Tag Archives: crowdsourcing

Morning Toolbox – October 17, 2012 – Meet, Develop, Disavow

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

I’ve pointed out before that journalists seem to be building more tools than skeptics – there are many interesting skeptic-relevant projects coming out of journalism circles. So many, that Knight-Mozilla OpenNews has introduced Source, a hub for all that activity. Developers can share their work, collaborate and so on. I think skeptic developers would be wise to keep an eye on this.

Read on for more news of interest to skeptics working online…

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Morning Toolbox – October 10, 2012 – Privacy, TV News

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

I forgot this from last month – the Internet Archive has created an ambitious new archive of ALL the TV news since 2009! Could be an interesting research tool for skeptics, for instance to estimate the amount of TV coverage of different topics.  Read on for more tools for today…

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Morning Toolbox – October 4, 2012 – One Billion Facebookers

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

Facebook said on the Today Show this morning that it now has 1 Billion users. That means negative Web of Trust ratings could potentially affect 1 Billion people now. Those clicks count.

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Morning Toolbox – October 3, 2012 – Google, Pundits and More Politics

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

Google has updated their Webmaster guidelines – very important to any webmaster or blogger. Are you following all their recommendations?

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Morning Toolbox – October 2, 2012 – Politics is Unavoidable

To force myself to write more, and because I much enjoy the daily posts at Research Buzz and CFI’s Morning Heresy, I thought I would start doing a daily post of news about tools and technologies of interest to skeptics. This will be a daily digest of interesting tools and techniques that have come to light recently.

In the US the Presidential election is dominating all the news. Much has been written about media bias in news sources. Do you limit yourself to sources that agree with your existing political opinions? A new Chrome browser plugin called Balancer might help you break out of your bubble. It was created by a University of Washington researcher Sean Munson.

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Finding the Paper Behind the News Story: Two New Tools

Skeptic bloggers have always had a a love-hate relationship with science journalism, as Steve Novella mentioned on his blog last week. On one hand, they keep us in business by making mistakes that we can blog about. But on the other hand those mistakes also damage the public perception of science.

One small aspect of this is the common failure to link to sources online. The bread and butter of science reporting is an article about the results in a new scientific paper. And yet many of these articles will never mention the title of the paper, much less hyperlink to where it could be found online. This leaves skeptical readers at a loss to dig further on the topic.

Ben Goldacre has long hammered on this issue, and even badgered BBC to change their linking policy for quite some time.  Late in 2010 he succeeded in getting BBC to change their policy and to link to sources. But the BBC hasn’t been consistent about applying this policy since, and of course they are only one website.

Two new services emerged this week to attack this particular issue. Read on for more details.

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New Projects Put Up Cash for Truth – Good Thinking Society and Truth Market

Despite repeated protestations of “Big Pharma shill!” from alternative medicine proponents, there never seems to be much money in skepticism. Most skeptic projects are done as hobbies by individuals. When money is needed for certain projects we tend to have fundraisers or do some begging. Even our national non-profit umbrella organizations have fairly small budgets as these things go.

As an example of that, the team behind The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, probably the top skeptic podcast with over 100,000 listeners in a given week, recently needed to use a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter to assemble the budget for new series of videos they wanted to produce. They were quite successful, reaching almost twice their original goal by the end of the campaign.

Crowdfunding is one of several new methods I recommend to skeptics looking to fund new projects.  I have written about other techniques to fund projects here at the blog as well.

This month two new potential sources of cash for skeptics and skeptic projects have appeared.  One is an old-fashioned non-profit that is offering small grants. The other is a unique new twist that combines elements of crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and competitive prizes.

Read on for more…

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#TAM2012 Plenary: You Are the Future of Skepticism on the Internet

The Amaz!ng Meeting Las Vegas 2012 - July 12-15 - Southpoint Hotel & CasinoUpdate (August 24): The video of this talk is now available.

This is the script I used for my TAM2012 speech on Sunday, July 15, 2012. When I speak I do not read word-for-word, so I guarantee you this is different from what I actually said, sometimes substantially. (For one thing I was running close on time so I skipped one example near the end, but I’ve left it in here)

But this is very close to what I said and accurately represents the points I was making.

There were 42 slides, most of which were graphics of some kind and a few of which were section titles or the like. I will reproduce the key graphics that were referenced in the text, the rest of the slides will be replaced by block quotes or hyperlinks to keep things flowing. I’ve also added hyperlinks to a few things I reference so if you are curious you can find out what I am talking about.

The people in the room and those who came up after were very positive, and I hope you enjoy my thoughts as much as they did.

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#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.

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#TAM2012 Skeptic Crowdsourcing Workshop links

The Amazing Meeting 2012 is underway as I type this. Yesterday I led a workshop called The Future of Skepticism Online: Crowd-sourced Activism. I talked about many of the topics you’ve seen here on this blog, such as Web of Trust, Wikipedia and so on.

Slides and video from that workshop will be posted sometime soon, but for folks who were attending, here are all the links that were mentioned during the workshop.

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