LinkedIn has not had a major upgrade to the groups' platform in almost two years, and this latest one for groups is bound to open up more opportunities in your job search with participation. While the groups section isn't directly related to job opportunities, it is an area of the site giving users the ability to share expertise, deepen networking contacts and give valuable information.
Remember, it's as important to share useful information as it is to show off your expertise. Being a trusted resource of information is highly valued these days.
So the changes to the site include a new look and feel. It is much more dynamic in terms of presentation and options. Seems like they took a page from Facebook in being able to see individuals profile pictures, status updates and links to those individual profiles (which means more opportunities to connect). The multiple, horizontal discussions area was done nicely, and you can easily scroll over the last three discussions on any thread. Pretty handy.
Other new features include easier access to more popular discussions that are being weighted by individual "like" and voting up and down on an issue. Live discussions include a nodding feature which I have yet to see in action, but seems to make sense. You can now set up alerts for people in a group so you can be reminded when someone you deem an expert pipes in on a given topic.
Popularity is being tracked, so "influencers" are gaining visibility by participation and reader reaction. Like Twitter, there is following in LinkedIn.
What I like about the upgrade is that LinkedIn is using the best collaboration features of established players like Facebook and Twitter, but integrating them in a seamless way. In the end, it's about being visible, and all of these new features allow for professional visibility.
Here's LinkedIn's video on the latest groups upgrade: