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The introduction of LinkedIn’s newest application, “LinkedIn Today”, seems fully functional, and perhaps useful, but maybe I just don’t get it…

It seems to be an app to “get everyone to check LinkedIn several times a day”.

And maybe it’s me, but that’s not what I’m looking for.

Today

I like this touch – you know it’s today’s news because it says so right there at the top – “LinkedIn Today” – and then it’s got today’s date right there. (Just in case you looked at the page and it was last refreshed yesterday)

News

Yup – it’s news all right.

And the page I’m looking at says the top sources are:

  • online.wsj.com
  • money.cnn.com
  • npr.org
  • bloomberg.com
  • hbr.org

But wait – if I wanted to read news from those sources, wouldn’t I just look at them directly?

Most Shared

Oh – that’s it – these are “The most shared news on LinkedIn” – they must be – it also says that right there at the top.

Now I get it…

Here’s a place for everybody to point at the things they like so that everybody else will see the things that other people like.

But how does it get there in the first place

This is the part of the theory that I don’t really get. And I’m dropping the name at this exact moment and google isn’t helping me – is it Gladwell, Godin or Ferrazzi?…

But anyway – I will take a definite Godin mantra and ship this today and not worry about the attribution, I’m sure someone can help me with it;-)

The theory is that you don’t need to search for information anymore, because anything that really matters to you will be brought to your attention by the people around you if you just listen to them.

So all we need is systems that allow people to easily point out the things that matter, and for people to be able to see what else matters to the people nearest them.

But – the point where this seems to fail is how does information get into the population in the first place?

If I’m not looking for it, and you’re not looking for it (because you’re also expecting the people around you to bring it to your attention), how does anything new get into sight?

Somebody’s seeding the fields

And then it all makes sense, right?

If nothing has been “liked” or promoted, then the system will just “randomly” pick out new things to make people aware of…

Or more likely, some people with an agenda will share the things that they want to be shared, and viola – we have news.

But unfortunately, it isn’t the news that I necessarily care about.

I think I like following a trusted source to begin with

And that’s the problem of following popularity – the followers inherently trust the popular opinion, but really have no understanding of what might make some story, situation, or person popular. (or what might happen under the covers to influence such ratings)

And while I understand that newspapers have some biases, I expect individuals to have even more significant biases and potentially even less ethics…

Now me, I’m not ready to sign up for LinkedIn’s Today Show.

Being able to give me “Tomorrow’s News” – that might be something to look for;-)

To your continued success,

steve

Steven Tylock
http://www.linkedinpersonaltrainer.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetylock