I already know most of you will be in one of two camps. Some of you will immediately feel my pain and totally get what I’m talking about. Others will think I’m making much ado about nothing and ought to let go of my outdated idea of how and where content is best shared. There will be a handful in the middle; those who can see both sides, but there won’t be many of you in this third group.
That said, bring on the controversy. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Just over a year ago, LinkedIn introduced a feature allowing users to post all of their Twitter updates, also known as tweets, to LinkedIn. Not surprisingly, many people have since added the feature, causing my LinkedIn homepage to no longer be a place of value and interest to me. Sound a little melodramatic? Maybe. But the updates from my LinkedIn connections telling their network about a new job, an interesting project or sharing news and requests for assistance were an easy way to stay up-to-date and support others where I could.
Now, before you start to school me on how I don’t get Twitter or LinkedIn, you may want to look here and here to see that I am a huge fan of both. It’s just that I see Twitter and LinkedIn (and Facebook, for that matter) as different places with their own culture, pace and etiquette. Just because it’s easy for me to push every single tweet to LinkedIn doesn’t mean it aligns with the type of presence I want to have on LinkedIn and, more importantly, doesn’t mean that it is best for my connections.
I find myself hiding updates from my connections who post their tweets to LinkedIn more and more frequently because it makes it nearly impossible to see the content I really want to see. Unfortunately, it is not an option to hide just their tweets. Once that person is hidden from my stream, I don’t see any of their updates, which means I may be missing something important.
I was curious if others were also struggling with this same issue and if they were actually spending time weeding through the status updates on LinkedIn to find the ones most interesting so I posted this question as my own status update:
With so many people pushing posts from Twitter to LinkedIn, I wonder if anyone is really reading these updates anymore. Will you like or comment if you see this message?
Rather than summarize huge amount of feedback and suggestions for best practices I received, here is a small sampling of the comments:
Clearly, I hit a nerve and many people have very strong feelings about:
- How they’d like their friends to consider them when deciding how to use the different networking sites
- How they’d like to use tools that make posting to multiple places simultaneously easier
The problem is that it seems most people place a much higher priority on one of the items above, leaving them at odds with those who place a high priority on the other. So, simple question – if you are posting Twitter updates to LinkedIn, have you considered asking your LinkedIn connections how they feel about this? Does it enhance their experience because you share wonderful content or does it only add noise to their stream?
A couple of years ago, I started posting my tweets to Facebook. It made sense to me because it was easy. After a few months, I began to rethink that practice and disconnected the two. All of a sudden, my Facebook friends came forward to tell me how much they hated seeing my tweets. Often the content wasn’t relevant and context was missing. Unbeknownst to me, I was irritating the hell out of them, yet no one told me. Since then, I’ve decided to put my audience – my Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends – first.
Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Just because there’s an app for that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
Many thanks to the 50+ people who took the time to add their thoughts to this conversation on LinkedIn. I learned from each of you. I also came across a similar discussion started by Karla Porter and a blog post by Jorgen Sundberg entitled Dear Tweeters, Stop Cluttering My LinkedIn Homefeed, which is a perfect complement to this post as it includes important screenshots and detailed information – check them out.
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