If Rational Animations invites viewers to read LessWrong in a video, how many new users will join LessWrong as a result?
Mini
89
5.2k
2025
373
expected

Suppose these three conditions are met:

  1. In a video, Rational Animations invites viewers to read a LessWrong article or sequence. It's an explicit invitation made in the narration of the video rather than e.g. only as in-video text.

  2. The article/sequence is linked in three places: at the end of the video (e.g. in place or near the Patreon link), at the top of the video description, and in the pinned comment.

  3. The video accrues 1 million views.

How many new users will join LessWrong as a result?

The number of new users can be measured in these ways:

-> Links tracking how many new users join.

-> LessWrong stats that make the LessWrong moderators confident enough in an approximate number that they believe this market can be resolved.

Get Ṁ600 play money
Sort by:

Apparently conversion ratios for digital ads in general tend to be something like ~1-5% (the actual quantity depends on a variety of things). Since the median view count for Rational Animations' videos is something like ~200K views, a pessimistic conversion ratio guess of 1% suggests a total number of 1% * 200K = 2,000 LessWrong signups (which is much higher than the market's current guess).

predicts HIGHER

@duck_master the campaign isn't targeted at sign-ups, but rather at getting them to read a post. Most people only sign up if they want to comment!

@duck_master The issue is that the market appears to stipulate a video with a million views. Multiply our number by 5, you hypothesize that at minimum you would see 10,000 new users? Estimates are hard for me to find given the amount of time I gave myself to address this comment, but about 10 years ago someone estimated that the total userbase for LessWrong was around 9,000. Your hypothesis predicts that a single video recommending people sign up for a very niche rationalist forum would have more than doubled the userbase if it was launched a decade ago, AT MINIMUM?

LessWrong probably has more users now, but how many active? How many people currently browse? What would the user traffic look like if your hypothesis is correct? Likely, this single video would represent a many-fold (haha) increase in traffic on the site just counting the people who make an account, not just follow the link.

Writer's referral count is only about 1000, assuming all of those came from his sign up video a month ago (34k views) the actual % would be >3. So maybe it's possible (you might be underestimating in fact) but your are hypothesizing a very big event which should give you pause.

predicts HIGHER

Does this market resolve N/A if RA doesn't invite viewers to read LessWrong by the end of the year, or will the close date be extended?

@JosephNoonan Just extended the close date to 2026. If by then the conditions aren't met it will resolve N/A

I assume "join LessWrong" means to actually create an account, not just to visit the site, right? Presumably, the majority of people who read an article on LessWrong as a result of the video wouldn't make an account, since they were just there to read that article.

@JosephNoonan That's right, in this scenario Rational Animations only invites people to read, not make an account. This market tries to forecast how many new accounts inviting people to read stuff results in.

Great job with the YouTube channel, this is very good.

I think 1 million views is too much for this market, it would still be informative with 100k, and it would be a lot less probable that it resolves N/A.
I think a market about the proportion of new Lesswrong users per viewer, would be even better. (with maybe some minimum of viewers, so it means something).
Also we probably don’t have to wait 2024 to have significant statistic about that.

Just trying to

Just some thoughts:

This market will resolve based on the assessment of the Lesswrong-mods?

Also, this market is conditional on Ration Animations accumulating one million views on one of their videos. Shouldn't there be a restriction to the timeframe these views occur? Surely one of their years-old videos slowly passing the threshold would pull as many users as one thing that went viral overnight.

Also in the case of a slow takeoff video the correlated increase in lesswrong users count would be way harder to assess.

More related questions