Unless you're part of some close-knit, super-active, totally top secret open source project, IT can be a lonely calling. But the thing is, it doesn't have to be.
Now you can network with like-minded pros and ask burning questions you'd hate to ask your superior ("What is a 'foo'?"). The best part is, you don't even have to leave your cubby. Or even turn the light on.
We give you ITtoolbox, the largest professional networking site for the information technology community. ITtoolbox was founded about nine years ago and enjoys about 250,000 active members. It sports over 1.8 million unique visitors each month, 370 of which blog. Participate in one of its 650 buzzing discussion groups, or wiki with over 3700 user-defined terms and how-tos at your tingling fingertips.
Like professional network LinkedIn, ITtoolbox is among the few and proud social networks to turn a profit. (Even Facebook's having trouble doing that.) The company has been profitable since '99, and last August it was acquired by the Corporate Executive Board for US$ 59.9 million.
CMSWire teamster Marisa has already done a bit of research on IT-oriented social networking communities. For our ilk (as in, our gender), we've found SFWoW and WebGrrls particularly pleasant.
But we strongly encourage women in IT to start nosing around in non-exclusively-femme IT sites. ITtoolbox in particular seems like a neat place to get grokking -- if you're into that.
We promise you it's plenty less "Ick!" than trying to hold your own on Anandtech while building your geek credentials early on in life. And hey, you might make some interesting connections that lead you into the job opportunity of your life (unless your prefer to trawl the CMSWire job board in solitude).