Is Getting Down n’ Dirty Cool on LinkedIn?

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LinkedIn Pulse is the best platform for business bloggers and writers. It claims an audience of 300 million + readers, many of whom  are eager to talk shop.

But lately there’s been a lot of water cooler talk slipping in.

For example, two weeks ago a clickbait headline showed up in my newsfeed. The woman who wrote it globbed onto a name that was trending that day — Uber? — to deliver a lecture on sexual harassment.

Nothing to do with business, per se.

(Which was… odd. There are many other platforms that welcome discussions about the physical, psychological, and cultural aspects of sexual harassment.)

No problem, apparently, because she still got a bunch of “you go girl ” cheers in the comments. As you’d expect, LinkedIn really likes articles that bring out the comments.

But there was one commentator who was different. He called her out for doing the ol’ bait-n-switch…for using the word “rape” loosely (and for not disclosing a conflict of interest).

LinkedIn celebrities

Then there are the celebrities who publish on PulseBill Gates is one of the most popular, with millions of followers. His last post was on vaccinations.

It was pure puff — an extended press release — for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Apparently, they’re saving millions? billions? of lives in the Third World by providing vaccinations.

Again, nothing to do with business (the Foundation is a charity).

You can write about whatever you want when you’re Bill Gates.

Just as you’d expect, hundreds of LinkedIn readers commented. Most of them congratulated Bill on his awesomeness. But some didn’t. They trashed the post AND the foundation.

Naturally, a scuffle broke out in the comments section. On one side, the pro-vaccine crowd. On the other, the anti-vaccine. Lots of name calling. Points and counterpoints.

The comments were the only interesting thing about the article.

Of course, the commentators were not anonymous, fake account a la Twitter. Most of them had a photo and job title attached to their name.

It surprises me that so many would use LinkedIn to mud wrestle. LinkedIn is supposed to be a PROFESSIONAL networking operation, not a down n’ dirty, true confessions forum.

If you want drama, head over to Facebook.

But then again, it’s not really a surprise. Because in any work space or office, there’s always at least one person who brings their passions, pet causes, and personal opinions into everything.

No matter how distracting, irrelevant, or unwanted

Yes, even at the places you’d least expect it: construction sites, emergency rooms, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

These are the people we tolerate because we have to. Maybe they’re indispensible… maybe the boss likes them… or maybe it’s just too risky to shut them down.

Isn’t it rare but glorious when talk at work revolves around, well… work? Meaning, the project at hand.

If Pulse articles continue to “go there,” serious readers are gonna go elsewhere for their fix. At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before “STFU” and “FU” appear in the comments!

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