NASA's Social Media Spacebook
While listening to 73-year old composer Philip Glass perform a solo piano concert the other night I was reminded of his repetitive chord and score structure and a connection to Web 2.0 design. The webmaster at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Emma Antunes, said recently that she embraces Web 2.0 technologies and tools to ” help agencies become more efficient and effective. “ She sees Spacebook, her new NASA project, as a means for advocating social media collaboration and extending existing tools that make it easier for people of multiple disciplines to work together. Designing the code and tools for Spacebook had distinct challenges for user implementation and likable interface. A basic premise was the understanding that even though web tools are designed to be simple, they cannot be a “one-size-fits all” approach because people use various tools for what they want in science. ” Twitter for some things, Facebook for others, Slideshow for other aspects.”
Jean-Claude Bradley, a chemistry professor at Drexel University, emphasized at a talk at Goddard that he uses “open-notebook science.” He records and posts experiments to YouTube, sample pictures on Flickr and stores the data on Google spreadsheets. A comment that showed versatility and change of structure and form not unlike Glass’s score adaptation in staging Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”. This design integration using, in Bradley’s case, free tools for scientific results is so comparable to Glass and his constant separate cord repetition to equal a whole collaboration. Web design begins to take collaborative shape and influence when separate tools engage different perspectives such as here at NASA’s scientific Spacebook. Chained or joined together, this type design, just like music, can lead to unique effectiveness.
Federal Computer Week, Social Media for Collaboration, (March,22,2010, Volume 24, Number 6) p.10., http://www.fcw.com.