October 2, 2012; Source: Business Insider

LinkedIn’s recent makeover includes a new “follow” feature similar to what other social networks, notably Twitter, have offered. The site will now allow users to follow some 150 thought leaders that they aren’t directly connected to, allowing followers to see their public posts. At the same time, according to Business Insider, “a list of top-level members will be providing original writing to the aggregated list of stories you normally see in LinkedIn Today,” meaning LinkedIn Today will begin giving emphasis to its own content. LinkedIn plans to select more influencers to join the list, but some notable thought leaders who will be sharing their views are President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra.

There are some nonprofit sector influencers on LinkedIn’s list:

  • Beth Kanter: blogger and public speaker on social media in the nonprofit sector, and co-author of The Networked Nonprofit and Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.
  • Jennifer Pahlka: founder and executive director at Code for America, a nonprofit connecting tech leaders with cities to foster civic engagement.
  • Craig Newmark: founder of Craigslist and, a website that aims to connect and protect nonprofit organizations.
  • Nancy Lublin: CEO of Do Something and founder of Dress for Success, a nonprofit which brings resources and career development skills to women transitioning from welfare to work.
  • Charles Best: founder and CEO of, a website crowdsourcing needed supplies to public schools.
  • Regina Hopper: president and CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, an advocacy group which promotes independent natural gas exploration.
  • Katya Andreson: chief operating officer and chief strategy officer of Network for Good, as well as a speaker and author on public-private partnerships, cause marketing, social media and fundraising.
  • Daniel Goleman: science journalist and co-founder of The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning.

LinkedIn has also added a new feature enabling users to endorse connections, which means one can vouch for the skills one’s connections list on their profiles. This new feature is envisioned as helping the social network and potential employers better assess LinkedIn members’ skill sets. LinkedIn is hoping its recent changes will encourage members to spend more time on the website, which would open up the possibility for more advertising revenue. –Aine Creedon