Geek Out

The NASA Employees That Make Curiosity's Twitter Stream So Good

If you don’t follow the Curiosity rover on Twitter, you should: the feed is simultaneously fascinating and funny. Forbes has taken a peek behind the avatar, to find out why the feed is so good.

Behind the account are three NASA employees from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Veronica McGregor, social media manager, and Stephanie L. Smith and Courtney O’Connor, both social media specialists. In the article, they explain some of the secrets of their success:

“Back when Twitter was new, we tried tweeting both ways — in the first and third person. We always got more feedback when we were in first person… It’s easier to anthropomorphize rovers… The cameras make it look like she has eyes. So it’s tempting to think of the rover as a bodacious chick on the surface of another planet with a rock vaporizing laser on her head.”

Word. Elsewhere, they explain how, unlike many Twitter accounts that belong to big organisations, they include plenty of references to internet and pop culture to make the feed more accesible and relevant:

“We’re not trying to make science sound like fun… Because science IS fun! The feed reflects how the team talks to each other, as well as the hopes and dreams of people here at JPL. We want people to realise that science is fun… We’re keeping it real.”

You can read more about how they approach Twitter over at Forbes — hey, you might even pick up some tips! — but your first priority should be to follow Curiosity. Right now. [Forbes]