Richenda comments on 2017 LEAN Impact Assessment: Qualitative Findings - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: casebash 03 January 2018 11:46:56PM *  5 points [-]

I also feel that EA hub is outdated. Firstly, I'm not a fan of the green design - I suspect that a more modern design would add credibility to the whole enterprise. Secondly, the interface isn't particularly well designed. I think it might be better if there was just one point for the people in each city and clicking there showed you all the names. Lastly, it seems like it would be nice if you could get notifications when a new person is found near you and if people to opt-in to receive messages from other EAs. If done well, we might make it significantly easier for new EA groups to get off the ground.

I also think that the difficulty in finding actions to take is very concerning. EA needs more do-ers than thinkers, but right now, we have a negative selection against do-ers because there are plenty of interesting ideas to think about, but much less clear actions to take.

Comment author: Richenda  (EA Profile) 04 January 2018 04:41:57AM 2 points [-]

We agree about the EA Hub. However we were overstretched across too many projects, and have been in the process of identifying which things to prioritise, and which cost-effective things we can deliver to a high standard. This assessment and decisions in the next few months will be critical for the direction of the site.

Comment author: Nekoinentr 04 January 2018 07:25:35AM 4 points [-]

Surely if someone gave you a few hundred dollars to sustain a staff member such as yourself to spend a few man days leveraging volunteer tech & design effort, you'd do it? So less a matter of prioritizing things and more a matter of the EA Community Fund covering low hanging fruit like this so you don't have to take time you presumably don't have laboriously convincing someone that this is worth those few hundred dollars.

Comment author: Richenda  (EA Profile) 04 January 2018 07:04:47PM *  4 points [-]

I mostly agree. However there are definitely some strategic, management-level things that have to be decided when it comes to the Hub. There are an infinite number of fantastic ideas from EAs regarding what things they might want to see, and it's not a straightforward matter to judge how best to go forward. Particularly when it also means making sure we complement the platform that CEA is developing. Some factors include major choices about things like which codebase we continue with, creating a structure that allows highly skilled EAs in tech to contribute to some degree when they want to, and also making sure we don't waste resources making a start with something unless we're confident we'll be able to maintain it appropriately in the long run. Those are just some of the matters involved, and in this regard available bandwidth, both of myself and our tech labour has been a limiting factor for sure.

However we've been making a lot of fast gains since we hired our new tech officer, Larissa, in November. We also have the guidance of seasoned EAs working in tech, and I'm very optimistic about 2018!

Comment author: number42 04 January 2018 07:25:31PM 1 point [-]

Wouldn't even as small a donation as a few hundred dollars translate into more bandwidth?

Comment author: Tee 04 January 2018 08:12:24PM *  3 points [-]

Absolutely - but re-Richenda's point about deliberations at a higher level, the Hub is one of many resources we provide, and we want to make sure every donation we receive is most impactful.

Even an earmarked donation for this purpose is not a straightforward proposition. Take the decision to potentially integrate with the CEA platform as a hypothetical. If we were to spend $300 - $1k tweaking the Hub, and then had to double back (likely to change the coding language) once we decided that linking up with the CEA platform is most effective for the community, we may have wasted considerable resources.