Morning Toolbox – October 12, 2012 – Google Tweaks, Social Media and More

Morning Toolbox is a daily digest of interesting tools and techniques that skeptics can use online.

Google has long had two different tools that would let you measure the relative popularity of different topics over time, I’ve mentioned them before. Recently they merged two of them (Google Trends and Google Insights for Search) into a new Google Trends with an improved UI. This is a valuable tool for all skeptics – you can see which topics are more popular than others, as well as which are waxing or waning in popularity.  Read about more tools after the jump…

Getting on to the first page of Google search results can be critical to visibility of your content (as I have also mentioned many times).  It sometimes can be a little bit harder as some searches only return 7 results instead of the traditional 10.

EasyBib is a site that helps you create correct bibliographic citations for papers and other writing. They now have a new Chrome browser extension that can help you use the service. Of interest to skeptics is a feature that tells you whether a given web site is credible or not.  I tried it out, it finds CSICOP.org credible and NaturalNews.com “not credible”. Well played, EasyBib.

Ebay recently banned auctions of magic items and spells. These were often a source of skeptic amusement. A new site called Magickals.com has been created to “save the market from despair,” and presumably skeptics from a shortage of laughs.

In need of funds, Wikileaks has put up a paywall and Anonymous is not happy about it.

Here’s a lecture on social media use by scientists that looks interesting.

Skeptics often have to battle misinformation spreading virally. Studying this could be crucial. Here are some visualizations of how three photos shared by George Takei spread on Facebook. You may or may not learn anything, but at least they are beautiful.

Have a great Friday and a better weekend…

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