Like most any other business professional on the web, I have a LinkedIn profile. It’s properly filled out with all of my latest ventures, who I’ve worked with, what my background is, etc. At the bottom of my page you’ll find a list of LinkedIn Groups that I have joined, from CarpeDM (Seize Des Moines!) to Highlight Midwest. Though the groups you may be more familiar with are ones like On Startups (90,000+ members) or Inbound Marketers (35,000+ members), as these groups have thousands upon thousands of members.
Can we rely on our contacts as filters?
Though I do want to associate with those latter groups, the sheer size of the group membership on LinkedIn makes them nearly impossible to derive value from. True I can browse the members page to see which of my connections are also members, but LinkedIn doesn’t provide a very good way to find the best discussions in a group (especially in the email digest). I can sort by most recent or most comments, but what would happen if LinkedIn were to take a page from Facebook’s playbook and leverage the social graphs of my friends to pick out what I would like most?
For all I know this type of recommendation engine could be in the works at LinkedIn, but I think finding a better way to filter through content could drive many more people through LinkedIn’s doors. Facebook does a great job recommending who I should be friends with and what they like the most, but wouldn’t that be even more meaningful in a professional environment?
LinkedIn means business, literally
I use LinkedIn specifically because it takes the personal chatter and noise out of the conversation. I don’t have to weed through photos or the recounts of a day’s worth of food just to find what I am looking for. The content is right there in front of me. All I need is a better tool with which to mine it.
Many people have said that RSS is dead, and that Twitter seems to be replacing it as a source of news. I don’t think that RSS is dead any more than the next technology, but what Twitter provides is a human-powered filtering system to only provide what we are most interested in. We follow those who follow what we like, and that’s what we get. LinkedIn is headed down that path by allowing us to join grouped discussions related to our interests, but allowing us to rely on our friends to sift through all of that information would make the network even better.
What would make LinkedIn better for you?