LinkedIn losing it’s sheen?

Aside from being “headhunter heaven” and a site that most business don’t block their employees from accessing online, I have never been able to find much technically to like about LinkedIn. The site resembles something built on old technology which makes forum discussion posts awkward to create, impossible to edit and difficult to moderate.

New discussion features recently removed the ability to flag topics as promotional which largely opened the floodgates for bloggers who create thinly veiled advertisements,

Weak forward guidance and the slowest quarterly rise in ad revenue for two years were to blame. The firm turned in a $8.4 million loss on revenues of $862 million for its Q415. That’s revenue growth of 34% year-on-year, while full year revenues were up 35% to $2.99 billion.

Via: LinkedIn takes a beating from Wall Street – diginomica

Linkedin Updates Groups: New App, Unlisted Groups Available Soon

linkedin_group_changes

LinkedIn has emailed moderators of various groups to expect some changes to LinkedIn Groups which apparently will happen “in a few weeks”.

The biggest changes are the addition of  unlisted groups and what LinkedIn describes as “content filtering”. Previously groups themselves could be private, though their existence would show in a search of groups. The content of groups was able to be set as either private or public and viewable only by group members. Under the announced restructuring, it appears that open groups will no longer be offered by LinkedIn. Under content filtering is appears that LinkedIn may begin controlling how frequently certain content appears in your group feed, similar to how Facebook’s edgerank newsfeed algorithm filters posts and controls which friends’ content is seen first.

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LinkedIn Attachments For Updates Now Live

linkedin

Some of you may already have seen this on your account. LinkedIn now allows you to attach images and documents to individual updates. Previously I was able to do this on my company page but not on the individual updates.

When Will LinkedIn Improve Group Administrator Tools?

linkedin admin

If you administer LinkedIn groups of any size you’ve probably noticed an annoying lack of tools allowing you to review questionable discussion content from brand new members  before it is posted to your group.

Due to the vast amount of spam and blatant self-promotion from new members  most LinkedIn discussion groups are forced to moderate new member content for a certain number of days. During this time any new discussions from the members are held for moderation and require approval before being posted live.

There are three main discussion areas: Discussions (the main area which receives virtually all of LinkedIn’s traffice, Promotions (self-promoting posts about member businesses – webinars, etc) and Jobx.

Unfortunately most new users mistakenly place promotional posts into the discussion category which can result in active members either leaving your group or complaining about “spam” in their discussions.

LinkedIn will flag new posts from members who have few contacts or are new to your group  (see image above) however the problem is many posts can include links to marketing “landing pages” or other “request more information” which you might require to be more properly categorized as promotions. Unfortunately LinkedIn’s moderation tool doesn’t allow you to click on those links before posting the discussion – which means that spam content is potentially approved for a short time and viewable to members.

What I hope LinkedIn will do is improve the administrative tools so that moderators of their discussion groups have something like a “preview” button which shows the content prior to making it live into the main discussion areas.

LinkedIn Groups Get a Makeover

Early this morning one of the LinkedIn groups – Sage Partners, Employees & Alumni – which I participate in received an interesting new makeover.

Discussions have been greatly enhanced and brought to the front with large author cons prominently displaying beside each post.

It appears that LinkedIn has moved away from highlighting links that members may share in favor of one row of rotating shared discussion links.

Members now have the ability to vote on links that they like (or dislike) which will in return feature those links more prominently on your group’s home screen.

There is now a Top Influencers section which points ou those who start discussions that gather many comments from fellow members.

Perhaps most importantly it looks as if LinkedIn FINALLY did away with the ill-conceived feature which allowed any member to move a discussion from the regular posting area to the jobs section (the cause of many internal problems when well meaning members either unintentionally or intentionally moved postings out of sight of other members). UPDATE: Nope – LinkedIN just changed terminology – they still unwisely appear to allow any member to instantly move a post out of discussion and into the less trafficked Jobs. This is likely because many of their discussion areas a mess and overgrown with job after job and little readable content.

The ability now exists to flag a post as a job offer/inquiry but doing so no longer seems to automatically move it to the jobs section of your discussions.

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SEO Just Got 9 Times Harder – Content 9 Times As Valuable

In case you’ve missed it Google recently updated their search layout.

Instead of always returning standard search results as indexed within Google – the search giant now displays a total of 9 additional places that a searcher (aka prospective client) can find your company.

Nine!

Just when you thought that SEO was a snap and all you had to do was throw a few hundred keywords up on your firm’s home page – the game is suddenly changed.

Actually the game has been changing for years. Blogs have emerged as relevant research tools. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have enabled our customers to reach out to their friends for recommendations as opposed to relying upon raw searches through Google or other easily gamed Internet search engines.

Is there a way for you to keep up with all these changes? I think so – and it’s been right in front of your nose all along.

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LinkedIn for BlackBerry Curve, Bold and Tour – Now Available

LinkedIn has just released version 1.0 of their application for BlackBerry devices.

This version works with OS 4.3+ and requires either a Bold, Tour or Curve model (that’s right – no Storm support at the moment).

The application is  quite good. The main benefits over the iPhone version being deep integration to the native BlackBerry inbox (try that on the iPhone!).

LinkedIN for BlackBerry resembles the Facebook for BlackBerry program.

The design is not as pretty as that on the LinkedIn for iPhone interface — though the integration goes so much deeper that you’ll probably want to use the BlackBerry LinkedIN version.

In fact I’m going to declare the LinkedIn for BlackBerry application as a key reason (for those of us on LinkedIn)  to use a BlackBerry. I believe it’s going to be an essential business tool for almost any serious BlackBerry user.

Here’s why.

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Dear Wayne – I am interested in learning more about how you use social media

wayne schulz bhWayne,

I really enjoy reading your posts and observing how you are leveraging social media. You have presented yourself as an expert on many topics–good for you!

I am interested in learning more about how you are using social media in your business. Do you currently promote products through Facebook, twitter and other forums? If so, I would really like to talk with you about the metrics you watch and time you dedicate to contributing and responding in these forums.

Thanks again for sharing your articles. [Read more…]