If you’ve been reading my blog or my tweets, you should realize that a lot of people are upset about the changes in LinkedIn Group and Inbox functionality that occurred last week. From the average user perspective the changes may seem minimal, but for those power users and LinkedIn Group Managers who are the best evangelizers for LinkedIn (I love you LinkedIn!) the changes are quite significant.
I am already feeling the pinch. My next Windmill Networking in Southern California So Cal Sushi LinkedIn Group event is tomorrow. I used to be able to easily send an email to the subset of group members that RSVPed me that they could attend. I can now only send out an Announcement OR have to use the very inefficient Inbox to spend a few minutes just to send out an email to multiple contacts. Composing a message to multiple recipients on Inbox, in essence, sucks.
I sent out an Announcement a few days ago to remind people of the event and basically positioned it as a last call for RSVPs. Today I got notified from the restaurant that they might put some PR muscle into this to try to get a lot more people to come to the networking event. Great! And because the common factor of those who are attending is their LinkedIn membership, it further evangelizes LinkedIn.
But, not so fast. The Announcement feature, which allows the Group Manager to send out a message to everyone in the group, can only be used once a week. My last Announcement was a few days ago. I cannot send out another Announcement. And it is just too inefficient to send out mass emails…after all, that is why LinkedIn wants you to use the Announcement feature and NOT email the entire group. So now I only have the option of placing a Discussion on the Discussion Board and hope that everyone sees it in the next 24 hours…I’d be lucky if 5% of my group members happen to be looking at it today.
So now you see how the new restrictions on LinkedIn Groups make it a bad scenario for both the Group Managers and Members. But what to do about it? How do I send a complaint to LinkedIn? And I don’t mean contacting Customer Service as they are the gate keepers and not the decision makers. I’ve been blogging about this all week, but now someone in Mass Media has come to our rescue.
Patrick Kitano of Social Media Today is to thank for taking the call to action. He has written a very concise blog post on what the LinkedIn Group issues are, echoing a lot of what I have been saying, and he also says that we should complain to the source of the problem: Reid Hoffman, the CEO of LinkedIn. He includes Reid’s profile URL and does note that Reid is currently accepting InMails. Now, you do need to have a Paid account to send an InMail, so this is not an advertisement to upgrade (I am still on the free account, by the way ;-), but even if a fraction of the thousands of people who read this blog every month will send Reid an email, it may make LinkedIn a better place for all of us. And, I suppose that you can truly now say that paid membership does have its privileges…a chance to directly send an email to the CEO!
Thank you, and Viva La Revolution!