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Hubski Update: The Return of Tags
hubski 848 days ago  ·  shared by 29
text  ·  #blog  ·  #hubskiblog  ·  #hubski

Let me begin by apologizing for the rash of downtimes and general weirdness over the last 24 hours. We are making some significant changes behind-the-scenes, and it has been a bit more interesting than we hoped for.

But, on to other interesting things…

Tags are back!

That is, you can now follow tags again. In fact, if you were previously following some tags, you are following them again.

I’d be happy to talk about our rationale for doing this below. However, the short version is that people really missed following tags, and we think our filtering mechanisms can make up for most drawbacks that can come with it.

Happy birthday, <span><a class="ajax" href="at?id=kleinbl00">kleinbl00</a>. :)

In addition, we have split the ignore function into two. You can now ignore and/or mute a user. If you ignore a user, you don’t see that user’s posts anywhere. If you mute a user, that user cannot comment on your posts. You can ignore, mute, or both.

Finally, posts that are in your feed also show up in the global pages. Many of you requested this, including <span><a class="ajax" href="at?id=Seal">Seal</a> who made the point that it gives the posts in your feed some context. Done and done.

As always, feedback is much appreciated.

p.s. It’s been a busy month for Hubski in a number of ways. Thanks for the time and interest that you all have put into making this the best place it can be. We will keep working at it on our end.

MattholomewCup 848 days ago   ·   link

I'm interested to see where this goes. My biggest worry about tags is avoiding "Subreddit"-like behavior. That is, things like "Hey #programming, check out this function I wrote!" or "So what does #guncontrol think of..." Blocks of users interested in a tag should not be of one mind, nor should they be assumed to be of one mind on any topic.

Ideally, following tags should be a way of saying "I am interested in #_____ and have strong opinions about it", and not just "I love #_____!" For example, if you're following #atheism, you shouldn't be doing it because you want to say "Hey, fuck religions man!" and get a million nods in solemn agreement. Rather, following #atheism should be a signal that you think there's a lot to talk about on the subject, whether you yourself are atheist, interested philosophy surrounding it, or the sociological implications of it. A Christian who is worried about the growth of irreligion among the youth of America would be someone who could be interested in that tag, for example. (Not meaning to harp on atheism, but merely putting it out there by way of example).

Hopefully, the users of Hubski see it the same way and follow anything meaningful to them, whether they love it or hate it! Keeps discussion more interesting that way.

kleinbl00 848 days ago   ·   link


Let's say there are seven people: Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Sneezy, Bashful, Sleepy and Doc. Let's say all seven of them, follow #atheism.

You follow Doc and Grumpy, Doc because he's a thoughtful and measured orator and Grumpy because he's entertainingly cantankerous. Dopey you don't really care about, Sleepy and Bashful rarely say anything of interest to you and Happy, other than the fact that he's constantly seeking affirmation for his beliefs, doesn't bother you enough to ignore.

Sneezy, though. Man. Sneezy is like a disease all over your feed. Bile and mucous about Christians, nothing but Courage Wolf advice animals, gets up in your grille whenever you suggest that saying "gesundheit" is custom rather than proselytizing. So you ignore Sneezy.

Of the six people who make up your #atheism feed two of them entertain you, three of them you could care less and one of them is borderline. So after a few weeks you give up on Happy.

Then a miracle occurs! Happy posts something interesting! It provokes a lot of comments but you don't see it because it isn't in your feed! What do do?

Click "chatter" to the left. Behold. You can see what Grumpy and Doc are talking about - and what they're talking about is a post you wouldn't have seen otherwise.

In other words, you've got two different dimensions of follow: You can directly follow Doc, you can directly follow #atheism. But you can also follow #atheism (less the crap that annoys you). This allows you to do a little "interest algebra" - almost a "social media Laplace transform." Your true feed, should you click on "chatter", is "[(#atheism -Happy -Sneezy)(#Doc)(#Grumpy)]". The only way you will ever truly miss anything Happy and Sneezy say is if neither you, nor Doc, nor Grumpy find it worthy of comment.

That dusts the shit out of Subreddits.

DanQ 847 days ago   ·   link

Knowing my interests, I'll probably end up following Sleazy and Gropey.

flagamuffin 847 days ago   ·   link

Does this ... make you Snow White, kb?

kleinbl00 847 days ago   ·   link

In this instance it would be MattholomewCup. Pay attention. ;-)

Wintermute 827 days ago   ·   link

He's obviously grumpy... "entertainingly cantankerous" describes the reason I follow kleinbl00 perfectly. ;P

MattholomewCup 847 days ago   ·   link

Great explanation, that does help add perspective to this. It also serves as a great "right way to follow things" kind of guide. I also like that your telling of it permits people to have Hubski their way with relative ease, so Happy can go on with his life and I don't need to know about it. Plus, it assuages my initial fears about tags, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

IntimidatingScones 848 days ago   ·   link

If I may add 2 cents... I've never been a redditor (Though I love the Latin name). I tried it, and immediately got angry with exactly what MattolomewCup said above about the one-dimentionalness that pervaded and became like a plague. But what kept me from ever trying again (and what worried me about trying new and similar sites...) was the horrific mass of UNwritten rules atop the written ones.

I love the way hubski is geared towards conversation and mature debate as opposed to rage comics. But I'll be honest, I also want a place that's a community support for things like "Hey, I just started to learn chainmailing! Look at my hauberk!" My hope is that this starts conversation without me needing to add a pretentious "AMA." Everyone knows that a friendly community would indeed feel free to ask away.

Augh this is a novel! Long story short, I want to be able to say "I did this; go read it!" without breaking some unwritten rules.

Maybe it's best to (and I think this is indeed the goals of the admins given the changes) simply use our ability to share, follow, and filter in order to 'vote' on what we want hubski to look like.

StephenBuckley 848 days ago   ·   link

You keep taking our conversations in real life and getting top comments in threads out of them. On the other hand, I'm working on a post about power users that's overwhelmingly from our conversations so who's the loser now!?

MattholomewCup 847 days ago   ·   link

We are all losers now, Stephen. Don't you dare let anyone tell you otherwise.

mk 848 days ago   ·   link

I think yesterday kleinbl00 clearly explained why we hope this will not happen to tags.

I hope that he is right.

MattholomewCup 848 days ago   ·   link

Ahh, I see. I certainly hope he's right, because the theory seems sound. In concert with your changes to the Ignore/Mute functions, this should sum up to be positive, then. Either way, it is entirely positive to see that you guys are always listening and ready to change for the better!

joelg236 848 days ago   ·   link

Wow. Just wow. Thank you mk and the team.

dunkellic 847 days ago   ·   link

    If you mute a user, that user cannot comment on your posts.

What was the rationale behind that? This could be a little bit "problematic", what happens when someone spews bullshit about something or someone and you cannot correct him? (Most obvious example: user A claims something untrue about user B, user A has muted user B; now user B cannot comment on the accusations, not without making his own post at least. While it could be said "well, let B ignore A, then his or her problem is null", everyone else would still see and read that comment without hearing the opposing view)

mk 847 days ago   ·   link

Functions like this are always a double-edged sword. Currently, I can't see who you ignore or mute. However, when I first rolled out ignoring that information was public. I am inclined to revert back to that as it will help keep people honest. In that case, if you trash-talk me, and everyone can see that you mute mk, then it probably makes you look worse than me.

Of course, it would be best if these kinds of functions weren't needed at all.

syncretic 847 days ago   ·   link

Perhaps make the mute list public, but not the ignore list? I would ignore someone who may be a great person, but perhaps we just don't share similar taste in much of anything at all. On the other hand, I would mute someone who is being a jerk and/or harassing me or other people in my submissions. There's a big difference between the two, imo, and just personally I would prefer to keep my ignore list private, if only to spare people's feelings if they happen to end up there.

mk 847 days ago   ·   link

I like that.

aperson 848 days ago   ·   link

I liked to use the global page because it was everything that's not in my feed. I could discover new tags and people. While I still can do this, I feel like it's can be much more cluttered now.

Oh, and where can I report spammers?

mk 848 days ago   ·   link

Ha. Well, it just looks like we are going to have to make a toggle for this behavior. I am not much bothered either way, but I got a lot of feedback from people saying that they didn't like it. I suppose a toggle in controls would settle that.

aperson 848 days ago   ·   link

Thanks. Overall great work with the site!

dublinben 847 days ago   ·   link

Thanks for listening to the input from users (like kleinbl00 and myself) who have been making the case for tags. I think it will improve the hubski experience for everyone here, currently and in the future.

If anyone doesn't like tags, they don't have to follow any!

mk 847 days ago   ·   link

Thanks. I can be stubborn, but I hate to be unjustifiably stubborn.

    If anyone doesn't like tags, they don't have to follow any!

There's truth to that. However, IMO you can only take that approach so far. :)

kleinbl00 848 days ago   ·   link
This comment has been deleted.

hubski's previous #blog and #hubskiblog posts:
text  ·  #blog  ·  #blog.hubski  ·  #ilu
text  ·  #blog  ·  #blog.hubski  ·  #hubski