted by Gator at 7:54 AM on October 6, 2010


People are still playing Final Fantasy XI? More people than are in Second Life? How depressing. At least SL is still bigger than, uh... CoH. Although I guess that's not saying much.
posted by cereselle at 8:01 AM on October 6, 2010


Oh, I see there is a land of WoW. Heh, totally missed that.
posted by Gator at 8:10 AM on October 6, 2010


"Mommy blogs" are the only thing I can think of that's conspicuously missing. Though if he's mostly reading tech & politic blogs, he's not really in their target demographic, so I can forgive it. Still, they're EVERYWHERE.

I noted that too. I was surprised that Dooce or Kottke don't have their own tiny islands somewhere, but I guess when compared to NYT or Huffington they're pretty small.
posted by anastasiav at 8:12 AM on October 6, 2010


I pity the dark, crushing void in the soul of anyone who honestly thinks xkcd hasn't been funny since 2007. This comic rocks.

(That said, "Troll Bay?" Mefites aren't THAT trollish...)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:26 AM on October 6, 2010


That MeFi map does need updating. There needs to be an isles of "What Is This Rash"? in Anon Bay and a Mount DTMFA in the RelationshipFilter Mountains.

PS: My favorite joke on the map? Maru Bay on YouTube Island.
posted by maryr at 8:34 AM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]



It's clever. He's managed to make something that will get every social community mentioned to link to it. His hit counter must go completely into orbit every time he makes a new map.


It's all part of his sinister plan to... to... you know!
posted by odinsdream at 8:37 AM on October 6, 2010


Nah, we're about the same size as BoingBoing.

Actually, we're the same size as BoingBoing appears in the Blogosphere inset. On the big map you can't even see a landmass for BB. Pretty flattering for MeFi actually.

So mefi is an archipelago. That sounds about right.

Well, it *should* be an archipelago but that other island is actually Slashdot (and the two other ones are actually the label "/."). I'm not sure why Randall thought we should be in such close proximity to that site. Interestingly, he put xkcd in the same general neighborhood as well. I don't see any other webcomics on there... shouldn't Penny Arcade at least have a presence?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:37 AM on October 6, 2010


Don't see TelevisionWithoutPity on there. Clearly a severe oversight.
posted by litnerd at 8:42 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is Foursquare on the map? Didn't see it.
posted by misha at 8:52 AM on October 6, 2010


I think it's time we expanded our territories!

I have the flags, who has the longboat?
posted by quin at 8:55 AM on October 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Foursquare shares an island with Latitude (what?) and Geocaching, just above the Twitter continent.
posted by Gator at 8:57 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wonder why Andrew Sullivan doesn't show up among the conservative blogs? He seems like sort of staple reading there. (Though actually he should probably be a little boat, drifting around the general area.)

He's always been "libertarian" more than "conservative," and he's drifted closer to "liberal." He supported Kerry and Obama. Maybe XKCD didn't know where to put him.
posted by John Cohen at 9:06 AM on October 6, 2010


The National Science Foundation is funding this map for real.*

Randall has been prescient before, with his bit about YouTube audio comments coming to life.

*Yes, I know it's a bit of a stretch, but the timing is uncanny.
posted by yiftach at 9:09 AM on October 6, 2010


I can't help but quip that when XKCD updated his map, everyone checked their site's position--except MeFi, which checked Boing Boing's.

Forgive me! I jest.

In all seriousness, because both of our sites use incrementing numbers for user IDs, it's not hard to figure out that in terms of raw numbers, MeFi' community is indeed larger: I can find registered users here with account numbers over 100,000 whereas at BB we're in the mid 90,000s.

And of course MeFi is inherently more 'communal' than BB in how it works, though we're obviously very proud of our own readers and contributors.
posted by beschizza at 9:11 AM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think "Troll Bay" might have been more accurately called "Aggregator Bay" or something of the like.

(Aggregation Bay sounds like somewhere in Canada or the Falklands to me for some reason...)
posted by maryr at 9:17 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Aggregation Bay sounds like somewhere in Canada or the Falklands to me for some reason...)

Named, undoubtedly, in honour of the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Aggregation...
posted by acb at 9:42 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gondolin hint: it's surrounded by mountains, of course. But every Tolkien fan already knew that, right?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:46 AM on October 6, 2010


In all seriousness, because both of our sites use incrementing numbers for user IDs, it's not hard to figure out that in terms of raw numbers, MeFi' community is indeed larger: I can find registered users here with account numbers over 100,000 whereas at BB we're in the mid 90,000s.

There aren't anywhere near 100,000 registered MetaFilter users though. Even leaving aside the issue of people with multiple accounts, there are gaps in the user numbering sequence. Among other reasons for this are people who started, but never completed the signup process. The latest Infodump shows us closing in on 49,700 user accounts, but the user numbers have gone past 116,700.

Is it similar over at BB or are most of the user numbers between 1 and 90,000 actually used?
posted by FishBike at 10:07 AM on October 6, 2010


posted by beschizza at 12:11 PM
::clicks posting history::

You have a Google alert setup for every time BoingBoing is mentioned on metafilter.

=]
posted by zephyr_words at 10:10 AM on October 6, 2010


The latest Infodump shows us closing in on 49,700 user accounts

...of which about 31400 have posted or commented in the last 3 months.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:41 AM on October 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


What a coincidence! I just got back from a vacation on Ping island.
posted by swift at 10:46 AM on October 6, 2010


I can't help but quip that when XKCD updated his map, everyone checked their site's position--except MeFi, which checked Boing Boing's.

Yes, I thought it was interesting too that Metafilter members (surprisingly to me, myself included) turn out not to care about being incredibly popular. I'd say it's comforting that MetaFilter members seem to be so intrinsically secure, you know, if it weren't for the BoingBoing thing. Heh.
posted by JHarris at 10:49 AM on October 6, 2010


I kind of hope his 2012 map is a two layered affair; social communities above ground, the tech communities responsible for building the infrastructure said communities rely upon underground.
posted by fido~depravo at 10:49 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love to see a Mefi-specific map, with territories (for blue, green, gray, etc), then states for topics with Mefites of note as governors or something.

No, I'm not going to make this.
posted by slogger at 10:58 AM on October 6, 2010


Somebody should (although maybe not with the naming of specific MeFites part). Like the Tar Pits of RelationshipFilter, the Red Fallows of Religion vs. Atheism, the Sea of SLYT, the Palin Archipelago, the Grotto of Gaga, the Bog of Eternal ElectionFilter, and the Desert of Deleted Threads.
posted by Gator at 11:09 AM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


In poring over this map, people are forgetting that MeFi is possibly the only site on the entire map that has ever purposely tried to keep its size down in order to maintain a greater sense of community.
posted by philipy at 11:12 AM on October 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Interestingly, he put xkcd in the same general neighborhood as well. I don't see any other webcomics on there... shouldn't Penny Arcade at least have a presence?

He put the xkcd IRC channel in with the IRC isles not xkcd the webcomic in with Troll Bay. Which I assume is just a shout-out to fans, or maybe a you are here button.
posted by edbles at 11:21 AM on October 6, 2010


If you were to make Mefi only map it would require a quickly expanding "No-Man's Land" containing Sarah Palin/Tea Party posts, I/P conflicts and everyone's favorite band surrounded by a moat patrolled by moderators and fierce cabbages.
posted by cyphill at 11:38 AM on October 6, 2010


it's not hard to figure out that in terms of raw numbers, MeFi' community is indeed larger: I can find registered users here with account numbers over 100,000

As others have pointed out, there haven't been 100,000 accounts to date, let alone 100,000 currently active users. When a website charges a fee for creating an account, that's going to lead to a lot of unfinished sign-ups for that website.
posted by John Cohen at 11:42 AM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


slogger, Gator, cyphill - Ends of Invention made a map. Whether or not it is up to date is in question.
posted by maryr at 12:19 PM on October 6, 2010


I remember seeing Tabula Rasa on store shelves after it closed, too. There needs to be a name for that: boxes for MMORPGs that die so fast they're still on store shelves days after the servers go dark.
posted by JHarris


At the FYE Games in Waterbury, CT they STILL have Tabula Rasa (The Collector's Edition!) on the shelves as of last week. I think it was $40. Of course they also have about 5-6 other dead MMOs too, so you need not be constrained in your choice of things you can't play.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:39 PM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm glad it's in as MeFi; no need to advertise. The meme pool is plenty crowded.
posted by theora55 at 12:45 PM on October 6, 2010


this seems to imply that mefi is really, really marginal within the English language internet


That's what I thought at first. Then I realized that tiny Metafilter must actually be one of the - if not the - most influential sites for its size.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:49 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm loving the subtle commentary

Yup, some great little touches.
posted by Artw at 12:56 PM on October 6, 2010


MySpace is so tiny now...
posted by Artw at 12:59 PM on October 6, 2010


"Is it similar over at BB or are most of the user numbers between 1 and 90,000 actually used?"

They are, but bear in mind that they're free, zero-friction registrations. Many people who register do it to comment on that one critical thing, and I'd bet only a portion have logged in more than once. I might figure out some database queries to calculate some interesting stats -- it's probably the sort of thing we should be doing anyway!

There are many more anonymous commenters, and the first thought is to not consider anons part of the 'community' at all. But anonymous often posts great stuff, so it's a bit of a conundrum.

One thing that we often forget is that the commenting constituency is dwarfed by orders of magnitude by the readership at large. Squeaky wheels get seen to one way or the other: the real challenge is in keeping our silent partners entertained.
posted by beschizza at 1:20 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You have a Google alert setup for every time BoingBoing is mentioned on metafilter.

=]"

Tempting! But I am a daily reader, even if I generally only pipe up to REPRESENT.
posted by beschizza at 1:23 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are the beanplaters keeping in mind that the first of his methods that he lists is "guesswork"?
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:31 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are the beanplaters keeping in mind that the first of his methods that he lists is "guesswork"?

We're just using guesswork too.
posted by John Cohen at 1:34 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


And we have actual plates for our beans.
posted by Gator at 1:40 PM on October 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


To people mentioning MeFi's userbase: this map, unlike the previous version, is about “social activity”, not community userbase. Possibly this favours twitter and youtube where interaction is cheaper, though IRC is still not very big.
posted by Tobu at 2:04 PM on October 6, 2010


Possibly this favours twitter and youtube where interaction is cheaper

And expectations are lower.
posted by John Cohen at 2:14 PM on October 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wonder why Andrew Sullivan doesn't show up among the conservative blogs?

It's a map of communities, not a map of blogs. Sullivan's blog doesn't have comments so I can't see that it constitutes a community in any real way. (Unless there's some major discussion site for Sullivan's blog that I'm unaware of.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2010


the real challenge is in keeping our silent partners entertained. I don't believe this is true at all. All the posts about Die Antwoord completely contradict that premise.
posted by crunchland at 4:25 PM on October 6, 2010


MySpace is so tiny now...

What's somewhat interesting to me is that, even though MySpace HAS lost significant amounts of traffic, it hasn't lost nearly as much as the different maps imply. Instead it's that everyone else has gotten so much bigger...
posted by flaterik at 1:51 AM on October 7, 2010


Does anyone have a link to a mirror of this? My workplace is against all things amusing and fun.
posted by almostmanda at 6:52 AM on October 7, 2010


Here it is mirrored on imgur.
posted by Tobu at 9:02 AM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Suckit, Something Awful...you can't claim you're the largest forum on the internet anymore!
posted by radioamy at 9:35 AM on October 7, 2010


Okay, so Randall Munroe decided he wanted to draw a map and write some internet words on it and now we get an fpp with over 100 comments how did this happen can somebody explain

seriously the map is just some random territories labeled with names of websites
posted by tehloki at 11:09 AM on October 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thank you for pointing that out.
posted by Gator at 11:10 AM on October 7, 2010


That MeFi is situated in Troll Bay is perfectly apt. Just observe how interactions on MeFi are generally of the form:

1. Get really annoyed about 1 line that someone wrote.
2. Even though the surrounding lines were perfectly reasonable and insightful, ignore all of those. Instead, type out a paragraph that shows how the commenter is stupid/clueless based on analysis of a single statement of theirs.
3. Wait for reply; repeat.
posted by polymodus at 2:56 PM on October 8, 2010


Gator (and I really hope that you were sarcastic because if you weren't none of this will be at all an appropriate response), it's not like I think this shouldn't be a post, well actually I do think I'd prefer that it wasn't because single webcomic updates are usually kind of non-notable and xkcd has been posted before but it's up to the community mods to decide if something is past the significance threshhold for an fpp but anyway my main reason for reacting with disbelief is the sheer amount of discussion this thing has generated, I mean, he could have taken part of the coastal territory of siberia and drawn some lines on it for all the significance this thing has; there are some broad groupings of similar kinds of website but other than that it's just a not-extraordinary update in a m-w-f webcomic with no real message or social commentary despite appearances and aaaaghhh
posted by tehloki at 3:23 PM on October 9, 2010


KATTULLUS: What is that?
DEVILSADVOCATE: He must have died while typing it.
FISHBIKE: Oh, come on!
DEVILSADVOCATE: Well, that's what it says.
JHARRIS: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to type 'aaaaghhh.' He'd just say it!
DEVILSADVOCATE: Well, that's what's carved in the rock!
ANASTASIAV: Perhaps he was dictating.
JHARRIS: Oh, shut up. Well, does it say anything else?
DEVILSADVOCATE: No. Just, 'aaaaghhh.'
FISHBIKE: Aaaaghhh.
MISHA: Aaaaghhh.
posted by Kattullus at 5:35 PM on October 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm worried about all the exposure MegaFiller is getting.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:27 PM on October 10, 2010


Mirthful laughter is healthful (google-scholar it).
So, thank you Kattullus.
So you like maps?
So you like the internet?
So you like data-viz (tools)?
Here be mapping projects, and activities to figure out the shape, size, connections and completeness (oh, and business stuff) of thy internet. Also some possible uses for all this data.

Opte, CAIDA (state of the art in internet visualization, or many other presentations on the topic), MAPOFTHEINTERNET, lumeta, heh CNN, TLD-research Redux

A short Philosophy paper about the Opte Project and it's relation to art (Adobe PDF).

Collingwood categorized Opte as art and not simply a craft, nor a means to an end.
Collingwood stated that “craft always involves a distinction between means and ends.” There is a
large separation between the science and algorithms of the Opte project and its abstract nature,
with colors and sphere layout that arose from personal choice. Collingwood also distinguished
between craft and a finished product. For example, if you create a frying pan, you are producing
a product for the end purpose of cooking, and, according to Collingwood, the frying pan would be
a finished product and not an art. The Opte project is an abstract principle and may not be a
finished product. The Opte project, by nature, is an on-going means that may never actually
come to full fruition as a product. The information the project is visualizing is nearly a living
organism. The Internet is not a single thing; it is the means to communicate, to create, to design,
to think, and, yes, to visualize; so, like Opte, it may also not be a complete product, just a
continually changing, and evolving project. Collingwood specifically says, “Art as such does not
imply the distinction between planning and execution.” Under Collingswood’s principles, not
only is Opte art, the entire Internet is art.

posted by infinite intimation at 11:24 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


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