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Author Topic: How should we answer Questions  (Read 12485 times)

Offline Nizzle

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How should we answer Questions
« Reply #50 on: 25/08/2009 12:53:43 »
Therefore, any suggestions or ideas that people have around fundraising and revenue generation would be welcome.

Merchandising is mostly the answer.
Make a forum designers contest to create TNS T-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers,...
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #51 on: 25/08/2009 13:54:06 »
How many T-shirts are you going to buy though? Most likely only one, so it would only be one-off revenue.

Dentstudent introduced me to a podcast called Skeptoid by Brain Dunning (http://skeptoid.com/) that I also enjoy, in trying to make his podcast sustainable he has implemented a system where fans can volunteer to pay for each episode, just 1 dollar. It's completely voluntary though, anyone can download it for free. But I and I suspect alot of fans choose to pay it. And he even sent out a dvd with all podcasts to date to everyone who setup an automatic payment thingy via paypal.

I'm not sure how numerous Skeptoid's fanbase is compared to ours but if The Naked Scientists did the same thing, i'd pay it. I can't really think of a reason not to because if it's voluntary anyway we're not forcing anyone away, and even a small amount of money is better than no money so why not.

On average, how many times does each podcast get downloaded?
 

Offline DrChemistry

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« Reply #52 on: 25/08/2009 16:54:55 »
Therefore, any suggestions or ideas that people have around fundraising and revenue generation would be welcome.

Merchandising is mostly the answer.
Make a forum designers contest to create TNS T-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers,...

Nizzle has a point. If I had the possibility to buy a couple of T-Shirt saying "The Naked Scientists. Stripping Down Science" or something like that, I probably would. I believe others feel the same. Firstly this will give you an income, secondly it will automatically work as a commercial for you in a discrete way (I prefer discrete commercials rather than huge ugly billboards in the middle of the city), which could perhaps increase the community.

Another thing might be to expand, although this could be very time consuming. I do not come from the UK or any other English Speaking country. If I could find TNS, surely other people could too. Hence one way to expand might be by making the website available in other languages, but ensure threads are written in English, so that we do not lose what makes TNS so unique. A user friendly place were science questions are answered in an understandable way!

Just my two cents of thinking :)
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #53 on: 25/08/2009 17:17:34 »
According to my free brain translator it's

I have a tiger in a cage

Disclaimer: If incorrect, I hide myself behind the fact that I had my latest class of Latin about 10 years ago
Nizzle may be at a disadvantage based on his location, but he was very close.
Some of us may not be old enough to remember this one, but it's supposed to be:
I'VE GOT A TIGER IN MY TANK
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #54 on: 25/08/2009 17:50:00 »
I think the podcast charge is great - iTunes and the new Microsoft Thingy.

At £0.50 it could easily generate enough income to maintain the site. You need to realize that other countries have a lower income rate than the UK.

GEEZER - you ARE showing you decrepitude!

 

 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #55 on: 25/08/2009 18:00:37 »
You mean because I speak Latin, or because I remember the Esso (Exxon to you cowboy) slogan?
« Last Edit: 25/08/2009 18:24:55 by Geezer »
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #56 on: 25/08/2009 20:37:50 »
Actually to us cowboys it is Humble Exploration. Don't you remember? Alzheimers???
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #57 on: 25/08/2009 20:46:41 »
Nope. Waaayyy before my time. You must be even older than I thought.

I'm surprised you can still get up on your horse.
 

Offline chris

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« Reply #58 on: 25/08/2009 21:14:36 »
We have toyed with the idea of charging for the podcast, but we're reasonably comfortable that that model does not work. All the evidence we have suggests that people are not prepared to pay for internet content - this is why the major newspapers are going broke - people won't pay for the online content.

Instead we have considered the question of voluntary donations but as yet we need a model that includes the website as well as the podcast.

Chris
 

Offline techmind

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« Reply #59 on: 26/08/2009 22:17:49 »
...People who don't know a lot of Science are not always aware of just how firmly based a lot of Scientific knowledge is and they lump it all in with Quantum Entanglement and Parallel Universes.

Hear hear!

At risk of dragging this off-topic, sophiecentaur's comment reminds me of an interesting point: why is it that "popular science" seems to be dominated by the most speculative bits of science, i.e. Big Bang, and subatomic/quantum, parallel universes etc.? For me, it's the rigourous "you can't argue with the experiment" near-certainty of science (especially physics), the stuff that can be tested and near-definitively proven, which appeals to me.

The scientific method, and the conceptual accessibility of doing experimental reality-checks is what makes science different and distinct from philosophy or theology or whatever.

Are we (outside this forum and/or the media/publishing houses) doing science a dis-service by popularising the more mystical bits of science at the expense of the more concrete and accessible stuff? Is there really a lack of interest in the more everyday physics, or is it just a matter of making it interesting? The connection to technology (engineering and electronics) is surely not lost on folks?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #60 on: 28/08/2009 12:49:07 »
To get back to the original question (unusual for me, I admit), the status of the person answering the question affects the type of answer that will be given. Those of us who live in a mainly academic environment & who use technical language all the time will normally answer in the more formal manner used between peers. Then there are those, among whom I number, who are or have been educators and are used to having to impart knowledge to, for want of a better word, beginners. Our replies tend to be more informal and not loaded with subject-specific language.

I am not implying that either manner of answering is superior to the other, but the point has been raised that most visitors to this site do not have degrees in the subject they ask a question about. That most of the answers given here are readily understandable by the layman is what makes this site unique.

I have seen topics here that have developed into a mathematical examination of the subject that the original poster wouldn't have a hope in hell of understanding. Whilst this kind of intellectual interchange is very interesting to those concerned, and I do not wish to deny them the right to such in-depth analysis, the needs of the person asking the question need to be considered. I myself have asked questions that, to me, seemed as if they should have a fairly straightforward answer, only to find that there is much more involved than I had realised. But throwing complicated maths at me does not help in the slightest. I'm not good enough at maths to understand the reply and if I were good enough I probably would not have needed to ask the question in the first place.

I ask my questions in layman's terms. If I have used a word inappropriately it is because that is the meaning of the word that the general public understands. I don't want to be told that my question is meaningless because the person answering is adhering to a rigid scientific definition of the word. Accept the fact that most visitors to this site would use the word in the same way I do and try to answer accordingly. I have no objection to being corrected (where would we be if misunderstandings were allowed to go uncorrected?), but trying to demean me by simply pointing out my lack of understanding does no credit to the person replying or to the forum in general.
« Last Edit: 28/08/2009 12:54:57 by DoctorBeaver »
 

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How should we answer Questions
« Reply #60 on: 28/08/2009 12:49:07 »

 

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