Climate Progress Milestone: 50,000 Followers On Twitter And Facebook

While I was in the hospital for surgery, Climate Progress passed a real milestone: 50,000 total followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Social media aren’t just a convenient way for you to keep up with CP or share content with your friends. They are our most rapidly growing sources of traffic, and the core reason Climate Progress had its best year yet in 2012. Overall, traffic is up 30% to 50% on most days.

Social media are particularly effective at disseminating headlines, which are the most important part of any blog post, as I discuss in my book Language Intelligence.

The traffic of WattsUpWithThat, like ever other major denial site, has been flat or declining since Copenhagen (check it out at A large part of the reason is that the disinformers’ social media efforts are flops, especially compared to climate hawks, as I wrote in January.

For instance, two months ago, CP had 36,900 followers on Twitter (subscribe here). I compared that to the self-proclaimed “world’s most viewed climate website” (not!) WattsUpWithThat, with its astounding 6,130 followers.

So what happened after Watts launched a big effort to boost his social media following? WUWT is at a slightly more astounding 6,430 followers. CP is at 40,700. Yes, we added over 10 times as many. I guess WUWT is not the most viewed via social media.

I don’t think that is an accident. The Internet was made possible by scientists, with a little help from Al Gore. More importantly, science is inherently a social enterprise — whereas denial, being anti-science, is in some sense an anti-social activity whose goal is to stop society from listening to the scientific community about the ever-growing risks to society posed by unrestricted emissions of carbon pollution.

Science is an inherently fascinating voyage of discovery in which people build on each others’ work toward a better and better understanding of life and the world around us. As Newton wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

For deniers, who are on an inherently monotonous treadmill of anti-truth, misunderstanding, and disinformation that builds only toward nihilism, the quote might be, “If I have seen nothing, it is by standing with my head in the ground” (or maybe, “… it is by standing on my own shoulders”).

16 Responses to Climate Progress Milestone: 50,000 Followers On Twitter And Facebook

  1. Leif says:

    Well deserved rewards for your unceasing hard work Joe.

    “Keep the company of those that seek the truth but run from those that know it.” Vaclav Havel

    Two Palms Up, Leif

  2. Henry says:

    I’m not sure why you posted the link to Quantcast when you’re talking about Facebook and Twitter followers. You clearly have them beat in social media but Quantcast shows that WUWT has GAINED 100,000 new viewers since Copenhagen. You may want to remove the link, just a suggestion.

  3. Henry says:

    Sorry, didn’t notice the spike right at the date of Copenhagen. I was looking at this year not since 2009.

  4. Brian R Smith says:

    Instead of that cheapo graph by the headline, how bout the real one from when you started tracking social followers? 36,900 to 40,700 in 2 months looks like a possible hockey stick. CP blog is about 45,000? Also, it would fascinate to know if there has been significant upswing at climate science sites.

  5. Brian R Smith says:

    (NOAA, NASA, Woods Hole, NCAR etc)

  6. Joe Romm says:

    I don’t have the monthly data. Does twitter provide it? I may be on an upswing since most of last year CP was adding 1000 twitter followers a month and now it appears almost double that.

  7. Joe Romm says:

    Climategate was the peak for them. Since then, flatline.

  8. Mark E says:

    Aaaaaaaahhhghhghghhghgh…… another bar chart!

    But this one has awesome news. Congrats.

  9. Steve Bloom says:

    “(or maybe, ‘… it is by standing on my own shoulders’).”

    Hmm, I’m trying to picture where that would put his head… oh wait… :)

  10. OK, dumb comment. I *love* Climate Progress and Joe Romm and ended up following some other climate news site on Facebook that seemed quite good – had a lot of good links.

    Seems it is called Climate Progress – I only realized it was the same thing when I read this article : your point about headlines! I also think the predominantly white thumbnail on FB looks very different to the green banner here…..just trying not to look so dumb…

  11. Brian R Smith says:

    My guess is Twitter knows everything about your followers, for a small fee, maybe free?

  12. Lore says:

    It’s pretty clear to me why, less snark, more facts.

    The denial blogs are really only left with cheery picking the studies and feckless conspiracy theories. It gets to be redundant and boring, if not transparent.

  13. Lore says:

    Excuse me, “cherry picking”, 5 minute edit feature anyone?

  14. prokaryotes says:

    Grats! That is seriously an accomplishment!

  15. MarkF says:

    thank you Joe, and congratulations.

  16. Addicted says:

    Another reason for CP’s success over WUWT, e,g,, is the signaling aspect of social media. If I RT a CP post, or like CP on my Facebook account, the worst my friends will think is that I am a naive environmentalist.

    If I like WUWT, or RT one of their headlines, most will think I am an idiot. Some will think I am outright evil.