Monday, September 01, 2008

LinkedIn adds precious features to its Groups

LinkedIn GroupsI received last week an email from the LinkedIn Groups department letting me know they add some new interesting features:
  • Discussion forums: Simple discussion spaces for you and your members. (You can turn discussions off in your management control panel if you like.)
  • Enhanced roster: Searchable list of group members.
  • Digest emails: Daily or weekly digests of new discussion topics which your members may choose to receive. (We will be turning digests on for all current group members soon, and prompting them to set to their own preference.)
  • Group home page: A private space for your members on LinkedIn.
I have always been very interested by these kind of private groups on the web, as I am supporting the effort of my master's alumni association to create an online community. Therefore I manage the LinkedIn Group, the Facebook Group and Viadeo Hub of the alumni association.

For a while, and I have said it already on this blog, I did not like LinkedIn Group. I also considered that the lack of option for this groups were the main weakness of the website, especially while you compare it to Viadeo's hubs, which are fantastic and propose all the tools you need in order to create a private business network.

I went through quickly these different new options. I think this is a cool job that has been accomplished, even though I think Viadeo's group are a little bit more consistent. Indeed, some key features of Viadeo's hub are missing in this LinkedIn's version. Especially, you don't have a job posting item, nor a calendar to organize and promote your events. I wish it will come soon...

Anyways, I wanted to congrat LinkedIn for this effort. That comforts me in the fact that LinkedIn is the best online business network so far. However, if they want to become competitive in the private business group area, they should really work hard on adding new important features.

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