What is a social presence worth?

We had an interesting discussion internally at work about what exactly does our “Social Presence” do for us? I put time and thought to it and it turns out to be a question I can answer on many levels. I am still not entirely sure what the answer is.

What does being social mean?

Being social means sharing through ideas, code, concepts, dreams….anything really – but sharing it. Within the XPages community we have a multitude of people who are social for many different reasons:

  1. To promote themselves as an individual who is looking for the next big challenge
  2. To promote themselves as a private contractor
  3. To promote themselves as a member/owner of a private company
  4. Because they are just that kind of person who wants to get involved and share
  5. People who were the above once up on a time who have since moved on
  6. All of the above

From my experience, as I have blogged before, I created my social presence purposefully because I wanted to get involved and make myself more employable. That worked fantastically and it also turned out I enjoyed being “social” a lot more than I expected – win win. But that was getting on for 3 years ago (seems like longer) and what does it mean to me today?

But what does my social presence mean to me today?

  1. Well I would like to feel (and I have no desire to test this) that I am considerably more employable than I was 3 years ago. Not because I am a better developer, but because I have an online resume almost second to none, demonstrating my ability as a developer.
  2. Part of the reason PSC Group hired me was not only because of my talent, but because I was a member of the social networks, I knew people and people knew me. This makes for a very compelling story for the company when they talk to potential customers – look at the IBM Champions we have. Through my social presence and presenting at conferences as a PSC employee I have been fortunate enough to have people approach me/us to work with us because they are looking for help/support from XPages experts. People seeking me/PSC out because of what they have seen us do is very flattering.
  3. PSC don’t pay me to be social – I promote PSC as part of my blogs and other online presence by association. I am with PSC by association….The blog exists on my time and I like it that way.
  4. So from the top list I am 1) 4) and a small amount of 3) by association

So what is a social presence worth?

It really depends on who’s perspective you are looking at it from and who is asking.

  • You could say that my social presence is worth the paycheck I get because without it I would not be working at PSC Group.
    That is the truth.
  • You can draw a direct correlation from my social presence to my nomination as IBM Champion this year.
    That is the truth
  • A sales guy could easily put a price on my social presence can be valued in the number of contracts that we get signed based on my contacts and conference appearances. That assumes however that my social goal is to get more business.
    Which is plainly not true.
  • You could say that my social presence is a future investment, you know worst case, I decide to go nuts, runaround the office naked and get banished (unlikely and the pictures would surely dampen my employment prospects).
    Only time will tell on that one…

So it is really a case, of I am really enjoying this. I spoke at Connect 2014, MWLUG and I am looking forward to ConnectED in January. I work for PSC, we are always looking out for the new opportunity and the chance to help people in interesting, challenging projects, large and small. I do all of “this” because I love it 🙂

  • So contact me if you need some help with an XPages Web Development problem, I will do my best to help out.
  • So contact me cos you are bored one day and want to chat about XPages, ExtJS, jQuery, Angular and stuff
  • So contact me if you need help with a Domino, XPages, SharePoint, Java, .Net or general business problem. PSC can help, we have many incredibly smart and experienced people working for us.

In summary

My social presence is worth it’s weight in gold to me, it makes me happy to share with the people I have come to know and love as friends, and I get to meet new people all the time. One day I will be a teacher I am sure, in the mean time this is about as close as it gets to being happy doing what I love.

What is your social presence worth to you?


5 thoughts on “What is a social presence worth?

  1. “…the pictures would surely dampen my employment prospects”

    Having hard evidence that you ran around PSC’s offices naked would make it a certainty that Red Pill would extend you an offer. 😉

  2. For me personally, it’s mostly #4. I’m incredibly happy with my current employer, but having bounced many times, I know that developing and keeping a network is critical when times are tough and #1 is important, Nonetheless, I really want to be able to know people I see at conferences and be able to reach out in the inevitable times that I just can’t figure out how to solve a problem.

  3. The main reason I started my blog is and was, that I just like to share my knowledge with others. I remember when I first started out with XPages: no training, but rather learning-by-doing.

    If it weren’t for all of you guys who blogged about XPages and how to do things, I would have been completely lost (also due to IBM’s lack of documentation).

    So, I am giving back to the community.

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