ORKUT was started up as a very small website intending to connect people with each other and was probably one of the pioneers in introducing the concept of online communities and groups. While there were other similar but smaller services available in the western world, this was a massive hit in most of the developing world. But unfortunately, back in the day, it was considered as a tool to slack-off and inhibit productivity.
I remember when I started my professional career in 2005 all these social media platforms were blocked off. Organisations at that time were investing in building firewalls to block access. Slowly though, the whole concept of social media evolved, Facebook and other services were introduced, and then the whole perspective of social media platforms as means to slack-off changed. People started to realise the significance of being connected and began using these platforms as a means to share knowledge and resources and most importantly generate leads to get work and increase income. Now, we all use them one way or another to promote our businesses and services.
Similarly, things have changed drastically with peer-to-peer networking in the last 4 to 6 years. There has been a global shift with the introduction of “Professional Social Networking” platforms. Yes! You guessed it, I am talking about services like LinkedIn, Stack Overflow and GitHub.
This is especially relevant in the world of Information Technology, where most organisations no longer care about the traditional resume; they want to see your practical capability. Your active presence on these networks demonstrates technical strengths and experience, which, importantly, is what organisations want to see from candidates.
Less than a decade ago, it was impossible for me to be socially connected to the gurus of my profession, but today I can follow them, I can see their latest work on a daily basis, all without having to worry about factors like time, location etc. I can ask people questions, I can share my views easily, I can ask people feedback on things and most importantly I can have an online existence that enables me to demonstrate my skills to others.