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Wired Cricket Article

Hadley Leggett from Wired Science wrote an article on September 3rd about the NYC Cricket Crawl to try to help garner interest in the Cricket Crawl.

I wonder how many participants called in because of the article?

Media coverage seems like it would be a potentially great source for participant mining – the catch would be how to remind the listener/reader to actually participate at the correct time.

Getting the word out there and reminding people to participate  seems to be the most difficult part of this type of project.  After setting up a Twitter account for the blog – about a week ahead of the project – I realized that with few to no followers I would gain little interest.  Since these types of projects seem to attract the media’s attention I think they would get a lot more followers or casual participants if a Twitter account or SMS contact numbers were set up well in advance.

With Twitter – any interviews or articles before the event could mention the twitter account and individuals could sign up if they were interested in keeping on top of the project.  Twitter is really not about what I ate for breakfast this morning – especially accounts that are set up for specific purposes – it’s more of an instant notifying tool and a way to pass reminders and information to potentially large groups of people.

With an SMS type thing, individuals could text to an SMS number and from then on be alerted about events (I got the idea from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters – see 2/3 of the way down the page for their text number).  It could send reminder messages to go listen to the crickets for 1 min where ever they may be and report the results.  Perhaps  text messages could be sent out for the duration of the evening (with the option to permanently turn off!!) reminding people to do a quick check in different locations.

SMS (text messages) have the benefit of not needing to sign in anywhere and texting rates would obviously apply.  The only think though with recurring text messages is how to stop receiving them.  I’m sure there’s an answer for that though.  Twitter would require people to have Twitter accounts and to be following the project’s Twitter account so it’s a little more cumbersome.  It also requires a PDA type device for reading tweets on the move.

Just musing here.


Added GPS track to Maps page

I’ve added Matt’s actual route for the evening onto the map and Google Earth KML. It’s the path which he pedaled on with his trusty two wheeled steed.

Matt’s Interview with Adam Phillips – VOA

Adam Phillips from the VOA “Our World” program has given us the raw version of his interview with urban cricket explorer* Matt Buffington.  They met up in Madison Square Park last night and hung out listing to urban songsters – both animal and human.

The interview will be aired worldwide Friday & Saturday, September 18th  & 19th 2009 on Our World.  Check it out!!!!

Adam Phillip’s interview with cricket hunter Matthew Buffington (raw)

*Matt is actually a temporary cricket explorer.  His heart lies in the somewhat large world of Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, and ants) focusing on tiny parasitic wasps of which there are so many species that they haven’t actually classified them all yet. (And you thought all that stuff about still discovering new species was hype.  Not true, and about 50% of all new species discovered are insects.)

Hopefully, Matt will find some amazing wasp related agricultural discovery and rocket to unknown heights of entomological fame.


That was fun and crazy and fun.  This citizen science is a really neat and effective way to get people involved in seeing, hearing, and comprehending things that are right in their own backyards.  This was an unlikely (but maybe not so) mix of scientists and non-scientists working together to get an idea of the biodiversity Orthoptrans in NYC.

Matt’s attempting to sleep in after riding countless miles around Manhattan and Sam and some of his team haven’t yet been to sleep.

I’m in awe – there are about a hundred points to still be entered I believe – 330 points surveyed in total.  If you’re interesting in doing some data entry contact Sam – not sure what the status is right now at 9:30 am Sunday but it can’t hurt to email.

Update 14 – Madison Park with Adam Phillips

Received 12:04am

Buffington Expedition reporting in from Madison Square Park.  I’m here with Adam Phillips – he’s conducting an interview with me and in the meantime we’ve actually heard the Jumping Bush Cricket which I’m really pleased about, Lesser Anglewing and of course the Tree Crickets. We’ve also been treated to a cricket rap by Brittney which Adam also recorded and hopefully will be recorded in the piece he does.  This are kinda wrapping up and my quadriceps are definitely feeling the day of biking.

Matt was having so much fun that he lost track of time.

This is our last post for the cricket blitz – great evening all around!

Update 13 – Madison Sq Park

Received 10:04

In Madison Sq Park waiting for Adam Phillips. I have an interesting observation her of cafeteria people here enjoying their food and interacting quite happily with the little field mice that are running under their chairs:  photographing them, some are freaking out and screaming and refusing to eat their food, other are ok with them.  You just never know where biodiversity might turn people on.

Update 12 – Battery Park (with the rats)

Received 9:55 pm

I have recorded here Greater and Lesser Angle Katydids and the Fall field Cricket. I’ve also observed 3 or 4 individual rats – that would be Rattus rattus, I believe, I don’t know if there is a sub-species around here. Particularly quiet park, again, next to the water helps a great deal, not a lot of buildings are, not a lot of people either. This place was really busy today and now it’s completely devoid of people. Oh, there’s another rat. Boy, they’re fast. They take over where the squirrels leave off at night.