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Find Your Social Media Niche

The social media movement is still gaining strength as we move forward in 2010. According to online technology news Web site VatorNews, Twitter’s year-over-year unique visitors grew by a mere 579 percent in December 2009. Heady stuff.

Still the debate lingers about what is the best way to engage in these social media communities, and specifically, Twitter. Is it purely a conversation tool?  Can a publisher push out links to an engaged audience, or is it a little of both? To me, it’s a little of both. Twitter, (, offers the best place to talk with your community. You can follow a topic thread, such as #mfg (hash tag example for manufacturing), and watch the news (links) unfold or engage in conversation with other members. That’s right, engage in a 144-character conversation. Enriching, eh?  I mock it a bit, but it’s a great way to make a connection to a highly engaged audience member.

At, we have the best of both worlds. We push valuable automation content to the automation community and have Editor in Chief Gary Mintchell and Managing Editor Wes Iversen talking automation. In January, there was a great discussion thread on Rockwell Automation’s social media strategy, visit Gary can be found at and blog and Wes can be found at Automation World can be found at

Grant Gerke
Digital Managing Editor

The TOP FIVE stories on in January, based on page views:
1. Automation Innovation: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Headed
2. Managing Large Scale Automation Projects:
3. ERP Is Reaching the Shop Floor
4. Parallel Programming: Soon the Only Game in  Town
5. What’s Next for India’s Epic UID Project?

Will Wireless Device Prices Come Down? The Vendors Respond
Managing Editor Wes Iversen queried representatives of two majors suppliers of wireless instrumentation for the February print issue. Jeff Becker, Global Wireless Business Director, Honeywell Process Solutions, and Bob Karschnia, Vice President, Wireless, Emerson Process Management, address the high cost of wireless devices.

HCF’s Ed Ladd Responds to Wireless Control Questions
Automation World submitted a list of e-mail questions on wireless control to Ed T. Ladd, director of technology programs at the Hart Communication Foundation, which oversees the WirelesssHart Standard. Visit, and read Ladd’s responses.

Visit our White Paper library and find new White Papers.
The list below shows the most recent five:
1. Turbo Chain: A New Recovery System Beyond Ethernet Redundant Technology
2. Building a Perfect Telemetry System: Seven Key Features
3. Machine Vision For Factory Automation
4. Machine Vision Guides Robot Motion
5. New Developments Open Doors for PC-Based Hart Communicator

NEW Podcast: Automation Minutes 01.20.10:
Gary Mintchell, Editor in Chief, wonders what’s in store for the automation industry in 2010. Gary talks about communities and Our ISA, a movement to generate grass-roots ideas into a professional engineering society. Visit

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Automation Gear Blog: Stay on top of product trends by visiting the Automation Gear Blog at Gary Mintchell and other Automation World editors home in on subtle product innovations that could affect your business’s bottom line. Find Automation Gear blog via our home page or subscribe to Automation Gear’s RSS feed,
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