RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR THE SPAM-FREE DIGITAL HEALTH LINKEDIN GROUP
I founded the Digital Health group in 2009. I’ve dedicated my life to it and made many sacrifices in order to catalyze digital health, globally. I’m happy with how I manage and curate the group, as are tens of thousands of professionals who derive value from it and are also working to advance digital health. The rules below are thorough and it is incumbent upon you to read, understand, and follow them. The group is not your personal platform to post as you wish, no matter your intent. If you send me a message about your post I will know immediately that you did not read these rules. Failure to comply with these guidelines can and will result in your removal from the group.
FIRST RULE: If you are rude, disrespectful, unprofessional, or make disparaging comments to me or other group members you will be removed from the group. I and other group members share a mission of adding value for the broader membership and global ecosystem and are doing our best to catalyze digital health. The group is like a social gathering, of which I am the host (and it’s in my house that I’ve worked 8 years to build), so my rules must be adhered to, whether you agree with them or not. You are a guest and criticizing me, the host, is not only rude but unacceptable. Moreover, the group IS NOT here to serve as your personal platform for posting whatever you want, no matter if you intend to promote something or not or if you are unaffiliated with an entity. If you don’t like this, feel free to leave the group at any time of your own accord.
SECOND RULE: Do not send me messages about your post or submission to the group. Doing so is the first indication that you did not read these rules and shows a lack of seriousness and respect on your part for the enormous amount of work and sacrifice I have made to make the group what it is. While I would love to engage and coach you on how to post properly, with over 50,000 members and all that I’m doing to curate, manage, and grow the group, provide information via my website, share news on Twitter, and make a living on top of it all (I am independent and not an employee of a company), I simply do not have the bandwidth to coach members on an individual basis. The guidelines and posting tip sheet below are comprehensive, so your answer(s) will be here. It is incumbent upon you to familiarize yourself with the rules and adhere to them.
THIRD RULE: I am the ultimate arbiter of what is permitted. If you don’t appreciate that, decide to justify your post, or don’t want to comply please feel free to remove yourself from the group or I can do it for you. There are many other groups on LinkedIn plus you are free to start your own. In curating content I am providing my personal perspective on digital health. I don’t ask nor do I expect that you will agree with it or my mission. That’s perfectly fine, of course, as I am not seeking your approval.
COMPLETE GUIDELINES AND RULES FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE COMMUNITY
The main discussion forum is for news articles from credible media outlets and discussions on topics salient to digital health. To understand the scope of group discussions, see the definition of digital health and explanatory videos on my definition page. While you may have a great company or solution, promotions of your or another company, organization, or any other entity, efforts or business solicitations of any type are strictly prohibited. It is irrelevant whether you are affiliated with an entity or have intent to promote it and their efforts. For further insight regarding what is appropriate for sharing, you can look at the news articles and sources of posts in the main discussion forum. Keep in mind that as group owner and manager my posts are sometimes unique, which is my prerogative. For comparison, it would be rude and unacceptable to go into a museum (as a guest) and complain to the curator about their vision and exhibits.
PROMOTIONS: BLOG POSTS, SURVEYS, VIDEOS, ETC.
As mentioned above, the main discussion forum is for news articles from credible media outlets and discussions on salient topics only. This means that any content generated by yourself, your company, or any other company, startup, organization, activity, event, conference, webinar, personal or other blog post, self-publishing platform, research or papers (not in a peer-reviewed journal), polls, surveys, or any ‘calls to action’ are prohibited. If you are seeking to promote something to the group and/or are seeking my advice, attention and/or consulting, you can review the services that I provide here.
- PROMOTING PRODUCTS, SOLUTIONS, COMPANIES, SERVICES
Promotion of companies, organizations, products, or services is strictly prohibited. If you are seeking visibility for your digital health solution or any other products or services you and/or your company, client, or unaffiliated entity provides, and have a dedicated website, you can submit it for consideration to be included on the List of Digital Health Solutions I maintain on this website. Press releases or other promotional news on your company or professional services–including blog posts–or other similar, non-news site articles are not permitted in the group. If you would like to obtain visibility for your company, solution, or services in one of my group announcements you can review my paid promotion options here.
- CONFERENCES, EVENTS, AND WEBINARS
Event posts of any kind are prohibited in the group. I maintain a dedicated Event List where anyone can submit an appropriate conference or event for consideration to be listed. Webinars and other virtual events are not listed unless you retain my paid event promotion services, which can include being featured on my website (sidebar and top of the event list) and in my group announcements.
- REJOINING THE COMMUNITY
If you were removed from the group and want to be reinstated please send me a note. I may give you another chance and reinstate you, but I make no promises in this regard. In your message I want to hear from you why you value membership in the community and receive your commitment that you will follow the rules should you be reinstated. If your message is antagonist, snide, disrespectful, or criticizes me in any way you are wasting your time and mine.
- PROMOTING PRODUCTS, SOLUTIONS, COMPANIES, SERVICES
TIP SHEET ON POSTING
- Promotions are not allowed. Only post credible news site articles and discussions that are non-promotional and not solicitations. This means no blog posts (yours or anyone else’s), press releases, company or organization site posts (non-profit included). For more information on what is prohibited, see “GENERAL RULES: WHAT’S ALLOWED AND WHAT’S PROHIBITED” below.
- Before posting anything in the group, you should first scan through all the existing posts to get a feel for what is appropriate and allowed in the group, plus read all the guidelines and rules on this page and read the definition of Digital Health plus view my explanatory videos here.
- Articles should be recent (within 2-3 days of publication), date-stamped on the webpage, and not duplicative of existing posts. You need to look and see what’s been posted previously in the group before posting. Do not expect that I will do this for you.
- When posting an article, use the full and original article link only, not shortened or indirect/redirect urls.
- After you enter an article link into the discussion box, it will auto-populate as an attached article. When this happens, DELETE the artifact link that remains in the discussion box. This is the most common error. Since submissions can’t be edited, and if this is the only issue with your post, you will need to resubmit the post.
- Once your link populates as an attached article, you can now add/edit the title of the discussion. Please provide a concise and descriptive discussion title vs. your opinion, which is not helpful for indexing. You can add description text and your impressions/questions in the , plus edit the title and description for the article by clicking on those parts that are displayed.
Note: For more information on LinkedIn groups refer to LinkedIn’s group help pages.
GENERAL RULES: WHAT’S ALLOWED AND WHAT’S PROHIBITED
- Personal, organization, or company blogs, including LinkedIn posts (yours or anyone else’s), Reddit, Quora, Medium, NEJM Catalyst, The Conversation (or other self-publishing, closed group, non-media/news platform post written by you or by anybody else) are not permitted.
- Opinion pieces in media publications written by ‘Contributors’, ‘Network’ (e.g. Techcrunch’s ‘Crunch Network Contributor’), or posts written by other non-journalist, non-media publication employees who are explicitly credentialed as company representatives are prohibited
- Articles in publications that are explicitly/overtly branded as being sponsored or supported exclusively by a company or corporation are prohibited.
- Absolutely no shortened urls, including bit.ly, goo.gl, tinyurl.com, ow.ly, sco.lt, hub.am, or other shortened url links
- Don’t use hashtags # (this isn’t Twitter).
- No press releases (PR) or ‘articles’ masquerading as such. These are easy to spot as they’ll often be in a standard PR format. Even if it’s posted on a credible news site they are not allowed.
- No company or organization reports, white papers, research, or polls or any kind. A legitimate credible news outlet story on something notable is permitted. But if it’s nothing but a thinly-veiled press release and/or not a noteworthy report, it is prohibited.
- No business or other types of solicitations, surveys, polls, voting, petitions, enrolments, research requests, etc.
- No announcements of awards, honors, polls, partnerships, achievements, etc. If in a credible news outlet by a journalist, these may be acceptable.
- No events of any kind. This include conferences and webinars, podcasts, or anything similar.
- No presentations, PDFs, slide decks, or SlideShares or any kind
- No videos: YouTube, Vimeo, Meerkat, Periscope, or anything live-streaming or pre-recorded
- Issuu (or any complete magazine, no matter the source) are not permitted
- Paywall and subscription website/news services are not permitted
- Events, conferences, webinars, podcasts or hangouts are not permitted as discussions. Conferences can be submitted for consideration to be listed on my global event list here
- Solutions go on the solutions list, here (please check to see if it’s listed already). I screen all solutions for appropriateness.
- Jobs should be tagged as such at the time you post them. I delete any that aren’t tagged appropriately and will place you on ‘moderation required’.
Appropriate posts include articles from reputable media outlets, not blogs, company, organization, or websites that masquerade as media, but are primarily intended to promote, market, or sell a product or service. Questions to the group can also be posted, but these must be worthwhile and not simplistic or promotional in any way. Please refer to the guidelines below on appropriate sharing of any associated links.
Articles should be relevant to digital health (watch my two videos) and have merit. Summaries (e.g. lists) of digital health news that are duplicative of the articles already posted by members and/or my weekly group announcements and not permitted. Articles that immediately have a registration page or a pop-up that promotes events, newsletters, products, or other services are typically not permitted, but this is a case-by-case basis. Some sites may have a decent article but have multiple pop-ups, which are not only distracting but detract from the goal of imparting information people are expecting.
QUESTIONS TO THE GROUP
These can be posted as new discussions and should reflect that you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time educating yourself by reading articles and comments made by members in the group and elsewhere. Google is a wealth of information and should be utilized for simplistic questions. Questions that don’t rise to the level of the group and promote intelligent discourse will not be approved. Any articles referenced should be relevant and adhere to the article posting guidelines. Questions that are about service providers, organizations, or companies are typically not value-added, nor are product or other rankings (subjective), and creating lists, hence are not allowed. Polls are also not allowed.
ABSOLUTELY NO PROMOTIONS OR SOLICITATIONS OF ANY TYPE
Please do not post new discussions or pose questions to the group that are gratuitously self-promotional, obvious or can be construed as being business or organization (including non-profit) promotions, press releases (PR), marketing, sales, or any other types of solicitations, including that you’re doing research, writing an article, or doing some sort of work that you want the group’s input or feedback on OR if you’re simply always referencing your work in a monotonous fashion. That’s very tiresome and is a subversive way to promote yourself and/or your services and/or solutions/products. This goes for yourself, your company, or any other entity and doesn’t matter if you are unaffiliated with the entity and/or not intending to promote it. Also, superfluous news, especially from non-media outlets (i.e. entities whose primary business is not news and commentary), is typically not permitted.
Also, please don’t post discussions or comments that promote or invite group members to join other LinkedIn groups, and don’t link to discussions in other LinkedIn groups. Moreover, don’t post links to personal, company, or another company or organization’s website blogs, reports, white papers, research, polls, or news sections in your comments or in new discussions. This includes non-business, not-for-profit, and organizational entities, regardless of whether they are your or another entity’s business products or professional services.
Further, please don’t post links to YouTube videos, Slide Share or PDF presentations, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn articles (including your own LinkedIn posts), etc., which are not news outlets. Also, Indiegogo or other crowdfunding campaigns, Innovation challenges, white papers, or anything similar are not allowed. And since this isn’t Twitter, please don’t use hashtags or link to Tweets. As group owner, I will sometimes post these types of information in order to further the mission of the group.
While it should go without saying, the language of the group is English.
I will sometimes make exceptions to the above, but please don’t take offense if I don’t see your activity or writing as noteworthy for the group. As the curator of the group, I’m the final arbiter of what is allowed in the forum.
ADDING COMMENTS TO EXISTING DISCUSSIONS
You can add comments to existing group discussions mentioning relevant businesses, organizations, blogs, articles, etc, but please make sure that you’re not simply mentioning them and sending a link or simply doing a sales pitch. If your are doing this gratuitously, on a regular/repetitive, distracting, and/or overbearing basis, you may receive a note from me asking you to please tone it down. If you persist and/or ignore me I will remove you from the group without notice. If your post or comment is particularly egregious and overt in a promotional way I will remove you from the group without notice. Please respect that group members don’t want to be ‘spammed’ with your promotions of products and your attempts at self-promotion, which detract from the mission of the group and the value members expect from it.
PERSONAL LINKEDIN PROFILE REQUIREMENTS
While group members can of course change their profile pics and names after joining, the below is the requirement I’ve set forth for members requesting to join the group. If you comment in the group, post/submit new discussion, like posts, or cross the group radar in some other way and your profile is outside these boundaries you may be removed.
REASONS FOR DECLINED GROUP MEMBERSHIP
- Not being a personal/person’s profile but instead a company or other entity profile (these are promotional and not allowed in the group)
- Personal profile pic is a company or entity logo or contains easily visible text in the picture describing any entity or service, or has a product picture in place of your personal image. Your personal pic should be you or something non-commercial and non-promotional
- Your name contains extraneous info besides standard professional credentials. Your company/org name, job titles, services offered, and other descriptive information like your LinkedIn connection count
- Your name must be in English or have the English translation/version, e.g. “约翰 (John)”
- Insufficient information on your profile or your name being only initials or a first name only (not necessarily an issue once you’re a member)
- Very few connections (not an issue once you’re a member)
Your request to join the group will be declined for any of these reasons. If you address/fix the issue(s) you can resubmit your join request in the future assuming the profile was not blocked.