Why LinkedIn Groups are useless
(This was triggered by a comment from someone else in one of the LinkedIn Groups that I'm a member of and I'm thinking of positing it on LinkedIn - hence it's in English)
In theory, LinkedIn Groups sound like a good idea; a no-brainer even. You have all these experts from a given field. Let them open discussion groups where they can discuss new developments in their field and share their knowledge. I don't know about you, but this is not what I see happening in the LinkedIn Groups that I am a member of.
Most of the groups I'm subscribed to are simply dead. Nothing happens; and I mean nothing - not even spam is posted there.
The rest of the groups suffer from two problems: Off-topic posts (aka spam) and self-promotion.
There's not much you can do about self-promotion - and you probably shouldn't either. In the end, if I'm an expert in my field, I'm probably not going to post my latest thoughts in a LinkedIn Group directly. I post them on my blog, where more people can see it. And then I post a pointer to said blog post on LinkedIn. But what happens is that the discussion - if it even happens - also moves to the blog, away from LinkedIn. So other than possibly a few likes, nothing really happens here, in the group. As a reader of said group, I get at least a rough idea of what's going on. But then again, I could easily get the same information from pretty much any other social media channel as well - if the original poster does what everybody else is doing, then s/he posted the same pointer to that article on Facebook, Twitter, etc., too.
The bigger problem are off-topic posts and outright spam and the fact that most group moderators don't seem to be doing anything about them. I mean, if I'm subscribed to a group about better presentations and a group member keeps posting unrelated stuff about management tips, news from unrelated industries, and so on and the group owners don't do anything about it - what do I do? At first, I try reporting these posts. But once I realise that nothing's going to change, I'm quickly going to lose interest in the group. What bothers me the most is that this is also happening in closed groups, where you have to apply for a membership first. It would be easy for the moderators to kick those spammers. But they don't, even though they still seem to moderate the group by letting new people in. I just don't understand the thinking behind that.
I'm sure there are a few lively and useful LinkedIn Groups. They don't seem to be anywhere near my area of interest, though. The ones I'm in have been downgraded to being nice badges on my profile. The real exchange of information is happening elsewhere. I don't need LinkedIn for that.