#TAM2012 You Are The Future Speech – Links and Tips

The Amazing Meeting 2012Update: You can read the speech itself now here on the blog and the video of this talk is now available as well.

The Amaz!ng Meeting in Las Vegas has just ended. In my talk on Sunday I exhorted the attendees to become online digital activists by applying the techniques I’ve been writing about on this blog for four years now.

I see already on Twitter that many are taking up my challenge. I plan to post the script of my speech as soon as I can prepare it as a blog post, but until then I know some folks may be looking for links or tips to get started. This post is intended to gather some key points and links in one place where they can easily be found.

Read on for some starting points.

Web of Trust

Here is what you need to know:

  • Download the plugin for your web browser of choice.
  • Create an account and fill out your profile including setting an avatar.
  • DO: Rate misinformation sites negatively on “Trustworthiness” and (where appropriate, e.g. anti-vaccine sites) also “Child Safety”. Click the “donut” shaped WOT button in the browser toolbar.
  • DO NOT: Rate on “Vendor reliability” or “Privacy” unless you have specific knowledge about those issues. The FAQ explains exactly what the four rating components mean.
  • DO: Rate sites regularly as you go about your skeptic surfing.
  • DO: Leave scorecard comments where appropriate to explain why the site is bad. Include links if you can, just paste them in with the text.
  • DO NOT: Only rate negatively. Be sure to also visit give positive ratings to good sites.
  • DO NOT: Concentrate just on skeptic-relevant sites, give ratings to other sites you use too.
For more background read my initial post about Web of Trust and the other articles about WOT on this blog.

Smartphone Apps

Download one or more of these to your smartphone:

  • DO: Browse each app and learn what material is there and how to access it.
  • DO: Make use of the app when appropriate to correct misinformation you encounter in person.


RBUTR is currently only available for Google’s Chrome browser, so download that if you need to. (Other browsers will be supported soon).

  • While in Chrome, download the RBUTR extension here. You will be prompted to install it, click Continue and follow any prompts.
  • Create an account on RBUTR.
  • Watch the RBUTR tutorial to see how it works.
  • When reading skeptic articles which debunk a particular piece of content, click the link to the bad content which being debunked.
  • Once there, click the “double R” RBUTR icon in the toolbar: does it list the skeptic article you were just reading as a rebuttal?
  • If not, add it.
More info at the RBUTR blog.


I have a number of posts here:

Skeptic Stack Exchange

  • Create an account at Skeptics Stack Exchange. You can use your login from one of the other affiliated sites, or your Google, Facebook or Yahoo login.
  • Fill out your profile including setting an avatar.
  • Browse and explore the site. Vote up good questions and answers, vote down inappropriate questions or bad answers.
  • Ask questions and answer others.
  • Check the FAQ if you have any questions.

For More Information

See my post containing the links from my workshop on crowdsourced skepticism which was held Thursday at TAM, for more crowdsourcing links.

Thank you to James Randi and the JREF for the opportunity to speak at TAM.

5 thoughts on “#TAM2012 You Are The Future Speech – Links and Tips

  1. Pingback: #TAM2012 Plenary: You Are the Future of Skepticism on the Internet « Skeptical Software Tools

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  5. Louigi Verona

    Hey Tim!

    I am a skeptic from Russia. We here were very inspired by your call to arms, so to speak, and decided that we should connect in the web, you know, exchange links and such.

    We are in the process of founding something like a skeptic society in Russia now and being connected to our skeptic colleagues from the West would be great!

    Anyway, I added you to my google+ services, maybe we can exchange emails and such.



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