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Activity from mathowie

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Announcing MeFi Labs
The only reason The Gift of Fear isn't #1 is that people so often mention it without linking to Amazon

Yeah, I suspected that it'd be number one too, just based on seeing it mentioned so often on Ask MeFi, so I think you're exactly right, it shows up a lot without an explicit link.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 10:40 AM on January 2, 2014
Please have these on my desk by EOD friday

Yeaaaaaah, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday...
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:11 AM on January 2, 2014
I'd be interested to see GoodReads and IMDB links as well - I know I generally prefer to link there when recommending books or movies so that I'm not shilling for Amazon

Yeah, we looked at alternatives, but the number of links to them falls off by orders of magnitude really quickly so it's hard to find more than a mention or two here and there, making it tough to compile lists.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:29 AM on January 2, 2014
Is a 1% deletion rate pretty standard?

If you look at the 2010 stats, it's pretty close to 1% there as well. It felt low to me, considering how contentious deletions are (I would have guessed 2-3%).
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:57 AM on January 2, 2014
Is there a way to view flagged comments and/or whether the comments were removed?

Nope, we determine it all on mod-side on a case-by-case basis and keep that hidden from view.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 12:31 PM on January 2, 2014
I'd say we're likely to add it to the main nav in the next week or two, barring any sort of giant glaring errors or fuckups our stats might have uncovered.

I'm also open to building more things for labs based on anyone's ideas. Anyone got anything they've ever wondered about the mefi userbase as a whole?
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 12:41 PM on January 2, 2014
given a user number X, would spit out the 10 other users most likely to comment in the same thread as X

huh, that kind of clustering is probably possible, I bet it would tease out the same groups of people that flock to similar subject matter. I bet everyone here could name five users they think would show up in threads about politics, etc, and yeah, I bet something like this could show that.

Another aspect to these ideas... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 12:57 PM on January 2, 2014
I've always been curious about the site's demographic and geographic breakdowns. Do you have any neat stats on who we are?

Real data on that requires a real survey of some sort. There are guesses made at various traffic sites, I suppose that get developed from people matching visitors with other sites they do know demographics of. Surveys are dicey though, it's tough to get people to do them without being annoying to them, people that answer might... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 1:17 PM on January 2, 2014
What are the busy and quiet times each day / week / month / year by average?

Typically the site is busiest Monday through Friday (US times), with Saturday the slowest, and Monday or Tuesday the highest traffic. On a daily basis, generally work hours in the US (about 8am-6pm Pacific time) are the highest traffic periods, with lower activity at night. Over the course of a year, typically traffic is mostly steady but skews slightly higher from... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 1:29 PM on January 2, 2014

Can we get a "Remove from Activity" button on the Mobile site?
I still think it's way too visually important for such an edge-case use. I'd rather it be something tiny like MeFi: Title [x] but with a very small [x] to close it.

Even still at that smaller size, I suspect there would be a ton of accidental clickings just going by how clumsy it is to use your fingers to navigate mobile screens. We'd have to do a "are you sure y/n?" alert on any clicks but I think it could still be super annoying to hit those all the time.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 1:37 PM on December 19, 2013
I'd be just as happy with an [x] just to the left of the "MetaFilter"

While it's easy to move pixels around on mockups, it's almost impossible to place that close there outside our normal margins to the point where off the top of my head we might have to re-engineer the entire layout just for that feature. I think after the title would be a lot easier but I still think mis-clicks would outnumber intended clicks by 100 to 1.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:48 PM on December 19, 2013

Journalistic MeFite Convergence!
Jessamyn, have you ever thought of doing like a nationwide tour of every Carnegie library? Could make for a nice coffee table book of photos and stories from the trip after. I'd kickstarter the heck out of that kind of thing.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:50 AM on December 18, 2013

Wisdom from No. 1
Yeah, I should explain this a bit. This journalism outfit asks people every year to say something edgy about the upcoming year in journalism and in the past I've done some fairly mundane prediction type stuff. I know this one is a bit goofy and I was purposely being a little cheeky with my viewpoint.

Part of this came from taping the last podcast -- we were recapping a bunch of stories and it was five things in a row where we were saying "later that turned out to be... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 6:51 AM on December 18, 2013
Yeah, I'm sorry I mentioned the airline passenger story because that was pure hoax by a total jerk of a human being (I hated reading how people found the story "hilarious" because it just seemed super mean and aggressive of him if it was real). I was shooting for more murky stories.

BTW, this other story about tourists using fake backdrops for photos is another favorite weird "Even if it's fake it's real" thing. It's a weird situation, they came up... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 6:55 AM on December 18, 2013

MetaFilter Offline
If you did make a post (there were 2-3 between 7-10PM when the site went down) last night, feel free to repost it now.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:15 AM on December 17, 2013
Frustrating that we still have to rely on spinning disks for storage in 2013. Hard drives just suck.

Hilariously, this is all due to a SSD drive we used to build faster search indexes dying. But 1s and 0s still suck.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 5:12 AM on December 17, 2013

What happened to quality comment/ discussion threads?
It's weird you point out that Uruguay thread, it definitely stood out as a departure from usual threads, but I liked it and thought everyone was just letting off a little steam and made me laugh. If you look at the five threads before and after it, I'm sure you'll find the mostly serious discussions you normally find on this site, that one was an outlier.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:09 PM on December 10, 2013

Certainly I'm not the only one who would find this pony useful
While I dislike the request, I think this is probably going to become a more pressing issue as time goes on

I don't understand why this will become a pressing issue. For now, you can mouse over any link and read your browser or long-press on mobile to see where something leads. Other sites like Slashdot, hackernews, and reddit instituted this only because pranking people with links to goatse became so popular as to require the building of the feature.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 2:58 PM on December 5, 2013
I didn't think we were talking about "calling out" every link, just the ones to common, MSM websites that involve paywalls

I thought about the original request and it seemed confusing to users. Why just call out the NYT? What other sites should we print out the domain of? Wouldn't users ask why perhaps 5% of links have the domain denoted but other links don't?

And I talk about "noise" of it since that's... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 6:26 PM on December 5, 2013

Pepsi Blue Dot EDU?
We looked at the database and they're different individual users, not just one person writing them all. I bet someone in the program emailed an alum list asking them to chip in and share positive stories of the program.

Definitely abnormal use of Ask MeFi, but not so bad as to be considered wrong or deleted, etc.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:12 PM on December 2, 2013

Method commenting?
There's no easy answer for this, but looking at my own history, I answered most things one way or another often based on how the question made me feel (if angry, then more tough love, if sad, then extra super nice), but generally I try to be as helpful as possible. I don't think anonymous-ness has anything to do with my tone in comments, but I could see how maybe I'm compelled to be more straightforward with them.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:51 PM on November 21, 2013

The Most Choosiest Time of the Year! MeFites Choice Awards 2013
Sweet, I think I'll throw in some prize gift certificates at the end of the month for me, jessamyn, and cortex's favorite posts for the month (on the podcast).
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:12 PM on November 21, 2013

In-progress comments erased on new Retina iPad when switching tabs
Yeah, I was going to pop in to say this is a OS issue, and I bet iOS7 uses a bit more memory to do all the animations and colors and gradients and might explain why it didn't happen as much in iOS6. Also, Safari no longer has a 8 tab limit in iOS, which would also explain more tab reloading.

But we'll look into some other ways to try and temp save in-progress comments, there might be a fix for it.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:12 PM on November 19, 2013

Like Google but Better: The Chrome-Ask-Mefi link
Neat! I had no idea you could do this.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:42 PM on November 17, 2013

Bike threads of yore
I don't see bike threads as being contentious, but they certainly are numerous, and as someone with a ton of personal bike experience, I'd say the hardest thing is finding good info that is appropriate for your needs since there is massive variability among most answers.

I can't really think of any amazing can't-miss type bike threads on Ask MeFi, I'd say just start wading through the hundreds of threads and play with search terms ("hybrid" should be pretty... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:07 PM on November 11, 2013

cupcake1337, I hope you take the advice of EmpressCallipygos to heart. Some aspect of your comments are useful, but then you resort to hyperbole, name-calling, shaming, or all of the above that makes them come off as unnecessarily mean. They get flagged to death and stick out as too tough-love and we delete them. If you want them to stay, limit them to the useful bits.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:28 AM on October 29, 2013

Niche feature for three people
Sweet! Thanks, charred husk!
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 6:23 PM on October 24, 2013

85: Silk Road 2.0
Is Clip+ an iPhone app? I can't seem to find it anywhere on the iTunes store or Google.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:00 AM on October 14, 2013

Happy birthday Matt!
Thanks, all!
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:32 AM on October 10, 2013

A Vicious Cycle
Yeah, this is kind of a weird thread aimed at just a single user. I'm going to close it up.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:48 PM on October 3, 2013

Thanks, MeFi Jobs!
I just did my first little gig today and it went great! I'll talk about it on the next podcast.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:02 PM on September 30, 2013

MetaFilter Chat Update
Whoa that was fast. We shut down the old server, moved the domain to the new one, and it looks like it took just a minute to start working on my end.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 3:30 PM on September 26, 2013
because homosexuality is "offputting" to some people?

Huh? She didn't say anything about sexuality, it's the noisiness of seeing "dicks dicks dicks" repeated. I'm sure if it was any other description of genetalia male or female it'd still be offputting to some people.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:26 PM on September 26, 2013
Yeah, that's a bug pb is working on. Earlier today it was another user that everyone was being attached to. We never saw this in testing with the latest version of the chat software (the old chat server was using an older version).
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:47 PM on September 26, 2013
Ok, as we're working on bugs, we're switching back to the old chat server. I just swapped the DNS, pb will kill the new server and the old server should start working again in 10-15min if not sooner.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:55 PM on September 26, 2013

GoPro Blue
Yeah, it's a little tough, and the marketing teams behind GoPro are obviously doing a great job making videos. I think I actually posted that GoPro video where a seagull takes a camera and flies around San Francisco.

For what it's worth, the post got barely any flags, and no one complained that it should be taken down. If you spot stuff in the future, feel free to flag it.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 5:01 PM on September 26, 2013

Iran released 80 political prisoners...not Hoder yet
I was watching the news on this too hoping to hear about his release. Fortunately, I ran into someone working on his case recently, and they said in the next few weeks there might be ways we can help and at some point I'll be quietly asking here for people to pitch in but they're still working out the details, so stay tuned.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:51 AM on September 24, 2013

Metafilter Proxy Wars: Good or Bad?
Yeah, I think the utility of this thread has run its course, I'm going to close this up before it goes off the rails any more.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:23 PM on September 19, 2013

Meetup completion: 88% out of 100%
Yeah, the colors are random from one of those "what state I've been in" things I found.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 5:04 PM on September 10, 2013
The dakotas weren't a surprise, but Idaho was. I could swear there's a bunch of people in Boise I've seen post on other parts of the site.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 5:07 PM on September 10, 2013
Whoa, that reminds me I've been to meetups in two Canadian providences, Toronto and Vancouver. Has there ever been a PEI meetup? I seem to recall a bunch of internet businesses and users up there.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:02 PM on September 10, 2013
What was the meetup in Montana?

It was pre-IRL, in 2008
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 10:04 PM on September 10, 2013
What about the ten year anniversary? We got Antarctica in that one!
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:34 AM on September 11, 2013

84: Pumpkin!
Do y'all always have fun with the alt-text on the links?

I build the posts in TextMate, which auto-fetches every link and makes the title of the page the title text of a link.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:59 PM on September 10, 2013

Who's Your Favorite JP/Librarian?
I wished you a happy birthday on Twitter, but forgot to include it here. Happiest of birthdays!
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:46 PM on September 5, 2013

Wait, do we really need three active syria threads?
Yeah, now that Syria is turning into a major story, we're not going to have a zillion open threads about it. I was on the fence about the last one, but it's a really good background piece on Syria and why it's a really complicated situation over there. The previous two posts from the last week were a little different, one was half about Miley Cyrus, the other came before we knew the situation. I suspect the most recent post will be the most recent Syria post for a while, unless something really... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:30 PM on September 2, 2013

Ads appearing in lower right hand corner of posts?
That isn't anything done on our end, I would suggest doing a malware scan of your computer, maybe checking your browser for unwanted extensions?
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 8:30 PM on September 1, 2013

Happy significant numerical birthday, PB
So I guess Kottke started with semi-permalinks, but at first they were just a target to his homepage, like which is what I described on my blog. These links would only be "permanent" as long as the item stayed on the page. It was pb that figured out you could make them truly permanent if the links had the full URL to the archive page instead of just the homepage before the target.

I'm pretty sure I added them to MeFi in March of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:51 PM on August 30, 2013

Metafilter Scholarship?
Also someone threatened to sue me on sweepstakes/lottery rules if I ever did it again. :(
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:37 PM on August 26, 2013

Would you reject these posts?
the system was automatically chucking my posts

Sorry about my interpretation then. You said something about being targeted by moderators and I happened to write the system so I can assure you it's neither chucking your posts nor are moderators singling you out.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 7:17 PM on August 22, 2013

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