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an argument for comment systems in gemini
august 22, 2021
People may notice that I'm still using makeworld's Gemlikes on my capsule, despite the fact that “like and comment” systems are now pretty universally ostracized by the Gemini community. In fact, I strongly agree with the widespread discussion I've seen so far about liking systems and social media and all that jazz. There's a smaller number of people (sometime, somewhere, can't remember) that say commenting systems are bad in general, or at least undesirable on Gemini; to which I disagree.
I really like comments on posts. While you can always email the author, if I'm emailing about something really small—I'm often commenting on or replying to a single sentence that's only tangentially related to the rest of the post—I usually feel pretty bad, like I'm needlessly bothering someone over some minor thing, and just delete the email despite the fact that it probably would've been useful to the author. Or, as is sometimes the case, you can't find contact info at all, and I'm not going to dig through their entire capsule to find contact info for a small email. Sliding into XMPP or fediverse DMs also feels really off-base too, I've never felt comfortable doing that even if I am commenting on one of their posts.
But with a comment system, it makes it a lot easier and a lot less nervewracking to make those little commentaries. Sure, it also makes it easier for there to be banial and generally useless discussion, but on the whole the Gemini community seems to avoid that discussion and (in my capsule's comments at least) they seem to be generally helpful, although far too short for an email where I probably wouldn't have gotten that feedback at all without having comments on my capsule.
I'm planning on writing a gemlikes-like thing, but with only comment support. I will admit I do like the dopamine rush of seeing people liking my gemlog posts though, although that's obviously what I'm trying to avoid on Gemini. I spend enough time on the fediverse as it is :P
I didn't really elaborate on a few things I should've said, so here a few additions:
I should've noted that I personally have never been unhappy or annoyed to receive emails about my posts, it's just that when I send them to other people about something trivial I always worry that I'm annoying them. Maybe I'm just that type of person and no one else worries about that but whatever.
Also, I don't think comments are sustainable. Something like reddit or other large social media with comments, or even very large traditional forums either require excessive moderation by a large team or turn into a shitshow. But, on something small like Gemini, on a small capsule like mine, I don't find it's really bad at all. I can always just turn them off if they get bad, it's not integral to the functioning of my capsule unlike the aforementioned websites.
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