Stories tagged twitter


May I have your attention, please?

(…Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?)

Very funny. But seriously, I’ve got breaking news!

The Institute on the Environment’s Dialogue Earth program is bursting into the online community. With their first press release, Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and blog, they’re drawing attention, and new supporters, every day. They've even been featured on The Line, SUNfiltered, The Daily Crowdsource, and

Big things, folks. I’m telling ya: big things.

(Um, excuse me, KelsiDayle, but what is Dialogue Earth?)

Oh, gosh. I’m always getting ahead of myself. I’ll allow Dialogue Earth to explain for themselves:

“The Dialogue Earth™ team is working to increase public understanding on timely issues related to the environment by delivering engaging, trustworthy multimedia content to large, diverse audiences.”

Consider these three main ways people gather information about the environment:

  1. Personal experiences,
  2. Conversations with other people, and
  3. Media coverage.

Dialogue Earth is developing ways to monitor the ‘chatter’ from each information source.

For example, weather and gas price data sets allow Dialogue Earth to monitor these environmentally-relevant personal experiences.

Twitter provides the Dialogue Earth team with an intriguing sample of peoples’ conversations that have some connection to the environment. Dialogue Earth has developed a method of analyzing Tweets for sentiment through crowdsourcing.

Emerging or social medias, like blogs, are changing our understanding of what’s news, but there are still ways to understand the content, frames, sentiment, and assertions of stories. Dialogue Earth is working on developing a responsive and scalable method for so doing.

Eventually, Dialogue Earth hopes to help people process through the hot topics of the day, but for now Dialogue Earth is focusing on understanding what the big issues are and how people are communicating about them. Knowing these things first should help Dialogue Earth develop additional effective communication tools in the coming months. In fact, Dialogue Earth has already conducted their first experiment in crowdsourcing creative content via Tongal. Check out the winning science video on the topic of ocean acidification below:

Pretty great stuff, huh?

Volunteers in Fargo have been busy this week - they've placed 700,000 sandbags along the river, which should protect them from a flood of up to 40 feet. The rivers in North Dakota have also been busy — they've been tweeting.

Using data from the National Weather Service, these Twitter accounts are set up to pull in current river levels from several locations along a few different rivers: (James River in Jamestown, ND) (Sheyenne River in Valley City, ND) (Red River in Grand Forks, ND) (Red River in Fargo, ND) (Red River in Oslo, MN)

Check out our full feature on the 2010 Mississippi River flooding.


Twitter is, like, totes the new Myspace. Everybody’s using it. Your grandma, aunt Milly, that cute girl in your science class, John McCain. Thing is ubiquitous. You can’t escape it. So if you haven’t capitulated yet, now is the time. Pretty soon, we’ll all be communicating in 140 characters or less, haunted by dreams of that cutesy error message. “Not the whale. NOT THE WHALE!”

So you can follow Lil Wayne, and you can follow Shaquille O’Neil (seriously, do it. You will not be disappointed), and now you can follow Astro_Mike, a real live astronaut named Mike Massimino, currently a member of the space shuttle Atlantis crew, en route to the Hubble Space Telescope to make repairs. Yeah. That’s right. Tweeting from outer space.

hi-tech astronaut technology
hi-tech astronaut technologyCourtesy NASA

Last Tuesday afternoon, Massimino made history. Yeah, he entered the earth’s orbit, and that’s pretty cool, or whatever, but more importantly, he sent an 139-character post to his Twitter account, the site’s first extraterrestrial activity. Well, maybe. I mean, Dennis Kucinich does have an account (cue rimshot). Thanks, folks, I’ll be here all summer.

I can hear you now: “Okay, Elana, that’s great and all, but why should I care?” Well, my dudes, the answer to that question is twofold. First off, you can read material straight from the mouth (or fingers) of a real person in Earth’s orbit. That is pretty awesome. Astro_Mike ’s Twitter is a record of the day-to-day life of an astronaut. Secondly, I think this story speaks pretty strongly to the power of the internet and social networking devices to learn and link the entire universe (literally!) together. Or maybe not. What do you think?