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One of the great things about membership of the IEHF (Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors) is the support it provides for professionalism in the workplace, backed up by a strong sense of tradition underpinning the academic roots of the discipline. But perhaps one of its weaker points is our communal readiness to embrace new ways of working and communicating, particularly regarding social media and other online networking tools (e.g. blogs, wikis, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). There seems to be a perception (among the wider UX community, at least) that the IEHF is somewhat backward looking in this respect, with one ex-member describing it as “another association that’s extremely old school and slooooooooooow”. Reading some of these comments, you’d think that the average IEHF member couldn’t tell their RSS from their elbow. But is this really true? Is the footprint of the IEHF across social media really that shallow, or do we in fact have a small army of nascent bloggers and tweeters? I raised the issue recently on the LinkedIn IEHF forum, and this brief article summarises the response.

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