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Too many gift questions in askme November 21, 2006 1:49 PM   Subscribe

At the risk of being a scrooge, is there any way at all to curtail xmas gift askme? I know everyone needs special unique gifts for all the special unique snowflakes in their lives, none of whom resemble in any way the recipients other people need to buy gifts for, but it doesn't add a great deal of value to the site as a whole and we've got another month or so of questions like this ahead of us...
posted by judith to Etiquette/Policy at 1:49 PM (57 comments total)

I really hope there's a way to curtail it. I've been flagging them, but since flagging's not a transparent process, I don't know how useful that is.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:57 PM on November 21, 2006


Agreed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:03 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll see if we can add something to the posting page, I'm already tired of them and we have a few years' worth of good suggestions in the archives already.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:07 PM on November 21, 2006


"I've been flagging them, but since flagging's not a transparent process, I don't know how useful that is."

It goes on a list. They check it twice. They're going to find out.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:08 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jeez, coal for all of youse. This is like a craigslist 'rant and rave' that I read today where somebody was pissed at their Griswold-like neighbors for daring to put their lights up before Thanksgiving.
posted by fixedgear at 2:14 PM on November 21, 2006


::pees on fixedgear's parade::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:16 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


The War on X-Mas started early this year.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:18 PM on November 21, 2006


The latest front on the war on Christmas. (On preview: damn you IRFH.)

But seriously, folks: what adds to the site is that people can ask the questions they want answered. Each user gets one a week, so if he's asking about gifts, that's presumably his most pressing question (that he thinks can be answered here, anyway).

The cost to you if Xmas questions are not curtailed: you skip the question as uninteresting.

The cost to him: he doesn't get his question answered.

I mean, judith's question, "I'm buying a gift for some friends who are Tokaj afficionados, and would love some recommendations for excellent Tokaj wines (ideally Hungarian or Czech rather than French/Italian Tokay or Tocai wines)" doesn't really help me much (I always gives books as gifts), but I'm sure it helped her.
posted by orthogonality at 2:31 PM on November 21, 2006


Agreed. There has been an increase in easily-Google-able posts lately as well, and it's really annoying me.
posted by agregoli at 2:32 PM on November 21, 2006


How about simply not reading such posts? Or you angered by the mere act of skimming? Because, frankly, I already skip over 90% of AskMe questions, and I doubt the Christmas questions raise that percentage by any measurable amount. On the other hand, the asker might have no other way of getting good intel on what a thirteen-year-old boy might want. To my mind, the net cost (skimming)/benefit (answers) ratio strongly argues against some sort of "curtailment."

If the question is too vague, and has been asked and answered before, by all means, delete. But if the person is posing a specific problem, and someone can help, what's wrong with it?
posted by pardonyou? at 2:35 PM on November 21, 2006


(Wow, I agreed with orthogonality. I even used the same cost/benefit logic. It must be the Christmas season).
posted by pardonyou? at 2:36 PM on November 21, 2006


The great silent majority of my fellow Americans agree with me. Let us be united for peace. Let us also be united against defeat. Because let us understand -- Iraq cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that. I am not a crook.
posted by orthogonality at 2:40 PM on November 21, 2006


I find AskMe threads about Christmas ideas a lot more interesting than MetaFilter FPPs about Iraq or flash games, and I'd think they would have wider appeal than, "Help me fix my computer." Chalk me down for, "Oppose."
posted by cribcage at 2:42 PM on November 21, 2006


What about Hanukkah, bitches? Or Chanukah? Or KChannukkaaaaachhhhh!?
posted by Mister_A at 2:46 PM on November 21, 2006


Just shop at www.specialuniquesnowflake.com, they have everything you need.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:48 PM on November 21, 2006


...furiously scribbles ThePinkSuperhero's name on BAD list, turns lights up two notches...
posted by fixedgear at 2:53 PM on November 21, 2006


Like it wasn't there before! ;-)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:07 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wow. Lately the gift posts are almost the only AskMes I read. I guess I'm just a consumer whore. (And how!)
posted by onlyconnect at 3:08 PM on November 21, 2006


I'll see if we can add something to the posting page

Good solution. My first reaction was the same as orthogonality's, but an awful lot of unique snowflakes probably *would* have their Xmess gift questions answered if they'd just check the archives first.
posted by mediareport at 3:18 PM on November 21, 2006


Someone lay down some covering fire with Newsfilter posts.
I'll lob a cute grenade into the mob.
Finish them off with a body disposal question.
And then beat their corpses with five-year-olds.

That'll teach `em...
posted by blue_beetle at 3:33 PM on November 21, 2006


I agree with judith and orthogonality—how's that for ecumenism? I think Xmas posts aren't bad in and of themselves, but they should damn well be specific and well researched. Vague "I wanna get my poopsie something special this year, what do you know that's special?" shit should get deleted with extreme prejudice.
posted by languagehat at 3:39 PM on November 21, 2006


Like this, for instance. (For "poopsie" read "toddler.")
posted by languagehat at 3:41 PM on November 21, 2006


languagehat writes "Xmas posts aren't bad in and of themselves, but they should damn well be specific and well researched. "

There are a number of computer and database questions that show up on askMefi. Some are reasonably complex, "interesting" questions. A lot are beginner stuff someone should have been able to google. I answer both kinds because the complex questions are fun and while the easy questions are tedious, they're also easy for me to answer. It's part of being part of a community.

(But what does piss me off is people who don't report back whether an answer worked. I put in close to an hour testing my answer to a grumblebee question several month sago, and he never reported if it had worked for him. Now that steamed me.)
posted by orthogonality at 3:44 PM on November 21, 2006


We added a small note to the AskMe posting page suggesting that people search posts tagged with the word gift if they are going to make another gift post. I think it's a fine compromise.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:48 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


(also, it features dancing santas, which is cool)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:50 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Jessamyn!
posted by judith at 3:51 PM on November 21, 2006


mathowie writes "(also, it features dancing santas, which is cool fucking annoying)"
posted by orthogonality at 3:54 PM on November 21, 2006


AskMagi: Anyone know where I can buy poopsie some killer extensions?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:54 PM on November 21, 2006


I love the dancing santas!!!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:58 PM on November 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I asked a question today, so I can't see the santas. This is a grievous crime.
posted by mullacc at 4:00 PM on November 21, 2006


That dancing Santa looks totally high. Or on one helluva an acid trip.

We need more dancing Santa, less.....umm....bad stuff, on MeFi!
posted by Salmonberry at 4:08 PM on November 21, 2006


Can we please change the dancing Santa to a Giant Amazonian Centipede eating a bat? Thank you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:12 PM on November 21, 2006


Thanks, mattamyn. The spritis of Chrismakuhzwanza rejoice.
posted by fixedgear at 4:26 PM on November 21, 2006


I had a bitchy, snarky reply all queued up and the Dancing Santa took all the bitchsnark away. God bless us, every one!
posted by ersatzkat at 4:51 PM on November 21, 2006


Holy crap. That is getting to be one cluttered AskMe page.
posted by evilcolonel at 5:14 PM on November 21, 2006


I've disliked "gift filter" for some time now, holiday or not.
posted by jayder at 5:14 PM on November 21, 2006


Oh, sure, you get to use images.
posted by mendel at 6:08 PM on November 21, 2006


Technically, there's only one santa. But thanks for trying to cut down on GiftGilter.
posted by trip and a half at 6:20 PM on November 21, 2006


those are web 2.0 dancing santas.
posted by moonbird at 6:37 PM on November 21, 2006


Eeeee, the dancing Santa is super cute!
posted by hooray at 6:45 PM on November 21, 2006


mullacc, I guess we'll just have to have Chrismakuhzwanza with dancing santas next week. (Even though I used my question on a weird-trackingdown-almost-a-giftyquestion.)
posted by lilithim at 7:01 PM on November 21, 2006


Does anyone know where I can buy a dancing Santa like that online, for my adorable niece, with a maximum budget of $30?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:06 PM on November 21, 2006


The irony of someone complaining that they don't like a TYPE of post that they can easily avoid and using this in their complaint "I know everyone needs special unique gifts for all the special unique snowflakes in their lives" is all the Christmas gift I need this year, thanks Metafilter. Who wants fucking eggnog?
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:35 PM on November 21, 2006


Note to self--don't ask about gifts on Metafilter.

I asked about a gift not too long ago. Sorry if it takes away from AskMe. I didn't know.
posted by LoriFLA at 9:04 PM on November 21, 2006


I like the gift questions.
posted by timeistight at 9:48 PM on November 21, 2006


I've found it to be very easy to stop myself from clicking on the gift questions, if I have nothing to contribute. I can even do that for the techy/geeky software questions that I, personally, have no interest in either.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:53 PM on November 21, 2006


The xmas gift questions don't annoy me as much as the "I have no imagination so please suggest Halloween costumes for me" questions do, but I think the note on the posting page is a good idea.

And here's the dancing Santa for those who couldn't see it.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:47 AM on November 22, 2006


Matt: Best. Gif. Ever.
posted by Jofus at 1:55 AM on November 22, 2006


I'm going to email the dancing Santa to all my special snowflakes this christmas! My shopping is done.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:59 AM on November 22, 2006


MetaFilter: takes all the bitchsnark away
posted by Rock Steady at 6:37 AM on November 22, 2006


Uh, we do all realize Santa is a facsist, don't we?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 6:47 AM on November 22, 2006


Dancing Santa stoleded my credit card number!

Also: Could we get a .gif of Dancing Santa playing a harmonica? I know it would mean a lot to crunchland.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:06 AM on November 22, 2006


I think I can pretty much stop bothering to compose comments on metatalk anymore and just become a "what languagehat said" bot.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:48 AM on November 22, 2006


And once I have enough such bots, MetaFilter will be mine, all mine!

[insert maniacal laugh here]
posted by languagehat at 10:44 AM on November 22, 2006


When I post gift questions, I'm doing so for a very specific reason. When I take charity gift cards from the tree, I often select items that I don't normally shop for.

Ask Metafilter has been invaluable for providing first-hand information about gift preferences for demographic groups that I have little experience with (mostly teenagers and small children). It's not about finding a silver watch for $30, it's about finding a cool or trendy silver watch that a 16-year-old might like. Google can't tell me that.

I do my homework and check for previous posts on the topic. I have already found a great thread about cheap cameras for another gift.

I feel that gift AskMefi questions are no different than any other post. I don't mind them at all.
posted by JDC8 at 5:56 PM on November 22, 2006


Dancing Santas but no Festivus pole? I'm crushed.
posted by beth at 5:58 PM on November 26, 2006


This post deleted: Humbug.
posted by jimfl at 6:19 AM on November 30, 2006


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