Nov 07, 2018
This post is a guide to how the new Forum differs from the original.
Some of these topics -- for example, the new karma system and moderation standards -- are discussed in more detail in the Forum’s initial announcement post. The announcement is a few months old, so this guide adds up-to-date information on certain topics.
We also have a more general guide to the new Forum, which covers discussion norms and post creation. Some of the guide’s material is repeated in this post.
If you have questions or feedback about the forum, use the blue speech bubble in the lower-right-hand corner of the screen to get in touch!
Posts on the new Forum are split into two categories:
Frontpage posts are timeless content covering the ideas of effective altruism. They'll usually be posts that are useful or interesting to a wide range of readers, but they can also discuss more advanced ideas.
Community posts include discussion of particular issues within the community, or updates from organizations. This content may not have ongoing relevance, but is useful for increasing coordination in the community in the short term, and discussing important community matters.
We’ve made this a separate category so that new users can learn about the ideas before they engage with the community, and so that people can select which types of content they want to engage with.
If your post is about applying EA methodology and perspectives to the world, it will be moved to Frontpage. It will go to Community if it is focused on the EA community. Keep in mind which section you’re writing for with each post.
If a post seems to fit both sections, it will be moved to Community by default, so that users around the world can discuss ideas on Frontpage without having to keep up-to-date on community issues.
You can view either category on its own page, or use the “All Posts” view to see everything. We may add more categories later, but these are the only active ones.
We’ve been talking with users about their experience engaging with the Forum, and have some suggestions for altered norms that will resolve some of the issues they raised.
What sort of posts do we encourage?
In the past, we’ve received feedback from some users who found posting on the Forum to be intimidating. Posts sometimes got a lot of criticism without many positive suggestions, which led to brief and unproductive discussion.
We want users to feel comfortable and secure about posting new content. To this end, we encourage the use of supportive skepticism. It’s fine to criticize an idea, but it’s even better to support its strongest parts, do your best to patch the holes in it, and be kind when handing it back to its owner. The goal of the Forum isn’t to defeat bad ideas; it’s to find good ideas, even when they appear in the context of a flawed argument.
We also accept anonymity. Many users publish under their real names, but we’d rather you publish under a pseudonym than not publish at all.
On the old EA Forum, moderators mostly focused on removing spam and offensive posts. We don’t want to have much stronger moderation, but we do want to be a little more active, mostly aiming to encourage the best users and maintain the norms we’ve set out above.
We will do this according to our moderation guidelines. Mostly, this will simply involve giving positive feedback to contributors, and we expect to use moderation powers (e.g. deleting comments) very rarely.
Reading and Commenting
CEA will fund monthly prizes for the best posts published on the EA Forum. (We will do this for 3 months, and will consider further funding based on results.)
The prize amounts are as follows:
The first contest covers any posts made between 7 November and 6 December.
The winning posts will be determined by a vote of the moderators (Max Dalton, Howie Lempel, Denise Melchin, and Julia Wise) and the current top three Forum users (Peter Hurford, Joey Savoie, and Rob Wiblin).
The moderation team uses the email address email@example.com; feel free to contact them with questions or feedback.