LinkedIn Posts (articles) are awesome, except…

January 19th, 2015

There are two major design issues that LinkedIn should fix with regard to “posts.”  Posts are the articles you can write… for a while they were only written by “influencers,” but now pretty much everyone can write them.

I don’t know how long LinkedIn will keep this feature in place, but let’s assume it will be around longer than the uber-userful “Answers.”

Anyway, I love notes, except for a 2.5 things:

First, I want to see what other people write and contribute to an idea… and right now that’s a major pain (read: nearly impossible).  I read an article, I agree with some, disagree with some, and want to see what some of the commenters say.  But LinkedIn is only showing me the most recent comment. I can click to see more, but I personally think that is asking too much.  I think there would be more conversation (and more eyeballs, and more visitors) if LinkedIn looked at other comment systems and stopped hiding all but the most recent comment of each post.

Second, as an author of a post, I want… I NEED and email from LinkedIn when someone comments on my post.  Part of the reason blogging was so big, and now Facebook has developed a community, is because of the conversation that happened.  If you comment on a blog, usually you hear back from the blogger.  That’s because they got a notification, which was essentially an invitation to see what you wrote, and respond back.  On LinkedIn, I would have to go to every single post I’ve written to see if there is something new there… I simply can’t do that.  If I got an email with each comment, though, I would evaluate the comment and determine if I wanted to respond.  I would respond more often, and keep the conversation richer.  But as of right now, it’s kind of like a newspaper article… just some random thoughts scattered around with a short shelf life.

Changing either of those things would increase the value of Posts to everyone, which will increase the value of LinkedIn to everyone.

The half thing is really a whole thing, but I think it’s unlikely that anything changes.  It is the way that whoever-at-LinkedIn chooses what posts show up on the front page of LinkedIn.  They’ll put you there if you are an influencer, even if your posts sucks, and all the comments are calling you out for being a fraud with crappy ideas.  I’d obviously like to see this change… but I’m not the least bit hopeful it will.

LinkedIn Commercial Use Limit on Search

January 12th, 2015

Boo, hiss.

Apparently we can now see last names on 3rd degree search results… which is a great move… and long overdue.  But this new commercial use limit on search? They say: ” If you reach the commercial use limit, your activity on LinkedIn indicates that you’re likely using LinkedIn for commercial use, like hiring or prospecting.”

Um, or you are a job seeker who is out of money and working your butt off to find networking contacts.

The only good thing about this is that it forces you to (a) do better searches, and (b) do something with the search results… like reach out to them and network, rather than just listing them.

Read the policy here.

Back Up Your LinkedIn Contacts Now

December 31st, 2014

Well, for one last 2014 hurrah, here’s what I got for you:


Here’s a blog post that shows how to do it.

What do you do after you back it up?  Maybe nothing, except just smile and know that you spent three minutes on a task that will help your career.

Or, you could email it to yourself for long-term storage.

Or you can import the list into your CRM.  The instructions on the page above show you how to scrub/clean the export (Step 2), and how you might import it into another system (Step 3).

QvQ: The Quantity vs. Quality Debate Summed Up In One Picture

December 19th, 2014

A friend sent this to me:


“As we grow up, we realize it is less important to have lots of friends and more important to have real ones.”

You know what they say: if Snoopy said it, on the internet… it must be true :>

User Ideas to Make LinkedIn (more) Valuable

December 11th, 2014

There are some great ideas and thoughts regarding the value of LinkedIn on this Quora question:

What feature should LinkedIn implement to make it a more useful part of your online presence?

Cool LinkedIn History and Story

November 14th, 2014

Check out this really cool write-up on Growth Hackers about LinkedIn… tons of interesting stuff:

LinkedIn Growth Engine: The Never Ending Viral Loop

The comments are pretty insightful, too.

This is, in my opinion, the Great American Dream playing out in real life.  The cool thing is that the Internet makes this anyone’s dream.  Yeah, there is the started out rich, had all the right network to begin and market, starting in Silicon Valley, etc.  But still, the Internet has brought down some significant barriers.

How to See New Hires at your Target Companies

November 13th, 2014

I got this question from Tom:

“I went on an interview at a company with a couple hundred people and then heard back that they are considering another candidate instead of me. I’d love to know who my competitor was that got the job so that I understand where I was deficient…. I remember in the past I could go to the company page and see a list of what companies people came from and went to before/after that company. Also who the new hires at the company are. However I can’t seem to find that information any longer. Was that done away with once companies could control their own page?
“Bottom line do you know of any way I can keep an eye on new hires at a company?”

In the olden days, you could go to a LinkedIn Company page and see some great information, including where people came from before and where they went to after (which could help you expand your Target Company list).  You could also see “new hires,” “new promotions,” and something else I can’t remember now.

That went away probably two or three years ago.  The Company page looks prettier, but it has much less interesting or relevant substance.  Where LinkedIn was once sharing with us great data, they are now giving companies a place to put their marketing, which is so sanitized that it rarely does us any good.  The research we could do on a Company is limited to not much more than a brochure.

Another sad change for LinkedIn users.

I tried to go into the advanced search and see if there was any way I could filter it down to a certain timeframe within company.. nothing.

There is no way, that I can tell, to see who is new at a company.  Maybe one of those fancy corporate accounts will let you do it… seems like a no-brainer.  Salespeople and recruiters would love that feature.

Am I missing anything?  Do YOU know how to see recent people at a company?


No Post is Done Until You’ve Shared It (LinkedIn Articles)

November 12th, 2014

I’m in the process of experimenting with LinkedIn Articles (aka, posts).  Unless you are an “influencer,” you MUST work to get your article in front of others.  Don’t trust that just by posting people will see it.

Case in point, I’ve had a number of articles that have done okay… my last one (written yesterday) has only 52 views.  This is because I wrote it but didn’t share it. You can share your articles on each of the social networks you want, but there is a super easy way to share them that I recommend.

Either before you have published your post, or anytime after you have published it, you can share it.  Look for something like this:


I only share through the LinkedIn icon… I click on that and I see this (scroll below the image and I’ll share what I do to get maximum exposure):


In the first box, I put a status update, which usually short, and one line.  There is a limit, and you don’t want this to be long.  Usually I just copy and paste the title of my article… quick and easy.

Notice I have the Twitter checkbox checked…. this means I don’t have to go to Twitter and do the same thing…. it automatically takes my LinkedIn update and puts it as my latest tweet.  As an added bonus, I have each of my Tweets become a Facebook update… so from this one thing I get an update on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook :) :)

In the second set of boxes I designate which LinkedIn Groups I send the post to.  This is critical, and probably where I get most of my views from.  You should be a member of a lot of Groups (45 to 47).  Know how many members are in each Group. If you are a member of a Group that has 100 people, it might not make sense to share every post with them through this mechanism.  However, maybe those 100 people are perfect evangelists for you, in which case you should share every article with them!

On the other hand, you might think big Groups, let’s say tens or hundreds of thousands of members are the way to go, since you share with one Group and a gazillion people will see your article.  This is flawed thinking, in general.  It might work, and that’s great, but:

1. You might get flagged as spam (there is an evil design referred to as SWAM – google it – it will affect ALL of your Group activity, not just from the one group.

2. If there are too many other posts/udpates on that Group, you might get buried in all the other posts, which are usually poor attempts to market “lookie at my blog post!!”

Big seems awesome, but to get the words out to the right group of people, small might be good enough.

If you really want to do the big Groups, I would suggest going to the Group and starting a discussion… less automated than the steps above, but it’s just for one Group – and customize your message for that Group!

Have You Written Articles on LinkedIn? Here’s How to Find Them…

November 10th, 2014

This has changed at least once… but here’s how I currently find articles I’ve written on LinkedIn.

Way 1

From Your Profile Page (the one everyone else sees):

Click on Profile at the top of any page once you are logged in:


Scroll down a little bit until you see the last three posts.  You can either click on a link to see all of your posts (#1) or you can click on any of the last three posts (#2) to see that individual post and the comments:


Way 2

The old way that I used to see posts was to click on the little pencil icon from my home page… in the box where I would put my update.  This isn’t as easy or elegant, but you can still do it.  First, click on the pencil icon:


Then, from that page you will be able to start a new post.  On the left you’ll see all of the posts you’ve written (it used to be on the right).  Click on the one you want to look at.  (don’t worry, even though it opens in edit mode, we’ll fix that)


If you click on any of those articles you’ll open it in the Edit mode… not what you are looking for.  It doesn’t show stats or comments… to see that, simply edit the URL and take out /edit, as per this image:


This is a lame way to do it, and different than how it has been… but oh well.  We roll with the changes.

LinkedIn Announcements Change: Yippee! Hurrah!

October 17th, 2014

In August I blogged about a dismal change LinkedIn had made: LinkedIn Announcement Change: Boo! Hiss!

Today I’m here to report that the either changed back, or fixed a bug…. whatever the reason, LinkedIn Group Announcments have become useful again.

The problem was that when you sent a “Group Announcement,” which is an email that members of your group get, the inbox subject would be:

[New announcement] ___________________________ (the name of the group).

You can seem an image on the August post.

Since then I was almost resolved to give up on Group Announcements… no one is going to read something that looks like a company promotion, and if we couldn’t have any control over what was in the subject box, I was guessing that the email would be opened up less than 10% of what it would be if we did have control.

Today I decided to send a Group Announcement and to my delight I saw what I was hoping I would see:


We still have the “new announcement” thing, which is stupid because that takes up about 18 characters (which is all you might see on a smart phone), but we now get the subject of the announcement as the title!


Wait… how awesome is this?  If you are a manager of a Group, and you don’t use the Group Announcements regularly, you are missing out on more than 1/2 of the value of being a Group manager. It’s just that powerful.