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jfos's avatar

Rather than complaining about the new Fluther, what changes would you propose instead?

Asked by jfos (7362points) May 7th, 2010

In short: Fluther was degenerating, as a result of low-quality answers (one-liners, off-topic, etc.). Guidelines were set in place in an attempt to bring about a new standard of quality, i.e., a no-nonsense General section, a more lax Social Section, and the Fluther-related Meta section. Many Flutherites have voiced their disapproval of the new changes. There is even talk about a boycott of General questions.

It is unarguable that something needed to be done, but perhaps not this. What I am suggesting is for those who dislike the new system to propose changes here. Ready, set, go.

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18 Answers

CMaz's avatar

The Gods of Fluther design the site as they feel fit to do so. Pretty much it.

I will say that this is more of a social and realistic form of Q&A site (unique) as appose to the generic and standard Q&A site.
That needs to always be considered.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My constructive suggestions have already been dismissed as “complaining”. There is no use in repeating them here.

NeroCorvo's avatar

I think it is very important to give the site a thorough test drive before asking for further changes. We need to see the benefits and negatives clearly enough to make changes that do not compromise the positive gained.

I have been on this site for 2 years and have seen quality come and go. As far as this change- the positive:

Right now the front page is the most interesting it has been in 6 months.

I am seeing old friends return.

I am browsing the social are with great interest and finding some very funny content.

The negative- being sure to check tabs. Not too difficult at the moment- but It would be great to see alert on tabs for new content. (Not a request. Just a lazy user thought who is just checking things out.) If it turns out to be too cumbersome and an issue after a couple of weeks I will post again here and maybe at that time we can make suggestions that will fine tune it.

I am very eager to know if there will be an announcement out to all the users- even those no longer active?
If so when will it be sent out?

We have had some very witty and brilliant minds on Fluther who may return knowing that now they are able to joke around and also be taken seriously.

marinelife's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land That is not true. Perhaps we would support your proposed changes. Let us hear them.

I don’t think the new changes have been given enough of a test drive to really judge them yet. I feel that the complainers have jumped too quickly.

bob_'s avatar

I’ve seen it mentioned in other questions, and have repeated it in others myself, but here it goes again anyway: it’d be nice to be able to set any one category as your default.

wundayatta's avatar

I’d like a nice balance again. Where serious questions can be leavened with humor, and we don’t get those ridiculous social questions that used to plague Askville all the time. I want it to go back to the way it was. I don’t like “let’s go to the beach” questions where you have to keep an eye on it if you want to know what everyone else is referring to. I’m out of it enough as it is.“clueless” is the proper description, I think. Maybe I’ll become “glueless” as a result of this.

ucme's avatar

Me being Manager would be as good a place to start as any.Chief cook & bottle washer so to speak…..whaddya trying to say it’s too big for me is that it? Hmm on reflection i’d probably pass that oppurtunity, flattering as it is to turn such an esteemed position down.Other commitments don’t you know.

Seek's avatar

I rather like it.

Well, having to check three different sections isn’t all that great, but I do like the new guidelines.

Some people just have to be told “Look, you can be funny, but say something useful. Don’t be a dick.”

And frankly, if there are people that have a problem with not being allowed to be “dickish”, they can saddle up and ship out.

Likeradar's avatar

An “all questions” tab, and keep the little warning or whatever it’s called above the answer box saying what type of question it is. That’s my only suggestion. The rest will work out or completely fucking suck all on its own.

Berserker's avatar

Of course we have to wait and see. This may not come from where I think it does, but if so, the main issue that I see deals with that I’m wondering if these new changes will actually do anything other than make me click on more stuff. Not complaining about it at all, in fact I like the idea.
I liked Fluther from day one for its gearing towards elaboration and intelligence, as well as the vast variety of subjects to be approached here, which just can’t be done of pseudo posh uptight places like AB, however at the same time it seems to create a sense of superiority in some people which makes me question the sense of equality around here, and I don’t think some added categories are gonna change that.

I agree with the idea that if one must absolutely be a dick, then at least answer the question while you’re at it, but making sure this happens, does it require all this? I guess we’ll see.

And no, I’m not suggesting that the mods suck or that some peeps need to be dealt with, never would I think that, I just bite the bullet and that’s it, such is online everywhere, anyways, and I’m also not suggesting boycotting anything; in fact, as far as dicks go, I’m probably one of the biggest dicks here, just so yall know I don’t think myself any better than anyone, and if my observations are bullshit, I’d rather they be explained to me why they are, rather than just being told as such.
I’m bringing it up because if I understand correctly, the changes were made to alter certain undesirable behaviours, and what I don’t quite get is how those categories are gonna do that.
Within all this long winded bullshit, what I’m asking exactly is; how? I’ll offer suggestions after I’m sure I properly comprehend.

As for ’‘complaints’’, I don’t think I’ve seen that many, but I still say we should have a bump feature for old questions, although it’s my guess that this may no longer be so necessary if things are divided into categories. :/

Kayak8's avatar

Andrew explained the Google thing in another thread, but I am still confused about related behaviors:

Are we allowed to suggest search terms that would help the person find the answer?

Will we be modded for doing the Google search ourselves and posting the link?

Is it also considered disrespectful to provide the questioner with the links to the four previous times their question has been asked and answered?

In the General Question Category will we be modded if we are the 100th respondent and didn’t read every single previous response and inadvertently appear to be redundant (even if serious and trying to be helpful)?

I really try to play fair on here and offer responses to questions when I know the answer but I am starting to feel intimidated and fear that I am going to break one of the rules and be evicted.

Seek's avatar

@Kayak8

I really think you’re digging too deep.

The “Google thing” is there to avoid people simply getting on threads and dismissing the question as “not good enough” for them – just answering “Google it” or “Duh.” or “I don’t know. Ask someone else”.

As far as I’ve seen, Fluther will never punish someone for making an effort to be helpful. Directing a user to a previously-answered question that may contain the answer they seek is helpful. Searching for an appropriate reference is helpful. Answering a question appropriately, even if the answer is already there is still an attempt at being helpful (especially because in many cases, the asker would love to hear that many people agree on the same answer – much like “Ask the Audience” on Millionaire).

All of these changes are just to help people get the answers they want. No one is looking to punish the users – just trying to weed out the pointless dickish responses.

andrew's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr is totally correct.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

We should have the option of filtering out categories (General or Social) of questions being sent to us. Fluther has been divided into two sites now; people who might be interested in answering a question in one category might not want to answer the same question if it’s in the other category.

We should be able to post a question to both categories. As it stands now, some users may not answer a question if it’s in a category they don’t want to participate in.

It should be made easier to answer but not follow a question, especially in the General category. Either put a “stop following” button at the bottom of the page or reset the default so the the user has to choose to follow, rather than the other way around. Under the new rules, I would prefer not to follow General questions I’ve answered; too much temptation to make followup remarks, which might be considered off-topic.

We should have some indicator of whether a user is following a question they’ve answered. It’s a waste of effort to make a follow up remark within a question to a user who is not following the question. I’ve unilaterally started putting “NF” (not following) at the end of my answers to General questions. Problems are that few understand the acronym and I have no way of changing it should I decide later to follow the question.

Kayak8's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Actually I think your answer helped me clarify the underlying issue that has been bothering me about the changes. That and something @johnpowell said about fixing toasters.

I don’t get the “General” and “Social” distinctions because, in my head, I divide questions up into “Factual Questions” and “Opinion Questions.” I see the need for Fluther to address some of what was happening but I think I was diagnosing the probIem differently. I don’t mind the occasional one-liner or witty quip, but I find it annoying when people offer an opinion to a factual question. I think this is very confusing for someone who is seeking facts and gets a number of opinions in response to their question, particularly when they then have to sort between accurate and junk responses. For example, when someone asks a medical question and a physician responds, I really don’t care what someone else “thinks,” I care more about what Shilolo “Knows.” You have to be on here for a while to learn who is a real expert in different subjects to be able to sort the value or accuracy of responses. This is particularly true if you don’t know how to search profiles yet to learn that one respondent is a physician and another is a less qualified respondent.

I was intrigued by the complicated but factual questions and that is what drew me to Fluther (like how to fix a toaster). The simple factual questions that could be answered on Google or other search engine also annoy me, but I get that some folks can’t come up with appropriate search terms to locate an answer for themselves. I can avoid those questions as they can start making me feel like a freelance reference librarian to the lazy. If suggesting that someone can easily find the answer by doing an online search is rude, then doing the searches for people and posting the link(s) seems just as rude to me (and answers offering the Googled link have been treated as rude by the question asker on a number of occasions, which is why I posted the questions above).

I would much prefer a section for “Factual” inquiries and one for “Opinion” inquiries. In that way, the questioner is indicating if he/she is looking for facts or opinions. I would appreciate a social element to both types of questions (a quip or one-liner is obvious in a list of responses to either type of question).

This strategy can also help people learn to sort out their own sense of the factual from their opinions on a topic and, ultimately, helps folks become more analytical: a benefit to humanity (in my opinion).

ninjacolin's avatar

What if we reversed it so the answers could be set as social/general rather than the questions. That way, a reader could filter (at the top of the screen) between seeing the general, social or both types of questions. Seems there’s potential for it to still get messy though, but maybe it’s an acceptable level of mess?

NeroCorvo's avatar

Actually if the tabs would flag if a new question had been posted since I last opened it that would be freaking awesome. This way I would not feel like I had missed anything nor would I be obsessively clicking from one to the other to check.

However the overall design is great. I am enjoying getting great dialogue in General and having fun in Social.

Kudos guys- you did great!

ninjacolin's avatar

i would veto “general” for “real”
and “social” for “ethereal”

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