Let me be upfront and maybe save you some time: I'll be absolutely honest about what I think, but for the sake of transparency this post is sponsored by Polywork. That being said...
Internet is full of different social platforms, but every time we talk about professional networking, generally there is only a bunch that come to mind. Said platforms have been the "de facto" for networking, talent hunting/hiring, and so on for a long time. The thing is, we all know they have a bunch of issues:
- The UI is extremely dated.
- The interaction with other users is always awkward.
- We get a bunch of unwanted messages and invitations.
- Sharing stuff in those networks feels fruitless, and generally, the things shared by other users are just looking for engagement (pointless polls, inspirational quotes, and so on).
The list goes on, but the main issue with them is that none of them actually work for networking. When you want to meet people professionally, you only care about stuff like:
- What do they do? And generally the response is not only one thing.
- Are they open to collaborating? Some folks might be open for some activities, but not for others.
- Do they share some passions with you? Is great to be able to talk with your anime lover co-workers about the last episode of a show, or about mechanical keyboard customizations, or cats, or memes!
The solution so far was to create a custom website/portfolio to show up this kind of thing, and share the link everywhere so folks can find you. Luckily, we have a new player in town and is called Polywork. First and foremost, as you might imagine, Polywork allows us to do networking answering the questions mentioned in the previous section:
You can create "highlights" about what you do, not only your professional updates like job position changes but actual highlights like a YouTube video you created, a Twitch stream you did, a blog post you wrote, a talk you gave, and so on. In your highlights, you can use tags to identify the activity and add participants if you did that activity with others.
You can specify what are the things you're open to do with others: Beta testing, open-source contributions, live streaming, mentoring... even resume feedback! You get your own "personal bot" who will deal with the folks wanting to collaborate with you and will take your preferences as a base for that dialog.
In your profile customization, you can add tags to yourself, so you can find likeminded professionals: Software developers, designers, cat dad/mom, streamers, dark mode enthusiasts, anime fans, gamers, animal rights defenders, star wars fans, dancers, introverts, and so on!
Besides the fact that it is an amazing networking experience, the UI is beautiful and simple (it has dark mode ❤️)...
It has DNS support so you can have your profile in your domain (mine is polywork.lukeshiru.me), it has amazing features for finding and sharing new work opportunities such as the "Space Station", which allows you to search based on tags, collaboration openness and so on...
... and the Multiverse, just to see what everyone is doing...
Besides doing web development professionally, I also have open-source projects, a stream in Spanish called hablemos.dev, and previously had a stream called "Untitled WebDev Stream", all my streams are on my YouTube.
Instead of spamming in places like DEV creating posts every time I upload a new video to YouTube, or when I create a new open source project, I just create highlights in Polywork about those videos, repos, and even my posts here in DEV. Because Polywork is designed to self-promote and answer the question "What do you do?", people actually expect to see that in your profile. In there I don't feel I'm being annoying if I spam the things I do, and the best thing is that it's even encouraged because your profile will be even better with highlights on it.
Now, every time I create something new (a stream, a package, an app, and so on) I just update my Polywork profile by adding a new highlight. In the near future I plan to use this great platform to find folks willing to work with me in some personal projects of mine, or to collaborate in live streams about WebDev 😄
When the folks at Polywork asked me if I was interested in writing an article about my experience using the platform, I was on board pretty much instantly mainly because I love the work they have done and I honestly believe that's how you do networking on the web. If you want to take a look I have a bunch of VIP invites left so you can skip the line.
Go and give it a try, and if you did already, leave a comment with your opinion about it so folks have more to read about it.
Thanks for reading!