Adding new groups
Hi! I just joined today and I was a little surprised there's no way for a user to add their own groups, and that the existing list of groups is so small. @Deimos I do trust you have good reasons for everything, but I'm just ignorant: what's the downside to adding a bunch of new groups at once?
This is talked about a bit in the mechanics.
I guess my concern is with this:
Obviously a totally inactive community is worthless, but if the big communities are active enough, I don't see the downside in there being a lot more groups.
If it were up to me, we'd add a bunch more groups that we already know will be popular. For example, ~baseball will be a large group someday. Why not start it now?
Because right now, ~sports.baseball would only have 4 posts in it at max. ~sports.baseball can be created organically by people posting significant amounts of content in ~sports with the tag baseball.
That is correct, but there are other issues arising from this situation. It can be pretty uncomfortable to generate content in unspecific communities. The comfort may range from very serious matters to mere mood.
In other words, this kind of design stalls activity by itself.
Someone already proposed DAGs so that groups can be created and organized more dynamically, but that's just a functional model, it lacks a solution for the presentation.
So does creating groups that don't fill out in short order. It looks like a ghost town and drives people away.
Figuring out a rule of thumb for when to split a group into subgroups (and a rule of thumb for when to reverse that process) is probably something that should be done soon.
Maybe after N posts in Y days (with N and Y subject to change with overall site traffic) or P percent of content in a general group tagged with a specific content tag. I don't have a good feel for traffic here, but I'd ballpark (pun unintended) the numbers for a ~sports.baseball to get created:
N = 100, Y = 5
P = 10%
Having a way to close (= no new posts) or remove (= posts rejoin the parent general group) would facilitate timely groups. Maybe at the end of the season ~sports.baseball.2018-playoffs gets created for people still interested, and those whose passion is not deep and don't care about the teams that made it stay out of the group.
Because you can still talk about these things in the current groups. They don’t have to be ultra-specific groups dedicated to one topic, and that would just fragment our small community. We barely have more than 2,000 users. There is no need for more groups yet. We can still discuss topics in a broad group without fragmenting our tiny user base.
The userbase would fragment apart in many small groups and wouldn't form a cohesive community. He cited a specific example, although I'm afraid I can't remember it at the moment...
They allowed user created groups from the start and the site wound up having 10x as many groups as users making the whole site look virtually empty because the population was so spread out and isolated from each other, despite having a decent user base over all.
As a sidenote, Imzy was also a project of a former Reddit guy who gave an interview about it just two months ago. I wondered immediately whether he was involved as well, when tildes was announced.
A few ex-Imzy staff are here on ~ already too though I don't think Dan is yet. Though he is apparently aware of ~ already.