Astronauts and participants at the event formerly known as 'Spacetweetup' 2011

Astronauts and participants at the event formerly known as ‘Spacetweetup’ 2011

Together with our partner DLR German Aerospace Center, our Spacetweetups are becoming even more social.

Originally conceived as real-life meet-ups of Twitter followers, they will now be open to participants from all social media channels and thus renamed ‘SocialSpace’.

via ESA web & DLR web

Welcome to our newly re-branded SocialSpace blog, which we hope will have a long and productive life reporting on all the coolness that goes on at European SocialSpace events.

If you’re new to the space and social media sphere, you might be wondering, ‘What in heck is a SocialSpace event?’ — and if you’re one of our super keen, long-time community members (you know who you are! :-)), you might be wondering, ‘What’s with the name change???? Hmmmm?’

What is SpaceSocial?

SocialSpace is conceived to be a positive expansion of our previous series of SpaceTweetup events that will enable space social media community members from across multiple channels to meet off-line and in-person (And always with sufficient WiFi connectivity present – Ed.) with each other and with the smart folks making space in Europe happen. It’s also about sharing passion and enthusiasm for space, STEM, STEAM, science and all things related to our world’s shared exploration into the cosmos.

Just a few of our SocMed family!

Just a few of our SocMed family!

At ESA and DLR, we aim to bring SocialSpace participants real value in terms of the experts you meet, the presentations/tours and the content line-up of events. Once you’ve connected with us via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or another SocMed channel, we want to connect with you in person – and ensure that you get ‘eyeball-close’ to the engineers, scientists, astronauts, activities and technologies that make space in Europe such a fabulous adventure.

As with our past SpaceTweetups, our SocialSpace events will usually be seating limited due to space, time, logistics or other reasons (We’d love to have you all over! – Ed.). There’s no magic formula for getting selected! The best bit of advice we can offer is: be active/interactive via your SocMed channel(s), be shareful, nuture and cultivate a network and be passionate!

What’s with the name change?

As today’s official web article mentions, the purpose of this expansion is not simply to include more social media platforms, but also to broaden the agencies’ overall use of social media to engage with new audiences, including media, the blogosphere and a wider spectrum of those passionate about space.

SpaceUpEU Genk team September 2012 Credit: Holland Space Centre

SpaceUpEU Genk team September 2012 Credit: Holland Space Centre

And, both agencies have broad social media presences, from Blogs to YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ to many other platforms. The SocialSpace concept will help DLR, ESA and cooperating partners like CNES to connect better with you.

We’ve thought long and hard about what to call the new, expanded format. Some of you have been very helpful, and suggested multiple ideas, all of which we’ve looked at. In the end, due to availability of Twitter names, graphic considerations, the need to cover expanded activities, the need not to conflict with any other popular names (‘SpaceMeetup’ surely crosses over into territory covered by the very popular site…), we settled on SocialSpace (Social4Space is the Twitter channel).

In my opinion, the name is not nearly as important as what we – you plus us = the European space SocMed community – do with it. Many of you have presented great ideas, such as Space Ambassadors (we’re keenly looking at a version of this!), SpaceUps – the crowd-sourced version of space events (which you, the SocMe community have executed on, beautifully!) and numerous proposals on how to shape and tailor future SocMed happenings (we’re keeping a list).

While the need to embrace additional SocMed channels is the most immediate, practical reason behind the name change and concept evolution, arguably the most compelling strategic reason is to support expanding the passion for space that we all have outward – into new communities, new networks and new social spheres.

I am certain that the SocMed teams at ESA and DLR look forward to serving you better, providing you with more ways to get involved and to meeting and connecting with more of you in the future! See you at SocialSpace!