Open Thread, May 18 - May 24, 2015

What changes would LW require to make itself attractive again to the major contributors who left and now have their own blogs?

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As I often say, I haven't been here long, but I notice a sort of political-esque conflict between empirical clusters of people that I privately refer to as the Nice People and the Forthright People. The Nice People think that being nice is pragmatic. The Forthright People think that too much niceness decreases the signal-to-noise ratio and also that there's a slippery slope towards vacuous niceness that no longer serves its former pragmatic functions. A lot of it has to do with personality. Not everyone fits neatly, and there are Moderate People, but many ... (read more)

11John_Maxwell5yIn my view, you're asking the wrong question. The major contributors are doing great; they have attracted their own audiences. A better question might be: how can LW grow promising new posters in to future major contributors (who may later migrate off the platform)? I had some ideas [http://lesswrong.com/lw/m5l/guidelines_for_upvoting_and_downvoting/cc6e] that don't require changing the LW source that I'll now create polls for: Should Less Wrong encourage readers to write appreciative private messages for posts that they like? [pollid:976] Should we add something to the FAQ about how having people tear your ideas apart is normal and expected behavior and not necessarily a sign that you're doing anything wrong? [pollid:977] Should we add something to the FAQ encouraging people to use smiley faces when they write critical comments? (Smiley faces take up very little space, so don't affect the signal-to-noise-ratio much, and help reinforce the idea that criticism is normal and expected. The FAQ could explain this.) [pollid:978] We could start testing these ideas informally ASAP, make a FAQ change if polls are bullish on the ideas, and then announce them more broadly in a Discussion post if they seem to be working well. To keep track of how the ideas seem to be working out, people could post their experiences with them in this subthread.
8philh5yI recently wrote this [http://reasonableapproximation.net/2015/05/05/farmers-dilemma.html], which would probably have been of interest to LW. But when I considered submitting it, my brain objected that someone would make a comment like "you shouldn't have picked a name that already redirects to something else on wikipedia", and... I just didn't feel like bothering with that kind of trivia. (I know I'm allowed to ignore comments like that, but I still didn't feel like bothering.) I don't know if that was fair or accurate of my brain, but Scott has also said that the comments on LW discourage him from posting, so it seems relevant to bring up. The HN comments [https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9494255], and the comments on the post itself, weren't all interesting, but they weren't that particular kind of boring.

Open Thread, May 18 - May 24, 2015

by Gondolinian 1 min read18th May 2015176 comments

4


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