Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meet the Skeptics! Podcast

Part of the "We Got your Wiki Back" project.

Podcasts that interview or feature our skeptical spokespeople are a wonderful citation.  (Actually I don't know what Wikipedia's policy is on podcasts and I'm not sure I want to know) I quote from them occasionally and cite them on websites.  I understand that podcasts aren't academic sources, but they are actual interviews, they are media and other people can follow the links and listen in so they can be cited.

I have stated before that we are a very small group of fish (us skeptics) in the big scary world.  We need to use the best resources we have, US.  Comment on blogs, share links with each other, support your skeptic meetups and listen to podcasts.  

I had never heard of podcasting until I was on the Amaz!ing Adventure: North to Alaska with some kind of Apple pod (can't remember which one) in 2007.  I met the Lacey's on that JREF cruise and Don Lacey told me all about these things.  What a life changer that was.

Now adays I have really limited my subscriptions, but I still frequent a select few.  One of the new ones that I have found is Christopher Brown's "Meet the Skeptics" where he selects a new person each week to interview, his format of about 30 minutes allows for quite a discussion.  I'm not here to plug just Chris's podcast, as there are a bunch of great ones out there. This shouldn't be a task, select a podcast you really enjoy. 

I think that we do have to be careful what is quoted, if the podcast is an interview then you should be okay.  But if the reference you want to quote is an opinion like you would read in a blog, then probably not good to quote.  I hope you understand the difference.

For example if Jay Novella from The Skeptics Guide to the Universe is talking about a news article he read and giving his opinion, then that is like quoting from a blog.  But if Matthew Baxter is interviewing Michael Shermer on Warning: Radio podcast and Dr. Shermer talks about his experiences as the editor of his magazine, then that is quotable.  Get it?

Anyway, if while you are listening to a podcast you hear an interesting quote come from the interviewee, jot it down.  That might make an excellent quote on their Wikipedia page.  The edit is really quick to do.

Here's what it looks like when it is in correct citation form.

[[The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe]] interviews Mark Edward about his career at TAM7 [[JREF]], Mark decides to hold an impromptu seance for [[Michael Jackson]]. <ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Skeptic's Guide to the Universe; Skeptic's Guide to the Universe #219 09/28/2009|publisher=SGU |date=2009-09-28 |accessdate=2011-2-07}}</ref> 
"At TAM7 June 2009,The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe interviews Mark Edward about his career, during which Mark holds an impromptu séance for Michael Jackson.[21]"
Interviewed on Christopher Brown's "Meet the Skeptics!" podcast, Mark Edward states "When people want answers, there's always someone willing to sell them one."<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=MTS: Meet Mark Edward|publisher=Christopher Brown |date=2011-06-22 |accessdate=2011-06-22}}</ref>
"Interviewed on Christopher Brown's "Meet the Skeptics!" podcast, Mark Edward states "When people want answers, there's always someone willing to sell them one."[10]

Maybe this looks intimidating to the newer editors.  I'll break this down somewhat for you.  

Lets use Chris's podcast as an example.  When you are going to be posting a citation like this, go to somewhere you know it is done correctly and copy the reference from the "edit" page.  Then paste the edit somewhere you can work on it.  I keep a word document that I use as a scratch page for just this purpose. 

The <ref> means that you are going to cite something that you want to appear as a reference at the bottom of the article (like a footnote).  You have to have the <ref> at the beginning and you have to finish the citation with </ref>  This is HTML and if you are missing any part of these symbols or letters, your citation won't work.  

The next part {{cite web|url=   Is where you paste in the URL for the podcast.

Next is the title of the podcast.   |title=MTS: Meet Mark Edward  Make sure you have that little line in the front.  

Next who is publishing the podcast |publisher=Christopher Brown  I suppose you could put the name of the podcast, like Skeptics Guide to the Universe or The New England Skeptical Society.  

Date |date=2011-06-22  I guess this is the date the show aired?  Or maybe when it was uploaded to the page you are referencing?  I'm not so sure and probably whatever is written on the page you are citing it from will tell you what is best.  The whole idea is that the reader will be able to find the podcast for themselves.  The date is in Year-Month-Day format. 

Then what day you accessed the URL page.  |accessdate=2011-06-22  Same date format.  Again this is showing the reader that on June 22, 2011 the URL was live and functioning.  

You have to tell the computer that you are done with the citation by using this close }}</ref>  Again if you are missing any of the symbols you will probably have a problem.  

When you are done pasting the link into the document you are editing then make sure you hit "preview" first and check it out the normal page.  If there is any red either in the blurb part or the reference area then something is wrong.  Check it over carefully and try and find the error.  

Remember you MUST put a reason for your edit, something like "added MTS podcast cite and quote" will do nicely.  Then add the page to your watchlist so you can see if someone changes your edit.  Then when you are sure it is correct, Publish.  

If you choose to just start with one podcast and work your way through the episodes one by one writing down quotes.  Then good job.  It would be easy to cite them quickly as you will have the citation saved and you just trade out the URL, title of the podcast and the dates.  This is a lot of work, but again it is work that needs to be done.   

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