Collections / DIGEST feature

I’m a G+ refugee, and this suggestion comes from my extensive use of the COLLECTIONS feature on that platform. Now, I don’t want Diaspora to be a G+ look-alike, but I can see an advantage in adding it in Diaspora.

Diaspora has ASPECTS, which is handy in creating a specific audience based on a list that the user creates. The only problem with that is that you may not know at first what another user is interested in. Suppose say that one of your aspects is Whovian Stuff and you post about the TV show Doctor Who in that aspect. But you might not know who’s into that and who isn’t, and unless you specifically add someone to an aspect they won’t see those posts. That could be a good thing for them if they’re not into Doctor Who and don’t want to see a plethora of posts in their feed. But either way they won’t know about those unless you add them on the list.

The COLLECTION feature in G+ works in reverse. You create a collection and give it a name, a cover image, and a short description of what it’s about. You also decide if it’s automatically subscribed by someone who reads your posts in their feed, or one that someone has to subscribe to first, before seeing any posts in that collection.

Other users have a couple of options they can do: subscribe or unsubscribe from a Collection. Suppose someone in your feed creates an automatically subscribed Collection called BIG PHOTOS OF SPIDERS and you’re an arachnophobe - you can simply unsubscribe from that collection and never see it ever again. But likewise someone might create a DOCTOR WHO collection is not initially subscribed to. You discover it by searching the list of collections and subscribe to it. You’ll then see that collection in your feed, even you don’t usually see owner’s posts in your feed (and you can always unsubscribe later). What this system does, is allow a user to post to a topic, or a range of topics, in one group, so that those that are interested see those posts, and those don’t, won’t.

Of course a user in Diaspora could use a #tag, but the post is still going to be in an aspect which will additionally affect who sees it and who doesn’t.

Perhaps a Diaspora version of this would be a DIGEST. A Digest would act like a relay for a users posts without the reader having to subscribe to all of the posting user’s posts. A DIGEST would be set up with a Name, short description, and a list of tags reflecting what its about (and maybe an image, but that’s not essential. Any user could search the list of Digests by digest name, description, or tag. A user would click on a Digest entry in the list and see the digest posts, and/or subscribe/unsubscribe to it.

Just an idea. I expect this to be shot down for reasons that either something similar already exists, or other reasons that as a newbie here, I’m unaware of.

I’ve never really used G+ so I’m trying to wrap my brain around this feature a bit better. Does this show up like a Facebook Group type thing where people can publish to the wall of the page and/or the media galleries of the page? Or is it more like a gallery on the user’s profile which is searchable in this particular way and when they post they decide to add it to their wall and the gallery at the same time? Or is it more like a Facebook Page with only one contributor where the user explicitly posts to that instead of their own profile and users can decide to follow that page if they want that?

On the subscription side, is subscribing to a collection the same as subscribing to any old user or is there something different about it? Is it just that you search collections specifically when you do your search and the rest of it is just like a workflow for a user?

More like a Facebook page if you’re using that analogy. The subscribing and unsubscribing could work the same as a user. The difference is that you only see the posts in the collection, and not ALL the posts from the user that posts to it (unless you’re already subscribed to them).

In Google Collections there’s only one poster in a collection, but maybe that restriction need not apply here in Diaspora . After all, a Digest in the sense I’ve described is really a focus of the material posted. People would subscribe to it to get a certain type of content. Perhaps there could be more than one poster (handled by a list), and maybe ownership of a Digest could be extended or transferred? That means you could have the equivalent of a group if there are multiple owners and/or allowed posters.

A general search might have a prefix like #Digest or #PDigest… For example #PDigest#Trek (or #PDigest #Trek)would find all Digests that had #Trek in its tags.

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Iam also a big fan and user of the collections feature in G+

As I subscribe to a User, I can decide to only subscribe to specific collections of them, instead of all their posts.

As someone who posts mostly public, and over very different topics, it allows me to put all my IT related posts into one collection. So People who are only interested in my IT stuff, can follow this collection instead of following my whole account which also Posts(re-shares) a lot of Nintendo, Science, and obviously Cat pictures.

Maybe the best analogy would be, this is following only a subset of an account, instead of the whole one. But there is no feature at facebook side which is really comparable to this.

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Wish for exact same thing. Posted and suggested how it could be achieved on GitHub. AFAIK there’s no social network other than G+ that has anything similar to Collections. And it’s my most used feature (except for posting itself :)) in my social networking life :slight_smile:

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I think a union of specific aspects and specific tags would allow the flexibility of building exactly the stream(s) someone would want. Along with setting their default “union”.

So I could create an aspect with scientists in it (and perhaps a separate aspect with mathematicians), select those aspects along with the tags “#science #math” to get a stream of scientists/mathematicians I trust posting on science topics.

My immediate thought to this was that hashtags already exist which pretty much do this function. In fact, in Diaspora, we can actually follow specific hashtags.

Perhaps devs might take this consideration into effect which might actually solve your request at the same time as well as potentially clean up the stream a bit too.

Give the option to have a hashtag you’re following posted in your Stream, or not. i.e. If you don’t want a specific hashtag in your stream, you can just check “no” and all posts with that hashtag will not be displayed in your stream; however, if you go to your ‘followed tags’, you can click on your tag and view all posts with that specific hashtag.

Would that sum up and be a good enough solution to what you’re requesting? From reading on your post, the best course for developers is to utilize a system they already have in place that can be easily changed or added on to. This method might actually be simpler for developers while also enabling you to do what you’re requesting.

I would go a bit further and just add a list of tags as a property of an aspect. Which positively identify the tags that are active for that aspect.

That way you could, for example, construct a stream with science posts from scientists, political posts from pundits, and recipes from cooks. And you wouldn’t get political posts from scientists or cooks.

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So like, Parent Tags? A tag of tags? :smiley:

Just that the definition of an Aspect includes selected tags or not restrict by tag if the list is empty.

As I’ve said elsewhere, this ‘collections’ suggestion is a sub-set of tag filtering, which is something that has been discussed before and which would be really useful in d*. There’s an earlier discussion here.

Being able to filter in various ways, for instance:

tagA AND tagB
tagA NOT tagB
tag from certain user(s)
tag excluding certain user(s)


You could have a dedicated stream for saved searches, and the stream for ‘tag from certain user’ could act as your ‘collection’ for that person, if I understand the G+ implementation of collections correctly.


I can go with this, very good suggestion goob. If you’d be able to create a decent tag filter like that and then save it with a name, that’d be nice to have listed on your stream sidebar.

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goob, I would change user(s) to aspect(s)

I see. And an aspect could contain only one user, if you wanted a tag filter to apply to on user. That makes sense and would be more flexible.


I am a G+ refugee newly signed up to Pluspora. I’m climbing the learning curve and I’m also finding a little lost without Collections (and Communities/Groups) as in the past I have attained followers in different Collections as they are interest/topic based. For expample, I have one dedicated to Hiking and touring around BC and another dedicated to Travel in Cuba They are two distinct audiences.

I see where you are going, but the point of Collections is that viewers subscribe to them, the owner doesn’t choose who sees the content. Tagging (in G+) is just a way to bring more people into your virtual gallery versus the Instagram model of loading up the maximum tags to grab as many viewers as possible for that one post,

Ya…I’m going to have to go with the hashtag option as a no-go. This relies on us posters remembering to not only put hashtags, but also remember which ones we used.

And no, Aspects don’t work at all. Because I need only certain posts to go to certain Aspects. So, guess what I (apparently) have to do. I need to go and add EACH PERSON to an Aspect. But …they can’t put me into an Aspect because if they uncheck it; all of my posts disappear.

For as long as this link works:

You notice that some of my posts are to a specific place (the rest are “> Public”). Well, anyone that isn’t subscribed to that collection won’t see my post. However, by default, all my Collections are Public. This way anyone can stumble upon them and if they like it, they’re done. If they don’t, they can choose to unsubscribe from it.