Posted by: lalunablanca | August 26, 2008

LinkedIn Groups: Feature or Repellent?

In the preceding post, I pasted the email from LinkedIn about their new group functions. In summary, we can look toward:

  1. “Simple Discussion Spaces”
  2. Searchable list of Members
  3. Daily or Weekly Digest emails
  4. A private Group Page

In the last month, I’ve presented LinkedIn to about 200 professionals at half a dozen presentations. Depending on the crowd, adoption has been 20-25% (and no doubt some fraction of people who think they may have created a LinkedIn profile long ago, but aren’t certain about it).

I’ve had experienced Social Networkers dissuade me from creating another group to have discussions in because they were already part of so many others elsewhere.  Because LinkedIn groups had NO Functionality is what ultimately made them appealing.

The LinkedIn Group paradigm has been that of a “Tattoo Group” (a branding mechanism) with no real functionality within LinkedIn. Those that have needed functionality have obtained it elsewhere. A favorite source has been Yahoo Groups.

Now that external solutions have become accepted practice, LinkedIn introduces what looks to be sub-par group functionality. My first impression on this is “why bother”? What’s the strategy here? If there’s more to it, be a bit transparent about it.

Friday will tell – when we’re actually able to use the functionality. Perhaps there’ll be more amplifying info. I enjoy the site and can appreciate their rigid focus to the mission of appealing to pros.

What do you think about LinkedIn Groups: Are they a feature, or a repellent ?

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Responses

  1. Yeah, I’ve found linkedin groups to be pretty useless, even after the recent changes.

    The initial version of groups was 100% useless IMHO, at least the new versions is only 90% useless.

    I find their email/messaging system and job board to be decidedly sub-par as well – it’s as if they use old school software dev methods where managers who have no idea what’s required give a vague idea to architects who’ve never used the internet who dictate what should be implemented (and how) to programmers who don’t think for themselves.

    I’ve noticed that the overall UI of linkedin is becoming increasingly badly designed – I can only imagine the coders working on it have never actually used it or simply have no passion for their work. :s

    They could learn a *lot* from Facebook groups and the excellent facebook email/messaging system.


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