As many of you know, I was at the launch of Mars Curiosity in November 2011 at the #MSL #NASATweetup. So, it was particularly thrilling to have a last minute opportunity to go to NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC for the landing!
I tagged along with the amazing DC Drinkup SpaceTweeps. In addition to games of War with Space Cards and a round of #MSL Bingo that had a Meteorite as a prize, we ate Mars cupcakes and supplied the traditional peanuts for the landing.
That’s me coming through the door! The pic was taken & tweeted by Alan Ladwig, Deputy Associate Administrator for Communications – Public Outreach (NASA HQ).
The blog Tea With Lemon liveblogged the night from our NASA HQ location and did a fantastic job catching the flavor of the evening. We were so excited to be with NASA folks for the landing! Check out the post yourself!
Here’s a pic of the audience (I’ve enlarged the part with me in it, third row, but highly engrossed in the landing coverage).
We all received some great Mars Curiosity mission information & goodies–stickers, pins, comic book, and more!
There we sat. Twitter users. No special badges saying we were “tweeps,” No special seating gallery. No instructions to just “observe” the “real” media.
The New Media Corp
NASA decided that this time, from the get-to of the FY2013 budget briefing at NASA HQ (2/13/2012), everyone in the room was media and was important. From the podium, Bob Jacobs (@bnjacobs), NASA’s deputy associate administrator for Communications and the moderator for the event, explained:
This year we’re trying something a little different, as well as traditional media representatives, for the first time we have invited members of the social media community to be a part of today’s presentation and we’ll be taking questions via Twitter using the hashtag #askNASA.
Bob Jacobs (@bnjacobs), NASA's deputy associate administrator for Communications tweets a pic of the Media Corp at beginning of the Budget Briefing.
NASA acknowledged that social media is a valid means of media communication and should be included in briefings alongside the AP, Nature, Orlando Sentinel, and the other traditional media outlets represented. We were allowed to ask questions, to talk to Administrator Charles Bolden, Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson, and the other NASA officials just like anyone else in the room. In short: no second-class citizens in the media corp.
It was a very special time–not just for those of us in the room–but for the army of social media journalists who have waited for recognition and validation of their status as “real” media.
Lindsey Mastis recorded Bob Jacobs’ thoughts on the relationship between NASA and social media. You can read her report of the briefing here.