Our mission is simple:
Astrosphere New Media Association is dedicated to promoting science and skeptical thought through internet-based technologies and distribution. We focus our efforts on the creation of technologies and content that enable better astronomy communications and greater astronomy content access for the public. These technologies can take many forms, and include (but are not limited to): blogs, podcasts, social networks, interactive data tools, and community content sites (such as wikis).
In today’s networked world people are growing more and more connected through digital devices. Cell phones no longer just carry our voices to your ear, but they also transmit pictures, video, and text. Computers no longer just transmit text through email and instant messaging, but they also allow individuals to interact through avatars in virtual worlds, through live video feeds, and through almost countless forms of asynchronous social and business networking. Through handheld mobile devices and computers the world is connecting to content – including astronomy content – with astronomy aficionados in Africa reading American astronomy blogs on their cell phones while Puerto Rican teachers get their kids audio questions answered online in podcasts by Canadian astronomy communicators. On the Internet, there are barriers, but no borders.
The Internet is altering how people work and play. Individuals are building time into their personal workflow to regularly check favorite websites, to reply to messages and email, to read, listen and watch their favorite online content providers, and to play games with friends. All these new ways of interacting provide content providers new ways to communicate their products and ideas to the public.
Astronomy communicators can use these new forms of communication – this “new media” – to provide the public with dynamic web content through Web 2.0 technologies.
And Astrosphere New Media Association is here to help facilitate this new media new communications.
This project rose out of two needs. There are many of us working together in our spare time to communicate astronomy to the world. We’re building tools, writing content, and then giving it all away. What we needed was a central advocate who could work to find us a little funding for travel and servers and just help us get what we do out to the world. Astrosphere is here to be that advocate. The International Year of Astronomy also produced a number of excellent new media projects: Second Astronomy and 365 Days of Astronomy among many others. Astrosphere is here to provide these projects a home beyond the IYA.
Bottom line: We’re here to give new media science and astronomy and even skepticism projects a home.