LinkedIn Releases Groups Directory Search

By Mike Maddaloni on Friday, July 11, 2008 at 06:57 AM with 3 comments

View Mike Maddaloni's profile on LinkedInToday, July 11, LinkedIn released a long-awaited feature to its service, the ability to search LinkedIn Groups. Previously, the entire list of groups was a mystery, and the only real way to find one was from either their short list pages or from the profile pages of members.

So what is a LinkedIn group? On a basic level, it is like any other group where members have something in common with another. After joining a group, you can then view the list of people in that group. You also get a “merit badge” on your profile page with the logo of the group. If you have allowed group members to contact you, then they can, otherwise they cannot. Otherwise that is it – there are no direct contact features or any way to schedule events, share files or other resources, etc. with other group members. It is up to you to initiate contact with people in the group if you want to contact them.

The search feature is long overdue, as not only did you not know the full list of groups, but there could be multiple groups. I manage an alumni group for my former employer, IDX Systems Corporation, and the first thing I did was search on the group name and found there was only my group. I then did a search on Computer Sciences Corporation, or CSC, another former employer. I am an administrator of an alumni group setup by another alumni and friend. To my dismay, but not by surprise, there are many CSC alumni groups. Fortunately the CSC group I am involved with is at the top of the list.

I heard about the new search feature because I am a group manager and received an email earlier in the week advising me of this and suggesting I may want to review the description of my group. As of this morning of the release of the search, there is no mention of it on their home page.

People want to belong to something, thus the popularity of LinkedIn groups. Groups are a huge feature of Facebook and other social networking sites, and its nice to see LinkedIn catching up. Now they are valued at US$1 Billion, it will be interesting to see their next steps in further connecting people.


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