I consider myself a pretty social and outgoing person. I revel in group settings and go out of my way to meet new people. But like many organizations, my budgets, too, have been cut and I find myself traveling for business less and less, limiting my opportunities to meet and talk with new industry contacts.

Although I still make the most out of my one-on-one meetings with readers, I have been forced to look beyond travel for ways to touch base with industry representatives. What I have found is a growing, knowledgeable and diverse group of individuals discussing the industry through social networking sites.

In our cover story on page 4, Justin Goodman, head custodian at Hot Springs School District in Rapid City, S.D., commented that the use of social sites has helped create efficiencies in his department. And Alan Cisneros, maintenance supervisor at Chadron State College in Chadron, Neb., commented in the Facility Focus article on page 12 that the use of social networking sites helped his department find solutions to pest management concerns he had on campus. Personally, I use social sites to meet readers, learn their challenges and talk about the successes they have achieved in their facilities.

You, too, can learn from others in the industry and benefit from the discussion. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to follow your favorite organizations and LinkedIn has many groups to join. The newly redesigned myCleanLink, a social site specifically for the jan/san industry, is another great resource. All are free and each has value that will help in managing your department.

While online, check out the redesigned CleanLink.com and our many new offerings, including photo galleries, audio and video products and many special sections that will pop up throughout the year, including our new ISSA/INTERCLEAN show page.