The use of Social Media has blossomed in the Information Age. There is a lot of variety available. SolidWorks Legion is now automatically published to several outlets in one form or another.
- RSS feed, with a partial or full preview. It has been employed for republishing snippets at a variety of sites, including SolidMentor, and is the backbone for several other feed systems, including personalized sites like Netvibes.
- Twitter, with title and link.
- Tumblr, with title and link.
- Posterous, with title and link.
- Facebook, with partial preview (a Facebook app is also available, though I’ve not seen use for this yet)
- Google+, with partial preview (not automatically published at this time)
- Linkedin, via my Profile page with partial preview.
The amazing thing is the SolidWorks Legion has followers on all of these sites. Many of the followers are the same across the sites, but many are not. Though Facebook is has become the de facto standard, its top status is by no means guaranteed in the long run. Due to the nature of Twitter, Facebook and Google+, the content of each of these outlets varies a bit beyond the articles that are publised on SolidWorks Legion.
On Twitter, I publish SolidWorks Legion content to my personal Twitter account, fcsuper. I talk about a lot of different things through my Twitter account, many of which have nothing to do with SolidWorks, CAD or Engineering.
SolidWorks Legion uses Tumblr and Posterous in a similar manner as Twitter, to post just the article title and links. Though followers are light on these sites, they do generate some hits.
On Facebook, I’ll often post extra interesting links to other blogs and news articles. However, SolidWorks Legion has not had a Google+ page long enough to develop it’s own personality there. I like the formats of both Facebook and Google+ because they allow me to publish links in an attractive and informative matter, mixed in with additional content. They also allow me to crudely track the reach that each article achieves.
In addition to these avenues, another form of Social Media is taking off. SolidWorks Legion doesn’t have an outlet in these (yet), but image sites have really expanded in the past few years. Sites such as Flickr, Photobucket and deviantArt have increased the social element with engaging tools such user generated contests, groups, favorites, comments, notes, embedded links, and other functions now common in Social Media.
Then, of course, there’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room, YouTube (this link is to my personal channel). Again, SolidWorks Legion isn’t publishing there yet. YouTube is now a tremendous resource for all sorts of content, including thousands of SolidWorks videos.
The average person involved in Social Media doesn’t need to think about the variety of options available. You can choose for yourself which medium is best to suit your style. A publisher needs to think about all of these outlets, to reach as many people as possible on their own terms. As such, sites like SolidWorks Legion post across multiple outlets. Fortunately, there are many tools that make this fairly easy.