Rollover questions? $5 per question? Pony? June 27, 2007 5:00 PM   Subscribe

God help me, but I'm starting a thread on getting additional AskMe questions. There are weeks that go by with no need to ask anything ... but then there are times when a second question would be a life-saver. Whatabout either (a) "rollover questions," a la Cingular's rollover minutes, say, up to a maximum of 2-3 in the bank at any time; or (b) a fee to ask a second question in one week? I can think of several times when I would have ponied up an additional $5 to ask, say, a work-related question where I knew AskMe's community would have the best answer.
posted by jbickers to Feature Requests at 5:00 PM (132 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Well, if it's worth $5 to you, just create a sockpuppet and ask with that account instead?
posted by Malor at 5:05 PM on June 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Malor, that's your question for the week.
posted by davejay at 5:08 PM on June 27, 2007 [3 favorites]


Creating an official method to reward people for having extra cash and a lack of restraint seems like a bad idea to me. There exist workarounds for when you reallllly need it, and there is, besides, no shortage of questions being asked.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:09 PM on June 27, 2007


a second question would be a life-saver

Hyperbole undermines your point.

That, and the fact that it's not a very good point.
posted by dersins at 5:11 PM on June 27, 2007


Hyperbole undermines your point.

Yeah, you've never used the phrase "life-saver" in the context of a work assignment. And dave, Malor's question shouldn't count against him, because it's just a declarative sentence with a question mark at the end.
posted by jbickers at 5:17 PM on June 27, 2007


Yeah, no. I agree with cortex.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:18 PM on June 27, 2007


You just need to schedule your life better so that your question marks are more evenly spaced out. And I know it's hard, but when you've used up your weekly allowance of ask metafilter questions and you've got more, try thinking back to the time before AskMe existed. What coping mechanisms did you have before then?
posted by Dave Faris at 5:23 PM on June 27, 2007


Yeah, you've never used the phrase "life-saver" in the context of a work assignment.

I may have, but I'm pretty sure I've never used it in the context of asking questions of anonymous strangers on the internets.
posted by dersins at 5:29 PM on June 27, 2007


(Hm...I know of a certain site where certain metazens hang out and occasionally ask each other questions. But you didn't hear it from me.)
posted by konolia at 5:32 PM on June 27, 2007


Creating an official method to reward people for having extra cash and a lack of restraint seems like a bad idea to me.

So no Gold Class Metafilter members?

Membership, $5
2 questions a week, $20
A little star by your name, $50
Single link FPP to Fark, $100
Mefite outrage, Priceless.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:46 PM on June 27, 2007


Jesus, if you're using AskMe as a lifesaver in any context, then you need to take a step away from the keyboard. There's no situation where an inability to ask a question of random strangers on the internet should qualify as an emergency, or even as an urgency -- just wait your time and ask the damn question when your countdown timer elapses. Or plan better. The choice is in your hands.
posted by delfuego at 5:54 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


in the context of asking questions of anonymous strangers on the internets

See, I know you're being a smart-ass here (because I'm clever that way), but I would argue that the whole value of this community is that it is not anonymous strangers. Ostensibly, we've gotten to know one another through our profiles, our post histories, etc. We all know that Pastabagel is an amazingly deep thinker whose opinions merit hearing, and we all know that ND.02 is a seventh-grader taking a break from WoW.

Seriously, what is one of the most common thread topics on the grey? Meetups. You don't do that with anonymous strangers. Well, maybe you do. Not passing judgment.
posted by jbickers at 5:59 PM on June 27, 2007


God help me, but I'm starting a thread on getting additional AskMe questions.

I wanted to add that I, for one, appreciate the constitutional fortitude that it probably took to make this Metatalk post, knowing full well that you painted a big bullseye on your butt. And I have some bad news for you... You won't be able to make another Metatalk post for a week, either.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:00 PM on June 27, 2007


It's actually just four days.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:05 PM on June 27, 2007


Well, when you really have to call someone out, it can feel like an eternity.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:10 PM on June 27, 2007


Jesus, if you're using AskMe as a lifesaver in any context, then you need to take a step away from the keyboard.

Oh my god, you people, I didn't mean lifesaver in the literal sense, I meant it in the "Hey, we don't have any PHP people on staff and this feedback form is broken and our membership database isn't opening and I'm going to Paris tomorrow and I sure would pay $5 if somebody would help me figure out the clusterfuck that is my passport!" sense!

Guess what? Those cats aren't really in your threads having invisible swordfights with your cookies either! Quit being so goddamned literal!
posted by jbickers at 6:11 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Good point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:12 PM on June 27, 2007


Another nasty little issue with the notion of paid bonus questions: entitlement. I hate to think the worst of the very best of people, but the difference between not getting a satisfying answer to your free, use it on a whim weekly question and not getting a satisfying to answer to your super-urgent, paid-for-with-cash question could easily turn out to be an obnoxious difference indeed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:14 PM on June 27, 2007


Those cats aren't really in your threads having invisible swordfights with your cookies either!

....
EVERYTHING IS RUINED FOREVER!
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:27 PM on June 27, 2007


Maybe you could reward the back-taggers (and I am not one of them at the moment, so I am not trying to suck up and get extra question points!) with an extra question or two? Fair value for their extra effort, I would think.
posted by misha at 6:29 PM on June 27, 2007


Lifesavers were delicious colorful candies when I was young. I assume they are still delicious, but now so loaded with corn syrup and industrial waste that to enjoy a single one would, in fact, endanger your life.

Which would be ironic.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:33 PM on June 27, 2007


but then there are times when a second question would be a life-saver.

I know AZZACKLY what you mean. Right after I posted my much-loved AskMe "How to avoid the forward pitched feeling on my bike?" I was choking on a chicken bone, and tried to post a new AskMe to see what I should do, but NOOOOOO I was blocked.

So I had to search previous AskMes to see if someone else had the same problem. No!!! So then, finally, common sense kicked in and I Googled it. Turns out (get this!) that you can purge the bone by having a friend do the Heimlich, or by throwing yourself on the back of chair, which I did, and which released the chicken bone, but I tell this, that's the last time you will find me around an aroused chicken.
posted by The Deej at 6:47 PM on June 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


My feeling is that if you are asking a question of AskMefi every week or two, you're asking way too many questions.
posted by Justinian at 7:15 PM on June 27, 2007


You keep saying "and I would pay $5 for it". Demonstrate this, and then the problem is solved.

Also: Sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid (for tartness), natural and artificial flavor, artificial color (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1).
posted by mendel at 7:18 PM on June 27, 2007


Gold class MeFi account. You fuckin' plebe. You gutter trash hoi polloi. You wanna see somethin' amazing? I'd show you, but it'd be wasted on you. What is it? That much I'll tell you: MeFi Black. What do I get? What don't I get -- that'd be a shorter list. I get my own personal reference librarian -- you know who I mean -- when I get stuck on FPP links. When I can't think of a good pun on "Alsace-Lorraine" as an ending bon mot for a Treaty of Frankfurt post, one call and I'm the wittiest motherfucker on the blue. If I'm ever in the area, I can crash on mathowie's couch and drink his beer. I have access to the Orange and Yellow sections of the site. I get to see who posted what anonymously in AskMe, and once a year turn one of those anonymous entries back into a signed post.

That's the power of MeFi Black.
posted by boo_radley at 7:21 PM on June 27, 2007 [13 favorites]


Actually, jbickers. there's a web site that you might be familiar with where you can ask questions all you like with no limit. Maybe it looks familiar?
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:22 PM on June 27, 2007


You know, if Cortex keeps hinting about "there are ways around it" then the people will get hip to the Unlimited AskMe Cabal Account, and there goes the neighborhood.
posted by The Deej at 7:24 PM on June 27, 2007


Previously....
posted by Nathanial Hörnblowér at 7:39 PM on June 27, 2007


Just popped in to see if God has indeed helped jbickers. Doesn't look like any divine manifestations have occurred. oh well
posted by edgeways at 7:43 PM on June 27, 2007


Paying for extra questions is a terrible idea.

There have been many suggestions re banking unused questions, and I think a system that awards about 12-14 questions per year, renewed on the users sign up date, would be a huge improvement over the status qua. And, it might even improve the quality of questions a little too..
posted by Chuckles at 7:45 PM on June 27, 2007


No, no, please, no.
posted by OmieWise at 7:48 PM on June 27, 2007


I mean, please, God, no.
posted by OmieWise at 7:49 PM on June 27, 2007


Upon review of another previous Meta on this topic, I think the best scheme is one question per month for your first year, and 12-15 questions per year afterwards, depending on whether you want a long standing member bonus.

I think some people have complained that it would be "too complicated", which is ridiculous.
posted by Chuckles at 7:51 PM on June 27, 2007


depending on whether a long standing member bonus is desirable, that is..
posted by Chuckles at 7:52 PM on June 27, 2007


Write me a cashier's check for $5 and I'll ask your question (next week, sadly).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:54 PM on June 27, 2007


Email me, I never use mine
posted by lee at 8:00 PM on June 27, 2007


Write me a cashier's check for $50 and I'll answer your question, this week.
posted by aubilenon at 8:01 PM on June 27, 2007


I've thought the same thing, and there have been many times when I've held off asking a question Just In Case I need to ask another, later in the week.

But, then, I think a sockpuppet is a better solution all around, as it lets one ask questions such as "what is this rash on my scrotum?" or "why is radiohead so awesome?" without incurring personal embarrassment.
posted by LordSludge at 8:17 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just write me a cashier's check for $50, please.

There have been times when I REALLY wanted to ask a question. And this was serious shit, money stolen, car cash and leather midgets. But I couldn't ask, because I had already asked some other question. Yet somehow I survived and the we finally got the ball gag out, despite the spikes. Life went on.

AskMe can be very useful, but humanity got along without it for yours. Develop several resources for help and use them when you can. Life goes on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:30 PM on June 27, 2007


I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about whether extra questions should be permitted in any particular situation. However, I find it kind of disappointing that some people are so quick to rag on someone for having an "urgent" question to ask, or for relying on "random strangers" for advice, suggestions, etc., like it's the most ridiculous thing in the world. It's not. I think the community here as a whole is an invaluable resource to many people (myself included -- the kindnesses of people in Ask have helped me to make some decisions that have changed my life), and what jbickers asked/suggested, while not necessarily the greatest idea to all, isn't as ridiculous as some would make it sound.

I don't know why people have to always be so quick to get in their little quips.
posted by justonegirl at 8:31 PM on June 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


It has to do with the little [+]'s at the bottom of each of the "quips."
posted by Dave Faris at 8:56 PM on June 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Paying for questions is bad form, what are we answerwhores?

Also, if you think not being able to ask two questions is bad, try getting your one prized question mocked, derailed, and then deleted. Now you have no question, no self-esteem, and no chance to redeem yourself.

And finally, it smells like updog in here.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:04 PM on June 27, 2007




Like I say in every other thread like this, if you need to post a question and you can't, just ask me. So long as it doesn't violate the guidelines, I'll post it.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:19 PM on June 27, 2007


I don't really use my questions either so you can AIM me if you have a question, I don't care. Plus I have 2 accounts so I can do double the asking-by-proxy.
posted by puke & cry at 9:28 PM on June 27, 2007


puke & cry, shouldn't you be updating deletedthread? I have a post that should be featured there...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:30 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


It has to do with the little [+]'s at the bottom of each of the "quips."

Indeed, once upon a time there was nary a quip to found in the valley known as MetaFilter. Solemn utterances fell evenly from the dignified lips of the townsfolk, and ever-so-serious sheep grazed with gravitas upon the lushly peaceful hills.
Then one day, the Favorites came, bearing their +s before them like jocular spears of snark...

Anyhows, I believe that making AskMe more open would only raise the noise level which, if recent MeTas are anything to go by, is pretty damn high already. Look at Yahoo! Answers: Free, few restrictions, and huge steaming pile of shit.
One question per week does more to preserve the quality of AskMe than any amount of moderation could.

Also, could someone ask The Green if literal Vikings dream of metaphorical life-savers? I used up my question already.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:37 PM on June 27, 2007


Jesus, will this never go away? Okay, this is what we're going to do: Wendell is going to conscientiously search all previous MetaTalk threads on question limits and identify everyone who has either expressed a positive opinion of allowing, in one way or another, more questions, or has protested the restriction of questions (i.e. the erstwhile two week restriction). Then he is going to review all of these individuals' profiles for those who have emails listed. Then he's going to put together a mailing list and contact them all. So when you have a work emergency, you just put out an APB, and the first available individual to Reply To All that they've got it will go and ask the question. Get cracking, Wendell (I guarantee you I won't be on that list).
posted by nanojath at 9:47 PM on June 27, 2007


once upon a time there was nary a quip to found in the valley known as MetaFilter.

Nah. There were plenty of quips before the favorite function was added, but like a monkey is apt to do something randomly amusing or entertaining on its own, it's only after it associates the little treat in the trainer's hand that he can reliably be expected to play the banjo or do a backflip. And like a rat, programmed to run the maze faster and faster when it gets a treat for accomplishing the task, so too are the quips and funny one liners are forced into existence, all for the pitiful hope positive reinforcement that someone, somewhere, likes it enough to press the damnable little plus sign.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:06 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're a fucking whiner, Dave Faris. You know that? How does a grown man turn into an Internet crybaby, anyway? Never mind. I don't really want to know.

Stop your whining, though. It's fucking obnoxious.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:14 PM on June 27, 2007


Eat shit, sockpuppet.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:22 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


What is a 'leather midget'?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:27 PM on June 27, 2007


With respect, Dave Faris subconsciously really wants to get banned because he knows he's come to the end of his wits here. Really, this site is a big timewaster for everyone who's not making money off of it. If you think otherwise, I have some click ads for you.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:29 PM on June 27, 2007


$50 an hour.
posted by peacay at 10:29 PM on June 27, 2007


puke & cry, shouldn't you be updating deletedthread? I have a post that should be featured there...

Sorry, my internet has been down for the last 5 days or so. I'll catch everything up tomorrow.
posted by puke & cry at 10:31 PM on June 27, 2007


A. (Hm...I know of a certain site where certain metazens hang out and occasionally ask each other questions. But you didn't hear it from me.)

No you don't. These are not the droids you're looking for.

B. I thought we only get one question every 2 weeks? WE GET ONE A WEEK? Wow.

Perspective's a bitch.
posted by SassHat at 10:37 PM on June 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eat shit, sockpuppet.

How many accounts have you had here, again? More than my one, certainly.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:53 PM on June 27, 2007


What is a 'leather midget'?

It's a kind of sap (as in, something you hit someone with) with a molded lead weight and spring steel shank inside a sort of leather sock.

No, seriously.
posted by nanojath at 11:21 PM on June 27, 2007


what are we answerwhores?

Christ it was fucking night and the question looked good. Back off.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:48 AM on June 28, 2007


It's a kind of sap (as in, something you hit someone with) with a molded lead weight and spring steel shank inside a sort of leather sock.

Excellent. Thank you, sir.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:07 AM on June 28, 2007


(a) "rollover questions,"

I have proposed this about eleventy jillion times. You wouldn't like my version, though, because it allots users somewhere between one question a month to one question per quarter.
posted by Eideteker at 4:27 AM on June 28, 2007


(red 40, yellow 5, blue 1) = (stomach cancer 40, lymphoma 5, colon cancer 1)
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:31 AM on June 28, 2007


Wow, there's some serious testosterone upthread. I thought everyone here knew who owned which sockpuppet and it was just myself who was in the dark.

Guess not.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:37 AM on June 28, 2007


chuck, some of us just don't pay that much attention.
posted by desjardins at 5:26 AM on June 28, 2007


Eat shit, sockpuppet.

Eat sockpuppet, you shit.
posted by BE ADEQUITE at 6:00 AM on June 28, 2007


Eat puppet, shitsock!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:32 AM on June 28, 2007


EAT SOCKS
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:42 AM on June 28, 2007


I prefer chicken.
posted by jmd82 at 6:54 AM on June 28, 2007


»Puppetsocks« would make a good swear word, I think.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:16 AM on June 28, 2007


As in:
- Honey, did you remember to bring the camera?
- Oh puppetsocks, I forgot.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:17 AM on June 28, 2007


"Chickensocks" would work, too, soundsofsuburbia, and it's got two of those voiceless velar plosives so it's funnier. If somebody called me a chickensocker I'd probably laugh out loud.
posted by cgc373 at 7:50 AM on June 28, 2007


SCENE: INT. DINING ROOM

MOTHER: You will not believe what your son said to me this afternoon.
FATHER: Cursing a bit, eh? [laughter] Boys will be boys, darl—
MOTHER: Puppetsocks.
FATHER: [a pause] He—you really mean, he—Puppetsocks?

[MOTHER folds her arms over her apron; her lip trembles. She nods.]

FATHER: Hitler's moustache!
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:07 AM on June 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Really, this site is a big timewaster for everyone who's not making money off of it.

You say that as if it's a problem.
posted by smackfu at 8:19 AM on June 28, 2007


Aw, no-holds-barred sockpuppet on sockpuppet action, and I missed it!

Blaming quippery on the Favoriting system is a lame argument; as long as a system allows for participants to respond to one another's comments, regardless of whether it be via [+] or "What _____ said.", there will always be a mix of sincere dialogue, snark, and negative reinforcement. That's why we have that splendid [!] right beside the "damnable" plus sign.

The rash of super-lame MeTas and unbridled sockpuppetry do far more harm than some less than sparkling bon mots, but considering you thrive on the former (And for a while, could have been considered a sockpuppeteer yourself) and are often the brunt the latter, I'm not surprised by your position, Dave.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:24 AM on June 28, 2007


While I am one who always answers directly, and sticks to the issue at hand, while never going for the quirky one-liner, I have to say that the quirky answers add the spice to all things MeFi. We are not clones, or Vulcans, most of us. Are we not men? (and otherwise) Just like real conversation with friends, we laugh, we joke, we snark, but in the end we get around to answering the issue at hand.

And sometimes the quirky answer IS still a legitimate answer. If someone wants to know if mutton chops are professional for work, and someone else answers, oh... just for example, that they are suitable for work, if you work as a 1970s porn star, then that indeed IS a legitimate answer. Sure, it may get deleted, but that's the risk you take. So I have heard. From a friend of a friend.
posted by The Deej at 8:34 AM on June 28, 2007


And another thing:

In the current "Help me name my car" AskMe, my first reaction was to answer "You misspelled 'cat.' Name it 'Jake.'" But no. I gave a "real" answer. After some opinionizing.
posted by The Deej at 8:36 AM on June 28, 2007


If people can sell magic swords to each other, and animated cocks from sadville, then there should be a way for people to trade question slots. I see a great need...
posted by meehawl at 8:45 AM on June 28, 2007


The best ones are the pineapple ones, bar none.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:47 AM on June 28, 2007


Except for the ones with the puns and the nuns, Divine_Wino. Those are fun, too.
posted by cgc373 at 8:53 AM on June 28, 2007


If people can sell magic swords to each other, and animated cocks from sadville, then there should be a way for people to trade question slots. I see a great need...

This has been done here before. There was a question swapper rigged up by another member. It caused a ton of annoying problems and had a pretty short life.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:03 AM on June 28, 2007


Put me down as another one who barely uses his questions. And my email address is shockingly present in my profile.

*glances furtively at wendell*
posted by Skorgu at 9:03 AM on June 28, 2007


The rash of super-lame MeTas and unbridled sockpuppetry do far more harm

Oh, I've wasted plenty of time crusading against these influences as well, to no avail. Matt has always been willing to tolerate the negative impacts of these issues on the site and the community. And in retrospect, he's demonstrated that he knows more about running a community than I ever did. And though you'll have to take my word for it, I've never participated in sockpuppetry. The worst I've done is silently flaming out, late last year, and then slinking back after a short time, and signing up with less anonymity than I had before -- much to my detriment with googling future employers.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:55 AM on June 28, 2007


Choke on a bucket of socks, you turkeygobbler.
posted by team lowkey at 11:46 AM on June 28, 2007


Fuckin' shitnozzles.
posted by NationalKato at 11:54 AM on June 28, 2007


PUP SOCK, SHIT EATETS

(this horse no longer responds to beating)
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 1:42 PM on June 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I have nightmares that everyone else is really a sockpuppet for either Matt or Jess and that I've been reading a hideously complex sordid personal affair carried out over the internet in a mental hospital's computer lab.
posted by Esoquo at 2:29 PM on June 28, 2007


My feeling is that if you are asking a question of AskMefi every week or two, you're asking way too many questions.
Goddamn, fuck this attitude. Sometimes my life is hum-te-tum work-sleep-play-repeat for months, not much going on. Then suddenly it's a crazy busy how-do-I-fix-the-toilet is-the-cat-dying how-do-I-ice-skate my-server's-fuxked-help where-is-the-best-shop-for-TVs void of unknowns, but I only get ONE QUESTION.

That's what's shit. One a week? Too much when there's nothing doing, but waaaay too few when the shit's hit the fan and the fan is broke and your girlfriend's birthday's coming up.
posted by bonaldi at 3:43 PM on June 28, 2007


And what's annoying is that in those sorts of situations, I end up not asking my question after all, because the way things are going, whose to say that tomorrow won't be even worse?
posted by bonaldi at 3:44 PM on June 28, 2007


I thought everyone here knew who owned which sockpuppet and it was just myself who was in the dark.

There's a good list on Dave Faris' old account profile (crunchland). I'm sure it's not exhaustive, and I don't know if it gets updated.
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:10 PM on June 28, 2007


It doesn't, because the password on that profile was randomized last December. More entries have been added to the mefi wiki, though.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:37 PM on June 28, 2007


I used to like asking fun questions sometimes. Not chatfilter, but fun stuff I wanted to know about books to read or science questions or whatever. Now I rarely ask these, because I feel I must reserve my questions for more important life and work issues (though I'm about to violate that rule today and ask a question about turkey sandwiches).

So what? Poor me. Agreed, but I hope there aren't too many others who feel like me. I LOVE coming to AskMe and reading the quirky questions.

Anyway...

How about a page on the Wiki where people who are offering to share their allotted questions can post their usernames?
posted by grumblebee at 5:44 PM on June 28, 2007


How about a page on the Wiki where people who are offering to share their allotted questions can post their usernames?

How about bookmarking this thread?

I understand that people have a problem with only one question a week, occasionally. However, the shared questions thing gets dicey and annoying and confusing for a few reasons, based on my observations during the super brief time we had the question-sharing app thingdoo last time.

1. The rule is really one question per week and it's sort of cheating to get more. I see the "oh there's an emergency" angle, but then trying to figure out what is or is not really important becomes a judgment call thing as people call out other people for asking extra questions when others are politely waiting their turn.

2. People asking questions for other people then lose their question for the week and maybe they have an emergency and need it back so they email us to see if they can get another one.

3. Questions that were asked for someone else and then deleted, same problem.

4. People who have other people ask a question for them and then reply in the thread to their own question just bother people who then come to MeTa and complain.

5. Basically unless we have an official policy that an extra question is okay, people will call out various end-euns on the policy here in MeTa and to us over email. We're not planning to change the policy so the end-runs while well-meaning make more work and potentially more scrapping in MeTa.

Again as we've said before there are ways around this for the truly desparate. We've now got one more moderator which has made the one question per week limit work better than it was working previously but, to review, here are the other options.

a) metachat - great bunch of folks, chatty questions are okay!
b) sock puppet - not good for every day, once in a blue moon it would be tolerated
c) anonyme options - your question would have to seem deserving of anonymity
d) ask a friend - must first have friends
e) metatalk - that has worked in the past
f) go outside - cures most internet-related ills.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:56 PM on June 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn, if you're against people sharing their questions (as you seem to be), fair enough. But if that is a viable option, my suggestion of a Wiki page would be more useful that bookmarking this thread. On a wiki, people could remove their names if they decided they didn't want to share any more.
posted by grumblebee at 6:08 PM on June 28, 2007


I still maintain that allowing folks to pay for an extra question when they need it would address all concerns voiced here, and have the added benefit of raising the quality of questions appearing on the front page (i.e. if someone is paying for it, it's not likely to be a stupid chatfilter question, but rather something of substance). And I'd be more than happy to see a few of my Paypal bucks go to the maintenance costs of my favorite site.
posted by jbickers at 7:05 PM on June 28, 2007


like a rat, programmed to run the maze faster and faster when it gets a treat for accomplishing the task, so too are the quips and funny one liners are forced into existence, all for the pitiful hope positive reinforcement that someone, somewhere, likes it enough to press the damnable little plus sign.

I see this argument here a lot, that life was so much better before the favorites feature. Sometimes it makes me wish that it was possible for a poster to put his money where his mouth is: if you're so opposed to the favorites in principle, then ask the mods to turn off your ability to receive them. Anyone who tried to favorite you would get a message that "this poster has opted not to receive favorites."

Methinks there'd not be too many takers. I suspect that it's nice to bitch smugly about the favorites, but even nicer to receive them.
posted by pineapple at 8:51 PM on June 28, 2007


What jessamyn said the first time. We've been over this a brazillion times before and the community and it's leaders have fairly (if not unanimously) made it clear that their opinion is DO NOT WANT! Why oh why can't people get that? Why is it always the same people who complain that they don't get to ask enough questions that seem to use AskMe for every dumb question that comes up in their life?* Are people really that clueless that they can't come up with an answer to simple questions given all the resources of the Internet? Do these people really have so many complicated questions that once a week isn't enough? Obviously, those people are exceedingly lucky not to have been born in the 18th century when you had to survive pretty much on what you could figure out yourself or ask your neighbour. They would have starved to death before reaching puberty.

* I made this statistic up; however I suspect that it is true nonetheless.
posted by dg at 8:53 PM on June 28, 2007


then ask the mods to turn off your ability to receive them.

Sure. Turn them off for me.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:01 PM on June 28, 2007


Moot, since it's not an option (that I know of). But nice to know you'd theoretically be on board.
posted by pineapple at 9:43 PM on June 28, 2007


Cognitive Dissonance, man.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:44 PM on June 28, 2007


I think that I will just repeat that post on Metatalk from now on. It seems to cover all the bases here.

Cognitive Dissonance, Man.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 PM on June 28, 2007


Why oh why can't people get that? Why is it always the same people who complain that they don't get to ask enough questions that seem to use AskMe for every dumb question that comes up in their life?

You'll be happy to know that this is the last post I'll ever make in a thread asking for more questions. I don't say that out of spite. I say it because you're right: the powers-that-be have spoken, it doesn't look like there's any chance of swaying them, so what's the point?

But I'm confused by the "dumb question" thing. I don't post asking where I left my car keys. And I don't post asking how to get to 33rd Street and 6th Avenue (I know how to use maps.google.com). When I first started using this site and was still learning, I posted some idle chatfilter questions, but I think pretty much every question I've posted recently has been up to par: hard stuff (at lest for me, and I'm pretty Internet savvy) for me to answer any other way and important to getting something done.

Some people just have more such questions in their lives than others. Dg, how many jobs do you have? I currently have four. I'm writing two different books on two different subjects; I have a 9-5 tech job; I direct plays at night. Added to that, I have all the personal, nutritional, domestic, etc. life issues than anyone else has. AND -- sue me -- I'm an inquisitive question. Frankly, I HATE using AskMe for job-related questions. I WANT to use it for queries about stuff that just interests me.

I'm not saying my wants are -- or should be -- important to the community. I just resent the idea that I'm laying around bored, dumping idle questions onto the green. I'm not. Presumably, I ask questions for the same good reasons that you do. Because I have a problem and I want to solve it. If your life is complicated, you're likely to have a lot of problems.

Finally, as sick as you are of all of us more-question whiners, I'm sick of the "What the fuck did you do before AskMe?" question. With respect, that strikes me as biased rhetoric. What did people do before writing was invented? The didn't read. What did people do before smallpox vaccine was invented? They died. What did people do before the Internet Movie Database was invented? They lay awake all night wondering, "Who the fuck was that ACTOR? I KNOW I saw him somewhere?" (I used to do that all the time. I'd a pointless thing to do, but I can't stop my brain from doing it. IMDB totally solved that problem -- which I had for YEARS.)

AskMe was/is a Godsend for people, like me, who have a lot of questions. It's one of the few -- very few -- sites on the Internet that changed my life. Maybe that means I should "get a life", but remember that I said it's rare for a website to have such an impact on me. Google had one; IMDB had one; AskMe had one. I can't think of many more like that.

When something changes ones life for the better, one doesn't want to go back in time. That's just human nature. Maybe people were perfectly happy before electricity, but who wants to go back to that time? Back before AskMe, I was more frustrated because I knew I was less likely to get important questions answered. Yes, some of them I would have answered for myself eventually. But AskMe has answered many questions for me that I never would have. Those questions would have nagged at me and nagged and me and nagged at me. Now they don't.

In short, I'm not a spoiled, whining brat. I'm speaking up about something I'm deeply passionate about. You're welcome to think that I'm foolish for being passionate about this subject, but passions tend to be personal, no?

Okay. Passionate or not, I know when I'm licked. Over and out.
posted by grumblebee at 3:24 AM on June 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


Okay. Passionate or not, I know when I'm licked. Over and out.
posted by grumblebee


I know when I am licked, with passion. There is usually some discharge.
posted by The Deej at 3:51 PM on June 29, 2007


Not having a backup question reduces the quality (to other users) of my questions to askmeta - I have a lot of questions that I think other users would find fascinating as I do, but I never post them because I prefer to always have a question in reserve for those boring, mundane but time-critical "life-saver" questions. My life isn't broken, so I hardly ever have any live-saver questions, so the net result is that I post almost no questions, and the ones I do post tend to be crappy and boring instead of the interesting questions I'd like to post. Maybe someday I'll get a sockpuppet.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:39 PM on June 29, 2007


Cognitive Dissonance Man!! He was a failed superhero from the 50s -- nobody really "got" him...
posted by LordSludge at 10:13 AM on June 30, 2007


I just resent the idea that I'm laying around bored, dumping idle questions onto the green.
So would I, but that's not what I meant. It sounds like you are an exception to the rule of people who generally complain that one question a week is not enough and, if so, please accept that I wasn't referring to you, because my impression of you is one of a valued contributor to the community here.

I still find it hard to believe that people really have that many questions that can't be answered in any other way AND that really have to be answered anyway. I guess I see AskMe from a different perspective to others - I don't see my one question a week as an entitlement to be used up, I see it as a way of answering the really hard questions that I can't find out about somewhere else.

No, I don't have four jobs - I just have a day job, do some bottom-end tech stuff on nights and weekends, I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to complete a biography of my grandfather and in my spare time I'm building a house as an owner-builder and I have all the usual life questions that most people do. I too wonder about lots of things - I guess my curiosity is not as strong as yours. I will say that I envy your energy, though.

I'm the last person to suggest you get a life because you are attached to this place - this place has not only changed my life, it actually saved it at one point, so I get you there.

I share your passion, it seems, but we perhaps have different views of the MeFi Utopia in some areas. That's not a bad thing, it just means we don't agree on what would make AskMe better (from our own perspective). Vive la difference and all that crap.
posted by dg at 1:59 AM on July 3, 2007


I hope people won't take this response as a sign that I'm going back on my word and continuing to gripe about getting enough questions. I'm not. But I wanted to touch on a couple of points dg brings up in his post. This thread seems pretty dead, anyway, so I can't see too many people minding.

dg, thanks for your considered and considerate post. One dynamic that comes into play here is "the hive mind." Sure, the most nuts and bolts questions can usually be answered on Google. How much does a Wii cost? Where's the closest post office to my house? Etc.

But there are other sorts of questions that COULD be answered on Google (or elsewhere), but in a very different way than on a site like AskMe. And, depending on your outlook, you might find the AskMe way better. I do.

Going offsite for a moment, I've found the reader-reviews on Amazon.com really useful. More useful than any other reviews I've ever read. The utility has nothing to do with one person's post. It has to do with running all the posts trough a complex filter in my brain.

So I'm wondering if I'd like a book. I read the 128 reviews, discount some (maybe because the reviewers don't have a grasp of basic English grammar), weigh others more heavily (maybe because they are really clearly written), and, in the end, I get a really good sense of what the average intelligent person things of the book. Time and time again, this has lead to really pleasing experiences for me. So it seems to work.

Reading one review -- even by a really good writer in the NY Times Book Review -- doesn't work as well. Seeing statistics, like the Best Sellers' list, doesn't work as well either. What works well is spending 20 minutes reading dozens of well-crafted opinions.

I don't know of any other way of getting this sort of info than from sites like Amazon and AskMe. It is absolutely invaluable. And it works for many sorts of questions. For instance, if I was curious about The Second Law of Thermodynamics, I could (of course) Google it (or use Wikipedia), but that doesn't hold a candle to reading ten different well-written explanations, each of which will use a different analogy or illustration. (At the extreme end of this spectrum lies chatfilter, and that IS one of the dangers of getting too into the hivemind.)

This is totally not AskMe (or Matt's) fault or responsibility, but once you realize the utility of the hivemind, it gets in your gut. So for me (and I suspect for some others), it's as if he's created a pill that eliminates pain. Say we're all in pain all the time, but Matt has said, "for one day each week, you can take this pill and feel no pain." People are going to be grateful, but people are naturally also going to want to take the pill for more than one day a week. I'm not implying that going without AskMe is painful. I'm implying that as people wake up to the hivemind's utility, they are naturally going to want to consult the hivemind more and more often.

The solution is probably more sites like AskMe (so no single site gets too clogged). But how will these sites get started. It's not enough to just have a site where people can post questions. It must be a site that is (a) moderated and (b) has many smart members who are willing to share their knowledge.


On another subject, I think the users and admins of this site send forth a confusing message. This isn't surprising, since I'm talking about many different people. Why should they all think the same way?

But the one's who confuse me are the ones who pretend that MeFi is unified -- that there's a definite party line and that anyone who questions is a whiner or an asshole.

Though Matt has some strong ideas about this site (as he should), he's always seemed very open to hearing other-people's ideas and by the potential of being swayed. If he's not this way, he should say so. He should shut down MeTa, except for callouts and bug-reports, and say, "Look, this is the way the site is. Deal with it or take a hike."

He's never said that, so people who feel passionately about aspects of the site continue to make their feelings known. I've always felt that if I make a case clearly enough, Matt will at least listen.

But there's this group of other people -- these sort of Matt groupies -- who jump on anyone who makes a critique or request (especially if it's been made before) and lambastes the requester with accusations of disloyalty and whining.

To me, it's a sign of great health when a community embraces critiques and suggestions. That doesn't mean it has to enact suggestions. It means that members of the community should ether give serious thought to the suggestions and respond to them intelligently and politely -- or (for the members who sign at the thought of yet one more more-questions request) they should pass over the request in silence. Just don't read it. Let those people who are still interested join in the debate.

I still feel as strongly about the more-questions thing as I ever did, and I think -- despite the fact that I'll get accused of whining, looking a gift horse in the mouth, and disloyalty -- I would be contributing to the health of this site for continuing to stand up for what I believe. But I won't. Because I'm a coward.
posted by grumblebee at 7:08 AM on July 3, 2007


But there's this group of other people -- these sort of Matt groupies -- who jump on anyone who makes a critique or request (especially if it's been made before) and lambastes the requester with accusations of disloyalty and whining.

My feeling on this is that there's an "asked and answered" vibe about some of these requests. There are a lot of open questions abotu how MeFi works -- how much US politicking is too much, how much YouTubery is too much, etc. Then there are some issues that are a little more settled -- self-links in the blue = bannination, linking to your own site in a "how do I get free advertising for my site" in AskMe is a no no -- and sometimes people still want to debate them as if, if they could only explain it in the perfect way, the admins and everyone else on the site would see the wisdom of their approach and change years of site policy and practice because of it.

I'm not saying that never happens, I'm saying it rarely happens, almost never happens. And yet, there is a subset of Angry People in MeTa who seem to be constantly upset that the MeFi they have isn't the MeFi they want, for reasons that have been gone over in MeTa again and again. This makes me wonder why they keep coming here if the site makes them so angry and churlish.

Then there are people who just want to be able to have "who would win, superman or mighty mouse?" discussions in AskMe and want to bring it up AGAIN and AGAIN in MeTa regardless of what the admins say on the subject. I'm not sure what to do about that. Should I keep copying and pasting my replies from the last time the question was asked?

There are a finite number of hours in the day and having to explain, again, why these things are unlikely to happen to people who weren't convinced the last 2-3 times given that nothing else has changed could be seen as a waste of time.

grumblebee, you personally seem like a decent guy but the fact that there are aspects of human nature on MeFi that don't make sense to you, also seems to be an "asked and answered" type of issue. You process the world differently and think about things differently than many people on this site. You provide an interesting counterpart in many discussions especially on AskMe, but at some point we get to the "but I don't UNDERSTAND why people act this way" part of the discussion and the response just comes down to "because you see this issue differently than the way the admins and the bulk of the site members see it" and this is such a case.

There is a small group of people who feel they desire and possibly need more questions in AskMe and they have made their case. For now, that is not a change we are going to make at the admin level. People have to decide what they want to do about that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:24 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


This makes me wonder why they keep coming here if the site makes them so angry and churlish.

I think we're probably hoping we'll outlast you. AskMe was a haven for genuinely interesting hypotheticals before Matt shared the admin load, and it's not so much that we demand AskMe be something it's never been, we just want what we had back, please.

Exactly the same thing applies to teh question limit. It used be unlimited, then whiny lame-ass bleaters who can't cope with scrolling petitioned to have it limited. Hopefully the same tactic will turn that around.
posted by bonaldi at 7:37 AM on July 3, 2007


If the "email me, I never use mine" technique were somehow formalized, by a mailing list maybe, or in some other way offsite, outside the admins' areas of responsibility, would grumblebee's proxy questions be acceptable in the Green? Or is this question too speculative, and it's one of those experiments we'd have to carry out in order to have an answer?
posted by cgc373 at 7:42 AM on July 3, 2007


AskMe was a haven for genuinely interesting hypotheticals before Matt shared the admin load

I strongly suspect serious confirmation bias at work here. Putting aside for the moment the question of whether or not that was actually true, the site is different than it was then for many many reasons (55k reasons). Matt sharing the admin load was a response to, not the cause of, those changes. The accusation, and it is that, that jessamyn is somehow responsible for ruining something which otherwise would be the special flower you used to enjoy not only rings false, it reads as petulant, and, frankly, mean-spirited.

If you really want to gripe, why not start a thread about why it isn't acceptable to ask general purpose questions in MetaTalk anymore like it was back in the old days.
posted by OmieWise at 7:49 AM on July 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


we just want what we had back, please.

Back before the site had 55,000 members? Back when AskMe only had 15-20 questions a day? We've had the one question per week thing since the end of 2004, when the site had about 21000 members. I started here after that.

I could leave tomorrow and AskMe wouldn't be like it was. I think you're making some serious correlation/causality errors.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:57 AM on July 3, 2007


If you really want to gripe, why not start a thread about why it isn't acceptable to ask general purpose questions in MetaTalk anymore like it was back in the old days.

Eh? What's changed about MetaTalk?

Matt sharing the admin load was a response to, not the cause of, those changes. The accusation, and it is that, that jessamyn is somehow responsible for ruining something which otherwise would be the special flower you used to enjoy not only rings false, it reads as petulant, and, frankly, mean-spirited.

It's difficult not to fall prey to confirmation bias, I agree, and I don't give nearly enough of a shit to go back cataloguing Ye Great Hypos of yore. And good stuff, like the zombie thread, came after J arrived, that's also true. But at the same time, there are many, many threads nipped in the bud with [certain fingerprints] all over them.

Yes, all the new users have changed AskMe more than Jessamyn has, but which came first? I realise it's old-fashioned to be all "Jess is too heavy-handed at modding", but it still feels true to me, and cortex only lends it weight by being a brilliant counter-example.
posted by bonaldi at 7:58 AM on July 3, 2007


I could leave tomorrow and AskMe wouldn't be like it was. I think you're making some serious correlation/causality errors.

Sorry missed yr post. No, it probably wouldn't. But we it be so dreadfully po-faced all the goddamn time?
posted by bonaldi at 7:59 AM on July 3, 2007


cortex only lends it weight by being a brilliant counter-example.

How do you know what's removed by me and what's removed by cortex besides "if I didn't like the deletion, it must have been done by jessamyn"?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:03 AM on July 3, 2007


I appreciate the kindness, bonaldi, but who do you think I've been talking to about site admin guidance for the last few months?

Moderation will always and forever feel too heavy to folks who want to see the more free-wheeling hypothetical chat stuff run free on AskMe; and it'd always feel too loose and sloppy and verging-on-Yahoo!-Answers to the folks who feel strongly about the utility of hemming that stuff in. Hell, as it is there's outspoken folks in both camps. The occasional wacky Hey What If still gets to dance in the sun on AskMe as it is, which is probably the closest thing to a compromise we can get with the existing userbase.

I haven't dug into the early days of AskMe like I've done with mefi proper, so I can't cite or speak with authority on the subject, but I have the impression that early in the site's history, yes, it was looser and sillier and more in-crowdy. By the same token, early mefi was looser and more of an in-crowd too, and had a lot of self-links and bloggish minutea going on. Neither part of the site is what it was in its first months/year, but what they've normalized to over the longer stretch and test of time, as the prototype has been debugged if you will and the userbase has become a truer mix of new and old users, seems like a more reasonable description of what the sites are than a nostalgiac snapshot (however sweet and longed-for it may be) of a site just hatched and still having the yolk licked off its squaking little head.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:11 AM on July 3, 2007


Eh? What's changed about MetaTalk?

AskMe questions used to be part of MetaTalk.

You sound like a cranky old man, blaming someone else for the way the world has changed...you've got a proximate "cause" and you're going with it.

At this point I honestly can't remember if jessamyn was a mod before Matt opened the gates, as I read the site before then pretty consistently. But it really doesn't matter. With the thousands of new members Matt would have had to have some help, and AskMe was going to change regardless of how and who that help was. Matt has said as much in previous threads about upping the question limit, and yet it's jessamyn who's getting the shit here.

Since AskMe was bound to change given the influx of new people it's hard to see how you can reasonably blame that change on jessamyn.
posted by OmieWise at 8:11 AM on July 3, 2007


Just because I was curious, I went back to see the beginnings of MetaTalk, and lo, the first non-mathowie post, #4, was made by jessamyn. She advocated for orange as the background color. Eww. If that shit had gone through I'd be driving the "jessamyn causes irreparable harm" bandwagon.
posted by OmieWise at 8:17 AM on July 3, 2007


Sometimes hindsight isn't 20/20. Nostalgia sometimes makes it myopic.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:24 AM on July 3, 2007


but at some point we get to the "but I don't UNDERSTAND why people act this way" part of the discussion and the response just comes down to "because you see this issue differently than the way the admins and the bulk of the site members see it" and this is such a case.


This is a valid criticism for some of my past behavior (and I've tried hard to curb it), but I don't think I've ever said anything like that in this thread (unless you're referring to my confusion over Matt apologists).

I totally understand the argument for the one-question-a-week limit, and I agree with many aspects of it. I hate the rate at which questions scroll off the screen. And I'd hate to see the site filled with nonsense. I think there are some counter-balances to think about, but I've already covered them and won't do so again.

I do think that (you and?) Matt skirt the line between "let's have an open discussion about what people want" and "my way or the highway," and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I do think it confuses some other people besides just me. My main cognitive problem is being literal-minded (especially via purely written communication). So maybe your real message is "my way or the highway" and I'm not getting it, because I'm expecting you to come out and say that and you're saying it an a subtler way.

I know it's exasperating when someone says, "why? Why? WHY?", and I'm trying to cut back, but in a way I think it's a shame, because I don't think we learn anything by answering "just because" or "because other people think differently than you."

In a public forum -- if it's going to grow -- people need to explain WHY they think the way they do. Or, if they can't -- if it's just a guy feeling -- they need to either be straight about that fact or work hard to examine why they feel that way.

And people need to understand that -- annoying or not -- there's a big difference between complaining and questioning. For instance, about four months ago, I had a post removed from Metafilter. I started a Meta thread about it, QUESTIONING the removal. I wasn't upset that it had been removed, but I thought there was a potential for growth via discussion.

The link was to a porn site, and I kept asking why that warranted deletion. It wasn't dear to my heart. It was just a silly I found that I thought was entertaining. And -- the porn content aside -- I thought it was silly in similar ways to all sorts of other content on MeFi that's allowed to stay. (Simpson's stuff, etc.) So I was curious as to why it was deleted and what this meant about the hivemind's mindset.

I'm aware that porn is taboo to many people, and I asked if it was as simple as that. Almost universally, people denied that. One person didn't deny it. He simply said, "I'm not a prude, but porn does have a special status." Okay. WHY? Because it does? Because other people don't think like me?

Literal (or different) minded as I am, I'm perfectly capable of coming up with mental models of other people. The one my mind jumped to was, "people are uneasy about porn because they are slightly (or very) prudish, but no one wants to be called a prude, so they're not going to admit to it." But I refuse to give into such models. MAYBE I'm right, but I have no evidence that I am. I'd rather urge others to share their reasoning. But "because" is not a reason.

My question about mindset interested me SO much more than my silly porn post. But it was nearly impossible for me to convey that. Why assume I'm complaining about the deletion? And why should any of us -- in our lives -- be satisfied with answers that are non answers.

I know, I know. People are. Especially when they grow up. I never grew out of the "buy WHY, mommy" stage, and it saddens me that other people have. But I get that this is one of the ways that grumblebee doesn't match the majority.
posted by grumblebee at 8:39 AM on July 3, 2007


In the specific case of the porn post (guy in a bear suit, right?) I think people focused on the deletion and on the gay elements, rather than on the ways people think about porn. If you asked in AskMe about the ways people perceive porn, you'd probably get a much better range of answers dealing with the subject that interested you about that post, grumblebee.
posted by cgc373 at 9:00 AM on July 3, 2007


How do you know what's removed by me and what's removed by cortex besides "if I didn't like the deletion, it must have been done by jessamyn"?
Well, probably because you're so open about it! I read this or that MeTa thread saying "heeeyyy, why was [Fun thread X] deleted?" and more often than not -- though not always, admittedly -- the admission seems to come from you.

Or I'll be reading a thread and think "this shows promise" and then you'll have made a comment telling people to take it to email, where I can't read it.

AskMe questions used to be part of MetaTalk
Did they? I can't remember that and I've been here longer than you. Apart from Miguel's "I'm writing a book" bits -- but he genuinely was writing books, not just trying to cast a question such that it'd slip through :)

The occasional wacky Hey What If still gets to dance in the sun on AskMe as it is, which is probably the closest thing to a compromise we can get with the existing userbase.
You know, I think this is almost exactly what I want. The parallel that comes to mind is NewsFilter. On the blue, it's mostly banned and unpopular. But often, threads are allowed to stay -- and they often turn out really well. It's a judgement, not a fixed rule, and it seems to work. (Sometimes it doesn't, like the Glasgow thread started out, and then Jessamyn fixed it, credit where due).

The difference between NewsFilter and HypotheticalFilter seems to be that while NewsFilter is allowed to stay when it contributes, HypoFilter is a flat "no". Unless you're writing a book. Or you were talking about something with your son. I'd much rather it was treated more like NF -- something that gets some people irritated; something that too much of would be a bad thing; but something that should be let through every now and then, when a bear meets a monkey on the plain.
posted by bonaldi at 9:10 AM on July 3, 2007


If you asked in AskMe about the ways people perceive porn, you'd probably get a much better range of answers dealing with the subject that interested you about that post, grumblebee.

THAT wouldn't be chatfilter?!??!?
posted by grumblebee at 9:46 AM on July 3, 2007


bonaldi, you may have "been here longer than" jessamyn under some other username, but saying so and then saying you don't remember when AskMe was part of MetaTalk undermines your whole position. Check out the December 2003 MetaTalk archives and you'll see AskMe born and being raised. A lot of its history is hashed out in that month, its color given, its character questioned and defined.
posted by cgc373 at 9:46 AM on July 3, 2007


grumblebee, I think if you ask, "So, what do y'all think about that there porn that's all over the danged web these days?" it'd be chatfilter for sure. But there must be some way to compose a question about what you want to know. I'll think about it; maybe I can write an example.
posted by cgc373 at 9:49 AM on July 3, 2007


Eh? No, I've been here longer than OmniWise. And, er, I posted on that AskMe announce thread from the month you linked.

What OmniWise seems ot be saying is that AskMe-style questions used to be asked on MeTa, and I can't remember that -- there sure aren't any in Nov or Dec 03.
posted by bonaldi at 9:54 AM on July 3, 2007


Oh wait, unless we're talking about the four hours they were shown on the MeTa page?
posted by bonaldi at 10:00 AM on July 3, 2007


Sorry for the OmieWise/jessamyn mixup, bonaldi. And the crossover posts for MetaTalk/AskMe are from December, mostly in the 3700 range, e.g., #3705, which becomes a green AskMe but has a MeTa URL.

Anybody with a better sense of the history, please correct me if I've got this mixed up.
posted by cgc373 at 10:06 AM on July 3, 2007


bonaldi - It wasn't a regular thing, and it the questions were mostly tech related, but there are many that would be closed in MeTa now and the poster would be told to repost to AskMe.

Where can I find quizes online? (June 2003)

Why is Plastic.com still down?
(Dec. 2001)

Should I limit my blog to a single specific topic like The Joy of Soup does? (Dec. 2001)

Do you need a business model to run a web business? (March 2000, Meta Thread #21)

And, Matt's statement of purpose from the thread announcing AskMe: "I'll delete dumb questions or those that prove to be nothing but flamewars and/or goof-off fests"

There are others. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but just to point out that it's in the nature of MetaFilter to change. Holding one factor responsible for that change, especially one person, in a huge community, is pretty arbitrary. One could just as easily choose to complain that Matt ruined the spirit of MetaFilter by following thirteen's suggestion about creating AskMe in the first place.

(And it's omiewise, not omni-anything.)
posted by OmieWise at 10:18 AM on July 3, 2007


Sorry omiewise, I've been misreading your name for ages! My bad.

Thing is, I think Matt's statement of intent is great. But it feels like we've moved from that to NO CHAT NO HYPOTHETICAL (except for bookwriting) NO NO NO hoy you there STOP THAT! You boys, there in the corner, TAKE THAT TO EMAIL! You bears and monkeys, STOP FIGHTING. Sit quietly and GET YOUR TAGS IN ORDER at the back there.

Yes. The nature of Mefi is to change. One of the ways it changes is via whiny moaning/passionate discourse* in MeTa. But the people who enact the change are ultimately responsible for it.

*Delete as appropriate
posted by bonaldi at 10:26 AM on July 3, 2007


Fair enough.
posted by OmieWise at 10:38 AM on July 3, 2007


I still feel as strongly about the more-questions thing as I ever did, and I think -- despite the fact that I'll get accused of whining, looking a gift horse in the mouth, and disloyalty -- I would be contributing to the health of this site for continuing to stand up for what I believe. But I won't. Because I'm a coward.
Don't do that - if you feel strongly enough, you should never be afraid to stand up and have your say. You have the same right as people like me who think there are far too many questions and pine for the old days when this place was a closed shop and we could manage to stay on top of it all and still get some work done. The site has got so busy, I had to get another job just so I had time to read it all ;-) You will probably get shouted down over and over again but, if you let that beat you into silence, it shows that others feel more strongly about their view than you do about yours. Which is where the community part comes in, because that is how things mainly get decided around here, whether it is immediately apparent or not.

AskMe questions used to be part of MetaTalk.
Certainly not officially, but people used to ask questions there when they got desperate (or foolhardy) and I think it is more likely that this was the genesis of AskMe.

If you asked in AskMe about the ways people perceive porn, you'd probably get a much better range of answers dealing with the subject that interested you about that post, grumblebee.
Oh, for fuck's sake, don't encourage him - he asks too many questions as it is ;-)

Those crossover posts are from when AskMe was a subset of MeTa (in programming terms anyway), before it was separated in the database. I think.
posted by dg at 10:15 PM on July 5, 2007


if you let that beat you into silence, it shows that others feel more strongly about their view than you do about yours. Which is where the community part comes in, because that is how things mainly get decided around here, whether it is immediately apparent or not.

Or it shows that others are braver than you. It really says nothing definitive about whose feelings are stronger. I feel all sorts of strong things really strongly, but in the end I'll cave when the going gets tough. I have some powerful beta-dog in me. The problem with being a coward is that it APPEARS that you don't feel as strongly as the braver folk (or the louder folk or the folk who thrive on conflict). And of course, in terms of anything except what-goes-on-inside-one's-head, appearances are what matter.
posted by grumblebee at 8:31 AM on July 7, 2007


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