Looking for Conversations: LinkedIn Groups Part 2

So how did my LinkedIn search go for groups of home based professionals?

LinkedInThis is a follow-on from my post yesterday, on looking for relevant online conversations, starting with the professional-focused networking site LinkedIn.

On my first attempt to find groups via (as I recall) the search term “home based professionals” the result was some fifty pages of groups. With ten a page, that made around 500 groups.

The listings included:

The first of these was of general interest, but I wasn’t sure that at this point I wanted to get into discussions about starting a home based business.

The second – Consultants Network – looked interesting, especially as it had a big membership at 118,911, and what looked like a busy discussion space, with 85 discussions listed, far more than I had seen for other groups.

The Consultants Network group describes itself as:

A group that unites all strategy, marketing, finance, business, IT consultants & freelancers. With over 100,000+ global members the largest consultancy community on LinkedIn. (consulting, management, business, interim, freelance, advisory, consultant, recruitment, network, professionals)

I had to submit a request to join. That did not bother me, because I like the idea that there is some process of vetting going on. Although I’m wondering what’s happening. It’s about three days since I submitted that request and I’ve since sent a follow-up. No reply of any kind yet. (Update: three weeks on – April 6 – there is still no response – I have also sent messages, via LinkedIn connections, to the nominated owner and nominated manager of the group, neither of whom has replied.)

(Update March 2012: I thought I should add in here that after getting no reply from the group’s managers, I eventually gave up and withdrew my request)

By way of a footnote to this post, as I started writing I thought, why just LinkedIn? Why not Yahoo!? Why not other networks and forums?

Why not, indeed! Especially as, at this writing, this area of professionals working from home is not looking a likely area for discussion on LinkedIn.

So I’ve decided to do a series on various social networking platforms, under the general heading of Looking for Conversations. Next I might have a look at Yahoo! Groups.

In the meantime, have you had any interesting, useful or curious experiences with LinkedIn Groups and if so would you like to share them? I hope you will leave a comment.

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.


  1. @Jacob
    Yes, not only is LinkedIn late to the party on discussion-enabling, but they don’t seem to have figured out a way to promote and support discussion effectively. Interestingly, for all its creakiness, Yahoo! Groups is still quite a useful tool for discussion.

    Glad you found it helpful. I’ve done a few posts on LinkedIn, over time – a search using the lijit search tool in the sidebar should bring them up. I’ve also done some posts on LinkedIn on my Des Walsh dot Com site: this one on reviewing your profile regularly has links to other posts, and by others, on the key topic of refining your LinkedIn profile – http://deswalsh.com/2009/03/30/linkedin-tip-1-review-your-profile-regularly/

    I agree that Ning has lots of great features. I have to say that a couple of people I know have had very distressing experiences, with their sites being taken down without warning. No doubt Ning were within their legal rights but I tell people to read the fine print – with any of these sites of course. Another excellent platform is Groupsite.com (formerly CollectiveX). I’ve found Groupsite management very responsive and helpful when something wasn’t quite clear to me.

  2. Similar experiences with linkedin – hope they get their act together sometime soon.

    Great experience with Ning networks – well worth a look, I’ve had great exposure, about 30 new affiliates sign up to my program, several sales and many mutually beneficial exchanges. Just go to Ning.com and look for a community with over 1000 members, related to your target market.
    There are thousands of Ning networks, covering almost every imaginable topic.
    At the moment, it leaves linkedin for dead.

  3. Great post Des, I am just starting with linkedin and not sure how to get the most out of it. I want to use it to develop business and build my list.

    I will be following you closely.


  4. Having recently assumed ‘social media’ responsibilities for my business, I have to admit LinkedIn is causing me the most concern. The ‘business’ environment is great, but it seems more difficult than, say, Facebook at pushing news out to connections in order to engage with them.

    I started two discussions last week in conjunction with our newsletter- there was no automatic note telling all my connections that a discussion had begun, and it took days until group members were notified by email. I sent a note and links to all my coaches, but relying on email to drive a social networking site isn’t leveraged.

    When it takes days for a response to show, the energy of members to post again is drained and the group will quickly stagnate.