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invite-only spaces always fail because elitism is baked in from the start

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Original Poster1 point · 9 hours ago

Like Facebook? And Gmail? Both started as and remained invite-only for years.

7 points · 19 days ago

Why is it that the ones who are most vocal about preserving free speech are the very ones who are most ignorant of it? You can't go out uttering threats to certain demographics and expect zero consequences.

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Original Poster6 points · 15 days ago

I see a lot of people defending 'free speech' just because they think it safeguards their 'right' to be an asshole without consequences.

The 'free speech' conversation is over and done - we have it, it's not going away, and that's that. We need to move beyond it and start talking about 'civil' speech. Without the civility, no one will listen, so the free speech is useless.

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2 points · 2 days ago · edited 2 days ago

True, but if you allow others to add tags, a poster will put in even less effort into his posts because he knows that others will corect it and, as Deimorz said, posts probably won't live long enough or get enough attention to get the right tags. That being said, I believe that many communities can benefit from tags but I'm not sure if Tildes is one of them. It sure isn't at the moment though.
Edit: I'm not a user of tildes right now, and I just went through the docs again and noticed that I somehow missed the mechanics document. Tildes is already using some form of tagging system that will be built out in the future. I really don't know how this will all play out in the future, or how it even works right now, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

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Our solution to that problem is to import everyone else's tags when the submitter clicks on the equivalent of 'suggest title' - and more than the tags, all the metadata the process can find. Just about everything, everywhere is already loaded to the brim with tags. The users shouldn't have to do much at all beyond a little basic sanity check.

Moderator of r/listentothis, speaking officially1 point · 8 days ago

/u/HyakuNiju, your submission has been removed from /r/listentothis for:

Covers and Remixes

This post was removed because it is a remix or cover of an artist or track which exceeds our popularity limits. While the remixer or cover artist may be within the limits, these tracks receive attention due to the more popular original artist, which does not fit in with the goals of /r/listentothis. Please note that covers or remixes of an artist within the popularity limits are allowed.

A full explanation of this rule can be found here.

If you have any questions or believe that there has been an error, you may PM the moderators. You may also click here to see our full rule set.

18 points · 9 days ago

Tags. Everything will be tagged to high heaven, and users can filter out those tags. We have some basic tagging now, and that'll be supplemented with a lot of auto-tagging in the future (plus editors with tag-editing capabilities). Getting the user tag filters in place is one of the most requested features right now, so I don't think we'll be waiting too long for that.

Original Poster2 points · 9 days ago

What about specific words that don't fall under a tag, though? “Made up” words like “doggo”, “pupper”, “ehrmahgod”, “Ackchyually”... Will users be able to filter those out from titles or comments?

I understand you could filter out “politics” as a tag, for example. But say you didn't want to filter politics, but only Reagan (for whatever reason).

I'm referring more to words, rather than topics. I don't want to filter out “dogs” I want to filter out “doggo(s)”.

maybe an extension equivalent to RES

No words on that?

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I don't think we're planning to have title filtering, not that it'd be a hard thing to add (and once it's open source, someone probably will). There's already a 'tildes enhancement suite' plugin being developed with some basic filtering and enhancements by a couple of interested users.

Something like "Reagan" or "Trump" will be represented in the tags - proper names, places, and people mentioned in articles should be in the tags of those articles (and would be automatically imported from shared links where they are almost universally available already).

19 points · 9 days ago

That's the idea, yeah. People who have a direct interest in NN would sub to ~tech.netneutrality and see all of the content. People subbed to ~tech who weren't that interested would only see the bubble-up threads. Ideally, those threads would be only the big events and major developments, and any high-quality discussion posts that develop in the sub-group. The people in ~tech get the best of NN, probably only a couple of threads a week at most, so it stops being spammy to the people who aren't heavily invested in the issue.

I expect some degree of friction might occur if a group of rabidly pro-NN moderators emerge in ~tech.nn and try to spam the parent ~tech community with 5 threads a day, which is why the process has to include the mods of ~tech as well. These groups of users-turned-moderators (automatically selected by their level of participation) should be able to strike a balance in what bubbles up that finds the right level of engagement.

On any given issue, most people aren't into it enough to follow it to the tune of several dozen threads every day. Most people just want to be kept abreast of the major developments and newsworthy items. If you read all of the threads on an issue or topic, you'll notice there's a hell of a lot of repetition as the group continually tells itself the same story over and over again in every thread.

Moving the topic into a sub-group gives that group the opportunity to dive deep into an issue in relative privacy with only the interested local members, without the distraction of continually explaining the same topics over and over again to hundreds of thousands of drive-by visitors that are only seeing the threads from the front page.

Eventually, when a major development occurs, the group will decide something is a big enough deal to promote it up to those people above them - and when it bubbles up, that's the point at which the local group's more in-depth/focused knowledge and discussions get presented to the community at large. Even better, that group gets the opportunity to populate and vote on the discussion before the larger group of more general users comes in. That means there should be a higher level of quality and knowledge/expertise present in the early discussion.

It also means the group has the chance to more fully present their take/case to themselves before it risks becoming distracted by the larger user community. That larger community will be there to challenge the group's ideas when it bubbles-up, and hopefully that should lessen the 'echo chamber' effect we see on reddit in so many places.

It's also important to be very, very careful about which groups are created. If we create ~politics.conservative and ~politics.liberal, we're setting those two groups up to enter a tag-team death-match when their threads bubble up into ~politics. If, instead, we set the groups up as and ~politics.immigration (a more issue-focused approach) we can help prevent the red-vs-blue framing from taking over, and instead force those people to participate with each other in the issue-based forums.

This is part of the reason the group creation is a process rather than a mouse click like here on reddit. Political discussion here has devolved almost completely into noise and name-calling. Only a handful of places like /r/neutralpolitics have managed to resist this regression, and they do it the same way - by controlling the framing of the debate to keep it issue-focused, and censoring trolls and unproductive/uncivil comment chains.

Group self-governance is the single most critical issue in any community-based forum, and nobody even talks about it. How can we expect to make forums better if so few people even grasp the scope of the problem? The tools have to focus on giving groups that self-governance, and on making sure that group neighbors maintain healthy relationships with each other.

Original Poster2 points · 9 days ago

I hadn't considered that bubbling up would be a deliberate choice rather than an algorithmic process based on votes, but it makes sense. It better follows the Tildes philosophy of putting the users in control. Among other things it means that user-mods will prepared for it instead of being caught off guard by the influx of outsiders like happens when a reddit post hits r/all.

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It'll kinda be both. The algorithms will make suggestions about what to bubble, likely driven by the exemplary upvote feature. It's still got to be partly a human process, though. I expect for a lot of communities the 'automatic' aspects will be enough the majority of the time... but when they aren't, people need to step in and the tools to do it well.

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Little late, but what exactly decays if the user is inactive?

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Reputation. The site will be watching which communities users participate in, and rewarding them for that participation with enhanced reputation, stronger voting powers, and eventually even moderator-level access in those communities where they participate. That's basically how tildes knows the difference between a user just visiting a community and a user that is helping to build a community - who's in the 'group within the group'.

Rep decay will help prevent someone from being a moderator-level user, then disappearing for year or two, and coming back and pulling rank/being disruptive. This is a fairly common problem on reddit that has lead to a lot of the moderator drama here.

It'll also make sure that alts have little to no power - if someone wants to have an effective 'alt' account they need to use it to participate - and if they do that it's time being taken away from their main, so it'll also have less power. That basically makes maintaining alts impractical, especially large numbers of alts. Lots of people here on reddit have small armies of alt accounts they use to manipulate content, the most famous case probably being that of Unidan.

It's likely that we'd have older accounts in good standing earn their rep back at an accelerated rate once they start participating again. The goal here is to protect the groups, not punish users for being inactive.

That was the plan with trust/rep decay. Ideally with sufficient decay it should be virtually impossible for a user to maintain a high level of trust on more than one top-level and several niche groups. It will take some playing with the numbers to achieve that though and there may even be a hard cap at some point just to prevent that if decay proves insufficient.

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I think some people might eventually be in positions of moderating entire hierarchies such as ~comp.* or ~science.* as there are some interesting aspects of meta-moderation having the top trusted people as a sort of go-between/arbiter between the other mod teams in the hierarchy.

If you read that Shirky talk I posted to /r/tildes he points to the 'group within the group' - usually there are only two or three levels in a forum. I think we can shoot for something more inclusive and onion-like... curators , editors, moderators, arbiters - as the group within the group within the group within the group. Admins are sort of outside the hierarchy and responsible for keeping it humming along, and helping out those groups.

We have to walk our way to the center of that onion over time, though, as we build the system. Transparency and accountability are going to have to matter if we want to keep it all honest.

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6 points · 10 days ago

I really wish we had a Wikimedia-like foundation for something like reddit. We need a not for profit for social bookmarking... badly.

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We have it, though it's only about 3 weeks old. /r/tildes

-4 points · 10 days ago · edited 10 days ago

Uhm... Do you even know what a web scraper is?

Again, scraping a site like tildes or reddit using scripts is either going to be extremely inefficient, resulting in you getting a fraction of the content, or it is going to be painfully obvious in the logs. I'm sure you are aware there are plenty of methods to prevent it from happening.

If you find it too hard to curb the action of scrapers, I'm not sure how you intent on preventing archiving done with the api calls. If they are parsing every single new content done in the site, unless you know for a fact what the person on the other end is doing, which I don't think you realistically can, there is not much to be done, other than maybe preventing a few public undelete sites.

So the bottom line is that there is absolutely no way to prevent theft of visible data from a site, especially a publicly visible site, which ~ will be eventually. And with or without an API, if ~ gets popular enough Archive and Undelete sites/services are inevitable.

Ok, if you feel that it is a lost battle already, and that at the second a user hits the submit button every single comment is going to be stored in a place outside of your control, make it very much clear to the user. If you don't want to remove the delete button, make it very clear to the user what is happening. Once he deletes a comment, link him to said undelete site, show him that said comment is far from gone. Let him see what has been stored, and that they are essentially permanent.

Yes, I believe that in a site that is privacy conscious, which will make users put an even higher level of trust on it, knowingly adding a button that certainly doesn't do what the user expects it to, is misleading. Again, false sensation of privacy and security. If you don't think you can stop it, you certainly can, at least, be incredibly honest to the user so he understands exactly what is happening. But of course, that is your call to make, not mine..

Also, why do I get the distinct impression you didn't even read my comment? Because I never said anything remotely implying "it is not our problem"... in fact quite the opposite.

If that wasn't clear, my comment was a reply to both you and /u/evilnight

What other sites do or don't do frankly isn't our problem

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Again, scraping a site like tildes or reddit using scripts is either going to be extremely inefficient, resulting in you getting a fraction of the content, or it is going to be painfully obvious in the logs.

This is factually incorrect. Good scrapers have become trivial, commonplace, and indistinguishable from normal web traffic. There is no way to 'detect' anything but the poorly-built scrapers. Since there is no way to prevent this sort of thing without interfering with normal user activity, there is no point in wasting time and resources combating it.

If you think it is so easy to stop this sort of activity, I'd encourage you to develop a system that can do it. If it works I'm sure we'd implement it on tildes.

1) There will be an API, likely public.

How do you guys plan on preventing comment scrapping and archiving? If one of the ideas of the site is privacy by design, giving the option for users to delete their comments would be an important part of it, I imagine.

While it is impossible to guarantee that comments won't be preserved beyond the users wish, there are various degrees of doing it, and I feel like essentially giving everyone a "1 click option" to gather and save every single comment made on the site, with the all metadata, like reddit, is not indicative of privacy by design.

Might as well not allow for users to delete their accounts and comments at this point, otherwise it is just misleading.

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Archival is trivial with or without an API once the site becomes public for everyone to read. What other sites do or don't do frankly isn't our problem, as it's beyond anyone's power to control them.

What tildes does plan to do is support users having control over their own comments (editing, deleting, disassociating with built-in tools rather than third party scripts), and anonymous posting mechanisms for users in good standing so they won't need alts. Tildes also doesn't embed any 3rd party scripts or assets in its pages, so the omnipresent advertising engines won't be able to invade user's privacy. That's privacy-by-design.

If you want total privacy, the only option is not to participate. People will still be able to read the content without accounts.

1 point · 15 days ago · edited 15 days ago

Exactly. That's what breeds that sort of behavior the most. Any form of feedback will be abused eventually, and the solution for it is cultural, not technical. Algorithms and UI can only do so much.

I quite like the current approach of not having downvotes altogether, just tags. That's a good first step. But without a way of punishing that sort of behavior, it will happen even then.

So far, the only thing I can think of that will prevent it is if votes are public, and not anonymous. That way a person who abused the system will be visible to all, and the "community shame" will be what modulates the behavior.

StackExchange-based sites have the reputation system, in which you need to participate for a while before you can get some features. That's an interesting approach too. I've been wondering what can be done with a mix of the two.

Another I've seen suggested in other places is that negative participation costs something. I'm unsure about that one, however.

All of this can still be abused by sockpuppeting/account farming.

I've brought it up in a couple other threads, and I don't intend to spam it, but I feel it's a worthy consideration within relevant threads, such as this one.

I suggest we start a thread on ideas about how to address this. It seems like one of the main goals of a new community as a whole.

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The trap is in thinking that you can separate the social aspects from the technological aspects. It can't be done - the two are hopelessly intertwined in any social platform. What you can do, however, is arm the group with the technology that helps them stay focused on their own goals. Without that tech, the group will slide inevitably into base human behavior because it can't maintain a sense of order and self-governance. That's eternal september in a nutshell.

That's what the reputation system is for - making it clear who is part of each group and who is just visiting. Then it puts the power of managing the place into the hands of those people, along with the tools we build for them to do it - and along with whatever unique tools the group wants to create for itself.

That's the part of this that's never really been tried before. On social sites, everyone has the same level of access to everything (or can earn it very easily), it's 'one big site' rather than a loose neighborhood of different sites. Even reddit is overly focused on 'reddit' rather than the subreddits themselves. They also do very little to make sure the mods running a place are the same people who built that place. They just hand it off to the 'creator' and let them worry about it - giving them only the most primitive, basic tools to manage the content.

The groups have to be able to defend themselves from their own worst behaviors and from external influences. If they can do that, and still have enough turnover and new people to keep it from becoming an echo chamber, they should be able to evolve instead of stagnating and dying, or being washed away by the sea of lazy new users showing up to crash the party.

It could go different ways. That could be a or it could be a ~comp.hardware.jailbreaking and ios just be one topic present there, easy to filter for based on tags.

It really isn't simple at all. Who makes the final determination? What if people use accusations of "he's being an asshole" to censor opinions they disagree with, like how downvotes are used on Reddit? What if some people think you're being an asshole, but others think you're not? What's the ratio that determines if you get banned?

I think the problem here stems from the wrong belief that "being an asshole" is at all objective. Because it isn't. Even a universally agreed-upon statement like "Hitler was an asshole" is a subjective opinion. The fact that we all agree doesn't change that.

Building an online community from the ground up is absolutely not simple. If you're going into this thinking moderation will be simple, clean, and objective, you'll either be proven wrong or will have created another shallow echo chamber instead of a thriving and intellectually honest community. And I really don't want Tildes to end up that way.

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2 points · 17 days ago · edited 17 days ago

Looking at someone's comment history provides a nice, long overview of their behavior that is free from the concerns of any single incident, so the specifics of any given issue aren't important. Everyone has a bad day once in a while, so a single incident isn't going to be enough for anything other than a warning or a temporary suspension to give that person time to cool off. It's only a long-term pattern of bad behavior that needs to be dealt with harshly. Hitler and his politics, and any/all topics and subjects, are utterly irrelevant to this determination. You're overthinking it - things are far simpler than that.

2 points · 17 days ago · edited 17 days ago

Hitler and his politics, and any/all topics and subjects, are utterly irrelevant to this determination.

You misunderstand what I was saying. I was using that as an example to illustrate how even if we all agree on something, it's still entirely subjective.

My main concern is that Tildes is very new, yet we already have people claiming that their disciplinary judgment has somehow transcended the realm of the subjective, and is therefore beyond reproach or discussion. After all, if the "don't be an asshole" rule really is as clear and objective as you say, there's no need for discussion or oversight.

Mentalities like that are what lead to communities run by corrupt, yet exceedingly self-confident, mods. And that's not to assert that you are like that, personally.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that using your subjective judgment to moderate is a bad thing, because again, that's unavoidable. The insidious problem begins when you claim that your subjective judgment is "objective and simple." Being honest and admitting that our opinions are, in fact, opinions, will do no harm, but could spare us a lot of grief down the road.

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3 points · 16 days ago · edited 16 days ago

I could put it like this: "Don't say anything on tildes that you wouldn't say to someone's face in real life."

The point at which the guy you're talking to IRL punches you in the face and you both wind up in court is the definition of 'asshole' as far as we're concerned. No fights, no problems. The guy who starts all the fights gets to spend time in jail. I'd also say we're mostly interested in the people who habitually start fights and do little else when commenting on forums.

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Just to clarify - I'm one of the cheerleaders, not a developer. :D

What's the current invite situation? All i see is a stickied thread which is now locked.

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We're finishing up that thread today/tomorrow and will probably have another up later this week.

curation is not a word INTPs even know the meaning of, let alone use. It's an ENTJ word.

You should look at the policies of the INTP subreddit and think of how they would apply if they were scaled up to be reddit-wide. THAT is the kind of system INTPs would love to have.

If INTPs were in charge of reddit, coontown and all the other subreddits you listed would not only be allowed but encouraged.

Since what you're suggesting is the diametrical 180 degrees opposite of what INTPs want, why the fuck are you even in here agitating and propagandizing for this useless shit?

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Speak for yourself. I'm INTP and I run listentothis, which has the harshest censorship on reddit - nearly 2/3 of all submissions removed daily. If you care about quality and civility, then you have to take steps to bring it about - and on reddit, the only tool they give us for that is the [remove] button. That's something we aim to correct on Tildes. So many of reddit's issues stem from their busted, old, primitive forum tech. Boards I ran in 1997 had ten times as many (and better) features.

When you grow up and learn how to communicate like an actual human being through civil conversation, you can drop by tildes. Until then, reddit will be here for you. <3

2 points · 18 days ago · edited 18 days ago

If you care about quality and civility, then you have to take steps to bring it about

Just because you can talk INTP sometimes doesn't mean you are one, INTJ.

How in the world do you think you're INTP? Even in the broken MBTI / Jungian system you're more of a Judger than Perceiver. Even here in this comment and this is where your INTPness maxes out.

Why, you have so little grasp of INTP that I expect you believe civility means avoiding name-calling entirely and have never heard of frosty civility towards people you despise. You don't know the meaning of cool.

You believe civility means joining paws and singing along in the choir eternal. How is INTJForum these days? Or that hive of loserdom, the INTJ subreddit?

When you grow up and learn how to communicate like an actual human being through civil conversation, you can drop by tildes.

You really think I'd ever allow myself to become your bitch? Think again, tool.

Also, like the pathetic excuse for a UI designer you are, you focus only on yourself. On the features YOU want. For that matter, you focus on features period rather than principles and design elements. Fool.

Reddit's issues don't stem from their busted old primitive forum tech. They stem from the fact it's using forum tech at all rather than moving beyond forums. But abstract and conceptual design is utterly beyond your pathetic ass.

The only thing your group is bringing to the world of social software is improved social policies and procedures, and the familiar features you miss from the nostalgic good olde days, stool.

That isn't enough for me, I would never contribute so little. When I design it's from scratch and revolutionary, not aping something that already existed but going beyond it and integrating the best features of absolutely everything.

Go on, you've lost this little duel. I am intelligent and pretty and you're just ... mmm, you're .... it will come to me.

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Yawn. If you're trying to troll me, you're going to have to do a lot better than that.

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Has anyone seen a link to a source code repo?

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The code isn't public yet - deimos wants to get the docs in a good place so that the (frankly massive) group of devs waiting for it don't have a bad experience. That's going to happen very soon as it is the top priority at the moment.

Once it's up, it'll live here:

Yes, we're looking into repo-mirroring to other systems. ;)

Yeah, I kinda know how you feel. I didn't want to bring it up just yet, since it's probably a bit premature to think about this for such a small sub, but I'm wondering how the views on "NSFW content" will occur. One one hand, you can go to almost any of the "gone wild" subs and see exactly what the stereotypes portray about people into that stuff: everything from "u look gud" fluff to very creepy descriptions of details we really didn't need to know. I won't cry to see that gone, but at the same time, it's a kind of culture that submitter seem to expect. For better or worse it's the kinds of replies that submitter expect and welcome in some cases (for whatever reason. I really don't want to cast any judgement on it. It just is).

And on this same note, pornography just has this sort of black hole effect where it can pre-emptively invade topics otherwise unrelated to it. Unlike other random segways, this can be especially jarring to users. Most subs know this and ban it outright (assuming the community doesn't self police itself on the issue), or maybe allow some NFSW-ness to some degree as long as it's not outright blatant. I suppose the tagging system can just "off-topic" it and subsequently hide(?) comments that go too far, but I do wonder how this will scale.

But on the other hand, unlike politics, there's no real "hate speech" mechanism to employ on most of these things. It is certainly a heated debate between users, but there's nothing inherently "wrong" about the topic per se (it's hard for me to put into words). It just has the similar effect of causing users to, on the worst spectrums, take some moral high ground calling each other perverts or prudes (well, much worse insults, but you get the point).

And then there's the heated debate on certain... "anime" topics. Though nothing is enforced strongly (AFAIK, just banned a couple of ...specialized subs), Reddit more or less drew an official line on this recently, and it's a tricky, messy topic altogether. Too messy for virtually all "mostly SFW" sites to bother with past official assets from companies that got the stuff rated and broadcasting. I certainly don't envy anyone who has to tackle that subject.

Don't really have any real conclusions. Just noting my observation from the topic over the years, and my slight frustration over it. Sorry for the word salad. Just kinda something I wanted to get off my chest (oh wait I'm banned from there).

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We're already coming down on the side of having no pornography consumption communities. There's the rest of the internet for that stuff. We could have sexual discussion communities, and possibly erotic literature communities, though. Those have a discussion aspect that's missing from subs that are just porn pictures and videos.

Speaking of consumption, are you going to have stuff like funny gifs and cat pictures eventually? I guess these are not what you're making Tildes for but, let's face it, I personally would have a hard time without that kind of dumb shit scattered in between all the important articles and meaningful discussions.

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We're still discussing that. If we can find a way to do it without it harming the higher quality / more in-depth content, it's a possibility. That's why it's a 'no' for now, we haven't got systems in place to make sure that can happen yet.

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/u/evilnight mentioned a 30-day archive period, is this just for voting and not commenting? Or is this 30 days after a period of inactivity?

Even who voted on what gets scrapped after 30 days when the threads get archived.

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30-days is the general 'default' period we've talked about for scrubbing data on tildes. Who votes on what is one of those sets of data we talked about scrubbing for privacy. That gets tricky if we want longer-lived threads, but there are possibilities - such as archiving the older section of the comments chain, adding an extension on vote retention for longer-lived threads, etc.

I wouldn't mind a more democratic approach, where moderators can only hold power for a certain amount of time before being 're-elected' or replaced by community vote.

Of course, this has a ton of abuse potential.

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We talked about that and really, really didn't like the 'election' aspects of the process - that's just asking for campaigning and political dynamics to take over the place. Keeping it to a trust system keeps it simple - everyone is always in the running. The site simply selects all of the winners, and their 'term' ends when they stop participating or do something bad enough to tarnish their reputations.

How is it going to handle synonyms? If anyone can add a tag to any post, I can see something like "LGBT" and "LGBTQ" getting used interchangeably.

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It's not difficult to teach the system that certain tags are synonyms of each other. I expect we'll have to do some of that - it might even be best in the hands of the group mod teams. If you think that's fun, just imagine the joys of internationalization into hundreds of other languages...

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Original Poster2 points · 21 days ago

We can just move it there.

Who does "we" refer to here? The admins? Trusted users?

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In the most general sense, the trust system works like this.

  • Tier 1: Newbie. Just submissions and comments.
  • Tier 2: Tagging comments, basic reporting
  • Tier 3: Editing tags, titles, links
  • Tier 4: Curating, moving posts, special tags/posts access
  • Tier 5: Moderator, removals, mutes, bans
  • Tier 6: Community leader, like an elected representative

That's a rough sketch. The more a user participates in good faith in any given group, the higher up the chain they go here, gaining more power and ability all the way, until they just 'graduate' into being a moderator.

"We" is these people - the group's core users.

Original Poster2 points · 21 days ago

Gotcha, that makes sense! I'm interested to see the trust system in action, seems like there's a lot of variables at play. It definitely seems like one of the more Tildes' more intriguing concepts.

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The goal is to put the individual groups in charge of their own values and governance systems, and make sure the governing group is a substantial portion of the group's membership, rather than a tiny clique of exclusively invited 'kings' like we see on reddit. The people who build the group by participation become the stewards of the group. The tip-top folks become a sort of community-spokesman, taking on a leadership role.

This trust also decays over time, too - so it is really impractical to try and become a 'power moderator' like the guys here on reddit with 300 communities under their wing.

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8 points · 21 days ago · edited 21 days ago

I know this is probably unrelated to your comment, but I wanted to thank you for posting this talk. I'm part of a community that is currently going through a bit of metamorphosis - but more realistically a decay. This cleared up some Inklings of ideas I had scattered around. Although there is next to no chance of intervention in the death of the community, this has put me at peace. Sorry if I come off as a bit dramatic, and good luck with the site.

Edit: Grammar

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Original Poster8 points · 21 days ago

Hang around online long enough, and this process plays out inevitably in every community. I've been in it firsthand... must be dozens of times by now. Reddit with the 'subreddit' feature has created a near-singularity of these events, with so many subs popping up, evolving, then decaying and dying here - in many ways it's like a giant graveyard now. That's why reddit's been the best place to study the phenomena.

5 points · 21 days ago

It does. I usually join extremely niche communities related to my interests and then watch them slowly decay, whilst entrenched in nostalgia for what once was. I always eventually accept it and move on, but it can be a bit disheartening to think of what could have been. I don't really see any way to combat this though. Such is life I guess

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Original Poster9 points · 21 days ago · edited 21 days ago

Reddit honestly did a better job combatting it than anyone ever has - since new subreddits could just break off of the older dying ones and re-invent themselves. It took a very, very long time for the entire site culture to toxify like it has, and even now, plenty of quiet smaller communities are doing just fine here. It's a beginning of a solution. Reddit's more serious problems right now aren't so much eternal september as they are boneheaded bad business decisions... but with the VC handcuffs, there's not much they can do, unless someone can convince the investors - and they won't be moved by idealism.

There has to be a way to beat back the eternal september effect. I'm very interested in solving that problem. It's one of the hardest problems there is and so far it's undefeated. Reddit proved it can be beaten back, though - so there's actually been progress here. Now we just have to take the next steps... and hope we're smart enough to build on reddit's beginning.

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We talked about all kinds of names... so many suggestions from so many people. Mindful, Spectria (which is the nonprofit name), Chatter, Agora, and a slew of more modern names. Ever seen Silicon Valley, where they were trying to name the company or products? It's uncanny how much that mirrors the process, though nobody was eating shrooms and going on vision quests. :P

In the end we reached an inescapable conclusion: ALL of the names are silly. Just look at them: Google, Apple, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Slashdot, Fark, SomethingAwful, 4Chan, etc. There are no 'good' names. Platforms and businesses don't typically rise or fall based on a name.

Something about the ~ stuck with us, though, when we were talking about using a unique community indicator for the groups. It means "home" in unix-land. It's friendly to use in URLs. It's a ready-made logo. There was zero chance of it being confused with any other product or service. It simply had some synchronicity going for it.

Not with that attitude.

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Well, I guess the 'official' opening date would be 'when the trust system is fully cooked'. Right now it's all theory, hasn't even been built. We have to turn our brain droppings into code, then test it and make sure it works, tune it, evolve it, make improvements with user feedback every step of the way. Once everyone's confident it can take the punishment, open registration becomes a possibility.

I'm just guessing here, but I'd expect we'll be in 250k-users territory before that happens. That's the ballpark number where most subreddits hit default-subreddit levels of fluff content and user incivility.

Reddit's provided us with handy problem-size targets. 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, 100k, 200k+ - those are the general sizes where you can notice a change in a subreddit's dynamics, usually for the worse every time.

There is no official date for a public release. According to the sidebar, that is "far in the future."

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Yeah, the site is literally two weeks old right now. You don't strap an infant to the front of a formula-1 racer. :P

I love that the tech stack is so approachable.

First time seeing intercooler, but I'm not really a front end guy any more than I have to be. It looks pretty pleasant to work with.

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I'm a fan of Deimorz' tech goals - use the trusty, reliable, approachable basics. Keep it simple. That makes it so much easier for people to get involved in the open-source aspects of the project.

I'd be more worried about it suffering the network attacks voat did. Reddit is unfriendly towards competition.

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The hosting provider already gives all of their clients extremely powerful DDoS protections. It's already covered in the server costs. See how easy this is when it's not cloud-based? :D

Also it's nice not to rely on shady-ish companies like cloudflare for protection, since that's giving them the opportunity to study the users.

5 points · 22 days ago

it's probably even smaller at the moment.

Much, much, much smaller. Around 1,000 accounts. Compare to Reddit in 2012 which was high-profile enough to have an Obama AMA.

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Almost 2000 now, and it'll be over 2k by the time we finish processing that last invite thread.

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Original Poster10 points · 22 days ago

I realize I am not offering a solution.

Makes me think if any link aggregator site can be subverted by a bot with fast trend voting and responses made by a summarize algorithm based on previous discussions. The stock market is manipulated by high frequency trading bots. Will the next Russian voting scandal be high reputation social bots controlling narratives for the highest bidder? Or have I watched too much Black Mirror. Or am I a Netflix bot and don't know it. /s

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We've had a pretty long discussion about bots on tildes already. Bots are likely to require a very public, very obvious bot-account to function, one that can be traced back to the person(s) running the bot. These bot accounts are also likely to have access that is limited in some ways (no voting) but potentially expanded in others, according to their needs. They may also have similarly expanded/limited API access. We even talked about requiring all of the bots running to have public open-source.

The 'other' kinds of bots (that scrape the screen to interact) are still an issue, but one that can be typically identified and dealt with in a variety of ways. When deimorz was working for reddit, this was one of his jobs, so he's had some experience dealing with this already.

Bots though do all tend to have one obvious thing in common - they can't participate well enough to earn trust. That means bots on tildes are going to be limited to the lowest tiers of trust, and not able to access most of the systems they'd need to accomplish anything nefarious. The productive bots won't have the problem, since they'll have bot accounts. It should help prevent the kind of rampant bot nonsense we see on reddit all the time.

I hope it works out, I'm just very aware that it can be easy to drastically underestimate the costs of running something like this, even if you're not shelling out for frivolous things. I'm still just trying to show up to an invite thread in time.

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Not running 'in the cloud' helps save on costs. Cloud-based services aren't compatible with the privacy goals anyway.

Yes, it's the non-technical costs of projects like this that can creep up and suddenly balloon. Servers tend to be the cheap part.

I'm intrigued by the idea that cloud based services would be less compatible than bare metal that is presumably running in a third party datacentre. AWS services, for example, are HIPAA compliant and I'd be very surprised if you had more stringent privacy requirements than medical record handling.

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Heh. Since we don't record any user data it's not a problem. Even who voted on what gets scrapped after 30 days when the threads get archived. The goal is to avoid storing anything that's not critical for the site to function.

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