rbutr’s First Week Run Down!

Welcome to rbutr’s first ever weekly email. It is awesome to have so many people so excited about what rbutr is trying to achieve – I hope we can exceed your expectation in the following months while we work as hard as we can to make rbutr an enormous success!

But enough about that, this email is really just to share with you our favourite discussions added to rbutr this week. As we only went in to open public beta (meaning anyone can join, but please forgive us any bugs or incomplete functionality!) about four days ago, we haven’t even had a full week yet, bu in the last few days, so much has happened that it is easy to pick out our five favourite online discussions which have been captured in the rbutrsystem:

The Viral Charity Kings – Kony2012

Easily the biggest thing on the internet this week, this viral video has lit up every social network, and been reported across every major news network. But as soon as the video went viral, so did the criticisms. We had the criticisms listed in the system early on, and thanks to thegene,rbutr also had a reply to the criticisms in its system on the day the story went huge – providing an incredibly thorough analysis of the situation to anyone who stumbled across the site.

See the start of this discussion here: http://www.kony2012.com/

There is also a second thread related to this at Fast Company thanks to Jenny Fordhttp://www.fastcompany.com/1823127/kony-2012-youtube

Censorship Issues for PayPal

Somewhat less well know than the Kony story, PayPal came under a lot of criticism over the last week due to their decision to stop accepting business from booksellers who sell erotic fiction which involves depictions of certain situations…. PayPal wrote a blog post to argue their case, which only made people more angry. nickajordan caught this story and added the first of several rebuttals of PayPal’s claims.

See PayPal’s post, and follow the discussion from there: https://www.thepaypalblog.com/2012/03/paypals-acceptable-use-policy-on-sale-of-certain-erotica/

Famous Psychology Study Unrepeatable – Bargh Lashes out…

This discussion is possibly my favourite of all this week – brought to my attention by deanj who added the last rebuttal of a series of exchanges, this discussion can now effectively be followed from the original study from 1996. A study, which it is worth noting, that is an incredibly famous and well cited study, with 1,942 citations according to Google scholar. Now there appears to be reasons to doubt its veracity.

See the full discussion by starting here: http://www.yale.edu/acmelab/articles/bargh_chen_burrows_1996.pdf

Conflicts of Interest in vaccine research?

MaryM has had a great first week with rbutr, adding 7 rebuttals already, hopefully keeping plenty more coming! I have chosen to include one particular rebuttal which addressed 3 sources on the subject of conflicts of interest in vaccine research. The rebuttal was written on the Respectful Insolence blog.

See the rbutr entries for the rebuttals by this page: http://rbutr.com/rbutr/WebsiteServlet?requestType=showLinksByToPage&toPageId=775

All about Wayne Swan – Australian Politics

And finally, thanks to tritsan, we have a General Rebuttal! With the rebuttal written before the soruce page, clearly it cannot be a direct rebuttal, but as long as the case stated in the rebuttal page contradicts and/or argues against what is said in the original page, then we have a General Rebuttal. Pre-release, Craig and I were worried that no one would be able to find direct rebuttals easily enough and we would be swamped with General Rebuttals, but it seems this fear was misplaced seeing as we have received almost entirely only Directs! So let this entry remind you all, that you don’t have to only add Direct Rebuttals – if you see someone making an argument which is easily rebutted through a general argument or expression of facts, then link them!

See this General Rebuttal by starting here: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/labor-has-to-contact-base-camp-20120306-1ui9u.html

Not a bad round up for only a few days of public open beta! Also, please remember that these links in no way represent the beliefs or opinions of anyone at rbutr – neither the opinions expressed in the source articles, or the rebuttal articles. Our only interest is in allowing you, and everyone else, the ability to view the entire public discourse as easily as possible.

All that said, I have two requests with the above discussions:

  1. Please VOTE on any of the discussions you follow. Each time you click through from a source page to a rebuttal page (via the plugin!) the plugin will give you the ability to vote on the link. Please vote! We will be adding more functionality related to voting in the near future, and people who vote will see a benefit for doing so.
  2. If you know of more information to add to these discussions – more rebuttals to be added to the existing discussion (either within the current discussion, or to be added to the end) then please add them! Again, those who add links will be rewarded for doing so in the near future (we’re developing stuff to reward people who add high quality links – all of this will make more sense as the community grows and our development comes to fruition!)
Some Final Words

With our first weekly run down completed, I just want to write a few more words about what we’re up to and what is happening. We’ve had some tremendous support, from both personal friends as well as people we have never met before who simply appreciate what it is we are trying to achieve with rbutr. So thank you all very much. Deciding to give rbutr a go was a huge leap of faith on our behalf because it is quite obviously something which can only work with the support of a vibrant active community. Challengingly, there is no innate part of the rbutr concept which is self-promoting – there is no viral nature in its action, nor is there any content creation which will bring in traffic from search engines. The only way for rbutr to be successful is through word of mouth. So we will do all we can to make rbutr the best app we possibly can, so that you can all be inspired to talk to people about it.

If you like rbutr – please tell people about it!

If you are a blogger, please write about it!

We still have a lot of work to do, and we will continue to be in Beta mode for several months yet I expect. Stay in contact – comment on our blog posts, talk to us on our facebook page and follow our (brand new) twitter account. (or my one)

Until next week…
Shane and Craig

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