While it's not as good as AskMeFi...
February 13, 2007 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find a good substitute for AskMeFi? Not that I'm jumping ship, of course. I've used Yahoo Answers a few times but it seems pretty large and unwieldy, and the answers all seem to come from the same snotty 14-year-olds. The Straight Dope has a good forum, but it required a paid membership, and I'd like to find free forums first. Any and all topics. Any suggestions?
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Travel: thorntree.lonelyplanet.com

The Thorn Tree can be super incredibly useful; certain branches - it's divided by geography & country or activity - have really active communities of users and some are more dormant. The more active branches rivals MeFi for enthusiasm and in-jokes and usefullness.
posted by Kololo at 9:14 PM on February 13, 2007


Computers (General): The forums at ArsTechnica. A great resource.
posted by Loto at 9:19 PM on February 13, 2007


Straightdope.com
posted by DieHipsterDie at 9:20 PM on February 13, 2007


Well, depending on your issue at hand, you can usually google for a topic specific forum, such as "cancer survivor forums". Try it with a subject you have a question about (ie. "X forums"). There are boatloads of forums out there, with a fair amount returning good signal-to-noise ratios. It's not the same as posting a question to a genaral one size fits all forum like AskMe, but if you really need an answer it might be worth the extra bit of effort.

Oh, and Viva La Do-Over!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:30 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


You might find some ideas in this previous thread.
posted by jessamyn at 10:30 PM on February 13, 2007


The Ask/Tell subforum of the Something Awful forums (I know I keep bringing up SA, but I spend a fair bit of my hanging-about time there, too) may predate AskMe (I can't remember), has a larger (if younger) userbase, and is very active. You might not be able to see it unless you cough up the $10 fee for membership that was instituted a few years back, though. I got in before then, when it was free, but I'd say it'd be 10 dollars well-spent, if you can tolerate the sophomoric atmosphere. Just lurk and read the rules carefully if you do join and do more than lurk like me -- the mods love swinging the banhammer with extreme prejudice.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:50 PM on February 13, 2007


I note that "Questionville.com" from the previous thread currently contains such gems as "Do you want to be with Jesus forever? Or not?" and "Who's going to Hell?".

Blech.

What I'd really like is some way of queueing up questions here on AskMe, possibly with the option of other members using their one question per fortnight to ask a question in the queue. Anything like that being developed on or off-site?
posted by krisjohn at 11:22 PM on February 13, 2007


That's probabaly better discussed in the Metatalk thread that deleted then resurrected this question, krisjohn.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:31 PM on February 13, 2007


amazon has a site called askville.com.
posted by kerning at 11:44 PM on February 13, 2007


Askville is okay; you can ask as many questions as you want but you're limited to five answers per question. I mean, you can re-ask (they even suggest it in the faq) but that's spammy, IMO.
posted by sleeplessunderwater at 12:47 AM on February 14, 2007


Maybe try Google? Look at it this way, most people giving advice here are giving you answers from Google so you might as well cut out the middleman.
posted by JJ86 at 6:42 AM on February 14, 2007


Wikipedia reference desk. Not so much for the RelationshipFilter kinds of questions, but good for lots of other things.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:42 AM on February 14, 2007


askville is nothing like askmefi.

admittedly i looked at it for all of 2 minutes, but i found that not being able to read responses to questions until some time limit passes, needlessly annoying.

didn't know about the limit of 5 answers, but that's also a silly limitation.
posted by kamelhoecker at 7:09 AM on February 14, 2007


stavrosthewonderchicken writes "The Ask/Tell subforum of the Something Awful forums"

I'll second stavros on this. You can start a thread for your question, or if it's something little and quick that doesn't really require an entire discussion, they have a Stupid/Small Questions Megathread. And do be careful, the probation-hammer and banhammer are swift.
posted by chiababe at 7:41 AM on February 14, 2007


The Straight Dope Message Boards are well, well worth the measely $14.95 a year. Not only for asking and contributing to the fight against ignorance, but they're highly entertaining and full of interesting, articulate people and topics from the sublime to the mundane. Give them a try after your free forums, you may get hooked. Paid membership gives you a search function; guests don't have this.
posted by Savannah at 7:50 AM on February 14, 2007


Honestly, the one thing that's really cut down on my Ask Metafilter-ing is some intense Google-fu. Using quotations to enclose phrases and coming up with alternate variations: different ways I could word it, picking up on alternate and/or popular phrasings in some results, etc. A good Google-fu session can take 30-40 minutes if I'm not immediately finding what I'm looking for, but I very often do find the answer I'm looking for. Sometimes it helps me to say, "What if I were trying to Google the answer for someone else?" It helps me get out of any predeveloped mindset I may have formed around the question.
posted by WCityMike at 7:52 AM on February 14, 2007


LinkedIn has an "Answers" section. I can't tell if it's good or not. Pompous professionals answering questions that are mostly about business...you can't search the database (only browse), and it's less about being helpful, and more about showing off your knowledge for the sake of gaining "credibility."
posted by Milkman Dan at 10:17 AM on February 14, 2007


Self link (of sorts). 3WA. We used to be a totally paid site; we're not anymore. Posting and starting threads is free; users can upgrade for more bells and whistles if they want to kick in to support the board.
posted by astruc at 11:16 AM on February 14, 2007


If you're just looking on somewhere where you can post questions and talk about topics of interest, livejournal communities sometimes work. A lot of the communities are dead, but the guns and graphicdesign ones are very live and very good places for this sort of thing. The C++ is pretty good too, while the C# one has been less helpful (but not entirely useless, either).
posted by !Jim at 2:01 PM on February 17, 2007


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