Meaning [this is good]
June 14, 2005 12:15 PM   Subscribe

What's the cool-kid, hackerish and full definition of the phrase: [this is good]?

I've seen it around, on the message boards of many web sites, and email discussion lists, and I usually just interpreted it literally. Then I saw it on a woman's T-shirt on Flickr, with many comments about the photo and shirt saying how neat it was and talk about a "first rule" (see Flickr photo here). Sure, it's kind of geeky cute: the wearer of the T-Shirt is good. OK.

Is there something to this phrase I'm missing, or is this just people being exceptionally geeky?
posted by teece to Computers & Internet (90 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Shh... we're not allowed to talk about it.
posted by Khalad at 12:25 PM on June 14, 2005

nope. you're not missing anything. It's not like the metafilter "."
posted by pmbuko at 12:25 PM on June 14, 2005

Best answer: All I've been able to pick up is that it's a reference to Filepile, a members-only and closed-to-signups website that involves some sort of peer-to-peer-ish file distribution. There are apparently "this is good" and "this is porn" links associated with the files. Filepile is notoriously tight-lipped (hence the "first rule" Fight Club reference). I'm not a member, just an AskMe detective, so I'm not breaking the first or second rules.

(On preview, basically what Khalad said)
posted by Plutor at 12:27 PM on June 14, 2005

Someone from the Department will be around to clear your memory shortly.
posted by arco at 12:28 PM on June 14, 2005

I'd like to point out, though, that a large number of the people using "[this is good]" probably aren't Filepilers. It's morphed into a somewhat generic internet tag-like meme. Most people who use it (including some Mefites) are probably unaware of its etymology.
posted by Plutor at 12:29 PM on June 14, 2005

as far as i know, it's used on, where users vote on music, images, movies and text files that are uploaded by other users. users are a somewhat exclusive club that has a bit in common with fark, as well as ILM (I Love Music), maybe?
posted by chr1sb0y at 12:31 PM on June 14, 2005

I'm pretty sure FilePile is a myth.
posted by dogwelder at 12:32 PM on June 14, 2005 [4 favorites]

posted by Marquis at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

this is not the meme you are looking for
posted by badstone at 12:35 PM on June 14, 2005

I'll be shot down for revealing the truth, but "filepile" really doesn't exist. It's been an ongoing joke among alpha bloggers for the past 4 years.

This might leave you perplexed, but the [this is good¦bad¦offensive] stuff is an elaborate joke on you.
posted by stx23 at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2005 [3 favorites]

a site like that couldn't be successful. what would be the point of it?
posted by maya at 12:39 PM on June 14, 2005 [3 favorites]

Best answer: There's also [this is bad] (my cat litter box has that sticker on it).

Basically it was an ingenious simple rating system designed by Andre Torrez that works similarly to Slashdot (where you see it spilling into comments and emails saying "+1"), but with the simpler labels. So there's nothing new in the tech behind it, but the label system was simple and sweet and is fun to say outside the bounds of the secret site which shall not be named.
posted by mathowie at 12:42 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

I have it on good authority that FilePile is just a dummy login page.
posted by ropadope at 12:48 PM on June 14, 2005 [3 favorites]

Hey, did you guys hear about Michael Jackson? Innocent on all charges! Pretty intense, huh?
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:52 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

i loved my filepile account, even more so that i managed to get one before signups were close down. oh, how i loved my links. coming back from a long vacation one day though, i found it deleted.

i miss it so much.
posted by lotsofno at 12:56 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

filepile started out as a simple upload/download site (take a penny, leave a penny) and fizzled out quickly after it was linked from kottke. now all that remains is the carcass of the frontpage - kind of a look back at the golden days, sentimental stuff.
posted by sporky at 12:58 PM on June 14, 2005 [3 favorites]

the bandwith of that unused account was just costing too much lotsofno - that's the way the cookie crumbles
posted by drgonzo at 12:59 PM on June 14, 2005

Filepile doesn't exist anymore, and hasn't since 2001. What are you guys talking about?
posted by animoller at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

some people just can't let the dream die
posted by sporky at 1:08 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

the first place i saw '+1' being used regularly in emails to voice approval is in the voting to accept patches for apache httpd. this goes back to the earliest days of the apache project, which would pre-date it's slashdot usage.
posted by jimw at 1:09 PM on June 14, 2005

There's another site that has basically taken FilePile's throne, but since you had the audacity to grant best answers before waiting long enough for people to respond before the question fell off the front page, I'm not going to tell you.

Let this be a lesson to future "best answer" clickers who are too fast on the draw.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:11 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Let this be a lesson to future "best answer" clickers who are too fast on the draw.

Somehow, I don't think you would have told me anyway, Civil_Disobedient.

But in any event, the question has been answered, and anything left is ancillary.

As a side note: trying to answer this question with Google is an interesting challenge, as both quoted and non-quoted searches for "this is good" yield way too many responses.

AskMeFi to the rescue, which I hadn't even thought of at first.
posted by teece at 1:21 PM on June 14, 2005

first rule! first rule!

posted by bshort at 1:25 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

CD is most likely referring to Purey Soiree, the towers, themax or gabber.

There were other attempts to implement the model such as babe!pile and swaptimo, but I hear that those two were bleeding bandwidth and had to be put down.

The short answer is that there's a wonderful user led distribution model, but we're not in a position to afford it without a subscription service. Something like Digital's proposed Millicent might work, but we're not there yet as something like paypal takes too much of a cut per transaction to allow the microtransaction model needed.

At it's core, filepile is a theoretical labelling system. Both delicious and flickr work as proof of concept, but we're still a long way from the 4 corner implementation that Andre proposed all those years ago.
posted by stx23 at 1:26 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

a site like that couldn't be successful. what would be the point of it?

If nothing else, such a site would theoretically attract creative and interesting individuals. They could make a zine or something. I guess.
posted by Eamon at 1:32 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Well, some use is being seen of filepile, anyway.
posted by kenko at 1:35 PM on June 14, 2005

[comment deleted]
posted by skwm at 1:41 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

If you wanted it to be successful you would offer a platinum package with special perks like higher bandwidth and archiving.
And you would need to delete the unused accounts and disable extensions.
And for god's sake, keep that crab away from the pipe.
posted by 2sheets at 1:51 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

These are not the droids you're looking for.
posted by briank at 2:03 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

[this is bad]
posted by keef at 2:10 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

Johnny Cash covered Hurt? Who knew?
posted by stx23 at 2:11 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]


posted by keef at 2:11 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

posted by Spoon at 2:24 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

Same thing happened to me, lotsofno.
posted by transient at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2005

So, is it real or not? Sounds like a bit of Occam's razor is required. A secret file sharing website, that gets memes out into the whole internet? I'm really curious, I find myself saying [This is Good] a lot, and I don't even know why.
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 3:02 PM on June 14, 2005

I think we can assume that it is still running, but that the joke among the kids is to act like the site is dead. That would account for all of the "these are not the droids" comments, as well as all of the strangely inconsistent "it was dead in 2001," "no, it was 2002," "no, it was dead and then alive and then dead and then kottke" comments.

Or, it is dead, but when it was alive people used to make jokes like these and they are just continuing the joke now for old time's sake and to identify themselves as in-the-know.

Either way, they won't tell you. That's the joke.
posted by Mid at 3:19 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Since we are sharing secrets, here is one, there is no single person known as Andre Torrez, it's just an anagram for TRADER ZONE R. An old BBS service from the early days of teh internet, it's just a big fat in-joke.
posted by riffola at 3:25 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

posted by basmati at 3:44 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Gay enough.
posted by davros42 at 4:10 PM on June 14, 2005

posted by Marquis at 4:29 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

What's hilarious is that the secrecy continues. People like being part of an exclusive group so much, they can't let it go even when the group is, for all intents and purposes, dissolved. The Site was set up as an experimental breeding ground for internet memes. Members competed to create the most pervasive memes. [this is good] was an early, and unintentional success, originally meant for internal use only. Many of the catchphrases used here were part of a campaign by early members to use MeFi as a distribution site for their work. (I can't tell you which, unfortunately. It was before my time, and I was never sure how far I could trust the other members' accounts of their exploits. To listen to the way they told it, MeFi's very existence was their doing.) Eventually someone went to far, and the whole thing was shut down by the FBI after they traced the origin of a meme that ended up affecting U.S. policy. I can't disclose any details, of course, but suffice it to say, we were all surprised how far things went. The members agreed that it was better not to continue; many simply felt that there was no way to top that stunt.
posted by Nothing at 5:06 PM on June 14, 2005 [4 favorites]

You've got to give them credit, though. They sure fooled everyone with this whole 'internet' thing.
posted by Eamon at 5:11 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

the site went analog, from what I heard. people clamoured for digital versions, but, eh, analog is where it's at.

Like MeFi CD Swaps, but a bit more intense.
posted by bonaldi at 5:13 PM on June 14, 2005

Ok, talk to you later.
posted by robbie01 at 5:42 PM on June 14, 2005

posted by docgonzo at 6:01 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

Filepile is a place where you post a few MP3s and the stupid bitches act like it's the end of the fucking world.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 6:09 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

She seems nice.
posted by machaus at 6:19 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

this thread needs more bukkake
posted by threeze at 6:25 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

[this thread is good]
posted by camworld at 6:40 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

Just a thought: most sites seem to have an ebb and flow. There are a few like Fark, /. and Mefi that have outlasted their faddish status and persevered. I don’t understand how a site that started in 2001 could still be around with such a simple homepage layout. While I wouldn’t go as far as Dogwalker to suggest it’s a myth, I think some people in this thread might have been misinformed as it what it truly is or isn’t.
posted by nevermind22 at 7:00 PM on June 14, 2005

Where's skallas?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 PM on June 14, 2005

[there is no cabal]
posted by exlotuseater at 7:25 PM on June 14, 2005

this thread is so [goth]
posted by meowchow at 7:35 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

posted by Espoo2 at 7:50 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

I miss Filepile... man, my eyes get all goopy just thinking about it.
posted by kevspace at 7:59 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

posted by Tenuki at 8:08 PM on June 14, 2005

i just emailed a blogger friend, outlander, and asked if FilePile was still around, and he said "INSERTIA/DISINSERTIA". i think there is something in that for all of us.
posted by threeze at 8:38 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

Thanks guys. I used to think Filepile was this place where a bunch of wankers got together and made fun of the rest of us. Now I imagine it as this secret club where all the really important people get invited, and that someday, if I'm a good little netizen, I will be let through the plain white login page into a beautifully designed lounge filled with interesting people who make fun of the rest of us.
posted by muddgirl at 8:49 PM on June 14, 2005

Wait, filepile is back? Looks like the same old stupid login page to me.

I thought [this is good] was from mailing lists. Y'know, how listar/ecartis would put the name of the mailing list at the beginning of the subject line in square braces. I liked having the [this might be offensive] warning so I'd know to watch out before opening something at work, like some APE surgery or squished dogs hanging from clotheshangers, or old-man porn.
posted by Mozai at 8:55 PM on June 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

"file pile" is a ghost town, just the login page remains...
posted by PaleFire at 9:50 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

Well I heard it was started by Mario Dinis, but it got shut down in '02 when his sister filed a suit against him for all of his assets, due to some messy family issues...
posted by catatonic at 11:04 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

What sucks is, I first saw the home page after the sign-ups were closed, but while there was still a "enter your email here to get in line for the next available account."

As far as I can tell, entering an email there just spit it out to all the members, who packed my mailbox full of goatse. It seemed to stop a few years back, so I guess that might coincide with the site closing down.

Bunch of apes, seemed like to me.
posted by davebug at 11:23 PM on June 14, 2005 [2 favorites]

The ManTaur will never die !
posted by marcuswebb at 12:05 AM on June 15, 2005 [2 favorites]

kittens and, um ....

no, just kittens.
posted by [this is good] at 12:52 AM on June 15, 2005 [2 favorites]

Somewhere in 2002 I visited filepile. Back then it was a pile of files. It was good. It was offensive. But it started to get bad pretty soon. Jandevries came and he fucked up real good. The feds were called. Mr A. Feigelson busted the place. Now all we have are teh memories. Ah, but aren't they sweet?
posted by knutmo at 1:06 AM on June 15, 2005 [3 favorites]

Now all we have are teh memories. Ah, but aren't they sweet?

They'd be better if someone could scan them in and make them available online.
posted by Marquis at 1:11 AM on June 15, 2005 [2 favorites]

Filepie? It's delicious with ice cream.
posted by E_B_A at 6:19 AM on June 15, 2005 [2 favorites]

Also: I'm a skeleton.
posted by E_B_A at 6:19 AM on June 15, 2005 [2 favorites]

Who leaves Altantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do! We do!
Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
We do! We do!

Seriously, "secret clubs" on the internet are impossible - there'd be leaks all over the place. Particularly if there were so many of the "elite bloggers" there. No chance

Has anyone seen my frog?
posted by KnitWit at 7:36 AM on June 15, 2005 [2 favorites]

E_B_A is a skeleton, I met him at Fipi Lele's wake...
posted by jinx at 8:27 AM on June 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

posted by bhell13 at 9:13 AM on June 15, 2005

Filepile is cancelled.
posted by turaho at 9:36 AM on June 15, 2005

We are a rumor, recognizable only as deja vu and dismissed just as quickly. We don't exist; we were never even born. Anonymity is our name. Silence our native tongue. Were no longer part of the System. We're above the System. Over it. Beyond it. We are "them." We are "they."
posted by dolphin917 at 9:36 AM on June 15, 2005 [3 favorites]

[ ]
posted by boogah at 11:47 AM on June 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

The truth is, the website has been closed for some time. Nobody can really remember how long but I wish they'd reopen it. That would be so damn fresh, guy. So damn brave, woman. So damn, uh... plastic, lady. So damn goopy... uh... mart.
posted by E_B_A at 12:29 PM on June 15, 2005 [3 favorites]

Judging from the comments within this javascript file, the site was at least active through the early part of 2002.

I'm assuming from some of the weird comments in this thread that former members of the site are confirming some connection between the [this is good] phrase and this Filepile thing, but there's really no way I can figure to confirm that connection. It seems just as likely that it's some other Something Awful forum joke or meme that blew out of control and is kept up by people who don't even know where teh phrase originally came from.

It seems to me that most of the comments in this thread are just the usual mefi wankers pretending to be l33t ;)
posted by sixfoot6 at 2:03 PM on June 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

"teh phrase" :)

You should do something with the "teh", Matt. Make a little Mefi-only graphic for it or something.
posted by arco at 2:32 PM on June 15, 2005 [1 favorite]


Sorry, sometimes I type a bit too quickly.
posted by sixfoot6 at 2:48 PM on June 15, 2005

We had some good times. I miss teh brackets.
posted by hugsnkisses at 5:25 PM on June 15, 2005


Most don't get it. The ones that do, except for me, will never be honest about it because they have reached levels of megalomania that only god should have attained.

Filepile does not, and has never truly existed. It all started when someone, who we'll call Taz, bought the domain. Taz the made a redirect to for the sole purpose to tell people how cool was and get them go there and never be able to wipe the horrid image from their mind. So, it then became a meme of tricking the unknowing into viewing in its full glory.

That got old soon. It became way to obvious, so Taz got smart, or so Taz thought, and put the simple login page up on The login page does nothing other that make people that heard how cool filepile was feel like they were missing something because they couldn't get in.

Then some people who wanted to feel like they were part of something, because they were really not part of anything, started mentioning filepile in various chat rooms, message boards, and blogs. Many of these few people became so disillusioned and separated from reality that they began to think and speak as if they were part of this elusive filepile. In order to keep that feeling of validation, these filepilers had to keep up with each other and what each was saying about filepile.

The whole thing became truly sick and twisted as once a filepiler said something about filepile, as long as it did not conflict what another said, suddenly became true and had to be acknowledged by all other filepilers. Someone mentions that there is a "First Rule", ala Fight Club, and suddenly all filepilers acknowledge there is a "First Rule" of filepile. Same is true of that filepile has an unlimited list of mp3's, videos, and porn pictures available to any of the elite that are members of filepile. Same is true of the whole stupid thing about [this is good] originating on filepile. Actually, as most knowledgeable techies know, [this is good] is a famous meme simply because it is the first text that was ever transmitted over ARCNet.

So, as you have probably guessed, yes I was at one time part of the insanity that is known as filepile. I became so separated from reality by it. I began to believe that my only friends were my fellow filepilers. I began to go severely into debt because, at every chance, I'd travel to various remote locations just to meet up (or pile-up) with my fellow losers. We'd just wind up doing a lot of hard drugs and making up new things about filepile. It was actually in Bangkok in 2001 that I came up with the whole "teh" thing. We laughed for hours.

So now you know the truth...

posted by potuncle at 5:39 PM on June 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

Clearly the answer is that [this is good] originated in MetaTalk and not in some supposed "closed site".
posted by snarkout at 6:31 PM on June 15, 2005

It is interesting these different perspectives on The Filepile. What most people don't understand is that there are, in fact, multiple filepiles, yet those who are 'in' think that they are in on THE exclusive club. Especially those who had been awarded Platinum Star filepile access.

What they all share in common is the dummy page. They use that as their false front door to the world. But the real sites are at other domain names. But by keeping the Filepile name, they take the heat off of themselves.

One site is really into zines. Another crabs. Another droids. Another kittens. I heard that there is even one that is into teh pron.
posted by jmccorm at 6:38 PM on June 15, 2005

Anyway, this was a good idea.
posted by NickDouglas at 9:06 PM on June 15, 2005

crazy crackers. needs more cock.
posted by Neb at 9:15 PM on June 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

posted by bison at 7:34 AM on June 16, 2005 [2 favorites]

File Pile exists — in another world, another time.
posted by Down10 at 10:41 AM on June 16, 2005 [2 favorites]

Snakes and plates!
posted by soundslikequiet at 11:08 AM on June 16, 2005

I used to be a member of the original incarnation of FilePile (what you see when you visit now is what the first login screen looked like to me).

I forgot my password and lost my ability to automatically log on when I had to do an emergency reformat of my harddrive. That, and my original MeFi account (plus /. and others) were lost in the bitbucket.

My last real memory of File Pile (and I don't know if it ever lasted too much after I left, since it seemed to be dying (1 or 2 files added per day) was that it was like all the nerdy kids in high school pretending they were cool.

It was fun to pretend, but with the attendance dropping every day, it became more and more of an effort to keep up the fun.

One of my friends (the guy who got me the membership originally) said that Torrez finally closed it up in late 2002/early 2003. It became too much of a bandwidth hog for his personal server and there really wasn't enough benefit to keep it going.

My friend said the last few months were torture as everyone kept bickering about gold, "professional bloggers" and this idea of producing a 'zine, whatever form that would have taken.

I hope someone revives it again.

And I hope someone gives me a membership again.
posted by grum@work at 5:51 PM on June 16, 2005 [2 favorites]

potuncle said "We'd just wind up doing a lot of hard drugs and making up new things about filepile. It was actually in Bangkok in 2001 that I came up with the whole "teh" thing. We laughed for hours."

I call bullshit.

wikipedia has it as:

Teh is a common typo for the. This misspelling of the most common word in the (written) English language is so common that it is one of the words in the auto-correct lists of spellcheckers in popular word processing applications, such as Microsoft Word, Writer, or Corel WordPerfect.

In the online slang known as Leet, it is deliberately used in place of the, and often spelled with a numeral 3 in place of e. Teh and t3h are the traditional spellings of the in the phrase "ph33r t3h ...".

Besides being an alternate spelling of the, teh also has grammatical properties not generally applied to the. It can be used with proper names, as in "teh John"; compare the usage of the definite article in Greek: ? ??a???? (o Ioannes), literally "the John". A similar usage comes from German, where the definite article is used as a specifier to modify the noun: "Der Johann", again literally, "the John", could be used to identify John, and not Phil, as the subject performing a certain action.

Furthermore, teh is sometimes used in front of a verb, turning it into a species of compound noun chain. The best-known example of this is the word suck. Thus, the phrase this sucks can be converted into this is teh suck; the word pwn can be similarly converted (teh pwn). The above phrases are primarily used by the gaming community, and often intended humorously.

In English, the can be used as an intensifier for the superlative form of adjectives; compare "that is best" and "that is the best." Teh has a similar use as an intensifier for unmodified adjectives, generally marking a sarcastic tone. For example, "that is teh lame" translates as "that is the lamest." This contrasts with the use of the in English to construct mass nouns from adjectives, as in "blessed are the meek," where the meek denotes a class of people who are meek, or perhaps teh humble.
posted by quizzy at 8:24 PM on June 16, 2005

hilarious mp3 defective yeti recently posted at the mythical filepile.
posted by protea at 1:06 AM on June 28, 2005

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