Paging Dr. ColdChef. April 15, 2008 7:33 PM   Subscribe

A new pony? Paging mathowie...

Okay, please, before I say this I know it could be prone to abuse.

But here goes anyway.

There are certain threads that come up on AskMe which some people around here are uniquely qualified to answer, and who are recognized as such by the community at large.

I'm talking about biscotti for animal-related threads (is biscotti still around?), ColdChef for funerary-related questions, etc etc.

While obviously we can send a MeMail, is it possible to add a paging function to AskMe? Click the link, enter a username, and a MeMail is generated that says something like "Hey, $user has asked for your input over here."

Thoughts:

- only allow the page button to be clicked once per thread
- if people fuck with it, bye bye function
- users can turn off the ability to be paged
posted by dirtynumbangelboy to Feature Requests at 7:33 PM (94 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I dunno, I think the existing mefi mail/email (if they show it) works well enough. I do it all the time myself.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:35 PM on April 15, 2008


Plus there's "My Ask" where people can subscribe to specific tags too.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:44 PM on April 15, 2008


Besides, how many funny funeral stories do you want in AskMe anyway?
posted by yhbc at 7:47 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I bet our well-known specialists don't want to have to come here and clear out a queue of pending questions every day. They don't work here. I imagine that especially for the most common question types (law, medicine) we don't want our lawyers and doctors pestered.

Plus, do you really want dios* answering in every single law-related askme? I happen to enjoy reading dios' comment's, but part of the charm for the questioner is that you get diverse answers, and part of the charm for the answerers is that you get to answer all kinds of questions.

I answer computer stuff all day. I don't want to come here and be pestered into writing scripts for strangers.

*mentioned only as a well-known attorney mefite
posted by popechunk at 7:51 PM on April 15, 2008


Yeah, this is actually exactly when I would send someone an email/mefimail, if I thought it wouldn't be a bother to them. Why add this, basically?
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:51 PM on April 15, 2008


No. Certain users will get paged all the time. Others will wonder aloud why they don't get paged. Paging will become a subject of dispute. We won't be able to discern what's an ironic page and what's serious "Why was I paged to this 'How come everyone hates me'? thread?" and we already have person to person mechanisms for this to work in cases where it's indicated. I give people the heads up if I see an AskMe question they are suited for, and we have no indication that this is something that is lacking with the current model/system.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:54 PM on April 15, 2008


We won't be able to discern what's an ironic page and what's serious "Why was I paged to this 'How come everyone hates me'? thread?"

Actually, I probably should be paged for "How come everyone hates me?" AskMes, but MeMail works fine for such purposes.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 8:20 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm totally reading too much into this and I'm sure these people love contributing to AskMe, but the issue I take with some sort of paging function is that it makes it feel like an obligation to contribute. I mean, you page doctors to call them over to do their job, right? We're all volunteers here, contributing to the best of our abilities. And maybe one day ColdChef (for example) has a long day and just wants to skim some SLYT posts (for example) to unwind, and ends up getting a 'page' that says "LOOK! POST YOU SHOULD ANSWER! GO NOW!". Wouldn't that feel a bit like people are taking your contribution for granted or acting entitled, after a while? I mean, like jessamyn said, some people would get paged all the freaking time. That would get old, wouldn't it? MeFi is entertainment/relaxation/whatever to them too, they have no obligation to us.

I mean, I realize this probably already happens to a certain extent through MefiMail, but I feel like a paging function would totally eliminate any social barriers about soliciting for contributions from a certain user. Plus with MefiMail, you get to add a personal touch and it's less... demanding, I suppose. And if you were asking for a paging system with an option to append optional comments, then I don't know why what you're asking for would be any different from MefiMail to begin with. It seems like it'd get to be more of a nuisance than anything else.
posted by Phire at 8:23 PM on April 15, 2008


Note to self. Stop saying "I mean". It sounds silly in vast quantities. And vaguely Samatha Bee-esque.
posted by Phire at 8:25 PM on April 15, 2008


My apologies to the admins for posting in the related green thread, I wasn't aware of this thread until now.
posted by -t at 8:25 PM on April 15, 2008


Great idea. Let's find more ways to socially stratify the community! Let's officially make certain people representatives of threads involving topics of their expertise! We could give them gold stars for their preemptively best answers! We could have a filtering system so that posts would need to be pre-approved by these MeFi experts, and that way people wouldn't post such obviously stupid questions on AskMe! Ooh, ooh, I know! We could have ACTUAL pager sounds, with increasing volume, on the posts still awaiting input from the MeXperts! I also think that the person who hits the page button first should get a brownie point. Brownie points will be doubled if the MeXpert actually responds! And the points can be collected for redemption into MeXpert status in the topic of your choosing!
posted by iamkimiam at 8:27 PM on April 15, 2008


PesterMe
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:32 PM on April 15, 2008


AskMeFirst
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:40 PM on April 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'll gladly answer any of your drywall/sheetrock questions. But for plumbing you should page Bitteroldpunk.
posted by nola at 8:40 PM on April 15, 2008


Okay. It was just a thought.. I wouldn't think that any putative auto MeMail would be at all bossy, just a "Hey, this might interest you". Basically was thinking of saving some clicks and searching. But I do see your points, Mattamyntex, and it's cool.

Would anyone like some pie? I have some peach and blueberry pie (homemade!) in my fridge.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:44 PM on April 15, 2008


You know I love you, but then you go and offer me home made pie and now I adore you.
posted by nola at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2008




I would like to be paged whenever there are offers of pie.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:55 PM on April 15, 2008


Mattamyntex sounds like a brand name for cushion stuffing.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 PM on April 15, 2008


Dibs on peach.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:03 PM on April 15, 2008


I'd be happy to answer any questions involving remorse.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:03 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't want any pie, but I would love a dirty numb bagel. Yeah boy!
posted by vronsky at 9:16 PM on April 15, 2008


Page fault, exiting
posted by lukemeister at 9:18 PM on April 15, 2008


Unfortunately I don't ever see any questions like "How do I type more - and more stupider?"

Fortunately the answer is easy: Drink more.
posted by loquacious at 9:42 PM on April 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know how you know some people are experts? Because they answer the questions already, and give good answers.

Are you seeing questions that they could have answered that they are skipping?
That don't have good answers already?
Are you sure they are skipping them because they haven't read them?

You're solving a problem that I'm doubtful even exists.
posted by smackfu at 9:48 PM on April 15, 2008


Previously. Which also happens to be the birth-thread of Mefi Mail.
posted by philomathoholic at 9:49 PM on April 15, 2008


I see London, I see France ...
posted by Dave Faris at 9:56 PM on April 15, 2008


There are certain threads that come up on AskMe which some people around here are uniquely qualified to answer, and who are recognized as such by the community at large.

It would kind of reinforce the annoying clique-y-ness that MetaFilter has... You know, that some Mefites are rock stars and are more knowledgeable or eminent than us lesser folks.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:07 PM on April 15, 2008


Dear nola,
I'm finding blistering in my drywall tape and some cracks at the edges. I've tried therapy and have called my lawyer to no effect, do you think maybe I should DTMFA and go with a bare brick effect?
posted by Abiezer at 10:08 PM on April 15, 2008


Dibs on peach

No no, cortexy. The pie is singular, made of peaches and blueberries.

You know, that some Mefites are rock stars and are more knowledgeable or eminent than us lesser folks.


Welcome to reality.. some are. languagehat knows more about language than me or thee, ColdChef knows roughly three-quarters of a jesusload (that's metric) more about the funerary industry than anyone else, and quonsar is our resident pantsfish expert.

Thing is.. some people are better at things, or know more things about things, than others. What's wrong with celebrating that? Given how much MeFi in general denigrates those who are famous for being famous, I find the idea that we would not celebrate people for their hard-earned expertise somewhat odd.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:17 PM on April 15, 2008


Apparently, there's already a pony whereby I am paged when pie is available.

I can haz pie?
posted by rtha at 10:23 PM on April 15, 2008


Pie, now there's a good idea.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:25 PM on April 15, 2008


Metafilter: Okay, please, before I say this I know it could be prone to abuse.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:32 PM on April 15, 2008


DIRTYNUMBAGELBOY!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:46 PM on April 15, 2008


I never pegged DNAB as a pie expert. Color me surprised.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:03 PM on April 15, 2008


I never pegged DNAB because I don't think I'm his type.


I'll show myself out. I don't deserve pie.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:12 PM on April 15, 2008


You're missing a comma, there. Somewhere.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:16 PM on April 15, 2008


Now I feel sorta lame because I don't think I have any expertise to offer except ... oh, well, there's the eponystericalness, I guess. And Old/Middle English literature, and Spider-Man continuity.

Okay, if you need help with any of those very important things, then MefiMail me! Otherwise, sorry, useless.
posted by bettafish at 11:35 PM on April 15, 2008


You're missing a comma, there. Somewhere.

You're probably thinking of a semicolon; it's more appropriate for conjoining separate thoughts.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:38 PM on April 15, 2008


Or bagel boys.
posted by loquacious at 11:58 PM on April 15, 2008


This pony is about pegging one another, so I'm all for it.

Butt seriously, folks. This sound like a good way to get a lot of competitive shit started. I saw something about that in a movie once *waves diploma around*.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:59 PM on April 15, 2008


languagehat knows more about language than me or thee

GAAH!

*fingers on a blackboard*
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:00 AM on April 16, 2008


fingerNAILS
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:00 AM on April 16, 2008


This pony is about pegging one another, so I'm all for it.

wait, who's the pony pegging? i'm thinking here of my colon.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:03 AM on April 16, 2008


It'll be your semicolon after the pony's through with it.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:27 AM on April 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I bet you'd have trouble taking a pony after being pegged by a pony.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:58 AM on April 16, 2008


That's not a pony. That's a nightmare.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:22 AM on April 16, 2008


KokuRyu: "It would kind of reinforce the annoying clique-y-ness that MetaFilter has... You know, that some Mefites are rock stars and are more knowledgeable or eminent than us lesser folks."

You say bug, I say feature.
posted by dg at 3:39 AM on April 16, 2008


Thing is.. some people are better at things, or know more things about things, than others. What's wrong with celebrating that?

Well - just as an example, I've seen an occasional "paging Jessamyn" that assumes that Jessamyn is The Expert Librarian on MeFi. When there are, like, a lot of MeFi Librarians. Jessamyn is no doubt unique in her library-related advocacy, and she spoke at my library school and she rocked, but there are a lot of less-visible, less-rock-star librarians who also have relevant expertise.
posted by Jeanne at 5:01 AM on April 16, 2008


Can we get a complete list of rock-star librarians on Metafilter, with references in MLA format?
posted by lukemeister at 5:42 AM on April 16, 2008


I loved bagelboy until I learned he was in the habit of keeping pie in the, eek, fridge. But if you warm up a slab and melt a slice of cheddar over the top of it, all is forgiven.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:47 AM on April 16, 2008


Yeah and I'm only a decent librarian compared to some of the rockstars around here (hint: anyone linked in my contacts as a "colleague" is a library worker or student of some sort, many of them have jobs in real libraries) so while I don't want to get all handwavey "power law!" about this, I think the absence of this feature is actually more helpful that the potential presence.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:01 AM on April 16, 2008


I agree with Jeanne. (and yes, I'm still here, I answered a dog question yesterday as it happens!), I read the threads which interest me, if I think I have something to contribute, then I contribute, but if what I'd say has already been said, I don't see any need to say it again just so I can say it (most of the time), unless someone says something I really disagree with.
posted by biscotti at 6:55 AM on April 16, 2008


No no, cortexy. The pie is singular, made of peaches and blueberries.

I am willing to take the high road on this one and accept this compromise.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:07 AM on April 16, 2008


There's also always been (and post Memail even moreso) the ability of the OP to try to contact a member before they post a question on a certain subject. For me, there have been a few (sadly very few) times where people have emailed me to ask hotel suggestions for Milwaukee, or for good beginners electronic kits.
posted by drezdn at 7:30 AM on April 16, 2008


I volunteer for all ceramic tile related questions. Oh, and I guess physics too but only one of those skills is going to be making me money in the near future.
posted by Loto at 8:26 AM on April 16, 2008


I deplore the addition of other items to a peach pie. Peach pie is glorious and should not be diluted.
posted by languagehat at 8:54 AM on April 16, 2008


I respect my good friend languagehat's adherence to principle, and I can only presume that his slice of righteous no pie is as filling and delicious to him as this blueberry/peach pragmatism is to me. Especially if he so if he has a little scoop of no vanilla ice cream on top.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:00 AM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I deplore the juxtaposition of peaches and blueberries in a single pie. Mostly because I LOVE blueberry pie. I like peach pie, as well. Hopefully each is made with lots of cinnamon. I just want a piece of each, served separately. And often. Did I mention I like pie?
posted by Lynsey at 9:07 AM on April 16, 2008


Dang. Now I have to go bake a pie, and it's all your fault.
posted by ook at 9:12 AM on April 16, 2008


You know, all y'all who are hating on the peach+blueberry pie creation are alright by me - because if you don't eat pie like that, it means more pie for me!

PIE!
posted by rtha at 9:15 AM on April 16, 2008


Allow me to point out that people who are interested in being paged can currently create their own paging environment. Merely use URLs of the form

http://ask.metafilter.com/tags/mutualfunds/rss

where 'mutualfunds' or whatever is replaced by your own subject of interest (e.g. law, pie, love, relationships, etc.).

and you can filter for specific items of interest in your own feedreader (or Firefox, or whatever) without having to drink from the great unwashed firehose that is the raw ask metafilter rss feed.
posted by felix at 9:19 AM on April 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


FWIW: I've been directly contacted about two dozen times in the past two years by MetaFilter members with questions about funeral and death-related issues. Most of the time, members email me directly or MeFiMail me. I've been "paged" by email to a few AskMe questions. On a few occasions, I've talked on the phone to MetaFilter members who have had a death in the family within the hour who call me and say, "Oh, god. What the hell do I do now?"

I am always happy to help in any way that I can, and I'm not embarrassed to say, "I have no idea."

I don't read AskMe religiously, but I drop in every now and then and answer questions that I find relevant or interesting to me (my local coroner is still waiting for me to bring him a headless body). Feel free to email me or "page" me whenever you'd like.
posted by ColdChef at 9:51 AM on April 16, 2008


Where's the button that pages DNAB to my kitchen? It needs clicking, repeatedly.
posted by CKmtl at 9:56 AM on April 16, 2008


Others will wonder aloud why they don't get paged.

That would be me. I have spent years mastering the many facets of bare-handed no-holds-barred deer wrestling (welterweight class). I'd go so far as to say that I'm probably one of the foremost experts in the field, and I feel that it's a disservice to not try to bring my knowledge to bear on any one of the many, many deer wrestling questions that come through AskMe.

My knowledge of pie, however, is quite limited. So I will defer to the other experts here on that topic.
posted by quin at 9:56 AM on April 16, 2008


You know who has been looking for a pony a lot lately? John McCain.
posted by ericb at 10:02 AM on April 16, 2008


*cough* Pie is all well and nice, but nothing compares to blueberry and apple clafouti. Puffy, crusty, fruity custard with cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla? Oh, my.
posted by maudlin at 10:10 AM on April 16, 2008


If it has fruity filling and crusty stuff then it is in fact PIE regardless of your silly demarcations of betty, crispy etc.

/heathen
posted by Burhanistan at 10:13 AM on April 16, 2008


I'm a heathen who was permanently traumatized in my first attempt at pastry making in grade 8 Home Ec (apple pie with a lattice crust that could have been used as decorative ironwork).

There is no "pastry" in clafouti, yet still it crusts. Put me to the rack if you will, but I will not recant.
posted by maudlin at 10:17 AM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


where 'mutualfunds' or whatever is replaced by your own subject of interest (e.g. law, pie, love, relationships, etc.).

Being an expert on love, I shall do just that.
posted by yeti at 10:46 AM on April 16, 2008


The first time I am forced to handle funeral arrangements I'm not just calling ColdChef, I'm flying him to my location and paying him to be my personal funerary consultant and bodyguard (as needed). I intend to ask him to wear a suit, sunglasses, and headset and give a Glasgow kiss to any rapacious funeral directors or drunk uncles who cross my path. Half the people there will be terribly impressed and the other half will just think he's my dealer but I'll be happy either way.

All of which is to say you were on the right track, dirtynumbangelboy -- you just needed a little more ambition.
posted by melissa may at 11:08 AM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I loved bagelboy until I learned he was in the habit of keeping pie in the, eek, fridge. But if you warm up a slab and melt a slice of cheddar over the top of it, all is forgiven.

Of course it gets warmed up, optionally with cheese. What kind of a barbarian do you think I am?

I deplore the addition of other items to a peach pie. Peach pie is glorious and should not be diluted.

Well, here's how it went down. My roommate is actually the baker*, and he wanted to make a peach pie. Unfortunately, the store only had a very few decent peaches, so we added blueberries. Turned out very nicely indeed.

* which means he decides what will be baked and makes the pastry; I do all the prep work chopping and so on

If it has fruity filling and crusty stuff then it is in fact PIE regardless of your silly demarcations of betty, crispy etc.


There is, however, no pastry in a clafouti. Thus it is not a pie. Pies are defined by a crust which completely encloses the filling on the bottom and sides; top optional (though personally I'd call a topless pie a tart).
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:20 AM on April 16, 2008


Names for topless tarts are another matter entirely.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:23 AM on April 16, 2008


It really is more fun to overthink a plate of pie.

My only political position on pie is, if you don't like rhubarb pie, you don't really like pie at all.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:27 AM on April 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's usually Cherry or Candy or Bambi or something.
posted by quin at 11:27 AM on April 16, 2008


What the hell is rhubarb, anyway? I like apple pie, pumpkin pie is good; I know what's in them. But where are rhubarbs the rest of the time, when they aren't in pies? What do they do all day, and where do they come from?
posted by misha at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2008


You people really should learn to focus. This thread is about alerting experts on the site.

And it's peach and blackberry pie with a shortbread crust, all the way.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:41 AM on April 16, 2008


Actually, I think this post is about pegging ponies.
posted by deborah at 11:45 AM on April 16, 2008


The thing about rhubarb is that the plant has acid for blood and so eating rhubarb dessert is pretty dang badass. Doubly so if there's not enough sugar in the recipe.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:46 AM on April 16, 2008


people have emailed me to ask hotel suggestions for Milwaukee

drezdn, I already have a hotel lined up, but I do have a Milwaukee question, and (hoping it'll cheer you up) I'll memail it to you pronto.
posted by tangerine at 1:13 PM on April 16, 2008


drezdn is the good Milwaukee mefite. The rest of us are evil-spirited mean drunks.
posted by quin at 1:24 PM on April 16, 2008


Rhubarb is REALLY good in jam.

Also dogs eat it sometimes, apparently.
posted by bettafish at 1:44 PM on April 16, 2008


My only political position on pie is, if you don't like rhubarb pie, you don't really like pie at all.

Oh yes. Yes. My old roommate's father had his own farm in West Virginia and every so often he would show up out of the blue with homemade rhubarb pie, all sorts of interesting homemade wines and, my most favoritest thing of all, homemade puddin'. Puddin' is sort of like scrapple but it's loose instead of pressed into a loaf. It is sinfully, terribly delicious. Just don't ask about the ingredients.
posted by LeeJay at 3:32 PM on April 16, 2008


Actually, I might be wrong about the loaf thing. For all I know puddin' is pressed into a loaf most of the time. What I do know is that his was not. It was however delicious and made from terrible, awful, tasty things.
posted by LeeJay at 3:34 PM on April 16, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur: "It really is more fun to overthink a plate of pie.

My only political position on pie is, if you don't like rhubarb pie, you don't really like pie at all.
"

Every year, my mother would make strawberry-rhubarb pie made with fresh rhubarb from her garden. She made wonderful pies with fresh fillings and a light, crispy crust. I adore pies of all kinds, except for rhubarb. I would rather drink the blue stuff they use to clean combs in barbershops than ever eat rhubarb again.
posted by SteveTheRed at 6:01 PM on April 16, 2008


What the hell is rhubarb, anyway?

The leaves are poisonous, the stalks are yummy and the roots are a laxative. Other plants fear its awesomeness.
posted by normy at 6:18 PM on April 16, 2008


The rest of us are evil-spirited mean drunks

Awesome, quin. I'm wishing more than ever I'd have time for a meetup while I'm out there.

What the hell is rhubarb, anyway?

Rhubarb looks a bit like red chard. I share a CSA box with scrump and raar. Whenever there's red chard, scrump thinks it's rhubarb, and raar and I keep having to tell him it isn't. You can't make pie out of chard. Well, maybe you could, but I'm not going to try.
posted by tangerine at 7:12 PM on April 16, 2008


This already happens to me a lot. I have uniformly already seen the thread in question and decided not to answer it. It kind of sucks because I'm like "Oh, someone sent me a MeMail, how fun" and then it turns out they just want me to go contribute medical advice somewhere I don't want to be contributing it, and it's not actually any fun at all.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:23 PM on April 16, 2008


You can't make pie out of chard

Lies! Damnable lies!
posted by dersins at 10:12 PM on April 16, 2008


Well, you shouldn't, anyway.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:13 PM on April 16, 2008


Nonsense. Savory pies are delicious, and chard should be used as often as possible because it's pretty much ALWAYS in season. Also, yummy.
posted by dersins at 10:18 PM on April 16, 2008


Hey, SteveTheRed, I wonder if we are related? My mom used to make strawberry-rhubarb pies, too. Amazing.
posted by theredpen at 8:14 AM on April 17, 2008


I don't know if you guys are related, but it would sure explain why you're both red.
posted by dersins at 9:09 AM on April 17, 2008


Strawberry-rhubarb pies (warm from the oven with some heavy cream poured on) are proof of the existence of God. My mum made them too, from rhubarb in the garden.

Funny thing, she couldn't cook worth a damn but could bake like a demon.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:28 AM on April 17, 2008


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