COM0015 – Blog #1: Listening for ‘COBOL’ in Social Media

Part of providing content through Social Media is to ‘listen’ for information about your chosen niche in order to understand the conversations that you may want to become involved in. Since my focus is COBOL, I make it a point to listen daily for news and articles related to the COBOL programming language. If you have a strong interest in a topic and you are a regular Social Media user, your Social Media listening should evolve naturally as part of that interest. For example, I have instinctively incorporated listening for COBOL topics into my daily Social Media routines, not only to keep up with content others are providing, but because I am genuinely interested in the information shared.

Favorite Social Media Monitoring Tools

Google Alerts

One of my preferred Social Media listening tools is Google Alerts. I set up a daily alert to listen for COBOL content. The results–which generally include articles, courses, and job opportunities–are sent to my email. I can quickly scan through them to find the ones that interest me. I favor this tool because it is free, and it gives me a summary of the information that I am looking for.

An example of a Google Alert email

LinkedIn and Facebook Searches

Another of my favorite listening methods on Social Media is to search within the applications. For instance, if I search for COBOL within LinkedIn, I get lists of courses, groups, companies, posts, events, etc., all content within the LinkedIn realm that concentrates on COBOL. Similarly, a search for COBOL in Facebook provides related groups, posts, pages, etc. I perform these searches frequently enough to know what is new in these applications in terms of COBOL. I like to use these types of searches since I can perform them easily while I am reviewing my newsfeeds.

A search for COBOL within LinkedIn

               

A search for COBOL within Facebook

Sources of News and Updates

Facebook Newsfeed

One of the best sources that I have of news and updates on COBOL-related topics is a Facebook group called ‘COBOL Programmers’. It has about 18,000 members, and there are frequent, current posts. I have joined this group to get updates into my newsfeed which I review daily. There are articles as well as interesting discussions. This source of information is useful to me since the members are mostly experts in the COBOL programming field.

A screenshot of the COBOL Programmer’s group in Facebook

LinkedIn Newsfeed

Another great source of current COBOL information and discussions are the ‘Mainframe’ group and ‘COBOL Programmers’ group on LinkedIn. They have approximately 47,000 and 15,000 members, respectively. There are frequent, current article and discussion posts to these groups by industry professionals, which makes them valuable sources of information.

A screenshot of the COBOL Programmers group in LinkedIn

As users of Social Media, we are all listening to our chosen topics. Did you also find that your Social Media ‘listening’ developed naturally, or did you consciously create a listening strategy?

One thought on “COM0015 – Blog #1: Listening for ‘COBOL’ in Social Media

  1. Google Alerts is a great tool! It makes it easier to have alerts sent to you so you don’t have to spend so much time going through the internet yourself. Also, I think using Facebook and LinkedIn is a smart way to go. These platforms can give many options for searches including “real” reviews/discussions towards a business that you can count on.

    As for my listening strategy, there has been a natural development as well as implementing one. I would always be actively searching different platforms/the internet about a certain brand I’m interested in, however, during this program, I’ve had to be more strategic with how I’ve been listening in order to properly execute assignments.

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