Blog Post Day (Unofficial)

by Daniel Kokotajlo1 min read18th Feb 20208 comments

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Writing (communication method)ProductivityCommunity
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TL;DR: You are invited to join us online on Saturday the 29th, to write that blog post you've been thinking about writing but never got around to. Comment if you accept this invitation, so I can gauge interest.

The Problem:

Like me, you are too scared and/or lazy to write up this idea you've had. What if it's not good? I started a draft but... Etc.

The Solution:

1. Higher motivation via Time Crunch and Peer Encouragement

We'll set an official goal of having the post put up by midnight. Also, we'll meet up in a special-purpose discord channel to chat, encourage each other, swap half-finished drafts, etc. If like me you are intending to write the thing one day eventually, well, here's a reason to make that day this day.

2. Lower standards via Time Crunch and Safety in Numbers

Since we have to be done by midnight, we'll all be under time pressure and any errors or imperfections in the posts will be forgivable. Besides, they can always be fixed later via edits. Meanwhile, since a bunch of us will be posting on the same day, writing a sloppy post just means it won't be read much, since everyone will be talking about the handful of posts that turn out to be really good. If you are like me, these thoughts are comforting and encouraging.

Evidence this Works:

MIRI Summer Fellows Program had a Blog Post Day towards the end, and it was enormously successful. It worked for me, for example: It squeezed two good posts out of me. (OK, so one of them I finished up early the next morning, so I guess it technically doesn't count. But in spirit it does: It wouldn't have happened at all without Blog Post Day.) More importantly, MSFP keeps doing this every year, even though opportunity cost for them is much higher (probably) than the opportunity cost for you or me. I don't know what else you had planned for Saturday the 29th... (Actually, if you do have something else planned, but otherwise want to participate in Blog Post Day, let me know. Maybe we can pick a different day.)

Side Benefits:

It'll be fun!

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8 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 7:10 PM
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I'll also be taking part, aiming to move a draft post from half-written to published.

I'd like to participate. I'm new to reason and rationality in general, but it's been very interesting to learn about.

I'll participate (either on that day or possibly an adjaecent one if I end up with scheduling conflicts)

Sure thing, I'll write a blogpost that day.

This is a great idea; I’m definitely up for it.

What time zone will this be in?

There's a >20% chance I'll join. There's a much higher chance I'll show up to write some comments (which can also be an important thing).

I'm happy you're making this happen.

Glad to hear you are interested! Well, I'm in US Eastern time, but timing can be flexible. If we have enough people, perhaps Blog Post Day will effectively be longer than 24 hours. I'm thinking it would be a relatively casual affair, with people dropping in or out as they see fit.

Thanks in advance to those who join me on this venture! And those who give advice, criticism, etc.

If we get sufficient interest, it might be good to organize local meetups. Anyone else in North Carolina want to meet up with me for this?