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.
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.