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Explore.org Using Social Media to Create Polar Bear Week
Posted on November 13th 2012
Every year for as long as I remember, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has been a staple in television history. It brings the underwater world’s apex predators into homes everywhere and the hype around it is always explosive, even if you don’t particularly watch any of the shows. According to an article on Mashable, Explore.org is looking to do the same with polar bears, only on a more serious level. But, how do you capture that same amount of viewers without 25 years of ongoing history? Explore.org is using social media as their catalyst to spawn a new annual celebration for the diminishing species.
Explore.org isn’t going one dimensional with this endeavor either. Mashable states, “Explore.org aims to use new media to rapidly build awareness for the devastating effects climate change is having on the lives of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, using a live stream.” Explore.org has teamed up with a handful of fellow polar bear advocates to capture multiple live stream videos, one mobile and the two others at static locations to track their migration this season. Other social media networks are participating as well including Twitter, YouTube and Ustream who are providing their own resources to update the events and post live coverage.
The main reason for this push is due to the climate changes that have been affecting the polar bears migration patterns. Explore.org founder Charles Annenberg Weingarten expressed his concerns with Mashable saying that an event like this will “welcome people of all ages and from all over the world, to open their hearts, souls and minds to the world of the polar bear.” Hopefully, the difficult times for polar bears will resonate through this event to show how the changing climate is destroying their natural habitat.
Will Polar Bear Week become the next Shark Week though? I don’t believe it will in the same way. Shark Week carries a fun and entertaining persona that wouldn’t carry the same way with Polar Bear Week. If Polar Bear Week were to catch on as an annual event, it would act more like an awareness series to how this species survives and how the world is more connected than we think.
Do you think it is important to have a Polar Bear week? Do you think social media will give Polar Bear week the push it needs to become as popular as Shark Week?
Eric Gruenfelder is an intern for fishbat, an online marketing firm located in Bohemia, NY. He also plays Minecraft on survival mode for the sole reason to look into the square face of death.