As of 10am (EST) today we have had 100,019 distinct visits and 221,616 page views, in the 116 days Overcoming Bias has been operating. In this time we’ve had 3189 comments and 229 posts (of which I’ve written 118). I wish I could quote some measure of how much bias we have overcome.
"Overcoming" could be interpreted any or all of several ways:Elimination of a bias from our mind;Compensation, in which we admit we can't prevent ourselves from having the bias, so we focus on compensating, e.g., by establishing a counter-bias;Avoidance, as when we prevent ourselves from being in gambling situations to prevent ourselves from suffering from probability biases.
Elimination might be impossible for biases that are genetically determined, and I have seen no claims on this blog that it is even possible to eliminate biases. Avoidance seems the most common technique I use,
Congratulations with the 100.000 visits.
The community/conversation-idea is a good one, but a lot of contributors alone do not accomplish this goal, as should be clear by now - if most of the contributors are allowed to stay inactive without consequenses for a long period of time, it could indeed (and I think it does) result in less conversation and discussion among the contributors on average, than a smaller but more active set of contributors would.
A little OT; you need more female contributors. Even if it is a result of self-selection, it is problematic that only one of thirty four contributors are women.
I think there may be a bias on this forum due to the two-tiered structure of Contributors and Commenters. I will suggest a solution that I mentioned to you privately and see what others think.
Rotate Contributors monthly based on a transparent objective criteria. This could be done by adding a simple polling/voting mechanism to each post which asks the following questions: "Is this post on-topic?" and "Is this post of high value?". Poor performing Contributors (and non-contributing ones) get dropped at the end of the month. Rookies get added based on some similarly objective criteria from the pool of Commenters who are not also current Contributors.
Here are some drop-in polling mechanisms:
* http://www.sixapart.com/typ...* http://vizu.typepad.com/viz...* http://www.blogpoll.com/
Not too long ago you said that there was a team doing "light moderation" of Contributors' posts. Rather than spending their time moderating, your moderators could spend commensurate time doing whatever manual aggregation of data is necessary. It's possible that each post requires the manual addition of the poll questions, but this is probably less time than moderation would take.