The 7th anniversary is the desk set anniversary.... December 12, 2010 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Happy birthday and 10,000th Anonymous post Ask MetaFilter!

Just wanted to make a mention, noted in an earlier MeTa, that AskMe turned seven years old earlier this week (other notable MeFi timeline events). I had cortex whip up some stats from the InfoDump for the occasion.

AskMes asked: 167469
AskMes marked resolved: 16919
AskMes deleted: 1270
AskMes with best answer marked: 60195
Total number of best answers given: 142684
Anon AskMes asked: 10,000 and counting

Most popular category: computers & internet
Least popular category: religion & philosophy

Thanks to everyone who has helped make AskMetaFilter a useful place for MeFites to solve problems.
posted by jessamyn to MetaFilter-Related at 12:07 PM (46 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Yay Askme!
posted by pjern at 12:14 PM on December 12, 2010


That is a great 10,000th anonyme.
Category: things that you might worry are shameful but which are really ok.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:17 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Anonymous questions, it looks like they're going through the roof. I know there was talk semi-recently about trying to rein in the feature, but I had no idea the rate of increase was so dramatic. (Of course, those graphs only chart up to this past January, so maybe the problem isn't as bad now as it was then.)
posted by Rhaomi at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2010


Roughly 1 in 17 questions arre anonymous?

I used to love anonymous questions, but then I started trying to figure out why half of them were that way. Sure, it makes sense if you're posting something you absolutely don't want linked to you, but I often spend too much time trying to figure out how the info could be harmful, or the chances that the people in question could find out.

"My ask" is the part of that site I wish someone had pointed out to me the first time I went there. It makes it so much better to only see the topics I care about.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:19 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know there was talk semi-recently about trying to rein in the feature, but I had no idea the rate of increase was so dramatic.

Since we had the big MeTa thread about them, we've been approving slightly fewer of them though not significantly. Our metric is usually

- why this is anonymous?
- is there a real question/problem to be solved?
- is this something that AskMe can actually help with that doesn't sound trolly or flame-baity?

I'm not sure what the ratio of approved to not approved is, but it used to be more like 80& approved and now it's probably more like 60%.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:25 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man Anonymous has problems.
posted by The Whelk at 12:27 PM on December 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


also I thought anoymes always spiked around the holidays or?
posted by The Whelk at 12:27 PM on December 12, 2010


I like to pretend that anonymous questions are those that are asked by Anonymous, the 'We Are Legion' folk. I like the idea that this modern hydra, this angry mob of internet vigilantes, is waging war on those prosecuting Julian Assange while also taking time to be worried about whether that friend really does LIKE like them, or looking for ways to be more outgoing.
posted by twirlypen at 12:29 PM on December 12, 2010 [16 favorites]


Most popular category: computers & internet
Least popular category: religion & philosophy


I'd love to see all the categories listed, from most to least popular. I'm very curious.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:42 PM on December 12, 2010


I'd love to see all the categories listed, from most to least popular. I'm very curious

The AskMe archives page pretty much does this. I am for some reason too lazy to sort the list myself at this time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:43 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


this angry mob of internet vigilantes

Anonymous had better be careful that its condom doesn't break in the hotel tryst.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:44 PM on December 12, 2010


To avoid confusion with the Anonymous who will soon be rounded up and sent to Guantanamo Bay, maybe we should designate our anonymous Askers something else...

MetaNonymous

AnonymAsk

IANYM (I Am Not Your Mefite)

DAIWT (Don't Ask I Won't Tell)

GuessWhoMe

FPP (Fully Privacy Priotected)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:49 PM on December 12, 2010


Whoa, that's a lot of spicy meatballs (fearfully eaten after checking that it's ok.)
posted by OmieWise at 12:53 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thank you, mods, and especially you Jessamyn, for doing such a good job with AskMe.
posted by nomadicink at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


i think AskMe is the best part of this website

as nomadicink said: thanks mods, and most especially Jessamyn, as i know she does alot of the modding for this part of the site
posted by jammy at 1:58 PM on December 12, 2010


So, how can it be both a birthday and an anniversary? ...unless... Oh... Oh, now I get it. No wonder it's anonymous.
posted by Toekneesan at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2010


Least popular category: religion & philosophy

Aww. We need to add something to jazz it up a little. How about: religion, philosophy, & microwave cookery?
posted by dirtdirt at 2:33 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most popular category: computers & internet
Least popular category: religion & philosophy


This is why a lot of people thought the Battlestar Galactica finale sucked. Computer/science/nerd types generally don't handle religion well and have little use for it. The idea that a vague deity in the sky can thwart or manipulate the best laid plans of humans just does not compute with most science and logic types. That wild card element, that has mind of its own, is just not an idea us nerds want to entertain, let alone consider.

So it doesn't surprise me that a site the leans heavily towards science and atheism has few questions or concerns about religion. Though I suppose I may be projecting after re-watching BSG again lately.
posted by nomadicink at 2:52 PM on December 12, 2010


nomadicink writes "Computer/science/nerd types generally don't handle religion well and have little use for it."

I think we handle it very well by mostly ignoring it.
posted by Mitheral at 3:06 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


What do we have against philosophy? Had Plato been alive and a Mefite, I bet he would've received a lot of favorites.
posted by vidur at 3:25 PM on December 12, 2010


Computer/science/nerd types generally don't handle religion well and have little use for it.

There are certainly plenty of comp/sci/nerd types here, and there may well be some measurable skew within that section of the population toward atheism/areligiousness, but I figure that hardly accounts for the whole of the userbase to a degree that would cause an otherwise equally busy category to be deeply underused. That's setting aside even the question of whether atheist types would be less or more inclined to have questions about philosophy apart from religion.

That "computers and internet" is the most asked-after category on a website on the internet that everybody who is a member of needs a computer of some sort to access, and not a Q&A drop box in a church or philosophy department, probably has something to do with it. But my guess is that mostly folks—nerds and luddites, religious and areligious—just have a larger number of plausibly answerable specific questions about computers and the internet and related technology than they do about religion and philosophy.

If nothing else, on average you get a new computer every few years; you get a new religion or philosophical outlook a bit less often than that.

Anyway, I think people mostly didn't like the end of BSG because it was a bit of a mess, left questions unanswered without really making that unansweredness feel justified, and crushed the lingering hope that some of the stuff on the tail end of the series that was narratively frustrating to the faithful viewer was going to be somehow redeemed by a stunningly tight and satisfying finale.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:26 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I personally know lots of very religious computer/science/nerd types.
posted by octothorpe at 3:28 PM on December 12, 2010


jessamyn: I am for some reason too lazy to sort the list myself at this time.

I have a huge project I have to finish no later than tomorrow on which I still have an immense amount of work to do. Procrastination empowers me to sort that list. Here you go!

computers & internet (31971)
media & arts (16339)
travel & transportation (12170)
work & money (11929)
health & fitness (11700)
human relations (10079)
technology (9839)
home & garden (8323)
food & drink (7499)
sports, hobbies, & recreation (6409)
grab bag (5786)
law & government (5251)
society & culture (4822)
writing & language (4795)
education (4730)
clothing, beauty, & fashion (4469)
shopping (4291)
science & nature (3229)
pets & animals (2799)
religion & philosophy (1282)
posted by Kattullus at 3:30 PM on December 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


Anonymous lived for centuries and composed too much of rather dubious music. No wonder s/he accumulated some issues over time.

[rats. My 2-years five-bucks-jubilee is next Wednesday. Missed again]
posted by Namlit at 3:48 PM on December 12, 2010


pets and animals are next to last??? sheesh, seems like every other post is about litter training!

but, those may be falling in sports/hobbies/recreation.
posted by HuronBob at 3:58 PM on December 12, 2010


But my guess is that mostly folks—nerds and luddites, religious and areligious—just have a larger number of plausibly answerable specific questions about computers and the internet and related technology than they do about religion and philosophy.

Good point. Basic religion questions have sorta been answered, meanwhile there's lots of people still struggling with using an email program and what not. Couple that with all the other potential problems a computer can have and the fact that only a trained technician can usually diagnose the problem at a seemingly expensive rate and it makes sense why people would want to AskMe to solve the problem.


Anyway, I think people mostly didn't like the end of BSG because it was a bit of a mess, left questions unanswered without really making that unansweredness feel justified...

I agree and think that goes with general religious belief, that it's an article of faith, where all your questions aren't neatly answered. That's what struck me most after watching the last season over the past three days, that if there really is a God actively mingling in human affairs, some things won't make sense and indeed can't make sense 'cause humans aren't privy to the grand plan so to speak. Just thought it was interesting how BSG incorporated that so earnestly in its framework. But from a religious standpoint, I think the story holds up remarkably well in terms of Judeo Christian beliefs.
posted by nomadicink at 3:58 PM on December 12, 2010


The idea that a vague deity in the sky can thwart or manipulate the best laid plans of humans just does not compute with most science and logic types.

But they still rejoice when the eagles descend to save Frodo and Sam.
posted by ersatz at 4:36 PM on December 12, 2010


Well, who doesn't love giant eagles?
posted by nomadicink at 4:57 PM on December 12, 2010


10k anonymous posts? You people have a lot of dirty secrets.
posted by jonmc at 5:34 PM on December 12, 2010


If nothing else, on average you get a new computer every few years; you get a new religion or philosophical outlook a bit less often than that.

Though ironically this is not the case for some users who have posted more than once in the 'religion&philosophy' category.

Uh...
posted by lapsangsouchong at 5:54 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, shuffle just put shakespeherian's wedding music on for me. Grrreat.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 5:56 PM on December 12, 2010


So, how can it be both a birthday and an anniversary?

All birthdays are anniversaries.
posted by kenko at 6:45 PM on December 12, 2010


And every single day could be your future deathday, so celebrate every single day, just in case.
posted by Kattullus at 6:46 PM on December 12, 2010


AskMe is what got me into MeFi originally, so Happy Birthday and I hope the rash clears up.
posted by arcticseal at 7:27 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


But they still rejoice when the eagles descend to save Frodo and Sam.

My usual reaction is, "Why didn't they just fly in on the eagles?"
posted by explosion at 8:29 PM on December 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


The eagles were, uh, busy. Doing eagle stuff.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:06 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]



My usual reaction is, "Why didn't they just fly in on the eagles?"


NO.

posted by TwelveTwo at 10:47 PM on December 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Why didn't they just fly in on the eagles?"

Arguably the airspace of Mordor was rather well defended until after the downfall of Sauron. What with the Nazgul, the winged fell beasts and who knows what else.

And the Eagles did say they couldn't carry man-sized burdens for long distances.

But maybe they could at least have given Frodo a lift part of the way.

It's all discussed in enormous detail here.
posted by philipy at 11:09 PM on December 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Now come on. Anyone who has spent any time on Tolkien messageboards knows that the real way to rile Tolkien purists is to ask whether Balrogs have wings. Or suggest that maybe the non-inclusion of Tom Bombadil or the Scouring of the Shire in the films was a good thing.
posted by Electric Dragon at 2:26 AM on December 13, 2010


Nazgûl.

Yes, I checked Wikipedia and Word to get the right û.
posted by Jorus at 2:41 AM on December 13, 2010


I think the anniversary question is kinda sweet and a great use of the anonymous feature. It's one of those things that is a rebuttal to the ever-present "if you're not guilty, you don't have anything to hide" in privacy debates.
posted by Harald74 at 6:09 AM on December 13, 2010


Incidentally, shuffle just put shakespeherian's wedding music on for me. Grrreat.

I'm not entirely sure how to feel about internet strangers listening to my father-in-law's voice on their iTunes. I'm going to go with... optimistically confused.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:27 AM on December 13, 2010


Happy birthday, you miserable bastard.
posted by reenum at 8:53 AM on December 13, 2010


whether Balrogs have wings

Tolkien Newsgroups FAQ, for all your heated Tolkien debate needs. Which conveniently points you to The Truth About Balrogs: FUQ (sic).
posted by philipy at 10:22 AM on December 13, 2010


"The time has come," the Wizard said,
"To talk of many things:
Of elves--and dwarves--and hobbitses--
Of Nazgûls--and rings--
And why Mount Doom is boiling hot--
And whether balrogs have wings."
posted by maryr at 11:19 AM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have melted
the ring
that was on
your finger

And which
you were probably
saving
for conquest

Forgive me
it was bindings
so one
and so precious
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:36 AM on December 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


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