25 September, 2015

The Blog Zone on Linkedin

Thanks to the hard work of the late Mike Clough, The Blog Zone is already Linkedin's largest blogger group but my goal is to make it the best. To make The Blog Zone attractive to bloggers, journalists, columnists and writers with whom my mission and message resonates, I have expelled THOUSANDS of spammers, scammers, troublemakers and fake accounts since I took over in January of 2015. 

If you belong to other blogging groups you have already noticed that they attract a certain unsavory element of non-bloggers who join blog groups to sell and market various products and services. The Blog Zone is a pre-moderated group that allows no spam whatsoever to post in the Discussions area. "Pre-moderated" means that submissions to the Discussions queue do not post without manual approval by an authorized group manager. Right now, I am the only group manager so I see every submission to the Discussions queue and nothing posts there unless I personally approve it. 

I cannot build The Blog Zone into the kind of group that serious bloggers, writers, citizen journalists and columnists want to join if I admit spammers, scammers, fake accounts and other troublemakers to The Blog Zone so I am admitting very few new members right now.  To the best of my ability, I am screening out undesirables and admitting only those applicants whose online footprint suggests they will be leaders and role models in The Blog Zone. The Blog Zone receives about 20-25 requests to join (RTJs) daily and I am declining 90% of them because the applicants failed to convince me that they will enhance The Blog Zone.

It is my intent to admit only those applicants who have established a verifiable, positive, professional reputation as bloggers and writers. I scour Linkedin profiles, I look for Twitter accounts, I "Google", I look applicants up on Facebook. Only those applicants whose online reputation is verifiable and positive will be admitted.

NOTE: Due to a glitch or bug in Linkedin, many RTJs do not receive the automated acknowledgement of their request to join. That automated message asks recipients to contact me. When they don't, I reach out to them via Linkedin or Twitter or email. If they do not reply, they will not be admitted to The Blog Zone. I've learned from experience that people who won't communicate with the group owner are up to no good.

As I admit new members I'll be looking for people who may wish to manage a subgroup within The Blog Zone. When I took over The Blog Zone early in 2015, I found that subgroups were really just little cliques and fiefdoms that subgroup managers used to promote their own business interests and where subgroup participants went to avoid people they didn't like and to be with people they liked. 

In "the new" Blog Zone, subgroups will serve a higher purpose. Subgroups in the new Blog Zone will exist to accommodate some of the diversity inherent in a group this large. For example, some of our members appreciate my policy of not allowing bloggers to self-promote while others actually want a place where they can share blog posts with a group and get feedback. I will never allow self-promotion in the main Discussions forum but if I can find a manager for a subgroup where such posting is welcome, I will happily allow it.  Similarly, we have members whose spam tolerance is higher than mine so if somebody wants to start a subgroup with relaxed rules about spam, I will be happy to allow it. Such subgroups don't exist because role models have not volunteered to manage them.

Off-topic submissions are not posted in the main Discussions area but if somebody wants to start a discussion group where bloggers can discuss politics or current events , I welcome it if a role model volunteers to be that subgroup's manager.

ABOUT GROUP OWNER, Joseph Higginbotham
Joseph Higginbotham is the third owner of The Blog Zone and has been a member of The Blog Zone since 2009. Higginbotham owns or manages 6 Linkedin groups. 

Higginbotham sold his first article, on a dare/bet by his high school creative writing teacher, Nancy Williams, while a senior in high school. Since then Higginbotham has sold hundreds of articles to dozens of print publications and was a columnist for healthcare, business and other newspapers. Higginbotham is a ghostwriter, copywriter, corporate publications writer, white paper writer, speech writer and has even dabbled in technical writing. 

Higginbotham has been a professional business manager, a program manager, an independent "headhunter"  and a public speaker at about 40 paid venues and has often said he would never do another honest day's work if he could get enough speaking gigs to pay the bills. This is not what you expect to hear from an introvert like Higginbotham. (Higginbotham is a Myers-Briggs INTP)

Higginbotham At Large does not read or publish pseudonymous or anonymous comments. When you click the "submit" button your comment is not yet published it is merely sent to me for my approval or deletion. Commenters who hide behind "handles", nicknames or other pseudonyms will not see their comments published here. If readers won't know who you are, I will delete your comment. No Ring of Gyges for you. I like email addresses that include the submitter's actual name like mine does: JosephHigginbotham@gmail.com.

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