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Online community grows to 350 members

3000commlogo LinkedIn, the Facebook for career professionals, has logged its 350th member in the HP 3000 Community group this week. The last 90 days have seen a remarkable uptick in membership; more than 15 percent growth has propelled this social business website since the beginning of May.

It's not easy to say why there's a surge of members joining the group right now. HP has dropped off the radar of most HP3000 issues and activities. The robust 3000-L mailing list still boasts more than 600 members, and its content is pointed closely at technical issues and repairs for 3000 faults, often contributed for free by consultants who charge at rates that start at $35 an hour.

But LinkedIn is different in a very significant way. Joining the site (basic membership is free) helps you network, gives you easy, direct communication with members, and best of all, is a way to get your work experience and resumes into play. Your members include owners and managers of some of the most established support and consulting firms. Just this weekend VP Stan Sieler of Allegro joined the ranks. Steve Suraci of Pivital solutions has long been a member. There is also a subgroup of the HP 3000 Community, HP 3000 Jobs.

News from the 3000 Newswire, the HP3000 Reunion and other sources are a regular part of the LinkedIn feed. You can learn from discussions about topics, or search for specific skill sets. One member, Ron P., is keeping the 3000 applications working at Estee Lauder. Mike Anderson, leader of the CAMUS ERP user group, just joined. For historic perspectives, Interex founder Doug Meacham is on the rolls.

The list of newly-joined community experts is long: Tracy Johnson, curator of the OpenMPE resources; President David Floyd of the Support Group. Consultants Brett Forsyth, Roy Brown, and Chuck Trites. Doug Greenup of Minisoft. Some, like Birket Foster of MB Foster, have hundreds of connections, ways to make your network grow and add opportunity to your career.

There's nothing to replace the 3000-L mailing list's technical focus. But an email-based community just cannot do all the things a social networking site can accomplish. Even if you don't Facebook or Twitter (and you should), LinkedIn is worth your time and your regular visits.