Replies on Micro.blog

A reply to the ongoing discussion about replies

Going back to at least earlier this year it seemed like the limit on replies was going to be shortened, or at least that was the plan, and if that does happen at any point then all of a sudden the whole “let’s start a conversation” dynamic is much different; perhaps people would be more inclined to take such conversations elsewhere (messaging services, email, physical space, etc) and so the value of the short-reply conversation (micro-convo if you will) stands alone.

There’s a chance with only short replies allowed that replies themselves will take on more of their own identity, and a core part of that will be the shorter replies themselves. Then they would be not just something that is so easily considered clutter. However, I do agree with Smokey that these issues could be better solved via timeline filtering, of which there is already a foundation (filtering out mentions to people you do not follow) and as compared to introducing a “like” system is much less likely to fundamentally alter the entire platform.

I also like John’s idea of “disappearing likes.” It reminds me of how Snapchat first became popular due to disappearing posts, except this could serve as less destructive version of “likes” in general.

Overall when it comes to cluttered timelines I’m not at all convinced that introducing a reply-wide change to the system is the best way to go, since it feels too much like shoving something on everybody because some people think of short replies as clutter. For those who do think this way, have you considered using RSS in conjunction with Micro.blog? I find it’s easier to get at the exact posts you want this way, rather than looking to turn the conversation host (Micro.blog) into something fundamentally different.

Right now replies definitely need some updates and I think this is one of the issues that ought to be addressed. Personally, as somebody outside of the Apple ecosystem I feel there are bigger problems; even short replies are hard work when it comes to just using the web but I think updates to the replies feature across all systems would be a great upgrade for Micro.blog as a whole.

Mumblings @simonwoods

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