Looking for a scoop? Just use your reading spectacles

Looking for a scoop? Just use your reading spectacles

When I scanned email subjects in my inbox this afternoon, my eye fell on “Worldwide Me-the-Media Mars Scoop”. I recognized “Me the Media” from the title of a book Martin Kloos reviewed a month ago, but the rest of the line seemed kind of abstract. Mars Scoop? Are you kidding me? Although I have deep respect for the author, Jaap Bloem, you can probably imagine I opened the email with some skepticism.

Me the Media deals with the impact of web media on “hyper-individualization, ICTainment on top of ICTechnology, and of meaningful web conversations between organizations, customers and employees”. I met the authors during SocialStrategyTalk on May 22 and like the way they promote the book. They’ve made the whole book freely available online and… they have a blog. The latter isn’t that original, unless you publish some world-wide scoops. Then its pure solid PR 2.0 material.

messages from earthYou’ve probably heard of the Phoenix Explorer that landed on Mars on May 25. Next to the Star Spangled Banner, this little wonder of technology also had a DVD-rom on it – entitled “Messages from Earth”.

So if you’re like Bloem, you probably already wondered what the text box on the DVD says. Bloem wanted to find out, thus he grabbed his +1.0 reading spectacles, enlarged the picture within PowerPoint, focused his eyes, and tried to decipher the text. He succeeded to some extent, as he managed to read the whole text apart from one word. Not a scoop that will get you on CNN’s breaking news, but enough to start a modest hype in the blogosphere. Especially as the text is pretty funny and to the point:

“This archive, provided to the NASA Phoenix mission by The Planetary Society, contains literature and art (Vison of Mars), greetings from Mars visionaries of our day, and names of 21st century Earthlings who wanted to send their names to Mars. This DVD-ROM is designed to be read on personal computers in 2007. Information is stored in a spiral groove on the disc. A laser beam can scan the groove when metallized or a microscope can be used. Very small bumps and holes ( ? ? not sure about this ? ? ) represent the zeroes and ones of digital information. The groove is about 0,74 microns wide. For more information refer to the standards document ECMA-268 (80 mm DVD Read-Only Disk).” (source)

As you can understand, we’re on a mission here. What’s the word after “bumps and holes”? We might even be able to persuade Richard Branson and his Virgle guys to give away another ticket to Mars as a prize.

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