Jim Clifford, the fellow who sells advertising for the Woodstock Standard, our weekly newspaper, stopped by MISys World Headquarters the other day -- just checking in, as he said. But based on the litany of questions that followed, we rather suspect that Jim was setting us up for a full page color spread. That visit reminded us that, in what seems like a previous life, we advertised our software in numerous magazines ranging from PC World to Manufacturing Today. In this online age, those magazines have either disappeared entirely or been reduced to a front and back cover and a handful of pages. According to a recent study sponsored cooperatively by The Gartner Group and the Vermont Maple Syrup Producers Association, there are now a total of 13 Vermonters who promote their commercial interests on various "social networks." Until recently, most of the social networking that happened around Woodstock took place down at the Squat and Gobble (our local diner). Now a few of us have been experimenting with LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter. Most of us have pretty much given up on LinkedIn because it seems to focus on keeping in touch with people in your past. We don't know about you, but a great many Vermonters are here to be freed of the people in their past. So LinkedIn is a non-starter. Facebook seems to be aimed at kids who find tales of college-aged debauchery and explicit hip-hop lyrics to be compelling content. The jury is still out on Twitter, but since Tweets are limited to 140 characters, the concept seems to be more consistent with what Vermonters call "the simple life." Don't look at other people's Tweets for examples of good content -- even the Twitter sites of companies we work with and admire most: Sage, Intuit, and Microsoft. If you believe the emails that arrive daily, there is a webinar you can attend (for a small fee, no doubt) that will reveal the magic in using Twitter as a means for promoting your goods and services. Right now, it seems like Twitter is the playground for people with excess time on their hands -- posting messages about things that, in the pre-Twitter era, used to pass un-noticed. Perhaps we'll wake up to the true value of social networking one of these days. In the meantime, suffice it to say "MISys is on Twitter."
Read the front page of the Woodstock Standard this morning.