Some introspection of WUWT

I recently met with some of our volunteer moderators and contributors while in the Bay Area, and they provided some valuable suggestions on WUWT and its place in the climate debate.

Of course, I haven’t asked WUWT readers on this topic , so here’s an opportunity to weigh in.

First, I’d like to point out that I don’t know that I will make any changes. I’ve heard some interesting ideas, but have not decided on any course of action. I’d like to hear from readers what they think.

Some topics that I’d like input on:

Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?

Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?

Content: too much news/not enough news?

Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?

Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?

Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?

Ideas for regular weekly features

How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?

What could we do better?

At the same time, I’d like to mention that a part of WUWT’s success is owed to linkages…and I’ve noticed many readers not taking advantage of the ability to spread the word. It would be enormously helpful if you would use other blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to announce WUWT posts of interest. Some web ranking services now figure these in. Even if you don’t retweet, simply signing up as a Twitter follower improves WUWT’s ranking in some venues.

For example, the Wikio Sciences blog rating we have in the upper right sidebar depends on retweets to some degree, they write in FAQs:

The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. Our algorithm accords a greater value to links from blogs placed higher up in the ranking.

A blog linking another blog is only counted once a month i.e. if blog A links to blog B 10 times in a given month, it is only counted as having linked to that blog once that month. The weight of any link decreases over time. Also, if a blog always links to the same blog, the weight of these links is decreased.

Only links found in RSS feeds are counted. Blogrolls are not taken into account.

In December 2010, retweets were added as an additional factor to the ranking algorithm. For each twitter account, only one backlink per blog is taken into account each month.

So, links to WUWT are important, retweets are important. If you haven’t joined up with Twitter and Facebook, I understand, it took me awhile to overcome some of my personal objections to this form of social networking, but once I did, I never looked back.

Thanks for your consideration – Anthony

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simon abingdon
February 20, 2011 9:43 am

“WUWT and it’s place in the climate debate”. Anthony, please be aware that the possessive “its” has no apostrophe. Nor does “his” “hers” “yours” or “theirs”. Yours (!), simon abingdon.
REPLY: I make this mistake regularly, I’ll make it in the future. It happens when I write and get distracted, as often happens when I write from home with children about. OTOH, I have to give something for the “pirates of pendant” to get excited about. – Anthony

Dena
February 20, 2011 9:46 am

Very minor change. Even though I have been in the computer field for over 35 years, I don’t use HTML tags. I would like to see a link near the comment section to a page describing commonly used HTML tags so I don’t have to look all over the web to find them and end up using something that causes problems. What you have at the bottom of the pages is a start, but the description of what they do is missing. I do feel that a second page would be better than putting the full description on every page.
REPLY:As you point out, each comment form has the basic tags described, see below, plus we have “Ric Werme’s guide to WUWT in the side bar for details on how to use them. – Anthony
comment tags

Joe Dunfee
February 20, 2011 9:54 am

You have a lot of content here. Some of it is in the comments, but there is way too much for me to read through.
Personally, I would like a way to distinguish the political comments from the scientifically oriented. I think both are valuable, but sometimes I wish I could just filter out the political ones. Seeing another posting saying “That’s outrageous” doesn’t really further my understanding of the issue, since I have already seen that message many times here.

wee georgie
February 20, 2011 9:58 am

I would like to see you explore the possibility of improving the behaviour of climate scientists towards each other. reconciliation might be too difficult but good manners and meeting the standards of whatever university employs one, should not be beyond any academic.
Perhaps you might enlist a few volunteers who can download university policies and procedures and initiate a single complaint to the university if it seems probable that a significant breach of university policy has occurred and is worth correcting.

EternalOptimist
February 20, 2011 10:00 am

I wish you all the best Anthony, history will smile upon you.
but you are a means to an end. not the end. Putting the scientific process back in its proper place is the end.
‘remember ceasar thou art mortal’
‘remember ceasar thou art mortal’
‘remember ceasar thou art mortal’
🙂
EO

ShaneCMuir
February 20, 2011 10:01 am

I only knew of this because of the emails..
The RSS feed still does not show this article.. does that help?
I will never be a facebook or twitter person.. I hate both of them..
I only know about the RSS feed because I just discovered a piece of javascipt code called JSON.. and with the help of Yahoo I can now just click on a link a see the new threads from the sites I normally visit on a page on my own website..
But.. obviously.. the RSS feed does not work..
As for the other stuff..
I think the MODS are great..
I think the whole thing is great.. I love to see mistakes..
Let everyone workout that you have to be able to spell on this site..
I would love more interactivity.. as in.. I would love to be able to argue with the people that object to my comment.. and I would love to respond immediately.. but maybe that is not possible and it might wreck what we have here.. so maybe it is as good as it is going to get..
I have been on many blogs.. I am 46yo and have been an IT guy since the internet began.. so have experienced many horror stories.. and.. I still have hope for this one.. and thats gotta be a good sign.
The intersting thing about disagreeing with the status quo is that many other issues arise.
I have approached many myself.
And yes.. usually.. they are.. sort of.. OFF TOPIC.
As frustrating that is for someone who just wants the ******* truth out..
I can understand also..
All I can say is.. THANK GOD for WUWT!!
Let the debate continue!
REPLY: I just checked the RSS feed and it seems fine – Anthony
http://wattsupwiththat.com/feed/

February 20, 2011 10:02 am

The new reference pages are a bit busy. They take longer to load and create some major slow downs with all the animation firing off at once.
I like the guest posts though I rarely agree with the content. They are interesting because of the comments they generate.
Your main page is well thought out. It is easy to read and loads reasonably quickly.
The diverse content is a plus, I would not change a thing.

Mark Nutley
February 20, 2011 10:06 am

Personally I think you ought to dump wordpress, move over to Joomla CMS and use a phpbb forum for discussion of posts. I`ll set it up for if if you`d like.
REPLY: Thanks, but that’s one suggestion I want to address now. I don’t have time to setup, learn, and maintain other platforms. Been there, done that with Climate Audit. When news breaks, so do these other platforms. We are both staying on wordpress.com – Anthony

Brianp
February 20, 2011 10:06 am

I like the tollerence you have to desenting views. If we don’t listen to everyone how can we have an honest discussion

PJP
February 20, 2011 10:07 am

@Dena, the list you see, is all that you are permitted to use. All other HTML tags will be removed, so you don’t have to go looking all over the net for other tags.
Don’t blame WUWT, its the way WordPress (and virtually every other blogging system works.
————
Back on topic, there isn’t much I really have to say, other than sometimes, some of the guest articles are a little bit “out there”, and could be used to detract from the credibility of the site – but that needs to be weighed against the discussions that these typically provoke, in which articles which are just too way out are bought back to earth, and readers (if they read the comments) understand why.
On regular topics – ok, provided that there is something real to report. I tend to skip the weekly quote and roundup because they are mostly fluff, where authors are scratching for something to say.
Moderation – seems about right to me.
Linking …. I understand why you want this, but I am forced to fairly regularly prune what I see on Facebook and Twitter, because some people just talk too damn much! Typically with very little to actually say. I certainly don’t want to join that club.
The only thing I would like to see change would be getting off the free WordPress platform. The inserted links and ads are not only (often) inappropriate, but are annoying. I do realize that the free part is pretty important, but you did ask…

February 20, 2011 10:07 am

The only suggestion I have to make this web site better is to move the “Recent Posts” section closer to the top, so I don’t have to scroll down so much each of the 100 times a day I visit!

Latitude
February 20, 2011 10:11 am

Anthony, I think everything is perfect the way it is.
It’s easy, comfortable, and intuitive….nothing gets in the way…..yet everything is here.
Wouldn’t change a thing……

Hobo
February 20, 2011 10:12 am

First I appreciate this website and the efforts you put into it. I ran a website for 10 years after my daughter was diagnosed with a rare bone disease in 97. I burnt out after 7 years of daily working with new members (2500+ members from 60+ countries). Fortunately the web site spun into a non profit organization, and i wound the site down. I pray that you, Anthony, do not burn out. Maybe take certain days off where you dont post.
With that said, the only comments I might add is I would like to see more CAGW supported guest authors. A more balanced discussion. Less troll bouncing. Assuming the debate can be constructive and not destructive.
I would also like to have one page that covers WUWT position on the many aspects of the CAGW, so that newbies can see where your position is at. Kind of a FAQ, with simple and concise answers along with applicable links to articles on WUWT.
With great respect,
HOBO
REPLY: I’ve always wanted to earn the respect of a hobo, now that I have it, my life is complete 😉 Thanks, Anthony

Stephen Singer
February 20, 2011 10:13 am

I’ve no issues with format, style, content, moderation, or features.The guest authors have been generally good and a half dozen or so are excellent. I use WUWT as a reference, portal to several blogs on the blog roll and occasionally an embedded link, source of interesting science and science policy news stories.

commieBob
February 20, 2011 10:14 am

I like you just the way you are.

JoeH
February 20, 2011 10:15 am

Anthony, the website, with just black on plain white makes it one of the easiest sites to read and understand with just a quick scan. Considering the amount of info + the associated widgets that are included in the sidebar, you have done a great job at making it as accessible as possible. Don’t make anything other than minor changes if any.
The only possible thing I can think of to increase ease of use would be the addition of numbers to the comments. With a large comment section it can take some time to find specific comments by time/date alone.
Thanks for putting so much work into such an excellent blog.
[JoeH, what I do is select the date/time, copy, do a “Find”, paste, and away it goes to the exact place. That’s why I put the person’s name and date/time in at the top, to allow quick searching. – willis]

Theo Goodwin
February 20, 2011 10:18 am

WUWT is my portal to the climate science controversies. WUWT is head and shoulders above all other websites that might serve as such a portal. The proof of that is the recent focus on Steig’s work on O’Donnell’s article. The commentary on that matter was excellent as always. Overall, WUWT should receive at least a Pulitzer Prize for that effort.
WUWT is not only a breath of fresh air, it is a day surfing at Sebastian Inlet. Aside from the serious matters, it is fabulous entertainment. Features such as the Sea Ice Page put competitors to shame, especially when Anthony chooses and posts photos. It goes without saying that Anthony is a genius of a blogger and we are all indebted to him.
On the negative side, predictable trolls should be banned and, if necessary, banned again and again and again. Trolls can make a website unusable. That has happened to The Guardian sites, to Real Climate, and to many others. Trolls could overwhelm this website and that would be a tragedy. It is really a pain in the behind when several commenters have spent hours explaining some point P and then along come five trolls who do nothing but blather and assert “not P.” They are sent here to do that, so that Warmista sites can publish that their position is represented at WUWT. They should not be permitted to get away with it.
God Bless Anthony and all his, especially including WUWT.

Larry Sheldon
February 20, 2011 10:22 am

If I may:
Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use? I grew up on Model 19 Teletypes
Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad? I’m here today
Content: too much news/not enough news? I don’t understand the concept “too much news”
Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?I penetrate it some, it is probably about right.
Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?How about after-posting edit?
Guest authors: good/bad/ugly? Good
Ideas for regular weekly features I have no current suggestions
How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages? News
What could we do better?I’m sure you will think of something.

Frank Lee MeiDere
February 20, 2011 10:24 am

This is a regular source of information for me. I like the openness and balance. My only recommendation (and it’s a strong one) would be: “If it ain’t broke…”

Ed Fix
February 20, 2011 10:26 am

I prefer having the comments grouped as threads (reply following the comment replied to) rather than simple chronological order. Makes it much easier to initiate, participate in, and follow multiple threads of discussion.
I know you have a reason for not doing it the way you do (something about mobile devices) but that’s my vote anyway. The discussion would be much enhanced.
Ed
REPLY: I tried this one about two years ago, and it failed. Climate Audit uses the nested threads, and I’ve found them generally confusing – Anthony

u.k.(us)
February 20, 2011 10:27 am

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? 🙂

MikeW
February 20, 2011 10:28 am

My suggestion for a format change would be, if possible, to emulate the “article fold” mechanism used on AceOfSpades. Content aside, that site has a very interesting feature. http://www.ace.mu.nu/
Like WUWT, the blog posts on AoS have only the first few paragraphs showing. At the end of each there’s a ‘link’ to show the rest of the article. In AoS when you click the link the remainder of the post opens up IN-LINE on the main blog page. When finished you may click a ‘close it up’ link, or just keep reading into the next post.
At the end of each post there are TWO links, one jumps to a page with ONLY the blog post, the other takes you to a page containing the post with comments (As WUWT does). The alternate (post only) link, I think is better for emailing to friends as it opens quicker for them and does not contain offensive or endless comments.
Of special note is that if embedded videos are placed ‘below the fold’ on each blog post then main page loading is MUCH faster. The embedded video consumes resources on the user’s system ONLY when they click the ‘open it up’ link.
Mike
I have a special OT note to add here: The US Govt is putting out a contract for development of Software to manage “Fake People” on social media websites to help promote their ‘message’. This could take the promulgation of Global Warming ‘information’ to new levels.
http://weaselzippers.us/2011/02/19/us-government-software-creates-fake-people-on-social-networks-to-promote-propaganda/#comment-61651

Mats Bengtsson
February 20, 2011 10:28 am

I like the site a lot. I trust it to give facts, and alow comments. Facts, as we have learned, are seldom so easily interpreted that they can be presented unfiltered. Likewise, since they need interpretations, there is a subjectivity to them. I thus expect the page to allow different views to present their information, and then the comments to discuss it. I believe this is happening, and the more I believe all sides get a fair chance to present their information, the more I trust what I read on the page.
I have seen a number of very good ways of making “hard to grasp” subjects presentable, which is a major reason I get here frequently. Often there are in depth articles as well. I read some of them through, others I only scan, but it contribute to the feeling there is knowledge collected on the page, creating a trust in the information.
— Mats —

pdtillman
February 20, 2011 10:29 am

Anthony:
I’m basically happy with WUWT, and grateful (plus a bit astonished) for all the effort you & the other volunteers put into it.
So — keep up the good work! — and don’t let the bastards grind you down.
“Nolo permittere illegitimi carborundum” was the dog-Latin Barry Goldwater kept on a plaque on his desktop, ims.
Thanks
Peter D. Tillman
Consulting Geologist, Arizona and New Mexico (USA)

“It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.”
–George Bernard Shaw

Speed
February 20, 2011 10:30 am

1. Nested comments.
2. Tighten up the format — smaller font.
3. Make some topics weekly or monthly such as Arctic Ice Extent — we don’t need this every day.
4. Earth Surface Temp — one monthly report only. No “With only three days to go it looks like XXX will be another record.”
5. And if you can get him to give up his real life, I’ll read Willis Eschenbach once or twice a day :).

Dick Meyers
February 20, 2011 10:31 am

More cowbell.

Editor
February 20, 2011 10:31 am

Anthony
Frankly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve learned a great deal here and a lot of the commentary is excellent. My only bug is troll control and the occassional food fights that erupt (the Singer thread got a little bizarre and ugly and off topic) but the trolls do serve a useful function and moderation is not heavy-handed at all – sheesh, I can’t recall ever being snipped here and I’m sure some of my posts must have stretched the patience of the moderators. I use your site for news, reference and gauging the temperature of the blog-o-sphere. Keep doing what you are doing.

Tom in Florida
February 20, 2011 10:34 am

I would like to thank Anthony and the Mods for allowing laymen such as myself to post thoughts and comments. I would hope that the these comments can give a hint to what the average Joe on the street is thinking. You also give us a window into what people of other countries think. And that is one of the best benefits of visiting this site. I have learned more about Australia and how it works than I ever could have bar living there myself. I am also glad to know how many Brits feel about the doings over there.
Keep up the good work.

Cold Englishman
February 20, 2011 10:35 am

Best science blog on the web. Pity we are always dominated by AGW, but that’s the way of the world at present. However, every so often you give us something different and challenging, which makes coming here even more enjoyable.
The trolls are a nuisance, but the great strength of this blog is tollerance of all views, long may it continue. Trolls by their nature have short attention spans, and soon get tired when their brains are challenged, so don’t change anything. This site has grown and matured, and I have visited daily since I first read about your experiments with different paints on the Stevenson Screens. Did you ever come to any conclusions?

Paul Coppin
February 20, 2011 10:35 am

Generally, I find the site good. It would be nice to be able to contact you personally more easily on occasion, but I fully understand why that is not so :). While one could argue ad nauseum about layout and design, really, there is only so much you can do to handle the sheer volume, currency and rapidity with which information moves. I can’t find enough time to read enough topics to the depth I’d like. There are times when I curse my education – I’m regularly challenged here to wade deeper and more thoroughly because I know enough to know there is more to know and understand, but I lack the the time, and, to a degree, the resources, now that I am out of a university environment, to go really deep. Still, a taste keeps the promise alive, even if the appetite never gets fully whetted, and I simply wouldn’t even have the taste without your effort.
I appreciate that you stand your ground. I know that it has not been without personal cost. Hail and salut to you for that. May there be some tangible reward beyond simply the satisfaction of holding your head high and proud. Life shouldn’t be entirely virtual, even as it may be virtuous.
I await patiently the appearance of a button adjacent to the comment stream that facilitates the reprogramming of trolls. If Staples can do it with “EASY”, I prefer to believe that all things are possible. Next to it would be a button that makes PhD degrees disappear for those who intellectually and serially transgress. This, in my view, is an incredible sociological failing. Accountability isn’t solely for certain professions. The damage a loudmouth can do is no less significant then the engineer who catastrophically fails a bridge project.
So, links to WUWT are important, retweets are important
Please critically re-evaluate this. Retweeting is largely nothing more than serial spamming and a huge annoyance. I remove tweeters from my follow list who use this (not that it seems to matter – I get them anyway) due to an incredible amount of inane clutter. My tweet management programs are clogged with retweets. As a result, I pay less and less attention to tweets. You’d better be making serious coin from them, because they will cost you in the long run.
Chose your alternate posters carefully – its hard, but some are not scientifically up to speed and it hurts your credibility and unnecessarily embarrasses well-meaning individuals.
As they say, “don’t fix what ain’t broke….”

February 20, 2011 10:36 am

I’m having a hard time defining what I like most about WUWT. In no particular order, I’d say:-
Reference pages – just amazing.
Guest posts, particularly the sciency ones, including the ones from people on the other side of the divide.
Anything by Willis and Josh. They’re always good for morale.
Readers comments and links, particularly the sciency ones.
The moderation policy is peerless, probably the best in the blogosphere. Thank you, guys.
About the only gripe I would have is the sheer amount of time it takes to get through all the posts and comments. If I miss a day, I’m really struggling to keep up.
I’m having an equally hard time thinking about things that would improve on what you already have.
Keep your sense of humour and don’t burn out would probably be the most important one.
Possibly a vulcanology reference page.
Keep mixing it up with sciency articles that are not necessarily solely about climate or weather.
Keep extending invites to scientists from the other side, and articles from skeptics who might not be full time scientists.

February 20, 2011 10:37 am

Dear Anthony,
What can I say in view of one the most interesting places on the Internet.
Given the prominence of the “AGW” discussion I would favour some integration of the diverging technical topics, outside politics of course, like I have recently found at e.g. Climate Realist (Steven Wilde cs). Say a topic Synthesis understanding “global warming/cooling”. In this case for the lay-man an digestable line of reasoning integrating sun charactistics, position of jet streams, reaction of aircolumns, landmass/water ratio’s and the like. Even including Landscheidt like discussions on planetary-sun interactions.

Viv Evans
February 20, 2011 10:38 am

Having comments numbered is a good idea.
Otherwise – why change a winning blog!
I haven’t found a better site for learning, not just from the guest posts but also from the comments. Sometimes it feels like having a private lecture at the best university there is.
The spread of information is excellent, and having a Josh interleaved here and there is good fun.
The reference pages are outstanding. The whole blog is easy to read.
The moderators should be given prizes – their comments on what the current trolls are producing never fail to make me grin.
So for the time being – no need to fiddle with the best science blog.
Thanks, Anthony and mods – and commenters!

MikeW
February 20, 2011 10:38 am
February 20, 2011 10:41 am

Format and style: I would like to see comments threaded in a staggered format that allows one to follow some threads, and to skip others.
Content: I would like to see a separate forum for chatting about more general, off-topic matters. This would also make the WUWT site much more active and popular. To unburden moderators, you could limit the membership in this forum to those who participated by commenting for some time, and are thus “vetted” to behave properly.
Moderation: seems to be much more reasonable and fair than on most other sites.
Guest authors: some are very good, especially Mr. Eschenbach, who demonstrates remarkably clear thinking and writing skills.
How do you most use WUWT? I read articles and comments, how else? I would never use facebook, tweet, linkedin, or whatever they call those sites that give their participants an artificial sensation of doing something or being part of something, whereas, in reality, they waste their time and are as lonely as ever.
What could we do better? Not being a climatologist, as I mentioned already, I would like very much to see comments in a threaded, staggered format that would allow me to participate in a discussion of social and cultural tendencies affiliated with the green hoax but to skip boring skirmishes between vain people most interested in who is better qualified to understand correctly some particular feature of atmospheric circulation or solar magnetic activity. I would be more than happy, for example, to skip forever all caustic, self-aggrandizing (and often scientifically dubious) expostulations posted by Dr. Leif Svalgaard.

oldseadog
February 20, 2011 10:42 am

How about a list somewhere of what all the initials mean, like NASA, NOAA, RSS, ENSO, NCDC, CCSA, etc., etc., etc. for all us technodinosaurs or for newbies.
Otherwise, leave it alone, it reads easily, we all know where everything is, and, mostly, how to work it all.
Above all, keep up the good work.
REPLY: See the glossary on the menu bar, or here http://wattsupwiththat.com/glossary/ – Anthony

North of 43 and south of 44
February 20, 2011 10:43 am

MikeW says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:28 am said in part …
“I have a special OT note to add here: The US Govt is putting out a contract for development of Software to manage “Fake People” on social media websites to help promote their ‘message’. This could take the promulgation of Global Warming ‘information’ to new levels.
http://weaselzippers.us/2011/02/19/us-government-software-creates-fake-people-on-social-networks-to-promote-propaganda/#comment-61651
____________________________________________________________
Darn, you mean a few of us will have to gear up our spambots ?
Anthony,
Just keep as it is.

seeohtoo
February 20, 2011 10:43 am

First time poster, I have been reading this site for about 18 months.
What I would like to see is a limit on number of comments per page, possibly 50 posts per page. This is needed when viewing on a mobile phone (android) with limited memory, this would also help when I need to read the latest comments, due to time difference (I’m in the uk).

Sharon Prince
February 20, 2011 10:44 am

I look at WUWT as one of the insider looks at the world of science to get the real deal that CNN or FOX may glaze over in reports. I only have background of traditional college with majors in psychology and art. In spite of that I have kept up with weather all my life. Now my teenage daughter is using this site as a source of current events in the fields of science in two classes. They are required to discuss verbally in class and on paper what is really happening out there. And yes, she’s getting A’s doing this. So while you have kids running around you while writing, you have kids on the other end of the web reading and discussing those issues. Keep this up but give more detail for the more of us who don’t have the physics background!

AnonyMoose
February 20, 2011 10:45 am

I usually use an RSS feed to see what’s new, and I tend to read about half the WUWT articles. There has been an oddity the past week, however, in iGoogle often showing headlines which are many days old. Of course I can’t tell how much of that behavior is due to WUWT and how much from Google’s mysterious servers.
The only desired feature that comes to mind at the moment is a “Quote” button for comments, which would copy that comment’s text (or its highlighted text) into my comment’s input form, and include a link to that original comment. That would simplify responses to a previous comment.
The WUWT content seems just right to me. Some variety, and many things which are of interest to me.

February 20, 2011 10:45 am

If it’s not too much to ask, how about adding some puppy videos? Everyone likes puppies!
REPLY: sure, here ya go, I feel like the cat some days:

John A
February 20, 2011 10:45 am

Anthony,
I totally agree on the wordpress.com platform – if only I’d gone that route in 2005, I’d have saved a year’s worth of sleep! But on the other hand, I never learned so much about blog hosting, PHP and MySQL as I did for four years.
I like the fast pace and the diversity of posts about all sorts of topics, not just climate change.
I dislike posts (and comments) that are American party political talking points (the “everything that is wrong with the world is caused by liberals/neocons” blah blah blah). It’s pointless and repetitive and divisive. There are plenty of liberals out there who are dismayed and disgusted by the perversion of science and reason that has happened in climate science and beyond.
The great thing about the Internet is that like-minded people on one subject can be totally at odds on any other. This is how its supposed to be. Academics are like this all of the time and consensuses are rarer than hen’s teeth in Universities.
Guest posts are very welcome even if those posts are pro-AGW, just so long as the argument is reasoned and factual and the author is willing to defend his thesis to the commenters. I enjoy the posts by Willis and Indur Goklany and Roy Spencer even if sometimes I disagree with them (and can say so, thankfully).
The moderation is sensible and pretty even-handed. Kudos to the volunteer mods for keeping WUWT a great place to comment.
I like the fact that WUWT is part of a wider debate and links to a diversity of opinion (even if some of those sites don’t return the favour) and encourages other people to blog as well.
I’m glad that you Anthony are in reasonable good health and hope that you and WUWT keeps doing what you do best – reporting and commenting on events with the minimum of rancour. Hopefully you don’t lose too much sleep over this corner of the Interwebs.
John

Keith
February 20, 2011 10:47 am

Anthony. Great web blog but more importantly a great forum for free exchange of scientific ideas/information. After four years I am so used to the format that any change would throw me off. The guest authors and several commentators are extremely valuable. The moderation is about right. Sometimes it seems heavy-handed but some people are just uncivil. I have increasingly less time (along with everyone else) and I use WUWT for keeping up with the recent scientific announcements instead of trying to skim all the other blogs/journals. I skim over the “IPCC/Team’s/Administration’s” “consensus” announcements as their 30-year old broken record is stuck in early 1980’s computer models.

February 20, 2011 10:47 am

Dear Anthony,
What can I say when visiting one of the most interesting sites on the Internet.
Anyway, given the diversity and depth of the presented topics I would suggest a Synthesis folder in which the understanding of Global warming/cooling is build up from the basics. Sun (active/not active – planetary influences) magnetic field interactions with meso/stratosphere colums) jet stream positions and cloud formations, in other words a kind of pattern of possible mechanisms based on fact, not politics of course.

Paul Deacon
February 20, 2011 10:47 am

Anthony – I have a look at your site on a daily basis. I am interested in both the science and the politics; my aim is to educate myself and keep abreast of new developments.
Your format and style (e.g. choice of font) are excellent, the blog is one of the easiest to load and read.
The style of moderation is just right, and is a key to your success.
I would suggest a distinction (e.g. in headers) between 3 types of topic: (a) science, (b) politics and (c) mixed science and politics (I will even guess that you will have about 1/3 of each).
Links are important: sometimes the best ones are in readers’ comments.
You are right to review things. Your ability to delegate is perhaps the single most important thing as the site continues to grow. I trust we will hear more reports of quality family time spent away from the blog.
All the best.

Jonas N
February 20, 2011 10:48 am

Leave mainly ‘as is’
The most distinguishing feature is that adversaries can freely comment and have their comments remain for other to read. The resulting trolling is not a great problem, most threads are long anyway and filled with bot high and low (from bot sides)
Posting frequency is quite high, and partly due to interestings guest-posters. No need for weekly features: Post things when available/justified, not for contrived reasons.
Discussions in the comments are sometimes as interesting and informative, expecially if between opposing parties. Maybe, the best should be summarized and kept.
Wellcome would also be opposing viewpoints and postings by intelligent warmist who are not afraid of, or run for (moderation-)cover in the face of opposition.
Numbered comments would be helpful for easier references.
I really like the balance between science, criticism, general discussions, politics, society and humor etc. Means you check back frequently, gett godd overview and updates … and stay when things get ‘hot’ in a particularly interesting field.

February 20, 2011 10:48 am

WUWT is great as is – it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it.
To relieve the Moderators of some of their workload, you might consider letting Comments by Guest Contributors and Frequent Commenters who have a record of rationality and courtesy a free pass around Moderation on all Topic threads if WordPress allows such a setting. (On my Google Blogger site, the Comments of my Authorized Authors, on any Topic thread, show up immediately without my having to Moderate them. On WUWT, my Comments on Topics where I am the Author show up immediately, but have to go through Moderation on Topic threads by other Authors.) Of course, any Frequent Commenter who violates that trust would lose his or her privileged status.

Björn
February 20, 2011 10:50 am

I like your site mostly as it is , and I am a daily reader ,
so please be at least a little conservative with changing it.

AdrianS
February 20, 2011 10:50 am

I find the site good , and as someone else posted ” If it aint broke dont fix it”
As for Trolls— let them post– our arguments are generally much better; more science based and less hate based. The Trolls only post because they fear the truth and balance this site shows.

Graham
February 20, 2011 10:51 am

A comprehensive, routinely updated alphabetical index to key words of stories would be an immense help. Exactly the same as the index at the back of a good textbook.
All too often when I comment on another blog and intend to link to WUWT to acknowledge the source of a story, I can’t find it!
Thanks.

February 20, 2011 10:52 am

I wouldn’t change much, except that I like the idea of culling or nesting comments that merely recycle the “foaming-at-mouth” sentiment without supporting facts or helpful commentary.
The sheer number of long-form articles, items, topics and guest writers can get daunting. Perhaps a top-level display could have the current day’s entries as they are now (a couple of paras with “continue reading”), and previous days’ entries listed under their date of posting and with a simple linked title?
I know if I miss a few days here, I tend to scan faster than I would prefer, and a set of titles would make it easier for me to cherry-pick items of interest.
I very much appreciate the practice here of engaging proponents of AGW; it’s a healthy way to avoid becoming yet another cranky echo chamber.
I also find a differentiator of this site is that it contains not just criticism of the scientific establishment of climate change and analyses of its arguably shoddy premises, but also puts forth minority viewpoints that (like solar cycles) concur that some climate change may be happening, but that humans might have less to do with it than the “fear mongers” assert.
To my mind, this is at the heart of academic freedom: the provision of a forum in which any number of ideas can contend. Consider the life cycle of the liver fluke: it took ages to establish all the steps in that little nasty’s survival, and I expect that a true understanding (and a better reckoning) of climate change science will have to allow for far more factors than “turn off your car, evil Gaia rapist!”
Lastly, it’s not just enough to say “these bastards are corrupt deceivers”. You have to establish a counter-proposal that makes better sense than the received wisdom. WUWT does that, which is why I like it here.

Claude
February 20, 2011 10:52 am

First, the site does a terrific job as is, so I wouldn’t complain if it stayed that way.
I come here for science, so I view any other content as diluting your main mission. I love to learn, so I appreciate those authors who teach as well as tell. References greatly appreciated. Abstracts for longer contributions telling me what I’m getting into greatly appreciated. Summaries essential.
Since you want more of this site passed along by links, your contributors might consider slightly greater explanation so that content could be understood by a wider audience. They should also be sensitive to the notion that the WAY the facts are presented (writing style) is as important as the facts themselves. I realize that some contributors are writing in their second language, but it’s clear that others could work a little harder on clarity.
Nonetheless, great job by all.

Bob
February 20, 2011 10:52 am

Anthony:
I sent you a message via your contact page. Hope it doesn’t get skipped because I used that form.
Good luck.

Doug in Seattle
February 20, 2011 10:55 am

I read WUWT 3 or 4 times a day depending on how many new postings are made. I forgive typos and rail against the grammar police (but mostly in the quiet solitude of my man cave where I keep my man toys, including this laptop I am now using).
My taste in blog entries mostly tends toward those that provide generalized technical background on the science issues associated with the AGW debate. Also enjoy the occasional other science postings such as IT, space, and solar.
I cannot think of a single thing for improvement – You (Anthony) and your crew of dedicated volunteers (CTM especially) do all of us great service.
Thank you, and please continue to provide me and other readers with an excellent alternative to the political science it is too often subjected.

peter2108
February 20, 2011 10:56 am

I can’t find data just pictures. For example I want sunspot number data, but I don’t think it is available via WUWT. So maybe as well as ‘references’ and ‘resources’ you could add ‘data’?

February 20, 2011 10:56 am

Format is good, but it would be nice to have threaded replies like on TOD.
Content is excellent, and reader inputs very important.
Moderation would be better if it cut out the extreme conservative political crap.
Features – we are all still waiting with baited breath for the Surface Stations paper!
Guest authors generally good, often excellent, but how does one get to have a guest paper considered? I have tried several times, and several ways without even the courtesy of a rejection. Some guidelines would help.
Use? for me mainly reference, but often the references come from commentary.
Overall it’s one of my 3 favorite blogs, but some of the commenters! whew!
Links to other blogs are also very helpful.

Mike Mangan
February 20, 2011 10:57 am

More mockery and snark for the Alarmists! Not enough disdain and contempt being shown towards them. More Stone Cold Salute!

James Chamberlain
February 20, 2011 10:57 am

Love the site. You cover science and politics. I wish that the philosophy and psychology of global warming, group-think, etc. was covered more in depth. (The science of human beings and why they like to believe in stuff like AGW.)

Charles Nelson
February 20, 2011 11:03 am

Couldn’t respectfully disagree more with Joe Dunfee above, who thinks that general and political comments should be isolated from ‘scientific’ comments.
Do that and you risk putting both in their individual ghettos, you also diminish your very important educational role, whereby non scientists still read and feel able to comment on scientific matters.
Scientists tend to be specialists (part of the reason we’re in this mess in the first place) but your general readers have a lot of wisdom and common sense spread across a wide range of disciplines…history for example is a fierce tool in debunking AGW…let us ordinary folk have our say.
What I think might help is an instant list of the authoratitive sources we use on this site…NASA, University of Illinois, Jaxa etc etc…because one of the favourite methods used to attack the sceptical position, it to claim that we are all gullible cranks and the science we use to rebutt AGW is ‘made up’, (now that’s ironic!)
Evolution is the way…because yes most of us do believe in that.
Most importantly don’t do anything too fast or too radical

Peter Milford
February 20, 2011 11:04 am

In asking for comments, you will hear many complaints, and I hope you keep in mind that many very satisfied ‘customers’ will not bother to post.
I am one of the very satisfied customers.

Frank Lansner
February 20, 2011 11:06 am

Hi Anthony and co!
One point: “Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?” and the point about guest authors:
I believe it must be quite a challenge to make all happy. One commenter says that there is “too much”.
I understand him so far that I cantno longer read all articles, and only fractions of the valuable comments i can check out.
BUT: The thing is, the relevanse of the articles is in my view at least at good as “in the old days”. Its as if there is simply more and more relevant stories. This could indicate to some degree, perhaps, that the sceptics word is spreading out, dominoes are falling, more and more stories evolving.
At the same time, “guest post” authors like me that cannot deliver full PHD´s in private evening hours has perhaps slightly smaller place in the debate simply because more and more professional institutions (like the BEST proj) are interacting, taking part in the debate.
WUWT certainly has had a charm and a force using this broad variety of guest post authors of the “private” type, perhaps even a kind of articles that has contibruted to WUWT rather well, but perhaps time is changing things – partly simply because “we are winning” as sceptics 🙂
I think there will still pop “private-guest-author” articles up at WUWT, but perhaps not as often as ealier. I hope i wont end all together since it is really a charm – in my view.
When the climate debate ends, what a pleasure to go back and study astronomy and origin of life and and and…!
K.R. Frank

Jim Barker
February 20, 2011 11:13 am

So far I have liked everything you have done with the place.
The only thing I might suggest are the “Like” “Dislike” buttons, used for each commenter. If I understand their use, the heavily disliked comments fold away where you don’t have to even look at them, unless you really want to unfold them. I don’t know if WordPress even allows them.
Keep up the good fight, ignorance is a curable condition.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 20, 2011 11:17 am

Content: too little!!!
Content: not enough news, I would like to see WUWT get more hits. So an occasional important news story would be good, regardless if it is related to science or not.
Moderation: Too troll tolerant. We already know what they are going to say. They are basically Bots. Everyone can easily find what a troll is going to say just about anywhere in the media. Why do we have to see it here again? (A smidge is ok though.)
Guest authors: EXCELLENT!! (That choice was not among good/bad/ugly?) I wish there were more opinion pieces too, besides guest science works. I am certain Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Anthony Watts, Ross McKitrick, Robert Balling, Nir Shaviv, and so on, have good things to say. And I think readers would like to hear those opinions, thoughts, and feelings (though not too heavy on politics). Opinion pieces may be a good outlet for you fellows to have too.
What could we do better? Have a quick snippers for OT comments followed by a reply that said, politely, “Please post that in Tips and Notes. Thank you.”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
One suggestion I have that would help reduce the work load is to not have a comment thread after every post. If you closed comments on some select posts there would be less commenting to keep track of, but people would still have a post to read. It appears that from the number of hits WUWT gets most people do not comment but come to see the latest. So it doesn’t seem you’d lose hits from having comments closed on some posts.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Here’s an example of what I mean by opinion piece, which I would like to see more of:

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 20, 2011 11:17 am

Here’s another nice example of opinion piece:

February 20, 2011 11:18 am

Speed says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:30 am
1. Nested comments.

I disagree. Unless there is a mechanism to filter or highlight “comments since I last visited” it is just too tedious.
At Climate Audit, you have to re-read the entire comment thread every time you visit to find new comments.

Bob L
February 20, 2011 11:18 am

Big fan of WUWT for years. What you’ve done and continue to do is very important, and everyone on both sides of the debate owes you a big thank you (not that the other side realizes it yet, but it will). For those morning you up and feel like the cat in the puppy video above, know that there are people out here who think you’re a hero.
I don’t see that changes are necessary, but I would like to see an addition. Anyone new coming to the site just dives into the deep end. I think the reason climate myths persist is that the issue as a whole is so complex. I would like to see a place on the site organized by issue. Each section would include a background summary of what each issue is about, eg., instrument temperature record, temperature proxies, glacier melt, sea ice, the IPCC, Climategate, complex vs. simple systems, etc. Then new posts could be tagged to sections so people could follow by issue if they like.
Would be some work to set up, but I think you probably already have good intro pieces for all of these (and more) sections–would just need to dig them out and edit.

Jan K. Andersen
February 20, 2011 11:18 am

One of the best science blogs on the web, but I do have one suggestion which will make it bettter – in my humle opinions of course.
I think the blog should have more guest posts with alternative views on global warming. That do not mean that I want any warmist “the end is nigh” stuff here – they have enough other places to go.
What I do miss however, is seroius analyses from people who can provide good analyses and insight without the polarised view we often see in the climate debate. In other words, I miss more stuff from the ‘Lukewarmers’ like Pielke and Engelbeen.

Mike Fox
February 20, 2011 11:20 am

Dear Anthony,
I’m in the “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp. This site is invaluable.
Nonetheless, may I offer an “enhancement” instead of a fix?
I’m sure there are many generalist readers out there, like me, who may stumble over some of the more technical posts, and may even have our eyes glaze over trying to get through them.
One of the nice features about CO2science.org is that it has a “What it means” paragraph at the end of its articles (actually there are also “What was done” and “What was learned,” both helpful) written in plain English. The “What it means” is especially valuable, in my opinion, because it puts the article in a context that might otherwise be lost to a reader.
By no means do I suggest that the articles be less technical or incomplete, as it’s the open science that makes this site so valuable. However, bonehead non-scientist readers like me sometimes need some help understanding what’s going on, especially contextually.
Thank you for your hard work making this one of the best sites on the Web.
Best,
Mike Fox

Dr. Dave
February 20, 2011 11:20 am

Anthony,
I can’t think of much that needs to be changed. Your moderation is the BEST I’ve seen. The site is sufficiently troll tolerant and you have the best behaved trolls out there (compare and contrast to James Delingpole’s blog at the DT). American Thinker is essentially a troll free zone and they’re hyper-moderated. I’ve had entire comments deleted for no apparent reason. They were on topic, polite, profanity free and completely consistent with their posted comments rules. But if a comment happens to rankle a particular moderator for some unknown reason it simply disappears. Since their great troll purge a year or two ago their comments have become rather dull, just the bleating of the regulars in an echo chamber…but their articles are still VERY good. The comments here at WUWT are one of the site’s best features. It might be useful to have the comments numbered but it’s really no big deal that they’re not.
I certainly can’t suggest any change in content, format or layout. I thoroughly enjoy your guest authors. I use WUWT for everything you listed except bird cages. But, sorry…I’m a twitterphobe.
Dave

February 20, 2011 11:22 am

Reduce font size please. 🙂
REPLY: Try holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling your mouse wheel – Anthony

Wade
February 20, 2011 11:22 am

One thing great about this site is all the comments. On some topics, someone post a really good comment that really helps with the topic at hand. However, you must go through dozens of comments to get to that really insightful one. I would love to see a weekly collection of the best and most helpful comments on the posts of the past week, along with a synopsis and a link to the original story.
This is not meant to diminish any person’s comment; it is meant to highlight the ones that really help.

Ian L. McQueen
February 20, 2011 11:23 am

This is an excellent site, not only for the science but also for the glimpse of conditions in various countries around the world. Which leads to just about the only suggestion that I can make for an improvement, and that is to figure a way to indicate the part of what country a person lives in. If someone writes that it is 70°F where they are, I’d like to know where they are! (And I would be happier if people would reread their posting before sending it to eliminate glaringly obvious spelling errors- and also if everyone could learn the difference between its and it’s, affect and effect, their/they’re/there, etc.!!)
As a Canadian I am pleased to see so many postings from fellow countrypeople and the confirmation that that gives that this blog is truly international. (Likewise for Australia, of which I have many fond memories.)
Many thanks for keeping this very informative source of information going, and almost-equal thanks to the many posters of informed and informative comments.
IanM in New Brunswick

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 20, 2011 11:24 am

One last example of opinion piece

Jim
February 20, 2011 11:25 am

I reference WUWT to others frequently, on line and elsewhere. I like it the way it is, but still appreciate the new features like the ocean, solar, etc. compendiums of data.

Hank Hancock
February 20, 2011 11:25 am

I own a data center with a number of web servers. On many web sites I host, I provide a visible link to WUWT where appropriate. When not appropriate for the site content to show a link, I embed an invisible link to WUWT (in an odd place on the page with font colors the same as the background color) which, while invisible to the eye, still gets picked up by web bots. I realize that others may not have the latitude I do so I offer this as a suggestion to those who do. At least most people can add a visible or invisible link to WUWT on their social networking pages.
As for format and content, WUWT is the only site I read on a daily basis. Some times there’s too much to read but I pick and choose what interests me and I like that. Most of the time I just do a cursory look at the political news articles and prefer to read the more science based ones. But that’s just me. I understand and appreciate that everyone comes here to read what interests them. So in those regards, I wouldn’t recommend changing content.
The e-mail notification of new posts is excellent. I subscribe to it. When a topic is posted that I have a high interest in, I check it out as soon as my work flow permits. It’s nice being able to sit down to my e-mail in the evenings and see what’s up at Watts Up With That.
The level of moderation seems a good balance. I particularly enjoy reading opposing views being worked out in comments. I learn a lot from the exchanges plus realizing that opposing views are encouraged at WUWT give me confidence that discussion here is fair and open.
My largest concern is that with as much effort you put into WUWT, you may be setting yourself up for burn out. I would prefer that you (and WUWT moderators) balance your time in a way to survive for the long haul. It wouldn’t disappoint me if you reduced the number of postings per week, perhaps create an “Open Thread” more frequently, so you can take a little more time for R&R.

Joshua Nieuwsma
February 20, 2011 11:26 am

Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use? – I really enjoy how easy it is to use on my blackberry.
Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad? Don’t change.
Content: too much news/not enough news? Don’t change.
Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough? You’re pretty tolerant, perhaps a bit tighter occasionally, but not really necessary to change.
Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see? No change.
Guest authors: good/bad/ugly? Love the guest posts – fresh perspectives and interesting thoughts.
Ideas for regular weekly features – nada
How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages? – I use it as a political/science news site, commentary site, and for references when debating folks about climate issues. Also have referred some folks to your posts about your weather programs, LED lighting, etc. I also link a lot to Facebook – usually just copying the hyperlink and pasting it in my facebook. Is there a way to post a facebook link that gives you credit that helps your ratings?
What could we do better? Just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s the #1 site I visit for climate & weather science. Thanks so much for your efforts!

Douglas
February 20, 2011 11:29 am

Anthony these are just my comments – not for pages
Some topics that I’d like input on:
Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?
Good as is – easy to follow
Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?
Suits me as is – plenty to read – what I would expect here.
Content: too much news/not enough news?
Ditto as above
Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?
Excellent and witty
Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?
Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?
I like the guests – ‘specially Willis!
Ideas for regular weekly features
How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?
Reference. Understanding – occasionally venting anger!
What could we do better?
Can’t say off top of my head – it’s great as is – but always things have to be improved – just can provide a suggestion here.
At the same time, I’d like to mention that a part of WUWT’s success is owed to linkages…and I’ve noticed many readers not taking advantage of the ability to spread the word. It would be enormously helpful if you would use other blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to announce WUWT posts of interest. Some web ranking services now figure these in. Even if you don’t retweet, simply signing up as a Twitter follower improves WUWT’s ranking in some venues.
Yeah the linkages are great – but sometimes get led too far astray!
For example, the Wikio Sciences blog rating we have in the upper right sidebar depends on retweets to some degree, they write in FAQs:
The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. Our algorithm accords a greater value to links from blogs placed higher up in the ranking.
A blog linking another blog is only counted once a month i.e. if blog A links to blog B 10 times in a given month, it is only counted as having linked to that blog once that month. The weight of any link decreases over time. Also, if a blog always links to the same blog, the weight of these links is decreased.
Only links found in RSS feeds are counted. Blogrolls are not taken into account.
In December 2010, retweets were added as an additional factor to the ranking algorithm. For each twitter account, only one backlink per blog is taken into account each month.
So, links to WUWT are important, retweets are important. If you haven’t joined up with Twitter and Facebook, I understand, it took me awhile to overcome some of my personal objections to this form of social networking, but once I did, I never looked back.
I don’t do twitter – somehow I can’t bring myself to that
Thanks for your consideration – Anthony
Just do what you do so well is all I can say and thanks
Cheers
Douglas

PJB
February 20, 2011 11:32 am

You are excellent, as is, far exceeding my expectations or needs. I am truly thankful for your efforts and contribution.
The only suggestion relative to your request is perhaps to “designate” certain posts as “science only” and the mods would restrict/remove all posts of a personal or opinion-related nature, leaving only room for discussion of science and scientific information. Certainly dry and somewhat draconian but, nonetheless, an option that would shorten the comment roll and increase the information transfer.

Robert M. Marshall
February 20, 2011 11:32 am

You are a principle part of my daily news gathering, have been for years. You reflect the contradiction of the AGW alarmist claims of deniers being baseless, half-cocked wing-nuts. The moderation is the most consistent in the industry. The fact that you don’t pander to moronic hyperbole from either side of the climate debate is a sign of character and high purpose rarely seen in any media format, least of all the internet.
You have done a remarkable job of bringing the mysteries of science down to a level that can be understood and repeated confidently by laymen and climate scientists alike. I (not a scientist myself) have been involved in the AGW debate for about 5 years now both in private and public forums. Largely due to the information I have received from you and Steve McIntire, I have held my own in rooms filled with PhDs. Not surprisingly, the most difficult part is dealing with ill-informed skeptics that degrade the credibility of the debate. I do my best to keep focused on the legitimate questions you and Steve have raised and the strong case you many contributors have made in their studies and research.
The battle is being won (with no lack of support from the heavens these past two winters and a world economy that opens eyes to fraud, waste, and abuse). I learned an axiom during my career in quality assurance management: What should I do that I don’t do now? What should I not do that I do now? I can find no answer to these questions, concerning WUWT. I can say with certainty that what you have done has been remarkably successful and, without your input, its hard to conceive the decline in AGW alarmism so welcome and evident in the world today.

February 20, 2011 11:35 am

1) Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?
My only “complaint” would that I’d like to see better differentiation between poster’s remarks and quoted content (occasionally I miss a transition and think something being reposted from elsewhere was said by you Anthony or the other posters). I’ve sometimes had the same problem with quotes within a quoted article. More extensive use of italics, bold-face, or identation would help, but I don’t know how easy that is with the forum software. This is a minor nit, and it doesn’t hurt me to read _carefully_.
2) Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?
Climate and wearther issues drew me here originally, but I very much like that you cover other things, too. Sometimes I wish there was less on the political front, but that’s a fact of life, I’m afraid.
3) Content: too much news/not enough news?
I think you have a decent balance now.
4) Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?
Just right. I can ignore trolls, except when I decide to have a little fun with them (naughty of me, but that’s me ;^)
5) Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?
More on realistic alternative energy (thorium & pebble bed reactors and such), but again, that seems to be happening anyway of late. ( I might add “electric universe”, but while I find it interesting and thought-provoking, some folks take it as… never mind. And it might lead to “iron sun” arguments. ;^) )
6) Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?
More from pro-AGW _scientists_ (as opposed to Hansens and Manns). I know I can get that at other sites, but I’ve found that when they can be persuaded to post here, the discourse is a little more reasoned and rational without the name-calling, insults, and evasion I see at other sites when someone asks a serious question. I want to _learn_. Around here, people seem to be able to distinguish between question, critique, criticism, and attack. WUWT is not the first site I came to for AGW info; I started at some pro-AGW sites, but got turned off by the insistence on accepting AGW gospel as revealed, unquestionable Word.
7) Ideas for regular weekly features
Power generation updates? I.E.- thorium, pebble bed, real PVC advances, fuel cells, thermoelectric, et cetera.
8) How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?
1. news, 2. commentary, 3. reference.
I link to WUWT at my site, and link the occasional specific post (less so lately, since I’ve been wrapped up in another issue). I’m afraid I don’t do Twitter (am I the only person left on the “Net that remembers “twit” and “twitlist” as negatives?), Facebook, or any of the other “social media”. My objection to much of that is philosophical, privacy, and bandwidth (no broadband in my area, and most social media is not especially dial-up friendly). And heck… I already have a whole website. :^)
Basically, I like WUWT, and appreciate the work you, your mods, and guest authors put in here.

Stephen Richards
February 20, 2011 11:37 am

When deciding to change anything it is good to know why. Usually it is forced by a change of objectives, sometimes, as part of a war, it is good to know where you think the weaknesses may lay and sometimes it is possible that you may wish to change the entire strategy of your work.
Ask yourselves the questions; are you basically happy with your work. Has it fulfilled your original ambitions and therefore you wish to change tack entirely? What are you KEY objectives for the future? Is it that you are less concerned about quality and more focused, now, on quantity? You started out as a ‘journal’, do you now wish to become a more serious scientific site? You may have started with a focus on America but now find that your are worldwide, do you want to change your focus again?
Now you can begin to focus on formats, content, moderation, etc. You have to go through the earlier questions before starting on the pretty things or you may mess up completely.

February 20, 2011 11:39 am

To be honest I don’t know how to fix something that isn’t broke! But I’d be grateful of some who to follow on twitter suggestions!

Don E
February 20, 2011 11:40 am

I can tell you why I started reading WUWT. I had difficulty following a mathematical argument in Climate Audit. It had a reference to WUWT. You presented the same material as Climate Audit in a way I could understand it. Willis also has the ability to explain complex matters simply.

Steve from Rockwood
February 20, 2011 11:41 am

One of the best sites on the web. Great content and moderation. Don’t take out the politics in the name of science or we have lost the raison d’etre.
As for suggestions:
a) Post of the week. Some comments offer great insight on emerging stories and are worth a recap and others are just hilarious.
b) How about a monthly “what ever happened to” post? For example, what ever happened to that Australian family that wasn’t allowed to expand their hog operation? We donated some money to them and then they seemed to fall off the face of the earth.
Cheers, Steve

SpringwaterKate
February 20, 2011 11:41 am

I check in a couple of times a day for news. I most enjoy the postings about science related topics, especially climate and climate cycles (of course), technology, solar updates and research, ocean influences, space, alternative energy strategies, etc.
I don’t care for nested threads; I have a tendency to get lost…
I usually like most of your chosen improvements, but that said, as many others have advised: Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
For many years, WUWT has been my favorite blog. It’s got good black on white contrast for middle-aged eyes, the article headings and first couple paragraphs usually tell me if I want to read on, the guest posters are quite interesting, and the generally intelligent (and often hilarious) mix of comments is always entertaining.
Thanks to all of you who make it possible,
Kate

mkelly
February 20, 2011 11:41 am

I won’t change a thing. Just as the super bowl champ QB was from Chico, CA I think this blog is the super bowl champ of science sites and its QB is from Chico, CA also.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
February 20, 2011 11:43 am

Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Everything here is good.

H.R.
February 20, 2011 11:43 am

You considered changing things up a couple of years ago and I have the same message now as I did then, “Dance with the girl that brung ya.”
Minor tweaks, yes, but you draw readers by the thousands just the way you are doing things now. Don’t mess with success.
You did make one change already and that was including more guest posts. I know it was in “self defense” because you needed some time for youself and family, but I think that was a change for the better. It’s about the right amount of “Anthony et. al.”
Oh, wait! I hate it when people comment to you or criticize you about a guest post without bothering to read who actually wrote the post. I’d be fine with the mods not posting those and pinging back to the commenter that they are barking up the wrong tree – try again.
As ever, Anthony and the Mods (doo-wop, doo-waaah!) have the best moderating touch. A little OT (even a lot if it’s really interesting) is allowed and it makes for some surprisingly interesting contributions. I think that “just the right touch” with moderation is another key to WUWT’s success.
My $0.02 as a longtime loyal reader.

Orkneygal
February 20, 2011 11:43 am

Could you add a link in the right column directly to the Bore Hole at RC?
That is the bit over there that is worth reading, IMO.

scf
February 20, 2011 11:45 am

This site is amazing. I never comment but I read it all the time. There is not too much content, nor too little. Some of the posts are amazing, such as the recent controversy over Steig’s and O’Donnell’s papers: what an impressive contribution to the science that was, to publicize the horrid flaws so clearly (what other media have done so? I know there are a few blogs and outlets, but none do it as well or reach as many readers). The regular posts from Spencer regarding the temperature readings are wonderful. The writing about climate-gate was fantastic. The tone is fantastic, the way you refuse to engage or be baited into feuds with some of the other sites or some of the less than impressive scientists pushing an agenda.
Don’t burn yourself out, just try to keep up with the content as it is, or use more guests if you feel the need, and I’d say continue to encourage your readers and others to link to this site and publicize the site, because its reach is one of its greatest assets and contributions. You are good at getting the to the truth and revealing it to others, providing strong analysis along the way.

February 20, 2011 11:47 am

Anthony,
a separate reference page for geeks like myself would be nice. There would be no fancy images on that one, just links to publicly available climate databases along with a brief description of their content (and format if necessary – in some cases it is not very well documented on the site itself).
For example at the CRU site we have both CRUTEM3 (land air temperature anomalies) and HadSST2 (sea surface temperature anomalies). If the data are given, it is very easy to write small quick-and-dirty scripts for those who know how just to check a claim. In this case it turns out during the last four decades CRU land temperatures increased much faster than sea surface temperatures. The difference in trends is about 1°C/century.
Difference of Land and Sea Surface Anomaly
I do not think it is real, as land and ocean temperatures should fluctuate around the same equilibrium temperature with a common trend in the long run. Heat capacity of air and land surface is much smaller than that of oceans, so both common sense and simple physics tell us it should be so. Therefore what we see here must be temporal UHI effect on CRUTEM3 I guess (or soot on snow in higher latitudes). Of course it could and should be cross-checked with other databases, but you already see my point.
It can be rather time consuming to look up the data needed for such small projects in each case, so a reference page like that would really be handy. There are a lot of guys out there who are knowledgeable in different fields (e.g. programming, physics, math or statistics). Folks like that could do useful work as citizen scientists, including those who are not dedicated climate scientists themselves. We may even get some interesting guest posts as a result, who knows?
Readers (including myself) could help to set up such a page.
While we are at it, to be able to post images in comments would be nice (it is possible with videos). Is it a feature of WordPress that prevents it?
Otherwise all is well, keep up the good work.
P.

February 20, 2011 11:48 am

“Pirates of Pedant(ry)”, not “pendant”. Or were you just throwing us pedants a bone?
I would like to be able to reply to comments in line rather than at the end of the other posted comments, or is that already possible and I am ignorant?
I would also like to reach out to those on the AGW side to allow them all the time for pedantry they would like.

David A. Evans
February 20, 2011 11:48 am

Probably not “do-able”. I’d like an easy “Print post” option as I have difficulty reading long posts on screen
Moderation. One moderator appears a little heavy handed on “bad” language.
Apart from that; keep it as is.
DaveE.

astonerii
February 20, 2011 11:48 am

Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?
I guess this would be my only concern here. While you remain a steadfast seeker of honesty and truth, I fear that the desire to open up to a larger audience or the desire to avoid accusations of a non diverse atmosphere, you will be tempted to begin to give guest authors, particularly those with little honesty and even less truth a larger and larger role. These things happen slowly over time. The bad actors see you have a credible place and want to use your credibility to further their cause or your poor judgment at a single critical time to destroy your credibility.
So, I would hope that you would keep your current strong emphasis on honesty and truth and not seek to demonstrate something that can never be accomplished, which would be the acceptance of the rabid ideologues. Remember, when someone comes from the rabid side of an ideological debate and changes mid-stride towards your side of the argument, is it because they truly have seen the light, or is it more the fact that they have seen the writing on the wall and heard the tolling of the bell and want to save themselves today so they can resume the fight another day, using your credibility to bolster theirs.

Predicador
February 20, 2011 11:51 am

* Tags: they are placed too low. After reading the lead, I already know what the article is about, so they carry no new information. Place them just below the headline, near author and date information, like this:
Posted on February 20, 2011 by Anthony Watts in Announcements, WUWT.
or
Anthony Watts on February 20, 2011
Tags: Announcements, WUWT.

(author is usually more importand than date)

littlepeaks
February 20, 2011 11:51 am

Hi Anthony–
I like your blog just the way it is. I think the guest posts are great, and they help you spend time with family, etc. I like that you accept opposing views, within reason, as long as they are civil.
I sometimes mention you on World Community Grid, and at work. However, there are AGW advocates out there, that hate your guts (and probably hate mine too, for bringing up references to your blog).
The one thing that’s missing that I would like to see (probably too OT). I love families and I love kids. Would like to have at least one blog entry about your family. What does your wife do? Does she work? How old are your kids? Do they aspire to be climatologists, or weathermen, or storm chasers, or bloggers. Or, do they even know what a blog is? Do they help you (or think they help you)? What are their hobbies?
Would like to see a happy picture of you and your family.

Noblesse Oblige
February 20, 2011 11:55 am

It’s fine the way it is. Ecclectic and fleet of foot.

janets
February 20, 2011 11:56 am

I think both site and content are great. I’m partially sighted, and find coloured backgrounds and fancy text a bit difficult, but the font and straightforward black on white here are clear and easy to read for me.
I subscribe to WUWT in Google reader and check it most days. I like the range of topics covered; on any given day I can be amused, informed, outraged, entertained, or bewildered, sometimes all of them at once. The world is full of so many fascinating things and I learn stuff here that I never dreamed of. For example, the recent explanation of radiation exposure in banana equivalent doses: that was highly entertaining and also very instructive.
I support the idea of numbering comments, but not the threaded style. One thing I would like to see, if it’s possible, is a ‘recommend’ button on comments. I very rarely add a comment myself because usually someone else has already said what I think (and normally much better), and I don’t want to clutter up threads with “Yeah what he said” posts 😉

Al Gored
February 20, 2011 11:58 am

OK, I’ll try.
“Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?”
Works for me. And since I’m getting on, I appreciate the large type.
“Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?”
Given the critical importance of the AGW story at this time, I think your content is right on. Someday I would love to see a broader range of topics, particularly more on my favorite subject, the pseudoscience of Conservation Biology. While the world is focused on the junk IPCC climate ‘science’ that is at least as bad, and it does have significant implications for people in the West particularly and for everyone who lives outside a city.
“Content: too much news/not enough news?”
There are other sites for that. I think you have a good balance now… just the most relevant ‘news’ seems to get directly here, and then the comments expand that.
“Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?”
First, I don’t even like the word “troll,” or any simplistic label that promotes us-them groupthink. That said, please keep it as “troll tolerant” as possible. To do otherwise puts you in the same league as RealClimate, and open to the kind of bias accusations which that site so richly deserves. Moreover, plain stupid comments can be ignored while others can start great debates and force everyone to look or think harder. Any AGW advocate who does post here has their views fully challenged and, in the best cases, we all learn from those exchanges.
“Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?”
Well, sorry then, when some of my comments come out as gibberish 😉
“Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?” Very, very good. You have some truly outstanding contributors, with more coming I expect.
“Ideas for regular weekly features”
Hmmm. Since you already cover things as they happen, I’m stumped.
“How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?”
I learn here constantly and use links from WUWT so often in other blogs that people complain about it.
“What could we do better?”
I really don’t know. What I like the best about your site is the combination of the fascinating articles and the many highly informed comments which effectively ‘peer review’ them.
If you could arrange a UN-sponsored conference for all WUWT contributors and readers in Bali next winter that would be nice.

Graham
February 20, 2011 12:01 pm

Also, any chance of numbering comments for ease of reference (as on e.g. Jo Nova’s blog). Either that or direct reply facility as on Bolt’s blog.
Thanks.

Mark
February 20, 2011 12:02 pm

Replying using the categories listed above:
Format and style: I don’t have any problems with the layout and such.
Content: Again, no problems. Whilst it seems WUWT has focused more on climate change after a more varied start, there’s still a fair few non-AGW posts for those interested.
Content (enough / not enough news?): I’d rather too much than too little.
Moderation: No issues with the mod team here.
Features: Again, no issues.
Guest authors: Generally good. What I will say (not just to the guest posters but in general) is that I think arguments against AGW are more effective at persuading people from the pro-AGW camp (not to mention undecided people) if they’re written in a more polite & adult manner.
Ideas for regular weekly features: Hmm, not sure if I can think of much here TBH.
How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages? News, reference & commentary.
I think that sums up most of my thoughts re the site.
TL;DR version: Seems to be doing fine as-is really.

Marc
February 20, 2011 12:03 pm

I generally love the site, but I suspect I’m not alone in wishing you’d stick to climate issues/science and skip the politics; it seems hypocritical to complain about the influence of left-leaning politics on science on the one hand, and then present your evidence along with posts that are heavily laden with right-leaning politics. Please consider that not all of your readers are conservative/Republican.

Robert A
February 20, 2011 12:04 pm

I come here daily because it is very content rich – this is an amazing blog.
I also respect the fact that alternate points of view are included.
Guest posts have been growing recently in the blogosphere and I think you have done a great job recruiting folks. I find myself in agreement with most and I would have less respect for the blog if I agreed with all.
I will try to improve my twitter activity.
For myself, it is very hard to evaluate the moderators since I do not know what was snipped. You will have to oversee this, bearing in mind I would hope, that limits to power are almost always a good thing, and unlimited power almost always bad.

Claude Harvey
February 20, 2011 12:06 pm

Count me in the “Don’t fix what ain’t broke” column.
That includes the moderator philosophy. It’s the best out there with a near-perfect mix of tolerance for diversity and intolerance for malicious and disruptive trolls.

February 20, 2011 12:10 pm

Hi Anthony, just keep things as they are!

Ronaldo
February 20, 2011 12:15 pm

Anthony
You have a very successful formula, which clearly works for a great many readers. I wouldn’t change a thing.

February 20, 2011 12:18 pm

If WordPress supported it I would like to see a “Make WUWT Your Home Page” button. [In any browser’s Preferences you can do it yourself.]
I also love the numerous new articles every week. WUWT is like a magazine – you can page through it and always find something interesting. And many of the comments are as interesting as the articles.
More than any other site, WUWT has been instrumental in bringing about the sea change in the public’s perception of the catastrophic AGW canard.
Easy money is really the only thing that keeps climate alarm going, and in the current economy people are starting to take a second look at the astronomical sums being wasted on endless, duplicative climate studies that play games with the raw data and that always demonize “carbon.”
The AGW scammers are scared and on the run. WUWT is truly making a difference.

John from CA
February 20, 2011 12:26 pm

Great site, authors, and moderation.
Possible improvement ideas:
– use the new WP3 taxonomy feature to structure WUWT authors by name — may be able to support a site article search by author name. This could also be done by listing author names as a category.
– email alert subscription by author name, topic, or tag
– article synopsis feeds for news and education
– community projects area — some of us would be happy to help develop tools like Content Objects for K-16 educators.

Editor
February 20, 2011 12:30 pm

This is a worthwhile exercise, though if the result is to change nothing, I’ll consider that success. First: Many, many thanks to the moderators. I don’t know if it’s possible to thank them enough, but I do frequently in thought and not by adding to their burden.
Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?
Within the WordPress restrictions, this is great. Do not, do not, do not even think about nested comments. There are too many and having to go back an read the whole set of comments would be a disaster. But you know that.
Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?
I’m bordering on too much lately, but some of that is from being tight on time
lately. I used to be able to read everything, I’ve finally been able to start
skipping some of the comments (I’m sure I’ve missed some useful ones), Sometimes
I’ve had to skip the posts that don’t interest me enough.
One request of commenters: Before you start typing, and again before click “Post Comment,” ask yourself “Does this comment add to the discussion?” “Me too” and “gratuitous digs” rarely add to the discussion. Sometimes they do, sometimes I just have to get get it out into the public. Gratuitous digs that cause someone to have to clean their keyboards are good. Finally, “Is this comment worthy of taking time from a moderator’s life to have them approve it?”
There have been a lot of comments I started but didn’t finish, consider yourselves lucky.
On the other hand, I’m amazed at the quality of some of the comments. My posts have been significantly improved by some of the commenters who’ve added their anecdotes or observations. I expect to find _the_ question whose answer is “42” here someday.
Content: too much news/not enough news?
Hmm, I don’t know. The effort to prevent the EPA from regulating GHGs is likely news worth mentioning. The news that a New Hampshire house committee approved HB 519 FN that would get NH out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative may not be. If it becomes law, it certainly will be. (House vote next week, finance committee review, senate, governor’s veto, veto override still to go.)
It might be worth having an open thread around all the time for something like that, or encourage little news snippets in the Tips & Notes page. I often read that first to see what’s new.
Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?
Just about perfect. Your history as a TV Met comes through here. One thing I might do is write a web page (and link to it from my WUWT Guide) listing the banned topics, why they’re banned, and give links to sites that discuss them. I think I have it mostly written, then got busy with life. Perhaps a touch too troll tolerant, but you certainly don’t deserve any sympathy by the time they do get cut off.
Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?
You’re doing really well on this within the WordPress constraints. Stick with WordPress, for all the reasons you’ve expressed.
Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?
I think all my posts are great. 🙂 Except that Ryan Maue and Willis Eschenbach’s are a lot better. I think it’s working out well. Good variety, good authors, good frequency.
Ideas for regular weekly features
Maybe a feature that is mostly links to news items, categorized by global, regional, state/province, might be a good way to handle news about works in progress that don’t warrant a full post yet. I don’t have time, but it might a good task someone could take on.
How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?
Nothing important escapes WUWT’s attention any more. Many things I’ve read here first make the news in a week or someone tells me about days later. This is the biggest benefit of the increased readership over the last year or two. I use WUWT to hear about items first. And all the other stuff. Except I don’t have a bird.
What could we do better?
Remind me that I really don’t have a life and should spend my time helping WUWT more. 🙂

Alexander K
February 20, 2011 12:31 pm

Anthony, as I work alone and at home, I spend a good part of each day here – probably more time than I should. Like some others have said, “it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it.”
At my age I know I tend to be a boring and dogmatic old fart, and it’s great to be able to make considered and (hopefully) intelligent contributions to the discussions that follow most posts. I find it easy to track stuff here, it’s easy to read in black on white (some blogs with clever special effects are visual nightmares. The best of WUWT is that it generally makes me feel that it seems to be a major factor in the process of bringing the actual science into the light and dispells much unscientific and alarmist mythmaking.

February 20, 2011 12:31 pm

I’d like to say that I find your blog informative and well balanced in what you publish through it. I know the Pro-AGW lobby feel otherwise, but they will not publish any of the counter argument or science. Some posts can be difficult to digest all in one hit, but on the whole I think you provide an extremely useful and informative service here.
And, in future, when I link, I’ll use the RSS feed …

February 20, 2011 12:32 pm

Fine as is, my favourite climate blog. Thanks Anthony.

P Walker
February 20, 2011 12:34 pm

WUWT is just fine the way it is – don’t change a thing .

MalcolmR
February 20, 2011 12:36 pm

Hi Anthony,
I rarely post, but enjoy your site very much indeed, visiting daily. I particularly appreciate the pure science side of it, though much goes over my head. The reference pages are awesome. I do enjoy your guest posters very much indeed, especially Willis Essenbach.
One thing that I don’t like is the fairly regular denigration of “liberals” or “leftists” – clumping them all together. I consider myself to be liberal (isn’t that a truly great word, the same root as liberty, liberation etc?), tolerant, open-minded, searching for truth rather than political ideology and so on. I think that sweeping condemnation of “liberals” adds to acrimonious argument rather that using science to open peoples’ minds to truth. This is mostly addressed to those who comment, rather than you, but please know that there are many liberals, leftists, Democrats, whatever, who really appreciate your site, its wisdom and tolerance.
It has been (almost) a life-changing site for me. Huge appreciation to you for that. Please go easy, though. Don’t let yourself get burned out!
Malcolm

etudiant
February 20, 2011 12:37 pm

Basic product is excellent, so just tweaks.
1: The ‘Donate’ button should not be halfway down the page and should not be specified for the Surface Station Project.
The Bible says the laborer is worthy of his hire, WUWT deserves our support accordingly.
2: The reference page might add some links to sensible articles about the broader topic of climate change, beginning with the initial discussions during the Johnson administration.
The reality from the ice cores is that climate can flip on a dime, suggesting that the official model of gradual exponential change is seriously inadequate. If this were broadly recognized, it would be very helpful.
Thus far, I’ve not seen any climate model that generates rapid 10 degree C swings in temperature such as the ice records show happened repeatedly.
3: The reference page might usefully add a section on “Open questions in Climate Science”, including topics such as the solar impact, cloud impacts, ground cover impacts, global heat flows, including dissipative mechanisms and of course the origins and effects of the various cycles we see in the oceans and the atmosphere.
Again, the need is for an overall perspective, ideally with references, to give a sense of what is known, what is surmised and what are the implications of our ignorance.

wayne
February 20, 2011 12:38 pm

Anthony, I had to stop and really think on you question. I’ve spend over a year calling this a home site and as for the basic format I have no problem. It’s fine as it is.
And as to the content and posts I also have no problem, well, maybe to many second-hand AGW propaganda articles, they get old fast. My daughter ask me why your site now seems to change to an AGW site, no kidding. Didn’t even know she visited here on her own. But she’s right, there are countless other sites I can go to get an earful of that and I already know what the comments would be.
Have no idea if this is even feasible but I would have you consider one addition to the mix of top posts every now and then.
Since WUWT has a plethora of highly educated commenters here, why not have them either answering a very focused question having to do with the climate or weather or to have the commenters open up and pour out some of their knowledge on a very focused topic. I for one want to really learn here.
Sure would be easy on you. Basically an “Open Thread” post with a very specified question or topic that needs to be answered or garhered just information missing.
Or something like that:
— DATA: Knowledge or good links about the five major gases of the atmosphere, all about them. Only data and facts now, behave and try to not duplicate.
— QUESTION: Since every GHG molecule adds to back-radiation it also adds equal+ upward radiation to space and how does that affect the temperature of the atmosphere? Have at it.
— TOPIC: Since we live on a sphere, does the height of clouds above sea level affect the amount of radiation ejected to space as compared to if the Earth was a flat infinite plane? How are the GCMs handling this? Is it exactly half emitted radiation from the atmosphere up and half down? Go gather and help answer.
OMG… with that WUWT could be the one-stop site where to get basic data and knowledgeable explanations or links of all of the very specific topic that we discuss here but wouldn’t be spread over hundreds of posts, just information *from* the commenters or alternate views without feeling you are injecting something off topic. Even Wikipedia doesn’t do that (boy I hate that sites style, made for mass confusion and none in plain English, and yes trolls I can understand it but very slowly).
At the end you would either know either the single answer, well explained, or, the two or three conflicting viewpoints from which the reader would have to decide what is the true science answer to them, or, a great centralized page that is searchable from here if the titles given were consistent with a keyword.
That’s what I’ve seen missing, information from the commenter themselves on a pointed subject, not just on-topic comments on an article. I think it would be a great, great time-saver for everyone here. You might even catch some from the other camp coming here for information instead of disruption.

björn
February 20, 2011 12:38 pm

The format is fine, dont fix until broken.
Id like to ses more warmists comments, I hope they dont find the moderation as inpenetrable as we sceptics do their sites, realclimate etc.
Its funny, in sweden we have a warmist blogg kalled “uppsalainitiativet” which is religiously devoted to defame anyone sceptic of human global warming.
http://uppsalainitiativet.blogspot.com/
I have on many occasions entered polite comments, on topic, pointing out fallacies i their argument, contradictions, or alternative views, not attacking anyone etc and time after time the comments fail to get through.

So I made some nonsense comments , just two or three, in another alias like “He he, you sure shut that denier up, very nice….etc” stupid rude comments but supposedly from a warmist side, and they made it through the moderation.
I have noticed they share this heavy moderation with some extremist socialist organizations, to be fair, the socialist sites usually ban you If you critizise ever so slightly.

My point being that debate is more fun and more healthy when opposing views interact, groupthink is never good, neither secterianism.
WUWT is doing fine I think, keep up the good work an I will keep posting links.

February 20, 2011 12:39 pm

Well… i, for one, am shocked… SHOCKED! that one of the usual suspects hasn’t chimed in to say WUWT should just go away.
Been here since the beginning. I can’t think of any improvement needed that hasn’t already been done….
Except, as one commenter already suggested… More Cowbell!!! 🙂

February 20, 2011 12:41 pm

Hi Anthony,
I would like to second a suggestion by Alexander Feht
“Content: I would like to see a separate forum for chatting about more general, off-topic matters. This would also make the WUWT site much more active and popular. To unburden moderators, you could limit the membership in this forum to those who participated by commenting for some time, and are thus “vetted” to behave properly.”
I tried to congratulate the effort of another commenter on Tips and Notes the other day, not to start a discussion, but to offer support, and got snipped. I have no idea where else one is to do such a thing and frankly, as a fiscal and moral supporter of this website, felt quite frustrated. I recognize, however, why you introduced that rule, as it often takes forever to load Tips and Notes, which fills up very quickly.
Aside from this, I think you have fantastic moderation – I miss CMT, though.
I generally enjoy the guest writers, and second everyone here who says “More Willis Eschenbach…”
I agree with you about nested notes. Perhaps if comments were numbered it would be easier to follow debates, as sometimes it is necessary to scroll back and forth and sometimes I resort to using my computer desktop (by moving the WUWT screen over somewhat) to find a point of reference.
I use WUWT as my main source of information about the CAGW issue, but also enjoy the information gleaned from unrelated articles, and trying to understand what is going on with solar events etc. I loved the radioactive banana article the other day. Particularly intriguing are the philosophical discussions (cf Post Normal Science): the discussion between defenders and critics has provided perspectives on recent science in other fields that will enhance my own further scholarship. The Judith Curry articles have been likewise enlightening. I send links to WUWT stories to some colleagues, and definitely have accumulated a library of important stories which will be used as references for lectures and research. I also use WUWT as a portal to other Blogs, and really appreciate the links you provide.
Don’t mess too much with what essentially ain’t broke.
With kind regards,
Jennifer

Malaga View
February 20, 2011 12:42 pm

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

February 20, 2011 12:43 pm

The science is of course what it all should be about, but it is now driven by politics and eco lobbyists.
I would like to see thought on economics and policy, etc.
A guest post from someone like Bjorn Lomborg would be fantastic.. He has never been sceptical of AGW itself, just the economics of policy and consequences of the environmentalists dream of 80-90% reductyion of co2, effectively de-industrilasation –
Which for many hardcore environmentalists is the goal, whether AGW is true or not..
I could agree to disagree with Bjorn I’m sure about AGW, and discuss policy and economic consequences.
In my view the science got left behind a long time ago. Sceptical blogs need to rebut, explain the science, but I think the bigger issue now and more pressing, is policy (particulary energy policy) and the economic consequences of it all.
The general public are still largely oblivious to the blogs (amongst virtually everyone I know in the real world) and if the public come across WUWT, Realclimategate, Deltoid, Bishop Hill, Dot Earth, etc they do not know who to believe..
However, the public do feel able to have an opinion on policy which effect their lives, which is the way in for many for sceptical debate. Even environmentalists have started to question bio-fuels, carbon trading, carbon offsets, etc. If you do not have to say you disagree with AGW, you can be VERY sceptical and critical of the politics and economic policies
In the UK we have an Energy gap coming, coal fired power stations to be shut by 2015, because they do not meet EU CO2 emission criteria, and nuclear powerstations reaching end of life. About 30% of base load.. ANd nothing engineerinly/technologicall credible to fill the gap (in 4 years time)
Yet because of the Catastrophic version of the AGW delusion that has gripped all political parties in the UK and Europe, we have a massive, hugely expensive dash to wind which can only fail.
No new clean coal or nuclear (purely because the environmentalist have predudice against nuclear.) No new mahanten style project for thorium generators or investment in fusion research, just issuing and selling of carbon permits for businesses
Whilst the general public may know little about the hockey stick, or feedbacks, etc.. they can see rising energy bill, windfarms that don’t work and a major problem ahead..
France for example generated 80% of its electricity from nuclear, the UK public might ask why can’t we….?
And at some point they will not accept being hysterically called a ‘climate change denier’, for asking this very sensible question and the politicians will have to face this.
I came to Watts Up when the climategate news story broke on the bigger blogs..(19-20th November 2009)
I’ve been a member of an internet forum for about 12 years in the UK.
I was like everybody else just a member of the public, that was sort of lukewarm on AGW, paid my CO2 related taxes (car, eletricity mainly) and just thought some of the greenpeace, al gore stuff was over the top. But had never really thought about it.
One day a post, in the News, Politics and Economics section caught my eye..
Climate Change – Cat out of the bag- a regular commentator said he had just seen this story, and if true – WOW. And he linked to Watts Up With That. I downloaded the FOIA2009.zip file and the rest is histroy, and here I am now, after thousands of comments on blogs all over the place and an occasional guest author here, with my own blog
At the time, I was amazed as the media completely ignored it, and in many cases waved it away, or even actively span against it. I learnt that Comment is NOT free (guardian), but heavily moderated/censored and I was deleted at all sorts of places (I was always polite) from the Guardian, Labour and Conservative official mainstream blogs.
As an observation:
As an occasional guest author now, the only feedback really is via the comments in the blogs. I’m sure many more people read the articles than actually comment on (true I’m sure for all blogs)
It would be nice to give some mechanism to get feedback from those that do not comment..
Perhaps a facebook/twitter styel LIKE button?
ie some articles with masses of comments (ie a fierce debate amongst a few) may be thought to be popular, others with relatively few comments might not, but possibly some get few comments but are widely liked and receive more traffic.
To get a feel for popular areas of discussion, a like or recommend button might capture more feedback
On Guest Authors:
Analysis by Economics professore on policy (Ross Mckitric, forexample,) or someone like Roger Pielke Junir, I think would make excellent more regular guest authors, and more credible in the eyes of the Main Stream Media, than people like myself..
Or even some other sceptical bloggers might get out and about a bit more.
😉 Though I hope their would still be room for my occasional mutterings 😉
Eventually,I think the newspapers and media and politicians will follow an every more sceptical general public, regarding economic policy..
Ie why are the Chinese building so much coal and nuclear power… WHY can’t we?

February 20, 2011 12:47 pm

I meant CTM, of course. I also understand completely about your problem with spelling etc with children and a spouse diverting your attention.

Peter Walsh
February 20, 2011 12:50 pm

Anthony, I love reading all the posts and comments here. I am not as educated as most people who comment here and more often than not, I cannot understand the graphs. Where do graphs start and finish and how do you achieve the “average?” My schooling ended pre university in 1964, so, while I have a great appreciation of science, I have no great understanding of the latter day sciences.
Remember the old adage.
KISS! and I know that I don’t have to explain that. PW
Peter Walsh, Dublin, Ireland

February 20, 2011 12:57 pm

I think mods are too heavy-handed when, well, you just have to say what you think 😀

Brian Johnson uk
February 20, 2011 12:58 pm

Earlier……
“Latitude says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:11 am
Anthony, I think everything is perfect the way it is.
It’s easy, comfortable, and intuitive….nothing gets in the way…..yet everything is here.
Wouldn’t change a thing……”
Nothing more to be said really. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
WUWT rocks.

K
February 20, 2011 12:58 pm

Please make your site more difficult to read, more abstruse scientifically and try to bus in more rabid progressive leftist opinion. This will help the site become much less popular so I can finally get a chance to make my extremely important snarky input somewhere before commenter number 468.
Thanks

Harry Bergeron
February 20, 2011 12:59 pm

Re Twitter, I treat it as a miniscule blog. I see following as a screening service.
Don’t get caught up following those who follow you, most are lame. It’s only a “social” medium if you want it to be.

February 20, 2011 1:00 pm

– Format and style: Can you add icons for italics, etc. for comments?
– Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad? I am not in agreement with the fairly rabid anti-US-government slant of some of the posts (and a lot of the comments, of course) – but then I am a Liberal who agrees on the scientific position here, so I don’t expect you to change it. I think we need more government, to protect the citizenry from certain (not all by any means) carnivorous corporations; individuals cannot muster enough muscle to protect themselves, and there is nothing but government big enough to do that vs those corporations. As an example, the Lehman Bros. collapse shows the need for government to keep corporate interests from running completely amok. That event and the millions of foreclosures and bankruptcies show that a totally free market is as destructive to the individual as a totalitarian state. I would point at Bernie Madoff, Enron and WorldCom, too.
– Content: too much news/not enough news? Again, it seems good to me.
– Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?Just about right. Other sites could learn from WUWT.
– Features: what would you like to see? Perhaps a Solar Cycle 24 graph.
– Guest authors: good/bad/ugly? Really, Anthony, I honestly don’t know how you could do any better
– Ideas for regular weekly featuresNone from me.
– How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?All of the above, except I don’t know what a bird cage is.
– What could we do better?No change is necessary, really. You are doing as well or better than any other blog out there.

February 20, 2011 1:03 pm

Only one minor suggestion/complaint. In guest posts, try to discourage the use of formulas or units in SI form, and formulas written in LateX or LaTEx or whatever it is.
When written in regular HTML, those formulas and units turn into gibberish. For example,
Watts per square meter per thousand years.
In SI, as transformed from lAtEx into HTML, this becomes something like
Wm-2kY-1
which seems to be saying “Watts times meters, minus 2 kiloyears, minus 1”.
I can sometimes parse out what’s meant, but when the formula isn’t already familiar I’m lost.
Better to write out units in verbal form, and better to write formulas in a style that can be copied directly into computer code where possible.

Baa Humbug
February 20, 2011 1:04 pm

Don’t go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before, mmm
And don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you any more
I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far, mmm
I took the good posts, I’ll take the bad posts
I’ll take you just the way you are

I think your mods do a great job, if only there were more of them “clouding” around the world, we may be able to cut down the time it takes to converse with people.
Ofcourse this will lead to a huge increase in the numbers of comments. Don’t know if that’s desirable.
Other than that, keep the guest posts coming, even the ‘dotty’ ones but make sure people don’t confuse these with your posts, that has happened numerous times before.
thankyou for all your efforts and thank you to your family for letting us have you

February 20, 2011 1:06 pm

Generally like the wide range of interesting topics.
My primary objection is that I get tired of filtering out 85% of fluff comments looking for the few that have depth, link to important sites/data/papers etc.
I recognize the challenge of time in moderation. However, I would
strongly encourage asking participants to work towards more meaningful important comments and leave of the fluff, chatter and foolishness.

David Freemantle
February 20, 2011 1:08 pm

I agree that the site is pretty close to perfect as it is. I visit daily and have found it to be an invaluable and reassuring source of information that enables me to form a balanced view, in spite of all the hyperbole (and sometimes just pure nonsense) we get served up by the press here in the UK. Long may you have the resolve to keep the site going! Many thanks for everything!

Tom Jones
February 20, 2011 1:11 pm

I read it a lot. There is tremendous diversity, which I like a lot. On many blogs, you know what the thrust is going to be before you start, on WUWT you rarely do. Don’t change it a bit.

February 20, 2011 1:11 pm

Moderation: I wish there was more tolerance for trolls. This is WUWT, not Realclimate.
Features: I’d really REALLY like to see a WUWT wiki. I imagine Lucy Skywalker would work with you on setting this up. There needs to be a well-trafficked, high-content place on the web that outlines all the arguments, pro and con, for every aspect of climate science. A wiki is the perfect platform for this, but wikipedia is too co-opted for it to work.
Additionally, I’d like to see a brief post, maybe once a week, asking for WUWT readers to contribute to an article in need.

Editor
February 20, 2011 1:13 pm

Smokey says:
February 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm
If WordPress supported it I would like to see a “Make WUWT Your Home Page” button. [In any browser’s Preferences you can do it yourself.]
[…]
The AGW scammers are scared and on the run. WUWT is truly making a difference.

WUWT has been my home page for a couple of years… It’s the best Earth/Atmospheric Science blog on the web. And Anthony scares the daylights out of the scammers… Nothing brings out knee-jerk, reflexive vitriol from the Warmistas than does a reference to WUWT.

Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?

Just right.

Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?

Just right.

Content: too much news/not enough news?

If the mainstream media did their jobs properly, I’d say too much news.

Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?

Maybe a bit too tolerant… Which is infinitely preferable to the intolerance of opposing points of view at RC and CP.

Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?

Click-able icons for the HTML tags and the ability to post images in the comments… Both of which are probably just as impractical as comment preview.

Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?

It’s a great idea… Particularly in light of the fact that it’s not limited to us skeptics & deniers.

How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?

News and reference portal.

Robert of Ottawa
February 20, 2011 1:14 pm

I use it as a reference – the references and resource pages are invaluable.
I also use it as a news source and a place where I can escape the climate hysteria.

February 20, 2011 1:15 pm

One shorter thought..
The Opinion pieces idea mentioned above links to gaining credibiity from general
public and the Mainstream Media..
A little while ago Roger Harrabin – The BBC’s long serving Environment analyst had a post here. Whilst many here disagreed with everything he said..
The fact that he would write an article here gives credibiity to WUWT, the general public and MSM see that he (and others like him) would never contribute to some mad conspiracy theory blog.
if people like Matt Ridley – author The Rational Optimist, ,Christopher Booker (Telegraph)or others above. or even Lord Nigel Lawson (former Chancellor) and a voting member of the houses of parliament (unlike Monckton) – his Book Global Warming An Appeal to Reason, about the economics is a good read.
These people give credibilty to WUWT and allow the MSM to report about WUWT, because they are known..
ideally those with an apolitical voice might be best here, less things descend into political tribes… But credibilty in the publics eyes is key, and will move WUWT more into respectability, as FAR as the general public look at these things..

Fred
February 20, 2011 1:16 pm

I would like to see a large icon somewhere near the top that takes the reader to maybe the top three most damning (in your humble opinion) peer-reviewed scientific articles to refute anthropogenic global warming. You can then replace these, as applicable, when more damning science is revealed. When I get cold-cocked by someone, I want to be able to quickly refer them to some great refutable evidence.

Pamela Gray
February 20, 2011 1:16 pm

I don’t use the other technology links. Don’t know a tweet from a toot. I thought Facebook was the new term for a photo album.
I’m old school. The current format is like communicating via letter only faster. For this country gal, I like it just the way it is.
The reference pages are nice but they don’t load very fast for me. It is faster for me to visit the original sites one at a time. But that’s a problem with my system, not yours.

Latitude
February 20, 2011 1:17 pm

David L. Hagen says:
February 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm
===============================
flagged as fluff………………………

Darkinbad the Brightdayler
February 20, 2011 1:27 pm

I don’t think that there is any need to morph this site into anything that it isn’t already.
As far as tweeting and ratings go, I think that popularity is a distraction.
The argy bargy of character assasination on both sides of the debate leaves me quite cold.
What is important is to keep up the quality of debate and to stay focussed on the Science as a route to some sort of true perspective on the various threads that compose the warp and weft of climate science.

Methow Ken
February 20, 2011 1:32 pm

Anthony,
Since you asked:
> Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?
Thread start format(s) are IMO fine.
> Content: too much/too little/too narrow/too broad?
Again focusing just on thread starts by you and guest authors: Generally fine.
Comments are the area where IF time & resources allow some improvement would be most beneficial; i.e.: I agree with comment by David L. Hagen @ 13:06; on the issue of being able to effectively sort thru what are in many cases a veritable blizzard of fluff comments, without missing the ones that are substantive, interesting, and technically educational. Realize more intensive moderation in this area would chew up a lot more valuable time, and for that reason may just not be practical.
Certainly those who comment could significantly improve this on their own, if they would as David Hagen said resist the urge to divert into ”fluff, chatter and foolishness.” (in saying same expect I have occasionally be guilty of same).
> Content: too much news/not enough news?
Feels about right to me.
> Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?
As per above: On balance I would tend to say a bit too light, but as per above recognize resource limitations. If moderators have the time, I would also be at least a bit tougher on trolls (occasional minor trolling tolerable, but it gets old pretty fast).
> Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?
Many of the guest authors are excellent. As long as they are screened: GOOD.
> Ideas for regular weekly features
In an internet world already suffering from major info overload, WUWT already provides the single-point ”go to” website to keep up with the subjects covered here.
SUMMARY: Can always do more and improve features with more time, money, and people / resources, but WUWT already does an outstanding job.
> How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?
Reference, portal, news, commentary.

Bruce of Newcastle
February 20, 2011 1:32 pm

Anthony – if you would like to encourage contribution of articles it would be good to have a page with some details of what would make your life easier in this regard. Things like format (Word, PDF etc), graph style, copyright aspects, file attachments etc. I have not used the email contact form, but from the look it does not allow files to be attached.
Your policy page covers commenting but doesn’t say anything about this area.

u.k.(us)
February 20, 2011 1:35 pm

I wish you could give us some idea of your “funding” needs.
I’m glad to “fling funds”, just tell me when.
I suppose it’s a dilemma for you, but also for me.
Just say the word.

alleagra
February 20, 2011 1:37 pm

Please consider introducing nested comments so that we can follow exchanges between commenters more easily. I haven’t looked at Reddit recently but they started this quite some time ago.

cal
February 20, 2011 1:40 pm

This is a great site and we all owe you a debt of gratitude Anthony.
I have never felt a need to change anything but there is one thing I would like to add, if possible, although it might be very difficult to do.
I find the scientific posts and discussions the most interesting because they force me to think carefully about the physics. However the various commentors come at the same issue from various directions. Some are quite intuitive (and very often wrong in my view) but are just as often thought provoking and worth reading as a result. Others clearly have good scientific backgrounds but do not always agree – so some must be wrong and some must be right. I come to my own conclusion as to who is right and who is wrong but I never find this very satisfying – perhaps I am wrong after all. It also takes a long time to read all the comments to sort the wheat from the chaff.
My idea is to have a few expert groups each made up of three experts. The expert groups would specialise in particular scientific domains such as
Atmosphere
Oceans
Sun
Cosmological effects including cosmic rays
Paleoclimate
Statistics and measurement
There may be better ones, and some of these may be combined, but perhaps you can see where I am coming from. My idea is that, if a particular thread is becoming heated and confusing with no clear consensus, we can ask for one of the expert groups to look at the issue. They would disuss it by e-mail between themselves and then issue a view. It would still be just one more opinion and no one would need to listen to it or agree with it but at the very least it could summarise the debate and formally counter some of the more fanciful statements that often sound so plausible.
I realise this may be a lot of work but if it is spread around and the facility is not abused something like this might keep the comments log per topic below the 100 mark where I start to get bored and frustrated.

emjayem
February 20, 2011 1:41 pm

Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is how best can WUWT influence the decision makers, which in the Western World comes down to influencing politicians who in turn use ministries or departments to effect change. (Of course it works in reverse too.) As one small example, in NZ I worked through my member of parliament to try to stop, or at second best delay, the introduction of our Emissions Trading Scheme. He was very sympathetic but in the end the ETS was passed and adopted. But in arguing against its introduction he was most interested in obtaining recently published scientific papers, not opinion pieces. He wanted authoritative findings that countered IPCC claims – which he understood were not necessarily backed by hard science, but were nevertheless seen as the official word by government.
So, in agreement with other comments already posted, it may help to categorize topics and overtly draw attention to newly published peer- reviewed findings and distinguish them from opinion – even though the opinion pieces at WUWT are excellent. Of course, newly published information is quite evident to current WUWT readers, as is informed comment, but some form of simple guidance on category of topic might help expand readership – hopefully to more decision makers.

Neil McEvoy
February 20, 2011 1:51 pm

Anthony,
I think you’re doing a great job as is. I read the new articles every day. I tend to bookmark peer-reviewed articles that are referenced, since quoting these tends to deflect ad-hom counter-attacks that inevitably occur when one references a sceptic-leaning blog.
Please, keep up the good work!
Neil

Donald Shockley
February 20, 2011 1:53 pm

Format and style: Good! Easy read, just enough info on home page to see if we want to read more on later pages.
Content: More info is always good, but only if the quality can be maintained. I like the thought put into the WUWT posts instead of bing just another “gossip” site that reposts the thoughts of others.
Content: More news info is good, again only if it’s actual factual content instead of just gossip.
Moderation: So far, so good. Given the tactics of The Team, it’s better to allow opponents to be heard even if it risks giving the trolls a bit too much leeway.
Features: The biggest feature I would like to see is a page with outside links to factual stories that can be used in discussions with others. Often, links to WUWT directly are dismissed out of hand and sometimes I can’t find the WUWT story where I recalled seeing some fact based link. Here’s some examples from my own limited link library:
IPCC cherry picks data
Student nukes NASA scientist
GISS station decline
Guest authors: All have seemed good so far.
Ideas for regular weekly features: Make the warmist editorial cartoons a regular feature instead of just individual posts.
How do you most use WUWT? Primarily, I use WUWT to get “the other side of the news” to see what’s being ignored elsewhere. And in language that’s understandable even if I’m no expert in the field, yet still contains actual factual data and not just opinion. And it’s a goldmine of outside links even if it’s sometimes hard to go back and find link’s you vaguely recall seeing a few days or weeks ago.
What could we do better? My only real complaint is with links. As inserted in the original posts the shortcut text reads well, but it is not always the most descriptive of the content in the link. When trying to find them later, by skimming the articles, it’s hard to find the right one. Maybe a seperate relisting of the outside links at the top or bottom of the post.

Joseph
February 20, 2011 1:54 pm

I like everything just the way it is as far as “look and feel” other than the no-preview thing.
As to trolls, I think you and the mods are doing a great job right now.
As to a suggestion; I do have one. I would like to see a weekly or monthly debate where some alarmist, warmist, or lukewarmist is invited to write on a given topic. For example, it would be great if one of the hockey-team were invited to explain why data is not available to other scientists and the public, or they could write on where those missing “hot spots” went to, or they could tell why they never co-publish with a real statistician. Stuff like that.

Tom
February 20, 2011 1:58 pm

Anthony, you do a great job. Keep up the good work and thank you. No particular comments on the technology and process. Here are a few comments on the content and overall theme of your blog.
“WUWT and its place in the climate debate.”
1) WUWT – thoughtful, science driven, respectful debate and testing of ideas.
2) APG SKEPTICISM does NOT equal ANTI-ENVIRONMENT, ANTI SCIENCE.
I’d like to see a stronger theme (more frequent reminders, separate posts and articles and links) around this idea as I struggle with it and wonder if others may too.
I believe our modern, consumer-driven, affluent lifestyles too often result in our not being good stewards of God’s green earth. We can be skeptical of the narrow focus on GHG reduction as somehow the only way to save our planent, while still being mindful that we would do well to increase our true environmentalism and become better stewards.
Put another way, are their ways to learn from the best of the AGW proponents ideas? Can we remember to not stoop to demeaning the other side as “warmists” in the same way they do us as “deniers”?

February 20, 2011 2:03 pm

Joe Dunfee says: February 20, 2011 at 9:54 am
You have a lot of content here. Some of it is in the comments, but there is way too much for me to read through.
Personally, I would like a way to distinguish the political comments from the scientifically oriented.

First, Anthony – you do an absolute … and I mean ABSOLUTELY superb job.
Here’s a few suggestions:
1. I’d love to be able to edit my posts – I often miss closing brackets and closing html.
2. I’d second the post above. There’s few articles that aren’t worth reading, but some are here-today-gone-tomorrow (political) and other’s would be nice to have around for months.
3. A climate wiki – I tried starting one myself – I think you’d be crazy to start one given the climate wars on wiki-paeda – but I think it would be useful to have a permanent record of the current state of REAL science (i.e. all the evidence and not wikipedia’s: only evidence that is pro-warming).
4. The other thing which would be good, would a discussion forum with threads so that you can post a reply to specific posts – but I suspect that isn’t possible.

Mike McMillan
February 20, 2011 2:07 pm

I think you’ve got the mix just about right.
Real experts on tap.
Intelligent moderators tolerant of pedestrians like me.
Good variety of topics.
That’s why WUWT is number 1.

February 20, 2011 2:08 pm

I think the approach to and standard of moderation on WUWT is about right.
I believe it is the most important feature for any blog to both allow alternate views, and for the moderation process to be completely transparent, which is the case here.
An example of poor moderation is Skeptical Science where the process is biased against anyone offering alternate views to the regular bloggers there, but also the moderators regularly moderate threads they are participants in and use their position, and the moderation panel, to both censure those they are debating against, and to push their own interpretation.
I know it may be difficult at times if there are limited people available to act as moderators, but I believe one of the fundamental principles of any moderation process is for the moderator to separate their role as a moderator from any views they may have on the subject, or refrain from moderating if they want to debate the issue at hand.
Thank you Anthony for the philosophy behind the standards you have set here, it is not broken and so does not need fixing..

February 20, 2011 2:12 pm

1) I’ve been disappointed sometimes when comments dry-up right at an interesting point; it seems because the lead article has disappeared off the bottom of the page. I think it would be good if the post introductions could be shortened because they proliferate so rapidly that “dropping off the page” comes too early sometimes.
2) Comment numbering would be nice, providing any retrospective deletions or whatnot don’t occur.

John R T
February 20, 2011 2:14 pm

Tom in Florida says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:34 am …. ¨You also give us a window into what people of other countries think. And that is one of the best benefits of visiting this site. I have learned more about Australia and how it works than I ever could have bar living there myself.¨
Thank you: great contribution.
I read for news, explanations, and links.
Please consider a Spanish ´section.´ I speak only Southern US English, but reside in Central America; boat-loads of mis-information slosh about in Latin America. Reliable Ibero-American resources could benefit everyone.

Annei
February 20, 2011 2:17 pm

Why fix what ain’t broke?
It’s a wonderful site. I can’t always read very long articles and streams of comments, but what I do read is fascinating.
Please don’t alter the font size; it’s great for older people! I had cataract surgery last year and my eyes tire more quickly than they did when I was younger. It is a much easier blog to read than others I visit.
This blog also loads more quickly than most; a blessing in this area of very iffy and variable broadband speeds.
I have sometimes given a link to WUWT on another (PC and warmist) Australian site. I cannot stomach the idea of either Twitter or Facebook…sorry!
Best wishes Anthony, and don’t burn yourself out, and thank you.
Annei

Chris Edwards
February 20, 2011 2:25 pm

It is great as it is, most changes offered all have more negatives than plusses, maybe Im just cynical??

Stephen Brown
February 20, 2011 2:25 pm

Anthony,
To date you have had over 70 million visitors to this site. Why do they come here? Because what they find is good stuff.
There are guest posts, there are conflicting opinions which get discussed in civil terms (unlike almost every other blog concerned with “climate”) and the comment moderation has achieved a level of consideration which other sites would be urged to emulate. I especially like the “48 hours sin bin” that you have adopted, not banning, just slowing down and making people think for a while.
Don’t change anything. You’ve got it right.
My only concern is for you as a person; you are trying to run the most popular climate blog in the entire world. Don’t burn out, please. The reactions of everyone who read about your son’s efforts in the very important model-car race show how we think of you; your wife’s recent indisposition likewise garnered sympathy from around the globe, all of it heartfelt.
Keep WUWT as it is, it does not need improving.
All that is needed is assurance that you, the originator and driver of this site, can keep up with the incredible demands on your time and your life.
PS How’s the cat settled in? Enquiring minds need to know!

Stephen Brown
February 20, 2011 2:26 pm

As for trolls? Meh!

Harold Pierce Jr
February 20, 2011 2:28 pm

I don’t like the font because it has fine lines (e.g., “e”) and serifs and the words are hard for me to read. I would prefer a constant-width Helvetica which would make columns of data in a comment line up properly.

February 20, 2011 2:34 pm

Format and style: too busy or easy to read and use?
You have the very best there is.
Clean, crisp and clear. Google and the N Y Times are my benchmarks for web format, and WUWT rates alongside both for me.

Eberhard Menzel
February 20, 2011 2:37 pm

Dear Anthony,
never change a running system!!!
Please, don’t change anything. Keep up the excellent work and thanks to all contributors. I enjoy to check your site several times a day. (Thanks for sharing your SSD experience, that was great.)
Best regards Eberhard

Jeff
February 20, 2011 2:40 pm

I’ve been reading WUWT more than daily for a year and a half now. I enjoy the way you’ve been managing the blog. I, like others have mentioned, do not like the wordpress blogs. But, I understand your reservations over changing.
My primary use of WUWT is as a reference. I do read the commentary. Many of the comments effectively elaborate, clarify and constructively criticise the postings. They can be just as important as the articles.
As has been mentioned a couple of times before, the refinement of the posts and commentary content into wiki would be invaluable. I don’t live in the climate domain. I don’t remember many details. I often find myself wanting to dig for more information on a subject after reading the posts. It’s difficult to troll the web for that information. You’ve got a strong community here. I think you would quickly develop a world-class climate and weather wiki with very minimal effort in management.

February 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Lots of comments and most good too. I think you have it about right. It is easy to read and thoughtfully laid out. The moderators do a good job and perhaps we don’t say thank you to them as often as we should. WUWT is and has been successful. So it is not a good idea to mess to much with success. Evolution not revolution.

February 20, 2011 2:42 pm

You are condemned as a liar by a number of proAGW blogs, like ScienceBlogs. That means you are doing a great job, a vitally important job, otherwise they would just ignore you.
Keep up the GREAT work!!

juanslayton
February 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Climate Audit uses the nested threads, and I’ve found them generally confusing – Anthony
It’s reassuring to known that I’m not the only one to have experienced that.

February 20, 2011 2:42 pm

I would like to see an expansion of the glossary, into an encyclopedia of climate basics and specific refutations of various alarmist dogma. It would be very convenient to make my “appeal to authority” a link to WUWT when responding to emails or posting on other site. I have a few key threads bookmarked – but a single repository would be a great help.
It could be a wiki; with the keys given to a few trusted souls, to minimize your workload.
Beyond that, I think you have a lot more influence at WordPress then you think. Having this premier blog hosted by them has been mentioned to me twice when I was discussing other matters with them. If you want a minor tweak to the engine, I think they will accommodate you.
About the only format/usability issue that comes to mind for me is a mean to help read long threads on mobile devices: 1) option to read newest messages first, and/or 2) split long threads – a “more tool”. This would especially be helpful on the “Tips” thread.

February 20, 2011 2:45 pm

Anthony, your work is an epiphenomenon. History is flowing through it, and I am proud to be part of it. I can see the wartime strategy in keeping going, keeping the news flowing, every day. There is always, but always, the pleasure of looking at something fresh. And gradually, I see my own understanding, and that of everyone else, maturing, deepening, broadening.
Many of us have been looking for the “Churchill” of this “virtual” war. Perhaps he’s closer than we thought, just in a different form to what we had imagined. You seem to carry both that stamina, readiness with words, deep courtesy, hands-on knowledge, and committment.
After WWII, leading Nazis said we had a weapon we could not match. It was, they believed, called the Silent Minute. This was a minut of silence every evening at 9pm on the BBC broadcasting the striking of Big Ben. I think it was also key in people not burning out. I don’t want to sound funny, but could we have something like that in WUWT? – call it “burnout protection” for you Anthony. Your work is very important.
The most extraordinary of my experiences with WUWT has been the ongoing serendipitous synchronicities. It might flag for a few days and I draw back, then it comes forth again, fresh and incredible as ever. Always makes me feel that Great Spirit is watching over all of us – if we pay attention.
I see two developments that would help the “maturation” process and make material readily available for both newcomers and opponents.
First, a “FAQ for warmists” – preferably able to counter all Skeptical Science’s issues. Needs to be crowdsourced. How to construct such a project? Wiki? Several posts? I’ve been working on the wiki idea anyway – when I have time, after reading all the blog posts.
Second, introductory material for newcomers and beginners. Something. Anything. I’ve updated my Primer recently (click my name), though I am open to suggestions for improvement, if reasonably feasible – and would be proud if you felt you could make use of it. And not offended if not.

February 20, 2011 2:46 pm

Anthony, I only can add my respect for the tremendous amount of work you have done for this site and the way it is moderated, allowing a lot of comment from each side, only moderating when things get really out of hand. I hope you and the other moderators can manage this for years to come.
Please no changes which make the format less readable (it is fine like it is). Only a small wish, if possible: an after the publication editing possibility to correct (formatting) errors during a limited time…

Harold Pierce Jr
February 20, 2011 2:52 pm

I also don’t like the way numbers are displayed: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. The 0, 1 and 2 are too small while 6, 7, 8 and 9 are too big. The 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 drop down too much. The 6 and 8 appear to “float”.

February 20, 2011 3:03 pm

My recommendation is that you close this monstrosity and share the internet with the rest of the blogs/websites!!!
Honestly, I’ve got nothing. I like it just the way it is.

sHx
February 20, 2011 3:06 pm

OK. A few comments…
Firstly, please do not even think about switching to inline comments like Climate Audit and Judith Curry’s blog. It complicates the issues, and it invites bickering and off-topic matters.
Secondly, it would help tremendously if comments were spread over a number of pages, or if it gave you an option to see all comments at once or in separate pages. As it is, a hundred-comment-thread is difficult to keep track of. Especially as new comments are added. Bishop Hill keeps his threads at 40 comments per page. 50 per page would be a good number. The Guardian CiF does it 50.
And thirdly, it would be great if WUWT offered more news and commentary from other scientific fields. There is a lot more “puzzling things in life” than those WUWT specialises in.
Other than these I have nothing to offer but praise. This is quite an amazing blog. I don’t mind if the number of posts are 5 or 6 a day. This provides more choice to decide which comments thread I should allocate my time. Honestly, I don’t read all posts and all comments. That would be too intensive and too time consuming. I am quite surprised how Anthony and his moderation team manage to stay on the ball, day in day out. I salute their stamina.
This has been said before but needs to be said again. The moderation policy at WUWT is quite exceptional in the blogosphere. For all those few of you who complain about what happened to their brilliant thoughts, if it wasn’t deleted/omitted by genuine accident or misunderstanding, then there usually is a valid reason why it was held back or snipped.
As a lurker and an occasional commenter for the last 18 months or so, I’ve had only one comment snipped, and another taken down. Although I was not happy, I believe both comments were snipped/deleted for valid reasons. The sarcasm and irony wasn’t picked up, I think.
The WUWT team have a great sense of humour and they are mostly on the ball. It is just that I don’t like using “/sarc”. That’s the one and only concession that I’m not prepared to make to WUWT. There are some things you just never do. I’d rather risk snipping and deletion than use “/sarc”. I’m prepared to eat the time-out without complaint.

Mique
February 20, 2011 3:18 pm

Ain’t broke. Don’t fix.

jaypan
February 20, 2011 3:18 pm

Purpose, content and form are all appropriate.
Enjoying it every day. Keep going.
And … thank you.

February 20, 2011 3:20 pm

What I like about WUWT is that the moderation is tolerant of a wide range of views and styles. Humour can be as convincing as partial differential equations. I also like the fact that WUWT talks about more than just climate.
I would recommend a Rubbish Bin for any comments that are deleted by moderators, so that from time to time all can see what is deleted. For example, I find it very instructive that RC deletes any comments that praise Judith Curry or her blog. RC must have blown a gasket to learn WUWT has been nominated for science blog of the year.

art johnson
February 20, 2011 3:21 pm

I’d not change a thing. I really appreciate all the content, and look forward to checking WUWT several times a day…
It’s a lonely occupation, being a liberal climate skeptic. My friends think I’m a quack, my family too. Can’t tell you how much I not only enjoy, but need this site, which is far and away my favorite among the skeptical blogs…
Just came across this quote from Al Gore on Dr. Spencer’s site: “There are many who still do not believe that global warming is a problem at all. And it’s no wonder: because they are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming out of a fear that their profits might be affected if they had to stop dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere.”
That’s so infuriating, so patently, blatantly dishonest, so morally deficient, that it’s enough to make a grown man weep with frustration…What I’m trying to say in my awkward way is:
Please Keep Up The Good Work.

February 20, 2011 3:22 pm

One thing I would recomend is a spelll chek and edit function.

Janet
February 20, 2011 3:24 pm

As a long time, non scientific reader what a privilege to be able to access your site daily from the depths of country New South Wales to keep up to date on this vitally interesting topic. Do not change anything in this well balanced blog.

Mark V
February 20, 2011 3:28 pm

Thank you Anthony, both for this opportunity and the website.
Overall this is probably the best website I visit for balance, content and appearance. The large contribution from all the readers and the excellent effort by those who keep the wheels on, is amazing. It has been a wonderful place to learn and to get a better understanding of all the issues.
Although I rarely comment, I visit daily. I have in the past suggested there may be an opportunity created here, based on how the site is managed. Some of the content at WUWT could justifiably be at a level worthy of journal status. The rapid and sometimes cutting review process offered by all the knowledgeable and sometimes disagreeing people, is a peer review process that is beyond almost any journal. If the articles could be updated in response, where appropriate, to address the issues raised and formally presented in the resources section as updated peer reviewed papers/essays/articles, this will add a valuable and credible resource. I realize this would be additional work and that your time and resources are limited, but as WUWT has in many ways become the central platform for those questioning the climate change machine, its process and conclusions, it may be worth considering a WUWT Journal of sorts. It could become a place where people can publish their work without crashing into the discredited review process of many of the journals and provide researchers as well as the interested public with a reliable resource for basing their positions on.
An opportunity this may be, but in the face of limited resource in its many forms, it might not be possible to realize. WUWT is a great resource already, thank you and your team for all your efforts.

February 20, 2011 3:30 pm

” As an example, the Lehman Bros. collapse shows the need for government to keep corporate interests from running completely amok. ”
Off topic, but I can’t help but feel that big government protects the folks at the top that made out like bandits during the financial collapse. When it costs $100 million to run an election campaign for a job that pay $100 thousand a year, you know there is something rotten going on.

PhilM
February 20, 2011 3:32 pm

You are entitled to your own opinion.
You are not entitled to your own facts!
– Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (NY)

Seems to me that most places give us opinion-developed facts, instead of fact-developed opinion, as you and the contributors of WUWT display on every page. Thank you, Anthony.

xyzlatin
February 20, 2011 3:33 pm

Been coming here since found your early work on the surface stations. Have been writing to Australian politicians before that querying their policies.
What I would like to see is a page with the temperatures put up as they used to be, ie showing the actual temperatures of high and low as per the John Daly site. (by the way, you do not have a link to his blog, it is important for historical purposes).
What is not realised by most people, is that all this temperature anomaly, is just the variation from an artificial construct of a so called mean or average temperature of a particular period of years.
I use the site to keep up with the latest scientific reports refuting the AGW hypothesis. By doing this, you are providing “balance” as there are billions being spent on promoting this scam.
You do not therefore, need to spend your time and money, assisting them in their promotion.
Stick to your good brand of honestly showing the alternative side of the debate, and do not go wandering off.
Remember that all many people know about sceptics is that they are nasty people. Just by showing that they are not, is reason enough for this blog.
I also use the site to introduce friends to the alternate point of view. Do not confuse newcomers by putting up AGW promotional pieces as articles.
You have no obligation to give air to tricksters and fraudsters and carpet baggers of the environmental/green movements, or even those who are nice but misguided (ie Curry). Be nice but don’t give air.
Don’t dilute your brand.
Be firmer with trolls, and keep people on topic more as does Steve M at Climate Audit.
Have a separate page for political comments and it would be a great help if the US commenters realised that this is a world wide blog now, and that Liberal means different things politically in different countries. eg. A Liberal in Australia is not a socialist.
I too would like to have the ability to reply to someone just underneath where they make the original comment. I see some comments here that this is bad. Would someone explain to me what is bad about it as I can’t see it. Is it something to do with the moderation? Please explain further on this.
Don’t dilute your brand.

February 20, 2011 3:35 pm

Harold Pierce Jr says:
February 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm
I also don’t like the way numbers are displayed: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. The 0, 1 and 2 are too small while 6, 7, 8 and 9 are too big. The 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 drop down too much. The 6 and 8 appear to “float”.

Yes, it is terribly disconcerting.
Perhaps we should all use:
I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, ….
Looks soooooo much better.
/grin

xyzlatin
February 20, 2011 3:36 pm

Mods my comment has gone awry again so let me add that a list of the good guys should somehow be automatic. I find it annoying that my comments seem to end up in the bin all the time unless I notify you.
[Reply: comment rescued & posted – even before I had read this comment. Sorry about your posts ending up in the spam folder. WordPress has some strange glitches. I can see if another moderator put your post into spam. They didn’t, so I assume it was WordPress. ~dbs, mod.]

Myrrh
February 20, 2011 3:37 pm

Don’t know how to improve unique for content and variety of views and up to date news and general ambience, and very patient mods, and only niggle covered by others already, numbering of posts if wordpress supports this.
Much appreciated from someone without a science background, but can see how this has become a great resource for those who have. The simplicity of the lay-out makes it a very user friendly discussion forum to read, wish more would make sense from the organic growth of their experiences..
All the best to you all.

James Davidson
February 20, 2011 3:38 pm

I don’t know if this is relevant to the present discussion, but no-one has come up with a good name for adherents of the CAGW hypothesis. I suggest Lysenkoists. Trofin Lysenko was an agronomist in Russia who believed in the Lamarckian concept of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In the late 1920’s he proposed methods of rearing crops based on this. He promised two crops where one had grown before. Stalin, who had largely destroyed Soviet agriculture with his policy of collectivisation, eagerly seized on his ideas and Lysenko rose high in Stalin’s councils. Geneticists who argued against Lysenko’s ideas were either executed or sent to prison camps. In 1948 Kruschev described genetics as ” a bourgeois pseudoscience “and its study was banned till the mid 1960’s.
Lysenkoism can be defined as the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion, as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.
Does this definition sound as if it fits?
Jim Davidson

Dr. Dave
February 20, 2011 3:39 pm

Anthony,
As I read through all these comments a couple of additional thoughts occurred to me. Please don’t try to filter out the politics. AGW is as much (if not more) a political debate than it is a scientific one. If I wanted pure science I would go over to Climate Audit until I was sufficiently convinced that I have no idea what these guys are talking about. This is not unusual. Those outside the medical professions quite often experience their eyes glazing over during discussions or presentations that are outside their scope of expertise. Politics and public policy are at the heart of the AGW fraud and at the heart of debate.
A lot of regulars to this site love Anthony Watts. You share with your readers and accordingly your readers develop an affinity and affection for Anthony Watts. You don’t (and won’t) see this with Joe Romm. We feel like we “know” Anthony Watts. You’re a ham. We know about your hearing disability. We know you have kids. You’ve told us about your wife’s health. We know about your pets. For the regular reader Anthony Watts is a “real person”, someone with whom we feel we know and can empathize. This is no mean trick. This is artful skill. You won’t find this at other sites. I’ve never met you yet you are someone I’d love to take to lunch if you’re ever in Santa Fe.
I feel at home, relaxed and comfortable at this site. I would estimate that better than 95% of your comments are cordial, polite and respectful. Your replies to some that are not are priceless. I’m no climatologist. I have the tedious job of taking care of sick people. I became intensely interested in AGW in about 2005 and started reading everything I could get my hands on. Of all the sites out there this one offers the best balance. I think I learn something new here just about every day.
Recently a comment thread veered off into evolution. Shucks, I hadn’t thought about evolution in decades. The resulting thread and comments were absolutely fascinating. Like the abiotic theory of petroleum, it was something I had not really considered. This is good. This sort of thing keeps the site fresh and interesting.
In short there’s little you do to change something so successful and well liked…except consider numbering the comments.
Dave

February 20, 2011 3:45 pm

Anthony,
Great blog with superb moderation.
I don’t know how you manage to do it.
My one complaint is that your postings are so frequent that it is hard to keep up ;-).
Love the Reference Pages.

February 20, 2011 3:52 pm

Is there a page that summarises all the current arguments and positions>

Cold Englishman
February 20, 2011 3:54 pm

Dear Anthony,
Looking back through all these comments, must make you think you’re sorry you asked!
But like others have said, “it aint broke, so don’t fix it”.
One small thing though, I know how you are often irritated by pedants, over spelling, grammar etc., (I too often have flutterbingers), but pedantry is what has got us in front of AGW. I don’t know Steve M or Ross M, but I bet like me they are both pedants. If they hadn’t insisted on seeing the data, the warmists might never have been found out. So let’s here it for the pedants once in a while.

Gil Dewart
February 20, 2011 3:57 pm

Anthony, the real strength of your blog is in the commenters. Sure, there are the usual trolls, but many of the people who contribute are serious and knowledgeable. There is nothing like them in the threads of your “competitors”.

Roger Baxter
February 20, 2011 3:59 pm

I come to this web site daily just because I never know what you are going to post. Very scientific things abound, as do politically leaning posts, and some rather whimsical items that always amuse the inquisitive mind. I am not a scientist, just an engineer, so my perpective may be different than others. I hear your plea on Facebook, but it can and does become a time sucking monster that is really not worth much.

Brian H
February 20, 2011 4:01 pm

EternalOptimist says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:00 am

‘remember ceasar thou art mortal’
🙂
EO

Nope.
“Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.”
;p

February 20, 2011 4:05 pm

WUWT has great content. I use it regularly as a reference on AGW and other climate issues. However, I do find the site difficult to navigate. I’ve found the Thesis theme — at http://www.pearsonified.com/themes — flexible and easy to use. You might want to consider the “teaser” format — see my implementation of it http://whistleblowercentral.com — to improve reader access to your material.

February 20, 2011 4:07 pm

Anthony,
I know a fair bit about web development, and I think your WordPress platform and the theme you use are solid, both visually and as something to interact with. I’d bet the recommendation for “joomla” was a joke. WP is clean, clear, and solid, and gets regular updates. It doesn’t do everything, it just does what you need it to do 90% of the time. The theme author will (probably) keep that updated as well.
You can always link to a separate “page” on your server with custom (whatever)ML code on it, if you need something unusual. You can probably just toss up a request here to find some of us who can cobble up near anything you’d need, too.
I don’t think the trolls are much of a problem here, at all. Most of the discussion is fairly level-headed, compared to other sites. Your moderator(s?) are doing a solid job, too.
Besides, the most important thing in the world of creativity is this: content is king. That’s where you have it nailed down quite solidly, and that’s why we keep coming here.
I’ll ask a question about that: in your older archives, is the material still accessible, or does it fall off the web? Your site is too valuable with regard to research, so I’d hope the articles (link rot and all) stay available.

the_Butcher
February 20, 2011 4:08 pm

I’d like to see:
– Numbered comments
– Like & Dislike a Comment via PollDaddy

old engineer
February 20, 2011 4:15 pm

Anthony-
First, thank you for WUWT. I have been a reader for about a year now. I’m with the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” crowd.
That said, I do wish I could edit my comments. I am a lousy speller (thanks to the “word recognition” educational philosophy of the 1940’s) and an even worse typist. I have taken to composing my comments in my word processing program, them copying into the comment block. Not everything translates, however.
Like Pamela Gray, I am old school. I don’t know how to use all the internet technology, but I can still think and reason. I am not even sure what html is, let alone how to use it. I have looked for “Ric Werme’s guide to WUWT” but couldn’t find it.
Other comments:
1. I don’t think you need to number comments. Each one has a time stamp. What better numbering system could a person want.
2. I would vote against listing the comments as threads. It’s great if two people want to have their own private discussion with each other, but to me it makes the general flow harder to follow.
3. One of the things I like best is reading the comments from people around the world. There is nothing that compares with seeing the situation through the eyes of those actually in the situation. For example, the post on the NB wind farm freezing up. I looked first at the comments from people actually living in NB.
In summary, Thanks for your hard work. You can see from all the comments, it is greatly appreciated.

Steve Reynolds
February 20, 2011 4:16 pm

As others have already written, the signal to noise ratio in the comments is low. I don’t like heavy moderation either. Maybe commenters could be asked to classify their own comments into groups such as:
1. serious science discussion
2. newby questions and answers
3. politics and cheer-leading
Then if there was a way for the reader to filter which groups he sees, comments would be much more useful.

pyromancer76
February 20, 2011 4:16 pm

Anthony, I like you just the way you are! Thanks to you most especially and to your associates, too. I am certain it takes a whale of a lot of work to create and maintain a blog of this caliber. I particularly enjoy the more “hard” science posts where concepts are explained with their mathematical backing and the experimental data. Sometimes my eyes glaze over, but to learn with the best of the best is exhilarating. If I disagree or think something is not “science enough”, as you know, I am not shy to say so. That doesn’t mean I think I’m right so you keep right on posting what you choose.
My two desires, if you choose to add anything, are: 1. A few more “hard science” posts per week (e.g., Chuck Wiese, Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer — also Forbush Decrease and even Wind Power Fail); and 2. Develop a topic in a peer-review fashion. Somone take a separate element of that topic, explain the different hypotheses/theories and define a falsification. Ask a few specialists to join in with a back-and-forth. Then let your huge international group of peer reviewers debate. I would love to see the outcome of a very public discussion like this.
Thanks for asking.

February 20, 2011 4:17 pm

ferd berple says:
February 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm
One thing I would recomend is a spelll chek and edit function.

Well, yeah, but …
Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

February 20, 2011 4:17 pm

I wouldn’t change anything. I think you have the best blog out there on this subject…just keep on keeping on would be my humble suggestion. If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it!

P Walker
February 20, 2011 4:25 pm

What I like about WUWT is the variety of topics covered and the comments the threads generate . I have learned as much from the comments as I have from the articles – for the most part . Sure , some comments aren’t particularly germane to the topic , but they’re often interesting , even enlightening – some are downright funny . As in any discussion , sometimes the comments wander off topic but it’s rare that the entire thread gets hijacked – the mods don’t let things get out of hand . So , like I said above WUWT is fine the way it is . Thanks , Anthony .

Philip Finck
February 20, 2011 4:26 pm

The comments above are to long to read. However, I know this was mentioned before.
A new page (a reference page) where papers of interest are shown. Do it in a standard format with the latest at the top. It would be invaluable for the folks with a general interest, all the way through to individuals within the various scientific fields.
Just to scan the various journals for topical papers is a major head ache …. there are so many out there……
Even the BS ones are useful in there own way.

Frank K.
February 20, 2011 4:30 pm

Hey Anthony,
I’ve been following your exploits since the halcyon days of posting at Roger Pielke Srs. climate blog. That was back in the nascent days of the surface stations project. I have been very happy for your success and wouldn’t change anything, though minor tweaks in format and content are expected over time. A couple of thoughts to add:
(1) Someone mentioned reducing the political content in some of the stories. Unfortunately, that’s not possible anymore – the CAGW crowd has taken climate science from science to politics already (witness Hansen’s recent screed in a Chinese newspaper claiming we’re gonna die from global warming if the Chinese don’t help…yikes!). Stories on the political decisions being made around the world in the name of global warming are, in fact, some of the most useful and interesting that I read at WUWT.
(2) David L. Hagen said: February 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm
“…I would strongly encourage asking participants to work towards more meaningful important comments and leave of the fluff, chatter and foolishness.”
OK. In principal I agree, but sometimes you can’t help but laugh at some of the manic CAGW press releases. Making pointed jokes about them is a great way to let off some steam and make others smile (unless you’re from RC).
(3) Give “Smokey” his own guest-post from time to time. I really appreciate his candid comments when a troll eruption occurs.
cheers,
Frank K.

Brian H
February 20, 2011 4:35 pm

All in all, best science/AGW-countering site going.
Admin stuff: some kind of numbering system.
(Suggestion for those trying to navigate nested sites: use Ctrl-F page find to locate today’s (or most recent unread) date. Then F3 or arrow button to jump thru. Not perfect, but much better than scrolling/scanning.)
Troll control: recent tightening has it about right. Note to the “wide open” recommenders: don’t underestimate the power of a halfway articulate troll to “thread highjack” — turn the thread into a repetitious argument focused on the troll, and whatever non-sequiturs etc. they’re flogging.
I’m in awe of the work required to keep the site up. If I win a big lottery, I’ll personally fund WUWT heavily!

starzmom
February 20, 2011 4:39 pm

Anthony–You are my favorite website, and I check it out at least 3-4 times a day, sometimes more. I don’t do facebook or twitter, but I do tell everyone with whom I discuss this subject about your website. I usually start out “You can go to my favorite website…”
Having said all that, I would like a way to save or print articles without all the comments. To be sure, many comments add real facts to the discussion, and many are amusing and entertaining, but I really want to be able to capture articles and graphs and have the full referencing available.
Otherwise, this is a terrific place–I like all the reference pages, and the highly technical articles and the not-so technical articles. I learn so much here.

r
February 20, 2011 4:41 pm

I think your web site is awesome.
However, if I could have a wish, I would wish for this:
I often encounter people who question my skepticism. I would like to tell those people to check out WUWT where they can read about the issues in more detail than I can provide. However, someone who arrives for the first time at your home page, would only see the latest articles which are good but are more relevant on some days than others. And the oldies but goodies are buried. I would like your home page to provide a summary of basics of all the best points that your website has made. For example problems with location of the weather stations, problems with averaging missing data over the poles, problems with the missing minus signs, lack of sun spots, and problems with other scientists not sharing data, etc, and links to those full articles. The intent is that someone who has not been following your blog for a long time can catch-up and not be turned off by having to dig through old posts to know what is going on.
For example:
These are a few of the issues we have covered on WUWT:
Weather station location – link
Averaging missing data over the poles – link
The missing minus signs – link
Cherry picking tree rings – link
Etc…
And for a full list of articles see this –link.
I know it would be hard to edit the list down to the most important ones. But in my opinion it would be very useful as an introduction.

Brian H
February 20, 2011 4:41 pm

Suggestion to old engineer, re pre-composing in a word processor: they often send thru formatting codes which don’t work on blogs. Straight text only. An alternative: get the ClipMate package, and use the New Clip option to pre-compose. It then can paste directly into whatever location you want. As a bonus (!!) the package saves every “copy” action you do, anywhere, and there are both temp and perm folders for you to play with. IMO, the most powerful and useful surfing/composing utility anywhere.

starzmom
February 20, 2011 4:41 pm

PS at my suggestion, your web address is included in class reading material at the University of Kansas School of Law.

February 20, 2011 4:47 pm

I’m a recent visitor, and rare poster to this site (I think this is my second post) so please take this with a pinch of salt, but: it all seems to work. You seem pretty quick to report news, the analyses are worth reading even if I can’t always understand everything, nor instantly agree with everything I do understand, and we can read or not read the comments (along with the inevitable thread drift) at our leisure.
If I were you, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not because it’s perfect as it is – it almost certainly isn’t – but because by changing it you might break it. Better a slightly imperfect model that works, than spoiling it by trying to make it perfect.
Just my UKP0.02.
Derek

psi
February 20, 2011 4:52 pm

A selection of some of comments I agree with most:
oebele bruinsma says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:37 am
Dear Anthony,
What can I say in view of one the most interesting places on the Internet.
Viv Evans says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:38 am
Having comments numbered is a good idea.
PJP says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:07 am
Moderation – seems about right to me.
Larry Sheldon says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:22 am
If I may:
Moderation: too heavy/too light? Too troll tolerant/not tolerant enough?I penetrate it some, it is probably about right.
Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see? How about after-posting edit?
Murray Duffin says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:56 am
Format is good, but it would be nice to have threaded replies like on TOD.
Content is excellent, and reader inputs very important. Moderation would be better if it cut out the extreme conservative political crap.
On that last point, I understand that freedom of expression is a good thing, but the CAGW skeptic movement – in which I count myself a proud member – hurts itself by promulgating the self portrait of political extremism reflected in some comments.

SSam
February 20, 2011 5:03 pm

Personally, I like the site the way it is. The search feature actually works, and as long as I have half a clue as to what I’m after, I can locate it. I’ve searched out the Livingston-Penn data on several occasions and it’s always right there where I last saw it.
As for linkages… I do when appropriate. But I won’t touch Twitter, Facebook, Myspace with a ten foot pole. I’m a self imposed Luddite in that respect, and I know and appreciate the value of privacy. Data mining, both commercial and via anybody linked to In-Q-Tel’s investments, can pack sand.

kbray in California
February 20, 2011 5:05 pm

Numbered comments would be easier to reference back to when the number of comments gets high. Scrolling back to a numbered location would be quicker.

INGSOC
February 20, 2011 5:06 pm

I am quite happy with the site as it is. I would seriously question making changes for the sake of them. The site is very popular the way it is, and any sort of major change will likely take away from the success it enjoys. I would not suggest doing anything drastic. As you have already stated, if spreading the word is to become more of driving force for the site, encouraging users to use the existing features is a very good idea. Some will argue that a more “moderate” view be taken, and I would caution against such a move. Great care should be taken to avoid a “jumping the shark” type of change. I think allowing the site to continue growing in the organic way it has is the best approach. It’s your site Mr Watts, to do with as you please. So far that has worked very, very well.
Thanks for asking!

Greg2213
February 20, 2011 5:08 pm

**Features: (no I can’t make comment preview work, see this) what would you like to see?
I believe some WP themes use nested comments, like ClimateAudit, and I think that would be a good thing here, as others have suggested previously.
**Guest authors: good/bad/ugly?
I like the variety and I think it’s one of the things that puts this site head and shoulders above the others. Kudos and do what you can to keep it up.
**How do you most use WUWT? Reference, portal, news, commentary, bird cages?
Reference & news & commentary.
**What could we do better?
You should clone yourself and a couple of the moderators, to lighten the work load.
================
As for the remarks on the RSS feed, the feed works fine. I have it on a google homepage with various other feeds. Every time a new post is made on any of those sites I can click right to it. Heck, sometimes I even manage to do that before any comments are shown (though there are probably 30 in the Queue.)
People can set up a google account here: https://www.google.com/accounts/ and make their own homepage with however many feeds they want. It’s pretty robust, if you put RC and WUWT feeds on the same page, right next to each other, the page won’t explode. 😉
Your twitter link is pretty obvious, maybe your own RSS feed link should be equally so?
Wordpress.com has an email widget so people can subscribe by email and keep up that way, though I don’t know if they want that much extra email…

Tom in Texas
February 20, 2011 5:15 pm

“I too would like to have the ability to reply to someone just underneath where they make the original comment. I see some comments here that this is bad. Would someone explain to me what is bad about it as I can’t see it.”
I’ve read all the comments, then did some chores, came back and refreshed.
I then continued reading the new comments where I left off.
If comments were nested, I’d have to reread ALL the comments again if I wanted to catch all the new ones.
And on politics: I never gave 2 sheets about global warming until they introduced “crap & tax”. Now I want to know all the latest news about what they (EPA, etc.) are up to. I like the science posts (particularly solar), but also the political posts.
And on fluff: It adds to the entertainment value. Many commenters are quite clever and humorous. I read a clever sarcastic comment from “90% warmist” Gates that made me chuckle. Anthony missed the humor and gave him a time-out.
Over-all: I can’t think of any improvements to this site. Don’t mess with success.

Peter Pond
February 20, 2011 5:25 pm

Hi Anthony & Mods
Pretty good the way it is and any changes will have plusses and minusses (e.g. nested threads vs current chronological comment order).
I use WUWT as a portal to get to other websites, too.
Would be great to get more pro-CAGW/AGW guest posts, but I understand that this is not completely within your control.
When you have followed WUWT for a while, one can identify the characteristics of the various regular commenters – the spontaneous, off-the-top-of-the-head commenters; the well-reasoned commenters; those who have been pro-CAGW from the start and haven’t changed their mind at all; those who have a bee in their bonnet about nuclear/thorium/wind power/solar/whatever; those who like to write one-liners; those who are argumentative on just about any point; etc, etc. Just like living in the real world!
Thank you for your efforts.

Theo Goodwin
February 20, 2011 5:34 pm

Dear Anthony (aka Santa Claus):
You know that you could not provide one millionth of what has been requested, right?
Take it eas(ier),
Theo

johnb
February 20, 2011 5:38 pm

I’ll leave a couple basic comments. I enjoy the site and use it daily after having discovered the site several years ago. In my opinion, it’s a good mix of science and commentary.
The format of newest story appearing at the top works for me and similarly with the non-nested comments. I prefer this setup to the way Climate Audit works or the column newsletter format of Icecap.us.
Content: Too Much/Too Little. Oddly it can be both as I know I can’t read all the comments all the time and yet still feel like some stories or items are missed. As silly as it sounds, the tips and notes pages often contain important stories that maybe don’t deserve the spotlight of an entire post, but perhaps could receive the penlight of attention under a “best of weekly links that we just couldn’t get to” thread accompanied by a short synopsis of what the various articles are about without analysis.
Policy vs. Science debate: The trouble is that both are connected and it’s important that both are covered. Many of the articles touch on one or the other, few connect the two together. The site needs both.
Tone: This is one of the reasons why I believe the site is as successful as it is. There are other sites that cover science or policy but few that do it with the ability to simplify complex subjects and engage with the public in a humorous and optimistic way. It’s not only reflected in the content but the images too.
Moderation: Generally, I have no problems with the human moderation, but I do lose comments in the Notes and Tips area to the spam filter.
Friday Funnies: You should hook up Josh with the xtranormal.com website to see if he could put together anything like this video linked below. Anyway, great site and have found it to be enjoyable and instructive.

February 20, 2011 5:44 pm

I wouldn’t change anything, but if I *must* make a suggestion then it would be to add numbers to the comments. The site is pretty well perfect.
Well, I *have* lost one or two comments in moderation over the years…

Thomas Lynn
February 20, 2011 5:58 pm

First time commenter,everyday reader.Aint broke dont fix it.There are often links to your site from the Lightning Round forum topic” the great global warming swindle”@ pcperspective forums. Appreciation to your family on the amount of time this takes you as it is INVALUABLE.

February 20, 2011 5:59 pm

Anthony,
This is one of the most important science blogs world-wide. I wish to raise a different type of blog to operate in parallel with what you are now doing.
It involves difficult concepts of confidentiality and copyright. (You were caught out despite copyright of your surface stations project, with prior publication by another, so stop me if I’m teaching you to suck eggs).
In the adventuresome world of the blog, like the Wild West, virtually anything goes except what you snip. It is hard to correct this freedom, even if you wanted to. In legal challenges, there can be a problem even with determining which country’s laws shall apply.
There is a real challenge to create a form of blog where people with genuinely interesting and novel concepts can turn when their ideas run into a dead end. This type of blog, which for ease we shall call “Thinking Post”, needs to have strong protection, so that a person with a novel idea does not have it stolen from him by rogues (and rogues are plentiful).
Like with inventions, one can get an initial form of protection from a formal provisional patent. In the Thinking Post, one would float a new idea under prescribed terms that would offer protection. At this stage, the only protection that I can suggest is that only certain, selected people known from their history and relevance with WUWT would be allowed to see the protected post; and to blog on it. They would be taken on trust, but they would also sign an e-document specifying confidentiality.
A minor example: I suspect that some MMTS housings read wrong when snow builds up underneath and gives extra reflection onto the thermistor. I have an idea I can do nothing with, but we don’t get snow here. I run a thread under Thinking Post. Bloggers tell me if the experimental work has already been done, and outline the results. Some bloggers do first principles calculations. With this feedback, I engineer a a work-around, test it, patent it and sell it to a manufacturer. Then I write to the open WUWT suggesting that certain papers have an error needing correction.
Another example: I’m only so-so at computing, but I’m using a Taylor’s expansion to many terms and I do not know if I am conflicting with the bit length of the computer words. I have to describe my work in progress for context, but it’s too early for the world to see its application. So I post on Thinking Post and the combined grey cells out there provide the answer without stealing the concept, which one day I submit for publication.
Reward? Help in return. It’s like an expert, no strings attached pre-review of a paper ready for submission to a Journal.
My thoughts are in early stages and there could be a fatal flaw. But the suggestion, I hope, might create a new paradigm (how I hate that word) in blogging, so I raise it here hoping that better minds can improve it. Over to the top guns.

February 20, 2011 6:05 pm

what you have here is what makes this one of the very few must read websites the only thing that could make it better is more Willis.

Ken S
February 20, 2011 6:06 pm

NOT MY OWN: repeated here as I read it!
“Normal people believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Engineers believe if it ain’t broke it doesn’t have enough features yet!”
I say, Anthony don’t try becoming an engineer, just remain normal!

John Whitman
February 20, 2011 6:09 pm

I recommend:
1) You are great at herding skeptics (as difficult as herding cats) and converging some pretty diverse philosophies. KEEP THAT.
2) Change the overall tone more toward professional gentleman/gentlewomen behavior in both posters & commentors. I think this would draw more academic scientists who might otherwise be too timid for current environment.
3) Misbehavior under the cloak of anonymity is tiring. So recommend more moderating structure there.
4). More posting related to the philosophy of science would be great.
The above said, you are the best of the best.
John

Jason S.
February 20, 2011 6:15 pm

I am always interested in Anthony’s (and others’) ideas for good paths towards cleaner energy, cheaper energy, renewables, etc. I have lots of good posts in the past. Keep them coming. Can you do a weekly special? It would be quite ironic if WUWT became the REAL green movement. I have noticed sincere mentions of ‘other’ good reasons to get off of coal and oil. I sometimes wonder if that would win a certain swath of CAGWers. Every time WUWT talks about how stupid wind power is, talk about natural gas, nuclear and other up-and-coming ideas that you support. Don’t get me wrong. Keep exposing the idiot ideas too, and the bully tactics that shove those ideas down our throat 🙂

Editor
February 20, 2011 6:18 pm

old engineer says:
February 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm
> I am not even sure what html is, let alone how to use it. I have looked for “Ric Werme’s guide to WUWT” but couldn’t find it.
It’s on the right side navigation bar, but you’ll likely have to scroll down a bit to see the link. Or you can simply go to http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/index.html
HTML is short for the gobbledygook “HyperText Markup Language.” Basically it’s an inefficient, ill-designed mechanism to format text, add pictures, and in general produce web pages with a pleasing appearance. Without HTML, a web post or comment would look like a single long paragraph. With HTML, the result looks better, but the source HTML for the page does not, as that becomes extremely messy.

Oliver Ramsay
February 20, 2011 6:30 pm

It’s pretty damn good!
How about a zombie feature where a dead thread can come back for a day or two?
Phoenix, if you prefer.

DeNihilist
February 20, 2011 6:31 pm

my only beef, and it has nothing to do witth you, sir, is that I wish some of these chaps/chappettes would grow some and actually take you up on your invite to guest post here (R. Gates, what about you? I find your comments considered and helpful.). It just seems childish that someone like Tamino will not put some of his/her opinions here, in the oppposite corner, to try to enlighten all of us.
PS – love that i can actually jump to Tamino’s or RC or …. from here. That is one of the main reasons why I respect you so much A.W. You seem to be somewhat more mature then the others…..

CRS, Dr.P.H.
February 20, 2011 6:31 pm

Anthony, as I have said, “You throw a heck of a party!” By that, I mean that I enjoy the free-wheeling nature of the comments to posted stories.
We have a mixture of amazing scientists, engineers, lay folk & others who often generate very insightful comments, many times providing links to articles that expand on the subject matter. Your Mods do a fantastic job of regulating this flow!
I’d suggest a character or word-limit for posts, sometimes folks throw the book in here (guilty as charged). Otherwise, please keep it free-wheeling, and thanks for providing links to alternative views, which the sites like Realclimate do not.
It ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Cheers, Charles the Dr.P.H.

sophocles
February 20, 2011 6:34 pm

I’ve been reading wattsupwiththat regularly for only about six months. I am still finding my way around it. I like what I see. It seems to me to be well arranged and, so far, I haven’t had much difficulty with finding my way around.
I like the eclectic nature of the content, and authors, finding it challengingly broad, with some nice touches (such as Josh :-).
Keep up the good work.

Ron Pittenger, Heretic
February 20, 2011 6:37 pm

Anthony—
I’m glad of the chance to respond to this. Your format is relatively easy to read and simple to navigate. The content varies enough to be interesting without ever losing its focus on climate science news (please, don’t become a one-note Johnny!). I can’t speak to the moderation; every comment I’ve ever made has promptly been published in full. The comments of others do seem relatively polite, at least compared to some of the other sites I visit, but that may be due to the nature of your readers rather than heavy-handed moderation. I do value that anyone polite can be heard here—and the other commenters can then pick the BS apart. The guest authors you’ve featured in the past 14 months have run the gamut from good to ugly, but the article itself is only half the story here; the other half is those busy commenters who hold everyone’s feet to the fire and keep it all honest. I enjoyed when you were running the SEPP’s TWTW column on Sundays (and, yes, I noticed it was missing this morning). Mostly what I use WUWT for is as a digest of interesting climate news (1 of 5 I read regularly) that I can then refer brief article excerpts of along with a link to WUWT to a conservative political blog I feed (The Old Jarhead tartanmarine@blogspot.com) run by an old friend. (We’ve both been skeptics for many years and loved Hogan’s Kicking the Sacred Cow and Crichton’s State of Fear long before we ever heard of WUWT.) I also send excerpts with a link to some friends who have “personal” blogs and an interest in the subject. I hope we got you a few dozen votes for the Bloggie, too. All in all, I think you’re doing an excellent job; just keep doing it.
Thanks for asking. Ron Pittenger, Heretic

John Andrews
February 20, 2011 6:38 pm

Don’t change anything unless it NEEDS it. This is the one I always read, OK, and Climate Audit. There seems to be over 1000 unread in all the other blogs that I just can’t get time to read. You must be doing it right, so, as I said, don’t change unless it needs changing for very good reasons.

crosspatch
February 20, 2011 6:40 pm

So far this site has provided me with a lot of joy in reading it. This is Anthony’s place and I am happy to be able to view it. While I deeply appreciate his sense of community spirit in inviting us to share our opinion on its direction, I am content to let it be what it is. It is a product of Mr. Watts’ and I am a grateful consumer of that product. It is a wonderful site and am hoping it continues for many years.
Thank you for providing this wonderful blog for us to share our thoughts and receive yours.

Lindsay Holland
February 20, 2011 6:50 pm

be carefull about any changes, the site is great now !!
about the only thing i would like to see is having the comments numbered making it easier to reference a reply to a commenter. threads might be helpfull but can get confusing. I think I prefer the current system.

Beth Cooper
February 20, 2011 7:02 pm

Can’t get by without my daily fix of WUWT. Grateful to Anthony and Mods.
What’s there to fix at WUWT? Excellent science, stimulating guest posts from Willis, Ira, et al, many perceptive and humorous commentaries, feels like realtime but posters have time to consider their words, check their facts. I like the way contrary opinions are given space,( I’m all for open societies,) and I think political comments, (not hate rants,) have validity as things happen in contexts.

Bigred
February 20, 2011 7:03 pm

Most grateful to you, Anthony, for what you put up and the way you do it. Good combination of well-supported scientific observation, well-informed opinion, and fun. Not enough fun elsewhere in this international debate.
Perfect for this 73-yr old non-scientific female general reader, avidly seeking well-researched and well-written news amid all the fluff.
PS Pity about those apostrophe’s, but…

Mariwarcwm
February 20, 2011 7:09 pm

This site is brilliant and needs no energy spent on change IMHO. But perhaps the rest of us could help by scattering the contents of this brilliant site further and wider. I know that I use WUWT as a comfort blanket – however daft the people out there, WUWT has intelligent life and there is hope, but the point is to spread the word to new ears. I should try to see how this Twitter works if Anthony thinks it’s useful……….

Michael O
February 20, 2011 7:20 pm

When posting about complex maths-heavy and science-heavy matters would it be possible to include an “executive summary” for thickos like me and environmental journalists.

Mooloo
February 20, 2011 7:27 pm

I think that the site is presently unattractive to those that tire easily of the silly accusations of “fraud” or “criminal behaviour” against those warmists they don’t like. Such statements make WUWT look cranky, and I think it would be a good idea to forbid people from making what are libels. It also protects you Antony, because leaving libelous statements up leaves you open to prosecution.
In general the site is most convincing when the items and discussions don’t get into party politics, especially the “Democrat = evil” foolishness. We are always asking the warmists to treat sceptics with respect, but far too many comments sink to their depths on a regular basis. (I’m not saying people can’t being strongly opposed to the Democrats or whoever, just that every overtly party political statement made tends to distract from the main criteria of the site, which is not political. People have other places to do their politicking.)

Gerry
February 20, 2011 7:28 pm

Wouldn’t . change . a . thing . . . .

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 20, 2011 7:37 pm

239 comments already! It looks like people want to help!

Paul Vaughan
February 20, 2011 8:01 pm

Concisely:
Ain’t broke; don’t fix.

Issue of chronological vs. tree organization: CHRONOLOGICAL!!! [Trees are a blasted nuisance (!) to ski (skim & skip) through. No time for that…]
General advice: DON’T do what climate etc. (Curry) is doing. That blog is 98% nothing (aside from 2 commenters, maybe 3 on a good day). There was a recent thread where a single VERY DULL commenter made over 100 (long) comments. Seeing that behavior tolerated by the Climate Etc. moderators was an ABSOLUTELY CLEAR sign to me that the value of sensible readers’ time is NOT sufficiently appreciated. I’ve started considering the possibility that the intent of the site is to “tie people up at committee” with nonsense and FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED ideas about chaos & “uncertainty”. In fairness, maybe Dr. Curry will start cracking down on the handful of hyperactive commenters who are watering the discussions down to almost nothing (LESS than a needle in a haystack), but since Dr. Curry is operating from the ivory tower, she canNOT publicize the truth about the role of untenable assumptions in absolutely misleading statistical inference …so solid NON-ivorytower sites will ALWAYS be needed to keep a CLOSE eye on that NONSENSE…
So long as WUWT continues running occasional stimulating articles on natural variations, I’ll keep visiting regularly. (I have almost zero interest in the politics, but I accept that WUWT has a diverse audience.)

Guarantee:
Major breakthroughs are coming down the pipe, so rest awhile and then forge ahead!

Best Regards to All!

Jim K
February 20, 2011 8:07 pm

Please keep it as is. This is a great site. I promote it very often. It is ez to understand, is the right mix of opinion, politics and science. Format is good as is. Reply threads would suck. One of the few sites I trust.
Keep up the good work, It’s well needed Now. Thank You for All, Just an old guy

February 20, 2011 8:20 pm

I think you should start a WUWT monitoring station network. Make a link, people can buy into a groundstation for monitoring. $50 bucks to sign up, a couple bucks a month for the reporting. Owners could log into a web page to see their sites data.
At least then, people would have access to real, unadjusted data. I’d sign up for a station!!

Etruscan
February 20, 2011 8:27 pm

Anthony, the moderators have taken over your website. I have posted comments that have dealt with sociological parallels to the climate change controversy, but they have been censored by the rogue moderators. Most people would have found these revelations to be insightful and a welcome addition to your website. ‘Charles’ in particular seems to have his own agenda.

Roger Knights
February 20, 2011 8:38 pm

Ted Wagner says:
February 20, 2011 at 10:07 am
The only suggestion I have to make this web site better is to move the “Recent Posts” section closer to the top, so I don’t have to scroll down so much each of the 100 times a day I visit!

I second the motion. It ought to be on top, so no page-downs are needed. At present five of them are required.

February 20, 2011 8:45 pm

Require people to use their real names [in addition to whatever nickname or ‘avatar’ they so love].

John Baltutis
February 20, 2011 8:47 pm

Leave it as it is.

AusieDan
February 20, 2011 8:55 pm

Anthony, I hold you and your site in great admiration.
How you and your team can keep it going round the clock fills me with awe.
WUWT, CA and Bishop Hill, for quite different reasons, are my three MUST read blogs.
I have a few suggestions, most of them Do Nots:
* Don’t make significant changes to the layout, format or general approach.
From a maketing point of view – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
* The trolls are a nuisance, but how much of an irritation depends on my mood. Sometimes I find the earnst batting of ridiculous balls back and forward quite amusing.
Also some trolls are only semi-trolls and have good scietific training and amongst all the rubbish they sprout, have good points to make.
* I apprciate your management and organisational skills which mark WUWT from the other two blogs I mentioned.
Those depend almost entirely on the skills and flair of the originators – they are extended personal statements.
WUWT is as well, but in addition is an organisation.
I am suggesting that you take the next step in its development (see what follows).
* You already make good use of guest posts and even guest editors, when you have to absent yourself, or when the guest author is best equipt to respond to the floods of comments that come in.
* my main suggestion then is an organisational one, designed to make sure that you do not burn out.
From my bitter experience, you don’t get much warning.
One day you are coping quite well in a busy, stressful situation.
The next – bang – you can’t get out of bed – it can take years to recover and the scars remain.
* My suggestion is simple.
Take two consecutive days off per week – the weekend preferably, depending on you family and your circle of friends.
You can do this and still keep WUWT humming 24/7.
Simply schedule ALL the guest posts for the weekend and insist that the authors also do the management during their shift at the wheel.
Good luck.
your service to the English speaking world is vital.

My2Cents
February 20, 2011 9:01 pm

I would love to see comments numbered. The comments are one of my favorite things about WUWT and I would like to be able to navigate back to the last one I read.Numbers would make this easier.

February 20, 2011 9:02 pm

I would like to second r’s suggestion (4:41 pm) that you have a ‘classics’ or ‘best of’ header for newbies as a place to send people who have started to question the dogma. As Lucy Skywalker says, there are occasional ‘dry’ patches (never more than a few days) and one can never be sure when a new reader will dip in. If there was a specific series of key posts that would help acquaint newcomers with the depth of the riches at this historic website. Perhaps you could get us to put forward suggestions and poll us on the resulting list, as it sounds like a lot of work.
You’re the best of the best, Anthony and moderators. I also share others’ stated appreciation of the breadth of knowledge, wit and enthusiasm of other commentators here, and want to single out Smokey for his pithy and to-the-point contributions and links.

Allen
February 20, 2011 9:06 pm

Anthony and his co-conspirators (obviously from Big Oil /sarc) are genuine seekers of truth. Since being referred here by Lorne Gunter from the Edmonton Journal I have been rewarded with a skeptical perspective on the whole climate debate, and seldom have I been let down.
Don’t change a thing Anthony, especially the content.
However, if you are inclined to make tweaks, I like the suggestion made previously to add a “What it means” link for dullards like me who don’t have the time or the brain power to wade through some of the longer technical articles. Some might call that feature an executive summary. If a commenter to such an article provides a meaningful summary or can tell us what the article means in non-technical terms then perhaps the mods could move it to the top or make a link to the comment in the article.
Thanks for shining a light on a debate that has many cockroaches lurking in dark places.

Harold Pierce Jr
February 20, 2011 9:08 pm

Give mods power to break up a long paragraph of solid text into short readable paragraphs of ca 6-8 lines.
I have mentioned this many times here and elsewhere that I don’t read comments that are one long paragraph. I just skip over them.
Put a word limit on a comment. Restrict the lenght of imported quotes.

Editor
February 20, 2011 9:12 pm

Lindsay Holland says:
February 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm
> about the only thing i would like to see is having the comments numbered making it easier to reference a reply to a commenter.
I’m surprised at the number of people asking for numbered comments. Comments do have an essentially unique identifier – the date and time. I’ll often search back for a time reference in a quote like the above. On some of the longer threads, e.g. Tips & Notes, the time often isn’t unique, but most times it is.
BTW, comments are numbered! If you turn off CSS (some add-ons like “Web Developer” make that easy), sequence numbers appear. A problem with sequence numbers may be that if a page is deleted (or even if rescued from the spam bucket), the sequence number changes for subsequent pages. I think this really messed up ClimateAudit during one of its changes.
Also, note that if you right click on the date/time stamp, you can save the URL
for the new page and use that to direct people to the comment….

juanslayton
February 20, 2011 9:28 pm

A commentator above has pointed out the confusion that can result from political terms such as party names having very different meanings in different countries. The problem is real, but I have found readers’ comments on WUWT very educational in understanding these differences (in UK countries, for example). Since I tend to have ‘See America first’ reflexes, this is a good thing for me. And we need to understand how these various structures are affecting the climate debate.

don penman
February 20, 2011 9:32 pm

I think that WUWT is OK as it is but many of the questions raised by the topics are so involved that by the time I have worked out my response to them the topic has gone.The moderation on the site is OK,although it does tend to make interaction a little bit difficult sometimes.I think that the data/graphs that you update are good but I still prefer to browse around the Internet myself.I think that you do a very good job in general.

LearDog
February 20, 2011 9:34 pm

What can you do better? Omg Anthony – you guys are setting the curve in the Blogosphere. I wouldn’t tinker too much …
How do I use WUWT? Why I use it to amaze my friends and colleagues of course! Latest being 4 days ahead of the MSM Solar flare story. I share the site around frequently.
Format and style: Easy to read and use?
Content: I love how you have such a diverse set of topics – doesn’t have to be just CAGW-related – and it isn’t strident broadcasting. Its a questioning approach.
Content: I like the commentary on the news of the day – the ‘heads up’ and informed views on things. Keeps it fresh.
Moderation: I don’t see heavy moderation (I don’t think), but discussion of dissenters views quite important I think. Jerome Ravitz as an example – opened my eyes.
Features: what would you like to see? I do the majority of my reading and commenting on a mobile device – so your continued sensitivity to those platforms would be appreciated. WUWT is very friendly that way.
Guest authors: The guest authors are indispensable – and you offer a platform for voices that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. The quality of posts and argument varies a bit – but that’s ok as they find their voices
How do I most use WUWT? One stop shopping. I know where to first go to find an answer.
Keep up the fantastic work and maintain balance in your life …. Not necessarily in that order!

CAGW-Skeptic99
February 20, 2011 9:44 pm

I like the site the way that it is. More news is good. Moderation of inappropriate language and topics is good, and should continue or even be stronger.
Would be nice to see ‘Team’ supporters show up and defend their point of view, but that would take courage and a change in mindset that doesn’t seem likely.

Mark C
February 20, 2011 9:53 pm

In general, don’t mess with it for the sake of doing so. Adding a bunch of shiny to the site will distract from the content, and content is why we’re here. Moderation is about perfect, as is the mix of subject matter. I’m always stunned at the consistent high quality I find here. Thanks to all who support WUWT for what must be an incredible amount of work.

Nylo
February 20, 2011 10:08 pm

I am comming too late to this post and reading all of the already 248 replies is too tiring, so sorry if this has already been proposed. I have two proposals, one of which is directly related to the just mentioned problem: how do you find the really valuable comments in a post with 250 comments?
I don’t know how easy / posible is to implement these features, but in case it can be done, I would really like them:
1.- I would include links “I like” / “I dislike” after each comment so that readers can vote them. The main problem, however, is how to prevent people from voting comments several times, given that WUWT doesn’t have registered users. So perhaps this one is not posible. But there really should be a way to allow people to distinguish those very popular/impopular comments so that someone who gets late to a thread can get an idea of what’s going on with a quick overview. Or perhaps we can let that to the author at least. If he thinks that a comment was especially valuable and adds something important to the thread, he could mark it for visualization in a different background color or so.
2.- Sometimes interesting dialogs take place in the comments of a thread but following them is complicated. I don’t like Climate Audit’s solution too much because it alters the order of the posts. What I would suggest is something lighter: a) numbered posts that you can refer to (#1, #2…), with the number being shown at the beginning of the post and in a big font size, and b) an autogenerated text after every post that has responses (people referring to it by its post number), linking to the corresponding replies. Something like “This post has been replied to in #23, #31, #45“.
My two cents.

Jessie
February 20, 2011 10:23 pm

Anthony, moderators and guest posters, truly there is an international following of admirers :-

Apologies to radon there Anthony
Format and style: Just fine
Content: Excellent – I just filter myself or follow up leads and links
Moderation: Fine- trolls live under bridges that men (and more recently women) mined and engineered
Features: Excellent
Guest authors: Very good and excellent, learn much from the comments
Ideas for regular weekly features : no
How do you most use WUWT?: Information on science, learning huge amounts about science across the globe and spheres, methodology more recently, reference, laughing til the tears roll down my face sometimes, posting on to colleagues or others to humbug them or broaden their horizons
What could we do better? Post more Clint
Some may begin to understand tGtBatU and the Ecstasy of Gold score is a lot of hard work, dedicated rigour and science.
And like Anthony with hearing loss, >90% of my students (kids) had perforated eardrums from age 2 years and the adults scarred ones post healing.
Dr. Dave says: February 20, 2011 at 11:20 am – second your comments
Ian L. McQueen says: February 20, 2011 at 11:23 am
For the less literate perhaps a link to a grammar site.
Oh oh- afternoon tropical storm happening here- creek’s flash flooding, need washing in and power is going to go. Lightening dash.

Engchamp
February 20, 2011 10:33 pm

Very difficult to improve, in my humble opinion.
It would be good to see a concise, daily rebuttal of this sinister “Carbon Brief” blog, perhaps with one or two links, thus forming a diary of argument all in one place. However, I do realise that would be time-consuming, and somewhat tedious!
Thank you Anthony.

Nylo
February 20, 2011 10:36 pm

Oh, and by the way, what about an overview of the moderation queue? A small box just before the “Leave a Reply” box, with a content similar to this:
Posts from user1, user2, user3 are waiting in the moderation queue. Please be patient.
It would be helpful no only to know where is your just written comment, but also, if you are about to respond to someone and you can see that that someone has another comment in the moderation queue, you may decide to wait until his new comment appears. Perhaps he has already answered / clarified what you were about to ask.

Terry Oldberg