Beyond Facebook and Twitter: Six Social Media Tools to Boost Your IT
Over the past decade, social media has evolved from a collection of fairly minor online spaces to an inevitable and important part of life and business. As the importance of online social spaces has grown, social media has become specialized to serve specific tasks and fulfill particular functions — we use Twitter to get our daily news fix, LinkedIn to connect with coworkers and colleagues, Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, and so on and so forth.
Social media has also grown to serve the specific needs and desires of the IT community. Let's take a look at six of the most important social media tools and networks for IT professionals, how to use them properly, and how to extract the most utility out of them to help to grow your career.
Stack Overflow is a popular Q&A website that allows you to ask and answer questions to a community of millions of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Stack Overflow is a tremendous asset to the aspiring IT professional in two distinct ways
First, the platform allows you to tap into a community of millions of talented and knowledgeable IT professionals who can (and typically will) readily answer your programming and developing questions. If you're ever stuck on a particular problem or can't get a specific piece of code right, feel free to ask a question and receive an accurate and timely solution via the Overflow community.
Second, Stack Overflow allows you to share your knowledge with people who could use your help. To get the most out of Stack Overflow, answer other users' programming and coding questions on a regular basis. For each question you answer, you earn "reputation" points. As you accrue more and more points, your clout in the community will grow and you will earn access to special website privileges, along with increased recognition and respect in the global IT community.
GeekList is essentially a social media and a digital portfolio combined into one. GeekList allows developers and programmers to easily and effectively post and share coding portfolios with the world.
Apart from allowing you to publically share your programming achievements with a vast network of employers and colleagues, you can also browse other people's programming portfolios and connect with them. GeekList is excellent for showing off your skill set to potential employers, as well as finding and networking with like-minded individuals.
To get the most out of GeekList, regularly update your profile with what you're working on and be sure to engage with, comment on, and "up vote" other peoples' programming efforts as well.
If you're a developer looking for work or an employer in need of fresh talent, Masterbranch is fantastic. It is a social network that will connect you to the people you want to meet. IT professionals can easily demonstrate their development profiles, network and collaborate with others in the industry, and make their resumes accessible to potential employers.
Be sure to regularly update your Masterbranch profile and participate actively in the developer communities to increase your clout and exposure.
Snipplr is a multi-purpose social media network for coders, developers, and programmers. Initially, it started out as a platform for organizing and storing snippets of code. Eventually, it evolved into a full-fledged community where developers can access, edit, and share those snippets of code with thousands of fellow programmers and coders.
Whether you're designing a website or building a web application, Snipplr gives you access to tens of thousands of pieces of pre-made, fully functional code and templates in virtually every programming language, which you can edit and use as you see fit.
Snipplr is a great saver of time and energy because you can find ready-to-use code for just about any function you're looking to integrate into your project. The more code you upload and share, the more reputation and recognition you will receive from the Snipplr community; this can lead to valuable networking, project collaboration, and job opportunities.
Staying informed and on the ball is incredibly important for IT professionals working in an industry that's constantly and rapidly evolving. Delicious (stylized as del.icio.us) is a popular social bookmarking tool that allows you to organize and aggregate information that's relevant to you and your industry.
We're bombarded with content every day and sifting through the noise can be difficult and time-consuming. Delicious allows you to easily and effectively find only the content that you need to know for your job, making it easy to stay informed about what's going on in the world of IT.
Regularly maintaining social media profiles and consistently creating exciting and interesting content to share can be an excellent way of connecting with the IT community and demonstrating your skills and expertise to the world. Given how busy most IT professionals are, however, finding the time to update your Twitter feed and other social media profiles can be a challenge.
Buffer lets you plan and schedule posts to your social media accounts months in advance, meaning that you'll be able to maintain an active and useful social media profile without having to check on numerous times a day.
Social media has become an inevitable and inescapable part of our daily lives. It's where we go to communicate with friends, connect with colleagues, and get our daily news about what's important to us. Over the past several years, social media has become more and more specialized to serve specific functions for the IT and tech communities.
From social media platforms that allow you to share, access, and collaborate on specific pieces of code, to websites that let you easily and effectively show off your IT portfolio to millions of colleagues and prospective employers, the proper use of social media is an integral component of success in IT.
Don't limit yourself or your career. Be sure to tap into social media and use it to boost your career to new and higher levels.