Working on something else today; but some quick thoughts on Remark.as this morning:
Some validation: Earlier this week, heard from yet another person that they’d like to use this, if possible. We’re a good way’s off from integrating with other sites, but it’s good to know this will be so useful.
UI ideas: In some sketches over the weekend, I came up with essentially a chat interface. Blogs you follow show up in your “buddy list,” and their posts in particular are the “chat rooms.” Each post is the topic of conversation; you can reply with a short message or a blog post — the latter would then take you to another discussion room. Replies via ActivityPub would show up in-line. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure how technically feasible yet. There’s a lot to still think about.
Social club: This will basically be the “social network” of the suite (if we have to call it that). Thinking about reducing spam and abuse in the early days, I’m imagining we leverage our paywall, since that’s worked well for reducing junk on Read Write.as. But I’m imagining an additional twist: if you’ve ever paid for Write.as Pro, or our old Casual plan, or bought an add-on, you’ll be able to socialize on Remark.as. And if you haven’t bought anything but you want to join, maybe you’d pay a cheap one-time “membership” fee. The goal would be to stay widely accessible — I’m not trying to make this an exclusive club — but filter out drive-by trolls and spammers.
The business: I’m trying to distill down the “point” of our business at this point, from the user’s perspective. I’m thinking less in terms of “creative tools” now and more “starting a discussion.” Because even when we write something without the chance for someone to comment, are we not starting a conversation? Even if it’s just in the reader’s mind. It seems that if we’re publishing on the internet, it’s to reach someone else — no matter who that is, or if we even get a response. The change in framing is interesting and eye-opening.