Official Less Wrong Redesign: Special pages

by matt1 min read20th May 20116 comments

21

Personal Blog

Following along from Louie's post and the discussion around it…

User:orthonormal suggested (and many seconded) a better Welcome section and improvements to the About page.
User:bentarm suggested doing something with the comment help link, User:jimrandomh suggested making it a wiki page, and User:Alicorn requested that it be more extensive.

Responding to the above suggestions, we propose adding functionality to Less Wrong. We'll add a special page type that collects its content from the wiki. We propose that /about, the home page, the comment help text, and each user's user page be of this type (I imagine that this change to the homepage may be controversial).

We propose that those pages link to:

I've very clumsily populated those pages with starting content but hope that we can test the idea by inviting you wonderful people to make those pages be good before we develop the feature. (Which is an invitation - if you don't hate this idea, go, edit, and make good.)

Detail:
These pages would cache wiki content for at least several hours, so would be fast to render. They would include a publicly usable "refetch content from the wiki" button (detailed placement, wording and design to follow) so that if the source page was spammed anyone could fix it on the wiki then clear the cache. If abuse became a problem we could easily "protect" those pages.

 

6 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 12:13 PM
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Matt, thanks for all your hard work on this!

I wrote a new about page for Less Wrong and put it in that wiki page. (Previously, it contained a copy of the current About Less Wrong page.) Louie, for one, has seen it and likes it.

I've been thinking of this as a page that could be linked from a note in the header image that says something like "First visit? Start here..."

It's not clear to me that we also need the 'HomePage' thing. Is the plan to have a static homepage? If so, I would think it's better to not have it be an article-ish thing but more like a front-page-of-a-webzine thing.

I wrote a new about page for Less Wrong and put it in that wiki page. (Previously, it contained a copy of the current About Less Wrong page.) Louie, for one, has seen it and likes it.

That's great. Thanks.

I've been thinking of this as a page that could be linked from a note in the header image that says something like "First visit? Start here..."

I was planning on "About", with the "First visit?" stuff being content in the body of the home page.

It's not clear to me that we also need the 'HomePage' thing. Is the plan to have a static homepage? If so, I would think it's better to not have it be an article-ish thing but more like a front-page-of-a-webzine thing.

I agree that front-page-of-a-webzine sounds about right for the front page. The front page's main jobs are:

  • let new users quickly see what we're about
  • let those who've not yet set up sensible bookmarks (etc.) fairly quickly navigate to where they're going

I humbly suggest that a "static" front page should still be content imported from the wiki page (for which the current page is merely bad seed material), and updatable by the community (or the eds, if bad community stuff occurs).

Those pages on the wiki have strange formatting for links, is this so that they appear correctly when used on the main site, or should they be fixed to wiki syntax?

They should be fixed - I used a semi-functional html to wiki markup tool.

I think this is a fabulous idea. You probably want to make sure that its easy to discover you can make a wikipage for your useraccount.

As an aside, it took me a minute to understand what "We propose to implement a special page type on Lesswrong that collects its content from the wiki." meant; you might want to elaborate.

You probably want to make sure that its easy to discover you can make a wikipage for your useraccount.

… probably with an explanation and link from your Preferences page.

it took me a minute to understand…

Wording fiddled, thanks.