This is a topic I wanted to talk about late last week, since there were a few posts related to it coming up at the time. For example: "Idea: requiring submission statements for link‐based topics, at least in certain groups". This is interesting to me, so I wanted to turn it into a bit more of an official discussion.
I think there's a bit of a conflict here, where people have different ideas of what purpose they're coming to the site for. There are some people in that thread (and some other similar ones) with an opinion that external links are a bit inherently "lazy", or even unnecessary if they can't trigger a discussion. I disagree pretty strongly with that - good discussion is definitely one of the things I want Tildes to have, but it's not a requirement for every single post. If people want to share songs on ~music, trailers on ~movies, interesting articles on ~news and so on, that should be a good thing.
As a specific example of what I mean, I submitted this article from Wired earlier today. It's an interesting, well-researched article that goes into depth on the story, and I enjoyed reading it. The reason I'm submitting it is because I think other people would enjoy reading it too, not because I want to start a discussion on it. If a discussion happens, that's great, but it's not the actual purpose of why I'm submitting.
I want Tildes to be able to cover both of these: help bring good content to people's attention, and also foster good discussions (whether those are attached to external content or not). I think right now it's a bit tilted towards the discussion side (the "Activity" sort as default is probably a big factor), so I guess I'm looking for general thoughts about how we can try to balance this and serve both purposes.
The ability to set different default sorts for individual groups probably helps some, and I think topic filtering based on tags will help a lot as well for people that are more interested in one side or the other. What else should we consider?