New MetaTalk Contact Form Agreement June 18, 2013 1:25 PM   Subscribe

We're adding a short blurb and checkbox to the MetaTalk New Post form that reminds people the Contact Form is an option.

We've noticed that quite a few MetaTalk posts could be handled by contacting us directly instead of opening discussion to the entire community. Not everyone knows the Contact Form is an option because MetaTalk is the most public way requests and issues are resolved. So we added a checkbox on the MetaTalk New Post form that lets people know there's an alternative to bringing up their request with the entire community. The text of the agreement says:

My request requires community input and cannot be addressed by contacting MetaFilter staff.

The form can't be submitted until that option is checked. This way everyone making a MetaTalk post will at least be aware of the alternative and can make that decision before they hit Submit.
posted by pb to Feature Requests at 1:25 PM (81 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Neat! Hopefully this cuts down on some drama.

So, uh, did you just have to check it?
posted by ODiV at 1:30 PM on June 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


So, uh, did you just have to check it?

I posted this right before I updated the code. So, no! I was the last one through.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:31 PM on June 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


Seems like a good idea to me! Hopefully this might also cut down on people making cheap comments early in MetaTalk threads along the lines of "What did the mod say when you contacted them?" Cuz presumbably they rejected that option purposefully in order to make the post, right?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:32 PM on June 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


I'm tired of being on vacation kinda. How much gelato can one person consume?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:33 PM on June 18, 2013


I'd guess there'll be less of that, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:33 PM on June 18, 2013


Less gelato too! Pony request: make gelato less available in Europe. Tia
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:34 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


THINK OF ALL THE UNEATEN POPCORN.
posted by phunniemee at 1:34 PM on June 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


First the NSA, now this?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:40 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


 My request requires community input and cannot be addressed by contacting MetaFilter staff.
 My request is not a thinly-disguised attempt to draw attention to my persecution complex.
 My request could not be better handled by just going home and having some spumoni ice cream.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:41 PM on June 18, 2013 [53 favorites]


 My request is not in lieu of a hug.
posted by killdevil at 1:46 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Neato.
posted by rtha at 1:47 PM on June 18, 2013


You could have just e-mailed me about this.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:50 PM on June 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


How much gelato can one person consume?

I hit the wall at 6 scoops at stalls on the street and a dish in a gelato-making class. ...In the course of a day.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:50 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pony request: make gelato less available in Europe.

Send it all to me and I'll deal with it.
posted by shelleycat at 1:53 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


My request is not a backdoor way of making a lame FPP that would otherwise get deleted.
I have looked to see if my issue has been addressed dozens of times before.
My request is not an update to a previous post.
I have made a good faith effort to post at a time where at least one mod is awake.
I am not linking to the specific comment I am calling out or quoting its terribleness in full.
I am not bored.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:53 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Put up "I am not bored" and watch the entire site go quiet so fast.
posted by Apropos of Something at 1:54 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


*chirp chirp*
posted by Melismata at 2:01 PM on June 18, 2013



Why not merge the Metatalk submission form and Contact form ? Just have Metatalk submission go to the Mods in all cases, and they can decide if it goes through or not ?

That seems simpler from a user perspective, and accomplishes the same thing.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:01 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why not merge the Metatalk submission form and Contact form ? Just have Metatalk submission go to the Mods in all cases, and they can decide if it goes through or not ?

That'd be essentially formalizing the Metatalk Queue as an always-on thing, which is a lot farther than we actually feel like we need to go here. This is more an attempt to raise the visibility of the contact form as a good first option for a user to have in a lot of cases; that's something we've already traditionally tried to do with a top-of-the-page bullet point and link on the Metatalk posting page, but a number of times we've heard from users that they didn't really notice that when they were going to post.

So, noticing it is mechanically reinforced. Folks can still go with the way that makes sense for them, but hopefully there'll be less of that sense of surprise on both ends and it'll be a little more of an informed choice, especially for folks who might not otherwise really spend much time engaging with either Metatalk or the contact form.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:08 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


... or following up on Pogo_Fuzzybutt's idea, if they don't check the box have it go to the mods, if they do it goes through?
posted by togdon at 2:08 PM on June 18, 2013


Why not merge the Metatalk submission form and Contact form ? Just have Metatalk submission go to the Mods in all cases, and they can decide if it goes through or not ?

That sort of subverts some of the purpose of having MetaTalk being a community discussion space, since it gives the moderators veto power over what is even permitted to be spoken about.

While moderators can still exercise this sort of veto power by closing threads, this is done publicly, not in the secret smoke-filled moderation backroom.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:09 PM on June 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


which is a lot farther

further.
posted by Melismata at 2:18 PM on June 18, 2013


The problem with the online edition of the OED is you can't whack people with it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:22 PM on June 18, 2013 [36 favorites]


People can still whack it to the OED online edition, though. So that's something.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:34 PM on June 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: you can't whack people with it.
posted by Melismata at 2:35 PM on June 18, 2013




THank you for this. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to have any significant effect.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:57 PM on June 18, 2013


 My request is not a thinly disguised attempt to continue to grind my ax about something that was deleted in a thread on MetaFilter.
posted by terrapin at 2:59 PM on June 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


Oh noes.
posted by lordaych at 3:01 PM on June 18, 2013


So were you guys contacted about voting for #1 quidnunc kid?
posted by Gygesringtone at 3:08 PM on June 18, 2013


Democracy apparently knows no boundaries, there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:09 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


While we're on the topic of improving forms, would you consider adding a "what location does this apply to" box for AskMe questions? It makes me sad when the first answer is "it depends on where you are. where are you?". Especially anonymous ones.
posted by jeffamaphone at 3:46 PM on June 18, 2013


Hopefully this might also cut down on people making cheap comments early in MetaTalk threads along the lines of "What did the mod say when you contacted them?" Cuz presumbably they rejected that option purposefully in order to make the post, right?

Oh, you're *adorable*!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:52 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yay!
posted by alms at 4:36 PM on June 18, 2013


Hopefully this might also cut down on people making cheap comments early in MetaTalk threads along the lines of "What did the mod say when you contacted them?" Cuz presumbably they rejected that option purposefully in order to make the post, right?

if one has Greasemonkey installed, that checkbox would always be checked.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:41 PM on June 18, 2013


...would you consider adding a "what location does this apply to" box for AskMe questions?

I think a certain number of questions would benefit from requiring people to enter a location before it's submitted, but I don't think it's the majority of questions. Maybe one or two each day? On the form we ask people to include a location if it's necessary, but I don't think this is a candidate for a technical solution. We'd end up hassling more people where it's not required. Also, there isn't much harm done when people forget to include their location when it's needed. In the case of non-anonymous questions, folks can ask and the OP can respond if they want to. Even with anonymous questions the OP can contact the mods and have them add it as a comment in the thread if it's critical.

We felt like a complication that's a simple checkbox for the MetaTalk form was worth it. When a MetaTalk thread goes sideways it can cause some damage.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:59 PM on June 18, 2013


which is a lot farther

further.


father?!
posted by Sebmojo at 5:07 PM on June 18, 2013


How much gelato can one person consume?

One. By definition.
posted by pompomtom at 5:17 PM on June 18, 2013


The problem with the online edition of the OED is you can't whack people with it.

Watch me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:32 PM on June 18, 2013 [29 favorites]


if one has Greasemonkey installed, that checkbox would always be checked.

if one knows to install a greasemonkey script to always have that checkbox checked, then one already knows about the contact form and the checkbox's work is already done.
posted by russm at 5:43 PM on June 18, 2013


My request requires community input and cannot be addressed by contacting MetaFilter staff.

This leaves ambiguous whether it's appropriate to use MeTa for situations in which you would like community input, but input is not required.
posted by Unified Theory at 6:17 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's my only complaint as well. I don't like the verbiage. It makes a barrier to entry that may get annoying. So when people do post stuff that could have been solved it means they shouldn't have. I see some judgments acomin'.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:20 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


This leaves ambiguous whether it's appropriate to use MeTa for situations in which you would like community input, but input is not required.

That's pretty much where we're at though. A MeTa queue is a no-go for various reasons and what we wanted was a dual purpose

- explicit awareness that there is a contact form and that you can contact the mods with it
- explicit awareness that MeTa is for talking to the community not just the mods

At the same time we wanted to not make people read anything more than about a sentence. And we didn't want to make a new rule.

People who have been here a while may not be aware that the New Post form on MeFi has a checkbox if you are a first time poster. It basically just spells out the friends/self-link rule and the penalties. It's crazy how much hassle that checkbox has freed us from, dealing with people who had feigned or real ignorance of the way the place worked. "Hey man, you checked the box, we're done here..."

I feel there's been a MeTa trend lately where people zip right over here without even contemplating the contact form as an option (or waiting for us to email back) and/or they deal with the "What did the mods say when you asked them this?" snark from people. This way we're all on the same page. If you JUST need to talk to the mods, there is a contact form and a readily available link right there. Otherwise we'll all presume you have some sort of "I'd like to talk to the community about this issue" purpose which hopefully you will make plain in your post.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:27 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is a great idea. It probably won't stop someone dedicated to ax grinding, but it might give a novice pause.
posted by arcticseal at 6:31 PM on June 18, 2013


Does it also call attention to the fact that the replies will be sent via email, not MeMail? I know that's been overlooked before.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:34 PM on June 18, 2013


That's written into the contact form itself, yeah.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:35 PM on June 18, 2013


The "agreement checkbox" should be at the top of the page, rather than below the fold, at the end of the process, next to the "submit button."

You're going to have people who have taken a lot of time creating a post who are going to say "fuck it, I've got this far, I'm posting."

Plus, it's not like there are going to be any immediate consequences for making an inappropriate MT post, right?

Best to move the checkbox up to the top of the page, to the beginning of the process.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:35 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Best to move the checkbox up to the top of the page, to the beginning of the process.

Folks can always copy and paste into the Contact Form if they get down to the bottom and they decide not to make it a MetaTalk post. When you're looking at a new feature it's tempting to optimize for that feature alone. In the long run I think the checkbox is going to be a minor part of the form and can be a bit more in background. It'll serve as a reminder, and if someone doesn't notice it until the end it's not a big loss.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:57 PM on June 18, 2013


Maybe underneath the check box you could have a button labeled, "Nevermind, just send what I wrote to the mods."
posted by alms at 8:24 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sebmojo: "which is a lot farther

further.


father?!
"

Luke!
posted by deborah at 8:29 PM on June 18, 2013


...and if someone doesn't notice it until the end it's not a big loss.

hehehe.
posted by space_cookie at 9:32 PM on June 18, 2013


Oh, you're *adorable*!

This thing of calling people "adorable" when you obviously mean it in a derogatory way, and don't really mean they're adorable, has to stop.
posted by John Cohen at 9:36 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


hehehe.

I understand it would be frustrating, but there wouldn't be a loss of data. The text that someone writes can be copied and pasted into the contact form. Maybe there would need to be some reformatting for the different venue. The first line of text on the New Post form asks people to use the Contact Form. This checkbox is designed to be another way to get people to consider that option, not the only way.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:40 PM on June 18, 2013


This just means that I'm going to be put on hold every time I contact the mods with a very important situation. Before, nobody knew about the Contact Form, and it was pretty much a bee-line straight to Modsville. Now that the secret is out of the bag, expect long delays, stuck on hold, listening to the same song over and over, Remember the glory days before it all went awry.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:43 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stop being cheap then and pony up for MeFi Gold. It may be a little pricey, but I love having the mods at my beck and call.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:24 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's a valuable addition to their pricing model. First you pony up five bucks, but then if you pay another $100 you will get a personal reply from Jessamyn, telling you off.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:31 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


At what sponsorship level do you get the "Mods of MetaFilter" pin-up calendar?
posted by Jacqueline at 1:00 AM on June 19, 2013


So will this prevent users from making a Metatalk post after they've gotten their hands on a good-sized batch of veterinarian morphine?

I'm asking for the me of 2007.
posted by item at 1:34 AM on June 19, 2013


Further

Farther.

I had to walk down the hall to get to the sink.
posted by mule98J at 1:38 AM on June 19, 2013


Of what use is the check box checked if the check box checked if its checked?
posted by infini at 4:12 AM on June 19, 2013


On the other hand, I"m noticing a lot more strangely named brand new members...perhaps its time to do same.
posted by infini at 4:13 AM on June 19, 2013


First a spouse thread and now a blurb thread!

Life is good.
posted by flabdablet at 5:36 AM on June 19, 2013


...if you pay another $100 you will get a personal reply from Jessamyn, telling you off.

Wait, I thought this was free?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:20 AM on June 19, 2013


The text that someone writes can be copied and pasted into the contact form.

Does the contact form accept HTML?
posted by John Cohen at 6:37 AM on June 19, 2013


Yep. It won't be rendered as HTML for mods, but nothing is stripped and it is readable. If we start getting lots of HTML via the contact form we can look at making it render as HTML.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:48 AM on June 19, 2013


But it's often useful to see the non-rendered source HTML for other things like updates from anonymous posters.
posted by pb (staff) at 6:50 AM on June 19, 2013


I wish the technical word involved was not rendered.

*glares at goosepimples*

*starts saying OMMMM loudly*
posted by infini at 6:55 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thing of calling people "adorable" when you obviously mean it in a derogatory way, and don't really mean they're adorable, has to stop.

This thing of telling people that something they do "has to stop," has to ... be reconsidered, because it actually reads a lot more condescending than something like "adorable," which seems much more gently poking fun than anything else.
posted by solotoro at 7:22 AM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dear mods,

I am in need of several hundred rounds of alphabetically-organized user-sourced recipes. Please include duplicates and eponysterical references.

Yours

-SoftLord
posted by softlord at 7:25 AM on June 19, 2013


Dear mods,

Can I change my name to Sir Veiled?

Lady Veiled doesn't quite have that same ring to it...

Yours for just $5
posted by infini at 7:41 AM on June 19, 2013


I think the mods are trying to help us by keeping our complaints between ourselves, the mods and the NSA instead of letting us make complete fools of ourselves in full view of the entire internet.

tl;dr: SILENCED ALL MY LIFE
posted by double block and bleed at 8:11 AM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


And there is a difference between the NSA and the entire internet?
posted by infini at 8:40 AM on June 19, 2013


I hear the NSA has better cat pictures.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:51 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, but all the cats are robotic.
posted by ardgedee at 10:52 AM on June 19, 2013


This thing of calling people "adorable" when you obviously mean it in a derogatory way, and don't really mean they're adorable, has to stop.

You're lucky you're pretty.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:55 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mais je t'adore anyway...
posted by infini at 11:10 AM on June 19, 2013


First you pony up five bucks, but then if you pay another $100 you will get a personal reply from Jessamyn, telling you off.

OMG! I must owe Metafilter more than $1K!

No wonder I haven't been banned yet.
posted by jamjam at 11:27 AM on June 19, 2013


cjorgensen: "...if you pay another $100 you will get a personal reply from Jessamyn, telling you off.

Wait, I thought this was free?
"

Whacking you with the OED is free. Personal replies are for closers.
posted by scrump at 11:57 AM on June 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


"OMG! I must owe Metafilter more than $1K!"

Wait 'till you find out how much the vig is.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:26 PM on June 19, 2013


I understand it would be frustrating, but there wouldn't be a loss of data. The text that someone writes can be copied and pasted into the contact form....

Eeek. Memo to self, opaque does not work well in print. I meant it as a chuckle of agreement that it would indeed not be a big loss if some hastily considered MeTas don't make it to the front page.
posted by space_cookie at 12:17 AM on June 20, 2013


oh, sorry about the misread. Sometimes it's tough to tell the difference between chuckles of agreement and chuckles of derision. Should have given that a more charitable read.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:54 PM on June 20, 2013


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