All entries for Monday 20 August 2012
August 20, 2012
LinkedIn recently emailed me details of who is looking at my profile. It reminds me of a previous blog post that I wrote, about who’s looking at my profile online: I often wonder if academic authors might find it valuable to track who is interested in their work.
LinkedIn told me how many profile views there have been in the last three months, how many “appearances in search” there have been, and who has been looking at my profile. I can see why it would be relevant for academic authors to see the details of others who have been looking at their profile: these might be other academics in the same field, so watching this measure is a bit like seeing who wants to listen to you at a conference. If, indeed, LinkedIn is a conference that you are attending!
I wondered what “appearances in search” meant, and found an explanation in some LinkedIn Q&As, that it is about my profile matching others’ search terms when they were not searching for my name specifically. Should academic authors be interested in this metric? I think probably not, and here is why!
I’m not 100% sure, but it seems to me that the “search” referred to must be the LinkedIn search box, on their own site. So these stats are also reflective of the amount of activity happening in LinkedIn. Since it’s not a dedicated, academic forum, our academics might not be too worried about LinkedIn activity.
If your discipline has some really active discussion groups on LinkedIn, or you wanted to generate interest in your work beyond the academic community and within the LinkedIn one (which is pretty large), then you might want to watch LinkedIn metrics more closely. You might want to see more of those search appearances being converted into profile views, as evidence that your work is relevant to that community, and as a channel to direct readers to your scholarly articles and other outputs. In order to do this, you would need to ensure that your profile describes your work accurately. But this is a good idea anyway, so I see no reason to pay attention to the number of “appearances in search”!
I blogged last time about Google Adwords but I must have had a free preview or something because I can’t find the same feature for free now. I often pop in to Google Analytics and Feedburner to see who is looking at my blog, and I regularly look at the stats for the Library’s Support for Research pages, and using these tools I can see who is looking at my site(s) and what keywords are bringing them there. These are far more rich and valuable to me than the LinkedIn stats, so I guess that they will be to academic authors, too.
But how nice of LinkedIn to send me the stats from time to time: it works for me as a reminder to update my profile!