Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tweet Break...What's that??? Simple, think NASATweetup

This post is part of a series related to the Sun Earth Day 2011 NASA Tweetup at Goddard Space Flight Center on March 19th, 2011

So you want to know what a Tweet Break is huh? Well, read on my dear friend and you will see. Really, this is a short post, you have a few minutes, I'm sure this is worth a read.

Tweet Break (as defined
  • It's kind of like a built-in-hold. NASA, ULA, SpaceX, Arianespace, JAXA, and Roscomos all use built-in-holds to give the launch teams a chance to review systems status and to provide cushion in the timeline as to not impact the targeted launch window. So how does this help define what a Tweet Break is? Easy, its a built-in-break in a NASATweetup schedule that allows the attendees a chance to get caught up on tweets, blog posts, Facebook updates, and Flickr/YouTube uploads without missing the Tweetup content.
Why do "tweeters" need a break. Simple...a NASATweetup is information and emotional overload (which is OK, we love that). But, when you are trying to tweet, re-tweet, respond to tweets, update your Facebook status, check-in on FourSquare, write a quick blog post, upload photos to Flickr, Yfog, and Twitpic, and upload videos to YouTube you can become overwhelmed. Add to this trying to listen, learn, and ask questions of the presenters (who in most cases are volunteering their time and expertise to talk with us) and you are quickly overloaded. Now bring in the logistics and complexity of trying to move from place to place...on the bus, off the bus, room to room.... Try staying connected, typing (on a tiny keyboard or touch screen) and walking at the same time. Go ahead, try it now, I'll wait.

OK....see what I mean, it's not easy. Again, I am not complaining...we loved our time at Sun Earth Day tweetup and we loved the sights, sounds, and information. But, I found myself typing on an iPad, sending TwitPics with a BlackBerry, and taking pictures and video with my camera, all while trying to absorb loads of wonderful, exciting, and thought-provoking data.

When you are at a Tweetup like the KSC Launch event, most presentations are in the Tweetup tent at the press site (at least for STS-132 that was the case). So you have power, a constant connection, and a table to sit at while you multi-task. This makes the above activities a little easier to manage. Although you still need these Tweet Breaks (aka built-in-holds) to get caught up.

Again...I'm not complaining, just recommending. We have the privilege, opportunity, and obligation, as the select few who get to participate in a NASATweetup, to deliver high quality, real-time information to those that are following us. We owe it to the thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of people that are taking the time to listen, read, learn, and hopefully become inspired by what they see and hear. Let's keep in mind who we are delivering the message to. They include supporters, enthusiasts, teachers, possibly doubters (who we hope will listen with an open mind) and most importantly the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technology pioneers who will push the envelope beyond its current boundaries. That's exciting stuff huh? It makes this opportunity so much more important.

So, to sum it all up. We need to ask for Tweet Breaks. It will give us a few minutes to gather our thoughts, facts, and ideas before we unleash a torrent of tweets, discussions, and newly acquired knowledge.

Thanks for reading....come back soon!


1 comment:

  1. This is a great suggestion. At the Sun-Earth Day Tweetup, I found myself trying to take photos, film video, tweet, follow other tweets and really listen and understand all of the information being given to me - all at the same time - and I ended up falling behind a bit on my tweeting.