Automated draft hints

Continuing the discussion from Thoughts from the Elm community on Intentional Communication and “The Hard Parts of Open Source”:


This suggestion reminds me a lot of the Hemingway Editor, an app that tries to make you a better writer:

It’s no small undertaking, but certainly seems like a worthwhile pursuit for a civilized discussion platform.


I think a better vector here is measurement of not just relies but reply length. If you reply with one post that has 5,000 words that is rather disproportionate. But none of our existing reminders would catch that as they use reply count not length to trigger.


I really like the “this post is super long” draft hint, though. I think that could be a new reminder type we pop-up when the user has spent (x) amount of time composing a post and the word length is over (y)?

It might be a hint that gets ignored a lot because of the sunk cost fallacy though. Once someone has dumped 5,000+ words into a reply, are they really going to decide to make it half the size just because we popped up an education panel after they’ve already written the thing?

I suppose if we treat it as a “just in time” warning, like …

It looks like you’ve typed 4,781 words in 35 minutes. That’s a lot for everyone to read! Can it be summarized? Should this be posted now to get feedback before writing more?

… then the take is “good work, make it as short as you can and submit it now before it gets too long?”

Thoughts @erlend_sh?


Yeah I like that. Good copy would be essential here. Could throw even more :carrot::carrot::carrot: in there with something like

:bulb: Tip: More people will read what you write if you keep it as short as possible. You can always expand upon your thoughts in subsequent replies.

I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
~ Mark Twain or some other smart person.


As well as looking at overall length, we could look at paragraph length. Long replies are not AS bad if they are well split up. A 1000 word paragraph is bad for all involved! 5, 200 word paragraphs are far better.

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Indeed, that’s a very simple way to improve excessively long posts

This might be a bit premature, but… :angel:

I’d vote for category-specific settings for max-characters to trigger this. For example, It is okay to write up lengthy wiki post, but it is not okay to rant in other categories.

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