Proposed New Features for Less Wrong

byalyssavance9y27th Apr 2010174 comments


Followup to: Announcing the Less Wrong Sub-Reddit

After the recent discussion about the Less Wrong sub-reddit, me and Less Wrong site designer Matthew Fallshaw have been discussing possible site improvements, and ways to implement them. As far as I can tell, the general community consensus in the previous post was that a discussion section to replace the Open Thread would be a good idea, due to the many problems with Open Thread, but that it would be problematic to host it off-site. For this reason, our current proposal involves modifying the main site to include a separate "Discussion" section in the navigation bar (next to "Wiki | Sequences | About"). What are now Open Thread comments would be hosted in the Discussion section, in a more user-friendly and appropriate format (similar to Reddit's or a BBS forum's). If my impression was mistaken, please do say so. (If you think that this is a great idea, please do say so as well, to avoid Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate.)

We have also identified another potential problem with the site: the high quality standard, heavy use of neologisms, and karma penalties for being wrong might be intimidating to newcomers. To help alleviate this, after much discussion, we have come up with two different proposals. (To avoid bias, I'm not going to say which one is mine and which one is Matthew's.)

- Proposal 1: Posts submitted to Less Wrong can be tagged with a "karma coward" option. Such posts can still be voted on, but votes on them will have no effect on a user's karma total. There will be a Profile option to hide "karma coward" posts from view.

- Proposal 2: A grace period for new users. Votes on comments from new users will have no effect on that user's karma total for a certain period of time, like two weeks or a month.

- Proposal 3: Do nothing; the site remains as-is.

To see what the community consensus is, I have set up a poll here: Comments on our proposals, and alternative proposals, are more than welcome. (To avoid clogging the comments, please do not simply declare your vote without explaining why you voted that way.)

EDIT: Posts and comments in the discussion section would count towards a user's karma total (not withstanding the implementation of proposal 1 and proposal 2), although posts would only earn a user 1 karma per upvote instead of 10.

EDIT 2: To avoid contamination by other people's ideas, please vote before you look at the comments.