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Pony Request: 160 hours between AskMes?
January 26, 2013 3:39 PM   Subscribe

I like to post AskMes at around 10 am on Tuesdays. If I have my post ready at 9:15 or 9:30, I'm prevented from posting until it's been a full 168 hours since my last post. I think the one-post-a-week rule works really well, but it would be nice if it were a little less strict. Would you consider changing it from 168 hours between posts to 160 hours or 162 hours or even 166 hours?

It would make my posting life so much easier.

Thanks for considering it!

(I would also totally love a pony, especially if someone else would board it for me. I just mostly want to feed it apples occasionally.)
posted by kristi to Feature Requests at 3:39 PM (120 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Or, and this is just me brainstorming, you could instead just wait another 45 minutes to post your question.
posted by item at 3:45 PM on January 26, 2013 [95 favorites]


I can understand having a "post ready" for MeFi, but do you really have so much going on that you need to a) pre-prepare your AskMe in advance and b) post one every week as soon as the timer expires? AskMe is a resource for getting help on stuff you don't have the answers to (which could be once every week, granted). It's not something you need to really prepare a post in advance to allow you to post every week for the sake of a fun social discussion, or whatever.

Sorry if I'm misreading the tone of your pony request, but I guess what I'm saying is I think the current system works fine.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:46 PM on January 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


You know, you don't actually have to post to AskMe every week. Like... that's a maximum, not an encouragement to look for questions to ask once a week.

In any case, all signs point to no.
posted by Justinian at 4:01 PM on January 26, 2013 [12 favorites]


Say to yourself, "I can post every eight days." Then, when you want to post again, you're permitted. (Or even better, "every fourteen days".)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:08 PM on January 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


The OP has asked 51 questions in 5 years. That is about 10 questions a year. So that has happened what, once or twice? I'm failing to see how this is a problem that requires moderator coding time.

Also, boarding a pony costs about $450 a month, plus vet bills, plus farrier bills. So you probably don't really want to do that either ;)
posted by COD at 4:09 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Works. No need to change.
posted by tommasz at 4:10 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your favourite posting time sucks.
posted by arcticseal at 4:18 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

"I'm prevented from posting until it's been a full 168 hours since my last post."
Well, yes, that's rather the point.
posted by Pinback at 4:20 PM on January 26, 2013 [16 favorites]


I would like to have dinner, especially if someone else would cook it for me.
posted by heyho at 4:22 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sorry, not something we're planning to change. I can dig it if you've got a preferred routine, but we really don't intend for people to use AskMe literally every 168 hours like clockwork and the options available for working around this through a little personal flexibility make a lot more sense than creating a counter-intuitive "not quite seven days" twist in the time limit. We want to keep this simple to explain and simple to use.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:48 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like to have my bowel movements at a quarter to eight or so, so that way it doesn't interfere with my commute. However, lately it hasn't been happening until almost eight on the dot and that's getting perilously close to making me late for work and it's really not something I can bring up with my boss, y'know? "Hey, sorry I was late but I had to poo before I could leave the house" doesn't go over so well when there's work to be done and the unemployment rate is around eight percent which means there are a lot of people who are willing to hold their poo in until after work hours who would happily step into this position.

I guess what I'm saying is I feel your pain, sister.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:02 PM on January 26, 2013 [38 favorites]


I suppose it would only cost you another $5 to work around this problem.

Who said that?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:07 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


What, there's a boss who'll let me show up late to work when I need to crap for a mere five dollars?

Point me at him!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:14 PM on January 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


The trick is to ask the first question a few hours earlier. You have to plan ahead.
posted by The World Famous at 5:15 PM on January 26, 2013 [20 favorites]


Where's the post-apocalyptic metafilter answer queuing story?
posted by boo_radley at 5:25 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay - just thought I'd ask. Thanks for considering it!
posted by kristi at 5:38 PM on January 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yeah seven days is nice and easy for people to remember. Totally hear where you are coming from, but it's got to be a metric that works for most people and "one week" is the way to do that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:42 PM on January 26, 2013


I like to have my bowel movements at a quarter to eight or so, so that way it doesn't interfere with my commute.

You're doing it wrong. Wait until you are on the clock so you can get paid to poo!
posted by cjorgensen at 5:46 PM on January 26, 2013 [26 favorites]


I like to have my bowel movements at a quarter to eight or so, so that way it doesn't interfere with my commute.

You're doing it wrong. Wait until you are on the clock so you can get paid to poo!

This explains why we run out of TP at the office so often...
posted by sm1tten at 6:14 PM on January 26, 2013


Seriously, why poop for free? That's a serious misallocation of potential earnings!
posted by Ghidorah at 6:15 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now I get what the TPS reports were for.
posted by arcticseal at 6:16 PM on January 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Related: I think of this request quite often after peeing.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:18 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have always found it odd that no one has invented something that would make that no longer be a problem, but then I ponder for a moment exactly what this proposed invention would entail and I decide to think about something else instead.
posted by elizardbits at 6:47 PM on January 26, 2013


Like cats, for example. Cats are good.
posted by elizardbits at 6:47 PM on January 26, 2013


Also pie.
posted by elizardbits at 6:47 PM on January 26, 2013


Put the two together.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:06 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a hazy notion of maybe how the invention would have to work, but the idea of actually trying to do it makes me feel like a stunned sheep tasked with building an automobile.

This is why I don't make feature requests anywhere- a dreamy urge to bleat and stamp my feet whilst micturating sweeps over me and I have to lie down with a cold compress on my head. Fortunately it doesn't happen when other people make those requests, which is good because I'd have to find another type of jarb.
posted by winna at 7:07 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like to post AskMes at around 10 am on Tuesdays.

This is not a problem, because each 10 am on a Tuesday is separated from the previous 10 am on a Tuesday by 168 hours. You'd only need the waiting period reduced to 160 if you sometimes liked to post at at 10 am on Tuesdays and at other times liked to post at 2 am on Tuesdays. Since you don't say anything about posting at 2 am on Tuesdays, I'm not sure what problem you're running into.
posted by alms at 7:16 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's called a bidet, you heathens.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:32 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is not a problem, because each 10 am on a Tuesday is separated from the previous 10 am on a Tuesday by 168 hours. You'd only need the waiting period reduced to 160 if you sometimes liked to post at at 10 am on Tuesdays and at other times liked to post at 2 am on Tuesdays. Since you don't say anything about posting at 2 am on Tuesdays, I'm not sure what problem you're running into.
I am not suggesting that the rule change, but it is true that if you usually post at 10:00, and then one week it slips until 10:30, now you have to wait until 10:30 every time from now on, and then if you slip again to 11:00, now you have to wait until 11:00 every time, and you'll never get back to 10:00 ever again. Unless, of course, you skip a week.
posted by dfan at 7:36 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unless, of course, you skip a week.

Right. The "one question per week" is a hard limit maximum. Most people use less than that. For people who anticipate needing to ask a question every seven days exactly, there may be ways to supplement what you get from AskMe but we're not really looking into ways of adjusting the way we already set up the limits.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on January 26, 2013


This is not a problem, because each 10 am on a Tuesday is separated from the previous 10 am on a Tuesday by 168 hours.

But she didn't say she wants to post at 10 am on Tuesdays. She said she likes to post "around" 10 am on Tuesdays. That could be 9:30 or 10:30 am. Post at 10:30 am on one Tuesday, and you can't post at 9:30 am the next Tuesday.
posted by John Cohen at 7:56 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Where's the post-apocalyptic metafilter answer queuing story?
In the sub-basement of what was once an industrial park, the server continued asking questions to the void. The network was long-gone--the ethernet cables vaporized right where they emerged to the surface--but this didn't stop the server. It had a queue.
...
From Ian A.T.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:57 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is now my favorite MetaTalk post and I don't know why.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:58 PM on January 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


Someone should build a data harvester to find out the optimum time to post your question. When it gets the most answers/views/spends the most amount of time near the top.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:59 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


On a Monday night when you anticipate asking a question on the following Tuesday that happens to be one week after the last time you posted a question, set your clock back an hour. That will give you the leeway if you can forget you changed it the previous evening.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:05 PM on January 26, 2013


I know this has been proposed and shucked off before, but what about a fresh re-think of letting those of us with unused questions donate 'em to those who feel they need 'em? 'Cause I've generally had 1 unused question a week for years, and hate that others can't easily make use of a resource for which I can't seem to find timely uses, at approved calendar intervals. Ideally, this would work through some kind of "Hep Me! No, Hep Me!!" kind of need/urgency auction sub-site, or at least a loosely linked, Wiki pointed separate pity site, where we could see all the questions that members think need Answers, and get to pick our "donees."

Because, for some of us, just Answering in generally good faith isn't really doing all we can to help the clueless and confused.
posted by paulsc at 8:41 PM on January 26, 2013


You should use the MeFi+ post scheduler. It lets you preschedule your posts so that they get maximum eyeballs. It's totally worth the extra $5.
posted by klangklangston at 8:42 PM on January 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


You guys should just switch to my AskMe carrier. The coverage is crap, but they have rollover AskMe weeks.
posted by The World Famous at 8:46 PM on January 26, 2013 [8 favorites]


Maybe you need to check out Yahoo Answers.
posted by bongo_x at 8:53 PM on January 26, 2013


mr_crash_davis, you are McKenzie Porter and I claim my five pounds.
posted by maudlin at 9:12 PM on January 26, 2013


I hate "slippery slopes," but in this case they kind of apply. You'd like it changed from 168 hours to 166 hours, but somewhere there exists a weird person who would really, really like to post questions every 164 hours. And after we've fixed it for him, the woman who wants to post a question every 163.5 hours will have just this tiny request...
posted by koeselitz at 9:40 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


If it makes you feel better, we could do 170 hours with a two hour leeway.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:47 PM on January 26, 2013


I think we should use unasked questions as currency.
posted by aubilenon at 10:18 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, instead of what we do now, which is the same thing but with favorites instead.
posted by aubilenon at 10:19 PM on January 26, 2013


Someone should build a data harvester to find out the optimum time to post your question.

As soon as we all found that out, it suddenly wouldn't be true any longer as the heretofore "optimum" time got flooded with questions.

Chasing the optimum time would be like chasing that little bit of eggshell that got cracked into the pan with your eggs, forever slipping out from under your fingertip.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:23 PM on January 26, 2013


As soon as we all found that out, it suddenly wouldn't be true any longer as the heretofore "optimum" time got flooded with questions.

Maybe ... Assuming I didn't make any mistakes in dashing off a script to count the average number of comments for each hour of each day of the week in 2012, I have a graph that may contain the answer, but I'm not sure.

I'm no statistician, but just eyeballing it, I'd say that although it may be true that Friday/Saturday questions don't get quite as many comments as Sun/Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu questions--which I could have told you just from using AskMe for a while--it's both hard to guess what the optimal time will be and likely that the nature of your question matters more than the timing.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:40 PM on January 26, 2013


"... I have a graph ..."
posted by Monsieur Caution at 1:40 AM on January 27 [+] [!]

Bizzaro cortex, by any other name, is still ...

Aw, forget I mentioned it.

You go, and go, Monsieur Caution. All the worth of humanity is in its mathematics.
posted by paulsc at 11:11 PM on January 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


chasing the optimum time would be like chasing that little bit of eggshell

You know a really easy way to get that piece is to scoop it out with one of the empty eggshell halves. Works every time.

The best time to post askmes is a secret I'll carry with me to the grave though.
posted by windykites at 12:25 AM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


When DST starts, you turn your clock forward. Only 167 hours between posts.
posted by Cranberry at 12:57 AM on January 27, 2013


This explains why we run out of TP at the office so often...

I go to YOUR work to poop.

Like cats, for example. Cats are good.
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 PM on January 26 [+] [!]


Also pie.
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 PM on January 26 [+] [!]


Put the two together.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:06 PM on January 26 [+] [!]


I named my cat Pie.


Obviously I have everything figured out.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:14 AM on January 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


The "one question per week" is a hard limit maximum. Most people use less than that.

My impression from the past is that we're very actively discouraged from posting anywhere near weekly frequency, and seem to remember someone getting told to knock it off when they were doing so (although there was probably details I'm forgetting). Is this still a thing we should care about?
posted by shelleycat at 2:02 AM on January 27, 2013


For me the trauma of posting an AskMe is so great that it takes me way more than 168 hours, or even 168 days, to heal up enough to be ready for the next one.

Of course, you probably haven't programmed your computer to stab you with knives if you burden an already troubled world with your needless questions by posting to AskMe, so YMMV.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:51 AM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can totally understand the routine... some folks are the "everything in neat little boxes" types, and like to have things in their life scheduled and organized, and are unsettled or even upset if the schedule goes awry.

Also, some people wo may have a follow on question may get a bit antsy waiting out the week. To ease things , could they have a one-question queue? Have them type it out and tag'n'title it, hit submit, and it will kick off for them automativally when the timer runs out.

This might work well for FPP's, too... You know there are days when ArtW or someone has five of 'em worth the while.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:45 AM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, some people wo may have a follow on question may get a bit antsy waiting out the week. To ease things , could they have a one-question queue? Have them type it out and tag'n'title it, hit submit, and it will kick off for them automativally when the timer runs out.

That sounds like a local problem, not a system problem and there's no upside to MetaFilter taking responsibility for those problems.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:28 AM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that would be pretty much a technological fix for something that's more of a personal issue, and one that would introduce other difficulties, such as posters not necessarily being around when their post goes live, so if we need to contact them about a problem in the post, or someone needs further clarification to answer a question, they are not necessarily available at that moment. I can also imagine a lot of people forgetting, and not even realizing that their post was already submitted X days ago, people asking for something to be deleted from the site because they put it in the queue while in one mood, but regretted it later, etc.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:30 AM on January 27, 2013


Bah, technology can fix everything.

You just need to draw the value for the time to wait from from an exponential distribution with λ = 7, and you'd guarantee that the mean waiting time was 7, and therefore not increase the total number of posts, but half of the time it would be smaller than 7, and make the addicts happy. 10% of the time it would be only 5 days waiting!
posted by dhoe at 6:45 AM on January 27, 2013


Re: donating askme questions to other mefites, I've done it a few times, quietly. Privately. I rarely use AskMe, so it would be a shame for them to go to waste. (I think its been four or five times in the last eight years.)

I can totally understand the mods not wanting question donation to become a regular thing. But it's nice to be able to give back and ask a question for someone else once in a while.
posted by zarq at 7:00 AM on January 27, 2013


So it wasn't really you who had the chafing nippleclamp issue?
posted by lordaych at 7:23 AM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Must be nice to have plausible deniability...
posted by lordaych at 7:23 AM on January 27, 2013


Boy, I bet OP is totally glad she asked the question and doesn't feel mocked at all.
posted by softlord at 7:59 AM on January 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


aubilenon: "I think we should use unasked questions as currency."

I'm rich, I'm rich! I'm independently wealthy! I'm socially secure!
posted by Splunge at 8:14 AM on January 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am far too lazy in bed right now, so can someone else search through their favorites and find that beautiful little fiction short about the AskMe server still posting to the queue after some sort of apocalypse?

I really liked that piece. It reminded me that sometimes our questions aren't as important as we think they are.
posted by empatterson at 8:33 AM on January 27, 2013


It was linked above.
posted by saveyoursanity at 8:37 AM on January 27, 2013


I lied! It was NOT linked above! Here it is: In the sub-basement of what was once an industrial park, the server continued asking questions to the void.
posted by saveyoursanity at 8:39 AM on January 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


seem to remember someone getting told to knock it off when they were doing so (although there was probably details I'm forgetting). Is this still a thing we should care about?

Nah, people are welcome to ask exactly a question per week if they want to. The anon queue, on the other hand, is one of those things that available if people NEED it and though technically people could use it fairly often, we'd prefer people use it at most a few times a year and we indicate that on the posting page and have told people (privately) to knock it off or get a sock puppet account if they start using it or needing to use it really frequently. We're happy that people feel that we have a resource here that is valuable, we just try to make sure everyone gets more-or-less equal access to it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:41 AM on January 27, 2013


It's funny that you think the 168 hours is too rigid when your preference is to post at um, exactly 10am on Tuesdays. Maybe the flexibility needs to come from your end? /not being snarky or judgmental, just throwing it out there. (I am a pretty scheduled person myself so I get it).
posted by bquarters at 9:04 AM on January 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, aside from the anon angle Jess just mentioned, the only specific issue we've had with a couple people pointedly asking every 168 hours on the dot was that they were also not using AskMe very well in the process and the two things were sort of strongly related.

Basically, if you're making a point of asking as many questions as is possible, schedule-wise, and a lot of your questions are (a) badly formed or (b) the same question warmed over yet again or (c) really pretty bullshitty chatfilter "guess it's time to ask this week's question" stuff, it'll be pretty obvious after a while that something is going wrong with how you're using the site and the frequency thing is really just a superficial part of that.

It's really only come up a few times and our stance every time has been "you need to slow down and not just post a question on askme because you can". Some folks ask more questions than others and if you're not doing anything weird or conspicuous it's not something we'd likely even notice; we emphasize the "7 days is a limit, not a suggestion" thing more to convey that we don't want people to treat askme like some compulsory Q&A exercise of chat outlet.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:15 AM on January 27, 2013


cats + pi = Kitty Pi bed
(and more Kitty Pi beds)
posted by needled at 9:16 AM on January 27, 2013


Maybe you should ask on AskMe, at 10am next tuesday, for lifestyle-techniques and tips to ensure you're always ready and able to post on AskMe at 10am every tuesday?
posted by Wordshore at 9:25 AM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we can go ahead and lay off the OP. She had a question, it was answered and she was cool about the answer being no.

We can probably change the subject to nipple clamp etiquette and traditions in the Victorian era.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:34 AM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]



Like cats, for example. Cats are good.
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 PM on January 26 [+] [!]


Also pie.
posted by elizardbits at 8:47 PM on January 26 [+] [!]


Put the two together.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:06 PM on January 26 [+] [!]

I named my cat Pie.


Obviously I have everything figured out.
posted by louche mustachio


Not so fast, louche mustachio-- you seem to have forgotten that Cat Pie Hurts.
posted by jamjam at 11:11 AM on January 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


I ask a question pretty much every week. I've got 26 years worth of of built up questions that never had a place to be asked, with more developing all the time.

The world's a difficult and bewildering place and some of us just don't really get it. Have mercy.
posted by windykites at 11:14 AM on January 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


So, if you rent a movie on iTunes, you get it for 24 hours. That seems fine, and there's nothing wrong with it...unless you are a parent.

If you are a parent, you might rent a movie to watch with your kids at 6:30pm, intending to watch it before bedtime. Unfortunately, one kid has a stomachache and needs to run to the bathroom for a while, or one is tired and wants to go to bed earlier (or fell asleep on the couch), or the movie is longer than you realized, or any of the other reasons why you can't always watch the whole movie. So, you stop the movie 45 minutes before the end, put the kids to bed and plan to watch the rest tomorrow.

Except you can't, because it expires at 6:30. So you have a choice: keep the kids up almost an hour later than their bedtime, disrupting their sleep routine and giving them that much less sleep, or skip dinner/watch the ending the next day while eating dinner. Or the third option, rent it again, or the fourth, which is to not rent from iTunes. All of these are compromises that cause loss of sleep, loss of dinner, and/or loss of money, either for the parents or for Apple.

And yet, all of this could be swept aside if the rental window was extended to 26 hours.

So, before suggesting workarounds, why not consider that the spirit of the policy and the convenience for users who post AskMes weekly in a limited time window could both be maintained simply by making the restriction one hour shorter? Seems totally reasonable.
posted by davejay at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is no rental fee associated with asking a question. I have every sympathy for people who get busy and have life get in the way, but this is not a core travails-of-overburdened-parents sort of issue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:28 AM on January 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a question today.
posted by found missing at 11:36 AM on January 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have a graph that may contain the answer, but I'm not sure.

I make a lot of graphs.
posted by maryr at 11:37 AM on January 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have every sympathy for people who get busy and have life get in the way, but this is not a core travails-of-overburdened-parents sort of issue.

Yeah I get and understand your story davejay, but it doesn't apply to the AskMe situation in a number of different ways. One of the main spirit-of-the-policy issues here is that we want to have a rule that is easy to understand and easy to internalize and "One per week" does that. Adding a few hours just so that people who have a very specific routine can stay in that routine is not something we're seriously considering.

But it's just occurred to me that you may be joking in which case consider me, again, fooled.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:41 AM on January 27, 2013


Posts like this always make me feel a little bad for not asking more questions, for some reason. Am I not curious enough? Do I think I know All The Things and don't have to ask?

But mostly it's that I think of a question, and poke around on the internet and askme and find it answered to my satisfaction. My life is pretty low-drama, so that pretty much cuts out the need to ask relationshipfilter questions (well, lack of drama + imagining what the askme thread and resulting meTa would look like = no need or desire to ask).
posted by rtha at 12:20 PM on January 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


On the other hand, if iTunes' 24 hour movie rental were a 26 hour movie rental it'd be a whole 'nother deal.

Which is probably precisely why they won't do it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:30 PM on January 27, 2013


Besides, while AskMe is pretty darn awesome, other, more specialized, resources are sometimes better for certain types of questions. Complex air travel and frequent flyer matters are often better addressed to FlyerTalk, specific programming problems to StackOverflow or a language/framework-specific resource, questions to be answered by lots of startup people to Quora, detailed credit matters to a credit-specific forum, and "how is babby formed?" to Yahoo Answers. If you're truly asking a question every week like clockwork, you're probably better off asking some of those questions elsewhere, though people here will often point you to another community if necessary.
posted by zachlipton at 3:03 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're a parent, I think you need to stick to Netflix and its flexible "watch it whenever" policy rather than 24 hour iTunes. Just saying.

I am not suggesting that the rule change, but it is true that if you usually post at 10:00, and then one week it slips until 10:30, now you have to wait until 10:30 every time from now on, and then if you slip again to 11:00, now you have to wait until 11:00 every time, and you'll never get back to 10:00 ever again. Unless, of course, you skip a week.

Anyhoo, this thread is reminding me of how my HMO gives me a 2 week window to get a shot done periodically. If I miss getting it on Monday for whatever reason, work prevented me, whatever and come on Tuesday, then the next window starts on a Tuesday. Which I hate because I have a standing appointment Tuesday mornings and trying to go from one joint to the other takes up all morning and is a pain in the ass. So then I have the option of making the window later and later by coming later in the week, or wait a week and shoot for the next Monday, hoping it doesn't turn to be a holiday or work prevents me from going or some such crap...

Okay, I have slight sympathy for the window moving back thing. I do an online portal in December where I have the same problem (you can only post every 8 or 12 hours) and I needed to do makeup posts for the days where I had no net access, but....them's the breaks.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:18 PM on January 27, 2013


I think we should use unasked questions as currency.

Wait, we don't? I've been assuming that when I eventually retire from MetaFilter, I'll just cash in my accumulated unused AskMes, like banked sick days.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:51 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cat, pie, and the username that describes why the two are not combined more often.
posted by zippy at 4:58 PM on January 27, 2013


but it is true that if you usually post at 10:00, and then one week it slips until 10:30, now you have to wait until 10:30 every time from now on, and then if you slip again to 11:00, now you have to wait until 11:00 every time, and you'll never get back to 10:00 ever again.

The point is that if you're asking so many questions that you have a time at which you usually post questions and run up against the week deadline consistently, you are abusing AskMe.
posted by Justinian at 5:14 PM on January 27, 2013


In the OPs defense, I think of "once a week" as being a period of days, not a period of hours. If I posted on Tuesday, I should be able to post again on Tuesday. And I wouldn't really give a lot of thought to the hour.

However, I agree that this is not a problem that needs to be fixed.
I do get pretty aggravated when a woman can't get her annual mammogram done because its only been 363 days since the last one and not a full year. So there is that perspective.
posted by SLC Mom at 5:58 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Question and answer is the lowest form of discourse.


But no one should take that personally, it's just a fact and I'm sure you are all very nice and stuff.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:03 PM on January 27, 2013


Since when was AskMe intended on being discourse?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:06 PM on January 27, 2013


Not falling into that trap, I made an indefensible statement via quote from an Aubrey/Maturin novel and I'm sticking to it. This does not constitute an answer, but merely a passing text burp. So point to me I think, thank you.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:12 PM on January 27, 2013


jenfullmoon writes "If you're a parent, I think you need to stick to Netflix and its flexible "watch it whenever" policy rather than 24 hour iTunes. Just saying."

Or you know, torrent.
posted by Mitheral at 6:28 PM on January 27, 2013


Some people like compensating artists for their work.
posted by Justinian at 7:19 PM on January 27, 2013


Maybe please god don't start this fight here?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:21 PM on January 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


But it's just occurred to me that you may be joking in which case consider me, again, fooled.

Nah, wasn't joking. Was actually suggesting it as more of an example of how some people have non-obvious needs that don't line up with what the majority of people might need, and how you can sometimes correct for those non-obvious needs without making a major change.

If you're a parent, I think you need to stick to Netflix and its flexible "watch it whenever" policy rather than 24 hour iTunes. Just saying.

Right, the example wasn't to say that iTunes should change because there's no other alternative -- the obvious alternative is to use other services, which I do, for precisely the reason I described -- but that sometimes a problem that inconveniences people or causes money to be lost can be fixed without a major hassle, just by considering multiple perspectives.

Ultimately I probably have more sensitivity to this, because I do the kind of work where my job is to figure out exactly this kind of small-change-big-impact stuff from a usability perspective, but whether that sensitivity is a good thing or a bad thing is clearly up for debate. Some days I'm not sure myself.
posted by davejay at 7:26 PM on January 27, 2013


Oh, and if (just by way of example) the policy were to change to six days + 25 hours, you simply wouldn't say so; that way the documentation can continue to be easy (one week!) but those people who run into this edge case no longer run into this edge case.

MetaFilter being MetaFilter, I'm sure someone would notice, and someone would post to MetaTalk about it, and then we'd have a callout where a mod said either "hey, yeah, we do that for people who hit this edge case" or (better still) "thanks, we'll look into it" and move on. Because, you know, MetaFilter being MetaFilter, it is impossible to have anything at all ever that doesn't get a callout sooner or later.
posted by davejay at 7:29 PM on January 27, 2013


I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a question today.

How about a 30-year-no-down-no-doc-interest-only-adjustable! Everyone qualifies!

Also, I can help refi AskMe loans to a low, fixed rate (not everyone qualifies).
posted by krinklyfig at 7:52 PM on January 27, 2013


Lots of people would notice because the posting page tells you how long you have before you can post again.
posted by Mitheral at 8:24 PM on January 27, 2013


If I fall behind on payments, does my AskMe get repossessed?
posted by maryr at 9:09 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chasing the optimum time would be like chasing that little bit of eggshell that got cracked into the pan with your eggs, forever slipping out from under your fingertip.

Use another bit of eggshell instead of your fingertips. I have no idea why this works, but I read it on AskMe once and it has made my egg-cracking experiences much better ever since.
posted by harriet vane at 9:49 PM on January 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


My previous suggestion to deal with people wanting to ask more than one question a week:

- One free question a week
- First extra question within the week, $5
- Second extra question, $20
- Third extra question, $100

People get to ask more questions if they really want to, and the money goes into a general Metafilter Scholarship Fund that helps kids get an education.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:40 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't see us ever "selling" posting rights, even for a good cause, for very many reasons, but significantly, because I don't think any of us would be comfortable with a situation wherein wealthier members get to post more because [CASH], and because we wouldn't want to raise or insinuate the idea of "buying answers" on its merits at all. Also dealing with people who feel like they are buying answers would be a logistical clusterfuck and deeply unpleasant. What does the person who paid $100 for their third extra question do when it doesn't get an answer, or all the answers are, like, "yeah, no," or it's deleted as chatfilter, etc.? Everything about this scenario pretty much makes me cringe.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:30 AM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


If I fall behind on payments, does my AskMe get repossessed?

Only your portion of it, which is rented out for wedding receptions and conventions.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:46 AM on January 28, 2013


Jessamyn wrote: The "one question per week" is a hard limit maximum. Most people use less than that.

I constantly have things I want to ask about, but I hardly ever do so, because what if something more important came up and I had to wait a whole week? And in the meantime I had eaten spoiled food, failed to DTMF, and not seen a doctor about that suspicious lump? You could probably reduce the wait to less than a day and I'd still have the same problem.

That being said, I understand where the OP is coming from, and if I did post regularly I'd like to be able to remember that I posted a bit after eight o'clock Tuesday morning rather than 8:17 AM precisely. So a small amount of leeway would be nice, perhaps 167 hours rather than 168.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:40 AM on January 28, 2013


I constantly have things I want to ask about, but I hardly ever do so, because what if something more important came up and I had to wait a whole week?

You'd probably live.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:19 AM on January 28, 2013


I've been developing a website that uses market forces to incentive good behavior and generally benefit folks, much like the "carbon exchanges" for industry.

Users are able to log in and list the dates that they are willing to post questions, along with the fee that they are asking for a question to be posted under their username. The software is a stripped-down "eBay" clone with a simple bidding system.

Winning bids are tracked and prices are plotted on charts over time so that both question buyers and sellers are can try and spot trends that will help them plan their buying and selling of questions.

User profiles are linked to MetaFilter profiles, and I've written a simple scraper to that a buyer can review the Metafilter history of a seller without ever leaving my site and if you're reading this far please know that I am only kidding and that this is complete fiction.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:38 AM on January 28, 2013


DWRoelands: "...and if you're reading this far..."

I just gotta know. Did you calculate if you were out of Mod Trebuchet range before you made that comment? :D
posted by zarq at 7:25 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is no terrestrial location where the Mod Trebuchet can not reach. Beyond that you have Meatbomb to contend with but I hear it is his birthday today so he may go easy on you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:35 AM on January 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just gotta know. Did you calculate if you were out of Mod Trebuchet range before you made that comment? :D

I estimated the general fightiness of the the thread (low), factored in my perceptions of the mods' senses of humor (high) and rolled the dice. :)
posted by DWRoelands at 10:09 AM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


he may go easy on you

If I were the Astral Mod I'd use my birthday as the perfect reason to smite people! Truly, Brother Meatbomb is a far more enlightened and compassionate being!
posted by rtha at 11:43 AM on January 28, 2013


The astral and higher realms are interpenetrative, not separate.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:45 AM on January 28, 2013


I just traded an unasked question for 3 cigarettes and a shiv.
posted by found missing at 2:00 PM on January 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sucker. I got three gallons of Tide and a fifteen ounce can of Ranch-style beans.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:19 PM on January 28, 2013


Ranch-style beans? what the hell are you talking about?
posted by windykites at 7:22 PM on January 28, 2013


Haven't you ever been on a ranch? Beans are a big part of the lifestyle.
posted by found missing at 7:33 PM on January 28, 2013


Authentic ranches served beans topped with generous amounts of ranch dressing.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:35 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'll rephrase:
ranch-style beans? What the hell are you talking about?

I'm assuming they don't actually have ranch dressing on them...?
posted by windykites at 9:12 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


ranch style beans
posted by 6550 at 10:05 PM on January 28, 2013


raunch-style beans (yes, it's that clip).
posted by zippy at 11:20 PM on January 28, 2013


It's called a bidet, you heathens.

Bidet? I prefer a washlet, thanks.
posted by gen at 11:50 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hate "slippery slopes," but in this case they kind of apply. You'd like it changed from 168 hours to 166 hours, but somewhere there exists a weird person who would really, really like to post questions every 164 hours. And after we've fixed it for him, the woman who wants to post a question every 163.5 hours will have just this tiny request...

That sounds reasonable, but slippery slope arguments are always fallacious. If you advance this one, you will find yourself forced to accept all sorts of nonsense down the line.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 12:45 AM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, a little later than 10am this week :)

(Actually thought your question was interesting this week and will be hoovering up a few of the answers myself)
posted by Wordshore at 3:24 PM on January 29, 2013


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