Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Social Networks

I've been diving into different social networks recently and I've come to realize that the world needs more of these. With the rise of social networks, it's easy to describe the whole ecosystem as a large mansion. Each room represents a social network and we use a series of a hallways to get to different rooms (APIs).

Facebook (The Family Room)

I love how Facebook has given me the ability to re-connect with my family. As a man who is extremely family oriented (people who know me know how much I care about my family), Facebook has given me the visibility I need to know how really happy each family member is. For example, most of my "Family" smart list has a lot of baby pictures, weddings, celebrations. Although my family is distributed across the world (Philippines, London, Winnipeg, and Vancouver), it is great to know that my family is in good shape.

In addition to family on Facebook, I use the Timeline as my own personal photo album and life experience audit log. Most of the things I add on Facebook are set to "Only Me" to prevent spamming my contacts.

LinkedIn (The Study Room)

LinkedIn provides a seamless experience for people who want to connect with people just as passionate as they are (based on industry) on a professional level. While it does surface features like having an online resume, it goes deeper in ways that you may not expect. From my own personal experience, LinkedIn has been an absolutely fantastic source for establishing new professional relationships, as well as, rekindling older relationships with past teammates. This creates an empowering circle of possible career opportunities where you can formulate stronger teams and build better products.

In addition to being able to find new career opportunities, the LinkedIn engineering teams have implemented a news feature which is curated by your own connections, as well as, "leaders of today" -- whom are successful executives of startups and large corporations.

The more connected you are at a professional capacity -- the more career opportunities start to emerge. More doors, more possibilities, more challenging problems to solve, more people you can make a positive impact on, more chances you'll have to prove your leadership, integrity, and expertise.

Twitter (The News Room)

Twitter is an amazing tool for reading the latest news. Anything that requires real-time will be on Twitter. For example, if there was an earthquake in a specific area of the world, you'd be able to get this information by going to a specific hash (#something) -- News sites have no way of pushing out this information fast enough compared to people tweeting it out on their phones. Another example is for UFC/Boxing events -- people are constantly tweeting who wins each round. Other than that, I use Twitter as a way of finding out about the latest technologies people are hacking on based on who I follow.

Since you're able to follow anyone that has valuable information to you, you're able to customize your feed based on your interests, passions, industry, and more. This is a different model from Facebook because Facebook requires a handshake and usually you're connected to people from high school who don't share the same interests.

Github (The Man Cave)

As a software engineer and serial entrepreneur,  Github is where all my projects go. Github allows me to collaborate with other software engineers to make the world a better place. Not only do we get to help each other with projects, we also get to share an infinite amount of knowledge over how to solve complex software problems. Every software engineer and team has a unique way of solving a particular problem space -- these techniques and approaches become completely transparent on Github. Originally, Github only supported open source projects but with a rather large investment of $100 million, they are now tackling the enterprise arena.

Meetup (The Town Hall Room)

I love meeting new people. Along with LinkedIn and, I've managed to expand my professional network by an order of magnitude. Meetup facilitates a process that lets users easily create events and invitations based on a particular passion (it could be a wine, karaoke, or technology meetup). This could be as simple as a technical talk or a night at the pub with a few people from your industry but not from the same company. Couple and LinkedIn, you'll be able to learn more about specific companies and teams.