The cicada: networking at 120 dB

If you live in Southwestern Virginia or West Virginia, I bet you haven’t missed a networking party that is going on right now.

06/06/2012


This is a Magicicada from Virginia. Courtesy: B. Alcorn

If you live in Southwestern Virginia or West Virginia, I bet you haven’t missed a networking party that is going on right now. It goes on day and night. Sometimes it even sounds like it is coming from inside your head! It is the chorus of the Magicicada. This is the 17-year, Brood I cicada, also known as the Blue Ridge cicada. 

Why are they “singing”? Well, you know why! It’s always the same thing. They are trying to find a mate, of course. They have several different sounds to accomplish this. Really—I don’t think they are doing this just to annoy human beings, but who really knows for sure? They really are networking to meet their spouse. I bet they are saying things like, “So you like to eat oak leaves? I know the perfect cicada for you. She’s wonderful! She’s got the most intense red eyes. You’ve got to meet her. Let me give her a call and introduce you two. Unfortunately she is a little hard of hearing, so this may take a couple of hours...”

Like all great networkers, the cicadas network together to be more effective and create more “buzz” in the community. Did you know that they can reach 120 dB together? Talk about getting your message out there! Having a concise and simple message, sharing it with your networking strategic partners, and then having them share it, can be quite effective.

Did you know that the cicadas form broods (groups), to not only get their message out together and louder, but also to make it more difficult for birds to locate them and make a meal out of them? Their chatter actually makes it harder for birds to communicate and hone in on them. I’ve always thought that networking with a team is a great way to beat the negative chatter that the occasional unscrupulous competitor creates in the community in an attempt to work against you. While you can’t control all of the word-of-mouth messages out there, you can create such a positive buzz about your business through your network, that it becomes the dominate message. 

And what about persistence in networking your message, you may ask? Anyone where I live can tell you—these cicadas are indeed persistent with their networking message, and they repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it… Once you have found your song, maybe this is a question you have taught your networking strategic partners so they can qualify a great referral for you, be sure to repeatedly get that message out there. I bet it is the lonely cicada that spoke his message only once and expected that to be enough! It takes time and repetition to get your positive message out there. Keep broadcasting your message, once is not enough.

So next time the cicadas are keeping you up at night, remember that they are just enthusiastic teachers—of great networking! Make that very enthusiastic.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.