A wise person once said, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In any profession, it’s important to get out there and join the conversation, most of which is happening online at an ever-increasing rate. However, with an entire World Wide Web at your fingertips, figuring out where to start can be daunting. If you’re a project manager looking to meet other technology-savvy, forward-thinking experts in your field, here’s a starter guide to the best sites around.
1. The Project Manager Network on LinkedIn
Touted as the “#1 Group for Project Managers,” this LinkedIn group is the mother lode for all things project management. As of Friday afternoon, the group had a whopping 157,731 members participating in online discussions (“What Three Words Describe Your PM Style?” being among the most popular with 302 responses), posting job ads, and connecting with each other from every corner of the earth. Also as of December 2010, the group became public, meaning non-LinkedIn members can now view and share any content presented on the site. Whether you’re looking for advice on getting your PMP certification or if you just want to see what other PM’s are talking about, this is the place to be.
2. Twitter Hashtags
Love it or hate it, Twitter hashtags are a great way to monitor and track conversations of interest. Missing out on the hot tradeshow of the month? Follow the event’s hashtag and you can keep up with the key takeaways virtually. For project management, you’ll want to keep track of the following:
3. Question and Answer Sites
Sounds like a simple idea, but question and answer sites are all the rage lately. Sites like Quora are reveling in the spotlight, mainly because you might ask a question about the company Kayak and immediately have the CEO’s response within a day. You can also “follow” topics and set it up so that new questions related to that topic are sent to your email. Another site to keep your eye on: Focus.com.
4. Project Management Institute Facebook Page
You can’t talk about social networking without mentioning Facebook. The Project Management Institute has an incredibly active page, with over 47,000 likes and a very vocal community.
5. Suggestions for Your Google Reader
I’m not ashamed to admit that I would be lost and helpless without my Google Reader. Using Google Reader to organize all of your favorite blogs by category will help you get your information fix fast without making your head spin. Need some suggestions for who to follow once you sign up for your account? Here are some project management blogs that you should start reading ASAP:
- Girls Guide to Project Management
- Herding Cats
- Project Shrink
- LiquidPlanner Blog – whoops, how did that get in here?
Once you’ve subscribed to these all-star blogs, leave some comments! Social networking is just that – in order for it to work, you need to be social. So don’t be shy: join the conversation and start making those connections. Speaking of connecting, go ahead and leave your favorite online resources for project managers in the comments. As always, we love hearing what you have to say.