If you’re a little turned off by all of the social networking stuff like Twitter or Facebook, don’t worry, you’re not alone. That kind of thing has its place, but it’s not for everyone. I know several people who follow this blog are not real “social media” buffs, and some are. This post is really for those who aren’t big on this stuff. I don’t have any need to convert anyone to a new virtual lifestyle, but I’d just like to let you know about a tool that I find useful, that doesn’t require a lot of my time.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site. You put up a profile, like a resume, and have connections to other members. You can recommend other members too and be recommended by them, much like you would in an interview situation. I’ve been a member for a couple of years. It’s not one of those things that becomes an obsession, or is time consuming, but it is definitely a great tool to have if you need to find a job, fill a job or hire an expert.
For example, you might sign up, and then invite me to join your network. Then I might recommend you, and a prospective employer might read that recommendation and hire you. You might ask your network if they know of any FEA analysts, and I might be able to send you to a member of my network.
You won’t find people talking about what they had for lunch, or about how totally awesome that boy in homeroom is. You will find professional association groups such as CSWP, PLM, Design World, or Novedge. There is a way to share messages between members and a mechanism for asking questions. The questions tend to be directed toward professional life. Some of the other services are a bit of a stretch to call them “useful” in a professional sort of way, but this one definitely is. Your teenager might not approve of it, but your boss will.