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Getting Feedback by Restricting Content

1 Post author: billswift 27 November 2009 10:50PM

Sivers just posted an important point about getting feedback, to get feedback on a post, present only one idea at a time.

Original post here http://sivers.org/1idea ; Hacker News comments http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=964183 ; my post on it http://williambswift.blogspot.com/2009/11/many-ideas-or-one-idea-or-both.html

The main point of my post is: I wonder if there is any way to combine the two views?  To provide more background and context, with the necessarily larger numbers of ideas being presented, while still getting useful feedback from readers.

Comments (10)

Comment author: billswift 28 November 2009 04:15:01AM 2 points [-]

One idea at a time is great for getting feedback. It is not so good for a reader trying to develop understanding. And the "sequences" don't really help much, trying to read/reread several to try to get context for understanding something is too choppy. I don't know what the best trade-off may be, but I can hope things will improve.

Comment author: wedrifid 28 November 2009 05:16:36AM 0 points [-]

And the "sequences" don't really help much, trying to read/reread several to try to get context for understanding something is too choppy.

The 'Eliezer' sequences were great. Without absorbing the foundations progressively like that it would have been extremely difficult to understand his most interesting points. Most other sequences I haven't found nearly as useful, for the 'choppy' reason that you mention.

(To be fair I suspect the "Could/Should/Would Agent" sequence was quite worthwhile. I put off giving it much more than an introductory skim because I have an instinctive aversion to the word 'should', even if the way they use it is not that of a categorical boundary presumption. Nevertheless, it is on my to-read list and quite probably warrants inclusion in the worthwhile sequence list.)

Comment author: taw 28 November 2009 12:44:16AM 2 points [-]

A bunch of links without tl;dr version? Please add tl;dr version, it's not Reddit.

Comment author: wedrifid 28 November 2009 02:36:58AM *  1 point [-]

What is a tl;dr version? I can only assume from context that it is the text but don't understand the reference.

Comment author: gwern 28 November 2009 03:03:43AM 2 points [-]

A very brief summary, usually cheekish.

Comment author: arundelo 28 November 2009 03:09:25AM *  4 points [-]

... for people whose opinion of the linked material would otherwise be "Too long; didn't read".

Comment author: wedrifid 28 November 2009 04:46:16AM 2 points [-]

Ahh, thanks. The first acronym I've seen that includes a semicolon.

Comment author: AndrewKemendo 28 November 2009 03:38:35AM *  1 point [-]

[P]resent only one idea at a time.

Most posts do present one idea at a time. However it may not seem like it because most of the ideas presented are additive - that is, you have to have a fairly good background on topics that have been presented previously in order to understand the current topic. OB and LW are hard to get into for the uninitiated.

To provide more background and context, with the necessarily larger numbers of ideas being presented, while still getting useful feedback from readers.

That is what the sequences were designed to do - give the background needed.

Comment author: wedrifid 28 November 2009 05:20:00AM *  0 points [-]

The main point of my post is: I wonder if there is any way to combine the two views? To provide more background and context, with the necessarily larger numbers of ideas being presented, while still getting useful feedback from readers.

The important thing isn't the idea count. It is how well they are presented in the post and how relevant they are to the audience. Presenting multiple ideas in one post can generate useful feedback however expect the feedback to be focussed on one of the ideas, with others potentially neglected regardless of their merit.

Both Murphy and the nature of online communication suggest that particular focus can be expected on the worst idea, which warrants the most critisism. This may or may not be desirable depending on your reasons for wanting feedback.

Comment author: billswift 28 November 2009 09:15:54AM 0 points [-]

Sivers said that he got more feedback when he restricted a post to a single idea than he did when he had multiple ideas in a post. Not better feedback, not more feedback per idea, but flat-out more responses to a single idea post.