Move meetups to the sidebar?

by Johnicholas1 min read13th Mar 201112 comments

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The number of meetup announcements on the main blog has been increasing. Though it's reasonable to try to get meetups high visibility to increase the chance that people who are nearby see the announcement, the posts themselves are content-free.

How difficult would it be to, instead of promoting meetup announcements, tag them "meetup" and put a "meetups" section in the sidebar, similar to "recent comments" or "recent posts"?

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The problem right now is that we haven't had a new front-paged article since Feb 25, other than meetups and quotes threads.

Also, two of the meetup threads are exposing their summary, which shouldn't happen according to the convention decided last time this came up.

If there's any code intervention, I'd argue it would be easier to modify the meetup thread presentation on the front page to a single line, like how things are presented in the discussion section. (now there's 4-5 lines worth of fluff to announce a single meetup). I think this would be much simpler, and preserve much-needed visibility for the meetup threads.

It's definitely significant that we haven't had new promoted content in a while. But the front page should provide newcomers to the site with immediate, quality content, whether old or new. It was suggested recently to have the front page cycle through the sequences. (I think the comment got a lot of upvotes, but nothing seems to have happened since then).

Reducing Meetups to a line and including more content (even if it has to be repeated) would be a decent solution. Who exactly is responsible for promoting content?

Yeah, recycling the sequences was my proposal :) My current approach to that is to make a bot that auto-posts the sequences at a standard pace to the discussion section, since there was some complaints that this may overwhelm the front page and also, I think anything that needs modifications to LW software is dead in the water.

The discussion section has sucked all the interesting topics away from the main page. What remained is a not very good advice column with a rationalist flavor. The last promoted article that interested me was posted on Jan 18, and the last non-promoted such article was on Feb 14 (not counting Stuart's posts, which are interesting but more of the "thinking out loud" variety). So I can safely stop checking "Recent Posts" for a month, or two months if I'm restricted to seeing promoted posts only. In the discussion section, on the other hand, there's been tons of interesting stuff over the last month.

Yeah, there's definitely some imbalance that's stripping the main page of content. I think it's pretty conclusive that the intermediate 'top-level-articles-not-promoted' category should just be abandoned and articles should be promoted directly from discussion. But anything that requires code modifications should be ruled out as a reasonable prediction for the short/medium term.

I think it's pretty conclusive that the intermediate 'top-level-articles-not-promoted' category should just be abandoned and articles should be promoted directly from discussion.

This is a great idea IMO. The easiest way to implement it now is by just removing the option of posting to the toplevel. Make everyone post everything to discussion. Editors already have the power to move selected articles to the toplevel and promote them. Doesn't seem to require much programming, though I'm not an expert on the LW codebase.

There is currently a bug where links to comments in discussion section die when the article moves to the main site.

[-][anonymous]10y 0

I think it's pretty conclusive that the intermediate 'top-level-articles-not-promoted' category should just be abandoned and articles should be promoted directly from discussion.

This would raise the pressure on authors in discussion section, which is undesirable, and eliminate the explicit category of carefully crafted on-topic articles that don't get promoted, which I believe is also undesirable.

I find the discussion section way less scary to post to. Mind you, I've so far posted a link and a question.

Strongly approve this. I think it might actually be a good idea for Meetups to get their own section that is prominent on the main site (moreso than the regular sidebar) but still off to the side where it doesn't take up our primary real estate. I think it's important to showcase our ability to create physical communities. But not at the expense of the main site.

If we were really going to modify code, the ideal system would be to enter your location on your profile if you want to attend meetups, and allow emails to be sent to people nearby when a meetup is posted in the area. This has the added benefit of letting LW readers who do not go on the site every week find out about them. Although, I just skip over meetups which are irrelevant. a large amount of coding would be required for a miniscule improvement in the site.

Parenthetically, I never check the front page; I check http://lesswrong.com/recentposts

Similarly, I never check /r/discussion/; I check http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/recentposts