This seems like a strong plan, and I’m glad you’ve thought things through thoroughly. I’ll just outline points of agreement, and slight differences.
I certainly agree with the approach of building EA Forum 2 from LessWrong 2. After all, the current EA Forum version was built from LessWrong 1 for similar reasons. We had a designer sketch the restyled site, and this was quite a positive experience, so I’d recommend doing the same with the successor. Basically, the EA Forum turned out quite a bit more beautiful than the LessWrong, and the same should be possible again. I think there are some easy wins to be had here, like making the LW2′s front-page text a bit darker, but I also think it’s possible to go beyond that and make things really pretty all-around.
I agree with keeping LW2′s new Karma system, and method of ordering posts, and I think that this is a major perk of the codebase. I’m also happy to see that you seem to have the downsides well-covered.
One small diff is when you say “Although CEA has a view on which causes we should prioritize, we recognize that the EA Forum is a community space that should reflect the community.” Personally, I think that forum administrators should be able to shape the content of the forum a little bit. Not by carrying out biased moderation, but by various measures that are considered “fair” like producing content, promoting content, voting, and so on.
I think the possible features are kind-of interesting. My thoughts are as follows:
different landing pages: may be good
local group pages: may be good, but maybe events are best left on Facebook. Would be amazing if you can automatically include Facebook events, but I’ve no idea whether that’s feasible.
additional subforums: probably bad, because I think the community is currently only large enough to support ~2 active fora, and having multiple fora adds confusion and reduces ease-of-use.
Single sign-on: likely to be good, since things are being consolidated to one domain.
Thanks again to Trike Apps for running the forum over all these years, and thanks to CEA for taking over. With my limited time, it would never have been possible to transition the forum over to new software, and so we would have been in a much worse position. So thanks all!
Hi Ryan, Thanks again for all setting up the Forum, and looking after it!
On some of the points you raise:
I agree that moderators should be able to produce content, and vote: we were not proposing that CEA staff or moderators would not do that.
I like the idea of integrating with Facebook events, I’ll add it to our list.
I also agree that the community is not currently large enough for many additional fora: if we implement this, it will be slowly and carefully.