This is a bit of an experiment. I'm interested in finding out why the number of  discussions in LinkedIn groups are dwindling - I have some thoughts but would be interested in your opinions on why this is and how we can get things going again?

This morning I had a bit of an audit of the groups I belong to on LinkedIn, I haven't done it for a while so I went through and assessed each one on the basis of whether it was actually useful or interesting to me. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found that some of my groups were a waste of time....

Why? because there is usually very little discussion going on, most of the groups have lots of posts, but the majority are shameless promotion of either the person posting or whatever they are selling and not that interesting.

In my audit of groups I found only one recent and interesting discussion! The author had written a blog post and shared it to a group with a question aimed at promoting discussion and a lively discussion had ensued - right up until the point where one contributor took a potshot at another contributor - "you clearly don't know what you are talking about!" - and the comment stream ceased.

My thoughts on what is stopping discussions:

  • The shear volume of content being posted means its hard to keep a conversation at the top of the discussions stream.
  • People are worried that they will get negative comments from others if they post an opinion.
  • People are "taking it offline" continuing the conversation via direct message or email.
  • People are more interested in their own opinion than the opinions of others.
  • People view LinedIn groups as a sales tool rather than a forum for learning and exchanging ideas.
  • People are simply posting links to their blogs without asking a question or seeding a discussion.
  • People make one or two attempts to start a discussion, don't get any traction, and then give up.

I'd be really interested in peoples views on what is stopping conversation, and how we can get things moving again....?

Let me know what you think via LinkedIn