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Let's start out with the master thread under the header "What I would like to see in the next fannish social platform" where [personal profile] greywash gets us started.

Now, here's where it gets tricky. I've broken out some specific suggestions made that have to do with specific existing sites like OTW, Dreamwidth, fan-created, and a possibility from Maciej Ceglowski (Pinboard) in addition to one on brainstorming a new social paradigm. P2P protocols, while not yet widely understood by fans, have also been proposed as an alternative to an actual centralized site. I've broken each of these out to be their own discussion threads and I hope that we can divide up conversation that way without getting too confused. I've also broken out some specific issues elsewhere: privacy, mobile access, money, abuse/harassment, and the whole thorny realm of adult content, porn, and legal issues. I'll come back and edit in links to each of these posts once they exist.  I'm proposing this thread for generalized thoughts, not specific to a given platform.

In the master thread, [personal profile] greywash launches some discussion on what [personal profile] pangodillo calls "whisperspace." This was what a lot of us used tags for on tumblr, and it's not particularly a feature of or dreamwidth. There's some feeling in the discussion on the Ceglowski idea document that implementing both this as searchable/archive tags would be technically challenging. It nonetheless seems to be something gaining some support in fandom.

[personal profile] thisaintbc makes the point about modes of communication here that
tumblr centers so heavily around reblogging means you can sort of passively follow someone and even interact with their posts without having to directly speak to them in a way that's just not possible on more traditional blogging platforms. And that tumblr encourages users to treat reblogs as their own, in a way, means that you can feel comfortable adding commentary even when you're not sure of OP's welcome (I feel like this in particular is actually a part of tumblr that catches a lot of flack but that I see as a fairly positive thing overall). Maybe that sounds a little silly in comparison to arguably more important concerns like a platform that support multimedia posts, but I can't possibly be the only person who found that tumblr provided them with the space to graduate from "permanent lurker" to "active community member" at the pace of a tortoise rather than a hare.

some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-06 08:57 pm (UTC)
allheadybooks: villanelle embracing eve (Default)
From: [personal profile] allheadybooks
I'm really interested in the way that different generations of fans have different expectations about social interaction and fannish "manners," basically. I love the concept of 'whisperspace' and it makes me think about fannish social orientations and the difference between speaking publicly and semi-privately (not actually hidden or friendslocked, but in a specific social context).

On Tumblr I always felt oriented toward a faceless audience, which was really discouraging. So I'm an academic and I have a physical office in a building full of my colleagues, and Tumblr always felt like posting something on the outside of my door, where everybody would see it walking by but not talk to me about it. I wouldn't mind putting some nice art or a funny comic there, but I'm not going to put anything too personally meaningful. And Dreamwidth content is like the inside of my office, where anybody who sees it is going to also ask me questions about it and we'll chat, and they'll already be in my space so I don't feel like I'm platforming or making some kind of public statement.

[personal profile] rageprufrock commented about this over at the old post, and part of that comment seems useful here:

I just feel like the WAY people were ABLE to talk to each other via TUMBLR could have been a chicken or the egg thing right? To people like you and me (and lots of like minded folks), being able to do this -- like just THIS, TALK TO EACH OTHER -- is so critical and desired, whereas I keep seeing posts about people aching for the so-called "whisperspace" of tumblr because it allowed them to comment on things without the direct confrontation of an interaction . . .

It seems to me that the appeal of in-tags-commentary on Tumblr is that because it's only visible on your actual blog and not in reblogs, it replicates that semi-private space. An outright comment on a Tumblr post isn't located anywhere--it's portable from blog to blog and visible in the notes, so it's more like getting up on stage and joining a debate than like stepping through the door of your neighbor's apartment and chatting with them. Talking in the tags, though, means people have to come to one digital location to see and engage with your commentary, which embeds it in a context and makes it harder to take out of context.

So, TL;DR, how would whisperspace function on a Dreamwidth-type social media site? Could we adapt it to allow for some level of privacy or non-public-oriented-ness that's not currently a part of DW's makeup? And what's the function of location and located-ness in fannish space?
Edited Date: 2018-12-06 08:58 pm (UTC)

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-07 03:26 am (UTC)
donut_donut: (redbuttonhole)
From: [personal profile] donut_donut
It's really interesting to me that chatty tags are something people have become so attached to, they want to recreate it elsewhere!

When I first started lurking on tumblr, I mostly ignored tags because I assumed they were only for archival purposes. Then at some point I started noticing them and I was like, "hey! these tags are pretty funny! but also useless?" I couldn't understand why people would post all this cute or funny or interesting commentary in the tags, instead of in a comment or reblog.

Even though I eventually picked up the habit myself, I still find it a bit baffling. I sort of assumed it was an off-label usage that grew up because tumblr architecture doesn't support commenting very well, and reblog comments get unwieldy fast... Solve that problem and the chatty tags would go away. But maybe I'm wrong about that!
Edited Date: 2018-12-07 03:27 am (UTC)

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-08 01:28 pm (UTC)
glitterary: (That'll give you bees)
From: [personal profile] glitterary
Hmm, I think that, to an extent, that semi-public/private space already exists on Dreamwidth. Commenting on someone's post is the "public" space, whereas linking to that post on your own journal and choosing your preferred level of visibility is the "semi-public/private" space.

On Tumblr, if someone reblogged a post with commentary only in the tags, all the OP would see is a reblog note. To me, the loss of that single note doesn't seem so bad. But of course, people used TagViewer on Xkit to go look at those tag comments, and people DID engage with them, and people cared about how many notes something got regardless of whether there were additional comments or not.

So the problem, I think, may be less about reinventing the public/semi-public/private division than about retaining some level of oversight for content creators, and creating a hub from which people reading the original post can find more comments.

Perhaps a system of integrated pingbacks would be an option? If someone links to a post, they could choose from various options:

1. The link's OP can see the commenter's new journal post and is authorised to comment on that specific post if they like
2. The link's OP can see the new post but not comment on it
3. The link's OP can see that someone has linked to them, but not view the post that has been written about it
4. [potentially] No pingback is created--this is an option that I could imagine might be useful (e.g. "This post is an example of how lovely random_user is! Let's coordinate a surprise for her.") but it also means the OP doesn't get a true indication of how popular their post is and is potentially also open to enabling abuse and bullying.

The pingbacks would then appear as a comment or in a separate pingback link area for the original post. I don't know whether creating this kind of tiered system would be complicated; if so, then just creating a pingback area and letting people use their security settings to adjust how public/private something is would be a simpler option.
Edited Date: 2018-12-09 08:56 am (UTC)

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-09 03:42 am (UTC)
papersarkany: fidget spinner of dragons chasing their tails (dragons)
From: [personal profile] papersarkany
I am still reading and thinking on all this, but perhaps rather than a separate box to input 'whispers', we could instead put visibility levels on comments.

For example:
* 'visible to all' working like adding a comment to a reblog.
* 'visible only on my post' where its only visible to people looking at your particular post (closest to tag comments)
* 'visible only to me'.

Maybe even implemented in something akin to cut tags so you can have multiple comments with different visibility in a single post.

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-14 09:29 pm (UTC)
alyndra: Tree dark sky animated falling snow (snow tree)
From: [personal profile] alyndra
Might be easier just to implement existing privacy levels: Public, My Access List (and OP) only, Private (OP and me only)

This last option would be like letting users screen their own comments, essentially.

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-10 07:42 am (UTC)
thisaintbc: Uncle Boris (Balto), snow shenanigans, default icon (Default)
From: [personal profile] thisaintbc
a function of tags-as-whisperspace that I personally probably most commonly use them for but haven't really seen mentioned anywhere yet is as a sort of a barometer of the impact of what I have to say? If I put commentary in the tags & someone copies & pastes that into a reblog, I feel like yes, okay, that point DID speak to other people, that joke WAS funny, etc. Sometimes it's because what I'm saying might be controversial & I don't want to say it "out loud" but am interested in seeing how my friends/followers react, and sometimes it's just because it's part of the joke that it's a tag, but I think the aspect of an expectation that someone might c&p your tags onto their reblog really puts a different lens on our conversations around an expectation of privacy when it comes to this issue.

edit: I feel like, to me, tags on tumblr really function in essentially the same role as footnotes do in academia, rather than the way tags function on sites such as pinboard.
Edited Date: 2018-12-10 08:45 am (UTC)

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-11 09:31 am (UTC)
satsuma: Ace flag overlayed over the bi flag to make some hella gay plaid (Default)
From: [personal profile] satsuma
+1ing the comparison to footnotes, they’ve definitely got that same ‘meta commentary on the main text that is adjacent to, but not part of, the main text.’

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-18 08:27 am (UTC)
thisaintbc: Uncle Boris (Balto), snow shenanigans, default icon (Default)
From: [personal profile] thisaintbc
Honestly I got really excited about this realization when it hit me! I'm a sucker for footnotes just generally, which is probably why I'm also inordinately fond of tag commentary.

(Also, my fan community plays something that we call the "not saying anything game", where we reblog a picture of something with what amounts to comment fic in the tags, & whoever breaks first & reblogs with the previous person's tags or is prompted by them to say something "out loud" loses/the person they reblogged from wins. It's not exactly a dealbreaker or anything, but I'd be sad to lose that part of my fandom, which is really just not possible to replicate on a platform like DW.)
Edited Date: 2018-12-18 08:28 am (UTC)

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-18 12:11 pm (UTC)
satsuma: Ace flag overlayed over the bi flag to make some hella gay plaid (Default)
From: [personal profile] satsuma
Your not talking game sounds like a lot of fun! My friends and I were too quick to crack and copy out someones tags to ever think to make a game of it :)

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-10 09:09 am (UTC)
thisaintbc: Uncle Boris (Balto), snow shenanigans, default icon (Default)
From: [personal profile] thisaintbc
Obviously I have some thoughts & feelings on your last point about the function of location & located-ness in fannish space, but the more people I find who seem to agree with me the more I want to reiterate that the located-ness of threaded conversations on a post owned by a single person, like we're having right now, create a really high hurdle to interaction for some people. And some people find that desirable! We *do* want some sort of barrier to entry on our sites, right, so Joe Schmoe Politician doesn't decide to set up shop & turn it into the next facebook or twitter. But I think we also don't want to make our spaces unwelcoming for other fen, & tumblr went a long way toward addressing what I honestly see as one of lj/dw/traditional blogging platform's largest flaws. Obviously not all posts are intended for broad public consumption & the ability to f lock things is a glaring absence, but...

Someone also brought up on pearwaldorf's brainstorm gdoc that reblog commentary can alter the nature of the post in a way that's just not appropriate to a threaded conversation. The unlocated nature of a tumblr post means that you can take the conversation in a new direction without derailing someone else's conversation.

Sorry for any typos - it's pretty late here! :D

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-11 09:28 am (UTC)
satsuma: Ace flag overlayed over the bi flag to make some hella gay plaid (Default)
From: [personal profile] satsuma
Dreamwidth does actually have a little bit of whisperspace already in the mood/location/listening metadata fields. Those are clearly seperate from the main text, providing an opportunity for adjacent commentary that’s similar to how people on tumblr use tags. The only difference is that tumblr tags are completely freeform, and the DW metadata boxes are not (well, they’re freeform text, but they have explicit labels and accompanying purpose) which limits their scope

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-15 09:14 am (UTC)
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] oulfis
I've totally used whisperspace tags in the ways folks are talking about in other branches of this thread, a way to say something without really committing to it, to see if people like it before it goes On The Record.

But the more I think about that special tumblr whisperspace, though, the more I feel like it might also be part of how tumblr kinda...... makes you more neurotic the more you use it? I feel like these methods of engagement are much, much easier and more approachable in the moment -- and I do want it to be easy to engage, and for people to have a space where they can express themselves! But also: I it seems like having a designated "safe to talk because nobody will think you're important" space only reinforces the implicit message that you're supposed to be Good Enough before you Deserve to Really Say Something?

It's something I've been thinking about more and more about the creation vs curation model in the first place -- I feel like a curation model asks less of you in the moment, but also gives less TO you in return for your engagement. People's responses flit by in ways that you have to go check and re-check for them (using TagViewer), or if you're just reblogging instead of posting, you don't really get responses to you at all. It's a lot scarier to Create Something, but also proportionally more rewarding? I have gotten more genuine pleasure out of the, like, five things I've posted to DW in the last week than in the whole year of stuff I posted to tumblr.

So I feel like -- we want to be accessible, and freeing, and give space, but....... is it the best, healthiest, most nurturing way for a social network to be, if it gives you that space by saying you're not "really" talking so it doesn't "really" matter? Or is it better if we can find some way to make it easier for people to build their own confidence and just... talk?

The DW model isn't right either, I think, because it DOES end with the conversations always happening either "in Public Places" (comm threads) or "in Important People's living rooms" (posts by popular users) -- and it makes sense that for non-comm comment threads, they're gravitate to where the most people are, i.e., Popular People's posts. So there is some benefit to posts existing kind of in non-space in tumblr, where you can have a place to talk about a given idea, but not have it be Officially Hosted by some kind of Important Person. But........ is there some third way??

EDIT: I think this comment by [personal profile] thisaintbc gets at the thing that IS valuable about the tumblr/curation model, and gets it away from the Important People's Living Rooms aspect of the DW/creation model, that you "build relationships gradually over time instead of having to dive headfirst into a stranger's post/blog/space" -- I want to preserve THAT, specifically!
Edited Date: 2018-12-15 09:19 am (UTC)

Re: some Qs to get us going

Date: 2018-12-18 12:09 pm (UTC)
satsuma: Ace flag overlayed over the bi flag to make some hella gay plaid (Default)
From: [personal profile] satsuma
But the more I think about that special tumblr whisperspace, though, the more I feel like it might also be part of how tumblr kinda...... makes you more neurotic the more you use it?

This is definitely a facet of why whisperspace is appealing, but I don’t think it’s the only reason. I know when I was on tumblr, I’d often use it to provide meta commenrary on my own posts (someone upthread mentioned footnotes, which definitely have a similar usecase as the one I’m describing here) and that use of tags is what I miss most out of all of tumblrs quirks, now that I’ve finally left

feature: reblogging from external websites

Date: 2018-12-07 03:18 am (UTC)
donut_donut: (redbuttonhole)
From: [personal profile] donut_donut
I'm not sure this is the right space for this, but I wanted to make a feature suggestion.

It would be really cool to incorporate the ability to reblog from outside sites. What I mean is, you could grab a link to a post on tumblr (or some other site) and reblog it to New Site, where it would appear with all/most of the content from the original site. People could then reblog it within the New Site, so it would become part of New Site's content ecosystem, but retain credit and links back to the original post on the other site.

This would allow a fandom to capture, preserve, and circulate a lot of fan works that were created by people who did not migrate, or even people who left fandom ages ago.

Archiving is great for making sure that works are saved in a stable, permanently accessible way, but archives aren't necessarily great for keeping individual posts in circulation indefinitely, and that's one thing Tumblr excels at.

I know nothing about code, but this strikes me as a plausible ask, since a lot of existing sites (like tumblr) incorporate this functionality (or something very similar) already.

As a Sherlock fan, this is especially important to me because I fear a mass migration would all but kill my fandom. Sherlock is on indefinite hiatus, so what keeps the tumblr fandom going right now is mostly reblogging a lot of old posts, with only occasional new fannish content. There's still new fic being written, but I fear that if we all move someplace new like pillowfort, the images and gifs won't come with us, and the fandom will collapse from lack of content.

Re: feature: reblogging from external websites

Date: 2018-12-07 04:52 pm (UTC)
cimorene: blue-green tinted monochrome photo of a woman with short curly hair holding one hand to the back of her neck and looking to the side (Default)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
A lot of image posts of fanart, or even other sorts of images (the communities that post a lot of wildlife/nature pictures or fine art for example), struck me as similar to this! And it was great because it didn't hotlink the image, but spread the information with a source attribution in the caption - when it worked ideally. Of course the problem was the huge # of people who failed to attribute the source of the image, since you mostly had to add that yourself on Tumblr.

There actually is a Tumblr bookmarklet that used to work pretty well for grabbing the main images from the page and autodetecting that you wanted to make a photopost, but over time it worked less and less well. Obviously, with multimedia content at a source site where you could want to center any part, it would be better to let you select the part you want to quote and then click the button, the way highlight/bookmarking sites like the Evernote clipper work (and the way the 'quote' button in the Dreamwidth threaded comments page works). The Pinterest bookmarklet works a lot better than the Tumblr one, but it has some significant issues. Like the Tumblr one, when it DOES work it preserves the source link though...

Re: feature: reblogging from external websites

Date: 2018-12-12 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] powerful_dusk_88623
This is actually pretty easy to do, it's called a fetch preview. It's done on the receiving end with a little piece of code that goes to the linked website, grabs certain information, and then auto-populates it into a form for a post on the other end. Some sites block these fetches, but that can be handled with an error. One consideration, though, is how much of the content gets fetched. There's no limit on this technically, but ethically one might want to put in place a character limit to just preview and not entirely repost content. Images also have to be hosted on the receiving end, because most sites block hotlinking, so images would have to be essentially reposted, although the link would direct to the original post.

Re: feature: reblogging from external websites

Date: 2018-12-15 08:23 am (UTC)
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] oulfis
I like this a lot!

Date: 2018-12-15 08:28 am (UTC)
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] oulfis
This really intrigues me... I'm thinking about it, and I think it would have an interesting impact on fan culture.

On the one hand, there were definitely people I followed who had STRONG INTERESTS that did not interest me at all. I blacklisted their tags for those topics as well as I could but it wasn't perfect; if I could just not subscribe to the "hockey" channel that would be way more efficient.

But on the other hand, most of the time I really enjoy the way that a tumblr brings together multiple disparate parts of someone's life/interests. Especially when new interests bloom -- like when a new movie comes out! -- I enjoy watching it catch on (or not) and have often been introduced to cool things (like Venom or, back in the day, Pacific Rim) due to it repeatedly passing my dash -- and I'd miss all that if people immediately shunted that content into new channels that I didn't commit to right away.

Maybe it's still helpful to have some kind of framework like that, though, and I can just for myself decide to subscribe to Every Channel, and only sometimes unsubscribe when a given topic gets overwhelming?


Some discussion space for where we go next.

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