thedeadparrot (thedeadparrot) wrote,

December Posting Meme: my ideal fannish platform

for [personal profile] merisunshine36

I am terrible at being a product person, so I am terrible at answering this question. But here are my thoughts on this. Mostly off the cuff and pretty arbitrary. I'm a little too wedded to what I know of existing internet communities, I think. So. I'm sorry that this is probably not too inventive.

The Basics

Posting content. I guess this is first and foremost. Be able to post content without having to worry about hosting (lol, I know). Be able to post different types of content (text, videos, links, audio). Be able to separate out the transient sort of content (what I had for breakfast today) from the more permanent 'archived' content (that super awesome fic I wrote last week).

Discussion. Space to discuss things directly person-to-person. Comments. Nested comments. It's so easy for things to disappear as the streams go by. Let things remain on people's radars if they're still active. Keep active discussion floating back to the top with the option to ignore rather than the other way around.

Subscription to content. Content made by specific creators. Content that has certain tags. Content made by specific creators that have a certain tag. Any granularity that you can think of.

Finding things! It would be nice to be able to do sophisticated searches in an easy, accessible way. I'm thinking AO3-style here, though a lot less curated and a lot more freeform. Just being able to get the intersection of two tags would be super baller.

More complicated/sophisticated things

Community. Central places to find like-minded people who are interested in a certain topic. Removes the problem of finding people interested in your new shiny fandom and also the problem of finding content in your shiny new fandom. Or that one kink that five people in the universe also share. Or food discussion. Mmm. Food. These would be lightweight to create and would be moderated.

Filtering content. Like the Tumblr blacklist, sort of. Maybe even better. Maybe more like the LJ groups where you can separate out certain fannish tags and/or people into their own list so that you can follow people who post a lot and not have them take up half your stream for the day. Make archived content a separate stream from the transient content.

Make things go viral. There's a certain terrible beauty to the reblog button, I think. It makes sense to remove the effort of creating links to other content when you could just get the content to show up with just a few clicks. There's also an addictive quality to watching the notifications come in as well. Reblogs are inherently transient and would be treated as such. Unless you're a rec list. Maybe.

Public/Private. Fine-grained control on who can see what content. Private, locked-to-certain-people, public.

Sophisticated recommendations system. Noninvasive and totally optional. A separate page that shows you new content (archived and non-archived) based on content you've kudosed and content you've reblogged and content you've commented on.

Curated groupings of content. A little like Youtube's playlist functionality. Not just your own content, but other people's too. Would probably be useful for reclists and keeping track of series. Can subscribe to these (to show up in your stream) separate from subscribing to the original creator.

Posting autoplaying videos is verboten. This is non-negotiable. Seriously. What kind of monster are you?

Also, okay, I missed out on the part you actually cared about because I have been spacey for a while. *facepalm*

In terms of who could build it, I think I would say that I would love it if the OTW could be the ones to make the next great fannish platform, but I don't think they would ever be able to. They've done a great job with the AO3, don't get me wrong, but I think in order to keep up with the new evolving social media landscape, they'd need to be able to function like a startup and not like an open source project. They're just extremely different software development models, and without a team of coders willing to your bidding 40 hours a week, you won't get any of it done fast enough to compete with something like Tumblr.

Most fannish migrations happen because one thing is better than the thing we are on right now. Maybe not in every respect, but in aggregate. Tumblr enables visual fannish content and sharing of said content in ways LJ couldn't. LJ was enabled content and personal interactions that were more difficult in the days of mailing lists. Mailing lists were more accessible than zines. The next fannish migration will only come around when something significantly better than Tumblr comes around. The OTW will have to dream big in order to be able to make it. I don't think they'll be able to do it. The AO3 is in and of itself is inherently conservative. It was, at the time, a throwback to the days of giant archives that supported the mailing lists. It was an established pattern that they could figure out how to build off of. Creating a brand new social platform for fandom is a difficult, risky, and nearly impossible task for them in comparison.

I am worried, as I have mentioned before during this December Posting Meme, about the fact that fandom is constantly, constantly willing to host their content solely on platforms that we have zero voice and stake in. We build our infrastructure around an uncaring system, and the system is more than willing to completely revamp itself without talking to us first. It makes me sad. I understand the short term gains of just dumping things in one place vs. having to cross post everything everywhere.

But it still makes me sad.

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Tags: december posting meme

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