the 'best answer' option for the green is great but how about also having a just 'helpful' option? January 5, 2009 11:55 AM   Subscribe

the 'best answer' option for the green is great but how about also having a just 'helpful' option?

I noticed the apple discussion forums have the option to mark answers as 'solved' but also as just 'helpful' to indicate they're going in the right direction but haven't fully resolved the issue just yet.

I often get great answers on the green that deserve to be noted but don't always want to mark them as 'best' because the green arrow would show up and mark the question as resolved when it really isn't yet. (my purely subjective impression is that less replies come in once you give a 'best answer').

so how about adding 'helpful' to the green as well?
nobody likes a derailing.
posted by krautland to Feature Requests at 11:55 AM (72 comments total)

[A FOR EFFORT]
posted by boo_radley at 12:02 PM on January 5, 2009


nobody likes a derailing.

I do! I totally loves me some derailing. Who else likes derailing?
posted by Kattullus at 12:04 PM on January 5, 2009


I'm a bad, bad man. And I've often thought it would be nice to have something like a "good answer" option but I don't feel very strongly about it, but I don't use AskMe as heavily as some.
posted by Kattullus at 12:05 PM on January 5, 2009


I favorite those answers. I'm probably abusing the system in that regard.

And I loooove a derailing. I'm definitely abusing the system in that regard.
posted by DU at 12:07 PM on January 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


An "unhelpful" flag would be useful, for answers that ignore elements of the question, but which skirt deletion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:08 PM on January 5, 2009 [17 favorites]


It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional...
posted by KokuRyu at 12:18 PM on January 5, 2009


God yes. There seems to be an epidemic of not reading the question going on lately.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:18 PM on January 5, 2009


omg yes. A big red flashing "DID NOT READ QUESTION AND/OR OTHER RESPONSES" plus a sticker on the forehead for anyone who does that.
posted by DU at 12:20 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


There seems to be an epidemic of not reading the question going on lately.

Been hashed. Consensus seems to be: flag and move on.
posted by youcancallmeal at 12:25 PM on January 5, 2009


This one is funny. Poster wants suggestions of veggies other than carrots to dip in hummus. Half the answers are "Carrots! Try carrots! Carrots are awesome!"
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:29 PM on January 5, 2009


Maybe the asker only tried those slimy and unnatural "baby" carrots? hm?

Also, just use "Best answer" as "good answer" or "helpful". You can mark more than one, so it functions like that anyway.
posted by ODiV at 12:32 PM on January 5, 2009


my purely subjective impression is that less replies come in once you give a 'best answer'


I believe this is true, but only while the question is still on the front page, which isn't long any more. People reading in RSS don't see that a best answer is marked and by the time the question has scrolled off the front page, a best answer check won't deter determined answerers.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:37 PM on January 5, 2009


Yeah, the carrots-and-hummus thing drove me absolutely nuts about 30 seconds ago.

The reason I'm not sure a 'helpful' flag would be, uh, helpful, is that I'm not sure what the use case is. "best answer" marks let other users know the question's 'done,' and if they're reading later they can easily and quickly find "The answer." Unlike favorite-flagging, Best Answers are not numerically tracked per user, so there's no bragging-rights/points-winning aspect to it. And in the end, unused features are bad and cruft things up and make it harder to maintain useful features, so let's not add them if they're not really really useful.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:39 PM on January 5, 2009


I often get great answers on the green that deserve to be noted but don't always want to mark them as 'best' because the green arrow would show up and mark the question as resolved when it really isn't yet.

You seem to acting as though there's a time limit. Why not just come back in a week to mark what you think is best? That way haven't discouraged answers and you're still marking notable answers.

Also, it's a checkmark, not an arrow and marking one or several answers as best doesn't mean it's resolved, merely that a particular answer has been good. I think the terminology "best" can be a bit misleading as what's best is subjective to both the OP, people who answer and people who are just listening.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:52 PM on January 5, 2009


I don't care if I get checkmarks, because the bestness of my responses is apparent to anyone with half a brain.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go recommend carrots as a medium for hummus delivery.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:01 PM on January 5, 2009


I often get great answers on the green that deserve to be noted but don't always want to mark them as 'best' because the green arrow would show up and mark the question as resolved when it really isn't yet

I've often wished for a "helpful" notation for the same reason, but I think the newish feature that highlights the asker's responses in-thread makes for a better alternative. Just leave a comment that quotes the most useful points already made, in an easy-to-scan bullet-y list format, with whatever clarifications you need to make to help people zero in on the appropriate answer. People will notice it because of the side-margin highlighting, and you get the added bonus of being able to clarify what is helpful about each suggestions. You can go back and mark lots of Best Answers once the question is resolved, if you feel the the need to hand out checkmarks of thanks.
posted by vytae at 1:10 PM on January 5, 2009


Also, it's a checkmark, not an arrow

I think krautland was referring to the fact that it is the Green Arrow who goes through the AskMe threads, applying the checkmark where appriopriate.

Speedy is involved with Projects, somehow.

I like krautland's idea, for what it's worth.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:12 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


We should use the old Sears catalog metrics. Good, Better, Best.
posted by fixedgear at 1:18 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


After each answer, just reply with "warmer" or "colder."
posted by txsebastien at 1:25 PM on January 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes please.
posted by Pants! at 1:30 PM on January 5, 2009


Have you guys tried these carrots?!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:31 PM on January 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like derails as long as they stay under detrain.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:33 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. Different crackers.
2. Carrots.
3. Put post-it notes next to answers you find helpful. If you scroll or navigate to a different page, move the post-it notes accordingly.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Carrots go terrible with Hamas.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:45 PM on January 5, 2009


I favorite those answers. I'm probably abusing the system in that regard.

I favorite them too but don't read anything into that since I'm really just bookmarking them for later reference.
posted by smackfu at 1:45 PM on January 5, 2009


I'm on this diet whereby I eat only carrots, hummus, and beer for dinner on weeknights. So I almost wanted to comment to stick with the carrots.... just add beer.
posted by yeti at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2009


Just change "Best Answer" to "Great Answer", and it'll only cost you 8 bits.
posted by davejay at 2:13 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


An "unhelpful" flag would be useful, for answers that ignore elements of the question, but which skirt deletion.

Which would come in handy for your response, ironically.
posted by dhammond at 2:23 PM on January 5, 2009


Which would come in handy for your response, ironically.

This is not AskMe, there are rules.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:29 PM on January 5, 2009


I was told there would be carrots and hummus.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:40 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


To sum up: How about using carrots to help AskMe posters behave? No, give us sticks.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:52 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is not AskMe, there are rules.

I thought it was the other way around, that AskMe was the one with the rules and this is is the one with no pants.

I mean... could someone pass the carrots?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:52 PM on January 5, 2009


That's no carrot!
posted by ODiV at 2:53 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is this, foodie day at Metafilter?

Oh, I get it. It's the tail end of the week on everybody's new diets.
posted by lysdexic at 2:58 PM on January 5, 2009


Instead of bread and circuses, MeFi has carrots and hummus.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:58 PM on January 5, 2009


The first rule of Metatalk is that we make ironic pop culture references.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:00 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


No thanks, I'm allergic.
posted by cabingirl at 3:11 PM on January 5, 2009


That thread is still fun. Now people are suggesting types of crackers to the guy who wanted a replacement for crackers.

Possibly it's just that I'm very bored, however.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:13 PM on January 5, 2009


I am opposed to the wanton killing of baby carrots to use with Hummers.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:15 PM on January 5, 2009


Oooo wontons!
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:17 PM on January 5, 2009


Bon Bons?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:20 PM on January 5, 2009


long johns
posted by Science! at 3:42 PM on January 5, 2009


wait... have I been outcarrotted or did I get downcarroted here?
posted by krautland at 4:04 PM on January 5, 2009


Hey dude, I thought—isn't the first rule of MetaTalk you don't talk about MetaTalk?
posted by carsonb at 4:15 PM on January 5, 2009


Has he tried chick pea patties deep fried with some parsley and onions and tomatoes, maybe wrapped in a pita, with his hummus? Because that's how he should eat it. Otherwise, with carrots.
posted by klangklangston at 4:24 PM on January 5, 2009


isn't the first rule of MetaTalk you don't talk about MetaTalk?

Obviously; that belongs in MetaMetaTalk.
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:48 PM on January 5, 2009


Mmmm. I had falafel for dinner, and one of the teens I work with has become addicted to hummus, thanks to me. She asked me to make her some to take home.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:48 PM on January 5, 2009


Be careful with that falafel.
posted by lukemeister at 5:06 PM on January 5, 2009


Terrorists?

Man, I remember when the only person you had to fear with falafel was Bill O'Reilly.
posted by klangklangston at 5:30 PM on January 5, 2009


^^^^^^^^^^^^^

everyone loves a good caret.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:31 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


i for one wouldn't mind a carat or two
posted by philomathoholic at 5:57 PM on January 5, 2009


Personally I'd go for a nice celebratory glass of claret right now.
posted by Kattullus at 6:05 PM on January 5, 2009


I do! I totally loves me some derailing. Who else likes derailing?

The British.

No wait, Americans.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:29 PM on January 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think, though:

[GREAT ANSWER]

[GREATEST ANSWER]
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:35 PM on January 5, 2009


I would prefer a 'This particular answer is not even slightly helpful. Did you bother to read the question, Mr Compulsive Answer-guy?' flag, instead.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:06 PM on January 5, 2009


[Okay if not what I wanted Answer]


That thread is still fun. Now people are suggesting types of crackers to the guy who wanted a replacement for crackers.



Wasabi rice crackers. Seaweed is nice too.
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 PM on January 5, 2009


I've got a whole messenger bag full of carrots right here.
posted by mendel at 8:21 PM on January 5, 2009


After each answer, just reply with "warmer" or "colder."

Cold, cold, ice cold, freezing, sub zero, cold, warmer, warmer, warmer, hot! Hot hot hot! SCORCHING! BOILING! BURNING!!! Cooler, colder, cold cold cold, freeeeezing! SHIT!!!!!!!!! What the hell is wrong with you people?!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:47 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd prefer to mark things as "helpful" rather than "best".
posted by Eideteker at 10:17 PM on January 5, 2009


Hey dude, I thought—isn't the first rule of MetaTalk you don't talk about MetaTalk?

Shut up, carsonb. You're out of your element!
posted by Gunner's Mate 1st Class Phillip Asshole at 10:46 PM on January 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


You got your MeTa in my hummus!

You got your hummus in my MeTa!!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:46 PM on January 5, 2009


You got your hummus in my MeTa!!

I hear there's drugs for that now.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:01 PM on January 5, 2009


Hummus in you Meta is fine, but what about hummus on your meat? A vienna beef hot dog with hummus on the bun sounds delightful. Probably going to be my dinner tonight.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:17 AM on January 6, 2009


There's too many grey areas not covered, here. I suggest the following simple solution, since there is no such thing as two best answers:


[Shitty Answer -- Mods plz. Delete]
[That's Not An Answer -- It's a Rambling, Disjointed, Drug-Addled Diatribe]
[Did You Read The Question, Motherfucker?]
[Half-Assed answer]
[Meh Answer]
[Decent, But Pretty Run-of-the-Mill-There's-Ten-More-Just-Like-it Answer]
[Now We're Getting Somewhere]
[Good Answer, But Keep 'em Coming]
[Great Answer!]
[Second-Best Answer! Here's a Red Ribbon!]
[Best Answer!]
[Best Answer Ever on Ask Metafilter!!]
[Absolutely the Best Answer in the History of the Known Universe!!!]

Okay, the word "answer" has now started to look totally weird, like it's spelled all wrong.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


[Terrible yet Brilliant Answer]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:46 PM on January 6, 2009


Potomac, when you take into account the missing apostrophe in its/it's, it truly becomes inscrutable. And great, of course.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:49 PM on January 6, 2009


Rather than a "helpful" choice, I, too, would prefer a "totally not helpful in any way" alternative to "best answer".
posted by crush-onastick at 9:39 AM on January 7, 2009


Rather than a "helpful" choice, I, too, would prefer a "totally not helpful in any way" alternative to "best answer".

A lot of times, if it's just TOTALLY inane, I flag as "noise."

Fagging as "There's no such thing as a stupid answer. Except for yours." would just take too much time.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:54 PM on January 7, 2009


I just want a [WRONG!] flag.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:02 PM on January 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


vytae said: I've often wished for a "helpful" notation for the same reason, but I think the newish feature that highlights the asker's responses in-thread makes for a better alternative. Just leave a comment that quotes the most useful points already made, in an easy-to-scan bullet-y list format, with whatever clarifications you need to make to help people zero in on the appropriate answer.

To wit:

"I'm a MeFite so I'm lazy by nature and don't believe in such a thing as 'feature bloat,' and I'm asking for a one-clicky, but instead, you want me to
  • read the whole thread
  • analyze what bits were actually helpful
  • quote the good bits
  • while also adding on commentary of my own
  • which will likely be difficult if I know nothing about the topic to begin with, hence my AskMe appearance,
  • in a list that requires about 37 extra pieces of HTML formatting
  • (for which, btw, there's no clicky shortcut button next to the posting box),
  • which will then be spotlighted for later readers thanks to the light-up bar on the left.
  • Is what you're suggesting.
  • In all sincerity.
  • Right. Piss off, pal."
Is sort of how I'm predicting the majority response will be on that. I could be way off base, though.
posted by pineapple at 5:51 PM on January 7, 2009


I, too am:
- lazy
- hurried
- not always the best informed

However, when making "bullet-y" lists I typically skip html formatting and instead employ:
* dashes
* asterisks
* other punctuation

(Just sayin'.)

If you have the knowledge and opinion to want to mark a comment as helpful using a fancy built-in feature, you should be able to use that same knowledge and opinion to note that comment as helpful in text form. If you're unwilling to read the thread and analyze what bits were actually helpful, it's hard to imagine that you'd need a "mark as helpful" feature. You probably also won't get much use out of asking your question, if you don't want to read the answers. Copying and pasting could be saved for advanced or highly-motivated askers, I guess.
posted by vytae at 11:46 AM on January 9, 2009


[A FOR EFFORT]

[F For Effort!]
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:31 PM on January 9, 2009


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