Monday, August 23, 2010

Can Twitter get you an internship in manufacturing?

Although we haven't yet heard "the rest of the story" on whether any kind of Twitter shout technique can ctually win an internship for a college student, we have a few take aways from stories like this.

First, publishers ( that includes print publishers and bloggers) are viewing Twitter as a tool to spread their messages online and offline. Second, Industry professionals are slowly listening in on the conversations through various social tools such as Google Alerts, Twitter and various blogs.

I wonder if once they step foot in the door of social media, will they be overwhelmed by its darkside? MLM posts, SPAM posts, and video link virus hits.

I contend that if we don't get better filtering tools on especially Twitter and YouTube, the increase in SPAM in that space will alienate the manufacturing crowd from joining in. For an example consider visiting the video sharing site which is already set up for a very niche demograpghic. Watch its growth on posted videos for strictly technical and how tos of mechanical and technical items.

What niche sites do you know of for B2B and manufacturing that we can share to support the manufacturing industry to step into social media?

Amplify’d from

Twitter Facilitates Resource Exchange

While working on an article for the Summer 2010 issue of Plastics Business magazine, I interviewed Adam Kramschuster, PhD., director for the University of Wisconsin-Stout's plastics engineering program. The three-year-old program requires plastics-specific course work, lab time with injection molding presses, and an internship with a plastics processing company. Kramschuster explained that although local processors have stepped in to help, the relative newness of the program has handicapped its ability to find enough internship slots for its students.

I tweeted about the UW-Stout program and its internship issue, specifically saying, "Obstacle: not enough plastics processors willing to host summer interns for UW Stout's plastics engineering program students."

That's where David Landsman of came in. Within minutes of my tweet, Landsman contacted me with an offer to extend resources on behalf of the UW-Stout plastics program.

That is the immediacy of social media.

Whether looking for business partners, material, equipment, or advice, social media provides the ability to share information instantly among industry peers. It gives manufacturers from different areas of the country - or the world - the opportunity to interact with those who share the same challenges without worry about local job competition. It extends a manufacturer's reach beyond its regional associations and business groups. Social media turns the entire world into a resource.

In this case, it may help the next generation of plastics processors find internships.