1/9/2018 Update - Frontpage Views

by Raemon1 min read10th Jan 20188 comments

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Site Meta
Personal Blog

A few people had complained that the frontpage views (i.e. "Curated Content", "Frontpage", etc) were still a bit counterintuitive.

I made a couple quick changes:

  • make the buttons green, so that it's more clear you might want to click there at all
  • add a hover-menu, which hopefully improves discoverability and provides some context.
  • in particular, I hope that adding a hover-menu to the "..." more-options button gives it just the right amount of discoverability (i.e. enough that you can find it if you're looking for it or if you've been using the site awhile, but not a choice that newcomers are confronted with immediately)

Responding to Gwillen

Gwillen had asked a question in a non-meta thread, and this seems like a good place to respond:

People have the option to post either to personal blog or frontpage, right? Even people like me with not that much karma? So under what circumstances would a mod move a post from personal blog to frontpage? Might an author not object to that? I'm trying to understand whether I have a good model of the purpose of personal blog versus frontpage, and of what moderators can do, and what they normally do.

The exact details are still being fleshed out here, and the implementation will probably change over time as the site grows and moves from open-beta to launch-ready.

In general, the intent with LW2.0 is to focus on:

  • giving people a place to develop ideas, and improve their ability to make intellectual progress over time
  • design a system so that that the most important ideas bubble up into public common knowledge.

Right now, we want to make sure the site is usable, so we're making it easy for everyone to post to the front page, and only moving their posts back to personal-blog-space if they violate the norms.

As our userbase grows over time, this would eventually result in the frontpage being flooded with content of varying quality. So the rough plan is to gradually ramp up the requirements for posting to Frontpage (eventually limiting it to people with higher karma who have a clear understanding of the guidelines), with options to get personal blogposts moved to Frontpage when appropriate.

Right now we're erring on the side of moving posts from personal-blogs to frontpage fairly quickly. This may also change. (We've considered creating settings where users can flag if they want a post to be moved to frontpage, but this would add some UI complexity that isn't necessarily worth it)

The personal blogs serve a few different purposes. The one I'm most confident will remain is as a space to discuss ideas shouldn't be front-and-center for new users. (i.e. discussion of politics, discussion of community-qua-community that isn't relevant if you're just starting to explore the site, and calls to action that are trying to persuade rather than explain).

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Thanks for the response, that makes sense!

Incidentally, I have no idea how to post in Meta. So if posting in Meta is the desired way to ask questions of the admins, it might be good if it were more obvious how to do that.

Agree, I am currently unhappy how hard it is to find that. You go to the top-level menu by clicking the hamburger menu in the top left, then you click on "Meta" and then there is a button that allows you to create a new post.

I suspect many people won't think of this because they'll assume there is a way from the meta option on the front page.

Yeah, which is why I am unhappy with the current solution.

What's meant by "aim to explain and not persuade"?

A thing that seems to happen by default, when you give people a platform, is they start trying to use that platform to persuade. The line between explaining and persuading is fuzzy, and much of persuading is in fact fine. But this starts an incentive slope that slides away from epistemic clarity:

  • persuasive writing is incentivized to exaggerate, present data one sidedly, etc
  • since different people may want to persuade people in different directions, it points towards escalation of social/tribal conflict.

Now, we do in fact need to persuade people of things some times. Calls to donate, try a new thing, stop doing a bad thing, are important. Rationality would be useless if we couldn't argue about what to do and why. But the incentive slope is hard mode, so we wanted to keep a clear separation between places that is okay, and places where we're trying to focus on epistemic integrity.

How is "Curated Content" created? I couldn't find anything with a few searches.

People write content, and then the mods discuss it and choose to promote content to the curated section, which is easier for more people to follow (it updates slowly) and gets more visibility. Mods also write a brief explanation in a comment for why they curated that particular post.