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, 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.

  • Both of the problems you mentioned with the new LinkedIn venture are important. But the first one is particularly troubling. For a newspaper directly intended for industries, why would they exclude such a major industry? That’s particularly troubling considering that there is so much quality legal information and news resources out there. Is this an oversight, or an intentional slight?

  • Thanks for bringing this to our attention. (Linked through PinHawk digest!)
    This really surprises me considering that LinkedIn added the Legal Updates App by JDSupra last summer. Of course the app doesn’t deliver “news,” but it’s a very popular plug in and one would conclude they have some understanding of their audience to have selected this app for their service. Not to mention a search on lawyer in the people finder returns 200,000 profiles!

    Perhaps it is that the outlets they are pulling news from don’t have a “law” or “legal” category in their database? It’s probably something obvious like that, IMHO.

  • On second thought, they have wsj online as a source and they definitely have a legal news section.

  • I, too, started playing around with LinkedIn Today today and came across your post. I have a theory on why a “Legal” vertical focus might be a bit of a challenge to pull off based on some work my company is doing with legal researchers, knowledge managers, or current awareness leaders within firms.

    I suspect — but am willing to concede if shown otherwise — that for LinkedIn, Legal or Law is just too broad for them to pull anything meaningful into the mix.

    The legal professionals and firms we’re working with have such a wide array of needs that the only way “Daily Me” online newspaper efforts solve rather than contribute to information overload is by tailoring each daily briefing to the individual based on the interests, practice area, client roster, expertise or must-have news feeds to maintain enterprise current awareness.

    If this sounds like it could be what you or your readers are looking for, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with one of our solution experts. You can also learn more here:

    Great post.
    Mark Evertz

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