A lot has been written about social news and how Twitter and Facebook are in the running for defining and dominating it. There’s also a lot of hand-wringing about how journalism will be disrupted by social.
I might be a bit biased as a former employee, but when it comes to social news, I think LinkedIn could become the Wall Street Journal of social news—not Twitter or Facebook. In fact, LinkedIn is expected to announce a new social news product this week. In what may or may not be a precursor to that anticipated product, a few days ago I received a curious email from “LinkedIn Headlines” (the actual email address firstname.lastname@example.org). It was an email digest of the most shared news in my network about the Internet industry (see screenshot below). There has been no official launch of a product by that name nor have I seen anyone else write about it. But that email made me think a little more about the different types of news I consume.
I write this post from a perspective of a news addict—I wrote a guest post here on TechCrunch called Screening the News and am known on Twitter as a “tech news junkie”. No matter what the source, eventually all news is curated—just differently.
The Curation Types are:
networking building long-term relationships consciously when I was “vocationally challenged” in the last dotcom bust. News was the single biggest tool I used to engage people I wanted to know well over the long-term during that time. I don’t do short-term relationships well. In other words, without knowing it, I was behaving like their personal curator over the long term. Understanding my ‘audience’s’ requirements was of paramount importance. Tending to my relationships, independent of business agendas, has always been a priority for me.
Based on my own personal experience, I think LinkedIn has a significant opportunity in an industry reeling with disruption. It has many parallels in terms of audience with the top daily print publication, The Wall Street Journal. A publication focused primarily on business, the WSJ grew circulation 1.8% last year, when the rest of the newspaper industry’s fell by 4.46%.
LinkedIn could bring curation by popularity within my network: there is absolutely nothing that does that for me today. And since it is much more structured by industry and work interests, it has the potential to become the ultimate business news filter. How could LinkedIn make social news better?
Can Twitter do some of this this? Maybe sharing analytics but it lacks the deep industry and profile information that LinkedIn houses to build a powerful and personal recommendation engine. Can Facebook do this? Maybe with some sharing analytics but again, it does not have the deep business profiles that LinkedIn has amassed. And personally I really do not care about Justin Bieber or Charlie Sheen, although I am sure they will pop up even in LinkedIn headlines.
With over 100 million users representing over 200 countries around the world, LinkedIn is a fast-growing professional networking site that allows members to create business contacts, search for jobs, and find potential clients. Individuals have the ability to create their own professional profile that can be viewed by others in their network, and also view the profiles of their own contacts. Competitors to LinkedIn include sites such as XING, Doostang and Ecademy. Of note, LinkedIn won...