Staying Ahead of the Curve in Technology

The ways social media strategies are applied are still developing, and as such, we are learning as we go. 

The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. — Bill Gates

When new technological ideas are first introduced, their full benefits may not be immediately recognized by those to whom they are marketed. But slow acceptance does not necessarily signify low potential. Even if it does not immediately take hold, over a period, a product can still become highly significant or even indispensable.

One example of such technology is the steam engine, which is said to have originated in Roman Egypt in the 1st century A.D. Gradual design changes over time led to various practical uses, but it wasn’t until the 1700s that efficiency was significantly improved and the steam engine became a driving force behind the Industrial Revolution.

I remember the first cell phone I ever saw. Sometime back in the late 80s, I was out with the guys, and we wanted to track down another friend who hadn’t arrived yet. We figured we would look for a pay phone (remember those?), but instead, Alan, who always tries to be a step ahead, pulled out of his coat an appliance about the size of a brick and probably almost the same weight. He was so proud that he was prepared enough to solve our dilemma with his fancy new mobile phone. Unfortunately, he was not able to get a signal, so we were still unable to make our call. The rest of us had a good laugh about this ridiculous new technology Alan had wasted his money on.

Obviously, cell phone technology has come a long way since then. I’m not aware of anyone anymore between the ages of, perhaps 12 and 75, who doesn’t have one. These devices are now quite reliable, and they’re convenient to carry. They have become a key component in business and personal communication, and their functionality has advanced way beyond only making phone calls. I often wonder how I ever got by without one.

When the Internet was just beginning to gain momentum, many companies couldn’t grasp the potential of what this technology offers. Sure, email seemed like a handy tool, but who would have guessed it would eventually become one of the most important, if not the primary tool, for business communication? It took quite a while before many companies would invest resources into even basic website development, let alone advanced web-based applications. But once the early adopters began to realize advantages, others followed.

Remaining at the leading edge of technology has always been a key objective for us at Gardner Business Media (PM’s parent company), from learning the latest machine tool technology to taking advantage of the most effective ways to share this information with our readers. Our print publications remain leading sources of vital information for people in related industries, but as other opportunities for sharing our content have developed, we have been quick to incorporate these into our repertoire.

PM’s website has long included all the content from the print publication, along with access to plenty of additional articles, supplier information, and other tools to help keep our audience educated. We also provide several blog postings per week and send regular email newsletters to provide a steady stream of the latest industry updates. Social media outlets have most lately become part of our game plan for connecting with our audience.

The trick with social media (along with most other communication methods) is that everyone has different preferences. Some people only use one or two forms. Others may use several or all, but for different purposes. And each tends to have its own style.

The ways social media strategies are applied are still developing, and as such, we are learning as we go. When I’m out in the field, I like to ask others in the industry how they make use of social media and how PM can most effectively connect with them through such channels. I pose that question to you now, as well.

If you feel inclined, please reach out to me (cfelix@productionmachining.com) and let me know how social media trends fit into your daily life. Do you find our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts useful? Have you visited our YouTube channel? Do you view our blog posts regularly, and does our blog e-newsletter serve as a helpful reminder? Does our monthly Inbox Insights e-newsletter hit home with good information? Let us know; we want to be your go-to source.