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Nasa and Star Trek icon win social media Shorty awards

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Nasa and former Star Trek icon George Takei have both won Shorty awards for their innovative, and often out-of-this-world, use of social media.

Nasa won its second consecutive Shorty award for the best government use of social media, while Takei edged out ever popular "Grumpy Cat" to win a distinguished achievement in internet culture award at the fifth Shorty Awards.

Nasa won the award for its dynamic use of services to share its research findings with the world, sharing things like photos from Mars' surface and explorative satellites to jokes about Pi day.

The agency's policy of encouraging scientists and astronauts to create accounts on Twitter to share their experiences participating in missions was also praised during the ceremony.

The policy means that to date, Nasa uses almost 500 social media accounts with its main @NASA Twitter handle boasting 3.8 million followers.

Web sensation George Takei, the 75-year-old actor and author who first shot into fame as Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek TV series, won his award for very different reasons.

Takei's Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr blog to share comic internet memes sent to him by fans and occasional commentary on poignant political issues.

These have included images of his chief competitor for the award, Grumpy Cat, a feline that seems unimpressed with any item brought before her.

His calls for donations for charitable causes have proved very effective. Takei famously used his Twitter to raise money for disaster relief efforts in Japan following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

You can watch the Takei's acceptance speech for the Shorty award in the video below.

10 Apr 2013

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