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LinkedIn appears to be pruning the “tree of all things LinkedIn” quite a bit lately.

Reader Jake commented on my January 2010 article that covered how to add an RSS feed to your group – it was a useful feature that deserved talking about.

But alas, while the feature isn’t gone completely, it’s no longer available…

Really?

That definitely described my reaction to reading his comment. LinkedIn would do such a thing? Easy enough to check – I went to one of my groups and tried to add an RSS feed…
Image showing altered options for RSS for LinkedIn Groups

Exactly as Jake had suggested.

Wow

What this means

If you happened to have added an RSS feed to your group, it may work. (notice the operative word may)

If you ever remove the feed, it’s gone.

You can’t add a new feed.

The effect

In practical terms, the feature is dead when all existing groups that use the feed go away. And that will probably magically happen some night when a mysterious bug causes all feeds to fail, and the only offered fix is “please remove the feed and re-add it”.

(Did you catch that slick part where support suggests that a group administrator voluntarily removes a group feed, but then actually has no means to re-add the feed – presto – RSS feeds into groups are no more…)

The product that delights versus the product that makes money

I’ll classify this as a “Godin-ism”.

LinkedIn worked because it was a nifty idea that used technology to enable people to reach out to their network – and their network’s network. The people working on it loved the concept and really tried to delight the existing (and potential) user base by developing all sorts of nifty things that could be done with it.

That caused it to be one the very few social innovations that didn’t have a terrible time making money.

And then things turned.

Because now it’s just a product that’s looking for other ways to make money.

And it will make money – for a while.

Cutting your way to success

While it is absolutely true that wasteful spending is a terrible thing to have to endure, one hardly ever sees a growth company cutting their way to success.

It does remind me of a particularly funny memo that circulated in Kodak in the mid 90s. The memo came all the way down from one of the top 5 executives in the company. It was a directive to stop buying office supplies.

It seemed that the exec was linking the (presumably modest) expense of running an office to the strategic directions of the company. I’m certain most Kodakers from that era will recall the “paperclip and stationary” memo; I have never spoken to one that didn’t see it as a Dilbert-like joke about the company’s executives…

Perhaps that’s what trading on the stock exchange does to you these days.

To your continued success,
steve

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