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Habryka comments on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Habryka 16 September 2017 11:13:55PM 4 points [-]

I am somewhat conflicted about this. HPMOR has been really successful at recruiting people to this community (HPMOR is the path by which I ended up here), and according to last year's survey about 25% of people who took the survey found out about LessWrong via HPMOR. I am hesitant to hide our best recruitment tool behind trivial inconveniences.

One solution to this that I've been thinking about is to have a separate section of the page filled with rationalist art and fiction, which would prominently feature HPMOR, Unsong and some of the other best rationalist fiction out there. I can imagine that section of the page itself getting a lot of traffic, since fiction is a lot easier to get into than the usually more dry reading on LW and SSC, and if we set up a good funnel between that part of the site and the main discussion we might get a lot of benefits, without needing to feature HPMOR prominently on the frontpage.

Comment author: gjm 19 September 2017 11:55:32AM 5 points [-]

I am hesitant to hide our best recruitment tool behind trivial inconveniences.

HPMOR is an effective tool for getting people to find out about Less Wrong. But someone who is at the front page of the site has already found Less Wrong.

a separate section of the page filled with rationalist art and fiction

A separate section of the site, I suggest. It doesn't need to be on the front page.

Comment author: SaidAchmiz 16 September 2017 11:32:52PM 3 points [-]

Are you sure that the set of people that are being recruited to the community via HPMOR, and the set of people whom we most want to recruit into the community, have a lot of overlap? Or are these, perhaps, largely disjoint sets? What about the set of people whom we most want to recruit, and the set of people who are repelled by HPMOR? Might there not be quite a bit of overlap there?

Numbers aren't everything!

I agree with the idea of having a separate rationalist fiction page. (Perhaps we might even make it so separate that it's actually a whole other site! A page / site section of "links to rationality-themed fiction" wouldn't be out of place, however.)

Comment author: Habryka 17 September 2017 02:35:44AM 4 points [-]

"Are you sure that the set of people that are being recruited to the community via HPMOR, and the set of people whom we most want to recruit into the community, have a lot of overlap?"

I agree that this is a concern to definitely think about, though in this case I feel like I have pretty solid evidence that there is indeed large amount of overlap. A lot of the best people that I've seen show up over the last few years seem to have been attracted by HPMOR (I would say more than 25%). It would be great to have some better formatted data on this, and for a long time I wanted someone to just create a spreadsheet for a large set of people in the rationalist community and codify their origin story, but until we have something like this, the data that I have from various surveys + personal experience + being in a key position to observe where people are coming from (working with CFAR and CEA for the last few years) I am pretty sure that there is significant overlap.

Comment author: DragonGod 17 September 2017 01:25:30AM 0 points [-]

Perhaps we might even make it so separate that it's actually a whole other site!

I think this is counter productive.

Comment author: DragonGod 17 September 2017 09:35:43AM 1 point [-]

One solution to this that I've been thinking about is to have a separate section of the page filled with rationalist art and fiction, which would prominently feature HPMOR, Unsong and some of the other best rationalist fiction out there. I can imagine that section of the page itself getting a lot of traffic, since fiction is a lot easier to get into than the usually more dry reading on LW and SSC, and if we set up a good funnel between that part of the site and the main discussion we might get a lot of benefits, without needing to feature HPMOR prominently on the frontpage.

I think this is a great solution.