Posts from April 2007

MeFi and Me

For those of you who might not know, Metafilter is a community weblog where members discuss stuff they've found online. Matt started the site in 1999, and I signed up as a member at some point in the early days. (I'm user 191.) I only participated a little at the site during the first couple of years.

Matt and I worked together at Pyra (makers of Blogger), and during that time Metafilter lived on a single desktop tower under Matt's desk. A lot of the early members of Metafilter were also early bloggers, and it became sort of a central "hang out" for people interested in weblogs. Often it was one of the only sources covering and discussing what was happening with blog-related topics. At Pyra, we often asked ourselves, how will Metafilter react? when contemplating changes—because we knew any announcement would show up on the site.

Matt's been running and growing Metafilter ever since, with the addition of several Metafilter sites including the insanely useful and popular Ask Metafilter. I've been a regular reader and fan of the site despite my lack of conversing there, and I've gotten to know various MeFites, both through the site and through conversations with Matt. The community there is definitely unique (in a good way), and I'm constantly surprised at the depth of knowledge members have on any given topic. Though every site has its share of arguments and name-calling, I'm also continually surprised by the level of civility for such an open community. (Which I think is a reflection of the crack MeFi moderation squad, and the community norms that have been established.)

For the past year I've been working with Matt on Metafilter behind the scenes one day/week. I helped Matt launch MeFi Music, Metafilter Jobs, and some new features across the site. It's been great working with Matt regularly, and having instant, massive feedback to changes from lots of, erm, passionate users was a good change of pace from writing books.

In about a week, I'm going to be spending most of my time on Metafilter. I'm excited about this change, and I'm looking forward to helping Metafilter grow with a more sustained effort. Matt has some cool stuff coming up for the site, and it's going to be great to help him build it. The only remaining question for me is, how will Metafilter react?
  • A single script for hosting your own single OpenID identity. Easy to set up with Apache. (IIS with ISAPI_rewrite, hard.) Supports the sreg extension.
    filed under: development, identity, php
  • Here's the "sreg stuff" for OpenID. Avatars aren't mentioned in the spec.
    filed under: development, identity, programming
  • Avatar auto-discovery standard. Seems like a natural fit with OpenID. This should be added to the optional sreg stuff.
    filed under: design, development, identity
  • For the "podcast someday" list of tools: this will automatically Record Skype Calls On Your Mac
    filed under: mac, podcasts, software
  • Firefox Add-on lets you click and drag any form field to resize. (Unfortunately, it doesn't remember your field size preference.)
    filed under: firefox
  • Open source remote desktop client for Windows RDC on Mac OS X. Handy if you need to manage Windows servers from Mac. I hear it's more stable than the official Microsoft RDC client for Macs.
    filed under: programming, mac, software