Social Media for the MV industry

Forums are no longer adequate. This blog entry begins a mini-campaign to get more MultiValue/Pick people into social media to exchange business/technical information.

The IT industry has seen the coming and going of many services and protocols, WAIS and Gopher are gone (along with Archie and Veronica) , Usenet is on a slow decline, HTTP is king. The Well, Compuserve, and AOL are no longer globally accepted hubs of activity. The war for forums is still split between services like Google and Yahoo, self-installed buyware/freeware like vBulletin or phpBB, and email lists. Now with social media MySpace has had its day, and Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter are now the dominant services. The landscape will change over time as these services mature and get replaced, but for now, let’s get on board with what’s current.

LinkedIn is considered the business network, where Facebook is considered a social network. Google+ is considered by many to be just like Facebook. That said, many people just use LinkedIn to socialize with business colleagues, and a lot of companies and groups have a strong Facebook and Google+ presence. If you do not have an account with these services I encourage you to consider creating one.

Twitter allows for quick messages to be broadcast to friends and colleagues. It’s major fault is that everything is a broadcast to everyone and you can’t easily filter your messages to people who subscribe to specific content. For most people here, we just want to know what colleagues have to say about technology, not what someone’s dog ate. Twitter is a good start and obviously wildly popular. I strongly encourage everyone to create a Twitter account and begin following the many individuals and companies that post notes of interest to this community.

Every service has its strengths and faults and I’d prefer not to debate security concerns, bugs, and other matters here. This note is to advise people that these communities exist, and that they are worthy of your consideration for business use and exchanges amongst colleagues. MANY people in this industry use these services and I believe the community will be stronger as we get more people interacting across more services.

Personally I find a lot of little tidbits while doing MV development that I’d like to “micro-blog”. The comment or information isn’t worth a full blog entry, but Twitter is an ideal place for this. I get a lot of tips from other people like this too.

I’m beginning a little campaign here to get more Pick people to use Twitter to share thoughts, challenges, successes, and notifications on topics of interest to this industry.

What do you do?

If you don’t have a Twitter account, create one. If/when you do, follow me and others in our industry. I’ve updated the PickWiki community page to include the @names for a lot of Twitter users. For example, you’ll find my @TonyGravagno there, and a note about the #MultiValue hash tag. Once you’re there, start posting little notes about your Pick-related experiences:

  • Brag about a new DBMS/application sale.
  • Cry among friends about a lost site.
  • Share a tech note.
  • Tell people about your latest blog entry.
  • Link to an interesting/relevant forum entry or blog.
  • Link to code snippets at pastebin or elsewhere.

Share and Benefit. That is what this is about.

Once you start following people, and you post content of value, people will start to follow you. If you post too much that’s completely unrelated, people will stop following. You must try to keep your content relevant, or at least not too frequent to be abusive. The more people follow you the more others will see that, and your list of followers will grow.

What’s the benefit?

In addition to learning details that might help in your work, you’ll find other people who share interests. You might get approached by a new client/prospect or employer who seeks your skills. You might get fast answers to something that irritates you, something that a whole forum of people wouldn’t be interested in. You might find love, friendship, or a million dollars. As you become more visible in the community you may get more respect for what you do, or recognition for specific efforts.

There are other micro-blogging services like Twitter, they just aren’t as popular. I’ve installed software to my server with the intent of giving all MultiValue people a place to go just to talk about Pick – with more than 140 characters. This would be separate from Twitter, not mixed up with other noise. That environment isn’t ready yet for various reasons. If you think you’d use this, let me know. The encouragement could drive the initiative. As an example, wouldn’t you like to be able to tell someone about that bug you just found, or the cool correlative, or the verb option? Who else knows about that? You don’t want to start a forum post, and not many people would see it in Twitter. That’s where a dedicated micro-blog has a ton of value.

What about Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+?

If you have a Facebook page which would be of interest to our business colleagues, please feel free to send me the page reference and I’ll add it to the community page. I’m not calling this a campaign for Facebook yet, I might tackle that later.

If you are on LinkedIn, we have a great community in the Pick User Group. Feel free to lurk without registering, or join to share your thoughts.

At this time I’m not aware of any recommended Google+ circles. My focus right now is on Twitter and the others. I welcome a guest blog submission on what’s available for MV people at Google+.


Continue on to part2 of this multi-part series.

1 thought on “Social Media for the MV industry

    • Good post, Tony! Here are my comments:

      Facebook pages are a powerful way to engage consumers, if your brand is a consumer oriented brand. Larger partner organizations like Microsoft and IBM also get good mileage with it. Even if you’re not consumer oriented, it’s good to have a presence that directs people to your website in case they search on Facebook.

      Twitter feeds Google searches. According to Gartner, the largest demographic using Twitter is baby boomers, not teens and tweens.

      Google+ feeds them too, and because it’s part of Google, don’t underestimate it’s importance. All your posts that you want to get attention should go to Google+, if only to get Google’s attention.

      LinkedIn is probably the most important site for connecting with people for B2B type business activity.

      YouTube is critical because a picture is worth a thousand words, but a video is worth a thousand pictures.

      Finally, if you aren’t using social media now, it’s only a matter of time before your competitors do, and then they’ll eat your lunch!

Leave a Reply