Sam Hames

Now with RSS!

Linear feeds are a dark pattern

An alternative approach to rendering per account timelines for Mastodon, so instead of a chronological scroll of everything, you can see who is actually active. This overcomes one of the disadvantages of linear feeds, where you're just more likely to see posts from people who already post a lot - you're also likely to miss people who aren't active while you're not around (ie, because you're sleeping).

Sadly, I quickly ran into limitations of the Mastodon API. It very obviously wasn’t designed for anything but a linear feed.

This specific note about API limitations speaks to the importance of affordances and how they shape technology - in this case the lack of necessary functionality to look at anything other than the timeline causes problems.


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