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  • Showing only topics in ~tildes with the tag "daily discussion". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. It's a long weekend in Canada and I'm going to be quite busy, so this is going to be the last daily discussion until Monday. Because of that, I figured I'd pick one of the more interesting topics....

      It's a long weekend in Canada and I'm going to be quite busy, so this is going to be the last daily discussion until Monday. Because of that, I figured I'd pick one of the more interesting topics. This isn't necessarily something that will be implemented particularly soon, but it should be good to discuss anyway:

      Should we support the ability for users to make some posts anonymously?

      General notes/thoughts:

      • If the site itself doesn't support it, people will just create throwaway accounts and effectively post anonymously anyway. This is worse in some ways (causes a lot of abandoned accounts and wasted usernames) and especially doesn't work well while the site is invite-only, since people have to use one of their invites to create a throwaway.
      • The user making the posts would still be tracked internally, so anonymous posting wouldn't be free of potential consequences. This association would probably be removed after 30 days, like most other private/sensitive data.
      • There would be some sort of anonymous identifier that would change on a per-thread basis, so that multiple posts from the same anonymous user can be recognized.
      • Once we start working towards a trust/reputation system, having the anonymous posts be linked to the user's real account would probably have a number of benefits.

      Let me know what you think about the idea in general, and what concerns you think we'll need to be careful about if we decide to implement it.

      One other, unrelated thing as well: it's been a while since we gave out invite codes, so I've topped everyone up to 5 invite codes. You can get to them here (linked in your userpage sidebar): https://tildes.net/invite

      95 votes
    2. Alright, unfortunately I'm going to have to be a grumpy old guy, but it looks like we're going to need to make this decision already. There have been a few "cute animal" images posted over the...

      Alright, unfortunately I'm going to have to be a grumpy old guy, but it looks like we're going to need to make this decision already. There have been a few "cute animal" images posted over the last couple of days, and yesterday we had a request for a devoted group for it.

      So today, I think we need to decide if we want a devoted group, or if we should just disallow this type of content entirely. My personal inclination is that it shouldn't be allowed at all, but I'm open to discussing it. Unfortunately I need to go out for a while shortly so I can't write up too much right now, but here are some quick thoughts on why I feel like we shouldn't allow it:

      • One of the main objectives of Tildes was to prioritize high-quality content. By the very nature of this, it means we're going to have to take a stand against some things that don't represent what we want the site to become.
      • Cute animal content is pretty much the definition of "lowest common denominator". Almost everybody enjoys seeing a cute photo/gif, and that's why it tends to dominate almost every platform it's on. It appeals to a very wide range of people, so it attracts more votes/attention. This is also why we can't really trust "a lot of people want fluff content"—of course they do. We need to make the decision based on whether allowing it is good for Tildes overall, not whether it has wide appeal.
      • It has practically zero discussion value. About the only comments people can make on those sorts of posts are "aww cute", or "lol, goofy dog". Yes, there's a very, very slim possibility that you might get something like "this type of bird has an interesting migration pattern", but if that's the case, a better original post would have been that information in the first place.
      • Being harsh about what we want to allow is probably most important while the site is in this sort of small/invite-only phase. One of the main important aspects of this phase is that we need to build up a strong base culture. That way, when the site starts to grow, people will be coming into a place with an established culture and norms, not a complete free-for-all. So if we want to have a high-quality site, I think it's important to establish that very early.
      • If we're not certain what the right answer is, it's much better to disallow it now and eventually relent later, than to allow it now and have to ban established communities in the future.

      Let me know what you think, but I think it's important that we decide this very soon so we can be more clear about how we're going forward with this and similar types of content.

      146 votes
    3. To be clear up front, this probably won't be able to happen for at least a few weeks—there are quite a few things that will need to be done or adjusted before I'd be able to make the site publicly...

      To be clear up front, this probably won't be able to happen for at least a few weeks—there are quite a few things that will need to be done or adjusted before I'd be able to make the site publicly visible, including making sure that it can handle the load from a lot of logged-out viewers.

      However, I just wanted to bring it up and see if anyone has any particular thoughts about whether making it visible for people without accounts might be a good idea, or if we should just stick to keeping it totally private for a longer period.

      For a lot of people, not being able to see any of the actual posts on the site makes it less interesting, and I think we're already starting to get to the point where there's enough activity that it's not "embarrassing" to show off an inactive site any more. There's some great content being posted already, and it would probably be good to allow people to see it, even if they can't necessarily register and participate themselves just yet.

      Anyway, not much more to say about it. I just wanted to see if anyone had any particular thoughts on the topic to make sure I don't miss anything important when I start thinking more seriously about doing it, so please let me know.

      58 votes
    4. After reaching a nice milestone yesterday of over 1000 users registered, we've followed it up with a slightly less nice one—I've now banned someone for the first time. This almost certainly won't...

      After reaching a nice milestone yesterday of over 1000 users registered, we've followed it up with a slightly less nice one—I've now banned someone for the first time. This almost certainly won't happen with every ban, but I'm going to be quite transparent with this one since it was the first one, and it gives a good starting point for a discussion today.

      Trying to be transparent about this one is actually a bit funny, because the user I banned was named "Redacted" (really, I promise!). I had removed his comments from the thread, but I've un-removed them for now so that you can see exactly what I banned for: https://tildes.net/user/Redacted

      There were two reasons that I decided to ban him:

      1. Those last 3 comments, all in the ~talk thread. That thread has been a bit heated in places, but overall it's been civil and going pretty well. He came into it without being involved in the discussion at all and went straight to personal attacks.
      2. He went through and tagged almost all of Mumberthrax's comments as some combination of "troll", "flame", and "noise"—sometimes even all 3 tags on a single comment. That's just blatant misuse of the tags, with no possible reasonable excuse. (Note that I've already removed all his tags, so you won't be able to see them any more)

      So that's a pretty clear case of being an asshole, in my opinion. Let me know what you think—I'm not sure that there's any particular focus for the discussion today, so we can just talk about this specific case as well as banning/removing in general since this is the first time I've had to do anything (and I was just saying how nice it had been).

      160 votes
    5. This was something that we discussed a couple of weeks ago, and I want to try it out for the first time today. I'll wait about 3 days to see how this thread progresses (through the weekend), and...

      This was something that we discussed a couple of weeks ago, and I want to try it out for the first time today. I'll wait about 3 days to see how this thread progresses (through the weekend), and then decide if we should try creating any of these groups, based on responses.

      Overall, I think it's probably more useful to propose groups that are not currently very well-represented by posts being made on Tildes. It might be good to try adding things that feel "too specific" right now, where people might be hesitating to post topics about the subject because they feel like it's too niche to really fit into the general groups that we have.

      I don't want to make this too complex initially, so let's try with a very simple method for this first round:

      Proposing a group

      If you want to propose an idea for a new group (either a new top-level group or a sub-group of an existing one), make a top-level comment with the following information:

      1. The proposed name for the group, and a short description of its purpose/subject.
      2. 3 examples of topics that would be appropriate to be posted in that group. These can be existing posts already on Tildes, or hypothetical new ones. Just example titles/links is sufficient, it should just give an idea of what sort of posts you're expecting the group to get.
      3. A "failure plan" - if the trial group doesn't work out, what should we do with the posts from it? For example, should they be moved into an existing group or groups, with a particular tag?

      Supporting a proposal

      To express your support for a proposal that someone else made, post a reply to it, saying something like "I would post in this group" (assuming you actually believe you will). I don't want to interpret votes on a proposal as support, and for a group to be successful it really needs people to post to it, so I think it's most important to get at least some indication that there are users that will post in the group if it's created.

      Feel free to ask questions or provide other examples of content for proposals and such as well, this thread doesn't need to be only proposals and comments expressing support.

      55 votes
    6. It's been a few weeks since I did this, but I'd like to start getting back into the routine of using the Monday post for a general outline of how I'd like to see the week go. So for this week,...

      It's been a few weeks since I did this, but I'd like to start getting back into the routine of using the Monday post for a general outline of how I'd like to see the week go.

      So for this week, here's my general intentions:

      • I added some new groups today, so I'll want to see how those are looking, and think about whether some other adjustments are needed soon.
      • I'm planning to make a proper blog post (on blog.tildes.net) about the site being open-sourced tomorrow morning. This may end up getting a burst of attention for the site again if it gets some traction on HN, programming/open-source subreddits, etc. (but it's hard to predict if that will happen or not)
      • Related to the above, I think it's about time to start actively trying to bring some more people in again. The site's size has been fairly constant for a few weeks now, and it's been pretty stable in terms of activity, so I think bringing in more users is a good idea. The blog post may help with this, but we'll also probably do another official invite thread on /r/tildes or look for some other possibilities.
      • Various work related to the open-sourcing. There are multiple merge requests open for features/fixes that I need to review, and I'd like to put more work into the documentation, filling out the issue tracker, and so on.
      • Get user pages paginated. I think this is my top priority for a feature to implement personally now, and I believe I should be able to do it this week while working on the other items. My current intention is to start out by only allowing users to look through their own full history, and leave that for a few days to allow people to go back and edit/delete anything they want to. After giving a bit of time for that, I intend to enable it for everyone. We can talk a bit more about this, but that's my current plan.

      Feedback and suggestions for those plans (or other ones, if you think I'm prioritizing the wrong things) are welcome, thanks.

      49 votes
    7. Today I want to talk about a pattern that seems to keep happening—someone makes a post that's on the low effort end of the scale, and people freak out in response. Multiple users attack the poster...

      Today I want to talk about a pattern that seems to keep happening—someone makes a post that's on the low effort end of the scale, and people freak out in response. Multiple users attack the poster in the thread itself, at least one separate meta post gets made about it, people send me messages concerned about the direction of the site, etc.

      This really isn't necessary. Every instance of a post being a bit outside the lines isn't a harbinger of the site's impending doom. I know that a lot of you are passionate about having a higher-quality community site, but it doesn't mean that everything even slightly outside that goal needs to be viciously suppressed. It's okay to just ignore some posts here and there (or nicely point out that they don't really fit the site's goals), we don't need to try and chase off anyone that dares to post a joke or a cat gif.

      So... just try to relax a bit, it'll be okay. Tildes is still very new, and there's a lot to figure out. The site's got a lot of growth and evolution in its future, and it doesn't need to be run with an iron fist from the very beginning. I promise that there's a solid vision for the site and I'm going to make sure it goes in that direction, but every minor deviation from that goal doesn't need to be destroyed. One of the most important parts of these early stages is to build up a good base culture, and we really don't need the community to feel extremely unwelcoming with people scared to post anything because it might be judged "too low effort".

      145 votes
    8. It's been a couple of weeks again since the last general feedback thread, so let's do another one today. Especially since the site has finally been open-sourced now, and we've already had people...

      It's been a couple of weeks again since the last general feedback thread, so let's do another one today. Especially since the site has finally been open-sourced now, and we've already had people starting to submit code contributions, it would probably be great to hear about some more general issues/suggestions/etc. that can be added to the issue tracker and potentially worked on by other people.

      So if there's anything you want to discuss, ask about, suggest, etc. but didn't feel like starting a dedicated thread for it, fire away!

      48 votes
    9. Sorry, I've been busy with open-source-related things and have been bad about the daily discussions for the last couple of days (late today, and completely forgot about doing one yesterday). Today...

      Sorry, I've been busy with open-source-related things and have been bad about the daily discussions for the last couple of days (late today, and completely forgot about doing one yesterday).

      Today I want to ask for opinions about some specific details of how removed posts should be handled. To be clear, this is related to posts that are removed manually by me (and maybe someday by other users, in response to reports, etc.). This is not related to posts that have been deleted by their author.

      Specifically, I'd like to answer these questions:

      1. Should the author of a removed post always know that it's been removed?
      2. When informing the author that a post was removed, should it be a "passive" notification (like an indicator on the comment noting that it's been removed), or should they get an actual separate notification telling them? The difference is mostly that "passive" ones may never be seen if the author doesn't look back at the comment after it's been removed.
      3. Should the removed comments/topic still be visible on the user's profile page, when other users look at it? That is, is the comment/topic only removed its "context" but still visible from their profile, or is it completely removed and no longer visible anywhere?

      Please let me know what you think for those specific questions, as well as any other suggestions or concerns you have about removed posts in general.

      37 votes
    10. This is a topic that's been brought up a little here and there, but not something we've gone into very formally yet. Specifically, this was prompted by this post today. Not to pick on @nkv too...

      This is a topic that's been brought up a little here and there, but not something we've gone into very formally yet. Specifically, this was prompted by this post today. Not to pick on @nkv too much, but it makes a good example of a user that (so far, at least) has very little activity outside of posting about their own project/business.

      For my personal opinion, when I was a moderator on reddit, the guideline that I would generally use to explain to people that were overly self-promoting was along the lines of: "It's fine to be a redditor with a website, but not a website with a reddit account." When I started working at reddit later, this was included in the "Guidelines for self-promotion on reddit" wiki page (though some Confucius guy stole my credit).

      Reddit doesn't follow those guidelines any more, but I've always thought it was a reasonable way to explain the distinction. Members of the community occasionally posting about their own projects is good (and something we should want to encourage), but we don't want people outside the community coming and trying to just use established communities as a source of traffic.

      What are your thoughts about self-promotion in general? How should we try to determine if someone's activity on the site goes too far into self-promotion territory? If we find people that are over that line, how should it be dealt with?

      43 votes
    11. The daily discussion from Friday about the site's activity level has been great, with a ton of solid insight, feedback and suggestions from many different people. Today I want to continue...

      The daily discussion from Friday about the site's activity level has been great, with a ton of solid insight, feedback and suggestions from many different people. Today I want to continue discussing one particular theme that came up in there multiple times: a number of people seem to feel like they're not "worthy" of posting on the site, with it seemingly exacerbated by seeing complaints about the quality of other people's posts.

      This is a bit of a tricky thing to balance: we want to try to keep the quality of content on Tildes up, but it can be unwelcoming and discouraging if people feel that they're likely to get berated for posting something that isn't "good enough". By its very nature, being more selective about content means that we have to discourage (or remove) some types of content, but how can we do it in a way that doesn't feel quite so antagonistic to the people submitting?

      A good way of thinking about this is to try to consider it from the submitter's perspective. If you were to post something that wasn't really suitable, how would you like to be informed of that? And (just as importantly), how would you not like to be informed of it?

      As always, all thoughts and suggestions are welcome. Tildes is still going to require a lot of growth, so it's important to figure out how we'll be able to integrate people into the site's culture over time without feeling overly hostile towards new users.

      60 votes
    12. The activity on Tildes has been (mostly) slowly dropping for a while. To be clear up front, it's definitely not doing badly at all and I'm not worried about it—it's still very good for how early...

      The activity on Tildes has been (mostly) slowly dropping for a while. To be clear up front, it's definitely not doing badly at all and I'm not worried about it—it's still very good for how early this is, the fact that the site is invite-only, and that we haven't had a real "burst" of people for almost a month now.

      Just as a point of comparison, saidit.net (a reddit clone that's been trying to get attention and doesn't have restricted registration) has had 9 comments and 3 submissions posted in the last 24 hours. Tildes is far, far better off than that and is already doing better than most community sites ever get to. Here's the last month of stats:

      DateCommentsTopics
      2018-06-13104067
      2018-06-1482769
      2018-06-1583243
      2018-06-1646730
      2018-06-1737731
      2018-06-1882885
      2018-06-1966264
      2018-06-2088382
      2018-06-2192675
      2018-06-2255342
      2018-06-2347937
      2018-06-2428032
      2018-06-2563462
      2018-06-2666648
      2018-06-2769137
      2018-06-2843345
      2018-06-2941558
      2018-06-3029929
      2018-07-0136941
      2018-07-0223936
      2018-07-0335345
      2018-07-0433839
      2018-07-0550131
      2018-07-0648539
      2018-07-0737836
      2018-07-0842228
      2018-07-0944534
      2018-07-1042443
      2018-07-1135237
      2018-07-1229831

      So the numbers are still quite good overall, but there's an obvious downward trend in there. I'd like to talk about what you think is behind this—is it just a bit of a feedback loop, where the activity isn't very high, so people get bored and the activity drops more? Or are there other causes? For those of you that feel like you're drifting away a bit, are there any particular reasons, or anything that would encourage you to participate here more?

      We probably also just need another influx of users before much longer—it's been nice for me to have it a little quieter so I can focus on coding things more than community-management lately, but we're obviously not at the point yet where the activity is self-sustaining. On that note, I haven't given out invite codes for a while, so I've given everyone 5 again. You can get them here (and always, if you need more for a particular reason, just send me a message and let me know): https://tildes.net/invite

      Let me know what you think. There are still quite a few high-priority things that I'm trying to get done in the near future, but if there are other changes we could make to try to help keep the site active, I think they're definitely worth considering.

      81 votes
    13. This week, I'm trying to focus on the last few pieces needed to finally get the site's code open-sourced (really, I am!). One of those pieces is that we'll need a group on Tildes for discussing...

      This week, I'm trying to focus on the last few pieces needed to finally get the site's code open-sourced (really, I am!). One of those pieces is that we'll need a group on Tildes for discussing development, answering related questions, and so on. The obvious location for this is something like ~tildes.dev, but adding it opens up a few questions related to the group hierarchy in general, so that's what I want to talk about today.

      Currently, we only have one subgroup on the site, this one (~tildes.official). The way it works right now, if you visit or subscribe to ~tildes, you will also see the content from ~tildes.official. You also have the option of going to ~tildes.official directly, so that you see only the content from that group without the posts from its parent group. However, there's no way to see only the content from ~tildes without ~tildes.official. This will become more significant when ~tildes.dev is added, because that group will probably only be interesting to a small group of the site's users—people that are involved in (or interested in) the actual code/development behind the site.

      So now we have a more interesting case, a subgroup that most people looking at the parent probably won't want to see. How should this work in practice? Some more specific questions that might help thinking through it:

      • When someone visits ~tildes, do they see ~tildes.dev posts in there?
      • When someone subscribes to ~tildes, are they automatically subscribed (implicitly or not) to both ~tildes.official and ~tildes.dev?
      • If someone only wants to see the content from ~tildes and ~tildes.official, what sort of process should they need to go through to make that happen?
      • How might these ideas work once the hierarchy gets much larger (for example, imagine a ~games with hundreds of subgroups inside many branches)?

      Any input about the topic is appreciated—try not to worry too much about whether a plan is "perfect", we can always adjust it as the hierarchy actually starts becoming more extensive.

      34 votes
    14. I'm continuing to inch closer to finally open-sourcing the site, and one of the aspects of having it open-source is that other people will be able to start contributing fixes/improvements/etc. To...

      I'm continuing to inch closer to finally open-sourcing the site, and one of the aspects of having it open-source is that other people will be able to start contributing fixes/improvements/etc. To keep this process organized, I want to treat the issue tracker as the "definitive source" of what needs to be done, who's working on it, etc. A lot of the existing plans and known issues are already in there, but there are certainly some things missing.

      I'm not expecting anyone to register a GitLab account to help with this, but I'd appreciate it if some of you would take a quick look through the issue tracker (which you don't need an account to do), do some quick searches for features/fixes that you know should be planned, and make sure that they seem to be present: https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes/issues

      If you notice anything missing (or aren't sure if it's there), please just leave a comment here about it, and I can make updates.

      Thanks, any help is appreciated (and if you have any other general questions about how the open-sourcing/contributions/etc. are going to work, please feel free to ask as well).

      29 votes
    15. I added topic tag filters a few weeks ago, which should make it so that people can more easily filter out certain types of topics that they're not interested in. How much further should we...

      I added topic tag filters a few weeks ago, which should make it so that people can more easily filter out certain types of topics that they're not interested in.

      How much further should we consider going with filters? Should we allow filtering out posts from certain domains by default? Posts with certain words or phrases in their titles? Other possibilities?

      Is there a point where it's possible to filter out too much, too easily and that starts having negative effects on the site? What do you think?

      28 votes
    16. It's been a couple of weeks since we last did a "general" post, so I think it's about time for another one. If there's anything you wanted to ask about or give feedback on but didn't want to start...

      It's been a couple of weeks since we last did a "general" post, so I think it's about time for another one.

      If there's anything you wanted to ask about or give feedback on but didn't want to start a thread about it, feel free. You're always welcome to send me a private message with anything as well, I don't mind at all.

      I know things have been a bit slow for updates over the last couple of weeks, but there's a lot happening in the background. Thanks for your patience with everything, and all the input on everything.

      30 votes
    17. This is a topic that some of us have started to go into a bit in yesterday's daily discussion, but I think it's worth splitting out and continuing more. I think one cause of people being so...

      This is a topic that some of us have started to go into a bit in yesterday's daily discussion, but I think it's worth splitting out and continuing more. I think one cause of people being so sensitive about content that they think doesn't belong on Tildes is because the site currently feels like one overall shared space, instead of many individual groups that might have their own different types of acceptable content.

      A lot of this is just because the site is so small right now, and will probably gradually change as it grows. Quite a bit probably also comes from the fact that new users are subscribed to all groups automatically, so to them, everything just feels like "part of the site", not really separate groups that they individually opted into.

      What I'd like to discuss is if there are any ways we could help make that separation more clear—should we stop auto-subscriptions to everything soon? Could we try to display posts from different groups in a more distinguished way? Any other ideas for ways to make things feel a bit more "separated", even while the site is small and there will probably be common users across most groups?

      37 votes
    18. One of the things I've noticed so far (and there were a couple obvious instances over the weekend) is that we've had a few issues with new users posting content that doesn't really fit some of the...

      One of the things I've noticed so far (and there were a couple obvious instances over the weekend) is that we've had a few issues with new users posting content that doesn't really fit some of the ideas behind Tildes (primarily, trying to focus on higher-quality discussions/content). This in itself isn't a bad thing or surprising, it's always going to happen. However, I think we need to try to think about some better ways to deal with it—it's great to have other community members telling people that it's not really the type of content they should be posting, but sometimes it's been done in a pretty hostile way, which isn't very good and makes the community seem unfriendly even though it's still very small.

      So I'm mostly just looking for general thoughts about how we could try to improve the situation. Are there mechanics that we could implement? Should we try to get "what types of things should I post?" in front of new users more prominently? Could/should we have a "standard" way of dealing with new users posting things without realizing it might not be particularly welcome here?

      Any other ideas or suggestions?

      50 votes
    19. Just a few minor updates to the groups today, mostly as a follow-up to this previous thread: I've renamed ~lifestyle to ~health and changed the description, as requested by a number of people. I...

      Just a few minor updates to the groups today, mostly as a follow-up to this previous thread:

      • I've renamed ~lifestyle to ~health and changed the description, as requested by a number of people. I think the purpose of ~lifestyle was pretty muddled, and I'm going to be moving the non-health-related topics out of there into ~misc or other appropriate groups in a bit.
      • I've updated the "short description" of a number of groups, mostly using suggestions that people wrote in the linked thread (thanks again for doing that).
      • I made a few small style changes to the list of groups page so that it's more obvious which groups you are and aren't subscribed to, since it was quite difficult to tell apart before.

      Discussion-wise, let's just talk a bit more about groups (and feel free to suggest more description updates if you'd like, a lot of them could still use work). Has the switch from ~lifestyle to ~health created new gaps? Are there any topics you've wanted to post about but felt discouraged because there wasn't a group that they fit in?

      25 votes
    20. Maybe not so much a "discussion" today, but this is something I've been meaning to do for a while and I think it would be good to specifically ask for some input/help. When creating new groups, I...

      Maybe not so much a "discussion" today, but this is something I've been meaning to do for a while and I think it would be good to specifically ask for some input/help. When creating new groups, I wrote quick little descriptions of each of them, but they're not very good. You can see all of the groups and their descriptions here: https://tildes.net/groups

      I'd like to replace some or all of these descriptions to help clarify what types of content goes into each group, so I'd appreciate any suggested new descriptions, especially from people that have been active in those groups and have a good feeling of what does/doesn't belong in them. Even just thoughts on what needs adjusting if you don't want to write something yourself would be great. A few specific things that I know could use clarification, but I'm sure there are more:

      • What's the difference between ~tech and ~comp?
      • What is ~lifestyle for?
      • What distinguishes ~talk compared to just having discussions in all of the other specific-subject groups?

      Thanks, any input (or entirely new descriptions) would be great.

      27 votes
    21. This came up yesterday, and I think it's worth discussing in a little more depth. There isn't currently an account-deletion feature (though I can do it manually on request), but it's going to be...

      This came up yesterday, and I think it's worth discussing in a little more depth.

      There isn't currently an account-deletion feature (though I can do it manually on request), but it's going to be needed in the future. The main thing that probably needs to be decided is what exactly to do with all of the user's posts when they delete their account. If the user was prolific and you wipe out all their posts, it can damage a lot of history. But if you leave their posts up (possibly no longer associated with their username), it means that all of the user's content is now basically "orphaned" and they no longer have control of it even though they posted it.

      I won't go into too much detail about my own thoughts, but I'm curious to hear what you all think of how deletions (and the deleted user's content) should be handled.

      38 votes
    22. Alright, this is very late today, but I had some other things to get through first. If you missed it, I locked this topic earlier today (which involved quickly hacking together a lock method...

      Alright, this is very late today, but I had some other things to get through first.

      If you missed it, I locked this topic earlier today (which involved quickly hacking together a lock method because I didn't have one). There was nothing wrong with the subject itself, and some reasonable discussion did happen in it, but overall it was disappointing to see it start devolving into the same old tired arguments, and it was unlikely to go anywhere productive if it had continued. I don't want to focus on that specific post though, and let's (please) try not to turn this thread entirely into a debate about it.

      The thing that I'd rather discuss is that I think this marks the first time I've done any sort of "strong" moderation-like action that wasn't also associated with banning a user (and there have still only been a few of those total). This shouldn't be a shocking or surprising event—introducing some moderation was inevitable if we want to have any hope of maintaining quality, and I'm honestly impressed that we managed to make it a month before it was necessary. From this point, I'm probably going to start doing it a little more (especially as we continue growing), and at least for the near future the actions should mostly be restricted to:

      • re-tagging topics (and I'll give other people the ability to do this as well)
      • editing topic titles
      • moving topics between groups
      • (hopefully rarely) locking topics, or removing topics/comments

      The main thing I'm working on finishing up now is a sort of "topic log" that will show which actions were taken on a topic, and who took them. So for example, once this is deployed, you'll be able to see things like "Deimos added tags x, y, z" or "Deimos changed title to ...".

      So what I'd like to talk about in this thread is just general thoughts on moderation—would you like to see a bit stricter moderation to try to set the bar a bit higher to start? How aggressively should I move topics if I think they don't fit? Do you think we need some sort of global log to list topics that are removed? Opinions on those sorts of questions are welcome, so I can take it all into account as I figure out how I want to approach it.

      63 votes
    23. It's a bit late on a Friday and I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to bring up today, so let's just use the thread today as a sort of general feedback/questions/discussion area. If...

      It's a bit late on a Friday and I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to bring up today, so let's just use the thread today as a sort of general feedback/questions/discussion area.

      If there's anything you wanted to ask about or give feedback on but didn't want to start a thread about it, feel free. You're always welcome to send me a private message with anything as well, I don't mind at all.

      As always, thanks for being here, and have a good weekend!

      35 votes
    24. Pretty straightforward topic today, but I think it's worth discussing briefly at least. I'm able to edit users' titles now (and the edit will be logged in the Topic Log in the sidebar). In the...

      Pretty straightforward topic today, but I think it's worth discussing briefly at least. I'm able to edit users' titles now (and the edit will be logged in the Topic Log in the sidebar). In the future, this ability will probably also be extended to others, both allowing users to edit their own titles, as well as giving others the ability to do it (will probably be tied into the trust system).

      So the question is: when should titles be edited? It's nice for me to be able to fix typos or other mistakes, remove spoilers if that comes up, and also remove (or at least reduce) editorialization when that's an issue. Are there any other cases where I should (or shouldn't) edit titles?

      Along with all of the other docs that need to be written, maybe a sort of "what makes a good title?" section in the submission guidelines would be good as well, so if you have any thoughts on that please feel free to post them.

      37 votes
    25. Vote seems to imply a choice between two or more things. I like how there are no downvotes, but having one option sounds a bit odd to me to be called a vote. Also, having a unique term may help it...

      Vote seems to imply a choice between two or more things. I like how there are no downvotes, but having one option sounds a bit odd to me to be called a vote. Also, having a unique term may help it stand out from other sites.

      Some suggested alternatives:

      • Increment
      • Boost
      • Bump
      • Rise
      • Hike

      Anyone else have any ideas?

      31 votes
    26. I've been thinking a bit about this post about groups that @Kiloku made yesterday, and about how we'll be able to figure out when it's the right time to create a new group. I had an idea (inspired...

      I've been thinking a bit about this post about groups that @Kiloku made yesterday, and about how we'll be able to figure out when it's the right time to create a new group.

      I had an idea (inspired somewhat by how StackExchange's "Area 51" works), and just want to see if you all think it's worth trying sometime, or if there are reasons that you think it wouldn't work very well.

      Every week or two, we could have a thread for "group proposals", where people suggest groups that they think would be good to add and likely to be active enough. If there's enough support from other users (for some meaning of "enough"), we create the group and then give it a while (maybe 2-4 weeks) to see if it actually builds up a reasonable level of activity. If it does, great. If not, we could remove the group and move the posts back into another group with an appropriate tag.

      So for example, if someone suggested a group for fantasy novels and a decent number of other users express interest, we could create ~books.fantasy as a trial. A few weeks later, if it doesn't seem to be working out, we move all the posts from it back into ~books with a "fantasy" tag (and can always try it again in the future).

      I don't know if we'd want to do this anytime soon, but I thought it would make for an interesting discussion anyway, so let me know what you think of the general idea.

      54 votes
    27. I'm going to cheat a bit today and combine the daily discussion with a changelog post, since I'd like to get input on the changes and talk about what else should be done. I've just updated the...

      I'm going to cheat a bit today and combine the daily discussion with a changelog post, since I'd like to get input on the changes and talk about what else should be done. I've just updated the "new topic" page in a few ways that we've discussed over the last while:

      • There's a note at the top asking people to post informative or interesting content with discussion value, and not to make posts mainly for entertainment.
      • You can now fill in both the Link and Text fields, and if you do so, the text will be posted as the first comment on your post. This allows people to make a sort of "submission statement" if they'd like, or give their opinion about the content. I've seen some conflicting opinions about this lately, so I tried to make it clear that adding text is optional. Personally, I don't think mandatory submission statements add much value, since in my experience most of them just end up being "I thought this was an interesting article", or a quote or two taken directly out of the article.
      • I added a "Formatting help" link above the Text field that links to the page on the docs site that @flaque was nice enough to write up. This link has also been added above the markdown fields for comments as well.

      As I mentioned yesterday, I'm also working on a "tagging guidelines" document which I'm hoping to get into decent shape today, and I'll add a link to that above the Tags field once it's available.

      Let me know what you think of the changes, and if you have any other suggestions for things we should do with the submit process. We'll definitely need some group-specific submission info before too long as well, so I may end up adding a sidebar to the submit page that can contain more info (though that doesn't work very well on mobile since it's hidden by default).

      39 votes
    28. This is a topic that's been discussed on and off a fair amount recently. Probably the most significant recent example was this post yesterday about whether people were "fully switching" to Tildes...

      This is a topic that's been discussed on and off a fair amount recently. Probably the most significant recent example was this post yesterday about whether people were "fully switching" to Tildes already. I think the really key point that came up in there is that for it to be more feasible, people have to feel like they're not "missing out" by being on Tildes. This is a difficult point to reach for a small site, and it's something that I've tried to advocate myself by doing things like having an entire section of the welcome message to encourage people to post content.

      It's definitely going to be a long time before Tildes has anywhere near enough content to satisfy people looking for very specific topics (such as for a particular video game or niche genres of music), but it's important that we keep moving towards that point. The biggest thing that will get people to keep coming back to the site is if they can feel like there will always be more interesting content whenever they do.

      You can see this in other sites: Hacker News is a great example. The site has extremely minimal functionality (I think Tildes already has more), and it generally only gets posts about a narrow set of subjects, yet it's quite a successful community overall. That's almost entirely because of the content—people know that there will always be good content and interesting discussions there, so they come back often and spend a lot of time there.

      Here's a few of my general thoughts about how we can get there:

      • I think people are feeling a bit discouraged from posting a lot of content, for a few reasons. Some users have expressed that they think posting content is "low effort" (which I disagree strongly with), and I also think that people might be worried that they'd be "spamming" too much by posting a lot. I think we need to push past that feeling, so how can we do that? One thought is that maybe we should stop subscribing people to all the groups automatically now. I think submitting feels more "spammy" because you know that your posts will be seen by almost everyone, but if we switch the groups to opt-in that should mostly go away—people shouldn't really complain about seeing posts about games when they chose to subscribe to ~games, and so on.
      • When I started /r/Games on reddit, one of the things I did to seed it with content initially was create a bot that would look at every post made to /r/gaming and run it through various criteria to try to figure out if it seemed like it might be a "good post". For example, it would disregard all images, posts from certain sites, ones that weren't getting upvoted, and so on. Anything that made it through the filters would be automatically cross-posted to /r/Games. I didn't end up having to run that bot for very long (only about 3 weeks), but it was pretty useful as a way to initially get some content into the subreddit. Do you think we might want to have a similar sort of thing here?
      • As mentioned in a few of the related threads, I think it would be good to try to focus on "meta" discussions a little less. I obviously enjoy them, and I still want to have the daily discussions and so on, but I think (especially for technically-minded people like a lot of us), it's very easy to spend a lot of time focused on "let's work through complicated systems and the flaws they'll have when the site is huge", when a lot of it probably won't be relevant for years. I'm not sure if we should do anything in particular to try to reduce this, but if we do decide to stop subscribing people to all the groups, just having fewer people in ~tildes might do a lot of that on its own.

      Let me know what you think about all of that, and if you have any other thoughts or suggestions about how we can improve the quality and quantity of content.

      61 votes
    29. Bit of a non-standard daily discussion again, but today I thought I'd post another inspiration for some of the decisions made for Tildes. I did this a couple of weeks ago with Clay Shirky's "A...

      Bit of a non-standard daily discussion again, but today I thought I'd post another inspiration for some of the decisions made for Tildes. I did this a couple of weeks ago with Clay Shirky's "A Group is Its Own Worst Enemy" as well, if you missed that one.

      The one I'm going to post today is a talk by Maciej Ceglowski (who runs the minimal bookmarking service Pinboard). I linked it in a discussion here related to privacy recently, because I think it's a great talk that goes over some of the dangers of tech companies casually collecting so much data on their users:

      Maciej Ceglowski - Haunted by Data

      That's a link to his slides and a transcript, but a video of him actually doing the talk is also available on YouTube here (20 mins long) if you'd like to watch/listen.

      Let me know if you have any thoughts about privacy topics (ones covered in the talk or otherwise), or questions about my approach towards privacy/data-collection on Tildes.

      43 votes
    30. I happened to take a look at Metafilter today, and noticed that they were linking to this post from last week in their header: State of the Site: Metafilter financial update and future directions....

      I happened to take a look at Metafilter today, and noticed that they were linking to this post from last week in their header: State of the Site: Metafilter financial update and future directions.

      It's an interesting post, even as someone that only has vague knowledge about Metafilter. There's a lot there, including a ton of comments that I haven't even started reading. So I thought it would make an interesting topic for today, since Metafilter has quite a few things in common with Tildes: it's unapologetically very minimal/old-school (it's almost 20 years old), is fairly small and closed (and isn't trying to be huge), gets a lot of its income from its users, and so on.

      So for those of you that do have experience with Metafilter, are there particular things that you think Tildes should learn from Metafilter or try to do differently? For people with less knowledge, is there anything in that post or the discussion that stands out to you as good things to keep in mind?

      28 votes
    31. It's another busy day - Tildes is getting a fair amount of attention in /r/TrueReddit, so I've been trying to reply to questions in there (and have also ended up inviting quite a few more people...

      It's another busy day - Tildes is getting a fair amount of attention in /r/TrueReddit, so I've been trying to reply to questions in there (and have also ended up inviting quite a few more people as well). We've also already got multiple good discussions going on in ~tildes on a whole bunch of topics, so for the "official" daily discussion today I'm going to try doing something a little different.

      I read a lot about online communities—there are all sorts of articles, books, talks, research, etc. that I've read that have helped me figure out what the major issues were, and how we could try to do things differently with Tildes. So instead of writing something myself today, I'm going to try linking to one of these, and encourage people to talk about the topics that it covers. If this works out well, this might be an interesting thing to do once a week or so: I'll post a link to something that's influenced the plans for Tildes and see what you all think of it.

      I'll start it off today with what I would probably consider my single favorite talk about online communities of all time. It's worth noting that this is from 2003, which is before almost all of the major platforms we have today were even started:

      Clay Shirky - A Group is Its Own Worst Enemy

      81 votes
    32. I'm falling behind on a few things (open-sourcing, multiple updates/fixes, replying to emails/messages/etc.), so I'm going to be a bit lazy with the next few daily discussions. There are various...

      I'm falling behind on a few things (open-sourcing, multiple updates/fixes, replying to emails/messages/etc.), so I'm going to be a bit lazy with the next few daily discussions. There are various interesting discussions going on in ~tildes as well, so I think there's plenty even without an in-depth daily post for a bit.

      This is a very simple one: feel free to give any general feedback or ask questions, especially things that you feel are minor and probably not really worth starting a new topic about.

      I appreciate any thoughts as always, and thanks for all your patience on the things I'm behind on.

      37 votes
    33. Now that we've got viewing specific tags and filtering out tags, to make these most useful we need to start making tagging more consistent. So today I want to talk about some general tagging...

      Now that we've got viewing specific tags and filtering out tags, to make these most useful we need to start making tagging more consistent. So today I want to talk about some general tagging approaches and figuring out some standards.

      Are there particular tags that we should try to keep consistent across all groups? One example: I think it would be good to have one like ask or survey that goes on all topics that are "what's your favorite [something]?" or "what are you playing/watching/reading this week?", etc. That way those types of topics can easily be filtered (or focused on) across all groups. Are there any other ones that will probably be used in multiple groups that we should try to standardize?

      Other than that, any other suggestions or thoughts about how we should generally try to organize tagging would be useful. Links to other sites that do tagging well (and/or have good defined guidelines somewhere) would be great as well.

      32 votes
    34. We've had a few topics related to recruiting new users come up over the last few days. I won't link to them specifically (and at least one has been deleted as well), but they've included ones that...

      We've had a few topics related to recruiting new users come up over the last few days. I won't link to them specifically (and at least one has been deleted as well), but they've included ones that recommend relying less on reddit, seeking out more people of different demographics, and a few other recommendations related to how and where we should be looking for more users.

      So for this topic, I wanted to ask to see if people have specific recommendations for reaching other potential users. Reddit is definitely the simplest from my perspective, because I have a fair amount of name-recognition there and also a lot of connections with mods and users. I'd love to reach out to other groups of people as well, but that often comes off as pretty spammy from someone that doesn't have a pre-existing relation, so I'm not sure how it could be done well.

      So any recommendations are appreciated, and I've also given all existing users 5 invite codes again, so feel free to invite some people if there's anyone you think would be a good fit. You can get them here (and as always, feel free to message me if you want more): https://tildes.net/invite

      Also, I haven't done it yet, but after this discussion the other day, I think I'm going to stop showing info about who users were invited by. Multiple people are saying that the current situation is preventing them from inviting others, and I don't think that's a good thing. I'll make another post in ~tildes.official once I've done that (should be today).

      41 votes
    35. I've just banned the user @Hypnotoad for some repeated bad-faith behavior. Some of this is still visible in their history if you want to look, but some has also been edited or deleted which will...

      I've just banned the user @Hypnotoad for some repeated bad-faith behavior. Some of this is still visible in their history if you want to look, but some has also been edited or deleted which will make it less obvious (this post explains some of it, not all). I also know their reddit account (but hadn't looked through it previously) and there's a bit of bigotry and general poor behavior there as well.

      No, I did not send them a warning, and no, I don't intend this ban to be temporary. I know that some of you will think this is too harsh, but to be honest, some of you are way too forgiving. It will be completely impossible to maintain any semblance of a high-quality community if we have to constantly give low-quality, trollish users the benefit of the doubt. Good users don't want to (and shouldn't have to) spend most of their time on a site trying to educate other people how to behave. That gets tiresome extremely quickly, and results in the good users just finding somewhere else to spend their time instead.

      So... in terms of discussion topics, feel free to give opinions on this specific ban, as well as thoughts about how this type of decision should be made in general. Having some standards is absolutely necessary though, Tildes can't possibly serve as both a high-quality discussion site as well as a "troll education space".

      129 votes
    36. This is a topic I wanted to talk about late last week, since there were a few posts related to it coming up at the time. For example: "Idea: requiring submission statements for link‐based topics,...

      This is a topic I wanted to talk about late last week, since there were a few posts related to it coming up at the time. For example: "Idea: requiring submission statements for link‐based topics, at least in certain groups". This is interesting to me, so I wanted to turn it into a bit more of an official discussion.

      I think there's a bit of a conflict here, where people have different ideas of what purpose they're coming to the site for. There are some people in that thread (and some other similar ones) with an opinion that external links are a bit inherently "lazy", or even unnecessary if they can't trigger a discussion. I disagree pretty strongly with that - good discussion is definitely one of the things I want Tildes to have, but it's not a requirement for every single post. If people want to share songs on ~music, trailers on ~movies, interesting articles on ~news and so on, that should be a good thing.

      As a specific example of what I mean, I submitted this article from Wired earlier today. It's an interesting, well-researched article that goes into depth on the story, and I enjoyed reading it. The reason I'm submitting it is because I think other people would enjoy reading it too, not because I want to start a discussion on it. If a discussion happens, that's great, but it's not the actual purpose of why I'm submitting.

      I want Tildes to be able to cover both of these: help bring good content to people's attention, and also foster good discussions (whether those are attached to external content or not). I think right now it's a bit tilted towards the discussion side (the "Activity" sort as default is probably a big factor), so I guess I'm looking for general thoughts about how we can try to balance this and serve both purposes.

      The ability to set different default sorts for individual groups probably helps some, and I think topic filtering based on tags will help a lot as well for people that are more interested in one side or the other. What else should we consider?

      39 votes
    37. Inspired by this thread in ~talk from this morning, I think it would be good to start thinking about how to define some more formal guidelines for what sort of behavior we do (and don't) want to...

      Inspired by this thread in ~talk from this morning, I think it would be good to start thinking about how to define some more formal guidelines for what sort of behavior we do (and don't) want to see in the discussions on Tildes. I'd like to put something together that can be on the Docs site and linked to fairly prominently, and used as a reference to help people understand what's expected here.

      As an example, Hacker News has some pretty good ones (the bottom half, under "In Comments"). We should be able to do something quite similar to that, so let me know if you think any of theirs are particularly good or if there are other ones that you'd like to see covered. I know many of you are involved in other online communities too, so I'd also be curious to see links to other sites' guidelines you think are done really well.

      Please focus on comments only for now, and we can have another discussion soon about guidelines related to topics/submissions (there will be some crossover, I'm sure). Thanks, input is appreciated as always.

      35 votes
    38. Tsirist suggested this earlier today, and I think it's a pretty good topic, so let's just do it today. Currently, on each user's page you can see who they were invited by. However, that's the full...

      Tsirist suggested this earlier today, and I think it's a pretty good topic, so let's just do it today.

      Currently, on each user's page you can see who they were invited by. However, that's the full extent of what's shown about invites right now. The opposite relation isn't easily public (that is, there's no way to see a list of all users that were invited by someone), and you can't even currently see a list of which users you've invited yourself.

      Some people think that these invite relationships should be more public, and some people think it should be even less than it already currently is. For example, some people want to be able to invite others without those people knowing their username, which is currently impossible.

      I think that at least tracking the "invite tree" is important overall during the invite-only phase, but it doesn't necessarily need to be public information to serve this purpose. What do you think? Should we show more information about invites? Less? Leave it exactly how it is?

      46 votes
    39. Sorry this is so late today, I had to go out and do some things, and didn't get back until much later than I was expecting. Since it's so late, I'm just going to do a simple one, and save my...

      Sorry this is so late today, I had to go out and do some things, and didn't get back until much later than I was expecting. Since it's so late, I'm just going to do a simple one, and save my original planned topic for tomorrow or Monday:

      What other topics do you think would be good to discuss in these daily posts? Are there particular mechanics, plans, concerns that you'd like to see covered?

      29 votes
    40. Sorry for the lateness on this one today - this is a topic that's been very important on reddit lately, since the redesign is taking away a lot of customization from subreddits by taking away...

      Sorry for the lateness on this one today - this is a topic that's been very important on reddit lately, since the redesign is taking away a lot of customization from subreddits by taking away their ability to use full CSS and moving towards more limited tools. I wanted to get some thoughts from the people here so far about whether allowing similar levels of customization on Tildes seems like a good idea.

      This probably wouldn't happen in the near future anyway, so don't worry too much about the "how" of it. I know that if we support it here it would have to be a fair amount different because there aren't really "owners" of particular groups or anything like that. For now, let's just talk about whether it seems like a good idea at all.

      I don't want to bias the discussion about it too much, but just a few general thoughts about it from my end:

      • If we do allow it, I'd always make sure that it's very easy for users to choose not to see the customizations if they prefer the "stock" appearance.
      • Since Tildes is trying to keep the site itself as the main mobile interface, this means that we'd be able to have CSS customizations apply to mobile users as well.
      • Supporting full CSS on Tildes could be a significant factor in some reddit communities wanting to move over once it becomes more apparent that they're not going to get full CSS in the redesign (this could be a good or bad thing).

      It's a pretty vague topic, but I'm curious what people's general opinions about it are, so let me know what you think.

      71 votes
    41. In the daily post yesterday, I mentioned that I was planning to add filtering for topic tags fairly soon. I have this working now, but I'm balking a bit on actually adding it. So before I do, I...

      In the daily post yesterday, I mentioned that I was planning to add filtering for topic tags fairly soon. I have this working now, but I'm balking a bit on actually adding it. So before I do, I wanted to take some time today to talk specifically about filtering, and how we can try to make sure that it doesn't get "out of control" and hurt the site in different ways.

      "Filter bubbles" can be a real issue, but on the opposite side, I don't think that trying to force people to see content that they don't want to is a good approach either. You can't force that—people will add their own filters with browser extensions, just "mentally filter" the posts, or even leave the site if there's too much that they don't want. Overall, it's one of my goals that people should have control of what they see, and being able to filter some things out is an important part of that.

      So there's not really a specific question I want to ask or anything, I'm just looking for a general discussion about filtering and if there's any specific things that you think would work well, or pitfalls we should try to avoid with it. Thanks, I'd appreciate any thoughts.

      48 votes
    42. Yesterday we had quite a few topics posted in ~tildes related to "fluff" content and some similar topics. Today I want to talk about a few related things, and some changes that I'm planning to...

      Yesterday we had quite a few topics posted in ~tildes related to "fluff" content and some similar topics. Today I want to talk about a few related things, and some changes that I'm planning to make in the near future.

      Not a reddit replacement

      First, something I obviously haven't done a very good job of making clear (and needs to be added to the FAQ) is that Tildes really isn't intended to be a replacement for reddit. It's not my goal to have most people want to move here away from reddit. The goal is much closer to a complement—reddit is making a lot of choices to prioritize "quick entertainment" content, often at the expense of more in-depth content and discussions.

      Reddit wants to prioritize that kind of content because it works better for the business goals they have. "Fluff" content attracts the most users, and supports showing far more ads. You can show a lot of (in-line) ads to someone skimming down through hundreds of cat pictures, but you can't really show any to someone that spends an hour having an in-depth discussion inside a single post. So naturally they're going to prioritize quick content—it brings them more users, and directly makes them a lot more money.

      Tildes doesn't have the same incentives, so my goal is to be a better home for that in-depth content that's slowly getting pushed out. Reddit can keep the fluff. It's going to be better at it than Tildes ever will be anyway, due to displaying images and autoplaying gifs in-line, and many other design choices they're making to prioritize that type of content.

      Concerns about current quality, and some changes

      That being said, even though we're really not getting image posts or anything similar yet, we have been getting a lot of "what's your favorite?" type threads, which are especially prominent due to the default activity sort. For example, if I look at what a new user on Tildes would see right now, in the first 20 posts we have:

      • Favorite desktop environment for Arch?
      • Name the online accomplishment you are most proud of
      • What upcoming video games are you looking forward to?
      • What are some TV shows you find yourself constant rewatching?
      • Here's an idea. Comment something really unique (in a good or a bad way) and relatively unknown about a place you're living in or lived in.
      • Name a cool, mostly unknown feature of your OS of choice
      • What are the most influential books to you?
      • What's everyone's favorite movie?
      • So, what have you been working on?

      And a few more that are similar as well. None of these are bad topics at all (especially the ones in ~talk where that should be expected), but they're pretty much all just "casual discussion" and not really what I'd consider particularly high-quality content. I don't want to discourage these or start removing them or anything, but I do think we probably need some changes to make them less prominent (or at least easily avoidable if people don't want to see that type of topic right now).

      So here's my plans for the short term (all three should happen today, I think):

      1. Implement filtering for topic tags - I have a basic version of this almost done now, which will allow people to set up a (global) list of tags, where any posts with any of those tags will be filtered out of their view. There's a "show unfiltered" toggle as well that allows you to easily see everything.
      2. I'll start editing tags on other people's posts and/or giving other users the ability to do this. Primarily, all "what's your favorite?" type topics should have a common tag so that they can all be filtered easily. I'm thinking "ask" or "survey" or something similar, suggestions are welcome.
      3. Allow users to set their default sorting method for the home page and individual groups, and then probably change the default away from "activity".

      Let me know what you think of these plans, or if there's anything else you think we should consider doing.

      89 votes
    43. Normally I've been trying to use the Monday post to do a general "what's planned for the week?", but with all the attention and unexpectedly-quick growth last week I didn't get the main thing...

      Normally I've been trying to use the Monday post to do a general "what's planned for the week?", but with all the attention and unexpectedly-quick growth last week I didn't get the main thing (open-sourcing) finished anyway, so this one wouldn't be much different.

      Instead, I want to ask for input on what are the current missing or broken things that are the most surprising? That is, I don't want to talk about "this would be nice" things here; I want to focus on, "Is this really not there? Am I doing something wrong?"

      Here are three examples that will hopefully make it a little more clear:

      • User pages currently have no pagination (should I just bump them up from 20 items to 50 or 100 for now, until they do?)
      • Username mentions don't send a notification
      • There's not even a basic search function

      That's the level of things I want. Let me know what others are out there, I'm sure there are more. And two more quick things while I have your attention:

      Thanks!

      69 votes
    44. A few updates related to groups today: First of all, we now have our first actual sub-group with ~tildes.official . I've automatically subscribed everyone to it, and I'm currently the only one...

      A few updates related to groups today:

      First of all, we now have our first actual sub-group with ~tildes.official . I've automatically subscribed everyone to it, and I'm currently the only one that can post in it. So if you'd like to make sure that you're seeing the official announcements and daily discussions but don't want all the suggestions and bug reports and such clogging up your home page, you can subscribe to ~tildes.official and unsubscribe from ~tildes. Subscribing to ~tildes will still give you the posts from both (regardless of whether you subscribe to ~tildes.official or not). I'll be moving the previous announcements and such into ~tildes.official eventually.

      Also, as mentioned a few days ago, it's time to add a few more groups. As part of this, I've updated the groups list page a tiny bit to add the Subscribe/Unsubscribe button onto that page, so that you can easily tell which ones you're already subscribed to and change your choices. These are the new groups:

      I know that there are a number of other ones that people are clamoring for as well (including sub-groups of existing ones), but I think it's important to go pretty slow with this. At this point I think we already have more groups than reddit did for years (and Digg ever had), but the site's population is lower than even a tiny single subreddit would be. Having things organized more is nice, but we don't want to fragment too quickly into a bunch of inactive groups.

      One more thing I could use some help with: the short group descriptions on the groups list are pretty close to placeholders that I wrote very quickly. If anyone wants to suggest some new ones for any of the groups we could use to help make their purpose more clear, I'd love to update them with better ones.

      Thanks, let me know what you think.

      102 votes
    45. There are already a couple of (great) discussions going on related to comment tags, from different directions: Are noise tags turning into a de facto downvote? The case for "noise." As I mentioned...

      There are already a couple of (great) discussions going on related to comment tags, from different directions:

      As I mentioned in a comment in the top one, I've disabled the ability to add/remove comment tags for now. They didn't have any actual, non-cosmetic functionality yet anyway, and they're being misused (not severely, but a bit) for various reasons and in various ways.

      Obviously we can have lots of larger discussions about how to revamp the comment-tagging system significantly to make it better (and link it into the trust system and such, once that actually exists), but I'd like to try to talk about something more focused in this thread for the sake of expediency: are there any simple, minimal things that we could do to make comment-tagging "useful enough" to turn back on soon?

      For example, maybe it would be enough for now to just drop or add some of the options, or make the comment tags non-anonymous so that we can see who added particular tags. I'm not saying we definitely should do those, because it very well might go wrong in other ways, but those are the types of ideas I'd like to talk about—relatively quick solutions that might address some of the misuse.

      58 votes
    46. After we slowed things down a little last week, I was planning to post today and say that it would be okay to start promoting the site a bit again and getting some more people in. Turns out...

      After we slowed things down a little last week, I was planning to post today and say that it would be okay to start promoting the site a bit again and getting some more people in. Turns out that... kind of took care of itself, with multiple prominent mentions in this thread on reddit this morning.

      So we've got a flood of invite requests again, and will probably have a lot of new users showing up over the next few days as we work through those (and thanks again to the people handling all the ones in /r/tildes on reddit, it's a lot of work). If you're one of those new people—welcome, please feel free to post in this thread (or in ~tildes in general) if you have any feedback or suggestions. We're pretty swamped right now and might not be able to reply to everything (or reply quickly), but I'm definitely reading it all.

      On that note, with a lot more people coming in, I think we can add some more (top-level) groups and see if we have enough activity to support a few more. I'll probably do this later today or tomorrow. These are the ones I'm planning to add right now, let me know if you think these are good and/or if we need some other ones:

      • ~books (is this the best name?) - for reading discussions (fiction and non-fiction) - writing would probably still be in ~creative
      • ~food - for discussion of food (and drinks, so the naming might be a bit weird), recipes, articles, etc.
      • ~lifestyle - for fitness, outdoor activities, specific diets and so on
      • ~soc (is this the best name? I think ~social would be confusing) - culture, social issues, environmentalism and so on - some people have told me that they don't really want to post these sorts of things in the more "general" groups, so I think we probably need a more specific one

      I'm also thinking about turning off the auto-subscription to all groups on registration, so that people can start only selecting ones that they're interested in, instead of having to opt-out from ones they're not interested in. I never wanted to do that for long, but I'm not sure if this is too early to stop already.

      Any thoughts on that? The groups list page definitely needs some improvements before I do it, including showing which ones you're subscribed or not subscribed to, and some better descriptions. Also, if I do end up doing it soon, should I un-subscribe all existing users from everything to get everyone to start fresh, or will that annoy you all too much? Maybe only people that haven't already changed their subscriptions at all?

      77 votes
    47. Howdy. Things are still very busy (which is why I'm falling behind on plans like getting the code open-sourced). The TrueReddit thread yesterday went very well, and I still have hundreds of invite...

      Howdy. Things are still very busy (which is why I'm falling behind on plans like getting the code open-sourced). The TrueReddit thread yesterday went very well, and I still have hundreds of invite request emails piled up from it. We're also now up over 2000 registered users, and activity is very high for such a new site - there have already been over 100 new topics posted today alone, and over 2000 comments.

      As part of that, one of the things I'm trying to get done very soon (in the next few hours, I really hope) is splitting off these "official" posts into their own dedicated group, so people can feel free to unsubscribe from ~tildes without worrying about missing important announcements. There's a ton of activity in ~tildes with suggestions, bug reports, questions, etc. which are all great, but I understand if people would rather not have that filling up their home page and only go to check on it specifically when they feel like it.

      On a similar note, since I asked everybody to read a super long, in-depth talk transcript yesterday, I'll keep it simpler today:

      Do you think the "activity" sort is still a decent default?

      I feel like it's working pretty well (and you can change to other sorting methods and time periods if you like, though it doesn't save your choice yet), but it's definitely leaning the site more towards "forum-like" activity, with the threads more towards the "discussion" end than links, articles, and so on.

      So is this still good for now, or should we think about switching the default over to "newest" or "most votes", and let people just pick "activity" on their own if they're interested in that more forum-like experience?

      56 votes
    48. Geez, I said I was hoping to keep these daily discussions a little "lighter" on the weekend, but that's definitely not working out this weekend. Yesterday's thread is getting awfully large, so I...

      Geez, I said I was hoping to keep these daily discussions a little "lighter" on the weekend, but that's definitely not working out this weekend.

      Yesterday's thread is getting awfully large, so I think it will be good to use this one to continue with some specific topics from that one, instead of trying to keep it in there where it's pretty unwieldy (I definitely need to do some work on handling large threads better).

      There are 3 things I want to try to clarify and start discussion on:

      1. Whether someone is civil or not is absolutely not the only factor in whether they're going to be welcome. Multiple people in the other thread seem to be jumping to the conclusion of "this means that as long as someone says it politely, they've got free rein, and we have to treat all their statements as valid!" That's not true at all. So how can we try to make this more clear? Are there particular rules or guidelines that we could put in place to help separate reasonable conversations from "just asking questions"? Are there existing communities that you think handle this well that we can try to emulate?
      2. To be completely honest, I probably haven't been paying enough attention to the political threads that have been posted so far. I'll spend some time today looking through some of the existing ones to see if issues are already coming up. We've talked previously about why political content is difficult—should we consider something like just banning "overly political" threads (at least for now) to prevent the site's culture from getting too adversarial initially? Again, is there anything else specific you think we can do or emulate to help the situation?
      3. Please try not to extrapolate too much immediately. Tildes has "really" been going for a week, I've taken one moderator/admin-like action, and there are people acting like that's already defined the site's entire future. I know everyone here is pretty passionate and excited, but try to relax a bit—the site's brand new, still very tiny, and a lot of things still need to be figured out (both for mechanics and policy). Things like "one user might be getting away with being a troll" doesn't mean that it's doomed to turn into "polite Voat". I'm not going to let that happen, but if you don't believe me that's fine—the only way I can prove it is through what actually happens, and that takes time.

      So... that's pretty scattered, but hopefully it's a decent starting point to talk about some of these topics. Let me know what you think, I definitely appreciate everyone's input so far, and it's going to be important to keep getting it regularly to make sure Tildes can stay on the right track.

      58 votes
    49. Like I did last week, I'm going to use the Monday post to talk about the general plans for this week: Finish up the remaining pieces to open-source the site's code. I was hoping to get most of...

      Like I did last week, I'm going to use the Monday post to talk about the general plans for this week:

      1. Finish up the remaining pieces to open-source the site's code. I was hoping to get most of this done last week (and did get a fair amount done), but there's still some left. I'm pretty confident this will happen sometime this week.
      2. More fixes/updates that we need to be able to continue the growth smoothly. I think I figured out the issues with staying logged in, and that's definitely been a big annoyance for a lot of people. Major other ones that I want to get done soon are improvements to notifications (adding a "mark all as read" or similar), allowing people to set their default sorting options for topic lists, some improvements to make navigating large comment threads easier, and probably the beginning of some filtering/searching based on tags. I'll probably also add a couple more groups that people have been requesting.
      3. More updates to documentation and information. There are a couple of merge requests open already that I need to include, and then need to do some other updates that people have pointed out are missing or otherwise confusing.
      4. Grow some more! We've closed off the mass invite-request threads on reddit for now since we were getting way too many requests, but Tildes keeps getting mentioned in various places (like this thread today), so that's bringing in a fair amount of attention. We'll probably go for another burst later in the week, but for the moment I've given everyone 3 invite codes again that you can use to invite others (friends, or just people on reddit or other sites if you see them expressing interest or think they'd be interested). You can get the codes here: https://tildes.net/invite

      That's it for now, I think. Let me know if you have any thoughts about any of this, or recommendations for other things that need to get worked on in the near future.

      52 votes
    50. It's now been almost exactly a week since Tildes got its first "real" attention on Hacker News, and it's been a great week. We're going to have over 1000 users registered today, which is awesome...

      It's now been almost exactly a week since Tildes got its first "real" attention on Hacker News, and it's been a great week. We're going to have over 1000 users registered today, which is awesome and incredibly encouraging for me to see so much excitement this quickly. I'm also extremely glad that I decided to start out invite-only, because with the attention Tildes has been getting in various threads on reddit already, I think we could have easily had 20,000 or more users right now, and that would have been far too fast to grow.

      On that note, I think it's good to try to slow down for at least a few days at around this size while we get some things sorted out and improved. So at least for now, please don't go out of your way to post about Tildes in any major reddit threads or anything (I'm looking at you, @Vibe, you're too good at finding places to mention it). You don't have to hide it and are still welcome to mention it to friends and such (and send me a message if you need some invite codes), but it would be nice to try to avoid major public attention for a few days so we can catch our breath.

      As for what we should figure out while we're trying to pause the growth a bit, here are a few things from my perspective, but please let me know if you have any other suggestions:

      • Comment tags - I think I may just disable these entirely for now. They don't really do anything useful for the moment anyway, and I think the system for them needs some work so they're more likely to work as intended.
      • More groups - we could probably use a few more groups. A food/drink one has been suggested a few times and I think that's a good idea, any suggestions for the name? Other than that, any other ones you think we need urgently?
      • Various minor convenience improvements - there are a lot of little things that need tweaking, that weren't as obviously needed when the site was less active. For example, easier ways to find new comments in large threads, since we're already getting ones with hundreds of comments. I'd like to get some of that kind of stuff in place before it gets even worse as the activity keeps increasing, so please let me know also any specific ones that you think are urgent. Once the code is open-source I expect user contributions to help a lot with this kind of stuff.

      Thanks again for being here, it's pretty amazing to already be worrying about growing too quickly.

      83 votes