Setup Metafilter-Style Site
November 17, 2004 1:51 PM   Subscribe

Recently, metafilter style sites were all the rage (using freefilter or metaphilter.) It seems (sadly) most of these have withered from neglect. I'd like to get my own version of a *filter going but the freefilter instructions make my non-tech head feel like it is going to explode. Anyone out there who gets this stuff want to set it up for me? I'd need the whole setup (sans graphics) ie. layout, freefilter and ongoing support if there are any maintenance problems. Name your ballpark price inside this thread and I'll get in touch.
posted by limitedpie to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I'll do it for free if it's a non-commercial site.
posted by cmonkey at 2:23 PM on November 17, 2004

The primary issue with the old FreeFilter is that the templating system is somewhat archaic. If you like CSS and know how to change a GIF file, however, you can get a standard MetaFilter-esque site running really quickly.

If you want to add all sorts of proprietary bells and whistles, well.. that's a lot harder, and you might want to investigate MetaPhilter or PHPifler.. Our own holloway here might be willing to help.
posted by wackybrit at 4:20 PM on November 17, 2004

And wackybrit ought to know about setting up freefilter. However, in its defense...I was able to set it up and I'm basically clueless when it comes to programming.

In the case of Bookfilter it isn't neglect that killed was too high a demand. The software (neither the early freefilter or metaphilter) could not keep up. It died often. And after many of the bugs were ironed out the audience had moved on.

I've considered killing it and I've considered going to something like wordpress. Which I understand could work as a *filter.

But no matter what...set up your *filter. For nothing else than the experience of seeing the posts and watching some people enjoy it.
posted by ?! at 4:34 PM on November 17, 2004

Response by poster: ?!: I think my 'neglect' comment came across as snarky, and I did not mean it too. Hearing about your bookfilter experience was extremely valuable. If I can get this going I intend to put a lot of resources into promoting it just because I would love to see/have a thriving community around *. But realizing how fragile that community can be early on with site issues has me thinking in a fresh way about the problem. Thanks. So, as follow up, do you think the current versions of either freefilter of philter could handle it now, especially if there were an extremely high early demand from promotion?
posted by limitedpie at 5:49 PM on November 17, 2004

No. However, the new fork of MetaPhilter probably could. uses it, and that's reasonably well trafficked, although getting information about it and how to work it all might be like pulling teeth since the original author vanished into thin air and the fork is based on sourceforge, I believe.
posted by wackybrit at 7:37 PM on November 17, 2004

Response by poster: So there is the heart of my question wackybrit, who can do this for me? Is it something I could post as a job description on Craigslist-- or would this even make sense as a project to someone not very familiar with metafilter?
posted by limitedpie at 8:14 PM on November 17, 2004

no problem limited pie.

I'd vote for starting slow. And be careful when you register the domain. Bookfilter was found out before I announced and after I had barely installed the software. I wasn't prepared for the mad rush. In the first week we had more registered users than Sportsfilter. (The only other *filter at the time.)

Wackybrit should know that freefilter couldn't handle the demand. He wrote it.

And while I have the chance to say this...his program really worked well and was an easy installation for me. The beta just didn't have the bells and whistles the readers were screaming for. And that leads to the #1 thing that can make or break your *filter....

Metafite expectations. We're a damn loud bunch who expect a "*filter" to look and behave like Metafilter. Even Matt can't please some of them. And you won't either.

And, no matter what software you use, follow the advice of Johnny Cash and name it Bill, or Bob, or George. Anything but *filter!
posted by ?! at 5:26 AM on November 18, 2004

?!: That's correct. The new FreeFilter is about 70% there, but 6 weeks out in LA kinda called a halt to it, and I just got back this week to a ton of pressing projects, alas! That said, there's one working installation of it out there, but I can't publicize it I'm afraid.

limitedpie: I have no problem with helping you, but your best move would probably be to see what's going on in a month. I know there are people actively trying to nail down a copy of MetaPhilter, which would work, but the new Freefilter should be in a state where I can release it to you. You could, if you like, use one of the existing programs and upgrade later (I can help with this), but for right now, your long term options are limited.
posted by wackybrit at 9:45 PM on November 18, 2004

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