One of the main goals for the NYUAD iGEM 2018 team was to have an increased presence in the wider iGEM-sphere, not only building bridges across oceans with teams worldwide but also reaching our local community in a meaningful way. Social media made it possible for us to achieve these goals simultaneously. We were able to invite others to join our collaborations, participate in other teams’ collaboration projects, share project ideas, get advice and spread the message of iGEM, synthetic biology and science in general.
There are approximately 1 billion active monthly users on the photo sharing interface Instagram, making it the perfect platform to share our daily iGEM journey. We used our space to document our adventures in the biology lab and engineering workshop as well as to introduce our team members and wonderful sponsors to other iGEM teams. The use of hashtags also exposed other people interested in science and biology and engineering to visit our feed and find out more about iGEM. Through the personal messaging feature of Instagram we were able to communicate with fellow iGEM teams whether it be accepting collaboration requests, providing advice about interlab procedures, event promotion, answer questions from our local community. We found that through Instagram we could also provide other teams with encouragement and gain motivation and inspiration ourselves. One of our initiatives through Instagram was also to introduce the diversity in science and as our team is uniquely made up of students from 13 different countries we decided to begin the “Around the world in 14 days” challenge where each member introduced their home-country and created an Instagram story for 14 consecutive days.
Facebook | @IGEMNYUAD | 270 Likes
Although the NYUAD iGEM team had previously created this Facebook page to promote the team and gain connections, this year we dedicated to posting our events, promoting our sponsors and regularly sharing our lab antics with our followers. Not only did this lead to an increase in followers but also a greater sense of connection with the international iGEM community and a personal connection to the students who come to our workshops and events such as Youth Debates. Multiple teams were able to easily contact us via Facebook and Instagram when advice was needed on submission details and interlab challenges, it was such a great feeling to be able to support the community across thousands of kilometres!
Snapchat- NYUAD Marhaba
On 13 June 2018, our iGEM team featured on the official New York University Abu Dhabi Orientation week Snapchat account where various daily experiences of the team was shared with the wider NYUAD community. The main followers of this account are first year students just starting at the university so this day of exposure was able to inspire many of them to think about their university science careers and incited many questions about iGEM in general which we could directly address.
As the Giant Jamboree approaches, we will be making use of the Twitter platform more to announce real-time news and connect with other iGEM teams.