Yesterday I tried really hard to refrain from posting more than one LinkedIn status update. This resolution lasted an hour before I gave in to my urges, like someone on a bad diet. I don’t know what it is about this habit of mine, where I update no less than five times a day.
Daniel Newman an Adjunct Professor of Management at North Central College probably had me in mind when he posted Six Bad LinkedIn Habits That Must Be Broken on TheSavvyIntern.com.
I quote Daniel, “People don’t check LinkedIn nearly as often as Facebook or most other Social Networks for that matter. So I recommend that statuses are updated no more than once or twice a day.”
It’s not only Daniel’s suggestion that makes me examine my propensity to update. One of my colleagues told me I’m over the top and need an intervention, some kind of professional help he told me. So to validate why I update no less than five times a day, I came up with 11 reasons.
Visibility. I reason that to be relevant on LinkedIn one must update. But how visible is too much? When people tell me they see me a lot on LinkedIn, are they just being nice and really thinking they see me too much on LinkedIn?
It’s fun. I can hear the guffaws from the peanut gallery, those who can’t think of what to update to save their life. Believe it or not, I enjoy writing and sharing articles.
It keeps me from having to watch crappy television shows. Weighing watching The Bachelor against scanning my home page or Pulse for articles to comment on. Well, I’ll take the latter any day of the week.
It’s ideal for introverts. Here you go again, Bob, talking about introverts. I personally believe that updating on LinkedIn is an ideal way for introverts to communicate their thoughts. (Read 6 reasons why introverts prefer to write to understand what I’m talking about.)
I’m competitive. Or somewhat narcissistic if you like. Maybe subconsciously I enjoy receiving “Likes” or, better yet, comments on what I post. It gives me a feeling of being on the screen in Times Square.
I want to educate my followers. This is my pat answer to my aforementioned colleague and others who ask why it’s important to update at least once a day. Sharing articles…many times my own…what’s going on in my professional life, sage words of advice, etc, are intended to help my connections.
I’m addicted. This is perhaps my greatest fear. That I’m out of control and may need an intervention, as my colleague suggests. But like any addict, I can’t stop going to the strategically placed Share an Update box (now Start a Post) on my home page. It’s calling for me, “Bob, why aren’t you updating. It’s been an hour since your last one.” STOP, I yell. But then I give in.
I’m not as bad as some. I know this is a lame reason, almost an excuse, but some of my connections show up on my home page 10 times in a row. Do I remove them from my list of connections? No, I understand their addiction.
I use it as a teaching tool. During my LinkedIn workshops when my attendees are outraged by the idea of having to update at least once a day, I demonstrate how to share an update within three minutes.
To share is golden. I wrote a popular post about sharing others posts that are relevant to your connections. One of the best ways you can serve your connections is by sharing educational posts. I prefer to share my connections’ post before those published by popular publishers.
Okay, I’m an exhibitionist. I admit I like the attention that comes with updating and getting responses, positive and negative. I won’t go all Freudian and say this has something to do with my childhood, but I know I like to be seen.
So here you have the reasons why I update and feel it impossible to follow Daniel Newman’s suggestion to update (only) once a day. I hope that he’ll revise his article to say, “Update as much as you’d like.” But I don’t think that’s likely because in all honesty, I’m the perfect example of an update freak.
Photo: Flicker, Eva the Weaver
I’m 100% with you on educating your followers – it’s the reason my Profile is so lengthy! We can easily point out how to implement a particular strategy with a visual example.
However, I’m also hearing LinkedIn’s siren song. Updates fly by so quickly, it seems we need another one just a few minutes later.
Maybe we need a support group.
Thanks, Laura. In addition, what if I wanted to follow certain people–like you–but missed updates? I have to go to your profile to see what you’ve done in the recent past. There used to be a feature that allowed you to choose updates from certain people, but as soon as I found it it disappeared. I even wrote about this great feature. Great hearing from you.
I read your updates religiously but I think staying at 5 or below is best spread throughout the day. I have hidden several people that post multiple things in a row and it dominated my feed even when they had a gems in there.
I check LI way more than Facebook but I don’t mind the 5 updates. 🙂 I do wish there was better ways to sort the news feed, maybe columns instead of one long list. I know about the sorter at the top, but it’s not flexible enough for what I would like.
Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. I don’t have a set pattern when I update. Today I think I updated two times, whereas on another day I would have updated five times. I try to make a job out of my compulsive updating, hoping people will understand my malady. But I know I’ve been hidden by many. I also know I’ve been un-connected and wonder if it’s because of my excessive updating.
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