Do you follow on social media?

Appeared in print as "Do you follow?"

Mary C. Gannon
senior associate editor
mary.gannon@penton.com

Not so long ago, those three words simply meant, “do you understand?” Now, they have taken on a whole new meaning in the social media world. It’s more like, “who do you follow” and where — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. Social media have made the world much smaller. I am connected with family, friends and even complete strangers worldwide both personally and professionally. Though I feel some concern that it lends itself to less actual person-to-person human relations, it’s here to stay, and its positives, hopefully, will continue to outweigh its negatives.

In the past two years, we have jumped into the social media scene, with a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HydraulicsPneumatics, LinkedIn at linkd.in/HydraulicPneumatic, Twitter feeds from me (twitter.com/HPGannon) and Mike Ference (twitter.com/ MRFerence), and our blogs at blog.hydraulicspneumatics.com/ and michaelference.blogspot.com/. They give us an opportunity to communicate with people we may not have in the past. We use these avenues to spread the word about our content but also to have a little fun — to share industry photos as well as our silly ones, links to videos that just don’t have a place on our website, and chat with our readers.

We’ve been doing social networking at H&P for several years now with our forums, at forums. hydraulicspneumatics.com/groupee. This was our early foray into developing an online community of engineers, system designers, and maintenance personnel to discuss fluid power designs, troubleshooting, and more. After LinkedIn (with about 2500 members), it is our second most popular

social media forum, with nearly 2000 members. I’m curious to know how many of our readers use social media — personally and professionally. I was a late adopter of social media, but as H&P’s web editor, it’s become a part of my daily life. So I invite you to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join us on LinkedIn and let me know that’s why you’re there — because you, too, see the value of social media, even if it’s just for fun. And if you don’t see the value, I welcome your phone calls, emails, and even postal mail. As a journalist, I’ll always take a tangible piece of the written word over anything digital any day. But that’s just me. What about you?