online networking is moving beyond just socializing and into the professional arena. from doctors to educators, here’s a look at some of the best professional networking sites and the professions that are utilizing them.
networks for the medical profession
though there are countless networking sites for physicians, doctors, and medical students, sermo is by far the most popular. sermo let’s physicians connect and share observations from their daily practices and ‘challenge or corroborate each others opinions’. this helps people in the medical profession apply the idea of collective intelligence towards better patient care.
of all the music-based social networking sites i’ve used, last.fm provides the cleanest, least intrusive and easy-to-use experience. the site tracks your music and based on what you listen to most – locates other artists, albums, and songs according to your preferences. The service let’s you connect with people who share your musical tastes and allows artists and lables to upload their own music to the site and share it with other users.
networks for educators
there are some older and more established networks for teachers, but yahoo is about to take teacher-focused social networks by storm. yahoo! teachers is ‘designed by teachers for teachers’ to help them connect, create, share, and modify lesson plans for their students. the site is currently not open to public but the private beta preview looks very promising.
with photobucket, smugmug, zooomr, and many more, the photography-hosting/sharing/networking space is far from under-served. that said, flickr stands out from the crowd and continues to grow faster than the other top 4 combined.
networks for business verticals
linkedin is the most popular professional networking site and it is also the number one business networking site ( excluding employment search sites like monster, careerbuilder, etc.). the site is maintained in a minimalist yet comprehensive – functional fashion and offers countless opportunities for networking with contemporaries or working in ancillary fields, without compromising your privacy.
this is by no means a comprehensive list of professional networking sites or the professions that have made the leap to online networking. in fact, many professionals continue to use all-purpose networks such as facebook, myspace, and linkedin, rather than focusing on their niche.