Posted by John McHale
At Military & Aerospace Electronics in 2009 we dived right into social networking or as we like to call it e-networking. We have a fan page on Facebook, a group on Linkedin called the PennWell Aerospace and Defense Media Group, and gather our news content on Twitter under #milaero and avionics content on #avintel.
It's been a fun and successful way to push out our online news stories to new readers and start discussions. We've found the most interactive outlet to be on Linkedin, which started out as a professional networking site whereas Facebook was focused on more social or personal networking.
Although, yesterday I read a story in the Wall Street Journal that basically stated Linkedin needs to get more creative to keep-up with Facebook. According to the piece Facebook kicks Linkedin's rear in total members. However some analysts in the story say that lopsided memebrship numbers are misleading as Linkedin is strictly a professional networking service whereas Facebook is geared more toward professional and social communication.
I have also found that many people I talk to in the defense and aerospace industry say that their employers do not let them use Facebook or Twitter, but are more flexible when it comes to Linkedin because of its professional nature.
Twitter is its own animal. I've done quite a bit of tweeting while at trade shows. It provides immediate coverage -- albeit in 140 characters or less. I typically will tweet as I'm leaving a booth or sitting in a press conference or luncheon. Twitter allows me to not only push links to articles on our websites but get out little tidbits of info that would not typically make it into the print magazine or on a web story.
Also, much like with our blogs, Twitter allows us to take a different, sometimes lighter spin on current events than traditional news coverage.
What really seems to impress our audience about Twitter is its instantaneous nature.
For example at the MILCOM show this fall in Boston, I attended the first live demonstration of an OpenVPX system run by engineers at Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing in Leesburg, Va., and Hybricon in Ayer, Mass. I tweeted about the demo on my Blackberry while watching it. They were excited because they were videotaping the moment and placing it on youtube -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2_4B9uPKLk -- but got quite a kick out of the fact that I was immediately online with their news.
One person in attendance commented that the age of instant reporting is here.
E-networking media has definitely changed the way we do things at Military & Aerospace Electronics. I remember when all we used to have was a magazine. Now we still have the magazine, two websites, four conferences, webcasts, three e-newsletters, dedicated pages on Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.
So be sure to check us out wherever you find yourself on the web in 2010.
Happy New Year!