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By Mehgan Belanger
NEW YORK -- This year may mark the 40th anniversary of Convenience Store News, but this doesn't mean the brand is only reminiscing about the past. In fact, 2009 marks CSNews' entrance into the realm of social networking -- lauded as the communication channels of the future -- with groups on popular social networking sites Facebook and Linkedin. We're excited to be there, and we hope you'll soon join us too.
The Convenience Store News Magazine Linkedin Group -- visit it or join by clicking here -- is dedicated to providing a forum where c-store industry personnel can connect with each other, discuss important and timely issues, and find solutions to common problems to ultimately better the industry as a whole.
The LinkedIn group already has more than 260 members in the convenience channel, from large-chain executives to single-store owners, as well as retail experts and suppliers. On this page, members can view recommended news stories by CSNews staff and other members, network with colleagues and also ask each other questions and comment on discussions on a variety of convenience-oriented topics.
For those readers not familiar with LinkedIn, the Web site is a free, business-oriented social network where members create profiles with job histories and experience. As of March 2009, the platform had more than 36 million registered users, with one new member joining approximately every second. To join Linkedin, click here.
CSNews also created a Facebook group -- to visit it and become a fan, click here -- where Facebook members can see the latest news and information published by Convenience Store News in one place, and also engage in discussions with the brand and other fans. Photo and video capabilities are also available, which CSNews will utilize in the near future.
Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. As of March 2009, the site had more than 175 million active users. To join Facebook, click here.
And CSNews continues to engage its readers with timely and opinionated posts to its blog, Spare Change. Developed in 2006, the Spare Change blog was the convenience industry's first blog and is its longest-running. See discussions by CSNews staffers on serious topics such as the recently passed federal excise tax increase on tobacco, to lighthearted commentary on the dancing abilities of Quick Chek's mascot, Q. To view these posts and more, click here.
More important than any of these initiatives alone, though, is the fact CSNews is making a concerted effort to communicate with its audience on a deeper level. More than just an industry resource, CSNews is providing platforms to connect the convenience industry digitally to share knowledge, and provide an area where we can listen to your wants and needs.
We've gone digital, and we'll see you there.