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Attention, Citizens!
Some tips for communicating your Citizen Science
project – and using social media to do it!
2nd May 2...
Which Citizens do you want to reach?
• What does a successful outcome look like for the
project - who would you reach?
• T...
Planning Social Media Content
• Make the aim and call to action clear – how do citizens
take part? What should they do?
• ...
Social Media Channels: the basics
• Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, Instagram,
etc. provide easy and widely used c...
What works? A few suggestions…
• Guest posts from influential bloggers and figures can
have a big impact, bring own audien...
Great Citizen Science Resources
• European Citizen Science Association:
http://ecsa.biodiv.naturkundemuseum-berlin.de/
• U...
To follow up today…
• Google+ Group for follow up Hang Outs:
https://plus.google.com/communities/1048944140
32760144202
• ...
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Attention Citizens! Presentation as part of the Citizen Science Workshop - Nicola Osborne, EDINA, University of Edinburgh

Attention Citizens! Presentation as part of the Citizen Science Workshop organised by COBWEB, FieldTrip GB and the Open University, British Science Association Science Communication Conference 2014, 1st-2nd May 2014.

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Attention Citizens! Presentation as part of the Citizen Science Workshop - Nicola Osborne, EDINA, University of Edinburgh

  1. 1. Attention, Citizens! Some tips for communicating your Citizen Science project – and using social media to do it! 2nd May 2014 Nicola Osborne, COBWEB project team and EDINA Social Media Officer Nicola.Osborne@ed.ac.uk
  2. 2. Which Citizens do you want to reach? • What does a successful outcome look like for the project - who would you reach? • Target your key audiences… but be prepared to be flexible to who actually responds. • Engage from the start – get citizens in at design stage if possible, test and seek feedback repeatedly. • Prepare to work hard for attention – plan plenty of events, dissemination, ongoing communications to reach your citizens. Social media is part of that mix. • Take advantage of existing communities – organisations, online communities, peer networks can be a trusted and instant link to larger local groups of citizens.
  3. 3. Planning Social Media Content • Make the aim and call to action clear – how do citizens take part? What should they do? • Why should citizens take part? – Are they contributing to social/ecological/societal good (e.g. Click to Cure, OPAL) – Is there personal benefit to taking part? (e.g. GalaxyZoo’s naming and publications policy) – Is it fun? (e.g. FoldIt) – Is is just about exploring curiosity? Or being part of something bigger? (e.g. RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch) • How will their contribution be used? What will it mean? • Do feedback results and what they mean – and what the scientific impact is.
  4. 4. Social Media Channels: the basics • Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, Instagram, etc. provide easy and widely used channels to support and maintain contact and engagement with your community…. • Specialist sites, niche social media, etc. may work best for particular communities (e.g. Flickr for photographers). Try stuff out, test the water. • Brand presences consistently, keep content relevant, human, and up to date, post often, listen and monitor regularly. • Cross promote and link up your social media, web presences, in person events, activities, press mentions, etc. • But remember that not everyone uses social media!
  5. 5. What works? A few suggestions… • Guest posts from influential bloggers and figures can have a big impact, bring own audiences. • Humanizing the project, team, and research builds trust and engagement. Live events/chats can be impactful! • Images and video are hugely sharable – make them calls to action that tie back to goals/timings/activities that are your priorities. • Reward participation– with acknowledgement, responses and thanking others for mentions. It keeps attention, builds respect. • Long term relationships count, treat all participants respectfully. • Reflect your audience(s) back to them – their successes, interests, personality.
  6. 6. Great Citizen Science Resources • European Citizen Science Association: http://ecsa.biodiv.naturkundemuseum-berlin.de/ • UK-EOF’s Understanding Citizen Science and Environmental Monitoring: http://www.ceh.ac.uk/products/publications/understanding- citizen-science.html Projects mentioned in these slides: • Click to Cure: http://www.clicktocure.net/ • OPAL: http://www.opalexplorenature.org/ • GalaxyZoo: http://www.galaxyzoo.org/ • FoldIt: https://fold.it/portal/ • RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch: http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/
  7. 7. To follow up today… • Google+ Group for follow up Hang Outs: https://plus.google.com/communities/1048944140 32760144202 • Questions on the Google+ Group, via Twitter (@suchprettyeyes) or email (nicola.osborne@.ed.ac.uk) welcome!

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