Earlier, I wrote about my Internet ADD; the evolution of my Internet usage patterns and the recent movement to spending more time on social media and networking sites. There has been a lot of commentary and discussion on Web 2.0, Social Networks, etc. and whether the transformation of web into these types of properties has really been a good thing or a not so meaningful shift that allows people to have more means to simply waste time. Perhaps, the communication and sharing attributes of Web 2.0 has simply allowed others to participate in one’s wasting of time some have argued.
However, this past month, and even during past 8 months, has really been a banner period in terms of the value of social media in my life. I’ve had tangible, meaningful improvements in my professional life at my current job, in my ability to help friends in their professional lives, in my ability to potentially help a family member’s career, staying in touch with former colleagues and enriching my personal hobbies.
It really is making a difference. Here are some of the events that I’m referring to:
|Sourcing and Hiring Candidates||Using my Linkedin network, I hired a top of the line candidate for a financial analyst position—saving recruiting $ and time sifting through mounds of resumes.|
|References for Hiring Decisions||Yahoo! Messenger||A graduate school classmate recently contacted me asking if I knew a candidate from my Yahoo! days he was interviewing for a position in his company. Because I still have the majority of my former Yahoo colleagues as contacts on Y! Messenger, I was able to quickly IM a few former and current Yahoo!’s and track down her former direct manager and get real credible feedback for my classmate.|
|Matching Customers and Products||Twitter and Blog||A different graduate school graduate recently had seen my Twitter postings and read some of my postings about India. From this, he perceived that I had an interest and expertise in business and technology in India. He contacted me and gave me a demo of his new technology product and was interested in my views of its fit for the Indian market. It turns out the product has a real utility for my current company and we may do a pilot program with my group. Separately, I may work on connecting him with some other potential partners who could benefit from the technology.|
|International Business meeting||Tripit and Linkedin||On my Linkedin profile, using the travel application Tripit, I indicated I would be going to London for an upcoming trip. A former colleague saw that update and contacted to me to see if I’d be interested in speaking about our companies and social gaming—a productive meeting I would have never had without Tripit and Linkedin|
|Request for Technology Magazine Comment||Blog||A visitor to my blog recently read my posting on Product Design Trends of the future. The visitor happened to be a journalist from an online tech magazine in India and wanted a comment from me. While I’m not a product design professional, I suggested he get in touch with a family member who is a design professional. Hopefully, the connection will be beneficial professionally to both.|
|Vehicle to stay in touch||Y! Fantasy Football||I’ve been in touch with a few former colleagues during the last several months through an ongoing fantasy football league I’m in. As you may know based on my posting about one of my fantasy football teams, I thoroughly enjoy the activity on its own, but another benefit is the communication vehicle it offers to some that I otherwise would have lost touch with.|
|Enriched Photography Hobby||Flickr||I’ve recently started to become more interested in photography (Flickr photos collection here) and two of the drivers for that interest are viewing the fantastic photos from some friends and colleagues and also receiving recognition for one of my photos of Multnomah Falls in Portland, Oregon from an online city guide of Portland, Oregon which published my photo on their site (here).|
|Wikipedia Reference||Blog||Of course, this blog is a creative outlet for me but recognition and awareness by others of my writing can be satisfying. Having my posting about the Indian Head Wiggle submitted as a reference on Wikipedia gives me more reason to continue blogging and building upon this new hobby for me.|