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After becoming a member of MetaFilter, you have to wait a week and write a few comments before you can post links. But what is 'posting' to MetaFilter, and why is it so important?

Basically, every 24 hours you can make a post to the front page of MetaFilter (however, please bear in mind that if all the members made a post every day, the site would quickly become unusable). Each post should contain at least one link that points towards an interesting website, and preferably it should contain some descriptive material or commentary that will explain the content of link to readers, so they can quickly decide whether they should read it. Posts should adhere to these criteria:

  • most people haven't seen (the link) before
  • there is something interesting about the content on the page
  • (the link) might warrant discussion from others.

Also, Matt Haughey has proclaimed, "A good thread values uniqueness over novelty." You can take this to mean that you shouldn't immediately post any new news story that hits the headlines; everyone knows where they can read the news, and most people do. So while posting a link to a news story might satisfy novelty (for a while) it certainly won't satisfy uniqueness. The recent tendency for news posts on MetaFilter has been termed NewsFilter.

Practical Points

Before a post appears on MetaFilter, it must be previewed first. Also, when you make a post you have to give it a title. You might be wondering what the point of having a title is, when it doesn't appear everywhere on MetaFilter (seeing post titles is optional). Well, it does appear on the MetaFilter RSS feed, and it helps users of RSS aggregators to identify the content of a post.

You can also make posts to MetaTalk, on issues that concern MetaFilter. I'm not sure if there's a 24 hour limit on posting to MetaTalk, but you really shouldn't do it anyway, unless it's an extremely important issue. Considering that there can only be five posts displayed at any one time on the MetaTalk front page, you should think long and hard before making a new post that would cause one of the present posts to scroll off. Recently, Matt Haughey added a little feature called Link Titles which allows people who make posts or comments to add pop-up boxes containing descriptive information about the linked page in them.

symbioid asked about killer tools for a killer post, and got responses in both research methods and software tools.

Drafts and Collaboration

There have been a number of requests for saving draft posts, and eventually this pony trotted out of the stable. Collaborations on FPPs have happened for a while, but they're rare at best, and often done amongst (internet) friends. To assist both of these efforts, filthy light thief set up the Drafts and collaborations page on the MeFiWiki, after getting approval from the appropriate folks

Everything Else

Somewhat confusingly, once you make a post and it gathers comments, it becomes a thread, and often the terms will be used interchangeably.

If you're planning to make a post to MetaFilter, why not read What Is A Good Post?