Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Re: Feeds are a dark pattern

dzwdz writes:

One of the issues with feeds is how they (don’t) handle the conflict between frequent vs. rare posters. Their posts are all mixed together.

That is not an issue with feeds. It’s an issue with feed viewers.

OK, I am kinda sorta breaking my vow to never argue semantics, since this is semantics. dzwdz is not disputing the facts: that a viewer that shows feeds sorted in other ways, like grids or trees can be great. I use one that shows a 2d grid where each feed is a line and each post is a cell.

Not that I, a veritable firehose of a poster, support the idea that posts from frequent posters are less valuable. Even so, having some sort of organization beyond just a 1-dimensional line is a good idea. You wouldn’t sort a bookshelf by cutting out all the pages, sorting the pages by when the book was written regardless of what book it’s from, and putting that in a huge stack.

So I’m not arguing against the text of dzwdz’s post, just the wording of the headline, but I wanna get in before that headline phrasing becomes a widely believed thing, that people start to think that “feeds are a dark pattern”. Feeds, in the sense that a server can emit time-sorted data, can be pretty dang great. On this homepage I have both a blog Atom feed and a category overview. It’s not as if it’s evil that the blog feed exists.

Again, I think the UI paradigm proposed by dzwdz’s “treed” client is good. I’m not disputing what the bad thing is, I’m just arguing against referring to the bad thing as “feeds” is misleading. Threed works because of feeds, and any other data view would be an obstacle to it (and clients like it) working.