With so many social networking sites, forums and online communities all around us, it’s perfectly understandable that you simply can’t manage the time to be present in as many as you would want.
And even with social media management tools like Hootsuite, the tasks of not only being present, but engage in meaningful conversations in all these environments, is a hard one to accomplish on a consistent basis.
People end up choosing one or two, maybe a couple more if you’re always connected. And when it comes to the data visualization community, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be one of the top priorities.
Before I go on, I must say that I’ve using LinkedIn for some time now, but never was much of a participant in discussions. Not that they weren’t interesting, I just didn’t manage to find the time – it’s not like you’re commenting a friend’s photo on Facebook, right?
Even so, the success of the company as a business, the service itself and the more than 200 million users with a professional perspective as the first motivation to be on LinkedIn, made me realize that I had to pay more attention to it and find the time to participate more.
There aren’t many data visualization related groups on LinkedIn – the first obvious symptom that this social network isn’t the first place to go to keep up with the latest news and trends of this field. Perhaps the most active ones is Visual Thinking, where you’ll find active participation of folks like Nigel Hawtin, one of the most respected names in his field of expertise and who’s portfolio we’ve featured here a couple of months ago.
“I find LinkedIn a great place to connect and interact with people from all areas of business who have an interest in the graphic and infographic field that I live and work in”, said Nigel to us, when we asked why he spent some of his online time on this social network.
And he also mentioned the importance of LinkedIn Groups discussions:
“Discussions are an important part of the process when initiating, understanding or critiquing and evaluating infographics and data visualizations. Hearing what others think about various styles of graphic, what works (in their eyes) and what doesn’t, can be a real eye opener at times. LinkedIn discussions are a good forum for putting forward a case for what works and what doesn’t work, with examples, from a visual journalism point of view and can be useful for those that do not come from a visual background or for those starting out or wanting to learn more.”
A couple of discussions I’ve launched in this group, that turned out to be great threads, filled with insights. The first one was about the use of Infographic résumés, a trend that we’ve been seeing grow among designers, and extending to everyone with the help of sites like Vizify, Visualize.me or Visual.ly.
The second, more recent, asks about the use of photography in infographics, and it’s just starting to receive some interesting comments as well.
You can check out this LinkedIn Group here, which has almost 7,500 members, and join the available discussions or create new ones. And let us know in the comments what are your thoughts about using LinkedIn!