Brief comment on frontpage/​personal distinction

I re­cently moved a post back from front­page to per­sonal blog, a de­ci­sion which was fol­lowed by con­fu­sion and had some push­back. Rather than have dis­cus­sion on the post about the site (i.e. about not-the-post), I’ve copied my com­ment here in­stead.

A short back­ground on this par­tic­u­lar guideline (not hav­ing meta/​com­mu­nity dis­cus­sion on front­page) and its pur­pose:

  • The pur­pose of the rule is to make sure we have a clear, well-defined space that users can go to and not ex­pect to dis­cover in­ter­nal dis­cus­sion or poli­ti­cal dis­cus­sion.

    • To con­trast, my face­book wall of­ten has in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sion fol­lowed by AGH ANGSTY TRIBAL CONFLICT, and if you think of Front­page as analo­gous to how aca­demic physics has jour­nals where the best work goes in, it would be bad to also have in­ter­nal /​ poli­ti­cal dis­cus­sion in those.

  • And to clar­ify, this isn’t at all a ques­tion of qual­ity. Re­solv­ing tribal con­flict is an im­por­tant part of ra­tio­nal­ity. But there are many many many many ex­cel­lent posts that do not be­long in Front­page.

With that com­mon knowl­edge, I read the struc­ture of this post as be­ing

  • Ob­ser­va­tion about the community

  • Lay­ing out model of what’s go­ing on

  • Suggest­ing a differ­ent solu­tion for the community

Which is a fine and good post. But I think it ad­dresses a prob­lem that many com­mu­ni­ties don’t have, and so is fairly this-com­mu­nity-spe­cific.

To give fur­ther in­for­ma­tion: a solu­tion that would be to­tally fine-and-dandy would be to take the model of com­mu­ni­ties, sta­tus and re­in­force­ment and write it as its own post on the Front­page, then sep­a­rately write a per­sonal blog post on us­ing to analyse this com­mu­nity. That way it could con­tribute to the on­go­ing build­ing of knowl­edge while not be­ing very con­text heavy (e.g. some­one else could build on the the­ory alone), and also dis­cuss the im­por­tant com­mu­nity as­pects.

Peo­ple will nat­u­rally tend to read the so­cial stuff a lot. I think this rule pushes against the di­rec­tion of en­tropy where this is ev­ery­thing on LessWrong, rather than a thing that hap­pens on LessWrong but not the point of LessWrong.