Archive for category Twitter
The Air Force Space & Missile Museum where I volunteer is testing out a new translation feature for its website, but we could use your help.
“We’ve added a translator widget to the museum web site that does instantaneous translations between most popular languages of the world. The actual widget code that’s added to the web site is tiny. What the widget does is present a small box and then passes the entire viewing page to a large Microsoft-owned translator. The result is the page changes form into the language selected by the viewer. Many of our web site visitors are from foreign countries and having a translation capability could generate even more interest in the site. How you can help:
1. Go to the museum web site www.afspacemuseum.org
2. Scroll to the bottom of the home page (or any page, for that matter)
3. See the translator widget in the bottom right corner
4. Select a language from the pulldown list box
5. Press the “play” button “>” immediately to the right of the selected language
6. Watch the magic
Once the language is selected, the viewer doesn’t need to do anything else. He/she can navigate all over the web site using the standard navigation bar at the top and each page will be translated as it appears. What I’d like from the volunteers is some feedback on how accurate the translation is. The few that I’ve tried are pretty darn close…not perfectly translated like a native speaker, but quite readable and accurate.”
If you have any feedback on the translation or readability of the site, please post it here in the comments and I will forward it to the webmaster. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
When I was in the ninth grade, I had to do a science fair project. Somehow, it was chosen as a regional winner and I was selected to go to the International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma that year. One of the traditions at the event was that participants would bring tiny pins representing where they were from to trade with others. Some were representative of a city, some a state or even a whole country. The pin in the photo above was given to me by another student at the Science Fair who lived in Merritt Island, Florida, which coincidentally is where I live now.
I started thinking this might be a neat practice for attendees of NASAtweetups or ESA Spacetweetups to adopt. It could help to facilitate conversation and encourage tweeps to meet as many of the other participants as they can, so they can collect all the different pins from their tweetup group. They could even put a spacey spin on it, finding pins representing a local planetarium, space museum, astronomy club, or or other space-related venue or group. Maybe some of these establishments or organizations would even be willing to donate the pins to tweetup participants to hand out and trade with others? It couldn’t hurt to ask. So, upcoming tweetup attendees, what do you say? Should we try this out and make it a new tradition?
Okay, I know my job is envied by many, but at the end of the day it is a job like everyone else’s. It has its difficulties, frustrations, and other drawbacks. It is easy to become defeated when trying to make positive changes at work, because of the near impossible odds you are up against. Also there is a certain atmosphere of dread around the place due to the looming “END OF THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM” hanging over our heads which will mean the loss of the majority of our jobs.
When I joined Twitter last September, I thought it would be an interesting diversion, but never realized how much it could affect me and my feelings about my work. I eventually found myself in a circle of NASA employees and space enthusiasts who were tweeting excitedly about launches. At the first launch after I started tweeting, I got up to the minute updates from a space center contact, @herrea straight from the Launch Control Complex. It was so cool to know exactly what was happening and any potential delays that posed a threat. It was after this launch that Andy started to see the value of Twitter and decided to join as well. He’s @apacheman, by the way.
After that, I became even more entrenched in the space community on Twitter. I started following Wayne Hale (former NASA flight director), Miles O’Brien (aviation and space journalist), and Leroy Chiao (former astronaut). I saw that I was days ahead of my co-workers and even my upper management when it came to finding out what was happening with the US space program. I started to realize that Twitter had the potential to help me in my career. What I didn’t anticipate is the effects that it would have on the way I felt about my job.
With this last launch, I had gained some more followers that are what I would call “space enthusiasts.” This was a really good thing because it forced me to look at my job from the perspective of other people who would give anything to be in my position. It made me more excited about the cool opportunities I had and more inclined to seek out new ones. I started posting photos I took during the day of things that seemed mundane, but was amazed to find that there were some followers that really enjoyed seeing these behind-the-scenes shots. I am happy to share these little tidbits with those that find them interesting.
I became Twitter friends with other contractor employees (some even within my own company) from Johnson Space Center in Houston that are facing the same “end of program blues” and uncertainty due to change that we are. It is somehow comforting to know that these people are dealing with many of the same challenges we are facing at Kennedy Space Center. We also can share our pride in each launch or milestone, knowing that we each had a little part in it. I also found an inspirational leader in @rikerjoe, who is trying to make positive changes within NASA and is very supportive of my efforts.
While I have always tried to attend every launch that I possibly could because I didn’t want to waste the amazing opportunity I have been given, now launches are even more exciting. This is because I get to share the play-by-play with and from other Twitterers: some watching it in person like me and some on the other side of the world.
Last week, I was able to meet a Twitter friend that came from JSC for the launch and just happens to work for the same company as I do. Andy had given her a tour of the launch pad a couple of days earlier, and then, on her last day at KSC, she was able to come down to my work area and visit. It was a pleasure to give a tour of the Hypergolic Maintenance Facility to @absolutspacegrl because she was truly excited to be there. She did not think the hardware was mundane, but saw it with the fresh eyes of a space enthusiast. Even though she has a great deal of knowledge of the systems as a flight controller, she said that they rarely see hardware, and mostly deal with data. It was energizing to see someone that appreciates what they are seeing the way she did. She even blogged about her experience at KSC.
And finally, there is one more group of people on Twitter that help me through a challenging workday. That group is my blog friends that are now on Twitter; many of you I have now known for over four years, some of you I have met in real life, and all of you are people I feel honored to be friends with. To @susank, @tropicalwonder, @poppycede, @nycwatchdog, @strangeafoot, @patrice108, @beth4158, @MaryKC, @Grynet, @kimsnotebook, @halo969, @felicia4774, @absentcanadian, @yoshi, @fyrchk, @sweetanne, : I am glad to be able to keep up with you on a daily (or weekly, for some) basis and would be far worse off if not for your support. And Mel, one day you’ll make me truly happy and start tweeting again!
So, I finally succumbed to Twitter, and am giving it a try, as some of you already know. I have placed the feeds from my Twitter page on the sidebar down at the bottom, so if you want to see what I have been up to, it is all there, even if you are not a Twitterer (is that a word?).