Hello,For those of you I haven’t met yet, or for those of you who have chosen to forget who I am, my name is Jeff Campbell. Let me tell you a little about myself.I am a teacher by trade, working in a school district on the edge of Kansas City. I currently teach 8th grade Environmental and Life Science. Now, some of you are probably thinking “HOLY COW! He teaches 8th graders! He must be crazy!” Let me reassure you…yes I am.I’m sure a few of you could probably attest to that as you may have gotten to know me over my years at NSP. I’d love to say it was my tenth year, but I’ve a couple of recent years due to work, so this is only my 8th year attending NSP. This is actually my second year presenting at NSP, and a little bit later, my fifth year of working with the children’s program. Now, let’s get started with learning about Social Astronomy. Now, you may be thinking…
Social…HUH?The simple act of viewing the heavens is what most people think of when they hear about astronomy.That is what brought us all into the hobby. For some, it transformed into a career. But through it all, we usually find ourselves using the same basic tools. Technology has added to our list of tools, but for the most part, they are updated versions of the same basic tools.As computers have improved, the available tools have increased. The internet has provided new means for social connectivity. People have found new ways to interact and share information. With it comes the concept of Social Astronomy.
Social astronomy isn’t exactly a defined concept. Frankly…it’s just the easiest title I could come up with for this presentation. But let us at least look at how I am defining the concept for the purpose of our discussion.Social Astronomy would be seen as the use of social networking and internet media to bridge connections between astronomers and/or the general public.Building connections isn’t anything new. I’ll guess that everyone here has built some connection with other members of their clubs. Many of you have built connections with people you’ve met here at NSP. Maybe you set up near each other every night. You share your views with each other. You may even keep in touch outside of NSP in some way. Some of you volunteer your time for public outreach, helping to educate people about astronomy or just share your love of the subject with others. Maybe those people have called you back for additional outreach, hence building connections.Today’s presentation is about going a step further.
In this presentation, we will address three main topics: Social Networking, Citizen Science, and Internet Media.Within Social Networking, we’ll look at both getting you connected to different sites and how they can be used as a tool. We will look at some different websites you could use and address both of these items for each one. Citizen science may not seem like something we would address within the realm of social astronomy, but it does have connections. While it generally focuses on individual efforts, some provide you the opportunity to act as part of a “research community” and presenting these sites to your audience can help bring people further into the wonder that is astronomy.Finally, we’ll look at internet media,both what forms it can take and how you can develop your own content if desired.Throughout all of this, I will provide examples for you to check out on your own.Also, if you are worried about taking notes so you can remember things for later, there is only one note you’ll need to write down…the last slide. I will provide the address for where this presentation will be posted online, along with the links to all the sites mentioned in the presentation. If you have any questions, please raise your hands and I’ll try to address it as we go.
Everyone here is familiar with the idea of making connections. Social networking, in the modern sense, refers to the use of various websites designed to help you organize and maintain connections with other people throughout the world. Over the years, websites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter have become synonymous with social networking. They are designed primarily around the idea of connecting with your friends.Yet social networking goes beyond talking about what you did over the weekend or sharing photos you took of someone sleeping at the NSP registration tables…or at an NSP presentation. There are a variety of sites out there designed as aggregate sites for sharing information. Sites like Stumbleupon and Digg help you explore and connect to content on the web, but they go beyond a simple search engine. They can recommend items to you based on your interests. Delicious would be the most popular example of something called Social Bookmarking, where you can create online bookmark lists, share them, and get recommendations for other sites through the site’s tagging system.Each of these sites works off the base concept of social networking. They are not the only sites out there, but for what they do, they are some of the more well known ones.
Before we examine some of these sites in detail, let’s establish a few simple qualities to help use discuss each site. We will look at each site’s primary purpose. In other words, how is it generally used. We will then discuss how easy it is to use for a first time user. In doing this, we will consider that you have at least some experience with navigating a computer and working with the internet. If I describe something that doesn’t make sense, feel free to raise your hand and I’ll try to explain. Third, we will look at how the site can be used for social astronomy.For Ease of Use, we will use a scale from 1 – 5, with one meaning anyone can immediately jump on and use the service without assistance and five meaning that most people will need a tutorial just to navigate the site. I’ve tried to focus on sites that would be between 1 and 3 on this scale. Please remember that this scale is subjective to your knowledge of computers. I’ve considered my own observations of computer use by both children and adults when considering what would be an good “average”.
Facebook is usually consider THE example of social networking. It started as a private service to students at Harvard wishing to connect with each other. Over the years, it has slowly expanded out to the general purpose of networking amongst coworkers, friends, and family (all of which we’ll refer to as “friends” from this point on). For a beginning user, the interface can seem a bit overwhelming. Basic features allow you to post updates about yourself, send messages to friends, post images and videos, and share information about yourself, but some of the vocabulary can seem odd at first. Searching for people and groups can seem frustrating. There are also a lot of options running behind the scenes, and it can be beneficial to have someone help you set them up at first, particularly settings related to privacy. There are people who will list their addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses, with no privacy settings blocking the average person from seeing them. With all these options, the site can seem pretty intimidating. However, with a bit of practice, using the site will become more intuitive.For astronomy, Facebook can be great for making connections with other astronomers. Numerous astronomy related groups exist with varying #’s of members. Some are used as a way to help spread news while others can be more for educating the public. For clubs, Facebook can provide a useful way to help spread awareness, make announcements, and sometimes even gain members.
Here we are going to see some views of Facebook.This first image would be some items that came up while I started to search the term Astronomy. Groups are kind of like online clubs, while pages are focused more like a discussion/news feed. Both can seem pretty similar to each other, with some minor differences in how you receive content from them. You can also find businesses that specialize in astronomy who have created pages on Facebook, like Astronomics in Norman, OK has done. Next you see what an individual page might look like. You can see two photos that have been shared with readers, alongside a news article about a unique image of the Earth created from measurements taken by the GOCE Satellite. The Nebraska Star Party, Prairie Astronomy Club, Omaha Astronomical Society, and the Panhandle Astronomy Club all have group pages on Facebook.
MySpace’s primary value is in the ability to connect with other people. However, it has been plagued with problems related to load times due to the abundance of flashy, attention getting content. Some of the features do require getting used to for a beginning user, much like Facebook. However, for astronomy purposes, it is not nearly as useful as Facebook. There is no ability to create and maintain groups, limiting the ability to find people with similar interests. You can post articles on your own page, but Myspace lacks the news feed-like feature Facebook has, meaning you have to actively look through each person’s page to see if they post anything.So why bring it up today? MySpace is a site that many may have heard of related to it’s role in social networking so I felt I would include it here with the note that in my opinion, it doesn’t come close to being useful in the overall focus of today’s topic.
Twitter burst onto the scene about five years ago, but it took almost two years to really take off. The site can be summed up as nothing more than an online, public, text messenger. You can say whatever you want, but you only have 140 characters to say it. There is no limit to how many messages you can post. Over the years, features have developed allowing the posting of photos, videos, & links, the ability to see what topics are popular on Twitter at a given moment, and the ability to build content-specific lists. Now I say PUBLIC when describing Twitter. But it’s important to note that by default, the only people who see your messages, which are called tweets, are the people who have chosen to “follow” your messages. The only people whose messages you would see are people you have chosen to “follow”.Once on Twitter, the basic features are simple to use, acting very similar to sending a text message on your phone. There are a few ways to dynamically post messages, but you don’t need to worry about that at first.Overall, Twitter can be very useful in astronomy. You can keep up with news and get reminders about events going on. There have been numerous times where I’ve heard about news several hours to a full day before that same information gets sent out several e-mail lists I subscribe too, including the Prairie Astronomy Club. Another interesting feature is that someone has built an automated bot for Twitter for tracking the International Space Station. All you need to do is make sure your location is set up on Twitter, then sign up to receive alerts. It then sends you a message earlier in the day for any passes you could potentially see that night.I have included an account I created purely to track Astronomy related tweets. You can go to my profile, then look at who I am following to see what accounts I was interested in listening to. It is currently a limited list, but I do intend to not only expand it but also to post items.
Before we look at an example of a Twitter feed, I’ll hit on the “follow” part from the previous slide. The only hard part about Twitter, at first, is finding people to connect with. Listorious is a site that can help. Quite easy to use, just type in something like “Astronomy” and it will pull up lists that people have created about astronomy. Each list is a list of accounts that the owner felt was a useful account to follow if you are interested in that topic. It can also search for people whose accounts have the name astronomy in them or in their profile description.
Here is an example of what my feed might look like. This shows any tweets made by people I have followed, in reverse chronological order. I took this screenshot on 7/13/2011 at about 11:00 AM. You can see a few things here. On the left are tweets made by people I have chosen to follow. In the top right, you can see two lists, people I follow and people who follow me. I don’t have anyone following me because I haven’t really used this to post information. Underneath that are recommendations for other people to follow. It takes these names by looking at the people you follow, then looking at the people they follow. If a bunch of people you follow all follow the same person, then it recommends them to you. If you look closely, and can read the words, you might recognize the second name…Mythbuster Adam Savage.Last is a list of the top ten twitter topics at that moment.
Here is a sample of the people that came up when searching the term astronomy. Listorious will look at both the person’s name and their bio when performing a search.
StumbleUpon is an interesting site, to say the least. I describe it as a cross between social networking, bookmarking, and a search engine. While not too hard to use, it’s probably easier to explain what it does by walking through some steps:Create a free account. Make sure to set some “topics” that you like (it will ask you to do this as you create the account).Install the browser app for ease of use.Visit some of your favorite astronomy sites and click the button for “I Like it”. Each time you do this, it adds the site to your list of favorites.After entering a couple of sites, click on the “Stumble!” button. Each time you do this, it will take you to a random site. Early on, some may not be astronomy related. That’s okay. The more you use it, the more accurate the site will become in predicting sites for you.Here’s how this works. Each time a site is “Liked” by a user, it treats it like a thumbs up rating. The more users that like a site, the higher the rating. But alongside this, users have the ability to post their thoughts about a site and add tags, or keywords, which can help organize your list further. The real trick comes when you begin to “Stumble”. The site tries to predict what sites you might like and sends you there. It tries to do this by taking into account the sites already in your list, how they are tagged, and how many people “like” them. It also considers WHO likes a site. Lets say we take five different users who have all “Liked” the Astronomy Magazine site. It will compare their lists to your lists. If four of the users happen to share a lot of the same sites as you, and the fifth one maybe shares two sites with you, then it will be more likely to send you to a site on one of the first four people’s list that you HAVEN’T liked yet over something on the fifth person’s list, in hopes that it might be something you’d be interested in.Confused? Any questions about how this works? As you can see, this can be a great way to come across some interesting sites you hadn’t known about.Let’s look first at an example of a handful of sites I added to my list. Then we will look at a few sites I got sent to that I hadn’t seen before, and subsequently added to my list for later perusal.
Here is a sample of some of the sites I have added to my StumbleUpon list. Your list will display how many people have viewed it through the site, the number of reviews, and any tags you have used to help identify the content of the site.
First, we have a site is called Cosmotions. It is a collection of time-lapse videos of the night sky, with a few weather related ones thrown in.
Second, we have a page from a site called 360VR, which specializes in taking complete 360 degree photos. You are seeing a small section of the cockpit of Space Shuttle Discovery. It was taken to assist The Last Shuttle Project, which is trying to document intimate aspects of the final launch of the space shuttle program.
Third on our list is the UDF Sky-Walker, a basic page that allows you to pan around a full size view of the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field taken in late 2003 using the Advanced Camera for Surveys detector that was installed on Hubble a little over a year earlier.
Last we have a site called the 8 Wonders of the Solar System. It is an interactive mash-up of artistic visualizations and science based on an April, 2010 article in Scientific American. You’ll notice in the lower corner a retracted pop-up saying “Current & Future Missions”, containing information about just that for each of locations shown on this page. You can see some of the additional scientific information in the pop-up along the right side, along with some additional media.
Think of Digg as an organized news rating system. Let’s say you’re reading an article that you find interesting and worth sharing with others. You click on a button and say that you “digg it”. The more people who “digg it”, the higher the site’s rating on the main Digg website. You’re profile also tracks what articles you digg, using the information to recommend similar articles to you. Whereas StumbleUpon covers anything and everything, digg is more focused on articles, whether from a professional news source or a blog. You can also befriend people, which can also be factored into what articles are recommended to you.One downside is that it takes some time for it to develop enough info to truly recommend articles to you. Just keep “Digging” articles you come across and it will eventually begin to work for you. If you know some other people with similar interests who also use the site, befriending them will help too. If you like keeping up with news stories, digg can help reduce how much you search through different news sites by bringing the articles to you, tailored to your interests.
Besides Twitter, Delicious is probably the one other site on here that’s easiest to explain. In a nutshell, it is a social bookmarking site. Imagine taking all of the sites you’ve bookmarked on your browser, using whatever system you’ve established to keep them organized…and you put it online. You can access it from any computer, not just your own. You can now add multiple tags to better organize your bookmarks, allowing you to better filter the list if desired. You can also review your bookmarks, adding comments and thoughts to your list. And the whole thing can be made public, allowing others to potentially find sites they haven’t heard of before, and vice-versa.LikeStumbleUpon, Delicious has a browser app making it easier to add sites to your list. The site is relatively easy to use, but the tagging system can be cumbersome to work with at first. Delicious is a good tool to use if you want to set up a list of links for people visiting your website. Rather than having to individually add a link to each website on your site, possibly by programming that page of your website, you can just add a single link to your Delicious list, where all of those sites you want to advertise can be organized, with a description for each. Adding to the list over time is easier than updating your website.I’ve included a link to my Delicious page, where you can see a list of websites that I have bookmarked.Are there any questions about the sites we’ve addressed before we move on?
Science has a long history of public involvement in research. Medical research is probably the more commonly thought of form of this. So why are we bringing up citizen science? Citizen science, as we are discussing today, refers to some of the modern, online methods for conducting research. Now I’m guessing that most of you have either used or seen the screensaver SETI@home. This is a great example of citizen science. The screensaver is essentially a data analyzer. The screensaver downloads a piece of data from the SETI project, runs it through an analysis, then uploads the results back to the project. By allowing anybody to use the screensaver, it distributes the massive collection of data across the world’s computers, speeding up the process. Citizen science is just that, using the collective power of the general public to perform real research at a faster rate than a small group of individuals could. Besides SETI, Globe At Night is another example that has improved our understanding of current light pollution levels. Galaxy Zoo made a name for itself by its interactive nature. People didn’t just run it in the background. They became actively involved with the research.
Citizen Science is quite valuable to the general public by allowing them to participate in real scientific research. From my own experiences as a teacher, for as much as you teach the scientific method, hands-on experience with performing lab work is important to seeing what real scientists go through. Yet performing actual research can still be eye-opening for many. You not only learn what real research is like, but Citizen Science allows you to contribute to it. Much like Hanny Van Arkel did in 2007 when she discovered Hanny’sVoorwerp.Besides the contributions you make, you also have the chance to make connections with other astronomers, both amateur and professional, learn new information, and have some fun. Some of these sites, like Galaxy Zoo, can be fun sites for younger astronomers to learn about different aspects of astronomy as well.
Hanny’sVoorwerp, for those who aren’t familiar with it, made headlines in 2007 when it was discovered by a Dutch schoolteacher participating in the Galaxy Zoo project. With only an interest in learning about astronomy, and no true field experience, Hanny joined galaxy zoo after hearing about it from a friend. The site guides you through learning how to organize galaxies based on some visual characteristics. While going through photos, Hannyposted a photo on the Galaxy Zoo forums asking for help in making sense of something odd in the photo. It took a few months before it finally got some serious attention, eventually earning distinction for it’s unique nature. Scientists belief that it is part of a long streamer of Hydrogen gas that was pulled from nearby IC 2497 by a merger or close gravitational encounter. It is illuminated by the light of a long past quasar event that occurred in IC 2497. It should be noted that Hanny wasn’t the first person to see the object, but previous people had attributed it to some kind of lens or atmospheric distortion and dismissed it. The object is still being researchedand it was announced this past weekend that Galaxy Zoo will get a full day on the Chandra X-Ray Observatory to observe IC 2497. Similar objects, now dubbed “Voorwerpjes” have been discovered. 18 have been confirmed and Galaxy Zoo has also acquired time on Hubble itself to image these objects. It is a testament to the value of citizen science that Galaxy Zoo has been given this observing time.In fact, with a little research about the story of Hanny’sVoorwerp, you might learn that a regular NSP attendee has had his own contribution to the story. You see here two astronomers standing next to a 48” Newtonian housed at Fort Davis, TX, home of the Texas Star Party. Some of you might even recognize the guy on the left as DraganNikin. Dragan, along with Jimi Lowrey, were the first people to visually spot HannyVoorwerp, using the telescope seen here. No camera’s…just an eyepiece.Hanny also contributed to the creation of a new subclass of galaxies called Pea Galaxies, a type of luminous blue compact galaxy with high rates of star formation. The original post by Hanny in the forums was meant humorously, but eventually, as Galaxy Zoo volunteers began seeing more and more of them, research into them began that eventually led to their recognition as a unique subclass of galaxies.
Here are a couple of resources if you’re interested in finding out more.Spacehack is a directory that aims to organize the various different space research projects that you can follow and potentially participate in.Zooniverse is the main site that hosts Galaxy Zoo. The original Galaxy Zoo has been updated twice, now referred to as Galaxy Zoo Hubble. It has been joined by a variety of other interactive research sites.BOINC is a piece of software you can install that runs in the background on your computer. SETI@home works through this software, as do a host of other astronomy and non-astronomy related research projects. Very little work is needed to participate once the software is set up on your computer.
Internet media can be a wide encompassing group. Online games, music, videos, podcasts, interactive websites, and even blogs could all fall under its cloud. Most deliver information. Some are educational. Some are more for entertainment. We can throw a few of these types out today, so for our purposes, we are going to look at three specific types of internet media: blogs, audio podcasts, and video podcasts.
Most of you have likely heard of blogs before. Many of you probably have one or two that you visit. A few of you might even run a blog. Blogs started as a type of personal commentary, but over the last 15 years, they have evolved into a variety of types ranging from personal diaries to news to educational blogs.I started one back in 2007 centered around geocaching, another hobby of mine. Earlier this year, I started branching out a bit and posting astronomy, general science, and random thoughts. Not much effort is needed to start and run a blog. But if you want to bring in readers, plan on investing time at least weekly. Many of the more successful bloggers are posting at least once a day, sometimes more. Having a few different people working together on running the blog can make things easier to manage, and provide some variety in writing styles too.For clubs, blogs can be a way to provide tips & tricks, or let your readers know what could be visible in the upcoming week. You can advertise your next club meeting or an upcoming public viewing opportunity. You could also write informational articles about different basic astronomy topics.
So what if you think you’re interested in starting a blog.First, pick your topic. Figure out what you want to write about and how you might like to present it. Write a short list of potential articles to write.Next, you’ll want to find a site to host your blog. Wordpress and Blogger are two common FREE blog hosting sites, though not the only ones. You might consider looking at some other blogs as well to help figure out what features you like and don’t like. Now just write. One way to get started is to write about your observing experiences. You could write about individual objects or your entire night of observing. If you like to take images or draw pictures, this can be a great way to enhance the post. Last, don’t forget to advertise to bring in readers. Let your friends know about it. If you use Facebook or Twitter, you can advertise through them.
Podcasts are essentially an audio version of a blog. They started gaining ground in 2004, coincidently around the same time that iPods began picking up their sales. In the simplest sense, they are an online, episodic radio show.iTunes is the most popular way for many people to access podcasts. And just in case some of you have the misconception, an iPod is not required to either create or listen to podcasts. Yet due to their portable nature, they have definitely contributed to the number of podcasts out there. Podcasts will require more work than a blog. While I have been on podcasts, I’ve never actually made one. If you want to consider starting your own podcast, I’d recommend doing some research first. There are some very useful guides out there to help you. There are both free and for-purchase programs to aid in the editing process, if you choose to edit.
Creating a podcast will follow some of the same steps as creating a blog. I would add that you should consider listening to some already established podcasts for ideas.For some examples, check out, NASACast, 365 Days of Astronomy, and Astronomy Cast.
Video podcasts are the next logical step in our list. Born out of the idea of posting videos on blogs, they took off in 2004. Video podcasts have become a popular sight on websites like Youtube, where an endless variety can exist. Enough so that if you start paying attention, you’ll realize that there are even some common techniques for how to edit your video within the Youtube community. Videos will obviously require the most amount of work to produce. Yet, if undertaken, it can also provide you with more variety in how to present your information. I have less experience with producing these than I do with audio podcasts, but lets look at some tips.
You might notice that these are the same tips I gave for an audio podcast. Much like the previous two methods, consider watching some other video podcasts to develop ideas for how you want to present yours. There are also a lot less regular astronomy related video podcasts, so an ambitious person or group could find a niche market for this.Here are a few examples:IRrelevent Astronomy is a good example of mixing science with comedy.NASACast has some links to other video podcasts as well.
If you are thinking that you might want to develop your own internet media, consider some of the following questions before doing so.What topics do you want to address? Do you want to present on space exploration or observing the night sky? Telescope making, or reviews of equipment? Or do you want to mix and match.How much time do you want to invest? Once a day, week, month? For audio and video, once a week can still involve a lot of work. Once a month might be easier. For a blog, once a day or every few days might seem feasible at times, but once or twice a week might be more managable. The more topic ideas you have, the easier it is to post more frequently.Is this a solo or group project. Solo will be more involved, but you have more control. A group effort relieves some of the workload and creates variety, but will involve a bit more coordination.What form do you want to use? Written, audio, or video?
When reaching out to an audience, your entire goal is to bring people in to view your content. Obviously, the more valuable or entertaining your content, the more people will want to view it. But you can’t just expect people to suddenly show up at your site. You’ll need to reach out and develop an audience. At first, you’ll want to bring in other astronomers. If you’re just starting out, have a few astronomers review your content and see if they have suggestions for improving it. But once you’re ready to really start getting people to your site, there are a few other ways to not only bring in viewers, but to maintain viewers.Use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to alert followers and friends that you’ve made a new post.Visit other blogs and/or podcast sites and interact. Taking part in discussions or adding comments can get people to notice your name. Many sites will allow you to add your site address so that your name is linked to your own site. Also talk with the site owner. Many average blogs are willing to add a link to your site if you add one to theirs.Try to release your content on some kind of schedule. If you’re posts are irregular, readers won’t know when something new is available.Listen to your audience. They might have ideas, questions, or criticisms.
While astronomy is very much an “in-the-field” endeavor to most, the ability to enhance your experiences through the internet is there. Developing an online presence can be beneficial to not just yourself, but to others as well.Social networking and internet media provide opportunities for you to:You just have to be willing to get online.
What is Social Astronomy<br />Social astronomy would be seen as the use of social networking and internet media to bridge connections between astronomers and/or the general public.<br />
Today’s Topic Goals<br />Social Networking<br />Getting Connected<br />Using Social Websites as a Tool<br />Citizen Science<br />Internet Media<br />Internet Media<br />Developing Your Own Content<br />
Examining the Sites<br />Site:<br />Primary purpose<br />Ease of Use<br />Connection to Social Astronomy<br />
Facebook<br />Connecting with friends and family<br />3<br />Lots of groups to connect with, both general and specific. A great resource for clubs to connect with people.<br />
Groups, Pages, and Places that came up when searching “Astronomy”.<br />The feed from a random Astronomy page.<br />
MySpace<br />Connecting with friends and family<br />3<br />Overall use for astronomy purposes are limited.<br />
Twitter<br />An online, public, text messenger.<br />1<br />Great for making connections and posting quick bursts of information and/or announcements.<br />http://twitter.com/#!/AstronomyTrip<br />
Twitter - Listorious<br />A search engine for finding Twitter accounts and lists.<br />1<br />Great for finding content specific accounts you might be interested, or looking through lists of accounts that have already been created by others.<br />
A sample of people that came up when searching the term “Astronomy”.<br />
StumbleUpon<br />Social Networking meets Bookmarking meets Search Engine.<br />2<br />Great for finding sites and/or news you might not have seen before based on your input.<br />My StumbleUpon profile<br />
What is Citizen Science<br />Citizen Science refers to projects that allow anyone to participate in some form of research.<br />More well known examples include SETI, Globe at Night, and Galaxy Zoo.<br />Some of these sites, like Galaxy Zoo and it’s related projects, encourage socialization through forums, both research related and general socialization.<br />
Value of Citizen Science<br />Contribute to ongoing scientific research<br />Opportunities for discoveries, like Hanny’sVoorwerp.<br />Chance to make connections with other astronomers, amateur and profressional.<br />Can be educational<br />Can be fun<br />Some are well suited for kids too<br />
Hanny’sVoorwerp<br />Hanny’sVoorwerp is a great example of the value of citizen science.<br />
Citizen Science Resources<br />Spacehack – a directory of ways to participate in space exploration<br /><ul><li>Zooniverse – a collection of interactive research projects. Galaxy Zoo was the original project.
BOINC – Software for volunteer/grid computing.
Hosts SETI@homeand more</li></li></ul><li>Internet Media<br />SkyWatch with Hubble Watch<br />365 Days of Astronomy<br />NASACast<br />Astronomy Cast<br />The Jodcast<br />
Defining Internet Media<br />Internet media can be looked at as a method of delivering information to the public.<br />We’ll be looking at three main types of Internet Media:<br />Blogs<br />Audio Podcasts<br />Video Podcasts<br />
Blogs<br />Blogs started as a type of personal commentary. Over the last 15 years, they have evolved into a number of types ranging from personal diaries to news to educational.<br />Of our three main types, blogs require the least amount of effort. Put in some effort, and you’ll start getting more recognition.<br />A great way for clubs to provide regular information to the public.<br />
Starting a Blog<br />Pick a topic<br />Find a hosting site<br />Write and post<br />Advertise<br />Blogger<br />Wordpress.com<br />
Audio Podcasts<br />Podcasts first hit the airwaves in the late 90’s, but didn’t gain real public popularity until 2004. In the simplest sense, they are an online, episodic radio show. Much like blogs, they can serve a variety of purposes.<br />While requiring more work than a blog, podcasts have the added advantage of being more portable, and can better portray mood and tone.<br />
Starting an Audio Podcast<br />Pick a topic<br />Find a website to host<br />Find an editing software<br />Record and post<br />Advertise<br />NASACast<br />Astronomy Cast<br />365 Days of Astronomy<br />
Video Podcasts<br />Video podcasts were born out of the idea of using videos on blogs. Like audio podcasts, 2004 really helped them take off. The only difference between the two is the use of video over pure audio.<br />Requiring the most work of the three types, it also offers more ways to dynamically present the information you are trying to get out than your typical blog or podcast.<br />
Starting a Video Podcast<br />Pick a topic<br />Find a website to host<br />Find an editing software<br />Record and post<br />Advertise<br />IRrelevant Astronomy<br />NASACast<br />
Value of Internet Media<br />For the average person, internet media can be a source of entertainment, learning, and news. For someone producing internet media, it can be a way to share information, educate others, and enhance your online presence. <br />For clubs, this can be seen as another form of public outreach and can help you bring attention to the club.<br />
Developing Your Own Content<br />Some things to consider if you want to start developing your own material:<br />What topics do you want to address?<br />How much time do you want to invest?<br />Is this a solo or group project?<br />What form do you want to use?<br />
Reaching Out to the Audience<br />No matter what form you use, bringing in readers/listeners is important. Here are some tips:<br />Use Social Networking sites to advertise<br />Find other similar blogs/podcasts and interact<br />Develop a schedule for releasing content<br />Listen to your audience<br />
Summary<br />Social networking and internet media provide opportunities for you to:<br />Make connections with other astronomers<br />Find and share additional resources.<br />Participate in online projects<br />Learn new information<br />Improve your online presence<br />
Additional Information<br />This presentation is available for your perusal at my own blog, Trip’s Geoadventures. The blog can be found at:<br />http://tripcyclone.wordpress.com<br />All websites mentioned in this presentation will be linked to in the online presentation. To find it, just click on the “Astronomy Tab” under the main site image and find the “Social Astronomy” post. <br />