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Category Archives: LinkedIn

Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Man holding iPad with App LinkedIn on the screen

Say Hello To LinkedIn Video For Influencers

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and most recently Instagram have all embraced video features to further strengthen their channels – so it comes as no surprise that LinkedIn is now stepping up to the plate to hit a homerun with its video Q&As.

When first rolled out, LinkedIn will only allow its ‘Influencers’ to post 30-seconds-or-shorter videos that answer questions pertaining to themes such as leadership, workplace success or any trending industry topic. Wait – only Influencers can use it? Don’t feel left out just yet. While it’s currently open to a select group, the feature will likely be expanded to all LinkedIn users (similar to the Publishing platform). The short clips will serve as yet another place to share ideas and knowledge through the hottest medium on the block.

So, once the these video Q&As become available to the rest of LinkedIn’s 433 million users (and counting), how can you take advantage of this feature to bolster your LinkedIn presence and further engage your audience? Use it to…

1. Develop rich, palpable content: We all know video is where it’s at these days. With this new feature, it will be a breeze to create content that is succinct and able to be used across a variety of different channels. Who has time (or the will) to read a 2,000 word blog post? Hardly anyone. Who has time to watch a 30-second-or-shorter video summarizing the exact same topic as the post? Pretty much everyone.

2. Become a thought leader in your field: Do you know a thing or two about social media? Workplace wellness? Emerging technologies? The job market? Crisis communications? Anything else? The video feature will allow executives to strut their stuff and share their expertise in specific fields or industries, while keeping it to the point.

3. Connect with both new & current audiences: While LinkedIn is a place to build both personal and company brands, it can be tough capturing the attention of your desired audiences. With these videos, you’ll be able to create new opportunities for engaging with your connections and comment on the clips they are posting. 

Lights, camera, action – get excited for what’s on the horizon for LinkedIn Video!

Read more from Skye McIvor
Microphones Press Conference Set

Medium, Politics, and a Shifting Media Paradigm

If content is king, then syndication is content’s heir apparent. And content platform Medium is quickly leaping through the ranks to become the darling of the content world, even beyond syndication. In addition to content creation and syndication, Medium has also taken shape as a sleek platform where presidential candidates can publish their messages without submitting to the often editorialist nature of the media.

Adding a content platform like Medium, in addition to social media and traditional media where messaging can sometimes get lost amidst the noise of opinion, has opened up a whole new opportunity – a direct channel – for reaching the public. And it’s no longer unusual to find "name brand" politicians using the publishing platform as a means to an end. In fact, during this raucous election season, many presidential candidates have made Medium their home. And they are not the first.

In 2014, Barack Obama first used Medium as a way to reach Millennials. He still posts there. Hillary Clinton posts there, too. (Donald Trump does not but uses Twitter very regularly.) Former presidential hopeful, Carly Fiorina, uses the platform regularly; previously to post campaign updates and now to keep her message alive. Notably, Mitt Romney announced that he would not be joining the race to the White House via a Medium post and continues to candidly add his thoughts on the state of the presidential race.

Not via traditional media. What an interesting twist!      

Created in 2012 by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, Medium was designed to provide social fans a platform where they could express themselves in longer form than Twitter’s signature 140-character word length – or in medium length form. Micro blogging was in – Twitter boasted 170 million active users in 2012 – but there was still an appetite for long-form writing inspiring Williams and Stone to create the hybrid blogging/publishing/social site. Add to that an algorithm that pushes stories you might be interested in, and it’s easy to see why Medium has taken off.

Medium is changing the media landscape – or it’s become a very close brother to traditional media – with everyone from reporters to companies, celebrities and regular people, taking their news and posting it on Medium. At the very least, if you’re a blogger or a company or a reporter or a writer posting articles or blogs anywhere else, you’re missing out on an entire audience if you’re not also re-publishing your original content on Medium.

Other platforms have taken notice of the power of Medium: in February of 2014, LinkedIn announced it was opening its publishing platform to its members, adding massive value to executives’ professional profiles and a new way of consuming info for regular users without attending costly conferences. Not only does LinkedIn publishing offer the chance to read and gain insights from members you admire, but it also affords the opportunity to break through the noise by showcasing your unique thoughts, superior writing style, and all-around smartness.  

Facebook Notes also got a facelift in 2015 in an attempt to drive more publishing action. Despite (or maybe as a result of) the fact that it’s literally connected to users’ networks, it hasn’t driven as many users as Medium or LinkedIn.

The media industry has undergone a complete one-eighty since the penny press was invented in the 1830s, and Mr. Johannes Gutenberg would certainly be having an identity crisis if he were alive to witness the transformation from printing press to online. Digital journalism has turned the media industry on its head and it shows no sign of letting up. The question is, what’s next?

For starters, publishers are beginning to leverage Medium as home for their sites. Political site, ThinkProgress, recently announced its plans to move its entire site to Medium. With limited resources spanning across the whole online publishing industry, the ThinkProgress editor decided to outsource the technology and maintenance resources necessary to run an online site so it could focus instead on creating great content. Time will tell if others follow suit.

It will be interesting to witness how the rest of this election season plays out both on social and via digital media – including Medium. The unfiltered writings of candidates offer a previously invisible look at the players – and makes their ideas and platforms more accessible to the world at large. It’s a game-changer and I know I’m not alone in my curiosity about how Medium will be used to reach the public and how it will innovate to add even more value to the publishing world. 

Read more from Jill Rosenthal
tips for publishing content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Publishing: Caroline Fairchild on Thought Leadership Through Content

Recently I talked to Caroline Fairchild, LinkedIn’s new economy editor who focuses on venture capital and entrepreneurship, about the opportunity for thought leadership through LinkedIn publishing. She’s part of a global editorial team, headed by Executive Editor Dan Roth, and is focused on finding the intersection of great content and its LinkedIn audience. In her words, the mission is to “create, cultivate and instigate content.”

Since it debuted in 2013, LinkedIn’s Influencer program has grown to 500+ thought leaders, and overall, there are 1 million unique contributors who publish 130,000 posts every week. Caroline’s job is to strategize how she’s going to get coverage on LinkedIn about the news of the day.

Following is my Q&A with her about the opportunities for thought leaders through publishing on LinkedIn.

Beth: How do you become an Influencer?

Caroline: The Influencer program is still invitation-only, although we’re constantly refreshing the mix of leaders. The goal is for our Influencers to reflect the makeup of the professional world. The best way to be considered? The more you write and share on LinkedIn, the better your chances of getting noticed.

Beth: How are articles selected for Pulse channels?

Caroline: Content that hits on timely topics and industry trends stands out. LinkedIn wants people to see content in their feeds that makes them the smartest people at the water cooler that day. It’s not about breaking news, but being a place of breaking views. The best posts tie into what the network is already talking about or the news of that day. Posts chosen for Pulse are selected through a process that’s part human and part algorithm.

Beth: Is there a secret to timing for posting to LinkedIn publishing?

Caroline: There’s no simple answer, but we promote articles for 24 hours. It depends more on the news of the day and where people’s attention is, so matching that timing is the best approach.

Beth: What’s a good number of shares/views/likes?

Caroline: People are too focused on page views. LinkedIn is more focused on engagement. We want people to start conversations. The biggest mistake people make is writing the post, hitting publish and thinking the work is done. In the landscape of content overload, a lot of the work begins after you’ve written. The best way is to share on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other channels, but also with your colleagues directly.

Beth: Does original content perform better than syndicated content?

Caroline: It doesn’t matter. We just want to make sure the content is of service to LinkedIn members. However, timeliness matters. I recommend posting on LinkedIn on the same day as you post on the blog if you’re planning to syndicate content.

Beth: How should we approach headlines on LinkedIn?

Caroline: LinkedIn is a different platform, so you should change the headline for the audience there. It’s a place where you’re reaching the world. A few headline tips:

  • Clear is better than clever. Nuanced does not perform well.
  • A thesis is better than a statement. Go with a point of view. For example, rather than “My thoughts on cloud computing,” try “Cloud computing is the future.”

Beth: What kind of growth does LinkedIn Publishing have plans for?

Caroline: The future is about finding the perfect intersection between content and platform. We want to solve for the fact that there is so much information so how do you find that stuff that’s important to you? We want to help members cut through the noise.

Beth: What’s the best way to integrate LinkedIn posts into a PR campaign?

Caroline: I recommend using it as a place to amplify and extend messages going out in the traditional media. For example, a startup recently secured $275 million in Series B funding and placed a story in The New York Times. As soon as that story went live, they pushed a LinkedIn post on what they’re doing with the funding. It was a great one-two punch.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Read more from Beth Monaghan
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Tips to Improve Your LinkedIn Posts

LinkedIn has a tendency to be overshadowed by social media giants Facebook and Twitter however, for B2B marketers, LinkedIn’s long-form publishing platform is a powerful tool. When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn is second to none – there are now more than one million posts published on the platform. Publishing articles on LinkedIn is easy, but getting your content read and driving traffic to your website is another thing. To find out what words or topics perform best on LinkedIn, Percolate, a web and mobile marketing software company, recently published a analysis of some of the top performing LinkedIn content. So, before you sit down and write your first post, take a look at what has been successful in the past.

 

Tips for content:

  • Career management is one of the most popular LinkedIn post categories – nearly 20 percent of the top posts focus on career tips and paths – with articles such as “When it is the Best Time to Change Careers.”
  • Workplace psychology articles focused on empathy, personal productivity and conflict resolution in the office, on average, see close to 240,000 views.
  • Talent management and leadership were also top performing categories garnering 16 percent and 14 percent respectively.

 

Tips for your headlines:

  • Articles with headlines containing the words, “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” “Why,” or “How” made up 28 percent of the top long-form posts.
  • Not surprising, listicle-style headlines and content, made popular by BuzzFeed, continue to draw readers as 20 percent of the top posts explained “8 Ways to__________” [be creative and fill in the blank!]
  • Personalized headline with either “You” or “Your” get more eyeballs.

 

(For more headlines tips, you can read one of my previous blog posts)

One other tip from InkHouse: before you hit publish, you need to select three tags for your post. To increase the odds of your post being pulled into LinkedIn Pulse, its news curation site/app, select the highest-level tags that apply to your content, rather than niche ones. These should automatically pop up as you type. Also, once your post is live, be sure to link to it from your company’s LinkedIn page.
Wondering if you are influential enough to get read? Note that, though LinkedIn runs a program of elite “Influencers” (roughly 500 thought leader participants), over half of the top posts analyzed in Percolate’s report were written by “non-influencers”. So it is possible to get eyeballs on your content without the “official” influencer status.

You can download the entire report here.

Read more from Lindsay Sydness
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Are you a networking superstar? See How You Rank with LinkedIn’s newest tool

We all know that to be successful in social networking one must share killer content, have an interesting point of view and engage with others to really make a splash. This week, LinkedIn reminded everyone that using their platform isn’t an exception to the rule as the company unrolled How You Rank.

How You Rank is an added feature to the popular Who’s Viewed Your Profile tool, which lets you see who is checking out your professional chops. Now, with the addition of How You Rank, you can finally see how you stack up against others in your network in terms of profile views.

How does it work?

LinkedIn will share your personal stats, which includes your numerical ranking within your contacts, as well as a percentage increase or decrease of your ranking in the last 30 days. Additionally, you will be able to see your top 10 most viewed connections and tips for updating your profile.

What’s the point?

In work, as in life, there is a lot we can learn from the people around us and in our professional circles. How You Rank lets you see the top networkers in your connections and allows you to get a feel for what they’re doing to increase their views. To further boost inspiration, LinkedIn is also offering personalized recommendations to help you optimize your profile, increase or change the kinds of content you share and recommends new professional groups to help you increase your visibility and open up opportunities for advancement.

So, why do we love it? Three reasons:

  1. We’re excited about the increased prospect of influencing and being influenced. In February, LinkedIn expanded its influencer program and created vast opportunity for thought leaders across every industry. How You Rank heightens the need to share original content and encourages engagement by sharing content from other industry leaders and thinkers.  Of course, this potential for increased amplification also reinforces the fact that blogging isn’t passé and that a focus on storytelling will go a long way.
  2. InkHouse is always looking for purple squirrels – those special people who possess more than great credentials, the ones who also have interesting perspectives, unique skills and have a knack for seeing what’s hot and what will come next. How You Rank’s ability to show us how viewers stumbled upon our profiles and help us determine if they could be a good addition to our amazing team.
  3. Recently graduated young professionals can get a handle on the job market in a faster, more efficient way and get a leg up in creating their personal and professional brand – which brings us back to the second reason we’re excited about How You Rank.

We’re excited to see How You Rank in action and continue to believe in the power of LinkedIn to connect us with the people we need to meet, shows us the perspectives we need to read and allow us – and our clients – to contribute to the conversation in an increasingly meaningful way.

Read more from Laura Paine
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Ten Tips to Landing That Dream Job

I’ve been buried under a mountain of resumes lately. We have a job opening in our San Francisco office that we advertised via LinkedIn and the resumes have been streaming in. Well, pouring in, really. It’s an entry-level position and within about two weeks of the job being posted we received over 300 resumes. The majority of them from very enthusiastic soon-to-be grads, ready to start exploring the wonderful world of PR.

Filled with equal enthusiasm I started digging through the resumes. I soon realized that a great candidate might be tougher to find than I had expected. Everyone has seen the tips and tricks on how to make your resume stand out and there are countless online resources and classes that give advice on how to write that killer resume and cover letter.

Yet finding a suitable candidate was like searching for that needle in the haystack. And that digging reminded me of some advice for interested candidates. So, here goes, some friendly advice from me. Next time you apply for a job, keep these tips in mind.

  1. Do your homework. Know the company you are sending your resume to, do some research on the people you are meeting with – follow them on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, read their blog posts – and be able to explain why you want to join (“because you’re small” or “because you’re in SF” is not good enough).
  2. Based on all that knowledge, personalize your application. Do not address me with “dear sir”, do make a reference or two that shows me you know a little bit about us and do make sure your personality shines through.
  3. That means you should not ever apply with your LinkedIn profile only. That is just lazy. And who wants to hire a lazy person?
  4. This is a no brainer, but spell check and proof read. Too many resumes had too many typos.
  5. If you include links in your resume to your portfolio, companies you’ve worked for, your website even, make sure those links work.
  6. No buzzwords please. They’re nothing but buzzkill.
  7. Show your creativity. Why should we select you? What makes you stand out from the crowd?
  8. If you have a non-traditional background, that’s okay, but in that case it’s especially important that you explain why you want to join us.
  9. Be confident, not cocky. We want to hire capable people but we especially want to hire people we like.
  10. And follow up. This is your opportunity to show us that you’re still interested and demonstrate what you could contribute to InkHouse.

Good luck!

 

Read more from admin
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Four Tips For “Spring Cleaning” Your Social Media Accounts

Though it may not feel like it yet, spring is (technically) in the air and if you are anything like me, you can’t wait to say farewell to this lengthy winter we’ve had. As we prepare to pack away coats and boots and open up the shutters to welcome the approaching warmer weather, it’s also a great time to start thinking about spring cleaning, especially for your social media channels.

I’m talking about more than a quick spritz of Febreze. After all, you don’t want to leave digital dust bunnies accumulating in the corners. The reality is that, without a thorough clean up, your social channels can get stagnant.

Here are four tips to help you pull on those rubber gloves and buff up your social and digital personality.

1)      Take out the trash: It is good social media hygiene to make sure you are following and being followed by the right people but, with an overwhelming number of social participants, how do you know who to keep and who to toss? Check out sites like Friend or Follow, JustUnfollow and FollowerWonk, which help you analyze your followers more carefully and figure out if people are following you in return. There are countless other social media tools, and Inc. recently published a helpful list of the top 8 here. You might have thousands of followers, but if they are infamous Twitter bots – what value does that add to your social media credibility?

2)      Assess the mess: While it is nearly impossible to monitor and track the success of your social campaigns in the moment, it is good practice to look back and review them every few months. Measurement and analytics can be provided through sites like Hootsuite and even Twitter itself.  By evaluating your past campaigns, you can determine whether the approach you’re taking is giving you the best outcome to help you maintain stronger tactics and cut out the weak methods.

3)      Polish your assets: Take the time to revamp and freshen up your profile by updating your pictures (personal, cover and background) on all of your social sites. It is also a great opportunity to revise your personal bio or update company descriptions.

4)      Don’t be afraid to renovate: We can easily get stuck in the practice of posting the same type of content, following the same people and sharing on the same platforms. In fact, Twitter celebrated its eighth birthday by introducing a tool to show you your very first tweet on the platform. For some of us, looking back on our first tweet shows how far we’ve come using Twitter and how it has evolved as a critical communications platform. But it is equally important to look forward to maintain a strong digital position. In 2014, we can expect more brands to act as publishers. Today, content publishing solutions like TekGroup and Pressfeed, help companies integrate online newsrooms into their content strategy. Another trend is the rising popularity of specialized or niche social media platforms. For example, new anonymous apps Whisper and Secret are creating buzz and advertisers are trying to figure out how to take advantage of that. But it may or may not make sense for you or your brand to join them. Stay on top of the latest and popular trends and then assess whether it’s a worthwhile social investment or merely a passing fad.

Even though spring is fast approaching, it is never too late to get a head start on a thorough, social spring cleaning. Create a list of goals, establish a timeline and watch your social media blossom.

Read more from Zoe Nageotte
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LinkedIn’s Expanded Influencer Program and the Thought Leadership Opportunity

 

In the past few years, LinkedIn has become the definitive social network for professionals, now amassing more than 300 million members. What began as a small platform for employees to connect across the internet is now one of the world’s largest social networks where millions come in search of networking opportunities, jobs and insightful industry commentary. As you may have heard, this week there has been a significant shift in the way content is created and shared on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn will now allow a small sample of its members to draft and publish their own long-form articles, rather than just major industry influencers like Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Martha Stewart. While these key influencers will continue to exist, and be added to, the new platform will democratize the system of contributed content, crowdsourcing the best posts from members across the social platforms. This sample will be expanded as the service works out the technical details.

Once this plan is fully rolled-out, the average user will now be able to follow, and be followed by, any user that finds their content engaging and insightful, rather than just engaging with connections in his or her own network. This reach will enable CEOs and startup founders alike to have their thought leadership perspectives resonate even further, a key to making people care about your company’s viewpoint. In the words of Beth Monaghan, “thought leadership stimulates demand for companies’ products and services by teaching the industry about what is needed and what the future will require.”

In a recent post to the official LinkedIn blog, Ryan Roslansky, director of product management at LinkedIn, highlights his thought process behind the added focus on content: “Every professional has valuable experience to share. Trying to grow your business by reducing customer attrition? Read the post from Monica Adractas, head of customer retention at Box, on churning out churn. Just starting a career in sales? Read the post from Brent Beshore, the founder/CEO at adventur.es, on how to sell anything.”

From a communications perspective, this change presents an opportunity to broaden your thought leadership capabilities by getting your most insightful commentary in front of a new audience. Now, rather than only engaging with your own connections, your point of view can be accessed by LinkedIn’s 300 million members. Additionally, LinkedIn plans to build in a platform to measure and track the analytics of your content, allowing you to hone your message based on the reaction of your audience.

However, before diving into drafting a mass of content, take a moment to read LinkedIn’s own best practices for publishing content. This document offers advice for what to write about, what to avoid and how to produce the best content. Here’s a few of the questions they offer to get you started:

  • What concrete advice would you give to someone hoping to enter your field?
  • What your industry will (or should) look like in 5, 10, or 15 years and how it will get there?
  • What is the biggest problem your industry needs to solve?

With LinkedIn’s popularity, this focus on expert commentary will likely threaten the status quo of today’s media landscape. By crowdsourcing the best articles, LinkedIn can promote a larger amount of content to their exclusive membership base, an advantage over traditional media outlets. For CEOs and thought leaders with the capability to draft engaging, relevant content, this is an amazing opportunity with the sky as the limit.

If you’re interested in reading more about this news, John Hall offers an interesting perspective in his recent article for Forbes. For more information on how LinkedIn can support your lead generation, read this article from Danielle Laurion on our InkLings blog.

Read more from Alex Ingram
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How to optimize your LinkedIn profile for maximum exposure

 

Are you on LinkedIn? With more than 259 million LinkedIn users in 200 countries, the answer to that question is most likely, yes. But, the really significant question:  is your profile optimized? Having an optimized LinkedIn profile is important for many reasons including job searching, networking and highlighting your professional expertise. However, have you ever thought about the power of LinkedIn for lead generation? Below are some helpful tips to optimize your profile in order to generate leads for your business. These five tips will make it easier for people to find you via LinkedIn and Google searches, and will also increase your professional credibility when connecting with others.

1)      Include a professional photo and make your profile public. Your photo should be a headshot – with only you in it. LinkedIn is not Facebook where it is fine to have group shots. When setting up your profile, make your profile public. There is really no point in being on LinkedIn with a private profile. LinkedIn is all about building connections and using those connections to tap into your second and third degree networks.

2)      Use industry relevant SEO keywords in your professional headline. There are 184 million unique monthly visitors to LinkedIn. That’s a lot of people checking out the site and a lot of activity. In order to break through the clutter to be found, it is important to use the 120 characters in your professional headline to your advantage. Rather than only stating your job title, add in your industry or expertise. By using relevant search engine optimized (SEO) keywords in your headline, you will have a greater chance of being found by similar professionals. For example, saying, “Social Media and Public Relations Professional” on top of “Account Executive at InkHouse Media and Marketing” will increase your chances of people in the same industry looking to connect with you. A potential lead.

3)      Edit your LinkedIn URL to be your full name. Did you know 40 percent of LinkedIn users check the site daily? To make it even easier for people to find you quickly, edit your public LinkedIn URL to be your full name. This is another SEO trick to help you rank higher in Google when people are searching for you. For example: http://linkedin.com/in/FULLNAME

4)      Add in professional Skills and Expertise. Again, think about SEO keywords that define your professional career. You can add up to 50 skills and expertise, but focus on adding a solid 10 that summarize you as a professional. Endorse others first, so they will endorse you back.

5)      Add in keywords to current and past employment. Don’t just list your current and past jobs with your title and company, describe what you did and accomplished. LinkedIn should serve as your online resume where people can instantly find out your expertise and get an understanding of your current and past experiences.

It is not enough to simply set up a LinkedIn profile and to leave it. By having an optimized LinkedIn profile, not only will people in your industry have an easier time finding you, but they will be able to see your level of expertise and want to connect with you. It’s all about building your network to help you discover new connections, and potential leads.

Read more from Danielle Laurion

Welcome to Wonderland: The Social Media Edition

In the digital age, the landscape of every industry can change with the click of a few keys and the push of a button. Business moves faster than it ever has before. We are all constantly looking for ways to keep up and stay on top.

Social media is no different. Right now, it’s a lot like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole and looking for the right treat to eat so you can unlock the door and, hopefully, not get lost in what is clearly a topsy-turvy world.

Consider me your social media Mad Hatter, guiding you through the strange changes of digital Wonderland’s top social media platforms.

Twitter is the new Instagram?

Like our friends Tweedledee and Tweedledumb, Twitter and Instagram are currently fighting to maintain control over their individual user base. The result? Twitter has denied Instagram access to its database and Instagram has denied Twitter access to its photos. Twitter then announced the addition of photo editing and filters as a response. According to Bits blogger Nick Bilton, the Twitter app will offer eight filters and allow users to crop and enhance photos in the platform. The biggest losers, like in any battle, are the users. Removing the ability to cross-pollinate content is like painting the white roses red. It’s crazy. Users will drop a platform if it is too hard to share one piece of content in multiple places. Users like instant gratification – and complete integration. Not to mention that it makes marketing harder.

Myspace is bringing sexy back?

Well, Justin Timberlake is trying to make Myspace sexy again. If you read my post on Digg coming back from the dead in October, then you know how surprised I am that Myspace is throwing itself back onto the digital stage. Of course, I had to sign up. And like the Caterpillar, I find myself asking, “Who are you?” And like Alice, it seems that the new Myspace really has no idea. It isn’t really a place to connect with friends or colleagues. You can listen to and discover music, but how can you find your friends to share your favorite findings? I have to say that I agree with Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle when he writes that it tries to marry too many features from other social networks, such as, “Spotify-style music streaming, YouTube-style video streaming, pseudo-tweets, a Faux Facebook News Feed, all swirled together.” It’s not an intuitive platform and it is unclear to me where Myspace hopes to end up. I suppose, if you don’t care where you’re going, then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

Are LinkedIn groups going the way of the oyster-bed?

LinkedIn groups were like pots of gold for business professionals and thought leaders alike. It was a place to discover what’s hot in a given industry and to share your thoughts on any topic with the people who will take the most interest. It started as a friendly place for eager oysters to share their insights, to talk of cabbages and kings, if you will. But then the rest of the oysters swarmed. The purpose was lost – LinkedIn groups have become cluttered with thoughtless commentary, linking back to content that hardly fits the discussions at hand. If it fits the discussion at all. The jury is still out on this issue, but we hope for the best – and that the moderating Carpenters can stop the spammy Walruses before they clear out the oyster-bed.

Of course, this wouldn’t be Wonderland if there weren’t a little bottle of vaguely marked liquid to bring you back to your normal size and show that everything is, more or less, right with the world. So I bring you this nugget: Google+ is still trying very hard to make itself relevant. The platform launched Communities, a new feature that allows users to set up a place, other than their own page, or a business page, to cultivate discussion around any topic imaginable. Essentially, Communities create a new way for you to share your content with your target audience. Regardless of this new addition, we are all still waiting for Google+ to become more than just a fabulous SEO tool. According to Janko Roettgers at GigaOM, Google+ has 400 million registered users, but only 25 percent of those users are active. And they may only be active because they’re using the site to make video calls or to “Hangout.”

With that, I wish you a very merry unbirthday, and will proceed to sit back with a cup of tea as I watch the insanity unfold.

Read more from Laura Paine
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Why LinkedIn and Twitter’s Break Up Is Better For Your Business

As most of us know, LinkedIn and Twitter had a very public falling out this past June, ending a two-year relationship. Like many of the flings I’ve seen fall apart, when rumors spread and the going got tough (or LinkedIn faced a massive password breach) Twitter dropped the professional networking site like a hot potato…poor thing.

Now, months later, the drama continues. At last week’s TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman discussed the sudden removal of Twitter feeds from LinkedIn. So how is he faring after the split? Better than ever. Hoffman declared that the networking platform “got better” after Twitter cut off the site. Are these the harsh words of a scorned lover, or an accurate assessment of the site’s well-being post-breakup? I say, it’s pretty accurate.

There is no denying that whenever big news breaks or celebrity gossip leaks, the world is all “a-twitter” to share their own opinion in 140 characters or less. But LinkedIn offers a very different value proposition. Currently operating as the largest professional network on the Internet, with more than 175 million members in more than 200 countries and territories, the real value of LinkedIn for businesses is the ability to connect one-to-one with other business professionals—not sharing whatever in the world (or Twittersphere) comes to mind.

With all the hype around social sites (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest) we often forget that LinkedIn is not just a networking site to utilize when you are looking for a new job. It is the ideal platform for businesses to promote themselves, employees’ expertise and thought leadership initiatives, as well as highlight news and recent successes. Taking it one step further, LinkedIn offers a way for businesses to build communities through relevant discussion groups. By posting thought-provoking content, a business can quickly and effectively engage its key constituents in meaningful conversations. What’s more, LinkedIn is one of the highest traffic referral sources for blogs, so posting expert content on relevant discussions will ultimately drive more eyeballs to your company blog.

I tend to agree with Hoffman that once the excess noise from cross-posting from Twitter was removed, the site got better. In a way, it restored the sanctity of the platform, with the conversations becoming  more industry and business focused—as they were meant to be.

The split helps clarify how best to use each network. Twitter, for the most part, is about reaching the most people, and LinkedIn is about reaching the right people.

Read more from Kari Hulley