Minds.com is quite a change from Newsvine. In some ways, it is exciting in that minds.com is an evolving technology and company. It offers new features, provides the equivalent of friends, provides monetization, security and offers a world of content (articles and seeds) that far surpasses what we had on Newsvine. But there are clear drawbacks. The tracker functionality is linear (not structured to allow a user to easily detect relevant activity) and currently it is surprisingly difficult to find discussions or debates. It is as if people are too busy generating content (seeding, articles) to comment on same. Hopefully, we viners can make a difference in that regard.
Note that Minds has a left menu and a top menu. I will refer to the browser format in this document but Minds also has rather good apps for smart devices and the apps, of course, have a slightly different format.
The Left menu changes based upon selection, but it initially shows:
The top menu has a Search bar, Bell (notifications), Points count, Avatar and a triple dot showing additional menu options of Settings and Logout. You should also see a Messenger bar at the lower right. Search bar finds content containing your search words. To find content tagged with ‘#religion’ or containing ‘religion’ in the content, search for ‘religion’. The Points count shows one’s current wealth. In Minds, one can use Points for various reasons – the most obvious of which is to pay to Boost one’s content for broader exposure. (This is a rich area to explore.) Clicking the Avatar goes to your Channel (Newsvine column).
The Messenger is a useful little item that allows two individuals to communicate with each other in private.
Given that basic lay of the land, let's deal with the new terminology. The following uses the format of 'Newsvine term' = 'Minds term'. For example, Article = Blog. The descriptions will use title case for the Minds terms.
Column = Channel
Each user on Minds has a Channel that contains the user's content. This is the equivalent of the Newsvine column.
Article = Blog
To write an article on Minds one creates a new Blog. The Blog will automatically appear on your Channel. Each Blog can contain comments that are moderated by the author.
Nation = Group
One can Subscribe to (become a member of) any number of Groups. (No 15 nation limit here.) One can also create new Groups. Each Group is a collection of members, content (e.g. Blogs) and comments.
Tracker = Notifications
The Bell icon holds Notifications of relevant activity. Click on the Bell and you will get a list of Notifications that include others responding to your comments, subscribing to content, votes, etc. You can easily filter this and, for example, see only comments. This is not nicely structured like Newsvine, but it is functional.
Note: I have yet to see any social network site that offers anything near the functionality of the Newsvine tracker.
Friend = Subscriber
The (stupidly removed) friend function of Newsvine returns as Subscriber. This is very important in that Subscriber status enables new functionality. For example, one can only invite Subscribers to their Group.
"All of Newsvine" = Newsfeed
Not quite the same, but the Newsfeed menu item (left menu) provides a scope beyond your Channel.
"Object Search" = Discovery
Clicking Discovery on the left menu lets one search for Channels, Images or Videos on the Minds site.
"Search for Leaderboard" = Discovery | Trending
The trending (most active) Channels, Images and Videos are available here.
"Site Suggestions" = Discovery | Suggested
No real Newsvine equivalent – provides algorithmically suggested content matching your interests (based upon your history on Minds). Also, oddly, lets one search for Channels (other users) based on geography.
“Site Featured” = Discovery | Featured
Featured Channels, images and videos are determined by Minds staff. Subjective.
“Cloud Storage” = Discovery | MyMedia
Minds provides the means to upload Albums, Video and Images for convenient use in Blogs and comments.
Minds does not currently have the useful reply-with-quote functionality of Newsvine. Instead one must manually quote. To refer back to a particular person (typically the one you are replying to) click on the little back arrow in the comment you are replying to. The arrow is to the left of the up vote symbol (thumbs up). This will include the person’s Channel name in your comment and notify the individual that you referred to the comment.
But Minds does let us include rich content in comments. One can easily include a URL to include an article, video, picture, etc. in the comment. Just copy and paste a fully qualified URL such as https://www.newsvine.com/.
Note that one can upvote and downvote a comment (or a Blog). Unlike Newsvine, each up or down vote will appear in the notifications. So you will know who voted you up (or down).
To me, Minds is very intriguing. It has an impressive amount of content (articles, videos) and a strong following of content providers. There is a lot to explore. Although Minds does not have many of the features we loved about Newsvine such as reply-with-quote, tracker, and an intuitive and inviting thread format it does have a future and the management of Minds does seem to care about the content providers.
So please use the comment functionality to ask questions, offer suggestions, etc. Let’s help each other demystify Minds and see if we can turn it into a comfortable replacement for Newsvine.
This article exists on minds.com. I encourage you to go there and start making comments on the article to dip your toe in the water.