I sometimes hear that someone doesn’t want to post an idea because they feel like they would have to write a whole post, and it would need to be long, complex, and fully fleshed out. 

I think short and simple Forum posts are fine — in fact, it’s often better for a post to be significantly shorter. (You could also consider making it a Quick take.) 

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This might not be a valid concern, but I wonder as the number of Forum users grows if there will be so many posts that most of them can only be on the front page for a very short amount of time. Most posts would then slip under the radar and get very little attention (at least compared to now). This may put people off engaging - although I guess this would then mean you'd settle at some sort of equilibrium.

Lots of very short posts could exacerbate this concern. Maybe the forum has to adapt as it grows. Various sub-groups, like Reddit has, could help allow more posts get attention from those who are interested in them.

I agree. While I appreciate the push to lower the barriers to posting for those who feel intimidated, the flipside of this is that it's pretty demotivating when a post that reflects five months and hundreds of hours of work is on the front page for less than a day. I feel like there's something wrong with the system when I can spend five minutes putting together a linkpost instead and earn a greater level of engagement.

Yeah I feel the same way, I wonder if there's a good fix for that. Given the current setup, long effortposts are usually only of interest to a small % of people, so they don't get as many upvotes.

But as long as a large fraction of this small % of people sees the post, this is not a big problem, no? I imagine that this is for example true for EAs interested in improving institutions and the landscape analysis of institutional improvements.

I agree with this concern, and that splitting is a possibility. But in the meantime, given current traffic, it could be worth considering making the frontpage a little denser, to fit like 50% more posts...

The tags feature can be good for this. I've negatively weighted some tags so that I only see the very top posts on those topics, and positively weighted other tags so I'll see posts on those topics for longer.

I think this discussion will become important in the future. On the one hand, I struggle a little bit to notice every post that is interesting for me.  On the other hand, there is the danger that the EA movement starts to fragment if the forum is splitted. Longtermists could read only longtermist stuff, people interested in animal suffering read only posts on animal advocacy etc.   

Shortforms may sometimes be good ideas, but it’s important that people recognize that shortforms are much less viewed than normal posts (or at least so I’ve heard and sensed, and I can speak to my own personal engagement which is far less for shortforms).

Shortforms are useful for when you don't want the large audience. You might be writing especially quickly and might be debating whether to post at all.

Something I do sometimes is write a shortform and then link it to people I know. That way I've written something publicly, but I still get the feedback I'm interested in.

Yes, I think it can be good for people to comment on shortforms encouraging people to make a top level post if they think it's worth it (as with this one of mine). But obviously this does require people seeing the shortform first.

(You and others can also add nuance in the comment section!)

For instance, I can note that this post was largely prompted by a conversation with Mojmir.  (Thank you!)

I like when writing advice is self-demonstrating.

Jup, would have been even funnier if the post content was just ".", but perhaps this wouldn't have helped that much convincing people that short posts are ok. xD

I suppose Shortform posts could be treated like EA Twitter?

I like this idea.

But if I don't bury people with words, how will they know I'm smarter than them?

I know it's a joke, but if you want to build status, short posts are much better than long posts.

Which is more impressive: the millionth 200-page dissertation published this year, or John Nash's 10-page dissertation?

Which is more impressive: the latest complicated math paper, or Conway & Soifer's two-word paper?

Would it help if there were some kind of commonly understood shorthand way of saying “I am writing this post in a shortened format and thus recognize there are many missing caveats and examples, but I may continue to expand on it in future updates and if you would like for me to address or clarify anything feel free to leave a comment on that… [etc. etc.]” At the very least, there have been times where I have wished that I could say a disclaimer like that. Of course, someone can just say all of that, or that might just say things like “take this with a grain of salt” (although that phrase doesn’t convey the full message/meaning).

I have considered just writing such a caveat list as a shortform and linking to it like that, although part of me would like for it to be somewhat easily and widely (within the community) understandable at a few words, similar to saying “Epistemic status: speculative.” (Then again, I think that in many cases my communicative discomfort has been unjustified/irrational, so it the main value of such a disclaimer could be setting my mind at ease and providing a CYA in the slight chance it becomes relevant. In such case simply linking to such a shortform would probably be fine.)

I liek this ! Sharing things that are in "working draft" or something. I like the idea of someone having a half-baked theory, sharing it, and then developing it as comments evolve or something. 

It doesnt' seem like the standard blog format is suited to this though.  

I've just cross-posted Elizabeth's post on "Butterfly Ideas," which I really like and which I think discusses related topics: 

"Sometimes talking with my friends is like intellectual combat, which is great. I am glad I have such strong cognitive warriors on my side. But not all ideas are ready for intellectual combat. If I don’t get my friend on board with this, some of them will crush an idea before it gets a chance to develop, which feels awful and can kill off promising avenues of investigation."

I like that post a lot! The people I tend to share early stages ideas are ones that try to make it better / understand it more or something.

Written hastily; please comment if you'd like further elaboration

Comment be short = good too

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