Alpha Update 0.3.0

I am excited to share this update with everyone! A long time has passed since I wrote about our progress. &alpha-update-028 was the last published post and that post was published half a year ago. If you are curious about older updates, take a look at the $rs-devlog. I am happy people are writing. I can't read most of the posts. However, I can see when posts are published if the public is allowed access through permissions. I observed the following:



  • People enjoy the lack of vanity metrics. But they like seeing view counts & full page reads in their library.

  • People feel safe to express personal ideas more openly.

  • People enjoy knowing they can not be discovered through global search inputs or post feeds. Some people have said writing on Reading Supply feels like:

    • having your own space on the web

    • a personal journal

These observations make me optimistic about the future. 🎉



Reading Supply will begin to thrive when people write about their learnings. Here are some new additions to help us get there:



Connecting posts, archives, and users together

If you take a look at the home page, you may notice some new inline elements:





Now anyone can mention a user, such as @hotchocolate, by using the @ symbol. You can also reference an archive by using the $ symbol and a post by using the & symbol. In the future I want to show the connection between posts, archives, and users. This vision will become clear once I deploy the tree-explorer, a way to navigate the connections made on Reading Supply.

The lack of auto completion and search is by design. I understand this choice is counter intuitive because popular products usually provide this functionality. However, I want people to reference content they were directly influenced by. Give this feature a try in your next post ✍





Searching your thought process

Once you pass the ~80 posts in your library threshold (as discovered by @cindy ), you may desire a way to search all the paragraphs and posts you have written.







This feature has helped me go through old knowledge easily. I felt it was a way I could rediscover my attempts to define terms and concepts. I also found myself feeling refreshed on ideas I use to believe, and I enjoyed the option to make revisions wherever I felt necessary. After shipping search, I wanted the posts in the library to feel simple and informative.





For users who don't spend all day on a machine, a human readable sentence can provide more clarity than symbols and adjectives. Let me know if you feel the same way! During a discussion, people may ask you for your references. They will want to know how you do your work (process) and how you formulated your beliefs. We are making the bet that a personal library that is easy for you to query will be essential for an in-depth conversation. Maybe we could take this further by providing a way to allow users to give consent for merging their libraries. What if it felt like merging minds? 🧠



Obvious bugs

In the past, our editor had buttons that did nothing. That had to change.





Now the bottom editor bar will:



  • Only show the user actions they are allowed to perform.

  • Share hints (like hotkeys) so a user can act faster and not have to switch to trackpad or mouse.

  • Be the location where users discover the functionality of the editor.



A lot of embarrassing issues were in production. But the good news is that a lot of bugs have been fixed since &alpha-update-028 was released. I no longer have to feel that awkward “you-know-some-big-things-are-broken” feeling when I give out access keys.

Please let me know if you find anything that bothers you!





Custom domains

I added a way for paying members to use custom domains:







Setup should only takes a few minutes. The amount of time may vary because the process involves a couple of round trips between you and your registrar. We will handle SSL certification for you. I am really excited people are using Reading Supply profiles to take the place of their personal website! Here is the first cohort:







What is next?

I will invest time improving the security and infrastructure. I am happy with the state of things, but I know there are some bad actors on the internet and you need to be prepared for everything.



In the near term, I have some brand and identity ideas I'd like to try out! Please don't hesitate to share your opinions. Help me imagine the digital version of the Library of Alexandria. The tree-explorer will be a fun feature to build. Users will be able to navigate all the connections between their posts, archives, discussions, and mentioned users. I think the ideal experience will be just as fun as the wikipedia game or any compelling text based adventure. I hope it becomes another reason why people hang out here. Thanks again for your time, it means the world 🌎.



Join us

Joining Reading Supply is free if you're willing to put in a little effort. All you have to do is ask a member of Reading Supply for an access key. If that feels like too much, you can direct message our Twitter account. Once you get an access key you will be able to create an account and give anyone free access too. But if you are feeling anti-social you can always visit the membership page and purchase a membership.





Hey! My name is Jim and I love to build websites. You can learn more about me here.

#1 haris (2)
Replies
➥   Rich Smith (rich) started this thread 2 years ago 1 response.

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Author: Haris
2 years ago 6-19-2019

This vision will become clear once I deploy the tree-explorer, a way to navigate the connections made on Reading Supply.

This sounds amazing! Made me think of Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu

From: Jim
2 years ago 6-19-2019

Thats a lit reference! The tree-explorer is kind of a misleading name. The folks at are.na did a really good job with this project: http://pilgrim.are.na/. I think of that project as a more “canon” tree-explorer. Where the nodes and leafs feel just like the tree-like data structures you see in your programming books. I want to create this experience where: + You feel like you went into the layer underneath the web browser. + You're using arrow keys to explore, just like you would in your favorite games. + The nodes feel like they occupy real space. + You can save your journeys and share them with other people. Single player to start, but multiplayer could be really fun. + You can refresh old nodes and see if new connections were made. We will see how it goes :-)

From: Haris
2 years ago 6-20-2019

Oh wow, hadn't seen pilgrim before. Very cool

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