Never mind NASA, I'll slurpee myself to the moon.
You had to know it would come to this someday. No longer content to give away free iPads or earth-bound vacations, the social media world is about to shoot one of its own into space. (Presuming the Wuffie flows, that is.) Social network Foursquare has teamed with junkfood distributor 7-11 to offer a trip to suborbital space as a prize in an online contest. Who's going to top that? While the US spaceflight program is getting its budget shut down, there's something rather poetic about this opportunity.
As part of a promotional campaign for upcoming Steven Spielberg move Super 8 (which does get good reviews), the two companies are offering a variety of prizes to Foursquare users who check-in at a 7-11. "There are over 21,000 prizes," Foursquare explains on its blog today, "Every 88th check-in wins free Super 8 movie tickets...every 88,888th check-in gets a free Zero-G Experience. And...if there are over 888,888 check-ins in June, one lucky winner goes to Space! Space!!!"
Foursquare's Founding Mythology
The story goes like this...one day Dennis Crowley was jogging over a bridge in New York and stepped on a mushroom spray painted on the ground. "I should get a power-up for this," he thought to himself. "And while I'm at it, I'd like to get a million kids to go to 7-11 and then shoot one of them to the moon!" Well, maybe not that second part. Those of us dorks who still admire Foursquare's capacity to incentivize positive actions can go and get ourselves one of the company's dorky looking Farmers Market badges created in conjunction with CNN. But no space flight for us!
The last US government space shuttle budgeted for (ever) is scheduled to launch a month from tomorrow. Perhaps novelty space flight in exchange for word-of-mouth online marketing to promote corporate non-nutrition was a better deal for society than taxes to fund exploration for the sake of public good, anyway.
Don't worry kids, 7-11 will take care of your dreams of space exploration. If enough of you stop by, stock up on candy and soda, then tell your online friends about it. At least one in a million of you will be able to go to space - and heck, the rest of you can at least go to the movies.
It's goofy enough that I feel like I need to go down to the corner store and get something to drink just to deal with it.