18/08/2014 10:35 BST | Updated 17/10/2014 06:59 BST

The Long Wait for LinkedIn Long-Form Posts

"It's not the mountain we overcome," Edmund Hilary famously said. "It's ourselves."

I use this inspiring quote not infrequently with clients. I say "clients" but, as I may have mentioned in earlier posts, my sole client remains my friend Keith with whom I continue to climb his Everest-scale cynicism.

This week I have encountered a mountain of my own and, since it relates to blogging, forgive me for getting a little self-indulgent for a moment.

It all started at this week's Hashtag Connect-Over-Coffee networking session at the Red Lion Inn in St Albans where a group of like-minded executive coaches, social media gurus and business growth consultants gather for fortnightly bouts of mutual support. I kicked off a discussion about the number of times I'd clicked on that little flag on my LinkedIn home page of a morning hoping to find something exciting behind the red number - perhaps someone had accepted my invitation to connect - only to find a message that "X has published a post...."

Was I alone in wondering how so many of my connections were able to plague me with posts in this way? It turns out that others had noticed too. "This is a new feature," said Phil, our resident social media guru. "You can now write long-form posts. When you look at the update box, next to the paper clip icon, there's a pencil. Click on that."


When I got back to my desk, eager to begin sharing my reflections on leadership and indeed life with my connections (I'm a LION - or Linked In Open Networker so feel free to connect), I got on to LinkedIn only to find out that there was no pencil. "It's being rolled out gradually," said Phil when I called him in a welter of frustration. "You can apply for early access. I'll send you the link."

Before you could say "double-click" I completed my application. Pressed for examples of my professional blogging experiences, I of courses pasted in my by-line on the Huffington Post as well as (cough) my web-page at the Guardian where I formerly blogged for the Work section, now sadly laid off.

Disappointingly, I've heard nothing. Which makes it all the harder to endure some of the "posts" that LinkedIn Pulse "recommends" for me. A particular low point earlier this week was "5 tips Robin Williams taught us about Career Transitioning" from an opportunistic outplacement consultant in Australia.

I last looked on LinkedIn a few moments ago but, alas, the pencil icon still eludes me. There was, however, a red number 1 by the flag which I clicked on, hoping for news that one of my recent invitations to connect had been accepted. Alas, it seemed yet another fellow member of the Hashtag Connect-Over-Coffee group had attained the elusive pencil ahead of me. "Steve the Roofer published a new post." It seemed this post had been selected as a Top Post on Pulse and had, at the last count, achieved 12,400 views and 1,321 "likes". It's title? "5 Leadership Lessons from the Roofing Trade."

[Image by Wikipedia]