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wundayatta's avatar

What actually happened over at AnswerBag?

Asked by wundayatta (58714points) December 13th, 2009
144 responses
“Great Question” (29points)

Hi AnswerBaggers! Let me add my voice to those who have welcomed you!

I’m curious about your story. I gather that AB had a makeover, and it seemed to change a lot of features or the feel that you enjoyed. I’d appreciate it if you could fill in some details. What was the change and how did it affect you? Why did the change have that effect? What was it that you valued about AB that has changed?

Also, if anyone feels like giving us a cast of characters… sort of who played what role over there and maybe characterize the relationships (nicely, but truthfully, I hope), I’d appreciate it. You have a community that is brand new to me, with your own set of in-jokes and history, and I think it would help understand you better if you could provide a little background for us.

Well there you go. Typical daloon. Asking five questions in one. You’ll see.

Observing members: 0
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eeveegurl's avatar

I’m really curious about this too.

seeing_red's avatar

Good question. I wish we could do something like this for the flutherites as well. It would help newbies.

TexasDude's avatar

Answerbag was once simple, easily navigable, and very user friendly. That’s part of what made it so addicting for alot of us. Then, some changes were announced and quickly implemented, and it wound up looking like the aftermath of a Mac store bukakke on the quivering body of Facebook. Basically, it became something that will very easily soon be populated by moronic teeny-boppers, and all of its appeal was lost.

…and thanks for the warm welcome!

Qwertymuffin411's avatar

Well, I was a former ABer and I loved it. However, there were a lot of glitches on the site. They redid AB a few days ago (I’m not sure if it was to fix the glitches or not, or if the staff just wanted to make things better in general for ABers). They succeed in doing neither, and the new layout is confusing and the site is hard to navigate. They also temporarily ditched the points system and are supposedly redoing that too. While they added some helpful features, they did away with many other features that we ABers know and love. In short, AB is confusing and not as fun anymore.

_Jade_'s avatar

They took something which was very user-friendly and completely changed the whole thing. There is no resemblance to the former AB at all. There were a few glitches and I agree that a few things could have been added to make it better, but so many people were there for years (including myself) BECAUSE it was the way it was. In other words, they took a good thing and screwed it up in the name of “new and improved”. yeah right.

randomness's avatar

AB used to be friendly and welcoming. I was there for years. Then, all of a sudden, it turned into facebook. The points system was gone, we were “liking” things, we couldn’t edit, we couldn’t navigate the site, long time users were shut out of the site due to glitches… Also, a whole lot of new advertisements popped up, leading a lot of us to suspect that this whole thing was done for profit.

The main thing that annoyed everyone was the staff’s attitude. They seemed to be more interested in profit than what the members had to say, and they said that they would listen to feedback, but they didn’t. This attitude was what made me leave, in the end.

Sunshine2u's avatar

AB was the first and only Q&A site Ive ever been on and I learned how it worked and fell in Love with the great people there. I lived on AB until they decided to change it over to a place I can no longer figure out. Im sad at that loss but am So Happy about my new find of Fluther!

dpworkin's avatar

You will love it here! Our founders are too busy rolling in their wealth, drinking Coors and playing Pong to bother making any changes.

lovehearts's avatar

It basically doesn’t look like the same site anymore. It’s a bit confusing. The comment lights are gone, people are all annoyed by the way the staff have gone about it. To be honest, I think far too many people got a bit too hostile, and the atmosphere is just rubbish.

I can’t say I like the new layout all that much, but I know they’re working on fixing some of the problems and it might get a bit more user friendly, hopefully.

As to what I valued about the site, well I’d been using it since 2007. There was a time when everyone knew everyone, and it was so friendly and there was a good group of younger users, and older ones. And it was just nice. I tend to dislike the whole internety thing, so it was a surprise I stayed so long.

In my opinion, even before the big remodel the site had changed for me. My old friends had moved on. There was loads and loads of new users, I sort of lost my place.

I feel that people have been awful quick to give up. It seems lovely here :) But people can always use both sites, I dunno.

Sorry for the lengthy answer…

Sunshine2u's avatar

@pdworkin I think I already love it here. I really need founders like yours to help pass the day away!

The_Anonymous_Witch's avatar

well basicly without bashing ab or it’s members , ... lets say. changes were made that many believe did not have us in mind ...many also believe taking away the point system was a bad idea ... although it did get rid of trolls . many also believe they were sold out ... many tried to stay but suffered through the new glitches or could not work at all. . many also believe they were cast out or put in a penalty box ,,,, this may have been to a glitch….... add that all up and the fact that we needed a place to chat with our friends without losing contact we are .;) on the other side of the coin . many stayed. ;). and as for ” giving you a cast of characters… sort of who played what role over there” well i think if you want an opinion of someone….its best if its your own ;-)

Oceanflower's avatar

Mmmm…are you someone from Ab asking the Q?...Seriously…I’m sure AB meant well…and all were brainstorming ideas…with late nights and ‘whatever’...I just think if AB wanted such a major change and wanted to connect with FB and twitter then some privacy provisions should have been put in place…they want to make a living out of other ppls Q’s and A’s…then make it friendly to the users…Remember…allways look after the customers you already have…dont ignore them and go for new ones…generally that doesnt work in business…Yes…Seahippie has a brain…hehe…Peace!

Haleth's avatar

From the sound of things, I was thinking that a war or a genocide happened over there. Or the sinking of the Titanic.

TexasDude's avatar

@Haleth: “From the sound of things, I was thinking that a war or a genocide happened over there. Or the sinking of the Titanic.”

Well the ship definitely sank. And I think pogrom might be a better descriptor.

Arisztid's avatar

Everyone else is pretty much summing it up so I shall provide some reading material if you are interested:
... the new forum post right after the unveiling of the changes
... the blog.

I cannot get a permalink working but the blog titled “Welcome to the new Answerbag ” is where it started. That was posted at the same time as the forum link I showed you.

My impression of it is that they wanted increased revenue and took this route to get it. Adds everywhere, the look changed from a friendly place to a corporate one, etc. I do not think the want old timers to leave but they also do not care if we leave. We are expendable. No matter how many go, more of the facebook crowd is going to flood in and click the links.

I will give them kudos for fixing some problems. I am still on the fence there, waiting to see if they are going to make it a workable site to me. If they are, I shall stay. I may be on both this site or AB… I am undecided about Fluther as well. I am not one who likes change and I need to bide awhile.

I have noticed that, since so many old timers left, the questions are more vapid.

Answerbag is going to continue regardless. Whether or not it continues with me is yet to be seen.

TexasDude's avatar

“I have noticed that, since so many old timers left, the questions are more vapid.”

Damn straight.

wundayatta's avatar

What are comment lights? How did the points system work, and why did you like it? What did it mean to be a topic expert and how did you become one and why was that important? Was it competitive?

For me, the idea of community is very important. I think about building communities a lot (although purely as an amateur). I know what it is about Askville that drove me away. What I’m wondering is how the community changed in feel, not just the old people/new people thing. How did interactions change?

Also, how did they manage to get a sudden influx of new users? Advertising somewhere?

Oceanflower's avatar

Gosh…I want all my stuff erased from AB…they have ownership…which is really poopy considering some of the questions we ask and some answers also…Kinda feel violated…and that happy moderators face…I thought he looked so honest…damn…!!

Oceanflower's avatar

Not sure if Im doing the wrong thing here…but I didnt know what vapid meant…looked it up…Thanx…a new word for my vocab…good descriptive word…sorry gone off on a tangent…cheers!

Arisztid's avatar

@daloon… in order:

Comment lights: we have a system of comments. You post an answer and anyone who wishes can comment to it. This can extend indefinitely, leading to long comment threads, or short, under various answers. We had a light to indicate when we had new comments and a notification in our profiles which answers had new comments, plus a direct link. The light notifying us of comments is gone as is the notification of which comments we have. I loved the comment lights and notification of new comments in my profile because I am absent minded.

Points: we had a system of points, to subtract or add, the number of which depended upon your rank. It went from +1 to +6 and from -1 to -5. Downrating (the negatives) was a point of much contention, the uprating was pretty much enjoyed. Now we have “like” only. I liked the points system for one reason only: it allowed the best of the answers to rise to the top where they could be seen in, often, numerous pages of answers. Otherwise, like now, they would have been lost.

Topic expert: basically, that was dependent upon the number of points you have in a category. It was, to me, a bit amusing. For instance, I was expert in the Holocaust category, something I probably merited due to not as many knowing as much as I do about that topic. I was also expert in the Madonna category, to my mortification. I got that one by b*tching enough about her.

I think that, in a way, it was competitive because we had what we called “points farmers”: people who were only into gaining points to level up. Frankly, I could not give two squirts about that. I reached my maximum ability to points long ago, which I wanted, and I could have stayed at whatever level that was indefinitely. I was happy. I also could not care if anyone surpassed my level in a month whereas I spent almost three years reaching it. This was, again, dependent on points.

The interactions changed because of the extreme glitches (see the blog links I provided), the massive outflux of the oldtimers, and there was, and still is, a lot of arguing. Those who left were, until relatively recently, slamming the site. This spawned a generation of people slamming the slammers.

Basically, the community of Answerbag has been shattered. As I have stated, I am on the fence, waiting to see if they repair enough of it to remain. If they have, I shall stay and see if the sense of community is regained.

Oh, I am the King of Long Answers.

If I missed something, or you wish to ask something else, feel free to ask/let me know.

justmesuzanne's avatar

I just don’t like the look or feel of the “new” answerbag. It is not as much fun, and it is not as easy to read and navigate. I still have an account there, but I may look at it for a minute or two, then get tired and go on to something else. I used to love to browse through the questions and rate them, answer them, and make comments. Now it is too much trouble. This site looks like a lot more fun! :)

TexasDude's avatar

Word to the wise, @Oceanflower, if you say something off-topic in fluther, it’s cordial to whisper it. Just FYI, not to be mean. glad to see you here, by the way.

Arisztid's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard… I am hoping that, if the site retains enough of its old cadre or gains quality new members, that the quality of questions and debate/discussion shall return. I also think that a number of the remaining members are a bit too shocked to ask quality questions. My preference was not fluff: it was q & a that took thought and, often, research.

I have also noticed that the categories I most frequented are dead as doornails. I have heard the same from other people. I have to find my favorite categories via a Google search. They are not readily accessible. Hopefully others shall figure this out and questions shall be posted in the various categories again but, again, it depends on the demographics of the new cadre.

We shall have to wait and see.

wundayatta's avatar

@Arisztid It is not that bad a thing to have long answers here. We have several people who do provide long answers, such as Zuma and Dalepetrie, and many people read through the entire comment. I think it is unnecessary to apologize for answer length, and (and this is not directed at you, but at some local folks) I wish people would stop apologizing for writing enough detail for people to understand what you are talking about. We’re all capable of reading or skipping comments as we see fit. However, I wish people could understand that more information leads to better answers.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m still livid about what happened, so please bear that in mind. It appears that the new format was intentionally designed to drive away the older users. It now only appeals to kids who like graphics and silliness. The entire “feel” of the site was destroyed in one swipe. Now there seems to be a pogrom of insults directed at older and departed users. Such as “you must be a moron if you can’t navigate the site”. I’m old-school. I want instructions or a tech manual to read before pushing any buttons.

Dog's avatar

Just popping in to say how much this question rocks- and to again add helpful links just in case some new refugees wander into this thread and do not know how to find the other AB Questions and chat:

The AB chat room to connect with other AB users!

A Question most AB users are checking in on and talking in:

And here is another one:

Dog (25152points)“Great Answer” (9points)
stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m making this my last answer on AB-type questions. I’m staying out of the chat room also. I am no longer an ABer and wish to assimilate myself into my new home. Similar to learning a new language by “immersion”. What I left behind is now stinking road-kill and I just want to put it behind me.

kitiara's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land i totally agree with you about all in one swipe .. it was ruthless .. how are you finding Fluther, most people seem to think its good..:O)

kitiara's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land .. yes me to actually .. the ‘lurve’ thing keeps making me giggle , like points but cuter .. :O)

MacBean's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard: ”[...] it wound up looking like the aftermath of a Mac store bukakke on the quivering body of Facebook.

OMFG, I think you are my new favorite person IN THE WORLD.

TexasDude's avatar

Hehe, thanks @MacBean! I’m flattered.

But in all seriousness, that’s what it really looks like now. Take a peek at

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I wish I knew.

SirGoofy's avatar

Turned itself into a Trashbag.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

the change from a user friendly site to something more complex with features was the eventual downfall of, as well

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

Some former ABers that have been here already answer questions too well and the whole story has prolly been told now. I am only weighing in now to give my own personal account of what happened. It’s pretty much like they said. The tool running the place was new and had been there for like a month (as opposed to my 2½ years) and didn’t know what he was doing and changed things against ABer (ABers are users) wishes. Had you been there two weeks ago you wouldn’t even recognize the site anymore. Everything from convenient features like new comment/answer alerts to the whole entire look of the site was overhauled. Lex (the new guy) pretty much told us if we don’t like it then leave. So we left. ((is a little depressed now))
It will take a lot to get me to go back but I would. If it happened I would prolly stay here too. The people here seem as friendly as ABers did when I first joined there. I have come to like this place and if there’s no AB then this will be my present and future. AB as of now is my past and as long as it stays like this I will be here.
Arisztid pretty much summed it up best, as he so commonly does. AB is pretty much shattered as a collective community. I mean sure we had our share of bad times (remember point wars, Nelson’s death, and DreAnna??) but I never thought in a million years anything like this would happen. I will try to be less of an ass with the time I spend here and enjoy the time I have with users AB and Flutherites alike and just be glad I get to maintain contact with a lot of former ABers after the site’s demise. I think I took AB for granted. A lot of us prolly did.
And thank you to all Flutherites who have taken us in. We are only displaced souls looking for a new place to spend our intenet lives. So please be patient with us as we try to either get settled here or wander to find a new place or try to decide whether or not to stay at AB or whatever else we may do. A lot of us spent years on AB and it was not uncommon to find lengthy comment threads containing nothing but “how is your life going??” We actually knew each other as I am sure people here do as well. We are still in sort of a state of shock at the loss of such an integral part of our online lives.

jerv's avatar

@Arisztid – You may be the King of long answers, but G_tech is the Master :P

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@jerv Is G_tech here????

dpworkin's avatar

wait’ll you guys run into @dalepetrie

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@jerv I got her. Thanks.

JessicaisinLove's avatar

Everything on the old AB was streamlined and “user friendly.” The comment threads were continuous like a chat room. They did not appreciate and embrace their uniqueness which made them so popular. Somehow they opted for a be like everyone else “bill of goods.” It is obvious they are still convinced. Not even an en-mass leaving of their people has changed their mind. Had they just added to the structure they already had they could have possibly been the Google of Q&A sites. I looked for a formal response from them in Tech news but have seen nothing.

wildpotato's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I checked it out; looks pretty normal. Professional-ish; maybe a little too crowded for one page. I don’t like so much scrolling to look at all the sections. Does anyone have a screenshot of what it used to look like? Maybe then I’d understand.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@wildpotato I soooo hope someone does!!! It really is an excessive amount of scrolling. My computer mouse has trouble with scrolling and it is one of the things I hate about this computer. Before the change it was one big screen of nothing but questions, similar to here. Now it is basically what you saw before. ¾ of a screen of crap with 5 or 6 questions crammed in below. I don’t like having to look for questions. I just wanna browse and answer as I feel compelled.

Cman's avatar

basically answerbag closed for one night, and when it re-opened later in the night. it looked completely different. everything was very glitch… i believe the fixed most of the glitches by now. but they added a few nice things but the format of the site was completly different and it was hard to find anything or do anything. the main reason i left was because you could no longer give points to a question… in stead you “like it” not much different than this, but at least you guys probably won’t be making things worse around here. lol

Cotton101's avatar

My main problems with AB was that took the personal aspect out of the site. Once, you could communicate with your friends, now that is very difficult. Also, it is now, very difficult to navigate on the site. They made a great site, at best, made the site into a very average site.

Only been on this site for two days, and really like it…

MissAnthrope's avatar

So, how did you guys find Fluther? I find it interesting, this mass migration.

TexasDude's avatar

@MissAnthrope, I was sent a message by another AB user telling me to come here. I have no idea how the migration actually started.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard You kick ass!!!! Where did you get that shot???
And as for the migration I don’t know how it started but I know Icy asked a question about people coming here and Mountain Momma and I sent messages to everyone we had on our lists. They have all been deleted by AB staff. LAWL!!!

jerv's avatar

@MissAnthrope That’s pretty much how I got here too; an e-mail from another ABused victim talking about a new home.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

ABused!!! LAWL

TexasDude's avatar

@King_of_Sexytown, i found Answerbag’s old corporate ID site which had that screenshot on it. Just google Answerbag. It’s the 6th or 7th result.

babaji's avatar

Was only at AB for a year, met lots of good people and had lot’s of fun…
And then overnight everything changed for the worse and all my friends were gone,
and someone said this was the place to be…
now i see so many familiar people here and someone on this site actually sent me a welcome message.
Pretty cool Fluther

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard That screenshot looks way better than what the site looks like now (I snuck a peek at the new AB to see what made everybody move).
However, both the new and old AB’s are/were lacking in Jellyfish.

Welcome to Fluther!

TexasDude's avatar

Thanks @jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities.

Here’s the website I lifted the shot from:

Mavericksjustdoinganotherflyby's avatar

I pretty much can agree with everything all the others have said. I have no Idea what the staff over there were thinking. The changes were very drastic and overnight. I was only there for about a year, an heard alot of the vets complaining that the staff never listened even though they would ask for suggestions. Seemed to me they tried to re-invent the wheel. Thank you so much for the warm welcome we all have received over here!

Tveg's avatar

They basically sold out, wanting a new younger generation. It changed from simple to complicated with little thought to the senior members, and what made AB good.

SABOTEUR's avatar

The best way to explain is to imagine logging onto Fluther and discovering it now looks and navigates like MSN’s homepage.

However you imagine you’d react is probably close to how many disgruntled former ABers fely yesterday.

wildpotato's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Spaciba. I agree with you all – from that screenshot, answerbag used to be a much, much clearer website. The layout makes me want to explore it, much like fluther’s did when I stumbled upon it. Too bad it’s no longer around.

keithold's avatar


I came back and discovered the site to be a graveyard. It took time to get used to the changes but I am gradually adjusting.

Most of my AB friends are here.


kitiara's avatar

@SABOTEUR @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard @King_of_Sexytown .. have we started a thread oh thank G-Tech English Gal here…loads of others, how do we find each other??

kitiara's avatar

…sorry to everyone else i didnt @.. i thought these would be online.. but @ to everyone.. i know this makes sense :O)

HighShaman's avatar

It appears to me that A/B just IMPLODED . They were attempting to fix the glitches etc. and ended up “Fixing” things that we ABers enjoyed, liked , and expected to REMAIN .

Now; it will take a Philadelphia Lawyer to get thru and understand Answerbag; in my opinion as I will not be back.

I kind of like Fluther ; but have a problem with the mods taking off my question and yet allowing a VERY similar question keep on . Could it be a case of “Mod POWER” gone Haywwire ? I don’t know. However ; I MIGHT just end up leaving here too, IF this ridiculous actions continue.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@HighShaman I have noticed that too. So far any of the things about this place that bother me are only minor and I can look past them. I will stay like I did with AB. Which is basically until they treat me the way Lex did. I will never go back to AB as long as Lex is there. Even if they fixed everything.

jerv's avatar

@HighShaman – It could be that they were just dupe-killing. I mean, that went on at AB all the time… if the admins bothered watching the flags at least

@King_of_Sexytown – I’m with you there. No love lost between Lex and I on a more personal level, and it is increasingly seeming like he is the cause of all of the hate and discontent, or at least the focus of it.

Cotton101's avatar

Hang around Shaman, we will get to know the ropes here! Good to see you here!

dpworkin's avatar

I have a very prickly relationship with the mods here (not a secret to Flutherites) so I just wanted to let you know that they are a fair bunch. I have disagreed with them often, but I have never once seen them be arbitrary or punitive. I don’t think your question got modded off for any illegitimate reason, and you can always ask.

Cotton101's avatar

Very good answer Pdworkin…Shaman is a good man…if they are fair, and have no doubt they are not, it will work out.

HighShaman's avatar

Ok; I ask “Do you like Buffets ?” Then: I went on to ask about what types of buffets that they liked .

I go a notice to change it ; not too much else I could really think of i did a couple of changes and it still got kicked OFF….

Turn right around and five minutes later , someone ask : “Do you like red wine” and it stayed on .

So; I feel that my question was more CONVERSATION worthy that just if you like red wine; yet mine was taken off…. doesn’t appear fair to me…

However; i still kinda like this place called Fluther… BUT; I won’t take abuse from the mods or anyone else IF it comes down to it , I’ll be GONE .

dpworkin's avatar

Did you ask for assistance with reframing your question?

HighShaman's avatar

No; I thought there was nothing wrong with it… then considering the Red Wine question ; I KNEW mine was proper and framed properly.

nebule's avatar

they don’t like questions that seem to require a YES or NO answer… maybe if you had said… “What kind of buffets do you like?” It might have been different… but I can’t explain why they would have allowed the red wine question… I’m going to search now…. welcome anyway to all of you gorgeous peeps.

HighShaman's avatar

Oh well; it is what it is… I’ll just get over it for now…. and see what the future brings…

jerv's avatar

The Cearning Lurve strikes again…

wildpotato's avatar

Who is this Lex person you all keep referring to? The Ben drew im of AB?

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@wildpotato Lex was the tool in charge of AB’s suicide.

therookie's avatar

I had fluther by the way of yahoo anwsers ealry in the year, and chicken out and went to AB. One of my friends had said he move over here, so I had followed so I would not lose contact with my friend form Answers and QNa and AB. Hopefully I can make soem great new freinds and learn more form Fluther.

kitiara's avatar

@wildpotato…he’s Lex Luther of Answerbag.. changed everything…promised for the better.. and turned it into Facebook… and upset most ..

therookie's avatar

the only thing I do not like so far is all the adds.
The adds are right after the first answer and between them so that is a bit confusing. I admit it will take time to figure both Fluther and AB.
I admit at least both places are better than Yahoo answers.

Oceanflower's avatar

If AB wanted to change to Facebook style, I wonder why they haven’t put privacy options on there also. I wonder why all our questions and answers are for public veiwing as some are of a personal nature…

thriftymaid's avatar

@MissAnthrope . Some of us ABers posted questions on AB saying we were coming here (in the form of a question), thus the migration began.

YARNLADY's avatar

I was double dipping between both sites, as were several users. The ‘new’ site takes a simple Question and Answer listing and replaces it with a dazzaling array of pictures, featured questions, polls, and other stuff, to the point that it becomes just a full collage of colors, words and pictures. I don’t work well with such clutter.

I have seen the same thing with the difference between using for my searches, as opposed to trying to figure out the Yahoo home page which makes it very difficult to “get” anywhere.

Arisztid's avatar

@pdworkin… who do you ask for assistance in reframing your question? Is there any specific mod who handles this?

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@Arisztid I was totally about to ask that!!!!!

dpworkin's avatar

It depends on who is around. At the top of the page there is a “Contact” button. If you don’t see a mod on line whom you can PM, send a general question, and someone will pick up on it and talk with you. I think @Augustlan does much of the community work, and you will find no fairer person.

Daisygirl's avatar

jumps up and down I see familiar names/faces here, I ain’t alone!!!

I left for the fact that I consider myself to be pretty good at navigating new sites and if I spend more than 15 minutes staring at the screen looking like a monkey and scratching my head then it’s time for me to move on…. Unfortunently the new AB made me look like stupid for more than that time… so I moved on. BTW, has Icey came this-away yet?

Cruiser's avatar

The feature of AB I liked and miss the most was commenting on peoples answers. You can sort of do it here withe the @ feature but not the same as AB. There comments would be added beneath the previous comment which would enable a continuous train of thought to ensue often encouraging lengthy discussions and or debates even fisticuffs to ensue! Lots and lots of fun they were! Miss that dearly! Plus the most recent comment would show up on your profile activity page so you knew right away what was being said before you even had to follow the link. Very efficient process is was! Now it is a train wreck.

Sophief's avatar

AB, was a really good site, I was there just over a year and was totally addicted to it. They made changes but basically changed it all, everything that was good turned bad. Someone said she was coming to this site and so I joined, I want to be with my old friends so here we all are. We are good people and care, thanks for welcoming all of us, even though we came in bulk!

Daisygirl's avatar kinda looks like the old AB, I just window shopped, didn’t make any commitments tho. I found a site that shows sites that are suppose to be like AB There again, just window shopped

Dog's avatar

Hi @Daisygirl and @Dibley ! Welcome!
And @pdworkin is right- just PM a mod or shoot an email over to
The mods are Syz, Empresspixie, Harp, Shilolo, Augustlan, Allie and myself. We all keep different and random hours so if your question is vitall you may want to go the email route.

Have you all had a chance to check out our injokes yet?

Dog (25152points)“Great Answer” (1points)
Sophief's avatar

@Dog Thanks for that, it’s good of you. I haven’t seen any jokes? Where do you find a topic to browse?

Dog's avatar

Hi @Dibley! The injokes are all linked on the Unofficial Fluther Wiki.

It is fun reading and will bring new users up to speed on the random posts they might see with oddly placed words like “pancakes” and “frizzer” in them. The Wiki also has a lot more user-submitted Fluther info too that is really helpful.

Dog (25152points)“Great Answer” (2points)
Dog's avatar

I now must sheepishly apologize for accidentally omitting my fellow-mods @petethepothead and @PnL from my mod list above. Sorry Pete & PnL- I lurve you!

Dog (25152points)“Great Answer” (2points)
dalepetrie's avatar

Wow, it’s amazing. I just got curious about AB myself, having noticed the migration, the stepped up activity, the number of new users and the welcome message up top, I had to search to see what caused the migration. And man, this is exactly like what happened over at Askville. I’m hearing a few things akin to they decided to pursue profit instead of making their core users happy. Exactly why I left Askville. They had a points system that led to gaming…gee, where have I heard THAT before? Questions became insipid and lacking in quality…uh huh.

All I can say to any of you former AB’ers, (from this former AV’er) is, if you left for any or all of those above reasons, I suspect the vast majority of you will LOVE (or should I say LURVE) it here. Fluther is not about profit, it’s about community. Fluther is not about competing for the most points, it’s about the free giving of lurve. Fluther is not about quantity of questions, it’s about strict quality control. We have the ultimate in creative freedom of expression here and we don’t have to worry that someone’s going to try to turn a quick buck by saying they own all your answers and we’re now going to put them in a book and sell them or something of that nature. Fluther is a great resource, a valuable information tool and a welcoming, diverse and intelligent community that is curious and well informed at the same time. It is everything other Q&A sites will never be, and that’s why when other Q&A sites like Askville, or or Answerbag end up imploding, suddenly Fluther reaps the benefit of all these other intelligent and curious people.

So I welcome you all (and thanks to @pdworkin for the shout out…in case this answer doesn’t underscore his point, I’m known as one of the most, if not THE most, verbose Flutherite).

Rude_Bear's avatar

Oh Thank Gawd… Familiar faces!

andrew's avatar

@pdworkin Coors: The only thing to drink when you’re rolling in wealth™.

jerv's avatar

@andrew Coors? :P I’d rather have Steel Reserve! It tastes better IMO (I think Coors is nasty), and at $1.19 for a 24-oz “tall-boy” (the ABV equivalent of a 6-pack of Coors), it’s cheaper too.

dpworkin's avatar

@jerv Who ever claimed that Our Founders had good taste?

jerv's avatar

@pdworkin Not that Steelies taste much better, but after a couple of gulps, you’re too buzzed to care :D

tominhouston's avatar

It was like that reality show where they tear down the old house and build a new one in a week complete with furnishings.
Generally, to my way of thinking anyway, people are amenable to change except when it occurs too quickly and I think that’s what happened at AB. People were catapulted from their comfort zone; their secret place had been taken away as it were and we all need one of those.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I suggest that if we’re going to keep speculating and pissing and moaning about this… that we do it at AB. Even I’m getting sick and tired of following this.

I’m out of this conversation. I suggest that we all end it sooner, rather than later.

MacBean's avatar

@CyanoticWasp: From what I’ve seen, people mostly aren’t “pissing and moaning.” This question was asked by a long-time Jelly who isn’t part of AB and genuinely wanted to know (as a lot of us did) what exactly happened to make ABers migrate here…

Arisztid's avatar

@MacBean I have heard that the AB migration has been the largest in Fluther history.

Would you know the approximate number of people who have come over so far? I fear that you are going to get more.

dpworkin's avatar

It seems to me that while there have been drawbacks to these discussions, they have allowed me to get to know many AB people better, which has been a good thing.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@Arisztid I would not be surprised if that were true about the large migration number. I got here on the 11th and added close to 30 former ABers that night alone.

Civic_Cat's avatar

Keep in mind that I started on Yahoo! Answers.

First I liked that the questions were always open, that removed questions could still be accessed, that one could comment on questions, and that one could use html in one’s profile.

Also, while I could get away with it, I started to get more moral about the YA TOS (terms of service) and CG (community guidelines), which barred multiple accounts and required personal info about oneself. I wanted to go on sites that allowed such—I’ve yet to read your TOS.

Some of these features remain in AB, and might still continue, nor is my stay here a forgone conclusion—for the above reasons. However, as many AB’ers have gone over, and you seem a cool site, I might give you a try.


MacBean's avatar

@Arisztid: I don’t know the number, no, but I would love to. (I like statistics!) I’m pretty sure whoever said this migration is the largest is right, though. The number of questions being asked has absolutely skyrocketed. I used to be able to check Fluther once in a 24-hour period and I would have maybe 25 items in “Questions for You” and I’d spend perhaps thirty minutes going through the whole day’s questions and picking out the ones I wanted to answer. Since the ABers showed up, I have 40+ Questions for Me within six or seven hours, and if I don’t go through the main page at least three or four times a day, I fall so hopelessly behind that I can’t catch up!

Val123's avatar

@daloon Excellent, excellent question! Someone said, “but so many people were there for years (including myself) BECAUSE it was the way it was. In other words, they took a good thing and screwed it up in the name of “new and improved”. yeah right.” anyone?

YARNLADY's avatar

@MacBean I saw someone on another question use the figure 250. I don’t know where it came from.

Arisztid's avatar

@MacBean I have heard anywhere from 80 to 175.

Oceanflower's avatar

@Arisztid Do you think that the migration has effected AB in anyway?...Is that a suggnificant number?

Arisztid's avatar

@Oceanflower Definitely. A significant chunk of the migrants were old timers as in years. Also, most of the migrants (old timers and newer users) were the big askers and answerers. There are not as many questions over there and they tend to be much more vapid than before the exodus.

Another dynamic is shock. I think that the people who stayed are in kind of an internet shock due to the loss of so many members and the changes in the site itself. I think that as this passes the questions shall return but it shall be a time before those that left for good are replaced with equal askers.

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

It had a major site redesign and overhaul on many features.

I can no longer find the Leaderboards.

Our profiles no longer keep a scoreboard / a count of how many contributions we’ve submitted and the percentage ratings of our overall submissions.

Many of us AB Migrants would agree that:

“Answerbag has Jumped the Shark.”

jerv's avatar

Jumped? More like got jumped by… for sufficiently sophomorically suggestive values of “jumped”.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Honestly? Honestly? I think a lot of people are overreacting. I’ll probably get hated for this by at least some people, but whatever. Basically, they changed the whole layout and format. (I may be in the minority when I say I have no problem with this change. I thought the old layout was too tacky anyway. The way they had the orange and dark blue in the old layout was just yucky to me). Anyway, I haven’t left Answerbag and definitely don’t want to be thought of as a refugee. I just came here because there was someone over there (flutherite) who was badmouthing the Answerbaggers who came here. I’m naturally a person who is after truth, so I wanted to come here to see if what she was saying is true. I also wanted to check out this place since I heard so many great things about it. That in no way means that I’m a “refugee” or whatever. There are things I strongly disagree with. I don’t agree that the staff doesn’t listen. I have noticed, however, many people putting pressure on the staff to fix things up sooner than they were able to. Anyway, if the staff does NOT listen, why is it that they brought the comment notifications back? It’s called “Alerts” now, by the way. You can also edit again. Permalinks are also back. I dunno. I think that people’s reactions are just harsh because of the sudden change overnight. However, I do think that it’s unfair to completely trash them. Anyway, I realize I might get hated for this, but whatever. I’m willing to take that risk.

jerv's avatar

@AnonymousGirl I thought the same way a few years ago, which is why I stayed as long as I did.

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

@jerv If your “jumped” comment was to reply to me, yes, it’s agreed that the site has jumped the shark.

See this YT video:

Encyclopedia article:

Dictionary definition:

jerv's avatar

@EgaoNoGenki It jumped the shark a while ago.
The sense of “jumped” I meant was something that I cannot post links to just in case there are people under 18 reading this ;)
Then again, Rule 34 aside, I’m not sure if I actually can find pics/videos of someone doing that with a shark….

AnonymousWoman's avatar

@jerv Thank you for understanding me, even if you don’t necessarily agree. I appreciate it.

Val123's avatar

@AnonymousGirl BTW….You said someone had been bad mouthing AnswerBaggers? I haven’t seen anything like that…..You all are very welcome here, including you @AnonymousGirl!

Freedom_Issues's avatar

The site completely changed, and is now a mess. I’m glad I came over here, now when I check back at Answerbag, I get all confused with all the clutter. I think I found a new home here!

AnonymousWoman's avatar

@Val123 Yes. Her screen name on Answerbag is “Flutherite”. She hasn’t been completely mean, but she doesn’t seem to like Answerbaggers on here talking about Answerbag a lot. She’d much prefer that Answerbaggers go back to Answerbag so that she can “have this site back to the way it was before”. Oh well. Thanks for the warm welcome. It’s appreciated.

Val123's avatar

@AnonymousGirl Oh, so she was doing it on AB, not here…..sorry bout that!

AnonymousWoman's avatar

@Val123 Yes. She’s allowed to have her opinion, though.

Arisztid's avatar

For what it is worth, I understand Flutherite’s point. I think she went the wrong way of making it but I do understand her point. (I am using “her” for convenience since I do not know the person’s gender)

This was a massive influx and not all were willing to adapt to Fluther’s rules and ways. There was quite a ruckus made by a few. Most of us were/are willing to learn and adapt, but there were enough that I have no doubt that many Flutherites would happily have seen the back end of us and still are none too happy with our presence. I saw enough on the board that told me that what Flutherite was saying was correct.

I told Flutherite that I figured that within a few weeks to a month the ABers would settle in here, the ones that want to stay by Fluther’s rules remaining and the ones who do not like it gone. I spoke enough with Flutherite that, while I will not defend her methods, I can say that I really understand and hold no grudge against her.

It seems to me to be working out that way.

I think that, for the vast most part, those who remain from the migration are integrating. I believe that within a month or so people will just see those of us from the migration without seeing “ABer.” They shall just see us and think “another Jelly.”

Val123's avatar

@Arisztid Exactly…many of us from came in here, expecting them to adapt to us….and that was very wrong. When I came back the second time, several months after the first time, I laid low and quiet for quite a while… was a pretty good life lesson, actually, IMO!

Arisztid's avatar

@Val123 That is what I try to do at new sites. I had a problem with Fluther (dealing with the formatting, not moderation). I spoke to some people about it via PM, collected the information I needed to make the decision, sat back and thought about it, and decided on my own to stay. I never once expected to have Fluther change to meet me… that is just rude. It was up to me to decide if I wanted to handle the issue and I did. So, I am here.

I have never gone to a site and even thought of the site changing to suit me. It is always my choice to adapt to a new site or leave.

Val123's avatar

@Arisztid Yes, it was rude! And….with hindsight I was disappointed with my behavior. However, since I’d never known any other site besides Wisdm, I assumed they were all the same, and well…they’re not! They are totally different communities, with totally different expectations. So, part of my problem was just plain “I didn’t know!” But…I learned. Anyway, welcome to Fluther!

Arisztid's avatar

@Val123 Eh, we all screw up at times, especially when stressed via displacement or other.

I have been on enough different sites to know that I am going to screw up unwittingly at times and appreciate when people give me a heads up on this. I do not get bent when someone tells me that I am acting incorrectly for the site

Thankyou much for the welcome. :)

Keysha's avatar

AB was a site set up as nothing but a Q&A site. Not a socializing site that had a question and answer format. We were allowed to socialize in it, but it was not the primary purpose. To compare that to fluther, each question a person asked, the replies were broken down into answers and comments to the answers. Each answer was separated from the others, and comments to each answer were in a collapsible thread after them (with each answer getting it’s own comment thread). When an asker got an answer, they had an orange button ‘light up’ that said they had an answer. If they replied to the answer, they could then also have an orange button if someone else commented in that specific answer’s thread.

The separating of individual answers with their own comment threads made it difficult, if not impossible to ‘derail’ the topic. And made for easier modding, as you could ‘permallink’ to a specific answer, and ask for a mod to look at the comment thread to it.

We also, as users, could award ‘points’ to an answer, or give ‘downrates’ as well, depending on how many points you had been given over your time on AB, the amount you could give varied, from 1 up to 6 positive for answers, and 1 to 5 positive for questions or negative for anything. These points decided the ranking of the answers, if you chose to sort that way, with the most popular answers at the top, and listed in a descending order. They also had ‘leaderboards’ based on how many points you were given in a daily, weekly, and lifetime basis.

Another thing we had was the ability to change our avatar at will, our username at will, even change our username to anonymous. We also could search with keywords, for specific questions. Or go to a person’s profile and surf their questions, answers, and comments – including doing so to our friends, by clicking the link in our profile to theirs. Our friends list was alphabetized. We also had the ability to ‘watch’ and see what q&a’s our friends did.

When AB did their makover, they changed it to be more like Facebook. It is now a ‘beta’ test version, with no choice as to whether we use it or not. It looks like a cookie cutter website, has more ads, and has generally changed into a completely new website. It is still called AB, still has questions and answers, but they made such sweeping changes, with no input from users, in an attempt to get more advertisers and more business, that it became absolutely unfriendly for most of the older users.

It also was not, by any stretch of the imagination, tested before use. There were many glitches (no formatting, no paragraphing, users unable to do things). And, rather than do small changes, a few at a time, and let established users get used to them, before implementing more, they pretty much wiped the site and started over. That is why most of us left.

AB is fixing a lot of the issues, but it is not going to be the site it was. And the fact that so much was done without any input, just dumping it on it’s users, is what turned so many into running. And many are still running.

I would, as an old AB’er, like to apologize to Fluther for the idiots that inundated this site, demanding change from you. And for the ones that came in, thinking they could do their old tricks here, like they did there. Many of us are not like that. All I can say is, make it uncomfortable for the dingbats, and they will eventually give up. And the rest of us, the adults, will do our best to integrate to your site, without demanding you change to suit us.

Val123's avatar

@Keysha Sounds like….I did like the reply directly to a comment option, though….but, eh. Fluther’s here, they ain’t.

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

In the meantime, here are Answerbag’s traffic stats on Alexa:

I guess the move to facelift the site was a cold and calculating one. They knew that many of us were going to leave, but that many others were going to replace us. Even though our “crowd replacement” is more immature and inexperienced than we were, all that (likely) matters to them is the extra ad revenue.

Val123's avatar

@EgaoNoGenki Oh no…...

jerv's avatar

@EgaoNoGenki Yes, but the “time on site” and “Daily pageviews per user” seem to balance out that increased traffic as well. Maybe they miscalculated. Time will tell…

Daisygirl's avatar

@EgaoNoGenki WOW! I love that site that you listed, I always wondered if they had something like that (it’s now in my favorites) thanks much for the link!

Civic_Cat's avatar

@to all:
I wonder if some advertisements went into it?

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Simple answer… Change is BAD! and…If it ain’t broke (but in many instances it was broke and they opted not to fix it) and changed the only good things about it.

Tellitasitis's avatar

I was shocked to learn that Answerbag went out of business…did not expect it. I’ve no answer to what happened to Answerbag, other than what others said about it. I’m not too keen on this site, but hope I’ll get used to it. I’ve been to Answermug, but decided I don’t like the atmosphere there…too many Abers are there I had trouble with in the past, so I guess I’m here for now. I’ve recognized only 3 ex-ABers: Texas Dude, Anonymous Witch, and Randomness.

YARNLADY's avatar

Answerbag stopped service in December 2015.

babaji's avatar

maybe so many people had Ad Block
they weren’t making any money.

BrandonLee93's avatar

Wtf I’ve never used AB before but I just registered and validated my email, tried to ask a question and it said I was in the penalty box but didn’t give a reason… Are new users supposed to be temporarily in the penalty box or something???

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