I suppose the main implication is that the readers I was targeting make up a smaller proportion of the LW readership than I had realized.

Perhaps the only "fix" is for me to update my estimate of the relative size and influence of "my" audience within the general LW population, so as to better predict reaction to my posts.

(Thanks for the positive feedback, by the way.)

Those are good conclusions.

I would have added that it'd be a good idea to be clear about who your audience is and how you can target them. This avoids alienating the 'experts', who can see the disclaimers' avowed target group, reason they are not in it and either stop reading or read it as an example of pedagogy.

You can also try to target advanced outsiders by submitting to places like Hacker News or Reddit, something which has worked fairly well for my own 'beginner' pieces.

What bothers you about Less Wrong?

by Will_Newsome 1 min read19th May 2011162 comments


Or, what do you want to see more or less of from Less Wrong?

I'm thinking about community norms, content and topics discussed, karma voting patterns, et cetera. There are already posts and comment sections filled with long lists of proposed technical software changes/additions, let's not make this post another one. 

My impression is that people sometimes make discussion posts about things that bother them, and sometimes a bunch of people will agree and sometimes a bunch of people will disagree, but most people don't care that much (or they have a life or something) and thus don't want to dedicate a post just to complaining. This post is meant to make it socially and cognitively easy to offer critique.

I humbly request that you list downsides of existing policies even when you think the upsides outweigh them, for all the obvious reasons. I also humbly request that you list a critique/gripe even if you don't want to bother explaining why you have that critique/gripe, and even in cases where you think your gripe is, ahem, "irrational". In general, I think it'd be really cool if we erred on the side of listing things which might be problems even if there's no obvious solution or no real cause for complaint except for personal distaste for the color green (for example).

I arrogantly request that we try to avoid impulsive downvoting and non-niceness for the duration of this post (and others like it). If someone wants to complain that Less Wrong is a little cultish without explaining why then downvoting them to oblivion, while admittedly kind of funny, is probably a bad idea. :)