WWWhat's Trending: Web Site Relaunches, NOAA TweetAlerts, Other Social Media Milestones
New York Sea Grant went live with a new online look right before Memorial Day, followed by the reworking of National Sea Grant College Program's virtual space just after Labor Day; Also in the second and third quarters of this year, NOAA unveiled TweetAlerts and reached more milestones on both Twitter and Facebook. Here are the details on all of those online updates ...

New Look for NYSeaGrant.org, More Links to Social Media ...

In mid-May 2013, New York Sea Grant launched a full redesign for it's Web site, www.nyseagrant.org. Included was a more streamlined navigation, a list of "Trending Topics" and multiple ways to access new content.

In addition to clicking through to coastal science-based stories via a "Featured" tabbed section (which can also be accessed from our "Currents" page via an RSS feed reader  www.nyseagrant.org/rss/currents), visitors can now sample some new content from the site's rotating image bar or keep up-to-date with our RSS feed—the orange button on the top left of any site page, next to quick links to our Facebook (www.facebook.com/nyseagrant), Twitter (www.twitter.com/nyseagrant) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/nyseagrant) platforms.

Each one of our social media pages also has its own tab on our Web site's homepage, with a feed of new content—you'll find it right below the rotating image story carousel on the homepage. And, speaking of feeds, in addition to offering an RSS
feed reader for our "Featured," or "Currents," content, you can also get the latest updates in just a few clicks for our "Funding Opportunities" (www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/rss/fundingopportunities) or "Press Releases" (www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/rss/pressreleases).

In addition to accessing our RSS news feed via the orange button or the direct link, you can also subscribe to any of our feeds from the "Social Media" drop-down menu in the navigation bar here at www.nyseagrant.org. What is RSS?  RSS is a simple online feed reader that automatically manages your favorite online content. It sorts and organizes your news, subscriptions, alerts, shopping deals and more. And it's all accessible—quickly and easily—from your computer, tablet/iPad, and mobile phone – so the content that matters most is always at your fingertips. For more, visit, www.rss.com.

You can also sign up for our E-list (www.nyseagrant.org/forms/coastlines.aspx), from which our electronic newsletter NY Coastlines / Currents is distributed several times a year, in a few quick clicks via Constant Contact.

In addition to tabs on our homepage for our "Featured" content as well as information shared via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, we also have a tab highlighting some of the entries you'll find on our blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog, which we launched in mid-July to coincide with a week-long teacher training aboard the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 180-foot R/V Lake Guardian.

Featuring over 220 videos and counting, New York Sea Grant's video channel includes short clips on, among other topics, clean and safe boating, Hurricane Sandy research and beach-friendly rip currents education. The archive, which currently dates back to 2007, has attracted well some 130 subscribers and over 132,700 views as of early August


In late March, New York Sea Grant debuted it's "Social Media Week in Review" feature on the popular social media channel. "It's just one way that we can engage our followers and attract new subscribers," says NYSG Web Content Manager Paul C. Focazio. Since then, the weekly catch-up caught on, with nearly a total of over 9,100 reached so far and an average of several hundred with each week's post. Remember to check in every Friday, like it and pass it on. We'll surely be thankful of you being a part of what Focazio calls the "social media ripple effect."

Also from NYSG's Facebook page, you can, in just a click or two, sample our YouTube channel and Twitter feed as well as sign up for our e-list (from which we distribute NY Coastlines, our flagship publication, as well as Currents, our e-newsletter supplement).

On The National Front ...

After spending the summer months beta testing, the National Sea Grant College Program rolled-out its new Web site, www.seagrant.noaa.gov, in early September.

"The main goal of the site is to highlight the work of our programs, while still providing general information about Sea Grant and necessary resources for the Sea Grant Network," said Elizabeth Ban, Acting Director of Communications for NOAA Sea Grant's National Office.

The site is focused on news from around the Sea Grant network—there's a Twitter feed from state Sea Grant tweets on nearly every page. In addition, the Sea Grant Communicators network worked with the National Office to develop a calendar of state program news stories so that each program will be featured at a minimum, once every 33 weeks. "We have plenty of opportunity for other news stories as well, and we are grateful for the assistance and cooperation from the National Sea Grant Communicators network," said Ban.

Keep Ahead of the Storm ...

Though you may already be aware that New York Sea Grant keeps its own archive of severe storms news and resources at www.nyseagrant.org/hurricane, you probably aren't aware that our parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has a new mobile feature to get storm information to you in a speedy fashion.

In late September, NOAA announced that it was proudly participating in Twitter's new #TwitterAlerts program: blog.twitter.com/2013/introducing-twitter-alerts. Twitter Alerts enable organizations like NOAA to enhance the visibility of critical Tweets that deliver urgent, late-breaking information during disasters and extreme weather events. This feature is entirely voluntary. To sign up to receive these critical NOAA updates on your phone or mobile device, visit www.twitter.com/NOAA/alerts.

"With this new service from Twitter, you won't have to sort through all the clutter during an unfolding event or disaster," says a NOAA spokesperson. "Our most urgent tweets can be pushed to your device or be specially highlighted in your Twitter feed, so you see them right away. It's your choice."

Below is a graphic that explains the three options you can choose from.

Congrats to our parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for exceeding 210,000 Twitter followers. Follow @NOAA (www.twitter.com/NOAA), which recently exceeded 210,000 Twitter followers, for breaking NOAA news, severe weather updates, cool science stories, photos, satellite imagery and informative graphics on your smartphone or tablet. #Twitter Alerts is just one of their mobile features. For more of NOAA's mobile and social media options, check out www.noaa.gov/socialmedia.

For those of you on Instagram, you can now get NOAA images of weather, fish, oceans, marine life, satellite visualizations, climate, cool science and more - www.instagram.com/noaa. Says a NOAA spokesperson: "It's just another tool we can use to make more widely and publicly accessible our best images and related information about NOAA's work and mission of "science, service and stewardship" on behalf of the American people. We hope it serves you well."

"Thanks again to those of you who comprise our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram community for your continued and enthusiastic support of NOAA's mission, personnel and programs."

NYSG is one of 33 Sea Grant programs of NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program.

— Paul C. Focazio

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