Social Media for the MV industry – Part 3

Part 3? In a single week? How did that happen? Well, I’m getting comments that spawn follow-ups. This is in response to a harmless (HA, you thought!) reference to Pinterest.

See part1 and part2 if you haven’t already!

Quick recap: I’ve really just been advocating the use of social media as a way for MV people to share information. We have Google Groups and other browser forums, and we use email for some lists in this industry. But now people have expanded to using LinkedIn and Facebook as forums. I’m suggesting we consider using Twitter too. That’s really my focus for now. But as we’ll see here, the service you use could depend on who you are … at the moment.

From: Robert Houben
> And just to mess with your heads a bit more… Pinterest

That’s yet another facet of this: It may bear pointing out that we all have different persona that need to be exercised from time to time.

  • As developers we pose technical questions and offer technical assistance to colleagues. Social media provides venues for our personal growth and serve as outlets for more altruistic sentiments.
  • Some people here are vendors to the industry, and underlying much of what we do there is the basic premise that we keep doing what we do here in part because we are ultimately compensated for the effort by sales of our products or services.
  • Some people here are employed by companies that should consider a social strategy of their own for selling widgets or interacting with trading partners. This is completely separate from the social interactions of individuals here.
  • And everyone here is an individual who might like to just play typical consumer, and check on friends or family once in a while.

We’ve seen some people swear off social media in general as unworthy of consideration. Others have strong opinions about specific networks. A point I’m trying to get across here is that it’s not about the service, it’s about networking, and for each of our multiple personalities (roles in life) we need to consider each service for how it might benefit us in that role.

Personally, as a developer where my target audience is a business community, I don’t see PInterest as being on my personal radar. From “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.” I wouldn’t expect to find BASIC code there. If someone in MV-land has a company that sells goods to people who frequent PInterest, you can swear off that site for your coding interests, but it’s worth suggesting to your Marketing people that they take a look at what it might mean to them.

Adding to the above collection of personas/roles:

  • For some of us, every new service is just a new place to provide and consume MV data. We’re in the business of making things work. These services are things that people use, just like any accounting or MRP system. For me, the thing has a plug and people want to plug into it – so I want to be the guy who knows how to do that, no matter how much I may despise one service or another.

As developers, remember that all of these services are SaaS based on a SOA – the sort of thing IBM/Rocket and other MV DBMS providers have been pitching for a long time now. YOU and I personally might not be interested in these services, but it’s worth a little time for us to become aware of the web service APIs offered by all of these services so that you can participate in integration projects, should they come up. People ask a lot of “how do I create web services” questions in MV forums. All of these services have a web service interface. This is what the modern world is about. You don’t need to get a Facebook account for yourself, but as a professional you should at least be aware that Facebook has a rich API that allows you to plug your MVDBMS systems into theirs for live exchanges, order taking, product lookup, etc. A decade ago (and still) people were asking how to send an email and fax. Today you should be suggesting to your clients and management that your consumer/end-user audience might want notifications via Facebook or Twitter. And despite my lack of “interest in Pinterest”, a Google for a pinterest api reveals that there are many other people who also expect them to have an API.

A digression into a pep talk…

Get with the program. Keep up with the times. You need your systems linked with whatever is out there. The consequence of not doing so, as we see over and over, is that your MV system will ultimately be perceived as some legacy box that cannot link with the modern world. And that is where we are right now, with people looking to cross-train out of a shrinking market. If your MV-based company gets a new system, what are you going to cross-train into? Why would they replace MV? It’s to get all of these things that I discuss in this blog. So rather than being forced into retraining for the modern world now, start your training now, by using modern services to your advantage as a consumer And as a developer. Demonstrate to your clients/employers that you are worth preserving – as are your systems.

And a final digression into my saleman shoes…

I wasn’t planning on going here, but given the topic… I actually have written Facebook apps and Twitter interfaces that integrate with MV. I’m also familiar with the LinkedIn API and many others. So rather than just using these services as a consumer, if you want to code into them, I’ll be happy to discuss services.

Continue on to part4 of this multi-part series.

2 thoughts on “Social Media for the MV industry – Part 3

    • I am interested in a micro-blogging site. Thanks for asking!

      I am also interested in social media, but am a bit frustrated with their implementation. I’m used to fixing software I don’t like, and when I can’t fix Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterist, I feel like writing my own — but who has time for that? My employer wants me to learn a couple of new software languages and packages while I’m maintaining legacy applications. I enjoy it, but I’m swamped.

      Handy software would let me gather all my social and email sites in one place. I don’t like having to log into half-a-dozen apps and then bounce around them to see if there is anything interesting to read.

      RSS Feeds are helpful to a point, but not everyone offers them, and some companies have many separate feeds for which you must subscribe, and then their web page requires that you log in every time you click on an article. I only go there if there is nothing else in the world to do.

    • Louie, you have your finger right on the pulse. Those are exactly the issues people face now. Every service is in its own silo. There are no cross-platform standards. There are few applications that effectively aggregate services, and those that do are usually read-only. And yes, a huge pet peeve of mine – the quality of many of these services is poor and the functionality is minimal.

      I believe social media is in its infancy. Over time we can expect it to grow as other established services have. We see this pattern everywhere, in web services, browser markup and scripting, and mobile apps. Over time standards emerge, and third-party utilities usually emerge to fill the gaps.

      Your recognition of the issues is accurate, and your frustration is shared.

      And despite all of that, I maintain that we still need to jump on train and start riding wherever it goes. Failure to do so is going to leave us in the dust just like it has with all of these other newfangled gizmos.

      Thanks a lot for your comments!

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