The Main / Discussion division has served us well in the past, but traffic to Main has dropped to the point that it's no longer useful. In particular, the low visibility meant that authors would often have to choose between more karma and being seen by more readers. So posting to Main has been disabled, and the successor of Main is on its way. In the meantime, please move everything to discussion.

But I have a great post I've worked really hard on, and I want it to be in Main.

Save it as a draft, let me know, and I'll move it to Main for you.

There's an excellent post that should go on the RSS feed so lots of people read it.

We can still promote posts (and will).  

Okay, so Main is dead. What's next?

What's the point of having multiple subreddits? If you have a single website with several different communities, then having different subreddits allows for different rules, different moderators, and different focuses. But LW has many interests that don't seem to cleanly separate into multiple subreddits. Many distinctions overlap, and tags seem better. So there are two main paths forward:

1) Tagging, 'new to you', and customization based on tags.


  1. A tagging system with user input (see Stack Overflow for inspiration) means we can have reliable filtering.
  2. We already track when a user last visited a page in order to highlight new comments; we can also use that to remove it from the new posts view if it's already been read. (What about if there's a comment explosion? We can either return it if there are enough new comments, or trust that you'll see the comment explosion through the Recent Comments view.)
  3. With everything going to one view, giving users control over that view is critical for keeping it clear of trash. What looks to me like a promising way to do that is subsidies and taxes based on tags; if you want to see parenting posts and don't want to see meetup posts, say, you might give the parenting tag +3 karma and the meetup tag -10 karma, so very popular meetup posts can still appear and even unpopular or new parenting posts will be visible to you.
2) Norm codification and separation.
  1. If LW users are split on how they're interested in interacting with other LWers, then it makes sense to build a wall between people who aren't going to get along (or, at least, make it clear to them whether they're at a concert hall or a mosh pit). 
  2. If it happens, separating out those communities won't be done based on content or level of effort, but communication style and rules. That might be something like "informal" vs. "formal", or might be something like "warm" and "cool", or might be "yes, and" vs. "no, but."
It looks to me like even if we go down the second path, features from the first path will be useful. So that's where I'll be focusing effort for the short term, and we'll see if we can manage with just one subreddit.

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7 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 2:59 PM

Let us take a moment to remember the good ole' days when a moderator demoting your post to Discussion was the cause of much weeping and gnashing of teeth.


We're a humble generation.

It takes humbtion to post here these days (this is a joke, sorry).


I like that neologism, thanks for sharing it. I googled it to find this:

“Humbition is one part humility and one part ambition. We notice that by far the lion’s share of world-changing luminaries are humble people. They focus on the work, not themselves. They seek success–they are ambitious–but they are humbled when it arrives. They know that much of that success was luck, timing, and a thousand factors out of their personal control. They feel lucky, not all powerful… So be ambitious. Be a leader. But do not belittle others in your pursuit of your ambitions. Raise them up instead. The biggest leader is the one washing the feet of others.”

-Jane Harper, a 30-year veteran of IBM, and a group of her colleagues

Is it possible for Main posts to also be listed on Discussion but have an added highlight effect around their title or something? Then people can tell they're Main while now having to check a rarely used side subreddit.

Bravo for taking a step in a novel direction. Main is not useful any longer.

Time and live experience will tell if these changes will work well (hard for me to conceptualize the proposals sans real traffic...), but what exists is broken. So why not try an innovation.

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