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Yosarian2 comments on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Yosarian2 16 September 2017 09:00:26PM *  4 points [-]

My concern around the writing portion of your idea is this: from my point of view, the biggest problem with lesswrong is that the sheer quantity of new content is extremely low. In order for a LessWrong 2.0 to succeed, you absolutly have to get more people spending the time and effort to create great content. Anything you do to make it harder for people to contribute new content will make that problem worse. Especially anything that creates a barrier for new people who want to post something in discussion. People will not want to write content that nobody might see unless it happens to get promoted.

Once you get a constant stream of content on a daily basis, then maybe you can find a way to curate it to highlight the best content. But you need that stream of content and engagement first and foremost or I worry the whole thing may be stillborn.

Comment author: Habryka 16 September 2017 11:56:18PM 4 points [-]

Agree with this.

I do however think that we actually have a really large stream of high-quality-content already in the broader rationality diaspora that we just need to tap into and get onto the new page. As such, the problem is a bit easier than getting a ton of new content creators, and is instead more of a problem of building something that the current content creators want to move towards.

And as soon as we have a high-quality stream of new content I think it will be easier to attract new writers who will be looking to expand their audience.

Comment author: Yosarian2 17 September 2017 01:48:05AM *  3 points [-]

Maybe; there certanly are a lot of good rationalist bloggers who have at least at some point been interested in LessWrong. I don't think bloggers will come back though unless the site first becomes more active then it currently is. (They may give it a chance after the Beta is rolled out, but if activity doesn't increase quickly they'll leave again.) Activity and an active community is necessary to keep a project like this going. Without an active community here there's no point in coming back here instead of posting on your own blog.

I guess my concern here though is that right now, LessWrong has a "discussion" side which is a little active and a "main" side which is totally dead. And it sounds like this plan would basically get rid of the discussion side, and make it harder to post on the main side. Won't the most likely outcome just be to lower the amount of content and the activity level even more, maybe to zero?

Fundamentally, I think the premise of your second bottleneck is incorrect. We don't really have a problem with signal-to-noise ratio here, most of the posts that do get posted here are pretty good, and the few that aren't don't get upvoted and most people ignore them without a problem. We have a problem with low total activity, which is almost the exact opposite problem.

Comment author: Viliam 19 September 2017 11:17:14PM 0 points [-]

the sheer quantity of new content is extremely low

That depends on how much time you actually want to spend reading LW. I mean, the optimal quantity will be different for a person who reads LW two hours a day, or a person who reads LW two hours a week. Now the question is which one of these should we optimize LW for? The former seems more loyal, but the latter is probably more instrumentally rational if we agree that people should be doing things besides reading web. (Also, these days LW competes for time with SSC and others.)

Comment author: Yosarian2 19 September 2017 11:28:55PM 1 point [-]

Ideally, you would want to generate enough content for the person who wants to read LW two hours a day, an then promote or highlight the best 5%-10% of the content so someone who has only two hours a week can see it.

Everyone is much better off that way. The person with only two hours a week is getting much better content then if there was much less content to begin with.

Comment author: Viliam 20 September 2017 10:38:32PM 1 point [-]

If LW2 remembers who read what, I guess "a list of articles you haven't read yet, ordered by highest karma, and secondarily by most recent" would be a nice feature that would scale automatically.