Reaching Audiences Through New Media: Lessons
We Are Learning From the International Year of Astronomy
Sunday, March 22, 2009, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center
The Woodlands, Texas
In March 2009 eighteen space science educators, education specialists, journalists, and scientists gathered to explore how social media could be used in reaching new and traditional audiences. Discussions were led by Dr. Pamela Gay, Assistant Research Professor at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and Co-Chair of the United States new media efforts for the International Year of Astronomy.
Throughout the day, participants actively explored Twitter, Facebook, Second Life, YouTube, and Flickr. They discussed best practices for these and other social media tools, and reflected on lessons learned from the International Year of Astronomy. Discussions were free-form, and examined:
- the strengths and weaknesses of the different social media tools
- activities/outcomes for which different social media tools are most appropriate
- which tools appropriate for which audiences
- how we might use them in our own programs
The notes from the Forum conversations are available below. They are not comprehensive by any means, rather they are intended to be a starting place for the space science education community to reflect on paths to use social media in appropriate and meaningful ways to engage their audiences.