2010-10-18 13:34:46Heads up on Firefox plugin - hopefully launched this week
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198

I thought SkS authors should get the first news that the SkS Firefox plugin is very close to completion. The Shine Tech boffins have been furiously working over the last few weeks. The plan was the initial release would just allow users to submit climate links. However, Shine decided to go the whole hog and incorporate "phase 2" features in the initial launch. Eg - users can also grab rebuttal info from the plugin. So a typical scenario would be they see a skeptic blog post, submit it via the plugin, then the plugin sends back the SkS "What the science says" text and URL so the user can quickly & easily paste a link into a comment as well as a brief answer (which we hope is paraphrased into their own words rather than just a copy and paste job). Here's a screenshot of how it looks:

I have several hopes for the plugin. Firstly, that it has lots of people sending in climate links. This will give us very handy intelligence on skeptic activity, latest popular arguments, fads, trends, proAGW links, mainstream media activity, peer-reviewed studies - ticks a lot of boxes. All these will go into the Daily Climate Links email. If the # of daily links grows too big and unwieldy (a good problem to have), I'll add some customisation so users can select which types of links get included in their daily email.

Secondly, and more importantly, I hope that lots of people use the plugin as a resource when they go out and debate in online forums and discussion threads. The plugin offers answers and links at their fingertips. If the plugin does get used in this way, then the onus will be on us to keep up with the latest arguments and write speedy rebuttals which will zip straight into the plugin and then drive traffic straight back to our rebuttals. If the plugin gets enough users, it could be amazing. Hats off to Adam at Shine Tech who dreamed it up - he's a genuine ideas man. Looking forward to seeing how the next few weeks unfold :-)