What percentage of Ask MetaFilter questions are "hole-in-ones"? August 12, 2010 9:17 PM   Subscribe

What percentage of Ask MetaFilter questions are "hole-in-ones"?

Meaning their first comment is marked "best answer".

If the Infodump has the answer, I lacked the wits to extract it.
posted by Joe Beese to MetaFilter-Related at 9:17 PM (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

You'd have to filter out the Anonymous questions and the ones where the OP is the same person as Commenter #1 (and 2 and 3 and on, as is the case sometimes when they're providing more info not included in the post) as well.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:24 PM on August 12, 2010


So much for this one being one of them.
posted by griphus at 9:27 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ha! Can you imagine what would happen if there was a Best Answer in MeTa? And if you could only give out 1? Within a set time period? And you couldn't change your answer. Or the infodump would explode!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:35 PM on August 12, 2010


Yes, but how many are "holes in one"?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 PM on August 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


My current copy of the infodump is several weeks out of date but it shows 153858 AskMe posts, of which 16429 (10.68%) had the first answer marked as best.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:17 PM on August 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Everyone knows the infodump will explode on December 21st 2012.
This is what the Mayans referred to with their 'Explosive Dump' calendar.
posted by mannequito at 10:21 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I did no filtering, so threads where the first comment is by the OP but the first non-OP comment is marked best aren't counted. On the other hand, threads where the first comment is by the OP and is also marked as best are counted. I guess I can refine the search to take all those into consideration.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:22 PM on August 12, 2010


Often, the OP goes ahead and marks all, or most, of the answers as best answer to show all-around appreciation for everyone's answers. I wouldn't call that a "hole in one."
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:26 PM on August 12, 2010


Things you could also look at for are number-of-best-answers in a thread (to find threads where there is e.g. exactly one best answer vs. many to distinguish between hole-in-one and hole-in-one-et-al) and time-to-best-answer to determine the quickest (and slowest?) best-worthy responses to any given question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:28 PM on August 12, 2010


Hmm. I just that question on my own question history and I get roughly 50 percent with a best answer in the first comment. I wonder how much of the ten percent are the anonymous and otherwise unanswerable questions, versus how much more googling I should be doing before posting.
posted by pwnguin at 10:32 PM on August 12, 2010


You could also look at the volume of besting from the asker of any question to weight the value of a given hole-in-one accordingly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:46 PM on August 12, 2010


You'd also have to filter out all of those questions where the OP's ticked every single answer as best.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:50 PM on August 12, 2010


With the most current infodump, and allowing for ignoring an initial run of OP comments as well as the fact that my previous version didn't count questions with no answers in the total, the numbers are now:

156442 total questions, 146852 non-anon questions, 17218 hole-in-ones (11.006% total/11.725% non-anon)

So yeah, the anon thing doesn't really sway the numbers that much. From a spot inspection of a couple dozen of those 17218, I have yet to see a single one where the OP did the 'everybody gets a trophy' thing so I have to conclude that it's a relatively infrequent thing.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:59 PM on August 12, 2010


Yet another thing: looks at holes-in-one vs. total number of questions that have any best answer at all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:04 PM on August 12, 2010


And I should point out too that in that spot inspection it was much more frequently the case that there was only one answer given, and it was marked best, so to really weed out the generous best-answer-givers, you'd have to do something a lot more sophisticated where you have a threshold for number of answers as well as a threshold percent of those marked best, because there are a whole lot of questions where there are only 3 - 5 answers and who's to say that marking 2 - 3 of those is being overly generous -- it's really not a black and white situation.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:08 PM on August 12, 2010


I would cut out relationship threads too. And legal ones where the first answer is, "get a lawyer". And ones where the first answer is, "Of course you can eat the raw chicken left on the counter overnight as long as you put mayonnaise on it" or similar and ones where the obvious answer is to get thee to the doctor/hospital or your nut sack will fall off and the ones where the answer the 17 year old step son of a 19 year old step-mother...oh never mind.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:17 PM on August 12, 2010


There are also "What is this thing" type questions that get four or five right answers within a couple of minutes. Would those count as four or five holes-in-one?
posted by Some1 at 11:19 PM on August 12, 2010


Cutting them out outright might not be justified in any sound sense, though doing category-wise comparisons might be interesting. There's certainly distinct variation in average number of answers to askme questions based on category, so it'd be interesting to see if that tracks proportionally to best answers (and best answer placement) or if there's some significant additional effects in play.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:20 PM on August 12, 2010


There are 55881 questions with any answer marked best, so 30.8% of the time the first non-OP answer will be considered best if there is a best.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:21 PM on August 12, 2010


Would those count as four or five holes-in-one?

We're only counting the number of threads where the first non-OP response is marked best, so a thread can either be a hole-in-one or not -- there's no way for it to count more than once.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:25 PM on August 12, 2010


I prefer to set the asker a challenge by giving a tricky lie.
posted by Abiezer at 12:25 AM on August 13, 2010


I prefer to set the asker a challenge by giving a tricky lie.
Damnit, I knew I shouldn't have eaten that chicken!
posted by dg at 12:49 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I prefer to set the asker a challenge by giving a tricky lie.

Which is informally known as "asshole-in-one".
posted by qvantamon at 2:56 AM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would like to suggest that we only allow ONE answer to each askme, which the asker MUST then employ and report back to us (assuming of course he/she/they are not arrested, transported to an alternative universe or, in the case of "should I eat this" questions, dead).
posted by HuronBob at 5:19 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steel Cage AskMe? Today's match is HuronBob vs. "You should be able to do it yourself with a pocket knife and a pair of tweezers."
posted by catlet at 7:20 AM on August 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought this was going to be about relationshipfilter. =\
posted by carsonb at 7:24 AM on August 13, 2010


or golf
posted by infini at 7:30 AM on August 13, 2010


I prefer to set the asker a challenge by giving a tricky lie.

Which is informally known as "asshole-in-one".


Not to be confused with the sometimes surprising, but perhaps more pleasurable, "one-in-the-asshole".
posted by Netzapper at 7:45 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not to be confused with the sometimes surprising, but perhaps more pleasurable, "one-in-the-asshole".

UFIA ?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:58 AM on August 13, 2010


Yes, but how many are "holes in one"?

When I used to eat fast food, I would invariably confound the poor soul working the drive-thru whenever I would request two Whoppers Junior. After awhile, I just felt like a dick.

So I started going to Wendy's instead.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:36 AM on August 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


I agree--'hole in one' is probably not the best name for this phenomenon.
posted by box at 8:43 AM on August 13, 2010


> Often, the OP goes ahead and marks all, or most, of the answers as best answer to show all-around appreciation for everyone's answers. I wouldn't call that a "hole in one."

No, that's a "Saint Valentine's day massacre."
posted by languagehat at 9:56 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


My "can you identify this short story?" questions all seem to get anwered in 1 or 2. People are really good at that around here.
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on August 13, 2010


That's because you keep asking us about 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:57 AM on August 13, 2010


That's because you keep asking us about 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson.

STONE HIM!
posted by joe lisboa at 10:58 AM on August 13, 2010


'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson.

Is it Ghostbusters 2?
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2010


STONE HIM!

SPOILER ALERT FOR 8TH GRADERS
posted by shakespeherian at 11:37 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


SPOILER ALERT FOR 8TH GRADERS

STONE ME!
posted by joe lisboa at 11:43 AM on August 13, 2010


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