I've been introduced to the website Linkedin.com, a networking site for professionals. On first glance, it seemed like another on the list of social website popularity contests. I'm already an occasional user of Facebook, if I waste any more time being "social" I won't have the time to get out and actually interact with people at Parrot and Wikibooks like I want to.
I'm starting to come around though, and I'm really starting to appreciate the service Linkedin has to offer. It's not just keeping in touch with friends from highschool, most of whom I would actually prefer not to be in touch with. It's a place where I can post information from my resume, form professional connections with like-minded people, search jobs, and track my career. And I'm just getting started with my career, so there is a lot of room for growth here.
One thing that I don't like about Linkedin is that it doesn't have any real allowance for the things that get done outside of work. For instance, there isn't any real way to show the work that I've done with Wikibooks, or the Wikimedia Chapters Committee, or The Parrot Foundation. With only a few months in a full-time job, these experiences are the most valuable on my resume and are worth a prominent place on it. The solution I found, which I copied from some other people I saw, was just to list these non-profits as jobs. I do meaningful work with these groups, so I think it's fitting.
I've been a member of Wikibooks for over three years now, and I'm approaching my 40,000th edit. Within the next few months there is an opportunity for me to get some grant money to do some specific authoring work there, and there also might be an opportunity for some book writing that I'm doing to be published. I'll post more information as I get it, of course.