70 votes

Four new groups added (and everyone subscribed): ~anime, ~enviro, ~humanities, and ~life

A couple weeks back, we had a thread for people to propose some new groups, and then I got too involved in open-sourcing and some other tasks to follow up on it properly. Thanks again for all the suggestions and the patience with the long delay - I've finally gotten around to going through the thread now and selected 4 groups from the suggestions to try adding. If I didn't select a group you suggested or were excited about, it doesn't necessarily mean I don't think it was a good idea, I just don't want to add too many groups too quickly, and I think these ones have some interesting possibilities.

I decided to auto-subscribe everyone to the new groups, but if you're not interested, you can easily unsubscribe from them through the groups page: https://tildes.net/groups

Here are the new groups:

  • ~anime - this is one that I'm really iffy about from a hierarchy perspective, so I think it'll be interesting to experiment with because of that. It's unusual because it will probably contain posts that technically could have fit into ~tv, ~movies, ~games, and other existing groups, but having the anime subject split across all of those groups doesn't seem great either. There will probably be some interesting possibilities to play with here, like possibly making ~anime.games and ~games.anime basically point to the same "location".
  • ~enviro - we've had a fair number of topics being posted about recycling, alternate energy, and other related topics, so I think this will be a good one to try.
  • ~humanities - this should be able to cover a wide range of the topics that have mostly ended up in ~misc so far (and I'll probably move some previous ones here) - history, ethics, philosophy, etc.
  • ~life - the proposal for this one was named ~personal, but I think that term has some other implications that might be a little off, so I decided to go with ~life. This is intended to be a group for discussing and posting about general life topics - work, school, families/parenting, and those kind of things.

Let me know what you think, and if any of the names or descriptions of the groups (in the groups page and in their sidebar) are confusing or should be rewritten, I'd appreciate suggestions.

25 comments

  1. [2]
    Silbern Link
    Looks good! Although I'm wondering if ~life and ~talk might step on each other's toes a bit.

    Looks good! Although I'm wondering if ~life and ~talk might step on each other's toes a bit.

    18 votes
    1. Catt Link Parent
      My two-cents, I think they could cross a bit, but it's still worth having ~life discussions and articles for the individual, such as personal health (mental or physical), whereas ~talk more for...

      My two-cents, I think they could cross a bit, but it's still worth having ~life discussions and articles for the individual, such as personal health (mental or physical), whereas ~talk more for random questions/discussions like introductions, hobbies and such.

      10 votes
  2. [7]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [3]
      Deimos Link Parent
      I think nacho's comment about it in the proposals thread explained it well—a dedicated group for politics seems to have more downsides than benefits. Political news can go in ~news and be tagged...

      I think nacho's comment about it in the proposals thread explained it well—a dedicated group for politics seems to have more downsides than benefits. Political news can go in ~news and be tagged "politics", political discussions can go in ~talk, and be tagged "politics", and so on.

      A lot of people also want a separate politics group so that they can easily ignore it, but you can already do that. Just add a topic tag filter on "politics".

      32 votes
      1. jgb Link Parent
        ~politics is a fundamentally broken idea because politics is by nature geographical. Thus, any forum that is ostensibly for politics in general becomes US-centric extremely quickly. A better...

        ~politics is a fundamentally broken idea because politics is by nature geographical. Thus, any forum that is ostensibly for politics in general becomes US-centric extremely quickly. A better solution is ~usa.politics, ~uk.politics, ~world.politics.

        6 votes
      2. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. Tenar Link Parent
          necro, but I'm not sure I completely agree. It's true but I've heard people call non-japanese animation anime, because it followed the styles/conventions of anime. Similarly, pixar etc has some...

          necro, but I'm not sure I completely agree. It's true but I've heard people call non-japanese animation anime, because it followed the styles/conventions of anime. Similarly, pixar etc has some conventions that people recognise, and somewhat cgi + cute story = pixar for a lot of people (regardless of who made it), and they wouldn't consider that animation in the same way that they'd consider spongebob animation (let alone spongebob as anime, or at least a different class.

          1 vote
    2. [3]
      deadaluspark Link Parent
      I honestly am not sure where politics should go, but I'm glad we don't have a catch-all section for it yet. /r/politics on reddit is such a fucking shit show and the last thing I want to see is...

      I honestly am not sure where politics should go, but I'm glad we don't have a catch-all section for it yet.

      /r/politics on reddit is such a fucking shit show and the last thing I want to see is this community devolve into partisan squabbling as opposed to effectively critiquing both sides of the partisan divide, which is what we need more than ever.

      (To clarify, politics mostly focuses on Trump, and in particular, his bombastic rhetoric a lot more than actual policies or policy discussion. It is largely driven by emotionally invested people, not people who see the problems with their own politics, and want to fix their own side as well as the other.)

      13 votes
      1. smoontjes Link Parent
        Well said. Reddit has some pretty bad echo chambers, but /r/politics is quite possibly the single worst offender I've ever seen on the internet as a whole.

        /r/politics on reddit is such a fucking shit show and the last thing I want to see is this community devolve into partisan squabbling as opposed to effectively critiquing both sides of the partisan divide, which is what we need more than ever.

        Well said. Reddit has some pretty bad echo chambers, but /r/politics is quite possibly the single worst offender I've ever seen on the internet as a whole.

        3 votes
      2. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. deadaluspark Link Parent
          Was it ever easy to filter out /r/The_Donald? The admins changed algorithms numerous times to try to keep them from dominating the site. Also, it ignores the fact that almost nobody just uses one...

          Was it ever easy to filter out /r/The_Donald? The admins changed algorithms numerous times to try to keep them from dominating the site.

          Also, it ignores the fact that almost nobody just uses one forum. You are running on the assumption that people will keep politics in politics and not have it bleeding into every other place on the site (see the drama in /r/technology several years ago between the people who wouldn't shut up about Snowden and the people who didn't want to hear about it and said politics was off topic.). Its a naive assumption.

          The sub for the Evergreen State College is STILL overrun with alt-righters from /r/The_Donald who got angry over the whole thing with Brett Weinstein a year ago. It is a really leftist college so a lot of them just won't leave it alone. As someone who lives near the college and is part of the local community, it is fucking garbage that we have to deal with the political fallout from dickheads who don't even live here and just want to harass anyone who is marginally leftist.

          The idea that you can just block it out by not visiting that sub is fucking garbage and totally untrue. If it was, I wouldn't be dealing with these jerks in local subs over a year later.

          8 votes
  3. [2]
    nil-admirari Link
    Thanks! I appreciate the auto subscriptions too.

    Thanks! I appreciate the auto subscriptions too.

    8 votes
    1. Celeo Link Parent
      I thought about the pros vs cons for the auto-subbing for a few minutes, and I agree with you - I think it's better to get automatically subbed to them. Right now, it's easy to keep up with the...

      I thought about the pros vs cons for the auto-subbing for a few minutes, and I agree with you - I think it's better to get automatically subbed to them. Right now, it's easy to keep up with the official announcements, but in the future it may be a little harder. Being automatically added ensures that people don't visit the site one day and see a sudden disappearance of content they previously were interested in but that has now been moved to a dedicated space. It takes only a few seconds to unsubscribe from them, and that way people are getting more content by default.

      4 votes
  4. [2]
    insomnic Link
    Anime is such a catch-all for a wide spanning fanbase I think it's fair to make it a stand alone group, particularly in an online community. It's such a divisive one as well that being able to...

    Anime is such a catch-all for a wide spanning fanbase I think it's fair to make it a stand alone group, particularly in an online community. It's such a divisive one as well that being able to unsubscribe from the group makes it more appealing to some than just filtering tags or subgroups. That also allows for people to still see ~games.anime or things tagged in other groups with Anime tags but keep the fanbase\culture aspect separate if desired.

    I say this as an oldschool anime fan who likes keeping up on anime info but doesn't really align with the current fanbase culture. I'm glad it's there and that it's more mainstream, but I'm too far along the "get off my lawn" to keep up with the kids these days.

    The humanities topics in ~misc have been very interesting so I'm glad there is a dedicated group - that'll be interesting and a good compliment to the ~science group.

    I agree that ~life isn't quite the right name but ~personal isn't either... I think it's the best name for now and subgroupings will probably work well with ~life.work or ~life.finance or tags with "marriage" or "children".

    7 votes
    1. clerical_terrors Link Parent
      Anime also tends to be very "love it or hate it". I'm sure people would have gotten annoyed if increasing numbers of anime-related subjects propped up in other subs.

      Anime also tends to be very "love it or hate it". I'm sure people would have gotten annoyed if increasing numbers of anime-related subjects propped up in other subs.

      6 votes
  5. Catt Link
    This is a great set! Thanks!

    This is a great set! Thanks!

    6 votes
  6. [3]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      No particular reason, I just figured that it's nice to keep them a little shorter if there's an obvious/accepted way to shorten the name. That makes it a little easier for people to type, both if...

      No particular reason, I just figured that it's nice to keep them a little shorter if there's an obvious/accepted way to shorten the name. That makes it a little easier for people to type, both if they're entering it in the url manually as well as when they're referring to it in posts.

      It's basically the same reason that it's ~comp and not ~computing, ~tech and not ~technology, and so on. Especially once we start getting into having sub-groups more, having each "segment" of the name be a little shorter could be a significant length difference in the end. It should be possible to have "aliases" for groups as well, so that we could make both ~enviro and ~environment point to the same group.

      And yeah, even if we do get closer to user-created groups someday in the future, it'll most likely still require at least some level of approval, and I don't intend to have multiple groups for exactly the same subject. Like you said, I think that we can find other approaches to prevent the need to fork a group (and the forks almost never work out in reality anyway).

      10 votes
      1. jgb Link Parent
        I thought the reason was Usenet nostalgia :)

        It's basically the same reason that it's ~comp and not ~computing

        I thought the reason was Usenet nostalgia :)

        1 vote
  7. [5]
    Algernon_Asimov Link
    Would it also be correct to assume that there are still some aspects of sub-groups and subscriptions you need to sort out before creating any sub-groups? (Which is why these groups you've created...

    If I didn't select a group you suggested or were excited about, it doesn't necessarily mean I don't think it was a good idea

    Would it also be correct to assume that there are still some aspects of sub-groups and subscriptions you need to sort out before creating any sub-groups? (Which is why these groups you've created are all top-level groups.)

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      Deimos Link Parent
      That's a factor too, yeah. Overall though, I still feel like people are a bit too eager to split into highly-specific sub-groups when the more general top-level ones aren't even very active yet....

      That's a factor too, yeah. Overall though, I still feel like people are a bit too eager to split into highly-specific sub-groups when the more general top-level ones aren't even very active yet. For example, I definitely understand the appeal of something like ~games.tabletop, but the general ~games has only had 5 topics posted today so it's not exactly overflowing.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        Vadsamoht (edited ) Link Parent
        I appreciate that as a feature sub-groups isn't fully ready to go live yet, but is there any general plan for what would count as a top-level group? It intuitively seems to me that ~anime, ~games,...

        I appreciate that as a feature sub-groups isn't fully ready to go live yet, but is there any general plan for what would count as a top-level group? It intuitively seems to me that ~anime, ~games, ~tv, ~movies and perhaps ~books and ~hobbies could all be put under some umbrella group for consumptive media/pastimes (EDIT: Perhaps ~hobbies would be the main group? idk), which would also make the tree or groups/subgroups itself more usable when manually searching it.

        1. [2]
          Deimos Link Parent
          Honestly, it's not a very formal plan at all. I'm just trying not to worry too much about having it be a perfectly "correct" hierarchy, and try to think about it more from the direction of "how...

          Honestly, it's not a very formal plan at all. I'm just trying not to worry too much about having it be a perfectly "correct" hierarchy, and try to think about it more from the direction of "how would people most likely want to be able to separate the groups?" For example, yes, things like anime, games, and books probably all fit under a general sort of "entertainment" category, but people are almost never interested in entertainment in general. They usually want to look at news/discussions/etc. about a particular type, so it feels better to have them separated.

          3 votes
          1. Vadsamoht Link Parent
            I see the reasoning, and I agree that it would be counterproductive to make the hierarchy too artificial for the sake of simply being a neat categorization (heck, if that's what you were going for...

            I see the reasoning, and I agree that it would be counterproductive to make the hierarchy too artificial for the sake of simply being a neat categorization (heck, if that's what you were going for you may as well just categorize posts by their Dewey decimal number from the outset at a significant cost to usability).

            I'm still not convinced that the current layout is the best one, though, simply because of the number of groups at the top level - there are already 23 and presumably will be adding more. To me, that seems too many and (were the tree of groups more fleshed out as it will be several years from now) would make actually looking for groups within the structure both more tedious and more confusing.

            Also, the argument that there tv and movies shouldn't be under some higher-level category because people might be interested in one and not the other (as a side note, I'd argue that there's still very significant cross-over between those groups) doesn't seem convincing to me - isn't enabling people to do this the whole point of enabling people to subscribe to sub-groups in the tree-like structure of topics?

            I guess you could say that its works fine now for the current size of the userbase and moving this later isn't that big a deal (somewhat true, but the longer you leave it the larger the disruption will be) but then that's something of an admission the the current setup probably will need changing and there's little reason not to be thinking now about what a better alternative would be so that you can move towards that.

            1 vote
  8. acr Link
    ~anime is going to be a big one.

    ~anime is going to be a big one.

    2 votes
  9. [3]
    lol Link
    Regarding ~anime (not my point, but imo I think it belongs in ~tv.anime) I've actually started to notice this problem in a few places, and I think as the site grows it will be a recurring one. In...

    Regarding ~anime (not my point, but imo I think it belongs in ~tv.anime)

    It's unusual because it will probably contain posts that technically could have fit into ~tv, ~movies, ~games, and other existing groups, but having the anime subject split across all of those groups doesn't seem great either. There will probably be some interesting possibilities to play with here, like possibly making ~anime.games and ~games.anime basically point to the same "location

    I've actually started to notice this problem in a few places, and I think as the site grows it will be a recurring one. In the GallowBoob thread here is a comment from @phedre

    I wouldn't mind seeing some OC photography and art of high quality at some point as the communities become more established. Maybe something like a ~hobbies.photography, or ~art.photography.

    The problem is it could really fit into both, actually now that I think of it most forms of art could, and I don't think these are unusual scenarios. Does quantum computing belong in ~tech.qc or ~science.qc? Does starlink belong of ~tech.starlink or ~space.starlink (kind of an esoteric example but it's all I could think of, obviously this doesn't apply to every topic but there are enough to make it significant). Is there a plan in place to deal with these root-ambiguous topics (which term I am now officially coining)?

    1 vote
    1. Deimos Link Parent
      Yeah, that's just kind of a general issue with trying to categorize things, hierarchy or not. There's no perfect classification system where there's only going to be a single location that...

      Yeah, that's just kind of a general issue with trying to categorize things, hierarchy or not. There's no perfect classification system where there's only going to be a single location that something fits, some subjects just naturally span across multiple categories. I don't have a specific answer, but I think we can likely try to come up with some options like allowing a post to exist in multiple locations at once, supporting alternate "paths" to the same groups, or some other options.

      2 votes
    2. sqew Link Parent
      This is a really interesting question for me, too. There was some great discussion about it going on back in May/June (can't remember the thread, sadly), where we talked about building a...

      This is a really interesting question for me, too. There was some great discussion about it going on back in May/June (can't remember the thread, sadly), where we talked about building a group/subgroup graph in which a subgroup such as one about starlink or space exploration could have multiple parent groups, with content posted to the subgroup "bubbling" up into both parent groups as interest grew.

      1 vote