Linked in groups have for over a decade provided ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
For me, Pension Play Pen has allowed me to speak to a small circle of friends that has grown to nearly 10,000 people by word of mouth and by invitations that I have made to my contacts.
Over the years – we have organised trips to the theatre, to the racing , to football and on boating outings on the river Thames.
The group organises lunches (over 500 and counting) on the first Monday of every month. We have regular parties and we organise debates. These are the off-line activities.
On-line there are about 40 regular posters, we never get less than one new conversation a day.
But over the years, it has become harder to manage the group. Not just because it is bigger, but because Linked in has made the group more and more inaccessible. Time was that you could access your groups directly from the Linked in Toolbar, groups are now find via a button few press, discouragingly called “work”. It’s “hard work” to find your group.
It became even harder last week when Linked in changed the formatting of groups. Pension PlayPen, which used to appear at the top of my group list, slipped to 57th!
Without consultation with group owners, Linked in appear to have turned off the capacity of group owners to speak to members (a weekly announcement mail). They have turned off the capacity of group owners to promote certain posts (meaning that advertising posts have the same prominence as genuinely educational content).
And when you try to invite someone to the group – which I have done every day since I founded the group, you get an unhelpful note – day after day – saying that “something went wrong”.
Something has gone wrong. Linked in , either through ignorance, weakness or its own deliberate fault, has made group management – pretty well impossible. At the moment, I am seeing no new joiners, we are getting very few casual visitors and the people who are used to hearing from me – aren’t.
The Linked in organisation ought to reconsider its group policy. I expect that supporting groups is not expensive, but nor is it lucrative. Linked in should not forget that – despite its primary purpose – to help people find jobs – it is a fabulous database – a way for people to stay in touch and the provider of online communities.
The online communities of linked in are – and have been for over a decade – linked in groups. We should ask Linked in – collectively – to save our groups and not let the thousands of hours of hard work from group owners and managers – come to nought.
On the plus side
Linked in promise us a new look groups service – though the timeline for this is unclear. You can read what they are promising here.
Just how confusing the current messaging is – can be summed up by this paragraph of a recent message from linked in help.
With new version of Groups, all admin and auto-generated emails, including digests, automated templates, and announcements, featured post will be unavailable. We’re investing in building better and more robust notification and communication channels.Once the groups have been revamped completely you will be able to use it like before.
Below – text of the linked in promise (complete with groovy GIF) – take with a swig of sceptacism
We’ve heard from all of you about how important LinkedIn Groups are to helping you build your professional communities. You’ve told us how valuable it is to have a shared space where you can talk to other professionals about trends in your industry, stay connected with fellow alumni, come together to plan networking events, and discuss the many topics you care about. We’re excited to introduce the new LinkedIn Groups experience today!
With your feedback in mind, we’ve rebuilt Groups from the ground up, making them available right in the main LinkedIn website and app. Why does this matter? Over the past year we’ve focused on bringing conversations to the forefront on LinkedIn, adding new features to make it easy for you to talk to your professional communities – things like being able to record and share videos, messaging from anywhere on the site, and seeing when your connections are online. The new Groups experience helps you take advantage of all these conversations tools with a seamless, faster experience so you can easily participate in your groups alongside all of the things you already love to do on LinkedIn.
Here’s what you can look forward to in the new experience:
- More engaging conversations: To give you richer ways to participate in your groups, you’ll now be able to post original videos, multiple images, and other rich embedded media. You’re also able to reply to comments and edit your posts and comments.
- Always stay up-to-date: We’ve heard from you that you want better ways to keep up with the conversations and activity happening in your groups so we’ve added these notifications on LinkedIn. For example, you’ll be updated when someone comments on one of your posts in the group, or when new people request to join a group you manage.
- Access anytime, anywhere: Easily get involved in your groups on-the-go from the LinkedIn iOS and Android app. Admins will also be able to take all group management actions from mobile, such as messaging group members, accepting requests to join, or removing any posts that break group rules.
Coming soon, you’ll also be able to:
- Navigate to your groups more easily: You’ll be able to quickly find and get to your groups right a navigation panel on the LinkedIn home page.
- Keep the conversation going from your LinkedIn Feed: Soon you’ll be able to start and join conversations in your groups right from your main feed. You’ll be able to reply to comments or share an interesting article without having to navigate to your group.
- Easily discover new groups that match your interests: Looking for new groups you may want to join? You’ll be able to discover recommended groups based on your network and interests from the My Network tab on desktop.
All groups are being migrated automatically to the new experience, which is rolling out now on desktop and mobile. More questions? Check out the LinkedIn Help Center for additional details.
This is just the beginning of the new LinkedIn Groups experience, and we’re looking forward to adding even more features in the coming months, such as new moderation tools for admins. We’d also love to hear more about how your groups have helped you connect with other professionals to give and get help. Take a moment to share your stories using #LinkedInGroups and you may be featured by us!