Travel Medical Tech Support Filter June 4, 2009 5:00 PM   Subscribe

have pros and cons ever been discussed for separating AskMe's into segregated categories for ( "what do you recommend I do during my three months in X / can anyone recommend a good shoe repairmen in X" ; "radioactive Y on my eyeball when I woke up-- should I see a doctor?" ; and "need help with Z computer-ish code-ism/softwareness" )?

I honestly think AskMeFi would be improved if unclogged for those three categories-- which is not to say that they don't need answers; it just seems like they take up like 10% of total posts each or something
( no I'm not a statistician; I don't even play one on-- oh. you've heard that one ).

You would have AskMeFi, but you'd also have
AskMeFiIANYTA (TA= Travel Agent),
AskMeFi-IANAD/IANYD, and, of course,

I can see that the main con may be fewer responses because the questions wouldn't be exposed to the community, but.. perhaps it would bring greater focus to those categories from people who specialize in those areas. what else?

and no, I'm not fishing for snarkfins in the purple
(know I'll get 'em though).
posted by candyhammer to Feature Requests at 5:00 PM (45 comments total)

I've read this post three times, but I still don't understand what you are suggesting. Could you clarify?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:07 PM on June 4, 2009 [5 favorites]

I do not think this is such a good idea.

and no, I'm not fishing for snarkfins in the purple

The only purple in MeTa is purple prose.
posted by killdevil at 5:08 PM on June 4, 2009

We already have categories, and there's My Ask, which lets you pick the categories you most or only want to see (I like to see everything, so I don't use My Ask). How would yours be different from those? Do you mean have separate subsites?
posted by rtha at 5:09 PM on June 4, 2009

We toyed with a travelfilter idea for quite a while and it never really reached escape velocity to make total sense as its own site. I know there's a lot of stuff, but as soon as you start partitioning things off, there becomes a lot of judgement calls like "why does this category get its own section and not that one?" So instead of that, we've sort of tried to let people segment the site themselves, by allowing for RSS feeds on a per tag and per category basis as well as the My Ask part of the site which you can use to not only look at what you like but exclude what you don't like.

I'm not trying to be a salesman for the way the site is now, but just to note that we have thought about and discussed this before and never wound up coming up with a good enough reason for it that didn't wind up diluting what was awesome about the site so we decided to build filters into it instead.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:10 PM on June 4, 2009

Oh, hit post too soon.

I honestly think AskMeFi would be improved if unclogged for those three categories-

Unclog them from what? From their respective categories (travel, health, technology), or from AskMe overall, or what?
posted by rtha at 5:11 PM on June 4, 2009

You get points for enthusiasm.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:13 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Instead of working out what you dislike, & asking for a system to avoid those, work out what you like seeing & set up those tags in AskMe.

There are many ways to use AskMe, & saying those valid questions are clogging up the system because it's not conforming to your opinion, as a new member: this is not a good way to introduce yourself on Metatalk.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:18 PM on June 4, 2009

Y on your skin means you should get the emergency room, but Y on your eyeball is more of an outpatient optician matter. HOWEVER, if the Y is radioactive, you may need to bring a physicist friend along to advise on procedure.
posted by DU at 5:19 PM on June 4, 2009

Let's break up MetaTalk into groups as well, for things I can make sense of and things I cannot make sense of.
posted by davejay at 5:30 PM on June 4, 2009

I'm actually beginning to think that making outlandish site refit suggestions is just part of the New Mefite Initiation process. Kind of like writing an entrance essay for school or something, except not at all useful. You join up, you kick around the site for a week or so, you come up with a redesign idea that demands a ton of extra work from the mods but that you believe to be So, So, Worth It, you post it to MeTa, the community tells you why your idea is Not At All Worth It and, bang, you've got your first Metafilter Merit Badge. First snark, then hugs.

candyhammer - welcome aboard! You'll probably find that tags work pretty well for the sorting you're seeking. (you'll probably also find that stating that you're not looking for snark = twice as much snark :) Your enthusiasm is exemplary, even if your plan is not. I look forward to watching you mature from a fresh-faced n00b, excited to innovate, into a crusty old MeFite who fears Change above all else.
posted by EatTheWeek at 5:34 PM on June 4, 2009 [10 favorites]

I was bitten by a radioactive Y once, and now I have the proportional strength and speed of a Y. I haven't used it to fight crime yet, but I've been invited to join a lot of Village People cover bands.
posted by lore at 5:34 PM on June 4, 2009 [8 favorites]

I hear that radioactive Ys to the eye can cause grey-purple colour blindness.
posted by CKmtl at 5:44 PM on June 4, 2009

Mÿ systyr wÿs byttyn by a myýs yncë
posted by boo_radley at 5:48 PM on June 4, 2009 [6 favorites]

You don't know what words mean, do you? language nsfw
posted by ALongDecember at 5:50 PM on June 4, 2009

For the record, I read AskMe for entertainment and not information so separating out the categories would really just be an inconvenience as I search for the next "Oh no, she/he/they/them/new-sixcolors di'n't!" moment. As a form of gratitude, I try to offer not-horrible advice and information when appropriate in return.
posted by mrmojoflying at 5:50 PM on June 4, 2009

These are already separated into different categories, as rtha pointed out. The first goes in the travel & transportation category, the second in health & fitness and the last in computers & internet. If you mean subsites then, well, one of the great things about AskMe is that it's a big ol' thing and everybody has a go at it (except me, I just read the MyAsk rss feed... otherwise I get overwhelmed and don't read anything).
posted by Kattullus at 5:52 PM on June 4, 2009

posted by CunningLinguist at 5:56 PM on June 4, 2009

candyhammer, this isn't intended to be snarky at all, but occasionally new people join and have all sorts of great ideas on things to improve when it appears that they have only the vaguest grasp of the culture at MetaFilter. I'm not saying you are that new guy. Maybe you've been lurking for a long time and already have a handle on things. But you appear to be that new guy.

Historically, suggestions in that vein have not been well received.

It may be even a little unfair. There are a common subset of questions that take up perhaps more space on AskMe than I personally would like to see (don't eat it, see a doctor, call a lawyer, DTMFA, check one of the thousand other question on what to do in New York for a weekend). And new people can of course have good ideas. I certainly don't like the old guard, in any organization, resisting new and maybe better ideas, out of tradition, stubbornness, Not Invented Here syndrome, or "Well, that's just the way we do things around here."

But give it a few more weeks before you jump in here, especially since this is your second MeTa post in two weeks and the last one didn't seem to go over particularly well. Also, this is anecdotal, and is not a reflection on you, but I find the people that post most frequently on MeFi or MeTa, or ask most frequently on AskMe, tend not to have very good posts or questions.
posted by 6550 at 6:57 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Did you favorite your own AskMe? I find that peculiar. But I suppose you wouldn't have asked it if you didn't think it was a fantastic question.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:42 PM on June 4, 2009

I think it is a great idea to divide the green into 4 or 5 sections according to interest. The posts scroll down way too quick.
posted by LarryC at 7:42 PM on June 4, 2009

The randomness of Askme is what makes it so fucking awesome.

And, seriously I need help.
posted by milarepa at 7:47 PM on June 4, 2009

What do you mean by "clogged"? Are you saying that people don't answer other questions because certain types of questions are... what? taking up more answers? Hard to scroll by?

You know, I don't even know what to ask here because your question makes no sense.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:07 PM on June 4, 2009

This may not make sense but I give the poster credit for not sounding like there's spittle flying from his lips as in far too many MetaTalk posts.
posted by GuyZero at 8:46 PM on June 4, 2009

I read this request and said to myself, "Self, this seems reasonable but why not just use tags to sort things?" Then, I read the answers and I remembered what I had forgotten, My Ask or whatever that is called. That makes even more sense. So, others obviously thought the idea had merit, but it was executed in a more customizable manner.

Now if you truly favorited your own post, I would be impressed.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:12 PM on June 4, 2009

posted by special-k at 9:20 PM on June 4, 2009

I really really like having all the AskMe in one location -- it lets my eye randomly discover questions that I wouldn't seek out on my own, and I love reading random questions and letting my brain enjoy the new synaptic connections. I find a lot of the constant segregation on the internet confining, and come to MeFi to have a quality cross-section of what is out there, rather than only seeing the corners where I have my own spotlights trained. If I only ever see what I ask to see, how will I ever discover and grow in new ways?
posted by hippybear at 10:11 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Tags are awesome, and the perfect solution for the Must-Categorize Set. And the best part? They're already available for every single post on the site. You can even define your own! I see you've discovered 5 of them already. Rock on!
posted by iamkimiam at 10:53 PM on June 4, 2009

Burhanistan: are you sure you aren't just stalking me on MeFi and posting anti-statements to anything I write?
posted by hippybear at 11:22 PM on June 4, 2009

Excellent use of the "it" tag, though the slight IT bent of this post will be lost when sorting by tag when I post 100 MeTa's about Cousin It in the coming days.

As such:

have pros and cons ever been discussed for separating Meta's [sic] into segregated categories for ( "what is the name of the overly hairy Addams Family member in X; and "need help with Z computer-ish code-ism/softwareness" )?

and yes, I'm fishing for rosefins of cairo in the purple
(never gonna give you up; never gonna let you down//""_).
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:10 AM on June 5, 2009

Oh the irony. [sic]'d on parody, but did it myself in earnest.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:57 AM on June 5, 2009

I can see that the main con may be fewer responses because the questions wouldn't be exposed to the community, but.. perhaps it would bring greater focus to those categories from people who specialize in those areas.

On the face of it, that con is more important than any apparent pro.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:16 AM on June 5, 2009

and no, I'm not fishing for snarkfins in the purple

I'm not sure I have any idea what this means, so I'm going to choose to believe it represents the most perverse act I can imagine...



Yeah, we probably shouldn't make that a site function though. Matt would probably get nasty emails from... well, everyone.
posted by quin at 8:21 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Someone hasn't read Brown v. Board of Education.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:46 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

In a way, aren't we all "fishing for snarkfins in the purple"?

The answer of course, is "no".
posted by blue_beetle at 9:11 AM on June 5, 2009 [2 favorites]

Why do you guys think he favorited (sp?) his own post? Looks like the only favorite is from a user named Box.

Anyway, I don't think your suggestion is a good one. If you're worried about how fast questions get knocked off the front page on AskMe, a far simpler solution would be to just limit questions to once every two weeks instead of once a week. But I don't know if that's a good idea either -- during the whole SixColors flap I looked forward to her once-a-week posts ... my life would have been much duller if the frequency had been cut in half.
posted by Happydaz at 9:23 AM on June 5, 2009

I think people are referring to this AskMe post by candyhammer, which s/he did indeed favorite.
posted by box at 9:53 AM on June 5, 2009

What's "purple," Precious?
posted by katillathehun at 9:54 AM on June 5, 2009

Well since he didn't comment I'm assuming the favorite was for bookmarking purposes, so that he could follow comments from the My Favorites tab of Recent Activity.
posted by Kattullus at 9:56 AM on June 5, 2009

Yeah dummies. Bookmark.
posted by Mister_A at 10:12 AM on June 5, 2009

I hate to take some of the magic out of this, but I'm pretty sure "purple" is, like "brown", one of the colors someone with a differently-calibrated monitor might consider Metatalk to be.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:39 AM on June 5, 2009

How does clean, professional white become purple? That must be one seriously miscalibrated monitor!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:16 AM on June 5, 2009

Maybe he favorited that post because it was one of his favorite posts on Metafilter.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:41 AM on June 5, 2009

Your MOM is differently-callibrated.

*high-fives self*
posted by katillathehun at 11:42 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm so sad that I've lurked around MeFi since 2000. Now that I actually ponied up my five bucks, I know better than to make a post like this, but I'm still, statistically, a newb. All of that enthusiastic innovation's already been crushed out of me, dripping blue and green and grey like some sort of exotic fruit cocktail.

...I'm thirsty.
posted by Mizu at 4:05 AM on June 6, 2009

Well since he didn't comment I'm assuming the favorite was for bookmarking purposes, so that he could follow comments from the My Favorites tab of Recent Activity.

That's actually exactly correct. I got a nice array of answers on this, some of which involved interesting disagreements, so a bookmark it was.

and.. uh.. "snarkfins" was supposed to be a pun on "sharkfins"; not sure what kind of markers I was sniffing that day, but.. alright. at least I didn't say "snarkfins in the plum", as was my first impulse. ...though it may have gained some kind of creedence for being utter nonsense as opposed to-- nevermind. (*blows one of those fan-in-a-3"-plastic-barrel whistles that goes 'vwzzzzzzzzzzzzeeng!')

and yes, as mentioned above, this thread did go considerably more smoothly than the last.

thanks all
posted by candyhammer at 3:01 PM on June 8, 2009

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