LinkedIn recently announced they are giving Group owners the ability to make a LinkedIn Group public… and some people are getting really excited about it.
But what does that mean to you?
In a nutshell, if a LinkedIn Group switches from Private, where no one can access the Group unless they (a) are a LinkedIn user, and (b) have been accepted to the Group, to Public, anyone can find Group discussions from a search engine.
They don’t have to be on, or logged into, LinkedIn in order to see the discussions.
Good or bad?
I’d suggest perhaps good and perhaps bad.
It’s definitely good for LinkedIn, as more of their user-generated content will be findable online. They titled the announcement on their blog “LinkedIn Open Groups makes it easier to find and share professional conversations.” That means more hits for LinkedIn.
It *could be* good for people who participate in Group Discussions, if their contributions are communicated well.
It could be bad if they said something dumb, vague, or if they are in a Group that they might not want to be known to be associated with.
Some Groups have already gone “open,” others have asked their Group members what they think.
My advice is this: always think twice before you write something… it very well could be on the front page of [Google/the newspaper/etc.].
This could have happened before Groups went open… I could have easily copied-and-pasted what you wrote and distributed it through my blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other mediums.
But now no one has to copy and paste… Google just grabs it and makes it easily accessible.
In general, I think this is a good move. Just be careful what you say and how you say it
TechCrunch’s post about this (very interesting comments)