I use Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn. However, I can't imagine how, or for that matter why, I would use then for work.
LinkedIn helps keep me connected with former co-workers, which would be very helpful if/when I am looking for employment.
Twitter is nothing more than noise. I sign in and see hundreds or even thousands of tweets since my previous sign in. I have neither the time nor desire to wade through all of them. I typically read the most recent 10 or 20 and get out.
Facebook is becoming noisy like twitter, but is still a little more enjoyable to scan. I've never seen anything on Facebook that indicates it would help me in my work. I use it to communicate with family, long lost friends, and to expound on my often extreme political views. Nothing I want co-workers to see.
I just don't get the point of mixing work and social media.
In the Federal Government, engineers (as well as any other employee) are only allowed to be logged into social networking sites during lunch and break times, regardless of the reason. This makes it a poor choice for communications.
LinkedIn is a total red herring for this study. It's meant as a "social network", but is really a way to peek at resumes and connect with people online. Their interactivity is very limited and the forums all seem dominated by spammy posts.
I still favor Twitter, as do a few other engineers I know. Most people can't get past "Why can't I use more than 140 characters?", but the brevity is the feature. And I use it to connect with people I wouldn't have otherwise ever had contact with. VCs, non-EEs, technologists, thought leaders. I use it as a way to expand my horizons and pull in the opinions of others in the field (or parallel fields). It nicely works as a push and a pull mechanism and I like that.
Facebook? That's for friends and family. While I'm sure Zuck is happily selling my info to a range of advertisers, I don't need casual contacts to see pictures of my wedding and my college days.
I concur with Emilie at NI that key social networks were not included in this survey. Online support forums such as our E2E Community at Texas Instruments are social media. We have 100,000 users and over 800K questions and answers. That is a technical knowledge base that specifically addresses engineers' design challenges. It's all about work.
There is a big difference in how people use social for work and for their personal interests. I agree that Facebook and Twitter, in particular, find little adoption among engineers at work. However, I think you would find that many engineers do use those platforms for personal use. This distinction is noteworthy and perhaps should be addressed in your next survey.
Engineers were some of the first to use the BBS platforms (online forums). There are many engineering online forums both in North America and throughout the world. China, in particular, boasts hundreds of thousands of engineers on their various engineering communities.
Thanks for the info and I look forward to the next survey.
What about IP? I literally can't talk about any details of my work on anything a random person could read.
Email simply is better for what I need to do. I control exactly who gets the information, and can send as much information as needs to be sent. Why would I use FB or Twitter for a work-related issue, even if I was connected to my co-workers, which I most deliberately am not.
As a software designer and (unqualified) project manager, I long ago concluded that online communications and social media are inhuman, inefficient and illusionary concepts that whilst making one FEEL that one is achieving something (passing the buck or similar), there is no better way to get something done and employ all 5 of our human senses than being in the same room or building. Even the most obvious use of social media to problem solve is massively inefficient. Let's assume one posts a question on Twitter, Facebook, Quora (the best Q&A site ever from my experience), you still have no idea how long it will be before you obtain a reply. In my experience in project management, I want a reply NOW, not hours or days later.
If I'm in a building surrounded by sentient beings, I can physically engage with them and extract what I need in milliseconds. No computer required.
Further, I can banter with them, and there is no stress on my mind and body, something the disconnected connected lifestyle is guilty of.
So, very proud NOT to use social media in my company and it will never be allowed, never mind encouraged.
No point in developing all these shiny toys if we forget who we are!
#life #compassion #happiness #empathy #humor
This article appears to have a sensationalist headline. "Engineers aren't using Social Networks for work", yet the opening paragraphs state that 70% use social networks. Further on, you state that 35% use social networks once-a-day - that is an incredible engagement rate for any channel - I bet if you had 35% of your EETimes readership checking your site once a day, you'd be delighted at the result!
The key issue here is what constitutes a social network, and how is it being used. This site, for instance, has as many column-inches consumed by comments as by editorial content. So this is a forum where users are commenting and sharing opinions in a networked form - or a "Social Network". Even Mr. maximin "I never use social networks" who left the comment above is participating in a social network - they are everywhere.
The use model is critical too. This is a profession where you can't openly solicit requests for help on confidential matters - so conversational use of Social Media is not going to be widespread. But that doesn't mean people aren't listening - and instead using Social Media in all it's forms as a "river of information".
Social Media users take many forms - generally grouped into one or more of Spectators/Joiners/Collectors/Critics/Conversationalists/Creators. I think you may find that this is a segment where Creators are few and Listeners are many.
I also agree with loovey. Too many companies are treating the channel like a banner ad, and not really fostering a conversation.
"Are you brain damaged? why just not pick up a phone or use email?"
Since engineers already have a stigma of social awkwardness maybe the above proves that point applies to some and they'll sneer at the opportunity. That's right - it's simply another opportunity and a phone call or F2F meeting not always as practical or wanted. Social media may not be usable nor then useful by those who don't play well with others but this seems not terribly surprising.
What do some of us get out of using such resources to interact positively with others (peers , vendors, media, educators, etc)? Well things like trips to the Indy 500, free passes to trade-show classes, samples and other forms of better service, new clients and longer term gigs, heck yeah and even just getting connected with friendly interesting people is a benefit I've experienced in the last 6 months alone......social media is simply modern networking over the virtual Catalina wine mixer or whatever:
I have a question about the second chart. 67% of respondents answered the question, "If you do not use any social media platform, why not?", with "Other". Did they say what "Other" was? It's hard to draw any conclusions from this data.
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