Asked some friends to use Pixelfed, they didn't know who to follow.

Empty timelines is not good for onboarding or new user experience.

Adding Suggested Posts to an empty timeline will encourage users to discover and engage with content without having to follow someone.

#pixelfed #pixeldev #discovery #activityPub #ui #ux

The classic "you signed up, now what" problem. Will address that in Smithereen at some point too.

@grishka Yeah exactly, I don't think any other fedi project does this yet.

I'm working on making the Discover API produce more relevant recommendations using non-invasive signals like follow relationships and hashtags used.

I'd love to discuss the technicals with you if you're interested, I could talk for hours about this but I don't have anyone to discuss this with lol.

dansup, the most curious question — does this work across instances, or does it only consider local posts? Recommendation systems are "easy" when you have access to everything you could possibly recommend and you can do all kinds of queries against that data. Not so easy when you have no idea most content exists in the first place.

I'll go another, equally uncharted way though. I want to try decentralized search by centralized identifiers. You'd import your friend list from somewhere, like Twitter or VKontakte, and then some ✨magic✨ will happen and you'll see fediverse accounts associated with those centralized identities. It should, in principle, be possible to make a DHT (distributed hash table) out of instances, and in that you'd store somehow preprocessed centralized IDs as keys and fediverse IDs as values. The idea is that you should be able to find a user on any instance from any instance.

@grishka It uses local-only signals for now, though it wouldn't be hard to use federated content.

The key component is ranking signals in a scalable way, so the smallest and largest instances can take advantage.

Local vs Remote doesn't really matter to a new instance when you have no content, and thus discovery becomes more important.

I'm interested to hear more about your idea, I plan to use FediDB and its growing database to bootstrap discovery in Pixelfed.

@dansup @grishka

Indeed that idea sounds intriguing. Btw, there's also "Trunk for the Fediverse" with a concept that might be further integrated into apps, so getting interesting following becomes a lot easier.

communitywiki.org/trunk

@humanetech
No, no "suggestions" please.

Suggestions are for people who undergo . Pls refrain from this kind of behaviour and thought process.

What happened to the federated timeline. That's precisely what it's for.

Refrain from making Fedi , please.

@dansup @grishka

@dsfgs @dansup @grishka

You're referring to Suggested Posts that can have that issue.

Trunk is more like people saying "Hey, I like to talk about this and that subject" and then you add a bunch of them to your Following, which fills your personal timeline based on your topics of interest and you go from there.

You and I are people that discover a following on our own but many others aren't like that. They are disappointed with what they see and the federated timeline is full of crap to them.

@humanetech
That is what hashtags are for. Maybe encourage ppl to search for hashtags until they have 10 followers or subscribe to 15, or until they say, close this and 'Don't remind me in future".

Discourse forum software does nice things to guide people. This might be what Fedi needs.
@dansup @grishka

@dsfgs @humanetech @grishka
I definitely get the concern; in fact, this does feel pretty reminiscent of one particularly nasty antifeature on Instagram where they keep you scrolling forever on your home feed by showing tailored content after all of your most recent posts. I think it's probably safe enough, though, assuming this *only ever* happens for people who aren't following anyone, and they keep using @dansup 's approach to making suggestions.

Especially with something like Pixelfed, you've really got to know your audience. As someone coming from Instagram myself, I don't think I've ever intentionally used hashtags. Unless I'm just an edge case, I'm assuming that at this point, hashtags are mostly used to generate more tailored content on the backend. And as a result, I don't touch hashtags much while on the Fediverse either. I'm not super big on suggestions, and it's definitely something the Pixelfed client I'm working on won't touch in a million years, but if that's the best way to keep people from getting turned off immediately from the Fediverse then the ends might justify the means on this one.
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@nat
The ends do not justify the means.

Literature on the web says is powered by hashtags like . It is the only way to on Fedi ethically, ie. a person should only be found based on keywords and phrases *they* choose. By not using you are dismissing an integral part of Fedi.

Forgetting hashtags, theres the Federated timeline if you don't follow anyone. Other prompts can inform till 15 follows.

We suggested a Variety timeline.

@dansup @grishka @humanetech

@nat @dansup @grishka @humanetech
Please don't break the spirit and foundational principles of Fedi for new users.

One could see this as a zero day attack.

We will only steer them to the mainstream influencers at the beginning.

What kind of silliness is this?

This is the time to inform the user that Fedi works differently and to step them through what makes Fedi so great.

How old does a user need to be to pull them from the model

These people want something different.

@nat @dansup @grishka @humanetech

Make no mistake, this is the beginnings of the . The very fact this gamable model, is being seriously considered indicates something.

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