Call it Harvard Business Review meets Tumblr. LinkedIn is expanding its publishing efforts beyond essays from a few hundred hand-selected business leaders to original pieces from its broader membership.
LinkedIn is initially allowing 25,000 members to post pieces to the site. Unlike the work of its high-faluting Influencers program, which features the likes of Jack Welch and Sallie Krawcheck, LinkedIn expects the output of this broader group to be more technical and practical. The site will display these posts to members’ contacts—not the broad public distribution that Influencers get.
The professional network, still known to many as a job-hunting site, has been pushing its media ambitions for some time. The goal of this new program, says executive editor Dan Roth, is to let members show off their skills and knowledge in a concrete form. Or as he put it, “You’re building your professional permanent record."
A Farm Team For LinkedIn’s Influencers
While Influencers and the new member publishers differ in how far their content can spread, LinkedIn hopes to tie them together.
"If this thing works the way we believe it will, there should be some amazing voices that come out of it,” Roth told us.
He cited the example of Nate Silver, the sports and politics analyst who recently jumped from the New York Times to ESPN. "The Nate Silver of LinkedIn, someone who's writing amazing content for her particular field, and just starts getting more and more attention, we take that person and she becomes an Influencer and gets enormous distribution," Roth said.
For now, members who haven't been invited to publish will have to wait to hear more, according to a help page on LinkedIn's site:
We're in the process of rolling out this feature to all members but it may take a while. We'll let you know as the feature rolls out to more members and when you're able to publish posts on LinkedIn.
In the meantime, here's a look at the publishing tool LinkedIn is offering: