Cultivating a community on LinkedIn can certainly be a challenge.
With more than 128 million possible connections and nearly 2 million groups to join, finding relevant resources is a formidable task. Even groups that look good may not live up to expectations. Unfortunately, LinkedIn groups do not come with a quality guarantee, and sorting out the spam can be tough.
Although LinkedIn’s expansive presence can be cumbersome, it is also a blessing in disguise. By joining the best groups, users can network with a diverse selection of their peers, engage in relevant discussions and position themselves as industry leaders. A number of excellent forums on LinkedIn host dialogue about government IT, boasting a huge number of potential connections. To get started, consider joining the groups below! Some of the groups require approval from the administrators, but a membership request should be accepted within a few days.
- Federal Government Contractors Group (16,300+ members)
Industry officials will feel right at home sharing best practices in this group. Most members are federal or state vendors and contractors, and many specialize in IT. Another similar group to consider is the Federal Government Contractor Network, which boasts an impressive 27,700+ member community.
- Government in the Cognitive Era (20,300+ members)
This group is an excellent option if you are interested in lively discussions about fostering integration of new technologies to improve government engagement in the community. Its diverse and substantial member-base runs the gamut from government employees to industry professionals and interested individuals alike.
- CIO Forum (67,100+ members)
This group may be large, but its member listing is a carefully cultivated collection of senior IT professionals. Group administrators may not accept requests from line of business executives at technology companies, consultants, or recruiters. With this large of a community, members will be able to network with ease to better their performance and careers.
- IT Execs (3,700+ members)
Members in this group rely on their experience as IT decision makers to inform their chats about the newest technologies and methodologies. Posts from vendors that advertise products are not permitted, so the conversation always centers on the community, rather than potential sales.
- The IBM Center for the Business of Government (1,700+ members)
This group is hosted by the IBM Center, which helps the public sector to implement the results of new research. The LinkedIn group follows the same mission and covers a number of management challenges, including technology and innovation.
- Federal IT Group (1,300+ members)
Appropriately named, this group seeks to connect IT professionals working for various federal government agencies. However, the community is an excellent resource for individuals engaged in government technology at any level.
- Government Information Technology Executive Council (450+ members)
Discussion in the Council group, or GITEC, centers on effective government implementation of IT. Members include many high-level thought leaders from both the government and industry, and their influence is prominent in the group’s direction.
This is not a comprehensive list, but it is a good starting point to increase your engagement with the wider government IT community. Membership in these groups is a great way to enhance your position in the field. It is an excellent opportunity to learn something new, self-promote, and help make a difference in the industry. And, if you don’t find yourself satisfied with your options, feel free to start your own group! Your initiative can help strengthen and diversify the available resources for everyone. Know some good technology groups that aren’t on this list? Please share them in the comments below!