My experience on the Internet to date has led me to prefer open, blog-based mechanisms for an Industry “Conversation” rather than the closed world of LinkedIn groups or indeed any other forum format. Each participant has their own platform and their interests/biases are plain to see and the readers can make their own informed judgements. The interaction of ideas can take place naturally and in the open for all to see and make their individual contributions.
With regard to “bed behaviour” particularly by Sales & Marketing personnel, I’m afraid I’m one of those naive people that believe open conversation spurs creativity, and if people act badly they’ll just look like idiots to the very people they are trying to “impress”. As long as there’s transparency it tends to self-correct.
However, I realise that only a few of us are willing or indeed able to Blog, so forums such as LinkedIn groups definitely have a role. There are a couple of ELN groups on LinkedIn, one’s pretty quiet and the other is somewhat stifled by rather outmoded policies.
So I’m delighted that a more open ELN group has been setup on LinkedIn – you can join it here and I would strongly recommend you do.
Here’s the group description:
This group was set up to provide a place where all can discuss content free from restrictions.
By joining this group you are agreeing to allow other group members to make comment on your discussions free from any risk of litigation or lawsuit. This means other members are free to make reference to trademarks and express their opinion positive or negative. The only recourse is to answer their discussion. Abusive replies will be removed.
Content from this discussion should not be referenced elsewhere.
Innovation requires uncensored discussion.
So feel free to discuss anything related to this topic in here.
I really like this approach, the only quibble I might have is “Content from this discussion should not be referenced elsewhere” which is going to be really tricky in practice – good ideas and discussion spread, that’s the whole point. But I’m sure we’ll have a discussion about it :-).
FYI the group was setup by Andrew Lemon who runs The Edge, producers of BioRails which is on my list of “interesting things to look at when I have time”. So guess he’s a fellow supplier although I’m not sure we compete that much – we briefly met at a conference once, but apart from that I have no relationship with him. I’m just pleased that someone is doing something to enhance the quality of conversation in the industry because we urgently need to something to improve the success rate and ROI of ELN implementations.