LinkedIn has recently unveiled a new content strategy that I think shows someone at that social networking company is thinking.
It started a few weeks ago when I began noticing a new type of email showing up in my InBox from the folks at LinkedIn. These were news teasers pointing me to informative posts made by people on the site to whom I was not necessarily yet linked. Thought leaders, they are called. I didn’t see any major press about the new feature (though I could well have simply missed it) but I was intrigued enough to open and read the email. Then I started clicking on the links in some of the emails. Now I’ve come to believe that LinkedIn may have hit a real sweet spot here.
Their news updates combine two things: commentary on topics of current interest or import (most of the time) and at least seemingly authoritative writers. This is quite intriguing to me because it is an attempt, at one level, to bridge the gap between information overload and insufficient use of credibility or reputation to filter the news flow. I’m monitoring carefully.
But I am concerned about one prospect I read. It seems LinkedIn sees this use of thought leaders (chosen by what means is not clear to me) as a sort of pilot project. They plan to open it up to more people and, according to at least one account, all LinkedIn users at some point. I hope they don’t do that, at least not without some way to separate wheat from chaff, or they will have usurped one of this new idea’s primary uses for me: filtering out the BS.