Just when I think I'm all caught up... April 12, 2011 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone else ever think they see new posts appear on the AskMe front page AFTER older posts? Am I going crazy?

I've delayed asking this question for months, because I think it is probably just me, and also it makes me sound unhinged. But sometimes I think I read the front page, and then I refresh to see if there's anything new, and I notice a post I never saw before, sandwiched between posts I did see.

I feel like I notice it once every few weeks. This morning it was the post What are some songs that lyrically deal with unrequited love between a gay male and a (questionably) straight male?. I had seen the "growing pains" question above it, and the "San Francisco school lottery" one below before I clicked refresh.

I guess the most likely explanation is that my eyes skim over posts sometimes even when I think I am reading them all. And I'm happy to accept it if that is the answer. But I just thought I'd check whether anyone else has noticed the same thing, and/or whether the mods think there is any mechanism (bug?) by which this could really happen.

(E.g. if the time attached to a post were the time at which the poster started creating it, rather than the time at which they pressed "post", that would do it, I guess.)
posted by lollusc to Bugs at 5:36 PM (41 comments total)

This is definitely not something I can recall seeing. The only time I've seen something like this happen was when we'd deleted a question for some small fixable problem [something needed addressing by the OP for whatever reason] and then we un-deleted it really soon. This happens maybe once a year, so definitely not enough that you'd see it often. Is it possible you're flipping back and forth between "my ask" and the front page of AskMe?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:39 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I sometimes do this to myself when I have a lot of tabs open on the site. I come back to one and something that was old is at the top. I've never noticed it for real though.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:41 PM on April 12, 2011


I thought I saw this behavior before, but try as I might, I could never reproduce it consistently and one time when I was sure it happened, I had a cached copy of the previous version of the page and I simply passed over the post I thought was "missing".
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:42 PM on April 12, 2011


Does anyone else ever think they see new posts appear on the AskMe front page AFTER older posts?
Yes

Am I going crazy?
Yes
posted by doublehappy at 5:44 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I sometimes think I see cjorgensen comment.
posted by gman at 5:45 PM on April 12, 2011


I miss posts all the dang time on a skim, yeah. I'll find something awesome on the front page in the afternoon that I totally did not see that morning when I was glancing around. The lack of specific reports or reproducible issues in general is, coming from the mefi userbase as a whole, a pretty good sign that there's nothing actually amiss.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:45 PM on April 12, 2011


I think this is like the jessamyn star size thing.
posted by doublehappy at 5:47 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This happens to me when I read AskMe from oldest posts forward. In the time it takes me to work my way up page, say, three, some new questions have been posted. I hit back to read page two, and --TRAGEDY! -- questions get lost in the gap. I'm not sure if this happens on my laptop or only on the iPad. Also not sure if it happens between every page, or only between page two and one, or between all BUT page two and one. I try to remember to prevent it by refreshing right before hitting the back button, but sometimes I forget. And then I stress out about the poor lost questions I didn't get to read. Later, I might see them show up between what had been the first question on page three and the last one on page two, now that they've all been pushed to page three, and I realize that I could have missed those precious questions entirely! Actually, I think I have a pony request...
posted by daisyace at 6:06 PM on April 12, 2011


I definitely have "noticed" this, and only on AskMe. I managed to convince myself that it had something to do with anonymous Asks getting assigned a number before they are approved, and then appearing when they're approved. But now based on jessamyn's response I guess I have to just conclude that I'm crazy. Bummer.
posted by Perplexity at 6:27 PM on April 12, 2011


You are not crazy, or we both are. This happens to me at least once a week.
posted by Wet Spot at 6:54 PM on April 12, 2011


Happens to me, too - I've always put it down to missing stuff in the initial skim of the page.
posted by rtha at 6:58 PM on April 12, 2011


If I understand you correctly (it's been a LONG night on the ref desk), this has been asked before. The mods have answered it before, too.

See this MeTa, where the poster is concerned that "When I load AskMe and read the full page I'll remember which question was on the top. Later, I'll reload the page and scroll down until I see that question and continue reading new questions above it. A few times, though, I've noticed that there are new questions below where I stopped last time, in between questions I've already read."
posted by librarylis at 7:10 PM on April 12, 2011


Huh. I've noticed this with comments, like in that linked meta thread, but I guess it's just in my head? I'd always had some kind of pseudo-technical explanation involving comments filtering (meta-filter, amirite?) through a pachinko-like machine in pb's basement, which explained why some comments got to my computer faster than others, which were only later slotted into place.

On further thought, I'm staying with the pachinko theory.
posted by Forktine at 7:34 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This happens to me a lot with comments, even when I think I'm reading them all. I'll see some quoted text and be like, what? I didn't read that. But it's there if I ^F for it, so, yeah, it's just me. I think I just don't always read comments super carefully, and it is a bit of wall-o-text, so if I am bored with someone's long comment and skip to the next, I imagine sometimes I skip a little too far.
posted by cj_ at 7:44 PM on April 12, 2011


cortex writes "I miss posts all the dang time on a skim, yeah. I'll find something awesome on the front page in the afternoon that I totally did not see that morning when I was glancing around. "

This happens to me too and I'm hoping that new post differentiating user script helps.
posted by Mitheral at 7:45 PM on April 12, 2011


I have also seen this. I can never remember though if I just skipped over it or if it actually appeared.

Perhaps these CrAzY PiLls had something to do with it...
posted by Slackermagee at 8:07 PM on April 12, 2011


You're all friggin' crazy...

Remember it's all just 1's and 0's, there 'taint no damn ghosts in there messing with your binary.
posted by tomswift at 8:10 PM on April 12, 2011


I noticed this with the same two posts today. We're losing it, lollusc...
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:32 PM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Happens to me all the time... on the blue.

I really wish MeFi would incorporate alternating bg colors for each post. Just ever so slightly different or slightly indented.
posted by dobbs at 9:36 PM on April 12, 2011


Or pulsating very slowly. Wowm. Wowm. Wowm.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:51 PM on April 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I "notice" this on the Blue fairly frequently, but I'm pretty sure I'm just not noticing a post earlier. Depending on the way the text wraps and where the links are, I sometimes don't perceive the post boundary.
posted by hattifattener at 10:29 PM on April 12, 2011


Oh thank god, it's not just me. It's particularly noticeable when I switch to My Ask. There will be questions on there that I never saw on the general list. And I know I am not missing them because of skimming. I thought it might be because they are being checked before going live and then when they do, their original time stamp from the initial posting slots them down the page. I have no reason to think that except it's an explanation that suits my limited corporeal human brain.
posted by Kerasia at 10:39 PM on April 12, 2011


I get this too. Posts appear unexpectedly in places I don't expect to find them, disappear again, reappear all pink with funny little notes attached.

But then that also happens with my keys and my wallet, so I think it might just be one of those things.

(And underpants.. always the underpants.. but.. yeah.. I've probably said too much already, haven't I.)
posted by Ahab at 12:16 AM on April 13, 2011


On the plus side, you're getting new content without even reloading the page!

EDIT: Fixed Typos.
posted by doublehappy at 2:38 AM on April 13, 2011


I thought it was just me. Yay, now they can come to take us all away together!
posted by bardophile at 2:50 AM on April 13, 2011


Wow, I didn't see the older thread on this, librarylis: sorry for the repeat.

I find it slightly reassuring that other people have the same experience, but maybe that's just because we are all neurologically wired the same way. It's especially interesting that i_am_a_fiesta noticed it today with the same posts I did.

It is very vaguely possible that I am clicking on MyAsk by mistake sometimes. But I pretty much never use MyAsk on purpose, and I've selected so few categories that I think the pages would differ by a lot more than just one post.
posted by lollusc at 3:00 AM on April 13, 2011


ISTR that anonymous questions slot into the page based on when they were asked, rather than when they were mod approved, and therefore wind up showing up on the site apparently out of order... Assuming I'm remembering that right and it's not something I made up in my head, is that possibly part of the explanation?
posted by ook at 5:34 AM on April 13, 2011


No, based on pb's comment in that old thread I am completely wrong, forget I said anything
posted by ook at 5:36 AM on April 13, 2011


The perception of linear time is an artifact of our biochemical evolution.

What? It totally is.
posted by mediareport at 6:13 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Assuming I'm remembering that right and it's not something I made up in my head, is that possibly part of the explanation?

That may have been the case in the very very beginning of the anon threads, but it's no longer true anymore, they post with the timestamp of when they were approved.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:26 AM on April 13, 2011


Wow, I didn't see the older thread on this, librarylis: sorry for the repeat.

That older thread is what made me realize I wasn't going crazy. I also wanted to link to it because I was pretty sure the phenomenon had been described technically before.

As for repeating? As you can see, there's a whole lot of people in this thread who are very glad you asked the question and you definitely don't have to apologize! This doesn't come up very often, after all, but it's maddening for a person until they figure out what's going on.
posted by librarylis at 7:18 AM on April 13, 2011


I saw this question tomorrow.
posted by Shohn at 7:40 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Could they be anon posts waiting for moderation popping up at their original time?

I prolly should rtft but wth
posted by infini at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2011


URGH should have read the thread all the way through
just shoot me now gman and burh
posted by infini at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2011


Does anyone else ever think they see new posts appear on the AskMe front page AFTER older posts? Am I going crazy?

Some of these might be dead questions. Most people can't see them, but some people have a gift. Next time you see one of these, ask another user if they see it too.

The movie is a lot shorter if you do that, though.
posted by FishBike at 9:53 AM on April 13, 2011


Okay, seriously. "Aren't you tired of awesome" was NOT asked yet when I read this last night. I see what you did there.




(or was it?)
posted by Mchelly at 10:13 AM on April 13, 2011


He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
posted by Splunge at 4:51 AM on April 14, 2011


Try the professional white background.

It is... soothing.
posted by flabdablet at 4:56 AM on April 14, 2011


I used to have the white background, but switched back as washing my screen every time I spilled food on it was getting to be a pain. The colours hide the stains better.

Also, new buttons in the comment box, yay!
posted by arcticseal at 7:11 AM on April 14, 2011


Is this where I'm supposed to ask "What new buttons in the comment box?" or is that only for the green?
posted by infini at 10:43 AM on April 14, 2011


It's for the mobile site. There's another MeTa thread about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:34 AM on April 14, 2011


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