After you finish the survey, there's a link to see the running results. Only problem is, there's an undocumented feature. If you share your e-mail address it might be made public. You see some of these at the bottom of the results. This should be fixed by the EETimes guys.
There are some distinctions between degrees of being involved. E.g. I have a Facebook account but the only reason I (reluctantly) signed up is that the folks I went to university with created a private group to keep in tuch, mostly to organise reunions.
This is pretty much the feedback I'm getting from other engineers, too. If they sign up, it's mostly reluctant and it's for a specific purpose. The younger generation is a bit more into socal networking but they also exhibit below average interest.
I'm also on Linkedin but it serves a different purpose, compared to Facebook. I don't think they can be lumped together.
As an engineer, it can be tough to find the time to stay active on social media, but it definitely has value and the potential to help us solve problems by allowing us to connect with other experts in the field. I’ve just posted a blog with some of the other considerations for engineers, if you’re interested http://ow.ly/bUTtL
As someone who has done systems engineering work, I have had to learn to handle the 'big picture' point of view. I find all too often that the average user of social media does not have the maturity or desire to think big. They are like the blind following the blind.
I think there should be a distinction between LinkedIn which can be a great networking tool and the mindless dribble of twitter and Facebook. The first having purpose, the latter two which I will have no part of.
Linked-in will let you send targeted ads based on profile and location.
Also, our recruiter can post jobs to her network that get forwarded on if people know others. Networking gets high quality applicants in the sense that these are people who already have some connection with those who work there and could be a good fit.
Th biggest issue that I see is the excess of hype relating to social media. There a number of TOOLs available in the social media environment. But they are just tools. All tools have purposes that they work well for and purposes that they are not well suited for. Attach the phrase "social media" to something and the hype monsters parade it as something universal for everyone that will solve all of the worlds problems.
Twitter has some valuable and engaging uses but I really don't give a flying flapjack what someone ate for breakfast and I don't need another vehicle for delivering ads to my computer.