The innovation monsters at LinkedIn have been hard at work announcing new features and services at a dizzying pace. Let’s catch our breath for a moment to recap the changes before the innovations monster strikes again.
LinkedIn Today, the section of the social network that pulls in relevant news articles and original content from LinkedIn contributors, got a major redesign with the introduction of a new tool called LinkedIn Channels. The new Channels feature is designed to make it easier for LinkedIn users to access content that’s most relevant to them. Instead of simply being shown a collection of articles based on your particular industry, you will now be able to subscribe to specific topics and receive updates right in your homepage feed.
LinkedIn users will also notice that in addition to articles, SlideShare content will also have a more prominent role in the newly designed LinkedIn Today.
Summary: In addition to being a valuable network to help small business and nonprofit professionals build relationships and attract new customers, clients, donors, and volunteers, LinkedIn has also become a powerful tool for accessing the information that’s most important to you online.
LinkedIn Goes To College
LinkedIn says that more than 30 million of its 225 million members are students and recent graduates. They now represent the site’s fastest growing demographic group building profiles. With that kind of growth LinkedIn now is trying to bring its nonstop efficiency to the chaos of campus job fairs.
If you’ve ever been to one of those giant, messy gatherings of recruiters and freshly scrubbed students, you know the current system needs fixing. There’s plenty of good intention on both sides. There might even be good opportunities to get careers rolling. But there’s too long a bucket-brigade between the onsite recruiters and the people who actually do the hiring — and too little follow-up.
The innovation monsters have just announced CheckIn, a new service that makes it much easier for companies and candidates to connect in a simple, durable way. When students come to a job fair, they stop by a recruiter’s both and enter their names, emails and phone numbers. Presto! The company gains access to their LinkedIn profile.
Summary: As a veteran recruiter at these cattle calls pretending to be career fairs this innovation radically simplifies how recruiters collect and manage candidate information. And I predict if Checklin proves successful on campus look for the tool to start taming non campus cattle calls.
LinkedIn: The Place For Must Read Content
Visit your LinkedIn home page these days, and you’ll be in for a fresh surprise every week or two. The social network’s somber old layout is gone. Instead, LinkedIn is popping forth with, links to click, updates about how many of your business contacts clicked “Like” for your latest status update and articles to read.
Many of those articles are written by people like me; business people establishing themselves as thought leaders to create word of mouth and click forward buzz for their efforts. However, the real game changer is the arrival of 150 influencers on LinkedIn, who write essays about business strategy, the path to success and other topics. LinkedIn members can chose to read the musing of luminaires like Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Group; Daniel Goldberg, author of the bestselling book Emotional Inelegance and President Obama. The post which you can read in about the time it takes to wait in a typical Starbucks line during the morning are both timely and eternal.
Summary: LinkedIn is fast become more than a profile site. It has quickly morphed into true a hub for compelling intellectual content making an essay on LinkedIn a must read, must like and must share event. (P.S. Please share and like of my posts with your friends and colleagues.)
The Bottom Line
While the innovations at LinkedIn continue sometimes at a dizzying pace the basic purpose of the site remains a hub for networking. Don’t worry about incorporating the changes at the expense of being of service to others because before you know it the LinkedIn Innovation Monster will be at it again.