2010-08-19 22:30:54Will basic rebuttals clog up the archives?
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
Has it occurred to anyone other than me that all these new blog posts launching the basic rebuttals are going to clog up the archives? I mean, once all of the basic rebuttals now being worked on have gone live, there'll be virtually nothing in the "Latest Posts" column other than the new basic versions.
2010-08-20 03:37:54Mission, keep
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

The blog is a fun feature of SkS as well as helpful for making note of recent developments as well as general explorations of climate change. However for my part at least it's the static content of the site (John's classic rebuttals as ell as the revamped version we're working on) that is the main significant feature of Skeptical Science, what distinguishes SkS from a plethora of other climate sites as well as being the most useful part of the site. So the blog is serving the mission here.

Meanwhile, watching the usual crew of contrarians hop desperately from thread-to-thread is (I admit this is primitive) pretty good fun.

As well, posting 'em on the blog is a helpful trial for each rebuttal. 

2010-08-20 05:45:23Oops
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
Sorry James, I failed to notice you were speaking of the archives as opposed to the front page.
2010-08-20 14:39:55The future direction of the Authors Forum
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49

Well, we're only a week into this forum experiment and I've been running around like a headless chicken trying to lay down the track in front of the train but I'm starting to formulate some ideas on where we might be headed with the forum.

Firstly, while there is a rush of basic rebuttals initially, with 3 to 4 rebuttals per day (I never imagined we'd output them that quickly), the output should slow down over time. At that point, there'll be a mix of blog posts - rebuttals and the usual blog posts on current issues and new research.

However, I've been thinking about what else we could do with the Authors Forum and I think a very useful tool would be a "Add New Rebuttal" feature. Eg - rather than write a basic rebuttal to an existing intermediate rebuttal, you're given the option to write a rebuttal (basic, intermediate or advanced) to a skeptic argument that hasn't been tackled yet. There are a whole bunch of skeptic arguments yet to be rebutted.

The main strength of Skeptical Science is the technology that makes all the content so accessible. There's the website and it's organised database of rebuttals. There's the iPhone, Android and Nokia apps. And new technology is being developed that will take this even further - a Firefox plugin and an API feed. All these systems add up to a powerful tool in communicating climate science to a wide audience.

But the main weakness is it all bottle-necked through me - it all depended on a single person writing rebuttals. Now this weakness is removed. In fact, with the forum, the weakness is turned into a strength because we not only have a group of people who can write rebuttals but also give feedback, suggestions and ideas on how to improve each other's work. And we've already seen how effective the forum is in producing high quality rebuttals in very quick time. This is an extraordinarily powerful tool and coupled with all the technology to disseminate our message, well, the sky's the limit. I'd like to think we could really turn the climate debate around if we used this to its full potential.

So long story short, I think as we go further along, the Authors Forum will be less about basic rebuttals and more about rebuttals to new skeptic arguments and other miscellanous blog posts. How it will evolve remains to be seen, given the unpredictable nature of any community effort :-)

2010-08-20 16:48:52Something else we could do
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17

Not to add to your burden John (I keep doing this, don't I?) but as I've been working on basic rebuttals, I have of course been reading the intermediate versions carefully. One thing I've noticed several times is that some of them are just out of date - not inaccurate, but that there is new, and often more compelling, science that could be added.

Another project we could consider when we've got this one done is to bring the intermediates up to date - it would be helpful if we referenced the latest work, especially as I would expect the rebuttals to be more robust as a result.

2010-08-20 17:02:09Updating the intermediate
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.17.49

Having people check my existing intermediate rebuttals and improve on them has long been a dream of mine (and a nightmare, but mostly a good thing :-)

So yes, I welcome any suggestions. We need to have some standard format for the Summary, something like "CORRECTION intermediate rebuttal 23: OISM petition project".

2010-08-20 17:39:37Subforums?
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
109.41.43.59

Even though using specific titles like "CORRECTION intermediate..." would help, it will still make the list of currently worked on threads grow even longer than it already is. Thus making more not yet completed threads disappear to the next page.

As more "sub-projects" come up, I think that we'll also need "sub-forums" to keep things somewhat organised. These could still be under the overall "Author-forum" but one should be for the "BASIC rebuttals", another one for "Intermediate" and later yet another one for "Advanced". We could also have a sub-forum for drafted blog-post and perhaps even one for drafted posts/questions folks have for other blogs they are involved with.

Sorry to dish out even more "food for thought", John!

2010-08-29 16:27:08Monthly archives
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
I've been thinking maybe the blog archives should be divided up into months, not years. At the moment the 2010 archive goes on forever.
2010-08-29 17:16:56Subforum idea
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.125.135
Should only take a small bit of programming to set up sub forums so I'll set that up this week. Then it'll be easy to add more forums - I'll also assign a few forum admins who'll have the ability to add sub forums and moderate the forum.
2010-08-29 18:18:30Monthly archives, take 2
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
Um, that's not what I was talking about. I was returning to the original topic of the thread: the archives. The 2010 archive is growing rapidly. Right now I count a grand total of 202 posts in 2010, and keeping them all in one long list makes it kind of hard to find anything. So I'm suggesting that the archives be split up into August 2010, July 2010, June 2010, etc.
2010-08-29 23:47:01blog archives
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.125.135

Sorry James, I was responding to Baerbel, not you. Good advice re the blog archives - 2010 has seen a spike in activity. A hockey stick of activity if you will. Will have a look at other examples of blog archives to see the best way to organise the info.

2010-08-30 19:23:06
Ned

ned.flounders@yahoo...
71.168.77.250

Getting back to James's comment at the start of this thread, I am a bit concerned about the sudden preponderance of "basic" rebuttals both in the list of Archives and on the front page.  Is there a risk of losing the more-informed reader if she/he visits the site for the first time now and sees only a series of posts that are of necessity highly simplified? 

2010-08-30 21:11:19Here's a remedy to clogging of basic rebuttals
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.125.135

There are two solutions - either stop posting the new basic rebuttals as blog posts or post more "intermediate" blog posts. I would suggest the latter. Specifically, I would suggest we use the combined brain power on this forum to start writing intermediate rebuttals to the many other skeptic arguments yet to be hit.

So to assist with this, I've added a new feature to the Add New Rebuttal page - a list of all the latest skeptic arguments to be added to the database, that are yet to be rebutted. Of course, some are old arguments but newly added. But many are hot off the press and doing the rounds in the denialosphere. So writing rebuttals to these new skeptic arguments will provide a valuable resource for all the climate footsoldiers out there in the blogosphere fighting the good fight. That was the original vision of Skeptical Science - providing quick and ready rebuttals - but was just too much for one person to handle. That's not so much a problem when you have a whole team of legendary climatoholics.

Note also the flow of basic rebuttals should ease back after the initial surge.

BTW, I notice one of the newer skeptic arguments is about Great Lakes temperature - anyone care to adapt Ned's recent blog post into a rebuttal?

2010-08-30 22:13:23How about blog-categories for the side-bar?
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
109.84.10.169
Could it make sense - and not be too much work - to add blog-post-categories which could then be displayed on the left-hand-menu? It might be enough to categories the BASIC-rebuttals and put all of them under one link but still show all the other non-Basic-posts under recent posts.
2010-08-31 08:42:03Blog categories
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.162.78
Hmm, I must confess I'm not a big fan of the concept. The left margin is already overladen with stuff. It's looking like my garage, bloated with crap that needs a good clean out. In fact, I'm thinking about revamping the whole website design to have a left and right margin so I can cram even more info and links and junk down both sides (which coincidentally is what I do with my garage).

BTW, overnight, someone from another website volunteered an article from their website to be republished as an advanced rebuttal. This is another exciting development. It's my hope that just as beginning the Basic rebuttals started off a bunch of people interested in helping out, hopefully starting advanced rebuttals will hopefully encourage other bloggers who've already written high level rebuttals to allow them to be republished as advanced rebuttals. I'm thinking folk like Chris Colose, Kelly O'Day, Tamino, Ari, the folk at Real Climate, etc.

2010-08-31 13:01:35Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.188.138
I was thinking of putting together my Antarctica is too cold to lose ice series to make an advanced rebuttal. It is a little hard though because there's so much stuff in there.
2010-08-31 14:04:06Advanced rebuttal
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.162.78
That would be great, Robert. BTW, I would consider it optional whether we need to go through the 5 thumbs up process for advanced rebuttals - in this case, I think it would be fine if you paste the advanced rebuttal straight into the rebuttal list then let me know and I'll publish it.
2010-09-02 01:19:12Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.188.138
John I mentioned it on another forum but I think you might see it more easily here. I was wondering if perhaps you could send an email to perhaps Dr. W.F.J. Evans* from Northwest Research Associates, Bellevue, WA / Trent University or Dr. John Harries from Harries (2001) and ask them whether theyd like to do a guest post on empirical evidence for an enhanced greenhouse effect
2010-09-02 09:11:41Emailing John Harries
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.162.78
I have exchanged emails with John Harries in the past - the guy is very friendly and responsive - so I'll give him a go first. Good idea, Robert, I should make a concerted effort to engage more scientists in communicate the science.
2010-09-02 10:50:46Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.188.138
Well I understand why it could be time consuming to always be engaging with scientists and such. That is why I would only ask it be done for this argument as it is the crux of most of our information. I guarantee such a post would attract a big audience. The reason I brought up evans is I find it curious he never published his results. I mean they seem so integral and yet no paper just a poster... seems weird to me.. Having harries do a post would be epic.
2010-10-03 12:21:13264 and counting
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
The 2010 archive now contains no less than 264 posts.
2010-10-03 12:29:102010 blog activity
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198
And many of those blog posts in the last month. Compare it to 2007.

sadly, no reply from Harries. I'm going to try both Harries and Evans for the Climate Scientists Explain series. As you say, this series could be epic if we get the right people on board.