The 10,000+ member LinkedIn Construction Marketing Ideas community: What it means

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A screen shot of the LinkedIn Construction Marketing Ideas group

A few days ago, I pushed the “accept” button for about 65 new members, and the LinkedIn Construction Marketing Ideas group reached a milestone — membership crossed the 10,000 level.

The group has been around for several years, since LinkedIn created special-interest groups and social media became a trendy thing. For a while, it was a closed group — you only could get in or see it if you had some advance knowledge — and membership grew rapidly. Then LinkedIn changed its policy on closed groups; new member sign-ups trickled.

I considered whether to open the group for some time; fearful about spam and commercial abuse. (As well, I reflected that members had joined the closed group with that status, and they hadn’t requested or asked that it be opened.) In the end I decided there would be no harm in opening the group; there isn’t sensitive personal information, and even in the closed environment, many of the posters have self-serving commercial intent. This shouldn’t be seen as either good or bad, but the natural process in creating a social media environment where marketing is the primary topic.

My administration of the group has been hands-off and that fact is reflected in its content; a fair bit of reposting of blog content from elsewhere, with some of the (see above) self-serving content that might be seen as borderline relevance in a true discussion/participatory forum. There aren’t many posts or questions, and there isn’t much discussion. The group has taken on some traits of a marketing bulletin board; it isn’t a central priority in anyone’s life.

Nevertheless, the overall membership is impressive. Think of what it would be like if we could pull all 10,000 members into a single room (more likely you would need a large concert hall or a sports arena in a decent-sized city). There’s obviously a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, nationalities, cultures, but everyone has at least something in common: Each member self-identified an interest in the Construction Marketing Ideas topic.

I encourage you to join the group if you are not already a member, and to start/follow relevant discussions. It is a worthwhile experience.

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