We’ve never paid particularly close attention to LinkedIn’s “Influencer” feature, which lets average Joe Job Hunter follow the public profiles of so-called Thought Leaders, mostly politicians and executives who use LinkedIn as a platform to share business insights.
Sure, we can understand why a business leader might choose the professionalized audience at LinkedIn over, say, Facebook, as a place to share his or her thoughts. But despite repeated mention by LinkedIn executives of Mr. Branson’s 1.2 million followers during last week’s quarterly earnings call, we can’t say we’ve been paying much attention. Until now.
That’s because this morning, we received an email from the company, suggesting we read an update by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who apparently logged onto LinkedIn last week to pen a post titled “My Colonoscopy.”
It’s a brief PSA peppered with graphic descriptions of Mr. Cuban’s pre-colonoscopy fears (“the thought of being violated by a long tube is at the very bottom of the list of things I want to do on a summer day”), the unexpected joys of the experience (“No where else can you rip off some huge farts and have three nurses and a doctor, while maintaining a very professional demeanor, tell you that you aren’t done yet and demand that you let loose a few more”) and a light scolding that “your life just might depend on getting tested for colon cancer.”
Let’s set aside for a moment that Mr. Cuban is right the importance of getting checked; also, that LinkedIn seems like an odd place to share these thoughts. What’s most bizarre about Mr. Cuban’s LinkedIn post is that it appears to be a word-for-word copy of a 2007 entry on Mr. Cuban’s blog. (Well, it appears that Mr. Cuban deleted an emoticon for the benefit of LinkedIn’s professional network.)
Which begs the question: What the hell is going on? Last week, a clever LinkedIn marketing hand figured out a way to get users to tweet about the company. Which gives us to wonder whether Mr. Cuban was simply reminding his followers to get themselves checked, or if some cynic over at LinkedIn figured this was the best way to get us over to Mr. Cuban’s Influencer page.