Last week I posted something of a “rant,” questioning the value LinkedIn Groups.  I’ve received more email (though no comments on the blog!) about this post than any since I started blogging 5 years ago!  Many of these messages agreed with my observations, some did not.  One of the most insightful led me to post this – not as a retraction or correction, per se, but as a corollary.

The Value of Giving

One participant in one of the LinkedIn groups in which I participate – and it’s important to note that he is one of the most active participants – reminded me that there is one other aspect of the”ROI” on time and effort invested in LinkedIn groups I had ignored.  He wrote:

LinkedIn groups, like any other social medium, offer us a way to not only fully blossom into who we truly are, but they also provide an invaluable channel for others to connect with us.  …the true value of what we do is not really in what we receive, but in what we give…”

Of course, he is absolutely correct about the value of giving! I have given in terms of my time blogging and on LinkedIn (and other media) for the reason he cites – I get tremendous value from the act itself.  My blogging and my activities on social media help me think through and process how I am seeing and making sense of the world around me.  His email humbled me for ignoring this crucial aspect of the value of participation in groups such as LinkedIn.

My Lame Defense

In my defense, my rant about the value of LinkedIn groups was intended to be a message to the spammers and to all those who only want to “take” and never to “give.”  In some respects, I let my anger at them get the better of me – I probably should written the post – taken a deep breath – and then deleted it!

In the world of blogging, it is considered bad behavior to delete or change a post once published.  (And there have been a few posts over my 5 years that I wish I had not published, or wanted to rewrite!)  And, frankly, I’m not sure I would delete the rant even if it was standard practice to do so.  But my reader’s email to me was spot on – and I am glad to be able to add this corollary, saying what was left unsaid in the original post.

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