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Outside of Powell's after Jordan's book reading. (How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathmatical Thinking)
Matt Haughey has been described as "The Blogfather" on more than one occasion. On this, the 12th anniversary of Metafilter, I decided to put this up in honor of him and the community I love.
This is a reasonably on-target but not entirely serious flowchart for tracking the common situations in which we see people choosing to make new posts to Metatalk; sometimes it's a fine thing to do, sometimes it's not such a great idea, and this is a visual guide to telling those two possibilities apart.
Fortunately it's not often that I come across people actively discussing an intention to spam Metafilter, and they're generally not members when I do.
But man oh man is this sort of thing depressing to encounter. And cements that much more thoroughly my contempt for the coded language of this whole genre of SEO fuckery.
"Linkbuilding" is spamming. It's shitting up the web for a notional buck. This should not be a hard thing to ferret out, ethically, but in a large population of people whose ethics are more or less intact you're going to get a subset who are willing to squint hard enough to convince themselves that they're they heroes of the story, or at least that there are no villains and anything goes.
How you go from "I love the site" to "how can I best get away with surreptitiously planting links in violation of what I obviously understand are the guidelines" without getting whiplash, I do not know.
But this particular item isn't even notable aside from that bit of shit-where-you-eat cognitive dissonance; I've encountered so much bend-over-backwards rationalization and excuse-making from spammers just in email discussions about why they got banned from Metafilter that it's dizzying.
Clockwise from top: Gridlock Joe, wife of Runes, *s, the lovely Pomegranate, with her hand on my shoulder, Jen (non-Mefite), jph, Mamapotamus, twist my arm, ColdChef (and WolfDaddy), Cindy (mrbill's friend), mrbill.
Oh, there's more inside alright. There is rather a lot more inside.
There's a farmer's market every Saturday morning on PSU campus; on a nice day, it'll be crowded with shoppers and usually a busker or two. This weekend, someone turned the fucker up to eleven, though: there was a great big Ron Paul lovefest, and there were also motherfucking PONY RIDES.
PONY. Goddamn yes.
A snapshot of the two main views we currently use to monitor flagging on Metafilter. 99% of the time we're interested in where the flags are piling up, not who is doing the flagging.
The top bit is what we see in the upper right corner of the main admin page on mefi; it lists flags sorted by volume and then by date for equally-flagged items. One recent change pb has made for us is the addition of subsite filters (see "all | ask | mefi | other") to make it simpler to keep an eye on major subsites independently if there's a lot of flagging activity on one that's obscuring lower-volume but still important flags on another.
We also use that "good spots" bit to keep an eye on "flagged as fantastic" stuff, since that flag carries a very different payload than most of the "there's a problem" choices. We will often notice sidebar-worthy comments because they show up here.
Down below is the inline flag info, something we've had for maybe a year now; it just lists flag count on individual items, which can be helpful for us when we're trying to figure out what's going on within a given thread. It used to be that we'd have to navigate comment-by-comment from the admin flag queue above, which worked but was tedious. This way, if a dozen things ended up flagged in a thread, we can tell what they are at a glance.
The blue pop-up is what we get if we hover over the "x times" link on the inline flag message. We don't need to use this much, but it's handy for the now-and-then occasion where we're not sure *why* a comment was flagged, as well as for the blue-moon situation where *who* flagged might help explain what's going on in a specific circumstance.
Other details not pictured here:
- Hovering over an item in the admin flag queue provides an abbreviated tooltip of the start of the comment or post flagged, which can help with quickly orienting or re-orienting us to what still needs attention before we even click through.
- There's a summary of flagging behavior in and on a thread at the top of each thread, to go with the per-comment inline flagging info. It tells us how many flags a post has gotten, as well as how many distinct comments have been flagged and how many total comment flags have accrued. We mirror the same information on the front page below every post. It's useful for telling at a glance if something looks like trouble without having to go to the admin interface first, which can help us notice things quicker if we're just casually browsing the site at the time.
I've posted a nice clean shot of my desk in the past (look how clean!), but my desk really doesn't spend all that much time being nice and clean. This is more like the daily reality, with a dozen things going on at once and not a whole lot of spare space to work with.
See current Deskology thread on Metatalk if you're into this sort of thing.
Last week when someone told me there was a $199 vinyl sticker cutter that works with Illustrator files directly, I instantly ordered one. This is my first sticker. I can't wait to make dozens more
Screenshot of a google spreadsheet I put together while looking into the question of how often emoticons gets used in comments on Metafilter.
Short answer is about once every four thousand words, and very slowly decreasing over time.
Long answer is right here in Metatalk.
hollyholly, gregr, Rhaomi, elizard, and BitterOldPunk.
(Not pictured: me, Secretariat. With us earlier in the evening: wearyaswater, her +1, and a friend of BOP's named John.)
This is a picture from my 2002 trip to NYC, during which Jason Levine was hosting Metafilter. I slept on an air mattress in his spare bedroom, right next to the Metafilter server as seen here.
I couldn't stand to title this 'The Last Meetup', although that was the first thing to come into my head.