Of course, hundreds, if not thousands of other social-network venues are out there (some are listed in this chapter), and most people probably can’t effectively maintain a presence on more than a few. In fact some experts have suggested that six is the maximum number of networks that an individual can effectively maintain. Ricardo Bueno of the blog Ribeezie has a good article on performing “triage” on your social networks so you can pare them down to a manageable number of those that will best meet your needs. Peter Weddle contends that the best social-networking sites are the discussion boards and forums operated by:
- National and state-level professional associations and trade groups.
- Technical school, college, and graduate school alumni organizations.
- Some affinity sites that may be important to employers (such as women in technology, African American certified public accountants, and veterans).
Following is a list of social-media venues you might consider joining to heighten your visibility and boost your contacts. Remember, though, not to spread yourself too thin. Check these out to see if any resonate with you:
Company of Friends — Fast Company magazine’s global readers’ network. Founded in November 1997 and relaunched in 2007, Company of Friends claims to have been the very first business social network. Fast Company readers have self-organized local discussion groups, mentoring and networking organizations, and creative problem-solving teams.
Delphi Forums — With more than 10 million registered members and more than a million new messages posted per week, Dephi is one of the leading networks of member-managed online communities. Delphi’s services enable individuals to build, manage and grow their own online communities.
Ecademy.com — Ecademy’s aims “to build the world’s largest trusted business network by connecting people to each other – enabling knowledge, contacts and opportunities to be shared for world wide wealth.” Ecademy believes networking and a philosophy of “winning by sharing” are key to success. More than 20,000 members from 120 countries learn, network, and develop their careers together. Membership to Ecademy is free.