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By Rachel Weidinger, Rachel Dearborn, Matt Fitzgerald, Saray Dugas, Kieran Mulvaney and Britt Bravo http:/ /upwell

.us Twitter: @upwell_us

Upwell Pilot Report
http:/ /creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Table of Contents
I: Executive Summary II: Introduction III: Theory of Change and Context for Our Work IV: Process and Methodology Methods: Big Listening Methods: Campaigning V: Metrics of Impact Attention Impacts and Graphs Ocean Evangelist Capacity Impacts VI: Insights Comparative Ocean Conversation Analytics Insights: Big Listening Campaigning, Collaboration and Powerful Amplifiers Network Map: Ocean Evangelists and Ocean Voices Online Page 114 Page 138 Page 145 Page 161 Page 75 Page 96 Page 25 Page 50 Page 3 Page 15 Page 16

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Executive Summary
The ocean is in crisis, plagued by overfishing, habitat loss, and acidification, among other issues. While the ocean serves as the engine for our climate and plays a central role in the global food system, it still fails to register for many as a relevant and primary issue. It is, quite literally, out of sight and out of mind. The virtual invisibility of the ocean in public discourse is a major obstacle for the ocean conservation community to adopt and implement solution-based policies. The key to Upwell’s success—and thus, the success of the ocean conservation community—is not to blast new, shiny information into the interwebs, but rather to nurture and bridge virtual and real-life distributed, diverse networks, and to leverage the combined reach and power of those networks of communicators to participate in and amplify the best content and campaigns. In inventing a new kind of collaboration, we’ve provided the tools and the space, and relied on the ever-growing community of ocean communicators to work together to make change. Upwell’s array of goals—to utilize the immediacy of online communications, experiment with ways to increase the reach of valuable content, empower and foster a broader network of ocean communicators, and enrich our understanding of the conversational ecosystem surrounding ocean topics—coalesced our broader vision of “conditioning the climate for change.” We believe that by getting more people talking about ocean issues and raising the baseline of conversation, broader audiences will be more likely to take action, change behavior, and push for policy change that will have positive effects for our oceans. Our primary metric for understanding the conversations analyzed in this report is what we refer to as a “social mention” (or “social item”). Upwell defines a social mention as the text inclusion of a monitored keyword in a post on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, mainstream news with RSS feeds, forums/boards, YouTube or Pinterest. Social mentions are online acts of self-expression in which individuals, organizations and other entities invest (at least) a small amount of social capital. Upwell employs Big Listening in order to understand the volume and character of online conversations about ocean issues. Big Listening is the art and practice of tracking topical online conversations over time—listening to what “the internet,” writ large, is talking about. When combined with data-informed campaigning, Big Listening provides a methodology for increasing both the frequency and volume of online conversation around a particular issue. The basic idea is to identify pockets of real-time or historical conversation, wherever they may be, and then to use that information to make the conversation bigger. Big Listening is distinguished from traditional social media monitoring by its scale, fluidity, focus on issue or cause monitoring, and expanded access to historical data.

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both real-time and historical data provide essential context for understanding the volume. Upwell defines a spike as occurring when the social mention volume for a given day meets or exceeds one standard deviation from the mean of all recorded values for that same day of the week. tying into the momentum of the news cycle and being strategically opportunistic in the pursuit of creating spikes in attention. Constant level of conversational volume (Baseline). What we do with attention campaigns is drive more attention to existing content and actions that are not on our properties. contextual content to audiences immediately instead of strategizing for six months or a year. they do provide a powerful tool for analyzing online attention. Each topic we monitor is characterized and defined by a set of search terms (including exclusions) that we refine on an ongoing basis. In addition to the Baseline. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).In our work to date. Gulf of Mexico and Ocean Acidification. Oceans. and Density of conversational hotspots (spike frequency). Upwell practices Big Listening on English-language conversations in the following eight topic areas: Overfishing. They are minimum viable campaigns. We focus on 4 . our current Baseline (v3. rather than being housed on and amplified by way of our own platforms. we track significant increases in online attention for a particular topic. iterative. Through our minimum viable campaigns. focused on raising attention to ocean issues. 3. We use this loosely held connection. 2. Sharks. They are run and amplified across a distributed network. operating on short time-frames and focused on rapid delivery of content. timely. Upwell’s campaigning model is informed by Big Listening data and combines a few additional key elements. While we recognize the limitations of “keyword groups. Our campaigns are attention campaigns. you can actually see that burst of attention ‘spike’ the graph—hence the name.” such as their reliance on text-based results and the absence of contextual awareness. or spikes. Tuna. Sustainable Seafood. we employ ongoing.1) is the average of the lowest 20% of social mention values for a topic on a given day of the week. continuous learning and iteration. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins). evolution and characteristics of the overall conversation. resisting our urges toward perfection and providing irreverent. continuous delivery of content. Notable outliers in increased volume (spikes). When you graph those social mentions. They’re not associated with our brand. At the time of writing. We are increasingly attentive to: 1. the team at Upwell has come to believe that there are three measurable characteristics of the online ocean conversation. For each topic. The development and active refinement of keyword groups is at the heart of Big Listening methodology.

• Issue-agnostic: We aren’t only focusing on overfishing. • Delivers. In summary. Upwell has crafted a new way of campaigning that is easily delivered. through our campaigns. Rather than collect a large set of official MOU’s and partner logos to put up on our website. rather than relying on our own platforms as information hubs. We sacrifice perfection. so they can apply our lessons in their own work. Our campaigns are not aligned with Upwell program priorities or policy goals. 5 . We’ve reached out to nodes of people who control the communications channels that reach lots of supporters and followers who are interested in ocean issues. • Collaborates with a network of ocean stakeholders and curating a diverse set of existing ocean content. Often. distributed network. we built a loosely held. dirtiest thing we can get out the door that we think will have a measurable effect on a conversation. These are the values that guide Upwell in building and strengthening our distributed network: • Trust: we share only science-based content. Upwell: • Surfs existing conversations in order to increase and expand attention. • Measures social mentions (rather than policy outcomes. and learns from campaigns on a short time cycle. rather than building on our own brand and creating our own content. to cultivate the network.” We will share an organization or individual’s content or campaign. embedding lessons and insights immediately. ensuring that other science-based institutions know that the content we share is trustworthy. • Transparency: we share our campaign and big listening data with our network. measured. • Running our campaigns across a distributed network of ocean communicators. measures. as we do with the Facebook page “I Fucking Love Science. promoting content from an array of brands means releasing control of the message. or public opinion) to evaluate the success of our campaign efforts. We amplify any ocean campaign or content as long as it fits our curation criteria. petition signatures. • Brand-agnostic: we work as willingly with Greenpeace as we do with Deep Sea News.the quickest. and adapts to the ever-changing sea of conversation. We’ve been scrappy and ruthless about who we put into that distributed network. trying to make it diverse and ensure the reach is big. as long as it promotes ocean conservation goals and fits our curation criteria (detailed below). but instead amplify attention to the priorities and goals of those in our network. By applying both these models. through GMO salmon or catch shares. raising attention for the crisis the ocean faces.

Can we create more message redundancy? • Scenario 4: The Upwell network doesn’t have direct access to Big Listening data. Can we tap into it? • Scenario 3: Team Ocean isn’t coordinated. • Scenario 2: There’s conversation beyond the ocean community. highlight the most common ways we approach attention campaigning. • Generous: We provide small bits of advice and feedback to help our network do better. We often research. not organizations. and create in order to provide the most shareable content. If their work will get more people talking about the ocean online.• Personal: We build relationships with humans. However. curate. outlined below. individually and in relation to one another. There’s no exact science to what we do—our methods are mostly informed by years of experience campaigning in social media.000 social mentions in a day (and often much higher). We curate things to amplify that meet these criteria: • Good science • Socially shareable • Conservation impact • Building social capital • New influencers • Topical • Spikeability • Under amplified Once we’ve identified an opportunity. Can we provide insights to make their campaigns more effective? 6 . Our Big Listening practice helps us understand the volume and character of ocean conversations. it fits with our mission. not institutions. a few scenarios. We model the authentic behavior of the internet. that the sharks conversation regularly spikes to over 40. choosing a tool for dissemination is only part of the battle. • Scenario 1: The science and the message is good. but the content isn’t shareable. Knowing the scale of conversations—for instance. The liveliest online conversations happen between people. whereas the marine protected areas/marine reserves conversation sits at about 50 per day— helps us right-size our expectations for attention. and time our campaigning efforts to capitalize on the regular ebb and flow of conversation. It also helps us to strategically choose where to invest attention. identify pockets of audiences ripe for engagement.

Both the Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing conversations have substantially changed since the founding of Upwell. the number of social mentions about the ocean will increase. Sustainable Seafood 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Baseline Spike Threshold High Spike Threshold Sustainable Seafood Baseline Spike Threshold High Spike Threshold Sustainable Seafood Side-by-side comparison for Winter 2011 (left) and Winter 2012 (right) showing social mentions by day for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group.Over time. when Upwell began Big Listening in Sustainable Seafood. Sustainable Seafood social mention volume is up 29. As we continue to expand Team Ocean and encourage networked sharing. as compared to the baseline. 7 . Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 1/29/13) In Winter 2011 (above left). and ratio of average daily social mentions to the average baseline. social mention volume was an average of 423 mentions per day. we’ve seen the number of social mentions generated from each attention campaign grow. Spike frequency in the Sustainable Seafood conversation increased 265%. By Winter 2012 (above right).1/31/12.9%. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 . they were also getting bigger. spike frequency. concurrent with the growth of our distributed network. saw a 475% increase. Both distinct conversations have seen significant increases in spike volume. those meeting Upwell’s high spike threshold. Large volume spikes. Those spikes were not just occurring more often. and ultimately increase the baselines of ocean conversations. This is the proof in the pudding.

2012 Jan. social mention volume was an average of 423 mentions per day. 2013 Baseline Spike Threshold High Spike Threshold Overfishing Side-by-side comparison for Winter 2011 (left) and Winter 2012 (right) showing social mentions by day for Upwell’s Overfishing keyword group. 2011 Spike Threshold 0 Dec. and practical training and tools to a diverse audience of time- 8 . 2011 High Spike Threshold Jan. Overfishing social mention volume is up 71%. CA MPAs. 17. plus staff speaking engagements. 2012 Dec. 2011 Baseline 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Nov. when Upwell began Big Listening in Overfishing. 1.1/31/12. 1. Large volume spikes. 17. they were also getting bigger. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 . By Winter 2012 (above right). Upwell’s blog and social media channels. those meeting Upwell’s high spike threshold. 17. 1. also saw a similar 475% increase. 17. guest blog posts and project consulting have provided channels for delivering shareable content.1/29/13) In Winter 2011 (above left).0 Threshold Mean STDEV Jan-13 Sustainable Seafood SS The Tide Report. Fish Tornado The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 NU-20 Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012. 2012 Overfishing Oct. and illustrate more specifically where and how Upwell intervened in these two conversations.Overfishing 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Oct. The Overfishing Conversation Winter 2012 Gangnam Style.4% Vote4 Ocean Video NU-24 NU-22 1000 FAD Safeway NU-21 NU-19 Cuomo Oysters NY NU-24 NU-23 NMS 40th & NYT Trawling Vote4the Ocean JAWS vs Sinatra Costa Rica Fin Ban How to Kill a Great White Big Blue Blogs NU-5 Seamounts & Rooftops Cuomo Oysters NY Big Blue Blogs 800 600 400 200 Oct-12 Nov-12 Baseline Dec-12 Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV Jan-13 Overfishing OF 0 Oct-12 Nov-12 Baseline Dec-12 Spike+1. Those spikes were not just occurring more often. 2012 0 Nov. topic-specific webinars.Jan 2013 ! Winter 2012 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Antarctic (day 1 of 15) Antartic (day 15) Antarctic Ocean (day 10) & I Oyster NY 1200 Pacific Bluefin the 96. as compared to the baseline.Jan 2013 ! Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012. 1. Overfishing spike frequency increased 784%. Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 . Annotated campaign graphs are included in this report.

starved ocean activists. According to our February 2013 survey, through these tools and opportunities, Upwell has helped the community: • Receive content that they wouldn’t come across through their usual channels • Stay up-to-date on the hottest ocean news • Save time by providing content that they could amplify to their community • Made them feel like they’re part of a community • Helped them balance humor with serious issues in their communications

Which ocean topics have the most Baseline volume?
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Social mention Baselines for Upwell’s primary ocean topics Perhaps not surprisingly, when we look at overall levels of conversational Baselines, the generic “oceans” conversation is orders of magnitude larger than the conversations for its constituent components. While to some extent this is the result of so many conversations being conducted under the “oceans” banner, the word “ocean” is itself so widely used that, without proper filtering, those other uses can distort the apparent size of the discussion. The next two largest of our topics, Cetaceans and Sharks, also demonstrate comparatively high Baselines when assessed against the others. We can see substantial differences among our lowest-volume topics. MPAs has the lowest Baseline, Ocean Acidification and Sustainable Seafood are basically tied for second-lowest (each exceeds the for certain days of the week), and Overfishing comes in at

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about five times higher than them. Collectively, overfishing represents a grab bag of ocean brands. The Overfishing conversation brings together species such as sharks, tuna, salmon and lesser known but equally important fish, with wonkish report subjects such as fisheries management and lackluster international conferences. The topic encompasses a relatively broad conversational area, and one that has historically churned out quarterly bursts of dire news. Overfishing has about five times the Baseline volume of Sustainable Seafood, and roughly twothirds that of our next biggest topic, the Gulf of Mexico. The comparison with Sustainable Seafood is particularly interesting because the two topics are obviously intricately connected— the difference is how people talk about them. Whereas sustainable seafood suffers from a fragmented and cloudy brand identity (what is sustainable seafood, anyway?), overfishing has charismatic ocean species such as sharks and bluefin who are in clear and present danger. Danger is catnip to the internet. The Overfishing conversation actually benefits, from an attention point of view, from the ongoing damage that we are doing to our oceans and fisheries. Bad news spikes high and fast online and then it goes away. Intriguingly, the spikes within Overfishing have been occurring more frequently as Upwell has been monitoring (and campaigning on) the topic. Overfishing is becoming more spikey and the spikes are increasing in volume. The Sustainable Seafood conversation is low-volume with low-level spikes, even while the concept is becoming increasingly well-established in consumer minds. For comparison, Marine Protected Areas has a lower baseline than Sustainable Seafood but occasionally spikes higher than the Sustainable Seafood max. Ocean Acidification displays the same characteristic. And despite their obvious connections, the volume of the Sustainable Seafood conversation is only one fifth of that of the Overfishing conversation. Good news for fisheries and consumers, it turns out, is not as attention-generating as bad news. The overall brand of Sustainable Seafood is fragmented, awkward and wonky. People simply do not talk about the sustainable seafood that they ate last night, or, crucially, not in those terms. The food service industry has recognized this: one trade publication forecasts growing demand for sustainable seafood even as it pointed out that consumers prefer the term “wild”—which obviously means something very different. Furthermore, “sustainable seafood” itself is not a term well-suited for short-form platforms like Twitter—it takes too many characters and is hard to use in a sentence that doesn’t read as dry. Taken as a whole, the fragmentation of the Sustainable Seafood conversation means that it is more difficult to accurately capture it accurately with keywords, and that a low volume doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t talking. Unlike Overfishing, which has regular media hooks through connections to Shark Week, dire report releases and celebrity activists, the Sustainable Seafood conversation doesn’t generally translate into spikes from live events and or big news stories. Where we do see spikes occur they
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are usually based in one of three elements: well-known brands promoting their sustainable offerings (Safeway, McDonalds), fraud, or a bridge campaign (many of them attributable to Upwell). One other notable burst of attention can be expected from the Sustainable Seafood Summit—although the resulting content hasn’t been particularly shareable. A comfort with complexity is necessary to forecast weather. Big Listening, similarly, requires significant human skill and intuition to, first, develop robust conversational descriptors (keywords) and then, second, to use the resulting information to identify opportunities for a campaign to spike a given conversation. Upwell has intentionally cross-trained campaign and listening roles so that this integration between listening and intervention is as efficient as possible. This comes not from any computer readout but from regular, hands-on practice. ‘Weather’ forecasting of the social web is a nascent practice. Regular Big Listening to a given conversation is essential for building an analyst’s awareness of the conversational dynamics at play. It is most efficient to listen on an ongoing basis. Presence in the conversation is the difference between watching a baseball game and reconstructing it through the box score. The structure of Upwell intentionally underpins the process for doing Big Listening. Each member of Upwell draws on a variety of tools and practices—some shared, some personalized— to generate immediately actionable insight into each day’s online events. We supplement our personal suite of tools and practices with shared Upwell systems (such as Radian6).    Personal Listening Systems [human and machine-assisted] Shared Listening Systems [machine-assisted and human-network-assisted] Morning Meeting [humans in conversation] Big Listening

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While the context for Big Listening is constantly shifting, we believe that current trends point to some likely future developments. These include: • New firehoses • Divergent functions • Smarter robots • Privacy fights • Buyer beware • Social science catches up to social media • More visuals • Spike marketplaces • More upwellings

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the Distributed Network Way from the Upwell pilot include: • Provide brand neutral content. • Bridge conversations. In running rapid attention campaigns. • In difficult times. Emergent best practices for Collaboration. nimble online teams. • Revive old stuff. or tribe signifiers. more pithy. • Be poised for rapid response. but balance asks across a spectrum of engagement. • Identify opportunities based on Big Listening. Collaboration in communications is hard. • Find unique high-touch activities to cultivate personal relationships. • Celebrity promotion: not a silver bullet. • Timeliness and a hook are still really important. Pay attention to ROI on campaigns. • Define your goals and metrics based on what is actually measurable. Upwell has developed a few best practices that can be applied to other small. • Be open to ad hoc partnerships. but the half-life of news online is shorter than it used to be. 12 . cultural anchors. • Share other organizations’ and people’s content. be human. movements and communities to make your message go farther. • Develop systems to capture insights. and can be expensive. • Videos: shorter. • Pair content with asks.Emergent best practices for online campaigning from the Upwell pilot include: • You can’t predict what will go viral. • Think about the whole viewing and sharing experience. • Memes: don’t try to make them from scratch. and focusing primarily on social platforms as the medium for our ocean famous-making. • Celebrate victories. prettier. • Embrace the larger ecosystem of communicators. • Use simple messaging. • Normalize obscure issues or complex ideas with iconic imagery. • Narrow in.

• Keep the campaigning team small. • Don’t let beautiful ocean pictures do all the talking. Overfishing: • Focus on actions that are doable and close to home. • Sensational stories make headlines.• Encourage a flat structure. • Focus on specific products. but not too small. strengths and networks of your team members. We were wrong about the ‘great’ part. Sustainable Seafood: • Scary stories get attention. Top insights and best practices for amplifying attention to ocean issues in general. sustainable seafood. as well as some that are specific to those communicating about overfishing. • Anthropomorphize ocean creatures. and marine protected areas from the Upwell pilot include: For ocean communications: • The ocean is out of sight and out of mind. • Lean on the personal interests. and extend the ones that work. • The actual practice of eating sustainable seafood continues to be challenging. • Recognize and admit your weaknesses. • Recipes and fluff pieces don’t generate social mentions. Don’t sleep on Shark Week. • “It’s complicated” is a bad relationship status and a bad brand. • Sharks are the quarterback of overfishing. • Run lots of little campaigns. • Keep time for developing creative assets to a minimum. • Lower your science hackles. • We assumed there would be a lot of great ocean content. and Shark Week is the Super Bowl of online ocean conversations. brands and species rather than the overall sustainable seafood issue. 13 . • Cross-promote social content via collaborative outlets. • Plan social media outreach in advance of scientific report releases. and news coverage is not making it appear easier.

• Share successes. completed in February 2012. the shape of key ocean conversations. the founding team of Upwell documents new methodologies for conversation analysis. 14 . We do so in service of the larger marine conservation sector. This is the final report of Upwell’s pilot phase. and emerging best practices for a new era of online communications. the impacts of our campaign efforts. awkward and wonky. and with the hope that what we have learned in our short effort will speed all our collective efforts. • Emphasize individual connection to MPAs as public commons to create support. The ocean is our client. • Our MPA vocabulary is fragmented.Marine Protected Areas: • The MPA conversation is tiny in comparison to other ocean conversations. In it.

Ray Dearborn.Introduction Ocean Conservancy and the Waitt Foundation collaboratively developed the Upwell project in 2010. During its first year of incubation. This is the final report of Upwell’s pilot phase. an anonymous donor. We have had other forward-thinking funders join us in support of this project over the past two years. Ocean Conservancy initially envisioned an 18-24 month pilot phase for the project. Saray Dugas. and interns Christine Danner. The project’s goal was to increase the volume of the conversation about the ocean to enhance awareness and support for ocean issues among mass audiences. Upwell focused primarily on elevating the online conversations about overfishing and sustainable seafood during this incubation period to test the efficacy of this innovative approach. with the incubation stage concluding in the summer of 2013.  We’re grateful for the support of the Waitt Foundation. and develop aggressive rapid response campaigns to reach and mobilize new audiences to care about ocean content. the Upwell team has enjoyed the contributions of a great number of excellent crew members. We are grateful for the Waitt Foundation’s significant initial investment. Lara Franklin. finance the use of new cutting-edge technological tools to actively monitor online conversations. and launched the fully staffed program in early 2012. the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. hiring Rachel Weidinger. including Kieran Mulvaney. earned praise for its non-branded approach to campaigning from social media thought leaders and attracted additional philanthropic interest in expanding the project beyond the intent of the pilot phase across a range of environmental issues. Paulina Dao. Julia Roberson and George Leonard. Melissa Ehrenreich. which provided the vision and commitment to launch this entrepreneurial initiative and are appreciative of other funding we have received for the project. This experimental pilot project charted new territory to engage a larger and more diverse audience in the ocean conversation and to elevate the ocean while not elevating any particular organization or perspective. a first for the strategic ocean communications initiatives. At the behest of the Foundation. Shannon Crownover. We conducted a national search for the project’s leadership. Liana Wong. The Waitt Foundation served as Ocean Conservancy’s lead partner to help shape the direction. Amelia Montjoy. Vikki Spruill has been an important mentor for the project. During our pilot phase. and Kaori Ogawa. demonstrated success in elevating the ocean conversation above the baseline. completed in February 2013. 15 . We have done this by quantifying the level of the ocean conversation across a range of topics and measuring the impact of engagement on the issue. Britt Bravo. and our colleagues at the Ocean Conservancy including Janis Jones. Matt Fitzgerald. Aaron Muszalski and Kevin Zelnio. Upwell successfully pioneered the development of new methodologies in social monitoring.

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quite literally. the project was initially referred to internally as “Ocean Underground.Theory of Change and Context for Our Work The ocean is in crisis. plagued by overfishing. The genesis of Upwell was rooted in a need. some key elements articulated in the earliest stages remain true. aggressive and agile strategic communications platform to increase attention to ocean conservation issues in real-time. habitat loss. over two years later: • It would be an informational effort. “people within the community should ideally be fully aware we exist. Although the specific look. ready to respond to and amplify developments and news at a moment’s notice.” • It needed to be fast. While the ocean serves as the engine for our climate and plays a central role in the global food system.” For that reason.  The effort would be a non-branded communications effort that would utilize new and traditional media to build a fast. people in the street will never know of our existence. in a sense. out of sight and out of mind. and acidification. but ideally. As was expressed often in internal deliberative conversations in the project’s earliest stages. among other issues.’ It would not act as a competing entity in ocean conservation. but would instead highlight the work in conservation and science already being done by others. ‘unbranded. 17 . It is. one that would simultaneously seek to raise the volume of key ocean issues while elevating them above the growing cacophony of background noise on the Internet and elsewhere. feel and direction had yet to be determined. and that we are a resource to be utilized. to build an “ocean war room” whose core focus was to increase attention to ocean issues among new and mainstream audiences. The virtual invisibility of the ocean in public discourse is a major obstacle for the ocean conservation community to adopting and implementing solution-based policies. • The effort would be. but simply be more aware of the ocean than they were before. it still fails to register for many as a relevant and primary issue. identified and articulated by Ted Waitt jointly with Vikki Spruill of Ocean Conservancy in late 2010.

. and magnifiers.] We hope that once we become established. emphasizing issues and topics of particular import and helping ensure an understanding of the way they link to each other. We will work with researchers.. distributors. We will aim to work with existing outlets and to create our own. We will not be competing for funding.Testing the Waters With the loose ideas of direction (detailed above) in mind. We will seek to operate on a multitude of levels..g. a means of highlighting. outlets that need it and also to disseminate content for those who lack such networks. synthesizers. We shared with them these still-nascent goals and philosophy: We aim to raise the volume of ocean messaging. Initial feedback was incredibly positive. we hope to raise the volume without merely contributing to the overall background noise. John Bruno of the University of North Carolina). We will be content aggregators.. We will also be providing context. Ben Kroetz at Greenpeace). creators. We do not intend to be another “brand” in the public eye. In this way. social media experts at NGOs with a particular focus on online mobilization (e. Nancy Knowlton. We will not be competing for the limelight. in which it will become routine for members of the community to provide us with content that we can aggregate. scientist-communicators (e. magnify and synthesize. and provide content for. Members of the community agreed that there was a need for deeper understanding of the currents of ocean conversation. and linking to every ocean story we come across. [. Jeremy Jackson and Steve Palumbi) and many more.g.g. and understand where we could be the most effective. organizations and others to produce original content for publication online or in print. and a need for a new way 18 . We spoke with many different players in the diverse ecosystem of ocean communications: researcher/bloggers (e. We shall we be a resource. We will be doing more than tweeting. and that as a result ocean issues will have no problem being heard in the cacophony of the Internet. by utilizing the huge variety of outlets now available to maintain a constant drumbeat of news and information. we reached out to members of the community to gauge their levels of interest. We will offer to work with. synthesizing and contextualizing ocean issues in a way that brings further attention to those issues and to those who are researching and campaigning on them. we’ll swiftly settle into a pattern. blogging..

By using humor.Where Ocean Underground can carve out a unique and invaluable role is.. wit. We would focus on unique metrics to evaluate our success in penetrating and motivating social networks to spread ocean content within their peer networks to both boost the volume of online conversations focused on the ocean and to broaden the conversation beyond the choir. We wanted to explore ways to circumvent and manipulate filter bubbles to broaden the ocean conversation beyond the choir.” The articulation of this goal responded to what Eli Pariser—formerly of MoveOn.. We would strive to make scientific research accessible to popular audiences online and identify relevance to new social and mainstream audiences. discarding that which is less so. . necessarily limiting our exposure to new ideas that might be critical to progressive social discourse. Search engines. as noted at the top of this section. By monitoring spiking attention and online conversation in real-time. we would quickly intervene in a conversation and inject ocean content into popular conversations. hard-hitting facts and education and recontextualization. information and issues. we have been tasked to increase the volume of ocean news. and providing a greater context for that news. As we articulated in early documents: “As an overarching goal. aligning them with the language and speed of the internet. We also wanted to experiment with ways to modernize conservation communications. highlighting the news that is important. cutting through that noise. we would create highly shareable content tailored to spread through social spaces.to harness the energy and content and funnel it into more effective campaigning. social media platforms and online news outlets apply highly sophisticated algorithms to analyze our internet behaviors and customize our experience. We would also respect and leverage the power of traditional media by helping to connect social content in ways that would create mainstream media attention or extend shelf life. A Social Focus We decided early on during this scoping process that social media was going to be our playing field. Campaigns in the digital age—at all levels—require the rapid communication and personal connections that social media cultivates.org and now founder and CEO of Upworthy—calls the “Filter Bubble”: an increased personalization of the internet. The Need for a Big Team Ocean 19 .

region. In our early analyses of ocean conversations. not each other. Citizen-led efforts utilizing social media. and social media savvy public figures like George Takei. most activists. Photo by Stuck in Customs Increasingly. Competition in the marine conservation space is real—“blue” organizations get only a small fraction of environmental funding. several of those with whom we spoke showed particular interest in and enthusiasm for our mission when they fully appreciated that we would not be a part of that competition and would be trying to find ways to make their work more effective.” and a shift away from traditional nonprofit “fortress” communications. Our competition is Justin Bieber. Our philosophy at Upwell is that we’re part of a big Team Ocean that includes marine conservation organizations. Free agents— bloggers at Deep Sea News. researchers and free agents fly the ocean flag far below their own. like the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. marine scientists and ocean activists.” Welcome to the Fortress. Kanter asserts. to name a few—were generating conversation by sharing irreverent content and engaging their followers in a more personal way.In our initial conversations. Fortress institutions. we saw what nonprofit social media expert and trainer Beth Kanter calls the rise of “free agents. specialized flag on the pole. “work hard to keep their communities and constituents at a distance. It was clear that we had to invent a new way to collaborate. environmental NGOs—the fortresses—were not driving conversation. Now please go away. While Team Ocean is anything but small. Indeed. focused on one topic. we learned quickly that many people in the ocean world felt they operated in silos. are examples of 20 . or issue. managers of Facebook pages like I Fucking Love Science. A primary way that we’d cut through the noise and make valuable content reach broader audiences was to foster a bigger and more diverse network of ocean communicators. pushing out messages and dictating strategy rather than listening or building relationships.

Upwell does the same. In inventing a new kind of collaboration. The key to our success—and thus. 21 . helping organizations to chip away at their fortress walls. and to leverage the combined reach and power of those networks of communicators to participate in and amplify the best content and campaigns. The Very Large Array in New Mexico harnesses a network of radio telescopes to increase its listening power. but rather to nurture and bridge virtual and real-life distributed. diverse networks. shiny information into the interwebs. and in December 2012. We wanted to bridge and engage both these communities. But with social media networks rather than radio telescopes. and rely on the ever-growing community of ocean communicators to work together to make change. the success of the ocean conservation community—would not be to blast new. Aside from polling members on issues to work on.the power of decentralized communication. MoveOn. we’d provide the tools and the space. MoveOn also has a platform that allows members to upload or share content that can bubble up into campaigns.org embarked on what they call a “bottom-up revolution. Greenpeace elevates examples of people-powered organizing through its Digital Mobilisation Lab. Some organizations outside the ocean sector are beginning to experiment with this. science-based content that organizations and academics could provide. and connecting free agents with the deep.” empowering its supporters to determine what issues and campaigns MoveOn throws its weight behind.

How many people were on our team? What were they talking about? Were we getting our butt kicked. LOLrus: playing for both Team Ocean and Team Cheezburger [source] Upwell recognized that the broadcast model of communications was insufficient for a networked world in which attention and engagement are the primary currency. Our primary lens for assessing success would be whether or not our shared purpose succeeded. Despite widespread love for the actual thing. the ocean was basically broke. 22 . We would do everything we could to make the ocean more famous on the internet. We began to develop what would become Big Listening. attention-wise. by I Can Haz Cheezburger? We needed to understand the volume and character of online conversations about the ocean. We needed a big picture perspective on the ocean online. we were going to need a way to identify its members and assess our collective efforts. Go to the beach and the ocean was captivating. We would eschew the brand constraints that had crippled the ocean’s institutional voices online and we would speak fluent internet. Go on Facebook and it was hard to find at all. But we also recognized that if online attention was a currency. not whether our organization did. of listening to dynamically evolving online conversations writ large. the ocean as represented online was a shadow of itself. and we would use Big Listening to measure our progress.We Shall Have Bigger Ears and Eyes Into the Internet If Upwell was going to operate on behalf of Team Ocean. a methodology and philosophy.

change behavior. or into a newspaper editorial. and for the building of community. Since those initial developments. 2011. That advantage won’t last forever. and enrich our understanding of the conversational ecosystem surrounding ocean topics coalesced into our broader vision of “conditioning the climate for change. into the framing of a local news story. 23 .. Conditioning the Climate for Change As Kari Marie Norgaard notes in her book Living in Denial1 : Before an issue can make it into a council meeting. Conversation is the site for exchange of information and ideas.Step change vs. M.. K. broader audiences will be more likely to take action. discontinuous leap forward— because the ocean needs a win that really matters. Upwell’s array of goals—to utilize the immediacy of online communications. Living in Denial. location 809. 1 Norgaard. experiment with ways to increase the reach of valuable content. Kindle Edition. onto picket signs. for human contact. somebody has to start talking about it. Our big window on Team Ocean has also had the fortuitous effect of developing new campaigning techniques for which the ocean sector now has a competitive advantage. demonstrated methodology. and push for policy change that will have positive effects for our oceans.” We believe that by getting more people talking about ocean issues and raising the baseline of conversation. . Incremental Change [source] Upwell entered this challenge looking for step change—a massive. Big Listening has gone from an abstract concept to a replicable. empower and foster a broader network of ocean communicators.

a forum/board. resourceintensive manual calculation. but a forecast of potential campaign success. it would follow that their content would lead to more retweets. Social mentions are online acts of self-expression in which individuals. For example. replies and/or mentions. If a tweet goes out to 12. Tumblr. While likes. but rather by its engagement level. Facebook. they are also not as passive as views or impressions. it is less of an indicator of willingness to take action than a tweet that goes out to 200 followers and gets 10 retweets. Other Metrics (not social mentions) Impressions Views Social Mentions Tweets and retweets Mainstream news articles with RSS feeds and comments Posts. Upwell defines a social mention as the text inclusion of a monitored keyword in a post on a social media platform like Twitter. we count the tweet the same way that we would count a tweet with 200 impressions. loves. older PR and marketing metric of impressions. While they are not social mentions (as people are not creating new content).Metrics: Social Mentions Our primary metric for understanding the conversations analyzed in this report is what we refer to as a “social mention” (or “social item”). Upwell focuses on counting and analyzing social mentions (rather than impressions or online mentions) because we believe that the number of people who choose to take an action to create or share content is a better indicator of engagement than the number of people who have simply seen (or could have seen) that content. If a person or organization is network-oriented. if one tweet has 12. Upwell believes that social mentions are a better leading indicator of willingness to take action for the oceans than other communications metrics. What About “Likes”? Likes. the choice of an individual to risk a small amount of social capital by associating their online identity with a piece of online content. is measured not by its size. organizations and other entities invest (at least) a small amount of social capital. mainstream news with an RSS feed. Upwell does measure them. Twitter] Social mentions have more in common with the metric of media hits than they do with the more common. shares and comments on Facebook Blog posts and comments Re-blogs on tumblr Forum or board posts Clicks Likes / Loves / Favs [Facebook. 24 . and faves are not counted by Radian6. a blog. loves. It is worth noting that. In aggregate. However. Furthermore. for the purposes of this report we have omitted these metrics since they constitute only minimal public engagement and can require laborious. the volume of social mentions not only represents the amount of attention being paid to a topic.000 impressions (the number of people who follow the account that posted the tweet). by our standards. This is because social mentions represent actions.000 followers but gets zero retweets. The strength of a community. and faves (different terminology for different social media platforms) are in a middle ground. Upwell’s Big Listening methodology focuses on characterizing conversations just thoroughly enough to campaign successfully within them. YouTube or Pinterest. while it is theoretically possible to accurately count every single social mention on a topic. when possible.

Methods: Big Listening Introduction Upwell employs Big Listening in order to understand the volume and character of online conversations about ocean issues. 2. 3. This section details the current state and maturity of Upwell’s Big Listening practices. strategic opportunist Since November 2011. Kick when you have to kick. Oceans.Bruce Lee As more and more of our conversation moves online. Notable outliers in increased volume (spikes). Cetaceans (whales and dolphins).” and use immediate insights to inform your actions. Punch when you have to punch.” . Bruce Lee. including our Baseline methodology and spike quantification methodology. In our work to date. In the words of Bruce Lee. not as it was assumed to be nine months prior in a grant proposal. We are increasingly attentive to: 1. To seize this opportunity fully requires setting aside preconceptions and engaging with the world as it is. the team at Upwell has come to believe that there are three measurable characteristics of the online ocean conversation. and Density of conversational hotspots (spike frequency). Constant level of conversational volume (Baseline). What is Big Listening? “Take things as they are. we want to come to understand the role of all three as they contribute to conditioning the climate for change. right now. 25 . We listen to eight primary ocean topics: Overfishing. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). the potential of big data to help advocacy organizations understand the environment for their works also increases. you have to “take things as they are. Sustainable Seafood. Upwell has been monitoring the online ocean conversation on a daily basis to identify opportunities to use our distributed network for online campaigning. Over time.

or the Obama campaign stitching together millions of voter records with proprietary consumer datasets. this cloud-based. and then to use that information to make the conversation grow bigger. Gulf of Mexico and Ocean Acidification. Big corporations. At Nestle. and expanded access to historical data. From Target predicting a teenage girl was pregnant through her purchase pattern. We are not alone in innovating in online conversation.Sharks. the largest food company in the world. the plastic water bottle industry. tweets. When combined with data-informed campaigning.. fluidity. we use the same Big Listening methodology to measure how many social mentions (e. they have gotten the message. Tuna. focus on issue or cause monitoring. the company dramatically ramped up their online listening through their Digital Acceleration Team. Typically.2 A view inside Nestle’s Digital Acceleration Team 2 http:/ /uk. Big Listening is the art and practice of tracking topical online conversations over time— listening to what “the internet. Big Listening is distinguished from traditional social media monitoring by its scale. During and after our campaigns. Big Listening provides a methodology for increasing both the frequency and volume of online conversation around a particular issue.g. Radian6 widgets gleam on wall-mounted flat screen monitors as employees fight for the reputation of. blog posts) happened in real time. is talking about. Our method of conversational analysis has been called Big Listening. networked. indexable world is here to stay. among other Nestle products.” writ large. first by Micah Sifry of Personal Democracy Forum. Upwell has used Big Listening to inform campaigns that are then implemented across our distributed network of evangelists. whether we realize it’s there or not. the team operates out of a social media war room. influencers and social media managers in order to spread the marine conservation conversation beyond the "ocean sector" (beyond ocean conservation organizations and marine scientists).reuters. their brands and the military are all attempting to make sense of the new networked landscape. The basic idea is to identify pockets of real-time or historical conversation. After reaching the peak (or perhaps the trough) of social media mismanagement during a Greenpeace campaign that targeted the use of palm oil in Kit Kats. and later by nonprofit social media expert Beth Kanter. Facebook posts. As profiled in a recent Reuters story. wherever they may be.com/article/2012/10/26/uk-nestle-online-water-idUKBRE89P07Q20121026 26 .

Since Upwell is a campaign agency (among other things).” such as their reliance on text-based results and the absence of contextual awareness. evolution and characteristics of the overall conversation. Enter the Baseline. Baselines help us to anchor campaign performance targets in measures of past conversational volume. Gulf of Mexico and Ocean Acidification. and then campaign to meet and exceed those targets. The development and active refinement of keyword groups is at the heart of Big Listening methodology. Instead of monitoring a corporate brand or a product. dynamic ocean conversations that Upwell follows. We set goals informed by the Baseline (as well as by spikes). and the shape-shifting. For each topic. between the static product and brand conversations typified by Nestle. they do provide a powerful tool for analyzing online attention. Oceans. Tuna.A. Sharks.g. Upwell informally defines a conversation’s Baseline at the point below which the daily volume doesn’t drop. This distinction in listening. is significant. We should note that when Nestle D. whales). Whereas Nestle’s listening topics are comparatively static and focused on their company properties. We use Big Listening in order to: • identify and target high-value items for campaign purposes. Baseline Methodology What is a Baseline? Upwell practices Big Listening on English-language conversations in the following eight topic areas: Overfishing. • compare the relative size of different ocean sub issues (e. they are practicing something more similar to what we do at Upwell. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). ours flow and evolve with the dynamic cause or movement-based conversations that we monitor. sharks vs. absent our interventions.Our war room is a little different. Each topic we monitor is characterized and defined by a set of search terms (including exclusions) that we refine on an ongoing basis. focusing on sustainable seafood and overfishing. both real-time and historical data provide essential context for understanding the volume. and a key distinction of Big Listening as we define and practice it. Sustainable Seafood. While we recognize the limitations of “keyword groups. rather than their company’s share of it. we monitor the brand of the ocean. and • measure the impact of our campaigns. It can be thought of as a floor (although it is often quite high—in the tens of thousands for a conversation like Cetaceans) or as the number of social mentions performed 27 . we needed a way to characterize these conversations as they exist. members monitor the plastic water bottle conversation as a whole.T. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins).

We then disaggregate the data by the day of the week in order to deal with cyclical variations in post volume and compare Mondays to Mondays. Taken together. Upwell has used three different version of Baseline methodology to better measure the dynamic online conversation space: Robyn: euro popstar. depending on the topic). 28 . and Sundays to Sundays. The Baseline: Up Close and Personal Upwell’s Baseline methodology has evolved to capture the highly dynamic conversations we watch. Beth Kanter. Over the course of our pilot phase. especially cyclical variations by day of the week. leading nonprofit technologist and Packard Fellow. solitary dancer.1: The average of the lowest 20% of social mention values for a topic on a given day of the week [currently in use] Our Baseline quantification methodology was created with input from leaders in the field including: K.each day by the topic’s diehard conversationalists. and co-author of the recently released Measuring The Networked Nonprofit. dancing by itself. Once that’s done we calculate the average (mean) of the lowest 20% of values for each of the seven days. Payne. If everyone else left the party.0: The median daily social mentions for a given conversation/keyword group for a given period [in use through mid-November 2012] • Baseline v3. and a senior educational policy analyst for a leading national measurement/ social statistics firm contracted by the Gates Foundation. those day-of-the-week values are what we refer to as the Baseline. Chairman & founder of Salience/ KDPaine & Partners. for a given period (implemented using Upwell topical keyword groups) [in use through late August 2012] • Baseline v2. people tend to talk on the internet when they’re at work. D. human Baseline metaphor • Baseline v1.0: The lowest level of daily social mentions for a given conversation. Department of Education. the Baseline would still be there.S. To calculate the Baseline for a particular topic we begin by compiling all available social mention data for the period since we started monitoring it (mid-October 2011 or later.0: The average of the lowest 10% of social mention values for a topic on a given day of the week [in use through early January 2013] • Baseline v3. These cyclical variations often result from usage and posting patterns. the Broad Foundation and the U. For example.

the mean is the most typically consistent and available measurement when analyzing the conversation on a by day-of-the-week basis. the mean is the starting point for calculating standard deviations used in our spike quantification methodology.We selected the mean to establish a specific value for each day of the week for three reasons. First. Second. Baseline Social Mentions by Day-of-Week for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group (10/17/11 .1/29/13). given the small size of most ocean conversations. The graph below shows the result. 29 . These daily Baseline values are then graphed against social mention data over time.

is captured in our search terms. day-of-the-week periodicity is highly evident in social mention volume. 30 . we respond by tightening or removing those terms from the keyword group. 2012.. Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood Baseline. In the inevitable cases where we find noise in the results returned by particular terms (old and new). largely driven by mention increases during U.August 1. June 1. 2012 . and with substantial drop offs on weekends. or online mentions of a relevant. Using the current Baseline as a reference for setting campaign goals removes the disincentives present in previous Baseline quantifications to campaign on lower volume days.S. Context and Challenges for Baseline Quantification As seen in the overfishing and sustainable seafood conversations. along with unexpected conversational developments (e. working hours across Eastern to Pacific time zones. Our campaign efforts. the release of a new report or a natural disaster) require us to add new terms to the relevant keyword group so that our work.g.Social mentions for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group vs. unanticipated event. and gives a more accurate picture of success on all campaign days.

How should Baseline calculations account for these changes? How and when should Baselines be refreshed? Should campaign targets be refreshed retrospectively? How should we treat a spike that loses or gains volume with a refreshed keyword group? Moving forward. No robot can do this. there are some inherent challenges.e. and interns probably can’t do it either. so too do the methods of expression (i. It’s like a marriage in that way. This is why we continue to add and subtract terms to our Baseline keyword groups. etc. Much like species evolution. nor can it be perfectly accurate (as noise will always creep in). And once you’ve got it. professional network and subject matter expertise.Since keyword groups have keywords added and subtracted on an ongoing basis. let’s imagine our topic is marine debris. these changes are not always in a direction that we perceive to be fruitful. Evolution can lead to progress just as it can lead to dead-ends or fragmentation. The trick in measuring a conversation is that conversations change over time as participants engage in dialogue. Upwell will continue to drive innovations in our Baseline methodology and in the integration of that methodology into our campaign process. Finding the Baseline Developing a Baseline for a topic or conversation requires an iterative process of definition. Since designing a keyword is as much about selective addition as selective omission. no conversational “listening” can ever be exhaustive (as some elements of the conversation will always be overlooked). you have to refresh it to account for conversational evolutions. For the purposes of explanation.). For the conceptual outlines we often make use of a mind map such as the one for Oceans shown below. We would begin our Baseline development process by outlining the conceptual and temporal boundaries of analysis for marine debris. and the accompanying platforms. Ongoing monitoring and modification of a Baseline keyword group is the most effective way to keep that keyword group refreshed and accurate. The temporal aspect is important because a keyword group developed for one time period may lose significant accuracy (and utility) when applied to another period. As conversations dynamically evolve over time. metaphors. our ability to effectively evolve keywords and keyword groups is informed just as much by our listening practice with Radian6 as it is by our personal listening. Measuring something requires you to define it. 31 . terminology. In “baselining” a conversation. imagery. Upwell begins by developing a conceptual framework for the topic in question. although some are trying. testing and measurement. the composition of participants. Because of this. or so we’re told.

much like something you might google. albatross AND plastic. A couple wrinkles make the construction of keywords and keyword groups significantly more challenging than one might expect. would be “Upwell. The first is noise. Keywords are textual search terms. and search results for keyword groups are the foundational output of Big Listening. A keyword for Upwell. marine plastics. When you type something into a Google search bar and click on a result. “the ocean is our client. we refine the map through a series of discussions and email exchanges with subject matter experts and knowledgeable people in the industry or industries at play. great pacific garbage patch. the Plastiki.” A keyword. we turn the map into a series of keywords. January 2012 For marine debris the concept map would include items such as marine trash. The concept map would also include people.” It might also be a distinctive phrase (or fragment thereof) such as our tagline. This fact will become more important as we discuss more of those elements. and Seaplex. seaplex (minus exclusions for the botanical shampoo of the same name). for example. The concept map becomes a design artifact for further conversations about the conversation. in this way. The Trash Free Seas Alliance.Upwell mind map for Oceans keywords. you are deploying a potent combination of Google’s massive 32 . expeditions and organizations such as Miriam Goldstein (a marine debris expert). can actually be a number of elements (such as multiple words in a phrase) despite its singular form. the pacific gyre. Although we sometimes shortcut this process in the interests of time. Once we have a solid map of the conversation. A collection of keywords is called a keyword group. campaigns.

A well-constructed (or scoped) exclusion can be the difference between finding online mentions of sharks. non-marine-debris subjects as well. mentioned above for her marine debris expertise. Exclusions can be tied to specific keywords or to entire keyword groups. Pruning out extraneous results through proper keyword construction brings us to the second wrinkle: exclusions. The cycle is presented below.” That distinction becomes increasingly important when Radian6 scrapes long forum discussions. Entering “Miriam Goldstein” as a keyword nets you any mention of her full name. billions of dollars in said company’s algorithmic investments.” Proximity. What you leave out of a keyword or keyword group is as important as what you put in. Proximity is not available in every tool that might be applied in a Big Listening process but it is present in Radian6. a well-constructed keyword group for that subject would probably not include her name as a standalone keyword— the reason being that she talks about other. the hockey team (creatures of a different sort). whether that takes the shape of a blog post about ocean trash or a friend’s tweet referencing her attendance at a particularly yummy brunch meeting. The last element is particularly important.computational power. Whereas Google displays dozens. and the concentrated smarts of your own interpretive brainpower. Proximity is a modifier that can be applied to two or more words in a keyword. Exclusions can filter out things beyond keywords (such as entire categories of website domains. say “marine” and “debris. Closeness basically means: how many other words come in between? If we were to set proximity to zero for “marine debris.” Radian6 would return only items that include that exact phrase. if not thousands of search results for you to choose from—and then asks you to filter those results—the keyword queries we construct for Big Listening must be built so as to filter out as much noise as possible. 33 . particular geographies of origin. or what a computer determines to be a particular language) using a variety of tools used in Big Listening—source filters. Keyword development feeds into an ongoing measurement process of Scope / Test / Adapt / Share. news articles or blog posts in which a topic might be mentioned in an extremely peripheral manner. but their purpose is to filter out results that match their terms. Exclusions are also textual search terms. denoted by “~”. or finding online mentions of the San Jose Sharks. If we set proximity to three. To return to friend-ofUpwell Miriam Goldstein. Another wrinkle in keyword construction is proximity. Proximity provides another tool to scope a given keyword and focus the results in a particular way. to give one example. our tool of choice at the moment. tells the tool/service how close a set of words must be in order to return a match. the creatures. we might get results such as “marine layer clotted with debris. for example.

and campaigns TEST Generating preliminary keywords • Use the seed list to develop initial keyword inputs for online search and social media monitoring services • Develop a more detailed set of keywords • Verify keyword accuracy and relevance using Radian6 to graph and spot-check search results. potential online influencers.SCOPE Initial investigation • Outline the conceptual and temporal boundaries of analysis for the topic • In consultation with subject-matter experts and other stakeholders. subtopics. create a seed list of topics. or various degrees of proximity to widen the net 34 . adding exclusion terms to filter extraneous results/noise. and known online sources. events.

per step 5) • On an as-needed basis. blog posts and other types of synthesis for external audiences Improving the methodology • Gather feedback and process what we’ve discovered • Iterate our overall set of procedures A crucial detail of the final stage of this process is the fact that exporting the data freezes it in time. Because the exported data is a snapshot of results for a particular conversation’s keyword group. 4 and 5 with updated keywords Cultivating and maintaining keywords • Campaign or otherwise monitor keyword group results on an ongoing basis • Update Baseline keyword groups with new inclusions and exclusions based on current events. scope adjustments) • Repeat steps 3.ADAPT Refining keyword groups • Share keyword lists with key informants (subject experts. It’s important to remember that the conversations we monitor continue to change. all of the data in this report was current as of the end of January 2013. generally after at least three months of listening. quarterly or to-order basis. and then it was frozen in a spreadsheet. even as we’re measuring and reporting on them. share Baseline keyword groups with subject matter experts and other groups to gather feedback and potential improvements SHARE Exporting and preparing data • On a monthly. foundation staff..) and incorporate feedback (e. campaigns and other developments (while always testing for the introduction of noise. export Big Listening data based on the most current keyword groups • Recalculate Baseline values • Graph and annotate charts with spike identifications Packaging and distributing insights • Create reports. 35 . additional terms.g. To offer a contemporary example. campaigners etc.

Surges in attention create spikes. 36 . but the general point remains the same.as it existed at a particular time (of export). so to speak. This variation is due to the tools we use and is generally extremely small given the scale of the topics we’re monitoring. since the beginning of Upwell. These two factors combine to reinforce our belief that Big Listening data can only be fully interpreted if the underlying keywords are available—anything less is a black box. from a particular tool (or combination of tools). Furthermore. due to the item volume returned by some of the larger keyword groups. the resulting values cannot and should not be separated from the keyword group that produced them. Spike Quantification What is a Spike? A spike is a significant increase in online attention for a particular topic. We have been observing spikes in the wild. exporting data will sometimes produce variations in measurements for the same hour. you can actually see that burst of attention ‘spike’ the graph—hence the name. So how do you measure one? Let’s revisit that graph of the Sustainable Seafood keyword group that we looked at earlier. It’s a concept that is at least somewhat familiar to anyone who has ever described a video as “viral. In the world of Big Listening. A lot of people sharing one thing over a short time creates a spike.” or checked out the list of the most shared articles on the New York Times website. When you graph those social mentions. day or time period. that one thing they share can actually be a large number of different things on the same topic.

by the minute. Upwell talks about. and because a day as a unit of measurement is widely understood. but there may be other small-to-medium bursts of attention that last more than a day and consequently don’t visually ‘spike’ a graph in the same way (think of a multi-day increase in 37 . much of this activity as the Baseline. A second caveat is that focusing on spikes may obscure what is actually making up the long tail of post volume. and quantifies. We decided to use a day as the operating unit of time both because the tools we have available to us use that temporal distinction. 2012 . 2012. It seems pretty clear that there are two spikes in this time period. but infinite other options exist as well. it’s important to note that social mention volume for a given day is a construct.Social mentions for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group vs.August 1. or by some other amount of time. Before we dive in. But what about the other days? How far above the Baseline does social mention volume have to be in order to qualify as a spike? We set out to find a way to compare spikes that would answer the question. Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood Baseline. We made a conscious decision to build our initial definition of a spike around the day. That is not to say that one couldn’t decide to measure spikes by the hour. the other on June 16. June 1. One appears on June 8.

we calculated a variety of statistical thresholds for the exported data and compared the results to our measured campaign and spike data. Evaluating opportunities to campaign becomes a much more concrete activity when you know exactly how many social mentions are needed to break through the regular volume of conversation. and they help push conversations into the wider internet. We’re not interested in just contributing to the noise around a given ocean topic. Spikes are visible because they’re outliers. we started with that same insight and then calculated various multiples of standard deviation above the average (mean) value for that day of the week. Because standard deviation measures how spread out the values within a data set are. After examining historical social mention volume for our Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing keyword groups. sharks vs. We long for a day when tools for Big Listening allow us to view topic volume graphs like geologists look at cross-sections of rocks—that day is not here yet. whales).g. Spikes are those signals. but they are not the whole story of an online topic. in calculating potential thresholds for what constitutes a spike.attention as a hump or a mesa. Spike quantification informs our campaigning and provides one measure of results. rather than the taller. Upwell’s Baseline calculations are derived from the insight that our primary ocean topics each demonstrate a weekly periodicity. • compare the relative size of different ocean sub issues (e. and that’s what the standard deviation threshold(s) tests. With those caveats out of the way we can return to our earlier question: what is a spike? Remember from our discussion of Baseline quantification that Upwell’s analysis is designed to inform a set of interventionist activities. 38 . more angular spike). We: • identify and target high-value items to campaign on. we actually want to help a signal to emerge. using it to measure a particular value’s variation from the “normal” value of that data set is a good way to test for a spike. Spikes look good on charts. and • measure the impact of our campaigns. As discussed earlier. Similarly.

[Source] As seen above. Graphing those thresholds against our campaign and event records revealed that the one standard deviation threshold was the most accurate representation of what we were observing on a day-to-day basis. 39 .Day-of-the-week values for the Sustainable Seafood Baseline. the standard deviation thresholds are higher than both the Baseline and the mean.5x and +2x standard deviations (10/17/11 . along with the Sustainable Seafood mean. +1. and mean +1x.1/29/13).

While a critic might accuse us of working backwards to find the threshold that gives the best fit. we remain open to other spike quantification approaches but this one is our preferred option. given what we know right now. Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing are the topics that we know the best—because we’ve monitored them and campaigned on them with the most focus—and we were looking for a metric that would have practical implications for attention campaigns. 2012 .August 1. we would actually agree. Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood Baseline vs. As mentioned before.Social mentions for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group vs. 2012) Upwell defines a spike as occurring when the social mention volume for a given day meets or exceeds one standard deviation from the mean of all recorded values for that same day of the week. ‘Mean + 1 Standard Deviation’ Spike Threshold (June 1. 40 .

so to speak. Spike comparison beta methodology? The graphs on the following pages show our first Winter in 2011 and most recent Winter in 2012 working in the Overfishing and Sustainable Seafood conversations. Both one standard deviation and two standard deviation threshold lines are included for reference. and going forward we will look to improve it.What Does Spike Quantification Tell Us? Upwell’s spike quantification methodology is in alpha. however: applying a spike quantification lens to our work is illuminating. To be blunt: this is what success looks like. 41 . There is a noticeable increase in spike frequency (the number of spikes). The possibilities for more comparative measures of success are numerous. One thing is certain. spike volume or  “spikiness” (see: the number of spikes exceeding two standard deviations). and in the overall volume of conversation in the time period as measured against the Baseline. The comparison in time periods for both conversations is dramatic.

255 social mentions over 107 days. Average volume / day: 423 social mentions.1/31/12). as well as to spike thresholds of one standard deviation and two standard deviations above the day-of-the-week mean (10/17/2011 . as compared to the Sustainable Seafood Baseline.Sustainable Seafood: Winter 2011 Social mentions by day for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group. Total post volume: 45. 42 .

as well as to spike thresholds of one standard deviation and two standard deviations above the day-of-the-week mean (10/1/2012 . Total post volume: 66. 43 .456 social mentions over 121 days.Sustainable Seafood: Winter 2012 Social mentions by day for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group.1/29/2013). as compared to the Sustainable Seafood Baseline. Average volume / day: 549 social mentions.

as well as to spike thresholds of one standard deviation and two standard deviations above the day-of-the-week mean (10/17/2011 .1/31/12).799 social mentions over 107 days. Total post volume: 211.Overfishing: Winter 2011 Social mentions by day for Upwell’s Overfishing keyword group.979 social mentions. Average volume / day: 1. as compared to the Overfishing Baseline. 44 .

Overfishing: Winter 2012 Social mentions by day for Upwell’s Overfishing keyword group. 45 . Average volume / day: 3. as well as spike thresholds of one standard deviation and two standard deviations above the day-of-the-week mean (10/1/2012 .1/29/13). Total post volume: 409.386 social mentions.692 social mentions over 121 days. as compared to the Overfishing baseline.

"ocean acidification" AND "google earth". "alaska salmon". "seafoodwatch". "oysters" AND "sustainability". "green chefs blue ocean". "sustainable fisherman". "barton seaver". "dungeness crab". responsibly-caught store brand tuna". "menhaden" AND "sustainable".Keyword Sets The following search terms are Upwell Radian6 keyword sets for Upwell’s primary campaign topics—Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing—as of the writing of this report.nytimes. "fishphone". Fishing and Seafood: Sustainable Seafood Primary Keyword Group: Sustainable Seafood Earliest Data: 10/17/2011 Keywords: "#seafoodsummit". "sustainable seafood". "sustainable fisheries act". "@upwell_us" AND "vote4stuff". "f. "sustainable" AND "tilapia". "friend of the sea". "menhaden" AND "sustainability". "sustainable sushi". "lack of predators lobster-onlobster violence". "reuters" AND "lobster cannibalism". "kanter" AND "big listening". "seafood choices alliance". "no overfishing guaranteed"~4. "cruel new fact of crustacean life" AND "lobster cannibalism". "food and agriculture organization" AND "seafood". "seafood ecolabel".a.com/wppomr".com/wppomr". "seafood ratings". "oysters" AND "sustainable". ttp:/ / www.com/2012/10/02/fad-free-tuna-comes-to-safeway-affordably/". "sustainable fisheries". "@leodicaprio" AND "@upwell_us". A keyword that returns noise-free results for one period of time may be filled with unrelated results for another. "seafood sustainability". "leodicaprio" AND "upwell". keyword groups should ideally be monitored and refined on an ongoing basis as well. "political porpoise". "cannibal endtimes lobster"~6. "seafood summit".com/node/1680610".-free" AND "tuna".org/listener/". "aquaculture dialogues".com/watch?v=jmkevhbejla". "bitly.bethkanter. "fao" AND "fisheries". "cannibalistic lobsters overfishing"~20. "big listerner". "http:/ / twitpic. "fad-free" AND "tuna". "environmentally responsible seafood".com/bli9ak". "international seafood sustainability foundation". "ocean-friendly seafood". "chefs collaborative" AND "seafood". "casson trenor". "seafood pocket guide". As online content and context continually changes. "aquaculture stewardship council". "davidsuzukifdn lobsters into cannibals"~9. along with a brief description of what each keyword group is designed to capture. "sustainable fishery". "seafood consumer guide". "f. "sustainable seafood"~9. "fishing quotas".a.fastcoexist. "oceanfriendly aquaculture". "issf" AND "fishing". "how safeway ended up selling cheap.youtube. "the lobsters in maine are eating 46 . "aquaculture dialogs". "h"#biglistener". "kanter" AND "big listener". "sustainable fishermen". "ocean wise". "alaskan salmon". Upwell’s keyword groups were designed for the time periods specified in each description.-free tuna comes to safeway".d. "http:/ /www. "http:/ /www.blogs. "seafood fraud is a serious issue". "marine stewardship council". "https:/ /bitly.d. "http:/ / bittman. "catch shares". "responsibly caught tuna"~3. "cannibalistic lobsters" AND "end times". "catch limits". "seafood watch". "fishwatch". "@seafoodwatch". "safeway sustainable tuna"~15. "precautionary principle" AND "seafood". "#ss12hk". "maximum sustainable yield". "bittman" AND "tuna" AND "safeway".

com/baoium". "declining" AND "fisheries". "upwell_us" AND "big listening".com/wppomr". "great white" AND "this is not a parody". "health of the fishery". "@livestrong_com" AND "sharks". "bigeye tuna". "fishery" AND "declining". we’d better start planting a lot more oysters". "a requiem for proposition 37". "catch limit". "http:/ /gu. "biomass" AND "fish". "http:/ /grist. "decline" AND "fish" AND -"fish oils" AND -"fish oil".nationalgeographic. "chile seamount protect"~12. "vote4ocean".com/p/394bh/tw". "biomass" AND "fishery". "fishery policy". "atlantic salmon" AND "unsustainable". "vote4stuff" AND "ocean". "http:/ /vimeo. "derek riley" AND "ignorance".com/45490562". "cannibalistic lobsters" AND "end times".each other". "bottom trawling". "atlantic salmon" AND "sustainable". "how to kill a great white". "fishery regulation". "harvest control rule" AND "fisheries". "harvest control rules" AND "fisheries". "http:/ / twitpic.com/bli9ak". "@upwell_us" AND "vote4stuff". "cathay pacific" AND "sharks". "fish stocks" AND "depleted". "@leodicaprio" AND "@upwell_us". "ccamlr" AND "antarctic". "bycatch". "fishing quota".ge/rywaqp". "cathay" AND "shark". "atlantic salmon" AND "sustainability". "cathaypacific" AND "sharkfinning". "big listerner". "cannibal endtimes lobster"~6. "fish stocks" AND "depletion". "biomass" AND "fisheries". "gangnam gp_warrior"~12. "catch shares". "bluefin down 96"~9. "bluefin tuna". "bitly. "@livestrong" AND "shark". "guardian" AND "rapper" AND "shark". "daniel pauly". "cathay pacific" AND "shark". "biomass" AND "seafood". "defend your right to protect america’s #ocean fish". "derek riley" AND "garbage". "fishery" AND "collapse". "fishing quotas".org/food/beyond-red-liststhe-power-of-community-supported-fisheries/". "#saveoursharks". "chilean seabass".com/2012/09/25/how-social-media-can-save-sharks/". "@georgehleonard" AND "#prop37". "upwell_us" AND "big listener". "chile seamount protects"~12. "for storms to come. "http:/ /twitpic. "gmo salmon". "chn. "#jointhewatch". "bluefin drop 96"~9. "vote4theoceans". ecline" AND "fisheries". "@4fishgreenberg" AND "oysters". "fin-free" AND "shark". "deep sea perch". "http:/ / 47 . "davidsuzukifdn lobsters into cannibals"~9. "cruel new fact of crustacean life" AND "lobster cannibalism". "fishing ban". "fishery conservation". "cannibalistic lobsters overfishing"~20. "@livestrong_com" AND "shark". "#savesharks". "fishing policy". "don't restrict my access to information about managing our ocean fish". "why your nonprofit should be a big listener" EXCLUDES (on the keyword group level): n/a Fishing and Seafood: Overfishing Primary Keyword Group: Overfishing . "cathay" AND "sharks". "http:/ / newswatch. "fin-free" AND "sharks". "depletion of fisheries". "guardian" AND "kreyola". "how social media can save sharks". "aquaculture". "decline" AND "fishery". "@livestrong" AND "sharks". "gangnam" AND "rainbow warrior". "chile fishing reforms seamounts"~12. "@4fishgreenberg on #sandy and the missing oysters". "d"#biglistener". "fishageddon". "charting a course to sustainable fisheries". "cathaypacific" AND "sharkfin". "gangnam greenpeace"~9. "atlantic salmon" AND "endangered". "destructive fishing practices". "conserve fish". "an oyster in the storm". "genetically engineered salmon in our food supply?". "#whofishesmatters".All Earliest Data: 10/17/2011 Keywords:"#ioysterny". "catch limits".

462046150487875.au/ opinion/blogs/the-tiger-of-happiness/how-to-kill-a-great-white-20121101-28lpt. "http:/ / www. "plummet" AND "fisheries". "i (oyster) ny". "sharks" AND "endangered". "shark fin" AND "consume". "shark fin" AND "illegal".com/watch?v=jmkevhbejla". "illegal" AND "unreported" AND "unregulated" AND "fishing". "shark fin" AND "study". "https:/ / www. "saving" AND "fishery". "sustainable fisheries act". "kanter" AND "big listening". "https:/ / www.com" AND "shark". "overfished". "no more shark fin". "shark flights"~10. "scrapes the seafloor smooth".www. "huffpostgreen ted damson blogs about chile's fishing reforms"~9. "iuu" AND "fishing". "overfish". "shark fins" AND "ban".4 percent". "monkfish" AND "endangered". "protect sharks". "political porpoise". "magnuson stevens". "incidental catch". "shark fin" AND "report". "individual fishing quota". "shark fin" AND "banning".121490. "leodicaprio" AND "upwell". "huffpostgreen ted danson it takes political courage"~9. "ifq" AND "fishery". "over fishing".414612275231263". "shark fin" AND "supplier".facebook. "https:/ /www. "monkfish" AND "sustainability".guardian. "predator's defense shark"~9. "missionmission" AND "shark mural". "report shows pacific bluefin tuna population down 96. "itq" AND "fishing". "i oyster ny". "shark" AND "endangered". "no shark fin". "sharks" AND "cites".html". "storm panel recommends major changes in new york". "shark fin" AND "eat".smh. "shark fin" AND "imports". "slimehead". "ifq" AND "fish". "me and my shark fin". "shark fins" AND "banning". "illegal" AND "fishing" AND -"illegal immigrant" AND -"illegal immigrants". "ifq" AND "fisheries". "shark fin" AND "industry". "shark fin" AND "export".com. "saving" AND "fisheries". "protecting sharks". "kreyola" AND "shark" AND -"crayon".com/wppomr". "orange roughie". "shark fin" AND "cause". "say no by voting yes" AND "37". "sandy commission set up by @nygovcuomo believes in oysters". "shark fin" AND "exports". "kanter" AND "big listener". "swordfish" AND "endangered". "shark airlines"~10.121490. "shark finning" AND "rap". "individual transferable quotas". "patagonian toothfish". "shark fin soup". "red roughie". "missionmission" AND "pangeaseed". "lack of predators lobsteron-lobster violence"~9. "swordfish" AND 48 . "kreyola shark"~20. "overfishing". "magnuson-stevens". "shark fin" AND "issue". "http:/ /www. "scraping the seafloor smooth".com/photo. "shark finning". "stop russia (@mfa_russia) & korea (@mofatkr_eng)". "shark fin" AND "restaurant". "sharkfinning".org/petitions/livestrong-com-stop-featuring-sharks-as-food". "national marine fisheries service". "reuters" AND "lobster cannibalism". "no to shark fins".com/photo. "shark fin" AND "menu". "shark fin" AND "ban". "shark fin" AND "trade". "sharkfin". "livestrong" AND "shark". "shark fin" AND "products". "panel says oyster beds can help protect ny from storms". "kreayshawn" AND "shark fin". "shark fin" AND "outlaw". "i got a bad reputation because i'm a shark".php? fbid=551400681552421&set=a. "shark cargo"~10. "shark fin" AND "restauranteur". "no to shark fin".uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/17/shark-fin-rap". "livestrong" AND "sharks". "shark fin traders". "shark fin" AND "bans". "suspendthefishery". "shark fin" AND "import". "shark fin" AND "sales". "jaws vs frank sinatra". "say no by voting yes" AND "prop37". "save sharks".414612275231263&type=1&theater". "shark fin rap"~9. "shark fin" AND "importing".php?fbid=551400681552421&set=a.youtube.com" AND "sharks". "oysterny".change. "no more shark fins". 462046150487875. "https:/ /bitly. "ifq" AND "seafood". "no shark fins". "shark fin" AND "supply". "predator's defense" AND "rapper". "shark fin" AND "banned". "over-fishing".facebook. "livestrong. "shark airline"~10. "shark fin" AND "exporting". "livestrong. "red roughy". "shark planes"~10.co. "nmfs". "sharks as food". "koolkidkreyola" AND "shark". "orange roughy". "plummet" AND "fishery". "monkfish" AND "sustainable".

"sustainability". "unsustainable fish". "upwell_us" AND "big listener". "unsustainable fisheries"~6. "the lobsters in maine are eating each other". "unsustainable seafood"~6. "what are seamounts? and why does chile want to protect them?". "trawling" AND "fish". "unsustainable fishing". "withering" AND "fisheries". "why your nonprofit should be a big listener". "snapback" 49 . "unagi" AND "sustainable". "unsustainable seafood". "toro" AND "sashimi". "want to protect new york from future storms? plant some oysters. "unsustainable fish"~6. "upwell_us" AND "big listening". "unassessed fisheries". "toro" AND "sushi". "troubled fisheries". "whitetip" AND "congress". "vote4ocean".com/baoium". "vote4theoceans". "vote4stuff" AND "ocean". "unagi" AND "unsustainable". "unagi" AND "sustainability".". "whitetip" AND "@interior". "swordfish" AND "unsustainable". "swordfish" AND "sustainable". "yellowfin tuna" EXCLUDES (on the keyword group level): "hugh jackman". "unagi" AND "endangered". "total allowable catch". "twitpic. "who fishes matters". "white hake". "turtle excluder device". "whitetip" AND "cites". "withering" AND "fishery".

our team sifts through the vast amount of real-time online content about the ocean and amplifies the best of it. one in which success (greater attention) elevates the work of everyone in Team Ocean and is tied to no particular institutional outcome other than generating conversation. The Attention Campaign The nonprofit community has deeply-held ideas of what constitutes a campaign. In order to do this. we find ways to create spikes of attention in conversations. representing what someone thinks they might do. continuous learning and iteration. tying into the momentum of the news cycle and being strategically opportunistic in the pursuit of creating spikes in attention. awareness is a less meaningful measurement. year-to-year baseline of those conversations. list-building. They’re not associated with our brand. Social mentions are the currency of attention. simple attention metric we use to measure online conversations: social mentions. Our campaigns are attention campaigns. and we hope ultimately to raise the day-to-day. They are minimum viable campaigns. And through an iterative process of lots and lots of campaign testing. What is an Upwell campaign? Upwell’s campaigning model combines a few key elements. We have been experimenting with trying to understand what 50 . month-to-month. and ready people to take action. organizations build campaigns with institutional goals (e. They are run and amplified across a distributed network. and responds to the currents of online conversation. Often. What we do with attention campaigns is try to drive more attention to existing content and actions that are not on our properties.. Upwell’s attention campaigns operate on a different plane. we believe that increased attention to ocean issues will raise the daily baseline of conversation about ocean issues. rather than being housed on and amplified by way of our own platforms. We focus on shareability. and represent small bits of action. Upwell’s campaigning model capitalizes on the insights we glean from Big Listening and other curation efforts.Methods: Campaigning The mission of Upwell is to condition the climate for change in marine conservation. operating on short time-frames and focused on rapid delivery of content. awareness. We use this loosely held connection. In contrast. and measure our success by the same.g. week-to-week. advocacy and fundraising campaigns) and compete with other entities in the same sector/issue space. not what they have done. focused on raising attention to ocean issues. Over time.

html 51 .Steve Jobs 3 On the advice of Sean Power. contextual content to audiences immediately instead of strategizing for six months or a year. We are constantly learning how to be more effective.e.. resisting our urges toward perfection and providing irreverent. The Minimum Viable Campaign “You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. and they are inspired and informed by hot news that feels really immediate to those campaigns.makes baselines go above the expected or historical level (i. We focus on the quickest. In our first year running over 160 minimum viable attention campaigns. timely. in order to gather immediate insight that can inform later iterations. they'll want something new. Data Scientist at I Can Haz Cheezburger. Our campaign lifecycle embodies the Build-Measure-Learn cycle that software developers have used in order to quickly release products with the minimum amount of functional features. we employ ongoing. with an eye toward making these increases in attention sustainable. what causes spikes in conversation).inc. By the time you get it built. finding or creating the campaign product(s). 3 http:/ /www. we have learned that even a tiny bit of effort can make a huge difference in how campaigns get picked up. putting it out into the world and getting back data. We move very rapidly through a process of hatching an idea.com/magazine/19890401/5602. The cycle of agile software development Through our minimum viable campaigns. iterative.” . dirtiest thing we can get out the door that we think will have a measurable effect on a conversation. continuous delivery of content. Upwell has adapted an agile development principle from the  lean startup movement—the minimum viable product. Our campaigns have short lifecycles—anywhere from a couple hours to a few days.

measured. Keeping everything else the same. measures. but rather by the network of ocean communicators that we regularly contact through the Tide Report. pointing at Ushahidi’s work and amplifying attention to it. Our campaigns are not aligned with Upwell program priorities or policy goals. • Runs campaigns across a distributed network of ocean communicators. the rapidly increasing pace at which news spreads and the shift toward people finding news through their friends on social media channels rather than getting it directly from “official” 52 . but instead amplify attention to the priorities and goals of those in our network. rather than relying on our own platforms as information hubs. Our attention campaigns are amplified not by us or by a dedicated base of supporters we’ve built over the years. petition signatures. In summary. • Delivers. our social media channels and our blog. or public opinion) to evaluate the success of our campaign efforts. advocacy. • Measures social mentions (rather than policy outcomes. For instance. and adapts to the ever-changing sea of conversation. We built our network proactively to respond to several trends. If they believed that Ushahidi was doing really good work. Likewise. embedding lessons and insights immediately. • Collaborates with a network of ocean stakeholders and curates a diverse set of existing ocean content. rather than building on our own brand and creating our own content. The Upwell Network The key to our campaigns’ success is in our network. By applying both these models. an attention campaign could certainly be run at different time scales. Upwell: • Surfs existing conversations in order to increase and expand attention. Red Cross could also start running attention campaigns. they could run an attention campaign. and learns from campaigns on a short time cycle. We call this “running a campaign across a distributed network. We sacrifice perfection. but also fundraising. there is no reason why Red Cross couldn’t start doing minimum viable campaigns. or other types of campaigns. through our campaigns.” It’s more of a syndication model than a direct-to-consumer model. Upwell has crafted a new way of campaigning that is easily delivered.Combining These Models The minimum viable campaign model could be applied to not just attention campaigns. This could turn out to be a faster path to achieving their own mission. they could tighten up their campaign time cycles and run experimental campaigns to engage their base in different ways. With the rising cacophony of the internet.

channels. It would have been cost prohibitive to buy the attention (through ads or purchasing email lists) or build a world-class. trying to make it diverse and ensure the reach is big. These are the values that guide Upwell in building and strengthening our distributed network: • Trust: we share only science-based content. We wanted to build an issue-specific network. This model certainly brings eyes to worthy content. and through our networked campaigns. As a point of comparison. repackaging content under the Upworthy banner and rapidly scaling up an audience and brand of their own. but doesn’t (yet) effectively pass on engagement to the organizations and individuals it supports—it retains that engagement for its own channels.4 we decided to approach network campaigns in a new light. distributed network. promoting content from an array of brands meant releasing control of the message.” approached the problem of distribution from a different angle. as long as it promotes ocean conservation goals and fits our curation criteria (detailed below). so they can apply our lessons in their own work. Campaigning across a distributed network means that we have that golden ticket of communications—message redundancy—but those redundant messages are tailored by the individual nodes in our network for their audiences. We’ve reached out to nodes of people who control the communications channels that reach lots of people who are interested in ocean issues. Rather than build a network through which they could distribute the content they curate. We’ve been scrappy and ruthless about who we put into that distributed network.org/2012/mobile-devices-and-news-consumption-some-good-signs-for-journalism/whatfacebook-and-twitter-mean-for-news/ 53 . as we do with the Facebook page “I Fucking Love Science. a similar effort that launched just after Upwell and shares our goal of making social change content more shareable and “viral. ensuring that other science-based institutions know that the content we share is trustworthy. unbranded media hub. It’s the job of the individual people in our network to know their audience really well. 4 http:/ /stateofthemedia. strengthen our network’s members’ and supporters’ potential for future action.” We will share an organization or individual’s content or campaign. we built a loosely held. Often. They take our messages and content and they translate them out to their audiences through the communications channels they maintain. they built their own media hub. • Transparency: we share our campaign and big listening data with our network. • Brand-agnostic: we work as willingly with Greenpeace as we do with Deep Sea News. Rather than collect a large set of official MOU’s and partner logos to put up on our website. Upworthy.

The liveliest online conversations happen between people. • Personal: We build relationships with humans. each month. Oceans in a High CO2 World.• Issue-agnostic: We aren’t only focusing on overfishing. through GMO salmon or catch shares to cultivate the network. • Generous: We provide small bits of advice and feedback to help our network do better. cross-referenced them with our Tide Report subscriber list. We conversed with our peers on Twitter and retweeted their content when we couldn’t feature it in a Tide Report. We attended conferences like the Blue Ocean Film Festival. We amplify any ocean campaign or content as long as it fits our curation criteria. we spent about a year before initially launching. sharks. 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. For example. getting feedback from veterans in the ocean conservation space and making sure that we would have the opportunity to have collaborative relationships with the people who run campaigns and provide content in the marine conservation sector. thanking them for being part of Team Ocean. or Twitter direct message to encourage them to join. we continued to engage in face-to-face activities to grow our subscriber list. Many of those initial contacts were the original subscribers to the Tide Report. we used Twitonomy to identify our new Twitter followers with the greatest reach. and word of mouth helped to build that list beyond those initial 50-100 people. not institutions. 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. and contacted the non-subscribers via email. Big Blue Blog list. raising attention for the crisis the ocean faces. If their work will get more people talking about the ocean online. not organizations. and Science Online. as well as a range of time-starved ocean activists looking for resources to make their work more effective. We model the authentic behavior of the internet. 54 . We focused on providing high-value content tailored to our subscribers. turtles). which is in many ways a proxy for our network. Sustainable Seafood Twitter List. and provide campaigning tools to individual and organizational ocean conservation activists. These types of resources drew people into the Network who are passionate about specific issues (e. it fits with our mission.g. and World Turtle Day Pinterest Board to highlight the work of specific communities. We sent our most loyal Tide Report subscribers postcards on a weekly basis. We also did some strategic work to better connect the lingerers and lurkers in our network. sustainable seafood. How We Built the Network As detailed in the Theory of Change and Context for our Work section. After the Tide Report launched in April 2012. We also created niche resources like the Shark Week Sharkinars.

we developed personal relationships. including quantitative data and anecdotal feedback. 55 . The first step in our campaign process is to translate insights from Big Listening and other personal listening activities into campaign ideas. turning up the volume of conversation in a measurable way. moving beyond those in the choir and embracing communicators that have even only a small awareness of the crises the ocean faces. see the Ocean Evangelist Capacity Impacts section of this report. Usually these consultations were quite lightweight and didn’t take much time from the team. It also helps us to strategically choose where to invest attention. These range from informal conversations to more sophisticated collaborations. ensuring more socially shareable and data-informed content from conservation organizations. and that these fans and followers will go on to share with their friends. identify pockets of audiences ripe for engagement.000 social mentions in a day (and often much higher). like food. individually and in relation to one another. This fits within our broader vision to diversify and embiggen Team Ocean. news articles. built trust. In a way.” but have begun sharing more ocean content as a result of being brought into the Upwell network. campaigns. online organizing and global development. From Insight to Campaign Our Big Listening practice helps us understand the volume and character of ocean conversations. Many of our Tide Report subscribers don’t consider themselves to be “ocean conservationists. For more information on the growth of our network. or links about ocean issues. Knowing the scale of conversations—for instance. On a daily basis there is little shortage of research. Our challenge is in identifying the most shareable stuff—the stuff that we believe our network will share with their fans and followers.Through small bits of consultative work (the full list of organizations we consulted is in the Ocean Evangelist Capacity Impacts section of this report). climate change. providing consulting help became a backchannel method of attention campaigning. that the sharks conversation regularly spikes to over 40. and shared knowledge. and time our campaigning efforts to capitalize on the regular ebb and flow of conversation. We provided advice to peers when we saw a potential for it to increase social mentions about the ocean. We also reached beyond the obvious members of Team Ocean. petitions. looking for opportunities to align our issues with people interested in and talking about other issues. whereas the marine protected areas/marine reserves conversation sits at about 50 per day— helps us right-size our expectations for attention.

go through what is available. and also a collection of personal listening activities. Version 2. So we subject the mass of possible topics to a triage test. Campaign-worthy content is often circulated among the team via our tips email and is always posted to our Upwell Firehose Tumblr page for ease of viewing. 2012. Then we sit down. We look for spike-worthy content.Scrape! Filter! Tumble! Curate! The first element of our campaign lifecycle is opportunity identification. September 2. and brainstorm about the day’s campaigning activities. RSS feeds and e-mails that have been sent to our tips@upwell. 56 . like Twitter lists. Skype. Our entire team of six participates in this effort. and the Upwell Firehose Tumblr. It does not exist solely to pump out out retweets and links. whether it’s a viral video presented in just the right way or it’s hidden under boring executive summaries or on page six of the news. the team gathers over tea.0 of Upwell’s curation criteria.us email address. if it did. The Morning Scrum Each morning at 10AM PST. Google alerts. Paper. it would—as noted earlier in this document—be adding to the noise without necessarily increasing volume in a valuable way. Opportunities—the pieces of content that we could amplify—are gleaned from a variety of sources: Radian6 spikes seen through Big Listening. How We Choose What We Choose Upwell is not a newswire for the ocean. We examine these opportunities and cherry-pick the ones that are ripest for amplification.li digests. look for possible additional topics.

Conservation Impact. or this: Before-and-after pics. Exactly. it’s out. We find that content that is paired with action is more shareable. In order to be as effective as possible. good for Upwell. seafood purchasing recommendations.’ This can either be content that is already liquid—for example. and spark conversation: what we describe as ‘liquid content. etc. petitions. The publication of a National Research Council report evaluating the federal response plan to ocean acidification is undoubtedly important—but seriously. it’s important to select topics that lend themselves most easily to wide and willing dissemination. as part of our morning triage. content that is visual. if the science isn’t credible. Good for US Weekly. but the potential for specific impact: for example. We’re a movement with a message. funny or cute—or that we can make liquid. Not everything we share or amplify is Debbie Downer material. 57 . we prioritize campaigns that have not just a generic conservation message. awesome. Even so. Other considerations include: Socially Shareable. scary. We also celebrate good news and successes and also highlight the awesomeness of ocean life.The first items to be discarded are those that don’t pass the scientific smell test. what are you more likely to share with friends? That.

58 .Building Social Capital. We share content that comes from every corner of Team Ocean. or make it. and we have to find it. We mine our network and find the awesome stuff that few have seen. we judge whether it's worth our effort to create another spike in attention (like an aftershock) or if it's already been shared by as many people as it will be (saturated). Rio+20 or Lance Armstrong’s steroid use helps up the shareable quotient. Sometimes a hot piece of news just wasn't packaged in the right way. Has a news story or piece of content already reached its saturation point? If something has already received a lot of coverage and attention. Often. Sometimes there is no hook. We are always looking to grow our network and expand to new audiences. New Influencers. We prioritize content and campaigns that allow us to go beyond the choir and reach new influencers to enlarge the conversation and build the network. We look for awesome news and content that we think has been egregiously under-amplified. Sometimes the hook is an article in the New York Times that’s generating discussion on Twitter. with an effort toward spreading the love in a balanced way. Tying ocean content with events like the Olympics. Topical. Spikeability. animate our network and maintain access to the most compelling ocean content. We calibrate our focus across issues. and we repackage it to go farther. Generosity builds and maintains relationships. If an important influencer asks us to share something. people and organizations in order to cultivate trust. we do it. thereby increasing our social capital. the best way to judge whether something is spikeable is to ask whether the content will be shared two or three degrees out of our network. Will it generate interest and conversation beyond Team Ocean? Under Amplified.

In the latter case. we did some initial research and planned an array of activities which generated a significant amount of attention. tweeting links to a petition and engaging members of our network in conversations. we rapidly devise a campaign plan. The key is to not simply post a tweet with a link and then move on. Longer campaigns tend to focus on a particular event. 59 . during the Rio+20 conference and Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. For example. or for as little as an hour.Running the Campaign Once we’ve curated a small collection of campaign ideas. we may just focus on. or by directing a tweet to particular people in an attempt to generate discussion. for example. A campaign can last for as long as several days. We stimulate the online conversation by writing the tweet in a way that begs to be clicked and retweeted. The Upwell campaign lifecycle is a neverending cycle of joy.

we are more excited to 60 . the features also include one-click pathways to amplification. We choose the pathway for amplification that best suits the content: we use Facebook for visual content such as images and videos. Upwell Facebook Page The Upwell Facebook page is not intended to be a hub where we collect millions of fans. In addition to providing summaries of campaigns or news stories.e. we get access to all the data from our own Facebook Insights panel. ‘Watch This’ items (very brief (i. Tide Report content essentially falls into four camps: main features (more campaign-focused. so they could feature an original post on their page. one-line) summaries of and links to news items that are worthy of mention for strengthening the network even if they don’t lend themselves to amplification). Subscribers elect to receive this newsletter approximately three times a week via e-mail. at the end of the day. occasional more light-hearted videos or pictures at the end (as an occasional reward for reading to the end). we suggested language for Facebook and asked our readers to download and upload images. we write and code the tweet (with the most retweetable or shareable language we can muster). However. Other key elements include: Tide Report The Tide Report is in many ways our key method of outreach. The greatest focus is on the main features. However. it both reflects our other campaign work and drives it. Our subscribers can still do that. In the early days of the Tide Report. As a bonus. through engagement via webinars and other outreach. Its content is determined at the morning meeting. we are then able to create one-click pathways in the Tide Report for people to share those posts on their own pages. and a calendar of upcoming events. The key element is doing the work for the readers. and which include our suggestions for amplification). so that all a reader has to do is click on a link and post. but we started to use our own Facebook page to house content in order to smooth the pathway toward amplification.Our Tools We propagate campaign content across our network through a variety of methods. by posting our content on our own page. For instance. and often a combination of platforms with specialized sharing language for each. Many of them we have already discussed: through sharing and curating good content by way of social media networks. instead of asking them to post a tweet of their own construction. Twitter for links.

see our content shared and commented on by our network and their networks than we are to see new likes on our page.

Upwell Twitter
Our Twitter account is a primary way that we amplify campaigns that we can’t feature in the Tide Report. We also post all the tweets we suggest in the Tide Report. This helps content reach our network in case they don’t open that day’s Tide Report. The overlap between our Twitter following and our Tide Report subscription list is significant. In many ways, Twitter serves as another method to propagate content across our distributed network. We also use our Twitter account to engage in conversation with our network, deepening those individual relationships.

Our Blog
Our blog has been an ongoing source for much of our data analysis, harnessing Radian6 and distilling its revelations into easy-to-consume posts. This is the vehicle we’ve used, for example, for our summaries of the strengths and weaknesses of social media conversations about corals, ocean acidification, and sharks that we detail below. It is also the place where we post our toolkits, as well as items such as a list we curated of ocean blogs. Once we’ve identified an opportunity, choosing a tool for dissemination is only part of the battle. We often research, curate, and create in order to provide the most shareable content. There’s no exact science to what we do—our methods are mostly informed by years of experience campaigning in social media channels. However, a few scenarios, outlined below, highlight the most common ways we approach attention campaigning.

Scenario 1: The science and the message is good, but the content isn’t shareable.
Oyster Restoration in NY: Following the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy, we noted that several pieces, in the New York Times and elsewhere, made reference to the fact that the city’s long-lost oyster beds previously provided protection from storm surges. Those pieces, by the Times’ food writer Paul Greenberg (author of the book Four Fish) among others, proposed the revitalization of historic beds as part of a multifaceted approach to mitigate future storm damage. We tweeted links to those articles and discussed them online, but to help galvanize that discussion, we created this:

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Greenberg himself called the image “iconic.” We shared this via Facebook, Twitter, and the Tide Report, generating one of the biggest spikes of any of our attention campaigns. We re-shared the image when a commission created by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recommended oyster recommendation weeks later, generating another spike in attention to this issue.   Plastic Microbeads: Unilever announced that it would be eliminating the use of plastic microbeads in its personal care products. While this was great news, we figured that many people were unaware of the microbead problem, and that a visual would be more shareable than a Unilever press release. We shared the following image in a Facebook post that informed readers of Unilever’s decision, and then directed our Tide Report subscribers to share it with their networks.

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An interesting chemistry experiment in the Upwell Lab. It received over 200 shares, and comments like these:

Pacific Bluefin Stock Assessment: A scientific study of Pacific bluefin tuna was released. It was hundreds of pages long, and the main message—that the population has declined by 96 percent —was buried. Long research reports, and even the news articles they stimulate, are rarely shareable on social platforms like Facebook. In this instance, we created an image in response to work by the Pew Environment Group which analyzed a scientific study of Pacific bluefin tuna populations:

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Keep in touch with Pew Environment Group for more information on the latest bluefin tuna numbers. Share this with your sushi-loving friends. and check out Seafood Watch for good alternatives to eating tuna! With its simple message. 2. Here’s a better recipe for you to follow: 1. Tell your elected officials to #suspendthefishery. Don’t eat bluefin (often labeled as hon maguro or toro). the image was shared over 500 times on Facebook—pretty good for a stock assessment! 64 . 4. Tell your chef to take bluefin off the menu. actionable information. The image itself was a downer.This is what Upwell does with a 300 page report. 3. There are lots of yummy alternatives. and our amplification of it via the Tide Report. but the text we included in the Facebook post provided hope and pathways to action: We know exactly what to do to prevent the extinction of Pacific bluefin tuna.

Rio+20: In the lead-up to Rio+20. people were abuzz about the latest world records set and injuries sustained by athletes. environmental groups were collaborating on an effort to create Twitter conversation under the hashtag #endfossilfuelsubsidies.Scenario 2: There’s conversation beyond the ocean community. pro-ocean video. Olympics: During the 2012 Olympics. We responded to this challenge by making our own Vote4TheOcean video. who in turn retweeted it to his followers. generating several hundred additional retweets and thousands of views. well. capturing lighthearted messages about the most troubling ocean issues We tweeted it to DiCaprio. Upwell devised an image and a few pre-packaged tweets that tapped into the energy of the #endfossilfuelsubsidies hashtag and introduced the idea of ocean acidification to an alreadyactivated audience. and shared it via the Tide Report. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire created Vote4Stuff. and it generated hundreds of social mentions on Facebook. we offered GoPro cameras to anyone else who came up with an idea for a suitably non-partisan. They are also woefully undereducated about the issue of ocean acidification. with the goal of. a nonpartisan campaign that urged young voters to use video and social media to express the issues most important to them in the upcoming election. Facebook and Twitter. Can we tap into it? Vote4Stuff: In the run-up to the November 6th election. In addition. What wasn’t getting attention was the fact that the Olympic Committee had committed to selling only sustainable seafood at the event. 65 . David Beckham has not approved this message. We rapidly threw together this image. ending fossil fuel subsidies. The climate activist community is massive and engages often and deeply online.

Can we create more message redundancy? There are many ways in which we seek to assist others’ campaigns. The Living Oceans Foundation. we amplified the efforts of the many organizations and individuals who contributed to this day of celebration. and more. We do this through simple retweeting. Among the highlights: • We helped spread the word by creating a compilation of all the online actions people could take for World Oceans Day. coming from organizations and individuals such as The Ocean Project. We used Tumblr because it was the easiest way to collect different types of content from multiple sources in one place and keep it updated as more actions crossed our path. The Nature Conservancy. Scenario 3: Team Ocean isn’t coordinated. or sharing their content through social network platforms. One World One Ocean. NRDC. or engaging in online conversations for periods of hours to days or longer. Most of our World Oceans Day outreach happened by amplifying the #worldoceansday hashtag on Twitter. We looked for interesting content shared through social media channels and jumped into conversations about World Oceans Day. World Oceans Day: In the build-up to World Oceans Day in June 2012. We also directed attention to key events we knew were of interest to several members of the community. featuring them in the Tide Report (see below).Dead coral: the new fried egg. 66 . with a focus on lightly encouraging collaboration.

directing them to this round-up.• We reached out to individuals who were talking about what they could do for the oceans on Twitter and Facebook. designed to make it easier for individuals and organizations to amplify the IWC conversation online. and videos that brought the whaling issue to life on an IWC Pinterest board. (Twitter outreach) • We participated in and amplified @WhySharksMatter’s (David Shiffman’s) #OceanFacts conversation on Twitter. we created our first attention toolkit. 67 . the playlist. and other ideas for celebrating World Oceans Day. He asked followers to post facts about the ocean for World Oceans Day and received hundreds of facts. and shared it via Facebook and Twitter. The toolkit included: • Whaling and IWC-related images and videos to amplify: We curated photographs. (Twitter outreach viewable on Topsy) • We created and shared a YouTube playlist of videos curated from various organizations. and reached out to those organizations on Facebook and Twitter to let them know that their videos were included. International Whaling Commission: For the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in July. infographics. (Twitter outreach) • We wrote a blog post on our website about the round-up.

we actively engaged in working with members of the network to stimulate and magnify conversation on coral reef issues. and their websites. We learned from our network that this IWC toolkit was one of the most under-amplified campaigns. and links to. • Links to background information and documents. and was not seen as valuable to our network. recent whaling coverage. and specifically the threat from ocean acidification. Scenario 4: The Upwell network doesn’t have direct access to Big Listening data. Can we provide insights to make their campaigns more effective? Ocean Acidification and Corals: When the International Coral Reef Symposium convened in July. we were informed for future efforts about what would be a valuable use of our resources. We produced a toolkit focused on effective ways to drive conversation about ocean acidification. • A list of organizations active at the IWC. • On Twitter: Hashtags to use. It provided advice on how to speak about an issue that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue and that isn’t necessarily at the forefront of public awareness. 68 .• A list of. By measuring and learning from this campaign. people to follow.

Say this: ✔ “oceans are the lungs of the planet” ✔ “ocean acidification is the osteoporosis of the ocean” ✔ “ocean acidifciation is changing the ocean’s chemistry” Instead of this: X “ocean acidification is the evil twin of climate change” [catchy but may come off as flippant] X the words “cycles” and “resilience” (in the ocean science sense—people think the ocean is 69 . • Be human. The role of the living ocean is not well understood. Stress that ocean acidification is happening now (not just in the future). analogies and local stories to establish the problem. Introduce real live people. We also mined our network for the latest in ocean acidification opinion research. Use pictures. and packaged the following messaging tips in the toolkit: • Lay the groundwork. to humanize and localize the issue. help your audience understand it. Use it. • Science is perceived as the credible voice on this issue.How are people talking about ocean acidification online these days? The wordcloud above was generated by our resident internet trawler-in-chief using cutting-edge tools so expensive they have their own car service. and their stories. • Activate your audience. and that is has measurable impacts.

we offered suggestions for which twitter hashtag to use to bring attention to ocean issues during the Rio+20 conference. 70 . Using data from Radian6. we helped them understand how different news outlets and blogs shape online conversation. and how their impacts stack up. In sharing this information with our network. but were interested in learning how they could do so in a way that would drive attention toward their campaigns and content. and the specific sources that drove discussion of that topic.so big it can always bounce back) Rio+20: Many of the communicators in our network were not actively engaged in the Rio+20 conversation. This helped illuminate to our network the rise of online media in comparison to legacy media. Hashtag party! Mission Aquarius: We provided analysis of Mission Aquarius mentions.

Shark Week 2012 was one of the highest value situations where our Big Listening provided a forecast. we learned that since 2009. hosting a webinar (which we called the ‘Sharkinar’). Put simply: Shark Week is the Super Bowl of the online ocean conversation. but also not miss a huge opportunity for getting their messages out. to share strategies on maximizing the opportunity for conservation messaging afforded by a week of highly-publicized programming. 71 . total social mentions of Shark Week have increased by a factor of five every year—and we were able to estimate the size of the 2012 conversation pretty accurately. 2012 Shark Week: And then there were sharks. and helped people in our network not only be more effective. and that spike eclipsed every other spike in every ocean topic we monitor. The biggest takeaway was that Shark Week is responsible for the single largest spike in the online shark conversation for the entire year. We dug into Shark Weeks past. and pulled out some Big Listening insights to share with our network.Social mentions of the Mission Aquarius keyword set by main influencer July 8-July 26. Looking at historical data. We put a great deal of focus on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

we broke down 740. "Sharks are awesome!" • Terror: e. "Sharks are violent killers!" • Conservation: e.We also analyzed the conversation to learn what messages resonate the most during the week.g.g.000 Shark Week-related social mentions into three categories: • Celebratory: Shark fans. ‘Yay!’) 72 .. Using keyword sets.. a very significant majority were in the celebratory camp.g. e.. "Sharks are endangered!" And as this pie chart shows. (or as we call it.

73 . Upwell also did some hashtag analysis to help the network join the conversation using the most popular terms. (And we reached out to those influencers to let them know they were influencers—news they shared with their networks. Measuring Our Campaigns Usually when organizations run digital campaigns. Google Analytics. or donations received: things organizations have access to because they run campaigns from their own properties. but did with the help of Upwell’s data and sharkinars. Analyzing the data coming out of Shark Week 2012. That is not the kind of information that is shared publicly by nonprofits (or for profits!). but in language the internet can understand. Although the point of the campaign might be to get email addresses for an Oceana campaign.An actual pie chart of the tone of the conversation leading up to Shark Week 2012. The challenge of attention campaigning is that we are pushing attention toward content and web properties we don’t control or necessarily have access to. they drive people to their own site(s) or social media properties. Many hadn’t planned to engage at all. we learned that the conservation portion of the Shark Week conversation expanded by more than twice the amount of the overall Shark Week conversation.) This research and analysis helped members of our network engage in this conversation. and created a list of the top shark influencers on Twitter so that members of our network who were less familiar with shark issues had a source of retweetable content for the week. Measurement is facilitated by looking at their own email list growth. Facebook page Insights. we don’t actually know how many signed up and gave their email addresses because we sent them to Oceana’s website.

phrases and links. using unique hashtags. The MailChimp stats help us know where to look for the initial shares from our network. concurrent with the growth of our distributed network. the number of social mentions about the ocean will increase. Over time. this will continue to be a time intensive process. We develop keyword sets to track our campaigns within the topics we monitor. We also use our Tide Report metrics (via MailChimp) to understand who in our network opened. ultimately increase the baselines of ocean conversations. 74 . we can easily track down shares two or three degrees out. and once we track those down. and. clicked and/or shared. Because much of our content is visual (and thus not scrapeable by keyword searches). and until there is a reliable way to do image search with tools like Radian6 or Topsy. Someone else could use the same software and verify the extent of the conversation. laborious work of manually counting the number of shares and comments on the visual content we promote. we’ve seen the number of social mentions generated from each attention campaign grow. we often do the hard. And we like it because it’s independently verifiable. We can track who the most engaged members are in our network. we can see the spikes we create. Big Listening both informs our campaigns and also becomes our best metric to understand if we’re being effective. and include them in our conversational analysis. That way. and understand what types of content they are most likely to share from their own properties.What we can see and measure is public information that is scrapable with technology: how much attention that campaign netted in terms of social mentions. This is the proof in the pudding. As we continue to expand Team Ocean and encourage networked sharing. This is very difficult.

We then provide annotated seasonal graphs and lists of the conversations and our interventions. Primary Campaign Topics: Then and Now Sustainable Seafood 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Baseline Spike Threshold High Spike Threshold Sustainable Seafood Baseline Spike Threshold High Spike Threshold Sustainable Seafood Side-by-side comparison for Winter 2011 (left) and Winter 2012 (right) showing social mentions by day for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group. This section begins by detailing before and after intervals in the two main conversations we have invested in: Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing. 75 .Attention Impacts and Graphs In previous sections. The narrative details significant increases in spike volume. and why we focus on creating measurable spikes of attention in the conversation. how the conversation Baseline is measured. as compared to the baseline. One finding of note is that both the Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing conversations have been substantially changed since the founding of Upwell. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 . and ratio of average daily social mentions to the average Baseline. spike frequency. we’ve described how we characterize issue-based conversations with keyword sets.1/31/12. Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 1/29/13).

when Upwell began Big Listening in Sustainable Seafood. in a particular conversation. which require a single value. the more the conversation is spiking at higher volumes. going from 132. set at two standard deviations above the average social mention volume for that day of the week. 2012 Dec. 6 The spike threshold is discussed in detail in the Methods: Big Listening section. 17. Those spikes were not just occurring more often. on average.8% of the baseline in Winter 20125 . 1.3% of the baseline in Winter 2011 to 171.2 spikes per thirty days. 17. 2011 Baseline 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Nov. 2012 0 Nov. 2013 Baseline Spike Threshold High Spike Threshold Overfishing Overfishing 5 ‘Average baseline’ generalizes Upwell’s day-of-the-week baseline values for a given topic into one mean value for the purpose of calculations. 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Oct. social mention volume was an average of 423 mentions per day. such as this one.5 spikes per thirty days versus an average of 3. By Winter 2012 (above right). 17. 1. 2011 Spike Threshold 0 Dec.2 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2011. In Winter 2011 there were two high threshold spikes and the following year there were thirteen—an average of 0. 2012 Overfishing Oct. Upwell’s high spike threshold. 1.2 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2012—an increase of 265%. 1. 2011 High Spike Threshold Jan. 2012 Jan.9% (as one would expect). they were also getting bigger. provides another indication of spike intensity. a 475% increase. social mention volume had climbed to an average of 549 per day—an increase of 29. The ratio of average daily social mentions to the average baseline value also increased by 29.In Winter 2011 (above left). 17.9%. 76 . to 8. Spike frequency—measured by how often social mention volume spikes equal to or greater than Upwell’s spike threshold6 —describes how often spikes occur. Spike frequency in the Sustainable Seafood conversation increased from 2. The more spikes reach the high threshold.

Side-by-side comparison for Winter 2011 (left) and Winter 2012 (right) showing social mentions by day for Upwell’s Overfishing keyword group. The 30-day rate of high threshold spikes9 also increased.979 mentions per day. GF=Gulf. when comparing the data from 2011 to 2013 a trend becomes clearly visible: an increase in spike frequency and a higher number of social mentions over time. Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 .2—a 475% increase. a representative list of the major campaigns across the nine topic profiles that Upwell monitors. Campaign Impacts In this section.386 per day—a 71% increase. social mention volume was an average of 1. but rather. from an average of 0. which require a single value. SS= Sustainable Seafood. on average. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 . The ratio of average daily social mentions to the average baseline value also rose.3% of the baseline in Winter 2012.7 Spike frequency—measured by how often social mention volume spikes equal to or greater than Upwell’s spike threshold8 —describes how often spikes occur. OC=Ocean. By Winter 2012 (above right). Campaigns appear in chronological order and campaigns which appear on the annotated graphs that follow appear in bold.8 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2011. 8 9 The spike threshold is discussed in detail in the Methods: Big Listening section. SH=Sharks. In Winter 2011 (above left). to 7. when Upwell began Big Listening in Overfishing. Key to Profiles: OA= Ocean Acidification. from 126. in a particular conversation.4 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2012—a massive increase of 784%. Table of Major Upwell Campaigns Below is a table of all major Upwell campaigns from 2011 . TU=Tuna 7 Average baseline’ generalizes Upwell’s day-of-the-week baseline values for a given topic into one mean value for the purpose of calculations. 77 .2013. Spike frequency in the Overfishing conversation increased from 0.1/31/12.6 to an average of 3. The annotated campaign graphs on the following pages highlight spikes in these conversations and the Upwell campaigns associated with these surges in conversational volume. OF=Overfishing. Please note that this list is not inclusive of all Upwell campaigns. As in the previous graphs. Upwell defines high threshold spikes as occuring when social mention volume for a given day is greater-than or equalto two standard deviations above the average social mention volume for that day of the week.1/29/13). MPA= Marine Protected Areas. such as this one. social mention volume had climbed to an average of 3. as compared to the baseline.5% of the baseline in Winter 2011 to 216. we’ll illustrate more specifically where and how Upwell intervened in the Overfishing and Sustainable Seafood conversations.

com 9/10/12 -9/11/1 2 9/12/12 & 10/2/12 9/25/12 Safeway FAD-Free Tuna How Social Media Can Save Sharks Google Earth Ocean Acidification Video CEA report and related research in Science Vote4theOcean Video 9/28/12 9/28/12 10/4/12 10/10/1 2 10/12/1 2 10/18/1 2 Whitetip Shark Has a Posse . Date 6/18/12 Campaign Title #EndFossilFuelSubsidies This is your ocean on acid China Shark Fin Soup Ban OA CT SS OF GF MPA OC SH TU 7/3/12 7/12/12 Ocean Acidification Before & After Images Me and My Shark Fin 7/16/12 7/31/12 Coral Found at Shell Drill Site David Beckham's Cod 8/2/12 8/10/12 Shark Week 9/7/12 Thank Cathay Pacific for Shark Fin Ban Petition to Ban Shark Recipes on Livestrong.Bold: Campaign appears on annotated graphs.CITES Thank You Costa Rica Shark Fin Ban Jaws vs. Frank Sinatra 78 .

Jumbo Soda 79 . Guaranteed 11/12/1 2 11/20/1 2 11/27/1 2 11/27/1 2 11/28/1 2 12/4/12 Big Listener .Date 10/20/1 2 -11/3/1 2 10/24/1 2 10/25/1 2 11/2/12 Campaign Title Antarctic Ocean MPA Petition Shark Protections at CITES OA CT SS OF GF MPA OC SH TU NYT Editorial on Bottom Trawling How to Kill a Great White 10/29/1 2 & 11/5/12 11/5/12 I Oyster NY Prop 37 and GMO Salmon 11/8/12 Political Porpoise 11/9/12 No Overfishing.Beth Kanter guest blog post Giving Thanks for Australia Marine Reserves NYT Addresses Sea Level Rise During Doha Dissolving Shells: Capitalizing on OA Coverage Plastic Pollution Postcard Washington OA Plan 12/5/12 1/10/13 12/6/12 Upwell Blue Blog List Bill McKibben Addresses OA Cannibalistic Lobsters 12/6/12 12/12/1 2 NY Shark Fin vs.

9/5/2012] 80 . [NU-3. 10/25/2011] • Fishermen fined for overfishing and CDB lawsuit vs. 1/5/2012] • Reports of radioactive tuna tied to the Fukushima disaster. the following Non-Upwell events are labeled as NU in light grey in the annotated graphs on the following pages. [NU-2. Overfishing Graphs: • Famous actor Jonah Hill tweets about overfishing. [NU-1. [NU-4. 5/29/12] • Sarcastic joke account @factualcat tweets against overfishing. NMFS.Date 12/12/1 2 12/18/1 2 12/18/1 2 12/19/1 2 12/19/1 2 12/19/1 2 1/3/13 Campaign Title Everyday Objects Made to Look Like Sea Creatures Cook Islands and French Polynesia Shark Sanctuary Keystone Krill OA CT SS OF GF MPA OC SH TU Greenpeace Gangnam Style California MPAs Fish Tornado Photograph Chile Protects Seamounts 1/3/13 Shark Fin Rooftops 1/3/13 Unilever Dumps Microbeads What is a Coral? 1/4/13 1/8/13 Cuomo Panel Recommends Oystering NY Polar Bear Video 1/8/13 1/9/13 Pacific Bluefin Decline Non-Upwell Spikes from Graphs In addition to the Upwell campaigns listed above.

[NU-11. [NU-12. [NU-7 .1/28 2013] • NPR series of posts covering MSC and sustainable seafood topics. 3/5/12] • Women's Health Magazine tweeted an article from Rodale about the health benefits of Wild Alaskan salmon and wild-caught Pacific sardines. 3/30/12] • Sustainable Seafood Guide NRDC retweeted a sustainable seafood guide. reviewing sustainable seafood guides. [NU-19. [NU-21.5/18/12] • David Suzuki Foundation tweets the Top 10 Sustainable Seafood Picks. 2/3/2012] • Al Jazeera tweets about Louisiana's fishing industry re: BP oil spill. [NU-6.NU-15. [NU-22-24.76M in Tokyo. NU-18 9/5 .9/6 2012] • The Dungeness crab season begins. [NU-24 1/28/13] 81 . 11/21/2012] • Crab Recipes Features and recipe collections for Dungeness Crab. 11/21/2012] • TIME tweets an OpEd about non-farmed. 6/8/2012] • The 10th International Seafood Summit in Hong Kong [NU-17. [NU-16.NU-9. [NU-13.• A single bluefin tuna sells for record $1. 11/10/2012] • The United States sets catch limits. [NU-10. 12/4/2012] • McDonald’s MSC certifies all McDonald’s fish sustainable. 12/23 . 11/14/2012] • HuffPo Sea2 Table Thanksgiving post and Vancouver Aquarium events [NU-20. [NU-14 . 4/23/12] • #CFS2012 The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts a three day event featuring sustainable seafood and top chefs from across the country. [NU-5. 1/5/2013] Sustainable Seafood Graphs: • The James Beard Foundation (founded by the famous chef and author) publishes A Guide to the Guides. 5/17 . sustainable seafood.

The Overfishing Conversation Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2011.May 2012 ! Spring 2012 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Feb-12 Mar-12 Baseline NU-3 Apr-12 Spike +1 Threshold Mean STDEV May-12 Overfishing OF 82 .Jan 2012 ! Winter 2011 14000 12000 10000 8000 NU-1 6000 4000 2000 0 Oct-11 Nov-11 Baseline NU-2 Dec-11 Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV Overfishing OF Jan-12 The Overfishing Conversation Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Feb 2012.

CA MPAs. Fish Tornado 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Antarctic (day 1 of 15) Antartic (day 15) Antarctic Ocean (day 10) & I Oyster NY Pacific Bluefin the 96.Jan 2013 ! Winter 2012 Gangnam Style.Sep 2012 ! Summer 2012 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 Jun-12 Jul-12 Baseline China Shark Fin Soup Ban Cathay Pacific NU-4 Livestrong Shark Week Aug-12 Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV Sep-12 Overfishing OF The Overfishing Conversation Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012.4% NMS 40th & NYT Trawling Vote4the Ocean JAWS vs Sinatra Costa Rica Fin Ban How to Kill a Great White NU-5 Seamounts & Rooftops Cuomo Oysters NY Big Blue Blogs Oct-12 Nov-12 Baseline Dec-12 Spike Threshold Mean +1 STDEV Jan-13 Overfishing OF 83 .The Overfishing Conversation Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Jun 2012.

0 Threshold Mean STDEV Jan-12 Sustainable Seafood SS The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Feb-12 Mar-12 Baseline Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Feb 2012.The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 1200 Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2011.May 2012 ! Spring 2012 NU-13 NU-10 NU-11 NU-12 NU-14 NU-15 Apr-12 Spike Threshold Mean +1.Jan 2012 ! Winter 2011 NU-9 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Oct-11 Nov-11 Baseline NU-6 NU-7 NU-8 Dec-11 Spike +1.0 STDEV May-12 Sustainable Seafood SS 84 .

Jan 2013 ! Winter 2012 1200 1000 Vote4 Ocean Video NU-24 NU-22 Cuomo Oysters NY NU-24 NU-23 FAD Safeway NU-21 NU-19 Big Blue Blogs 800 600 400 200 0 Oct-12 Nov-12 Baseline Dec-12 Spike+1.Sep 2012 ! Summer 2012 NU-18 FAD Safeway NU-17 Google Earth & CEA Report 1000 800 600 400 200 0 Jun-12 Jul-12 Baseline NU-16 David's Cod Aug-12 Spike+1.0 Threshold Mean STDEV Jan-13 Sustainable Seafood SS 85 .The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 1200 Me and My Sharkfin Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Jun 2012.0 Threshold Mean STDEV Sep-12 Sustainable Seafood SS The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 NU-20 Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012.

2012] • Coral Found at Shell Drill Site  [July 31. 2012] • Vote4theOcean Video [October 4. 2012] • Me and My Shark Fin  [July 16. 2012] • Jaws vs. 2012 . 2012 (I Oyster NY . 2012] • Ocean Acidification Before & After Images [July 12.October 2. • #EndFossilFuelSubsidies .November 3.com  [September 10-14. 2012 ] • Petition to Ban Shark Recipes on Livestrong. Frank Sinatra [October 18. 2012] • David Beckham's Cod [August 2.Greenberg) and November 5. 2012] • Antarctic Ocean MPA Petition [October 20 .present] • Whitetip Shark Has a Posse . 2012] • I Oyster NY [October 29. 2012] • Shark Protections at CITES [October 24. 2012] • How to Kill a Great White [November 2. 2012] • China Shark Fin Soup Ban [July 3. 2012] • Google Earth Ocean Acidification Video [September 28. 2012] • Shark Week [August 10 .Image)] 86 .17.This is your ocean on acid [June 18.Campaign List A list of major Upwell attention campaigns in chronological order.11.CITES Thank You  [October 10. 2012] • Safeway FAD-Free Tuna [September 12 . 2012 (I Oyster NY . 2012] • How Social Media Can Save Sharks  [September 25. 2012] • New York Times Editorial on Bottom Trawling [October 25. 2012] • Thank Cathay Pacific for Shark Fin Ban [September 5 . 2012] • CEA Report “Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries” and related overfishing research in Science [September 28. 2012] • Costa Rica Shark Fin Ban [October 12.

2012] • Big Listener . 2013] • Unilever Dumps Microbeads [January 3. 2012] • Everyday Objects Made to Look Like Sea Creatures. 2012] • Fish Tornado Photograph  [December 19. 2013] • Pacific Bluefin Decline  [January 9. 2013] • Polar Bear Video [January 8. 2012] • Upwell Blue Blog List [December 5. 27. 2012] • Cook Islands and French Polynesia Shark Sanctuaries  [December 18th. 2012] • Cannibalistic Lobster [December 6. [December 12.13. 2012] • No Overfishing. 2012] • Washington OA Plan [December 4. 2013] • Bill McKibben Addresses OA [December 6. 2012] • Giving Thanks for Australia Marine Reserves [November 20.Beth Kanter guest blog post [November 12 . 2013] • Cuomo Panel Recommends Oystering NY [January 8.January 15. 2013] 87 . 2012] • NYT Addresses Sea Level Rise During Doha [November 27. Guaranteed [November 9. 2012] • Greenpeace Gangnam Style  [December 19. Jumbo Soda  [December 12.10. 2012] • Keystone Krill [ December 18. 2013] • What is a Coral? [January 4. 2012 . 2012] • NY Shark Fin vs.• Prop 37 and GMO Salmon [November 5. 2012] • Political Porpoise [November 8 . 2012] • Plastic Pollution Postcard [November 28. 2013] • Shark Fin Rooftops   [January 3. 2012] • Chile Protects Seamounts [January 3. 2012] • California MPAs Go Into Effect [December 19. 2012] • Dissolving Shells: Capitalizing on Ocean Acidification Coverage [November.

September 7-8. 2012] David Beckham's Cod Upwell popularized the poorly-marketed Olympic sustainable seafood pledge through a humorous image macro featuring David Beckham that spread the news to audiences unfamiliar with sustainable seafood issues.. sustainable seafood to mainstream consumers. [September 12 October 2. Upwell promoted the video to outlets such as the Guardian and Mission Mission and annotated the raps with the help of shark scientists on the website rapgenius. [September 5-11. to remove all shark recipes from its online channels. 2012 (majority of activity. 2012] Shark Week Upwell organized shark advocates to capitalize on the massive annual increase in online attention provided by Shark Week. [September 25. The Upwell network significantly increased the share of conservation sentiment compared with Shark Week 2011. in. to bring the issue of shark finning to new audiences. By creating a Change. 2012] How Social Media Can Save Sharks Upwell’s popular post on National Geographic’s two blogs illustrated the power of online conversations to drive overfishing awareness among a significant conservation-inclined digital community. 2012] Thank Cathay Pacific for Shark Fin Ban In response to vocal pushback to Cathay’s sharkfriendly policy change. [August 2. 2012] 88 . 2012] Me and My Shark Fin When rapper Kool Kid Kreyola released his rap about shark finning in conjunction with Pangea Seed’s West Coast tour. [September 10-14. accessible.” internet meme and a celebratory message.com. Upwell rapidly mobilized a Thank You campaign to support the company and drown out opposition from shark fin traders.org petition and launching a supporting campaign. [August 10-17. 2012] Safeway FAD-Free Tuna Upwell promoted the launch of a new brand of canned tuna to highlight affordable.S. [July 16.com Upwell successfully pressured the 2nd largest health website in the U. [July 3. Upwell capitalized on Livestrong. 2012)] Petition to Ban Shark Recipes on Livestrong.com’s health and wellness brand to take down recipes for overfished shark species and to dispel harmful myths about alleged cancer-preventing qualities of shark products..Campaign Summaries Campaigns on overfishing and sustainable seafood China Shark Fin Soup Ban Upwell celebrated and popularized China’s decision to ban shark fin soup from official functions using the “Meanwhile.

present] Whitetip Shark Has a Posse . and its celebrity-co-founder. [October 18. Upwell orchestrated a sea of shark-supportive comments to counter the piece’s 89 . Leonardo DiCaprio.Google Earth Ocean Acidification Video During Blue Ocean Film Fest / Ocean in a High-CO2 World. 2012] CEA Report “Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries” and related overfishing research in Science Upwell reframed a highly technical print-focused report. to appeal to a wider audience. [September 28. 2012] Jaws vs. [October 4. 2012] Costa Rica Shark Fin Ban Upwell popularized an overfishing win in Costa Rica using an internet meme and Richard Branson’s celebrity cachet. 2012 . 2012] Antarctic Ocean MPA Petition Upwell supported a celebrity-endorsed campaign to stop industrial fishing in the Antarctic.000 views of this new school conservation video. Frank Sinatra Upwell helped popularize an obscure mashup of Sinatra and great white sharks. 2012] New York Times Editorial on Bottom Trawling Upwell turned a New York Times editorial highlighting new research on deep sea trawling into a consumer-focused call to action worth sharing. Upwell amplified a compelling new video from Google. and breaking scientific research.CITES Thank You Upwell translated an obscure CITES shark listing into a sharable success story that resonated outside of the traditional shark conservation echo chamber.November 3. and strengthened critical relationships with high profile influencers. 2012] Vote4theOcean Video Upwell’s video submission to the star-studded Vote4Stuff campaign raised the profile of overfishing and sustainable seafood for a large online audience. 2012] Shark Protections at CITES Upwell amplified a Shark Defenders Facebook campaign to promote the conservation of five new shark species in need of CITES listing with dramatic sharing results. [October 25. thereby introducing ocean acidification and its impacts on seafood to a broad new audience beyond the conference for whom acidification is a relatively unrecognized issue. [October 20 . including Leonardo DiCaprio and Sylvia Earle. [October 24. [September 28. securing more than 20. 2012] How to Kill a Great White Confronted by a repulsive online opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. Both the Vote4Stuff campaign. [October 12. promoted Upwell’s video through official online channels to a potential audience of millions. [October 10.

2012] 90 . [December 6. regionally-focused issue to build outrage at New York City’s decision to ban big soda in New York but not shark fin soup through a highly sharable macro image. 2012] NY Shark Fin vs. 2012] Upwell Blue Blog List In December. [November 8 . 2012] I Oyster NY Upwell produced a fresh take on a New York icon promoted by literati Paul Greenberg and spread rapidly online during a natural disaster. [November 5. and strengthen the Upwell community. The list generated such a significant response that Upwell was able to publish a second update to the list in mid-January. [November 9.Image)] Prop 37 and GMO Salmon Upwell leveraged its big listening capacity to analyze support for California’s Prop 37—one of the few ocean-related state propositions on the ballot. 2012] No Overfishing. 2012] Greenpeace Gangnam Style The original Gangnam Style video went beyond viral and has become a piece of popular culture. The message was carried into new digital networks by social media pros as a “must read post. 2012] Political Porpoise Upwell created this experimental site to round up election implications for the ocean. [November 2. 2012 (I Oyster NY . Lobbying restrictions limited the scope of the effort.Beth Kanter guest blog post Upwell’s guest blog showcased how social media can vault sustainable seafood and overfishing into the mainstream.13. by hooking into the popular story and meme that was on everyone’s mind at the time: the end times. [December 19. increase exposure to ocean bloggers. 2012 (I Oyster NY Greenberg) and November 5. 2013] Cannibalistic Lobsters Upwell amplified a study documenting cannibalistic lobster behavior due to overfishing impacts.000 views.  [December 5. 2012] Big Listener . Upwell promoted a Greenpeace spin-off Gangnam video featuring dancing rainbow warriors and an anti-overfishing message that resulted in over 46. Jumbo Soda Upwell used a charged. 2012-Janunary 15. Upwell published a list of 88 ocean conservation themed “big blue blogs” to provide a resource for the ocean conservation community.” [November 12 . gaining important traction with a new audience.10.  [December 12. Guaranteed Upwell gave EDF’s new 100% observer coverage campaign a lift to promote this promising overfishing-free program to a wider audience online. Upwell’s list made it to the top ten search results for “ocean blogs” on Google.anti-shark sentiment. [October 29.

using a message that would encourage future action on the part of activists and keep people engaged in the Arctic drilling issue. [January 3. playing on the recognizable “This is your brain on drugs” PSA. We paired these visually moving images with petitions from Oceana to promote a ban on finning.4% decline in Bluefin stocks. as well as a new report documenting a 96. 2013] Shark Fin Rooftops  Upwell shared shocking photographs of thousands of shark fins drying on rooftops in Hong Kong that were spreading on the internet like wildfire without a paired action. 2012] Coral Found at Shell Drill Site Upwell worked with Greenpeace to develop a pithy image macro that would spread awareness about the discovery of deep sea coral at Shell’s proposed Arctic drilling site.  [June 18. The ban was especially important because it established systems to reduce bycatch.Chile Protects Seamounts Upwell created a “viva Chile” tweet to celebrate the new year and amplify Chile’s historic decision to ban bottom trawling. Upwell promoted Australia’s decision to establish a huge network of marine reserves in a Thanksgiving campaign 91 . Upwell took the opportunity to redeploy the I Oyster NY image that had gained traction in the days after Sandy. [January 3. [July 31. 2012] Giving Thanks for Australia Marine Reserves Using a seasonal hook. Media channels covered back-toback stories. and protect the country’s most vulnerable marine ecosystems.This is your ocean on acid Upwell created an image linking the trending #EndFossilFuelSubsidies conversation during Rio+20 to the issue of ocean acidification. 2013] Cuomo Panel Recommends Oystering NY A commission formed by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo recommended planting oysters in NY harbor as a way to protect against future storms. highlighting record market prices ($1. Upwell kept the conversation going and helped our network focus their efforts by providing analysis of how the coverage was unfolding and offering suggested framing targeting a halt to the fishery. [July 12. [January 9. and increased mentions of ocean acidification during the conference.76 million or a single bluefin). 2013] Pacific Bluefin Decline  January was a big month for bluefin. ground all fishing quotas on scientific recommendation. [January 8. 2012] Ocean Acidification Before & After Images Upwell repackaged a series of before and after images used in the International Coral Reef Symposium’s opening address to illustrate the impacts of ocean acidification for audiences unfamiliar with the science using visual and shareable content. 2013] Campaigns on other ocean topics #EndFossilFuelSubsidies .

2012] Dissolving Shells: Capitalizing on Ocean Acidification Coverage Seeing an opportunity in the recent uptick in news media coverage of ocean acidification (most notably on new science and Washington State’s action plan). and LinkedIn. [December 4. and encouraged other members of our network to share that content to make sure it reached broader audiences.000 social mentions across Facebook. Upwell worked with Greenpeace to post the image. pointing subscribers to key pieces of content about the decision. [December 12. the State’s Blue Ribbon Panel on ocean acidification. 2012][November 27. The images.   [December 18th. This campaign capitalized on people’s familiarity with Shell and their drilling plans to increase attention to ocean acidification. [November 27. were strong visual reminders the marine plastics pollution problem. Upwell developed an image using a dissolving snail shell featured in a recent scientific paper and a message that tapped into activists’ opinions on Shell Oil. talks. Linking a NYT article with the hashtag used to talk about the conference and an interactive map resulted in over 3. Upwell provided an essential online lift to cresting coverage highlighting Washington State’s gubernatorial commitment to take action on ocean acidification by rapidly analyzed the conversation. Twitter. Upwell took advantage of McKibben’s environmental celebrity status to help promote a video about the scariest environmental issue he thinks no one is talking about: the threat of ocean acidification. 2012] Keystone Krill Upwell amplified social mentions of an utterly darling hand drawn video to 92 . people tend to listen.that reminded people to be thankful for ocean MPAs during their holiday. 2012] Washington OA Plan. and the growing #oceanacidification conversation on Twitter and Reddit. [November 20. 2012] NYT Addresses Sea Level Rise During Doha Upwell capitalized on international attention around the Doha Conference. 2012] Everyday Objects Made to Look Like Sea Creatures Upwell promoted the Plastic Pacific art series to raise awareness about the problem of marine plastics pollution. [December 6. [November 27. 2012] Bill McKibben Addresses OA When Bill McKibben. [November 28. 2012] Cook Islands and French Polynesia Shark Sanctuary  Upwell’s celebratory campaign lauded the recent announcement by Cook Islands and French Polynesia to establish the biggest shark sanctuary in the world. 2012] Plastic Pollution Postcard Upwell’s satiric e-postcard helped amplify the recent discovery of plastic bags in the Arctic to online audiences. a meeting of the UN focused on climate change. one of the leading environmentalists in the country. which featured “everyday household plastic objects made to look like the sea life they’re choking to death”. generating a strong conversation among shark advocates online.

 [January 4. 93 .increase attention to the importance of krill and the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The image struck the right tone with our people in our network. Tools. 2013] Polar Bear Video Upwell shared this gripping video of a close encounter with a polar bear and tied it to protecting this majestic bear’s arctic home. original image to highlight the abundance of plastic in microbead face wash. stick a flower inside a coffee cup and you have a single coral) to communicate coral biology in a fun and sharable way.. 2013] What is a Coral? Upwell amplified Dr. coral reefs. sustainable seafood. Upwell celebrated the grand opening of the California marine protected areas implemented under the MLPA. Steve Palumbi’s simple video about corals and “coral bleaching”.g. [ December 18. • Scuba diving enthusiasts. 2012] Unilever Dumps Microbeads When Unilever announced plans to stop using plastic microbeads in its products. and other shark fans. • Discovery Channel Shark Week viewers. [January 3. [January 8. dependency on fossil fuels. spurring a series of comments from individuals who were unaware of the issue and vowed to change their purchasing habits. Influencers Audiences • Ocean lovers and activists who care about: overfishing. the arctic. shark advocates. marine protected areas. climate change. 2012] Fish Tornado Photograph  Upwell tapped into the buzz around an incredible image of a “fish tornado” taken in Cabo Pulmo National Park by famous scientist-photographer Octavio Aburto to increase conversation about this important marine protected area. The video was seen over 1. The video uses tangible metaphors (e. many of whom had worked tirelessly to see these parks implemented. 2013] Audiences. We paired that photo with a message encouraging people to stay away from microbeads. [December 19. • MLPA supporters and advocates for marine protected areas. and marine plastics pollution. Upwell celebrated the decision by creating a clever. and helped a hook-less announcement go farther in social media. 2012] California MPAs Go Into Effect With an impossible-not-to-love image macro of an otter.5 million people. [December 19.

squid. • Likely voters in the 2012 national election. Imgur. • New Yorkers and others affected by the Sandy disaster. • Political pundits analyzing election results and effects. • National park visitors.) • Food and recipe blog writers (with a focus on those who write about seafood). • Regionally specific audiences: Washington. health website). and coral bleaching. • Mainstream science bloggers. sharks). Twitter.• Sustainable seafood advocates and fin-to-tail enthusiasts. Change.org. blogs. Tools Facebook. etc. krill. Tumblr. YouTube. • TED audiences. mainstream media. Richard Branson. Australia. anti-GMOs.S.   • Upwell network of ocean conservation communicators. California. corals. • Influencers in corporate social responsibility (CSR). international issues. New York. • Fitness and health advocates and readers of Livestrong. • Nonprofit techies and social media innovators. 94 . image macros. and general green issues) • Climate activists and people concerned with the impacts of climate change: sea level rise. • People who care about marine animals (whales. Pinterest. • Seafood consumers. ocean acidification. penguins. Reddit. • California voters. • K-12 educators and their students. • New York City city planners and oyster consumers • Online activists (for climate. food policy. TimelineJS.com (2nd largest U. polar bears. • Celebrities’ fan bases (Leonardo DiCaprio. Google+.walrus.

Alistair Dove. Grist. marine biologists and influential ocean bloggers at Deep Sea News. • Jean Michele. New York Times Magazine. • Alex Hofford. Time. • Micah Sifry. Kim Martini. • Paul Greenberg. op-ed editor. • Polly Becker. TED. Grist and Hanna Welch. New York Times. blogger and author. author and journalist. New York Times.Influencers • Leonardo DiCaprio. Atlantic. model and actress. author. New York Times. speaker. executive editor. Céline and Fabien Cousteau. Huffington Post. Holly Bik. senior editor. Rolling Stone. shark researcher and influential ocean blogger at Southern Fried Science. Dot Earth blogger. master trainer and nonprofit innovator in networks and social media. • Trish Hall. director of communications at Mission Blue and the Sylvia Earle Alliance. artist. Craig McClain. • Maggie Koerth Baker. actor and founder of the non-partisan Vote4Stuff campaign. • David Shiffman @whysharksmatter. descendents of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. • Deb Castellana. Co. • Miriam Goldstein. • Edward James Olmos.Design / Fast Company. • Scott Rosenberg. • Amber Valleta. • Maria Finn. Four Fish and blogger. Sunset Magazine. New York Times. • Brooke Runnette. • Beth Kanter. author and opinion columnist. photojournalist and regional representative for the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA). science editor at Boing Boing and columnist for the New York Times Magazine. 95 . author. New Yorker. • Andy Revkin. • Ariel Schwartz. Discovery Channel. • Mark Bittman. executive producer and director of development. social media manager. actor and UNICEF goodwill ambassador.

Manager.Ocean Evangelist Capacity Impacts Introduction “Don't go away! This is an incredibly useful resource that. you’ll find metrics and anecdotes that demonstrate the community’s growth. According to the survey. topic-specific webinars. Upwell has helped the community: • Receive content that they wouldn’t come across through their usual channels • Stay up-to-date on the hottest ocean news • Save time by providing content that they could amplify to their community • Made them feel like they’re part of a community • Helped them balance humor with serious issues in their communications In this section. plus staff speaking engagements. Ocean Initiative. 96 . reach. Upwell’s blog and social media channels. as well how Upwell has helped the network make the ocean more famous online. guest blog posts and project consulting have provided channels for delivering shareable content and practical training and tools to a diverse audience of timestarved ocean activists. the two greatest challenges Upwell’s community members face in their online communications work are: • Engaging communities beyond their core online community • Lack of time The Tide Report.” ~ Valerie Craig. 2013 Upwell Community Survey (completed by 107 of the 612 Tide Report subscribers). National Geographic Society According to a February 7. through these tools and opportunities. at the very least. and range. ties the conservation community together.

Network Metrics
Tide Report
Our main channel for campaigning across our distributed network since June 5, 2012. The Tide Report provides readers with one-click pathways for amplifying good ocean content, analysis of online conversations, and upcoming science and ocean communications events.

MailChimp List Growth as of January 29, 2013

As of January 29, 2013, the Tide Report had 600 subscribers, and an average subscription rate of 59 per month. Its Average Open Rate was 38% per campaign (beating the nonprofit industry standard of 14%). The average Click Through Rate was 10% per campaign (versus nonprofit industry standard 4.2%). Below is a sample of the range of ocean and non-ocean related organizations and individuals represented in The Tide Report’s subscriber pool. 1. Advomatic

2. Aquarium of the Bay 3. Alaska Marine Conservation Council 4. BlackBird Jewelry 5. Bowerbird Communications 6. Blue Earth Consultants 7. Blue Planet Society

8. California Academy of Sciences 9. California State Lands Commission
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10. Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary 11. Chris Eaton, Digital Media Specialist 12. Christina Choate, Filmmaker 13. Cleland Marketing 14. C O A R E 15. Communications, INC. 16. Conservation International 17. Conservation Law Foundation 18. Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary 19. Earthjustice 20. EcoAdapt 21. Educational Tall Ship 22. Environmental Defense Fund 23. Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary 24. Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center 25. Greenpeace Canada 26. Greenpeace International 27. Grist 28. International Seakeepers Society 29. KSC Kreate 30. Jarrett Byrnes, Community Ecologist 31. John Curley, Photographer 32. Learn to Dive Today 33. MacGillivray Freeman Films 34. Marine Fish Conservation Network 35. Marine Conservation Institute 36. Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council 37. Mission Blue | Sylvia Earle Alliance 38. Monterey Bay Aquarium 39. Monterey Bay and Channel Islands Sanctuary Foundation 40. Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

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41. My-Planet.org 42. National Geographic Society 43. Natural Resources Defense Council 44. New England Aquarium 45. NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries 46. Oceana 47. OceanGate 48. Ocean Portal, Smithsonian Institute 49. One World, One Ocean 50. Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 51. Personal Democracy Forum 52. Pew Charitable Trust, Environment Group 53. Sailors for the Sea 54. Sanibel Sea School 55. Save the Bay 56. Seattle Aquarium 57. SeaWeb 58. Shark Angels 59. Shark Research Institute 60. Shark Savers 61. Shark Stewards 62. Sherman’s Lagoon Comic Strip 63. SOCAP 64. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary 65. UNC Chapel Hill 66. United States Coast Guard, Living Marine Resources 67. West Coast Aquatic 68. WWF 69. WWF Canada 70. Vaquita.tv 71. Vava'u Environmental Protection Association

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@nature_org 159.957 followers Nature Conservancy 100 . our feed  had 1. @Salon 241. As of February 7. 1. 2013.Upwell Twitter A secondary channel for campaigning across our distributed network since January 31. 2013 (CoTweet) A sample of our “top” (based on number of followers) Twitter followers demonstrates the range and reach of Upwell’s Twitter community. April 1. 2012. Twitter followers.com 2. 2012 . to the Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC and Virginia’s Green Voices list.659 followers and was included on 67 Twitter lists that range from the University of Southern Florida’s College of Marine Science’s Ocean Science News list.511 followers Salon. Upwell’s Twitter feed allows us to share up-to-the minute hot ocean content with the community and amplify their content and campaigns.February 5. to Bon Appétit Management Company’s Seafoodies: sustainable seafood folks list.

763 followers National Wildlife Federation 4. @PauloQuerido 71. Photographer 15.804 followers Oceana 13. Writer.778 followers Craig Newmark.152 followers Paulo Querido. 12. @jowyang 121. @SciNewsBlog 47. #BBC Wildlife TV AP/Director.303 followers Edward James Olmos. Facebook Marketing for Dummies. Filmmaker. Altimeter Group 5.899 followers Jeremiah Owyang.820 followers Polar Bear Trust 19.441 followers Sea Turtle Foundation 101 .375 followers Surfrider Foundation 9. @NWF 123.255 followers Discovery Communications 18.152 followers John Haydon.096 followers Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States. @DiscoveryComm 34. Actor 8. @johnhaydon 49. @FAOnews 63. Author.org (environmental news) 7.063 followers SciNewsBlog: Science News for Ordinary People 17. @ConservationOrg 29. Industry Analyst. 16. @craignewmark 62.711 followers Emmy Award winning underwater cameraman 6. Founder of Craigslist 11. @grist 102. @themoceanvibe 111. @surfrider 76. @Oceana 61. Journalist/Programmer 10.245 followers Conservation International 20. @turtlenews 29. @nokidhungry 60. @edwardjolmos 78. @iron_ammonite 57.010 followers Grist.590 followers Paul Williams.3.525 followers Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign 14. @polarbeartrust 30.

@Scripps_Ocean 14. 29.770 followers Greenpeace Australia Pacific 31. Guggenheim 30. @OceanDoctor 19. @CarloLGarcia 27. Columbia University 24.358 followers Monterey Bay Aquarium 25.606 followers National Aquarium 32. Visiting Scholar at NYU school of journalism.064 followers Fabien Cousteau 27. @GreenpeaceAustP 17. @FCousteau 23.394 followers Seafood Watch 33.339 followers Greenpeace Pilipinas 28. @gpph 21.493 followers David E. @EICES_Columbia 24. @LuciaGrenna 25. @SeafoodWatch 15. Actor and Founder of Living Philanthropic 22. @BoraZ 19. @earthisland 24. Organizer of ScienceOnline.848 followers Carlo Lorenzo Garcia. Communications Officer and Program Manager for the World Bank's Connect4Climate (C4C) Global Partnership Program 23.21.122 followers Scripps Institution of Oceanography 102 .726 followers Blogs Editor at Scientific American. Sr. @NatlAquarium 17. @MontereyAq 25.317 followers Lucia Grenna.046 followers Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability.999 followers Earth Island Institute 26.

2012.462 unique people saw tweets that included @upwell_us. Even when we’re not actively campaigning. Upwell Facebook Page A secondary channel for campaigning across our distributed network since March 27. The Upwell Facebook Page provides an easy way for the Upwell Community to share our curated content with their Facebook communities. 2013. 103 . @upwell_us was mentioned in 50 tweets. by 40 people.TwitterReach Report for February 8-February 12. over five days (February 8February 12. According to the TwitterReach Report (above). As a result. 60. the Upwell Twitter account reaches tens of thousands of people. 2013).

Greenpeace’s Facebook Page. which has hundreds of thousands of likes. In comparison. and liked 3. 2012. 2013. often has the same number of people creating stories about its posts. 104 . Upwell’s Facebook fans shared 1. As of February 19. between December 11-17. a story from our post. behind Facebook and Twitter.712 people created a “story” (a page like.296 posts. or a check-in) about the Upwell Page. Upwell uses Pinterest to engage the growing Pinterest community in Upwell’s work. Pinterest A secondary channel for campaigning across our distributed network since May 9. Pinterest became the third most popular social network in the United States. 2012. and re-pinning images from their site. commented on 542 posts. and push traffic towards ocean conservation organizations by pinning. Although the number of likes to the Upwell Facebook Page are relatively low. a mention and photo tag.Facebook Page Demographics for September 23-December 21. For example.2012 Between September 23-December 21. 640 people from 20 countries joined the Upwell Facebook Page. In April 2012. 2012. provide image ideas for ocean activists’ campaigns. our reach is great.992 posts on our Facebook Page. a post by others. 1.

An average Klout score is 40. list memberships. images from our most popular board. “the ability to drive action. Klout defines influence as. followers and replies). comments. such as sharing a picture that triggers comments and likes. Most of the images on the board were pinned from ocean conservation organization’s sites. likes. were repinned 133 times and liked 29 times. wall posts and friends). Upwell’s Klout score is based on the activity of its Facebook Page (mentions. Upwell Klout Upwell’s Facebook and Twitter communities’ extraordinary level of online engagement has given Upwell a Klout score (a measure of influence in online social networks) of 61. and its Twitter feed (retweets. mentions. World Turtle Day is May 23rd.” According to Beth Kanter. or repinned from their Pinterest boards.According to PinPuff. 105 . Measuring the Networked Nonprofit. subscribers. or tweeting about a great restaurant and causing your followers to go try it for themselves. Klout scores over 60 are “Fly” scores in the Crawl>Walk>Run>Fly methodology outlined in her book.

Blog
A secondary channel for communicating across our distributed network since May 9, 2012. The Upwell blog allows us to share analysis of the ocean conversation, social media best practices, and DIY campaign toolkits with the Upwell community that wouldn’t fit within the space limits of a Tide Report story, a Facebook update, or a tweet. Blog Post Sampler: • Who’s Influencing the Shark Conversation Online? August 6, 2012. SharedCount: Facebook: 109 likes, 21 shares, 27 comments. Twitter: 48 tweets • Big Blue Blogs: 88 Ocean Conservation Blogs. December 5, 2012. SharedCount: Facebook: 28 likes, 37 shares, 12 comments. Twitter: 80 tweets. LinkedIn: 1 share. • Big Blue Bogs: 100 + Ocean Conservation Blogs (Updated). January 15, 2013. SharedCount: Facebook: 15 likes, 6 shares, 5 comments. Twitter: 20 tweets. • Sustainable Seafood Twitter List. January 10, 2013. SharedCount: Facebook: 12 likes, 11 shares, 2 comments. Twitter: 27 tweets. • Attention Toolkit: Ocean Acidification, Coral Reefs and #ICRS2012. July 9, 2012. SharedCount: Facebook: 1 like, 2 shares. Twitter: 18 tweets.

Guest Posts
Four guests posts during the fall of 2012 and winter of 2013 helped Upwell reach new audiences while sharing social media and big listening best practices with the ocean conservation and nonprofit sector.

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How Social Media Can Save Sharks on National Geographic’s Ocean Views (September 25, 2012) http:/ /newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/09/25/how-social-media-can-savesharks/ • Topsy: Twitter: 127 tweets • SharedCount: Facebook: 198 likes, 61 shares, 13 comments. Google +: 9 +1s, LinkedIn: 8 shares, StumbleUpon: 2 stumbles. Why Your Nonprofit Should Be a Big Listener on Beth’s Blog (November 12, 2012) http:/ /www.bethkanter.org/listener/ Beth’s blog has approximately 20,000 subscribers (RSS & email). • Beth’s Blog: Twitter: 256 tweets.  Google +: 2 +1s. LinkedIn: 49 shares. Email shares: 15. Post comments: 10. • SharedCount: Facebook: 6 likes, 22 shares. Delicious: 4 bookmarks. StumbleUpon:3 Stumbles. Sharing a Cause and Data Across Multiple Orgs: Developing a High Touch, Human Platform for Collaboration in NTEN: Change (A Quarterly Journal for Nonprofit Leaders) (December, 2012) http:/ /bluetoad.com/publication/?i=136336&p=27 NTEN: Change has 11,500 subscribers. • Topsy: 11 tweets • SharedCount: Facebook: 2 likes, 5 shares, 2 comments. 6 Reasons Your Nonprofit Should Be a Big Listener on Socialbrite (January 8, 2013) http:/ / www.socialbrite.org/2013/01/09/how-nonprofits-benefit-from-big-listening/ The Socialbrite blog has 180,000 unique visitors per month and 3,600 RSS subscribers. • Topsy: 54 tweets • SharedCount: Facebook: 93 likes, 213 shares, 55 comments.  Google +: 1 +1. LinkedIn: 5 shares.

Requests for Help, Speaking Engagements, Sharkinars and Love Notes
Requests for Help and Speaking Engagements
As Upwell’s network has grown, so have the number of requests we’ve received for help with campaigning, social media best practices, social mention research, and training.

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Working with and speaking to the organizations, individuals, and audiences listed below strengthened our relationships with our existing network, introduced Upwell to new networks, and provided essential resources and training for the ocean conservation community and broader social change networks. Planned Speaking Engagements:

• Personal Democracy Forum June 6-7, 2013 (New York, NY). • 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference April 11-13, 2013 (Minneapolis, MN). • SXSW Interactive March 8-12, 2013 (Austin, TX). Completed Presentations/Consultations/Collaborations by Upwell staff:

• 2013 Greenpeace Digital Mobilisation Skillshare. February 3-7, 2013 (Girona, Spain). • David Shiffman, author of the upcoming book, Why Sharks Matter. Untitled paper on social media outreach and shark conservation. • Blue Ocean Institute, “Blue Ocean’s Mercury Report.” • Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee Meeting. December 4, 2012 (Santa Cruz, CA). • Environmental Defense Fund, “Ecomarkets for Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Coastal Zone.” Paper and promotional consult with Rod Fujita, Director of R&D, Oceans Program, Environmental Defense Fund, and Rahel Marsie-Hazen, Howard University Fellow, Environmental Defense Fund. • George Leonard, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Ocean Conservancy “A Requiem for Proposition 37?” Social mention graph used in Leonard’s National Geographic and Blog Aquatic blog posts. • Nonprofit Software Development Summit November 14-16, 2012 (Oakland, CA). • National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, National Marine Sanctuaries Birthday. Microcampaign by Upwell. • Conservation International, Ocean Health Index. Social Media Strategy consultation at the Ocean Health Index retreat (Santa Barbara, CA). • Digital Mobilisation Lab at Greenpeace, Hurricane Sandy social mention analysis for Michael Silberman, Global Director, Digital Mobilisation Lab. • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Grantee Meeting October 25, 2012 (Palo Alto, CA). • SeaWeb, 10th International Seafood Summit in Hong Kong. Campaign consult.

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Upwell hosted a Sharkinar (August 7.). 2012). UC Davis Genome Center Blog post about social media coverage of PLOS One paper.• Dr. September 5-9. “Dramatic Shifts in Benthic Microbial Eukaryote Communities following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. September 24-30. • The Ocean Project. “Twitter as a tool for conservation education: what scientific conferences can do to promote live tweeting. CA). and a Son of Sharkinar (August 10. 2012 (Monterey.” Sharkinar In order to help our network leverage the online attention focused on Shark Week towards their own causes. • David Shiffman.” • Web of Change. • Blue Ocean Film Festival. 2012 (Monterey. author of the upcoming book. 109 . 2012 (San Francisco. Why Sharks Matter. Assembly Bill 298: California Plastic Bag Ban. World Oceans Day. and the most popular Shark Week hashtag. 2012 (Cortes Island. September 27-29. CA). 2012).C. shark conversational currents. top shark influencers. where the shark conversation was happening. CA). B. Campaign consult for Alyssa Isakower. The webinars covered the State of the Shark Conversation. Holly Bik. • The Ocean Project. Eisen Lab. Campaign consult for Alyssa Isakower. • Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World. Postdoctoral Researcher. • CompassPoint Nonprofit Day/ YNPN National Conference August 3. Selected participants from the first Sharkinar.

Marie Levine.8% said it helped them with idea generation.5% said it helped them network with other shark enthusiasts • 53. Shark Research Institute “Jawsome conference guys! I'm already thinking about how we can segue Shark Week into a broader theme of ocean conservation and prolong the impact spike from Shark Week.8% said it helped them increase interaction on Twitter and/or Facebook We also received some love notes from participants: “Excellent meeting!” .8% said it helped them increase their Twitter followers and/or Facebook fans • 30.” 110 . • 30.Over 50 shark evangelists and campaigners attended the webinars including representatives from: • i love blue sea • Humane Society of the United States. The • Project Aware • Pew Charitable Trusts: Pew Environment Group • Sea Stewards • SeaWeb • Shark Angels • Shark Research Institute • Shark Savers • Smithsonian • Synchronicity Earth Sharkinar Impacts: • 61. Executive Director. The • Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation • Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance • Monterey Bay Aquarium • Oceana • Ocean Conservancy • Ocean Project.

Bestselling Author. The Pew Charitable Trusts “I have really benefitted and enjoyed your reports and I hope that you will continue. You are the best thing I get. Greenpeace “Gotta tell you. Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance “Great meeting.Deb Castellana. Director of Communications. We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support we’ve received from the Upwell community over the last year. Director of Communications.” . urban.Justin Kenney.Paulo Maurin.Alisa Schwartz. Environmental Defense Fund “Very iconic! [I Oyster NY]. you've truly made your mark. founder and CEO. Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance “I would attend any 'inar' you all put on. and are grateful for all of the amazing work they do to make the ocean more famous online. Happy to learn that you have been collecting stats on the shark conversation. If Mother Earth could speak. Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food “It’s [Upwell’s] very existence speaks to the importance of ocean communicators. Director of Communications. and fresh from the Internet. Keep up the great work!” . Pew Environment Group.” . Oceans.” . Vice President. Goes well with morning coffee.Mark Rovner.. Shark Angels Love Notes We’ve showed you lots of numbers and graphs to represent the Upwell community. I love your stuff.” . Sea Change Strategies “I just want to say that I think you are doing amazing work right now and have been an extremely valuable addition to the national oceans conversation in general.” .Paul Greenberg.Ben Kroetz. I want to see (and reap the benefits of) more. NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) “I hope to see the Tide Report back soon. Pleasantly edgy.” 111 . “PLEASE DON’T GO AWAY.” . Given the small time that Upwell has been in existence. she'd say it should be a new career category. but nothing can capture them more than their own words. National Education Coordinator and Fellowship Manager. I will be using them for sure!” .Deb Castellana. Great to learn top hashtags. Senior Campaign Director. avant-garde. Senior Online Strategist.Matt Rand. it’s marine conservation served fresh.

” . Scripps Institution of Oceanography “I really enjoy the Tide Reports because they are a quick and entertaining way to get my ocean news.” . IGERT Global Change. Outreach Specialist & Web Coordinator. Founder. COMPASS “Keep doing what you're already doing with the Tide Report.Martin Reed.Kelly Drinnen. PhD Candidate. Worldviews Network Production Coordinator (California Academy of Sciences). January 28. Public Relations Manager. I think it's great!” . Save the Bay. Whale Entanglement Responder (National Marine Fisheries Service). Great writing. I appreciate that you condense ocean current events into good "sound bites" and provide ready-made content to share with whatever social media network I use. Marine Ecosystems and Society. NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries 112 . 2013 “Bringing people together! Sharing of ideas! Great content that is easily shareable (and fun to share).. ilovebluesea. and Special Rescue Operations Program Coordinator (The Marine Mammal Center) “Tide Report is the primary way I engage with Upwell.Heather Galindo. Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary “[Upwell] Saved me time by providing content that I could amplify to my community and translated complex science into simple social media messages.Claire Fackler.  National Education Liaison.com Vanessa Barrington.” -Kathi Koontz. Assistant Director of Science.” -Jill L Harris.

” . Ocean Conservancy Chris Eaton.“Keep doing what you're doing . and how we need to do a better job of matching messages to our audiences. with a lot of other items on my plate.” . Sailors for the Sea “Upwell has been inspirational as a model for more effective communication about ocean conservation.” . Conservation Biologist and Marine Debris Specialist. I don't work specifically in ocean or environmental issues). Advomatic “Upwell provides an unparalleled service that delivers strong messaging at the nexus of policy. 2013 113 . Social Entrepreneur Coordinator. Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) “I really like what you are doing . Upwell also opened my eyes to where people are at nationally with certain terms (MPAs). conservation. Digital Media & Advocacy Specialist.” -Elana Levin. You have raised the bar and highlighted the benefits that can be gained from great collaboration around messaging.it's so important.Hilary Wiech. It's quite the talent. Director of Strategy and Client Relations. the newsletter helped give me a sense of community and direction. and we don't realize how detrimental that can be to reaching broader conservation goals. Program Specialist/Online Communications Lead. NOAA's National Marine Protected Areas Center.keep up the great work! I do feel as a social media manager for a small organization. Program Analyst “[Upwell] Kept me thinking and learning things about an issue that I care about greatly but that isn't my core issue (I'm am acting here as an individual activist—I run a group that teaches online organizing.” .Julia Townsend.Nicholas Mallos. The environmental community in general can be so fragmented. science and humor.Lindsay Norcott. January 28.

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” what they are and how they’re calculated. an absence of personal connection. porpoises and whales—as There is no historical evidence that they did a result of direct hunting may have diminished not discuss Big Brother and Big Listening.Comparative Ocean Conversation Analytics Introduction “All ocean topics are equal. on an ongoing basis. who mobilize every time there is a dolphin hunt in Japan or elsewhere. or a dearth of opportunities around which to engage in discussion. please see the section of this report titled Methods: Big Listening). but online. and a topic that is at the center of a great many earnest and concerned discussions within the scientific and activist communities. among others. it may barely register. lack of awareness. significantly since commercial whaling was at [source] its peak. Conversely. Conservation NGOs have actively nurtured this constituency by placing wildlife as the centerpiece of repeated fundraising efforts. but some are more equal than others. The reasons for that may be multiple and compounding: lack of understanding. the Baseline level of discussion is significantly higher for cetaceans than for ocean acidification. early 1930s. and the opportunities for that conversation to experience spikes of interest are also greater (for an explanation of “Baselines. and for whom the entirely natural entrapment of several orcas by ice in Hudson Bay is a matter of international significance requiring the mobilization of a fleet of icebreakers. cetaceans—dolphins. To put it another way: a topic such as ocean acidification may be of profound importance from an ecological management perspective. Understanding the different scales of online conversations and monitoring what spikes a 115 . but there are a lot of people who really like dolphins. who care about them with a passion. the threats to most populations of George Orwell visits our client.” is what George Orwell might say in the unlikely circumstance that he were alive today and monitoring ocean discussions on the Internet. As a consequence of this and other factors.

consider that our data shows that over a sixmonth period in 2012. but even those spikes are but a fraction of the Baseline cetacean discussion. Many of us—individuals and organizations—have a tendency to live and campaign in a bubble. which are most likely to spike and why. ocean acidification’s 70.”10 Yes. That’s 136 times more Kardashian!11 In this section. and to be disproportionately pleased with perceived increases in our reach and influence. and what we can learn from these findings.com/ http:/ /www.033 total online mentions compared far from favorably Ocean Kardashification: a frame worth konsidering? to the 9.thefilterbubble. to be focused on our particular area. big-picture means of measuring the size and evolution of online conversations.upwell. it’s great if discussion of ocean acidification spikes ten-fold. we examine which ocean conversations have been the most popular. 10 11 http:/ /www. one that is able to place those conversations in context. campaigner or communicator’s intuition about which subjects or frames are more popular.us/ocean-acidification-vs-kardashians-part-deux-gulf-even-wider-online 116 . It is not a replacement for a program officer. The value of Big Listening is that it provides a quantitative.conversation is what we call Big Listening. And for a genuine reality-check.6 million mentions of the Kardashian family. but it does provide a significant new quantitative input to inform their work. Our personal filters are further compounded by the increasing personalization of online services—an effect Eli Pariser has dubbed “the filter bubble.

those other uses can distort the apparent size of the discussion. the word “ocean” is itself so widely used that. Cetaceans and Sharks.Which Ocean Topics Have the Most Baseline Volume? 90000 80000 70000 60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sustainable Seafood Tuna Ocean Sat MPAs Overfishing Sharks Ocean Acidification Gulf of Mexico Cetaceans Social mention Baselines for Upwell’s primary ocean topics Perhaps not surprisingly. 117 . The next two largest of our topics. also demonstrate comparatively high Baselines when assessed against the others. the generic “oceans” conversation is orders of magnitude larger than the conversations for its constituent components. While to some extent this is the result of so many conversations being conducted under the “oceans” banner (more on that later). when we look at overall levels of conversational Baselines. without proper filtering.

Here we’ve altered the scale to focus in on the more specific conversations. and changing the y-axis scale yet again. the Tuna Baseline is significantly higher than the others. 118 . among these. Cetaceans and Sharks. Removing Tuna. brings the lowest volume conversations more into focus.8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat MPAs Ocean Acidification Sustainable Seafood Overfishing Gulf of Mexico Tuna A closer view of the lower-value Baselines for Upwell’s primary ocean topics—note the change in scale and the position of the “tuna” Baseline in this graph in comparison to the previous graph. The first thing that can be seen is that. excluding Oceans.

we can see substantial differences among our lowest-volume topics. MPAs has the lowest Baseline. 119 . Topics are sorted by average Baseline social mention volume.3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat MPAs Ocean Acidification Sustainable Seafood Overfishing Gulf of Mexico An even closer view of the lowest-value Baselines for Upwell’s primary ocean topics—note the change in scale and the position of the “Gulf of Mexico” Baseline in this graph in comparison to the prior versions. Here. finally. Ocean Acidification and Sustainable Seafood are basically tied for secondlowest (each exceeds the other for certain days of the week). The table below shows the individual day-of-the-week Baseline values for Upwell’s primary monitoring topics. smallest to largest. and Overfishing comes in about five times higher.

381 20.080 69.044 43.001 39.671 6.650 2.587 21.Daily Baseline Volumes by Topic Topic Average (Sun-Sat) 61 301 Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat MPAs Ocean Acidification Sustainable Seafood Overfishing Gulf of Mexico Tuna Sharks Cetaceans Ocean 42 255 59 296 67 310 67 326 80 357 73 313 44 253 320 218 329 381 379 364 354 213 1.663 40.384 7.193 40.496 78.935 20.416 1.531 42.565 2.354 76. a breakdown of some of the biggest spikes in attention.831 1.663 75.382 6.606 1.020 20.333 79.695 2. The summaries are presented in the following order: • Fishing and Seafood: Overfishing • Fishing and Seafood: Sustainable Seafood • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) • Oceans • Cetaceans • Sharks • Tuna • Gulf of Mexico • Ocean Acidification 120 .196 18.665 1.309 1.716 5. and an analysis of the overall conversational dynamics.649 2.971 36. For each topic we offer a graph of social mention volume over time.763 7.500 79.481 21.727 1.904 7.700 78.204 38.653 20937 41.262 1.816 What Does Big Listening Tell Us About Ocean Conversations? This section summarizes our insights into each of the primary conversations we monitor through Big Listening.628 2.670 7.970 7.530 1.703 74.763 2.907 18.647 1.

overfishing has become perhaps the leading issue on which ocean-themed NGOs focus their attention in various forms. the spike suggests that at least some of the ‘radioactive tuna’ attention touched on the impacts of overfishing on Pacific bluefin numbers. The two biggest drivers of the spike in attention were. MoveOn.716 [Antarctic Ocean (Day 10) and I Oyster NY]: An international. and with clear and simple animation. that effort marked a first serious attempt to bring attention to overfishing as an environmental and human concern. 2012: 14. Fish Tornado]: A number of significant stories combined to push this day to the highest spike of the year in the Overfishing conversation. “save the fish” just didn’t seem to have the same ring as some of Greenpeace’s other campaigns. 2012: 8. 2012: 7.704 [Gangnam Style. such as Sharks and Tuna (whose namesakes are overfished). While the spike in Overfishing was less than half the size of the spike in the Tuna conversation. 2012: 10. “Terrifying! Fifty years from now.Fishing and Seafood: Overfishing When Greenpeace International became arguably the first environmental NGO to institute a dedicated overfishing campaign in the mid-to-late 1980s. • May 29. Also contributing that day was the news that officials in the European Union 121 . a powerful four minutes of animation on the impacts of overfishing. internal organizational response was not entirely enthusiastic. it explained basic concepts powerfully and cleanly without hyperbole.” The video was successful because it was pithy. After all. of California completing an MPA network. including the news. • July 3. mentioned under MPAs. CA MPAs. Major Spikes Please refer to the Attention Impacts and Graphs section beginning on page 73 for annotated graphs of the Overfishing conversation and associated spikes. In the years since. bycatch and aquaculture on marine ecosystems. celebrity-backed campaign to stop industrial fishing in the Antarctic combined with a New York Times Op-Ed piece about oyster beds (An Oyster in the Storm) to drive this attention spike in Overfishing.org posted the video on its website and tweeted the link with the headline. and a Greenpeace “Gangnam Style” video which was embedded with overfishing campaign messages.871 [NU-3]: This is the same story that spiked on the same day in the Tuna conversation: the discovery of small levels of radioactivity in Pacific bluefin.   • December 19. and to address its underlying causes. the oceans will look nothing like they do today. Despite the humdrum slogan.751 [China Shark Fin Soup Ban]: The Brussels-based Ocean2012 organization released a video entitled “Ending Overfishing”. • October 29. Online discussion of the topic greatly exceeds that of the related Sustainable Seafood conversation. however. and of course frequently overlaps with more specific conversation topics. The other big contributor to this spike was the news that China intends to ban Shark Fin Soup from official state banquets. the remarkable image of a  “fish tornado” in a marine reserve off Mexico.

Bad news and charismatic species are chum to celebrities and campaigners. but they did present it in a way that felt fresh. with wonkish report subjects such as fisheries management and lackluster international conferences. Overfishing looks good on (video) camera. is a regular occurrence and could be anticipated as a recurring event (timed to Tsukiji fish market's first auction of the year) in an overfishing and tuna editorial calendar. The Overfishing conversation actually benefits. has instigated a number of attention events in overfishing through his work against shark-finning. compelling and hopeful. Bad news spikes high and fast online and then it goes away. in particular. and thus an impact. from an attention point of view. • January 5. Without questioning motives. Those videos didn’t shy away from the brutality or devastation involved. overfishing has charismatic ocean species such as sharks and bluefin who are in clear and present danger. salmon and lesser known but equally important fish. influencers who focus their audiences’ attention there can have a substantial effect in increasing attention (though their ability to sustain it is questionable). Danger is catnip to the internet. Whereas sustainable seafood suffers from a fragmented and cloudy brand identity (what is sustainable seafood. was able to single-handedly drive a spike with a single overfishing tweet. 2013: 8.76 M in Tokyo propelled this spike in attention. Analysis Collectively. and roughly twothirds that of our next biggest topic. Overfishing is becoming more spikey and the spikes are increasing in volume. the comic actor Jonah Hill. tuna. Intriguingly. anyway?). The topic encompasses a relatively broad conversational area. the Gulf of Mexico.917 [NU-5]: The record sale of a single bluefin tuna for $1. 122 . we do feel obligated to point out that both activists (like Greenpeace) and celebrity activists (like Richard Branson) tend to look for opportunities to make a splash. Another celebrity. The comparison with Sustainable Seafood is particularly interesting because the two topics are obviously intricately connected— the difference is how people talk about them. the spikes within Overfishing have been occurring more frequently since Upwell started monitoring (and campaigning on) the topic. Because the Overfishing conversation is relatively small. Sir Richard. overfishing represents a grab bag of ocean brands. from the ongoing damage that we are doing to our oceans and fisheries. Overfishing has about five times the Baseline volume of Sustainable Seafood.made very significant changes to the setting of fisheries quotas in the region—changes widely praised by environmentalists and fisheries managers. and one that has historically churned out quarterly bursts of dire news. The sale. which exceeded the record price set the previous year. Several spikes were driven by compelling overfishing video content. People are looking for solutions. The Overfishing conversation brings together species such as sharks.

you’re aiming for a seriously intense emotional response from your audience. Leonardo DiCaprio. and the creation of seafood guides such as the one produced by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In association with the summit’s launch. including WWF.093 [Vote4Stuff]: Upwell’s video submission to the star-studded Vote4Stuff campaign raised the profile of overfishing and sustainable seafood for a large online audience. tone and length are especially important considerations for videos of this nature.312 [NU-20]: An Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown in Vancouver and Thanksgiving sustainable seafood recipes combined (somewhat improbably) for the biggest Sustainable Seafood spike of the year. launched reports and posted blogs on proposals for enhancing the future sustainability of commercial fisheries. they are unlikely to want to expose their friends and coworkers to what is. Even if they finish watching. in technical terms. a total bummer. gradually helped make the notion of sustainable seafood a more widelyrecognized one. Production quality. The Campaigning. 123 . The video is the medium for that transmission. 2012: 1. it remains a quiet conversation online. Fishing and Seafood: Sustainable Seafood As recently as fifteen—perhaps even ten—years ago. This was a spike caused by a number of related stories. If your overfishing video is filled with bloody documentary footage of shark fins. • November 21. as well as the cumulative effect of a sustained flow of posts from conference live-tweeters employing a shared hashtag. 2012: 1. Both the Vote4Stuff campaign. promoted our video through official online channels to a potential audience of millions.030 [NU-18]: This marks the opening of the International Sustainable Seafood Summit in Hong Kong. aesthetics. • September 6. and its celebrity-co-founder.and for most videos to be shared they have to elicit an emotion from their viewers that the viewers want to share. The foundation of the Marine Stewardship Council in 1997. • October 4. while the concept is becoming increasingly well-established in consumer minds. several organizations. Major Spikes Please refer to the Attention Impacts and Graphs section beginning on page 73 for annotated graphs of the Sustainable Seafood conversation and associated spikes. Not until the mid-1990s did environmental organizations and educational institutes make a truly concerted effort to develop a consumer mindset for buying sustainably caught seafood. Collaboration and Powerful Amplifiers section of this report shares additional details and lessons that Upwell has learned from regular campaigning within the Overfishing conversation. Even so. 2012: 1. the very notion of sustainable seafood would likely have elicited universal blank stares.

the fragmentation of the Sustainable Seafood conversation means that it is more difficult to accurately capture it with keywords. Furthermore. or. Unlike Overfishing. is not as attention-generating as bad news. 124 . not in those terms. Good news for fisheries and consumers. People simply do not talk about the sustainable seafood that they ate last night. fraud. Ocean Acidification displays the same characteristic. the volume of the Sustainable Seafood conversation is only one fifth of that of the Overfishing conversation. and that a low volume doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t talking. which has regular media hooks through connections to Shark Week.   Analysis Sustainable Seafood is a low-volume conversation with low-level spikes. the overall brand of Sustainable Seafood is fragmented. McDonalds). For comparison. Collaboration and Powerful Amplifiers. “sustainable seafood” itself is not a term well-suited for short-form platforms like Twitter—it takes too many characters and is hard to use in a sentence that doesn’t read as dry. Taken as a whole. or a bridge campaign (many of them attributable to Upwell). 2013: 1065 [NU-24]: McDonald’s generated a series of spikes with its announcement that 100% of the fish served in franchises will be certified as sustainable by MSC. The food service industry has recognized this: one trade publication forecast growing demand for sustainable seafood even as it pointed out that consumers prefer the term “wild”—which obviously means something very different. awkward and wonky. And despite their obvious connections. it turns out. As we detail in Campaigning. One other notable burst of attention can be expected from the Sustainable Seafood Summit—although the resulting content hasn’t been particularly shareable with an audience beyond the conference’s attendees. the Sustainable Seafood conversation doesn’t generally translate into spikes from live events and or big news stories. Marine Protected Areas has a lower baseline than Sustainable Seafood but occasionally spikes higher than the Sustainable Seafood max.• January 24.276 [NU-23] and January 25. Where we do see spikes occur they are usually based in one of three elements: well-known brands promoting their sustainable offerings (Safeway. crucially. 2013: 1. dire report releases and celebrity activists.

that on an average day the MPA discussion stays firmly rooted in the wonkosphere with an average daily baseline of just 61 social mentions—the smallest of the ocean conversations Upwell monitors. 2012: 1. scientists and activists. and the debate over their correct use and application as part of broader marine environmental strategy is a vital one. Interestingly.Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Dec-11 Mar-12 Jun-12 Baseline MPAs Sep-12 Dec-12 The Baseline and major attention spikes for the MPA conversation To environmental planners. however. 125 . The announcement was given added juice by it being made on the eve of the Rio+20 conference. It is safe to say. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an essential and important component of ocean protection. Major Spikes • June 14. which has made the establishment of MPAs across the globe a major goal. one of the biggest drivers of the conversation came not directly from the Australian government but via a press release from the Pew Environment group.656: This was driven by news reports that Australia planned to establish the world’s largest network of MPAs around its coast.

along with the announcement that California had completed a comprehensive network of marine protected areas that had been years in the making.org calling on CCAMLR to “save the Antarctic Ocean” by establishing the world’s largest network of MPAs. The conversational fragmentation of MPAs is similar to that of Sustainable Seafood in that each topic is discussed. • December 19. or growing. One element that contributes to the remarkably low general discussion of MPAs is terminology. in terms of the physical manifestation (the food. as has news of the creation of other protected areas elsewhere in the world. MPA sounds more wonky than marine reserves. MPA announcements coming out of Australia have generated significant spikes. and MPAs all have very specific meanings from a management perspective. Although marine reserves. but on news stories that are picked up. When MPA news does jump outside of the MPA-specific audience it can lead to extremely significant spikes. their use can be confusing even to those within the community. Especially popular are stories about MPAs that are working. product or place) that a person interacts with. They are based not on any online activity or petitions. marine sanctuaries. shared. 126 . When MPA spikes occur. 2012: 2. and it seems likely that at least some MPA discussion is taking place without the term being utilized. The MPA conversation is also notable for its international elements.425: An incredible image of a “fish tornado” taken in Cabo Pulmo National Park drove this spike.131: This series of four sustained spikes was led by a massive petition drive led by AVAAZ. Those stories are good news: MPAs have been established. quoted and retweeted. complete. 2012: 3.• October 21. we can generally say two things: 1. 2.065 through October 24. outside of the policy world. MPA spikes have a demonstrated ability to go much much higher than the MPA Baseline would suggest. This characteristic of the MPA conversation is another reason why we suspect that issues with language framing and terminology may be tamping down the volume of Baseline conversation. linked to. Analysis There is no ongoing volume of online discussion of MPAs that reflects their policy importance within the NGO community. 2012: 6.

• April 12. the spike was all about the right kind of ocean: the Indian Ocean. 2012: 159. a tsunami warning in the Indian Ocean. In this case the acronym for the games. and is integral to so many human activities—from seafaring to beachgoing—that filtering out such outliers to focus in on conversations relating to the marine environment can be tricky and time-consuming.883: The biggest Oceans story of the day was the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games being held in Jakarta. This spike demonstrates the limitations of language filters.7 127 . But it encompasses such a wide area. as our Radian6 keyword groups are generally set to return only English language items.472: In this case. following an 8. and into which all other conversations should ideally fit. and spikes can be misleading. Major Spikes • November 10.” is in English so those mentions made it through. “SEA.Oceans 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0 Oct-11 Jan-12 Apr-12 Baseline Jul-12 Ocean Oct-12 Jan-13 The Baseline and major attention spikes for the Oceans conversation The ocean is of course the meta-conversation in which we are interested. Specifically. Add in the likes of Ocean Spray and Frank Ocean. 2011: 159.

with such a broad topic. Superstorm Sandy was wreaking havoc along much of the midAtlantic coast.earthquake off Indonesia. even when the conversations are sufficiently filtered that they only refer to the ocean itself. Maryland. and was the dominant topic for online ocean conversations. although we are exploring whether seasonal periodicity might manifest itself as in the summer months of 2012. 2012: peak value 226. that by itself tracking the “ocean” conversation does not give an especially accurate view of the level of online engagement on ocean issues. However. a number of major events can be responsible for a sudden spike. • October 28-30. rather than humanity’s impact on the ocean. the ocean affects so many areas of life. it is necessary to filter out a wide number of similar terms.284: This spike series was caused by concerns over the ocean’s impact. This topic provides a sense of comparative scale but not much else. and with very good cause. Again. and to impacts on Ocean City. 128 . this is an example of how. and in particular is the source of so many storms and other events. Analysis Some conversations are so broad that in order to derive meaningful insight from them. Specific ocean mentions referred to the storm heading to land from the Atlantic. During this period.

This spike highlights two things: even in an age of new media. Major Spikes • July 5.146: During a time—the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)—when NGOs and journalists pay extra attention to whales and whaling. Cetaceans is one of the largest conversations we monitor. 2012: 66. The primary inhabitants of the Cetaceans topic—dophins and whales—each have a number of linguistic doppelgängers (Miami Dolphins. Carefully crafted keywords with ample exclusions are therefore crucial to emerging from Cetaceans monitoring with signal instead of noise. announcements that are made in the physical presence of members of old media are at an advantage. South Korea announced on this day that it intended to conduct ‘scientific’ whaling.Cetaceans 80000 70000 60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 May-12 Aug-12 Baseline Cetaceans Nov-12 The Baseline and major attention spikes for the Cetaceans conversation Second only to Oceans. and in an age 129 . for example) who threaten to obscure their online mentions with irrelevant chatter.

2012: 66. On this day. in real time. after shifting winds broke open a channel in the ice. People like whales and dolphins. The whales apparently swam free late on the 11th. This demonstrates that even relatively old posts can be given new life. a tactic that we have employed in several of our attention campaigns. • December 3. even when it was wasn’t the main driver. Analysis A few things stand out from these figures.’ The Sundance story was not new. ‘The effects of confinement on captive cetaceans. as the blog post acknowledged. Taiji was a consistent element in every spike. Peak value: 83. which was published on November 6.although interestingly. it had been detailed in a book chapter in 2010. • November 9. Canadian media spread the story and it was soon picked up online. The conversation began to exceed the Baseline in the first third of the year and was consistently above it thereafter. a pod of orcas trapped by ice in Canada’s Hudson Bay.366: Perhaps the largest single ongoing driver of the online cetacean conversation is the dolphin hunt in Taiji. The conversation was driven by many calling for icebreakers to come and rescue the whales. against an activity—any activity.tv—that streamed the hunt and was linked to an astonishing 51.000 times. the notion of another country joining the hunt is jarring and generates attention. Spikes are driven particularly by live. But the post. 2012: 69.682: This is another example of a live event causing a spike in online discussion: in this case. The first report of the orcas came on January 9. after they were spotted by a hunter from the Inuit village of Inukjuak in Quebec. A lot. The cetacean conversation remains at a high level relative to other ocean discussions. but especially something as emotive as the killing of dolphins—is a huge driver. It seems likely that ongoing reports from the Taiji dolphin hunt were largely responsible for this. This highlights the power of immediacy on the Internet: the ability to vicariously observe and protest. ongoing events . the conversation was dominated by Sea Shepherd providing live tweets of a hunt. a natural event (ice-entrapped whales) and the prospect of rescuing them created an even bigger spike than dolphin hunts in Taiji. gave it new life.com—detailed the death of a captive bottlenose dolphin called Sundance. and was headlined. Japan. 130 . and by a livestreaming site— ezearth. • January 9-10 2013.where whaling has long been on the retreat.602: A post on a relatively obscure blog—suite101. particularly after it was tweeted by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on the 9th. of which the prime and most retweeted example was a post by Virgin founder Richard Branson.

Major Spikes • August 1. 2012. Sharks are among the most charismatic marine animals.Sharks 800000 700000 600000 500000 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 Oct-11 Jan-12 Apr-12 Baseline Jul-12 Sharks Oct-12 Jan-13 The Baseline and major attention spikes for the shark conversation. 2011. and August 12-13. The size of the Baseline conversation. July 31. There is simply no other single event that consistently raises the level of discussion of any oceanrelated topic the way that Shark Week does. along with whales and dolphins. Sharks. 2011: 52. wordof-mouth. peak value 764. about “Sharks on a Plane: The Movie. to some extent like oceans. however.” The links to the column are now dead. • May 12.858: These spikes all represent the beginning of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Note the huge spikes for Discovery Channel's Shark Week. is obscured in most graphs by the immensity of the spikes that result because of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. and by anticipation of an annual event. 131 . driven by advertising. 2010. increasingly by social media.196: This spike appears to have been largely driven by a Roger Ebert column. which he tweeted and which was widely retweeted.

” instead. The shark conservation community has become more engaged over time (see: Upwell’s Shark Week campaigns) but isn't yet responsible for a big portion of the overall volume. the scale of the increase is impressive. Shark Week is a bona fide. the spike was immense. The Shark Week spikes are also growing. as we prefer to call them—are also a guaranteed attention-getter. which enables us to show more clearly three particular elements. somewhat bizarre. as is the almost inevitable reactionary response from revengeminded humans. Discovery Channel. with the help of shark enthusiasts. and specifically a popular meme that spread rapidly online. The other major spikes are. Shark Week is making sharks more famous on the internet. but even so. The trend line for the shark discussion is growing. it is one of the larger discussions on ocean topics that we have baselined. be it at the beach. “Sharks in New Jersey. few things are more likely to provoke attention than sharks in close proximity. Shark attacks—or shark accidents. the data suggests that Shark Week is proving effective at not only spiking the Sharks conversation.420: Not “sharks on a plane” this time. but in lifting it consistently over a longer period. This spike coincided with the the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. although it is hidden somewhat by the longer scale and the enormity of the biggest spikes. Yes. • October 29. Indeed. more people are using social media now than in 2010. of photoshopped impact photos. on the one hand. has successfully invested in a robust social media content strategy that piggybacks on sustained TV and online promotion. It is basically the Super Bowl of the ocean when it comes to online attention. Combined with the increasing Sharks Baseline. on a plane. shared and retweeted by overlycredulous netizens. 132 . but representative of the fact that sharks are still widely perceived in a negative and predatory light. in New Jersey or. A significant subset of this meme was photoshopped images of sharks swimming in flooded urban and suburban streets in New Jersey and New York. Analysis The graph above looks at a longer time scale than the others. real world event. in 2012. heaven forbid. see the Methods: Campaigning section of this report.have the kind of profile that can result in spikes that are not associated with conservation messages. For a case study of Upwell’s Shark Week campaign efforts. 2012: 154.

“tuna” in an environmental context mostly refers to bluefin. and the development of the ‘Dolphin-Safe’ label.431: This is a classic tuna-as-seafood story—a fish processor recalled yellowfin tuna after an outbreak of salmonella affected over 10 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia. and the element of that food that is most likely to engage them in conversation is the way in which it relates to human health. and online discussions are as likely to refer to issues related to that as much as to environmental concerns. 133 . This is an example of two key elements when tracking discussion of any fish or fishery: the majority of people are more likely to relate to fish as food than as wildlife.Tuna 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 Feb-12 May-12 Baseline Aug-12 Tuna Nov-12 The Baseline and major attention spikes for the Tuna conversation In the 1980s and 1990s. the impacts of purse-seining on dolphins. however. 2012: 11. Major Spikes • April 16. tuna conversation in an environmental context was mostly focused on yellowfin. In this decade. it refers simply to a piece of seafood. as some of these spikes reflect. For many people.

2012: Peak value: 24. 2013: 12. 2012: 20. almost 2 million dollars! Pacific bluefin decreased by 96 percent! The math is on the wall. The prospect of poisoning from salmonella or radioactivity provided two of the biggest spikes. • September 11. Pushes by Greenpeace and the Pew Environment group appear to have been particularly effective in moving this dial. 134 .• May 29 . Big figures are good for attention (even when the implications of those figures are very very bad).267: This was a pretty big story. 2013: 14.199: Two completely unrelated events appear to have put tuna in the news on consecutive days. suggesting illegal catches of bluefin could be higher than realized. Conservation messages that were propagated at this time were rather rudimentary.76 million.898: Another human health story. it prompted an online freakout about glow-in-the-dark fish. • October 31. • January 5. Multiple news stories were shared and retweeted.30. most people still regard tuna primarily as food. Three of the Tuna spikes are the result of concerted efforts by NGOs—WWF. On the 31st. and Pew—to find ways to push stories that otherwise might not have been noticed. 2012 . the most interesting aspect was confirmation of tuna migration patterns. Upwell ran a campaign to amplify attention to this statistic. Pew jumped on a dense scientific study that was uploaded at 2AM ET. Greenpeace.942: This does seem to be an environmental spike.November 1. TMZ revealed that an X Factor contestant had been hospitalized for eating bad tuna. For researchers. The radioactive Fukushima tuna story was propelled by a sensational ready-made headline but originally emerged from a journal article in PLoS ONE. prompted by publication of a research paper that found tiny amounts of radioactivity in tuna off the US west coast that had migrated from off the coast of Japan at the time of the Fukushima disaster. for consumers. Most amount ever paid for a tuna. emphasizing that they are getting more expensive because they are more rare. It is hard to imagine that there is any form of contamination—even including mercury or lead— that is more likely to lead to discussion and concern than radiation. 2012: Peak value: 23. and one solely resulting from an effort by Pew Environment Group. and a back door into conservation discussion: a world record price for a bluefin tuna that was sold at a Tokyo fish auction for $1. and revealing that they found that the Pacific bluefin tuna population had been reduced by 96.4 percent. and in the spikes. Analysis Despite ongoing efforts to encourage consumers to see tuna as impressive wild animals. As this story continued on the following day. • January 15. spent a day excerpting the key facts and translating them into comprehensible language. The driver this time: an IUCN report that global tuna stocks are reaching the limits of sustainability. WWF announced that it had discovered illegal shipments of tuna through Panama.684: This was a purely conservation discussion.

As can be seen from the above. Major Spikes • August 26 .718: This conversation was all about tropical Storm Isaac. At the same time. it is an ongoing topic of online conversation on a low level. and declined thereafter. • November 15. peaked as it made landfall on the 28th. but two substantial spikes elevated it significantly above its Baseline.Gulf of Mexico 60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 Mar-12 Jun-12 Baseline Sep-12 Gulf of Mexico Dec-12 The Baseline and major attention spikes for the Gulf of Mexico conversation While of regional import. 2012: Peak value: 62. BP admitted to felonies in the lead-up to the 2010 135 . Note how conversation gathered pace as the storm headed toward shore. 2012: Peak value: 28. caused the evacuation of oil rigs in the Gulf and briefly raised concerns that it might be of similar size and track to Katrina.478: This short-lived spike was driven by a fire on an oil platform in the Gulf. which disrupted travel. the Gulf of Mexico rarely registers as a topic of national conversation outside of major events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.29.

the Internet loves live events. As noted before. Both these conversations tracked events that were unfolding in real-time: a gathering storm. As mentioned. it is mainly for one of two reasons: An oil rig accident or similar news story related to Deepwater Horizon. the question of whether the accident could spiral out of control to be a Deepwater Horizon redux. the conversation dropped off rapidly once it became clear that the danger had passed. memories of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. and in the oil rig fire. the Gulf of Mexico is rarely a subject of online conversation. That was the case in 2012. Analysis There are three things that stand out here. Both these events gained strength from what had gone before: in the case of Tropical Isaac.Deepwater Horizon fire. In each case. When it is. 136 . and an oil rig fire. or a big tropical storm or hurricane. The spike ended when the fire was extinguished. and agreed to pay record fines.

and specifically an AP article in which NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco called OA both “osteoporosis of the sea” and “climate change’s equally evil twin. a major story breaks through and the spotlight briefly shines on acidifying oceans. 2012: Peak value: 2. it is predicted to result in deterioration of shellfish shells. coral reefs. partly as a result. however. it is to Lubchenco’s credit that she took advantage of that opportunity with such memorable phrases. the background ocean acidification conversation has yet to really register. but with an extraordinarily unsexy name.Ocean Acidification 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 May-12 Aug-12 Baseline Acidification Nov-12 The Baseline and major attention spikes for the ocean acidification conversation. a result of increased levels of CO2 in the ocean. Ocean acidification (OA) is an issue that has been garnering increasing attention from researchers. among many other changes. Occasionally.” The existence of the conference conditioned the climate for the interview to take place. OA is a high impact issue. Major Spikes • July 9 . and the skeletons of plankton.970: These two spikes resulted from the opening of the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) in Australia.10. 137 . activists and managers in the marine conservation community.

• November 25 . Analysis While OA may not yet resonate widely. the complexities of which should not be underestimated. at which point supporters of OA action would be well-advised to have an preexisting plan in place for how to talk about it in connection to it’s equally evil twin. and they’re dissolving now. California September 24-27. Bridging the community concerned with OA to the community concerned with climate change is a huge opportunity. Our data suggests that Ocean Acidification is a likely candidate to “jump” Baselines (meaning: spike values would exceed Baseline levels for higher-volume ocean conversations). among others. and on November 27 was joined by Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire ordering state agencies to take initial steps to combat ocean acidification. This continued the following day. but a pair in succession. it has the elements that could enable it to. The first stemmed from a study showing that some of the worst predicted effects of ocean acidification were already taking place.• October 1. easy-to-understand notions. 138 . 2012: 1. which had taken place in Monterey.775: After several days of OA interest resulting from the “Oceans in a High CO2 World” conference. It should nonetheless be noted that even the spikes are low compared to the Baseline conversations of Cetaceans and Sharks.105: This wasn’t one long spike. and doing so now. The first was fueled by powerful catchphrases that boiled down complex science into two simple. and the second did not dwell on theoretical possibilities or timelines for change but instead was able to say categorically: sea snails are dissolving.’ The article was linked to 582 times on Twitter alone. 2012: Peak value: 3. following the publication of a report by a blue-ribbon panel that generated national press coverage. the issue reached its peak spike for the week with the publication of a Washington Post story entitled ‘Ocean Acidification Emerges as new Climate Threat. is powerful. but one that carries significant strategic choices. The notion that we’re effecting such demonstrable change. as is shown by the year’s two biggest spikes. This subject has a long way to go before it becomes a conversation in which a large segment of the community is truly engaged.28. with shells of sea snails in the Antarctic showing signs of dissolving.

It’s as if you were buying a car and the dealer would only tell you the model and year. hands-on. Indeed. first. but not whether it had air-conditioning or seatbelts. The social media strategy firm Communicopia identified four primary forms for digital teams within mid-to-large-size 139 . Upwell has intentionally cross-trained campaign and listening roles so that this integration between listening and intervention is as efficient as possible. they must understand the dynamic and nonlinear nature of the system they are trying to study. yet surprisingly primitive. are actually a rare field in which forecasts have been substantially improving. requires significant human skill and intuition to. In his recent book. While it is technically possible to conduct retrospective unpacking of a topic. and Upwell has done it in the past. Presence is the difference between watching a baseball game and reconstructing it through the box score. and can dress up ambiguity to look like certainty. Regular Big Listening to a given conversation is essential for building an analyst’s awareness of the conversational dynamics at play. ‘Weather’ forecasting of the social web is a nascent practice. Moreover. a senior forecaster at the National Weather Service. Team Structure While the Upwell model is unique. practice. similarly. don’t understand context. Moreover. Hoke describes the comfort with complexity necessary to forecast weather. need to be able to think visually and abstractly while at the same time being able to sort through the abundance of information the computer provides them with. The tech tools we use for Big Listening are incredibly powerful. the service providers packaging the various firehoses of social data offer surprisingly little information about the exact conditions and sources of the data to which they’re selling access.Insights: Big Listening Big Listening as Practice “The best forecasters. celebrated stats wonk Nate Silver interviews Jim Hoke. there are some analogues to the team structure we evolved within the digital teams of other innovative nonprofits.” Weather forecasts. second. The Signal and the Noise. Big Listening. it is much more efficient to listen on an ongoing basis. to use the resulting information to identify opportunities for a campaign to spike a given conversation. despite being in an industry that is fundamentally data-driven. This comes not from any computer readout but from regular.) Algorithms misread emotions. contrary to most people’s assumptions. Hoke [explains]. develop robust conversational descriptors (keywords) and. (These tools are detailed later in this section.

and cross-training in Big Listening. We supplement our personal suite of tools and practices (our “systems”) with shared Upwell systems (such as Radian6).”12 Communicopia ‘hybrid’ governance model for digital teams.organizations (50.    Personal Listening Systems [human and machine-assisted] Shared Listening Systems [machine-assisted and human-network-assisted] + 12 http:/ /www. attention campaigning and network-strengthening allows us to recreate that integrated core team through our shared foundational expertise. and connect the dots while supporting others to lead. In the Upwell context. Each member of the Upwell team draws on a variety of tools and practices—some shared. distributed network. some personalized—to generate immediately actionable insight into each day’s online events. each of our team members may also be thought of as our own department (according to our primary role). Listening Systems Our structure intentionally underpins the process for doing Big Listening. and praised what they called the “hybrid model” in which “the most progressive organizations are learning to be like the web—they distribute digital staff across key departments. [Source] Our own structure.ssireview. with a core group of experts that lead key initiatives. while much smaller. replaces the hybrid model’s internal departments with an informal.org/blog/entry/four_models_for_organizing_digital_work_part_two 140 .000+ members). set up frameworks.

Technology-aided curation services such as Paper. used by our network to give us a heads up • The Upwell Firehose: a Tumblr blog that the Upwell team posts to as a kind of shared scrapbook for notable ocean news and content • @Upwell_us tweet Stream: The Twitter posts generated by all of the accounts Upwell follows • @Upwell_us Twitter Lists: Twitter posts generated by accounts Upwell follows. We use the tips@upwell. Our scrum allows us to leverage our machine-assisted systems by adding another humancurated sort on the news of the day. then we should probably find a better thing to amplify or campaign on. but our group conversations allow us to take a number of sophisticated and 141 . we go through the queue of ocean content complied by all team members and each person pitches the items they’ve flagged for campaign consideration. Ocean Acidification) Personal listening systems are as varied as our six team members but. We use technology to aid the news gathering. they are both robust and redundant. analytics and queuing processes. Our varied interests set an initial bar for a sort of ‘necessary interestingness’ that an item must meet to be turned into an Upwell campaign. Before Team Upwell assembles for our morning meeting. morning scrum). we have each gone through our own listening systems and noted the best stuff to share with the group (this could be referred to as our practice). sorted into topical lists (e. taken together. The full set of strategy screens that we to evaluate opportunities use is detailed in the Methods: Campaigning section. Ocean Science!. the competition is fierce but collaborative. Sharks.us email and the Upwell Firehose Tumblr account to act as holding tanks for our discussion later that morning. to serve up a buffet of news stories and ocean-related content for consideration as potential campaign opportunities. Spundge and Netvibes are just a sample of the tools that we use in our individual systems. (This process is detailed further in the Methods: Campaigning section of this report.+ = Morning Meeting [humans in conversation] Big Listening Our main shared listening systems are as follows: • Radian6: an enterprise-class software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for scraping and analyzing online data from across the social web • Topsy (free and Pro versions): a Twitter-focused SaaS analytics platform • tips@upwell.a. Much like in a newspaper editorial meeting.li.) During our morning meeting (a. as well as their personal and professional networks.us: Our community tip line.k. If we can’t make every person on our team see why they should share something with their friends.g. Each system draws upon that individual’s unique portfolio of interests.

she spends 15-20 minutes looking at messages from tips@upwell. Ray closes down her listening tools for the night.us. and is decidedly offline during her commute. newsworthy items usually aren’t posted in the evening. reading emails from her personal ocean network. Upwell has evolved a process of leveraging the unique individual listening skills and interests of every single member of the team. she can’t check TweetDeck.” so that content will hit her inbox moments after it is published. and scanning her personal Oceans! Twitter list.” “marine protected areas. if she is on her iPhone. she emails the story to tips@upwell. She also has a column for folks in Upwell’s Network. as an example of just one of six diverse patterns of personal listening on the Upwell team. Ray Dearborn’s personal listening system is profiled here.not easily algorithmable sorting filters into account. she’ll check her copy of the email digest from the Paper. Ray wakes up between 6:45-7:30 AM. In TweetDeck.us. Her Google Alerts include “sustainable seafood. Within half an hour of waking.us emails within minutes or hours of their arrival. The alerts are set to include all results. reviewing her Google Alerts. and email constantly throughout the day.” “overfishing. Once she arrives.” journalists who write regularly about marine conservation issues. Is there a compelling action we can pair with this? Are we getting too sharky? Does that guy usually publish sensationalized takes on good science? Is that underwater cow photo really LOL funny? You can’t machine sort for cool. and focusing that robust listening effort into a morning editorial meeting where the day’s campaign priorities are set in a collaborative conversation. which is reviewed at the morning Tide Report meeting. It lays out the kinds of content being shared that day: top news. in case they include breaking news that can be the focus of an attention campaign that day.” “overfishing. Because Upwell is mostly focused on United States-based news. she adds it directly to the Upwell Tumblr. 142 . so we Mechanical Turk it with our own team of in house cool-sorters. and rides home along the Bay. she checks her “sustainable seafood. Ray bikes or rides her scooter to work. Other team members add most of what comes into the tips email into the Tumblr. Google Alerts. A Profile in Listening How do you listen to your issue? Over time. but she will review her Google Alerts and tips@upwell.” “bluefin tuna.li of Upwell’s Twitter feed.” “sharks. or. videos. Because Upwell’s staff is small. and to deliver news “as-ithappens. When she finds content that she feels is Tide Report-worthy. so once the office day is over at 6 PM.” and “shark fin” columns. and photos. and bloggers and journalists who Upwell has relationships with.

The fight over personal privacy isn’t going away. The big question. That said. combined with growing movements for transparency in both public and private data. These advancements will dramatically improve contextual and sentiment analysis for listening tools. The question—and this is big for Upwell—is what does saying something online have to do with past. identified by Tom Webster of Edison Research. Divergent Functions. and applying what is learned. These include: New Firehoses. The shift to digital-first ad buys and PR plays will bring new pressures on firehose providers and packagers to reveal more information about the data they’re selling. Big Data is already giving rise to a host of new companies that are positioning themselves to help organizations draw insights from the data deluge. Paine has helped the PR industry to develop a transparency standard that may force the issue. but certainly in the sense of improved algorithms and machine-learning. Buyer Beware. will continue to open new sources of information for aggregation. One avenue. Ok. Privacy Fights. Smarter Robots. Even with the bestest of super supercomputers. or can’t afford. the National Weather Service has found that skilled humans improve computer-only weather forecasts by double-digits. The internet presents no shortage of people who will give you their opinion on anything. identifying more complex patterns.How Might We Big Listen in the Future? While the context for Big Listening is constantly shifting. perhaps not robots in the I. as it relates to Big Listening. simply can’t. to access. we believe that current trends point to some likely future developments.D. Correspondingly. Upwell advisor K. present or future behaviors? We theorize that it says quite a lot (in a small but significant way). but neither is rampant data collection. is whether new consumer protections or heightened objections to privacy intrusions will lead to more walled gardens of data for which third-parties (like the services we use to measure conversations from afar). The rise of cloud-based services. if civil society wants these tools to support noncommercial uses then funders and larger-budget organizations must make their presence felt in the marketplace—either by supporting open-source alternatives or by becoming valued clients for providers. Robot sense.” “competitor” or “industry” does not natively (or intuitively) support facilitate Big Listening. This trend is likely to continue. smart humans will still be crucial for training our robot helpers. connection and analysis. a tool designed to categorize every topic as a “brand. is to target 143 . As we have seen firsthand with Radian6. but far more research is necessary to expand knowledge in this area. Social Science Catches Up to Social Media.

While we at Upwell may have developed unique methodology. Some of these markets will inevitably be based. there will only be more and more visual data. it would be pretty interesting if more funders copied Ted Waitt and the Waitt Foundation and seeded similarly open. Big Listening and attention campaigning across a distributed network (see Insights: Campaigning. More Upwellings. Spike Marketplaces. on performance. As mobile devices continue their march across the world. or a FemCast for the women's movement. expressed: Thinking bigger.com/longitudinal-social-media-monitoring/ 144 . movements. Has your favorite YouTube star talked (or cooked.13 More Visuals. or sung) about your issue lately? They will—if you pay them. Collaboration and Powerful Amplifiers) work because they’re grounded in a networked view of an increasingly connected world.follow-up social science research toward a subset of people who express a particular opinion. Big Listening is a rational approach to learning from and responding to the world we now live in. companies or campaigns from carrying out similar approaches. filtering and identifying all those cat photos and videos—because they’ll have to. brand-agnostic listening and campaigning hubs for other issues. or danced. We like pictures. Co-Founder of Personal Democracy Forum. there is nothing to stop (and actually much to encourage) other causes. As Micah Sifry. or incentivized. or participate in a particular conversation online. New markets for creators to get paid for creating content around brands or issues will arise to help companies and organizations earn attention in an increasingly noisy playing field. Imagine an OpenWell for the transparency movement. organizations. Search and listening tools will get better at comparing. or a UpStrike for labor. [source] 13 http:/ /brandsavant. Entire sectors of the advocacy arena might be transformed in the process. Because [insert your thing here] is too valuable to be left to chance.

Topsy (both free and Pro versions) and SharedCount to track a particular type of online • Influencer analysis metric that we call “social mentions” (described • Sentiment analysis earlier in the Theory of Change and Context for • Which data sources? our Work section). • Favored API partners gaps and limitations.) using different algorithms and search methods. methods. Our meta-analysis of • Full data or samples? conversations combines the data we gather • Source disclosure through these three services with our in-depth • Collaboration and syncing understanding of each tool’s strengths. • Handling of inclusions/ exclusions Upwell uses text-scraping tools including • Source filters Radian6. selecting a particular Big Listening Tool Evaluation tool (or combination of tools) for a particular • What does it count? search has significant bearing on how • Boolean search? comprehensive search results may be.g. Twitter. etc. Facebook. blogs. particular types of websites. Tumblr. 145 . Often the same search query in two different services returns different results because of those variations. For this reason.Considerations for Tool Choice Each of the various free and paid online search and online monitoring services scans different platforms (e.

powerful news hooks for every day that week. We’ve organized our biggest campaigning insights into a few broad categories: • Driving More Social Mentions (Campaigning Insights and Best Practices) • Collaboration the Distributed Network Way • Digital Team Structure and Process • Powerful Amplifiers for Ocean Content Driving Social Mentions Campaigning Insights and Best Practices You can’t predict what will go viral. and provide value to their work. and those conversations may only last two days. think of unique. bring them into your network. to build relationships with influencers in that community. but the half-life of news online is shorter than it used to be. This isn’t just writing a message that you think will resonate with another community. tops. and even top stories only generate social mentions for a couple days (unless it’s a massive storm or other environmental disaster).Campaigning. we’ve measured and learned innumerable things. because not every effort will stick. That may require trying 10 things per day. Timeliness and a hook are still really important. and don’t feel that you are immune to the public’s attention deficit. it’s impossible to define. movements and communities to make your message go farther. As much as we’d like to try to pin down the recipe for viral content. Collaboration and Powerful Amplifiers In nine months of running nearly 200 attention campaigns. Think about return on investment. by hand. This is true for news that organizations create as well. Pay attention to ROI on campaigns. It’s also reaching out. If you want to have a conversation that is a week long. Many organizations spend months and thousands of dollars investing in creating big conversations online. Most spikes last only a few hours. The half life of news in our own brains (particularly ocean news in ocean brains) is much different than the measurable attention it gets online. Bridge conversations. 146 .

Often. Links can be provided for context. Find your issue’s Super Bowl by digging into data. get shared. Think about the whole viewing and sharing experience. Keep it simple. but the actual piece of shared content should include no more than one or two topline messages. The Facebook post included a link for background. join the conversation. If something in your issue area is spiking. Curating and sharing good content is only half the battle.Identify opportunities based on Big Listening. For example. Campaigning questions that Big Listening data can help to answer include: What gets people talking the most? What spikes a conversation. the stickier. in the image below. Is it 147 . or a visible image that grabs attention. and how can things be replicated? Under what circumstances do conversation spikes last more than one day? Use simple messaging. we could have explained the processes behind ocean acidification. topline message. Even the best content needs attractive packaging—an enticing headline that poses a question or cliffhanger. (For instance. but instead. scientists and advocacy groups in the ocean conservation sector want to provide too much background information. This is a broad communications practice. The content also has to be optimized for the platform it’s being shared on. square images display better on Facebook). we focused on one simple. Follow your content through the whole experience. Good content won’t get shared by your followers and fans unless it appears compelling enough for them to click. or summarized the study that had just come out that looked at dissolving snail shells. but applies even more to online communications. The simpler the message.

and is it easy for them to do that? Upworthy has been experimenting heavily with the power of headlines: they write 25 headlines before settling on one. Be strategically opportunistic. In both those cases. Upwell was able to respond quickly to dispel myths during the immediate aftermath of superstorm Sandy. Upwell responded quickly by releasing this image. We were told early on that the type of coral depicted in the image was a 148 .attractive and interesting? Will people want to click? Once they click. Focusing in on New York and the soda ban made this message about shark fin soup more strategic. Choose conversations. avoid the spread of misinformation. Monitor online conversations. Pick the right channels for your content and focus in on those. Upwell’s social media monitoring capacity allows us to correct mistakes. you can be more effective. Be poised for rapid response. By narrowing in. will they want to share. When deep sea corals were discovered on Shell’s Arctic drill site. and also provided rapid response when Google previewed their ocean acidification video. sending out an incorrect link on Twitter. issues and regions. Narrow in. and switch gears when necessary to assemble a response. Upwell employs a similar method at many stages of the creative process. Getting your message out while people are still talking about an event is more important than making sure everything is perfect. and respond quickly to growing conversations. we were able to provide a valuable service to our community because of our monitoring efforts.

14 We have seen the same truth emerge around communications of other global environmental problems. have a lack of clear knowledge. and allows for them to engage in a way that feels comfortable to them. referenced in Living in Denial. The obvious photoshopping of the image lends it a scrappy feeling. 1999.org/handle/10207/5662 Original source. J. people are frustrated. feel that causes are irreversible and there is no solution. and not a single person called out the wrong species of coral in the Facebook comments (though a few friends in the coral science world did send us emails). 2006http:/ /woods. No one cares that it looks photoshopped. it spread rapidly. Providing pathways to action overcomes people’s feelings of desperation and helplessness. But if every piece of content you post includes a link to a petition or asks your supporters to make a phone call to their elected officials. 14 Immerwahr. Pair content with asks. you will wear out your audience quickly. This image got thousands of shares.shallow reef coral.stanford. concurrent with the news about the coral discovery. and—surprise—most people were interested in the news and the message.http:/ /www.pdf 149 . more focused on the message than accuracy. not the species discovered on the drill site. like overfishing. This provides a menu of options for your fans and followers. KROSNICK ET AL. Also. Because we were able to release it quickly. Several studies on public perceptions of climate change have noted that. Alternate between small asks (“like or share this image”). medium asks (“download the Seafood Watch app”) and large asks (“write a letter to your representative”). Great content without a pathway to action is like a shark without its fins—it can’t swim. when presented with the problem of global warming. this version ended up spreading.edu/sites/default/files/files/Global-Warming-NationalSeriousness.policyarchive. Although we corrected the image. A. but balance asks across a spectrum of engagement.

It went out to everyone with an internet connection.) This provides familiar anchoring for issues and topics that may be less familiar to the average person.” and “Barack and the Giant Speech” are just a few of the recent ones. They are often takes on movie titles or cultural references. Invite everyone to celebrate victories with everyone! This helps you to broaden your base of support and to encourage new advocates to stand with you the next time.Celebrate victories. you’re probably familiar with the graphics that appear. This didn’t go out to people who signed the petition. (“Hagel with a Smear. floating. 150 . with a twist reflecting current events. or tribe signifiers. If you’ve ever watched the Daily Show. to the left of Jon Stewart’s head. Upwell has seen success with applying similar creative solutions to wonky seafood issues. Normalize obscure issues or complex ideas with iconic imagery.” “Halal in the Family. cultural anchors.

Awareness is not easily measurable and quantifiable. Define your goals and metrics based on what is actually measurable. Iconic image. Shareable. Upwell has defined a goal around increasing the number of online social mentions about the ocean because social mentions are practical to measure with today’s tools.Because everyone knows David Beckham. so “raising awareness” is an indefinite and impractical goal. Defining your impact based 151 .

or wit. Memes: don’t try to make them from scratch. accessible to mobile users. and approached a serious issue from a new perspective. in.on your metrics instills trust in your community and funders...” meme. long-term approach. Better to join a popular meme than try to make one of your own. This Ending Overfishing video generated hundreds of thousands of plays because it was easy to understand and beautiful to watch. chances are most of your fans and followers haven’t seen it yet. under three is better). Effective celebrity campaign engagement requires a carefully planned. short (under five minutes is good. The most shareable videos (based on social mentions generated) were beautiful. Celebrity promotion: not a silver bullet. A good meme ne’er originated from a nonprofit organization. but often underperform on measures of true engagement. Upwell has shared many a video over the last year. and often had a touch of humor. Too often. Keep a stockpile of content related to your issue. it will probably not generate volumes of social mentions. and continue to grow in popularity at an unabated pace. even though the video had been created and popularized back in 2010. Upwell had success sharing a mockumentary video about a plastic bag (and its journey to the ocean). Revive old stuff. more pithy. Celebrities can create spikes in social mentions. This image uses the popular “Meanwhile. 152 . Memes are on the rise. organizations produce videos that are dry. If your aunt or your 13-year-old cousin wouldn’t share it. Just because a video got thousands of views six months ago. Most good content is timeless. too long. Videos: shorter. prettier. sarcasm. and focus more on production value than on the viewer’s experience. Kool Kid Kreyola’s Me and My Shark Fin music video generated hundreds of social mentions because it was funny.

They are portable.) 153 . Embrace them. striking up a conversation over Facebook messaging. But don’t abuse the relationship. Their seemingly independent status makes them be seen as objective sources for interesting information about science and our planet. (For more on the rise of I Fucking Love Science. Day after day. don’t fear them. and make sure that the content you provide to them is actually in line with what their audience wants. like this image from Shark Defenders: Shark Defenders got thousands of shares with this image. and providing shareworthy content is all it takes. read this profile of the page’s administrator. Simpler is better: you can include all the background information in the text of your Facebook post. They’re happening. Organizations and other communicators would do well to start building relationships with the proprietors of those pages.Facebook • Facebook is visual. Develop content that helps supporters build that persona. the most successful (in terms of engagement) posts across social change Facebook pages are images with text superimposed on them (“image macros”). Use image macros. Pages like I Fucking Love Science and Evolution are racking up new likes at a rapid pace. or because it’s part of the personal persona they have developed on that network. Often. • Facebook is still the personal social network (whereas Twitter is the professional network). • Embrace the rise of independent Facebook pages. and generate discussion and shares with every post. People won’t share links on Facebook just because they’re interesting or relevant to their job—they share because they believe their friends will be interested. and are visual without losing your message.

When Upwell tweeted during Shark Week. Don’t just share links—comment on them or include the most salient sentence from the link. and defining roles are some of the few stumbling blocks that keep large organizations from collaborating in nimble and responsive ways. Collaboration. rather than just adding to the echo chamber. we generated social mentions and accumulated new followers by researching events on TV and providing links for context. Upwell’s most retweeted tweets were these two tweets from Shark Week: Asking for the retweet (RT) didn’t hurt either. don’t just report on events—provide original content. Our tweets added value to the conversation. and can be expensive. 154 . context and reactions. including several images that we knew would be relevant to the conversations people were having. • Opinions and inspirational quotes generate retweets. We also prepared content in advance.Twitter • Provide context with links. coordinating timing and brand competition. • When live tweeting. Agreeing on key messages. the Distributed Network Way Collaboration in communications is hard.

Follow similar content channels and look for anything to share that you think your audience would appreciate. It feels much more modern to just go to the people who do the work. Pair a brand-neutral image or video. 155 . they share it. There’s no approval process in there. ad hoc partnership with a larger distribution channel. organization-to-organization contractual approval processes that are a historical artifact of a different way of working.   Be open to ad hoc partnerships. Very early on.” Click to share. but is becoming less applicable and useful for the growing world of online communications and movement building. If you’ve got a great idea or great piece of content.Traditional collaboration remains a powerful method for pushing federal policy change (since they are equally nimble processes). and surface the part of their identity that aligns with yours (it’s there). create and respond to content. just send them your ideas and explain why you think it might be relevant to their audience. Find unique high-touch activities to cultivate personal relationships. but don’t have access to a broad network. The content can then be adapted for other channels. Target influencers beyond the choir. or write a greeting card. these individuals must have the flexibility to share. think about starting a lightweight. Be generous with your online channels. Every node in our network has different strengths—knowing what those are allows us to create ad hoc partnerships and distribute content in the most effective way. individual evangelists and more. journalists. No need to sign a MOU. The approval process is more akin to: “That’s cool. Think about the brand of your issue or your movement rather than your organizational or personal brand. bloggers. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. More and more. We felt that it was much more effective to just go straight to the people who actually control online channels and skip official. In order to survive in a landscape where so many other successful and engaging content channels have little to no gatekeeping. Upwell learned that doing formal online communications collaboration requires a huge time investment for a comparatively small return. Embrace the larger ecosystem of communicators. Share other organizations’ and people’s content. keeping your brandfocused messaging in the text of your Facebook post or tweet. Use conferences and other meetings as opportunities to discuss online communications strategies and talk about what’s coming down the pipeline. Your collaborators may be scientists. and if they think it’s appropriate for their audience. Provide brand-neutral content. these online channel gatekeepers are being trusted with daily decisionmaking without approval processes—they are the voice of the brand online.

The flat structure also builds in individual ownership of campaigns. but everyone comes to the table with the same authority to bring ideas and creativity to campaigning. you build social capital and trust. Digital Team Structure and Process Digital teams are still somewhat novel things. it’s easy to get in the trenches and forget to record your impacts and think critically about lessons learned. Upwell experimented with using Friday as the measurement day. recording the number of social mentions. This is particularly troublesome when many of the free tools only provide 30 days of analytics on social media (aside from analytics programs that are embedded in owned channels). It is important to develop systems to capture insights. be human. nimble online teams. We sat together and looked at the best and worst campaigns of the week. and be deliberate about scheduling time for that work. Campaigning in such unusual times requires a level of sensitivity. Keeping to this schedule was a challenge in the campaign environment. and focusing primarily on social platforms as the medium for our ocean famous-making. 156 . In difficult times. others leaving online communication to interns. some embedding online communicators in their program teams.Offline actions strengthen online relationships. but they are worth exploring as you think about how to make your online campaigning more flexible and responsive. Many organizations are experimenting with ways to structure and hire for their online communications staff. with everyone surfacing ideas and the entire team collaborating each morning to narrow down the highest value campaign opportunities. and fosters an essential environment friendly to honest and critical feedback. Upwell’s team operates like a proactive news room. Provide value to the network. Upwell has developed a few best practices that can be applied to other small. In running rapid attention campaigns. Not all of these tips and insights may be appropriate for everyone. and take care of your connections. Assignments are made based on skills and interest level. audiences and influencers targeted. and add to the resiliency of your network. it was hard to ignore the emotional gestalt. Develop systems to capture insights. In the world of rapid online campaigning. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We talked about insights in person to make sure these lessons were being taken to heart by the team members. even others keeping social outreach within the control of influential individuals in the executive suite. but when we did. and insights and lessons learned. Many organizations have their digital team embedded within their more traditional communications staff. By doing so. Encourage a flat structure. the results were noticeable (and saved a lot of time down the road).

as well as some that are specific to those communicating about overfishing. there are particular ways to influence those conversations. Four to five people feels like the sweet spot for Upwell. and extend the ones that work. We even joke about minimum viable lunch. This ensures that there is a diversity of skills and experience brought to the table. and an overfishing conversation. Fast creative is part of our culture. each measurable with keyword sets—and they are really different sizes. but that there aren’t too many voices that might slow down or prevent decision-making. Recognize and admit your weaknesses. but not too small. and most of us don’t have access to cable television at home.Keep the campaigning team small. but cultivating them. Below. Powerful Amplifiers in the Ocean Space There are characterizable issue-based conversations within the marine conservation space. 157 . By not just allowing those differences. and that’s okay. We also each bring a diverse network of people to the organization. This is hard. Because of this. and amplify good content about specific ocean topics. once you get in the creative mindset and are deep in developing a visual or writing a pitch. investing minimal resources up front. we have highlighted some of the top insights and best practices for amplifying attention to ocean issues in general. No one on the Upwell team is big on Reddit. Upwell’s team members each have their own particular ways of listening to the internet. Upwell keeps a close eye on return on investment. We try to limit creative time to half an hour for a campaign. incorporating our Minimum Viable Campaigning methods into every step of the process. Rather than investing large amounts of resources on a new campaign idea up front. Upwell runs anywhere from ten to 20 small campaigns a week. others by HootSuite. and have maintained a human voice for our little organization. and marine protected areas. Not everyone can do everything. and investing further resources into campaigns that prove viable. Some of us swear by Tweetdeck. Keep time for developing creative to a minimum. sustainable seafood. we have ensured a variety of content sources. Run lots of little campaigns. There is a sharks conversation. Recognizing those weaknesses has allowed us to be proactive about filling in gaps and ensuring we can have our finger on the pulse of different communities important to ocean conservation. We say the words “minimum viable image macro” at least 10 times a week. strengths and networks of your team members. Lean on the personal interests.

rather than reacting to someone else’s decisions about that. Lower your science hackles. It is not in our backyard (well. they are primed to learn more. social media promotion is an afterthought in science communication. 158 . Being forgiving and understanding the value of repackaging content allows scientists to build relationships with new communities and spread knowledge. they don’t connect it with our ocean. When people connect with an individual animal. packaging scientific findings for social media channels. unless we’re one of the lucky ones). but sometimes. People have little to no clarity on where their seafood comes from. National Geographic’s ocean portal has provided a great outlet for sharing Upwell’s lessons learned. researchers are hesitant to simplify their findings for social media channels. The insights and best practices outlined below draw on lessons learned that feel particularly valuable to Team Ocean. There is an abundance of compelling stories. This has meant amplifying content from and engaging with highly-focused issue experts as well as general ocean enthusiasts. Organizations should look to aligned media groups to help spread information on socially-optimized channels. This would also help scientists reach new audiences. news. Often. This is a challenge we need to embed into all of our communications efforts. Well. not every day.” it is that instilling animals with emotions and human stories helps people connect with this out-of-sight universe. Anthropomorphize ocean creatures. When people experience weather. Often. and beautiful photographs. because it leaves room for misinterpretation. and understanding the best ways to communicate science visually. The ocean is out of sight and out of mind. scientists and scientific institutions can be ahead of the curve. This tactic is especially important given the widespread use of social media platforms by mainstream journalists for sources and stories. Plan social media outreach in advance of scientific report releases. but these pieces of content are rarely packaged in a way that makes them socially shareable. Social media is a great gateway mechanism for sharing scientific content and getting vast communities interested in science. We assumed there would be a lot of great ocean content.Talking About the Ocean Upwell has been engaging in the broad “ocean conversation” for over a year. Cross-promote social content via collaborative outlets. With additional thoughtfulness about engaging influential voices online. and are applicable to ocean communicators across a variety of categories. This strategy should be developed concurrently with (not as an afterthought to) traditional PR outreach strategies. identifying how their reports are discussed. If we learn anything from Mitik and “the lonely whale. We were wrong about the ‘great’ part.

Find a way to hook into scary stories and insert a pathway to action. Beautiful photographs showing abundance reinforce this narrative. There is a deeply held narrative about the sea.S. highlighting that even what is labeled as “sustainable” may not be considered sustainable by many leading environmental organizations.15 “It’s complicated” is a bad relationship status and a bad brand.Don’t let beautiful ocean pictures do all the talking. cities further emphasizes that even when we try to make responsible seafood choices. 2011. popularized by ocean greats like Jacques Cousteau. Upwell believes this should be balanced with hard-hitting information that tells the truth about the destructive relationship we have with ocean resources. we can sometimes be foiled. Norgaard. but actually highlighted the complexity and illuminated how difficult it is to know what information to trust. The brand of the sustainable seafood movement is not currently an asset. While organizations attempt to control this in traditional media coverage. and news coverage is not making it appear easier. Upwell saw success in generating social mentions around Safeway’s decision to start 2. It is characterized by internecine battles. M. Living in Denial. with a particular focus on the Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel. While there is certainly space to share photographs that inspire people to love the ocean. Recent mercury reports and seafood fraud reports generate media attention and social mentions. Kindle Edition. we should not let abundance and beauty perpetuate a healthy ocean stereotype that impedes action. Just as we don’t want doom and gloom to run the show. brands and species rather than the overall sustainable seafood issue. A James Beard Foundation “Guide to the Guides” (which generated a spike in social mentions) sought to make sifting through all the varying recommendations easier. 159 . Focus on specific products. social media offers less room for control—problems with the sustainable seafood brand are compounded in online communities. K. which offer space for people to complain and voice their grievances. The actual practice of eating sustainable seafood continues to be challenging. that the ocean is abundant and there are millions of fish in the sea. location 1249. Oceana’s work to uncover seafood fraud rates in major U. as it does in climate communications. Simply reporting on the scariness will make people feel powerless. complex politics and variegated solutions. Recent coverage in NPR highlighted the confusion around sustainable seafood. Sustainable Seafood Scary stories get attention.

Overfishing Focus on actions that are doable and close to home. Individuals then start to feel more willing to use their voice to advocate for larger solutions. Don’t sleep on Shark Week. Upwell ran a successful campaign against Livestrong. Sensational stories make headlines. Indeed. FAD-free tuna in the can on its grocery shelves at a low price point. the pricey tuna did provide an excellent segue to talk about the overfishing of tuna. No matter how delicious that arctic char recipe is. Sharks are the quarterback of overfishing. familiar. but in the values sense). However. People can easily start to feel like the solutions are out of their control. but do it authentically. people connected and were more vocal because the story was more focused. and while they cause significant amounts of attention to be paid to the fish. you can make people feel that they have some level of control over the situation. Look for opportunities to connect substantive conversation with sensational stories. it’s not going to get people talking about sustainable seafood online. more deeply engage people who are already converted on the issue. to take advantage of the increase in attention. The largest spikes in the bluefin tuna conversation from the last year were related to radioactive isotopes being found in bluefin that had crossed the Pacific from Japan after the Fukushima disaster. Upwell continues to experiment with species-specific communications (“eat forage fish!”) to help solutions feel simpler and more productive. By focusing on doable actions that are close to home (not in the proximity sense. and the rapid follow-on of the Pacific bluefin stock assessment surfed that wave of attention and drove it toward science-based discussion. Time scientific releases or tie-ins to coincide with or rapidly follow on big news stories. While Shark Week sensationalism had discouraged many advocates from robustly 160 . overfishing is a huge. household brands’ actions around sustainable seafood tend to generate significant online discussion.com when the highly-recognizable brand was promoting unsustainable shark recipes on its website. global problem with largely unseen actors and dauntingly large solutions. and Shark Week is the Super Bowl of online ocean conversations. Like climate change. These are sensational headlines. Efforts to link the radioactive tuna story with overfishing fell flat—it was a stretch. and annual coverage of the record-breaking million dollar plus tunas bought at the Tsukiji market opening as PR stunts. and people online don’t easily fall prey to such manipulative tactics. Recipes and fluff pieces don’t generate social mentions. Discovery Channel’s Shark Week is by far the biggest online ocean conversation of the year and has historically lacked much of a conservation component. This type of content can. In each of these instances. however. they don’t easily connect with high-quality discussion about overfishing.selling responsibly-caught. McDonalds recently generated a large amount of news coverage and social mentions after it began marketing its decision to serve only MSC-certified seafood.

in comparison to other ocean conversations. and the TerraMar Project is seeing some growing success in their effort to create “citizenship” for the high seas. Much of that language is fossilized in policy. Upwell is experimenting with ways to capitalize on the shark finning and shark overfishing conversations to draw attention to other overfishing problems. and creates confusion in the public. Our MPA vocabulary is fragmented. awkward and wonky. and shark fin bans around the world have capitalized on the public’s love and awe for the animals. It makes the conversation hard to monitor. Discovery Channel’s growing commitment to conservation programming. Emphasize individual connection to MPAs as public commons to create support. Very few people talk about marine protected areas (and marine reserves. 161 . Adjust your expectations accordingly. which utilized a hashtag emphasizing our duty to protect the commons (“jointhewatch”). marine parks. etc. Share these success stories as a way to increase attention to the issue and start growing the conversation. these tactics are promising in that they make action feel more doable and close to home. unseen swaths of the ocean. While it is hard to judge their success at this point. audiences are well-informed of shark overfishing and shark finning as a practice. and find ways to connect this issue with more lively conversations that operate at a higher volume (like overfishing or sharks). because the native attention momentum is lower. There is growing data to support the assertion that MPAs work to address an array of ocean problems. represent a not-to-be-missed opportunity to reach new audiences. Marine Protected Areas The MPA conversation is tiny. In general. from habitat loss to bycatch to overfishing. The Antarctic Ocean Alliance saw significant social media attention to their effort to designate marine reserves in the Southern Ocean. Share successes. but when you are communicating online you have an opportunity to use metaphor and more familiar language (“underwater parks”) to clarify and reduce barriers to understanding. both on and offline. These projects are experimenting with ways to increase our personal connection with faraway. Communicating in this space has a lower potential for creating large spikes in attention. makes it hard for supporters to find each other online.) on a daily basis.engaging with the television event. combined with Shark Week’s unprecedented cultural presence and viewership. Certain regions of the world —in particular. Australia—have seen incredible success with designating large areas of ocean under varying protection levels.

p 19. Malcolm Gladwell. and 67 162 . Upwell went after the peak hubs of ocean information in order to turn up the volume on the conversation." In building Upwell’s Tide Report list and network.”16 For this section.Network Map: Ocean Evangelists and Ocean Voices Online To grow the ocean-in-crisis movement as rapidly as possible in the pilot phase. Malcolm Gladwell echoed this in The Tipping Point: "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts. 16 The Tipping Point. or the "people we rely upon to connect us with new information” for their affinity for starting "word-of-mouth epidemics. mavens. we’ll illustrate snapshots in time of conversations with some specific examples. 33. with illustrated mechanical depictions of relationships. we focused on involving one of his three types of socially gifted people.

There is an edge for each ‘replies-to’ relationship in a tweet.’ The tweets were made over the 7-day.500 users.org/Pages/Graph. 28 February 2013 at 20:13 UTC. The network was obtained on Thursday. There is a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a ‘replies-to’ or ‘mentions. The network was obtained on Thursday. 28 February 2013 at 20:00 UTC. 0-hour. 5-minute period from Thursday. taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 1.aspx? graphID=3155 ) This graph was made in conversation with NodeXL researcher Marc A Smith.’ taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 1.500 users. The technical description of the work is as follows: “The graph represents a network of 242 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained ‘sustainable seafood. There is an edge for each follows relationship.Sustainable Seafood NodeXL Graph: 242 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained "sustainable seafood". 28 February 2013 at 20:13 UTC.” What this visual allows us to see is that the conversation around the keyword “sustainable seafood” during the seven day period happens both in isolation (G1 in the upper left corner).  http:/ /nodexlgraphgallery. (Marc Smith. 21 February 2013 at 19:55 UTC to Thursday. There is an edge for each ‘mentions’ relationship in a tweet. in isolated small pockets (G6-G12 in the lower right corner) and in four larger discrete clusters 163 .

’ The tweets were made over the 6-day. showing pockets of dialogue from a Canadian cluster (G3).500 users. Overfishing NodeXL Graph: 330 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained "overfishing". This mirrors our conversation monitoring and campaign experience. G4 and G5. 28 February 2013 at 20:00 UTC. There is an edge for each follows relationship. http:/ /www.aspx? graphID=3153) This graph was also made in conversation with NodeXL researcher Marc A Smith. and diverse language fragmenting the larger NPR series on MSC into distinct clusters in G2.nodexlgraphgallery. taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 1. 36164 . There is an edge for each ‘replies-to’ relationship in a tweet. 23-hour. The network was obtained on Thursday.identified by the algorithms in NodeXL as being distinguishable. The network was obtained on Thursday.’ taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 1.org/Pages/Graph. The technical description of the work is as follows: “The graph represents a network of 330 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained ‘overfishing. There is a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a ‘replies-to’ or ‘mentions. 28 February 2013 at 20:00 UTC (Marc Smith.500 users. There is an edge for each ‘mentions’ relationship in a tweet.

” In it. and about the same number of very small conversations in  the lower right (G9-G11).minute period from Thursday. bycatch and the EU • G6: Bycatch and sharks • G7: General conversation The diversity of overfishing sub-topics even within clusters of conversation would seem to support Upwell’s opportunistic strategy to engaging with conversations online. as audiences react to the criticism in the Guardian UK. 28 February 2013 at 19:24 UTC. and a broad audience is ready to be mobilized for change. The language used is indicative of many overfishing subtopics. we see substantially more isolated tweets on the left (G1). The breakdown of common topics in the groups is as follows: • G2: More strongly about coral reefs • G3: More strongly about the EU and bycatch • G4: More strongly about sharks • G5: Mapping. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign against over-fishing shows up in many of the clusters. 21 February 2013 at 19:48 UTC to Thursday. 165 .

22 February 2013 at 00:29 UTC to Thursday. taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 1. “The graph represents a network of 59 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained ‘upwell’. 19-minute period from Friday.500 users. 28 February 2013 at 19:50 UTC. There is an edge for each ‘mentions’ relationship in a tweet. is that at this scale the social groupings seem to be more easily discerned.Upwell NodeXL Graph: Represents a network of 59 Twitter users whose recent tweets contained "upwell". (Mark Smith. http:/ /www. with our immediate brand network in G2. taken from a data set limited to a maximum of 1. The network was obtained on Thursday.500 users. 166 . There is an edge for each follows relationship. in addition to the lower volume of conversation.org/ Pages/Graph. and second-hop our networks in G3 and G4. 19-hour. The network was obtained on Thursday. There is an edge for each ‘replies-to’ relationship in a tweet.nodexlgraphgallery.” What’s notable about this graph. 28 February 2013 at 19:50 UTC.’ The tweets were made over the 6-day. There is a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a ‘replies-to’ or ‘mentions.aspx?graphID=3151) This graph was also made in conversation with NodeXL researcher Marc A Smith. 28 February 2013 at 19:48 UTC.