if you're not a million years old, let me just explain what a webring was: it was a list of websites that linked to each other, and on each home page you could find "this webpage is a member of the minidisc users club"
and you'd get little "previous" "next" and "random" buttons that would let you browse other member's websites.
nostalgia aside, i think a little group membership style thing would help people find the accounts and posters they're interested in. i've already seen numerous "are there any other photographers here?" "what about ham radio?" style posts, so i'm pretty sure there's a need
here is a rough sketch of how i imagine it would work:
there's some extra fingagling, if I click next to go to someone's page, but they haven't opted in to showing the ring, then i might be a bit stuck. it might be better to put a little banner at the top of the page when i'm actively clicking through members, like a ?from_ring=uuid, so the menu is in the same place. i'm unsure.
it might be best to only go 'back/next' from members who opted in to having it on their profile, but the little menu bar at the top might be useful regardless.
what order should webrings show on your profile? is it per-user or is it alphabetical? or the order in which your joined them?
also, it might be difficult if there's twenty "photography" webrings. should the groups share the same namespace as account names? should they be free form text entries? again, i'm unsure
should it be possible to merge a webring? the answer is "no because someone will merge it into a lol you're owned webring"
as you can see, it isn't just a "lol get it done" feature, there is some planning to be done, but i do really like the idea
I humbly suggest "eggring" as the name for this feature
Love this idea! A thought I have reading through this is I could imagine a model where you have "public" and "private" webrings
"Public" webrings could work sort of like a universal tag. Like there aren't 15 "photography" webrings, just one. Anyone can opt in, anyone can opt out. As the site gets bigger these are useful still but kind of huge
"Private" webrings on the other hand would be unique and have some amount of moderation. There could be three "PhotoPals" and not anyone can join. This could be useful for smaller communities or explicit organization. Like imagine a game dev team decided to have Cohost as their primary method of communication, so they have a private webring "StudioNameDevs" where people can discover/browse the Cohosts of all the devs without it being clogged up by fan accounts.
Now how that moderation (who can join) would work, not sure. The webring could have an owner, the webring could vote on new Cohosts joining, could be multiple options. I just have a feeling that level of "smallness" will be useful as the platform grows
I very much want this.
> "Public" webrings could work sort of like a universal tag. Like there aren't 15 "photography" webrings, just one. Anyone can opt in, anyone can opt out. As the site gets bigger these are useful still but kind of huge
it would be nice to be able to tag profiles much like we can tag posts, and search, but the hard problem here is "what order do you display accounts in." you show oldest first, you'll just make popular accounts more popular. you show newest first, you'll wade through empty profiles to find things
it might be easier to show "recent tags used" on someone's profile, which adds a bit of clicking-around browsing-alike discoverability. perhaps if you want to appear in a tag, you gotta post about it, and that's actually a good thing
anyway, i really like the use case of "find the other indie gamedevs in this project"
it's an interesting question, and it's a bit of a different use case for what i'd imagined webrings were for. being able to read all the new posts in a group does make sense, but then you kinda have to ask "what about following it".
my guess is that it's a good thing to add, but it would be a lot more work to map out the feature space. if groups are like users that aggregate posts, can you mute a group? what about blocking a group? etc
the prior art here is something like livejournal's community pages, where anyone could post to a group, rather than to their own page
and i do expect something like that to be in the works
I love this idea so much more than straight follower/following lists. I miss the sense of wandering & discovery a la web rings or StumbleUpon (yes, I'm a million Internet years old).
Big yes to this please!
This would be a lot of fun!
This is a neat idea. I think it would be cool to integrate concepts from old web design into modern social media
As much as I appreciate the nostalgia for the retro-internet, I can't say I'm a fan of discoverability tools that require you to ingratiate yourself with a preexisting clique. This seems like it would result in a lot of conflict over who is and is not allowed in various groups, would give weird levels of power to whoever happens to start a group (e.g. Reddit/Discord mods), and would ultimately get confusing when splinter rings ultimately develop or founders go inactive.
I do like the idea of some sort of profile tag system that's purely opt-in by users, with no formal group structure or need to apply to join. (Though really, I think the tag system does a lot of this work already! If you want to find other photographers, just check out #photography and see who's posting there.)
I really like this, even though I can see ways it could present moderation issues. It's a natural fit for human-curated discoverability, which is a core philosophy of the site. I think user tags are also probably useful but this fits in well with something I don't think most social media sites have other than art sites, which is classic space to throw up the avatars of your friends or people you closely work with, etc.
Social group dynamics always open up the possibility of messiness, which I think may be more of an argument that this is a feature for a more mature cohost with a larger staff, rather than that it shouldn't be done at all. I would love, for example, to be able to list and link out to people like my polycule, my coworkers, my art friends, mutually or otherwise, without needing to make a separate Post for it. I think there's definite value in something like this existing over the long term. Maybe it doesn't take this exact shape? But the idea hits on something.