The benefits of an online community

168033398 People movingChloe Bradbury discusses the benefits of being part of an online community.

As a professional there are several ways of becoming a part of your online community, and many ways in which doing so will benefit you. Perhaps the most pertinent of these is Linkedin. Linkedin offers a convenient way to make peer-to-peer contact, establish connections with people of influence or interest in your industry, and, once accepted as a connection, are available for you to consult with queries, offers, and general conversation.

It is a fantastic tool for allowing people of every calibre to intermingle – those at the start of their careers to industry leaders. In a profession such as dentistry it is great for discussing exciting topics, new tools, and hot industry news. You can seek advice, offer advice, and generally keep up-to-date with your associates. Linkedin describes itself as a means of: ‘Building and engaging with your professional network. Accessing knowledge, insights and opportunities.’

Forums

Another way with which you can interact with your compeers is to access professional forums. There are a plethora of dental forums, readily accessible. You can find international, national, and local forums depending on your requirements. These are a fantastic way of posting questions, queries and conundrums, and being inundated with responses.

There are clear benefits to this – often a third, objective party and opinion is helpful, particularly if it is a topic that you are struggling to deal with. Quite often the very action of posting the question is enough to encourage you to think of solutions yourself, but on dedicated professional forums you have access to a collection of minds with a (hopefully) valid opinion on the subject.

You will of course come across both opinions similar and dissimilar to your own, but it is liberating to have an instant source of opinion at the ready. Following the posts that are currently on trend allows you to keep abreast of topical news and information. It also encourages discussion amongst peers, which may in turn present insights to certain topics that you may not have previously countenanced.

A professional sounding board

It is certainly worth perusing both of the above, Linkedin and forums, if you have not already done so. They stimulate both interest and conversation in professional topics. They encourage you to share your thoughts and your queries with the potential of a solution being found.

Linkedin allows you to access a community of peers, which in turn may lead to both exciting opportunities and insightful interactions. If you are keen to access Linkedin, it is very simple to set up an account and begin to make online connections. The more information you include on your profile, the easier it will be for peers who are seeking you online to find you.

In terms of forums, I would advise doing some research first as to which are the most well established or well regarded amongst your fellow professionals. Once you have decided which you would like to access, enjoy your newfound professional sounding board.


If you’d like to speak to an expert in this field you can call Charles Southey, operations director at Digital Results, who works with dental practices and companies to maximise the performance of their websites and online marketing. Visit www.digital-results.com or call 0800 688 9810.

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