Social Networking and "professional groups" gone o

OK all, this is more of a rant than anything else. Be forewarned.

What is it these days with the countless attempts at “professional social network groups”? It seems every other day I get an invitation to a “Footwear Professionals” group from some such site or another. Everyone and their brother is starting a professional group…

While I initially started by signing up to most of these groups (figuring it can’t hurt to network, and it’s free) , it’s getting out of hand. Not a single one of these groups seems to actually do anything or have any value and all I’m getting is 10 notifications a day that someone has left a “hi I’m new to this group, welcome everyone” message someplace… or “we now have 25 memebers” message…I think I’m going to going on a canceling spree to get out of this…

Currently, I’m in -

2 groups

6 groups

4 groups relating to design/professional groups

plus the footwear pros group.

not to mention other portfolio sites that have social network features incl-
Behance Network
Style Portfolios

sure I’m forgetting some too…

Again, I haven’t got a single thing out of any of these groups, and most seem to be completely irrelevant (no activity, people I don’t know, etc.). Is it worth it to be everywhere at once?

The way I see it a networking site is only as good as the contacts and depth of connections. One large forum (such as core or Linkedin) is good, but it can be used by everyone. Each smaller group has little or no value, because the reach across connections is so small.

Why is it that there seems to be the need to fall into the web 2.0 “social” trap for every new site… even here at core with the groups, following, and likely features, I don’t really see what value they have at all and seem to be features for the sake of features. OT, but I’d still rather see a more robust portfolio management interface here on coroflot that pseudo social features.

Anyone else feeling the same thing? I’m all for networking (Linkedin is good), but to have so called contacts everywhere I’m not sure if it’s a good thing…



For me, I have still yet to find the actual value of most of the social networks you’ve mentioned.

LinkedIn…I have 7 billion contacts but I have yet to gain a job (granted I haven’t been looking for close to 10 years), nor have I landed any contracts through it. It feels more like Facebook for “professionals”…“Ohhhh, Robert has more connections than me, I need more!”

Coroflot has garnered me headhunter interest, but for the most part, it is a tremendous source of spam, and access for soon to graduate students to send me their resumes (this isn’t a complaint if the portfolio is good).

Do you actually have success with these sites? If so, I would love to hear how you use them.

I concur. It seems to me that all social networking sites are 1% useful 99% f***ing around.

On LinkedIn, and Coroflot groups, I haven’t received anything but a couple of emails. Completely useless.

I haven’t got a single thing out of any of these groups, and most seem to be completely irrelevant (no activity, people I don’t know, etc.). Is it worth it to be everywhere at once?

Ask not, what your network can do for you, but what you can do for your network.

“professional social network groups”

“Social” may be the keyword here R. Way too much internet time between humans nowadays … way too little actual vis-a-vis time… . in my opinion.

IMHO they’re all just support groups. Not their original intention of course. I read many of their objectives and they all shoot for the moon, but don’t end up lifting a finger when it comes down to it. People want to be around like-minded people, and fear the thought of not being a part of a group, so they’ll make one. Clan mentality. Guaranteed the top two facebook groups talk sh*t about each other… for absolutely no reason whatsoever, its probably #1,Soccer group and #2,Cooking group. That’s my take on IDSA, but let’s not start that up again.

I gotten a recent gig via connections made on LinkedIn… I found people at a company I wanted to work with and asked a shared connection to make an introduction. I think it can be used effectively if you work at it, but nothing beats face to face interaction

Yeah, it’s helpful to know that someone you want to know, knows someone you know, so you can tell your friend, in person, that you would like a social introduction, in person. So in that respect, I suppose I just use linkedin as more of a database to find out that I can ask my friend Jim to introduce me to his friend at company x.

I have to agree, that’s about how I use it

I check linkedIn every couple of days and it seems like some colleagues are adding people like crazy… at least a couple a day.

wonder what the etiquette is for that sometimes - do these people actually know each other? Did they have their email address from some business contact at some point? do they just want to know each other? are they collecting interesting professional peers?

I’ve got a few legit, heavy hitter inquiries through linked in.

Here is how I break them down.

Linked In = my address book. I use it when I need to find someone I know who can do such and such.

Coroflot = simple portfolio stuff, portfolio searching, inspiration logging (likeys)

Facebook = friends.

I don’t post updates on linked in, I try not to do purely professional connections on facebook… though every once in awhile I accept a friend request from a student if their request is well put… I do un-friend people if their status updates get annoying.

We’re getting OT, which is fine, happens alot

R was talking about the specific ‘Groups’ within these social networking sites.

‘Product Designers Unite!’ on facebook for eg


I’m currently in ‘Freelancers’ or something like that on Coroflot, and there is no purpose for this group.

A support group to pat other freelancers on the back, perhaps?

It is a group made by freelance designers (aka the competition) that in some way suggests joining the group will lead to freelance gigs. Nope, never.

It’s like starting a “CEO’s only club!” at a homeless shelter.
(or better yet, a “homeless only!” at a homeless shelter)

“footwear design” is fanboy-bait. Stick to the more professionals-only groups.

I’ve noticed the LinkedIn groups have really taken off lately. I like how specialized some of them are (I’m on a User Experience/Medical group for instance.) I love that I have access to them from one portal, and recent activities are pushed to my home page. This could be a neat way for us to go here at C77.

well, if we’re talking about groups, at least some of the ID groups on LinkedIn seem like a watered down core77 discussions forum. It seems like people are creating and following threads, and I guess it’s good because non-ID people are exposed a bit more. Myself, I’ve met interesting people on other groups within linked In, that are not exactly ID but could eventually be clients or future employers… or at least people that I could potentially contact as resources if need be

To clarify, my point wasn’t IF professional groups/services can be useful (surely coroflot is one of the largest and most useful, hence my active participation here), it was more about why so many new groups that just get so diluted. The footwear pros new discussion group has something like 500 members. about half I’d estimate seem to be factories in india or somewhere looking for work. maybe I’m seeing it wrong, but if there was one place catch all for a specific industry, great. 10 different disconnected groups each with different profiles, UIs (most horrible as well), doesn’t help anyone.

The good thing about linkedin (probably the only other site I actually subscribe to and use for connections/contacts) is the number of people there and it has become the de-facto standard for business connections. Sure all groups have to start with one member, but it seems the circle of outreach for many of these new groups just doesn’t have the pull to ever develop into something more than tiny puddle in the ocean of whatever the industry is it’s targeted to.

That, and for the most part, I can’t see the point of many of these forums. Core discussion groups…why? Isn’t that what the core boards are for?

I think that the key may be to develop these groups around existing connections, or circles of people already connected. From what I’ve seen many of these groups seem to be run by recruiters which to me just makes it feel like a CV collection service…no benefit to the users.

Further to Yo’s point (which I was actually going to post about in the OP, but wanted to keep the ranting to a single topic) the practice of friending me on facebook for professional contacts also is something I’m not to keen on. I likewise accept the odd connection for students and the such, but do believe some sort of divide b/w professional and personal is important and often get annoyed if clients link me in facebook. I’m not a huge FB user anyhow (really never update my status of post pics), so not a huge worry about things crossing the line, but the principle is still there…


I’ve been lucky enough to get a couple of internships through Facebook at good companies. One was contacting an ex-alumni student and the 2nd was replying to a job advertised in the footwear design group. So I can’t really knock it, a lot of the time it just depends on the person and whether they keep work away from their FB or not. Though you can now make groups of friends e.g. ‘Business’, ‘Friends’, ‘Family’, and if it’s a concern of yours restrict an individual group seeing certain things on your profile, photos, wall etc.