Are You Social?
Social Media Options for Structured Cabling Professionals
The buzz about social media is everywhere. It seems that everyone is getting "Linked In," "Friending" old college roommates, or "Tweeting" up a storm. And while web analytics firm, Compete, reported that in the fourth quarter of 2009, the growth of both Facebook and Twitter flatlined off of their previously staggering expansion rates, those tiny icons of f’s, t’s and happy little birds certainly do seem to be springing up on more and more Web sites frequented by those in the structured cabling industry.
So, where do you find the structured cabling community online? And how do you sort it all out without wasting hours and ending up frustrated? After a quick search of LinkedIn groups, arguably the most business focused social media outlet available today, we found that technology-related groups abound.
Interested in general structured cabling trends? Join the BICSI Official Group or the BICSI RCDD group for those who hold the coveted RCDD certification and want to connect with others who have suffered through the grueling test prep and are moving on to sharing pertinent topics and tips in cabling design and evolving applications.
Looking for an expert to ask about technology trends? Try the IT Focus Expert Group. Want to know about the speeds of today and tomorrow? Join the discussion at Real10 – 10GB Ethernet over Cat. 6a or the Life Beyond 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet group.
Want to learn more about the physical security industry and the role that structured cabling can play for supporting IP enabled systems? ASIS International has an active presence. Or you can check out theSecurity Industry Network group.
The use of Twitter by structured cabling professionals is a bit harder to figure out. The ability to search for key terms like “10Gbe” or “Energy Efficient Ethernet” can be convenient, but determining the right search term is the trick. A broad term like “cable termination tips” or “cable news” is more likely to bring you updates on what new indignities Time Warner or Cox are inflicting on their customers than to update you on happenings in structured cabling.
While distributors and manufacturers have started posting to the microblogging site, not many have sustained or diverse posts, and the number of followers that each has shows that this does indeed limit the attractiveness of the feeds to users. An exception appears to be Rich Miller’s datacenter Tweets (http://twitter.com/datacenter), where Miller, an analyst and journalist tracks trends and happenings related to data center and cloud computing. It is highly likely that as more structured cabling professionals migrate to the social Web tools now available, other thought leaders like Miller will emerge and provide followers with useful and interesting content highlights.
Given the quantity of relevant groups, locating the right ones for you is only the beginning. To get the most that the social Web has to offer means participating in the discussions or starting your own to get the answers and insight your need.
So my advice, pick one or two areas that truly interest you and get involved. And a great place to start is by joining in the conversation going on in the TekTalk Linked In Group. Tell us where you meet online and let us know what you want to know more (or less) about.