Moon 2.0 – Google anti-advertising on Moon?

I think Google’s project to privatise the moon – cutely called Moon 2.0 – is a big mistake. The Google Lunar X PRIZE seeks to create a global private race to the Moon that excites and involves people around the world and, accelerates space exploration for the benefit of all humanity. The use of space…

I think Google’s project to privatise the moon – cutely called Moon 2.0 – is a big mistake.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE seeks to create a global private race to the Moon that excites and involves people around the world and, accelerates space exploration for the benefit of all humanity. The use of space has dramatically enhanced the quality of life and may ultimately lead to solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems that we face on earth — energy independence and climate change. For more information, please visit

It’s not clear enough quickly enough why landing on the moon will help climate control. Me, I’m of an older generation. It’s cool that Google and a gaggle of companies want to land on the moon. I don’t much care if it helps climate control or not – it’s just another marketing exhibitionism thing and I’m immune to it. They can do what they want. I (with my Boomer/X hat on) might passively watch it all on TV at the office or unblock YouTube at the firewall. Just for the day of the landing itself, mind, just this once. Then, back to work!

l337 powerpoint skills. Yeah I know, you can do better.

But Gen Y? nah. To them it appears like a gimmicky ploy and they won’t take it kindly. They don’t accept what we were spoon fed. They have questions:

  • How can companies spending billions of dollars to race to the moon help climate control? Yep we saw the video and we still don’t get it. How do we explain raping and pillaging yet another astral body to future generations? But we like the Clean Up The Moon part (though it’s not marketed that way) – a treasure hunt from the last (alleged) Landing.
  • Wouldn’t that money be better spent here on Earth? (Yep we saw the video and we still aren’t convinced). How much does, say, Coke spend on advertising each year? Globally. How much does it cost to land on the moon? How much advertising and brand awareness will that Moon 2.0 day generate, given that everyone will be huddled around their TV, YouTube and mobile phone?
  • Why can’t a handful of companies use those resources to work together if it’s really going to help? Think wikinomics (putting intellectual property out in the market to share and collaborate) not competition. Tens or Hundreds of companies reinventing the wheel/rocket, as it were. So divisive. So not how we want companies to work.
  • Why aren’t the consumers engaged and involved? Playing the ‘climate control’ card for marketing purposes simply MUST have us in the conversation, us the network. That’s why it’s our issue, we the people made a star of Al Gore (who cares what he did as Vice P!), we brought climate control to the international agenda, we showed that we were committed and we forced it into Australian politics. Doesn’t matter if that’s true or not, it’s what we think. Anything that companies try without us is going to look like they are playing “follow the consumer”. And yes, it says ‘be involved’ but signing up for an email newsletter and maybe donating isn’t exactly what we had in mind.

Google has lost the plot. RIP Google. They could’ve been great but they just turned into another advertising company. And if I’ve read this project wrong, and it’s going to save the Earth AND the Moon, and it’s not just a bunch of overly rich companies maximising their ROI on space advertising, then it’s cos they didn’t explain it properly to me, quickly enough. Not my fault!!11!!

*starts to hum*:

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon
If you believe there’s nothing up my sleeve, then nothing is cool

Great, I can’t get that cynical song out of my head now. But gosh, let me share the pain. πŸ™‚

Generated Image

BTW totally awesome Web 2.0 Logo generator here. ‘Cos we consumers have a brand to polish, present and badge with logos – ourselves. Bags me the back of the astronauts’ walking-around-on-the-moon suits. That’s where I’m going to put the SilkCharm 2.0 badge. Right where I stuck the Microsoft/HP logos -why should they have all the fun? *pouts*

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  1. X Prizes are not marketing gimmicks. The X Prize foundation’s mission is “Radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity” and has already contributed to advances in technology, with the Ansari X Prize already awarded to Burt Rutan for Space Ship One’s achievements. Ten times the amount of the prize winnings was spent by competitors trying to win the prize.

    A proper moon base will face many issues, recycling, power requirements, food sources and overall efficiency.

    Technologies developed during this process will likely play a part in the battle against climate change.

    The X Prize foundation ia modelled on the principles of the Orteig Prize, which stimulated not only technology, but the imagination of many people to achieve a single goal.

    X Prizes are the ultimate in crowdsourcing and very Generation Y.

  2. Yeah I read that – and I’m not buying it.

    Competitive behaviour based on capitalism and free market enterprise, where huge companies invest massive money to come up with the same/similar technology isn’t crowdsourcing – it’s the antithesis. If it’s 10x as much – that’s $300 million EACH TEAM is wasting on duplicate research.

    How about Microsoft, Google, IBM, Yahoo get together and send ONE group up? and then take it further together? Or spend the difference down here?

    *shrugs* they can play space games, until the cows come home. But don’t stick a “climate control” “for the benefit of humankind” sticker on it… it’s a bunch of geek boys playing spaceships. BTW did they ever find the low cost fuel through SpaceShipOne or was that just a marketing exercise/fundraiser for Branson?

    Not that I would say no to a ticket. πŸ˜›

  3. It’s not ten times for each team. Nor is it all duplicate research, teams used different approaches for the same problem.

    Space Ship One technology is licensed to Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Paul Allen funded it and low cost fuel had nothing to do with it.

    The X Prize foundation is far from a male-only enterprise.

    It IS crowd sourcing in that it takes the collective intelligence and imagination from the public to complete the project.

    They supply their own elbow grease and money and humanity moves up another rung of technology advancement.

    Government agencies are no longer reaching for the highest rung, just the next election.

  4. Ten times the amount of the prize winnings was spent by competitors trying to win the prize. was written by you. You weren’t clear that it wasn’t each team.

    SpaceShipOne won the X Prize based on nitrous oxide and rubber(secret recipe, their intellectual property, not openly benefiting any other company).

    Not sure why you said it is not a male-only enterprise. However now that you mention it, which females are part of the billionaire boys club – Paul Allen, Branson, whoever. Melinda Gates?

    The public has sod-all to do with it. And I can’t believe you fell for that marketing crap.

    Give the prize to a bunch of companies opening up their intellectual property databases to each other to sequence the human genome like the pharmaceutical companies did recently using wikis. Give the prize to InnoCentive or YourEncore or NineSigma or one of those other science wikis where companies open their intellectual property databases for anyone – anyone – hundreds of thousands of scientists, you and me, to find ways of improving life on this planet.

    Even give the money to the US Patent Office -yep a US Government Department of Commerce -to get their Community Patent Review Wiki off the ground. While I have no problems siphoning off 30 million from guys like Branson and Allen (and now Sergey Brin from Google) who want to play astronauts, crowdsourcing by opening intellectual property to humanity is the paradigm shift that may really lead to fixing the mess we’ve got ourselves into on dear ol’ Mother Earth. Not scampering around the Moon sticking corporate logos on anything that moves. Which umm, probably wouldn’t be much. πŸ˜›

  5. Laurel, those companies you mentioned should not get the prize if you think x-prize is a waste of money. I would not be naive about the motives of any company using crowdsourcing as a way to access collective intelligence for greater good *NOT*.

    Maybe it is an advertising, attention grabing ploy by companies but if the outcome is something that helps people out then what is the harm. Certainly better than spending 600 billion dollars on a war that could have solved a few global problems.

    IF by offchance doing this, we do find a way to combat climate or something important, then it is a small price to pay. don’t you think?

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