Can we add a note to AskMe to mention your location where appropriate? April 26, 2007 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I've noticed quite a few times people will ask questions over on AskMe about laws or rules about say, taxes or renting an apartment or consumer rights, etc., but frequently forget to mention where specifically they are living, which can make the question very difficult to answer until further info is obtained. Can we add in a note to the AskMe posting page (just like the one that says "Have you searched Google?" etc) saying something to the effect of "Have you mentioned where you live, if it is a question about the law, your rights, etc?"
posted by modernnomad to Feature Requests at 1:57 PM (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Don't answer unanswerable questions. Those kinds of mangled queries are also usually abandoned by the asker rather quickly, which doubles the frustration level.
posted by popechunk at 2:06 PM on April 26, 2007

posted by Mister_A at 2:23 PM on April 26, 2007

Thanks Mister_A. Any reason?
posted by modernnomad at 2:31 PM on April 26, 2007

I think it's safe to assume that everyone on MetaFilter is at least an hour's distance from Washington, DC.
posted by parmanparman at 2:33 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Nice idea, modernnomad. I'd even go so far as an optional text entry box for city & country. (or would it be better in the title, to aid in scanning?)
posted by Busy Old Fool at 2:36 PM on April 26, 2007

And perhaps a reminder that they may not have added their email to their profile?
posted by filmgeek at 2:41 PM on April 26, 2007

Its a good idea, but there is no end of similar situational information that would be useful.

"Have you mentioned where your age, pre-existing conditions, and other relevant patient history, if it is a question about health, illness, etc?"

"Have you mentioned your gender, orientation, and marital status, if it is a question about the relationships, etc?"

"Have you mentioned your domestic situation, filing status, income, and where you live, if it is a question about taxes, etc?"

"Have you mentioned whether yuo've ever been in therapy, if its about anything personal or relationship-oriented?"

I'm not trying to be snarky. But before we do this for questions about laws, there are some other areas that could benefit from simlar advice.
posted by googly at 2:47 PM on April 26, 2007

How about something general like:
Note: You can get better, quicker answers if you include as many relevant details (location, gender etc.) as possible.

Throw something like that next to the "more inside" box so you aren't encouraging more front page space use maybe.
posted by juv3nal at 3:27 PM on April 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

what googly said.
posted by shmegegge at 3:27 PM on April 26, 2007

and also maybe what juv3nal said.
posted by shmegegge at 3:27 PM on April 26, 2007

A lot of members have location information in their profile. You'll see in questions like this answers that say "I see from your profile that you live in Uganda."

If that info isn't in their profile you'll see answers like this: "I can't tell from your question or profile where you live. I need more info before I can answer the question."

In other words, it's a self-correcting problem. Hopefully the poster will eventually figure out that more detail (whether it be in the profile or the question) yields more answers.
posted by Brittanie at 3:30 PM on April 26, 2007

I just assume everyone is living in the Armenian quarter of the old city in Jerusalem.
Keeps things simple.
posted by signal at 3:31 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh and to tack on to what googly said, what bugs me is computer questions that don't mention what operating system. grrr.
posted by juv3nal at 3:33 PM on April 26, 2007

I think juv3nal is on the right track. A single-sentence, all purpose suggestion for including relevant details wouldn't hurt.
posted by googly at 4:04 PM on April 26, 2007

I added a sentence to the posting page. Anyone want to help revise it?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:01 PM on April 26, 2007

While we're at it, people who post "I don't like my job, what should I do" should be required to answer the question "What do you like to do?".
posted by mendel at 5:50 PM on April 26, 2007

The sentence looks good. My only suggestion is something along the lines of:

"Please try to include all details that will be relevant to someone trying to answer your question. For example, for computer-related questions, include hardware and operating systems; for tax and legal questions, include location; and so forth."

Or something like that.
posted by googly at 6:15 PM on April 26, 2007

Wouldn't it be better if we just accepted answers for every possible jurisdiction? That way AskMe would be useful to everyone on the planet, not just people living in a certain geographic areas.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:29 PM on April 26, 2007

I think you're missing the point, blue_beetle. The idea isn't to exclude answers from different regions, it's to get as many specifics from the asker so as to better answer their question.
posted by puke & cry at 7:38 PM on April 26, 2007

Someone in the question always points out that having the location would help, and then they provide it. It's a very efficient system.

Now people will just bitch that no one reads the posting page, which is already a well known fact.
posted by smackfu at 7:52 PM on April 26, 2007

Prompting for location would be nice. The default assumption seems to be that the poster is from the US if no location is given. (However, I think this assumption usually turns out to be true, since people from other regions seem to more often note their location. But perhaps that's just my research bias.)
posted by acoutu at 10:34 PM on April 26, 2007

I was really hoping for an accept evolution/deny evolution required field, so we know whether faerie dust and UFOs are possible solutions to the OP's question.

Just trying to help.
posted by dreamsign at 1:07 AM on April 27, 2007

And oh yeah, while you're at it: If you're asking for help with your computer or software recommendations, please state which OS you're using.
posted by ardgedee at 4:34 AM on April 27, 2007

Please try to include all details that will be relevant to someone trying to answer your question such as your location, operating system, gender or food allergies.

Food allergies?

Also, why's it at the top by the search boxes rather than by the more inside box?
posted by cillit bang at 4:41 AM on April 27, 2007

I'd like to see a question that requires all of the information: location, operating system, gender AND food allergies.

I agree with cillit bang that it could have a better placement, but it's a good generalized sentence. I don't see this as a big enough problem to be worth any additional effort right now, but if people continue not to include relevant information, perhaps more specific suggestions based on the category they choose?
posted by solotoro at 5:03 AM on April 27, 2007

I can move the placement, it just replaced the tax notation that was there. Food allergies was a holding space for anything other people thought was more germane. I'll remove it and move the box down some.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:08 AM on April 27, 2007

I can't see what the addition looks like as I have already asked a question this week, but having a generalised sentence is fine be me. Having it next to the more inside box is also a good idea.

The inclusion of food allergies made me laugh though. Is that a common thing that people forget mention?

Thanks to everyone for the ideas and refinement -- while it is a self-correcting problem in the sense that people will prompt the questioner for information, I think it is good to try and reduce the problem to begin with through a gentle reminder. Similarly, failure to google is a self-correcting problem, but one that is still worth trying to avoid.
posted by modernnomad at 7:13 AM on April 27, 2007

The above comments are what I meant by "No", modernnomad. :->
posted by Mister_A at 8:08 AM on April 27, 2007

That looks like a wang more than a smiley. I stand by it.
posted by Mister_A at 8:08 AM on April 27, 2007

If you can stand next to your own wang, my hat is off to you sir.
posted by modernnomad at 9:31 AM on April 27, 2007

Metatalk: I stand by my wang.
posted by quin at 1:36 PM on April 27, 2007

I don't think people should be asking legal questions, period.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:51 PM on April 29, 2007

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