I’ll be honest- I haven’t really been taking LinkedIn seriously. I’ll spare you my grand theory of why all symmetric-relationship social networks (Like LinkedIn and Facebook) are way less interesting- that’s beyond the scope of this post. But I will say among people I know, way more professional opportunities and networking events have come through sites like Twitter. (To say nothing of non-professional stuff like art, news, etc.)
But recently I’ve been debating/discussing LinkedIn with some folk who have been bugging me to give it a really fair shot. So I am. I caught up on some “connections,” took the summary seriously, etc. #itsaprocess.
After I fulfilled all the symmetric obligations and supplied my structured data, I immediately licked my chops for good old unstructured discovery. You know- the stuff that makes twitter, tumblr, and pinterest so serendipitous.
This led me to LinkedIn Groups. If you’re reading this I probably know you from my geek (data science, python, ruby), seo, or advertising circles. I went looking for pretty much anything that fit into those areas. Honestly, I didn’t expect to find that much good geek stuff. If anybody has a lock on highly-developed, topic specific discussion areas, it’s geeks. We’ve got so many great watering holes (stuff like the StackExchange empire, sub-Reddits, Hacker News…), that I wasn’t surprised to find LinkedIn geek groups mostly populated by desperate recruiters. But even for other topics, LinkedIn Groups look pretty bleak. Many are ghost towns. And when you filter for activity/recent postings, there’s just a lot of “FIRST!” types of link posting with no commentary/interactions.
Can somebody tell me I have this wrong? Is it an open secret that you’re not really supposed to use LinkedIn Groups? Or are we supposed to find out about the good groups *off* the site? Do you have any favorite LinkedIn Groups? How did you find them?
Is my main problem that I’m trying to use LinkedIn for discovery/sharing/teaching/learning, when other people use it just for resume stalking?