Edit from 2022: Consider checking the Forum user manual if you're not sure if something you're looking for might already be possible. 

 

Hello, Forum!

This is Aaron and JP of the EA Forum team. 

We spend a lot of time working on the Forum, and we’d like to hear your ideas for making it better. These can be new features or other kinds of requests.

Even if you don’t have suggestions of your own, consider upvoting ideas you like from the comments. That will have nonzero influence on the features we prioritize (though we also take many other factors into account).

If you’d rather make a suggestion privately, get in touch with us through this page.

Edit April 2022: This thread is still very live as you can see by the continual influx of suggestions. We have now synced our asana project with our public Github issues list, so you can see our recorded tasks there.[1] I'd still recommend suggesting features here so that other users can see and discuss them. — JP

  1. ^

    Note: there's a delay between when we write tasks down and when they get triaged into a state that gets synced with Github.

Comments813
Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 11:01 AM
Some comments are truncated due to high volume. (⌘F to expand all)Change truncation settings

Expose "voting tribes" in the comments.

We could run a similar algorithm to X's Community Notes. Then, on contentious topics, we could easily see the main axis of disagreement. We could also have a comment sorting option, that upranks those upvoted by people from both sides of the disagreement.

See this thread for discussion and corresponding post for algorithm description.

I have a feature removal suggestion.

Can the notification menu please go back to being like LW?

The LW version (which EA Forum used to have too) is more compact, which gives a better overview. I also prefer when karma and notifications are separate.  I don't want to see karma updates in my notification dropdown.

I think having a separate section for community posts has greatly improved my experience of the forum. However I think there are still quite a lot of posts that stay on the front page for a long time for similar reasons to why community posts did - because they '[interest] everyone at least a little bit' and/or are 'accessible to everyone, or on topics where everyone has an opinion'

I want to see posts that do things like present the results of significant work get more attention, and to a lesser extent posts that are topical - i.e. announcements abo... (read more)

Something that came to mind after reading recent posts by Ulrik and Sarah, along with the reaction to them - Can we do better at distinguishing downvotes and disagreevotes?

In my mind, I view downvotes as saying:

  • This content violates Forum norms/content policies
  • This content does not belong on the Forum
  • I want to see less of this content on the Forum
  • The community values this content (specifically or in general) too highly

Whereas disagreevotes are saying:

  • There are particular claims in the piece which are wrong
  • The argument of the post may be valid, but it does
... (read more)

Hi JP,

I think it would be good if there was an option to make the interests (in terms of EA Forum tags) in one's own profile visible, as this could be an easy way to see the topics someone is into.

I quite like the summary bot, and think it would often be useful (particularly for posts without author-written summaries) to read the summary first before deciding to read the whole post. Of course, it is easy to scroll all the way down, read the summary, and then decide whether to read the post. But humans are lazy and to make the user experience as frictionless as possible, how about the AI-written summary goes at the top, above the post? Not everyone would like this, so I think there should be an option for each user whether they want the summary at th... (read more)

Hi JP,

I wonder whether it would be good to have a pop-up showing up each time one strongly downvoted a post or comment, saying something like, "Consider explaining what could be improved". If this was implemented, I also think there should be a way of disabling the pop-up in the settings.

Hi JP,

I have noted EA Forum's GitHub repository has 666 issues and 102 pull requests. I would be curious to know how you are prioritising what to develop.

6
JP Addison
2mo
Some good kabbalistic significance to our issue tracker, but I'm not sure how. First, a note: I have heard recommendations to try to lower the number of issues. I've never understood it except as a way to pretend like you don't have bugs. For sure some of those issues are stale and out of date, but quite a few are probably live but ultimately very edge-case and unimportant bugs, or feature requests we probably won't get to but could be good. I don't think it's a good use of time to prune it, and most of the approaches I've seen companies take is to auto-close old bugs, which strikes me as disingenuous. In any case, we have a fairly normal process of setting OKRs for our larger projects, and tiny features / bugfixes get triaged into a backlog that we look at when planning our weekly sprints. The triage process done in our asana and is intentionally not visible publicly so we can feel comfortable marking something as low priority without worrying about needing to argue about it.

Hi JP,

I have just accidentaly published one post. It was not a big deal, as I moved it to drafts, and then published it again 45 min later. Have you considered having a pop-up saying "Are you sure you want to publish?" after one clicks on the button "Publish"? Relatedly, if one moves a published post to the drafts, and then publishes it again, what determines its positition in the front page is:

  • The date the post was 1st published? I guess so.
  • The date the post was last published? I think this would be too spammy.
  • The time for which the post has been publicly accessible? If yes, there would be no need for the pop-up I mentioned above.
4
JP Addison
2mo
Thanks for the report. We currently do the second, which isn't ideal to be sure. If someone redrafts and republishes after a post has been up for a while, an admin will have to adjust the published date manually. This happens surprisingly infrequently relative to what I might've expected, so we haven't prioritized improving that.

Hi JP, 

In recent days I've come to think I would appreciate being able to sort the posts I have saved for later (by date posted, time to read, karma, tags, etc). Is this possible?

Thanks!

2
JP Addison
2mo
No, sorry. I appreciate the question though, and I'll record a ticket about it.

Hi JP,

I think it would be nice to have an option to subscribe to sequences, such that one can be notified of new posts.

6
Sarah Cheng
10d
You can now subscribe to be notified when posts are added to a sequence. Hope this is helpful, and let me know if you run into any issues!
0
Vasco Grilo
9d
Thanks for the update, Sarah!
4
JP Addison
2mo
Definitely. I agree, and so do a few other users. We have an open ticket on it.

Hi JP,

Have you though about adding an option to filter the comments made by a given user by karma? Checking the comments from someone may be a good way of getting a better understanding about their worldview, and sorting them by karma would facilitate this process.

What would people think of adding SummaryBot functionality to some very long comments? The emergence of a new HLI/SM thread reminds me that some comments are post-length and post-complexity contributions; many of them would benefit from a summary. That can be particularly valuable where the original poster and commenter start a dialogue, with long replies to each other's comments. Those threads can take a significant time commitment to get through!

Unsure what the cutoff should be to trigger a comment summary -- maybe 500-600 words?

Has anyone ever considered adding an is-an-alt-account flag to accounts, and requiring alts to be declared? When an alt account was declared, it could either be -- at the creator's option -- blocked from voting altogether, or confidentially linked to the person's main account such that double-voting could easily be identified.

I'm wondering if this could help address the multiple-account voting situations. After a transition period in which every active account would be required to declare alt/non-alt status, using two non-alt accounts itself would establis... (read more)

2
JP Addison
4mo
We've discussed something like this, I'm generally in favor, subject to opportunity cost.

If you press a footnote link in a post and the footnote is hidden in the 'View more footnotes' collapsable list the page scrolls to a footnote you can't see. I found it confusing until I realised you have to press 'view more footnotes' to expand them. It would be good if it opened automatically when you follow a footnote link

Hi. I started drafting a reply but had to stop and now a week later I cannot find where I was drafting it. I would love to be able to see all the places where I have draft comments/replies autosaved. Thank you! 

2
Lorenzo Buonanno
5mo
This is probably not useful anymore, but on Chrome you can open the browser development tools (Right click + "inspect element", or "ctrl+shift+I"), go to the "Application" tab, and in the Storage -> Local storage section you can see all your drafts. (The process on other browsers to access local storage is similar)  

April fools' day request:

I was reading the openai blog post "learning to summarize with human feedback" from the AI Safety Fundamentals course (https://openai.com/research/learning-to-summarize-with-human-feedback), especially the intriguing bit at the end about how if they try to fully optimize the model for maximum reward, they actually overfit and get lower-quality responses.

My ill-advised request is that I would just LOVE to see the EA Forum's "summaryBot" go similarly haywire for a day and start summarizing every post in the same repetitive / aggressi... (read more)

I have said this before but, I do feel like LW and the EA Forum should have ways to quickly input probability distributions to help prevent double illusion of transparency-type dynamics and help people be more concrete without making the text hard to follow.

One format that I like is people can mouse of a word and there will be a little tool tip pop-up thing with prob distribution. The UI for making it could be a cross between making a hyperlink and the metaculus prob distribution mixture creator.

2
JP Addison
6mo
Thanks for this, I do think we should have something along this direction.

Organisation Badges/Tags next to author names on posts/comments

(sent through Intercom before I remembered that this existed)

I generally dislike when people write posts from their organisation - I think that it's hard to know who exactly I'm talking to, it's difficult to know what messages are from the author vs from the org, and it generally feels a bit intimidating to talk to 'Givedirectly' as opposed to Sally who works at Givedireclty.

I do understand the desire for organisations to say things as the org - maybe when someone posts in a professional capaci... (read more)

4
JP Addison
6mo
For posts, I feel like the solution is to add the organization as a coauthor. It's what rethink does, for example. I agree we could probably go further in the direction of discouraging org accounts from being the only author.
2
calebp
6mo
Agree that posts as a coauthor works well and doesn't require implementing any new features. Maybe someone should write a frontage post discussing this at some point and that would be enough?

Hi JP,

When I copy-paste a published-to-web Doc to the EA Forum editor, all bullet points are converted to 1st level bullet points, so I typically have to manually update all higher than 1 order bullets. If I copy-past the Doc (instead of its published-to-web version), the formatting of the bullets is maintained, but then I lose all the footnotes. It would be nice if both bullets formating and footnotes were maintained!

Unclear: arguably deleted comments should not provide positive karma (e.g. this user, who has deleted almost all of her comments).

When I tried publishing a draft of this post with the cross-post to LW option, it didn't work, saying something about being able to cross-post to LW. (I instead posted directly to LW and used to the option cross-post to EA Forum.)

Hi,

Michael Aird suggested some time ago:

getting the EA Forum - and maybe other sites - to have a clearly visible option for putting a badge there if one is a GWWC member

I do not think this ended up being implemented, but it sounds like a good idea. Currently, it is already possible to say in the user profile whether one has attended EA virtual programs, and conferences.

4
JP Addison
6mo
Leaving this here

In comment threads, I often am much more interested in the repeated back-and-forth between the two primary interlocutors than interjections from third parties. Would it be possible to somehow prioritize replies from the author of the grandparent to promote this 'conversation' style reading?

On the wiki:

It seems like 'topics' are trying to serve at least two purposes: linking to wiki articles with info to orient people, and classifying/tagging forum posts. These purposes don't need to be so tied together as they currently are.

One could want to have e.g. 3 classification labels to help subdivide a topic (I think we currently have 'AI safety', 'AI risks', and 'AI alignment'), but that seems like a bad reason to write 3 separate similar articles, which duplicates effort in cases where the topics have a lot of overlap.

A lot of writing time could be saved if tags and wiki articles were split out such that closely related tags could point to the same wiki article.

Can my profile karma total be two numbers, one for community and one for other stuff? I don't want a reader to think my actual work is valuable to people in proportion to my EA Forum karma, as far as I can tell I think 3-5x my karma is community sourced compared to my object-level posts. People should look at my profile as "this guy procrastinates through PVP on social media like everyone else, he should work harder on things that matter". 

We investigated how much karma from Community posts was distorting how much karma users had relative to what would happen if the Community section karma hadn't been there, and relative to our personal "overrated-vs-underrated commenter" ratings. There was somewhat surprisingly not that much improvement from changing the weighting, so we decided to stop working on the project.

Ultimately, you shouldn't take a user's Forum karma has much correlation with their impact. It's quite easy to have a lot of impact with low karma, or to be mostly a terminally online person who doesn't get much object-level work done.

Hi there,

I think links to Google Doc sections are not automatically converted to links to EA Forum sections when one copy-pastes a published-to-web Doc to the EA Forum editor. It would be great if the links updated automatically, instead of continuing to point to the original Doc sections.

Currently, the EA Forum editor has 3 levels of headers, and a 4th one using bold. Google Doc has 6 levels of headers. It would be nice if the EA Forum editor also had 6 levels of headers, such that the structure of the Doc is not broken when there are 4th to 6th level headers (I have never used 5th nor 6th level, but 4th sometimes, and 5th seems possible).

4
JP Addison
6mo
On the first paragraph: this is definitely something that bothers me a bunch, and I hear about often. Sadly it is quite hard to fix. We'd need a bespoke google docs importer to do so, and that's probably too large of a project. On the second: Noted.

Add a 😂 emoji reply!

1)

In links to tags, like this:

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/s/HqxvGsczdf4yLB9FG

Also add a human-readable (slug) part to the url, similarly to what you do with posts:

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/NhSBgYq55BFs7t2cA/ea-forum-feature-suggestion-thread

 

2)

If someone enters a link that doesn't have the human-readable part, like 

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/NhSBgYq55BFs7t2cA

then redirect to a url that does have the human readable part

 

P.S

I really can't think of anything lower priority than this :P but thought I'd write... (read more)

4
JP Addison
7mo
💙

Didn't read through all comments so unsure if this was suggested already, but could the karma / agree votes be located at the bottom of comments rather than at the top (or both)? For very long comments (especially in gnarly threads) it's a pain to scroll up to agree/disagree vote, and it incentivises liking based on the author or first few lines rather than reading through.

Within the community tab 'New and Upvoted' seems to still be the same posts, month after month. Perhaps new should gain more weight, given the current posting frequency and upvoting?

Within-post bookmarks

I often start posts but they are too long to read them in one go and the fact that I have to do that (or forever forget where I am) creates a big ugh field for me. Solution: Within-post bookmarks! I think it would be amazing if we could mark where we are in a post and the next time, we can just click to get ourselves back there!

(FWIW, I think that's a major feature of printed media, which I have much less ugh feelings about reading. You can always put it away without it being annoying later on.)

3
JP Addison
8mo
I expect this to be hard to get right, but I think it would in fact remove a major bottleneck to returning to a post. Claim: the hard part is getting people to set their bookmarks. Maybe we could do something automatic?
1
Chi
7mo
Not sure about the claim but possible! I certainly wouldn't say no to something automatic. But I think if setting it yourself is easy enough, it would still get a bunch of the value! I think if the feature was implemented in a similar way to in-line commenting on LessWrong, where you just hover over the correct line and it offers you a bookmark-button that you just need to click, that would be low-friction enough for people like me to use it. (I think anything that's two-click might be too much friction)
2
Larks
8mo
Would it be possible to track how far down the page someone had scrolled, and by default return them to that place the next time they visited?
2
JP Addison
7mo
That's what I mean by something automatic. I'm not sure without trying it whether it'd be a terrible and disorienting experience that was wrong most of the time, or whether it'd be successfully useful.

The "hover over a username to see their profile preview" feature is neat. There appears to be a minor bug, however, wherein 5-digit levels of karma don't always display correctly in these previews (because the third digit gets omitted). Here's an example of an incorrect display:

And here's an example of a correct display:

I would love an option to switch off the total karma count from one's profile. I've found myself noticing that it can occasionally create perverse incentives.

4
JP Addison
8mo
I assume this is about for your own psychology? My recommendation here is to use your ad-blocker to block out the specific element. I've just submitted a change that will make this uBlock Origin rule work: ###karma-info (Note the three #s)
1
Ren Ryba
8mo
Thanks, this is cool and I'll use it. I think more broadly, my comment is roughly equally motivated by three main things: my own psychology; concerns about an author's karma influencing readers' subconscious evaluations of that author's posts and opinions; and, specifically for people who work full-time in the EA community, a vague sense that it feels a bit strange to have a numeric score attached to what is in many ways a professional, and often philosophical, body of work. (The third point of course has an analogy with academic research, but I think that's also a problem with academia.) But since you gave me a solution, I'm personall happy. Thanks again.

It would be great to have some way to filter for multiple topics.

Example: Suppose I want to find posts related to the cost-effectiveness of AI safety. Instead of just filtering for "AI safety", or for just "Forecasting and estimation", I might want to find posts only at the intersection of those two. I attempted to do this by customizing my frontpage feed, but this doesn't really work (since it heavily biases to new/upvoted posts)

2
JP Addison
8mo
You can do this! Filter by topics on the left hand side of the search page.
1
Tom Barnes
8mo
My bad, thanks so much!

There appears to be a bug where a question post cross-posted from LessWrong goes up on this Forum as a regular post, as happened here.

2
JP Addison
8mo
I believe we fixed this here.

I'd expect clicking on my profile picture to take me to my profile (currently the click doesn't do anything) (but it does have a pretty animation)

4
JP Addison
8mo
I just added this to a recent related improvement. Should be fixed when that Pull Request gets merged.

The default generated slugs for posts with non-Latin script titles are absolutely useless:

私たちは毎日、毎秒、トリアージに直面している - https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/WvikY6ixzcwKtKveN/unicode-52

Generally, the slug should match the post title in some human-readable way, so that it is possible to see what the post is about based on the URL alone, without a title or link preview. A sensible way to do this would be to romanize the title if it is not in Latin script, producing something like:

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/WvikY6ixzcwKtKveN/watashi-tachi-wa-ma... (read more)

4
JP Addison
9mo
Should be fixed on our next deploy: https://github.com/ForumMagnum/ForumMagnum/pull/7618
2
BrownHairedEevee
9mo
Yay, ありがとう!
2
BrownHairedEevee
9mo
Relatedly, the auto-generated audio narration feature breaks down for non-English posts. For example, in the Japanese post above, the narration skips everything except for the bits of English. The handling of this Spanish post is slightly better: all of the text, being in Latin script, is included in the narration, but the words are spoken as if they're English words.

We should be able to add tags to sequences and have them cascade to the posts in those sequences.

2
JP Addison
9mo
We definitely want this, and have considered featuring sequences on topic pages more prominently.

It would be useful to be able to have a change log add-on that shows up as a banner on the top of a post (and ideally but this might be a bit spammy, notifies people who have read, or maybe upvoted or commented on the post) so that they know when a correction has been made. 

Many people may not go back to a post after reading, or notice the change-log (if the authors even include one) - and the changes can often be really important. 

Quick solution: Have a box where people can add their change log and make it a pinned comment (but only for the purp... (read more)

2
JP Addison
9mo
Thanks for the suggestion, I've belated added to our backlog.

Wasn't sure where else to mention this – the search feature on the forum is pretty bad. I tried finding a post from Claire Zabel by searching "Claire Zabel". I couldn't find it because her username is actually "ClaireZabel"

3
Vaidehi Agarwalla
10mo
+1 I've found this problem a lot. Also the fuzzy search on the search bar is sometimes too fuzzy (e.g. the opposite problem)
2
David M
9mo
Re fuzzy search... I couldn't find this post. Search shouldn't be converting 'EA' into a separate search for the word 'effective' absent 'altruism'. Also it feels like it isn't weighting the title heavily enough relative to post body, since the correct title isn't far from my search query.
2
David M
8mo
more weird search behaviour  

it would be nice to exclude text e.g. the appendix / pre-amble / introduction from the "time to read" estimate.

E.g. in our upcoming post the time to read the core pieces is 22 minutes, but the total read time is showing 39 minutes (almost double) because of our lenghty appendix and some introductory context.

2
JP Addison
10mo
Yeah, that makes sense. The issue turned out to be a pretty good candidate for someone to submit an open source contribution for.
6
David M
9mo
I have just submitted a PR for this. (and I have no association with Omega) edit: It was approved and merged 😊

I would like to be able to subscribe to notifications for sequences like this one: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/s/FxFwhFG227F6FgnKk

4
Sarah Cheng
10d
Just letting you know that you can now subscribe to be notified when posts are added to a sequence. Hope this is helpful, and let me know if you run into any issues!
2
JP Addison
10mo
Thanks for the suggestion! I have also wanted this. My suggested bad workaround is to subscribe to posts by the author, often for the duration of the sequence the author is only posting posts to that sequence.

There are some posts, for example this "EA Forum feature suggestion thread", the "List of EA funding opportunities", and "Propose and vote on potential EA Wiki articles / tags", which I think could be pages in their own right, findable via the home page's left menu. I make this suggestion because:

  1. These posts are harder to find, in my opinion, than they should be given that they're essentially living documents that'd benefit from having more contributors.[1]
  2. A comments section seems like not the best interface for handling suggestions/contributions.
    1. For insta
... (read more)

The "Library" page, accessible from the home page's left menu, appears to be a list of all(?) the sequences on the Forum. But the order in which the sequences are listed—I think it's just recency—isn't very friendly, in my opinion. My vision for this page has the sequences listed in order of (some combination of) importance and quality. This ordering could be determined by a site admin, or maybe it could be automated (e.g., based on the combined karma of each sequence's posts). Sequences are also filterable by topic in my vision: for this, sequence pages would probably need to be taggable.

Also, sequence pages don't appear to show up in the top right search bar. I think sequences should be searchable.

2
Lizka
1y
Re Library page: I agree with and appreciate this suggestion. I'd be excited for that to be a list you can sort in different ways. I think it's on the list of things to prioritize, but I'll make sure.  Re top right search bar: I think they do, but they're at the bottom of the results, and in some cases that might get cut off. But you can also use the full search page for this, e.g.: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/search?contentType=Sequences&query=classic%20posts%20from%20the%20&page=1 
2
Will Aldred
1y
Ah, I didn't realize one could search for sequences in this way, and I now feel silly for making my above assertion. Thanks for replying so quickly and for pointing this out.

Suggestion: Integrated search in LessWrong, EA Forum, Alignment Forum and perhaps Progress Forum posts.

1
Daniel_Friedrich
5mo
I recently made RatSearch for this purpose. You can also try the GPT bot version (more information here).
rime
1y-1
0
0

[I was inspired to suggest this by the downvotes on this comment, but it's a problem I've seen more generally.]

The agree/disagree voting dimension is amazing, but it seems to me like people haven't properly uncoupled it from karma yet. One way to help people understand the differences could be to introduce a confirmation box that pops up whenever you try to vote, that you can opt out of from your profile settings.

This box could contain something like the following guidelines:

  • Only vote on the karma dimension based on whether you personally benefited from re
... (read more)
[anonymous]1y8
2
1
1
Tristan Williams
7mo
Disagree. It's nice to have the space to talk about the idea for others, and I feel like both problems mentioned by both anon and Ren can be remedied by clearer communication: * Anon: if you want specific, let's say interpersonal, things to be handled in DM, you can specify it in the post. I'm happy to dm instead of comment if the author clearly communicates that's what they want. * Ren: just flag that you can't participate in the discussion in your post, and I think everyone will understand if you are absent, but tossing out a "philosophical hot take" and turning comments off sounds fairly negative to me, because there should at least be a convenient space to discuss it, removing that seeming like you're signaling you're putting out a PSA and not an idea you (or others in the comments) would like to form further through discussion and critique
2
Ren Ryba
10mo
Strongly agree. I came on this thread to suggest this. I have posted on the forum before, but I have recently developed some health problems (fatigue etc) that mean I can no longer afford the energy necessary to participate in comment discussions. This is the main reason why I am no longer posting. I would be far more incentivised to make future posts if I could turn off the options for people to make comments where I deem that comments would not add much value to the post (i.e. I would use this feature on lifestyle suggestions or resource recommendations, but not on philosophical hot takes).

I was going to write a short suggestion about profile wikis, but it ended up long so I made it into a post. In a picture:

This is my current frontpage, logged in and logged out

 

It would be nice to have a way to post sequences without having all the posts show up on the frontpage, we would definitely use it for EA Italy

3
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for this suggestion, we've put this problem a bit higher up on our backlog, since we noticed it affected a few different users in the last few months! (no specific timeline on solving it at the moment)
[anonymous]1y4
0
0

How long until we can bring Anthropic's Claude on as a moderator?

I'm finding him to be very good at demonstrating cognitive and emotional empathy for views that are in disagreement with his own, updating accordingly, and then gently proposing ways forward that incorporate both perspectives.

(Maybe a little too deferential at this point, although I expect there's less of that when he's moderating human discussion rather than talking to one human, plus of course it's a live debate in EA how much epistemic integrity to sacrifice for the sake of keeping the pea... (read more)

I'm planning to write a piece on animal welfare, as part of that post it will help to post a picture of a dead animal. I'd like to have it blurred until users choose to see it, is there a way to do that? 

Side note: I can't see anything about this circumstance in the user manual or guide to norms.

7
JP Addison
1y
No, sorry, we don't support that. It sounds like a very reasonable use-case though, and I'll add it to our tech backlog. In the mean time, I recommend a link to an off-site image hosting service.
3
Matt Goodman
1y
Thanks, I appreciate it:)

Several serious posts are drowned out on April 1st each year. I half intended to write a round up of these to help them avoid being drowned out, but didn’t get around to it before the work week; now I’m requesting that the EA Forum team consider doing this. In future years (assuming your timelines are that long) I would also be in favour of having a separate section for April fools (like the community section) even though this dampens the humour.

We’re trying out moving our Italian translation of the EA Handbook to the forum, to see if participants of the next round of our virtual program prefer it that way compared to google docs. (most of the first chapter is now here)

  1. Is there a way to un-draft ~80 posts without taking over the home page for people that opted into seeing personal blogposts? For now, we’re just temporarily downvoting them
  2. Is there a way to have “Chapters” in sequences, like in https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/s/B79ro5zkhndbBKRRX, or is that hardcoded?

Thanks

1
Sarah Cheng
1y
You'll need a site admin to help with both of these. Could you contact us with the details (ex. how you want the chapters organized)? Thanks!

One feature I really like on forums like Hacker News is the ability to traverse comments by having options to jump to a comment's parent, or next or previous sibling.

When you are deep in a gnarly comment thread, I find it useful to be able to hop up a couple of levels and then minimise a comment and its children

This is what comments looks like on Hacker News for example:

4
JP Addison
1y
You can do both of these things. You can click to the left of a comment to get to the parent comment, and then collapse by clicking on the minus icon next to the username.
1
Rasool
1y
Cool thanks, I did not know about that first one. I note that that is different to how it works on substack comments, where clicking to the left of a comment collapses the parent comment rather than scrolling to it like here
2
JP Addison
1y
I did not know that, that's useful.

On https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/allPosts, clicking on a shortform expands it, but there is no way to unexpand/contract it

This is not the case with topic page edit and discussion, where clicking on the topic title toggles between expanding it and unexpanding it

Ideally shortforms could be toggled unexpanded in a similar way

Up/downvoting a post shouldn’t be possible within 30 seconds of opening a (not very short) post (prevent upvoting based on title only), or should be weighted less

2
David M
9mo
@JP Addison  are you open to me working on a PR that offers this to authors as a toggle-able option?
5
JP Addison
9mo
LessWrong is thinking about this. I don't want to make it user toggle-able. My guess is that removing the voting from the top of the post that's more the direction I'm going. LW wants to try it for admins to see how they find it before shipping it further.

The link from linkposts like this one, don't work, I assume because the link needs to be prefixed with https://

Can this be added automatically if it is missing, or do linkposts need to go via https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/out?url=

Maybe a bit obscure but exporting a sequence from LW or EAF as a PDF would be awesome. 

Reformat all shortforms so they have agreevotes.

2
Ben Millwood
1y
Mine does, now, as does at least one other post that didn't before, maybe they're just global now?
5
Sarah Cheng
1y
Yup, we updated all posts and shortforms to include agree voting today.

I unhid community posts on the main posts section  to see what would happen but now I can't rehide them. But I'd like to.

1
Sarah Cheng
1y
You can re-hide them from that section by opening "Customize Feed" and setting "Community" to be "Hidden":
2
Nathan Young
1y
I don't see an option:     And your image isn't showing to me.
1
Sarah Cheng
1y
Oh sorry, a recent change to images caused a bug, but it should be fixed now. (You can fix your image by editing and submitting your comment.) You can add "Community" as an option by clicking on the + button and searching for it.
2
Nathan Young
1y
It is not listed here. And I tried to resubmit my image. Still looks massive.
3
Sarah Cheng
1y
Interesting, thanks for flagging this bug! It should be fixed now - please let us know if you run into any related issues.
2
Nathan Young
1y
Though it only shows up at the start. If you search "community" it still doesn't.
2
Nathan Young
1y
Also resizing images never works for me.

Reformat this comment section so that it has agreevotes. 

1
Sarah Cheng
1y
Done! :)

(Semi-serious), since we care about the long-term future, denote years with a 10,000 year digit, so 02023 instead of 2023, like they do at longnow.org

You can subscribe to other users' new posts from their profile, but I would like to be able to subscribe to users' new comments which I don't see a way to do

I think authors of a post should be able to add the "community" tag to their post.

See also this, this, and this comments. The first comment thread includes a workaround: creating the post on the http://forum.effectivealtruism.org/topics/community page

4
JP Addison
1y
As an aside: I believe this will work right up until you submit it, but am not sure.
2
Lorenzo Buonanno
1y
A non-moderator account currently sees this for comparison I see this

On mobile, I think there's no way to remove your vote on your own comments. On desktop, I can just click my vote again, but on mobile the normal workflow is to tap to cycle between normal / strong / no vote, and I can't strong upvote my own comments, so I get "stuck" in the cycle.

edit: ok I think you can do it by just going through the cycle quickly enough, but I definitely struggled with this before, perhaps it depends on the latency of your connection to the server...

When a comment is deleted in such a way that leaves a "comment deleted" block, it has a little [+] to expand the comment, but it doesn't do anything. I would prefer if it wasn't there so I didn't feel like I had to click on it to check if there's something I missed.

3
Ben Millwood
1y
Also, probably voting should be prevented on deleted comments.

Can we add agreement karma to comments on all posts?

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
By the way, this is now done
2
Nathan Young
1y
Or all new comments at least.


@Matt Goodman  thanks for all your suggestions. I think they all make sense or have been suggested before, and we'll have to prioritize them against our other work!

I'd like to be able to hide the amount of karma and agreement points a comment or post has. I think seeing how many people have upvoted a statement affects how likely I am to agree with or upvote that statement. I think it makes me more likely to vote in accordance with social agreement, rather than whether or not I think a statement is true or well written.   I'd like to be able to turn this off from time to time. Strongly downvoted comments should probably still be hidden.

I think the UI for voting could be improved in the following ways:

  • The arrows for voting on Karma point sideways, not up and down. It's not immediately clear which one is upvote and which one is downvote.
  •  The explanation text about voting (the one that explains Karma, agree/disagree and strong votes) only appears when you hover your mouse over the arrows. This means you never see it on mobile, where there's no mouse.
  • the hit boxes could be bigger for arrows on mobile.

The formatting toolbar doesn't appear until after you highlight text. This means you can only format text after you've written it - you can't for example, select bold and have your text appear in bold as you write it. This is something I find unintuitive. It took me a a few minutes of looking for the toolbar and googling how to do it before I realised the toolbar only appears when you highlight text. I'd like the formatting toolbar to always be on the page when I'm writing. 

I'd like to be able to highlight a word or phrase in text I'm writing and Ctrl-V a URL link directly into that phrase. This is something that other platforms, like Slack do.

Yes, you can highlight a phrase and bring up the toolbar to add a link, but being able to do it immediately through a well known keyboard shortcut is easier.

5
Rasool
1y
Ctrl+K is a pretty well-known shortcut, for example on Google Docs, and works here too
1
Matt Goodman
1y
Thanks, I didn't know that one!

Can we put this page in the sidebar?

I noticed that adding a tag to a post in draft mode now automatically adds the parent tag. But it's not clear to the user why two tags are being added at once. This also contributes to the overtagging of posts.

On Wikipedia, the guideline is to tag pages with the most specific categories they belong to. So if category B is a child of category A, then pages that belong to both A and B should only be tagged with B, whereas pages in A \ B should only be tagged with A.

In general, I think the EA Forum should be more thoughtful about tags. If we want to replicate... (read more)

3
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks, I think think this is good feedback. I recognize the way parent / child tags work now isn't ideal. We'll have to prioritize improving this against other things we could work on!
1[comment deleted]1y

When using search, the date on the search result card doesn't seem to always match up with the published date on the post itself.

For example, this post was published yesterday, 24th January, but when it appears in search it looks like:

which might be the date it was first created in draft form, and not published?

Which also leads to counter-intuitive things like:

2
Lizka
1y
Thanks for flagging this! This does seem off; I've passed it on for triage & fixing.

Display a more detailed breakdown of karma and agreement karma by number of upvotes and downvotes rather than overall amount. 

I think that the weighted voting system is counterproductive overall (it creates perverse incentives, it ascribes false authority to users who are more prolific or who may have expertise in one area and poor understanding in others, and it is needlessly undemocratic) and makes it harder to meaningfully understand the karma of a given post or comment, but this could go someway in making the actual impact of posts and comments more legible. I think there is a difference between how to read agreement karma for a comment that has 10 agreement karma overall from, say, 8 2 point upvotes and 2 -3 minus point downvote versus one that has 10 1-point upvotes, and the breakdown of how a comment achieved its agreement karma is not currently legible, which makes agreement karma a much less useful indicator than it could be otherwise.

P.S.: Similar suggestions have been made below on how the karma and voting system can be tinkered with to make it more meaningful, but seems different enough to warrant a new top-level comment.

2
NickLaing
1y
I agree. I'm amazed how quickly I have gone from adding 1 Karma to adding 4 now. Maybe voting could only be enabled after a certain amount of engagement, but it does feel undemocratic.
6
lastmistborn
1y
Same here, I actually wasn't aware of weighted voting until I noticed I was able to do it. I don't think there's a problem with voting (even voting + flat rate strong voting seems perfectly reasonable to me) by weighing votes according to karma seems very high cost to very little or no gain
4
NickLaing
1y
 I know. Look how easily you got to 5 Karma on this comment ;)

Couldn't see if someone already suggested this but:

  • Have a separate field for org name on profile 
  • Option to select if you're writing a post on behalf of an organisation or as an individual (this is very important imo often people write posts and it's not clear who they work for) 
    • Auto-tag with org name + "org updates" or similar tag
  • Organisation tag shows all the people who've listed org name on their profile 
2
Peter Wildeford
1y
I’d like this
4
Lizka
1y
Thanks for suggesting these, I'm passing them on. 

I'd like to be able to bookmark comments, in the same way you can bookmark posts. There's a lot of really, really well thought out and written comments, in some cases containing just as much value as articles, and I'd like to be able to bookmark a comment to come back to. 

I'd argue this is even more important than bookmarking articles, because articles have tags and titles to search for, whereas comments don't, and it's easy to loose track of what article and what thread the one you're looking for is contained in.

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks Matt, noted!

It would be nice to be able to order search results by date and maybe some other features like karma.

(Probably has been suggested before but thought I'd add): A small indicator for the original poster of the top-level post in the comments. Like the microphone on Reddit.

1
Jorgen_Ljones
1y
Came here to suggest this
1
NickLaing
1y
Love this!

If someone downvotes, suggest that they explain why

6
dan.pandori
1y
I disagree and I downvoted this because explaining why you downvoted something is disproportionately likely to end up with me arguing with someone on the internet. I find this really unpleasant. I'm happy to have a rule for giving an explanation to you if I downvote your posts. I've talked with you as a person outside of internet arguments, so I'm not as worried about getting into a protracted argument. But as a general rule, I think I should be discouraged from explaining my downvotes so that I keep up my mental health. Separately, if this was a thread that had agree/disagree enabled I would just click disagree! The comment is fine, and I try to reserve downvote for things that are mean or grossly incorrect if agree/disagree is available.
3
Matt Goodman
1y
Props for taking the time to explain, even though you don't like it!
3
Yonatan Cale
1y
Upvoted since you explained why you don't like my idea, and I like that! :)
6
Yonatan Cale
1y
Hey (:   To be clear, my feature suggestion is something like a popup reading "you downvoted this, consider explaining why" as opposed to "in order to downvote this, you MUST explain why".   The pain point I'm trying to solve is "I don't know why people down vote my comments sometimes and it makes me sad and confused". Maybe my specific proposed solution isn't good; my pain point remains, though   I also acknowledge that "explaining why I downvoted" can lead into arguing-on-the-internet which could be negative in a way that I want to avoid (and I don't want to drag people into).
3
dan.pandori
1y
Oh for sure, I wasn't thinking you were implying making it a requirement. I was trying to say that even a nudge towards explaining downvotes is a nudge towards evil (for me). Maybe the net advantage of explaining downvotes would be good, but I personally should probably be discouraged from explaining my downvotes.

For Shortform:

  1. The link to get here from the main page is awfully small and inconspicuous (1 of 145 individual links on the page according to a Chrome extension)
    1. I can imagine it being near/stylistically  like:
      1. "All Posts" (top of sidebar)
      2. "Recommendations" in the center
      3. "Frontpage Posts", but to the main section's side or maybe as a replacement for it you can easily toggle back and forth from
  2. Would be cool to be able to sort and aggregate like with the main posts (nothing to filter by afaik)
    1. I'd really appreciate being able to see the highest-scoring Shortform posts ever, but afaik can't easily do that atm
3
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for the feedback! I do think we want to rethink our information architecture once we hire and onboard a designer, who is coming soon!

So, proposing that we give everyone equal voting power gives those on the forum with more voting power an incentive to lessen mine (by downvoting this). So how about this: we make the agreement karma democratic. That way we can see what people actually agree or disagree on and since it doesn't affect karma we can make it democratic without affecting those with disproportionate voting power.

EDIT: Three people upvoted this suggestion, one person downvoted this suggestion, the result is negative karma. What we see is that the downvotes contain a lot more voti... (read more)

Add Agreement Karma to posts.

This comment suggesting this feature got 32 Agreement with 9 votes:

2
WilliamKiely
1y
Perhaps it's not clear whether adding agreement karma to posts is positive on net; but I think perhaps it would be worth adding for a month as an experiment. A counter-consideration is that many voters on the Forum may not understand the difference between overall karma and agreement karma still. Unconclusive weak evidence: This answer got 3 overall karma with 22 votes (at some point it was negative) and 18 agreement karma with 20 votes: (It's unconclusive evidence because while the regular karma downvotes surprised me, people could have had legitimate reasons for not liking the meta-answer and downvoting it. My suspicion though is that at least some people down-voted this in an attempt to "Disagree" vote in the poll.)
1
Pato
1y
I agree that maybe people don't get it (like kinda me) but I think both things, posts and comments, should have it or neither.

When LessWrong posts are crossposted to the EA Forum, there is a link in EA Forum comments section:

This link just goes to the top of the LessWrong version of the post and not to the comments. I think either the text should be changed or the link go to the comments section.

When a user moves a controversial post to drafts, other readers get worried of censorship. Two recent examples: https://mobile.twitter.com/erikphoel/status/1559527499188654085 https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/sD4kdobiRaBpxcL8M/what-happened-to-the-women-and-effective-altruism-post?commentId=GpSneam3oSwaBYDWH

It might make sense to tweak the prose. Maybe let moderators add a reason, like for deleted comments (e.g. "spam", "moved to draft after a request from the author"), and for users write "the author of this post marked it as a private draft"

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for this suggestion and for the examples. I'm going to add this to our list, I do think something better than "this page doesn't exist" is probably better.

We should make it harder to manipulate your own comments' karma. My favoured approach would be to deactivate all voting on one's own comments. Also fine would be if by default, you strongly upvote and strongly agree with all of your own comments.

There was a good amount of agreement about this previously.

This has now been implemented. You cannot strong upvote your own comments, nor vote along the agreement axis.

2
RyanCarey
1y
Great, thanks!
8
Stefan_Schubert
1y
Thank you!
2
WilliamKiely
1y
As to whether voting on overall karma for one's own comment should be eliminated, I would prefer deactivating voting to a default strong-upvote, however a third option that I think might be better would be to default-normal-upvote and disable strong-upvote on one's own comment. A fourth option (that I think I'd prefer the most) would be to retain the ability to strong upvote one's own comments while making the default for everyone normal-upvote or no-upvote (to preserve the ability to self-boost unusually important comments). Some other mechanism would be needed to prevent abuse of  this. For example, the mechanism could be that self-strong-upvoting only works if nobody else downvotes your comment. Or it could be that you could only self-strong-upvote your comment if you strong-upvoted less than 9 in 10 (or whatever fraction) of your previous comments.
2
Habryka
1y
I think the key problem, both for upvoting and agreement-voting is that is that it hurts much more to have your comments in the negatives than it feels good to have your comments in the positives (and indeed, whenever I see a negative number, it feels really harsh and it does give me a sense that the community overall disapproves or disagrees with the content).  I think usually when a discussion is heated, I prefer the equilibrium where the two primary discussion partners have votes that cancel each other out, instead of an equilibrium where just all the comments are in the negatives. This includes the case where the person you are responding to is strong-downvoting your comment, and then I think it can make sense to strong-upvote your comment, in order to not give the false impression that there is a consensus against your comment.  I don't currently know a good way to handle this. I also dislike the recent change to disagreement-voting for that reason, and would prefer a world where we also make agreement-votes automatically self-apply, since my brain definitely parses a discussion with everything in the negatives on agreement voting as "there is consensus against this" as opposed to "there are two people disagreeing".
2
Elizabeth
1y
I do think the thing where you can but don't automatically agree with your own post is confusing. Right now if I see something with one agree and one disagree vote it's ambiguous whether two other people voted, plus the comment writer surely agrees with themself, or if the one agree is from the comment writer so it's 1 to 1. 
2
RyanCarey
1y
This problem won't arise if everyone strong-upvotes themselves by default.
2
Habryka
1y
Yeah, but I think the problem is then that in the case of comments the consensus seems actually too dominated by people's initial strong-vote, and arguing against Eliezer on LW with a 10 karma upvote would make it feel like consensus is heavily stacked against you in a way I also don't like.
2
RyanCarey
1y
Most people have strong upvote strength 3-7 though. Anyway, if this is a big problem, then just cap self-upvote strength around 5?
2
Habryka
1y
I mean, that would just make the total karma system in 90% of cases worse. For example I think it totally makes sense for posts by Eliezer to start with that much karma, since I think there is a strong prior that they are going to be pretty good.
2
RyanCarey
1y
I was thinking just for comments.
4
Habryka
1y
Ah, yeah, I think that's a kind of reasonable thing to do. My primary hesitation is that it's not super intuitive and adds complexity, but it seems like one of the reasonable ways forward.
3
WilliamKiely
1y
The main downside to everyone strong-upvotes themselves by default in my view is that it punishes new users (or those with lower karma and thus weaker strong-upvotes) too much. Maybe this isn't that important of a factor?
5
RyanCarey
1y
To me, that sounds like a feature, not a bug, given how the influx of users has degraded average post quality recently.
2
RyanCarey
1y
The third proposal seems fine to me, but the fourth is complex, and still rewards users who strong-upvote their own comments as much as the rules allow.
2
WilliamKiely
1y
I strongly agree about eliminating the ability to agree/disagree-vote on one's own comment. I expect everyone to agree with what they write by default unless e.g. they say they're playing devil's advocate. Giving people the option to agree-vote on their own comment just adds unnecessary uncertainty by making it so people can't tell if an agreement vote on a comment is coming from the author or another user.
2
Stefan_Schubert
1y
I agree. This has been discussed for quite some time (it was first raised three years ago) so it would be good to reach a decision.

I think it would be better if agree/disagree voting didn't follow the typical karma rules where different users have different amounts of karma. As it stands I often don't know how many people expressed agreement vs. disagreement, which feels like the information I actually want, and it doesn't make intuitive sense that one forum user might be able to "agree twice as much" as another with a comment.

3
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for the feedback. The tradeoff I see is that it could be valuable for folks to be able to express a strong vs weak opinion. Perhaps what we need is to give a better breakdown of how the votes went?

Make the forum available in other languages. Right now the only option is English.

Also rely less on acronyms. For example, when selecting "program participation" it shows you the acronym VP:

I happen to know that this stands for "Virtual Program" but a newcomer (especially one that isn't a native English speaker) might not know this (and might even assume it stands for something different like Vice Presidency, Virtual Profile, Video phone-call, Viewpoint, Value proposition etc).

5
Lizka
1y
I appreciate this, thank you!

Curated posts could resurface to the frontpage at exponentially decaying intervals.

  1. Counteracts recency bias. Enables longer-term discussions.
  2. Increases exposure (and over a more varied reader population) to the most important ideas.
  3. Efficiently[4] increases collective memory of the best contributions.
  4. We might uncover and dislodge some flawed assumptions that reached universal acceptance in the past due to information cascades
  5. Given recency bias combined with the fact that people are very reluctant to write things that have been written about befor
... (read more)
5
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks Emrik, we do plan to reconsider how the frontpage should work in a few months!
3
Emrik
1y
I also made a suggestion on Sasha's post related to nudging people's reading habits by separating out FTX posts by default. I don't endorse the design, but it could look something like this.[1] Alternatively, could introduce 'tag profiles' or something, where you can select a profile, and define your filters within each profile.[2] (P.S. Sorry for the ceaseless suggestions, haha! Brain goes all sparkly with an idea and doesn't shut up until I make a comment about it. ^^') 1. ^ 2. ^
3
Sharang Phadke
1y
Oh I really like this, and I've had some similar ideas. Will make a note of it!

Quiz as a Service for posts

I stumbled upon this service:

https://quizgecko.com/

That can generate a quiz out of anything. 

Having a "quiz me!" or "did you fully get the article?" button on every forum post where it would provide an AI-generated multiple-choice quiz would probably be very valuable for everyone.

I'd be happy to work on the development of this.

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
Interesting suggestion, I think this could be interesting. When you say "would probably be valuable", what do you see as the value? Gamification? Remembering the post better? I think there are a variety of caveats (below), but ultimately I'd be interested in you trying this out on a number of posts to see how useful it is, and maybe writing a post about it. Caveats: * Many posts won't have a clear right and wrong interpretation of issues, will a quiz give the wrong impression? * This AI tool doesn't take much additional input (as far as I can tell), and I'm curious whether it will pick out key points vs non-novel statements
1
wachichornia
1y
The value needs to be researched! I have tried the tool on "hard" mode and the questions are quite nuanced. You would only be able to get the answers right if you really read the article in detail and took your time. The AI tool will not take additional input indeed.  I'll do as you suggested! Will try it a few times and post about it

Embed iframes

Some use cases:

This feature is very versatile and would solve many things at once.

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for this suggestion, I believe you can already embed a number of things in posts by default, but not arbitrarily anything, see here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/Y8gkABpa9R6ktkhYt/forum-user-manual#Extra_cool_things
1
Filip Sondej
1y
Oh great! I didn't know about some of them. Still, the main thing I had in mind was to embed some custom interactive stuff. Implementing it as iframe support, would be the most general, and you would solve all the possible "embed X" suggestions at once. So it seams to be the most efficient approach.
2
Ben Millwood
1y
It might be too powerful. In particular, moderators can no longer fully control the content of the post. If you're sneaky, you can even engineer a post that appears differently to different people. I think allowing authors to embed totally arbitrary content is too much freedom.

Co authors (second authors and later?) of posts don't appear to have their posts in the profile?

 

Sidhu has no post listed:

This seems mild, but could be bad if someone likes to co author a lot.

2
Charles He
1y
Ah, maybe the above might be an async indexing thing? (e.g. async/chron tasks updates the indexes every 24 hours and the above example is too recent to be indexed)  Amber Dawn has her posts listed:

Check if information cascades / social influence bias is a problem on EA Forum.

If it is, maybe we could implement Emrik's idea to counter it, or some similar mechanism.

See here for the explanation of the potential problem.

To test it, we could do an experiment where some bot (or server-side process) randomly upvotes or downvotes new posts. We measure final karma after some fixed time, and see if that single vote snowballed.

relevant discussion

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for this suggestion. Do you suspect that this is a big deal and have any intuition as to why? My intuition is that it's quite an interesting experiment, but seems unlikely to be a major influence on the Forum based on the fact that most posts with high karma are actually pretty decent.
1
Filip Sondej
1y
I don't suspect it to be that bad. More like some noise added to each post's score, and some posts not getting enough attention because of that. In the reddit experiment single upvotes caused posts to have 25% higher mean score later (this effect was present in all parts of the distribution). But the effect size was very dependent on the topic, so I'm curious how would that turn out for EA Forum.
2
Emrik
1y
I was curious about this when I skimmed the paper, but I couldn't find a breakdown of the impact of the random upvotes on, say, the top 5% highest upvoted posts. Do you know where to find that breakdown or what you mean with this?
1
Filip Sondej
1y
Ah, no, I just read the report of results on Wikipedia (that's how they worded it). Hm, it's strange if that's not in the paper.
3
Emrik
1y
Ah, yeah, I read this on Wikipedia: But since I don't know what effect sizes they're talking about at the top of the distribution, I don't think this sentence is very informative.
5
Emrik
1y
I love that as a mechanism for measuring the effect of info cascades. It's cheap, non-obtrusive, and certain. It's from this study. But I no longer like the solution for it I suggested in the Occlumency post. I think there are better ways using karma to mitigate info cascades and diversify what people read/discuss.

Recommend posts using collaborative filtering ("people who like the same posts as you, also like:")

MVP could be done quite easily using some of these techniques.

I have some ideas how to do better. If you consider implementing this feature, hit me up to talk!

In-line commenting.

Invisible by default so they don't distract, but you can easily switch visibility.

So the reader particularly interested in some section could dive into the comments particularly about that section.

Also, as a further feature, you could color code different comment types, like:

  • blue (default): just a comment
  • yellow: fix suggestion
  • brown: link to previous discussion / relevant resources
  • red: critique ?

Also see @Emrik's  comment with more rationale.

2
Ethan (EJ) Watkins
1y
I like this. Building on your idea with the yellow colour code, I think it would be good to have functionality to mark typos, with the option of providing a revision suggestion that the author can press accept or reject on. Similar to how edit suggestions work in Google Docs.

Bookmark folders.

There should still be the default one, but if you choose you could put the post in some other folder (sorta like youtube does with saving videos to playlists).

It can have many use cases, like:

  • prioritizing things to read
  • topic specific folders
  • maybe even curation, if you could also make those folders public

Right now I'm doing something along these lines, but with an external editor and lists of links, so it's a bit awkward to use.

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for this suggestion, we actually have something like this on our list (though it's not super high). Some of the team suspects that more people are likely to use other tools to track all their links and research across sources.
1
Filip Sondej
1y
Yeah, good point. It may be mostly redundant.

An optional reading time indicator, like here: working example (and that tool's description).

The bar at the right of each post is the reading time indicator. Full bar means 30 min, half bar means 15 min, and so on.

You can find the code that implements that bar here: html, css

The post length is often the deciding factor in whether I want to read something, so it's nice to have it at a glance. Also I admit I kinda want to incentivize people to write more concise posts :)

Add an option for drafts: "Anyone with a link can read", but make it really anyone, not only forum users, as it is now.

(Recently I wanted to get feedback from some people who are not on the forum, and I had to copy draft to google doc, and later copy it back, and fix all the footnotes :/ )

Next step (but probably harder), would be to let anyone comment. If they aren't logged into forum, these comments are anonymous.

Also collaborative editing in markdown mode would be useful.

Have an optional Subtitle line to add more context on forums, and have it be expandable on the front page.

 

E.g.  "Why The forum should have subtitles: an in-depth look into how subtitles help people get more context in less time"

1
Sharang Phadke
1y
Thanks for this suggestion, I do think an experiment with slightly more context on the front page would be really interesting, whether with subtitles or snippets of text. Will keep make a note of this!

Hi! I didn’t realize this thread existed until just now. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of my feature suggestion, “Fine-Grained Karma Voting”

The Search Page doesn't seem to show results for basic questions. Some examples:

Not sure if this is an search indexing issue, or perhaps the actual "questions" user would put in the search field, aren't part of the posts answering them. This could maybe be solved by adding a new post - which basically explains the same as other inform... (read more)

3
Ben_West
1y
Thanks! I think these are indexed by search, they just don't show up as top results (e.g. the "what is short form" query gives me the norms post on the third page of results). I agree though that this is a sign that our search engine could use optimization, so thanks for pointing it out