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auntydeb's avatar

Would there ever be a publication of collected 'best' answers from Fluther?

Asked by auntydeb (2941 points ) March 19th, 2011

I enjoy answering questions, but actually find other people’s answers to be immensely interesting and often useful. Some of the pieces written, the poems and personal stories are deeply moving and make excellent reading, outside of the context of the simple Q&A concept.

Has anyone thought of putting together collections of ‘best answers’? It’s the philosophical and personal content that draws me.

We live in straightened times; some of the habitual ways of dealing with our lives are proving damaging, humans are pretty bad at sticking by useful moral or ethical motives.

Hereabouts I have found that dozens of Jelly-folk share deeply caring and useful beliefs about life, properly ethical and personal motives in wanting to help each other.

Could we share to a wider audience, maybe with a ‘freedom’ like ‘Open Source’ – free to use, to refer to… Over to the Jelly realm!

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31 Answers

janbb's avatar

I think it would only be ethical if permission were sought from each contributor that one wished to include. Although our answers are now in the public domain – so to speak – we might be willing to have them out here as answers to a question, but not as part of a book. It’s a nice idea in many ways, but that would be my caveat.

auntydeb's avatar

@janbb, yes, I agree. Clearly the content would have to be respected etc, it’s the concept I found myself wondering about!

wundayatta's avatar

Who would edit it? How would the answers be chosen? I don’t think it would be a good idea. I think a lot of people’s feelings would be hurt.

auntydeb's avatar

I’m sorry you feel that way about the possibility @wundayatta – I see no reason at all for people’s feelings to be hurt. My thoughts are more about the sum of wisdom, useful advice and perfectly gorgeous answers that appear hereabouts. Clearly, for anything publishable to come of the mass of information here, editing, the seeking of permissions, collation and decisions about content would need to take place. The word ‘would’ in my question relates to this. I wonder if it has been considered and whether long-term jellies think it could happen. Perhaps voluntary contributions would be the way to go.

If other jellies are offended by, or take issue with the question, I’m happy to remove it.

janbb's avatar

Nothing wrong with the question at all; I just don’t think reworking the material into a book is very feasible.

wundayatta's avatar

@auntydeb People’s feelings will be hurt if their stuff isn’t in it and they think it should be in it. A lot of people will be thinking “my advice was better than that.” It could be quite hurtful to the community. What makes this place work is that everyone’s advice is equal. It is up to the OP to decide what to take away from it or not. Once you make judgments about who is in and who is out… well, surely you can see to people’s feelings? And then to their willingness to give their best advice for free.

Symbeline's avatar

I agree with @wundayatta I like the round table feeling we get here at Fluther. Your idea isn’t bad, and certainly, equality or not, I myself also enjoy certain people’s material better than others. Whether it’s funny or thought provoking. But making an sort of official collection of best answers won’t allow us to escape the dramatics of the Internet, and within good reason. :/

I sort of did that before in my profile, collected answers and quotes from users, with their permission. But having an official collection of best material might hurt some folks, especially when said collection would probably be based on opinion, after all.

Jeruba's avatar

From a practical point of view, I think it would be an unimaginable amount of work—I mean months, even years of grind labor fraught with multiple complications—to no special benefit. No one would buy it. No one would read it. And it would be out of date long before it was finished, as new great answers came along.

(If you doubt how much effort it might take, let me list for you some of the questions that would have to be answered and steps that would have to be taken. And of course it would all be unpaid labor—done on spec at best.)

I think it’s better to regard fluther as a performing art like ballet that is fluid and changing from moment to moment so that you must watch it move in order to enjoy it, rather than a static art like a painting that captures the entire experience in a frozen state you can endlessly revisit.

Haleth's avatar

You’re right that many answers here are moving and illuminating. It would probably be very hard to publish something like that, but it would be nice to gather up some of the very best answers for later reflection. What if it was a website? And the posting/ editing were open to anyone?

DeanV's avatar

Some/most of the best answers to a question are nothing without the context of the rest of the questions and answers. So it would really be a “best overall thread” publication instead of a “best answer” publication.

iamthemob's avatar

@wundayatta People’s feelings will be hurt if their stuff isn’t in it and they think it should be in it. A lot of people will be thinking “my advice was better than that.” It could be quite hurtful to the community.

While I agree with the above assessment – I think that the same result happens from the “GA” scoring system. When you see one answer get 10 GAs and yours gets none, and you “know” you’re right, you have the choice to either (1) let it burn you, or (2) get over it.

But we don’t have rioting over that.

All the time, at least. ;-)

auntydeb's avatar

Ok, so not a good idea. But what about a cook-book?

Jeruba's avatar

Why publish anything beyond what’s published here? I’m asking out of sincere interest: what would you see as the purpose?

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Not only would some people get hurt, but it’s also subjective.

Symbeline's avatar

@Michael_Huntington Yeah. I might think that Mr.X said something better than Mr.XXX, but maybe Mr.XXX really did help or inform someone about something that Mr.X couldn’t. That makes his answer awesome to someone anyways. It would kinda suck to have a type of elitist wall of fame, so to speak.

augustlan's avatar

We have considered the possibility of facilitating a process that would allow members to publish a ‘book’ of their own interactions on Fluther, via a self-publishing source like lulu.com. A way to collect your Fluther experience all in one place. I think it would include any thread you were active on, whether as an asker or an answerer. It’s not on the immediate horizon, but maybe somewhere down the road.

wundayatta's avatar

@iamthemob The difference between this idea and lurve is that everyone knows lurve is totally random. You can never predict which answers will get a lot and which won’t. So you can’t possibly take it seriously. And even if you did, it doesn’t change anyone else’s opinion, because no one cares about anyone else’s lurve.

@augustlan That is a great idea! I’d love to have a file filled with my answers and the questions and details they are related to. Rather than print them, though, I might search through them to find the ones I like the best, and do something with those comments.

auntydeb's avatar

@Jeruba – as a public resource. Have you come across Schott’s miscellanies? They are collections of information, literally ‘miscellaneous’. Great fun, rather lovely to have as books (nicely bound) and useful too.

I confess to naivete and a certain soppy-dog optimism about things I enjoy or find exciting. My own recent activity on Fluther has given me a chance to practice writing cohesive answers to difficult questions, where I felt there was something I could say. That fits with @augustlan‘s note above. But it occurred to me that a compendium of some sort could be a fine publication. Note, publication, not book. It might be web-based. However, I see that the reaction is more or less negative and my optimism has faded.

As with other questions, I was unsure for a while whether to place this in the ‘Social’ section; but being ‘about Fluther’, it felt best to go for ‘Meta’. I like to see some humour in answers, or at least warmth, so took the risk… Put it down to me getting carried away!

janbb's avatar

(Carries @auntydeb away for a touch of humor.)

auntydeb's avatar

just don’t tickle me, I really don’t like that!

augustlan's avatar

tickle, tickle

janbb's avatar

tickles too

auntydeb's avatar

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek
eek, eek, stopppppitttt

auntydeb's avatar

as we’re in meta… when does the food talk start?

janbb's avatar

making a chicken pie for tea – want some?

auntydeb's avatar

lurve chicken pie, yes please… Hubby has made lovely buns, going to have one with a cup of tea shortly. All invited…

janbb's avatar

Your hubby has lovely buns?!

auntydeb's avatar

Yes, he really does. It’s something he just has to come to terms with.

augustlan's avatar

Now I’m hungry.

auntydeb's avatar

Thanks for the proper responses to this Q, as mentioned, I have enthusiasm over sense sometimes. It has helped with some focus though.

buns, buns, buns!

zensky's avatar

Great question but impractical.

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