Business and work Social Web

What's happening on LinkedIn Today?

No sooner did I publish my post with an interesting observation how the majority of LinkedIn’s users don’t actually use LinkedIn all that much, LinkedIn rolled out a new news product called LinkedIn Today which makes more sense of all the news links people share in LinkedIn updates.

This is a pretty interesting move and what appeals to me quite a bit about the update is how the news integrates into the updated iPhone app:

I have two news apps on my iPhone which I consider indispensable: Feedly and Instapaper (the Instapaper app has been updated to version 3.0 and it looks even better now). The LinkedIn app has just become a lot more useful and appealing to me, possibly to the point where it competes for my attention when I want to sit down for a few minutes and catch up on some news.

It is a great addition to LinkedIn that makes it more of the sort of site I want to spend some time on consuming news and content, rather than just a place to visit quickly to connect to someone or check a discussion topic posting. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like LinkedIn has given the app nearly enough exposure. It is accessible through a miscellaneous folder and my landing page is still my default when loading LinkedIn. I would rather have the option of seeing news content when loading LinkedIn, or at least have the news app accessible through a more prominent link.

On that note, if the product is called “LinkedIn Today”, why is the link labelled “News”? This aspect of the new product hasn’t been implemented very well at all. Otherwise, I like it. I will probably use it more in the iPhone app but the layout on the site itself is pretty good too.

So will this bring more active users to LinkedIn and help boost LinkedIn as a business networking site? That remains to be seen. I find that most of my contacts whose updates I see in my Updates stream are populating their LinkedIn streams with tweets and are not spending that much time on LinkedIn itself engaging with each other on the site. For many people it is a glorified resume site. Let’s see if that changes.

Business and work

Majority of LinkedIn's users don't actually use LinkedIn

I just noticed an interesting statement in this Business Insider article titled “LinkedIn is Going to Compete with Twitter“:

LinkedIn’s main problem is that, as it says itself in its S-1 filing, the vast majority of LinkedIn members don’t actually use it. To be blunt: it’s just not useful for the majority of users. It’s only a minority of people like recruiters and salespeople who use the site.

The actual statement from LinkedIn’s Initial Public Offering filing is the following (quoting from this article):

the number of our registered members is higher than the number of actual members, and a substantial majority of our page views are generated by a minority of our members.

Isn’t that interesting? This has me wondering what people could use if LinkedIn wasn’t around? Facebook is more personal but the BranchOut app seems to be trying to leverage Facebook for business (although I am pretty wary of BranchOut – its focus seems to be on leveraging my connections to spam my friends as a condition for my access to the app). Would people just use email, Twitter and whatever else is available? How much do we need a business social network?

I also came across some really interesting LinkedIn stats in the filing:

Business and work Social Web Useful stuff

Revamped LinkedIn Groups for better conversations

LinkedIn has revamped its Groups and the result is likely to be better engagement, improved discussion quality and more relevant information being presented in groups. This video outlines the changes quite nicely:

The changes seem to be designed to make the groups more relevant in themselves and, at the same time, starting points for new connections and interactions through features like the “Top Influencers of the Week” feature (bound to keep the Type-A personalities engaged).

Its worth your while reading the LinkedIn blog post detailing the changes. I’m looking forward to spending some time exploring the groups a little more and working out how I can best use them and LinkedIn in general to boost my firm’s profile.

Business and work Events and Life People Travel and places

Off to the 27 Dinner with some geeks tonight

We’re heading off to the 27 Dinner tonight like half of Joburg geekdom. I’m looking forward to it partly because we are going to hear from Justin Spratt and Google’s new country manager, Stephen Newton (please no Google PR speak??!). I’ll probably be posting to FriendFeed as we go (look for the comments to this entry in my FriendFeed stream). I am also going to mess around a little more with Qik and try shoot some streaming video on my N97.

I thought I’d try something a little different with FriendFeed tonight and give you am embed of the search channel I set up on FriendFeed for the 27 Dinner. This channel looks for any mentions of “27 dinner” or “27dinner” and includes them:

It should also update dynamically as more entries are added to it.