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The Spreading of Threading (2019) (aaronzlewis.com)
17 points by jbarches 16 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 2 comments



It seems to me that "traditional" HTML hypertext already can do this pretty well - people just don't usually make "traditional" hypertext websites, they write linear blogs or tweets.

Taking that as a given, my question is, why does the author of this post, and the people he's talking about, miss that hypertext can already do this?

It might be that the issue is UI, both on the producer and consumer side.

Production of hypertext is difficult if it requires writing HTML; WYSIWYG or "personal wikis" or other hypertext-production UIs like that improve this. Maybe they're still too cumbersome, relative to Twitter? Hosting is also an issue - there are a lot more places you can sign up for an account and post things in a Blogger/Twitter/Facebook-style linear feed than host free-form hypertext.

I think a more interesting issue is the consumer side. We have good UIs for consuming linear streams of content as they get created, but it's not immediately obvious to me how you'd make a similarly good UI for consuming updates to a web of hypertext. Maybe you could consume diffs? The problem seems somewhat similar to serialization of an object graph.

Of course, the notion of "consuming updates" to hypertext might be entirely the wrong perspective - again maybe there are some insights from the analogy to an object graph.


I have nothing against this model of sharing information. In fact, I think that Twitter has a very interesting way of getting people who wouldn't usually sharing information to post stuff you can't find elsewhere. But the UI for it…really sucks. It's awful. I and everyone else struggles through them because the content is just so good, but Twitter could do so much here to make the experience better.




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