@dgold Since we started getting an large influx of Twitter users last week, every day or so—just as soon as the last conversation on the subject has died down—there’s a new conversation arguing for adding “Likes” or access to “Followers” to Micro.blog. Debate, rinse, repeat.
@smokey Not only is it exhausting, but I sense the continual drip, drip, dripping is having an effect on positions that had seemed pretty clear.
@smokey fwiw, there’s the exact same effect occurring on Mastodon at the minute. Floods of new users, tramping all over the accepted norms of the fedsoc (CWs, Intros) &c. Unlike here, there are certain groups of old timer mastodonners who are posting “CW that shit” type posts, and then some other people bitching about gatekeepers. It’s a hot mess.
@schuth Exactly. And as I said over the weekend? to Ron?, we’re even seeing conversations being started and guided by long-time (or at least more-or-less as long as I have been here) members of the community :-(
I have sympathy for the good intentions people have behind wanting to see, say, “followers” (which becomes more and more of an awful word every time it is employed; Jack was so right) to find people with mutual interests and potential future friends. It even bothered me, not a Twitter user, for a few weeks when I first arrived, but I lived with the platform as it was and grew out of it. Just because seeing one’s “followers” is the “easy”, familiar way doesn’t mean it’s the only or best way to do that, like you illustrated (plus, you get real engagement through conversations). I feel like people need to retrain their brains.
@dgold :sigh: (CW in this context is “content warning”?)
The academic brain in me finds myself wanting to talk to a sociologist or anthropologist about these processes by which people, as a whole, have decided it is completely OK to disregard (or by default “assume” none exist) accepted norms, both online and in the physical world.
@smokey @dgold @schuth @rnv @macgenie This too will pass.
Did any of you listen to the Micro Monday podcast this week with one of the original bloggers? @dori In a discussion about their chat the next day, she wrote about "the history and culture of a community." We've only been here a year and a half, but we do have some history and have begun to develop our own culture. She seemed to respect that. I think we can learn from her and should welcome all new people with, "We are glad to have you here, please participate for a while and see how we do things around here!"
@Ron I try to always respect that; if anyone ever catches me not doing that, please call me on it. A year and a half is absolutely enough time for a community to develop norms and mores. I've found that I have a lot more fun if I start by sitting down and listening in a community's virtual living room rather than immediately making things about me and my expectations.
@dori I'm glad I did not misconstrue you. Sometimes I think a person can be an opinion leader, maybe an old timer, in one community, but they forget when they arrive in a new one that they are starting over in a completely different culture, a place where they may not be an opinion leader, at least at the start. They were a Chief over there, suddenly they have become just another Indian, and they will do better if they realize that.
@Ron That's absolutely true! In my own case, I've seen it happen so many times that I've learned (or at least I hope I've learned) to not be That Guy.
@dori Excellent. Thank you so much! I'm sure this is all gonna get sorted out and we can all happily return to our blogging. Perhaps @manton will need to clearly state the purpose of this site again, although when I looked in the Help area, the very first posting there does a darn good job of it. He is not trying to create "yet another social network," and neither am I.
Hi @smokey, hang in there. I commented on another conversation, giving my support for keeping the status quo, but just want to add another thought re something you said in your original post here. You mentioned some people want to see who is liking them so they can perhaps better find “their people.” I see a couple of issues with this: * it dilutes what is good about micro.blog, which I see as a strong platform for conversation and interaction. Following someone just because they’ve followed you potentially leads to a less-considered action, running down a list of names, clicking “follow” repeatedly. * I like our (no offence) kinda-dorky list of emojis that people can use or not-use to tag a comment. It’s sweet and a bit of a pain in the arse to use and you have to work for it a little. * I totally acknowledge that many people may not find these qualities endearing, but for me this is what makes micro.blog stand out as its own entity, rather than just another twitter clone.
@smokey, @donmacdonald, @ron, @macgenie: @herself makes a good point about building culture. I mused about this a little bit. The way I see it, the culture that M.B is establishing is "online civics". Currently, the Twitter culture of "finding your people" is by clicking a Follow button. M.B compels a different civic behaviour: active engagement with "your people", even as simple as an emoji @-mention. Right now this recurring discussion of Follows/Likes is pressing on what kind of civic culture we want on M.B. I think time will tell whether M.B's current civic culture can, at best replace, and at worst coexist, with the civic culture ingrained by Twitter. The current takeaway message for me is: (1) culture can be a very fragile thing; (2) depending on their makeup, two cultures may not be able tocoexist without one capitulating to the other.
@donmacdonald I think I have prodded @amit into adding “Make Micro.threads more conversation-aware” to his to-do list ;-) Long-term, I think that’s a true client or API feature, but in the meantime, nifty experiments help :-)
@Ron @dori Sometimes I still catch myself and remind myself “Micro.blog is not Camino” (and not an open-source project) and I need to approach or say things differently. It’s also possible that other times, I don’t manage to catch myself :-( ;-)
@smokey I hate that fake clover! Especially in pots-- it just takes over!
Really enjoying reading everyone's comments here.
@herself And along the edges of rows…and wherever else it gains a toehold! With every season, there’s always a different overwhelming weed I’m always trying to root out of the garden!
@smokey I've really been procrastinating about getting the garden ready for spring — ok, there are some lovely self-seeded surprises in there but most of it is just more creepery stuff invading!! :)
@herself Self-seeded surprises are always fun 😀 I’ve been working on the first half of the corn rows, trying to get them ready for some fall lettuce and maybe broccoli 🌱
@smokey nice!! We have been eating some purple sprouting broccoli that we planted a year ago 😬 but was decimated by those white butterflies over summer. We lazily left them over winter and they have perked up again, though they are strangely tree-like and do set off our light sensor out by the garage when it’s windy, hehe. But we are just about at the seedling stage over this way. I need to get organised.
@Ron @dori I serendipitously found your (sub)conversation in this old Conversation while looking for something else entirely; I’ve recently started a page on the wiki where I’m trying to collect things that are key parts of our community history and culture, in the vein of a very old-school FAQ, and seeing this conversation from a year ago just made me happy.
And, thankfully, the “Eternal September” incident that prompted my post that began this whole Conversation did, in fact, pass :-)
@herself Thanks! When I’m a little less swamped, I’m going to send out a call for things I have missed that need to be there, but I wanted to get a few things in place while I was thinking about it.
@smokey I’m not sure if this feature is clear to new users, but I’ve definitely used “Following users you’re not following” to discover “my people”. I wonder if that would answer some folks complaints? //@dgold @macgenie
Thanks for putting in the good work! 🙌
@smokey I was quite surprised to suddenly see a year old thread, one I considered important at the time! For some reason that issue doesn't seem to come up any more. It made me wonder whether the growth in membership has flattened. I know I had to let go of trying to steer the community in a direction I wanted. I finally accepted that what I wanted didn't matter & wasn't gonna happen. All the power rests with M & J and they will continue to steer it the way they want it. I hope it's at least viable enough for it to continue.
@Bruce So interesting to discover, by reading the conversation prompted by your post, that this entire thing has passed me by, so far. I guess I’m following the “wrong” people.
@smokey it took me a minute to realize this thread was 11MO old. And here we are, still thriving. It’s interesting to see that at no point did anyone mention (up to @ron a few hours ago) that M acts as justice of the peace here - did anyone truly believe they’d convince him to bring « likes » and « follower counts » in the mix?
@seishonagon Back then there were quite a few who tried to convince him w/o success. One of them said in a podcast that his income totally depended upon Twitter. So he was a troll with a strong vested interest.
I think, as Dori mentioned in the other thread (that Ron screencapped part of above), that all too often people come in to a new community all self-important, and « likes » and « follower counts » were the way it’s done everywhere else, so anyone coming in naively is going to think that, “oh, this place is broken without those and I need to make sure the developer knows it needs to be fixed to keep my $5/mo”.
And as we’ve established over the past year or so, all of that evil gamification does a number on our brains, which takes time to undo (people who’ve stuck around usually mention after a month or so how much they don’t actually miss that stuff now that it’s out of their system), so even someone not coming in completely naively/self-important might not realize there is another way that works…
Also, Manton had made it well-known to those of us who had been here that he does listen to feedback (and is unfailingly polite in his responses even to things he doesn’t plan on doing!), and as William mentioned early on in this conversation, the steady barrage was causing many existing folks to waver. So I, for one, was truly afraid we’d end up with something that was enough like Likes to be awful if the barrage kept up (and explaining how/why we did it differently here, over and over, was exhausting in and of itself; we needed to have deployed “We Don’t Do That Here” instead!)
I imagine growth right now is much more steady and organic compared to all the ~quarterly spikes in 2018 when M.b got coverage in some publication and/or Twitter did something stupid. Anyway…
@Bruce Yeah, I think we need an updated “guide to finding ‘my people‘” post; the only extant one I’m aware of is mine that’s listed on the How do I find users and cool content!? wiki page, and it predates the “Following N users you aren’t following” stuff for sure.
@smokey Brilliant. Yes, "we don't do that here" is a brilliant way to draw the line. But notice that Aja says it needs to come from the thought leader. So many times I thought Manton just needed to draw the line, but like you said, his style is to be polite.
There was another gem in the last paragraph of that piece:
In the world I want to live in, we don’t have to set negative rules like “don’t harass people.” Instead, we could get by with positive guidelines like “be welcoming” and “be kind” and use our giant human brains to figure out how to apply those values to novel situations.
Many times, behind the scenes, I argued that some positive guidelines were needed, but I never won out with that point and finally had to give up. I'm just a little indian, not a chief or thought leader around here.