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You know, Mastodon is cool and all, but when you get right down to it Twitter-style communications just kind of fundamentally suck for some kinds of stuff.

You know what’d be cool? An ActivityPub-powered web forum, or a LIveJournal-style personal blog but with some of Tumblr’s social aspects thanks to being able to network with other blogs.

Make Web 4.0 into Web 1.0 again.

@SenorOblong I would really prefer a microblogging platform or social medium that was based around subscribing to _conversations_, not to users

@mona @SenorOblong This is interesting. How would you identify "a conversation"? Is it something I create manually and the. People participate in (kinda like a forum thread, maybe)? Or something else?

@benhamill @mona @SenorOblong what if conversations were like forum topics - anyone can start one, replies are non-threaded - and would appear by latest update in a Forum Timeline. You could subscribe to them to see them in your Home Timeline

Maybe it works better if the replies *are* threaded, but you can subscribe to any specific post to see its child threads in your Home TL

Does this look good? Is this Good Interaction?

@wersimmon @mona @SenorOblong Hmmmmmmm. I don't know. I think having replies for all the topics in one timeline would be confusing? But I'm not sure how an alternative would differ much from forum software that lets you sort topics by ones you've posted in/faved that have activity since you last looked. 🤔🤔🤔

@wersimmon @mona @SenorOblong I mean—I guess it would be federated, but I'm not clear on the benefit there, either. Just like "machine learning" or "blockchain", sprinkling "federated" on existing software doesn't inherently make it better.

@benhamill @wersimmon @mona The idea of it being federated would basically be that you might be able to get something like that old ecosystem of a bunch of disparate personal forums and blogs, but still with the social-network interoperation features that drove everyone to the centralized sites in the first place.

@SenorOblong @benhamill @mona yeah I actually really like the idea of having the "pingbacks" and stuff from 1.0 days, but in a more modern format. The real trick is that ActivityPub is *awful* for this, and a mechanism like rel links is better suited

@wersimmon @SenorOblong @mona This reminds me a bit of, uhhhh, microblog, in think? The stuff @manton is doing, anyway.

@wersimmon @SenorOblong @benhamill I have been a bit wary of all of the eggs being put in the ActivityPub basket, but I admit I have no solid reason for this wariness. merely some vague memories of hearing that its developers were not the most professional of persons...

@wersimmon @benhamill @mona Ahh. To be fair, my actual technical expertise when it comes to web development, frontend or backend, basically amounts to:

@SenorOblong @wersimmon @benhamill same. I am a chemist, not a programmer, haha. I sometimes think of trying to take it up but my knowledge of coding is about two decades old at this point

@benhamill @mona @SenorOblong I think you'd want to show the topics by subject, noting that there are replies to read

But then this is really just a "pin conversation" feature

@wersimmon @mona @SenorOblong Kinda, yeah. I can't tell if this idea is good because of its proximity to others' attempts to make useful features or if it's just a thing that already exists in a few different forms. You know?

@benhamill @mona @SenorOblong i would assume it's like a forum thread, yes. notify all subscribers when new replies are created.

@benhamill @mona Basically the same way Mastodon is able to group replies into chains, but displayed differently.

@SenorOblong @benhamill I _think_ I would also want some semblance of the Usenet approach to organization by topic. which, haphazard and amateur as it was, was still better than nothing

@mona @benhamill
Yes, definitely. I have ideas on how you’d want something like this to look and work - think a good old traditional PHBB forum, with subforums and sub-subforums and then threads within subforums. But you’d be able to federate with other forums, say “hey, this particular subforum matches up pretty well to your other subforum”, and so you’d be able to see not only the list of active threads in your subforum but an additional view of active threads in other communities that are in the same topic. And you’d be able to post in these threads from other forums, and vice-versa.

@SenorOblong @benhamill another approach I've imagined is a standardized set of tags to indicate the subject matter of a post. do away with hashtags, which are clumsy and which hardly anyone here uses anyway

@mona @benhamill or maybe eliminate tags entirely, and you know what topic a post is about because it’s in a LiveJournal-style community that formed around a particular topic; communities or blogs as a whole might have searchable tags to help discoverability, but you wouldn’t have the “tag = fandom” thing Tumblr has.

@mona @benhamill (It goes without saying that this would have to be a pretty radically different interface and structure than the way Mastodon handles its posts)

@mona @SenorOblong This is exactly how Citadel BBS operates/operated. Users would create rooms to talk about specific topics in, and users who were interested could visit rooms or "zap" (forget) them if they were disinterested. There was no concept of following users at all.

@vertigo @mona Sounds a whole lot like I remember IRC working back when I was using it for RP purposes all the time.

@pupy @SenorOblong We ... don't talk about such things. Some questions are best left unanswered.

@pupy IIRC Web 3.0 was/is “entire software applications as single-page Javascript webpages.”

@SenorOblong serious question: what does federation add to the traditional forum model? It’s been years since I’ve touched PHPBB and the like, but i feel like there’s probably plenty of perfectly good modern forum software that exists right now. For instance, i can’t imagine really wanting to follow a forum user from here, seeing their contextless forum posts in my timeline. But maybe there’s a cool benefit I’m not thinking of!

@SenorOblong i do really like the idea of federated/activity pub LJ style software though!

@coda @SenorOblong federated forums would allow you to participate in threads without having to sign up multiple times for each new forum. it'd be like a global forum where you could follow topics instead of users. think usenet BBS, and how that could be replicated across servers. that can't be done with existing selfhosted forum software, where posts/threads/accounts exist only on one server.

@SenorOblong it wouldn’t be impossible to group replies under the OP then reboosr the OP when it gets a reply... combine that with a CE-like title and your timeline would then act like a forum with heavy user filtering.

@SenorOblong i just want to know why my Mastodon profile won't play music

@SenorOblong that's called RSS. You want RSS.

Oh wait, you wanted conversations. Mailing lists. It comes with SMTP based notifications. Completely federated.

It totally exists already.

@SenorOblong I think someone created a PHPBB that ran on AP. And write.as has blogs. And I think pixelfed or some other thing was trying to do Tumblr, or maybe it was Instagram.

@SenorOblong the only thing I can think of that is close to this is Plume. I haven't had time to build a server yet but I am interested in using ActivityPub for blogging as well. Not sure it is 100% of what you are looking for but that's the beauty of opensource get to coding and make it how you want it, no one is stopping you.

@SenorOblong Friendica has forums and personal posts with ActivityPub API support.

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