This is a topic that's been discussed on and off a fair amount recently. Probably the most significant recent example was this post yesterday about whether people were "fully switching" to Tildes already. I think the really key point that came up in there is that for it to be more feasible, people have to feel like they're not "missing out" by being on Tildes. This is a difficult point to reach for a small site, and it's something that I've tried to advocate myself by doing things like having an entire section of the welcome message to encourage people to post content.
It's definitely going to be a long time before Tildes has anywhere near enough content to satisfy people looking for very specific topics (such as for a particular video game or niche genres of music), but it's important that we keep moving towards that point. The biggest thing that will get people to keep coming back to the site is if they can feel like there will always be more interesting content whenever they do.
You can see this in other sites: Hacker News is a great example. The site has extremely minimal functionality (I think Tildes already has more), and it generally only gets posts about a narrow set of subjects, yet it's quite a successful community overall. That's almost entirely because of the content—people know that there will always be good content and interesting discussions there, so they come back often and spend a lot of time there.
Here's a few of my general thoughts about how we can get there:
- I think people are feeling a bit discouraged from posting a lot of content, for a few reasons. Some users have expressed that they think posting content is "low effort" (which I disagree strongly with), and I also think that people might be worried that they'd be "spamming" too much by posting a lot. I think we need to push past that feeling, so how can we do that? One thought is that maybe we should stop subscribing people to all the groups automatically now. I think submitting feels more "spammy" because you know that your posts will be seen by almost everyone, but if we switch the groups to opt-in that should mostly go away—people shouldn't really complain about seeing posts about games when they chose to subscribe to ~games, and so on.
- When I started /r/Games on reddit, one of the things I did to seed it with content initially was create a bot that would look at every post made to /r/gaming and run it through various criteria to try to figure out if it seemed like it might be a "good post". For example, it would disregard all images, posts from certain sites, ones that weren't getting upvoted, and so on. Anything that made it through the filters would be automatically cross-posted to /r/Games. I didn't end up having to run that bot for very long (only about 3 weeks), but it was pretty useful as a way to initially get some content into the subreddit. Do you think we might want to have a similar sort of thing here?
- As mentioned in a few of the related threads, I think it would be good to try to focus on "meta" discussions a little less. I obviously enjoy them, and I still want to have the daily discussions and so on, but I think (especially for technically-minded people like a lot of us), it's very easy to spend a lot of time focused on "let's work through complicated systems and the flaws they'll have when the site is huge", when a lot of it probably won't be relevant for years. I'm not sure if we should do anything in particular to try to reduce this, but if we do decide to stop subscribing people to all the groups, just having fewer people in ~tildes might do a lot of that on its own.
Let me know what you think about all of that, and if you have any other thoughts or suggestions about how we can improve the quality and quantity of content.