Social Software

On Regional Metafilters…

The whole Metafilter discussion has taken a couple of interesting turns in the last hour or so. Firstly, prol suggested a rationale for the suggested

“The common language would be English. This would mean only people who write good English would be inclined to post. And then it would be elitist. Which would start a cat fight. Just one of the delightful scenarios possible. What we need is a Universal Translator.”

Then, I had an incredibly interesting conversation with Nikolai. He started off suggesting that a European Metafilter might get over the language problems by having a place in the preferences for each user where they could specify what languages they would want to see and which ones they would want to post in.

The main problem for this from my point of view is that it still causes problems about reading about other countries. Would an Italian writing in English really be something that people in Helsinki would be interested in reading, let alone people in the UK? So then it came to us in a blinding flash. Maybe what we need is not more regional metafilters, but a more evolved filtering mechanism on thet metafilter we’ve already got! With options in the preferences for reading posts filtered according to language and country, then there is no real need for separate metafilters at all.

You could be an Frenchman, living in the US, interested in reading posts about France and America but only if they are in French. Or an Englishman living in Holland, interested in reading posts about both countries in both English or Dutch. It’s just a question of showing or hiding posts. Whether or not it’s technically possible of course, is another matter entirely…

[This has been reposted to Metatalk for further discussion.]