The final day of #jwapedia
Today is the final day of May, which also makes it the final day of Jewish American Heritage Month and the final day of our #jwapedia campaign to tweet the Encyclopedia.
This month we wanted to bring Jewish women's stories to the fore, experimenting with Twitter as a vehicle for doing so. We asked a group of Twitter users including organizations, clergy, lay leaders, social media professionals, and friends of JWA to tweet about Encyclopedia articles that interested them, including the link and the hashtag #jwapedia. Every day this month, articles covering a wide range of topics and time periods were shared via Twitter. You can look at the most recent ones on Twitter, or see some we highlighted in a recent blog post.
Much of the feedback we have received so far has been positive. Initially, we were excited to see such an enthusiastic response. (We originally asked participants to tweet once a week; many pledged to tweet multiple times each day!) We diligently recorded each tweet and, at this moment, over 200 Encyclopedia articles have been tweeted!
Through the #jwapedia campaign, participants were able to engage with people on Twitter they had not previously known, as well as introduce themselves to new stories and challenge themselves to think about what aspects of Jewish women's history they found most interesting. Some reported being surprised simply by how fun it was!
Still, this campaign was run as an experiment and we are committed to evaluation as we move forward. We have already received a great deal of constructive feedback throughout the campaign, first and foremost alerting us to the fact that Encyclopedia articles did not have a "tweet this" button. (We fixed that!) We also learned that sending more reminders throughout the month would have been helpful, as well as organizing the tweeting by theme or having "theme days" to help structure browsing and searching within the Encyclopedia. We also received helpful feedback on usability issues of the Encyclopedia itself.
In the future we want to try to reach out to more people on Twitter to create an even more ethnically and geographically diverse group of participants, as well as encourage more conversation and discussion. If you would like to share some feedback with us please leave a comment, email us, or share your thoughts on Twitter using the #jwapedia hashtag.
While the May #jwapedia pilot campaign ends today, we plan to continue the project in new and improved ways throughout the year.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who participated for making this such a valuable, exciting, educational, and fun experience for us at JWA. I hope you have found it to be so as well.