We’re back. Our last full issue of NDT appeared in October when I discussed Halloween and the general well-being of Americans on the rise. Now winter has come and mostly gone, though a bag of what looked suspiciously like Halloween candy did appear in our office this morning-a good five months past the holiday, or if you are very pro-Halloween, seven months early.

Last month we introduced our 2010 Quality Plant of the Year (nice job, Pelco Products!) and this month we bring you our 2010 Quality Professional of the Year, Dr. Dean H. Stamatis, president of Contemporary Consultants Co. in Southgate, MI.

The professional award program is now in its fifth year. Though it is nice to provide recognition to these five deserving winners, it seems that we could do a quality professional award once a week and still not honor everyone who deserves it.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the quality discussion and share your thoughts. That’s one of the advantages of social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

We here at Quality are embracing this technology. After all, if our audience wants information, we are prepared to offer it in as ways as possible. Last time I checked we had 644 followers on Twitter. Be our 645th.

You may think Twitter does not have much relevance to your career, but the technology has expanded from its early days as a way to tell your friends what you are doing to a medium to discuss issues with people around the world. I even read about doctors using it to discuss puzzling symptoms with colleagues and then diagnose a patient.

Although the line during a recent comedy show at The Second City, “Every time I hear a grown man say Twitter, a little piece of me dies,” drew laughter and applause, it may be time to get on board.

In that same Second City show, a skit opened with a couple meeting for a weekday lunch. She wants to discuss the schedule for her cousin’s upcoming wedding. He wants to lunch with his iPhone. She grows impatient as he watches a video of a singing cat, makes some trades for his fantasy football team and continues to update his Facebook status (Off to lunch! At the restaurant now. Looks like we’re heading for a fight.).

In a series of increasingly goofy attempts, he tries to hide his iPhone use by using his elbows in a series of moves that mimic an ab workout. Finally, he waves his hand in front of his wife, saying, “This is what I do on my phone when I want to change to a new screen.”

It’s great to stay connected, but not at the expense of your personal life.

But when you want to use technology to learn more about quality, plenty of options are available.

By searching for NDT information on Twitter, I found some posts that could have a direct impact on your career: “Senior Technologist (NDT Level III ASNT)http://ff.im/-hwUgr” and “Level III NDT Engineer job in United Arab Emirates at Advantage Technical Resourcinghttp://bit.ly/ds7pfT#engineer #jobs”-or just your travel plans: “We are happy to announce that ICM will be exhibiting in Moscow for the 10th #ECNDT from June 7-11, 2010.”

Discussions are also available on LinkedIn such as: “What is the hiring situation at your company? Are you hiring qualified people now or waiting for the economy to pick up? In his NDT blog atwww.ndtmag.com, Michael Serabian explains why now is the best time to hire.”

Join the discussion to contribute your thoughts and questions on NDT.

And, not to disappoint, but I have a feeling those singing cats aren’t real.