LinkedIn has rolled out several new features over the past few months to better help you manage your groups. Previously groups were limited in terms of creating a place to store information that you always want available to members like rules for posting discussions.
The new group features allow you to create a group rules page that informs your group members of specific rules for posting content in the group, how to join subgroups or any other process you want to communicate. In the past I’ve had to use the Featured Discussion control but this kept those discussions at the top of the discussion board and became annoying. Group rules allow you to put this content in a popup window that allows members to easily review the information. The Group Rules link displays on every page on the top right-hand corner for easy access. You can still select specific discussions to appear in the Manager’s Choice box that appears just underneath the Group Rules link.
Another new feature that allows for better community management is the ability to flag discussions. Many times you may have members promoting events or promotions that you want available to the group but don’t necessarily want displayed on the landing page. Too many promotions may deter people from joining the group. Now you can flag specific discussions as promotions and they will appear on the new promotions page. Other features include the ability to either delete the discussion or reply privately to the person who posted if you need to inform them of a rule infraction.
In the past I have deleted discussions when someone was pushing too many promotions in my group. Now I have the ability to move it to a more proper space. Deleting a discussion should be a last resort for someone that is abusing the group rules. Usually what they have to say is important and relevant to members but this new feature keeps promotions from cluttering up the main page.
The only change I have not liked in the recent LinkedIn updates is that now the old news feature has been lumped into the discussions. The news feature allowed you to link a RSS feed including Twitter streams into a separate news page. Now these news items will appear in the discussions. Depending on the Twitter stream you have linked it can be too many updates so be cautious in how you link RSS feeds into your group.