This post is extracted pretty much verbatim from an article I published on LinkedIn regarding the “economics” and logistics of sharing information – specifically – sharing among multiple Groups.

Some of it is geeky numbers analysis, but my agenda is to make it as easy as possible to share ideas and collaborate.

From a UX/youEyeGuy perspective, that means analyzing and critiquing the system, its tools, and its rules – with those criteria in mind.   That’s why we’re here.

A while ago I published an article on LinkedIn Pulse. The post itself is extremely concise – It’s really nothing more than a “pointer” to a webcast that was given on 02/10/2016 by a colleague who I respect on a topic that interests me.  The topic is UX (user experience)-related, so I had no illusions about it becoming overwhelmingly popular.

I then went onto two of my favorite professional groups and published “pointer posts” to the original on Pulse, labeled as ” Rapid Visualization “.  Those 2 posts offer no new information, they merely share links to the exact same information with new audiences.

the Metrics of Sharing

My Original “Map the Experience” announcement on Pulse has garnered 340+Views and 22 Likes during the past week.  Not bad, by my personal rating system – especially given the fact that the audience for Pulse is general (i.e. not particularly UX-oriented).

The first professional group that got a pointer post  is “User Experience” – one of the largest UX-oriented groups, with 113,000 members.  It earned 16 Likes there (We don’t know how many Views because LinkedIn doesn’t provide that info.  Why not…?)

The second professional group that got a pointer post  is “UxD.IA” (UX Design | Information Architecture) – one of the more targeted UX-oriented groups, with 7400 members. It earned 1 Like there.

FWIW:  The performance stats for the 2 groups are roughly the same: One out of every 7000 Group members liked the article.  We don’t know how many of the Group members actually viewed the article, but …

the Assessment

According to the Pulse stats, about one of every 15 people who viewed the original post felt good enough about it to “like” it.If the 15:1 performance ratio holds true, then pollinating the original post to just 2 Groups resulted in at least 255 more Views (i.e. ~75% growth in audience).  Significantly, this growth in viewership was among people who were most likely to view the info as valuable .

the Value Proposition

Based on performance demonstrated above, sharing the “Map the Experience” post across my 24 favorite UX-related groups would more than quadruple the number of Views and Likes of that original article. If much of the preceding blah-blah holds true (which seems credible and resonates with my informal ‘take’ as a LinkedIn blogger), then:

  • Cross-pollination generates impressive growth in viewership – and satisfaction (Likes) – across LinkedIn.
  • Cross-pollination builds synergy among professional Groups.  We haven’t even discussed the fact that many professionals are members of multiple industry-oriented Groups – but facile, shallow, marketing-oriented Pulse is not the single platform by which you can reach all of them.
  • Cross-pollination has implications beyond this social network.   Case in point: By all indications, my “Map the Experience” post resulted in more viewership of the OReilly webcast.  Are the bean-counters paying attention?

Jim Kalbach’s presentation – by the way – was excellent.

Don’t just allow cross-pollination, encourage it.

the TakeAway

  • Simple, concise ” pointer posts ” (I added no substantive content of my own) can be very effective as original published material.
  • Simple, concise derivative “pointer posts”  (i.e. a pointer to a pointer) can be very effective when published in Groups.

an Obvious Question

“Why didn’t you pollinate those pointer posts across all of your Groups, John?

Obviously you could’ve reached hundreds more of your colleagues if you’d done so (since there are hundreds of thousands of professional colleagues in the same UX Groups as you).”

Why would I not share the wealth?

The answer is simple:

Because I don’t want to be “moderated” (i.e. censored) by LinkedIn.  Again.

The embarrassing fact is that I’ve tried to share good information across my professional Groups in the past, and I’ve been spanked by Reid Hoffman’s Dumbots multiple times for the effort.

It’s based on this LinkedIn Policy (verbatim from the LI Help Center):“You promoted the same message in multiple groups at once. If you try to share the same link (or links from the same domain) with multiple groups, the system may prohibit the link from being shared. This is because the same information is not typically relevant to numerous groups.
Let’s read that last line again.   Slowly.
Reid Hoffman actually believes that if it’s interesting and valuable to a professional who’s a member of one Group, it couldn’t possibly be interesting and valuable to a professional who belongs to another Group.  Especially if the Groups are – you know – related .


Reid’s automated Dumbots are Anti-Pollinators

LinkedIn actively interferes with the natural spreading of relevant information as a matter of policy, implemented through Site-Wide Automation Moderation (SWAM) software.  Yet cross-pollination is actually how ideas happen.

This may help explain why LinkedIn recently tanked on the markets.Okay, so that was kind of a cheap shot.  But let’s face it – LinkedIn is struggling to establish its value.  This is largely because the social networking sector as a whole does not recognize its inherent collateral.  (I’m talking about you.  And you.  And you, my colleagues.)  We need to re-visit the concept of value, if we are to have a viable information economy.  But that’s another rant.

a Modest Proposal

  • Allow any Pulse posting to be shared with multiple Groups . A [ Share ] button with direct access to a list of my Groups makes it easy.  Allow the semantic topic tags to travel with the message.
  • Make collaboration easy. It’s the soul of social media.
  • Alert me when a colleague shares my original post.   Make it easy to thank them.
  • Give me total usage statistics for my post (i.e. Views and Likes across all Groups.)

Is there more?  Of course, but that’s another rant.Let’s have a healthy system.

Communication is sharing.  That’s why convergence is a necessity.

© The Communication Studio LLC