If you’re not on LinkedIn, you might, for a moment, fight the initial reaction of ‘oh no, not another drain on my time!‘ and read on, as what follows may be of interest to those working in an arts management context.
Firstly though, for those already on Linkedin – this is advise you we’ve set up an Arts Ireland group (hence the new logo above). The aim this group is to provide an online space where those working in the management and administration of the arts in Ireland can discuss and exchange ideas, find support, make contacts, find work opportunities etc.
With 60 members and rising, all are welcome! Click here to join; Arts Ireland Group
(we only ask that you are working, seeking to work, or have an active interest in arts management and administration in Ireland).
For those unsure / unclear of what exactly Linkedin is;
Linked In is a professional social networking site, and as such is a powerful tool to help you access a wide network of professional contacts.
Where a site such as facebook keeps you in touch with friends, Linkedin is about keeping in touch with colleagues (and friends) in a professional capacity. As such, the functionality of the site is geared accordingly (and there is not a holiday photograph in sight).
One aspect of the site I find very useful is the ability to access an extended network of people outside my own circle.
For example, imagine I am looking for a web designer with experience of designing a site incorporating a ticketing system, and that I know no one who can do this. This is what I do;
- In Linkedin I search my contacts’ contacts using specific search terms
- I find my friends Joe, Sue and George each have a different contact who can do this (Joe, Sue and George don’t have to respond to me, the search is automatic)
- I phone Joe, Sue and George and ask them if they can recommend their contact
- very quickly I get an idea of the right person for the job without much effort
holiday photos: not on Linkedin
It’s like word of mouth on steroids. When you start to use groups, this becomes even more powerful. Every group members can post a question which all the group will see – they can choose whether or not to respond. So, I could ask the group (most of whom I won’t know personally) for advice on a web designer with specific experience, and get advice from all sort of people I don’t know.
Many of you are familiar with discussion forums (like the fantastic boards.ie) so the idea might not be so new. What we are hoping for Arts Ireland, is that the group becomes a discussion forum specifically for arts management and administration in Ireland – and this will only work if a critical mass of people get involved.
Well, by now you probably get the idea. If you’re curious, the best and easiest thing to do is give it a go. It’s free, you can give as little or as much personal information when you’re setting up your personal account, which can take as little as 5 minutes. For those interested in a bit more explanation, this film explains the concept a bit more…