• Skeptic Ink: A Festivus Miracle!

    Happy Festivus, everyone! With 2012 coming to a close without the world having ended (a Festivus miracle!), it seems like a good time to take stock. It’s hard to believe that Skeptic Ink only came into existence a short time ago, last August. John and I had just four other writers at the start. Since that time, we’ve been terrifically fortunate to be joined by a colorful cast of incisive, intriguing people from all over the globe. Skeptic Ink is now a library of rich thought on a multitude of important topics, from sexuality to moral philosophy to secular and social justice activism. We’re also proof that a less-politicized and less-punditry-based skeptic community is what many people want to see.  Skeptic Ink has rocketed upward in world-wide and US web rankings:
    According to Alexa, Skeptic Ink is ranked 145,871 worldwide and 28,342 in the US, up 20% in the last month alone. Pageviews are up an astonishing 71% in the last 30 days. The US and world rankings are modest in general, but for a very new site, they are amazing to see. The people are speaking: Skeptic Ink is the sort of network many want to see more of.

    Recent highlights
    SIN’s “feats of strength”

    Traffic itself doesn’t mean much for any website; the better question is, what are we accomplishing and what are we producing?
    We’ve recently added two great new writers, Peter Ferguson (Humanisticus) and Don Severs (Enough’s Enough).

    Rebecca Bradley blew the lid off the Robert Ballard “the Biblical flood is real” story in a detailed write-up which got some attention.

    Jacques Rousseau provided his usual wonderful clarity on the problem of hyperbole in the Shermer/Benson drama.

    Notung penned an influential look at issues in consent and alcohol.

    My own post about Rebecca Watson’s science denialism at Skepticon 5 has been the single biggest at Skeptic Ink, and more importantly it has spawned dozens of productive discussions about evolutionary psychology, and how speakers invited to conferences and conventions should be vetted. Even though Watson herself has chosen not to respond to my criticism (so far) the positivity of the aftermath has been truly heartening!

    Well I could go on with these all day, there is so much to praise. I will wrap this part up, though, with Justin Vacula’s recent activist work with the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Justin won some major media coverage as well as much great, positive reflection for the non-religious. Read/hear the latest here.

    Now for the traditional Festivus dance

    The future is.. soon

    Look for big announcements and new initiatives in January. It’s going to be one hell of a new year. The support of our friends, readers, and allies has made this all possible. Thank you all.

    Now it’s time for the traditional airing of grievances

    In the skeptic and secular communities, I wish there could be less conflation of issues vs. people. Commenting (positively or negatively) on a person is different from doing so on an issue that person has an opinion on. Likewise for issues. Taking a pro or con position on an issue doesn’t mean everyone who agrees with you is your buddy, nor that everyone who disagrees is your adversary. Nonetheless, I think the trend in this area is positive.

    I wish many people were as concerned about social justice and infringements on secularist’s rights as they are about their own image and ego.

    I am upset at the sustained undermining of skepticism at the hands of a few self-appointed “skeptics”. Donning skeptic as a name tag does not make you a skeptic. Those who refuse to learn this will have a very difficult 2013.

    My last grievance is for the Skeptic Ink authors themselves. You’ve just been prolific. Incisive, creative, trenchant. You’ve all really done a wonderful job, but it’s making my corner pale in comparison. Seriously, bar raised. Here’s to ya.

    Happy Festivus, y’all.

    Category: Uncategorized

  • Article by: Edward Clint

    Ed Clint is a bioanthropology graduate student at UCLA, cofounder of Skeptic Ink, and USAF veteran.
    • BethAnnErickson

      Wonderful recap. I’m also amazed what this group of writers has accomplished in such a short time. However, with you and John at the helm, I wouldn’t expect less. Here’s to a great 2013.

    • Happy Holidays/Christmas/Festivus! Here’s to a productive 2013!

      • This is a wonderful Network if I don’t say so myself. I’m very happy to be a part of it. We’re only going to get better as the weeks and months and years go on. To infinity and beyond…

    • rg57

      Downvoted my own comment for not being what I intended.

    • Astrokid NJ

      Why do some of the blogs on this network not use the Disqus commenting system? OR at least have a ‘subscribe by email’ option for comments?
      That disincentivizes us from commenting on those blogs.. there’s no way for meaningful discussion to be had.