June 14, 2017
A great way to both provide value to others and train your own skills is by writing and publishing blog posts. Given the field’s current small size, individual contributors have the ability to make strides on important areas or otherwise contribute novel content. While we encourage everyone to think critically about EA topics, this is probably best suited to people who well acquainted with effective altruism and/or one of its specific subdomains.
One person who did this, Luke Muehlhauser, writes:
In retrospect, my blogging on LessWrong about topics that were interesting to (proto) EAs ended up being sort-of like volunteer work for "(proto) EA in general," and in fact seems to have been the primary cause for my two EA employers’ interest in hiring me (MIRI and GiveWell/OpenPhil). Blogging also helped me to level up my skills, especially because the feedback I received was fairly high-quality. So for some people, blogging might be a good volunteer opportunity, for creating content of some utility to EA organizations, for demonstrating research/analysis/writing skill to EA organizations, and for leveling up those skills.
Frequent fact-post writer Sarah Constantin encourages bloggers to "start with an empirical question, or a general topic" and see what they can determine about the area in a short amount of time. For examples, check out these pieces on AI performance trends, wild animals, life expectancy, and North Korea. (h/t Richard Batty)
If you’re interesting in writing on EA topics, consider writing a literature review, addressing an open question, or identifying a topic on your own that seems of relevance. Then seek feedback on your post before publishing to the EA Forum, LessWrong, and/or your own blog as makes sense.
Time commitment: hours
Duration: short-term, medium-term, long-term
Familiarity with EA: regular
Occupation: student, professional, retiree
Forward the field.
- 1. Write a blog post.