Yesterday’s column explained why Plurk is useful for intelligent discussions and picked out a few of the main reasons. Just to recommend another angle, think of the way forum threads tend to work. Again, they are presented by subject, and all the responses to a specific subject are presented in order underneath subject header. There is a reason for that. It works.
App,net (ADN) is faster-moving than a forum and has a slightly different default format than Plurk. It is my belief that it may be desirable for some ADN users to have a user interface that is more conversational in orientation than the usual Twitter-centric arrangement. In addition, there are ways in which an ADN conversational interface could blow by the forum and Plurk UIs.
Most of my App.net experience is with Kiwi and Netbot, both of which I like very much. That basic UI form would be fine with me as a place to start. I would add the Plurk/Forum method of displaying conversations, of course, and there are probably a number of improvements that could be added, some of which have already been prototyped on App.net, such as those that @duerig has pointed me to.
Just as examples, once inside a conversation and with a response selected, the right and left arrows or swipes could take you to the responders stream. The opposite action or key would bring you back to the conversation. An input box could be used to filter conversations so that only those with certain hashtags or responders would be displayed, and to explore for conversation you would like to join.
I suppose that’s enough of a solo exposition. My immediate goal would be to assemble a small team of App.net folks who want work on a project to produce a conversation-centric app, starting with exercising our brains to find ideas better than those I have let dribble out of my brain, then coming up with a plan to proceed with the final design, production and testing of the app.
If you have any interest in participating, PM me. Thanks!