We were thrilled to be awarded a 2013 Silver TABBIE Award  for Best Use of Social Media earlier this year from Trade Association Business Publications Intl. . Judges declared us “strong on every social media platform” and I say without the least bit of hubris (since much of the credit belongs to our Managing Editor Nicole Bowling) that I agree.
Any social media endeavor is only as strong as the communities it fosters, and I know that a lot of the traction we have experienced on Twitter  in particular has been in large part because of our regular participation in chats. These are scheduled sessions where a group follows a common hashtag for a set period of time (usually an hour), during which they cover and collectively comment on series of questions on a specified topic. Free apps like TweetChat  make it easy to see the entire conversation, whether or not you were following those posts previously, exposing you to new resources to follow and learn from.
My personal favorite is #kbtribechat , which is held every Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET and encompasses several aspects of kitchen and bath design each week. I’m always equally informed and entertained by the wit and wisdom shared by the “tribe.” And I’m honored to be guest hosting a chat specific to lighting on Wednesday, Sept. 11 (2 p.m. ET). If you have a Twitter account, “Putting Projects in the Right Light” will allow you to learn about the lighting challenges faced by kitchen and bath designers, and enable you to establish your own expertise.
This week’s #kbtribechat also has a lighting connection. Lighting designer/blogger James Bedell  will host “Sustainabilty” on Wednesday, Sept. 4 (2 p.m. ET). This chat is actually a lead-in to another social media event happening the following day, a Google+  hangout called the Interior Design Community Sustainability Summit on Thursday, Sept. 5, 8 p.m. ET. I know not many in our industry have embraced Google+ yet, but dynamic video-conference “hangouts” are a huge benefit of that platform. Cree  is already confirmed to participate, and I hope to “see” many of you at one or all of these timely discussions as well.