Social Media: The Final Frontier
Usually I am not one to get too excited about news like this (sorry #teamgeek!), but I have found myself hooked on anything regarding the Mars Curiosity Rover since the bot landed on the red planet on 5th August.
As soon as I saw the images beamed back over millions of miles from our neighbouring planet, it sent my mind into overdrive. It really is amazing that we have managed to develop something so technologically sound that it is able to travel safely for over six months to an alien world, let alone send hi-res images back within minutes for us to enjoy here on Earth! The one aspect of this mission that really has interested me, especially as a social media professional, is the Twitter account that has been created for the Curiosity Rover - @MarsCuriosity. With a following of over 800,000 and humorous ‘updates’ from the red planet on a daily basis, NASA’s tongue-in-cheek account for the bot shows how powerful social media has become as part of everyday life. For example, “No photo or it didn’t happen? Well lookee here, I’m casting a shadow on the ground in Mars’ Gale crater.”
Whilst it is obvious that @MarsCuriosity is not tweeting directly (right?), and that the content is generated by a human back at base, the trend for such comic or parody accounts is quickly gathering pace – see also Liverpool Football Club’s resident pet, @AnfieldCat. In regards to the Curiosity Rover, it is fascinating to see how social media has the ability to bring complex or technical subjects to life for a wider audience to engage with.
Not only has NASA accomplished another Mars landing, but it has also cleverly illustrated how like space itself, social media can be a voyage to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where no man has gone before…