Do you remember a time in business before LinkedIn? We're seeing LinkedIn become congested and unworkable. What comes after it? Ian Tomlin, CEO of the digital publishing platform Two Minute Reads, takes a punt.
LinkedIn is broken
However you look at it, for most users at least that see it as a marketplace for business knowledge, persuasion and promotions, LinkedIn is broken. When it launched, it was game-changing: A social platform for business that replaced roller deck cards, contact lists and contact management systems (remember ACT!) that federated your business contacts and gave you new ones.
The idea behind LinkedIn was to create dialog with your industry peers, on subjects you shared an interest in. From this you could progressively forge connections based on the Six Degrees of Separation theory. The authors came up with the notion of LinkedIn Groups to continue this agenda. They worked for a while and had their day in the sun before getting tiresome.
Today, most members of LinkedIn are connected to thousands of other people they don't know, sharing content the majority of others aren't particularly interested in. Purposeful and cause-related social topics - diversity, discrimination, charity, war, climate, day celebrations - are the topics getting socialized and amplified on LinkedIn. Which is good of course, to a level. But the use of the platform as a place for business people to share ideas ABOUT BUSINESS is drowned out.
The next iteration of knowledge-sharing platforms will be topic centered
Today, LinkedIn is No.1 in business conversation platforms. That said, humans have a habit of presuming what works today will be around forever. Like email; that itself displaced letters and memos, and will shortly be replaced by something else.
We can expect the next iteration of platforms to draw people in a community of interest closer around their interests, something LinkedIn groups have failed to do.
A one-size-fits-all social stream doesn't cut the mustard in a busy digital world. These communities will most likely be sponsored by professional bodies and industry groups that have a vested interest in building their community.
And in a world of AI, expect systems to learn your preferences.