Anatomy of a Proper L2L Discussion

Proper People

Have you ever gone to a group discussion on LinkedIn and been dismayed at the lack of true discussion? And all you see is people posting links to their blogs without engaging with the readers?

Well, after receiving over 700 responses to a poll on what the L2L Group members want to see, we created new guidelines. Please see them below and let me know if they are clear and if we are missing anything.

If you are not a member of this thriving group, please join over 25,000 members on the Linked 2 Leadership Group here

Anatomy of a Proper L2L Discussion

How to Create L2L Discussion

Some people just post a link to their latest blog post or some great article… Not Allowed 2

Some people just make a new title and post to their blog or interesting article…Not Allowed 3

Some people pretend to start a discussion with a new title, but are just promoting their own blog or interesting article…Not Allowed 5

Some people pretend to start a discussion, but are just promoting their own blog or interesting article by pasting in the initial blog content…

Not Allowed 1

Some people pretend to start a discussion, but are just promoting their own blog or interesting article by pasting in the initial blog content and add new content or change the blog content a bit…

Not Allowed 4

So, to properly start a discussion on the L2L Discussion area on the LinkedIn Group site, please actually start a true discussion and add you blog or interesting article link as a subordinate feature to add clarity, show more information, or help the discussion along.

In this way, you will be helping the whole group to learn, grow, and develop other leaders without coming across as a huckster, schmarketer, or self-promoter.

So, for those who would like to contribute, please follow these simple rules and help us become better leaders!

~ Tom

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L2L Contributing Author


  1. normanrj2013 on August 30, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Tom, Thank you for your article and the posted related post links. I found your practical suggestions consistent with my own historic practice elsewhere, with one minor exception. I’d like to learn where you think this “minor exception” fits or does not fit within your L2L guidelines.

    This has to do with my historic practice of, on occasion, quoting and referencing another author as part of my discussion. And I must admit that historically I’ve made the author’s name or key phrase a “hot link” to more information, rather than posting all my links (usually several; not just one) simply at the end.

    Is this “poor form” as Captain Cook might say?

    For example, I might have chosen in this reply to go into more detail, above, concerning why I liked your posting of related article links after your post. I might assert that Eric Salmon of Salmon Media Interactive says, according to Jeff Molander in his 23 August 2013 14:18 LI article that posting blog links in LinkedIn might, indeed, generate some kinds of business leads, but at a cost. He stresses “that blogs are for informing and not a lead generation system. Blogging is not about generating leads but informing the public. Let the leads come as they may but never lose sight of what blogging is all about … INFORMATION!”

    Is what I just did “poor form?”

    Come to think of it, I just noticed that this is what Jeff Molander did is his article I referenced, above. So I guess I answered my own question, while writing this reply to you. Apparently I took tip too literally and should have recognized you meant “do not [simply] copy/paste from a blog post or article.”

    Would you support me in my conclusion?

    My best.

    • Tom Schulte on September 2, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Hi Norman, thanks for your reply!

      From the survey results I got from the L2L Group concerning what should be considered an effective submission, it all seems to come down to the perceived intent. If it looks, sounds, or smells like someone is selling, then they should probably leave it out.

      However, if the link provides real value, is subordinate to the main discussion, and it seems like the attempt is to enlighten or enhance the readers’ experience, then by all means it should be added.

      I might add that the survey also yielded a majority who wanted exposure to free webinars on the subject matter.

      The aim is to always take the point of view of the reader when writing. It helps keep things authentic and service-minded for the writer.

      Thanks, again for playing!


  2. red blackish on September 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    as a leading post, it would be expected to provide more examples of what/how to do, what the post should achieve, than limitations (I agree with those) but the leadership inspiration comes with examples not prohibitions.

    • Tom Schulte on September 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Thanks for your note! As far as providing examples of how to create a discussion on a LinkedIn Group, most people understand to “just start a discussion.” The “Anatomy of a Proper L2L Discussion” is intended for those who intentionally skirt the rules with clever techniques, hence all of the “NOT ALLOWED” examples. With over 25,000+ members in the group, it is only a few that are making it look spammy. Hopefully these guidelines will help them focus on how to remain a group member and feel as though they where properly and clearly educated. I hope this help!

  3. Doug on September 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I agree with the “smell test” – if it smells like advertising or self aggrandizement it probably is. However, I appreciate a link that points me to a resource that is useful for more research and deeper consideration of an issue. In fact, a discussion topic centered around a classic treatise on leadership, in my view, would be appropriate. In today’s e-book world, a link to a title could be appropriate – say perhaps a link to an article or work by Peter Drucker. One litmus test to apply in this case is whether the reference is a classic or recent publication that has received acclaim in the business community, that the poster is not the author, the reference is not a product of the poster’s company or practice, and the reference responds directly to the topic question or views raised by forum members.