Posting limits reallocation? February 17, 2005 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Instead of one AskMe/MetaTalk thread a week, can we get four a month?
posted by Jairus to Feature Requests at 8:16 AM (31 comments total)

I might be the only one, but there's been a few times where I've not posted a thread because of concern that I might need to post one in the next few days. I've only ever posted one MetaTalk thread before, but I needed to post another right afterwards, and was unable.

I think it would be nifty-keen if we could get X posts a month, instead of 1 post per X timeframe. When you go to post, it could say "3 posts left" or some such, and reset at the start of each month. Or it could add one post to your counter every Monday, to a maximum of four, or some such.
posted by Jairus at 8:18 AM on February 17, 2005

I'll take my 52 questions a year over your 48, thanks. :-)
posted by null terminated at 8:19 AM on February 17, 2005

4.3333 questions a month, then. :)
posted by Jairus at 8:21 AM on February 17, 2005

I'd hate to wait 27 days after I used my four in the beginning of the month. Waiting 7 is almost bearable. Can this be opt-in?
posted by Plutor at 8:51 AM on February 17, 2005

Also, we should be able to trade our posts to other users for cigarettes or "favours".
(kidding, this is a good pony IMO).
posted by Capn at 9:00 AM on February 17, 2005

Perhaps we can take a page from the Kyoto agreement's pollution credit system. Since I don't lean too heavily on AskMe I could sell my unused question every week to some trigger happy AskMe junkie.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:27 AM on February 17, 2005

Let's just have a $1 donation for extra questions.
posted by Gyan at 9:29 AM on February 17, 2005

AskMe Swap.
posted by smackfu at 9:30 AM on February 17, 2005

I suspect Matt favors "one post every seven days" because it's easy (programming-wise) to look up the time/date of the most recent posting and compare that to the system date/clock. (If the elapsed time is greater than 7 days, then the post is allowed; otherwise, not.)

By contrast, "X posts every month" requires a field to store the count (number of posts this month) and a once per month resetting of the count (to zero) for everyone. Not insurmountable, but a bit more work. Plus more work to explain: for example, consider the issue of time zones -- if you post something in London at 11:00 p.m. on the 1st of March, but it's still February 28th in Portland, Oregon, does that post count against your February quota or your March quota? (How would Matt track which time zone you're in?)
posted by WestCoaster at 9:31 AM on February 17, 2005

If the goal is to keep the number of questions on Ask readable, then a questions/month limit should be less than the questions/week x #of weeks/month. Otherwise you're just increasing the potential number of questions in the name of flexibility, and increasing the likelihood of days when the load is much heavier.

I tend to think that the limit is a good reminder that we live in a world of scarce resources. Otherwise, we should just have lifetime limits. If you've got (actuarially speaking) fifty years left to live, then you should get a lifetime allotment of 2,600 AskMe posts, and then you either stop posting or die. Death would, of course, be on the honor system, since we're self-policing. Naturally, problems will arise because actuaries are, sadly, imperfect, so it's possible that you could post your 2,600 posts tomorrow and die in a fiery car crash on Saturday, and what recourse would the community have then? Alternatively, what happens if you actually live for sixty more years and you spend the last ten in a nursing home, bitter over the loss of your posting privileges. We're already losing our social security. Do you want to add post-retirement ignorance to post-retirement poverty? Think about it: a world of bitter, old, poorly informed people robbing their meager life savings to pay for a new MeFi account. Have you no heart?
posted by anapestic at 9:35 AM on February 17, 2005

Actually, you could just pull the last 4 questions by that user from the database, and check if the oldest was made more than a month ago (technically you could just pull the fourth-last question, but I'm not sure if whatever database MeFi is running on supports offsets for LIMIT).
posted by fvw at 9:36 AM on February 17, 2005

WestCoaster, you could just set everyone's posts/quotas by GMT -- and I know this is much more difficult to program -- but it's a much better feature, in my eyes.

anapestic, you'll note my suggestion results in less questions than the current setup, as helpfully pointed out by null terminated. :) I don't really think it's fair to compare a 4-questions-a-month scheme to a 2600-questions-a-user scheme. The one-question-a-week limit is a good idea, but poor execution. The idea is to keep people from posting all the time, which is good. However, there are many good reasons why you might need to post twice or three times inside of a week. I think that it'd be a fair trade.
posted by Jairus at 9:39 AM on February 17, 2005

Actually, your suggestion only results in fewer questions if everyone posts the maximum number allowed, and not everyone does. In practice, it would be more likely to lead to more questions.

Also, it's barely possible that part of my post carried just the faintest trace of irony.
posted by anapestic at 9:43 AM on February 17, 2005

Or maybe your smile icon means you knew that already. Anyway, I'm not saying that x questions/month is per se awful, just that as the time unit increases the number should increase by less, proportionately.
posted by anapestic at 10:04 AM on February 17, 2005

I never thought this mattered, a whole bunch, but I posted an interesting question that was important to me on Monday. Then on Tuesday, something pretty major happened in my life, and I'd sure like some AskMe feedback on how best to cope with it, but I'm all out of questions for the week. I'd sure like to have another question available to me at this point. That's purely self-centered, of course. But the chances of me asking much more than one question a month is pretty limited. Two questions in one week is definitely an anomaly.

Several people have suggested that people could get a second account for $5, and I'd be willing to pay for the privilege of the second question, but I'm curious as to how well that would actually be viewed in the community. Would it really be okay, or would it be seen as cheating if it actually happened?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:53 AM on February 17, 2005

Would it really be okay, or would it be seen as cheating if it actually happened?

Both, I reckon. It's been suggested often enough that it seems like it should be fine, but there will always be people who don't like whatever happens here. But if you can ignore the impassioned diatribes about how FREE SPEECH IS NOW FOR SALE ON METAFILTER, then I say go for it. (Also, I bet that if you'd emailed Jessamyn, she'd have given you a pass for the second one.)
posted by anapestic at 11:21 AM on February 17, 2005

This sure would be nice. As is, unless you always have a question ready on your 7th day, you're never going to use up your quota. If Matt realistically only wants us asking 2 or 3 a month, then it's set up properly now. But if 4 per month is in fact an acceptable frequency, then the every-7-days implementation is a poor one.
posted by scarabic at 11:21 AM on February 17, 2005

the nice thing about the seven-day question thing is that it makes the user think (or should) "is this REALLY something i need to be asking MeFi? Could I just google for it? Ask a co-worker? My mother? Because if i have another pressing question i'll have to wait a week!" and that, i believe, is the point of having limits on questions.

although it won't stop me from asking about chairs! AHAHAHAHAHA
posted by fishfucker at 12:03 PM on February 17, 2005

there's been a few times where I've not posted a thread because of concern that I might need to post one in the next few days.

"need" to post? When do you ever need to post a question? What did you do before AskMe existed?

If you must, how about giving each user a choice between one question a week or three a month, so the privilege of being able to post more than once in seven days isn't totally without cost.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:08 PM on February 17, 2005

$5 gets you two questions per week. Seems perfectly fair to me.
posted by smackfu at 12:32 PM on February 17, 2005

DevilsAdvocate, I needed to post a MetaTalk thread about an upcoming Ottawa MeFi meet. It was time-sensitive, and about MeFi. I needed to post about it on MetaTalk. Before MeFi existed, I didn't need to post about MeFi related things, so I didn't do much in the way of MeFi related posts.
posted by Jairus at 12:41 PM on February 17, 2005

First AskMe is free. All others that week cost $1. Or something similar.

Could the MetaTalk thead limits be adjusted by category, to allow meetup updates? Actually, wait, that's silly, because if you don't have enough people going to the meetup to be able to have somebody post an original thread and an update, you don't really have a meetup.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:56 PM on February 17, 2005

I've been thinking more about the $5 gets you two questions option, and I'm still perfectly willing to pay for more questions, but I don't like the idea of having it separated from my main user name.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:16 PM on February 17, 2005

you should get a lifetime allotment of 2,600 AskMe posts

That is so depressing.

First AskMe is free. All others that week cost $1.

I feel that devalues my contribution as an answerer by putting a monetary value on the question. I'd rather answer fewer, better, more important questions
posted by grouse at 1:30 PM on February 17, 2005

I'm sure this was discussed prior, but I searched and got nothing.

Were things so out of hand that this rationing was the only solution?

It doesn't seem to me that the quality of questions has changed appreciably since this rationing was put into place.
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:42 PM on February 17, 2005

I think you're right, Fupped, but I can't remember whether it was discussed in the context of the MeTa limit or the AskMe limit. I think it may have been the former.
posted by anapestic at 1:55 PM on February 17, 2005


(Spaces and/or underscores as wanted and/or necessary.)


Actually, I vote for four five questions a month.
posted by deborah at 1:56 PM on February 17, 2005

Oh, I know I could link it in the sense of giving myself a similar name, but any questions I used it for wouldn't be included on my user page, in counts, etc.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:16 PM on February 17, 2005

jacquilynne: If the question is that important, you might as well pay and ask it now. You'll be able to find them again, I'm sure.


Personaly, I'm fine with one question per week, but I think I should be credited for all weeks I didn't ask a question. So, since August 2001...

Also, I think I'd be less intrested in answering questions if people were buying accounts just to ask them, I mean, I'm not the one getting paid.
posted by delmoi at 7:33 PM on February 17, 2005

DevilsAdvocate, I needed to post a MetaTalk thread about an upcoming Ottawa MeFi meet. It was time-sensitive, and about MeFi.

Fair enough--I admit I was only thinking about AskMe, and not MeTa. But conversely, your example only supports lifting the limit on MeTa, and not on AskMe.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:49 AM on February 18, 2005

There is no mechanism for paying to ask an extra question. I proposed doing it for a buck per extra question, but never implemented it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:42 PM on February 18, 2005

« Older Fix a spelling mistake, please?   |   HTML Formatting Request Newer »

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