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March 13, 2009 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Best Answers on AskMe: If you mark ALL of them as "best," it's the same as marking NONE of them as "best!"

I've seen this trend a lot - where a poster will ask a question and then mark ALL (literally. all.) answers as "best." To me, browsing the answers for info on how the problem was solved or what the best advice was or whatever, this is equally as unhelpful as marking NONE of the answers as "best."

The Best Answer function isn't to pat users on the back and say "Oh, I liked your answer!" Favorites are great for that, but if we could try and save "best answer" for answers that were, y'know, BEST, it would be really helpful for those of us who use AskMe as a resource not just for question-asking, but for question-reading as well.

I've seen a lot of OPs pop in with "I liked all of these answers and can't pick a best one!" and that, to me, is way more helpful than just seeing every answer marked as "best" because it indicates the OP's actual response rather than just "I'm gonna tick all the boxes!" That's just me.
posted by grapefruitmoon to Etiquette/Policy at 11:33 AM (107 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

the remedy is?
posted by edgeways at 11:35 AM on March 13, 2009


At the end of the day, Best Answers are the asker's to dispense (or not) however they please. I don't disagree with you on the formal points—yes, Besting everything is meaningless as a guide for readers—but this is something that happens only occasionally and does no actual harm when it does happen.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on March 13, 2009


"the remedy is?"

tar and feather the next person that does it...that should take care of it...
posted by HuronBob at 11:37 AM on March 13, 2009


If you mark ALL of them as "best," it's the same as marking NONE of them as "best!"

Lies! If you mark ALL of them as "best," then the screen is all highlighty. If you mark NONE of them as "best," it isn't.

You are wrong.

Q.E.D.
posted by dersins at 11:37 AM on March 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


Maybe you can code it so that you can mark all BUT ONE answer as best, just to ensure that someone feels left out.
posted by baphomet at 11:38 AM on March 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


sometimes people give a lot of really good answers
posted by jammy at 11:38 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've seen it once, maybe twice. People tend to do it when they're really psyched and I'd like to encourage people being psyched so I'm okay with it. This may be your personal pecadillo.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:40 AM on March 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


What I don't understand is why my answers aren't marked "best" and "favorite" automatically? Come on, you know they should.
posted by trinity8-director at 11:40 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm just trying to point out to people that do this that it's unhelpful to readers. I thought that rather than derailing any AskMe threads, I'd just point it out over here.

The remedy would be for people to not do this. That's all. Though the people who do aren't really likely to read MeTa, so there probably IS no remedy and I'm just tilting at windmills, so whatever.

Maybe the remedy would be for me to move somewhere without windmills.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:41 AM on March 13, 2009


Yeah, I've seen it happen but only in threads where there's isn't a quantitative "best answer", like "tell me about awesome reggae/klezmer fusion bands". It's isn't grinding the site into gravel like the ruinous mechanical teeth of favorites.
posted by GuyZero at 11:45 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or, you know, you could bring enough pecadillos for everyone. Having a personal one and then waving it around in front of the rest of us is just kind of mean.
posted by rtha at 11:45 AM on March 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


To me, browsing the answers for info on how the problem was solved or what the best advice was or whatever, this is equally as unhelpful as marking NONE of the answers as "best."

I don't get what the complaint here is. When you're asking a questions, feel free to mark whatever answers you want as best, but when someone else asks a question, it's up to them to decide what's best, you know?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:46 AM on March 13, 2009


the remedy is?

Allow for tagging of best answers. Actually, don't.
posted by gman at 11:46 AM on March 13, 2009


Maybe they really did find all the answers helpful and informative?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:46 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think some people see "Best Answer" as exactly you described - a sort of AskMe specific form of favorites. I don't think there's any sort of economy for them like there are for Favorites, but it does have the same sort of feel of giving recognition. Not necessarily helpful, but seems to be natural behavior.

The only way to really do anything about it would be to limit one Best Answer per questions, and that creates its own set of problems. If it is such a problem, maybe a mention in the FAQ or question form could point out that multiple "best answers" may make the question less useful for future readers.
posted by cimbrog at 11:48 AM on March 13, 2009


I'm just trying to point out to people that do this that it's unhelpful to readers.

What does this mean? It's not your specific situation so how is it unhelpful to you, as a reader?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:49 AM on March 13, 2009


Since best answers show up in recent contact activity, they do act somewhat as rewards, ans are usually given for effort, relative to the asker's expectations. I think I did this in a recipe request thread. That's one example of a "what are some examples of category: foo" AskMe that can have many, many unquestionably correct answers. Does the recipe have cauliflower in it? Then it's a valid answer, and if the poster is that excited about cauliflower, well, lauding them all as perfect answers is one way to say HELL YEAH that too! All these recipes are dope!

"Best" has been a misnomer from the outset. If it really were "best," there would only be one allowed per thread, and that sounds like a bad idea. Poster discretion is fine, and adds flavor to the AskMe experience.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:49 AM on March 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I could find some more pecadilloes, but I don't think any of them are MeFi related.

Like: People on the T! If no one takes that seat, then there isn't room for as many people to stand! You aren't proving anything by being all "I'm a big man, I can stand!" Would SOMEONE just SIT DOWN?

Does anyone want that one?

(So yeah, I get it, this is just me who is bugged by this.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:50 AM on March 13, 2009


my pecadillo had identical quadruplets and now I have five. My leprosy however, is cured.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:50 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


There really is a difference between "This was all helpful! The problem is solved now!" and "No, none of this helped and the problem is still unresolved."

As a reader, if I've got the same problem as the OP and I'm looking for advice, the first tells me "Make sure to read all these responses. They're all really useful." The second tells me "Maybe skim through these, but there isn't guaranteed to be anything worthwhile here." I find that distinction helpful.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:53 AM on March 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


My leprosy however, is cured.

We prefer the term Hansen's disease, you politically incorrect outcast, you.
posted by dersins at 11:53 AM on March 13, 2009


"Best" has been a misnomer from the outset.

"Superlative, in one sense or another" is too wordy, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:55 AM on March 13, 2009


Question: Why is grapefruitmoon doing this?

Best Answer: her cat's a dick.
posted by mullacc at 11:56 AM on March 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


MAGNIFICENT ought to be a choice. I would love to see "poster A has marked this answer as MAGNIFICENT" on the recent activity page.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:57 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


What does this mean? It's not your specific situation so how is it unhelpful to you, as a reader?

Ok, so, I'm reading a question about someone else's specific situation that is similar to one that I've been in, but I don't want to ask my own question because it's already been asked. Thus, either browsing the recent questions, or using the search function I enter a thread that makes me think "Yes! I want to know more about this!"

And I see ALL answers marked as "best" even if they (sometimes) offer conflicting advice. And I think "Wait. This isn't very helpful. Maybe the OP liked all of them, but I'm not getting how the problem was really solved." I'm not at all advocating for just ONE best answer, but seeing several highlighted out of many is EXTREMELY helpful from the point of view of "Oh! These are the ones that the OP found to be useful!" In rare cases, I can see that ALL answers might be helpful, but in most cases I've seen, it does seem to be a kind of "I like everybody! HUGS!" kind of thing that doesn't help anyone who isn't the OP.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:57 AM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Question: Why is grapefruitmoon doing this?

Best Answer: her cat's a dick.


IT'S SO TRUE. She's all meowling at me right now. It's an abusive relationship.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:58 AM on March 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Though the people who do aren't really likely to read MeTa

Why not?
posted by Evangeline at 11:58 AM on March 13, 2009


It's only uphelpful when the person marks them all best answer to be nice. I tend to scan AskMes, so having good answers highlighted is helpful. If I don't see any highlighted, then I have to scroll through to find out which ones are good, but I have no assurances that any of them are good, so I may be wasting my time. If all of them are highlighted, then I know they are all good answers, I should read through all of them, and I'm not wasting my time. The only way I can be sure that a non-highlighted answer isn't "best" (and often, the really best answers aren't even selected by the OP) is if at least one answer has been highlighted.

The system works, sorry you don't like light green.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:58 AM on March 13, 2009


Oh, but I totally agree that "hugs" best answers are annoying.

Equally annoying is the inability to dole out "dope slaps" in place of best answers. You know, when you say something like "I need to x. I've already tried y." And someone says, "Oooh! You should try y!" There should be a special "you call that an answer?" button that makes that comment fade out of existence on the page.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:00 PM on March 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


Eh, use your head, you'll figure out what's best for you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:00 PM on March 13, 2009


Though the people who do aren't really likely to read MeTa

Why not?


Well, like all generalizations it's not going to be true ALL the time, but I find a lot of the people who are of the type to do this are ones who only use AskMe and don't venture into the Blue or the Grey, either by virtue of being new users or by virtue of only being interested in that aspect of the site.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:01 PM on March 13, 2009


But all this must be suffered by those who profess the stern order of AskMe.
posted by carsonb at 12:01 PM on March 13, 2009


In rare cases, I can see that ALL answers might be helpful, but in most cases I've seen, it does seem to be a kind of "I like everybody! HUGS!" kind of thing

Seriously, have you seen this more than two or three times? I haven't and I feel like I live there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:03 PM on March 13, 2009


And one person who I knew did it recently, gursky of the new haircut, actually started a MeTa post about her thread so she could thank MORE people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:04 PM on March 13, 2009


There should be a special "you call that an answer?" button that makes that comment fade out of existence on the page.

Barring that, you can flag 'em. I nix 'em when I see 'em.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:04 PM on March 13, 2009


Smoke 'em if you get 'em.
posted by GuyZero at 12:06 PM on March 13, 2009


Seriously, have you seen this more than two or three times? I haven't and I feel like I live there.

I've seen in two or three times, yeah, but they've all been in the past MONTH whereas I had never seen it before that and I read Ask every morning. I guess this isn't an epidemic, but whenever I DO see it, it sticks out in my mind as "Wait. WHAT is the solution here?"
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:08 PM on March 13, 2009


Can I bum one? Alls I got is a half-smoked stale Kool Mild that I fished out of the ashtray.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:11 PM on March 13, 2009


I agree in general with gfm and the mods (although it doesn't bother me as much), but I want to make a minor point: it may very occasionally happen that someone asks a closed (answerable) question, e.g.

Q: How do I solve this problem with my flux capacitor? It won't reach 1.21 Gigawatts.
A: Have you looked at [this page]? It has the technical manuals for many time machines from that period.
A: Check the speedometer. Sometimes they are calibrated for metric. You want 88 mph, not km/h.
A: You haven't tried to run it on anything other than gasoline, right? I think leaded works just as well, but alcohol will bust up your fuel manifold.

And, you know, there are relatively few answers and they really do all contribute somehow to an eventual solution to the asker's problem. It may happen very little if at all, but similar instances appear quite regularly I think and I feel that in these cases marking all answers as best is justified.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:12 PM on March 13, 2009


Actually, sometimes all the answers ARE the best. Like if I'm looking for pizza topping recs and I turn out to like all the ideas.
posted by DU at 12:13 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Like, the one I saw it most recently was a travel thread about Reykjavík, a place I used to live. I saw my answer marked as "best"... as well as every answer that followed. And yeah, I can see in a travel thread that every answer is going to be a helpful one, but three of the answers said the same thing. Several posters provided lengthy lists of suggestions, several just said "The Blue Lagoon smells funny!" and yeah, for the OP, I can see that these are all helpful.

If I were reading a travel thread about somewhere I hadn't actually BEEN, specific recommendations would definitely have been more helpful than a chorus of "Yeah, I tried that!" which, if I were asking the question would be good to know, but as a reader I'd like to be able to skim the best answers rather than going through and finding "Oh. This one is a recommendation... this one is a recommendation... and wait, this one is echoing the first one..."

Granted, this is like, a three minute time waste for me, total, but I do think that it would enhance the usefulness to see "Oh, these four things are highlighted! They must be awesome!" rather than reading through a page full of answers that are marked as "Best" to find that they all say the same thing. Marking the first one as "Best" is VERY helpful. Each successive one after that - helpful to the OP to see a consensus, sure. Helpful to someone else reading... not so much.

Again, probably just me, I'm just explaining why I think that this is unhelpful for readers since people are asking.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:16 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Wait. WHAT is the solution here?"

I suppose the person who asked the question found them all to be solutions. I might not look that way to you from the outside, but the person asking the question thought so. And even if the different answers have varying levels of bestness, either subjectively or objectively, either to the person asking the question or to the people reading, so what? The person asking found all the answers helpful. Is this Highlander or something?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:17 PM on March 13, 2009


While it may mean that the status of each answer within the particular question is lost, marking answers this way is still a good idea, where applicable, because of the front page sidebar. Frequently I'll notice "XXX had a best answer in QQQ" regarding one of my contacts. Even if all the other answers in that question were marked Best, it was still useful to me because of this feature.
posted by odinsdream at 12:19 PM on March 13, 2009


I've marked a whole bunch as best, not all but almost all, but I was looking for clues and the ones marked gave me insight, thus they were "best" - even for someone else browsing to find the solution I think all the ones I marked would be helpful.
posted by dabitch at 12:23 PM on March 13, 2009


I should probably also mention that 90% of the time that I spend on MetaFilter is under specific time constraints, so yeah, if I'm reading through a question's answers it's because I really do want to know. I know I'm in the minority here - I don't have a lot of free time on days when I work, and I try to keep up with MeFi as best I can because I really like the site, but it does mean that I try and prioritize the time, for which I find "Best Answers" to be wicked helpful... until, as I mention, they're ALL best.

I know that most people who read MeFi have extra time to spare to sort through this kind of thing. Most days, I don't. Wah wah wah, smallest violins playing the world's saddest song for me, I know.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:24 PM on March 13, 2009


Whilst I don't really have an opinion here, I do agree with the general tenet of this thread, namely if everyone is special then no one is special. My personal pecadillo is in the gym I attend, part of a well-known chain. The staff walk around with T-Shirts saying:

"We are all athletes"

No, no we're not. The inanity and aggressive wrongness of this phrase annoys the living fuck out of me. What gets to me even more is that some people probably believe this. HOW CAN THIS POSSIBLY BE TRUE???!!! ARGGGHHH!!! GET OFF MY LAWN ETC. Ok I'm done. I feel better now.
posted by ob at 12:24 PM on March 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


dabitch: It is actually really helpful to see questions like that, because you can see that the ones that AREN'T marked WEREN'T as useful to the OP.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:25 PM on March 13, 2009


Here's a couple that actually deserved all the best answers marked: What's it like to dream? and foreign phrases used during sex.

Also, I had picadillo tacos yesterday.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 12:30 PM on March 13, 2009


Ok, yeah, foreign phrases used during sex is totally worthy of all answers being marked best.

I stand, or sit, quasi-corrected. I still maintain that there are threads where it's not useful to do so.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:31 PM on March 13, 2009


Well, maybe we aren't all special, then. But you guys are all equally unique.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:36 PM on March 13, 2009


For what it's worth, by the way-- I've done this. OK, I didn't mark every single suggestion as best (because Ikky2's "Moby-dick" suggestion was clearly tongue in cheek, and Tucker Max is a deeply unfunny and unintersting douchebag, but I marked somewhere in the vicinity of 40+ best answers precisely to indicate to to future readers of the question that all of those suggestions were plausible, even if I happened to have already read the book or author mentioned.
posted by dersins at 12:41 PM on March 13, 2009


(So yeah, I get it, this is just me who is bugged by this.)

No, I know whatcha mean. I haven't been around that long and I've seen at least a couple of threads where every or nearly every answer was marked. Maybe it was happenstance that I stumbled on the only two threads where it ever happened, but I agree it seems counterintuitive to what I think "best answer" should mean.

Then again, I was baffled by recent complaints that being allowed to bestow only 100 favourites per day was a crippling limitation. Really?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:41 PM on March 13, 2009


Peccadillo defined. I have never heard it used in the sense that it is being used in this thread - somewhat like a pet peeve. It is actually a small sin or minor offense. And it has two C's.
posted by matildaben at 12:45 PM on March 13, 2009


I stayed in a hostel right off of Peccadillo Circus once. Nice place.
posted by xbonesgt at 12:50 PM on March 13, 2009


[total side derail but I wonder: why do i get a memail automatically asking to mark a thread "resolved" if I've already given it a best answer? what's the difference?]
posted by neustile at 12:54 PM on March 13, 2009


Because, neustile, the best answer may not have actually resolved the situation at hand (for example, the best answer may have given you an idea of how to go about something, but then when you actually tried it, it didn't work out). Likewise, you may consider a question resolved over the course of a discussion in comments, but feel that no particular answers are really "best." The two things are not equal.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:00 PM on March 13, 2009


the one I saw it most recently was a travel thread about Reykjavík, a place I used to live. I saw my answer marked as "best"... as well as every answer that followed.

Well, that's because everything about Reykjavik is apparently spectacular but no one wants to offer advice about rural Iceland.

*sniffle*

I have so many Best Answers to give.

posted by kittyprecious at 1:01 PM on March 13, 2009


Hey look! A question I asked where I did exactly that!

I see where you're coming from, grapefruitmoon, but in cases like this, no answer is qualitatively better than another. I asked for examples, and every answer is an example. Each was an equally helpful and 100% relevant answer to the question I asked. As such, every answer was marked as best.

I suppose I could unmark the ones from me as best answer, but, you know, I have low self-esteem.

And hey, look, I'm on the Grey too.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:03 PM on March 13, 2009


SpiffyRob: Yeah, and you marked the same suggestion twice.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:09 PM on March 13, 2009


kittyprecious: Had I actually been there, I would offer you tons of advice on rural Iceland. Yeah, I lived in Iceland without ever leaving Reykjavík much. The main reason for that: I get motion sickness wicked easy. Every route to the West Fjörds involves either driving on twisty roads or taking ferries or taking really teeny planes. I experienced a lot of motion sickness in Iceland - I even barfed on some whales.

So, I guess my "advice" would be to take Dramamine!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:12 PM on March 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Shrugs. If I asked a question and got three outstanding anwsers, each distinct from the preceeding ones, and then nothing else I'd certainly mark them all best.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on March 13, 2009


(If I got a 100, maybe less so)
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on March 13, 2009


My leprosy however, is cured.

I didn't even know that you had leopards. You librarians really know how to party!
posted by quin at 1:26 PM on March 13, 2009


We, the viewing audience at home, should get to vote on what the best answer is, and the asker will be obliged to go along with the vote.
posted by adamrice at 1:32 PM on March 13, 2009


Here's the cauliflower recipe AskMe I was thinking of, where I doled out a lot of checkmarks. Seemed to jive with the excitement attendant to cruciferous culinary curiosity. I see there were a lot of chatty responses that didn't proffer original ideas, and I didn't check those. Are there many threads where people check even the "me too" or "oh I tried this and it was great" answers?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:33 PM on March 13, 2009


All the features implemented since 2004 cause nothing but trouble. Mathowie, PB - just take away favorites, best answers, memail, the works. How many threads about the new shiny shit doesn't work to people's liking does there need to be? If a user is misbehaving, they get banned or in timeout or whatever.
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:33 PM on March 13, 2009


Oh, and give us back the img tag.
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:33 PM on March 13, 2009


I agree with grapefruitmoon on this one.

If the "best answer" feature is just for the asker, what's the point? How does it help the asker? Why would it be made public?

It's not for the asker. It's for the readers.

Highlighting everything as best is occasionally a good thing: "These were all helpful!" But sometimes the asker will go on a highlighting spree when it is obvious they haven't even implemented the suggestions yet and don't know whether the answers are actually helpful at all.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:34 PM on March 13, 2009


I would like to mark every comment by jessamyn in this thread as a "best answer". Damn girl, you are hot today. Glad to hear about the leprosy. Was it Jesus or dapsone + antibiotics?
posted by Mister_A at 1:35 PM on March 13, 2009


We, the viewing audience at home, should get to vote on what the best answer is, and the asker will be obliged to go along with the vote.

Now that's an idea.

"OK, the results are in, and in response to your question, 'How do I tell the person in the bathroom stall next to mine that they should consider changing their dietary habits?', the most votes went to the answer, 'Write up a company-wide email.' You have 48 hours to fulfill this Best Answer or your account will be closed. Cheers!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:47 PM on March 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I always thought the purpose of the "Best Answer" function was:
a) to indicate on the AskMe main page that the question has been answered in a way that resolves the initial problem ("oh I know the answer to that but it's already resolved so no need for me to chime in").
b) so people who have the same question can find the question at a later date and easily see which answer or answers helped resolve the problem.

With regards to b), it's perfectly valid to Best Answer all the responses if all the responses were helpful. Equally, you could Best Answer your own response to your own AskMe question if you ended up finding a solution yourself.

It's not about HEY HEY GIVE ME THE BEST ANSWER I AM THE BEST it's about making AskMe the most useful resource possible.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:49 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm down with grapefruitmoon on this. I see it at least two or three times a month, sometimes more.

It tends to be attached to questions that a) don't really have an answer b) the people who posted the question tend to be under the delusional idea that "pattern of thought" somehow equals "conclusion" and c) people who are looking for complete validation of their feelings/thoughts/opinions and want to feel good about themselves.

The problem, of course, is what "best" means. Does best mean "better than all others", "better than some" or just "good"? I think best is a term means "better than all others". If there are a bunch of good answers, but none that stands out as "the one", then there are no "best" answers and none should be marked. And if more than one is marked, they should be different solutions to the same problem so that when someone comes back and reads the question later, they'll instantly know what works and what doesn't. If your question doesn't have such a black and white solution, then best answer shouldn't be used. And said member should be shamed and shunned at the next opportunity.
posted by Stynxno at 1:51 PM on March 13, 2009


Yeah, I've seen it happen but only in threads where there's isn't a quantitative "best answer", like "tell me about awesome reggae/klezmer fusion bands".

I've done it when everyone's contribution was helpful, and I want to show them all some love.
posted by jayder at 1:58 PM on March 13, 2009


THIS MAKES ME VERY ANGRY!! THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT, THE ANGRIER I GET!!
posted by Joe Beese at 1:59 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


i iz cured! but my spelling is still apalling.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:02 PM on March 13, 2009


So can we try the "Users vote for Best Answer, Asker must do it" thing? Just for a week, to see how it goes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:17 PM on March 13, 2009


We, the viewing audience at home, should get to vote on what the best answer is, and the asker will be obliged to go along with the vote.

Oh, hey, yeah, they do that over at Yahoo!Answers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:17 PM on March 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, and you marked the same suggestion twice.

Sure did! The first one was excellent because it told me about it. The second one, while repeated information, contained a link, meaning they both got it. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:18 PM on March 13, 2009


If this proposal is adopted, there will be a lot more buttsex.
posted by Mister_A at 2:19 PM on March 13, 2009


If you DO best everything(i dont agree with it)...you don't get that meMail that says "please best something".
posted by hal_c_on at 2:28 PM on March 13, 2009


Stop picking on grapefruitmoons! She is right and all the rest of you are wrong. Uh, except to the extent to which you agree with her, in which case you're right, but only to that extent. And only provisionally, so don't get cocky.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:39 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've done this. OK, I didn't mark every single suggestion as best (because Ikky2's "Moby-dick" suggestion was clearly tongue in cheek,

Why was moby-dick tongue-in-cheek? You had hemingway and faulkner marked as best answer, and there was even a famous bar named after moby-dick... The short, random chapters are perfect for semi-concentrated style reading.
:/ confused.
posted by mdn at 2:43 PM on March 13, 2009


I read this as piccalili tacos and threw up a little inside my mouth.
posted by the latin mouse at 3:08 PM on March 13, 2009


There's a best-answer habit that's far more annoying, but thankfully rarer, than bests-for-everyone: the OP check-marking their own snarky, confrontational "No, you're all wrong!" follow-up.
posted by CKmtl at 3:08 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everyone needs to act like a robot so I can deal with them algorithmically, but they must respect my uniqueness and humanity, because I am unique and human.
posted by 31d1 at 3:21 PM on March 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


(So yeah, I get it, this is just me who is bugged by this.)

No, it bugs the shit out of me too. I'm usually pretty happy to get a best answer and will even put in extra effort to give a really good answer in the hope that I get that best. When someone throws them around like that, obviously with no clue what they're really for, it irks me greatly.

But I figure that I have two options. 1) get over it. 2) snark in the thread to make the poster aware that they're doing it wrong. Since it's possibly a matter of opinion that it's wrong and since snarking is rude and a derail I chose to go with 1 (all the while wishing I could still do 2).
posted by shelleycat at 3:28 PM on March 13, 2009


While we're on the subject those kindergarten teachers really need to be more stingy with the gold stars. I mean come on, anyone can put art supplies away.
posted by starman at 3:32 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


While we're on the subject those kindergarten teachers really need to be more stingy with the gold stars.
posted by starman


Eponysterical.

Also: Anyone CAN put art supplies away, but almost no one DOES. As a child-care professional, gold-stars are all we have going for us since we're no longer allowed to whack kids with sticks.

I keed.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:45 PM on March 13, 2009


I'm beginning to suspect you're not a real grapefruit.
posted by aubilenon at 3:49 PM on March 13, 2009


THEY'RE ON TO ME! QUICK, TO THE BUNKER!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:50 PM on March 13, 2009


But I figure that I have two options. 1) get over it. 2) snark in the thread to make the poster aware that they're doing it wrong. Since it's possibly a matter of opinion that it's wrong and since snarking is rude and a derail I chose to go with 1 (all the while wishing I could still do 2).

I went with option C. "Post to MeTa to get ritually disemboweled while snarking about it." It's going well.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:51 PM on March 13, 2009


ritually disemboweled??? Oh man, I'm doin' it wrong.

Sorry about your bowels, gfm.
posted by GuyZero at 3:57 PM on March 13, 2009


I agree with grapefruitmoon.
posted by grouse at 4:01 PM on March 13, 2009


I agree with grapefruitmoon.

Her cat's a dick?
posted by gman at 4:18 PM on March 13, 2009


No, a pussy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:24 PM on March 13, 2009


Hey, the other day someone asked a question, marked 4 or 5 best answers, then came back and unmarked them all and marked their own answers--which were a cut and paste of a google search--as the best answers.

Sure, it was funny, but you can bet I won't be answering any more of his questions.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:37 PM on March 13, 2009


In MetaTalk, I'd like to be able to [mark as best snark].
posted by gman at 4:38 PM on March 13, 2009


Wait-- Jessamyn wears leotards?

If you are eating picadores tacos, you need to wash your mouth out with soap. You don't know where those picadores have been.

How about a "meh" button for those answers that are just really so-so?
"You should have tried harder."
"I am soooo disappointed."
"Blergh"
"This is not the validation I was looking for"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:08 PM on March 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I asked for chicken recipes and I have not yet tried all those offered but I may well mark all the answers as best at some point.
posted by longsleeves at 6:08 PM on March 13, 2009


Yeah, I did it recently and briefly agonized over marking them all. But I asked, they answered, and the answers were all generally useful to me. Still, in the past I've said, "...thanks again to everyone for the fantastic info and links; I marked a couple as 'best' but would mark them all if it didn't look so silly," so I agree with grapefruitmoon's general point.

It's not always terrible, I guess is what I'm saying, although it's probably best to avoid doing it whenever you can.
posted by mediareport at 6:23 PM on March 13, 2009


Look, I totally solved this like two months ago.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:21 PM on March 13, 2009


I can think of at least three reasons for selecting best answers.

* To indicate on the frontpage that the question has been resolved.
* As a special thank you to helpful replies.
* To make the answer more easily findable for those searching in the future.

Now, none of those are wrong exactly, but they'd all lead to different replies being marked as best.

I think those of you who are irked by this will just have to accept that certain people use the technology differently. Like the 'favorites are bookmarks' versus 'favorites are validation' thing.
posted by the latin mouse at 2:03 AM on March 14, 2009


Or: * Poster is on e. Everything's 'the best' when you're on e.
posted by gman at 5:33 AM on March 14, 2009


I use the "best answer" thing to confuse the heck out of everyone, especially after they've given me thoughtful, helpful replies to my serious questions.

MAYHEM!
posted by not_on_display at 1:12 PM on March 14, 2009


I plan to start a band called The Personal Peccadilloes, in which I will play lead tambourine.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 7:50 PM on March 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are times when any answer that actually addresses the question should be best. That was part of my thinking where I went on a besting binge in this thread. But more importantly every answer was helpful, and like the pizza question mentioned above the"best" answer to a question like this is entirely subjective. If someone had chimed in and said "Why are you asking about pizza toppings? Eat spaghetti instead!" (as often happens), then they could have justifiably not been marked best while all actual answers were. Several commenters talk about solving a problem being a requirement for best answer, but not all AskMes pose a problem to be solved.
posted by TedW at 12:46 PM on March 15, 2009


another example of many answers being best answers simultaneously...

or am i doing it wrong?
posted by jammy at 2:56 PM on March 23, 2009


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