Remove user number from username links? May 11, 2001 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Would it be useful to change the username links from:
posted by snowmelter
posted by snowmelter?
I just think it's a bit unfortunate to see someone's rank being used to judge the usefulness of his or her argument.

posted by snowmelter to Feature Requests at 8:52 AM (15 comments total)

So, would it be crude of me to mention that I outrank you by 465?

Seriously, I don't think people automatically look at a person's number before they judge a comment. I do think that when someone makes what's considered to be an inappropriate comment, people may mouseover to see if he/she's a newbie. But you could still find that out by clicking on the person's profile page.

Of course, I don't like having such a high number. I keep thinking back to The Prisoner and wishing I could get a lower number. I think we need a system of challenges to allow people to take lower numbers. Witticisms at 40 paces. This place just isn't cutthroat enough. Just so long as we don't settle it by playing go.

And, yes, I'm joking.

At least around here, no one ever has to ask "Who is Number One?"
posted by anapestic at 9:06 AM on May 11, 2001

rank gooooood.

love, member 235.
posted by palegirl at 9:31 AM on May 11, 2001

Hey kids, they are ID numbers, not rankings. And they give a nice sense of perspective....the day when i made it into the lower half of ID numbers was pretty cool.

that comment in question was merely someone who has been here for a while reminding a new user that they were new and needed to look a little closer at what they were saying. Especially since the self-promo thing has been brought up a lot, and has--i think--an outlet now with the MeFi projects mailing list.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:25 AM on May 11, 2001

even if the change was made, a person simply needs to read the "member since..." or mouseover the comment totals to see the user_ID in the URL.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:29 AM on May 11, 2001

While I think it's okay to keep the userid numbers in the URLs, I don't disagree at all with snowmelter's second point, which is that "pulling rank" is a harsh and somewhat unfair thing to do. (c.f. this thread in the etiquette area).

I think it is germane to keep in mind the relative newness of a user when posts appear that don't fit the mostly unstated rules, but it's not polite or helpful to say (in effect) "Shut up newbie" if the user might have some legitimate issue to discuss.
posted by briank at 10:50 AM on May 11, 2001

I found it useful in the self-promo thread, I looked at brianc's ID and thought 'go easy, he's a newbie with a genuine enough reason so theres no need to flame him' - hence the links to the guidelines and Metatalk.
I think also, people were patient and polite to him when he did start a MeTa thread.

If his ID had indicated that he was a longtime member, I suspect he would have come in for more flak.

And no, "Shut up, newbie" is not constructive or helpful.
posted by Markb at 11:24 AM on May 11, 2001

I concur with Markb's thoughts. I also viewed brianc's ID number when I read his post about self linking to get a perspective on how long he had been around. I actually do this quite often, not to stand in judgement of someones value to the community, but to have a frame of reference for how long they have been a part of the MeFi family. The site has evolved a lot over time and people that have been members for a while know the history, and this gives me a better perspective on the tone of their posts, or their reasoning in some cases. Of course this doesn't help if someone has lurked here for over a year and just got a username last month. I just see value in knowing someone has grown with the site, and has the experience of seeing how the community has came to be where it's at culture wise.
posted by Jeremy at 11:56 AM on May 11, 2001

I agree with palegirl. Rank *is* good.

Now let's stone the newbies!
posted by dangerman at 12:22 PM on May 11, 2001

I know that no one intended the numbers as a "rank," but it was my (perhaps misguided) impression that some people tend to think of them as such. If most don't, well, fine.
posted by snowmelter at 2:52 PM on May 11, 2001

Hmm. Well, I wouldn't pull rank on someone for their view on politics, or abortion, or what kind of school to go to, or what kind of computer is good. But when discussing issues of site policy it did seem pertinent. I didn't just look at the user number, after all; I proceeded to the user page and found out brucec had joined on 4/26/01.

If I sounded annoyed, brucec, it's simply because this is a Very Old Topic around here and it's really tiring for every newbie ... sorry ... to question it. I simply intended to sound firm. And whether it's self-posting, or questioning longstanding policy, the rate of new users we have is pretty substantial, and too much of either could permanently spin the Filter part off of Meta. Y'know? Even this thread is a repeat of several that have preceded it (and yes, I know that the search facilities are lousy over on this side of the site).
posted by dhartung at 7:25 PM on May 11, 2001

In your FACE number four-oh-eight!
posted by sudama at 7:27 PM on May 11, 2001

And let me say here while it's on topic that I'm truly ashamed of my high user number. If I'd only joined when I first started visiting ... but no, I decided I had too many logins at too many websites and didn't need this one. But the crack kept me coming back.
posted by dhartung at 7:33 PM on May 11, 2001

lol, dan, only on MeFi would usernumber 654 be considered high. (beat your ass by 447! hah)
posted by lia at 6:09 AM on May 12, 2001

Hey, as far as new-users-questioning-policy-decisions goes, whould it help to put up a frequently asked questions page of some sort that addresses relevant issues with links to the appropriate MaTa threads?
posted by Lirp at 9:25 AM on May 12, 2001

There is very rough and barely started unofficial FAQ over here. That has had trouble getting off its feet. If anyone has suggestions for things, you can e-mail me questions and answers.

Or just questions, which will get entered. If there's questions in there that aren't answered, which I don't think there is, you can send me answers, too.
posted by cCranium at 8:01 PM on May 12, 2001

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