I must say that I didn't experience any public loss of interest in Spirit after landing and up till the Flash memory issue.
For me, it was 5 months before interest started to die down (and even then it's lingered for 7.5years). In the early months I was hardly at home - busy doing talks and media.
The pictures were outstanding from the MERs (the Rovers also 'looked' cute/cool) and THAT's what got the public so caught up in them.
I wish we could have the same with Dawn and Vesta. I do think that it's a different world now though.
What's changed is that there is a new army out there of Outreach ambassadors working at their own level to a local or regional audience (some go wider through media) who have the experience and banter to turn even (what may seem to some) the most basic of images and information into a story, a presentation, that captures the interest and ongoing attention of their audience.
If done well, then that effort gets an otherwise uninterested or uninformed public to take an interest and to take a look at what's going on either regularly or at least occasionally, rather than not at all.
While we at UMSF have had it so good for so long and wish for new images to be available for us to work/play with, in this instance we will just have to wait.
I think that the wait will be worthwhile
Even with the current images (both official and UMSFified) there is still a story to tell.
Let's give credit to the DAWN mission, especially for the personal Q&A they are allowing our Forum audience to enjoy.
I do think that this discussion is being noticed and that with the public (us included) showing our interest in all things robotic space exploration, then we might one day see 'fast/often image releases' become the future standard. Until then, we wait and look a MER and Cassini images and support Zooniverse exploration etc.
If you're doing Outreach talks don't forget that you can 'show' your audience the entire "Dawn Approaches Vesta" phase in excellent 'virtual' context through Eyes on the Solar System
"Look, it's getting closer!" Click to view attachment