Wikidot feeds
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Steven HeynderickxSteven Heynderickx wrote on 10 Nov 2009 15:33

Originally suggested by pieterhpieterh on 1 September 2009.

The goal of this design is to enhance the social networking aspects of Wikidot. As basic assumption we observe that a Wikidot social network is based around projects, the people in them, and their activity.

Overview

We can use Twitter as a conceptual basis: people publish very short comments about what they are doing, and other people follow these comments. However, we're lazy and would like comments to happen automatically, and we'd like to be able to filter the results so we keep a good signal to noise ratio. Twitter does not allow filtering, so it's fine as a starting point, but not as a real platform.

We'll call this Wikidot Feeds though it's much more than that.

Feeds reflect personal activity. They exist along side notifications, which reflect site activity. Notifications carry content (comments, etc) while feed messages are as close to 100% eventing as we can get (they carry URIs, usually). You might confuse a notification with an email, you would never confuse a feed message with an email.

Where it happens

Wikidot feeds are shown and managed from a new page which naturally becomes a new "home page" for users.

Feeds

Everyone has a feed, which is named after them. They can choose to publish events to their feed:

  • Geolocation ("Pieter is now in Brussels" - Wikidot knows, when I log in)
  • Projects I started ("Pieter starts Coalition against Seal Hunting Campaigners")
  • Projects I joined ("Pieter joins the Beer and Doughnuts campaign")
  • Projects I contributed to ("Pieter contributes to Beer and Doughnuts")
  • Projects I commented on ("Pieter comments on Wikidot community site")
  • Projects I visit ("Pieter has visited the Handbook, probably up to no good!")
  • Chatter (hand-written message) ("Pieter says 'stop stalking me!'")
  • New friends ("Pieter has a new friend. Hi Michalf!")

Note the present tense and very simple language. It is happening!

Friends

My friends are people who are following my feed. Friendship is not automatically two-sided. Obviously I am much more important than the pathetic slobs who read my feed.

Finding friends

Friends are people I work with. So I can find them very easily from my home page:

  • My projects: authors, members, commenters, visitors
  • My activity: admins, mods, and members of sites I joined, contributed to, commented on, visited
  • My friends.

Every person has a "distance" which can be shown as a 1 to 5-star rating. Distance is kind of like mutual karma and is reflexive.

When I look for a list of people to become friends with (to follow), I don't see people I'm already following.

The only action is "Follow". The person I'm following gets a notification about me, and also a "New friend" event in their feed.

My pipe

My pipe shows all events coming from all my friends. Initially it's just the superset of all feeds. But I can filter each feed, e.g. I don't want site updates from one person, but I do from another. Just because someone chooses to publish all their events, does not mean I'm obliged to read them all.

Message format

Messages might have this format:

  • Sender name
  • Date and time
  • Message type (short code)
  • Link to whatever page
  • Message text (max 80 characters)

Twitter

I can publish my feed on Twitter if my ego demands it.


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