There are only a few reasons people tend to join or visit LinkedIn groups: to share the blog posts they or their employers have produced, to add comments in discussions that make you look smart to potential employers, and to more easily send LinkedIn requests to people you don’t really know.
Of course, that’s a pretty cynical view. At their best, LinkedIn groups provide an opportunity to share best practices and learn from peers you might never encounter otherwise. They’re especially handy for niche interests, but for a fairly niche subject, it’s surprising to see how many SIP trunking groups are on the career-oriented social network.
A quick search on LinkedIn showed more than three dozen results, but don’t be fooled. Some of these are pretty sad, with only one member and absolutely no activity. Others are sub-groups of a larger LinkedIn community. And then there are those that look like social media experiments that were just abandoned for some reason or another.
It’s not always easy to tell which groups are worth the bother, but I’ve narrowed it down to three:
SIP Trunking: Easily the largest at more than 2,000 members, there’s at least one active (and relevant) discussion each month. According to its About page, the goal of the group is “to work with all service providers and VARs to simplify the implementation of SIP services into all the various types of customer premise equipment.” (As an added bonus, some Allstream subject matter experts are members, too.)
SIP Trunking – Trials and Tribulations: This is a private group, which means you need to send a request and be approved, but it’s run by the SIP School, which runs certification programs and a fantastic research study we’ve covered before on expertIP. It’s been around since 2011 and has more than 500 members. “Funny stories and experiences are most welcome,” the group says, “though it’s sometimes best to keep names anonymous.”
SIP Trunking – Colocation Data Center: Though it was started by an executive with a U.S. firm that provides similar services, it’s been around for five years and has the most active discussions of any SIP trunking LinkedIn group (eight this month alone). It also has a good range of members, from telco providers and IT managers to technicians and engineers.
Of course, joining is just the first step. Next up, consider some of these ways to make the most of a LinkedIn Group. And of course, if you know of any similar communities that SIP trunking experts should be a part of, please share in the comments below.