Energetic conversations, brief comments, some confusion, and plenty of ideas are exchanged in networking groups and office cooler conversations daily. Virtual gatherings with Twitter chats create the same experience, and, in some ways, are even better. You stay in your office, read the comments, and meet people with passion for the industry who reside all over the country. Meet “PrintChat,” an industry Twitter Chat.

This week marked a milestone—the original host, Quad/Graphics, passed the hosting baton to PrintMediaCentr (www.printmediacentr.com). For over a year, Quad/Graphics has hosted PrintChat on Wednesdays and has done a terrific job introducing many of us to the value and fun of a TwitterChat.  Topics change, participation fluctuates, people who have never met make acquaintances and chat. The experience can be odd the first few times. I just watched and became amazed that out of 140 character comments, an actual conversation emerges where opinions are expressed and ideas exchanged. Better yet, contacts for further connections are initiated. Eventually, I entered the conversations with a few thoughts now and then. Some people become regulars on the chats. Some people are observers, but from it all, ideas are exchanged.

Can actual substance and a coherent conversation occur? Oddly, yes. Do non-business comments enter into the session? Yes, just like real life. Does it get confusing at times? Yes, just like a group discussing anywhere—one person is answering a question while a new topic starts up with the group. But with a little patience—and a sense of humor—out of the banter opinions are expressed and ideas emerge. 

Deborah Corn is the person behind the PrintMediaCentr Logo. Deborah debuted as host this week after serving as a guest host several times. There were several questions related to sales calls, researching customers, getting in the door, cold calls, and other sales-oriented discussions. I jumped in where I could and picked up tips and asides from the others in the group.

So, if you want to experience a real-time conversation, join the PrintChat on Wednesday at 4PM Eastern time (new time). Look for the hashtag #PrintChat on Twitter. You may choose to listen, introduce yourself, and join the passionate, fun crowd.  

A big thanks to Quad/Graphics for their year+ of hosting. Best wishes to PrintMediaCentr as they pick up the baton and run with PrintChat. Maybe the next time we meet, it will be through PrintChat.