Many have not heard of professional networking sites

A random question thrown at an audience consisting of students in the city revealed that all of them used social media but were not aware of work-related online networks.

Anoop Kudva P., Program Manager, IBM India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, asked students of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Business Management (SDMCBM), whether they had used Facebook. All of them said yes. When he asked them if they knew of LinkedIn, no one said he or she knew about it. One student in the last row said he knew about it.

Mr. Kudva was speaking to the students as part of a keynote address at a University Grants Commission (UGC)-sponsored conference on ‘Data mining for computer security’ at the college on Friday. At least 150 students of Master of Computer Applications (MCA) were present.

Later Mr. Kudva told The Hindu that the conclusion one may draw from it was that the students, from a professional college and about to get into a profession, were intrigued with non professional media but still not familiar with networking online for work. In the corporate world there is a buzz around “social eminence”, that is, the social presence of a person, when sourcing an employee. This could happen typically through seeing the person’s presence and profile on networks such as LinkedIn or a blog. He said, “It is surprising but it is the same with similar groups in Bangalore”. If they were unaware of it in their second year of course, the ignorance is acceptable, but not knowing about in third year would be “perplexing”. “The good thing is, they know of Facebook,” he said.

He said the students might have noted Facebook asking them about “people whom they may also know” (who they can add to their network). “Why does Facebook suggest friends,” he asked. A person may know two persons who in turn know three persons each. So the social media asks the person if he knows his friend’s friends. Data mining has a role to play in getting such information.

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