While I’d be the first to admit that this might not be the most exciting page on LinkedIn, nevertheless the Groups page – the one that lists all of the groups that you are a member of – does in fact contain a lot of good information and provides a great summary or overview of the latest activity going on in the Groups you have joined. And after all, the Groups are places which are likely to be a key element of your LinkedIn activity.
It’s true that you can never really hope to keep on top of all the discussions that go on in the groups but this summary or ‘homepage’ for the Groups will give us a great overview of where the latest activity is happening and so where we should perhaps be focusing our attention. After all, we might be able to join up to 50 groups but, with the best will in the world, you’re only going to be able to participate in 4 to 5 of them at best.
Why might this me of use
It may be particularly helpful if you have decided to turn off your discussion notifications from your groups- as indeed I have decided to do – to avoid email overload from Group Discussions. That way, you can see at a glance which Groups have new discussions in them and so might be worth a visit.
Equally, if you wish, you can rejig the page to help you focus on the most important Groups for you by changing the order that they appear on this page. That way, the key ones – those where you want to make most impact – can be displayed first on the page so you can pay even more attention to them. [As an aside, if you aren't familiar with how to do either of these things, then do drop me a line via my LinkedIn Profile or here on the site.]
So, here is just a short summary of the different elements that appear here, what they mean and perhaps how you might like to use them.
1. Basic Information
Here’s the stuff that you get on all Groups:
i) Group name (all important of course) and in most cases a Group logo of some sort. It isn’t essential to have a logo so you may find the default one there if the owner hasn’t put one in but, in general, most will have done if they are serious about the group and its objectives.
ii) There may be the image of a padlock next to the name in which case it is a Members-only Group (as opposed to an Open Group). This doesn’t mean that you have to be invited to join – both types of groups can opt to automatically allow members to join or vet them before allowing them in. It simply refers to whether the content can be seen by non-members or not – Open Groups, yes, and Members-only Groups, no.
iii) Final element is the little graph icon which takes you through to see Group Statistics relating to the membership and usage of the group which may be usefl and / or of interest.
2. New Discussions
In addition to the general information, you may have:
i) a ‘speech bubble’ with a number in it – this indicates the number of new discussions since your last visit and hence whether you should pay a visit and catch up with what’s been going on, particularly if it’s one of your target groups.
ii) The briefcase with the number indicates jobs or job discussions which are new.
iii) If there are any pictures of people, then these will be your 1st level connections who have recently been active in the group.
i) There are also lots of sub-groups on LinkedIn, that’s to say a group within a Group. If you have joined one of these (and they don’t count towards your 50 by the way, you get 50 sub groups you can join in addition) then it also displays details which reminds you which group it belongs to etc.
ii) The ‘Official’ marking, which could be on a group or subgroup, is just to reassure you that this is the place to go for the official information on that subject.
4. New Members
And finally, if you are an owner or a manager of a group then you may well see this symbol which means that there are people who have applied to join the group and are waiting for you to let them in (or not … as the case may be!)