The proof of concept phase is over! My Instagram in July, and what’s the plan now.

So what’s going on with my Instagram fascinocean_kiel? Plenty of things are changing!

In July, I stuck to the strategy I had developed for my private #scicommchall. But then in August I noticed that I was ready for a change, so that change happened!

Let me first remind you of how fascinocean_kiel was set up.

My goals with fascinocean_kiel were to

  1. extend my portfolio as science communicator to include Instagram (clearly achieved since I’ve been asked to give interviews and workshops on how to use Instagram for science communication purposes, and I have four solid months of scicomm Insta to show),
  2. establish a “proof of concept” of sorts: An Instagram profile that uses daily snapshots of something that isn’t possible to plan for 100% (in this case waves, but it might also be clouds or anything else you go out to observe without knowing exactly what to expect each day) but consistently points out interesting things specific to that day’s situation and explains different aspects every day, and in doing so target a specific, local audience in order to raise awareness of a very specific topic (so if anyone is looking for a science communicator to do this: I’ve proven that I am ready if a) your topic is something that I can get really excited about and b) you pay me for doing the work ;-)),
  3. provide an example of an Instagram profile to the PhD students in my project, who I was tasked with motivating to start science communication on social media (which worked beautifully: Check out the KiSOC_Kiel Instagram we are running for the project, and it links to all the different accounts of KiSOC PhDs and friends!).

So yes, even though I’m really happy with how things worked in the “proof of concept” phase, I am done with it now. For any science communication, it is really important that you not only have your goal, audience and message clear, but also that it fits with your lifestyle. And while snapping pictures of Kiel fjord every morning before work is fine while I am in Kiel, I am travelling too much for work to be as consistent as I would like for the purpose of the specific Instagram strategy described above (both because the regular Kiel fjord theme will have gaps, and also because during those gaps I am snapping pictures of water elsewhere that I also want to post!). But so over a longish period of time I’ve been thinking about where to go with fascinocean_kiel, in terms of goals, message, audience and also feasibility in my life and what I really enjoy.

And this is the new (and improved? What do you think?) fascinocean_kiel:

  • “Proof of concept” phase is over, and what is going on now and in the future will be disconnected from what went on until the end of July(-ish). Goals are different, audience is different, message is different, and that is fine!
  • Goal: This will not be a profile with the primary focus on establishing a good practice example for science communication any more. This will be my private creative outlet, and thus I will only post when I feel like it and not try to keep up a regular schedule (yep, I know that’s bad for the algorithm, but that’s fine), and I will post on whatever I fancy that moment.
  • Audience: I’ll be writing in English again, because the people that I want to reach with my posts and that I want to interact with are basically people who are my blog’s current audience (or people who haven’t found my blog yet, but are “similar” to my established readers): People with an interest in oceanography and/or teaching worldwide, not restricted to a german speaking community. I’ll also let go of the idea of specifically talking to a lay audience. I’ll try to still write in a way that you don’t need training in oceanography to follow, but I am now envisioning people like my friends Ib, Elin, Nena, Heiko, or my parents or sisters reading the posts, and I’ll be writing for them.
  • Message: Posts won’t contain a lot of information themselves (unless for some reason I feel like it that day), instead, they will be used to advertise new blog posts (which then will contain more text).
  • Feasibility: I am taking this from something that I do “for my job, but on my own time” and following the fairly restrictive design criteria described above to purely a creative outlet.

Phew, that actually takes SO MUCH pressure off me! Even though it has been a lot of fun to do all this fascinocean_kiel stuff, it has also been work! And I have enough other stuff that I do pro bono that, in the long run, I think will have a bigger impact. So goodbye, old fascinocean_kiel! It was fun, but here is to new challenges and new solutions! :-)

Oh, and you actually wanted to see the stuff I did in July, too? More below the cut…

It’s actually July and August up to today, just so I still have a complete record of my Instagram stuff on my blog… But from now on, the cool stuff will be happening here directly again! And that makes me weirdly excited ;-)

P.S.: As I unfortunately inserted them in reverse chronological order and refuse to spend the next half hour fixing that, you’ll have the interesting experience of seeing that transformation happening backwards from the new normal back to the old ways…

P.P.S.: All the movies that are just screenshots below have already been posted on this blog over the last couple of days if you are interested, or you can go back on Instagram and watch them there, too…

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