I am migrating my long-standing groups from LinkedIn to another site…

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And I am suggesting to the owners of a couple of 25K+ groups I help manage that they do the...

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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 4, 2018 12:00 am
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The image shown above is of the group dynamically re-formatted for smartphone. The desktop and mobile versions can be seen at:

https://portroyalgroupchat.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/welcome/

This is a signup and transfer page only, for the time being. Cheers!
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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 4, 2018 8:00 pm
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The disgruntled Groups owners who intend on using panic to drive people from LI to their private websites are likely in for a shock when they see phenomenally low signup rates. It's also disheartening to see the lengths some people are going to to harvest their LI users for their own personal use.

I went through a similar event years ago when a massive forum transitioned and people fled in droves to (ironically) LinkedIn. Rather than see users transition over to a private website, they saw their numbers drop from 100K to less than 1K. People just don't trust private websites run by individuals.
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Posted by Christopher Paris (Discussions: 1, Comments: 1)
Replied on September 4, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris, not sure what you are saying about using panic. Panic over what? Owning and operating a group on LinkedIn is a free choice, the last time I checked. And I have not yet run into any group owner of any significant experience who is under any illusions as to the difficulties of migrating the membership of their extant group(s). As to your reference to efforts to "harvest their LI users for... personal use", that is a scurrilous unsupported accusation that makes no sense, for LI users are not the property of the platform, but free agents -- something that LI seems not to understand, just as it seems not to understand that groups owners and managers are not unpaid employees of LI.

As to trust, in the wake of months of being promised by Sophie Bonnet and others from LinkedIn that the latest revamp of Groups was going to be a great new start, I can only quote what I read today from someone you know... cont. Pt II

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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris - Pt. II - "We lost a lot of posts during the botched rollout yesterday. In our group we put promotions in the Jobs tab (since LI removed the Promotions tab years ago), and suddenly everything was merged up. It was a few hours of absolute chaos in my group (180K members). I warned people that we'd be seeing some glitchy behavior, though, but I am really dreading this next rollout attempt.

Still not sure I understand the desire to INCREASE spam in the groups, and cripple spam filtering. LinkedIn will lose users if the company intentionally makes it a spam or troll platform, since real users (with real profiles) will just quit entirely." (CP in LIGOMM)
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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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There's a marked difference between complaining about a service in order to force the developer to improve it, and creating your own website and then exaggerating the problems in order to frighten users to "migrate" to it.

Fortunately, no one can "migrate" anything from LinkedIn, all they can do is register a cheapo website and then hope people sign up, and then watch as they absolutely don't. This frightens LinkedIn not one iota.

Scurrilous! Consider my pearls clutched!
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Posted by Christopher Paris (Discussions: 1, Comments: 1)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris - I don’t recall anyone ever making this about frightening LinkedIn. LI-MSFT is a behemoth and shows little concern over the effects of its decisions. What intrigues me somewhat is why it troubles some that a few groups may splinter off from the platform — or not. It is only of consequence to the group owners and members involved who are, as I previously said, free agents.


You have a large group and you may choose to soldier on. Which is your prerogative. Some others are choosing to move elsewhere, which is theirs. That’s all there is to it.
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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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I think its fine if you want to try to recruit your members to go off-site, that's (as you say) your prerogative. But my concern is the level of deception that some are using to drive people off of LI (where they can't monetize their contact information) to their personal websites( where they CAN monetize them)

And yes, I am talking about Joe Hage, who published releases and articles talking about how he intends to migrate people off of LinkedIn in order to build "the Joe Hage Brand." He then published openly false information about the transition to cause a panic (he literally used the terms "abandon ship" and "panic") in order to promote his website. In my case, I believed his false claims, published a note on my own group and then got called out by members who felt *I* was trying to poach the members for my own use. I had to publish a public apology, all because I believed Hage. We lost members over that fiasco.

Inviting members to an off-LI site is fine. Lying to do it isn't.

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Posted by Christopher Paris (Discussions: 1, Comments: 1)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher no-one will leave Linkedin, they will set up a profile on a membership website or sign-up for a newsletter. The churn on newsletters can be high.

The two worlds will co-exist, people will de-activate from Linkedin because they do not need to look for a job. A number because the networking tools and e-mail summaries are poor.

A good few will respond to the dailymail.co.uk CTO posts to keep a few Linkedin sales lights burning.

Many group managers like me will simply reduce previous time commitments, not support the platform as per my post today. Linkedin have NO CLUE as to who we as group owners can influence.

Joe earns his living from his groups as do others, many are not in this group.

I do not, I am one of those awkward sods who could tear it down and not care as I did with 10 sub-groups when it became a hassle.

Linkedin was never created to be an event management or knowledge sharing platform, it sort of grew into it, the next evolution will be something else.
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Posted by Andrew Travers (Discussions: 1, Comments: 3)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher, I don't know Joe personally, only from interactions in this group. However, I have I have NOT seen anything in what he's said here or published elsewhere, that warrants or substantiates your allegations. Some run-of-the-mill hyperbole, yes. But premeditated lying? ABSOLUTELY NOT. If you took ill-advised actions based on your misinterpretation of the significance of what he said, I suggest that is on you. If not, you might say the same thing about me when months ago I published a couple of pieces predicting the death of LinkedIn Groups.


https://www.bebee.com/producer/@friedman-phil/hives-groups-and-froot-loops


https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8435212/8435212-6414652313130057732

As to monetization of member data, the prime operator in that capacity is LinkedIn itself. But let's be clear... while LI owns its records, it does NOT not own the member data itself, and members are free to share their own data with whomever they choose. (cont... Pt. II)
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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher - Pt. II -- I also expect that, as some groups migrate or create parallel or splinter groups off-site, we'll see a lot of talk about "ownership" of groups from the self-appointed apologists for LinkedIn. (Not from LI itself, as it will simply ignore all such questions as it has in the past.)

The "new" Groups development team likes to think of Groups as belonging to LI and group owners more as unpaid "admins" working for LI. But, when I first started my groups in 2009-2010, LinkedIn specifically told me in its literature that I was encouraged to "start my own group". And it was no accident that LI used at that time the term "group owner".

Moreover, my main group, an industry-specific one, bears the copyrighted and trademarked name of my core business of more than 25 years. So if and when I decide I'm fully done with LI Groups, I will shut it down, certainly at least to the extent of removing my trademarked name from it. Cheers!
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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris, I don't think you know as much about the dynamics of groups as you think you do. Your statements are rather amusing and if you only knew how extensive and disgruntled folks are you might realize exactly how driven the group owners and users are to move to groups outside of Linkedin. This change is a grand opportunity for folks to move to outside groups without any sort of loss. Those that stay here will find it to a desert. Joe Hage is a great example of someone who built a huge community on Linkedin and is now easily pitching his "Real" members to move to his new wordpress community. No TOU issues, just plain old motivation by users and group owners to move to a platform that works. Linkedin is about profiles and connections, it is no longer about sharing knowledge. You have to go to a dedicated on-topic community for that.

From your tone, I know how mad you are about this mob revolt but I don't understand what dog you have in that fight.
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 368, Comments: 3048)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris, you seem to be truly scared of what is going on and I cannot figure out your motivation. Industry group leaders are creating communities outside of Linkedin on platforms that empower the leaders to create true communities. This is easy and it works very well. I am part of a number of external communities that are far more vibrant and have many more engaged members than anything Linkedin has. Let's look at this tiny group here on Linkedin. I have to laugh at how engaged it is and how small it is. This group has more going on it because of how disgruntled everyone is than all my other 50 groups combined. If you are invested heavily into Linkedin groups you should be worried but the time is now for you to start working on joining other external groups because soon what you may have known and loved will be a pure wasteland of spam. Linkedin is driving its most valuable assets away.
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 368, Comments: 3048)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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For my part, I don't even pretend to "own" the groups I manage. They were started by other people. I just care about making them the best they can be, with the greatest possible value to the members. And I think I've done pretty well as my largest group - "Mainframe (COBOL, etc) Experts" - has been the largest of its kind on LinkedIn for several years now with nearly 48,000 members worldwide linkedin.com/groups/910927
But I don't make a dime off any of it. It's been a labor of love since day one. My reward is the appreciation people have for a well managed group.
So when I leave LinkedIn, I won't be recruiting anyone to leave LinkedIn and come with me. I will, of course, tell my members where they can still find the content they so appreciate (while LinkedIn obliterates it with these latest changes) but beyond that, whether they decide to stay on here or not is their business.
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Posted by David Staudacher (Discussions: 1, Comments: 4)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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John Jones > " Industry group leaders are creating communities outside of Linkedin on platforms that empower the leaders to create true communities."

I think, John, you are correct in identifying this as a period of organic "mutation" or "self-correction" in the history of Groups. Industry- and profession-centric groups have a core of key requirements for being able to operate successfully.


Although these needs were reasonably met , whether intentionally or accidentally, by the structure of Groups in the period 2009 (when I first joined LI) to 2015 (when LI undertook to "revamp" Groups and move it to an independent app).


And as most of us know, coincident with that move of Groups to an independent app, a number of those key support features were either mangled or chucked out, with serious negative consequences for such groups. Which has driven some owners to seriously consider or undertake setting up off the LI site, where those support features can be secured. Cheers!
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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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John Jones, there's nothing wrong with someone who elects not to frame their response to a social media change with words like "panic," "nervous" and "terror." Those words are being thrown around by people who are trying to drive their massive LinkedIn Group member rosters to private websites, where they can then monetize them. There's nothing essentially wrong with that either -- I use my LinkedIn group for promotion, too -- but it's wrong to foment false fear and "panic" in order to do this.

If you or others are upset that you won't be able to spam members anymore with Announcements, or harvest group member data for your own purposes, then say that. I just want an honest discussion that's not being led by Chicken Littles screaming the sky is falling, when they are doing so for their own hidden agendas.

I have spent a lot of money on my own LI group, and have a lot more $$ in the pipeline. But I am not going to cause panic in others because my personal wallet is being hit.
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Posted by Christopher Paris (Discussions: 1, Comments: 1)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris, thanks for that honest reply. Now I understand the "dog you have in this fight". You have invested a lot of money in your group and plan to invest more. You do this because Linkedin groups have been a good marketing vehicle for your business. I suspect you, like myself and PHIL FRIEDMAN and others have used our respective groups as thought leadership venues. That is just good business and we all hate to see that disrupted. Do I have that analysis right?
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 368, Comments: 3048)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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If I do have that right, then I think I understand your perspective. Having other group owners leave Linkedin and build outside of Linkedin makes all the remaining groups weaker. Personally, I do not think that is the case. If you run a good group, it does not matter what platform you use. I still use Linkedin with my 75K group but it is a pale imitation of what it was prior to 2015. I saw the writing on the wall in 2015 and built my external group. My investment is in my own site now and not in my Linkedin group. There is simply no way to invest in Linkedin groups. They are too rudimentary to be of any value any more. Don't get me wrong, I love Linkedin as a professional networking site but it is not sufficient for engaged professional discussion, collaboration and knowledge sharing. I don't need FUD tactics. I am already past groups but I am willing to help other group owners build their own external communities if Linkedin does not work for them.
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 368, Comments: 3048)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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Good for you, David Staudacher, seriously. I think the lesson to be drawn from what you say is that there is no single paradigm model for either the genesis of a group or its raison d'etre. It's admirable that you operate the group you refer to as "a labor of love." And that is the basis on which I operate a small (250-member) private writer's group that I inherited from its original founder in 2010.

That is not, however, the basis on which I founded in 2009 an industry-centric group that carries the same name as my core-business firm. In this latter case, my goals were not only to perform a service for my peers in the industry in question, but to indirectly strengthen my own firm's brand and, if you wish to put it this way, my personal brand in the industry in question.

My point is no single story is the "right" story, and no single approach the only legitimate one. And the same is true of the choices that will be made going forward respectively by various group owners. Cheers!
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Posted by PHIL FRIEDMAN (Discussions: 1, Comments: 18)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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I think you have the analysis spot-on, John Jones. I have a dog in the fight, but I am also realistic in that I don't own LinkedIn, even if I technically "own" rights to manage a group. They can pull the rug out at any time. But it's the FUD (as you say) that is the problem. Insisting "Groups are dead!" when they are very much alive, and watching phony deadlines for their "death" come and go (what, the last one I saw was July? and here we are in Sept?) -- that's what I oppose.

In my case, it's even more important since a part of my group's mission is to discuss industry-related whistleblowing activities, and those people need an outlet and associated protections. So it goes far beyond mere commerce, and into providing a service that social media companies allege to care about (free speech for those who may not get it otherwise.) If Groups gets crippled, those people are going to lose that ability.

But they have NOT lost that ability. Things are still fine.
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Posted by Christopher Paris (Discussions: 1, Comments: 1)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris, no groups are not dead from an absolute stand point. They are dead for some people and live for others. What you are seeing is Linkedin members hating where Linkedin has gone, feeling powerless and trying to draw strong attention to that fact. The changes are hurting some and doing nothing to others and for the one it is hurting, I am simply encouraging them to leave Linkedin groups and build their own external groups and I will share freely all that I have done to build my external group. I wish to give folks who are hurt from this change, an alternative that will be of help to them and to empower them. The good thing is that Linkedin is very much on board with that concept. That is one of many reasons they have the Sign-in with Linkedin API that allows for easy movement of users between Linkedin and external platforms.
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 368, Comments: 3048)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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Yes, but you can't force-migrate LI members off of LI onto a private site. That's stealing LI's data, and not allowed (obviously). The purpose of the API is quite the opposite: so LI can benefit from the contacts of third party sites, and free advertising, not so the third party sites can harvest the members for their own use at the expense of LI. They didn't create the API because they are philanthropic.

While I know that's not what people are doing (that requires outright hack skills), they certainly make it look that way.

And I get that people are upset. But there are productive ways to be upset.
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Posted by Christopher Paris (Discussions: 1, Comments: 1)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher Paris, I might have missed a discussion along the way and to be honest, I don't necessarily read everything at all in this group but I have not seen where anyone suggested that they could "force-migrate LI members off of LI and onto a private site". I have no idea how you can begin to do that. Members are in control of their minds and fingers and you cannot force them to do anything they are not voluntarily wanting to do and it would be a total waste of time if you could.

The Linkedin login has helped me build my external group and Linkedin has not stated anything about how they benefit from that but they have certainly shared with me how it benefits me and it certainly has. So I can only see Linkedin as a philanthropic benefactor only looking out for my best interests. So I take them at their word. Here is directly what they have to say on this matter: https://developer.linkedin.com/docs/signin-with-linkedin

They clearly want their users to join my sites.
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 368, Comments: 3048)
Replied on September 6, 2018 8:00 pm
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