EA Communication Project Ideas
These are some small EA communication projects which I think independent EA’s with reasonable understandings of EA and communication practices can do, without needing to be employed by an EA organization etc. They mostly come from random discussions I have with people and in general are not original to me.
A twitter bot which tweets out forum articles[EDIT: This already exists]
This could be based on parsing the forum RSS feed
You could imagine a number of variants: only tweeting articles with >X karma, only tweeting those with a specific tag, only those from specific authors, etc.
Could also tweet out links to EA newsletters, or parse them and tweet the individual articles linked therein
Repurposing EAG videos
Professional content studios squeeze the last drop of value out of every single piece of content they get: they put the full long video on YouTube for diehard fans, take short highlight clips and post them on Instagram, take key quotes and post them on twitter, put compilations on TikTok, etc.
We have dozens (hundreds?) of hours of video from speakers at EAG, which generally doesn’t get a ton of engagement on YouTube.
Someone with editing skills and reasonable understanding of EA could repurpose this content in a bunch of different ways, without needing to come up with original ideas, write scripts, etc.
Create posts to drive engagement
e.g. after EAG create a thread on the Forum asking people to post their biggest takeaways from the event.
Or you could do this on social media
It would probably have to be combined with some proactive outreach to get people to post in order to be successful
Make a map of EA
Domain of Science created “map of X” for various fields. I honestly don’t understand why these videos were so popular, but they are (the map of mathematics got 8.6 million views).
You could imagine doing something similar for EA.
Probably you should understand why the original videos were so popular though, if you’re going to replicate the success.
Anna Riedl made a map of cognitive science and is interested in collaborating if you want to do this project.
Make a scratch off list of EA reading
Inspired by posters like this one which list famous novels, the intention being that you scratch off each novel as you read it
If you do this, let me know because CEA might be interested in providing the scratch off list to virtual program participants or Forum readers
Anna is also interested in collaborating on this one
Summarize prolific authors
(Or run a contest, similar to Richard Ngo’s bounty for compiling Robin Hanson’s best posts.)
“The collected works of (famous intellectual)” is a pretty popular format; the idea is to do something similar for prolific EA authors.
A lot of EA thinkers have shifted their publications to target more esoteric audiences (e.g. academics), and, as a result, the median EA is less in touch with what e.g. Will MacAskill or Toby Ord are thinking than they were a few years ago.
I think it will be more successful if it’s just excerpts of the most important ideas though, rather than a complete compendium.
Make podcasts that read out newsletters
Robert Miles does this for the alignment newsletter, for example
There are a bunch of other newsletters you could do this for
Make a written intro similar to Ajeya’s talk
I ask many group organizers what they give to people who are new to EA as an introduction, and this talk from Ajeya is perhaps the most frequently mentioned thing.
Organizers usually say that this talk does the best job within EA content of being “warm” and showing the passion and motivation for EA, in addition to the intellectual foundations.
This helps it appeal to those who have a strong emphasis on care/harm foundation and leftists.
The Forum provides a transcript of this talk, but presumably someone who optimized it for a written version could do a better job.
I would suggest talking to group organizers and new people before taking on this project, so that you fully understand the reason why her talk is so good, and how to capture that value in a written version.
Update Ajeya’s talk video
While her video is good, it is still just a college student talking next to a PowerPoint. A talented video editor could presumably make a better version.
Summarize “the current thinking around X”
Analogous to UpToDate in medicine: read literature and talk to experts to understand the consensus opinion around key topics in EA, and advise on best practices.
Example topics could include:
Are the next 10 years unusually important?
How valuable is it to attract another person to EA?
What are the key disagreements around AI timelines?
One use case for this is: people who have been involved in EA for a while, but don’t work full-time on EA things, often lose track of changing thinking. It would be helpful for them to have e.g. an annual summary of key updates.
In some cases this is for intellectual interest, but in other cases it would affect their life choices. E.g. I think many people who are casually involved in EA might change their career plans if they understood the arguments around the next decade being unusually important.
Make summaries of key articles
Search the EA forum for “research agenda”. These are lists people have already curated of the most important reading in various domains. Creating less technical summaries of these is a helpful way for people to easily get up to speed on the most important ideas.
Similarly, you can make video, podcast, twitter thread, etc. versions of these key articles.
Note: many of these suggestions involve repurposing existing content. Remember to respect intellectual property laws when doing this, and consider contacting the author of the original work, when appropriate.
These ideas are posted by me personally, not my employer, and in general I’ve only done a few minutes of thinking about each one.