#Fediverse does this happen often to you too?
You found a great post, commented to it, only to find out later that a broad discussion was triggered ... but not on the thread branch you commented on.
So if you didn't bump into it coincidentally you'd be totally unaware of that.
I'd like a Watch Post feature that sends me notification of all activity on the thread.
Would you like to have a Watch feature?
@tinyrabbit I can see why you would want that, & I'm sure I'm not going to say anything you haven't thought of already, but my thinking is this.
Suppose there's already a single thread, not too long, easy to read perhaps 10 or 20 toots. But one of the toots in the middle is something to which I'd like to reply. The existing system allows me to do that, whereas having a single thread would force me to tag my comment on the end, even though I'm replying to something further up.
@tinyrabbit My wish is to be able to reply to multiple toots, thus drawing a sprawling conversation back together. Then, additionally, have the ability to render the discussions as graphs, like this:
I've written a discussion system that lets you do that. It's currently find for small numbers of users, and extremely helpful, but pig-ugly, and very parochial.
@ColinTheMathmo @humanetech To me this sort of discussion tree looks quite horrible 😆 I can't imagine the effort it takes to follow that discussion in all its branches, or how frustrated I would be to see virtually the same discussion taking place along a number of different paths. To me it looks like a great way to *socialize*, but a horribly inefficient way to *discuss*.
@tinyrabbit That discussion tree would benefit from navigation tools, and I have those, and that makes it a real pleasure. Open some branches, close off others, hide nodes that don't really contribute, and you end up with the "Real Content" distilled.
As I say, I don't have the skillz to make those tools more widely available, but the chart, when displayed on a decent size screen, can be scrolled around,and the many threads can easily be followed.
Takes a little practice.
@dynamic DiscDAG is making progress in that regard. It's intended for dynamic discussions, allowing multiple threads that subsequently come together (where appropriate). It needs better navigation tools, and a better UI in general, but it works well for the appropriate context.
Most examples are private conversations, and those that are public are mostly not good examples, but here are some links.
@dynamic Here is an explanation about the Axiom of Choice, and why it's problematic:
Here's a more extensive, free-form discussion about the system itself and some of the problems:
It's almost essential to use Neighbourhood Mode to navigate and follow the discussion a bit at a time, showing that better navigation tools and UI are clearly required.
But I can't imagine trying to follow this in a linear form.
@ColinTheMathmo @dynamic @humanetech You have a good point about following branching discussions in a flat thread. In that case compartmentalization and breaking out branches into new discussions when they diverge from the original poster's intention are key. And doing that in social media is... uhm... yeah...
@tinyrabbit A consequence of breaking things out into new discussions is that you can't then tie them together again. If they're genuinely different discussions then that's fine, but if they are different aspects of the same discussion then it's a nightmare. The ability to "fold up" or "abstract out" sections is the thing DiscDAG is missing, and neighbourhood mode is a poor substitute, but when a discussion is large and sprawling, you need to connections.
@tinyrabbit There's a difference between "Shooting the Breeze" (StB) and "Have a Discussion to Reach Conclusions" (HaD2RC). Existing platforms drive everything to StB, and platforms that claim to help with the HaD2RC context just ... don't.
DiscDAG seems to be a step in the right direction. It's needs to go further, but I have none of the skillz, the time to acquire the skillz, or the money to pay people who have the skillz.
So it's stalled.
What are your thoughts on Argument Mapping tools? To me they seem much more promising than DAG structured things (I feel like it's pretty unusual to *really* want to pull two separate threads together, and that when it is desirable it could probably be handled pretty well by making a post with links to the parent threads).
@dynamic I haven't seen an "Argument Mapping Tool" for a long time, and I'm sure they've improved, but I've hated every one that I've seen. They have always, to me, seemed to offer nothing over existing linear representations of trees.
And I have frequently use the facility to pull together separate threads. This might be one of those cases where until you have it you don't see the point, and when you've used it, you feel crippled not to have it.
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