TL;DR: We’re considering making an official “Draft Amnesty Day” on the Forum when users will be encouraged to share unfinished posts, unpolished writing, butterfly ideas, thoughts they’re not sure they endorse, etc. We’re looking for feedback on this idea.
In the spirit of draft amnesty, I’m sharing this post even though it’s not very polished. :)
We’re often told that posting on the Forum is intimidating. Anecdotally, lots of people have drafts they’ve written that they feel uncertain about. A draft like this tends to sit around in Google Drives gathering metaphorical dust until the author decides to spend time and finalize it (often, months later), the idea becomes irrelevant (someone posts something that makes it redundant, or the moment passes), or the draft is just discarded.
I think it’s good to maintain a high standard for content on the Forum, but it’s a shame and a real loss when potentially very useful ideas never see the light of day — or get shared half a year later than they could have been.
Sharing a draft before you share a final version of a post can also mean that the final version is better! Others can provide feedback, notice flaws, share relevant resources, etc. You can also fail faster, which is also a win.
How this would work
- We’d announce a day (or weekend). On that day, there might be a banner at the top of the Frontpage announcing that it’s Draft Amnesty Day (DAD).
- By default, we’d do this once and see how it goes. We wouldn’t plan for it to be recurring.
- We’d make a tag and encourage everyone to use it. Users who aren’t logged in wouldn’t see DAD posts by default, and others would be able to hide the posts entirely.
- We’d provide a template message to put on the top of DAD posts so that others can engage with it accordingly.
- We’d ask people to be especially nice in the comments of DAD posts (and would be ready to moderate any cases that violate this norm). On the other hand, honest feedback would likely be really useful, so I’d hope that this wouldn’t prevent people from commenting, and I’d encourage people to post “feedback guidelines.”
- Maybe: these posts wouldn’t be indexed on search engines, meaning they wouldn’t show up when you search via something like Google.
- If you end up polishing or otherwise finalizing a DAD draft and would like to share it again, we’d encourage that — you wouldn’t need to worry that you should “save” your posts for later.
An example blurb to put on top of DAD posts
|This is a Draft Amnesty Day draft. That means it’s not polished, it’s probably not up to my standards, the ideas are not thought out, and I haven’t checked everything. I was explicitly encouraged to post something unfinished!|
|Commenting and feedback guidelines: I’m going with the default — please be nice. But constructive feedback is appreciated; please let me know what you think is wrong. Feedback on the structure of the argument is also appreciated.|
This would go right under the title (if the author wants to put it there).
What do you think of this idea?
How could it go wrong? How could it be improved? Would you post anything? Please share your feedback!
You can also use the comment section of this post to share ideas you have for posts and get feedback on those ideas.
I might not respond to everything, but I'll read all the comments.