Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of—for
credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if
you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way
to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
—Socrates (circa 469 BCE–399 BCE), Greek Philosopher
INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL
Can you remember a time when we did not have the Internet? Some of us can
remember when we had to rely upon the story or message that a business placed in
its newspaper advertisement. We may have seen a TV ad that embellished the ‘‘facts’’
about a product, but we had no way of knowing if those words were true.
Have you ever stood at the fax machine and impatiently waited for your 12 pages
to go through successfully? What about playing phone tag with an integral part of your
engineering team? Not too long ago, engineers had to fly to meetings, stay in hotels,
put up with unintelligible conference calling systems, be away from their families, and
hope that the important people made it to the same meeting.
In 2012, the Mckinsey Global Institute released a study entitled Unleashing Value
and Productivity Through Social Technologies, where it is estimated that social media
could add $1.3 trillion to the economy in the next six years. Of special note were the
fields of automotive, mechanical, and aerospace engineering. T
Introduction to Social Media Management
Quentin Hardy, states that ‘‘since they work with a lot of autonomy, but also in
consultation with others, [engineers] benefit the most from knowing such things
as which employees have the deepest knowledge in certain subjects, or who last
contributed to a project, and how to get in touch with them quickly.’’
Typically, engineering positions are a collaborative-type of work environment and
their communication efforts do not function well using the ‘‘one-way street’’ model
anymore. Now that social interaction venues are prevalent in the workplace, there is
no turning back to the old way of thinking—relying on word-of-mouth or believing
the company line. Employees and employers are diligently working proactively to be
informed, stay informed, and share vitally important data with others in worldwide
collaborations that bring startling results.
Of course, TV ads still scream as we passively sit on our couches and soak in the
information. And, consumers still largely base their opinions on the story that they are
told by whoever paid for the newspaper, television, magazine, or radio advertisement.
Some of that one-way information model will never be obsolete.
Historically, employees believed what they were told, and interacting with other
divisions within the same organization, or affiliate organizations was seen as somewhat
traitorous. Social media platforms change all that. ‘‘The proper use of social media
tools adds to productivity, an improved consumer focus as well as better-functioning
teams. Data and knowledge are exposed and shared instead of being hoarded,’’ says
Michael Chui, one of the authors of the McKinsey report.
Entering the Internet Age
The Internet has brought a virtual tidal wave of new possibilities, ideas, and methods
that engineers can use for communicating to the world and has blown the one-way
communication model to smithereens. The most profound change is that social media,
and the messages contained therein, are not owned by any business or organization.
Social media are owned by all of us. Engineers collaborating on one project, from all
over the world or in the next cubicle is what it is all about!
In her book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, Shama Kabani states that social
media consists of ‘‘multiple online mediums all controlled by the people participating
within them—people who are busy having conversations, sharing resources, and form-
ing their own communities. Unlike radio, television, and print, it isn’t passive—users
don’t just receive content; they create it, too.’’
There is one element that historical marketing and social media campaigns have
in common. Both methods are designed to get consumers to take some kind of action.
Businesses still design and implement advertising campaigns to encourage consumers
1 Source: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/mckinsey-says-social-media-adds-1-3-trillion-
2 Kabani, Shama, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, Dallas, TX: Ben Bella Books, 2012.
246 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
and open communication style that encourages online communities (composed of
consumers) to contribute to the message and branding of the product or service.
What the Internet and social media channels bring to the old marketing equation
is that consumers have stepped into the massively important role of using their own
voice to encourage or discourage other consumers to take action. Consumers use their
component of social media communities.
Conquering Your Fears of Social Media
Social media has become a source of fear and confusion for many. As with anything
new, there are fear-mongers and critics. There are also champions and evangelists. This
new method of communication can be wildly successful for engineering businesses, or
it can be an abysmal failure.
to promote yourself or your business. You will find a social media venue that fits your
needs. Discussed in the following pages are five of the most widely used social venues,
including WordPress blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Some experts believe that having no online presence is tantamount to having a bad
online reputation. Have you ever read a bad review of a restaurant online and then
decided not to go? What would you do if that restaurant’s manager had responded to
the bad review and helped the disgruntled customer? Would you give the restaurant
a second chance? Most of us would. This is one way that social media can benefit
An umbrella that charges
a smart phone?
Vodafone’s Booster Brolly is an
umbrella that uses on-board solar
your phone and boost its 3G sig-
nal. Engineering students at Uni-
versity College of London worked
with Vodafone to develop this cool
For details, see the Preface for
But social media is not just for
entertainment. Information Week Secu-
in 2010 and found that, ‘‘of those who
work in the aerospace, automotive, and
commercial-vehicle industries, 55% of
respondents said they use social media
sites for work-related reasons, and that
over half are allowed access while at
Social media is not a get-rich-quick
scheme, and it does not transform your
life or engineering business overnight.
It is, however, necessary for success in
today’s digital world.
3 ‘‘Engineers Use Social Media for Business.’’ Information Week Security.
Creating a WordPress Blog
CREATING A WORDPRESS BLOG
Chances are that you have read an engineering blog within the past month. You may
have visited that blog on purpose, you may have stumbled upon it by accident, or you
may have landed on the blog and never knew that it was a ‘‘blog.’’
Understanding What a Blog Is
is supposed to be updated frequently with new articles and information about specific
topics. Blogs contain information from lots of different sources. For example, blogs’
owners (called ‘‘bloggers’’) can write articles themselves, or they can post articles that
they found on other websites. The information can also originate in print, or it can be
contributed by the readers of the blog.
blogs, food blogs, travel blogs, graphic design blogs, architecture blogs and engineering
blogs. Actually, there are too many types of blogs to list. The most important thing to
remember about a blog is that it is interactive and should be constantly changing. This
characteristic benefits both the reader and the blogger.
Participating in a Blog
By viewing and participating in a blog, engineers can be educated, drawn in to a
worthwhile conversation, join an online community of like-minded people, help build
a branding strategy, shape ideas by giving their opinion, or give advice to product
designers. Therefore, readers benefit by receiving information, ideas, or the chance to
get their opinion out there.
No matter what the reason is for creating the blog, the blog’s creator must
remember that the blog reader is a partner in the success of that blog. Perhaps some
bloggers want to become engineering experts in the ‘‘Bending Moment.’’ If that is the
case, their blogs will reflect their expertise in the elements involved in the Bending
Moment. Those bloggers would use titles and searchable keywords to funnel traffic to
their blog about the Bending Moment. This will allow the engineering blog to be found
by those who are searching for this topic.
Using a Blog for Professional Advantage
Engineers oftenusetheirblogsasameans ofcollaborationandnetworking withintheir
field. Blogs are an excellent platform to give and receive advice and expertise from
others engineers in your field. Who knows—you may end up getting an engineering
job from a blogging contact! For example, a small group of engineers has created a
248 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
blog and the tagline for their site is ‘‘Engineers writing about the workplace, common
engineering problems, and lessons to share with the world.’’ 4
Here is an example of using a blog to build a reputation as an engineering expert:
1. Blogger A (an engineer) needs advice from experts about a faulty modeling
process. He finds several blogs that discuss this topic, and he poses some
questions on the blogs. By posting his question on a well-known blog, he
increases the visibility of his own blog.
2. Blogger B, an engineering expert in the area of faulty modeling processes, sees
the post (by Blogger A). Because she is trying to build her online reputation
as an expert in faulty modeling processes, she posts a reply to Blogger A’s
question. She has just ‘‘advertised’’ to the world that she is an expert in faulty
3. After several online (and highly visible) conversations, Blogger A takes the
advice of Blogger B. He follows the steps advised by Blogger B, and the issue
with the faulty modeling process is resolved!
4. Blogger A thanks Blogger B (again, online for all to see) for the great advice
and tells her that her advice resolved his issue. Blogger A looks good to his
clients or employer because he resolved the faulty modeling issue.
5. Blogger B has furthered her efforts at building her reputation as an expert in
faulty modeling processes. Her advice contributed to a real-life project.
6. Six months later, a person (prospective new client) conducts a search about
‘‘faulty modeling process.’’ The related engineering blog comes up in the search
because Blogger A’s and Blogger B’s posts used searchable keywords. The
person sees both sides of the conversation on the blog and sees that Blogger B
resolved the issue for Blogger A. The person sees Blogger B as an expert and
contacts her to help resolve a similar issue.
7. Blogger B scores some new business because of her online reputation!
In the above example, all the engineers win via the use of this blog. Blogging brings
people together even if they live in three different countries and never meet each other
See www.electricalengineeringonline.net/engineering-blogs for a list of the 50 top
engineering blogs found on the Internet.
Choosing Your Blog Software
Engineering students and professionals alike can benefit from creating their own
blogs. You might think that the example about Blogger A and B was make-believe.
happens every day. The sky is the limit when it comes to the usefulness of blogging for
4 Source: www.engineeringblogs.org
Beer c12.tex V3 - 03/04/2013 8:04 A.M. Page 249
Creating a WordPress Blog 249
Currently, the most user-friendly and intuitive blogging software available is
WordPress. Visit its site at: http://wordpress.org
WordPress has some excellent characteristics:
• It can be used to set up a free blog, although you can set up a custom URL for
as little as $17 per year.
• It does not require a single bit of programming knowledge.
• It comes with countless tutorials and technical support.
• It can be used for e-commerce by adding a shopping cart just in case you ever
decide to monetize all of your expertise!
• It can be updated or reorganized easily by a complete novice.
• It offers almost limitless graphic themes to promote yourself as an individual
or for your company brand, including custom colors, layouts, widgets, and
• It provides constant updates for free.
Exploring Engineering Blogs
If you are to understand blogging, you will have to visit a few. To find blogs that are
the best place to start your search. For example, type the following in to your browser:
Once you see the list of the top 25 engineering blogs, choose several to view. While
you are viewing each blog, consider the following:
• Is the blog visually attractive or distracting?
• Is the content relevant and up-to-date?
• Is it easy to see what specific areas are discussed on this blog?
• Is there an easy way to interact with the blog’s creator?
• If needed, does the blog provide evidence of professional engineering clout?
Turning body heat into energy?
that could be put to use; human
body heat. Engineers in Stockholm
are the first to use the body heat
of 250,000 daily commuters in one
train station to heat a building next
For details, see the Preface for
After reading a few blogs, you will
begin to understand the differences in
style, content, and professionalism. You
will also see the big difference between a
traditional information-only website and
the interactivity of a blog.
Remember, the main point to keep
in mind is that a blog gives you the ability
to interact with the blogger and others
who view the blog. When thinking about
designing your blog, make sure that the
content are all open and inviting.
250 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
You can visit my blog at: http://jillbrockmann.com
What will you write about on your blog? Visit the companion website to see step-
by-step instructions for designing and implementing your own blog. (See the Preface
for the URL.)
BUILDING A FACEBOOK PAGE
FOR A BUSINESS
If you have never heard of Facebook, then you have probably been living under
Here are some factoids about Facebook’s worldwide reach:
• Facebook is used by 70% of automotive and aerospace engineers to exchange
information on technical issues, according to a survey of SAE International. 5
• Facebook had over one billion monthly active users at the end of December
• On average, it had 526 million daily active users.
• In March 2012, there were 488 million monthly active users who used Facebook
• Facebook had more than 600 million mobile monthly active users as of
December 5, 2012.
on at least six out of the last seven days. 6
Harnessing the Power of Facebook
and it promised to reach millions of people, worldwide forfree—would you bite? What
if you were offered unlimited access to a panel of 10,000 civil engineering experts (from
all over the world) that could help you unravel an issue with a traffic pattern—again,
all for free?
Did you know that every single person who interacts with your company or
organization via social media inadvertently becomes your cheerleader or critic? You
may have heard the old adage that if you like a business, you will tell three people. If
you don’t like it, you will tell ten people.
This phenomenon is what makes applications like Facebook such great venues
for engineers. Originally, Facebook was created to allow college students to connect
5 Source: www.informationweek.com/news/security/management/225900054
6 Facebook statistics, http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22
Building a Facebook Page for a Business 251
and share ideas, stories, events, and generally ‘‘socialize.’’ Now, people from all over
the world and from all professions use Facebook in order to share information, be
heard, and make connections. Instead of verbally telling ten people they didn’t like a
business, they are telling millions of people via Facebook. Instead of having one or two
aeronautical engineering experts to consult with, there are now thousands of them at
For example, a Facebook page called ‘‘Interesting Engineering’’ has almost half
a million followers. Figure 12-1 shows a screenshot of what the home page looks like.
You can find this site by typing in the following URL in your browser:
Interesting Engineering’s Facebook page says, ‘‘If engineering is a headache for
you, join us. We will change the way you feel.’’ 7 How cool is that? They are using
Facebook to demystify engineering and target a younger audience.
As of this writing, the Facebook page in Figure 12-1 has 489,000 individual
‘‘likers,’’ and 337,060 people are talking about the content (a ‘‘liker’’ is an individual
that has subscribed to the news posted on this Facebook page). This is an example
of how Facebook creates a community of like-minded people who share an interest
in engineering, opinions, and ideas. The people in this community can connect, share
ideas, vent their frustrations, seek advice, talk about their successes, post project ideas,
and discuss all kinds of engineering-related subjects.
Figure 12-1 Facebook business page or fan page named ‘‘Interesting Engineering.’’
7 Source: www.facebook.com/interestingengineering/info
252 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
Here is an example of how engineering students and professionals can harness the
power of Facebook:
1. An engineering student is lurking around a classmate’s Facebook page and
sees that her classmate has ‘‘liked’’ a page titled ‘‘Interesting Engineering.’’ She
decides to click the live link and visit that page.
2. As she scrolls through the engineering-related articles and posts, she stumbles
across an article that discusses the subject of her thesis, wind turbine grid
3. The student reads the article and scrolls through the reader comments posted.
One of the participants, an engineering expert in the topic, has an unusual
opinion about wind turbines. The student clicks on the expert’s name and
immediately lands on the expert’s Facebook page.
4. The expert’s Facebook page has an About section that lists an email address,
phone number, website, blog address, professional associations, education
details, and current employer information. The student emails the expert
to ask for a telephone interview in order to get some quotes for her thesis.
5. The expert writes back, agrees to the interview, and schedules it for two days
6. Two days later, she gets her interview and obtains valuable information from a
well-known engineering industry expert. It adds immeasurably to the content
of her thesis.
7. The expert is so impressed with the passion and insight of the student, he offers
her an internship that turns in to a full-time engineering position after she
In the above example, both the engineering student and the expert benefit from
the connection they made via Facebook. This type of collaborative connection and
sharing happens every day on Facebook. Let us not forget that all of this interaction,
conversation, learning, and community building happens all across the world, seven
days a week, 24-hours per day—for free.
Using Facebook to Build Your Brand
You can use three methods to create your online presence (also referred to as your
‘‘brand’’) and display information on Facebook. Luckily, Facebook provides step-
by-step instructions to help you create profiles that can be customized to spotlight
Note Remember that every friend made, page liked, photograph posted, group joined,
event created, or comment left is a reflection of who we are or who we want the world
to perceive us as being. If you are creating your social media presence to reflect your
engineering business, choose your moves carefully. Visit the companion website to see
step-by-step instructions for designing and implementing your customized Facebook page.
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Building a Facebook Page for a Business 253
The three ways to create a profile on Facebook that presents your engineering
business are as follows:
1. Individual profile. This is referred to as the ‘‘human being’’ profile. It is for an
individual person, not a business. Anyone with an email address can build one
of these pages. An example of an individual Facebook page is shown below in
2. Fan page. This is also referred to as a ‘‘business page’’: it could be for a product,
service, organization, club, politician, or any other business-related entity. In
order to create this page, you have to have an individual profile first. See
Figures 12-3 and 12-4 for an example of a fan page for the engineering company,
Structures, PE, LLP.
A Facebook fan page comes with some useful features for businesses. One
feature is a ‘‘People’’ page. This allows businesses to create a page that shows
off the expertise or specialization of their employees. Figure 12-4 shows an
example of the engineers at Structures PE, LLP.
3. Individual fan page. This type of page is a hybrid. It is just like the ‘‘business
page,’’ but it is used for an individual who is an engineering professional. In
order to create this page, you have to have an individual profile first.
Figure 12-2 Individual Facebook page for Jill Brockmann.
254 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
Figure 12-3 Structures Fan Page on Facebook.
Source: www.facebook.com/Structures, PE, LLP.
Figure 12-4 Structures PE, LLPs People page on Facebook.
Building a Facebook Page for a Business 255
For example, an individual engineer may have two Facebook pages:
• One page for his or her private life. This individual page includes family,
friends, hobbies, political views, music preferences, jokes, religious affiliations,
and vacation photos. This page is fun, relaxed, family-oriented, personal, and
• The other page lists the person’s name as the business name, and it contains
professional and engineering-related information only. This fan page is created
to promote the person’s engineering expertise or specializations. This page
contains no personal attributes that could be controversial such as political or
religious views. This page is strictly a method of promoting one’s engineering
expertise on Facebook.
The advantage of creating a Facebook fan page is that you can see demographic
data about the people visiting your page. You do this by analyzing Facebook traffic
using a tool called ‘‘Insights.’’ It enables you as the page owner to plan successful
content and interactions. Again, Facebook provides all of this data free of charge to
business (fan) pages. Visit the companion website to see instructions about how you
can use the Insights data to make your Facebook fan page more attractive to readers.
(See the Preface for the URL.)
The image shown in Figure 12-5 is an example of what one of the Insights pages
Figure 12-5 Facebook Insights demographic page for Business and Technical
Communication at Austin Community College.
When creating and building your brand via a Facebook page, consider the
Want to live forever?
Wait until 2045.
Dmitry Itskov, a wealthy Russian,
is creating ‘‘Avatar.’’ First, he
will transplant human brains into
robots and then reverse-engineer
the brain to effectively ‘‘download’’
human consciousness onto a com-
puter chip. He estimates that by
2045 humans can buy immortality.
For details, see the Preface for
• Will you create a personal page
and a professional page?
• How can you spotlight your field
• Can you visualize how you could
use the commenting functions
available on Facebook to gain
credibility and become known as
cialization? For example, when
Interesting Engineering’s Face-
book page, you will be seen by
half a million people.
• How will you make the design of your Facebook page look consistent with your
blog, website and other social media platforms?
• Subscribe to me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jillbrockmann for tips and
tricks about using Facebook pages to promote your personal brand online.
Visit the companion website to see step-by-step instructions for designing and
implementing your very own Facebook pages. (See the Preface for the URL.)
USING TWITTER TO CONNECT
AND SHARE INFORMATION
If you have never heard of Twitter, then you have probably been living under
Here are some interesting facts about Twitter:
• Many engineering companies, large and small, now use Twitter to communicate
with existing and potential customers. Also, many professional engineer-
ing publications post the latest news and links to their online articles on
• Even though it is a young social media venue, it has 500 million registered users
daily, and 33 billion tweets sent worldwide—daily. 9
• Anyone can read, write, share, or re-share messages about a field of interest, as
long as the message is 140 characters or less.
8 Source: http://blog.prosig.com/2011/02/24/how-can-social-networks-help-engineers/
9 Twitter Facts and Stats, by Bran Friedman, March 14, 2012. Source: http://socialmediatoday.com
Using Twitter to Connect and Share Information 257
• ‘‘Tweets,’’ or typed messages, are posted in real-time and can be read by
anyone, from anywhere, regardless of whether they are logged in to their
• Twitter is fast becoming the ‘‘go to’’ medium for engineering information,
according to Bosch Rexroth, cited below.
After launching a pilot project to study how engineers used social media, Kevin
Gingerich from Bosch Rexroth (see Figure 12-6) stated, ‘‘We were astonished by the
vibrancy of the engineering and industry communities on Twitter. It’s become our
engine of choice for communicating to a broad audience, from recent innovations and
upcoming exhibitions to new technical references on our website.’’ 10
Using Twitter to Connect with Other Engineers
Why should you or your business join those who swear by Twitter for connecting to
others in the engineering field? Here are a few reasons:
or the specialty of your company, why would you ignore a virtual database of
opinions, trends, messages, stories, and networking opportunities?
• In the engineering context, Twitter is an environment that is rich with ideas,
conversations, and content from influential industry leaders. Don’t forget that
Figure 12-6 Twitter account home page for Bosch Rexroth Corporation.
10 Machine Design.com. Twitter for Engineers. Source: http://machinedesign.com/article/twitter-for
258 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
all of this sharing, communicating, and brand-building activity is available 365
days a year, 24 hours per day—for free.
Figure 12-6 is an image of a successful engineering home page on Twitter.
Businesses can use Twitter # (hashtags) to corral participants at a company-
sponsored event, for curating crowd-sourced data about product research, and for
connecting directly with engineering clients and customers. More information about
the importance of hashtags and crowd-sourcing data can be found on the companion
website. See the Preface for the URL.
• Engineering professionals can use Twitter to funnel traffic to special events,
online design contests, interactive websites, new blog entries, product launches,
and other information-rich connections with consumers.
• Individual engineers can use Twitter to foster strong networking relationships
with other engineers by listening and gathering industry intelligence about
competition, market trends, and employment opportunities.
Imagine you are a graduating engineering student; here’s how you can use
1. You are about to graduate from a small college with a mechanical engineering
degree and have arrived at the International Manufacturing Technology Show
(IMTS) 2012 in Chicago. You are to visit the booth of the internationally known
company that paid for your flight, hotel, and admission to this event. You have
been told that it is located in Booth #10602. Only, they are not actually at that
location. No other information is available. Hmm. What to do?
2. Enormous Engineering Company (EEC), the company that paid for your
dream trip, had to move its booth to a different building because of mechanical
‘‘issues’’ with Booth #10602. EEC is worried that attendees will not be aware of
its last-minute location change. The company tweets immediately about its new
building location at IMTS.
3. You are following EEC on Twitter. You quickly scroll through your tweet feed
to see if there is any word from them. Bingo! They have moved to a different
building three blocks away.
4. You inspire and amaze EEC’s booth members by arriving early to express your
hearty thanks for the great trip, and you make sure that their mechanical issue is
fixed at the new location. They are grateful for your arrival at the new location
and glad that Twitter helped route you to the new location.
5. Upon returning home from your trip you find a letter from the president of
EEC, thanking you for your help with the booth and inviting you to dinner to
talk about your plans for after graduation.
In the above example, Twitter moved mountains for you and EEC. When a
company invests thousands of dollars setting up plans for an enormous event like
IMTS, it can be derailed quickly by a sudden event like changing a booth location.
Since Twitter is known for instantaneous communication, it is a perfect platform for
this occurrence. EEC could have missed a few thousand booth visitors, and you may
not have found them to say ‘‘thank you’’ for your trip. You would have missed the free
dinner invitation, too.
Generating Your Interactive Résumé on LinkedIn 259
Customizing Your Twitter Account
When creating the account for you or your engineering organization on Twitter,
consider the following:
• Make sure others can find you easily on Twitter. Customize your Twitter user
name, profile photo and design, bio, and online appearance by maintaining
brand consistency with colors, images, and logos. Use keywords in your bio to
help people find you.
• Don’t worry about how many followers you have. Instead, concentrate on
following engineering industry leaders, cutting-edge companies, and experts in
engineering. Read their tweets, place comments, re-tweet them, and actively
seek information that will bring you new information and ideas. Your own
followers will come eventually.
• Use customized searches and hashtags to filter out everything except the
information you need.
• Attach hashtags to photos or videos you upload so they are easily found in
searches. Remember to use authentic keywords whenever possible.
• To find people, companies or engineering organizations to follow, use
Twellow.com and WeFollow.com directories on Twitter that are categorized
by interest and industry.
Does adding sound to cars
Engineers have developed a vehi-
cle warning system that improves
safety for bicyclists. The system
consists of a GPS-enabled device
mounted to the dashboard of an
electric car (which are dangerously
quiet). It warns bicyclists of the
approach of a quiet car.
For details, see the Preface for
Follow me on Twitter:
Who will you follow on Twitter?
How will you manage the information
and communications you receive on
Twitter? To get answers to these ques-
tions and others, visit the companion
website to see step-by-step instructions
for designing and implementing your
very own Twitter account. (See the
Preface for the URL.)
GENERATING YOUR INTERACTIVE
R ÉSUM É ON LINKEDIN
In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled ‘‘No More Résumés,’’ Rachel Emma
Silverman stated that ‘‘Instead of asking for résumés, a New York venture-capital
firm—which has invested in Twitter—asked applicants to send links representing their
‘Web presence.’ ’’ 11 What? No résumé?
11 Rachel Emma Silverman, ‘‘No More Résumés,’’ Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2012.
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260 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
Tech-savvy employers are acquiring evidence of people’s web reputation and
searching for their online interactions as a means of finding better-quality candidates
—especially for engineering companies or organizations that rely heavily in the
Internet and social media to build their brand, enhance employee collaboration, and
reach their customer base.
Increasing Visibility for Engineers
When it comes to actively participating in various social media platforms, the Society
of Automotive Engineers International (SAEI) has determined that ‘‘engineers are
a survey that revealed 61% of engineers polled use social media sites like Facebook,
LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. 12
expertise, and network with other professionals in your field. Even though LinkedIn
is considered a ‘‘social’’ media site, the purpose of creating and maintaining a profile
on this platform is solely for professional networking, connecting, and building career-
Figure 12-7 shows a typical LinkedIn profile of engineer, author, and speaker
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED, AP.
Completing your LinkedIn profile can be time-consuming, but the benefits are
enormous. The tools provided allow space to include all phases of your professional
life including your work experience, education, business associations, personal and
company websites, other social media accounts, volunteer activities, areas of special
expertise using keywords, and other ways to enhance your professional message to
other LinkedIn members.
Creating your LinkedIn Profile
When creating your profile on LinkedIn, consider the following:
• Complete your entire profile. A sparsely completed profile is almost as bad as
having no profile at all. Your profile should be compelling, interesting, accurate,
and complete. Include as much engineering-related information as possible.
Remember to use keywords.
• Actively participate in LinkedIn Answers. The answers feature helps nur-
ture professional engineering connections and gives you a chance to show
your expertise by answering questions posed by others. Participate by posing
questions yourself, too.
• Join groups. Find groups related to the engineering profession, join them,
and actively participate in ongoing conversations to get your name seen in the
forums. If there are not any groups about your specific area of engineering,
12 ‘‘Mobility Engineers Big Users of Social Media.’’ Society of Automotive Engineers International.
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Generating Your Interactive Résumé on LinkedIn 261
Figure 12-7 LinkedIn profile home page for
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED, AP.
• Use Advanced Search. The basic search function is great, but Advanced Search
has all sorts of ways to fine-tune your results, including engineering keywords
and product names in all your posts.
• Treat your LinkedIn profile similar to a website. Make sure your pro-
file is up-to-date, organized, well-formatted and contains lots of interest-
ing engineering-related information. It goes without saying that misspellings
are a no-no!
• Populate your profile with keywords. Use keywords that reflect your back-
ground, education, professional field, or expertise. Use variations of those
words, too: for example, use engineer, engineering, engineered.
• Increase the chances you will be found with search engines. Make sure that
your profile is marked as ‘‘public’’ so that you will show up in searches for your
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262 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
Giving and Receiving Recommendations
One of the best features offered to LinkedIn members is the Recommendation section.
This is a profile portion designed to highlight your achievements and the exceptional
work of other LinkedIn members.
You may politely ask an engineering colleague for a recommendation for any
collaborative work you performed. You may receive a request for a recommendation
from another LinkedIn member.
First algae-powered car?
The world’s first algae fuel-power-
ed vehicle, dubbed the Algaeus,
was revealed in San Francisco.
The plug-in hybrid car, which is a
Prius equipped with a nickel metal
hydride battery, runs on green
For details, see the Preface for
People in charge of making hir-
ing decisions commonly review LinkedIn
profile pages. It is important that you
request recommendations that are rele-
vant to your engineering specialty. Make
the most of the section by requesting rec-
ommendations from colleagues you have
collaborated with and by giving accurate
and detailed recommendations to those
neering recommendations section on the
home page of an engineer’s LinkedIn
Visit the companion website to see step-by-step instructions for designing and
implementing your very own LinkedIn account. (See the Preface for the URL.)
TARGETING EXPERTS WITH GOOGLE+
Have you ever heard the word ‘‘google’’ used as a verb? Usually people say, ‘‘Google
it!’’ That is probably because Google is the largest search engine on the Internet.
Wouldn’t it be terrific if your engineering business came up at the top of the list when
someone searched, ‘‘expert chemical engineer’’?
Google+, Google Plus or just g+, is the brain-child of Google, Inc. Google is not
just a search engine. It has developed many collaboration-based applications that are
widely used throughout the engineering field. In an attempt to gather all of these
cutting-edge applications into one place, Google engineers created Google+. This
platform integrates many of Google’s products to create a broader social experience.
The result is a platform for professionals who want to increase their online visibility
and personal brand identity.
Figure 12-9 is an example of the Google+ page for the engineering program at
Figure 12-9 Google+ profile page for Stanford University Engineering program.
264 Chapter 12 Engineering Your Online Reputation
Creating Your Google+ Profile Page
If you do not have a Google+ account yet, it is easy to create. Type the following text
in your browser: http://plus.google.com
in minutes. Visit the companion website to see step-by-step instructions for designing
and customizing your own Google+ account. (See the Preface for the URL.)
Circling Engineering Experts
The main functions of Google+ are bundled to include a search engine, an email client,
an Internet browser, friend streams, circles of specialized contacts, group video chats
with a new feature called Hangouts, personalized and automated search functions,
the ability to target engineering industry experts, and the community-building feature
The Circles feature of Google+, at first glance, may look the same as ‘‘friending’’
people on Facebook. However, Circles is a much more intricate way to organize lists
(circles) of engineering industry experts, colleagues, and friends. The streamlining
of these circles of contacts allows you to create entirely separate groups (circles)
for family, friends, college alumni, colleagues, civil engineering experts, aeronautic
engineers, mechanical engineers, sports fans, and more.
The main point to remember about Google+ Circles is that it allows you to read
what you want, share what you want, share it when you want, and share it with whom
you want. It also allows you to filter out the noise from everyone in your circles and
drill down to reading only the content posted by the engineering experts you choose.
This ability to focus on a specific topic is a huge time saver. For example, if you want
to read about new developments in wind turbine grid engineering, you simply click
the circle (that you created and filled with experts) named ‘‘wind turbine experts’’ and
scroll through the posts of those experts.
Figure 12-10 shows an example of a Google+ Circles page.
Creating, adding, deleting, and modifying your Circles is as easy as a click or two.
You can also invite people who are in your circles to participate in a live online session
called a ‘‘Hangout.’’ These hangouts can be recorded and replayed via YouTube.com.
This function enables you to conduct online meetings with others. There is no more
flying to meetings. You can sit in your home office in your pajamas! You can join other
Hangouts as an active participant or simply observe and listen.
Maximizing Your Online Visibility
A useful feature of using Google+ in an engineering business is that your Google+
page content is part of Google’s web search integration and the ability for consumers
to ‘‘direct connect’’ to your page. Through this connection ability, consumers or clients
are directed to your website or other online venues, such as your blog.