Join a community, and link in
July 15, 2008
It does not matter if your HP 3000 future lies on the migration or homesteading path. You need to belong. We all do, and it's easier than ever today to join a social networking group to share our lives and what we've learned, as well as make connections to those we'd like to meet.
There's a thicket of options for this out there on the Web. While we wait for the Connect user group to open up its community site, I'd like to invite readers to a group I'm forming up on the Linked In Web site.
Linked In is focused in a way that sites like MySpace will never be — it uses recommendations to connect its members. Joining is free, and from there you can search "HP3000" to find people who know something about the enterprise system you know and have loved.
Facebook is much more fun, of course, and you will find HP3000 comrades there, too. (MB Foster's Birket Foster is especially keen on it these days.) Facebook even has a Fun Wall for its members. Linked In has more than 250 members with HP3000 experience and expertise. You can join up in the new HP 3000 Community on Linked In with a click (and becoming a member.)
Why do this? Linked In is devoted to professional development (jobs and career) and business networking. And no, that's not the IPV6 networking you've been hearing about.
Social networks are the Internet mailing lists of the 21st Century, which is one of the reasons Connect is starting up one right after it allied three HP user groups. What do you get in joining a group? Linked In explains,
Many professionals advance their careers and business goals by counting on industry and professional groups, alumni organizations, industry conferences and corporate alumni groups to help them make vital new business contacts. LinkedIn Groups offers extra features to group-based organizations to help their members stay in touch with one another and discover powerful new business contacts within their groups and beyond.
Yes, these same claims can be made for many a social network. Connect, for example, hopes to offer all this in its forthcoming site, one where anybody can browse, but all will need to buy a membership to share and ask questions. (Joining Connect isn't free, but it is inexpensive.)
Networking is important to the average HP 3000 expert, a person who might not have the same level of skills in meeting new people with similar interests. Do you have a personal blog or Web site? (You can read mine, and its odd mix of books, movies and wisecracks, at ronseybold.vox.com)
My advice is to try a social network to see if you're the type to introduce yourself over the Web — be it Linked In, Facebook or Vox.com — before you start to pay for any community. And if you're wondering what that "Internet mailing list" refers to up above, take a click towards the venerable HP 3000 newsgroup at raven.utc.edu/archives/hp3000-l.html