Just Answer My Question, Dammit!

If you’ve ever spent two minutes perusing a LinkedIn Discussion Group topic, you’ll already know how quickly the conversation thread can get derailed. And, if I were the one posting the question, I’d conclude that these groups are a waste of time. So how can LinkedIn help improve the value of its app, given it’s really in the hands of its users?

If you’ve ever spent two minutes perusing a LinkedIn Discussion Group topic, you’ll already know how quickly the conversation thread can get derailed. And, if I were the one posting the question, I’d conclude that these groups are a waste of time. So how can LinkedIn help improve the value of its app, given it’s really in the hands of its users?

Here’s one idea: It would be fairly easy for LinkedIn to add a drop down menu of messages that the individual posting could select from to add to their post. These messages would be set up as triggers which would pop-up in front of the individual about to post a reply, for consideration BEFORE they hit the “post” button.

Some suggested message choices might be:

  • WARNING! The original post in this discussion was over X months ago. Your commentary may be irrelevant and you may be viewed by others as “out of touch.”
  • Before posting, please read all the other posts thus far. If you’re not repeating information that’s already been supplied, and your response is relevant to the discussion, then by all means proceed with posting.
  • I am not in the market to purchase any goods or services. I was simply interested in what others think about the topic I’ve posted, so please don’t contact me directly.
  • Are you really an expert on this topic? There’s a “no amateurs” rule in effect on this post.
  • If you really think you can help me with my problem, and it’s within X days of my post, please contact me directly.
  • No smart-ass comments, please.
  • Just answer my original question. No sales pitches, no links to your book/blog/white paper/web page, I really just want to get my question answered.

If LinkedIn were to make my idea a reality, I think the number of participants in the discussion would be reduced (which is not necessarily a bad thing), and experts would be more inclined to come forward and participate in a topic.

My very wise Dad once taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I do try to live by that rule, and now I’ll add to it with, “If you don’t have anything relevant to say…”