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Slow down a little... maybe?

-4 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 March 2009 01:34AM

I think that three posts a day over and above Yudkowsky and/or Hanson posts might be enough.  Where anything that gets voted to 0 or below doesn't count, nor do quick links.

Say you differently, readers?  I'm just trying to space things out so we don't get overloaded with everything, all at once... if it turns out that people just have more to say than this, sustainably in the long term, then we can raise the posting speed.

Comments (21)

Comment author: Marcello 07 March 2009 05:22:46PM *  14 points [-]

It strikes me that it's not necessarily a bad thing if people are, right now, posting articles faster than they could sustainably produce in the long term. One thing you could do is not necessarily promote things immediately after they're written. Stuff on LW should still be relevant a week after it's written.

If there's a buffer of good posts waiting to be promoted, then we could make the front page a consistent stream of good articles, as opposed to having to promote slightly lower quality posts on bad days, and missing out on a few excellent posts on fast days.

EDIT: Another reason to wait before promoting things is that the goodness of some kinds of posts might really depend on the quality of the discussion that starts to form around them.

Comment author: MichaelHoward 07 March 2009 03:55:08PM *  11 points [-]

Restricting total posts (rather than per contributor) would make posting a rare/scarce resource, making people want it even more. Picking a system to pick who does and who doesn't get to post opens a huge can of worms.

Restricting the number of promotions sends a message that promotion isn't based solely on quality, popularity, and importance, it's also intentionally biased by accident of timing. This could cheapen it.

I'd write a post on how writing a post at busy times may be irrational, all else equal, because (for example):

  • Less people will read, comment and vote on a post that's lost in the crowd.

  • It's less likely to capture the attention of busy promoters, even if they're trying to stick to promoting based on good reasons.

  • If you wait a bit rather than posting so early you'll get a better idea of what kind of post is better understood, more useful, and considered higher quality.

Comment author: Lawliet 07 March 2009 02:13:58AM 7 points [-]

Other sites with similar systems have a constant stream of junk posts that nobody sees, wasnt the promotion/voting system meant to bring the rare good ones out of the junk?

If you're hoping for a growing community, wont it be even harder to maintain a slow post rate?

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 07 March 2009 02:21:58AM *  8 points [-]

Posters and commenters should learn (and be taught) to self-moderate. If the moderation culture consistently downvotes posts that are not good enough for the front page into deep negative, posters will think twice before posting something predictably unworthy.

I think an additional endorsement to downvote worthless posts, not just bad ones, should be included in the moderation guidelines.

Comment author: timtyler 07 March 2009 01:49:00AM 6 points [-]

What seems to be needed is a page about the rules of Less Wrong - who can do what and how often - the moderation policy - that sort of thing.

If different rules are to apply to Yudkowsky and Hanson, then that could be made clear there.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 07 March 2009 02:07:18AM 9 points [-]

I vote in favor of equal rights for all here on Less Wrong. Yudkowsky and Hanson should stick with Overcoming Bias if they want exclusive privileges.

Comment author: imaxwell 07 March 2009 04:13:34AM 2 points [-]

Agree with this comment. It doesn't seem that OB is going to shut down altogether, and I expect most of us intend to keep reading it.

Comment author: Lawliet 07 March 2009 02:19:15AM 3 points [-]

Eliezer and Robin decide what gets promoted, if the site gets a lot of junk on it, then thats presumably going to be a pretty important role.

Comment author: jimrandomh 07 March 2009 02:35:34AM 5 points [-]

I agree; limit the posting rate. But wait a week or two before you do so. It may just be that a lot of people had ideas they wanted to write about, and took the opening of posting as their cue to do so. If that's the case, then the post volume should die down on its own. I don't want good articles to be rejected, but I don't want posts appearing faster than I can read and digest them, either.

In theory, I should be able to decide what to read by setting a score threshold, and tuning it according to how much time I have to spend. Unfortunately, many sites have tried this and it doesn't work in practice, because the posts with the most positive votes are older, and replies to older threads are read by fewer people and earn less karma. I'd rather have an editor tell me which threads are worth my time, so I can skip worthless threads and still join discussions on the worthwhile ones while they're fresh.

Comment author: nazgulnarsil 07 March 2009 01:58:02AM 5 points [-]

maybe have the promoted page move at a slower pace for the higher quality articles and let the other pages (such as controversial) soak up the chaff.

Comment author: outlawpoet 07 March 2009 04:16:52AM 4 points [-]

Having differing updating speeds for different pages is a good idea.

Comment author: outlawpoet 07 March 2009 04:14:34AM 4 points [-]

I favor a lot of posting and commenting, at least initially. It's not clear to me what kinds of ideas and communication is going to be promoted by this community, and I think a wide variety of possible things for reader/commenter/providers to latch onto provides the most possibility of something interesting coming out of this.

As other commenters have said, I imagine people will lose enthusiasm or run out of ideas eventually anyway, and we'll settle into a steadier state of posts/comments.

Comment author: [deleted] 07 March 2009 06:46:07AM 4 points [-]

It seems to me like that sort of restriction could lead to people disengaging from the community. Generally, people getting involved in Less Wrong (either through commenting or posting) seems to be a good thing.

Would it work to just let people know that only a small number of posts will be promoted in any one period and just let them decide themselves whether to therefore wait to post later?

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 07 March 2009 07:37:40AM 1 point [-]

Would it work to just let people know that only a small number of posts will be promoted in any one period and just let them decide themselves whether to therefore wait to post later?

That makes a lot of sense. Anyone object to that?

Comment author: Lawliet 07 March 2009 07:55:38AM 2 points [-]

That makes a lot of sense. Anyone object to that?

If they are useful, shouldn't you be glad to hear objections?

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 07 March 2009 06:12:25PM 1 point [-]

I don't like it. Maybe you could give the submitters the option of allowing their post to be delayed in exchange for a better chance at promotion?

Comment author: Johnicholas 07 March 2009 12:19:21PM 0 points [-]

No, that's the policy that I was expecting.

Comment author: CannibalSmith 07 March 2009 08:22:54AM 4 points [-]

Everyone doesn't need to read everything.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 07 March 2009 02:04:25AM 0 points [-]

Let's wait for a couple of weeks and see what happens. Yesterday was primarily a comment explosion, not post explosion, although it was likely caused by the number of posts. Maybe it was even related to opening the comment Karma, who knows...

Nonetheless, limiting to 1 post a day for any given contributor seems like a good idea.

Comment author: imaxwell 07 March 2009 04:23:15AM 1 point [-]

I've given up on more than one message board because it grew to the point where I could no longer reaonably stay up-to-date. It would be nice if LW didn't develop the same problem.

That said, this seems like a hard rule to enforce, unless we happen to have fewer than three people wrting posts. I was about to say "how do we decide which three posts should appear" and then I remembered that that's what voting is for.

If this 'explosion' is temporary, I have no problem dealing with it for a few days or weeks. This is the time when LW is still new and exciting and everyong will be willing to read two dozen posts a day. By the time the novelty of reading has worn off, maybe the novelty of writing will as well.