LinkedIn is adding the ability to tag people in status updates and comments and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
It’s all pretty simple. When you type a name in either the update box or a comment box, the Connections feed opens and tries to match the name you typed with the people on your list. Choose the correct “James” , then finish your message.
The tagging tool is all about starting a conversation. If you really want the other person to respond, though, you should go with something more creative than “check out this article!”
I’d like to sidebar here for a second and discuss how prevalent the phrase “check it out” has become in our language. Ten years ago, we used this phrase only when discussing books you wanted to remove from the library. But you can also check out of a hotel and when you’re at the store, you can check out at the check out stand. (Does anyone call it check out stand anymore?) Now, we use it every time we want someone to look at a piece of content on the internet.
None of this has anything to do with LinkedIn’s new service, but it’s something I wonder about.
Back on task.
When someone tags you in their post, you get a notification that looks like this:
The hope is that you’ll want to respond in kind and voila – you’re involved in a two-way conversation.
It’s actually a very good idea. I’m much more likely to see and respond to a message aimed right at me. Just keep in mind that these are public statements. This isn’t how you privately message someone, so think before you type.
The only problem with this system is that the potential for misuse is huge. It’s meant as a way of sharing information that’s relevant to the person you’ve tagged. It’s not meant as a way of getting your spam message in front of more people. The one upside is that (it appears) you can only tag people you’re connected to. That should be enough to keep this thing from getting out of control.
I tried to test the system before writing this article, but once again, I’m last on the update list. I guess I need to be more active on LinkedIn if I want to be first in line to test the new bells and whistles.
What do you think of LinkedIn’s new tagging system? A great idea or a potential trouble spot?