Michelle Spruce recently attended the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) Student & Early Career Researcher conference at the University of Birmingham on 4/5 July 2019.
— Royal Met. Society (@RMetS) July 4, 2019
— Sally Woodhouse (@sallywoodhouse_) July 4, 2019
— Caroline Coch (@PolarCaro) July 4, 2019
— Chris Manktelow (@chrismanktelow3) July 4, 2019
As well as opening the conference by presenting her research on the social sensing of extreme weather events, Michelle also encouraged conference attendees to use Twitter during the conference in a social sensing experiment to understand the impact of ‘tweeting’ during an academic conference.
Social experiment at #RMetSStudents, in the capacity of using social media to infer weather impacts.
(This might mean I get rather academic these two days)
— Sleepy Tom (@Claxtneph) July 4, 2019
Over the 2 days of the conference attendees tweeted news and updates using the conference hashtag #RMetSStudents. By lunchtime on the second day of the conference with just 162 tweets Michelle was able to demonstrate the wider impact of these tweets:
— Royal Met. Society (@RMetS) July 5, 2019
— Amanda Maycock (@acmaycock) July 5, 2019
— Sally Woodhouse (@sallywoodhouse_) July 5, 2019
By the end of the conference, 203 tweets including this hashtag were generated, from 44 users in 6 countries and 13 cities. While a seemingly small amount of data, by the end of the conference these tweets generated a potential reach of over 32,000 Twitter users and over 500,000 impressions (individual views of these tweets). This simple experiment demonstrated the power of using Twitter as a source of information even for small scale events such as this.