My first real understanding of the attractiveness of online networks was way back in the early 1990s, pre-Web days of  the Compuserve forums. That’s where I learnt that you can build great friendships and professional relationships online, sometimes without ever getting to meet face to face.

More recently, I have been fairly active on Ryze but have become more involved in recent months with the professional online network Linkedin and some forums which have sprung up for Linkedin members, for one of which, Linkedin Bloggers, I’ve up till now been The Moderator. I wrote about the launch of Linkedin Bloggers here.

Three months on from that launch, the Linkedin Bloggers forum is turning out to be a great group of people, including some very well respected bloggers, among them published authors on blogging and online networking, through to people just getting into blogging. The conversation is wide ranging without being anarchic – we stick to blogging, podcasting, wikis, in general the blogosphere and how that relates to our business and professional networking.

While the duties of moderating have not been onerous, there have been a couple of challenges, such as my being on ‘the other side’ of the world compared to the majority of members, thus being asleep when some of the posting action is going on.

Now I am very fortunate that one of the main contributors to the group has accepted my invitation to also be a moderator. Colorado USA based Dave Taylor is a prolific author, has forgotten more tech stuff than I will ever know, and for a young man has had a helluva lot of experience in online networks, the internet, blogging, you name it. His excellent blend of erudition and humor can be sampled regularly at his Intuitive Systems blog, where he has today posted his take on Linkedin and Linkedin Bloggers, titled “Are You a Blogger Who Uses Linkedin?” . This is definitely recommended reading.

When I started coaching, I applied a principle I’d heard from the late Thomas Leonard, often referred to as the father of coaching: it was, if you want to be a coach, one of the things to do is to hang out with coaches. I applied that then and, when I started blogging seriously, I decided to adapt the principle and hang out with bloggers too. That’s been a good decision in all sorts of ways – understanding more how professional bloggers see things, picking up priceless tips, being inspired to ‘blog better’ and generally being in touch with and encouraged by some very bright and interesting people.

As Dave indicates, if you’re a blogger (or thinking about it) you could do a lot worse than come and hang out with us over on Linkedin Bloggers (btw, no fee for membership). And if you’re not yet in Linkedin, I would be surprised if, after reading Dave’s blog, you’re not tempted to be .


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