14 August 2019
By Shane M Hanlon
I spend a lot of time on social media, specifically Twitter. It’s my job. Our @AGU_SciComm account is one of the primary ways to disseminate Sharing Science information, AGU happenings, new science in the field of scicomm, popular science pieces around policy and communication, and more. Twitter is also where I turn to for hashtag campaigns, especially those centered around AGU.
Every year at the AGU Fall Meeting, Sharing Science hosts an Up-Goer Five session where participants give a presentation on their science using only the 1000* most common words in the English language. The idea was born out of the xkcd rendering of the Saturn V rocket. There, xkcd’s creator Randal Monroe described the schematic of the rocket using those 1000 words. People loved it, so much so that Monroe decided to make an entire book of things explained using the Up-Goer method. And, we in Sharing Science decided to devote an entire session to it!
Couple things about Fall Meeting: 1) Not everyone can attend the meeting, and 2) Not everyone at the meeting can attend the session. But we don’t think that that should prevent folks from enjoying the fun. So, we encourage folks to live-tweet the session (and do so ourselves)! In years past, we would aggregate these tweets via a service called Storify that would allow us to pull in all the tweets using the hashtag for the session. Unfortunately, Storify (at least as we knew it) was discontinued in May of 2018…taking away our ability to pull in Twitter content, not just for Up-Goer at Fall Meeting, but for any Twitter campaign. Well, don’t worry, because a new (and in my opinion better) service has filled that void – Wakelet.
Wakelet is an awesome scicomm tool. Like Storify, it allows users to pull in content from Twitter by filtering for hashtags and/or users. But it’s also great as it enables users to pull in content from websites, YouTube, upload PDFs, and more. We in Sharing Science have started to use Wakelet to created monthly aggregations of scicomm content that we’ve shared via our Twitter account, the Plain Language Summary content that we’ve featured, and some of the science behind science communication that we’ve been reading.
Wakelet is a valuable content aggregation tool that can be used to pull in all kinds of awesome (scicomm content). I suggest that you test it out (and follow us on the platform)!
–Shane M Hanlon is Program Manager of AGU’s Sharing Science Program. Find him @EcologyOfShane.
*It’s pronounced “ten hundred” because “thousand” isn’t one of those words. Try the Up-Goer Text Editor for yourself!