One frustration I come across regularly in various digital communications channels (Facebook Messenger, SMS, etc.) occurs when I end up discussing something with one person or a smaller group and want to share it with more people. Sometimes this is something simple and obvious, like the beginning of travel plans that expand to include more people, and in those cases a reasonable current approach is just to create a new group message (with varying degrees of ease depending on what messaging tool you’re using). None that I’m aware of let you easily include existing messages into the new topic for context (let me know if you know of one that does), but it’s easy enough to summarize in a new message to start the group thread. Adding new people after that can be a challenge in some cases, mainly the very limited, cross-platform SMS protocol, but other than that it’s mostly a solved problem.
But there are other frequent scenarios where, for example, I end up talking about my experiences with a product or place, or making a recommendation to someone that others might benefit from. Arguably these are just my personal thoughts and so I should feel free to share them more widely without getting the other person’s permission. But obviously that misses any value they may have contributed to the conversation, and perhaps more critically it misses any further conversation that might occur on that topic as time goes on.
What if we could easily opt to move a selection of messages of our choosing into some more public sphere, whether a still-limited group of people, or even an entirely public post?
I won’t spend too much time on this since it’s not really specific to this general idea, but obviously the limitations of interaction between various direct messaging platforms and protocols figure heavily into the challenges here. I hope those problems get solved over time, and I’m most interested in focusing here on how to navigate the remaining issues around privacy, UI/UX, etc.