Can I AskMe about my website? December 22, 2005 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Ok don't know if this is permissable...I'd like to AskMeFi about my own site, but not as self-promotion. I'd like build a shortlist of why it sucks and what I can do about it. Ok to do so?
posted by Kickstart70 to Etiquette/Policy at 3:48 PM (12 comments total)

If were to post a question asking in specific detail about things that need fixing/improving on your site, and if the site is not littered with ads or in any other way skeezy, and if you said nothing in your question to goose the sensibilities of folks likely to react badly to any hint of deceptive self-linkery, your question would likely pass without incident.

Though we'll totally be examining it in fine detail when and if you post it, now. With beady little eyes. Watching. Watching.
posted by cortex at 3:54 PM on December 22, 2005

I don't know, it's such a slippery slope. People seem to have hair-triggers about other members taking advantage of the site to bolster their traffic -- I've deleted and banned about a dozen self-linkers in the past week.

While I understand it could be helpful to get this info, I'm afraid it's so ripe for abuse. People could just throw any old page with google ads up for critque and get a bit of cash out of it. I guess I'd have to say I'm thinking no, that might not be a good use of ask mefi.

Is there anyway you can extrapolate the question without mentioning your URL, so people can share common guidelines for design advice? So, like instead of "tell me why my shopping site gets no sales" try "I'm looking for good examples of shopping experiences online"
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:57 PM on December 22, 2005

mathowie: that's really the crux of the problem. I've got the site (which was posted in Projects a while ago) and am not sure what's wrong with it in terms of user-stickiness and why people aren't participating as I thought they would. The visitor count goes up and down, but it seems like only people I know ever post on it.

I'm really not trying to get more hits by posting it, but without showing the site I can't see how to get critiques on the concept of it.

However, I'm not going to post it without admin go-ahead here, and it sounds like you have some good points (there are people less honourable than any of us who will abuse this), so I guess I'm stuck.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:04 PM on December 22, 2005

well, Kickstart, I know the site you are talking about now, and it does have multiple ads on every page.

I'd say try asking some users -- maybe do a survey or something. I bet the big thing keeping the site from getting much content is making users sign up an account. That's a huge pain for most visitors and why I basically toiled in obscurity for a year before mefi ever started to take off. It's also why the ticketstubs site kind of died after 6 months or so -- it was such a pain to signup, wait for an email authentication, then upload and post your story to be approved. It basically kept anyone from contributing. If I were to redo it today, I'd let submissions be front and center without them needing an account and they could optionally get one at the end of the process.

Also, O Canada! It's great to see some non-US folks using the long/lat.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:12 PM on December 22, 2005

Good point. I was avoiding anonymous posting because of sh*theads, but I may have to go ahead and put it in. Of course, at the same time putting together a better moderator/admin interface so that I can fix bad things as they come along. Thanks.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:15 PM on December 22, 2005

The fact that you already posted it to AskMe a couple of days ago means that, at the very least, you ought to wait a couple of weeks. Note: this isn't snark; your post was a legitimate answer to the question.

And I agree with Matt: an anonymous "open-letter" service that requires you to register with your email address first will put a lot of people off. What if you get sued and forced to hand over the email addresses/IP details of someone who posted a threatening rant?

I like the idea, though. Keep at it.
posted by blag at 4:52 PM on December 22, 2005

According to Matt, he will eventually have "comments" for MeFiProjects. Repost it then. In the mean time, follow Matt's advice above.
posted by snsranch at 5:30 PM on December 22, 2005

Yeah, this is a perfect argument for enabling comments in MefiProjects.
posted by mediareport at 9:23 PM on December 22, 2005

I'd certainly feel more positive about such an AskMetafilter question if the URL weren't live/linked. Yes, it would be a bit more work (cut and paste) for someone to actually go to the site, but it would remove the thought that the entire question was primarily to build PageRank.

And I'd be really pissed if the site asked me to register in order to see or do anything worthwhile, when I got there, if I wasn't warned in advance.
posted by WestCoaster at 10:24 PM on December 22, 2005

I was avoiding anonymous posting because of sh*theads, but I may have to go ahead and put it in.

I refuse to have any barriers to people commenting, even though I have to weed out a fair amount of spam (though not overwhelming amounts, thanks to MT-Blacklist) and I actually got in a little trouble because of an anonymous commenter. It's just such a pleasure to hear from people who just stumbled across a post and had something to say, many of whom I'm sure wouldn't have taken the trouble to register. (And I myself rarely frequent sites where I have to register, and stopped visiting BoingBoing once they disabled commenting.) If you want traffic, make it easy for people.

And if it has "multiple ads on every page," you might want to reconsider that. I reluctantly put Google text ads on my site because I'm pretty broke and every little bit helps, but ads turn people off. Again, if traffic is your priority, reconsider anything that cuts it down. Nobody likes ads.
posted by languagehat at 5:55 AM on December 23, 2005

The name might be vague / unappealing / misleading.
posted by eighth_excerpt at 7:58 PM on December 23, 2005

e_e: in what way?
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:25 PM on December 23, 2005

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