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Online Communities Benefit 93% of IT Professionals

     

rogerd

1:49 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



From The Value of Online Communities [kace.com], a survey by King Research:
93% claim that they do their jobs more efficiently and save time by using IT communities to solve system administration problems.
100% of IT professionals who participate in online communities report benefiting professionally and 85% report benefiting personally from this use.
98% of participants believe that the information in online communities is typically accurate, although many clarified the importance of validating online sources.

You kind of wonder what the matter is with the remaining 7%. CIOs too busy to look for answers themselves? Ancient COBOL programmers who don't trust the Web?

I think one would find that other types of professionals, not to mention hobbyists and special interest buffs, aren't far behind IT people in relying heavily on Web communities.

vincevincevince

1:54 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



And then from the manager's point of view...
...trade secrets and expensively developed techniques are leaked all over the internet by 93% of IT Professionals

rogerd

2:49 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's fortunate for all of us that most people don't adopt that "scarcity" mentality when interacting in communities. Save someone a couple of hours of trial & error today, and tomorrow they may spare you an even bigger timesink. I'm sure there are some managers who feel that way, though.

Demaestro

3:23 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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93% that is it? I think that 7% of IT professionals are lying.

ogletree

3:40 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I blog or post on here about any problems I solve. I get tons of help from doing searches so I like to give back when I can. Specially when I tried searching for a problem and could not find anything on the web to help me. I even do this when I do find something because sometimes I had to search a long time to fine it. People just don't write good titles when the post a solution for something.

rogerd

3:46 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>People just don't write good titles

That's certainly true. I often find the best way to track down something really specific is with a super-long search string incorporating stuff like error codes, maybe a phrase in quotes, etc. That will usually find relevant content even in a poorly named thread or a thread where the content is off-topic.

LifeinAsia

4:11 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think that 7% of IT professionals are lying.

Or that I think 7% of IT "professionals" aren't very professional (i.e., not even qualifies enough to know that you can find answers online).

hannamyluv

7:33 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think that 7% of IT professionals are lying

Or are older people who just don't think to use the internet that way. My father, who is a programmer, was cursing up a storm one day when I was visiting him. He was hasing a problem getting something to work and I asked if he had posted it on a board yet. He looked at me baffled and I had to explain that there are hundreds of boards for any programming language that you can think of with people who are more than happy to help. He had an answer in under two min.

My dad has been programming since the days when programs were written with punch cards. It just never dawned on him that complete strangers would be more than happy to help or would put solutions to their problems out for anyone to see.

I am willing to bet that 7% is older baby boomers who have been around since computers began.

[edited by: hannamyluv at 7:43 pm (utc) on July 27, 2007]

rogerd

7:40 pm on Jul 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'm sure there are plenty of IT managers who aren't involved in technical problem solving at the nuts and bolts level. Messy tech issues get delegated. While they could be participating in IT strategy and similar communities, most probably don't.

spaceylacie

3:21 pm on Jul 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wonder why, in the past, I spent so much time trying to figure out IT issues when I could have just googled it. Even when my ISP, comcast, was giving me errors because I was using "port 25" for email marketing, while on hold with them, I googled the answer I was looking for and found it in an online community. I hung up the phone, was waiting for comcast tech support, before I got to hear the end of that classical song.

jessejump

9:46 am on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Maybe the 7% are so un-social that can't interact online either so they don't use those resources. Lots of IT types are pretty strange socially. That's my experience.

vincevincevince

10:27 am on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I think that online communities are fairly important, however they must have their limits. If someone is spending a substantial amount of their employer's time answering questions in an online community under their own name, that's not really good. It is all about being reasonable...

Lots of IT types are pretty strange socially. That's my experience.

As an IT type, I see it more that lots of IT types are pretty down-to-earth and direct socially, people who you can trust and who don't put up a facade. Lots of non-IT types are form-over-function sizzle-salesmen in social terms. That's my experience.

rogerd

7:29 pm on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Good point, vvv, but honesty doesn't always make for smooth social interactions. An engineer who says, "Yes, honey, that dress does make your butt look bigger..." is just being honest but is probably not initiating a positive social exchange. ;)

I'm not sure that online exchanges are necessarily easier, though. I see more flaming online than in person.

LifeinAsia

8:02 pm on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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engineer who says, "Yes, honey, that dress does make your butt look bigger..." is just being honest but is probably not initiating a positive social exchange. ;)

An engineer would NEVER make a comment like that without first taking multiple measurements (in that dress and others, for comparative analysis), putting all the data in a spreadsheet, generating 3-D graphs from different angles, and then deriving and then programming the equations to compare the "biggness" between the different dresses.

THEN, after making such a statement, he would proceed to give a PowerPoint presentation backing up his assertion with 14 slides of bulleted talking points and summarized data.

Gibble

8:18 pm on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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And a programmer would go to an online community and ask other programmers how they approached this problem, and what their outcomes were. Then, with their peers responses they would say "no"...but still be in hot water because they couldn't simply answer the question fast enough.
 

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