The increasing uselessness of Promoted

post by PhilGoetz · 2016-03-19T18:23:03.221Z · score: 19 (22 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 12 comments

For some time now, "Promoted" has been reserved for articles written by MIRI staff, mostly about MIRI activities.  Which, I suppose, would be reasonable, if this were MIRI's blog.  But it isn't.  MIRI has its own blog.  It seems to me inconvenient both to readers of LessWrong, and to readers of MIRI's blog, to split MIRI's material up between the two.

People visiting lesswrong land on "Promoted", see a bunch of MIRI blogs, mostly written by people who don't read LessWrong themselves much anymore, and get a mistaken impression of what people talk about on LessWrong.  Also, LessWrong looks like a dying site, since often months pass between new posts.

I suggest the default landing page be "New", not "Promoted".

12 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by tim · 2016-04-02T09:52:32.231Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Good lord. I haven't been on LW in quite a while, but I wholeheartedly agree.

The collection of articles currently on the front page are painfully useless to someone looking to discuss "the art of human rationality" rather than be inundated with content blatantly serving the interests of a particular company/organization.

This content will (for the most part) appeal to people already in the fold. But what, in any way would a newcomer to the site gain from articles titled:

  • [ACRONYMYOUHAVENEVERHEARDOF] Is Hiring!
  • Why Is Our Company Great? Click Here To Find Out!
  • Donate Money To Us, Please!
  • Read About What Our Company Does - It's Super Important!
  • Please, Take Our Survey And Maybe WIN BIG!

Are these massively unfair oversimplifications of the actual content of the articles? Yes. Are these roughly along the lines of what a newcomer to the site will hear in their brain when they look at the front page? Almost certainly.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-03-19T21:12:08.325Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This makes sense to me, but perhaps it's best expressed in the LessWrong potential changes post

comment by PhilGoetz · 2016-03-20T00:50:21.911Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oops. Yes. I can't move a post to a comment, though.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-03-20T17:01:31.159Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just post a link to your post there.

comment by CronoDAS · 2016-03-19T19:23:44.383Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, this has been a problem for some time - I just bookmarked the "New" page and completely ignored "Promoted" since the beginning...

comment by bogus · 2016-03-20T14:57:44.980Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, /new is used for meetup announcements these days. Maybe you meant the Discussion page (where this post is)?

comment by CronoDAS · 2016-03-20T20:43:03.303Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That was back when Main actually had content.

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2016-03-20T15:21:43.070Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

/new is meetup announcements only if you aren't logged in. If you are logged in, I think it filters out irrelevant ones. I don't have a location set, so I don't see any of them (except Frank's roundups). But you're obviously logged in...

comment by Gram_Stone · 2016-03-19T18:40:32.333Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree, keeping in mind that this is easily reversible and that promoted posts will remain visible. And if anyone is thinking that this would reduce the apparent quality of the blog, the very worst Main posts are usually moved to Discussion by an administrator/moderator.

As for the plausibility of implementation, this blog ultimately does not belong to its userbase.

comment by LessWrong (LessWrong1) · 2016-03-20T09:24:28.516Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How does the promoted thing even work? There's only one article that was written recently (one year ago), two from 2009 and one from 2007. (all sequences)

comment by Douglas_Knight · 2016-03-20T15:18:09.645Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Are you sure you're talking about Promoted? It has oldest entry from November. This is what I see (also, google cache). I wonder what Phil is seeing.

comment by LessWrong (LessWrong1) · 2016-03-20T17:45:00.062Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I mixed it up with 'featured articles'. Sorry.