Updates have been slow lately—I've been working on some larger projects that have ended up with me getting lost down some rabbit-holes that I probably should have stayed away from. Hopefully there will be some progress to show from those before too much longer.
Anyway, I've just deployed an update that re-arranges a few elements, with the most major change being that most topic tags are no longer shown by default on the "listing pages", such as the home page and when you're inside a specific group. The tags added a ton of clutter to the page for information that wasn't important at all most of the time, and multiple people have told me that they found them intimidating and confusing.
I'll come back to the reasoning behind it, but first: if you want to continue seeing tags on topics in listings, there's a new setting for that near the top of the Settings page: "Show topic tags in listing pages". I've also already enabled this setting for anyone that has the permission to tag other users' topics, since I think those users clearly care more about tagging (and if you'd like that permission to help with tagging topics, send me a message and let me know and I can give it to you).
For more about why, I think this old page by Cory Doctorow from 18 years ago does a good job of explaining why detailed metadata systems often have a lot of issues. Even though some users (including me) care a lot about trying to organize and label everything, most users really don't, and it's intimidating to try to figure out how to tag "properly".
This will only get worse as the site continues to grow and more tagging conventions and history are built up, so I wanted to try addressing this now, before it gets too bad. Not having the tags on listings will also have some other benefits like not needing to worry so much about adding "too many" tags to topics, potentially being able to come up with some new special uses for tags in the future, and so on.
Various other minor tweaks were made to the layout as part of this and some upcoming changes (like being able to hide/ignore topics from the listing page). Just a quick list:
- "nsfw" and "spoiler" tags will still be shown in listings. Other "important" tags will be enabled eventually to continue showing in listings, probably even on a per-group level.
- On a topic's comments page, tags are now displayed below the title instead of being in the sidebar
- On the new topic page, the "add tags" field is hidden (collapsed, requires a click) by default. Once a user shows interest in tagging—either by submitting a new topic with tags or changing tags on a topic—it will be shown in the future. I enabled it for a lot of existing users that have done any tagging recently, so most of you probably won't even notice this.
- The "content metadata" such as word count and publication date is now shown in listings next to a topic's group, instead of in parentheses after its title. Without the tags, we have more room for this and can probably do some more with this soon.
- Link topic favicons (the site logos) are now shown next to the site's name, instead of before the title.
That should mostly cover it for now. Let me know if you have feedback or questions.
And as usual, I've given every 10 invites, accessible on the invite page