Lawyers have long used publishing as a means of establishing themselves as trusted authorities in their area of law.

With the Internet, lawyers have turned to blogs, alerts or articles in third party publications. Social networks, such as LinkedIn, have even added publishing features so that anyone can sign in and publish articles in entirety.

A big question for lawyers though is whether publishing on LinkedIn will make them look like an expert.

Nick Corcodilos (@NickCorcodilos), a Silicon Valley headhunter of over 35 years, said in a recent PBS Newshour interview made clear building one’s reputation as an expert in their profession is a big competitive advantage. However, he doesn’t believe publishing articles on LinkedIn is an appropriate and productive medium for building one’s professional “brand.”

I think LinkedIn has become a corrupt publishing platform because it reaches for quantity over quality and sells the idea that anyone can be an expert. Again and again my readers send me “expert articles” published on LinkedIn that are so blatantly self-promotional that it’s embarrassing — even articles by famous people (that seem to be ghost written).

The entire purpose of LinkedIn’s publishing platform seems to be building its page count and driving comments – not to create an expert arena. 

I tend to agree. It’s been almost a year since I last published on LinkedIn. I got huge traffic, but I am not sure what more.

Though individual pieces on LinkedIn don’t read “I am an authority, hire me etc.,” the shear volume of articles do. Professionals, lawyers including publish piece after piece and distribute them anywhere they can on LinkedIn, including spamming LinkedIn groups.

The burgeoning industry of companies and people selling ghostwritten content lawyers represent as their own only adds to the volume of content published on LinkedIn.

Rather than focusing on value to users and driving worthwhile discussion, the totally of a lot of people’s pieces, lawyers’ included, screams “here I am, pay attention to me.”

As you know, I am a big believer of tastefully sharing your own blog posts in the status updates on LinkedIn. Doing so drives engagement and discussion similar, yet more limited, to that which you receive at Facebook. This is much different than publishing on LinkedIn.

Beyond a blog, Corcodilos sees niche sites read by others in your field to be valuable places to publish. However, he thinks “LinkedIn has become the fish wrap of the Internet when it comes to publishing.”

Image courtesy of Flickr by Zach Dischner