Cat out of bag, almost by Plong, via Flickr: Creative Commons

Image: “Cat out of bag, almost” by Plong, via Flickr: Creative Commons license

Over the weekend I posted a message on the LinkedIn Bloggers group, of which I’m co-moderator, sharing some thoughts about how we could generate wider awareness of the group’s existence and in the process hopefully attract some more people to become members, so that they too can benefit from and contribute to our discussions.

I’d headed the message, whimsically as I thought, “How About We Let More People in on the Secret of LinkedIn Bloggers?” I talked about the fact that LinkedIn Bloggers was not easy to find via online search (we were showing up in only the most oblique fashion) and I invited suggestions about how we might let more people know about the group.

The post has generated some excellent suggestions already. And a surprise.

The surprise was that I discovered that at least a couple of members had the idea that the group was now, or in the past, meant to be kept for practical purposes a secret, or at least not publicized. I would not wish to discount that I may have made some remark in the past that gave rise to such a misapprehension, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what that might have been, or when.

The important thing is to move on.

Our team of moderators is keen to do so and we are looking at ways to share the story of LinkedIn Bloggers.

Some background

LinkedIn Bloggers group
LinkedIn Bloggers on Yahoo! Groups is a forum, established early in 2005, for discussing how blogging and related technologies, such as podcasting, video blogging (vlogging) and wikis can support members’ professional networking using the professional social networking platform LinkedIn. The only pre-requisite for membership is to be already, or to become, a member of LinkedIn (basic membership is free).

Note: There is some potential for confusion in the fact that there is also a LinkedIn Bloggers group on the LinkedIn Groups site. Membership of that group is via the original group on Yahoo! Groups. About a sixth of the members of the original group have joined the group on LinkedIn. Currently  it is only on the original group, on Yahoo! Groups, that any discussion or information sharing takes place.

On the original LinkedIn Bloggers group we have a broad-ranging membership. We have been fortunate in having been able from the outset to attract people at various levels of knowledge and skill in the broad social media space, from top bloggers, podcasters and video bloggers, leaders in search, providers of corporate blogging services, organizers of major conferences and others, through to people just starting out with blogging and even people just thinking about blogging and other social media.

Given the breadth of membership and our desire to welcome and assist people new to blogging, podcasting and so on, we’ve always had a culture of  “there are no dumb questions”: LinkedIn Bloggers continues to be a community where people – and I include myself very definitely – get answers from a range of experts, for questions or issues on which it has proved impossible or difficult to get informed, unbiased advice elsewhere.

At this posting there are 897 members, which is not huge growth in three and a half years. It should be said that the moderator team have never been into growth in numbers as a priority, preferring to put our  energy and time into doing what we can to “hold the space” for useful and enjoyable conversation on matters of shared interest.

But knowing that many people find it helpful to belong to the group, we’ve decided to take some concerted action to make the story better known.

The campaign begins

In coming weeks we will develop some initiatives to translate that decision into some practical action.

If you are already a member of LinkedIn Bloggers, I hope you will give some thought to how you can help share the story.

If you are not yet a member and the idea of the group appeals to you – and if you are a member of LinkedIn or happy to join LinkedIn – please think about joining us. If you do that, please read carefully the instructions on the LinkedIn Bloggers home page, especially about sharing with us your LinkedIn profile link.

Note that the url for the group is a .net one:

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