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Monday, April 25, 2005

Chatting With Konstantin Guericke CoFounder of LinkedIn

While at the Kelsey Group conference I got to chat it up a bit with Konstantin Guericke, the VP of Marketing and CoFounder of LinkedIn. We had a good conversation, but like all conversations at a conference, it went by way too fast. Konstantin agreed to let me come over to the LinkedIn headquarters and snap a few photos, however, I had meetings the following day that ran into our prearranged time and Konstantin had scheduling overruns as well... so you'll have to wait til I post an interview with him and some pics from LinkedIn's headquarters in a couple weeks.

Today, Konstantin followed up with me again, I'm quite impressed with his follow through. That's something you don't find often with those of us who are chronologically challenged. In one of his emails he posed a question to me about blogs. I wanted to know if he maintained a blog and he responded with an answer and a question. I obliged him by answering and got to thinking... it would make a good post, so here you go.

Konstantin Counter Punches And Asks Jason Dowdell A Question

JD: Do you have a personal blog I can point to for a brief entry on linkedin>
KG: I don’t have a blog—given how many interesting blogs are out there, I’d rather contribute to existing ones than start one more that doesn’t get read. My sense is that we need fewer bloggers, and more people responding to blogs. My guess is that most mailing lists have a better ratio of involvement of readers than most blogs, which put one person at the center. What do you think?

JD: Yeah, I think you're right. I subscribe to far more blogs than I do email lists and the email lists tend to keep my attention better than do single / multiple blog entries. Probably has to do with the variety of content around a central theme in an email versus a few posts around one theme [all from the same perspective] in a blog. But I think blogs have more power around a focused subject / perspective than any mailing list can have. I say that because blogs are personal, heavily opinionated, and when controversial, everyone in the blogosphere is pointing to them. I can't remember the last time I was pointed to an email from a mailing list. And when I do get forwards it's usually annoying whereas if I see many people citing a particular post in the blogosphere, I'm all ears. And I can control whether or not I go there instead of having an email pushed on me without asking for it.

There's a need for a reverse forum business model with bloggers. Whereby several bloggers who have similar interests and cover similar content can be aggregated editorially in one central blog. That way, the editor separates the signal from the noise and only brings out the best. I think this is one of the reasons is so popular. You get several different authors / editors receiving / sorting / posting about a variety of topics around a central theme. And it plays into our need to feed our own egos. "Can I get my post accepted?" "Does Xeni even know who I am?" "I'm gonna be famous when I'm on the cover of BoingBoing!".

This is the business model I think will best fit blogs / advertisers in the near future. The monetization of smaller, less known blogs is a much harder play. I'd equate that to local marketing, be it search or blogs.

On a related side note: Many of you reading this are small business entrepreneurs and know that it takes a lot to get your business off the ground. I would like to challenge you to do what you know is right, even if it requires more work in the short term, because the long tail will reward you for doing so. In recent months I've been put in contact with some of the most inspiring people who answer my questions with questions of their own. They have challenged me to grow professionally and to think more than I've ever done in the past. Konstantin's question to me is a perfect example of one such person.

If you want to be the best you have to surround yourself with the best. The only way you can do that is if you come to play with your homework already done. You have to know your market / client / business like the back of your hand and be able to provide insight like noone else in the world. It's hard to do that when all you have is an idea and a good work ethic. But do it now because the benefits of taking the road less traveled will long outweigh any immediate gain from a shortcut in the beginning.

By Jason Dowdell at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

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