LinkedIn does Groups

I got my first(?) Caltech Alumni spam today which led me to this page which led me to this page.

The cool thing about LinkedIn Groups feature (finding this is an interesting case of buried UI) is that this stuff seems to be officially/unofficially sponsored by the groups hosted by LinkedIn. This means I get a cool logo next to my vanity profile:

Caltech Alumni Logo on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Groups, It’ll get you drunk!

Other than the cool logo, WTF? There is no event management; there is no message board; there is no mailing list; there is no homepage. It is just a directory. Why do I need groups for that?

I was hoping that we could use this for Lunch 2.0, but I’m not too sure it adds anything. Thoughts?

Looks like this idea needs more than a little work to be useful.

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tychay

light writing, word loving, ❤ coding

One thought on “LinkedIn does Groups”

  1. Terry, I am glad to see we at least got you to click through via our “spam.” Also that you are a LinkedIn veteran and a member of the Caltech group. Re: your other comments…

    You said “The cool thing about LinkedIn Groups feature … is that this stuff seems to be officially/unofficially sponsored by the groups hosted by LinkedIn.” The Caltech Alumni Association requested that the group be created, after learning that LinkedIn was offering a “groups” function of some type. So it is an official Caltech activity, if that was what you were referring to.

    You also said: “Other than the cool logo, WTF? There is no event management; there is no message board; there is no mailing list; there is no homepage. It is just a directory. Why do I need groups for that?” Let me try some answers – I’d be interested in your further comments and thoughts, as a user of the site and as a group member.

    – Glad you like the logo. We agree, it’s cool. But we designed it, so….

    – No event management, messaging, listserv, group homepage. Check, check, check and check. You’re right. LinkedIn offers relatively little to its groups, beyond the logo for members and very limited info re: aggregated profile info those members have submitted. However, that’s not the goal of using LinkedIn, for us anyway. The goals include:

    Giving alumni of Caltech a way to see how their Caltech connections overlap/interconnect with all their other (professional and personal) non-Caltech connections;

    Giving alumni the opportunity to see pretty easily which other Caltech alumni are using LinkedIn, and how they might be already connected to those other alumni;

    Giving Caltech and its alumni more visibility within the total LinkedIn member base (that orange flame is pretty visible);

    Giving alumni one more way to find connections in the world that can help them do something they need to do: find a job, hire someone, get some VC, information interview, socialize, etc.

    So although the CIT group on LinkedIn doesn’t do a lot of the traditional “online community” stuff that Associations buy software to accomplish, it is more than “just a directory.” It does something that anecdotally we have heard is pretty useful, and sometimes even cool. If networking can be cool.

    As an aside, we’re embarking on a systematic examination of the effectiveness of this tool and we hope to get some data about usage, connections, and effectiveness of the LinkedIn site (and its Caltech alumni group). If you decide to Lunch 2.0 this anyway, please let me know…I’d love to find out what people think about making it more effective.

    Andy Shaindlin
    Executive Director, Caltech Alumni Association

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