Fast Front Page April 7, 2005 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I know it's been mentioned before, but I'd like to make a humble request for an extension of the length of the front page of AskMe. Questions just fly off the page, often in less than 24 hours, rendering the site less useful. An even better change would be to allow users the ability to choose the number of days displayed on the AskMe front page, just like on the MeFi front page.
Sorry if this is a redundant request. I bring it up because AskMe questions are vanishing from the front page ever more rapidly.
posted by Dr. Wu to Feature Requests at 11:29 AM (40 comments total)

I keep the current months' archive page bookmarked - since it's only text it doesn't take long to load and it's much easier to keep track of interesting questions that way.
posted by eatcherry at 11:32 AM on April 7, 2005


That's a good idea, eatcherry - never thought of that. But it only solves the problem for me (and/or everyone else who has the idea), not for AskMe users in general. It is the rare question that continues to draw answers once it slips off the front page. Many of the questions deserve to live longer lives than mayflies, methinks.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:37 AM on April 7, 2005


You could also do what I do; use Bloglines to grab the RSS feed and use the "keep as new" feature to mark the questions you'd like to keep track of.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 11:41 AM on April 7, 2005


dflemingdotorg: again, a good idea, but it doesn't really address the larger issue, which is that questions, for the most part, die once they leave the front page. Out of sight, out of mind, for most people.

I mean, this isn't like the end of the world or anything, but it seems like a matter that could be fairly straightforwardly addressed.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:45 AM on April 7, 2005


I think Dr. Wu has a good point. Unless there's some issue with server or bandwidth capabilities (I don't know about these things), the default view should show at least a full day's worth of questions. This is less about making it easier for a reader to see more questions than it is about letting a question attract new front-page-only readers/respondents for at least 24 hours.
posted by nobody at 11:53 AM on April 7, 2005


I keep the current months' archive page bookmarked - since it's only text it doesn't take long to load and it's much easier to keep track of interesting questions that way.

But the archive page doesn't show you which questions have new answers since your last visit, so how do you keep track of changes in interesting questions?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:57 AM on April 7, 2005


I just scroll down to and see which ones have been clicked on before. Probably wouldn't work for everyone, especially if you keep track of a lot of questions, but it works for me - though of course I would prefer if the Ask Me page was longer.
posted by eatcherry at 12:03 PM on April 7, 2005


MetaFilter in general, and AskMe and MeTa in particular, are microcosms of the modern world, which rushes by at such blazing speed that if you blink twice, you've missed pretty much everything that would have made your life worth living. In 2005, if you have a question that takes more than 12.6 seconds to ask and answer, then you don't really have a question at all, do you? Don't think too long about that.

But seriously, what was the rationale behind the current limit? If it's just to keep too much from being on the page at one time, then I think Dr. Wu is correct and both AskMe and MeTa could use longer tails. If it's a question of resources, and having longer pages would somehow cost more, then we can probably live with what we've got.
posted by anapestic at 12:05 PM on April 7, 2005


I never could understand why only the blue gives the option of sorting by recent/most/my comments or date, and everything else leaves you with the default view.
If it can be done on one part, why not elsewhere?

Maybe I'm way off, but wouldn't duplicating a pre-existing blue feature on the green be a fairly reasonable pony to ask for? It certainly seems to be a popular request.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:18 PM on April 7, 2005


Speaking of AskMe, shouldn't tags be available there too? Might make it interesting in terms of classification and could lead to certain questions being added to different categories...
posted by TNLNYC at 12:21 PM on April 7, 2005


Kellydamnit: I think because AskMe was written on the MeTa codebase and not the MeFi codebase, which had diverged sometime previously when Matt added features to the front page but not to MeTa.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:38 PM on April 7, 2005


TNLNYC: As I understand it, AskMe tags are here and here. Available from the question pages, but not very apparent in the interface overall. It'd be nice to see tags gain greater prominence. Perhaps they do in the upcoming redesign.
posted by safetyfork at 12:45 PM on April 7, 2005


uhhh.... TNLNYC... tags are available in AskMe. They just don't display on the front page.
posted by raedyn at 12:50 PM on April 7, 2005


I see that safetyfork beat me to it. Good on ya.
posted by raedyn at 12:52 PM on April 7, 2005


Can I just second the emotion here? I'd LOVE to see AskMes stay around a bit longer before they scroll off the page.
posted by tristeza at 1:19 PM on April 7, 2005


Another vote for more questions on the front page.
posted by spaghetti at 1:28 PM on April 7, 2005


subscribe to the feed in bloglines, and you can have up to 200 questions waiting and ready for you with open arms.
posted by adampsyche at 1:33 PM on April 7, 2005


I don't know what RSS means, I don't know about Bloglines, and I don't want to fiddle with a bunch of crap, I'm merely asking for a feature request that may or may not be honored. God, this bugs the shit out of me on AskMe, too:

Q: "What type of software should I get for my PC"?
A: "Get a Mac."

ARGH! If you're answering a question, answer THE QUESTION. If not, shut it.
posted by tristeza at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2005


Again, the best way to see the issue here is not
What can I do to be able to see more questions (RSS, Archive, etc.)
but rather:
What can be done so that questions remain visible to as many users as possible for a longer period of time?
posted by nobody at 1:52 PM on April 7, 2005


I second that. There are some of us who are non-gearheads, and don't want to master any more software tricks than we need to, thank you. If AskMe allowed me to configure it right there and then, without resorting to a bunch of third-party content shuffling, i'd be happier, too.
posted by Miko at 1:57 PM on April 7, 2005


ARGH! If you're answering a question, answer THE QUESTION. If not, shut it.

So why don't you email Matt instead of posting in Meta? I mean seriously, if you're just looking for an answer from the one person who can say yes or no here, direct your question here.

We're merely trying to provide alternatives. RSS is not rocket science, it's like creating bookmarks for your websites that automatically tell you when they've been updated. That's all. You merely copy and paste the feed address into bloglines and it does the rest.

Your anger is incredible considering we're just trying to be helpful.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 2:09 PM on April 7, 2005


direct your questions there. Sheesh.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 2:09 PM on April 7, 2005


I tried leaving a personal note in MeTa regarding a late addition to an AskMe thread which had scrolled off. Since the user doesn't publish her e-mail, I couldn't think of anything else to do. But I'm not surprised it was deleted; that's not really an appropriate use of MeTa.

On some BB's I frequent, posts are listed by descending most-recent activity, and that seems to work pretty well. Popular items stay up top, and older ones can be "bumped" back up simply by commenting in them. It's quite effective.

It's also common to be able to mark a thread for e-mail notification. If someone adds to it even weeks later, you get a message with a link back to the thread.
posted by Tubes at 2:24 PM on April 7, 2005


I want this too - I want the sorting features of MeFi, and I want at LEAST a day's worth of AskMe on the page. More than a day, preferrably.
posted by agregoli at 2:31 PM on April 7, 2005


We're merely trying to provide alternatives. RSS is not rocket science, it's like creating bookmarks for your websites that automatically tell you when they've been updated. That's all. You merely copy and paste the feed address into bloglines and it does the rest.

Your anger is incredible considering we're just trying to be helpful.


I was a bit snippy, I'm sorry, and I do appreciate when people are being helpful. However, the question was not "can you give me options for formatting my browser in order to make AskMe questions accessible for longer periods of time?"

The question was "Matt, can you do X?" for the reasons outlined by several posters. It's a personal pet peeve of mine when a question is answered with information that, while maybe helpful in spirit, doesn't actually adress *the question*. (I am sorry for being snotty tho)
posted by tristeza at 2:33 PM on April 7, 2005


I want all the checked questions pushed off the front page (or maybe a 2-frame view or something?) so the ones that haven't been solved/resolved can have a chance, and stick around longer.
posted by amberglow at 2:36 PM on April 7, 2005


maybe a limit on the part of the question that goes to the front page?

"YOU GOTS 255 CHARS, MAKE IT GOOD -- WE DON'T WANT YOUR LIFE STORY -- ANYTHING ELSE GOES IN THE MORE INSIDE"

it has the added benefit of giving practice to those of us who have trouble writing concise sentences.

this would allow more questions to be on the front page without making it insanely long.

although i think this was discussed before and some salient counterpoints were raised. *

* SALIENT
posted by fishfucker at 3:01 PM on April 7, 2005


Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I'd be interested to hear, also, if anyone thinks that my suggestion is not such a good idea, for reasons of bandwidth, server space, or something else. That's why I posted it here, rather than email mathowie directly.

Please chime in if you have an opinion on this - I think it would be a useful addition to the site, and would have the effect of making AskMe more useful.
posted by Dr. Wu at 3:10 PM on April 7, 2005


It's a personal pet peeve of mine when a question is answered with information that, while maybe helpful in spirit, doesn't actually adress *the question*.

Have you considered having that looked at? Because really, people are trying to be helpful, and often the best answer for a given person's problem is not exactly what they asked about. Because generally, if they knew enough to ask about the best answer directly, they wouldn't need to ask.

There was a guy on chowhound who went into a tizzy because someone had posted on a board asking about one style of BBQ in a specific town, and some of the respondents had said 'You know, there's really no good Texas BBQ here. But if you like BBQ, you might like Korean BBQ, and resto X is great for that.'

Same scenario here. 'Well, you might not get exactly what you're looking for, but here's an alternative that might work out okay.'
posted by jacquilynne at 3:35 PM on April 7, 2005


I think fishfucker has a good idea.

OTOH, people have become less verbose on the front page of AskMe since Matt implemented the [more inside] feature on the AskMe submission page.
posted by raedyn at 3:37 PM on April 7, 2005


If Matt has the bandwidth, I will jump on the bandwagon and say this is a good idea. Every question deserves to be up for 24 hours at least.

I'm often disappointed when I see an interesting question, and find it has garnered only a few answers because it disappeared too quickly. So even though I use Bloglines, I see a benefit to this.
posted by frykitty at 4:00 PM on April 7, 2005


jacquilynne, I get your point, but this scenario:

Q: "What type of software should I get for my PC"?
A: "Get a Mac."


was more what I'm talking about, and kind of how I felt about the answers here on this particular issue.
posted by tristeza at 4:21 PM on April 7, 2005


Adding to the chorus, I would really like (1) a longer front page and (2) a sort by recent comments on AskMe. But, I do make heavy use of the monthly view, so I'm not sufferin'.
posted by sohcahtoa at 6:51 PM on April 7, 2005


I agree that this sounds like a good idea, to let questions stay longer on the front page.
posted by beth at 7:01 PM on April 7, 2005


Yes, more questions please.

It's also common to be able to mark a thread for e-mail notification. If someone adds to it even weeks later, you get a message with a link back to the thread.

This would be cool too.
posted by Dean King at 7:26 PM on April 7, 2005


Ditto what Dr. Wu requested. And make it so on the Grey as well, Number One.

Ha! I crack myself up!
posted by deborah at 7:52 PM on April 7, 2005


Aye, keep the questions around longer.
posted by madman at 9:57 PM on April 7, 2005


Longer exposure for questions - yes, please.
posted by Lush at 10:13 PM on April 7, 2005


I would like less. Just one question at a time please. For one hour. With a countdown clock. That way I know I can come back on the hour every hour and have a fresh question to contemplate. As the question gets pulled off the front page a game show buzzer or bell sounds depending on if the question got a best answer or not. And prizes. I would like prizes.
posted by tellurian at 11:25 PM on April 7, 2005


And prizes. I would like prizes.

When I mark an answer "Best Answer," I'd like balloons to fall lazily from the ceiling above whomever posted that answer.
posted by odinsdream at 7:27 PM on April 10, 2005


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