Feature suggestion: Could we get notifications when someone links to our posts?

by MichaelA1 min read5th Mar 20203 comments


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LessWrong (and the EA Forum) seems to have recently added a “pingbacks” feature, which shows at the bottom of each post what other posts on LW (or the EA Forum) link to it, if any. I reckon this is a great feature, for:

  1. following links to more recent work on the same topic
  2. tracing the influence a post seems to have had

I think it’d also be cool to get a notification when someone (other than me) has linked to a post I wrote, for similar reasons:

  1. It’d allow me to see new work that’s likely to be on topics I’m particularly interested in, given that it links to my work. That new work might also be commenting, critiquing, or building on my work, so that seems particularly interesting to learn from and engage with.
  2. It’d allow me to see which of my posts (if any) people seem to be finding particularly interesting, valuable, worth-building-upon, etc., plus get a pretty solid dopamine hit to further my LW & EA Forum addiction (assuming the post linking to my post isn’t just critiquing it, but again, learning from such critiques is useful too)

Is this something that could be implemented? If some people would be opposed, perhaps it could be something people could opt into or out of.

(I happened to spot a pingback to one of my LW posts by another user, and same for one of my EA Forum posts, but wasn't notified. So I can confirm that users currently don't get notified about pingbacks, rather than it just being that I haven't gotten a notification yet.)

Related, additional suggestion: Would there be any not-too-hard way for “pingbacks” to include links to a LW post from an EA Forum post, and vice versa? Currently they only show links on the same site.

Note: In “Edit Settings”, I’ve ticked the box to “Opt into experimental features”, so maybe pingbacks is a new thing most people haven’t seen. But in any case, displaying pingbacks just inspired my notifications suggestion, rather than really being a necessary prerequisite for it.

Also, let me know if there’s a better place to put feature suggestions like this. ETA: Maybe it should've been a "Question". Whoops.


3 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:29 PM
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Note: In “Edit Settings”, I’ve ticked the box to “Opt into experimental features”, so maybe pingbacks is a new thing most people haven’t seen. 

Yep, that's the case. Pingbacks are currently an opt-in only feature, though I think they are basically ready to fully ship, and I do also think we should add notifications for links to your posts as soon as possible afterwards.

Now I'm thinking that it would be a cool feature to have a page that listed all of your posts ordered by the number of pingbacks they have, and also showed all of those pingbacks on that page.

I'm her for the giant citation graph ordered by personal page rank.