by John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden, ON

64,507 is the number of members recorded on January 14, 2018, for the official Rotary International Group at Linkedin.

On September 16, 2008, the number of Rotarians on the RI Linkedin Group was 13,276. Four years later that number had doubled by May of 2012, to approximately 27,000. Thus in the past six years, the number has again increased by 2.5 times.

All of that growth sounds good. But it ‘s deceptive and buries a deep dark secret.

On May 29, 2012, I posted a piece titled It’s Time for a Woman President in 2014-15! What do you think?. If you check it out, you will discover that there have been 1,825 comments and 157 likes in that discussion. The final comment is dated January 12, 2013. The discussion lasted for 229 days and averaged eight comments a day.

At this time, if a post receives eight comments from say five different Rotarians in a week, it is doing well.

Granted the example used above is extreme but it is obvious to any long-time participant in this group that the degree of participation at Linkedin by Rotarians has plummeted.

I’m sure some of the decline results from the increased use of FaceBook. My Rotary discussion groups may also account for some of the change but if the number of notices I get per week is any example participation is scarce there too.  I have no doubt discussion fatigue is also a factor. I also wonder if Rotarians are less interested in talking about Rotary and just want to focus on local projects and to have fun at club meetings.

What do you this is the cause of this decline in participation?