How Can Robotics Professionals Take Advantage of Social Networking Sites?

By Jeffrey A. Burnstein, President, Robotic Industries Association

Social networking is one of the hottest trends on the internet right now. Every day the leading sites seem to develop new ways to keep people connected (such as watching President Obama’s speech last night while chatting online with others doing the same).

Recently I took ownership of the Robotic Industries Association group on Linkedin. It’s a growing group of more than 240 people, thanks to the efforts of Les Chewning who founded it and graciously passed the torch on to me. I hope to see it continue its growth and become a site for lively discussions on a variety of robotics topics.

I’ve also recently joined Plaxo and even have a page on Facebook. I have avoided MySpace, which appears to be more for teenage girls (at least based on my daughters and their friends’ regular use of it). And, I haven’t even investigated Twitter yet.

How about you? Do you belong to these sites? Do you use them? Do you think they can play a valuable role in connecting robotics professionals? If you don’t use them, why not?

It could turn out that the social networking trend will be short-lived. But, looking at the huge numbers (Facebook alone says it has 175 million registered users), it looks like these sites and others will be around for a while.

I’d love your input on how RIA can help its members by using these sites.


5 Responses to How Can Robotics Professionals Take Advantage of Social Networking Sites?

  1. Adil Shafi says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I like your blog approach. Social networking is something that I think kids have time for but not so much professionals. I think for professionals LinkedIn is becoming a “professional’s social networking” site even though the interfaces and screens at LinkedIn remind you of an unruly bazaar. But many professionals are constantly “linking” to each other and you may wish to increase ATC (RIA,AIA,MCA) presence in this forum. Best Regards, Adil

  2. Thanks for the comment, Adil. There does seem to be a lot of activity on LinkedIn, I’m just trying to figure out a way to make it a more valuable tool for everyone.

  3. I think the potential for social networking is huge, as it provides a constant communication widow, and the opportunity to easily keep up to date with people/companes who share common goals/ideas.

    For many young people these sites and applications are commonplace in their personal lives, and they will more than likely find innovative ways to incorporate social networking sites into their daily professional activities.
    Many companies have seen a huge benefit with internal social networking; to increase communication, moral, and productivity.

    From a technical standpoint, knowledge can be shared quickly, and in an organized, and persistent fashion. Forums and newsgroups have been used for decades by professionals to share information.

  4. Jeff, It’s great that you are taking over the RIA group on LinkedIn. The future of social networking is here. Sites like LinkedIn and Plaxo are changing the way we professionally network. To be able to reach out to others with similar interests and gain such valuable information so quickly and easily is advancing knowledge exponentially. On LinkedIn alone there are at least a half dozen groups where robotics and vision subjects are discussed. The use of blogs also plays into the discussion. They offer a great forum for communication in a controlled virtual environment.

  5. jeffburnstein says:

    Thanks for the comment. The RIA LinkedIn group is growing rapidly (about 40 new members in the past week or so). The next step is to get the discussions going. For instance, we’re now in the process of a stragetic planning effort at RIA. What do members (and non-members) want from the robotics trade association? What do they think of our current activities? What aren’t we doing that they’d like us to do? I look forward to as much input as we can get!

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