LW Team Updates—September 2019

To better communicate site updates, we’re going to experiment with a once-monthly updates post. We’ll pin this post pin on the homepage for roughly a week and then continue to post updates here throughout the month.

Please also feel free to use the comments section on this post as a Schelling point to give feedback, file bug reports, or ask questions you have about the site. (You can also email us, ask a question, or use Intercom.)

Recent Features


The major feature announcement for August was the launch of the Shortform beta (aka www.lesslong.com).

Shortform is for:

Writing that is short in length, or written in a short amount of time. Includes off-the-cuff thoughts and brainstorming.

Shortform content can be seen in Recent Discussion on the homepage, on www.lesslong.com/​shortform, and on the All Posts page using the Daily view.

Anyone can create their own shortform by clicking New Shortform in their dropdown menu, clicking the New Shortform Post button on the homepage above Recent Discussion, or via the text box on the Shortform page.

See the announcement post here with full explanation of the philosophy behind Shortform and full instructions on how to use it. We’ll also be having a party on September 7 in Berkeley to celebrate the launch of Shortform. Details.

Upcoming Features

Heads up on new features which should arrive in September:

Subscriptions Overhaul

We have a planned overhaul of LessWrong’s subscription system which will allow you to subscribe to posts, comments, users, and private messages thereby receiving notifications and/​or emails.

Link Previews [DONE]

Soon, when you hover over a green link on a LessWrong page that leads to another LessWrong page, you’ll see a pop-up preview of what’s on the other side plus extra info like the author and karma of the post being linked to.

New Editor Option, including Collaborative Editing and In-Line Comments

Currently, you can write comments and posts using either the Draft.js or Markdown editor. Soon, we’ll enable a new experimental editor that should be more powerful and include features like collaborative editing and in-line comments in the style of Google Docs.

Convert Comments to Posts

Sometimes, you write a comment, and then realize it turned out to be a self-contained essay. Soon comments will have a create draft post option that will create a copy of it in draft form. You can make any additional edits you’d like, and then publish it like normal.

If you do use this on your top-level shortform comments, you’ll also have the option of moving it’s comments to the new post once you publish it.

Other Updates

MIRI Summer Fellows Program Writing Day

MSFP held a writing day on Thursday, 22nd August and produced several dozen posts. You can use the All Posts page to easily rewind and see the great AI Safety content they produced.

LessLong Launch Party in Berkeley

We’ll be hosting a Shortform launch party in Berkeley on September 7. See the LessWrong event or FB event for details.

How to reach the team for feedback or support

Lastly, if you’re looking to get in touch with the LessWrong team, the following are good ways: