Social Media in Fisheries: Three Things Twitter (Mostly) Taught Me

Tuesday, September 10, 2013: 11:00 AM
Fulton (Statehouse Convention Center)
Gene Wilde , Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Social media are gaining interest among fishery biologists as a means of tracking and understanding public interest in current fishery issues.  I have studied these media for several years and present lessons learned: (1) there is no telling, a priori, which topics will gain traction with the public; (2) with sufficient traction an issue will go viral- tweets to retweets, etc.-with a rapid, multiplicative (logarithmic) information exchange among interested parties; and (3) opinion begins to dictate policy.  Herein I present three case histories demonstrating this chain of events and show how an appreciation of this process could minimize adverse relations between public and agencies.