Managing Groups in LinkedIn so far didn’t require a whole lot of management, nor was it very useful to those who created them. While other social networking services have long incorporated ways for group administrators to communicate more efficiently with their members, LinkedIn for whatever obscure reason never even bothered to create a feature that allowed admins to e-mail group members directly for the sake of sharing announcements.
I got an e-mail from LinkedIn just now letting me know that this feature is now finally being added, “in response to overwhelming demand from group managers” (no kidding) and that group managers can now blast out e-mails with announcements and create a discussion topic that members can comment on automatically in the process. As a privacy measure, LinkedIn is removing the ability to download or view member e-mail addresses.
Furthermore, as announced in the e-mail and on the corporate blog, group owners and managers can now create a custom news stream they consider relevant for the group by enabling support for importing custom RSS and Atom feeds. As an aside, check out which blog they’re featuring in the screenshot!
Last but not least, Group managers now have control over whether to enable the jobs discussion capabilities within their group or not, a feature that allows members to discuss job opportunities without cluttering the main conversation. This is of course a big part of what makes LinkedIn so popular, especially in this economic climate.