LesserWrong is now de facto the main site

by Chris_Leong1 min read13th Oct 20174 comments

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My understanding was that the idea was for LesserWrong to run as a beta with a few users switching over and the main site still running until enough bugs had been fixed and enough missing features had been added so that we could have a vote and then decide whether to replace the old LessWrong.

What has actually happened is that all of the attention and worthwhile content has shifted over too LesserWrong, meaning that nothing is happening on LessWrong. This creates something of an issues:

  • If we encourage all the people remaining on LessWrong to shift to LesserWrong right now, then they will find a site that still has many bugs and which is missing many core features.

  • On the other hand, the status quo has costs as well. Anyone visiting LessWrong will find a forum that is not very lively and which doesn't contain particularly good content (because those in the know are posting to LesserWrong). In other words, all of the issues with lack of content and engagement on old LessWrong have now greatly increased.

I don't have any proposals. I simply wrote this to bring this issue to people's attention.

I have confidence in the new site. I think that enough people have switched over to LesserWrong and started posting quality content that we now have critical mass. So this isn't a disaster, but I thought it was important for someone to explicitly say what I'm sure a lot of other people are thinking.

4 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:54 PM
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Yeah, I agree with this.

My original plan was to move towards LessWrong.com as soon as possible, and our initial target was November 1st. However, as it became clearer that speed and performance were more of an issue than I initially anticipated, I ended up moving our timetables back. I also really don't want to destroy all the SEO traffic that currently goes to LessWrong.com (i.e. while discussion on here is much more lively, total traffic to LessWrong.com is still about 4x higher than the traffic to this page, because of all the old evergreen content).

I think having somewhat of an awkward period with both pages up is bad, but not horrible, and worth the cost of reducing the probability of losing all that old link-juice (for example, right now some of the images from the old sequences posts don't work, which would definitely need to be fixed before the proper launch. And the loadtimes are sometimes large enough that Google might give us an SEO penalty)

Open to suggestions on how to minimize the damage in the meantime.

To minimize damage, I think publish a clear interim policy on what to post here vs. there main or both or link from a discussion post.

It may not match the ideal policy, but creating common knowledge matters.

Agreed. Any updates on this @habryka?

Seconding the need for a clear policy.