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I'd add one more: Your question IS a pitch!

Far too often, questions on LinkedIn look like lazy marketing rather than genuine pursuit of knowledge.

Questions like "Have you considered using a CRM to boost sales?" are a dead giveaway. Glance at the asker's profile and -- lo and behold! -- he works for a CRM provider!

Pitches masquerading as questions will get you pitches masquerading as answers.

Valeria,
Bravo on the list. All good points, though for whatever reason #6 is really making me nod my head and think yes, yes, this is so annoying.

Right you are, so much pitching in the questions (and discussion) area of LI. It is getting to be that good questions get lost in all the self-promotion.

As for how I ask...

1) It is a topic that I genuinely want to hear the thoughts/opinion of others.

2) I do often use questions to link to a blog post I have written about the same topic -- where I have greater elaboration on the same subject -- but I always also have enough info in the text area of question so that a person can respond based on that text alone.

3) Hot/controversial topics tend to get people's responder juices going.

4) Sly humor in question is good way to reel 'em in, and then having good text explanation -- the thoughtful factor -- helps elicit response.

Valeria,

Great points 1-10. I've struggled with the true value and ROI of questions for months; I've yet to find the answer.

From the "asker" side, it's imperative to be very thoughtful with the question asked so that answers help you move forward.

From the "answerer" side, I haven't figured out an automated way to listen for the questions I'd want to answer. Do you have one?

I'm glad to report that I haven't found a strange question, probably because I haven't looked for one.

Cheers,

John

PS. Great talk @ IMS09. BTW, parlo Italiano. Sono stato a Siena e Firenze per sei mesi in 1986. Mi piace ascoltare l'Italiano.

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