I suggest that we have features to organize both the list of all communities and a given community’s threads.
To that end, we could support categories/lists and tags.
First, we would be able to create lists of communities, lists of lists, and also subcommunities & sublists of subcommunities in a given community.
We’d also be able to create our own personal lists, and to share them with other users.
All these entities would behave like regular communities: users would be able to subscribe to any one of them ([sub]community, [sub]list, …) at any level.
They would actually all be the expression of the same one generic functionality. (They are of the same nature regardless of our mental representation. A regular community would just be the special case where there is only one community in the list, and there are no sublists.)
This feature would therefore blur the line between a community (subreddit-like) and a list of communities (multireddit-like).
We’d then be able to browse any of those entities like we do a community.
Aether would for instance display, when browsing a given entity, its sublists, its subcommunities, and its sublists’ communities (in a navigation menu), as well as the threads belonging to all those communities (in the main pane), like with a regular community.
Please check out r/HistoryNetwork’s list of history subreddits and r/ImaginaryNetwork’s list of art subreddits to see why this feature would be useful and how it could be used in practice.
The fact that such networks of subreddits have emerged on reddit shows that there is a real need for such a feature.
Second, we would also be able to tag any community or thread (to search them by tag).
Those tags and sublists would allow users to display content belonging to a certain sublist or tagged with a certain tag (like flairs on reddit) and filter out the rest.
For example, a b/gaming community could tag news articles with a “news” tag, or post them directly to a b/GamingNews sublist (or b/gaming.news to highlight the hierarchy of categories, like on Tildes).
It seems to me that there is some similarity between the tag and list features. I am not sure if both should be implemented or not. They seem interchangeable in the last example, but not always do. For instance, it doesn’t seem sensible to me that the tags used on r/IamA should be replaced by dedicated communities.
What do you think of these features?