Re: Skillset Networking and Value-By-Association
Besides the STC (since discussion of it in this context has been beaten to
death many times before), what associations or types of associations have
you (or others you know) found professionally constructive, and for what
reasons? How do you use them? Have you found them offering more content or
name-dropping? Do you have anecdotes illustrating a time when such an
association was useful?
Examples of some association types that spring to my mind: Field-specific
associations (e.g., IEEE), mailing lists and online forums (like this one,
or StickyMinds, or Woody's Watch, or IBMdeveloperWorks...), annual
conferences (e.g., DefCon), certifications (e.g., MVP programs, etc.),
contracting agencies (some of which have networking schmooze parties and
happy hours), etc. (ok, my mind has stalled...I know there are more...)
Let's see, I belong to:
IMAT (Interactive Multimedia Association of Toronto)
They put on educational/networking meetings on various topics, both
technical and business, several evenings a month. I don't get to as
many meetings as I'd like, because the commute into Toronto from
Guelph is the pits during rush hour.
When I do make it in, I always learn something, and I always meet
someone new. Good for keeping up with the interactive multimedia
and new media industries in Toronto, good for networking.
Business Networking International
Chapters meet once a week for breakfast. The idea behind BNI is that
there is only one of a given profession in a chapter, and you pass
referrals between members.
Every week someone does a 10-minute spiel on something about
their industry or their business. Again, I always learn something.
Great for networking, as membership generates word-of-mouth
referrals, the best way to get new business.
Again, I don't make the meetings as often as I should -- my choir
rehearses on the same night. But I always found meetings to be
informative, and I enjoyed the conferences I've attended and the
one I presented at.
Guelph Chamber of Commerce
I just joined, so I don't know yet how useful the meetings and
information sessions will be. But there sure are a lot of them --
breakfast sessions, learn-at-lunch, after 5 sessions... And the
opportunity to participate in trade shows and business
expositions is outstanding.
A user group for Flash developers. Just joined, and haven't made
it to the meetings yet. But I will be attending their annual
conference in March.
I don't network aggressively at choir, but folks know what I
do. Good for exposure. Good for the soul
And I regularly follow, and sometimes post, to a number of
newsgroups, most of them tool-specific for multimedia development.
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