LinkedIn Publishing: A Little Too Free?

linkedIn-publishing

Everyone can be a publisher with LinkedIn’s web platform. But is that a good thing?

Blogs and self-publishing venues have opened up audiences to anybody with a ­computer and a dream. Many new and ­talented authors have attracted followings, but an unfortunate side effect is that more rubbish is being written than ever before. “Too much noise,” I hear people complain almost on a daily basis.

How does LinkedIn publishing fit in to all this? LinkedIn now presents itself to its users as a blog platform they can draft and post their articles right there on the web service. There is no charge, and LinkedIn even helps distribute your writing to your network.

Sounds pretty great, right? It would be if your network were an extremely focused group of potential clients and referral sources with a keen interest in what you have to say, but that isn’t how LinkedIn shares your articles. Basically, it notifies your entire network using red flags in the top right-hand corner of the home screen.

Previously, LinkedIn used this notification box to let users know who had viewed their profiles, accepted their LinkedIn requests or endorsed them for a particular skill. Now I’m notified every time any one of my almost 2,000 LinkedIn connections has written anything on any topic targeted to personal injury lawyers, for example.

Even though I know and like many of these people, I’m just not interested in the topics they write about. I didn’t ask to receive articles from these people but here they are, served right up as notifications on my page.

I’m not really terribly annoyed to receive these notifications but, honestly, the vast majority of them aren’t relevant to me, so I don’t end up reading them. LinkedIn has just added more noise to my life that I don’t need.

In my experience, most writing is average but only the really good writing stands out. Twitter.com does a great job of filtering out the junk by allowing you simply to unfollow people. But LinkedIn sends it all to you via these ­notifications.

I have heard that some very good writers are finding success using LinkedIn’s publishing platform. My friend Aviva Cuyler, co-founder of JD Supra, published an article on LinkedIn that went absolutely viral, attracting more than 100,000 views. Other connections of mine have used the publishing platform with less remarkable results.

There definitely is potential in the LinkedIn publishing platform, but don’t go abandoning your blog just yet. I plan to experiment with the platform myself during the next couple of months, so please don’t be too annoyed if you are notified by LinkedIn that I have written another article that you’re just not that interested in reading.

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