Educated Guess October 3, 2011 2:12 PM   Subscribe

"Five years ago, I joined MetaFilter. MetaFilter began as—and primarily remains—an online space for members to share interesting links and comment on them. Period, end of sentence. But a few specialized subgroups have developed, including one of my favorite places on the entire internet: AskMetaFilter." —Liz Entman Harper, Editor/Stylist at The Morning News.

"No one who knows me would be surprised that I spend my free time telling other people what to do and how to be. I’m Lucy van Pelt from Peanuts—I can be a little bossy and a little judgy; I hate to be wrong and I love to have the last word. I also like to pretend, for a few minutes every night, that I actually understand how the world works. I don’t, of course. It’s all just an educated guess."
posted by Toekneesan to MetaFilter-Related at 2:12 PM (63 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

More importantly, 1,492 of my answers have been marked as favorites by other users, which is akin to “liking” an item on Facebook. I think that a 50 percent positive response rate means I’m pretty good at this thing. I seem to be best at answering relationship, travel, and cooking questions. I don’t give very good workplace or legal advice. I love giving medical advice, although I am completely unqualified to do so.
Wow. Lots to unpack there.

Also, that sound you hear is everyone searching around the site trying to find her username.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:17 PM on October 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Since 2006, I have asked 71 questions and given 2,835 answers. More importantly, 1,492 of my answers have been marked as favorites by other users, which is akin to “liking” an item on Facebook. I think that a 50 percent positive response rate means I’m pretty good at this thing

It's all about Best Answers.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:18 PM on October 3, 2011


arg, beat me to it
posted by KokuRyu at 2:19 PM on October 3, 2011


Favorites are like Likes, but Best Answers are like cupcakes in your favorite flavor.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [35 favorites]


I’m Lucy van Pelt from Peanuts...

Oh yeah? Well, I'm Ann Landers on mushrooms.
posted by griphus at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2011 [23 favorites]


Note that "1492 favorites" is not necessarily the same as "1492 of my answers have been marked as favorites", which would be pretty hard to distinguish. Maybe she went through and counted how many of her individual answers have been given favorites, but that seems like an awful lot of work. If you're going to do that, why not also count up your best answers (a better metric for how helpful you are) while you're at it?
posted by LionIndex at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the description of AskMe as a universal help desk.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:34 PM on October 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


Wait so since like 97% of my FPPs come from The Morning News does that mean she's been rolling her eyes at me for five years?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:38 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


That took twenty-two minutes? We're getting slow.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 2:38 PM on October 3, 2011


I wonder what she would say if I sent her an e-mail with my askme question nobody could come up with an answer for.

Did she mention the splendor of the "can I eat this" genre of question?
posted by bukvich at 2:39 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who doesn't encounter a question from time to time that you don't know how to go about googling?

I had the thought "If only I could askmetafilter!" at least three times over the weekend.

followed by: "damn, still another blehblah days, 19 hours, and 55 minutes until I can ask it!"
Do I remember any of the questions I wanted to ask? Nope.


I think universal help desk is a great description of it.
posted by royalsong at 2:39 PM on October 3, 2011


I’m Lucy van Pelt from Peanuts—I can be a little bossy and a little judgy; I hate to be wrong and I love to have the last word.

Gee, you sound so fucking appealing.
posted by jonmc at 2:39 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Gee, you sound so fucking appealing.

I read that a bit more charitably as she was kind of taking the piss.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:40 PM on October 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'll cop to running the following Google search:

> site:metafilter.com "Ask MeFi: 71 questions , 2835 answers"

...before remembering that user pages aren't indexed. And this is exactly why.
posted by pts at 2:43 PM on October 3, 2011


But it's so much more fun to hate people three minutes before they inevitably show up in the thread and make you feel like an ass.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:43 PM on October 3, 2011


I found her. But I don't know if the mods would have a problem with me spilling the beans.
posted by zarq at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2011


For the record, I thought it was a fine little piece. It always tickles me when people love AskMe so much.
posted by pts at 2:48 PM on October 3, 2011


I can be a little bossy and a little judgy; I hate to be wrong and I love to have the last word.

"Bossy" "judgy" and "hate to be wrong" can be positive characteristics for an effective AskMe answerer.

"Love to have the last word," on the other hand, bears no relation to helpfulness and should be discouraged. Mods -- with that, I think we can go ahead and close this one up.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:48 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't hate her. I kind of like her. And she really seems to like it here.
posted by Toekneesan at 2:48 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


But it's so much more fun to hate people three minutes before they inevitably show up in the thread and make you feel like an ass.

The main thing that I value about AskMe is the legitimate expertise of MeFites in a huge range of specialized fields / skills, and the higher than average level of maturity and emotional intelligence here. She's gloating about knowingly posting poor-quality advice? I'm OK with some hate.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:49 PM on October 3, 2011


What? You are a crazy person.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:52 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you look very carefully, you'll find a link to her profile already hidden on this page. Hint: It's not me!
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


2bucksplus: "If you look very carefully, you'll find a link to her profile already hidden on this page. Hint: It's not me!"

Ah. Nicely done. :)
posted by zarq at 2:54 PM on October 3, 2011


One could also use the infodumpster, keeping in mind that it is always a few days behind current stats.
posted by zarq at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2011


I just had my five-year mefiversary last week. The person in this link is definitely not me.
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on October 3, 2011


She's gloating about knowingly posting poor-quality advice?

Where are you seeing that? The only thing I see that could be interpreted that way is "I don’t give very good workplace or legal advice." If you look at it in context of the rest of the paragraph:
Since 2006, I have asked 71 questions and given 2,835 answers. More importantly, 1,492 of my answers have been marked as favorites by other users, which is akin to “liking” an item on Facebook. I think that a 50 percent positive response rate means I’m pretty good at this thing. I seem to be best at answering relationship, travel, and cooking questions. I don’t give very good workplace or legal advice. I love giving medical advice, although I am completely unqualified to do so.
it seems clear that she's saying "[Based on which of my comments get marked as favorites, other MetaFilter members think that] I don't give very good workplace or legal advice," not "I deliberate give bad advice and will continue to do so WOO HOO!"
posted by Lexica at 3:01 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can be a little bossy and a little judgy; I hate to be wrong and I love to have the last word.

That describes me, everyone I know, and everyone I have ever known.
posted by mintcake! at 3:03 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh ok, there it is. Even answered in my recent AskMe.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:03 PM on October 3, 2011


She's gloating about knowingly posting poor-quality advice? I'm OK with some hate.

It's a friendly, breezy little puff piece. I think she's being self-deprecating for humorous effect, not advancing a subversive manifesto for overthrowing the green's utility.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


It's too late. I already subscribe to her newsletter.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:07 PM on October 3, 2011


If you enjoyed this, look forward to my 300 word HuffPo blog piece about being an amateur movie reviewer for Amazon.com!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:08 PM on October 3, 2011


This is one of my favorite comments on AskMetafiliter, for reasons ya'll will never know.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:09 PM on October 3, 2011


Something about oral stimulation, I would wager!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:10 PM on October 3, 2011


Best Answers are like cupcakes in your favorite flavor.

Or, you know, that little bump of whatever high caliber drug you're on which only makes you think about now, and the next spike...

But in a really good, community benefiting way that makes the world a better place for everyone.

Like PCP.
posted by quin at 3:12 PM on October 3, 2011


YAY FOR US! WE ARE THE INTERNETS AWESOMEST WAY TO KNOW STUFF!!!
posted by Ahab at 3:15 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


One could also use the infodumpster, keeping in mind that it is always a few days behind current stats.

Holy shit, I've made the sixth most comments on AskMetaFilter? When the hell did that happen?
posted by grouse at 3:20 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably when you were grousing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:41 PM on October 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


MeFi's own Lucy van Pelt then. What I really want to know is who is our Lucille Ball?
posted by arcticseal at 4:41 PM on October 3, 2011


There was someone in another thread years ago who posted that they keep track of favorites and average is about one favorite per comment/answer. If that person is right, 50% is actually a bit low which was surprising.

They were just eyeballing it, though, I'm sure someone can get some hard numbers.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:43 PM on October 3, 2011


There was someone in another thread years ago who posted that they keep track of favorites and average is about one favorite per comment/answer. If that person is right, 50% is actually a bit low which was surprising.

They were just eyeballing it, though, I'm sure someone can get some hard numbers.


I was curious so I looked up my own numbers: I've made 1592 comments with 7072 favorites, so about 4.4 favorites/comment.

If you include comments and posts/questions: I've made 1683 comments & posts, 7072 favorites, 4.2 favorites per post/comment/question.

Of course, I only link to/am linked to one other user which is the real wealth of a community :-/
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:52 PM on October 3, 2011


Culling out favorites on posts is a big whammy factor for these napkin calculations. Go to look at your favorites, sorted by popular, and there's a good chance it'll be top-heavy with posts/questions, as those tend to draw a lot more favorites on average than do individual comments.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:17 PM on October 3, 2011


That is not even close to true for me, because no one likes my posts but I am fucking awesome at comments.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:29 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This one for instance! PURE GOLD
posted by shakespeherian at 5:31 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


But I don't know if the mods would have a problem with me spilling the beans.

Maybe just leave it alone, yeah. It falls too close to the "outing users' real name" thing we try to avoid.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh we've already figured out that she's languagehat.

Too soon?
posted by Mister_A at 7:48 PM on October 3, 2011


I'm Metafilter's Franklin. Yeah. And yall thought it was Blatcher.
posted by cashman at 7:52 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


What good is a new grown cilantro plant in a lighting storm?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:59 PM on October 3, 2011


You are confusing me!
posted by Mister_A at 8:05 PM on October 3, 2011


It's a good ratio for Askme, I'd say. Favorited in the green are about a quarter of what they are in the blue, I'd say, because there's far less favorite giving for being amusing, and less " favoriting everybody on my side in this contentious thread". The things that blow up in the green, aside from epically awesome cmoments (or as I call them, Natties) are ones where someone does the "voice of the silent majority" bit in a thread where people had been awkwardly talking around something the poster is being completely dense about.
posted by Diablevert at 8:14 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite part was scrolling down to the comments and seeing Meta. Made me feel right at home.
posted by theora55 at 8:43 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


71 questions since 2006? Come on. Ask Metafilter is not supposed to be a chat site.
posted by Justinian at 9:04 PM on October 3, 2011


I can be a little bossy and a little judgy; I hate to be wrong and I love to have the last word. I also like to pretend, for a few minutes every night, that I actually understand how the world works.

It makes my eyebrows shoot up that anyone who spends any time at all in Ask Metafilter would read the above description and feel judgy, instead of experiencing a wave of "Oh man, this lady has my number. And the number of all my Ask Metafilter friends. Maybe we could have a party where we shout relationship advice at each other simultaneously while eating recommended canapes and listening to dubstep!"
posted by thehmsbeagle at 9:47 PM on October 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


That was a lovely essay.
I think I will stay around there for a while and read some more.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:48 PM on October 3, 2011


Found her! That was fun.
posted by killdevil at 11:22 PM on October 3, 2011


Ooh! Somebody mentioned us outside of the site! Let's get excited!

I think this is one of the things that amuses me most about Metafilter.
posted by Decani at 11:52 PM on October 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think that a 50 percent positive response rate means I’m pretty good at this thing.

Interesting. In my experience, it sort of actually doesn't work this way.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:27 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to see other users get the word out about the site. I myself tell people about Ask Metafilter all the time, using the best venue available to me.

On a nearly empty bus or subway car. After dark. I stare at them a few minutes to make sure they understand.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:41 AM on October 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think that a 50 percent positive response rate means I’m pretty good at this thing.

At best the glass is half full, but really it's more likely that it's half empty. Given that she likely has answers that are favorited more than once, her actual number of favorited comments is less than half. So don't ask here anything to with math and understand that her advice, in general, may be overly optimistic. Besides Ask is all about the "best answer", not the favorites.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:33 AM on October 4, 2011


> Besides Ask is all about the "best answer", not the favorites.

Not always! Often an asker (especially in relationshipfilter) marks whatever answer that fits their bias as best while the more pragmatic or realistic answers get the favorites. That's a counterfeit checkmark in that case.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:41 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Given that she likely has answers that are favorited more than once, her actual number of favorited comments is less than half.

And, as cortex hinted, questions and posts will also draw a fair number of favorites, which further dilutes the ratio. My estimate after a quick glance in this case was that the 71 questions asked had garnered around 300 favorites, which still leaves her with plenty attributed to her answers, though.
posted by LionIndex at 9:53 AM on October 4, 2011


I’m Lucy van Pelt from Peanuts

And I'm Linus quoting the bible all over your big mouth. Don't talk to me about your favourites lady unless you're going to bring your A-game. 1,000 favourites is schoolyard shit.
posted by GuyZero at 3:15 PM on October 4, 2011


Quiet you.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:37 PM on October 4, 2011


It's curious she hasn't made any comments since the article appeared. Did this MeTa scare her off?
posted by aught at 11:54 AM on October 6, 2011


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