NASA’s use of Twitter Demonstrates its Practical Use

Twitter has taken off as a social networking site. We see kids use it and dismiss it as nonsense. But if you examine it more closely, you’ll see it’s actually a powerful communication tool.

Twitter is the electronic version of a friend telling you what you are up to. By following someone on Twitter you are asking the question, “I wonder what Bob is up to?”  Twitter simply limits the response to 140 characters (thank goodness), but allows you to have a larger circle of friends that you care enough about to follow and keep updated.

For example, have you ever asked a friend to let know you when there is a sale at a certain store? How about the scores of a game or the outcome of a race?  If your information is personal and practical to me, I’ll follow you. If you write fluff and have friends that like fluff, well, it says you and your followers like fluff. If you’re not into fluff you will have a different circle of followers, just like in the offline world.

Enter NASA. They created a new web site that provides a centralized resource for information on near-Earth objects – those asteroids and comets that can approach Earth.  The “Asteroid Watch” site also contains links for the interested public to sign up for their new asteroid widget and Twitter account.

The smart people at NASA understand. It’s about delivering timely information to people that CHOOSE to listen to what they have to say. They do this by using communication tools like websites and Twitter.