3 FAQ tagged with chat

What is MetaFilter Chat?

MetaFilter Chat is a group space where MetaFilter members can talk to each other in real time. It was first set up for the 2012 US election night (MeTa thread), and has been running on a trial basis since.

We ask that people:

1. Keep Chat separate. Don't bring interpersonal stuff to Chat from the main site, and vice versa.

2. Keep Chat civil. Normal "Don't be an asshole" guidelines apply. Harassing or bullying other members is a bannable offense.

Users should be aware that Chat transcripts are logged. Contact us if you are having trouble connecting or want to report a problem.

(MetaFilter Chat is different from MetaChat, which is an independent site.)
(tags: ) December 15, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

How do I log in to Chat?

You log in using your MetaFilter username and password, but with some small changes. You can use Chat from a web browser or a chat client.

Using a web browser:
The easiest way to try it out is to click on the "Chat" link at the top of the page, or visit chat.metafilter.com in your browser. Use your MetaFilter username and password.

Using a chat client:
The chat server uses the Jabber/XMPP protocol. If you don't want to use a browser-based chat, you can also connect with various Jabber clients that support group chat. These include Adium, Pidgin, or Spark. On an iPhone, JabberB and OneTeam both work with the MeFi chat server. Android users can try Jabiru. And there's a longer list of clients for various systems here.

To log in with a chat client, format your MetaFilter username as a Jabber ID. Use all lowercase, even if your MetaFilter username contains uppercase letters:


(This whole string is your Jabber ID.) If your username contains spaces or punctuation, for chat clients you'll also need to escape those characters. To escape a space, use \20. (For other special characters, see this link.) So a name like Example User would login using:


If you use an alternate client, you'll also need to know the name of the group chat room:


You can join that room once you're connected to the chat server.
(tags: ) May 28, 2013 - permalink - back to questions

Who is in charge here? Are there admins and moderators like other sites?

Metafilter is run by a small staff of paid moderators ("mods"). The moderators are: taz, goodnewsfortheinsane, travelingthyme, Brandon Blatcher, and loup; web developers frimble and kirkaracha.

The best way to reach a moderator is to use the contact form, which emails all of the mods. The site is generally staffed around the clock, with regularly spaced gaps in coverage. The contact form will reach whoever is on duty.

All the moderators are also regular site members, so you may see them around participating just like anyone else. When a moderator leaves an official moderation comment, the comment will appear in the thread but enclosed by a box, or [in small type, in square brackets], and a "staff" badge will appear in the byline next to their name. (This text is searchable, so you can find moderation comments by using your browser's "find" function to find the word "staff" on the page.) You can confirm someone is a moderator by looking at their profile page, too -- they'll have a "staff" badge under their profile picture.

Some history:
1999: MetaFilter was created by Matt Haughey (mathowie); he was the sole admin of the site for the first several years.
2005: Jessamyn West (jessamyn) was hired; she was especially instrumental in establishing the culture of the new subsite, AskMetafilter.
2006, May: Paul Bausch (pb), our technical wizard, joined to keep the back end running smoothly and do bugfixes and feature builds.
2007, March: Josh Millard (cortex) started helping out around the place.
2008, May: vacapinta became the unofficial "Midnight Mod", checking in a few times during the North American night.
2011, April: Jeremy Preacher (restless_nomad) came on, originally to keep an eye on things over the weekend, although gradually shifting to weekday hours too.
2011, October: taz joined the team as the first regular non-US mod, bringing civilization to the formerly-lawless hours of North American night.
2012, October: goodnewsfortheinsane and LobsterMitten joined the team as part-timers, with a few regular shifts and some flexible coverage for other mods' hours.
2014, May: Layoffs. Due to a budget crunch, jessamyn retired, and gnfti and LM were laid off. Over the next months, site members contributed enough money to keep the site operating and even bring back the laid-off mods at sharply reduced hours.
2015, March: Mathowie retired, still the owner but handing nearly all site operations over to cortex and the remaining mods. Cortex took over most operational stuff, and LobsterMitten took over mathowie's on-site mod hours.
2016, January: Eyebrows McGee joined the staff as a part-timer and often weekend mod.
2016, May: pb retired.
2016, May: frimble joined the staff as resident tech person.
2017, July: mathowie transferred ownership of MetaFilter to cortex.
2020, Jan: restless_nomad retired
2020, June: new mods travelingthyme and loup joined the team.
2020, July: restless_nomad returned to help with administrative tasks for a limited time, jessamyn returned to a more active role
2021: restless_nomad stepped away again as planned; jessamyn reduced her role and schedule gaps were introduced
2022: cortex stepped down as owner, jessamyn took over as owner, loup took over operations, Lobster Mitten retired, Eyebrows McGee transitioned to a sub/fill-in mod
2023: Brandon Blatcher joined in February, Eyebrows McGee retired in April
2024: Kirkaracha joined the web development team
(tags: ) March 20, 2006 - permalink - back to questions