Discussion: Linkposts vs Content Mirroring

by lahwran1 min read1st Oct 20178 comments

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Link posts have the effect of taking you off the site when you're done reading. I don't like that about them; it moves comments off lesswrong, and I want to incentivize comments here. They also currently have a bug that makes it not really possible to see the comments section on lesswrong at all, but independent of that, I don't like how linkposts lead off the site. What are your thoughts on replacing link posts with posts that have the original source's content, but link through to where they're from at the bottom of the post?

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I'd largely prefer that, with a caveat that it's often considered bad form to directly copy another site's content.

I think Link Posts were mostly an idea that made sense at the time when a) most rationalfolk were blogging elsewhere and we wanted to at least consolidate it, b) in general LW didn't seem like it was succeeding at a place of discussion and so making it into something more like a hacker-news clone seemed more appropriate.

I'd prefer a world where instead, if you're a blogger in the rationalsphere, you have some kind of incentive to crosspost your content here (we already have tools for that, they're just not quite ready to be opened up for random people to easily add themselves)

Put another way: if I didn't have ethical-esque concerns about taking peope's content without their consent, I'd be pro-link-posts-auto-copy-the-content. Since I do have that concern, I think it should be an opt-in-thing on the part of other bloggers.

To rephrase: I don't mean for other people to post your content. I mean to only allow original posters to post their actual content in the main forum, rather than a link away. Perhaps links can go on the discussion board, but I want to eliminate them.

Right - this is explicitly the plan. (We have tools for allowing bloggers to automatically share posts from their RSS feed onto LessWrong, the tools just aren't very polished)

Link Posts are basically a holdover from before we had this functionality. Right now I think they're pretty confusing and it's probably better to actually remove the option of creating Link Posts until we either make them better or decide to leave them behind permanently.

(Not sure if we're missing something and just communicating past each other)

I feel strongly that link posts are an important feature that needs to be kept. There will always be significant and interesting content created on non-rationalist or mainstream sites that we will want to be able to link to and discuss on LessWrong. Additionally, while we might hope that all rationalist bloggers would be ok with cross-posting their content to LessWrong, there will likely always be those who don't want to and yet we may want to include their posts in the discussion here.

Hmm, I still think that there might be benefits of maintaining a separate links section seeing that we already have the code written for links. We shouldn't assume that authors will import all good rationality content into LW. I'm not sure whether people would use this functionality if it were available, but I think it is worth experimenting with.

My thoughts are: Linkposts are probably going to be necessary, though I would much prefer links to not lead off the site. When we do have a linkpost, I want the discussion of the material to be the primary thing that is linked, and the creator of the linkpost to provide a sentence or two of context (i.e. no linkposts without commentary, with rare exceptions).

I want to make it as easy as possible for people to post and crosspost their own content to the site so that linkposts mostly become unnecessary, though sometimes we won't be able to avoid it. So I will be spending a good chunk of my development time on that in the next few weeks.