When you interact with Tactical Philanthropy or any other blog in the comments section, you are engaging in public speaking. Proof of this comes from this weeks Chronicle of Philanthropy, which quotes me by republishing comments I posted to the GiveWell blog.
The story in question is the cover story, which provides an extensive overview of GiveWell. In a section discussing co-founder Holden Karnofsky’s “brash” style, the Chronicle writes:
“I get the impression that you are very authentic in your desire to make the world a better place,” [Stannard-Stockton] wrote in the blog’s comments area. “But my take is that a submission like the one you wrote will be dismissed out of hand because you used your normal writing style of sharp criticism.”
Mr. Karnofsky responded that it was not natural for him to “nice up” but conceded “there are times to tone it down.”
I’ve been harping on Holden to figure out how to present his incredibly important message in a way that funders can be more receptive towards (see my back and forth with Holden on this issue during the Chronicle of Philanthropy hosted live chat from today). But if a Chronicle of Philanthropy reporter had called to interview me on the record about GiveWell, I would have focused on the very positive work they are doing, not their drawbacks.
Frankly, though, as much as it can be scary to live in an “on the record” world, I think that it does benefit a more authentic conversation. Like everyone else I turn on my “media face” when I get a call from a reporter.
Welcome to the public square.