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Matt Fitzgerald's picture

Shark Week 2013 by the Numbers

on July 3, 2014 - 2:35pm

Because those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat #Megalodon, here are some of our favorite stats from Shark Week 2013.

Shark Week is Big, and Getting Bigger

2013 delivered the most watched Shark Week in Discovery Channel's history. Much like the ratings, online conversation about Shark Week has grown significantly every year. In other words...

To put those numbers in perspective, the infamous "Red Wedding" episode of Game of Thrones pulled in about 1.4 million tweets. Shark Week has formidable internet chops, er, chomps.

Tweeps <3 Sharks

Twitter is the most popular platform for Shark Week discussion, however the data is limited by Facebook's privacy settings (not that we're complaining about privacy). A simple search for Shark Week (and its variants) illustrates just how much conversation is being driven through the platform.

All-time "Shark Week" Tweets by Month

Since the dawn of Twitter the week has generated more than four million tweets about its name alone.

In 2013 each Shark Week show had its own hashtag. Below, you can see how the shows stacked up by mentions.

We have it on good sources that the not-so-good Shark After Dark live nightly talk show will return in 2014. For the record, we are big Bob the Shark fans. 

Shark Week is a Great Time for Shark-Saving

Even though the overall Shark Week conversation is growing like kudzu, the shark science and conservation conversation (represented below by Team Ocean) is actually growing faster. In fact...

With your help, we can keep that trend going and help connect shark fans with shark-saving action. 

If you're looking forward to this year's Shark Week, sign up to attend Upwell's third annual Sharkinar and get ready to save some sharks. 


See you on Team Ocean!

Ray Dearborn's picture

I'll be in at noon, because sharks.

on July 3, 2014 - 11:12am

We keep going on and on about how important Shark Week is - "It's the Super Bowl of the ocean," "It's an unparalleled opportunity to connect with a massive shark fan base," "Sign up for the Sharkinar already," etc. - but don't think we haven't noticed one important detail.

Yeah, Shark Week happens at night. It's when you want to be vegging out, or having dinner with your family, or taking a long bath, or getting your groove on at the local club (ok, that one's for me). You may not necessarily want to extend your working hours so you can livetweet and make memes during shows that promote fake science. Or maybe you do, but you aren't getting the comp time or the overtime pay for all your awesome shark campaigning.

Well, Upwell's got your back. Send this letter to your boss, and if they have any questions, you can direct them straight to us.


Ray Dearborn's picture

It’s Sharkinar Time: Are You Ready?

on June 26, 2014 - 7:20pm

The Sharkinar is an annual meeting of shark loving ocean loving online influencers who want to use Shark Week to promote science and conservation. Hosted by Upwell. Register now!

Back in 2012, we told you that Shark Week is the single biggest moment for the online ocean conservation. Team Ocean heard the call and jumped in the #SharkWeek waters, and helped increase the volume of conservation and science in 2012 and again in 2013.

On a typical day, we measure between 30,000-50,000 online mentions of sharks. In 2013 the first day of Shark Week pushed shark mentions close to a million. As we never tire of saying, Shark Week really is the Super Bowl (or World Cup) of sharks.



Shark Week 2014 is approaching faster than a scalloped hammerhead: it starts August 10. We want you to be ready for the ultimate ocean outreach event, so it’s time for Upwell’s third annual Sharkinar!

Our Sharkinars are online meetings that bring in scientists, activists, bloggers, journalists, tweeters, and nonprofits to share data, plot strategy, and complement each others Shark Week campaigns and grow the online conversation together, in a way that benefits the ocean.

Unsurprisingly, the strategies we shared for Shark Week are quite similar to those that Google just encouraged its affiliates to use during the World Cup.

What Google wrote about the World Cup: basically what Upwell has been saying about Shark Week for years. #win

Our first Sharkinar is Thursday, July 24 at 11 AM PST (2 PM EST). Now is a good time to start using the #sharkinar and #sharkweek hashtags to begin building momentum.

Sign up for the 2014 Sharkinar Today!

Ray Dearborn's picture

Upwell fellows take the data reigns

on April 29, 2014 - 12:21pm

Upwell is expanding its Big Listening practice, to apply what we've learned measuring and tracking ocean conversations to other social change movements. To meet this need, Upwell established a Fellows program for accomplished, mid-career professionals. Upwell Fellows work directly with senior staff on core Upwell research projects, while building social media analytics and conversation mapping skills. We aim to grow capacity in the movements we work in, and the fellowship program allows Upwell to complete critical research while growing sector capacity by leveling up key individuals.

We're thrilled to have Ted Fickes and Kathryn Jaller joining us as Upwell fellows. They've already been working with us for about a month, and each will be cataloguing their experience to share. Check out the first blog post from Ted and Kathy to learn a bit about what they're learning, asking, and developing with us. 

Ted Fickes

Upwell Fellow

Ted Fickes has worked at the intersection of digital communications, on the ground organizing, public policy and nonprofit management since the mid-1990s. Ted served as Development Director for organizations in Denver and Chicago, put together one of the nation's first nonprofit technology circuit rider programs, founded Colorado Conservation Voters, and started his first consulting firm in 2002 to help progressive nonprofits and campaigns better communicate online. From 2006 to 2011, Ted managed online campaigns and digital strategy for The Wilderness Society. Ted started Bright+3 in 2011 to develop and test people-focused campaign and content strategies with innovative nonprofits, startups and campaigns. Bright+3 has helped incubate new publishing models and content strategies with a focus on how data can be used to track and inform the strength of communications across networks. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Ted is also an advisor to Social Movement Technologies and Web of Change.

Kathryn Jaller

Upwell Fellow

Kathryn is a museum technologist and content strategist. She leads digital publishing at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and has spoken widely on the growth of social media in cultural institutions, including at South by Southwest. She founded the "Social Media Superfriends," a consortium of Bay Area social media practitioners, and her work has been featured in The New York Times. She is also an artist who makes things, sometimes inspired by science. Find her latest experiments on Twitter.

Ray Dearborn's picture

Introducing Andrew Thaler, our new Tide Report writer!

on April 28, 2014 - 2:42pm

Earlier this year, we announced that Upwell was so busy that we needed some extra hands. This week we'll be introducing some of the awesome fantastic people who've joined the Upwell crew. 

Our signature ocean newsletter, The Tide Report, needed an ocean-loving, witty science nerd to take the writing reigns. We are thrilled and blessed that Andrew David Thaler, of Southern Fried Science fame, has joined us as a Tide Report writer. Not only is he a marine science aficionado, but he's also a master of the legendary Eastern Carolina Barbecue - a skill he developed from spending over a decade living in rural North Carolina before moving to the Bay Area this year. 

Andrew makes some mean barbecue pork. 

Andrew David Thaler

Andrew is a deep-sea ecologist and population geneticist, who has worked in ocean conservation for the last 8 years. He has published broadly on deep-sea conservation, marine policy, and science/environmental communication. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Southern Fried Science, one of the most widely read marine science and conservation blog in the English language.You can find him on Twitter and Google+ or check out his most recent outreach project, #DrownYourTown.