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100 The PCB Magazine • December 2015 I love social media marketing. I discovered, quite by accident, that I am actually pretty good at it, too. It all started about five years ago, when marketing was unexpectedly thrust upon me in order to support my sales efforts, while work- ing for a small PCB manufacturer in Southern California. Until then, I had no experience with social media platforms apart from posting the occasional family photo on Facebook. So I dug in, learned how to use the tools, and worked hard at turning some much needed attention our way. Surprisingly, it worked! (I call myself the "accidental marketer"). Over time, my skills grew; I read books, at- tended webinars and learned from the pros un- til I tamed the mysterious creature that is social media. I have continued to manage Zentech Manufacturing's social media efforts, since joining the Baltimore base CM just over a year ago, and it remains a fun and challenging part of my professional life. However, just as electronics technology is never static— social media, and the way we interact with it, is always evolving. Over the past several years, I've watched our collective attention span shrink from around 10 minutes to mere milliseconds due to the inces- sant deluge of information that comes crashing our way through electronic devices daily. We're flooded and fatigued. Worse than that, I've no- ticed a rise in workplace isolation as we have be- come enslaved to our screens 24/7. Even when surrounded by people, we hunch helplessly over our smartphones all day to retrieve urgent emails or texts—but only when we're not an- chored to a desk and a computer. In light of these observations, I was de- lighted to experience a lively, social and relaxed face-to-face event called Geek-A-Palooza. Held in the Minneapolis area every September, this event was founded by Tara Dunn of Omni PCB, and Tanya Martin, who is now preparing to take the helm at SMTA on January 1. Tara and Tanya noticed that the old-school regional electron- ics networking events of yesteryear had all but gone extinct. Yet, they both spotted a trend that indicated that many colleagues, engineers and customers by Judy Warner Zentech ManuFacturInG Inc. field Notes Are Local Industry Events the New Social Media? ColuMn

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