TAM2012 rbutr Report

I have just arrived back at home (a week ago – Sorry!) after in incredible, mind blowing, awesome, stupendous and of course, amazing week up in Las Vegas for TAM2012 (The Amazing Meeting, for anyone unfamiliar with the event).  And is there a hell of a lot of work for me to do now!

Tim Farley's skeptic activism talk at TAM2012 - rbutr slide

So while I was away we broke 2000 users – which is cool, but not very surprising. Much more interesting is what is going to happen over the next month or so because of how wonderfully supportive everyone at TAM was of rbutr.

First of all, Michael Shermer of the Skeptic Society has given us his full support and agreed to come on as an advisor for rbutr. Elisabeth Cornwell, head of the US branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science also loved what we are doing and kindly offered to support our efforts, inviting me in to a meeting with their team (which later turned in to a bowling match) in order to discuss how we might be able to work together.

During that meeting  I also met Michael Lewis who expressed an interest in potentially providing some funding for rbutr from his foundation. We are still at the first stage of that process, so nothing is certain, but from our conversations I believe that rbutr’s goals and personality line up very well with the objectives of the Lewis Foundation, and so hope that our ongoing discussions will be fruitful for everyone.

I was able to meet the man behind the most used rebuttal source for rbutr – Orac, of Respectful Insolence. If we’re lucky, he will start adding his own rebuttals to rbutr as he writes them now, giving him immediate positioning in front of the people reading the stuff he spends so much time rebutting. This is one of our main goals over the next few months – to find the best rebuttal writers, podcasters and vloggers and help them to see that adding their rebuttals straight away is a brilliant thing for them to do for their own sakes!

I had a couple of chats with Jay Novella, and will hopefully be seeing a small discussion abour rbutr in an upcoming episode of Skeptics Guide to the Universe. I spoke with Richard Saunders of Skeptic Zone, the Australian skeptic podcast, and had a great interview with Maynard for that show. I was also interviewed for two other podcasts, The Pseudo Scientists, of Melbourne, and Life The Universe and Everything Else.

James Randi and Shane Greenup of rbutr

And finally, at the risk of forgetting anyone (so many people met, so much that happened!), I was able to meet James Randi himself (so approachable, so nice, friendly and helpful. Amazing is just a perfect description for him), Penn Jillette, Robert Dunning of Skeptoid, Dr Rachael Dunlop, Eugenie Scott, George Hrab, and last but by no means least, Tim Farley of What’s The Harm, who was shown rbutr more support than anyone else by regularly bringing it to people’s attention in all of his presentations, and even giving me time to describe it to everyone in his workshop on the first day of the event.So as you can see, for the 3 of you who have read this far, it was one hell of a week for me, and for rbutr. Now to get back down to focusing on rolling out the updates, working on improving the service, and making sure you all fall in love with rbutr….Thank you all for your ongoing support. Before anything else, rbutr is a community, and I love every single one of you!

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