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moridinamael comments on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview - Less Wrong

47 Post author: Habryka 15 September 2017 03:00AM

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Comment author: moridinamael 15 September 2017 09:48:48PM 12 points [-]

I've heard that in some cases, humans regard money to be an incentive.

Integrating Patreon, Paypal or some existing micropayments system could allow users to not only upvote but financially reward high-value community members.

If Less Wrong had a little "support this user on Patreon" icon next to every poster's username, I would certainly have thrown some dollars at more than a handful of Less Wrong posters. Put more explicitly - maybe Yvain and Eliezer would be encouraged to post certain content on LW2.0 rather than SSC/Facebook if they reliably got a little cash from the community at large every time they did it.

Speaking of the uses of money, I'm fond of communities that are free to read but require a small registration fee in order to post. Such fees are a practically insurmountable barrier to trolls. Eugine Nier could not have done what he did if registering an account cost $10, or even $1.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 16 September 2017 07:37:18AM *  7 points [-]

Does anyone know the literature on intrinsic motivation well enough to comment on whether paying users to post is liable to undermine other sources of motivation?

The registration fee idea is interesting, but exacerbates the chicken and egg problem inherent in online communities. I also have a hunch that registration fees tend to make people excessively concerned with preserving their account's reputation (so they can avoid getting banned and losing something they paid money for), in a way that's cumulatively harmful to discourse, but I can't prove this.

Comment author: lifelonglearner 16 September 2017 03:14:17PM *  7 points [-]


See here and here

As one might expect, money is often a deterrent for actual habituation.

EDIT: Additional clarification:

The first link shows that monetary payment is only effective as a short-term motivator.

The second link is a massive study involving almost 2,000 people which tried to pay people to go to the gym. We found that after the payment period ended, gym attendance fell back to roughly pre-payment levels.

Comment author: Elo 16 September 2017 07:50:13AM 1 point [-]

Yes it will probably cause people to devalue the site. If you pay a dollar it will tend to "feel like" the entire endeavour is worth a dollar.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 17 September 2017 02:06:48AM 1 point [-]

I was talking about paying people to contribute. Not having people pay for membership.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 16 September 2017 02:29:35PM 1 point [-]

Metafilter has continued to be a pretty good site even though it requires a small fee to join. There's also a requirement to post a few comments (you can comment for free but need to be a member to do top level posts) and wait a week after sending in money. And it's actively moderated.


Comment author: moridinamael 16 September 2017 02:27:18PM 1 point [-]

So charge $50 =)

Comment author: DragonGod 16 September 2017 05:22:44PM 0 points [-]

What about a currency say tokens that you get with upvotes and posts? 10 upvotes gives 1 token. You may add token payment for posts and/or comments to incentivise activity (I'm not sure this would be all round a good idea though (adding payment incentives may lead to a greater quantity of activity, but lower quality). So token payments on activity that garners a certain number of upvotes?

Tokens can be given to other users, and gives them karma as well (if 10 karma = 1 token, then transferring a token may cause the recipient to gain an increase of 5 - 9 karma)? Tokens would be a method of costly signalling that you enjoyed particular content--sort of a non money analogue of reddit gold.

Comment author: casebash 15 September 2017 10:40:52PM 0 points [-]

Are there many communities that do that apart from meta-filter?

Comment author: moridinamael 15 September 2017 10:50:38PM 1 point [-]

You mean communities that require a fee? I'm specifically thinking of SomethingAwful. Which has a bad reputation, but is actually an excellent utility if you visit only the subforums and avoid the general discussion and politics sections of the site.