I know this will hew too close to "metrics" for some users tastes, but it feels like a significant usability issue that there's no way to see how other users replied to my post once the notification is no longer current.
An example use case: I make a post. Someone shares it, adding some interesting information. I get a notification and read their reply. Some time later, I want to find that reply again, but don't remember who posted it. As far as I know, there is currently literally no way to do so, short of scrolling back through all the notifications I've ever received in the hopes I find it. Even if I did remember who posted it, I'd need to either scroll all the way back through their page or just guess what they might have tagged it with. (For contrast, if the user had left a comment instead, I'd just need to check the original post and it would always be there.)
The solution I'm proposing would be a button that pops up a list of all the shares that someone has included a reply on. It would probably show the first line or two of text, but could be clicked through to the full post on their page. I'm imagining this would work like the "comments only" reblog notes on Tumblr, but, importantly, without showing the actual numbers.
This would probably need to be made only visible to the original poster, to avoid users using shares of a controversial post as a list of harassment targets. (Although I do think it would be nice to find some other way to be able to see what conversations people are having about an interesting post.)
Importantly, this would provide no information not already provided by notifications, but would just preserve that information in a way that it could possibly be accessed again. Additionally, it would provide no numbers or metrics. While it would be possible to manually count the number of replies to a post, that can already be done with comments (and the site even counts them for you), and this would only show replies, not total shares, so it would be very impractical to use it as a stand-in for a post's "success."
Currently, I think Cohost is very bad at preserving posts, and especially replies, in a way that they can ever be found again. To some extent, this is a necessary trade-off of some design decisions made to reduce harassment vectors (i.e. no searches for shares, no full-text search). However, I think that it should be made much easier to find direct interactions between myself and other users, i.e. stuff I got notifications for.
Another possible solution to this problem would be the ability to see all the notifications I ever received that were associated with a specific post. This could be a button on the post itself, or a way to filter the notifications page by post. (To me, this seems like a clunkier solution for this use case, and in some ways more "metric-y" than the replies widget I'm suggesting above.)
There are several "find your own content" missing features like this that seem to have been fallout from overzealous application of the "no metrics!" philosophy. They've said they plan to implement text search for your own posts, which is great, but it really doesn't go far enough — sometimes what you remember is what someone wrote in a comment on your post, or in reply to your comment on someone else's post, and you really need to find it again because there's a crucial link in there.
During this playful honeymoon phase of the site this stuff doesn't matter too much, but if it's going to become a long-term thing that a lot of people use, we really need this stuff.
In addition to "find comments on your stuff" and "find your own comments", it would also be nice to be able to:
- see actual timestamps on notifications (right now you can only see the day! this information can become really crucial!)
- see all the posts you clicked like on (if you think you maybe misclicked on something, you should be able to find out and fix it! I double checked and unliking posts DOES rescind the notification, which is great! but to make that useful if you wake up in a cold sweat worried that you accidentally liked your ex's post and now they're gonna think it's ok to contact you again, it would be REALLY NICE if you could just, y'know, check your likes. also it's a good way to be nostalgic/remember cool stuff a few years down the road.)
- tell (from their page/from hovering their name) whether a user follows you. i think this was removed to prevent people from having anxiety about unfollowing people? but this is actually safety-critical information. it's not just for checking if someone unfollowed you, it's for if you just got a flood of notifications a long time ago and have no idea if a user followed you in the first place, and the only way to find out is to click "load more" on the followers page for like. possibly hours.
I really like the idea of being able perhaps to see a list of branches of reply posts (empty shares unnecessary) although I appreciate that it could potentially become *vast* depending on the kind of thread
PLEASE omg this would be so helpful