Official Facebook Group?

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josh_moore
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Official Facebook Group?

Post by josh_moore » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:50 pm

I am wondering if there was or if there could be a Facebook group created for APOD, with the daily pictures/description placed there? Though visiting the official APOD page is not difficult, it would open APOD up to more viewers, including those using other devices with Facebook tied in.

(I did find a APOD group on Facebook but it is unclear if that is an official page and it has not been updated recently)

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RJN
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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by RJN » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:19 pm

Josh -- good post. Actually, there are a few APOD Facebook groups, and a nice person even created a Facebook application that would display the latest APOD right there on Facebook. Unfortunately, his Facebook application used all of APOD's images at full size, and that included images copyrighted by individuals. So what? Well Facebook is inherently a commercial site, and so runs advertisements along side of all content. So Facebook was inadvertently profiting from somebody else's copyrighted images. So I had to ask this really nice person to either get permissions from the image copyright owners, or run thumbnail images only, or stop. Sadly, my social tact was lacking, and instead of adapting his application, he went on to do other things. I understand he was only trying to help, wrote a cool app, and had the best of intentions.

However, if someone can figure out a way to get around the copyright problem, I would really like to have APOD to have an active presence on Facebook. If anyone wants to help there, please respond to this thread.

- RJN

PS: I am aware of at least one person working on an APOD presence in Second Life. And the iPhone already has a few APOD-including apps. So far as APOD is concerned, these might be considered additional and valued "mirror sites" to the flagship main APOD site (of course at http://apod.nasa.gov/ ).

piersbrittain
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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by piersbrittain » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:13 am

I am going to post the occasional pic on facebook, in a photos file I will name APOD. The pics I will copy will all have the link to the APOD site written as:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html

I will not do this everyday, some of the pictures are not as appealing in a thumbnail, at that resolution one spiral galaxy looks much the same as another. But, some of the images are truly stunning, and in the name of education, I will take this opportunity to disseminate them until such a time as someone complains. In which case they can find me on Facebook, as Piers Brittain (but I am not the only one, "quel dommage"), or in case of a suit, Prof Nemiroff has my e-mail address.

If anyone is worried that Facebook themselves would use an copyrighted image for profit or gain, this post will act as evidence of my intentions, and their own logs will show where the image came from. I do not think any one at Facebook would is stupid enough to think they could get away with that kind of behaviour, and as the images I have seen all appear to be copyrighted anyway, the owners of the copyright can inform Facebook if the need arises.

On a personal note, I would be overjoyed if any of my photos got shown all across the planet - the best I have is a tiny blob on my cameraphone last full moon of a pinprick which may or may not be Mars.

If you find me on facebook, let me know who you are and I will add you as a facebook friend so that you can log in from time to time and see what I am putting up there.

Meanwhile, carry on the good work.



Piers Brittain

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by RJN » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:43 pm

Thanks, Piers, for your kind thoughts about APOD and wanting to bring space pictures to a wider audience. Although this goes without saying, however good your intentions, please do not break any laws, in particular laws regarding the commercial use of copyrighted images. - RJN

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by piersbrittain » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:54 am

Of course I will not break any laws! I just hope more people will get a chance to see some of the most fantastic images in the history of humankind!

Piers Brittain

QueenofKings
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APOD on facebook?

Post by QueenofKings » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:05 pm

I want APOD to be my "friend" on facebook so I don't have to go to yet another website to see it!

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by Athanasius » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:15 pm

Consider this an additional vote for the idea.

It does not have to be a Facebook application. In fact I'd prefer it wasn't.

What 'you' want to do is set up a Facebook 'Page' for APOD, and then figure out a way to auto-post to its Wall when a new image goes up on the website (so daily then). Anyone who's added the APOD Page should simply see a short post in their Newsfeed with a thumbnail that links to the actual APOD site. Optionally the start of the explanation text can be included as well.

I'd assume Facebook has a nice API for such things.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by QueenofKings » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:10 pm

Athanasius wrote:Consider this an additional vote for the idea.

It does not have to be a Facebook application. In fact I'd prefer it wasn't.

What 'you' want to do is set up a Facebook 'Page' for APOD, and then figure out a way to auto-post to its Wall when a new image goes up on the website (so daily then). Anyone who's added the APOD Page should simply see a short post in their Newsfeed with a thumbnail that links to the actual APOD site. Optionally the start of the explanation text can be included as well.

I'd assume Facebook has a nice API for such things.
That's exactly what I was hoping for. I miss a lot of APODs because I forget to click on the link, but if it shows up in my facebook newsfeed every day, I won't miss a beat!

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by RJN » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:05 pm

If anyone wants to set this up, please feel free. Please read the above posts about image copyrights, though.
- RJN

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:37 pm

RJN wrote:If anyone wants to set this up, please feel free. Please read the above posts about image copyrights, though.
- RJN
Why are copyrights an issue? If a facebook page just consists of status updates with links to the APOD page, why is that a problem? If necessary, credits can be added to the caption so nobody is claiming that it's their own image.

Are you suggesting that it's illegal to post APOD images or even *links* to APOD images on facebook because there is completely unrelated advertising on the pages? I don't believe that is the case, that's what Fair Use is for and I'm sure this would be covered under it. (e.g. a TV news program might use a copyrighted photo for a story, but there's advertising between the segments - are they breaking the law too?)

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by RJN » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:02 pm

Are you suggesting that it's illegal to post APOD images or even *links* to APOD images on facebook because there is completely unrelated advertising on the pages? I don't believe that is the case, that's what Fair Use is for and I'm sure this would be covered under it. (e.g. a TV news program might use a copyrighted photo for a story, but there's advertising between the segments - are they breaking the law too?)
Links are OK. Full images are not, to my understanding. I am not a lawyer, but when publishing a book involving astronomical images, my publisher was careful to get explicit permission from each image copyright owner. Now Facebook carries advertising, and makes money off of that advertising. It therefore appears to me to a commercial setting for the images, much like a book. Therefore, to post a full image from APOD on Facebook, it is my belief that one needs the permission of the image copyright owner.

If you -- or anyone out there -- is a lawyer or can say definitively that posting copyrighted images on Facebook is OK without permission, then that would be particularly interesting. Other than that, I advise erring on the side of caution.

- RJN

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:26 pm

Have you actually consulted a lawyer about this? It seems that you're making a lot of statements of belief there, wouldn't it be an idea to check for yourself (if you're involved with APOD)?

Either way, links alone can be posted on Facebook. For images they do tend to make a little thumbnail too, but if you're really paranoid about that then you can just tell it not to show a thumbnail for the link. Again though, Fair Use surely applies here, and I can't see anyone getting uptight over a thumbnail.

As an aside, I really don't see how you can realistically prevent anybody from linking to an APOD page via their own facebook accounts either (which I'm sure must happen if people want to show off an APOD picture to their friends). Somehow forbidding or preventing that would seem to run against the raison d'etre of APOD, which is educating people about space.

I certainly don't believe that educational sites like APOD should be crippled by paranoia about licensing and copyrights, and I don't believe that it's the intent of those regulations to do that either. I'd suggest that you check for yourself rather than stay in the dark about it though.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by bystander » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:22 pm

@EDG

I think you miss the point. It is not the responsibility of APOD or the Asterisk* to enforce copyrights on Facebook, rather it is up to the facebook user to observe copyright law. At the very least, any images posted on facebook from APOD should include the credit and copyright line found immediately below the title on every APOD page. For any images with attached copyrights, the copyright holder should be contacted for permission to use the image.

That, I believe, is what RJN (Robert J Nemiroff, co-editor APOD) is saying. I believe there is no intention of APOD making an official facebook (or twitter, etc) account. Anyone wishing to assume those duties may do so with the above caveats.

Being a NASA sponsored site, text from and links to APOD may be freely used. However, courtesy would dictate that credit be given to APOD for any text so used. Thumbs for the images are also available. For example, the thumb for today's APOD, 2010 Sep 17 (100917), [http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100917.html] is [http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/calendar/S_100917.jpg] and can be found on the APOD Calendar for today's date.

See: About APOD image permissions.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:53 am

bystander wrote:I think you miss the point. It is not the responsibility of APOD or the Asterisk* to enforce copyrights on Facebook, rather it is up to the facebook user to observe copyright law.
That doesn't explain why APOD can't post links to the site on Twitter or Facebook themselves though.

Let's be clear - there's no legal reason whatsoever to prevent APOD from making their own official facebook and twitter pages, with daily posts of links back to the daily APOD page. If thumbnails are an issue, then simply don't post the thumbnails there. That way, people click the links and go back to the APOD page, and all is well. That's how the unofficial APOD twitter page has worked so far too.

e.g. they can put links like this on an official facebook page and a twitter page:

"The Veil Nebula: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100916.html"

That's it. No copyrights are infringed by doing that. It's simply a link back to the main page.

I believe there is no intention of APOD making an official facebook (or twitter, etc) account.
That seems really self-defeating to me - APOD and NASA should be embracing every possible means to get their message out. Hiding behind excuses of copyright law seems overly paranoid, especially given that there are ways to remove that as an issue here (as described above).

Thumbnails need not be posted, and neither is it necessary to post full images. (I'm not sure what the new twitter changes that are just rolling out will do though. Apparently they will let people see thumbnail previews of images, but presumably they'll have a way for the user to disable thumbnails in their links too)

I note that its says there, under "New Media":
We are aware of several "new media" venues that carry APOD-related content. Most of these are done on a volunteer basis and are not supported directly by APOD or NASA. In sum, APOD considers these to be mirror sites that make classic APOD content readable not in a different language -- but with different technology. Some of these venues might partially support themselves by carrying advertising next to uncopyrighted images. This seems OK to us and we have therfore given them permission to use APOD text as it seems to give a broader reach to APOD's educational mission. Please note that neither APOD nor NASA receives any part of any advertising revenue.
It even links to the existing APOD twitter page there.

I guess I just have to hope that the person who maintains the APOD twitter page decides to start updating it again.
Last edited by EDG on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by owlice » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:31 am

EDG wrote:That doesn't explain why APOD can't post links to the site on Twitter or Facebook themselves though.
APOD is a small part of the editors' jobs. I'm pretty sure they aren't paid to post links on Twitter or Facebook (because if they were, they'd be doing so). Dr. Bonnell is a research scientist at Goddard and Dr. Nemiroff is a college professor and researcher; I'm pretty sure they have other work to attend to besides APOD.
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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:40 am

owlice wrote:
EDG wrote:That doesn't explain why APOD can't post links to the site on Twitter or Facebook themselves though.
APOD is a small part of the editors' jobs. I'm pretty sure they aren't paid to post links on Twitter or Facebook (because if they were, they'd be doing so). Dr. Bonnell is a research scientist at Goddard and Dr. Nemiroff is a college professor and researcher; I'm pretty sure they have other work to attend to besides APOD.
I'm sure they do. But if they have time to post an APOD page, I think they have time to post links to facebook and/or twitter too. It takes a couple of minutes per day, maybe five minutes maximum (I know this because I post Facebook and Twitter links for a site I run when that's updated too) - probably less time than it takes to actually write the APOD page itself. So I don't think time can be that much of a limiting factor.

it's not as if they even have to respond to comments on the facebook page either (time required to remove spam posts may be a valid issue, however) - and I don't think spam is an issue on twitter.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by owlice » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:53 am

EDG wrote:But if they have time to post an APOD page, I think they have time to post links to facebook and/or twitter too.
You can think what you want, but I think it's hubris on your part to decide what the editors have time to do and what their jobs are!
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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:02 am

owlice wrote:You can think what you want, but I think it's hubris on your part to decide what the editors have time to do and what their jobs are!
Well, you were the one who started off by saying they probably don't have time and who told me what their jobs were... ;)

Having an official facebook and twitter group is only going to expand APOD's reach and get the pictures and their accompanying message out to more and more people, which is surely the whole point of posting the images in the first place. It has been demonstrated that legal issues are not a problem, time issues are also not a problem since hardly any extra time is required to post these links, and there are no money issues involved either. Spammers on the facebook comments might be an issue, but that can be solved by having volunteer admins. What other possible reason is there not to do it?

This is something that requires a very minimal effort, and will only serve to help APOD.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by owlice » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:32 am

EDG wrote: Well, you were the one who started off by saying they probably don't have time and who told me what their jobs were... ;)
I'm not the one insisting they have time to do this; I'm not telling them what to spend their time on, as you are trying to do.
This is something that requires a very minimal effort, and will only serve to help APOD.
So do it. Since it won't take much time and there is no problem with sending LINKS, and compensation for efforts (the whole "doing what you're paid to do" thing) isn't a consideration (according to you), there is nothing stopping you from tweeting out the link to APOD. This is something you value, and since you are already tweeting other stuff, adding a tweet about APOD requires very minimal effort.

There. Problem solved. Yay!
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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:37 pm

owlice wrote:I'm not the one insisting they have time to do this; I'm not telling them what to spend their time on, as you are trying to do.
No, you're just making excuses for them. No offense, but I'm not really interested in hearing from anyone else about this, I'd like to get responses from the people who actually run APOD.

RJN has so far provided some reasons - none of them time-related - as to why there isn't an official APOD facebook/twitter page, and I've demonstrated that the reasons he stated are not really an issue. There is no legal obstruction to posting a link to the APOD page, period. There is also no significant effort required to post links to a facebook or twitter page (and seriously? Claiming that they're not paid to spend a few minutes posting links to facebook or twitter is ridiculous - they're probably not paid to run APOD either, but they do that. A couple of extra minutes posting links to facebook or twitter won't kill anyone). So if there is a different reason for them not to set up one or both of those pages, I'd like to know what it is. Heck, if they just honestly don't WANT to do it, I'd like them to state that.

And why should anyone else have to do this? If the people who run APOD don't care enough to make the minimal effort required to do this, why should the rest of us support them?

As it is, it appears that the APOD twitter feed appears to have restarted (thank you, whoever you are) as I saw the today's entry on my feed, which means at least somebody cares about getting the word out. It's pretty sad that the people who run the site don't appear to be willing to do that though.

Again, the idea of setting up an official APOD facebook or twitter page can only be a good idea - why would they NOT want to let more people know about the site? Perhaps the owner of the current unofficial twitter page could even transfer it to the official APOD people too (essentially by letting them know what the and login information is), so that they don't compete and they have the wide audience there already.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by bystander » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:53 pm

EDG wrote:it appears that the APOD twitter feed appears to have restarted (thank you, whoever you are)
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/apod maintained by Stuart Lowe (astrostu)

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by bystander » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:02 pm

EDG wrote:A couple of extra minutes posting links to facebook or twitter won't kill anyone
So why don't you do it? If the people who claim (e.g. you) they want it done can't be bothered to do it, why should anyone else care. If you spent as much effort in actually doing something as you do in complaining, it would be done already, but then, you obviously would rather complain.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by RJN » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:09 pm

When I saw the post from EDG that the Twitter feed had stopped (thanks EDG!), I looked on the "About APOD" page for the name and email address of the person who has been running the APOD Twitter feed and emailed him (Stuart Lowe) that the feed had stopped. It seems that he has now restarted it. Now anyone could have done this. Please, EDG or anyone who follows the APOD Twitter feed, if you notice the APOD Twitter feed has stopped, please just email Stuart and ask him to restart it. That will not take long.

Next, what EDG is also right about, I believe, is including thumbnails on commercial sites. It seems to me that Google Image Search has set the precedent on this and indeed thumbnails of even copyrighted images can be displayed without the consent of the copyright owner. What size image constitutes a thumbnail? Dunno. My advice is to use your own cautious judgement.

Why doesn't APOD do its own Twitter and Facebook pages? This is a good question but the answer(s) may be annoying. Essentially, we don't have the time or knowhow. APOD is written and edited by only two people, both of which have full time jobs already. I am frequently overwhelmed trying to keep up, and when that happens I think to myself things like "protect the trunk." This means that picking, writing, and editing good APODs is the most important thing. Were APOD to default and not update with a new image and description because I was trying to increase the APOD reader base by a few percent, that would be tragic. And so far, for over 15 years now, Jerry and I have not let that happen.

Won't APOD pick up thousands of readers if we Twitter and Facebook? Possibly. But APOD can get a million page views a day to its main NASA web page, and I just don't see Twitter or Facebook rivaling that. Twitter and Facebook, it seems to me, will remain a few percent effect. Still, both are increasing in popularity, and yes, surely APOD wants to remain relevant to major new forms of media. That is why there is a Twitter Feed, an RSS feed, and mirror sites in over a dozen languages.

Still, all of these "APOD mirrors", be they new technology mirrors such as Twitter or foreign language mirrors such as Observatorio.info (a Spanish language mirror), all are done by volunteers, not by Jerry or me. Jerry and I keep the trunk of APOD going, and branches like Twitter APOD and Obsevatorio.info and Starship Asterisk and the APOD iPhone app all grow out from the trunk.

So if you or anyone wants to grow another branch out from the trunk, like a new mirror site say in Chinese (but see: http://www.bjp.org.cn/apod/today.htm) or Facebook, please feel free. I would be very happy to see it. Unfortunately, most likely, Jerry and I can do little more than cheer you on.

What could be on the Facebook APOD "mirror"? It seems to me thumbnails and links -- but that would be cool. I am rarely on Facebook myself, so I don't even know how to tell you to do it, however easy it may be.

I hope this is a help.

- RJN (For information about my association with APOD, please see: http://asterisk.apod.com/vie ... 28&t=19889 )

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:30 pm

First, thanks for replying RJN. I know I sounds like I'm being demanding but I seem to be getting a lot of noise about this here from other people.

As for "not having the knowhow", here's how to set up a twitter page: Go to twitter.com. Click the Signup link. Pick a username. Follow the instructions. You're done. It takes a couple of minutes at most. If you can set up a forum account (which you obviously can, since you're here) then you can set up a twitter page, though obviously the "apod" username is already taken - maybe Stuart can just tell you the username and password for the APOD twitter page he's set up and let you take over it.

How to post: Go to twitter.com and sign in (you can get it to remember to sign in). You'll see your feed there, and you'll see a "What's happening" link there. Type the title of the link in there, and then copy/paste the link into the text box, and hit "tweet". That's all that Stuart is doing on the APOD twitter page. That whole process takes a few seconds.

Facebook is more complicated, and I can see reasons for not doing that (e.g. having to delete spam posts). But at the very least, a Twitter feed is easy to run and to update.

Will you get more new users? Probably not that many - but you will definitely get more hits on the APOD page as a result. Right now, Stuart's feed reminds over 106,000 users that there's been an update and that seems to be growing every day. If (conservatively) even 10% of those users take note of that and click the link, you're getting about 10,000 more people hitting your page, which means 10,000 more people who might tell their friends about it, which means that you might get even more people interested in astronomy as a result. Or maybe all 100,000 or so are clicking it, who knows. Obviously that doesn't compare to a million page views, but it's still somethin - for all we know maybe the 100,000 on the twitter feed are like me and don't even go to the NASA web page to click on any links to the APOD page there and thus wouldn't have clicked it otherwise. The Twitter update is delivered directly to the user and allows them to click on it along with all the other updates from websites that they're following there. For a few seconds of time I think it's worth it.

But, if Stuart has restarted it and can maintain it in the future then that's great. I just didn't want to see the idea poo-poo'd by people here.

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Re: Official Facebook Group?

Post by EDG » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:33 pm

RJN wrote:When I saw the post from EDG that the Twitter feed had stopped (thanks EDG!), I looked on the "About APOD" page for the name and email address of the person who has been running the APOD Twitter feed and emailed him (Stuart Lowe) that the feed had stopped. It seems that he has now restarted it. Now anyone could have done this. Please, EDG or anyone who follows the APOD Twitter feed, if you notice the APOD Twitter feed has stopped, please just email Stuart and ask him to restart it. That will not take long.
You're one up on me there. I sent a reply to an APOD tweet a few days ago asking if there would be any more updates (and got no reply), but I couldn't find any other contact info on the APOD twitter page itself (or any sign that it wasn't actually an officially run page for that matter), so I assumed - as anyone would - that it was being run by the same people who ran APOD. That is essentially why I came here to ask about it, and why I'm surprised that it isn't something that one of the people who maintain APOD runs.

I wouldn't have thought to look at the (somewhat obscure) "About APOD" page for that information at all. It might be worth Stuart mentioning in the bio (if he has room) that it's not an "official" feed.