Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Social Networking for Innovators

A year ago at the Connecticut SBIR conference, I met Ryan Bloom, Vice President & Cofounder of Boliven, a social networking site for "Innovators at Work". It took me the year to follow up on his invitaiton to join the site. But I heartily recommend it as a venue for researchers, PIs, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

The basis behind it is to link people with each other based on a portfolio of their work, their contracts and grants, their patents and journal articles. The network is based on these tools of the trade. Their on-board searches are intended to find your efforts, and permit you to add them to your portfolio. Your coauthors are linked as part of your network. You receive updates when one of them is listed on a patent or has received a grant.

It's still a young network, but they seem open to and eager for further refinements. For instance, there is definitely room for improvement to their automated searches. A great deal that should show up doesn't, and there isn't yet sufficient facility for adding things. But I'm convinced it will continue to improve, and will prove a useful resource for those of us involved in innovation. Check it out.

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