Thank you back-titlers! October 20, 2008 9:16 AM   Subscribe

The MeFi back tagging team has done it again, adding titles to over 10,000 AskMe questions in ten days. Thank you!

Just a big thanks to everyone who chipped in to title and categorize one or many old AskMe questions from the days before we had titles or categories. Again, here is our top ten list of helpers. I am proud (and in some cases amazed) at all the work you guys put it to help make AskMe a more useful resource.

1. nkknkk - 3103
2. johnofjack - 754
3. WCityMike - 309
4. KAS - 282
5. goshling - 272
6. allkindsoftime - 236
7. EndsOfInvention - 213
8. Pronoiac - 209
9. quin - 209
10. LobsterMitten - 202
posted by jessamyn to MetaFilter-Related at 9:16 AM (88 comments total)

A bit more backstory if you didn't know we were adding titles/categories to old posts: on this post WCityMike noticed a new feature of Google search results is treating forum results differently to try and help searchers but that since the old posts didn't have any titles, they were kind of unhelpful.

pb figured out we could just use the infrastructure from the great backtagging project of 2008 to make a tool for adding titles/categories to undescribed Ask MeFi posts, so we set it up and emailed the 100 or so people that did back tagging and within 48 hours, the project was half-done.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:20 AM on October 20, 2008


I'm willing to help out if you want to add me to the list.
posted by netbros at 9:33 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sadly, with the new job, I was only able to do a small amount this time. Glad it was finished so quickly this time around.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 9:37 AM on October 20, 2008


I think I did a grand total of 1. I was looking forward to doing a few of these, but you people are too quick for me. Well done, tag brigade.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:41 AM on October 20, 2008


We still have around 2,000 Ask posts to categorize, but at the rate these went that should only take a few hours.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:44 AM on October 20, 2008


Wow, in the top 10. Awesome. nkknkk though... man, I don't even have a job and I only did 200.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:07 AM on October 20, 2008


3,100 titles added!? Wow. Amazing.
posted by johnofjack at 10:09 AM on October 20, 2008


There were a lot of questions about asdfasdf back in 2005.
posted by Plutor at 10:19 AM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


I only did about 50, but one of them was the famous question about how to dispose of a dead body.
posted by matildaben at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2008


I just did that one too, matildaben, right now. You didn't set a category for it. I figured 'human relations' was apt.
posted by carsonb at 10:37 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I swear... 5 out of 7 questions were Computers/Internet. I got NO relationship questions, and NOT ONE "name my pet". :D It was awesome.
posted by reflecked at 10:40 AM on October 20, 2008


Tell 'em what they've won!
posted by Mister_A at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2008


She failed to mention that those 10,000 questions are now titled "Should I eat this?"

Serious, that's some fine work folks! Good job.
posted by bondcliff at 10:47 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have a back tag.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2008


Yay! I was aiming for top ten awesomeness, but got distracted at around about 40 i think. And yeah, an awful lot of 'computers and internet' questions, you dorks.
posted by Jofus at 10:53 AM on October 20, 2008


Ah, thank you, thank you, my devoted and loyal fans. The secret to my success? "Modified Bed Rest!" So you can all thank my OBGYN for all those lovely Back Titles.

Actually, I'm the one who should thank Jessamyn and pb for the distraction of the project. I'm a little sorry it's over, and eagerly await the next mind-numbing task.

Man, those 2003-2004 computer questions were BORING AS HELL. But clearly not as boring as "Cash in the Attic" reruns.
posted by nkknkk at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bah, I missed the top ten! Oh well.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:56 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Woot!

Yes, there were lots of tech questions. And, concisely synopsizing questions is oddly fatiguing.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:04 AM on October 20, 2008


I could do titles all day, but doing categories was just boring. I got a few of my own, so that was nice.

I also got this weird 2007 question that didn't have a title. It threw me because it had more inside, which shows up on the page as a line in the middle of the text. Someone must have found a bug or something.

Anyways, the important thing: do we get another achievement icon in our profiles? This is like Xbox live, right?
posted by smackfu at 11:05 AM on October 20, 2008


Wow, that was fast. I had it on my to-do list to chip in a few but it never came to the top. Great work everyone.
posted by Rumple at 11:13 AM on October 20, 2008


OMG you people work fast. I was just cracking my knuckles and lazily musing I should delve into this again today but my mlikshake it is all drunken upped!

Goodonya!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:14 AM on October 20, 2008


nkknkk: "So you can all thank my OBGYN for all those lovely Back Titles."

That is a sentence I was not expecting to read today.
posted by Plutor at 11:16 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, those 2003-2004 computer questions were BORING AS HELL.

Yeah, there were some that I just wanted to title as "completely obsolete technology question" and move on. (But I didn't)

Also, got a question about how Howard Dean's "internet-based fund-raising success" might be adapted for future campaigns. That amused me.
posted by anastasiav at 11:17 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, got a question about how Howard Dean's "internet-based fund-raising success" might be adapted for future campaigns. That amused me.

"How do I cope with this feeling of despair? What can I do for my country as of today?"
or something to that effect, posted on November 3, 2004
posted by carsonb at 11:28 AM on October 20, 2008


I was watching the numbers pretty close, and it actually looked like we did about half of them the first day, and the remaining 5k over the next week. Last night I saw it at about a hundred and I think a couple of us were racing to get it to zero, because every time I reloaded it was dropping much quicker than it had earlier in the day.

To be honest, I was kind of nervous at times because I really didn't want to be misrepresenting anyone's intent, and have them later looking through their askmes and wondering WTF that idiot titler was thinking.
posted by quin at 11:38 AM on October 20, 2008


I was just gettin' ready to start.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 11:41 AM on October 20, 2008


I just put 'I need help' for everything. It seemed to cover every question and, as a bonus, perfectly described the task in hand.
posted by Jofus at 11:41 AM on October 20, 2008


Way to be there, guys. Awesome work.
posted by owtytrof at 11:51 AM on October 20, 2008


That is so cool. Thanks, y'all!
posted by rtha at 11:59 AM on October 20, 2008


Have I said how much I'm loving the new see-deleted-posts script? Very much I am loving the new see-deleted-posts script. Also, I insist on calling the new "Tut Roll" a "Tut-see Roll".
posted by octobersurprise at 11:59 AM on October 20, 2008


I just want to say good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 12:24 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, in the top 10. Awesome. nkknkk though... man, I don't even have a job and I only did 200.

It is about quality, not quantity. You can't force hilarity.
posted by clearly at 1:10 PM on October 20, 2008


Tell 'em what they've won!

A BRAND NEW MOTORHOME!
posted by Meatbomb at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2008


It is about quality, not quantity.

Quantity has a quality all its own. That good person alone did 1/3 of the job.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2008


Awesome contribution to the community guys [non gender-specific adjective].
posted by dg at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2008


Awesome contribution to the community guys [non gender-specific adjective].

Adjective? Would orange do?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2008


Is there any way to see how many I did?
posted by timeistight at 2:14 PM on October 20, 2008


timeistight, you titled 103. If anyone else is curious MeFi Mail me and I'll look it up.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:22 PM on October 20, 2008


That's all, eh? Just 3,001 more and I'd have been in top spot!
posted by timeistight at 2:26 PM on October 20, 2008


I would like to publicly acknowledge that many of the questions I ostensibly titled were actually titled by a lot is two words because I rudely neglected to log out of MetaFilter on her computer. This sort of behavior is clearly unacceptable, and it will never happen again.

I found it difficult as all hell not to put snarky ass titles for a great many questions, but I did my damndest to remain neutral and informative. I also noticed a lot of questions that I think would have been nuked from orbit had they been posted today, but there's no sense in making some sort of bizarre post-hoc MeTa callout, right?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:29 PM on October 20, 2008


If anyone else is curious MeFi Mail me and I'll look it up.

See, if we had it listed in our profiles... we wouldn't need to ask.

Hint. Hint.
posted by smackfu at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2008


I was just curious, so I did some math:
nkknkk did more than the rest of the top 10 combined.
The top 10 took care of just over half of the posts.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:06 PM on October 20, 2008


I'm curious how many smackfu did.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 PM on October 20, 2008


Luckily it wasn't a competition, just an old-fashioned community effort. I burnt out at the end (once I was back on my feet, too) and barely contributed once we hit <1500. Thanks to everyone who took us through the home stretch!
posted by nkknkk at 3:29 PM on October 20, 2008


I only jumped in at the end, but I got to do the last ones. It was all computer networking questions. AskMe used to be a lot more nerdly. Also, what's the difference between "computers and internet" and "technology"? I felt like I was applying the category kind of randomly, which could get my librarian license revoked in some states.
posted by donnagirl at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2008


Are there any plans to have us backtaggers add tags to askme posts where original # of tags is > 0? there are quite a few where the OP only put 1 or 2 tags in the box where (a few) more would make searching/browsing easier. I've run into this a couple times while searching.

Although if we do that, how many tags should a post have?
posted by ArgentCorvid at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2008


Wow, that went pretty quickly! If I did a hundred, I'd be surprised.

And I bow in awe to nkknkk.
posted by sugarfish at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2008


You know, I would love to be part of some form of MeFi Mechanical Turk program, whereby my Turing-quality information processing skills could be put to various uses in the service of the site. I'm always looking for something to do while my code is compiling.
posted by potch at 3:50 PM on October 20, 2008


solipsophistocracy : I found it difficult as all hell not to put snarky ass titles for a great many questions, but I did my damndest to remain neutral and informative.

Oh gods yeah. I had to beat my snark back with a chair and a whip a couple of times.

I did allow my self one very small bit though; a question on whether or not long haul truckers masturbated? Yeah, it got a perfectly proper title. But it also got categorized as "grab bag".
posted by quin at 3:53 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


...and done.
posted by potch at 3:59 PM on October 20, 2008


donnagirl: I think the categories are far, far less used than the tags are. There will be overlap, but the categories are horrible about handling that.

Adding helpful tags &, say, proofreading the added titles for typos (I winced when I spotted one) would be an interesting logistical problem.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:00 PM on October 20, 2008


OK, back categorizing is now also done. That's 2000-ish categories in about six hours. Any of you peeps want a library job?
posted by donnagirl at 4:00 PM on October 20, 2008


The only title I went wise on was a question on why people thought del.icio.us was so great. I went with "in.credulo.us", which I thought served the purpose nicely. Most of the questions could be sumarized with a portion of the actual question though.
posted by potch at 4:03 PM on October 20, 2008


I only jumped in at the end, but I got to do the last ones. It was all computer networking questions. AskMe used to be a lot more nerdly.

I'm guessing this is at least partially due to the fact that I (maybe others) skipped over a load of computer help questions that were really hard to easily summarise. Thus, at the end all that was left were those questions that everyone had skipped.

Also, what's the difference between "computers and internet" and "technology"? I felt like I was applying the category kind of randomly, which could get my librarian license revoked in some states.

I actually almost posted a MeTa question asking about some categorisation issues like that but eventually decided it wasn't really that important. For what it's worth, if the question involved computers, computer peripherals, websites, coding, or software, I put it under computers & internet. Everything else involving gadgets, electronics, etc, went under technology.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:39 PM on October 20, 2008


You want a real challenge? Fix the 8440 posts tagged with brokenlink.
posted by tellurian at 4:48 PM on October 20, 2008


tellurian, I'd totally be up for that, sad but true. Sure, some of them would be unfixable, but it would be fun/interesting finding alternative links for all that newsfiltery crap that broke. Of course, then we'd need a new tag that signified that the original link was replaced..."hindsightlink"? "expostfactolink"?
posted by donnagirl at 4:54 PM on October 20, 2008


I think ftfylink is the only possible tag.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:43 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now that everything has been organised into folders, mathowie should run defrag to consolidate the free space.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:45 PM on October 20, 2008


Agreed about it being mostly obsolete computer questions by the time I settled down to it. Fun, though. Also funny to see how many questions in 2004 have only one or two answers, and one of them is from jessamyn.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:53 PM on October 20, 2008


Ahah, I think I only handled about 40 or so this time round. I meant to do more (And try for top 10), but midterms sort of got in the way.
posted by Phire at 7:26 PM on October 20, 2008


As with the backtagging project, I'm now curious if the older posts have more informative titles than the newer ones.
posted by danb at 9:49 PM on October 20, 2008


Like smackfu, I'd also like to see the info in profiles. Not for bragging reasons--I maybe did twenty questions, tops, this time around--but more for, like, admiring-others ones. Because nkknkk's efforts are even more impressive when you know that she also back-tagged almost 5000 Metafilter posts. Thanks, everybody, for your work. There's more than one way to make this site a better place.
posted by box at 4:57 AM on October 21, 2008


Assuming donnagirl is in fact a girl, I will shortly propose to her and (if she accepts) we will spend out twilight years in the glow of a cathode ray tube (or whatever technology we embrace, along with each other) fixing ftfylinks. I will propose that our pre-nup stipulates that our LW&T contain a clause that each link that our progeny are unable to resolve or maintain (for the period of ten years - from the date of the last demise) will causes them to lose $5 per link (from whatever inheritance they may receive from us) and be donated to MetaFilter, thereby extending the life of MetaFilter.
posted by tellurian at 5:40 AM on October 21, 2008


Yay!
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:39 AM on October 21, 2008


tellurian, you have NO IDEA how many proposals backtagging has netted me. Yours is definitely compelling, though, so I'll put it in the "to consider" stack.
posted by donnagirl at 7:11 AM on October 21, 2008


Very surprised to hear I'm in the top 10, let alone #3. I kind of ran out of steam at one point, and I figured people'd be racing up the totals in my absence. Anyway, glad to have helped, and if your old Ask Mefi's has a title that looks like:

Why Should I Go to the Park When I Don't Think That My Dog Really Likes Eating Grass, Even Though He Seems to Enjoy the Company of Other Poodles?

Well, my bad.
posted by WCityMike at 7:58 AM on October 21, 2008


donnagirl, I'll marry you *and* buy you a cookie.
posted by Jofus at 9:14 AM on October 21, 2008


I will marry the cookie.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:39 AM on October 21, 2008


Here's the entire list of 115 back-titling volunteers and how many they did:

40 Watt - 2
adamvasco - 78
allkindsoftime - 236
Ambrosia Voyeur - 8
anastasiav - 120
arcticwoman - 7
Asparagirl - 20
bac - 79
barchan - 19
bigmusic - 3
BigSky - 20
bink - 2
Blazecock Pileon - 80
blue_beetle - 139
bluishorange - 6
box - 53
Brainy - 9
Brandon Blatcher - 67
BrotherCaine - 30
brundlefly - 31
bugbread - 2
carsonb - 138
casarkos - 39
ChrisR - 20
CKmtl - 45
cortex - 3
CunningLinguist - 38
darsh - 78
davey_darling - 10
deborah - 88
dersins - 30
dilettante - 41
divka - 58
donnagirl - 107
doubtful_guest - 29
EndsOfInvention - 213
exceptinsects - 38
featherboa - 115
filmgeek - 52
flibbertigibbet - 15
flod logic - 48
goodnewsfortheinsane - 4
goshling - 272
grouse - 22
gwint - 50
Hadroed - 13
heeeraldo - 17
houseofdanie - 55
IndigoRain - 44
initapplette - 5
jamaro - 90
jessamyn - 114
Jofus - 114
johnofjack - 754
KAS - 282
kristin - 6
kyleg - 11
lalex - 9
lauranesson - 136
liquorice - 9
lloyder - 1
LobsterMitten - 202
lodev - 5
Lynsey - 141
Malor - 20
marxchivist - 34
mathowie - 44
matildaben - 75
merelyglib - 79
mmahaffie - 45
MsMolly - 6
mumkin - 9
muteh - 8
ninazer0 - 25
nitsuj - 16
nkknkk - 3103
not_on_display - 17
odi.et.amo - 5
Ohdemah - 10
oneirodynia - 36
pb - 66
peep - 10
Phire - 77
potch - 108
Pronoiac - 209
quin - 209
Razzle Bathbone - 35
reflecked - 154
Rock Steady - 1
rodz - 37
Rumple - 7
salvia - 31
sanko - 1
scrump - 96
Skorgu - 40
smackfu - 148
solipsophistocracy - 127
SteveInMaine - 190
StrikeTheViol - 2
sugarfish - 37
sveskemus - 10
tejolote - 8
tellurian - 59
The corpse in the library - 9
the dief - 22
ThePinkSuperhero - 166
timeistight - 103
treepour - 10
trip and a half - 45
tristeza - 42
ugf - 86
voidcontext - 19
WCityMike - 309
yohko - 65
Zero Gravitas - 61

Thanks again everyone, you all did a great job.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:17 AM on October 21, 2008


Whoa. I did more than cortex and matt combined! I feel so much more special now. dammit jessamyn.
posted by Phire at 10:25 AM on October 21, 2008


Woot top 10! I got up to the one question about that one life-changing moment - the one that got all the favorites and had all those great stories. I didn't want to title that one because no title would do it justice, no matter how long I sat there and tried to be creative. I'm pretty sure that's the last one I did, for fear of getting another one that great.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:35 AM on October 21, 2008


My 3 were let's-make-sure-this-works trial runs. I never got around to that second "actually do a bunch of work now" phase for some reason.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:36 AM on October 21, 2008


Thanks pb!
posted by smackfu at 10:56 AM on October 21, 2008


Wow, that's embarassing. Did someone ask for that?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:57 AM on October 21, 2008


No one asked for this list explicitly, but people seem genuinely curious about their own numbers. We're not going to add these to profile pages and I didn't think there was any harm in sharing the entire list. Whether someone did 1 or 50 it was a positive contribution. Back taggers are already known via profile pages so this list isn't outing anyone there.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:04 AM on October 21, 2008


All right, who titled this?
posted by Pronoiac at 11:06 AM on October 21, 2008


I knew I should have titled and categorized HARDER.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:05 PM on October 21, 2008


I did some! Yay me!
posted by trip and a half at 12:10 PM on October 21, 2008


Jofus, I'm afraid this prevents me from accepting your proposal, but you can go ahead and send me the cookie. Unless it already married cortex.
posted by donnagirl at 12:19 PM on October 21, 2008


The cookie and I have an unorthodox relationship.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:23 PM on October 21, 2008


I just don't think I'm ready to commit to a cookie that isn't fully committed to me. I'm going to go to AskMe and see if
1) I should DTMFA
and if not
2) should I eat it?

It will be the greatest AskMe ever.
posted by donnagirl at 3:22 PM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you do the latter, you're pretty much bound to do the former within a day or so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I did more than I thought. And it's exactly twice the number that mathowie did. Dun dun DUN!!
posted by deborah at 3:36 PM on October 21, 2008


I actually did a lot more than this. I titled ten and hit 'Give me more' several times. Then I was served up a post I knew I had already titled. WTF! Then I realised I hadn't been clicking on 'Save'.

Sorry donnagirl, but I must renege. 'Cookie' is at best, the pet name for an aged, live-in gentleman (probably a witness in his youth to the Mau Mau atrocities) that prepares fatty bacon and hard-yolked eggs (with cold toast and congealed baked beans on the side) or more likely, kippers, for the guests in a Larkinesque bed and breakfast (owned by an older but not unattractive, still up for it, spinster) in Yarmouth. Now, if you had said 'Biscuit'…
posted by tellurian at 3:45 PM on October 21, 2008


Ugh, biscuits are far sluttier than cookies. I hadn't realized the cookie would be passed along from cortex, either.
posted by Pronoiac at 4:03 PM on October 21, 2008


As long as you're not all standing around the cookie in a circle, it should be fine.
posted by dg at 9:56 PM on October 21, 2008


I couldn't log in, so I had to delete the cookie.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 PM on October 21, 2008


donnagirl - busted!
posted by Jofus at 8:36 AM on October 22, 2008


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