Social Media Roundup: 7 Top Trends for 2015

Welcome to post #2 in a 7 part series examining the top trends in social media for 2015, brought to you by @natureclicker (with much assistance from the rest of the internet). Check back to see #3 in the series.


2. Podcasts on Parade! At first glance, podcasts might not seem to fit within the traditional scope of social media, but what is social media if not nontraditional? Podcasts are on the rise in both for-profit and non-profit social media endeavors. Today, we’ll discuss what podcasts are, and take a look at some of the reasons why they’re trending in 2015. We’ll be running this post on a traditional Q&A podcast format, so please feel to ask any questions you may have at the end of the post! What is a podcast, anyway?  I’m glad you asked! The word “podcasting” is hybrid of broadcasting and iPod. Although I’m sure Apple Inc. is happy to share such an association, podcasts have no direct development or production ties to the brand or the iPod itself, and you can listen to podcasts on any device that will play MP3s or other sound files. How are they related to social media?

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Social Media Roundup: 7 Top Trends for 2015

The top 7 trends in social media for 2015, brought to you by @natureclicker (with much assistance from the rest of the internet), will be posted each week. Check back next week to see #2 in the series. For now, I give you — the first trend in social media for 2015 (and especially this week).


1. GIFs Galore!

Okay, so GIFs might not seem like the #1 most important trend in social media today, and they’re definitely not new to the internet — but they are certainly lighting up headlines this week.

For those of you who don’t frequent one of the many social-sharing sites already brimming with digitized clips of ironic movie mashups, people spinning on escalators, or Taylor Swift doing anything, GIFs are “animated images” frequently used in place of simple image files, memes, or videos.

On Friday, the good people at Facebook confirmed that they will now support GIFs as shareable status updates, although their full roll-out of the feature is expected to take an indeterminate amount of time to arrive to the masses, and it is currently unknown if the GIF feature will also apply to comments, individual wall posts, or mobile messaging. As a self-diagnosed GIF hoarder whose computer is currently lagging under the weight of thousands of these little guys, I can tell you that this is big.

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The Green Web: Non-Profits Meet Nature in the Modern World

Why research social media? Why non-profits? Why the environment?

If you have questions about my research, I have answers! Actually, I probably have a few questions for you, too.

Social Media: Where is Web 2.0 going, and how do we know when we get there?

social-media-body-imageRecently, there has been a great deal of debate regarding the value and potential of social media. Most of the “value” debate circulates through marketing and financial circles, while the “potential” is frequently cited in the media, as well as academic journals focusing on social justice, communications technology, or social movements.

Still, the conversation ping-pongs back and forth. Have we entered a new age of virtual action? Is digitized people power poised to deliver social, political, and environmental justice by way of crowdfunding, retweets, and public pressure? Or is “armchair activism” (aka slacktivism) just another way for millennials to stay inside the house? Can these two definitions peacefully co-exist? Or does one necessitate the destruction of the other? Continue reading

Interview FAQ

What is an informational interview?

An informational interview is a short conversation between a researcher and an interview participant.

How long does it take?

Interviews typically last between 20-60 minutes and take place over the phone.

What will you do with it?

For research purposes, interviews are audio recoded in order to prepare a transcript of our dialogue. After the interview, the transcript will be prepared and sent back to the interview participant. The participant may proofread or make edits, and can then return those edits (if any) to the interviewer.

The recording and transcript are kept in a password protected file, and the audio file will not be shared beyond the research team. Portions of the interview transcript may be used in future reports or publications.

What will you ask?

The interview is formal, but conversational. Ideally, we will discuss the benefits of social media for the organization, how it is used as a tool to engage online audiences, and any specific campaigns or goals you’d like to speak more about.

What if I don’t know?

As a voluntary interview participant, you’re not required to answer any questions you aren’t sure of, don’t know the answer to, or are uncomfortable with for any reason.

What if I say something wrong?

Don’t worry! The interview participant has final say over the transcript’s contents, so if you misspeak or need to clarify something later, you can edit the transcript and the previous version of the file will be destroyed.

How can I get more information?

I’m happy to answer any questions regarding my project, the research process, or discuss any other ideas or questions you may have. I will also provide contact information for my research advisor, university ethics board, and department.

Do you have a question not listed here? Contact me!

Twitter: @natureclicker

New Page: Summer Reading List

My Summer Reading List page is now up!

I will be reading and reviewing books and articles on social media, technology, non-profit organizations, nature 2.0 (digital nature), environmental issues, social movements, virtual actions, and much, much, much more throughout the summer (and fall).

If you’d like to follow along with me, or check out my reviews and responses, the first post will be made next week. Until then, feel free to send me any recommendations, post your own thoughts on my list, the selections, or comment with any questions you may have.

Thanks for reading!


Social Media, the Environment, Organizations! Oh My!


My name is Brynn Fromknecht and I am a Graduate Researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

I am currently working on a project to better understand the links between social media, environmental non-profit organizations, the public, private industry, governance, and nature.

I will update this blog regularly throughout the research process, in order to detail my experiences navigating these rich and complex connections, describe my research approach, explore current online campaigns, and provide insight into contemporary social media practices, processes, and design.

If you are interested in learning more about my project, please visit the About Me page. If you volunteer or work for an environmental non-profit organization or social media group and would like to learn more about participating in my research, please email me at

You can also follow me on Twitter at: natureclicker

I look forward to learning together!