LW Team Updates - November 2019 (Subscriptions & More)

by Ruby 11d8th Nov 20192 min read3 comments

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This is the once-monthly updates post for LessWrong team activities and announcements. 

Summary

This month we launched 1) a complete subscriptions overhaul, 2) bookmarks, 3) pingbacks (experimental opt-in only) [full announcement of those features here]. Soon we'll release our new editor, LessWrong Docs into beta. Lastly, we made a post explaining why we spent Q3 optimizing for karma and how that went.

Recent Features

Subscriptions Overhaul

At long last we have released our subscriptions overhaul. You can now subscribe to precisely what you want to see (users, posts, comments, events) and get notifications on-site and/or by email batched at a frequency of your choosing.

Subscription options for a post

See the announcement post for complete documentation.

Bookmarks

It is now possible to bookmark posts and access these on their own page and/or as a list at the top of your homepage. Use the triple-dot drop down menu to bookmark any post.

Appearance of the Bookmarks page

Use the gear icon in the Recommendations section of the homepage to configure. Full documentation here.

Pingbacks [Experimental Opt-In]

When a post has been linked to by another post on LessWrong, the pingback feature will list any referencing posts at the bottom of the post page. "Pingback" is equivalent to "cited by".

When pingbacks are enabled, they are displayed at the bottom of post pages. Currently not all historical URL formats are supported and so many pingback lists are incomplete. This will be fixed before full-release.

Pingbacks displayed at the bottom of a post

To view pingbacks, you must be opted into experimental features. This can be done in your account settings.

Upcoming Features

LessWrong Docs

We've been promising the new editor for a few months now and it's getting closer and closer to beta release. This very announcement was written in it. 

Look of the new editor, LessWrong Docs

We hope the new editor will provide an overall improved experience from Draft-JS, but more importantly, it introduces many of the features people are used to from Google Docs such as collaborative editing and inline commenting.

Expect to hear about this once we've ironed out a few more bugs.

Tagging

We're working on a new tagging system for posts. The idea is simple yet requires careful design to ensure the relevance of tags and display them in useful ways.

I'm hoping the tagging system will provide a new way to access LessWrong's large corpus of historical posts and help people find posts of interest and relevance. We are overall working to make LessWrong to be more than just "news site" where people read the latest posts and last month's content gets forgotten. Our Recommendations features were a step in this direction too, as is the library page.

The tagging system will likely be under development for a while and might be released early in 2020.

General Updates

Q3 was metric quarter: we optimized for karma

As mentioned last month, we spent Q3 optimizing for a single metric based on karma given out. I've written a post describing this experiment, why we did it and how it went. Read the post here.

Weekly Karma Metric Values + Target Growth Lines

Curated Emails are working again!

Last month we noted that we were having some trouble with Curated emails. Those are now working again.

Ways to Follow LessWrong

We've been expanding the number of ways people can consume LessWrong content beyond the site. These now include:

The Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts receive regular updates M/W/F of a mix of curated posts, top all-time content, and outstanding new content.

Feedback & Support

The team can be reached for feedback and support via:

 

 

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