Two weeks are better than one (in this case) March 29, 2008 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Man, the green has been busy lately - so much so that it's really hard to keep up. How about going back to the 14-day wait between questions?
posted by jbickers to Feature Requests at 5:20 PM (82 comments total)

In the name of all that is good and holy, no.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 5:24 PM on March 29, 2008


To be more specific, I know I've had multiple time-sensitive AskMes, and I've seen quite a few. This is my anti-pony.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 5:27 PM on March 29, 2008


Just takin' a peek, here, but you haven't always waited 14 days between your own questions. You sure you want this?
posted by katillathehun at 5:27 PM on March 29, 2008


I think we've tried both 1 week and 2 weeks, and it was a lot less mental baggage to allow one per week. A vast majority of people seem fine with being limited to doing something once a week, but once every two weeks drove people (even including me) batty because it was kind of beyond a normal attention span. I would constantly forget that I asked something 11 days ago and forget when I could ask again.

We're working on a new feature to look at the last three days worth of questions (a number in the 200-300 range) that comes up with those that match somewhat closely with the things you have answered in the past (it scores the categories and tags on things you've both asked and answered as well as the things you marked as a favorite). We should have something to show next week on that.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:29 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I rather like that it has been busy. Of course I suffer from an unconfirmed case of metaphelia. I am not the common metapheliac because I tend to lurk more than participate.

damned social anxiety...
posted by meeshell at 5:30 PM on March 29, 2008


please no, my own questions tend to come in spurts so to speak. not that I even ask them all.
posted by dawson at 5:31 PM on March 29, 2008


Matt is correct. Changing it back to two weeks would just mean that MeTa would get busier again with dozens of "I can't wait two weeks between questions, please change it back to 1 week" threads.

One suggestion is that you could modify your browsing techniques on AskMe, such as subscribing to the individual RSS feeds only for questions tagged with topics you like reading about or helping out on. It'll make things easier for you, the mods and those precious little flowers who simply must ask a question every week lest their lives fall into ruin.

mathowie: "We're working on a new feature to look at the last three days worth of questions (a number in the 200-300 range) that comes up with those that match somewhat closely with the things you have answered in the past (it scores the categories and tags on things you've both asked and answered as well as the things you marked as a favorite). We should have something to show next week on that."

Cool!
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:33 PM on March 29, 2008


Didn't the one week trial a while ago make very little difference in volume anyway? So no point changing things, it annoys people without even solving the perceived problem.
posted by shelleycat at 5:41 PM on March 29, 2008


People are too needy to wait two weeks.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:55 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, what shelleycat said. Isn't it only a very small percentage of askers who ask more than once a week? If so, limiting to two weeks isn't going to do anything useful. Besides, the long slow increase in the number of questions posted isn't going away; it's almost certainly going to keep increasing as long as the site's around. *shrug* Get used to it now.

I still find it pretty easy to make time to browse back to the last question I saw, even if it's been 2-4 days since I checked the site. But I stopped reading all the questions long ago; I just skim the first few words and move on if it doesn't grab me.

I don't think I'll use the upcoming "match categories/tags" feature very much (although it seems worth implementing); one of the things I like best about AskMe is the surprises I find and new subjects I learn about. Just browsing questions that match my previous answers' categories or tags isn't going to give me the same experience. I'll just have to skim faster or accept that I'll miss lots of questions. Life goes on.
posted by mediareport at 6:06 PM on March 29, 2008


I think this is only a problem if you feel compelled to read every thread. I'm interested in one in ten questions on a good day, so it's a non-issue to me. I'm guessing one-in-ten is about average for most of us, though (one would hope) it's not the same one in ten for everybody. I'd even go so far as to say one question a week is an unnecessary limitation re: the readability of AskMe, though it's probably a quite necessary limitation re: allowing jessamyn to have a life.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:21 PM on March 29, 2008


The solution is to read faster.
posted by smackfu at 6:22 PM on March 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


I would like the abililty to expand the number of questions I see from the current number that appear now, to 25 on a page, to 50 on a page. This would be enough to blow my mind and isn't that what everyone needs now and then, a good mind-blowing?

The idea of doing a bunch of meta-search stuff is appealing, too, but I would like the ability to list a whole long spool of relationshipfilter to my browser window.

Thank you.
posted by disclaimer at 6:22 PM on March 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


Short answer. No.
posted by puke & cry at 6:33 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This seems akin to asking your local library to buy fewer new books*. You don't have to read them all.

*Except that books cost money
posted by ssg at 6:45 PM on March 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Stop trying to control things in your life that don't really matter and focus on things that will truly make you happier.
posted by mimo at 6:54 PM on March 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


We're working on a new feature to look at the last three days worth of questions (a number in the 200-300 range) that comes up with those that match somewhat closely with the things you have answered in the past (it scores the categories and tags on things you've both asked and answered as well as the things you marked as a favorite). We should have something to show next week on that.

That sounds awesome. Thanks, Matt!
posted by jbickers at 7:16 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Alternative solution. Just read it once every two weeks.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:21 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can always ask your question over at Yahoo! Answers if you have something that just can't wait.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:38 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Once a month, or three times a quarter.
posted by Eideteker at 8:14 PM on March 29, 2008


"We're working on a new feature to look at the last three days worth of questions (a number in the 200-300 range) that comes up with those that match somewhat closely with the things you have answered in the past (it scores the categories and tags on things you've both asked and answered as well as the things you marked as a favorite). We should have something to show next week on that."

OK, so mathowie said it, and at least two of you are excited about it, but I personally have no clue what this means and how it might be better for me or better for other than the three mentioned above? I really would rather not wait 7 days, let alone 14 days to find out anything, let alone the answer to my question above.
posted by LiveLurker at 8:15 PM on March 29, 2008


One suggestion is that you could modify your browsing techniques on AskMe, such as subscribing to the individual RSS feeds only for questions tagged with topics you like reading about or helping out on.

This is how I read AskMe and it works pretty well for me.

And if you cut out the Computers/Internet feed, you've already reduced the volume by half, which should make it manageable.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:19 PM on March 29, 2008


Wait... there's an "Ask MetaFilter" thingie? I'll be right back.
posted by not_on_display at 8:36 PM on March 29, 2008


OK, so mathowie said it, and at least two of you are excited about it, but I personally have no clue what this means and how it might be better for me or better for other than the three mentioned above? I really would rather not wait 7 days, let alone 14 days to find out anything, let alone the answer to my question above.

It's an extra way to check for content on the site, aimed specifically at the idea (which came up a week or so ago, I think) that catchup up on AskMe after a week or two away is daunting for the completist reader. It's better for you than the current state of not having the feature if and only if you're interested in having a recommendation-engine style index of stuff that seems to match your existing Askme commenting/favoriting interests. If that doesn't sound appealing to you, don't worry about it and nothing has changed. It has nothing to do with a 7 vs. 14 day question limit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:55 PM on March 29, 2008


I've had to wean myself off of reading every question in AskMe. I feel bad about that, since there's a chance I could miss the opportunity to help someone. Worse, I might miss the opportunity to learn something.
posted by SPrintF at 8:56 PM on March 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find AskMe easy to keep up with because of all the questions posted in a day, maybe 2-5 actually interest me. I can scroll through everything else quite quickly.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:59 PM on March 29, 2008


Are there peopel who ask questions every 7 days on the dot? That seems... odd.
posted by Artw at 9:08 PM on March 29, 2008


We're working on a new feature to look at the last three days worth of questions (a number in the 200-300 range) that comes up with those that match somewhat closely with the things you have answered in the past

This is the pony I asked for a week or so back right? Sweet! Looking forward to it.
posted by Happy Dave at 9:10 PM on March 29, 2008


Wait, social anxiety extends to the Internet, even?

Oh, and I'm for limiting AskMe to once a month.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:41 PM on March 29, 2008


As others have hinted above, this is not the solution. It frustrates people who have an occasional need without significantly affecting the overall traffic.

Annoying everybody while doing little to solve the actual problem reminds me of how bad security policies are implemented.

There are two reasons why one might want less traffic on ask metafilter:

1) You enjoy reading it and feel overwhelmed.
This is not Ask Metafilter's problem, though. This is yours. Its like saying: There's too many interesting weblogs out there and I can't keep up on my RSS reader. The answer is not: Let's cut down on the amount of interesting content.

2) With an overwhelming amount of questions, the people best able to answer a specific type of question may not see it.
This is valid. But I'm guessing thats the type of feature Matt is hinting at above. He's not trying to limit the breadth of your ask metafilter experience but rather make sure that the types of questions you are good at answering get highlighted for you.
posted by vacapinta at 10:08 PM on March 29, 2008


Wait... there's an "Ask MetaFilter" thingie? I'll be right back.

Ditto.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:10 PM on March 29, 2008


One question a month. One additional question for $5. A third question for $10. No fourth question. Or not. In truth I don't think this is fixable.
posted by LarryC at 10:13 PM on March 29, 2008


Wait... there's an "Ask MetaFilter" thingie? I'll be right back.

Oh WOW! You're such a hardcore, dedicated, old-school MeFite that you don't read AskMe, I'm so impressed, please let me be more like you!!!!

Ahem.

Strongly oppose reintroduction of the two-week time limit. The only people in support of it seem to be the "people need to get a life" crowd, which to me doesn't seem like a good reason to make policy decisions.
posted by !Jim at 10:51 PM on March 29, 2008


I think we've tried both 1 week and 2 weeks, and it was a lot less mental baggage to allow one per week. A vast majority of people seem fine with being limited to doing something once a week, but once every two weeks drove people (even including me) batty because it was kind of beyond a normal attention span.

I think the best way to manage questions is to give people a fixed number per year (like 12?). Yes, there are some issues, but all of them can be easily worked around (1 per week/month/whatever in your first year, your yearly allotment renews on your sign up date). Of course we've been over that territory before, so... :P
posted by Chuckles at 10:52 PM on March 29, 2008


One way to fix this is to only let me ask questions, and everyone else can answer them. I've got tons of great questions, but I promise to stretch them out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:44 AM on March 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd really like the option to filter geographically based on my location so I wouldn't see the "find me a lawyer in chicago" posts.
That would reduce desinformation clutter quite a bit.
posted by jouke at 12:51 AM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd really like the option to filter geographically based on my location so I wouldn't see the "find me a lawyer in chicago" posts.

Understandable, but limiting. What if you use to live in Chicago? What if you don't live there, but your best friend, a paralegal does? To limit by geographic area sounds nice, but IMHO, goes against the idea of the web being geographically free.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:16 AM on March 30, 2008


I find AskMe easy to keep up with because of all the questions posted in a day, maybe 2-5 actually interest me. I can scroll through everything else quite quickly.

Yup. Why would anyone want to read every single question?
posted by languagehat at 5:36 AM on March 30, 2008


I agree with Brandon Blatcher. I used to live in Chicago. I recently answered a question about blues players. And I like to see questions from other geographic regions because I might travel there someday.

I was thinking the other day that there aren't enough questions on AskMe, because like many people, I only read the ones that interest me and skip over the others.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:43 AM on March 30, 2008


Once every week or two? No way.

Once in a lifetime. Same as it ever was!
posted by breezeway at 6:51 AM on March 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the best way to manage questions is to give people a fixed number per year (like 12?). Yes, there are some issues, but all of them can be easily worked around (1 per week/month/whatever in your first year, your yearly allotment renews on your sign up date).

This is a pretty good idea. There's something to be said for having less content. When there is less to browse, I mull over individual items a little more, I might return a day or two later. If there's a lot of data coming in, the tempo gets too fast to bother with. It's like a drum beating, now, now, now, now (but quicker). Also, all of us have accumulated information outside our areas of expertise, but if we only read questions in a couple of topics because of lack of time, then we don't notice the odd question that we do know the answer to.

Can't imagine it will ever happen, but I think it would be an improvement.
posted by BigSky at 7:03 AM on March 30, 2008


How many members have posted to AskMe 52 times in the past year, or even 26 times in the past year? My suspicion is that this is a pretty small number. Don't we have the data available to check this? I'm OK with being proven wrong, but I'm pretty sure I won't be. :-)

If the flood of AskMe questions is due to some 60k people asking an average of, say, 6 questions each a year, reducing the number of times any member can ask a question isn't going to do much at all to reduce total volume. You're putting a choke on the wrong part of the system.

Some central changes to help make the site more sortable and readable, like the pending recommendation pony Matt describes, and the use of whatever Greasemonkey scripts people can put together, would probably do more to make the reading and answering process smoother. And let people choose to filter geographically or not. They might miss something they could answer occasionally, but on the other hand, they may be less likely to get burnt out by AskMe volume. They'd answer even fewer questions if they went away, right?
posted by maudlin at 7:10 AM on March 30, 2008


The only people in support of it seem to be the "people need to get a life" crowd, which to me doesn't seem like a good reason to make policy decisions.

Simply not true. The greater the volume of questions on the green, the greater the chance that someone who has the perfect answer to a question will not see said question. But again, sounds like Matt's project-in-the-works alleviates that. Rock on.
posted by jbickers at 8:11 AM on March 30, 2008


How many members have posted to AskMe 52 times in the past year, or even 26 times in the past year?

Someone crunched those numbers in one of the many previous threads on this subject. It'd be cool to see them currently (and even the one-a-month numbers), if anyone's in a data-mining mood.
posted by mediareport at 8:31 AM on March 30, 2008


Brandon Blatcher Understandable, but limiting. What if you use to live in Chicago? What if you don't live there, but your best friend, a paralegal does? To limit by geographic area sounds nice, but IMHO, goes against the idea of the web being geographically free.

People could choose preferences: no geographical filtering, filtering by these (plural) locations. Your own location being one.
We're talking about a filtering view on one website. That's comparable to searching on the internet. Both are by definition limiting, optional and customisable. Google offers preferences to search by language and by country. So I think your argument by "the idea of the web being geographically free" does not hold water.
posted by jouke at 8:57 AM on March 30, 2008


I am consistently surprised and amazed at just how many quality answers end up being given even to really obscure questions and I'm pretty convinced that the quantity of questions is not a problem. I happily anticipate Matt's new project which will make things even better, I think.
posted by LeeJay at 8:57 AM on March 30, 2008


!Jim writes "Oh WOW! You're such a hardcore, dedicated, old-school MeFite that you don't read AskMe, I'm so impressed, please let me be more like you!!!! "

Both those guys have 60K+ userIDs.

languagehat writes "Why would anyone want to read every single question?"

Isn't there a little Kibo in all of us?
posted by Mitheral at 9:16 AM on March 30, 2008


Yup. Why would anyone want to read every single question?

I read every question. How else could I know if my google super powers with added flying karate chop action are needed?
posted by iconomy at 10:35 AM on March 30, 2008


Wait... there's an "Ask MetaFilter" thingie? I'll be right back.
Ditto

Uh ... both of you have asked questions.
posted by bonaldi at 11:06 AM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


NO! no no no no no.

NO!

We tried it, didn't work.

AskMe became a very boring place, with everybody's "How do I fix my Ipod?" question sitting on the front page all day, and no new questions coming in to replace it.

It was so boring and slow-moving that I actually stopped checking AskMe. Not because I was protesting or anything like that, but because it was so damn boring and moved so slowly that I eventually just forgot to check the site.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:06 AM on March 30, 2008


"I agree with Brandon Blatcher. I used to live in Chicago. I recently answered a question about blues players. And I like to see questions from other geographic regions because I might travel there someday."

Dude, the filtering isn't mandatory. They're not going to make Chicago questions a dead-zone for everyone but current Chicago residents. Jesus.

This isn't Shadowrun, third edition.
posted by klangklangston at 11:15 AM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


!

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you, klang, for apparently starting to italicize your quoting of other members. Now if we can just get bhouston onboard and get the mods to start ruthlessly deleting that godawful "@user" crap, I'll be one blissed-out Mefite.
posted by mediareport at 11:37 AM on March 30, 2008


Now if we can just get threaded discussions going, as well as the AskMe-questions-by-Blazcock-only policy, we'll be all set.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:43 AM on March 30, 2008


Uh ... both of you have asked questions.

not_on_display was clearly kidding. Durn, on the other hand, has asked exactly one question, timestamped 13 minutes after his "Ditto" comment. So, mixed bag there.

I guess we could interrogate Durn to figure out if he was dittoing not_on_display out of the belief that not_on_display had not in fact known about it; or if rather he made himself familiar with not_on_display's asking history as soon as he discovered askme and then uttered "Ditto" out of a mix of agreement with the superficial substance of not_on_display's comment and ironic acknowledgment of the sarcastic subtext thereof; or, even, if Durn was well aware of askme before this thread, and seized the opportunity to offer a wholly disingenous "Ditto" before finally asking his perhaps long-planned first question and pull one over on us.

I kind of think it's that first thing, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:48 AM on March 30, 2008


Now if we can just get threaded discussions going, as well as the AskMe-questions-by-Blazcock-only policy, we'll be all set.

Re: re: re: re: mefi going down hill
I can't believe the mods actually did that. I swear to christ, I'm going to Fark and I'm never coming back. Also, check out my band we're way tight http://myspace.com/prettyflowers xoxoxo

posted by cortex (staff) at 11:51 AM on March 30, 2008


cortex is making my brain hurt. Make him stop.

Crap. That's recursive. I'm doomed.
posted by maudlin at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2008


I am really interested in the feature to see new questions filtered on my previous answers/faves, because I see only a few questions on the Ask FP that I want to read or even think about answering.

Also, since this seems like a relatively active thread, and it’s not worth a new post, I have a few invites to a newish beta site called twine.com. Memail your email address if you want one.
posted by ijoshua at 12:40 PM on March 30, 2008


From the bottom of my heart, I thank you, klang, for apparently starting to italicize your quoting of other members.

I too, from the bottom of mine!
posted by languagehat at 5:56 PM on March 30, 2008


I too, from the bottom of mine!

Yeah, what he said.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:14 PM on March 30, 2008


It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.
posted by Abiezer at 8:17 PM on March 30, 2008


Yes it's dark as a dungeon
More damp than the blue
Where the callouts are many
And the favorites are few
Where the newbs never go
And the old-timers squawk
Yes it's dark as a dungeon
Down in Metatalk

posted by cortex (staff) at 9:01 PM on March 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now that grey colour takes on a whole new sinister meaning...
posted by jouke at 11:58 PM on March 30, 2008


Um, anyone know if this dead canary is compostable or not?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:46 AM on March 31, 2008


shelleycat: "Didn't the one week trial a while ago make very little difference in volume anyway? So no point changing things, it annoys people without even solving the perceived problem."

mediareport: "Isn't it only a very small percentage of askers who ask more than once a week? If so, limiting to two weeks isn't going to do anything useful."

How about numbers? The fraction of posts that could not have been posted when they were posted if the waiting period was 14 days (not counting AnonyMe posts):

   2008-02-10: 23.8% (15 of 63)
   2008-02-11: 24.2% (22 of 91)
   2008-02-12: 19.6% (20 of 102)
   2008-02-13: 11.5% (9 of 78)
   2008-02-14: 24.4% (20 of 82)
   2008-02-15: 26.4% (19 of 72)
   2008-02-16: 8.6% (5 of 58)
   2008-02-17: 14.1% (10 of 71)
   2008-02-18: 27.3% (24 of 88)
   2008-02-19: 19.3% (17 of 88)
   2008-02-20: 27.7% (23 of 83)
   2008-02-21: 16.7% (15 of 90)
   2008-02-22: 18.0% (16 of 89)
   2008-02-23: 20.3% (13 of 64)


Definitive!
posted by Plutor at 5:50 AM on March 31, 2008


Cortex... you forgot to factor in that my original comment may have been rhetorical, to which Durn was absurdistly providing an answer. Notice how neither of us came "right back."

B-but this--yeah, I'm back, but... this doesn't count. Do-over!

I think, out of the oceans of throwaway wise-ass comments I've ever made, that that was one of the more innocuous for someone to have chosen to jump upon (the "Oh, you're so old school and whatever" one). I'm so not old-skool (except for the I-got-nothing-better-to-do-than-comment-on-MeFi aspect), but I do tend to hover in the blue and gray and I only visit green on occasion and when I want to summon the hivemind. I think AskMe is one of the most needed things on the web, though, something to wipe the birdshit off the windshield with. So: lesson learned that, no matter what I say, no matter how dumb, smart, dumbass, smartass my comment is, chances are that nobody understands me, and I am alone in this cold, cold universe...

...and I can't believe I just shat away 6 minutes typing this.

What I meant to say was, why not make the wait time five days instead of seven? Would that cause a revolt amongst the green regulars, or would that actually give them more stuff to answer? Or would you risk scads more doubles? If there's one thing I like about the MeFiSphere, it's that you can shop for just about anything here, but the shelves aren't glutted with the low-end or the froo-froo product. It's all good, healthy food.

From our tabletop, to your brain. Metafilter. A Gulf+Western Company

Also: Blah blah blah.
posted by not_on_display at 6:36 AM on March 31, 2008


Dude, the filtering isn't mandatory. They're not going to make Chicago questions a dead-zone for everyone but current Chicago residents. Jesus.

But wait, maybe I want that. No, really what I want is to never see a Chicago question again. Please?
posted by cabingirl at 8:33 AM on March 31, 2008


How about numbers? The fraction of posts that could not have been posted when they were posted if the waiting period was 14 days (not counting AnonyMe posts):

Something doesn't feel quite right about those statistics.

Let's say someone waited 7 days and then posted on 2-10. You're now counting them as excess since they wouldn't have been able to post with a 14-day rule. Ok, fine.

Now, that same person posts again on 2-17. You are again counting them as excess I believe, since they just posted a week ago. HOWEVER, if the had a 14-day period they would have legitimately been able to post on 2-17 (but not 2-10)! Thus they would not have been part of the excess.

Taken to the extreme, if everyone always posted a question every 7 days, your method would say that 100% of all questions that day could have been avoided with a 14-day period, which is obviously nonsense.
posted by vacapinta at 8:46 AM on March 31, 2008


I've been so looking forward to the smart-filtering thing that Matt was alluding to a couple of weeks ago and then again earlier here. I've more or less stopped using AskMe because I just don't feel qualified to answer the vast majority of the questions. I hope this will point me to the one or two a week/ month that are within my sphere of understanding.
posted by quin at 8:54 AM on March 31, 2008


Our experiments so far have been fairly promising. It's imperfect, like any recommendation system, and we're basically winging it (though pb has been nerdishly acquiring literature on the subject), so far I'd say it does a pretty good job of pointing me to a higher percentage of things that I'd be interested in reading or be able to answer than a straight read down the front page would.

One of the things we're accounting for is a comparison of tags on a given candidate and the tags that have been used on all the previous question you've answered or favorited; we're weighting that against the commonness of a tag, so if you've answered ten questions tagged with "music" and ten questions tagged with "cartography", we'll consider the fact that a new candidate post has "cartography" as a tag as much more influential than that some other new candidate post has "music" as a tag.

That should help things that are uncommon bubble up—there's a good chance that if you answered some question with a rare tag, you're one of the people who will want to see (and who might be in a position to answer) a new question that eventually comes along which uses the same rare tag. If it's a very common tag, there's less value in highlighting it based solely on you having brushed up against it a couple times (and common tags are a great thing to subscribe to RSS tag feeds, regardless, which doesn't work so well with once-in-a-blue-moon tags).

In my case, it's more that I've answered a buttload of "music"-tagged posts, so that while music is a common tag and doesn't have a lot of weight by itself, I get small value * large volume of tags = good rank for "music" questions, which is actually pretty on the money as my interests go, though I do end up getting a lot of those damned mix tape questions in my suggested list.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:28 AM on March 31, 2008


"as well as the AskMe-questions-by-Blazcock-only policy, we'll be all set."

Who is this "Blazcock"?

And yeah, I'm trying to remember to italicize my quotes, though I'm not perfect.
posted by klangklangston at 10:18 AM on March 31, 2008


He's the guy who invented the pylon. Geez, learn to wikipedia.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 AM on March 31, 2008


And yes, it's really awesome that you're making the effort, man. As someone who hates to have the momentum of his spittle-strewn arguments with you undercut by parsing double-takes, I thank you a thousand times for this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:43 AM on March 31, 2008


The number of questions being posted in less than 14 days is higher than I expected. But how many of those posters do this habitually? If I only post two questions a year but do them a week apart that's not going to have a noticeable effect compared to posting the same two a fortnight apart or more. Numbers of how many people post more than 48 per year might give a better idea of how much we would actually cut down the flow.

But really what we need to see is number of questions posted immediately before, during and immediately after the one week test period that happened a while back (was it last year sometime?). I can't remember how long it was, two months or something? So compare numbers posted during with with numbers for two months before and two months after to see if there was a really obvious dip in overall number of questions posted. I know there's the infodump and stuff now so it can probably be done, but I don't know how to use it and don't have time to figure it out.

I do remember that cortex ran some numbers that showed that questions were getting about the same number of answers (probably because of more people reading as well as more people posting), so they're not being ignored.
posted by shelleycat at 10:56 PM on March 31, 2008


vacapinta: "Taken to the extreme, if everyone always posted a question every 7 days, your method would say that 100% of all questions that day could have been avoided with a 14-day period, which is obviously nonsense."

I re-ran this with your idea and came up with about 50% lower numbers. I pasted them and then I analyzed one day of data. Then I realized it was overkill. So.

A chart! (We all know what the early 07 drop-off is, but what happened at the end of 2004?)
posted by Plutor at 4:58 AM on April 1, 2008


In mid-December, 2004, Matt put the 7-day limit into effect.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:06 AM on April 1, 2008


Then, almost exactly two years later, the 14-day experiment commences.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:21 AM on April 1, 2008


April 6th, 2007: back to one week.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:32 AM on April 1, 2008


I've updated the wiki with those three items. Other highlights that aren't really Timeline-worthy:

- 12/12/03: Matt contemplates limits.
- 11/19/04: Matt gets serious about limit. This is about a month before it went into place.
- 1/8/07: Matt recaps history of posting limits, contextualizing recent 14-day change.

He makes reference, in that last one, to an early 1-day askme limit before the 7-day limit came along, but I can't actually find any evidence of that plumbing through the Metatalk archives. If anyone can help, that'd be awesome, though four years later I can't fault Matt if it's just a hazy misremembering. As best as I could tell, there was more of a general agreement on (most) folks' part to just try and keep it to one or two a week tops.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:19 AM on April 1, 2008


Probably Askme stole a bunch of code from the front page and the 1 day limit has been in place there for quite a while.
posted by Mitheral at 5:29 PM on April 1, 2008


It's strange that in the original AskMe announcement, Matt mentions absolutely no limit at all. Some people tell him to add a one, and he seems to think that it'd be pointless. Also telling is the quote "Obviously those of a technical nature are going to meet with the most success". Oh, how naïve we once were.
posted by Plutor at 6:01 AM on April 2, 2008


Since "one a day" is kind of MetaFilter's baseline, maybe it wasn't worth anyone mentioning.
posted by Plutor at 6:07 AM on April 2, 2008


Yeah, that could be. What was the Metatalk timeout at the time, do we know? AskMe did start as bastard offspring of the grey, so it'd be just as likely that the code was forked from Metatalk as from Metafilter (though I don't know if that's actually what happened in practice).
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:03 AM on April 2, 2008


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