Why LinkedIn Just Got Less Appealing

chadpollitt
Chad Pollitt VP of Audience, Relevance

Posted on May 29th 2013

Why LinkedIn Just Got Less Appealing

As a student of Internet marketing, I find myself reading marketing blogs and online media constantly. Over the years my preferred source of media has evolved from feed readers to Twitter and then finally LinkedIn Today. Over the last 18 months it’s essentially served as my daily industry newspaper. On May 8th,  the world was introduced to the new LinkedIn Today – a redesign and an apparent curation algorithm update.

What It Got Right

The user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) were vastly improved. It’s very easy to navigate the content and it’s organized in a logical and clean way.

LinkedInToday

It’s also clear by the top level navigation (Influencer Posts and All Influencers) that LinkedIn is trying to push its original content developed by the thought leaders they’ve invited to contribute. Subscribing to specific topics under the All Channels page is very easy and intuitive, too.

What It Got Wrong

While the UI/UX updates were pleasing and appreciated, the update to the curation algorithm was disappointing. Before the update, LinkedIn Today was full of the best mainstream, niche and original marketing content.

It was so good, in fact, that I abandoned both Twitter and my feed reader as my primary sources of industry news a long time ago. I actually came to work an hour early everyday just to get my daily consumption of LinkedIn Today. Its content varied from high-level strategic advice and guidance to in-the-weeds tactical instruction. Most every article was tweet-worthy.

Apparently, those were the good ol’ days, because now LinkedIn Today is filled with mostly big name mainstream media outlets like ABC News or The New York Times and its own original content. The niche content from sources like business2community.com, socialmediatoday.com, searchenginejournal.com and reelseo.com has vanished.

Not that there’s anything wrong with mainstream media, but its content is mostly thin and high-level. The authors tend to be reporters and not industry practitioners. It simply provides less value.

The amount of content curated by LinkedIn Today has drastically declined, too. In many cases marketing content and news is stale within 24 hours. The channels I subscribe to today are filled with week-old content. I’m lucky to get one new article from one day to the next.

A Marketer’s Plea

I get what the folks over at LinkedIn are trying to accomplish – they strive to be the most trusted and respected online news media outlet in the world. However, it shouldn’t take the elimination of the niche content it used to publish. It also doesn’t need to reduce the amount of content it curates.

I sincerely hope that LinkedIn tweaks its current algorithm to bring back the value it once provided. In the meantime, I don’t anticipate using LinkedIn Today as my morning industry newspaper anymore.

chadpollitt

Chad Pollitt

VP of Audience, Relevance

Chad Pollitt, a decorated Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and former Army Commander, is VP of Audience and Co-founder of Relevance, an online publication solely dedicated to helping marketing and communications executives solve their online content visibility challenges. Named a Top 20 CMO Influencer and Top 5 Content Marketing Thought Leader, Chad also authored "The Content Promotion Manifesto." He is a regular contributor to industry media outlets, including The Guardian, Huffington PostLinkedIn and many others.

See Full Profile >

Comments

BostonDave
Posted on May 29th 2013 at 9:38AM

I'm with you on this topic and my real issue is with the original content from Linkedin. I find 99% of these influencer posts to be some of the most meaningless, empty and self-serving junk posted on the web today. I've actually searched for a way to remove Linkedin Today entirely. If you know how, let me know.

I still use my reader and flipboard as primary sources for industry and tech news.

YoungDonnaYoung
Posted on May 29th 2013 at 9:39AM

Chad, glad you addressed this issue—I agree with you 100 percent! I recently wrote to LinkedIn to voice my dissatisfaction about losing what I felt was one of their most valuable features of the platform. I sure hope now that you wrote this article, they will fix it. Thank you!

martinjones
Posted on May 29th 2013 at 10:45AM

I agree - It was my first stop each morning to catch the latest news, trends and info and I would again check in the afternoon and evening.

Since the change - I've been there twice. The articles just don't have the same appeal.

Before, the articles were cutting edge, from the frontlines of what was taking place. Engaging, compelling - with information I could immediately put to use. Now the articles seem very holistic, dry - with more of a "boardroom" feel. 

I'm sure the traffic stats must reflect this and I'm hopeful they return to what was a very, very useful platform.

 

 

kylemj6977
Posted on May 29th 2013 at 12:35PM

I agree that the UI is much better as I really enjoy the more streamlined look.   I'll admit the change in the news section hasn't been noticable to me as of yet ONLY becuase I've not relied on it for such (use Feedly, Zite, etc.).  

Dennis McDonald
Posted on May 31st 2013 at 3:04PM

Ha! For second there I thought your article was actually going to be a comment about Linkedin's professional networking function!

jezadmore
Posted on June 4th 2013 at 12:54PM

Completely agree with this. I left a comment on LinkedIn's blog asking what they had done with the 594 publisher feeds...and it was deleted.

It has lost the innovative and for me interesting content.

Do I want to read a channel about 'What I (as in 'influencers') carry in my bag' ....erm no. Come on LI this is utterly vacuous rubbish.

 

Also, the change to the account profile has made it much harder to navigate the site and is a lot less engaging. LI need to get this sorted ASAP.

 

Gary Ellenbogen
Posted on July 14th 2013 at 11:56AM

We want to inform you about a new ‘feature’ that was implemented by LinkedIn near the beginning of 2013. They did not announce this new procedure to group owners or to LinkedIn membership at large. If you are blocked or blocked and deleted by any group manager/owner, you are placed in Site-Wide Automatic Moderation (SWAM) in the rest of your groups. That means that each of your posts will be pended until someone in the group’s management team approves it. This can take days or weeks, depending on how involved the managers are, or, it may not happen at all.

This has created problems for people. It may result in a loss of revenue or leads for those using LinkedIn to conduct business, and difficulty maintaining connections. Participation in discussions in a timely manner becomes an impossible task. There is no way to reverse the procedure, and if you contact LinkedIn Customer Service, you will be told to contact each group’s owner/managers and request that they remove you from moderation. They also do not inform you which group blocked you. Many group owners still don’t know about SWAM, and people continue to have great difficulty getting themselves removed from moderation in all/most of their groups. Being SWAM’d, as it is called, will not cause you to be placed in moderation in any groups you join after you have been SWAM’d. We think members of the site should be made aware of this issue.

In my groups we generally use the remove feature rather than the block feature for members, unless someone has really pushed the boundaries.

Individuals who have been SWAM'd and wish to join a peer support group that is working on eliminating SWAM might want to check out
SWAM (Site Wide Auto Moderation) Support - A SPAM Free Group
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4911853