What would normally take 10 years and a degree took only one year to get my first real space project. “Median” is a UK project to land probes on Mars and have them communicate and locate themselves to within a metre. The only thing I am not responsible for are the actual experiments.
After 16 months I landed my new company a contract to provide Spacecraft Communications, Navigation and Data for a lunar rover mission scheduled to land on the Moon in 2015. This mission is fully paid work and we will be building a 30m dish in NSW and a mission control centre in Sydney. I have the coolest business card in Australia: Director of Spacecraft Communications, Navigation and Data
So how did I do that?
For the last few years I have been blogging about space and had three websites. I also had worked out how to link them to a range of services and apps. Typically if I post on my website, it goes to my Facebook page; to twitter; Google+ and more. Basically the various sites are locked together or “integrated”.
I even used an App called Genieo to sift through space news websites all over the world and automatically publish all the space news in one place. That website became an aggregator of all the space news worth knowing. News would appear within an hour of less of being published anywhere in the world. On Twitter I created #rbsn short for Robert Brand’s Space News. All of my blogs feed it and the readership that was there for the general space news also read about my work in the space sector by default.
Within 12 months I had an invitation to talk at a major US space conference and that is where a member of my audience realised that my high altitude experiments were perfect for the Mars mission.
My score on Klout varies, but it has been at 72 recently. (Klout is a social media impact-measurement tool. 72 is good - Ed)
Only last week new space business came in the door with referrals from the Australian Space chamber of commerce and another referral from Defence. These are people that I have never met, but they have heard of my work and successes. Basically I have been trading information for a following and adding in my own story into the mix. Occasionally I mention family to humanise myself, but it is predominantly space. Yes, I now have Aerospace skills, but multimedia got me the acceptance and now the work!
So what other aspects of the Internet and multimedia have affected my new career path? I now have solid Aerospace skills largely gained from research on the Internet. To make this happen I have leveraged crowd-sourced knowledge for rapid learning & deployment of ideas. The Internet is full of rubbish so I have been relying on solid people within the aerospace sector that have a good reputation. People are generally unaware of the effects of social media and many believe that I have always been an aerospace engineer. The more I try to correct them, the more they believe I am playing down the truth! They see me as a person high standing as I demand “no swearing, politics or religion” on my pages and I actively police that requirement. My high standards in this regard are often confused with being someone of importance. I am further seen as a key member of the space community with posts and comments from reputable people from NASA. Simply put; a good reputation, a strong multimedia presence coupled with high integrity equates to new business opportunities and they are flooding in. I also now appear on radio and TV globally every week and the requests for interviews are growing.
Now, if multimedia can just create two of me…