Over the years MetaFilter has acquired a number of annual traditions.
The very first post on MetaFilter was made by mathowie on July 14, 1999 and linked to cat-scan.com. Titled "Cat-Scan.com" the post read: "Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why."
It has become a tradition each year for a user to post an exact duplicate of that original post on July 14, to commemorate MetaFilter's birthday. For MetaFilter's 12th Anniversary, mathowie purchased the cat-scan.com domain and launched a commemorative site containing user-submitted favorite memories and an explanation of how they discovered MeFi and why they chose to become a member. MeFi announcement. MeTa announcement.
- Main article: April Fools
April 1st is April Fools' Day. In a number of years on April 1st the MetaFilter staff have modified MetaFilter to play some sort of prank on MetaFilter members. The first such prank was in 2000, which involved modifying the front page to look like Dave Winer's Scripting News.
Talk Like a Pirate Day
September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day. Mathowie did the first post in 2003 and it got some traction, but enthusiasm for it in the MetaFilter community appears to have waned.
Caps Lock Day
Each year, a post is made titled: "YAD KCOL SPAC" and with the following text: "OCTOBER 22 IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!!! EVERY YEAR WE GET TOGETHER AND MAKE SALMON FOR TOAST, EVERY YEAR WE GET A CROCKETY BLOAT, EVERY YEAR WE GET DRUNK ON THE DOCKS, AND EVERY YEAR WE HAVE SEX WITH OUR CAPS LOCKS!!!!"
- MetaTalk: Are Caps Lock Day posts considered 'stunt posts' and if so, why aren't they deleted?
- cortex: Pretty much. We let people do this and we let people make a CASP LICK DOG post and there's not really a very formally satisfying explanation for why other than (a) it doesn't scale beyond the once-a-year thing and (b) it's essentially a whole-community transgression rather than a user-vs-the-site thing and (c) *puts on yarmulke* and (d) TRADITION!
clavdivs' Halloween Costume Polls
- Main article: Secret Quonsar
Secret Quonsar is MetaFilter's annual Secret Santa gift exchange, first suggested in 2007 by parmanparman. Public suggested it be renamed Secret Quonsar, after quonsar, whose account had been disabled shortly beforehand.
Every year around the holidays MetaFilter hosts a page, called MeFi Mall, which links to things that creative MeFites are selling or have for sale. The page is for MeFites only and is for online stuff that they've designed, created, built, made or otherwise had a hand in, but excludes stuff like brick and mortar stores, auctions, or one-off items for sale.
At the end of 2008, Greg Nog posted a list of comments that, in his opinion, garnered little attention when originally posted but merited greater acclaim. This started a tradition of posting a summary thread to MetaTalk, in January, with links posted by members to comments from the previous year they felt deserved greater attention.
In 2009, St. Alia of the Bunnies made a MetaTalk thread about a random user who had "enspoused" her, noting "he ain't Ralph." And then the "mass enspousening" occurred. St. Alia took it well, even remembering the following anniversaries (year 1, year 2, year 3). On those anniversaries, users who missed out on previous enspousenings have the chance to get spoused up.