Clueing people in about the title field and RSS? April 12, 2007 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to reach these people about the tasty moral goodness of using the title field properly - BEFORE they hit the submit button? The one at a time approach seems counterintuitive.
posted by Orb2069 to Feature Requests at 9:57 AM (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Maybe a little line on the posting page asking the poster to submit a thoughtful title for the sake of RSS readers and so forth.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:04 AM on April 12, 2007


I can't see the posting page because I've used my post for the week, but the posting page should call that field "Title (for RSS readers)", and not just note in descriptive text what the title is for.
posted by mendel at 10:07 AM on April 12, 2007


There's some posting-page rework work in progress, actually, so that may help. On the other hand, I'm not sure how widespread an issue this is—neither of those linked users has made a habit of it.

But I don't read with RSS, so I'm exposed to the titles only incidentally; I might be off.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 AM on April 12, 2007


They will rue the day they tangled with the vindictive rss readers!
posted by Dave Faris at 10:13 AM on April 12, 2007


Those ones are obvious foolery; there are still a lot of people who write very cryptic titles for AskMe posts. Perhaps pointing out that clarity will help them get answers would be helpful. Though I'm also willing to concede that if people would rather be silly, the question can't be that important.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:17 AM on April 12, 2007


Both of those are massively anti-social, which isn't a great thing to do when you're asking for help. Maybe that's what the posting page should say: "Please provide an informative title. This is for the community's benefit, not yours".

Oh, and ban the fuckers.
posted by cillit bang at 10:21 AM on April 12, 2007


Yeah, I changed the MeFi posting page the past couple days and I'm working on the Ask MeFi posting page today.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:28 AM on April 12, 2007


Part of it is that the title has a subtly different purpose in MeFi and AskMe and so people who see the sillier titles in MeFi [still unuseful but not as off-putting, I think] may not realize how much people who only read AskMe via RSS rely on them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:38 AM on April 12, 2007


Both of those are massively anti-social...

I'm glad we're keeping our perspective on this.
posted by DU at 10:47 AM on April 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


man my outrage was quelled before I even got it up to full steam. Who am I going to yell at, now?!
posted by shmegegge at 11:07 AM on April 12, 2007


I'm glad we're keeping our perspective on this.
The proper perspective this sort of haughty disregard is probably a cavalier projection, you think?
posted by Wolfdog at 11:15 AM on April 12, 2007


I think funny and/or interesting titles are actually what grabs me out of my fugue state as I monitor the various MetaFeeds in a flow of Matrix-like alphanumerics. But yeah, people bitching about how they don't need to have a title should have a pointer about why it's useful
posted by Happy Dave at 11:20 AM on April 12, 2007


Since the title does not show up on this page, people who read from the web without RSS don't see the title until clicking through to the question. If titles are so useful, why aren't they on that page?

People who don't read with RSS only see the title directly above the entire question and all the answers, so it is unreasonable to expect that they would be aware some people rely on it when deciding which quesions to look at.
posted by yohko at 11:28 AM on April 12, 2007


I don't read MeFi through RSS (not a full-fledged addict yet), and so I never understood the purpose of the title field on AskMeFi, though I've always tried to make mine useful and/or interesting. Now I know why it exists. Very informative.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 12:01 PM on April 12, 2007


As a stopgap for this horrible problem, you could always modify your RSS reader to show excerpts as well as titles.
posted by antifuse at 12:06 PM on April 12, 2007


mathowie: "I changed the MeFi posting page the past couple days"

Love it. Less = more.
posted by Plutor at 12:40 PM on April 12, 2007


Easy way to fix the problem: Start printing titles on the ask.metafilter page instead of just using them for RSS. I'd bet a minority of people use RSS, and obviously the people who aren't entering good titles don't use RSS. If titles were used on the real page, too, people would not use meaningless titles as much.
posted by odinsdream at 4:02 PM on April 12, 2007


They're already on the page.
posted by puke & cry at 4:07 PM on April 12, 2007


I really don't like these headline/titles. I think it's pretty clear in the question.

Hey jerk, no it's not. Not if you use RSS to keep up to date with AskMe.
posted by scarabic at 4:49 PM on April 12, 2007


The mefi posting page says "A sample link is shown below", but there is no sample link to be found.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 5:33 PM on April 12, 2007


I never realized that the Blue used a different post page (Since I've never even attempted posting to it)

(Looks) That's exactly what I was referring to! Thank you!

And it's my first post to MetaTalk - For some reason I expected the response to be much more blanket-party like. :)
posted by Orb2069 at 5:35 PM on April 12, 2007


I actually had no idea that this had to do with RSS, and shared the confusion. It seemed completely redundant. Burhanistan's suggestion of a simple word to the wise next to the empty field would be helpful.

A lot of people still don't know from RSS.
posted by Miko at 6:32 PM on April 12, 2007


Aside: Could someone please link me to the discussion (if there was one) about why titles are included in URLs now? It's a pet peeve of mine, for reasons I can't really put into words, but maybe an explanation would make me feel better.
posted by roll truck roll at 6:50 PM on April 12, 2007


Here's the announcement, roll truck roll. I can't remember if there were followup threads in the next few days; maybe check the archive for that period.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:53 PM on April 12, 2007


Hi! Hello! Yes, I am the poster in the second link. Sorry people. I don't use/read RSS feeds. I really don't even know what they are. I'm not tech savvy. I don't have a blackberry or whatever people have. I don't have a de.li.cious account or whatever it is called. Sorry! Back off. From now on I'll give you people headlines. Damn.
posted by greta simone at 8:27 PM on April 12, 2007


Sorry! Back off. From now on I'll give you people headlines. Damn.

Your rejoinder is kind of a hostile tone, no? You've gotten plenty of answers for your questions, so be grateful and play along, yeah?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:43 PM on April 12, 2007


I am. I was just so ashamed when my dear roommate alerted me to the fact that I was meta-talked for the first time after I had already downed five margaritas on this lovely day. 'Twas a major buzzkill. I really just feel kind of sheepish about the whole thing.
posted by greta simone at 8:46 PM on April 12, 2007


Well, it really wasn't a personal meta-callout. It was a "feature request" as indicated by Orb2069 so people would know on the posting page that the title is actually useful.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:51 PM on April 12, 2007


dear greta simone,

it is often easy to confuse mefi with "serious business." please understand that this portion of the site is really best considered as the little inner whiny kid withing each of us. If you have that voice that yells "but it's not faaaaiiiirrrrr-uh!" when you don't get what you want, then this is the portion of metafilter that represents that voice on the internet. It has so little to do with individual users (most of the time) compared to those of us who are rather invested in the site just wanting to stomp and frown and let everyone know just how much less than perfect things are around here. we love metafilter, but we don't hate you is what I'm saying. Taking ANYTHING said here seriously enough to be ashamed or offended is never a good idea. When your dealing with so much kneejerk complaining, just remember that it's often more about the person complaining than the person being complained about. We come here to see if we can't reach some sort of happy medium between reality and idealism, so we all feel free to voice whatever occurs to us. But in the end, it's still just people trying to make the best of a website. No one, short of some very serious grudges that have resulted in time outs and banninations, wants to take this shit home with them and give it some serious thought. That includes someone who might call you out. Sure, they get all uppity for the amount of time it takes to type out a missive and hit post, but I doubt that many of us complain to our Significant Others or co-workers about it.

To recap, because I can't seem to be succinct nowadays: It's not you, it's the internet. If only the internet were perfect then none of us would have to be.
posted by shmegegge at 9:51 PM on April 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks cortex. This helps a lot.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:10 AM on April 13, 2007


Sorry about the misunderstanding, Greta Simone - I was completely trying to not call you out - I tried to search for even more examples, but twenty minutes of culling every thread Yahoo could find where 'RSS' was mentioned only got me one more example. I didn't post anything about it in your thread because it isn't your fault, and somebody else had already said something anyways.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:54 PM on April 14, 2007


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