My conversation with Sophie today

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I had a very worthwhile discussion with Sophie today, covering a range of topics, none of which are "sensitive", so...

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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 3, 2018 12:00 am
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I was particularly interested to understand whether the feedback that I have been providing is giving the LI Groups team new and useful perspectives and insights, and not just telling them "things they already know". If it were the latter, than I would not bother to continue providing feedback. In the course of our conversation, it became evident that there were areas that had not been raised through their various feedback channels, so I will continue to provide input in these areas - which mainly pertained to different approaches to curating group experience for members without relying on moderation. My focus is in this area, because the three most valuable groups for me have not had any moderation, and the groups range from 200, 10,000 and 100,000 members. (I acknowledge that other groups use and seem to need such measures, but I am keen to ensure that there is provision for groups that do not need these measures.)
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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Sophie enquired as to whether there were any areas of additional feedback that I wished to convey. I indicated that it did not make sense to me to provide further requests at this stage. It seems to me to be far better to wait for the re-launch, which will encompass a whole lot of foundational functionality arising from the rebuild / re-integration, and then assess where there are critical gaps and provide input into subsequent releases, which will be much easier and potentially more timely, given the LI Group integration into a common code base.
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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I outlined my interests in a platform which would support peer-learning-based-professional-development as I had experienced in 2012-14. For me, Groups had offered an environment in which leading practitioners could share and refine their understanding, articulation and practice of their discipline, which would be of direct benefit to each member, and to the clients and enterprises with whom they interact. These groups had offered value because there were no such comparable opportunities through f2f services in my geographical setting. Time has moved on and different services are available now, but most rely in synchronous communication, whereas the LI platform and other social media platforms allow peer-based-learning through asynchronous interaction at times that suit each participant.

(This is not necessarily the nature of the needs of other groups - I am simply seeking to ensure that future directions offer suitable options in areas that are of value to me and others I know)
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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Peter Murchland, I have not been keeping up on the proposed changes but from what I understand currently here are some key disruptive changes:
1. Moderation is gone as the group own is expected to do a background check on each person before they are admitted to the group.
2. You cannot send group announcements

Are those 2 items true and are there any other disruptive features we should be looking forward to?
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 365, Comments: 3004)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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I did not ask or discuss either of those questions.

As I indicated above, I talked about the three groups in which I had been most active in 2012-14 that had no moderation. That led to talking about key behavioural issues in those groups relating to trolls and bullies. We did not talk about announcements at all, but the two larger groups (with membership over 10,000 and 100,000) made no use of announcements, and with the dysfunctional operation of announcements, I have learnt how to operate without that function in my smaller group.
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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One of the features that I did talk about was a feature that I have used in groups that I have owned and managed on an alternate platform for the last 20 years. That feature relates to the list of all members of the group where the list includes that date/time last on platform and the date/time last visit to the group. The list is sortable by clicking on any heading, so I click on last visit to group, which gives me visibility on member participation, and whether the member has been on the platform more recently than the group.

With this information, I am able to ascertain whether the member is active on the platform but not in the group, or not active on both. If the latter, then that usually means the member is sick, on holidays, or otherwise indisposed. If the former, then that may indicate that interest in the group has lapsed or other groups are commanding their attention - as there is a limit to how much anyone can keep up with group, article and home feed activity.

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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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This allows a number of different actions, such as back-channel contact or initiation of a different topic to test interest, or on LI a mention (not available on the other platform) which could draw their attention back to the group.

I did qualify this conversation as being pertinent to smaller rather than larger groups.
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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I did also talk about group size and my experience in peer-learning-based-professional-development groups (which was the purpose of all three groups in which I participated) that optimum membership is probably around 200-300. It has been my experience on other platforms and on LI, that deep discussion typically engages no more than 20 people in active contribution, but with 180-280 actively following the discussion and learning from it.

I indicated that it was my guess that LI would have lots of insight into contributor / participation metrics that I could not even guess at. I also talked about how participation metrics are likely to be a vexed question for LI as marketing revenues are partially derived around membership numbers and gross view stats (as per stats in quarterly reports) where participation numbers would give a different outlook on where activity is occurring.
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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So, I don't know what view stats apply to groups, but I do know that in the three groups, there were really only about 20 active contributors, with the larger groups (10,000 and 100,000) having up to about 50 occasional contributors. This experience is what informs my views on sustainable peer-learning-based-professional-development groups engaging in deep discussions.

I would be interested to learn of other, differing experiences amongst other OMMS as this is an area that I continue to hold the greatest interest (and the greatest hopes for using LI Groups).
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 2, 2018 8:00 pm
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Peter Murchland, thanks for that very thoughtful response. I concur with your last comment about contributor numbers. I would not be surprised at all if the number of real contributors on Linkedin within groups amounted to a few thousand while the number of spammers may be roughly the same amount and the number of readers that contribute nothing other than likes may amount to a few million at best.

Those type of stats do not impress the likes of Linkedin I am sure. Group owners get far more out of the groups they own than Linkedin I suspect. This is why I believe it is no trouble for group owners to move their groups from Linkedin. While I am interested in seeing the new communities functionality they come out with, I am personally disinclined to make much of use of it as my external group has far surpassed anything Linkedin brought to the table.
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 365, Comments: 3004)
Replied on August 3, 2018 8:00 pm
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John Jones There seem to be some misconceptions about what impresses LinkedIn. Unsurprisingly, the gross number of views is an important metric. It aids in driving marketing revenue (which was 20% of their revenue). Small groups can generate greater activity and views than large groups (based on stats I have shared before). So, it can be misleading to focus on group size as the metric of sole or greatest importance for groups.

In fact, small groups have numerous benefits for LI, for OMMs, and for members:
a) deeper, more valuable conversations
b) higher activity and views
c) lower OMM overheads (little or no moderation required)
d) lower LI overheads (less need for supporting functionality, less need to develop and sustain rules for auto-moderation, more time spent online by members with less need for notification)
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 3, 2018 8:00 pm
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Peter Murchland, given what you say, what advantage does LI provide you over simply moving your group out of Linkedin but using the Linkedin login to make the transition easier? At least if you move it off site, LI benefits from item d) above and you benefit from control, ownership and a more certain, self directed future. If your groups are small, you have no real advantage at LI. You can grow a small group almost anywhere and have a dedicated member base.
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Posted by John Jones (Discussions: 365, Comments: 3004)
Replied on August 4, 2018 8:00 pm
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John Jones Really interesting question!!

I have tried to move a group to another platform and it did not work. I have not fully analysed why …

I know that:
a) the platform was not perceived to be contemporary and did not support email notifications (upon which some people rely)
b) the participants valued going to a single platform, so my group on an alternate platform was competing with multiple groups on the LI platform - ie a question of convenience, but also scale in bringing together different groups of people reflecting any individual's particular interests
c) I know from checking out BeeBee that the scale question is important - even though they had lots of members, they had very few with an interest in my interests
d) I know from participating in one or two groups on Facebook that transitions to that platform don't necessarily work, either.

So there are some interesting dynamics at play. Interested to hear what has worked for you??
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 4, 2018 8:00 pm
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There's been some widespread rumor mongering that LI is doing away with group moderation and announcement posts. There's no evidence to support this but it's spreading anyway. Did you get any insight on these two issues?
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Posted by Christopher Paris (Discussions: 1, Comments: 1)
Replied on August 4, 2018 8:00 pm
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Christopher, I did not seek to gain any insight on these two issues.
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Posted by Peter Murchland (Discussions: 1, Comments: 47)
Replied on August 5, 2018 8:00 pm
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