Four things news organizations can learn from LinkedIn

Newspapers can learn a lot from LinkedIn, which was built from the ground up to exploit a carefully targeted, revenue-rich employment vertical and is doing much better than newspapers at reaching that audience, Alan D. Mutter writes in Editor & Publisher.

For example, he suggests:

  1. Be targeted. Rather than try to be all things to all people, LinkedIn serves a large, valuable, carefully selected and carefully cultivated audience.
  2. Be focused. Where print and digital newspaper products pride themselves on carrying something for everyone, LinkedIn only invests in features that will enrich the data it sells.
  3. Be interactive. While newspaper websites for the most part are staff-produced, one-way media designed to serve essentially passive readers, LinkedIn is powered efficiently by users who continuously build — and, therefore, build the value of — its ever-growing database.
  4. Be viral. Because LinkedIn is explicitly about networking, it is by definition viral. By fulfilling the needs of its community, LinkedIn grows organically and inexpensively, reducing the costs of creating content and marketing its brand.