Open-ended chatty questions on AskMe July 10, 2009 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Open-ended chatty questions on AskMe

When posting a question to AskMe, the user is cautioned: "AskMe questions should have a purpose, goal, or problem to be solved. Open-ended chatty questions that don't offer a problem to be solved are detrimental to the long term usefulness of the site."

OTOH, the list of all time most popular AskMe questions seems to be composed of these types of questions, almost exclusively.

Am I misinterpreting the definition of 'open-ended', or is the caution message less than ideal?
posted by mhjb to Etiquette/Policy at 8:25 AM (148 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm sure a lot of the popularity of said posts has to do with the fact that they encourage a large number of comments, and users that comment on a post are probably more likely to favourite it.
posted by mhjb at 8:26 AM on July 10, 2009


The more inside on most of those explains why the people want answers to those questions. If peopel ask a flat "Which is better ketchup or mustard?" sort of question or one that's more "What do you think about people who speed?" we'll axe it, but if the OP has made an effort to explain why they want to know, we'll usually watch it. I assume the high number of favorites is exactly what mhjb said, a high number of contributors.

In short, it's okay to ask a sort of philosophical question as long as you explain who you are and why you're asking, what problem of your own you're trying to solve with this information. That sid, we were looser on this in the past and some of the favorites on that list are from before we sort of tightened up the chatfilter guidelines. And, their popularity is sort of why we've tried to keep them on a short leash. We'd like AskMe to be a good resource for peopel solving problems, not just a repository of people chatting abotu whatever (not that there's anything wrong with that, but there are a lot of other places to do that).
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:31 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The chatfilter designation seems to be arbitrary and depends on a number of factors such as what the mods had for breakfast, the presence of sunspots, and the current phase of the moon. It has been observed that a waning moon leads to a marked increase in posts deleted as "chatfilter."

The downside of this system is that many otherwise interesting posts are unfairly killed. The upside is that sometimes they survive and live a long and happy life amusing the hell out of me. It is thought that, were the floodgates permanently opened, allowing a constant flow of intriguing, chatfiltery questions, the heavens would come crashing down, the seas would run with blood, and everyone would have to name their child in Zalgo.

On a more serious note, wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:32 AM on July 10, 2009 [10 favorites]


I've been confused about this as well. A lot of the "more inside" backgrounds sound pretty tacked on. "Dogs vs cats, your thoughts? [more inside] I'm...uh...writing a book. Yeah." I was concerned that my recent question on the information capacity of the universe might be chatfilter, in fact, because it's a question that doesn't necessarily have a known answer. Which means it requires a discussion, which is to say chatting.

Also, mustard is so much better it's not even a contest.
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


The recent "best/worst first dates" AskMe seemed pretty chatty.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:44 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another vote for mustard. Preferably Coleman's. Carry on.
posted by prufrock at 8:46 AM on July 10, 2009


Let me be the first to say FUCK YOU "DU" YOU BIPOLAR QUEER! KETCHUP RULZ
posted by mhjb at 8:47 AM on July 10, 2009


What does this have to do with Gay Marriage?
posted by ob at 8:48 AM on July 10, 2009


Another mustard.

You guys favorite threads because you participate in them? Most of the popular AskMes that I've ended up favoriting are more for "YOU SHOULD READ AND FOLLOW THIS ADVICE" or "THIS THREAD HAS A TON OF GREAT RECOMMENDATIONS", rather than "YOU CONTRIBUTED A COMMENT TO THIS THREAD".

You people are weird.
posted by graventy at 8:54 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cats and ketchup are clearly superior to all other options. Namely dogs and mustard.
posted by josher71 at 8:58 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


It has been observed that a waning moon leads to a marked increase in posts deleted as "chatfilter."

[NOT SEXIST]?
posted by Deathalicious at 8:58 AM on July 10, 2009


A lot of it is a matter of phrasing. Asking for peoples ideas of what would make a cool comic book character would probably be deleted. Asking for peoples ideas of what would make a cool comic book character for a particular story you're trying to write would probably stay.

In the first, you're starting a conversation that has no real solution, while in the second you're starting a conversation to solve a specific problem.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:58 AM on July 10, 2009


Mustard, while not a vegetable, is infinitely superior.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2009


Cats and ketchup are clearly superior to all other options. Namely dogs and mustard.

*reports to ASPCA, not to mention PETA*
posted by DU at 9:01 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fun fact: Sasketchewan produces half of the world's mustard (seed). Supposedly.

I made a dijon rye bread yesterday. It's amazing - I don't even need to put mustard on my sandwich anymore! Next on the docket: a BLT sourdough, which might be a bit harder.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:03 AM on July 10, 2009


[NOT SEXIST]?

What?

Umm, I was making a joke.... one that had nothing to do with sex or sexism or gender or any of that.

My god.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:04 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


How scary is blood, really?
posted by burnmp3s at 9:05 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The fact is that some chatfilter questions stay because they are SO GOOD -- they just couldn't be deleted. The mods aren't about to delete a question with 50 heartfelt answers about the amazing moment in your life that changed who you are as a person. It's an unwritten exception to the general rule against chatfilter.

I'm not convinced that the reason those questions have so many favorites is because they have a lot of answers and the answerers are favoriting them. It's easy enough to go back and find which threads you contributed to: just click on your posting history in AskMe.

People favorite those threads because they're interesting/enlightening/awesome. And that's also why they're not deleted.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2009


I didn't mean to imply commenting causes favouriting, merely that there is a definite correlation between the two.
posted by mhjb at 9:10 AM on July 10, 2009


AskMe favoriting policy: good answers (+1) and questions that are of interest to me (bookmark).

Best date: Something generally not involving ketchup or mustard. Or dogs. Cats are acceptable. May involve women or men. Sperm optional.

Worst date: Anything involving all the the above at the same time.
posted by elfgirl at 9:13 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


If only there were a small group of people (say, four) who had the power to decide whether a question was, or was not, appropriate for AskMeFi. That would be amazing, wouldn't it? Those people could take the posted guidelines and interpret them as they saw fit, and delete the questions they didn't think met either the letter or spirit of the guidelines...

Then we wouldn't have to have the seemingly weekly MeTa question about how people don't understand the "no ChatFilter" policy. OH WAIT NEVER MIND
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:13 AM on July 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


The "How scary is blood really?" thread seems chatty to me (and highly inscrutable).

But I didn't flag it or nothing 'cause blood reminds me of ketchup WHICH IS TOTALLY THE BEST CONDIMENT.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:18 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


If only there were a sub-section of the metafilter network where users could ask about etiquette and receive perfectly targeted advice within minutes, rather than gunk up the rest of the site with weak content
posted by mhjb at 9:18 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I don't get what makes chatfilter and what doesn't. It seems pretty arbitrary to me. I keep thinking that I know what it is but then I see a question that seems totally chatfilter and then realize that I don't.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2009


Okay, maybe it isn't chatfilter, but this question:

How scary is blood, really?

I was curious how safe and/or possible it is to draw blood without causing serious harm or death? Is it possible to see blood on the skin without the plausible threat of death? If so, what methods exist for doing so without fatal harm to the individual?


Either it's an extremely poorly worded question, or the OP is an alien gathering data to further its invasion plans.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:23 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with.

It's like no one
ever listens to me.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


If only there were a small group of people (say, four) who had the power to decide whether a question was, or was not, appropriate for AskMeFi. That would be amazing, wouldn't it? Those people could take the posted guidelines and interpret them as they saw fit, and delete the questions they didn't think met either the letter or spirit of the guidelines...

Actually, I'll bet the other users of the site would still show an interest in the site's policies. Because a website's policies ... you know ... affect how the users use the site.

Now, there might also be people who would come along and say no one else should think about that because it's the sole responsibility of the moderators. But that wouldn't stop people from discussing it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:29 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pretty much what Jessamyn said.

And, you know, we know people like chatfilter, and people know that chatfilter is generally out of bounds, and if every once in a while something that's kind of chatty sneaks through and gets a bunch of positive attention as a result, I don't think it makes anybody's* day significantly worse.

The guidelines will always be fuzzy in this area because there is no clean way to do a hard delineation of chat-vs-not-chat, but if the exceptions to the apparent rule are contained only to relatively awesome specimens, that's an exception I can live with.

*Anybody not beset by hobgoblins, anyway. Consistency and all that.

just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with.

Part of me likes the idea of "just go nuts!" proposition, but part of me actually works here and worries about what dealing with that would be like in practice. A lot of ifs, ands, and buts to take into account even if we did decide it was a good idea.

The "How scary is blood really?" thread seems chatty to me (and highly inscrutable).

We try to give folks the benefit of the doubt on weirdish questions. If something is just a little off and seems a little chatty more because the presentation being awkward than because the person is flatout saying "hey, let's talk about x, here are my thoughts about x!", we'll probably watch it and see how folks react rather than just nixing it right out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:32 AM on July 10, 2009


Metachat.org exists for people who want to chat. I'd enjoy more chat in my filters, as chat.metafilter, or Chatfilter on Sundays, in the same vein as Flash Fridays.
posted by theora55 at 9:32 AM on July 10, 2009


I don't get what makes chatfilter and what doesn't. It seems pretty arbitrary to me.

I don't think it's arbitrary so much as there's just a loophole: If you explain (or make up) a concrete reason why you are asking the question, then your thread will survive. "Is there a God," for instance, might get axed quickly; but "I'm trying to figure out what to tell my daughter when she asks if there is a God" might get sidebarred after 100+ comments. See also Brandon's comic-book example above.

The rule is less about content than framing. Or at least, that's how it is applied. If cast in a personal and specific light ("I want to know because ____."), ChatFilter seems to survive just fine on AskMe.
posted by cribcage at 9:32 AM on July 10, 2009


Ketchup on eggs is wrong. Sriracha sauce on eggs is delicious.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:48 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


This thread, is an open-ended chat about open-ended chats. Very Meta. Good thing it isn't in AskMe, or it might become a favorite.
posted by davejay at 9:48 AM on July 10, 2009


On a more serious note, wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with.


pssttt ... it's called metachat.
posted by msconduct at 9:49 AM on July 10, 2009


And that first comma was pretty damn pointless
posted by davejay at 9:49 AM on July 10, 2009


Now, there might also be people who would come along and say no one else should think about that because it's the sole responsibility of the moderators. But that wouldn't stop people from discussing it.

Yes, mocking the weekly questions about "does this fall into ChatFilter territory" is exactly the same as suggesting that nobody ever think about MetaFilter policy.

YOU KNOW WHO ELSE SUGGESTED THAT NOBODY EVER THINK ABOUT POLICY
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:58 AM on July 10, 2009


You mustard people have clearly never made your own ketchup. Once you make your own ketchup (or try someone else's homemade ketchup) you'll never want another condiment.
posted by dersins at 10:03 AM on July 10, 2009


So, if one were to put together a theoretical "Welcome to MetaFilter" gift basket, what would it have in it?
posted by elfgirl at 10:06 AM on July 10, 2009


Ask Me with chatfilter = Metafilter with no links
posted by smackfu at 10:07 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Whelk :
It's like no one
ever listens to me.

theora55 : Metachat.org exists for people who want to chat.

msconduct : pssttt ... it's called metachat.

Myself : On a more serious note, wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with.


Ahem.

Besides, I've been on MeCha, and um.... I kinda didn't like it? Too much content too fast, too many silly injokes, and a different crowd of people (albeit with some overlap). None of that makes it bad, just not the community for me. Besides, do you really think I have time for more than one of these sites?

I think a day of allowed chatfiler would be fun. It may not even be that hard to moderate; all the other usual rules would apply, just not the chatfilter one.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:13 AM on July 10, 2009


wtf is wrong with you mustard people.
posted by desjardins at 10:18 AM on July 10, 2009


YOU KNOW WHO ELSE SUGGESTED THAT NOBODY EVER THINK ABOUT POLICY

The same guy who is standing behind you with a gun, forcing you to read this thread?
posted by cribcage at 10:18 AM on July 10, 2009


Yup. Metachat isn't chat.metafilter.com.
posted by box at 10:18 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Umm, I was making a joke.... one that had nothing to do with sex or sexism or gender or any of that.

Okay, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but boy did that sound like a "time of the month" statement.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:20 AM on July 10, 2009


AskMe is at its best when it does what it's not allowed to do.
posted by fire&wings at 10:23 AM on July 10, 2009


What's your favourite time of the month?
posted by Dumsnill at 10:24 AM on July 10, 2009


I've heard of (but never tried) homemade mustard, but not homemade ketchup. I should try both of these.
posted by DU at 10:24 AM on July 10, 2009


Once you make your own ketchup (or try someone else's homemade ketchup) you'll never want another condiment.

Interesting. I read a whole article once about how there is no market for gourmet ketchup. Mainly because people may like it, but they don't think it tastes like ketchup.
posted by smackfu at 10:27 AM on July 10, 2009


Okay, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but boy did that sound like a "time of the month" statement.

I think you're stretching here.

Oh wait, I said stretch. As in stretch marks. Oh my god, I'm insinuating that you're pregnant!

I'm such a sexist.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:29 AM on July 10, 2009


My favorite AskMe feature is when it doesn't let us do the thing we like the most.
posted by mullacc at 10:39 AM on July 10, 2009


Yup. Metachat isn't chat.metafilter.com.

Oh, but it could be, so easily!
<VirtualHost chat.metafilter.com>
   ServerName chat.metafilter.com
   Redirect permanent / http://www.metachat.org
</VirtualHost>
On preview: I think you're stretching here.

Not that much. Cycles tend to sync in with the moon, and new moons historically and ritually were associatied with the time of the month. And besides, you were literally saying "deletions are more likely to happen at a certain time of the month". So, you know, it did sound like a "time of the month" statement but on reflection and rereading I'm pretty sure you were just trying to make it sound a bit mystical. I'm guessing you would have been just as likely to say something like "with the falling and rising of the tides" or some such like that.

Hope you accept my apology for accusing you of bracketism. [NOT BRACKETIST].
posted by Deathalicious at 10:39 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Besides, I've been on MeCha, and um.... I kinda didn't like it? Too much content too fast, too many silly injokes, and a different crowd of people (albeit with some overlap). None of that makes it bad, just not the community for me.

But this is what your request for more chat looks like. This is a community that wants what you want. Maybe you should give it another chance.

Mustard, while not a vegetable, is infinitely superior.


WTF are you people talking about, mustard is totally a delicious vegetable.
posted by desuetude at 10:40 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like mustard; I also like cats. Ketchup is okay on eggs, and sometimes on fries (though I prefer mustard). Ketchup should never be put on hot dogs. I like the way is-it-chat-or-not is handled overall, although I sometimes disagree with specific decisions.

Mustard.
posted by rtha at 10:41 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Deathalicious :

Apology accepted. Had I thought about the possible lunar/menstrual cycle association, I probably would have made some sort of zodiac reference instead -- "when Mars is retrograde in Jupiter," that kind of thing.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:43 AM on July 10, 2009


Mainly because people may like it, but they don't think it tastes like ketchup.

Personally, I hate it, or at least most varieties that I've tried. It often veers off too far into a chutney direction, or even worse tastes like tomato butter (as in, apple butter but with tomatoes). In my opinion, ketchup should have a clear simple flavor profile which combines sweet, sour, and salty only. The only distinctive flavor I should taste is tomato.

I like mustard for some things, and ketchup for others. I enjoy both on hot dogs. Personally, I think they go well together and often make a dip out of a mixture of ketchup and mustard packets for my french fries.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:44 AM on July 10, 2009


I wanna make a WereMod comment, but I can't make it work.
posted by The Whelk at 10:51 AM on July 10, 2009


So, if one were to put together a theoretical "Welcome to MetaFilter" gift basket, what would it have in it?
  • a scanned image of a cat
  • a blue box with something cool inside.
  • Some trivia questions printed on green paper
  • a small can of beans and a paper plate
  • a grey card explaining what these things have to do with MetaFilter
posted by FishBike at 10:51 AM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The real question is: Ketchup? Or catsup?
posted by ignignokt at 10:59 AM on July 10, 2009


Hey, are Joe Beese and Sixcolors back from their honeymoon yet?
posted by jbickers at 11:02 AM on July 10, 2009


So, if one were to put together a theoretical "Welcome to MetaFilter" gift basket, what would it have in it?

A USB-powered device that allows me to punch people in the face over the internet.
posted by GuyZero at 11:02 AM on July 10, 2009


mustard is good on dogs, but I prefer my cat with a nice honey-ginger glaze actually.
posted by bonehead at 11:02 AM on July 10, 2009


Hey, are Joe Beese and Sixcolors back from their honeymoon yet?

And as suddenly as he appeared, Joe Beese disappeared.

[COWBOY WHISTLING OVER SUNSET SHOT]
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wanna make a WereMod comment, but I can't make it work.

*points to jessamyn*

There mod.

*points to latest Nathan Fillion vehicle*

There castle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:11 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


What about mayo and bunnies?
posted by josher71 at 11:17 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mustard. Obviously. Ketchup goes on fries and tater tots, mustard goes on everything else.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:18 AM on July 10, 2009


The real question is: Ketchup? Or catsup?

Does this answer your question?
posted by Deathalicious at 11:23 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I think a day of allowed chatfiler would be fun.

It would be much like MetaChat. If you don't like the latter, you wouldn't like it. Also, get off my lawn.

Also, mayonnaise.
posted by languagehat at 11:24 AM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


And yeah, and maybe I should explain. The phase of the moon thing was actually a reference to this. I forget that not everybody got a copy of the Hacker's Dictionary as a young teen.

Next up : Crunchly references!
posted by Afroblanco at 12:26 PM on July 10, 2009


catsup cat vs mustardog WHO WILL WIN THIS BATTLE OF THE FREAKS
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:29 PM on July 10, 2009


I think a day of allowed chatfilter would be fun.

The biggest problem with a day of allowed chatfilter is that people generally use other questions in an attempt to defend their own. It never works, of course, but I could see an uptick in MeTa posts of "Why wasn't ___ allowed when ___ was?"
posted by graventy at 12:30 PM on July 10, 2009


So, if one were to put together a theoretical "Welcome to MetaFilter" gift basket, what would it have in it?

Coupons for "free" orange juice
posted by porn in the woods at 12:31 PM on July 10, 2009


Metachat is not chat.metafilter.com. The moderation is very different, the userbase is different, the graphics, etc. I like Metachat. Chat.metafilter.com might be good.
posted by theora55 at 12:34 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The biggest problem with a day of allowed chatfilter is that people generally use other questions in an attempt to defend their own.

No, the biggest problem with a day of allowed chatfilter is that it's kind of a dumb idea.

The site has guidelines for a reason. Should we have holidays from every site guideline? If so, can you let me know when we're having offensive/sexist/racist day? Thanks!
posted by dersins at 12:35 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Every Second and Fourth Tuesday.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:39 PM on July 10, 2009


Excluding holidays.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:41 PM on July 10, 2009


It is really unfortunate that the ketchup vs. mustard debate came up. For years, I've just gone along thinking you people were normal without any conception of your true condiment preferences. I mean, you think you know someone. Now I'm just broken hearted.

Fuck you and your ketchup.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2009


Sunday double,
Saturday noise day,
Friday derail,
Thursday sexist,
Wednesday racist,
Tuesday display error,
Monday breaks the guidelines,
All you hungry brothers,
We wish the same to you.
posted by grouse at 1:00 PM on July 10, 2009


Friday I'm in love?
posted by Afroblanco at 1:01 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


If so, can you let me know when we're having offensive/sexist/racist day? Thanks!

For whatever reasons the major US holidays seem to be these days.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:02 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, Columbus day anyway.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:04 PM on July 10, 2009


'cause that's when the Patriarchy takes a break from repressin' and represents, yo.
posted by bonehead at 1:05 PM on July 10, 2009


For whatever reasons the major US holidays seem to be these days.

*starts planning for Columbus day*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't care for MeFi's rules
I post Stormfront on the Blue
flag me, I don't care for you
it's Flash Friday that I love

Monday, norms just fall apart
I self-link my deviantArt
there's more Palin threads to start
it's Flash Friday that I love

Caturday's great
sometimes the mods notice too late
Flash Friday, never hesitate ...

I don't care if I get the axe
five dollars lets me come right back
is AskMe really not for chat?
it's Flash Friday that I love

These posts make cortex pound his head
pb wishes he'd stayed in bed
did you know Michael Jackson's dead?
it's Flash Friday that I love
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:23 PM on July 10, 2009 [26 favorites]


Sunday double,
Saturday noise day,
Friday derail,
Thursday sexist,
Wednesday racist,
Tuesday display error,
Monday breaks the guidelines,
All you hungry brothers,
We wish the same to you.


You left out homophobia! I hope you get banned for that, jerkface!
posted by rtha at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2009


I loved ketchup as a kid. It was great for making fake blood, particularly with a bit of red food coloring added (making it that tiny bit more crimson) ... but I hated the taste of it. Still do, I guess, though I no longer have to defend my position.

As for more chat here at MeFi ... nah. That's what the real world is for. It's gotta be good for something.
posted by philip-random at 1:26 PM on July 10, 2009


These songs could be sung to the tune of Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth"!
posted by ignignokt at 1:41 PM on July 10, 2009


So what do you all think of favorites? I have mixed feelings.
posted by brain_drain at 1:55 PM on July 10, 2009


Rooster sauce > (ketchup | mustard)
posted by cj_ at 2:03 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


How scary is blood, really?

Well, when the cops are beating down your door, and you are standing there, holding the weapon and covered in the stuff, with no obvious escape route, let me tell you;

Blood can be pretty fucking scary.
posted by quin at 2:03 PM on July 10, 2009


Guns of Brixton?
posted by khaibit at 2:11 PM on July 10, 2009


Afroblanco: "On a more serious note, wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with."

Hello BBQ. Run by our very own Cortex.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:40 PM on July 10, 2009


"Hands upon your head".
posted by everichon at 2:47 PM on July 10, 2009


The scary-blood question isn't chatty; it's just dumb.

"I was curious how safe and/or possible it is to draw blood without causing serious harm or death? Is it possible to see blood on the skin without the plausible threat of death?"

How can you be old enough to read and write and not know the answer to that?
posted by timeistight at 2:55 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mayo is good in small doses on sandwichs, particularly ham sandwiches, ketchup is good on eggs and potato products such as tater tots and fries. I will eat the hell out of some mustard though, I love that shit. Spicy mustard is good on sausages. Skinless only please.
posted by dead cousin ted at 2:56 PM on July 10, 2009


Also, not a big fan of sriracha.
posted by dead cousin ted at 2:58 PM on July 10, 2009


sausages. Skinless only please.

See, right there is where you make it crystal clear that your opinions on food are simply not valid and should just be disregarded.
posted by dersins at 2:59 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I also like miracle whip. I guess that's even worse eh?
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:11 PM on July 10, 2009


I can't hear you.
posted by dersins at 3:17 PM on July 10, 2009


Now it is the time for drinking.
posted by everichon at 3:31 PM on July 10, 2009


Nearly 100 comments and no mention of Matouk's Calypso Sauce? What is wrong with you people?
posted by nowonmai at 3:33 PM on July 10, 2009


josher71: Cats and ketchup are clearly superior to all other options. Namely dogs and mustard.

Does that mean catsup is the ultimate choice?
posted by paisley sheep at 3:34 PM on July 10, 2009


Now it is the time for drinking.

Wait! No! I'm not home yet! I'm still at work!

::sigh::

Fine.

*pours three fingers of something toxic*

But you all should know, I refuse to be held responsible for what is about to happen to my coworkers. Time for Drinking usually is called much later in the evening.
posted by quin at 3:43 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


ketchup is ONLY good on mac and cheese....
posted by HuronBob at 4:30 PM on July 10, 2009


HuronBob, this is my yucky face.
posted by elfgirl at 4:33 PM on July 10, 2009


The way I see it, posts on the front page are the outcome of a binary proposition (either they stay, or they don't), with the default set to "stay". However, the content of the posts and the criteria on which they are evaluated is gradient. On many dimensions. There is not going to be perfect alignment between every particular user's personal opinion about every post that stays or goes.

If you feel really strongly about a post, you can help 'flip the switch' by adding your perfectly weighted vote to the dissenter pool, via the [!] button. This can be a very effective method for alerting the mods towards public opinion about the chattiness quotient of a particular post. If the post reaches threshold*, for whatever reason, you will know by its demise.

However, you might find that you will feel better about this, and possibly other things, if you decide to just let it go.

*Threshold varies by post and human. We are truly flawed machines.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:36 PM on July 10, 2009


Everyone knows that only tabasco sauce goes on mac and cheese.
posted by dead cousin ted at 4:38 PM on July 10, 2009


Miracle whip? Ewww.

But you redeem yourself by putting tabasco on mac and cheese.
posted by rtha at 4:45 PM on July 10, 2009


a blue box with something cool inside

You can hide your weed in there.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:33 PM on July 10, 2009


It's the "really" that kills me. How scary is blood really? Like, the old "how scary is blood?" debate has been done to death and there's all manner of folk wisdom and misinformation floating around in the larger culture... so let's get this straight once and for all.
posted by moxiedoll at 6:07 PM on July 10, 2009


I'm pretty hardcore when it comes to mustard. I even put on meatloaf. Ketchup is the only dirty word in my house. I don't like it, my daughter can't stand it yet we have a bottle of it in the fridge.
posted by Sailormom at 6:10 PM on July 10, 2009


Mustard & mayo whipped together is godlike and awesome on fries; ketchup is reserved for tater tots. Anything else is rank heresy and punishable by nothing but tartar sauce for the rest of your life.
posted by elizardbits at 6:47 PM on July 10, 2009


Ketchup is delicious...ON STORMTROOPERS.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:02 PM on July 10, 2009


Beer is the best condiment.
Everything I eat gets beer poured on it. Once it's in my stomach
posted by Jon-o at 7:12 PM on July 10, 2009


a blue box with something cool inside.

Justin Timberlake has made me very leery of accepting cool boxes from strangers.
posted by CKmtl at 7:20 PM on July 10, 2009


Ketchup + Mayo + Malt Vinegar = Marie Rose sauce = best covering for chips EVER.
posted by elfgirl at 7:21 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


chipotle mayonaise
sriracha
quacamole
Cajun style mustard
smoked Tabasco
that spicy sweet and sour sauce you get at Thai restaurants
Dijon mustard
mushroom soy sauce + agave nectar + sriracha
honey mustard dressing
mayo + harissa
ketchup
posted by zinfandel at 7:57 PM on July 10, 2009


dammit, I misspelled mayonnaise
posted by zinfandel at 8:05 PM on July 10, 2009


It's the "really" that kills me. How scary is blood really? Like, the old "how scary is blood?" debate has been done to death and there's all manner of folk wisdom and misinformation floating around in the larger culture... so let's get this straight once and for all.

Fun fact, while watching True Blood tonight I rubbed my knee against a stray shard of glass on the floor and started to bleed through my jeans. I ran into the bathroom, hiked up my pants leg, ripped a truly nasty piece and glass. Mistake, cause the glass was holding back a great big gash pumpin' out dark red blood. I had to grab a white hand towel to stop the flow. It was a pretty gruesome scene, what with all the white on red and thematic atmosphere. I had to keep pressure on it while trying to reach for the band-aids, remove my cellphone, and dump my bloody jeans into the cold water.

So I can say, blood, pretty scary depending on context.
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 PM on July 10, 2009


You should probably stop keeping shards of glass laying on your floor.
posted by dead cousin ted at 8:24 PM on July 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where's the fun in that?
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 PM on July 10, 2009


Safety third!
posted by Afroblanco at 8:46 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have made a not-so-minor hobby of coming up with ways of denigrating ketchup and those who consume it as if it were a vegetable, or maybe a food group. A good mustard, however, makes me feel alllllllllriiiiiiight.

So, if one were to put together a theoretical "Welcome to MetaFilter" gift basket, what would it have in it?


A deck of these, except with Metafilter members.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:53 PM on July 10, 2009


Mustard or wasabi only. Ickypoo ketchup!
posted by Lynsey at 10:22 PM on July 10, 2009


mhjb to etiquette/policy: Am I misinterpreting the definition of 'open-ended', or is the caution message less than ideal?

I discussed this with someone else here on MeTa (though I can't find it at the moment) and my conclusion was basically this:

Metafilter has changed. When it was less than a thousand users, 'open-ended' questions generated a few hundred really interesting, detailed answers which, while of no particular use to anybody, were really fun to read. Hence their popularity.

Now, Metafilter has, what at least 50,000 users? (I'm aware that user-numbers aren't an accurate count, but we're surely up to 50,000 by now, right?) On a site with 50,000 users, 'open-ended' questions lead to huge, ridiculous threads full of half-witted stories that end up being 10,000 comments long.

The guideline is necessary if only because, otherwise, AskMe would be swamped with utter shit. Furthermore, it's a rational way to deal with the scalability of the site because 'hey, if you can't demonstrate that you're actually asking a question that can be answered or answering a question that's been asked, just hold off, mmkay?' is actually the best way to limit questions and answers.

Trust me: it may seem that irrational anecdote is a lot more fun than rigorous or careful reason, but it's not. If you consider the issue for a moment and go over some old questions, you'll see that this thing is better when it has a purpose and when it sticks to that purpose.
posted by koeselitz at 11:07 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Afroblanco: On a more serious note, wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with.

You can already see that. It's called Yahoo! Answers.
posted by koeselitz at 11:09 PM on July 10, 2009


ignignokt: The real question is: Ketchup? Or catsup?

The real answer is: NEITHER.

Lieutenant [eating a hot dog]: Who do you think - gang hit? Screwed-up drug score? Unlucky john? Or an unhappy love affair? Hey - don't tell me this shit's gettin' to ya - not to Harry Callahan - say it ain't so!

Dirty Harry: Nah, this stuff isn't getting to me - the shootings, the knifings, the beatings. Old ladies being bashed in the head for their social security checks. Teachers bein' thrown out of a fourth-story window 'cause they don't give A's. That doesn't bother me a bit.

Lieutenant: Come on, Harry... take it easy!

Dirty Harry: Or this job, either... Havin' to wade through the scum of this city, gettin' swept away by bigger and bigger waves of corruption, apathy, and red tape... Nah that doesn't bother me. But you know what does bother me?

Lieutenant: What?

Dirty Harry: You know what makes me really sick to my stomach?

Lieutenant: What?

Dirty Harry: It's watching you stuff your face with those hotdogs! Nobody - I mean nobody - puts ketchup on a hot dog!


-Sudden Impact, 1983
posted by koeselitz at 11:39 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Afroblanco: On a more serious note, wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day? I would love to see what weird, deranged stuff this community comes up with.

By the way, I'm also certain that if this didn't crash the servers, it might come damned close. We've already had to limit the number of questions people ask, and there are tens of thousands of members on this site - do you realize what would happen if we said, 'hey, for a day, you can ask whatever the hell you want!'

What would happen is that AskMe would suddenly become extremely stupid. Seriously, don't do this - don't let it become a playground for idiots. If anybody's allowed to ask

  • Hey, what if woolly mammoths still existed - that would be awesome, wouldn't it?

  • Do you think I should go with the green curtains or the red curtains?

  • Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears poncho?

  • Hey, dude, were you gonna finish that?

  • The season premier of American Idol was the gayest thing ever, wasn't it? If you don't agree, please explain to me why you are so gay.

  • Does anybody know why? Really, I just want to know: why?

  • Have you stopped beating your wife?

  • Wouldn't it be the coolest thing if the Transformers were real?

  • Is it... Ghostbusters 2?


  • even for just a day, the result would be that I would suddenly find AskMe unbearably obnoxious and never answer a question again. I suspect I wouldn't be the only one.
    posted by koeselitz at 11:52 PM on July 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


    wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day?

    My suspicion is that we wouldn't wind up with just chatty questions we'd wind up with a lot of borderline-in-other-ways questions. Each sort of sketchy question that we leave up means some extra time babysitting it, so a day full of those questions would be a day where cortex and I did nothing but kept people from hollering at each other or fighting with each other in questions of the sort we don't even like to leave standing generally. So we'd not only be dealing with chatfilter questions, we'd be dealing with weird racist/racial questions, a lot of "XYZ sucks AMIRITE" questions (sort of a variant of the Heroes question that is up now), lots of sketchy relationshipfilter questions and they'd all be moving so quickly they'd just fill up with noise.

    I suspect, anyhow. The site is sort of large enough that having a "one day special" isn't really something we can roll-out and then roll back in. First of all, whose day would it happen during, which timezone? Second, how would we indicate for the archives "this question was asked during a window when it was okay to ask this sort of question. It is not okay to ask this sort of question now...." Third how would we let people know the start and end times of this? How much email would we have to deal with over people either disagreeing with our decision to do this or our decision to NOT do this? Email is already a fairly large part of what I do and I'm just not looking forward to a lot more email explaining a weird one-off event.

    And last, this just isn't something any of us would enjoy. There are other places on the web to go sort of banter about big ideas and/or small ideas with MeFite-like people. We don't feel the need to have MeFi be everything to everybody. I think you could create this as a sort of side-project [yes, on your own site] and announce it in Projects and still get a lot of participation. The big difference is that I wouldn't have to work there, and that would make me happy.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:44 AM on July 11, 2009


    The site is sort of large enough that having a "one day special" isn't really something we can roll-out and then roll back in.

    I love that this site still feels sort of small enough that you earnestly answered the question with a supposed hypothetical of what might happen.
    posted by mrmojoflying at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2009


    Yeah, this site went downhill when they let anyone pay to get in, didn't it?
    posted by calwatch at 11:32 PM on July 11, 2009


    Myself : On a more serious note, wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day?

    Jessamyn : The site is sort of large enough that having a "one day special" isn't really something we can roll-out and then roll back in.


    Just because something is impossible doesn't mean that it wouldn't be awesome.
    posted by Afroblanco at 10:28 AM on July 12, 2009


    Question for the ketchup on hot dogs people: What the holy living fuck? Were you raised by wolves? Wolves without taste? At long last, have you no decency sir?

    The only reason to put ketchup on a hot dog is because you can't stand hot dogs.

    And to the skinless sausages guy: Why do you hate America?

    *turns away as one tear rolls down craggy cheek*
    posted by Aquaman at 12:01 PM on July 12, 2009


    Afroblanco: Just because something is impossible doesn't mean that it wouldn't be awesome.

    Just because something would utterly destroy any value or pleasure I could possibly derive from AskMe doesn't mean it would be awesome.
    posted by koeselitz at 12:43 PM on July 12, 2009


    wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day?

    Hey, remember that thing you tried for a while that you ultimately decided you didn't like and swore not to do again? Let's do that for a whole day, would it be great?!
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:56 PM on July 12, 2009


    You probably hate unicorns, too.
    posted by Afroblanco at 12:56 PM on July 12, 2009


    ...wouldn't it.....
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:57 PM on July 12, 2009


    Afroblanco: You probably hate unicorns, too.

    If a unicorns kept coming up to me and asking questions like “hey, what's the funnest thing you've ever done in the WORLD!?” and “what's the meaning of life?” then, yes, I would hate unicorns.
    posted by koeselitz at 6:01 PM on July 12, 2009


    See, and I think that would be hilarious.
    posted by Afroblanco at 7:25 PM on July 12, 2009


    Yeah, okay, now I'm watching Futurama, and thinking about it in that context, unicorns asking me questions like that would be ridiculously funny.
    posted by koeselitz at 12:45 AM on July 13, 2009


    Late to the thread, but given the fact that the chatfilter guideline is a fuzzy one (perhaps even more fuzzy than many of our other guidelines), could I make a plea for people who think that a question should be deleted as chatfilter to just flag it and move on? You don't need to post a comment in the thread saying it should be deleted as chatfilter, or even give an actual answer which still begins "This will probably be deleted as chatfilter, but..." If you're right that it will get deleted, then a flag is sufficient and there's no need to mention it in thread, but if you're wrong and the question stays up, a "this is chatfilter" comment is an unhelpful derail.
    posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:55 AM on July 13, 2009


    Cockteil Sauce = Best Condiment Ever.

    I've only ever found it in Iceland, and until the secret formula was bestowed upon me, its goodness was lost to me once I left its frigid shores.

    Ketchup + Mayonnaise + Tabasco Sauce = OM NOM NOM.
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:57 AM on July 13, 2009


    I make cocktail sauce thusly:

    Ketchup + Horseradish + Worcestershire sauce.
    posted by mds35 at 8:51 AM on July 17, 2009


    Is cockteil sauce the same thing as cocktail sauce? I'm not finding much on Google for it. Sounds like something my wife would like. Me, cocktail is the only way to go, but I add lemon, not Worcestershire (though that sounds good).
    posted by mrmojoflying at 7:55 PM on July 18, 2009


    mrmojoflying: Is cockteil sauce the same thing as cocktail sauce?

    No; cockteil is a rich, delicious dark red concoction the mixing of which involves a pair of these and a blender.
    posted by koeselitz at 11:01 PM on July 18, 2009


    wouldn't it be cool, just as an experiment, to allow chatfilter posts for one day?

    It'd be just like this!
    posted by elfgirl at 4:34 AM on July 21, 2009


    Thanks, elfgirl, I laughed as helplessly as I did when I first read it. I forget, did all the mods collaborate on that or was it just jessamyn?
    posted by languagehat at 6:24 AM on July 21, 2009


    Group effort!
    posted by cortex (staff) at 9:32 AM on July 21, 2009


    With a hat-tip to some old Mecha threads.
    posted by box at 9:55 AM on July 21, 2009


    Group effort!

    Yes! It's still my favorite 1st "prank"
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:20 AM on July 21, 2009


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