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You Are the Missing Link

There is (as predicted) a LOT of talk surrounding the need for land surveyors to attend all sorts of seminars on Social Networking and how social media is changing the landscape for PLS and the ways in which business is changing worldwide. I know, I know. Groan-Sigh-Hiss. Sounds downright painful for those of us that consider the internet to be free and fun. The fact of the matter is, those who tell you this sort of stuff have made it a business to recruit you to do such things. Its unfortunate that learning new ways of doing business are so tough, yet the only way to survive in the age of the internet is to have a strong presence on the internet.


But here's the thing. The business world in general just flat out does not get it (not just the surveying world) . Most are completely dumbfounded by the thought of thousands or millions of people saying whatever they want, when they want to say it and how they want to say it. You've got supposed support networks who ask you to post or comment on anything that you like, yet if that comment happens to link to a resource or product that brings no money to the forum owner, chances are it will be deleted. Chances are, an advertisement will be put in its place. Chances are, if you belong to a forum like this, where your words are censored, you're being put in your place too.

Mario Andretti once said If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.

This is how BIG BUSINESSES want you to feel about social media. They want you to be the racecar while they drive you as fast as possible. I have (unfortunately) taken time to attend a few social networking events and webinars which claim to teach the proper ways to do this and that and I'll be the first to tell you that the majority of these functions are complete crap. My goal for attendance was to attempt grappling a few tips that might be applied here on LSU to make surveyor's lives more simple. The fact of the matter is, most of us feel that either our lives are as simple as we could already make them or they are going in so many hectic directions that the just has to be a simpler way. This is how they get you. Nevertheless, when it comes down to it, there is nothing a person can tell you about your own business which you do not already know-and if there is, it is up to you to do the research and find out what that is on your own time. You learn social networking by trial and error and learn best when you just be yourself and avoid the teachings of so-called gurus who want to teach you how to use facebook, provided you give them $199.95 You walk away with nothing. They walk away with your money adding no value to your business. Each of these so-called lecturers will tell you how oh-so-very important it is to control the message. They'll go on and on about how Businesses must be involved so that they can control what is said and censor it if necessary, so that their product or service would not be seen in a bad light. If your product sucks, I want to tell you and the world about how bad it sucks and let my friends know so they don't get burned too.


Yes, I know what you are thinking (and I agree). "Well that's totally stupid." Social Networking is dependent on being viral. You post something and somebody tweets it or re-posts it. You cannot control it. If you tried, you would spend even more time hunting down your own words to delete them and thats just counter productive.


And therein lies the rub. Can they (they being big business) truly control it and how do they plan to do it. Of course, they can. But they need to convince you to let them do it. Probably not on the level that the gurus above are thinking, but Governments can and will block the transmission of thoughts and ideas. Nevertheless, if you consider the fact that we ARE the Government, there still may be a chance to keep the internet and the resources that we need to survive free. But we have to start working on it. Today. Not tomorrow. Today.

Sharing Can Keep The Resources Free
In order to do this, surveyors, we need to turn this idea around and change our perspective on how this effects us as business owners. Instead of businesses trying to censor others-their ideas and thoughts; why not get into the mix and deliver your companies message in human terms? In other words, in an easy to understand language...why not use the viral aspects of Land Surveyors United, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and hundreds of other Web 2.0 (and 3.0) services to get YOUR message out. Why not? You don't need to pay huge advertising firms to broadcast your message! After all, who can describe what you do better then you? The platform is here and the process has been simplified for you already. You can both control your company's message and promote it virally right from the comfort of your own profile on LSU. Just update your status a few times a week-write a blog post with visual imagery about your business and what you do as surveyors-make a company video and upload it to the network-start a discussion and share some valuable resources with others. Your company will start to take a whole new direction and your phone will start ringing again. I guarantee it!

What Will The Surveyors of the Future Have to Work From?

In ten-fifteen years, there will be no more surveyors on earth who know the art of chaining, no wise and weathered leaders who can teach you how to calculate property values with a slide-rule and no one who can tell you how to use a gammon reel. In order for these skills to be passed on to the next generation, you have to stop thinking about them as trade secrets, but rather as good content, infinitely useful to a beginner and reading material for the future surveyors to use when trying to better understand where the technology that they are using came from. If you want to truly live past your death and contribute something helpful and useful to the land surveying industry, the best thing you can do is promote yourself by sharing those tricks and tips that have gotten you to where you are today. Start discussions with other surveyors and work the many aspects of those discussions out with dialog and details.

A message to gurus and big businesses trying to control the surveying industry: Save us all a lot of trouble and stop trying to control us. You've got a product. Let us help you sell it. Put it out there and let it go free...free as a bird. I promise that not only the industry will prosper, but your businesses will be better off in the future as well. At the end of the day, a surveyor is going to do what he/she is most comfortable with doing and that usually involves a small consensus among peers. Surveyors know what is best for themselves and their families-there is nothing you can convince them of otherwise. Yes, social networking in todays world is very important to business, but the level at which sharing information becomes useful is only relevant to the individual. The missing link is the person and what they feel is worth sharing.

Ok..i'm stepping down from my soapbox...does anyone have anything that they would like to add?
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GEO Ambassador

Justin Farrow... Creator of Land Surveyors United and Mobile Apps for Land Surveyors

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Thoughts

  • Land Surveyor

    Perhaps, if we write a book about this,b something a bit more tangible, to hold in the hand, without electricity, the generation that is about to pass on their businesses to their sons and daughters, will realize that the online presence of a company or person is a reality, a reputation, a potential for reinforcing credentials and experience, a hub for a client base, and an opportunity for an extended client base. Read it here or read it in our first published book. It makes no difference.

  • Land Surveyor
    Perhaps, if we write a book about this,b something a bit more tangible, to hold in the hand, without electricity, the generation that is about to pass on their businesses to their sons and daughters, will realize that the online presence of a company or person is a reality, a reputation, a potential for reinforcing credentials and experience, a hub for a client base, and an opportunity for an extended client base. Read it here or read it in our first published book. It makes no difference.
  • GEO Ambassador
    well said Robert...you are a very valuable asset to the future of land surveying! keep it up! i have your back...
  • Great post LSU HQ! I DO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS and make a effort each day to learn something. Sharing information is the only thing I know to do at this point in my life. Too much misinformation and comfort with old ways, while there is a great deal of knowledge and wisdom we all need to find. Re-invention is the only way I know for land surveyors to keep the profession's rich history, and embrace the never ending changes we face. I am tired, sore, yet still see this as a great time to be a land surveyor. Hard times require harder and smarter approaches. Open minds are needed to deal with the new challenges. Nothing beats face to face communication, and the internet is good way to find and share.
    Robert L. Young - Texas RPLS 5400 :-)
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