Monday, November 10, 2008

On line Groups – What is the point?

Last week I found myself with a couple of unexpected hours free and started to sign up to a few ‘LinkedIn’ groups. No doubt many of my contacts received a weekly update informing them of my joining Vlerick Alumni, just as I received notification that an ex-colleague called Eric has updated his profile by submitting a new photograph?!

I can see the point in groups, especially if their membership includes people who might be interesting to consult with. But what will keep them as members? Many are bound to unsubscribe simply due to the potential banality of their content. (It reminds me of the early 80’s when everyone seemed to be purchasing CB radios, the problem was the airwaves soon became filled with people who, having hooked up to an elaborate communication network, found themselves with absolutely nothing to contribute – but, however, contribute they did!) What a successful group needs is content and a raison d'être – I see that Belgium’s ‘Data News’ LinkedIn group, has no content at all – which is rather strange considering it was put together by publishers!

With the rapid rise of e-networking tools, it is for sure that there will be a backlash. I don’t know if you have come across Ecadamy or not but they offer a paying networking group called ‘BlackStar’ that costs 105EUR per month to subscribe to, now why on earth would anyone want to sign up to that?!

Groucho Marx once said: "I would never join any club that would accept me as a member. If we substitute club for LinkedIn Group then we have an interesting debate : (see what a bunch of psychologists can discuss about it, and join in the debate if you want? ;-) Link

End note: By the way I posted a question on the LinkedIn Vlerick Alumni group forum and must admit, found the response very satisfactory indeed – the only point was I didn’t realize anyone had responded until I found them by accident. I guess there must be a tag somewhere that needs activating?! Have a safe week,


1 comment:

Nick Taylor Bodyproject said...

I think there are groups and groups. I have joined the IoD one and there is some useful stuff on it but, interestingly, the biggest topic (60 comments and counting) is one where a member used a term about lunatics and another member got all politically correct and sparked a fierce debate about nothing. I agree with you though and was horrified at Business North West last week at homw many companies are selling networking.