I discovered this site via OB a few months ago and have been lurking ever since.
I've commented only twice before but have been reluctant to comment more as I haven't yet read anywhere near as much of LW as I would like.
I'm very interested in many of the very common topics of discussion here, such as rationality, AI, etc, and hope to be able to make a contribution to our understanding of one or more such topics in the future.
Thanks for the excuse to comment, and to the LW community at large for creating such a fascinating site.
If I derive joy from helping people in need then you could view that process as part of a very specialised industry.
In this view I am not really paying to alleviate suffering, I am paying to make myself feel better but may in fact help others as a by-product.
This suggests that a large proportion of efforts devoted to charity would be fairly inefficient as "makes me feel better" doesn't necessarily equate with "helps people", nevertheless it is still "productive" as it is producing a sense of well being among the givers.
Just a suggestion but has anyone thought of creating multiple different groups (obviously with the same objective) that have different names in order to see which name/s are most effective at attracting new members?
Start X groups at roughly the same time and see which has the most members after Y days. Assuming they are all promoted roughly equally.
This might also create the impression that more people are campaigning for this than actually are, though I'm uncertain whether or not that is helpful.