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New media work

Page history last edited by Jon Verville 10 years, 3 months ago


This document is a place where Jon and others are developing a position description of the work to be done in order to help advise Goddard and NASA on the use of Social and New media.  Please feel free to edit the document and add comments below.  Thanks!  -Jon



Table of Contents



New Media Background


The revolution begun by advancements in the World Wide Web, commonly known as Web 2.0, offers unprecedented opportunities for NASA to change the way it does business internally through new collaborative tools and engage the public and invite them to participate in ways not previously possible.  In the government, the field which studies these new Web interactions is often referred to as Government 2.0.  NASA organizations and missions now can engage citizens in a conversation enabled by tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and interactive Web sites.  The sharing of high resolution images and video through sites like Flickr and YouTube can allow the public to "see" the incredible missions in a whole new experiential way, exampled by the recent releases from SDO.  But navigating this field is truly an entirely new outreach and electronic discipline, one which may or may not exist within the NASA organizations which would be responsible for implementing public outreach in this new realm.


Summary of PD


  1. engage those in NASA who have had New Media success and document their stories
  2. more deeply analyze the tools available through the lens of NASA’s mission needs
  3. meet with leadership with mission directorates and learn their struggles in this area
  4. make strategic recommendations to missions in the form of a document that has material for both leadership and those who will be the New Media practitioners in their organizations


Position Description


Position Title


New Media Engagement Analyst




The New Media Engagement Analyst’s role is to apply the capabilities of Web 2.0 and social media to further the business and mission objectives of NASA and its partners.  This individual should provide strategic advisement and support concerning the effective use of various types of new media and Web platforms.


In pursuit of these objectives, this individual will engage entities already existing within NASA who have demonstrated the use of new media in order to learn their methods and experiences.  This person should also document these experiences and advise on the application of these lessons to the existing and future missions of NASA in the form of whitepapers and possibly Web material.  This could also include the development of training materials and any other method which encourages their use broadly across NASA.    For more information about the deliverables of this position, refer to the last page/section of this document.




Strategy & Planning


  • Create and deploy feedback mechanisms for new media practitioners. Analyze results and interpret for application in further of NASA’s missions.
  • Make recommendations in support of change management and implementation of these new types of public engagement.


Training Development

  • Determine the missing links to the broad use of these new media tools and identify a few key areas where education and training would be the most useful.
  • Develop training materials in coordination with the appropriate line of businesses within NASA and potentially deploy these materials and advertise and encourage their use.


New Media Industry Benchmarking

  • Conduct research into new media platforms and services.
  • Provide support for the testing of New Media environments and Web tools in order to evaluate for NASA’s use.
  • Document all pertinent discoveries and clearly apply the use of these technologies to further NASA’s missions.
  • Prioritize the application of specific use cases from the suite of New Media tools and environments.
  • Perform hands-on experimentation of these tools uses in pursuit of determining applicability for NASA missions.


Knowledge Base Development

In order to build a sustainable, agency-wide conversation around the use of these tools, evaluate the utility of deploying a collaborative environment for the end users of these New Media tools.  This environment would be for the purpose of sharing information, discussing experiences, posting lessons learned, answering frequently asked questions, and developing a knowledge base of the tools available that would be relevant for the furthering of NASA’s missions.


Process, Timeline, and Deliverables

(The above sounds great! I think the next step is to create a process and timeline to meet the above goals, specifically outlining key deliverables and deliverable dates. I see the final product being an actionable plan for NASA around web 2.0 strategy and support. I can work out a timeline and process plan for us to discuss when we meet in person. What do you think? - YSF)


Position Requirements


Formal Education & Certification

  • College diploma or university degree in the field of computer science, management information systems, business, or politics.


Knowledge & Experience

  • In-depth, hands-on knowledge of and experience with New Media platforms and tools, be actively involved in the social media online arena.
  • Proven experience with strategic advisement for public institutions.
  • Able to develop and interpret technical documentation for training and end user procedures.
  • Knowledge of trends in technology relating to Web 2.0 and New Media applications.
  • Familiar with NASA’s goals and objectives.


Personal Attributes

  • Highly self motivated and directed.
  • Ability to absorb new ideas and concepts quickly.
  • Good analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment.
  • Ability to conduct research into web development and interactive environment concepts, as well as technical application issues.
  • Ability to present ideas in business-friendly and user-friendly language.
  • Very strong customer service orientation.
  • Excellent written, oral, interpersonal, and presentational skills.
  • Experience working in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.



Documentation Deliverables




Over the last 5 years, NASA has been experimenting in social media and has used these tools as a new medium allowing richer storytelling and media distribution.  This has been done through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, and other web tools.


Government is finding a higher level of value and power in Web 2.0 and social media by utilizing social media platforms to engage the public more in a two way conversation and not just a broadcast mechanism.  This engagement gives a voice to a larger population internal and external to NASA; and allows NASA to receive input and contributions from this population as well.




NASA is excellently positioned to take the use of these tools to the next level.  The entities involved with policy and implementation in this area will need guidance because navigating this field is truly an entirely new outreach and electronic discipline, one which may or may not exist within the NASA organizations responsible for implementing public outreach in this new realm.  The managers will need policy guidance and the implementers will need practical and technical guidance.  In order to more systematically encourage the broad adoption of these tools it is necessary to write and publish this policy and guidance material.


All this policy and guidance needs to be developed with input from PAO and they will need to sign off on the final documentation deliverables.  The ultimate stakeholders of these documents will be the mission organizations within NASA.  The focus of these documents will not only be on using these tools to meet outreach and education objectives, but also their core mission objectives as well.


Helping Projects Meet Mission Objectives


Currently many missions are planning on using Web 2.0 social media tools to engage the public in the public outreach efforts.  But the problem is that many are just basing their outreach architecture on the availability of technical tools, such as social networking sites and blogging platforms.  Instead, an analysis should be done with the entity (being a NASA mission or a Science Directorate, etc.) to establish digital engagement goals.  I see this intern helping to craft a digital engagement plan which starts from the types of ways that we currently and historically seek to engage with the public and find a way to make the tools work towards those goals, instead of the tools driving our public engagement.  As part of this plan, we would meet with missions who have and are using social media tools to engage the public and document lessons learned and best practices.  They would also start at writing metrics which would help quantify how successful we, Goddard and NASA, have been at engaging the public.  These metrics would be an invaluable tool to help sell further use of these tools and convince senior management that the ROI is worth further resource allocation.




These tools allow the public to participate in ways not previously possible.  If you allow someone not officially involved with NASA to contribute to the mission and you recognize them, you now have an external advocate.  If you now work with them and begin a conversation and engage them, you now have a partner.  The goal is to tighten up the feedback loop between our output of content and processing the feedback coming in – thus giving people a higher incentive to reach out to NASA and engaging in the work we do.

Here is the PD I wrote up.  It may need some work, but right now I am thinking that she would: (1) engage those in NASA who have had New Media success and document their stories, (2) more deeply analyze the tools available through the lens of NASA’s mission needs, (3) meet with leadership with mission directorates and learn their struggles in this area, (4) make strategic recommendations to missions in the form of a document that has material for both leadership and those who will be the New Media practitioners in their organizations.

Comments (2)

Jon Verville said

at 6:16 pm on May 5, 2010

I know the flow is a little rough, but I don't know how else to break it up other than the PD and the deliverables being separate. Comments?

griffin wholley said

at 11:52 am on May 6, 2010

It's as if you probed my brain and said, "Griffin, what would you like to do at NASA, since they currently are not accepting Astronaut Candidates?" Is this job already being done by anyone @NASA? I'm thinking specifically of Beth Beck @HQ CIO. Would it be interesting to see her roles and if any of that could be tied in as well?

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