list members who frequently answer threads with a particular tag November 1, 2008 1:27 PM   Subscribe

AskMeFi pony request: list members who frequently answer threads with a particular tag

Right now, there's a little module on a tag page that lists users who frequently use a particular tag when asking questions. This is helpful, but I think it would be even more helpful (perhaps in a different way) to list users who frequently answer questions with a particular tag. That way if you're asking a question about Ireland, for instance, you can see who frequently chimes in on similar threads and weight their response accordingly.
posted by nitsuj to Feature Requests at 1:27 PM (37 comments total)

Yeah, we've kicked around this idea before, so we could deduce that people are experts on three top tags/categories. I dunno whether to make that self-described (you pick for your user page) or do it automatically (based on your participation).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:33 PM on November 1, 2008


Answers or best answers?
posted by smackfu at 1:40 PM on November 1, 2008


Well, that's another thing. I'd love to see some sort of public statistics on who has the best ratio of best answers to answers. This could be tied into the tagging idea above as well. For instance, "Joe has answered best 83% of the time in posts tagged with Ireland." Plus, it might infuence others to put more thought into their answers instead of doing the next step above "First!"

It's too bad that not everyone awards Best Answers.
posted by nitsuj at 1:47 PM on November 1, 2008


Problem is, the relationship between frequency of chiming and expertise is tenuous, at best.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:48 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


For instance, "Joe has answered best 83% of the time in posts tagged with Ireland."

This sort of thing is neat, but it never fails to trigger my stray-data anxiety. What about the times Joe got a checkmark for his answers to questions that weren't tagged with Ireland, but were tagged with Dublin, Belfast, Eire, Eireann, CountyCork, County+Cork, Blarney, ...

*breathes into a paper bag*
posted by CKmtl at 2:18 PM on November 1, 2008 [6 favorites]


You might also consider favorited answers that aren't marked best. It seems that would also help to distinguish between people who merely post a lot and people who have a high percentage of useful answers.
posted by oddman at 2:22 PM on November 1, 2008


You might also consider favorited answers that aren't marked best.

True -- this would also help on Anonymous questions, which can't have favorite answers.
posted by nitsuj at 2:55 PM on November 1, 2008


Yeah, we've kicked around this idea before, so we could deduce that people are experts on three top tags/categories. I dunno whether to make that self-described (you pick for your user page) or do it automatically (based on your participation).

I answer a lot of relationship questions. Not sure that makes me an expert (although my answers are right, of course).
posted by headnsouth at 3:19 PM on November 1, 2008


I'd love to see some sort of public statistics on who has the best ratio of best answers to answers.

Not sure this is the way to go. As one example, when a mefite posts a vague description of a movie or book, what often follows are a bunch of answers that are shots in the dark. Just because one answer hits the mark, doesn't mean that the other answers contributions weren't good contributions.

Other times, threads unfold like mysteries, where partial answers upthread provide nuggets of info that allow someone to put the pieces of the puzzle together later on.

Sure, there's some noise in askme, but I think we should always swing the balance towards a little noise instead of lots of unanswered threads.
posted by chrisamiller at 3:24 PM on November 1, 2008


The moment you keep track of 'best' answers, you're implicitly getting people to try and curry favor with the questioner.

There are a number of questions, where I know my answer was 'right', and wasn't marked as such, mostly due to lack of knowledge of the questioner to be able to deduce what the right answer is.
posted by filmgeek at 3:48 PM on November 1, 2008


Awww, poor you.
posted by smackfu at 3:52 PM on November 1, 2008


I would also like a detailed schedule of when people leave their house every morning, how long they are gone for, and whether they have any close relatives or friends who would notice their disappearance.

Confidentiality is guaranteed.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:53 PM on November 1, 2008


The moment you keep track of 'best' answers, you're implicitly getting people to try and curry favor with the questioner.

Yeah, but shouldn't you be doing that anyway -- answering the question specifically for the person asking it (whether it's right or wrong in an ultimate sense)?
posted by nitsuj at 3:53 PM on November 1, 2008


you're implicitly getting people to try and curry favor with the questioner

nitsuj's right; that's like the whole point of AskMe. But filmgeek's right, too; "best answers" are often full of shit.
posted by mediareport at 5:20 PM on November 1, 2008


What problem will this fix?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:29 PM on November 1, 2008


The problem with tracking that (and this is a topic that's come up several times), is that people will start to get pissed if you don't mark their correct answer as "best". I know I'd hate to get MeMails just because someone else's slightly-different answer fit my needs better.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:29 PM on November 1, 2008


It could be a fun diversion, but I really don't see how putting a little star next to certain people's answers in certain questions would make much difference in the quality of the answers. Except to now get new answers that start with "I know smackfu is an 'expert' on this but he's full of shit because..."
posted by smackfu at 5:36 PM on November 1, 2008


The fatal flaw in the whole "best answer" thing is that, by the very nature of AskMe, you are expecting a person who doesn't know the right answer to decide whether a given answer is correct or not. You end up with the answer that they like the most being marked as best and, often, answers which are spot on but unpalatable to the asker for some reason being ignored.

If you start ranking people by how many best answers they get, you set in train a whole dynamic that has always been the exact opposite of how MeFi has always worked. Not trying to make a slippery slope argument here, but this is more of a leap in the way the site works. Best answers are kind of like favourites - we would not (I hope) want to rank members by how many favourites they got and how is this different?
posted by dg at 6:14 PM on November 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


I crunched some bits from the last infodump.

Here's a list of the top 3 responders to askMe tags that are attached to questions where a responder has replied to, uh, such posts more than 10 times... crimey that's an awkward phrase.
posted by xorry at 6:23 PM on November 1, 2008 [9 favorites]


I would also like a detailed schedule of when people leave their house every morning, how long they are gone for, and whether they have any close relatives or friends who would notice their disappearance.

Confidentiality is guaranteed.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:53 PM on November 1 [+] [!]


I should have that done tomorrow.
posted by xorry at 6:24 PM on November 1, 2008


OK, that's really cool xorry. It's a lot more reflective of my interests than the questions I asked.

OTOH, the idea that I am the most qualified to answer questions on those subjects is... amusing.
posted by smackfu at 6:38 PM on November 1, 2008


For instance, "Joe has answered best 83% of the time in posts tagged with Ireland plumbing.

NOW I'd buy it!
posted by iamkimiam at 6:41 PM on November 1, 2008


Cool, I'm an "expert" on: girlfriend, graphicdesign, indesign, love, meficlone, naming, online, and onlineforum.

No doubt there are other people who are experts on those subjects. What happens if we disagree?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:56 PM on November 1, 2008


At least I'm only tied for second-most 'expert' on smelly.

Thanks, infodump. Really.
posted by CKmtl at 7:06 PM on November 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, there's gold in that page:

Pretty_Generic
betting
gambling
Horseracing
horses
loneliness
Loser

SweetJesus
apocalypse
nuclear
springrolls

fourcheesemac
applecare
intellectual
mentor
Weed

(It seems like if you commented a lot on a question that was the only use of a tag, you are an expert on that tag. Sometimes "a lot" is twice. Which makes the results a bit random.)
posted by smackfu at 7:22 PM on November 1, 2008


Oh my god I really like anxiety

!!!
posted by sondrialiac at 9:27 PM on November 1, 2008


I like xorry's method, or something like it. It pegs me correctly.

I never realized that I have a fascination with Labels. That's worrying, rather.
posted by bonehead at 9:32 PM on November 1, 2008


That's awesome, xorry.
posted by grouse at 10:04 PM on November 1, 2008


Huh, I'm an expert on genes and piercings. Who knew?! (Man, that's a fun list to browse through, xorry!)
posted by ubersturm at 12:27 AM on November 2, 2008


Apparently I'm king dork. I top rpg( really? I haven't played a non-vidgame rpg in years) and top 3 in comics, game, games, videogames & gaming. Yowzers.
posted by juv3nal at 1:05 AM on November 2, 2008


Two things on this issue,

According to xomby: ParisParamus may quite depressed (particularly next week).

Also, I'm teh excel expert.

Could I ask all MeFites to put us both on suicide watch.
posted by pompomtom at 4:40 AM on November 2, 2008


Sweet, I'm an expert on "unresolved." Sigh.
posted by nitsuj at 6:58 AM on November 2, 2008


Cripes, me and an ex are both great at children's books. SO THAt'S WHAT BROUGHT US TOGETHER.
posted by subbes at 8:56 AM on November 2, 2008


Oh, whoops, not my ex, just someone with the same username as one he likes. Sorry.
posted by subbes at 8:57 AM on November 2, 2008


I don't even like it when they announce my order out loud at McDonald's -- people could like, you know, find out stuff about me.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:52 AM on November 2, 2008


Whoo, I'm second to ikkyu2 in epilepsy expertise. Though I bet I can beat him in the "number of seizures personally experienced" category.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:05 PM on November 2, 2008


I'm an expert on 'rest'! Along with konolia!

Wait... what?
posted by Happy Dave at 1:56 AM on November 3, 2008


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