I’m running on a personal lemmy instance, and I’ve been able to simply re-subscribe to the communities that I was subscribed to on my previous lemmy.ml account.
But what if I didn’t have that? How would I discover those communities?
On the micro blogging fediverse, I can use relays, follow other peoples boosts, or join gup.pe groups etc for content discovery and to give me federated content in general on which to do content discovery.
What does that look like in the lemmyverse niche of the fediverse? How does a small single person instance find new content? How do they get richer content search options etc? Right now, I’m just using search on lemmy.ml for that, but that’s a work around, not a solution
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Federated communities do show up both on the search page, and the communities page.
But looking from Ada’s instance: https://lemmy.blahaj.zone/communities/listing_type/All/page/1
You don’t see all lemmy.ml communities. Unless this is a case of “federation takes some time” (might be, I’m not very familiar with the inner workings) it seems that the only communities known to lemmy.blahaj.zone are those that have been searched for.
Yep that’s correct, instances don’t automatically connect to all communities. Someone from that instance has to subscribe to it first, for that instance to start getting updates.
Right, but that’s the very problem I’m trying to solve! On a tiny instance, most of the communities I’m interested in on other instances won’t have anyone subscribed from my instance. It will be me being the first to subscribe. So I’m trying to find a way of finding them when no one else follows them yet :)
NRSK uses an admin-run “Fetcher” account to subscribe to various extenal communities and pull interesting content to our home “All” timeline. It’s a combination between browsing through communities on known and/or federated instances, and using join-lemmy.org to find new and unconnected instances. It’s all manually, which is a bummer but better than basically only local content for fresh users.
It would be pretty easy to write a bot which does this automatically. Problem is that you could easily end up with a lot of spam or other unwanted content.
Pulling all communities would definitively lead to unwanted content.
Since it’s basically a work-around for the local only (incl. already pulled communities) search, more ideal solutions could be:
Having some way to discover unfetched content (even if only from already federated instances) would be a significant addition to Lemmy!
Are you talking pulling in posts from all of the groups on remote servers or just a list of groups? My thought was I just want group names to appear in my list when I search for them. I don’t care so much if the content doesn’t come through right away, as long as I can find the right group.
Just the overview, similar to local search. Titles, usernames, perhaps thumbnails and text excerpts of posts.
How would you feel about bundling this type of automatic discovery into lemmy, as an optional server setting (default off)?
It’d be one of the periodic maintenance jobs we already have in there.
Not so good, because this would require a lot of customization options to fetch communities according to different criteria. I think this makes much more sense as an external tool, then it can have a config file or be forked for different behaviour.
What about a public API-endpoint listing an instance’s communities, e.g. with the data already provided in the community sidebar?
That already exists, there’s a dedicated getcommunities endpoint… and a search that can search for communities.
I’d love to see it. All it needs to do is explore the list of groups available on the servers we federate with. It doesn’t need to be universal search, it can grow organically.
That’s an interesting idea! Not so relevant for my particular circumstances, but it’s a good idea if we ever do start to get more users in!