Should we launch a podcast about high-impact projects and people?

by Robert_Wiblin 1st Dec 201414 comments

9


An idea I have repeatedly returned to is creating a podcast where I, or someone else, interviews people who are trying to work on high impact projects. It would cover questions like how they decided what to work on, and what practical challenges they face day-to-day.

Mixing a complicated radio show is very time consuming, so I think I would model it on my favourite podcast, EconTalk, which is a straightforward two-person interview. The main overhead is learning about the person's work ahead of time so that the conversation flows smoothly and the answers are actually interesting.

Reasons in favour

  • It will allow us to meet and learn from people trying to have a large impact across a range of different causes and projects. I am concerned that effective altruism is too insular and does not take enough interest in mainstream professionals and experts, and this could help address that. I also think we invest too little in learning how to actually implement things well, relative to doing theoretical prioritisation research.
  • There are not many highly informative podcasts out there. If this turns out to be interesting to listen to, it could attract a decent listenership, particularly of the kinds of people we are most keen to get involved.
  • I am excited at the prospect, so it's likely it would actually happen, and I would probably enjoy working on it.
Reasons against
  • It will take a significant investment of time and attention to do well.
  • As I don't know anyone with radio or podcasting experience, it is likely to come across as amateurish at first.
  • GiveWell already has something like this on their 'Conversations' page. On the other hand, these interviews are not designed to be entertaining or accessible, and so I doubt they are read or listened to by many people.
So my questions are:
  • Would this be a good use of my or someone else's time?
  • If so, would you be interested in helping schedule these conversations, turn the recordings into podcast episodes, and perhaps later take over doing the interviews yourself?