Local and Network/Federated Timelines really shouldn't exist if you think about it.

Centralized platforms have solved content discovery and I think it's about time we do too.

· · Web · 15 · 2 · 9
@dansup local makes sense but yeah, federated/TWKN doesn't really.

@lanodan Does it though? Local means you are exposing users to content that likely has low relevance to their interests instead of something that does have relevance.

Not to mention the fact instances could ignore most spam, unless they spam legit users in replies/comments.

I'd rather answer a few questions about my interests than see spam and I'm tired of dealing with spam reports lol

@dansup @lanodan
I don't know what it looks like on pixelfed, but I know I joined my instance looking forward to the local timeline here. I chose it because it's very likely to have posts relevant and/or adjacent to my interests. I agree that the Federated timeline is a place I don't go.. but I did when I was first on fedi and didn't have people to follow yet. I think Trunk and such have helped with that issue though.

@avalon @dansup @lanodan I agree with that. I think that dansups thoughts stem from watching the flagship instance -- on smaller instances I would want the local and federated timeline. To alleviate the interest-based discovery I'd go for a feature like "following a hashtag" -- which is easy with a centralized index, but hard across the whole federation (at least without overwhelming the smaller instances).

@avalon @dansup @lanodan
Your local timeline might contain a subset of interesting content, but that still leaves out a lot of other content. Instances get chosen not only for their content, but sometimes because of the language, because of a relationship to the owner of an instance or it simply is your own instance. Additionally you might keep an account on an instance even if later your interests shift.

I'm pretty sure that the idea behind federated instances is that they should be formed around groups of people with similar interests. That makes the local content the most relevant for any one person. Now, if you don't subscribe to this philosophy, then maybe you'd be right. But please don't assume to speak for all people on the fediverse.


@dansup sorry for being negative, but in my opinion, if you're developing Pixelfed with this mindset then you're doing it wrong.

@mariusor @dansup @lanodan well, then some instances with 500K users, are really made of people with common interest? Usually, after some numbers are reach, the instance becomes a generalist instance…

Yes. I feel like that is wrong. Chasing high user numbers on instances is the wrong way to go about it in my opinion.

High user numbers require serious investment in infrastructure, which is a sure way to get operators to try to monetize said users. That's not wrong per se, but sometimes selling data is easier than requesting payment.

@dansup @lanodan

@mariusor @dansup @lanodan

right. this is why I advocate self-hosting as well. My “instance” has 13 users in total, and it seems to me 10-20 users is perfect. THis is more or less the ratio between prople who can run an instance (know-how) and people who would participate but has no way and asks to the “nerd friend”…..

but it’s hard to explain the concept.

@loweel @dansup @mariusor To me instances that aren't already linked to a group/organisation should be limited to around ~100 registered users. (Dunbar's number)

@dansup @lanodan

Would clearly disagree with this thesis. And consider the proposed alternative to be a deterioration of the status quo.

The proposal to limit the exposure of diversity of opinion because it may not always accurately reflect one's own opinion/interest and to replace the same out of convenience with a filter bubble, I think is not worth supporting.

A revision of the user directory, as well as an improvement of the suggestion system of users and content, would be very welcome.

@dansup @lanodan very much disagree for two reasons: instances group people. Bitcoinhackers attracts Bitcoin enthusiasts while sinblr attracts...errm... other enthusiasts.
There clearly is cohesion between people on instances.

Remove that, and it'll lead to centralization. If all instances are similar, why choose one over the other? Why not go for the most popular instead?

We must push for many small instances. Increasing local community feel is one measure.

@dansup I openly admit that I'm no inventor. My ability is to implement existing ideas and refine them. So if you have got a good idea concerning the content discovery I would be happy implementing it.

@dansup I don't think so.

Local timeline generally feels safer than the federated timeline's hurricane of shit. So a lot of people prefer to mostly stay on local.

@dansup I think it works the way it is, discovery can be done through the Federated timeline and you like someone you can follow them and their posts will show in their home stream.

@dansup Those are just "filters". Why not. But I agree the "Network" timeline should be more prominent and it should have always the focus (very important for new users).
I'm thrilled to read the reaction from the mastodon "One Topic Server" bubble ;)

@hoergen @dansup I kind of disagree. Not all topics of people on the same instance are relevant to me. I've had to block a lot of accounts on the (mastodon) network-feed because of untagged nsfw content...

@dansup centralized platforms do some contact/content suggestions based upon the interactions of the user. Of course we could replicate this. But this can create the same filter bubble effect that the centralized platforms do suffer from.

@dansup Right now, I'm suffering from the discoverability problem, by the way.

I got a person on here who takes interest in Warhammer 40000 universe.

And I can't find content that would interest her. There is no search. The search that there is in Mastodon, is useless for finding new stuff. Hashtags don't really work properly, as they are local, or something. This is borderline maddening.

@drq @dansup lots of people only use hashtags sporadically. You didn't use one yourself.

@mattbk Yeah. I'm too lazy for hashtags, my brain isn't wired for them.

Not the point of the message, though.


@drq @dansup I can second that. The problem with the search is that it seems quite un-trustworthy. I am very uncertain if the results return "0 Results" for a keyword wether that's just the local timeline, the public timeline or the "whole" verse.

@dansup If by content discovery, you mean algorithms that decide what you want to look at, those are a big problem with conventional social media. Youtube recommends conspiracy theories because it's learned that far-right content makes people obsessively watch YouTube, maximizing ad revenue.

Perhaps you think you can make algorithms that don't somehow play to our base instincts, or reinforce the evil status quo. Don't. Just stick with chronological order.

Local timelines make sense where the instance is centered around a certain topic. I also use the federated timline on Mastodon quite often to discover new stuff without filtering by tag or whatever.
The problem with content discovery in other networks (FB, Insta, Pinterest etc.) is that content is chosen by algorithms that will always be wrong and have horrible side effects (see echo chambers).
I suggest that users can define filters that are applied to their timelines, but also can be disabled.

@dansup hard disagree, those timelines are useful for intentionally discovering things through a particular scope.

Local is useful if your instance revolves around a theme, family, or area.

Network is great when you want to make new friends through interacting with mutuals of mutuals, or instances that talk to instances you talk to.

I'm not saying that discovery can't be better, or that Home shouldn't be improved, but I'm not in favor of completely destroying them.

@sean @dansup I also disagree with you Dansup.

I don't use the federated timeline because of the risk of NSFW content and horrible S/N ratio, but its still somewhat useful.

I read the local timeline more than I read Home, because its impossible to keep up with Home.

@sean @dansup

we should lean into local i think. if admins could add "friendly neighbors" to their local timeline to spice things up. like social-graph-directed discovery.

@sean @dansup Yea super disagree. I’ve found a lot of my follows through those timelines and when nothing is happening on my timeline, I like to over to network timeline.

I still don’t know how I’m supposed to find anybody on pixelfed since you can’t see anything on an instance without signing up or already knowing about an account. And even if I wanted an acct, I wouldn’t know how to pick an instance if I can’t view the local timeline to get a feel for the local space.

@dansup Local is for me the community aspect of the Fediverse (especially on the small and thematic instances) where you can find known people after some time, like in the good old forums.

@dansup On centralised platforms, I spend a lot of time *looking for* posts by different people from the norm, yet here, they're all listed in the extra timelines! I find that very helpful for expanding what I'm seeing!

@dansup the simple yet effective hashtag does it for me. It'd be good to see Pixelfed's hashtagged content federate so we can all discover each other that way.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!