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.