A Tweet Is Not a Status Update – LinkedIn Misses The Mark
LinkedIn has long been a successful tool for users to build their online, professional identity. Notice that I stressed the word professional. The status update is a relatively new feature of LinkedIn; and in my opinion has been a very useful tool for starting discussions… up until now that is. LinkedIn is in danger is causing people to tarnish that professional identity with SPAM.
I think LinkedIn totally missed the mark with their Twitter integration. The idea in and of itself is not a bad one. And I think if this new integration was used properly it could prove quite useful. But when setting up the integration you get 2 options: either include all tweets or all tweets including the #li or #in hashtags; and my gut tells me the vast majority of users will select the include all option. So now each Tuesday when I get my LinkedIn updates email I will gradually get less and less use out of it. I typically pay attention to each and every status in this email, and it has been invaluable to me in keeping up with my friends, colleagues, and clients. In fact just last week this very email is how I found out our client, Brian McRae, just landed a spot on the St. Louis Fox affiliate talking about the new Homebuyer Tax Credit. But in the coming months I will see less and less useful updates like this one, and more updates like “@mortgagecrm great article on #mrev” and have no idea what they are even talking about.
And the truth of the matter is that a tweet serves a different function than a status update (LinkedIn or FaceBook). A status update is typically way more descriptive in nature. Any outside party looking in should be able to read a status update and have a pretty solid idea of what the author is talking about. Whereas a tweet is by in large more chaotic in nature; often times containing dynamic information such as a comment directed towards another user or a link to another website. Tweets are also very commonly simple syndication of new blog posts or automated messages. The bottom line is that a large percent of the time if you look at a single tweet by itself you will have absolutely no idea what the author is talking about. And I really don’t want these messages in my LinkedIn email updates. LinkedIn would have been better off either forcing users to select the #li #in option (or at least making it the default option), or just displaying the Twitter feed on that user’s profile page vs. making the latest Tweet the user’s status.