Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reflections on Becoming the Science Communicator. Part 1 Twitter.

When we first started this blog I think we all felt like beginners. I still feel like a beginner, but after the workshop I think I'm one step closer to understanding all this social media. On Wednesday NSF NH-EPSCoR held a workshop on becoming a science communicator. We talked about twitter, creating a solid message, powerpoint presentations, videos, and of course Blogging. As I was writing up all that I had learned, it was obvious that the post was becoming really long so I've divided it up into three sections, Twitter, The Message, and the Video.

I think the main point I got from yesterday is that you need to just put yourself out there. You will make mistakes, but with practice and some forethought you should be fine. So this is an experiment for myself, and hopefully along the way I'll be able to impart why I think space physics, and space physics with Balloons is just so incredibly cool!

I had a twitter account, but I had never really used it till the workshop. Man was it fun when people really started to get into it. The presenters had four screens, two showing the presentations and two showing the tweets trending on #NSFMessengers. We even got people who came to previous workshops tweeting with us. It was amazing how a topic would come up and all of a sudden people would be tweeting relevant links and adding to the discussion.

At the beginning of the campaign we had talked about having a BARREL twitter account. Since none of us were all to familiar with it we decided to focus our efforts on other things, like this blog! However after the workshop I went online and signed us up. You can now follow us at BARREL_Antarctic. I'm hoping that we can use this tool to not only reach more people, but to get information out there even faster than before.

Tailoring everything to 140 characters is a bit challenging, but at the same time quiet fun! We talked a lot about trying to create sound bites that will be "sticky" and people will remember. Here are a few that I tried to come up with. As you can tell I have a long way to go!

From Leo to geo and beyond, there is a great diversity of satellite missions studying the Earth

Satellite missions may come and go, but ground instruments are forever... or until the funding runs out.

And finally

We're [BARREL] a micro brewed mission,  high quality but relatively small and local, searching for killer electrons. 
 I know, I know, I should stick to my day job. Anyone out there got some better sound bites? We'd love to hear them!