Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Groups vs Tags

I’ve talked before about how hashtags don’t work on Fedi and we should be using groups instead because of technical reasons.

But socially, they’re not the same thing.

A group is:

Think mailing lists or subreddits or web forums like phpBB, Vanilla, or Discourse. Or “Discords” and “Slacks” and IRC channels for that matter.

A tag is:

This is how “Tumblr” and “Twitter” communities worked. And I think TikTok? I’m realizing as I’m writing this how little I know about the silo so-me sites, like I don’t even know how Facebook and Insta work.

Maybe we do need a way to make tags work. A lot of people seem to be drawn more to that way of organizing. The two styles also appeals to different kinds of people, it seems. Groups are a li’l more left-brained, orderly, symbolic. That’s great, but we also need the kind of people who are more drawn to tags.

I’m sticking to my guns that we shouldn’t be using hashtags on Fedi but maybe we need to come up with a FEP or something that makes something that feels to hashtags work? “Spontaneous decentralized groups.” And that has the same interface i.e. you just write #foo and that’s all you’ve got to do.

As per ushe, Mastodon has been driving ahead with stuff that doesn’t really work as if it worked (like that awful “Discover” tab) and have been pushing hashtags. Hashtags work (partially) on huge instances and hashtags work with instances that are redundantly & unscalably mirroring all the stuff from all other instances.

But maybe there’s a better way? One that under-the-hood uses actors and inboxes in some sorta magical I dunno way?

Wow, today I learned that Guppe actually has this! Tag any group name and the group is created and from then on exists.

So groups are a pretty good solution after all!