In my neighborhood in New Jersey , there’s an extended Hispanic family, three generations in one house, not all that unusual in the housing pattern or the use of language.

The grandmother speaks almost no English. The two daughters and their husbands range from not very fluent to having almost no accent. The grandchildren are bilingual.

It may be like that in the Web and social networking. The older generation works with the language, but can barely make itself understood. The middle generation works with concepts such as social networking with varying degrees of fluency. The young, of course, hardly have to think about using such tools. Although sometimes, it seems as though there is no young generation, everyone is experimenting with the new language.

A couple of weeks ago, I started a LinkedIn group, based on Consulting Insights, the twice monthly electronic newsletter that I have been writing for almost 10 years, which in itself is the mark of having been in the pioneering generation in enewsletters.

It took two or three years to really understand how the newsletter worked, what content and writing style worked best, how recipients responded to it emotionally.

That’s probably why I shouldn’t feel so bad that I don’t know exactly what to do with the group.

Linkedin itself has been a learning tool. It is an obviously great way for a journalist to conduct fact checking. In a tricky economy, it’s a practical way to keep in touch with former employers, should a reference be necessary. It’s a good way to read people who let their connections be seen publicly.

So what do groups do? They provide platforms for discussion; a way to connect others—although I’m not sure I need to have all my connections know what my next trip will be.

But just maybe, it’s like those first two or three years with the newsletter. Knowing what it was about wasn’t important. What counted was finding out how the tool could be used.

And above all, as a sign in a dance studio once read, “Lead, follow or get off the floor. But do something.”

Some times, it’s doing something that’s is important.

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