I'm drawn to LinkedIn now more than ever before. The rate of connection requests I've been receiving there has also been accelerating over the past few months. Maybe it's due to all the uncertainty of the publishing industry but I think there's more to it than anxious job seekers.
There are all sorts of terrific publishing groups on LinkedIn where opinions are shared and discussed. A good example is our TOC LinkedIn group; check out the stats here. We're rapidly approaching 20K members. If you're not a member you're missing a great deal of terrific industry banter.
You may have heard of LinkedIn's recent acquisition of Pulse. Although Pulse isn't my favorite news platform it's probably in my top five. It's the combination of LinkedIn and Pulse that intrigues me though.
LinkedIn has always been a great place to network with others in your industry. Adding a dedicated content service like Pulse is smart and I believe it's just the first step in LinkedIn's goal of becoming a publisher. Well, I'm not sure they'd consider "publisher" as one of their future roles but that's basically where they're heading.
Lifelong learning is important today and it's only going to be more important tomorrow. We've all had to adapt and grow professionally more than our parents had to. Our children will be asked to grow and adapt more than we've had to. As LinkedIn becomes the Google of job and career search you can bet they want users to spend as much time on the site as possible. What better way to do so than to offer a variety of self-improvement and professional development content for all those lifelong learners? Looking for an entry-level accounting job? Here's content explaining the 10 most under-appreciated features of Excel. Want to become a better salesperson? Here's a piece on how to close the deal. You get the idea.
Just as Google recently bought Frommer's to feed travel content into their search engine I fully expect LinkedIn to sign more deals to acquire rights to job training, career development, professional certification, etc., content. Some of the material will be written exclusively for LinkedIn but a lot could be redeployed from books.
So although they won't publish books, just like Google isn't publishing Frommer's books, look for LinkedIn to add more and more content to their service. And if you're a publisher (or author) with a rich set of career and professional development content you should consider reaching out to LinkedIn to see if your content might be a good fit on their platform.