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Your Next Move in Networking

Mar 21, 2010 6:04 PM, By Cynthia Wisehart

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Digital Projection (DP) is tweeting; so is Crestron. You can follow them and you’ll see how differently they approach the platform—DP in a more traditional marketing voice, Crestron more irreverently. Set up your TweetDeck to pull in their streams and others you think are relevant to your work. That way, your daily news is from sources you are following and most interested in. You can follow us; you can follow Gary Kayye; your customers can follow you, and vice versa. Tweets can be either complete thoughts or notifications that point you to more information. They’re 140 characters in length, about as long as this sentence.

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Michael Bridwell, DP’s marketing manager, is sold on social media—actually LinkedIn even more than Twitter. He likes the LinkedIn groups where you can pose or answer a technical question; the dialogues are often substantive, and engagement has grown since the days when LinkedIn was essentially a repository of résumés. Now, it is a significantly more dynamic place; for more, see our Marketing Mix column. Also in this issue, we scratch the surface of Facebook as part of a new mission to inform you about professional networking resources, including associations, certification programs, and training —all of which are on the rise. Tune in regularly at this website to make your next networking move.

We decided to aggregate and analyze this information because we hear repeatedly that networking is more important than ever. Certainly, AV has always been a small, tight-knit industry, and peer networking, training, and knowledge sharing have been a means of survival in the world that is largely self-defined and self-policed. I used to say when I was an end-user that we worked without adult supervision, because we didn’t have the formalized standards of industries such as broadcasting, and because we often relied on ingenuity and passion—and a lot of making it up as we went along.

That’s still the case. Although we are trying to standardize and share knowledge, I discovered that much of what was true 20 years ago is still true on a bigger scale. This is a people industry. No one is an island, and your next job, or help with your existing one, will come from a direct personal communication—whether in person or online.

We included some of the many associations that serve our vertical markets—these are your customers’ associations. Many of them have AV memberships and/or accept presentations from AV professionals. There really is no substitute for the in-person connection. From our own peer associations, we checked in on their current certification options, as well as aggregating some of the certification options from manufacturers. We’ll continue to bring you all this information and more at We’d like to help you build your business in 2010 by finding you the grassroots networking and marketing opportunities that will improve your skills, knowledge, and connections. We hope this will be a helpful complement to the technical coverage you rely on and expect from us.

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