Inappropriate Flagging? January 21, 2006 6:10 PM   Subscribe

Marketing Research? Two people have flagged this thread, saying (or implying) that it goes against Metafilter policy. Forgive me for not ready the policy very closely, but I don't see what is wrong with this kind of thing. What do you folks think?
posted by rossination to Etiquette/Policy at 6:10 PM (44 comments total)

I am in no way bothered, offended or harmed by its existence.
posted by mischief at 6:13 PM on January 21, 2006


Then again I said the same thing about NewsFilter way back when. ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:14 PM on January 21, 2006


I think ipods are marketing-driven pieces of shit.

I also think marketing research is not a good use of Ask Metafilter.

That the user was totally upfront about it makes me less inclined to be offended, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:14 PM on January 21, 2006


Well, the Metafilter community stands to gain nothing from the answers. The only person the thread will benefit is the original poster.

Also, the thread is the poster's first AskMe question, and folora even links to a page with pictures of the cozies.

It's a marketing survey. folora should just do some research on the sales figures for different iPod models.
posted by driveler at 6:17 PM on January 21, 2006


OK, now I feel bad. But still, the type of question and the way it was asked just made it seem like folara was using MetaFilter's users' enthusiasm for iPods to take advantage of them and do research for her business.

Sorry I misspelled your username, folara.
posted by driveler at 6:22 PM on January 21, 2006


folara is right, there's all kinds of "help me get rich/start a business/patent this" questions. I don't see this being any different.

And as for will this help anyone other than folara... sure if someone else were to want to feed the iPod niche.

I think she was pretty upfront about it and it doesn't particularly bother me.

YMMV and driveler's and others clearly does.
posted by FlamingBore at 6:35 PM on January 21, 2006


I linked to a picture of the cozies after my original post, at the request of another user, and NOT as an attempt to sell them, so the fact that I linked to them is irrelevant to your claim, Driveler. I am in NO WAY attempting to sell any product on AskMe and I'm not asking for any product opinions. All I wanted was a basic demographic, and most people didn't mind assisting me in obtaining one.

Driveler said:
Well, the Metafilter community stands to gain nothing from the answers. The only person the thread will benefit is the original poster.

Whoever said that people were only allowed to ask questions that would benefit the whole community? When someone asks for the best way to ask a girl out or posts a song to be identified, the answers to those queries don't have to help out the whole community for the question to be considered legitimate or worthwhile. Your arguments don't make sense, and worse, indicate that you don't understand the principle of taking other user's comments in good faith.

Oh, and by the way, my handle is FOLARA.
posted by folara at 6:37 PM on January 21, 2006


Should preview before I post...ok, I'm sorry too. Maybe we should all go smooth our ruffled feathers somewhere. :)
posted by folara at 6:38 PM on January 21, 2006


I think it's a perfectly cromulent question, and I hope folara is sucessful at this venture. Go Crafters! ;)
posted by dejah420 at 7:05 PM on January 21, 2006


We should all get a free one.
posted by sjvilla79 at 7:13 PM on January 21, 2006


It's a weird use of ask metafilter and if I had to imagine more people doing it more often, ask metafilter wouldn't be very useful if it was people just trying to sell stuff to other people.

So I don't know. I won't delete it, but I hope this is a rare type of post.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:16 PM on January 21, 2006


Tragedy of the commons. This question alone isn't hurting anything much, but if such questions are allowed by precedent or policy, then AskMe becomes a $5 focus group. Now that deleted AskMe questions stay visible, kiil this one and link it from the wiki as an object lesson...
posted by nicwolff at 7:18 PM on January 21, 2006


>>It's a weird use of ask metafilter and if I had to imagine more people doing it more often

It -should- be deleted as example.

Folora's defense is that he's a poor college student? So? I'm sure a lot of mefites are but they shouldnt be using metafilter for friggin market research. Not to mention the data is probably worthless as only people who volunteer data are being heard.

As far as taking pity on the poor student. Well, we could also take pity on the small businessman or even the large businessman if phrased correctly.

Also his attitude is poor, "Honestly. Don't you have a better way to use your time than flagging well-intentioned posts." That's completely besides the point. Are we supposed to overlook standards because its the weekend?

A smarter poster would have asked something like "Which model of ipod sold the most" without going into more detail.

This is the first step to "Hey would you guys click on these google ads for me, cause Im a poor student??" type questions. Suggest deleting it as example.
posted by skallas at 8:00 PM on January 21, 2006


He's advertising the product here by linking to photos of it. Come on, this guy crossed a line.

Maybe the post page should be updated to say something about using askmefi for advertising or marketing purposes.
posted by skallas at 8:03 PM on January 21, 2006


Also, a good example on how to do questions like these is when growabrain asked how to sell a domain name. He didnt list the domain name in the question and got some decent answers.

If Folara asked "Im thinking of starting a small company and would like to know how to get some marketing data cheaply or free if possible," then I doubt anyone would object.
posted by skallas at 8:07 PM on January 21, 2006


Can we ban users who can't spell another user's name correctly even after it's been corrected twice in the same thread previously? And who can't be arsed to check that other user's gender even though a five second visit to her user page would give that information?
posted by TimeFactor at 8:08 PM on January 21, 2006


"Can we ban users who can't spell another user's name correctly"

As in 'scallous'?
posted by mischief at 8:18 PM on January 21, 2006


If you don't like the question, just lie about what kind of iPod you have.
posted by nowonmai at 8:22 PM on January 21, 2006


Did I say that out loud? oops.
posted by nowonmai at 8:23 PM on January 21, 2006


I think this sort of thing should be frowned upon.
posted by caddis at 9:04 PM on January 21, 2006


I love when people announce that they've flagged something.
posted by cribcage at 9:08 PM on January 21, 2006


ok, I closed it off.

I love when people announce that they've flagged something.

Yeah, the whole point of flagging was that it was silent, but many feel the need to say it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:10 PM on January 21, 2006


I just flagged you cribcage
posted by caddis at 9:10 PM on January 21, 2006


That's nuthin' .

I just flagged Matt's comment.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:15 PM on January 21, 2006


Perhaps Jess will delete it.
posted by caddis at 9:17 PM on January 21, 2006


I just took a shit, mashed it into a rectangle and then carefully made stars and stripes with a hairpin. Unfortunately it came apart when I tried waving it.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 10:12 PM on January 21, 2006


Perhaps you need more fiber in your diet.
posted by Cranberry at 11:09 PM on January 21, 2006


Yeah, the whole point of flagging was that it was silent, but many feel the need to say it.

People might be quieter if flagging wasn't useless.

It was proved useless when this comment went unmoderated, as did my reply (both of which I flagged).

Please stop insulting us by pretending that flags do something. If you want to give us all the finger, at least be honest and say "I have no respect for any of you, but thanks for giving me money."
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:50 PM on January 21, 2006


I flag posts because I enjoy testing the sectors of the disks they reside on. I consider it a public service.
posted by wakko at 12:09 AM on January 22, 2006


I love tacos, I can't jump on every flagged comment ever, especially those I see hours after with a crapload of responses. If I delete them at that point, I will get the MetaTalk wrath of oh my god censorship just leave all comments up. Sorry I didn't see that one in time.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:23 AM on January 22, 2006


Well, the Metafilter community stands to gain nothing from the answers. The only person the thread will benefit is the original poster.

People keep saying things like this, and it's incredibly stupid. Most AskMe questions benefit only the original poster, and so what? You're only supposed to ask people questions if Humanity will benefit? If I'm curious about something, I ask, and if you don't feel like answering, don't, but don't tell me I'm selfish for asking. Jesus.
posted by languagehat at 6:12 AM on January 22, 2006


AskMe is the true trickle down process. Questions are asked and answered specifically for the benefit of the asker, yet the benefits trickle down to the broader readership.
posted by caddis at 10:43 AM on January 22, 2006


The most interesting thing about this, I think, was people's immediate willingness to tell others what iPod they had.
posted by Termite at 11:55 AM on January 22, 2006


I think it was just a helping out thing, Termite. For me it was a case of I can answer this question in ten seconds and help someone out. Yay. Done.

(Though I would not make a habit of it.)
posted by dame at 12:38 PM on January 22, 2006


Questions like that come under the heading of "poll the audience" questions and seem to me to be way more like "what's your favorite color" than "help me with my business plan." I don't think marketing strategy questions are bad or off-topic per se, but this type of survery question is.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:47 PM on January 22, 2006


Termite: My main motivation for posting was a quiet rebellion to those who announced that they flagged the post.

I thought a factual reply that ignored the in-thread bitching would marginalize the whiners more effectively than any direct response.
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:18 PM on January 22, 2006


Wow.

Well, I'm sorry for accidentally setting a bad precedent. I certainly didn't mean to post anything even remotely controversial. It really seemed to me that my question DID fit with the spirit of AskMe, but oh well... You guys really don't make it very easy for newbies, though.

One final point to hopefully clear my name: Despite whatever Skallas may say, I was not attempting to market any product on AskMe. That would be wrong, and quite tacky, and I really resent that Skallas would post that selling was my intent. Doesn't the fact that I explicitly said that I had given them away as gifts mean anything? What am I going to do, take them away from my friends and sell them to the highest bidder?
posted by folara at 5:32 PM on January 22, 2006

I really resent that Skallas would post that selling was my intent.
You're not the first. You won't be the last. Someone accused me of the same thing last year. It was kind of fun, actually, watching a bunch of people speculate why I posted the question.

Like any online community, MetaFilter has its quirks, and one is that lots of members like tattling on each other. I can tell you that (a) it's annoying, and (b) it's still far better than what you'll find in most communities.

You're right: It's not easy for newbies, and it should be. Sorry about that. But hey, you got a decent-sized sampling before the question was closed, so maybe all's not lost. Better luck next time.
posted by cribcage at 11:57 PM on January 22, 2006


I think the deletion of this thread was questionable.

By the large number of responses he got, it seemed plenty of folks had no problem with the question's existence.

I know it's too late and all, but I just wanted my opinion out there. Posting photos that were on flickr, not on some website where s/he's hawking the product, is hardly any sort of actual spam.
posted by twiggy at 12:04 AM on January 23, 2006


Also folara, it's already been done.
posted by dg at 4:26 AM on January 23, 2006


I think Jessamyn's nailed it. The question was framed as a poll, and so the answers were by definition going to be useless and boring to anyone besides the asker.

The question could have been asked differently, and solicited broader responses. This would have gotten Folara better info, would have been more interesting for other people, and wouldn't have felt so outside the guidelines.

(For example, people are much more likely to buy accessories for new iPods, so it's much more interesting to find out which models are currently selling at the highest volume, rather than which models people currently own. But that kind of broader discussion of "how should I figure out what kind of sock puppets to make" didn't fit in the simple poll question that Folara asked.)

Honest mistake, though, not flamebait in my book.
posted by alms at 11:00 AM on January 23, 2006


folara: I really resent that Skallas would post that selling was my intent.

From the deleted question: I'm thinking about making ipod cozies to sell

I see the word SELL in the question.
posted by skallas at 12:23 PM on January 23, 2006


Yes, I am planning to sell the cozies, but NOT ON METAFILTER. I never was, and I never said or even implied it. Why the hell do you keep misinterpreting me, Skallas? Do you even read all of what I say, or do you simply ignore the salient points of others' arguments on purpose?
posted by folara at 3:56 PM on January 23, 2006


CAPITALISM IS EVIL
posted by keswick at 3:57 PM on January 23, 2006


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