50 votes

Tildes Census Deep Dive - What do you dislike about tildes?

What do you dislike about tildes?


Overview

I read through the 'what do you dislike about tildes?' responses and attempted to classify them. A link to the excel document containing one row for each comment, a classification, and totals is provided. I figured a deep dive into this question (I am considering doing a deep dive on the other end of the spectrum - what do you like about tildes) may provide some insight on how we, as a community, can strive to be better.

Here's what I found:

Total number of free-text comments: 181
No comment, N/A, "nothing", etc.: 14

Category Count
Too small 74
Diversity 39
Intolerance 14
Tech-centric 14
Website Functionality 14
Elitism 12
Federation 2
Too serious Not serious enough
12 1
Politics - too left Politics - too right
4 2

Tildes is too small

44% of the user-base indicated that they felt that Tildes was currently too small. There's really not a lot to be said here, other than a large number of those who filled out the survey wanted to express that they felt Tildes should still continue to grow.

I think a major point of discussion here should be around how best to grow. What do you like about tildes is not covered in this post, but some common themes are around enjoying the discussion and the community. Many individuals also seem to like the small community, showing an interesting division between a like and dislike of the size. From my own perspective, I enjoy how I recognize and see many of the same users on this website, but I also don't enjoy how the size leads to a lack of diversity and content.


Diversity, Tech-centric

Both of these topics are hitting on the same fundamental problem, which could be seen as an extension of the size of Tildes, but really refers more to who is using Tildes, rather than how many users. There is a lot of overlap between these two classifications, but sometimes people mention the tech centrism as a problem of content (too many tech/computing discussions) and not a problem of culture. In these cases there's not complete overlap.

Many individuals commented both on the size of the community and the diversity. Overall, roughly 23% of individuals who responded commented in some fashion on the lack of diversity on the website. The general sentiment from people who commented on the need for diversity was that Tildes was white, male, and working in tech. Given that the survey found 86% of us are male, the majority work in STEM and are primarily based in the US, this is not a very surprising finding.

An important point of reflection comes out in some of the longer form comments here and I think is also captured in many people who felt that tildes was "too serious" - discourse is firmly rooted in STEM interests. Several comments discussed a desire to see more artistic/creative discussions. There was also a strong sentiment for more non-US centric discussion. Interestingly (and perhaps described by our rather large LGBTQ+ contingent), diversity mostly focused on the dominance of male opinions (sometimes I wonder how people know what gender is behind a username unless they specifically state so) and the only comment on LGBTQ+ diversity was that there was a "lack of posts about anything other than tech or lgbt+ politics".


Intolerance

Intolerance is the unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differs from one's own. Many comments talked about users 'talking past' each other, getting into long bickering arguments that went nowhere, or targeted harassment of some sort. Several people mentioned specific users or powerusers not operating under good faith, and users which annoy or are hostile towards them.

If a user is being hostile to you, please report their comments.

While only 8.4% of us reported intolerance as being something they actively disliked, it is troublesome to see. I don't have a good frame of reference of what an 'acceptable' level is, because you're bound to have some people who are more emotionally sensitive than others and confrontations that don't always end the way you want them to. I hope we can discuss this in a broader context, however, because I have personally seen what I believe is an increasing number of intolerant posts often masquerading as 'honest discourse'. Whether this is me jumping to conclusions about potential alt-right trolls (which I do not discount) or an actual increase in not-so-good-faith arguments, I don't know, and would like to hear how you all feel.

As an aside, I wonder if I'm included in any of these lists of annoying powerusers, or if I was the one who 'picked a fight' with someone and got their 'comments deleted and that REALLY annoyed me'. If I am, please send me a message. I greatly enjoy most of you but I also know that I'm human and make mistakes and whether I agree with you or not, it's not cool to forget the human on the other side of the computer.


Elitism

Generally speaking any comments around power-users or some users believing their opinion, culture, or viewpoint is more important or more correct landed the comment in the category of elitism. Certain users being 'combative', 'bickering', and 'pedantic' came up several times. With regards to powerusers, they were generally mentioned alongside some form of narcissism or a 'holier-than-thou' attitude. Reddit hivemind or a lack of diversity was also sometimes cited alongside complaints of elitism.

I used to be much worse when it comes to this, and the constant back and forth with people who will not have their viewpoint changed. I believe I've learned to tailor this and cut off conversations sooner, but I know that some individuals can at times get under my skin, particularly when they are being actively harmful to minorities or other groups with limited power, speech, or representation. With that being said, I wonder how best we can provide a culture to teach others to limit their responses when they go nowhere. There was at least one mention of how limiting the response rate between individuals had cut off two users who were always bickering over politics, so perhaps a more aggressive form of this?

But I also wonder what we can't do as a community together to actively recognize and point out when two people are not able to reach an agreement and to jump in and mediate or otherwise help them to stop a pointless argument.


Website Functionality

Several people commented on a lack of a mobile app, a want for embedded images and videos, and the voting system. Other suggestions - comment threading, user blocking, differentiation between reasons why a post was bumped in the activity feed (?), mobile design (easier to click links), a desire for a more robust topic log, and that the website is too minimalist/sterile.


Tildes is too serious

Only a single person complained that tildes was not serious enough (or perhaps not, you decide... they said, "increasing creep of low effort posts"). The majority of posts complaining about tildes being too serious were often also complaints about people bickering. When it wasn't about how users interacted, it was about the form of dicussion available - people often brought up the "meaningful conversation" portion of the tildes documentation and culture, but often had a desire to have memes, shitposts, humor, or some outlet for conversation that isn't as effort based. Perhaps they like the culture and just want to do more with the people here? Perhaps they simply want to get to know their fellow users in a way they can't currently.

From my own perspective, I'd love to see more memes and humor. I tend to shitpost a lot on the unofficial discord. I've seen quite a few of you all on there as well, and would highly recommend it to anyone who feels like they want to get to know other users better.


Politics

More people complained about Tildes being too left than too right, which makes sense given the aggregated political compass from the survey. I think more people complained about there being too much politics than commented on politics whatsoever. I'm leaving this section relatively small because I'm not sure this is something that needs significant discussion at this point. But if you feel strongly, please help to direct a discussion in this thread.


Post-script

I hope you all found this analysis useful and a good starting point for discussions. I really do love this platform and have found it to be quite literally life changing. If you found it useful and want to return the favor, check out my soundcloud

86 comments

  1. [38]
    monarda
    Link
    The dog-piling that happens here when there is a view that goes against the grain makes some threads painful to read. It's especially distasteful when the dissenter isn't at all combative and is...
    • Exemplary

    The dog-piling that happens here when there is a view that goes against the grain makes some threads painful to read. It's especially distasteful when the dissenter isn't at all combative and is clarifying what they meant by a comment (because they were asked) in good faith. Around the time I joined we had a user here who participated quite a bit but had more puritanical / conservative views. I enjoyed his voice here even if I didn't always agree. I think the last thread he posted in he got baited into going into more depth about his views on pornography and the dog pile that occurred was sickening. For me that particular thread was the most egregious, but it's that type of behavior in general that creates an echo chamber, and what I like least about this place.

    35 votes
    1. [28]
      Turtle
      Link Parent
      I feel like some of this "dog-piling" on heterodox opinions is at least partially an artifact of voting. People generally only vote on comments they agree with regardless of the quality of the...

      I feel like some of this "dog-piling" on heterodox opinions is at least partially an artifact of voting. People generally only vote on comments they agree with regardless of the quality of the comment itself, so if your "controversial"/non -hivemind-conforming, but well reasoned opinion gets no votes, and a snarky, low effort "rebuttal" gets, say, 10 votes, it might convey the feeling that the rest of the site is hostile towards you personally when really it's just that no one agrees with your comment. Which is not to say it doesn't matter, because it definitely does if it discourages actual discussion. I wonder if we could alleviate this effect somewhat by adding a separate "agree" button and encourage people to vote only on comments that conform to Tildes' standards, even if they disagree?

      16 votes
      1. [20]
        Amarok
        Link Parent
        I see the same thing. I suggest an experiment. Toss the visibility of the vote scores on comments until after the comment ages out in 30 days and can no longer be voted upon. Run with that as the...

        I see the same thing. I suggest an experiment. Toss the visibility of the vote scores on comments until after the comment ages out in 30 days and can no longer be voted upon. Run with that as the default for a while, see if it makes a difference. Only the author of a comment can see how many votes it has while it's active.

        Now you can only compare your own comments to your other comments, rather than everyone else's comments. It's one less pedantic artifact in the interface and we probably don't need it everywhere. Perhaps there can be special cases of threads (polling/contest mode for example) where we do show the scores.

        The votes are here to order the comments, that's their sole function. They do not need to be visible to do that, and their visibility does induce changes in our behaviors. That change is desirable in some cases, but not in most cases, I think. We can easily find out if this change helps by testing it. I'd suggest making this into a longer-term experiment, two months at least, rather than a week like last time. A week is too short to notice.

        If we're going to go further into changes to voting, it's just going to turn into another set of labels to measure the 'why' of the upvote. That might even be a good idea. All of the existing labels except exemplary apply negative effects in the comment ranking. It's still downvoting, just with a why attached. Maybe that why can help improve upvotes, too. Adding another click will definitely reduce the number being cast, so you'll shed some casual/lazy upvoting.

        I'd also like to see Δ deltas Δ introduced sometime. The delta has the same purpose here it has in /r/changemyview - to indicate a comment that has changed someone's thinking about the topic. If we do this it really deserves its own thread to hash out the mechanics - can everyone use them, or can only the OP issue them, etc. /r/changemyview is stuck with reddit's limitations on mechanics, but we are not. I think this is an important missing metric in the health of a conversation. It may provide threads with more focus.

        I'm still not sure I care about having a heat meter on a comment that indicates how well the general audience 'agrees' or 'disagrees' with any given thing. Crowds are idiots, and popular opinion is near universally wrong, so what's the value in that measurement? It's certainly not going to get you closer to truth. Maybe it has value in determining when a crowd is beating up on another user, homing in on controversiality. I don't expect it to make threads more civil. I'd be willing to try it out as an experiment, though, just to discover what use it has.

        20 votes
        1. [15]
          Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          Didn't we have this experiment already once and almost everyone hated it? Maybe I'm having a biased memory of the hidden-votes experiment but I felt like I was one of a very small handful of users...

          Didn't we have this experiment already once and almost everyone hated it? Maybe I'm having a biased memory of the hidden-votes experiment but I felt like I was one of a very small handful of users that felt neutral-to-positive about votes being hidden while most people felt strongly negative.

          18 votes
          1. Amarok
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I remember some hated it, some liked it, and many were indifferent. I'm a lot less interested in if people like it than I am in if hiding them improves the health of a discussion. That's the...

            I remember some hated it, some liked it, and many were indifferent. I'm a lot less interested in if people like it than I am in if hiding them improves the health of a discussion. That's the question I want to find an answer for - yes, no, or no noticeable change. If the answer is yes we'll have to make a decision based on quality, if it's anything else we can make the decision based on other things that are less important, such as the popularity of a mechanics change. Personally I'm in the indifferent category, unless it matters to thread health - and I'm not saying it does, just that I'd like to find out.

            Threads aren't going to magically improve themselves on their own. If we want them to get better we've got work to do.

            20 votes
          2. [6]
            kfwyre
            Link Parent
            I was a pretty strong voice in support of visible vote counts at the time, though I think my position has changed quite a bit since then. I think the idea of having them hidden publicly but...

            I was a pretty strong voice in support of visible vote counts at the time, though I think my position has changed quite a bit since then. I think the idea of having them hidden publicly but visible privately is probably what I would advocate for now.

            One of the most illuminating parts of being on Tildes for me has been un-learning lots of other habits and paradigms I inherited from other sites. At the time vote counts occupied a much higher value in my mind than they do now, presumably as a carry over from my time on reddit. I used to think in terms of big numbers = success, low numbers = failure for any comment or content, and Tildes has shown me that not every comment/post needs to have community traction or act as a referendum. It's okay to have something of specific value for a select few people rather than a broad appeal.

            14 votes
            1. [4]
              cfabbro
              Link Parent
              Yeah, TBH I am in the same boat. I was a very vocal supporter of the visible vote counts, but I have come around on the idea of hiding them in some way now too. I think even just defaulting to...

              Yeah, TBH I am in the same boat. I was a very vocal supporter of the visible vote counts, but I have come around on the idea of hiding them in some way now too. I think even just defaulting to hiding them for the first X hours after a comment is made, like they do in many subreddits, would be nice and potentially pretty beneficial. But hiding them unless the user clicks on something to reveal the count may work too.

              I still maintain that not being able to ever see any votes was an issue though... since it made the place feel pretty dead, and was especially discouraging if you put a lot of effort into a comment but didn't get any replies. At least with the vote count you knew someone at least read it, and appreciated it.

              10 votes
              1. [3]
                suspended
                Link Parent
                What about a user setting that someone could tick a box to turn off/on vote counts?

                What about a user setting that someone could tick a box to turn off/on vote counts?

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  Amarok
                  Link Parent
                  If the intent is to measure and/or limit the impact they have on discussion, it has to be an all or nothing choice. It's not about 'I like vote counts' or 'I hate vote counts' for your own...

                  If the intent is to measure and/or limit the impact they have on discussion, it has to be an all or nothing choice. It's not about 'I like vote counts' or 'I hate vote counts' for your own experience. It's a question of if having them visible turns us all into mindless showboating monkeys to various degrees, just like comment labels did when they were all visible.

                  10 votes
                  1. suspended
                    Link Parent
                    That's a fair point. I was just spit-balling on the check box option.

                    That's a fair point. I was just spit-balling on the check box option.

                    3 votes
            2. Micycle_the_Bichael
              Link Parent
              Yeah the more time I spend away from Twitter and Facebook, and the more time I spend on Discord the more I've learned and accepted this. Even though I'm still on reddit I mostly use it in a...

              It's okay to have something of specific value for a select few people rather than a broad appeal.

              Yeah the more time I spend away from Twitter and Facebook, and the more time I spend on Discord the more I've learned and accepted this. Even though I'm still on reddit I mostly use it in a discord-like way where I'm discussing sports with other fans and I never go back and look at vote counts on those. Its wild how much I needed to re-train my brain to not need validation from everyone I've ever met and who could possibly see <post on whatever site>.

              5 votes
          3. [5]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            “Hated” is a strong word. The main thing I remember is that I, and others, kind of felt like without any visible interactions it made the place feel empty and people feel uncertain if anyone was...

            “Hated” is a strong word. The main thing I remember is that I, and others, kind of felt like without any visible interactions it made the place feel empty and people feel uncertain if anyone was reading what they were posting. I think it reduced the activity level.

            It’s possible just having an indicator for how many people read the thing would be good enough.

            11 votes
            1. [4]
              Amarok
              Link Parent
              Now you have me wondering if a 'thanks' mechanic/button has merit. Not really the same thing as voting, but I'd wager there's some value in that active feedback. I definitely agree with the point...

              Now you have me wondering if a 'thanks' mechanic/button has merit. Not really the same thing as voting, but I'd wager there's some value in that active feedback. I definitely agree with the point that without the vote totals, it looks less 'busy' - but honestly, once threads are averaging a couple dozen comments (or hundred, or thousand) I think that concern fades a bit.

              Maybe during the experiment (if we do it) we should make a mental note every time our eyes float to where the vote total used to be, and ask ourselves why we were looking for that number. Reflex? Cues on how to respond? Curiosity if there's anyone listening? It's not something we normally think about consciously, I bet. Perhaps some self-reflection can tease out what we were really looking for. Perhaps that vote score is a placebo for something else that might be better.

              6 votes
              1. Gaywallet
                Link Parent
                Regardless of how you design it, I can almost guarantee you that how it's used and how it's perceived is going to differ among people. I vote on things I read that I appreciate. I don't have a...

                Regardless of how you design it, I can almost guarantee you that how it's used and how it's perceived is going to differ among people.

                I vote on things I read that I appreciate. I don't have a particularly high bar for appreciation - if I got something out of reading it or I think someone else will, I hit the button. This typically means I vote a lot more than I comment.

                I don't think positive feedback needs to be curtailed, ever, so long as it's sincere. But you can't measure intent online, so you have to take it at face value.

                7 votes
              2. [2]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                Very few topics actually get there though. The vast majority of posts on here are sitting between 0 and 2. I think it can also exacerbate conflict since people tend to post when they disagree more...

                but honestly, once threads are averaging a couple dozen comments (or hundred, or thousand) I think that concern fades a bit.

                Very few topics actually get there though. The vast majority of posts on here are sitting between 0 and 2. I think it can also exacerbate conflict since people tend to post when they disagree more often than the opposite. So it's a different vibe if you get 1 comment who says they hate it versus 1 comment who says they hate it along with 40 read receipts.

                5 votes
                1. Amarok
                  Link Parent
                  Interesting choice of words there. :) Maybe a comment should show the author how many unique views have scrolled past.

                  40 read receipts.

                  Interesting choice of words there. :)

                  Maybe a comment should show the author how many unique views have scrolled past.

                  1 vote
          4. tomf
            Link Parent
            I mentioned this the last time this came up. I hide vote scores across the board with Stylus and absolutely love it. It's broken a bad habit of checking old comments for validation or whatever I...

            I mentioned this the last time this came up. I hide vote scores across the board with Stylus and absolutely love it. It's broken a bad habit of checking old comments for validation or whatever I was getting from votes -- and other's votes have no influence outside of the placement in the thread.

            9 votes
          5. DrStone
            Link Parent
            One of the problems with that experiment was that it was only a week. For such a fundamental change, I don't think that's a reasonable time to expect people to properly adjust and give the new...

            One of the problems with that experiment was that it was only a week. For such a fundamental change, I don't think that's a reasonable time to expect people to properly adjust and give the new paradigm a fair assessment. The first week of starting or breaking any habit is always a pain, especially when it's breaking one that touches on something addictive, let alone one that's encountered constantly elsewhere.

            6 votes
        2. [4]
          dotsforeyes
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I originally liked the vote counts because they allowed me to give feedback without posting but I do agree that they are not working. The psychology of it is too strong and it's hard not to see it...

          I originally liked the vote counts because they allowed me to give feedback without posting but I do agree that they are not working. The psychology of it is too strong and it's hard not to see it as a "dogpile" button.

          Your idea to keep them hidden except for the poster sounds like a good middle ground, as does the thank you button.

          It's still important to me that people can give positive feedback on a post without having to post, especially since posts on tildes trend towards high quality and longer length but right now I don't know how the system can find the online equivalent of a real person with a calm listening voice saying "Tell me more" or "Interesting" without actually agreeing or disagreeing.

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            Amarok
            Link Parent
            I knew I'd talked about this before but it took a while to find that comment. Something like this does exist in older forum software. 37 users gave kudos for this comment, mark and lisa and rick...

            I knew I'd talked about this before but it took a while to find that comment. Something like this does exist in older forum software.

            37 users gave kudos for this comment, mark and lisa and rick said 'thanks'

            I think if we do something like that, it should still only be visible to the author. It might help with the perception that the place is inactive, and encourage more participation. We can probably do better than those old forums.

            5 votes
            1. [2]
              FlippantGod
              Link Parent
              I had completely forgotten about those! I'm guessing what you mean is not to create the perception that the site is inactive, but rather to reduce bystander apathy (in the sense that a user...

              I had completely forgotten about those! I'm guessing what you mean is not to create the perception that the site is inactive, but rather to reduce bystander apathy (in the sense that a user doesn't feel the need to respond or give thanks because someone else already has). But if we want the ends without making the site look empty, and obfuscating social functions of the site, what about showing all the kudos and/or thanks on a comment to all users who gave kudos/thanks? Thus reminding them they are part of the community. And if no-one else had thanked the commentor yet, well maybe that is some wholesome good vibes. Not that I want this to be some sort of addicting mechanism.

              Hmm. I do like the idea of displaying thanks and giving and/or recieving the warm fuzzy feelings of appreciation, but I'm not sure if introducing complexity just to manage this minute function can be justified. Maybe those old forums that we carry at least a little bit of nostalgia for had it right; keep it simple, but make the community a nicer place. Even if thanks are always visible, it shouldn't influence dog-piling as they wouldn't affect ranking/visibility. They might create a slight addictive feeling in the same way as facebook likes, but we already have votes and the engagement of other users on your own post or comment so the social addiction is already present on some level. So in my opinion the best approach would be to keep thanks and other gestures of appreciation totally transparent and minimal in implementation.

              This is sort of veering into social engineering, but I guess other potential problems would be users influenced by seeing who has thanked a comment. It should be different than liking a comment, but still. Your idea of only displaying to the original commentor works but just feels a little needlessly isolating. And that individual can still be influenced undesireably by the thanks, or perhaps start to feel bad when people reply to them but don't thank them.... I can't decide if this would be a net benefit or not.

              4 votes
              1. Amarok
                Link Parent
                I honestly don't know which way would work best either. That's why it's important to run things as experiments for a while and watch what happens, collect user feedback. It's a journey of a...

                I honestly don't know which way would work best either. That's why it's important to run things as experiments for a while and watch what happens, collect user feedback. It's a journey of a thousand small steps.

                4 votes
      2. [6]
        Cycloneblaze
        Link Parent
        I think reddit has shown that this won't work? Give people a tool they can use to influence the place they're in, and they'll be selfish with it. Especially on the internet where it's so difficult...

        I wonder if we could alleviate this effect somewhat by adding a separate "agree" button and encourage people to vote only on comments that conform to Tildes' standards, even if they disagree?

        I think reddit has shown that this won't work? Give people a tool they can use to influence the place they're in, and they'll be selfish with it. Especially on the internet where it's so difficult to engender any sense of obligation to a website you're on. At least not being able to vote down content helps somewhat.

        8 votes
        1. [5]
          suspended
          Link Parent
          However, four out of the five labels (i.e. Offtopic, Joke, Noise, and Malice) could be used as a 'downvote'.

          At least not being able to vote down content helps somewhat.

          However, four out of the five labels (i.e. Offtopic, Joke, Noise, and Malice) could be used as a 'downvote'.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. cfabbro
              Link Parent
              https://docs.tildes.net/instructions/commenting-on-tildes#labelling-comments And the code behind their effects is visible here:...

              https://docs.tildes.net/instructions/commenting-on-tildes#labelling-comments

              The "Joke" label is for comments which exist only to make a joke. They're not adding anything to the discussion, they're there just to deliver a punchline. The "joke" label should not be applied to an otherwise good comment which happens to include a minor humorous remark, only for comments where humour is the only ingredient.

              The "Joke" label is not visible on comments.

              If the "Joke" label is active on a comment, it decreases its weighting in the relevance sorting by a factor of 0.5: the vote weight on any comment labelled as a joke will be halved. The effect of "Joke" labels is not cumulative.

              The "Noise" label is for comments which make no difference to the discussion. These might include remarks such as "This^" or "Thanks." or "Good news!" or "This sucks."

              The "Noise" label is not visible on comments.

              If the Noise label is active on a comment, it will cause the comment to be sorted below unlabelled and Offtopic replies, acting as if it had -2 total votes. Also, the comment will be autocollapsed, so that it is hidden (all its child comments will also be hidden). Collapsed comments can be manually expanded and viewed.

              And the code behind their effects is visible here:
              https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes/-/blob/master/tildes/tildes/models/comment/comment_tree.py#L322-329

              9 votes
          2. [3]
            Grzmot
            Link Parent
            I wonder if making the labels visible would help more? I've (I think, might be wrong) never used them at this point, except for Exemplary, so it seems kind of weird that you can just so heavily...

            I wonder if making the labels visible would help more? I've (I think, might be wrong) never used them at this point, except for Exemplary, so it seems kind of weird that you can just so heavily cripple a comments visibility. I don't know in general if the labels were such a good idea, but hell, this shit is really difficult to do and I don't think there's a right answer.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              They were actually all visible initially and that lead to various problems (e.g. escalating fights due to users accusing other users who replied to them of being the ones to "abuse" a comment tag)...

              They were actually all visible initially and that lead to various problems (e.g. escalating fights due to users accusing other users who replied to them of being the ones to "abuse" a comment tag) so they were disabled and revamped into the label system you see today.

              See:
              Daily Tildes discussion - what do we need to change to make comment tags reasonable to re-enable?
              Many updates to The Feature Formerly Known as Comment Tagging


              p.s. And IMO the comments that warrant being tagged with noise and joke do usually deserve to have their comment visibility crippled since they rarely add anything to the discussion and often heavily detract from it. I have also only noticed them being abused a handful of time in all the years since the system was put in place, and almost every time Deimos seems to have taken care of it after it was reported (and I assume chastised the people who abused it).

              Also worth keeping in mind is that the joke label is not meant to be applied to any comments that simply have jokes contained within them, but only on comments which exist solely to make a joke. E.g. Like the recurring pun threads that show up in a ridiculous amount of reddit posts.

              See commenting-on-tildes#labelling-comments for descriptions on their intended use and their effects.

              8 votes
              1. Amarok
                Link Parent
                ^ That last one is one of my favorite threads on Tildes.

                ^ That last one is one of my favorite threads on Tildes.

                3 votes
      3. suspended
        Link Parent
        IMHO labeling and voting on comments is sufficient. As @AugustusFerdinand has pointed out in their comment, much of this is about maturity.

        IMHO labeling and voting on comments is sufficient. As @AugustusFerdinand has pointed out in their comment, much of this is about maturity.

        4 votes
    2. [8]
      viridian
      Link Parent
      Any idea what thread that was? It's always interesting to see what causes people to leave a platform. I know Deimos has mentioned a few anecdotes about people getting moderated and responding with...

      Any idea what thread that was? It's always interesting to see what causes people to leave a platform. I know Deimos has mentioned a few anecdotes about people getting moderated and responding with requests/demands to have their account deleted, and I've seen similar on HN w.r.t. Dan G.

      12 votes
      1. [7]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        It's completely routine. Even over the weekend, I sent someone a nice message asking them to please not post so many highly-specific tech-support-like topics because posts like that generally...

        It's completely routine. Even over the weekend, I sent someone a nice message asking them to please not post so many highly-specific tech-support-like topics because posts like that generally aren't very useful or interesting to anyone except the poster themselves, and they told me to delete their account.

        Even the mildest moderation actions are likely to cause people to leave when they find out they can't just do whatever they want.

        26 votes
        1. cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Ah, I was wondering why that user left. I was genuinely worried that my suggestion about using an alternative piece of software (even though I tried to make it as respectfully as possible) might...

          Ah, I was wondering why that user left. I was genuinely worried that my suggestion about using an alternative piece of software (even though I tried to make it as respectfully as possible) might have made them mad or something, since that's not the answer they were likely looking for.

          10 votes
        2. [5]
          nic
          Link Parent
          It's more than finding out there are rules here. I've been on this site for a little over two years. Every year I typically switch social media handles. I recently switched to my third account....

          Even the mildest moderation actions are likely to cause people to leave when they find out they can't just do whatever they want.

          It's more than finding out there are rules here.

          I've been on this site for a little over two years.

          Every year I typically switch social media handles.

          I recently switched to my third account.

          Somehow my new account was caught up in a whirlwind of moderation.

          There is something inexpressibly dispiriting about having comments and topics deleted, unexpectedly.

          And I don't think I am the only one unclear on what the rules of engagement are here.

          Something for you to mull over, perhaps.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            Deimos
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            You had a single comment removed because you replied to someone that was being an asshole (who's had multiple warnings about that kind of behavior), and I removed the whole chain that their...

            You had a single comment removed because you replied to someone that was being an asshole (who's had multiple warnings about that kind of behavior), and I removed the whole chain that their comment started. Your comment was even telling them they were behaving badly, and multiple other users expressed the same thing through Malice labels instead of replying.

            Describing that as some kind of inexplicable "whirlwind of moderation" is quite disingenuous.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              hungariantoast
              Link Parent
              I think I understand where @nic is coming from, sort of. The first (and only?) time you removed one of my comments, it was in a comment thread where some other users were arguing. I had made a...

              I think I understand where @nic is coming from, sort of.

              The first (and only?) time you removed one of my comments, it was in a comment thread where some other users were arguing. I had made a genuine attempt to answer a user's question, but my comment was still removed along with all the arguing comments and other cruft.

              I'm not miffed about it now, nor was I then. However, pretty soon after my comment was removed, I sent you a message talking about the content of my comment, because I had this little doubt in my head about whether I had done something wrong or not.

              I understood why my comment, and all the other comments in the thread, were removed, and moderation decisions like that still make sense to me, but even with that understanding, there was, like I said, some doubt about whether I had done something wrong.

              My point is, that doubt I felt of "hm, maybe I actually did do something wrong there", I think it exists for anyone anytime their comment gets removed.

              I think if users don't understand your moderation style, and why you remove entire threads of comments, sweeping them all away, even the good comments in them, it can leave people feeling upset, as if your actions were unfair, because they don't see the bigger picture, or it could leave them feeling doubtful, like me, as to whether they broke a rule or not, because it's a very weird thing, to both acknowledge that your comment was okay, but that it should still have been removed.

              Like I said, I get that, I understand why good comments in problematic threads get removed alongside everything else, but from the viewpoint of a user, trying to acknowledge both of those facts, that my comment was both okay, and should also have been removed, is a very weird, against-the-grain kind of idea.

              And if you cannot accept that idea, perhaps because you have never been exposed to it before, then there are really only two ways to interpret why your comment was removed:

              • The moderator was being unfair
              • My comment actually wasn't okay

              I'm not sure what a good solution would be to this kind of issue. It might be worthwhile to add some common explanations to the question of "why was my comment removed" somewhere in the documentation. Just stuff like "bad comment threads that disrupt a topic might be deleted entirely, including the good comments in them", that way users at least have a chance of figuring out the reasoning from the documentation.


              Also, does that message link in the third paragraph work for you? Is that a valid way of sending someone to a previous private message conversation?

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                Deimos
                Link Parent
                Agreed, there should probably also be a clarification along the lines of "your comment being removed was basically collateral damage, not because you personally did anything wrong."

                Agreed, there should probably also be a clarification along the lines of "your comment being removed was basically collateral damage, not because you personally did anything wrong."

                4 votes
                1. Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  Perhaps if you remove an entire thread, just the comment which was removed can get the This comment has been removed and is not visible to other users and all other comments can get something...

                  Perhaps if you remove an entire thread, just the comment which was removed can get the

                   This comment has been removed and is not visible to other users
                  

                  and all other comments can get something along the lines of

                  The comment thread this was a reply to has been removed and is not visible to other users
                  
                  1 vote
    3. grungegun
      Link Parent
      Which user? It sounds like he and I might agree generally. I tend to self-censure a lot on these types of sites to avoid getting jumped on.

      Which user? It sounds like he and I might agree generally.

      I tend to self-censure a lot on these types of sites to avoid getting jumped on.

      9 votes
  2. [7]
    twisterghost
    (edited )
    Link
    I mentioned that as refreshing as it is to have actual discussions in comments and whatnot, the norm is to write a lot which makes lighter interactions feel unworthy, which means a barrier of...

    I mentioned that as refreshing as it is to have actual discussions in comments and whatnot, the norm is to write a lot which makes lighter interactions feel unworthy, which means a barrier of entry to engagement, which means lower activity, which I think manifests as a lot of folks feeling like the site needs more users.

    I think some of the "activity levels being too low" complaints could be mitigated by making it clear that there's a difference between the quality of a post/comment and the length of it. Again, I like that there's some lengthier discussions, but it's not always necessary to write novels back and forth.

    Even now, it feels like I'm padding this comment to make it seem worthy of posting. I doubt I'm alone in this feeling.

    31 votes
    1. [2]
      nacho
      Link Parent
      I generally spend more time shortening comments than writing them. A lot of time arguments just can't be made in just a couple of sentences because interesting things are often complicated. Short...

      I generally spend more time shortening comments than writing them.

      A lot of time arguments just can't be made in just a couple of sentences because interesting things are often complicated.

      Short comments aren't inferior in any way. Short comments are often better than long ones because they're short. Nothing feels better than being able to hit the submit-button on a short comment.

      17 votes
      1. culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        The GZA

        Too many songs, weak rhymes that's mad long
        Make it brief, son: half short and twice strong

        The GZA

        3 votes
    2. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      If you can be short and to the point, go right ahead. Really, the only "bad" comment is something like "+1", "Yah, i totes agree" or stuff that simply doesn't contribute to the conversation. I...

      I mentioned that as refreshing as it is to have actual discussions in comments and whatnot, the norm is to write a lot which makes lighter interactions feel unworthy, which means a barrier of entry to engagement, which means lower activity, which I think manifests as a lot of folks feeling like the site needs more users.

      If you can be short and to the point, go right ahead. Really, the only "bad" comment is something like "+1", "Yah, i totes agree" or stuff that simply doesn't contribute to the conversation.

      I guess the other thing is shoot from the hip. Think about what you're saying, but don't overthink it. If you can say it in two sentences, do it. If it takes two paragraphs, that's just the way it goes.

      7 votes
    3. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I make an effort to be concise and my comments are shorter than most. People seem to like it. So I don’t think length is a big deal.

      I make an effort to be concise and my comments are shorter than most. People seem to like it. So I don’t think length is a big deal.

      6 votes
    4. daturkel
      Link Parent
      I also feel comments err on the long side here (and I'm guilty of this as well). I think perhaps it's an overcorrection by users excited to have a platform to have "intelligent discussion/debate"...

      I also feel comments err on the long side here (and I'm guilty of this as well). I think perhaps it's an overcorrection by users excited to have a platform to have "intelligent discussion/debate" on, but also it's cultural and thus potentially contagious. There are certainly worse problems to have.

      A side note is that I think there's too much formatting permissible. In particular I don't think there should be any option to mark up text such that it's larger than the default size.

      5 votes
    5. cos
      Link Parent
      Challenge those feelings; optimize for information density over comment length. Not only will you save everyone time but you will also, in the majority of cases, make yourself better understood....

      Challenge those feelings; optimize for information density over comment length. Not only will you save everyone time but you will also, in the majority of cases, make yourself better understood. This is one of my favorite quotes, and it applies just as well to this very comment as it did to Blaise's letter:

      I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.
      — Blaise Pascal

      3 votes
  3. [12]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    While I agree that Tildes needs to grow and diversify, my opinion that this complaint of being too small is slightly out of touch with reality. Based on the age ranges given in the census, and as...
    • Exemplary

    Tildes is too small
    44% of the user-base indicated that they felt that Tildes was currently too small. There's really not a lot to be said here, other than a large number of those who filled out the survey wanted to express that they felt Tildes should still continue to grow.

    While I agree that Tildes needs to grow and diversify, my opinion that this complaint of being too small is slightly out of touch with reality. Based on the age ranges given in the census, and as one of the older members, most of the users here have never experienced a small community. They all found social networking, reddit, hackernews, etc. long after they were immensely popular. These users are accustomed to a constantly changing "feed" providing them with an unending supply of entertainment. This is given more credence in the numerous responses about lack of activity/changes on the front page. It's a well known trait of these sites that most users contribute nothing; not content, not even comments. They are here to consume and give nothing back. Which is fine; not everyone has something of value to add, but it is ever-so-slightly hypocritical to complain about something in which you do not contribute to. You'll find this to be a recurring theme in my response: Be the change you want to see. Either make content or invite people to the site.

    Diversity, Tech-centric
    Both of these topics are hitting on the same fundamental problem, which could be seen as an extension of the size of Tildes, but really refers more to who is using Tildes, rather than how many users. There is a lot of overlap between these two classifications, but sometimes people mention the tech centrism as a problem of content (too many tech/computing discussions) and not a problem of culture. In these cases there's not complete overlap.

    I agree that greater diversity is needed, but again this goes back to Tildes being small and tech-centric people being early adopters. Like it or loathe it, but you aren't going to find many plumbers, farmers, etc. in the early ranks of a new website. If you want subjects other than tech and politics then post them. While the site welcomes anyone from anywhere, it's still US centric due to population and we are in the midst of an election year. I do not believe or push the false idea of American Exceptionalism, but you can't deny the global impact of US politics. Perhaps we should apologize for being a superpower? Guess it's our fault that the Borut Pahor isn't posted about on Tildes.

    Intolerance
    Intolerance is the unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differs from one's own. Many comments talked about users 'talking past' each other, getting into long bickering arguments that went nowhere, or targeted harassment of some sort. [...] I don't have a good frame of reference of what an 'acceptable' level is, because you're bound to have some people who are more emotionally sensitive than others and confrontations that don't always end the way you want them to. I hope we can discuss this in a broader context, however, because I have personally seen what I believe is an increasing number of intolerant posts often masquerading as 'honest discourse'.

    I think this is also linked to the age of individuals here, as both in personal and observed experience this is something that comes with maturity. One does not have to agree with someone to accept their views, and this is furthered by evidence that when presented with an opposing opinion people rarely change their minds and instead only dig in their heels further. Many people have a habit of taking any discussion as a battle to be "won" and failure to win in their eyes can trigger this feeling of intolerance by the other party. If a comment contains actual intolerance (personal attacks, bigotry, hate speech, incitement of violence) there is a "Malice" label for it.

    Elitism

    Not much for me to say here as I pay little attention to who I'm responding to or who is making the post and just respond to the content.

    Website Functionality
    Several people commented on a lack of a mobile app, a want for embedded images and videos, and the voting system. Other suggestions - comment threading, user blocking, differentiation between reasons why a post was bumped in the activity feed (?), mobile design (easier to click links), a desire for a more robust topic log, and that the website is too minimalist/sterile.

    On the one hand I can see a use for imbedded videos, on the other I already have to click to read every article that interests me and so clicking to watch a video isn't some huge ordeal. I vehemently disagree with the want for embedded images. Tildes is an alternative to reddit, not a replacement. If I wanted an endless stream of contextless images, gifs, and memes I'd still be on reddit. It is extremely rare that a single image or album of images is representative of good content or sparks meaningful discussion. I have no strong feelings about the need for an app as I wouldn't use it through both an attempt to limit mobile screen time and the few times I have visited Tildes on mobile I found no issue with the mobile/adaptive design and my ability to navigate it. The news links are large and easy to tap, although the links to comments could be larger.

    Tildes is too serious
    Only a single person complained that tildes was not serious enough (or perhaps not, you decide... they said, "increasing creep of low effort posts"). The majority of posts complaining about tildes being too serious were often also complaints about people bickering. When it wasn't about how users interacted, it was about the form of discussion available - people often brought up the "meaningful conversation" portion of the tildes documentation and culture, but often had a desire to have memes, shitposts, humor, or some outlet for conversation that isn't as effort based. Perhaps they like the culture and just want to do more with the people here? Perhaps they simply want to get to know their fellow users in a way they can't currently.
    From my own perspective, I'd love to see more memes and humor. I tend to shitpost a lot on the unofficial discord. I've seen quite a few of you all on there as well, and would highly recommend it to anyone who feels like they want to get to know other users better.

    Again, Tildes is, and has been billed as, an alternative to reddit, not a replacement. There are plenty of places already available for memes and shitposting, places for meaningful conversation are few and far between.

    Politics
    More people complained about Tildes being too left than too right, which makes sense given the aggregated political compass from the survey. I think more people complained about there being too much politics than commented on politics whatsoever. I'm leaving this section relatively small because I'm not sure this is something that needs significant discussion at this point. But if you feel strongly, please help to direct a discussion in this thread.

    Tildes is left leaning, both obviously and evidenced by the census, as would be expected considering where the users came from. Would I like more right-leaning view points? Yes. Do right-leaning view points have a nasty little habit of colliding with the ideals of "no intolerance"? Also, yes. If someone can direct me to where I can find right-leaning people to recruit that are also willing to accept "you're not allowed to be a bigot" rule do let me know.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      I'd love to see images be allowed in a post, but not in comments. I'm a photographer and would love to share some photographs, but because I prize anonymity, I don't want to link to an...

      I vehemently disagree with the want for embedded images. Tildes is an alternative to reddit, not a replacement. If I wanted an endless stream of contextless images, gifs, and memes I'd still be on reddit. It is extremely rare that a single image or album of images is representative of good content or sparks meaningful discussion.

      I'd love to see images be allowed in a post, but not in comments. I'm a photographer and would love to share some photographs, but because I prize anonymity, I don't want to link to an Instagram/Flicker/500px/whatever personal website that will reveal who I am. (Also some of those sites have recently gone "members only" so links to them would have become useless today.) Being able to just add an image to a post would be great for this. As such, I don't post much about photography because I can't easily post a photograph. (And please don't suggest linking to something on imgur. Blech!) If there was a site that allowed embedding of images (or if tildes could afford hosting them itself), I think it would be worth adding that functionality, but I don't see that happening any time soon. :-/

      14 votes
      1. FlippantGod
        Link Parent
        Depending on how badly you want to share your photographs, you might consider looking for a PixelFed instance you are willing to trust and join that. Other avenues mostly point to self-hosting,...

        Depending on how badly you want to share your photographs, you might consider looking for a PixelFed instance you are willing to trust and join that. Other avenues mostly point to self-hosting, which comes with its own security, privacy, and cost considerations.

        5 votes
    2. tindall
      Link Parent
      I just want to push back slightly on this; while I think your conclusion is basically correct, you lead with your weakest evidence. I'm 22, "young" by any definition, but I'm pretty well familiar...

      Based on the age ranges given in the census, and as one of the older members, most of the users here have never experienced a small community. They all found social networking, reddit, hackernews, etc. long after they were immensely popular. These users are accustomed to a constantly changing "feed" providing them with an unending supply of entertainment.

      I just want to push back slightly on this; while I think your conclusion is basically correct, you lead with your weakest evidence. I'm 22, "young" by any definition, but I'm pretty well familiar with "small communities" both in real life and on the internet, having grown up largely on ultra-niche forums like DDD, OKA, and onion-service hacker forums. Nowadays, while I have a Twitter to announce blog posts and a Reddit to participate in /r/modular and /r/rust, I spend the majority of my time on tilde.town or my extremely curated Mastodon feed, or Lines, or the Pine64 forums.

      I suspect that a lot of young people on Tildes are of this same bent. I do think there's an argument to be made that more users with more diverse interests would allow Tildes to become a collection of small communities, rather than a single small community; whether or not we want that is the conversation we should be having.

      13 votes
    3. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I really don't have anything to add to this, but I wanted to highlight it because I think active participation is fundamentally important to any people-based system to work effectively and...

      Be the change you want to see.

      I really don't have anything to add to this, but I wanted to highlight it because I think active participation is fundamentally important to any people-based system to work effectively and efficiently.

      when presented with an opposing opinion people rarely change their minds and instead only dig in their heels further.

      I disagree with this, but it's mainly an issue of framing. If your goal is to change someone's mind with logic and facts, then you are absolutely correct. However, presenting an opposing opinion through alternative methods such as lightly questioning a person about their opinion and offering alternative explanations where applicable as well as appealing to someone's emotion are both rather effective tactics. Turns out that emotion is often the best way to someone's heart.

      Many people have a habit of taking any discussion as a battle to be "won" and failure to win in their eyes can trigger this feeling of intolerance by the other party.

      Agreed, and perhaps this is something we can do a better job educating against? It took me years of active participation in communities where I knew and respected individuals with differing opinions to learn how to converse properly. This is very hard to separate from my own political experience in the workplace and actively working on trying to understand how better to communicate with individuals.

      8 votes
    4. [5]
      Amarok
      Link Parent
      I only know a few places (two for sure) where that mentality is still in the air - I tend to leave behind places that go full alt-right and I've abandoned most of them. Not many left I care to...

      I only know a few places (two for sure) where that mentality is still in the air - I tend to leave behind places that go full alt-right and I've abandoned most of them. Not many left I care to visit. One is a conservative forum that's been on life support a very long time. The other is a strange hybrid of libertarian/progressives.

      I'm pretty sure a single email could get the attention of the latter. Deimos might even be asked to participate on a podcast, give an interview. I know how that crowd thinks, and Tildes' mission is right up their alley.

      This begs the question - is this something we really want? I don't know the answer. More balanced viewpoints, sure, but not without more discussion and risking more conflict in threads. Do we want better thread mechanics first, or shall we just go for it?

      We need to get Deimos a salary, and then tack another 2-3 developers on top of it for good measure. That's the important challenge at present, because that represents more active development. All the suggestions in this thread are interesting, but they require some coding, and right now Tildes hasn't got the money to pay for a staff.

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        I forget which user, but someone moderates /r/BibleScholars and I imagine that might be a place to find a more thoughtful and non-bigoted group of conservatives. I think, for the most part, I’m...

        I forget which user, but someone moderates /r/BibleScholars and I imagine that might be a place to find a more thoughtful and non-bigoted group of conservatives.

        I think, for the most part, I’m pretty good at steelmanning conservative values and ideas. But even I have a really hard time with most of what the Republican Party does or how those translate into policy positions.

        4 votes
        1. Amarok
          Link Parent
          So do most of the conservatives in the places I visit for that stuff. The RNC represents conservative values just about as well as the DNC represents progressive ones.

          So do most of the conservatives in the places I visit for that stuff. The RNC represents conservative values just about as well as the DNC represents progressive ones.

          2 votes
    5. raze2012
      Link Parent
      I'm used to smaller communities. But there's a difference between a community that has ~5-6 posts a day like a small subreddit, and many of the largest communities here maybe getting a post every...

      . These users are accustomed to a constantly changing "feed" providing them with an unending supply of entertainment.

      I'm used to smaller communities. But there's a difference between a community that has ~5-6 posts a day like a small subreddit, and many of the largest communities here maybe getting a post every 3-4 days.

      OFC, this is by design. So I can't really complain much since the whole point of this phase is to attempt to avoid Eternal September, while finalizing features.

      Again, Tildes is, and has been billed as, an alternative to reddit, not a replacement. There are plenty of places already available for memes and shitposting, places for meaningful conversation are few and far between.

      I stongly disagree with the seemingly polarized comparison here. It's fine to enforce quality discussion, but I don't necessarily want every potential community to be as strict in quality as something like r/askhistorians. I think it's an unwarranted slippery slope to imply that being a bit more lenient on posts will inevitably leads only to memes. There's definitely a middle ground.

      I want a civil discussion, not necessarily a universally "quality" one. for obvious reasons, stuff like ~games will by nature be a bit more relaxed on content compared to ~health.coronavirus. That doesn't mean that something theoretical like ~games.serious as zero place if the community desires it, but I don't necessarily want it to be the default.

      4 votes
    6. Autoxidation
      Link Parent
      Maybe /r/Tuesday? They seem to be the most levelheaded right leaning online community I've come across.

      If someone can direct me to where I can find right-leaning people to recruit that are also willing to accept "you're not allowed to be a bigot" rule do let me know.

      Maybe /r/Tuesday? They seem to be the most levelheaded right leaning online community I've come across.

      2 votes
  4. [8]
    aphoenix
    Link
    It's interesting to me that Tildes is seen as "too techy". I maintain presences on other sites (notably lobste.rs) because there's not sufficient tech news here for me. It's possible that there...

    It's interesting to me that Tildes is seen as "too techy". I maintain presences on other sites (notably lobste.rs) because there's not sufficient tech news here for me. It's possible that there are some posts I miss because of filters - there's an arguably notable tech blog that I have filtered out - but I don't find there to be a lot of tech news. Also, it's trivial to remove all the tech from one's feed.

    11 votes
    1. kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I can't speak for the intention of the commenter, but I wonder if they were getting more at an intangible? Techy spaces tend to have a sort of "feel" to them that's hard to describe. Consider...

      I can't speak for the intention of the commenter, but I wonder if they were getting more at an intangible? Techy spaces tend to have a sort of "feel" to them that's hard to describe. Consider Tildes' presentation -- a text heavy, systems-based, impersonal facade. Threaded comments enable sprawling, multi-directional conversations all happening simultaneously from a single starting point. This is not a criticism (I genuinely love Tildes' design and think it's beautifully done), but it carries with it an implicit value set that looks different than say, Instagram, which is much more visual, personal, and linear. I think these kinds of things, as well as users themselves, help create interactions of a different tone/temperature, even when the issues being discussed aren't tech-related.

      12 votes
    2. [6]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Well, looking at the front page without logging in, it's showing me 10 items under "Activity" and of those, 6 are tech topics, and 2 are about the Tildes survey. That leaves 2 stories not about...

      Well, looking at the front page without logging in, it's showing me 10 items under "Activity" and of those, 6 are tech topics, and 2 are about the Tildes survey. That leaves 2 stories not about tech or about the site to a typical user who visits without logging in. That seems pretty tech-heavy to me.

      5 votes
      1. [5]
        aphoenix
        Link Parent
        Tildes, as a whole, is not relentlessly showing tech articles; there are definitely other things in the feed of the front page. When I look at a snapshot here on the front page, the breakdown was,...

        Tildes, as a whole, is not relentlessly showing tech articles; there are definitely other things in the feed of the front page. When I look at a snapshot here on the front page, the breakdown was, in the order of most recent:

        There's certainly more tech than anything else, but there's definitely not an overwhelming amount of tech news - about 1 in 5 stories are tech. Additionally, it's trivial to filter out all the tech stuff by unsubscribing from ~tech. I think the idea that "Tildes is too [anything]" is misguided. We don't have too much talk on any particular group, because there's not enough talk in any group at all.

        I would say that I get almost none of my technology news from Tildes. Everything I see here I've already seen somewhere else. So it's interesting to me that people feel like it's "too techy" when it doesn't even scratch my tech talk itch at all, and it's trivial to filter out all the tech things.

        8 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          It's worth mentioning that the group doesn't necessarily indicate what the focus is, and there's heavy overlap. For example, the 1 posted in ~space is about satellite internet. That sounds pretty...

          There's certainly more tech than anything else, but there's definitely not an overwhelming amount of tech news - about 1 in 5 stories are tech.

          It's worth mentioning that the group doesn't necessarily indicate what the focus is, and there's heavy overlap.

          For example, the 1 posted in ~space is about satellite internet. That sounds pretty tech to me. Comp is a direct subset of tech. At least one and arguably two of the finance topics are related to technology.

          It's also important to point out that the really activity driven threads tend to be tech focused and that can skew perception. Also, as was pointed out in the survey, many of us are in tech related fields, so it's kind of to be expected.

          9 votes
        2. [2]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Worth mentioning is that activity sort probably renders the number of topics being submitted to groups less important than the volume of comments those topics receive. It's entirely possible that...

          Worth mentioning is that activity sort probably renders the number of topics being submitted to groups less important than the volume of comments those topics receive. It's entirely possible that even though ~tech doesn't totally outstrip the others in regards to the number of submissions it gets, the comment activity might be higher there, so those topics get bumped more frequently, and thus people get the false impression that the "majority" of topics on Tildes are tech related.

          5 votes
          1. aphoenix
            Link Parent
            I think that is certainly worth mentioning, but it's also worth considering that a logged out user won't necessarily know that (just to argue @joplin's side a bit) so it's potentially not relevant...

            I think that is certainly worth mentioning, but it's also worth considering that a logged out user won't necessarily know that (just to argue @joplin's side a bit) so it's potentially not relevant to their original point, which is that sort is how people experience things be default.

            And yes, that can be extended to my own point, which is that a logged out user can't filter out the tech things that they see.

            All in all, I think it points towards encouraging people to log in, and encouraging people to get involved in customizing their own experience so that they get what they want out of Tildes.

            5 votes
        3. petrichor
          Link Parent
          (also worth mentioning that the main group interface lists "Approx. daily activity")

          (also worth mentioning that the main group interface lists "Approx. daily activity")

          4 votes
  5. krg
    Link
    I'll out myself as having written this response : Emphasis on the last sentence, though. I'm always willing to learn, so when misconceptions are cleared by someone more knowledgeable...well,...

    I'll out myself as having written this response :

    like many social websites that lure technically-proficient people, certain discussions can become hampered by needless pedantry. though, I appreciate pedantry when it's appropriate.

    Emphasis on the last sentence, though. I'm always willing to learn, so when misconceptions are cleared by someone more knowledgeable...well, that's a good thing, I think!

    10 votes
  6. [2]
    wirelyre
    Link
    When I joined Tildes, I made myself a promise: whenever someone asks a question in good faith, no matter how short or useful the question seems, I will vote on it. For example, here: When I see a...

    When I joined Tildes, I made myself a promise: whenever someone asks a question in good faith, no matter how short or useful the question seems, I will vote on it.

    For example, here:

    Sometimes I wash my chinchilla [… 20 sentences about chinchilla cleanliness …] but never on weekends.

    What kind of soap do you use?

    [A comment about soap, or maybe the question was never answered.]

    When I see a good comment with a high vote score, but the comment that inspired or enabled it isn't so high, it feels to me like the recognition is slightly misplaced.

    And on the other hand, I think that this has made me engage better with conversations and opinions.

    Try it if you like!

    9 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I vote on everything I reply to, and most things that I read so long as it's not negative. It's not much, but it's honest work.

      I vote on everything I reply to, and most things that I read so long as it's not negative. It's not much, but it's honest work.

      4 votes
  7. [4]
    AnthonyB
    Link
    Thank you for posting this. I've been thinking about this issue since the census results were posted and I think the first and easiest thing to do is to welcome /r/askbiblescholars. At the very...

    Thank you for posting this. I've been thinking about this issue since the census results were posted and I think the first and easiest thing to do is to welcome /r/askbiblescholars. At the very least it will add some new voices and diversify some of the opinions, backgrounds, and philosophical beliefs in our little community. I don't think there are too many tech-oriented threads here, but there is a bit of a STEM culture that dominates. I can't think of a better group to add than bible scholars. I would love to see a few other groups with different backgrounds and interests join the site. I don't think it necessarily has to be a migration, either. I think tildes could work as a complimentary space for some subreddits where the focus here is on a long form, elevated discussion.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      suspended
      Link Parent
      I'm the founder of /r/AskBibleScholars and Tildes has already overwhelmingly expressed its desire for us to extend our reach here. @Deimos is working with me via email and, right now, it looks...

      I'm the founder of /r/AskBibleScholars and Tildes has already overwhelmingly expressed its desire for us to extend our reach here.

      @Deimos is working with me via email and, right now, it looks positive but will take some patience on our part.

      I, strongly, believe that it will be well worth the wait.

      8 votes
      1. Amarok
        Link Parent
        Reddit corporate is going to be seeing red when they notice this trend in the depthhub network that's about to start, I think. I wonder if they'll actually sue, not that they seem to have any...

        Reddit corporate is going to be seeing red when they notice this trend in the depthhub network that's about to start, I think. I wonder if they'll actually sue, not that they seem to have any legal standing to my layman eyes. If they'd sued other sites in the past I think I'd remember that, and I can't seem to recall it ever happening before.

        4 votes
    2. Amarok
      Link Parent
      I would love to get those people in here.

      I would love to get those people in here.

      5 votes
  8. MonkeyPants
    Link
    Dang. What did the "europeans" do to you, homie?
    1. Ban Europeans.

    Dang. What did the "europeans" do to you, homie?

    14 votes
  9. [5]
    viridian
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm happy to speak as one of the people whose "what do you dislike" comment falls under elitism, especially since I have already mostly solved that problem for myself. There are a couple of users...

    I'm happy to speak as one of the people whose "what do you dislike" comment falls under elitism, especially since I have already mostly solved that problem for myself. There are a couple of users who seem to be very hostile, so I went ahead and installed @crius 's firefox addon, tildes reExtended. That lets me tag any user I want, which I use to ignore hostile users via a red label, which improved my tildes experience.

    (I also use it to give people meme tags, like tagging grzmot as "Sir Veys", Deimos as "Naked snake", etc)

    edit: cruis -> crius, but also please see @cfabbro 's comment

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Just FYI, reExtended is @Bauke's addon, which he created since @crius is no longer that active on the site and hasn't been updating his original "Extended" one. p.s. I use it too, and it's...

      Just FYI, reExtended is @Bauke's addon, which he created since @crius is no longer that active on the site and hasn't been updating his original "Extended" one.

      p.s. I use it too, and it's great... especially the user tagging. Though I use it to do almost the opposite of you, and instead put ❤️'s next to people's usernames I have gotten to know and enjoy talking to here over the years. :)

      10 votes
      1. viridian
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the info. I wasn't sure who to give credit to, only glanced at the about page and grabbed the incorrect info.

        Thanks for the info. I wasn't sure who to give credit to, only glanced at the about page and grabbed the incorrect info.

        2 votes
    2. Eabryt
      Link Parent
      Oohhh, I've been waiting for some good Tildes Extensions, I'll have to check this one out. I thought about creating my own but then remembered I'm not skilled enough.

      Oohhh, I've been waiting for some good Tildes Extensions, I'll have to check this one out.

      I thought about creating my own but then remembered I'm not skilled enough.

      3 votes
  10. [3]
    Cycloneblaze
    Link
    Tildes clearly has an aim of being a space for high-quality discussion, with time and thought put into it. The site, if you read the philosophy behind it, is not for people who want to mindlessly...

    When it wasn't about how users interacted, it was about the form of dicussion available - people often brought up the "meaningful conversation" portion of the tildes documentation and culture, but often had a desire to have memes, shitposts, humor, or some outlet for conversation that isn't as effort based.

    Tildes clearly has an aim of being a space for high-quality discussion, with time and thought put into it. The site, if you read the philosophy behind it, is not for people who want to mindlessly enjoy some memes.

    That said, there's nothing wrong with low-effort content in itself, and it's nice to have that with a community that you know. The only reason it's a problem is that through the fluff principle it will drown out all higher-effort content. Maybe it would be a good idea to have some sister space attached to Tildes, without a dictate on 'meaningful discussion', and with separate posts but sharing the same users? Sedlit.net?

    I hope you all found this analysis useful and a good starting point for discussions.

    It's a good contribution, M. Gaywallet!

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      I had never considered a sister space to separate content. Now that you mention it, perhaps it can exist even within tildes in some other form, such as a button that brings you to Tildes Talk, or...

      Maybe it would be a good idea to have some sister space attached to Tildes, without a dictate on 'meaningful discussion', and with separate posts but sharing the same users? Sedlit.net?

      I had never considered a sister space to separate content. Now that you mention it, perhaps it can exist even within tildes in some other form, such as a button that brings you to Tildes Talk, or as some other form of hierarchy, rather than a group (denoted by ~) such as a space (which could be denoted by another character).

      It's a good contribution, M. Gaywallet!

      I appreciate the gender neutral title! I don't have strong feelings about it, but in case you were curious how gender minority individuals self-identify titling, the 2019 Gender Census is a good resource.

      3 votes
      1. Cycloneblaze
        Link Parent
        Yeah, basically like that, and that's even a good name for it. I'm reminded of the r/subredditcirclejerk subs that used to be in fashion on reddit a while back for meta/meme discussion, except...

        such as a button that brings you to Tildes Talk

        Yeah, basically like that, and that's even a good name for it. I'm reminded of the r/subredditcirclejerk subs that used to be in fashion on reddit a while back for meta/meme discussion, except less cynical and for all of Tildes at once.

        I appreciate the gender neutral title!

        I'm glad it worked 😅 being on the aforementioned Discord with you helps in that regard! can I plug that again? Thanks for the link!

        1 vote
  11. skyfaller
    Link
    I think I was one of the people who said something about Federation, which is in some ways a reiteration of the complaint that Tildes is too small. Federation is also a strategy for maintaining...

    I think I was one of the people who said something about Federation, which is in some ways a reiteration of the complaint that Tildes is too small. Federation is also a strategy for maintaining the good things about a small community, while adding some of the benefits of having a larger community.

    5 votes
  12. [4]
    joplin
    Link
    I would prefer if there were a separate ~politics so I didn't have to see most political stuff. As it is, I've removed ~misc and ~life from my feed because all of the political posts end up there.

    I think more people complained about there being too much politics than commented on politics whatsoever. I'm leaving this section relatively small because I'm not sure this is something that needs significant discussion at this point. But if you feel strongly, please help to direct a discussion in this thread.

    I would prefer if there were a separate ~politics so I didn't have to see most political stuff. As it is, I've removed ~misc and ~life from my feed because all of the political posts end up there.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Instead of unsubbing from those groups, you could always just add politics to your topic tag filter: https://tildes.net/settings/filters And if you spot any politics related topics that aren't yet...

      Instead of unsubbing from those groups, you could always just add politics to your topic tag filter: https://tildes.net/settings/filters

      And if you spot any politics related topics that aren't yet tagged, feel free to @ me and I can add it to them.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        joplin
        Link Parent
        I just checked, and apparently, I already have that tag filter. I think I unsubbed from those groups because many things I thought were political weren't tagged as such. I'll try to remember to...

        I just checked, and apparently, I already have that tag filter. I think I unsubbed from those groups because many things I thought were political weren't tagged as such. I'll try to remember to ping you in the future.

        5 votes
        1. cfabbro
          Link Parent
          You have been around long enough you could always ask @Deimos for tag editing permissions yourself and he would probably give it to you too. The more the merrier, IMO!

          You have been around long enough you could always ask @Deimos for tag editing permissions yourself and he would probably give it to you too. The more the merrier, IMO!

          8 votes
  13. Removed by admin: 6 comments by 5 users
    Link