True Value in Social Networking

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There are many venues on the web where optical industry members can connect. Networking sites, and the groups and forums within them, are a place for the industry to breathe. Although these digital spaces house faces and names that are reduced to text and pixels, they are no less personal than the places and connections we consider “authentic.”

In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, news sites and social media scenes were teeming with information. VMail released several articles on the topic, Twitter buzzed with updates on storm status and Facebook filled our newsfeeds with posts and pictures of the catastrophic aftermath. A storm that affected a relatively small area of the Eastern Seaboard affected us all, and the resources available online seemed to far surpass that of traditional information sharing.

The mainstay of communication, for many, was social networking. One eyewear representative even attributed the success of his relief efforts, which provided truckloads of supplies to affected areas of Staten Island and New Jersey, to his ability to reach friends and industry members on Facebook. As more people learned of programs to take part in and places to send donations, web venues intended for social interaction became vehicles for change.

Whether posting in the Twitterverse, blogosphere or anywhere in between, opticians, ODs, reps and retailers today are able to reach out and be reached in many new and constructive ways. Social media is no longer a frivolous pastime for the solitary and tech-savvy; rather, it has become a tool that is instrumental, if not necessary, in connecting people in the most human ways possible.

If you find yourself in opposition to the social media craze, remember that these dot coms are not only useful business allies, but catalysts in connecting communities in ways that were once impossible.

cwolinski@jobson.com