AMA: We’re the Forum team (and we’re hiring). Ask us anything!

We’re the Forum team — we run this platform. You’re free to ask us anything (just post it as a comment)![1] We’ll start answering questions tomorrow, Thursday, July 6, and will continue answering on Friday (and possibly through the weekend).

We might not be able to get to all the questions, but we’ll try to get to as many as we can. (Vote for the questions you’re most interested in!)

About us

Tl;dr: we run the EA Forum. More below!

➡️ We’re hiring for a Content Specialist! (Deadline extended: apply by July 26)

We’re looking for someone to join the team full-time as a Content Specialist, to work with me (Lizka), probably taking on most or all of my current responsibilities in the next six months.

We just updated the deadline (moved from July 19 to July 26) to make sure that we have time to reach people who we think should apply. (The deadline on the website is outdated.) We had pre-announced this role here.

➡️ Apply here.

If you’re hired, your core responsibilities would include:

  • Encouraging engagement with important and interesting content

  • Improving the epistemics, safety, and trust levels on the Forum

  • Helping the Online Team (or the EA network, or CEA) to prepare for future challenges and opportunities (e.g. by seeking out some information, helping shape the team’s strategy, etc).

This would likely involve taking over running the moderation team, seeking out, curating, and organizing content on the Forum, and running or working on things like the monthly EA Newsletter (59K subscribers) and the weekly EA Forum Digest (10K subscribers)— and other things!

You can ask questions about the role — but not only.

More on who we are and what we do

Who we are

This AMA is with the “Forum Team”[2] — the people listed here (and hopefully another person soon). The team includes:

  1. Engineers (Sarah, Will, Ollie, JP (who is also the interim head of the team — this was previously Ben)): building and maintaining the site

  2. The content side (currently just me — Lizka): running the moderation/​facilitation teams, the EA Forum Digest (and the EA Newsletter), and assorted other content-related responsibilities

  3. The Product side (Agnes, Sharang): noticing opportunities and issues, and working with engineers to develop new features and solutions to users’ problems

Different people are able to commit different amounts of time to the AMA, but the following people will definitely answer some questions if there are questions about their work:

Our work

Some of our current & recent projects include:

  • Features (you can see our past feature updates here)

    • Building better recommendations for further reading

    • Improving what’s currently the Library page

    • Working with Type III Audio on AI narrations

    • Putting “shortform” on the Frontpage and renaming it “Quick Takes”

    • Making the “new post” page easier to use

    • Exploring adding the ability to “react” to comments

    • Improvements that are less visible: speeding up the site, improving our analytics database, etc.

    • In general:

      • Our codebase is open source and shared with LessWrong — you can submit issues here (although that list is not super well maintained)

      • You can also share your thoughts and feedback in the Forum feature suggestion thread

  • Strategy and team

    • Developing better metrics to track the Forum’s impact and health

    • Exploring the space of communication/​coordination channels in AI safety and AI governance, and trying to understand if there are gaps/​bottlenecks/​issues that we can address with improved or new platforms/​tools

    • Hiring for a Content Specialist — see above! — and moderators (that round is near its final stage)

  • Continuing our ongoing projects, like:

    • Forum support, making sure that people can use their accounts, etc.[3]

    • Non-technical support/​improvements: Forum facilitation and moderation

    • The weekly EA Forum Digest (and the monthly EA Newsletter)

    • Helping with other sites and projects (and exploring new ones), including

We’ve been trying to share more about moderation changes, how the team works and thinks about the Forum, etc., but we haven’t managed to make as much time for this as some of us have hoped — I hope this AMA helps!

Some people who work on the Forum team (or have worked on it), on the Online Team or as moderators.
  1. ^

    You can explore other AMAs here.

  2. ^

    There are more groups of people who work on the Forum. You could picture this in terms of the following diagram:

    The lines sometimes get blurry:

    - Facilitators do some things that look more like moderation

    - Moderators do, too: they help new users, help with the wiki

    - The Online Team supports moderation (e.g. by building tools, helping with investigations, etc.) — and JP and I (Lizka) are also active moderators, while Dane Magaway (the executive assistant on the Online Team) also helps a lot with moderation

    But the diagram is roughly accurate, except for a glaring omission — the Forum wouldn’t happen without people who post on it and people who read it. So a more accurate picture might be a bit more like:

  3. ^

    When something breaks, who ya gonna call? Bug-busters!