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by Jacob O'Bryant

Join the tools-for-online-speech community

I recently discovered that Discord's new forum channels are available to anyone who upgrades their server to a "Community" server (which is free, you just need to go into settings and do some stuff). This is excellent because most online communities are designed for real-time chat or long-form, asynchronous discussion—but not both. For this reason, it's common for communities to be split across multiple platforms, like a Discord server and a Discourse forum. The Obsidian community does this, for example. And so did I, until now!

I spent a decent chunk of Saturday + today reorganizing the tools-for-online-speech Discord server, taking advantage of the new forum channels. Now there are three text chat channels (#introductions, #random, and #share-your-stuff) and three forum channels (#announcements, #feature-requests, #lab-notes).

A few example posts from #feature-requests (which is mainly for Yakread, but also for The Sample and any other apps/services I create in the future). You'll need to join the server to view them:

  • Instapaper integration (for importing bookmarks)
  • Cross-platform recommendations (so you can make a list of newsletters and get a "recommendation link" which will let anyone sign up to them with Yakread or any other RSS reader)
  • Notification system (so you can get a chronological feed containing only posts from newsletters that you really don't want to miss, in addition to Yakread's regular algorithmic feed)

And some posts from #lab-notes, which is sort of a dumping ground for ideas I have about how I think the internet should work, drafts of blog posts, ideas for apps I wish existed, etc:

I'd like this community to grow and become about much more than just my own work. I want it to be a place of collaboration for anyone interested in making the web a better place via tools for online speech; a space for both makers and early adopters—both of whom are essential. To that end, so far there is the #share-your-stuff channel, and #lab-notes is also open to anyone who wants to make a post. I'll add more structure as needed. If you've got ideas to share or tools you've built, come join!

Also feel free to share this post! Ideally I'd have one of those nice "Share" CTA buttons, but time's short and I'm using an in-house publishing platform, so just copy this link instead.

Community highlights

(Some of these links go to Discord. To view them, you'll need to join the TFOS server first.)

  • I chatted with Chris Zappa who has a graphic design business! If you want a real logo for your newsletter instead of the one you put together in MS Paint, be sure to talk to him 🙂.
  • We had some discussion on Discord about cross-platform recommendations (@badri: "How about recommending specific articles instead of entire publications?").
  • Also had a reply to "In defense of recommendation" on the old forum. (I've copied this to Discord). @gabriel: "[...] Then I realized, it’s not algorithms that are the problem, but rather the application architecture of 'algorithm-centricity'. Algorithms are awesome, it’s the orientation of them at the center of everything we use that’s the problem. [..]"


New section! I'm merging in my stuff I read personal newsletter, which curates... stuff I read in the previous week (on Yakread of course!). Normally I write up some commentary but it's late and I need to get this done, so here are some raw links instead:

Honestly, maybe it's better without commentary anyway? Would you rather get 10 links like this or 5 links with a few sentences/a paragraph of commentary each?

Stuff I'm working on

Completed last week:

  • birth of second daughter
  • not too much else

Next week:

Want to influence the stuff I work on? Head over to #feature-requests. Make a new post or thumbs-up an existing post. Or leave a comment somewhere. Or send a carrier pigeon.

Published 24 Oct 2022

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