This is a test Branch to see how it works, embed options etc.
This was the functionality of Google Wave that I really liked, being able to see how conversations developed....
The question for me is what is the purpose? The impression I got from one of the branch developer branches was that the aim, or one at least, is to build functionality that encourages participation. They are trying to break the 80/19/1 rule of thumb. I'm sceptical on that as I think that's more about people than it is about the interface.
Also, I'm thinking that at the moment where the site is predominantly just a collection of random topics it feels a bit weird. I'm wondering whether it will become more something that gets embedded or linked to from other more specific sites. Or perhaps grows to have more categorisation, and specific interest groups, within itself.
Reading your post Sean just gave me the thought that maybe people will choose to take conversations off of Twitter and over to Branch? They'll then be able to embed the whole conversation into a blog or somewhere... similar to what people are doing with Storify but removing the step of having to deal with each tweet/ post separately.
Funny you should mention embedding, I popped this Branch out onto my blog ashinyworld.blogspot.co.uk and all the content is appearing there as fast as it appears here.
Which essentially then reveals Branch for perhaps what it is, which is a webpage holder for things which happen elsewhere branded with the Branch brand. So the name of your tool is all over the place, curating thousands of discussions but no one actually comes to branch.com ever. It would explain the er...less than helpful front page , shall we say.
2/2 cos I hit the character limit which is annoying
Agree on he 80/19/1 side as well. Was talking to someone managing a 3/4 million hit forum yesterday who said 100 in every 500 posted something. People lurk. And a lot of the reason people lurk is, I think, simply because they don't have the time to do anything else, even if they have the inclination.
Course, all our warnings when we try and teach people how to conduct themselves on the web so they don't get flamed or trolled probably don't help. It's still a little too wild west in places (Guardian Comment is Free section for example) even for my tastes.
I'm just thinking about the two main different types of branches you might have (1) Post a question or thought and wait for replied (2) Start a discussion that you have advertised or already gathered momentum elsewhere so you know you'll have people taking part. I wouldn't use this for (1), I'd much rather just post my Q on Twitter, but I might seriously consider (2) for advertised discussions etc.
Hehe, who needs comment systems on blogs anymore ;)
The use case I was thinking of was posting a link to something like a BBC news article on Twitter, but hooked into a branch somehow so you and your friends could easily talk about it.
For more public stuff I'm assuming at some point it might be possible to create an open branch rather than require invites/joins as that feels like a blocker to open and dynamic conversation.
Very true. Depends on whether you want to only talk to the people you know, or whether you want to embrace the magic of Twitter and simply invite everyone and see what happens. So there are two sub options of Louise's (2) above.
Invite specific ppl and keep it on topic and essentially closed. Or invite everyone like I did with this one, see who turns up and trust in community. :O)
It's an interesting alternative to big conversations which involve spending 140 characters on the 10 people you're replying all to. Also, it could be good way of getting around having to use twitlonger type serivces.
It depends how it gets used and who uses it. But so far a :) from me.
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch