Roaman's Shortform

by Roaman12th Oct 201914 comments
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A few months back, I remember hearing Oli talk about an idea for essentially rebasing comment threads into summaries, with links back to the comments that were summarized. Is this happening on LW now? Sounded wicked exciting, and like actually novel UI in the collective intelligence space.

We ended up focusing on some other things in the past quarter, but we are about to plan the coming quarter, so we might end up prioritizing this again.

Some testimonials for Roam

**Roam is the productivity too that I didn't know I needed**

**I see it as a productivity map of my brain, showing to me how I organize thoughts in my mind.**

it helps me organize thoughts and **reduce the clutter in my head**. This is something that no productivity or organization tool, including Google Drive and Microsoft Office, **has ever offered to me before.**


The most exciting piece of software I've yet tried...
A replacement for the essay... has the potential to be as profound a mental prosthetic as hypertext.

Meta-level user-feedback: I think Roam should really have a feedback form right on the side, ideally with something like Intercom. I have a lot of pieces of small feedback, but the trivial inconvenience of telling you about them is far too high, and if you weren't hanging out on LessWrong such that I can leave feedback here, it's very unlikely you would get any feedback from me.

Added Intercom today. Already worth the cost. Thanks for tip

Glad to be helpful!

Random user feedback for Roam:

I've been trying it out more extensively for the last few hours, and I already noticed that I've developed an aversion to clicking on individual notes and editing them because the layout changes so drastically between the markup and the rendered version. As a concrete example, I have a to-do list item that looks like this:

To-do list rendered

As soon as I click on it, it suddenly becomes

To-do item markup

For some reason this shift feels really jarring to me, and I've started to actively avoid selecting notes that have any kind of fancy markup in them. The same problem occurs with references to other pages, and a lot of other parts of Roam's fancy markup.

Not really sure what the best way of dealing with this is. Maybe switch towards a full WYSIWYG editor, though that obviously comes with its own costs.

I also had a similar experience. (I've been trying to push past it, and probably will succeed, but it was a bit of an impediment)

We do plan to eventually switch to wysiwyg -- it's much faster for our feature development to not for now, but when we're out of beta that'll be one of first changes we make

You could benefit greatly by putting in a stop-gap: add css transitions, so the change doesn't feel so abrupt.

Non-meta level feedback: On the daily-notes page, if I click on a date it suddenly moves me to a different URL and page, even though my cursor is the text-selection cursor when I hover over the title. The cursor should likely be changed to be pointer thingy.

Great feedback

I spent a long time at the Double Crux workshop last year talking with folks about why the EA and x-risk community should care about developing better tools for thought.

Recently Andy Matsushak and Michael Nielsen wrote up some notes on the space, and why it is such a big deal. The first and last sections of the essay are most relevant to the claims I was making

I took some structured notes on the essay in our public Roam instance here

You can read the full essay here

and the section most relevant to that discussion here

We've launched for a wider audience

It's similar to Workflowy or GoogleDocs -- but with many more flexible ways of building structure between ideas and projects.

biggest deal is bi-directional linking (every page or bulletpoint collects all the links that point to it).