New Electronics has just announced the launch of discussion forums on their website. I think this is a great move: it not only will increase engagement on the New Electronics website, but will also provide an opportunity for companies to engage potential customers, helping them overcome problems.
Whilst forums are not the most exciting end of the social media world, having been around for many years, they are well liked by engineers, and make it easy to discuss and resolve problems during the design process.
A lot has been made of the social networks launched by distributors – which also tend to be driven by discussion forums – and I see no reason why publishers can’t be equally successful. Of course the distributors have more people, particularly FAEs, who can respond to questions in the forums. However, I’ll be interested to see whether manufacturers and distributors see the New Electronics forums as an opportunity to engage with customers. If they do, then the New Electronics forums could become an important resource for engineers, and a valuable channel for companies to demonstrate that they deliver great support.