What Is Your LinkedIn Aha! Moment?

I don't have the answer and I'm not trying to be catty. Help me out. I'd love to know.

I recently tried to give LinkedIn another try. I wanted to discover firsthand the LinkedIn “Aha!” moment — to be drawn in, wowed, by its benefits. To experience the sticky embrace of compelling content, or noteworthy conversations or… some kind of relevant engagement beyond the occasional “invitation to connect.”

A cold-blooded marketer looking for lands to pillage and attention to conquer can come to it differently: “Ok, let me slog through this unpleasantness to achieve my goal.”

But surely, LinkedIn with its $20B market cap as of this writing, has found ways for its professional membership to engage with some degree of pleasantness and delight, yes? Maybe they haven’t reached the habit-forming stickiness of a Facebook or a Twitter, but at least they’ve become ‘not painful’ right? I wanted to experience that “aha!” moment myself.

Giving It Another Try

I wanted to post the following on LinkedIn… but couldn’t. It was too long so I’ll post here:

Tap, tap. This thing on? I’ve been on LinkedIn for years? now and never found it to be a very compelling place to spend time. I’m here sniffing around to give it another chance to woo me — and maybe I’m just a hater at heart but I still find it… very unpleasant.

Some folks seem to agree:

Re: nerdery: I’ve seen in the past 10 minutes or so 3 or 4 different ways LinkedIn presents . Noisy. Doesn’t seem very user-friendly.

Re: content, I know LinkedIn now has a platform for publishing longer-form blog content beyond the status updates… though maybe that’s available for just some folks?

Seems like much more noise than signal… Anyone care to let me know what I’m missing / why I’m wrong? I’m sure I am… Thanks.

LinkedIn Engagement

LinkedIn’s approach to engagement seems like MySpace v1.0 or early Facebook: cobble together a whole bunch of “proven-elsewhere” functionality and see what sticks. For this user, it feels pretty schizophrenic.

Status updates

Short Twitter-ish, shorter Facebook status updates and link sharing. See links above how its not possible to view members’ status update history therefore limiting engagement entry points. It’s also unclear how this is any different than using Twitter or Google+ assuming you have similar professional followers. (Different than Facebook in that Facebook is either family, friends and co-workers -centric if personal account, or most likely not so business-professional if a Facebook business page [though possible.])

“Pulse” longer form blog posts

LinkedIn has been experimenting with integrating their Pulse purchase, starting with top influencer members. Post a longer form blog post on the LinkedIn site and allow for followers a la Twitter (ie, do not need to be in your network.) For those of us weened on Twitter and it’s possibility of hyper-relevancy (interested in MeteroJS, PhaserJS, ux, cigars, craft bourbons…?) the early Pulse shallow pool of content feels less compelling. Maybe that will resolve itself as LinkedIn opens it up more.

The other consideration is: how does having a subset (perhaps re-blogs) of someone’s blog posts on LinkedIn benefit me as a reader more than clicking a link in a Tweet to go to author’s originating post? It’s possible to have benefits, but I’m not seeing it yet.

Q/A

Like a Yahoo! Answers or Stackoverflow: ask a question, members can answer. Is this still a thing on LinkedIn? You can use your status update to ask questions yes, but there is no browsing of existing questions… or is there? If there is, their nav doesn’t seem to value it very highly.

Connection invites

Pester folks with connection invites. Necessary, but not fun… unless perhaps they “Tinder-ize” the process like Weave and Networkr are trying to do? Ie, use a “Hot or Not?”-type process to play networking matchmaker with people you haven’t met before.

Recommendations

I’d classify this similarly to the connection invites above: anything that relies on guilt for engagement does not = fun.

LinkedIn groups

Noise vs signal is usually really high when the control to filter is out of your hands, yes? Not the greatest experience yes?

What Is Your LinkedIn “Aha!” Moment?

Or is it simply a place to “slog through to reach your networking & B2B goals?” Have the answer? I’d love to know: Tweet me: @natguy.

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