As the groups function of LinkedIn has improved, it has slowly started to become a networking back office for many of us.
One of my groups, Consulting Pulse , now has nearly 3,000 members. it has only taken a short time to get there and I am really glad I started it in the first place.
A pivotal moment was when I asked the group what to do about spam, "Accept all invites" posts and other garbage that was starting to fill up the forum. The response was overwhelming... today we have the Rules of Engagement setting out clearly that this group is professionally focused and spam free.
Anyone tests that and they're out. great stuff.
The groups now have news items and Job Boards. We encourage everyone there to use the job board as a contractors corner, as well as a source for recruiters and HR departments. it seems to be humming away nicely.
The news items is where the real value of the group comes in. I continually add RSS feeds from all over the web. Seth's blog, Ford Harding's blog, Dan Roam, Alan Mather and ChangeThis.com.
By themselves these are all great feds. The real value of having them in the group is that we can discuss them, comment on them and disagree regarding points related to marketing, sales, consulting skills or whatever.
I have learned a lot since starting this group, and with 10,000 members as our next goal I am sure that I have only just started to learn.
It really has become a back office for networking. Something I drop into every day to see how the discussions are going, check the news items and see if there are any controversies today. (I love those...)
I hope you will consider joining us .