Skepticism

Some slapdash predictions for 2008

Okay, not “predictions” exactly — more like a mix of plans, predictions, and hopes.

For starters, I hope to do a lot more this year. (On the upcoming SGU episode, I say my only resolution is to rock harder this year, which definitely encompasses this site.) I know there are a lot of people around who are willing to help with things, so at this point it’s just a matter of me finding the right people to trust and then making sure they follow through. I’m not the best when it comes to delegation, but dammit I’m going to get better at it this year. Here are some of the things I’m planning to hit:

The Calendars
The past year was packed solid with craziness, so much that there were a lot of things I missed. Like, well, the Skepchick & Skepdude calendars. So, let’s talk about that for a second. (Remember that other post where I said we’d look back, forward, back again, etc.? I wasn’t kidding.) I love doing the calendars, but few people realize just how much work it is, and this year it was just impossible to do while competing in the Talent Quest — it literally requires multiple hours of work every night of the week after I get done “real” work. The past two years, I’ve brought on people to help, and they never really followed through, leaving me with, well, more work.

Here’s the thing: we have a ton of sexy calendar photos ready to go, so we just need to complete the set, put together some calendars, and then sell them. With the extra time, I’d like to get them into stores, or at least onto Amazon. Yes, I will be getting help. Good help.

The Site, in General
New layout, which has been coming for, um, a year. This is what happens when you don’t pay people for things. This could be the year, though!

The Blog
More updates, more contests, more prizes, more snark.

The Radio Show
I’m waiting on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to say they love it and want to throw millions of dollars at me to keep producing shows. However, I understand that events might not turn out that way. Regardless, I’m thinking — eff that. I’d like to do some more shows, whether I get paid or not. If I can do it, I’ll definitely continue to make them available to NPR stations and go ahead and podcast them.

The SGU Podcast
Like I’ve always said, I love doing the Skeptics’ Guide podcast and will keep on doing it every week. Well, every week I’m able, which should be most of them. For starters, enjoy the very first episode of the year, which is now up and it is fantastic! Despite the weird graphic on the home page. Trust me.

Gatherings of Various Sorts
I’ll be speaking at TAM5.5 in just a few weeks, plus doing a seminar on podcasting with Bart Farkas. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I hope many of you can be there! The rest of you I expect to see at TAM6, coming up this summer in Vegas.

Also, for those of you around Boston, I’d still like to start a Skeptics in the Pub here. It’s on the to-do list, and is one of the things I’ll need some help with, for sure.

How’s that for a look ahead? I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting, so help me out here. What would you like to see happen in 2008? Preferably, what should happen here at Skepchick — new projects, updated features, new targets? Whatever, get creative and let me know what you think!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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20 Comments

  1. Oh, I say Skeptics in the Pub is a great idea…despite the fact that I never went to any of the London ones the whole year I was there. That was largely due to not having a social network and not knowing anyone else who'd be interested in going. I don't think I'd have the same problem here.

    I'm not any good at organization or anything like that, but let me know when/where and I will be there (and even come along to help set up if needed.)

  2. Well, as one of the calendar models, I must say I'm happy to hear that that project isn't completely dead! And I'm sure a goodly number of us are very willing to help any way we can.

    I like the Skeptics in the Pub idea, too, though I don't personally know a single skeptic around here. I think you should come here to New Orleans for a couple of days. Skepchicks at Mardi Gras or something! (It's not ALL about "boobs for beads") You could do a podcast. We have all manner of psychics and palm readers and tarot readers and voodoo practitioners and vampire/ghost walking tours … And enough alcohol to keep even you happy! ;)

  3. Rav, I'm actually in Philly a few times a year, so I wouldn't mind that at all! Maybe next time I'm there, we can at least arrange a get-together.

    To update this entry: I've already started sending out calls for help to get some of this done (plus a bit more that's happening behind the scenes). I'm excited by the possibility of expanding the web site and the (currently loose) organization behind it!

  4. Yes that forum has to change. The BB is very hard to read.

    Rebecca you could almost tour to different city's to start a "skeptics in the pub" locally. Like a meet and greet with you to start the ball rolling. Then when people meet and make friends it would be easer to start a monthly get together.

  5. xenu's idea makes me think of that scene in Fight Club where "Jack" and Tyler Durden are walking down the street talking about the cities in which Fight Clubs have sprung up, not totally sure who started which club.

    The first rule of Skeptics in the Pub is that you DO NOT talk about Skeptics in the Pub…

  6. Glad to see the calendar coming back again, especially if that means we'll be able to send someone to TAM again next year. I'd like to see us do more to help create and fund science and skeptical educational opportunities for women, especially young women and teens.

    Yeah, I'm one of those serious people. Good thing I'm balanced out by those of you who like to spread the good word in pubs!

    I have a couple of other ideas for 2009, too — because I don't want to dump them on someone else and I won't have time to help with them until next year. (I remember thinking when I was in the first grade that 2000 was SO far off and I would be, OMG, 38 years ancient by then. Now it's almost 10 years behind us.)

    Donna

  7. Expatria, Xenu has exactly the right idea. You should worry not about not knowing anyone at a Skeptics in the Pub or having to bring someone down.

    It's a place to meet new like-minded people, as well as learning something interesting and exercising your critical thinking skillz.

    I didn't know anyone when I turned up to my first one 9 years ago – out of sheer curiosity. Now I run it.

    It's a shame you didn't make it down to the London meeting. Would have been good to meet you.

    It's the worlds largest Skeptics in the Pub now (shameless plug), with nearly 500 subscribers worldwide and there's a plan to start more around the UK…and the world! Mwwaah ha hah haa.

  8. "Rebecca said,

    January 6, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Rav, I’m actually in Philly a few times a year, so I wouldn’t mind that at all! Maybe next time I’m there, we can at least arrange a get-together."

    Coolness! Colonial Style Skepticism!

  9. Thanks for the update on the calendar. Hope to submit a photo for it someday…maybe.

    Also: You sounded great on the most recent SGU! Sassy, vivacious–back to your old self after the cold of doom. Also, the sound quality for your audio was much better. Did you get a new mike?

  10. @mikeds

    How fortuitous that you would post that link. I was just checking out if skepticsinthepub.org domain was available (it is) and I was going to mull over the idea of setting up a bb for people to post when their meetups were going to be.

    Or if there isn't one in your area, giving you some kind of way of saying, "hey I'm interested if we can get enough people" post to get the ball rolling (which the Drinking Skeptically doesn't have an option to do that).

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