Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Love This Story -- Stephen Colbert to be Launched in Space?

For your weekend reading pleasure -- here's a story that continues to crack me up (while showing the power of the Internet and community at the same time).  Take 1 part NASA; 2 parts of the International Space Station; 3 parts of comedian/social commentator Stephen Colbert; 4 parts of the "Colbert Nation" (the name of the faithful who lionize Colbert and his "Colbert Report" which airs on Comedy Central); and 5 parts of media convergence.  What do you get?

... Colbert winning a NASA naming contest for a room at the International Space Station.  That's right.  NASA issued a contest for naming rights and suggested 4 names as top contenders -- but write-ins were allowed.  Enter Stephen Colbert.  He urged his faithful to write in his name.  And, they responded in droves.  Colbert won the contest by seizing 230,000 votes -- 40,000 more than any of the NASA suggested names.   

What's NASA to do?  The agency -- which ultimately has discretion to choose the final name for the space station's room -- contends that it will give serious consideration to the winner.  But, as much as Colbert wants to be launched into space, it seems to me that the engineers at NASA will not have that kind of sense of humor.

But, Colbert has already won by underscoring the power of media convergence, combining the reach of television and the Internet.  And, by underscoring the unintended consequences that sometime result ...