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LinkedIn groups for IT pros: How to find the best

By Logan Kugler
August 24, 2011 06:00 AM ET

A sampling of useful IT groups

The best way to find IT-related groups that will be most valuable to you is to follow the tips above, but here's a brief selection that includes both highly trafficked and niche-focused groups. All of these groups were chosen because they are business-oriented, specific to the topic and well-moderated, providing relevant information and engaging conversations without spam.

CIO Network Chief Information Officer (CIO) Network
Members: approx. 33,000
Moderated? Yes
Open? Yes
Who it's for: CIOs and other executive IT leaders (at the director and VP levels).
Most useful for: Career and leadership advice, addressing the challenges that keep CIOs up at night, from managing staff to selecting vendors.
Activity level: About a dozen posts per day; new discussions typically generate double-digit responses.
Recent popular discussions:

Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Security Alliance
Members: approx. 23,000
Moderated? Yes
Open? No
Who it's for: IT professionals who are developing, purchasing or deploying cloud-based applications and are looking to understand best practices for securing their data and applications in the cloud. Also for pros looking for ways to leverage the cloud to improve the security of all forms of computing.
Most useful for: Learning about specific technologies and best practices, getting advice about deployment scenarios, and finding out about regulations and news specific to various countries or geographies. Industry research, news, and events are shared regularly.
Activity level: About 40 people join in a typical week. Discussions are posted frequently -- often up to 20 new discussions a day -- and generate quick responses from members, ranging from the double digits into the hundreds.
Recent popular discussions:

  • "Since most every tech company is now branding themselves as a 'cloud company,' will this further confuse those IT buyers looking for true cloud solutions?" (108 comments)
  • "Interested in starting a working group for data security governance of cloud databases (nosql, salesforce, hadoop, bigdata, cassandra)?" (28 comments)

Desktop Support Professionals Desktop Support Professionals
Members: approx. 7,000
Moderated? Yes
Open? No
Who it's for: IT professionals supporting desktop users; not platform-limited.
Most useful for: Finding solutions to unusual desktop support problems, product recommendations, career issues such as the job availability and recruitment policies, and information about new or changing technologies that impact the profession.
Activity level: A dozen or so messages (including new discussions and responses) a day, with intermittent highs and lows. Very few discussions in this group go beyond more than 30 or 40 comments; most are only a dozen or so comments deep.
Recent popular discussions:

  • "How to avoid/remove Facebook malware." (15 comments)
  • "Does anyone have an inventory script that can capture computer info over the network?" (10 comments)

Enterprise Architecture Network The Enterprise Architecture Network
Members: approx. 60,000
Moderated? Yes
Open? Yes
Who it's for: For CIOs, CTOs, information architects, IT strategists and others interested in sharing information and learning about issues related to the overall management of their IT operations.
Most useful for: High-level, strategic discussions about the enterprise architecture issues faced by organizations, from virtualization to the growing popularity of tablets and other mobile devices.
Activity level: Extremely active group. Dozens of new discussions created each day, often generating several hundred responses.
Recent popular discussions:

IT Specialist Group IT Specialist Group
Members: approx. 52,000
Moderated? Yes
Open? Yes
Who it's for: For IT specialists or IT professionals involved with the operational issues of running computer systems and meeting user needs.
Most useful for: Exploring technical questions that have an impact on productivity, operations and user satisfaction.
Activity level: High; members post frequently (about 10 to 20 discussions created daily), and most posts receive dozens to hundreds of comments.
Recent popular discussions:

Office 365 and Microsoft Online Services
Members: approx. 1,000
Moderated? Yes
Open? Yes
Who it's for: Businesses who use or are interested in Office 365; many Microsoft personnel are participants in the group.
Most useful for: Useful for learning and sharing information with others involved in assessing, installing, migrating or otherwise using Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based software suite.
Activity level: Low. Most questions are very specific and generate a handful of responses with targeted advice.
Recent popular discussions:

Wireless Health Wireless Health
Members: approx. 6,500
Moderated? Yes
Open? Yes
Who it's for: Those interested in how wireless technology can benefit healthcare and medical research.
Most useful for: Exploring the intersection of wireless technology and healthcare, with a global perspective.
Activity level: About a dozen posts a day, primarily links to relevant research and news stories. Most conversations are initiated by the group owner and generally receive fewer than 10 responses, but the group provides a great way to keep tabs on mobile healthcare advances and issues.
Recent popular discussions:

Logan Kugler is a frequent Computerworld contributor. His most recent article was "10 useful Android apps for IT pros."

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