Official communication from the Retrospring team that is longer than 280 characters!

We've been quite busy over the last two and a half weeks. During that time we've been working on souping up our infrastructure and improving the software that runs Retrospring. Today we're releasing those software changes, here are the most notable ones:


Before we jump into the changes, a small foreword and thank you to all our new users.

At the end of January, CuriousCat, one of the larger Q/A sites, went down for about a week. As people searched for a new home, many decided to try out Retrospring, similarly to what already has happened in December 2021.

Back in early December 2021, Retrospring was at about 2000 users and now, after the second CuriousCat outage that count has risen to about 35,000. Of course, many have returned back to CC, which as of writing this post went back online, but we're also thankful to see that many people have decided to stick around with us!

Retrospring is not a company, we are just three friends building a website we want to use ourselves, with features that we and the community want. We're not a big company with monetary incentives. Our core principles are providing a service without any ads or selling any user data.

Our old server started to struggle quite a bit when registrations were at their peak. Our server slowed down tremendously, showing everyone the now dreaded unicorn. We have since updated our servers, and with that our operating cost drastically increased as well.

Before, our monthly bills on Retrospring were around $40, the current estimation based on the new servers we have is now around $100.

A handful of people already decided to donate, and we are thankful for every single dollar received!

If you would like to help us out, you can do so on Patreon for monthly donations, or on OpenCollective for both monthly or one-time donations. OpenCollective also handily displays our budget publicly, for full transparency.

Our monthly plans currently don't offer any special benefits as we don't like to gate features behind any sort of paywall. If you have any idea what we could offer to you, feel free to drop us a mention or a question on our profiles.

Changes to sharing

After Twitter announced changes to their API on February 2nd, beginning to charge for their previously free API, we have removed our automated posting integration from Retrospring.

However, this doesn't mean that posting to Twitter is not possible at all. We have added a prompt after answering a question that allows you to more easily share your answers manually to Twitter (and Tumblr or other services).

The sharing prompt

While this isn't as handy as the automated posting, it allows you to edit the shared answer using Twitter's posting tools. Manual sharing is also not subject to the limits that Retrospring has run into quite frequently, which prevented automated posting for everyone for a few hours.

Even though Twitter reversed its course on turning the API paid (temporarily?), we have decided to still remove the integration, due to the uncertainty of us being able to provide integration features in the future.

As touched upon above, the change to manual sharing has also enabled us to add another feature: custom sharing providers! If you use a website that supports external sharing, these usually have some URL tied to it, which you can specify in the settings for it to appear in the sharing prompt.

Here is an example of two services supporting this: Mastodon and Misskey. Both support sharing from other websites using a /share?text= URL:

Sharing settings

Pinning answers

By popular demand, we have added the ability to pin answers to the top of your profile. You can pin up to 10 answers at once.

A pinned answer

Pinning menu

Other changes

  • When looking at your own sent questions, an icon will now appear on questions you've sent directly to others to indicate that they are not shown to everyone Only you can see this
  • Line breaks now appear properly in questions and answers Picture of an inbox entry with line breaks
  • Added new questions to the question generator
  • Made many improvements to page speed all throughout the site
  • Fixed user avatars being too large for profile card on “medium-sized” screens such as tablets

The full changelog for this release can be found here

This post is simply an outline of how you can support us. We're not in any trouble, in case the release of this post might make you think so, we just thought it was time to do a quick write-up on the matter.


Retrospring has been around for quite a while, and we felt like it's time for a refresh.


Blocking, Part 2!

Screenshot of the block button in inbox entries

Requested by many, and bringing us closer to features of other Q/A sites like CuriousCat, we now support blocking anonymous users!

Simply press the arrow on the right side of inbox entries and click “Block”. This will prevent any further questions from this anonymous user to reach you.

Just as with regular blocking, there is currently no UI to manage anonymous blocks at the moment, we will ship this soon in another release.

Some Notes

First of all, this feature is only available on questions asked from this release on, older questions/their users can't be blocked!

As users on Retrospring can be anonymous without accounts, circumventing anonymous blocks is relatively easy, if people know how. This might lead to anonymous blocks being more or less effective in some cases. You can keep blocking anonymous users, but if things get too much, disable anonymous questions entirely.

Alternatively, use muting to prevent specific questions to pop up in your inbox.

Once again, happy blocking!

After 7 years we finally did it, Blocking has arrived in Retrospring!

You can now go on a profile of any user and find a “Block” (or Unblock) button in the actions dropdown!

What happens when blocking a user?

  • You block that user from having any interaction with you
  • This includes you interacting with that user in any form
  • Any follow-relationship will be cancelled upon blocking
  • However, you both will still be able to see each others posts/comments on the site

Wait, what?

Yes, once you block a user, they at the moment don't see much of a difference when visiting your profile, aside the fact that they cannot interact with you anymore.

All posts/comments are still visible to them.

We are currently doing this because Retrospring does not feature private profiles (yet) and hiding content can easily be circumvented by just logging out or using a private browser window, so it effectively does not make a difference.

At some point in the future we might hide posts from users that blocked you completely and show placeholders (how Twitter does it in threads for example) but that requires some more background work being done.

Something else that is currently missing is an interface to list all users someone is currently blocking. We'll be working on this in the near future, for now we thought it'd be nice to have the general blocking feature out of the way!

Note: This does not include blocking specific anonymous users from asking you questions, this will follow up in the future.

So there's that! A feature that we all wanted for so long, finally arriving!

Happy Blocking!

If you read this post, you probably either saw the tweet or site announcement on Retrospring about us temporarily disabling language switching/multi-language support, and you may ask why that happens.


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