Five Topic Areas to Write About on LinkedIn to Survive In a Smart Technology Future

Evil angry robot . Render on blackbackground

As I watched the debate between Andrew Keen and Jonathan Zittrain, Smart Technology – Future Employer or Job Destroyer, on, I became uneasy. No, I became frightened.

I’m a middle-aged man working on a master’s degree. I’m attempting to stay relevant as younger folks enter the workforce and my knowledge and experience becomes increasingly dismissed. I think I understood this was a part of getting older. (It shouldn’t be, but it is.)

Now, it seems, I must also begin to think about how to contend with non-human competitors aka smart technologies.

What’s Up with That?

“The problem,” says Keen, “with this technological revolution—and your right, no one has any right to a [particular] job and no industry has any right to a continuing existence. The nature of technology…lends itself to permanent destruction. But, the problem is that these old jobs are going away and there doesn’t seem to be any new jobs.”

If you’re my age or older that means one of two things. Maybe you’ll squeak by and retire just before the smart technology revolution is in full binary bloom. Or, maybe you won’t and you’ll be displaced much earlier than you expected.

If you’re somewhat or much younger than me, you’re still faced with these two scenarios. But, you have more time to prepare.

On the Other Hand

What if we have nothing to worry about, young or old older?

“If you can find, I hate to use the word efficiencies,” says Zittrain, “because it masks just how rich what we can find is. But, if you find efficiencies, yes, then society faces a question of ‘We’ve just discovered way more abundance, how might we share it?’”

Zittrain is suggesting that allowing smart technologies to do our work would give us the freedom to do what interests us—mostly anyways.

So Which Is it?

Don’t ask me. I’m your competition. The non-robotic kind—or am I?

I will, however, offer five topic areas you can write about on LinkedIn that should, for the time being, be difficult for smart technologies to produce.

Resistance Is Not Futile

In Using LinkedIn to Get Work from the June 2010 issue of Intercom magazine, Rich Maggiani and Ed Marshall suggest LinkedIn is a good way to find and keep a job. They focus on profiles, connections, and job searches.

“The possibilities for getting work through LinkedIn are boundless,” they say. (Give’em a break. They wrote that in 2010, which is like sooooo like long ago like.)

But, they did give some sage advice: “Remember, though, that as a social media network, your chances are enhanced by relying on your [LinkedIn] connections. So cultivate them.”

These topic areas should help you do just that and they are smart-technology resistant:

  • Your Analyses. Only you can analyze an issue in your field, a book review, or a news item and provide your opinion. No smart technology can do that on your behalf.
  • Your Ideas. Smart technology can’t yet see what is going on in your head. Leverage your great ideas by carefully fleshing them out and documenting them in your LinkedIn posts.
  • Your Accomplishments. It’s okay to post your accomplishments. In fact, LinkedIn often does it for you. Be sure to share the takeaways and stick to relevant and/or significant accomplishments for the LinkedIn crowd. Won an award? Good. Finally cleaned the cat litter box. Not so much.
  • Your Experiences. Attended an industry event? Taken a class? Why not write about your experience and related outcomes and findings? Unless you sent your surrogate A.I. robot in your stead, you should have plenty of fodder for your LinkedIn posts.
  • Your Curation. No smart technology can curate content on your behalf. Sure you can enslave some feed aggregator to do the dirty work of compiling content. But, only you can choose what to curate. Don’t just focus on your interests. Build a curation profile that people can rely on.

Unless you are assimilated entirely by some social collective network (you know the one I mean), these topic areas should help you stay relevant—at least until the post-apocalyptic war between humankind and machines.

Would you add anything to the list?

Posted on November 1, 2015, in Blogs, Digital, Literacy, Social Media, Society, Technology, Workplace. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi Aaron,

    Looks like we’re in the same boat; although, I’m sure I’m a bit older. Part of me hopes I stay relevant and can contribute; therefore, I pursued more education against the advice of friends. They asked ‘what’s the point of earning a degree at 52 – 10 years from retirement? Well, it’s part of my plan to not only co-exist with those darn robots, but have them make my work more efficient.

    I’d like to add a few more points to your five things:

    Technology can’t make us open-minded. Technology can present things to us, but the “product” itself can’t influence how we expand our mind, and how we apply what we’ve learned.

    It can’t help us build great big structures. See all those constructions site? You need human labor to build the worlds bridges and buildings.

    As I

    • Hi Dana, great additions! I’m not worried. The human element is not going away anytime soon. But, many are trying. It will be interesting to see the shifts over the balance my our lifetimes.

      Good for you for getting your degree middle-age style. A co-worker, perhaps one of a handful of experts in his field, told me when I was thinking about getting a graduate degree to “GO FOR IT!” His best friend got his master’s degree at 55 plus and went on to a PhD in soil mechanics. He became a professor at 60 years old!

  2. Ooops.

    As I put my toe back into the dating scene after 25 years off the market, I realize that all the technology behind all those dating sites – is worthless. It can’t (and hasn’t) provided me with a terrific match. And with technology allowing us to “know” someone before the first date – I’d say it’s removed a lot of the adventure of getting to know someone in a first time encounter.

    And frankly, I don’t think technology has made most of us more efficient, but it’s certainly made us more stressed (take a look at the Amish – not a lot of 24/7 stress). Sure, it’s sped up processes and thrown more information at us, but in a world constantly expecting more, it’s like running around playing catch-up.

  3. Hi Aaron, terrific blog posting on LinkedIn and what we can do to prove to companies that they still need humans. 🙂 Since you asked for more ideas to add to your list, I would suggest helping others in your network and groups. (I will focus on groups as I receive updates to the groups that I am in; I rarely visit LinkedIn to see how individual people are doing, so I cannot make any suggestions there).

    Often times, people will post a problem that they are having to a group, because asking the “hive mind” will bring you several answers within the short time it takes you to make a new pot of coffee, complete with a vodka finish. 😉

    While I’m not sure if a person can have technology available that will provide custom responses based on experience automatically, I believe that a real human has to have that experience and knowledge to provide tailored answers. By creating a personal response that helps to solve the issue, people will look to you for answers to their problems and they know that you are a fantastic resource who cares. I believe that only a human can build up positive social capital than technology itself can.

    • Thanks for the comment. I see your point, and it applies well to non-social help as well. Knowledgebases are great, but exhausting. I always appreciate a company that let’s me chat with a human. Usually, my problem is resolved more quickly.

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