Interest areas raise an eyebrow October 11, 2009 10:11 AM   Subscribe

OK i'll bite; these interest areas on the user profiles, where have they come from, how do you work them out and why does mine say 'gay'?

You know, i'm completely totally 100% comfortable with my interest areas including 'gay', I was just wondering you know how i could possibly change it maybe to i dont know 'cage fighting' or maybe 'big game hunting'
posted by criticalbill to Feature Requests at 10:11 AM (159 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I'd have been more troubled by 'scifi."
posted by applemeat at 10:15 AM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


We just added those on Friday. Here's more info from the FAQ entry What are "Interest Areas" listed on profile pages?
The "Interest areas" list shows the most frequently occurring Ask MetaFilter tags on questions the user has answered. It's a quick summary of the types of questions the user has answered in the past. Extremely common tags are filtered out of the list, and a user must have at least ten answers to have the list in their profile. Keep in mind that a user with more answers will have a more accurate list than a user with fewer answers.
They grew out of this feature request: Pony Filter - Find an Expert. And there's some discussion there about the feature. Since it's still very new, we're open to changes or completely removing them if people are uncomfortable with them on their profile pages.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:15 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine says gay too. Perhaps they all say gay?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:15 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine seem about right, and I can't decide if that's good or bad. I wish mine said "gay."
posted by OmieWise at 10:20 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine doesn't have gay. It does have death, though.
posted by dilettante at 10:21 AM on October 11, 2009


One of my interest areas is cold. Keep me in mind if you have any questions... about cold.
posted by found missing at 10:22 AM on October 11, 2009 [13 favorites]


My interests include "bed" and "cheap". I wonder what that says about me.
posted by k8lin at 10:24 AM on October 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wish mine said gay. My interest areas include diet, fitness, and fashion. And party!

I can't shake this mental image of me as one of The Girlz with a Passion for Fashion and Lean Cuisinez.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:25 AM on October 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


All mine are spot on except for "pain."
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:26 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine are "songs, bicycle, bike, mixtape, party, lyrics, Chicago, playlist, cycling, pop," which I have to admit sounds like a hell of a good time. I'm going to make a point of answering more sex questions, though.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:27 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


My interest areas make it clear that I never leave the house.
posted by jamaro at 10:28 AM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Interest areas: songs, wine, alcohol, restaurant, rock, party, beer, reading, women, comics

Hmmmm. If it had included "drugs, coffee, cats, gnawing sense of meaninglessness" it'd be frighteningly accurate.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:28 AM on October 11, 2009 [12 favorites]


*searches askme for "foxyladies" tag*
posted by hydrophonic at 10:29 AM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Interest areas: font, graphicdesign, printing, fonts, photoshop, adobe, illustrator, logo, graphics, typography

good gravy i need to diversify my hobbies

font fonts typography typographical fonty fonts!!!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:29 AM on October 11, 2009 [9 favorites]


Mine make me sound like a shallow, superficial but well-dressed dandy who traipses from party to party, singing nonsensical songs, chatting about recipes, and critiquing everyone's furniture.

So dead on!
posted by iconomy at 10:30 AM on October 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


hee. If you tell my husband that one of my interest areas is "cleaning," he's just going to laugh at you.
posted by taz at 10:30 AM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ugh, I sound like fucking Cosmopolitan Magazine. I'm not a fan of this, can't we opt out?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:32 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine includes "excel"? WTF?
posted by orthogonality at 10:33 AM on October 11, 2009


pb, does/should/could the Interest Areas Algorithm give (more) weight to questions that the user favorited? I'm not sure if it would have much of an effect, but it's another mark of interest that can occur in addition to or apart from answering a question.
posted by jedicus at 10:33 AM on October 11, 2009


Apparently I am interested in FEAR! Now tremble before me as I RAP about RELIGION!!!!
posted by milarepa at 10:34 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


"alcohol, scifi, party, minneapolis, horror, slang, religion, library, words, recipe"

That's actually a pretty good description of a typical Friday night in my life.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:34 AM on October 11, 2009


can't we opt out

Not right now, but it's something we're considering. The other tag lists on the page (Top MeFi and Top Ask) are compiled from tags on posts and those have been around for years. Giving a summary of where people are answering rather than asking questions is new, and maybe it's more personal? Would you also want to opt out of the other tag lists?
posted by pb (staff) at 10:35 AM on October 11, 2009


BitterOldPunk, in the original discussion about this feature, there was some talk of being able to start with a tag and get a list of MeFi's experts, based on "best answers" they had to questions with that tag.

I hope you find it as amusing as I do that, had that feature been implemented with the same criteria I was using, you'd have been MeFi's leading expert on "beer".
posted by FishBike at 10:37 AM on October 11, 2009


How come I don't own a fedora?
posted by carsonb at 10:38 AM on October 11, 2009


Oh man, I virtually never answer questions, so I don't have this section. How am I supposed to know what is relevant to my interests?
posted by maqsarian at 10:38 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine doesn’t say "gay" outright. But I am down with "weird" "party" "women" so pretty much anything can happen. Hey, where's my "incense" "wine" and "candles?"
posted by applemeat at 10:39 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mine doesn't say 'gay' but dorothy does have me listed as a 'friend' in Contacts. Hmm.
posted by Eideteker at 10:39 AM on October 11, 2009 [8 favorites]


does/should/could the Interest Areas Algorithm give (more) weight to questions that the user favorited?

No, Interest Areas only tallies up where you've answered questions. It doesn't use best answers or favorites in any way. This is a fairly straightforward list, and is simply meant to give a quick summary of answering history. People use favorites for different purposes, and best answers are hard to define precisely as well.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:41 AM on October 11, 2009


OK people, more AskMes about cage fighting please!

My interests apparently include marijuana, which is better than heroin I guess but not ideal in a world where HR whores are Googling everyone.
posted by Bokononist at 10:43 AM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


...in a world where HR whores are Googling everyone.

Understood. Profile pages are explicitly hidden from Google, but they're just a click away from other parts of MetaFilter that aren't.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:45 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The "Interest areas" list shows the most frequently occurring Ask MetaFilter tags on questions the user has answered. It's a quick summary of the types of questions the user has answered in the past. Extremely common tags are filtered out of the list, and a user must have at least ten answers to have the list in their profile. Keep in mind that a user with more answers will have a more accurate list than a user with fewer answers."

Why doesn't this include tagging data from MeFi front page posts? I answer questions almost as a distraction from University or work thinking, a welcome break but I do the best I can in the little time allocated.

But a MeFi FPP post I take much longer researching the links, and crafting the text.

Also we should have some degree of control re: removing or pritorising interests. I know a very, very small amount about UK / EU immigration, but have answered questions in the past simply by relating my personal experience. I'm really not interested in the topic.

By contrast, since I've never answered a question about economics its not listed as one of my interests, although I've done a few posts on the topic.

In any case, great job coding it up so quickly !
posted by Mutant at 10:45 AM on October 11, 2009


I don't really need the "gay" tag. Just look at the number of men who list me as a spouse.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:50 AM on October 11, 2009


> Giving a summary of where people are answering rather than asking questions is new, and maybe it's more personal? Would you also want to opt out of the other tag lists?

Well, I do find it sort of more personal, it comments on what the aggregative engine thinks I know based on what I've answered most, in a summation comprised of, what, 8 topics out of (in my case) over 1500 answers. And it comes up with "recipe, recipes, hair." I haven't told AskMe what I know 1500 times to have it tell me what I know is "recipe, recipes, hair."

It's different than the enumerated ocurrences of the tags I've chosen, myself, for my posts. It's not my choice to have my knowledge or participation described in this way, and our profiles, aside from this, are predominately determined by our own choices.

I'm never answering about hair again. I'm sorry if you have bad hair, I will not help now. (conditioner, layers, don't shave your legs, ladies.)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:52 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm actually kinda not cool with that feature.

Most sites that list 'interests' are sites where you choose them yourself, which kind of implies that's the case here. Even if they're accurate representations of what we're into, which may or may not be the case, I'd much prefer that either they have some kind of text which says that they're automatically generated, or that we actually do have the ability to edit our interests.

I think for 'controversial' topics, it might make people less likely to post in them -- 'gay' is one example -- 'drugs' is another -- I can think of more.. It's one thing for people to find out you're on metafilter and to be able to go through your entire posting history to see what you talk about, it's another for it to be right out there on your profile page.
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on October 11, 2009 [8 favorites]


The other tag lists on the page (Top MeFi and Top Ask) are compiled from tags on posts and those have been around for years.

One difference is that those only link to your history with that tag, while these new ones link to all the questions with that tag. At some level it's using a data source no one else has access to unless they dig through the infodump.
posted by smackfu at 10:56 AM on October 11, 2009


Wow, a list of stuff I know something about, plus "style", "psychology", "etiquette" and "romance".

I guess they're like a bonus, or incentive to learn or something...
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 10:56 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine are fairly accurate, I guess, except for "friendship." If by "friendship" you mean "vomiting up all your own blood and replacing it with hate," I guess I know about that, sure. I'd really like to see this feature either go away or be replaced with something the user fills out.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:56 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Clever feature, but should be opt-in.
posted by modernnomad at 10:58 AM on October 11, 2009


Also, like I said in the other thread, I don't like that if you comment heavily in a tag that is too popular, it won't show up. So no one on this site has an interest area of "photography".
posted by smackfu at 10:59 AM on October 11, 2009


Please get rid of this "feature" or, at least, make it possible to opt out of it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:00 AM on October 11, 2009


Most sites that list 'interests' are sites where you choose them yourself, which kind of implies that's the case here.

Two obvious ones being Facebook and Livejournal. (And MySpace has interests too but they aren't linked.)
posted by smackfu at 11:02 AM on October 11, 2009


I like the idea of the feature, but I have some concerns with the execution so far:

- If this is supposed to respond to the request (in that other MeTa thread) for a "find an expert" feature, it doesn't seem to accomplish that since the "interest areas" only show up once you've gone to someone's profile. I'm not seeing how I can say, "Gee, I wonder who's knowledgeable about kumquats" and then find those people. Maybe I'm missing something.

- "Interest areas" is a little awkward considering that they say things not everyone would be comfortable declaring as an "interest." Let's say someone is really helpful with questions about how to quit smoking -- that person's profile would likely proclaim that one of their "interest areas" is "smoking" or "cigarettes." In any other online profile type thing I've seen, "interests" is a field that's consciously filled out by the user. (On preview, what empath said.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:03 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am also anti-this.

("baby"? "cleaning"? This thing doesn't know me at all.)

Maybe if there was a much higher threshold , like ~100 answers on a subject, before the tag popped up in my profile, I could get behind it.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:05 AM on October 11, 2009


I would like to have an opt-out as well. I may very well be an etiquette-obsessed canine fancier with a keen interest in psychology who loathes noise, but I like for people to find that out organically as a process of reading the dribble that I dispense.
posted by winna at 11:06 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think an opt-out would be good. I also think that it would be cool if you could just "x-out" certain tags. I'm fine with all of mine except for "fashion" - that one is just bizarre.

Also, if this was designed to fulfill the "find an expert" pony request, I don't see how it's really helping. For that, you'd need a page which would take you to a list of users by tag. This is a list of tags by user.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:06 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the interests are stunningly accurate for the first 6-7 tags, but then it gets a bit random, as my last four are: reproduction, alcohol, help, winter. These don't sound like my interests as much as the formula for my conception.
In that this is creepily personal.
But this seems more like a thresholding problem. If you set the list to only include tags when you've answered or asked a minimum of say 3 questions with that tag then there wouldn't be as much noise at the end of the list.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 11:06 AM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


OK, weird:

Interest areas: la, losangeles, parenting, smoking, culture, los, angeles, behavior, death, drinking
posted by Space Kitty at 11:07 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine coincides with a number of interests, but I generally agree with Ambrosia Voyeur's comment. It might be better to call it what it is (topics frequently responded to) , rather than "interests".
posted by oneirodynia at 11:07 AM on October 11, 2009


Other interests that might show up that people might not like to have out there -- 'rape', 'racism', 'alcohol', 'drinking', 'depression' (or anything mental health related), 'bankruptcy', and so on..
posted by empath at 11:09 AM on October 11, 2009


Interest areas: (...) friendship, (...), death, friends

I'd like to publicly thank my friends for still returning my calls.
posted by ersatz at 11:09 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, I don't like it.
posted by Methylviolet at 11:10 AM on October 11, 2009


So happy to be considered an expert in "smell". Smell-y or er? And "cleaning"? You've obviously never been in my apartment. Also, should a bald man really be associated with expertise in "hair"?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:11 AM on October 11, 2009


Ding dong! The feature's dead!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:11 AM on October 11, 2009


I think being able to x out a tag would be fine, or being able to opt out entirely would be fine. I think it should be opt-in to begin with, though.
posted by empath at 11:11 AM on October 11, 2009


I think this feature is great though I wouldn't oppose an opt-out, if only on principle.

hydrophonic writes "Mine are 'songs, bicycle, bike, mixtape, party, lyrics, Chicago, playlist, cycling, pop,' which I have to admit sounds like a hell of a good time. I'm going to make a point of answering more sex questions, though."

Askmes are open for a year, just click on the tag you are interested in and start answering. Kidding, don't do this. Please don't banhammer me Jessamyn.

Mine are mundanely boring (diy, auto, electrical, gas, water, electricity, furniture, battery, kitchen, realestate) and about what I would have expected. Bummer. I was hoping for an unexpected tag along the lines of murder or pink.
posted by Mitheral at 11:11 AM on October 11, 2009


ok, we heard you loud and clear. Interest Areas are gone now, and we'll think about some smarter ways to implement this in the future.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:12 AM on October 11, 2009


I have (aw shucks) expertise in film, film theory, film history, cinema, whathaveyou. But nooooooooo.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:12 AM on October 11, 2009


Wait, I didn't get a chance to see mine so I could complain about it!
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:14 AM on October 11, 2009 [39 favorites]


Wait, I didn't get a chance to see mine so I could complain about it!

Jazz, Automobile Safety, Travel, BDSM
posted by empath at 11:17 AM on October 11, 2009


Sys Rq writes "Maybe if there was a much higher threshold , like ~100 answers on a subject, before the tag popped up in my profile, I could get behind it."

That would limit it to only the most prolific of answerers. I'd be surprised if even with my 3000+ answers if there is more than a tag or two that appears over a hundred times. After all there are only 499 posts tagged with my number one hit DIY.
posted by Mitheral at 11:19 AM on October 11, 2009


Mine was an unnervingly accurate assessment of the things on my mind. SpoO0o0oOky
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:19 AM on October 11, 2009


Interest areas: losangeles, la, recipe, coffee, fashion, women, wine, statistics, medicine, gradschool

women, wine and statistics sounds like quite a night!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:20 AM on October 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


So "Make it start"/"Make it stop" (which was awesome) was replaced with this. Is there a way to turn this off? Or, better yet, get rid of it all together? This is too much like the supermarket giving me 3 cents off of frozen peas, if they can just track everything I ever buy, ever. Well, maybe it's not like that at all. But I still don't like it. I'm going to go answer as many questions as I can which are tagged with cooler tags. I answered one question about "should I wear dirty clothes to work?" and now my area of interest is "shoes." Really?

The most recent question in AskMe is "How can I stop my dog from getting pregnant?" I'm not touching that one with a ten foot pole.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


> Wait, I didn't get a chance to see mine so I could complain about it!

oh, I read it. it was: jazz, Utah, fimo, bewbs, astrology, fistulae, mudkips, jewsdid911.

you're a sage.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2009


Well, now I can die happy. For a brief, shining moment I was MetaFilter's leading expert on something.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:25 AM on October 11, 2009


*whimper* I never got to see mine. If you could make this as an opt-in feature I don't see how that would be a problem.
posted by marxchivist at 11:28 AM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


women, wine and statistics sounds like quite a night!
The odds are good, but the goods are odd!
posted by Cold Lurkey at 11:33 AM on October 11, 2009 [9 favorites]


If you're going to take this away from us, even before many of us got a chance to see it, can we at least have the script that changes the background color back? How about the image tag?

Damn!
posted by cjorgensen at 11:34 AM on October 11, 2009


I never got to see mine.

If you'd like to see a similar list of tags, head over to your My Ask Preferences and look at the list of suggested tags at the bottom of the page. If you're handy with Perl, smackfu wrote a script that will gather them from the infodump.

We'll think about making this opt-in or opt-out. But putting a feature like that in place will take some time, and with the list making folks uncomfortable I think removing them until we can make this work is the way to go.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:34 AM on October 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


oh noes! I wanted it! And I wanted AV to sound like fucking Cosmo!
posted by Navelgazer at 11:38 AM on October 11, 2009


Sorry to see this feature go, because I thought it was kinda cool in its own quirky way, but others have made really good points about its shortcomings.

My list was: portland, accounting, dance, fashion, taxes, sports, fun, divorce, allergies, party

As a reflection of the questions I answer most frequently on AskMe, I thought it was quite accurate, with the exception of "sports." Throw in "books" and "gothic/industrial music," and you'd have a rough summary of the things that occupy a good deal of my time.

I would not have described "divorce" and "allergies" as interest areas, though. More like "subjects with which, unfortunately, I have some experience, and therefore can offer a few words of advice."
posted by velvet winter at 11:39 AM on October 11, 2009


women, wine and statistics sounds like quite a night!

Heh. I like the way you think.
posted by velvet winter at 11:41 AM on October 11, 2009


But I'm an expert in EVERYTHING. Shouldn't my profile reflect that?
posted by klangklangston at 12:07 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm glad it went, one of mine was something that would be a red flag for employers. I removed my name from my profile as a result.

Perhaps if we could choose the tags ourselves?
posted by niccolo at 12:21 PM on October 11, 2009


Just as pb giveth, so he taketh away.

I didn't get to see mine to get properly outraged/amused, but I think this would be a cool feature if it were (a) opt-in for reasons already enumerated; (b) relabeled as "top tags for askme answers" (since that's what it is) rather than the more loaded "interests," and (c) had a cutoff threshold to eliminate the obvious noise.

PS there's a GreaseMonkey script for "make it start!" Linky
posted by cj_ at 12:29 PM on October 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, I liked it, but I guess it could be touchy if your tags were some sort of 'suicide, sex, death, drinking, addiction' combo (and that was a problem for you).
posted by anitanita at 1:00 PM on October 11, 2009


Crap, I just spent 10 minutes clicking on profiles trying to find this 'interest area' that everyone is talking about.

Only to find that I can't find it cuz it's gone.

***sigh***
posted by SLC Mom at 1:04 PM on October 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


It seems like "Interest Areas" is just a lousy name for this, and that's the source of a lot of the discontent. If it were called, say, "Topics about which this person sometimes answer questions", it wouldn't feel so personal.

By pb's algorithm above (checking the suggested topics under "My Ask"), my "Interest Areas" are: Mexico, gambling, horses, music, cooking, netbooks, and amphetamines.

I'm pleased.
posted by chrchr at 1:11 PM on October 11, 2009


Oh, God. Mine's delightful. I plan to use it for my epitaph.

"resolved food cat horror music poop anxiety bathroom cooking crafts depression dog dogs head scary treats atheism bathrobe books casual cats cheap garden health home"
posted by Lou Stuells at 1:47 PM on October 11, 2009


Well that kinda stinks that it's gone already, I was looking forward to see what askme thinks I'm good at.
posted by tryniti at 2:06 PM on October 11, 2009


I was an expert in gay dogs before pb took that away from me.
posted by desjardins at 2:12 PM on October 11, 2009


Nice feature for Human Resources. Now your possible employer won't need to ask you what your interest are.
posted by Cranberry at 2:18 PM on October 11, 2009


Oh, I kind of liked it. I'd vote for an opt-in. None of mine were particularly offensive, although I am not sure why one of them was "chicken".
posted by pemberkins at 2:23 PM on October 11, 2009


I didn't get to see mine either, but the ask preferences pb referred to are somewhat accurate as to the things I reply to, though not comprehensive. I'd be curious to see these "interest areas" if they return.
posted by cmgonzalez at 2:32 PM on October 11, 2009


Boo - I was looking forward to this.
posted by chrisamiller at 2:33 PM on October 11, 2009


I liked it as a tool to check out that things I'm interested in. I look forward to it coming back as an opt-in. Or perhaps something you can only see about yourself, like when you change your profile?
posted by b33j at 2:34 PM on October 11, 2009


Aw that sucks. Go to sleep then wake up and see a movie and I missed out on seeing mine. Grrr. Vote for opt-in seconded.
posted by juv3nal at 2:35 PM on October 11, 2009


Note that the list on your My Ask preferences page doesn't filter out the popular tags like the real interest areas did. For me, there is only one common tag between the two lists ("europe").
posted by smackfu at 2:46 PM on October 11, 2009


Aw, I wanted to see what mine were. I'm always a fan of algorithms that tell me things about myself.

These are my AskMeFi preferences category suggestions, though: "resolved music work relationships health food design mac money writing job books internet art sex career language relationship computer college web Google windows cooking dating."

Does everyone have this many suggestions? Or am I just particularly omnivorous?
posted by limeonaire at 2:57 PM on October 11, 2009


Shucks, mine was something like: babies, books, Brooklyn, novels, psychology, sex, fashion. Which sounds like a bizarro universe version of me that lives in Park Slope and fills out Cosmo quizzes.
posted by zoomorphic at 3:35 PM on October 11, 2009


relationships dating love nyc depression anxiety relationship work travel ADD art sex music alcohol family friends breakup food marriage infidelity

This is way better than what my interests are. This is pretty much my biography.
posted by kathrineg at 3:48 PM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wanted to see mine. Peh.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:49 PM on October 11, 2009


My AskMeFi preferences category suggestions: resolved relationships relationship sex dating marriage gay career love breakup depression dog family lesbian taxes dogs girlfriend iphone music jealousy money parents travel advice anxiety.

Lesbian taxes...hrm, go figure. It's unnerving that my life is summed up so easily.
posted by CwgrlUp at 4:10 PM on October 11, 2009


We just added those on Friday.

Thanks for getting rid of those. Can you get rid of "linked by" now?

It's creepy.
posted by Zambrano at 4:18 PM on October 11, 2009


If you'd like to see a similar list of tags, head over to your My Ask Preferences and look at the list of suggested tags at the bottom of the page.

resolved car mortgage work dogs money home credit insurance RealEstate house cat dog wedding relationships cats health realtor cars Apartment pets law loan recipes Boston



I am MeFi's foremost expert in house cat/dog weddings. And let me just spoil it for you now. They always end up in divorce because the cat can't tolerate the dog constantly sniffing her ass.
posted by jerseygirl at 4:27 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for getting rid of those. Can you get rid of "linked by" now?

It's creepy.
posted by Zambrano at 4:18 PM on October 11 [+] [!]


Ralph, is that you?
posted by jamaro at 4:42 PM on October 11, 2009


My interest areas include diet, fitness, and fashion. And party!

I can't shake this mental image of me as one of The Girlz with a Passion for Fashion and Lean Cuisinez.


I had just come around to register a complaint in this thread because my interests appeared to include "boyfriend," "baby", "diet" and "sugar" but didn't include "severed heads", "mummification" or "parasitology" at all, simply because no one's asked me about them.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:51 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I for one would like to ask you now.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:57 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


we'll think about some smarter ways to implement this in the future.

Opt-in to display it, but let us see it ourselves. Or just let us choose them. And yeah, "interest areas" is too non-specific. It's "topics this user tends to answer questions about," right? So why not just call it that?
posted by mediareport at 5:17 PM on October 11, 2009


oh my god you big babies
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:24 PM on October 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Aww, what's creepy about having two spouses? Provided everyone's treated equally and all that.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:26 PM on October 11, 2009


I'd be up for it opt-in, or yeah, if we could get rid of specific tags.

Note to self: for more accurate reflection in interests tags, start answering more questions about pretty ladies.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:27 PM on October 11, 2009


music resolved language guitar audio recording games relationships blog work internet movies video wordpress film politics books love sex website writing dating metaphysics online travel

Being a mod has ruined this list for me—half of those are just topics that are proportionally popular and which hence require a lot of mod intervention in the form of admin comments. Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:03 PM on October 11, 2009


I can see how wordpress would be a particularly contentious topic, yeh. Total crap.
posted by cj_ at 6:22 PM on October 11, 2009


Cortex, the order of your interests is like this delightfully twisted little narrative. Or some bizarro never-ending haiku.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:03 PM on October 11, 2009


Mine are so tame. Suggestions: resolved books children relationships art dog health food dogs work kids baby cooking dating job music recipe recipes depression etiquette family fiction moving pain parenting Etiquette? Good lord. I am disappointed in myself. The tags are better; I'm very happy with my profile tags beer, batshitinsane and car, job, pain. Those five pretty much sum up my life nicely.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:18 PM on October 11, 2009


Aw! I like mine! If anyone wants an expert on Chicago depression, resolved food, house music, travel books, kids cooking, health baby, children work, diy relationships, or love paint? I'm yer' gal. Especially, "love paint. Because that stuff is awesome. And "children work". Hoo, boy! Do I have advice about how to put those little rug rats to work.
posted by jeanmari at 7:19 PM on October 11, 2009


Aw, man, I was going to manipulate the shit out of this, just like I'd have to do with a Tivo. Suggest my interests are nerdy topics, will you? I'll start commenting in the threads on cars and motorcycles and porn and booze and lifting weights and sports.

Everyone would have said "There goes a man's man."

*cries*
posted by graventy at 7:23 PM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mine include: breakup sex business.

How did you know about my entrepreneurial venture? Can I hand out my business cards?
posted by 26.2 at 8:27 PM on October 11, 2009


I'm very happy with my profile tags

One of my profile tags is "poop."

Unfortunately, I do have to say that poop does take up a fair amount of real estate in my life.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:28 PM on October 11, 2009


Darn it. How will I know what my interests are now?
posted by rtha at 8:28 PM on October 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


poop does take up a fair amount of real estate in my life.

You should move.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:41 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Could we just call it "frequently answered tags?" Is that also a contentious moniker?
posted by pemberkins at 3:20 AM on October 12, 2009


PS there's a GreaseMonkey script for "make it start!" Linky

Thank you. For some reason it was always guaranteed to make me crack up during incredibly stressful days at work. Maybe if I hadn't been laughing at all of the colors and actually working, I wouldn't have been so stressed.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 4:10 AM on October 12, 2009


poop does take up a fair amount of real estate in my life.

You should move.


Poop no move.
posted by marxchivist at 5:49 AM on October 12, 2009


music Windows legal relationships TV car credit etiquette guitar love sex travel apartment Art audio food forums htaccess ipod language mp3 PHP PNG signature

This list amuses me a lot.
posted by empyrean at 6:11 AM on October 12, 2009


People, I'm not even SEEING a section labelled "interest areas' in anyone's profiles. Did this get yanked?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:18 AM on October 12, 2009


People, I'm not even SEEING a section labelled "interest areas' in anyone's profiles. Did this get yanked?

Yep.

ok, we heard you loud and clear. Interest Areas are gone now, and we'll think about some smarter ways to implement this in the future.
posted by pb


However...

If you'd like to see a similar list of tags, head over to your My Ask Preferences and look at the list of suggested tags at the bottom of the page.
posted by empyrean at 6:47 AM on October 12, 2009


web work design html internet sex

It's kind of thrilling to see one's life so perfectly distilled into six nouns.
posted by ook at 7:39 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's a neat idea, but I can definitely understand why some might want it to be an opt-in feature. It might be worth looking into adding a threshold of like five or ten questions with matching tags before it adds it to the list, that way a newer user with an otherwise sufficient number of comments, answering a question or two about porn doesn't show up in the list.

That, or having the ability to X out the ones people find objectionable might be cool.

My list looks something like this: mac music internet photography video cat books guns computer film movies wireless dogs osx cats dog art car gift resolved router wifi Apple camera canon... and I can honestly say that MyAsk has accurately figured out how to define me as a person.

Though it is lacking a few; I think mainly because there are so few demon summoning ritual and weaponized copepod AskMe questions for me to participate in.
posted by quin at 8:24 AM on October 12, 2009


"...myth, songs, batman, ..."

*Points, makes dolphin-y sounds of glee*
posted by ormondsacker at 9:32 AM on October 12, 2009


It's all the same to me whether it lived or died, but I am curious what my own "interest areas" were.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:33 AM on October 12, 2009


One of mine is "Obama" - makes no sense.
posted by jgirl at 9:41 AM on October 12, 2009


I feel like these interests were going to give me some deep insight into myself. I never even got to see them! What am I supposed to DO with my life?!
posted by orme at 9:51 AM on October 12, 2009


Mine lists "RickAstley" and I'm totally okay with that.
posted by eamondaly at 10:09 AM on October 12, 2009


If you missed the feature during its brief time on the site, I put together a temporary page that shows what your Interest Areas would have been: Ask MeFi Interest Areas. This page is completely private, only available to you.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:22 AM on October 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Awesome, pb.

portland, wordpress, recording, words, friends, videogames, alcohol, death, names, rock

Heh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:31 AM on October 12, 2009


hair, party, space, dogs, songs, costume, math, rock makes it sound like I am going to take my Great Dane to a Sun-Ra concert, just as soon as I get done calculating the proper launch trajectory so I can see the show ... from the Moon.
posted by adipocere at 10:35 AM on October 12, 2009


mine: power, electricity, lighting, server, airconditioning, ac, etiquette, wifi, cable, bike

One of these things is not like the others.

Also, everyone who did not like the term "interests" for this should be glad it's not up to me to name features. Because I'd have called it "bait" instead.
posted by FishBike at 10:40 AM on October 12, 2009


You should, adipocere, you should!
posted by ocherdraco at 10:40 AM on October 12, 2009


Apparently, we're all interested in etiquette, which is amusing. I'm astonished that I've answered 10 or more etiquette questions, unless they were all, like, Cheap Wine: Drink Straight from the Bottle or Offer Jelly Jars?
posted by taz at 10:52 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Huh:

recipes, songs, baby, religion, halloween, NYC, roadtrip, party, friends, recipe

So, I....like looking for playlists and recipe ideas while planning Halloween parties for local friends -- with babies -- and then I go on a roadtrip to get away from everyone.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:54 AM on October 12, 2009


books seattle children baby food travel music kids book pregnancy family moving parenting work cooking movies TV money nyc depression health Sleep cuba women writing

Oh my god. It's hideous.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:55 AM on October 12, 2009


taz, one fairly good way I've found to look up which posts have which particular tags is a google search like this: site:ask.metafilter.com -inurl:tags -inurl:archived "posted by [username] at" [tag]. So you might try a search for etiquette and see what you've commented on.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:58 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your Interest Areas: iTunes, python, router, DVD, iphone, facebook, adobe, mysql, download, uk

Oh my god, it nailed me. The last two are noise, but the rest are eerily accurate. Opt-In!
posted by cj_ at 11:03 AM on October 12, 2009


Thanks, pb!

Your Interest Areas: sanfrancisco, gay, bayarea, cheese, reading, publishing, california, death, birds, safety

seems about right, yep.
posted by rtha at 11:12 AM on October 12, 2009


NYC, songs, costume, new, party, name, gay, italy, stories, sf.

It just described any Friday night!
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh no! The way I've been using the site conflicts with my ideal self! Why can't my interest areas be topics I think would make me cool and not the topics to which I actually contribute!
posted by ODiV at 12:02 PM on October 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


(b) relabeled as "top tags for askme answers" (since that's what it is) rather than the more loaded "interests,"

This this this this this.

etiquette, hair, philadelphia, friends, landlord, recipes, parenting, alcohol, fashion, cleaning

Booo. Where's my gay?

posted by desuetude at 12:21 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


NYC, recipe, recipes, fashion, cheese, rabbit, shoes, vegetarian, hair, christmas

When does this Jewish girl talk about Christmas? Interesting. The others are spot on.
posted by rmless at 12:33 PM on October 12, 2009


names, editing, photoshop, beer, songs, marijuana, train, mix, toronto, sports

No idea wherefore Toronto, mix, or sports, but the rest is pretty accurate (and damning). I'd probably opt-in (at least once my employment situation gets to be more stable)
posted by jtron at 12:52 PM on October 12, 2009


My interest areas: names, name, baby, culture, christmas, etiquette, psychology, death, parenting, childhood

Huh, seems to be lacking.

My Ask Preferences is a better read:

cats family relationships depression food pets books sex marriage death cat health travel children language love music movies Canada life names parenting dog psychology women
posted by deborah at 12:53 PM on October 12, 2009


dogs, baby, painting, reading, recipe, women, parenting, camping, death, recipes
Pretty close, particularly the camping death recipes. I excel at those.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:06 PM on October 12, 2009


My Ask Preferences is a better read

It really is! And more accurate, too.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:22 PM on October 12, 2009


Your Interest Areas: Apple, usb, cheap, dell, printer, headphones, macbook, cell, ebay, OSX <- NERD ALERT
posted by zsazsa at 1:57 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


backup, ubuntu, statistics, gmail, help, graduate, psychology, diet, math, rss

"help" - now there's a useful AskMe tag...
posted by chrisamiller at 2:23 PM on October 12, 2009


recipes, christmas, death, reading, pregnancy, etiquette, women, baby, baking, child

Oh Christ, let me just go slit my throat right now. THIS IS NOT MY SECRET LIFE. <-----not a wholesome, polite, baby-loving baker
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:25 PM on October 12, 2009


One of My Ask Preferences is "communicaiton." I'm not sure if that is typo or a statement on my communication skills.
posted by Quonab at 9:29 PM on October 12, 2009


sanfrancisco, san, francisco, drugs, songs, gay, bayarea, marijuana, environment, sf

Perfect. Would someone let my boss know? Not sure about that "environment" bit though--that's a bit dodgy.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:40 PM on October 12, 2009


Hmm... I think its time to up my expert in something.... Mine were cool and all, but its time I get my expert on in something that makes me sound impressive...
Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery. Brain Surgery.

How many times do I have to write that before the algorithm makes me a leading athority in Brain Surgery?
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:56 AM on October 13, 2009


My interest areas: cheap, gay, parenting, atlanta, upgrade, outlook, party, restaurants, budget, electricity

Skip the "outlook" and the rest is pretty good (I'm all for cheap gay parenting), but my suggested AskMe tags are more descriptive:
books music access anxiety children depression gay marriage phone relationships sex wifi atlanta audio cat cheap database health Importing literature MS_Access psychology relationship travel anger

Do you have access anxiety? Need advice on your phone relationships? How about an audio cat, cheap? Let go of your travel anger. I can help!
posted by notashroom at 7:56 AM on October 13, 2009


Oh man, have I got an audio cat. Free or best offer.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:07 AM on October 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


chrisamiller writes "'help' - now there's a useful AskMe tag..."

Everyone knows it should be 'hope'.
posted by Mitheral at 9:23 AM on October 13, 2009


austin, anxiety, alcohol, songs, baking, etiquette, engagement, diy, shoes, gay

I am not at all surprised.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:41 AM on October 13, 2009


music addiction drugs travel family sex coffee Vista amsterdam art bad books camera Cheating dating digitalvideo drugaddict drugaddiction dvd film gay housemate HTPC office poker

So mine thinks I'm mostly interested in sex and drugs and rock and roll. It seems like this thing knows me pretty well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:45 PM on October 13, 2009


what the---?

australia, psychology, dogs, international, name, songs, baby, parenting, pet, diet

Okay, Australia and international, cool, sure. I've just moved there, so that makes sense. Psychology, maybe. Diet? Baby? Parenting? Seriously, wtf mate? I can't ever remember answering a question about babies or parenting, and if I did, I'm sure it was jokey, because I am very definitely not a parent. Nor have I any advice to give about dieting, as I've never in my life been on a diet.

MyAsk, on the other hand . . .

books fiction cooking music food movies travel college history literature recipes writing cats diet health depression dog long psychology relationships airport australia batman California cat

. . . is much more accurate, if still fairly lame.

I really like that "batman" is one of my interests. That's just fantastic. The rest is boring and can go shoot itself. Except for maybe "long psychology." I'd love to know what long psychology is. (Or how one gets the "long" tag as an interest.)
posted by po at 1:37 AM on October 14, 2009


I actually liked it, and kind of miss it now. I'd be interested in an opt-in system when the dust settles.

Thanks for all the good work.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:07 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm sad I missed out on the chance to see what interests me. :(
posted by Kimberly at 2:11 PM on October 15, 2009


Kimberly, check this page.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:18 PM on October 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


« Older NaNoWriMo 2009?   |   Posting comments from iPhone Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments