Metafilteresque French sites?
February 1, 2014 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of any sites kind of like Metafilter, but in (or at least primarily in) French? I leave "like Metafilter" to your discretion, but mainly I'm thinking of the commenting culture more than "list of links" - an active commenting userbase with generally high quality discussion. I see that this question has been asked in AskMe before, but the sites in the answers seem to all be dead, or turned into shopping sites, or were jokes in the first place (like a link to Google Translate's translation of Metafilter itself).
posted by Flunkie to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I went searching and on r/france I found the following exchange:

Q: Y'a-t-il un website Français comme reddit?

A: Non. (...) Il y a des "grands" forums fréquentés par beaucoup d'internautes (,,,, mais ils partent tous d'une communauté ou de centres d'intérêts spécifiques à la base.

Someone also links to this map of French forums (from 2008, unfortunately).

I have no idea which of these forums would contain high-quality discussion, but it's a start.
posted by martinrebas at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2014

I don't know of any. Forums, yes, but consistent, quality, general discussion, not really.

For a France-centric explanation: It's the sort of thing that's never really taken off here. Even Facebook and similar French sites aren't used that much. From my own admittedly American point of view, after having lived here for 15 years and studied the language since age 12 (which was 26 years ago), I think it's for two reasons: France has always had a very active political bent, where it's not only acceptable, but often seen as courageous to participate in activism. Protests and marches are regular occurrences, unions are strong and communicate regularly, though it's become a bit more wobbly in the past few years. So forums aren't really needed for finding groups of people who share similar views, in that sense.

The second reason is that family and school friendship networks are very strong here. If you want to have a lively discussion, you call up friends, or visit family. It's a small country compared to the States; you can drive from one end to the other in about a day, max. You're never very far from people. Where I post once or twice a day on Facebook, they'll post once a week, or once a month, and sometimes only get "likes" from faraway family members, or none at all.

Exceptions tend to prove the rule: the only French people I know who participate actively on general discussion forums are those who participate on foreign-language ones, especially those in English. Anecdotal, naturally, but there you have it.
posted by fraula at 9:40 AM on February 1, 2014 [3 favorites]

I was going to come in here & say what Fraula said - my French friends go out for a coffee and sit for four hours and argue about everything under the sun. THAT's their me-fi.

There is a French version of however.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:16 AM on February 1, 2014

Maybe vie de meuf, which is a reader contributed blog cataloging a variety of sexism and misogyny with a humorous bent. No real discussion, but some interesting posts now and then.
posted by brookeb at 12:09 PM on February 1, 2014

Oh, oh, this was going to be my very first Askme, but since you've beaten me to it I'll hijack your question:

Are there any german or spanish sites a bit like Mefi? Either the blue or the green to be honest, I just want to practise reading in smaller bites than whole novels. Even something like Huffpo or jezebel would do. I just want something light and entertaining that I can skim on my phone on the train in a morning.

(I just checked if there was a, and there is. It sells roofing slates)
posted by tinkletown at 2:55 PM on February 2, 2014

I haven't found any. I sometimes wish there was one.

I think, beyond what fraula said, that there are many reasons:
- the number of French readers is too low to sustain a google-ad driven site like askmefi/mefi
- the amount of interesting/quality French content produced everyday isn't enough to fuel an interesting site (this is debatable, but assuming you don't want "news filter", and you feel the blue quality is good enough)
- metafilter is a diverse community, I feel the French web forums are more split: geeks, artists, journalists, regular people, activists rarely meet at the same internet place, even less so when they disagree.
- there is less pseudonimity possible - which can be an issue for some

Most newsy sites really struggle with moderating their communities (rue89 does a decent enough job, but still), or are overly serious (like mediapart).
Very few blogs are "multi user" and multi-interests, and even fewer are focused on being a community rather than a media. Activists blog are interesting to read, but the communities are atrocious. For gaming, web distractions and such, the forums are not too bad.
There is truly no alternative to ask metafilter. I don't think many communities have something like metatalk.

I'm still looking by the way but I sometimes wonder I would even participate in that. I like mefi as an “international” place, although heavily US bent. And I'm happy with direct interactions at the café. I'm not sure i’d go to a semi-local, less diverse community.
posted by motdiem2 at 1:24 AM on February 13, 2014

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