Best way to ask MeFi for help with a project? October 1, 2015 8:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm not sure what if any is the best way to put out a general call for help with a project on MeFi. (Not to announce a completed project like in the Projects subsite, but to ask for help with one.) Has there ever been any thought/discussion given to the idea of creating a new subsite where MeFites can request help with things like art or writing projects from other MeFites? It could even be broader than that--call it "Hope Me, MeFi!" or something--and just make it a place where community members can seek out other members for help with whatever they might be doing.
posted by saulgoodman to Feature Requests at 8:50 PM (31 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

In its current form, I believe Jobs is the only place to solicit for something like this, but it's definitely not a perfect fit. Worth chewing over a bit.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:51 PM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]

Maybe a Projects Talk, like there is a Music Talk and a FanFare Talk?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:46 PM on October 1, 2015 [16 favorites]

What a nice idea. Maybe it could be called "Pitchins" or "Barn Raising" or just "Barns" or "MeFiteering" or "Helpouts". Lots of members would like to help out, I bet. Helpouts.
posted by notyou at 11:07 PM on October 1, 2015 [4 favorites]

Duh. HelpMe.
posted by notyou at 11:08 PM on October 1, 2015 [11 favorites]

Projects talk is an excellent idea, is there room? It would serve as a great place to lay out stuff or ask questions in general. It could even garner more projects.
posted by clavdivs at 11:12 PM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]

For example: I had this idea of 'leaders of stargate command commemorative busts'

As a novelty, I have questions, like do we use the dude from the movie or the TV general Hammond. Can we use his image? (copyright). Should he be smiling or stern, like when he battled Anubis. And even though the show is over, I think one more leader should be in the collection.
I'm thinking Jeff Fahey.
posted by clavdivs at 11:21 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like this. A Projects talk fits in with the (I'm gonna say) design language (but I won't really approve of myself saying it) of the site. It mirrors Fanfare and Music so it's not like crazy out there.
If there was an understanding that it was used as a "here is a thing I'm working on, who wants to pitch in" I think that would work really well.

I'd love to see it extended in the same way as fanfare to include Clubs.
For example, Bot Club where I can go and ask questions to the botmakers of MeFi or Podcasters club or Comicmakers club or something like that.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:39 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I WOULD LOVE THIS. Please do this, seriously.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:45 AM on October 2, 2015 [5 favorites]

I like the idea of a Projects Talk section. It seems eminently sensible.
posted by ardgedee at 6:51 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

In the Caribbean, or at least this part of it, jollification is the word for a barn raising type cooperative effort.
posted by snofoam at 7:29 AM on October 2, 2015 [6 favorites]

Yeah, this is seriously cool. I would love to contribute effort/energy to Mefites' projects and I can think of a few of my own projects that are brewing that I'd like some help thinking through...

Worth thinking about: what kind of parameters would be placed on the type of help requested? "Help" might fall into a variety of categories, and we might be more okay with some than others. Off the top of my head:
  • Help with refining an idea/brainstorming
  • Non-expert feedback/reactions to existing work (sort of like focus-grouping)
  • Technical expertise (advice or direct contributions)
  • Help identifying other/similar projects that already exist
  • "Put me in touch with your industry contacts so I can find support for this project"
  • Solicitations for resources, monetary or otherwise
posted by duffell at 7:40 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Random (somewhat jokey) idea for a name my son came up with for this sort of thing this morning on the drive to school: Collaboratory (get it? like a laboratory for collaboration?), or the more punchy Co-lab...
posted by saulgoodman at 7:41 AM on October 2, 2015 [4 favorites]

I would love this from both a MeFi and non-MeFi standpoint. I think this would be a cool place to collaborate on massive FPPs, as well as on things like awful cheesy writing that is totally going to pay for my new driveway when I reach the top
posted by St. Hubbins at 7:42 AM on October 2, 2015

A couple of years ago I emailed the Mods a vaguely similar question, and their suggestion was to use an Ask for advice and then post in Projects once it was under way.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:59 AM on October 2, 2015

Interestingly enough, wenestvedt, I've been told in the past that I should not use AskMe's for help with writing projects (although, it's possible that they may have been referring more to the frequency rather than the actual nature of the posts themselves).

And I think people wouldn't just be asking for advice with this, they would be seeking collaborators, so this is still a different beast.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:42 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I was kind of picturing it as occasional bits of discussion to solve specific problems or solicit specific feedback, and then explicit looking for collaborators whereby the bulk of the conversation would then be moved offsite to work on whatever project it is.

Is it dumb to suggest that maybe a lot of the code/design could be reused from Fanfare talk?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 9:23 AM on October 2, 2015

Is it dumb to suggest that maybe a lot of the code/design could be reused from Fanfare talk?

I think we're in a brainstorming phase rather than an estimating/allocating resources phase. Totally fine to think about which paths might be easier than others but I don't want to weigh in on any particular path. We're listening!
posted by pb (staff) at 9:41 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seems like it might make sense for it to be associated with the existing Projects subsite in the same way music talk is to music. I'm not too hung up on how it's implemented, but I think it would be a really cool and powerful thing for MeFites to have a clear way to harness the collaborative potential of the community for all kinds of things.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:58 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

I am so into this pony!
posted by Sophie1 at 10:18 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yes, this is a GREAT idea and I love love to see this being used for various business ventures too.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:53 AM on October 2, 2015

My preference would be less commercially oriented, and more for fun and art, but the community would ultimately decide what it's for and how best to use it.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:09 AM on October 2, 2015

On second thought, collaborative business could be really cool, too--I'd just hate to see it used for crowdsourcing real work on the cheap. Seems like that would kind of go against the MeFi ethos, such as there is one.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:25 AM on October 2, 2015 [4 favorites]

I think this is a great idea too; I probably wouldn't use it, but I like the thought of its being there—it seems to fit in perfectly with the MeFi ethos (Methos?).
posted by languagehat at 11:43 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

If this happens i think it might be super neat to have a special tag for the resulting Projects post to denote it was a MeFi collaborative effort. PErhaps a "Made With MeFi" badge, and people could use it on their official sites as needed?

Am i actually nostalgic for those 88x10 buttons that used to be on everyone's blog sidebar?
posted by softlord at 1:00 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Perhaps a "Made With MeFi" badge, and people could use it on their official sites as needed?

"This Project is under construction."
posted by marienbad at 4:15 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

> the MeFi ethos (Methos?)

The Feshmaker©!
posted by ardgedee at 4:17 PM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

We actually had something like this happen in the "Who Was David Algonquin?" Project post. The Whelk created and seeded the wiki, and then people went to town adding to the wiki and discussing their additions in the Projects thread. Never did get very far, but I think it is an example of how this might play out in practice.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:35 PM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like this idea, too. The only thing is, I have a huge number of half-assed ideas floating around in my head, and I don't suppose people would want to be burdened with them. Maybe there should be some sort of filter to this?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:05 AM on October 4, 2015

Well, Joe, as with any other FPP, the community would be free to ignore them or participate as much as the idea itself merited, right? So, the MetaFilter would be the, er, metafilter...
posted by saulgoodman at 6:42 AM on October 4, 2015

If this exists (and I hope it does!) it should be made clear that it's for asking for collaboration on projects as opposed to advice.

In other words if it's called "HelpMe" we're going to find people posting "Help me decide whether to eat this!" and "Help me decide what to name my cat", both of which belong in AskMe.

I think a distinction between commercial (paid?) and uncommercial projects would be important too.
posted by mmoncur at 4:04 AM on October 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Another suggestion from a friend I talked this idea over with: It might be cool if there were some way MeFites who actually contributed to a particular project in some way could get credit for having contributed. So that when the Project goes public, they could share in the credit. Not sure how this would work in practice--some way for users to indicate they plan to contribute subject to the original poster's confirmation that they did actually contribute. Just throwing that idea out as a possible nice-to-have, extra-layer of gold-plating for the feature. Definitely not the most important related feature idea, but an extra nicety that might encourage a higher level of committed participation.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:53 PM on October 5, 2015

« Older Looking for a post about an awesome judge   |   Baby steps self care post Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments