The Wiki is Dead, Long Live the Wiki! [help wanted]

That’s just a few of them. We imported like 5x as many as these.

With the goal of eventually archiving it fully, we have imported 573 pages and 266,000 words of content from the old LessWrong wiki to LessWrong 2.0

The old wiki is a great store of knowledge and still gets two thousand pageviews each day. Incorporating it into the new site gets us at least the following benefits:

  • Pages imported from the old wiki now appear in search results on LessWrong proper.

  • Pages imported from the old wiki benefit from all the features of new LessWrong such as hover-preview, subscriptions, commenting, and functioning as tags on posts.

  • Since LessWrong proper is an active site, hopefully, the wiki content continues to get updated.

  • People who land on the old wiki content will more easily find the rest of the awesome content/​activity/​community on LessWrong proper.

  • I like us being the kind of community that when people have spent hundreds (thousands?) of hours generating valuable content, we commit to preserving it.

The Three Import Types

Pages have been imported in one of three ways:

  1. 76 are imported as new tags that can be applied to posts.

  2. 111 are merged with existing tag pages, which is currently in progress and could use some help (see below).

  3. 386 are imported as “wiki-only” pages . These pages cannot be applied to posts and do not currently appear on the Concepts page.

The list of imported of all 573 wiki pages

To be honest, it would be more accurate to say that we are part-way through the import. We have completed the programmatic part, and now there remains some manual work to do, hence the help needed.

First, there is some general clean-up of links and other elements that didn’t import correctly. Second, and more importantly, a manual text merge is required for the 111 pages are being merged into existing tags. This means taking the text of the existing tag (if it has any) and combining it appropriately with the old wiki page.

Right now, “merged pages” have the old pages’ revision history (click History on the tag), but the current text is unchanged.

You can help us out fixing up the wiki import and follow along on completed/​incomplete work you can find on the Tagging/​Wiki Dashboard. More on how to help below, though the hover-overs on the tag flags.

The New Tagging Dashboard

Join the Tagger Slack!!

A couple of weeks ago we created a Slack workspace for dedicated taggers to be able to discuss tagging issues and talk directly to the LessWrong team about it. Following initial success plus good timing with the wiki import campaign, we’re opening that Slack to anyone who wants to help with tagging.

Join the Tagger Slack here

You can also still leave comments on the Tagging Open Call /​ Discussion Thread.

More Details on Processing Wiki Pages

Here is a more detailed list of the kinds of work to be done:

Merging pages

  • Merged pages show only the original current text by default.

  • In most cases, this should be pretty straightforward. New tags pages usually have no text or a few sentences that can be easily combined with the text of the imported page.

  • When you open a tag page in the full-editor, if it needs merging, there will be links to the latest version of the imported page, and the to page on the old wiki.

Optimizing the opening paragraph

On LessWrong 2.0 (this site), the opening paragraph is what shows on hover-preview for tags, making it very important. It’s worth optimizing the opening paragraph of imported pages.

  • The approximate title phrase of the page should be bolded within the opening paragraph

  • The opening paragraph should convey the general topic of the tag clearly

Updating Pages

  • Most of the pages on the old wiki have not been updated in several years, and on many topics, a lot more interesting stuff has been said (yay intellectual progress!)

  • If you’re knowledgeable about a topic, it would be super swell if you updated content to match the latest knowledge.

  • A lighter-weight contribution here is to just leave a note in the page’s text saying that it’s an out-of-date import.

Tagging Relevant Posts

  • Imported “tag” pages won’t have any posts tagged yet, though most of these have a list of posts already in the text body. Those and other posts are worth adding.

  • For “wiki-only” pages, there also lists of posts, but we’ve still decided that’s adequate and they don’t all need to be tags in addition to that. Feel free to add more posts to the lists in the text body if they’re relevant.


I’m excited to have the great content from the old LW wiki now incorporated into the new site, in many ways, it’s long overdue.

Thanks to everyone in advance who helps us complete the import!