Monday, March 21, 2011

From the Editor: Social media, the undiscovered country (March 2011)

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From the Editor: Social media, the undiscovered country (March 2011)

By William C. Vantuono, Editor

vantuonoportrait.jpgWhat would E. H. Talbott, Railway Age’s first editor, think of social media? I’m sure that at the very least, he’d be skeptical at first. Social media like Facebook and Twitter, like the title of the final Star Trek movie with the full original cast (William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, etc.), is still regarded by many as “the undiscovered country,” though the railroads are beginning to sit up and take notice.

This 155-year-old trade magazine has ventured into the new world of social media. You can now find Railway Age on Facebook at “Railway Age Magazine” (CLICK HERE) and follow us on Twitter as “RailwayAge” (CLICK HERE). In addition to our website and using an RSS feed to receive breaking news as we post it, you can now get our news stories throughout the day on your iPhone or iPad or Blackberry, or whatever personal digital device you happen to be using. By the way, don’t forget to “friend” us.

“Friend” Railway Age? Where I come from, “friend” is a noun, not a verb, but I guess that’s part of a new language I’m going to have to get used to. When I’m working on my laptop on a business trip, I’m “officing.” One thing I can’t bring myself to do is use some of those texting shortcuts—which include a total disregard for proper punctuation and capitalization—that people like my 17-year-old niece take for granted, like “how r u? im ok. whats up? nothing lol!” It reminds me of Newspeak from “1984,” which I read in high school.

(If you’d like to delve further into how language is “evolving,” see <a href= target=

William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

With Railway Age since 1992, William C. Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age’s leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts, among them Next-Generation Train Control, Light Rail, and Rail Insights. He is the author or co-author or editor of several books, among them All About Railroading; John Armstrong’s The Railroad: What It Is, What It Does; Railway Age’s Comprehensive Railroad Dictionary; and Planning, Engineering, and Operating Light Rail, With Applications in New Jersey.

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