"Linkedin Groups"Last night, Linkedin announced that they are rolling out “open” Linkedin groups. Open groups mean that the content of those groups will be available to the wild west that is the Internet. This means that search engines like Google and Bing will pick up discussions from Linkedin groups and that users will be able to share Linkedin Group discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and other sharing services.

Linkedin Groups have become wildly popular since their introduction. As of this writing, a total of 761,170 groups have been created. There are groups for every profession, industry, location, and interest imaginable. Linkedin groups are also a great way to find jobs, and recruiters can post jobs for free to a very targeted group. The introduction of open Linkedin groups should create further traction and bring in a very broad audience to the service.

Open or public Linkedin groups create a very interesting new service for both recruiters and job-seekers. Jobs posted in open Linkedin groups will most likely also be indexed by search engines and picked up on the general open Internet. This should create a free service that, if properly administrated by the group owner, would offer a highly relevant job posting service to a targeted group, but also carry broad open distribution on the web. A number of questions come to mind from the introduction of open Linkedin groups:

  • Will job postings be open to the web like the regular group discussions?
  • Will Linkedin group job posts be picked up by Indeed and SimplyHired?
  • Will job-seekers be able to subscribe to group posts by RSS or other means?
  • Will Linkedin introduce better job search capabilities?
  • Can free job posts ever work? Will it lead to spam and irrelevant job posts?

The introduction of open Linkedin groups is an important new chapter in the development of the social web. With increased collaboration with Twitter, Linkedin is also getting into the real-time search game as well. It’s a very exciting time for social technology – but we have to only hope that the job search process is getting easier and not more difficult for both job-seekers and recruiters.

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