Path to Mars #987: @Mars

Tweet your way to @MarsCuriosity

The Twitterverse is waiting for you.

With just a few clicks, you can connect in real-time (or as fast as your internet speed), with a bevy of astronauts, cosmic institutions and space enthusiasts. It’s a cornucopia of space-walk anecdotes, training information, contests, and yes, even a few geeky astro-jokes.

You can skip the next paragraph if you already know how to use Twitter (aren’t you clever!)

Not sure where to start? Well, begin with choosing a username. Then go to Twitter.com and create an account. Read the FAQs and the basic help section – you know the drill. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can do so – just “follow” some people and soon you will have a waterfall of cosmic delights flowing into your twitterfeed. The basic rule is: everyone has “@” in front of their username. So, for example, you can search for William Shatner (or messages written to William Shatner) by typing @William Shatner in the search box, and you can search for posts (tweets) about the subject of  William Shatner by typing #WilliamShatner in the search box. Once you see the profile of @WilliamShatner you can click the “follow” button and everything William Shatner tweets, you will receive. Instantly. OMG. Warning:  Some people tweet too often. Luckily, the unfollow button exits. If you are feeling brave, and decide to tweet, you can reference a person/message them by adding their @profile name to your tweet, and you can reference a subject by adding # to your subject word. For example, if you tweet:  “@WilliamShatner, I love #space” then William Shatner (plus your followers, which it may take a while to build, unless you are William Shatner) will receive your tweet, and anyone who searches “#space” will also see your tweet. Cool!

So, who should you follow? Here are some out-of-this-world suggestions to get you started:

@NASA (obvious)

@NASAJPL (Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

@MarsCuriosity (The Next Mission to Mars)

@csa-asc (Canadian Space Agency)

@Cmdr_Hadfield (astronaut Chris Hadfield)

@wilw (yep, it’s Wil Wheaton)

@GeekyGlass (yours truly)

The great thing about the twitterverse, like facebook, is that one profile will lead to another…and another…and another. It’s like chasing stars in the sky.

Once you become a twitter expert, be sure to follow @NASATweetup. NASA hosts events that allow regular twitterers to meet up (Tweetup) and discuss NASA events, meet scientists and engineers, and tweet about launches. For more details on this, check out the Nasa Tweetup upcoming events page.

Go, tweet. Boldly.

Blast Off!

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About Renate Pohl

Theatre Designer, Space and Stained Glass Artist, Writer.
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