Who are the answeringest mefites? March 27, 2015 9:44 PM   Subscribe

If one is a habitué of AskMe who devotes himself more to satisfying his own curiosity than resolving the problems facing his fellows, one is apt to find, among the ranks of those who are more helpful, that some among us dispose over a sufficiently wide-ranging expertise, or all-encompassing benevolence, that their names recur with a frequency so apparently noticeable that one's thoughts are naturally led to the question of whether the said frequency is merely apparent or is in fact real, a question to be settled not by the comparison of anecdotes and impressions, prey as all such are to the biases afflicting all finite creatures, but by the totting up and comparison of figures, which, though they be in one manner of speaking finite, admit of another view on which Plato's placement of them in the heavens, rather than under the changeable moon with ourselves, quite appropriate—and which makes it fortunate that cortex placed several useful figures in the clouds if not the heavens, so that the curious can indeed determine who the answeringest mefites are, considering the "answeringness" of a mefite to be the ratio of the number of distinct questions posted to "the green" to which the mefite has submitted at least one answer, to the total number of distinct questions posted to "the green" following the first question the said mefite answered, that question marking the mefite's first becoming active on AskMe, and excluding, as apt to be uninformative, those participants of AskMe whose first answer was posted within the last six months.

tl;dr: Ruthless Bunny by a country mile.

|     % |                          user | Qs answered | answers | Qs since first answer | first answer |
|-------+-------------------------------+-------------+---------+-----------------------+--------------|
| 15.15 |                Ruthless Bunny |       10701 |   11865 |                 70617 |   2012-01-31 |
|  4.57 |                       Sara C. |        5498 |    8625 |                120326 |   2010-06-30 |
|  4.17 |                 St. Peepsburg |        1590 |    1809 |                 38167 |   2013-04-19 |
|  4.10 |                      jessamyn |       11162 |   12914 |                272407 |   2003-12-09 |
|  3.83 |                  emptythought |        1643 |    1884 |                 42888 |   2013-02-07 |
|  3.56 |                           gjc |        6992 |    7683 |                196510 |   2008-01-14 |
|  3.46 |                    DarlingBri |        7555 |    9003 |                218154 |   2007-03-21 |
|  3.38 |             cotton dress sock |         805 |    1028 |                 23818 |   2013-12-16 |
|  3.26 |                      theora55 |        8883 |    9142 |                272418 |   2003-12-09 |
|  3.26 | feckless fecal fear mongering |         768 |    1115 |                 23589 |   2013-12-20 |
|  3.16 |                      Ideefixe |        3678 |    3919 |                116494 |   2010-08-01 |
|  3.14 |                          724A |         443 |     509 |                 14120 |   2014-06-12 |
|  3.05 |         Michele in California |        1953 |    2528 |                 64045 |   2012-04-23 |
|  2.90 |             EmpressCallipygos |        5437 |    7647 |                187629 |   2008-05-02 |
|  2.83 |                    phunniemee |        5275 |    6160 |                186456 |   2008-05-11 |
|  2.71 |                       rhizome |        6284 |    7031 |                232235 |   2006-08-22 |
|  2.70 |                       jbenben |        4132 |    5526 |                153039 |   2009-06-11 |
|  2.65 |               easily confused |        2638 |    3014 |                 99486 |   2011-02-12 |
|  2.64 |          the young rope-rider |        3015 |    4396 |                114247 |   2010-08-27 |
|  2.63 |          Bentobox Humperdinck |         545 |     578 |                 20707 |   2014-02-10 |


Jessamyn is the top question-answerer in terms of total answers and in terms of unique questions answered; Ruthless Bunny is second on both.
posted by kenko to MetaFilter-Related at 9:44 PM (195 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Now I feel inadequate.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:01 PM on March 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Huh, truly a microcosm of the green; half or so of the folks on that list are incredibly insightful and always have something surprising and worthwhile to add, and the other half are people who seem to have some sort of response quota to fill because they never have a fuckin' clue what they're on about.
posted by threeants at 11:16 PM on March 27, 2015 [96 favorites]


this post made me lol, A++ would read fusty C19th prose pastiche again
posted by Sebmojo at 11:38 PM on March 27, 2015 [17 favorites]


Ruthless Bunny's been absent for a month; just taking a break, I hope.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:47 PM on March 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'd noticed that. I hope she's ok.
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:58 AM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


wait a minute, i'm on there

the other half are people who seem to have some sort of response quota to fill because they never have a fuckin' clue what they're on about.

hmm
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:03 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am in awe of that paragraph. And bewildered to see my name. Presumably I'm in threeants' latter category.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:50 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I decided to guess 10 before opening this post and all of them are there. This could also be a list of work at home or unemployed Mefites, or people who just want to help. I dunno. Women mostly? Is that right? Interesting.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 1:55 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


the other half are people who seem to have some sort of response quota to fill because they never have a fuckin' clue what they're on about.

I wouldn't say 'never.' The obsessive answerers can be helpful. In some cases, exceptionally helpful. But when they have no clue what they're talking about, or can't be bothered to read the question carefully, or are more interested in axe-grinding than being helpful, it would be better for everyone if they didn't answer rather than give bad information. Their presence is not required in every damned thread.
posted by zarq at 2:05 AM on March 28, 2015 [39 favorites]


Oh hey that table was formatted way better when I previewed the post.
posted by kenko at 2:16 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


And bewildered to see my name

Yeah that's probably because your first answer is somewhat recent; you have the third-lowest "questions answered" number out of anyone on the list but your first answer was in December of 2013, so it takes fewer answers to have a larger percentage.
posted by kenko at 2:19 AM on March 28, 2015


Ah!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:21 AM on March 28, 2015


would read fusty C19th prose pastiche again

On review at least one clause missing a verb :(

</insomnia not threadsitting I swear>
posted by kenko at 2:25 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mr. Yuck: neither unemployed nor work-at-home: I just have a job where --- if all goes well and nothing crashes! --- there's solid chunks of blank time. But female, yeah.

And yep: Ruthless Bunny by that country mile, but fortunately she's both smart and compassionate!
posted by easily confused at 3:55 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd have preferred a more modern treatment, like maybe in the form of Beavis and Butthead dialogue.
posted by thelonius at 5:34 AM on March 28, 2015


There are some really fantastic users on this list, who add a ton to the site.

That said, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who ranked 11-100, who give fantastic answers when they post, and who realize, in the words of zarq, "Their presence is not required in every damned thread."
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:50 AM on March 28, 2015 [29 favorites]


Yes, I've missed RB lately. Hope she's ok and just busy.

I don't see a single person on there that "seems to have a quota to fill" - everyone there I would classify as thoughtful, even if I don't generally agree with their advice or answers.
posted by sockermom at 5:54 AM on March 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'd love to hand all the data off to the data visualization people at the NY Times so they could create one of those slider-bar charts where you could watch the top answerers change over time. We have years and years of data, so it seems a shame to look at this as a moment in time.

And yes, that list might look different if quality, rather than quantity, was being measured.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:57 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Women mostly? Is that right? Interesting.
Also I read a recent meta-analysis on gender difference in Internet commenters, and it showed that generally men and women post in the same volume, but men's comments tend to link to outside resources and contain "more factual information" while women's comments are more emotionally supportive. I'd post it to the Blue if it weren't paywalled. So gender differences here (which are harder to discern as our profiles do not include only two choices for gender - thankfully!) might be accounted for because of the question types and not for other reasons.
posted by sockermom at 5:59 AM on March 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


sockermom, would you be willing to post a link in here (or bibliographic information) so those of us with access past the paywall could take a look? It's not my field but that sounds like an interesting meta-analysis.
posted by Alterscape at 6:06 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I hope this doesn't turn too negative. There shouldn't be anything wrong with posting a lot of answers. If jumping in with not much new to say is indeed an offense, I don't think shaming people for that just because they happen to be on this list is very fair.
posted by BibiRose at 6:45 AM on March 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


threeants this would have been a much nicer thread if you could have resisted the urge to say something kinda crappy there right off the bat.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:04 AM on March 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


I did have a period, years ago, where I was bored and depressed and I answered a billion questions I should not have*, but I realized that I was adding more noise than signal and scaled way, way back. I think that a diversity and depth of answers is more important than prolificness. I'd rather know the answerer has actual experience with my issue and doesn't just have too much time on her/his hands.

*Don't put too much stock into any of my relationship answers from more than a year ago, I'm divorced now.
posted by desjardins at 7:06 AM on March 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


I hope this doesn't turn too negative.

I guess I agree. Message received, folks - it's true, restraint is a virtue, good to have been reminded. Highly impressed with the presentation, and information is generally good (I've been sobered, which is good), but I'm not sure what putting ten people's names up like this can achieve, other than a referendum on their quality as posters (and people). I suppose the fact of posting (and certainly so frequently, apparently) opens the door to criticism, but three people on the list have posted here. It's odd to be talked about when you're right there. I mean really, if people want to be offensive, they can, of course.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:06 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Very cool stats! Thank you for using statistics to disprove confirmation bias!
posted by radioamy at 7:09 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hope this doesn't turn too negative. There shouldn't be anything wrong with posting a lot of answers. If jumping in with not much new to say is indeed an offense, I don't think shaming people for that just because they happen to be on this list is very fair.

I see what you mean and I am definitely not addressing this to everyone on the list, but I have been thinking for a while about posting a MetaTalk thread specifically about non-answers in AskMe. I get that people are answering because they want to help, and that's great! That is a good instinct that does them credit.

It's also very, very frustrating when someone asks a straightforward question and gets a mishmash of non-answers, wrong answers, people who didn't read the question, and people accusing them or questioning their premises. I've asked questions and had this happen and observed it happening in other questions numerous times. Some people on this site do indeed have great answers and wide-ranging expertise. There are also some users who answer a whole lot or very seldom but without any actual information. It's really frustrating to wade through these when you're looking for something specific.

As I say, this is not at all a commentary on the people on this list; there are people on the list who give uniformly great answers, and plenty of people not on the list who give lots of not-great answers, I am just very wary of the implication that volume of AskMe responses is itself a virtue. I'd much rather celebrate people who give careful, helpful answers than people who post a whole bunch.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:15 AM on March 28, 2015 [46 favorites]


Which people, then, Mrs. Pterodactyl? Who among the ten people actually named above are the jerks?

If people want to talk about over-frequent posting, or posts that miss the mark or are irrelevant, that's fine and that's one thing, but putting up a shit list that significantly narrows down the possible offenders (leaving them to wonder whether they're who people are "calling out") is kind of awful, honestly. I object to the framing (at the same time that I admire its technical proficiency, truly).
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:31 AM on March 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


(That was a rhetorical question, Mrs. Pterodactyl, please don't actually answer that.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:33 AM on March 28, 2015


threeants's comment is also pretty much what I thought immediately; just a couple of days ago, I was gossiping IRL about the all-time most useless answers I've gotten on askme!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:35 AM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


putting up a shit list

The OP did no such thing. threeants shit on the thread right out of the gate, and I wish people would just ignore it.

On preview: welp, looks like it's just gonna stay crappy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:37 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


And yes, that list might look different if quality, rather than quantity, was being measured.

Favorites and "best answers" are a mighty rough proxy for actual quality, but sure, that would also be interesting.
posted by kenko at 7:38 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


The OP did no such thing

I take it that cotton dress sock was referring to a hypothetical post that Mrs. Pterodactyl might make, not this post.
posted by kenko at 7:39 AM on March 28, 2015


"best answers" are a mighty rough proxy for actual quality

Some of my favorite askme threads are the ones where someone's like "should I put my dick on the hot stovetop?" and 99% of the answerers are like "no, please don't do that, you will burn your dick" and the one that gets best answer is like "OP, you DESERVE to put your dick on the stove, I believe in you"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:43 AM on March 28, 2015 [236 favorites]


I think this topic definitely could have been done without naming names, although I'm not impugning kenko's motivations. It's one of those things where we all kind of know who those people are anyway, specific names and numbers are superfluous except to verify that this really is a thing, as radioamy said. "Which people are doing this" is less important than the topic of whether people are providing more noise than signal and whether it clutters up AskMe/makes it less useful overall.
posted by desjardins at 7:47 AM on March 28, 2015


Best Answers and favorite are both definitely pretty spotty on an individual basis—askers can mark as best stuff that's not a very good answer or ignore stuff that is, favoriters can favorite things for all kinds of reasons ranging from "this is a really helpful, on-topic answer" to "I really like the sass in this nominal-at-best excuse to be sassy", etc—but as aggregate indicators they're probably a good way to at least size up the data, yeah, so if someone feels like fiddling with that it might be interesting to look at.

One thing I think is a good idea when playing with data like this that yields a list of actual mefites is to try and focus on output that looks at trends and distributions of behavior/activity/etc broadly rather than so much the Top Ten List format, not because there's anything wrong in principle or intent with top ten lists but just because it can be easy for things to get a little weird in that case when the scope of the discussion ends up narrowed down to a handful of people as a sort of proxy for those broader behavior and activity questions.

I love it when people play with data, and am firmly in favor of focusing on the playing and the data parts of that and leaving the "let's talk about specific/gestural user's behavior problems" for a thread where that's already unavoidably part of a community/policy discussion, basically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:49 AM on March 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


> Oh hey that table was formatted way better when I previewed the post.

The table is wrapped in an HTML <code> tag rather than <pre>, so all the padding space characters collapsed to one apiece. Try contacting the mods with the table wrapped in <pre> tags and see if they're willing to update your post.
Or just use HTML <table> -- you're allowed!

posted by ardgedee at 7:49 AM on March 28, 2015


*waits impatiently for Greg Nog's upcoming question about putting his penis on inappropriate things so I can give an answer that will be both marked "best" and give him something to talk about IRL.*
posted by soundguy99 at 7:53 AM on March 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Huhhhhh, it was also a <pre> when I previewed. I didn't know I could use <table> at all, though.
posted by kenko at 7:54 AM on March 28, 2015


I am in awe of that paragraph.

Sentence. That is a 259-word sentence.
posted by heyho at 8:03 AM on March 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


AskMetafilter, as it currently stands is less useful than it could or should be, because too many people answerin either don't have answers or don't read the question. Acknowledging that isn't threadshitting.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:03 AM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Swapped out the formatting tags on the post; spacing is respected now but it's a wide enough table that it's kind of a different mess instead now. Not sure the best approach here, really.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:05 AM on March 28, 2015


I was curious where a regular but infrequent question answerer such as myself would appear in comparison so I estimated my own percentage based on the closest date in the table to get the rough number of posts since I started answering questions (end of 05) - I came up with about 0.23%.

I feel similarly about this to how I feel about my half marathon times - I'm not even in the same race as the people at the top.
posted by crocomancer at 8:06 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess "full screen browser on a relatively wide monitor" didn't help me out with that. Getting rid of the time component of the first answer column would cut out space, I guess? I make a narrower table and send it to you if you like.
posted by kenko at 8:07 AM on March 28, 2015


If people want to talk about over-frequent posting, or posts that miss the mark or are irrelevant, that's fine and that's one thing, but putting up a shit list that significantly narrows down the possible offenders (leaving them to wonder whether they're who people are "calling out") is kind of awful, honestly.

Totally see your point, see how it came across that way, and I apologize. I didn't mean to target anyone specific, although, again, I see how it appears that way. My actual point is just that I think volume of answers is not the metric on which we should be judging people. I really like AskMe and I think it's a phenomenal resource and I think unfortunately sometimes the helpfulness is diluted by noise and I think that celebrating answer volume instead of quality of posts or actual expertise is calling attention to the wrong aspects of AskMe.

Again, super sorry if it seems to anyone that I am calling them out specifically.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:07 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Are we taking a gas range or an electric stovetop
posted by shakespeherian at 8:10 AM on March 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yep, if you want to toss me an edited table I'm happy to swap it in. I suppose we could avail ourselves of a <small> tag too.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:11 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why not just use tongs and a cigarette lighter?
posted by Abon Sapi at 8:13 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Are we taking a gas range or an electric stovetop

I'd be willing to risk an induction range, but not anything that actually gets hot. Call me weird that way.

My actual point is just that I think volume of answers is not the metric on which we should be judging people. I really like AskMe and I think it's a phenomenal resource and I think unfortunately sometimes the helpfulness is diluted by noise and I think that celebrating answer volume instead of quality of posts or actual expertise is calling attention to the wrong aspects of AskMe.

I agree. It's interesting to look at the top 10 or top 20 answerers (and would be more interesting to see how that shifts over time), but in terms of actual celebration I'd be in favor of noticing the person whose answers (few or many as it may be) consistently nail the core issue and provide the information that the asker is seeking. There's going to be overlap between that and the most voluminous of answerers, but only partly.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:14 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why not just use tongs and a cigarette lighter?

oh my gosh what am i Martha fucking Stewart here
posted by Greg Nog at 8:15 AM on March 28, 2015 [39 favorites]


Why not just use tongs and a cigarette lighter?

I think I just developed a new fetish. Also, Saturday night plans.
posted by desjardins at 8:19 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Was sure this question said angriest and was going to come here and out myself as belonging on that list, but oh there I am anyhow, giving out a lot of answers. Hey.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:25 AM on March 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


I also do actually quite like the framing. I actually find it interesting that most people are answering less than 5% of questions - I feel like I answer more than 5% myself and would have guessed that the most prolific posters answered closer to 50%. It's weird how our perceptions can be so skewed. I think people also often go through phases of posting loads and then having a break, particularly newer members. I definitely went through a must-answer-everything stage when I first joined, but have settled down now.

Some of my favourite posters are on this list, and my least favourite one only posts about once every six months (or possibly only posts when drunk every six months - I might be missing his totally normal answers and just noticing the really-pretentious-and-completely-unrelated-to-the-question anecdotes he posts).
posted by tinkletown at 8:26 AM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Next up: who are the are-we-human-or-are-we-dancerest mefites.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:27 AM on March 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


Favorites and "best answers" are a mighty rough proxy for actual quality

For a long time I actually kept a spreadsheet of my answers versus favorites and marked best answers, to see if I could measure how helpful I was and if I could make improvements. (Also it was to help squash that stupid need to rush into the thread hollering, "I got it! Let me help!" This is a need I have to beat with a goddamn shoe sometimes.)

It wasn't that easy to measure quality using bests and favorites. Frequently anonymous questions were hard to gauge, even with favorites. And there's a surprising number of questions were the OP is interested in every answer (like a recipe thread). Favorites are hard to use as proxy because you have to come up with some kind of ratio like: "This answer had 3 times more favorites than anything else, so my answer wasn't deemed useful by other readers." There were a few answers I had marked best that I realized later weren't that good of an answer. Most frustratingly, there were a lot of threads in which the OP didn't mark best answer or come back to say why none of the answers worked.

Also, it was weird - I noticed definite cycles where I just a best answer rock star and then periods where nothing I said was right.

But it was very helpful to make me more thoughtful about my comments; to realize a lot of my answers weren't that great because I really didn't parse the question as well as I thought I had; and it led to a lot of answers I deleted without posting. Waiting that extra beat to see if I could improve my comment also meant that many, many times another MeFite stepped in with the same answer but structured much better in compassion, rhetoric, thoughtfulness, etc.

I stopped doing it because even data geekiness can get a little wearisome sometimes; I feel my answers have noticeably dipped since then. For awhile I had a ratio between 1/3 and 1/4 of best answers versus all my answers; if I ran it now I bet it'd be between 1/10 to 1/20.

I personally would call that low quality or not helpful, but looking at the table here makes me realize that I'm measuring against myself, not compared to how helpful other MeFites are; 1/4 might not be helpful or 1/10 might be - I don't know. But overall, I found my answers did go up in significant quality when I aimed for a general 1/3 best answer/answer ratio in measurable - that's key - terms. Definitely not saying that's a ratio that would work for every MeFite, however - it probably varies both by poster AND for question type. There's a whole can of interesting worms for measuring quality versus question type that could be investigated for sure.
posted by barchan at 8:40 AM on March 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I feel like I answer more than 5% myself and would have guessed that the most prolific posters answered closer to 50%. It's weird how our perceptions can be so skewed.

I assume it's because most of us don't read every question. You probably answer more than 5% of the questions you read. (Or maybe everyone else is reading everything and I'm just weird.)
posted by jaguar at 8:40 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually find it interesting that most people are answering less than 5% of questions

Not just most people, every single person with one exception (using the measure I used, anyway).
posted by kenko at 8:44 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know about using favorites as a proxy for quality; my most-favorited answer was five words and it wasn't an actual answer to the question.
posted by desjardins at 8:48 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, it was weird - I noticed definite cycles where I just a best answer rock star and then periods where nothing I said was right.
Oh gosh. I have asked questions on AskMe, and I really hate the idea that someone would think that not-marked-best answers were wrong. I mean, I wanted a lot of recommendations for good hair dryers, so I could pick between an array. I am grateful to each and every person who recommended a hair dryer, and none of the answers were wrong. Some of them just weren't the hair dryer that I ultimately bought. There's a big difference between recommending a good hair dryer that I don't buy and therefore don't mark as best answer and coming in and saying "I don't understand why you want to dry your hair anyway. Just shave it all off!"

So in summary: I occasionally see "shave your head and don't buy a hairdryer" type answers, which are annoying, but merely not being picked as a best answer or favorited doesn't seem like an indication of anything bad to me.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:50 AM on March 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm terrible at asking advice and then ignoring it. I didn't pick any of these cars.
posted by desjardins at 9:02 AM on March 28, 2015


ha, I get what you mean and I have answers like that too - sometimes there's a lot of good answers! And there's threads where there's not really such a thing as a bad answer. That's another reason why it's hard to measure quality.

I could have worded it better - there's definitely been a few times I've looked at someone else's answer and realized how I wrong was or - maybe a better way of putting it would be - how not helpful. That really comes into play with not reading the question as thoroughly or not reading other people's answers as well. Or maybe I had an okay answer but I was an asshole or snarky, which is similarly not helpful.
posted by barchan at 9:05 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes there are lots of answers that, to me, seem to be advising substantially the same thing, but only one of them gets marked "best answer". Mysteries of the green!
posted by kenko at 9:07 AM on March 28, 2015


Yeah, I don't know about using favorites as a proxy for quality; my most-favorited answer was five words and it wasn't an actual answer to the question.

Yeah but seriously that was the best answer.
posted by winna at 9:08 AM on March 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


I mean, you can get a kit at any big box store, and the instructions are pictograms printed on the lighter.
posted by Abon Sapi at 9:16 AM on March 28, 2015


Yeah, I don't know about using favorites as a proxy for quality;

It seems like there should be a correlation, but it's kind of like a Drake equation for favorites. There are about ten factors that when multiplied together determine favorite count for an answer. Guesses as to the value of at least five of which are probably bullshit, one's probably completely random, and one is "quality".
posted by FishBike at 9:18 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I actually find it interesting that most people are answering less than 5% of questions

Whereas my mind is blown that anyone can manage to answer 5% of them, let alone 15%!
posted by escabeche at 9:23 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like a lot of times I'm typing up an answer, even sometimes a long-ish one, than I end up not posting it because I realize I'm just parroting back something that's already been said, or I don't really know enough about the subject, or whatever.

So I flag a lot on AskMefi now. I'm tired of non-answers, or answers that don't apply based on the OP's parameters, or offhand comments that contribute nothing to answering the question. Just because you can say something, doesn't mean you should.
posted by Aranquis at 9:49 AM on March 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


I flag a lot of questions that are more or less "Here are some books I like that most people also like, what are some books that you like?" And ditto for songs, TV shows, etc. Sometimes I both flag and answer. I contain multitudes.
posted by escabeche at 9:59 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


As soon as I saw this block of text about most prolific AskMe answerers I immediately said "Ruthless Bunny" - I can read an answer and know it's her before seeing who wrote it...

Favoriting behavior is a different beast entirely and I seriously think somebody could do a PhD thesis on it. It's also different in the Green vs. the Blue. I did some very basic bean counting stuff on it in this thread but that's just scratching the surface of what is really fascinating behavior. If I had to develop a model for favorites, the inputs would be:

1. Time since original post - if you had a one variable model I'm certain this would by far be the most important input - if you want a lot of favorites, comment first

2. Number of favorites - favorites beget more favorites. The distribution has fat tails. In a 100+ comment thread, people see the comment with 50 favorites, stop to read it, nod their head, and hit the + button. If you write a wall of text buried in the middle of a long thread with 0 favorites, you're probably not getting many more.

3. Poster - some people just get more favorites than others. Obviously that's because some people write more "favoritable" comments than others, but let's say we control for comment "quality" somehow, I would argue people just like to favorite some people more than others: in other words, if we hid usernames, this effect would vanish.

Another way of thinking about this is that certain usernames, in effect, act as if the comment already had 10 favorites on it: people see a familiar user commenting, stop to read it, and favorite (either because they tend to agree with them or tend to like their style of comment).

4. Length - very short comments and very long comments attract the most favorites - the short ones are the drive-by jokes or "DTMFA" type comments (which can also be posted quickly after the initial post), the long ones are the walls of text relating some personal experience going for sidebar status...

Actual comment "quality"(however objectively that could be measured) would be fairly far down the list.

Somebody should make this model and put it on their resume and apply to statistics jobs with it because it is really fascinating stuff.

As far as "best answer" goes - a lot of people never mark it - some people mark every answer to be nice - and some people (as we all know) only mark the answers they agree with - I'd think it's a pretty useless metric.
posted by pravit at 9:59 AM on March 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I missed the metric that showed how many times I spent half an hour typing a comment, then deleting the damned thing without posting it.

Wait. I just read Aranquis' post. Never mind.
posted by mule98J at 10:00 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


yeah I do sometimes get miffed at the number of answers that read like people are using AskMe as a free-writing prompt site and not a helpful resource, but I find that's a problem observed across the whole range of answerers, not just prolific ones (I know I've been guilty of it, too.) Ruthless Bunny actually has one of the better signal:noise ratios on AskMe, IMO.
posted by kagredon at 10:09 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Great. Now I'm disappointed I don't live in a world where everyone writes like a parodic eighteenth-century blowhard and programs in Clojure.
posted by RogerB at 10:18 AM on March 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm kind of glad to know what Ruthless Bunny is only answering around 15% of the questions. If you had asked me to guess, I'd've said 80%. She must be answering the 15% of questions I am most likely to read.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:33 AM on March 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


I am 19th! (I used to be the young rope-rider).

Which makes me wonder--did you stop the clock, so to speak, for people who disabled their accounts?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:43 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Which makes me wonder--did you stop the clock, so to speak, for people who disabled their accounts?

That actually did not occur to me (unrelatedly, I somehow got the relationship between your present and your former username backwards!), though it would have made a lot of sense. It probably wouldn't be hard.
posted by kenko at 10:46 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Out of my top ten my favorited answers on Askme, most are sarcastic and full of tough love, yet not marked as best answer. Except for the over the type one about pussy.

Pretty sure I won something.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:51 AM on March 28, 2015


I am not sure what these numbers mean for me, but I do think it will alter my behavior.
posted by 724A at 11:01 AM on March 28, 2015


kenko, you got it right--I also used to be this username! :)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:02 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Right I mean I knew both those usernames were the same person, but I thought the young rope-rider was the reincarnation of internet fraud detective squad, station number 9. Maybe you are telling me that that's the case and you've just revived ifds,sn9 instead of tyr-r.
posted by kenko at 11:42 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


By a strange coincidence, I memailed Ruthless Bunny a couple days ago when I noticed I hadn't seen her in a while. She's ok! She's taking a break.
posted by phunniemee at 12:04 PM on March 28, 2015 [26 favorites]


Would it be possible to check these figures against tags or categories or some other reliable site taxonomy? I'd guess that a big chunk of answers are in response to relationship type Asks, which don't require so much specialized knowledge or field specific experience, but rather life experience, well considered, which many frequent answerers may have an abundance of.
posted by notyou at 12:08 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh no, I'm on there!
posted by rhizome at 12:21 PM on March 28, 2015


kenko your clojure is really elegant. I want to give it a hug.
posted by Kwine at 12:32 PM on March 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'd guess that a big chunk of answers are in response to relationship type Asks, which don't require so much specialized knowledge or field specific experience, but rather life experience, well considered, which many frequent answerers may have an abundance of.


Yes, and I think also those questions invite a lot of duplicate or similar answers. If someone posts about a practical problem, you're not going to get a lot of people repeating the same answer. You see that someone has answered the way you would have, and you move on. With relationship questions there often seems to be a kind of referendum going on-- "Is my girlfriend being mean to me?"-- or you feel it might help to frame the thing slightly differently. Or at least I do. I post a lot of answers that are more or less chiming in, with a little variation.
posted by BibiRose at 12:35 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks Kwine!
posted by kenko at 1:01 PM on March 28, 2015


Now I'm disappointed I don't live in a world where everyone writes like a parodic eighteenth-century blowhard ...

'Tis true! To see a significant increase in Shandyism among the scribes, nay, the bards! of metafilter would be glorious but, perhaps, distracting thing.

(I would provide more answers at Ask, but, frankly, I don't have a fucking clue.)
posted by octobersurprise at 1:34 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


A lot of questions never get a "best answer" marked at all. This one frustrates me; it made the "best of" list on the main page sidebar, but the asker didn't seem to think any of the answers were worth marking.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:38 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


but the asker didn't seem to think any of the answers were worth marking

It's important to keep in mind that another user's failure to interact with the site in the way you're inclined to isn't necessarily a rebuke of or rejection of those inclinations. Someone literally saying "none of these answers are worth marking" would be a dismissal of the answers; someone merely not marking any best answers is much more simply explained as that person not being consistently inclined to use the "best answer" functionality.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:46 PM on March 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Paragraphs are your friends.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:53 PM on March 28, 2015


Also, Sara C. hasn't been around for a while, if you notice. I miss her.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:54 PM on March 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I just came into this thread to say Ruthless Bunny is da bomb. I hope she comes back. Her advice is generally sound. Someone has to be most prolific poster and I'm glad it's her. (Of course, personal breaks are good and understandable.)
posted by quincunx at 2:07 PM on March 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


Also a RB fan. Her answers have helped me tremendously even when I haven't been the one asking the question. I hope she comes back soon!
posted by triggerfinger at 2:22 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Best Answers and favorite are both definitely pretty spotty on an individual basis—askers can mark as best stuff that's not a very good answer or ignore stuff that is, favoriters can favorite things for all kinds of reasons ranging from "this is a really helpful, on-topic answer" to "I really like the sass in this nominal-at-best excuse to be sassy", etc—but as aggregate indicators they're probably a good way to at least size up the data, yeah, so if someone feels like fiddling with that it might be interesting to look at.

I would be interested to see the number of favorites a given answer got plotted against the time between the question and answer being posted. It may be confirmation bias, but it appears to me that the first answers get a lot more favorites than later answers. I'm not sure that the distribution of "Best Answers" would show the same trend. I don't know how to extract those data, but I think it would provide some insight into mefite user behaviour on AskMe. Specifically, I think you'd find that favorites and Best Answers are actually used very differently, and that the favorite system incentivises people to answer questions quickly, while the Best Answer option incentivises people to answer questions well.
posted by kisch mokusch at 2:53 PM on March 28, 2015


Oh interesting!

So the average poster on that list answers 3.86% of questions, and for me that works out at about 3 answers a day. I don't actually consider that preposterous or symptomatic of anything except belonging to a specific type of user segment. I've been here a good while now and Metafilter is my primarily online community and Ask is my primary online hobby. I've taken a couple of breaks through the years, but I'd say that on a typical day I read every question, open 80% of them, and as mentioned, make 3 posts. I don't know if that's obsessive as much as it is merely habitual.

The only thing I've learned through regular posting here is that there is no cabal, or at least not one that has to do with those numbers. When I first signed up, I actually really did imagine there was some manner of back channel to which the secret code was "I'm a friend of Jessamyn" and all the prolific posters with lots of favourites were all friends or at least exchanging copious amounts of mail or something. But I've never exchanged email or MeMail with anyone else on that list, except for Jessamyn in her role as a mod before she retired.

I can't be bothered to be bummed about that, though, as I love Ask and its unique place on the web <3
posted by DarlingBri at 2:58 PM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


A lot of questions never get a "best answer" marked at all. This one frustrates me; it made the "best of" list on the main page sidebar, but the asker didn't seem to think any of the answers were worth marking.
posted by Chocolate Pickle


Oh sorry that was me! There was such a great response to that and I didn't really know how to pick a "best". I guess I use the best answer thing more when it's a sort of "What 1989 music video features a crocodile wearing a wizard's hat?" right/wrong situation.
posted by dontjumplarry at 3:12 PM on March 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


the other half are people who seem to have some sort of response quota to fill because they never have a fuckin' clue what they're on about.

There seems, to me, to be an element of momentum to the ones that fall into this from my perspective. They answer so many questions that they seem to be looking to see if they have something to add they feel is relevant, rather than actually leaving the questions alone where they can't actually definitively answer with knowledge (rather than anecdotes they *think* are relevant). It feels like the questions are read with a view to how they can find something to post, rather than assessing if they have the knowledge to answer the question.

It's something that's been a source of head scratching to me more than a couple of times (and independently noticed by several of my friends on here). I guess we all do it when we first get here, in the interests of trying to be helpful, but when it's ALL THE TIME it's baffling and can be annoying when it's just anec-irrelevance for the sake of an answer, which often need to be addressed/rebutted.
posted by Brockles at 3:19 PM on March 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


ardgedee: "Or just use HTML <table> -- you're allowed!"

foobar
bazbat

posted by double block and bleed at 3:35 PM on March 28, 2015


The table tags get stripped out.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2015


What 1989 music video features a crocodile wearing a wizard's hat?

Well, don't leave us hanging!
posted by desjardins at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm just happy I didn't make the list, what with being an insufferable bastard most of the time.

But still. Coast Guard, you dumbass, over-educated, hipster layabouts. Coast. Guard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:21 PM on March 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


Many of the "what bag should I get" questions bring me out to post an answer, usually the same answer, sometimes it's a solid suggestion and at other times it's dubious. I'm like a hammer - everything looks like a nail to me. Or a satchel.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:45 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are Coast Guard advertisements on our local radio and I think of you when I hear them, CPB.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:01 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


This idea that there's an identifiable set of users who go into every thread and post a bunch of irrelevant crap is so mysterious to me. That's a pattern that I have never picked up on.

Personally I think it's better to err on the side of more answers than less. The more answers you have the more probability of there being something good in there to find. And the better probability that there will be something in there you never would have thought of. That's the whole point! The less answers you get, the less you have to work with.

Sometimes I do get frustrated when it seems like people are questioning my premise without actually providing anything, but those answers are valuable too. It's healthy to have your premise questioned. The only danger is if groupthink sets in and then everyone is doing that and no one is providing concrete suggestions.
posted by bleep at 5:02 PM on March 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Personally I think it's better to err on the side of more answers than less. The more answers you have the more probability of there being something good in there to find. And the better probability that there will be something in there you never would have thought of. That's the whole point! The less answers you get, the less you have to work with.

Certainly true for many human relations questions and sometimes for various "help me understand this" questions, but I think it's less true for questions where correct answers really require some specialized knowledge, especially legal or medical knowledge.
posted by jaguar at 5:21 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


(And even then, I don't mind answers that suggest avenues for further research, but people making definitive statements about what's legal or what's wrong who have no training to be making such statements does bug me. A lot.)
posted by jaguar at 5:23 PM on March 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


I use best answers to award people who have at least tried to answer the question and shun those who are just posting to hear themselves post. So if like 70% of responses have an answer and yours does not, you should work on reading questions more carefully and responding only when you have something useful to say.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:26 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


The only thing I have specialized knowledge of is music and nothing makes me more annoyed than someone asking a very deliberately worded question like "Suggest more stoner rock bands like Fu Manchu" and the first 6 responses are "how about Amanda Palmer" "How about Bruno Mars" "Pink Floyd the wall" but then I take a deep breath and remember that it could not possibly be lower stakes and hurts nobody for the questioner to get bad advice other than the 5 seconds they might spend confusedly listening to Uptown Funk in their van.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:33 PM on March 28, 2015 [30 favorites]


MetaFilter: just posting to hear themselves post
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:45 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: just posting to hear themselves post

It's funny cos it's true
posted by MoonOrb at 5:47 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hey!
posted by The Whelk at 5:52 PM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is this thing on?

*tap tap*
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:56 PM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


the 5 seconds they might spend confusedly listening to Uptown Funk in their van.

This happened to me and it was a very terrible episode in my life. I had to eat an entire croissant and three pickles while lying on the carpet in the sun for twenty minutes to recover.

The fact that I don't even have a van made it even more hurtful.
posted by winna at 5:59 PM on March 28, 2015 [20 favorites]


I'm terrible at asking advice and then ignoring it. I didn't pick any of these cars.

What car did you get (if any), desjardins?
posted by mbrubeck at 6:41 PM on March 28, 2015


I had to eat an entire croissant and three pickles while lying on the carpet in the sun for twenty minutes

I want your life.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:41 PM on March 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I am not sure what these numbers mean for me, but I do think it will alter my behavior.

Well, I don't know if you can pass Ruthless Bunny, but I think it's a lovely goal to have. Go for it!
posted by Margalo Epps at 6:49 PM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


If one is a habitué of AskMe who devotes himself more to satisfying his own curiosity than resolving the problems facing his fellows, one is apt to find, among the ranks of those who are more helpful, that some among us dispose over a sufficiently wide-ranging expertise, or all-encompassing benevolence, that their names recur with a frequency so apparently noticeable that one's thoughts are naturally led to the question of whether the said frequency is merely apparent or is in fact real, a question to be settled not by the comparison of anecdotes and impressions, prey as all such are to the biases afflicting all finite creatures, but by the totting up and comparison of figures, which, though they be in one manner of speaking finite, admit of another view on which Plato's placement of them in the heavens, rather than under the changeable moon with ourselves, quite appropriate—and which makes it fortunate that cortex placed several useful figures in the clouds if not the heavens, so that the curious can indeed determine who the answeringest mefites are, considering the "answeringness" of a mefite to be the ratio of the number of distinct questions posted to "the green" to which the mefite has submitted at least one answer, to the total number of distinct questions posted to "the green" following the first question the said mefite answered, that question marking the mefite's first becoming active on AskMe, and excluding, as apt to be uninformative, those participants of AskMe whose first answer was posted within the last six months.

Dear AskMe, please help me diagram this sentence.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:55 PM on March 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's not so much a sentence as a work of art. I mean that as a compliment.
posted by FishBike at 7:04 PM on March 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I had to eat an entire croissant and three pickles while lying on the carpet in the sun for twenty minutes

I want your life.


The secret is to have very, very low expectations but work hard to fulfill them!
posted by winna at 7:23 PM on March 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


The secret is to have very, very low expectations but work hard to fulfill them!

I think you could start posting this as an answer to every askme question and most of the time it would be completely valid advice.

WINNA FOR ANSWERIEST USER
posted by kagredon at 7:45 PM on March 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


Next up: who are the are-we-human-or-are-we-dancerest mefites.

I really want to be in this category.
posted by curious nu at 8:04 PM on March 28, 2015


The secret is to have very, very low expectations but work hard to fulfill them!

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by arcticseal at 8:04 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think pickles in the sun is cool.
Versatile
Set the pickle for the heart of the sun
Heart of the sun.
However, pickles in the sun with sweet tea is an indication of salt and vinegar potato chip deficiency, this is were root beer becomes important. Pickles in the sun reminds me of gardens and shade trees.
posted by clavdivs at 8:12 PM on March 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Those are all trve things.
posted by winna at 9:03 PM on March 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


You can often tell when someone on MeFi has just moved halfway across the country because they post a LOT all of the sudden. Then they make friends in their new city and it tapers off.

See also: Had a baby, Started grad school, Caring for sick parent. Any life circumstance that makes people home and bored more hours than usual, and looking for social interaction.

I feel like Sherlock Holmes when I notice, "Huh, so-and-so is posting a lot, I bet they moved" and then three weeks later they're like, "Dear AskMe, I moved, where do I buy gravlax in Texas?" and I'm like, "I KNEW IT!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:07 PM on March 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


I'd be in favor of noticing the person whose answers (few or many as it may be) consistently nail the core issue and provide the information that the asker is seeking.

A Meta post consisting only of the word "Miko" would be a little thin.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:28 PM on March 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


or jbenben.
posted by Melismata at 10:33 PM on March 28, 2015


Eh, if you answer as many questions as RB has and still manage to give a best answer over 10% of the time, you're doing pretty good.
posted by LionIndex at 7:18 AM on March 29, 2015


I try to maintain at least a 2:1 favorites to comments&answers ratio across all the subsites (current ratio is 2756 favorites: 1264 comments and answers). I type and delete comments and answers a lot. I think quality from a single person is better than quantity, even if quantity from multiple people is a good thing to have in finding an answer to a question.

I hate the tendency to question the premise in AskMe because it has infected even questions where the premise doesn't really need it. In an obvious relationship situation or something where the person's health is endangered? Sure. When people ignore preferences stated in "what bike should I buy" or "what should I wear to this occasion" questions just to Question the Premise, it's really irritating. I was going to ask a "what bike should I buy" question but decided against it because I could predict all the answers ignoring my stated preferences, and to write all those Do Not Suggest notes into the question made it read kind of defensive and snarky.

I always give out Best Answers in my questions because getting a Best Answer makes me feel warm and fuzzy for days. The one situation where I didn't was because people Questioned my Premise so frustratingly (and there were deleted answers that were outright mean) that I took my Best Answer ball and went home. Still a little sore about that one.
posted by misskaz at 7:31 AM on March 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


By a strange coincidence, I memailed Ruthless Bunny a couple days ago when I noticed I hadn't seen her in a while. She's ok! She's taking a break.

Thank goodness! She's good people. And it is amazing how consistently she seems to post good answers. To the point that, if I see that she has favorited one of my answers, I think, "Oh good, I got something right!"

I will never reach this list, because, although I became a professor because of a deep intrinsic need to have everyone listen to my ideas on things, I read most AskMe questions and think, "Nah, I've really got nothing to say here."
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:38 AM on March 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Well this sucks. I cherish the illusion that no one notices me or has ever bothered to form an opinion about me.
That's partly because there was once a MetaTalk thread which was basically a shout out to people others found exemplary on AskMe (not going to link because I think its damaging). As the thread grew to hundreds of comments, with no mention of moi, I started to really rethink my participation on the site. It hit me hard because I thought I had pretty good comments:favorites:best answer stats. Then someone applied that math to the info dump and, lo and behold, I popped up pretty high in the list. I felt better.

But still, I like to think that MetaFilter at most views me with benign interest and gives me the benefit of the doubt based on nothing but my membership. I suppose I could have done without evidence that, just as in the real world, people might be cringing when my name pops up(let alone loathing me).
posted by carmicha at 8:46 AM on March 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


But still. Coast Guard, you dumbass, over-educated, hipster layabouts. Coast. Guard.

Twice in the past four months I have found myself in conversation with young people considering joining the armed forces. (One who is likely joining up within the year, another who is still in middle school but has a keen interest.) After listening attentively to their reasons, I asked, simply, "Have you considered the Coast Guard?"

I wondered if your ears were burning.

half or so of the folks on that list are incredibly insightful and always have something surprising and worthwhile to add, and the other half are people who seem to have some sort of response quota to fill because they never have a fuckin' clue what they're on about

While I am inclined to agree with this, to me it feels a bit more like the old adage that only 50% of advertising works; the hard part is figuring out which half.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:31 AM on March 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Now I want to redo this in Ruby to see who the grariest mefites on metatalk are. (Maybe this is a good excuse to learn clojure.)
posted by double block and bleed at 10:39 AM on March 29, 2015


As someone who's had several questions that didn't really get much of an answer at all, whether due to posting at the wrong time of day or just on topics that turned out to be too niche, even close-but-not-quite answers probably would've been welcome. So eh, looking at it from that point of view, I'm just happy when someone engages with my question enough to try, even if they don't quite hit the mark. (And if they are hilariously far from the mark, well, that adds some hilarity to my day—still not complaining.)

but the asker didn't seem to think any of the answers were worth marking

It's important to keep in mind that another user's failure to interact with the site in the way you're inclined to isn't necessarily a rebuke of or rejection of those inclinations. Someone literally saying "none of these answers are worth marking" would be a dismissal of the answers; someone merely not marking any best answers is much more simply explained as that person not being consistently inclined to use the "best answer" functionality.


Also, I feel like over the years I've seen this a lot, where askers will sometimes even explicitly say, "Too many great answers to choose favorites, but thank you!" So not marking best answers, yeah, doesn't necessarily mean someone isn't doing it right. Validation of one's answers is great, but one's goodwill and willingness to answer questions shouldn't be in any way contingent or dependent upon it.
posted by limeonaire at 11:37 AM on March 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


You can often tell when someone on MeFi has just moved halfway across the country because they post a LOT all of the sudden.

I actually dug through the infodumpster to figure out when I've commented the most, and it's 2008 and 2011, which were the two most stable years since I've been a member (no job change, no moves, same relationship). Perhaps stability begets boredom.
posted by desjardins at 11:41 AM on March 29, 2015


A bit tangential: The bodies of the comments are not in the Infodump, right? I looked once and couldn't find them.
posted by ignignokt at 11:55 AM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Right, just the metadata. And the Corpus stuff has aggregate word frequency data but not individual comment texts. That's just a lot more data to reproduce, though for one-off stuff you're welcome to pick my brain about running a special dump of some sort.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:22 PM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


>As someone who's had several questions that didn't really get much of an answer at all, whether due to posting at the wrong time of day or just on topics that turned out to be too niche, even close-but-not-quite answers probably would've been welcome.

Yes, I wonder if the sheer quantity of questions asked leads to prolific answerers out of a sense of niceness. I wonder if the 7 day waiting period could be extended, or if posters who ignore other parts of the website or posters who ignore anything other than their own questions could be rate limited?
posted by GregorWill at 12:40 PM on March 29, 2015

or if posters who ignore other parts of the website or posters who ignore anything other than their own questions could be rate limited?
It's been pointed out before that many posters post on AskMe pretty much exclusively, and that's fine. They're not obligated to post anywhere else. They're not "ignoring" anything.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:48 PM on March 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


But still. Coast Guard, you dumbass, over-educated, hipster layabouts. Coast. Guard.

They don't want people who take antidepressants, sadly, and yes, I checked because of you
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:21 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


As far as "best answer" goes - a lot of people never mark it - some people mark every answer to be nice - and some people (as we all know) only mark the answers they agree with - I'd think it's a pretty useless metric.

FWIW, I almost never mark best answers, just because I feel as though doing so is, well, kinda dismissive to people who took the time to write a thoughtful response but don't get marked as a best answer. The one time I did mark best answers, I felt bad because I knew as I was doing it that I was marking the ones that said basically what I wanted to hear, not what was necessarily the "best," whatever that even meant in context. I'm pretty sure that was the last time I ever marked best answers (although looking at my Asks might prove me wrong).
posted by holborne at 1:22 PM on March 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


And plenty of people over the years have noted that they have a separate login for askme because of not wanting to be identifiable to spouses or work our whatever.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:40 PM on March 29, 2015


I'd be curious to see the break down on the number of questions answered primarily with variations of:
1. DTMFA
2. See a therapist
3. See a lawyer
4. See a doctor
5. Don't eat it.
posted by space_cookie at 1:46 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I keep reading the title of this MeTa as "Who are the alswearengenest mefites?

I am kind of afraid of the answer to that one.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:52 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I see that one person who made the list has disabled their account. Hopefully it was a question of realizing they were spending too much time here, or something similarly benign. Just want to say--since I can't message them-- that I wish them well and hope they will come back if inclined.
posted by BibiRose at 3:17 PM on March 29, 2015


If it's the young rope-rider you're worried about, she has switched back to another username and is participating in this very thread!
posted by ocherdraco at 3:27 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thank you ocherdraco! It is me!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:30 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess maybe I was not meant? This is a very vague post...anyway, you can memail me if you want to!
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:09 PM on March 29, 2015


I think she was referring to how I used to go by Ruthless Bunny, but have since switched over to this account.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:11 PM on March 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


Hah! I knew it! There is a fucking cabal! Everyone is either Ruthless Bunny or Internet Fraud Detective Squad! Or both of you! You are the same person, and you are everyone else, and that is the cabal! It all makes sense now!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:18 PM on March 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


SILENCE THE OUTSIDER SHE KNOWS OUR SECRET
posted by sciatrix at 7:18 PM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


*casts wizard summoning V
01-40 whelk
41-98 mod
99-00 Beatrix Potter.
posted by clavdivs at 7:31 PM on March 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hey, what's that over there?!

*exits stage left*
posted by arcticseal at 7:36 PM on March 29, 2015


Hah! I knew it! There is a fucking cabal! Everyone is either Ruthless Bunny or Internet Fraud Detective Squad! Or both of you! You are the same person, and you are everyone else, and that is the cabal! It all makes sense now!

Wrong!

I'm Spartacus!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:27 PM on March 29, 2015


I hate the tendency to question the premise in AskMe because it has infected even questions where the premise doesn't really need it.

I agree with this, and I've found myself doing that quite a bit, so I've been making a conscious effort to stop. But sometimes, to riff on Greg Nog's example, there's a question like "how high should I turn the burner before I put my dick on the stovetop?" and then the OP gets mad at you for suggesting that perhaps putting one's dick on the stovetop isn't a wise idea. Anyway, I'm trying really hard to be better about staying out of it even in the most blatant situations. If it's really that bad, someone else will speak up...
posted by primethyme at 9:30 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be fair, it's their dick.

And hopefully their stovetop.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:33 PM on March 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Mrs. Pterodactyl - sorry I took so long to respond, irl stuff called me away before I could. It's ok, I get what you mean.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:13 PM on March 29, 2015


I am a dick, but I am not your dick
posted by kagredon at 10:56 PM on March 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is not dick advice.
posted by kisch mokusch at 3:00 AM on March 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess maybe I was not meant?

The bodies of the comments are not in the Infodump

We are all meant. There are bodies everywhere if you look around. Solvent and soluble.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:54 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are bodies everywhere if you look around. Solvent and soluble.

First, be smart from the very beginning.
posted by phunniemee at 6:56 AM on March 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sorry; I didn't mean to confuse anyone. I was referring to someone who has only the one account, that I know of. I realized belatedly that if they disabled the account because they were chagrined about their stats as revealed on the list, drawing attention to that was far from helpful and I was afraid name-checking them would just compound the problem. If anyone wants to memail me, I'll tell them who it is.
posted by BibiRose at 6:59 AM on March 30, 2015


I'll be honest, my eyes glazed over a bit at this wall of text in the OP, and I assumed it was something about french toast.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think we tend to have super-answerers that hit the site hard, post way above average and then burn out.

45moore45 is an example that comes to mind, but it seems like a typical thing. Ruthless Bunny has had the longest stretch though.
posted by mullacc at 10:04 AM on March 30, 2015


I had to admit, my first reaction to seeing this post and the table - a HUGE sigh of relief that I wasn't on it. I was really worried I would be, and I was really worried that my comments would be turned under a microscope. I've been less answery on AskMe lately, thankfully. (I'm betting that even at my most answery I wouldn't have made this list, but I always feel like I'm talking too much.) I can see why someone was made uncomfortable about this.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I guess we are still looking for where the bodies are buried, since they aren't in the Infodumpster.
posted by Michele in California at 4:05 PM on March 30, 2015


half or so of the folks on that list are incredibly insightful and always have something surprising and worthwhile to add, and the other half are people who seem to have some sort of response quota to fill because they never have a fuckin' clue what they're on about.

This is like the perfect MetaTalk version of the Apple of Discord. Well-played threeants.
posted by carsonb at 10:12 PM on March 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah that was basically a bizarre scattershot driveby attack. Ask Metafilter (and the whole site) would be a pretty impoverished place if we didn't have members who engage enthusiastically and often, as well as those who comment or post with less frequency... and despite what any one particular person might personally feel about how often other people should post or comment, the site admin / moderators have absolutely zero interest in discouraging participation outside of occasional problem interactions that have absolutely nothing to do with genuinely and generously attempting to help people in Ask Me – which accounts for almost all members who post answers there, and certainly applies to our answeringest mefites, who help to make the site a vibrant and useful resource, and whom I'd like to personally thank for their efforts.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:30 AM on March 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I see what you did there, taz.
posted by Solomon at 3:44 AM on March 31, 2015


site admin / moderators have absolutely zero interest in discouraging participation outside of occasional problem interactions that have absolutely nothing to do with genuinely and generously attempting to help people in Ask Me

Even if the people in question routinely post misleading and incorrect answers/pointless and unrelated anecdotes/noise? And double down on them when challenged? At what point does 'enthusiastically trying to be helpful' become a problem if it drifts into 'enthusiastically actively not being helpful'? I didn't think that the best of intentions was an over-riding element or requirement for Askme answers, but it feels like that, at times. I have noticed some of these non-answers have been deleted (as is stated to be the policy), but I can't help feeling that a lot are left to stand because the users are considered 'good answerers' purely on volume, even in threads when they are clearly clueless.

As I said, I think we've all done it to some extent in Askme, but most people (as a few have mentioned here) have reined in their inherent need or desire to answer with *something* rather than later evolving to being more selective and posting only 'something if it is valuable', but how does the site think it should address people that seem to post just because they feel they have something to say, rather than being actually helpful?

Genuine question. If the mods consider that to be just an unintended noise/side effect of overly-excitable answers and as such a non-issue , then that's one thing, but lets now try and pretend it doesn't happen.
posted by Brockles at 7:42 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


lets now try and pretend it doesn't happen.

...let's not try and pretend it doesn't happen. Missed the edit window.
posted by Brockles at 7:49 AM on March 31, 2015


The genuine answer is that if it's flagged and it seems like a non-answer (or haranguing or abusing the OP, or debating with other users), it's deleted, and if it seems like a possibly helpful answer it isn't. If it isn't flagged we don't necessarily see it unless we are particularly watching that thread for some reason, and "a lot are left to stand because the users are considered 'good answerers' purely on volume" just isn't how we moderate, and I can't even imagine doing it that way. There may be reasons why something that has been flagged might be left when it should have been deleted (super busy with other stuff on the site / on the fence, wanting to ask other mods what they think / not reading carefully enough in the moment) but "they answer a lot, so I'll leave it" just isn't in the mix.

Also, we are right here 24/7 if anyone has a question about why something was or wasn't deleted, and usually answer right away.
posted by taz (staff) at 8:00 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I got a comment deleted in an Ask thread where I posited that someone's cat might be a velociraptor. I am angry it was deleted because that OP is living with a potential velociraptor and now doesn't even know.

I assume it was taken out by the small but flag-happy contingent of pro-velociraptor mefites.
posted by phunniemee at 8:10 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


And double down on them when challenged?

You're not supposed to challenge answers in AskMe. Flag it and if it doesn't get deleted, email the mods.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:51 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pioted too fast - I've been flagging a lot more in AskMe recently.

I'm definitely flagging people who challenge other answers, as well as joke answers, and answers where the poster didn't read the question all the way through, are unhelpful, too screed-y, or seem to be answering from a really personal but irrelevant viewpoint.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:55 AM on March 31, 2015


You're not supposed to challenge answers in AskMe. Flag it and if it doesn't get deleted, email the mods.

That isn't always possible - the most common example is when someone with little knowledge on a topic presents an opinion as fact. Without the same knowledge on the subject the mods are unable to establish if person A or person B is the better qualified and for the sake of the question, the correct answer (and the rebuttal with proof/explanation) is a good thing. You may present Answer 2 and flag Answer 1 as noise, but how are the mods supposed to handle that without interviewing each person or researching themselves?

Often, urban myth creates these false answers that are confidently stated and to say you can't challenge them decimates the usefulness of Askme. Questioning and educating established 'wisdom' is what Askme is good at, I've always thought. In which case you *need* to leave the wrong answer up there and deconstruct it.

Of course, it's when users repeat the same kind of urban myth/anecdote based stuff as fact that the flagging issue needs to come into it more.
posted by Brockles at 10:03 AM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Quality-of-contribution is a quandary older than The Well. Commenting in a manner that you (or I) prefer happened less often is just another thread in The Glorious Tapestry, just as is the moderation policy, and constitutes the personality of the community as a whole. You have a friend who still does that thing.
posted by rhizome at 10:31 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Some thoughts on good AskMe practice:
If someone's not answering the question, or if they're being scoldy/fighty to the OP or other answerers, flag them. Squeak Attack's list of things to flag is a fine one. As an answerer, if you feel tempted to be fighty/scoldy in AskMe, close the thread. Rule of thumb: if you think the OP is an idiot or a jerk, just don't answer.

In factual questions especially, be self-reflective when answering and try to keep the signal-to-noise ratio good. We can sometimes be more helpful by not contributing, if we're really just taking a shot in the dark or replying with out-of-date info.

If someone's answering but making factual mistakes, it's fine to correct it in thread in the process of giving a better answer ("the carburetor doesn't work like that, instead it works like this, so your problem can't be the carburetor, it's probably the engine because such-and-such"), or give sources. Also the contact form can be useful in these cases, especially if the person is doubling down on wrong info.

If someone's answering a relationship question but you disagree, just give your better answer and trust that the OP can figure it out. If you've already given your answer, leave it alone, don't threadsit and respond to other people's answers. Trust that the OP will read the answers and use their judgment to ignore the bad ones. Again, if you think OP is an idiot who can't be trusted, just skip the thread.



Beyond those cases, at some point it's just a permissible difference in approach -- people in the "hey everybody give it a whirl" school and others in the "I'd rather have silence than answers that are just guessing" school. Folks swing between these poles over time, and depending on the question, and overall things balance out more or less. We all have to put up with some answers that make us roll our eyes, or people who get on our nerves but aren't strictly doing anything wrong. (Though you're always free to hit us up at the contact form about these cases -- we'll sympathize, and if it reaches critical mass we'll talk to the person privately.)

Trying to formally raise the bar further to exclude the occasional eye-roller would discourage good people from answering, and it would be a net negative for the site, IMO. Every time these criticisms come up, we hear from "good" answerers who aren't at all the focus of the complaints, feeling embarrassed or bad as if they're the ones being criticized. It's really easy for negative comments to overshoot.

As taz says, answers make the site go. We need folks to mostly feel like they can offer what they've got, and if they're a little off-track, it's all in the spirit of helpfulness and it's not the end of the world.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:54 AM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


Often, urban myth creates these false answers that are confidently stated and to say you can't challenge them decimates the usefulness of Askme

We have never said that, though. If someone challenges another answer in this way, for example: "Many people say X, but research shows Y," or "X was debunked here [LINK], or "I am a professional in Z field, and X is a common misapprehension," or "my experience with Z was not X," or similar, this is totally fine and not considered debating, arguing, or chatting (since Ask Metafilter is not a debate or chat space).

Saying something like "[Other commenter] is wrong / an idiot / stupid / sucks, etc" or "[Other commenter], you are wrong / an idiot, etc." is a problem.

If anyone has any confusion at all about this distinction, or any other worries about how to present a contradictory opinion in relation to what someone else might have posted, once again, we are here all the time, and totally willing and happy to help.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:08 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


We have never said that, though.

Er. Is Squeak Attack a mod? because that's who that post was aimed at. I didn't think it was a mod position.

It's really easy for negative comments to overshoot.
That's true, but I'm not trying to be negative. That's why I am not naming names or posting examples or going over board. It just is something that gets on my tits and this is the place to talk about it and all that.

From my perspective, it's the people that *don't* feel embarrassed or bad, yet are still causing the issue, that I'd like to maybe become aware of the trend they contribute to and just second guess themselves every now and then. The ones answering a questions out of habit rather than out of a position of knowledge, because they just keep posting because they usually have something good to say. If this thread makes them think twice even a couple of times, then that's better for everyone I feel. I'm just saying think twice, not 'stop posting answers'.

Again, I'm not necessarily advocating for a change of moderation style, just maybe double checking that this style of answering is on the Mod's radar so that people know how to flag it (and that they CAN flag it) and that when the flags come in as noise, it's understood by the mods why the flags are given.
posted by Brockles at 12:56 PM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


No, Brockles, I'm not a mod. But I am under the impression that AskMe protocol prohibits directly addressing other answers, or having a conversation with other answerers, because each answer should address the question directly.

Which is why, like Lobster Mitten says, you can correct misinformation " in the process of giving a better answer."

But you used the word "challenging" which sounds like calling other answerers out in the thread. Which I am going to flag if I see it, unless the mods establish that that's okay now.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:12 PM on March 31, 2015


"It's really easy for negative comments to overshoot."
That's true, but I'm not trying to be negative.

Sure, no, I was more referring to stuff like threeants' comment about how 'half these people are bad answerers and half are good.' That kind of comment gets misinterpreted and people often think they're the "bad" ones when they're not, so it ends up spooking people who aren't doing anything wrong at all.

(Sorry if that was confusing; I was responding to a few different things in one comment and may not have been clear about which things.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:22 PM on March 31, 2015


(And I fully agree with the rest of what you're saying.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:24 PM on March 31, 2015


But you used the word "challenging" which sounds like calling other answerers out in the thread.

The longer version of my original comment would be "Double down when those answers are challenged" so you can probably stand down, there. That context is consistent through the rest of my replies, actually. I am more than aware that users should not be challenged, but I firmly believe that incorrect answers should be accurately and efficiently challenged, which seems to be in line with the official position.

I am under the impression that AskMe protocol prohibits directly addressing other answers

This is not borne out by the two mod answers immediately preceding your comment.
posted by Brockles at 1:24 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Challenging an answer" comes in a lot of flavors, some ok and some not. I talked about that a bit in my comment above - typically in a factual question, "challenging" is ok when it involves correcting incorrect info with better info as part of an answer. I have in mind a few of the cases Brockles is talking about, which IIRC involved things like factual claims about how cars work.

In a relationship question, "challenging" often happens when people just disagree over how to interpret a situation, or that sort of thing, and that can cause exchanges where commenters are just arguing with each other in an open-ended way... that's something we want people not to do.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:29 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


IIRC involved things like factual claims about how cars work.

That's crazy talk. As IF I'd be posting in a car related thread...
posted by Brockles at 1:50 PM on March 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


Another addendum to the "challenging" thing, just while I'm thinking in general about which challengey answers I delete --

If correcting someone on a factual matter, do it in such a way that they won't feel like they need to come back and defend their honor. Saying "you're an idiot for thinking this" or whatever is just an invitation for a derail, so we'll usually delete stuff like that. Comments that provoke fightiness or grouchiness or indignation between commenters depart from the mission of getting good answers. Just sticking to the dry "answer x won't work because of y, the real answer is z and here's a source for that if you want more info, OP" goes a lot better.

And if anybody finds themselves addressing another commenter or referring to OP in third person ("Listen, cortex, you're really barking up the wrong tree, that's not what she should do"), that's a warning sign that you're no longer talking to the OP but are treating it as a general forum for discussion/debate -- which again is something we'd like people not to do.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:13 PM on March 31, 2015


I have challenged factual errors several times in Ask, and I try to be factual, calm, direct, flat, and impersonal (rather than my more usual wordy comments and conversational tone). It's really easy for me to get up in someone's face for Being Wrong On The Internet, so when I do have a factual correction, I take the moment of mentally recoiling from breaking the social taboo (of not fighting with people in Ask) to make sure I sound as much like a textbook as possible and I don't sound like I'm trying to start a fight or call someone out. Just, "Here is a piece of relevant information."

Also there are some threads in which there is clearly no point to correcting factual errors because it will only and ever start a fight. Like, it really doesn't matter how wrong someone is being in parenting threads, because unless they are advising the new parent to drop their baby off a high cliff to aid in sleep training, pointing out that sticking your fingers firmly up your baby's nose and keeping them there until they doze off is crazy-talk will JUST BRING OUT THE NOSE-FINGER DEFENSE BRIGADE.

(I mooooooostly just close those threads and move on, but I admit sometimes I can't help myself.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:33 PM on March 31, 2015


My parents dropped me off a high cliff and I turned out fine, it's totally legit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:48 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


But were you a good sleeper?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:53 PM on March 31, 2015


Yeah, I usually didn't wake up till I hit the bottom.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:00 PM on March 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


You should try a neti pot.
posted by gubenuj at 10:00 PM on March 31, 2015


♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

(To some of you. You know who you are. But special ♥ for our mods. Thank you.)

Brockles: I swear to shit, I will never talk about anti-lock brakes again.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:46 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm just relieved I didn't make the list.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:02 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the challenging thing: is it OK to challenge something that's just factually wrong, even if one doesn't have a better solution themselves?

There's a lot of questions like this one:
Q. What's the earliest example of interstellar travel in fiction?
A. From the Earth to the Moon. [several like this]

So in that example I can't answer the question, but I can point out that some other answerers have confused interplanetary and interstellar travel. Is that worth doing/acceptable?

(Or where the question is 'recommend more sf authors like Peter Watts' and someone answer Douglas Adams....).
posted by Pink Frost at 4:43 PM on April 1, 2015


Q. What's the earliest example of interstellar travel in fiction?
A. From the Earth to the Moon.


In a situation like that, people will sometimes post a neutrally-phrased clarification, e.g. "Note that the question is about interstellar, not interplanetary travel" and that's generally fine. Less good when it's phrased more like "LEARN TO READ, ASSHOLES", but that doesn't happen too much and seems to get flagged pretty quickly when it does.

Or where the question is 'recommend more sf authors like Peter Watts' and someone answer Douglas Adams...

Depending on the framing, that's trickier; there's a certain aspect of risk that comes with asking for qualitative "stuff like x" in an open forum because someone's subjective opinion can be not even in the same neighborhood as yours and still be legitimately their aesthetic opinion. Maybe there's something they see in both Adams and Watts, even if it's not a close comparison along a lot of vectors, etc. If the question's clearer about the specific qualities (rather than just categories and points of reference) they're searching for, that may be less of an issue and the lazy or off-the-wall or "I have read two SF books in my life and so I will recommend them both" sort of stuff can be more clearly not great, but it remains tougher territory than with really clearly quantitative things. So "correcting" an opinion in the absence of some sort of contribution is gonna be dicier and require a lot more care to seem like it's a productive effort to improve the thread rather than to just express ire or annoyance at other answerers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:23 PM on April 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


This thread seems like it is petering out, and I'm a MetaTalk lurker who only reads the gray in the event of insomnia, but I wanted to post a sincere thanks to a lot of the folks on this frequent-answerer list who I have learned SO MUCH from. So much. Thank you. AskMetafilter has made a really huge difference in my life -- first when I read it without having an account, and then after I signed up and took the plunge to ask some questions and answer. I rarely spend time on MetaFilter because it is too fight-y for my taste (although I did a post for #womensmarch, woo) but the Internet would be a darker, meaner, less reflective place without AskMe and the frequent answerers (as well as the less frequent answerers!) are part of what makes that true for me.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 9:25 PM on April 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


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