I predict the answer will be neigh... July 31, 2008 5:06 AM   Subscribe

Two Shetland ponies for you. One's cute and cuddly... the other one you may not like...

Pony One : Can we have an extra bit on the profile that lists any askme answers have been marked as 'best'? It's possibly a bit popularity contest-y, but no more so than the favourites counters. It would be cool to see the great things people have said (including your own).

Pony Two : Instead of just killing all spammers, how about a wall of shame type pages that lists the names of the spammer and the name of the site they spammed for (but no link). It would be interesting to see just how much spam we kill and could (possibly, maybe) be an warning to people who keep trying it. Maybe the page itself can be behind a nofollow to stop Google et al indexing the page.
posted by twine42 to Feature Requests at 5:06 AM (34 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Spammers know no shame.
posted by ColdChef at 5:06 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

1. No. *
2. No. **

* If you view your AskMe contributions using a URL like this, it's a lot easier to see your own best answers. You can put a link like this on your profile page. I did.

** Effigy2000 does have a blog, or did that listed the three throwaway comments people made in an effort to get up to full spamming ability. It's a little funny. TheWall of Shame idea while it does appeal to me personally is an admin headache because even though I agree that spammers are vile evil people, they are also pains in the ass [surprise] who have a skewed sense of fairness. So, if they wound up on the wall of shame and found it in their obsessive self-Googling, they'd send us a bag of hell about it and Would Not Stop. If someone wants to take it on as a side project, that would be great, but really spammers are formidable opponents.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:19 AM on July 31, 2008

Cheers Jess

I'm not overly surprised by 2.

But no to 1 because there's already a horrible way of getting to the same answer? Having to manually trawl through al 91 pages of your comments to see what the poster thought was worthwhile seems like a crappy solution.
posted by twine42 at 5:30 AM on July 31, 2008

I don't get to make the call actually, but I seem to recall that "no" was the standard response to "can we have a best answer list on our profile pages?" and that's the workaround that I use (as a user, not as a mod) to see mine. I don't think it's a solution by any stretch.

On the one hand it would be nice for people to be able to see their own best answers. On the other hand, having it be a public number brings to mind the spazziness that flares up here occasionally over favorites and the "what do favorites MEAN anyhow" debates.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:50 AM on July 31, 2008

I gotta say I don't understand the "it's not a popularity contest" answer to the "Why no list of best answers?" question. (Not that you've used it here, Jess--it's just been trotted out repeatedly.)

I agree that it's not a popularity contest... but I find the "favorited by others" thing in profiles extremely helpful and I don't understand how best answers is any different and why it shouldn't likewise be highlighted as a way of trawling a member's contributions.
posted by dobbs at 5:53 AM on July 31, 2008

I think its an artificial metric, is the point of not having 1). Some people don't mark best answers, some people mark the wrong answer as the best answer. Some people, (and steady yourself for this, because I know it will come as a terrible shock to you,) some people refuse to acknowledge that, by any reasonable definition of the word, my answers are always "best".

And anyway, we already have our skewed and non-correlation means of assessing self-worth around here. We call it favourites, and thanks to empath, I just broke 700. Woo!
posted by Jofus at 5:54 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

I probably meant something considerably less appauling sounding in the comment above, but I'm all whacked out on cheesecake.
posted by Jofus at 5:56 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Private best answer tallies only viewable by the user wouldn't be a bad idea. I know I like to know when my answers have been deemed most useful but I don't particularly feel like the rest of the world has to know.
posted by Kattullus at 5:59 AM on July 31, 2008

There's a lot of reasons seeing your 'best answers' can be useful, along with a lot of reasons they might not be, but I don't think this is relevant since it appears the site can already grep the answers via Jess's *url. twine42 is just asking, I think, to take the data gathering one step further and automagically aggregate it.

I don't see why we are asking 'should it be done' when it already is being done. Just unofficially and incompletely. Who cares about the philosophy behind it at this point? The data is already available. If there's a reason to not take this existing feature a step further, then sure, we are stuck with the *url, but even that could be made more publicly aware, right (linky in the profile in the appropriate spot)?
posted by johnstein at 6:13 AM on July 31, 2008

As Jofus said, getting marked best answer doesn't mean you're right, it just means you're "right." Is it really useful to know how often someone is "right"? Do you really want to judge someone based on the appearance of correctness, rather than the genuinely sound advice they give? What value does that have beyond warm fuzzies-- and even then, wouldn't they be merely "warm"?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 6:28 AM on July 31, 2008

I like the idea of easily seeing best answers. Some "best" answers are obviously subjective: Don't marry him or My cat prefers Acme kibble but it would be great to see that, for example, Astro Zombie 3 was marked best answer on every question relating to how to find, cook, and serve brains.

I did not know about the url thing, though. Pretty cool.
posted by pointystick at 6:28 AM on July 31, 2008

Instead of just killing all spammers,

I'm against this idea, just by that phrase alone.

As to finding a user's best answers, be they mine or another's, it sounds petty and shallow and mostly uninteresting. Seriously, I just went through Jess's URL looking for mine and quickly got bored. Then I went through someone else's and got bored. What is one supposed to be looking for here that you can't find by reading the original post?

Besides, much like Wendell's recent MetaTalk post, which equated favoriting with tacit approval of one person over another, I suspect viewing all of a user's best answers can't be anything BUT a popularity contest, just by human nature, much like favorites can be construed that way, ala Wendell's MeTalk post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 AM on July 31, 2008

I just wanted to say that for some reason I really like the phrase "a bag of hell".

Who's up for a MefiSwap?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:33 AM on July 31, 2008

The workaround I use to figure out when someone marks my answers as best is to add myself as a contact, so that my best answers show up in the sidebar. The reason why this is useful is that sometimes people mark best answers days or weeks after the question was asked. Knowing how many best answers other users have is not very important to me, but knowing when someone thinks my answer was worth marking as best is important because the whole point of why I answer stuff on AskMe is to help people.

I actually think having a way to list best answers would be a good thing, but I can also understand the reasoning behind not having it. Any time you track something in an official way, people will start gaming the numbers, even if it makes no sense to do so. Many people blame the favorites system for encouraging throwaway comments that add noise to threads. There is some risk that increasing the visibility of the best answer system might cause people to worry too much about getting marked as best rather than just trying to contribute to AskMe in the best way possible. For example, if I really wanted a lot of best answers I would answer as many questions as possible, and try to always be the first one to answer (since early answers tend to get marked as best more often). Instead, I don't answer questions that I don't have some kind of extra insight for, and I answer in the most complete and thorough way possible.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:34 AM on July 31, 2008

Who's up for a MefiSwap?

uh oh.

Anyway, it should be noted that you can best answers of all your contacts in the sidebar on the homepage.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 AM on July 31, 2008

I asked your first question before.
It got shot down then, too.
posted by phunniemee at 6:44 AM on July 31, 2008

another double no
posted by caddis at 6:47 AM on July 31, 2008

I know there's some long-standing opposition to the # Of Best Answers in profile, so I'm not going to advocate that.

But here's something that I will advocate for : having # of Best Answers in Profile, but making it private, so that only you can see it.

And really, my desire for this is purely selfish - I want to know when someone marks one of my answers as best, without having to go back through my comments.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:10 AM on July 31, 2008

How is a list of helpful responses to questions more "popularity-contesty" than a list of 'here's all the stuff you said that people liked'?
posted by iamkimiam at 7:51 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Good point. Can we remove the favorites counts from profile pages? They're popularity contesty. They reinforce karma-whoring and hasten our slide towards Diggitude.
posted by Plutor at 8:40 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Can we remove the favorites counts from profile pages?

But if we do that, how am I supposed to gauge my sense of self-worth? Family? Friends? My job?

posted by quin at 8:55 AM on July 31, 2008

A bag of hell sounds difficult to deliver. I wonder if FedEx has a policy.
posted by Tehanu at 8:57 AM on July 31, 2008

where is effigy2000's blog?
posted by parmanparman at 9:02 AM on July 31, 2008

"We don't have Horse Coke. Horse Pepsi OK?"

posted by boo_radley at 9:02 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Tehanu: "A bag of hell sounds difficult to deliver. I wonder if FedEx has a policy."

Must be overnighted on dry ice.
posted by Science! at 9:13 AM on July 31, 2008

It's here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:15 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

The workaround I use to figure out when someone marks my answers as best is to add myself as a contact, so that my best answers show up in the sidebar.

I do it this way too. It's not obvious how to add yourself as a contact though, so...
  1. Go to a profile page of a user you're not already contacts with and that is also not your own profile, and click 'Add as a contact.'
  2. On the next page, fill out whichever XFN metrics you'd like in relation to yourself.
  3. Change the user number in the URL http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/xfnlinkbuilder.mefi?to_user=#### to your own user number.
  4. Click the 'Add Contact' button. Voila.

posted by carsonb at 9:29 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

reverse #2 and #3. after changing number in url, press enter.
posted by quonsar at 9:53 AM on July 31, 2008

I think a box of hell would be easier to mail than a bag. Less cumbersome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:13 AM on July 31, 2008

Because of its delicate and contentious nature, I recommend storing the bag of hell in the bag of infinite holding.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:51 AM on July 31, 2008

Good point. Can we remove the favorites counts from profile pages? They're popularity contesty.

Oh you can try, but I think mine's gonna be too heavy to lift offa there bwa ha ha anoint my feet

*hums They'll Need A Crane*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:54 AM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]

1. yes
2. no
posted by empath at 12:12 PM on July 31, 2008

I imagine a bag of hell squirms a lot, like a bag of angry badgers.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:24 PM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hell hath no fury like a bag of angry badgers. But it's close.

He saw the operation you tried to pull today,
But your humiliation means he still votes "Neigh!"
And now assassination is just the only way
There will be blood, it might be yours.
So go kill someone! Signed, Bad Horse

posted by Tehanu at 12:41 PM on July 31, 2008

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