Let's be a Citizen Science Community!
Social interaction is an important part of our daily lives. If we want to create a bigger impact with Citizen Science, project tools must not only be running on mobile devices, but also offer a high level of interaction. Following the best principles of modern social media apps, we created a complete and interchained set of extensions during the last month, which together form the new SPOTTERON Community Package. By having more projects joining up on the SPOTTERON platform, we were able to build a unique and feature-rich system for both Citizen Scientists and Scientists. All science projects on SPOTTERON now can not only collect data through the help of participants, but also provide an environment for communication and interaction directly in their custom smartphone apps and interactive maps.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE SPOTTERON COMMUNITY PACKAGE?
By having more projects joining up on the SPOTTERON platform, we were able to build a unique and feature-rich environment for both Citizen Scientists and Scientists.
Users can now comment on spots and updates. Below every spot, there are now tabs with a comments section and the update grid.
Users can now like spots (by giving a heart) and also comments including counters and user notifications.
Users can now follow each other to display their ongoing activity in the newsfeed panel.
Users can now search for other users and add them to their network by following or unfollowing them.
In this panel, all activity comes together and users can see whats new in their network and it also integrates your direct messages.
All community based actions are combined with a notification system on the smartphones, which keeps users informed about new activities.
SPOTTERON is all about collaboration between projects. The Community Package was built with the help of the following partners:
* User Profiles: Crowdwater, University Zurich, Switzerland
* Newsfeed & Push Messages: GLOBAL 2000 Naturputzer, NGO Global 2000
* Comments & Likes: Naturkalender, ZAMG Austria & Lacon
* Notification System + User Search: SPOTTERON
SOCIAL CITIZEN SCIENCE
As Citizen Scientists ourselves, this is a huge step forward to create a Citizen Science platform, which is not only about collecting data with the help of Citizen Scientists, but also to immerse users in the science project and to create a real social experience in Citizen Science. As stated in the definitions by various steering organizations, Citizen Science should always give something back to the Citizen Scientists. And, along with the already existing Direct Message feature, we are now providing the tools for that. Citizen Science should always be a personal experience, keep the participants in the spotlight.
Since SPOTTERON is built by Citizen Scientists for Citizen Science, we are happy to bring a new level of communication and interaction to all projects, running their custom smartphone apps on the platform. With SPOTTERON TWO, we are making a big step in the direction of making Citizen Science not only about the collection of data, but also about education and communication. By creating a kind of Social Citizen Science Network on modern mobile technology, the impact of the projects and of Citizen Science itself can increase dramatically, especially for younger generations.
Our world changes rapidly. From climate change to the loss of natural habitats, all areas are impacted by a shift in the ecological and also social fabric of this planet. It is our opinion, or better, hope, that Citizen Science can play a strong role in creating awareness for our endangered environment and science itself. To get closer to such a goal, Citizen Science needs to be an interactive experience and needs to have features, that are able to connect and immerse. By providing a base of communication for both Scientists and Citizens, we can bring them closer together and spark the exchange of ideas.
RUN YOUR OWN PROJECT IN SPOTTERON
All apps running on SPOTTERON have a strong focus on design and usability to create an interface, which is not only fast and easy to use but also provides a high quality look & feel. Design is a very important part of Citizen Science, especially when users should get involved over long term. Functionalities build on each other and form the user experience as a whole.
The SPOTTERON TWO extensions make no difference here, all features are seamlessly integrated in the custom Smartphone Apps of the given project, without losing focus on the project's topic.
Spot detail view version 2 with likes and comment counters
User Newsfeed with activity and direct messages
Comment section tab with likes and comment form
User search with follow / unfollow buttons and user infos