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Oil Spill Turtle Photos + Ocean Plastic and Sea Skater Eggs + Pancakes: Sea Signals for Week of May 7, 2012

Rachel Weidinger's picture
on May 14, 2012 - 12:35pm

Oil Spill Turtle Photos
The story about Greenpeace releasing photos of oil-covered turtles from the BP Disaster, appeared first in the Washington Post on May 6th, but gained real social traction with a May 7th Mother Jones story. Boing Boing, and the Huffington Post coverage, along with additional stories and tweets, kept the story alive.

Number of online mentions (including blogs, social media, and forums) between May 7th and May 9th, 2012.

Amplification Action
At Upwell, we reached out to organizations and bloggers that have a vested interest in turtles and oil spill restoration, and who had recently posted about Gulf oil spill restoration efforts. posted about the story, and shared it with its network.

We also used Storify to document how the story spread across social media and to see who the key infuencers were on blogs and Twitter. As of this writing, the Storify had received 260 views on Storified and a handful of retweets.

    •    Bloggers in smaller outlets were relatively easy to reach and interested in the big story
    •    Storify is an effective tool for sharing the life of a story, but it’s challenging to measure its impact, aside from views on the actual Storify.
    •    Bitly links cannot be used to share links to stories on Storify, but they can be embedded into the text between story blocks.
    •    If you use the automated tweeting function to notify Twitter users that they have been mentioned in the story, a Storify URL will be generated that you can’t track.  To measure impact, it’s better to tweet folks manually, and to use your own bitly link.

Ocean Plastic and Sea Skater Eggs
On May 8th, at 4:01 PM PT, Scripps Oceanography News released news of a Scripps study by Miriam Goldstein about how plastic trash is altering the ocean habitat of a marine insect, the Sea Skater (Halobates sericeus).  By the following morning, May 9, the story was covered by major news outlets and was shared by many ocean-focused organizations.

Number of online mentions (including blogs, social media, and forums) of the SEAPLEX study between May 8th and May 9th, 2012.

Amplification Action
At Upwell, our goal was to let ocean conservation organizations, particularly ones that focused on plastic pollution, know about the story through and Twitter and Facebook.

Sea skaters vs. Gyre size emphasis in number of online mentions (including blogs, social media, and forums) of the SEAPLEX study between May 8th and May 9th, 2012.

    •    We'll be talking with Miriam Goldstein about how she did outreach, and will share our learnings with you in a future post.
    •    Some of the news outlets changed the headline from being about the insects to being about the “100-fold upsurge in human-produced plastic garbage.” This dramatically increased the story’s traction.

Pancakes - A Sustainable Seafood
Photos of these amazing pancakes by blogger Nathan Shields made the rounds on Twitter in early May and we, being sustainable seafood advocates, fell in love with marine invertebrates. In the spirit of fun for a Friday we wanted share the photos as another type of sustainable “seafood.” Oceana and  Oceanwire shared the image on May 9.

Amplification Action
We reached out to sustainable seafood organizations and activists via Twitter, Facebook and email and encouraged them to blog about the photos or share with their audiences via Twitter.

    •    When trying to share photo links for this in Facebook they did not automatically appear as usual when putting a link in the “comment” box. We had to upload separately.
    •    As of the writing of this post no additional traction to report.

Other ocean-related stories that caught our eye this week:
    •    “Marine Ecosystem Pledges Unmet, Data Shows” by David Jolly for The New York Times
    •    June is National Oceans Month.  June 8th is World Oceans Day
    •    David Shiffman’s Twitter discussion and Storify about Shark Fin Bans
    •    Dolphins Die of Drug Overdose at Swiss Raid by Tim Newcomb for TIME
    •    If You Collected All of the Earth’s Water Into a Sphere, How Big Would It Be? by Robert T. Gonzalez for i09
    •    The trailer for Midway a documentary about the effect of the Pacific Garbage Patch on birds.

What stories shall we amplify this week? Let us know! Email, or tweet us @upwell_us.

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