NASA is expanding its social media efforts and changing the name of its successful Tweetup program. Now called NASA Social, the program will utilize a variety of social media platforms, broadening the agency's ability to engage audiences about the its mission of exploration and discovery.
The federal space agency first explored Tweetup concept in January 2009, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Since then, hundreds of participants in over 30 in-person Tweetups have shared thousands of tweets, pictures, videos and blog posts with their followers, detailing behind-the-scenes views of NASA launches, centers, missions and speakers. Socials, like Tweetups before them, will allow behind-the-scenes access to a randomly-selected batch of NASA followers (you'll have to apply within a certain event's window), granting participants access to select NASA facilities and the opportunity to speak face-to-face with scientists, engineers, astronauts, and managers. And you thought Space Camp was cool. In turn, participants will broadcast their experience to their own audience of followers via their favorite social media outlets.
Check out this video of the Tweetup experience:
One of the most effective utilizers of Twitter in the Federal government, the agency also has a significant presence on Flickr, YouTube, Google+, Facebook, Foursquare and other social media websites. NASA hopes its new program will help it expand online and in-person connections with space fans far beyond the Twitterverse.
"NASA has been recognized for its efforts in social media and we want to build on that success, engaging in an online conversation that seamlessly spans platforms, taking advantage of the diverse online social experience that each enables," said David Weaver, associate administrator for communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "A Tweetup is identified with a specific online service and many participants are members of other Internet communities. We felt it was time to expand the Tweetup concept to embrace other social media platforms."
Fan response has been positive thus far on--guess where?--Twitter.
@NASASocial. Almost no other agency even has tweetups yet. NASA leads!Clearly expanding to other venues like Facebook, NASATweetup becomes
@NASASocial reassured those followers who express allegiance to the old Tweetup program, stating:
#NASATweetup, we empathize. Very little has changed, though. We're just expanding our reach.For those who will miss
No word yet on any upcoming NASA Socials. But we'll let you know if we hear anything.