Forum Update: New Features (September 2019)

Short­form posts

If you click “New Short­form (Beta)” from the main menu, you’ll be able to write a brief post from a sim­plified in­ter­face:

As our About page notes, we don’t think posts need to be pol­ished in or­der to be worth pub­lish­ing. We want the EA Fo­rum to be a place where peo­ple can ex­plore ideas, even if they haven’t ac­counted for ev­ery con­sid­er­a­tion or coun­ter­ar­gu­ment. Our hope is that the Short­form in­ter­face will en­courage more of this ex­plo­ra­tion.

For con­ve­nience, your Short­form posts will be col­lected on a page like this one. You can see a set of re­cent Short­form posts from many differ­ent users here. (I ex­pect that this link will re­place the Fo­rum’s oc­ca­sional “open threads”, since Short­form is effec­tively one gi­gan­tic open thread.)

Com­mu­nity Favorites

On the Fo­rum’s home­page, you can now see (un­der the list of new posts) a list of highly-up­voted posts that might be worth read­ing.

By de­fault, these will be posts you haven’t read yet, though you can turn that op­tion off:

We hope that this fea­ture will nudge peo­ple into ex­plor­ing good posts that they missed, or that were pub­lished be­fore they joined the Fo­rum.

New sidebar

We’ve heard from a few peo­ple who weren’t aware that they could find more Fo­rum con­tent in the “Com­mu­nity” sec­tion, or that they could use “All Posts” to sort posts in lots of differ­ent ways.

To fix this, we’ve moved to a sys­tem where the side­bar is visi­ble by de­fault on top-level pages, rather than re­quiring a click to re­veal. It will still be in­visi­ble by de­fault on post pages.

Note: This is an ex­per­i­men­tal fea­ture that hasn’t yet been fully de­ployed. You can see it (and other such fea­tures, when­ever we add them) by se­lect­ing “opt into ex­per­i­men­tal fea­tures” from the “Edit Ac­count” page:

If you link to an­other Fo­rum post in a post or com­ment, you’ll see a tiny “EA” logo next to your link.

Hover­ing over the link will show you a pre­view of the linked post:

Im­proved performance

This fea­ture would be hard to get a screen­shot for, but we hope you’ll ap­pre­ci­ate it any­way: The Fo­rum now loads new con­tent much faster, rang­ing from com­ments on posts to archived posts on the “All Posts” page.

Let us know if you have ques­tions about any of these changes, or if you’d like to sug­gest other fea­tures that might be valuable!