In case you didn’t notice, LinkedIn sent an email this week to members with the subject line, “Check Out What’s New in Groups.” Your Group discussions will be displayed in one place similar to the updates you get in your activities time line.
Polls will be retired on May 15th, and there are updated rules on Group Discussions.
Watch What You Say
It’s the Moderation of Group Rules that has me puzzled and concerned. A very good friend who posts what I consider to be excellent content in his Groups was informed that his comments would have to be reviewed and approved across all his groups before they can be posted. Maybe they won’t be posted at all. He has no idea why his comments were singled out. LinkedIn, in laying out its Group Rules, states:
He’s not one to spam every group with unrelated content. He has no idea what the infraction was and has no way to find out. This is like standing before a judge and finding out that your sentence has been meted out before the trial begins. Group managers can flag inappropriate comment but so can members. It may be a stretch, but who’s to say a competitor wouldn’t play naughty and report you for a perfectly legitimate discussion.
LinkedIn has always frowned on self-promotions in Discussions, and rightly so. If you want to sell something, then Promotions is the place to do it. However, like many LinkedIn members I post links to my blog posts to relevant groups where I think I can add value. I personalize the snippet and description. But here is what LinkedIn says about self-promotion, which can include blogs.
I’m one to play by the rules, but I think LinkedIn needs to bring more clarity to the changes. For starters, LinkedIn could draft more detailed instructions for Group Managers who could disseminate them to Group members. Group managers have quite a bit of discretion about applying rules to their Groups but they are not always applied consistently.
It happened to me a couple of years ago when I went to post a discussion in the HR.com Group and learned I had been dropped. I wrote to the Group manager who said he had no idea why that had happened and reinstated me.
Are we going to have to worry about every comment we make or Discussion we start on a LinkedIn Group? LinkedIn is my primary network. I dislike spam like everyone else. I just hope that LinkedIn hasn’t gone a little too far in getting rid of the chaff and the wheat.
What are your thoughts? Have you been bounced from any Groups or had your comments subjected to review across all Groups? What do you think about all this?