Sunday, May 8, 2016

Three Things I Would Advise LinkedIn To Do

No one asked me, but wotthehell -- other people aren't bashful about putting their opinions forward, and I'm as opinionated as anyone you'll meet, so why not?            I hereby give myself permission to opine publicly. There's the additional advantage that the subject allows me an excuse to use a "number" headline, like the other 300 million people posting on LinkedIn do. 

There are three things that have bothered me for a long time.

- I would eliminate the title "Influencer" bestowed on some people found on line. 

If someone is an expert in some subject, call him or her an expert in his or her field of expertise. If he or she isn't an expert in something, or anything, maybe he or she shouldn't be pontificating. 

If, on the other hand, it's purely a numbers game and about being connected to more people than anyone else, coin a new word. I submit "gregariist." But a generic "influencer" makes no sense. Yeah, grammatically it's similar to the generic "player," but it doesn't have the heft. 

- I would return "content," as found on marketing sites on the internet, to its component parts, calling the written stuff news or entertainment or opinion and the graphic part illustration or photography or video or whichever element an item is. "Content" is a commoditization that keeps prices low on these things for buyers.   Or is that the idea? See earlier posts to this blog for some opinion on that.

- I would end the pretense that "content marketing" and "inbound marketing" is/are something new and wonderful. People have been using these techniques under different labels since forever. And what the "content" people like to derogate as "push" advertising and dismiss as useless, or worse, has sold a lot of product over the years. Narrow it down to business-to-business, where I live, and it's even harder to make a case for difference. Each generation is different in some ways, but today's bright young entrepreneurs are still going to do the things that maximize profit, and the old appeals are still going to work. 

I would also be careful about encouraging "thought leaders." One of the most successful in history led the world into an unpleasant period, 1932-1945.

Wait, that's four things. Sorry.