Time for a new name and direction? Readers insights, thoughts welcome

Dear all,

As you may have noticed the pace and number of posts has slowed somewhat. There are good reasons for this, primarily work commitments and my own fatigue.

In retrospect I needed a short sabbatical. Producing regular content for a blog is hard work, especially if it is done outside of work and in the late evening or very early morning.

During this fallow period I have been spending a great deal of time thinking about the future direction of this blog – or at least my writing efforts. I’m not shutting down WtD or giving up blogging. Nothing that dramatic!

However, I’ have become frustrated with the narrow constraints the name “Watching the Deniers” can impose on my writing, the themes of this blog and the topics I wish to cover (cue claims I’m giving into pressure to give up the apt description of climate sceptics as “deniers” or some such nonsense).

I’m not shy in saying I want to broaden my audience: a writer writes to be read.

So one possible strategy that may help me reach a broader reader base is a new name and redesigned blog/website. But as we all know re-branding efforts are always tricky – just ask Coca-Cola. “New Coke” anyone?

Given blogging is a collaborative process between blogger and audience, I’m asking for your thoughts.

Potential names I’m kicking around in my head include:

  • Ecopolitics
  • Climate versus Politics
  • [The] Political Climate
  • [The] Climate Political
  • Upon This Earth/Face of the Earth (yes I’m drawing upon images and phrases found in the King James version of Genesis)

The topics I want to focus are broad but reflect my general interests: climate science and science generally; the politics of climate change and environmental issues; the media’s role in reporting climate and environment; the issues; the public’s perceptions of said issues; history and philosophy of science; conspiracy culture and extremist politics and their intersection with the climate change and environmental debate.

I’m still not convinced I’ll change the WtD “brand”, but I feel the need to freshen up this blog and my writing.

Mike @ WtD

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34 thoughts on “Time for a new name and direction? Readers insights, thoughts welcome

  1. diessoli says:

    The ostrich-effect ?
    D.

  2. J Giddeon says:

    Wt2; as in WT squared; as in WTWT; as in Worse Than We Thought.

    You get to keep most of your current nick but open it up to almost anything

    omg weather extremes are Wt2;
    the Libs are Wt2
    the denial is Wt2
    DAP is Wt2
    America’s imperialism is Wt2
    carbon pollution is Wt2
    PM abbott is Wt2

  3. Gregory T says:

    WtD..

    “Obfuscating the Truth”, “Truth or Obfuscation”, either one, leaves for an open discussion.

  4. john byatt says:

    trouble is nick that if you allow abbott to go ahead with his DAP then by the time we find out it was crap it would be six years of lost action.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-11/champion-says-labor-should-agree-to-scrap-carbon-tax/4949928

  5. john byatt says:

    Tony Abbott came up with one “SCRAP THE PLANET”

  6. Ben says:

    I hear you about the fatigue factor! As the deniers know, and depend upon, a lie can travel around the world before the truth has put its boots on. This makes responding to their repetitious misrepresentations a tiring and reactive effort… That doesn’t mean that the effort is futile though!

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Thanks Ben, appreciate your thoughts. I’ve come to view this blogging thing as a series of long races and not a single sprint. Between each burst of activity, time is needed to rest and (re)build reserves of strength and energy.

      One thing I have at the back of my mind is opening the revamped blog up to additional authors to help share the load.

  7. I have enjoyed reading this and other similar blogs, and wondered for how long the denial self interest groups would continue to hold their line in the face of overwhelming evidence of global warming. Maybe a new name could be ‘Watching the Deniers – Melt’. Somehow I suspect that Mr Bolt will become Gina Rienhardt’s director of corporate communications when he is finally exposed as a self seeking right wing corporate sycophant. Best of luck and thank you for your efforts.

  8. Extreme Climate Deniers – it sort of violates my recent concern the blog not appear pro-denier at a casual glance , but I can’t really seeing the Watts of this world ( if indeed they ARE of this world) using this as their title …..

  9. Watching the Deniers says:

    Thanks guys, this feedback is valuable and helpful.

    Keep the ideas coming, I like the thinking :)

  10. Most of the short and punchy titles suggested so far unfortunately sound like they are PRO denial.

    A longer title is less catchy but doesn’t lose potential readers before they get to the blog posts….

  11. Extremes and Extremism (E&E)
    Climate Extremes
    Fundamental Climate

    Extremes will be a hot topic in climate research for a least one or two decades. And I expect that you will still keep on watching the extremists, fundamentalists.

  12. Stuart Mathieson says:

    Climate of Denial?

  13. Chris W says:

    I enjoy dropping by and reading WtD – it has a friendly feel to it and even the resident deniers aren’t as mad as some of the cut snakes on other blogs.

    I like Climate versus Politics (the acronym ‘CvP’ also kinda has the same punch as ‘WtD’) but maybe Science versus Politics (SvP) suggests a broader remit than straight climate science?

  14. jasonblog says:

    I quite like the King James.

    “And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.” (Luke 22:34)

    I suspect you know what’s going to happen. Trust your gut instinct. It hasn’t failed you so far.

    Ecopolitics is ok, but I’d prefer Eco-politics.

    Why limit yourself?

    Enjoy your fatigue. Have a rest. Abbott is the break we all needed before the shit hits the fan.

    Expand the dialogue you’re having with the cosmos. Draw upon the arts & science. What do the great teachers of the world have to share with us. What can be revealed to us through the Abrahamic traditions? How is the Islam world so much more than the simplicity that it is presented as on Fox News? Are the same people who want to destroy the Humanities the same people who want to destroy The Greens?

    If man has lost his spiritual place in nature, how are we to rediscover it?

    It might sound strange, but the Institute of Public Affairs are right. Direct Action does have a role to play. Getting people out and planting things is useful. Andrew Bolt does have a very large audience and he is right. People afraid of change don’t need to be treated with condescension.

    “Use the force, Luke”

  15. “Watching the Extreme Climate Deniers”.

    As I have said, denying a future event is always credible at first blush – denying current reality is never credible.

    I myself feel similarly about the decision to rename Canada’s “Small” party the “Green” party back in early 1980s.

    Green has become so co-opted, along with sustainability. Rupert Murdoch supports “greenness” but would rather die than support “smallness”.

  16. john byatt says:

    honorable ancestor

  17. john byatt says:

    sounds good

    watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/to-pilot-a-planet-the-future-of-the-climate-change-debate/

  18. Bill Jamison says:

    I think if you really want to run a successful and popular blog then it needs to focus on original content not similar writing about what was posted on other blogs. It makes sense to change the direction of this blog slightly to be able to discuss both the science and the politics.

    • john byatt says:

      what original content like crap from Willis Eschenbach and Bob Tisdale”

      or guest rubbish posts from eric the dumb or craig kelly

      mike has always discussed many things which is why the name watching the deniers is probably not appropriate.

      • Bill Jamison says:

        If success of a blog is based on number of readers then obviously WUWT is very successful and WtD isn’t.

        How many rebuttal sites has WtD spawned LOL

        If you stopped posting jb the comment rate would drop by 75%!

  19. mgm75 says:

    I do like Ecopolitics.

    John Byatt just said that “Political Climate” is gone. What about “Politics and Climate” perhaps?

    Or “Not self correcting” – not an immediate reference to the climate but a play on words that the climate isn’t going to put itself straight. It also makes reference to the free market fundamentalism of the denialists.

  20. john byatt says:

    ” I’ have become frustrated with the narrow constraints the name “Watching the Deniers” can impose on my writing, the themes of this blog and the topics I wish to cover (cue claims I’m giving into pressure to give up the apt description of climate sceptics as “deniers” or some such nonsense).”

    agree mike

    “denial and reality”

    “watching the climate”

    ” a planet in denial”

    sure you will get plenty

    from the above I would pick “Upon This Earth” or “the political climate’

  21. David Spratt says:

    Like The Political Climate best of your list, factual not vey much of the heart.
    Without too much thought: Warm, hotter, hot; Smoking’ the climate. David

    • astrostevo says:

      Agreed but I like the current name too and kind of hope you keep it.

      Been busy lately, more than ever so can certainly relate. When I do get a chance to check this blog out, I’m always glad i did so, You’ve always got informative, well-written thought-provoking stuff here in my view.

      So thankyou and please keep up the good work. (If you need a holiday tho’ well enjoy & come back refreshed and happier and stronger for it – I understand, I know the feeling & bet most other readers do too!)

  22. Adam Benton says:

    Personally I love the punarrific nature of “political climate” but then I’m a sucker for bad jokes

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