I already explained in a former post that the value of the Groups functionality is in the interactions between people. Before the Discussions function was introduced, there was already another tool that stimulated interaction: the Answers.
Actually the concept is pretty simple. Some people ask questions and others answer them.
Again this allows you to receive help from the network on the one hand and raise your visibility and credibility on the other hand.
Just by answering questions you will be on other people’s radar.
If they really think you are an expert in your field of expertise, they will give you expert points. These points are awarded by the person asking a question to the person they thought gave the best answer.
Once you have gained some expert points you will also be listed in the experts directory, which raises your Profile even more. How many points you need to be in that list depends on the category. In some categories there are only few questions and also only a few people who answer them. It is easier to get in the expert list of that category. But since there are not so many questions your visibility as an expert will be limited.
Does that mean you shouldn’t put in any effort? No, it is not about the expert points, but about genuinely helping other people and sharing good tips. By doing this you will be perceived as an expert.
However, since the categories are open for everybody and worldwide, this might not be the place you want to focus your attention and time on. Answering questions in the Groups that you have chosen gives you much faster visibility and more credibility. However, in Groups you can’t earn expert points (you won’t get expert points in private messages, only in public ones).
The advantage of Answers on the other hand is that all the answers are stored and visible for everybody months after you have answered a question. So this is another way of passively raising your visibility and credibility. Answers in Groups are not searchable and can only be browsed by people who are a member of that Group.
Note: if you ask a question yourself whether in Answers or in a Group, people appreciate knowing what you did with the input you got. So take the time to react.
To your success !