What do I mean, the LinkedIn Bloggers group has moved to LinkedIn? With that name, wouldn’t it have been there already?
Short answer: Yes
The story so far
It’s now just over five and a half years ago, in May 2005, since I teamed up with the most prolific creator of online groups I know, Vincent Wright, to help build the LinkedIn Bloggers group he had established on the Yahoo! Groups platform. Several months later we established a group of the same name on what was then known as LinkedIn for Groups and is now just LinkedIn Groups (a literally significant change in nomenclature which is almost certainly of more interest to students of history like me than to most of the millions of LinkedIn members!)
We had some great discussions on the Yahoo group, but things quietened down some time ago and, not to put too fine a point on it, conversation on the group just fizzled out.
So if the conversation has fizzled out, why move to LinkedIn Groups?
Some of us believe there is scope still to have useful discussions around blogging, plus other new/social media, and networking, especially on LinkedIn, and think the new LinkedIn Groups platform (as distinct from the old LinkedIn for Groups directory) seems to provide more scope for re-starting the conversation.
So we have now moved the focus of attention to the LinkedIn group and away from the Yahoo group (effectively mothballing the Yahoo group) .
People and topics
In a post back in 2005, only a few days after I had joined the Yahoo group, I wrote about the people we hoped to attract to LinkedIn Bloggers and how we saw the group operating:
The aim is for LinkedIn Bloggers to attract LinkedIn members who are already experienced and even expert bloggers … and also – and very importantly from my point of view – LinkedIn members who are not yet blogging and want to find out more about it, how they would go about it etc, in a friendly, professional and non-hyped setting.
I think that still lines up pretty much with how we see the group operating on the LinkedIn platform.
OK, I can’t resist sharing a bit of history but I’ll keep it brief
Just harking back for a moment to the “LinkedIn for Groups/LinkedIn Groups” distinction I made above, and promising no extended history lesson, there was no opportunity in 2005 to have a group conversation on LinkedIn. The groups then were, as far as I can recall, mainly alumni groups from colleges and companies and the LinkedIn for Groups directory gave people in those groups better intra-group networking opportunity.
The relatively new look “LinkedIn Groups” is set up for moderated discussions, has real names not the often uncommunicative Yahoo username setup. There are also, helpfully, a Promotions section (so the discussion stream does not have to be muddied) and a Jobs section (ditto re discussion).
But what if we’re giving a party and nobody comes?
That’s possible. On the other hand, we have 127 members in the group on LinkedIn and while many of the members of the Yahoo group may not migrate there are already new members in the group on LinkedIn who were not members of the Yahoo group.
I’m sure there are many LinkedIn members around the world who do not yet even know of the existence of the LinkedIn Bloggers group. Especially given that, as I discovered a day or so ago, we were not listed on the LinkedIn Groups directory. That was probably a hangover from the old days when you had to pay an annual fee to LinkedIn to have your group listed: as we had no actual activity going on there at the time we did not avail ourselves of the privilege. I’ve changed the setting there so I would expect more people will now become aware of the group’s existence and be attracted to join us.
We are definitely open for business
At this stage the group is technically a “closed” group while we arrange the furniture, so to speak. But membership for any LinkedIn member should normally be approved immediately. And one of the great advantages of the LinkedIn Groups setup is that people who apply to join the group will already be LinkedIn members (basic membership is free) which has always been a pre-requisite for membership of the group, but very difficult and sometimes impossible to establish from the Yahoo group membership application process.
We have a group of managers standing ready to serve
I am delighted that Dennis McDonald and Robyn Tippins, who each has great knowledge, experience, wisdom and good old common sense and were both such stalwarts as co-moderators on the Yahoo group, have stepped up to be managers of the LinkedIn group.
We have rules, but not too many
A draft document with rules for the group has been posted on the site. There are at present two rules (with explanations of how each applies):
Rule 1: Respect the discussion space, in terms of topic, content and tone
Rule 2: Respect your colleagues in the group
It’s appropriate to acknowledge here the great support for the group over the years from the founder, Vincent Wright, original co-moderator Dave Taylor, Dennis and Robyn as above, and co-moderator on the Yahoo group Sarah Lewis.
We are still using the logo which was donated with typical generosity by Paul Dube and approved by LinkedIn, back in the mists of LinkedIn Bloggers time.
And thanks to all the wonderful people who have contributed through sharing, discussing and debating, to what has been a truly dynamic group and will hopefully continue to provide service and enjoyment in its new place of operation.
I hope if you are not a LinkedIn Bloggers member yet you will come and check us out.