Pardon this interruption from your normal FourthAnd140.com viewing for a few messages about … space travel.
In a few days, I’m joining 149 other Twitter folk for the NASA Tweetup in Florida. I’ll play citizen journalist of sorts, covering the final launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS-134), and the second-to-last shuttle launch ever. Yep. Ever.
Since learning of the news last Friday, I’ve had some sleepless nights, distracted workdays, and general bewilderment as to why I was picked for this honor. In reality, it was luck. But deep down, I hope it’s because of what I can (and plan to) offer others who aren’t afforded the same experience.
Initially, I wasn’t sure about making the investment in time, money and effort to travel from Wisconsin to Florida. (NASA tweetup folks pay their own travel, lodging and other expenses.) So I did what any good tweep does when faced with a dilemma: I posed the question to the Twitterverse: Should I do this? I was amazed (and persuaded) by the response:
Hard to say no with that kind of response. So it didn’t take long before I was making airline reservations and getting to know the other amazing tweeple joining me at Kennedy Space Center.
What will I bring to the table? A couple things, I hope.
- I’m a writer (and journalist at heart): I worked (lived, really) in a TV newsroom for most of my 20s, and I have tried not to forget the reporting skills honed during those years. Some of that is on display in previous FourthAnd140.com blog posts. I plan to lean on those skills (and a dedication to AP Style!) during my time at Kennedy Space Center.
- (I think) I’ve got Twitter skills: I tweet on my own account but I also tweet for a Fortune 300 brand. I’ll bring that ability – and agility – to the NASA tweetup.
- I’m not a space expert, but I’ll play one on Twitter: I don’t know a lot of the shuttle program, or NASA, or science. But I’m learning. And I hope to keep learning and share my new-found knowledge via Twitter, in 140-character bites of goodness. Promise.
By the way, here’s a map showing just the kind of access NASA tweetup participants are allowed (courtesy of a tweetup veteran):
Starting pretty much right now … I’ll provide updates on Twitter as quickly as I can craft them. I plan numerous blog posts here – some short, some long form. And lots and lots of pictures and (hopefully) video. If you want some different perspective, follow any of the other 149 NASA tweetup participants.
So follow along. Enjoy the ride. I plan to.
Thanks for being a fan, er, follower.