EA Directory & Groups Discussion Board

by DavidNash2 min read25th Feb 20203 comments

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Personal Blog

Summary

I've made a website to help people find the most up to date resources and communities for the areas they are interested in. There are sub-directories for careers, causes and local regions, with the largest topics within those having sub-sub-directories. It is also has the capability to be a groups discussion board if it reaches a critical mass of people who want to post about niche topics or cross post resources/questions.

Problems I'm attempting to solve

There have been posts every so often about the EA forum, "I find this forum increasingly difficult to navigate" and "The EA Forum is a News Feed ". I'll copy over the bullet point summary I made in the latter post.

  • Hard to find relevant groups/topics
  • Forum can give an underwhelming impression
  • Hard to find the current best knowledge about a particular cause or career
  • Missing out on possible connections
  • Can be intimidating to post on the forum
  • Conversation is forced onto Facebook which limits some people from engaging

I think these are issues for EA as a whole, not just the EA Forum, and that having a directory/discussions board would be complementary. I suspect that if it becomes popular it would mostly take conversation away from Facebook subgroups and that the main source of conversation would be from people who otherwise wouldn't have posted, whether that's because they don't know about a subgroup or there is a perception of high bar to pass on the EA Forum.

Another EA Conversation Space

One large concern with this idea is that there are already lots of places for people interested in EA to discuss ideas. At the moment I'm aware of the following EA conversation spaces

  • The EA Forum
  • The main EA Facebook group
  • 100+ EA Facebook subgroups
  • EA Slack groups
  • EA Discord
  • EA Subreddit
  • Google Docs
  • WhatsApp groups
  • Facebook Messenger groups

I think there are a few advantages to having a new groups discussion board that aren't covered by the above options.

  • It could enable more focused conversations and storage of relevant posts in each subgroup
  • It can include people who don't use Facebook
  • Someone new to EA can see resources and conversations related to their interests/career (and make a more accurate decision as to whether EA is relevant to them rather than whatever happens to be top of the EA forum/Facebook)
  • It allows people to see a whole range of EA related discussions, potentially allowing them to be connected to useful resources and people much sooner and avoiding repeated questions/out of date critiques
  • Potentially a perception of a lower barrier to posting there than the EA forum
  • It could be used as a Wiki, although not as good as creating tools purely for that purpose, but potentially more likely to have ongoing usage
  • A cause having it's own online space may allow it to grow faster than if it was just competing for attention on the EA Forum, for example it may have been useful to have a dedicated AI Alignment forum earlier on
  • If people don't use it, I still think it's good to experiment with ideas that I expect to fail but there's a small chance it could be quite useful
  • It's easier to share links to a website than various google docs

Let me know if there is a way to improve this. Also if people think there is missing content feel free to message me or post it to the specific subgroup and I can add it to the pinned posts at the top of each category.

Personal Blog

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