Social Media @ COP16

Linh Do | December 9, 2010.

Facebook, Twitter…and COP16?

Observers of the social media space will remember Malcolm Gladwell’s article in the New Yorker about why the revolution will not be tweeted. Even if that’s true, it isn’t stopping climate change activists from tweeting about Cancún.

Using Twitter during conferences can be dangerous and time consuming. Dangerous in that you may be come so consumed to your computer/phone screen that you forget about your actual surrounds. Time consuming in that it takes practice to be able to think in 140 characters. You also feel a certain obligation to read over what other people have to say too.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Twitter fiend, especially when COP is on. In fact, the only reason I started to use Twitter was because I saw it as an effective means of instantaneous communication during Copenhagen last year.

Over the past ten or so days I have been rampant in tweeting general (and at times mundane) updates from COP16, promoting the work of other young people at the conference and occasionally live tweeting from the plenaries or side events.

Few would consider Twitter an advocacy tool but it has been used as a means of gaining traction towards certain topics or events. Oxfam, for example, have been encouraging people to send through messages via Twitter to be included in their Tweetbottle.

Twitter is a great communication tool. Throughout COP16, I’ve had some great conversations with people on the “inside” and the “outside” about all things relating to the environment. I also realised that there were many people following the happenings of COP16 via Twitter.

Below is a video of Kristina Libby, community manager for A Simple Switch (Philips) on how she has been using social media to follow the proceedings of COP16.*

Note: the point of the video wasn’t so that I could get a shout out.

If you are interested in following COP16 on social media, here are some useful resources:

Twitter Hashtags


Twitter Lists
TckTckTck’s Cancun COP16 Global Twitter Global
Chapzs’ COP16 Bloggers and Journalists


By Linh Do, photo by Laura Owsianka.

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