For this month's Net2Think Tank, we're featuring ways that organizations can use Linkedin for good. As we're using Linkedin as a tool to share with our audiences, I thought I'd share a few of my reflections on the platform.
Linkedin Groups are a cross between a forum and a mailing list on a particular topic. We're using the NetSquared Linkedin Group as a space to share ideas, opportunities, and jobs relating to using technology for social benefit. A few reflections:
My favorite use of Linkedin Groups is to ask questions, and I especially love when community members do the asking!
I really like the Manager's Choice function. By design, discussions on the platform are maintained by community involvement, with an emphasis on recent content. The Manager's Choice is a listing of up to 10 discussion posts that we can use to promote excellent or timely content. We often use this as an opportunity to highlight intelligent questions from community members or to highlight Net2 Think Tank questions.
Many NetSquared Local groups have started NetSquared sub-groups. These are a great way to have local community activity connected to the global cause.
Linkedin offers a wide range of tools and features to moderate and manage the group. They offer opened (public) and closed (private) groups, as well as a wide rang of customization options for the ways that users can interact. I especially like that the tool sends me messages when the site needs moderating, so I don't need to set my own reminders!
It's not really easy to search for groups without a brand name. I'd like to see the group search function search keywords within the existing content, rather than just keywords in the group title. For instance, if I search "nptech", nothing comes up - this isn't because nobody is talking about nptech, simply that there isn't a group with that name.
There is a lot of spam on Linkedin. But, there are also some excellent tools for moderators to combat irrelevant postings. This means that spam isn't a problem so long as you put the five minutes in a week to make sure you're getting rid of it.
Linkedin Answers are a great tool for asking or answering questions from your connections or the entire Linkedin Community.
So far, I've used Linkedin Answers exclusively for soliciting feedback to Net2 Think Tank questions. To my surprise, this has been an excellent way to get feedback on a topic. The tool is a bit like Quora, but what I like about it is that it's reaching people where they already are, rather than on an external site.
I'd love to be able to publicly respond to or comment on people's Answers to my questions. As a question asker, the only way to reply to an answerer is via a private message - hardly in the spirit of collaboration!
I'd also like to see Linkedin Answer functionality integrated into the Groups. I'd find this far more valuable that the little used "jobs" and "opportunities" tools.
What else could or should we be doing? What do you wish we were already doing on Linkedin and what do you wish Linkedin would allow us to do but doesn't? Linkedin is listening to your feedback to this month's net2 think tank, so please share your thoughts with us!
About Net2 Think Tank:
Net2 Think Tank is a monthly blogging/social networking event open to anyone and is a great way to participate in an exchange of ideas. We post a question or topic to the NetSquared community and participants submit responses either on their own blogs, the NetSquared Community Blog, or using social media. Tag your post with "net2thinktank" and email a link to us to be included. At the end of the month, the entries get pulled together in the Net2 Think Tank Round-Up.