Question queue? November 10, 2008 1:06 PM   Subscribe

How about a question queue?

Apparently I'm a pretty curious person. I get ideas for questions that I'd love die for enjoy find at least midly amusing to put on AskMe but then the moment passes while I wait for the timeout period to lapse.

During this latest episode (counselors are standing by) I found myself wishing for a queue of questions that I could build up, order, and have the magic of AskMe throw out there when the timeout period is over. Like NetFlix for AskMe!

But that's probably just me. Or is it?


note: yes there are ways of handling this on my own, so that's not my point, k?
posted by trinity8-director to Feature Requests at 1:06 PM (50 comments total)

We've discussed this before, and as a site feature we're not really interested in this. The one question a week limit is designed to be an upward limit and not a bare minimum. There are sites like Big Big Question for discussing other chattier topics with MeFites and other spin-off sites like MonkeyFilter and Metachat which may be good for questions that just can't wait. Generally speaking there's a commons aspect to the AskMe resource -- i.e. at some point there are too many questions being asked for them to be seen by the available pool of AskMe junkies and we'd have to devise a technological solution to that -- and we'd like to encourage people to use it when they need to not when they think they have a random funny question.

Put another way, this "moment passing" that you describe? That's sort of how it's supposed to work. I find that a lot of times I can sort of model likely AskMe responses in my head and not even have to ask my question at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:11 PM on November 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


And you guys should make it do some behind the scenes stuff so it spaces out the posting. Divide total number of questions into the hours of the day, then have the questions pop up there in order received, but spaced out, so people would have a better chance of getting answers.

Oh, and include a countdown to the next question, so I can stop frantically reloading the page looking for things I know stuff about!

Actually, the queue idea isn't bad. I could see a message that says, "You've posted in the last 23 minutes. It will be 23 hours and 37 minutes before you can post again. Your message has been saved. Follow this link: hehe.php to post it." Probably still be best to manually make the person click a "post now" button, but would be nice to have the fields all ready to go.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:14 PM on November 10, 2008


Would you really want to contribute to this sad, sad tale becoming true?
posted by CKmtl at 1:14 PM on November 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yup, completely understand. Didn't know about those other sites, so I'll check 'em out.

For clarification I meant 'amusing' as in it would scratch that curiosity itch not as in 'funny' or 'entertaining' or that type of thing. Not that it matters.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:19 PM on November 10, 2008


cjorgensen, that would be an interesting way of handling it. Store the questions for posting when the time is up. Nice.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:23 PM on November 10, 2008


I can see how this would be useful for travel issues. First you ask about where to go for spring break, then have your queue lined up with related questions such as where to get cheap fare, where the party spots are, then hangover remedies, then how to deal with being arrested in a foreign country, then particulars of repatriation, and finally, for the surprise on your eventual return: how to deal with an STD.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:27 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can also just save stuff into a text file on your desktop, and open it again when your week after a question has passed.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:28 PM on November 10, 2008


Two things against:
- If you queued something up, you wouldn't be able to ask a really important question without spending an extra $5 (unless a manual override was added, but really - how much technological replacement do you need for a list?)
- If you can't remember the question, it's probably not that important.
posted by djgh at 1:30 PM on November 10, 2008


There was a similar request a while back, including an even more useful feature that I'd like to see implemented.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:32 PM on November 10, 2008


Though I've wanted a queue too, I'm kind of glad that this option isn't in place. I probably would have been unable to post a question for nine months straight while my queue ran its course, and then, knowing my short attention span, would probably have stopped checking the site altogether by the time my pressing-at-the-time "Where should I get my Starland Vocal Band tattoo?" question came up.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:33 PM on November 10, 2008


As I see it, one of the big challenges on AskMe is that users often forget to follow up, or mark best answers, etc. Having a system that automatically posts messages for you would make users even less likely to participate in the maintenance of posts on ask me, as they might not even know "they" asked a new question. Seems like a downgrade in the quality and community of the site to have that sort of automation.
posted by potch at 1:33 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Having a queue would probably encourage people to ask questions they don't really care about, just like how being able to keep 200 movies on my Netflix queue encourages me to see movies I can't believe I ever really wanted to see (Catch and Release, really?)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:34 PM on November 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'd rather queue up my answers, and have them automatically, randomly added to questions.

With the quality of my answers so far, it's likely no one would notice the difference.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 1:36 PM on November 10, 2008




No, you just don't unnerstan. My questions are brilliantly incisive and will lead to major advances in multiple disciplines. You know, if only I get good answers from you people. I'm sooo close on several fronts already.

Except for wondering how the producers of the Bond flix describe what they want in theme music.* That's just for me.

*Composer shall write and record a song with dah-dah-di-dah somewhere within.
posted by trinity8-director at 1:46 PM on November 10, 2008


As I see it, one of the big challenges on AskMe is that users often forget to follow up, or mark best answers, etc.

Fun fact: we actually have a system in place right now that sends AskMe askers a MeFiMail prompting them to do just that. However, it's set to contact folks in 30 days and it hasn't been 30 days since we rolled it out.

INVISIBLE FEATURE!!!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:50 PM on November 10, 2008


Fuzzy Skinner, me too!

1. You're overthinking this.
2. IANAD, but it sounds like you should go see one!
3. Therapy might help
4. DTMFA
5. Lawyer up
6. Eat it. What's the worst that could happen?
posted by the latin mouse at 1:54 PM on November 10, 2008


INVISIBLE FEATURE!!!

And just like magic, I saw that I had an unread MeFiMail requesting just such a follow-up! For serious. I can only conclude you are a sorceress.
posted by potch at 1:58 PM on November 10, 2008


May I suggest AskMe Question Pad, created in response to the previous thread that's been linked to like three times already?

RIP ASKMEQ
posted by Plutor at 2:19 PM on November 10, 2008


How about a queue that anyone could post questions to, and that users would vote on to determine what is shown on the front page. Nothing would go to the front page unless it had n votes, and nothing could be answered unless it was on the front page.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:36 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


But then how would I find out if I should go to a doctor when I experience unexpected blindness?
posted by cjorgensen at 3:01 PM on November 10, 2008


Trick question, the doctor is the one who poisoned you and he's not a doctor at all. In fact he has a Ph.D. in modern English literature and can't do you any good at all. Even if he wanted to. But he doesn't.
posted by Science! at 3:08 PM on November 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


"I find that a lot of times I can sort of model likely AskMe responses in my head and not even have to ask my question at all."

And yet, you haven't DTMFA.
posted by klangklangston at 3:33 PM on November 10, 2008


And yet, I ate it anyway!
posted by baphomet at 3:55 PM on November 10, 2008


Oh, shit, AskMe! Forgot about that.
posted by Eideteker at 4:59 PM on November 10, 2008


...the moment passes while I wait for the timeout period to lapse.

That's why the timeout period exists. Have you considered twitter?
posted by DU at 5:23 PM on November 10, 2008


"I get ideas for questions that I'd love die for enjoy find at least midly amusing to put on AskMe but then the moment passes while I wait for the timeout period to lapse."

This is a feature not a bug.
posted by Mitheral at 6:02 PM on November 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


But then how would I find out if I should go to a doctor when I experience unexpected blindness?

You could always fall back on Yahoo! Answers, though there's a good chance they'd just tell you to keep drinking until you go unblind again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:06 PM on November 10, 2008


If you don't really care to remember the question, you don't really care for the answers.
posted by ersatz at 6:29 PM on November 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


How about a queue that anybody could post to and those of us who ask few questions of our own could review and sort of adopt a question and post it using our 1 per week allotment? Sometimes I really want to ask a witty and well thought out question, but alas my brain cannot pull it off so I just read relationship questions instead. Being able to post someone else's relationship question would be a hoot.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:45 PM on November 10, 2008


"You could always fall back on Yahoo! Answers, though there's a good chance they'd just tell you to keep drinking until you go unblind again."

My CouSin WENT BliND onCe NOW heS doctor LOL
posted by klangklangston at 7:47 PM on November 10, 2008


I seem to remember writing something like:

note: yes there are ways of handling this on my own, so that's not my point, k?

But that could just be my imagination. If only there was some way to verify that....

ersatz, if I don't care to respond does that mean I don't care for your comment? I mean, if we're going all Zen here. Yet, I did respond. Crap.
posted by trinity8-director at 8:10 PM on November 10, 2008


I think it's safe to say there there is absolutely no "going all Zen" here.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:41 PM on November 10, 2008


that there.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on November 10, 2008


I think that if you have too many questions to ask, the best thing would just be to MeMail random users and ask them directly.
posted by pompomtom at 9:18 PM on November 10, 2008


Not random users, ones with the most favorites. Bam.
posted by ctmf at 9:35 PM on November 10, 2008


Yeah, good call.
posted by pompomtom at 9:48 PM on November 10, 2008


If people flagged the stupid questions more, then the limit might be lowered.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:14 PM on November 10, 2008


Why not make yourself a To Answer text file? If you write the question down, then you might answer it yourself, and you'd have it all ready to go if not.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:16 PM on November 10, 2008


You might also want some smarter AI that offers relevant google results for the question before posting the question.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:19 PM on November 10, 2008


pompomtom: I think that if you have too many questions to ask, the best thing would just be to MeMail random users and ask them directly.

random users? bah, that's boring...
posted by russm at 2:44 AM on November 11, 2008


It's not like you can't keep track of this yourself.
posted by delmoi at 4:48 AM on November 11, 2008


I seem to remember writing something like:
note: yes there are ways of handling this on my own, so that's not my point, k?


Yes, you did write that, and we realize it is not your point.

But it is our point, and since this is MetaTalk, not AskMe, we don't care if you don't want to hear it.
posted by languagehat at 7:31 AM on November 11, 2008


Bitchiness is one of the five best ways of converting three admins and a largely opposed group of other users to your side.
posted by CKmtl at 8:33 AM on November 11, 2008


What are the other four?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2008


- Stunt posts and other forms of performance art.
- Losing one's shit and picking fights.
- Allusions to governmental suppression (censorship, Nazis, SS, gulags, Men In Black, etc.)
- Threats of self-dismemberment or self-immolation.
posted by CKmtl at 9:33 AM on November 11, 2008


Here's a thought: enable MeFi mail to send a message to yourself. This isn't possible right now because "send MeFi mail" does not appear on one's own profile. If enabled, you could send yourself MeFi-related notes including questions you might ask or posts you might get around to.
posted by beagle at 9:53 AM on November 11, 2008


ersatz, if I don't care to respond does that mean I don't care for your comment? I mean, if we're going all Zen here. Yet, I did respond. Crap.

I think the analogy is that if I didn't care to comment, I wouldn't care for your any response. Hugs.
posted by ersatz at 10:19 AM on November 11, 2008


Given the list I think bitchiness is a distant fifth.
posted by pompomtom at 3:59 PM on November 11, 2008


Feature already exists. Some manual intervention is required.
posted by flabdablet at 8:47 PM on November 11, 2008


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