Volume 47, Issue 4 - April 2012
The Glass Industry is Getting Social
The terms “social media” and “social networking” almost
universally draw suspicion from those who don’t partake frequently in
the many wonders (and pitfalls) in this continually evolving form of communication.
But each and every day, fewer people (especially businesspeople) remain
suspicious, while more are not only recognizing the value in social media,
but also are becoming experts who use it to achieve several business (and
personal) goals. The glass industry is a microcosm of this sentiment,
with a growing number of examples of social media’s effectiveness in the
industry (see related story on page 28).
One of these is Patricia Linthicum, who authors “Designers on Design”
for USGlass’ sister publication, Decorative Glass magazine. Linthicum
also has successfully crossed over to Twitter as the perfect medium for
discussing the glass and glazing industry, as well as using its interactive
features to lead discussions among many who fabricate glass. Linthicum
established the #GlassChat discussion on Twitter. Held the first Thursday
of each month, this insightful chat among a global community of glass
artisans, manufacturers, suppliers, architects, designers and engineers
crosses through just about every barrier of communication, and it is completely
free and open to everyone.
What GANA’s Doing
As an active user trying to explain the value of Twitter
to someone who either has no experience with the platform, or someone
who “just doesn’t get it,” I try to explain that Twitter is what you make
of it. Sure, it can be nothing but people telling you what they ate for
breakfast today (eggs, bacon and waffles), but it can also be your personalized
“CNN” with a constant stream of breaking news and opinion about the glass
industry. In short, if you put some effort into it, Twitter (like all
social media) can be your tool to get ahead.
Brian K. Pitman is the director of marketing and
communications for the Glass Association of North America (GANA) in Topeka,