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Minds Updates, April '19

MindsApr 15, 2019, 7:47:18 PM

Dear Minds,

We are stoked to announce a bunch of new tools that provide you with more control over your feeds and improve your experience on Minds! These upgrades are all direct responses to feedback from our community, and we are continuing to provide more tools for you to contribute.

All of the new features have been tested thoroughly in Minds Canary for the past several weeks by our staff and community, and we feel confident that they are going to make a big impact. If you don’t know what Canary is, check out our most recent blog about it!

Search/Discovery

We have made significant upgrades to our search and discovery systems so that you can find content relevant to you, more quickly. This was a significant undertaking as it required a full migration of all of our content feeds into ElasticSearch, but as a result you now have much more control over the content you see in your feed.

Here are some of the key changes:

- Modified navigation to unify all feeds

- Added powerful filtering tools to control the content, channels and groups in your feed

- More consistent layout across web and mobile app

- Merged search results page with feed layout for consistency

Filtering Tools

When you click on Discovery, you will notice a toolbar directly above the content feed with a number of filtering options.

There are three main ways to filter your feed, and they can all work together simultaneously for more granular control. Currently, these filters only apply to your discovery feed, but we plan to also incorporate these filters into your channel, group and subscribed feeds in the future.

1) Content Type

Similarly to how our top bar navigation previously worked, you have the ability to filter your feed based on content type. The content types supported by Minds are statuses, videos, images, blogs, channels and groups.

2) Algorithm Type

You may now also change the algorithm used to rank the content in your feed.

Here are the current options you can choose from:

- Top is determined by reading (up votes / total votes) with a confidence score to prioritise posts with more total votes, and we now provide you with the ability to change the time parameters (12h, 24h, 7d, 30d, 1y). **Here is the code for the Top algorithm**

- Hot is determined by reading (up votes - downvotes) - age of post. This feed is designed to highlight content that is receiving a lot of interaction in a short amount of time. **Here is the code for the Hot algorithm**

- Latest is simply a chronological feed of the most recent content posted.

The addition of these feeds will provide channels with a much higher likelihood of being discovered without needing a large following or tokens for Boost. It will also ensure that the Top feeds remain dynamic and constantly reflect the best content on the platform.

We recommend checking out the Latest and Hot feeds to find the newest content and vote it to the top!

3) Keywords & Hashtags

Lastly, you can filter your feed based on keywords or hashtags. You can use either Search or our new Hashtag navigation to quickly build a feed based on keywords.

With the new Hashtag navigation, you can:

- Create a “Preferred” feed of your favorite hashtags (turn on "Preferred")

- Quickly view content for a single hashtag (use the eye icon)

- View an unfiltered feed (turn off "Preferred")

- View trending or suggested hashtags

All of these tools, together, provide you with a tremendous amount of control over your feed. Our goal is to provide as many tools as our infrastructure can handle so that you can be the one determining what you are seeing... not us!

Help Desk

We are releasing a new support tool called the Minds Help Desk, located in the settings drop-down. The current Help & Support group will remain in place as an alternative option for users who cannot find the information they need.

Here is what the Help Desk provides:

- Fully searchable Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section

- Report a bug directly to Gitlab (our development environment)

- Popular support questions from the community

- Related legacy posts from the community Help & Support group

Suggested Channels

There is a new panel in the right side of the newsfeed for suggested channels to subscribe to (currently web app only). This tool is enormously helpful in discovering interesting channels. The suggestions are based on the channels that your subscriptions are subscribing to the most.

**Here is the code determining how the suggestions are determined**

Notices

Finally, we are adding a “Notices” panel to the right side of the newsfeed, as has been highly requested (currently web app only).

This panel will be used for our team to more effectively communicate updates, outages or anything else of significance. This is an important tool for transparency and to ensure that the community is being properly notified about important events. You can X out of this should you not wish to see it, but it will re-appear as new notices are posted.

Lots of improvements being made across the board, and many more to come!

Thank you for helping us build it!

The Minds Team


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