Keeping people engaged and recruiting new participants are two vital components of any citizen science effort. But these can also be challenging and time-consuming — especially for a dispersed group of volunteers. This research project is using the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey (NZ GBS) as a case study for using social media to create a virtual community where participants can come to interact with fellow volunteers, learn from one another and discuss topics that are of interest to the group. Here, we document the development of, and interactions within, a Facebook group for NZ GBS, as well as the results of a questionnaire administered to NZ GBS participants to better understand how to support and provide learning opportunities for citizen science participants.
Liberatore, A. et al. (2018) Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. 3(1)
This article details the development of a Facebook group for participants in the NZ Garden Bird Survey, and uses data and examples from the group's first year to examine how an online community can support a dispersed group of citizen science volunteers.