This was an April Fool’s joke.
To date, GiveWell writeups have focused on being detailed, nuanced, thoroughly cited, and clear. Something we’ve consciously not prioritized is making them “accessible”: easy and fun to read, emotionally compelling, memorable, and strongly persuasive to casual readers. Writing accessibly isn’t a natural strength of ours, and it can be difficult to reconcile with our more core goals of transparency, nuance, etc. As a result, until recently, we haven’t had the capacity to put in the substantial amount of work it would take to improve the accessibility of our writing.
We’ve recently increased our capacity for outreach, however, and over the last several months we’ve been working on a pilot project: trying an alternative way of writing our evidence reviews that aims for dramatically better accessibility, while hopefully preserving nuance. We’ve partnered with several communications firms (whose names we’ve withheld for now pending feedback on our pilot project, subject to the terms of our agreement) that we consider to be on the cutting edge of knowledge about effective communication and persuasion. These firms collaborated on an in-depth study of what we could learn from the most effective communicators from the worlds of business, entertainment, and politics. We were impressed with their methodology for identifying effective persuaders, and we believe our test writeup effectively integrates practices that have shown to be extremely impressive in mass persuasion.
We would greatly appreciate readers’ feedback on our test writeup, and the extent to which it combines emotional resonance and persuasiveness with maintaining our commitment to accuracy, detail and nuance. Please leave feedback as comments on this post.