Passive-aggressive preview page November 10, 2011 6:19 PM   Subscribe

Irritable-old-man-pony request: could AskMe guidelines go directly on the new-question page, at least the list of things that don't make a great question? Or maybe...

... in the same way that the preview page shows, "These questions are similar to yours," it could point out, "It looks like you're asking for kitten names or mix tape suggestions..." Probably a bit more intelligence required in that algorithm, though.

Just a thought in the hopes of increasing signal-to-noise.
posted by supercres to Feature Requests at 6:19 PM (22 comments total)

Is there something that is prompting you to ask this? Are there questions that you think don't meet the guidelines that people are asking anyhow?

This seems like a technological solution to a social problem. People are allowed to ask "name my kitten" and mixtape questions here. If we felt like there was a flood of these types of questions we might be more hardass about them, but having them be some among many doesn't bug us.

More to the point, adding more verbiage to the AskMe "ask a question" page, where most people aren't even asking a question for the first time just seems to be giving people more text to not read. I don't read that text anymore myself, I wouldn't be surprised if other people don't either. We're not going to tell people to "avoid" types of questions if they're permissable, we're more concerned with hardline "this is not okay" otherwise we have to employ a bunch of judgment calls "This is a good kitten naming question and this is a bad one" and even if I think there's a way to qualitatively assess that, it's not really good for AskMe to have people doing that.

So I guess I'm tossing it back at you. What's the noise that you think needs to be rediced? And have you considered using MyAsk to do that?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:29 PM on November 10, 2011


Well, it's the signal-to-noise issue. I find that I'll often miss interesting questions because of a deluge of questions that the guidelines explicitly say, "Please don't ask..."

If the guidelines should be revised and I should read the front page of Ask closer, no problem. I don't think repetitive questions should be deleted like doubles on the Blue. Not a huge deal. Like I said, just a thought.
posted by supercres at 6:36 PM on November 10, 2011


Sorry, the phrasing I was referring to is actually "Please avoid..."

The other guidelines are moderated away, but that one never seems to be addressed. I know I'm probably in the minority. Ok!
posted by supercres at 6:39 PM on November 10, 2011


> I find that I'll often miss interesting questions because of a deluge of questions that the guidelines explicitly say, "Please don't ask..."

I dunno, it seems like you're forgetting that AskMe caters to the askers and not the readers who want interesting content to view.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:40 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


We should bring the guidelines more in line with how the site actually operates, that's a good point. It's tough to find a way to say "Don't ask a lot of mixtape questions" just so that people don't ask nothing but mixtape questions, but at the same time indicate that those questions aren't agains tthe rules. That may have been wishful thinking once upon a time. The site has developed its own community exceptions over time [like no links unless it's a photo of your cat. weird huh?] and some of them we're sort of powerless to moderate against, others we can do more explicitly to reign in [chatfilter and hypothetical stuff, to a point].
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:48 PM on November 10, 2011


Fair point; I surely do at times. But I'd wager that I'm not the only one, nor that it's value as a source of interesting reading doesn't help askers find more/better answers.
posted by supercres at 6:48 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reducing signal-to-noise is exactly what MyAsk is for.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:56 PM on November 10, 2011


But I really needed help with my Vespa name!
posted by raisingsand at 7:28 PM on November 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dear raisingsand,

I am sitting right next to supercres right now. In about 30 seconds, I will give him a good pinch. That one's for you.

-two lights

PS- Picks of the Vespa, please!
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:44 PM on November 10, 2011


But I really needed help with my Vespa name!

Evensong.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:02 PM on November 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the support, two lights, but don't pinch too hard. He probably just needs a good hug. No link to the Vespa because I don't have a cat to put in the picture, and I don't want to break that rule, too.
posted by raisingsand at 8:06 PM on November 10, 2011


My favorite AskMe questions are actually mix tape/playlist/songs like this questions. I favorite every single one. I never knew they were frowned upon or I never would've asked mefi to help me build my ultimate murder playlist. [this link is not a photo of my cat; didn't know about that rule either].
posted by katyggls at 9:54 PM on November 10, 2011


Let's just dispense with it altogether and have a page that says 'Sort yourself out, for fuck's sake'. Though admittedly that would be a crap name for kitten.
posted by Abiezer at 9:56 PM on November 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Robin Day's got a hedgehog called Frank.
posted by flabdablet at 10:39 PM on November 10, 2011


So does this mean I should stop flagging the make-my-mixtape and name-my-whatever questions?
posted by box at 4:09 AM on November 11, 2011


Please just go ahead and name all future mix tapes MCMikeNamara's Cats -- with Side A being called "Dusty" and Side B being called "Lucinda." Pictures are available for cover art by request. * Artists with similar names to the cats on their respective sides will get bonus points.


* Since Dusty was sitting on my monitor in her favorite morning position -- tail occasionally in the way -- I tried to take a picture of her with this thread in the background, but, of course, as soon as I grabbed my phone, she jumped out of the way. Because the moment her being on top of the monitor becomes convenient for me, it automatically ceases to be comfortable. God, I love her.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:19 AM on November 11, 2011


Abiezer: "Let's just dispense with it altogether and have a page that says 'Sort yourself out, for fuck's sake'. Though admittedly that would be a crap name for kitten."

"FOR FUCK'S SAKE!" is a totally valid name for a kitten.
posted by zarq at 6:21 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would suit the one I rescued and haven't named yet, now you mention it. She gets cosy on my lap and enjoys a tickling but can't help having a good old chomp of the arm at some point when it all gets too exciting. On the other (scarred) hand, my reflexes are getting razor-sharp as a consequence.
posted by Abiezer at 6:26 AM on November 11, 2011


Abiezer: "On the other (scarred) hand, my reflexes are getting razor-sharp as a consequence."

Ouch. Their teeth are extremely pointy at that age too.

Congrats on the kitten though. :)
posted by zarq at 6:31 AM on November 11, 2011


Four Fork Rice Wine is totally my cat's next name.
posted by carsonb at 8:19 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, like, totally.
posted by carsonb at 8:19 AM on November 11, 2011


My Vespa's name is now Gina Lollobrigida.
posted by raisingsand at 3:17 PM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


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