Tag Archives: twitter

NASA Tweet Up STS-133: It’s Awesome, Baby!

I was one of the lucky chosen few who was invited to attend the NASA Tweet Up STS-133. After 26 years of service, this launch is Space Shuttle Discovery’s last flight. And I have finally begun to understand the significance of this when I went to Kennedy Space Center today for Day #1 of the NASA Tweet Up.

Some readers may remember the Top 5’s previous trip to KSC. This was before any cuts were made to the Space Program’s funding, before thousands of people lost their jobs, and optimism over the new rocket program was still in the air.

Today, optimism was very much in the air, but I could not help but taste the bittersweet celebration of those gathered for  the tweet up.  150 space enthusiasts from 38 different countries assembled to experience, learn about, and toast the American Space Program. However, the roads of KSC were much less crowded, and it was apparent there were fewer workers and personnel.  Central Florida is definitely feeling the pain of NASA’s reshuffling.

However, NASA certainly did the tweet up right! From the very first official email and pass accreditation to the uber-cool parking space (right by the VAB) and the air conditioned VIP tent, we were treated first class all the way!

Top 5 editor Bess Auer in front of the VAB as photographed by Chris Gent.

From getting to listen to several NASA “big wigs” and astronauts, and then meeting Jason Goldman (A really big deal at Twitter!), we were given thrill after thrill!

NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier

We were then privy to two incredible demonstrations: 1) ACES Suit (think massive survival suit) and 2) Robonaut 2 (think Robocop in real life!).

Just being around all these space nuts was enough to be thankful I spent the day at KSC.  From NASA Flow Director Stephanie Stilson saying, “The most important thing is for NASA to finish the Space Shuttle the right way until the very end,” to astronaut Ron Garan saying, “Everyone should have the right to dream to go to the stars,” what an inspiring time!  I definitely want to go into space in my lifetime!

Astronaut Bess Auer!

The countdown...

Enjoy this recap video of my incredible day and check out the totally awesome Robonaut 2:


Filed under Education, Fun, Just for Me, Shuttle, Space, Tourist, Uniquely Florida

Changes for the Central Florida Top 5

The first year for the Central Florida Top 5 (founded in July 2009) brought many exciting events and an overwhelming response from the Central Florida community. I have taken great delight in researching and attending new shows, concerts, literary and art events, as well as supporting many non-profits. My Top 5 judges have been so supportive, and I have met countless terrific people I am now proud to call friends.

So, it would be natural that I would want to continue doing the wonderful things that work, and move past the things that are not as successful. (For example, I will never hold another video contest!) Keeping those things in mind, the Top 5 is evolving by moving entirely to Facebook, Twitter, and the Top 5 blog.

The separate, free-standing Top 5 website is being discontinued as updating it took several days of tedious web work and design each and every month.  So after much thought and discussion, it was decided I can convey the same information about upcoming events and streamline my audience by simply posting that info on my blog and Facebook pages. And, the much-loved calendar–by far the most-visited page on the free-standing website–can be recreated on the Facebook page. (In fact, the Calendar App is upgrading and getting ready to launch even as I type this!)

Our Facebook Welcome Page - go check it out!

And even better, Facebook will be a “one-stop-shop” where you can view the Top 5’s latest Youtube videos, photo albums, tweets, and other info.  Also, it will be even easier for you to interact with me and give feedback, let me know about other great events happening around town, as well as state how you liked the events you attended. It seems like a real win-win!

So, to those of you who enjoyed my separate, free-standing website, forgive me for simplifying my busy life. I hope you will transfer over your following to this blog and become a fan on Facebook, and I hope to provide even more complete coverage through these online venues. (Yes, there will still be the Top 5 events in different categories each month… you will just visit my blog to see them!)

So, thanks for hanging in there and I hope you enjoy this new format for streamlining my information to you. I do love writing about Central Florida… so here’s to you, readers and fans! Thanks for being there! 🙂


Filed under Blogger Extraordinaire, General Info, Just for Me, New & Hot

Congratulations to Second Harvest Food Bank!

Congratulations to the Second Harvest Food Bank for their recent award: the 2010 Model Technology Program of the Year!

Each year, Feeding America acknowledges a member food bank that develops an innovative technology solution that significantly increases the member’s capability to serve its community and enhance its existing hunger-relief services. Feeding America foundation has honored Second Harvest for their social media initiative. This will now serve as model for other member food banks to follow, helping them feed more people in their own communities.

Feeding America's Vicki Escarra presents the award to Second Harvest's Greg Higgerson

In 2009, the Second Harvest began utilizing Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and its own blog site to engage the public in the fight against hunger.  As a result, the food bank’s online fundraising has increased significantly and attendance at events is higher than ever. Since March 2009, the food bank’s email list has increased by 33 percent.  The food bank staff is seeing measurable results as their social media marketing drives more people to their website.

Top 5 editor’s note: I’ll admit it, Twitter is how I truly started paying attention Second Harvest and their needs and special events. Social media is also how the Top 5 connected with the American Lung Association of Florida – Central Region. Thank goodness that we have so many ways to communicate in this busy world in which we live! Congratulations to Second Harvest for their initiative and award!

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Filed under Charity, Resident done good

Do You Tweet? Just what is this Twitter?!

I have had a few emails recently from friends who are not down with the Tweeting…they do not know what Twitter is and frankly, do not understand its value. I must admit, I had never really twittered before the Top 5. I had created a few accounts for some of my clients, but had not really become an active participant myself until now. But, now that I understand the way it works, it is really cool!

I get personal updates from Lance Armstrong, detailing behind-the-scene events at the Tour de France. He groans about anti-doping testers knocking on his door first thing in the morning, for the twelfth morning in a row. He sends “shout outs” of encouragement to friends fighting cancer. He even tells what “pump up” song he’s listening to. I also follow Olympic swimmers, like Ryan Lochte on his current trip to the World Championships in Rome. While his spelling could use a little help, his posts about the foreign food are hilarious!

As an Orlandoan, I also follow Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. And get updates from Disney, Universal, as well as the various municipalities around Central Florida. I have also enjoyed getting minute-by-minute official updates from NASA. Did you know the astronauts woke up to “Life is Highway” by Rascal Flatts this morning? Fun facts, no?

My son follows several fun tweeters like Shaq and someone claiming to be the real Chuck Norris, who gives posts like, “When Chuck Norris goes swimming, he doesn’t get wet; the water gets Chuck Norrised.”

Meanwhile, my son’s swim team uses Twitter to post important info like changes in practice times as well as real-time meet results. At the championship meet this past weekend, the coaches kept a running commentary on how the meet was going, how the swimmers were doing, and final results. (They even gave info like the fact that the meet officials had to fish out a real alligator from the pool before the morning session…ouch!) For the parents and swimmers who didn’t make the trip, they really felt connected. Twitter has been a great tool for team communication and unity.

And, best of all, Twitter is user-friendly! (If my mother can do it…anyone can!) And it is easy to connect it to your phone, so updates are easily readable. Here’s a short video, further explaining Twitter…and while I sound like a walking billboard for tweeting, it is simply so you will sign up and then “follow” us on the Central Florida Top 5! (Ulterior motive…) You can find us by searching for “Bess Auer” or “centralFLtop5”

And for a little humor with Twitter…

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Filed under General Info