IBM Adds Social Networking To DeveloperWorks Portal - InformationWeek

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Software // Social

IBM Adds Social Networking To DeveloperWorks Portal

The company is hoping to unify its approximate 8 million registered users worldwide, including enterprise software developers and other IT professionals.

Just as IBM's popular DeveloperWorks site for IT professionals turns 10 years old in September, the company is sprucing it up with new social networking capabilities.

The new features being unveiled on Thursday will allow DeveloperWorks members to create personal profiles, helping them promote their technical expertise, expand their professional networking, and create online groups for shared projects and interests.

Approximately 8 million people worldwide, including enterprise software developers and other IT professionals, are registered members of DeveloperWorks, and about 4 million of them visit the portal at least monthly, said Stephanie Martin, IBM's director of DeveloperWorks.

DeveloperWorks is a free online portal providing IT professionals with access to skills development and technical resources related to open standard technologies, including Linux, Java, XML, and cloud computing.

The new My DeveloperWorks site has been "retooled" by IBM on Lotus Connections enterprise networking and collaboration technology, which lets members create "vertically" focused groups related to their interests, said Martin.

For instance, if My DeveloperWorks members are interested in beefing up their skills and knowledge related to emerging technologies that are supported by the U.S. government's stimulus programs, like electronic medical records, they can tailor their home page to receive real-time feeds and other content about health care IT standards. The members can also create new groups related to the subject and invite others to join.

Users can search My DeveloperWorks personal profiles by keyword, tag, location, or name, allowing users to find other individuals with shared interests or specific expertise. Members also can check out the credentials of individuals commenting on forums or participating in online groups -- as well as promote their own expertise, said Martin.

In coming months, My DeveloperWorks users will also be able to connect with their social networking profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

When existing DeveloperWorks members visit the site now, they'll be requested -- but not required -- to create a personal profile for the new MydeveloperWorks functionality, said Martin.

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