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

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

identify pockets of audiences ripe for engagement. Knowing the scale of conversations—for instance. curate. not organizations. Can we provide insights to make their campaigns more effective? 6 . but the content isn’t shareable.000 social mentions in a day (and often much higher). If their work will get more people talking about the ocean online. We often research. Can we create more message redundancy? • Scenario 4: The Upwell network doesn’t have direct access to Big Listening data. There’s no exact science to what we do—our methods are mostly informed by years of experience campaigning in social media. that the sharks conversation regularly spikes to over 40. it fits with our mission. Can we tap into it? • Scenario 3: Team Ocean isn’t coordinated. and create in order to provide the most shareable content. • 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. It also helps us to strategically choose where to invest attention. However. We model the authentic behavior of the internet. choosing a tool for dissemination is only part of the battle. individually and in relation to one another.• Personal: We build relationships with humans. 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. Our Big Listening practice helps us understand the volume and character of ocean conversations. 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. outlined below. • Scenario 1: The science and the message is good. not institutions. a few scenarios.

they were also getting bigger.1/31/12. those meeting Upwell’s high spike threshold.9%. social mention volume was an average of 423 mentions per day. Those spikes were not just occurring more often. Both the Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing conversations have substantially changed since the founding of Upwell. as compared to the baseline. spike frequency. we’ve seen the number of social mentions generated from each attention campaign grow. 7 . Both distinct conversations have seen significant increases in spike volume. saw a 475% increase. Sustainable Seafood social mention volume is up 29.Over time. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 . and ultimately increase the baselines of ocean conversations. the number of social mentions about the ocean will increase. and ratio of average daily social mentions to the average baseline. This is the proof in the pudding. when Upwell began Big Listening in Sustainable Seafood. Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 1/29/13) In Winter 2011 (above left). concurrent with the growth of our distributed network. As we continue to expand Team Ocean and encourage networked sharing. Large volume spikes. By Winter 2012 (above right). 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. Spike frequency in the Sustainable Seafood conversation increased 265%.

topic-specific webinars. 17. CA MPAs. 2011 Spike Threshold 0 Dec. Those spikes were not just occurring more often. By Winter 2012 (above right). plus staff speaking engagements. 1. they were also getting bigger. as compared to the baseline. Large volume spikes. 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. and illustrate more specifically where and how Upwell intervened in these two conversations. Fish Tornado The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 NU-20 Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012. 2012 Dec. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 .0 Threshold Mean STDEV Jan-13 Sustainable Seafood SS The Tide Report. 2011 High Spike Threshold Jan. social mention volume was an average of 423 mentions per day. Upwell’s blog and social media channels.1/29/13) In Winter 2011 (above left). 17. 2011 Baseline 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Nov. also saw a similar 475% increase.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. and practical training and tools to a diverse audience of time- 8 .Overfishing 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Oct. Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 . 17. those meeting Upwell’s high spike threshold. The Overfishing Conversation Winter 2012 Gangnam Style. 1. when Upwell began Big Listening in Overfishing.Jan 2013 ! Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012. Overfishing spike frequency increased 784%. 1. 2012 Jan. Annotated campaign graphs are included in this report. guest blog posts and project consulting have provided channels for delivering shareable content. 2012 Overfishing Oct.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. 1.1/31/12. 17. 2012 0 Nov. Overfishing social mention volume is up 71%.

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

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

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

and our colleagues at the Ocean Conservancy including Janis Jones. 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. We have had other forward-thinking funders join us in support of this project over the past two years. Britt Bravo. and interns Christine Danner. Paulina Dao. 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. 15 . with the incubation stage concluding in the summer of 2013. including Kieran Mulvaney. and Kaori Ogawa. which provided the vision and commitment to launch this entrepreneurial initiative and are appreciative of other funding we have received for the project. Vikki Spruill has been an important mentor for the project. Ocean Conservancy initially envisioned an 18-24 month pilot phase for the project. and develop aggressive rapid response campaigns to reach and mobilize new audiences to care about ocean content. Lara Franklin. We conducted a national search for the project’s leadership. a first for the strategic ocean communications initiatives. demonstrated success in elevating the ocean conversation above the baseline. Shannon Crownover. Aaron Muszalski and Kevin Zelnio. Matt Fitzgerald. the Upwell team has enjoyed the contributions of a great number of excellent crew members. Melissa Ehrenreich. Amelia Montjoy. and launched the fully staffed program in early 2012. the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. Ray Dearborn. Julia Roberson and George Leonard. This is the final report of Upwell’s pilot phase. At the behest of the Foundation. hiring Rachel Weidinger. During our pilot phase. 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.Introduction Ocean Conservancy and the Waitt Foundation collaboratively developed the Upwell project in 2010. During its first year of incubation.  We’re grateful for the support of the Waitt Foundation. Liana Wong. The Waitt Foundation served as Ocean Conservancy’s lead partner to help shape the direction. 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. finance the use of new cutting-edge technological tools to actively monitor online conversations. 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. completed in February 2013. Saray Dugas. Upwell successfully pioneered the development of new methodologies in social monitoring. We are grateful for the Waitt Foundation’s significant initial investment. an anonymous donor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

location 809. Big Listening has gone from an abstract concept to a replicable.” We believe that by getting more people talking about ocean issues and raising the baseline of conversation. 23 . experiment with ways to increase the reach of valuable content. onto picket signs. K. 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. change behavior. broader audiences will be more likely to take action. That advantage won’t last forever. and for the building of community. . discontinuous leap forward— because the ocean needs a win that really matters. M... 2011.Step change vs. Since those initial developments. and push for policy change that will have positive effects for our oceans. into the framing of a local news story. Upwell’s array of goals—to utilize the immediacy of online communications. Kindle Edition. Incremental Change [source] Upwell entered this challenge looking for step change—a massive. for human contact. Living in Denial. 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. or into a newspaper editorial. and enrich our understanding of the conversational ecosystem surrounding ocean topics coalesced into our broader vision of “conditioning the climate for change. demonstrated methodology. 1 Norgaard. Conversation is the site for exchange of information and ideas. empower and foster a broader network of ocean communicators.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

adding exclusion terms to filter extraneous results/noise. create a seed list of topics. and known online sources. 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.SCOPE Initial investigation • Outline the conceptual and temporal boundaries of analysis for the topic • In consultation with subject-matter experts and other stakeholders. potential online influencers. subtopics. events. or various degrees of proximity to widen the net 34 .

) and incorporate feedback (e.g. To offer a contemporary example. additional terms. per step 5) • On an as-needed basis. 35 . campaigns and other developments (while always testing for the introduction of noise. It’s important to remember that the conversations we monitor continue to change. generally after at least three months of listening. all of the data in this report was current as of the end of January 2013. quarterly or to-order basis. 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. even as we’re measuring and reporting on them. 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.ADAPT Refining keyword groups • Share keyword lists with key informants (subject experts. foundation staff. and then it was frozen in a spreadsheet.. 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. campaigners etc. scope adjustments) • Repeat steps 3. 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.

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

but infinite other options exist as well. Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood Baseline. or by some other amount of time. It seems pretty clear that there are two spikes in this time period. much of this activity as the Baseline. 2012.Social mentions for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group vs. Before we dive in. A second caveat is that focusing on spikes may obscure what is actually making up the long tail of post volume. One appears on June 8. and quantifies. and because a day as a unit of measurement is widely understood.August 1. it’s important to note that social mention volume for a given day is a construct. 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. 2012 . That is not to say that one couldn’t decide to measure spikes by the hour. Upwell talks about. 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. June 1. by the minute. the other on June 16. We made a conscious decision to build our initial definition of a spike around the day. 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 .

we actually want to help a signal to emerge. Spike quantification informs our campaigning and provides one measure of results. • compare the relative size of different ocean sub issues (e. 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. in calculating potential thresholds for what constitutes a spike. sharks vs. 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. 38 . 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. Spikes are those signals.g. We’re not interested in just contributing to the noise around a given ocean topic. As discussed earlier. but they are not the whole story of an online topic. 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. 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. and that’s what the standard deviation threshold(s) tests. Because standard deviation measures how spread out the values within a data set are. we calculated a variety of statistical thresholds for the exported data and compared the results to our measured campaign and spike data. After examining historical social mention volume for our Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing keyword groups. rather than the taller.attention as a hump or a mesa. and • measure the impact of our campaigns. Upwell’s Baseline calculations are derived from the insight that our primary ocean topics each demonstrate a weekly periodicity. and they help push conversations into the wider internet. Spikes look good on charts. more angular spike). whales). We: • identify and target high-value items to campaign on. Similarly.

Day-of-the-week values for the Sustainable Seafood Baseline. and mean +1x. 39 . [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. the standard deviation thresholds are higher than both the Baseline and the mean.1/29/13).5x and +2x standard deviations (10/17/11 . along with the Sustainable Seafood mean. +1.

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. we would actually agree. Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood Baseline vs. 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. given what we know right now. As mentioned before. we remain open to other spike quantification approaches but this one is our preferred option. ‘Mean + 1 Standard Deviation’ Spike Threshold (June 1.Social mentions for Upwell’s Sustainable Seafood keyword group vs. 2012 . While a critic might accuse us of working backwards to find the threshold that gives the best fit. 40 .August 1.

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

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

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

Overfishing: Winter 2011 Social mentions by day for Upwell’s Overfishing keyword group.1/31/12). Total post volume: 211.799 social mentions over 107 days. as well as to spike thresholds of one standard deviation and two standard deviations above the day-of-the-week mean (10/17/2011 .979 social mentions. Average volume / day: 1. 44 . as compared to the Overfishing Baseline.

as well as spike thresholds of one standard deviation and two standard deviations above the day-of-the-week mean (10/1/2012 .Overfishing: Winter 2012 Social mentions by day for Upwell’s Overfishing keyword group. 45 . Total post volume: 409.1/29/13). Average volume / day: 3. as compared to the Overfishing baseline.692 social mentions over 121 days.386 social mentions.

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

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

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

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

What we do with attention campaigns is try to drive more attention to existing content and actions that are not on our properties. year-to-year baseline of those conversations. and ready people to take action. Social mentions are the currency of attention. In order to do this. They’re not associated with our brand. simple attention metric we use to measure online conversations: social mentions. What is an Upwell campaign? Upwell’s campaigning model combines a few key elements. Upwell’s attention campaigns operate on a different plane.. and we hope ultimately to raise the day-to-day. advocacy and fundraising campaigns) and compete with other entities in the same sector/issue space. month-to-month. and represent small bits of action. and measure our success by the same. awareness. we believe that increased attention to ocean issues will raise the daily baseline of conversation about ocean issues. not what they have done. We have been experimenting with trying to understand what 50 . tying into the momentum of the news cycle and being strategically opportunistic in the pursuit of creating spikes in attention. They are minimum viable campaigns. our team sifts through the vast amount of real-time online content about the ocean and amplifies the best of it. Upwell’s campaigning model capitalizes on the insights we glean from Big Listening and other curation efforts. week-to-week. The Attention Campaign The nonprofit community has deeply-held ideas of what constitutes a campaign. Often. They are run and amplified across a distributed network. continuous learning and iteration. We use this loosely held connection. We focus on shareability. rather than being housed on and amplified by way of our own platforms. awareness is a less meaningful measurement. focused on raising attention to ocean issues. organizations build campaigns with institutional goals (e. and responds to the currents of online conversation. In contrast. list-building. we find ways to create spikes of attention in conversations. 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. Over time. Our campaigns are attention campaigns. operating on short time-frames and focused on rapid delivery of content. representing what someone thinks they might do.Methods: Campaigning The mission of Upwell is to condition the climate for change in marine conservation.g. And through an iterative process of lots and lots of campaign testing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

it both reflects our other campaign work and drives it. However. In addition to providing summaries of campaigns or news stories. Other key elements include: Tide Report The Tide Report is in many ways our key method of outreach. instead of asking them to post a tweet of their own construction. by posting our content on our own page. we are then able to create one-click pathways in the Tide Report for people to share those posts on their own pages. and often a combination of platforms with specialized sharing language for each. For instance. Our subscribers can still do that. and which include our suggestions for amplification). so they could feature an original post on their page. we suggested language for Facebook and asked our readers to download and upload images. In the early days of the Tide Report. Upwell Facebook Page The Upwell Facebook page is not intended to be a hub where we collect millions of fans. but we started to use our own Facebook page to house content in order to smooth the pathway toward amplification. Tide Report content essentially falls into four camps: main features (more campaign-focused. the features also include one-click pathways to amplification.Our Tools We propagate campaign content across our network through a variety of methods. ‘Watch This’ items (very brief (i. Subscribers elect to receive this newsletter approximately three times a week via e-mail. and a calendar of upcoming events. so that all a reader has to do is click on a link and post. at the end of the day. As a bonus. 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). we are more excited to 60 . Many of them we have already discussed: through sharing and curating good content by way of social media networks. The key element is doing the work for the readers. However. Its content is determined at the morning meeting. The greatest focus is on the main features. we write and code the tweet (with the most retweetable or shareable language we can muster). We choose the pathway for amplification that best suits the content: we use Facebook for visual content such as images and videos.e. occasional more light-hearted videos or pictures at the end (as an occasional reward for reading to the end). through engagement via webinars and other outreach. we get access to all the data from our own Facebook Insights panel. 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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Don’t eat bluefin (often labeled as hon maguro or toro). Tell your elected officials to #suspendthefishery. the image was shared over 500 times on Facebook—pretty good for a stock assessment! 64 . 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.This is what Upwell does with a 300 page report. The image itself was a downer. 3. 2. 4. actionable information. There are lots of yummy alternatives. and check out Seafood Watch for good alternatives to eating tuna! With its simple message. Here’s a better recipe for you to follow: 1. Keep in touch with Pew Environment Group for more information on the latest bluefin tuna numbers. Share this with your sushi-loving friends. Tell your chef to take bluefin off the menu. and our amplification of it via the Tide Report.

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

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

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

and their websites. We produced a toolkit focused on effective ways to drive conversation about ocean acidification. and specifically the threat from ocean acidification. • A list of organizations active at the IWC. • Links to background information and documents. 68 . and was not seen as valuable to our network. we actively engaged in working with members of the network to stimulate and magnify conversation on coral reef issues. we were informed for future efforts about what would be a valuable use of our resources. and links to. We learned from our network that this IWC toolkit was one of the most under-amplified campaigns. recent whaling coverage. 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.• A list of. • On Twitter: Hashtags to use. people to follow. By measuring and learning from this campaign. 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.

Use it. and packaged the following messaging tips in the toolkit: • Lay the groundwork. and their stories. • Be human. to humanize and localize the issue. The role of the living ocean is not well understood.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. Use pictures. and that is has measurable impacts. We also mined our network for the latest in ocean acidification opinion research. help your audience understand it. • Activate your audience. • Science is perceived as the credible voice on this issue. Introduce real live people. analogies and local stories to establish the problem. 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 . Stress that ocean acidification is happening now (not just in the future).

we offered suggestions for which twitter hashtag to use to bring attention to ocean issues during the Rio+20 conference. In sharing this information with our network. and how their impacts stack up. we helped them understand how different news outlets and blogs shape online conversation. and the specific sources that drove discussion of that topic. Hashtag party! Mission Aquarius: We provided analysis of Mission Aquarius mentions. but were interested in learning how they could do so in a way that would drive attention toward their campaigns and content.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. Using data from Radian6. This helped illuminate to our network the rise of online media in comparison to legacy media. 70 .

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

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

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

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

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. Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 1/29/13). One finding of note is that both the Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing conversations have been substantially changed since the founding of Upwell. 75 . as compared to the baseline. This section begins by detailing before and after intervals in the two main conversations we have invested in: Sustainable Seafood and Overfishing. we’ve described how we characterize issue-based conversations with keyword sets. spike frequency. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 .Attention Impacts and Graphs In previous sections. and ratio of average daily social mentions to the average Baseline. how the conversation Baseline is measured. The narrative details significant increases in spike volume. and why we focus on creating measurable spikes of attention in the conversation. We then provide annotated seasonal graphs and lists of the conversations and our interventions.1/31/12.

2012 0 Nov. the more the conversation is spiking at higher volumes. 2011 High Spike Threshold Jan. 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Oct.In Winter 2011 (above left). they were also getting bigger. The more spikes reach the high threshold. 2011 Baseline 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Nov.9% (as one would expect). 6 The spike threshold is discussed in detail in the Methods: Big Listening section. going from 132. 2011 Spike Threshold 0 Dec. in a particular conversation.2 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2012—an increase of 265%.3% of the baseline in Winter 2011 to 171. which require a single value.2 spikes per thirty days.8% of the baseline in Winter 20125 . a 475% increase. social mention volume was an average of 423 mentions per day. 2012 Dec.2 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2011. Those spikes were not just occurring more often. 2012 Jan. social mention volume had climbed to an average of 549 per day—an increase of 29. 1. Upwell’s high spike threshold. Spike frequency—measured by how often social mention volume spikes equal to or greater than Upwell’s spike threshold6 —describes how often spikes occur. provides another indication of spike intensity. In Winter 2011 there were two high threshold spikes and the following year there were thirteen—an average of 0. 17.9%. 1. when Upwell began Big Listening in Sustainable Seafood. 1.5 spikes per thirty days versus an average of 3. 17. to 8. 2012 Overfishing Oct. 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. 1. By Winter 2012 (above right). 17. Spike frequency in the Sustainable Seafood conversation increased from 2. on average. set at two standard deviations above the average social mention volume for that day of the week. 17. such as this one. The ratio of average daily social mentions to the average baseline value also increased by 29. 76 .

4 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2012—a massive increase of 784%.5% of the baseline in Winter 2011 to 216.8 spikes every thirty days in Winter 2011.2—a 475% increase.3% of the baseline in Winter 2012. a representative list of the major campaigns across the nine topic profiles that Upwell monitors. In Winter 2011 (above left). but rather. SS= Sustainable Seafood. as compared to the baseline. Please note that this list is not inclusive of all Upwell campaigns. By Winter 2012 (above right).1/31/12. 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. social mention volume had climbed to an average of 3. The ratio of average daily social mentions to the average baseline value also rose. SH=Sharks. 8 9 The spike threshold is discussed in detail in the Methods: Big Listening section. such as this one. OC=Ocean. Campaign Impacts In this section. The annotated campaign graphs on the following pages highlight spikes in these conversations and the Upwell campaigns associated with these surges in conversational volume. on average. 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. Winter 2012: 10/1/2012 . The 30-day rate of high threshold spikes9 also increased. OF=Overfishing.6 to an average of 3.1/29/13). social mention volume was an average of 1. from an average of 0. MPA= Marine Protected Areas. Key to Profiles: OA= Ocean Acidification. GF=Gulf.2013.7 Spike frequency—measured by how often social mention volume spikes equal to or greater than Upwell’s spike threshold8 —describes how often spikes occur.Side-by-side comparison for Winter 2011 (left) and Winter 2012 (right) showing social mentions by day for Upwell’s Overfishing keyword group. to 7. Campaigns appear in chronological order and campaigns which appear on the annotated graphs that follow appear in bold. in a particular conversation. spike threshold and high spike threshold (Winter 2011: 10/17/2011 . from 126. As in the previous graphs. which require a single value. Spike frequency in the Overfishing conversation increased from 0.386 per day—a 71% increase.979 mentions per day. Table of Major Upwell Campaigns Below is a table of all major Upwell campaigns from 2011 . we’ll illustrate more specifically where and how Upwell intervened in the Overfishing and Sustainable Seafood conversations. 77 . when Upwell began Big Listening in Overfishing. 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.

Bold: Campaign appears on annotated graphs. 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.CITES Thank You Costa Rica Shark Fin Ban Jaws vs. Frank Sinatra 78 .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 .

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 . Jumbo Soda 79 .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.

the following Non-Upwell events are labeled as NU in light grey in the annotated graphs on the following pages. Overfishing Graphs: • Famous actor Jonah Hill tweets about overfishing. [NU-4.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-3. 9/5/2012] 80 . NMFS. 1/5/2012] • Reports of radioactive tuna tied to the Fukushima disaster. 10/25/2011] • Fishermen fined for overfishing and CDB lawsuit vs. [NU-2. 5/29/12] • Sarcastic joke account @factualcat tweets against overfishing. [NU-1.

[NU-6. sustainable seafood. 12/4/2012] • McDonald’s MSC certifies all McDonald’s fish sustainable. [NU-13. 11/14/2012] • HuffPo Sea2 Table Thanksgiving post and Vancouver Aquarium events [NU-20. [NU-22-24. 2/3/2012] • Al Jazeera tweets about Louisiana's fishing industry re: BP oil spill. 11/21/2012] • Crab Recipes Features and recipe collections for Dungeness Crab. NU-18 9/5 .• A single bluefin tuna sells for record $1.1/28 2013] • NPR series of posts covering MSC and sustainable seafood topics. [NU-19. 12/23 . [NU-12. 1/5/2013] Sustainable Seafood Graphs: • The James Beard Foundation (founded by the famous chef and author) publishes A Guide to the Guides. 4/23/12] • #CFS2012 The Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts a three day event featuring sustainable seafood and top chefs from across the country. [NU-7 . 11/10/2012] • The United States sets catch limits. reviewing sustainable seafood guides. [NU-10. 3/30/12] • Sustainable Seafood Guide NRDC retweeted a sustainable seafood guide. 6/8/2012] • The 10th International Seafood Summit in Hong Kong [NU-17.9/6 2012] • The Dungeness crab season begins. [NU-21.NU-15.76M in Tokyo. [NU-11. [NU-14 . [NU-24 1/28/13] 81 . 11/21/2012] • TIME tweets an OpEd about non-farmed. 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.NU-9. [NU-16. [NU-5. 5/17 .5/18/12] • David Suzuki Foundation tweets the Top 10 Sustainable Seafood Picks.

The Overfishing Conversation Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2011.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.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 .

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. CA MPAs.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 2012.0 STDEV May-12 Sustainable Seafood SS 84 .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.May 2012 ! Spring 2012 NU-13 NU-10 NU-11 NU-12 NU-14 NU-15 Apr-12 Spike Threshold Mean +1.The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 1200 Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2011.

The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 1200 Me and My Sharkfin Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Jun 2012.0 Threshold Mean STDEV Jan-13 Sustainable Seafood SS 85 .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 Sep-12 Sustainable Seafood SS The Sustainable Seafood Conversation 1400 NU-20 Upwell Campaign and Social Mention Spikes Oct 2012.

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

2013] • Shark Fin Rooftops   [January 3.• Prop 37 and GMO Salmon [November 5. 2012] • Keystone Krill [ December 18. 2012] • Plastic Pollution Postcard [November 28. 27. 2012] • Cook Islands and French Polynesia Shark Sanctuaries  [December 18th. 2013] • Unilever Dumps Microbeads [January 3. 2012] • California MPAs Go Into Effect [December 19.13. 2012] • NYT Addresses Sea Level Rise During Doha [November 27. 2012] • Washington OA Plan [December 4. 2012] • Dissolving Shells: Capitalizing on Ocean Acidification Coverage [November. [December 12. 2012 . 2013] • Cuomo Panel Recommends Oystering NY [January 8. 2013] • Polar Bear Video [January 8. 2012] • Giving Thanks for Australia Marine Reserves [November 20. 2013] • What is a Coral? [January 4. 2012] • NY Shark Fin vs. 2012] • Greenpeace Gangnam Style  [December 19.January 15. 2013] • Pacific Bluefin Decline  [January 9. 2012] • Chile Protects Seamounts [January 3. Jumbo Soda  [December 12.10. 2012] • Fish Tornado Photograph  [December 19. 2012] • Political Porpoise [November 8 . 2012] • Upwell Blue Blog List [December 5. 2012] • Everyday Objects Made to Look Like Sea Creatures. 2013] • Bill McKibben Addresses OA [December 6. 2012] • Cannibalistic Lobster [December 6. 2013] 87 . Guaranteed [November 9. 2012] • No Overfishing.Beth Kanter guest blog post [November 12 . 2012] • Big Listener .

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. 2012] 88 . 2012 (majority of activity. [September 12 October 2... Upwell rapidly mobilized a Thank You campaign to support the company and drown out opposition from shark fin traders. September 7-8. 2012)] Petition to Ban Shark Recipes on Livestrong. [July 3. sustainable seafood to mainstream consumers.com Upwell successfully pressured the 2nd largest health website in the U. Upwell capitalized on Livestrong.org petition and launching a supporting campaign. [August 2. The Upwell network significantly increased the share of conservation sentiment compared with Shark Week 2011. to bring the issue of shark finning to new audiences. in. 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.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. [September 10-14.com. accessible. 2012] Thank Cathay Pacific for Shark Fin Ban In response to vocal pushback to Cathay’s sharkfriendly policy change. [September 25. [August 10-17.” internet meme and a celebratory message. By creating a Change. 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. 2012] Safeway FAD-Free Tuna Upwell promoted the launch of a new brand of canned tuna to highlight affordable. [September 5-11.S. 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. 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. [July 16. 2012] Shark Week Upwell organized shark advocates to capitalize on the massive annual increase in online attention provided by Shark Week. to remove all shark recipes from its online channels.

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. to appeal to a wider audience. securing more than 20. promoted Upwell’s video through official online channels to a potential audience of millions. 2012] Jaws vs. 2012] Antarctic Ocean MPA Petition Upwell supported a celebrity-endorsed campaign to stop industrial fishing in the Antarctic. [October 10.November 3. Both the Vote4Stuff campaign. and breaking scientific research. Upwell amplified a compelling new video from Google.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. 2012] CEA Report “Charting a Course to Sustainable Fisheries” and related overfishing research in Science Upwell reframed a highly technical print-focused report. [October 18. [October 25. [September 28. and its celebrity-co-founder.000 views of this new school conservation video. Upwell orchestrated a sea of shark-supportive comments to counter the piece’s 89 . Frank Sinatra Upwell helped popularize an obscure mashup of Sinatra and great white sharks. 2012] How to Kill a Great White Confronted by a repulsive online opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. [October 20 . 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. [September 28.Google Earth Ocean Acidification Video During Blue Ocean Film Fest / Ocean in a High-CO2 World. including Leonardo DiCaprio and Sylvia Earle. [October 24. Leonardo DiCaprio. 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.present] Whitetip Shark Has a Posse . 2012 . 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. and strengthened critical relationships with high profile influencers. [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. [October 12.

[November 9. [November 5. by hooking into the popular story and meme that was on everyone’s mind at the time: the end times. 2012] Upwell Blue Blog List In December.000 views.” [November 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.  [December 12. [December 6. 2012-Janunary 15. 2013] Cannibalistic Lobsters Upwell amplified a study documenting cannibalistic lobster behavior due to overfishing impacts. increase exposure to ocean bloggers. 2012] NY Shark Fin vs. The list generated such a significant response that Upwell was able to publish a second update to the list in mid-January.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 (I Oyster NY Greenberg) and November 5.  [December 5. 2012] Big Listener . 2012] Political Porpoise Upwell created this experimental site to round up election implications for the ocean. 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] No Overfishing. Lobbying restrictions limited the scope of the effort.10. 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. 2012 (I Oyster NY .13. Jumbo Soda Upwell used a charged. The message was carried into new digital networks by social media pros as a “must read post. 2012] Greenpeace Gangnam Style The original Gangnam Style video went beyond viral and has become a piece of popular culture. [November 8 . and strengthen the Upwell community. [October 29.anti-shark sentiment. 2012] 90 . [December 19. gaining important traction with a new audience. [November 2. Upwell published a list of 88 ocean conservation themed “big blue blogs” to provide a resource for the ocean conservation community.Beth Kanter guest blog post Upwell’s guest blog showcased how social media can vault sustainable seafood and overfishing into the mainstream. Upwell’s list made it to the top ten search results for “ocean blogs” on Google. Upwell promoted a Greenpeace spin-off Gangnam video featuring dancing rainbow warriors and an anti-overfishing message that resulted in over 46.

and protect the country’s most vulnerable marine ecosystems.  [June 18. [July 12. Upwell promoted Australia’s decision to establish a huge network of marine reserves in a Thanksgiving campaign 91 .Chile Protects Seamounts Upwell created a “viva Chile” tweet to celebrate the new year and amplify Chile’s historic decision to ban bottom trawling. 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. 2013] Campaigns on other ocean topics #EndFossilFuelSubsidies . ground all fishing quotas on scientific recommendation. highlighting record market prices ($1.76 million or a single bluefin). [January 9. [January 3. [January 3. 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. as well as a new report documenting a 96. using a message that would encourage future action on the part of activists and keep people engaged in the Arctic drilling issue. 2013] Pacific Bluefin Decline  January was a big month for bluefin. [July 31. and increased mentions of ocean acidification during the conference. 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. The ban was especially important because it established systems to reduce bycatch. Upwell took the opportunity to redeploy the I Oyster NY image that had gained traction in the days after Sandy. 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. We paired these visually moving images with petitions from Oceana to promote a ban on finning. 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.4% decline in Bluefin stocks. [January 8. 2012] Giving Thanks for Australia Marine Reserves Using a seasonal hook. playing on the recognizable “This is your brain on drugs” PSA. Media channels covered back-toback stories.This is your ocean on acid Upwell created an image linking the trending #EndFossilFuelSubsidies conversation during Rio+20 to the issue of ocean acidification.

one of the leading environmentalists in the country. 2012] Bill McKibben Addresses OA When Bill McKibben. 2012] Plastic Pollution Postcard Upwell’s satiric e-postcard helped amplify the recent discovery of plastic bags in the Arctic to online audiences. 2012] Washington OA Plan. which featured “everyday household plastic objects made to look like the sea life they’re choking to death”. 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. talks.that reminded people to be thankful for ocean MPAs during their holiday. 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). 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. and encouraged other members of our network to share that content to make sure it reached broader audiences. Twitter. 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. Upwell worked with Greenpeace to post the image. 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. 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. and the growing #oceanacidification conversation on Twitter and Reddit. the State’s Blue Ribbon Panel on ocean acidification. and LinkedIn. pointing subscribers to key pieces of content about the decision. people tend to listen.   [December 18th. This campaign capitalized on people’s familiarity with Shell and their drilling plans to increase attention to ocean acidification. [November 20. a meeting of the UN focused on climate change. were strong visual reminders the marine plastics pollution problem. [November 27. [December 6. 2012][November 27. [November 28.000 social mentions across Facebook. [December 4. The images. [December 12. 2012] Keystone Krill Upwell amplified social mentions of an utterly darling hand drawn video to 92 . 2012] NYT Addresses Sea Level Rise During Doha Upwell capitalized on international attention around the Doha Conference. [November 27. Linking a NYT article with the hashtag used to talk about the conference and an interactive map resulted in over 3. generating a strong conversation among shark advocates online.

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

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

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

through these tools and opportunities. 2013 Upwell Community Survey (completed by 107 of the 612 Tide Report subscribers). as well how Upwell has helped the network make the ocean more famous online. topic-specific webinars.Ocean Evangelist Capacity Impacts Introduction “Don't go away! This is an incredibly useful resource that. plus staff speaking engagements. at the very least. National Geographic Society According to a February 7. Upwell’s blog and social media channels. you’ll find metrics and anecdotes that demonstrate the community’s growth. 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. reach. According to the survey. 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. and range. 96 . Manager. 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. Ocean Initiative.” ~ Valerie Craig. 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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com 2. Twitter followers. April 1. 2013. @Salon 241.Upwell Twitter A secondary channel for campaigning across our distributed network since January 31. our feed  had 1.February 5. to Bon Appétit Management Company’s Seafoodies: sustainable seafood folks list.511 followers Salon. 1. 2012 . As of February 7.957 followers Nature Conservancy 100 . 2013 (CoTweet) A sample of our “top” (based on number of followers) Twitter followers demonstrates the range and reach of Upwell’s Twitter community. Upwell’s Twitter feed allows us to share up-to-the minute hot ocean content with the community and amplify their content and campaigns. @nature_org 159.659 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. to the Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC and Virginia’s Green Voices list. 2012.

441 followers Sea Turtle Foundation 101 . Filmmaker. @ConservationOrg 29.375 followers Surfrider Foundation 9. @grist 102. Writer. @craignewmark 62.804 followers Oceana 13.096 followers Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States.778 followers Craig Newmark. Founder of Craigslist 11.010 followers Grist. @jowyang 121.152 followers Paulo Querido.820 followers Polar Bear Trust 19.152 followers John Haydon.899 followers Jeremiah Owyang.org (environmental news) 7. @polarbeartrust 30. @themoceanvibe 111.763 followers National Wildlife Federation 4. @DiscoveryComm 34. #BBC Wildlife TV AP/Director. @nokidhungry 60. Facebook Marketing for Dummies.303 followers Edward James Olmos.711 followers Emmy Award winning underwater cameraman 6. Photographer 15.255 followers Discovery Communications 18. Industry Analyst. Actor 8. 16. Altimeter Group 5. Author. Journalist/Programmer 10. @NWF 123. @FAOnews 63. @turtlenews 29.063 followers SciNewsBlog: Science News for Ordinary People 17. @johnhaydon 49.590 followers Paul Williams.3. 12. @Oceana 61. @SciNewsBlog 47. @edwardjolmos 78. @PauloQuerido 71.245 followers Conservation International 20. @surfrider 76. @iron_ammonite 57.525 followers Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign 14.

046 followers Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability.317 followers Lucia Grenna. @LuciaGrenna 25.770 followers Greenpeace Australia Pacific 31. @gpph 21.122 followers Scripps Institution of Oceanography 102 . @GreenpeaceAustP 17. Sr. @BoraZ 19.339 followers Greenpeace Pilipinas 28.606 followers National Aquarium 32. 29. @CarloLGarcia 27. @NatlAquarium 17.358 followers Monterey Bay Aquarium 25. @EICES_Columbia 24.21. @FCousteau 23.848 followers Carlo Lorenzo Garcia.999 followers Earth Island Institute 26. @Scripps_Ocean 14. @OceanDoctor 19.064 followers Fabien Cousteau 27. @MontereyAq 25. @earthisland 24. Communications Officer and Program Manager for the World Bank's Connect4Climate (C4C) Global Partnership Program 23. Guggenheim 30. Columbia University 24.394 followers Seafood Watch 33. Organizer of ScienceOnline. Actor and Founder of Living Philanthropic 22. Visiting Scholar at NYU school of journalism.726 followers Blogs Editor at Scientific American.493 followers David E. @SeafoodWatch 15.

Upwell Facebook Page A secondary channel for campaigning across our distributed network since March 27. 60. by 40 people. 103 . over five days (February 8February 12. the Upwell Twitter account reaches tens of thousands of people. @upwell_us was mentioned in 50 tweets. Even when we’re not actively campaigning.462 unique people saw tweets that included @upwell_us. 2013. According to the TwitterReach Report (above). 2012. 2013). The Upwell Facebook Page provides an easy way for the Upwell Community to share our curated content with their Facebook communities.TwitterReach Report for February 8-February 12. As a result.

our reach is great. and liked 3. between December 11-17. 2013. Upwell uses Pinterest to engage the growing Pinterest community in Upwell’s work. Pinterest became the third most popular social network in the United States.296 posts. a post by others. 640 people from 20 countries joined the Upwell Facebook Page.712 people created a “story” (a page like. For example. or a check-in) about the Upwell Page.Facebook Page Demographics for September 23-December 21. provide image ideas for ocean activists’ campaigns. As of February 19. often has the same number of people creating stories about its posts.2012 Between September 23-December 21.992 posts on our Facebook Page. Although the number of likes to the Upwell Facebook Page are relatively low. a mention and photo tag. In comparison. 2012. and push traffic towards ocean conservation organizations by pinning. and re-pinning images from their site. a story from our post. which has hundreds of thousands of likes. 1. Greenpeace’s Facebook Page. 104 . In April 2012. behind Facebook and Twitter. commented on 542 posts. Upwell’s Facebook fans shared 1. Pinterest A secondary channel for campaigning across our distributed network since May 9. 2012. 2012.

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

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

8% said it helped them increase their Twitter followers and/or Facebook fans • 30. Executive Director.8% said it helped them increase interaction on Twitter and/or Facebook We also received some love notes from participants: “Excellent meeting!” . The • Project Aware • Pew Charitable Trusts: Pew Environment Group • Sea Stewards • SeaWeb • Shark Angels • Shark Research Institute • Shark Savers • Smithsonian • Synchronicity Earth Sharkinar Impacts: • 61.5% said it helped them network with other shark enthusiasts • 53.8% said it helped them with idea generation.” 110 .Over 50 shark evangelists and campaigners attended the webinars including representatives from: • i love blue sea • Humane Society of the United States.Marie Levine. • 30. 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. The • Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation • Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance • Monterey Bay Aquarium • Oceana • Ocean Conservancy • Ocean Project.

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

Worldviews Network Production Coordinator (California Academy of Sciences). and Special Rescue Operations Program Coordinator (The Marine Mammal Center) “Tide Report is the primary way I engage with Upwell. 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.” -Jill L Harris.. January 28. Outreach Specialist & Web Coordinator.Martin Reed. Whale Entanglement Responder (National Marine Fisheries Service). Save the Bay. Marine Ecosystems and Society. 2013 “Bringing people together! Sharing of ideas! Great content that is easily shareable (and fun to share).” -Kathi Koontz. Great writing. Assistant Director of Science. Founder. 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. Scripps Institution of Oceanography “I really enjoy the Tide Reports because they are a quick and entertaining way to get my ocean news. PhD Candidate. IGERT Global Change.com Vanessa Barrington.Heather Galindo.Claire Fackler.  National Education Liaison.Kelly Drinnen. I think it's great!” . COMPASS “Keep doing what you're already doing with the Tide Report.” .” . Public Relations Manager. NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries 112 . ilovebluesea.

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

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an absence of personal connection. To put it another way: a topic such as ocean acidification may be of profound importance from an ecological management perspective. the Baseline level of discussion is significantly higher for cetaceans than for ocean acidification. The reasons for that may be multiple and compounding: lack of understanding. it may barely register. early 1930s. the threats to most populations of George Orwell visits our client. lack of awareness. 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. who care about them with a passion.Comparative Ocean Conversation Analytics Introduction “All ocean topics are equal. among others. but some are more equal than others. and a topic that is at the center of a great many earnest and concerned discussions within the scientific and activist communities.” 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. and the opportunities for that conversation to experience spikes of interest are also greater (for an explanation of “Baselines.” what they are and how they’re calculated. Understanding the different scales of online conversations and monitoring what spikes a 115 . on an ongoing basis. or a dearth of opportunities around which to engage in discussion. but online. but there are a lot of people who really like dolphins. Conservation NGOs have actively nurtured this constituency by placing wildlife as the centerpiece of repeated fundraising efforts. please see the section of this report titled Methods: Big Listening). Conversely. cetaceans—dolphins. who mobilize every time there is a dolphin hunt in Japan or elsewhere. significantly since commercial whaling was at [source] its peak. 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.

Our personal filters are further compounded by the increasing personalization of online services—an effect Eli Pariser has dubbed “the filter bubble.conversation is what we call Big Listening. but it does provide a significant new quantitative input to inform their work. it’s great if discussion of ocean acidification spikes ten-fold. 10 11 http:/ /www. consider that our data shows that over a sixmonth period in 2012. campaigner or communicator’s intuition about which subjects or frames are more popular.thefilterbubble. which are most likely to spike and why. to be focused on our particular area. Many of us—individuals and organizations—have a tendency to live and campaign in a bubble. and what we can learn from these findings. and to be disproportionately pleased with perceived increases in our reach and influence.com/ http:/ /www.6 million mentions of the Kardashian family. but even those spikes are but a fraction of the Baseline cetacean discussion. And for a genuine reality-check.us/ocean-acidification-vs-kardashians-part-deux-gulf-even-wider-online 116 . we examine which ocean conversations have been the most popular. one that is able to place those conversations in context.”10 Yes. It is not a replacement for a program officer. The value of Big Listening is that it provides a quantitative. big-picture means of measuring the size and evolution of online conversations.upwell. ocean acidification’s 70.033 total online mentions compared far from favorably Ocean Kardashification: a frame worth konsidering? to the 9. That’s 136 times more Kardashian!11 In this section.

While to some extent this is the result of so many conversations being conducted under the “oceans” banner (more on that later). Cetaceans and Sharks. 117 . The next two largest of our topics. without proper filtering. also demonstrate comparatively high Baselines when assessed against the others. those other uses can distort the apparent size of the discussion. the generic “oceans” conversation is orders of magnitude larger than the conversations for its constituent components. when we look at overall levels of conversational Baselines.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. the word “ocean” is itself so widely used that.

Here we’ve altered the scale to focus in on the more specific conversations. the Tuna Baseline is significantly higher than the others. The first thing that can be seen is that. 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. Cetaceans and Sharks. and changing the y-axis scale yet again. 118 . Removing Tuna. excluding Oceans. among these.

119 . we can see substantial differences among our lowest-volume topics. Here. The table below shows the individual day-of-the-week Baseline values for Upwell’s primary monitoring topics.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. and Overfishing comes in about five times higher. smallest to largest. Topics are sorted by average Baseline social mention volume. Ocean Acidification and Sustainable Seafood are basically tied for secondlowest (each exceeds the other for certain days of the week). MPAs has the lowest Baseline. finally.

663 40.700 78. 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 .650 2.381 20.196 18.496 78.935 20. For each topic we offer a graph of social mention volume over time.080 69.193 40.970 7.382 6.531 42.587 21.670 7.354 76.816 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.606 1.020 20.530 1.716 5.565 2.416 1.262 1. and an analysis of the overall conversational dynamics.671 6.384 7.647 1.763 7.628 2. a breakdown of some of the biggest spikes in attention.044 43.001 39.703 74.665 1.500 79.204 38.907 18.831 1.481 21.653 20937 41.904 7.727 1.971 36.309 1.695 2.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 75.333 79.763 2.649 2.

of California completing an MPA network. While the spike in Overfishing was less than half the size of the spike in the Tuna conversation. • October 29. The two biggest drivers of the spike in attention were. 2012: 8. mentioned under MPAs.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. Despite the humdrum slogan.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. the oceans will look nothing like they do today. 2012: 10. and with clear and simple animation. “Terrifying! Fifty years from now. • July 3. bycatch and aquaculture on marine ecosystems. such as Sharks and Tuna (whose namesakes are overfished). • May 29. 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. that effort marked a first serious attempt to bring attention to overfishing as an environmental and human concern. Online discussion of the topic greatly exceeds that of the related Sustainable Seafood conversation. The other big contributor to this spike was the news that China intends to ban Shark Fin Soup from official state banquets. a powerful four minutes of animation on the impacts of overfishing.org posted the video on its website and tweeted the link with the headline. the spike suggests that at least some of the ‘radioactive tuna’ attention touched on the impacts of overfishing on Pacific bluefin numbers. After all. 2012: 14. CA MPAs. MoveOn. however. 2012: 7. “save the fish” just didn’t seem to have the same ring as some of Greenpeace’s other campaigns. In the years since.716 [Antarctic Ocean (Day 10) and I Oyster NY]: An international. including the news. internal organizational response was not entirely enthusiastic. 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. the remarkable image of a  “fish tornado” in a marine reserve off Mexico. it explained basic concepts powerfully and cleanly without hyperbole. Also contributing that day was the news that officials in the European Union 121 .” The video was successful because it was pithy. Fish Tornado]: A number of significant stories combined to push this day to the highest spike of the year in the Overfishing conversation. overfishing has become perhaps the leading issue on which ocean-themed NGOs focus their attention in various forms. and to address its underlying causes.751 [China Shark Fin Soup Ban]: The Brussels-based Ocean2012 organization released a video entitled “Ending Overfishing”.   • December 19. and a Greenpeace “Gangnam Style” video which was embedded with overfishing campaign messages. and of course frequently overlaps with more specific conversation topics.704 [Gangnam Style.

which exceeded the record price set the previous year. The topic encompasses a relatively broad conversational area. Because the Overfishing conversation is relatively small. overfishing has charismatic ocean species such as sharks and bluefin who are in clear and present danger. Sir Richard. from the ongoing damage that we are doing to our oceans and fisheries. in particular. influencers who focus their audiences’ attention there can have a substantial effect in increasing attention (though their ability to sustain it is questionable). People are looking for solutions. with wonkish report subjects such as fisheries management and lackluster international conferences. Danger is catnip to the internet. Whereas sustainable seafood suffers from a fragmented and cloudy brand identity (what is sustainable seafood. anyway?). has instigated a number of attention events in overfishing through his work against shark-finning. the comic actor Jonah Hill. Bad news spikes high and fast online and then it goes away.917 [NU-5]: The record sale of a single bluefin tuna for $1. from an attention point of view. • January 5. salmon and lesser known but equally important fish. 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. Those videos didn’t shy away from the brutality or devastation involved. Several spikes were driven by compelling overfishing video content. the spikes within Overfishing have been occurring more frequently since Upwell started monitoring (and campaigning on) the topic. compelling and hopeful. 2013: 8. Analysis Collectively. Bad news and charismatic species are chum to celebrities and campaigners. The Overfishing conversation actually benefits. The sale. and one that has historically churned out quarterly bursts of dire news. Overfishing is becoming more spikey and the spikes are increasing in volume. overfishing represents a grab bag of ocean brands. and roughly twothirds that of our next biggest topic. and thus an impact. Overfishing has about five times the Baseline volume of Sustainable Seafood. 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. Intriguingly. but they did present it in a way that felt fresh. The Overfishing conversation brings together species such as sharks. Without questioning motives. Another celebrity. 122 .made very significant changes to the setting of fisheries quotas in the region—changes widely praised by environmentalists and fisheries managers. The comparison with Sustainable Seafood is particularly interesting because the two topics are obviously intricately connected— the difference is how people talk about them.76 M in Tokyo propelled this spike in attention. Overfishing looks good on (video) camera. was able to single-handedly drive a spike with a single overfishing tweet. tuna. the Gulf of Mexico.

The Campaigning. The foundation of the Marine Stewardship Council in 1997.093 [Vote4Stuff]: Upwell’s video submission to the star-studded Vote4Stuff campaign raised the profile of overfishing and sustainable seafood for a large online audience. 2012: 1. including WWF. Production quality. and the creation of seafood guides such as the one produced by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.and for most videos to be shared they have to elicit an emotion from their viewers that the viewers want to share. gradually helped make the notion of sustainable seafood a more widelyrecognized one. launched reports and posted blogs on proposals for enhancing the future sustainability of commercial fisheries. the very notion of sustainable seafood would likely have elicited universal blank stares. • November 21. while the concept is becoming increasingly well-established in consumer minds. Fishing and Seafood: Sustainable Seafood As recently as fifteen—perhaps even ten—years ago. 2012: 1.312 [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. as well as the cumulative effect of a sustained flow of posts from conference live-tweeters employing a shared hashtag. aesthetics. 123 . they are unlikely to want to expose their friends and coworkers to what is. • September 6. If your overfishing video is filled with bloody documentary footage of shark fins. promoted our video through official online channels to a potential audience of millions. 2012: 1. This was a spike caused by a number of related stories. In association with the summit’s launch. 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. The video is the medium for that transmission. 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. tone and length are especially important considerations for videos of this nature. Even if they finish watching. you’re aiming for a seriously intense emotional response from your audience. • October 4.030 [NU-18]: This marks the opening of the International Sustainable Seafood Summit in Hong Kong. and its celebrity-co-founder. Leonardo DiCaprio. Both the Vote4Stuff campaign. in technical terms. several organizations. a total bummer. 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. it remains a quiet conversation online.

the overall brand of Sustainable Seafood is fragmented. Taken as a whole. fraud. Collaboration and Powerful Amplifiers. Marine Protected Areas has a lower baseline than Sustainable Seafood but occasionally spikes higher than the Sustainable Seafood max. which has regular media hooks through connections to Shark Week. it turns out. is not as attention-generating as bad news. not in those terms. Good news for fisheries and consumers. 124 . awkward and wonky. 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. Furthermore. Unlike Overfishing. And despite their obvious connections. crucially. the Sustainable Seafood conversation doesn’t generally translate into spikes from live events and or big news stories.   Analysis Sustainable Seafood is a low-volume conversation with low-level spikes. For comparison. People simply do not talk about the sustainable seafood that they ate last night. or a bridge campaign (many of them attributable to Upwell). the fragmentation of the Sustainable Seafood conversation means that it is more difficult to accurately capture it with keywords. Where we do see spikes occur they are usually based in one of three elements: well-known brands promoting their sustainable offerings (Safeway. “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. McDonalds). and that a low volume doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t talking. As we detail in Campaigning. 2013: 1. Ocean Acidification displays the same characteristic. 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. or.276 [NU-23] and January 25. dire report releases and celebrity activists. the volume of the Sustainable Seafood conversation is only one fifth of that of the Overfishing conversation. 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.• January 24.

It is safe to say. Interestingly. The announcement was given added juice by it being made on the eve of the Rio+20 conference. Major Spikes • June 14.656: This was driven by news reports that Australia planned to establish the world’s largest network of MPAs around its coast. and the debate over their correct use and application as part of broader marine environmental strategy is a vital one. 125 . 2012: 1. scientists and activists. however.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. which has made the establishment of MPAs across the globe a major goal. 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. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an essential and important component of ocean protection. 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.

their use can be confusing even to those within the community. we can generally say two things: 1. Although marine reserves. Analysis There is no ongoing volume of online discussion of MPAs that reflects their policy importance within the NGO community. along with the announcement that California had completed a comprehensive network of marine protected areas that had been years in the making.065 through October 24. 2012: 6. shared. linked to. The MPA conversation is also notable for its international elements. 2.425: An incredible image of a “fish tornado” taken in Cabo Pulmo National Park drove this spike. but on news stories that are picked up. Especially popular are stories about MPAs that are working.• October 21. • December 19.org calling on CCAMLR to “save the Antarctic Ocean” by establishing the world’s largest network of MPAs. They are based not on any online activity or petitions. When MPA news does jump outside of the MPA-specific audience it can lead to extremely significant spikes. 2012: 2.131: This series of four sustained spikes was led by a massive petition drive led by AVAAZ. and MPAs all have very specific meanings from a management perspective. 2012: 3. product or place) that a person interacts with. MPA announcements coming out of Australia have generated significant spikes. outside of the policy world. MPA sounds more wonky than marine reserves. complete. The conversational fragmentation of MPAs is similar to that of Sustainable Seafood in that each topic is discussed. 126 . as has news of the creation of other protected areas elsewhere in the world. or growing. marine sanctuaries. MPA spikes have a demonstrated ability to go much much higher than the MPA Baseline would suggest. When MPA spikes occur. 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. and it seems likely that at least some MPA discussion is taking place without the term being utilized. One element that contributes to the remarkably low general discussion of MPAs is terminology. in terms of the physical manifestation (the food. quoted and retweeted. Those stories are good news: MPAs have been established.

This spike demonstrates the limitations of language filters. 2011: 159. Major Spikes • November 10.” is in English so those mentions made it through.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. as our Radian6 keyword groups are generally set to return only English language items.883: The biggest Oceans story of the day was the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games being held in Jakarta.7 127 . Specifically. a tsunami warning in the Indian Ocean. following an 8. and into which all other conversations should ideally fit. Add in the likes of Ocean Spray and Frank Ocean. 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. But it encompasses such a wide area. and spikes can be misleading. the spike was all about the right kind of ocean: the Indian Ocean. In this case the acronym for the games. • April 12. 2012: 159. “SEA.472: In this case.

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

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. The primary inhabitants of the Cetaceans topic—dophins and whales—each have a number of linguistic doppelgängers (Miami Dolphins. for example) who threaten to obscure their online mentions with irrelevant chatter. and in an age 129 .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.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. This spike highlights two things: even in an age of new media. Major Spikes • July 5.

The cetacean conversation remains at a high level relative to other ocean discussions. Taiji was a consistent element in every spike.where whaling has long been on the retreat. The conversation began to exceed the Baseline in the first third of the year and was consistently above it thereafter. and was headlined. The whales apparently swam free late on the 11th. • January 9-10 2013. Spikes are driven particularly by live.000 times. ongoing events .tv—that streamed the hunt and was linked to an astonishing 51. a pod of orcas trapped by ice in Canada’s Hudson Bay. A lot. of which the prime and most retweeted example was a post by Virgin founder Richard Branson.com—detailed the death of a captive bottlenose dolphin called Sundance. ‘The effects of confinement on captive cetaceans. This demonstrates that even relatively old posts can be given new life. in real time. particularly after it was tweeted by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on the 9th. as the blog post acknowledged. The conversation was driven by many calling for icebreakers to come and rescue the whales.’ The Sundance story was not new.366: Perhaps the largest single ongoing driver of the online cetacean conversation is the dolphin hunt in Taiji. 130 . which was published on November 6. But the post. a tactic that we have employed in several of our attention campaigns. On this day. People like whales and dolphins.682: This is another example of a live event causing a spike in online discussion: in this case. Canadian media spread the story and it was soon picked up online. 2012: 69. gave it new life.602: A post on a relatively obscure blog—suite101. after shifting winds broke open a channel in the ice. and by a livestreaming site— ezearth. 2012: 66. even when it was wasn’t the main driver. the notion of another country joining the hunt is jarring and generates attention. Japan.although interestingly. after they were spotted by a hunter from the Inuit village of Inukjuak in Quebec. a natural event (ice-entrapped whales) and the prospect of rescuing them created an even bigger spike than dolphin hunts in Taiji. against an activity—any activity. • November 9. the conversation was dominated by Sea Shepherd providing live tweets of a hunt. but especially something as emotive as the killing of dolphins—is a huge driver. The first report of the orcas came on January 9. it had been detailed in a book chapter in 2010. Analysis A few things stand out from these figures. It seems likely that ongoing reports from the Taiji dolphin hunt were largely responsible for this. Peak value: 83. This highlights the power of immediacy on the Internet: the ability to vicariously observe and protest. • December 3.

2010. July 31. about “Sharks on a Plane: The Movie. 131 . • May 12. There is simply no other single event that consistently raises the level of discussion of any oceanrelated topic the way that Shark Week does.196: This spike appears to have been largely driven by a Roger Ebert column. along with whales and dolphins. Sharks are among the most charismatic marine animals. Sharks. increasingly by social media. and August 12-13.” The links to the column are now dead.858: These spikes all represent the beginning of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. 2011. peak value 764. 2011: 52.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. and by anticipation of an annual event. driven by advertising. to some extent like oceans. wordof-mouth. The size of the Baseline conversation. 2012. Major Spikes • August 1. is obscured in most graphs by the immensity of the spikes that result because of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. which he tweeted and which was widely retweeted. Note the huge spikes for Discovery Channel's Shark Week. however.

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

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. it refers simply to a piece of seafood. 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. For many people. the impacts of purse-seining on dolphins. as some of these spikes reflect. Major Spikes • April 16. “tuna” in an environmental context mostly refers to bluefin.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. tuna conversation in an environmental context was mostly focused on yellowfin. and online discussions are as likely to refer to issues related to that as much as to environmental concerns. and the development of the ‘Dolphin-Safe’ label. In this decade. 2012: 11.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. however.

For researchers. Multiple news stories were shared and retweeted. WWF announced that it had discovered illegal shipments of tuna through Panama.76 million. the most interesting aspect was confirmation of tuna migration patterns. 2012: Peak value: 24. Upwell ran a campaign to amplify attention to this statistic. and in the spikes. suggesting illegal catches of bluefin could be higher than realized.4 percent. 2013: 14. The prospect of poisoning from salmonella or radioactivity provided two of the biggest spikes. • January 5. Three of the Tuna spikes are the result of concerted efforts by NGOs—WWF. and one solely resulting from an effort by Pew Environment Group. On the 31st. spent a day excerpting the key facts and translating them into comprehensible language. 2012: 20. emphasizing that they are getting more expensive because they are more rare. Most amount ever paid for a tuna. Pew jumped on a dense scientific study that was uploaded at 2AM ET.898: Another human health story. 2012 . 2012: Peak value: 23. • October 31. Analysis Despite ongoing efforts to encourage consumers to see tuna as impressive wild animals. 2013: 12.942: This does seem to be an environmental spike. • January 15. it prompted an online freakout about glow-in-the-dark fish. The radioactive Fukushima tuna story was propelled by a sensational ready-made headline but originally emerged from a journal article in PLoS ONE. Greenpeace. Pushes by Greenpeace and the Pew Environment group appear to have been particularly effective in moving this dial. for consumers. 134 . As this story continued on the following day. TMZ revealed that an X Factor contestant had been hospitalized for eating bad tuna. The driver this time: an IUCN report that global tuna stocks are reaching the limits of sustainability. 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 Pew—to find ways to push stories that otherwise might not have been noticed.267: This was a pretty big story.684: This was a purely conservation discussion.• May 29 . almost 2 million dollars! Pacific bluefin decreased by 96 percent! The math is on the wall.November 1. Conservation messages that were propagated at this time were rather rudimentary. 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.199: Two completely unrelated events appear to have put tuna in the news on consecutive days. 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. most people still regard tuna primarily as food. Big figures are good for attention (even when the implications of those figures are very very bad). and revealing that they found that the Pacific bluefin tuna population had been reduced by 96. • September 11.30.

2012: Peak value: 28. As can be seen from the above.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. Note how conversation gathered pace as the storm headed toward shore. it is an ongoing topic of online conversation on a low level. • November 15. At the same time. peaked as it made landfall on the 28th. BP admitted to felonies in the lead-up to the 2010 135 . Major Spikes • August 26 . which disrupted travel. and declined thereafter.718: This conversation was all about tropical Storm Isaac. but two substantial spikes elevated it significantly above its Baseline. 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. 2012: Peak value: 62. 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.

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

2012: Peak value: 2. it is predicted to result in deterioration of shellfish shells. a result of increased levels of CO2 in the ocean.970: These two spikes resulted from the opening of the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) in Australia. among many other changes. it is to Lubchenco’s credit that she took advantage of that opportunity with such memorable phrases.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. and the skeletons of plankton. the background ocean acidification conversation has yet to really register.” The existence of the conference conditioned the climate for the interview to take place.10. activists and managers in the marine conservation community. Major Spikes • July 9 . partly as a result. 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. OA is a high impact issue. 137 . Occasionally. coral reefs. but with an extraordinarily unsexy name. however. a major story breaks through and the spotlight briefly shines on acidifying oceans. Ocean acidification (OA) is an issue that has been garnering increasing attention from researchers.

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). but one that carries significant strategic choices. as is shown by the year’s two biggest spikes.28. California September 24-27. following the publication of a report by a blue-ribbon panel that generated national press coverage. is powerful. with shells of sea snails in the Antarctic showing signs of dissolving. 2012: 1. 2012: Peak value: 3. and on November 27 was joined by Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire ordering state agencies to take initial steps to combat ocean acidification. the complexities of which should not be underestimated. The first was fueled by powerful catchphrases that boiled down complex science into two simple. The notion that we’re effecting such demonstrable change. and the second did not dwell on theoretical possibilities or timelines for change but instead was able to say categorically: sea snails are dissolving. and they’re dissolving now.775: After several days of OA interest resulting from the “Oceans in a High CO2 World” conference. 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. This continued the following day. which had taken place in Monterey.• October 1.105: This wasn’t one long spike. This subject has a long way to go before it becomes a conversation in which a large segment of the community is truly engaged. and doing so now. Analysis While OA may not yet resonate widely. but a pair in succession.’ The article was linked to 582 times on Twitter alone. It should nonetheless be noted that even the spikes are low compared to the Baseline conversations of Cetaceans and Sharks. easy-to-understand notions. 138 . The first stemmed from a study showing that some of the worst predicted effects of ocean acidification were already taking place. among others. • November 25 . 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. Bridging the community concerned with OA to the community concerned with climate change is a huge opportunity. it has the elements that could enable it to.

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

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

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). as well as their personal and professional networks.g. The full set of strategy screens that we to evaluate opportunities use is detailed in the Methods: Campaigning section. morning scrum). but our group conversations allow us to take a number of sophisticated and 141 . 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. Sharks.li. Before Team Upwell assembles for our morning meeting. Our scrum allows us to leverage our machine-assisted systems by adding another humancurated sort on the news of the day.) During our morning meeting (a. (This process is detailed further in the Methods: Campaigning section of this report. taken together. they are both robust and redundant. Ocean Acidification) Personal listening systems are as varied as our six team members but.us: Our community tip line. sorted into topical lists (e. 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. then we should probably find a better thing to amplify or campaign on. We use the tips@upwell. the competition is fierce but collaborative. Ocean Science!. If we can’t make every person on our team see why they should share something with their friends. Each system draws upon that individual’s unique portfolio of interests. to serve up a buffet of news stories and ocean-related content for consideration as potential campaign opportunities. We use technology to aid the news gathering. Spundge and Netvibes are just a sample of the tools that we use in our individual systems. Technology-aided curation services such as Paper. analytics and queuing processes.a. 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.us email and the Upwell Firehose Tumblr account to act as holding tanks for our discussion later that morning. Much like in a newspaper editorial meeting.+ = 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.k.

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

How Might We Big Listen in the Future? While the context for Big Listening is constantly shifting. The fight over personal privacy isn’t going away. combined with growing movements for transparency in both public and private data. smart humans will still be crucial for training our robot helpers. One avenue. The big question. Divergent Functions. is to target 143 . will continue to open new sources of information for aggregation. connection and analysis. identifying more complex patterns. Robot sense. The question—and this is big for Upwell—is what does saying something online have to do with past. The rise of cloud-based services. but certainly in the sense of improved algorithms and machine-learning. Upwell advisor K. This trend is likely to continue. As we have seen firsthand with Radian6. That said. 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. or can’t afford. Even with the bestest of super supercomputers. but far more research is necessary to expand knowledge in this area. 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. Social Science Catches Up to Social Media. These advancements will dramatically improve contextual and sentiment analysis for listening tools. The internet presents no shortage of people who will give you their opinion on anything. Buyer Beware. identified by Tom Webster of Edison Research. simply can’t. present or future behaviors? We theorize that it says quite a lot (in a small but significant way). perhaps not robots in the I. and applying what is learned. Correspondingly. as it relates to Big Listening. the National Weather Service has found that skilled humans improve computer-only weather forecasts by double-digits. we believe that current trends point to some likely future developments. Paine has helped the PR industry to develop a transparency standard that may force the issue.” “competitor” or “industry” does not natively (or intuitively) support facilitate Big Listening.D. 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. These include: New Firehoses. 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). a tool designed to categorize every topic as a “brand. Ok. but neither is rampant data collection. Privacy Fights. to access. Smarter Robots.

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

methods. Often the same search query in two different services returns different results because of those variations.Considerations for Tool Choice Each of the various free and paid online search and online monitoring services scans different platforms (e. • Handling of inclusions/ exclusions Upwell uses text-scraping tools including • Source filters Radian6. • Favored API partners gaps and limitations.g.) using different algorithms and search methods. For this reason. particular types of websites. etc. Twitter. blogs. 145 . 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. Tumblr. 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. 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). Facebook.

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

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

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

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

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

Iconic image.Because everyone knows David Beckham. Defining your impact based 151 . Define your goals and metrics based on what is actually measurable. Awareness is not easily measurable and quantifiable. 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. so “raising awareness” is an indefinite and impractical goal. Shareable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

minute period from Thursday. 21 February 2013 at 19:48 UTC to Thursday. 28 February 2013 at 19:24 UTC. and a broad audience is ready to be mobilized for change.” In it. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign against over-fishing shows up in many of the clusters. and about the same number of very small conversations in  the lower right (G9-G11). 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. 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. as audiences react to the criticism in the Guardian UK. we see substantially more isolated tweets on the left (G1). 165 . The language used is indicative of many overfishing subtopics.

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

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