Encouraging answers rather than comments in AskMe December 13, 2010 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Suggestion: changing AskMe "Post Comment" to "Post Answer."

I think that changing the "Post Comment" button in the Ask subsite to say "Post Answer" would be more in line with the philosophy of AskMe. It would implicitly prompt, "Am you answering the question?" Ideally, it would make someone think twice about posting a lulzy comment that does not answer the question.

For consistency, the other parts of AskMe that refer to Comments could also be changed to Answers, but I think changing the button could help the most.

Please note that I suggest this with zero understanding of how difficult it would be to implement. Apologies if it is ridiculously difficult considering the hypothetical benefit.
posted by Jorus to Feature Requests at 12:13 PM (50 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Yeah, you know someone suggested this probably 5+ years ago and I said it was a good idea then just as I do now, but from time to time things slip through the cracks on the giant to-do pile. I'm sure we can make this easy change pretty quickly.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:17 PM on December 13, 2010


Apologies if it is ridiculously difficult considering the hypothetical benefit.

Well, there's currently only one vendor for button text, and he runs a cash-only mail-order shop in Belgium, so getting the new text carved and shipped before the second quarter of 2011 would be difficult to oh dammit Matt I was trying to a thing here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on December 13, 2010 [30 favorites]


Neat! I like this idea, too.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:21 PM on December 13, 2010


Great idea. :)
posted by zarq at 12:21 PM on December 13, 2010


And could we change the button in MeTa to "Deliver Hug"?
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:22 PM on December 13, 2010 [29 favorites]


All set.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:23 PM on December 13, 2010


And could we change the button in MeTa to "Deliver Hug"?

what about the times when "fling pie" would be more appropriate?
posted by elizardbits at 12:24 PM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Uh, did you break something? When I click Post Answer in an AskMe thread it just loads the preview again, as if I'd clicked Preview.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:26 PM on December 13, 2010


Sweet, thank you!
posted by Jorus at 12:26 PM on December 13, 2010


I guess that's what happens when you use cut-price button text vendors. You've been scammed!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:27 PM on December 13, 2010


I think this just might be the quickest pony in the history of MetaFilter. True/false?
posted by litnerd at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can we add a permanently-disabled "Post Wisecrack" button between "Post Answer" and "Preview"?
posted by griphus at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yep, I did break something. Hopefully fixed now.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, post answer is not working right now, altho it might be the fault of the unicorn/narwhal extension.
posted by elizardbits at 12:30 PM on December 13, 2010


Yep, working again :)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:33 PM on December 13, 2010


Can we add a permanently-disabled "Post Wisecrack" button between "Post Answer" and "Preview"?

It should go right next to the "Post Recipe" button.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:33 PM on December 13, 2010


While we're at it, the dialog box for responses on AskMe still shows up as "Comment:". Might we get that to say "Answer:" too?
posted by valkyryn at 12:36 PM on December 13, 2010


Sorry, I've already hit my "broken things" quota for the day. (But sure, we can change that too.)

I think we already refer to Ask comments as "answers" in other places around the site. Maybe we could put together a list of places we don't so we can fix those up too.
posted by pb (staff) at 12:38 PM on December 13, 2010


Where is the flameout button?

NEVERMIND I'LL FIND IT MYSELF GOD YOU GUYS ARE ASSHOLES I HATE YOU ALL

found it!
posted by entropicamericana at 12:39 PM on December 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


it might be the fault of the unicorn/narwhal extension.

Was just coming over here to ask what you fuckers had done with my narwhal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2010 [26 favorites]


Well, there's currently only one vendor for button text, and he runs a cash-only mail-order shop in Belgium, so getting the new text carved and shipped before the second quarter of 2011 would be difficult t...

You know, you joke about this, but this is what I face at work every day.
posted by doublehappy at 12:43 PM on December 13, 2010


AskMetafilter: Am you answering the question?
posted by amro at 12:45 PM on December 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Slight derail, but worth noting: The Portland newspaper The Oregonian has a feature on current statements made by politicians, celebs, etc. If facts support the statement, it is deemed true. It can be partially true, or if it is wildly false, the judgment is "pants on fire".
posted by Cranberry at 12:46 PM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, I have a unicorn button but not a narwhal. Am I too far from the sea? Or does this mean I am a unsullied and pure-hearted maiden (because my mum would like to hear that)?
posted by maryr at 12:47 PM on December 13, 2010


Cranberry: "Slight derail, but worth noting: The Portland newspaper The Oregonian has a feature on current statements made by politicians, celebs, etc. If facts support the statement, it is deemed true. It can be partially true, or if it is wildly false, the judgment is "pants on fire"."

Yep, that's the Oregon bureau of the St. Pete Time's excellent PolitiFact site. It's cool they're branching out into newspapers -- we seem to have a distinct lack of media calling liars out on their bullshit.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:49 PM on December 13, 2010


Was just coming over here to ask what you fuckers had done with my narwhal.

This is the part where pb spins to face you in his giant leather chair.
posted by griphus at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


as we're nitpicking the ponies - "add to favorites"

when you add a favorite, on every part of the site it's just the +, except at the bottom of a post where it says "add to favorites" - could we make that just a plus sign as well?
posted by nadawi at 1:18 PM on December 13, 2010


This is the part where pb spins to face you in his giant leather chair.

Followed by you dropping through a trapdoor in the floor into a giant tank wherein swims your narwhal, now equipped with a laser.
posted by exogenous at 1:28 PM on December 13, 2010


You know what I really want?

A button for "I just wrote this to make myself feel better. Now act like it posted, but don't really post it."

Preview just isn't cutting it for me on those.
posted by theichibun at 2:11 PM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Phew, I still have my narwhal.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:35 PM on December 13, 2010


i totally missed the change until I read this metatalk... now i feel sheepish.
posted by patheral at 2:41 PM on December 13, 2010


pb: Maybe we could put together a list of places we [say comment instead of answer] so we can fix those up too.

The front-page of ask lists total number of comments, likewise the top of each question.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:50 PM on December 13, 2010


The front-page of ask lists total number of comments...

hmm, I don't see it. Can you grab a screenshot?
posted by pb (staff) at 3:04 PM on December 13, 2010


After years of wondering if there were more color-blind and/or clueless people out there than ever thought, it recently occurred to me why the occasional stray AskMe question ends up on the blue. When you're in AskMe and you search through old questions, the results page that comes up, although blue, says it's showing results from AskMe questions only. So if you look at the results and determine that your question hasn't been asked before, then click "New Post" to start composing your question, you're actually composing a Metafilter post instead of an AskMe question.

I've come close to making this mistake a couple times. I wonder if there's anything simple that can be done to prevent that wrong turn?
posted by mudpuppie at 3:05 PM on December 13, 2010


mudpuppie: " I've come close to making this mistake a couple times. I wonder if there's anything simple that can be done to prevent that wrong turn?"

Huh. That might explain this. :)
posted by zarq at 3:10 PM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


So if you look at the results and determine that your question hasn't been asked before, then click "New Post" to start composing your question, you're actually composing a Metafilter post instead of an AskMe question.

That's a good point. For new users the whole "Post to MetaFilter" might not be enough of a disambiguation since they may not know about the rest of the site. So I guess the failure mode is like this

- someone is on some part of the site
- uses Search to search for something
- clicks "new post" link from the search results
- "new post" takes you to "post to metafilter" even if you were in MetaTalk or AskMe before
- people miss the visual cue that is "post to MetaFilter" somehow
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:15 PM on December 13, 2010


pb huh. Now it doesn't. I swear it did earlier.
honest
posted by coriolisdave at 3:17 PM on December 13, 2010


Yeah, the difficulty there is that we have to home subsite-non-specific pages somewhere. At this point, any page that doesn't have a specific fixed single-subsite-only purpose lives on the main metafilter subdomain, and so gets the header for the blue.

There's different ways this could be handled, but of the ones I can think of off the top of my head I'm not sure I really like any of them:

- track the "entry point" to any subsite-agnostic page and deliver the page with that referring subsite's styling. So if you enter the search page from askme, you get a green background and the askme header; enter Recent Activity from Jobs, you get a white background and the Jobs header; etc.

- create a new "void" subsite to home subsite-agnostic pages to, with a customized header that either doesn't provide direct links to subsite-sensitive functions (e.g. New Post) or which provides special explicit-prompt versions of any subsite-sensitive function that requires the user to acknowledge where, for example, they want to go to make a post.

Really, my feeling about the occasional accidental askme-on-the-blue post is that it's not common enough and doesn't incur a big enough cost to us (deleting it with a "you meant askme, i bet" reason is easy) or to the user (getting the mispost deleted doesn't stop them from making the askme post they had meant to make) to really justify any change approaching the kind of scope either of the above ideas has. I'm doubtful really that there's even much of anything to be done, given how different the posting pages for the green vs. the blue are. It's okay if someone bumbles that now and then.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:27 PM on December 13, 2010


If you try to post to MetaFilter without a link, you get this: "You don't seem to have a link in your post. If you want to post a question, try Ask MetaFilter instead." I'm guessing that catches most of these. It's only the occasional misplaced question that links to something that passes through this check.

We could probably figure out how often this happens. I feel like it's a few times a year rather than a few times each month.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:33 PM on December 13, 2010


We could probably figure out how often this happens. I feel like it's a few times a year rather than a few times each month.

That's my feeling, too. Here's a quick and dirty: every mefi post with the string "askme" in the deletion reason.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Note that there are probably misplaced-ask deletions that didn't use that keyword; note also that not all of these are unambiguous "I was aiming for askme" situations, and a couple are unambiguously not that sort of thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:41 PM on December 13, 2010


Just did a more thorough search, looking at every deletion that had "ask" (including as a substring such as askme, askmefi, ask.metafilter.com) or "green" in it and picking out only the ones that are indeed apparent misposts. (There are also deletions, as in some of the cases above, that feature "ask" or "green" or a link to the ask metafilter but which are not actually misposted questions.)

This should be comprehensive or at least nearly so, since I think it's pretty unlikely we'd delete a misplaced question without using one of those words, but anyone who wants to go looking themselves can check out the postdata_askme file over at the Infodump.

So here's all of those posts, which includes all of the ones in the above except for 2, 5, and 6. Chronological order, broken out by year.

9/27/05
11/17/05
12/14/05

6/26/06
6/29/06
8/30/06
8/31/06
10/16/06
10/29/06
11/11/06
12/2/06
12/22/06
12/30/06

1/29/07
5/2/07
7/11/07
8/20/07

3/13/08
3/17/08
3/17/08
3/25/08
6/28/08
7/26/08

3/1/09
3/2/09
5/4/09
6/9/09
7/6/09
7/13/09
8/31/09
11/15/09

2/3/10
3/5/10
3/28/10
4/20/10
4/28/10
8/10/10

Pretty clearly in "a few times a year" territory, like we were speculating. The clustering is interesting—four errors inside of about a week in March of 2008, months-long gaps between errors in some places. About seven misposts per year.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:14 PM on December 13, 2010


Two of the posts from that week are from the same guy, and the other two posters both live in NYC.
posted by nzero at 6:12 PM on December 13, 2010

getting the new text carved and shipped before the second quarter of 2011 would be difficult ...
You know, you joke about this, but this is what I face at work every day.

Hah, me too ... literally!
posted by woodblock100 at 7:13 PM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Am you answering the question?"

I are, say the language pirate!
posted by iamkimiam at 12:32 AM on December 14, 2010


There's different ways this could be handled, but of the ones I can think of off the top of my head I'm not sure I really like any of them

If it were my site, all the useful-on-all-subsites pages would be templates that generate subsite-specific instances.
posted by flabdablet at 3:24 AM on December 14, 2010


I R, said the 800 nm wavelength beam of light.
posted by maryr at 7:30 AM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie: "I've come close to making this mistake a couple times."

So have I, more times than I'd like to admit.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:17 AM on December 14, 2010


No No No No! Please leave it as "Post Comment".
Thinking that it SHOULD ONLY be an answer is ANAL too strict.
Comments and anecdotes relative to the question are as helpful to the poster as answers are.
AskMeFi is not simply a straight up question and answer site, it is a community.
While I don't view postings to Ask MeFi as converstion topics, I say comments should be encouraged as much as answers, as long as they are on topic.
Not everybody responds in the same communication style. Discussion and discourse are sometimes a means to providing the answer to the poster.
Also, often a posted reply gets followed up by the poster during the course of the topic.

I still think "Post Comment" is most apt, but perhaps "Post Reply" also works.
posted by No Shmoobles at 1:33 PM on December 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Either way, I think it broke the Deleted Posts script. At least to the point where I can't hit the link and see what did exist in the thread before it was axed.
posted by theichibun at 1:02 PM on December 15, 2010




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