On February 19, 2014, LinkedIn announced that they will start allowing users to publish original long-form content to their user profiles. While more details are still coming out, here’s some links you can check out to get more information as well as some initial takes on LinkedIn’s new blogging option.
- LinkedIn’s publishing platform overview page - LinkedIn’s explanation of what the new publishing platform is, as well as links on how to access the various features
- Re/code article: With New Publishing Tools, LinkedIn Makes Everyone a Professional Blogger - Mike Isaac’s take on the topic, based on an interview with Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn
- Winning Impression article: Friday Five: Before You Jump On The LinkedIn Publishing Bandwagon, Caution! - Katrina Collier’s take on the new publishing options and what you need to beware of
LinkedIn is slowly rolling this out to its quarter-billion LinkedIn users, until everyone eventually gets publishing capability. This move also helps explain why LinkedIn removed status updates from profile screens in December. The new long posts will be displayed on your LinkedIn user profiles, possibly where you status update links used to be.
I’m waiting to see how this all shakes out. I’m sure there will be a number of people who jump onto this who don’t have or don’t want to set up their own blogs. Besides the pitfalls Katrina raised in her article, here are a few other areas where I could see personal blogging on LinkedIn becoming a problem.
1. Who owns the content: you or LinkedIn? What’s the copyright status? Do you have complete copyright? Does LinkedIn own your content? I like having my own site because I control everything, and one of the reasons I blog is to create a repository of content I own and can repurpose for other areas. Now, would I shuffle stuff over to LinkedIn to get a bigger audience? Maybe but I’d be curious to know more about who controls the content. There’s also the issue about agreements on disposition and plagiarism. There could be a whole bunch of legal issues here.
2. Linkedin moves fast to add capabilities and then sometimes inexplicably, removes them. Recent examples include: linking your WordPress blog to your LI profile; being able to view LI user profile status updates for individual users from a browser; ability to post an Amazon reading list to your profile, and the list goes on. To me, one of the dangers would be LinkedIn starting this program and then suddenly pulling it a year later, leaving a lot of content stranded. I’d have to think about whether to jump in feet-first with a whole bunch of content if I’m not sure of their commitment level yet.
3. What does publishing on LinkedIn do to your SEO, especially if you publish the same material in two places? Not sure on the answer to this one, but is it possible LinkedIn publication will weaken your own blog?
4. What happens to LinkedIn status updates and the Publications area on your user profile? LinkedIn has already taken individual activity feeds away from Web browsers. Will LI publishing further erode user capability to promote their own content and news on LinkedIn? Will I have to publish on LinkedIn to share it with my network? And will I one day wake up to see my Publications area on my user profile has been taken away?
Just some initial thoughts. I’m sure more things will come up as the LinkedIn community chews on this more. There’s a lot of unanswered questions here. I’ll be sure to keep watching this as it develops and wait for the publications option to eventually show up on my LinkedIn home page.