Ok, so here’s a situation I ran into, and thought of a solution for, but I’m not a programmer, so I don’t know if this is possible.

I live in Cleveland. Last I checked, we have a population of 300,00ish people. Might be closer to 350,000. Not the point.

As it stands, in general I’d say roughly 10% of general society uses reddit. Using rough numbers, that would mean 30,000ish people. I just checked, and /r/Cleveland has 151,000 subscribers, but only 58 users on the site at the moment I checked. That tells me there’s a lot of people subscribed to /r/Cleveland who no longer live in Cleveland.

I refuse to believe that of roughly 300,000 people, half are on /r/Cleveland. Especially if only 58 are online. So, maybe a lot of bots.

That being said Lemmy has probably less than 1% of society. And Cleveland has a finite number of potential users.

So when I look for the Cleveland sublemmy, I find three of them. Two I could join right away, the third is still pending because it seems the mod is the only user, and he hasn’t been active in months.

Point is, this city, even if there was only one Cleveland sub would still have a very small userbase. Now we’re dividing it among multiple communities all serving the same purpose. There’s only so much that happens in Cleveland. The majority of the reddit posts are “where should I eat? What should I do when I visit? Why do you guys have billboards of just eyes?”

There is NOT a lot going on here. And if we split these users up multiple times, you’ll have what we have now. Multiple dead communities, with a split userbase. So logically the first idea is “Well you only need one Cleveland community. The other one should close.” But that flies against the very foundation of what this place is built on.

So how do you integrate both communities userbases as one, without merging the subs? And that’s when it hit me.


User groups, and sub groups. Lets start with sub groups.

So lets say I’m the head of Cleveland@instance1 and Fred runs Cleveland@instance2. We both see the userbase problem. So I send Fred a message, and ask if he wants to group up. He says yes. Now we’re grouped up. So what does that mean? It means that Joe, a Cleveland resident, could subscribe to Cleveland@instance2. It would then have some checkboxes that say “group Cleveland@instance1 and Cleveland@instance2?”

And for every checkbox you leave ticked, you’ll group those subs together. If you don’t want to group them, uncheck the boxes of the ones you don’t want to group.

So now Joe is subscribed to Cleveland@instance2. But because he’s grouped my Cleveland@instance one, everytime he posts, the comments and the up/downvotes for his comment will now be grouped together. So when he makes that post on Cleveland@instance2 it will show up on Cleveland@instance1 too. Anything in that post is technically being posted to Cleveland@instance2

So if you ARE subscribed to Cleveland@instance1 but NOT subscribed to Cleveland@instance2, then you wouldn’t even see the post in Cleveland@instance1. You’re only seeing it, and able to interact with it from Cleveland@instance1 because they’re both officially grouped, and you agreed to the grouping on your end when you subscribed.

You could, in theory reject the grouping when you subscribe, and then subscribe to the second one seperately. Which would keep everything seperate and as it is now. I don’t know who would want to do that, but it would be possible.

Now, for the user groups.

Pretty much the same concept, but on an individual basis. So, lets say I subscribe to videogames@instance and I also subscribe to gamers@instance. Those communities have NOT grouped for whatever reason, so YOU group them for yourself.

So now when you post, you’ll post once, and it will post your new post once in videogames@instance and once in gamers@instance.

So now you posted two seperate posts, but because you grouped them on an individual basis, you’ll see all the upvotes and replies in one post in your inbox on your end. In reality there are two seperate posts, but your interaction with it feels as one.