48 votes

Daily Tildes discussion - general plans for the week

It's been a few weeks since I did this, but I'd like to start getting back into the routine of using the Monday post for a general outline of how I'd like to see the week go.

So for this week, here's my general intentions:

  • I added some new groups today, so I'll want to see how those are looking, and think about whether some other adjustments are needed soon.
  • I'm planning to make a proper blog post (on blog.tildes.net) about the site being open-sourced tomorrow morning. This may end up getting a burst of attention for the site again if it gets some traction on HN, programming/open-source subreddits, etc. (but it's hard to predict if that will happen or not)
  • Related to the above, I think it's about time to start actively trying to bring some more people in again. The site's size has been fairly constant for a few weeks now, and it's been pretty stable in terms of activity, so I think bringing in more users is a good idea. The blog post may help with this, but we'll also probably do another official invite thread on /r/tildes or look for some other possibilities.
  • Various work related to the open-sourcing. There are multiple merge requests open for features/fixes that I need to review, and I'd like to put more work into the documentation, filling out the issue tracker, and so on.
  • Get user pages paginated. I think this is my top priority for a feature to implement personally now, and I believe I should be able to do it this week while working on the other items. My current intention is to start out by only allowing users to look through their own full history, and leave that for a few days to allow people to go back and edit/delete anything they want to. After giving a bit of time for that, I intend to enable it for everyone. We can talk a bit more about this, but that's my current plan.

Feedback and suggestions for those plans (or other ones, if you think I'm prioritizing the wrong things) are welcome, thanks.

32 comments

  1. [13]
    hungariantoast Link
    If I remember correctly, you basically mentioned that the site is doing very well as far as its user and activity level, even if there was (maybe still is? I obviously don't have the numbers) a...

    If I remember correctly, you basically mentioned that the site is doing very well as far as its user and activity level, even if there was (maybe still is? I obviously don't have the numbers) a slight slump over the past few weeks.

    Hopefully bringing in new people will have a similarly positive affect and boost in activity. The day I wake up in the morning and can't read the titles of all the new posts since I went to sleep would be a good day.

    I expect that, with the site being officially open source and the activity level being very good for how young the site is, people will be easily convinced to join the community.

    I just ordered parts for a very DIY mechanical keyboard build that I plan on making a post about on Tildes before I post it to Reddit, if only it didn't take three weeks for everything to ship, I could have had a great post for newcomers to glance over when the try the site out.

    Similarly I've been tossing around the idea of writing a very in depth and step by step guide for learning to play Dwarf Fortress, because I've got a bit of a sabbatical coming up, and no real plans except to relax at home and finally publish my personal website.

    Oh well, hopefully in the coming weeks there will be another push to get users to join Tildes and then maybe I can time some quality OC for those days.

    18 votes
    1. Celeo Link Parent
      For DF: if you write it, you'll definitely have a very interested reader here, especially after the DF thread in ~games.

      For DF: if you write it, you'll definitely have a very interested reader here, especially after the DF thread in ~games.

      9 votes
    2. [7]
      Deimos Link Parent
      I posted a few more recent numbers in Friday's daily discussion. Overall, whether those are good numbers or not kind of depends on your frame of reference. For "relatively new reddit alternative"...

      If I remember correctly, you basically mentioned that the site is doing very well as far as its user and activity level, even if there was (maybe still is? I obviously don't have the numbers) a slight slump over the past few weeks.

      I posted a few more recent numbers in Friday's daily discussion. Overall, whether those are good numbers or not kind of depends on your frame of reference. For "relatively new reddit alternative" they're very good; some of the other attempts like Saidit.net and Raddle have extremely low activity, even though they're public and there aren't any technical barriers to people signing up.

      So that's great to see, and indicates that there's already a level of interest/participation on Tildes that other similar sites just haven't been able to reach at all. However, as a more general number it's certainly still very low—below even fairly small subreddits and other more established sites like Hacker News. That's not a big concern yet though, it's very good for only having about 5000 registrations total, and I'm sure it'll only keep going up as we get more people in.

      7 votes
      1. [6]
        hungariantoast Link Parent
        If I had to wager, I would say Tildes is currently close to the same level of activity that we see on Lobsters which, yes, is invite only, but has also existed since July of 2012 and according to...

        If I had to wager, I would say Tildes is currently close to the same level of activity that we see on Lobsters which, yes, is invite only, but has also existed since July of 2012 and according to the user tree, has just over 9,500 users. Of course, I could be reading the user tree wrong, and that number might not be the total amount of accounts registered since 2012, in which case never mind.

        Would you describe Tildes growth so far as "explosive" or is that giving a little too much credit to the numbers?

        This is my first "new website" I've ever participated in, so any growth seems great to me, so I could be exaggerating a little bit.

        Either way, I stand by a comment that I made a long time ago on another daily discussion thread, I think the activity on Tildes so far, and the passion that some users bring with them to the discussion, is a good sign that this is a website that a lot of people want to have around.

        Also, last question, I promise, but do you think we could ever have the option of not letting our whole history be viewable, such as the past "x" amount of posts/comments, or just post/comments in the last "z" amount of months?

        6 votes
        1. [5]
          Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
          Actually quite a bit higher than Lobsters already, it looks like. I can use the "Newest Comments" page on Lobsters to see all of the comments posted, and there are 20 comments per page. It gets...

          I would say Tildes is currently close to the same level of activity that we see on Lobsters

          Actually quite a bit higher than Lobsters already, it looks like. I can use the "Newest Comments" page on Lobsters to see all of the comments posted, and there are 20 comments per page. It gets past "24 hours ago" on page 9, so they've had about 180 comments posted in the last day. Tildes has had 431 as of right now.

          Would you describe Tildes growth so far as "explosive" or is that giving a little too much credit to the numbers?

          I'd say that interest has been explosive a few times, like when we had several hundred invite requests in /r/tildes in 15 minutes due to some attention in an /r/technology thread, but the growth itself has been controlled. That's good though, and why I wanted to start out being invite-only. I think the site would have fallen apart pretty quickly if tens of thousands of users had rushed in.

          I agree with you that the activity is a really good sign so far though, which is why I've really tried to emphasize that even if the actual numbers have been drifting down a bit, I really don't think it's anything to be concerned about. This is only the very beginning, and it's already going well.

          Also, last question, I promise, but do you think we could ever have the option of not letting our whole history be viewable, such as the past "x" amount of posts/comments, or just post/comments in the last "z" amount of months?

          It's possible, but it's tricky because there are always different ways to view that info, so I think just blocking it from the history is a bit of a false sense of privacy. For example, we're definitely going to have a search system eventually, and I'm sure the search system will support "search by author". So what happens if you have "only show 1 month in my history" and someone searches for author:hungariantoast? Should they only see one month's worth of posts there too? Probably not, but then that's basically a trivial circumvention for everyone's privacy setting.

          9 votes
          1. [4]
            hungariantoast Link Parent
            I didn't even think to check the comments page and that's actually a lot less activity on Lobsters than I was expecting. That's a good point. I wasn't even thinking about the implications that...

            I didn't even think to check the comments page and that's actually a lot less activity on Lobsters than I was expecting.

            So what happens if you have "only show 1 month in my history" and someone searches for author:hungariantoast? Should they only see one month's worth of posts there too? Probably not, but then that's basically a trivial circumvention for everyone's privacy setting.

            That's a good point. I wasn't even thinking about the implications that hiding a part of your history could have on features such as search. When I give the idea a bit more thought, it would probably just be best to allow an entire user's history to be available, since we can delete what we don't want others to see. After all, it would be a real shame if half the content from six months ago was unavailable through the search feature or to people who stumble upon random links, just because, hypothetically, users would choose to hide their history so frequently.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              Deimos Link Parent
              Yeah, user history in general is a topic that I'm really torn about. There are a lot of good, legitimate uses for it, but then you also have all these stories of "people dug up my dumb tweets from...

              Yeah, user history in general is a topic that I'm really torn about. There are a lot of good, legitimate uses for it, but then you also have all these stories of "people dug up my dumb tweets from 5-10 years ago and I got fired over them". I'd like to see if we can figure out a reasonable approach for it, but I'm really not sure what that would be.

              One thing we've talked about is a sort of "disassociate" function where people can remove their username/attachment to particular posts, but still leave the content itself accessible. That will probably help in some ways, but wouldn't have any effect on things like external archiving sites that still know who originally made the post.

              9 votes
              1. hungariantoast Link Parent
                I think the golden rule of never give out your name, phone number, or address on the Internet is probably the recommendation you should make to users who are concerned about privacy. My username...

                I'd like to see if we can figure out a reasonable approach for it, but I'm really not sure what that would be.

                I think the golden rule of never give out your name, phone number, or address on the Internet is probably the recommendation you should make to users who are concerned about privacy.

                My username here, on Reddit, or anywhere else, has nothing to do with me. I am not Hungarian, I am certainly not burnt bread, nor do I even particularly like toast. If I want to release something that I want to attribute to me as a developer or as an artist, so that I can show it to friends or employers as something I made, I release it under a username that is identifiable as me, not hungariantoast.

                The thing I like about Reddit is the relatively anonymous usernames, but also how people can choose a username to represent them as a person, like AdamSavageOfficial. So, when these people have AMAs or interact with Reddit, they are held accountable for that username, which is an extension of them, but BURNT_HAIRCUT_69_xXx is not going to get Adam Savage in any trouble, no matter how vile of a user he might be behind that username, unless he gets exposed somehow.

                So as far as user privacy on the Internet, we should probably reinforce the importance of separating one's self from the username, until they specifically do not want to.

                As far as a "disassociate" function, I like that idea. There are comments I am not proud of on Reddit, and I am definitely more of an asshole on Reddit than anywhere else on the Internet and I don't know why, but without deleting those comments, I would love a way to disassociate them from me.

                As far as archiving sites, I guess that's just them doing what they are supposed to do, and I don't know enough about them to suggest a way to circumvent that, if there even is one. Either way, I think the anonymous username aspect of Reddit as a community is a good thing overall, but I would like to see a way to, like you said, "disassociate" my profile's content from my profile at times.

                4 votes
            2. frickindeal Link Parent
              And doesn't it also foster a bit more care in posting if you know your entire post history is visible? I know it does for me on reddit, because I very rarely delete a comment, so there's a whole...

              And doesn't it also foster a bit more care in posting if you know your entire post history is visible? I know it does for me on reddit, because I very rarely delete a comment, so there's a whole lot of post history available. Thoughtfulness in posting seems to be in the spirit of Tildes, so it's probably a net positive that everyone knows anyone can review their post history. It might even be a valid way in the future to review someone for reputation (or whatever it's going to eventually be called), or for consideration as a mod of some sort.

              3 votes
    3. [3]
      lol Link Parent
      Yes please, always wanted to get into that game but have been too intimidated to get much farther then generating a level

      Similarly I've been tossing around the idea of writing a very in depth and step by step guide for learning to play Dwarf Fortress, because I've got a bit of a sabbatical coming up, and no real plans except to relax at home and finally publish my personal website

      Yes please, always wanted to get into that game but have been too intimidated to get much farther then generating a level

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast Link Parent
        If you want to start learning now (because it'll take me weeks at minimum to publish any kind of serious guide) then I recommend this guide by the same person who makes the Starter Pack. It...

        If you want to start learning now (because it'll take me weeks at minimum to publish any kind of serious guide) then I recommend this guide by the same person who makes the Starter Pack. It includes a custom version of his Starter Pack with a save game that is meant specifically for learning the game.

        5 votes
        1. lol Link Parent
          thanks, I’ll probably give the game another go tonight thanks to this post :)

          thanks, I’ll probably give the game another go tonight thanks to this post :)

          1 vote
    4. clone1 Link Parent
      I would enjoy the DF guide. I followed the quickstart guide on the wiki but I don't have any idea where to go from there.

      I would enjoy the DF guide. I followed the quickstart guide on the wiki but I don't have any idea where to go from there.

      1 vote
  2. Celeo Link
    On the open-source side of things, a blog post sounds great, and I hope it does catch some traction on HN/reddit. Keeping the issues tagged and organized can seem like a full-time job, but it's...

    On the open-source side of things, a blog post sounds great, and I hope it does catch some traction on HN/reddit. Keeping the issues tagged and organized can seem like a full-time job, but it's really a treat to be able to take a quick look and see exactly what's being worked on, what's high priority, etc. Official invite threads are often extremely popular, so if you're looking to get people in, that does sound like a simple way to do it. Great work!

    8 votes
  3. [5]
    jackson Link
    Since this blogpost will definitely contribute to more buzz for the site, are you planning on making it publicly read-only soon? I think simply allowing people to easily lurk and tell their...

    Since this blogpost will definitely contribute to more buzz for the site, are you planning on making it publicly read-only soon? I think simply allowing people to easily lurk and tell their friends will be a major driving factor, and allow for invites to be more angled towards people who want to actually contribute to the site.

    I know I'll definitely be posting about this blog post over on reddit whenever it comes out. See you then!

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Yeah, I think being publicly visible will be the next major "phase". There are a few other things that I want to get done before starting on that, and I'm also mildly concerned about the...

      Yeah, I think being publicly visible will be the next major "phase". There are a few other things that I want to get done before starting on that, and I'm also mildly concerned about the traffic/load from being publicly accessible so I want to improve some monitoring and related systems first. So it'll probably still be a little while yet, but definitely one of the main objectives for the near future.

      I think it'll be much better for invite "efficiency" though. Right now people need to request an invite to even see what the site looks like and what type of posts are on it. It'll be much better for people to be able to look and only need to try to get an invite if they actually want to participate.

      13 votes
      1. emdash Link Parent
        Publicly readable, on-invite writable sounds like a fair compromise for now. Hopefully you're able to handle being potentially swamped with invitation requests :)

        Publicly readable, on-invite writable sounds like a fair compromise for now. Hopefully you're able to handle being potentially swamped with invitation requests :)

        12 votes
      2. [2]
        frickindeal Link Parent
        Probably not the best place to post this, but it relates well to a daily discussion of the site: I really think more views or a better default view are needed for the front page. In comments,...

        Probably not the best place to post this, but it relates well to a daily discussion of the site: I really think more views or a better default view are needed for the front page. In comments, there is a very pleasant contrast between text and background (not sure if it's simple black on white, but it's very readable), while the front page lacks contrast and looks "washed out" for lack of a better design term. I've tried the alternative views, and the dark is pitch-black with white text (very harsh), while the solarized white is probably closest to what I'm referring to: more contrast to make quick browsing easier.

        Are you working with any UI folks or design people for better view choices? I think it's important that it look its best before being publicly visible -- I've shown people screenshots and they all seem to react with "how can you read that?"

        2 votes
        1. Deimos Link Parent
          I'm not really working with anyone, no. I've had a few vague offers from people to help with UI/design, but not really many concrete suggestions yet. Hopefully the open-sourcing will help there,...

          I'm not really working with anyone, no. I've had a few vague offers from people to help with UI/design, but not really many concrete suggestions yet. Hopefully the open-sourcing will help there, since people can directly open merge requests with changes instead of needing to try to make suggestions in a more roundabout way like sending me screenshots.

          Is there something in particular that you find hard to read on the front page? I know there are a few things that are small or lower contrast, but most of them are things that aren't really intended to be "read". For example, the short text excerpt from text posts isn't great for reading, but it's mostly just intended as a quick preview and you can click it to actually read the post in larger, higher contrast text. I'm sure there are things to improve, but it's a tough balance between de-emphasizing some things, and having the page seem extremely cluttered/overloaded if all the information is given more weight.

          7 votes
  4. [5]
    clerical_terrors Link
    Maybe it's an idea to outline places to look for new members? You've mentioned HN and Reddit but there might other forums and communities with potential new members.

    Maybe it's an idea to outline places to look for new members? You've mentioned HN and Reddit but there might other forums and communities with potential new members.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      emdash Link Parent
      What's the target "commentary demographic" with a community like Tildes? Reddit has a burgeoning user base with some great communities and other not-so-great communities. How do we "select" good...

      What's the target "commentary demographic" with a community like Tildes? Reddit has a burgeoning user base with some great communities and other not-so-great communities. How do we "select" good users without handpicking them?

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        clerical_terrors Link Parent
        Given the current invitation mechanics you already have to pick to some degree. Other then that I'd say Tildes is currently specifically focused on respectful discussion and stronger curation. I...

        Given the current invitation mechanics you already have to pick to some degree. Other then that I'd say Tildes is currently specifically focused on respectful discussion and stronger curation. I think there was a fair degree of success in recruiting people from /r/truereddit, maybe similar communities will also be interested?

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          emdash (edited ) Link Parent
          Granted, I haven't been here long, but maybe therefore a permanent loose-invitation system isn't such a bad thing for the long term quality of Tildes. If a user wants to join, they can either...

          Given the current invitation mechanics you already have to pick to some degree.

          Granted, I haven't been here long, but maybe therefore a permanent loose-invitation system isn't such a bad thing for the long term quality of Tildes. If a user wants to join, they can either petition for an invite from Deimos/a future team of people who hand out invites, or request an invitation from an existing user, who would knowingly give out an invite, aware that their standing rests on the quality of the user requesting the invite.

          Maybe this is too regimented and strict. I'm just wondering if it's possible to strike a balance between "free for all" and "invitations required".

          9 votes
          1. spit-evil-olive-tips Link Parent
            Invites on private trackers work similarly, and it seems to uphold quality pretty well. Your "invite tree" is tracked, and if you have a pattern of inviting users who break the rules, your invites...

            Invites on private trackers work similarly, and it seems to uphold quality pretty well. Your "invite tree" is tracked, and if you have a pattern of inviting users who break the rules, your invites can be cut off, or in extreme circumstances you can even get banned.

            7 votes
  5. [4]
    Soptik (edited ) Link
    I'm glad Tildes are open-sourced, I bet it also helps you with building the site. And I suppose it will boost Tildes popularity. But I just have to ask - do you plan an API? I know you have other...

    I'm glad Tildes are open-sourced, I bet it also helps you with building the site. And I suppose it will boost Tildes popularity.

    But I just have to ask - do you plan an API? I know you have other priorities (search, pagination on profiles, ...), but I didn't find it at GitLab, so I'd like to know, if you even plan it. If so, when, approximately (month, half year, year, ...)?

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Deimos Link Parent
      It's definitely planned (it was mentioned in the announcement post, even), but it's a very vague plan at this point. As for when it will probably happen, it most likely depends if other people get...

      It's definitely planned (it was mentioned in the announcement post, even), but it's a very vague plan at this point. As for when it will probably happen, it most likely depends if other people get involved that want to work heavily on figuring out the details of it and making it happen.

      If it's up to me personally, it'll probably be at least half a year away since there's a lot of other high-priority things I need to do, but it could definitely be sooner if other people do the bulk of the work on it.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        emdash Link Parent
        What are your thoughts on bots? Especially ones which post comments. Given how I've seen bots used over at Reddit, it strikes me that usually they're designed as a shim or patch over an unsolved...

        What are your thoughts on bots? Especially ones which post comments. Given how I've seen bots used over at Reddit, it strikes me that usually they're designed as a shim or patch over an unsolved problem which could otherwise be implemented at a community/Tilde-level basis within the Tildes source code. For example, acronym bots or conversion bots—these could be Tildes extensions which are enabled on a per-community basis, or otherwise simply provided by the client through a browser plugin.

        2 votes
        1. Deimos Link Parent
          As someone that created some of the most prominent reddit bots, it feels a bit weird for me to say, but... I hate most bots and think reddit should have cracked down on them long ago. The amount...

          As someone that created some of the most prominent reddit bots, it feels a bit weird for me to say, but... I hate most bots and think reddit should have cracked down on them long ago. The amount of useless noise comments in threads due to bots is pretty ridiculous now.

          Bots can be great, but only for certain uses. I haven't thought too much about the specifics yet, but I think we could probably come up with a good set of rules/guidelines for what makes an acceptable bot. Like you said, I think a lot of the "good" applications for bots are probably things that could also be implemented more directly as well, but it's nice to have the API and allow people to do it with bots when that's not possible (or is particularly inconvenient for some reason).

          3 votes
  6. [3]
    dredmorbius Link
    Search / takeout / history? I'm looking for a comment of mine that's outside the "recent activity" window. Is there any way to aaccess this? Plans to enable this?

    Search / takeout / history?

    I'm looking for a comment of mine that's outside the "recent activity" window.

    Is there any way to aaccess this? Plans to enable this?

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
      That's the "Get user pages paginated." point at the bottom (or that's one part of it, anyway).

      That's the "Get user pages paginated." point at the bottom (or that's one part of it, anyway).

      6 votes
      1. dredmorbius Link Parent
        Ah. Yeah, that'd be good. ;-)

        Ah. Yeah, that'd be good. ;-)

        1 vote
  7. Custos Link
    I’m so excited to be here! Quick question: how do we think about users registering common usernames and being non-existent during this Alpha period? Have a name I usually snag as an early adopter,...

    I’m so excited to be here! Quick question: how do we think about users registering common usernames and being non-existent during this Alpha period? Have a name I usually snag as an early adopter, and it makes me a little sad seeing a name Id use with one post 60 days ago.

    1 vote