What Social has done for me in the past
Social (community), a loosely used term here but basically any form that helps connecting people together, has always been close to my heart. It has shaped me until today, and still plays a key role in my growth today.
I started getting involved in community when SgDotNet was born. I wasn't aware of the MVP program, but was happy with sharing my knowledge, what I have learn previously with the rest of the .net developers in SgDotNet. Got to know friends, and add them to IMs. These friends are the dependable lot, especially when I am in need of help, they are always there to just point me towards the right direction. Some of these friends even crosses national boundaries. E.g. firedancer, icelava, maung maung, dennis chung, pom etc etc, the list is just to long to list.
Then I was awarded MVP title in 2005, and that opens up more opportunities to know experts around the world, even in different fields. Got to know some of the product team people as well. All these using emails, forums, following people on RSS etc. Global MVP summit connects the name to a face, and all the different social networks helps make stranger almost non-existence. But being a introvert by character, I tend to stick with my own group of friends during these gatherings. I can forced myself to strike conversation with other techies, but I usually need help in keeping the conversation going.
Then comes the opportunity to get involved in the biggest SharePoint implementation in Singapore, which involves facebook twitter-like features. Delivering phase 1 on time under extreme circumstances with a team of super competent and committed team members really gave a big sense of satisfaction. But envy also sets in as I see the users follow people of like-minded people, having conversation on the inter-agency portal, sharing information with other users.
Not sure if you are getting what I'm trying to say. Not even sure if I know what I'm trying to say.
For me, social network opens up an opportunity for introverts like myself to mingle around with other people, that would otherwise be difficult in face to face gatherings even with the help of alcohol. I'm pretty sure I won't be at the position I am today if not for social networks. The value I see in social networks is so huge that I even deployed SharePoint 2013 for my 4 person team. I guess those that don't see value in social networks would probably say I'm crazy, and wasted money and effort. I bet even some social network supporters would probably say that I won't reap much benefit from a 4 men team, especially since we are sitting in the same office.
My vision for the social network would probably be the most extreme, but lets leave this to the next post, and you judge for yourself.