By David Brandt
IIE’s Web managing editor
The nature of networking has been revolutionized over the past decade. What was once a matter of luck in meeting the right person in the right place at the right time is now an instant global affiliation. And it seems everyone wants to take part.
This month marks the start of the third year in which IIE has been engaged in social networking through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – providing additional opportunities for IIE members as well as other industrial engineering professionals and students to share a platform for sharing IE knowledge, innovations and career opportunities.
And our network has seen exceptional growth in its first two years of operation. In the past three months alone, we’ve reached high benchmarks for social network members and followers on all three major platforms.
Soon after the Annual IIE Conference and Expo in May, IIE’s Facebook group reached a membership of more than 5,000 members. Our Twitter (@IIEnet) following has now grown to more than 1,500 and growing. In early July, IIE’s LinkedIn group surpassed 10,000 members and continues to receive as many as 60 new requests to join each day.
And we believe the greatest value to be found in IIE’s social network has been the interaction and conversations between members on the social network itself, whether they’re sharing news and information, posing questions to each other about industrial engineering applications, or simply determining just what roles IEs can play to bring solutions to challenges in business, government, healthcare and more.
Members drive IIE’s social network. They’ve made it what it’s become – a lively, informative source for information and networking. And we’re not done. Many of our chapters and regions have been engaging in social media and attracting new IEs to take part in the online engagement. IIE’s societies and divisions are continuing to branch out and develop their own social networks that are specific to IEs involved in lean, ergonomics, healthcare, etc.
Other new ways to participate with IIE online:
- The IIE Young Professionals group is now engaging recent graduates and early-career IEs in learning more about the benefits of being an IIE member. They encourage professionals new to the field to pursue opportunities in professional development and supporting their local IIE chapters and regions.
- IIE’s new YouTube channel will feature videos from IIE events, previews of Industrial Engineer magazine, and stories and interviews with members and other professionals about their IE work and accomplishments. And IIE members are encouraged to submit their own videos they capture at conferences or produce on their own to provide relevant information to IEs in various industries.
- This new home for IIE Blogs is now host to regular contributors discussing more than a dozen different IE concepts and applications. And our blog space is growing with the premiere of SHS Blog later this month from members of the Society of Health Systems.
We expect to see continued growth among students and professionals on IIE’s social network for years to come, and we’re looking forward to seeing just how the nature of networking in this social media era can benefit the field of industrial engineering for years to come.