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Previously there was an article describing an idea called “Reimagining a social network for EA community” [1], and today I present a prototype of it.

To summarize the whole idea into one sentence, it is goals and tasks oriented social network. Or we can also call it - action oriented social network. It is built on the premise that open internet collaboration can work and there is a lot of space to improve this process. The core concept is connecting like-minded people together and streamlining simplified collaboration tools, empowering community members for possibly new level of achievements.

Testing the idea

During this initial stage I searched for a way to build the prototype in 100 hours. This goal required to reduce features and search for alternatives.

I chose to refactor existing “Open Social” [2] platform. It is super flexible system where I already knew well how to modify, create and delete features. This enabled to create a functional prototype built on a solid base with a lot of common features already done (for example, notifications).

Next awaits a testing phase, during which I will ask questions to improve the prototype further, such as:

  1. What are reasons this is a bad prototype (and concept)?
  2. What are reasons this is a good prototype (and concept)?
  3. How to improve good parts and remove bad parts? Or rethink.

Walk-through the prototype

1. Explore page helps to find goals, projects and organizations to join.

Screenshot of explore page featuring goals and projects organized by cause area

2. "Goal"page is where people join and collaborate towards a common vision using "activities".

Screenshot of a goal page featuring activities

3. Activity is a conversation between people. For example, it can replace email in many situations, but it also has many project management features:

  • Activity has a status to indicate completion: Active → Done, Postponed, Canceled.
  • Activity has a type assigned to track progress: Idea→ Conversation →Task → Resource
  • Activity has a project assigned* to categorize activities by work area.
  • Activity has granular access permissions. Allowing conversation to be between the organization’s community, or between the team, or between selected people, or private, to the person only*.
Screenshot of activity page 

4. User profile is like all profiles - with various user information.

Screenshot of user profile page featuring list of organizations user is a member of.

5. Organizations and projects are similar like a “goal”, but with extra capabilities.

  • Organizations are public for anyone to join, but they also have team members.
  • An organization’s activities can be either public to the community, or private to the team members* only. This should help community to access and join the effort on certain daily tasks.
  • If anyone is doing any project, they can try to create an “organization” for it on this platform and create work oriented community around it.
Screenshot of organization page featuring activities

6. Dashboard page helps to follow all activities in one place.

Screenshot of dashboard page featuring activities and their filters

* Underlined features marked with an asterisk are not yet fully implemented.

Volunteering opportunities

If idea is interesting, you are welcome to join some of these opportunities below:

  • Using the prototype and providing feedback. Please add your name to the waiting list [3] https://forms.gle/Tht3UeUFrTwDBJ8U7. Access to the prototype will be growing by invitation.
  • Content creation and moderation. Goal creation is done by moderator at this point. It would be nice to have a lot of goals created for people to choose from, covering many EA cause areas. Users themselves will also suggest new goals or organizations or projects, but moderator chooses, creates and makes it available. There could be multiple moderators. Please contact me if this sounds interesting to you.
  • Like minded motivated team members in all other areas, who have some spare time for discussing and building this.
  1. Prototype is based on the concept described in the previous post “Reimagining a social network for EA community”.
  2. Prototype is build on top of open source platform https://www.getopensocial.com/
  3. Registration to the waiting list https://forms.gle/Tht3UeUFrTwDBJ8U7

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:37 PM

I appreciate all the thought you put into this, but I'm not sure we should build a new social network because: 

1) it's really hard to build something better than Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter etc. that people will actually use

2) if only some people use it, it may lead to resource diversion and may even do more harm than good. (I generally feel like the EA community is currently spread over too many different platforms which leads to unnecessary duplicating efforts, so I would prioritise getting more people to use the same platform over adding additional platforms)

The EA Forum might be the only platform pretty much everyone uses, and the CEA Online Team is currently adding features like the "community" section and the "events" section. I would ask them if they think it's worth adding what you described to the forum. 

2) We live in this beautiful world because of innovation. Every new idea that were successful improved our life. And life was improved because of innovation happening. I think duplicating efforts is a great thing. The more people diverge and try different things, the more likely something new will be created, and by extension life will be improved.

3) I don't know concept like this existing. This idea is not proven to work. Almost all new ideas fail. So this has to be proven first before adding to the forum.

Thanks for practical feedback :)

Hey,

I think the biggest problem for any social network plan is "how to get a critical mass", or more bluntly "why would anyone join if almost nobody is there yet?". I mean, this is not a side point, it's a major thing, I think

 

I am so impressed/grateful that the EA Forum and Lesswrong already have this critical mass [and doing lots of other great things] that I am myself considering joining them and helping out building features from there

Hi, thanks, seeing results so far and thinking more for the last week I fully agree. Although not considering joining the team since other plans.

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