Monday, September 8, 2008

Professional Networking Sites

I asked the following question to my connections on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter:

What's your favorite professional networking site/app and why?

Here's a smattering of responses:

"Personally, it's LinkedIn. Easy to use and very robust. Next would be Facebook, due to it's extensive reach."Jay Waddell, via LinkedIn

"LinkedIn seems to be the most useful site from a professional standpoint. I like it because (so far) it doesn't have many distractions from establishing a real-life network. Then again, I think I've met more people in my field via Twitter lately than I ever met via other social media apps. Twitter does a great job of helping you expand your network and it facilitates face-to-face meetings better than any other medium." Celeste Lindell, via Facebook

"I see Twitter as my social/conversational platform, and keep Facebook exclusively for business." Rick Murray, via Twitter

"I prefer Twitter because through micro conversation I find that it is a terrific relationship building tool. And, after all, what is networking if it is not relationship building." Kim Dushinski, via LinkedIn

"My favorite professional app is LinkedIn. I have connected with those who are in the industry I want to be someday: social media" Mark V via Twitter

"Although it's intended purpose is not professional networking, Twitter has been, by far, my favorite and most effective site. Twitter is one of the only social networking site that I use professionally, or in any capacity for that matter, that consistently drives online relationships to offline ones and elevates those professional relationships I already have..."
Ben Grossman, via LinkedIn

"...However, I think I might give another perspective here, my blog is my favorite professional networking site. Although the blog is my personal business blog, and is not connected through a social networking system. Though I do have mybloglog. I think my blog has built and maintained more professional relationships than any other networking site. The biggest reason is that I put more effort into my blog than most of the other networking sites I'm a member of. So I'd suggest that the best networking sites for people are often those where you spend the most time and effort." John Cass, via LinkedIn

"i use only linkedin; more of a least disliked than a favorite..." Pete Thomas via Twitter

"I use Plaxo and LinkedIn and I've also signed up for Naymz. LinkedIn is still my favorite because more people seem to use it. I like thinking about this in terms of Metcalf's law - a value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users on the system. Professional networking sites have utility because they enable you to connect with others and thus far, more people get in touch with me via linkedin than any other professional network I use..." Simon Kuo, via LinkedIn

"I'd say linkedin is my fav @zenaweist. I've both made contacts and reconnected with a lot of long lost ones." Jon Hand, via Twitter

"My favourite professional networking site is the Ask Liz Ryan Group, an online networking group with 25,000+ members, run by HR guru Liz Ryan. The group, is an amazing resource that provides a forum for both personal and professional support. No matter what the question -- health issues, career development, travel advice, negotiation skills -- the Ask Liz Ryan community is there to respond." Amrita Chandra, via LinkedIn

"LinkedIn for professional relationships; facebook for combination of fun, friends and some business; twitter real time interactn" Bill Miller, via Twitter

"Personally, I use all three (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook). Twitter is great for establishing and growing relationships, is fast, and extremely easy to use yet is somewhat limited by its 140 characters. LinkedIn provides depth and background information, and Facebook acts as a great rolodex since it contains contact info and other "CRM" type data. Roll them all together and you have a great system." Warren Sukernek, LinkedIn

See all answers that came in through LinkedIn, here.

Here's a few articles/posts that provide basic tips on social and professional networks:

Write Your LinkedIn Profile For Your Future, Chris Brogan
The Social Network as a Career Safety Net, New York Times
Top Professional Network Comparison, Be Networked
Why You Should Join, CIO
Tips on Using Networking Sites, Washington Post
Top Ten Ways To Use LinkedIn, Guy Kawasaki

Thanks to everyone for responding so quickly! Please keep the discussion going via comments through twitter, linkedin or facebook.

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1 comment:

Leif Hansen said...

Hi Zena,

(BTW, my daughter's name is Zinnia!)

Let me give a disclaimer right up front: as of two weeks ago I became Biznik's 'Community Catalyst'.
( However, I was a member and fan for years before that, so I am truly excited about Biznik.

Biznik ("Business networking that doesn't suck") is unique in a number of ways. First of the bat is that they emphasize the importance of face-to-face meetings ("Events") as much as connecting online. We're human and need more than pixels to really connect and move forward, no?

They are also unique in that the community seems to connect in a delightfully genuine way --there's rarely the usual schmooze of business networking image-management "Howdy, here's my card". The majority of members do seem to be in the earlier phases of starting their business, so its also a great place to connect and get support (through forums, excellent articles rated and commented on by other members, at live events, and through a robust profile/networking system.)

Biznik is currently strongest in the Pacific Northwest, but has over 16,000 members spread around the globe and is growing rapidly. With the upcoming release (around Thanksgiving) of groups and other features, we're anticipating even more accelerated growth.

Google 4 "Business Networking" and you'll see that Biznik comes in ahead of LinkedIn.

I hope to see you and other entrepreneur types over at Biznik, give me a ping and I'll be happy to help you get going in the community.


(PS, feel free to add this to your original post list ;)