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HP Support Forum still a work in progress

LinkedIn 3000 group grows, opens its posts

LinkedIn-Logo The HP 3000 Community group on the LinkedIn social business network is growing up, even while HP's 3000 operations have been shrinking. A shift in the group's structure is giving the rest of the world a way to get group intelligence with just a simple search engine request.

The group was founded less than three years ago, during a period when HP's lab presence was winding down for the community. In that period LinkedIn was still a relative newcomer to the social networking space, but it has a distinct difference. It's based upon business relationships and career intelligence.

The HP 3000 Community grew slowly at first, recommended from one member to another. But two thirds of its members have signed on since spring of 2009 -- the period when HP's online presence about 3000 matters declined the most, while independent resources and channels opened up in full flower. More than 300 professionals with specific 3000 experience and resources are on the LinkedIn rolls today. The information shared covers both migration and homesteading issues that are important to the 3000 community.

Earlier this spring the group threw open its doors to become a LinkedIn Open Group. The shift makes the discussions and resources available to the rest of the world, including potential members, through search engines such as Bing and Google. The members consist of working 3000 managers, developers with decades of experience in MPE/iX, vendors who've supported the system since the 1980s, and even people looking for 3000 experts to hire. LinkedIn is free at a basic membership, which is plenty to connect with other 3000 pros and opportunities.

A sample of members shows the wide scope of the group. Glenn Osaka ran the HP 3000 division as GM in the 1990s. Steve Suraci is president of Pivital Solutions, a supplier of support services and systems to the 3000 customer. Jim Phillips is the system administrator at Epic Techologies, managing both HP 3000 and HP Unix systems. Larry Van Sickle wrote the Protos advanced development language for 3000s. Lars Appel worked in HP's support operations on HP 3000 accounts -- and ported the Samba file-sharing tools to the 3000 -- before joining Marxmeier Software's support network to help Eloquence database users.

There are other means to connect with the 3000 community members; the most noteworthy is still the 3000-L mailing list, delivered by email messages every day. But on LinkedIn you know more about each member's experience and background, as you can see from the summaries above. LinkedIn has built in mailing and messaging features even at its most fundamental level, and there are news feeds (yes, from the NewsWire) and discussions afoot at the site.

IT pros whose careers are moving, instead of stagnant, praise LinkedIn for being some things that Facebook cannot be -- focused, business-like, and free of advertising or sponsor observation. It's a worthwhile membership for a resource that's still growing its community. Joining is just a matter of making a request -- I process these myself. We hope to see you among our members if you're not already contributing to the growing knowledge base.