Spam and Linkedin Groups
Spam in Processing.org Linkedin group daily email digest
One of the first things I did upon joining Linkedin (see Jim Plaxco's Linkedin profile) was to search for and join groups that reflected my interests and which were related to my art business. In fact I have consistently been maxed out on my group memberships – since non-premium users are limited to 50 groups. Over time some of these groups have become little more than spam distribution centers, especially with respect to irrelevant job postings to the discussions area. On the plus side, when I find a new group to join, it's easy to decide which group to drop: the one with the most spam.
My definition of a spammy group is based on the ratio of non-relevant, promotional/advertising posts to relevant informational posts. I use as my guide the daily email digests of discussions that are sent to me by Linkedin. I find these emails to be the easiest way to stay informed as to what is happening in the groups I'm a member of. The illustration at the top of this post is of the daily email digest for the Processing.org group. There were a total of 9 new postings to the group of which 8 were spam. The single non-spam posting was my own post complaining about spam in the group.
Of course Linkedin groups don't have to be conduits for spam. I manage several Linkedin groups and have managed to keep all of them spam free. It is simply a matter of active management and applying the correct group management settings. Even then some spam will sneak in. In these cases I have a simple management policy – ban the posters of spam from the group. I don't know why other group admins don't follow this simple, effective policy.
My most recent foray into creating a Linkedin group had to do with the Processing programming language. The posts to the existing Processing group had become overwhelmingly job posts having nothing to do with Processing. I was so upset that I started up my own competing Processing group: Processing Programming Language. I encourage all Processing users to join the group.
In addition to the Processing Programming Language group, other Linkedin groups that I manage include:
- Chicago Creative Artist Network which is limited to artists and others in the creative field from the Chicago/northeastern Illinois region.
- Northwest Cultural Council – a non-profit arts organization serving Chicago's northwest suburbs.
- Algorithmic Art – a small group devoted to algorithmic art.
- National Space Society – the official Linkedin group for the National Space Society of which I am a director (though my term is almost up).
Of the groups that I am a member of, I would classify the following as being very spammy:
- Ars Electronica
- Computational Geometry
- Illustrators and Computer Graphic artists
and the following groups as being moderately spammy:
- The Art World
- CG CON: THE COMPUTER GRAPHICS CONFERENCE
- Chicago Creative Ventures Network: All Things Art in Chicago
- Contemporary Art network group
- Creative Designers and Writers
- Digital Artist Outsourcing Group
- International Network for the Arts
They say it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil so if you don't like spam in a Linkedin group you're a member of, start a discussion complaining about the spam, send a message to the group's administrator (and encourage others to do likewise), and as a last resort start your own competing group.
And if you do start your own group, you better make sure to keep it spam free.