by Chris Tobias
For nearly six years now, our Twitter account (@TakeBacktheSky) has been participating in that Twitter tradition known as “Follow Friday.” It’s really not clear to us where the practice originated, but the idea of recommending accounts that others should follow (and perhaps having others recommend yours) was one that seemed like a valuable tool back when we first started Take Back the Sky. After all, the more times a Twitter handle shows up in the Twitterverse, the more likely folk will be to check out who’s behind it and what they’re all about. In the early days of our campaign, it’s likely that Follow Friday tweets actually did give us some valuable exposure, especially when we still had active online petitions asking Elon Musk and SpaceX to name their first Crew Dragon after Serenity.
But after careful consideration, we believe the time has come for us to end our participation in Follow Friday.
“Why now?” you ask.
Well, first of all the tweets generated using the hashtag #FF have not been bringing us as many new followers as they used to, and attracting followers who may be interested in writing letters to SpaceX is the number one reason for us to have a social media presence in the first place.
Also, the subsequent replies, retweets, likes, and likes of replies/retweets that inevitably occur as the result of Follow Friday tweets tend to jam up the notifications on our Twitter account for the entire weekend. That wasn’t a very big deal early on, but as of late it’s made it difficult for us to sift through them in search of tweets that contain important information about SpaceX’s activities, especially when they schedule a launch on a Friday. For example, this coming Friday, NASA is expected to announce the crew assignments for the first Commercial Crew launches, yet another milestone signaling that our campaign is nearing its final stages. We wouldn’t want to miss any important news about what could very well be the first crew of SpaceX Dragon Serenity simply because we weren’t able to filter through myriad messages of thanks and tweets of “#FF back.”
Finally, with our work nearing its end and our campaign in a critical stage, we simply want to be able to concentrate on using social media as the most effective tool it can be to encourage others to lobby SpaceX to name their first Crew Dragon after Serenity, rather than just engaging with fellow Browncoats and space enthusiasts on social media solely for its own sake.
That said, we certainly want all of our Twitter followers to understand that we still enjoy interacting with them, especially when those interactions involve discussions of SpaceX, NASA, commercial spaceflight, Firefly or Serenity. We are not discontinuing our involvement in Follow Friday because it wasn’t fun. In fact, we always had a lot of fun seeing the many photos and GIFs that accompanied replies on Follow Friday. We also enjoyed interacting with the “regulars” who would tweet us every Friday, and we hope they will continue to interact with us in other ways, regardless of the day of the week.
We also hope those who regularly mentioned us on Follow Friday will do us the honor of mentioning us one last time– this time in print on real paper— in a letter to SpaceX asking them to name their first Crew Dragon Serenity.
So, farewell, #FollowFriday, and to all those who were our #FF friends for over five years, we’d like to say one last time…
Thanks for all the #FF love today, #SpaceXSerenityCrew! #PeaceLoveAndRockets