November 30th, 2006  |  Published in etc

I’m going to play along with Snappy and announce my own occasional RSS drops, starting with Metafilter.

I kinda like the links most of the time, but there are a few things about the typical MeFi posting style I don’t like, including the stilted constructions people cook up to maximize the number of words that can act as link candidates and the “provocative” questions that sound like they’re posed by people who … well … who don’t think very provocatively.

But the real reason for dropping it? The actual user community.

Gosh darn there are some tedious, self-important people camped out on that site. I used to get that type on LinuxToday, too, when I had to moderate the reader comments. After a while, I knew who was posting without reading their names, and found myself wondering how someone could bestir himself to get up every day and make the exact same comments about the exact same things over and over and over.

You could say “Why not just avoid the comments and skim the good links from it?” but it’s one of those things where now that I know who is behind the links, and now that I’m aware of the even more self-important and obnoxious discourse about “what makes a good post” that goes on behind the scenes at Metatalk, I can’t view the published product of that community with anything other than discomfort. And part of me thinks “Reading what those people think is interesting will surely cause my brain to gradually soften then reform in their image,” the same way reading nothing but grocery store trade press would make a previously thoughtless trip to Safeway or Fred Meyer an uncomfortable exercise in knowing too much.

Standing in: reddit

It’s definitely nerdier, and lord knows it has its share of trolls and gasbags, but there’s a certain looseness to the proceedings, and a kind of non-linear site execution that makes it easier to just toss in a comment now and then. And the trolls are much more cheerful about their trollishness. I’ve always admired cheerful trolls.

Leave a Response

© Michael Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.