26 votes

Discontinuing the "What are you doing this weekend?" topics in favor of a better format, starting Monday. Opinions and feedback welcome.

EDIT: The cancellation of the "What are you doing this weekend?" topics is... uncancelled! After talking with others about it, I think we're just going to have both.

TL;DR: New topic coming Monday. Spans the entire week. Is about your plans, accomplishments, and feelings. Come discuss.


For those who don't know, I decided to start posting these topics after I ran across this comment by @cadadr. I knew that Lobsters, another link aggregation community that I love, ran weekly "What are you doing this weekend?" and "What are you working on this week?" posts and that these did two things:

  1. They often got a good deal of participation and broke the mold of an otherwise technology focused community, with interesting results.

  2. They provided an excellent opportunity for new users to participate with a low barrier to entry.

So, I started posting the "What are you doing this weekend?" topic as a series because I realized the reasons that idea is successful on Lobsters also make it successful here. On Tildes, it breaks the mold of in-depth discussion with interesting results and provides an opportunity for new or quiet users to participate without much of a barrier to entry. I see it as a way to facilitate community engagement.

I think, so far, the topics have worked out well and I've enjoyed posting them, but I want to extend the time period during which discussion can be held in them. Obviously, there's no rule saying people can't comment on those topics after the weekend is over, but people have communicated to me that they still feel weird about commenting on those topics even on a Sunday, or they feel weird talking about what they did that weekend, rather than what they planned on doing.

So now I've (maybe foolishly) committed myself to the task of solving all of these problems with a replacement to the "Weekend" series of topics with something that runs throughout the week and is a little more free-form. I still want the focus to be on people's plans, goals, and actions throughout the week (including weekends), but I don't want them to feel odd about participating at a certain point or in a certain way. I also want to continue mentioning that it's okay to discuss how they are doing as well, if they don't want to discuss what they are doing.

I've made this topic separate from my last "Weekend" topic so that my ramblings here (and any discussion spawned from it) won't take over that topic.

The main point of this change is to make the window larger. The "Weekend" topics were nice, but they were only dedicated to three days. I want users to feel like they can interact with whatever this new topic will be any time throughout the week, that they can discuss their plans, their accomplishments, or even just how they're feeling. I don't want to say that I want to increase community engagement, but I do want to make it easier for that to happen. So, if the community wants to engage more, they'll have an easier time doing so.

I'm still trying to decide what the title and text of the new topic should be, but whatever it ends up being, it will start being posted on Monday, around 11:00 AM US Central Time.

19 comments

  1. LukeZaz Link
    This right here is why I love this idea. I've found myself looking for good, general discussion threads that are easy for most anyone to jump in to with whatever's going on for them, and while the...

    Obviously, there's no rule saying people can't comment on those topics after the weekend is over, but people have communicated to me that they still feel weird about commenting on those topics even on a Sunday, or they feel weird talking about what they did that weekend, rather than what they planned on doing.

    This right here is why I love this idea. I've found myself looking for good, general discussion threads that are easy for most anyone to jump in to with whatever's going on for them, and while the weekend threads definitely helped, the feeling of time-sensitivity prevented it from really scratching that itch for the remaining parts of the week, and this would help with that a lot. Looking forwards to the first post!

    10 votes
  2. [9]
    Algernon_Asimov Link
    Go for it. You don't need to explain it or justify yourself. If you have an idea for posts you want to make on Tildes, just make them. Post a "What are you doing this week?" topic on Monday, with...

    Go for it. You don't need to explain it or justify yourself. If you have an idea for posts you want to make on Tildes, just make them.

    Post a "What are you doing this week?" topic on Monday, with a single line at the bottom saying "This replaces the former 'What are you doing this weekend?' topics." Done!

    8 votes
    1. [6]
      cadadr Link Parent
      That is not the way to go. Putting an idea forth like this before starting posting allows us to first discuss and perfect it and also internalise it, which lead to an optimal feature that gets...

      Go for it. You don't need to explain it or justify yourself. If you have an idea for posts you want to make on Tildes, just make them.

      That is not the way to go. Putting an idea forth like this before starting posting allows us to first discuss and perfect it and also internalise it, which lead to an optimal feature that gets decent participation.

      These are not belong to @hungariantoast but to the community anyways. Like the threads over at ~books that I do, it totally belongs to the community at this point, and I am nothing but the guy that has the responsibility of starting them. This means the community should have the say on whether they want these features and how they are done.

      6 votes
      1. [5]
        Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        If the community wants something different to what you or hungariantoast are offering, the community can step up and provide it themselves. You're not their slaves to do what they want. You've...

        If the community wants something different to what you or hungariantoast are offering, the community can step up and provide it themselves. You're not their slaves to do what they want. You've made offerings to the community, and the community can accept or reject those offerings. If the community doesn't like what you're offering for free and voluntarily and on your own time, then the community can be the change they want to see in the world and make their own posts. If they can't be bothered doing the work themselves, they don't get to criticise those of you who are doing the work on their behalf.

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          cadadr Link Parent
          I am in total disagreement with this personally. The threads I do, I do them for the community. If they didn't post, what are these worth? I could as well jus post what I am reading as a topic and...

          I am in total disagreement with this personally. The threads I do, I do them for the community. If they didn't post, what are these worth? I could as well jus post what I am reading as a topic and be done with it. But it is not about me. In fact, at a certain point I will be transferring the responsibility of posting these to someone else (not soon tho, I enjoy posting them).

          If I am unable to create an optimal, welcoming experience, that would means I am spending my time useless, and I would stop. We are not definitely slaves to the community, but their input is just as important as our ideas in creating something optimal and inclusive. The more people get a chance to talk about their reading, the better. I like that in multiple occasiond people hahe stated this has been a major input for their reading, and I hope it encourages people to read more.

          If everyone started their own similar features, then we'd have an unproductive chaos where multiple similar threads run concurrently and people wouldn't know where to post stuff, where to find stuff, and threads not getting maximum attention, discouraging the posters. Instead, threads like these should be more informal, cosy places where we get to express ourselves rather than our ideas or arguments, so a freedom from weird useless competition in this already small community is not productive. The best way to ensure the health of these is then to make these belong to the community. Also because in a way they essentially do already.

          6 votes
          1. [3]
            Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            But if hungariantoast wants to post a weekly thread about what people are doing for the whole week, and other people want a weekly thread about they're doing for the weekend... what should...

            But if hungariantoast wants to post a weekly thread about what people are doing for the whole week, and other people want a weekly thread about they're doing for the weekend... what should hungariantoast do? Post two threads to keep both groups of people happy (which may be more work than he wants to do)? Drop the full-week thread and keep doing the weekend thread (which he may not want to do)?

            What if people tell you to post separate threads for non-fiction and fiction reading? What if they want another separate thread for graphic novels and comic books? What if they want another separate thread for poetry? What if I want another separate thread about what science fiction people are reading? How far are you willing to go to cater to the community's desires?

            How far does someone have to compromise what they want to do for the sake of the community? At what point can someone say "no" to the community?

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              cadadr Link Parent
              They propose, we discuss, all in public. If someone's convinced, great, if noone's convinced, I keep doing it my ways, and the proposer can start something new, and I'd go participate there too if...

              They propose, we discuss, all in public. If someone's convinced, great, if noone's convinced, I keep doing it my ways, and the proposer can start something new, and I'd go participate there too if it is interesting to me.

              If a large portion of the community wants something I can't do by myself, then either someone that can takes over the task from me, or someone steps up to help and we divide and conquer.

              3 votes
              1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                Exactly.

                if noone's convinced, I keep doing it my ways, and the proposer can start something new,

                If a large portion of the community wants something I can't do by myself, then either someone that can takes over the task from me

                Exactly.

                1 vote
    2. [2]
      hungariantoast Link Parent
      Eh, I wanted to explain it, but I didn't want it to take over the weekend topic, which is why all this text is sitting here. Maybe I could have just provided the TL;DR on the other topic and...

      Eh, I wanted to explain it, but I didn't want it to take over the weekend topic, which is why all this text is sitting here. Maybe I could have just provided the TL;DR on the other topic and called it a day, but my fingers were restless.

      As far as titling the new series, "What are you doing this week?" is definitely the most obvious choice, but is there a title that better communicates the point of the topic? I was thinking of something like "What are your goals and accomplishments for this week? How are you feeling?" but that feels weird, even if it's a little more informative. I don't know, maybe it will grow on me.

      Either way, I guess I can just wing it and ask someone to change a title or two if I decide on something different later on, but having all of these thoughts out here in the open allows others to discuss it, which is helpful.

      Do you have any ideas for titles?

      2 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        Maybe... ;) Of course. I already figured that was the case. You're the wordiest Tilder (even wordier than me!). Why would you say something in 20 words when you could use 200? :P "What's going on...

        Maybe I could have just provided the TL;DR on the other topic and called it a day,

        Maybe... ;)

        but my fingers were restless.

        Of course. I already figured that was the case. You're the wordiest Tilder (even wordier than me!). Why would you say something in 20 words when you could use 200? :P

        Do you have any ideas for titles?

        "What's going on in your life in this week?"

        "How's the week ahead looking for you?"

        "Tell us about the week ahead."

        1 vote
  3. [5]
    moriarty Link
    I rather liked the idea if the narrower question about the weekend rather than week. Maybe because my day-to-day is rather boring and drab, haha. But I thought it focuses the question and gets...

    I rather liked the idea if the narrower question about the weekend rather than week. Maybe because my day-to-day is rather boring and drab, haha. But I thought it focuses the question and gets more people involved.
    That said, you should totally go for it. I'll be happy to be proven wrong.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
      Really, I think it's also totally reasonable to consider just having two different topics a week - one for the weekend, and one for the weekdays ("work week"?). It's not like we have a...

      Really, I think it's also totally reasonable to consider just having two different topics a week - one for the weekend, and one for the weekdays ("work week"?). It's not like we have a one-per-week limit or anything like that, and people's plans are usually pretty distinct between the two.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast Link Parent
        My biggest concern with posting both is that one would end up cannibalizing the other anyway, but that might not be a valid concern. I mean, it works fine for Lobsters. Though, depending on how...

        My biggest concern with posting both is that one would end up cannibalizing the other anyway, but that might not be a valid concern. I mean, it works fine for Lobsters.

        Though, depending on how the title is worded, there's no reason Monday's topic couldn't include discussion about the past weekend as well. (Which ideally it would.)

        To be honest, the reason I defaulted to a "one or the other" approach when deciding to stop the "Weekend" topics in favor of this new pattern on Monday is that I didn't want to proliferate this type of casual content too much, which directly stems from conversations that I've had with individuals here on Tildes.

        If you're okay with having a "Weekend" and "Week" topic series posted every Friday and Monday to ~talk, then I might do that.

        At the same time, if we just dropped "weekend" and "week" as timeframe subjects for these topics, then we could just have one every seven days for general, casual discussion about anything (that isn't meta). That doesn't solve the impending activity drop after the three day period, but that's not something I'm particularly concerned about. The lack of subject focus might actually hinder participation though.

        I don't know, I need to go to sleep, but there's a lot to consider and talk about (which is why this is its own topic).

        I'll pick this back up tomorrow when I have the chance. I have plenty of replies to make.

        5 votes
        1. Deimos Link Parent
          Haha, honestly I think you're probably taking this way too seriously. Feel free to just try some different possibilities out and see what happens, you don't need to go through a formal process to...

          Haha, honestly I think you're probably taking this way too seriously. Feel free to just try some different possibilities out and see what happens, you don't need to go through a formal process to get community approval first. It'll be fine, more-casual content is part of ~talk and people have options for avoiding it if they don't like it.

          5 votes
    2. alyaza Link Parent
      i mean, no reason why it can't ultimately serve both purposes. the way most people use the site, it's likely the thread will drop off significantly after 3 days of being up (since most people sort...

      i mean, no reason why it can't ultimately serve both purposes. the way most people use the site, it's likely the thread will drop off significantly after 3 days of being up (since most people sort by activity, 3 days) so it could probably use a few people who also use it during the second half of the week sorta like the current threads.

      1 vote
  4. [4]
    cadadr Link
    I am totally in support of this! In my experience from books the time frame is not really important because people's lives have differing and modulating tempos, so you never know. I suggest using...

    I am totally in support of this! In my experience from books the time frame is not really important because people's lives have differing and modulating tempos, so you never know. I suggest using a generic title like "What are you up to these days?" and the contents of the topic delineating what is on- and off-topic.

    As to when to post, I think some time near the weekend is still better because those are the days that most people get creative about their plans. If you did it on Mondays, we'd surely get a lot of anti-Monday hate speech :)

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      An advantage to posting these topics on Mondays is that they'll get more traffic. Tildes is busiest from Mondays to Fridays, during American business hours. People come on Tildes when they're at...

      If you did it on Mondays, we'd surely get a lot of anti-Monday hate speech :)

      An advantage to posting these topics on Mondays is that they'll get more traffic. Tildes is busiest from Mondays to Fridays, during American business hours. People come on Tildes when they're at work or at university/college/school. Traffic around here drops on weekends and during American nighttimes. Posting during U.S. business hours on Mondays will catch the beginning of the weekly traffic.

      FYI: @hungariantoast

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos Link Parent
        This is definitely true, there's a significant difference between weekday and weekend activity. This is the comments-per-hour chart from the last two weeks (the orange line is a moving average...

        This is definitely true, there's a significant difference between weekday and weekend activity. This is the comments-per-hour chart from the last two weeks (the orange line is a moving average over the previous 24 hours). There are 5 distinct spikes for the weekdays that go quite a bit higher than the 2 weekend ones do, and the orange line generally only ever drops below the 10 mark on weekends.

        4 votes
        1. cadadr Link Parent
          FWIW I had to post my thread on Wednesday this time round, instead of Friday, yet the participation was totally normal. A single data point, tho. Cc: @hungariantoast, @Algernon_Asimov

          FWIW I had to post my thread on Wednesday this time round, instead of Friday, yet the participation was totally normal. A single data point, tho.

          Cc: @hungariantoast, @Algernon_Asimov

          2 votes