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Saturday, March 8, 2014

LinkedIn's New Publishing Platform? A Needed Ingredient But May Need Improvement

LinkedIn is concerned that it's online numbers and influence might be dwindling. So, it has added some new features of late. 

One new feature, and one I enjoy, is the 'Influencers'. Postings by national and international achievers who possibly enjoy huge fan-bases. Another new feature, and another one I enjoy but haven't seen any results from yet, is allowing members to publish blog-post-style content --- which LinkedIn hopes will convince users that it is more than a collection of members' résumés. They believe members have a large untapped reservoir of experience and knowledge that their postings can share with other members/professionals. This does hold great potential.

The latter feature above will also grow the posting members' brand as their posts will become part of their professional profile.

Some professionals have reservations about posting their work in a somewhat unprotected manner on LinkedIn. You can view some of these concerns on this post from Kevin O'Keefe's blog 'Real Lawyers Have Blogs': Flaws in LinkedIn publishing platform apt to limit benefits for professionals.

I believe, however, these concerns are unjustified for the type of knowledge-sharing that LinkedIn has in mind with this feature. They don't expect real academic research, that needs protection, to be shared on these posts - just interesting knowledge and experience garnered by professionals in their trek through their particular life's journey. Much like the 'Influencers" feature presents.

More details now by Sarah Halzack from The Washington Post:

LinkedIn has added a publishing platform. Here’s why that matters.

With the launch of a new feature that allows members to publish blog-post-style content, LinkedIn has ramped up its push to convince users that it is more than a repository for résumés.
The professional networking site is aiming to become the virtual town square for our professional lives, a place where its 277 million members go daily to read the news, show off their latest projects, network with peers and keep tabs on who has been given a promotion.
“That’s one of the big reasons we’ve invested heavily in our content efforts,” said Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s head of content products. “We believe that every professional reads some sort of content on a daily basis about their company or their competitors or their industry, just general professional knowledge.”
The publishing tool, LinkedIn hopes, is yet another reason to stick around on its site. The service enables users to publish posts in a bloglike format.
The project comes as some analysts have begun to worry that the site might be losing momentum.
Kathleen Smith is one LinkedIn member whose use of the site embodies both the inroads the company has made on engagement and the challenges it faces in boosting it further. The chief marketing officer at Falls Church-based ClearedJobs.net said she visits LinkedIn five to six times a day.
“I log in in the morning just to see what my network’s talking about. . . . I know of a few people who post really good articles, and I’ll be on the lookout for that,” Smith said. “And then I’ll post two to three things.”
But Smith also said that she has built more business relationships on Facebook and that she prefers to keep up with industry thought leaders on Twitter. Also, she said, she is frequently frustrated by posts from other members that are not useful to her.
“I unfortunately think it’s gotten too spammy,” Smith said.

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