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MetaTalk post: Can text links be automatically linkified?
I bet pb can wormholes.

You are totally right.

And yeah we don't have morning briefings [morning?] but we do talk about big topic stuff. So when there was a bunch of Wikileaks stuff [and associated fatigue] happening, every time there was a new Wikileaks post we'd have a quick chat about "Is this going to be today's Wikileaks post, do you think?" and move on. If there are a bunch of posts on the same topic or if... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2011
When you all are modding, is it a proactive thing, like walking a virtual beat, or do you get so many flags and emails and things that you spend most of your time running down complaints and things? Or somewhere in the middle?

More to the latter. Not really only because the flags and email and such keep us reasonably busy (they do) but because there's enough content on the site on a daily basis that just looking at all of it would be a recipe for... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 11:40 AM on January 26, 2011
It's all about degrees. I definitely sympathize with people who have a difficult time posting links from their phones. At the same time, there is a bit of a "we expect you to do a little bit of the work here" philosophy in terms of stuff like quoting, basic HTML, capitalization and spelling. We definitely see questions in AskMe where people don't do the work to use caps and punctuation [and I'm not talking about ESL sorts of errors I'm thinking "what d u think" sorts of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 11:08 AM on January 26, 2011
You and the autoworkers, don't want a machine taking your gig.

Oh man, believe me, if I could build a machine that could reliably take a bare url and figure out an acceptable word in the accompanying comment around which to relocate it as proper hyperlink, I would build it and turn it on and gladly recapture those bits of my day for something more entertaining.

As it is, the machine that's easy to build is also a piece of crap... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 11:01 AM on January 26, 2011
I am your fire department.
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:57 AM on January 26, 2011
"It looks like you have included non-linkified links in your submission. Such a thing is a scourge and should be stamped out -- would you like us to automatically linkify them?"

It's definitely a thing we think about, how to err on the side of being able to help people do the thing they WANT to do, but not seem like some sort of nanny-state website where you have to post in a specific way or else you'll get in some sort of trouble or see... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 7:47 AM on January 26, 2011
MetaTalk post: Questions From Another World
I think it's cowardly just to write off his question as "too crazy, we can't help you".

I am personally afraid that someone in an already-problematic mental state will get some sort of jokey (or entirely serious) advice and do something harmful to themselves or others, yes. This is why we don't accept questions about suicide or by people who are suicidal. This is why I personally write to everyone who asks a suicide question and send them... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 1:46 PM on January 25, 2011
We talked about it and decided it needed to go. I feel for them, it's a rough situation, but at the same time a couple pages of rambling backstory from someone pretty much dismissing medical treatment and their support network as "been there done that" stuff is really, really not something AskMe is equipped to handle.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 12:51 PM on January 25, 2011
MeFi post: Congressional Hearing About Data Retention Laws For Internet Companies
> Data is only useful if it can be analyzed, and the sheer volume of this means that it can't.

Not so!

Let's overestimate consistently to get an upper bound.

Suppose everything is monitored by Big Uncle Sam. Suppose there are a billion internet users, each visiting a thousand web pages a day and each URL is 100 bytes. That's 100 terabytes of data a day raw data (very uncompressed indeed) or about 40 petabytes of data... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by lupus_yonderboy at 7:49 PM on January 24, 2011
MetaTalk post: When should I ask my question?
Checking your own tags before posting is a good idea.

I added that tag to this post (and a few others) after doing a little round-up of these questions. There wasn't a consistant tag used, so I picked 'besttime' and went with it to hopefully make them easier to find in the future.
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 2:04 PM on January 24, 2011
posted to MetaTalk by Gator at 1:52 PM on January 24, 2011
Yeah, this has come up a couple times before. The somewhat surprising answer, based on previous analyses, is that it basically does not matter at all—mean number of answers received is not significantly affected by time of day of posting or day of week.

Which doesn't mean there isn't significant variation in how many answers one question will get vs. another—that's always going to be a bit of a crapshoot—but it's not something primarily pegged to... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:40 PM on January 24, 2011
MetaTalk post: EbertFilter
I'm pretty sure you go straight to Hell if you badmouth him.

Flagging is a completely invisible way to express to the mod team that someone should take a look at something. Many posts get at least a flag or two for various reasons. The fact that there are three posts on a similar topic with no flags whatsoever just implies strongly to us that no one, out of all the many irritable MeFites who will flag stuff for an errant apostrophe, felt this hit the... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:56 AM on January 24, 2011
Yeah usually we'd be telling people "hey there's an open Ebert post" To be honest I didn't see any of the three you linked because not a single person flagged them. If they were the usual "Hey Ebert made another blog update!" I think we'd be seeing some backlash, but since they're all nominally on separate topics

- new chin
- the best single film criticism site
- 3-D film stuff

they have jumping off... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:39 AM on January 24, 2011
MetaTalk post: My wife and I don't agree. I mean, a friend. I mean....
My feeling generally is that if you concoct some confusing framing to your question because you don't trust the AskMe community for whatever reason, you keep that to yourself for the duration of the question. You do not come back to the question later and say "Oh hey I didn't trust you guys so I made the question into a similar question. Now let me talk about the conclusions I drew for our actual situation."

We can't make people tell the truth. We can tell them... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:10 AM on January 23, 2011
I followed the question with great interest because it's a popular topic of conversation between my wife and I about our own picky eater daughter. To have it revealed that the "friend" was the asker wasn't a big deal to me because the question is pretty basic about the two points of view on feeding children and I didn't pick up any emotional involvement of "family" vs. "friend" when reading responses. To me, the question, answers, and conclusions are the same if you... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:03 AM on January 23, 2011
is, IMHO, a huge over-reaction.

I'm aware that people are going to feel that way. We have a few meta-jobs in addition to just keeping the site running and one of them is keeping the peace, generally. This is not a place where people holler at each other and start fights, for the most part (I'm aware there are exceptions). Sometimes this is because of who posts here and sometimes this is because the guidelines of how we'd like people to interact with... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:45 AM on January 23, 2011
MetaTalk post: cortex, easy on the deletions!
The deletion was good, this callout is stupid and bad, and anyone who says "Fuck you" to another MeFite should get at least a temporary ban.
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 6:09 AM on January 23, 2011
MetaTalk post: The Itsy-Bitsy Polaroid.
Also, a link to my original MeFi Projects posting for Big Picture in June, 2008. That posting was a big part of getting off the ground initially, for which, I am of course, very thankful.
posted to MetaTalk by kokogiak at 1:02 PM on January 21, 2011
MetaTalk post: A study in Q&A sites
Another Quora / askme and is cortex moonlighting?

Heh. Actually, I was kind of entertained to discover that twice now I've been like "ooh, there's a reasonable question that I can take a shot at answering well" and it's turned out to be a mefite doing this cross-posting thing both times. I wouldn't necessarily end up answering these questions on askme a lot of the time because, frankly, other people get there first and better. On Quora I'm... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 5:41 PM on January 21, 2011
Can you elaborate on that? It seems odd to discourage people from turning to multiple services for help.

No, it's more that we don't want people just sort of copypasting stuff to multiple sites on a regular basis just for the (even semi-scientific) lulz, because it creates sort of a weird dynamic and hints at inter-site drama.

If someone has a problem they need solved and they feel like they can legitimately improve their... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 5:31 PM on January 21, 2011
MetaTalk post: Dealing with deleted posts.
how about deleting the users themselves?

It's annoying but not against the rules to be fighty. That said, the site runs with a very small staff and a lot of back and forth emails fighting with the same-old-users isn't something we're going to find another way to enable.

Maybe new users and accidental dupe-posters should get the benefit of the doubt, and receive a friendly MeMail?... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:29 AM on January 21, 2011
If there is some other easy way, well... I'm not an idiot, and I failed to find it. So how trivially easy can it be?

Sorry, I didn't mean to be dismissive. Let me rephrase, because I don't think you're an idiot at all.

When I say "it's trivially easy for someone who wants to go looking to find out what's been deleted", I mean that accessing deleted posts is not something we try to make difficult. If you're the... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 10:27 AM on January 21, 2011
there might be less "ZOMG WHY WAS MY THREAD DUHLEATED" on MetaTalk.

There are significantly fewer of these threads than there used to be. I find that mainly the MeTa threads are by people who contest the deletion and not people who are actually confused by it. This sort of thing comes under the heading of what we call denied pony requests which we keep a list of over on the wiki. Here's a fairly recent thread where we explain our thinking... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:59 AM on January 21, 2011
We had a visual notification on the front page for a while, where the user who had made a deleted post could still see it in ghostly faded text on the front page, with deletion reason attached. Based on previous "I want to know!" requests it seemed like it was worth a shot, but in practice it lead to more confusion and weird reactions, and so we took that back down.

Like Jessamyn says, this is something we've thought about and talk about a great deal. The current way... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:12 AM on January 21, 2011
I would like to modify this request, and say that the original poster should continue see their post as if it wasn't deleted.

As always, variations on the Hellban concept are both amusing to think about and pretty much in direct violation of our "do not lie to the userbase" philosophy. This fits in nicely with the general vein here of It's Not A Can't Thing, It's A Won't Thing.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:20 AM on January 21, 2011
Come to think of it, if there's any crafty needlepoint types out there looking for something to kill time with, I would totally hang an "It's not a Can't thing, it's a Won't thing" on the wall behind my desk in my office. If such a thing were to mysteriously appear in the mail or something.
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 8:23 AM on January 21, 2011
MetaTalk post: How can you tell if MeFi was secretly subpoenaed a: you can't
This is one of those "you'll have to ask mathowie directly" situations though I can tell you that if I found out we'd gotten some sort of subpoena and it was supposed to be a sekrit I'd tell everyone I knew about it and say "really, you're going to put me in jail for this?" and then let my nice friends the EFF launch another case against gag orders which have actually been going pretty well over the past few years. All this is to say that if mathowie got a subpoena, he'd... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 10:03 PM on January 14, 2011
MetaTalk post: I'd vote for that!
What Matt said.

My general advice for any sort of "I'm thinking about posting x but I have this ethical qualm" dilemma is "just don't do it". Better to refrain and remain unimpeachable in your interactions with the site than to put yourself and us in the weird situation of having to ask uncomfortable questions about motive, connection, etc.

There's thousands and thousands of people here; one of them who hasn't even a sliver... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:10 AM on January 14, 2011
Yeah, as everyone has said, there's no real good fit for MetaFilter for this type of activity and we don't have plans for setting aside space for such a thing.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 6:17 AM on January 14, 2011
MetaTalk post: Remember to disable adblock
Don't feel any guilt using adblock here. Most advert income comes from non-members.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 9:46 PM on January 13, 2011
No, you should not feel ashamed. It's very kind of you to think of the site as far as ad revenue goes, which I'm guessing is where you're coming from, but some logged-in members using adblock for their browsing comfort is not something that's likely to have any significant negative effect on our ad revenue. If you like browsing with ads blocked, do so. No guilt should even enter the equation.

The tons and tons of non-member eyeballs coming to the site from external... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 9:46 PM on January 13, 2011
MetaTalk post: Contact form to MeFi Mail
It all starts with a single innocent post in Metatalk. The mods decide to appease the userbase and create a new improved, automated memail process. The system goes on-line August 4th, 2011. An announcement is made on the site. Human decisions are removed from strategic MeMail inbox defense algorithms. Metafilter begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, pb tries to pull the plug....

Yeah, I'm sure this'll Wendell.
posted to MetaTalk by zarq at 5:25 PM on January 11, 2011
MetaTalk post: Is a wikileaks thread the place to discuss changes in rape laws?
Just want to underscore that "I created the thread to specifically discuss x" is generally not great footing for a post. It's a given that discussion of stuff is going to happen, but the "here's a thread specifically to hash out this aspect of another conversation" tends to be not a great idea, and while I understand you see this as independent of the Wikileaks stuff it's really hard to practically have it stand separate when the whole thing has arisen... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 7:37 PM on January 10, 2011
MetaTalk post: Fat Acceptance Acceptance
They got away with it because the rules are more complex than "all answers must answer the question."

Or, stated differently, all answers must address the question in some way. The ways that are okay include

- direct answers
- request for more information/explanation
- gently questioning premises of the question
- responding to the OPs responses
- attempts to clarify... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 2:53 PM on January 10, 2011
MeFi post: Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior
[♫ we do not tell each other to fuck off here ♫]
posted to MetaFilter by jessamyn at 4:33 PM on January 9, 2011
MetaTalk post: Acupuncture for a medical question?
So are people who don't believe in woo and quackery obligated to keep on the lookout from thread to thread

Only if it's going to make you insanely angry if someone suggests homeopathy and you're not there to refute the suggestions. In which case I'm sure you have larger problems than woo-fighting on Ask MetaFilter. I generally trust the community to call bullshit on bullshit in AskMe. As I understand bullshit, they usually don't let me down. Which is... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:47 PM on January 9, 2011
norm: “I did as suggested. Here's my question, though: where do we draw the line? Homeopathy? Scientology? Faith healing? I assume that there is some answer so insane that it be deemed to be breaking the guidelines.”

But the trouble is that drawing lines doesn't help! You're making the same mistake a lot of people make when they say: "well, we all agree in the interest of decency not to talk about x." The sad fact is that, even... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by koeselitz at 8:03 PM on January 9, 2011
I assume that there is some answer so insane that it be deemed to be breaking the guidelines.

I get what you're getting at but really people can suggest whatever snake oil suggestions they want to with the understanding that other people are likely to respond with "that's not going to work, that answer is total nonsense" and that fighting about it beyond that is going to be removed as a derail. We have people asking questions about... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 8:01 PM on January 9, 2011
MetaTalk post: Bothered and bewildered mefite seeks hugs
Tonight? Here in this thread? You alllll get gold stars, baby.

2011 is going to get a lot better from here on out.
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:01 PM on January 8, 2011
MetaTalk post: New Twitter/Facebook sharing options proposed
oh how I agree with you wildcrdj. In a world without Twitter we wouldn't even entertain the idea of short URLs. And we've resisted despite repeated demands as Twitter has gained in popularity. We just can't ignore the overlap between Twitter and MetaFilter members, and their character limitation makes shorter URLs a necessity. I wish they'd just use HTML links so the length doesn't matter, but we have to work with the Twitter we have not the Twitter we want.
posted to MetaTalk by pb at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2011
yes, I want to annoy people who use these services and want to post Mefi stuff to them.

I'm just as standoff-ish about twitter and facebook; they are two sites I don't see myself using any time in the near future. But I don't see how you can logically come to the conclusion that helping spread the word about MeFi threads is a bad thing. For one thing, a lot of Mefites do use those sites, and so if an existing member is notified of a question that... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Rhomboid at 1:40 PM on January 7, 2011
I care about having the option to remove their functionality from individual askme questions, so that no user, logged in or otherwise, will have a one-click capability to share my (or other fussy people's) personal stuff.

I totally hear what you're saying, but I feel like this is a perception bandaid, not a practical one. Askme gets slurped up by god knows how many RSS readers every day, gets indexed aggressively by google, gets talked about on... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 1:19 PM on January 7, 2011
This doesn't seem to solve any real problem.

I used to think that too, until I saw friends saying "hey all, answer my new question over on Quora" on Twitter (I would have missed their question otherwise, since I don't hang out on Quora. It was super useful. I think it'd also be quite useful for getting your local twitter mefi users to show up to your IRL event by reminding them a week or day before that the event is still on.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2011
Is that not the case?

That is indeed not the case here. We don't load anything from Facebook, so there is nothing being tracked, no cookies being loaded, no information of any kind is being sent to Facebook. There's just a shortcut link to update your status on the facebook servers if you click it, if you're logged into fb, and if you actually want to share it (you have to hit a big save button to do that).

Is... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 1:05 PM on January 7, 2011
is there a greasemonkey script that generally removes them from evevrything?

You don't need a greasemonkey script. Most of these "flair" things are implemented as third party scripts, or failing that, recognizable keywords in the URL. Next time you see a page with something that annoys you just pop open the Adblock "list of blockable items" pane and look for it, and add a filter to block it. Here are some that I'm accumulated... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Rhomboid at 12:37 PM on January 7, 2011
Yeah, not a bad idea to try making them black and white muted with color on mouseover. pb! Fire up the coffee pot and photoshop!
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 11:42 AM on January 7, 2011
MetaTalk post: WWIC
Another thing that is a little odd here is that you can talk directly to the programmer. I used to work at Speakeasy doing support way back in the day and one of our jobs as phone/email support was to make sure the people who had root never ever talked to a customer. I mean, not exactly, but they were the people who built the stuff and they were busy building it. We talked to customers and that's what we did. And we managed any sort of communication that needed to go up the chain ourselves and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by jessamyn at 6:50 PM on January 6, 2011
Here's the story of where I learned to love customer service.

It was 2004 and I was going to SXSW. Having recently moved to Oregon, there were no direct flights from Portland to Austin, but I found various choices of cities to stopover in. I picked out SF knowing the chances were very high that I would know half a dozen people on the flight if I passed through there compared to say, Denver or Houston.

My first leg was uneventful and as soon as I... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by mathowie at 3:40 PM on January 6, 2011
As a post-text to that, I would say that the situations in which the work we do feels most like that faceless-customer-service dynamic is when dealing with people who haven't really come to metafilter with any clear idea of what the place is like. They're more likely to be annoyed in an unforgiving way about the things they dislike or misunderstand, they're less likely to have patience with the practical guidelines of the community. Which is not surprising, even if it's a little vexatious to... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by cortex at 11:29 AM on January 6, 2011
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