Thanks for this and the related work! Interesting to see the relatively small/insignificant effect on post frequency. I don’t want to spend much time commenting here so I’ll be very concise with my quick thoughts. They are just for the sake of feedback mainly so don’t take them too seriously!
I still think [55% confidence] that prizes probably do have an effect, mainly on those considering writing posts. The effect might not enough to justify doing them monthly though. However, annual prizes seem more likely to be cost-effective to me.
Your ‘prize posts’ also curate good content and that is valuable for forum readers, I think
I’d like an annual prize for the top posts/comments over the year, potentially with a crowdsourced component (i.e., forum users nominate/vote).
I like the creative writing prize and similar. I think it makes me many times more likely to produce creative content (which sadly doesn’t overcome my time or ineptitude :P)
I like the idea of using prizes to spotlight and incentivise specific types of content.
Awesome work! I remember when Ivan mentioned your project to me. Really cool to see it come to fruition. I like the idea of a central data repository and would benefit from it. I think that having an accompanying visualisation like this could add value to the annual EA survey data.
I also think that creating data visualisations could also help to increase the dissemination and impact of EA research. I’d like to see more work there too.
Thanks, this was particularly useful for me!
[Offering feedback for why this was downvoted. Note that I didn’t downvote you although I did have a somewhat neutral/negative experience when reading your post]
This seems like a well-intentioned but poorly executed post. It sounds like an advertisement for a very niche opportunity. You don’t explain the opportunity very clearly and the post doesn’t flow very well.
I have posted similar things in the past and they were relatively poorly received. I think that forum readers want generally want something that is either insightful/helpful and/or of general interest.
In future, you might want to consider asking for feedback on a draft to check the reading experience.
I hope this helps—I know it is annoying when you get downvotes without feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share this regardless :)
Thanks for this this, it is useful information.
30% of IPWs follow at least one EA-adjacent influencer.
This is more than I would have expected so I am quite pleased!
Great work Kuhan, both overall and with this post! Thank you for taking the time to do it.
Thanks Chana—I had a look but I think that the videos on this channel are a bit too technical and diverse for me to add to the spreadsheet.
I am weakly in favour. In short: I agree with the downsides raised. However, I think (partly from my research about website design) that pictures of people usually lead to audiences feeling a better connection and more willingness to collaborate. I think that that that benefit would outweigh the downsides.
I can’t imagine any social networking service working well without profile pictures. I think the forum is in part a social networking service to connect EAs around similar ideas with the hope that they communicate and work together.
I’d use/appreciate this I think.
Same. Useful also from an org impact perspective. E.g., over x people have viewed our posts (might be combined with website views etc)
Thanks, have added
Great, glad it was helpful!
Great, really glad to hear. Let me know if you want my help! Are you aware of this group—you could also probably get or even hire some good help there.
Thanks Linda, I will be in touch!
Some quick responses, sorry if unclear:
Why didn’t you apply for funding from EA meta or similar to hire an agency to fund the website?
This didn’t seem like a live opportunity (I have never heard of it happening). I don’t think we would have received any funding if we had applied. We would also have needed to cost the project, find an agency first etc.
suppose a low bono agency is available. In a case like this you’d still need to apply for funding for the former and, based on the estimations in part 2, it would be 50-66% cheaper than existing for-profit agencies at most—so if that discount wouldn’t have made you a) feel the project was worth paying for out of your own pocket or b) make you optimistic enough about the prospects of getting funding to apply to eg EA meta, then the argument would be that the work you wanted done was low enough value that it wouldn’t have been a good use of the movement’s money to subsidise an agency to work do pro bono work for you.
This model has lots of frictions, uncertainties and double handling—we need to explain the issue to the org to price the work, then apply for the funding by explaining what we want, then get back to the agency to start the work if we are approved. We probably also need to report back to the funder later on. Seems better to have have more certainty and do things more quickly.
I think we would consider paying a low-bono agency if we knew they would do a good job. Speed and certainty of outcome are very important.
Having made a very theoretical argument, I want to hear from someone who’s actually been in that position whether you think that counterfactual is valid, and if not, why not.
The free/donor funded agency option appears to be much easier and less effortful overall. I imagine that READI would be more likely to apply for that than seeking funding for a low bono org to do the work. To be clear, I am imagining that we apply for help with problem x, the funded agency reviews that request, prioritises it, and then rejects us or informs us they can help us at x time.
The free/donor funded agency approach seems to distribute responsibility more effectively as they invest time with funding and resource rather than the more time poor startup/EA org.
The challenges of nontechnical EAs are pretty trivial. Today, I could probably have saved a few hours of my time if I could get help to get analytics working on our github page (it may not be working yet either!). I don’t want to have to explain my issue to a third party and apply for funding every time I have an issue like that!
Thanks for doing this! I personally think that this could be a good idea and useful website. Getting people to talk about donating effectively on social media seems like an important intervention in service of increasing effective giving. I know that one CEO of an effective charity said that this was one of the two areas that they would most like more research on.
I recommend that you try to work with Givewell, EA funds or GWWC if possible. If you could validate that key organisations think this is useful then you might be able to get funded/paid to do it.
Currently, I’d be keener for you build the tracker in/for a pre-existing donation platform rather than doing something standalone where you have to build your own brand and so on to get people using the website. That’s assuming the people in charge thought it would useful, of course.
Unfortunately, if we were basing it on open comment “Other” responses, it would be extremely noisy due to low n, as well as some subjectivity in identifying categories.
Thanks for explaining. I see what you mean. If it seems worth it (i.e., more people than me care!), you could potentially add a closed ended ‘other potential cause areas’ item. These options could be generated from the most popular options in the prior year’s open ended responses. E.g., you could have IIDM and S-risk as close ended ‘other options’ for that question next year (in addition to n other common responses) . You could keep the ‘open ended other potential cause areas’ as an ‘Are there any other causes you feel should be priorities for the EA community that we haven’t mentioned’ open ended option. You could also grow the closed ended items list year as needed each year.
I agree this would be interesting. I’m particularly interested in examing differences in attitudes between EA and non-EA audiences. Examining differences in cause ratings directly might be more challenging due to a conceptual gap between EA understanding of certain causes and the general population (who may not even be familiar with what some of these terms mean). I think surveying more general populations on their support for different things (e.g. long-termist interventions, suitably explained) and observing changes in these across would be valuable though.
Yes, I agree
Another way to examine differences in cause prioritisation would be to look at differences in the charitable portolios of the EA community vs wider donors, since that aggregate data is more widely available.
Thanks—this link is interesting. Great to see that religious institutions get the most. That’s definitely ideal :)
I hadn’t thought about comparing donation portfolio trends. That could be very useful data if we had good data!