professional network service

A professional network service (or, in an internet context, simply professional network) is a virtual community that it is focused on interactions and relationships of a business nature instead of social interactions.

This type of professional network service enables business professionals to network and collaborate by title, industry and business interests so that they can discuss interests, stay informed and share knowledge.

Virtual communities allow individuals to be accessible. People establish their real identity in a verifiable place. These individuals then interact with each other or within groups that share common interests and goals. They can also post their own user generated content in the form of blogs, pictures, slide shows and videos. Like a social network, the consumer essentially becomes the publisher.

A professional network is used for the business to business marketplace. These networks improve the ability for people to advance professionally. Business professionals can share experiences with others who have a need to learn from similar experiences. Additionally, the ability to find, connect and network with other business professionals is one reason why LinkedIn has grown from less than 8,500 members in 2003 to over 18 million today.

The traditional way to interact is face-to-face. Examples are a business lunch, a seminar or workshop, or at an industry event such as a trade show or conference. Interactive technology makes it possible for people to network with their peers from anywhere, at anytime in an online environment.

Professional network services attract, aggregate and assemble large business-focused audiences by creating informative and interactive meeting places.

[edit] See also

* LinkedIn
* ryze
* XING
* Plaxo
* Yahoo! Kickstart
* Facebook (primarily a social network service, but adding professional network features).

[edit] References

* http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118825239984310205.html
* http://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-networking-for-business-professionals/5043/
* http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/myspace_professional_networking.php

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