I have been following the World Parks Congress almost exclusively through Twitter. This is a social media platform I have never had much interest in exploring. I previously considered it to be just another avenue for people to over share, or a method to keep track of their favorite celebrities. There is some of that, but in my limited experience I have found Twitter to be a really helpful networking tool. It’s a great way for like-minded people to connect over shared interests, and since it is now a staple in the media world, I’m glad I have an excuse to learn how these 140-character messages have revolutionized news and advertising.
I began my Twitter journey by following @WPCSydney, the official handle for the congress, so most of the tweets from the event are filtered here. Although there are fewer tweets and followers than I expected, following this page has given me a pretty clear overview of the structure, themes, and goals of the event this year. One thing I have found frustrating is the limited nature of the tweet. With only 140-characters I find myself wanting more context so I can interpret the meaning intended.
This lack of information sent me on search through other media sources to find more, but it was incredibly difficult. I wanted to learn more about the people who spent 2 months canoeing through the Pacific Ocean to get to Sydney prior to the congress, and the reception of Planet Fest by the attendees, but there is almost nothing about the World Parks Congress on mainstream media. I understand that we have some pretty intense news stories at the moment, but it’s crazy to me that unless someone is intentionally following the issue it is unlikely that they would know that the congress even exists.
SIDE NOTE: @WPCSydney tweeted about Brett! Good job, Brett! You’re basically famous!