Oh, and just to jumpstart any sort of ethics discussion -- we're not sure at the moment we launch it how people will use it, but our hope is that people continue using descriptive, helpful titles instead of playing games or using them for jokes. If you look at existing posts, they are all pretty dang helpful, people usually don't goof around with titles. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 8:56 AM on January 7, 2013
If you're not thrilled with the new look, you can use a browser extension like Stylish to hide the titles. Just create a Stylish rule like this:
But honestly, give it a couple days, I will admit that counterfeit monkey post is kind of ugly at the top with the weird breaks, but if you scroll down to yesterday's posts, you can see a more typical layout where it looks pretty normal. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:05 AM on January 7, 2013
Just to be clear, the titles are the same size they are everywhere else on the site (comment pages, favorites pages, the popular page, search results, other subsites). posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:06 AM on January 7, 2013
I hear you all on the font size issue, we'll consider adding a preference for the size across the site where we use it (front pages, comment pages, favorites page, popular page, archives, search, etc). posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:26 AM on January 7, 2013
the font size used for post titles on our "Activity from [user]" page is ever so slightly smaller
Whoa, yeah, that page is showing 18px titles, everywhere else is 20px. If we don't roll out user custom sizes, we might try that everywhere for now. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:28 AM on January 7, 2013
I really don't think this works on the Blue.
I think we're judging a feature before it has had a chance to take hold. The GoPro/Trombone post has a boring title because the person writing it at the time didn't know it would show up on the front page, but the new posting page makes that clear. I suspect if it were posted right now, it would have something different. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:45 AM on January 7, 2013
you yourself just made a post with a totally redundant title.
Yeah, that was sub-optimal. It was auto-added from the Projects post to mefi button, and I didn't edit it before I hit post. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:50 AM on January 7, 2013
Do those facebook share buttons on metafilter have the same feature? If a person is logged into facebook and they load an askme question about felching (say) does the facebook corporation get the datum you have done that?
No, not at all. We don't load anything from facebook itself, so they have no knowledge of what you looked at or read. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:51 AM on January 7, 2013
will this result in longer front pages, or fewer posts on any given front page iteration?
Nope, everything is the same on the number of posts, the titles do take up some vertical space, so you'll just have to scroll a little bit more. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 10:02 AM on January 7, 2013
It's weird, but probably due to the ways I interact with the site as a mod being somewhat different than an average user but titles are the first thing I see when anything gets posted for the last four years or so, because we have them automatically emailed to a moderator list, so I see a new email as "metafilter: post title" and then I read the post in email.
So I've been reading posts via titles first for a long time, and when testing this out, I was mostly... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 12:44 PM on January 7, 2013
It's not really a non-member problem with regards to revenue, that doesn't really have anything to do with it. It started when we mocked up some front pages, and I was astounded by how much more readable/scannable/helpful Ask MeFi's front page looked, and I was surprised by how much it didn't seem like a drastic change on main MeFi. It was just a bit more helpful text, sometimes jokes, but usually short summaries that let me know more about a post.
There may be a small "how do I even use this" period for non-members
One bit of feedback I got many years ago and I could never really respond to was that the link from the front page to comment pages was hard to find and/or confusing, and really if you can take yourself out of knowing how the site runs and operates, perhaps think of a another big site like kottke.org or boingboing.net, and now imagine you see only the first paragraph of a... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:10 PM on January 7, 2013
Won't this depend on if the new option is "titles are/aren't visible on the front page" or "titles are/aren't visible ANYWHERE"?
Yeah, the option would be just to turn them off from the front page, not everywhere. Basically the point of an option for this is "let me return the front page to how it was yesterday" status. Everything else would be the same. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:13 PM on January 7, 2013
Some folks are saying it actually runs deeper than that
Yeah, I didn't mean to discount it, there is definitely way more cultural norms than I thought about previously. Again, I've been staring at a front page of MetaFilter with titles on since November, and months later I still find it more useful to have them around, but then I liked them immediately when we first tested it. I can't guarantee people that hate them at first will come around, or what... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:15 PM on January 7, 2013
This change was targeted at non-members
Nope, really the change was targeted at making Ask MeFi's front page easier to read, scan, and help out on, to encourage more participation from members because it should be easier to spot words describing things you are interested in. For MetaFilter it was kind of a side benefit of bringing the site more inline with typical blogs, showing the titles we've had since 2005 or so in a way most other sites do as... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:18 PM on January 7, 2013
Len, that quote was about why I put usernames at the bottom of posts, and it was to make it so you didn't pre-judge a comment based on knowing who said it -- that it's easy in a community to recognize usernames and eventually guess what they'll say, and I liked being surprised by people I thought were zealots about a subject post something I never expected and I only figured it out when I got to the bottom of their comment to see they wrote it.
It's a bit of a stretch to... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:38 PM on January 7, 2013
What new character limit?
I said in the original post up top that we truncated them to 72 characters to keep them from running over multiple lines, especially in mobile. We tested several limits and this was the best happy medium, and posts with longer titles were less than 4% of the total posts. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:39 PM on January 7, 2013
Who was it that did not have enough to do and invented titles after all these years the site has managed without them?
They've been in place since 2005, we just added them to the www, ask, and metatalk front pages today. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 3:07 PM on January 7, 2013
Yeah, that's pretty sketchy, I think I'm going to go ahead and delete the post. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 6:12 PM on January 3, 2013
I think they linked to it after being asked what the paper looked like that was being submitted. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 6:23 PM on January 3, 2013
Ok, I would consider bringing it back, I was reacting at the aspects that looked like the subject of the post in question was posting this on every forum they could, and we were just another part of that online tour of quackery. But if you guys think it's better left up and being debated, I would consider bringing it back. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 7:04 PM on January 3, 2013
Deleting a thread should remove it from Google eventually (could take hours, could take weeks), but for the sake of arguments here, I decided to bring it back. I was on the fence about removing it, thought it might be the best path, but it sounds like people getting to debunk it in the thread is a better overall positive outcome. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 7:16 PM on January 3, 2013
Despite its checkered past on the launch, I'm glad to see Videosift is still going. I'm curious what the rest of the stories are around the founding, those teaser titles sounded pretty good. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 12:08 PM on December 30, 2012
We've talked about possible reply/quote buttons before for the site, and generally, the way we thought about going with them was having users highlight text on a page, like the sentence or two you want, then getting an option/button to reply/quote that, and basically wrapping the selected text with em tags in the comment box. Appending the little curvy arrow is a nice additional touch but as Curious Artificer makes it clear, it is subject to unicode characters not everyone might be able to... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 3:50 PM on December 29, 2012
So did the follow-up mean that someone did call the school and got the guard, but through confusion got forwarded to his voicemail? I mean, it sounds like we almost helped. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 8:12 PM on December 28, 2012
I want this, but for buzzfeed. I always feel a little dumber when I fall into their click traps of listicles and 20min later I've seen the 15 cutest pugs and 11 hottest celeb butts and learned the 18 funniest autocorrect texts that ended up on the 8 most embarrassing facebook posts. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 11:47 AM on December 28, 2012
I think it's more that we've already had thousands of comments about gun control on the shooting thread, another thread a week later feels like too much and just an excuse to continue the same hot button issue discussion in a new spot. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:01 PM on December 23, 2012
No disrespect to BlueBeetle, but that idea has been around for a long time
Yeah, and blue_beetle and others have acknowledged it too. I think in the last few discussions of origin people pulled out quotes for USENET posts in the early 90s, and it might have already been an old idea then. But the way it was posted here was a nice little summation and I like how people use it describe things like Instagram (ok, end derail, sorry). posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 12:57 PM on December 20, 2012
I think what you are asking for is called a "lightbox" and some people find it handy, others not. I think your best bet is to look for a browser extension or script that will automatically lightbox direct links to images for you. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 11:25 AM on December 20, 2012
Yeah, I'll add these to the banned list of advertisers. It's weird we already block about two dozen weirdo "russian mail order bride" ads from the system, but since it is by URL, any new URL can be a new ad that gets around it. I'll start blocking things now.
If you ever spot an objectionable ad, just note the URL of where the ad goes and send us an email to the contact form that you saw an ad for "creepywebsite.com" and I'll add it to the block list. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 10:18 AM on December 20, 2012
Yeah, sorry I didn't know the author was some sort of famous guy, but it looked like a half-assed cracked list of dodgy pseudo advice.
We already delete a lot of buzzfeed and cracked posts that are short lazy little lists of things, I expect something to at least be interesting and insightful or meaningful in some way to make the cut and this didn't feel like it to me. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 7:14 PM on December 19, 2012
I don't know, I think it's kind of overkill for all but the most sensitive sites, it's not like anyone could do anything with your login besides post a comment. In the 13 years this site has been around, I think we've only had 2-3 cases where someone left themselves logged in on a shared computer and a bad post or comment went up for a few minutes before we removed it.
Also as mods we deal with about 4-5 people a day with login issues, I imagine going to this more... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 7:34 PM on December 15, 2012
I should also add that I'm a huge fan of 2-step auth and I use it on Google, LastPass, and my Dropbox account. I've considered it for admin/mods of MeFi since our logins give us tons of rights to do stuff most people don't get, but for the average MeFi user, I'm not seeing the reason why this would be necessary (just like I'm fine with Twitter/FB not having 2-step auth though I imagine someday they might). posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 7:36 PM on December 15, 2012
Probably the best and only way is if you can find after-the-fact wrap-ups. Breaking news is kind of a waste here and of course both of these horrific events will launch the mothers of all gun control thread battles, so if in a few days there's a good analytical article in The Atlantic, or Harpers, or The New Yorker or something that we can discuss broader aspects of it beyond breaking news tragedies. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 10:05 AM on December 14, 2012
I'm sure we will have a thread about this today, but still the news seems to be breaking and much of it feels like rumors because every hour that passes I'm hearing new numbers of people wounded and dead and talk of a 2nd shooter. When information starts to stabilize (I'd guess in a few hours) I think we can have a thread about it. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 11:48 AM on December 14, 2012
Yeah, just to echo what Jessamyn said, a good neutral post about this with links to a variety of reports presented in a calm way would probably stay up. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 1:45 PM on December 14, 2012
Holy cow, three threads in a two minute window. MULTIBALL!!! MULTIBALL!!! posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 2:22 PM on December 14, 2012
(we'll figure out which one is the best and keep that) posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 2:23 PM on December 14, 2012
if you still have those two stellar.io invites I'd like to try it...
Sure, MeFi Mail me an email and I'll send the invite. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 8:50 AM on December 12, 2012
what happened over the summer?
They had this whole creepyshots subcommunity that took lurid photos of women in public without their knowledge, then defended to the death their right to do it because it was legally murky. Turned out later on it was run by a guy that was trolling the entire community with crazy stuff who eventually was outed and the whole thing was kind of ugly for reddit.
I mentioned it in passing to the... [more] posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 9:31 AM on December 12, 2012
One way you can do this today is to mark the thread as a favorite, and then hit the "my favorites" second tab on the Recent Activity page, where it will be. posted to MetaTalk by mathowieat 3:58 PM on December 8, 2012