I also liked the idea of a mixed system so that the community doesn’t fracture into millions of subgroups early on. It could also help in curbing the number of groups people make in each city. “NZ Rideshare” isn’t really necessary if you can easily search for “rideshare” inside the NZ group. But that would be a really huge undertaking to achieve.
I have to say I haven’t used CS groups in a while so maybe this feature was already there or planned, but I think for more “general” interest groups it could be useful to have a geographic hierarchy (general/continental/national/regional/city) that the user can use to tag threads.
For example, let’s say there is a “boardgamers” group, probably people will join this group just to show interest in this particular topic, but browsing the threads in the group will be probably uninteresting because either too general (“what are your favorite games?” - assuming anyone is interested in discussing this on Couchers) or too location specific (“what are the best boardgames conventions in Germany?” and I’m Argentina). Or probably some threads that could be location-relevant to the reader will be from months back and will probably pass unnoticed.
So sometimes when browsing these “general” groups I felt like I needed to filter out thread not relevant to my location or that I was missing them because they were in some subgroup or local group.
If we could find a useful way to tag threads in a group to a location/region/country, the same thread about a boardgame event could appear in the Boardgame Berlin/Brandenburg/Germany group (which would then be created automatically - but that probably needs quite some maintenance to keep groups tidy?), thus making it easier for someone planning to travel to a specific location if there’s also something interesting nearby. Or maybe I’m backpacking through Germany or Europe and this information will not appear in either national groups or in local groups I’m not checking.
At the same time, the post could maybe also appear in the Berlin Group with the tag “boardgames” so people that are not super into boardgames but could be interested would see it as well?
And also the other way around, if I ask in the Berlin group something related to boardgames, make it appear in the Europe/Germany/Brandenburg/Berlin Boardgames Group.
Or maybe make it optional to cross-post. What’s important in the end is to deliver topics to readers both based on location or interest. This would probably make groups quite “liquid” and a bit high maintenance tho. Upside is that you could populate quickly different groups with content and stimulate users to keep expanding them.
Could we accomplish the same thing with tags within our profile? For example, if you’re interested in backpacking, you could click on the backpacking tag and either search for people who are into backpacking or find a backpacking forum.
I also like this idea a lot @Jesse. I think as long as you leave some free text area for people to talk about themselves and if they understand why it’s useful to fill in tags, they won’t feel like Couchers is trying to overprofile them.
To do this anyway you would need a preset of interests to connect profiles to groups and to tag threads with interests, and allow submissions of interests to add. I find it fascinating but I don’t know how much work would it take to find the right balance between tagging and letting users free to add their most obscure interest. Just an idea