Agree? April 8, 2010 7:32 AM   Subscribe

Pony request: an "I agree" button in Ask?

We all use favorites differently (which is a natural and beautiful thing) but I wish there was an "I agree" button that was separate from "favorite" in Ask. I often see questions where someone has already posted the same answer I was going to give, and I'd like to give my extra support to that answer without cluttering things up with "This" or "I agree" posts.

(Please forgive if this was answered in one of the "how we use favorites" threads, I really tried to search and read them all, I swear.)
posted by JoanArkham to Feature Requests at 7:32 AM (158 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I agree.

The favorites functionality is used to say "I agree" in Ask all the time, and it would be nice if there were an alternative.

This thread is bound to be full of people saying "Well, that's not what favorites are supposed to be for," so let me be the first to say: That doesn't matter. It's what they are being used for in a great many situations.
posted by bingo at 7:34 AM on April 8, 2010 [11 favorites]


First thought: "No, change is bad!"
Second thought: "Actually, this kinda makes sense..."
...Which was quickly shouted down by the "Change is bad" faction in my head.

I guess I'm a grumpy old man.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:34 AM on April 8, 2010


This makes sense to me. I... agree.
posted by prefpara at 7:37 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love this, as a mostly-Ask Mefite. Distinguishing between "I agree!" and "Dude that was fucking hilarious" would be totally useful to me.

(Is it worth the drama of implementing? Probably not. But still!)
posted by restless_nomad at 7:38 AM on April 8, 2010


I agree that an "I agree" button would be excellent!
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:43 AM on April 8, 2010


Don't we just become digg at that point?
posted by filmgeek at 7:46 AM on April 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


also, an unagree button so you can remove a mistaken agree, but not a disagree button, cuz who needs that.
posted by yeoz at 7:47 AM on April 8, 2010


I like the idea, but I prefer the simplicity of only having favourites. If there are two ways of marking a comment to the public, why not 12?

If you agree, you can post "agree with so and so". It's a lot more meaningful than increasing a comment count.
posted by molecicco at 7:48 AM on April 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yes, please.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:49 AM on April 8, 2010


At first I was going to be all, "No, we already have favorites and people already use favorites to express agreement." But then I thought about it for a minute and, hey, an "I agree" button actually makes a lot of sense. Nothing would stop people from also favoriting a comment they had "agreed" with.

For instance, let's say someone posts an answer you agree with, and it includes a fascinating ancedote that you'd like to re-read sometime because it's so interesting and insightful. You would likely favorite this and click "I agree." Now, let's say someone gives an absolutely correct answer, but it's rather dull and/or it doesn't really apply to your life. You would likely click "I agree" but not favorite it.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:50 AM on April 8, 2010


http://metatalk.metafilter.com/14815/Me-too

I don't have time to read that thread for the answer but perhaps one of you will.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:56 AM on April 8, 2010


[I agree]

I would like this, because I think we get a lot of what is essentially 'Me, too'ing in Ask.Me threads that could be channeled into this. Some people already do this with favorites, obviously, but for me, that reduces the utility of favorites as a bookmarking tool.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:57 AM on April 8, 2010


It should also make the font bigger.

<big>You, sir, are an asshat.</big>
posted by Plutor at 10:54 AM on April 8 [5 favorites +] [25 people agree] [!]
posted by Plutor at 7:58 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think this is a good idea.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:00 AM on April 8, 2010


also, an unagree button so you can remove a mistaken agree, but not a disagree button, cuz who needs that.

I would so I could disagree with your statement.
posted by inturnaround at 8:00 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I disagree. I don't think there is much value for the original poster if they get 5 answers and 1 of them has 7 I agree tags. The beauty of Ask MeFi is that even if you agree with a previous answer, you are sort of challenged to add something else to the conversation if you are going to post. Those something else's are valuable and would get lost if it was easy to just click the I agree button. We don't need to add input to every question, only those questions where we have something valuable to add. I don't see any value in what would essentially be a bunch of me too responses.
posted by COD at 8:00 AM on April 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'd like a "not a fuckin' chance this request will be granted" button for MetaTalk.
posted by gman at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2010 [21 favorites]


That previous thread was asking for a blanket one, rather than an AskMe-specific one, and I really think that changes the issue. Although I don't think we're going to get much better than Cortex's "No. Really, really no. Extremely no."
posted by restless_nomad at 8:01 AM on April 8, 2010


Does no one remember what happened the last time a change was made to the way favorites function? To recap: It went badly.
posted by Kattullus at 8:05 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was thinking of this only for Ask, and mostly for those questions with factual (vs. opinion) answers. If the question is "how do I get this stain out of my shirt" and one answer has 10 "I agrees" then that's going to be the one I try first.

Yes, you can post a "me too" but I always feel like I'm increasing noise-to-signal when I do that, especially if there are several already posted.

Looks like this was asked and answered back in Aught-Seven though, so I guess it's going to get closed up.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:05 AM on April 8, 2010


That previous thread was asking for a blanket one, rather than an AskMe-specific one, and I really think that changes the issue.

It wasn't "AskMe-specific" in that the request was for all the subsites. But the OP said the button would be particularly good for AskMe. So, in a sense, it was "AskMe-specific."
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2010


There is no "I agree" button for the post, so I just marked it as a favorite.

(When I come back 6 months from now and clean up my favorites list, this remark is going to look pretty stupid.)
posted by SLC Mom at 8:06 AM on April 8, 2010


Does no one remember what happened the last time a change was made to the way favorites function? To recap: It went badly.

This isn't a request to "change . . . the way favorites function." This is a request to add a new button next to favorites.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:07 AM on April 8, 2010


I don't think we're going to get much better than Cortex's "No. Really, really no. Extremely no."

Well here's my "No. Really, really no. Extremely no." statement, if that helps. And it's not that this is a bad idea, actually. It's more that we really want to keep the utility of AskMe high and if you agree with someone, we'd like you to take the time to say so, and say why. I've been seeing a disturbing [to me, easily disturbable] trend of people either aggressively agreeing in AskMe without saying why, agreeing but saying they "don't have time" to say why, or just making some other "plus 1" comment. And while I appreciate that sometimes maybe that's all you have to add, generally speaking we'd like people to add a little nuance or something, or feel free to not comment at all.

So, yeah, I don't think this is something we're likely to revisit this time around. If you want to use favorites for this, you're welcome to. We'd like people to indicate their assent or dissent by saying so, not just clicking a thumbs up.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 AM on April 8, 2010 [15 favorites]


This is more worthy of a test run than "has favorites."
posted by milarepa at 8:10 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


☑ STRONGLY DISAGREE


(I'm kidding. I'd be behind something like this. I find flagging adequate, or just saying "yes, so-and-so is right!, but I'm not oppose to an agree/disagree button.)
posted by exlotuseater at 8:10 AM on April 8, 2010


I was almost going to favorite your comment, COD, to say that I agree that favorites shouldn't be used to show agreement. I guess it goes to show that people innately feel the need to throw in their with a side without constructing a statement saying so. I think you are right, though. It seems that this would be moving towards voting on comments that favorites was intended to avoid, or at least mask a bit in its broader application (also as bookmarks, etc).
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:12 AM on April 8, 2010


I think this could work.
posted by pwally at 8:13 AM on April 8, 2010


^ missing closing quotation mark after "right!" and opposed to. And I even previewed!
posted by exlotuseater at 8:13 AM on April 8, 2010


I've been seeing a disturbing [to me, easily disturbable] trend of people either aggressively agreeing in AskMe without saying why, agreeing but saying they "don't have time" to say why, or just making some other "plus 1" comment. And while I appreciate that sometimes maybe that's all you have to add, generally speaking we'd like people to add a little nuance or something, or feel free to not comment at all.

This is actually a good point, even though I was in favor of an "I agree" thread. The mods have clearly heard the request and aren't going to implement it, so that's that. Thanks for the explanation, jessamyn.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:14 AM on April 8, 2010


Trying not to threadsit but...I actually don't like the idea of a "disagree" button. If you disagree I think you should tell why. ("I tried to get a stain out using gasoline and it melted my sweater.")
posted by JoanArkham at 8:18 AM on April 8, 2010


I'm with Jessamyn et. al. on this. I think in AskMe, the priority is on informativeness over efficiency. The [agree] button serves to condense information, whereby response isn't needed, but rather funneled into other responses. The nuances of opinion (and the variants of 'You should do solution A, but like this...) are what make AskMe so great. We want to encourage this, not prune it.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:18 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think we should just have an "I agree" button for legal questions where the first person says "get a lawyer" and then everybody says "yeah, get a lawyer" and then somebody shows up accusing everyone of piling on when the first person just gave the right answer.

remember that game guys?

/mini-rant
posted by craven_morhead at 8:23 AM on April 8, 2010


I would like it for the sole fact that it's nicer than 30 comments where everyone piles on and tries to be clever about saying someone is a jackass for sleeping with his aunt's boyfriend because his aunt got them a wedding present instead of cash.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:24 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just because people agree does not make the answer right.

If you agree with a response, feel free to keep a log of it in your own personal text editor. Occasionally you can read through that log, and smile knowingly.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:26 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


We'd like people to indicate their assent or dissent by saying so, not just clicking a thumbs up.

I don't disagree with this, and as I said, I don't think this change would be worth the drama (I have an exceptionally low drama tolerance, mind you) but the thing is, people already do this with favorites. Splitting out "I agree" from all the other uses would actually add nuance, not remove it.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:30 AM on April 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've been seeing a disturbing [to me, easily disturbable] trend of people either aggressively agreeing in AskMe without saying why, agreeing but saying they "don't have time" to say why, or just making some other "plus 1" comment.

Nthing this.

Are the mods considering removing these comments?
posted by grouse at 8:34 AM on April 8, 2010


Are the mods considering removing these comments?

We remove them sometimes. Depends on the question. Sometimes the question really is yes/no and so it seems dickish to remove a yes/no answer. Sometimes it's a really complicated-seeming relationship question to which someone answers DTMFA and yeah we'll remove those. And maybe it's me being peevish but when someone comments "I think I remember something like that I'm on my phone so can't look it up right now, will write more later" I'm sort of like "wtf are you doing? Stop that."

That said, the pile-ons where people start getting a little ... shirty about a question the OP has and answers start going like this

No, I don't think that's a good idea.
No, don't do that.
No.
OH HELLZ NO.
Fuck no are you fucking stupid?
[links to Darth No YTMND]

are crummy and we'd love to find a way to make people not think that's a good way to answer a question, but I don't think this is that way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:40 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can think of a few AskMe questions where someone asked for advice and the general consensus of responders was the same. It was much more powerful and beneficial, IMO, to have those people not only saying that they agreed, but also articulating why they agreed with a specific piece of advice or comment.

AskMe can be very individualistic at times, with nuances for similar situations. I think it helps the site to encourage people to actually talk rather than click a button.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:44 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you disagree I think you should tell why

Some thing for agree, because it helps to explain the why of the agreement, which can be very important.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:46 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I start wishing for a more detailed way to mark certain comments. Like with the "flag" menu, maybe a list of choices like these:

I Agree
I Disagree
I Like This
I Dislike This
Bookmark This

And maybe "fantastic comment" should be moved to such a menu too, and renamed "Nominate For Sidebar" or something. And some logic to allow multiple choices (you can like it, agree with it, and bookmark it) but prevent mutually exclusive combinations (you can't agree AND disagree).

And of course we'd need some sort of way to visualize the data for each comment. Maybe comments with higher "disagree" values would become more transparent, while high "agree" values would add a subtle text-shadow. High "like" values would give the text a gold tint, and high "dislike" values would turn it subtly crimson.

A little pie chart showing the distribution of data would be nice too, but not visible all the time. Maybe only when you mouse over a comment. With a cool fade-in animation.

And each user ought to be able to rename how the metrics are displayed when they're logged in. I would change the names to these, personally:

Right On, Brother!
What
It's Cool
It's Crap
Doggie-Bag This

And then, of course, we'd need to add a way to rank users by who is the most likable, or agreeable, and likewise who posts the most What and Crap. And we need a way to ignore all comments from whatty and crappy people, or if we're pretty whatty and crappy ourselves, to ignore the more well-merited folks (and mods!).

Eventually when I've allowed myself this much license to daydream, the ponies start to fill my imaginary stable and trample each other, spilling out into the streets, and then they're not so much fun any more. Now I'm more concerned about feeding them and shoveling their poo than actually riding them and brushing their manes and whatever else you're supposed to enjoy doing with ponies.

Now I don't know about JoanArkham; I'm sure she's a lot more reasonable than me. But speaking for myself (a bit of a codemonkey) I love features. My eyes grow wide when I consider the possibilities of more features, anywhere, any time. It's a slippery slope I've always had trouble with. They're like Lays potato chips. Feature creep kills my projects dead before they even have a chance to live. I guess that makes me a lousy programmer, because all my software is too awesome to exist. Anyway, this isn't about me. It's about MetaFilter.

The point is, when you add complexity, your system becomes unusable. Favorites get used today because it's a piece of cake to click a plus sign and move on. Once you start adding drop-down menus and infographics and color-coding, it becomes too much trouble. Nobody will bother figuring it out or caring to do it nearly as often as they do now. The signal is overwhelmed by noise.

So I agree with the powers that be. Utility is top priority and anything that doesn't make MeFi simpler probably shouldn't be added. Even though an "I Agree" button is only one little, tiny, marginal change, it's a step in the wrong direction. And it would get all the people like me excited about a laundry list of ridiculous features to bug the admins about, features that would kill the site dead if they ever got implemented. As frustrating as it is for me sometimes, there's a reason why people are so resistant to change around here.

tl;dr - No. I disagree.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:50 AM on April 8, 2010 [10 favorites]


Just agreeing with Jessamyn here, she's said pretty much everything I was going to. Specifically:

Yes, you can post a "me too" but I always feel like I'm increasing noise-to-signal when I do that, especially if there are several already posted.

"Me too", literally as such, is a pretty lousy answer in most cases, so in that sense your feeling is understandable. But "I have also experienced this, and here's what happened", or "My understanding, based on information x of provenance y, is that..." are good, helpful additions even if they're mostly materially agreeing with a previous answer. Askme is at its best when it provides not just an answer but a preponderance of information about answers, and folks taking the time to add something of substance, and provide the context for those additions, are doing it exactly right.

Ten "agrees" on an answer is less information than a couple of additional comments actually providing substantial support for or agreement with an answer. There's no way to parse the nature or quality of the checkboxed agreement. Which, that's not a tragedy or anything and insofar as favorites may often function that way in Askme that's not a big deal necessarily, but we don't see a need to build out a more explicit function for that narrow channel of unqualified agreement.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:54 AM on April 8, 2010


jessamyn: "I've been seeing a disturbing [to me, easily disturbable] trend of people either aggressively agreeing in AskMe without saying why, agreeing but saying they "don't have time" to say why, or just making some other "plus 1" comment."

I have composed a truly marvelous agreement to this statement, but this comment box is too small to contain it.
posted by Plutor at 8:55 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


An "agree to disagree" button would be a great way to end futile arguments.
posted by gman at 8:55 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The way I framed that might suggest I'm quoting Jessamyn. Not so. Weird framing, me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:56 AM on April 8, 2010


Maybe someone can write a grease monkey script that puts a drop down box by every comment with a bunch of different (user definable) options. You can then select whichever one you want. Nothing else happens.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:09 AM on April 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


I know — you put an "I agree" button on there, but when you click it, a pop-up appears saying, "Hey, that's great and all, but how about you telling us why you agree. Provide informative details, personal experiences, or whatever is appropriate. This is not a poll."
posted by adipocere at 9:09 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Winsome Parker Lewis, of course you're right. But these discussions are a neat way to examine some of the assumptions underlying people's usage of the site, even if they don't result in actual system (or policy) changes.

It's really a more complicated question to figure out how to encourage people to verbalize their agreement. The only way I can do it when I have a strong emotional response one way or the other is to get up, stomp around yelling at the cats and gesticulating, and have imaginary conversations about the subject with imaginary people until I've figured out what's actually bugging me. If someone could figure out how to code that in Javascript, my cats would appreciate it.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:12 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The amount of work put into the agreement demonstrates that it isn't whimsical. If you agree at the click of a button, what's it worth, really?
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:23 AM on April 8, 2010


Shrugs. Perfectly happy to use favorites for this. And TBH only the OP should be in the position of definitively marking any best answers.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on April 8, 2010



Maybe someone can write a grease monkey script that puts a drop down box by every comment with a bunch of different (user definable) options. You can then select whichever one you want. Nothing else happens.


I want a greasemonkey script that plays encouraging 1920 British toff clips when I agree with something. "Right Ho!", "Steady On!" ,"Jolly Good Show!" and so forth.
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM on April 8, 2010


Also, something about this topic turns me really fucking wordy. God.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:09 AM on April 8, 2010


I always thought that clarity and utility were the governing principles of AskMe. Given that, something that separates "I agree with this" from "This is hilarious" would be useful, even if only for AskMe.

But I tend to not use AskMe much, so I defer to those who ask a lot of questions -- is the current state of favourites confusing or less useful than it might be?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:13 AM on April 8, 2010


AskMe does not serve the same functionality as Metafilter, so I think that separate functionality makes absolute sense. I mean, look at Projects and Music - different functionality altogether.

I know that the "favorites" function serves as a method of saying "i agree," but etymologically it does not. Saying "I like what you said here" does not always mean "i agree with what you are saying." Take this answer, for example.

Additionally, when using "favorites" as a bookmark, it gets muddled with things that you really don't like all that much, but you want to note that you agree on the issue, because you want the poster to know that it's a good response. It makes my favorites list inconsistent between awesome answers, and just good answers.

On the other hand, instead of clicking a button, does it make sense to have to make a post that says "I agree with so-and-so above"?

Indeed, I often forgo expressing anything in an ask post when I see that somebody else has said what I was going to say. It is incumbent on me to weigh whether I have to add to the noise by saying the exact same thing as my opinion is merely collateral, or to favorite, or to just move on. I move on at the risk of knowing that the answer that I prefer will get lost without emphasis.

I understand the value of each person expressing their own personal experiences, and why that is a good thing. But having an "i agree" button would not stop people from taking their turn on the soap box.

A lot of this has already been said upthread, or in the other thread. Note that if we had an "i agree" function in meta, then I wouldn't have had to rehash all of this.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:20 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yep, I almost never jump in to support pony requests but this is a good one. I would definitely want a way to agree with comments without cluttering up my favorites list. This would increase the signal-to-noise ratio on the site, too, by cutting down posts that assent... because you know what happens you assent... you make an ass out of those tree creatures on Lord of the Rings.
posted by crapmatic at 10:23 AM on April 8, 2010


USE UR WORDS
posted by klangklangston at 10:29 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey, did you know there is already a fantastic method to express that you agree with a previous answer?

Absolutely you can use favorites for it, and that is a great idea, but sometimes one wants to be very stingy with handing out favorites. Hey, we all understand that. We use favorites differently. Some people really watch their "my own comments favorited by others" to "comments by others I have favorited" ratio, and don't want to screw it up amirite?

So, I developed this fantastic, state of the art system. No plugins to install, no new subscriptions to buy (your existing Metafilter account alone qualifies you for this exciting offer!) and I have available an endless scheme of customization (unless you want the blink tag, for which you'll need to upgrade). If you buy now, I am offering two for the price of one. Since I'm in such a great mood, I'll even waive shipping and handling. Well, since you pressured me, I'll give you a free preview but it expires in 7 days unless you purchase the entire package.

All you have to do, is say "I agree". Available alternatives are specifying who you agree with, what about their comment you find particularly pleasing, or explanations of the grounds for your agreement. These three options are included standard, for the low, low price of absolutely free. But, remember, endless variations of unique customization are available.
posted by bunnycup at 10:30 AM on April 8, 2010


I get to post this because I learned it from jessamyn:

Use your words!
posted by carsonb at 10:32 AM on April 8, 2010


U BSTRD!
posted by carsonb at 10:33 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then we go through the experiment where they turn off the counts, and we see FUCKING A'D, which is later replaced with HAS MURMURS OF AGREEMENT.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:53 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want a "True that" button.
posted by yeti at 11:03 AM on April 8, 2010


i want a [insert clever snark that garners mucho favourites] button if we're asking for pre-answered buttons anyhoo
posted by infini at 11:04 AM on April 8, 2010


I like this idea and would use it often.
posted by kudzu at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2010


I want a checkbox that gives me superpowers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:06 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want Terminator vision with Commodore 64 assembly code scrolling down the screen and a selection of possible replies whenever someone disses me.
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know much about Javascript, is it possible to write some code that would allow me to have lunch with David Lynch and Alan Moore?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:14 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's an unimplemented feature of HTML5.
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's buggy right now, so you just get Grant Morrison and a tank of ether.
posted by The Whelk at 11:19 AM on April 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


That's in Firefiox, in the IE9 preview you get links on the page randomly replaced with a selection of NSFW posts from Warrenellis.com.
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on April 8, 2010


Can we get a feature that blocks people who make "eponysterical" jokes from seeing usernames ever again? Unless they're really and truly eponysterical?
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:25 AM on April 8, 2010


We totally need a "save as draft" feature for FPPs. That should be a development priority.
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Agreed, Artw. Agreed.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:31 AM on April 8, 2010


I agree, too
posted by infini at 11:38 AM on April 8, 2010


I really like the ambiguity of "favorites", both on MetaFilter and on AskMe.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:01 PM on April 8, 2010


I concur.
posted by The Whelk at 12:04 PM on April 8, 2010


While we're at it, let's add an Acknowledge Unfavorableness for remarkably bad comments and posts, and for news that's just plain sad.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:08 PM on April 8, 2010


We should all be able to attach emoticons to posts and comments, so they'd have a little string of faces after them and you could tell how people felt about it. There should also be a method of indicating if the emoticon is sarcastic or not.
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM on April 8, 2010


Odor Over I/P for should I eat this questions.
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM on April 8, 2010


While we're at it, let's add an Acknowledge Unfavorableness for remarkably bad comments and posts, and for news that's just plain sad.

Flagged as noise.

Next pony: Automatically removing any comment where someone informs the community that they've flagged it, but refused to move on.
posted by carsonb at 12:11 PM on April 8, 2010


       __________________
   _.-", ,' .'. ,  `. .  "-._
 .'. `    .    ,  `  .  ' '  `.
.`____________________________'.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
`""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""'
 `____________________________' 
posted by shakespeherian at 12:12 PM on April 8, 2010


MONEYBURGER
posted by heyho at 12:13 PM on April 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


it's expensice cause it's made of unicorn.
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on April 8, 2010


I can't imagine the db schema but I, for one, think it'd be just neat-o if you could give a favourite a tag list; like a del.icio.us bookmark. Then you could search _favourites_ by tag instead of just the post/askme.

Oh yes I do read the site primarily by the 'popular' feed, how'd you know?
posted by mce at 12:24 PM on April 8, 2010


I agree, we should have threaded discussions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:59 PM on April 8, 2010


I swear to god I'll tie you up in your goddamned threaded discussions.
posted by The Whelk at 1:01 PM on April 8, 2010


what?
posted by infini at 1:02 PM on April 8, 2010


I'm not a fan.
posted by The Whelk at 1:03 PM on April 8, 2010


+1 to liking this. It could work. Yes, more elaborate answers are better, but sometimes somebody comes up with a freakin' brilliant solution. You come along to the thread, and "agree" yup, this is the right answer. It's sort of akin to allowing others to vote on something similar to the "best answer" the OP gets.
posted by cgg at 1:20 PM on April 8, 2010


TRUTH IS NOT A DEMOCRACY.
posted by klangklangston at 1:30 PM on April 8, 2010


ja ja i was responding with similar taken aback dislike to pileon's suggestion

urgh threads
posted by infini at 1:30 PM on April 8, 2010


I would like to make a suggestion to change the names thusly:
MetaEchos
AskEchos
EchoTalk
posted by P.o.B. at 1:38 PM on April 8, 2010


I like the idea of an "I agree" button. I would use it a lot more than I currently use favorites (which I use for stuff that is a favorite or I want to come back to later.)

There are a lot of answers I agree with and are great answers, but I don't favorite them because then my favorites become clogged with stuff I don't want to save for any reason AND I also don't want to add more to the thread by typing "I agree with xyz", so to me it would be a win/win.
posted by NoraCharles at 1:49 PM on April 8, 2010


Can we get a feature that blocks people who make "eponysterical" jokes from seeing usernames ever again? Unless they're really and truly eponysterical?
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:25 AM on April 8 [+] [!]


Eponysterical!

For reals. Just think about it.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:53 PM on April 8, 2010


I Agree
I Disagree
I Like This
I Dislike This
Bookmark This

I AM TEHLOKI
posted by special-k at 1:58 PM on April 8, 2010


I think Facebook should have a dislike button.
posted by The Landscaper of Dorian Gray at 2:39 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher: "I want a checkbox that gives me superpowers."

In all seriousness, isn't it via the checkboxes on the contact form that you became the mighty Marinator?


or was it marriaginator?
margerinatador?

posted by idiopath at 3:17 PM on April 8, 2010


This discussion is reminding me about how I told my grandparents that my partner and I are considering getting married and my grandfather's response wasn't to congratulate us, or even to register disapproval. No, his response was to ask us if we could have name tags at the wedding. Name tags. For our guests.

Because wouldn't you know that there is NO SOCIALLY AGREED UPON PROTOCOL for finding out SOMEONE'S NAME. How we've managed to conduct ourselves in society thus far is just astounding.

(The corollary being you can just say "I agree." You don't need a button. Or a name tag. Unless you're in a room with my grandfather. In which case, you're also going to want a shot of vodka and an escape route.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:42 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "I want a checkbox that gives me superpowers."
In all seriousness, isn't it via the checkboxes on the contact form that you became the mighty Marinator?


I thought it was "Espousenator."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:43 PM on April 8, 2010


I think if you implemented an "I Agree" button that just popped up a little dialogue saying "Well Done!" or "We'll All Sleep Easier Now!" then it would keep the threads clean and scratch that itch that people seem to have.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:50 PM on April 8, 2010


"In which case, you're also going to want a shot of vodka and an escape route."

Implement this pony.
posted by grapesaresour at 4:50 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


In which case, you're also going to want a shot of vodka

Pony has been implemented. Pony implementation complete.
posted by water bear at 5:59 PM on April 8, 2010


I think this would be a great idea. I have favorites turned off because I could give a crap about what people want to 'favorite.' But on AskMe, it would be really useful to see what advice has the most proponents.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:59 PM on April 8, 2010


Though it's been said many times, here's my own point of view:

This has been proposed before, but not only is it a very, very bad idea - it's a bad idea that reflects what is probably the very worst thing about ask. We don't need a way to see what most people think about a particular answer, because most people are fucking stupid. Seriously. The truth is not democratic, and if I could be arsed to turn on the stupid goddamned favorites function again on my profile I could give you a laundry list of highly-favorited and highly-wrong answers in ask that were not only bad answers but were leading people in terrible directions.

If you would like a mechanism for seeing the answers to questions that most people like, you are free to move over to Yahoo! Answers, where the people decide on the best answers, which are usually "U R GAY!" If, on the other hand, you want good, even-handed answers that try to explain themselves and are actually helpful, stay here and use actual words to say something when you like somebody's answer.
posted by koeselitz at 7:38 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


JoanArkham: “Yes, you can post a ‘me too’ but I always feel like I'm increasing noise-to-signal when I do that, especially if there are several already posted.”

This is a feature, not a bug. I understand the urge to say something when you agree, but it's almost always the case that it's unnecessary to just go adding something to perfectly well-answered threads. The fact is, if you don't have enough to say to warrant a comment, you sure as hell don't have enough authority to tell other people what the right answer is.
posted by koeselitz at 7:48 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's buggy right now, so you just get Grant Morrison and a tank of ether.

I actually fell out of my chair laughing at that one, The Whelk. Good show.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:07 PM on April 8, 2010


The truth is not democratic

The truth isn't usually a simple cliche, either.

Think of it like that fairly dreadful game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

You've got those three extra tools to help you along. Call a Friend, Audience Vote Thingie, and the other one.

Some questions are technical. You don't want a consensus opinion because, as you noted, people are fucking stupid (about some things). So you call your friend who knows about physics, or carpentry, or whatever the subject.

Other questions are anything but technical. Questions of style, pop knowledge, etiquette. The audience at large is much more likely to give you the correct answer, in aggregate, of say, Lady Gaga's latest single release, than your scientist buddy.

More than one kind of question. More than one kind of useful response. If I felt like being an ass, I'd bold something about presuming to have authority to say what everyone asking questions are looking for.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:14 PM on April 8, 2010


It's not my fault. My keyboard just gets stuck this way.

Also, I should point out that polling questions - the sort of "what do you think?" stuff that would be the only context in which voting up or down answers would likely help - are usually deleted here as chatfilter. I don't think there's really a case where voting on best answers would help anything at all on this site.
posted by koeselitz at 8:22 PM on April 8, 2010


koeselitz: Also, I should point out that polling questions - the sort of "what do you think?" stuff that would be the only context in which voting up or down answers would likely help - are usually deleted here as chatfilter.

Well, the obvious category which polls the hivemind and isn't chatfilter is etiquette questions. I'm sure there are others but I'm tired and my brain is fizzing out.
posted by Kattullus at 8:26 PM on April 8, 2010


Naw. There's a whole class of "Is this rude/polite?" (as I said, etiquette) questions. The 1001 recipe threads (where it really would be anyone's guess whether a favourite means "bookmarked for later" or "I've tried that -- great recipe"). Again as mentioned, style questions (navy with black or brown? ascots -- really?). And relationship questions, no small part of AskMe, involve, from what I can see, a hell of a lot of voting.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:28 PM on April 8, 2010


Ooooh, I strongly disagree.

I like the idea. I really do. In theory, this is so awesome.

But there is another online/neighborhood related forum that I'm a part of that implemented a "nods" feature that ended up sucking big-time and alienating/offending a lot of people. Especially those who can't brush things off easily.

It was originally done because people were sick of all the "yeah, me too!" or "nah, not for me!" single-wordish posts. (Jessamyn addressed this upthread, and I think that the official policy is good.) So a post would have a cumulative total of say, "+4" or "-2" nods.

Then, people were like "well, how about we see a breakdown of the nods?" because "-1 nods" could mean that one person disagreed and no one else really cared, so no big deal; or, 12 people agreed and 13 people disagreed and then we'd have an actual interesting debate on our hands!

The problem is, there is no actual dialogue happening. So now, when people get neg-nodded, they say something like "WHY IS WHAT I SAID SHITTY?" and the thread degenerates into whining about that or about how the nodding thing sucks. If someone "up-nods" a generally bad comment (like, "why should I bother to pick up my dog's poo from the sidewalk, that is what public works is for!"), someone is bound to say "OMG WHOEVER PLUS NODDED THAT IS A JERK!" and it's the same thing.

I don't like it. Faves/nods/whatever you want to call them are a reactionary, in-the-moment thing. I can see a lot of the first few comments (especially in Ask) being heavily favorited, while the following 30 comments say something totally different. How many times have you read the first comment and thought "yeah, damn skippy!" but upon reading the rest changed your opinion, and maybe even posted your actual opinion/experience? You may have never done that if you just faved one of the first few and moved on to the next question, or felt you were committed to the first answer you liked (by "agreeing").

I like it here because it makes me think, react, then think again, instead of the reaction being the end of it.

HOW ABOUT THIS: Let's just say that if something has more than 10 favorites, it's because people like it AND agree. More than 15 favorites, means you're also super duper awesome!

no faves = you stink!
posted by AlisonM at 8:30 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. Talking is better than clicking. People can respond to a comment, which I think is important. Who wants to see threads that say,

"okay, of you 47 people that agreed with oneirodynia, anyone want to say why?"

*crickets*

People are more invested in threads they comment in. This is a good thing, especially in AskMe.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:32 PM on April 8, 2010


Isn't that a problem with implementing anti-favorites, though? (or negative-whatevers)

Nobody calls out in a thread "HEY! How come I didn't get more favourites?!" I don't think anyone is going to call out because they didn't get very many "me-toos". I could see someone doing that with Negs, or whatever, though, sure.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:32 PM on April 8, 2010


That was in response to AlisonM.

Though "no faves = you stink!" Did I miss something, and this thread has moved from a different kind of positive vote to some sort of negative one? I wouldn't support that, for the same type of reasons AlisonM mentions.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:34 PM on April 8, 2010


That is to say "no faves = you stink" is how it works now, and "no me-toos = you stink" is how it would work in the future. I'm not sure I see the big Digg analogy there.

I'll shut up now.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:36 PM on April 8, 2010


Kattullus: “Well, the obvious category which polls the hivemind and isn't chatfilter is etiquette questions. I'm sure there are others but I'm tired and my brain is fizzing out.”

Durn Bronzefist: “And relationship questions, no small part of AskMe, involve, from what I can see, a hell of a lot of voting.”

I can grant the other points. Yeah, there seem to be some polling questions on Metafilter that are natural to it and make sense here.

As far as voting in relationship questions goes: I really, really enjoy those questions. I put a lot of time into reading them and trying to come up with answers when I feel like I have something to add - probably more time than I spend anywhere else on metafilter. And my feeling is very, very strong that favorites and 'best answer' markings do a lot to detract from the questions and the quality of answers in that segment. Yes, I agree with you that there's a lot of voting there, but I don't think it should be there. I've seen plenty of threads where the lone great answer got not a single favorite, and some other really bad advice was favorited all to hell.

Either way, like it or not, a prominent and powerful voting mechanism seems to have done bad things to Youtube comments and Yahoo! Answers.

But, again, I'm just one dude, and I may be completely wrong about this. Just because I have strong knee-jerk reactions to it doesn't mean I'm right. Sorry to come off so tendentious.

And, seriously: sorry about the shouty bold. I have a real problem with that. Trying to tone it down.
posted by koeselitz at 8:39 PM on April 8, 2010


No, I'm just saying that if people started agreeing with comments that other/a lot of people disagreed with, they'd either not chime in with their actual opinion because they'd think that people would not agree, or be intimidated to having a different opinion.

I want people to feel free to say, "ok, but here's my thoughts..."

I was totally being sarcastic about the no faves=you stink thing :)
posted by AlisonM at 8:45 PM on April 8, 2010


Metafilter is about talking, not about voting.

To the extent favorites work for this, that's fine. But I'd rather have people come in and express their thoughts than just nod or shake their heads. That would make for a much less interesting community.
posted by alms at 8:46 PM on April 8, 2010


...and I get that disagreeing is not an actual option in this scenario, but there's nothing stopping someone from saying "[quote] is a terrible idea, and here's why..." and everyone agreeing with that.
posted by AlisonM at 8:49 PM on April 8, 2010


Well, there are favourites now, and there still manage to be more than a couple of original opinions tossed into most every AskMe thread. People can vote instead of comment right now. The only difference being proposed, as far as I can see, is to add a little clarity for the question-asker as to what all those little +s mean.

I've seen plenty of threads where the lone great answer got not a single favorite, and some other really bad advice was favorited all to hell.

So true. And no reason to think that would change one bit if people were offered another way to approve of something. That being said, you could take away favourites, and maybe those people would just feel the need to expound on their bad advice in the thread. I can't see limiting functionality as any way at all to keep the bullshit to a minimum. All of this leaving aside the possibility that the lone unfavorited wolf in the wilderness isn't actually the one with the unhelpful perspective; I've seen enough axe-grindiness to believe that sometimes the majority is off their bloody rocker.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:53 PM on April 8, 2010


...and I get that disagreeing is not an actual option in this scenario, but there's nothing stopping someone from saying "[quote] is a terrible idea, and here's why..." and everyone agreeing with that.

Well that's true, and that happens (I happen to think a lot) now. Or the more acerbic form, where someone slams another poster and the slam gets tons of favourites. I hear you. That's why I was anti-(visible)favourites during The Experiment. But that sort of behaviour is generally frowned upon in AskMe. And a more informative version (I disagree with you and here's why) that gets tons of favourites (or assents, or biscuits, or whatever) seems ok to me.

However, if we did implement down and up voting, and the ability to name them, I would call them shits and giggles, respectively.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:01 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by desuetude at 9:07 PM on April 8, 2010


I know! How about there's like a script and if you click to agree on somebody's comment, your user name and all the other usernames who clicked on it too will kind of bounce slowly! It'll be like the virtual Web 2.0 visual representation of all our heads nodding in agreement! And better yet if there's an even number of agreers, they'll bounce in sync! That way we'll know when comments need more agreement!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:15 PM on April 8, 2010


We'd like people to indicate their assent or dissent by saying so, not just clicking a thumbs up.

Speaking of TiVo, can you make the site go "bonk" like TiVo does, whenever we add or remove a favorite? KTHXBYE
posted by davejay at 9:47 PM on April 8, 2010


I HUG with this ANSWER
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:47 PM on April 8, 2010


If something in AskMe is hillarious but you don't agree with it, you shouldn't favorite it. I much prefer honest answering over attempts at hillarity.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:06 PM on April 8, 2010


I am opposed to the idea, but not because I wouldn't use it. I would use it all the time but have no idea what it was really for. Sort of like favorites. Sometimes I am favoriting because I agree, sometimes because I disagree and want to come back to it, sometimes simply because it is a long post and everyone else seems to be favoriting it and sometimes because I just want to thank someone for taking the time to make an insightful post regardless of my agreement, undertanding or caring or the comment.

This is sort of like my daughter and her cell phone. SHe spends 20 minutes texting back and forth with a friend, both of them missing the nuance of the previous comment and having to get clarity when if she just used the darn phone for what it is, a device to talk to people she could have the conversation in about 3 minutes, have no misunderstanding and her fingers wouldn't hurt. So there would be this short cut button trying to make communication more "efficient" when it would really just make it more confusing.

Do you agree?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:41 PM on April 8, 2010


Just because a lot of people believe something does not mean they are right.
posted by polymodus at 12:49 AM on April 9, 2010


> Maybe someone can write a grease monkey script...
Ok here you go.
posted by stop sign at 1:03 AM on April 9, 2010


I don't know what the work involved is at all to make "private" (where only the user sees what they are me too-ing, 'agree', or any number of tagging format ponys, for later reference) implementations of markup web things for things like this for user side personal use like making tag-able favorites etc (or, really, any other similar ponies, with different manes)... for making/keeping peoples personal metafilters a little more organized?

(all our metafilters are different. But organizable data for personal use is always better than raw data for personal sorting. I don't mean that I expect people to sort for me, just that I have errors with accomplishing it. And know that there are powerful tools for sorting things in various ways, and comparing the results against various metrics easily. These tools are still of value to people who don't know how to implement them.)

I am picturing someone who has favorited a LOT of "Cat" related questions for example... how to distinguish the cat comments one "likes" from the ones that answered a question, talked about best practices, or a comment of insight about a cat in a post about something else... etc,. Something like this would probably be of value to some users, for making data reachable, even when it doesn't have 'direct connection' to the "tags" on the post. This is a simple and basic explanation, but it seems like it would be a good thing (considering how much real and valuable information, and data, which do not always 'connect' logically to the branch of knowledge that it comes from, a vast quantity of things of value are stored and linked by metafilter.



But; More Urgently,
Ok, but this discussion from the 'previously' link that I think started as a joke, but became a thing of NASA level Genius... I think I know what I want to do when I grow up and become a computer scientist (note; IWNBACS*)now. (since I would never be able to become a computer scientist, I would like to do it as a civilian hobbyist in communication studies instead.)

Actually, if I were a grad student I would probably want to be studying this stuff. Rather then human-computer interaction at an individual scale, mob-computer interaction on a massive scale.
This.

I have drawn up a mind map of what I am picturing delmoi describing for the input method, (ten keys [asdfghjkl;], each denoting incremental levels/degrees/metrics of "positive Feelings":"Negative Feelings" and [to which I have added sub selections by the double tap{ possibly expendable to 30 with a "Function/Alt" key}, in order to bring it up to 20 'levels', or "temperatures/flavors of reaction to given set of word/phrases"] With various post-input calculations based on if the "words" being rated are "quotes" of someone else, or "links".

Subsequently making a database of many peoples reactions to the words. over time building up and being like they described in the discussion... creating a "Gradated Map" to define the territory which is "words and ideas; Signs and Semiotics."- A way to explore human thinking, opinions, debate, and communication.

Sociologically I would be very interested to see this implemented as a project (I know it's kind of like something DARPA would do, or talk about doing); have various people do different "readings" (soft, hushed, kindly, harsh, angry, more.) of comments... and see how that changes the perception of the words from what a "pure text" reading of the words brings... can pure plain text ever be more effective than some "reading" of it? It would tell us about how internal "reading/self voice" varies from "read to", also could very well show them how best to communicate messages to people... most effectively, efficiently, how much the information sunk in, or impacted the person. (I suggest it be called MetaOpticonr to avoid that pesky webspace domain squatter 'Ampersand...;)

For the prototype/early testing, the volunteers could press the buttons on the keyboard, as someone else moved the cursor over the page, and words/ideas.


I recently saw an undergraduate present some research who had done a small project where they rigged up really sensitive heart monitors and then showed "various images" to people, and measured reactions, and then compared say ("flashpoint" images) (images which show compassion) (images that show happy) (images of sad) (terrifying images) (foreboding images) (famous images)... I really don't remember the details too well, like the actual types/specific images shown to participants, if it was heart monitoring... possibly a non-invasive brain measurement?

That said, I like the 'ambiguous public favorite(ing)' could be anywhere on the spectrum from Disagree, and will disagree another day by remembering things with favorites...to wanting to remember a comment, to loving a comment.
(*NOTE* I am not advocating changing or not changing metafilter by studying it, I am just saying "ME TOO, agree; I ALSO like what you were talking about... ")
*I will never be a computer scientist.
I agree in thinking it adds value to have people use their own words to express and really break down why they agree or disagree (it gets to the core of the multitude of nuances in opinion that exist.
posted by infinite intimation at 1:24 AM on April 9, 2010


mindmap of a pony request, wow, that is definitely one overthought car made of skittles

but pretty, very pretty
posted by infini at 3:56 AM on April 9, 2010


l33tpolicywonk, so you're saying favorites should just be an "I agree" button in AskMe and we shouldn't use them as bookmarks and whatnot?

I use them like that most of the time, to be honest. Sometimes it's just "I agree and don't have anything further to add," sometimes it's "I agree and could not possibly state it more clearly," but sometimes it's just "Dude, that was fucking funny," and I favorite it so I have it handy to send to my friends or just savor it later. (Which reminds me, I wonder if that works with cats who have established-but-poor relationships...)

Sometimes it's both. This one is a good example of an anecdote that I don't think was necessarily the most relevant, actionable advice in the thread, but I don't think it was bad advice or anything, and it was AWESOME. I definitely want to have it around to refer back to since the subject comes up in various of my circles from time to time.

My point is just that there's ambiguity here. It's not a huge problem or anything, the site obviously functions fine with it, but I think it's kind of at the heart of why favorites in general are such a contentious subject, because everybody's arguing about a different feature.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:40 AM on April 9, 2010


In all seriousness, isn't it via the checkboxes on the contact form that you became the mighty Marinator?

I need to do more performance art.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:34 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


It just seems like the nay-sayers can't trust the community to properly use an "I Agree" button, and think it will turn the site into a knuckle-dragging popularity contest.

I submit that this is not the case. I think that Metafilter has proven, time and again, that it is a thoughtful community that is happy to express its multitude of opinions, and respect the same.

Will an "I agree" button in a website that functions as a forum to find a "Best Answer" turn us dumb? Will it turn us lazy? I guess I'm just a glass-is-half-full kind of guy, but I'm pretty sure it won't.

Also, we are not asking for an "I disagree" button, or a promotion button.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:27 AM on April 9, 2010


I want a button that sends an eclectic shock to Brandon Blatcher.
posted by Mister_A at 9:35 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really like the idea of an "I agree" button on ask to separate agreeing from favorites, but then I'd also like to see a "this is terrible advice" button too, so maybe it's just me?
posted by cestmoi15 at 11:24 AM on April 9, 2010


People should give an answer if they have one. Plain and simple. Even if you agree with someone you should include that in an answer. Just saying "I agree", in any form, adds zero information. Besides all that, I don't see how favorites doesn't already fill this need.
I think there is a discussion to be had about scoreboarding or laziness, but those points don't even need to be brought to the podium.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:30 AM on April 9, 2010


There should be a button that gives me and only me a kitten when pressed. Or candy. Or both.
posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on April 9, 2010


Remember: Candy for eating, Kitty for eating with friends.
posted by Mister_A at 11:53 AM on April 9, 2010


As a word of warning do not accept candy from strange men [named The Whelk] in vans.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:58 AM on April 9, 2010


No no no, I'm not a strange man with tasty candy. I'm a tasty man with strange candy.


salted chocolate seaweed? what?
posted by The Whelk at 11:59 AM on April 9, 2010


But do you wear Vans or drive in a van?

Choose wisely, or suffer the fate of MeFi hipster hate!
posted by P.o.B. at 12:02 PM on April 9, 2010


Why don't you ask The Pack?
posted by Kattullus at 1:24 PM on April 9, 2010


MeTa: eclectic shock
posted by infini at 1:33 PM on April 9, 2010


Actually, I don't own Vans anymore. My last pair got ruined when they got liberally splashed with beet juice by a zombie-themed kickball team.
posted by Kattullus at 3:07 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can we get a Vanning section of MeFi? Devoted both to the comfortable shoes and the art of painting a large vehicle?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:27 PM on April 9, 2010


...liberally splashed with beet juice by a zombie-themed kickball team.

THOSE AREN'T RUINED! They have been given the ultimate kiss of hipster cred!!! they have something to do with zombies!! Those shoes just doubled in value! All you need to do is tell people it was "Beetlejuice"... like the movie with keaton (double points if you mention how much "better" the "old" batman -with Keaton- (and multiplicity) were.

This is not ruined... this is a new lease on the life of those shoes!
posted by infinite intimation at 7:53 PM on April 9, 2010


Smelling like beets does not hipster cred make.
posted by Kattullus at 9:01 AM on April 10, 2010


I think you may be wrong about that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:03 AM on April 10, 2010


We've all read Jitterbug Perfume for one thing.
posted by The Whelk at 9:10 AM on April 10, 2010


You guys have got a point there. But I don't like the smell of beets, so there's that.
posted by Kattullus at 11:28 AM on April 10, 2010


One of the things I love most about MeFi/AskMe is that y'all are smart, interesting folks who write things that can completely change my mind on a subject - sometimes multiple times. So say there is a question on AskMe, "Are cats or dogs better?" And I'm thinking "dogs, duh," but then someone writes an impassioned defense of cats, and I'm like, "Hmm, actually you may have sold me on cats. Cool!" But then someone else responds with an even better comment about dogs, and I'm like, "OMG, that is so true, dogs are awesome!" But then there's this really great comment about cats...

The idea of an "I agree" button totally stresses me out.
posted by naoko at 1:49 PM on April 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Stop with the false dichotomy!

Having an "I Agree" button does not prevent people from expressing the reasoning behind their responses! It does not prevent people from impassioned defenses or spurious support! It does not prevent clever anecdotes! It in no way prevents discussion, or talking, or commenting, or pontificating, or soabboxing, or beanplating!

It simply provides an additional method of participating in an AskMe post.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:19 PM on April 12, 2010


I think opposition to such a button comes from it being such a specific signifier... but yet it isn't very accurate in what it denotes. For example, my comment right here, I am trying to make several turns, if someone were to press an agree button... how would anyone coming here in 30 days, and the thread is closed, where they couldn't ask a followup (ie. Why's everyone agreeing with that? that's only a half answer...) to know which part of a comment was helpful... Which part of the statement/opinion/answer/solution does one agree with? Does the person pressing agree really know what the person commenting meant? Do they just like how something was said?
Because if it were going to happen, if an "agree" button were being added I would add... ok, then make it an "I agree:BUT" button, or an "I agree:AND" or an "I agree:P" Button. or an "amen about such and such part about buttons" button... But "agree" isn't specific enough for me, or, I will guess, many other people. Which part is agreed with, why? Every comment need not be spectacular... no one will judge for just saying "I agree, because my experience says so." but that does open up a space to QUESTION those who agree.

(which leads to the people who are saying; if someone knows enough/something unique/interesting/dull/cute/ about the topic at hand (and let's be honest, tangentially related topics at hand:) then PUT THAT IN THE COMMENT BOX.
I don't disagree with you desiring a button to show agreement, but I don't fully agree, but I also think you have a valid point of view, and I hope we are all working on not slapping down ideas that aren't "perfectly stated", so no one is 'afraid' to post a suggestion... I really think that anyone with the stuff of value (ideas) ought to put them out there... set free, to help, inform, educate, OR not help, not solve, etc,. Why not favorite the comment if it is great, but really, an "agree" needs clarification, even "un-controversial" topics so rarely boil down to "yes/no".

don't be satisfied with someone else saying it for me


I can understand a draw to "agree" for simple yes/no questions and a few other formats it 'could' seem helpful... but even knowing that so many people here are pretty awesome-responsible, it could lead to a crowding out of good, but opposite responses from the one comment that has "lots of I agrees"... the beauty comes not from the comments with hundreds of favorites... the beauty comes in the comments with no favorites (I am hoping someone drops by with one exampling what I am saying), that completely buck what all the other advice in the thread is saying... but provide some context, or other useful information.

I for one would be inclined to just lazily "thumbs up" cool/useful sounding things... rather than making myself consider several differing positions... any time we can "respond" with just one click... is by its definition less thoughtful than even a few words... less thinking involved in anything seems like a negative. Less thinking is a BAD slope to be sliding down.

A button doesn't prevent me from thinking about other peoples considered words, it doesn't prevent me from participating, or responding... but it does encourage me to just hit a button, click it and not defend, or expand on it... see, I may have said something that is entirely disagreeable to someone with this comment... but at least now you can look at my comment, and say... no.
I disagree with A) b) and C).through Z)

I could have just 'favorited' someones comment saying, "just eat it, it's in a sealed TIN!"

I mentioned the "fuzziness" of favorites above, basically, I guess I see an "agree" button as being "fuzzy" just the same way... so why not favorite it? Then it is stored for you, and a sentiment of 'favorited for later' is still similarly registered to the user making the comment, and the community in general.

I worry even about how my favorites are "interpreted"... I have no idea if some comment I favorite where someone responds to another person is like, "part of a history of acrimony and disagreement and fighty" between those two users... I don't want the person who "lost" that exchange to feel like I "don't value" what they say, just because I liked the way someone else made a point, addressing a point a different particular user made, which I had seen in my own life, made by someone in life, and I previously didn't know a good way to think about the problem, or respond to it.

Would an "I agree"... not be abused, misinterpreted, or lead to more situations like the "circle around two fighting people, with people yelling "fight fight fight"

Some comments that I read recently which have influenced my current conception of this idea and some of the points, and reminded me of the discussion here; there are so many places where "assent/dissent" is expressed with no words... and many GREAT things get lost in ideological "down-voting"... even the least sensible comments on ASKME get responded to with words, and reasons, and very often with citations, and detailed explanations of disagreement. This is a feature, and it can disappear if it is not nurtured and supported with words and reason.
Some thoughts I found interesting,
escabeche


el_lupino

Marissa Stole the Precious Thing


and nebulawindphone describes how different content 'support/rating' features will evolve sites in different ways. It is like the "founder effect" in evolutionary science... you will evolve based on the "starting features" that are in a particular being...


Here's what I think is going on. The forms of discourse we value are essentially public forms of speech, spoken-word performance stuff, set down as text. If a large group of people is participating in a single, fluid conversation, without squabbling or breaking up, they're probably swapping jokes or stories or listening to someone teach. One way or another, they're taking turns putting on little performances for each other.
All from this post well worth reading, which is about Askmeanything from Reddit. (it has a pretty awesome infinite loop, two sided mirror gazing sequence included also! [a conclusion about reddit from that thread seems to be that yeah, sure, there are PARTS of the site on reddit or "subsites" that have many people who are participating, that act just like metafilter comments... but there is also a lot of misogynistic, hateful useless noise, often forms feedback loops there... read, reddit accolytes, I am NOT simplistically saying 'all reddit is bad with content that is less intellectual', or some other back patting thing... I am simply seeing some strong trends to have good content... but buried in ideological and entrenched beliefs and preconceived notions which get "upvoted"]).


I am not saying you, or anyone who likes comment voting are reddit, or are trying to turn MF into digg, or are anti-intellectual, or any kind of out there statement like that, if you simply want to be able to say 'I agree' via Button... but if everyone gets encouraged to just push an "I agree"...I would be inclined to support an army of people swarming through the ask me, one by one asking everyone who just pressed "I agree" ... ok, eh, so, why do you agree? What do you agree with? I bet there is a good story to why you agree. What is your experience in agreeing? If you have an 'agree' button, that is about one foot away from 'needing' a disagree button, then a "rate" button.

Put another way, to me Agree means "This, RIGHT HERE, this is RIGHT."

I don't think this is valid as a sentiment that may be rightly (or should be) expressed in a click. Not in something like askme, where a goal (I am thinking) is to have the most possible useful information, or help or assistance, all in one place. If the person agreeing has enough knowledge to be able to express such enthusiastic support of a method or technique... then they will have experience in operating/using/performing/ doing whatever the question was about... and THAT is something that is valuable to the person asking the question... Should the thread just 'die' or end when there is one comment that is great? (no, but this is more likely to happen with up-votes, because those who disagree will fell more like they are ... spitting into the wind... pushing an 'unpopular' idea up a hill... whereas currently there is a pretty open slate that says... good ideas welcome, you are all special... put em in the box, preview, click submit.receive/give hugs as appropriate.

meanwhile, a million agrees is not as valuable as ONE "this is what I did/how I did it, while in a similar/connected/related/unconnected situation..."


tl;dr... seeing what happens to some other places where click-voting, rather than using words is the norm... Mob rule is NOT stable, mob rule is unruly, not helpful, mob rule is vicious, and cruel, it is painful, it is a place where "different" ideas/solutions/concepts are pushed aside in a rush to "approve" of the "agreed upon" "preconceived notions"... in other words institutions (which community websites are) are fragile, they can evolve, and they can evolve in a bad way; who was the last person to leave... did they leave because people were TOO open minded and accepting of people different from "majority"... likely, no. (and this is one of the most accepting places on the web.)

NOBODY CHANGE ANYTHING.NOBODY MOVE A MUSCLE.


It adds a method of adding something, but it is a very VERY abstract, fuzzy addition... WHAT is agreed with?

as there are lots of words here now... I presume there are many words with which to be disagreed, opposed, torn down, dis-proven, agreed with, improved upon, related to... or Enhanced.


Re: vanning.
I have always thought that the ChevyAstro/GMCsafari Van conversions and customizations were the best platform, and the most aesthetically pleasing. An ideal platform for Vanning. I have met the owner of, and seen an astro, with an "escalade" front end from an escalade that got smashed in the rear.

I could be wrong... I mean... you might agree with everything I said... up till I got all tl;dr, and talked about vans... I mean, you may have bean with me, but then I mentioned some "awesome custom astro vans"... how best to distinguish that you like the first part... but hate the last?

Why through saying that!
Otherwise people might think that YOU like astro vans with escalade front panels (I think fancy cars are boring subjects... but I have to say, it was a pretty amazing looking van..).

I suppose as of now, my response is I generally disagree, I like the things being talked about as ideas... but not how they look implemented in reality.

Personal markup for organizing individual mefi informational awesomness on the other hand... (something like being able to say "I agree with this", or a few other tags, and have that be stored like our favorites... but not like... publicly, or able to influence the direction of an ask/discussion.)
posted by infinite intimation at 12:33 AM on April 13, 2010


Should the thread just 'die' or end when there is one comment that is great? (no, but this is more likely to happen with up-votes, because those who disagree will feel more like they are ... spitting into the wind... pushing an 'unpopular' idea up a hill...

This is the prevailing theme amongst those opposed to an "I Agree" button (and it is very speculative): that Metafilter users will decide not to post their own opinion just because most other people agree with the opposite opinion.

You, sir, have not been reading the same AskMe as I have. You misjudge the audacity of the average Mefite.

meanwhile, a million agrees is not as valuable as ONE "this is what I did/how I did it, while in a similar/connected/related/unconnected situation..."

There is no disagreement here! But this is an example of the false dichotomy I speak of. There can be both agreement, and anecdote. In fact, there will be both agreement and anecdote.

as there are lots of words here now... I presume there are many words with which to be disagreed, opposed, torn down, dis-proven, agreed with, improved upon, related to... or Enhanced.

I agree here as well. I think that your long comment is exemplary of another thing that I believe: that an "I Agree" button will not be abused even remotely to the extent you think it will. Mefites are a clever bunch, good at picking out nuances in arguments, and there is a good chance that if they agree with part of a post but not another part, they won't click the "I Agree" button. Or, they will click "I Agree" and then post the reason why they agree.

Having an "I agree" button does not make it mandatory to use.

I've never spent any time on reddit. Or digg. I've never been part of one of those "upvote" communities, whatever they may be. Therefore, I don't know the pitfalls. But I do know that having an "I Agree" button is light-years away from being similar to the "upvote" system everybody is so darn afraid of.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:17 PM on April 13, 2010


It's not even an "additional" method. Have favourites replaced discourse? I cannot see this objection as any kind of genuinely intended criticism. All it represents is greater clarity for the OP. That is all.

I don't think this is valid as a sentiment that may be rightly (or should be) expressed in a click. Not in something like askme, where a goal (I am thinking) is to have the most possible useful information, or help or assistance, all in one place.

I expect to hear much railing against favourites from you, then, particularly in the context of AskMe, because every criticism you've leveled is a strike against them, and the move to add "I agree" mitigates those criticisms in that it at least adds a modicum of information.

But I don't know why I bother. This is a far cry from honest debate.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:37 PM on April 13, 2010


yeah, I would love if 'favorites' became privatized, tagable, sortable favorites... like I said, I hate worrying that I am getting in the middle of some long drawn out feud or other thing that I don't understand, or "piling on", when I favorite some offhand comment that makes a point I would like to remember, or have a way to get back to again at some future point. Like I was saying; honestly, and seriously, there is a TON of useful, and incredibly helpful information spread across the 'filters'... Some might say TOO much information... but that all depends on sorting/evaluating methods/tools. - I find the hardest part is finding my way back to the assorted gems...

But I would like to see that private sortable metafilter favorite thing I am all obsessed with (with a possibility to share favorites if one so decides maybe) but yeah, the numbers under each comment... I agree, sort of, that favorites can skew the scales.
-but then again, maybe everyone else isn't a panicky over thinker of small things like I am...


But long before adding such a system like "agree", and I joked a bit, but I like many of the things that come with an agree button... but the negatives (while seeming like I was reading from the script of "reefer madness" style fear mongering... sorry for trying to be a lil jokey, but really, so many great answers do contain a bit of that... and to "agree" with something that has jokey, serious, wise, and wacky, all in one comment... what does that agree mean? -that is the point I was trying to make.
And if people need to clarify what they meant by "agree"... then what is the purpose? It just seems like a middleman, a middlestep between, reading someone's comment, and then creating a personal response...

unless it will just be used by people to weigh in on issues, without setting their suggestions up and laying them out for closer inspection. - that seems like a strong loss for the site overall.

A thought... it seems like we would then have some people operating on "peer reviewed" status... setting their ideas up to either be agree'd with, or disputed... while some others are operating on a "popular idea wins"... popular is interesting as a side-piece of information or addendum to a solution, but what is needed is answers with words... so many times I wish some answer were more fleshed out... I sure wouldn't go saying, erm, could you expand on that, if it was all agreed with. (and I don't just mean those "cute/wacky/interesting/funny/serious etc,." personal anecdotes that are more for entertainment...
I mean this situation, someone may give the name of a great piece of software that helps with organizing ones life... but who knows tips on using it? (if you can have knowledge of the topic, and are able to "agree" that it is great... but that person who is going to just press the "agree" button... Why is it great? how does it work? any bugs? what systems does it work on?)

I am looking at this ask me.
.. it seems that it has a lot of really good answers... very few with "favorites", the ones with favorites are mostly links to sites that have "lists/related info" but a lot of people have "bookmarked" the thread by favoriting the question... What would we agree with here? Could an "I agree" have "guided" how the process unfolded?
I don't so much think that people will be "afraid" to bring up their counter-intuitive, but right/interesting/informative/assistive comment if we had "agree"... Would it not "steer" discussions though?



Can we point to 20 comments that we categorically "agree" with?
I can point to a lot that I like... or speak to me, or I want to remember, or I think required effort, or creativity, or one of about a hundred other reasons they caught my eye, and I "favorited/bookmarked" it.

I keep thinking of things that make me go... woah, I kinda don't like that part...

like absurdly;
Hitler may have had some great advice regarding cats... even if he were technically..'right' about that advice... I would not feel that i "AGREE" with it... But I don't know who is Hitler here... and you can tell that I am sort of making an absurd argument, but only because it provides a "usage pattern" example... which leaves me not really liking "agree"... I don't understand the usage intentions here.

I am just not seeing where any added clarity is coming from knowing people agree with a comment...
particularly the anonymous questions (where follow-up doesn't occur)... so; the asker sees that everyone agrees with some comment... but how do they then parse that comment that everyone agrees with...

I can think of more than a few situations where follow-up, or clarifying questions may have been useful, but were not asked. So we aren't "perfect" currently... considering this, we are not perfect... considering this... we could get worse.

All it takes to drive some people out is seeing a ton of "I agrees" on some foolish advice/opinion/attitude... and it could happen. - I value those people staying, over the ability to agree via click.

I think my 'criticism' of the "agree" button should be more directed at how it promotes and encourages more people being less specific.

Favorite has more possible meanings than "I agree" (which I was trying to get to by saying how imprecise it is.) I accept that a favorite is 'fuzzy' in meaning and interpretation by others (wait, doesn't everyone assume that every comment they make that gets favorited is people planning how to get back at them one day??) ;)

I just pinch my nose, and accept that this is a method I can use to a) show appreciation for other peoples comments or b) mark things for later or least useful c) someone can go and look to see what was favorited and "sort" popular comments in each thread (like the greasemonkey one that puts a little tab at the top to let you select (all comments) or (comments with >5 favorites).
So yes, I guess I may be one who will rail on favorites, sort of (I strongly value their purpose for my usage pattern, to find things later.)... but I think I may not have been too clear how I felt; I LIKE that they are so fuzzy in how we can interpret them.. I DON'T like as much how "specific" (yet, not 'really' defined an "agree" button is.

I am conflicted.. (and spend very little time at those other places that I mentioned [read less than 10 minutes a month] I know how thriving and alive, and progressive and awesome and smart the members here are on average... it's why I read y'all so much.

However, it seems like the purpose is to "agree" when someone points out how BAD that advice was to "just eat the food from the tin of perishable fresh food that wasn't refrigerated"... which is nice.. but in terms of information... what is the usage patterns that is being envisioned for an Agree button? I do not mean to be unfair in my thinking process, I really am trying to understand what this would add as a feature.

Not to mention that I weep for the mods sanity in this hypothetical world where we institute "agree"'s... think how much potential there is for "BAD" advice getting Agrees, like if some angry people... going through with a few accounts and making a mess of "agree"ing with dangerous things... which to my mind are much harder to "track", and look at, than comments- right now with favorites... a bunch of favorites on some bad advice comment does not mean that it is right... but with "agree"... this is not the same.

Why is it needed?
For which set of questions?
(I ask this not as a 'gotcha'... or to say "I'm Right", I ask in good faith...[I am as mentioned, conflicted, and might join your dark side if you convince me]) I really think it would just help to clarify some of the patterns of usage that make people believe this would make this a net benefit... there seem to be many admittedly potential negatives... what are the strongest potential positive reasons?
posted by infinite intimation at 7:24 PM on April 13, 2010


You leave me confused, ii. How do any of the things you mention not apply equally if not more to favourites?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:55 PM on April 13, 2010


I had a long list written up. I had proven why agree and favorite are not the same. I even had a joke that was also able to have a serious reading, that was really funny and it tied in and made the exact point I was making about how someone could 'get a high level thesis out of how "besides, isn't it a part of getting an internet membership to need to join the belief system that says it is nearly "impossible and forbidden" to "agree" with someone entirely in a point, impossible to know what the full meaning was, just saying agree is diff from favoriting things very often, often.
I lost the whole thing in the internet. Please advise.
They are very different by a matter of scale.
Far as I can tell.

Though Who can tell how far's the furthest this far telling tell it is possible to be told from the perspective of one in motion, as opposed to one so to standing still though who'd be able to tell, at allll..


Instead I should return to attending to my slowly arriving "Bibliography of some internet, as pertaining to filter, lists, lists of lists, with some "metafilter:______" jokes, to hopefully one day be able to help someone out by pointing out a "Previously, Via" to let them know about a previous version of that idea... thus, when they get to the link, the can add a favorite to the original, and cetera. et al"
- Hasn't happened yet. I'm here to help.
You'll thank me later.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:37 PM on April 20, 2010


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