As you may know, I decided to give LinkedIn’s publishing platform a try after it was opened up to me, and many others.
To further the experiment, I also pushed out links to just about every social network I could, pointing to the LinkedIn piece. I pimped it more than I usually pimp a post from this site, though I will admit there have been a couple of posts that I pimped just as hard.
The results were pretty mixed. The number of people who saw the link on the LinkedIn site is a bit higher than the number who would see it just through the RSS feed, but about the same as the number who see it on Twitter, and Facebook, though I can’t know how many people actually see it on Twitter. The engagement level, based on the counts from the share buttons on the site, was about the same as one of those posts I feel really strongly about here and share widely.
All in all, I’d say, in terms of reaching a large number of people, it’s about running even to having a blog for most people. Obviously, your well-connected influencers (as defined by LinkedIn) see much, much more traffic to their LinkedIn posts. For the rest of us, I think it probably helps reach some folks who don’t use Facebook, Twitter or RSS feeds, but it’s hardly a world-changer.
As far as a publishing platform, my opinion is a bit of a mixed bag as well.
On the plus side, it’s easy to use, and the posts actually stay on as part of your LinkedIn profile, shown above. Status updates, unlike other social networks, seem to just disappear into the ether on LinkedIn, so sharing a link to a post is a short term shot in the dark really. I’ve been frustrated myself when I catch a glimpse of an article that seems like it might be interesting, only to be unable to locate it when I go back later, even when I look at the profile of the person who shared it. Having direct links to your writing, on your profile, is kind of nice. They remain a permanent record of your writings on your professional profile.
On the downside, the notifications feature has become a disaster. Kevin O’Keefe has already written about the same thing so I won’t bore you with the details, but I will share that one of my contacts has started republishing all of his content, across a few websites, into LinkedIn publishing. Every single time I look at the site, the notification flag is up, and the list of notifications is dominated by his posts. I may have to disconnect just so I can see notifications from other people again, which seems a sad thing to say about a site dedicated to connecting you with other professionals! The other downside, of course, is that post now belongs to LinkedIn. I have no control over it, and if they decide to start removing posts from my profile page, I’m powerless to do anything about it. That’s not just a downside of LinkedIn by the way, it’s a down side of writing on any website that is not your own.
So, yeah I will probably use it again. I think having a few articles on the site next to my profile can increase the value of my LinkedIn profile, but it won’t be a major area of focus for me. I’m still sticking with my own blogs for that, and avoid bugging my connections with post notifications too much as well!