I used to enjoy seeing the little flag on the top of LinkedIn indicate some form of engagement.

Much like a number on the little globe on Facebook, a number on the LinkedIn flag indicated someone liked or commented on something I shared in my status update or mentioned me in something they shared or commented on.

I’d hit that flag on my LinkedIn iPad app and engage the folks who had engaged me. As I’ve blogged before I’d comment back, drop folks a note, and offer to get together.

No more, the last couple weeks LinkedIn has opened the floodgates on that flag. When I hit the flag now I am hit with a never ending list of items posted to the LinkedIn Publishing Platform and who posted them.

Here’s what I mean.

LinkedIn publishing platform spam

Tons of stuff I don’t care to read. Tons of stuff people probably posted eight other places. This world of “content marketing” is turning into little more than grab mind share by pushing stuff at people whether they like it or not.

Sure there will be some valuable posts, but in this fire hose I’m not going to read them. If the posts are worthwhile and relevant, my social network will surface them for me in far less obtrusive ways.

LinkedIn has responded to people’s concerns and requests saying they do not have a feature which enables a user to turn off the spigot. My cynical side tells me LinkedIn is looking for interaction anyway they can get it, as in the case of one-click endorsements.

Anneke Steenkamp (@papierpop) had a nice piece in Huffington Post yesterday about what LinkedIn does right.

They don’t market themselves as a social media channel but rather as a professional network. This way, they eliminate the technical factor of competing with Facebook or Twitter. You can’t lose if you aren’t playing the same game.

Steenkamp talked of everything other than LinkedIn’s publishing platform in discussing the power of LinkedIn for marketing and networking. Dynamic profile, groups, learning opportunities, job listings, ad placements, and company pages, among other things.

LinkedIn is not a social media channel ala Twitter or Facebook. Most of us don’t go there for news and information.

The sharing of items in status updates was okay as an aside to the core. Even the publishing platform was okay as a knowledge base and for some discussion until the fire hose opened.

LinkedIn’s great. I pay for the highest level of service available, and have for years. I just don’t want to see one of LinkedIn’s key features (notification of updates) turn into spam from LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

What’s the answer LinkedIn, do we start deleting our connections to reduce the spam?

Image courtesy of Flickr by Christopher Octa

  • Victoria Ipri

    Agree completely, Kevin, and I said so here in no uncertain terms: http://bit.ly/1svf7C9

    Just yesterday, LinkedIn announced it has added a deletion “x” at the top right of every notification. One can now unsubscribe from notifications about future posts coming from the user’s feed.

    The outcry was strong, and LinkedIn responded fairly swiftly, so a few brownie points to them!

    • Thanks for the comment and insight on what LinkedIn has done.

      The problem with the way LinkedIn is correcting this is that we do not know what we want to see and who we want to see it from. Trying to select by hand (saying yes & no as to who we allow to push things at us) is fool hardy. There is too much stuff.

      What if I say no to a person sharing on LI because they had 9 posts I had no interest in and the 10th was something I would have loved to read and engage them on?

      That’s what discovery is all about. We discover what we may like based on our interests and social circles — and layered on top of that, the interests of social circles of the people we trust.

      Machine learning is developing algorithms to get this done. Facebook is pretty good at it, that’s why so many people use FB to receive info and engage with the people sharing the info. LinkedIn kind of sucks at it.

      LinkedIn ought to stick to what they are good it until they are capable of doing it right.