When the world’s largest professional network partners with one of the mecca for management aspirants in India then it surely has to have a deeper integration. The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) recently partnered with LinkedIn India to form groups on the LinkedIn platform that will allow its alumni to network, explore new recruitment opportunities and business.(1)
The partnership is not only meant to benefit the alumni but anyone associated to the prestigious institute from current students to teachers, etc. for particular courses. So everyone in the IIM-A network can benefit from the growing powers of the professional network.
LinkedIn has created two LinkedIn groups that are “Officially Verified” by the platform:
1) Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad group is meant for the alumni of IIMA who have successfully completed the long duration programs such as PGP, PGPX, PGP-ABM, PGP-PMP and FPM alumni. The group also has subgroups according to the respective courses for alumni to carry on with their desired conversations within them.
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2) And the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad Executive Education Alumni group is meant for all eligible alumni who have participated in the Executive Education Programmes. The group is also open for alumni from Faculty Development Programme (FDP), Armed Forces Programme (AFP), 3-Tier Programme (3-TP) and Management Education Programme (MEP).
What is so different about these LinkedIn Groups?
If one observes the partnership, there isn’t much when it is so easy to create a LinkedIn group and when there are so many protected and open alumni groups existing. But then the whole perspective for a LinkedIn group changes when you see that the group has been given a special badge – “Official”.
According to LinkedIn, “Official Groups” are those groups that have successfully completed LinkedIn’s review process which includes evaluation – whether the group is an established membership organization, and verification of the owner’s affiliation with the organization.
So as a LinkedIn user, I am rest assured that these are official groups that would have much more meaningful discussions according to my professional interests and would be strictly monitored benefitting my professional growth.
IIMA is evaluating at its end with respect to the users who are joining the group by asking them to submit their alumni code for evaluation.
In addition to this, there is an interesting bit that I noticed – the IIMA groups that are being created are more or less for alumni who have enrolled for distance learning courses or executive courses. So, since they are not enrolled in full time courses, my guess would be that they may not have the privilege of accessing the regular alumni networks and hence this may be one of the core reasons for the move. Nevertheless, building a community on LinkedIn makes sense since professionals today do spend quality time on LinkedIn.
New source of revenue for LinkedIn?
Also, this is a great way from a platform perspective like LinkedIn. I have always vouched for LinkedIn Groups but then at the same time I have also witnessed that a group grows and sticks to the objective when the discussions are monitored and controlled. Otherwise it ends up in a spam land of marketing links!
LinkedIn awarding “Official” badges acts the same way as Twitter awarding ‘verified’ symbol to accounts. However, official badges are not available as yet for everyone and it won’t require an expert to tell that there has to be a business synergy for one to get the badge.
So, I don’t think that I would be completely wrong if I say that it can be another source of revenue creation for LinkedIn. With 175 million members worldwide and more than 17 million in India, I would be surprised if LinkedIn shies away from partnering with other educational institutes and business houses.
One of the reasons why we are on LinkedIn is to enhance and make our LinkedIn connections strong and LinkedIn groups are a great source. Now with an official badge, the source will definitely become much more popular choice.
So, not only revenue but the LinkedIn feature of “Groups” will be up-scaled going further. Kudos LinkedIn! I have loved the way you have introduced the new features in 2012 barring the few design changes that has made me feel I am on Facebook, at times!
Image Courtesy: theahmedabadblog.com
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