SparkFun Gets Social


So apparently this whole social media craze is here to stay (I'm as shocked as you are), so today we wanted to tell you about our various social media outlets. Why should you care? Well, you certainly don't have to - but we try to use our Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts as yet another way to connect with our customers. If you want to tell us about your awesome new project, ask a question, or just say hi, we work pretty hard to stay actively engaged with our customers through these various pages. From time to time, we also run contests/giveaways, so there is always that as well. So where can you find us?

We have several social media accounts, namely: SparkFun on Facebook, SparkFun on Twitter, SparkFun on Flickr, SparkFun on Google+, SparkFun on YouTube, SparkFun on Vimeo, and most recently, SparkFun on Instagram (our username is SparkFun). So if you're on any of these social media outlets, feel free to give us a like/tweet/whatever! We love to hear from our customers and see what you are up to. Of course, the SparkFun homepage will continue to be the most up-to-date source for all things SparkFun, so don't feel obligated to join Facebook just because of us! Cheers!


Comments 25 comments

  • What is Facebook?

    • It’s a place where you can reveal things you shouldn’t, keep in touch with people you don’t have much in common with anymore, and generally provide personal information to people who shouldn’t have it.

  • you forgot irc! #sparkfun on chat.freenode.net

    • Although IRC is something all together more noble and ancient than the so called So-so media.

  • I work hard to stay out of the data mining engines (to the degree that is possible). Needless to say, I am one of those who will NOT be participating in your So-so Media. I hope that Sparkfun will respect our privacy and not allow Facebook, Twitter, and other data gathering spymasters to collect data on us during our normal (non-Twitting non-Faced) use of your web site. Bad enough to have the State of Georgia sending you demands for information without profiling ourselves in the data mining systems they can access without judicial process.

    • We definitely respect the privacy of our customers and wouldn’t do anything to compromise your personal information. This post is simply letting people who choose to use these social networks know we are out there if they want to engage with us. Worry not!

      • I never worry… ;-)

      • Privacy issues(*) aside, I fully support companies setting themselves up on social media. I think it’s a great way to engage your public (whether customers or not).

        The problems only start when companies decide that said social media should be their primary channel(s) of communication, and forget about their own channels or even shut them down. No longer would you go to the website to find out about a company, you visit their facebook. You want to contact them? No e-mail address, just hit up @CompanyName on Twitter (even if there is an e-mail address, even now some companies are more responsive via Twitter than they are via e-mail; whether it’s because it’s all out in the open or because there are only 140 characters to work with, or because it all seems a little less formal). You can leave your comments after logging in through Disqus. Want an Avatar for these comments? (*)

        “From time to time, we also run contests/giveaways” is one of those things that some companies (I’m not saying SparkFun will/would) tend to use in combination with a “Like us on facebook to enter” as well. True, you don’t have to get a facebook account - but then you can’t enter. Them’s the breaks. It’s fair enough - you get a chance to win something, the company gets to grab everything they possibly can off of your account. But to those who have been customers at such a company for a long time it ‘feels’ like getting slighted.

        So I, for one, appreciate that SparkFun aims to keep SparkFun.com the main avenue - even if these things tend to take on a life of their own, for better or for worse.

    • I second that…

  • From reading some of these comments, it sure seems like you guys could make a killing in the tin foil hat market!

  • Just to make sure it doesn’t look like everyone is against it. Im all for it!

  • You guys should set up a telnet server that just mirrors your IRC channel. You know, Telnet, because everyone uses it.

    JK, I just like Telnet. Everyone type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl in Terminal or Command Prompt! Or whatever command-entering system you use!

  • What no MySpace?! LOL I kid, I kid.

    When I hear commercials list their Facebook and Twitter accounts, I usually picture the scene from the old Simpsons election episode when the aliens take over the democrat and republican candidates and are found out. They balk that humans have no choice because it’s a “two party system”. Cut to Ross Perot punching the top out of his hat in disgust. MySpace has become the 3rd party in a “2 party system”. How pissed they must get when new services like Pintrest seem to pop up over night and get mentioned but they don’t.

  • Where is the new product post!!!!!!

  • Funny I thought Flickr was a photo sharing website, and youtube was a site for making pointless or downright brainless comments about other people’s videos.

    Sparkfun on Flickr looks interesting, so I’ll use that one at least.

  • How about: Sparkfun@sparkfun.com

  • What @rwizard said! I use none of social media programs for the reasons rwizard mentioned. When I see commercial enterprises telling me to visit their facebook page, etc., to find out more about their company, I have found out enough already. I go else where.

    Why dilute yourselves by using several of these sites? Keep one site going and get your search engine rankings up bringing in still more viewers/customers.

    I visit sparkfun.com daily to see what’s new but have little time to visit several sites for just one company.

    A colleague tried to drag me into linkedin.com and assured me it is all free and private. “Who pays for it?” I asked. He mumbled for a bit. The answer is: if you use ‘free’ services, YOU are the product. You and your personal information.

    • I think it is a little ignorant not to use common and popular avenues available to you to spread your brand and interact with more people. Even though you choose not to use social media, I think Sparkfun’s initiative in entering this space is well placed and wise. I don’t see this as a dilution of Sparkfun but as a showing of their commitment to meet customers on their preferred platforms.

      I do use social media sites, I understand that my data is mined. This is true of just about any electronic service you use regardless if you pay for it or not. Carry a cell phone? Your carried knows where you are at. Use a credit card? Your buying habits are tracked. A store loyalty card? Tracked. Watch TV? Tracked.

      So, while you are the “product”, is the benefit you receive from the site or service worth it?

      Thank you Sparkfun for opening additional avenues of communication. Hopefully we will see more projects from your customers that you can share with the rest of us.

    • LinkedIN does offer subscriptions for enhanced profiles as well as a few other paid services that could concievably fund its operational expenses without selling any user information. Although they probably make money off aggragate and other statistical data as well, thus keeping things private by most people’s understanding while still technically profiting from your uncompensated activity. So in that case it’s not quite as cut and dry as you put it.

      Of course, none of that undermines you main point. Everyone should decide if and how much they want to engage in social media and pay close attention to the Terms of Service for sites they use.

    • Definitely see your point. As cyper543 said below, SparkFun.com will always be the go-to source for SparkFun news, cool projects/products, and updates. But there are millions of people on the mentioned social networks, so it makes sense for us to have a presence there. If it makes the buying experience better for those people, then it’s worth it.

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Read the post:

      Of course, the SparkFun homepage will continue to be the most up-to-date source for all things SparkFun, so don’t feel obligated to join Facebook just because of us!

      They’re not forcing you to use a social network. Why judge a company just because they want to reach more people who aren’t necessarily as paranoid as you are?

  • rwizard speaks with great wisdom! Right on target! Nailed it perfectly!

    And I appreciate Sparkfun’s sensitivity to privacy issues.


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