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    1. Currently, when someone registers on Tildes they're automatically subscribed to all of the existing groups (except ~test). I did this because while the site is this small, it seemed like the best...

      Currently, when someone registers on Tildes they're automatically subscribed to all of the existing groups (except ~test). I did this because while the site is this small, it seemed like the best way to try to get reasonable activity in a wide range of the groups, but I absolutely don't want to keep doing it for long.

      I think it's very important that people should need to seek out groups that they're interested in, instead of being defaulted into them and needing to opt out. Here's a really old post I wrote on reddit about how being a default subscription made it impossible for /r/gaming to ever be a quality gaming subreddit, but it applies to all defaults.

      So, how should we decide when the site's starting to get active enough that we can stop the auto-subscriptions? And once we do, what do you think is a good way to start people out so that they're able to find groups they're interested in? Maybe, as mentioned in another thread earlier today, we should have a "welcome / getting started" page that new users end up on that goes over some of the important settings and helps them look into subscribing to groups?

      9 votes
    2. Tildes has a feature that marks which comments are new in threads since you last visited (kind of like a combination of the similar gold comment-highlighting and RES features on reddit), but I've...

      Tildes has a feature that marks which comments are new in threads since you last visited (kind of like a combination of the similar gold comment-highlighting and RES features on reddit), but I've noticed that not many people are enabling it so far.

      I think the reason is that I made the label/description of it a bit too scary, and it sounded like it was some sort of tracking for the sake of tracking, without explaining the actual benefit enough. So I've updated the info now, and added a small image that shows what it does to its settings page. If you didn't already have the feature enabled because I scared you off about it, please take a look at the Settings page again and see if it makes more sense now.

      13 votes
    3. Alright, not so much a particular "discussion" today, but there are already a couple of other good ones going on in ~tildes as well. As I'm sure many of you have noticed, I've started actively...

      Alright, not so much a particular "discussion" today, but there are already a couple of other good ones going on in ~tildes as well.

      As I'm sure many of you have noticed, I've started actively promoting the site around some reddit places today, and I'm sure it'll probably spread some more from there too. In support of that, I've given all the current users 5 invite codes that you can give to others if you'd like to invite anyone. You can get to these on the invite page, which is linked from the sidebar on your user page.

      Also, in case you missed it, I fixed the invite process the other day so that you can have multiple active codes now, so you don't still need to invite only one person at a time.

      As always, let me know if you need more invite codes or have a particular suggestion for ways you'd like to invite more people. Hopefully we can keep some momentum going for a bit now and get the activity to a self-sustaining level.

      16 votes
    4. Whoops, forgot about posting a daily discussion until pretty late today, sorry. Simple topic since it's late: what do you think about adding "expand inline" functionality for topics that point to...

      Whoops, forgot about posting a daily discussion until pretty late today, sorry.

      Simple topic since it's late: what do you think about adding "expand inline" functionality for topics that point to sites that provide embeds (like YouTube)? There's already the ability to expand text topics, and it can certainly be useful for other types as well. It's a bit dangerous for things like images though, and if we do allow it we'll need to be careful about whether it starts tilting the site towards "quick" content.

      Any opinions?

      12 votes
    5. It's still very rough in quite a few ways, but lack of comment reply notifications has definitely been one of the biggest missing features, so I wanted to get this basic form of it out before I...

      It's still very rough in quite a few ways, but lack of comment reply notifications has definitely been one of the biggest missing features, so I wanted to get this basic form of it out before I worry about fixing some of the weirdness with it.

      A few quick notes on it:

      • Currently, notifications are only for replies to comments. You won't get any notifications for replies to topics, username mentions, etc.
      • Currently, you can only view the unread notifications. Once you mark one as read, it'll be gone with no way to see it again. It's still stored and viewing read notifications will definitely be possible in the future, just not yet.
      • There are some strange interactions between the comment visit-tracking and the notifications still, I'm not totally sure how I'm going to handle those yet.

      Let me know if you notice anything else, I'll probably apply some more updates to it before long to fix some of the strange aspects.

      9 votes
    6. I've made a couple of fairly minor changes to sorting for topic listings recently: pulled the sorting options (most votes, most comments, newest) out of a dropdown list and made them into tabs, to...

      I've made a couple of fairly minor changes to sorting for topic listings recently:

      • pulled the sorting options (most votes, most comments, newest) out of a dropdown list and made them into tabs, to make it easier to switch between them
      • added an "all time" option to the time-period dropdown

      The default sorting on the site is also still currently set to "newest" since the activity is low, and I think that's the best way to make sure new posts are getting seen.

      I'm also planning to add a sort along the lines of "recent activity" where it will behave like a forum - new topics still come in at the top of the list, but any time a topic gets a new comment it moves back up to the top as well. This will mean that active topics stay near the top, instead of gradually being pushed down by new ones, regardless of how active they are.

      Any thoughts on that idea or the other changes? Once I do add the "activity" sort, do you think that's a better option as the default for now, or should I stick with "newest" (or even switch to one of the others)? Any other suggestions or ideas for different sorting methods?

      10 votes
    7. Edit: I decided to change it from "Recent activity" to just "Activity". As mentioned in the post over the weekend, I've added a new sorting option now: "recent activity". This behaves kind of like...

      Edit: I decided to change it from "Recent activity" to just "Activity".

      As mentioned in the post over the weekend, I've added a new sorting option now: "recent activity". This behaves kind of like a forum, where active topics (ones getting new comments) will keep coming back up to the top of the list. I haven't added any specific protections like @cfabbro suggested in that thread, but I will if it seems necessary to prevent excessive "bumping".

      I'm considering making this the default sort while the site's overall activity is still pretty low, but haven't done it just yet. Let me know what you think of it, and if you notice any weirdness.

      15 votes
    8. Previously, the invite process was pretty annoying if you were planning to invite multiple people - you could only have one "active" invite code at a time, so you'd have to send someone a code and...

      Previously, the invite process was pretty annoying if you were planning to invite multiple people - you could only have one "active" invite code at a time, so you'd have to send someone a code and then wait until they registered before you could generate another code for the next person.

      I've fixed this now and it's possible to have multiple active codes, so you can generate as many as you need (up to the limit of how many codes you've been granted). You can do this on the invite page: https://tildes.net/invite

      Hopefully this makes it easier to invite people, and as always if you want more codes for a particular purpose just send me a message and let me know.

      17 votes
    9. Okay, okay. The default site theme is now less beige/tan/yellow. This was a bit of a quick-and-dirty way of doing it, so the other colors are all still the Solarized ones for now, but I may change...

      Okay, okay. The default site theme is now less beige/tan/yellow. This was a bit of a quick-and-dirty way of doing it, so the other colors are all still the Solarized ones for now, but I may change them around some later.

      The other themes are still available, and can now be selected on the Settings page—if you want the beige back, that's "Solarized Light". I also added a theme with a full-black background (I don't think it looks very good, but it's there).

      11 votes
    10. Currently, Tildes user pages only show one "page" of the user's history—their most recent 20 topics and/or comments. This wasn't really a deliberate choice, I just haven't added pagination yet...

      Currently, Tildes user pages only show one "page" of the user's history—their most recent 20 topics and/or comments. This wasn't really a deliberate choice, I just haven't added pagination yet (it's a bit tricky because of the combination of topics and comments). But I wanted to talk about the general idea of being able to look through users' histories and see if there's anything we should consider doing differently.

      In some ways, being able to look through user histories is nice. Sometimes I find a user that makes good posts, and I like to go back and see what else they've posted. However, a lot of people use it in a malicious way, going back through people's posts to find "dirt", or even sometimes using it as a way to doxx them. This happens a lot on Twitter especially, where attention will land on someone for some reason, and people will dig through years of their previous tweets to find things to attack them with.

      Even reddit (unintentionally) puts a limit on how much history you can look back through because of their 1000-item limit on any listings. That's not a limitation that I'm going to have, so adding pagination will mean that it's possible to view all of any user's previous posts.

      Do you think we should add some restrictions to how much history is visible to try to reduce these bad uses, or is that futile/unnecessary?

      11 votes
    11. Today's daily topic comes out of a discussion in this thread yesterday - people are currently feeling a bit weird/rude about using the comment tags (described here, if you haven't read this...

      Today's daily topic comes out of a discussion in this thread yesterday - people are currently feeling a bit weird/rude about using the comment tags (described here, if you haven't read this already).

      So the questions are:

      • Does it just feel rude because we're currently very small-scale, where any negative action feels more personal?
      • Are there any ways that we could try to reduce that feeling a bit?
      • Should we just remove comment tags until the site is larger, since they're not very useful at this point anyway?

      Feel free to add any other thoughts/discussions about comment tags as well.

      10 votes
    12. I'm doing some writing (and re-writing/editing) for the Docs site today, to prepare for trying to spread the word about Tildes more in the near future. To help with that, what information,...

      I'm doing some writing (and re-writing/editing) for the Docs site today, to prepare for trying to spread the word about Tildes more in the near future. To help with that, what information, explanations, or answers do you feel are missing or insufficient right now?

      For example, the discussion we had the other day on moderation was a perfect example—there was no information really laid out about "how does moderation work?" I'm sure there are quite a few other subjects that also feel like mysteries for now.

      So, especially for people that only found out about Tildes recently, what other gaps are there where you feel like, "I don't understand how Tildes is planning to ____________"?

      11 votes
    13. Hey everyone, really happy to see people still coming back, and especially having extremely good discussions like this one about moderation. Here's my vague plans for the next few days: Finish...

      Hey everyone, really happy to see people still coming back, and especially having extremely good discussions like this one about moderation. Here's my vague plans for the next few days:

      Finish comment reply notifications and a couple other high-priority items

      I've got comment reply notifications mostly done now, and hope to have that out today or tomorrow. Username mention notifications should be pretty simple to add on top of that as well. Other than that, I need to look into fixing a few strange bugs that have been noticed, and would also like to get through a few other things in the backlog (including doing a better job of getting the backlog listed on the issue tracker).

      A significant feature I'd like to have soon is making it possible for other people to edit the tags on topics, as well as potentially allowing editing the title or even the link. For this to be possible though, we need to have a sort of log of the changes, so that there's accountability in who's making the changes and what they're doing.

      Some more updates/additions to the Docs pages

      The most important piece is to finish writing up some info about the "trust system", which is a lot of what we've been discussing in the "Community moderators?" post. This is going to be a really essential part of having the site be able to handle growth, so not having anything about it on the Docs site currently is a really big gap.

      I'd also like to do a bit of writing/rearranging of some of the other pages before I get too much public attention, since they're pretty scattered right now and are missing some information that people seem to look for.

      Invite more people and/or get some "larger" attention

      Once those other updates are done, I'm planning to start actively looking for a bit more public attention, including possibly posting to places like Hacker News or reddit. We're going to need a pretty steady inflow of people to keep the activity level up, so I think really getting the site out there soon is going to be the easiest way to do that. I do want to have the updates/info mentioned above done first though, so that will probably still be a couple days.

      In the meantime, I've topped up all existing users to 5 invite codes again, so if there's anyone you'd like to invite please feel free. You can get to your invite codes on this page, which is linked in the sidebar when you're on your user page.

      Thanks again, definitely let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, etc.

      11 votes
    14. Fairly straightforward question today - do you think it's useful/interesting for people to be able to write a small "about me" section on their userpage? There are definitely good uses for these,...

      Fairly straightforward question today - do you think it's useful/interesting for people to be able to write a small "about me" section on their userpage?

      There are definitely good uses for these, but they also have the potential to be used in spammy or otherwise bad ways too, so I'm not totally sure if it's something I want to do.

      Any thoughts or strong feelings about why this would be a good or bad feature?

      (P.S. Sorry, this is later than I'd usually like to make these posts)

      13 votes
    15. It's not quite notifications for replies/mentions yet, but in a similar vein, I've now added a feature that will mark which comments in a thread are new since your last visit, and also mark which...

      It's not quite notifications for replies/mentions yet, but in a similar vein, I've now added a feature that will mark which comments in a thread are new since your last visit, and also mark which topics have any new comments when you're on the listing page (like "9 comments (3 new)").

      To fit with Tildes's approach to privacy, this feature is disabled by default and requires you to opt in.

      There's a link to the page to do this from your settings page, which is linked from the sidebar on your userpage. The page explains the privacy implications and allows you to enable it if you want to use it.

      Let me know what you think of it, more new stuff coming soon.

      14 votes
    16. I'm going to start posting one "official" daily discussion topic a day in ~tildes to talk about general site things, plans for mechanics, feedback on specific ideas, etc. You're definitely all...

      I'm going to start posting one "official" daily discussion topic a day in ~tildes to talk about general site things, plans for mechanics, feedback on specific ideas, etc. You're definitely all welcome to post other similar topics as well if you want to, I just want to have one sort of "focused" post going every day.

      For today:

      What do you think of the current set of groups? It's a decent mix, but there are also some obvious gaps (though ~misc is supposed to act as a catch-all for posts that don't really fit anywhere else).

      Overall, it's a tricky balance—I think if there isn't a group where a particular topic seems to fit, it feels a little discouraging, like maybe you shouldn't post it. But I also don't want to create too many groups, where we end up with a lot of them just being inactive because it's uncommon for anyone to submit items that fit in there.

      And on a related topic, do you think there's a particular way we should try to handle "group requests", or just treat them mostly informally in ~tildes?

      14 votes
    17. I think I was confusing about this before, so to be clear up front: Tildes will stay invite-only for the foreseeable future. There's a ton to figure out and build before we can even consider...

      I think I was confusing about this before, so to be clear up front: Tildes will stay invite-only for the foreseeable future. There's a ton to figure out and build before we can even consider making the site open to the public. Staying invite-only will let us take our time on a lot of the systems and functionality, and build up a good "base culture" before worrying about a massive influx.

      However, starting now, we can stop treating it as a secret. Please don't go out of your way to promote/spam it anywhere (and I'm personally still going to take it a bit slow today), but if there are people that you want to talk to about it, feel free. Please try to send anyone to the announcement blog post first, since that's the best explanation of the site's goals.

      Edit: I've also tweeted the post from the official account, if that's useful for sharing or anything.

      I've also given all the current users 5 invite codes, so you can invite specific people if you'd like to. You can access these on this page, which is linked from the sidebar on your user page. Keep in mind that the site is currently quite minimal and inactive and probably will be for a while yet, so it's best to invite people that you think won't be discouraged by that (and ideally will help by posting things themselves). If you want more invite codes, just let me know and I can give you more.

      As always, thanks for being here so far, and please do tell me if you run into issues or have any feedback.

      15 votes
    18. Since we're starting to get a decent number of new people coming in (and I'm hoping to keep that going), I just set up a welcome message that will go out to all new users when they register. I...

      Since we're starting to get a decent number of new people coming in (and I'm hoping to keep that going), I just set up a welcome message that will go out to all new users when they register. I also went back and sent it to everyone that's already registered just to make sure everyone sees it, since I think the site hasn't been very good so far about explaining itself. A lot of you probably already knew (or figured out) the info in it, but maybe there's something new, like the tracking of comment visits if you don't already have that enabled.

      More stuff coming soon, I've got a few things in progress and have also been talking with a bunch of people about the site.

      13 votes
    19. Here's a quick list of things that I'm working on getting ready in the very near future. Please let me know if you have particular thoughts on any of these. Fixing the site icons for link topics...

      Here's a quick list of things that I'm working on getting ready in the very near future. Please let me know if you have particular thoughts on any of these.

      1. Fixing the site icons for link topics (currently just shows the blue dashed square).
      2. Putting some information in topic sidebars - any thoughts on what would be good to have here? I think I'd like to have some of the more-detailed metadata about the topic once there's more of that being generated (for example for videos, this could show which channel it's from, how long it is, etc.), but that still won't be very much and there's a lot of space. Commenting rules? Something else?
      3. Inbox/notifications for replies to your comments and topics, as well as username mentions. Any opinions about how it would be good to do this in a way that's convenient and not too annoying?
      4. Collapse buttons for comment threads (possibly by being able to click the line as well, similar to the reddit redesign)
      10 votes
    20. Alright, I'm going to take one more "private" day. I want to work on a few more of the high-priority items, and write up a bit more on the docs site related to questions that people have asked me...

      Alright, I'm going to take one more "private" day. I want to work on a few more of the high-priority items, and write up a bit more on the docs site related to questions that people have asked me so far, and information that still isn't very clear.

      I'll make at least another post or two later today in ~tildes with specific info for features, then let's plan to start trying to get some public attention tomorrow (edit: to be clear, the site is staying invite-only, just attention for the announcement post, I mean).

      If you want some invite codes today to quietly invite a few more people, just let me know and I can give you some.

      15 votes
    21. Just a couple quick notes for today: Updates I've made a few minor updates to layout and such here and there. I also changed the site's default sorting to "newest" while it's still pretty...

      Just a couple quick notes for today:

      Updates

      I've made a few minor updates to layout and such here and there. I also changed the site's default sorting to "newest" while it's still pretty inactive, since that should make it easier to see the new posts. I'm planning to get an update in pretty soon that will remember which sorting settings you change to (on an individual group basis), so you should be able to adjust that soon if you want to.

      Still working on the things I mentioned in this post, hopefully should have a couple of those done in the next day or two. I know the lack of reply notifications is especially painful and hard to keep conversations going at all, so I'm trying to get that in very soon.

      Invites + "going public"

      I'm inviting some more people directly today, so there will probably be various new faces showing up. If any of you have others that you want to invite, definitely let me know and I can contact them myself or give you some invite codes.

      Currently, my plan is to start going more public tomorrow or Wednesday, trying to spread the announcement post out a bit more and get more people invited. I'll probably give all of you some invite codes at that point too, whether you want them or not. If you have particular suggestions for where you think I should (or shouldn't) try to get attention on the post, let me know.

      Thanks, it's really great to see some people getting started using the site.

      17 votes
    22. Very basic for now, but there's now a button in the top left corner of each comment (before the author's username) to collapse the comment along with its replies. In the future I'll make this...

      Very basic for now, but there's now a button in the top left corner of each comment (before the author's username) to collapse the comment along with its replies.

      In the future I'll make this persist across page loads (so if you come back to the same thread, things will stay collapsed), and have the info at the top change - maybe showing how many comments are in the thread or something similar.

      First issue closed!

      10 votes
    23. Hey folks, thanks for trying things out so far. I know it's in a bit of an awkward phase right now where everything is inactive, but this should improve as more people join. Unfortunately I've had...

      Hey folks, thanks for trying things out so far. I know it's in a bit of an awkward phase right now where everything is inactive, but this should improve as more people join. Unfortunately I've had some bad timing today with fun things like a surprise early-morning trip to the vet, so I haven't been able to pay as much attention today as I wanted to.

      Anyway, a few updates:

      Site mechanics

      I did manage to spend some time writing up a page that explains some of the basic site mechanics, which is here: https://docs.tildes.net/mechanics

      Hopefully that helps explain things a bit better, since so far you've just basically had to try things to figure out what they are. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts about the info on that page.

      Issue tracker

      There's not much there yet either, but I set up an issue tracker here on gitlab (which is where I'll host the site's code eventually): https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes/issues

      I'm not expecting anyone to register on there and submit issues or anything, but that will be kind of the "formal" location for issues and plans (and I'll transfer things there that get reported on the site itself).

      Invites and other plans

      So far, I've only invited people that already knew what I was working on and that I've been talking to about it. Today and over the weekend, I'm going to start inviting some more specific people that I'd like to have involved but I haven't previously talked with about Tildes. While doing that, I'm also going to be working on the things mentioned in this post yesterday: https://tildes.net/~tildes/a/high_priority_things_to_fix_add

      If any of you have suggestions for people you'd like to invite (who won't be turned off by an inactive site), please let me know. I can contact them or give you some invite codes.

      Early next week, I'd like to start trying to get some public attention and expanding more quickly. This will probably include posting the announcement blog post to some places, as well as giving you all some invite codes. I don't have very specific plans yet though, so again, please let me know if you have any suggestions.

      Thanks again, and please keep posting a bit just so we can get some base activity going - if you read an interesting article or anything, just take a minute to post it here as well. Like I said, I know it's a bit awkward for now, but it will get better.

      11 votes