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EA outreach vs. research

Posted on 11 June 2014

In general, both “marketing” effective altruism ideas and doing research work that will be used by the effective altruism community strike me as promising ways of improving and spreading the effective altruism movement. All-in-all, I’d be more excited to see some really great marketers come on the scene than to see some more great researchers (which I think we have a lot more of). However, I think it’s important to remember that getting valuable information out there is complementary with efforts to “market” effective altruism. In support of this, I’d point out that the most impressive people I know in the effective altruism community are only involved because they think that people in the effective altruism community are talking about important issues and doing a good job at thinking about them. And my sense is that there are a lot of issues where careful research attention could contribute to the long-term growth and impact of the effective altruism movement. At the end of the day, though, I think there is enough work in both areas that individual strengths and weaknesses would play a major role in where people in the EA movement should focus their efforts. The particular person I was talking to struck me as more of a “research” person than a “marketing” person, so I suggested doing more work on the research side.