I do not like green links and numbers August 29, 2007 9:32 AM   Subscribe

I think the sidebar in AskMe as currently constituted is a big fat waste of real estate.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Feature Requests at 9:32 AM (54 comments total)

Who cares what the most popular tags are? They never change. Who cares how many posts are in which categories? At best, it's a linklist to let people drill into types of posts they want to scan, but the same thing could be done in a lot less space, maybe with a "google suggests" type of input.

Instead? How about highlighting coolness in the green so the blue sidebar could highlight just blue cool? Or for the notlogged, how about ads, Matt could buy himself something nice!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:32 AM on August 29, 2007


Regarding the specific question of the sidebar on the blue—I very much like that it talks about all parts of the site. It's a sort of extra dose of visibility for cool things not happening on the front page, which is useful considering that the subsites are generally a lot less visible.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:35 AM on August 29, 2007


I use the "popular tags" to click on things that interest me. I know they never change, but I don't want them to.

But yeah, there might be a better way to do that.
posted by klangklangston at 9:37 AM on August 29, 2007


Mefites are obsessed with being recognized for coolness. I think a green highlight sidebar would be very popular.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:37 AM on August 29, 2007


Also I see the notlogged don't get anymore ads than anybody else, so forget that. But there's got to be a better use for that space.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:37 AM on August 29, 2007


People seem to like the category links a lot, it allows them to jump into similar stuff they'll like.

A big blank Google Suggest type search-as-you-type field would seem like a bigger waste of the sidebar and too confusing to the majority of people that saw it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:40 AM on August 29, 2007


But there's got to be a better use for that space.

Mock one up, and we can talk about it and maybe even test it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:42 AM on August 29, 2007


Can we put a burrito widget in there that checks your lat and lon entries in your profile to order you a delivery burrito? I ask because I really want a burrito right now.
posted by shmegegge at 9:46 AM on August 29, 2007 [8 favorites]


But there's got to be a better use for that space.

A charming patio perhaps, or a deck with jacuzzi?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:47 AM on August 29, 2007


It's a sort of extra dose of visibility for cool things not happening on the front page, which is useful considering that the subsites are generally a lot less visible.

I was under the impression that Ask.Me was actually the highest traffic part of the site? Or is it just highest post/comment count, and the overall traffic is actually lower?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:48 AM on August 29, 2007


I think the sidebar in AskMe as currently constituted is a big fat waste of real estate.

Nobody asked you.
posted by rocketman at 10:00 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


AskMe gets a pile of traffic, I think Matt put it at a bit more than 50%, but for folks who read the blue—the default view of the site, the thing that someone might reach if someone says "hey check out metafilter dot com, yeah, no, spelled just like it sounds"—it isn't necessarily visible. Certainly moreso than Metatalk or Music and such, but still. The front page as gateway to the site make sense enough that prohibiting sidebar references to other subsites, even AskMe, seems weird.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2007


shmeggege, here you go.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:12 AM on August 29, 2007


So why not just duplicate the blue sidebar on the green. That would drive traffic toward the blue, like "a sort of extra dose of visibility for cool things not happening on the front page green..."
posted by grateful at 10:18 AM on August 29, 2007


shmeggege, your so-called "wanted" burrito (if it can so be called) ignores those of us who are craving Thai food. Shame on you.
posted by boo_radley at 10:19 AM on August 29, 2007


Can I get a Pad Thai burrito? With a horchata-laced iced coffee?
posted by loquacious at 10:22 AM on August 29, 2007


So why not just duplicate the blue sidebar on the green.

Or, put a blue-heavy sidebar on the green, a green-heavy sidebar on the blue. Cross-pollination. And a popular tags list on both, if that's something people use.
posted by beagle at 10:33 AM on August 29, 2007


I use the sidebar a lot on AskMe actually but I agree the never changing tags is sort of... static. Maintaining two sidebars is probably going to be a pain (and we put MeTa stuff in the blue sidebar too) maybe we can find a way to run the sidebar both places and shrink the AskMe sidebar some. I think the category stuff is pretty darned useful but it would be interesting to run some stats and see if people use it that way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:51 AM on August 29, 2007


shmeggege, your so-called "wanted" burrito (if it can so be called) ignores those of us who are craving Thai food.

Go boil some lawn. Same difference.

Cheeseburgers anyone?

I kid, of course.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:55 AM on August 29, 2007


Brothers and Sisters, come together! Let's not fight. I just got a barbecue brisket sandwhich instead of the burrito I wanted, and I still want a burrito. In the interest of peace, why don't we just simplify matters and all agree that burritos are the way to go and Thai food is for suckers.
posted by shmegegge at 11:02 AM on August 29, 2007


I vote for a 'best of trainwrecks' area.
posted by Malor at 11:12 AM on August 29, 2007


(and no, that was not a serious comment. :-) )
posted by Malor at 11:20 AM on August 29, 2007


The sidebar seems oriented towards the month, which seems long ago, almost forever in computer time. Perhaps make the top most popular tags of the week and only list the top 5 or 10. Or the top tags of the day, then the week.

I love the archive links on the homepage, how about putting archive links for the top tags i.e "5, 4, 3, 2, 1 years in music"?

I do not think the mods should be listing intersting AskMefi questions 'cause it's subjective and can't you already hear the MetaTalk posts about why X was highlighted but Y wasn't?

Those questions with best answers might be interesting, as it promises an "end" i.e. the reader can read the question knowing they'll reach the "happy ending".

and there's always the old standby: The top 5 most commented askmefi questions today.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on August 29, 2007


drop down menu that lets you select the food you want to order? perhaps kind ajaxy with submenus that let you tunnel down by ethnicity etc?
posted by andrew cooke at 11:21 AM on August 29, 2007


ooh, a seamlessweb widget!
posted by shmegegge at 11:26 AM on August 29, 2007


I think the sidebar in AskMe as currently constituted is a big fat extremely tiny waste of real estate.

There, I fixed that for you. What, are you running at 640x480?
posted by Plutor at 11:33 AM on August 29, 2007


shmegegge, the mister and I were *just* talking about a mobile app for Chipotle that would save your last 3 orders as "favorites" so that you could re-order them quickly from your phone - please include this type of functionality in your MetaBurrito mock up.
posted by ersatzkat at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2007


"So why not just duplicate the blue sidebar on the green. That would drive traffic toward the blue..."

I second that idea. I'd like to see more people come to the blue from the green.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:43 AM on August 29, 2007


my burrito widget is delivering pizza instead. please fix. firefox 2.0.0.6 on WinXP SP2.
posted by quonsar at 11:44 AM on August 29, 2007


How about adding a del.icio.us style tag entry field, so you can jump to a tag? No good way to do that now.
posted by smackfu at 11:47 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


How about adding a del.icio.us style tag entry field, so you can jump to a tag? No good way to do that now.

That's a really good idea, the main reason I like having the tags there is because I click on one and then change "music" or whatever to the tag I really want.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:51 AM on August 29, 2007


I like the idea of a "what's going on in other parts of MeFi" sidebar featuring content from everywhere BUT the subsite you're looking at.

Also, it should have AJAX, and possibly Web 2.1, can you make it shiny?
posted by blue_beetle at 11:55 AM on August 29, 2007


"I like the idea of a "what's going on in other parts of MeFi" sidebar featuring content from everywhere BUT the subsite you're looking at."

Not hard to code, either, as you just make a general "sidebar-this" admin gizmo, and then for each subsite filter out those entries which originate from that particular subsite.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:00 PM on August 29, 2007


Is creating one more MeTa thread really the best way to save space on the site?
posted by The World Famous at 12:09 PM on August 29, 2007


Using AskMe sidebar for the category listing and quick links to the most popular tags is perfectly sensible, and I use these features a lot. I think Flanders's callout, whilst sexy, is, well, you know. Anyway, I vote for NOT BROKEN, DO NOT FIX. And some more of the green habaƱero sauce on that burrito, please.
posted by nowonmai at 12:12 PM on August 29, 2007


But there's got to be a better use for that space.

Mock one up, and we can talk about it and maybe even test it.


There seems to be general consensus that something like this would be an improvement.
posted by scottreynen at 12:19 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I distinctly asked for the green sauce.
posted by nowonmai at 12:25 PM on August 29, 2007


What you apparently don't realize is that the sidebars, along with a lot of other MeFi real estate was financed with subprime ARMs that are going to be reset in the next couple months, afterwhich foreclosure is likely. To acquire these properties afterwards will require at least 40% down and a four-digit credit score. Very few persons associated with this site would have the financial wherewithal to pull it off (so far, I've only identified three: Woz, anildash and MidasMulligan). So expect some sidebar changes in the near future, where you want them or not.
posted by wendell at 12:32 PM on August 29, 2007


Or Matt could sell the AskMe sidebar to CKE Restaurants, which will put a Green Burrito there.
posted by wendell at 12:35 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I updated the ask mefi search page, so you can search tags and posts now, using an internal search and not just yahoo/google.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


Enough of the eternal craving for spicy foods! Flowers are what is needed on all the MetaSites.
posted by Cranberry at 1:03 PM on August 29, 2007


I like the popular topics tags. As a newish reader, they let me know there was more to explore.
posted by Riverine at 1:08 PM on August 29, 2007


I agree.
posted by terrapin at 3:49 PM on August 29, 2007


"... I updated the ask mefi search page, so you can search tags and posts now, using an internal search and not just yahoo/google."
posted by mathowie at 3:44 PM on August 29 [+] [!]

Thankee, kindly, #1. High freakin' time.

IME, MeFi and, more particularly, AskMe tags are much worse than useless. As in, worse than a complete waste of time, going towards a positive confoundment, for 90% of inquiries I have. I haven't made a single click in the tag bar in more than a year. I could care less what's popular in AskMe (what's the point of "popular" tags in a custom question environment, I wonder?) As far as I can see, AskMe's whole point is answering specifics, not in averaging the past.

As a strategy, search is godawful, but it is about 70x better than this site's folksonomy.
posted by paulsc at 3:51 PM on August 29, 2007


< broken record>
I would looooove if the sidebar was a workable index, so I could more easily search for doubles before I post, and more easily use AskMe as a reference. I've posted this before, but I think this advice site while clunky, is more easy to access as a reference, and could provide some ideas for how to index askme.
< /broken record>
posted by serazin at 5:07 PM on August 29, 2007


serazin, I know the Berkeley Parents Network is super useful and a great community but that page you linked is a nightmare to read or to try and extract any useful information about. How on earth would you envision a metafilter version of that page working, or being useful to anyone that can read 5,000 links in 8 pixel fonts?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:33 PM on August 29, 2007


Ha ha ha! Well put!

Well, my vision would be a list of topics (perhaps just the catagory system already in place) and a list of subtopics under each catagory (fewer than they list, but using the same general principle) so that you could simply click "Should I eat this?" or "should I break up with my girlfriend/boyfriend" and recieve all the questions related to that topic.

This would require retroactive taging (I'll volunteer to help) and wouldn't be a perfect solution, but it would be something. At this point, I barely even try to find old questions before I post a new one because they've been so hard to search. (Hopefully your recent search improvement will help.)

As for BPL, their main page is better. It lists fewer catagories, and clicking on a link leads you to another menu that has more detail.
posted by serazin at 5:46 PM on August 29, 2007


IME, MeFi and, more particularly, AskMe tags are much worse than useless.

I use them all the time. I've avoided asking at least half-a-dozen redundant questions because I found what I needed using the tags. Maybe you're just bad at using them.
posted by mullacc at 6:35 PM on August 29, 2007




Sheeeeez, you wanna burrito? If you're anywhere near south Jersey, log onto burrito.nyc.us.gov, and you'll have an honest-to-gosh west coast burrito in your hands in minutes.
posted by duende at 12:45 AM on August 30, 2007


Not sure how to implement this, exactly, but I think someway of highlighting un-answered questions might be useful.
posted by empath at 1:45 PM on August 30, 2007


Not sure how to implement this, exactly, but I think someway of highlighting un-answered questions might be useful.

This would be pretty easy. Just give all questions with a comment count of 0 the added class "unanswered" and choose relevant color scheme.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:00 PM on August 30, 2007


empath, check out the unanswered tab on the front page of the green.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:09 PM on August 30, 2007


I like this idea. I rarely go to the blue and I have always wished the green sidebar had the cool stuff, too.
posted by exceptinsects at 8:59 AM on August 31, 2007


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