2011-03-17 14:58:06Betting pool on when @skepticscience overtakes @wattsupwiththat
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.101.78

Normally, I try to avoid the indulgence of competitiveness and obsessive stats watching. Nevertheless, I can't help but be intrigued by the Twitter stats for the # of followers of @skepticscience vs @wattsupwiththat:

Who would like to predict when @skepticscience overpasses @wattsupwiththat? My prediction: August 1

2011-03-17 15:44:22Price is Right rules?
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

When the North Pole clears of summer ice.  So, by July 21st, 2011 (you took my guess!).

Whats Up With That, Huh???

Dat's right, we be rok starz...

2011-03-17 16:07:45maths
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.233

Well it looks like SkS is gaining about 200 followers/month, while WUWT is gaining about 80/month.  But John's HuffPost article had the SkS Twitter linked at the bottom, so I suspect our numbers will get a bump.  Currently down by about 350, say we get a bump of 50 from HuffPost, plus continue gaining about 120/month.  So we're looking at about 2.5 months.  To be conservative I'll go with 15 June 2011.

2011-03-17 16:12:09
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Big grin.  I'm not as pessimistic as Daniel in terms of the sea ice minimum.  I'd say around you could surpass WUWT around 15 August 2011.

We could also start a pool for the min. sea ice extent and mean sea ice extent for September 2011....

2011-03-17 16:14:31
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

No offense to the oldr folks here, but I guess that the thousands upon thousands of old fogies who follow WUWT are not big twitter fans....behind the times they are.

Ironically, I'm not old, but I do not twitter/tweet-- too much social media and climate change stuff to take care of online as it is.

2011-03-17 21:01:25
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I don't do twitter/Facebook. I plant and protect trees instead.

2011-03-18 02:42:23
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

The Ville,

Good for you.  I once had this (bizarre?) idea of planting a few trees each b'day (I love trees, kinda odd for an albatross I know) in the hopes that i would one day have created my own little copse.  Alas, wandering albatrosses have to wander and I now find myself far away from by land of birth.

 

2011-04-02 08:39:31Haven't heard from Nealstradamus
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.238.238
Like any prophet, you should put your powers of prediction to the test - give us a date...
2011-04-02 08:56:08
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Albatros regarding trees...

A few weeks ago we got 3 trees planted along a footpath, we raised the money a year ago, this week I witnessed 3 being felled in the back garden of a house.

It's hard enough just maintaining what we have!
It's the same everywhere. You do some good in one place and some idiot complains about leaves and trees blocking sunlight, then your back to square one.

2011-04-02 08:56:46
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.123.131

Ah, but I don't really predict: I create narratives, constrained by the facts. Sometimes there are not many possibilities. But not in this case...

2011-04-02 22:14:23Prophetic narratives
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165
That's exactly the kind of prophetic mumbo-jumbo I'd expect from a Nealstrodamus. :-) Come on, Neal, give us a date!
2011-04-03 01:05:31
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.126.236

There are too many influences possible. Dana's reasoning seemed to be as good as any, for an ensemble average; but all sorts of things could happen. For example, when the BEST finally comes up with final results, the dynamics of the reaction from WUWT and the rest could spike them or cut off their growth.

Also, I thought the issue with Nostradamus was that he made too many specific predictions.

2011-04-05 06:16:03It's too soon to know.
logicman

logicman_alf@yahoo.co...
86.145.234.252

John:

 

Have you learned nothing from your in-depth studies of WUWT?

 

When will SkS get more hits than WUWT?

 

It's too soon to know. 

Let's wait until all the facts are in.

I am not going to waste the billions of dollars I was given to lie about global warming on pointless projections and prognostications of possibilities.

I'm with Joe Bastardi: I say, let's wait and see.  30 years should do it.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/23/joe-bastardis-2011-arctic-sea-ice-prediction/#comment-53617

8

 

:giant size big grin:

2011-04-05 08:37:03
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165
Wusses!
2011-05-05 15:43:56Looks like my Aug 1 prediction will be somewhat late
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.6.188

Happy to be wrong though.

2011-05-05 15:57:03
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

My mid-June prediction is looking quite good though.  Looks like the WUWT lead was cut in half from about 400 to 200 between mid-March and early May.  So if we keep that pace up, I've got it nailed :-)

2011-05-05 19:17:01
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
192.84.150.209

My bet is June 24th, my birthday :)

2011-05-06 01:09:13
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Maybe I'm reading too much into the numbers but it's interesting how Watts' numbers seem to be slowing, while SkS numbers get these nice little bumps from time to time.

Suggestion here...  Don't announce it when you pass him.  I think Twitter followers is not on Watts' radar.  As soon as he figures it out he will instruct the minions (his "little yippers") to each open six new accounts and have each account follow WUWT.

Wait until SkS followers is well above Watts before you say anything.  Then act surprised.  :-)

2011-05-06 01:12:24
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

You know, we need to figure out how to get some real press for John, something on the order that Anthony (used) to get on Fox News.  Why hasn't John appeared on Rachel Maddow yet?  Think anyone over at TreeHugger has any connections there?

2011-05-06 02:12:18
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.33.219

I agree with Rob's idea: Wait until there is some margin before making any announcements.

I think part of the reason for these bumps is the new features that SkS trots out from time to time. Does that make sense to someone who has been more involved in the projects?

Is John getting some PR training? It would be a good idea, before doing anything like TV. The visuals ("optics" is the usual word; I hate that, being a physics guy, because optics means glass to me) are critical.

2011-05-06 04:11:01Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.200.183

How about trying to get him on the daily show with Jon stewart. That would be perfect! Can you imagine the impact! He usually likes these sort of things

2011-05-06 04:13:40
Alex C

coultera@umich...
64.88.86.200

Taking into account the period extending into December from the earlier graphic above, there actually seems to be an acceleration of users, not just a linear growth with bumps.  I think that it's a good indicator that we're getting attention.

2011-05-06 06:01:15Problem with media idea: the Pacific Ocean
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.6.188
No PR training for me. But The Climate Show is proving good practice in interview technique, I think I'm better thanI used to be. Haydn watched one of my TCS interviews and having a fair bit of media experience, said "first piece of advice - next time, brush your hair!"

I'm thinking all us SkSers should be looking at building relationships with media. I'm thinking more print media for now - looking to get articles, opens, etc into newspapers and media websites. We need to be getting out to where the people are, not wait for them to come to us. So all of us, be on the lookout for opportunities or actively go looking for them and share your experiences with us (hmm, maybe I should create a forum just on MSM ideas).

2011-05-06 07:59:31
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

Get ready for it though, John.  We all know that as time progresses climate change is going to become more and more obvious.  I'll bet by the end of this decade climate change is going to be a front and center issue in the public eye (real "climate change", as opposed to fake "climate-gate").  SkS is on it's way to being the major go-to sources of information on climate change for the general public.  That means you're going to be getting more and more phone calls to do appearances as the SkS founder and frontman.

2011-05-06 09:51:01
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.96.188

Yeah, I agree, John you're only going to get busier as your profile grows. Practice, practice, practice!.

2011-05-06 11:27:22SkS media
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.6.188

"you're going to be getting more and more phone calls to do appearances as the SkS founder and frontman"

OR even better idea, all the SkSers get practised in media outreach - so as calls come in, we delegate them to SkSers closest to the region. Such as Dana doing that interview with Irregular Climate. More of that, please! Yep, liking the delegation idea much better! :-)

2011-05-06 13:41:17Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.200.183

Haha media delegation.. There's only one John though!

So do you get many calls?

2011-05-06 14:02:27media calls
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.6.188

Not really. More emails, not from mainstream media but just all over the place - organisations, teachers, scientists, readers - takes up a lot of time.

2011-05-17 10:15:40Cautionary Note
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

My stepson informed me that the owners of websites who care about the numbers of hits on their website can hire Chinese companies to provide additional hits. Perhaps WUWT and other Climate Denier webistes have procurred such services. Who knows?

If one can contract with a Chinese company to increse website hits, I suspect one could contract with a Chinese company to increase Twitter contacts.

2011-05-17 17:21:16
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

I don't think you have to pay some Chinese to provide hits. Some seem to take that opportunity seriously without pay from the owner of the site being 'hit' (DoS).

2011-05-17 23:23:29Paul D
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

To clariy -- I was not suggesting that SkS hire a Chinese firm to increase the number of hits on either the SKS website or tweets on Tweeter. Climate Denial websites may not be so scrupulous.

2011-05-17 23:28:10
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.29.59

A good reason not to make too much of a catching-up with WUWT: We could be inviting a reversal of fortune.

2011-05-18 02:42:21
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

In bicycle racing they say, "Out of sight, out of mind."  Meaning, if you're in the breakaway pack make your lead substantial enough that the peloton can't see you so they don't know how far ahead you are.  

I'd say wait until SkS has about double the twitter followers before flaunting it.  Then if WUWT makes an attack to catch up we can respond and stay well ahead.  The worst would be to announce it and then have them zoom past us because then they would get bragging rights.

2011-05-18 05:16:19Out of sight...
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
58.166.133.186
Indeed, wasn't planning on announcing it. The Twitter stat is essentially meaningless. I just watch it to amuse myself, really, and was just posting it here on the forum as a bit of fun.
2011-05-18 06:29:38
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.113.158

Exactly, don't get drawn into the us vs. them thing. Never looks good from a neutral viewpoint. 

2011-06-12 06:37:30I'm like that guy in the Death Star dogfight from Star Wars: A New Hope
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

"Almost there... almost there..."

On second thoughts, that guy got blown up by Darth Vader, scratch the comparison!

1 August WAY off base.

2011-06-12 07:49:57
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

I said July 21st; looks like I'm a month too late.  Maybe I'll be right about the Arctic Sea Ice...

But wishing I weren't.

2011-06-12 08:05:43
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.102.37

"I'll go with 15 June 2011."

That guy is a freaking genius!

2011-06-12 19:28:01Nuccitelli strikes again
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

Hmm, I should post something appallingly politically incorrect just to offend people and get the # of followers down, push out the cross-over date closer to August 1.

Although I wouldn't be surprised if it went the other way and generated enough controversy to attract a thousand more followers :-)

2011-06-12 23:41:16How about...
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
99.95.221.238

adding a plot of Anthony Weiner tweets?

2011-06-20 10:32:22@skepticscience cracks 3000 followers overnight
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

Still trail by 70 followers though - I think the final cross-over date will be halfway between Dana (15 June) and Daniel's predictions (21 July). Still, my Aug 1 was way off base!

2011-07-01 18:23:20Probably a week away now
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

Only 12 followers away from WUWT now. Was starting to hold out hopes for Aug 1 but I got 25 followers on one day after The Age article this week which probably shaved off a week from the crossover :-)

Touch and go whether it falls closer to Dana or Daniel...

2011-07-02 02:58:32John Cook
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

The bounce from the Age article illustrates how benefical it is for you to post articles on other websites. How can we help you become more prolific?

2011-07-02 04:23:55
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

You can try to contact your local papers to see if they'd be interested in running any SkS posts.  I tried a bunch in California but struck out.  Tried a few in Boston and the NE USA when we ran some posts on Lindzen and Hansen.  Struck out there too.  Every so often John gets into Huffington Post, which is big, and various Aussie media, since he's local there.

2011-07-02 04:55:49dana1981
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

We need to prod and assist John Cook in posting more articles on Huffington Post. Perhaps Stephen Leahy could assist on this?

2011-07-02 06:21:57How can we help you become more prolific?
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

Only two possible ways to achieve this - either create more hours in the day or clone me. The first option is impossible but actually, the second option isn't. So perhaps the question should be "how can we get SkSers posting more articles on other websites?"

This is a key part of our 'mission statement' - get proactive and creative in getting the info out there. A huge, huge way to do this is to publishing in the mainstream media. How? I'm not sure. We have to keep plugging away at it. But as we figure it out, any lessons learnt need to be shared on the forum so we can all learn from it and in some sense, develop a formula or general approach to take.

What I've learned so far is to build relationships. I got the Age piece because I knew Jo Chandler at The Age. She was the one who advocated for me to the opinion editor that I should respond to the Carter article. So schmoozing is something we all have to work at. Try to build relationships with local journalists and editors. How? Beats me but if you figure it out, let us all know!

Another thing is persistence. It's not easy getting your stuff in MSM - they have a strong filter (mainly filtering out boring stuff). SkS articles are usually pretty dry and technical so if we do look to get it into the MSM, it needs to be retooled, reshaped to "make it sticky". Fortunately we're in the process of learning how to do that and can all help each other to improve our writing to make it more mainstream.

It's not easy. But if we're serious about making a real impact here at SkS, there probably needs to be more thought and effort expended on "3. Get proactive about getting the message out" then where 90% of our effort is spent, on "1. Building an encyclopedic reference". Step 1 is a lot more comfortable and familiar territory than Step 3.

2011-07-02 06:57:53
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

One key is to keep our eyes out for subjects which could have mainstream appeal, which haven't gotten much mainstream coverage, and write a post about them quick.  And as we found out in the IEA CO2 post, having a good graphic is also very helpful. 

It's tough because sites like HuffPo and TreeHugger have their eyes on the same sorts of stories.  I tried to be quick on the Google report post, but TreeHugger had an article about it before I even got started.  But another step is if you see some bit of news which we could do some good analysis on, post it on the forum.  Again, the IEA CO2 emissions story was a good one, because we were able to compare it to the IPCC emissions projections, which nobody else had done, and hence the post and graphic both got a lot of attention (ABC, Wash Post, TreeHugger, Wikipedia, etc.).

Unfortunately it's not just a matter of writing the post and asking HuffPo to run it.  They can afford to be very selective.  We've tried to run a bunch of articles past them and the Guardian, but they're rarely picked up.  You really need to get the right mix of the right story with something new you can bring to the table about it.

So after that long-winded answer, the short answer is basically to keep your eye out for news that we can apply our skills to and turn into something interesting that the general public would be interested to read.  But the more people on the lookout, and/or willing and able to devote the time to write-up a post quickly (and review quickly), the better the chances we can make those planets align.  But it's always hard to predict what's going to catch on.

2011-07-02 07:03:11Cloning John Cook?
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

You wouldn't need to be cloned if you could work full-time on SkS and get paid a resonable salary for doing so.

Have you thought about incorporating SkS? If you did, we could launch an all-out campaign for donations and other forms of financial assistance.   

2011-07-02 07:16:54
Paul D

chillcast@googlemail...
82.18.130.183

Had you thought Badger, that maybe you need to ease off??

Not everyone has the time to hunt around blogs ready to tackle the next skeptic that comes along.
I have tried it myself in the past and it doesn't do much for ones mental health.

2011-07-02 08:49:17Paul D
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Sorry to burst your image of me, but I do not "hunt around blogs ready to tackle the next skeptic that comes along." i read a lot of articles that are posted on a wide variety of websites. I usually check out the comment threads as well. If I find it necessary and convenient to post comments, I do so. Since the majority of my comments reference and provide links to SkS articles, it is my no-cost way of marketing SkS.

2011-07-02 09:05:07Working full time on SkS
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229
Actually, I pretty much work full-time on SkS at the moment anyway - at least 30 hours per week, probably a fair bit more if you include reading, correspondence, etc. Even if I had a full time wage (which I don't at the moment), the # of hours available to me wouldn't change much. And as SkS grows, I find the demand on my time grows - I get a lot more emails asking for info, responses to skeptic arguments, public talks, articles, etc. So money is not the magic bullet here. I think the key is how we structure our SkS community but I'm not exactly sure how to do that yet. Have a few percolating ideas though...
2011-07-02 10:02:34John Cook
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.98.161

Perhaps you should chat with Joe Romm next steps. Afterall, he's "been there, done that."

Regardless, you need to delegate more tasks to to other members of the team. 

 

2011-07-02 20:25:26
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.98.246

To adapt a phrase, let's stop "doing things" for a moment, and just sit there!

What I mean:

We're getting one or two ideas everyday to do this or do that. We need to have an overall plan to fit all these different concepts into, a kind of framework. Then we could decide what our main mission really is, so we can figure out what ideas fit in and what ideas don't.

As an overall structure, it makes sense to form an entity, that can pay some bills, maybe enough to provide some financial support for JC and possibly for further staff. I'm unclear on whether it would be better as a non-profit or a normal corporation: The first has tax advantages, but also imposes restrictions on what the entity can do and how it can do them; also, the participants in the entity are likely to span international borders.

Until we get some kind of clarity on this overall framework, we shouldn't be running off in all directions with the activity du jour.

2011-07-02 21:53:51Money is not an issue
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229
There's a possibility I might get a job related to climate communication in the near future but will have to wait and see (am taking nothing for granted). So discussion of finance or entities is premature at the moment. What is relevant is working out the goals and strategy of SkS so that any crazy new ideas (and there plenty of them which is great) can be viewed in the overall context to see if they fit in. So far, the process of drafting the mission statement has yielded the useful framework of the 3 pillars - the encyclopedic reference, making it accessible, proactive dissemination. That just needs some sharpening up then developed into a more detailed plan of what and who.