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Introducing Community Manager Evan Harper

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Metaculus Meta

Hello fellow forecasters,

I'm Evan Harper and I'm elated to announce that I recently joined Metaculus as a full time Community Manager. My mission is to engage with the site's user base and support the forecasters and question writers who make it all possible. Previously, I trained and worked as a software developer. Though we are a distributed, multi-national team, I'm the first Canadian to work for Metaculus! I'm very grateful for the opportunity to serve in this new position.

I started forecasting on Metaculus in 2016, shortly after we first launched. I had never quantitatively forecasted before, but I was familiar with some of the concepts underlying Bayesian inference, forecasting models like FiveThirtyEight's elections model, and prediction markets. Metaculus seemed like a fun way to put these concepts into practice and check my own calibration in the process. Over the years, especially after the pandemic hit around early 2020, Metaculus became a pretty significant pastime for me. I took to creating questions, started tracking news developments relevant to open forecast questions, and posted links and excerpts to update the community. Probably my question that I’m most happy with is "When will a computer program be credited as an artist of at least ten pages of content in Weekly Shonen Jump?" which asks about AI-generated manga (comic book) art. It's been gratifying to see this forecast get occasional off-site attention on places like Reddit, and to watch how wildly the median prediction has swung with the release of DALL-E 2 and related developments.

Now that I’m working as a Community Manager, my immediate focus will be on addressing the backlog of new question proposals in the question queue, codifying standards and practices for new questions, and working with others to improve and streamline how we attend to the community’s question submissions. I'll also be available across the site as a first point of contact for forecasters and other community members, alongside our existing community moderators and admins. You are the forecasters who make Metaculus what it is, so your questions, concerns, ideas, and suggestions will be my priority.

In the longer term, I want to help Metaculus scale up by involving the community more in writing and curating new questions, so that we can continue to grow sustainably. I also aim to help expand and diversify the user base by, for example, cultivating new forecast questions around topic areas and geographic regions that we currently under-explore.

The Metaculus team is eager to engage with our community on topics spanning forecasting, question writing, website functionality, and the direction of the Metaculus community. We want to hear your ideas on how we can make Metaculus the best place to forecast and to consume forecasts. Anyone who wishes can get in touch with me by tagging @evanharper in Metaculus comments or emailing evan@metaculus.com. I'll also be involved in the Metaculus virtual meetups, the Discord server, and other venues where significant discussions about forecasting and Metaculus are occurring. I look forward to hearing from you!

—Evan

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