7 steps towards social media success, Governing People.com
"3. Brace for, and embrace, the unexpected The example of NASA's online contest to name a new module of the International Space Station is cited as an example of how online participation can produce unexpected results. More than 230.000 people suggested the name Colbert as a result of comedian Stephen Colbert, who used his nightly talk-show to rally audience support for this name to be used. NASA did not expect this when they conceived the contest, but it was not necessarily a bad thing. As a result of Colbert's campaign, and the subsequent appearance of a NASA official on his show, NASA received a lot of great publicity. Jeanne Holm, chief knowledge architect at the space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said: "You just have to understand that there will be unexpected 'opportunities' that social media will give you". In the end NASA named the station Tranquility -- in honor of the touchdown site of Apollo 11 -- but gave Colbert's name to an on-station exercise machine."
Keith's note: Jeanne Holm from JPL is representing NASA at the Personal Democracy Forum this week. She is speaking on Day 2 in the session "The Blogging of the Bureaucracy: How to Use Social Media From Inside Government". It would be interesting to hear someone from NASA JPL speaking about this topic when the agency as a whole cannot yet figure out exactly what its policy is with regard to the use of social media - with JSC and ARC at opposite ends of the spectrum on the issue. Perhaps Jeanne will post a transcript of her comments as well as her presentation (hint).
NASA JSC MOD Memo: Policy on Use of Social Media
NASA ARC Internal memo: Message from the Center Director: Social Networking at Ames
NASA Shuttle Commander Tweets, Will Answer Questions from Space
STS-125 Tweetup at NASA HQ