This is a reference post to explain the distinction between the EA Forum's Frontpage and Community sections. We’ll update this post over time to add examples and clarifications.
- Allow people who are newer to the community to become engaged with core ideas before engaging with community discussion, which might seem insular or confusing to people not aware of the specifics.
- Allow people to choose to engage with quite different types of content.
The Frontpage is for discussing ideas relevant to doing the most good, which we expect to be of interest even to people who are not particularly involved with the effective altruism community.
This content should be relatively timeless: most of this work should be on topics which you expect to still be relevant in 5-10 years. Of course, as we make progress on these research questions, some of the content is likely to be superseded, but the topics are likely to stick around. This content also shouldn’t make significant reference to organizations, individuals, or events in the community. This is not to say that Frontpage posts can’t assume prior knowledge: it’s useful for making progress that some core concepts can be assumed, but it should not be assumed that you’re socially connected with the community, or familiar with the organizations in the community.
Examples of Frontpage posts:
- Cause prioritization research (“What is the scale of mental health as a cause area?”, e.g. this piece on the whether neglectedness is a good predictor of impact)
- Research on specific promising causes (“Here’s a new idea related to AI policy”, e.g. this post on measuring dietary change)
- Research on specific strategies for doing good (“This is a new consideration in favour of earning to give”, e.g. this post on how to think about talent gaps)
- Summaries of core concepts (“I couldn’t find a good summary of the expanding moral circle, so I wrote one up”, e.g. this post on how to think about the good we do)
- Research related to general features of building effective communities, or the effectiveness of community-building in general (“Here’s what the literature says works for increasing diversity”, e.g. research on burnout, how useful is debate to effective altruism?)
Community discussion is for discussion of community topics, organizational updates, and more situation-specific posts:
Examples of community posts:
- Organizational updates (“We just started this project! We’d like feedback on how we’re doing X”, e.g. this post on a crowdfunding platform or this organizational update)
- Discussion of specific community building strategies (“Our group tried running this type of event, and we found…”, e.g. this post on watching EAG videos)
- Discussion of issues in the community (“EA isn’t welcoming enough”/"X happened at Y event", e.g. this post on how EA has been gaining more mainstream attention)
- Situation-specific discussion (“I think that this organization should pay more attention to Y”, e.g. this post criticising an organization, and their response)
- Discussion of the Forum itself (with the exception of occasional announcement posts). E.g. this welcome post or this update post.
If your post contains some general points, but you also want to point out how it relates to a specific circumstance, we recommend that you create two separate posts, and link to the Frontpage post from the community post. If your post is a mixture of Community and Frontpage content, we will put it in the Community section.
Of course, this distinction is always likely to be somewhat fuzzy. Posts are more likely to be on Frontpage the more they are timeless, the less they make reference to particular events and organizations, and the more they are setting out facts/considerations rather than trying to persuade. But sometimes there will be judgement calls to be made. We anticipate edge cases around assessments of the (relative) value of organizations: if these are assessments are focused on the principles of assessing effectiveness, they are likely to be on the Frontpage, whereas posts on the effectiveness of particular organizations are likely to be in Community.
Comments on Frontpage posts which are focused on topics which are normally discussed in Community will be removed. (The text of removed comments will be sent to their author, along with the reasons for deletion.) Users are encouraged to start a separate thread for discussion in Community, and link from the Community discussion to the Frontpage discussion.
Moderators will decide which posts are moved to the community section - users need only publish their posts. All other posts will be in the Frontpage section. We are happy to discuss the principles behind moderation, but won’t always be available to discuss specific moderation decisions.