Friday, August 22, 2008

Specialized Networking

Specialized networking sites are a great, growing tool in a number of industries. I’ve come across quite a few in the fashion industry through work, but the sectors that are benefitting the most from specialized networking look to be the same ones that drive it.

I’ve written before about PROpenMic. My friend and fellow PR professional Lindsey is a UGA Alum, and when the site first launched last year, she sent an invite my way. Since then, the community has grown from a couple hundred members comprising mostly of faculty and students to almost 2,000 members from all aspects of the industry. One of the greatest benefits of Professor Robert French’s community is that it allows students to connect with and learn from professionals. At the same time, these professionals can pose questions to their younger peers. It creates and open forum for a discussion of PR’s past, present and future.

20 Something Bloggers is another favorite, specialized community of mine. Although there is less of a business-industry approach, 20-somethings make up a large portion of the internet community and target audiences. The site brings attention to individual bloggers and connects them with their peers. In fact, through 20SB, I was introduced to another promising community: Brazen Careerist. Like PROpenMic, Brazen Careerist does seem to have a more business, industry-specific angle. It is a similar community geared toward 20-something professionals, and among other things, offers new professionals to connect and learn from their peers and superiors. But again, like PROpenMic, it attracts users already familiar and friendly with social media.

Even in larger networks such as Twitter and Linked In, PR professionals, young professionals and students make up a large amount of users. While this is a good thing, I think it raises an important point about expanding social media to other industries. As excited as we are about Twitter or blogging communities, how do we bring that excitement to other industries? I think a lot of companies are getting the right idea, and in many cases we have a sufficient answer, but many are still wary of social media’s use in business.

In either case, I think it’s clear that we are taking great steps forward in interactive media, and I can’t wait to see where we are going.

0 comments: to “ Specialized Networking

Newer Post Older Post Home