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ChangeAView486 karma

Reading countless discussions between people far smarter than me for almost 7 years now has been a bit of a blur, to be honest. I have definitely learned things as a result, particularly on issues outside of the UK, and I know that I've become better at withholding judgment and asking the right questions too. But to pinpoint my view changes is difficult. The reason is exactly why our delta system exists: it's easy to forget or absorb changes, as if you've always felt that way, unless you make an effort to explicitly acknowledge them. Due to my policy of keeping my personal views separate, I haven't participated in the delta system.


ChangeAView107 karma

Great questions and I appreciate the opportunity to answer them.

On one hand, there are some big format changes, and on the other, there are many subtleties that will become more noticeable as you use ChangeAView.com. Years of ideas have become a reality due to the complete freedom that comes with creating a new platform from scratch.

Examples include: how post ranking works, showing top responses on the homepage, removing the downvote button (which is often just an 'I disagree' button) and replacing it with a 'shine-level' system, weekly digest emails, the ability to quote sentences with a button and see quote responses in-line, improved moderation processes—the list continues and is growing, all of which adds up to a better user experience for our specific purpose.

Features and design aside, there's also the freedom to take this in new directions. For example: college professors have used the subreddit in their courses before (and for the first time at CAV a few weeks ago), and I think there's a lot of potential for further integration with education. But this is a business decision that volunteer moderators of a subreddit can't make.

We plan to create a sustainable business by offering additional services and features to paying users, hopefully avoiding the need to display ads (which often changes how a business operates).


ChangeAView92 karma

Trivial and obvious views aside, I think it would be a distraction and a misuse of the position I'm in to promote my opinions.

ChangeAView47 karma

Sure! In the top-right corner of comments, you will see a symbol that looks like a beacon or a sun. Clicking it casts a shine-vote, the purpose of which is to say "this shines a light on the issue", but we don't display a point score. Instead, there are five levels. It doesn't quite work this way yet, but the plan is to display a level based on an average score relative to the rest of the thread.

ChangeAView47 karma

Thanks for your question. Our most frequent contributors are clearly very curious people, both when they put a view forward to be challenged and when challenging others.

I've said before that ChangeAView is a place for intellectual curiosity, but it has to be one where the mostly curious aren't deterred by the mostly intellectual.

That's just a fancy way of saying that we're keen to make the idea of having your views challenged less intimidating. It's a necessary process in order to fully understand an issue, but when you've grown up in a culture that treats being right and wrong as winning and losing, then there can be some reluctance and over-defensiveness that we hope to break down over time. Doing so will require effective communication of our rules, culture, and improving the format as necessary.