When? April 28, 2010 5:20 PM   Subscribe

When was AskMefi added to Metafilter? (No more inside, short and sweet).
posted by crazylegs to MetaFilter-Related at 5:20 PM (60 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Timeline says December 8, 2003.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:23 PM on April 28, 2010


It was a simpler, more innocent time.
posted by jonmc at 5:25 PM on April 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tomorrow's edition: How?
posted by iamkimiam at 5:32 PM on April 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


And why?
posted by Think_Long at 5:36 PM on April 28, 2010


Could someone who is better at using data than I and seems to enjoy the process FishBike tell me if the data predicts that AskMe will eventually catch MeFi in number of comments and if so, when?
posted by vapidave at 5:41 PM on April 28, 2010


How Askme formed? like babby?
posted by special-k at 6:07 PM on April 28, 2010 [22 favorites]


It was during a drunken Flashdance marathon. Don't ask too many questions.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:08 PM on April 28, 2010


Sometimes a moma post and a daddy post meet in a dingy bar around closing time and and seeking comfort from a cold and bitter world, they decide to make taters.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:27 PM on April 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Tomorrow's edition: How?

Jacob brought all these questions here.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:40 PM on April 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


You're ignoring that awkward interval in 2002-ish, when mathowie did a lot of peyote and spent a whole week sitting in front of the Metafilter Server (which he called his Spirit Guide) asking what he should do with his life.

That was the original Ask Metafilter.
posted by qvantamon at 6:49 PM on April 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Can't you somehow rephrase this question so it comes out like a big squelchy diarrheafart of crazy? Coz I blinked & missed the thread below...
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:45 PM on April 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Disclaimer: I am not Fishbike.

The first comment (at least that's in the infodump) ever made to AskMe was on 12/8/2003 at 1342 server time.

If anyone wants to play along at home, this is commentid = 91309, in response to postid = 3705. (I don't know why those IDs start out so high.)

If you start there and go up by increments of 1000 comments1 then you get a manageable enough resultset (1776 rows) that you can play around with it. We can do the same thing for the MeFi data ... and then with a little massaging in Excel2 produce a chart.

As you can see from that chart, both AskMe and MeFi's comment volumes seem to be keeping pace with each other. Since AskMe started later, it doesn't appear — as of the infodump I'm working from — that it will probably "catch up" in terms of total3 number of comments.

1: Assuming you have the Infodump into MySQL or something substantially similar: '''SELECT commentid, datestamp FROM metafilter.commentdata_askme WHERE commentid % 1000 = 309 ORDER BY datestamp''' For MeFi you can do modulo 1000; the 309 is just to catch the first value.
2: This would probably have been a great thing to do in R rather than Excel, and I even have R installed, but I find its syntax so amazingly ugly I just couldn't make myself do it, although I'm sure the output would have been way more beautiful. If someone wants to do this, let me know and I'll send you the 1:1000 CSVs. Someday I'll swallow my disgust with the whole periods-for-underscores thing and figure it out, but today was not that day.
3: I almost said "gross comments" but then realized that it would just be an invitation for bad puns.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:09 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


...tell me if the data predicts that AskMe will eventually catch MeFi in number of comments and if so, when?

At a first approximation, no, Askme will continue to fall behind Mefi in comment count.

My method was to check the comment id of the first comment of the first and last threads of 2009 for both the blue and the green, and to take the difference of each and use that as an approximate current rate. That yielded 489,757 new comments in mefi for 2009, compared to 442,167 comments for askme.

Of course, there could be some change in the rate of comments on either site over time; it'd be interesting to see if there's any significant difference in slope for a fit of the rate of comments over the last year or two for the two subsites that'd suggest askme eventually matching and exceeding mefi's rate. But as best as I can recall, the green has always had an average of many more threads but somewhat fewer total comments daily compared to the blue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:12 PM on April 28, 2010


Could someone who is better at using data than I and seems to enjoy the process FishBike tell me if the data predicts that AskMe will eventually catch MeFi in number of comments and if so, when?

If we look at the average number of comments per day in the blue vs. the green, we might reach the conclusion that it will. The front page has averaged 769.6 comments per day, while AskMe has averaged 868.9. Catching up at about 99 comments per day, AskMe would surpass the front page on January 16th, 2038.

But of course, the site was less busy in the old days, so it's not really fair to compare average comments per day over each subsite's entire history, since they cover different time periods. So instead, let's look at just the last year. MeFi has averaged 1398.8 comments per day, and AskMe has averaged 1221.7, so if things continue in that fashion, it'll never catch up.

All these numbers are excluding deleted comments, but even if you include them, over the past year MeFi is still churning through comment IDs faster than AskMe, so even the comment ID numbers will never catch up.
posted by FishBike at 8:17 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Important not, Kadin2048: for the first year or so of askme's life, it was sharing database table space with metatalk, hence the odd starting comment id, and as a result the rate-of-comments as calculated by rowids will be a bit inflated since there's some metatalk comments in there. Askme was a much higher traffic area almost immediately, though, so the inflation issue isn't huge, but it's a factor.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:18 PM on April 28, 2010


See? How could someone not like that man?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 PM on April 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Clearly, 11:00pm EDT is the datawankery hour tonight.
posted by FishBike at 8:22 PM on April 28, 2010


I GOOSED UP ON SAKE AND READY TO NUMERATE
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:24 PM on April 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I GOOSED UP ON SAKE AND READY TO NUMERATE

I was taught that when writing code, I should always try to think of what questions someone else would ask upon seeing it, and include the answers as comments. So now all my code includes comments along the lines of:
/* I drank half a bottle of vodka before I wrote this part */
posted by FishBike at 8:30 PM on April 28, 2010 [41 favorites]


I'm running on Dogfish Head 60m IPA over here...

Thanks for the note about AskMe and Meta. When I saw the starting commentid I checked the MeFi table to see if it was just a globally unique value, but once I saw that it wasn't I just sorta shrugged it off.

That might throw off my analysis a bit at the early end, since it uses commentid as a proxy for "number of comments." I think the conclusion, which is that MeFi/AskMe have settled in and are keeping pace with each other in terms of comments, stands though.

I haven't run it for posts; my suspicion is that AskMe will eventually catch up with MeFi in terms of total posts, if it hasn't already, because the comments:post ratio is probably lower.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:32 PM on April 28, 2010


In my opinion, Cortex eats donuts that are a little bit too large for someone such as myself (a smallish person who does not like to eat too much at one sitting) to enjoy.
posted by zinfandel at 8:32 PM on April 28, 2010


Yeah, Askme is already well past Mefi on post ids, at 152,xxx to the blue's 91,xxx currently. I see comment and post ids all day long every day because of the flag queue, so I'm constantly aware of roughly where we are on each section.

And while we've got the stuff explicitly identified by type (e.g. mefi, askmefi, metatalk_comment), my eyes jump straight to the numbers when I'm checking the queue because I already know which type each flagged item is based on the leading digits -- askme posts are 15..., mefi comments are 30..., metatalk comments are 76..., and so on.

Those keep changing over time, of course, but minor increments don't faze me at all. Increments at the second digit don't even cause much of a problem usually. But it really fucks with me for a day or two when the leading digit rolls over, because I'm like "30...? What the fuck is that, it's not mefi comments because that's 29... and, oh, wait, right." I do that like fifty fucking times before it properly settles in.

It's also confusing when two different types start to coincide when one is passing the other. Fortunately that doesn't usually last too long or happen too often, but the practical effects on my day to day work make it visible enough that I kind of have a gut sense of this stuff even when I haven't looked at the numbers lately.

THE MORE YOU KNOW *====___
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 PM on April 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Catching up at about 99 comments per day, AskMe would surpass the front page on January 16th, 2038.

Hey, that's two days before our 32-bit signed integer clocks wrap around and cause the world to end*. Coincidence?


* just like it did on 1/1/2000
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:44 PM on April 28, 2010


I know, that freaked me out a bit too, qxntpqbbbqxl.
posted by FishBike at 8:46 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was all set to say we should hatch a secret underground plot to go flag a bunch of really old comments to make cortex go all "wtf?", but then I made the mistake of reading the next MeTa thread down, and now I just want to give him a hug or something.
posted by FishBike at 8:48 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was all set to say we should hatch a secret underground plot to go flag a bunch of really old comments to make cortex go all "wtf?", but then I made the mistake of reading the next MeTa thread down, and now I just want to give him a hug or something.
posted by FishBike at 11:48 PM on April 28


And THATS the story of how you were born!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:19 PM on April 28, 2010


jessamyn: "See? How could someone not like that man"

Some of us worship him.
posted by pjern at 9:21 PM on April 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


pjern

Dude, that is so sacrilegious.
posted by The Confessor at 9:23 PM on April 28, 2010


More like sacrilicious.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:33 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh oh, I had no idea about the 32-bit signed integer clocks or even what the hell that is but I was thinking the world would end if the number of AskMe comments overtook the number of comments on Mefi. The good news is that 1/16/2038 is 10,125 days from now and I'll be 74.
posted by vapidave at 9:52 PM on April 28, 2010


that fuckin cortex what's his deal
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:15 PM on April 28, 2010




that fuckin cortex what's his deal?

Geese, sake, and other factors not worth enumerating here.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 11:20 PM on April 28, 2010


special-k: "How Askme formed? like babby"

Isn't the new cool thing to say something more like "Fucking Ask MeFi, how does it work?!"
posted by barnacles at 11:26 PM on April 28, 2010


If AskMeFi didn't exist, someone would have to invent oh wait
posted by Cranberry at 11:46 PM on April 28, 2010


Hold on hold on holdtheFUCKon:

There's an ASK Metafilter?
posted by item at 1:06 AM on April 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Could someone who is better at using data than I and seems to enjoy the process FishBike tell me if the data predicts that Plastic.com and Kuro5hin will eventually catch MeFi in number of comments and if so, when?
posted by ALongDecember at 3:27 AM on April 29, 2010


What was the first heart-on-the-sleeve-filter, where people reveal deeply personal issues going on in their lives? I'd say it's this question on July 6, 2004 (the first relationshipfilter?), followed by this and this and this and this and this. In the beginning, people just didn't pour out their hearts and their lives to us the way they do now.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:22 AM on April 29, 2010


(the first relationshipfilter?)

No, and although this one isn't either, I find it interesting that anonymous was able to post it before even joining.
posted by gman at 5:43 AM on April 29, 2010


this one from December of 2003 is the first.
posted by gman at 5:52 AM on April 29, 2010


this one from December of 2003 is the first.

That one is technically relationshipfilter in the sense that it's about a relationship ... but it doesn't have the heart-on-the-sleeve quality that has become de rigueur on AskMe. The question gives very sparse details about the OP's situation and mostly opens it up for a general poll on how people do things.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:21 AM on April 29, 2010


More like sacrilicious.

More like supercalifragilisticsacrilicious-ly awesome.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:39 AM on April 29, 2010


What do you have against me, anyhow, bub?
posted by [more inside] at 7:13 AM on April 29, 2010


Wasn't Askme added because people kept sending mathowie embarrassing personal questions?
posted by anniecat at 7:56 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I see comment and post ids all day long every day

Refreshing, when juxtaposed with post and comment egos and super-egos. All day long, every day.
posted by functionequalsform at 7:58 AM on April 29, 2010


AskMe was first created as an offsite project by a user named Hackworth; he announced its launch on MetaTalk at 6.13pm on December 8th 2003. Three hours later, mathowie (who had been toying with the idea for a while) launched it as an integrated part of the MetaFilter site.

It sort of amazes me that a) even though this is the first time I've ever sought out the original MetaTalk posts, I remember this sequence of events as clearly as though it happened yesterday instead of six years ago; and b) I've never seen anyone else bring it up. My memory of AskMe's birth is as crisp as any important event that ever occurred in my offline life, which I suppose is testament to my excitement at the time, the ongoing importance of AskMe in my life, and the tremendous respect I feel for mathowie. It is, hands-down, the single fastest, most impressive pony-delivery I've ever witnessed.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:43 AM on April 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


He was a bit off in his prediction, though.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:50 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


hot soup girl writes "AskMe was first created as an offsite project by a user named Hackworth; he announced its launch on MetaTalk at 6.13pm on December 8th 2003."

I may have watched too much T:SCC lately but this gave me a big ass chill.
posted by Mitheral at 9:55 AM on April 29, 2010


That's really awesome that AskMefi was dreamt up as a "neat thing to have" and not a "way to get lots of ad revenue." Not that I thought it was the latter (or it would be "wrong" if it were so), but it makes it all the better that the original thread doesn't even fathom what it would become, just that it would help some people out!
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:35 AM on April 29, 2010


so since the green is behind the blue in comments, although ahead in traffic and posts, does that mean that the grey is the man with the house on 6th street with a bulldog in the yard?







no no no, its sacro-iliac
posted by infini at 11:49 AM on April 29, 2010


There is no AskMetafilter, only Metafilter posts with question marks.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:50 AM on April 29, 2010


mathowie is a huge Smiths fan, especially of their song "Ask" ("ask me ask me ask me/ask me ask me ask me").
posted by kirkaracha at 12:09 PM on April 29, 2010


I thought it was that he was a big fan of "Cortex Strikes Again". Because he has no right to a place in the human race.

more like SUPERHUMAN, amirite fanclub?!?!?!?!
posted by GuyZero at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2010


No, Cortex's favourite song is Bigmouth Strikes Again - because of the huge donut, amirite?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:02 PM on April 29, 2010


that fuckin cortex what's his deal?

$5, same as in town online
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 7:13 AM on April 30, 2010


I may have watched too much T:SCC lately but this gave me a big ass chill.

Jesus, put on some pants already!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:28 AM on April 30, 2010


pjern: "Some of us worship him"

At the freaking Billy Goat? YOU ARE MY PEOPLE AS I HAVE LONG KNOWN!
posted by mwhybark at 5:56 PM on April 30, 2010


this is the Billy Goat in Chicago?
posted by infini at 12:13 AM on May 1, 2010


infini: "this is the Billy Goat in Chicago"

Yep.
posted by pjern at 4:58 AM on May 1, 2010


I wish I'd been less of a newbie - I left chicago within months of joining MeFi and was more active on Craiglist's open forum for meetups.
posted by infini at 5:03 AM on May 1, 2010


« Older what makes cortex so "important"?   |   Manchester May Meetup Madness! Newer »

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