November 14, 2011 09:15 ET

LinkedIn Group has Exponential Growth

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2011) - LinkedIn is quickly becoming popular as the "place to be" for networking with other business professionals. However it is not just LinkedIn membership growth that is surprising. One group in LinkedIn has an astounding growth rate, the "Project Management Community" group.

Having just gained its 100,000th member, the group is now ranked as one of the top 30 LinkedIn groups in the World. With more than 1 million groups in LinkedIn (currently 1,000,237) the group has risen to the top of the pile in just 12 months.

The project management community group has a faster rate of growth than almost all groups in LinkedIn and is set to become one of the top 5 groups in LinkedIn in the next 12-18 months.

Like most groups in LinkedIn, it was started around 3 years ago and received very little momentum for the first 18 months while LinkedIn gained traction. Exactly one year ago it had just 10,000 members and was growing at 50 members a week. With more than 100,000 members 12 months later, it is now growing at over 1000 members a week and the growth curve is exponential.

"The fastest growing groups are those which add real value to the members. In our case, members are encouraged to bring their project management problems to the group so that a discussion can occur. With the advice of hundreds of professionals within the group, the member can solve their problem quickly and easily. The group also helps project managers to find jobs and to network with other professionals in the industry" says Westland.

The approach of creating a group to solve specific problems in a niche market seems to be quite unique in this space.

Westland decided to "pay it forward" by providing group members with free high-quality training videos, how-to articles and eBook content to help members improve the way that they manage projects. The approach seems to be working a treat as members are inviting others to join the groups, adding a viral factor that further fuels the growth rate.

"Another reason why this particular group is growing so fast is because it relates to a popular search term and the group is heavily moderated" says LinkedIn Group Owner Jason Westland. "The level of moderation is critical because it means that unlike most other communities, this particular group has zero spam. Therefore all 100,000 members are actively contributing to the group on a weekly basis by sharing ideas, raising discussions and adding advice – without the concern over fake profiles and spam emails".

On 19 May 2011, LinkedIn floated on the New York Stock Exchange at $45 a share. This values the company at more than $4.25 billion making the top 30 groups in LinkedIn highly valuable as well.

"At the current rate of growth, in 3 years time we will have over 1 million members in the group" says Westland, making it by far the largest collection of project managers on the planet." With 1 million people collaborating together daily to help each other manage projects, it will certainly make a difference."

Westland is also the CEO of which provides project management software.

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