Experimenting with some changes to information that's displayed on topics, and some other tweaks
I'm planning to test out various changes today and through the weekend, so I just wanted to put this thread out as a kinda-megathread for them. Functionality-wise, not much should be changing yet, but I'm going to be playing around with moving some things, changing some information that's displayed, and so on. For an alpha, the site's been way too stable. We're way past due to try experimenting more.
I'll try to keep a list updated in here of what I've changed. So far:
- On listing pages, the domain for link topics is now shown in the "footer", to the right of the number of comments (replacing the submitter's username), instead of in parentheses after the title. This makes it so that the information about the source of the post is always in a consistent position.
- Link topics pointing to articles now show the word count (when we have that data) after the title, similar to how text topics always have. This should work for most sites, but not always yet.
- Links to YouTube videos now show the video duration after the title. (This should be possible to extend to other sites without too much work)
- Added a
data-topic-posted-byattr to topics in listings to support filtering/styling/etc. via CSS/extensions.
- Reduced timestamp precision on topic listing pages to always only show one level (before it would say things like "2 hours, 23 minutes ago", now just "2 hours ago"). It still switches to a specific date after a week.
Please let me know if you love or hate anything in particular, but try to give it a bit of a chance and not just your initial reaction (which tends to be disliking change).
I'm really, really on the fence about removing submitter usernames from topics on the front page. I understand wanting to remove "ownership" from submissions for all the reasons discussed in that topic... but I also think that who submitted a topic is an incredibly valuable piece of information to know at a glance. E.g. There are a number of users I actively avoid reading anything they submit because I know it will just make me angry, and on ~music the user who submitted something is also usually a good indication of whether or not I will enjoy it. Not seeing usernames on topics also makes the groups feel rather cold/impersonal and they no longer feel like tight-knit communities of people sharing things they enjoy and getting to know one another through their submissions. And as a result of this change I wonder if it will also have the unintended consequence of further disincentivizing people from submitting things and commenting (something that is already a growing issue, IMO).
Yeah, I definitely understand. While I'm still kind of generally interested in potentially removing that "ownership" concept, this change isn't really for that, since it doesn't affect any of the functionality. Users still own their topics and can edit/delete/etc. as always, the comments page still shows the username right at the top as "posted by", you still get the purple "this belongs to me" stripe down the left side of ones you posted, etc.
Overall though, while it's useful occasionally, I do feel like the name of the user isn't very important information the vast majority of the time. It feels more important on Tildes because it's small right now, but for example if you look at the front page of Hacker News, it displays the poster's name prominently on every single post, but do you actually find that information useful on any of them? It's meaningless for almost every post, so I think we can use that space for something that's not meaningless. The key thing is that while that's my general feeling about it, I'm not totally sure, and we just need to try it like this to see how it actually works out in practice (and that's why I want feedback).
I do think the "I don't want to see things this user posts" and "I especially want to see things this user posts" functionalities could both be done in much better ways than requiring you to keep a list of good/bad users in your head and check the username on every single post to figure out which type it is. We should probably just have actual functionalities to filter out or highlight posts by certain users.
Those features would only help when you already know people's usernames and what they submit, but if you hide that information at a glance it makes it much harder to actually get to know and recognize the users who you might want to highlight or filter out.
I disagree, even in large communities like reddit or HN. Beyond the reasons I already mentioned it's also incredibly useful information for moderating, easily recognizing posts from content creators/celebrities/prominent figures, identifying potential spam/shill/astroturfing/bot accounts, etc. And I honestly can't help but feel that the value a prominent username often provides, even if it was only "occasional" (which I disagree with), severely outweighs the small amount of screen real-estate it takes up.
Very much agreed. It's such a small number of characters that the only real reason to remove it is either aesthetics or actual screen real-estate (mobile, mostly). There's quite a bit of white space between the three elements there now; it seems the username could fit easily into that "footer," if the reason isn't "remove ownership" of things like articles.
There is another real reason for doing this: principle. I'm getting the very strong impression that @Deimos wants to reduce the emphasis on individual users for certain types of posts in Tildes because he believes that's a better thing to do and will make for a better website.
Just because some of us might disagree with that belief, that doesn't mean it's not a real reason for making certain choices about the user interface.
Publicly accusing people of having ulterior motives to what they have clearly stated was their rationale behind an action runs pretty contrary to the principal of charity this site is founded on and is overall a pretty remarkably shitty thing to do, IMO.
Hold on... what?
I'm not accusing Deimos of having an ulterior motive. I'm "accusing" him of having stated quite plainly and openly and honestly that this is his sincerely held opinion. He has made an entire post about dissociating usernames from posts, and engaged in a lot of discussion trying to explain his opinion regarding this.
All I'm trying to do here is point out to frickindeal that there are more reasons for making choices about a UI than just aesthestics or screen real-estate. Another reason for making these choices might be that the designer and/or developer have specific goals they want to achieve, and will therefore make choices to achieve those goals. And, Deimos has made it clear that he has a specific goal to achieve, which is to reduce the emphasis on which users post what articles.
I'm not having a go at Deimos! In my own way, I'm trying to support him by presenting his side of things (even though I don't agree with it).
I feel that I am being greatly misinterpreted here. Maybe it's the fact that people have built up a negative opinion of me over time, and therefore read my comments in a bad light (which is understandable).
In a comment almost immediately following one where Deimos specifically said this change has nothing to do with that:
Seems to definitely imply you think there is an ulterior motive behind the UI decision to remove usernames from the front page. If I read you wrong then I apologize... but it honestly really does come off like an accusation of him having an ulterior motive given that context and your wording choices, IMO.
I didn't read anything like that into @Algernon_Asimov's comment at all. I was actually intending to reply agreeing with him—he's right, the reason I want to try removing the usernames has nothing to do with the amount of space they take up.
I took the "screen real-estate" assumption from this:
It sounded more like an aesthetics thing in that context. While I still disagree with removing the username from topics on listing pages, thanks for clarifying.
Fair enough. I admit that it's entirely possible (maybe even highly likely) that I let my past conflicts with algernon taint my perception of his comment here. So with that in mind...
I sincerely apologize to you, @Algernon_Asimov, for so greatly misinterpreting what you said and I promise to try and do my best to put my personal bias and preconceptions towards you aside from now on. I will try be more charitable myself in the future when it comes to interpreting what you say and in my interactions with you. Sorry for my behavior, and hopefully it's not too late for us to start our relationship here anew.
Thank you. (And to @Deimos.)
I made a public commitment recently to improve my behaviour because I've been told I'm rubbing people the wrong way, and I believe I have improved. Maybe I'm not perfect, but I'm certainly less bad.
On my side, I have no animosity toward you - or to 99.99% of people on this site. I respect you; I always have, even when we disagree.
Honestly, thank you too. I know I can be a pretentious, conceited, know-it-all and am often remarkably unpleasant to interact with, especially once I have "made up my mind" on something (or someone)... but I too am genuinely trying to change the things which I know are not particularly good qualities in myself, and so I really do appreciate you not holding a grudge against me when you would absolutely be justified in doing so given my unfair treatment of you thus far. So thanks for that, and thanks for giving me an opportunity to hopefully repair any bridges I have potentially burned with you along the way so far.
And let me say to you, @cfabbro, and you, @Algernon_Asimov, that this exchange is exactly why I believe both that Tildes' discussion culture is the best one I've ever seen, and that removing display of usernames from topics is the right thing to do.
Thanks for the public, gracious, self-aware, and honest apologies to one another.
It's far too easy to carry a personal history of disputation into everything a named poster brings forth, regardless of whether the intent of the specific topic/comment was provocative.
We're all coming from places where assuming bad faith is the default option, and we're still unlearning that habit. As I said above, I welcome the opportunity to first engage with what was written, then determine my attitude towards the writer.
Actually, I really like that HN features who submitted the article; anything submitted by Drew DeVault I click on, for example.
Furthermore, getting rid of usernames seems fine for News-style subreddits; but with things like ~music, which are basically crowdsourced-curation, it seems odd to remove it; it's useful in the same way as names on album reviews is.
Yeah, that was my exact feeling on the matter as well:
But that's based on the domain name displayed after the title "(drewdevault.com)", not the poster's username, right?
No, that's based on his username, Sir_Cmpwn.
Of course, this doesn't work if you totally remove personal ownership of link topics. If you dissociate usernames from their topics, there's no way to filter or highlight topics by particular users.
I, personally, would prefer to not have to install a userscript to reobtain basic functionality.
Similar to what I mentioned in my sibling reply, why do you find the username on every post useful? Is it basically a function that could be implemented "properly", instead of something you need to do in your head manually on each post?
The concern here is that you're suggesting a system for blocking and following users, in effect if not transparenly through overt controls.
We can construct our own filter bubbles, but I'd rather be capable of forgetting snits at specific users and discovering new content without preconceptions about the poster, unless I go to considerable lengths to ensure I don't see a particular poster's content. If I had to choose between a well-formatted and easily intelligible topic, versus knowing right out of the gate who posted it, I think I'd choose the former.
Also, there's an advantage in discouraging a "fans and followers" social model, so that people may feel more like they're responsible for contributions.
That presumes the primary purpose of Tildes is aggregation of good quality content and conversations about topics, not formation of a "social network" at the expense of this purpose.
No I'm not... at least not any more so than was already possible. And I am also not suggesting a built in feature to do so, merely recognizing that it's something that occurs naturally anyways. E.g. certain users have submitted multiple things to ~music I have greatly enjoyed in the past and so I am more likely to give their next submission a listen immediately too. And vice versa.
And there is disadvantages to completely removing identity from submissions as well... which I am simply pointing out.
Tildes is also supposed to be a "community" and IMO you can't have that without identity and allowing people to distinguish themselves through their comments and submitted content.
I feel that identity belongs with the comments, not the topic. Rather than attaching our identities to the material we bring in from elsewhere, ownership belongs with what we create and contribute to conversation with each other.
As @Hungariantoast and @Deimos mentioned, it's still going to be possible to filter and search topics by hidden data attribute, but I believe there are community-building advantages in not facilitating reflexive rejection of, or devotion to, specific users' topics.
I think that depends entirely on what community you're talking about. I agree with that statement when it comes to certain communities... but disagree vehemently with some others. E.g. In ~news, users' feeling ownership over topics can be incredibly problematic because they often take criticism of the subject matter the submission covers personally and get angry when "their" submission is modified (even if it's for the better, like removing an editorialized headline or changing the link to a more reputable/objective one). However in taste-based communities like ~music and ~creative, removing ownership over topics is an absolutely terrible idea IMO since it makes the community feel cold/impersonal and makes cognitive filtering based on shared preferences that much harder.
I also mentioned the issue with filtering hidden attributes elsewhere as well:
I agree that the ownership problem probably isn't solved with a single method. I'm not a developer on this site, though.
Maybe it's a failure of technical imagination, but I don't see a clean way to set up hidden or revealed identities on topics by community without substantially increasing maintenance overhead, moderation needs, and technical debt risks.
Yeah, these are certainly not easy problems to solve (either culturally or technically), but I suspect that any one-size-fits-all approaches attempting to address them, regardless of how creative they may be, will be detrimental to the site overall. So in the end, regardless of the technical debt or moderation/maintenance overhead they will require, community specific approaches may ultimately be for the best.
Potentially allowing differentiation between communities in terms of features is not a bad thing though either... and is actually one of the things we discussed a great deal early on. And IMO uniformity across the entire site in that regard is one of reddit's greatest weaknesses and is also one of the reasons memes reign supreme there and high quality communities there takes so much more effort to maintain since one-size-fits-all approaches often lead to catering to the lowest common denominator.
You keep describing this as "one-size-fits-all", but this is exactly as one-size-fits-all as it was before. It was the same on every topic regardless of group before, and it's still the same. You just liked the old size better than the new one.
You're right the previous was one-size-fits-all as well, and ~news suffered because of it, which I fully admit. However this new one-size-fits-all approach severely hurts ~music and ~creative IMO. That's the problem with one-size-fits-all approaches... which is entirely my point.
I think the difficult part is that even inside certain groups, it's still fairly dependent on the individual topics.
For example, in ~creative, I completely agree that a post like this one should have the poster's name on it. It was their work, and that's much more important than the fact that it's on imgur.
However, for this post that's also in ~creative, the submitter (me) is unimportant.
So the difficult part is that it's more about the type of topic and not necessarily the group it's made in. What we want is a way to identify the source of the post. In ~creative, that's the creator. This might be the same as the person that made the post, but it might not. In ~music, you're thinking that it's important who is the source of the recommendation as well as the music itself (and it definitely can be).
I'm not sure what the best way to resolve that is. In ~creative, it could be that people should really be making text posts when they're submitting their own work (since they almost invariably make a comment to talk about the link they posted anyway), but that wouldn't work well for ~music.
So... I don't know. I think we can do better than the old way, and better than this way too. But I'm not sure exactly how to do it well.
Possible solution I can think of is differentiating between groups that are more personalized and groups that are more broad and link-aggregation based, as @cfabbro suggested.
If you want to get even more precise, you can give users an option when making a post to choose if the post is OC/ personal. So a user posting their art on ~creative can add an "OC" attribute to their post, which will automatically make their username visible. And someone posting an article can just leave the "OC" option blank, which will remove their username from the post.
Of course the problem is that users might start to abuse this system and will need some moderation. So in this case I agree with @cfabbro in making the visibility of OP's name group-specific. So in the future when users will have the ability to make groups/sub-groups on their on, they will have an option to choose if the group is more personalized/community-based or more generalized. This method won't be as easy to abuse because there wont be thousands of groups being created daily, so the moderation can go case by case and decide if the "Personalized/ Community-based" attribute is appropriate to the group.
I think this is a really good idea, and I also think it fits with the ethos of the site: that is, if someone is misusing something, then we take away the thing from them – don't hamstring everyone just so that nobody can ever abuse anything.
I can see where you're coming from, in that regardless of the specific group there are going to be some edge cases where the username is more/less critical to know there. However IMO in the more taste-based, original content and community focused groups, excluding usernames is generally more harmful than beneficial, whereas the only groups where including usernames is potentially more harmful than beneficial is in the (ideally) more factual/event-based groups, of which there aren't really that many (~news, ~enviro?, ~humanities, ~science).
So by defaulting to excluding usernames, you're on-balance doing more harm than good (again just IMO)... and forcing everyone to use text-topics when they want/need to have their username included is not really ideal, especially in groups like ~music where that is a PITA way to view music videos/listen to songs, and since that would also severely devalue filtering by text-topics as those should be reserved for more meta, personal and conversational submissions, not external links.
As for how you can potentially do it better, unless you can come up with a more viable, granular option (either by allowing "mods" or the users who submit content to choose whether the individual external link topics include/exclude usernames), you're probably better off just including usernames by default site-wide and only excluding them by default in the few, more factual/event-based groups (~news, ~enviro, ~humanities, ~science) that actually receive tangible benefits from removing user "ownership" over external link submissions. Although, to be honest, the only one I really see an inarguable case for excluding usernames by default is ~news, largely because of the contentiousness of recent political issues where objectivity, removing editorialized headlines and removing poor sources is far more critical.
That's my 2¢, anyways... and as I said before, I definitely don't think these are easy problems to solve and no matter what you do there will be tradeoffs, since even when going case by case and allowing group specific solutions/features there will usability tradeoffs as a result.
@cfabbro has mentioned how this change would be useful in places like ~news, though.
I rarely even notice usernames unless I'm answering a comment, and the usernames on the main page don't bother me at all. It's entirely neutral to me. But /u/cfabbro made good points and its the upvoted comment in the thread, so I say keep them for now.
i'd be just fine with efforts to minimize people feeling like they "own" a topic, but i observe the current setup as kinda silly, personally. if the intent is supposed to be to minimize "ownership" of a topic it'd be sorta weird to only apply it on the front page, but then not change it at all within a topic too. in the current implementation, it feels like a half measure that does basically nothing. i still very clearly know for example this topic was posted by /u/patience_limited (and thus if we assume ownership, is "theirs") because it's still plastered at the top of a the topic right after the title--i just can't see that from the outside and it takes another click.
IMO it's highly group dependent and I worry this one-size-fits-all approach of trying to completely remove ownership is the wrong one. E.g. User ownership of a topic in ~music is generally a good thing because it lets people get to know one another through their musical preferences... whereas ownership of a topic in ~news is more often than not a bad thing for all the reasons discussed in that ~tildes.official topic.
I really, really like this one. For the few video submissions I've made, I've tried to include to run-time in the title so folks know what they're getting into if they decide to open it up. It feels like very relevant information.
I'm kind of wondering whether word count is necessary. Video length is a great indicator because it gives a metric for how long it'd take a watch the content that's being linked; but word count is merely an inference. I actually don't know what it means for an article to have "2500 words". Is that a lot, or not much? Sure, I could do the math and translate that into a reading time, but I feel like offering that directly via something like
(6–8 minute read)would be more preferable. Pick a low & high wpm value that encompasses 90% of readers and present that instead—with the word count being exposed on hover/tap, perhaps?
I second estimated read time more than word count. Medium has talked about how they calculate reading speed, which is basically ~275 wpm. I don't think you'll crawl to get image count (as Medium does, to add an estimated time for looking at images), but I also like the idea of it being conveyed as a range. 6–8 minute read intellectually feels more honest than a "7 minute read", but I'm sure there's lots of highly paid UX people which have A/B tested this comprehensively (/s). The presence of video duration is, I think, more critical than read count as it's far harder to skim a video than an article.
I don't think anyone expects to read for exactly X minutes. It's just a measure most of us will be translating to our own units without thinking: I can read much slower or faster than the standard reading time, it just has to be consistent for me to get an idea of how much time I will actually spend. The main objective of this metric it's not to be right, but to be easy to interpret and translate.
I think most sites use something in the 200-250 words per minute range for reading time. I remember quite a few people being opposed to displaying reading time vs. word count when it was brought up a while back, but yeah, maybe it's more easily understandable overall. I don't want to have too many user preferences, but it might also be reasonable to allow people to choose which one they want as well.
Understandable. I wouldn't actually expect to find "word count or reading length" surfaced as a preference, it's such a minor thing; at least in my opinion. Perfect is the enemy of good, as such. Anything which keeps the codebase lighter and more maintainable for yourself and any contributors is a good thing.
I'm strongly against an unnecessary user preference. While I would prefer "read time" as a metric, I would be more in support of an editorial/engineering/product/etc decision which comes down on one side or the other, instead of an increased code surface to support users switching between word count or read time. User preferences should be for things which make a meaningful impact.
Word count on hover maybe? (as in title attr)
Using hover as a site mechanism is problematic because of mobile.
For critical features yes. For word count?
Wouldn't word count be more important if you're on mobile? You're more likely to have less reading time than if you're at a computer. You're more likely to have to worry about download times and data allowances. Word count would be more useful for mobile users than computer users.
But, I agree with @cfabbro: hover-to-reveal is annoying and unhelpful, mostly for mobile users, but also for computer users.
IMO for almost any feature, regardless of it being critical or not, hover is generally a very poor mechanic to rely on for webapps from a UX standpoint. There is often no visual feedback to indicate the hover event is even there in the first place, so the only way to discover them is by accident. From an accessibility standpoint hover is also problematic since it relies on using the mouse and so keyboard navigation users (and screen readers) often don't have any consistently reliable means for accessing them (even with :focus and ARIA role=tooltip properly applied). And the fact that hover doesn't even work on mobile browsers (esp if there is an onclick event tied to the element as well) is just yet another reason not to use it.
If nothing else, please make the time estimate opt-in, if it is implemented. It's unlikely to be right for most users and on top of that is practically a regression in functionality if put in the place of a word count.
I'd lean toward keeping word count. A downside to estimated reading time is the psychological barrier it adds. With word count I don't give it a second thought, but if I see minutes then I might avoid longer posts thinking "do I really want to spend 10 more minutes of my day reading some random post?", it might be stressful to do that multiple times per visit.
It's also misleading because going into a topic you're immediately presented with comments and discussion as well. A "3 minute read" could easily lead to 20 minutes engaged in discussion.
Plus, skimming is an important skill as others have mentioned. Many articles artificially pad their length. 2000 word articles often don't take much longer to "read" than 1000 words.
All of these are good reasons to take away the video length indicator too then. "Read length" is just that—the length of the article, it shouldn't need a legal document attached to it indicating that it obviously doesn't include discussion & comments. It just requires people to utilise a bit of common sense.
I'd expect for many people, the desire to have an approachable and easily understood metric of "here's a rough guide for how much time you might spend reading this piece" would vastly outweigh the minor edge cases of discussions, video/article length padding, and other minutiae you've raised.
Not really, someone else already pointed out that videos are inherently difficult to skim, unlike text. I see YouTube, I expect to devote a fixed amount of time to it. Text, nope.
Videos include both hard & soft ads, intros & outros, cuts, and can start playing at any arbitrary point. Depending on the submission & user preferences, the video length could vary by just as much as any two people reading a similar length article.
I think you're getting hung up or otherwise conflating my desire as trying to present a precise measurement of length for text; it's obvious people read at different speeds; which is why the majority of sensible implementations would present a range rather than a fixed value.
Trying to make this an argument about including comments & Tildes discussion in overall submission dwell time is out of scope.
You're solely talking about external articles whereas I was including Tildes text topics, which often include a discussion prompt. Both of them, as of today, have word counts. It's in scope for the case I was talking about.
(I know you're going to respond "obviously I was talking about external articles only, since that's the new feature today" but that wasn't evident from your original comment.)
Given that everyone reads at different paces, I think the word count would be much more useful. Just using the site for a day and noticing word counts as you read would give you some sense of how much time you're investing. The more you read and the more you pay attention, the more you'll get this down to an art.
It's pretty easy to adjust your own reading time though. What's important is that reading time keeps the numbers small and approachable. Five minutes is way easier to quickly internalize than 2,500 words. That's important when skimming headlines.
There is also something to be said for the obtuseness of a raw word count though. "Small and approachable" only works up until a point, and anything over 15 minutes is likely to discourage the vast majority of people from actually reading the submitted article. Whereas with a raw word count, since that needs to be converted in peoples' heads, it may not have the same effect no matter how big the number. I personally don't have a preference between either but IMO that's definitely something to consider before picking one or the other as default.
The converse of this is stubborn readers like me - I'll skip right past anything where the word count is scarcely greater than the topic header, and dive into the longer material. I suppose there could be a longread flag for anything over 2,500 words instead?
There already is (https://tildes.net/?tag=long_read), although it's not really formalized... so perhaps it should be by being automatically applied based on word count? That could be kind of handy.
I've tagged anything which takes me longer than 10 minutes with a "long read". It's not necessarily about words and pages, as much as a suggestion to the viewer that the material might be more comfortably consumed on a full screen than a mobile device.
That's why it's probably best surfaced as a range rather than a value; to encompass a majority. The issue with what you're saying is that with word counts, nearly all people will need to internalise and process how to translate a word count into a reading length. But with reading lengths, 90% of people will be in the range automatically, and the remaining 10% will need to internalise and process how to adjust the stated values to match their own reading speed. So why not just provide reading lengths in the first place?
The intent of the metric, regardless of what specific measurement you use, is "how much time is this going to take me to parse"; so why not just provide it in the most understandable & user-friendly measurement possible?
For reference, Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado is just shy of 2500 words. A quick read easily finished in the duration of a bathroom/smoke break.
Thrice as long reaches the bar for a short story, and the average reader would take about a half hour to finish.
With the usernames removed for article submissions but kept for self posts, it really resembles a news website where columnists get their name exposed more prominently that the reporters. My gut feeling is that that is unfair, and the reporter deserves the recognition.
I don't think dissociating posts from owners will work, even in ~news, because the poster will know what they posted, and will feel ownership thereof nevertheless. Removing "postership" will be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Apart from those, I also support the arguments od @cfabbro and @hungariantoast.
I think moving the word count / video length to a second row below to form a new row of info together with the username might help with the whitespace issue.
Also, I think the domain info slot is not that useful given one can just hover on desktop or long press on mobile to see the domain.
I agree. I see no functional reason to not have usernames on every post. I wasn't around for a couple months and coming back to it is actually kind of disorienting, I like skimming the usernames to see who is submitting.
If you're going for features which may help engagement, I suggest highlighting on listing pages if there are any number of exemplary/highly voted comments, which may indicate particularly good discussion.
I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I like the change.
At first glance I could tell something had changed, but wasn't sure, then realised I wasn't seeing usernames.
This kind of threw me momentarily, but then I realised I wasn't judging a post on the basis of who made it and whether I liked that person or not, but on how interesting I found it.
Overall I think this is a positive change.
I'm in the same boat on the username change to link posts. I'll still end up clicking the comments just to see the OP's reason for why they thought the link was interesting, but I'm not judging my interest by the username as much (and that's, I think, a good thing).
I really like adding a word count and length of video to the information provided.
Any update on when you plan on unprivating the site so its visible to others?
Hoping for early next week (ideally Monday, but we'll see how that goes). Some of these changes are related to that, since I need to update how a number of things work to be able to handle logged-out users.
Awesome, thats exciting!
I don't mind the look of excerpts honestly. The only problem I have with them is that links are unclickable if the excerpt is short and non-expandable, like with tweets.
I think we need to keep some way to be able to expand the full text of text posts from listings, so even if we dropped the excerpt we'd need to replace it with some other interface element for that function anyway. I also think it's important to be able to distinguish between link topics and text topics, and the presence of the excerpt is (generally) one of the easiest ways to be able to do that.
I'm not necessarily opposed to getting rid of it, but I do personally find it pretty useful, and think there's potential to use it in some other ways as well (such as showing full tweets).
Yeah, I love the excerpt section for twitter especially too. Twitter is cancer and I generally avoid visiting it at all costs if I can, so being able to see submitted tweets in full without having to go there is very much appreciated.
Without needing to comb through the commits (I'm not very familiar with python), I'm curious as to how you're calculating word-count for a large number of sites. Is there an external API you're using for this? Or are you using something like
beautifulsoupand guessing at html elements that contain the article's content?
It's Embedly's "Extract" API, which can pull content out of a lot of sites (along with a bunch of other information).
I notice you've added an "Exemplary" text label to exemplary comments (it even says how many times the comment has been labelled as exemplary). Nice touch. Adds extra visibility to exemplary comments.
Yeah, just a tiny change, but with public visibility coming up I've been trying to think through how various things are displayed and what might be confusing to viewers that don't have an account. I realized that for everyone other than the author, the only thing that signified an Exemplary comment was the colored left border (blue in the current themes) and that wouldn't explain anything.
Speaking of which... when will that be? Elsewhere in this thread, you said it would be early last week. But it's not last week any more. :P
Yeah, I aborted doing it last week due to the news about reddit taking a bunch more VC and the predictable weird tantrum that happened in response. I'd prefer the public visibility to start off more quietly than that, or at least with users that are legitimately interested in Tildes and not just a horde outraged by something they don't really understand.
I've responded to several hundred invite-request emails over the last few days anyway, and there are a few hundred more requests in the subreddit as well.
I noticed Tildes was getting plugged in a couple askreddit threads over the last two days and is coming up fairly regularly in hackernews replies. Also seeing it in the wild on some of the chans more often. General consensus I see in all of these places is 'reddit without the assholes'. Word of mouth is everywhere and generally quite positive, though there's always a few people bitching about invite-only as if that were a bad thing. :P
Tildes has been popping up on /g/ quite regularly (with invites) for months now. I'm kinda glad we've got chan users in here. More forum cultures means more perspectives when building the place and that's always a good thing in my book. Chan users can teach us a few things about the benefits and drawbacks of anonymous posting, for example... and I'm sure the 'sage' mechanic will make an appearance here someday, in some form.
I remember that SA thread. I was amused. :)
It's funny. Back in the day, I knew all the big news about Reddit, and a lot of the little news. These days, I barely have any idea what's going on there outside my tiny little patch that I'm holding on to for sentimental reasons. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
I agree: we don't want to be inundated with a flood of people leaving Reddit because they're outraged at Reddit's latest outrageous outrage-trigger. That's not the right reason for people to come here.
I've noticed some more people arriving. It's good to see some fresh blood around the place.
word count/length of video is good. it feels like it'd be more natural and probably more user-friendly to bunch the website name with the word count/video length instead of having them in two separate places though, like /r/documentaries and other video-heavy subreddits tend to do with flairs back on reddit.
Ah, hmm. If I added a data attribute, would that be usable? Something like
<article>element for each topic?
I do want to add more customizable filtering eventually, but I don't mind adding something like that as a stopgap.
Alright, added now as
LOL! True, but funny.
In other words, you think it's more important for people to know where an item is from than who posted it here. Because, let's be honest here: it's not like there's a lack of whitespace for you to use. There is plenty of room there to show the username and the domain.
If you're considering the source of an item... here on Tildes, that's not only the domain the item resides on - it's also the person who decided to post here on Tildes. The item came from a domain and from the person who posted it here.
At least you're not removing ownership of posts entirely. That means I don't have to rehash my arguments against that idea. :)
This is a neutral change to me.
This is very useful.
If you need to.
Good. And I see that this timestamp changes to a date after the post is one week old; that's helpful.
That's true when you're using the site on a widescreen monitor on PC, but it's not universally true. I have the site open on my portrait-orientation monitor fairly often, and there's not room for both on there. There's also definitely not room for both when using the site on a phone. So for cases like that, we'd have to choose to display one or the other (basically what we're doing now for everyone), or potentially do something like wrap to a second row of info, which can be a little weird and takes up more vertical space per post.
The tags wrap around on to a second (even third) line if there are too many of them to fit across the screen in a portrait orientation, as does the title if it's too long. So, you're obviously not applying limits to the vertical space allocated to a topic. You could add another row to display more data, if necessary.
You're assuming vertical space isn't an issue Deimos is concerned with just because it has yet to be addressed with the tags... but I very much doubt the way it works now, with tags potentially taking up that much vertical space, is the way it will remain forever. And there was talk of limiting tags to the most pertinent 3-4 with the rest hidden behind a fold (like how steam does it) specifically because of that very reason. And while I don't personally think that usernames should be something that is sacrificed at the vertical space limitations altar, I totally understand how it is at least a factor in the decision making process.
Just as an aside, this is usually a poor justification for almost anything UI related. Whitespace is not the lack of a feature, it's a feature itself.
This is one thing I hate with current UIs, especially on websites and in dumb projects like many Gnome apps. I am all for using up the whitespace to provide useful controls and information, just like old Reddit (which was beautiful to look at IMO).
Whitespace—what I'm discussing—shouldn't be confused with a dearth of controls. It's very much possible to have both.
I'm not saying "Look, there's whitespace... we must fill it with something!"
I'm saying "If you need more room to display something, there is available whitespace which can be used."
The word count, video length, and the timestamp restrictions are great 'quality of life' changes to the site in my opinion.
The word count option will make tags like 'long read' obsolete, which is a good change.
As for the other more complex changes, I don't have a stance but I won't mind seeing them being tested. You can implement them for a few months and just make a poll at the end to see if the users are satisfied with it, if not, they can be simply reverted. No harm no foul.
Whoever's running the wiki,
For an alpha, the site's been way too stable.needs to be on the historic quotes page. XD
That makes me incredibly sad. :(
We really need an official wiki at some point IMO. Especially since, while I didn't need access to them often, there was still a lot of really useful links/pages on the unofficial wiki I would love to still have access to and the ability to add more to at some point.