pls summarize askme questions on front page February 9, 2004 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Could we at least try to summarize the actual question in the front-page post on AskMe? 1 2 3
posted by DevilsAdvocate to Etiquette/Policy at 2:27 PM (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I realize that some questions are too long and involved to put the entire thing on the front page, and a [More Inside] is appropriate. But it's not like there's a four-word limit on front-page posts on AskMe--I would think somewhere between four and six lines would be more like it. These posts go too far in trying to make short front-page posts, and could have easily included at least part of the question on the front page, not just a general idea of the field of the subject. On links 2 and 3, the entire "More Inside" could have easily gone on the front page; on link 1, the first sentence of the "More Inside" would have made a fine front-page question.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:32 PM on February 9, 2004

Agreed, there should be an actual question in the post itsself. Elaboration or larger citations that are referred to should go inside, but the question shouldn't.
posted by fvw at 2:32 PM on February 9, 2004

Well UK rail fare question is a question about rail fares in the UK, so that seems to me to sum up the general area pretty well. The topic cuts out a lot of interest here anyway, and the question (and actually its two questions given that I ask for a link) is pretty specific so doesn't lend itself to easy summary beyond what is actually in the more inside part.
posted by biffa at 2:37 PM on February 9, 2004

Erg, confused which post I had associated with which number in my head. I meant 1 & 2 could have gone entirely on the front page, and 3 could have put the first sentence on the front page.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:38 PM on February 9, 2004

biffa, why not "If the restrictions on rail passengers travelling out of London using a saver ticket end at 6.15, and the scheduled 6.10 doesn't leave until 6.20, are saver tickets valid? [More inside]" as the front page post?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:39 PM on February 9, 2004

Would you have a more specific answer then, DA?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:05 PM on February 9, 2004

I agree, DevilsAdvocate. I've raised this previously to the agreement of nearly everybody. I understand that eventually the posting page will be altered to guide posters more in this direction, but I guess we'll be revisiting this issue again and again.
posted by nthdegx at 3:06 PM on February 9, 2004

Would you have a more specific answer then, DA?

No, but I would have a better idea of whether I was able to answer the question, and thus a better idea of whether to look inside or not, from the front page alone.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:32 PM on February 9, 2004

I agree. As DA says, there isn't such a shortage of space on the AskMe front page to the extent that you can't spend two or three lines putting a question in the front page post.

It's true that a few words such as 'CD storage' or 'UK rail question' are enough to screen out 90%+ of the readers, but speaking for myself, when I saw those posts I thought I might have a chance at answering them (e.g., I do a lot of travelling on trains in the UK). But on clicking them I discovered I had no idea what the answer was, which is why it's definitely worth putting more information in the post itself, to save everyone's time.
posted by adrianhon at 3:47 PM on February 9, 2004

OK, as long as we're bashing posting styles, [MI] sucks! It's not like Ask MetaFilter is a big instant messaging chatroom. I think we can do without the unobvious abbreviations that save all of nine characters.

Matt, since the AskMe format seems to breed [more inside]'s at a rodent-like pace, maybe it's time to resurrect this age-old request.
posted by Galvatron at 4:01 PM on February 9, 2004

Another vote against [MI] here.
Although I'm still waiting for somebody to have "[MI]" as their entire front page post.
posted by seanyboy at 4:08 PM on February 9, 2004

I think people forget that Ask can also be a spectator sport. I'd rather see the entire question, and decide if I want to have a look how people answer, than to click a barrage of crossword clues to see if there's anything to interest me.

I'd be interested in seeing what the [MI] proponents have to say in defence of this tag. The "Saving Front Page Space" argument seems pretty unhealthy when all you're saving is two or three lines.
posted by seanyboy at 4:12 PM on February 9, 2004

Not the least reason to do this properly is that summarizing the question is an excellent process to go through before involving other people. It gives you a chance to think over what's actually at issue, and which core points you need help with. Simply identifying the true crux of a problem often makes the answer obvious, or at least easier to find.
posted by scarabic at 4:17 PM on February 9, 2004

I must say personally I feel that, for example:

"I just found two four leaf clovers right next to each other! [more inside]"

Is worse off than:

"I just found two four leaf clovers right next to each other! What are the odds of that? [more inside]"


"I just found two four leaf clovers right next to each other! In researching the odds of that, I discovered that it's possible to seed your lawn with the lucky devils, but should I? [more inside]"

The first is ... unhelpful. The second lets you know I'm asking a question, but perhaps not the same question inside as outside, and the third illustrates where I'm going completely ... to be enhanced with a bit/lot more on the inside.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:28 PM on February 9, 2004


Hee hee . . .
posted by tr33hggr at 5:28 PM on February 9, 2004

I like that style of question posting when it's feasible, and used it in the only question I've asked (so far). You can very quickly tell whether or not you can contribute or are interested. It also keeps questions on the front page longer, which I think is good (at least until Matt comes up with a new format).
posted by TimeFactor at 5:49 PM on February 9, 2004

I've thought about and decided I disagree with myself from last night. I promise to self flagellate at the earliest opportunity and to thoroughly learn my lesson.
posted by biffa at 2:33 AM on February 10, 2004

You warm the cockles of my heart, biffa. Whatever those are.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:53 AM on February 10, 2004

I thought the heart was a mussel?
posted by fvw at 7:22 AM on February 10, 2004 [2 favorites]

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