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LinkedIn recently offered a significant update to the groups function.

Looking back – I covered the last update in September / October 2008, so it looks like the folks at LinkedIn reviewed that effort and turned it into an eighteen month update cycle.

Let’s have a look.

Friendlier interactions

My 2008 review of LinkedIn group functionality was that I didn’t quite “get it”.

It’s interesting to see that much of what I wrote appears to have been taken into account. (and I don’t consider myself a pro at the whole social aspect of social networking, but those weaknesses were very evident;-)

It now seems like a site I could leave messages on.

Visibility

Much of my attention was drawn to ways that the discussions worked – not so well.

This new site combines news and discussions, and uses a like / comment voting system to pull things to the front. It also displays the very newest items and allows a manager to select one thread as a favorite.

Social networking has been expanding in ways to consider viewers, preferences, voting, and a bit of direction from above.  LinkedIn adopted these with a nice looking interface and it seems to me they did a good job with this update.

Group Spam

This topic is getting attention lately as some users have taken to the group functionality to drop messages into every one of the groups they belong to – that have little connection to the group conversation.

My guess is that LinkedIn will next release a mechanism for users to self-flag spam and vote in restrictions on other users – not unlike the “I don’t know” mechanism.

And I’ll acknowledge that this is a sensitive and fine line to walk – how do you keep a few from bringing a group down while not looking like you are stifling real conversation.  Yahoo allows one to moderate a group – that is approve postings and / or posters. It’s one way to handle this.

Currently a group manager can only kick people out of the group.

Group members and searches

These two simple items remain a core strength of groups – the ability to search among other group members and reach out to them with a message.

If you haven’t checked out groups, you should do so – and you are welcome to join the “TLPT Collaborators” as a place to explore / experiment. Follow the link in the box over in the right column, everyone is approved for membership.

Since this group functionality is new – please drop a comment in with your own thoughts on the changes and let us know how you use groups!-)

To your continued success,

steve

Steven Tylock
http://www.linkedinpersonaltrainer.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetylock