a friend of a friend wanted me to ask y'all..... March 16, 2010 6:54 AM   Subscribe

This post brought up a question for me. It isn't unusual for us to see AskMeFi questions posted by a member for a friend/spouse/workmate/whatever. How do we feel about that? Are we taking bread out of Matt's mouth when we use our account for someone who isn't willing to pony up the $5? And, does it feel different to help a non-member as opposed to one of our co-member-mefits? Not that I personally see it (as it happens now) as a huge issue, I was just curious as to the "how to manage an online community" philosophy bit of the question.
posted by HuronBob to Etiquette/Policy at 6:54 AM (100 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

ouch... by "this post" I meant "this post"
posted by HuronBob at 6:55 AM on March 16, 2010


It's not that unusual.
posted by smackfu at 6:55 AM on March 16, 2010


Heard it from a friend whooooo /
Heard it from a friend whooooo /
Heard it from another you've been thinking about traveling to Costa Rica and would like suggestions regarding places to stay and things to do-hoooooo.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:02 AM on March 16, 2010 [61 favorites]


I think it goes both ways. It might take away some revenue or the exposure (assuming they're told about where the answers come from) that those friends & family get to Metafilter might might mean they'll purchase an account down the road.
posted by empyrean at 7:04 AM on March 16, 2010


Think of it as bread-from-the-mouth advertising.
posted by DU at 7:04 AM on March 16, 2010


I wouldn't worry about it. Being mefit is usually associated with a low-carb diet.
posted by gman at 7:07 AM on March 16, 2010


The first one's free. That's how we hook 'em.
posted by rocket88 at 7:07 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've always wondered why posters bother explaining that the question is for a friend. So I guess to answer your question, my feeling about this practice is wonderment.
posted by Xalf at 7:08 AM on March 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thanks to Arsenio I've now got REO Speedwagon stuck in my head. Damn you!!!!!
posted by COD at 7:09 AM on March 16, 2010


Xalf: "I've always wondered why posters bother explaining that the question is for a friend. So I guess to answer your question, my feeling about this practice is wonderment"

Not to be all Captain Obvious, but yes. How would I know that you are not really a...
posted by fixedgear at 7:11 AM on March 16, 2010


I, for one, once had a friend ask a question on my behalf, but the answers were so useful that it inspired me to pony up the $5.
posted by moviehawk at 7:16 AM on March 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


(Posting for a friend) fixedgear sucks!
posted by shakespeherian at 7:16 AM on March 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, the following for-a-friend question format:

I'm asking this for a friend. He has this tax situation? At band camp?

is isomorphic to this for-myself question format:

My friend has this tax situation? At band camp? And I got to wondering...
posted by DU at 7:19 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It might take away some revenue

Matt can definitively answer this, but my sense is that the $5 charge is not the main source of revenue - advertising is - just a barrier to entry to keep driveby asshats from jumping in willy-nilly. I'm sure it helps offset costs but it is probably not the site's financial driver.
posted by Miko at 7:25 AM on March 16, 2010


As I understand it, the primary function of the $5 fee is to keep people from signing up willy-nilly. When current members participate in the community on the part of people who have little or no interest in the community part of MeFi, this is a very good thing. The "lost" $5 is really an investment in community health.
posted by zennie at 7:26 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also,

1) The hassle of signing up is, for some people, more of an issue than the $5.

2) Non-members may believe that their member friend (with a history on the site, etc.) will get more/better answers.
posted by applemeat at 7:28 AM on March 16, 2010


I think it's actually somewhat important to clarify if you're posting for a friend. MeFi is a community, and we get to know other members in the community based on what they post. If you're posting for friends unannounced, you're giving the community an inaccurate picture of yourself.

I mean, it's not the end of the world if they don't, but neither is typing the words 'posting for a friend' much of a burden.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:29 AM on March 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Nothing to add, just wanted to say "willy-nilly."
posted by chinston at 7:31 AM on March 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


I meant the hassle of signing up to any pay/membership site. Wasn't suggesting that Metafilter's sign up process is a hassle in particular.
posted by applemeat at 7:31 AM on March 16, 2010




If someone is truly asking for a friend, why don't they submit the question anonymously and spare us the disclaimer? They could provide a throwaway email and the "friend" can respond to him or herself, if needed.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 7:39 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Short version is that

- we're okay with people occasionally asking stuff for a friend, ideally with clear disclosure when that's going on so folks who are trying to put the question in context don't misread that poster's identity into it, but

- anybody who might need to be the friend being asked for more than once ever should really just sign up and use their own account, to keep the identity stuff clear in general—we don't want people habitually sharing accounts, really; and regardless

- we're not worried about that $5 one way or another, it is as folk have said above more useful as a speedbump than anything and not what we count on to get paid each month.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:42 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I seem to recall a couple of questions that prompted the creation of a new user account. Don't know of a way to verify that but I am pretty sure that it has happened a few times. And from a financial standpoint I'm pretty sure sockpuppets offset some of that imbalance.

I'm pretty sure that most of those "friend" questions are more of a "Huh. I don't really know where to get an organic vegan fixie cupcake decaf microbrew hemp t-shirt after midnight in Ulaanbaatar. Maybe someone on AskMe does" and posted as a favour as opposed to "Hey, can you ask your internet friends on that one site this question for me?"

Though a valid point, the whole 'answering a non-member' thing, deciding how or whether to answer based on site status sounds really elitist (not to mention counterproductive) to me*, to be perfectly honest, and I have a really big problem with that. AskMe is actually one of the few times I don't pay attention to the poster's username; I don't care who's asking what. If I can help, I'll post a reply.


*not suggesting that you think this way, just saying.
posted by geckoinpdx at 7:45 AM on March 16, 2010


I think it's actually somewhat important to clarify if you're posting for a friend. MeFi is a community, and we get to know other members in the community based on what they post. If you're posting for friends unannounced, you're giving the community an inaccurate picture of yourself.

That actually came up not too long ago. Two people had shared an account, both of whom had asked relationship questions, creating an image of a very...dramatic person, which then had to be clarified by the latest question asker. Ended up with some discussion on shared accounts in MeTa, I believe.

So, yeah, I think unattributed questions for friends/relatives/whoever aren't a good idea.
posted by 6550 at 7:46 AM on March 16, 2010


Xalf writes "I've always wondered why posters bother explaining that the question is for a friend. So I guess to answer your question, my feeling about this practice is wonderment."

Because users tend to go spelunking into other users posting history and the asker doesn't want the question, however innocuous, to be part of their history.
posted by Mitheral at 7:49 AM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Matt said in the last podYou've Come A Long Way, Baby!cast he makes most of his gazilA Little Dab'll Do Ya!lions by inserting subThe Quicker-Picker Upper!liminal ads in the comCALLING AAALLLLL CAPTAINS!ments.

He makes up the the difference with a child labour-powered Mechanical Turk set-up run out of his basement and selling spicy Cortex calendars.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:51 AM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


If someone is truly asking for a friend, why don't they submit the question anonymously and spare us the disclaimer? They could provide a throwaway email and the "friend" can respond to him or herself, if needed.

Posting anonymously means you can't add additional detail or clarifications to the post in the comments, which isn't ideal. Plus you can't read the post in "Recent Activity." Also, applemeat's point is a good one: Non-members (and perhaps members, too) may believe that a recognizable user with a history on the site will get more/better answers.
posted by zarq at 7:52 AM on March 16, 2010


I...I don't believe I've ever experienced a willy-nilly jinx before.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:53 AM on March 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


For me there is a distinction between "my mom has this unique problem and I bet y'all can help me solve it" and "my friend knows all about mefi but is too lazy/cheap to get an account and asked me to do it for them"
posted by radioamy at 7:54 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I posted an askme for a friend who was in crisis once. At the time, she was a bit too overwhelmed dealing with lawyers and a seriously negligent landlord to join and then have to monitor an askme post. So I offered to do it for her as I was more familiar with our community.
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM on March 16, 2010


> Thanks for posting that for me, shakespeherian.


Ok, my take:

1. How do you know some people don't sign up so they can ask for a friend?
2. The time I did it the guy was a member.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:59 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


i always thought the poster was just covering up their own behavior. you know, "hi, I'm asking for a friend ... so what's the best way to shave a cat?"
posted by lester at 8:02 AM on March 16, 2010


Thanks to jacquilynne, cortex, Mitheral, and others, I now understand why posters say that they are asking the question for a friend. I'm not one for digging into a user's history before answering a question, though, so I don't really care if the question is for a friend. I guess I'll continue to ignore such disclaimers, but I won't have to wonder about them anymore. (Summary: previous feeling of wonderment downgraded to apathy.)
posted by Xalf at 8:06 AM on March 16, 2010


honestly, when someone says they're asking a question for a friend, my first response is usually "Fuck. That. I'm not here to help your 'friend.' " Basically, people who are trying to use AskMe to, in some way, help another person who does not belong to our community are doing us a disservice and violating the spirit of the site. We are here to help mefites, not other people who wouldn't even want to join our site because they're mouth breathing bottom feeders who can't pony up the $5, FIVE. DOLLARS. PEOPLE. for a membership to a website where people finally don't judge you just 'cause your different and just want to help. I don't want to help those kind of people. I want to help mefites, because at least mefites aren't stupid. Seriously, the level of discussion here is so much more civil and helpful and it's because we don't have that kind of person here, so it's just not fair for them to, like, worm their way in and pollute the site by having a mefite ask the question for them.
posted by shmegegge at 8:07 AM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Are we taking bread out of Matt's mouth when we use our account for someone who isn't willing to pony up the $5?

Not really. There are a few MeFites who we see actually sharing an account between spouses and while that's a little less than optimal, it's okay. And the "asking for a friend" thing is okay once in a while but as a habit, it's a bad one [because it's harder to get feedback from the OP in some cases and makes things awkward]. And the $5 is really really no big deal.

That said we're pretty committed to the one-person-one-account thing. Your username is your identity here and on the few rare occasions when we've seen people really sharing an account [i.e. asking a bunch of questions that are inconsistent with each other and not being at all clear that it's multiple people] we've shut that down.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 AM on March 16, 2010


"I'll help a stranger. But I WON'T help a stranger's friend!"
posted by applemeat at 8:15 AM on March 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


100000 signups * $5 / 11 years = $45454/year

That assumes everyone pays, which we know probably 20-30% of accounts aren't paid, or got in before the $5 fee.

Subtract hosting fees, giant donuts for Cortex, and a bowl of gruel for pb, and you're really not left with much.

If you think Matt makes money from signups, then you're smokin' something sublime.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:15 AM on March 16, 2010


A friend of mine once requested: "Could you ask those people from the nerdery a question for me?"
posted by marxchivist at 8:17 AM on March 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


It's not unusual to ask for someone

do doobie do be doo

As long as it's not abused it's pretty fine with everyone

la la la la laaa la
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 AM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dear AskMe, I think my wife is trying to kill me, what can I do?
posted by quin at 8:29 AM on March 16, 2010


Dearest ask metafilter, let's say I needed to dig a shallow grave for what's left of my husband, how deep is deep enough? I'm asking for a "story I'm writing".
posted by quin at 8:30 AM on March 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


100000 signups * $5 / 11 years = $45454/year

He wasn't a principal when he was 1!
posted by DU at 8:30 AM on March 16, 2010


I've asked questions for friends before, and I'll probably do it again. Sometimes when friends are traveling I throw together some recommendations from AskMe. Both are great ways for me to say "Hey this is a great site with great suggestions you should check it out".
posted by graventy at 8:32 AM on March 16, 2010


First, be smart from the very beginning....
posted by zarq at 8:33 AM on March 16, 2010


FIVE. DOLLARS. PEOPLE. for a membership to a website where people finally don't judge you just 'cause your different and just want to help.

Ummmm, people be judging people here all the time.
posted by 23skidoo at 8:33 AM on March 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


I won't answer questions for friends or for people who only ask but never answer questions. Moochers!
posted by Daddy-O at 8:39 AM on March 16, 2010


Ummmm, people be judging people here all the time.

Man what a totally Texan thing to say.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:42 AM on March 16, 2010


there aren't 100,000 accounts
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 8:42 AM on March 16, 2010


And, does it feel different to help a non-member as opposed to one of our co-member-mefits?

This line of reasoning doesn't hold up. For every member who has a question answered, 100 (or more) lurkers benefit. If this site was really only about helping members, it would be login only. And lurkers would never sign up, because they would have no idea how awesome the community actually is.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 8:52 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Asking for my wife: I think my husband is trying to kill me, what can I do?
posted by puritycontrol at 8:59 AM on March 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


people who wouldn't even want to join our site because they're mouth breathing bottom feeders ... for a membership to a website where people finally don't judge you

I know I'm totally quoting what you're saying out of context but the juxtaposition of these two phrases just made me laugh out loud. :D :D
posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


If someone is truly asking for a friend, why don't they submit the question anonymously and spare us the disclaimer? They could provide a throwaway email and the "friend" can respond to him or herself, if needed.

If it's a question that might be relevant to a wide number of people, keeping all of that info on the posting page (as opposed to private emails) is more beneficial for people with the same question later on down the road.
posted by puritycontrol at 9:04 AM on March 16, 2010


but the juxtaposition of these two phrases just made me laugh out loud.

I should hope so! that was the goal.
posted by shmegegge at 9:04 AM on March 16, 2010


*bows low to shmegegge* :D
posted by zarq at 9:10 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are we taking bread out of Matt's mouth when we use our account for someone who isn't willing to pony up the $5?

Not really, or, not enough to matter. Any given AskMetafilter-question-by-proxy represents such a tiny piece out of the total value that the asker could have gotten in return for the nominal $5 lifetime fee that it wouldn't make sense to try to establish an unenforceable rule against this practice as a way to increase site revenue. If they want to make more money from account fees (which they apparently don't, based on cortex's comment), the way to do it would be to increase the fee, not to announce an ineffectual rule against asking the wrong kinds of AskMetafilter questions.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:10 AM on March 16, 2010


If someone is truly asking for a friend, why don't they submit the question anonymously and spare us the disclaimer?

Anonymous questions are generally disfavored. So, they should be used only when necessary, right? If you're asking a question for a friend, it's generally not necessary to post anonymously even if you could post it anonymously.

Also, if it's time-sensitive, anonymous doesn't work. And it's harder to keep track of an anonymous question because it's not stored in your profile. And it's more likely for an anonymous question to be rejected than it is for a non-anon question to be deleted.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:20 AM on March 16, 2010


It doesn't matter what the text says; you're helping out the community member asking the question. Regularly people use the mention of a 'friend' as cover for asking a question of their own; I can only assume that sometimes questions are asked for friends with no mention of that fact. Either way, the community member is leveraging their own community capital; she has for example sacrificed the opportunity cost of asking her own question for the week, and the question now is attached to her profile for better or for worse.
posted by Kwine at 9:28 AM on March 16, 2010


I had a friend ask if I could ask a question for them after I explained AskMe to them as "like Yahoo Answers for people who are actually literate." They resolved the question before I had the chance to ask it for them, though.
I don't know why I'm commenting this other than lack of sleep. Oh well. It's Metatalk.
posted by ishotjr at 9:38 AM on March 16, 2010


In Soviet Russia the questions ask you for your friends
posted by found missing at 9:45 AM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


If someone is truly asking for a friend, why don't they submit the question anonymously and spare us the disclaimer? They could provide a throwaway email and the "friend" can respond to him or herself, if needed.
Among other reasons, this practice would end up as an end-run around the usual anonymous criteria. Anonymous AskMes are vetted by the mods before publication, and:
Questions about ordinary subject matter that doesn't seem to fit the needs of being anonymous may not be approved.
AnonyAsk is for sensitive questions, not whether your friend should eat that sandwich.
posted by zamboni at 10:02 AM on March 16, 2010


Just for clarification, all my AskMe questions were actually for friends. I don't worry about the silly shit those questions were about. I'm a serious dude with no issues.
posted by Carbolic at 10:02 AM on March 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've always wondered why posters bother explaining that the question is for a friend. So I guess to answer your question, my feeling about this practice is wonderment.

I asked an incredibly nerdy question about audio equipment for Mr. Llama recently. I noted it was for him because I didn't even understand the question, and because I felt like I might have relay additional information and would feel weird saying "I want to X" when I hadn't the faintest.

Also, I post here a lot and while I'm not under any illusions that anyone is paying attention to what I do, it is an identity of mine and I try to keep it as close to the real me as I can. I'd like to post non-anonymously but haven't really decided how I feel about that yet. And I have occasional non-anonymous exchanges with MeFi people, so it's more comfortable if it's a static, true identity.

As far as taking money away from Matt, I just assumed if it was a problem there'd already be a rule about it. I think if he cared he'd update the rules and say, 'don't do this.'
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:37 AM on March 16, 2010


At least one person that I asked a question for later became a member. (And is somewhat more active on the AskMe side than I am.)
posted by Karmakaze at 10:39 AM on March 16, 2010


Weirdly, I swear I had a friend ask a question for me before I joined. I even remember what the question was - but now I can't find it anywhere. So odd.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:53 AM on March 16, 2010


So... we found the question... except it was totally not the question I remember having her ask. Not only that, I have no memory of even considering this for Dad's birthday, plus I have no idea if we did it, and it wasn't all that long ago.

One of us is clearly a senior citizen at this point. And I think it's not one on Medicare.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:01 AM on March 16, 2010


Who cares? If you feel so strongly about these types of questions, don't answer it. But people are obviously answering it and not caring.

We are eager to help/stand on our soapboxes for all involved.
posted by anniecat at 11:11 AM on March 16, 2010


Everytime you get upset that someone is asking a question for a friend, just imagine that that friend they are referencing happens to be Stevie Wonder, and then you really won't mind, will you? No, you'd be all, "Stevie Wonder, I don't know anything about your taxes, but I'm a huge fan! Jessamyn, sidebar this please!!!!"
posted by anniecat at 11:18 AM on March 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


FIVE. DOLLARS. PEOPLE. for a membership to a website where people finally don't judge you just 'cause your different and just want to help.

Dude. I'm judging you right now.

And the East German judge fucking hates your choice of costume, too.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:22 AM on March 16, 2010


That assumes everyone pays, which we know probably 20-30% of accounts aren't paid, or got in before the $5 fee.

It's way fewer than that. According to the latest infodump there are 15982 accounts from prior to 2004-11-18 when the $5 fee was instated and 30669 accounts since. (A small number of those did not pay either as the mods occasionally gift accounts, but that's probably not statistically significant.) Averaged over the entire span that is $550 per week or $29,000 per year.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:53 AM on March 16, 2010


I don't really know where to get an organic vegan fixie cupcake decaf microbrew hemp t-shirt after midnight in Ulaanbaatar.

Look for the ger with all the hipsters smoking outside it.

And anyway, the real issue here? About half the deletions in the blue are just cortex's wife fucking around. paphnuty told me in memail
posted by jtron at 11:54 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


My girlfriend helps me answer questions, so I think she's earned credit.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:11 PM on March 16, 2010


Oh don't bring paphnuty into this. I fucking hate that guy.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 12:23 PM on March 16, 2010


anniecat-
So you're insinuating that Stevie Wonder couldn't post on his own because...of his disability? his race? his fine groove?

Mostly hamburger there. Mostly. I'd say 80%.
posted by TomMelee at 12:26 PM on March 16, 2010


When there are AskMes on topics that I don't know about but I have a friend who does, I often ask them for insight on answers.

Ferinstance: I ask my usual plus one about stuff concerning bicycles. I ask a relative about stuff concerning health policy stuff. I ask another relative about math things. and so on.

I would ask for a friend if the need arose but I didn't think the friend would be interested in joining Metafilter.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:29 PM on March 16, 2010


I, for one, once had a friend ask a question on my behalf, but the answers were so useful that it inspired me to pony up the $5.

Same. And then my wife joined. And if my son joins, I'll have a lower user number than him.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:37 PM on March 16, 2010


So you're insinuating that Stevie Wonder couldn't post on his own because...of his disability? his race? his fine groove?

Because he's too high, too high, but he ain't touched the sky.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:40 PM on March 16, 2010


I thought I'd seen the tag postedforafriend used for this, but turns out only by two users. One of whom is me.
posted by paduasoy at 12:44 PM on March 16, 2010


Come on. Everyone knows that the reason Stevie Wonder doesn't post his own questions is that he's way too busy being awesome.

He's out, surfing a tsunami or whatever, no where near a computer, and he thinks, "Damn, I really wish I knew how to best configure this router to use WPA instead of WEP", so he calls one of us, and we put it up for him.

And we do, because, Stevie-freakin' Wonder, right?
posted by quin at 12:46 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are we taking bread out of Matt's mouth

Photos please
posted by KokuRyu at 12:51 PM on March 16, 2010


When I say 'asking for a friend', I mean 'this is something I may not have full details on or which is not directly concerning me but I told this guy that I could answer pretty much any question he had and he thinks he can stump me by asking what pet name his sister used for her imaginary friend when she was three? AskMe GO!'
posted by jacalata at 1:10 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I normally aim to benefit all of humanity with my activity, so I guess Matt is owed something like 30 Billion dollars.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:16 PM on March 16, 2010


TomMelee -

You don't understand big stars. They are very busy people and $5 is like a penny to them, totally neglible. Plus, Stevie is a very busy and important person. He needs to focus on his music. He probably told mjewell to get him answers and then mjewell asked a bunch of boring questions about setting up an account and what kind of username he wants, etc. and Stevie was like, "Metawhat? OMG can you please just do what you have to do, mjewell? I'm trying to record an album." Hence, mjewell is posting for "a friend" (a friend named Stevie Wonder --obviously had to use female pronouns so no one would guess it was Stevie).
posted by anniecat at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2010


My imaginary (and only) friend would like to know: what kind of fucking tax problem you can possibly run into at band camp, anyhow?
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:26 PM on March 16, 2010


Fellini--
One time at band camp I won a russian bride in a game of spoons.
posted by TomMelee at 1:44 PM on March 16, 2010


The real sticking point was whether or not you have to pay capital gains on a human. Very interesting. He wrote her off as a loss.
posted by TomMelee at 1:49 PM on March 16, 2010


So is that a problem with a tax which is levied on fucking? Or an anthropomorphized tax problem who fucks?
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:50 PM on March 16, 2010


Ah, on non-preview I see that TomMelee has clarified that point.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:51 PM on March 16, 2010


I have something to add to this conversation: community norms would dictate...

Shit, hold on, that asshat David Bowie guy wants me to ask another question for him. I wish he'd pony up the $5. I finally got Lady GaGa to stop bugging me and made her get her own account. Such an awesome user name too.
posted by marxchivist at 2:50 PM on March 16, 2010


It is, but I'm not entirely sure I get the joke.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:01 PM on March 16, 2010


Yeah, I don't even understand why people post things like "I'm posting this for my X." I mean, who even cares? Just post it. Nobody's judging.

Well, I'm not, anyway.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:18 PM on March 16, 2010


Heard it from a friend whooooo /
Heard it from a friend whooooo /
Heard it from another you've been thinking about traveling to Costa Rica and would like suggestions regarding places to stay and things to do-hoooooo.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates


Now I've got that song going through my head, but sung by Darryl Hall, which requires transposing it downwards several steps. Dammit.
posted by davejay at 6:17 PM on March 16, 2010


Maybe it is time to offer a MeFi scholarship, where the money awarded is $5 for an account, and is awarded based on the awesomeness of the question asked by proxy in AskMe.
posted by davejay at 6:19 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Basically, people who are trying to use AskMe to, in some way, help another person who does not belong to our community are doing us a disservice and violating the spirit of the site. We are here to help mefites, not other people

Whew. For a minute there I actually thought you were serious.
posted by mediareport at 6:59 PM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also just for the record... If you do use your account to ask a question for a friend [or "for a friend"] this does not mean you get to ask another question in the same seven day period. This does not seem complicated to me but it seemed worth repeating.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:52 PM on March 16, 2010


I asked a question for a friend the other day (with him watching over my shoulder) and after I explained MeFi / MeTa / AskMe to him, and how the level of discourse here is generally above-average, he was all like, "I gotta get in on this, five bucks? Sounds great." I'm pretty sure he signed up. Maybe I should get a finder's fee? I kid, I kid. But it works both ways. If people like what MeFi has to offer, and they think they might use it, they'll sign up, thereby providing more money.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:06 AM on March 17, 2010


Yeah, I don't even understand why people post things like "I'm posting this for my X." I mean, who even cares? Just post it. Nobody's judging.

The one time I had my gf post a question for me (I was without internet access) I made sure she said who she was posting it for so people wouldn't think she was completely insane.
posted by jtron at 6:33 AM on March 17, 2010


Also just for the record... If you do use your account to ask a question for a friend [or "for a friend"] this does not mean you get to ask another question in the same seven day period. This does not seem complicated to me but it seemed worth repeating.

mjewell should let Stevie know. Stevie's got a lot on his plate.
posted by anniecat at 9:21 AM on March 17, 2010


I've asked a few question on behalf of my parents, because its so much easier to do that then to get them to sign up to paypal and sign into the site, and pay the fee, and then never ever use the site again or forget its there. Other people who did not give me life and pay for my education can suck it and get their own account, however.
posted by sandraregina at 9:32 AM on March 17, 2010


I've asked a few questions for friends, mostly because they'll be in a pretty depressing situation and I think AskMeFi can give some pretty logical advice. The most annoying thing is when I have a question and can't post because I wasted it on a friend, though. xD
posted by biochemist at 1:40 PM on March 17, 2010


You know that Cosby Show episode with Stevie Wonder in it?

Did it ever seem weird to you how excited the kids were?
posted by box at 1:26 PM on March 18, 2010


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