Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Confessions of a Twitter Dupe

Quote of the day: "Houston. We have a problem." ~James Lovell

Song of the day: Hat Shaped Hat by Ani Difranco

State of mind: tired, followed by giddy, followed by hurt and pissed off.

Date: This happened on Nov. 17, 2008 Posted... later.

I’m feeling a little stupid right now and I’m not happy about it. As I may have mentioned before I have a twitter account, which I love. Instant 140 character updates from people all over the globe! Awesome. I knew about the last earthquake in California only seconds after it started thanks to a few people on my account that had the bad luck to be on top of it, but despite the fact that the Earth was moving below their feet in jarring motions, they decided to tweet the event. Mostly in all caps. (Like I wouldn’t.) The news of the earthquake didn’t hit MSN for almost another half hour. Not awesome for the people there, but knowing about it instantly was.

On my account I have several NASA sites, including the Mars Rover that just went quiet after its months long mission on Mars. (It found ice.) There was just something special about seeing a tweet with a link to pictures taken by a little robot on another planet. I know that the tweets themselves were coming from a person here on Earth, but it felt like I was getting updates right from that plucky little rover and it made my geek heart swell. And when it finally stopped sending messages back to Earth I’ll admit I was a little misty. I’m going to miss that lil' guy.

Anyhow, right now there is another NASA mission going on above our heads on the International Space Station which the shuttle Endeavour docked with to deliver supplies, and when I saw that they apparently had twitter accounts as well I couldn’t follow them fast enough. The tweets themselves seemed to be a bit more personal than other NASA accounts, but I figured it was because the astronauts themselves were excited about the instant communication with civilians while they were in space so I brushed off the oddness of it.

However today*, I get to work and log in as I usually do and see that the shuttle Endeavour has a link up to watch them in space as they are performing some task with multiple capital letters. A MMLPV or MMRPG or ... whatever. It's in space, so it's just freaking cool to watch live no matter what it was they were doing or what letters they used to describe it. Plus, you could chat with them too. No freaking way. My brain almost exploded. And so I posted as my inner geek squeed, while my other person that doesn’t want to get fired acted like nothing odd (awesome) was going on:

.... Then I added, oozing enthuse:

I logged into the chat, made a few jokes (shocking, I know), and for a brief moment felt like I was on the edge of a new world. A world were highly trained scientist that are manipulating million dollar equipment will take the time to say "hi" to whomever is willing to watch. Can you imagine? Communication by a regular Jane like me with someone actually IN SPACE? Sure, this would someday be a regular occurance, (I hope), but it was new to me. I felt like a pioneer. All while seated at my desk.

And while in the chat, they responded to me on Twitter:

I, NYPinTA, was just invited into space.
Naturally I played it cool:

However, my geek joy was squished when someone pointed out that the two accounts that I thought were the people on the shuttle and space station weren't linked on NASA's official twitter account like all the rest of their various NASA accounts were. And that the "live feed" from the space station seemed to be just looped to a different site than the official NASA TV site.

Well, crap.

Those two accounts I had been chatting with were total fakers. Liars. They stole my hope for the future; a bright and shining future with gleaming buildings, flying cars, and cloths made out of smart fabric that will regulate heartbeats or alter tempature to keep us warm or to cool us down when it was too hot. But it doesn't matter, because that world was gone. It was replaced by a world inhabited by the punks that were pretending to by astronauts having fun with a new communication tool.


Of course, I should have wondered when the they actually used "LOL".

The Pretenders:

“ISS” http://twitter.com/ISStation
“Endeavour” http://twitter.com/SSEndeavour
SpaceVids: http://www.spacevidcast.com/live/

The real ISS, Endeavour, and NASA TV:
NASA's Twitter List: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/twitter.html (Compliments of "Space")
NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Show quote of the day: "Whip me, beat me, take away my charge cards... NASA is talking!"


John said...

It was Kimmy. She's moved on to pretending to be an astronaut.

"Open the pod bay doors, HAL. I got my weenis stuck in there again."

LL said...

"I'm sorry John... I can't do that."

I think it's just a karmic slap upside de head to tell you to get back to writing your novel and not waste your valuable typing skills on Twitter.

Madre Farbot said...

There will always be people out there ready to take the piss just for kicks.

Don't be too hard on yourself, though, I'm sure you weren't the only one. There were some other excited tweeters caught up in it all.

You can't beat Nasa's video though, but I can see how some folks were duped.

They made the prepared script that they were reading from believable, and that's how they were able to pull this stunt off.

If I get hold of 'em, I'm gonna kick their butts off into space.

John said...

Los locos kick your butt!
Los locos kick your face!
Los locos kick your balls into outerspace!


ctheokas said...

Yeah, the LOL is kinda dodgy. But to hell with them. You figure we can find out where they are, and introduce them to a couple of guys from Jersey who have "the" for a middle name?

John said...

Kermit the Frog's from Jersey?

Kermit: Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog here, and this is my associate, Fozzie "Knuckles" Bear.

Fozzie: How youse doin'?

Kermit: I understand you have been less than truthful about the veracity of both your profession and location vis a vis, you lied to my good friend over there.

Fozzie: You want I should wakka wakka him boss?

John said...

In retrospect, I wish I'd made Fozzie's nickname "Dice". Oh well.

word verification: tyrap
Carol Channing as Admiral Ackbar: It's a tyrap!
Up yours, young people, with your rock and roll eight-track tapes!

Space said...

Asshats? That's a bit harsh. We try to do our best to make sure people know that we are not NASA, but we do cover official events.

The Twitter accounts use the SpaceVidcast site and emblem for everything so you know it is us an not NASA.

We're trying to build a community of space enthusiasts who want to help educate the world on why human space flight is important. Mission statement here: http://www.spacevidcast.com/2008/03/18/back-to-the-moon-back-to-our-destiny/

To that end we use Twitter accounts, MySpace, Facebook, etc., etc. Some of the fun accounts we have are the space shuttles, SSEndeavour, SSDiscovery and SSAtlantis as well as the ISS. They are there to be fun and lighthearted.

We don't claim to be NASA or associated with them. We try and make sure people know that we're NOT NASA and we're not trying to dupe anyone. We may need to re-evaluate the site and see if there's a way to better ensure people know that we're not NASA, and I'm open to ideas.

Having said that, I'm working on linking the SpaceVidcast room with NASA so that we can schedule media time with the astronauts as well as during mission status briefings which would allow you to ask a question in the chat room and we would pass the good ones on during the meetings.

Of course, just ask in the chat room if we're NASA or if we're linked to the astronauts and any room op will immediately tell you no. Problem is, you have to know to ask. Like I said, maybe there is a better way to go about that.

Our intention was never to dupe you or anyone, and you have my apologies that you feel that way. We'll fix it.

Anonymous said...

well if you would of watched some of the past shows of spacevidcast and you would of known that they are not trying to be nasa or con you out of anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Madre Farbot said...

Anonymous, you must be the other moron from outer space. Where was it made blindingly obvious that this was a spoof?

I mean, who the hell is going to want to see or hear old shows, when all they want is to be a part of the moment, a part of something that is real.

Well, I can see that most people will accept and probably forgive what's his face from space for his apology in this confusion, but not some twat like you wanting to rub someone else's nose in it once more just because you love the space he walks on.

NYPinTA said...

"They are there to be fun and lighthearted. "
Fun and lighthearted I get. But the two accounts that I mentioned that I followed made posts as if they were on the shuttle and the station. Lack of saying explicitly in the bio on the twitter pages and making comments that could (and obviously did) mislead people is almost as bad as lying outright. That's just not cool. A lot of other people that I follow also had the idea that those accounts were from NASA and weren't happy to find out they weren't. Being upfront would have prevented that.

To Anonymous: bite me.

NYPinTA said...

But I do appreciate that you changed your bio on Twitter to reflect your non-NASA status. Good move.

Anonymous: you can still bite me.

Space said...

"as if they were on the shuttle and the station"

I think that is the core of the problem. We're not posting intending to be *on* the shuttle and station, we're posting as if we *are* the shuttle and station. We're posting from the perspective of Space Shuttle Endeavour, not any of her crew.

For example, when Endeavour launched:

And even the shuttle speaking in first person:

We have and had no intention of duping anyone. We are trying to have some fun, get people excited about space, and build a community that has access to things like X PRIZE competitions, Virgin Galactic and of course NASA. I mean come on, it's a bit funny to read some of the posts from the perspective of the shuttle. My favorite being "HA HA HA HA! WOOOOOOOOO!" during launch.

We felt we were pretty upfront in the use of the SpaceVidcast logo all over the twitter page. Nowhere did we say NASA and were very, very, very clear that we were SpaceVidcast.com. There's a point when it does become a bit silly. To that point, we did tweet out today making sure everyone knew we were not NASA, and the general response was: http://twitter.com/JoSpiv/status/1018762593 So yes, I can see where you're coming from and have taken steps to correct for it, but hopefully you see my point as well.

cabri said...

Just so you know, 126_update isn't the ISS, it's just the NASA Public Affairs feed on Mission STS-126. It's basically a dupe of STS_126 but it does include the links which STS_126 doesn't. I haven't found a twitter account yet that has a live person tweeting for 126.

Madre Farbot said...

Get lost in space, Space
You're not wanted in this place

And just in case, at first, you were upfront
Your second post makes you look like a c*nt

Seems like you're still getting your kicks
Can't let this one go. You gotta make it stick

Like who's gonna admit to being duped
Yeah, we knew all along it was one big spoof

You still like laughing at this one person's goof
But I think you're all laughing now un-grouped.

Twichie said...

Space - You need to be careful when you venture into things like this. I work viral marketing and grassroots marketing for a living and honestly, if you're not careful, you're gonna burn people and cause a backlash that will kick your butt.

Saying "I think that is the core of the problem. We're not posting intending to be *on* the shuttle and station, we're posting as if we *are* the shuttle and station. We're posting from the perspective of Space Shuttle Endeavour, not any of her crew." is splitting hairs. Glad you took efforts to rectify the situation. Just apologize and move on - stop trying to justify why you do what you do. We get it. Good idea - not as well executed as it could have been.

Dude - don't mess with NYPinTA. She's got her own army. :)

Space said...

OK, I'll get out of your hair. I do want to clear up one last point. Of the real links you posted, only the last one is actually NASA:

Endeavour : http://twitter.com/STS_126 (not NASA)
ISS: http://twitter.com/126_update (not NASA)
NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html (is NASA)

The other two twitter accounts are run by http://www.space.gs which isn't related to NASA, just a space news site.

The official NASA Twitter accounts are here: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/twitter.html
If you don't see the account on that page, then it is likely a space enthusiast and not NASA directly. Using that link will allow you to get a stream of NASA related news via Twitter right to the vein. It is pretty awesome.

NYPinTA said...

Huh. Seems there is a lot of interest in space by people who also like twitter. I will update my link list. Thanks.

John said...

Remember me? I'm that kid who had a report due on space.

Beth said...

OK, this space drama kind of cracked me up. While I think it was shitty of the fake NASA to do, I can't believe they came here to defend themselves. What a hoot!

Kathleen said...

Oh, cool, I'm going to start following the NASA tweets.

Also, I dropped by to tell you that I got a Peter Wingfield update. This is what it said:

"Peter indicated that his two episodes are the final ones of the
current series, which should probably air in December. At least one of his episodes is called "Revelations" . I have heard that "Sanctuary" has been picked up for more episodes."

Also, there's a web series right now called 10,000 Days. This is the news from that e-mail:

"Peter mentioned the web site for "10,000 Days" during the recent Las Vegas PWFC convention. This is a web project that he recently filmed. It is not yet a web series, but the producers hope to sell this in order to produce more. At the moment, it has
two slide shows with several pictures of Peter in them.

The address is: http://www.10000day stheseries. com/

We will be getting a link up from the PWFC web site soon.

Peter was very excited about the possibilities of this project and hopeful that it will turn into a series. His character is the antagonist and John Schneider is the lead."

JennyLu said...

having a hard time deciding what was more fun, the post or the comment section. Grace - you've been tagged. :) luves ya too.

mr. schprock said...

Haven't any of you guys seen "Capricorn One"? It's all fake anyhow! Except for Major Tom. Major Tom's real, man. Poor bastard's probably still floating out there. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a Twitter account, either. Bet he'd like one, too.

What were we talking about?

John said...

What happened to Major Tom again? I think it was that he didn't have enough money to get out of the spacecraft so he had to keep riding in it.

JennyLu said...

Just stopping by to say Happy Turkey Day. Hope the day went well, I am sure it is a strange day for you without dad, but I hope you got thru it ok.

NYPinTA said...

JennyLu, I'll see what I can do about that tag... ;)

Kathleen, thanks for the Peter Wingfield updates! I was looking at that site, and the pictures look amazing! Can't wait to get to see the finished product.

Jeff said...

There's no promise of a twitter being what their name implies. Don't be so uptight.

You were owned because of your own naivety.

OM said...

"Dude - don't mess with NYPinTA. She's got her own army. :)"

Yeah, we can tell from the (c)rapper poetry above that she's got a lot of thugs around here to back her up.

Sorry, bim, but you should know the First Rule of Twitter as one of the Ten Commandments: There's no guarantee that a Twitterer is who they say they are.

In this case, you got burned by your own stupidity, not by anyone trying to scam, spam or otherwise bamboozle you. It was your own fault, and if anyone owes anyone an apology it's you.

And based on the rest of your blog blathers, it's obvious nobody should hold their breaths waiting for one...