Welcome to Teen Skepchick!
It only took me, er, several days of research and learning php and junk, but finally I’ve managed to pull together Teen Skepchick. Hooray!
I’ve always felt as though it’s crucial to reach people when they’re as young as possible, teaching them not what to think but how to think. The problem was that I’ve just always seen Skepchick as an adult-oriented site that’s a lot of fun for the 21-and-older crowd, but not always appropriate for younger readers. With so many other projects going on, I let the idea of a teen-focused site drop to the back of my mind.
That is, until my fellow Skepchick bloggers started kicking the idea around themselves. What I love most about Skepchick is that the writers are a team, and everyone is always coming up with new ideas and then actively trying to implement them. The Skepchicks inspire me all the time, so it’s no surprise that their discussion prompted me to finally get off my can and start Teen Skepchick, the smart little sister site of Skepchick.
Of course, who knows how long it would have taken me to start drafting teenagers to the team had I not met a very cool chick named Cassie at The Amaz!ng Meeting 6 in Las Vegas last weekend. Not only did she impress me with her enthusiasm and love of science and critical thinking, but she happens to be from the same town as me. I mentioned Teen Skepchick to her and she was immediately on board. Rawk.
When I came back from Vegas, I happened to check my MySpace profile, which gets a bit of traffic though I don’t do as much with it as I should. I hardly ever even have time to respond to messages on there, but the timing of a note from another teenage skepchick couldn’t have been better. Sarah wrote in asking if she could link to Skepchick from her MySpace page, to which of course I agreed and then asked if in return she’d like to join Teen Skepchick. Another recruit!
I figured that to start out, one more girl would be perfect. When the Skepchicks were originally batting around the idea, one name came up almost immediately — Splendid Elles, whose blog had recently attracted a bit of attention from skeptical friends like Phil Plait and Richard Dawkins. She’s smart, funny, and a strong freethinking chick, and I was very happy when she enthusiastically agreed to contribute.
So those are our first three Teen Skepchicks. I have a lot of emails from others who want to join the team, and I’ll be sorting through those shortly. Also, I’ll be making tweaks to Teen Skepchick here and there (as you may have noticed, some things are a little unfinished and not working yet), but I figured that we might as well get the teens up and blogging as soon as possible. After all, I think there will always be a serious need for more smart young women to make their voices heard loud and clear.
I’ll probably set up a little FAQ page shortly, but for now I just want to answer what I think may be your first questions:
Who is the Teen Skepchick audience?
I hope that kids as young as 12 find things of interest here, and adults of any age can tune in to see what the next generation of skeptics is up to.
What kind of topics will you address?
From alternative medicine to conspiracy theories to science news, Teen Skepchick will hit on the same general topics as Skepchick. The difference is that this site will have a younger point of view with more focus on how these topics are affecting our kids directly.
Will there be a different code of conduct on Teen Skepchick?
Yes. Everyone knows that Skepchick can be bawdy and a bit rowdy at times, because it’s a site for adults. That’s part of the reason why Teen Skepchick exists — to provide a resource for younger people that can still be irreverent and frank about certain topics, but that is a safe haven free from explicit content. I know that teens aren’t strangers to that kind of content, but I want parents to know that Teen Skepchick will encourage radical thinking, not behavior that might be illegal or inappropriate for kids.
Does that apply to comments as well?
Yes. Signing up for Skepchick allows you to post on Teen Skepchick as well, but the moderation will be stronger here. Keep the profanity in check, and do not insult the writers or other commenters. Discussion is encouraged, but flame wars will not be tolerated. I will not hesitate to ban you from here and from Skepchick if you annoy me or my writers enough.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned for the first posts from our new recruits.