IT/Web: July 2015 Archives

Keith's note: The use of social media during the recent Pluto encounter has been widely hailed. That said, Southwest Research Institute Public affairs continues with its slightly strange media policy - in this case by blocking @NASAWatch from following @NewHorizons2015 on Twitter. Despite the recent "personal" label on this Twitter account, this account is used by a SWRI employee for NASA-funded work-related news and has been mentioned in official SWRI, JHUAPL, and NASA communications for years. You'd think that SWRI would want the biggest audience available - and a retweet by @NASAWatch could add 59,000 Twitter impressions. With all this bragging (justifiably) by NASA PAO about their social media prowess, this effort by SWRI is odd to say the least. I asked SWRI about this several times and they have declined to respond.

"Potential reach and Number of Mentions of all social media posts(NASA & non-NASA) across 21 different social media platforms using one or more of the following keywords between July 13-17, 2015: Pluto, "New Horizons", #PlutoFlyby, or #Pluto:"

- Download NASA presentation
- NASA's Pluto Web Stats, earlier post

NASA's Social Media Strategy Is Genius And Kinda Maddening, Wired

"Organizations can sometimes let social media metrics obscure their core goals and mission. (Trust us on this.) On the evening of July 14, the world was waiting for New Horizons to phone home and say it had successfully passed by Pluto. With less than two minutes until the message was scheduled to arrive, the cameras cut to (drumroll) a NASA social media representative, who proceeded to tell the world how high New Horizons was trending on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The Pluto Press Corps was not too amused. The camera cut to New Horizons Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman in the nick of time, seemingly the moment she received the I'm-OK signal from New Horizons. For a moment, it seemed, NASA's ace team of publicists had forgotten that the cameras were supposed to be on Pluto."

Sharks In Space

Keith's note: If you watched Sharknado 3 on SyFy tonight then you know that a substantial portion of the film was shot at JSC and KSC. Yes, the movie was utterly stupid (that was the whole point of the movie) but NASA allowed itself to be part of something outside its usual stodgy comfort zone. You may argue whether or not this is the best use of NASA facilities. I look at it this way: last week NASA owned the Internet during the Pluto Flyby. Tonight they were an integral part of an event that owned Twitter and other social media platforms. Not bad.

NASA's Pluto Web Stats

Dwarf Planet, Giant Numbers: NASA's Mission to Pluto Goes Global, NASA via

"Even on a "slow" day, NASA is a pretty cool place to work, but the cool factor gets cranked way up when the whole world joins in the adventure. That's what happened this week when the New Horizons spacecraft arrived at Pluto after decade-long, three-billion-mile journey through the solar system. New Horizons has already sent back never-before seen images of the dwarf planet, and is collecting so much data it will take 16 months to send it all back to Earth. Any time we go this far from home and do something that's never been done before, it's sort of a big deal. And it shows, thanks to our data from the Digital Analytics Program. Some quick facts:

- It's our biggest mission-related traffic event since we joined DAP in February 2013, with nearly 10 million page views on July 14th alone. During the 7 am hour, 42% of all government traffic was going to NASA pages. ..."

NASA JPL Memo: Office of Personnel Management Cyber Incidents, NASA JPL

"If you underwent a background investigation through OPM from 2000 or thereafter (which occurs through the submission of forms SF 86, SF 85, or SF 85P for a new investigation or periodic reinvestigation), the OPM says there is a high likelihood that anyone who filled out one of those SF forms has had their information compromised."

Keith's note: All that talk from NASA about securing personal information as they complied with HSPD-12 and ... oh well. FWIW anyone who was screened for a NASA headquarters press pass a few years back (when they actually issued them) was at risk. Guess who got an OPM letter as a result of that screening. Thanks a bunch NASA.

- HSPD-12, earlier postings
- NASA IT issues, earlier postings

How a bunch of government space geeks at NASA won the internet, Quartz

"How exactly NASA stumbled upon perhaps the greatest social-media strategy of our time is a story of both blind luck and shrewd management. Of course, the space agency benefits by having amazing pictures, videos, and discoveries to share. Its content transcends demographics and platforms, because it highlights precisely what makes us so human. But its success also contains important lessons for any large organization trying to understand how to break down the barriers between itself and its public."

Keith's note: Every time something like this happens people make all sorts of claims about NASA's Internet prowess - but NASA never issues any numbers to substantiate these claims. I have no doubt that the stats are/were impressive. I have asked NASA for their web and social media statistics. I'll post what they send me - if they send me anything, that is.



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This page is an archive of entries in the IT/Web category from July 2015.

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