Jess_Riedel comments on Minor Updates - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Jess_Riedel 20 September 2014 04:06:29AM 1 point [-]

I lean against creating multiple fora. Even if it was a good idea in the long run, I think that it's better to start with one forum so that it's easier to achieve a critical mass. It's no exaggeration to say that LW's Main/Discussion distinction was one of the most hated features of the site. I also think that fragmenting an online community and decreasing its usability are two of the most damaging things you can do to a budding community website.

This was interesting to me.

Here's one more idea to throw out there: Divide the posts into "major" and "minor" tags and then include a checkbox for signed-in users that says something like "filter for major posts" that would only show the important/major/fleshed-out posts. If you wanted to make sure the minor posts didn't get neglected by apathy, you could have that box become unchecked the next time the person visits. In order to maintain an impressive appearance to visitors, they would only see the major posts.

This should significantly reduce the chance that minor posts are neglected (except by people who shouldn't or don't want to see them) and would be expandable to a more extensive tagging system in the future.

Comment author: RyanCarey 20 September 2014 04:51:34AM *  1 point [-]

This is a fair suggestion.

I guess my take on this is that most people care about reading good quality material a lot more than they care about length. For example, lots of Wei Dai's early posts on LessWrong were short but incisive, so they got upvoted.

Even a checkbox with tags has disadvantages - Even if posts are categorised in stealth, if half of the posts are hidden a lot of the time, this complicates the experience of a new user. It's hard to get users to add tags and boring to have to tag things myself. This is all to benefit some fraction of users, maybe a quarter, who can then hide short posts. On balance, I lean towards simplicity.

So if people have great links or questions, I think they should just post them to the front page. If they get 10+ karma and 10+ comments there, then it's an appropriate place for them.

Comment author: SoerenMind  (EA Profile) 22 September 2014 05:29:12PM *  1 point [-]

"This is all to benefit some fraction of users, maybe a quarter, who can then hide short posts."

It's interesting that you view this more from the reader's perspective. Perhaps a good idea since readers are in the majority. To me the main benefit would be for the posters. It can be daunting to post a simple question (perhaps about an issue that confuses you) in a place where everyone will see it among a bunch of thought-out posts. Therefore I would welcome giving posters the ability to check "minor" if their post meets the criteria according to their own judgement. Even in the discussion section of LW some users including myself are literally too shy to post certain kinds of questions/content. I just wanted to bring that too attention.

Certainly this should wait until after the karma requirement is decreased to see how things develop then. I am assuming that things won't radically change, but that's a judgement call.

My intuition is that with an option like the one Jess suggested there would be a lot more posts in general, would you agree? If that's the case and the kinds of posts that we currently see should be visible just like they are now, except there's a checkbox "display minor posts" somewhere. This sounds to me like a forum that people would describe as uncomplicated. All in all this approach seems less complicated to me than having dedicated threads titled 'ask a stupid question' etc.

Comment author: Tom_Ash  (EA Profile) 20 September 2014 06:30:42AM 0 points [-]

I like the major/minor idea, and tag filters generally. (Side note: I wasn't sure whether upvoting Jess' comment would be sufficient to express this.)