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SoerenMind comments on How to get more EAs to connect in person and share expertise? - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: AnneWissemann 19 August 2015 07:02:55PM 9 points [-]

Actually, I will give an ignite talk at EA Global Oxford that is extremely relevant to this topic. This is the short pitch [edit: not so short anymore]:

Malcolm Ocean and I are working to set up a co-working space for EAs based on the format of the LW Study Hall. Just like the LWSH, which has been around for >2 years now, it will be a 24/7 web-chat with optional video streaming where people work on their own projects, probably in pomodoros and chat during the breaks.

Why does this solve your problem? If this becomes as well frequented as the LWSH (which seems plausible given the success of the LWSH which has been stably frequented while being on a buggy platform with little to no official moderation), it will create a network of more or less regular users who know each other and can refer people within the network. Over 2 years, I've personally met more than 200 people via the LWSH. Since Malcolm will host the site, he can also easily add functionalities. I've suggested adding a "project board" or similar to delegate/search for tasks, or we could connect the site to one of the existing boards. It will later also be possible to not only announce to other users of the chat what you're currently working on, but also other info, e.g. "looking for web designer". Finally, you can just meet there to co-work on EA projects remotely.

How is this different from .impact's chat rooms? (I haven't been in these chatrooms before, so I don't know how well frequented they are or what their chat experience is. These are my experiences with other rooms/the LWSH.) The video seems to be a key factor in creating the feeling of "I'm interacting with a human being". Plus, since Malcolm hosts the site, he'll do support and add more features. And you'll get a nudge to be productive while you are around. Win-win!

When will this be up? The current plan is to launch the hall within 2 weeks after EA Global (that is, by mid-September). Malcolm or I will post here again then.

Also, if you're at EA Global, do come to my ignite talk. It'll have screenshots to show what the site looks like, and you'll hear more. Or, if you miss the talk, talk to me! I'm one of the people in the blue staff shirts. :)

Comment author: SoerenMind  (EA Profile) 19 August 2015 07:36:29PM 3 points [-]

Awesome, I was totally thinking this should be created and now it's on the way! I actually hope it gets even more frequented than the LW study hall. This project could also help by letting people casually ask questions in the breaks. When this comes out I think this deserves to be heavily promoted so that everyone in the target audience hears about it! And in my experience people can need a bit of a push (e.g. I didn't get on the LWSH the first time I heard about it).

Does your suggestion about the project board include the possibility for teams to set open their own chatroom to work on a project? That would sound very beneficial to me. Working together remotely can be tough and this could help with both coordination and motivation.

Comment author: AnneWissemann 04 October 2015 05:47:19PM 1 point [-]

It will definitely be possible to open new rooms. Actually, every Complice user can do this already via https://complice.co/rooms/.

For non-Complice users, there will be a bunch of existing "breakout" rooms once the EA Study Hall is officially open. I think it's a great way to use a room! As I have a Complice account, I can also open a specific named room for a team wanting to work on something for a longer period of time. There is no qualitative difference between a "generic" breakout room and a special team room, though, so I guess it'd be more cosmetic / keeping non-team EAs from popping in.