"Oh, glad to know I was helpful" January 14, 2010 9:06 AM   Subscribe

AskMe pony request: How about an option to receive an email notification when an answer you gave in AskMe has been marked best answer? Or, if notifications aren't a good idea for some reason, how about some way to quickly check (via your profile) which of your answers have been marked best answer?

Right now, it seems that the only way to find this out (aside from noticing it by chance when reading a thread) is to go to your profile, click on your answers in AskMe, and look for the green checkmarks. Though this is OK and isn't a huge issue, I would think it'd be pretty straightforward to add a more systematic way to view this information -- again, either through notifications or a separate page that filters out your answers that have been marked best answer.

Going to http://www.metafilter.com/activity/#/comments/ask/ (where # = your user ID) currently goes to a list of your comments with three tabs at the top: "Posts | Comments | Favorites." My idea (in addition to or instead of email notifications) would be to add one extra tab, so it would be: "Posts | Comments | Favorites | Best Answers." Clicking on that last tab would filter your answers to just show the best answers, similar to how the "Favorites" tab already filters your answers to just show your answers that have been favorited.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that AskMetafilter should turn into a popularity contest or a game or anything that it isn't already. I realize that people don't want to create a feature that would appear to say "This user has given 50 million best answers, woo-hoo!" But best answers are already displayed prominently, and unlike favorites (which are intensely focused on numbers and could theoretically mean anything), a best answer always means the OP sincerely found the answer especially helpful. Thus, I can't see any negative side effects of making it easier for people to notice when their answers have been marked best.
posted by Jaltcoh to Feature Requests at 9:06 AM (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

You can turn notification on in Contact Activity in the sidebar. I recommend it -- the little check mark you get for a best answer is really quite gratifying, and since it's on the front page you can pretend that everyone else on the site is seeing it too and thinks you're AWESOME.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:08 AM on January 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


You can turn notification on in Contact Activity in the sidebar.

That shows me the answers that have been marked best answers by my contacts. It doesn't seem to show me which of my answers have been marked best. Unless I'm missing something.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:13 AM on January 14, 2010


mudpuppie, I know the link for what you mention is here, but unless I'm missing something, the sidebar still wouldn't show you your activity, would it?
posted by zarq at 9:14 AM on January 14, 2010


Jinx!
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:15 AM on January 14, 2010


It does if you add yourself as a contact. Which isn't really an official feature, but it does work. Copy the "add as contact" link found on the profile page of someone you're not a contact of, paste it into the address bar of your browser, replace their userid with your own, and blammo.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:16 AM on January 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


It does if you add yourself as a contact.

Oh. I didn't even know that was physically possible. It sounds kind of dirty. Yes, this does show my best answers in the Metafilter sidebar (along with my other contacts'). So, for my own purposes, I've pretty much gotten what I wanted -- thanks, cortex. However, I still think one of my suggested features would be nice for people who don't happen to read this MeTa.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:20 AM on January 14, 2010


My feeling on the feature idea itself is pretty much shruggo, for what it's worth. I understand the idea is to make best answers really, really available as opposed to just available, and I don't personally have strong feelings about it either way since I think they're not particularly hard to find for the casual user (just skim through your own answer history for old ones, keep half an eye on questions you've answered recently for new ones) or for the hardcore user (do the contact activity trick, give the infodump a quick dive).

So, eh. Maybe other members of the team feel more strongly one way or the other.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:24 AM on January 14, 2010


I should clarify that it's the "add something to profile pages" feature I'm indifferent about. I can tell you that we absolutely will not be sending out email/mefimails for something like this. We keep those to a bare minimum, we've talked about it a lot in the past in mefimail/notification pony request threads.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2010


This sounds a bit too Stuart Smalley for MeFi.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 AM on January 14, 2010


Look here and scan for check marks.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:37 AM on January 14, 2010


It does if you add yourself as a contact. Which isn't really an official feature, but it does work. Copy the "add as contact" link found on the profile page of someone you're not a contact of, paste it into the address bar of your browser, replace their userid with your own, and blammo.

Neat. I didn't know this was possible, either. Thanks!
posted by zarq at 9:40 AM on January 14, 2010


I usually find out about best answers by reading the thread that I commented in. And I'm with cortex, we won't do notifications but we might be able to figure out a way to make them more visible. The big trck is not wanting to make them any more publicly visible than, say, the contact activity. Right now I go to the old Ask interface that look like this and it's pretty easy to see best answers in a simpler [to me] way than just clicking on the answers number in the regular display. I like the idea of a visible-to-you "best answers" tab.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2010


Thanks, I really appreciate the quick responses from the mods. Sounds like the email notifications are definitely not going to happen, but maybe there could be a "best answers" tab in your activity. Again, I know that you can already look for the green checkmarks in your AskMe activity, but I think the tab would be a slight improvement.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:47 AM on January 14, 2010


It sounds kind of dirty.

You naughty contacter.

On a karmic level, I like the way it is now. You give you answers, try to help people and you don't get anything 'cept the warm fuzzy feeling of helping others. Counting them up, keeping track of them feels a too much like trying hold those moments and cherish them, as opposed to letting them go and moving on to new moments, IMO.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:48 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Counting them up

Well, I'm not proposing that there would be any count. I mean, if someone wants to manually go through and count all their best answers, they can go ahead and do so if that's how they get their kicks. But it wouldn't need to be a visible number on the site. (For that matter, they could already do this by looking through their entire AskMe history and counting all the green checkmarks.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2010


I now know which of my contacts really, really want to track their best answers. Of course, if I try the same, they'll know that about me, too. The only winning move is not to play. And to secretly, obsessively refresh AskMe threads in my Recent Activity.
posted by maudlin at 10:17 AM on January 14, 2010


I now know which of my contacts really, really want to track their best answers.

How?
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:27 AM on January 14, 2010


Duh, because they just added themselves as contacts.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:30 AM on January 14, 2010


Oh, if that info shows up in the sidebar on the blue and you happen to notice it. But adding yourself as a contact does not cause you to appear on your own contacts list in your profile.
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:33 AM on January 14, 2010


Best answers aren't for you. They're for future searchers.
posted by Plutor at 10:38 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My mutual contacts (not all my contacts) will see if I add myself as a contact if they have the sidebar up. I know I'll have added myself as a contact because my short-term memory still works, thank goodness, and I don't need the sidebar. But I would end up cluttering the sidebar with my own posts and any moderately favourited comments, so this is one time where my common sense wins out over my vanity.
posted by maudlin at 10:40 AM on January 14, 2010


(Not that vanity is everyone's motivation. I know it is in my case.)
posted by maudlin at 10:40 AM on January 14, 2010


In my day we parsed our own comments and dumped them to an rss feed and auto-generated an email.

Kids today, wanting everything done for them...
posted by blue_beetle at 11:02 AM on January 14, 2010


Best answers aren't for you. They're for future searchers.

No, I'm pretty sure they count as one point.
posted by smackfu at 11:04 AM on January 14, 2010


Best answers aren't for you. They're for future searchers.

Says you. I say they're for both, although less for vanity scoring and more as a continuing feedback and reality check on what may constitute a good answer, perhaps occasionally acting as an incentive kick.
posted by mdevore at 11:08 AM on January 14, 2010


Best answers aren't for you. They're for future searchers.

Oh, then I'd like to request a feature where I'm not able to view which of my answers are marked best answers. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to see them. I thought they were actually useful for noting when I've given the type of particularly useful answer that I should try to give more of in the future, but I guess I was wrong.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:14 AM on January 14, 2010


Personally, I think seeing your own info on the Activity Sidebar should be a proper feature. It could just be another checkbox on this page. Then drop the post notifications (because you already know what you posted) and change the verbiage to say "You had a best answer" and it's golden.
posted by smackfu at 11:16 AM on January 14, 2010


Yeah, smackfu, no promises since we're still in the jawing-about-it stage behind the scenes but we've been discussing basically that approach this morning.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:21 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Personally, I usually find out via "Recent Activity", but I wonder if a thread gets bumped to the top if someone goes and ticks off a bunch of best answers without actually adding a comment. I suspect not, which potentially means I'd miss some that way.
posted by juv3nal at 12:34 PM on January 14, 2010


Yeah, no, the addition of best answers by the asker would have no effect on Recent Activity's order of listed threads.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:37 PM on January 14, 2010


smackfu: "No, I'm pretty sure they count as one point"

Correct. The MeFi scoring system assigns the following point values:
Getting a favorite: 1 point
Getting a best answer: 1 point
Making a good comment: 1 million points
Making a good post: 1 billion points
posted by FishBike at 12:52 PM on January 14, 2010


Clearly explaining in a MetaTalk post why a pony request has nothing to do with turning the site into a "popularity contest" or "competition": 0 points
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:55 PM on January 14, 2010


Jaltcoh: "Clearly explaining in a MetaTalk post why a pony request has nothing to do with turning the site into a "popularity contest" or "competition": 0 point"

(Posting a satirical table of point values in an attempt to illustrate that MetaFilter is NOT a contest or competition, in that sense that things we count and track are virtually meaningless compared to things that matter but are subjective and not counted or tracked, but which could be interpreted as making the opposite point: -1 million points.)
posted by FishBike at 1:02 PM on January 14, 2010


Literalism kills puppies.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:09 PM on January 14, 2010


No it doesn't.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:20 PM on January 14, 2010


Are there people who do not go back and review all their posts and comments every day? (I don't.)
posted by Cranberry at 1:34 PM on January 14, 2010


No it doesn't.

That was like three litters right there alone!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:52 PM on January 14, 2010


cortex condoned Metafilter hacking in this thread.
posted by qvantamon at 1:54 PM on January 14, 2010


I, just now, literally killed a puppy.





No I didn't. But I will hug one tonight. That'll show you all.
posted by quin at 2:06 PM on January 14, 2010


cortex : we've been discussing basically that approach this morning.

I don't spend a lot of time in AskMe, and I'll only serve as a single datapoint, but this is a feature I would like to see. Put me firmly in the "go for it" camp.
posted by quin at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2010


« Older Are all links created equal?   |   Money Money Money Newer »

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