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The best social networks to be on if you’re a tech addict

Fans, Tweets and Likes are vanity. ROI is sanity. It’s up to you to decide how crazy you can afford to be. (Lori R. Taylor)

Social media has changed the way most of us communicate and collaborate, not just personally but professionally as well. IT professionals are no exception and in some areas they are leading the way.

Both technology professionals and amateur geeks have been gathering online since Usenet first launched in 1979. For people who spend their workday in front of a computer facing new technology challenges, it’s natural that they took quickly to online forums, newsgroups and discussion boards, so tech social networks are the latest extension of these virtual communities.

LinkedIn is with no doubt number one when it comes to professional social networking, but your quest to connect doesn’t need to stop there. Many of us, tech fans, actively use sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote our ideas or businesses, and those of us looking to connect with more business-related contacts may turn to other social networks to develop relationships and exchange ideas.

With the growing use of social networking by business professionals, there is a growing number of social networking sites focused on business users and meeting their needs. Here’s a list of 5 social networks that caught my attention because they offer a variety of features for technology professionals such as Facebook integration, career advice, resume critiques and much more:

1. Spiceworks is a free website for IT professionals to learn about and get advice on technology directly from the vendors that provide it. With a user base of 2 million, members can ask questions in forums and connect, as well as take advantage of its network management and help desk applications.

2. Solaborate is the first social networking platform dedicated to technology professionals. Basically it lets technology professionals (whether they work in hardware, software or services) publish questions, share documents and presentations, chat, video conference, and share best practices. The network sounds a lot like LinkedIn with a real-time collaboration layer on top of the networking part. Also, Solaborate integrates with existing social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

3. is a social networking and knowledge exchange website for IT, HR and Finance professionals. The network says it connects over three million IT experts and executives from across the globe on a monthly basis, having attracted 2.3 million registered members since its founding in 1998. Basically, enables users to evaluate IT vendors, plan and manage projects, solve problems and stay in the loop of what’s happening in the world of tech.

4. EFactor is a free to join social network for entrepreneurs, mentors and investors that has more than 1 million members, according to its site. The social network focuses on connecting technology entrepreneurs with experts, potential partners and clients, as well as finding employment and funding for startups.

5. StartupNation is a community focused on the exchange of ideas between entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. The site is smaller in size compared to many social networking sites and has 120,000 members in the U.S. Aside from its networking features StartupNation offers step-by-step advice columns, small business and entrepreneur forums, professional groups, expert blogs, podcasts, contests and more.

Social media has changed the way tech fans and IT professionals discover and share information. It’s a movement that will only gather steam as younger professionals enter the workforce. So, do you have any other relevant social networking sites for tech geeks? Which one has worked the best for you or your business?

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