Forum update: New features (December 2020)

by Aaron Gertler, JP Addison1 min read4th Dec 20201 comment


EA Forum (Meta)Community

Our tech team (JP, plus the LessWrong developers) made a lot of changes this month!

Embedded content

Several types of embedded content are now available on the Forum. You’ll have to be in the standard editor to make them work, though — not the Markdown editor.

Note that when I talk about "pasting in URLs" below, you'll have to paste the URL by itself; this won't work if you paste in a block of text that includes an embeddable URL.

Elicit predictions

Using Elicit, you can create forecasting questions and contribute predictions right here on the Forum!

If you create a question, you’ll see it pop up on the list of all questions. From that list, click any question to open the “copy URL” button, then click that button:

Paste that URL into a Forum post, and you’ll get an interactive forecast:

However, you may still want to include a link to the question's page on Elicit, so that people can see it in more detail (the URL isn't available within the embed).

See Amanda Ngo's post for more detail on using embedded Elicit predictions, and this post on AGI-related predictions for an example of how these can be used.

YouTube videos

Because EA isn’t about deception, I’m not going to hide what this video is:

Just paste a YouTube URL into your post, and you’ll see the video pop up.

Metaculus questions

These were previously visible if you hovered over a Metaculus URL, but are now fully embeddable (and thus, functional on mobile). 

Pasting a URL for a Metaculus question will produce an embedded chart:

Posts now default to Frontpage

Previously, all new posts started out with a “Personal Blog” tag, which meant that they had to be given the “Frontpage” tag by a moderator in order to show up on the front page.

Now, all new posts will start out with a “Frontpage” tag. Posts that aren’t clearly relevant to effective altruism will be moved to “Personal Blog” by a moderator.

Most new posts fit into the “Frontpage” category, so we expect this change to save a lot of time and trouble for authors and moderators alike.

To keep out spam, posts by new users will still be completely hidden until a moderator has reviewed that user.

Various minor changes

The Forum’s sidebar now contains a link to the EA Hub’s group directory. We hope this helps more new users find groups and events.

Better social media preview images

When you link to a post with an image, the preview image (e.g. for Facebook) will default to the first image in the post — rather than the Forum's logo, as was the case before.

Subscript and superscript support

Both of our editors now support sub- and superscript! Here’s what it looks like: 

Subscript   superscript

However, you’ll have to paste in the text for this to work in the main editor; we don’t have sub- or superscript buttons yet. 

In Markdown, you can access subscript with the following syntax:

H~2~0 = H2O

Superscript may be available, too; I'll update this post when I know more.

Changes to Recent Discussion

Previously, clicking “load more” in the Recent Discussion section of the frontpage would eventually stop working. Now, Recent Discussion uses infinite scroll to display an endless stream of insightful comments (as well as my comments).

Also, comments on tags will now appear in Recent Discussion.


1 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 5:53 PM
New Comment

Feature request: Create an option for content in the "Recent Discussion" section to be sorted based on the "Magic (New & Upvoted)" formula used for "Frontpage Posts" instead of based solely on recency. This would allow people without time to go through every single piece of new content to still be able to find and engage with important new comments.