ADI launches its members’ only Facebook group
Social media has opened up new opportunities for networking, making it more accessible in terms of time and place, allowing a broader network system to be created, and easier, free-flowing discussions and conversations to be had. Importantly, connecting digitally does not have to replace other networking methods, in fact it can complement and even enhance them.
The first recognisable social media website ‘Six Degrees’ dates back to 1997. From then on came a flurry of new applications, such as instant messaging from AOL in 1997, Habbo (a game-based social networking site popular in 2000), and Skype in 2003 as an instant voice-calling service. Since then the market has expanded considerably and now there seems to be a platform tailored to every possible interest, hobby and personal preference.
Originally, it was very much about socialising in our private lives, but in recent times, the benefits of digital networking has become more evident throughout the profession too. In 2003, LinkedIn was launched and for the first time targeted professionals. Now it is a popular tool used by recruitment agencies and employers to identify potential new candidates, as well as for individuals to network within and outside of their profession.
Many dental practices have seized the opportunity of digital platforms as another communication tool for speaking with their patients, but increasingly they are seeing the benefits for them as individuals too. There are now online networking sites specifically designed for dental professionals to engage with, particularly when searching for local specialists, presenting their own work and skills for others to see, and looking for jobs.
Other opportunities in social networking include within professional associations, adding the unique advantage of networking with like-minded individuals. The Association of Dental Implantology (ADI) has recognised the importance of digital networking and has therefore created a members’-only Facebook group, which allows discussion, posting and reviewing of clinical case studies, as well as getting to know peers better. The group complements the already well-established ADI Study Clubs and other educational events, where dentists meet face-to-face to discuss relevant cases and topical subjects.
Although online networks offer multiple benefits, they do not have to replace the rich experience of face-to-face collaboration. Conferences, exhibitions, training courses and study clubs are very effective ways of meeting old and new acquaintances. Online alternatives can enhance the learning experience by allowing a way for continued relationships through frequent and convenient communication.
For more information about the ADI, or to join, visit www.adi.org.uk