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    1. A progress update on LinkLonk - a trust based news aggregator

      Hey everyone, I launched my little project LinkLonk here on Tildes back in December and wanted to tell you how it has been going and get your feedback/suggestions. New changes since the launch:...

      Hey everyone,

      I launched my little project LinkLonk here on Tildes back in December and wanted to tell you how it has been going and get your feedback/suggestions.

      New changes since the launch:

      • The temporary accounts now automatically get deleted after 30 days of inactivity. I didn't have the deletion logic at the time of the launch, but had it implemented about 30 days after launch. Automatic account deletion is quite destructive - removes the account from the database (thank goodness for foreign keys and cascade deletes) and from Firebase Authentication. I'm happy that there were nobugs when I ran it the first time.
      • In addition to submitting external links you can now create text posts. The posts are Markdown-formatted (similar to Tildes). One novel thing is that you can post "anonymously". The database has a record of who the author is so the author can delete/edit their post, it's just the name is not show next to the post.
      • Comments - each item has a comment section. The comments are ranked based on how much you trust the people who upvoted each comment (as opposed to being pure popularity). This is the same ranking system that is used to rank the "For you" page, but now applied to comments.
        • Unlike Tildes, the comments have a downvote button. The downvote does not bury the comment for everyone else. Instead, it makes your trust in upvotes of people who upvoted that comment go lower. So the downvote button effects what you see, not what others see. It is much harder to abuse that button that way. For that reason I feel much more comfortable putting it there. However, there is a second order effect. If you downvote a comment that someone else already downvoted - then you will trust the downvotes of that person. When they downvote some other comment - then it will rank lower for you. In a sense they earn your trust to moderate content for you by identifying comments you don't want to see.

      In terms of users, there have been 260 user records created (some from my shameless plug comments on HackerNews). Of those, ~45 rated something - excluding those that were temporary accounts and were deleted. And I think we have 2 regularly active users (excluding myself). In my mind I had 10 as the number of active users that I was hoping to get by the end of 2021. At this rate we may reach it.

      I was pleasantly surprised that there have been no misbehaving users. I didn't need to remove any content even once. This lead me to constantly postpone the implementation of a content reporting system. I hope it stays this way for a long time.

      The whole idea of a trust based recommendation system is based on having someone to trust. Right now it is the RSS feeds that are generating most of the content recommendations for the active users. But ideally it would be mostly users recommending content to users. I have two priorities for the near future:

      • Make the "single-player" experience better so the active users find value already. As an example, I added full-text search through items you liked
      • Find more users to improve the "multi-player" experience. One option is to submit a "Show HN:" post on HackerNews. But you can only do it once and I'm not sure I'm ready to use that shot yet.

      What do you think I should do next on these two fronts?

      If you would like to give LinkLonk a try register with code "tildes" at https://linklonk.com/register. Feel free to comment on this post: https://linklonk.com/item/6347369602224750592

      17 votes
    2. LinkLonk - A link aggregator with a trust system

      I built a link sharing website where you connect to users that share your interests. When you upvote a link - you connect to other users who upvoted that link and LinkLonk shows you what else...

      I built a link sharing website where you connect to users that share your interests. When you upvote a link - you connect to other users who upvoted that link and LinkLonk shows you what else these users upvoted.

      The more in common you have with another user the more prominently their other recommendations appear on your list.

      The intuition is that the more useful your past recommendations have been for me, the more I can trust your future recommendations.

      This is how trust works in meatspace - we keep track of how positive our experiences have been with other people and use that track record to decide who we can trust in the future.

      Except that mechanism does not work online. It just does not scale to the numbers of users we interact with. We can remember around 150 other people (the Dunbar number). Beyond that our builtin trust mechanism breaks down. We revert to more coarse and primitive trust mechanisms such as tribalism and mistrust in everyone.

      While we cannot personally keep track of every user on a platform - that is what computers are good at.

      That is the idea behind LinkLonk. You don't need to remember the names of users who you can trust (in fact there are no usernames on LinkLonk). You simply upvote content that was useful to you and LinkLonk constantly keeps track of how useful every other user has been and ranks new content accordingly.

      Another important part of trust is that if you misplace your trust in someone and they let you down then you need a mechanism to stop trusting them.

      This is what the downvote button is used for: when you downvote an item, LinkLonk reduces your “trust” in other users that upvoted it. As a result, you will see less content from those users.

      The above describes the basic idea. There are a couple more concepts:

      • You start off weakly connected to all users, which means that at first you see content sorted by popularity. Rate something and refresh the page - the ranking will change.
      • You are not limited to a single persona/interest. If you have multiple interests then you can create a separate collection for each of your interests. When you upvote a link you can choose what collection it belongs to. For example, if you are interested in woodworking and music then you can create two collections and put woodworking links into one and music links into the other. Then other people who liked your woodworking recommendations will only see your other recommendations from the same collection and will not get your music. This is mostly a way for you to help other users find relevant content. It’s optional. You can put everything into the “default” collection if you don’t feel like organizing.
      • LinkLonk has another source of recommendations - RSS feeds. When you upvote a blog post LinkLonk connects to the RSS feed of that blog - as if it was another user. LinkLonk pulls updates from the feed and shows you the new entries using the same ranking algorithm: the more you upvote items from the feed the higher the other items from the feed are ranked. You can submit any RSS url and LinkLonk will connect (subscribe) you to it. My hope is that in the early days when we don't have many users you would find LinkLonk useful as a sort of an RSS reader.
      • Moderation. When you downvote an item then you get connected to other users who also downvoted that same item. In other words, you will trust their other downvotes. If they downvote something then that item will rank lower for you.

      Give it a try at: https://linklonk.com/register with 'tildes' as the invitation code. The invitation code can be used multiple times and I will keep it active for a few days. After that please DM me to get a fresh code.

      I’m posting this on Tildes in part because I like the group of people that Tildes has attracted. And I also feel the topics of trust systems, content curation and moderation are relevant to Tildes and to its users (see: https://docs.tildes.net/future-plans#trustreputation-system-for-moderation).

      What do you think?

      27 votes
    3. Having issues setting goals and sticking with them? I’m working on a solution

      I am working on an app called Percent Done that is a combination of goal setting, time tracking and habit tracking. I like setting time-based goals for myself every day, such as “write for an...

      I am working on an app called Percent Done that is a combination of goal setting, time tracking and habit tracking.

      I like setting time-based goals for myself every day, such as “write for an hour” or “work on Percent Done for four hours.”

      I also like Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” method. For example, Apple Watch shows you how many days you have completed your exercise circle and tells you that you have been keeping at it for x days.

      Percent Done is a marriage of these two concepts. It allows you to set goals and track the time you spend on them, as well as how many days in a row you have consistently completed them. For example, you can add a goal that says “write for an hour every day,” and Percent Done will notify you every day to write for an hour. You will be able to tap on this goal and Percent Done will start counting back from one hour. You will also be able to see how many days in a row you have written for an hour.

      Here is a demo GIF.

      You can also add one-time goals to Percent Done with or without time tracking, so it is a task management tool as well.

      You can play with the design prototype here: Percent Done design prototype

      I would really love to get your feedback on this. If you are interested in being a beta tester, feel free to reply to this topic or e-mail me at "hi at evrim dot io."

      By the way, this is almost completely a self-promotion post. If it is against the rules, I'd be happy to remove this.

      23 votes