Tags (categories) and VF objects as Actor types?
This is driven by the effort to create a working prototype for offers and requests on top of CommonsPub, for the HUMANs group organizing around COVID19. As such, we are balancing long term "correctness" and getting something workable out there in a short-medium term. This issue is to have some discussion up front, not going too crazy.
@mayel is thinking about tags as a new Actor type, to take advantage of actor behavior such as inbox/outbox, followers collections, etc.
Observations and initial thoughts, for further discussion:
- I tried it in Mastodon, looks like I can pull back all posts for a #hashtag, presumably within the federated instances that (in this case) social.coop can reach - it was reasonably fast. I didn't see that I could follow the hashtag so that I would automatically get posts tagging it.
- In SSB, you can follow a #hashtag. Not sure what happens under the covers.
- The definition of an Actor in ActivityStreams is: "Actor objects are specializations of the base Object type that represent entities capable of carrying out an Activity." Hashtags are not really that, unless they are some kind of affinity group that wants to discuss a topic, perhaps. Some percentage of them might be that. But really they are classifications to organize information for people.
- In VF, most taxonomies will be used for resource classifications, referenced by things having to do with resources. They will be used partly for definition, but mostly for filtering.
- In CommonsPub we will want to be able to chat about various VF objects - Processes, EconomicEvents, Commitments, Proposals, EconomicResources, etc. - we won't know if it will be a handful or pretty much everything until we work with some quantity of users. But we do know from experience that it will at least be things people need to talk about to coordinate their work. So, there will be lots of things that will need this kind of functionality besides hashtags coming up. It would be great if we have time to think about this enough to plan how to handle this kind of requirement, where these things are also not conceptually Actor types.
A question: Do we know hashtags are a priority feature for offers/requests? Note VF will already have resource classifications as part of an offer or request, which would reference some taxonomy item.
And, should discussion/chat (Notes for now?) about an offer or a request be part of this effort? Would be nice I think. Maybe that could just be a series of Reply activities so they would be associated so we don't have to consider followers and inboxes/outboxes? And something like a Process could by default boost any related activities that come through to everyone involved in the process?