Meetup posts as discussion threads, please

by Jonii1 min read14th Feb 201128 comments

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As of now, 4 of 10 newest promoted posts are about meetups, as well 4 of 10 newest posts overall. For casual readers like me, having frontpage flooded by this much irrelevant information, _especially promoted-section_, seems really, really discouraging. LW has tendency to contain too much useless meta-discussion compared to the actual rationality-related one, but having frontpage flooded by meta-discussion like this seems rather unbeliveable. Please, let's try to keep at least the promoted-section rationality-related.

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A meetups tab wouldn't work. It would be worse than going in the discussion section. Nobody checks a meetups tab 'just in case there's one in my town'. Also, they wouldn't appear in the feed readers (because most people wouldn't subscribe to the meetups feed for the same reason).

Perhaps meetup articles can be made with no summary text, therefore becoming visually distinct and leaving much more space for the actual articles?

This seems like an excellent idea. Will do unless there are objections.

Just to verify: For future meetup posts, will adding the meetup tag automatically trigger the summary cut at the top, or we need to do it ourselves? (With this time you or one of the other mods just going in and having edited the posts manually?)

(No objection, seems like a perfectly good idea at least until a better one comes along, just wanted to check if it's going to be automated or if, at least for now, it's still manual)

You can do it yourselves, or I'll do it when I promote the post.

Perhaps meetup articles can be made with no summary text, therefore becoming visually distinct and leaving much more space for the actual articles?

I like this idea. Actually, I think posters can already implement it by putting a summary divide at the top of their post.

I prefer this idea.

I can see a case for meet-ups being discussion threads and having their own tab.

I disagree. I think that the current prominence of meetup posts is bad, but I think that until a better technical solution is available (and I am aware I am saying this while not volunteering time to fix it), such as meet ups appearing in the sidebar in their own section, they should be left as is. I don't feel discussion is prominent enough to be the repository for meetup posts. Furthermore, they're while a little annoying, easily scanned over and ignored.

meet ups appearing in the sidebar in their own section

I like this idea.

I don't feel discussion is prominent enough to be the repository for meetup posts.

I suspect that LW readers who aren't sufficiently interested to occasionally check the Discussion section are also overwhelmingly unlikely to spend an afternoon going to a LW meetup.

You suspect wrong; in my experience a good number of the people who come to meetups only follow the site casually.

Less Wrong is all meta discussion! That's the whole point!!!

A post was recently written on how to start a meetup. This is the reason for the large number of meetup posts, and it should subside at least somewhat.

Hopefully it doesn't, meetups are best as regular things.

That's true. I had forgotten that a new post would have to be made every time a meetup occurs, even one in the same city as a previous one.

I agree with luminosity, and while I could probably make the time to do the change, I have no idea what to do, so can't volunteer my services - it would make much more sense for there to be a "meet-ups" tab in the menu at the top of the page (with New, Top, Comments, etc.) than for meet-up threads to get buried in the discussion section.

That's almost reasonable-- my problem with it is that the text in those is so ghostly it took me a long time of reading LW to notice them.

I recommend that the text be switched to the green used for the links on this site, which the tab in use is still marked by black text.

Is there a page that lists all recurring LW meetups, everywhere?

I have just started such a page, and encourage people to add to it information about their local meetup groups.

I do find it annoying because I'll likely never be able to got to one for geographical reasons, but on the other hand I can see why it makes sense given how large a part of the readers DO live in the US.

Even majority of readers participated to these meetups every time, it doesn't matter. Quoting the about-post: ""Promoted" posts (appearing on the front page) are chosen by the editors on the basis of substantive new content, clear argument, good writing, popularity, and importance."

Meetup-posts do not contain new, important, argumentative content. It's meta-level discussion, meta that it bit by bit trying to take over the whole LW. I don't want LW that exists for posts about LW. Meetup-posts are not the only thing driving LW towards uselessness, but as far as I can tell, having those posts in the front page is by far the most visible and obvious warning sign.

I disagree.

Meetups bring out lurkers and infrequent posters, such as myself, and make LessWrong more than just some intellectual exercise online. At the last Berkeley meetup I was in a discussion that touched on the following two issues with the same group of people.

  • Most lurkers admit to not reading the discussion session, but number at least half of any meetup group. (Maybe, but doubtfully, this is Berkeley/SF Bay specific)

  • We were generally interested in some recent comments that had been made about the NYC meetups incorporating an instrumental rationality/support aspect, and some present desired more frequent and more specifically social meetups.

I admit that a rather large and disproportionate amount of front page posts are about meetups now, so here's a solution that I think may please everyone. Some designated meetup Super Organizer collects info on meetups planned for the next month, then publishes a monthly front page promoted post with info on all upcoming global meetups. Individual meetups could still be posted in the Discussion section so as to have their own threads, and obviate the need for a designated Super Organizer, instead being handled something like Open Threads where one is posted anew as necessary.

Edit: And as an added bonus, no one has to hack any code.

I do find it annoying because I'll likely never be able to got to one for geographical reasons, but on the other hand I can see why it makes sense given how large a part of the readers DO live in the US.

The meetup posts are not limited to the US, fortunately. :)

I totally agree with this. Unfortunately the upvote button doesn't seem to work.

Try pressing Shift+F5 (reloads the entire page ignoring the cache).

EDIT: Or Ctrl+F5, depending on the browser.

Neither of those works for me with Firefox on a mac. Command+F5 doesn't do it either. However, I have now successfully upvoted the post. Thanks for the tips, it may help when using other browsers/computers.

Try pressing Shift+F5 (reloads the entire page ignoring the cache).

It does? How did I not know that? I've been working around that with other mechanisms.