Monday, March 14, 2011

Assessing the significance of #LinkedIn News

Almost every day some new feature gets added or tweaked at one or more of Twitter, Facebook, Google or one of the other major Web 2.0 properties. Regular users find that sometimes these changes are huge: significant rather than merely cosmetic.

One of the larger changes came last week with the release of LinkedIn News. At present in the web world it's fashionable to talk of content being "curated," breathing ever-changing dynamism into a term dating from stuffy libraries and museums. LinkedIn News offers a new way of content curation: it's an attempt to filter the volume of daily generated news by the significance attributed by people I know in my network.

This is a major step forward. LinkedIn hopes that it will increase its value, giving users more reasons to return and spend time in the network each day. For users, there's a stronger incentive to build a genuine network of business contacts with none of the promiscuity of the more casual Facebook "friendship" variety. Next, LinkedIn News gives each user potential power to become an influencer in their network, a trusted source of niche expertise ... We are all becoming marketers and publishers!

But will this form of News work? Some may fear missing out on interesting content: well, don't rely solely on LinkedIn! Instead, find new significant content and "curate it" for the benefit of others in your network. By doing so you will be enhancing your professional reputation.

To my astonishment, last week I met several "digital professionals" who voraciously engage with Twitter, Facebook and others but claim not to "get," or use, LinkedIn. This release of News is a potential game-changer and, for the benefit of people new to LinkedIn, today's post is the first in a mini-series on the LinkedIn service. Enter your email address at and you'll get the rest in this series sent to you automatically.