Social networks are based on the exchange of similar content within online communities. Like attracts like and the attention of the user acts as currency as well as a filter of perception. The more likes and shares a post gets the more interest in a topic or trend is created.
"Let’s get crabby!” applies this concept of attention economics onto our modern-day handling of scientific research and dissemination, looking at the scientific platform ResearchGate. A global network for scientists, that rates articles based on a score called “research interest”, which is constituted by reads, recommendations and other forms of attention values. To highlight the similarities between social attention and science the two networks Instagram and ResearchGate are being linked. By uploading a post with #letscrab Instagram users can directly influence the score (research interest) of crab-related content on ResearchGate and emphasize the dependency of scientific information distribution and public attention. A counter as the physical object is counting the number of influences by users.
Drawing a parallel to the process of assimilation on social media, the #letscrab references the meme “everything becomes a crab” hyperbole of the process of carcinisation, convergent evolution in which a crustacean evolves into a crab-like form from a non-crab-like form.
The project “Let’s get crabby!” promotes a “crabification” on both Instagram and ResearchGate and maybe even in you and I.