What do you think of LinkedIn? And the LinkedIn group Community of Practice on Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries?

  • muench
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What do you think of LinkedIn? And the LinkedIn group Community of Practice on Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries?

I often get requests from colleagues to join them on LinkedIn. So far I have ignored them all because I can't see the benefit and fear that it would just lead to more time on the internet. I rather use the SuSanA facebook page ( www.facebook.com/susana.org ).

But am I missing something? Could LinkedIn be an important tool for SuSanA members?

This is the advertising sentences about it:
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120 million+ members | Manage your professional identity. Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities.
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What is your opinion, can it play any important role for people working in the (sustainable) sanitation sector? Would you recommend for me to start using it?

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • jkeichholz
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Re: What is the point of LinkedIn? Important for SuSanA members?

Hi,
LinkedIn.com for the international (mostly English speaking) scene and Xing.com (started in German, from Germany, but also in English and meanwhile international coverage) are business networks. Users can enter their CV, connect with colleagues and enter discussions on specific topics. There are also apps available for mobile phones which help in maintaining an up-to-date contact list.

To my mind, there is no perfect or *the-one-and-only* social network out there to cover all target users. Hence pushing sustainable sanitation on LinkedIn isn't too wrong, just as there's already a very active group on Cradle2Cradle issues or groups by WaterAid etc.

I believe that Xing and LinkedIn are most often used for three major purposes:

a) personal marketing. Maintaining your own profile on such a database is good for personal marketing as it helps you on marketing yourself, e.g. while searching for a new job or consulting contracts.

b) networking. I know this person who knows that person and we have both been active in the field of xyz. It's human, people want to communicate and exchange on a topic. For some it's FB, for others it's a professional forum.

c) the contact list app. You won't have to edit your contact list yourself, but instead let the crowd maintain it (= members maintain their own contact data) and when they move, they will update it and it will appear in your contact list (without you doing any editing). I hear this from a lot of users who use these two networks just for this contact list thing.

At the same time, though, both Xing and LinkedIn are often used by those who refuse to be active on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or other - more open - social networks.

And then there's the payment option: for instance, I am a member of Xing.com since 2005 but never cared to apply for a premium membership (~10 €/month) because I never saw the benefit for myself. But a friend of mine with a PhD in Biology found a job via Xing after I had told her to join Xing "in order to be found" by HR departments. Hence: personal marketing.

And a recent development to note is a LinkedIn setting as described in this blog post brandimpact.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/a-b...uncheck-on-linkedin/ where "names and photos can be used for third-party advertising" - so you may want to uncheck that box if you're already on LinkedIn (I am, and I immediately unchecked it!).

Regarding your questions:
>can it play any important role for people working in the (sustainable) sanitation sector?<
Yes, it could. Just as much as Facebook could. This forum may be even better though because it's free and open and doesn't require a prior registration in order to be read. Also, discussions to not depend on profiles.

>Would you recommend for me to start using it?<
If you're looking for a new job and/or would like to connect with your colleagues/former workmates, yes, why not? But remember the privacy settings. Because otherwise the profile may appear in search engines (which is why my own does not appear here in this public page www.xing.com/de/directories/people/e/ei/Eichholz/2.html ).

===============================

I think what we need within the Sustainable Sanitation scene are "community managers". People who are active in all these different (social / online) networks and see where discussions are taking place.


(@Philipp: while trying to post this, the system replied with a "your session expired"-message. Is this ok?!)

Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org

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  • muench
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Re: What is the point of LinkedIn? Important for SuSanA members?

Thanks, Juergen, this has cleared it up a bit. But if I understand right, the idea is not to create a "SuSanA" LinkedIn account, because the accounts are always for individual people? Or is there a similar function like in facebook where an organisation creates a page? Is WaterAid holding discussions on LinkedIn?

Interesting that you say some people who don't like facebook used LinkedIn instead. I will ask those anti-facebook people whom I know if that holds true for them.

Regarding the "session time out" problem, I have been discussing this with Philipp, hopefully we will soon reach a consensus. He is worried about security issues, which I can't fully follow.
Have others had the same problem with the session time out? I know Christian Rieck has. Personally, I think it is horrible that someone might type a long reply - then perhaps be interrupted or distracted - and when she returns to the laptop, the half finished posting is lost. That would be very bad indeed.

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum via SEI project ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • tmsinnovation
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Re: What is the point of LinkedIn? Important for SuSanA members?

What are the security risks precisely?

Trevor Surridge
Sanitation Advisor
GIZ Water and Sanitation Program
German Development Cooperation

GIZ Water Programme office
Chaholi Rd. No 5, Rhodes Park
Private Bag RW 37x
Lusaka, Zambia
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  • jkeichholz
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Re: What is the point of LinkedIn? Important for SuSanA members?

Trevor - the security risk regarding the session length setting on this forum software?

Elisabeth - there are some really nice groups on LinkedIn and I think you should try it out to see where conversations are going, on which topics, etc. (really good stuff in some groups), BUT! I don't see any sustainability in the knowledge management and it's just a few conversations on a few topics, much like the ecosanres mailing list (although that one is even better, imo).

The reason I support this forum here is because it enables us to have a documented repository, where discussions on a topic can be accessed and used for further reference + it is free, accessible and anonymous (if you will).

Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org

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  • pippa
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Re: What is the point of LinkedIn? Important for SuSanA members?

Hello SuSanA colleagues,

Elisabeth asked me to share some information with SuSanA members on the LinkedIn group ‘Community of Practice on Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries’ and how this relates to SuSanA.

This LinkedIn group is a networking tool under a wider initiative of the same name to create a neutral and global platform for collaborative learning and exchange around sanitation and hygiene. The Community of Practice is a network of individuals, rather than organisations, where people to come together leaving behind their organisational affiliation for honest and frank exchange.

Easy networking was one of the requests expressed to the Community of Practice team, as such we have built upon an already vibrant practitioner group on the online network site LinkedIn. This is a space to seek advice, experience and network with over 1800 sanitation and hygiene practitioners globally.

The expert advice on communication strategies is that no 'one size fits all' as networks and communities at the end of the day are made up of individuals with their own personal preference, needs and affiliations. These preferences are what makes us human and it's going against the grain to try to ensure everyone communicates in one place or in the same way.

There will be people who are active in multiple networks, and people who are active in none. There will also be people in networks (such as SuSanA) who will not be interested to join the sanitation and hygiene LinkedIn group, and vice versa. The CoP and by association, the LinkedIn group, is about trying to provide a neutral umbrella structure that links a broad spectrum of practitioners, seeking ways to cross-fertilize between the very many groups/regions/thematic perceptions etc.

We encourage members of the LinkedIn group to signpost other online relevant resources such as thematic discussions or information. This has already started where discussions on SuSanA forum on sanitation as a business and mobile phones have been signposted for the benefit of the LinkedIn group members.

What we are hoping that this LinkedIn space will facilitate a neutral peer-to-peer networking space for a broad spectrum of sanitation and hygiene professionals across a broad range of networks, including SuSanA. I hope SuSanA members and the community of practice finds mutual benefit in these new links.

If you are interested, you are most welcome to join the group on LinkedIn (search Community of Practice for Sanitation and Hygiene) and share learning from SuSanA and elsewhere. If you prefer email communication send a request to shcopadmin [at] wsscc.org or twitter @sanhyg.

Many thanks to all,
Pippa Scott
(acting coordinator of the CoP)

Pippa Scott
WASH Consultant
www.i-San.co.uk
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Knowledge Point, a question and answer Forum - how does it compare to this forum?

Dear Sailas Nyareza,

I find that you have posed a question on LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/grp/post/1238187-5998799397943549972 - and the question is: What are the top thematic topics that this CoP should prioritize in 2015?

While the question is very interesting and timely (I have briefly responded to it), could I kindly know, for my knowledge management, what were the reasons that led you to pose the question on LinkledIn, and not on this forum.

Perhaps, from your response, we might know why it is necessary to have different forums, as each forum is unique in itself. As is commonly said: variety is the spice of life! :)

Regards,

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • sailas
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Re: Knowledge Point, a question and answer Forum - how does it compare to this forum?

Dear F H Mughal,

Thank you for the valued feedback that you provided on the Linkedin group. The LinkedIn Group for "Community of Practice for Sanitation and Hygiene" is part of the Global Community of Practice for Sanitation and Hygiene Initiative that was launched in 2011. The aim is to reinforce the global community of those working in sanitation and hygiene and create a neutral platform to share and learn together. The group is managed by a Coordinator who currently sits within the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). The coordinator works with a global team of 'stewards' who are dedicated and well respected sector professionals.

The question on why it is necessary to have different platforms was extensively discussed on this forum ( forum.susana.org/forum/categories/54-wg-...developing-countries ).

We encourage cross-fertilization of ideas between these forums/CoPs and we look forward to receiving new ideas on how this can be accelerated

Regards,
Sailas

Sailas Nyareza
Programme Officer, Networking and Knowledge Management
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
Geneva, Switzerland
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