And the winner of the government’s best Twitter feed goes to....
The U.S. space agency this week won its third award in as many years for its information-packed Twitter account, a best-in-government Internet-based prize called the 2012 Shorty Award.
The official @NASA account had 2,063,369 followers as of 2:37 p.m. Wednesday. The shuttle program may be over, but the space agency has built a loyal social media following for its reports on an array of subjects, from the Hubble Telescope’s Hidden Treasures to Arctic Sea Ice.
“The Obama administration has placed a high priority on openness and online communications, and @NASA is honored to be recognized for its social media efforts with a Shorty Award,” agency spokesman David Weaver said in a statement.
NASA also took home an award for best Social Media manager, honoring Stephanie Schierholz, for pulling together the community of space geeks, (aka SpaceTweeps) in the Twitterverse.
The Shortys are produced by tech start-up Sawhorse Media and sponsored this year by Spredfast, a provider of social media management tools.
The organization honors feeds on the weather, social activism, charity and celebrities, among others, in addition to government.
NASA won a Science Shorty in 2009 for its @MarsPhoenix Twitter feed, which reported on the Phoenix Mars Lander mission. Last year, astronaut Doug Wheelock (@Astro_Wheels) won for a photo he took while aboard the International Space Station.
The awards were presented in New York on Monday at a ceremony hosted by Samantha Bee and Jason Jones, of the cast of “The Daily Show.”
A Twitter follower named @Hamstertown summed up the accomplishment: “Congrats on bring [being] able to communicate aeronautics, space and just science overall with the restriction of 140 characters.”