My Ask MeFi April 2, 2008 11:05 AM   Subscribe

New Feature: My Ask MeFi

A few weeks ago, we discussed a "Questions You Might be Interested In" feature to help filter the front page of Ask Metafilter by interest. After playing around with a recommendation system, we decided to let you filter the site to your interests by choosing your favorite tags and categories. You can get started by setting your preferences and then reading the new tab on the Ask front page: My Ask.

The new page includes a sidebar with recommended questions from the past three days based on your Ask Metafilter answering/favoriting history. Questions only show up in the sidebar if they aren't already on the main page, so it's simply an extra way to find posts you might have missed.

There are bound to be bugs in this new system, so post 'em if you've got 'em.
posted by pb to Feature Requests at 11:05 AM (154 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Looks very cool! It feels like something I will scan after looking at the main page, but I think it will be tremendously useful.

My suggested tags included "prison shank stabbing bleeding" which I think indicates I'm an interesting type of fellah.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:12 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fuck. Yes.
posted by slimepuppy at 11:12 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't think I'd want this. Wrong.
posted by mimo at 11:13 AM on April 2, 2008


::Enters Preferences, Clicks::

Wow, it's just like AskMe, but without relationship and pet suckage! ;D

Thanks, pb & co.!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:13 AM on April 2, 2008


Those suggested tags were scarily spot-on. *looks side to side*
posted by loiseau at 11:16 AM on April 2, 2008


I love my suggested tags and no one else can have them.
posted by iconomy at 11:16 AM on April 2, 2008


Alvy Ampersand: Wow, it's just like AskMe, but without more relationship and pet suckage train wrecks! ;D

Fixed that typo.
posted by loiseau at 11:18 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


pet suckage!

I knew there was a question I needed to ask, but I've been busy.
posted by jmd82 at 11:19 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


It would be cool if you could get recomentations without bothering to set preferences.

Also, are the tag and category filters ANDed or ORd together?
posted by delmoi at 11:19 AM on April 2, 2008


Awefuckingsome. Thank you!

One note: most people seem to use informative titles for their questions, but the few that don't really stick out when I scan the MyAsk sidebar. I wonder if this will lead to a slow change to almost universal informative titles as those of us using this feature get a little exasperated with mystery meat titles.

So who's going to confess that "relationship" and "pet suckage" were in their list of suggested tags? Because, dude, that's just sad. And possibly illegal, even in Winnipeg, no matter how cold it gets.
posted by maudlin at 11:21 AM on April 2, 2008


It might be better if I could block categories and tags I don't want, rather than having to specify the ones I do. At the very least the categories could do with a "select all" link.

But. A nice pony! Thank you!
posted by kindall at 11:22 AM on April 2, 2008


This is great.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:23 AM on April 2, 2008


delmoi and maudlin, we had a version of nothing but recommended questions on the full page running, but we found in testing that basing a view of ask mefi on just the stuff you have answered in the past created a mildly interesting but mildly annoying version of ask mefi and I constantly was saying to pb "I don't want to see another question about dropped wifi signals!" (because I have answered a dozen in the past, it's just that I'm over them now).

So we knew it'd work better if someone could setup their favorite rare tags that don't come up enough in their history to show up as favorites in the recommended feed.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:24 AM on April 2, 2008


are the tag and category filters ANDed or ORd together?

They're ORd together, I think. So if you choose "computers & internet" as a category, and "literature" as a tag, you'll get all questions from "computers & internet" AND any question tagged "literature".
posted by pb (staff) at 11:24 AM on April 2, 2008


One request, could the My Ask page be titled as such. I now have two "Ask MetaFilter" book marks.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:25 AM on April 2, 2008


could the My Ask page be titled as such

Yep, added.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:29 AM on April 2, 2008


Oh, pb forgot to mention there is a RSS feed for your My Ask MeFi feed, and it's got a hash in the URL so it's non-guessable (but using a web-based RSS reader may very well reveal the URL for it unless you keep it private).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:29 AM on April 2, 2008


And just to be clear, we wanted this as a side-option, after you've skimmed the front page, perhaps this option could be a way to catch those really interesting questions you might have missed. It's not meant as a replacement for the site, just a custom view for you.

I kinda wish we could show the first 150 characters on the recommended sidebar instead of just titles though. Maybe if we widened the sidebar, it could work.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:30 AM on April 2, 2008


But there's no personally identifiable information in the RSS feed, so it'd be tough (in theory) to track a feed back to the owner.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:31 AM on April 2, 2008


To quote Pope Benedict: Aw shit yeah!
posted by Jofus at 11:32 AM on April 2, 2008


I like to peruse them all... Am I the only one who won't be filtering their AskMe?
posted by andythebean at 11:33 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm adding 'lolcats' and 'deadlink' to my watch list. AND NOTHING ELSE.
posted by Jofus at 11:33 AM on April 2, 2008


Suggestions: videogames bathroom batman life

You have summed me up completely. I feel naked.
posted by ND¢ at 11:35 AM on April 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is there some way dumb and lazy people such as myself could adjust their preferences so that MyAsk became the the default destination, saving me from the backbreaking labour of having to go to AskMe, clicking the MyAsk tab and waiting 0.02 seconds for the page to reload?

maudlin: I was young, I needed the money.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:35 AM on April 2, 2008


On non-preview, never mind and thanks again!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:36 AM on April 2, 2008


This is fantastic. I've been filtering using RSS but this is a brazilion times better.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:38 AM on April 2, 2008


THIS IS THE DAWNING OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS!
posted by cashman at 11:39 AM on April 2, 2008


Yeah, but there's nothing in my tags about my laterally curved penis? Oh.




Kidding!
posted by waraw at 11:41 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


because I have answered a dozen in the past, it's just that I'm over them now

Askme helped you didn't it?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:41 AM on April 2, 2008


As a user who loves AskMe but can't also be a Completist Reader, I'm really stoked about this.

As an Asker who has wished for more eyes on a question in the past, I'm beyond stoked and into ecstatic. Thanks, Powers that B!

(Get it? Thanking all of the MeFi Leadership Team, but with an emphasis on the P B? GET IT?)
posted by pineapple at 11:42 AM on April 2, 2008


Thank you! Finally I get to go clean out my reader of the half-dozen category feeds I've been tracking. Yay!
posted by juv3nal at 11:43 AM on April 2, 2008


Finally a way to see all the name-my-(cat/band/mansion/business/website/baby) questions without having to wade through the noise.

Because those I have an answer for.

Frank
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 11:45 AM on April 2, 2008


Oh...er...pony please: can I have a preference for the AskMefi link at the very top of the page to default to MyAsk?
posted by juv3nal at 11:45 AM on April 2, 2008


I kinda wish we could show the first 150 characters on the recommended sidebar instead of just titles though.

Nah, this is fine, it rewards people who actually use sensible titles. There are some useless titles on my sidebar right now, and I'm unlikely to click on them.
posted by grouse at 11:46 AM on April 2, 2008


What a pretty pony!

My own MyAsk looks oddly like the regular front page of AskMe, since I checked almost every box. I like reading questions that I know I can't answer, on subjects about which I am thoroughly ignorant, because I always learn something, even if it's only some new words!
posted by rtha at 11:46 AM on April 2, 2008


That's pretty sweet.

I check the "popular" pretty often, so it might be redundant, but maybe there could be an option for including any question over X number of favorites, regardless if it is within your categories or tags.
posted by starman at 11:49 AM on April 2, 2008


This is really neat, but like rtha, I don't think I can bear to excise any content! :/
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:54 AM on April 2, 2008


This is nice. Thanks!
posted by mullacc at 11:54 AM on April 2, 2008


See, I totally thought this would be a great pony but really, it's making me want to slit my wrists. The suggested tags in which I might be interested? Oy vey:

relationships travel sex website love marriage work blog london dating dog pain Advertising books design music pregnancy wedding blogs children college depression ex food job


That is NOT the tagging profile of an interesting and well-rounded person. That is the tagging profile of the person I swore I would never grow up to be.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:56 AM on April 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think this is a wonderful solution/addition for people who like to read the site via RSS and/or think the questions zoom by too quickly. It's really amazing how much an only mildly filtered view of the site really helps tailor it for people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:57 AM on April 2, 2008


I love this. It drastically reduces the signal to noise ratio, tailored to my taste. Thank you!
posted by emd3737 at 12:01 PM on April 2, 2008


Hey, what does the engine suggest as tags that anonymous might be interested in?
posted by Wolfdog at 12:02 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wolfdog: $20, same as in town.
posted by grouse at 12:03 PM on April 2, 2008


This is sweet, thank you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:04 PM on April 2, 2008


Wow, I might actually start using AskMe now. Thank you very much.
posted by sciurus at 12:06 PM on April 2, 2008


Fantastic. Thanks all.

I found the suggested tags kinda creepy. The Metafilter engine knows too much about me.
posted by quin at 12:08 PM on April 2, 2008


Oh, hey, can we get a link to the MyAsk preferences in our user profiles, in case we forget where to go to edit them?
posted by sciurus at 12:08 PM on April 2, 2008


Do we have a "no anonymous questions" option? Because they suck.
posted by nicwolff at 12:12 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


sciurus, there's a permanent preferences link at the top of your MyAsk page. Mine too!
posted by iconomy at 12:13 PM on April 2, 2008


Suggestions: music Atlanta books recipe travel roadtrip food job restaurants art beer blacksnakemoan blues costume folk halloween introduction life literature lyrics metafilterhistory motherfucker northcarolina realestate

Errr... wait... what did I ever do to you!?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:14 PM on April 2, 2008


Neato. Though I'll still be reading all the questions and butting in whenever I'm bored at work.

My suggested tags, incidentally: food dating relationships diet exercise music sex work career gifts hair halloween recipes relationship chicago fashion health christmas dreams fitness friends internet money psychology wedding

"Wedding" is not really accurate, but the rest of them are all pretty accurate. All I ever do is eat, exercise, work, and... um, have a relationship.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:14 PM on April 2, 2008


sciurus, the top of the My Ask page has a link to "Set Preferences" for the page.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:14 PM on April 2, 2008


Awesome. I have now merged the 5 feeds I used to monitor the site into 1. This is extremely helpful.
posted by Kattullus at 12:16 PM on April 2, 2008


I was kind of pleased that it recommended "nightwish" as a tag for me. I'm on the case. If another Nightwish question ever crops up, I'll be there. Free sample answer: "Anette, definitely."
posted by Wolfdog at 12:17 PM on April 2, 2008


Pretty neat; thanks.
posted by chinston at 12:19 PM on April 2, 2008


Ha! Excellent! Thanks guys!
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:19 PM on April 2, 2008


Incidentally, I love Anonymous to Human Relations questions. Except for the ones that are asking for advice on how to approach their crush. JUST ASK HER OUT.

It's extra fun if I suspect they're about me.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:20 PM on April 2, 2008


Pony request: Can we add thread-monitoring to MyAsk? I've subscribed to comment RSS feeds in the past when lurking in threads I had nothing to add to. Is it possible to make that a built-in feature in MyAsk?
posted by Kattullus at 12:24 PM on April 2, 2008


Just what I always wanted. My own little bunny rabbit pony. I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him...
posted by deborah at 12:26 PM on April 2, 2008


Kattulus, you could always favorite any thread you want to monitor and then keep up with it in Recent Activity.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:26 PM on April 2, 2008


This is actually really cool. I'm going to have fun refining my preferences later.
posted by Artw at 12:33 PM on April 2, 2008


music travel language sex books marijuana relationships europe life Teaching canada history religion songs English esl india TEFL dating friends vacation words drugs food Jokes

Yeah, I guess that pretty much sums up my life.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:34 PM on April 2, 2008


This is me:

internet mac music travel blog software web osx video photography health google money Food Email relationships politics wireless law windows children spam movies copyright family

It's like someone did a SQL query into my soul.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:45 PM on April 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


Awesome, I was actually planning on asking a question sometime this year. I hope this means it will get answered.
posted by Eideteker at 12:51 PM on April 2, 2008


pb: That save preferences button isn't targeting _self. Sorry to be the guy who brings that up every time something new's rolled out. Particularly something as awesome as this. MyAsk is svelte, taut, and toned perfection compared to the flabby excess of regular-old AskMe. It's kissable.

What's the thinking behind using textcheck.gif instead of tick.png, by the way? I kinda dig the larger, greener best answer.
posted by mumkin at 12:54 PM on April 2, 2008


This is bloody brill - as an occasional Ask MetaFilter person, I can see my answering going way up thanks to this.

It might be better if I could block categories and tags I don't want, rather than having to specify the ones I do.

Or both. For instance, I've got 'computers & internet' as one of my My Ask categories, so I'm seeing questions about Windows stuff which I can't help with. If there was a 'non-favourite' bit in the preferences too, I could put in a 'windows' tag and save, ooh, several milliseconds of my time. My imaginary system would be clever enough to serve up a post tagged, eg., both 'windows' and 'mac', since 'mac' is one of my favourite tags...

Also, it'd be great if the site as a whole could check my lat/long, see that I'm in the UK, and replace every instance of 'favorite' with 'favourite' ;-)
posted by jack_mo at 1:04 PM on April 2, 2008


cool.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:08 PM on April 2, 2008


it'd be great if the site as a whole could check my lat/long, and bring me a cool drink and tiny crustless sandwiches on a silver tray
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:10 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Among my suggested tags are butter, chocolate, and marijuana.
posted by found missing at 1:13 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


That save preferences button isn't targeting _self.

oops, targeting _self now. (I should put a big target=_self? poster on my wall.)

What's the thinking behind using textcheck.gif instead of tick.png

We just changed the front page of Ask to tick.png for both themes yesterday for the April Fools' Joke. (The default images had static color backgrounds, which made it easy to see the background colors were changing and we wanted the effect to be subtle.) I don't think we've made a conscious decision to keep tick.png versus the previous defaults yet.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:14 PM on April 2, 2008


Woo launch day!

music resolved blog Games movies relationships video film internet work writing books philosophy website boxerbriefs briefs Computer online politics underpants underwear web laptop love software

What in the hell?
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:29 PM on April 2, 2008


Nevermind Askme, I'm just going to MeFiMail you my underwear questions.
posted by found missing at 1:31 PM on April 2, 2008


Among my suggested tags are butter, chocolate, and marijuana.

We should hang dude.
posted by ND¢ at 1:32 PM on April 2, 2008


It's like someone did a SQL query into my soul.

mysql> use eyeballkids_soul;
ERROR 1049 (42000): Unknown database 'eyeballkids_soul'
mysql>

Well. That settles that, I guess.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:34 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


*hump hump*
posted by booticon at 1:42 PM on April 2, 2008


Nevermind Askme, I'm just going to MeFiMail you my underwear questions.
posted by ODiV at 1:42 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is great.

Would it be possible to put the "recommended" sidebar on the main AskMe page?
posted by backseatpilot at 1:56 PM on April 2, 2008


And I had just discovered I could set up a reader to look at them by category. You guys are in my head.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:01 PM on April 2, 2008


The suggested tags FREAK ME THE FUCK OUT.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:12 PM on April 2, 2008


Suggestions: philadelphia philly addiction drugs metal writing homeless

That some magic 8 ball shit right there.
posted by The Straightener at 2:15 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


pb, I would gratefully be your padawan learner. You do good internet things. Thanks a bunch.
posted by middleclasstool at 2:16 PM on April 2, 2008


Can we get the links in the recommended tags list to open the appropriate tag page instead of http://ask.metafilter.com/contribute/myask.mefi#?
posted by Mitheral at 2:17 PM on April 2, 2008


If you click any of the recommended tags, they're copied to the textarea. Though if you have JavaScript disabled (or the noscript firefox extension), you'll get a link to nowhere instead.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:21 PM on April 2, 2008


I've just taken 'er for a ride and immediately hit two questions that I would have missed other wise - which is so awesome I could cry. Thanks everyone!
posted by Jofus at 2:33 PM on April 2, 2008


Thank you! This is an outstanding feature.
posted by LeeJay at 2:44 PM on April 2, 2008


Your gnomish ways have been exposed at last, cortex!

Now, tell us how you and your kind make the profit.
posted by CKmtl at 2:50 PM on April 2, 2008


Thank you! That sure was fast work.

I wonder whether (or how) this will affect the quality of the answers?
posted by zennie at 2:51 PM on April 2, 2008


This is a great idea. Thank you.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:14 PM on April 2, 2008


I love this! Thank you!
posted by misozaki at 3:31 PM on April 2, 2008


Can I request the opposite of nicwolff and also have an "include all anonymous questions" as an option? Because they rock.
posted by metaname at 3:33 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


[this is good]
posted by dg at 3:36 PM on April 2, 2008


'beer comics guitar'

Huh. I guess you never do really grow up.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:43 PM on April 2, 2008


this is great, thanks!
posted by patricio at 3:48 PM on April 2, 2008


mac apple leopard osx Seattle leopardinstall MacOSX10.5 spotlight spotlightindex food keyboard printer travel Vista bootcamp driving dvr imac macosx macpro parallels pc windows applecare 33wr

I need to get out more.

And what the hell is 33wr?
posted by mrzarquon at 3:56 PM on April 2, 2008


A digital camera.
posted by CKmtl at 4:00 PM on April 2, 2008


(of course, i could have checked the tags)
posted by mrzarquon at 4:07 PM on April 2, 2008


huh, I wonder if there should be an optional global "include all anonymous questions, regardless of category/tag?" and a "exclude all anonymous questions, regardless of category/tag?"

I kinda love the anon questions about relationships but I don't think of myself as a fan of the relationshipy categories.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:18 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


yes! all anon questions, please!

also, my preferences don't seem to be saving. IE6x / XP here, fwiw.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:30 PM on April 2, 2008


Very nice! Cool to start seeing more of the database-magic stuff we can do with all that aggregated data.

Wow, it's just like AskMe, but without relationship and pet suckage!

I believe pet suckage is illegal in America and many other countries since the landmark Nixon v. Checkers case of 1974.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:36 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


you can't tell me how to love
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:38 PM on April 2, 2008


I need to get out more.

Same conclusion here, but opposite reasoning:

Suggestions: relationships travel dating books love language relationship music sex backpacking India literature australia kids women advertising sydney history life phtography psychology reading society asia cooking
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:39 PM on April 2, 2008


you can't tell me how to love

Proud member of NAPSA.
posted by found missing at 4:41 PM on April 2, 2008


UbuRoivas, try a shift + reload on the preferences page and see if it picks up your settings. You might be seeing a cached version of the page. Also, do you see questions on the My Ask tab or a message about settings? If you see questions, your settings are saved.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:41 PM on April 2, 2008


stavros: what's the verdict on livestock suckage?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:42 PM on April 2, 2008


pb: i was getting the message about settings. closing the window & opening askme did the trick, but a shift reload probably would've worked too.

woohoo! 100% RelationshipFilter!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:44 PM on April 2, 2008


(whoops, ctrl refresh on windows)
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:47 PM on April 2, 2008


fish pants smock

who'd a thunk?
posted by quonsar at 5:09 PM on April 2, 2008


small bug: in the simple style, in this example, the "posted by" and the "April 2" on the sidebar of MyAsk are pretty much too light to read, may need to tweak the colors some.

Examples of Mise en Abyme (in form)
posted by 0bvious
April 2
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:31 PM on April 2, 2008


Suggestions: video games television music videogames comedy flash tv comics graphicnovels Mac movies nolove. programming software amiga arcade books c64 cd chatfilter colbert computer consoles daily

I hate you, all too accurate metafilter life summarizer.

(Btw - tags with periods are not searchable?)
posted by Gary at 5:31 PM on April 2, 2008


small bug: in the simple style, in this example, the "posted by" and the "April 2" on the sidebar of MyAsk are pretty much too light to read, may need to tweak the colors some.

Thanks, yeah, way too light—I made it darker for the plain theme.
posted by pb (staff) at 5:39 PM on April 2, 2008


So, did EVERYBODY pick "grab bag"? Cuz that's where the good weird shit is.
posted by misterbrandt at 6:12 PM on April 2, 2008


Big thanks.
posted by Shutter at 6:14 PM on April 2, 2008


Too hard to pick! I want a feast. I want a BEAN feast.
posted by unknowncommand at 6:26 PM on April 2, 2008


Once you've compiled enough user input, you can run an Amazon-style algorithm -- "People who liked this question also read these..."
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:37 PM on April 2, 2008


my first set of suggestions were not far off "mac macintosh Macintosh TheMac Apple Applecomputer MacBook MacPro PowerBook Quadra Mac SE Classic IIfx 160 170 180 PPC 68k Cameras" which made me despair, but after setting preferences and going back I get
music digital iTunes ipod travel internet laptop Google macbook sex computers firefox news religion car relationships web writing books design etiquette work CellPhone language phone
which is much more like the thing.
posted by bonaldi at 7:00 PM on April 2, 2008


So wait, the suggestion list is personalized? I just assumed it was generic.

Suggestions: relationships sex travel books health music dating marriage work relationship food law book women love language moving car money etiquette mac politics cooking recommendations advice

Hmm.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:12 PM on April 2, 2008


I kind of hate these—unreasonable, I know:
Suggestions: books music film movies language writing literature movie fiction nonfiction female marriage poetry words art linguistics love actor book bookrecommendations history lyrics narrative relationships romance
They sound so bland. So many Big Nouns. I gotta focus more.
posted by cgc373 at 7:17 PM on April 2, 2008


jessamyn, they are personalized based on your answer history (and question-favoriting activity). So if you're more of a generalist, or answer A LOT of questions, your list is going to favor the most-used, general tags.

The recommendations sidebar is a little more sophisticated thanks to an awesome tag-rarity calculation that cortex ran. In the suggestions sidebar, rare tags in your answering history get a little more consideration than generic tags. But I think generic is good for following a topic area.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:21 PM on April 2, 2008


Parts of my originial suggestions sound more like MarkovFilter than tag suggestions:

"smelly authority butt ... don'ttouchme nasty japanese furry repel therapy"
posted by CKmtl at 7:21 PM on April 2, 2008


I would love a way to zap all anonymous questions.

This is a great feature. Really, really great. I find it so hard to catch fresh threads where I feel "experty" enough to weigh in, I think this will help me find more places to contribute.
posted by popechunk at 7:30 PM on April 2, 2008


I love this. Mostly because I often feel like human relations questions are eating my soul, with all the bad relationships and lonely people and mean mothers in law and sham sob stories out there. Now I just never need to see them.
posted by sweetkid at 7:43 PM on April 2, 2008


Pony-on-pony request: On Facebook, they have a system for the News Feed which allows the user to give a "Thumbs Up" or a "Thumbs Down" to items which appear on it, fine-tuning their preferences for what later appears on their Feed (e.g. if you consistently give "Thumbs Up"-s to announcements about rabid weasels, you'll get more items that mention rabid weasels). Something like that for MyAsk?

Mmm, ponies!
posted by WalterMitty at 7:43 PM on April 2, 2008


Wait oh no it IS recommending me human relationships questions. I don't want to help you with your dysfunctional relationships anonymous!
posted by sweetkid at 7:48 PM on April 2, 2008


books seattle travel music baby children food kids cuba money pregnancy writing clothing fiction gifts moving work depression family gift guitar marriage nyc wedding women

Please remove your spy cameras from my house.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:48 PM on April 2, 2008


It occurred to me, discussing the personalized tag suggestions with my wife, that I've got a lot of noise because a significant chunk of my askme activity is administrative comments. Comments, that is, in threads I might otherwise have no interest in.

Dammit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:52 PM on April 2, 2008


Which would explain jessamyn's consternation over her generic-seeming list...
posted by crossoverman at 7:54 PM on April 2, 2008


I like how everyone has "sex" in their list of tags. I didn't think I answered/favorited very many of those but apparently I do.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:03 PM on April 2, 2008


Which would explain jessamyn's consternation over her generic-seeming list...

good point.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:08 PM on April 2, 2008


I would post my list for 1000 bucks, but only as anon...I apparently need therapy ASAP, (ok, ok, a sample here: balding bacon confidence cult dinner eating happiness happy impotence obama pepper salt)
Why so many have a problem with anon questions as they're probably the most honest ones here.? I adore this....
posted by dawson at 8:18 PM on April 2, 2008


I feel you dawson. My tags strongly suggest I should stop answering people's gross microbiology related questions...
posted by fermezporte at 8:48 PM on April 2, 2008


books cooking music chicago food writing recipes book recipe health travel recommendations fiction home novel art mac exercise knitting anxiety cats games internet reading baking

I may not have knitting anxiety but I do have anxiety cats.

I'd also like a way to filter out questions by tag.

This is super rad, thanks!
posted by sugarfish at 8:49 PM on April 2, 2008


This is great! Hooray!
posted by Locative at 9:32 PM on April 2, 2008


jessamyn's consternation over her generic-seeming list...

Generic? jessamyn seems to have a noneymoon obsession. I don't know how generic that is.
posted by timeistight at 10:50 PM on April 2, 2008


First, this is very awesome.

Second, I agree with middleclasstool:
The suggested tags FREAK ME THE FUCK OUT.

I should not have posted so many times in that Purification thread. I knew something bad was going to happen somewhere in the future as a result of that short but odd obsession. Among my tags: creepy viral sex

Dude. Viral and sex were next to each other. I mean, oh my god, look at this:
travel food creepy depression flash law love thepurification viral sex breakup camping friends health internet politics psychology credit history housing death debt family nyc book

It sounds like a horror movie! viral sex breakup camping ... housing death debt, WTF?

Give me another chance! I swear, I will only answer questions from happy people from now on. I will name your kittens. I will find a gift for your three-year-old niece. I will help organize your wedding shower. I will identify that unknown flower in your yard.

note: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by salvia at 11:07 PM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


creepy depression??
posted by salvia at 11:08 PM on April 2, 2008


heh - i got "kids" as a suggested tag, only later realising it's because i respond to so many questions along the lines of "should i have kids or not? do childless people miss out?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:16 PM on April 2, 2008


Okay, fifteen minutes later, I think that list of tags I got is pretty hilarious. I would really like to see someone get a worse list!

But I really thank you guys for including user options. Matt, I am so glad you didn't want to see another thread about dropped wifi signals, because I really don't want to see any more threads on creepy viral marketing campaigns. With or without sex. [NOT VIRAL SEX-IST]
posted by salvia at 11:33 PM on April 2, 2008


pb, could you possibly share with us the name of the recommendation engine you've used for this? I have a nerd-ly interest in such things. (Also, the Infodump was an incredibly cool thing to do, thanks!)
posted by sdodd at 1:00 AM on April 3, 2008


Very pleased to see my idea in the flesh, so to speak. Off to try it out now.

Thanks!
posted by Happy Dave at 6:31 AM on April 3, 2008


pb, could you possibly share with us the name of the recommendation engine you've used for this?

Unless he's rolled in something since we were last working on it, the name of the recommendation engine we're using is Hey, I Bet We Could Write a Recommendation Engine, Eh? from PBware, with a third-party library from Cortex Solutions called libLook, I'll Do Some Crazy Fucking Math with the Tags to Make Things Work Better.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:43 AM on April 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


You might want to fix your typo: the Library of Congress listing has that book with Crazy Fucking Meth.
posted by languagehat at 6:47 AM on April 3, 2008


Hey, I Bet We Could Write a Recommendation Engine, Eh?

Yep, we rolled our own completely unscientific recommendation system. Let's just say we won't be winning the Netflix Prize with our system, but it sorta works.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:00 AM on April 3, 2008


Having fiddled around with this - wow. You've taken my original seed of an idea and made something that is both spookily accurate, fun to use and reassuring for the minor obsessives like myself. This is really, really great, well done indeed. I can't wait to see how it evolves over time as I answer more questions.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:06 AM on April 3, 2008


I could really go for a kill-list of tags. Then I could put "name" in it, and never see those stupid naming questions. Because they cover so many categories (sports! pets!), I don't think there's any way to do it with the current preferences.
posted by smackfu at 7:53 AM on April 3, 2008


I would love it if we could add in anything with more than a certain number of favorites. Much toughter, I wish I could exclude all the "hairstylist in Boston" "plumber in Miami" ones. I can't see how that one could be pulled off.
posted by salvia at 8:31 AM on April 3, 2008


Hey, I Bet We Could Write a Recommendation Engine, Eh? from PBware, with a third-party library from Cortex Solutions called libLook, I'll Do Some Crazy Fucking Math with the Tags to Make Things Work Better.

Don't forget the widget We Have a Librarian on Staff so it Must Work Even Though She Didn't Help Much If At All tossed in for good measure.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:39 AM on April 3, 2008


♪♬ music guitar indie rock recording songs pop audio English books song piano singing marijuana relationships theory language writing art bands band classical games sex acoustic ♪♬

These are a few of my favorite things!
posted by ludwig_van at 8:56 AM on April 3, 2008


This is great. I wonder, could there be a link from the AskMe page for each tag that would allow you to add that tag to your preferences?
posted by yarrow at 9:01 AM on April 3, 2008


How about a "-tag" ability, ala google?

That way one could for example still view posts on the subject of computers, but could have a filter such as "-router," to filter out specific subjects.

On preview: or, what smackfu said.
posted by washburn at 9:08 AM on April 3, 2008


Can you put a link to MyAsk at the bottom of every page on the site, possibly replacing the Make it Start crap?
posted by wheelieman at 11:48 AM on April 3, 2008


Pony: being able to "replace" AskMe with My Ask (e.g., have My Ask be the "default view" for my version of Ask Metafilter).
posted by scrump at 8:33 AM on April 4, 2008


wheelieman: "Can you put a link to MyAsk at the bottom of every page on the site, possibly replacing the Make it Start crap?"

OH NO HE DI-INT
posted by booticon at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2008


A quick update:

I've been popping in to MyAsk once or twice a day, and I'm impressed with how many questions I've been missing on the green that interest me. It's doing a pretty fine job of pointing me in the right direction thus far. Good job, guys.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:00 PM on April 4, 2008


Wow, Nice! Even though I stay logged in and check AskMe almost every day, I only just now noticed this. Great feature, well executed.
posted by klarck at 2:43 PM on April 18, 2008


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