Request: a way to mark our questions as resolved. May 13, 2006 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I'd love to see a "conclusion" feature to many of the askme questions. For instance, even if it's months later, I could go into a question I asked and mark it "concluded" and give a quick summary of what happened when I followed the advice.

Once someone marks something "concluded" it would go to its own "conclusions" RSS feed, which we could subscribe to if we want to know "the rest of the story" on many of the questions asked.
posted by visual mechanic to Feature Requests at 9:13 AM (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I like this idea. Definitely distinct from having marked a best answer.
posted by twiggy at 9:17 AM on May 13, 2006

Especially since a lot of people obviously mark 'best answers' long before they can actually verify which answers are the best. It would be typical to see a question to the effect of 'which 10,000 page book should i start reading today?' and then see 'best answers' marked later that same day, as if the OP has actually read every book recommended in the thread, and is letting future askers of the same question know the answer for posterity. It's pretty ridiculous.
posted by bingo at 9:35 AM on May 13, 2006

Yep, good idea.
posted by jack_mo at 9:35 AM on May 13, 2006

Agree - I like it, visual mechanic.
posted by iconomy at 9:37 AM on May 13, 2006

Me too... I recently concluded my own thread about getting to Newark Airport on the cheap, and would have liked some way of alerting people to the fact that, after 2 weeks, I had the definitive answer, without making a MeTa post about it.

Of course, this comment is a good start, I guess.
posted by saladin at 9:37 AM on May 13, 2006

People have asked for this before, one idea was to tag your own questions as 'resolved'
posted by delmoi at 9:37 AM on May 13, 2006

see here.
posted by delmoi at 9:42 AM on May 13, 2006

Except those are in asking order, not resolved order. So old questions that were newly resolved are still buried in the list.
posted by smackfu at 9:43 AM on May 13, 2006

one idea was to tag your own questions as 'resolved'

But who's going to see them? There should be a separate page for "resolved questions" that lets us see the actual questions, so we can check on the ones we're interested in.
posted by languagehat at 9:49 AM on May 13, 2006

And, as smackfu says, with the most recently resolved at the top.
posted by languagehat at 9:50 AM on May 13, 2006

last month's discussion.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:50 AM on May 13, 2006

I like this idea, and I also like the idea of people coming up with creative and useful ways to make AskMe self-indexing according to usefulness. Favorites is a great example of this.
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:59 AM on May 13, 2006

Problem is, without a formal feature, most people will not know to go back and tag them resolved.

With a formal feature.. and especially a nice little message or sidebar that pops up with: "Your recent AskMe questions" and a nice little "tag resolved" button, this feature would actually get utilized enough to be much more useful than the current method (that I didn't even know about) of tagging resolved.

Basically, I like that those of us who read MeTa can come up with our own little 'hack' solutions, but because they will not become ubiquitous enough, sometimes the ones that would be really valuable ought to be formalized.
posted by twiggy at 11:01 AM on May 13, 2006

[by "pops up" I didn't mean a pop up window, by the way... just maybe something above "20 most popular tags" if you've made any AskMe posts in the last, say 60 days]
posted by twiggy at 11:02 AM on May 13, 2006

Yeah, I'm aware of the workarounds, but given the volume of questions and the small small number of "resolved" tags, I want an offical feature that makes this more common.
posted by visual mechanic at 11:15 AM on May 13, 2006

This makes sense. And it seems like it wouldn't be that difficult to implement.

I think it would improve AskMe.
posted by defenestration at 11:50 AM on May 13, 2006

Two ideas:
- an AskMefi "Resolved/Followups" sidebar
- a new AskMefi Followups category in Metatalk, or even in AskMefi.
posted by brownpau at 11:53 AM on May 13, 2006

Is this the weekend fight thread ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:10 PM on May 13, 2006

I asked about this before, but my execution of said pony request led mostly to getting mocked.
posted by SassHat at 4:32 PM on May 13, 2006

"I'd love to see a 'conclusion' feature to many of the askme questions."

What you don't want is a "conclusion" feature for all of the askme questions.

A large number of questions are resolved in the thread while they are still on the front page(sometimes within minutes of the question being posted.) Example from today - eight minutes to resolution. You don't want all those questions added to your RSS feed or sidebar do you?

So, how do you incorporate this feature into the site but have it only available on those questions that you're interested in? If you give everyone the ability to mark their question as "concluded" a lot of those "What's the title of this old movie?" type questions are going to end up in your feed/sidebar. And I don't think that's what you're after.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 5:11 PM on May 13, 2006

I think by making the "conclusion" feature voluntary on the part of the asker you'd automatically sort out the vast majority of those questions that you don't want included.

Someone who asks a question that is obviously resolved probably won't take the time to write up the resolution, especially if it took 8 minutes.
posted by visual mechanic at 6:01 PM on May 13, 2006

If this is implemented, it will take exactly 2 seconds for someone to start abusing it...
posted by SweetJesus at 8:08 PM on May 13, 2006

A statute of limitations could help prevent abuse—don't allow Conclusions until, say, 24 (48? 72?) hours after the thread was posted.
posted by cortex at 8:16 PM on May 13, 2006

Eh, you can only abuse it to the extent you have old Ask questions lying around. That's a finite resource.
posted by smackfu at 8:17 PM on May 13, 2006

If someone were to start abusing it, I have faith the community would do a good job of levying appropriate sanctions.
posted by visual mechanic at 10:41 PM on May 13, 2006

I've been trying to phrase a MetaTalk question for a while now about "closure".

I really want closure on this, and this, for a start. Also this.

Is this "concluded" the same thing? Not exactly. But I really really want to know how the stories turned out. Or should I assume by default that the questioners saw a counsellor and then dumped their significant others, because that's the default setting on Ask?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 11:06 PM on May 13, 2006

As long as we're talking about AskMe, can the (more inside) be a link? It doesn't seem immediately obvious that you click X answers for the rest of the question.
posted by ODiV at 1:11 AM on May 14, 2006

Bookmark the thread, check back every once in a while. If there's no satisfactory resolution, email the poster. if they don't have an email address, do what everone else does, start a MeTa thread, you'll get an answer, and we'll get an entertaining flame-out.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:48 AM on May 14, 2006

I, for one, welcome our alien overlords think it's a great idea.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:04 AM on May 14, 2006

The rest of the story. Closure. Yes, I have to say this could be a very welcome extension of AskMe. But what I see is that most people want this for only a small subset of questions. I think we still need to come up with some better ideas in regards to how this could be implemented.

Putting a button or link on everyone's questions that allows them to add their question to a special page or feed is going to invite inappropriate use and straight out abuse.

A time delay, as suggested by cortex, might be helpful. The page where you compose your "conclusion" would need some very clear guidelines.

Going back to my example of the software question, would it not be appropriate for the poster to come back and say, "I've been using the software for a few days now and it does everything I was looking for. Thanks!" That would be interesting to him/her and they might reasonably think it would be of interest to others.

Maybe people could flag questions with a "Needs closure" flag and only those questions that got enough such flags would get a "closure" button added for the poster?

"If someone were to start abusing it, I have faith the community would do a good job of levying appropriate sanctions."

And this is where I think your pony will die. The community has a couple of methods for policing: flagging and callouts on MetaTalk. Neither of which are very visible to other AskMe posters - so you'll have to do it over and over again. And both of which will add to the workload of the admins. The system should not rely on cleaning up the problems after the fact. It needs to be structured so that there are going to be as few problems as possible.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 9:47 AM on May 14, 2006

If this does get implemented, can it be called TellYou?
posted by jack_mo at 9:58 AM on May 14, 2006

good points, please don't let the pony die!

ok, how about a "needs closure" button and you can only add closure to your question if a week has gone by and 3 members have asked for it. then there would be little chance for abuse? and the most compelling situations would have a "rest of the story" for us.
posted by visual mechanic at 11:49 AM on May 14, 2006

mathowie: I could do this.

How about something like this:

Question gets posted, answers follow.

Some members flag the question as "Needs closure."

If there are enough flags(maybe 3 or maybe 20, this number could only be determined by matt or jessamyn and might change over time) then a message like this:

"Your question has been flagged as 'Needs closure' by other members of the AskMe community. Please bookmark this page and when you have resolved the situation please come back and tell us the rest of the story."

will appear just below the poster's original question. With the "rest of the story" being a link to a page where the poster can compose their concluding remarks.

(I think this should happen as soon as the question gets enough flags in order to alert the asker to the fact that people are interested. If it only appears after the question moves off the first page or 3 days or a week later most people will never know.)

Other members might see a message that says something like:

"This question has been flagged 'Needs closure'."

or maybe nothing.

When the asker follows the link they go to a page that will have some clear guidelines outlining what this special feature is intended for. The asker composes their reply and hits post. The answer gets appended to the question's page and notice of closure/resolution goes to the new AskMe: The Rest Of The Story page. Which, of course, will have it's own RSS feed for those that are into that sort of thing. And maybe the question gets tagged "resolved" or something.

Does that page have a list of questions as they originally appeared with links back to the"resolved" comment or does it have the comments themselves?

And the messages on the question page will dissapear or change into something like:

"This question has come to a resolution."

With "resolution" being a link to the poster's final comment.

Threads will be left open for follow up questions/remarks/congratulations/condolences/angry snarks from jealous mefites etc.

Probably does not apply to anonymous threads or threads more than 12 months old.

Just a thought.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 3:08 PM on May 14, 2006

Oh, and put the time delay on the special posting page, "Sorry, it's only been eight minutes since you asked your question..." Make 'em wait.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 3:27 PM on May 14, 2006

Thanks to this thread I just learned of the resolved tag (and used it).
posted by nadawi at 4:02 PM on May 14, 2006

I think that implementation would be just about perfect. . .
posted by visual mechanic at 4:38 PM on May 14, 2006

Maybe on any AskMe thread that's been concluded, a handy link at the end of the original question's text marked [jump to conclusion]?
posted by emelenjr at 5:12 AM on May 15, 2006

(Office Space reference aside, I'm actually serious.)
posted by emelenjr at 5:13 AM on May 15, 2006

Like nadawi, I missed the earlier discussion of the resolved tag, and have now gone and used it on the posts where it was appropriate. Thanks!
posted by yankeefog at 6:28 AM on May 15, 2006

"Needs closure" makes us all sound like insecure nutjobs. "Oh noes, I can't sleep until I know what the name of that font is from AskMe last week!"
posted by blue_beetle at 1:01 PM on May 15, 2006

As I was walking to the bus today, before seeing this thread, for a split second I was thinking, "I wonder what happened to the Ashton guy..." Does this make me an insecure nutjob? No wait, don't answer.
posted by salvia at 1:37 AM on May 17, 2006

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