"...Nearly 80% of respondents participate in online groups to help others by sharing information and experiences, and 66% participate in a professional community to belong to a group of colleagues and peers. 41% participate in groups to be seen as someone knowledgeable.
Only a relatively small percentage use networks and community to persuade others to adopt their point of view or buy a product of service. It has long been known in the community world that community is no place for a vendor booth - it is for the exchange of ideas and not the waving of sales flags.
Yes, direct and indirect sales can occur as a by-product of thought leadership shared in community exchanges, however, it is the content and ideas that yield value in professional communities. The data reaffirm this belief."