posted on:February 29, 2008
7 Ways to Get Involved in the Design Community
Web designers have an incredible opportunity to participate in an active community of designers and to learn from others at the same time. There are countless resources online for designers, and the community around these sites is very strong. If you are a designer you should be actively involved in one way or another. Here is a quick look at seven ways to participate in the online design community.
1. Read and Comment on Design-Related Blogs
There are plenty of great blogs that cover all kinds of design-related topics. Some of my favorites are Smashing Magazine, Web Designer Wall, and CSS-Tricks. You’ll read tons of informative content, and by getting involved you’ll get to know a lot of skilled designers. Don’t limit yourself just to the major blogs though. There are hundreds or maybe even thousands of smaller blogs that have strong communities and good content.
2. Start a Blog
Taking it one step further, by running your own design blog you can build your own community of readers and make your own contributions by sharing your knowledge with others. Popular bloggers are always well-known throughout the community. There are thousands of readers interested in design tutorials and articles, so there are opportunities waiting for you.
3. Use Niche Social Media
The design community is fortunate to have several strong niche social media sites like Design Float, DZone, and Pixel Groovy. These niche social media sites, and other smaller ones, are great places to find the best articles on all aspects of design, and they can also provide valuable networking opportunities with other designers. Set up a profile and start sharing links and voting for your favorites.
4. Participate at Forums
One of the best ways to use your knowledge to help other designers is to participate at forums. There are thousands of questions asked about design on forums throughout the internet, which provides almost endless opportunities for you to show your knowledge and be of help to others. Likewise, you can also use forums to ask your own questions or just to get to know other designers. Some of the top forums include Digital Point, SitePoint, and Webmaster-Talk.
5. Participate at Community Sites
In addition to niche social media sites and forums, the design community also has a number of sites that allow users to interact in other ways. CSS Globe is one example. Here you can sign up for an account and share links with other users, or you can write reviews of specific designs. Another popular community site is CSS Drive, which has design news, a gallery, and forums. There are countless other sites where you can get involved with other designers and build professional relationships.
6. Write for Community Sites
Several of the popular community sites, including CSS Globe and SitePoint accept article submissions. By writing for one of these community sites you will quickly gain valuable exposure to the entire reader base. If you have writing skills and you’re interested in sharing your knowledge with other designers, this is an excellent way to make a contribution to the community.
7. Start a Community Site
Finally, one last way to get involved in the design community is to start your own site. Yes, there are already plenty of community sites out there, but there is room for more if you have some good ideas about how your site can contribute to the community as a whole. Community sites that have some unique twist of benefit to readers will always be able to succeed.
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