Emergency Questions December 20, 2006 10:19 PM   Subscribe

AskMeFi Idea: Allow users to pay a nominal fee (e.g., $1) to post an 'emergency' question before their two weeks are up. The extra money could go towards maintenance/upgrades or whatnot, and the fact that it's not free would prevent it from being used often.
posted by fogster to Feature Requests at 10:19 PM (60 comments total)

See here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:26 PM on December 20, 2006


Oh, and here I thought it was a novel new idea of mine. (I've been kind of out of the loop lately.)
posted by fogster at 10:31 PM on December 20, 2006


No worries -- it was a recent thread. Not exactly shot down as an idea, but the possibility (to pick one) that people would say 'I paid good money for that question about naming my new ficus plant, and it was deleted! I AM ANGRY SMASH!' seems to militate against it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:42 PM on December 20, 2006


I have to admit, I'd love to see the system put in place just so I could see what constituted an "emergency" question in poster's eyes.

And forget nominal -- make it $50.
posted by tkolar at 10:53 PM on December 20, 2006


If you need to make an "Emergency AskMeFi Post", then you have a problem that AskMeFi cannot solve.
posted by wendell at 10:55 PM on December 20, 2006 [4 favorites]


I'd be interested to see these interested parties' urgent questions, too, but stav is right on about people's sense of entitlement. It'd take a bunch of the fun out everything to hear people bitching about what they should have got for their buck.
posted by cgc373 at 11:00 PM on December 20, 2006


^of^
posted by cgc373 at 11:01 PM on December 20, 2006


Dear AskMetafilter - my wife's contractions are twenty seconds apart. This will be our first child, and I need to know what to do - RIGHT NOW. Now she's fully dilated and - oh god, there really is [more inside]
posted by bunglin jones at 11:12 PM on December 20, 2006 [11 favorites]


It's two weeks now?
posted by concrete at 11:26 PM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


We already have this. Pay your $5 and get another account.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:34 PM on December 20, 2006


Dear AskMe

I just paid $1 to ask an extra question because it's an emergency! Please hope me! [more inside]

I just saw an episode of Walker: Texas Ranger and I don't know the name of the kid who has AIDS. I could Google it, I suppose, but dammit, this is an emergency!

Any and all advice appreciated.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:56 PM on December 20, 2006


I'm pretty sure that kid's name was Bruce Something, Effigy2000. But you'd have to check yourself into rehab before you could know for sure. It was the way you said "emergency." You sound, you know, desperate. Please, get help. It's not worth it!
posted by cgc373 at 12:02 AM on December 21, 2006


Hey, AskMe addiction is nothing to be taken lightly.

It needs to be brought under control before the government declares "War" on it and screws everything up!
posted by wendell at 12:05 AM on December 21, 2006


Dear AskMetafilter - my wife's contractions are twenty seconds apart. This will be our first child, and I need to know what to do - RIGHT NOW. Now she's fully dilated and - oh god, there really is [more inside]

I think you should end the relationship now. From the copious amounts of detail you provided, I can see that you both need therapy.
posted by amyms at 1:38 AM on December 21, 2006 [3 favorites]


I've suggested this before as well. I think a good solution might be to treat it as an "advance" on your next upcoming question opportunity. You're not getting an extra question, you're just getting to ask your alloted question sooner.
posted by Spike at 2:16 AM on December 21, 2006


*allotted. I'm going to bed now.
posted by Spike at 2:17 AM on December 21, 2006


Rhomboid writes 'We already have this. Pay your $5 and get another account.'

Please don't do this.
posted by blag at 3:13 AM on December 21, 2006


You don't get a croissant for this idea.
posted by public at 3:13 AM on December 21, 2006


I've never ever liked this idea. AskMe questions shouldn't be a commodity.
posted by muddgirl at 5:40 AM on December 21, 2006


I really don't get this need to ask questions so often. I like to think I have a pretty full life, while at the same time I am very clueless about a lot of things. I have a car and a computer I really don't know anything about. I just bought a townhome. I do lots of research, both for my job and hobbies. I collect almost everything under the sun. I have a digital camera I'm sure I could learn some more about. Aging parents, girlfriend, dolts at the workplace, etc. I've been able to meet most of my needs and problems by asking friends, looking on the internet, or (heaven forbid), looking in a book. If my life was so [not sure what word to use] chaotic or full of things I couldn't find out that I was worried about posting a question to a web site more often than every two weeks I'd wanna kill myself.

I guess I'm just lucky.

AskMe is a wonderful resource, and ya'll are a clever and smart bunch. All this discussion the last couple weeks has prompted me to spend more time there and try and help out, although those occasions seem few.

I think one question every two weeks should be more than enough. Email in profile if somone has an "emergency" and needs me to post a question for them.
posted by marxchivist at 6:17 AM on December 21, 2006


1) Call it Steve/Alice.
2) www.mixtape.com.
3) Dump him.
4) Doctor. STAT.
5) Dump her.
6) The Honda.
7) Don't. You('ll) look like an idiot.
8) justfuckinggoogleit.com for everything else.
posted by hangashore at 7:11 AM on December 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


"justfuckinggoogleit.com"

Brilliant.
posted by micayetoca at 7:22 AM on December 21, 2006


How 'bout people have to put down a $5000 deposit to ask their "emergency" question. If it's a legitimate question, they get $4999 back. If the answer is easily found via Google or Wikipedia, or has been asked before, they forfeit the full amount.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:29 AM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Once again DevilsAdvocate has hit the nail on the head. May I suggest www.payhangashore.com as the escrow holder and fine collector? Reasonable agency fees apply.
posted by hangashore at 7:44 AM on December 21, 2006


^of^

Nah, "have" was right. Unless this was supposed to be one of those Japanese smiley-faces of a kitten with a fork stuck in its eye.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:54 AM on December 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


Dear AskMe, I accidently shrunk the director of Roger and Me and swallowed him and now I feel him trying to scratch his way out of my stomach. I am starting to bleed rectally and the pain is overwhelming. What should I do, I can now feel him gnawing away at my fatty subdermis? Oh shit, I am bleeding everywhere! There is no longer [moore inside]
posted by Falconetti at 7:55 AM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


This seems like a good idea until you subject it to any scrutiny at all.

I'm not dissing fogster; my knee-jerk reaction was, "hey why not?".
posted by Mister_A at 9:44 AM on December 21, 2006


No kittens and no forks, nebulawindphone. I left out "of" in the phrase a bunch of the fun out [of] everything.
posted by cgc373 at 9:46 AM on December 21, 2006


How about everyone gets 1 emergency question. If you use it and its a stupid question, it'll get deleted and you no longer have an emergency question. There could even be a special 'emergency' tag or something.

But of course that will bring about a crapload more metatalk posts asking,

"Why did my emergency question get deleted?! I seriously couldn't decide which wrapping paper to use!"
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 10:11 AM on December 21, 2006


Metatalk: This seems like a good idea until you subject it to any scrutiny at all.
posted by vacapinta at 11:37 AM on December 21, 2006


Allow me to summarize:

I won't need to ask emergency questions, therefore no one will.

There's no amount of additional income to Matt that could make up for me having to see a few additional questions on Matt's website.

AskMe questions are too magical to be bought and sold like pork bellies.

People will complain if they pay and their question gets nuked, and although Matt does in fact already have a process for reviewing certain questions before they get accepted, this is...different
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:41 AM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I like the "one emergency question evah" idea Totally Zan suggests — perhaps with a "no nuke unless really really really really asinine" subclause. I think the sheer scarcity of a one-time emergency one for your entire account's life would greatly reduce the chance of misuse.
posted by WCityMike at 11:58 AM on December 21, 2006


ssF, you forgot "AskMe is the only place on the entire intarweb where I can ask questions and get reliable results. Even the slightest hint that I might ask my question on some other forum causes me great mental, spiritual, and physical anguish."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:19 PM on December 21, 2006


I still think two questions a month is better than one every 14 days. If you need to ask an "emergency question" than you just have to lose a question later. Seems like an ideal solution.

Matt seems oddly reluctant to code that up though.
posted by smackfu at 1:31 PM on December 21, 2006


What, exactly, is an "emergency question"? Could you post some examples?
posted by fandango_matt at 1:35 PM on December 21, 2006


Well, I think we should only get one question, ever. Best make it a good one.

I mean, since we're all spouting off our opinions that matt will only skim while he's working on MetaBuyMyMonkey, or whatever.
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on December 21, 2006




I still think two questions a month is better than one every 14 days. If you need to ask an "emergency question" than you just have to lose a question later. Seems like an ideal solution.

agree.
posted by fishfucker at 1:50 PM on December 21, 2006


I'm sure I'm in a minority, but I'm in favor of paying for extra questions. I think they should be $20 a question, which would deter people from asking frivolous questions but would allow them to ask time-sensitive/emergency ones if they really needed to.

Before asking a paid-for question, you'd be directed to a page that would explain that though you're paying, your question isn't privileged. It's just as likely to be deleted as the bi-weekly free questions. With that understanding, you could still go ahead and post if you wanted to.

I really don't get this need to ask questions so often.

I have an insane life (though I'm SURE I'm not alone here). I'm currently working a full-time programming job (so I have programming questions), I'm writing two books (research questions), I'm speaking at conferences (more research questions), and I run a theatre company (various random questions). I also have a personal life.

With so many work projects, AskMe is really helpful. But now that I can only ask one question a week, it's less fun. (Cue the violins.) It's less fun, because I'm also a really curious person, and I love to ask want-to-know questions: questions about science, philosophy, language, etc. I also like to ask for book, movie, music and TV recommendations. Now, once every two weeks, I must choose between a fun question and a work question.

I think the fun questions are, in general, better for the community. There are only a few people here who would benefit from the answer to some obscure Actionscript question. Whereas many people might like to know about good Jazz CDs. But given the once-every-two weeks thing, I feel bound to ask the serious work questions.

So I'd love to be able to ask fun/lifestyle questions every two weeks -- and then if a work emergency came up, I'd be wiling to pay $20 for an extra question. That price would force me to use every other resource first -- message boards, etc. But many times, AskMe has succeeded where those sources have failed. I'd hate to get stuck at work because I'd used up my one question on Jazz.

I'm fully aware that I'm just one person, and maybe I'm not a typical user. AskMe shouldn't cater to me; it should cater to the average AskMe Joe. But I wanted to throw my situation out there, because there may be more people like me here.
posted by grumblebee at 2:04 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


i'd use my emergency question to wish for more questions.
posted by sonofslim at 2:07 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


well, bee, seeing as you've averaged about .88 questions a week since the very birth of ask.me, I understand this new policy is gonna hit home. But you know, maybe.. just ... maybe ... if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

anyways, maybe now is the time to ask a question about other places to ask questions about programming, researching, and theatre -- then you'd be able to use the rest of your questions to ask fun stuff.

I hear you though -- I've often been like "should I really ask that question? What if I need to ask about something else before the week is up?" And what i usually do is *not* ask the question, but just google around for awhile -- and you know what? 99% of the time I find the information I'm looking for.

Anyways, this is what the two question a month policy is supposed to solve. You ask your Jazz question, then you got a backup if something comes up at work.
posted by fishfucker at 2:21 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'd sell my emergency question to grumblebee (for 30 bucks) after she used up her emergency question.
posted by muddgirl at 2:24 PM on December 21, 2006


grumblebee's a he, buddy.
posted by languagehat at 2:31 PM on December 21, 2006


damnit!
posted by muddgirl at 2:51 PM on December 21, 2006


averaged about .88 questions a week
See, I just don't understand how there could be that many things that you:
a) Absolutely have to know the answer to
b) Can't find out somewhere else.

I know I'm not the brightest person in the world, but the desparate need to ask all those questions baffles me.
posted by dg at 3:55 PM on December 21, 2006


Hey you guys can have my questions in return for nude photos. Nude photos of you are worth even more.
posted by Mister_A at 4:27 PM on December 21, 2006


muddgirl's a, um, girl, good buddy.
posted by megatherium at 7:51 PM on December 21, 2006


I just don't understand how there could be that many things that you:
a) Absolutely have to know the answer to
b) Can't find out somewhere else.


Curiosity. Some people just have a broad range of interests.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:24 PM on December 21, 2006


See, this whole "more questions for money" is all well and good, but if it's more than $5, what stops you/me/all-of-the-people from grabbing a new account?
posted by niles at 8:25 PM on December 21, 2006


I've actually seen it happen where someone posts to MeTa about something that they've got going on that they could totally use some help with, but they used their AskMe three days ago and ok, so it's the wrong forum, but could people maybe help out? And then some swell guy goes and posts the question on their behalf.

So, I suppose there are loopholes.

I think paying a fee would be an "I have no MeFriends/Am a Filthy n00b" tax.

i'll totally give you a dollar to be my friend.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:28 PM on December 21, 2006


Also: MetaBuyMyMonkey is the best idea ever. I would totally buy a MetaMonkey.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:30 PM on December 21, 2006


Another way to keep us po' folk down! I ain't gots no dollar!!!!
posted by The Deej at 9:53 PM on December 21, 2006


See, this whole "more questions for money" is all well and good, but if it's more than $5, what stops you/me/all-of-the-people from grabbing a new account?

the one-week delay before a new account can post?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:29 AM on December 22, 2006


muddgirl's a, um, girl, good buddy.

Hear that sound? That was a joke whizzing right over your head, son.
posted by languagehat at 5:40 AM on December 22, 2006


Buddy denotes penis?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:02 AM on December 22, 2006


I just don't understand how there could be that many things that you:
a) Absolutely have to know the answer to
b) Can't find out somewhere else.


I have a good example for you. Right now none of my family knows where my father is. Even as an extreme longshot, I'd post the question on AskMe on the off chance someone might have seen him.

The inevitable "file a missing person's report" comments are sure to follow, but I'm not sure that would be helpful. Some people with estranged families only see each other at weddings and funerals--my family doesn't get together even then. We all get along, and we'll send each other Christmas cards, but we're spread out across the country and very independent. Because of this, I have not heard from him in 4 months, but did not think it odd until my uncles and grandmother started contacting me for a working cell phone number; you see, even though I may not talk to a relative for a long time, another relative normally has (instead of a web, we form more like a loosely knotted strand).

In any case, I've digressed too much. The long and short of it is I'd pay $10 or more on the off chance someone has seen my father, since I still have to wait 6 days since my last question.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 7:06 AM on December 22, 2006


JeremiahBritt: I'd be happy to post your question for you, I'll send you an email.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:26 AM on December 22, 2006




It should be $4.99/question.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:58 PM on December 22, 2006


I have consistently laughed at the "emergency question" defense and I support the reduction to one question every two weeks. But my "check fraud" question is making me rethink it. I'm sure the answer is Googleable, but even if you disregard the fact I was freaking out, my lack of knowledge about check fraud would have made the process of finding useful information a good deal more arduous. The prompt response, number of answers, and useful information went a lot to helping me step back, calm the fuck down, and start taking useful steps to resolving the issue.

However, if I hadn't had a question available I think it would have been OK for me to create a thread in the Metatalk section asking someone to post the question for me.

So maybe it is still up for debate?
posted by schroedinger at 8:05 PM on December 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


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