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2020/05/31 Re:Recent Reply Replies && Reply - Solderpunk

I’ve mostly abandoned the web lately. No doubt some of this is a neophytic infatuation. Gemini is wizard! But I’ve a strong feeling it’s more than that. The Fediverse is relatively low decibel by social media standards. But even there I am missing the feeling of comprehension which more formal correspondence can bring.

There’s a breadth and intimacy to this form. So here I am.


More directly in attendance of Solderpunk’s considerations:

Replies in Geminispace

I recall how news sites like Salon 20 years ago still maintained firm editorial control over their comments sections as letters to the editor. When these comments sections were opened up, and then disembodied of foundational content by becoming Web 2.0 social media, I challenge the level of abstraction has not been entirely helpful.

The thing which apparently many of us are hungry for in the Textnet is _correspondence_. And that is not the same thing as _chat_. Comments are chat. We have chat out the ears. Gopher and Gemini offer opportunity for the richer correspondence weblogs promised but later largely abandoned.

So, to sort out my own muddle a bit, here’s a few things being tossed into this “replies” bag:

Replies by phlog/glog are good for us. Especially as practice of traditional correspondence over chat. Eat our Wheaties.

A custom or tech is needful so people know how to (usually) reply to a post. This custom or tech should follow the Textnet way, not the web way.

Original Posters need a way to be notified that someone has replied to them. Already this is becoming difficult to keep track. This can be a custom or a tech, but it must be more or less _reliable_.

Some editorial mitigation of bad actors in notifications is in order. Aggregators and ATOM seem most mete and simple to the task to my mind. Bad actors can be screened from the soup by default. Notifications by mailto: or whathaveyou can be opt-in or screened by spam folder.

Currently the practice seems to be:

1. Alice makes a gemiphlog post.

2. Bob replies to a post on his gemiphlog.

3.0 Bob has to go find out Alice’s contact info.

3.1 Bob sends a notification by email or fediverse or XMPP or guestbook.

4. Alice scans her contact options for a reply, not knowing from which one may come, if at all.

I reckon this could be simplified and more celeritous without losing the virtues of correspondence.

Plenty of easy, code terse or codeless options exist. Webmentions and such, I daresay, feel overbuilt. The key point to my mind is that when some newbie says, “How do I post? How do I reply? How will they know?” There ought be at least a standard customary answer in the big Geminigopherfinger FAQ in the Sky. It might only be for now until the “subspace” effect is too big. But that may be all that is needful, a FAQ customary usage and a critical mass. Any evolution or deviation from that could be revisited as necessary.

Cabbage for the Corned Beef

I strongly concur about follow up posts as replies, I now discover, that web style comments increasingly give me hives.

Even more, the static and simplest option be the one cleaved to. This anxiety you articulate is a philosophical imperative for the commonweal. Gemcaps and glogs should remain at base a human medium for which humans can access, publish, and easily set up hosting. Fun services are one thing. But if it is de facto mandatory to set up a Gemini CMS ti wrangle likes and such... Haha, no thanks.

Your sketch of a gemnotifications system is growing on me as I ponder it... A robots.txt for ping backs or notifications... it would be simple enough to deal with by hand and that to my untutored mind is a good touchstone. And it makes a possibility for autofiltering bad actors more tenable.

Well, however this shakes out, a wait and see approach is wise at this juncture... I think (sadly?) that a likes and comments system is probably inevitable. It is efficient, organized, direct. There is massive customary expectation for it. A few of us will try to push for an editorial Newspaper type vision or static, customary, organic usage. But this is the era of chat. I hope this forecast is thwarted.

I reckon much hinges on whether and how Geminispace grows. At current rates... These questions may become rather pressing soon.



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