I am not a huge social media person, but like many in our industry, I find the irrigation technician groups on platforms like Facebook to be fascinating. Fascinating probably includes entertaining, enlightening and frustrating at times, too.
Several years ago, after the email groups started to fade, other irrigation industry groups started to form on the social media platforms. The first ones I noticed appeared on LinkedIn. It seemed to be a good opportunity for industry professionals with similar interests to share ideas and information, ask questions and provide support. While it seemed like there were a lot of industry “movers and shakers” joining these groups, it didn’t seem like there was a lot of activity or engagement.
Fast forward a few years and groups of irrigation industry professionals started forming on Facebook. Today there are several groups that are very active. “Irrigation Professionals Forum” has 4,200 members, “Irrigation & Sprinkler System Tech Talk” is the largest and has 9,500 members. “The Real Irrigation Professional’s Forum” has 5,300 members, and “Irrigation Tech Nightmares” has 2,800 members. Anyone with a Facebook account can request to join these groups. There are several other smaller groups with different requirements for joining and different focus areas. Most are focused on landscape irrigation. While all seem to be directed at the professional, some do allow end users to join and ask do-it-yourself questions to the professionals in the group.
Allow me to share a few of my thoughts on the entertaining, enlightening and frustrating:
Who knows where this will all go? It is an incredible benefit to our industry to have forums like this where practitioners can get together and share ideas, solve problems together and see each other’s work, and offer some reinforcement, both positive and maybe a bit too regularly, rather negative. There are other platforms under development that will support these groups. They will likely be more focused, more common and on many more platforms, including many that we haven’t heard of that will probably become household names. Not everyone has a lot of interest in social media, but for anyone that is interested in our landscape irrigation industry, these groups are worth a look.