recently_folded: Image from HLV Appledore scene (Default)
[personal profile] recently_folded posting in [community profile] post_tumblr_fandom
There was some mention of this in [personal profile] greywash's master thread and its comments.

A lot of the concern has to do with the fact that for a mobile ap to be listed in the two major ap repositories, it has to be squeaky clean and have nothing to do with what the repositories view as porn—which is basically all that fandom considers adult content, marginalized communities, gay content, etc. There are ways around this, but they tend to be obscure for many users.

Is this a make/break issue for a new fandom home? Is a mobile-optimized site meant to be used in a device's existing browser ap adequate given the adult content issue? Is creating a mobile ap best left to someone outside the new fandom home?

Date: 2018-12-06 04:53 am (UTC)
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] oulfis
I really think there's no reason to have an app! The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case re: whether Apple's no-porn enforcement is illegal monopoly behaviour (as discussed here) which I think highlights to me how much participating in the app ecosystem makes us beholden to corporations who don't care about us.

I think all we need is a progressive web app!

Date: 2018-12-06 04:47 pm (UTC)
prettyarbitrary: (Default)
From: [personal profile] prettyarbitrary
A progressive web app is certainly the place to start. If you build the site to be mobile-friendly, then you can always add an app later but you'll never NEED it. And with so many moving parts when it comes to internet policy these days, it'll decrease the headaches too.

Date: 2018-12-11 08:47 am (UTC)
satsuma: Ace flag overlayed over the bi flag to make some hella gay plaid (Default)
From: [personal profile] satsuma
Progressive web apps are SO NICE

A couple sites I use (notably Mastodon and Fallen London’s new site design) use them and the mobile experience there is honestly better than it is for either sites dedicated app store apps. And if you install them onto your homescreen, you can skip however many steps it takes to navigate to them in browser, eliminating the only real advantage of apps over mobile sites (well, push notifications are still a little hinky, but we’re less than a year entirely solved as well, and it’ll take us much longer than that to get SNo3 running)

Also re: downthread discussion on accessability: I’ve heard PWA’s are easier to make compatible with screenreaders/acessibility tech? But I’m not a dev, so I don’t know how true that is

Date: 2018-12-06 10:01 pm (UTC)
donut_donut: (redbuttonhole)
From: [personal profile] donut_donut
App free is the way to be! Most of my favorite sites these days (like ao3) are optimized for mobile, with no separate app. I much prefer it. Bonus: they run more efficiently on my phone.

Date: 2018-12-11 08:48 am (UTC)
satsuma: Ace flag overlayed over the bi flag to make some hella gay plaid (Default)
From: [personal profile] satsuma
Putting another vote in the ‘i dont have enough space on my phone for giant apps’ box

Date: 2018-12-07 12:07 am (UTC)
rageprufrock: beach (Default)
From: [personal profile] rageprufrock
I admit I fall into the "I'd like to have an app" camp, but largely driven by the fact that for sites like AO3 that have mobile-optimized views, I frequently find myself logged out mysteriously and then having to navigate to login etc when wanting to access things that are locked to the archive or what have you. This isn't a dealbreaker, but it is an annoyance when I'm like on a train platform and am just trying to get my hit of fan fic before I go underground and have that sweet sweet transformative work denied to me.

Date: 2018-12-07 12:06 pm (UTC)
snowgrouse: A snowgrouse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowgrouse
I'll just c/p my cents from the original post, since I got a bit late to the party. TL;DR my main concern is accessibility.

I'm disabled and use the Tumblr app a lot, since I can't sit up for a long time on my laptop. I do a hell of a lot of my internetting while lying down in bed. Doing HTML and using a browser is a massive pain in the arse on mobile, still--I wouldn't even try making a photo post on LJ or DW or editing fic on Ao3 via my mobile browser(s). One of the biggest problems is that due to how mobile devices handle memory, browser pages may refresh on you and you lose a post (while I always type my text input in my notes app before feeding it into a box somewhere, it's still a huge pain in the arse to lose the page/place on your page, the way you necessarily don't with an app). So whatever the fannish Place Of Our Own ends up being, I do hope the mobile support is going to be robust nevertheless. I absolutely agree that apps shouldn't be the main focus on places like PF and Ao3 that are still developing, as they take a huge load of time and effort. But I'd also look at just how many Tumblr users were mobile--wasn't it at least a third, or over a half, the last time people were talking about it? So that's going to affect the amount of adopters today, whatever way you look at it. Again, a hurdle.


To expand a bit on that last, I feel there is a big generation gap going on here--the Tumblr generation, once it's used to the ease of an app, will demand an app. Posting pictures especially--which was Tumblr's greatest strength--is a breeze on an app, but even mobile-optimised websites have a long way to go to get to that same level of easy useability.

But the disability angle is something that'll be affecting more and more of us old farts in the future. I'm of the mailing list/LJ generation and do prefer to do my internetting on my laptop, but when smartphones rolled around, that was a big game changer for me because it revolutionised the amount of time I could spend online and typing. I can now type up 5000-word fics on my mobile if I'm too weak to sit up on the laptop. I can fart around on Tumblr and be fannish. This was time I would otherwise have spent just lying down, reading books (awkwardly, until that became too painful) or playing with game-type apps--far less productive and without any engagement with the fannish world.

I'm absolutely not making an entitled "waah, all the world should revolve around me and my ways of fannishness" type of comment with this, but again, just pointing out that angle. Mobile users and app users are more than just kids with their faces in their smartphones, or kids too lazy to go on their laptops and post from desktop. Even for non-disabled people, the advantage can be bigger than you think. So from that angle, it'd serve everybody best if even the mobile version (doesn't have to be an app!) was well-developed and robust, rather than a mere afterthought (like the hideous LJ app, the last time I used it). I was just testing image posting via browser on Pillowfort, and it was surprisingly easy, although I still hate having to worry about the browser reloading the page. So they are ahead of LJ's app already with their mobile site, which should prove it shouldn't be *too* difficult.

Date: 2018-12-09 07:15 am (UTC)
snowgrouse: A snowgrouse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowgrouse
Honestly, I'm just glad it didn't come across as me trashing the whole thing! But then again, we aren't on Tumblr;).

This bit: in a world where device use is considered optional rather than optimal definitely shows a generation gap there, I feel--and I'm Gen X, someone who grew up without smartphones. I was trying to look for statistics on just how many Tumblr users use their app or access the site via their mobile browser, but the stats were actually surprisingly hard to find and they were wildly different. Some sites said it was only 20% of users (which I doubt) and some insisted the mobile access was as high as 90%, but I wonder what their method of calculation was. But bottom line is, whatever you or I may think of the culture of people having their faces in their mobiles all the time, I really don't think the world considers mobile access optional anymore--millennials in particular can't think of a world without devices/Internet. (Plus, you can use it to escape mundanes! There's nothing like sitting at an awkward family event with homophobic relatives and self-medicating by looking at photos of your OTP having buttsex.) You only have to look at how almost every time there's a new Ao3 development announcement or a new Pillowfort announcement, someone seems to pipe up and ask "where's the app?" So, yeah... I hate Apple with a passion, and the censorship (or the fact that some apps are unavailable outside the US) doesn't make me happy either, to put it mildly. So it looks like the best way--at least with the current technology we've got--would be to find some form of efficient and robust mobile access that wasn't beholden to Apple.

Re: the disabled angle: there's a huge overlap with the chronic illness community and fandom, in my experience. What's emerged over the past decade or two online (and at cons), there's a shocking amount of geeky women with chronic illness out there, as they seem to be comorbid with neuroatypical brains. This picture that's been emerging--over and over--shows a huge overlap with "geeky" types, sensitivity, creativity and a b0rked body. I used to think it was just psychiatric stuff that was common (going by all the anxious people's blogs in the LJ days), but time and time again, I meet fans who have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos, severe allergies/sensitivities, gut problems and all kinds of metabolical issues. And a lot of those illnesses are invisible, which doesn't help--but once you connect the dots, it's disturbing just how much more likely it is for someone of our kind to develop certain types of chronic illness. (There's a highly interesting theory here as to why this happens and why geeky men aren't affected the same way. Bastarding progesterone, basically.) So it's likelier than not that a fan is going to be crushed by fatigue, or anxiety, and is going to benefit from as low-barrier an access to fannish activity as possible. That thing several people have pointed out about how Tumblr gave them the possibility of participating in fandom, but without having to talk to other people and without having to contribute new fannish stuff themselves. It's a consolation that even on days when I'm in too much fatigue/brainfoggy to sit up and write fic, I can still reblog pictures and ramble a bit in the tags.

But sorry, now I digress. Again, I don't mean to be confrontational or "omg you are so blind and oppressing meee!!!" here, just bring to the table what I know and what I've experienced. DW is very much a space populated by certain types of people and only represents a small handful of us after fannishness became mainstream. And while I've never felt at home on Tumblr and in its toxic culture, the fandom is just so different there that whatever solution we find will have to, obviously, meet their needs as well. I feel like a lot of older fans are now going "we told you so! Come over on DW/Ao3/Fanlore, they're great," but it's a tunnel vision from the text-based fans whose main form of fannishness is fic and meta and discussion--but that doesn't help much if these places, primarily text-based, don't offer the multimedia Tumblr does. I do write a lot of fic and meta and blather a great deal in text form, but at the end of the day, I'm primarily a fanartist. I moved over to Tumblr for the ease of posting and discovering and curating pretty pictures, full stop. It revolutionised the way I posted fanart, because finally I didn't have to drag my sketchbook over to the scanner, mess around with the computer and spend forever editing the photo in Photoshop (even if it was some silly, quick doodle), because now I can just take a photo of the doodles with my phone and up them to Tumblr with a few clicks. I don't have to drag my laptop around, I don't have to leave my bed to go to the scanner; I can do it when I've already laid down and have no more energy to sit upright that day, but I can *still be fannish* by bringing my fanart to my friends while lying down in bed. For someone who can only sit up at the laptop for about 4-8 hours a day, I can suddenly be fannish for 16 hours a day in total when I switch to my mobile.

So whatever the solution will end up being, it'll have to be the sort where the user can easily post pictures from their phone with just a few clicks, and interact with others' pictures with the same ease. Text is going to be cumbersome on mobile whatever you do, but it's the (uncensored) pictures, and the ease of interacting with them that's going to be the clincher here, I feel.

Date: 2018-12-10 01:01 pm (UTC)
snowgrouse: A snowgrouse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowgrouse
Oh, absolutely; it was the amount of HTML that made me switch to Tumblr for fanart. And the same thing prevented me from keeping up crossposting from LJ to DW--because it was a huge amount of work to edit two, or even *three* different posts if I spotted typos or wanted to add a link. And I am a Semagic user, for crying out loud! I still use it to quickly create HTML-wrapped text links even if I'm inserting those links elsewhere, because it saves me time.

But yeah, images and ease of editing is what it will come down to, I'm sure. Even if I'm skeptical about it ever becoming easy to edit long stretches of text on phone screens (oh, if only text search worked on Ao3's fic editing pages on mobile, so I could fix typos while lying in bed).

Date: 2018-12-13 08:04 pm (UTC)
felinejumper: Janelle Monae in all white with black suspenders, holding a microphone (Default)
From: [personal profile] felinejumper
Skimming threads, I wanted to +1 [personal profile] recently_folded's statement re: the disabled angle -- this was a supremely informative and useful discussion, and I'm really glad to have all of it in my knowledge-satchel now for future reference. Also, you've 100% convinced me of the value of a well-built app.

I did want to say that I am one of the fandom-news that primarily does engage in fandom through text, and was not engaging through Tumblr at all in a productive personal way. It's early days, but at least in the past week I've been very hyped on the things DW does well (like this comment thread! I can read it!) and the way it has tricked me into thoughtful small interactions regularly (like this comment I'm currently writing). I hadn't realized how much the platform affected my interactions with it, basically, and I'm excited to see a platform with space for both kinds of fans.

Date: 2018-12-14 12:21 pm (UTC)
alyndra: Sam and Dean sitting w/ coffee and newspaper in the bunker (Domestic)
From: [personal profile] alyndra
Just a quick note on crossposting — did you know you can set your dw post to crosspost to LJ and then any edits you make to the dw version will also crosspost?

Date: 2018-12-16 05:56 pm (UTC)
snowgrouse: A snowgrouse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowgrouse
Yeah, I did, and tried it. Still drove me bonkers having to wrangle and double-check several posts, sorry. There were other factors playing into it that complicated it further, and it just was not the approach for me.

Date: 2018-12-15 04:48 am (UTC)
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] oulfis
Seconding [personal profile] recently_folded that this is extremely valuable input!! Accessibility and inclusiveness are crucial and you've introduced a lot of really useful examples of what a large role mobile access plays in that.

I definitely live on my phone and use it constantly, but my biggest role in fandom is as a reader, so AO3 works just fine for me on mobile; I download everything as ePubs and read them in other apps. So you're right to point out how totally text-focused that approach is!

I think I still have the question of: what if we made a BETTER mobile site..? It sounds like some of what you mention might be inherent in how mobile sites work, unfortunately, but others seem like the might be addressable just by putting the resources that would normally go into app development into the mobile site instead. Sidestepping the app stores, and the headaches of mobile OS compatibility, seems like such a big "plus" that I still want to Why Not Both and try to an accessible mobile site...

Or maybe a "helper" app that makes some specific functions easier, and then pings you over to the mobile site where the content lives, so the site itself doesn't have to meet the app store's standards...

Date: 2018-12-16 04:08 pm (UTC)
snowgrouse: A snowgrouse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowgrouse
Yeah, that sounds doable to me. I love the epubs on Ao3 myself, because the text just does crazy things if you try and read it on a phone screen. Especially what with the long comment threads where it ends up being, like, 1-3 letters per line and it gets impossible to read. (Shame you can't export the comments into the epubs, but I guess that's reasonable.)

I was also thinking of how whatever the new place will be, it will have to offer advantages, innovations. I was just thinking of how, actually, Blogger and LJ were a huge step up in the game for those of us who'd wanted to keep a diary of sorts on their websites, telling their friends about how their life was going, what they'd updated and such. But when you did that, you had to code it all by hand on a separate HTML page. But when the blogging sites happened, it was *revolutionary* how you could now do a diary-type thing so easily in them. And ten years later, Tumblr and its ilk revolutionised image posting, image collecting and image sharing. So whatever that new place is, it cannot fall short of what people are already used to--and that means good image hosting and quick, accessible short-form blogging and minimum-input interactions with the content/people. I've already noticed that people on Pillowfort are a bit shy about commenting and put their comments in tags when reblogging, Tumblr style--they still use the whisperspace and I'm going "wait, I would've loved to have talked in the comments about that thing you just mentioned!" And when you can't @ them, you can't even start that conversation with them in the comments section because only the OP will see them. So there's already a new arrangement of speaking/interacting space going on there, people re-negotiating it and seeing how it'll work. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Date: 2018-12-10 11:52 pm (UTC)
laurakaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurakaye
I think for multimedia especially, the phone is now the primary interface for a LOT of artists and video-makers because it's the camera you always have, and most apps make it super easy to upload multimedia stuff. Apps complicate things but I think that a good app would be a massive bonus to any solution, because an app can be optimized in ways that even mobile-optimized web sites never seem to be, in my experience.

(I mean, the Tumblr app was TERRIBLE, but tons of people still used it preferentially.)

Date: 2018-12-14 12:23 pm (UTC)
alyndra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alyndra
That’s at least partially because you can’t look at more than three tumblr posts on a mobile browser before it refuses to load any more and directs you to the app. :/

Date: 2018-12-14 05:55 pm (UTC)
laurakaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurakaye
omg yes I hate that

and that it won't let you like or whatever on mobile web

but most of all

someone would link you to a post in chat
you would click the link
it would go to the mobile web
the mobile web would force you to go to the app
and then the app would just load your dash and not the link

Date: 2018-12-14 02:41 pm (UTC)
wyomingnot: (nerd herd)
From: [personal profile] wyomingnot
But you don't *have* to have an app in the app store, do you?

I've got an android phone, and I can NOT access the play store because I live in China. But I can still get most apps by downloading them from alternate sites.

Not that I think an app should be any kind of priority. I prefer my tumblring to be on my desktop or laptop. But that's just me.

Date: 2018-12-14 05:56 pm (UTC)
laurakaye: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurakaye
that's a good point too, though I'm not sure with iPhone how I even WOULD get an app from not-the-app-store! I do it for software on my computer all the time though.

Date: 2018-12-15 09:41 pm (UTC)
nonelvis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nonelvis
You can't install iOS apps outside the App Store unless the phone is jailbroken. (Or unless you're writing and testing the app yourself, but that's certainly not something we can expect everyone in the user base to be doing, heh.)

Date: 2018-12-15 12:24 am (UTC)
allochthon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] allochthon
This reply is mostly a "+1 on disability support," but.

I'm mostly able-bodied and mostly neuro-typical, and I can't think of a time when disability accommodations have done anything but benefit me.

In meat-space, the changes the feminist science fiction convention Wiscon has made in the last 5 years has made the convention much more enjoyable for people of all abilities. Taped space in hallways indicating that this space is for movement only, and this space for hanging out and chatting. Space taped out to give wheelchairs space in front of a room. Clearly labeled food in the con suite for allergies. Many many more things.

Things like web-pages designed to be readable, and with color choices that work for the color blind. Closed-captions. Door handles that can be opened by elbows, and don't require grip strength.

And this is something that apps often *don't* do well (because they tend to make a lot of assumptions about their use) but websites can. I can't ask the tumblr app (which I use ALL THE TIME) to change the font size. I have to change the font size on the phone itself to alter it. But a website, sure. Easy (usually. Ironically, not on the chrome browser I use on my android device, ha!).

I guess mostly I want to say, I love what @snowgrouse said. Seeking out input from the variously abled communities from the beginning will be very important, I think. (And maybe contacting the committee at Wiscon would be a good place to start?)

Date: 2018-12-15 04:49 am (UTC)
oulfis: A teacup next to a plate of scones with clotted cream and preserves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] oulfis
+1 on all of this!!

Date: 2018-12-16 04:22 pm (UTC)
snowgrouse: A snowgrouse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowgrouse
There are a couple of UK cons that have been improving in this regard, too, and I'm so glad to see it happening. The last Redemption had stickers denoting invisible disabilities--you could put one in the back of your badge and show it to a steward if you needed a special accommodation for something, and wouldn't have to start explaining to them about your disability, made to prove it, etc. But other people didn't have to know about your disability because it was on the back of your badge. I really liked that.

I think that a lot of the stuff "able-bodied" people notice is to do with our fairly narrow idea of what constitutes a disability, really. Once you start noticing how huge a spectrum that whole thing is, then you start realising the benefits of accessibility to everybody. I've certainly become more aware of all of that stuff as my illnesses have become worse with age, but also through those accommodations being available. They can definitely make things easier and even more enjoyable to everybody--like I don't have to have subtitles to watch a movie in English or Finnish, but if there are subtitles in either language (translated or hard-of-hearing), I still benefit from them when I realise just how many words I do miss now and then when people mumble and such. And with a good translation of a witty line, you get to laugh twice because you get it in two languages, so it's a bonus. (I think I actually injured myself watching a broadcast of Heathers on Finnish telly once, because the jokes were translated or replaced with just as hilarious, or even more hilarious Finnish versions.) And ramps and easy-access doors help everybody in that they can save their energy, stuff like that.

The text size thing is a huge pet peeve for me, when people on Tumblr caption their stuff with the tiniest text that's barely legible, JFC. And it drives me bonkers when you can't change that--I'm a really fast reader and bumping into tiny text like that feels like I'm crashing into a brick wall. So absolutely, the new place should have flexible text size/colour/etc. options so that we could override other people's "creative" layout stuff that drives us around the bend. LJ was great with that flexibility it had for really extensive customisation.


Some discussion space for where we go next.

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