Flancian

SRE at Google by day. Utopian at Flancia (flancia.org) by night. Twitter: twitter.com/flancian.

In Flancia there is an Agora: anagora.org.

Posts

Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions

Comments

Longtermism ⋂ Twitter

Hi, Nathan! I very much agree that experimenting as a community with codes of conduct seems promising; ideally I believe they would be maintained in such a crowdsourced (and openly reasoned) way.

This is something I've been interested in for a while, and would like to continue researching as time permits. I am in the process of writing a post for this forum about some possible approaches to constructive community building that I've been considering, mostly to gather feedback and pointers to similar/better ongoing efforts. The question of how to agree on a code of conduct that is maximally constructive and inclusive features prominently. I'll share it here when it's ready, hopefully shortly.

Longtermism ⋂ Twitter

Hi! First post here; please let me know if I get anything wrong (now and forever).

I was very happy to find this post today when I came to review the forum after much procrastination, only signing up finally during EAGxVirtual. In my mind social networks are heavily under-utilized for constructive purposes in general, and for long term / utopian thinking in particular. I have been developing ideas in this space personally prior to joining the community, and I look forward to collaborate with others in EA on these topics if at all possible.

About the current trajectory and potentially useful adjustments:

  • I think hashtags are currently under-valued and under-utilized by the Twitter community, having become associated in many circles with self-promotion (think of the default reaction to introducing hashtags as "stop trying to make it happen: it ain't gonna happen"). But they remain a useful tool for giving structure to any social network; and I believe that some level of structure is likely needed to foster more focused, goal-oriented conversations. Recommendation: EA could agree on the use of specific hashtags across all social networks. This may already be happening, for all I know; it did happen in EAGxVirtual, although I was surprised to see the official hashtag was very lightly utilized: https://twitter.com/hashtag/EAGxVirtual.
  • Alternatively or complementarily, there is a trend in some circles towards a heavier use of threading. Twitter doesn't have great threading tools, but nevertheless a lot of interesting and nuanced conversations are happening in the shape of thread trees. Accounts with an interest in certain topics or kinds of conversations tend to congregate in the replies to high-profile accounts associated with those; in some ways, the reply space of some personalities resemble their own small social networks. Recommendation: EA could adopt/encourage threading-friendly conventions and perhaps prioritize threads over singleton posts.
  • Finally, and perhaps more importantly, I believe the EA community should consider promoting the well-designed code of conduct of the EA Forum within the wider internet. That is: make it our default to bring the same constructive, non-confrontational, goal-oriented altruistic values onto Twitter, or indeed any social networks the movement wants to use meaningfully. Social networks are empty tools without their users' goals and values. By default they are driven by engagement algorithms and become divisive, polarizing, and sometimes even violent; the movement could choose to lead the public conversation to a better place by example, and in this way also likely attract more users to the movement overall. When I tell users that I try to use Twitter as a platform for constructive debate, they usually express puzzlement and/or skepticism; but I believe it can be done. Network effects are at play here and elsewhere.

If you are interested in discussing further, I remain open and interested.

Thank you!