The professional networking site LinkedIn today announced the launch of LinkedIn Today, a social news aggregator that delivers customized news stories to users of LinkedIn. The stories you see are tailored to fit you based on the stories your connections and industry peers are reading and sharing.
It is a good idea and LinkedIn has executed it well, even incorporating it into its iPhone app. But for those of us who work in the legal industry, LinkedIn Today has two major shortcomings that severely restrict its usefulness.
First, it is organized around industries, and law is not one of those industries. Based on your profile and your connections, LinkedIn Today guesses at the industries that are likely to interest you. If you don’t like the industries it’s selected for you, you can customize it by selecting from a list of other industries. But, as I said, law is not on the list.
For me, it delivered stories related to the marketing and advertising industry, the Internet industry, the online media industry and the computer software industry. All of these interest me, but not one reflects my primary field of professional interest.
The second shortcoming is similar to the first, but relates to the sources from which it draws the news. Here, again, there are no legal-news sources. The list of news sources includes a number of well-regarded newspapers, magazines, news services and blogs. But the closest it comes to a legal-news source is Bloomberg.com, which does specifically cover law. In my feed, there was not a single law story.
Given the apparent widespread use of LinkedIn among legal professionals of all kinds, it is surprising that this new service would skip right over the entire industry. Let’s hope that LinkedIn Today begins to link in legal news sometime soon — like, say, tomorrow.