Why don't ask.metafilter answers count towards the three comments you need to post to the main page? February 28, 2011 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Why don't ask.metafilter answers count towards the three comments you need to post to the main page?
posted by bq to MetaFilter-Related at 2:26 PM (64 comments total)

The three comments thing was incorporated into the site back in the year 2000 or 2001, in order to force new posters to have at least some experience writing in the community. This predated the existence of Ask MetaFilter by a few years, but it has come up a few times in the past few days with new users being blocked from posting even though they have some history on Ask MetaFilter, and yeah, this is a change we should throw on the to-do list, letting MetaTalk and Ask MetaFilter comments count towards the three minimum for posting rights on MetaFilter's main page.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:30 PM on February 28, 2011


I'm agin it.

If there's any value to the idea that we want people to see how the blue works before posting on it - and I think there is - simply answering in the green may not give them that exposure.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:36 PM on February 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


As someone who has come in here by lurking for years on ask.me before getting involved with anything else, I think the general vibe on the main page differs enough from ask to justify not mixing them up too much. So I'm not sure that that's such a good idea.
posted by Namlit at 2:36 PM on February 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Meh. If you can't be assed to put in three comments on the Blue, you shouldn't post on it.

AskMe shouldn't have that policy because it encourages noise answers, but the blue has a lower standard and a much less focused mission, so that's not a concern.

MeTa shouldn't have that policy because it's possible to need to post (bug issues, etc.) despite never having commented.

On the main page, it still makes sense.
posted by klangklangston at 2:38 PM on February 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


That bar's so low I didn't even know it existed.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:39 PM on February 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


That too.
posted by Namlit at 2:40 PM on February 28, 2011


I say it's a feature, not a bug.

If you aren't precluded from answering or asking on askme then stick to that section until you want to branch out. I'd find it way weird if there were no comments on the blue before posting.

I think the three comments is too low of a bar in my opinion, but they do serve to make the obvious spammers a lot more obvious. A 100 comment bar would just mean there'd be tons of dumb one liners.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:41 PM on February 28, 2011


It's only three? That's a ridiculously low bar you're asking to have lowered. What are you, an ant?

I say it's a feature, not a bug.

You're a bug.
posted by yeti at 2:45 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


A 100 comment bar would just mean there'd be tons of dumb one liners.

Same as in town.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:47 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: tons of dumb one liners.
posted by kmz at 2:48 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


For a one-time low low price, I will hand craft for someone three1 comments to be posted to the Blue. If you act now, I'll even give a discount for a fourth to be posted to Projects.

1Party shall not hold "yeti" liable for any follow-up or call-outs that may result. Party is responsible for submitting comments as separate comments. "You'd be amazed how fast they come out when you read them all in a row." Void in Idaho.
posted by yeti at 3:01 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


hey great post thanks
posted by Burhanistan at 3:04 PM on February 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


do what the others said i agree 100%
posted by Burhanistan at 3:04 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


lol! you too! some linseed oil will unstick those clumped hairs down there.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:05 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was a little weird to discover that after several hundred AskMe answers I still wasn't eligible to post to the blue, but it made me actually read the blue more and that's not a bad thing. (And I'm currently running a 50% deletion rate, so clearly the blue is not my strength, still.)
posted by restless_nomad at 3:14 PM on February 28, 2011


I think we need more achievements to unlock. Secret achievements.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:27 PM on February 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I do not think that removing an incredibly low bar to posting is a thing we should do. It's not like the three comments have to be original works of scholarship written as sestinas.
posted by winna at 3:33 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please fill this blue book with your three answers. Write neatly. Thanks.
posted by fixedgear at 3:41 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Three answers to ask.me would make a member just as ask-ready as 3 comments to the blue makes one post-worthy. Beans, plate, bah, math is hard.
posted by theora55 at 3:46 PM on February 28, 2011


Another vote for keeping the restriction.

Also, you may want to banhammer the Burhanistan account. It looks like it's just a spammer.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:47 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


If it wasn't for the neat system where spammers always follow a predictable pattern of posting three inane comments before a suspicious post which is so easy to spot and deal with, I'd suggest a 5 favorites limit instead. Your comment contributions needing to be notable enough first.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:48 PM on February 28, 2011


(by the way, I've had my suspicions about the Burhanistan account for a while, this thread pretty much proves it.)
posted by eyeballkid at 3:48 PM on February 28, 2011


Three does seem like a pretty low bar. If anything, I'd favor moving it up toward 10.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:17 PM on February 28, 2011


The cultural difference between the blue and green seems enough to make a small barrier a wise thing. There are enough of the accidental questions posted to the front page with the barrier in place. It seems to me that removing the barrier might increase the incidence.
posted by stoneweaver at 4:37 PM on February 28, 2011


> That's a ridiculously low bar you're asking to have lowered

Maybe it's a limbo contest, not a high jump.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:51 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am a bug.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:58 PM on February 28, 2011


Bad idea, don't want to encourage people to answer on askmefi unless they actually have answers.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:00 PM on February 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey, here's a question for the folks who are good at crunching the numbers: What is the average number of comments someone makes (to the blue, and sitewide) before posting to the front page on the blue? Let's exclude folks who have never posted an FPP to the blue.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 5:28 PM on February 28, 2011


What is the average number of comments someone makes (to the blue, and sitewide) before posting to the front page on the blue? Let's exclude folks who have never posted an FPP to the blue.

According to a semi-recent copy of the Infodump, users who have posted to the blue averaged 37.61 comments in the blue prior to the first post, and 75.89 comments site-wide prior to their first post on the blue. I'm looking at first non-deleted posts only there, mainly to cut out all the 3-and-1-and-out spammers.

However, unless I'm doing something really wrong (which is possible), it looks like about 17.4% of posters only had 3 comments in the blue before their first non-deleted post. That seems too high to me, so if any other datanerds would like to confirm or refute that number, that would be awesome.
posted by FishBike at 5:57 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


FishBike to the rescue! Awesome, once again. So it looks like the bar could easily be 10 times higher without disrupting normal behavior.

I also agree that that 17.4% figure sounds awfully high. Out of curiosity, what was the largest number of comments anyone ever made before posting an FPP?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:16 PM on February 28, 2011


You can skip past the three-comment barrier if you push Up-Down-Up-Up on your keyboard.
posted by amyms at 6:26 PM on February 28, 2011


Out of curiosity, what was the largest number of comments anyone ever made before posting an FPP?

The record appears to be 2952 comments on the blue, and 5670 site-wide, before the first post. And it's the same user for both of those.

Though if you look at a top-10 list for both of those stats, the 10th spot is still up around 50% of the number of comments of the record-holder, so plenty of people have made thousands of comments prior to their first FPP on the blue.

In fact 17 people have made 1000 or more comments on the blue prior to their first FPP. And if you include comments made site-wide, then 60 people have made 1000 comments prior to their first FPP.
posted by FishBike at 6:39 PM on February 28, 2011


I like that it's different for the Blue. Comment culture and guidelines are significantly different enough between Green and Blue that there should be some assurance that people are paying a little attention to the front page before participating fully in it. Sometimes you get FPPs that just scream "this should go on AskMe!" (and then be called chatfilter by a bunch of curmudgeons but ultimately pass mod muster.) I wonder how many of those are by people who just haven't commented much on the Blue?
posted by Mizu at 6:47 PM on February 28, 2011


So if you really couldn't bring yourself to comment, you could just wait for a Celebrity Death Trifecta and post three moments of silence in the obit threads.
posted by gingerest at 6:48 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, I've been her reading for a decade, and a member for 6 years and have yet to post, so I don't think that THREE comments is a big deal. Hell, on a bad day you could do that with periods in obituary posts alone.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:57 PM on February 28, 2011


ARRGG. Always preview before hitting "post comment".
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:58 PM on February 28, 2011


I think we need more achievements to unlock. Secret achievements.

We have top men working on it. Top men.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think if the restriction stays it should be clearer that the 3 comments have to be on the blue. I remember being confused when I tried to post an FP only to be told I didn't have enough comments. Huh? I have 20!?! I sent a mod message and asked if they had to be on the blue and of course I can't reproduce the error now.
posted by soelo at 8:03 PM on February 28, 2011

So if you really couldn't bring yourself to comment, you could just wait for a Celebrity Death Trifecta and post three moments of silence in the obit threads.
FWIW, If someone cares enough about the site to figure that out, then they're most likely not spammers. And still, we'd find out if they were eventually.

Also my first site comment was a dot.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:19 PM on February 28, 2011


I want to add to the voices saying that allowing comments/answers on AskMe to count toward the minimum requirement before posting to the blue is a bad, bad idea. Hell, if I were in charge, every new member would have to pass an online, multiple-choice exam regarding basic MetaQuette before posting.

This is why it's good that I'm not in charge.
posted by tzikeh at 8:33 PM on February 28, 2011


I sent a mod message and asked if they had to be on the blue and of course I can't reproduce the error now.

Damn straight, Skippy, I'm thinkin'. It's maybe okay for those rocker messages to propagate though.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:42 PM on February 28, 2011


That bar's so low I bought a drink with my shins.
posted by staggernation at 8:51 PM on February 28, 2011


We have top men working on it. Top men.
posted by jessamyn


What are you implying? Has this community no worthwhile women that could also implement such a solution? For shame.

What about the the GLBT community? Are you insinuating that just because someone doesn't fit into some glib, black and white, sexual-identification classification system, that their contributions to implementing proper standards wouldn't also be worthwhile?

I'll be reporting this travesty to the owner, rest assured.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:52 PM on February 28, 2011


I'll be reporting this travesty to the owner, rest assured.

The owner whose profile says "male, but a total wuss" under Gender? Go right ahead.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:54 PM on February 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


That bar's so low I bought your mom's ankles a margarita.
posted by staggernation at 8:59 PM on February 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't mind me, just gonna iterate on this low-bar gag until something clicks.
posted by staggernation at 9:00 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


"We have top men working on it. Top men."

Walking down from Griffith Park with my parents, one of the two guys behind us kept trying to define bottoming as an entirely different philosophy than topping. "We just see things differently. We take life slower."

I am glad neither of my parents seemed to notice.
posted by klangklangston at 10:05 PM on February 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


What are you implying? Has this community no worthwhile women that could also implement such a solution? For shame.

It goes far deeper than that. This is a solution of such complexity that no human can do the work. Instead, we've contracted the project out to a mystical race of anthropomorphic dreidels. In point of fact, they are genderless. Also, they've got hella rotational symmetry.

"Is this Anthropomorphic Dreidel Consulting?"
"Oh, hey!"
"We need you to create an achievements system for our community website."
"Sure, just gimel the details."
"I'll email you the spec in the morning, any problem with that?"
"None."
"I hear you do a mean Clay Davis impression."
"Sheeeeeeeeeeein."

posted by cortex (staff) at 10:42 PM on February 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


In fact 17 people have made 1000 or more comments on the blue prior to their first FPP. And if you include comments made site-wide, then 60 people have made 1000 comments prior to their first FPP.

Any plans to post the list? Who are these cautious 17/60?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 1:16 AM on March 1, 2011


I like the idea that Ask comments don't count toward your ability to post on MetaFilter.
posted by OmieWise at 5:01 AM on March 1, 2011


Not necessarily cautious, but maybe some people either don't feel the need to post because they're happy using the blue as source of information rather than a collaborative project. Or maybe they want to be certain they have an awesome topic to talk about so they can be sure to add signal instead of noise. I have a handful of fpps, but none of them are what I'd call awesome. Or even particularly good - although I thought they were interesting at the time I posted then. Sometimes I wish I hadn't posted them, because my writeup just didn't do the subject justice but its far too late to redo them. Until I can craft an awesome fpp, it seems better to be a backseat driver in the comments where it feels the bar is much lower to be a productive and appreciated sitemember. As a commenter, I don't have to be awesome. I only have to avoid sucking.
posted by talitha_kumi at 5:18 AM on March 1, 2011


Here on the internets we take commentation seriously.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:20 AM on March 1, 2011


What are you implying? Has this community no worthwhile women that could also implement such a solution? For shame.

So, one day I was out walking with a friend, and we encountered one of those signs on the sidewalk that reads: "DANGER: Men working above." She complained that the sign was sexist, because it implied that only men were suited to that type of work.

I said I thought the sign implied, correctly in my view, that such work is only dangerous when men do it, because women have more sense than to drop things on the sidewalk from 10 stories up.

The applicability of this anecdote to the statement that top men are working on the implementation of secret achievements on MetaFilter is left as an exercise for the reader.
posted by FishBike at 5:28 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Any plans to post the list? Who are these cautious 17/60?

With most of these stats, there's a "do I post a list of names, or don't I?" decision. I thought in this case it was better not to. It did seem like posting a lot of comments before the first FPP could be a sign of a certain degree of posting-shyness, in which case naming names would be turning a spotlight on those people with a giant flashing neon "YOU ARE THE SHYEST PEOPLE ON METAFILTER" sign over it. I didn't even pull in the user names table for the query, so I actually don't even know the names myself.

I might be over-thinking it.
posted by FishBike at 5:33 AM on March 1, 2011


I am closing in on 1000 comments (mostly on Ask,) something like 7 months of active participation, many years of lurking, and I have yet to attempt a post on the front page.

Part of this is my wacky OCD symmetry idea (e.g., I want to post at least 200 answers per question I ask, receive 1 favorite per two answers, no more than 10 favorites issued per favorite received, etc.,) and part of it is the high risk of deletion and that I don't think I could handle that kind of rejection. ^_^ I also live in fear of posting a double.

Actually, I'd love a multiple choice exam or licensing scheme. It'd be reassuring. I think I have 30 or so comments on front-page posts, but I don't feel qualified.
posted by SMPA at 7:14 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I said I thought the sign implied, correctly in my view, that such work is only dangerous when men do it, because women have more sense than to drop things on the sidewalk from 10 stories up.

I have to be careful walking to work on Monday mornings because it's trash day and people sometimes throw their garbage bags out the upper story windows to the curb. I don't know if only men do it. Or any men.
posted by Pax at 7:40 AM on March 1, 2011


Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell: "Any plans to post the list? Who are these cautious 17/60?"

I'm probably on it. I lurked for a few years before getting around to joining, then I occasionally commented a few years before posting once or twice. Couldn't really tell you why.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:08 AM on March 1, 2011


We have top men working on it. Top men.
posted by jessamyn

What are you implying?


You misunderstand. It just happens that the people working on this problem are all male. They are "top men" because they practice an esoteric discipline where they spin wildly, forcing their brain cells to their foreheads. This makes them incredibly intelligent but shortens their lifespans*, but they are dedicated, dedicated workers.

How do I know this? That is a secret. A top secret.

*This is true, I read it in an issue of The Flash.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:51 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you can't be assed to put in three comments on the Blue, you shouldn't post on it.

It's not that I can't be assed (not that I'd ever do an FPP either, probably.) It's that by the time I read a thread, most of what I would want to contribute has already been said and frequently much better than I would have said it.

The times I've typed a comment on the blue, only to delete or navigate away before hitting Post Comment well outnumbers the times that I have actually clicked that scary little button. It's because I like and respect MeFi so much that I don't just post every damn thing that comes to my head.
posted by misskaz at 9:52 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lego Minifigures Collector is a slot machine game for iPhones.
posted by box at 9:59 AM on March 1, 2011


Worst case, if something is so time-critical that taking the time to make 3 mefi comments before posting ruins the whole thing: it's probably a bad newsfilter post.

I mean really, who writes up a good post, presses submit, finds out they have to make 3 comments first, then says "ah, fuck it. It's not worth it?"
posted by ctmf at 11:22 AM on March 1, 2011


I thought in this case it was better not to.

Seems reasonable. I don't think people would be too upset, but then again, I know I'm too shy even for that list! (Never contributed an FPP.)
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 3:36 PM on March 1, 2011


Burhanistan writes "some linseed oil will unstick those clumped hairs down there."

Make sure you wash well soon afterwards; you wouldn't want to allow things to polymerize.
posted by Mitheral at 11:03 PM on March 1, 2011


...things to polymerize...

Or to self-ignite.
posted by Namlit at 8:44 AM on March 2, 2011


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