How the DeSo NoCode Institute Has Developed Social Topic Pages

BY Dennis Lewis  |  February 9, 2022

Although very powerful, the basic on-chain functionality of the DeSo platform does not provide a way to filter posts by topic. For example, there is no easy way to present a page about golden retrievers or the Dallas Cowboys. The DeSo NoCode Institute has solved this problem with its new Social Topic Pages.

Most Deso nodes currently rely on a global social feed. This system allows users to see posts from all over the blockchain, but it can be difficult to find specific information. In addition to this twitter-style "firehose" feed, most nodes also offer "follow feeds" where users can only see the posts made by the people they follow. And finally, they offer "hot" feeds that use an algorithm to select the "most popular" or engaging posts.

None of these methods, however, allow users to participate in topic-oriented conversations. For example, it is not possible to see all the posts about Justin Bieber in one place or to follow a feed of only Spanish soccer news. Social Topic Pages solve this problem by allowing users to create pages about specific topics and then aggregating all the related posts into a single location.

The reason this is difficult is that there is no native way to tag posts on the blockchain. Although each post does contain an "extra-data" field, it has not been given any specific functionality other than data storage. In fact, the blockchain does not even have a way to tag which node or site created each post.

In our opinion, the reason behind this is simple. While this may seem like a no-brainer to developers accustomed to building applications on a centralized database, maintaining indicies for posts based on multiple tags across an entire decentralized blockchain is not easy. It would require a lot of extra data and processing, which could slow down the network.

The DeSo NoCode Institute has solved this problem by developing an innovative new system that uses "fingerprints" to identify posts on the blockchain. Each post created through one of our apps is given a unique fingerprint based on the application used to create it, its content, and metadata which is stored inside the application's centralized Bubble database. This fingerprint data is also stored inside the "extra-data" field on the blockchain.

We believe that our hybrid on-chain, off-chain solution provides the best solution for a problem that definitely needed solving. It allows app developers to create topic-based pages, which are visible to DeSo users who want to see them while every post is still visible on the blockchain on any other DeSo node.

While our topic pages only show posts that were created through the page, comments can come from any node and are visible. Because comments are indexed on the chain through the “parent post” we are able to pull comments from any node into the topic page conversation. This works because all our posts are made using standard DeSo post transactions, so they show up on all DeSo nodes. This foments cross-application social engagement while keeping the conversation "on topic".

All other social functionality is similar to any other DeSo node. Users can like, follow, send diamonds, repost through our topic pages, just like on any other node.

Optionally, application developers can also automatically add a suffix to the bottom of all posts with a link back to the application. This helps applications built with our technology gain traction as other DeSo display their posts.

We believe that topic pages are an essential function that DeSo needs to succeed. They allow users to participate in a topic-based conversation while still being able to interact with their entire DeSo community. This allows people who share a common interest find a place to congregate and create community without having to navigate a never-ending stream of off-topic posts.

Interested in deploying a DeSo application that uses topic pages?

Click here to learn more about the DeSo NoCode Institute's technology.

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