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MetaTalk post: UnplannedChaos
I didn't know for a long time that cortex was Josh Millard.

On the other hand, it was never a secret that I was Josh Millard. I don't particularly expect people to care what my real name is, but it's been there in the profile since day one. The degree to which people are pseudonymous on Metafilter or anywhere else because they are (a) trying to be anonymous vs. (b) just like using a handle for a username, and all the various issues related to that... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:02 PM on April 19, 2011
the reaction on the part of the mods strikes me as unsupportable.

Pseudonymity is just a smokescreen for the general "please do not abuse the community's trust" edict which is a heading that covers spamming, trolling, astroturfing and a whole lot of other things that we trust you not to do here. Scott Adams signing up to MetaFilter was no problem. Scott Adams commenting in a thread about himself where he pretended not to be himself was a... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:56 PM on April 19, 2011
If Barack Obama was commenting here, I actually believe the mods would be able to keep it to themselves if they wanted to.

Man, if Barack Obama signed up for mefi and started pulling sockpuppetry bullshit I would be writing such an email to his Presidential ass.

Him all like "klangklangston, I did not serve with Barack Obama, I don't know Barack Obama, Barack Obama totally is not me or a friend of mine... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:44 PM on April 18, 2011
MetaTalk post: No, I will not spread your email chain
There's not a lot else this thread can do besides recipes...

The thread doesn't have to do anything, actually. Usually we close threads because they need to be closed for some reason, not because there's no reason to keep them open. You're welcome to go enjoy your day.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 9:20 AM on April 17, 2011
This thread is now about your favorite pasta recipes.

We've already had to ask in the past that people not intentionally bomb metatalk threads with recipes. This is me asking again.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:11 AM on April 17, 2011
MetaTalk post: UnplannedChaos
I do worry about him. Between this and his misogynistic rant a few weeks ago, he seems to have gone into some sort of web free fall that seems uncharacteristic. I mean, I don't know him or anything, but unless he has a history of this sort of behavior that I have somehow missed, this is a lot of web weirdness in a short amount of time.

If you're peeking in on this Scott, it might be time to talk to a professional. And I know this can be especially hard for somebody who... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Astro Zombie at 10:10 PM on April 15, 2011
MeFi post: How to Get a Real Education, by Scott Adams
And just to be clear that this isn't some weird joke, yes, he is.

Scott, if you wanted to sign up for Metafilter to defend your writing, that would have been fine. If you wanted to sign up for Metafilter and be incognito as just another user, that'd be fine too. Doing both simultaneously isn't; pretending to be a third party and high-fiving yourself by proxy is a pretty sketchy move and a serious violation of general community expectations about identity management... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by cortex at 11:16 AM on April 15, 2011
MetaTalk post: What's on your infodump wishlist?
the Great Taters Mystery.

Now is as good a time to mention this as any. I got an email a while back from the gal who posted that anon thread. I've paraphrased a little bit but not much. The "taters" thing was, I guess, kind of like a code word my husband used "porn". He was emailing me from work the day I asked the question and didn't want his IT department flagging his email for any reason. His wife (me) was having a what we now know was a panic... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:11 PM on April 14, 2011
MetaTalk post: New Users Page
I've got the same general reservations that jessamyn and pb have put forward, but beyond that I can tell you about what you'd see on this list, and it's probably not particularly interesting:

- We'd cycle through 100 new accounts about once a week, give or take, of folks who actually completed the signup process.
- About 10% of them would be likely spammers who would be immediately contributing small amounts of crap of one sort or another, or who would be... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:42 PM on April 13, 2011
This has nothing to do with hazing, and is simply a request to aggregate publicly available data.

True, but there's a big difference between publicly available data and putting that data front and center so everyone can easily browse it. I'm hesitant because I think people on the "new users" page would feel scrutinized while they're on that list, and I'm not sure that's very welcoming. Maybe I'm reading it wrong and people would feel... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 7:37 PM on April 13, 2011
MetaTalk post: Dump "awesome"
As of the start of 2011, "awesome" has apparently been used a bit more than 89,000 times on various parts of metafilter, a bit less than 200 times for every million words uttered. By contrast, "great" comes in at about 850 parts per million, and "good" at 1900 ppm.

So that seems like a reasonable fall-off curve for intensity of descriptors.

On the other hand, "keen" only clocks 9 ppm. The obvious conclusion is people should say "keen" more... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 4:10 PM on April 12, 2011
MeFi post: The guy who says he owns 50% of Facebook produces E-Mails
We use the site because there is currently no simple alternative

I, quite simply, don't -- and being told that the only way to interact with someone is via FB means that I tell them that I will not be interacting with them. If you are dealing with marketing or customer relations, then this is harder, true (but you shouldn't be using your individual account for this anyway.)

I look at it this way. I refuse to be a free source... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by eriko at 11:51 AM on April 12, 2011
MetaTalk post: LOTR, of course
So, it's a flowchart! And here's a direct link to the image if you don't want to deal with Flickr or whatever.

I'm sure there are use cases this doesn't address, and the whole thing's a bit silly, but it does cover an awful lot of what goes on (and sometimes goes wrong) here.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2011
MetaTalk post: Everybody's workin on the weekend
Hey guys! Usually when being introduced to a new community I have a whole little "Who I am" speech ready, but y'all have access to my profile and therefore can easily find things out about me that my mother never knew. Short version: I'm Jeremy, yes I'm a girl, yes it's a long story, and I've been reading Metafilter since it was possible to idly page back to the first post. I'm a community manager by trade and have been working in online video games (mostly doomed ones) for several... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by restless_nomad at 3:42 PM on April 10, 2011
Ask MeFi post: What changes when you get married?
[Dear beloved mefites, please stop being jerks to each other and answer the question sincerely. Thank you.]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by jessamyn at 7:14 PM on April 9, 2011
MetaTalk post: oh dear
Or is simply that anyone who points out mod inconsistencies will be subject to a greater degree of scrutiny in mefi ?

Ha, that's amusing. Threads that are just "let's all have a nice co-hate about something MeFites hate" tend to get deleted no matter who you are. If you wanted to make a post about Glenn Beck's departure from Fox, feel free to do it tomorrow. Might I suggest

- not using the tags piece, of, and shit.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2011
Good fucking lord, man. You made a thin post about Glenn Beck and framed it in terms of a predicted on-site shitstorm and used crappy tags. It was an indefensibly bad post, and you're immediately following it up with an aggressive metatalk. I do not understand what your issue is with the site or with us but this feels a lot more like you being unhappy with your time on the site than you trying to start any kind of meaningful discussion.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:46 PM on April 6, 2011
MetaTalk post: Nerdgasm Furore
Basically: haters are, indeed, going to hate, and instead of pretending that they don't exist, and falling in to a small bubble of fawning praise, listen to them to see if they're hating for a good reason, and do what you can to change and improve.

The whole point of "haters gonna hate" to me is that there is some small group of people for whom hating is an activity in and of itself, not necessarily attached to any real thing or even any... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:50 PM on April 5, 2011
MetaTalk post: Calling all Kickstarter Projects
Good or bad Ardiril? - Good never comes without a little bad. Overall though, quite good, and most likely in terms of both growth and greater interconnection potential with the other subsites, especially Jobs. You already have most of the infrastructure for a virtual incubator. Some tweaking toward that end coupled with this tie to Kickstarter, and the whole thing could damn near drive itself.

Expanding Music to include other arts and crafts in some... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Ardiril at 6:30 PM on April 4, 2011
MetaTalk post: Another Buck For Sulzberger
Just FYI, you emailed us this twice at the contact form and we wrote back to you twice. Is this something that you think the whole community needs to give feedback/input on, or were you just wondering why you didn't hear back from us?
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:12 PM on April 4, 2011
MetaTalk post: The term "trolling" isn't enough anymore.
With that in mind, I have to say that this ... I hope that the people on "my side" have better learned how to manage others' expectations and that the "other side" and the mods have is still setting up some sort of weird situation where the mods work for Team Not You. We work for everyone and our job sometimes is helping everyone get along with everyone else. Often we have advice on how best to do that. You don't want to take that advice, that's terrific,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:14 AM on April 1, 2011
Or, paraphrased, opening up your own MeTa thread in a confrontational and adversarial fashion and then arguing that you are part of a pile-on because people don't agree with the conclusions you are drawing or the manner in which you are expressing yourself is a no-win situation. You're welcome to have personal honor. I have personal honor here. Lots of people do. In fact I feel that my honor is diminished if I tell people that they disgust me [even if they are digusting] because that sort of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:21 AM on April 1, 2011
MetaTalk post: Mountain Goats drinking from the Pepsi Blue River
The fact that the post DIDN'T mention the new album by the band they love (which was released that same day) just seems out of 'character' (using the loosest definition possible, as I don't even know this person).

Well, I guess I hear you as far as why it caught your attention, but "they failed to effectively push a product" is one of those things that's so hard to find an actual angle on that it gets very Occam's Razor very quickly for me:... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:45 AM on March 30, 2011
length of time here on MeFi (and comparatively staggering volume of activity)

If it helps in understanding where I come from on this stuff, "they've been really active on the site" is the opposite of a red flag as far as marketing/sketchiness concerns go. It may be a reason to think someone is maybe coming on too strong or overexerting themself on the site in their enthusiasm to jump in the pool, but that's a whole other ball of wax.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 9:58 AM on March 30, 2011
MetaTalk post: Deletion alert!
My feeling as the person who is over there way more is that this is so rare an occurrence as to maybe not be necessary.

If you preview your comment you'll know if a thread has been closed and in most cased I'd certainly hope that people would have a decent idea if a thread were going to be closed before they started answering it.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 5:09 PM on March 28, 2011
MeFi post: A fair day's wage for a fair day's work
> Another single-link FPP? WTF.

Another ignorant complaint about " single-link FPPs"? WTF indeed. Listen up: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SINGLE-LINK POSTS. They were once, and should by rights be, the norm. The ideal of a MeFi post is "Oh, cool, look at this amazing thing I found on the internet! I must share it with my fellow MeFites!" Check to make sure it's not a double, post it with an enticing... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 6:45 AM on March 27, 2011
MetaTalk post: That psychedelic elephant is FANTASTIC!
Have we had 'Flagged as Fantastic!' on a shirt yet?
posted to MetaTalk by carsonb at 7:51 AM on March 26, 2011
The fantastic flag used to be the only built-in way to lend a comment or post explicit non-verbal support; aggregate favorites has taken over a lot of that role at this point but enough people still use the fantastic flag to point out good stuff that it remains handy. Like Jess says, we look at what people are doing with it as one way to find neat stuff.

And we can't actually look through the Infodump for this stuff (flagging data isn't included) but it could totally be... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:42 AM on March 26, 2011
Mods: Do you pay any attention to that flag at all? Do a lot of people use it?

I sure do. I put most of the "Hey this is neat" stuff on the sidebar and while occasionally I'll toss something up there that I just come across, often I'll look at the fantastic flags and see what's in there that I think other MeFites might like and/or miss otherwise. I don't tend to look at favorites for this just because it's not how I interact with the site... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:02 AM on March 26, 2011
MetaTalk post: Never Make Promises. Or Even Vague Suggestions Of Half-Formed Ideas.
I really miss those days.

I am jealous of your impression that they are in the past.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:04 AM on March 25, 2011
Fixed that subject-verb agreement for ya.

Oh, are we back to being obnoxious? I really miss those days.
posted to MetaTalk by nevercalm at 6:51 AM on March 25, 2011
MetaTalk post: Thanks to Jessamyn et al.
You're welcome.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:47 AM on March 25, 2011
I've been meaning to ask, where do we turn these in for our prizes?

You know, this really should be in the wiki.

First, pick out your prize from the Mefi shopping site. You can have anything on the list!

Next, you'll have to go to any one of Cortex's websites and submit a picture of your cat (or a friend's cat, any cat will do. Do not substitute with dog, hamster, gerbil or goldfish or your points will be invalidated).... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by misha at 11:41 AM on March 25, 2011
MetaTalk post: If it bleeds, it leads.
I first came to MetaFilter as a lurker, linking here from, I think, Brunching Shuttlecocks or Slumbering Lungfish. I loved it because it was just a whole page of "hey, check out this cool thing!" There's not as much of that these days.

I always recommend testing that perception by visiting the archives. I just checked the posts from this day five years ago, and we have posts about Bush/the Patriot Act, climate change, terrorism, a poke at... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Miko at 8:07 PM on March 24, 2011
MetaTalk post: It's coming right out of the screen at me
We recently completed a $150 million dollar upgrade to the servers. I'm glad you like it.

Next up, the Michael Bay extension for Apache...
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2011
MetaTalk post: MeFi's own
Uh, no. That only deserves a B+ at best.

The first journalist to get Metafilter right in less than a paragraph wins everything forever. Barring that, it's a lot better than "Matt Howie's personal 'blog'" and no one reading from the outside will really be invested in the fine details of what this place is to the point where it matters how perfect the elevator pitch is.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:37 AM on March 23, 2011
MetaTalk post: Posting of WikiLeaks cables
Could that suggestion then be added to the posting guidelines?

No, I don't see us doing that. This is a problem where an external organization is making broad external constraints on what people should and should not be looking at, and us trying to enforce that for them is pretty impractical from the get go and in any case very far from being a priority.

I think it sucks that the US government constraints on what employees can... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:35 AM on March 18, 2011
Adding classified materiel to NSFW seems like a good line to draw

I strongly disagree. Metafilter should not be in the business of enforcing the internal policies of any employer, even very large ones with armies.
posted to MetaTalk by enn at 10:14 AM on March 18, 2011
MetaTalk post: 24 hour notation
ok, this is an option in profiles now. There's a new menu next to time offset that lets you choose between 12-hour and 24-hour time formats. Like all our preferences this is cookie-based, so you'll need to resave preferences in all browsers you use to get the correct time format cookie.

Sorry about the instant no. I wasn't thinking about the scope of the change correctly. Thanks for the smack on the head, sodium lights the horizon.

There are... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 2:58 PM on March 15, 2011
MetaTalk post: Matt's 2011 SXSW Talk
Here are two articles I've written about community: 2001, 2007 and here are two interviews where we talked a lot about mefi and community: 2008,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:14 PM on March 14, 2011
MetaTalk post: Offering one's services in an AskMe answer?
Best idea is to send MeMail to them. We've had some folks historically offering services who find that the thread persists in the Google Universe forever and they get a lot of random contact for doing whatever the thing is. As a result, we're a little touchy about making sure that there's not something sketchy going on [i.e. two linked accounts one saying "Need someone to do this" and another saying "Hey I do that!"] and so it's a little more hassle-free for all concerned to... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 4:00 PM on March 14, 2011
MeFi post: A notable issue with Wikipedia
Starting afresh will not solve the issues. These are the same issues I have seen in Usenet and in IRC channels and the like, for many, many years. If a system is does not take into account gang-ups, rules lawyers, people who explicitly focus on having a nice tea party with the Queen, and The Longest Whiner Wins, the variation is only in the names, the duration of the phases, and cute local jargon.

It does not matter what you know, it matters how much time you have... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by adipocere at 2:09 PM on March 11, 2011
MetaTalk post: yuck
Relatedly, this is one of the problems with posts about "Here is a terrible thing that happened to someone" [and nothing against you torisaur, the post was fine, framing could have maybe been different but no big deal at all]. They make people agitated and often in wildly different directions. When there's a bad thing post, often there are people who feel very strongly about that topic, whether it's war or rape or puppy abuse. And often people have strong feelings about how... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:09 AM on March 8, 2011
There are a lot of things at play here, but one minor thing that didn't help was someone proclaiming how they knew the thread would go. This is sort of an extended "this will wendell" kind of comment that goes beyond the jokey aspects of that phrase to instead become something where someone admonishes the entire site membership for how they have failed and people tend to react to that just as much as the subject matter.

Please don't do that, don't say... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 4:32 PM on March 7, 2011
MetaTalk post: Moderation on MeFi and NPR
Now I'm wondering what, if any User notes I have.

For the most part the notes aren't like where we leave our snooty observations, it's almost always only for mod stuff. So most people have no notes at all, a few people have notes about why they were banned or why they took time off or if we notice something really unique about them ["lives in Antarctica"] but not usually for run of the mill stuff, we'll just say that to your face.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:53 PM on March 7, 2011
> we are finally developing a sort of Code of Hammurabi for the internet.

When the Advanced Research Projects Agency, who decreed the fate of technology, created the Information Processing Technology Office and gave it dominion over the Semi Automatic Ground Environment program and made it great among the Nacirema, they founded an everlasting kingdom in it, whose foundations are laid so solidly as those of heaven and earth, called ARPANET; then... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 2:28 PM on March 7, 2011
Has MeFi ever considered requiring a user to get a certain number of favorites (instead of just time and a certain number of comments) before posting to the blue? Kind of like "auditioning"?

Oh gosh no. I get the idea, but we don't want to use favorites as any kind of low-level or per-user metric, for one thing; for another we basically assume you passed your audition when you signed up in the first place, and for the rare exceptions (mostly... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 12:52 PM on March 7, 2011
One of the things that comes up a lot when I talk about this but is rarely mentioned (and I'm guilty of this as well) is that since our whole site is homegrown, we have a truly sophisticated set of tools that are built to help us do our job better including....

- ways to have comments or flagging on the back end for users so the mods can share information
- straggling comments view to see if people are spamming old threads
- sparklines for... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:40 AM on March 7, 2011
On MeFi, curbing politically incorrect expression of opinion is moderation. On publicly funded NPR, it is censorship.

No, it actually isn't. You're allowed to set the terms of discourse and apply them equally to everyone without regard to the popularity of opinions. You can be the federal government and still say it's okay to not call the president racist slurs on the White House blog. NPR is not a branch of the government and is only partially... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:55 AM on March 7, 2011
Someone else who does a really good job with comments is Ta-Nehisi Coates over at the Atlantic.
posted to MetaTalk by ghharr at 10:33 AM on March 7, 2011
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