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Social Media

October 4, 2012

Now you can follow stories from the top influential thought leaders on LinkedIn, but it won’t be easy to find them again

Two days ago LinkedIn launched its Influencer Program of 150 top professionals, including founder of Virgin Group Richard Branson, and Mashable’s Pete Cashmore.

For the first time in LinkedIn’s 9 year history, members do not need to be accepted as colleagues in real life to interact – users can read and comment on stories posted by the chosen thought leaders directly, without needing to be personally connected on LinkedIn’s niche social network of 175+ million business professionals worldwide.

“I am excited and grateful to be a part of LinkedIn’s new Influencer program.” Dan Ariely, Professor Duke University

“Everyday we are focused on helping our members to be great at what they do and today marks another exciting step towards making this possible for millions of professionals,” wrote Ryan Roslansky on the LinkedIn blog. “For some time, you’ve been able to follow news by industry and sources, companies, and groups — these updates have seamlessly become part of the discussions you’re having everyday on LinkedIn with your peers. And now, you can follow other professionals on LinkedIn.”

Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup is talking about a question he often gets asked. Charlene Li from the Altimeter Group is writing about the crisis of courage in social media. Nancy Lubin, CEO at Do Something is telling people what peanut butter teaches us about the youth market. And Naomi Simson, Founder of Red Balloon, is sharing her opinion that vivid stories increase happiness. The breadth of top influencers is across business, government, education, and non-profit sectors.

Stories appear in a site user’s news feed section, with likes and shares to Twitter, Google +, and Facebook accounts possible.

However, there are serious limitations to finding content. Once influencers are chosen from the list available, they disappear from the page. If you wanted to see what articles they wrote or who you actually followed, forget it. You’ll have to wait until a new article appears in your news feed or is recommended content from LinkedIn Today. The people you followed will appear in your activity feed, but you’ll have to keep scrolling to see them if you have a lot of content showing.

Once you do find an article from an Influencer, you can see two other posts by the same author in the side bar (see an example of my profile below). But the only way to see more content by the same Influencer is by searching for their LinkedIn profile and looking at their activity feed. Do you know how many Richard Bransons there are? Well more than one.

Users can also follow other recommended Influencers from the sidebar of the article they are reading, but if you’re interest in finding their content immediately you’ll have to again search for their LinkedIn profile, then find their activity feed.

It’s a shame that LinkedIn hasn’t thought about providing a landing page for each Influencer like they do for a company or a group, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

If you think you have what it takes to be accepted, you can apply to be a LinkedIn Thought Leader here. It’s not quite as prestigious, yet it’s a step on the ladder to becoming aLinkedIn Influencer. Don’t hold your breath, though. The word on the street is they’re not sure when they’ll add more Influencers anyway.


About the Author

Evon Koprowski
Brand storyteller, creative strategist, content marketer and all round bon vivant at Red Fortune Media where I growth hack projects for the arts, culture, tourism, technology and social sectors. I'm freelance - if I can help you, get in touch.

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