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11/30/2010
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NASA Rated Tops In Social Media Savvy

The space agency earned a "genius" rating from L2 for effectively using Tweetup, Foursquare, Gowalla, Flickr, and its own website.

NASA, Microsoft Reveal Mars In Pictures
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NASA has ranked first in a study that ranked 100 public sector organizations based on the effectiveness of their websites, social media use, mobile sites, and digital outreach. Called the L2 Digital IQ Index for the Public Sector, the report was conducted by New York University professor Scott Galloway; Doug Guthrie, dean of the George Washington University School of Business; and L2, a think tank for digital innovation.

The space agency blazed ahead of the pack, coming in 26 points ahead of its next closest competitor, according to the study. The organization earned a score of 184 -- or genius -- out of more than 350 quantitative and qualitative data points.

"NASA's goal is to communicate the important work of thousands in our nation's space and aeronautics missions as broadly as possible, and we employ numerous tools to do that," said David Weaver, associate administrator for communications at NASA. "We're pleased to be recognized for our efforts and look forward to expanding our outreach."

The study noted NASA's successful use of Tweetup events before many of its launches, as well as its social media aggregator site, the Buzzroom. In addition, the agency partnered with location sites Gowalla and Foursquare, resulting in an astronaut "checking in" from Space Shuttle Discovery. It also garnered praise for the viewer-customizable website that includes simulations, video streaming, and 3-D visualizations, as well as a Flickr site to share historical photographs with the public.

"NASA has been an innovator and a true leader when it comes to using social media and other digital tools to communicate about its important work," said Guthrie.

Other agencies that achieved a score of genius include the White House, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the United States Army, and the Democratic National Committee. The Republican National Committee received a score of "gifted."

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