Can someone explain subgroups to me?
Why is it that there is ~tildes and ~tildes.official? Why not just ~tildes and ~announcements? Why not just ~health and ~coronavirus? Why not just ~games and ~game_design?
I understand the appeal of hierarchical tags. However, if posts in subgroups don't collect into their parent groups, then why even have them at all?
Yep, and the hierarchy for the tags also works that way too. E.g. ?tag=test shows all the test.<whatever> tags.
My mistake. I still have trouble conceptualizing the idea of subgroups and how they would work in practice after regular users are allowed to create them. If @foo were the admin of ~movies, and @bar wanted to make a group just to for horror fans, would he have to get @foo's permission to make ~movies.horror? If he made ~horrormovies, would this group be deleted for being redundant? Or is the existence of subgroups just a glorified version of Reddit post flair?
Users don't create or "own" groups on Tildes. It seems like you're trying to get an understanding of Tildes through looking for direct comparisons to Reddit mechanics, but the sites aren't equivalent and work differently.
I was under the impression that regular users would eventually be allowed to create their own groups. Is that not the case?
It depends exactly what you mean.
I have no plans for users to be able to create groups and own them, and I think that's very unlikely to ever happen.
We've had some informal times in the past where new groups were requested and created, and things like that will happen again as the site grows and needs more groups. At least some of that process will probably be formalized into actual site mechanics eventually.
At the minimum, group creation is a community process rather than an individual person. I love doing it with the threads, because we really explore the idea of what the group is and why we need it, where it goes, and what people want to get out of it. That's a great jumping off point for a new community.
Yeah, I think there would be interesting ways to do it with actual mechanics too though. I don't think they do it any more, but Stack Exchange used to take proposals for new sites though this "Area 51" site that had a pretty extensive process involving users needing to show a lot of example content that would belong on the site, users needing to commit to posting on the site if it was created, and so on. Lots of info here: https://area51.stackexchange.com/faq
I really liked some of the things they were doing there, and think it could be great to emulate some of that.
Definitely. Today just you, tomorrow something simple, at the end of the road, something like a final answer. Getting there is all the fun!
I think it's very unlikely that a single user would ever have that much power, just because of the trouble managing it all. It'd be far too easy for someone to create a hate group that way and that has to be avoided at all costs before the toxic community starts to form.
I anticipate something more like the process used for creating guilds in MMORPGs. It's typically a form of petition that multiple users sign. Once you hit the threshold, the group gets created. There can be costs associated with this too (usually gold in games, perhaps exemplary tokens here as an example). That's the most sensible way to put a barrier up for troublemakers without getting in the user's way.
It's also going to be driven by tag frequency in some respects. If half the content in ~games is about league of legends, it's time to create ~games.leagueoflegends before the rest of the ~games people go mental from the sheer volume of what looks to them like spam.
I can't count the number of large subreddits that got ruined by overzealous mods trying to maintain some level of topic balance. That problem is a neverending shitshow, and we've got the solution. When topics hit a critical mass they bubble down into their own new group. Then only their best threads level-up into the parent group, using mechanisms similar (and as yet undeveloped) to the exemplary comment tags.
Groups can move around, too, so there will be reshufflings, merges, etc. The system under the hood here doesn't lose the content when it happens, either. It's all the same, groups are more like a 'view' than a firm construct. It's the place in the tag hierarchy where you stick a pin and call it a 'community' instead of a collection of tags.
Edit: An old comment of mine going into this in more detail, with links to the examples of multi-subreddit communities that sparked this idea.
I think I get it now. Subgroups are formalized way of using Reddit flair to categorize posts within a community! I initially thought that post tags served this purpose, but those exist more to categorize posts with similar topics across multiple communities.
Maybe I misunderstand your question, but AFIK, subgroups do "collect into" their parent groups. It's just a way to subscribe to a subgroup without getting all the parent group's content. Don't know if you can specifically unsubscribe from subgroups, though, but I think so?