Networking sites

September 24, 2007

No, not “networking” like a TCP/IP stack. Networking as in “going to social hours at local bars wearing a tie and pretending to be interested in what other people do for a living and then exchanging business cards – then stopping to conversation because you act like you spotted someone that you really need to talk to, or maybe you have to go back to the appetizer table to get some more Swedish meatballs before they’re out; but it was great to meet you and I’m sure that we know plenty of the same people and can do some deals together.” Yeah, that kind of networking.

If we made resolutions on September 23 like we do on New Year’s Day, my September 23 resolution would be to actually use the sites Xing, LinkedIn and Facebook more. My resolution will be to actually update my profiles beyond the 30 seconds I took when making the accounts. Further, I will try to keep them up-to-date and stay active. So, everyone in KDE or OSS or software libre (as I’ve recently been chastised on) – do you have an account? If yes, let’s connect. If not, why not? All of the promo people at minimum should have accounts.

Do these accounts and sites lead to productivity, riches, popularity and utility? Will we be glad we went through the effort? Maybe, maybe not. But we should at least try. The KDE promo team is compiling quite a list of press, media, and community contacts. Let’s make an attempt before dismissing these sites as pointless. Look for “Wade Olson”.


9 Responses to “Networking sites”

  1. porcel Says:

    What does Facebook provide beyond IM and email?

    With email and IM I can email anybody and my data is not restricted to a specific provider. I would really think twice about making any of these new trendy sites central to the collaboration around KDE.

    I think a far more optimal solution would be to create a KDE identity server that gives all KDE users and developers a kdeuser/kdedev address that can be used to talk via IM or email.

  2. wadejolson Says:

    Um…huh? Create our own identity server so we can all meet people in our own community? “Not invented here syndrome” to connect with people we can already connect with?

    The key is to join together cohesively as a community and use that strength on public networks to learn more about people *not* in our immediate circle. The strength of these sites has nothing to do with email or IM, it has to do with the relational database behind the scene.

    Whether it is useful or not, as I mention in my blog, is to be debated. But the effort in doing so, I would hazard a guess, would rank somewhere beneath our own identity server as an initiative.

  3. Yuriy Says:

    I don’t understand, why such a resolution? For most people I know, these are tools for *procrastination* not productivity. Facebook is occasionally useful for organizing events, but overall people go on social networking sites *to waste time*. A good New Year’s type resolution would be to use Facebook LESS.

  4. wadejolson Says:

    That would be an easy resolution for me, because I rarely if ever log in! Facebook maybe stretching it for utility, but I have already noticed several other KDE people there. Xing and LinkedIn have some more potential.

  5. Andreas Says:

    I don’t want to store personal data in databases of corporations who can change or sell out to EvilCorp. If you care about data protection, start by not giving away your data for free.
    That’s my opinion on “social networking” sites and the reason why I don’t use them, except maybe with fake accounts.

  6. Troy Unrau Says:

    I will decline to follow your footsteps here, I simply do not have the time to drop on these sorts of sites and actually find them to be quite annoying. Anyway, have fun. I object to these sorts of websites as a rule, but I’ll rant about that another day. In fact, that might be a good newspaper topic for my campus rag.


  7. Scott Says:

    I got on the LinkedIn bandwagon fairly early, entered a real (if somewhat comical) profile. I never used it for anything, despite being semi-well-connected.

    What I realized is that in your example above, the social network doesn’t replace the bar; it replaces the business card. There’s no mechanism on the “professional” sites for building up even superficial trust (like you would in a bar, usually based on appearances, how someone speaks, what they’re drinking, whatever).

    On the other hand, if you remember that you met Bob’s friend Joe at the bar last week, but didn’t get his contact info, you might be able to pull that out of the social network. Likewise, it’s more robust relative to job / location changes than work email / phone numbers.

  8. Tobias Pfeiffer Says:

    When I decided to write a comment on this article, I thought I’d be probably the only one who thinks such networking sites are both a waste of time and a danger to privacy. Now I’m quite astonished that actually everyone who posted here was of essentially the same opinion.
    As a convinced defender of data protection, it annoys me that I have to demonstrate for my right for privacy while I see lots of other people abandonning that right by writing about their private data in networking sites and blogs and whatnot. There are quite better suited ways to push KDE forward than to… “connect”.

  9. wadejolson Says:

    Of course everyone that replied here is of the same opinion. Those who had a different opinion linked in with me, which doesn’t show up here.

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