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Making the Most out of FOAF Networks?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the digital-networking dept.

Communications 45

BFF? asks: "With the rising popularity of online FOAF (Friend of a Friend) networks such as Orkut, Friendster and Linked-In I was wondering if and how people are using these networks to help their career along. Are these social networks just for vanity's sake or are they actually useful when job-hunting?"

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FQ (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12035253)

First Question ... why is this categorized under "hardware"?

Re:FQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12035410)

"First Question ... why is this categorized under "hardware"?"

Because there isn't a category for "Stupid crap nobody cares about"

Re:FQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12035443)

Oops, I take that back...

Judging by past stories of the same category, this should have been an "Ask Slashdot"

Re:FQ (1)

kernel_dan (850552) | more than 9 years ago | (#12037606)

The hardware section is new. It's debut was yesterday. Cliff probably didn't realize what was going on.

Re:FQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12039160)

I think a google section is more needed than a hardware section.

Re:FQ (2, Funny)

‹berhund (27591) | more than 9 years ago | (#12052668)

why is this categorized under "hardware"?
Because people are considered hardware. :-)

Same question I always have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12064559)

...when I hear people talk about NETWORKING:

Whaddaya mean, can a network be anything other than hardware?? :-)

Huh? (1, Redundant)

Keelor (95571) | more than 9 years ago | (#12035455)

Anyone confused as to what this has to do with hardware? I realize that the web sites in question are run on hardware, but that seems like a bit of a stretch...

Re:Huh? (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 9 years ago | (#12035485)

Its a sub category of hardware called communications. Im pretty sure the phone could give that away. Why they link to hardware instead of keeping it at ask is beyond me.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12035903)

I would think that someone saw "FOAF Network" and without realizing that its a social network, thought it was some new networking protocol. As in, How to build your own FOAF Network or something.

old-fashioned way (5, Informative)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12035508)


Maybe I'm just an old-timer, but in my day we'd spooge free trips to conferences from employers, and talk to other people while there.

You get double networking points if you have a booth with some interesting content and some free "gimme" crap... and triple points if you teach a seminar or give a lecture.

Another good thing to do is teach a community college class in your area of expertise... It's a good way to meet people who are in a similar profession or who will one day be there.

Also, go to every professional association meeting for one or two organizations. It's always the same people at all that crap (at least in my industry), so if you want to be identified as a "player", it's helpful to at least make an appearance at that stuff.

Possibly check out the alumni thing for your department at university (if your work is relevant to your degree)... This is a good way to meet older people in the same line of work, many of whom are quite supportive of young folks.

I'm work at a consulting shop, so this might only be applicable to some... but get as much face time with the clients as possbile, and be sure that they know you are the one to call when something needs to get done. Establish a pattern that if they have a problem, they call you, and the problem goes away. You would be amazed how easy it is to build a good reputation just by answering phone calls or email, and sending a prompt reply.

Failing all else, I'd probably try to use an internet medium to network. I was a member of allexperts.com in my specific area of technical expertise for about a year. In that year, I probably got 10 offtopic questions, and about 30 requests from college kids to help with their homework.

I've not tried any other internet things, but my supposition is that the "audience" for your profile is too generalized. You need to get your mug in front of potential employers, and that doesn't sound like a time-effective solution. Go for it if you enjoy doodling around on the internet, but I wouldn't have any great expectation of success.

Re:old-fashioned way (2, Funny)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 9 years ago | (#12037090)

Maybe I'm just an old-timer, but in my day we'd spooge free trips to conferences from employers, and talk to other people while there.


Yeah, you're from the old-school when employers valued people enough to provide training. Go to a conference? Hell, I feel fortunate they let me out of my cube long enough to use the bathroom.

Now where is that red Swingline stapler, anyway?

Re:old-fashioned way (1)

WebCrapper (667046) | more than 9 years ago | (#12038464)

While working at a few companies, I noticed a similar rule between the two. Both only wanted each employee to only take 10 minutes for "bathroom" breaks a day. Sorry, but between, logging off, walking and coming back, thats almost one break - if your REALLY fast...

But yea, I've never been offered a conference. Businesses now days are more worried about profit than employee value. The company I currently work for has told people that if they don't like their job, quit and someone else will gladly step into their shoes.

Life sucks at the moment.

Get back to work. (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12040168)

SFJOE, we need to store some boxes here, you don't mind do you. yeeeah, mmka. Oh, that Swingline stapler, I been looking for that. You don't mind if I just take that do you?

Re:old-fashioned way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12037165)


Maybe I'm just an old-timer, but in my day we'd
spooge [google.com] free trips to conferences from employers, and talk to other people while there.
Yuck!
Maybe I'm just an old-timer, but in my day, doing that kind of thing on the job could get you fired.

I think you meant sponge.

Re:old-fashioned way (1)

HeyLaughingBoy (182206) | more than 9 years ago | (#12038078)

I'm work at a consulting shop, so this might only be applicable to some... but get as much face time with the clients as possbile, and be sure that they know you are the one to call when something needs to get done

It's quite applicable at most places. I have zero contact with our product's end users, but I have a lot of contact with the internal users: training, service, etc. Making sure they know I'm the guy who can answer all their questions, or at least find the answer if I don't know it right away makes me the "go-to guy." That kind of visibility gets converted into good reviews (read: raises & bonus) come annual review time.

No help in my job hunting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12035615)

I applied to Semaview [semaview.com] a couple years ago (FOAF views, contact management, scheduling stuff), and I thought I'd recheck yesterday to see if there was anything new with them. Looks like their site (at the moment, at least) isn't doing much at all.

Every job I've ever had... (5, Informative)

marcus (1916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12035712)

...From washing airplanes as a teenager to my present contract 30 years later has come from networking.

I've gotten interviews and offers by looking in ad pages, but the best offers have always come from people that knew me.

People you know that find out about job openings will tell you about them before ads are placed. It helps to get your foot in the door early in the hiring process. While sifting through hundreds of qualified resumes, when someone recognizes your name, you are automatically moved to the top of the stack, or onto the shortlist. This is exactly how I got my present contract.

Re:Every job I've ever had... (1)

Jonboy X (319895) | more than 9 years ago | (#12043703)

So, you're saying you'd be unemployed if it weren't for nepotism?

Yes, I understand that this is the way the world works. It doesn't mean I have to like some of the sleazeball stuff that goes on around the hiring process sometimes.

Re:Every job I've ever had... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12047561)

Great attitude! Let's put this applicant on the top of the stack.

Sounds like the old boys (2, Informative)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12035739)

The old Boys network , all be it in a diffrent form for some new boys and girls .
Its the same type of social orgranisation for a digital age , It has worked well for hundreds of years and i shouldnt see why it wont work now though i wouldnt like to pay for it , if your in the IT industry making freinds on sites like this could help , it never hurts to make freinds at work

Sounds like the old boys-Yup. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12036624)

Is Friendster making phones now? (1, Redundant)

kriston (7886) | more than 9 years ago | (#12035825)

Is Friendster making phones now? The only reason I ask is that I'm puzzled how this article could have be categorized under Hardware. I know the Slashdot category taxonomy calls for this but communications is a universe of concepts beyond merely hardware.

Re:Is Friendster making phones now? (2, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036066)

Hey, shut up, or else they'll post the next one under that god-awful 'it' theme. :-)

Keeping in Touch (3, Interesting)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036067)

I haven't used any of the specifically mentioned services much, but generally speaking, the Intarnets have been good for keeping in touch with old colleagues and bosses. In fact, just a few days ago I came across an old invitation to LinkedIn from an old boss while I was looking through 30k+ of spam that had accumulated in an old abandoned e-mail account. Turns out around 15 of my old co-workers and bosses were on LinkedIn already so we'll see if it turns into a great reunion party or something. :-)

Don't waste your time (3, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036262)

My experience with Friendster is that 95% of the people on there use it as a time-waster, and the other 5% are looking for dates.

For example, my friends list is dominated by stuff such as Old Crow whiskey, a bar, and a giant neon Citgo sign in Boston. I also have people I already know on my list, but I haven't even tried to meet people or network on Friendster, and, unless everyone I know on Friendster is different from everyone else on Friendster, nobody else is trying to, either.

FOAF networks are for Ego Stroking, Nothing More (1)

Excen (686416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039472)

I signed up for TheFaceBook and was friended by a person I had never met after SEVEN MINUTES.

That being said, I have never met more blonde sorority sisters anywhere. And they ALL ARE FRIGGIN' CLUELESS! If the college /. crowd ever had a chance at bedding the Alpha Cheerleader-types that rejected us in high school, TheFaceBook is the enabler.

Be forewarned though, it's more addictive than smack, crack and cigarettes combined.

Re:Don't waste your time (2, Insightful)

Shag (3737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12057874)

I agree that one shouldn't waste one's time.

But I wonder what Bastian thought s/he was doing by "befriending" whiskey, a bar, and a giant Citgo sign, if not wasting time?

I'm one of those people who won't be friends with someone unless I'm actually friends with them. Nor will I be friends with places, things, intangibles, etc. The concept of social networking, in and of itself, wasn't a bad thing, but the various "fakesters" et cetera basically trashed any chance of it actually being useful.

My favorite social networking site at present is Multiply [multiply.com] , largely because it lets me specify how I'm connected to someone, and weights different sorts of relationships differently - "friend" is worth more than "online buddy," for example.

(Plus it's got a nice interface and lots of useful features.)

FOAF? (3, Insightful)

GeorgeH (5469) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036346)

I don't get the link to FOAF [xmlns.com] . All the companies mentioned are jealously keeping people locked in, FOAF is an open standard and lets people network across pretty much anything. FOAF is the antithesis of the social networking sites linked.

Re:FOAF? (1)

chizor (108276) | more than 9 years ago | (#12042423)

exactly. this has to be the worst-categorized story i've seen on here in a long time.

There's a college one too... (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036455)

My girlfriend and I have replaced the Clemson phone directory for thefacebook.com where all the pertinent information is stored anyone. It's basically the college version of the ones mentioned in the article.

Facebook's handy, but... (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12057824)

As one's age moves past 22-23, the number of people one knows on it tends to drop precipitously, since it requires a .edu address (at a supported school, no less) and people tend to lose those over time.

FOAF networks? (2, Funny)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036547)

Sorry. I'm only familiar with FOAD networks...

Re:FOAF networks? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 9 years ago | (#12064643)

" Sorry. I'm only familiar with FOAD networks..."

Friend Of A Drunk?

Re:FOAF networks? (1)

Wolfger (96957) | more than 9 years ago | (#12065103)

That too! For the uninitiated, FOAD stands for F*** Off And Die, and usually refers to the rejection letters college students get when applying for jobs. The ones that say "Dear Sir, We appreciate your interest in our company, but...".

Ancient history (1)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036597)

I didn't know that fad even existed still. I thought most of the heavy users would have moved to blogs already, for the more pleasurable back-patting circle.

I haven't even logged into my Orkut account for months, basically it was incredibly slow, no one posted in any of the group forums, and the place was dominated by Brazilians who kept ignoring the "English only" groups. It not that anyone is racist, it's just nice to freaking understand 90% of you group's traffic.

Orkut (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12057851)

Orkut, gah. I used to run a bunch of communities there, but I've been handing them off to others, since the system just doesn't like me. I'm down to two left, but one of those has over 11,000 members and was in the first thousand communities created on Orkut, so finding someone to take over it is a little harder.

After I hand each one off, I remain a member for a little while, then silently drop it. It's just not worth the stress to deal with bugs they haven't fixed in over a year.

*Sigh* (0, Troll)

samael (12612) | more than 9 years ago | (#12036910)

Are these social networks just for vanity's sake or are they actually useful when job-hunting?

Because vanity and work are the only two reasons for anything? Sometimes I really worry about Americans.

False dichotomy much? (3, Insightful)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#12037592)

Are these social networks just for vanity's sake or are they actually useful when job-hunting?
They are for getting laid not getting jobs, you moron.

That's why so few comments (1)

ngkdc (810481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12038642)

I was wondering why there weren't more comments on this article ... then I realized ... Friend of a Friend ... and this is /.

I've had good luck with LinkedIn (1)

gregwbrooks (512319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12039531)

I can't speak to Friendster or any of the others, but I gravitated to LinkedIn pretty early on because it seemed fairly business oriented. And it's paid off

I think a lot of negative FOAF experiences come from the fact that people use them like a digital yearbook/mash book -- "Oh, I'm on such-and-such a network. Join, and we can connect!" Do that, and you end up with a pretty isolated network that's not much different from the circle of colleagues and friends you have now.

When I joined, I made an effort to find people whoL

  • were geographically near me; or
  • had a strong background/career connection.
I'd ususally introduce myself to these people with something along the lines of "I don't know if all the benefits LinkedIn talks about are true, but I do know that we have some things in common and it might be beneficial to swap some e-mail." No pitching myself as a consultant or employee. No hard sell. And no touting the value of "linking our networks." After all, the person you're contacting probably doesn't know you from Adam -- why should he or she care about your network?

Mind you, it helps if you can write a polite, light, maybe slightly humorous email; as with so many aspects of the internet, it's not the meek but the communicators who will inherit the earth.

I've met good friends, current clients and connections who have led to projects. Hard to complain about something that produces results and costs nothing!

duh obvious.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12040198)

The largest foaf network in the world is warez scene. You know a guy who knows a guy etc.. and next thing you know, you have global network of interest groups who share their works.

myspace music (2, Informative)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12040319)

My band uses MySpace.com [myspace.com] to attract new listeners, and it's been the best. They should charge bands for this kind of exposure. Lots of new people at shows. When we post a show bulletin, people propagee the notices through the network, its a huge thing. Social networks are crazy good for bands. Oh, and there's lots of hot chicks too. Just beware the chicks who only take pictures from one particular angle. They're the fat ones. (they need love too).

Ryze (1)

cuteseal (794590) | more than 9 years ago | (#12072822)

Ryze [ryze.com] is supposed to be a business networking community based on the FOAF concept. I've had limited success promoting my digital photograpy forums [shuttertalk.com] there.

Some of those sites are useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12169166)

Some of those sites are useful when it comes to networking and finding jobs. There is another place you can also build your network is http://www.cozydating.com/
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