Category Archives: Metrics

I encourage skeptics on the Internet to measure what they do, to discover what is effective and what is not. I sometimes give examples of how to do this, or where I’ve measured my own efforts.

Why should skeptics edit Wikipedia? Traffic, traffic, traffic!

A recurring topic on this blog and in my public talks is getting skeptics involved in editing Wikipedia. I’ve been writing about it here and talking about it at events like Skepticamp and Skeptics in the Pub for almost 3 years. I believe it to be very important.

Wikipedia logo

Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

But it is sometimes difficult to impress people with the importance. I often approach this by talking about things like SEO and SERP placement. But to many non-webmasters these are confusing concepts. It can be hard to visualize how they translate into readers.

Last weekend at The Amazing Meeting (TAM9) Susan Gerbic-Forsyth gave a Sunday paper presentation on the topic of Wikipedia. Susan has taken up the gauntlet I threw down in a big way, for which I thank her. She’s contributed a ton of photos she’s taken at skeptic events, which are a fantastic addition to any article. She’s also started her own blog where she shares what articles she’s been working on, tips on formatting and so on. It’s good stuff, check it out.

During TAM9, Susan and I were talking about how it is sometimes difficult to convince skeptics that Wikipedia is worth the effort. Skeptics, due to their nature, are painfully aware of the many limitations of Wikipedia. Some express doubts that these can be overcome, and have written off the site. Others who have actually tried to edit express frustration in dealing with other editors and the culture of Wikipedia (a topic for another time).

But as we were talking, it occurred to me there is a very simple way to show exactly how important Wikipedia is, without using any obscure terminology. And that’s what this post is about. By the end of it, it should be crystal clear why skeptics need to edit Wikipedia.

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How much skeptical podcasting is being produced?

Update May 20: Updated the podcast list at the bottom of the post.
Update May 29: Updated the podcast list again. Tell me if I’m missing any.

This is the first of what I hope will be a series of posts on measuring skepticism’s digital footprint. Skeptics often talk about our outreach and effect, but how can we know what that is unless we are measuring our efforts? Fortunately, measuring things online is pretty straightforward. So I set out to generate some basic measurements of the content skeptics are generating online. In this post I will tackle podcasts.

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