Let's all use and follow the "identify" tag in AskMe June 28, 2010 10:28 AM   Subscribe

Suggestion for community adoption of a particular AskMe tag?

I've been noticing lately that there are some questions that would be far more likely to get a correct answer if they just had more eyes looking at them. I know the same could be said for most of the questions on the green, but identification questions actually do have correct answers. By "identification questions", I mean "Help me figure out what book this is", "What is the insect in this picture?", "Who is the person in this portrait?", etc. AskMe does really well with these (sometimes answers appear unbelievably fast) but I wonder if people asking these questions made a point of using a particular tag, like "identify" and other people made a point of following that tag, if more could get answered? Some people already use the identify tag, I'm just suggesting that more people should, and that it would be a good tag to follow or subscribe to. Thoughts?
posted by booksherpa to MetaFilter-Related at 10:28 AM (31 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I think that's a good idea. I've also seen people us the whatisit tag but identify makes even more sense.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:29 AM on June 28, 2010


I like this and support it. Perhaps pb could code something up that displays a reminder while previewing the question (just like Thunderbird shows a little reminder when I type the word attachment or cv)
posted by special-k at 10:38 AM on June 28, 2010


Good idea!
posted by Miko at 10:39 AM on June 28, 2010


Ooh, that's smart. I've added "identify" to my MyAsk preferences.
posted by Kattullus at 10:40 AM on June 28, 2010


Those god damned toy cats. I've been searching for a week.
posted by Think_Long at 10:41 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think people would get better answers if they didn't put it like:

Help identify this book. [more inside]
posted by smackfu at 10:44 AM on June 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


oh man, but askers don't really follow metatalk. there needs to be a way to get the vast majority of askme users to know this would be helpful for them.
posted by shmegegge at 10:45 AM on June 28, 2010


Those god damned toy cats. I've been searching for a week.

Check the participants in that thread. What do you think inspired the question? :) Those damn cats seem to me to be a prime example of more eyes=solution.
posted by booksherpa at 10:45 AM on June 28, 2010


A drop-down menu on the "ask a question" screen would be helpful for labeling the "type" of question, in the same way we can choose the category. With options like these for what kind of answers are solicited:

Identify this
Educate me about this
Recommend things for this
Instruct me how to do this
Brainstorm ideas about this
Review the merits of this
Locate this
Other

Did I miss any biggies?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:46 AM on June 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


That cat thread was making me crazy. I sidebarred it, maybe that will help.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:47 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those god damned toy cats. I've been searching for a week.

Yeah, it was weird the way that question elicited an immediate -- almost visceral -- surety from me that I could solve that mystery. I mean, I watched a fuckload of TV as a youth; I love cats and cartoons; I ate at fast-food restaurants; SURELY I should know this. Surely it's a mark of great embarrassment for me NOT to know this.

It occurs to me that if one sculpted a series of small cheap-looking animal toys, one could troll the SHIT out of a particular demographic this way.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:48 AM on June 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


It occurs to me that if one sculpted a series of small cheap-looking animal toys, one could troll the SHIT out of a particular demographic this way.

Especially with the back catalog of Warner Brothers and even Hanna B characters being so deep and their style so imitable.
posted by Think_Long at 10:52 AM on June 28, 2010


Oh, one of the options in the list I described above should be something like "What do you think about this?" that automatically fails to post the question and scolds the user for attempting chatfilter.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:55 AM on June 28, 2010


I am intrigued by your idea and I have subscribed to your newsletter tag.

I used to know the perfect guy to show Grumblebee's picture to, but he passed away last month.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:03 AM on June 28, 2010


OK, I'll be the contrarian: I don't get what this tag is supposed to be doing.

When I want a bug identified, I ask an entomologist. When I want a book identified, I ask a librarian/book dealer/widely-read person. I don't ask someone who can "identify" things.

Or to put it another way, who is going to subscribe to this tag? Everyone who can "identify" stuff? Isn't that everyone, for their own corners of the world?
posted by DU at 11:22 AM on June 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


DU, I think there's a lot of people out there who take pride in their Google skills and love the challenge of identifying stuff, be it an insect of a movie. I think the types of folks who would subscribe to the tag are exactly the folks who would best be able to find the answers to those questions.
posted by bondcliff at 11:31 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, I definitely agree with the first one of those two sentences.
posted by DU at 11:36 AM on June 28, 2010


Love this idea. Great suggestion!
posted by zarq at 11:57 AM on June 28, 2010


Did I miss any biggies?

Is it OK to eat this?
posted by fixedgear at 12:53 PM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It occurs to me that if one sculpted a series of small cheap-looking animal toys, one could troll the SHIT out of a particular demographic this way.

Glad to see I'm not the only one this occurred to. askme doesn't allow such things but otherwise I would totally have posted

YOU MADE THESE OUT OF SUGAR JUST NOW DIDNT YOU ADMIT IT I CAN SEE YOU SMIRKING
posted by tigrefacile at 1:44 PM on June 28, 2010


DU, I subscribe to the tags identify+movie, but there are only 8 total =(
posted by soelo at 3:20 PM on June 28, 2010


Or to put it another way, who is going to subscribe to this tag? Everyone who can "identify" stuff? Isn't that everyone, for their own corners of the world?

I'll tell you who can identify stuff: iconomy. Holy shit, she's good.
posted by box at 3:56 PM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


DU, I think that's true for the class of things that have a corresponding expert (who happens to read your question). But a lot of stuff people want to identify is pretty random. Seems like the eyeballs you want are the people who love solving these types of mysteries. I personally spent an hour trying to solve someone's "what type of sunglasses is the singer wearing in this video" question. I mean I originally started searching because I thought, psh, this should be easy, they must just suck at google. Then when it turns out to be not so easy, some people can't just let it go. I don't know of any sunglass experts though.

I'll follow the tag just because I like to see these. Except when they go unanswered. :(
posted by cj_ at 4:34 PM on June 28, 2010


Oh thank goodness.
posted by cj_ at 4:47 PM on June 28, 2010


The mystery is solved. Like most things in life, I was leading and being lead down every wrong track imaginable, but it feels good to know the answer.

But, that ad campaign couldn't have been that well known. There's something about the particular design of those felines that places them just on the edge of familiarity. Interesting.
posted by Think_Long at 5:31 PM on June 28, 2010


I was really hoping the cats would be Samurai Pizza Cats. Since I couldn't see the image at work, I got to hold out hope for a whole day.
posted by that girl at 5:46 PM on June 28, 2010


I added the "identify" tag to my mysterious unsolved AskMe question about a turtle/dinosaur head movie prop. Crossing fingers!
posted by redsparkler at 7:07 AM on June 29, 2010


Man, that one bothered me for a while, redsparkler. Time for another round!
posted by that girl at 7:30 AM on June 29, 2010


Did I miss any biggies?

Is this normal?

As in, "I photograph and catalogue every dump I take, is this normal?", sort of thing. Quite a lot of people come to the green looking for reassurance.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 1:52 PM on June 29, 2010


There's a website that claims to be for that sort of thing, but it is pretty weird. [NOT NORMAL-IST]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:12 PM on June 29, 2010


I'd not only like this tag, but some kind of insta-view option for it so I can skim visually.

My least successful AskMes have been of exactly this form. I recently picked some mushrooms which I was having a hard time identifying but I didn't even post them to AskMe because of the poor record my 'identify' posts have had.

I think the wider idea of a generic taxonomy for AskMe posts (that goes beyond simple tags) is also well worth investigation.
posted by unSane at 10:49 PM on June 29, 2010


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