50 User Groups -

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  • Updated 6 years ago
Who loves the new upgrade to User Groups - limiting user to just 50 groups?
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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  • persistently tweeked at "improvements" that LI makes only to make networking more difficult.

Posted 7 years ago

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Adam Nash

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Hi Jay,

We've seen a tremendous boom in interest in LinkedIn groups this year, and we're planning on launching some exciting new functionality to this area in the coming months. However, with the boom in excitement, we've also seen some abuse of the functionality.

The limit is an attempt to reign in potential abuse on the platform in the short term as we expand the functionality of groups. We're definitely measuring and watching this area carefully, so we'll expand this limit over time if technically possible.

Currently, there are a very small number of people outside of this limit, but we know that doesn't help if you are one of them. We hope you and others will be patient as we work to make the groups platform on LinkedIn even more useful.
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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Hi Adam,

I'm definitely one of the people that is over that 50 group limit. I think that comes from having diverse legitimate interests as i do. But it also means disconnecting from many groups that I've found valuable. I dare say, I do not see how that can be supportive of LinkedIn's overall mission - improving/facilitating professional networking.
but I dare say I don't abuse the groups.
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Mario

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Adam... Hello. Linkedin sent me the same email asking me to delete some groups because I was told that I'm a "member of 58 groups" but I'm subscribed ONLY to 42 groups having also one pending request... How come? I sent an email to CS asking them to correct the mistake LI made but -as usual- I haven't got a reply regarding this mistake... Comments please? Thank you very much.
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Hi Adam,
I believe the perfect solution would be to determine who the abusers are and punish them. Use the restrictrictions on the ones who abuse the system and leave the rest of us as is. You could also restrict new and future users then they are aware when signing up of the current limitatIons. When I originally signed up there was nothing that specified a certain amount. I feel this would resolve the current issue and is quite fair to all of us who are avid users.
Julie Oliveira
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Jim Tritten

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Adam, I had 184 groups and reduced them to 50 days prior to the deadline. Now I have received a notice from LinkedIn that I am still over the limit and you are going to arbitrarily reduce my groups. I checked again and validated that I am below the limit - in fact my group list shows 49. But if someone at corporate HQs has a different list, I may be cut out of groups that I want to retain. This is not a lot of fun for any of us.
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linkedout

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The huge boneheaded mistake LinkedIn is making is HOW they are implementing the new cap on the number of groups that a user can join.

If a user does not get the message in time to go into their account and delete groups to get down below 50, LinkedIn will unilaterally go into their account and delete all of their most recently joined groups (translation: the ones that they have the most current interest in!) to push them below 50.

Adam - if, as you claim, "there are a very small number of people outside of this limit" - then why not simply allow those "small number of people" to stay in all of the groups that THEY CHOSE TO BE IN until such time as THEY choose to delete some?

If someone is in 60 groups now, why are you going into their account and unilaterally deleting their 10 most recently joined groups?

Why not let that user keep all 60, but, when they go to add another group, they are prompted to get below the 50 limit before doing so?

Your users worked hard in discovering and joining various groups - and now you are simply going to unilaterally roll that all back?

That shows such little respect for the people who use your service that you really ought to rethink the implementation of this change.

And for those coming in late, below is the email notice in question (which can easily be missed in the other stream of LinkedIn account notices, invites, etc).

The stuff in bold is my emphasis - LinkedIn instead just buried it in their email:

From: LinkedIn Team
Date: Mon, Aug 4, 2008
Subject: Changes to LinkedIn Groups

As an active member of LinkedIn Groups, we wanted to let you know about some changes we're putting in place in the coming weeks.

We are in the process of adding new functionality to enhance the esxperience of Groups, including the recent release of a searchable directory. We are also working with our development teams to bring new tools and widgets to this collaborative space throughout the rest of 2008.

We are also at this time making some changes to the user-created groups we host. These changes include adding a limit to the number of user-created groups any LinkedIn member may be part of at one time. Currently we are setting that limit at membership in 50 (fifty) user-created groups.

Please take the time before this limit goes into place on August 14, 2008, to choose which groups you would like to maintain. To remove yourself from a group, go to the My Groups page and click the word "Settings" next to the group you wish to leave. At the bottom of the settings page click the text "Leave this group."

We would appreciate it if you would please take this action within the next 10 days. If you would prefer, after 30 days we will automatically keep the first 50 groups that you joined and remove the rest.

If you would like assistance removing yourself from groups, or if you have any other questions, please contact us at http://linkedin.custhelp.com or groups@linkedin.com.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you, but we hope you will continue to find value in LinkedIn and especially enjoy the new functionality of LinkedIn Groups that is coming soon.

Regards,
The LinkedIn team
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Vincent Wright

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Though like "LinkedOut" I'm no longer a Linkedin member, I still work with a lot of people who still are - people who still have high hopes of using Linkedin to do business better. Based upon their conversations with me, many of my former Linkedin connections would agree with the points "Linkedout" is asking here on GetSatisfaction.com. Many of these members still like Linkedin as a service but do not like the way Linkedin is making them *FEEL*.

No mater how financially successful Linkedin is - if too many people start to think that it feels bad to use Linkedin's services, eventually the end users bad feelings could start to affect Linkedin's bottom line. It may not appear that that's at all possible at this time but, it wouldn't surprise me if/when it happens.

To me, some of Linkedin's biggest recent problems has to do with perception.

Linkedin has a certain perception of its user population(s). Those perceptions lead to decisions which affect *multiple* populations - not just the intended ones. That, in turn, leads to users changing their perception of the value they get from Linkedin. It's not about software, it's about perception.

As odd as it may seem: people turn to services like Linkedin because they want to feel better than they did PRIOR to using the service. If Linkedin is not going to help them to feel better about getting and conducting business via the Linkedin platform then what's the point of using Linkedin services? No matter how carefully, how scientifically a system is architected, the bottom line is that people still need to feel good about using it. A growing number of people I know aren't feeling that way about Linkedin's changes right now....Think about it.

To the specific issue at hand, "LinkedOut" asks a very good question when he asks: "Adam - if, as you claim, "there are a very small number of people outside of this limit" - then why not simply allow those "small number of people" to stay in all of the groups that THEY CHOSE TO BE IN until such time as THEY choose to delete some?"

Seems like a fair question to me...
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Ehab Elagaty

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Vincent, personally, I see networkers like yourself, Marc Freedman, Steve Burda, Stan Relihan, Ron Bates, Christian Mayaud, John Evans and many others ... as founders that made LinkedIn what it is today. It is through people like you that many people have learned and started helping others with how to use LinkedIn. I have great respect for people like you. I am a little annoyed with this change to the groups, but more annoyed to see people like you who have put a lot of time in helping people to use linkedin not being appreciated.
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Vincent Wright

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Thanks for your kind words, Ehab. Perhaps a little passage of time will help this become clearer. In the meantime, if I can help you with your networking efforts, please let me know. .. Vincent Wright
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Mario

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Jay,

Hello. The idea of "improving" groups seems feasible but because it is a very useful tool but... it is an abuse the way that LI wants to prevent "abusive users" using the tool.
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Adam Nash

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Let me try to clarify a few things:

- As I mentioned earlier, unfortunately, grandfathering the existing users with too many groups isn't an option, since that would grandfather in a significant amount of abuse. There are people who have joined dozens and dozens of college alumni groups, for example, where they don't belong.

- As we roll out new functionality to the groups platform, the implications of having these abusers in groups will become more significant for the other members.

- As we roll out more functionality to groups, there will likely be growing user experience implications to be tied to such a large number of groups. We're doing our best to try and head off some of those issues ahead of time.

Once again, let me just state that I know that this type of limit is constraining for a small number of people. If at all possible, we'll work to increase this limit in the future.

Managing and improving a web-based product used by millions of people is always an exercise in trade-offs. In this case, we have tried to put our effort into a platform that will be far more useful to our members, even though it has added some limits that weren't necessary before.

We appreciate your comments, and obviously we'll be watching this closely. Groups is one of the things we're very focused on enhancing for both the near and long term.

Hope this helps,
Adam
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Vincent Wright

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For me, this answers the question. Thanks, Adam...
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I totally don't understand this whole deal. I too, am one of the users who received the email to reduce the number of groups of which I am a member. I am NOT AN ABUSER by any name of the game. As a Networking Coach, it is important for my business to maintain connections in all types of interests and I join groups according to that process. Some of the group, I will admit, I am not active in participating, however, I do want to have the commonality of being in a group with some great people. How is that accomplished when I'm forced to remove myself from groups or worse yet, have LinkedIn remove me from whatever group they choose.

As a platform that is promoting networking, it seems as though everything you are doing for your members is to weaken the opportunities to network. I just don't understand this whole thought process.

I would love to know what criteria is needed to be considered an "abuser!" I don't spam my groups, I simply answer questions when asked and keep in touch and have not even added anyone to my mailing list without their permission.

LinkedIn, please DO explain the criteria to be listed as an "abuser!"

Happy Netweaving!
Carol Deckert
Netweaving/Networking Coach
RUNLancaster.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/caroldeckert
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Joris g Claeys

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Hi Jay,

I have been writing a number of emails to LinkedIn over the last couple of days, and just found out about this forum. Therefore, several of my comments and requests have been published on other forums, even LinkedIn Q&A, to which my answer unfortunately got selected as best answer. At first, I wasn't too happy about this, but as I read here and in many other forums and 1-on-1 chats I had in the past couple of days, it is clear that our perception of using LinkedIn may turn to the negative sector. It is time for showing some corrective action by LinkedIn. It is never a shame to admit a mistake, as long as you openly make the correction and move on. In this respect I want to voice out - as do many others - how the LinkedIn community feels about this issue and I sense it my duty to assist the members in return for all what I have been able to enjoy in the past couple of years.

Both LinkedOut (I'm not very sure), but surely Vincent who have made LinkedIn what it is today, and as he says it is not about the technology (not alone) but about perception and feeling good in using the technology, that is important for the user but in the long run, either direction will affect the success and future of LinkedIn. Loosing people like Vincent at the core of LinkedIn till recently, is like loosing your heart: one can't function, there is no soul, no encouragement as Vincent has become famous for.

Anyway here is my last request I had sent to LinkedIn today, in case it didnot reach the right persons incharge.

Dear LinkedIn Management and LinkedIn Groups Management,

It is not with total proud that I was chosen best answer relative to the chaos created relative to the limitation set by LinkedIn for Group membership. My apologies, it has never been my intend to create something like this out of self interest, rather out of necessity to ensure professional networking tools.

Considering my previous email and the below email, which I have posted on a number forums to ensure that the LinkedIn community has a correct impression of my intentions, I am writing to you to request for a fair favour:

The limitation set for max membership to 50 Groups is not a bad thing within the overall perspective of good professional networking and therefore I actually support this decision now. So lets move forward on this as someone made it very clear.

However, I have a serious issue with the approach LinkedIn had taken in announcing the deadline – So not the what is questioned but the HOW ! Together with the majority of the LinkedIn community, we like to request LinkedIn management to revise the current set deadline of August 14 to end of September, for amongst the following reasons:
- Selecting the ones that I relative to one’s profile is not a child’s game but is serious professional consideration and judgement
- It is a vacation period in many parts of the world and people should be given amble time to make corrections
- People have a job to do and cannot suddenly prioritize a LinkedIn problem to be resolved at such a short notice
- LinkedIn servers seem to struggle with the number of corrections currently being made to group memberships, also knowing that the functionality offered is not good at all and cumbersome for many of us

As a professional LinkedIn member, I and we would all appreciate your corrective action and announcement accordingly in this matter. Much appreciated.

Best regards,
Joris Claeys
Managing Director
ACCELERATE Global Supply Chain Solutions

CEO & Founding Partner
The MARKETING VILLAGETM Your world Our village! ©
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ScottAllen

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Adam:

It seems to me that the abuse problem is really more a matter of a problem of the group organizers being able to verify the credentials of the applicants. The fact that someone joins dozens of alumni groups isn't really a LinkedIn problem -- it's a problem with the organizers of the alumni groups. Why did they allow those people in?

It's certainly possible to legitimately have more than 50 "sub-networks" with which you're affiliated. If you just had every school, every former employer, a few professional associations and a few areas of common interest, you're at that number pretty easily.

If the groups are truly based on some sort of real-world association, then group organizers should easily be able to verify the applicant's credentials, and it's not a LinkedIn problem. If it's a group that's open to whoever self-declares that they want to associate with the group, then that's really the group organizer's decision, NOT LinkedIn's.

So group organizers who are concerned about the consequences of those abusers should verify membership. Organizers of more open groups should be made aware of the potential consequences. But the bottom line is -- it's up to the group organizers to make that decision, NOT LinkedIn.
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Aditional problem is that to step out of groups, the server seems to be over its capacity. If you click on Settings Explorer freezes.

For me it is a pity, groups are en efficient way to expand my network. If Linkedin can not maintain unlimited groups per user, I will not argue.
If it is because of patronizing it really does not make sense in a professional network where we assume that 99,99 % of the users are bona fide.

I am a paying member, by the way so I expect a discount: less service = less costs.

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/928/782
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Paul

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Adam,

Let me first of all state that this issue and its outcome has absolutely zero impact on my life and work. My LinkedIn profile lists me as belonging to a grand total of three (3) groups. If that number went down to zero (0), nothing of substance would change.

However, I am concerned by the MANNER in which LinkedIn has chosen to address the issue. If the term "heavy-handed" keeps recurring in many of these posts, please consider that there may be a valid reason for that particular choice of words that goes way beyond mere whining and "victimhood."

In my opinion, there is something very simple you could do that would go a long way toward turning around negative attitudes being expressed toward LinkedIn. When you respond to a professional who has clearly taken the time to think through a suggestion or a complaint, please let your response reflect similar thoughtfulness. In particular, when it is simply not possible to change course, please indicate precisely HOW the condition being discussed impacts (or would impact) LinkedIn:

"The number of groups to which a person belongs must be limited because we are going to implement a process in which we dynamically test every member of every group for potential cross-linking and we calculate that the resulting load would sink our servers by a factor of 1000 without the proposed limitation."

"People claiming membership in groups to which they have no right of membership expose LinkedIn to potential legal liability."

"We cannot grandfather even a small number of current abusers -- [whatever that means] -- because we are concerned that once word gets out abuse will spread."

etc.

Obviously those are not your answers, but are merely intended to illustrate the kind of non-defensive specificity that could turn adversaries into potential allies.

Good luck!
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Please help - Anyone????

Since LinkedIn is limiting the number of User-Created groups to 50 per profile. I received the email from LI customer service saying I belong to 62 groups. How can I determine if a group I belong to is "User-Created" or LinkedIn (admin?) Created?

Jeff
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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The real question you have to ask is even if you belong to ALL LinkedIn, not User created groups will your account still be penalized.
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linkedout

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ScottAllen - Perfectly put. Thank you.

Adam Nash - Please answer Scott's excellent points.

Why exactly cannot this be handled by the moderators/owners of the groups on an individual case-by-case basis instead of you unilaterally and arbitrarily going into user accounts and deleting their groups 'for them"?

Also, your "solution" does not even address the problem you described as a rationale for doing this - if "people who have joined dozens and dozens of college alumni groups, for example, where they don't belong" did so as part of the first 50 groups that they joined, they would STILL be part of those groups after you hacked off the others.

If there are people "abusing" the groups system, a much more simple, elegant, and effective way of handling this would be to simply flag these users to the list moderators/owners of the groups that these "abusers" belong to so that the list owner/moderators can easily review whether or not that person should be removed on an individual case-by-case basis.

To do otherwise is simply YOU abusing your users and list moderators/owners who have put much time and effort into discovering, joining, and building groups on your system.

Also a reminder - I am not arguing about your right to restrict the number of groups that a user can join - I am instead trying to point out that HOW you are handling the transition is so egregiously boneheaded and wrong that I am attempting to give LinkedIn the gift of this knowledge so that you can choose a different and better path that accomplishes your goals while still respecting all of the hard work of your users and group moderators/owners.
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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I think I've actually found someone more upset than myself at this non-sense. I've got to give you some respect, you made me laugh "egregiously boneheaded and wrong" is just too beautiful! ... Step away from the dark side... Hang in there man. LI will either figure this out OR a competitor will step in and handle this. If folks can leave Google, they can leave LI as well.
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Adam Nash

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Hi again,

I feel like my last comment went into some detail about the variety of reasons for the limit being in place. Unfortunately, I'm limited at this time in what I can disclose about upcoming features, so I'm not sure how much more I can add to this topic at this point.

Let me just say that if the change in policy around the number of Groups seems abrupt and/or incomprehensible, I apologize. We really tried to balance the needs of all of our users with the realities of cost, time & technology.

In this case, all of the above converged to make the new group limit the simplest change to balance the constraints above.

Paul, I'm sorry if my previous answer didn't reach the level of detail that you'd recommend, but I'm a bit taken aback by the assertion that I'm not putting thought & effort into these responses. GetSatisfaction is not an official customer service channel, and employees like myself who take the time to answer questions here are doing it because they believe passionately in helping our customers. BTW You are the only person so far on this topic to use the phrase "heavy-handed".

Scott, I do think that in the long term we can implement systems to help group moderators solve this issue. This is part of the reason why I believe we'll be able to increase this limit over time. In the near term, the limits of technology, user experience, and time play a factor in this change. As I stated above, this change affects less than 0.1% of group members.

Adam
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Joris g Claeys

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Adam,
We really appreciate your time and dedication to customer attention. That is relative and recommendable for a big community such as LinkedIn.

You have not responded - here or anyone from LinkedIn to my requests (direct or via forums) - whether LinkedIn can provide a bit more time for implementation of the measurement in question. I think the general conclusion is that we all respect the decision made by LinkedIn and even welcome it to stop the wild grow and abuse, but we are complaining very loudly about the how - not the what. Can you suggest to your group to have the limitation deadline postponed till end of September - at least till mid September - so did we can all take appropriate action. I have been taking those actions, but I need much more time to keep it all in line with MY goals and objectives.

Much appreciate LinkedIn to relaease a public and private announcement ASAP, rather then keep on running around the real issue here and elsewhere.

Thanks.
best regards
Joris Claeys

Managing Director
ACCELERATE Global Supply Chain Solutions

CEO & Founding Partner
MARKETING VILLAGETM
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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Hi Adam,
I originated this question so I'll echo the 'heavy-handed remark'. I've also previously used the term draconian (elsewhere). Suffice it to say that the negative feelings are echoes by many. I find it VERY surprising that you are playing the cost card, less than a month from LinkedIn receiving a $53,000,000.00 venture capital cash infusion.

YES, this isn't an official Customer Service channel. That's the point. I personally have been frustrated to no end by LI-CS. They simply DO NOT answer questions, or respond in a timely manner. You have to love it when your account gets suspended at 9:00pm on a Friday night. and customer service is there for days. LI-CS is terrible! They refuse to clarify points, continue to issue vague and unclear guidelines, rely upon hidden policies that LI-CS refuses to make public, even though they enforce these same rules upon their users.
What LI management continues to miss is the value that their organization has, in this Web 2.0 world, is the users themselves, not the technology. Upset enough good people like Vincent Wright and so many others and you get a 2.0 revolution that Pareto would be proud of. But then again, I am in the 0.1% (I've always been an overachiever.) so I'm biased.

Really poor rollout!
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Adam Nash

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I will go talk to the team about the deadline. I can't promise at this point that it will be possible to extend it, but the concern certainly does make sense.

Jay, I think you'd be surprised to see the cost implications of some of our functionality when expanded to tens of millions of users. It certainly is daunting.

And as a side note, it's fair to say that while I don't have 50 groups, I'm pretty much in the top 0.1% for most types of activity on LinkedIn. :)

Take care everyone,
Adam
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Rick Upton

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Hi Adam,

I think LinkedIn went from one extreme to another, and think there is a middle ground which would be helpful to both potential group members and group moderators.

When LinkedIn first rolled out LinkedIn Groups, it was too difficult to figure out what groups existed, and how to join the various groups. Now it's too easy to request to join them, overloading group moderators. How about giving group moderators the option to associate a URL with the group. Then when a potential group member clicks a URL of a group he'd like to join, he'd be taken to a web page associated with the group. The web page could list qualifications to join, ask for a log in to access the link, offer a membership to join, etc. e.g. If an alumni association could associate a LinkedIn Group with a URL that led to a page which stated that membership in the LinkedIn group was limited to alumni, and alumni could gain access to the key to join the group by logging into the alumni association's website, then the user would be happy to be able to find out where he can get the key, and the moderator would be happy that only alumni could get access to the key.
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ScottAllen

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Adam -- Glad to know it's heading in that direction (re: putting more control in the hands of group organizers).

I do appreciate the fact that you're here. It's definitely better than nothing, which is pretty much what we've had up 'til now.

That said, my read is that the LinkedIn employees are replying to things here largely because this is a widely-viewed public forum and it would be seriously detrimental to be silent here.

LinkedIn has certainly been getting this same kind of input you're getting here from other channels like MyLinkedInPowerForum, LinkedInnovators, my blog and others, as well as direct input from concerned users. Once Konstantin left, there was a brief attempt to continue some participation in MLPF when Mario and April first came on board, but at some point, the powers-that-be at LinkedIn decided to marginalize those channels rather than embrace them. There was also talk of creating some kind of forum for user input, particularly from those of us who have evangelized LinkedIn, trained on it, and who deeply understand how it works. That never happened. In fact, when it came to light that I was planning to organize some users and offer some *private* feedback to LinkedIn about its poor handling of customer service, customer evangelism, etc., I was practically disowned.

And let's face it -- the LinkedIn blog, while I think it has improved tremendously and provides some really valuable content, is hardly a forum for any criticism of LinkedIn. The comments are heavily moderated, and I've certainly never seen any posts address any of the widespread criticism LinkedIn has received on various issues. You're not being very transparent, which I find sadly ironic for a social software company.

People are posting on GetSatisfaction because they (we) haven't gotten satisfaction via the other channels that LinkedIn has previously offered, and because LinkedIn has refused to participate in those we have created ourselves. Speaking as someone who has followed LinkedIn for so long, and who has wanted to help and support but been turned away, the message just rings very hollow.

Adam, I think you may have been shielded from much of this previously. I think you'd be shocked if you knew some of the details of how things have been handled by some of your colleagues.

I haven't done as some others have and removed my LinkedIn membership, because in spite of all the poor choices LinkedIn has made and the treatment I have received personally, I still find it an invaluable business tool, and I still garner some hope that things will change. In the meantime, my evangelism of LinkedIn is always qualified as my "love-hate" relationship with LinkedIn. That's really unfortunate.

If you really want to fix it, do something to truly embrace input from your *real* evangelists and power users -- the ones who have actually helped grow LinkedIn to 30 million members -- not the A-list celebrities who do one Q&A event or blog post. And frankly, it should start with an apology for the way LinkedIn has treated us the past couple of years.
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Vincent Wright

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Scott, while Adam Nash sufficiently answered the original question about the 50 Groups limit, you bring up a different matter of great importance: what to do with evangelists once the evangelizing is over - once evangelizing is no longer needed

While many of us devoted thousands of hours of our own time encouraging people within our reach to take Linkedin seriously, Linkedin's dismissive attitude towards some of its most ardent evangelists makes its recent successes meaningless to those of us who had longed to see Linkedin reach the numbers it's now reaching....

Yet, while I did remove my Linkedin membership - from a pure business development perspective - I *still* recommend that business professionals use Linkedin - I just don't go out of my way to do so any longer. Linkedin is a good place for business professionals. But, Linkedin is not a good place for Linkedin evangelists (like me)

I fully support your post, Scott...
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Joris g Claeys

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Well it doesn't answer the question, but it certainly points out the issue to its bear roots. I hope LinkedIn senior management reads this thread and reviews its strategies accordingly. Having been there at the birth of LinkedIn and experienced the mentality of the starters, together with many that respond here, feel clearly that something has gone wrong down the line. LinkedIn doesn't portray what it was intended for. It is ok for an initiative and a company, to mature and to become commercially viable. That's a must and a given. That that results in some core dreamer ideas to vanish, also that is ok. But looking at LinkedIn's largest commodity (sorry to express it that way), it is not the software, it is not its strategy - though very important -, no it is it's +25 million user community. It's the combined sould of LinkedIn's success!

Having said all that, I think we have to give Adam and LinkedIn management now a break and some time to re-energize all this into a positive outcome.
Nevertheless, I hope to see a resolution soon ... time is running!
Regards
Joris Claeys.
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Adam Nash

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There are actually a few separate topics wrapped up in this comment. I'm actually member ID 8876 on LinkedIn, so I know what you mean about being an early member and evangelist of the site.

I've been talking to the team about options on the Groups limit, so I should be able to post something here shortly.

On the issue of how to best incorporate community and customer feedback into a site that has scaled to tens of millions of users and hundreds of micro-communities, it's actually a very passionate topic for me and deserves its own time & place.

Take care,
Adam
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Adam Nash

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post a final note to this topic. I've discussed the
issues presented here and elsewhere with the team responsible for
LinkedIn Groups, and I have some good news to report. As of next week, we
will be limiting the number of groups you can join to 50, and members
with more than 50 groups may not see them appear on all screens on the
site. However, we will be extending the time for members who
currently belong to more that 50 groups. to decide which groups to
keep until September.

We will be sending out an additional email with more detail in
the next week or two to help members in this situation, and our
customer service team now has tools to assist members with this task if
requested.

I hope this helps address some of the concerns about the timing of
this change. We're really excited about the enhancements planned for
LinkedIn Groups in the coming months, and hopefully these transition
pains will be well worth it.

Take care,
Adam
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ScottAllen

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I agree -- this is a far more reasonable solution that acknowledges the fact that for some people, membership in a large number of groups is part of the way they use LinkedIn as an essential business tool,

To your other point above, Adam, the big difference is that they hired you. The rest of us, they progressively alienated any time we put out a message that was even slightly "off brand", which is particularly ironic in light of Reid's discussion with Guy Kawasaki about "why the standard 'control the brand on the internet' advice is silly." It's ironic because I know of no company that has tried to control the brand more than LinkedIn has -- not just the mark, but the positioning / brand proposition, etc. We should talk -- you know how to reach me. ;-)
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This is no different to where we were - changes 14th August and then 30 days to sort out your groups - i.e. 14th September!!

And what about people who are currently suffering a suspension for some reason (which probably hasn't been communicated to them from the Junta at LinkedIn....)?
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Paul

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This is definitely a large step in the right direction. Adam, you and the rest of the LinkedIn team are to be commended for demonstrating that a little flexibility as to means doesn't necessarily require compromising the ends you seek. Longer term, as new and cool features are prepared for roll-out, I hope that LI's management will pay as much attention considering HOW they implement as they currently devote to deciding WHAT to implement.
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Paul

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This is definitely a large step in the right direction. Adam, you and the rest of the LinkedIn team are to be commended for demonstrating that a little flexibility as to means doesn't necessarily require compromising the ends you seek. Longer term, as new and cool features are prepared for roll-out, I hope that LI's management will pay as much attention considering HOW they implement as they currently devote to deciding WHAT to implement.
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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As of 8/13/08 NO EXTENSIONS for groups cancellations per LI-CS. "I have not heard that any extensions are put into place, the dates are still the same for this change. I can send you a spreadsheet over and you may mark which ones to keep, we can then remove the rest for you.

We will need to receive the spreadsheet back ASAP on this item. Does this work for you?

Please let me know and we can move forward on this item.

Thanks,
Troy L."
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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Lets see. We'll get an email a week after we're limited to 50 groups, won't see the groups that we'll still need to drop, customer service [Ticket: 080807-001871] has something available to help, but I'm still waiting for that initial response from them.

Have you seen the great number of questions on LI Q&A on this topic?
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Have you signed the petition calling on LinkedIn to Consult its members?

DIRECT:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Link...

FACEBOOK USERS:
http://apps.facebook.com/petitions/vi...

Cheers John
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Marc Freedman

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Adam,

I thank Jay, Scott, Vincent, and others here for their insightful comments. Let me echo both the words heavy-handed and draconian.

Re: “if the change in ... SEEMS abrupt and/or incomprehensible.” No if, it is.

Re: “We really tried to balance the needs of all of our users with the realities of cost, time & technology.” Expediency is a poor excuse. It’s not a problem to delay launching new features. It’s a HUGE problem when you disrespect users and remove their work by forcing them to leave or and especially to remove groups that they’ve invested time in. Ever hear about doing no harm, or evil in the case of Google?

Respectfully this action by LinkedIn continues a long history of “improvements” that:
> remove features
> have no user input
> come with no information. There is no FAQ or forums for questions on this change.
> are poorly planned. We won’t provide your more info and you have a week to make changes or else.
> penalize innocent members
> show no respect to legitimate users’ time and energy by not grandfathering changes

I know of no established company, none as large as LinkedIn, and certainly none that are Web 2.0 and live and die based on user support that act in such a purely anti-user way.

It’s reasonable to:
> respond to user complaints
> set up a user-moderated forum for abuse
> improve your technology to set up a group application process and provide tools to group owners to facilitate better group management and reduce inappropriate memberships.

It’s poor practice to use the blunt instrument of limits that hurts users who have done nothing wrong.

I’m especially incensed as I run an alumni group that gets the abuse you identify. I take the time to appropriately qualify members. I take responsibility for group management. So now because there are group owners who DON’T do their job and manage their groups, you penalize OTHER people, including innocent LinkedIn members and groups owners like me who do their job! That is wrong in so many ways.

1. GROUP OWNERS

There has been no communication to me as a group owner. Why not?

I had to write Customer Service to learn that the group limit includes groups I own and “The total number of groups includes a limit of 10 that you may own.” Is that true? So if I own 50 groups I have to cancel 40 of them? You didn’t think that was important enough to tell people? Were you just going to wait for owners to learn that after you automatically and arbitrarily removed their groups?

I find it unconscionable that I invest my time and energy to promote and manage my groups and help evangelize LinkedIn ... and then the company would so cavalierly force me to kill them. How can you possibly justify that?

2. INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIPS

Why shouldn’t a LinkedIn user want to join 100 or even 1,000 groups if he has a legitimate interest? LinkedIn’s myopia is astounding and emblematic of other limits LinkedIn has set. This is pre-Internet thinking when one’s life was confined to what you could touch and feel, when groups were big formal beasts and so a person would only have access to and could join a few organizations that included your college alumni assn, a few interest groups, and the Chamber of Commerce.

This group limit is akin to saying we’re happy to offer you restaurant dining but you can only pick from 5 restaurants in your city.

Technology has come a little way since then. My world is no longer defined by real-world groups in my little town. It now includes my metro area, my country, the planet, and purely online communities. If I have an interest in 18th century coastal Chinese architecture or a specific product or web site, the Internet now enables me to find a group with like minded people. Just like this very site at getsatisfaction.com.

And many groups have several legitimate subgroups. My college has general, graduation year, and area of interest groups. Major cities have dozens of business and networking groups. I have literally hundreds of areas of interest.

There are dozens of legitimate career and job organizations, each of which offers me different programs, networkers, features, locations, discipline concentrations, etc. and so each gives me unique value.

As a result I belong to SEVERAL HUNDRED different groups that include 150 Yahoo groups and professional, career, hobby, city, interest, and networking groups. And many of these now have LinkedIn groups.

Now I know the average user is not that engaged with LinkedIn. He is not well plugged in online. If he happens to come across a LinkedIn group, he may join it. But he doesn’t seek them. And so 50 may be a reasonable limit for him.

But that is no justification for penalizing the more active and online of your members who have every legitimate right to belong to many more LinkedIn groups.

In fact LinkedIn encourages this. LinkedIn set up not one but several different Forbes groups. Then LinkedIn added Do It Yourself groups that exploded groups from 3,000 to over 100,000 and a search directory that encourage users to find and join new groups.

Regards,

Marc Freedman
The DallasBlue Business Network
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So did you sign the petition and encourage all of your 'members' to do likewise?
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Marc - I completely agree - LinkedIN is punishing the very people that made them popular, sent out invitations and really networked with their service. It's pathetic!
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LinkedIn should be renamed to ErredIn. They refused to tell how to define a user group from any other group. Also what is the abuse they are discussing. Is it spam or exactly what is it? There are numerous ways technology development can solve the problem once it's clearly defined. I don't think their technology department is adhering to "best practices" of technology design, development, and implementation. In other words "they don't appear to have a clue" the necessity of customer satisfaction in tandem with technology change. Not a clue!!!
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I think you have hit the nail on the head! LinkedIn has (and has always had) flawed technology - let's face it the architecture, design and implementation are all crap.

Supose, for a moment, the CTO has shares in the company and cannot be removed!!

We have a reason for disaster!

Well spotted.

Cheers .....
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I agree. Every time I've tried to get specifics from them on their issues, arch, design, etc I've gotten no response. It's just they are doing what they want and when they want with no consideration of the impact to the end user. That type of slam duck technology cramming is absolutely NEVER done in a healthy and intelligent technology design, development, and roll-out in any successful advanced technological environment. There-in (unsuccessful) is likely the root-cause of their philosophy.

Unfortunately all of the numerous hard-workers who have done no wrong are paying the price for a few abusers. It could be likened to a community that has a few crooks and instead of the police going after the few crooks and prosecuting them; the whole community is jailed. This is what LinkedIn is doing to the LinkedIn user networking community.

Many of us would like LinkedIn to take a hint from William Edwards Demming, the guru of Quality Revolution. Demming would state genius is in recognizing when to act and when to leave a process alone.

Penalizing non-abusers for abusers actions is arbitrary and does not pass the smell test. In other words it is wrong, wrong, wrong and there is absolutely no justification that will make it right.
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Vincent Wright

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EXACTIMUNDO, blonde & loving it! EXACTIMUNDO, indeed!

Especially this statement of yours: "Unfortunately all of the numerous hard-workers who have done no wrong are paying the price for a few abusers. It could be likened to a community that has a few crooks and instead of the police going after the few crooks and prosecuting them; the whole community is jailed. This is what LinkedIn is doing to the LinkedIn user networking community."
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Joris g Claeys

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Gentlemen,

Can we keep it professional. though some of the comments you make are very valid, most of them belong somewhere else. For example: there is here on GS an offer from LinkedIn to communicate your 5 highest wishes of what you like to see improved or developed. then I noticed the thread about "can subgroups be combined", which is an excellent questions, because that is one of the major areas where the wild growth is happening. In that respect there are serious developments going on which will enter in Web3.0 sphere relative to value networking and global pattern recognition of links, connections and matrixes. Guys, we are not yet there. If you want to live in the future, look for a good freezer today and wake up in a couple of years. You can also actively engage in Web3.0 technology development and be part of the new wave with all of your ideas. Or you can start another thread here on GS and express all your grieves. You know, I have seen and heard this tone regular from often the same people. I don't think it suites the purpose and personally I don't like to be part of that. Life is though enough, let us be more positive and contribute, resolute where we can - not just complaint. Having said that, I don't want to generalize this, but there are individuals that do just that. Let us keep it constructivelu positive professional with an attitude to make results. This thread to me is closed and resoluted to what its purpose was.

Jay, what you think!

Have an ACCELERATing day.
best regards
Joris Claeys

Managing Director
ACCELERATE Global Supply Chain Solutions
Business, Industry & Market coaching
Collaborative Supply Chain & Marketing Mix Management for the Extended Enterprise ©

CEO & Founding Partner
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Jay Langdon, SPHR

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I guess I should comment here. Joris, when I read Marc Freedman's post I was struck with awe. I think he expressed in an exceptional, excellent way, what so many feel.

I had over 400 LinkedIn groups and managed a few. That number is unfortunately rapidly reducing, as is the value that I can get through LinkedIn. For power networkers that invest significant time in evangelizing sites like Linkedin there is a violation of trust tantamount to treasonous treatment of the people that matter most. LI hasn't learned this lesson and that's too bad. There is something substantial there (good and not so good).

Vincent Wright is a person that I'd call friend and ally, though we are not close. He is someone that edifies others even when he's personally in difficult spots.

IMHO, there is professionalism here, there's also some venting being done; and rightly so.

Ladies and gentlemen I salute you and applaud your further commentary.
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Thanks to Joris for being done with the polyannish views. As people who passionately love networking and positive views we all positively will not climb in to a freezer to harm ourself as Joris suggests to wake up in another century. We are not being negative and are just asking that LinkedIn do their due diligence and proper best practices implementation of technological implementation. We know fully well what that involves; been there and done that for years.
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Joris g Claeys

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Jay, b&l,

no reason to argue, we are all on the same site of this situation, and agree not to agree to LinkedIn's non-consideration of it's community (customer), but at the same time we don't want to see LinkedIn drop to another AOL. We all worked to hard on what LinkedIn is today and what it means to us. I just hope no one will get into the freezer ...:)
regards
Joris