August 20, 2006

What Metafilter Is Not About

When it comes right down to it, you could refract Refi's purpose into the following question: "What is Metafilter about?"

But the more common question—or implicit question, suggested by answering assertions—is this: "What is Metafilter not about?"

It's the sort of thing that comes up regularly. Just today, in fact, TwelveTwo was struck by the question, as seen in this comment. And so I turned to google, and asked a couple of pointed questions. Let's take a look!

What Metafilter Is Not About

In no particular order, Metafilter is not about...

...derailing someone's thread and new products and flash
...asking a question to prompt conversation—anymore, at least
...indexing everyone by their experience and areas of knowledge
...banning bevets
..."like-minded users" and "trusted groups"
...posting newsfeeds
..."being beneficial for society"
...overt requests for favors—specifically regarding AskMe
...'what kind of music do you like' threads
...silly threads where people blow off steam and have some dumb fun with images
...the Daniel Pearl video
...linkless posts
...word-oriented people having fun being clever with words
...your childish, petty thoughts about dead journalists who committed no crime against you (or are they?!) junkies wallowing in serial killer stuff
...personal, partisan anti-war rallies

And here's some bonus off-site commentary, from Livejournal.


That was a quick survey. I asked google two simple things—uno, dos—and sifted through the results. I expect that, with a more thorough and creative search, there are a great many more instances to be found wherein variations on this question are asked (or, more likely, answered), but as a first canvassing, this provided at least some insight.

Perhaps not surprising: people mostly kept their negative definitions of Metafilter's thesis to Metatalk threads, and mostly spoke about Metafilter threads—a few AskMe references popped up, but they were very much in the minority, despite AskMe featuring nearly as many threads as MeFi at this point. Then again, the green has been around for less time than the blue; perhaps navelgazing correlates to age?