Blog Feed Upwell. The ocean is our client. en Upwell’s unique model of “community management” <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">One of the goals of Upwell was to empower the influential voices in Team Ocean to create and share content that would increase attention to the crisis the ocean is facing. While much of our time was devoted to creative campaigning and all-consuming research projects to meet that goal, there’s one important element we talked less about: community management.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">My job was as much about communicating <em>within</em> the network of ocean influencers as it was about the ideas they communicated about <em>with the world</em>. Without a strong network, our campaigns would be like a fancy car with no fuel - they’d look nice, but they’d go nowhere.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In our <a href=""><span class="s2">pilot report of 2013</span></a>, we detailed how we built our community from the ground up (page 54). Here’s just a selection of the community building activities we detailed in that report:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><i>We attended conferences like the Blue Ocean Film Festival, Oceans in a High CO2 World, and Science Online. We provided in-depth feedback and data to groups like The Ocean Project and Conservation International on efforts like World Oceans Day and the Ocean Health Index. We sent our most loyal Tide Report subscribers postcards on a weekly basis, thanking them for being part of Team Ocean. We conversed with our peers on Twitter and retweeted their content when we couldn’t feature it in a Tide Report. We also did some strategic work to better connect the lingerers and lurkers in our network. We analyzed our Tide Report subscriber list against our Twitter followers and Facebook fans to understand how to more deeply engage people that were only aware of some of our activities.</i></span></p></blockquote> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">When we asked people to sign up and join us, it wasn’t a one-time thing. Our welcome email, sent to new subscribers of the Tide Report, told them we were asking them to make us a commitment:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><i>Our goal is to increase the number of social mentions about the ocean issues we all care about. To do that, we rely on you. </i></span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1"><i>We know you care about the ocean, but it's not always easy to find great content to share. That's where we come in. We find, create, and package awesome stuff (videos, images, blog posts, and more), share it with you in the Tide Report, and in each issue, we ask you to spread them via your social channels (your personal and your organizational ones!) </i></span></p></blockquote> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">At the root of our community building and managing philosophy is a commitment to <b>provide value</b>. We knew the people in our network wouldn’t amplify what we suggested unless they felt they were getting something from us. We did this by connecting people with each other, giving away our conversational research, and acting as a free PR service for captivating ocean campaigns. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Reciprocity is the currency of the internet. Whatever we received or found we then shared and amplified. This turn-up-the-volume effort helped many ocean influencers connect with audiences who might have missed them. The Tide Report, Upwell’s blog and social media channels, topic-specific webinars, plus staff speaking engagements, guest blog posts and project consulting have provided channels for delivering this value to a diverse audience of time-starved ocean activists. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Our method of influencer community management has been a hybrid of modern digital PR, offline community organizing, and online community management. One useful lens for our practice is this: we had a hub-and-spoke model, in which information flowed in, was filtered, and reflected back out. We weren’t placing ourselves at the hub in order to gain power or influence for ourselves, but rather to increase the power and influence of our peers. </span></p> <p class="p1"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="213" width="220" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="202" width="220" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <p class="p1"><em>Hub-and-spoke network or fully connected mesh network? A little of both.</em></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Rachel thought of this as a concierge service for the nascent ocean movement, offering tailored tips and services to ensure a successful visit to the internet. We prioritized driving traffic and attention to our community members, rather than toward ourselves (which gave us lots of metrics-related headaches). We aspired to a <a href=""><span class="s2">fully connected mesh style network</span></a>, wanting the members of the network to be visible to each other. What made our model unique is that we reflected our community back to itself, while adding a layer of insight. We did this on a regular basis, but we also had focused moments like the Sharkinar where we intentionally increased the size, impact and reach of a specific issue community.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">These were some of the methods that defined our influencer community management model:</span></p> <p class="p1"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="424" style="width: 300px; height: 301px;" width="422" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <h3 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>Targeted recruitment</b></span></h3> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As mentioned above, Upwell attended conferences and meetings and we asked people to join our network in person. Many of these people were identified and specifically targeted. Through our conversational research, we also identified online influencers around key ocean topics, and reached out to them over Twitter and email to ask them to sign up for the Tide Report and join our webinars. Our recruitment methods went into high gear around events like our #Acidinar and our #Sharkinar. We wanted to make sure the right people, who could significantly influence online conversation, would be on the phone.</span></p> <h3 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>Data services</b></span></h3> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A core part of Upwell’s work was around conversational data analytics. We had access to social data scraping tools that would have been prohibitively expensive for many organizations to access on their own. By taking the lens of movement-level metrics we were able to provide an entirely new service to a diverse community. Our analysis was sometimes shared in little bits, via our <a href=""><span class="s2">blog</span></a> and the <a href=";id=888c7ecdb2"><span class="s2">Tide Report</span></a>, and sometimes shared in large chunks like our <a href=""><span class="s2">pilot report</span></a> and our State of the Online Conversation reports about <a href=""><span class="s2">Overfishing</span></a> and <a href=""><span class="s2">Ocean Acidification</span></a>. </span></p> <h3 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>Content filtering</b></span></h3> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We received far more tips via our tips email line than we could possibly promote. And often, as I described in <a href=""><span class="s2">my blog post about creating shareable content</span></a>, the tips we received had some, but not all the necessary elements to generate conversation. We often acted as a filter, receiving all the awesome work from Team Ocean, picking and choosing what to amplify (<a href=""><span class="s2">based on transparent curation criteria</span></a>), investing creative resources to repackage when necessary, and reflecting back out to the community. </span></p> <h3 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>Holding up a mirror</b></span></h3> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This is the part of our community management that may feel the most familiar. By retweeting and sharing the content of our community, sharing job postings and calendar events, thanking individuals by name, and including the accomplishments of peers in our Tide Report, we simply kept our community members on each other’s radar. We held up a mirror so that our community members saw each other and understood how they all fit together as part of a larger team.  As part of this friendly mirror responsibility, we’d also (metaphorically) tell influencers if they had spinach in their teeth, AKA a gentle heads up that if we saw an influencer sharing old/ inaccurate/debunked links.</span></p> <h2 class="p1">What made it possible</h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As part of our work in documenting our community management practice, Rachel and I had a good long discussion yesterday about what familiar network metaphor best fits how we’ve approached this work at Upwell. It resulted in the inclusion of the hub-and-spoke and mesh network references above. But ultimately, we couldn’t quite settle on just one. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We’ve relied on being the hub, where people send their hot tips and look to when they want to know what to share. But we’ve wanted to do it relatively invisibly, in order to not steal any spotlight from our friends and oceany colleagues. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">What’s made it possible is all of the individual relationships and the people who trusted us even if we didn’t have 100K followers on Twitter and weren’t the ones being interviewed about breaking news. That’s because our network was an amalgamation of friendships and close working relationships, and we are grateful to the loyalty of every single person. Thank you forever for your trust, and for sharing both your amazing ocean news and the attention of your followers.</span></p> </div></div></div> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 22:10:59 +0000 Ray Dearborn 681 at Top six ways to ensure your conservation content gets shared <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In three years at Upwell, we’ve played a lot with content. We’ve remixed, rewritten, repackaged, curated, and amplified. We’ve looked for the most shareable content - the most captivating videos, the powerful images, the inspirational quotes - and tried to get more people to see and share. We’ve also looked for the content that was important and groundbreaking, but not yet shareable - the scientific studies, the policy papers - and tried to find ways to make it shareable.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Over the years, we’ve told you what we've learned about how to package your content so it’s the most shareable. Here are our top tips.</span></p> <p class="p2"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="360" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <h2 class="li1"><span class="s1"><b>1. Always appeal to high energy emotions</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Videos that merely educate are less shareable than those that tell a story that will captivate. There are a wide range of emotions you can appeal to, from awe to humor to fear to schadenfreude. When crafting your content, whether it’s a blog post, an image, or a video, think about what emotion you are trying to inspire. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Last year’s <a href=""><span class="s2">controversial Facebook experiment</span></a>, which manipulated the emotions of Facebook users, showed that the emotions of your peers on social media influence your own. While we hate to use the findings of an experiment that toyed with basic notions of privacy, we did take away that if we want to inspire hope for the ocean, we should communicate hope. And, indeed, we have read that high energy emotions (like awe and excitement) are <a href=""><span class="s2">more likely to be shared</span></a> than low energy emotions (like sadness or contentment), and positive emotions are <a href=""><span class="s2">more engaging on social media</span></a> than negative emotions. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In our <a href=""><span class="s2">research into the online conversation</span></a> about California’s marine protected areas (MPAs), we learned that social media posts that conveyed love and a call to protect MPAs were more engaging than those that merely educated audiences about MPAs. This is why we’ve invested so heavily at Upwell to <a href=""><span class="s2">promote the theme of #oceanoptimism</span></a>, and we hope Team Ocean will carry this on. </span></p> <h2 class="p2"><span class="s1"><b>2. Make sure your visuals not only tell a story, but communicate a value</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">By now, we all know that <a href=""><span class="s2">we should be sharing images or video</span></a> with almost everything we post on social media. The goal of an image paired with your content is to visually convey a story, and importantly to do it in one highly-sharable glance, so that people are encouraged to click and learn more. We have found at Upwell that images that show humans interacting with the ocean help tell a story better than those that merely depict ocean creatures.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">A story that conveys a value is even more shareable. (Think: not just “this fisherman is battling ocean acidification” but “this fisherman’s battle with ocean acidification shows us the consequences of our actions.”). Words superimposed over an image help convey a story and value, but the image chosen is just as important: it also ideally conveys essential elements of the narrative frame we’re strategically spreading. The postures, the background, and the demographics of those persons depicted all heavily set the story for the words we place on the picture.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">People share because they wish to associate their personal (or brand) identity with the narrative depicted, and to tell their peers and friends that they think it’s a story worth listening to. Climate Access’s <a href=";utm_campaign=2e69dc1eb8-Update_1_23_151_23_2015&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_967f14f722-2e69dc1eb8-330973473"><span class="s2">Ten Steps to Improving Energy Efficiency Imagery</span></a> include great lessons for imagery in social media, even for those who are not focused on energy efficiency in their work. </span></p> <p class="p2"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><i>This image, shared hundreds of times on Facebook, communicated not just information, but a value.</i></span></p> <h2 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>3. Provide shareable content with scientific reports</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It’s a story we’ve all heard before: a scientific paper comes out and the media covers it in a way that the paper’s authors disapprove of. Either the findings are skewed or misreported, or the visuals paired with media coverage don’t tell the whole story. Most often, this isn’t due to a lack of integrity on the part of the journalist - instead, it is because the “so what” isn’t communicated clearly in the press release. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It is journalists’ jobs to find that “so what,” and if you don’t tell them what it is, they will try to find it on their own. Additionally, the graphics and photographs shared with scientific papers are often not high resolution or don’t immediately communicate the top findings, so <a href=""><span class="s2">journalists often turn toward stock imagery</span></a> to pair with their articles. Check out Compass Online’s <a href=""><span class="s2">tips for sharing your science</span></a> to learn more about how to arm journalists to explain your research correctly.</span></p> <h2 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>4. Adapt to the limits (and preferences) of your social media platforms</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Even if your content appeals to emotions and values <i>and </i>it includes captivating imagery, if it doesn’t load correctly on Facebook, or if your image is cut off on Twitter, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Think: how many videos have you watched because they’re right in front of you, versus videos that you had to click two or three times to view? If you are sharing a video on Facebook, use Facebook’s proprietary video platform, as it plays automatically in the feed. If you’re sharing a video on Twitter, share it using YouTube because viewers won’t need to leave Twitter to watch it. Utilize <a href=""><span class="s2">Facebook’s og: tags</span></a> to define what text and what image show up when someone shares a link to a page on your website. If you have a viewpoint to express, think about where you can share it that will encourage the most attention - it may not be your own blog, but instead might be one that has a highly engaged audience built in.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">These steps take extra time (e.g., uploading your video to multiple platforms, and combining analytics for all platforms during reporting), but they lead to much higher engagement in total, and ultimately, more impact. If you use your own proprietary video platform, unfortunately your videos will not be playable on major social media networks. Think about how you can reduce the number of clicks between your audience and your content to one. Even two or three clicks can prevent you from getting your message across. </span></p> <h2 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>5. Unbranded is best, but less branding will do</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">People don’t want to share advertisements - they want to share content. Studies have shown that “Millennials,” the internet-native generation, feel <a href=""><span class="s2">more aligned with issues and causes</span></a> than they do with organizations and brands. We’ve seen time and again that it isn’t necessary to put your logo on every image you create and share on Facebook, particularly if it is attached to a piece of content that communicates your value. In fact, unbranded content has the potential to be shared more broadly and ultimately generate more traffic toward the content you are sharing and more support for your cause. While you may be required to include your logo on public communications, use it only to support your message, and don’t lean on your brand to carry the message. Check out <a href=""><span class="s2">’s Facebook page</span></a> for some great examples of unbranded and minimally branded content.</span></p> <h2 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>6. Simplify, simplify simplify.</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">When Upwell was creating images to share in our campaigns, we’d often go through ten versions before settling on one. Most often, we were trying to find a way to reduce the amount of text on the image, but we were also looking for the <i>right </i>image - the one that conveyed the right tone and message in the clearest way. We were also in constant pursuit of shorter, more digestible videos we could share, like <a href=";id=343f414e33"><span class="s2">MBARI’s anglerfish video that went viral</span></a> late last year. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As passionate communicators, we want our audiences to know everything about an issue, to understand it inside and out. But when we create content that we want people to share, we can’t overburden that content with information. Choose one captivating idea, one opinion, one quote, or one statistic or fact, and lead with that. If you can “hook” people with that one idea, they will be excited to learn more. Want to know more about how to do this? Check out <a href=""><span class="s2">this story on Beth Kanter’s blog</span></a> about an image that was worth 25,000 shares. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">For more on Upwell’s approach to content packaging, especially as it relates to ocean content, check out the case studies beginning on page 61 of our <a href=""><span class="s2">Pilot Report</span></a>. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">While Upwell is closing this month, we know that the lessons from our work have been integrated into the outreach of Team Ocean. <a href=""><span class="s2">Follow Team Ocean on Twitter</span></a> to find great content to share.</span></p> </div></div></div> Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:04:18 +0000 Ray Dearborn 676 at How an email strengthened a community <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">From Anchorage on the 12th of October 2011, Kieran Mulvaney emailed this to Rachel Weidinger:</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“I keep coming to the idea of a weekly or bi-weekly email newsletter, sent to as wide a mailing list of researchers, bloggers, journalists, foundation folks etc as we can pull together, with links to stories, videos etc, summaries of the major stories, and even a little editorializing. And while this may seem inside baseball, another case of the community speaking to itself, it’s a means to an end, a way to a) help ensure that we get sent latest news and info and included in the proverbial loop; and b) help our work be retweeted and forwarded by others with a sympathetic and interested audience.”</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It was Kieran’s idea that would, with the visionary help of the Waitt Foundation, become the Tide Report. But we made one significant tweak to Kieran’s proposal: rather than being written for an audience of professional ocean wonks, our primary audience for the Tide Report was this: subscribers who would drive more attention, in measurable ways, to the crisis the ocean is facing.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">It’s been nearly three years since we sent our very first Tide Report on June 5, 2012, and, <a href=";id=77d01113d1"><span class="s2">as you can see</span></a>, much has changed. As Upwell’s flagship missive, it’s the primary way we’ve kept in touch with ocean influencers and <a href=""><span class="s2">run our distributed network campaigns</span></a>. It was never just an email newsletter, it was so much more.</span></p> <h2 class="p3"><span class="s1"><b>What is the Tide Report?</b></span></h2> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">The Tide Report’s primary purpose is to drive spikes in online attention to critical ocean issues. It was built to supply influencers who love the ocean with shareable content and easy pathways to amplify that content so that we could transform the conversation about the crisis the ocean faces.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">While it was intended as a campaign tool, the Tide Report also served another important purpose - it helped ocean communicators see the work of their peers and understand how they fit into a broader movement. It cultivated a sense of “Team Ocean” and provided the members of that team with models for successful communication.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">We’ve written 226 Tide Reports (as of Monday, March 2). Over the years, the style has changed somewhat, but one thing has remained consistent: with each Tide Report, we not only shared the hottest ocean news, but we asked our readers to amplify and share. The purpose was to use the email as a way to help Team Ocean see itself, connect you with the work of your ocean-loving peers, show you what stories, ideas and content get people talking online, and promote sharing, generosity and transparency within our movement. By amplifying the best ocean-y content at the times it mattered most, you showed the power of our collective voice to drive change across issue and organizational boundaries.</span></p> <p class="p3"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="410" style="width: 400px; height: 342px;" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <p class="p3"><em><span class="s1">Through the Tide Report, Team Ocean amplifies great ocean content.</span></em></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">The impact of the Tide Report as a campaign tool to transform online conversation is reflected in our online conversation analyses like our “State of the Online Conversation” reports about <a href=""><span class="s2">ocean acidification</span></a> and <a href=""><span class="s2">overfishing</span></a>. But we rarely talk about the impact of the Tide Report as a community and capacity building tool, so I want to do that today.</span></p> <h2 class="p3"><span class="s1"><b>Who reads the Tide Report?</b></span></h2> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">While we aren’t at liberty to share the names and email addresses of our readers, we can share some basic stats.</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">Keep in mind the Tide Report doesn’t fit neatly into any email newsletter box. It lives in the vast gray space between a neighborhood listserv and an advocacy list. Our subscriber list is small in numbers (approximately 1500), but large in reach. We hand-built our list, targeting people who controlled channels where they can influence the public. Many of our subscriptions came out of in-person meetings, one-on-one collaborations, and attendance at meeting and conferences.</span></p> <p class="p3"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="194" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <p class="p3"><em><span class="s1">Tide Report list growth shows a consistent increase over time. (Light blue = existing subscribers, dark blue = additional subscribers.</span></em></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">Most of our subscribers (81%) are based in the United States. A significant portion of our readers have subscribed with their work addresses (31% end in .org, 5% in .gov, and 4% in .edu). Many additional subscribers are unaffiliated individuals who just have a passion for the ocean, or ocean conservation professionals that subscribed with their personal email addresses. Below is a graphic showing the breadth and depth of Team Ocean’s representation. All these organizations, institutions, and companies get the Tide Report too!</span></p> <p class="p3"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="309" style="width: 500px; height: 322px;" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <p class="p3"><em><span class="s1">These are your colleagues on Team Ocean. With this network, we helped amplify attention to what matters.</span></em></p> <h2 class="p3"><span class="s1"><b>What that community thought of the Tide Report</b></span></h2> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">We’ve heard from Team Ocean that the Tide Report increased network resiliency, and helped many of the less influential, but just as passionate members of the team make their communications more successful. Last month, we surveyed our Tide Report subscribers, asking them if and how working with Upwell has changed the way they work or has connected them with resources. What we heard reflects the diversity of our readership:</span></p> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">While it’s unlikely that the this scientist’s activity (inspired by our content) directly spiked a conversation, the timely context we provided surely strengthened their communications:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p3"><span class="s1">“As a scientist, I am often disconnected with what is happening in the social media sphere, and the Tide Report has been a great way to understand what the general public perceives as current ocean-related issues.”</span></p></blockquote> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">A secondary goal of the Tide Report was to continuously build social media skills through useful examples:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p3"><span class="s1">“Each Tide Report helped me learn about new ocean issues- and I'm not very adept at ocean media, so your guidelines on what to amplify, etc. really helped."</span></p></blockquote> <p class="p3"><span class="s1">Many of our readers saw that by amplifying the content we suggested and provided, they not only helped draw attention to ocean topics, but they increased engagement on their own channels:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“We use many of the articles and images that come out of the Tide Report for our social media. By doing so, we've seen more engagement within our community members.”</span></p></blockquote> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Another secondary goal of the Tide Report was to hold up a mirror to Team Ocean, so its members could see each other and discover new peers:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“I was always surprised at the little nuggets of information I found in the Tide Report and would often find new partners to reach out to.”</span></p></blockquote> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We would often hear that reading the Tide Report became part of our readers’ workflow:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“My coworkers and I look forward to the Tide Report. Whenever one of us discovers something new or something catches our eye (every email there is something) we discuss it in our weekly meeting and then pass on the information to guests and volunteers we work with.”</span></p></blockquote> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Curation is a resource-intensive process, and we tried to efficiently provide a resource to Team Ocean by sharing the results of our curation widely:</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“There's a TON of ocean news that I have to sift through daily, and every time I saw the Tide Report delivered to my inbox, I knew that there'd be some reliable, thought-provoking gems to add to the larger conversation.”</span></p></blockquote> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We didn’t target just ocean conservation professionals - many of the influencers on our list are interested in other topics, and we’ve put oceans on their radar.</span></p> <blockquote><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“I loved the straightforward way the Tide Report showed what your key messages were, and directly asked readers to help amplify them. Additionally, while the ocean was not an area of environmental concern that I was very tuned in to prior to discovering Upwell, it's now something I am much more attuned to when I read the news, discuss conservation issues, and think about my impact on the environment.”</span></p></blockquote> <h2 class="p1"><span class="s1"><b>Tide Report engagement and greatest hits</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">If you’ve been a Tide Report reader for a while, you may remember some of our greatest hits. Recently, I pored through engagement data from our Tide Reports going back to November 2013. Since we usually talk about what resonates with the whole Internet, I thought it might be fun to narrow my lens and look at what resonated the most with our readers.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Here are the top links (measured by number of unique clicks) in Tide Reports since November 2013:</span></p> <ol class="ol1"><li class="p1"><span class="s1">Upwell’s Buzzfeed article “<a href=""><span class="s2">Why you need to care about the Empty Oceans Act.</span></a>” - February 7, 2014</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=""><span class="s4">The sea froze so fast that it killed thousands of fish instantly</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - January 17, 2014</span></li><li class="li1"><span class="s1">The link to the job description when we were hiring a Tide Report writer - February 24, 2014</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=""><span class="s4">23 Fantastic Images Of The Incredibly Weird Things In The Ocean</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - October 27, 2014</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s5">MBARI’s <a href=""><span class="s4">captivating video about the Black Seadevil anglerfish</span></a> - November 25, 2014</span></li><li class="li1"><span class="s1">The succinct and well-researched Buzzfeed article, <a href=""><span class="s2">13 Reasons the Ocean Might Never Be The Same</span></a> - January 17, 2014</span></li><li class="li1"><span class="s1">This <a href=""><span class="s2">mind-boggling and upsetting video</span></a> of a super trawler at work, shared on Facebook by Ocean Defender Hawaii - December 4, 2014</span></li><li class="li1"><span class="s1">David Shiffman <a href=""><span class="s2">expressing consternation in Scientific American</span></a> at the emerging trend of shark riding - March 5, 2014</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=""><span class="s4">Lessons from 2014 from The New York Times’ social media desk</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - January 23, 2015</span></li><li class="li1"><span class="s1">Pacific Standard delves into <a href=""><span class="s2">why Blackfish became so popular</span></a> - January 24, 2014</span></li></ol> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">These are the Tide Reports that were opened by the largest percentage of subscribers (excluding the first few months of the Tide Report, when open percentages were high but our list was very small). Note that the first three aren’t actually traditional Tide Reports, and are associated with the Upwell Transitions of 2013 and 2015, which goes to show that when you might go away, people pay attention. Numbers eight and nine below (and number 3 above) show that employment opportunities increase engagement. Even if you can’t hire someone, sharing other jobs is generous and a great way to spark interest!</span></p> <ol class="ol1"><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=628e36b1e4"><span class="s4">Not a Tide Report (2013 Survey)</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - February 7, 2013</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=746ea82f11"><span class="s4">Tide Report: A time of transition</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - January 28, 2013</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=""><span class="s4">Bittersweet news from the Upwell team</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - January 12, 2015 </span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=4298294bbb"><span class="s4">Tide Report: A high-tech solution for plastic pollution? Also: Meet the Mermaid Death Squad</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - March 28, 2013</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=2f15582b24"><span class="s4">Tide Report: Upwell lessons to share, a hot OA video, NYT sustainable fish debate, and more.</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - March 5, 2013</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=f851089b2f"><span class="s4">Tide Report: In which we encourage you to NOT get any attention today.</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - April 19, 2013</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=18cf9464ad"><span class="s4">Tide Report: Ocean acidification music video, Grocers reject GMO Salmon, and more</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - March 21, 2013</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=08057bf8bf"><span class="s4">Wanted: Tide Report writer. Anchor-shaped referral bonus!</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - February 24, 2014</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=8a60194e83"><span class="s4">Tide Report: Upwell’s hiring (again); UNESCO sites to drown; river otter conquers alligator</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - March 7, 2014</span></li><li class="li4"><span class="s3"><a href=";id=b3bc006e14"><span class="s4">Tide Report: Ocean education from TED, Sharkinar, CCAMLR, and all the lionfish you can eat.</span></a></span><span class="s5"> - July 10, 2013</span></li></ol> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Over time, our Tide Report has experienced unprecedented engagement rates from our readers. Our open rate has hovered consistently around 35% for the past three years, and our click rate has stayed consistent at 9-10%. These rates compare extremely favorably to nonprofit industry averages (13% open rate and 2.9% click rate), <a href=""><span class="s2">as reported by M+R and NTEN</span></a> in their annual email benchmarks study. Because our list is small, and targeted toward people with high investment in our mission, we’d expect higher engagement rates than donor or action appeals from a traditional nonprofit. It’s still great to see.</span></p> <h2 class="p3"><span class="s1"><b>What the Tide Report has taught me</b></span></h2> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">So what have I learned from all of this? And what can the Tide Report community do to continue this work after the Tide Report ceases to be?</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">One of the challenges and biggest lessons I learned in my years writing the Tide Report was how to think about what will resonate. I had to think about what would resonate with the internet at large, a huge grab bag of people - most of whom have a very limited understanding of ocean conservation issues - as well as what would resonate with our readers. I had to inspire our ocean-literate readers to share, but encourage them to share content that would inspire those less familiar with these issues to share too.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Finding that balance was always tough. And sometimes our readers would share the stuff that was the nerdiest and wonkiest, instead of the stuff I had handpicked because it was shareable. Sometimes that totally nerdy thing was going to be a viral hit, and sometimes it just going to get 100 views and disappear. I wanted our readers to understand that we were carefully selecting things that we thought would resonate with a broader audience. One of the critical tools in my practice was our “<a href=""><span class="s2">Why We Choose</span></a>” list - our curation criteria for what to amplify in the Tide Report. We strongly encourage people to create their own lists, to keep themselves in check and ensure that resources are put into the things that are most likely to succeed.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">I also learned that Team Ocean is always eager to learn more. Our Tide Reports that focused on sharing lessons, hosting webinars, reporting back on surveys received incredibly high engagement from our readers. I encourage those on Team Ocean to share, share, share. Write sharing into your grant proposals! Budget time for packaging what you’ve learned. When campaigns or outreach efforts fail, give yourself time to think about why, and don’t be afraid to tell the story publicly. <a href=""><span class="s2">Sharing has been part of Upwell’s brand since day one</span></a>. Find out how to make it part of yours. Let’s make ocean conservation open source.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Don’t be afraid to ask! I think there’s a culture of fear around asking people to share or retweet your stuff. But how else are you going to get your message out? Our entire model was based on a request to amplify, and while our readers didn’t always amplify everything we sent out, they did amplify the things that resonated with them. But they may not have amplified had we not asked. As we often say, <a href=";src=typd"><span class="s2">do as Shiffman does</span></a> (he is the king of “please RT”).</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">And, finally, when it comes to email lists, small and mighty is better than big and weary. Focus in on who your biggest supporters are. Who’s amplifying your message, and can they be recruited to be part of your team? Cultivate your network in a way that feels like that neighborhood listserv. We send out postcards or care packages to our BFFs. Even if we work on the internet, we live in real life. Let’s not forget that our “lists” are bunches of individual humans, with individual passions, pursuits, fears and regrets.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">What have you learned from the Tide Report, and how will you start working differently? Tell us your reactions in the comments.</span></p> </div></div></div> Mon, 09 Mar 2015 23:46:49 +0000 Ray Dearborn 671 at Big Listening 101: Reliving the Webinar Magic <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p>Over a hundred brave humans signed up for our Big Listening 101 webinar to <span style="line-height:20.7999992370605px;">get an introduction to the concepts and methods that have animated our work here at Upwell for the last three years.</span></p> <p>Whether you were able to join us on Thursday or not, we're happy to announce that you can now live, or relive, the magic as you see fit courtesy <a href="">the Upwell YouTube channel</a>.</p> <p><a href=""><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="275" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></a></p> <p><strong>For even more Big Listening</strong> we recommend the following:</p> <ul><li>Peruse the <a href=";src=typd">#biglistening</a> hashtag</li><li>Follow our handy <a href="">Twitter list of Big Listening 101</a> participants</li><li>Check out (or even contribute to) the Big Listening 101 <a href="">collaborative notes</a></li></ul> <p> If you want to go even deeper, you can give our 2013 <a href="">Pilot Report</a> a read, or kick the tires on our recent State of the Online Conversation reports on <a href="">ocean acidification</a> and on <a href="">overfishing</a>.</p> <p>What big mission or movement are you listening for? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter by using #biglistening.</p> <p>So long, and thanks for all the fish!</p> </div></div></div> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 20:55:13 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald 667 at Big Listening for Overfishing & Fisheries <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p>Today marks the release of our latest, fresh-off-the-docks report on ocean issues through the eyes of the internet.</p> <h3><a href="">Overfishing &amp; Fisheries: The State of the Online Conversation</a></h3> <p><a href=""><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="372" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></a></p> <p>Covering 2012-2014, in this report we draw on millions of social posts to provide data-informed insights for scientists, campaigners, communicators and funders interested in using the web to improve ocean health and abundance.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Take a look</strong></a>, and let us know what you think.</p> <h3>But wait, there's more!</h3> <p>To preview the findings and share them with our beloved Team Ocean (hint: that's you), we're also convening <strong><a href="">The Overfishinar</a></strong>, a webinar (and so much more) about overfishing.</p> <p>The Overfishinar will be held today at 11am pacific time. You can <a href="">register now</a>, or come back to view the recording after its done. (The hashtag to follow the proceedings is, you guessed it, <a href=";src=typd">#overfishinar</a>).</p> <p><u>UPDATE:</u> You can now <a href=";list=PLnbr1ZXSpxMt1eEFtvdKQYyDioODU6h-4&amp;index=3">watch the Overfishinar</a>! </p> <p><a href=";list=PLnbr1ZXSpxMt1eEFtvdKQYyDioODU6h-4&amp;index=3"><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="275" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></a></p> <p>If you're more of a tl;dr kinda person, you're still in luck: <br />our handy <a href="">Overfishing Communications Cheat Sheet</a> summarizes the key tips for effective internetting. </p> <p><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="361" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <h3>Onwards!</h3> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div></div></div> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:21:27 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald 666 at What's an Overfishinar? Glad you asked... <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p>On Tuesday, March 3rd at 11am pacific we'll be gathering online for <strong><a href="">The Overfishinar</a></strong> - a webinar about using the internet to raise awareness and drive action on important overfishing and fisheries issues. </p> <p>If you talk about overfishing or fisheries online, or if you're just overfishing-curious, join our crew of activists, scientists, bloggers, journalists, super-tweeters, and nonprofits to discuss how we can change the online conversation about overfishing in the best way, together. </p> <p>During the Overfishinar we will:</p> <ul><li>Share findings from Upwell’s new Big Listening report on overfishing and fisheries online conversation</li><li>Provide tips for increasing the volume of overfishing mentions online to drive attention and action</li><li>Answer your questions and discuss your takeaways, with an eye toward supporting each other's work</li></ul> <p>Sign up now to <a href="">reserve your spot</a> (it's free)! </p> <p>For those of you who are Twitter inclined, we'll be using the hashtag <strong>#overfishinar</strong> to share the proceedings.</p> <p>Happy internetting!</p> </div></div></div> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:36:03 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald 661 at How can ocean conservation get more news coverage? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <h3><em>A conversation with Lindsay Abrams of Salon</em></h3> <p><i>This was originally published at Medium. <a href="">Read the full interview there</a>.</i></p> <p>NGOs and journalists don’t have to act like oil and water, despite what individuals in <a href="">each</a> <a href="">industry</a> say when they get a chance to air their gripes. As my organization, Upwell, <a href="">prepares to shut its doors</a>, I wanted to make an effort to bridge the gap between the ocean conservation community and the news media. I reached out to a few journalist friends of Upwell to get their perspective on what makes a great ocean story, how ocean scientists and advocates can better work with them, and what drives engagement from their audiences.</p> <p>Today I share the first of those conversations, with <a href="">Lindsay Abrams of Salon</a>.</p> <p>Lindsay has a pretty broadly defined sustainability beat at Salon. In just the new year, she’s covered ocean topics like the <a href="">long-term effects of the BP oil spill</a>, <a href="">Arctic drilling</a>, <a href="">ocean warming</a>, <a href="">mass extinction in our oceans</a>, and more. As far as climate and sustainability reporters go, she’s one of the few giving the ocean its fair shake amongst other environmental topics.</p> <p>A little background on why I approached Lindsay: For three years I have been leading campaigns for Upwell. By playing in online conversations for years and doing in depth conversational analysis, we’ve learned what drives attention to conservation issues. Time and again we find that news coverage is the primary driver of attention to lesser known ocean conservation issues. While topics like shark conservation and plastic pollution frequently garner attention in the absence of news coverage, more unfamiliar topics like ocean acidification or deep sea trawling need attention from journalists and bloggers in order to spark conversation.</p> <p>People aren’t talking about ocean acidification of their own volition, at least not in droves. Not yet. People do start talking about it when they have something to share, and that “something” is most often a news article or a blog post from an established media platform. This doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions (for instance, people-powered mobilisation, or attention motivated by pop culture influence), but it is the prevailing trend that we see in our Big Listening work. (For more on how people talk about ocean acidification, check out our recently released <a href="">State of the Online Conversation</a> report.)</p> <p>I’m using the term “media” inclusively, to capture all shades of grey in today’s increasingly complex media landscape. Attention is driven not just by legacy media like the New York Times and the Washington Post, but also the media platforms that were born of the Internet like Quartz, Medium, Buzzfeed and Vox.</p> <p>Despite this correlation between media coverage and attention, media relations and PR professionals in ocean nonprofits and scientific institutions struggle to craft the perfect pitch and share their content in a way that makes it likely to get covered by journalists and bloggers. My hope is that this interview will help people on both sides to do their jobs and raise attention to critical ocean conservation issues.</p> <p>Read the <a href="">full interview at</a>.</p> </div></div></div> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:38:57 +0000 Ray Dearborn 656 at Relive the Acidinar, or discover it for the first time! <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p>Dozens of oyster-loving members of Team Ocean joined us on Wednesday for <strong>The Acidinar</strong>, a sneak peak at findings from our latest <a href="">State of the Online Conversation report on ocean acidification</a>. </p> <p>As promised, here's the Acidinar recording - minus (for privacy reasons) the lively Q&amp;A discussion at the end.</p> <p><a href=""><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="358" width="475" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></a></p> <p>For even more Acidinar goodness, you can... </p> <ul><li>read or contribute to the <a href="">google doc of collaborative notes</a> (home to many excellent acidification-addressing projects submitted by attendees); or</li><li>check out the <a href=";src=typd">#Acidinar highlights and conversation on Twitter</a></li><li>grace your workspace with our handy ocean acidification <a href="">Communications Cheat Sheet</a></li></ul> <p>As always, you can let us know what you think by emailing us at tips at upwell dot us or tweeting <a href="">@upwell</a>.</p> <p>Let's keep the ocean acidification conversation going and growing.</p> <p>Onwards!</p> </div></div></div> Fri, 06 Feb 2015 18:58:36 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald 651 at Ocean Acidification: The State of the Online Conversation <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p>Today we're happy to announce the release of our latest Big Listening research on critical issues of ocean and environmental health.</p> <h3>Ocean Acidification: The State of the Online Conversation</h3> <p>This report is the result of crunching more than 30 months of online data to distill insights and takeaways for ocean-loving communicators, scientists, campaigners, funders and anyone, really, who wants to use their internetting for change. </p> <p><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="480" width="377" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></p> <p>Take a look, and let us know what you think. We're all ears. </p> <h3><a href="">Executive Summary</a></h3> <h3><a href="">Full Report</a></h3> <h3><a href="">Ocean Acidification Communications Cheat Sheet</a> (new)</h3> <p>We'll be sharing and discussing the findings later today on the <a href="">#Acidinar webinar</a> (11am pacific / 2pm eastern). We'll post the recording <strike>once it's done.</strike> <br /><br /><a href=""><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="358" width="475" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></a></p> <p>Onwards!</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 04 Feb 2015 18:44:27 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald 646 at Announcing... The #ACIDINAR <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"> <p>From the twisted minds who brought you the Upwell <a href="">Sharkinar</a>, comes the latest in our infamous webinar-inar series. </p> <h3>THE #ACIDINAR. </h3> <p>Whereas the Sharkinar is all about defending sharks online during Shark Week, the Acidinar is about using the internet for ocean acidification communications, including what can be done about it. </p> <p><a href=""><div class="media-thumbnail-frame"><img alt="" class="media-image" height="314" width="480" typeof="foaf:Image" src="" /></div></a></p> <p>If you talk about acidification online, or if you're acidification-curious, join our merry band of activists, scientists, bloggers, journalists, super-tweeters, and nonprofits to discuss how we can change the online conversation about ocean acidification in the best way, together.</p> <p><span style="line-height:20.7999992370605px;">The Acidinar will be held on<br /><strong>Wednesday, February 4th, at 11am pacific / 2pm eastern</strong>.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height:20.7999992370605px;">Why not <a href="">register now</a>?</span></p> <p>During the Acidinar we will:<br />    •    Share findings from Upwell’s new report, <em>Ocean Acidification: The State of the Online Conversation</em><br />    •    Answer your questions and discuss your takeaways, with an eye toward mutual communications support<br />    •    Provide tips for increasing the volume and engagement level of ocean acidification online mentions</p> <p><a href="">Register today</a>!</p> <p> </p> </div></div></div> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:16:46 +0000 Matt Fitzgerald 641 at