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SmashTheState's avatar

Are three questions a day too many?

Asked by SmashTheState (12789points) February 2nd, 2011

I’ve only recently begun visiting Fluther again after being away for over a year, and I’ve noticed some changes in the atmosphere, not all for the better. The largest change I’ve noticed is the trend to “recentism” which was not here before; people generally only answer questions which have been asked within the last few hours, and don’t seem at all interested in even searching through any of the answers previously given.

The place where such recentism is most prevalent is Yahoo! Answers, which should give Fluther pause for thought. On Y!A, if you haven’t received an answer within 20 minutes of posting your question, it is buried and forgotten forever. A never-ending stream of Obama-si-teh-antichrist and does-he-love-me questions wash over top of everything and make finding interesting questions, even if you wanted to answer them, impossible.

I am concerned that Fluther is following down the dark path to Y!A. Are three questions a day too many? Are the volumes of questions here watering down the quality? If so, what if anything can be done to reverse the trend? Even from a purely business perspective, it makes sense to differentiate the Fluther brand from other Q/A sites. If Fluther becomes Y!A lite, then why bother when you can get the real Y!A for the same price of zero?

(Edit: Is it more appropriate to ask “Are three questions..” or “Is three questions…”? At first blush it seems the former, but it doesn’t ring right in my head, and I’m thinking that perhaps the verb does not refer to “questions” but rather the implied “asking of questions” which would be singular.)

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15 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I think three is a fine number, neither too many nor too few.

Also, if you have been away for a while, then perhaps you have not heard the news of the founders’ and tech team’s departures, which will result in few if any changes to the site.

SmashTheState's avatar


Ah, that explains the Yahoo!ish odour wafting about. I’ve lived through this once before as a user of StumbleUpon for years before it got gobbled up by eBay, who promptly began swinging wrecking balls through the walls. Eventually they did enough damage that they sold it back to the original owners, at scratch-and-dent rates.

marinelife's avatar

I think we are just going through a phase because all the press releases brought in a wave of new users. I don’t really think it is YA redux.

Aethelwine's avatar

Great question. When someone asks about the question limit, it’s usually to complain that we can’t ask more.

Personally, I feel 2 would be a better number. The only time I ask 3 questions is when I’ve had a few drinks in the evening (and often wish I hadn’t asked them when I wake up in the morning). ;)

We do seem to have more users than in the past, so I agree with @marinelife. More users, more questions.

Austinlad's avatar

I think three is fine,especially if they’re good ones. ;-)

Response moderated
ucme's avatar

Three is the magic number, yes it is.

bob_'s avatar

I think all questions should first be approved by me.

If some for reason that would not be acceptable, then 2 questions a day.

Dog's avatar

I would agree with @bob_ and @jonsblond that two is plenty. Much of the time when three are asked it is within 10 minutes and details are sparse. I would rather see questions of depth over questions posted out of boredom.

Jude's avatar

Depends who is doing the asking?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Perhaps some sort of seniority benefit could be implemented. New users could only ask one question a day. If they have the patience to keep coming back, then maybe they get two. Could tie it in with the lurve, but that seems shifty somehow. This might weed out people who just come to ask stupid-ass questions or complain about whatever liberal or conservative thing they want to throw lots of strawmen around about.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think Fluther has gotten worse.

Earthgirl's avatar

I think Fluther needs to have a good mix of questions and I don’t think 3 is too much. If you want to weed out the bad ones just find people that you think ask intelligent questions and follow them. Under your question menu there is an area for questions from people you follow. Cut to the chase. But then, you probably already knew that. Still, you never know when a new user or old user will happen to come up with a brilliant or fun question so I keep looking for good questions in a variety of ways. You could always try the search menu for topics you are especially interested in. The better the tags that people use in topics, the easier it would be for people to find questions they are interested in. As far as old threads, I am a relatively recent (1 month) user and I sometimes feel it would be weird to answer a thread that died about 2 years ago. It seems like no one will read what I write and that they’ll wonder why am I reviving the thread after all that time has passed. So I do try to find existing questions that are good instead of just asking my own, but you get more people engaged in the question if it’s a recent post. What does everyone else think about that issue?

Sunny2's avatar

3 is good. To quote Lewis Carroll, from “You Are Old, father William:
“I have answered 3 questions and that is enough,” said his father. “Don’t give yourself airs!.
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff? Be Off! Or I’ll kick you downstairs!”

NerdyKeith's avatar

When you compare it to other Q&A websites, three is certainly not too many. All level 1s on Yahoo Answers can ask up to 5 questions a day.

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