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TikTok outreach

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#1 Lister85

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 09:46 AM

This isn't something I've seen a lot of, but it's something I've thought a lot about since the lockdown, and since the (now locked) topic on reaching younger people.

 

My point was we need to meet younger people where they are, not at our club observatories an hour away from the nearest city. Where are they? Well, lots of folks from the ages of 14 to 45 are on TikTok now.

 

I think this is a good place to expose people to the idea that they can see a lot more in their own back yards than they think. Show off your gear, talk about it, but keep it simple. Show off your latest astrophotography, talk about the pitfalls, what worked and what didn't. 

 

But the most important part is to be creative and have fun with it. Watch some TikTok videos to get started and get a feel for what people respond to most. 

 

I'm going to try to put a few astronomy-related TikToks and see where it goes. Anyone else interested in this idea?


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#2 KTAZ

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:00 AM

Nice idea but IMHO I don’t think it is going to bear much fruit.

 

I have a 14 year old daughter and she, like most of her friends, have become even more invested in electronic forms of entertainment due to the COVID situation. TikTok is part of her daily regimen that I limit to 2 hours.

 

Here is the thing; TikToks are limited to 15 seconds and the most you can string together are 4 (60 seconds). These kids spend hours on end watching super short senseless videos and laughing their butts off. Then they pass them around to their friends. Our kids are being trained to to have ADHD.

 

My point is that astronomy takes time. It requires attention and interest in obtaining detail through the eyepiece. My daughter routinely comes out at night while I am observing. When I have something interesting to show her she looks for 5 seconds, makes a patronizing “ooohhOOOHHooohh” sound, then goes back inside at the end of her 15 second maximum. No interest in the process, just the instant gratification. Typical teenager.

 

I wish you well, but perhaps TikTok is the wrong venue. Perhaps target something after the tween ages? Maybe 18-22 years?


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#3 Lister85

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:08 AM

My point is that astronomy takes time. It requires attention and interest in obtaining detail through the eyepiece. My daughter routinely comes out at night while I am observing. When I have something interesting to show her she looks for 5 seconds, makes a patronizing “ooohhOOOHHooohh” sound, then goes back inside at the end of her 15 second maximum. No interest in the process, just the instant gratification. Typical teenager.

 

I wish you well, but perhaps TikTok is the wrong venue. Perhaps target something after the tween ages? Maybe 18-22 years?

That makes sense, but we're not trying to teach everyone everything in 30-60 second videos. 

 

Think about this: Every time you ever went to an outreach event, what were the questions people asked? What were the simple concepts you could convey quickly? What were you able to make interesting, even if it was technical?

 

The goal isn't to reach EVERYONE, the goal is to reach some. I don't expect everyone to be interested in my hobby, but I do think there are more out there who want to know than we might expect.



#4 mashirts

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:20 AM

Tik tok and astronomy outreach. 👌

#5 Barlowbill

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:26 AM

I can honestly say, I have no idea what TikTok is.  But then, I'm a little past the age group you are speaking of.  I'm all for whatever works.



#6 coopman

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:33 AM

I've heard some bad things about the TikTok app and it not being secure. In other words, it can steal your personal data, etc.
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#7 Garthid

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 10:36 AM

I would be wary of Tik tok. Various sources say that it is basically spyware and takes every bit of information your phone contains, emails, videos, contacts, pictures, tweets, text messages, etc and uploads it all to foreign servers. From there it is supposedly scrutinized and if anything the countries authorities don't like leads back to people within their boarders the information is used for oppression of people, groups and free speech. Please don't take my word, look it up.


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#8 N3p

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 11:42 AM

No TicTok for me, I can't really appreciate how they contribute to improve humanity, TT looks like a Chinese metadata collecting application to me and probably a very nasty one.

 

It's a hot topic and we can't discuss it but the US government is studying the possibility of banning Tic Tok in the US, as an additional Chinese sanction, read that last week. I doubt they will do it but we never know. 

 

@KTAZ

 

That's a disappointing situation with your daughter, I've see it with my own eyes people looking in the eyepiece for 5 seconds and then walking away without any interest at all, careless people, they like to watch commercial on tv for an extended period of time, but appreciating pure things at the eyepiece, the effort is simply too much.

 

Good initiative to limit her to 2 hours per day on Tic-Toc, that's already a lot of time wasted but at least you can do something about it.


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#9 KTAZ

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 12:13 PM

No TicTok for me, I can't really appreciate how they contribute to improve humanity, TT looks like a Chinese metadata collecting application to me and probably a very nasty one.

 

It's a hot topic and we can't discuss it but the US government is studying the possibility of banning Tic Tok in the US, as an additional Chinese sanction, read that last week. I doubt they will do it but we never know. 

 

@KTAZ

 

That's a disappointing situation with your daughter, I've see it with my own eyes people looking in the eyepiece for 5 seconds and then walking away without any interest at all, careless people, they like to watch commercial on tv for an extended period of time, but appreciating pure things at the eyepiece, the effort is simply too much.

 

Good initiative to limit her to 2 hours per day on Tic-Toc, that's already a lot of time wasted but at least you can do something about it.

It is an age related issue. In 4 years (heck, in 2 years) she will be a completely different person.

 

But, yes, TikTok is owned by the Chinese and they use it just like they use drone captures (since they are the largest manufactrer of them) to upload lots of data to their servers for "monitoring" purposes. It has already been banned by the US military since its location data goes straight to Beijing - nice for monitoring troop movements.

 

Folks should read those "end user agreements" before they check the box and download something.


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#10 psychwolf

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 12:20 PM

I'm technically a millenial, by a year maybe? I can't stand Tik Tok so I'd be cautious to lead some of the unfamiliar folks toward it to say it's a trend. It is for some things, but I can't see a strong match there. 

 

If someone is good on camera, I'd say go for a discord or even stream up an imaging session on FB Live / Youtube / Twitch. More open courses in astronomy, and shared live cams like how Slooh.com is doing it is interesting with missions and shared viewing / imaging piggyback would be a really great idea - possibly with summer school or at home class tie ins. These forums seem to have a lot of private observatory owners, so I'm wondering if streaming a session or allowing remote in scope control via guest sessions is too much more of an add if aleady controlling things remotely? Perhaps there is a group of private observatory owners who'd be up for it. That's so far out of my budget of never in a million years, so I'd have no idea.

 

Even just pushing out more on Instagram, would be a step forward in this hobby even though it's a dinosaur and full of cat/kid pics. I find the Reddit threads a little more youthful, but there you're also seeing pro photographers just bumping a ton of Milky Way shots from their business sites, or stuff you'd expect to see here that gets little reaction due to the audience difference. I'm probably going to start logging my renewed adventures in astronomy via blog with video this year, so I'd definately do some multi-channel tie ins. I'm happy to cross link to anyone else interested in bouncing content back and forth just pm me.



#11 sg6

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 12:25 PM

The one and present only place that I know that attracts the younger ones is as said not an hour out of town, it is more or less in the town. Maybe what could mbe termed the outskirts but easily accessable. Cycling it common for many people so that helps. They often get 200 people a night and easily 80 are kids. Quite a few of the adults are there as taxi service to the kids and the kids make them.

 

Attitude is the BIG thing.

They have a short talk and it is sort of aimed at the kids, but one thing to realsie is the kids often know more then the adults and occasionally more then the astronomers. NEVER assume "They are just kids". Big, big mistake.

 

Always look on it this way: They are there because they have an interest, and they are at the age to learn. I recall one lad one night knew all the quarks and the particles they built up into, forget what we were talking about. I couldn't name them all.

 

Have found that the greatest force in the universe is that between fingers and eyepieces. Gravity even in the form of the odd black hole or two doesn't compare. So if you don't want to clean eyepieces stay away. I bought a scope and cheap eyepiece simply for outreach. Also bought a box of cleaning cloths.

 

They don't really care on the scope. Small is fine, generally they want to look and then be fed information. Look at M42 for a minute, explain M42 for the next 10 minutes. Same on M45. M1 is easy - big star, bang, gas and dust remnents.

 

Having outreach out of town is likely the big negative, has to be easy to get to. In town sort of essential therefore.

 

Also they do not necessarily want technology. They use it, but at the one I attend it is not important. They don't care. Sometimes we put everyone is a basket and are often wrong.


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#12 psychwolf

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 01:03 PM

Okay everyone, I had to lol at some of these responses to an attempt to promote ideas to branch into different channels. In replying directly to OP I didn't see the posts about spyware, governments watching us and some mix of conspiracy and terms of service avoidance. I mean I can't say you're wrong to some degree, but it made me laugh a bit.

 

The post above me is on short attention spans, so I can see that - my reply is not toward that age group since I'm aware they are definitely not caring while you slew to a galaxy or show it. My reply was more toward taking advantage of having a variety of streaming potential with all of these fancy remote rigs I'm seeing on here, and nice video cameras to turn them back on yourself and do a livestream or set up a channel of livestreaming or remote control sessions, with alternating and fun topics. Consider there are a lot of schools that may have to have middle school and teens at home and not in the classroom so it's a good time to consider doing classes and integration with science departments maybe?

 

On the entertainment side of things - rather than seeing reviews of the latest scope that is better than the next scope I can't afford, it'd be kind of cool to see a parts throw down and assembly of a DIY rig to reach first focus first - or binary star count off between two streamers with some sort of added challenge, etc. I think that's more the intent OP had here to think outside the box with some fun stuff that could be collaborative, as well as just spread across channels beyond this beige forum with no mobile app yet, or storefront and just a semi responsive web design. Just throwing some ideas out there. First thing is first, a few work projects and then I'm happy to collaborate on some stuff if people are up for it next month as this thread stays up and some ideas are going. I'll probably just go with Medium as a blog CMS since I like their tagging and rising user base and don't feel like monkeying more than needed on the code for it.


Edited by psychwolf, 10 July 2020 - 01:09 PM.

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#13 Bowlerhat

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:26 PM

The challenge is then the short duration.

 

I was thinking of shooting a short video of a planetary viewing. Zoom on the planets on sky, and straight goes zooming onto eyepiece fov. Might be tricky but such shot is quick, and if you can pull it off it just shows how telescope works. Tried it on phone, but couldn't really focus on the eyepiece-so someone could try pulling this off.

 

Then it could be a series from moon to double stars. Would be pretty awesome.

 

Doesn't necessarily on tiktok, any media is fine. Twitter, facebook, tiktok, instagram, etc etc.


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#14 lkannard

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 08:55 AM

The word on the street is that TikTok is Chinese spyware.
YouTube, even though it’s own my Google, is the best platform for short or long form videos. There is already a number of quality Astronomy and Astrophotography channels on YouTube.
There are even Astronomy channels on Twitch.
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#15 Augustus

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 08:57 PM

IMO, TikTok is not only glorified spyware, but there's no way you're going to reach anyone on it.



#16 Bowlerhat

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 09:04 PM

IMO, TikTok is not only glorified spyware, but there's no way you're going to reach anyone on it.

I guess when it's viral enough it can be stolen and posted somewhere else which is more effective with more diverse demographics.

Initially I thought instagram as well, but turns out it..sorta works?


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#17 Augustus

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 09:47 PM

I guess when it's viral enough it can be stolen and posted somewhere else which is more effective with more diverse demographics.

Initially I thought instagram as well, but turns out it..sorta works?

I've found all social media to be incredibly ineffective. I made it to the top of Reddit /r/space with over 200,000 "likes" and I think it might have gotten two people actually interested. I got a ton of annoying Instagram followers who constantly whine and unfollow when I don't offer them free stuff or post astrophotos, but that's about it.


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#18 Bowlerhat

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 11:04 PM

I've found all social media to be incredibly ineffective. I made it to the top of Reddit /r/space with over 200,000 "likes" and I think it might have gotten two people actually interested. I got a ton of annoying Instagram followers who constantly whine and unfollow when I don't offer them free stuff or post astrophotos, but that's about it.

It's the short attention span, I reckon. Reddit doesn't encourage much engangement. 

 

But there are some good contents on youtube, even with longer videos with proper setups. I wonder how they are doing within outreach, with quite long videos.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 12 July 2020 - 11:04 PM.

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