I realized today that it was on this day a year back that I had opened Micro.threads to all. It was the first project built ground up that I had made available for every one to use. The earlier projects were either customized or personal. It has been a wonderful learning experience.
It was also an opportunity for myself to gain confidence. It kick-started my journey to more hobby projects, inspired me to even write more. Funny how few small beginnings can turn into significant projects.
I had recently started working on updating Micro.threads application to focus on discovery, specifically user discovery. My social interactions on the internet have never been dull or frustrated since I joined Micro.blog. And it can largely be attributed to the extremely fine community of users that exists on the platform.
However, I had also realised that there were a lot many threads, many interactions that I was missing on, because finding new users was still not easy. Discover section exists, but it helped primarily to get new, interesting posts. There was a major section of the platform which could assist me to ease this problem. And that is people I follow and their posts in my stream.
Manton had recently updated the default behaviour of a user profile’s “Following” section to display only “a list of who someone is following that you aren’t following already”. That itself is a huge improvement in identifying new users. But, for me, that too was a bit troublesome. I wanted to focus not just on the follow status, but the interactions; not just focus on whom someone I already follow, follows, but rather whom they interact with frequently.
So it was only just to build a system, first of all for myself that will discover more amazing users that I can follow, that I can interact with and learn from. And so I did.
I have been playing around with the user discovery section of Micro.threads. And I think it will help others too. Just head over to the Micro.threads -> Discover section and give the application a try. You may find it helpful. You may not. But I think the feedback you share would be useful for me, and hopefully to the community too.
I believe this just acts as a placeholder until such discovery features are available in the official app itself. Till then, this would be a playground to identify more ways to discover interesting profiles and threads on Micro.blog.
I have made some key considerations at this point while developing and rolling this out.
- You will have to sign in with your Micro.blog user id and an app token, which is discarded the moment you log out. I have no intention to maintain any accounts or credentials. I plan to use the
/account/signinAPI from micro.blog in future; for now, app token is the quickest, officially supported way to get going.
- I haven’t optimised the performance of discover algorithm to the fullest. I plan to get that done that gradually.
- I am inclined to keep the information shown itself improving, and also add more ways to unearth user profiles and threads.This is just a first version that I was satisfied with and could roll out. I am already working on the threads parsing and discovery which I think will get done this weekend itself.
- I do not think I can get this perfect or can stay focused without the feedback from you all. So, any and every feedback is welcome.