2010-08-21 22:02:27Marketing Idea
John Russell


I've been having a think.

Perhaps one of the best uses of the basic rebuttals will be if people start using them to cut and paste on to websites where people write 'denial' comments. Shouldn't we encourage people to do this?  So, for instance, if some denier writes the usual "CO2 is a plant food and more of it means we'll be able to grow more food to help starving people" (or similar) then someone can come to SKS and cut and paste the relevant basic explanation to use as a replying comment.  

Consequently I propose that every basic rebuttal ends with a statement (using this subject as an example)...

"For more in-depth information about the argument, "CO2 is a plant food", why not take a look at http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-pollutant.htm " 

This then links to the intermediate level rebuttal (which is where we want the reader to go anyway). 

Then on the bottom of each basic rebuttal after this link it should say...  

This basic rebuttal has been written to assist in fighting misinformation being spread by those wishing to deny climate change. Please feel free to cut and paste this rebuttal into comments wherever you see this argument being circulated. All we ask is that you include the link, so that even more people can understand the scientific facts behind global warming.  

Or something similar?

I hope this makes sense.

Best wishes,



2010-08-21 22:41:32More marketing ideas
John Cook


Great thoughts, JR. The skeptical science content has been a useful resource but with the introduction of the Authors Forum, I feel it's really gone up another level and the content should get out there as much as possible.

I like the idea of having a "for more in-depth info..." at the bottom of the basic post. I notice you'll finally get your in-depth terminology into the page too :-)

There are a few ideas being developed to get our content out there into the blogosphere. The Firefox plugin will be a huge, huge tool in this effort - possibly a game changer when the later version includes rebuttal content at users' fingertips.

I'm also thinking about creating our own set of short URLs. Eg - something like http://sk.sc/sun and http://sk.sc/pollutant which will make it very easy for people to post links into blog comment threads.

Also, on the technical forum, we're exploring the possibility of an API feed so people can use our content on their own webpages. This is an exciting possibility and we're just exploring the edges of it for now - keep an eye on that thread for more developments.

So I'll definitely add something to the bottom of the basic rebuttals and welcome any other suggestions on creative ways we can get the science out there more widely.

2010-08-22 21:55:06Cut-and-paste comments are a bad idea
James Wight


Posting in comments threads large amounts of text copied from another website is not something that most people are likely to see as constructive. While it's not technically plagiarism if the site says "feel free to cut and paste", it's not particularly original either. I think a lot of people would have a reaction along the lines of "If you can't even be bothered putting things in your own words, why should I bother to listen to what you have to say?" And many people will probably see it as dogmatically repeating the party line - especially if there's a whole army of us doing the same thing. So we've got to be careful how we go about this.

2010-08-24 05:47:15I think linking is more effective


I agree with James Wight: cutting & pasting does seem a bit mechanical.

My preference is to state the gist of the argument, and then post a link back to a fuller explanation. That takes full advantage of the effort put into the whole presentation, including graphics and graphs (if any).

2010-08-24 07:26:22


Agree with Neal, one thing we want to avoid is looking like the army of trolls that hit newspaper sites and forums the moment a CC related post goes up.

With Google, people will quickly see the text is cut and paste and it will hurt SkS reputation.