Can you do a brief mental experiment with me, please?
Take just a moment on this: Try to visualize going through the course of your networking year WITHOUT having to encourage someone in your network or without someone in your network having to encourage you.
Just imagine that for a moment. Just imagine a networking year without the concept of encouragement entering into it.
If you have a large network of, let’s say, 500+ people, I think it would be virtually impossible for someone in a network of that size to get through a year without either having to encourage someone or to have someone else encourage them. Virtually impossible!
So, imagine my surprise when Linkedin Corporation wrote to me today telling me that they’d suspended my group called “Keep STRONG!” – ostensibly for this well-worn-out old Linkedin reason: “The LinkedIn Groups feature is meant for like-minded peers who have a similar base of professional experience. Group members should have some structured off-line association with other professionals. We do not feel your group goes with bringing like minded professionals together in the LinkedIn manner. We have suspended this group at this time.”
Here is the group description I wrote for the group “Keep STRONG!”: “It is NOT your job to help those who seek to drag you down, to weaken you. That’s their job. Your job is to acquire as much encouragement as is needed for you to have a healthy life. YOUR job is to Keep STRONG!!”
That’s the entirety of the group message.
In the context of the endless other groups which do not meet the above standard which Linkedin used to justify suspending my group, Linkedin’s weak excuse is simply beyond belief. Notwithstanding that it’s their platform, their game, their rules, Linkedin’s approach to what is and what isn’t permissible is just stupefying. You and I both know a large multitude of Linkedin groups which don’t satisfy the standard they chose to use to suspend my group.
Further, as an example of Linkedin’s extreme inconsistency and its downright inability to follow its own guidelines, Linkedin APPROVED a group of mine called “Virtually Viral!” How on earth can such a group satisfy Linkedin’s old mantra ”structured off-line association with other professionals”? There’s nothing off-line about a group called “VIRTUALLY” Viral!, for goodness sake!!! Yet, Linkedin approved “Virtually Viral” in RECORD TIME! The fastest Linkedin group approval, I’ve yet to experience.
Considering Linkedin’s recent intimations regarding the usage of their trademark, their inability to articulate a clear group policy or a photo policy contemporary networkers can follow, Linkedin’s inconsistencies are maddeningly intolerable..
While Linkedin may be determined to discourage certain behaviors of some of its former evangelists, here’s a fact of networking life: You CANNOT network without encouraging one another. And encouraging one another is nothing more than assisting one another to keep strong. To think you can avoid encouragement is the height of networking ignorance. Linkedin’s Ignorance Of Networking shows in the rapidly deteriorating relationships with the community of evangelists who’ve formerly championed Linkedin as their business network of choice. Without intentional mutuality, Linkedin is just software devoid of human relations.
FYI: I’ve taken the matter a step further and deactivated the group which Linkedin suspended. I believe that deactivating a group is functionally equivalent to deleting the group. I’ll find another venue to help those of us who chose to Keep STRONG!
VincentWright.com (My Linkedin Profile)
MyLinkingPowerForum.com (Ning (2,500 members))
MyLinkedinPowerForum.com (Yahoo (8,800 members))
MyLinkedinPowerForum.biz (Linkedin (8,400 members))
MyLinkedinPowerForum.net (Facebook (1,400 members))