I recently saw this question on an alumni LI Group:
Any chance we can merge this group with the “other” [insert school name here] Alumni Group? We are missing opportunities to connect and share information.
It is a good idea but I don’t think it will work… here’s why:
As far as I know, there isn’t any technology that allows two groups to be merged… whether an option from the group admin interface or from LinkedIn’s employees. I bet they can DELETE a group, but I’d be surprised if they could/would merge multiple groups.
Developing technology shouldn’t be too hard… but, the bigger issue is…
Of course, Policy could be written, rewritten and updated… but let’s look at the heart of the issue: OWNERSHIP.
Ownership: anyone can start a Group on LinkedIn. To start an alumni group you don’t have to be in the alumni office… heck, you don’t even have to be an alumnus! There isn’t really an ability to have an “official” group – that is, a single group that is THE GROUP.
For example, if someone starts a Group for alumni of a school (or company), and they get, say, 20,000 members, and then the real alumni office/rep starts a group and they get 7 members, which is the better, more official Group? I wouldn’t join the Group with 7 members because there is nothing going on there.
- Should LinkedIn GIVE the Group to the “official” alumni rep?
- Should LinkedIn CLOSE the unofficial Group and encourage people to move to the official Group?
- How does LinkedIn decide which Group is “official?”
- What if the person who is admin of the Group moves on, with some spite… how is Group ownership transferred involuntarily?
Another issue is kingdoms…. if I start a Group with 1k or 100k people, and there is a “competing” group with 1k or 100k members, why would EITHER of the group admins want to merge? I would lose decision-making ability, and the power to send out Group Announcements, etc. I want the Group to be my own… right?
If I’m worried about people sticking around, or having the Group grow, I should worry about the value I provide… sorry if we can’t merge and have one place for you (in other words, the consumer loses out because of the fragmentation), but I want my kingdom to thrive… not merge.
What do you think?