Clunker Bunker?

March 30, 2010 11:37 AM

Anyone else wish there was a means by which to withdraw or quarantine tracks that, upon reflection, could do with a little more work (or be quietly put out of their misery)? I've done one or two of these now (ok, ok maybe more than one or two), and it's a source of moderate frustration that the facility doesn't there a persuasive reason why not? If it bugs the admins, there could simply be a "cooling off period" of say 3 days from initial upload after which you're stuck with it.........
posted by MajorDundee (9 comments total)

Our general take is that Music, like the rest of the site, is a place where we expect people to basically decide they want to share something before they hit the go button, with the understanding that it'll be around thereafter.

That said, poster's regret happens or real life intervenes, so if someone has the rare "oh man that really shouldn't be out there" situation, they can drop us a line and explain and we'll generally help them out. If it comes up more than once, it probably means a "you really need to find away to anticipate this stuff before posting, from now on, so we don't have to keep doing this" conversation as well.
posted by cortex at 2:08 PM on March 30, 2010

You guys were engaged in a similar discussion last year about artists' control of their output on MeFi Music. The responses from the mods seemed to have been a bit more generous and along the lines of "we understand and rarely would refuse a take-down request."

I think the "you really need to find a way to anticipate this stuff before posting" is less generous than it once might have been, cortex. Am I right? The stance might have the effect of chilling contributions and that maybe is what you want. In which case, you're basically saying you don't want to make this a testing ground for people's works in progress (and that's totally understandable...the place could become a mess with posts going up, tunes coming down, cats and dogs sleeping together...) or just that you don't want people to post material without a commitment for all perpetuity. That's how I treat it (and why, MajorDundee, I'm not going to be inserting a 2 bar break into Cover Me :) ). But it feels like that spirit is slightly dogmatic and antithetical to the community feel of Metafilter.

There were also some other interesting references to and discussions regarding record deals, wanting to use the tracks commercially, and the idea of having a delete button with a cooling-off period. I joined the rally late but made this additional point that there is a difference between what's said in conversation versus a song (or something with mutable value) that can be traded as a commodity. Many of the songs I've contributed are for sale and I don't intend to retract them. But, being that this is my profession, I'm very unlikely to contribute material that isn't completely done and dusted, material that I'm shopping around, or material that hasn't made as much money as I think it could (which, of course, is completely unforeseeable and a total guessing game/gamble). I might still post experimental material but it's less likely unless I'm totally just farting around.
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 3:36 AM on April 5, 2010

Oops. I totally didn't mean to type that.
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 3:36 AM on April 5, 2010

I think the "you really need to find a way to anticipate this stuff before posting" is less generous than it once might have been, cortex. Am I right?

It's more that it's a two-way street; we generally don't refuse a "could you please take this down" request because we understand that real life intervenes. That hasn't changed.

But because we don't want to casually poke extra holes in the archives, we continue to encourage people not to intentionally put up anything that they suspect they're going to want to take down again. "In retrospect, I really regret that" is different from "okay, so shelf's life up for that one, time for the take-down": the former is an unanticipated thing, the latter was, roughly speaking, planned from the get-go.

The idea of having some sort of more goof-centric, let-your-rough-drafts-run-free thing around here isn't something I'm like fundamentally against, I just don't think the way to approach it is to change what has been a long-standing site-wide policy of having stuff go up with the expectation that it'll stick around. I'd be very uncomfortable suddenly saying "to hell with it, post stuff and then ask for it to be taken down willy-nilly from now on" because that would be antithetical to how Mefi has run for years and years now.

So it's more that I think the way to proceed is to find some alternate way to deal with short-life-span stuff if you want to share it but not make it part of the Music archive. Maybe that means organizing some sort of side-project silliness managed via the wiki, or using a Talk thread to share links-hosted-elsewhere to silly/underdeveloped stuff you don't quite want to turn into a proper Music post, or in similar fashion discussing some draft or series of drafts you're developing that aren't the finished product and which you don't want to make so officially available, etc.
posted by cortex at 7:09 AM on April 5, 2010

Woops - what have I started.... I just thought it would be nice to be able to pull stuff that once the self-delusion of the creative ferment has subsided - not that I'm being pretentious or anything - you think "oh shit - that's really not very good is it?". The answer of course is not to upload really fresh material - leave it to cool for a few weeks. Bit of self-discipline. Simple.

But really it's not something I'm losing sleep over. Thankfully I don't make a living from music (I'd starve), I'm not interested in selling it or publishing it or any of that - so if there are a few clunkers of mine inhabiting cyberspace - who cares?. They don't have my real name associated with them anyway. More analytically, my approach to music is fundamentally improvisatory and my "songs" are, to me, just an extension of that kind of "in the moment" attitude: once I've finished a recording - that's it. Finito. Good, bad or indifferent. I was being a bit disingenuous about songs that need "a little more work" - they'd just be binned in all honesty. "Versions" or "revisions" of finished work aren't on my agenda - I just can't get the enthusiasm up to go over old ground and I'm always only really interested in the next piece. All of that is purely personal, idiosyncratic and subjective and not intended as a put-down of MeFiMu or anyone else's values etc. Rather an irrelevant digression I guess - feel free to ignore me (I might go away...). Be interesting though to hear what other peoples "aesthetic" comprises?
posted by MajorDundee at 11:55 AM on April 5, 2010

Yeah, and to be clear I don't mean to make a big thing of it either. I tend to go long-form on answers out of a mix of habit and a desire to be clear about where I'm coming from, that's all. I'm totally interested in other folks' perspectives on this stuff, I just feel like it's important to be clear what the official policy position is, etc.
posted by cortex at 12:03 PM on April 5, 2010

I should just add (quickly) that, for what it's worth, I think the job of moderation across MeFi is really well-handled and quite open and generous. I, also, don't mean to make a big thing of it, and concede that it just might not be the kind of thing for Metafilter. The site works great as it is :)

On a tangential note, if one were to set up a site (i.e. not, not incumbent on the MeFi mods to deal with) that had a more provisional posting policy (either, "goof-centric" or more staging-ground, proofing for demo that may end up being used commercially or more seriously) would there be any way to link it to Metafilter? Am I right in thinking that Metafilter doesn't have any kind of OpenID-type functionality available that could serve this purpose? I also have a feeling that MeFi doesn't have any partner sites at all in that respect.
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 4:37 PM on April 5, 2010

Yeah, there's no way to tightly integrate it with the existing Mefi userbase. Cousin sites like etc. have just done it the old-fashioned way, encouraging interested folks to sign up and sort of maintaining that unofficial-friend-of-metafilter dynamic to greater or lesser degrees.
posted by cortex at 4:45 PM on April 5, 2010

I was just about to kind of retract that, actually - I don't see how it would benefit Metafilter (as a site/brand) directly anyway.
posted by Jon-A-Thon at 4:49 PM on April 5, 2010

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