What is WSTC?
WSTC is an annual, Twitter-based conference to learn about seabird research and conservation around the world from the comfort of your home, office, or field station.
What is the history of WSTC?
The first five years of the World Seabird Twitter Conference were a great success. For example, during just the three days of last year’s conference, the #WSTC5 hashtag was used 3,400 times by more than 700 contributors – reaching nearly 1.3 million people. We had more than 100 presenters from over 20 countries – making it a truly global event.
What is a Twitter conference?
A Twitter conference, as the name suggests, takes place on Twitter. During the conference, each presenter gets 15 minutes in which to tweet out four tweets about their topic. By following the hashtag specific to the conference (for example, #WSTC5) the tweets can then be seen by people from all over the world. Just like at a normal academic conference, it allows you to present your work, catch up on the work of others, and network with people in your field – but with the added benefits that it is all completely cost- and carbon-free and you reach a much wider audience.
How do I participate?
If you are interested in being a spectator only, you just need to search for the Twitter hashtag (for example, #WSTC5) to see all posts related to the conference. There will also be session-specific hashtags allowing you to follow topics you are particularly interested in and a programme will be published where you can find the times and titles of all presentations. You are also encouraged to get involved and interact with the presenters and other spectators! In this case, you need to get a Twitter account if you don't already have one – which can be easily done at www.twitter.com. Interacting by asking questions, re-tweeting and liking the tweets is an incredibly important part of the conference.
What if I don't know how to use Twitter?
There are a lot of online resources to help you learn how to use and get the most out of Twitter. We find the “masterclasses” produced by the BOU particularly helpful.
Once you have set up an account it is a good idea to follow some of the larger seabird groups, which will help you make sure that you get content that you are interested in (such as @Seabirders, @PacificSeabirds, @TheSeabirdGroup, and @AUS_NZ_Seabirds). From here, you can then find and follow other accounts you are interested in.
It is a good idea to make sure that your profile shows who you are and what you do. Here is a helpful BOU masterclass on how to get your profile sorted: https://www.bou.org.uk/twitter-masterclass-13/
If you’re still confused about how to navigate Twitter, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for updates and news for #WSTC6!