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Big Listening 101: Reliving the Webinar Magic

on March 6, 2015 - 12:55pm

Over a hundred brave humans signed up for our Big Listening 101 webinar to get an introduction to the concepts and methods that have animated our work here at Upwell for the last three years.

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 the Upwell YouTube channel.

For even more Big Listening we recommend the following:

 If you want to go even deeper, you can give our 2013 Pilot Report a read, or kick the tires on our recent State of the Online Conversation reports on ocean acidification and on overfishing.

What big mission or movement are you listening for? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter by using #biglistening.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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Big Listening for Overfishing & Fisheries

on March 2, 2015 - 5:21pm

Today marks the release of our latest, fresh-off-the-docks report on ocean issues through the eyes of the internet.

Overfishing & Fisheries: The State of the Online Conversation

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.

Take a look, and let us know what you think.

But wait, there's more!

To preview the findings and share them with our beloved Team Ocean (hint: that's you), we're also convening The Overfishinar, a webinar (and so much more) about overfishing.

The Overfishinar will be held today at 11am pacific time. You can register now, or come back to view the recording after its done. (The hashtag to follow the proceedings is, you guessed it, #overfishinar).

UPDATE: You can now watch the Overfishinar

If you're more of a tl;dr kinda person, you're still in luck: 
our handy Overfishing Communications Cheat Sheet summarizes the key tips for effective internetting. 










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What's an Overfishinar? Glad you asked...

on February 27, 2015 - 11:36am

On Tuesday, March 3rd at 11am pacific we'll be gathering online for The Overfishinar - a webinar about using the internet to raise awareness and drive action on important overfishing and fisheries issues. 

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. 

During the Overfishinar we will:

  • Share findings from Upwell’s new Big Listening report on overfishing and fisheries online conversation
  • Provide tips for increasing the volume of overfishing mentions online to drive attention and action
  • Answer your questions and discuss your takeaways, with an eye toward supporting each other's work

Sign up now to reserve your spot (it's free)! 

For those of you who are Twitter inclined, we'll be using the hashtag #overfishinar to share the proceedings.

Happy internetting!

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Relive the Acidinar, or discover it for the first time!

on February 6, 2015 - 10:58am

Dozens of oyster-loving members of Team Ocean joined us on Wednesday for The Acidinar, a sneak peak at findings from our latest State of the Online Conversation report on ocean acidification

As promised, here's the Acidinar recording - minus (for privacy reasons) the lively Q&A discussion at the end.

For even more Acidinar goodness, you can... 

As always, you can let us know what you think by emailing us at tips at upwell dot us or tweeting @upwell.

Let's keep the ocean acidification conversation going and growing.


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Ocean Acidification: The State of the Online Conversation

on February 4, 2015 - 10:44am

Today we're happy to announce the release of our latest Big Listening research on critical issues of ocean and environmental health.

Ocean Acidification: The State of the Online Conversation

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. 

Take a look, and let us know what you think. We're all ears. 

Executive Summary

Full Report

Ocean Acidification Communications Cheat Sheet (new)

We'll be sharing and discussing the findings later today on the #Acidinar webinar (11am pacific / 2pm eastern). We'll post the recording once it's done. 


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Announcing... The #ACIDINAR

on January 22, 2015 - 4:16pm

From the twisted minds who brought you the Upwell Sharkinar, comes the latest in our infamous webinar-inar series. 


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. 

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.

The Acidinar will be held on
Wednesday, February 4th, at 11am pacific / 2pm eastern.

Why not register now?

During the Acidinar we will:
    •    Share findings from Upwell’s new report, Ocean Acidification: The State of the Online Conversation
    •    Answer your questions and discuss your takeaways, with an eye toward mutual communications support
    •    Provide tips for increasing the volume and engagement level of ocean acidification online mentions

Register today!


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Implications for Nonprofits from the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Keynote

on October 15, 2014 - 2:03pm

This morning I watched the marketing keynote from Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference. What follows is a grab bag of implications for nonprofits, activists and the social impact field in general. Let me know what you think in the comments or @fitz350

  • The corporate world is moving to quickly integrate all marketing channels. While the “customer” experience has been cross-channel for years (think of using your phone to price-check something in a store, or to look up the yelp review of a restaurant you’re standing outside of), marketing data has mostly been siloed. Websites, and now apps, will increasingly deliver content that changes based on your behavior on other channels (email, web, social, even internet-of-things). 
  • While individualized content has the potential deliver more of what we want, and less of what we don’t, there’s a real benefit to anonymity and the serendipity that results from unplanned interactions with the world. 
  • We (still, and now more than ever) need strong protections for individual data. Complex algorithms could easily become black boxes of automated discrimination. You should have the right to see (and contest, and remove) the information being stored about you.
  • Salesforce is betting heavily on the idea of putting the customer at the center of the experience, of building (or shifting toward) companies that are customer-centric. If you haven’t mapped out the various “journeys” (to use Salesforce speak) that your clients, supporters, donors or constituents go through when they interact with your organization, you’re definitely going to miss opportunities to improve their experience, let alone enhance that experience through individualized support or engagement. 

    A screenshot of the Journey Builder dashboard in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
    Each series of events can be triggered by a particular customer or constituent's actions (or lack thereof). 

  • These “journeys” are the building blocks for customizing campaigns within Salesforce’s marketing
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The biggest climate thing on Twitter, ever

on October 3, 2014 - 4:00pm

On Sunday, September 21st I marched with hundreds of thousands of people through the streets of New York as part of the People's Climate March.
Why was I there? Among many other reasons, I was there to march for the ocean.

The turnout was absolutely incredible. As the good folks at Mother Jones put it,

the next time someone tells you that no one gives a sh*t about climate change, show them this picture.

The People's Climate March. Photo by Michael Pollard.

Well I'm here to tell you that the next time someone tells you that your voice doesn't matter on the internet, show them this graph.

What you see there is nearly five years of monthly Twitter data, beginning January 1, 2009 and running through September 30th of this year. The blue line is tweets containing common climate change or global warming terms. The green line is tweets about the People's Climate March.

The huge spike on the right side of the graph tells a simple tale.

The march lifted climate change conversation to its highest level on Twitter, ever.

In September 2014 alone, there were more than half a million tweets about the People's Climate March, and over 6.9 million about climate change or global warming. The climate march posts alone earned a combined 2.8 billion (with a B) potential impressions. While impressions are widely known to be a so-called "vanity metric," in this case I'm just going to sit back and reflect on the size of that number. 

Together, we are enormous.

Putting 400,000 people on the streets of New York was impressive enough, but so too is the people's media network that has amplified and energized this movement. Who is that network? It's people like you and me. Together we represent a D.I.Y. media revolution in the form of tweets and posts and status updates that has consistently led - not been led by - the mainstream media.

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Team Ocean surfs Shark Week to a 93% increase

on September 4, 2014 - 6:46pm

Ocean advocates and champions of science won Shark Week this year.

But oh, how the mighty have fallen.... As we explained in an earlier post, Discovery's Shark Week took a massive dive this year, losing nearly half its online conversational volume. This is a big deal for the 27 year-old television and new media empire - the kind that gives rise to groan-inducing headlines about Shark Week (and Discovery) jumping the shark.

Those who don't know their shark-jumping history are doomed to ill-fated waterski trips.

We here at Upwell pay close attention to Shark Week because it's the Internet's Super Bowl of sharks - or for that matter, anything ocean-related. Each year, across the web, viewers (and bandwagon hoppers) take to social media to share their reactions to the shows and, well, to sharks. Thankfully, most of those people are shark fans.

Because we f@$%in' love sharks, and recognize the danger they're in, for the past three years Upwell has brought the shark conservation community together through our Sharkinars (seriously!) to share tips and make plans to take advantage of the Megalodon-size opportunity that Shark Week presents for bringing new supporters to the cause. (Note: Megalodon, while real, is also extinct, and has been for millions of years).

This year Shark Week followed up its fake 2013 documentary on Megalodon with not one, but two fake documentaries. And on top of that, a host of shows that misrepresented the work of scientists, shared incorrect facts, and inspired fear where fear wasn't due. 

Thankfully, Team Ocean stood up and called out Discovery for abandoning their mission to air nonfiction content, and tarnishing the Shark Week legacy that inspired so many young shark scientists and fans. (And, admittedly, probably a lot of dorm-room stoners.)

Shark Week lost 9 million viewers in the process. Nine million. Let that sink in.

This hasn't been a good year for Shark Week but it's been a fantastic one for the shark lovers of Team Ocean.

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Shark Week 2014: Not Moar Shark?

on August 22, 2014 - 2:52pm

Press release proclamations to the contrary, Shark Week experienced a massive drop in online attention this year.

Online mention volume for Upwell's 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 'Shark Week All' keyword groups.

Total volume fell more than 47% from last year's record-setting levels. As seen below, post volume peaked on Sunday, Shark Week's opening night, and fell off thereafter. 

The graph above shows total social mention volume for Upwell's 'Shark Week 2013 All' and 'Shark Week 2014 All' keyword groups in Radian6. Data points were aligned by day-of-week.

While there are many theories for the decline in Discovery Channel's online fortunes - ranging from Megalodon-sized deceptions to Sharknado bandwagon fatigue - what's undeniably clear is that a big shift has occurred.

Could there be an answer in the (word) clouds? We leave it to you to decide. 

Word clouds for the six biggest days of Shark Week 2014 (generated using Upwell's 'Shark Week 2014 All' keyword group in Radian6).

That's all for now, Team Ocean, but stay tuned for more shark-y analysis in the days and weeks ahead.

In the meantime, we invite you to send us your theories at tips [at] upwell [dot] us