Sometimes I miss the setup of that old subculture community site I spent so much time at.
It shut down last winter and it was closer to MySpace than facebook in design;

Forums for most topics, profiles with custom HTML/CSS, image galleries and the most important part: Blogs.

Everyone had a blog builtin to their profile, and it would tell you how many and who read your posts, and it had a few rudimentary privacy settings.

I spent my late teens and early twenties there.

I still have friends I met through that site, and most of my dating in those years happened because of that site too.

Hell, I asked out my girlfriend through that site 3+ years ago.

THAT was a community. It was almost a subculture in itself - inside other subcultures. Compared to that, Mastodon's community is a bunch of people writing on the same bathroom wall.

Although the mastodon community is generally much nicer - the moderation is way better here.

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@zatnosk I had one of your #CrazyIdeas the other day. I definitely want to explore a “social network” that’s actually _social_ and fosters healthy interactions, and encourages empathy. The way real human interactions do. I asked myself, what would it take? How would it have to be designed? I think these things are worth exploring if we want to have any sort of future as a healthy society, with the web taking over so many of our communications.

@arturovm I have so many thoughts on exactly this topic.

Currently my main thought is that the virtual space should offer some sort of permanence or recognizability of the space in it self.

Mastodon doesn't have this, as it consists entirely of posts that are seen and then hidden away or forgotten. The only permanent presence is a well-hidden media tab and a single increasing number counting how many times I've pressed 'toot'.

I can't explore and expect to recognize anything I saw last week.

@arturovm Without this permanence it's challenging to get a sense of other people without being constantly connected.

And here we touch upon the design influences from capitalist social media; twitter and facebook. If you're not constantly connected, you're Missing Out™, and you're suddenly not a part of the "community" anymore.

We need to have permanence, and to have control over that permanence, to foster healthy and emphatic social spaces on the internet.


@arturovm I wish I had time to sit down and write a manifesto on a caring and empathic

(and "emphatic" in the last post was a typo, I meant "empathic")

@arturovm all of that ranting aside, I'd love to hear your take on this?
Did you reach any conclusions or half-conclusions that other day? :)

@zatnosk Wow, yeah, like having your corner of the website, and people visiting you there, like you mentioned on that subculture community.

I sort of arrived at a design that could work, where communicating emotion is the most important thing, but I can see that permanence issue is something important as well. If you're curious, I can explain over Slack how I picture that design. It's too long for Mastodon :P

@arturovm How about you write it up and post it somewhere ... permanent? ;)

Srsly, slack is even worse than mastodon for anything you might want to use another day.

@zatnosk Hmmm, yes, you’re right! I somehow forgot I have this thing called “a blog” on this thing called “my website”

@arturovm Did you get around to writing about this? :)

@zatnosk I know I said I’d write it 😩 I’m juggling that piece and another one about my experience helping during the Mexico City earthquake a couple months ago. I think that second one I could pitch it to be sold… I just don’t know who would buy it, lol.

@zatnosk Anyways, the point is, both are incomplete and I’m working on both of them, but I promise I’ll finish the one about the social network soon.

@arturovm No haste! And you don't have to finish it for my sake :)
I'll stop pestering you now - I just wasn't sure if it was a case of "uuuh, I should start tomorrow or something" (like I do with most my projects, esp. writing)

@arturovm @zatnosk I have had a similar thought about communicating emotion as being of primary importance 🙌

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