Wanted ads? September 20, 2010 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Are wanted ads welcome on AskMeFi?

I'd have flagged it but I don't see that feature on Ask.
posted by londonmark to Etiquette/Policy at 2:11 PM (58 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The [!] next to "Add to Favorites" will flag the post.
posted by Diskeater at 2:13 PM on September 20, 2010


Deleted, and the flag reason of "breaks guidelines" works great in this case.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:13 PM on September 20, 2010


Thanks, and sorry, that was dim of me.
posted by londonmark at 2:21 PM on September 20, 2010


If you have had success with someone at a reasonable price please do pass on their details :)

This seems like a perfectly reasonable post and is quite similar to any other number of posts where people are seeking various trained professionals to assist them. What's the problem?

He's not asking if anyone on askme will be his plumber, or at least he's not only doing that. He's looking for a recommendation. People do that all the time.
posted by andoatnp at 2:29 PM on September 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is it against the guidelines to ask if anyone knows a good [professional] in [geographical area]?
posted by John Cohen at 2:31 PM on September 20, 2010


yeah, i guess i don't see this as any different than "help me find X type of doctor in X city", besides the white collar/blue collar difference.
posted by nadawi at 2:34 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't get it. There are often AskMe question along this line. "Can you suggest a good plumber in "x"?

How is this different than this morning's "I need a job coach. I live in New York. Your suggestions would be very very helpful." The title of such: "Need Coaching. The Job Kind. Help Wanted/Needed."
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on September 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, people ask for therapist/counselor recommendations all the time - what's the difference here?
posted by flex at 2:39 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Deleted, and the flag reason of "breaks guidelines" works great in this case.

Really? In what way?
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM on September 20, 2010


I thought they were called want ads? And I think that question just needs a little tweaking, because god knows there is no shortage of similar questions asked.
posted by dead cousin ted at 2:40 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it may be a poorly phrased question, but I've seen plenty of questions stay that are asking for a recommendation for a particular professional. This could use some clarification.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:44 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, people ask for therapist/counselor recommendations all the time - what's the difference here?

The OP forgot to mention he was writing a book about the daily lives of Wimbledon's plumbers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:47 PM on September 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


How is the AskMe in question any different from similar ones in the past?
The handyman can? -- "Who would you recommend for some repairs that need to be done on our recently purchased Toronto home?"

The Handyman Can, the Handyman Can -- "We need a handyman in the Princeton, NJ area. Qualifications are: competent, neat, honest, reliable."

Ayúdenme, Boricu@s! -- "Puerto Rico: Help Me Find Stuff in Ponce. I'm helping a family who is moving to Ponce, PR. This family is in need of English-speakers that provide the following services: --Orthondontics (orthodoncista) --Home Remodeling (private residential bathroom and kitchen) (remodelación de casas residenciales) --General Handyman (hammering, fixing stuff, etc.) (servicios de arreglamiento técnico) ..."

All NY-ers: recommendations in Washington Heights? -- "Have any of you lived in Washington Heights, in Manhattan? I just moved to 162nd St. would appreciate any recommendations of a good local hardware store, handyman, pet store, supermarket or farmer's market, 24-hour bodega, good delivery or absolutely anything else that is worth seeing/knowing about around here."

Phone Jack Installation -- "I need to have a phone jack put in for AT&T service in Chicago (Andersonville), because the previous tenants converted all the phone jacks to cable outlets. Can anyone recommend the services of a handyman?"

Bay Area handyman -- "Can anyone recommend a reliable, reasonably priced handyman in the Bay Area/East Bay?"

help me hire a handyman! -- "i need a carpenter and electrician to do a very small job in a condo (lakeview/boys town ish) in Chicago."

I need a handyman/contractor STAT -- " Does anyone know a reasonably priced and RELIABLE handyman/contractor in the Tampa Bay area?"

Any good Seattle handyman/contractor recommendations?"Can anyone recommend a good handyman or home/construction type contractor in the Seattle area?"
IMHO -- bad callout. Bad mod decision. I vote for the post to be allowed.
posted by ericb at 2:55 PM on September 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


We get to vote now? How many votes do I get?
posted by cjorgensen at 2:57 PM on September 20, 2010


Vote early! Vote often!
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


cjorgensen: "We get to vote now? How many votes do I get?"

How much land do you own?
posted by boo_radley at 3:02 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I vote for the post to be allowed.

Rephrased: "In my opinion the AskMe post should be allowed, as it is keeping with other previous ones similar in nature which were permitted."
posted by ericb at 3:03 PM on September 20, 2010


I agree—there's strong precedent for allowing this sort of question. Which is not to say precedent is always a binding factor in such decisions, but I'm fine with that precedent both in general and as applied to that specific question.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:09 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't get the deletion either, it's just a recommend someone I can hire in my area for a specific kind of job.
posted by orthogonality at 3:17 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree that it's a bad deletion, but I wonder what the emoticon at the end of the question is about. Is the OP looking for someone who works under the table or something?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:28 PM on September 20, 2010


I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about the idea of the general type of question here; on the one hand, yeah, people can and have made this sort of thing work, on the other hand anything there's a feeling, hard for me to define but definitely a know-it-when-see-it thing, where stuff that wanders too far in the direction of "please open the phonebook for me" and newspaper want ads really feels like it's missing the mark on ask. I'll see if I can pin down that sense a little more cleanly.

So, that being said, the specific question as posted looks conspicuously out of place on askme—it does, indeed, read almost like a copy-and-paste of a newspaper want ad—and it got flagged a good bit while it was still up, so this isn't just us reading it as a bit weird. If the poster wants to give it another shot and, as Matt suggested in the deletion reason, maybe target it specifically toward askme's strengths, that'd be fine I think. But I can't see us leaving up that question as posted.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:33 PM on September 20, 2010


the specific question as posted looks conspicuously out of place on askme

Aha, that's the real reason.
posted by John Cohen at 3:34 PM on September 20, 2010


I can't speak for anyone else, but I flagged it and moved on because it read (and formatted) like something that they'd typed in an email and sent around, then copy/pasted into askme without additional thought. Also, it was essentially a bullet list of disparate things. I think if they'd written something like many of the examples above, where they're asking succinctly up front and/or putting the details beyond the fold, I might not have even noticed it.
posted by davejay at 3:36 PM on September 20, 2010


Poorly worded, but not substantially different than many other AskMe questiosns.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:44 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't go to Craigslist and swim in their toilets, so I don't know why they have to come over here and pee in our pool.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:45 PM on September 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought they were called want ads?

I've always called them "Wanted ads", but the language of classifieds has always confused me: "Wanted to buy?" "Wanted to sell?" What the hell do those even mean? They lump all tenancy/flatmate/roommate ads under one label, but then make a distinction between "Adult services" and "Adult entertainment"? ...and what is the deal with airline food?
posted by doublehappy at 4:05 PM on September 20, 2010


We need to do a better job of delineating these things in the AskMe FAQ, between

- Are you a handyman? Let me hire you!

and

- Do you know a handyman in my area? Let me hire them!

I deleted another question earlier today about "have you had this experience, I'm writing an article and I want to talk to you if you are in my geographic region" and it's sort of a fine line [clear to me but clearly not so clear to the poster] about the difference for using AskMe to solve a problem/ask a question and just a general crowdsource "Hey who has a drill I can borrow?" sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:07 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


We need to do a better job of delineating these things in the AskMe FAQ, between

- Are you a handyman? Let me hire you!

and

- Do you know a handyman in my area? Let me hire them!


This question seemed to be the latter.
posted by John Cohen at 4:17 PM on September 20, 2010


- Do you know a handyman in my area? Let me hire them!

from the question:
If you have had success with someone at a reasonable price please do pass on their details

so is it ok or not to post about this sort of thing?
posted by PugAchev at 4:29 PM on September 20, 2010


This post would have been perfectly fine if it had been worded thus:

What are some "best practices" when seeking a handyman/plumber in NYC. Help me HiveMind!
posted by Biru at 4:44 PM on September 20, 2010


Or, "hack my home repair!1!!"
posted by tristeza at 5:35 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I need someone to shovel my driveway. Special snowflake details inside.
posted by drlith at 5:58 PM on September 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


I think it was the laudry list of tasks that knocked it over the edge. That was the part that made me wonder if tnhe question was end up deleted.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:04 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


This question seemed to be the latter.

Sorry, I hadn't seen that mathowie had closed it. This may have been a weird case where the question got a lot of flags because of a formatting problem [the original question didn't have the geographic location anywhere but the title] and so when mathowie saw it he assumed the flags were saying "sucky question" and so that was the tipping point on an edge case question.

Generally yeah "help me find a contractor" is okay. "Here is my classified ad" is not okay. There was some difference of opinion about which sort of question this was.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:06 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I flagged because there wasn't even a question in the entire post.
posted by litnerd at 6:15 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


The flags on my upcoming *where can I get flags* question will be ironic, so please disregard.
posted by found missing at 6:21 PM on September 20, 2010


...mr. hanson to expensive?
posted by clavdivs at 6:40 PM on September 20, 2010


...well, could we please have a classified ads section?

I'd gladly pay a buck or two to post a classified for the Metafilter community to see. No discussion, just "Hey, does somebody have a drill I could borrow" or "Looking to rent a place in X..."

Hell, I'd pay a buck or two every so often just to post "I love Metafilter" and keep the money flowing in for you guys.

Not sure how complicated it would be, but having a way to buy, sell, hire, rent, and just get commercial with this community would be amazing.
posted by MrVisible at 6:52 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


having a way to buy, sell, hire, rent, and just get commercial with this community would be amazing.

I disagree, for terribly vague, visceral reasons.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:28 PM on September 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


The fact that this question stayed up could have given the OP the idea that this kind of thing is OK. The OP does have a certain breezy style of framing a query that might not be, let's say, quintessentially Metafilter-esque. But it's been accepted in the past. I'm not complaining that the deletion was inconsistent, just saying the OP might be pretty confused at this point.
posted by John Cohen at 7:49 PM on September 20, 2010


So, no Joe the Plumber welcome on metafilter? It does read as a blue collar no; white collar yes reguarding asks.
posted by buzzman at 7:52 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


burr-burr....burr-burr..."hello"...
posted by clavdivs at 8:24 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I disagree, for terribly vague, visceral reasons.

That is because you are a bad person.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:27 PM on September 20, 2010


See, I thought it was because you should never have, for dinner, chili that's been in the freezer for more than a year.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:35 PM on September 20, 2010


Craig already has a list.
posted by ctmf at 8:51 PM on September 20, 2010


Imaginary hi-five for whoever starts the @FakeAskMeStylebook account on Twitter.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:04 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think there's anything wrong with this question beside the style in which it was written. That said, I am totally for deleting questions based on poor style/grammar/spelling/usage.
posted by grouse at 9:36 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I personally think that the manner in which one asks a question like this really does matter. It's the difference between demonstrating understanding of the community as a participant (give/take) and simply using the posting board in an impersonal and detached way (the appearance of drive-by take-only, à la craigslist). In a lot of cases, this difference is implicit - one does not need to consciously write the post keeping the line between the two in mind. However, accidents happen on both sides of the equation*, happy or otherwise. Necessary deletions sometimes ensue; good discussions sometimes happen; hugs and jazz hands exchange.

*A participating member on all other accounts writes a guideline-breaking solicitation request; A new/non-participating member writes a very norm-abiding, highly-favor(it)ed request; and on.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:00 AM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm another one surprised it was deemed delete-worthy. As noted above, it's asking for a recommendation of a tradesperson as many other AskMe post do, then listing the specific tasks where help is required, which seems a reasonable way to set it out. Did the username being a URL combined with the smiley make it look dodgier than I think it actually is?
posted by Abiezer at 4:35 AM on September 21, 2010


The poster in question has been using AskMe as the want ads for years.
posted by smackfu at 5:50 AM on September 21, 2010


dead cousin ted: I thought they were called want ads?

Possibly only in your part of the world. Here in the UK we have "for sale"/"wanted" so "wanted ads" makes sense here.
posted by altolinguistic at 6:31 AM on September 21, 2010


so when mathowie saw it he assumed the flags were saying "sucky question" and so that was the tipping point on an edge case question

So, a more detailed flag would have been helpful, amirite?
posted by darkmatter at 11:45 AM on September 21, 2010


So, a more detailed flag would have been helpful, amirite?

Not really, no. At the risk of too much inside baseball what we see on the admin side when we're looking at the admin view of a thread is something like this
posted by kiwi.es to home & garden [edit] [IP:whois|search]
— flagged x times
If we click through, we can see who flagged them and why. If there's a debate or we're confused, we'll do this. In this case, mathowie figured he knew why it was being flagged so much and deleted accordingly. And really from a personal preference standpoint [and given the user and some of their previous questions] this was edge-casey enough that the difference wouldn't have been a big deal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:03 PM on September 21, 2010


everyone makes a bad call. this question is absolutely in the same ballpark as hundreds of previous (and some current) questions, and actually follows the "this would be okay if" method suggested by the mods, but the question is still deleted.

do i think it was a bad call? absolutely.
am i losing sleep over it? no.
posted by radiosilents at 12:37 PM on September 21, 2010


Craig already has a list.

Yeah, but it's lost its usefulness now that it's all about finding "escorts."

I'd love a MeFi "Wanted / For Sale / Can Someone in my Area Help Me" section; I don't see it happening, and, you know, oh well, but I would love it if it did exist.
posted by tzikeh at 5:36 PM on September 21, 2010


Well, the UK is stupid, so there.
posted by dead cousin ted at 7:45 PM on September 21, 2010


Looks like they've tried it before, too.
posted by arnicae at 8:50 AM on September 23, 2010




I don't go to Craigslist and swim in their toilets, so I don't know why they have to come over here and pee in our pool.


We don't use Craigslist in the UK. NNGH. You're thinking of Gumtree.
posted by mippy at 9:43 AM on September 27, 2010


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