LinkedIn is prompting users with strange questions to contribute to collaborative articles. What is it all about?
I see more and more people on LinkedIn answering those You’re one of a few experts invited to add to this collaborative article: [insert AI question here] prompts, and find it sad for different reasons.
- They’re asking a lot of people.
- The answers are going to feed a machine in a gated platform.
Further reasons for sadness
People mean well, and generally want to help. Besides, there‘s the exposure. This dirty word implies we need to tell our opinion to the right audience, at the right time. We need to find our voice as designers, our followers, so that big companies can find and hire us. We need to do it where everyone is, the social media platforms.
I did fall for it as well in the past, but companies will hire you even if you are not a LinkedIn Top Voice. A badge on a social media platform won’t change your professionalism.
The collaborative articles
A notification invites me to contribute to an article. Once I land on the article page, LinkedIn shows me my reward. Three or more replies would grant me a Top User Experience (UX) Voice badge.
The article is already structured. The title is a question, and presents sections that guide answers.
Clicking on a section, it expands to reveal a sort of excerpt, to which I can add my perspective.
Why it doesn’t work
Sharing knowledge is always good. However, generic questions followed by generic text are not likely to prompt overly helpful answers. Take the question above as an example: What are the common UX design mistakes that hinder your career growth? Then take the suggested mistakes:
- Lack of user research
- Poor usability testing
- Inconsistent design
- Ignoring accessibility
- Overlooking feedback
- Here’s what else to consider
Doesn’t it all add up to a person not actually doing what a UX designer is expected to do? The reality is surely more complex than suggested though, and the reasons why a designer’s career is not growing can be completely unrelated to their skills. More appropriately to the case, what kind of question is that? What does it even mean?
To what end?
The answers are going to feed Microsoft’s AI machines. They will take them as they are – outside a real-world context – digest and sputter out to whoever asks a similar question on Bing, or elsewhere. What happens to the subpar answers? They will be digested, too.
Write on your blog instead. That way:
- You can help people, but your thoughts are in a meaningful context.
- You can reach more people, even the ones that don’t have a LinkedIn account.
- You have your own website, one that reflects who you are. That’s exposure done right.
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