Ways to stay updated with technology and why join or volunteer user groups

Date June 30, 2007

Today Internet being a vast medium of getting connected, we can have faster ways of finding and providing solutions to our clients. Every is a winner. The client gets a quicker and better solution, the vendor wins a better deal by maintaining his quality of service. May be one gets a better business contact or a suitable candidate lands up in his dream job by getting noticed. Since the technology has been moving at faster pace than our thought, we need to keep ourselves updated and upgraded in order to always stay in touch with technology. This needs us to find for better ways as to how we can gear up ourselves. Few of the options I would like to note down are:
Daily News
Magazines and Periodicals
Read various Blogs
Publish Blogs
Attend online WebCasts
Join discussion forums and NewsGroups
Join a public user group with similar interests
Technical Whitepapers
Get educational resources and get certified
etc…

Personally, I have explored a lot being a part of any discussion forum or a user group, it always helps us personally and professionally. There are end number of posibilities that we can explore. There may be various reasons that we may opine on, but here are few of them that I felt like posting.

Being a Community Member:
We make lots of new friends with similar profession and interests. It is always good to network with people. Who knows, some day you may land up having a good business contact or possibly land up in an even better job. But it purely depends on how we make ourselves get our talents noticed in public.
Get help from some of the technology experts on technology that we may be working on and enhance our skills
Get a chance to guide several people who needed help on technology. May they be geeks or novices, we come across various people inquisitive to learn more on some technology that we may be good at and it feels great to always share with them and help them keep upgraded on the technology that we are into.

In order to explore more from the technology perspective, we find ourselves at the drivers seat while we help the community being it’s volunteer. We gain a lot of valuable experience on development projects, organizational committees, and other aspects of nonprofits. This always gives us a chance to keep ourselves get identified and noticed in the crowd. Here are some of the reasons that make me feel like volunteering a community.

Being a Community Volunteer:
We learn to manage events. We manage activities online and offline, which help enhance our management skills
Get an opportunity to provide presentations and help people understand technology that we are good at
Connecting to few of the best in technology known public identity and it is always a great feeling when we get direct help when in need of understanding the upcoming release of some much awaited products or the one that is in the market
Special opportunity to work on products when at Beta stage and get help from some of those who would be working on the development of the product. Learn more on the latest technologies and demonstrations of upcoming products and technologies
Keep ourselves updated by staying in contact with such experts
Opportunities are unlimited when it comes to learning. We share knowledge among people of all classes of expertise, which is a beneficial thing to all
Innovation rules and this can be the best place to implement our innovative ideas in front of public
Develop leadership and decision making skills by showing your proactiveness by initiating an idea and implementing them. The proof of being the best shows after our consistent efforts on the same
Helps us showcase our talents our way
Get opportunities to attend some of the Best Technology events and seminars which may not open to all ITProfessional public
Apart from attending, these are the places again where we get a chance to again volunteer and have ourselves get noticed
All this helps us improve our communication skills and make my presence felt among the group
We make good contacts globally and thoughts and innovative ideas to benefit the community comes out of the box. This helps us explore our own talents
Overall, this increases our own self-esteem

In a way, we improve our personality and change the way we are. You carry a lot of prestige when being a volunteer for some very well known product / technology user group.

The content that I have posted here is from my own personal experiences. There may be some disadvantages too but surely cannot beat the advantages and there surely are even more better ways than those listed here.

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