Author Topic: L2 Space Industry Access Overview/Process  (Read 1807 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Overview - Skip to the second part if you're already acquainted with the site.

L2 began in 2006 as a support function for the site as we grew from a niche/hardcore Shuttle coverage site to.....a niche/hardcore Shuttle coverage site that surprised all concerned with the amount of interest and volume of visitors arriving. I think our first major growth spurt was the PAL Ramp overview on STS-114, which was linked by some mass media sites. That's when the snowball started rolling.

Normally sites that aren't owned by large publishing companies mitigate costs via tip jars (as they were back in the day) and now versions such as Patreon. The former is pure donated support. The latter is a commercial subscription style reward system.

L2 was an idea where anyone donating towards the site's costs gained the reward of access into a separate area of the forum (started as one section), hosting items from huge videos through to WIP (Work In Progress) information, showing raw information/documentation that we work into news articles. Some of our initial members - due to being a Shuttle niche site - came from the Space Shuttle Program (NASA, USA and other contractors) and automatically entered L2. That became really useful for both the site and for those members in question. USA guys with Shuttle at KSC would joke they could get feedback from Shuttle JSC or MSFC faster via their colleagues in L2 than waiting for it to feed down the system. Imagine a universal water cooler for such people, very cool for them, but also fascinating for fans.

This grown industry-wide as our coverage widened and has become one of the most organic parts of the site and L2 and of course we're no longer a Shuttle site. We cover all the rockets and we were one of the first sites to cover SpaceX. I still have the e-mail from Elon asking if WE wanted to interview him (and we did)! ;D

L2 is now a vast number of sections and a crazy amount of content. Our biggest struggle is how to overview it to potential L2 members because it's such a huge amount of content (although that leads to pleasant surprises for new members). However, I'd say its main strength is its space industry membership, in an environment of a small user base of the site (thus avoids the "big site" issues of too many voices. L2's membership is less than 1 percent of the forum's membership and less than 0.1 percent of the forum's visitor numbers....but that's enough to keep the crazy hosting packages paid for - which of course benefits all visitors to this site - but it also helps the signal to noise factor.

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Main Outline of Space Industry Membership:

Of course, people in the space industry are the rock stars of our content field, so asking them to contribute to the site's running costs is a bit like running a Foo Fighters site with a subscription service and asking Taylor Hawkins to subscribe the same way as the fans. So it's free. However, how cool would it be for Taylor to be in there helping the fans a heads up on upcoming songs. That's how L2 works.

1) You need to be involved in the area of our coverage. Chances are you will be if you're on this site.

2) Being a Space Industry member of L2 means you need to be part of the community, which means you need to be "active". Active can range from answering questions, correcting content, helping me with stories (in L2 or in private). Whatever you feel comfortable with. An example is a funny repeat story I often hear "I didn't find news of us doing a test on this date all that interesting". Yet to us, that IS interesting. :)

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" is how we work.

We will be reviewing our current Space Industry membership for activity and anyone who has been inactive will be able to reapply via this process/requirement. Again, we're a community, not a read-only resource.

3) Being active means within the boundaries of your role's allowance. You will know what those boundaries are, but it would do neither the site nor you any good at all to provide information that crosses the line. I'm sure all space industry on here know what I mean by that. There is a vast middle ground between "already public" and "not to be made public", which is the realm in which L2 and this site reside.

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How To Apply for Free L2 Membership:

Easy. If you're already a member of the forum, fire me an e-mail at [email protected] with the subject "Space Industry Access". Using your work e-mail is your proof. That is all we need. That e-mail address won't be used for any other purpose. All future communication will be via the site/via PM (Personal Message on the forum).

If you're not already a member, register on the forum here:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=register - and if you register with your work e-mail, then a PM is all I'll require per your application for Space Industry L2 membership, as I (and only I) will be able to see your registered e-mail address. Otherwise, follow the above step per the e-mail to me.

You never have to use your real name or even tell anyone (other than me) that you're space industry.

Any questions, fire me a message.

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