Etiquette on marking your in-thread AskMe response as Best Answer February 22, 2010 1:13 PM   Subscribe

Etiquette on AskMe OP's marking their own in-thread response as Best Answer?

I was on this thread earlier. OP Best Answer'd their own in-thread response.

Do we do that?
posted by jbenben to Etiquette/Policy at 1:13 PM (65 comments total)

I've done it. And I will do it again. Maybe.
posted by iconomy at 1:15 PM on February 22, 2010


Slow day at work?
posted by R. Mutt at 1:16 PM on February 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


It was an unusual notation style, but it's pretty clear that the OP was referencing the answers offered by other people. Not his own content. The whole comment was a bunch of quotes from earlier in the thread, with a "thank you" added on. Is this really a problem?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2010


It's not a contest. The "Best Answer" should be the one that will best help future generations with the same, or similar, questions. If the OP finds the best answer for themselves they're doing a good deed by marking it as best.
posted by bondcliff at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


Do Re Meh...
posted by y2karl at 1:19 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can do it if you want to. People sometimes do so as, as in this case, a way of highlighting what they feel they got from the thread that was particularly useful, which seems totally reasonable. It's slightly less useful now that we highlight asker's replies by default with CSS than it would have been before that came along, but it's still kind of a handy idea.

It's possible to best your own followup in a weird or obnoxious way, which has happened every once in a while, but even in that worst-case scenario it's just a toothless bit of weirdness or obnoxiousness. We don't give out prizes for this stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:19 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


the prevailing policy of best answers is like favorites - everyone gets to use them however they want. personally, i'm glad they're allowed to mark their own as best answer because it allows us to see what deluded idiots they are.

also - constantly moderating your own thread about control issues doesn't really dissuade the general public from thinking you have massive control issues.
posted by nadawi at 1:19 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm going to favorite this comment to show people I am a deluded idiot.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thanks - I get it.

I'm new and hadn't really seen that done before.

If the OP thought double-highlighting those comments important - OK.

Everyone above is pretty much correct.

Meh.
posted by jbenben at 1:26 PM on February 22, 2010


If it's a question like, "Where can I find these sunglasses in Chicago?" and no one helps, but you figure it out yourself - makes sense.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is usually most appropriate for rhetorical askme questions.
posted by pwally at 1:29 PM on February 22, 2010


If you're the datawanker sort, it wouldn't be hard to use the Infodump data to explore instances of self-besting to get a sort of qualitative feel for how often and in what ways folks make the decision to do so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:31 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's only one situation I can think of where this would be appropriate: if the OP has given one of the best answers in the thread.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


My favorite self-marked best answer.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:43 PM on February 22, 2010


We don't give out prizes for this stuff.

I collected all these tickets for nothing?! DAMN YOU SKEEBALL YOU LIED TO ME.
posted by The Whelk at 1:48 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


We could make it technically impossible, but people don't do it much, so it's technically possible but rarely used. I'm a little surprised the guy didn't just highlight multiple best answers.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2010


i find myself wondering if he really just signed up to ask that question or if it's a sock puppet...
posted by nadawi at 1:51 PM on February 22, 2010


I'm OK with it, as long as the question is about narcissism.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:56 PM on February 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wonder if a large percentage of AskMe users think that they can only award one "Best Answer"? I know it's come up in several threads, but I don't think it's been discussed more generally. This would cause such strange behavior as quoting all the helpful answers and then marking the quotation as "best answer".

The name "Best Answer" does seem to imply that only one can be marked. Should we change it to "Most Helpful Answers"? Or "Good Answers"?
posted by muddgirl at 2:01 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good question. I'm pretty sure the verbiage that people get mentions that you can select multiple best answers.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:04 PM on February 22, 2010


It's possible to best your own followup in a weird or obnoxious way, which has happened every once in a while, but even in that worst-case scenario it's just a toothless bit of weirdness or obnoxiousness. We don't give out prizes for this stuff.

I'll just chime in to nth what cortex and jessamyn have already said. As to prizes, I suppose that cortex is technically correct in that we do not give them out - they are just bestowed automatically when the correct call is made to the db.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:04 PM on February 22, 2010


But that's allaway at the right hand side of the screen. I, for one, have a pretty big screen and never look over there :)
posted by muddgirl at 2:06 PM on February 22, 2010


When no one reads the question and provides answers that you have already determined for yourself (and stated in the question) is the abliilty to "self-best-answer" most handy.
posted by frecklefaerie at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2010


"There's only one situation I can think of where this would be appropriate: if the OP has given one of the best answers in the thread."

Etiquette-wise, I thought the Best Answer highlight was to point future readers towards the right answer, or for human relations questions, to point readers towards those answers that resonate most for the OP.

Please, don't alter this function in any way. It's sort of fun the way it worked out on that particular thread. As per Solon and Thanks, I can now see practical uses for the Best Answer function, as well.

Upon preview - there are prizes awarded on the right hand side of my screen? What site have I been posting to for the last 6 months??
posted by jbenben at 2:22 PM on February 22, 2010


I'm pretty sure the verbiage that people get mentions that you can select multiple best answers.

It does, and I have, but I feel kind of weird/"everyone gets a trophy" doing it. It's one of those things I thought might be looked down upon.
posted by sallybrown at 2:23 PM on February 22, 2010


You have been able to since April 13, 2005. Thank you for the pony.
posted by tellurian at 2:28 PM on February 22, 2010


It's one of those things I thought might be looked down upon.

The awesome thing about MeFi is that people will look down on pretty much anything you do, so it can be freeing to use this an excuse to do pretty much what you want.

It seems weird to me when people give everyone in a thread best answers, but giving out a few? Five? Ten percent? I don't know, more than one has always seemed okay to me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


The awesome thing about MeFi is that people will look down on pretty much anything you do, so it can be freeing to use this an excuse to do pretty much what you want.

I have a similar philosophy about work and pants, but I'll leave that discussion for a different time.
posted by quin at 2:52 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have a greasemonkey script that lets me mark all my comments in every subsite Best Answer.
posted by Zed at 3:07 PM on February 22, 2010


I have a coffee mug that says 'World's Greatest Lover.'
posted by box at 3:10 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


We basically just give prizes to each other. It's a bit like recycling xmas gifts. To be honest, nobody really wants donuts that have been passed around all 144 members a dozen times or more, but it's the thought that counts.
posted by the Cabal at 3:11 PM on February 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I said I want that donut when you are done with it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:24 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


what's this then?
posted by Pants! at 3:41 PM on February 22, 2010


The awesome thing about MeFi is that people will look down on pretty much anything you do, so it can be freeing to use this an excuse to do pretty much what you want.

See, it's a feature, not a bug!
posted by cjorgensen at 3:52 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


what's this then?

I don't even know anymore.
posted by The Whelk at 3:53 PM on February 22, 2010


Just fyi -- we've done this before, too.
posted by inigo2 at 4:03 PM on February 22, 2010


Man, metafilter is like Battlestar Galactica. It's all happened before. It will all happen again.

Only difference is we don't have a plan. Do we?
posted by cjorgensen at 4:11 PM on February 22, 2010


But we do have an airlock!
posted by The Whelk at 4:15 PM on February 22, 2010


I asked a question, no one else answered, I found the answer out myself after a lot more research, and in case anyone ran into the problem again, posted and marked it. Doesn't mean it's a good answer, but it was the best we could do...
posted by infinitewindow at 4:35 PM on February 22, 2010


Only difference is we don't have a plan.

No, the only difference is we don't pretend we have one.

*shakes tiny fist at Moore*
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:36 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some relevant stats, all for non-Anonymous questions only:
1,789,206 total answers
  112,671 best answers (6.30% of all answers)
  154,966 answers by asker (8.66% of all answers)

    1,051 best answers by asker (0.68% of self-answers)
                                (0.93% of best answers)
                                (0.06% of all answers)
So self-best-answering isn't totally unheard of, but it is pretty rare.
posted by FishBike at 5:02 PM on February 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Someday, someone will ask a question about metafilter usage trends that FishBike can't answer. That day is coming!
posted by cjorgensen at 5:09 PM on February 22, 2010


So self-best-answering isn't totally unheard of, but it is pretty rare.

Actually, I'm surprised that it is as high as almost 1% of all best answers. That's a lot more than I would have guessed.
posted by Forktine at 5:13 PM on February 22, 2010


I always thought it was tactless to self-best-answer, so I didn't do it, but if I'd known that the ethic here was that it was okay-ish, I might have, I suppose. There were a couple AskMes I asked where I wasn't really happy with any individual answer and it wasn't until I summarized in-post that I felt like I/we had the best one.
posted by kalessin at 5:21 PM on February 22, 2010


Actually, I'm surprised that it is as high as almost 1% of all best answers. That's a lot more than I would have guessed.

Yeah, so here's that rate (% of best answers that were self-best-answers) broken out by category.
2.13% of computers and internet (379 of 17802)
1.74% of technology (91 of 5243)
1.04% of media and arts (138 of 13210)
0.97% of shopping (25 of 2590)
0.90% of religion and philosophy (11 of 1228)
0.74% of sports, hobbies, and recreation (35 of 4737)
0.71% of travel and transportation (59 of 8265)
0.71% of clothing, beauty, and fashion (21 of 2942)
0.70% of grab bag (32 of 4580)
0.61% of health and fitness (41 of 6703)
0.57% of home and garden (32 of 5588)
0.56% of work and money (35 of 6210)
0.56% of law and government (18 of 3220)
0.49% of writing and language (21 of 4317)
0.48% of science and nature (12 of 2507)
0.47% of education (14 of 2993)
0.45% of human relations (32 of 7037)
0.45% of society and culture (18 of 4008)
0.40% of food and drink (29 of 7210)
0.35% of pets and animals (8 of 2281)
The high percentages for the first couple of items are, I'm guessing, because these are the kinds of questions where there are clearly "right" answers that people either found themselves, or put together and summarized out of the other answers.
posted by FishBike at 5:44 PM on February 22, 2010


Man, metafilter is like Battlestar Galactica. It's all happened before. It will all happen again.

fuck, I'm really going to have to get off the internet and finish watching that damn show, aren't I.
posted by jacalata at 5:58 PM on February 22, 2010


Actually, I'm surprised that it is as high as almost 1% of all best answers.

I would imagine that, if you use "best answer", you're more likely to get and remain involved in your AskMe thread to begin with.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:08 PM on February 22, 2010


Man, metafilter is like Battlestar Galactica.

Jessamyn: *vanishes mysteriously*

Cortex: I know something about server farming, you know.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:09 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


on another note, that thread got really weird. The OP seems to be getting pretty pissed off at the answers he doesn't like. Kinda makes me wonder why he even asked the question.
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:22 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah there are ways to mark your own best answer in sort of a dickish way and we've definitely seen people do it just to be like "Hey you didn't confirm my own prejudices, GRAR" I think when it goes best are when people get a ton of answers, they go away to try some things, and then come back saying "here's what worked, it was a combination of a few things" and then marks it best because no one answer answered it. Remember, we didn't have the "resolved" tag way back when too, so that may have been a way for people to indicate "this is all set now"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:25 PM on February 22, 2010


Jessamyn: *vanishes mysteriously*

I keep seeing Jessamyn as more of a nicely suited head of state who occasionally throws people off the ship.

Me? I'm the guy in orange. On the flight deck. Squint. No, harder.Anycase, I can be found at The Libris, a ..purple bar with it's own still locked in the unused bunks two stops below the fighter barracks. We found a piano!
posted by The Whelk at 6:41 PM on February 22, 2010


I've self-marked, and more than once. It feels good. Really good, for that matter. It's natural, even healthy. No, I am not ashamed, and no, I did not go blind. A MeFite has needs, and other MeFites can't always satisfy those needs. Sometimes only you know just how to answer yourself. Maybe I'll go self-mark right now.
posted by orange swan at 6:56 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


If it's a question like, "Where can I find these sunglasses in Chicago?" and no one helps, but you figure it out yourself - makes sense.

To be fair, Juliet Banana had the best answer to that one.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:59 PM on February 22, 2010


So say we 0.06% of all answers.
posted by Babblesort at 7:14 PM on February 22, 2010


Jaysus, Fishbike.
posted by Mister_A at 7:29 PM on February 22, 2010


Incidentally, the example given in this post is not marked 'best answer'. Has it been unmarked by the mods?
posted by tellurian at 8:11 PM on February 22, 2010


from what i could see - OP marked a few things then unmarked them once this got posted.
posted by nadawi at 8:24 PM on February 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm new and hadn't really seen that done before.

Come on, can you honesty say that's why you posted this? Because it sure looks from here that you just think the OP is an abusive jerk and chose this nitpick to call him out. It's ok, nobody is gonna imply you're a would-be murderer or anything.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 5:09 AM on February 23, 2010


You know what bugs me? When I have the best answer, in a thread where there is an actual definite answer, and the OP thanks me in the thread but does not mark me as best answer. Man, that really burns my biscuits. And it's not like I can leave a comment that said, "Yeah buddy, you're welcome and all, how about marking best answer?" because, sheesh, what an asshole I'd be. I guess I could send a MeMail but, again, what an asshole. So instead I leave a comment in here about it, and then EVERYONE knows what an asshole I am. So I am going to go and mark one of my own self-answers as best to make up for it, or else I'll never level up.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:09 AM on February 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Doesn't everyone secretly feel that way from time to time, dirtdirt.

Man, this one time, I answered a question, and then a few seconds later someone else posted the same answer, and their answer was marked Best Answer and mine wasn't, and they were like, "Hey, MuddGirl had it first" or something.

And I was like "Whatever, I'm not keeping score", but secretly I am.
posted by muddgirl at 8:15 AM on February 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes @and hosted from Uranus - absolutely. But not exactly.

I read the thread, was about to click away... I instead wrote an answer which I originally had no intention of writing - I pressed "post" - and then blam! Op had favored an answer he wrote that cherry-picked a few sentences he found meaningful.

The quotes he extracted weren't the problem - it was the use of the Best Answer function to the equivalent of "digital shouting" that I thought was weird when I posted to MeTa.

Hence, my etiquette question.

After, I posted to MeTa and re-checked the AskMe thread, it pretty much went sideways from there.

This doesn't mean the etiquette question I posed is irrelevant. My understanding is that the OP from my example de-Best Answer'd the referenced in-thread reply post this MeTa inquiry. Most folks above, including this past answer from mathowie on the same pony, agree it should be used wisely.

That is all.
posted by jbenben at 1:46 PM on February 23, 2010


Is this the place where I point to people who put "Best" at the end of some of their answers and then accuse them of trolling for Best Answerses, followed by me laughing and running away?

Yeah, okay, maybe not.
posted by Sallyfur at 11:36 PM on February 23, 2010


Is this the place where I point to people who put "Best" at the end of some of their answers and then accuse them of trolling for Best Answerses, followed by me laughing and running away?

That looks to me like an abbreviated form of "best wishes" or similar, actually.
posted by FishBike at 5:40 AM on February 24, 2010


It's possible that it's some sort of 'best wishes' favorite, but I think it's more favorite likely that it's some kind of subliminal favorite favorite favorite.
posted by box at 6:21 AM on February 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, I know.

I poke fun. Sometimes it pokes back.
posted by Sallyfur at 6:37 AM on February 24, 2010


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