Could XF function as an exact clone of Reddit?

sixlxvi

Well-known member
Disclaimer: This idea is ridiculous and this thread is just for fun. But I would love to see this in action if anyone ever gets bored and knows how to modify some settings.

Not sure what made me start thinking about this. But here’s my hypothetical conceptual hypothesis:
  1. Fresh install of XF. No add-ons. No template edits (except for deleting some code)
  2. Node categories will not have numbered IDs so their names need to be unique (subreddits)
  3. Somehow, any user will have the ability to create a new node without being an administrator. I think this is the only part that can’t be done with a stock XF install (creating your own subreddit)
  4. The forum homepage is just a regular XF what’s new homepage that lists the trending threads (default reddit homepage)
  5. There is no normal forum index page. You won’t see a forum listing of thousands of nodes; only the default list or the ones you “watch”
  6. Default sorting of threads is by the amount of reactions the first post has (upvotes) and by default, viewing a node only shows threads from the last day (which can be switched to week, month, year, all)
  7. “Watching” a node = subscribing to a subreddit. Viewing your “watched” what’s new page = viewing your reddit homepage
  8. Most traditional forum settings are turned off/removed. No post count, no profile fields, no contact info, no avatar, no signature, no members list or who’s online list, etc.
  9. Private messages are unchanged, notifications are unchanged, creating a new thread is unchanged, etc.
This sounds easy to me, yeah? Just the part where anyone can create an entire node would be modifying default XF behavior. And if you can picture it the way I am, wouldn’t that essentially be a proper reddit clone but with the XF flavor to it?

Anything you would add or change? The idea is to use only default XF settings except for the categories.

Again, just for fun. Obviously there’d be no point in buying XF just to run a site like that.
 
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Russ

Well-known member
I have a fitness dev site I mess around with behind closed doors just for fun and was experimenting with various formats. I'm a big fan of Reddit but it's obviously an entirely different beast. Instead of node categories, I went with a single node and utilized prefixes. I bounce back and forth between nodes vs prefixes but right now it's using prefixes.

3.) A form of custom "subreddits" could be utilized with one of the groups add-ons but ideally, a custom add-on would be required.

This is my little forum home:
Screenshot_3.png

The default view is the "Newest" but you can easily sort between the most viewed/most replies/your threads using the buttons at the top. The prefixes or "topics" on my screenshot link to those specific threads with the prefix as well. You can click the grey topic name below the thread title to sort by that topic as well. I was eventually going to buy one of those screenshots thumbnails to replace the avatars but I just haven't decided on which one I like better.

My next approach will probably involve nodes and creating some sort of dropdown menu or a horizontal Reddit menu to display them, again all for fun :D. Extending the watch nodes would be a good idea to follow Reddit's approach.
 

arn

Well-known member
it's an interesting thought exercise

Few thoughts

- There is no concept of "trending" in Xenforo. I think this would end up being easier when 2.2 comes out and you could make all forums Suggestion threads with upvotes. You also need a time decay of some sort and prevent replies from bumping posts in forum views. Ranking would be based on some collection of votes.

- I explored some different forum homes... and thought about trying to do a similar follow-heavy New Posts. You can almost do a subscribe system for the New Posts. Except, the user flow just isn't there. You could have default forums, but there needs to be much less friction in "watch"ing a forum. You'd have to default "watch" new users to your default forums, and let them watch/unwatch. Ideally ,when you register, you would be able to pick forums you want to watch or not watch.

I have a fitness dev site I mess around with behind closed doors just for fun and was experimenting with various formats. I'm a big fan of Reddit but it's obviously an entirely different beast. Instead of node categories, I went with a single node and utilized prefixes. I bounce back and forth between nodes vs prefixes but right now it's using prefixes.

3.) A form of custom "subreddits" could be utilized with one of the groups add-ons but ideally, a custom add-on would be required.

This is my little forum home:
View attachment 230432

The default view is the "Newest" but you can easily sort between the most viewed/most replies/your threads using the buttons at the top. The prefixes or "topics" on my screenshot link to those specific threads with the prefix as well. You can click the grey topic name below the thread title to sort by that topic as well. I was eventually going to buy one of those screenshots thumbnails to replace the avatars but I just haven't decided on which one I like better.

My next approach will probably involve nodes and creating some sort of dropdown menu or a horizontal Reddit menu to display them, again all for fun :D. Extending the watch nodes would be a good idea to follow Reddit's approach.

I really like what you've done here. I've been exploring different forums homes too. The buttons at the top of the thread list is nice.

The main issue with going Prefixes is if people want to only see a subset of prefixes, there's no way to filter by more than one by default, right?
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
I have a fitness dev site I mess around with behind closed doors just for fun and was experimenting with various formats. I'm a big fan of Reddit but it's obviously an entirely different beast. Instead of node categories, I went with a single node and utilized prefixes. I bounce back and forth between nodes vs prefixes but right now it's using prefixes.

3.) A form of custom "subreddits" could be utilized with one of the groups add-ons but ideally, a custom add-on would be required.

This is my little forum home:
View attachment 230432

The default view is the "Newest" but you can easily sort between the most viewed/most replies/your threads using the buttons at the top. The prefixes or "topics" on my screenshot link to those specific threads with the prefix as well. You can click the grey topic name below the thread title to sort by that topic as well. I was eventually going to buy one of those screenshots thumbnails to replace the avatars but I just haven't decided on which one I like better.

My next approach will probably involve nodes and creating some sort of dropdown menu or a horizontal Reddit menu to display them, again all for fun :D. Extending the watch nodes would be a good idea to follow Reddit's approach.
This is a great start. Exactly what I was saying, too: Just an idea to mess with on a private dev site. Because XF is fun to play with.

I like Reddit for lurking. I don’t really post because the community there can be a nightmare, but also because I prefer the layout of traditional forums for actually engaging with people.

Also, I don’t know if going full Reddit with a XF forum would even work well for a smaller niche. Reddit is awesome because you get to see literally everything about anything from anywhere.

A fitness forum (I know yours is just for messing around) might work because fitness can be very broad. But a Toyota Tacoma forum probably doesn’t make sense. Why would users need to create hundreds of subreddits (nodes) for Toyota Tacomas?

So, yeah, as @arn is mentioning below, going full Reddit using XF is cool just to see how it can be done, but in practice, some type of middle ground might be the sweet spot. Probably in the form of a custom forum homepage to complement the traditional forum list page.

it's an interesting thought exercise

Few thoughts

- There is no concept of "trending" in Xenforo. I think this would end up being easier when 2.2 comes out and you could make all forums Suggestion threads with upvotes. You also need a time decay of some sort and prevent replies from bumping posts in forum views. Ranking would be based on some collection of votes.

- I explored some different forum homes... and thought about trying to do a similar follow-heavy New Posts. You can almost do a subscribe system for the New Posts. Except, the user flow just isn't there. You could have default forums, but there needs to be much less friction in "watch"ing a forum. You'd have to default "watch" new users to your default forums, and let them watch/unwatch. Ideally ,when you register, you would be able to pick forums you want to watch or not watch.



I really like what you've done here. I've been exploring different forums homes too. The buttons at the top of the thread list is nice.

The main issue with going Prefixes is if people want to only see a subset of prefixes, there's no way to filter by more than one by default, right?
I saw your forum homepage change and why you reverted it so fast. I agree with what you said and ended up bookmarking your forum listing to avoid it. I want to love it and want it to benefit my forum, but it’s just not... right. Although, I too am still interested in eventually implementing some type of engaging forum home.
 
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Andyforum

New member
This is a great start. Exactly what I was saying, too: Just an idea to mess with on a private dev site. Because XF is fun to play with.

I like Reddit for lurking. I don’t really post because the community there can be a nightmare, but also because I prefer the layout of traditional forums for actually engaging with people.

Also, I don’t know if going full Reddit with a XF forum would even work well for a smaller niche. Reddit is awesome because you get to see literally everything about anything from anywhere.

A fitness forum (I know yours is just for messing around) might work because fitness can be very broad. But a Toyota Tacoma forum probably doesn’t make sense. Why would users need to create hundreds of subreddits (nodes) for Toyota Tacomas?

So, yeah, as @arn is mentioning below, going full Reddit using XF is cool just to see how it can be done, but in practice, some type of middle ground might be the sweet spot. Probably in the form of a custom forum homepage to complement the traditional forum list page.


I saw your forum homepage change and why you reverted it so fast. I agree with what you said and ended up bookmarking your forum listing to avoid it. I want to love it and want it to benefit my forum, but it’s just not... right. Although, I too am still interested in eventually implementing some type of engaging forum home.
So, nothing happened from here....?!
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
There's nothing preventing a developer from modifying the code to allow an XF instance to work like that.

Obviously there’d be no point in buying XF just to run a site like that.
Well, not unless there was something in it for the site owner and members.
Some sort of reciprocal arrangement where all parties benefitted.

If only ...
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
I still regularly experiment with highly modifying XF to make websites that aren't forums. I want more than one website so one of my Frankenstein creations might end up going live eventually.

(If that's what you're asking, @Andyforum)
 

arn

Well-known member
I still regularly experiment with highly modifying XF to make websites that aren't forums. I want more than one website so one of my Frankenstein creations might end up going live eventually.

(If that's what you're asking, @Andyforum)

Would love to see it when it's public.

I forgot about this thread. I still find it interesting how to present Xenforo / traditional forums in a better way. Since I posted last here, I embraced a trending add-on to highlight threads on our front page. It's not perfect, but it provides casual visitors some dynamic content.

Themehouse's ACE add-on has a lot of good elements, but still misses the mark for me. It still feels bolted on, and not natural enough to work.
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
@arn I’m sure it would be a huge undertaking, but have you ever considered converting the MR front page to XF as well? Ideally it wouldn’t look different than it does now, to the user.
 

arn

Well-known member
@arn I’m sure it would be a huge undertaking, but have you ever considered converting the MR front page to XF as well? Ideally it wouldn’t look different than it does now, to the user.

Not sure I see much advantage of that. We are doing some light XF integration, but making it fully Xenforo would be a large undertaking and without much positives I could see.
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
Not sure I see much advantage of that. We are doing some light XF integration, but making it fully Xenforo would be a large undertaking and without much positives I could see.
Understandable. I do like how the front page UI is mostly consistent with the XF part. It looks like one CMS to people who don’t know that it isn’t, which is a good thing. A lot of big sites don’t seem to put the effort in for that.
 

Arnox

Active member
While I think the comment format of Reddit is definitely worth a look, and I do like the ability for users to make their own sub-forums, the voting system is, I think, complete and utter cancer. So if someone implemented that sans the voting system, I'd be kinda interested.
 

Frode789

Well-known member
I have a fitness dev site I mess around with behind closed doors just for fun and was experimenting with various formats. I'm a big fan of Reddit but it's obviously an entirely different beast. Instead of node categories, I went with a single node and utilized prefixes. I bounce back and forth between nodes vs prefixes but right now it's using prefixes.

3.) A form of custom "subreddits" could be utilized with one of the groups add-ons but ideally, a custom add-on would be required.

This is my little forum home:
View attachment 230432

The default view is the "Newest" but you can easily sort between the most viewed/most replies/your threads using the buttons at the top. The prefixes or "topics" on my screenshot link to those specific threads with the prefix as well. You can click the grey topic name below the thread title to sort by that topic as well. I was eventually going to buy one of those screenshots thumbnails to replace the avatars but I just haven't decided on which one I like better.

My next approach will probably involve nodes and creating some sort of dropdown menu or a horizontal Reddit menu to display them, again all for fun :D. Extending the watch nodes would be a good idea to follow Reddit's approach.

@Russ I would love to have seen an addon for sale based on this... ;)
 
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