14 thoughts
last posted Nov. 14, 2013, 5:51 p.m.
get stream as: markdown or atom


Hey, so I think this is a great idea. Micro-publishing that breaks the bounds of 140, and has lots of interesting new features around replying, quoting, etc.

The look (on desktop) is great. Random thoughts about things that could be improved...


Improve Latency

Initial page load latency is high -- maybe CDN issues? Looking at performance (In an Incognito window in Chrome) I'm seeing ~900ms to load 89.3kB from the first page load of thoughtstreams.io. That's pretty high, especially given that page is nearly constant, right?


Describe use cases for real users.

Make it more clear what the product is for. Make it more clear "how I'm going to use it" or even better: "How this is going to improve the way I X". Define X. Is this product a Vitamin or an Aspirin (http://joshlinkner.com/2012/aspirin-or-vitamins/)

Don't just showcase content on the home page, showcase use cases.


Focus on language/locale targeting

I keep getting Google Chrome offers to translate the homepage from Japanese (or any other language) depending on what the selected content there is. That's annoying (and just poorly machine translates some user content).

Would probably be better to auto-detect language (actually: country, I think) from the browser, and then only show "same language" content to users. Would help in adoption in foreign markets, and there seems to be some interesting traction in Japan.


Syndication and Import

Pull in my tweets into a custom stream (I can then annotate or expand upon) or auto-publish thoughts directly from thoughtstreams.io onto Twitter. Provide a nice link shortener. Truncate content when it won't fit in 140.

This will drive Twitter traffic onto your domain, and people may begin to see some utility.

Allow easy "re-tweeting" from the ThoughtStreams.io domain back to twitter for users who are not logged in.

You use case here is something like: Non-registered user sees tweet with ts.io short link, clicks through, sees more interesting content. Your priorities could be;

  1. Get this user to promote ThoughtStreams content to their audience.
  2. Capture them as an active user (make registration easy!)
  3. Get them to create content on TS.

Low Friction Signup

Make sign-up very easy with oauth via Twitter. Don't require it, just make it easy for those who prefer.

Improve messaging in the registration e-mails. They were a bit "sparse" to say the least. :) Include the beautiful look & feel in those e-mails too.


Content Formatting

Document "Markdown supported" and exactly what this means.

How do I (a new user) create great, compelling and interesting content?

I see other posts that have more interesting user references, cross-linking, etc. I'd like some hinting/prompting/help on how to do this.

Looks like some other users are using the TS API to pull in YouTube view streams, etc. and automatically create streams from them. This alone is an interesting use case.

Come up with a set of verbs that can be expressed in Markdown-like syntax, and implement those, in some kind of priority order. Reference other posts / content / users Watched A Video * Read a Web Page (integration with Pocket, etc.?)

Each of these could have some "verb" that could be used in formatting. Think about "@replies" and "#hashtags" where the @ and # don't need to just be one character anymore because you're not constrained to 140. "@reply(jtauber)" would be fine, as would "@tag(comments, django, python)"



I see where you're going with the semi-freemium model, but I think you'd be much better of just promoting it as a publishing platform and monetize later.

The initial sell of "3 streams for free" is hard to grok when I'm a new user and I don't know what a "stream" really is. What if it were 300?


Missing Features

Can I rename streams?


User Discovery

How easy/hard is it for new users to discover other new users? Is there a "following" model? Ideally, I think there would be a little more of a community focus. You don't need to shove followers down my throat (like pretty much every other social platform) but you can help me discover cool new content, which is what matters.



You need a really f#$king great mobile site. Current site works OK but needs a lot of TLC to be great. Faster load time would be a big improvement.


Better stream "card" previews?

Why do so many of the streams on https://thoughtstreams.io/jtauber/ show blank white previews? Is this what the "Lead Card" is?

I would think that there would be 2 interesting defaults for "Lead Card" behavior:

  • First post to a stream
  • Last post to a stream

Not sure the "no Lead Card" by default is good?


Whole stream edit?

Can I reorder posts to a stream? Or have a "single edit window" way to edit the whole stream as a single markdown document? I want to drag these cards up and down to reorder my thoughts.


Notification System

Is there a notification system? Do I get notified if someone "re-posts" one of my streams to their stream? How & where? Will I receive an e-mail when this happens?

This needs to be really, really clear for ThoughtStreams to work as a platform for conversations.