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Matthew Haughey

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Matt Haughey
Matt Haughey self-portrait
Born (1972-10-10) October 10, 1972 (age 51)
Other namesmathowie
EducationUniversity of California, Riverside (BS, MS)
Occupation(s)Programmer, blogger

Matthew Haughey (born October 10, 1972) is an American programmer, web designer, and blogger best known as the founder of the community weblog MetaFilter, where he is known as mathowie.

Life and career[edit]

Haughey grew up in Placentia, California.[1] He graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a B.S. and M.S. in environmental science.[2]

Haughey designed his first website in 1995. From 1997 to 2000, Haughey was a webmaster and programmer for Social Sciences Computing at UCLA. In 2000, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area where, as an employee of Pyra Labs, he participated in the development of early versions of Blogger. In 2001, he worked briefly for KnowNow and Bitzi. Haughey then relocated to Portland, Oregon, and from 2002 to 2005 served as creative director at Creative Commons.[2]

In 1999, Haughey launched MetaFilter, a community weblog and internet forum, which he programmed himself using Macromedia ColdFusion and Microsoft SQL Server.[3] In March 2015, Haughey announced he would be stepping down from day to day management of Metafilter[4] to take on a role as Senior Content Director at Slack,[5] leaving primary management and operation duties of Metafilter to long-time moderator Josh Millard. In July 2017, he transferred the ownership of Metafilter to Millard.[6]

Haughey was featured on the front cover of the May 2001 issue of Brill's Content, illustrating the cover story "Human Portals".[7] MetaFilter was a project he started when there were only "30 or so" blogs, and he felt that finding "one or two links a day" personally was not enough content, but a blog with four or five people could do better.[8] Haughey had to contribute many of the early posts until "a few hundred people showed up and we had something good."[9] MetaFilter has since been described as "one of the web's most successful communities".[3] Haughey credits the site's "strong sense of community" for its success, unlike websites that offer social incentives such as karma.[9]

Haughey has a personal weblog called A Whole Lotta Nothing and a photoblog titled Ten Years of My Life, in which he records daily photographs, many of himself. Ten Years was named 3rd-best photo blog by Forbes in 2004.[10][11] On his personal blog, he was noted for starting an internet meme when he annotated Google Maps images of his hometown.[12] He has helped build MetaFilter workalikes such as SportsFilter and helped instigate the5k.org.

Haughey has also ventured into niche blogging; his PVRBlog (personal video recorder blog), which he started in 2004, gained attention as the site that first published complaints over copyright protection on TiVo systems.[13] It was also recognized as an early adopter of Google AdSense text advertising, which according to Haughey allowed him to make enough income to cover his mortgage.[14] In December 2009, Haughey auctioned off PVRBlog on eBay.[15] Haughey had guessed that the site would sell for about $8,500, but after heavy bidding it eventually sold for $12,110[16] to brightfire.net of Austin, TX.[17]

Haughey has been a technical editor of several programming books, and has also contributed chapters to non-technical books in topic areas such as blogging and online community. Since 2005, Haughey has written a number of pieces for The New York Times CIRCUITS section.

In April 2007, Haughey launched the blog Fortuito.us in order to share his thoughts about supporting himself and his family through online projects.[citation needed]

On November 12, 2009 Haughey[18] posted to Twitter, "I passed out at home had a seizure, went to ER, did a cat scan and they found a growth. Awaiting surgery in the next week to remove it." Within hours[19] thousands of people responded with well wishes. Surgery was planned for the following day, but postponed at the last minute.[20] On December 29, 2009, Haughey announced that hormone therapy had shrunk the tumor to less than 50% its original size, and that prospects looked good for the tumor to shrink until "nearly disappearing".[21]

Haughey lives in McMinnville, Oregon with his wife Kay and their daughter Fiona (who has also been the subject of a photoblog, Fiona.haughey.com).


  • Interviewed in Design for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places, Waite Group Press (2001). ISBN 0-7357-1075-9
  • Co-author, We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs, Wiley (2002) ISBN 0-7645-4962-6
  • Co-author, Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself, Peer Information (2002). ISBN 1-904151-03-5.
  • Co-author, We've Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture, Perseus Books Group, 2002 ISBN 0-7382-0741-1
  • Co-author, Hacking Movable Type (ExtremeTech), Wiley (2005) ISBN 0-7645-7499-X


  1. ^ Matt Haughey. "A Whole Lotta Nothing About page". Archived from the original on 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  2. ^ a b Matthew A. Haughey. "Resume". Retrieved 2007-03-06.
  3. ^ a b Noor Ali-Hasan. "MetaFilter: An Analysis of a Community Weblog" (PDF). University of Michigan School of Information. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2007-03-06. This paper was completed by Hasan, a Master's of Science candidate, for a graduate class in e-communities.[1]
  4. ^ Haughey, Matt. "Sixteen Years". MetaTalk. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Metafilter Podcast 102: Retired". Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  6. ^ "mathowie transfers ownership of MetaFilter to cortex". MetaFilter. 2017-07-31. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  7. ^ "May 2001 Table of Contents". Brill's Content. Archived from the original on 2001-08-02. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
  8. ^ Austin Bunn (May 2001). "Human Portals". Brill's Content. Archived from the original on 2001-08-03. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
  9. ^ a b Mark Glaser (March 31, 2006). "Sense of Community Motivates You to Work for Free". MediaShift (Public Broadcasting Service). Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  10. ^ Penelope Patsuris (February 10, 2004). "Best Photo Blogs". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 2, 2004. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  11. ^ "Ten Years of My Life slide". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 11, 2009. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  12. ^ "Google maps give fresh perspective". BBC News Online. April 17, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
  13. ^ Greg Sandoval (September 22, 2005). "TiVo users fear recording restrictions". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  14. ^ Jonathan Thaw (February 1, 2005). "Google's Profit Probably Surged Sixfold on Advertising Increase". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  15. ^ "Twitter". December 18, 2009.
  16. ^ "Twitter". December 18, 2009.
  17. ^ "eBay". December 18, 2009.
  18. ^ "Matt Haughey on Twitter". Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Twitter. It's what's happening". Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Adventures in brain tumors: part one of many". 14 November 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Adventures in brain tumors: Hormone Medications FTW!". 29 December 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]