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31 January 2016

Metachat is dead, and other misconceptions.
I agree. It is a small but sturdy band. I await the plan on how to fix up our site to keep it stable.
posted by bearwife 31 January | 16:22
A band of who for what?

Man, I miss danf.
posted by ethylene 31 January | 21:09
To clarify, I thought of danf because he always seemed very clear in his purposes: to do a good job, be a good person, care for those he loved and their paths to joy including himself.

There seems a simplicity without a lack of depth or dimension, a clarity. So to mention danf is to say, if this was something her cared about he'd have a definite opinion and make it known.
posted by ethylene 01 February | 01:39
Autocorrect is its own new twist on a typographical nightmare.
posted by ethylene 01 February | 01:42
I was buried in grad school for a few years. When I came out, conversation here had slowed to a trickle.

Not sure what happened exactly. I miss the wide-ranging, free-form conversations. I miss people who used to come here and don't any more.

To be fair, I'm not helping. I don't start anything and don't jump in much.

A few years ago, when I felt generally more exuberant, it felt easier to start or hop into conversations. I'm okay, everything's fine, but it's been more of a hunkered-down few years. For one thing, my novelty index is down. It's been a long time since I had a new job or a move or a new anything to announce.

Some of you might remember my dog Crosbie. He's doing well, but dude, he's fourteen. I'm worried about losing him and my parents around the same time. (My mom's not doing so well, and there's some family stress surrounding that.) Some of my friends have had some devastating health problems recently, too. I used to feel surrounded and supported by a sea of far-flung friends and family, but that geographical dispersion feels more stressful and less satisfying than it used to. I still like my job, but things are likely to change in the next year or so and I'm going to have to figure out what to do next and where. Which might be completely different.

These are ongoing themes for me these days. I don't have a lot of skill at turning sad/anxious thoughts into funny ones, and though I'd like my friends ot know what's going on with me, I'm not exactly looking for support or even input.

Of the people I knew before my long absence, who knew me well enough to put all that into context...well, I'm not sure how many of them are even still around. But I'm going to post this here, because at least catching y'all up on my personal navel-gazing beats endlessly debating whether the site has a future.

And there are always little things. Earlier this evening I took an armload of random vegetables from the CSA over to my cousin's place: cauli, celeriac, beets, romanesco, and lots of carrots. We roasted them with olive oil and coarse salt. I haven't gone to yoga since before Christmas, and hope I can make it to a class early next week. Camellias are starting to bloom here, and it's super windy all over the state.

Oh dear, this thread was originally about "common misconceptions". Well, I'm relieved to learn that lemmings don't actually herd themselves off cliffs.
posted by tangerine 01 February | 02:44
But Disney's crew threw them off the cliff.
posted by Obscure Reference 01 February | 07:34
These are ongoing themes for me these days

Me too. I would say it became much more critical for me to attend to my needs/goals/obligations in meatspace life.
posted by Miko 01 February | 12:57
I have only met a couple of you IRL, and so my fondness for all of you is based entirely on this place. I have noticed the drop off in participation too, of course, but we still pull off things like the holiday card exchange, photo posting (if less often now), three point updates, posting daily music in December, and so forth. I'm not ready to throw in the towel here yet. And I would truly, truly miss MeCha if it closed up. I'd rather hear from you occasionally, tangerine and Miko, than not at all.

I miss danf too, very much, both here and on MetaFilter, but hope losing him doesn't equate to any doom for this place where he was a regular contributor, even after he was diagnosed.
posted by bearwife 01 February | 13:29
My apologies! I wrote 'dead' but I meant 'alive'.
Metachat is alive!
posted by jouke 01 February | 19:23
Ostriches putting there heads in the sand is my favourite popular misconception. Goes back to ancient Rome. Pliny.
posted by jouke 01 February | 19:26
I miss the old conversations, but alas I don't feel as if I have anything witty to say. I do check in frequently, but as tangerine said, I don't start any new posts and I don't post much, so I am to blame for the drop off as well. Still, it's nice to see familiar names now and again!
posted by redvixen 01 February | 21:52
My life has been filled with a bunch of difficulties lately, and I try and not bring them here because I don't want to be so negative.

From now on, I'll try and post a random good thing at least once a week. Because, you know, there are good things happening too.
posted by mightshould 02 February | 07:46
Oy. I just feel like I don't have a lot to say. Or, if I do, I've said it in other places first.
posted by gaspode 02 February | 08:53
I am much more cautious about what I share than I used to be, so I tend to stay quiet. But I do check out the site daily.
posted by amro 02 February | 13:41
As I wasn't around for the "old days", I'm glad it's not dead. It seems like a nice place.

*waves hello*
posted by ARobotNinja 02 February | 15:01
Hallo ARobotNinja.
posted by jouke 02 February | 15:27
MetaChat is not dead. It's always smelled that way ;-)
posted by dg 02 February | 16:23
It's not dead: it's resting...

...beautiful plumage
posted by gaspode 03 February | 00:00
Not quite dead yet.
posted by JanetLand 03 February | 08:23
I think the degree of affiliation to this or any one similar site has just weakened as so many people have larger, more active communities elsewhere where they can share conversation starters and speak their piece. Looking across the web, it's clear that communities like this are mostly on the wane. It's not just us/our fault. We only have so much attention and emotional commitment, and there are so many other viable outlets now as opposed to five years ago.
posted by Miko 03 February | 10:49
And I use pretty much none of them. I wouldn't be on facebook or instagram at all except that there are pictures of cute children who are related to me that I want to see. I certainly don't use those platforms for conversation, there is way too much garbage, and I'm not on whatever else might be out there. I guess the second decade of the 21st century is giving me a beatdown.
posted by JanetLand 03 February | 11:30
MetaChat is the mom&pop; twitter etc. are the big boxes. They're great and convenient, sure, but they have absolutely no community investment and the relationship is completely one-sided. And when they decide it's no longer profitable—or simply that there's a marginally greater profit somewhere else—they board up & leave you with nothing.
posted by Eideteker 03 February | 13:24
I'm with Janetland. I dislike Facebook, have shared virtually no information there, and rarely look at it except when a dear friend/family member posts. I think instagram is mildly interesting but I only check it out a couple of times a month. I can't stand reading idiocy, which is most of what I see on platforms like those.

I love Metachat and Metafilter, however. It beats me how some of the brightest and most interesting people have somehow settled here and on Metafilter, and nowhere else I've found.

So, I hope MeCha goes on and on, whether or not it is a smallish group here.
posted by bearwife 03 February | 15:52
MetaFilter, by virtue of its volume, is soldiering on, but I am fairly sure it's going to wind down more in the next few years because it isn't that interested in drawing new participants to make up for its own inevitable attrition.

I understand not liking or not being a member of Facebook or not using it for much community-based stuff. It's flawed for sure. I don't really care for it, though being part of it is completely essential in my line of work, so there I am, and as a result I stay in touch with a lot of people that way. At the same time, I don't have the time or interest to keep active across a dozen platforms. That portfolio always needs editing. I just don't think there's any way to pull a lot of activity back to places like MetaChat, in the general activity-rich environment that the web/social media has become, so at best I think the only place a MetaChat can occupy is kind of a quiet eddy of every-few-days chit-chat. We can't reverse that particular tide.

I've had the same thing happen with two other, smaller, community blogs. They simply dwindled further and further in activity until a year or so went by with no posts, and when it came time to renew, it didn't seem worth the money. All those folks are still friends but there was just no more need for a group blog as a place to share or encounter new content. I keep an eye on things here but I don't feel the same way about it as I used to; I basically check in to just make sure no one is burning the place down or posting hate speech or inciting crime or whatever. I like everyone individually just as much, but this isn't the way that it makes sense for me to interact any more, and even if it were just as fast-paced as it used to be, there is no way I would want to talk/argue/share as much as I did when I was 10 years younger.
posted by Miko 03 February | 21:40
it's going to wind down more in the next few years because it isn't that interested in drawing new participants to make up for its own inevitable attrition.

Hey, I at least tried, instead of just doomsaying.
posted by JanetLand 04 February | 08:25
JanetLand, I do want you to know that I've tried, too. The decline had visibly started by 2012, so I've been thinking about these things for a long time. I used to post the Flickr Fridays to MeTa, until it was kind of hinted that that wasn't going to be a regularly welcome use of MeTa, and also made an effort to cross-link to MetaChat whenever it was relevant - as in AskMe, when people asked about places to hang out on the web, etc. Bearwife also did yeoman's work maintaining a book club based here, but cross-posted there, for a couple of years. Others have done their part to mention the site and personally invite their friends and contacts to be new members. The fact that there have been so many such attempts, and that so many people already know about MeCha but just don't have impetus to come here, is an indication that, like MonkeyFilter, SportsFilter, the now-defunct, MetaChat is just experiencing the natural attrition of any community and operating in an environment that makes it difficult to replace the attrition by offering some kind of unique value, except for people who are already friends and enjoy seeing one another here. I suspect we could all try, try, and try to keep MeCha on the MeFi radar and still not see much takeup, but if you feel your efforts will bear fruit, you (collectively) should definitely keep trying. At some point after 2012 I decided that though I will still enjoy MeCha as long as it's around, I needed to invest energy elsewhere, so I stopped officially admin-ing then.

I know that people love the feeling that they have a warm community here, so it makes all the sense in the world to me that those who care most to maintain this community should take the lead in trying to revive it. I know the place means a lot to people, so when the site went down a little while ago I did what I could to encourage that conversation to take place, and proposed some possible solutions (migrate to a new platform, etc). - but I don't know where the technical conversation stands, and even if the technical conversation is solved there is still a need to rebuild community or it definitely will wind down just because that's life. It's not a crusade I can lead, and I share your frustration that there's no clear path to reversing the downward trend. Some folks committed to posting more often, which would certainly help retain some traffic, but that kind of thing tends to peter out as people lose focus. I think the single most useful thing people could do to keep the site viable as a community is just post and comment more often, giving passers-by a reason to stay, and members a reason to return and read more frequently. That's what the site has to offer that has some value, so as that declines, so does the value to readers and members. I mean, if we can't even rally ourselves, where is it headed? But it seems like those periodic efforts are not sustained, and we have this conversation over and over. What would be needed is some intense, sustained effort from one or more people with a strong feeling of ownership and some time to devote. Revival of activity won't just happen, it would need to be made to happen, and not everyone can or wants to make the effort; it would be great to see one or more people who really beiieve in it work seriously at that in a sustained way.
posted by Miko 04 February | 10:35
Here's an opportunity to help if someone wants.
posted by Miko 06 February | 14:12
Unexpected bunny sightings || Popping and Locking