That used to be up at the top of the page - the tagline here. Now it says "MetaChat is an informal place for MeFites to touch base and post, discuss and chatter about topics that may not belong on MetaFilter". taz changed it because she said it sounded like we were forming here to snark about Matt, and she didn't mean it that way.
So, "Whine and commiserate" in the initial description was referring to whining about MeFi being down... Metachat was never designed to be a place for general complaining about MetaFilter.
Here's the long story: Back in April and May, MeFi was down a lot, and for long periods of time - and very frequently when I was trying to access it, since I'm in a much earlier time space. At that time, I would have loved to have a place where I could go to talk to other mefites, to see if anyone knew what was happening with the site, or really just to make contact, because MeFi is really the only community site that I have participated in. I could have gone to #mefi, but they had complained before about people showing up only when MetaFilter was down, plus I didn't want to be locked into an instant text thing, where you have to constantly pay attention to what's going on or else get totally lost or booted.
So, Matt wasn't really talking about what was up with MeFi, and it didn't seem like anything was going to change, and I was feeling like I had to basically "switch sites" and start all over again at another community site, but it seemed kind of a shame, when all I really wanted was some access to MeFi members even if the site was down, which was when I had the idea of starting a site that would do just that - be sort of a "halfway house" for MeFi orphans during downtimes, and a place to just generally chat whenever. Dodgy offered to host and do the coding, and we both really expected probably a handful of members. I didn't think there would ever be much activity here when MeFi wasn't down, but I did see it as a place to bring silly conversations that get started on MeTa... For example, like when a question is deleted from Ask, and it is being discussed in MetaTalk, and this turns into a conversation about the actual original Ask subject instead of whether it was a suitable question. I figured if people wanted to transfer those kinds of conversations over here, they could.
But the fun/chat/silly thing turned out to be a lot more popular than we expected, and that's great... I really love it.
But to be perfectly clear, I never in a million years would have started a site intended to talk about how MeFi is bad, or Matt is mean, or whatever. That's just completely contrary to my personality, and to be honest, if MetaChat were to turn into that kind of place, I would just go away.
The original description for metachat talked about whining and commiserating (about the site being down) in a tongue-in-cheek way, making fun of ourselves for being so hooked. And then MeFi downtimes improved (yeah they still happen, but usually not for hours and hours, as they were a few months ago), and that line was removed from the description because we felt it sounded like we were poking at Matt while he was working in good faith to try to fix things.
Don't worry, interrobang! I just wanted to go on record somewhere in terms of describing the original motivation for mecha, in case anyone is under the impression that it was started as some anti-mefi thing, when in fact the opposite is true.
I hadn't checked out the entry on the wiki, so if you changed it, thanks! This is mo better.
Sorry to bring my beef with Matt Haughey here. I try real hard not to bring it up. And I will not do it in the future at all.
I broke with meffy after a less-than-cordial email exchange with him during a time when I (as breezeway) was trying as hard as I could to keep things positive, light, and interesting. I think the site might have been at its snarkiest ever, and I was trying for the most innocuous posts I could.
When my overuse of inline images got on people's nerves, I got a rude email from Matt. When I asked him to clarify (and to be less rude), he was snide and condescending. But that's all there, not here, and should stay there, not here.
I quit meffy because of its sysop. I likely would have stayed, though with my thin skin not for long, if it weren't for my email exchange.
Metachat is a breath of fresh air. I've tried in the past not to join in when the fresh air gets polluted with complaints about meffy. But sometimes I feel those complaints are missing the mark, and I weigh in, heavily and with a lot of spite. Because most others skirt around the sysop issue.
I shouldn't do it, and I won't anymore. I'm tired of it anyway. I guess all this "make meffy better" stuff gets on my nerves, because I don't think that place deserves it. I don't think Matt Haughey deserves it.
That's the way I feel. I have good reason to feel that way, and I'm done saying so. Sorry if I offended.
I love this site. I love this community. Thanks for giving us a place.
No problems, Hugh... You shouldn't feel compelled to stifle your opinion. On the other hand... yeah, I do agree that the group will (thus far) to not pursue personal grudges here has been a good thing, and sort of contributes to a more relaxed feeling, so your instinct in terms of keeping that aspect of things a bit restrained is also appreciated.