Who asks the most interesting questions? July 28, 2010 10:03 PM   Subscribe

InfoDump Analysis Request. Who asks the most interesting questions in AskMe?

Given:

1) Users broken down into three groups: a) Low askers - Users who have asked less than 10 questions (but obviously at least one). b) High askers - Users who have asked more than 100 questions and c) Medium askers - Users who have asked at least 10 questions but no more than 100 questions.

2) Ratio of number of all of the favorites that have been received by all of a user's AskMe questions (questions only, not answers) divided by the number of questions they have asked.

What I'd really like to see is: a list of 10 users in each group with highest favs to question ratio with user name, number of favorites, and number of questions. Also, could you link their username to their profile, so I can then just go over and look at their questions.

I know I could/should learn to do this myself, but I was hoping someone else would take a stab at it to satisfy my curiosity?

No research papers or post-doctoral thesis involved here. No timeline/deadline at all.

I was just looking at lists of AskMe questions for a couple of users today and thought "Gee, they really ask interesting questions. I wonder who else asks interesting questions?"

If you think 10 and 100 are not the best parameters for breaking down high/medium/low askers, use your best judgment. Same if you think 10 in each group is too many or too few, you decide. These numbers are just suggestions. You're the query god, you get to decide what makes the most sense.
posted by marsha56 to MetaFilter-Related at 10:03 PM (43 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Obligatory mention that favorites on an AskMe does not equal being inherently interesting. Some calls for recipes for mixtapes garner dozens and dozens of favorites and some esoteric questions only get a handful.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:11 PM on July 28, 2010


Now see here – just because a comment has lots of favorites doesn't mean it's more interesting than...

Wait, hold on. I guess it does.
posted by koeselitz at 10:18 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the biggest favorites-getters tend be the kinds of questions that people want to refer back to often, lists of books, music, recipes etc. Also questions which garner cool/heartwarming stories as answers.
posted by Kattullus at 10:20 PM on July 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the mods mentioned on a podcast awhile back that there are a lot of questions with high "referenceability" -- ones asking for interesting books, or delicious recipes, or handy tricks -- that get a crapton of favorites from people who intend to use it as a resource later on, even if there aren't many useful answers at the time.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:22 PM on July 28, 2010


argh, I meant "questions," not "comments," but anyway... yeah, this would be cool.
posted by koeselitz at 10:53 PM on July 28, 2010


Obligatory mention that favorites on an AskMe does not equal being inherently interesting. Some calls for recipes for mixtapes garner dozens and dozens of favorites and some esoteric questions only get a handful.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:11 AM on July 29 [+] [!]


Understood. For me, I have found a correlation between most favorited questions and questions that are most interesting to me. I realize that others may not have the same experience/opinions.
posted by marsha56 at 10:56 PM on July 28, 2010


Am I the only person who is more likely to click on an AskMe if it has a Best Answer, regardless of whether the question was even remotely interesting? There's something oddly compelling about the closed-loop mandala of question-asked-and-answered. It makes me feel like I've learned something, even if it's completely useless and random.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:09 PM on July 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


You are not alone, Afroblanco. I like seeing what the answers are, even if I'm not particularly interested in the question. Questions that don't interest me and don't have a best answer get skipped.
posted by that girl at 11:28 PM on July 28, 2010


Okay, so this started this afternoon when I was looking at Rory Marinich's literature question today. The question was interesting to me, and got a lot of favorites. I clicked on Rory's profile, and then clicked on Rory's other questions. Except for Rory's very first question, all of the others were questions that I found interesting, and that were also highly favorited. I thought, "Hey Rory's an interesting questioner. I wonder who else asks questions that I might find interesting?" Hence this question.

I don't at all find the resolved tag and/or best answer to indicate "interesting to me". How do I get rid of a stain on my white blouse might easily be resolved with a best answer, but to me, it's not as interesting as discussing books, film, cooking, etc. Again, YMMV. Different people are attracted to different kinds of topics/discussions in AskMe.
posted by marsha56 at 11:38 PM on July 28, 2010


Do you use MyAsk? That might be a better way to pinpoint questions that you will find particularly interesting, interesting being in the eye of the beholder and all that.
posted by emd3737 at 11:57 PM on July 28, 2010


Yup. I use MyAsk. I still think this would be an interesting query. If not, feel free to ignore.
posted by marsha56 at 12:07 AM on July 29, 2010


I guess I'm thinking of this more to pointing me to interesting users or at least users that have interests that are shared by many MeFites including me, rather than looking just for interesting questions.
posted by marsha56 at 12:09 AM on July 29, 2010


I think mean and median for favorites / question would be the most appropriate stat. If you don't normalize it, the "middle group" is going to have a lot of askers near 100 questions and very few near 10.
posted by one_bean at 12:17 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Low askers (< 10) (11342 users)
    oalocke: 318 favorites from 1 questions, ratio=318.00
    chalbe: 698 favorites from 3 questions, ratio=232.67
    stennieville: 131 favorites from 1 questions, ratio=131.00
    punchtothehead: 234 favorites from 2 questions, ratio=117.00
    cherrybounce: 216 favorites from 2 questions, ratio=108.00
    coldblackice: 203 favorites from 2 questions, ratio=101.50
    blocked: 99 favorites from 1 questions, ratio=99.00
    hawkeye: 95 favorites from 1 questions, ratio=95.00
    thebluesky: 94 favorites from 1 questions, ratio=94.00
    Balonious Assault: 541 favorites from 6 questions, ratio=90.17

Medium askers (<= 100) (4482 users)
    colinmarshall: 893 favorites from 14 questions, ratio=63.79
    Rory Marinich: 748 favorites from 16 questions, ratio=46.75
    limon: 1609 favorites from 36 questions, ratio=44.69
    turgid dahlia: 1098 favorites from 25 questions, ratio=43.92
    phoenixy: 520 favorites from 13 questions, ratio=40.00
    HeyAllie: 375 favorites from 10 questions, ratio=37.50
    stuck on an island: 321 favorites from 10 questions, ratio=32.10
    Carialle: 444 favorites from 15 questions, ratio=29.60
    Christ, what an asshole: 1039 favorites from 39 questions, ratio=26.64
    decoherence: 390 favorites from 15 questions, ratio=26.00

High askers (> 100) (37 users)
    reenum: 1277 favorites from 105 questions, ratio=12.16
    jasondigitized: 1285 favorites from 114 questions, ratio=11.27
    jbickers: 1081 favorites from 136 questions, ratio=7.95
    shivohum: 740 favorites from 103 questions, ratio=7.18
    divabat: 989 favorites from 142 questions, ratio=6.96
    orange swan: 725 favorites from 105 questions, ratio=6.90
    desjardins: 765 favorites from 113 questions, ratio=6.77
    nitsuj: 804 favorites from 120 questions, ratio=6.70
    WCityMike: 868 favorites from 144 questions, ratio=6.03
    Anonymous: 49147 favorites from 9475 questions, ratio=5.19
posted by Rhomboid at 12:53 AM on July 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


As to usefulness, I think you'd be better off just sorting all questions by number of favorites and reading everything in the 99th percentile regardless of user because your criteria skews heavily for those mega-favorited ones.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:58 AM on July 29, 2010


All askers >= 10 questions, all with median favorites >= 10.0:

Rory Marinich: 16 questions, median 26.5
Garden: 11 questions, median 18.0
dumbledore69: 15 questions, median 15.0
Despondent_monkey: 16 questions, median 15.0
availablelight: 10 questions, median 14.0
Fairchild: 10 questions, median 13.0
thehmsbeagle: 15 questions, median 12.0
Christ, what an asshole: 39 questions, median 12.0
Carialle: 15 questions, median 11.0
decoherence: 15 questions, median 11.0
stuck on an island: 10 questions, median 10.5
Wolfster: 18 questions, median 10.0
giggleknickers: 48 questions, median 10.0
MrVisible: 10 questions, median 10.0
ChabonJabon: 17 questions, median 10.0
mokeydraw: 17 questions, median 10.0
posted by one_bean at 2:37 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ha, I was all HOLY CRAP 49,000 FAVOURITES WHO THE HELL IS- oh right.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:04 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, oalocke's sole Ask thread really is extremely interesting. I learned some stuff today!
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:47 AM on July 29, 2010


Am I the only person who is more likely to click on an AskMe if it has a Best Answer, regardless of whether the question was even remotely interesting?

I'm less likely to click on it, since it implies, "Don't bother answering."
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:35 AM on July 29, 2010


Many, many thanks to both Rhomboid and one_bean!

And I think one_bean did improve upon my request. Even though the middle group actually skewed closer to 10 questions than 100, one_bean's list is still closer to what I wanted even though I didn't know it.

And both Rhomboid's and one_bean's results confirmed that Rory Marinich is indeed an asker of questions of interest to many MeFites.

Thanks again guys !!
posted by marsha56 at 4:44 AM on July 29, 2010


marsha56: Understood. For me, I have found a correlation between most favorited questions and questions that are most interesting to me. I realize that others may not have the same experience/opinions

Yah, different strokes and all that. My favorite AskMe posts tend to be quotidian mysteries (e.g. Mysterious men with a mysterious machine, What the heck is this vacant dome thing?) or questions that make me look at something I know well in a different light (e.g. What proportion of books in the library will never be opened again?, What is the authority for Homer's texts?).
posted by Kattullus at 5:11 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've always been curious about threads with more favorites than answers, suggesting the topic is particularly vexing in some unanswerable way.

That's more data point stuff than analysis stuff, I guess, but I thought they'd be interesting to see.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:22 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, I guess there would have to be a low cut off for number of favorites because otherwise it crosses the line between 'I, too, have this problem' and 'I, too, seek the perfect meatball recipe' and you pull in the latter sort of question.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:26 AM on July 29, 2010


One minute, I gotta call my mom and let her know I made it onto a metatalk list.
posted by punchtothehead at 5:27 AM on July 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think all of my questions are interesting. Otherwise I wouldn't have asked them.
posted by theichibun at 5:30 AM on July 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


those of you who expressed interest in reading q's markwd with a best answer, how would you feel about having 'resolved' q's marked on the front page? mods have said recently that that could be looked into if there was enough interest.
posted by carsonb at 6:33 AM on July 29, 2010


I've always been curious about threads with more favorites than answers, suggesting the topic is particularly vexing in some unanswerable way.

I think of many of these as potential business opportunities for some enterprising person (not really me). Here's a problem with no solution. And many other people apparently have this problem too, but they don't know how to solve it either. If you can hit upon a good solution and turn it into something patentable, ka-ching.
posted by marsha56 at 7:27 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


My own stats would be much better if the anonymous questions I've asked could be included.
posted by amro at 7:27 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]



I've always been curious about threads with more favorites than answers, suggesting the topic is particularly vexing in some unanswerable way.


hasn't cortex mentioned the curious phenomenon of people favoriting a question as a "Well this has no activity now but I bet it'll have great answers so I'll check on it later." and then the answers never come? It's kinda like a trailer without a movie.
posted by The Whelk at 7:41 AM on July 29, 2010


Please recommend a bombproof vegetarian mixtape.
posted by sanko at 7:47 AM on July 29, 2010


So long as there's a couple Smiths songs you should be OK

TOO OBSCURE?
posted by jtron at 8:19 AM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Clearly I need something else to do.
posted by desjardins at 9:48 AM on July 29, 2010


I can save you all the trouble. My posts are by far the most interesting. My most recent about my broken car stereo was simply stunning in its interestingness.
posted by slogger at 9:56 AM on July 29, 2010


another good query would be who asked the most questions in the last week
posted by indigo4963 at 10:01 AM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yay, another chatfilter popularity contest!
posted by terrapin at 10:04 AM on July 29, 2010


another good query would be who asked the most questions in the last week

I think anonymous has that title all sewed up for the foreseeable future.
posted by marsha56 at 10:17 AM on July 29, 2010


100+ questions! 100+ questions! I had no idea.
posted by Justinian at 10:23 AM on July 29, 2010


Clearly I need something else to do.
posted by desjardins at 11:48 AM on July 29 [+] [!]


But they're very interesting questions, so it's all good!

I liked your HOLY CRAP THAT'S LOUD question. Perfect example of a favorited question without a solution that's just begging for someone to whip up a good fix.
posted by marsha56 at 10:29 AM on July 29, 2010


I feel really median right now and I don't even know how median is supposed to feel.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:13 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most favorited unanswered questions:

Construction Blogs - 10 favorites
Help me identify this TV movie - 9 favorites
Best planning/checklist software for moving? - 7 favorites
What are interesting/funny twitter feeds in French or Spanish? - 7 favorites
Whither the moo?! - 7 favorites
Help me identify this story - 6 favorites
posted by one_bean at 1:41 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Highest favorite:comment ratio, at least 10 comments:

What other awesome frugal cooking blogs are out there? - 12 comments, 229 favorites (19.08)
How do I keep pandemonium from breaking loose in my chess class? - 22 comments, 361 favorites (16.41)
Come on Indian MeFites, spill the lentils, divulge your most tasty family recipes - 17 comments, 193 favorites (11.35)
I need discipline! (no, not that kind of discipline) - 13 comments, 147 favorites (11.31)
Dear Mystery Site: Where can I fly for $300? - 10 comments, 113 favorites (11.30)
Only Six More Weeks?! [redux] - 31 comments, 312 favorites (10.07)
You need concentwation - 28 comments, 268 favorites (9.57)
Help me find a recipe to knock peoples' socks off! - 24 comments, 226 favorites (9.42)
Excellent Online Classes - 13 comments, 120 favorites (9.23)
What clever relationship "hacks" have you come up with? - 61 comments, 551 favorites (9.03)
posted by one_bean at 1:56 PM on July 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Something's gone wrong, one_bean, my post, How do I keep pandemonium from breaking loose in my chess class?, got exactly 0 favorites, not 361.
posted by Kattullus at 8:03 PM on July 29, 2010


Something's gone wrong, one_bean, my post, How do I keep pandemonium from breaking loose in my chess class?, got exactly 0 favorites, not 361.

Quite right, I accidentally switched the user id for the post id. The second highest favorite:comment ratio is actually

What's the Best Thing You've Ever Seen Here? - 22 comments, 361 favorites (16.41)

which, in a nice bit of meta-ness, is asking about best AskMe questions.
posted by one_bean at 11:07 PM on July 29, 2010


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