The Token Skeptic Experiments with Crowdfunding

If you delve into skeptic media even a little bit, you probably already know who Kylie Sturgess is. For those who don’t, she’s a first-class communicator of science and skepticism, known best for her podcast and blog Token Skeptic, and her work writing at the Skeptical Inquirer website.

Podcasting, though, doesn’t pay the bills like it ought to. So Kylie’s taken to the indie fundraising site Patreon to crowdsource the funding of her podcasting work.

Consider this a personal endorsement on my part. Kylie does more for science communication and skeptical evangelism in one day than most do all their lives. Her podcast interviews are professional yet fun, enlightening but never overly-dense. It’s a show that deserves to be supported.

And that has nothing to do with the fact that I was on her show once. Or that she was on mine.

So pop on over to Patreon to give Kylie some help. It’s an interesting model that works by “subscribing” to give a certain amount per show, as little as a dollar an episode. And as with things like Kickstarter, there are “stretch goals” that allow Kylie to expand the scope of the project.

(And if it works out for her, maybe I’ll take a look at Patreon for my own little podcast.)

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  • Cake

    I’ve never liked podcasts. I’d rather read an article than listen to someone talk.

    Edit: Seriously? A down-vote for just stating my preferences for getting information. Weirdo.

  • duke_of_omnium

    I’m with you. Mankind invented writing for a reason.

  • K Sturgess

    Hi – funny, we’re of the same mind. In the link given to the Skeptical Inquirer site (in this very generous promotion of my work), you can see some of the transcripts. You can even read an entire book of them, which is featured on my website.
    Why? Because, as you have said, not everyone’s into podcasts – and some people may be deaf or hard of hearing and so I decided to cater for them too.
    Cheers, and I hope you check out my fundraiser, where I offer transcripts there too.

  • K Sturgess

    Hello! You can request information from me by heading to my site at token skeptic – either on the Patheos Blogs or at the podcast site. Great to see that you’re interested in knowing about the transcripts I do too. There’s a whole book of them (and some on offer for the Patreon subscribers) called “The Scope of Skepticism”. It’s available in paperback and pdf/Kindle. Cheers!

  • brianmacker

    “Token” skeptic? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Couldn’t find where she explained that.

  • Ethan_T

    I think it means conciliatory, as in a means to appease a minority group or to give the appearance of evenhandedness .

  • K Sturgess

    No. But it’s an interesting guess! Cheers.

  • K Sturgess

    I’m a Patheos blogger too, so I’m happy to answer your questions as I’m easy to get in touch with if you find I’m late to the comment sections!
    It’s “Token Skeptic” because it’s a commonly known phrase and I hoped to reach a wider audience by using that name. I originally used the name for a news-roundup section on another show.
    Whenever I talk to people who are not familiar with skepticism (usually to schedule an interview), they often view the phrase “Token Skeptic” as a light-hearted term, and I try to maintain that in my interviews, by being inquisitive and to enjoy the discussion. You can catch some of my more recent interviews on the podcast as examples.
    My other show/site is the 365 Days of Philosophy, which is a little more self-explanatory. I can state the obvious when I so chose… 😉
    My new project (with the help of Patreon subscribers) is going to be Urban Legendary, and will have a broader reach into myths, legends, misconceptions and the like. Feel free to ask me more questions by heading to my atheist blog at Patheos (called Token Skeptic) or check out the Patreon site for more. Cheers!

  • brianmacker

    Ok, I think I understand. I wasn’t getting how a skeptic could be a token, like say a token black. I’d never heard the phrase. A token skeptic would be like when they interview skeptic for a creationist movie then throw out all the on-point footage, and include a shot of them picking their nose.

  • K Sturgess

    I sincerely promise never to pick my nose during interviews, although I occasionally wear pyjamas due to the time zone differences.

  • http://www.paulcaggegi.com Paul Caggegi

    Am a fan of Ms Sturgess’ work. She’s a pretty amazing lady. Her work in the skeptical community both online and IRL is inspiring.

  • K Sturgess

    You are lovely and now I’m going to go hide behind the couch and blush for the rest of the evening (or watch The World’s End on DVD, which is a better use of my time). Thanks!