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Phoenix Outreach, ... or "That's the way to do it..."
Stu
post Jun 5 2008, 07:36 PM
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I have a sneaking suspicion that more than a few of the various Phoenix teams lurk here... and are probably reading these very pages right now when they really, really should be DOING SOME WORK!!! wink.gif ... so I just wanted to point out what a superb job they've done and are still doing as far as Outreach is concerned. The quality of the animations and graphics, so soon into the mission, is simply outstanding, and the speed with which the raw images are posted is obviously great for all us armchair image manipulators, but it's also great for the public too, because we can point them towards the Phoenix websites and tell them, truthfully, that all they want to know about the mission is there for them to read, put in simple and understandable terms. There are also postcards and posters to download.

A special - and IMHO - long overdue congratulations has to go to Veronica McGregor, who we have often seen during NASA TV coverage of Phoenix press briefings. For those who don't know, Veronica is behind the Phoenix Twitter page, which now has over 18,000 (18,000!!!!) followers. When I say "behind", I mean, of course, that she is in contact with the probe itself, and takes the time to send it questions and write up its responses in "Twitter-ese"; the New York Times erroneously reported that Veronica actually writes the Twitter entries, and not Phoenix itself. Now there's "inaccuracy in reporting astronomy" for you... wink.gif

Having said that, I am less than convinced that "Steve The Cat" was a good idea. The idea is fun, and the site itself is too, but... well... a cat? Stuck on Mars? ( For those who don't know, Phoenix has a stowaway, in the form of a cat called Steve. Steve is living inside Phoenix as it explores the martian arctic, and has even sent back a message for his followers and supporters here on Earth.) I mentioned this idea once during a pre-landing Outreach talk. Once. Never again. I could see small children getting visibly upset at the idea of a poor liddle puddy cat stranded on Mars... I have just seen that Steve actually has a way of getting back to Earth, so maybe there's been a bit of a re-think about the first cat-o-naut on Mars somewhere! And if Phoenix does find evidence of life on Mars, I'm not sure how they're going to be sure it's native martian life when this was allowed to happen... rolleyes.gif

Seriously tho, the Outreach support for this mission is great. I gave my first post-landing Phoenix public Outreach talk last Saturday morning here in Kendal, at the town's museum, and thanks to the Phoenix Outreach team I was able to hand out free Phoenix stickers to the 20 or so people who came along to see the first Phoenix images and hear all about the mission. I was also able to give them a long list of website addresses to keep an eye on after the talk.

Great work guys, keep it up!


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Stu
post Sep 13 2008, 05:17 PM
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Thought someone should point out - and celebrate - the fact that Phoenix's Twitter page has just passed the 35,000 followers mark. That's a stunning achievement! Well done! smile.gif


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Paolo Amoroso
post Sep 14 2008, 08:52 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Sep 13 2008, 07:17 PM) *
Thought someone should point out - and celebrate - the fact that Phoenix's Twitter page has just passed the 35,000 followers mark. That's a stunning achievement! Well done! smile.gif

Interestingly, the about 5,000 CERN Twitter feed followers, despite extensive media coverage and hype around LHC, are an order of magnitude less than those of MarsPhoenix.


Paolo Amoroso


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Paolo Amoroso
post Sep 14 2008, 08:59 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Jun 5 2008, 09:36 PM) *
Having said that, I am less than convinced that "Steve The Cat" was a good idea. The idea is fun, and the site itself is too, but... well... a cat?

What's wrong with cats doing rocket science or going into space?


Paolo Amoroso


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dmuller
post Sep 14 2008, 11:57 AM
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I've always said that going to Mars is rocket science, telling people about it can be as simple as using twitter

QUOTE (Paolo Amoroso @ Sep 14 2008, 06:52 PM) *
Interestingly, the about 5,000 CERN Twitter feed followers, despite extensive media coverage and hype around LHC, are an order of magnitude less than those of MarsPhoenix.

Maybe not may people expect to receive messages from within a black hole laugh.gif


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aggieastronaut
post Sep 14 2008, 04:49 PM
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What made me upset is they disabled my Phoenix Facebook profile on sol 100. sad.gif I finally heard back from them today and they offered to transfer everything to a page (so everyone is no longer friends with Phoenix... only fans... sad.gif ) I suppose it's a better response than "Haha you fail, you'll never be able to do outreach!" and they'll save me a lot of work by transferring everything. But still, there's something neat about saying you're friends with a spacecraft...
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Stu
post Sep 14 2008, 05:24 PM
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QUOTE (aggieastronaut @ Sep 14 2008, 05:49 PM) *
What made me upset is they disabled my Phoenix Facebook profile on sol 100. sad.gif I finally heard back from them today


Who are "they", Aggie? Facebook? NASA?

Seems... oh, what's the word I'm looking for...? Hang on, it'll come to me in a minute...

Ah, got it.

STUPID!!!

The more places there are for people to show their interest in and support for Phoenix, the better, I say.


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aggieastronaut
post Sep 14 2008, 05:32 PM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Sep 14 2008, 11:24 AM) *
Who are "they", Aggie? Facebook? NASA?


Ah, I suppose that'd be help! "They" being Facebook. The person behind the Solar Dynamics Observatory's profile is quite upset over this too and is looking to potentially get the NASA higher ups to talk to them to allow the missions to keep the profiles. LRO's deputy project manager (who runs LRO's profile) is saying the same thing.

And because I'm Texan, I have the right to change the "Don't mess with Texas" phrase to "Don't mess with NASA's EPO office." wink.gif

Oh, and I should mention that because of Phoenix's profile, tons of other missions are now able to outreach in this way and it's showing the higher ups of NASA that social networking is a GREAT way to reach out to the younger generation. LRO's deputy project manager keeps bragging to higher ups about me because of this and has sworn up and down she's going to steal me from Mark. wink.gif
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Aussie
post Sep 14 2008, 10:24 PM
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I wasn't sure that 'Stupid' was the right word until I looked it up and found that it means (amongst other things) 'Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes'.

But why did they do such a stupid thing? unsure.gif
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Paolo Amoroso
post Sep 15 2008, 09:51 AM
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QUOTE (aggieastronaut @ Sep 14 2008, 06:49 PM) *
What made me upset is they disabled my Phoenix Facebook profile on sol 100. sad.gif

I'm not a Facebook user and I don't know what happened. Did you have an unofficial Phoenix profile that was disabled by Facebook?


Paolo Amoroso


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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Sep 15 2008, 10:13 AM
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Now let's just hope the Phoenix Lander will prove to be a strong & tough machine so we'll be able to enjoy those fews for a long time wink.gif
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aggieastronaut
post Sep 16 2008, 12:01 AM
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QUOTE (Paolo Amoroso @ Sep 15 2008, 03:51 AM) *
I'm not a Facebook user and I don't know what happened. Did you have an unofficial Phoenix profile that was disabled by Facebook?


Paolo Amoroso


I ran an endorsed one.
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Stu
post Sep 16 2008, 06:26 AM
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QUOTE (aggieastronaut @ Sep 16 2008, 01:01 AM) *
I ran an endorsed one.


So have you been given any reasons for the page being taken down? Do you think that it would help if the UMSF members on Facebook (how many are there? I wonder...) all emailed complaints to Facebook?


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Del Palmer
post Sep 16 2008, 11:44 AM
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People can lose their Facebook account for the dumbest of reasons. A friend of mine lost over 150 friends in a recent Facebook crackdown. Their crime against humanity? They had an image of a dog as their profile picture... rolleyes.gif


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dmuller
post Sep 16 2008, 12:10 PM
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So, then, why dont we create Spacebook?


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