UPDATE: I noticed the other day that this post is still attracting a lot of traffic. FYI, due to popular demand, Vincent changed his mind, and MLPF is still very much alive and well (as of April 2008).
I want to inform you of my decision to bring MLPF to a conclusion 40 days from today, on this coming February 9, 2007.
That date will complete one of the most interesting and fulfilling 2 year periods of my life.
I’ve had a chance to get to know you as good men and women and I’ve learned and learned and learned – a lot. I cannot put into words how good I feel about what I’ve learned from you.
In turn, I hope that I’ve helped some of you to look more closely at the power resident in Linkedin. And there’s plenty of power, there. It is filled with people – all of whom are focused on business. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is “A good thing”. 🙂
At the same time that I’ve learned invaluable lessons from interacting with you and thousands of other people from all around the world in all manner of industries, there is also a cost to carrying MLPF.
That cost is beyond my personal means to carry, alone.
Though I can still see many things more to do with MLPF, I need to focus on improving my personal prosperity. And if I attempted to carry MLPF too much further, I’d starve – and that’s not nearly as much fun as you may think! 🙂
Bottom line: Realistically, this grassroots effort can no longer be done alone and it certainly can’t be done alone AND for free.
And, at this time, I’m compelled to admit that I’ve been unsuccessful in my efforts to successfully fund the group’s grassroots work. (Though unusual work, it IS work.)
Thus, I’m choosing to end my work with the group(s), 40 days from today, on February 9, 2007. On that date, I hope to be able to tell you in detail about my next step.
While I’ve not made a final decision as to how to close the group(s) or what to do with them, as I prepare proper steps to do so, I also have to prepare for other pursuits.
So, I’ll be limiting my work with the groups to just 2 hours per day for the next 40 days.
I hope and pray that this will have only a negligible impact on you. But, again, I must prepare for other pursuits. (I’d also like to socialize a bit more! :-))
I hope you will join me in celebrating the friendships that we have made and the business that has been done via MLPF.
I hope that we’ll also celebrate MLPF as one of the useful types of community things we can do in this ever evolving virtual world that has become so important to us.
Though we weren’t always on topic, we, nonetheless, generated over 19,000 messages thus far. Those messages aren’t just text. They are interactions. People interacting with people – expressing concerns, addressing issues, solving myriad problems, and celebrating some successes. If your time permits, you ought to spend a little time looking through the MLPF Archives before February 9th.
Now, with an ever increasing number of good groups and blogs which can help the general Linkedin user benefit from the power resident in Linkedin, I’m confident that this is a good time to make such a decision, and a good time for me to direct my focus more narrowly on projects that I’ve held in abeyance over the past 2 years.
Before closing, I want to sincerely thank each of you for your support, your friendship, your incredible knowledge, and your very thoughtful counseling in making meaning with MLPF.
I also wish to publicly thank the great Moderators for their time and thoughtfulness and for lending their names to me in this highly intriguing virtual project. For that, I thank them sincerely. I thank them deeply. I thank them relentlessly.
Of course, I still intend to run my mouth with those members among you who are my close friends. So, you’re not totally off the hook from me, yet! 🙂
In closing: I wish you and yours the very best of the best in 2007 and beyond.
Keep strong and let’s have a great time learning from each other and maximizing our personal opportunities with MLPF over the next 40 days…
As you might imagine, that sparked an extensive round of well-wishing and gratitude combined with a bit of dismay and a dash of rumors, which he quickly quelled. Many members have suggested handing over the reins to someone else (or multiple someone elses), but no word on that yet, nor on the fate of the other spin-offs he founded, many of which are now co-moderated by other people.
Vincent’s departure will certainly leave a void, especially if MLPF shuts down completely. However, I seriously doubt it’s the last we’ll hear from Vincent, or the end of his evangelism of LinkedIn. Also, while MLPF is the largest and most active LinkedIn-related Yahoo Group with nearly 5,000 members and over 19,000 messages in just under two years, it is not the only one. LinkedInnovators, with nearly 3,000 members (probably mostly overlapping) and about 5,000 messages in about the same time frame, would be the most likely candidate to fill the void if MLPF is shut down entirely.
Vincent has given a remarkable amount of his time and energy to the community of LinkedIn users via MLPF. While I firmly believe that “givers gain”, I know that all too often it takes longer than expected and some of the greatest givers have to make some changes to take care of themselves. Gratitude doesn’t pay your rent and good will doesn’t put food on the table.
I don’t think “charity” is the answer. But I do think it is incumbent on each and every one of us to serve those who serve. If you know Vincent and appreciate what he’s done via MLPF over the last two years, a “thank-you” is good, but a “what-can-I-do-for-you” is even better.