LinkedIn blogging is an extraordinary enhancement

LinkedIn blogging is a recent product offshoot of LinkedIn Today featuring 150 notable people providing regular blog content (LinkedIn calls them “thought leaders”).  This may seem quite mundane and some of it is, but there are some extraordinary contributors that make this a really special enhancement to LinkedIn. (the LinkedIn blogging home page is located here)

From the search and social realm, Charlene Yi of Altimeter, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite, Pete Cashmore of Mashable and the exceptional Beth Kanter contribute original content.  Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vaynerchuk are a bit disappointing by initially contributing third party content.  Barack Obama and Mitt Romney add election year banality to the mix by blogging their talking points and offering another opportunity for people to leave comments admiring and decrying their platitudes. Cutting through the noise are some really special contributors that are worth an initial read and a follow.  As I was reading I found myself full of gratitude to LinkedIn for bringing these voices together in their LinkedIn blogging platform, and I think anyone that visits will find some very keen insight in the content.

Dan Ariely

Professor Ariely is a behavioral economist at Duke University and has written two of my all-time favorite books, Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality.  What I appreciate about his approach to problems is that offers some scientific clarity to behavior that is otherwise irrational.  I find his work and him quite fascinating.

It’s probably unfair that I chastise Guy Kawasaki and Gary Vaynerchuk for recycling content as Ariely has done the same (the same video he posts is available on his website), but his most recent post on how relativity determines our happinessis well worth a watch.  In my book he can do no wrong, and I was decidedly giddy to see him included on the LinkedIn blogging site.

Rahul Vohra

Rahul Vohra is the creator of Rapportive, a social sidebar for Gmail that was recently acquired by LinkedIn (it’s a phenomenal product if you haven’t tried it).  What I appreciate about his inclusion is that he’s very technically savvy, yet he sees the big picture that surrounds the technical details.  I think the Rapportive product is a great example of his capability to marry utility with technology.

In Vohra’s first post for LinkedIn, he shows the difficulty of producing viral content without the aid of non-viral channels (a must read for anyone bearish on social channels).  It is a thoughtful, important piece and a quite extraordinary contribution to the LinkedIn blogging platform.

Fred Reichheld

You may not know who Fred Reichheld is, but you’ve probably probably answered his “ultimate question” many times (how likely is it that you would recommend this business to your friends or family?).  I once had a consultant tell us that he was sensing our customers using Reichheld’s methodology, so I read the book and found that he wasn’t.  Bad consultant, good book.

Reichheld has a gift for distilling the complex to its simplest form.  The Ultimate Question works because users quantify their experience and then are asked an open ended question as a follow up.  In his first piece on the LinkedIn blogging platform, Reichheld discusses the visual power of emoticons.  Not paradigm-shifting, but kind of thought-provoking in the context of Net Promoter Score (the score generated by his ultimate question).

Tony Robbins

Many people who know of Tony Robbins but haven’t read or heard Tony Robbins may have an apprehensive reaction to me mentioning him.  I’m an unabashed fan.  I think Robbins has a really relatable personality and uses his relatability to challenge deeply held beliefs and behaviors that we have.  I think he’s a great motivator and I’ve learned a lot from him.

His first LinkedIn blogging piece is the first part of an ambitious series examining the core qualities of extraordinary leaders.  In his first post, he examines how leaders can have different styles and still be considered extraordinary.  What I like about Tony’s style is that he picks very relatable examples for reference.  It’s a great piece that has me excited for more.

Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus Samuelsson came into my consciousness as a judge on the Food Network show Chopped.  He always seemed like a stand up guy, even when he beat esteemed Ohioan Michael Symon in the Chopped All-Star Finale.  His inclusion in the LinkedIn blogging content is special because of his point of view.  His intention is to examine the correlation between economic hardship and obesity, and to propose solutions to address this reality.

His first post was a really pointed assessment of the effect of the economy downturn on our collective eating habits.  He clearly is embracing his role as a contributor to the LinkedIn blogging platform already creating six (really great) posts.

What’s next for LinkedIn blogging?

LinkedIn has raised the bar for content by enlisting some really phenomenal people to contribute (mostly) unique content.  I’m not sure how well this will be received by a LinkedIn audience unaccustomed to spending a lot of time on the site, but selfishly I hope they are able to sustain it.

LinkedIn has created one of the greatest blogs ever.

Photo Credit

Jim Dougherty

Jim Dougherty

Writer and chief of miscellany at
I'm the guy that wrote the article you just read. Sorry for the typos.
  • Bojan Djordjevic

    LinkedIn is desperately trying to hold on to the audience and make them stick longer on the website. While the content is great, it’s far from social. If they want to become the new Yahoo, they are going to make it, as it’s not a hard thing to do. They’ve proven over and over again, that they don’t understand social.

    • jimdougherty

      Good point Bojan, and I hope that I didn’t indicate as much. The whole purpose behind LinkedIn Today is to increase the time on site, and I’m not sure that LinkedIn could aspire to be more social with the demographics that they have. They’re very good in their niche and I think they’re looking to expand their advertising product. The concentration of phenomenal content is something to embrace, but to your point it certainly doesn’t make them more socially adept than they were previously. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Bojan Djordjevic

        You’re welcome Jim, looking forward to read more of your great posts.

  • Susan Silver

    I heard about this, but I don’t think I am biting. I really do not see the point, but I am sure it will grab a lot of people not already familiar with these writers. I don’t want to knock them at all. Love them, but I never use :inked in Today. I am there for the networking not the news. I kind of already feel like I am being bombarded constantly by people who want me to read something. I don’t want to monitor another channel.

  • tshombe

    I am more and more becoming intrigued with LinkedIn, and this post adds more to the mix. I didn’t even know about “LinkedIn Today” and the “celebrity” bloggers component.

    Methinks I should get more strategic about how I use the tool, as there seem to be innumerable features.

    Thanks for the insights here and the great examples…..particularly of those blogger who are offering fresh content.

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