Seth Godin, Groucho’s quote, and stimulating LINKEDIN discussions

This morning was one of those serendipitous moments, after I had spend a couple of hours on Linkedin and I was thinking about how to generate more discussion on our online groups. As I did so, Seth Godin’s latest blog came through on email. He was quoting Groucho Marx, who said:

“I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member…”

Seth Godin went on to say, “we sit quietly and watch and take notes and absorb instead of joining the club of contributors”….exactly right! And if you manage any online discussion group, this is frustrating! Seth goes on to say that actually, “the number of people contributing is going up, and fast. The number of folks that are happy to speak up, to be a member of the contributing group, is as high as it’s ever been”. Great, but I haven’t quite seen that on our Linkedin Groups.

Why is it always the same people who contribute and share their knowledge and experience?

And before someone says it, “why are they all consultants…?” Yes, that is a fair(ish) observation! I thought that there were two real problems, until recently:

  1. our clients – occupiers (end-users) generally – do not wish to raise their heads above the parapet, only to be bombarded by consultants and service providers trying to sell them something….
  2. many Linkedin Groups are so full of ‘junk’ that they never bother to check in and follow discussions.

Both these issues were genuine problems, at one point in time. However, I have spent a lot of time creating our own occupiers-only group on Linkedin. It deals with both points above: (1) other than our own independent group moderators, two-dozen or so around the world, there are no consultants or ‘sellers’, and (2) we actively manage the group – in fact several groups – to keep ‘junk posts’ out.

So, we get lots of open discussion and knowledge-sharing now, right? NO…and i cannot understand why.

Is it just that occupier managers have no time to contribute to Linkedin discussions? Or is it some issue of confidentiality, or something else?

Tell us, please….if you are an occupier (end-user) manager, why don’y you ask questions, and share experience, with your colleagues on Linkedin? And what can WE (Occupiers Journal) do to improve on this? Thank-you.

P.S., here are some of the Linkedin Groups that we manage, totalling almost 50,000 members!

Occupiers Journal – Global Network (occupiers/end-users only) over 700+ occupier directors/managers (& around 20 independent moderators around the world, who have all signed our NDA).

WORK and PLACE (by Occupiers’ Journal) only for discussions around our new journal, “Work And Place”

Workplace Strategy Summit 2012 – “Research In Action”  dedicated to the IFMA Foundation summit in Sept 2012

Occupiers Journal (Open Group) – open to all, 2,000+ members, actively managed.

 Corporate Real Estate & Facilities Management Professionals – open to all, 13,500+ members globally

Facilities Management Professionals International – open to all, 23,000+ members (the largest FM group on Linkedin, worldwide!)

Careers & Jobs (Open) CRE & Facilities Management – open to all, 2,600+ members (aims to be an independent and open group for recruiters in our sector)

The Workplace Community – open to all, 6,300+ members (for ‘workplace’ practitioners & advisors)

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