60 votes

We're starting to see a lot of repeat questions, so let me make an introduction to tildes post for everyone just arriving.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks while we all decompress post-reddit and think about the future of democratic online forums. Most of the relevant topics have already been discussed in multiple threads, and rather than having repeats, I'd like to invite everyone to comment on these threads themselves - and to read the comments that are already there. You'll find most of the solutions we've been thinking about explained in some detail, and we do want your feedback on these ideas to help make them better.

I suggest you bookmark this page. This thread is getting a bit lost in the shuffle, and it's really the best nexus of information about tildes we have at the moment. It'll take you quite a while to read all of this, so since we don't have 'save posts' here yet, a bookmark will have to do. We're also updating the links here as new discussions form. If you think a discussion should be added here, please reply to this thread with the link and I'll take care of editing it into the main post. When you see new users asking repeat questions, please link them to this post. Thanks for your patience while we work through all of this. :)

Let's get started.

And, of course, our first ban. In fact we're up to two now.

It's not all serious, though!

Please do take some time to browse through everything in ~tildes. It's a cross between theoryofreddit, ideasfortheadmins, and announcements. That's where we talk turkey. There's a new discussion there every day.

I also want to make one important contrast about what this site intends to be.

Reddit and Voat: Democratic republic based on popularity. 'Free speech' forums.
Tidles: Democratic meritocracy based on quality. 'Civil speech' forum.

Enjoy yourselves, post some content, make some new friends. This sweet honeymoon phase won't last forever, and it's one of the best parts of a new site. Remember, as long as you're civil here, you are never going to have any problems.

15 comments

  1. [5]
    Vibe Link
    Maybe there should be a FAQ on the sidebar just above the groups list. It should be prominently visible for newcomers.

    Maybe there should be a FAQ on the sidebar just above the groups list. It should be prominently visible for newcomers.

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
      Not a bad idea. Right now we're mostly swamped with handling reddit invites, getting the docs site ready, and open-sourcing the code so people can start developing it. Eventually there will be a...

      Not a bad idea. Right now we're mostly swamped with handling reddit invites, getting the docs site ready, and open-sourcing the code so people can start developing it. Eventually there will be a comprehensive FAQ in the docs site. The link for that is: https://docs.tildes.net/ and also on gitlab where the source will live at: https://gitlab.com/tildes/

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        arghdos Link Parent
        Honestly this post should be added to the docs site (something like FAQs, Feature Requests and past discussions) and then put link(s) to its parts in the ~tildes sidebar like @TheVibe suggested,...

        Honestly this post should be added to the docs site (something like FAQs, Feature Requests and past discussions) and then put link(s) to its parts in the ~tildes sidebar like @TheVibe suggested, so people see it before submitting (along with an issues / bugs link to gitlab)

        3 votes
        1. cfabbro Link Parent
          Yeah this could definitely go in the docs in "new user guide" or something like that. If we keep it up to date with the current issues being discussed and policies already decided on that would...

          Yeah this could definitely go in the docs in "new user guide" or something like that. If we keep it up to date with the current issues being discussed and policies already decided on that would probably help reduce the repeats a lot. Or at the very least give a good place to point people’s when they do.

          2 votes
    2. Deimos Link Parent
      That's a good idea, the sidebars are very empty right now in general. Definitely wouldn't hurt to put some information/links like that in there since almost everyone's new.

      That's a good idea, the sidebars are very empty right now in general. Definitely wouldn't hurt to put some information/links like that in there since almost everyone's new.

      4 votes
  2. cfabbro Link
    We're also swamped with new invites and various other duties so apologies for not being able to reply to everyone suggestions and questions in threads right now too. Once things calm down again we...

    We're also swamped with new invites and various other duties so apologies for not being able to reply to everyone suggestions and questions in threads right now too. Once things calm down again we can start going through the backlog and talking to people here again.

    7 votes
  3. [2]
    Blaises Link
    This raises an interesting question for the site as well: How should repeat topics be handled? I like that topics are sorted by activity on the main page. Ideally, it means if many people want to...

    This raises an interesting question for the site as well: How should repeat topics be handled?

    I like that topics are sorted by activity on the main page. Ideally, it means if many people want to talk about something around the same time, then the conversation would naturally funnel into same topic.
    But for topics that don't get much traffic or traction, what could feasibly be done to prevent lots of the same types of topics from being created without any further development or discussion?

    4 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      Eventually we want the site itself to be doing most of the tagging. Reddit has their lazy 'suggest title' - but man, that lookup can do so very much more. Auto-generate a good title, auto-find all...

      Eventually we want the site itself to be doing most of the tagging.

      Reddit has their lazy 'suggest title' - but man, that lookup can do so very much more. Auto-generate a good title, auto-find all the right tags, and then the user can just edit them.

      We talked about having forced tags. Repost is an example of that. If the topic's been posted we can show the user the relevant posts and ask, "Are you sure?" If they submit anyway, it can get a site-added repost tag, and people who are annoyed by reposts can just say "We don't want to see any reposts in our feed" then poof, they are gone, forever.

      The tags also open up lots of other interesting possibilities. I'll list a few we talked about.

      The NSFW filter, for example, can be [nsfw.gore] or [nsfw.porn] or [nsfw.pick-your-category]. Then you can choose if you want to block all NSFW content (the root of the tag) or just certain types like porn or gore, or both but not others. This can also be extended to spoilers and all sorts of other tag classes.

      Tags like [news.breaking] and in music [fresh] tend to denote current events and new releases - a time-sensitive class of content. Now, if those tags stick around forever, they stop being useful... but if the self-modify or self-delete after a certain time period, [fresh] can auto-remove itself after 30 days, and [news.breaking] can just become [news].

      We talked to the /r/science mods about their recent row with reddit over being able to post AMAs and have them get noticed - after all, we've got PhDs here willing to talk about their fields and research, yet reddit wants to put that on even footing with cat pictures. We've got a problem with that. Some content is objectively good, and it deserves a bit of a boost. If we have an [ama] tag that we carefully gate access to, so that it doesn't get abused, it could apply a vote multipler so that as other people vote it up, their votes carry more power, and push it up the page faster than normal submissions.

      We also talked about 'fluff' content - a [fluff] tag could similarly apply a visibility penalty to help sort out the trash.

      Reddit really should have added tagging 8 years ago when they were asked. It opens up entire new frontiers of content management and user-choice filtering, and it'll also make the search engine into a beast. Imagine you click a button, and the content of the entire ~music world is suddenly at your fingertips, sorted by genre and either popularity or quality or both - on demand music charts.

      Outside of tagging, we talked about megathreads a bit, and the idea of letting editors merge threads together on the same topic. Also, tildes isn't a 24-hour turnover aggregator like reddit is. Some threads deserve to live for weeks, and that simple, silly 'activity sort' we added to help with the low activity has already achieved that. It's perfect for smaller ~groups just starting out, to keep them engaged and happy and active within their communities.

      Unlike reddit, ideas get taken seriously here, too. Most of what I'm sharing with you here has been suggested by others and turned into workable ideas. I'm sure over time people will begin suggesting all kinds of other tools to help, and we'll be looking at how they work and implementing the good ones - or even letting safe bots run to do some of the work, if it doesn't fit the code directly.

      Communities may also have their own unique features and systems, because what works in ~science is not the same as what works in ~music. Each hierarchy could have very different systems driving it, depending on the needs of the content.

      Hope that answers your questions. ;)

      4 votes
  4. Amarok Link
    I feel like an ass, this is the first time I've bumped a thread intentionally in like a decade. :P Everyone, please read the edit / 2nd paragraph at the top here. Bookmark this post, share it with...

    I feel like an ass, this is the first time I've bumped a thread intentionally in like a decade. :P

    Everyone, please read the edit / 2nd paragraph at the top here. Bookmark this post, share it with new users when they ask questions, and please if you find good discussions about tildes that aren't linked here yet, just reply to this post with the links, and I'll make them part of the main topic. Thanks for your help with all of this.

    4 votes
  5. [3]
    Prince_Polaris Link
    I'm not exactly sure how the site works, but I made my account like 10 minutes ago, so of course I wouldn't! However, I like it so far, I jumped ship from imgur when ads and pathetic content...

    I'm not exactly sure how the site works, but I made my account like 10 minutes ago, so of course I wouldn't!

    However, I like it so far, I jumped ship from imgur when ads and pathetic content started to take over the site (yeah imgur is a weird site to be on even when it was "good) and now reddit's going down the corporate wreck that people talk about "digg" doing...

    I guess I have a question, how do the groups work? Like, for example, I'm a brony, so how would I either find, or create a group related to MLP? Or is that now how it works...

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Amarok Link Parent
      Not really how it works, at least, not yet. Once that group is alive, it'd probably live under ~tv.shows.mylittlepony and have a short ~handle of whatever the MLP fans decided at the time,...

      Not really how it works, at least, not yet. Once that group is alive, it'd probably live under ~tv.shows.mylittlepony and have a short ~handle of whatever the MLP fans decided at the time, probably just ~mylittlepony (though I do love me some /r/mylittlelistentothis). For now that content would be on-topic for the ~tv group, and you'd just tag it with [my little pony]. Once there are enough fans of the show here for it to have a real shot at becoming an active group that's when we'd talk about creating it.

      We don't want to repeat Imzy's mistakes of letting everyone rocket off into their own corners so that everything is so inactive. We want groups to come along when their time is right, so we can be sure they get off to a good start.

      6 votes
      1. Prince_Polaris Link Parent
        Okay, that makes sense! Heh, see, I didn't come online until 2013 when I bought my first PC, so I've always longed for the heyday of forums and other communities like that, so... maybe I'd like it...

        Okay, that makes sense! Heh, see, I didn't come online until 2013 when I bought my first PC, so I've always longed for the heyday of forums and other communities like that, so... maybe I'd like it here c:

        2 votes
    1. Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
      Thank you for rounding all of that up. It was on my todo list and you've saved me a lot of time. <3 Added to the original post now so it's all a bit easier to read.

      Thank you for rounding all of that up. It was on my todo list and you've saved me a lot of time. <3

      Added to the original post now so it's all a bit easier to read.

      1 vote
  6. arghdos Link
    Opened a MR on gitlab summarizing this (and adding 1-2 more discussions). Let me know any feedback

    Opened a MR on gitlab summarizing this (and adding 1-2 more discussions). Let me know any feedback