To the LinkedIn trainers, coaches and book writers …

Sorry all for the message I am about to deliver. I know most of you. I respect some of you, but my request to you is really simple:


I’ve long-held the view that you shouldn’t really write a paper book about Social Media. Any book that is instructional, and giving guidance to job seekers (especially), networkers or recruiters should really be an e-book with updates each month to notify the subscribers what has changed, what no longer applies and what won’t work any more. If this is not the case, then your book should really be called a history book. Publishers and writers may not like this, but the pace of change in the social media channels means anything else is really not being accurate. What you published in good faith last week might well be out of date.

Training is another difficult area. I think LinkedIn are just making too many changes, and keeping us guessing as to the impact of in particular the new profile design, to know if what is being taught is correct. I’m not sure yet how much this will impact on profile optimisation, or what impact endorsements are going to have yet. They are certainly doing strange things to search results, but there has not yet been enough time to evaluate how they change things. I’m also hearing recommendations for LinkedIn applications to bling a profile that may well be removed over the next few weeks. Let’s stop for breath and see what comes out in the wash. By all means speculate in blogs and other on-line places, but be clear this is your best guess based on our knowledge, because it is just confusing at the moment.

You can, and need to, keep up with the changes as they happen via the LinkedIn blogs, but the reality is these are more like advisory notes to the features and updates rather than explanations as to how they are going to impact. Please LinkedIn, give us a bit more of a clue, you know we love you!

At the end of this post, I have attached the video announcing all the recent changes. Only 10,000 people have watched the video. A big number, but a very small number when you consider users. This is what the channel has to say about the video:

Our Product team showcases the biggest enhancements we’ve made to the LinkedIn experience in the company’s history, including the launch of the new LinkedIn profile.

In their words, the biggest changes in history. Innovating, changing and helping in the fastest time in the companies history.

The reality of any change to any social media is that it takes a while to figure out what it really means, if anything, and this is really dictated by the way in which we, the users react. We need to get the new data pumping through the system to figure it out, and notice what is happening.

I can’t remember a time when LinkedIn has changed more significantly, and at such speed, largely without prior warning. The market respects our thought leaders and trainers, please stop for breath, give it time to shake out and start advising us again over issues like keywords or not. You will have our eternal gratitude if you can figure it out, and hold off the training in instruction until we have answers to the questions.