Matt Haughey’s SXSW talk, Real World Moderation: Lessons from 11 Years of Community, was quite well received so he posted a version he recorded at home to Vimeo.
After 11 years of running MetaFilter.com, I (and the other moderators) have been through just about everything, and we’ve built dozens of custom tools to weed out garbage, spammers, and scammers from the site.
I’ll cover how to identify and solve problems including identity, trolling, sockpuppets, and other nefarious community issues, show off custom tools we’ve developed for MetaFilter, and show you how to incorporate them into your own community sites.
This MetaFilter thread from Wednesday/Thursday is a gripping/crazy/thrilling real-time look at an internet community coming together to prevent two Russian women from getting trafficked into a likely life of unpaid prostitution. It’s impossible to describe appropriately and I suggest you read through all the way. THIS is why they made the internet.
On Wednesday afternoon, a friend of one of the women (himself in the process of driving from Wyoming to LA) posted a message to MetaFilter asking for help. The women started in DC and took a bus to New York where they were supposed to get hostessing jobs at a bar on Coney Island. By the time the two women got on the bus, they were refusing to communicate with their friend anymore, but luckily took a call from another community member who convinced them to party with her instead. Just wow.
Matt Haughey reflects on running MetaFilter for ten years. MeFi in the early-to-mid 00s was a cesspool; Matt deserves several gold stars for pushing through, somehow making the site better than it ever was in the early days, and turning the site into a thriving business. Over the years as community fads have changed online, people moved from wanting to build their own Slashdot to Gawker to Digg to Facebook to Twitter, but MeFi as a model of online community deserves more scrutiny…people should be trying to make their own MetaFilters but nobody really does.
Anyway, here’s to you and The Blue, Matt. Congrats!
Matt Haughey’s seven tips on how to run a successful community, based on his experiences with MetaFilter. “It takes great care and patience to create a space others will share and you have to nurture it and reward your best contributors. It’s a decidedly human endeavor with few, if any, technical shortcuts.”
In this video, an autistic woman speaks in her native language and then translates it into English. But it’s not really a direct translation because, as she states, her language is not limited to expressing her thoughts to other human beings…it’s more about her reacting to every element of her environment. More about the video on MetaFilter (one commenter calls the thread “perhaps the most enlightening thing I’ve ever read on MetaFilter”), including a comment from the video’s creator.
In this interview with .net magazine, Flickr founder Caterina Fake likens building an online community to throwing a party:
According to Caterina: “The most difficult part is not the technology but actually getting the people to behave well.” When first starting the community the Flickr team were spending nearly 24 hours online greeting each individual user, introducing them to each other and cultivating the community. “After a certain point you can let go and the community will start to maintain itself, explains Caterina. “People will greet each other and introduce their own practices into the social software. It’s always underestimated, but early on you need someone in there everyday who is kind of like the host of the party, who introduces everybody and takes their coat.
I recall those early days of Flickr…Stewart and Caterina were everywhere, commenting on everything. A core group of people followed their example and began to do the same, including Heather Champ, who now manages Flickr’s community in an official capacity. Matt did a similar thing with MetaFilter too…he spent a lot of time interacting with people on there, taking their coats, and before long others were pitching in.
MetaFilter’s doing a unique fundraiser for Creative Commons (with Dropcash!)…they’ve taken two annoying MeFi users and put their banishment up to a vote…first person to get $500 pledged against them gets banned for a week.
The popcorn hacks post seems to have struck the wrong note with the humorless but elsewhere people have gotten into the spirit, contributing their own useless household hacks (I added the “personal locomotion” hack)…although the name hack (“Google Image Search exotic names to determine if they are male or female”) is actually pretty clever.
As if Metafilter wasn’t blue enough, Matt Haughey officially joins the liberal media conspiracy with his first piece in the NY Times. Matt, why do you and your gadgets hate freedom?