Unlike plumbers or doctors, you won’t find online community consultants or developers in the Yellow Pages.
Here are some of the social media tools that can be used to find people.
LinkedIn is a networking service for professionals that allows members to search for people using keywords.
Unlike Google, only professionals and their jobs are listed on here, making it far easier to bring up a list of relevant results.
It is also important to have a good LinkedIn profile yourself in order for people to be aware of your role, as well as making it easier for you to search for people.
Connecting to those you know gives you a wider contact pool.
You need to join LinkedIn in order to search or contact others.
The usefulness of the microblogging service Twitter as a tool to find people will depend on how much you use it.
Setting up a Twitter account for your organisation will enable you to spread the word about your work and build up a large number of followers, by writing interesting messages and following useful people.
Typing a message (referred to as a “tweet”) asking people to recommend an online community consultant or developer means that all your followers and anyone searching for related terms (referred to as a “twittersearch”) will read it.
Although not as business-orientated as LinkedIn, and blocked by many organisations, Facebook is a useful way of searching for relevant people who haven’t joined LinkedIn.
You will need to join Facebook first to view most people’s profiles or send messages.
Make sure you have your supervisior’s permission to use Facebook in the office for business reasons.
Search engine tip:
If you still decide to stay with Google for finding people, I advise choosing the option of viewing pages from the country you are located in if you are looking for someone locally.
ISEAL Alliance Online Networking Coordinator