I have often written in this space that the continued existence of publications likeMission Critical; associations like 7x24Exchange, DatacenterDynamics, Tier1, Uptime, AFCOM, and BICSI; and standards organizations like ASHRAE and The Green Grid demonstrate the demand and need for more education and training in the mission critical industry. 

Today, though, I am having a different experience as we are shipping our next issue to the printer today. For me, production is often a big hurry-up and wait experience. Periods of real downtime punctuated by very short, but critical, bursts of activity, which are followed by another lull. I keep busy with tasks that I can put down immediately so as to keep moving the process along. It’s no day for taxing tasks requiring long, uninterrupted conversation.

These conditions are just ripe for making odd observations. For instance, today I noted the diverse lot of contributors to the Sept/Oct. 2010 issue. They include practitioners, consultants, builders, an attorney, and end users. They may work in sales, marketing, engineering, operations, or management. The number of people willing to meet the need for education and communicating best practices seems to be limitless. If we were to be completely honest, editors, publishers, conference and webinars organizers, and standards writers would have to admit that our jobs would be infinitely harder without the people who step forward in this industry.

I suppose I had time to draw this conclusion today because closing procedures give me additional time to follow up on my social media activities. There are many industry figures active on both LinkedIn and Twitter, and Facebook as well, to a lesser extent. In addition, lesser-known but very qualified figures are taking advantage of the immediacy of these media to hold open discussions to start and participate in debates.

In addition, I think many people like the democratic nature of Social Media. Good ideas can spread like wildfire, without regard to the credentials of the speaker. No one must participate, and no one has a special invitation.

There is also a strong element of self-selection. Interested in the cloud? Well, some folks post only on that topic: follow them. Same for containers, PUE, energy, colo, and other concepts. The reverse is true too. It is easier to “unfollow” someone or block a group than to turn a magazine page.

I’m a big believer in the power of social media too because there are a lot of ideas out there. That’s why Mission Critical continues to participate in many groups and social media and to develop and operate our own.