As a part of me embarking on Harold Jarche’s workshop in Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM), I decided to expand my use of a social network. Last time I took the workshop (yes, it is awesome), I focused on Twitter. That move has led to a much smarter ways of handling Twitter, including using lists. During this year’s workshop, I decided to become better at using LinkedIn.
It all started with upgrading to LinkedIn Premium to see if that gave me better insights into my professional network plus access to training via Lynda.com. I combined that with engaging in more posts and groups, and so far it is working well. I do, however, think that LinkedIn could be even better at what it does. Therefore, I have the following suggestions on how to improve the platform:
- Let me filter the people I follow. This is a must since any professional quickly can pass 500 connections, and then move into thousands. To see all their likes and posts in once central flow creates an enormous noise, and it is hard to hear the signals. I have no clue if I have missed something important. Therefore, let me create lists as in Twitter where I can sort the “Communication Specialist” people from the “Personal Knowledge Mastery” people and the “Haldex people” (or any chosen employer).
- Inspire people to connect via mentoring. Learn from the 70/20/10 framework where the 20% of our learning comes from social learning. Being a mentor or mentee can do wonders for your professional and personal development. Therefore, let me mark in my profile if I am ready to act as a mentor, in which professional areas, and for how many people. Likewise, let me mark if I am ready to be a mentee and in which areas. This could connect people in very valuable ways.
- Only display relevant job posts. I have written about this before, and it is still somewhat of a mess. Maybe I should be flattered when LinkedIn thinks I can do everything from front-end programming to Key Account Management for used trucks, plus everything in between. But if I was looking for a job, this would instead be stressful. Changing these algorithms should be the easiest thing to fix given LinkedIn’s focus on AI for recruiters. Therefore, only list the jobs a candidate probably would like and where there is a good professional match.
- Let me listen more or less to people during set time frames. Even if I follow people that I find interesting, my interests can vary from week to week or month to month. We should all be able to adjust how much we want to listen to certain people during a certain time. For example, since I am soon attending a conference I want to see all posts and interactions from person A the coming month, but only the weekly highlights from person B. Therefore, add a slider for each person in the network where we can say “Listen more” or “Listen less.” Once the time frame expires, we listen as usual again.
- Display smarter recommendations of people I should connect with. Given the strong AI focus on LinkedIn, this should be a no-brainer the coming year. Today, there is a very basic recommendations logic where I see former colleagues and their connections. First of all, I should see communications professionals much more often since that is my profession. Secondly, I should be challenged to connect with people that might broaden my views. None of us should sit in echo chambers where everyone agrees, even if it is cozy. Therefore, use smarter algorithms when suggesting who I should connect with and even why. For example, “Connect to Molly since she can challenge your views on the best way of building a digital workplace.”
These recommendations would surely make LinkedIn a pleasure to use. Today it is somewhat of a mess where I feel I miss valuable posts, but LinkedIn can transform this into something good.