Sunday, April 13, 2008

So Much for Gen-Y

Yuri's night was a colossal flop.

The Flickrholics in the red shirts with a helmeted character on their chests, the ones that are all a-Twitter, putting their Faces in some online Book, calling Space "Mine," outnumbered all other participants remembering 1961 last night. Across the country, the celebrations fizzled like Mountain Dew left out in the sun too long.

Yuri? Who's he? If you went to one of the gatherings, you probably still don't know.

The youngsters who want to be taken credibly forgot a few basic tenants for attracting "the rest of us" to their events. In California, the Coalition for Space Exploration tried their best to get their message across during the day, but it was lost on the dead heads that turned out for Telstar, dancing under the half moon.

In years past, Houston-based Russians have turned out in force for an evening of drinking and socializing. Nyet this time. If it weren't for the coincident motor-cycle rally, bringing in maybe less than 100 riders for the evening, poor Billy Joe Shaver would not have had an audience. A ride on a Zero-g airplane was given away to someone who had long since left the vicinity.

No, the Gen-Y folks, with the attention span of a page refresh, forgot or perhaps didn't know, how to bring out a crowd and get a message across. It starts with advertising. If nobody knows about your event, they won't show up. If you can't afford to pay for it, provoke the media into doing the job for you. It continues with content, especially if you are charging an admission fee. If you're intent is to raise awareness and interest in the space program, it might even help to have a couple of exhibits explaining why untold billions of dollars are being expended to get back to a place we've already been.

And explain it in language even a motorcycle moma can understand.


Anonymous said...

Apparently the writer of this post didn't venture into the education day activities which reached greater than 2000 participants including standing room only presentations, rocket launches, and student robotic teams' demonstrations of their product.

Oh ya, you only want to get drunk because that's what engages the public in NASA's mission.

Perhaps the writer of this post would like to actually participate and help plan events rather than sit back and talk about how the event didn't cater to their personal honor. The problem with the space industry is that it is filled with people like this blogger who don't care to reach out, they want to sit back and be the heros of the world, talk about how we need to reach out, but then leave it to someone else to actually do something!

Ask the broad range of girl scouts, boy scouts, international representatives, and motorcycle enthusiasts about their experience and they will most readily express that they "would never have had the opportunity or attended an event that included so much positive energy related to space"

So take a moment and look at the statistics related to Yuri's Night, because public outreach and engagement is much more important to the space industry than your personal pleasure!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to second the previous post and add the following:

This post is riddled with inaccuracies, specifically the title. I am a Gen X'er and had a significant part in Yuri's Night. This is an activity that was not only planned but attended by personnel from various generations. You want to blame Gen-Y but bear in mind, I'm on board and so are many others from outside of Gen-Y.

The thing is, we are a united front on Space and space exploration. Get your story straight before you post!

John Benac said...

The Seattle event was awesome, and it hardly got any publicity at all.

Charles Simony spoke at the museum of flight to a packed crowd, and I felt out of place being one of the only Gen-Y people there.

Rocket Man said...

we can only report what we saw with our own eyes that NIGHT in both locales.

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