How would you like to be editorial director for Professional Builder?
No, I'm not leaving, but the position is available. If you can access all the publishing tools as I have, you, too, can become editor.
Today, all the publishing tools that used to reside under the strict control of editorial directors and their staffs are now available to every person with Internet access. Here are some of the tools we're now using:
LinkedIn: We started several groups on LinkedIn, including Professional Builder, Best in American Living Award and National Housing Quality Awards. Members (and editors!) are posting questions for discussion, looking for information and sounding their opinions.
Facebook: We also have a group on this site for Professional Builder. Join up. We'll keep each other updated.
Blogs: Most of our staff is blogging on HousingZone.com. The best part of this is the comment section where we get direct feedback from our readers.
Twitter: Perhaps our newest opportunity is Twitter. Find me at www.twitter.com/PDeffProBuilder.
All of these outlets fit under the heading of social media, but it's astounding how much information you can gather by following the right people. I'm not really interested in the social aspects of social media.
Take Twitter, for example. When I first heard about it, I couldn't imagine following the details of other people's lives — or worse, having them follow the details my life. That kind of digging in just spotlights how unexciting our lives can be on a daily level.
What I found, though, was completely different. Twitter is a transaction. I provide bits of information — never personal and always about our industry — that I believe an audience would find of value. In exchange, people sign up to follow my "Tweets." From the people I follow, I get access to information that keeps me on top of what's happening in the industry. I have been astounded at how good Twitter is as a clearing source of information. You do, of course, have to clear out the chaff and get to the good data. (Really, I don't care if you went to the dentist today.)
The same is true of blogs. I have set up RSS feeds to deliver blogs to my home page that keep the flow of information coming in. From those raw sources of information I have access to authoritative sources who do quality reporting.
All of this access to information and ways to disseminate it are available to everyone. We have truly a new world of media.